Hello. I know this writing might seem a little familiar in form, but that's because it is indeed. It is in fact I, Shining Zephyr. However, I have moved to a different account for the time being to get away from such things like unfinished stories. Shhh. In the meantime, enjoy a little bit of my own rendition of what should have happened in Greece for "Grounds of Deception." I don't know if I will continue this or not, but if I do, I'll go and change the summary. In the meantime, have fun reading this, SMacked fans!

If I owned CSI: New York, Mac and Stella would be together. But alas- we fan girls may dream and fantasize, may we not?

Answers I Seek

Greece. Springtime. Just the two of them.

"Mac… I know I was wrong to keep investigating the case after you told me to step down," Stella Bonasera confessed to her companion on her left hand side. Her gorgeous green-and-white dress with a brown light jacket fit in perfectly with the atmosphere of Macedon, Greece. Her face was full of apologies, those green eyes glancing back at her boss every so often. "I'm sorry… that I made it difficult for you and the department."

Mac Taylor continued to watch her and glanced down at the gravel, giving a slightly exasperated—yet silent—sigh of his own. He glanced back up at her and tilted his head. "This isn't about my job in the department," he told her frankly, finally taking off those sunglasses and stopping now. Those navy blue eyes gazed at her, Stella turning to him with slight confusion. "It was difficult because I care about you."

She didn't know what to say other than a quiet "thank you."

Stella had gone to Greece after she had turned in her badge in pursuit of two men involved in an antique smuggling ring. Searching for answers, she went to her old college professor and from that to Macedon. She had tried to get answers from the professor's brother, but that offered nothing helpful. Frustrated, Stella went to the museum itself and suddenly had the thought she could have been following her former mentor and father figure throughout the museum… and lost him in the crowd.

Just as she departed from there, she ran into him. Her boss.

The one question that screamed out in her mind was a simple 'What the hell are you doing here, Mac?!'

And all of this, plus a run-in with the Greek police force and an old case back in Manhattan led them to the streets with a pair of piercing eyes that seemed to stare at her very soul.

Mac tilted his head at this simple remark and continued pressing on. "I know this is personal for you, I understand that now. I found traces of the ancient Macedon museum's stamp of authenticity on the painting. I did some digging into the museum and Professor P."

She continued to watch him carefully as he pulled out a piece of photo paper from his inside jacket pocket. The man handed it to her, and her brow furrowed into a confused expression. In the photo, three men and a woman stood together, all surrounded by paintings and sculptures. "Who's the woman in this photo?"

"I think it might be your mother."

Her heart skipped a few beats. Stella did a double take at this as Mac continued on softly. "Although they don't identify her. I did some research; she was a restoration artist from Noosa, Greece. She came to New York with an art exhibit in 1977. She brought her two-year-old daughter with her on the trip." His hand slipped into hers now, her mouth slowly opening in shock. "A few days after the exhibit, there was a traffic accident; she was killed instantly."

She waved the picture slightly in confusion. "Professor said he didn't know my mother. I mean, if this is her, why didn't he ever tell me?"

Mac gave a weak and soft smile and explained gently, "It was tough for me to tell you now. I can't imagine telling a young girl."

Stella looked back down at it and swallowed. "Mac…"

He took a hold of her other wrist once she lowered it, pulling her closer to him. "I know it's hard. I know you're mind is a blur right now. And I know you certainly were not expecting this to be dumped all in your lap." Fingers ran through her hair, nothing but his soothing voice there to comfort her. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," she murmured, shaking her head. She buried herself more into his grasp, slipping her arms around him and swallowing hard. "I just… I didn't know any of this… I didn't think I would even hear about that sort of thing here." Stella bit her lip and took a deep breath before glancing up at Mac weakly. "I have to find him, though. I have to ask him if it's true if he saw my mother… if he knew her."

Mac nodded a little in understanding.

"I want you to come with me."

At this, he blinked. "What?"

Stella nodded slowly, swallowing and looking down. "Mac—I want you to come with me and see if this was really true. If he knew her and everything. I want to show you around Greece, show you what I enjoy, what I can remember if anything at all." Her hand was on his chest, smiling softly. "Really. It's okay. I don't mind the company."

He took a deep breath and gazed right back at her, giving her a gentle smile once more. "Mmm. A little bit of digging into history with a woman I do love… it doesn't sound half bad, you know." He pulled back from her for a moment and tilted his head at her. "Where would you like to start?"

"Not sure. But I'm willing to guess that if you lead the way, we will certainly get to some answers."

Mac chuckled a little at this and led her out of the crowds, but she took the reins and led him off towards an alleyway away from prying eyes. He raised a brow at this and followed her willingly into the little cove before he suddenly found her lips upon his in a deep and genuine kiss. His eyes widened with shock, her hands slipping around him with the picture in her other hand. He didn't break it, though. He couldn't. He wouldn't.

When he finally did break it, though, he didn't want to ever let her go. "…Stella."


"How about this time—you lead the way."

Yes, it's horridly sappy, I know. But I know a bunch of people do like sentimental stuff, so pardon it just this once. I want to make one-shots before I go into full-blown story mode and such, so… yes. If you enjoyed this, I would very much like a review. Even if it WAS a word-for-word account of what happened with a little twist. D: