This is a danger/romance SMacked fic, of course, and I just thought, hey, what if in that episode where Mac's in that coffee shot and that waitress gets shot, Stella was there? And she was the one who got shot? This is what came of that thinking! Hope you enjoy!

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The bell rang, signaling a customer had walked into Mac's favorite coffee shop, just a quaint little place in the outskirts of New York City. He looked up and smiled warmly at the brown, curly-haired woman who walked towards him, the same grin on her face. She squeezed his shoulder as she sat across from him, saying, "Good morning."

"Good morning to you," He replied, raising his hand for the waitress. Stella ordered a cup of coffee, and she slipped out of her jacket as she looked around.

"This is a nice place, Mac," She mused, and Mac smiled, taking a sip of his coffee and nodding as the waitress brought Stella hers. There were three women sitting in another booth, an elderly woman, a middle-aged woman and a teenager, obviously related by their matching, startling gray eyes. The only other people in the small building were two men, sitting on opposite ends, the waitress and, undoubtedly a cook in the kitchen.

Stella jerked her gaze away from people-watching to stare at Mac, finding that he was already staring at her. A soft smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as she thought of the past month. They had quietly begun dating, with dinner here, lunch there, and late nights at their apartments just talking and being with each other.

As if in slow motion, one of the men stood up and pulled a gun from his waistband. He started towards the other man, yelling, "You killed my sister!"

The other man jerked up from his newspaper, eyeing the gun with contempt and said, "Who?"

"My sister!" The man screamed, adding, "Abigail Gardner! Blonde hair, brown eyes, she was only 25! She was just married! You took her life away!"

"Oh, I remember her. She was a fighter." The man chuckled, and while this whole exchange went on, Mac quickly slid into Stella's booth, shielding her from the gunman, while staring at the waitress and making a phone with his hand, putting it to his ear and pointing to the kitchen. Understanding, she slipped into the kitchen, while the three women were cowering in their booth.

"You bastard!" The man yelled, and Mac spoke up,

"Let's not be hasty, Mr…"

"Bresner. Mark Bresner." The man said, looking over his shoulder to look at Mac.

"I'm Mac Taylor with the crime lab, Mr. Bresner, let's just calm down," Mac said quickly, and Mark started shaking with grief. The other man's eyes got wide and then narrowed at the sight of a cop, and knew the woman had to be one too, by the way her eyes were assessing the scene. "If this man did kill your sister, let the law handle it. I'll personally get justice for her," He said earnestly, and Mark started to believe him, slowly letting his gun go down. The other man leapt for it and turned it, not onto Mark but onto Mac and Stella, firing once.

Mac prepared for the sting of a shot, but felt nothing. His ears heard Stella's strangled gasp, and he turned to see her fall back against the wall, clutching her shoulder where blood was steadily flowing onto her blouse and jacket.

"Stella!" He yelled in shock and horror, quickly ripping his own jacket off and trying to stench the bleeding. He was unaware of the fight that was going on behind his back, as Mark struggled for his gun back with the mystery man.

"I, I'm okay, Mac," Stella breathed, touching his cheek gently and then looking with horror at Mark and the other man. Mac quickly whipped around and discovered that the other man had the gun. He looked more than slightly freaked out, realizing that he actually shot a cop, and in New York, you could get the death penalty for that.

"This won't end well for you," Mac said, still shielding Stella as he kept his seat. He cursed his gun, sitting in his locker, at the lab, on the other side of the city.

"I shot a cop," The other man kept muttering, while Mark sobbed in grief, crumbling to the ground.

"She needs medical attention," Mac urged, looking back to see Stella coughing up blood. He hated himself, but he added, "She's going to die, and you're going to be charged with the murder of a police officer, if you don't let her go."

The other man glanced wildly to the door, where he could see shapes of people moving, other cops, he guessed. "Fine. But only the woman, no one else, you hear?" The man demanded, and Mac pulled Stella gently to her feet.

"Not leaving you," She muttered, and Mac said quietly,

"No you won't. You're going to live, Stella, by walking out that door." The man grabbed Stella's arm and shoved her out the door as she looked back and cast a frantic glance Mac's way.

The other man slammed the door, and Mac caught sight of a state ID flying from the man's pocket. "Darrell Davis?" Mac questioned, and Darrell flew around, saying,

"How the hell…" He saw his ID lying on the ground and snatched it up, cursing his stupidity. Mac also saw that he was sweating bullets, which meant he was scared, and scared bad.

"What can I do to get the rest of these people out of here?" Mac said quietly, and Darrell shoved a hand through his hair, saying,

"Get me a ticket to Cuba and a ride to the airport and everyone can go."

Just then, Mac's phone rang. Darrell pointed his gun at him, and Mac held up a hand, saying, "Easy, it's probably the negotiator, wanting to talk to you."

