Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the songs. Deal.

Spoilers: None

A/N: This is what happens when your playlist is on shuffle and your friend is an enabler.

For Jenna because I like that girl. And I haven't talked to her in a long time. And when I think of NY, I think of Jenna. And Jeeps, but that is beside the point. Triangles.

For Landon and Emma who are the Lucy(s) to my Stella.

Lucy Messer laid on the couch, eating dry cereal and watching cartoons. She tapped her size nine Dora shoes against the cushions, giggling at the antics of the Pink Panther. She was staying with Mac and Stella for the week while Danny and Lindsay took a short vacation. Lucy was more than thrilled to get to stay all by herself with her favorite people and their dog Chumley. Stella had been off work the last few days, and the two of them had spend a lot of time shopping, coloring, and playing at the park. But today Stella was at work, and Mac was home with Lucy. In her three year old mind, Lucy knew that Mac wasn't as fun as Stella, but at least he tried, and that was what counted.

"Hey Lucy-Moo. What do you want to do today?"

She chewed on a marshmallow charm and tapped her chin.

"Well I don't actually know."

"We can do anything you want to."

"Can we go to Disney World?"

"Okay, almost anything you want," he said with a chuckle. She grinned back at him.

"I want to watch cartoons, and then eat a pickle for lunch. And after that I want to play Barbies."

"Any chance you'd want to help me clean the house for Stella?"

Her eyes lit up and she jumped off the couch, nearly spilling her Lucky Charms.

"Can I for realsies?"

"You really want to?"

"Yeah! I like to do the dusting. I do the short parts and daddy does the tall ones. Mommy turns on music too. Can we listen to music?"

"Sure," he said with a chuckle. He had never even imagined such a strange child. She was honestly jumping up and down, thrilled beyond belief to be cleaning the house.

"Chumley could help us, My Mac! Hims tail could do dustin' too!"

"I think we'd better let him out into the yard while we clean. You know how he likes to mess things up."

"Yes, hims a dirty boy."

He smiled and let the dog out into the backyard, then got a laundry basket and began to gather all the dirty laundry from around the house. Lucy followed after him, picking up socks and humming along to the radio.

"Daddy putted too much soap in one time," she said, standing on her tip-toes, trying to look into the washer. "Mommy said a bad word."

"She did?"

"Uh-huh. The water gotted all on the floor."

"You know what would happen if I did that?"

"My Stella would say "McCanna Boyd Taylor!" and maybe punch you in the arm."

"You're probably right, Luce," he agreed, turning the washer on. "Want to help me wash the dishes?"

"As long as the water isn't too hot."

"We're just going to rinse them and put them in the dishwasher."

She smiled and hopped up on the chair he brought over to the sink. He turned the water on and she stuck her finger in it. They rinsed the dishes in silence, listening to the music that he had switched on.

"When are mommy and daddy coming home?"

"The day after tomorrow. Do you miss them?"


"They'll call and talk to you tonight or in the morning."

"You promise-trust?"


She smiled as he closed the dishwasher and turned it on.

"I think we deserve a break. What do you think?"

"Okay!" she said, running into the other room and sliding across the wood floor in her sock feet. "Can you do that?"

He nodded and repeated her action, hoping she didn't see him almost biff it. She giggled and he picked her up and spun her around, starting to dance as a new song began.

She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I'd stare too long
I'd probably break down and cry

Sweet child o' mine
Sweet love of mine

She's got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I'd hide
And pray for the thunder
And the rain
To quietly pass me by

Sweet child o' mine
Sweet love of mine

She giggled as he sang the song, and laughed outright when he held her sideways, tickling her stomach and using her for a guitar. The song ended and they collapsed on the couch both laughing and out of breath. Lucy sat up and jumped onto his chest, squeezing his face between her hands.

"Again, again!"

"I don't think I can."

"Please? For me? I'll be your Lucy-Moo forever."

He laughed and kissed her cheeks.

"Maybe after lunch. I'm exhausted."

"Daddy says 'pooped'."

"Yeah, I'm that too."

Stella came home with tired feed and a bag of take-out, ready to sit down and close her eyes. It had been a very long day, and she didn't think rest would be forthcoming with a three year old in the house.

"I'm home!" she called, stepping through the door.

"My Stella!" Lucy squealed from the kitchen. "We's makin' brownies!"

Stella laughed and went into the kitchen were Lucy was sitting on the counter, covered with flour and cocoa powder.

"What happened?"

"We had a spill," Lucy said with a shrug, licking the rubber spatula that Mac gave her. "I cleaned it up."

"I can see that, baby girl," Stella said, leaning down to wipe some batter off of her chin.

"Did you miss me while you were workin'?"

"Of course I did," she replied, kissing Lucy's cheek.

"Did you miss me?" Mac asked. She rolled her eyes, but leaned over to kiss him anyway.

"I tried not to."

"My Stella, we cleaned the whole entire house! We even mopped the floor and My Mac teached me how to wash the windows."

