Author's note: hello all I'm back in the fandom again and don't worry to all of you who are reading "In a New York minute" more will be coming soon. This little gem is set just a bit after "Second chance". Merry Christmas everyone may you all have a wonderful time.

Disclaimer: I own nothing cause if I did Flack would be under my tree.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
Our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
Our troubles will be miles away.

From the film Meet Me In St. Louis - Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane 1943

Snow started falling not twenty minutes ago Christmas Eve in New York City always proved to be entertaining. For Mac Taylor Christmas had long since shed the joy it once had, now it turned into just another day.

A knock on his glass door had him looking up, and then waving in his guest, "I thought you went home Stella."

"Had a few last minute things to finish up what about you?" Stella answered looking over her best friend of over ten years.

"Paperwork," he answered glancing back at the sheet's littering his desk.

"That can wait till the day after Christmas Mac, come on let's get out of here," Stella argued coming around his desk.

"Thanks Stell, but," he began only to be interrupted.

"I'm not taking no for any answer mister now move," Stella said not waiting to leave him behind on Christmas Eve of all days.

Begrudgingly Mac obeyed her command knowing that she wouldn't give up and after grabbing his coat followed her out the door.

"So where are you taking me?"

"It's a surprise," she answered smiling then, "we did good today Mac helping Santa out, now it's our time for a little Christmas cheer."

They made their way downstairs in companionable silence both glad in some small way that their day had ended on a good note. To many times the cases they worked ended badly not just for the victim, but in some respects clouded their peace of mind and made them wonder if there really was any good left in this world. That afternoon had proved to them that goodness still existed in a whole so full of darkness.

Thirty minutes later Stella pulled up in front of Danny and Lindsay's apartment building and turned to face Mac.

Seeing the puzzled expression she offered, "Christmas is a time for family Mac. I know neither one of us have that by blood, but we still have family."

Mac nodded as they got out. He knew she was right and it brought a smile to his face as they entered the building. Maybe he didn't have any family by blood anymore, but the people in that apartment for all tens and purposes had become the family he lacked after Claire's death. When they entered the elevator he turned to her.

"Thanks Stella for bragging me along," he said taking her hand in his and giving it a gentle squeeze.

Stella turned to him her hazel eyes soft, "No thanks necessary Mac. I damn sure wasn't going to let you stay at the lab for Christmas you just needed the right shove."

Knocking on the door they waited just a few moments before Lindsay answered it Lucy in her arms. A smile bighting her features, "Glad you both could make it," to Stella she asked, "so what kind of bribe did you use to get him here?"

"Heard that Linds," Mac stated a glint hidden in his eyes.

Lindsay blushed and ducked her head pretending to talk with Lucy.

"He's harmless Linds you know that," Stella laughed as they moved farther into the apartment.

Brightly decorated, with a tree in one corner of the living room, light's stung around the windows, holly and garland around doorways. She noticed Danny and Don standing by the punch bowl in a heated, yet friendly discussion about what she didn't know. Her eyes flicked over to were Sid and Hawkes where standing, they to were deep in discussion. However, she noticed that Adam had yet to arrive.

"Mac, Stella Merry Christmas," Danny exclaimed handing them both a drink.

"It's not spiked is it Messer?" Mac asked jokingly.

Danny look put out, "I would never."

"Yes you would Danno and you know it," came Don's voice from behind him.

"And here I thought you were on my side Flack," Danny returned though he was only joking.

"I rather be in Mac's good graces than yours Messer," Don shot back a bit of his old self shining in his eyes.

A knock interrupted what Danny had planned on saying. Adam being the last to arrive greeted everyone with a wave. The small gathering settled into quiet conversions around the room picking at the food Lindsay had set out. Not an hour into the party Lindsay excused herself to lay Lucy down for bed. Silently Stella followed.

"You need a hand Linds?"

"I've got it Stella, you go back to the party," Lindsay returned as she made her way towards the bathroom.

"Two hands are better than one, besides I'd like to spend sometime with my niece," Stella answered a grin pulling at her lips.

Lindsay relented and placed her daughter in Stella's arms while she ran a bath.

"She's so precious," Stella commented stroking Lucy's cheek feeling the soft texture of her skin.

Lindsay could see a sad light enter her eyes, "God's little miracle."

"Humm," was her response without looking up from the baby.

Stella began to wonder if she'd ever find the right man to fill her life. One that would bring her the happiness she saw reflected in Danny and Lindsay's eyes. The contentment they seemed to exude when they were in each other's present. Her own heart ached just a little for that kind of bliss.

"Stell you ok?" Lindsay asked, worry creasing her brow.

She looked up into her friends warm brown eyes, "I'm fine just thinking about a few things."

"Must have been pretty deep thoughts."

"That they were Lindsay," Stella answered handing over the little bundle dressed in a red and green jump suit with Santa on the front.

"Anything you'd care to share?"

Stella just shook her head and watched Lindsay give Lucy a bath before redressing her and leaving the bathroom. She watched her place a kiss to the top of her head before placing Lucy in her crib to sleep. The pair returned to the living room and just stood in the doorway watching the five men sitting around quietly talking.

"It's a blessing to have everyone together on this Christmas Eve," Lindsay commented her eyes resting on her husband.

"True," Stella returned, "we almost lost Danny, then Flack to himself and Hawkes almost to the point of sleeping on the street. We've been blessed that nothing else more severe happened."

An hour later, Mac had excused himself to the bathroom, coming back a few moments later he watched his team, his family interact with one another. His eyes first landed on Lindsay and Danny, the first sitting in the seconded lap, arms wrapped tightly around her. A peace radiating off the pair, they had made it through so many emotional fires that they deserved the peace they found in each other.

His eyes moved over one to rest on Adam, who was talking animatedly about something to do with computers, a world Mac wasn't truly comfortable with, yet he appreciated the enthusiasm the younger man showed, and was glad to have him on his team. Regardless of how awkward some thought Adam was Mac had begun to realize the heart with in the man.

Moving over his eyes come to rest on Hawks who laughed at something Danny had said. He still couldn't believe that Sheldon Hawks the most put together man he knew was homeless for a time. Yet, even after all that Sheldon went thought he still remained in such high spirits looking at the world with open and honest eyes.

Sid's voice caught his attention as the older man began a story of his past and Mac wondered if there was something he hadn't done. Yet, Sid still remained a mystery to him. Despite that fact Mac still valued his opinion on most things anyway.

Flack, his wounded soul brought thoughts of his own tragedy to the surface. Granted they hadn't been married, but he knew that Jess's death affected Don a lot more than he was willing to admit. Even to this day Mac could see the shadows pass over his eyes.

At last his eyes settled on Stella, who by no surprise was watching him. So many years and cases, tragedies and triumphant's had brought them closer together. He wondered why she stuck around. She was his rock, the one he knew he could turn to in times of doubt and she'd be there a smile on her beautiful face.

"You joining us Mac, or just standing there holding up the wall," Stella called seeing the far away look in his eyes.

Without responding Mac came to sit besides her enjoying the company.

"Deep thought's?" she whispered.

Mac nodded, "Merry Christmas Stella."

The end