"Gimme." Darrell demanded, and Mac gave him his cell. "What?" He snapped, and Mac could hear Don's voice saying,

"My name's Don Flack, mister, what's yours?"

"Nobody. And I want a plane ticket to Cuba, and a ride there. Or I start shooting." Darrell snapped, and Don barked orders to someone before saying,

"I dunno if I can swing that, Mr. Nobody, my bosses don't like to let someone go who killed a cop,"

"She, she's dead? The curly haired one, she's really dead?" Darrell breathed, seeing his life go down the drain. Mac's color drained out of his face and he had to fight to keep the blackness from overcoming him. He let the black turn to red, a rage he hadn't felt in a long time consumed him.

"Yeah, buster, and you're looking at the needle. Sucks to be you, especially if you're in there with her partner. Now there's one to be known for his revenge," Don commented, and as Darrell swung around to face Mac, Mac's fist came around against Darrell's jaw.

Darrell fell to the floor and Mac kicked the gun out of his hand. Darrell yanked Mac to the ground, and punches and kicks flew. Darrell scrambled for his gun, but when he grabbed it, Mac did too and they fought for it, knowing that whoever didn't get the gun was the dead man.

--

Outside, Stella could hardly keep still from the medic who was probing at her wound, making sure the bleeding was stopped before he wrapped it up and sent Stella to the hospital. Don was talking to the man who held the gun, and Stella knew he was going to tell the man that she had died, maybe make him surrender.

She sincerely hoped Mac wouldn't hear that.

The medic was ready to kill her himself since she wouldn't sit still. As a few shots rang out from inside the diner, Stella froze, and the medic grumbled, "Finally," before Stella shot to her feet and was inside the diner right behind the few SWAT members.

Her frantic gaze swept the area, and saw the teen girl lying on the ground, clutching her leg while the mother and grandmother knelt by her side. The waitress was sobbing into the cook's chest, and the man Stella most desperately needed to see was standing, handing the gun in his hand to Don.

And there wasn't a single scratch on him, except the blood that came from her wound, and a few areas she knew would turn out to be bruises.

She stumbled towards him, and he abruptly stopped talking to Don and strode towards her, grabbing her waist with one hand and her chin with his other, making her look at him. "You're alive," He breathed, and Stella clutched his collar, saying,

"So are you,"

He pulled her into a hug, saying, "I, I actually believed Don when he said Darrell killed you,"

"He didn't. And you managed to keep yourself alive without my presence. I'm impressed," She said weakly, and Mac knew that, for a split second, she considered the possibility of him being killed.

Instead of replying, he drew back a bit and looked Stella straight in the eyes. She knew exactly what he was going to do, and she twitched a smile as he dipped his head down and kissed her hard and full on the lips. She returned the desperate embrace, winding her arms around his neck and pulling him closer to her.

When she broke the kiss a few moments later, he kept his forehead against hers with his eyes closed for a long moment, and then she drew back, wrapping her arm around his waist. His arm lay gently across her shoulders, but he kept his arm off her wounded one, the one farthest from him.

They walked out together, and Stella's medic was grumbling when he met them by the ambulance. He taped her up, put her arm in a sling and told her that if she didn't get into the ambulance, he was going to call the SWAT guys to throw her inside. Mac laughed and pulled Stella into the ambulance, allowing himself to get checked out, not only because Stella wouldn't complain about herself getting checked out, but also because it would alleviate her fears about his health.

--

A few hours later, Stella's arm was in a sturdier sling, and Mac was pronounced perfectly fine. They walked out together, and Stella touched his jaw gently, saying, "You look like you were in a fight."

"Darrel and I had it out," Mac confessed, the red-hot rage attempting to occupy his mind again. "Because I thought he'd killed you," He added in a whisper, and Stella squeezed his hand tightly as they climbed into his car, as Danny had dropped it off earlier for him.

"But he didn't," Stella said, leaning back into the headrest and chair and sighed. She turned her head and looked at Mac, tears brimming in her eyes as she said quietly, "When I heard those two shots, I think my heart actually stopped beating. All I could think was 'if that bastard hurts a single hair on Mac's head, I'll kill him myself'."

Mac reached over and touched her cheek gently, saying, "Well, we're both still here."

"Thank God," Stella muttered, kissing his palm as he drew away to concentrate on getting them home. When Mac pulled up, he and Stella walked up to his apartment silently. The only thing they needed that moment was each other's presence, not words.

And that would be all they'd need for the rest of their life together.

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Well, a very long one-shot! I just thought of this when I watched the episode where Mac was in the diner when someone started shooting, and I thought to myself, "Hmm, what if Stella was there too?" And voila! This fic was born! Thanks so much for reading, and please let me know what you thought! BTW, I don't know if they have the death penalty in New York, I thought they did, but I could be wrong. Sorry if I am wrong! Adios! :)