Tears slid down her cheeks as she looked into the white porcelain bowl that sat beneath her, "I'm so sorry," she spoke into the silence.
Mac pushed his chair back from his desk, grabbing the metal handle of a drawer and pulling it open. He slid yet another solved crime file into the mess and closed it. Sliding his chair back in the direction of his desk, he glanced up and saw Stella walk by. He shot her a grin, but only recieved a blank stare in return.
"Stella?" he said aloud, which only came across as a mouthed word to her.
Stella noticed that Mac spoke her name, but not in the mood, continued walking. She knew she'd hear about it later, but right now, that didn't matter. She had her own problems to deal with, work related and home related.
Mac leaned back in his chair, running his hands over his face and through his hair in frustration. He hated that something had been bugging Stella for the last few weeks and that he couldn't figure it out. But he was bound to find out, one way or another.
Stella finally reached her office, kicking her shoes off by her coat rack. Her feet had been aching a lot more lately, and wearing heels became a bother.
Slipping into her chair, Stella leaned forward, resting her head in her hands. Stress and other problems were building and she didn't know how much more she could handle before she broke down and shattered into a million pieces.
"Stell?" Danny walked into Stella's office, knocking gently on the before fully entering.
"Yes, Danny?" annoyance was evident in her voice.
"We got a lead on our central park murder case," he kept his distance from her.
A flow of tears sat in Stella's eyes, so instead of making eye contact, she nodded to Danny, hoping he would go on without her having to speak.
"Linds and I are gonna go check this guy out now, so we'll call if we get anything more." He turned to leave.
"Alright," Stella sniffled, wiping the tear that seemed to escape the brick wall Stella was building around her emotions.
Danny paused and turned back. "Stell?"
"It's nothing, Danny. GO!" anger shreiked from her thin frame.
Danny took the hint and left, but not without one last glance at Stella.
When Stella was finally alone again, she grabbed a tissue and wiped her eyes and nose. 'Suck it up, Stell! This isn't you. You're stronger than this!' she told herself.
Soon the tears were gone, and in their place sat annoyance and anger. Stella logged onto her laptop and pulled up the case she was working on, trying to clear her mind of her personal life.
Danny stopped by Mac's office on his way out with Lindsay, "Mac?"
"Yeah, Danny, what?" Mac looked from his file to Danny.
"Something's up with Stella. You should talk to her."
"If only she weren't so stubborn. I smiled at her earlier, but she seemed like she wanted nothing to do with me. Whatever it is, I'm sure she'll be fine. Go back to work." Mac looked back to his file.
Danny's head dropped to the floor. He felt guilty for leaving an upset Stella in her office, but if Mac said to leave her alone, that's the best he could do for now. So, taking his advice, Danny left with Lindsay by his side.
The clock in Stella's office chimed in midnight, and yet Stella continued her work. She couldn't go home, not now, not anytime soon. Home meant loneliness, and that was something she didn't need right now. Pulling up another tab on the internet, Stella typed google in the address bar and searched the problem that had been bugging her among other things.
After about 2 hours of research, Stella felt drained and dragged herself from her desk chair to her couch. She pulled the pillow that she had hidden under it and grabbed the blanket from the top of the couch. She was soon sunggled up and took only a few minutes more to finally let sleep take control of her body.
Mac watched the clock. It was already 2 in the morning, and he was still working. This wasn't anything new to him, but the fact that his partner was still here was bugging him. Not being able to stay out of her business anymore, Mac got up, locked his office door and went to Stella's office. Seeing a light on, he walked in. Not seeing Stella at her desk, Mac glanced around the room and spotted her on the couch, asleep.
He grabbed the blanket, pulled it up around her shoulders and kissed her forehead. Seeing a lit up computer screen, Mac knew Stella would be mad if she woke up to a dead laptop. He went to close the screen, but was drawn in to what was opened on Stella's screen.
Dropping his head, he shook it from side to side, shocked that this secret had been kept from him, not just one secret, but several. Glancing back to her, he only whispered one word into the silence filled room, "Why?"