Well, hello again NY fandom! It's been a while. The recent (sad) spoilers re: s7 have brought me back from the Lie to Me fandom. Hope you're all well! lol

I'd like to 'dedicate' this, of sorts, to everyone I've met through the NY fandom. We've had six good years out of MacStella, and some of you have even crossed over to RL flailing and friendships of which I'm eternally grateful. I'm not going to try to list everybody, but I hope you all know who you are :) xxxxx

Don't give up hope everyone! There's still a window there for her to return. I'm holding out for the final scene of the final episode. And I'm hoping it'll go a little something like this...

He feels a surprising lack of tension. No apprehension, no fear, just...calmness. Like this is right. Like this is his reward for all the work, the successes, the sacrifices.

So many sacrifices.

So many failures. So many heartbreaks. So many losses – Not only the cases, but all the members of the team they lost. The members of the family.

The years after 9/11 are still a blur to him. Losing Claire, losing everyone. Helping to rebuild his city when he really needed to rebuild himself.

Then – after - losing Aiden, then Angell, then Stella. Thankfully, thankfully, only losing Stella in a professional capacity. She was the one constant through it all - through Claire, Aiden, Angell; through the successes, the failures, the wins, the losses. Stella.

He should feel hurt – feel something – that she had left him too. That she had disappeared 1,158 miles away, leaving him to lonely nights and quiet days. To cases without her unique skew or banter or smile.

But she knew it was time. It was her time. Her time to focus on herself and rebuild her life away from all the memories and the nightmares and the ghosts.

I'm only three hours away, Mac. It's like driving to The Hamptons and back. Except you're driving 15,000ft in the sky. And you're not driving... she'd smiled. Smirked, really. Then she'd kissed his cheek goodbye and told the cabbie to drive, turning in her seat and watching him through the rear window.

That was eight months ago. They still spoke, almost daily. She'd phone him when she had a case similar to one they'd worked together, when she couldn't remember one of those holistic ways he would process a scene, when she'd had a bad day. He'd phone her for ways to work the system, to bypass politics, to vent about traffic and weather and Adam.

You can't really miss someone who isn't gone from your life.

If anything, they spoke more freely now, more honestly. Some things are easier to say over email or text or the internet.

He fills in the last letter of his Times crossword puzzle and folds the paper in half, tucking it into his backpack. It took him eight months longer than her, but he finally realised that this is his time too.

His city is functioning again, it has rebuilt itself. Yes, it still bears scars and wounds, but it is back. He could slip away and have faith it would still be there when he returned, that he would have enough faith to return.

He slotted the pen into his inside pocket and smiled at the pink and purple glitter covering his fingers from the sparkly 'Lucy' emblazoned on it, the only leaving present he would accept.

Gesturing for a woman to go ahead of him, he slides into the aisle behind her, filing out of the plane.

He carefully swings his bag onto his shoulder and smiles to the stewardesses. This is it. New job, new city, new life.

He follows the signs to the arrivals lounge, collecting his large suitcase from the carousel and turning on his heel.

The calmness he'd been feeling suddenly changes to butterflies and excitement and just a little bit of fear when he passes through the doors, natural sunlight filling the room. A lot of natural sunlight. More than NYC would offer at 10am, he thinks.

He heads for the exit, his eyes not yet accustomed. He apologises when he clips a woman on the heel with his case, everything dark as he blindly searches for the exit.

He steps out onto the forecourt and is instantly hit with a blast of stifling humidity, his eyes closing as his breath left him. This is gonna take some getting used to...

It left him a second time as she came into view. As cool and calm as ever, leaning against the door of her SUV and smiling. Smirking, really.

"Hey," she pushes off the burning metal, her curls longer than he remembers.

"Hey," he grinns, dropping the bags to the ground as she wraps her arms around him.

She'd forgotten how solidhow he was, how bristly the hair at the back of his neck was, how safe she felt in his arms.

He'd forgotten how her hair would tickle his nose when she hugged him, how she would lean up on her tip-toes to reach his neck sometimes, how she would smell like cinnamon and coffee.

She leans into his neck before pulling back, her hands cupping his cheeks as she smiled. "You're really here."

"Sometimes you just gotta take the plunge."

She laughs, "hmm, I vaguely remember you telling me that before..."

"Yeah but this time will end better."

"Is that a promise?"

He hadn't forgotten how she would use humour and sass to disguise the soft, vulnerable side she didn't like to show. "Promise," he says as he curls a finger under her chin and lifts her lips to his.