A/N: Okay, so I have never written something like this before. First ever CSI: NY fic, first time at writing anything remotely resembling smut. Crackfic, SMex. Please be gentle. Also, I don't have a beta, so all mistakes are my own.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

The Numb

Detective Mac Taylor sat behind his desk, a manila folder lying open atop the table. His eyes stared at the papers and photos strewn there, but his vision was unfocused, glassy. The lab was deserted, for which he was grateful; no one to observe his intensity, his unease. Only the sounds of the cars from the street and the perpetual tick, tick, tick of the clock were witness to the trouble, pensive man.

The case that had his insomnia on overdrive had been closed that evening. This had not been a simple investigation or a conventional killer. This was a sick, twisted serial murderer lacking any semblance of empathy. The death and destruction he left in his wake caused the entire team: Flack, Danny, Lindsay, even Stella, to lose a little more faith in the human race.

The overarching despicable nature of the case left little cause for celebration even at its close, and everyone had gone their separate ways. Stella had been the last to go, popping in to scan his face with her own exhausted eyes. She had known better than to ask if he was alright, and instead had gently chided him for remaining at the office so late, weakly smiling as she said goodnight.

Mac wished he was like the others of his team. He yearned to feel that familiar swell of righteous anger in his chest, the heat in his face, the unconscious clench of his shoulders. He desired nothing more than to be shocked when he saw such crimes, disgusted to witness the absence of regret. He wanted to turn back the clock a few weeks, months, years.

Because right now, all Mac Taylor felt was numb. He stared at the grisly photos, read the gruesome reports, and tried to muster some emotion. But nothing changed, and he remained a hardened man, sitting solitary in a quiet office.

He couldn't stay here.

His chest was hollow, and he felt so empty. He wanted to scream, but he was so very drained. His mind was so tired. He brought a rough hand to his dry eyes and scrubbed once, twice. Then he was out of his chair, out of his office, into the brisk New York City streets.

Mac had no idea what he was doing, all he knew was that he wanted to wash away the numbness. He needed to feel something, anything. Fleetingly he wondered if he had lost his humanity, and while that possibility should terrify him, he did not know how to confront the issue. He was strong, independent, but in this he was helpless.

There were very few people in this world that had ever been privy to Mac's weaknesses, and there was only one person who he trusted to help him now.

He arrived in front of Stella's door, and his knock seemed uncharacteristically loud given the late evening and silent surroundings. He had no idea what he would say, felt preemptively guilty because he surely would be waking her, but stood resolute in his decision. And still the emptiness in his chest persisted.

"Mac," she murmured as she opened the door wide for him to enter, and he was thankful she did not immediately interrogate him on his motives. It would give him time to figure them out himself.

"Sorry to wake you," Mac said, taking in her pajamas and bare feet. She put a hand to her forehead, pushing away some stray hair that had fallen there.

"Actually, I couldn't sleep. Is everything okay?" she queried. He felt awkward, still standing in the foyer.

Mac didn't respond to her question, instead taking a moment to study her closely. Her slender shoulders sagged wearily, and her bright green eyes were shadowed by dark smudges. The soft skin of her cheeks was red, and he realized with a start that she had been crying.

Stella noticed when he arrived at this conclusion, and he saw her eyes begin to glisten with unshed tears.

She justified herself, "This guy, Mac." She broke eye contact, staring at the ceiling and placing her hands on her hips to compose herself. A stray tear rolled down her cheek, and he followed its course until she angrily swiped at it with her hand.

She was raw emotion. His strong, tough partner was struggling for control. She was pissed, and she was forlorn, and she was human, and she was so beautiful in that moment. And with his hollow chest and tired mind he longed to grasp her humanity. Mac felt a tug, an undeniable urge to share her despair, her anger, to consume her.

"Stella," he whispered hoarsely, his only warning before he grabbed her and crashed his lips against hers.

If she was surprised, she didn't show it, nor did she push him away. With one hand against the small of her back, Mac brought their bodies flush together, and the intimate closeness caused Stella to gasp in surprise. That was all the opportunity he needed, and his second hand threaded through her hair to hold her head in place as he devoured her mouth.

Her lips tasted salty from her tears, and her hands clutched desperately at his arms, and Mac vaguely wondered if he was all that was supporting her.

It wasn't enough.

Clumsily, blindly, he stumbled forward until he found a wall and shoved her back against it. He left her lips to skim over her neck, her chest, barely registering her sighs and whimpers. He felt a lump rising in the back of his throat, and it could've been desire, or anger, or love, or despair, but atleast it wasn't numbness, and this spurred him on.

