A/N: Ok, so for you all to understand WHY I did this song there's a few things you need to know. I'm an actress… and I act in musical theatre. THAT being said, everything I experience I find a song to tie it to and yeah, I guess that helps me retain those feelings.

I have LOVED this song forever. I felt a relationship I was in dying and this song help being the cleansing… I think it's time for someone to address the NEW woman coming into Mac's life. So this is a little AU but a little true to the series too.

It's a lame attempt at Stella, but I think every girl with a broken heart can relate.

DEDICATED TO Andorian Ice Princess-AIP and Stardust585 for all the support and encouragement they've offered…

'DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING.



"Out From Under" by Joanna / Britney Spears (I think you should all go listen to Joanna's version as you read.)

Stella's POV.



I can't hate her. I don't know her well enough to… but I want to. I don't think I've ever wanted to hate someone so much. Not even Peyton. I can't figure out how… how I let him go. Things were going so well after Greece. Dinner here, lunch there, coffee dates, kisses good night, cuddles on his couch… then we lost Jess. He's never forgiven me. I honestly don't think he ever will. After Adam, I think- I KNOW- he's holding back. His eyes as he asked if the rumors were true tore right through me. After his whispered confession that he'd wanted it to be him I sought comfort from he walked out of my apartment, and I slid down my door weeping wishing he had been the one I'd chosen. Stupid mistakes lead to broken hearts, a lesson I should've learned long ago; instead I acted on an impulse and just shattered the best thing I had in my life.

That was 4 months ago, and now as I stand at the entrance of the lab, watching him and the new woman in his life, I realize that things will never be okay ever again. I feel like someone just took a battering ram to my gut. As I watch him pull her close and whisper something that makes her smile, I can't help but be rooted to this spot on the cement with the world around me moving in ultra slow motion. His eyes catch mine and he smiles and nods before bringing her over, in an instant I'm struck by how much she looks like Peyton. He introduces her and I dumbly nod and shake her hand before she kisses him and explains she has to get back to work.

He watches her go and looks at me expectantly, waiting for feedback and the best I can offer is a muttered, "She seems sweet."

He nods and rocks on his heels as an awkward silence fills the space between us. His eyes look anywhere but at me and I look to the sky to try to force my tears to stay behind my eyes, but they burn from behind my lids and my chest heaves in a held back sob before I lick my lips and head quickly into the lab, leaving him on the sidewalk in the traffic of the city. The locker room is empty and I send a silent prayer to God in thanks as I rush into a bathroom stall and lock the door, effectively shutting out the outside world as the sob escapes my throat and the tears glide down my face. They leave stinging trails down my cheeks and burn like fire as they expose my well hidden emotions to the four metal walls surrounding me. I sit down on the porcelain seat and drop my head into my hands as I continue to sob, letting the tears cleanse me. Damn him. Damn him and how easily he can crush me. I gasp for air and felt my chest ache with each sob, partially from the lack of air, partially because a piece of me just died. Everything solid and constant in my life just crashed and burned; I am in hell. My pulse pounds as my body shakes and my chest heaves; in that instant I'd give up my future to go back and fix my past. I'd give everything I have in front of me to go back in time and be in Mac's arms instead of Adam's.

I force myself together as I hear a familiar voice enter and call my name, "Stella?"

I swallow down everything that remains and sigh, "Be out in a second kiddo."

I wipe my eyes and lick my lips as I take a deep breath and emerge, smiling at Lindsey and cocking my head as her eyes narrow. She crosses her arms over her chest and sighs as she speaks softly, "You okay?"

"Never better." I drop the lie easily, it's not the first time I've had to pretend that I wasn't emotionally devastated, and it won't be the last.

I don't see him the rest of the day; admittedly it's because I've avoided him, but I can't… I can't handle this right now. I made it home and opened the door to my apartment, to find the lights on. I have a sudden flashback to Frankie and pull my sig as I head through the entrance way and turn the corner to find Mac standing in my kitchen, leaning against my counter, "How long are we going to do this?"

I turn away from him and drop my sig into my purse as I speak over my shoulder, "Do what Mac?"

His hands are on my shoulders moments later and I feel his chest brush my back as another awkward silence takes over between us. They're becoming more and more frequent when we're alone. I swallow and shrug his hands off before heading into my living room and sitting down on the couch, "Don't let me keep you Mac. I'm sure you have better places to be."

He sighs my name and I turn to look at him, our eyes meet and in an instant he's holding me tight and rocking me as I cry again; this time is different though, this time I'm inhaling him with each gasp of air. His hand strokes my curls as he holds me and then releases me as I settle down. I hear him murmuring about how we'll be ok, how things always work themselves out, about how much he cares about me; then I pull back and grip the lapels of his jacket tighter and I know in an instant that the platitudes he's offering are just that. They are wistful cliches that we offer every day and no one does a better job than him. My eyes connect with his and the spark that was always there before is gone. The looks we exchange speak of how much we miss the other, we exchange a gentle caress of the other's cheek and as he brushes my cheek with a kiss, I hear a soft whisper of goodbye and release my hold on his jacket. He's gone shortly after and I'm left alone and broken once again. I wipe my eyes dry and wrap my arms around myself before exhaling and letting it go. I've done this before, I've gotten over other broken hearts, and I'll get over this one too; but not alone. I need comfort from the only guys a girl can count on when nursing a broken heart, I need my Ben and Jerry's.


Breath you out
Breath you in
You keep coming back to tell me
You're the one who could have been
And my eyes see it all so clear
It was long ago and far away but it never disappears
I try to put it in the past
Hold on to myself and don't look back

I don't wanna dream about
All the things that never were
Maybe I can live without
When I'm out from under
I don't wanna feel the pain
What good would it do me now
I'll get it all figured out
When I'm out from under

So let me go
Just let me fly away
Let me feel the space between us growing deeper
And much darker every day
Watch me now and I'll be someone new
My heart will be unbroken
It will open up for everyone but you
Even when I cross the line
It's like a lie I've told a thousand times

I don't wanna dream about
All the things that never were
Maybe I can live without
When I'm out from under
I don't wanna feel the pain
What good would it do me now
I'll get it all figured out
When I'm out from under

And part of me still believes
When you say you're gonna stick around
And part of me still believes
We can find a way to work it out
But I know that we tried everything we could try
So let's just say goodbye
Forever

I don't wanna dream about
All the things that never were
Maybe I can live without
When I'm out from under
I don't wanna feel the pain
What good would it do me now
I'll get it all figured out
When I'm out from under

I don't wanna dream about
All the things that never were
Maybe I can live without
When I'm out from under
I don't wanna feel the pain
What good would it do me now
I'll get it all figured out
When I'm out from under

When I'm out from under