"Didn't you feel like Cinderella?"

"Yep, b'cept I don't have no mice friends."

"I'm glad. Are you hungry for dinner?"

"I am half starved."

They plated up the Chinese food and took it into the other room, sitting on the floor in front of the TV. Lucy picked the movie Babe singing along with the mouse trio, and giggling at the antics of the other animals.

She started to get tired, her giggles getting quieter and quieter until her eyes were glassy.

"Baby girl, I think it's time for a bath and bed."

"Can I have bubbles?"


They made their way into the bathroom, leaving Mac to clean up the dishes. Lucy undressed and climbed into the tub, squishing the bubbles between her fingers.

"Can I wash your hair, Luce?"

"Okay, but don't get water in my eyes like daddy sometimes does."

"Alright, I won't."

She carefully washed and rinsed Lucy's blonde hair, then helped her out of the tub and into some pajamas.

"Do you want a story tonight?" Mac asked as he came into the room.

"Can you sing to me? Mommy and daddy sing to me."

"I don't think we can sing very well, Luce."

"Speak for yourself, Mr. Taylor," Stella said, smacking his arm.

He smiled and picked Lucy up, taking her out of the bathroom and into the bedroom she was using. He walked her over to the window and she sleepily pointed out a few constellations, her nighttime ritual.

"What song do you want us to sing, baby girl?" Stella asked, coming to stand beside them.

"The one you singed to me last time. Remember? The bushel and a peck?"

Mac grinned at Stella, recalling the old Doris Day song that Lucy had loved so much. Of course, last time they had sung along to the CD, but they figured they could manage acapella.

"I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap and I'm talkin' in my sleep
About you, about you
'Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your purdy neck I do

A doodle-oodle-ooh-doo

I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck though you make my heart a wreck
Make my heart a wreck and you make my life a mess
Make my life a mess, yes a mess of happiness
About you, about you
'Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your purdy neck I do

A doodle-oodle-ooh-doo

They finished singing and Lucy snored gently against Mac's shoulder. He carefully laid her in the bed and tucked her in tightly, kissing her forehead. Stella stooped down and repeated the action, her heart constricting just a little with love for this little girl, who wasn't even her flesh and blood. She had never loved someone so much, especially not for no reason. It had just happened without her really knowing it.

"Come on, Mrs. Taylor. Let's let her sleep."

They slipped from the room and walked across the hallway to theirs. Mac rubbed at his eyes and sighed, rolling his neck from side to side.

"I'm gonna hop in the shower. I'll be out in a few minutes."

She nodded and changed her clothes, then sat down on the bed, pulling the basket of laundry towards her. She started to fold them, her mind not on anything in particular. Towel, towel, sock, pants, towel. Lucy's shirt. She looked down at the screen print on it and smiled. Someone at the New York Crime Lab LOVES ME was emblazoned across it. It had been a present from Adam the previous Christmas, and Lucy wore it at least three times a week.

Stella felt a small twinge in her heart. She wanted a baby. It was there, plain and simple. She wanted to be a mother, to have a child to love and care for all the time. Though she couldn't imagine loving another child as much as she loved Lucy, she knew it was possible. It would be her child. Hers and Macs. Her stomach started to ache as the realization that having a child of their own was probably just a dream hit her. It really hurt.

"My Stella, I love you the mostest of the most. Even more than My Mac does! That's a lot of love for one person."

"You're the bestest in the whole entire world and outer space!"

"I need a cuddle. Will you cuddle me, My Stella?"

"I missed you so much when you were gone! Next time can I go with you?"

She smiled to herself, suddenly extremely content with the way things were. Maybe it wasn't what she had secretly pictured, but it gave her a purpose she didn't know was missing.

"Honey? Where are you at?" Mac asked, waving a hand in front of her face.


"You need sleep," he commented, brushing his fingers down her cheek. She nodded and put the stacks of folded clothes back into the basket, then climbed into the bed next to her husband. He wrapped his arms around her and pressed a kiss to the top of her head.



"I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and it beats me all to heck
It beats me all to heck, how I'll ever tend the farm
Ever tend the farm when I wanna keep my arm
About you, about you
'Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your purdy neck I do

She smiled and leaned up to kiss him.

"I love you too, Mac. Even though your voice is terrible."

"Night, honey."


There was a knock on the door and it squeaked open slowly.

"I'm lonely."

That was all it took for them to let her climb up into their bed. She nestled herself between them, reaching up to twist one of Stella's curls around her finger.

"Goodnight My Mac. Goodnight, My Stella."

"Goodnight, My Lucy."

"No, she's my Lucy!" Mac protested, pulling Lucy closer to him.

"Nu-uh, she's mine."

Lucy giggled.

"My Lucy!"

"My Lucy!"

"You guys need to learn sharing," Lucy commented, shaking her head and sliding her thumb into her mouth.

"Okay, okay. Our Lucy."

She nodded.

"That's better."

They each gave her another goodnight kiss, and the trio settled down for the night, happy and content to just be each others.