Stella's fingers slipped through his hair, and she scraped her nails against his scalp as she dragged his lips from her neck. Her eyes were glassy, and she looked so goddamn vibrant. He felt like an empty shell next to her, and he couldn't stop.

Mac kissed her mouth again, and now she felt so eager, so restless. His hand grasped behind her knee, lifting one long, slender leg to hook around his waist. The rough skin of his hand was so different from the her smooth, silky leg, and a small, strangled moan escaped between their lips as he pressed her against the wall. He needed her so bad, and it wasn't just a physical need, and he had a frightening thought that she could save him, but the thought evaporated as she pulled him impossibly closer, grinding her hips against his.

Suddenly her hands were on his chest, shoving him away. But Stella grabbed his arm, pulling him towards her bedroom, something unspoken behind her pretty eyes.

Mac recognized the gesture. By leading him to her bedroom she was agreeing to share in his blame, taking it upon herself to be equally involved. He was so grateful; he almost blurted his thanks, but instead allowed himself to be pushed onto the bed and have a warm, lovely woman climb on top of him.

Then he was kissing her: deep, bruising kisses, but it was never enough. And she fumbled briefly with his buckle, kicked off her own shorts, and still he kissed, bit, licked, keeping her locked on top of him. Her nails clenched and unclenched against his chest, and for the first time he realized that she was just as lost as he was.

But no, she couldn't be lost. He needed her passion, her drive, her humanity. He needed her to be the stronger one by being the weaker one.

"I need you," he confessed against the delicate skin of her neck. She was astride atop him, bending down to be kissed. Her hair was loose and framed them, and Mac felt he could disappear in her.

"Mac," she whispered, an acquiescence.

Carefully but swiftly, he rolled them over so he was above Stella, his arms supporting his weight and framing her head. Then he was inside her, and it was almost enough, but he felt greedy and lost.

As though she sensed his desperation, Stella tilted her hips upward, and he slid even deeper within her. He couldn't start slow, so he moved fast and sure. She felt so hot and so real. Her legs were wrapped tightly around his waist, and her swollen lips let loose a soft sigh everytime he pushed completely in her.

Mac propped himself up a little farther, shoving her hair from her face. Tear tracks her still visible on her cheeks. Her eyes were closed, lips parted, and she arched her back and moaned as he moved within her. She was so raw, and that was exactly what he needed.

He kissed her, hissing when she slid her hands under his shirt and scraped her nails down his back. He increased their rhythm, relishing in the noises she made against his lips. Along with his growing desire, he felt a swell in his chest, and he ached for more of her, all of her.

Stella clutched tightly to him, digging her nails even deeper into his shoulders as his thrusts brought her closer and closer to release, and suddenly it was so important that he make her lose control again. But no sooner did he have this thought than she was gone, gasping his name. She tightened around him, and he buried his face into her neck, nipping and sucking her flesh as he followed her. Bright lights exploded behind his eyes as his ecstasy swelled inside of him, and her arms pulled him closer as he groaned against her skin.

Mac's body felt weak, but Stella continued to clutch him tight, so he caught his breath while still nestled against her body.

After several moments, Mac slid from Stella and zipped up his pants, afraid to look her in the eyes immediately. He rubbed the back of his neck, silent, as she retrieved her pajama shorts. He only looked up when she touched his arm lightly.

"Hey," she said softly.

Her hair fell in tangles around her face. There were angry red marks along her chest and neck. Her eyes were bright and concerned.

"Hey," he returned tentatively.

"Look, Mac. We both have the early shift tomorrow. We really ought to go to sleep."

He knew that, logically. But he also needed to know her state of mind before he left. He needed to know he hadn't broken her in his desperation.

"Stella..." he began.

She stopped him with her smile. It was a warm, brilliant smile, and her eyes shone with care and concern.

"Go home, Mac. Go to sleep. I'll see you tomorrow."

He still faltered, saying, "Maybe we could get some dinner after work." Mac hunted for any signs of unease from his partner, but found none.

"I'd like that," Stella responded.

For the first time that evening, Mac's lips pulled into a smile.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Stel."

They would be okay.

"See you tomorrow, Mac."

He would be okay.

A/N: Please review! Reviews are always very much appreciated! Plus it'd be great to hear any comments you might have about how I did writing Mac/Stella. As I said, it was my first CSI: NY fic!