So I know, I haven't written anything in, like, a year or so, but that's because I really needed to focus on my school work and everything, and I basically stopped writing for that whole time. Can you believe that? I didn't write anything until this past summer. I think I was experiencing a super long writer's block or something like that.

Yeah, I'm pretty slap-happy at the moment. Just found out I'm 14th in the class (grade-wise) and there are like 400 kids in my class, and I'm only going to be a junior next year! I'm so excited! Okay, happy rant over. This takes place during that shoot-out at the lab, where that one guy was mad at Mac and his former partner and set up shop across the street in a building and fired like 200 shots at the lab, mainly at Mac's office. It's not focusing on that (and good thing because I can't remember his name) it's focusing on who just walked into the lab right before shots rang out…enjoy!

Mac and Bill stood there for a long moment, talking heatedly about what Bill had done. Neither of them saw the elevator doors slide open and a long-lost friend hesitantly step out of them. A long-lost friend with curly brown hair and sharp green eyes. She glanced around, as if looking to see if anyone had noticed her, and then she took a few steps towards Mac's office.

Her eyes spotted Mac's former partner in there with him, and in an instant she knew that they were arguing. She knew Mac well enough to stand out of his and Bill's line of sight as they talked AKA argued. She linked her hands together and began looking around at the lab that she had once been second-in-command of. Her eyes saw Lindsay standing down the hall, a folder in her hands. She spotted Adam in his lab, bending over some evidence he was processing. Sheldon was at the other end of the hall, discussing something with a lab tech. There were dozens of other people in white coats, some she recognized and some she didn't.

Suddenly, the familiar sound of gunfire ripped through the lab, and she saw glass shattering, lab techs hitting the ground and her eyes snapped immediately over to Mac's office and saw him and Bill curled on the floor, covering their heads.

Pain seared her left shoulder and abdomen as she fell forward onto the ground. Her vision grayed but she fought it, needing to see the face of the man she loved desperately before she let herself float into the black. The last time she had seen him, ugly words and hurtful looks were thrown between the two of them, and he stormed out, slamming the door. She had left, but she couldn't stay away. Especially not when she hadn't talked to Mac since she left, and she hadn't been able to apologize.

Stella remembered it very well: Sinclair had come to her with the 'opportunity of a lifetime' AKA the job to head the lab in New Orleans. He claimed that he had talked to Mac and that Mac had signed off on it. When Stella had talked to Danny, Sheldon, Lindsay, Sid, Adam and Don, she had made the decision to go. Everyone agreed that she more than deserved it, and she promised to keep in touch with all of them. On her way out of the lab for the last time, she stopped by Mac's office to see why he hadn't come to her surprise going-away party given by everyone and planned by Lindsay.

The words he had hurled at her echoed in her mind:

"How could you just abandon this team like this? And without any warning? I get a visit from Lindsay telling me that your going-away party is tonight, and I'm floored! I ask her what's going on, and she tells me the whole story. Have fun in New Orleans, Stella," His tone had been like ice.

"You signed off on it!" Stella had shouted back at him, goaded into raising her voice by his angry tone and his hurtful words.

"I did no such thing!" He roared back and instead of pointing out the obvious like she normally did, Stella blew up. She should have considered that Sinclair did this on purpose, had pretended to have Mac sign off on it to get Stella to go. He had never liked her, especially since she always supported Mac.

"Yes you did! Why do you think I would've made this decision without knowing that you approved of it? And besides, I don't need your approval! I'm a damned grown woman, Mac, and I can do whatever I please!"

"Then GO! Go to your precious New Orleans! I'll get a new partner, new second-in-command and you won't have to worry about leaving poor Mac Taylor behind!"

"Why should I worry about you? Every time I do I get it thrown back in my face! 'Oh I'm fine, Stella' 'Stop worrying, Stella'! Well FINE! I'm done! I'm done worrying! I'm done with you!"

She was breathing hard, her face red with anger. Mac stared at her for a long moment and Stella saw something in them for the first time. Pure fury towards her. Sure he had gotten mad at her, but this fury was the kind that broke friendships, broke trusts. And that's what had just happened between the two of them.

Mac tore his eyes away from Stella's and stormed out of his own office, doing his best to slam the door. He jabbed at the elevator buttons but then gave up and stomped for the stairs. He disappeared through the doors and Stella closed her eyes. She felt her anger ebb and then the tears came. Her knees gave way and she sat on Mac's couch, burying her face in her hands and crying for a good long time. Someone came in and put a tentative hand on her shoulder. She cast a glance to her left and saw Danny sitting there.

"Don went after Mac,"

"Don't bother, Danny," Stella said miserably. "I'm leaving, I'm not changing my mind now. I just, I would've liked to still have Mac as a friend." She let herself lean against her friend and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders.

"He was a jerk, going off on you like that and not even seeing Sinclair about it,"

Stella heard the word 'Sinclair' and jumped to her feet. "My flight leaves tomorrow, and I'm not leaving without having a few words with Brigham Sinclair."

She dashed out of Mac's office, tears glittering in her cold, angry eyes. Danny hurriedly followed her as she rode the elevator to Sinclair's office. She blew past his secretary without a glance and into his office, with Danny following and apologizing to the shocked secretary.

"How dare you lie to me!" Stella said heatedly to Sinclair, and he remained seated.

"Lie? About what?" He said coolly.

"You told me Mac had signed off on my transfer when you knew damn well that he did not!"

"I was under the assumption…"

"Yeah, well, you know what they say when you assume, Sinclair? It makes an ass out of you and me, and it certainly did tonight. Goodbye. I hope I never see your sorry face ever again."

Stella walked out of his office before the tears could overtake her again. Danny kept his hand on the small of her back and that just made her cry harder as she remember how Mac used to do that for her all the time. He drove her to his and Lindsay's apartment that night and he, his wife and Lucy spent the evening trying to cheer her up.

"I'll definitely Skype with you guys as soon as I get settled," Stella promised as she stood in the airport the next morning. Danny, Lindsay and Lucy were there to see her off, and as she held Lucy tightly in her arms, Don, Sheldon, Sid and Adam came up. She hugged all of them and felt the tears filling in her eyes.

"None of that," Sid admonished gently as he squeezed her hands. She nodded, trying to fight them back. And she succeeded until she got onto the plane and realized that Mac had no intention of coming to see her off. He hated her now, and she had to accept that. And accept it she did as she sobbed quietly into her hands.

The gunfire ceased, and Stella heard people running around, trying to hide from the gunfire they thought was going to come again. A shout came to her ears, from the voice she hadn't heard in months, "STELLA!"

And that was the last thing she heard.

Dun Dun Dun! The queen of cliff-hangers is BACK! Haha just kidding, but I have to admit I do love a good cliff-hanger at the end of chapters. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you're enjoying this story so far!