CSI:NY – Painted On My Heart
Summary: Every couple has that one story they want to one day tell their grandkids about. This was Mac & Stella's, and it started in a paint store. SMacked. One-Shot.
A/N: Hey, remember me? *gasp* Yeah that's right, I'm still alive. Haven't been on this site for a loooooong time though (mainly due to the fact that I lost access to this account for a long time). Anywho, I was cleaning up my hard drive today when I found this unfinished piece of SMacked fluffy-ness so I decided to dust it off, finish it up, and post it. Not sure how big of an audience SMacked still has, but as long as it brings smiles to even a few people then I'm happy. So enjoy…
"Coral Pink!" she shouted excitedly.
"No" he frowned.
"Um... Soft pink?"
"For the last time Stella, I'm not painting my apartment pink" Mac finally blurted out as he stifled a small laugh.
"Party pooper" she responded with a mock pout.
"Tell you what, when you need help painting your apartment, you can pick any shade of pink your little heart desires and I will gladly help you paint"
"Hmmm, might have to hold you to that" she teases as she nudges his midsection with her elbow while they stand infront of a large board of swatches.
"Need any help folks?" A voice comes from behind them and they turn their heads back to see a older saleswoman standing behind them.
"Ah, no thanks I think we're okay" Mac offers politely.
"Oh now that's my favorite shade" the woman remarks as she points at one of the pink cards Stella is holding; but frowns as she looks over to the blue ones in Mac's hand.
"Oh, let me guess, you've got an intuition that it's a girl, but he's refusing to believe it could be anything other than a boy right?" she slightly chuckles as Mac and Stella exchange amused glances.
"Ah no" Mac quickly shakes his head. "We're not... I mean, she's not..."
"Oh I'm so sorry" the woman gasps as she covers her mouth with her hand. "I didn't mean to..."
"It's fine" Stella assures her with a genuine smile. "I'm just teasing him"
"Ah okay. Well, if you folks need any help, just give a holler"
"Thank you" Stella smiles once more as the woman takes her leave.
"Do you think she was insinuating that I look pregnant?" Stella asks.
"Well, I told you you shouldn't have had that piece of chocolate cake for dessert last night" Mac teases, which garners him a swat to his shoulder from Stella.
"You are so dead mister" she threatens as she folds her arms across her chest and taps her foot while shaking her head.
"Aw, I was only kidding" Mac whispers in her ear as his arms encircle her waist and holds her tightly with her back against his chest.
"I don't think so pal" Stella scoffs and now it's Mac who offers a mock pout in return.
"And do not think you can use your puppy dog face to get out of this one" she tells him firmly as her gaze fixes on the ceiling instead of him.
"Woof?" Mac quickly counters in a sad tone and Stella's frown is quickly replaced with an ear-to-ear grin as she twists herself around in his grasp.
"Sometimes I hate how adorable you are" she responds in mocked frustration.
"Oh so now you hate me?" he quickly retorts as he raises his eyebrows in disbelief.
"Oh shut up, you know I love you" she mentions casually before planting a quick kiss on his lips then turning back around to continue with the task at hand.
"Okay, so blue huh?" she begins as she starts filing through some of the blue swatches, choosing a few to decide from along the way when she suddenly stops and remains still.
'Oh my God, did I just tell Mac I love him for the first time? In a paint store? Oh God, I wonder what's going through his mind right now.' She frantically worries.
"Stella?" Mac's voice breaks her from her thoughts. "You okay?"
"Yeah I... Just thought I was going to sneeze" she replies lamely before continuing on her tasks of picking up some more swatches.
'Sneeze? Yeah, good one Stella' she inwardly chides herself.
Her anxiety still on high she does her best in hiding it from Mac as they continue to mull over their choices until they finally both decide on one and head to the cash desk to complete their purchase.
Stella looks over to Mac as they wait for his paint to finish being mixed and curses herself once again for allowing such a slip up. It's not that she didn't mean it; she's known in her heart for probably longer than she cares to admit that she's in love with Mac but they haven't been seeing each other very long and knowing what an emotionally private man Mac tends to be, even with her, she now wonders what must be going through his head right now.
'He didn't say it back... What if I just blew everything? Is that why he's so quiet all of a sudden? Am I naive in thinking that we're something more than what we really are?' Stella's mind continues to go a mile a minute as she ponders all sorts of scenarios.
"Stella" Mac's voice again breaks her from her thoughts and she looks up to see him with the paint can in hand, heading towards the door.
"Yeah, sorry" she tells him as she quickly shakes her head and hurries after him.
The ride back to Mac's apartment is spent in an unnerving silence. Something not used to either of them. Even before they had entered a romantic relationship there was never a shortage of things to talk about and the closer they became over the last couple months the more they seemed to find to talk about it. The whole situation gave Stella an uneasy feeling in her stomach as she looked over and noticed Mac's fingers gripping the steering wheel tighter than usual; causing his knuckles to turn white. However, she wasn't about to ask him what was bothering him; in fear that it had everything to do with the sentiment she relayed so casually just a few minutes ago.
'Stupid Stella. Stupid, stupid stupid!' She continued her mental assault as they drew closer to Mac's apartment.
"Here we are" is all he said as he brought the Avalanche to a stop outside his apartment building and climbed out of the cabin.
'Breathe Stella' she commanded herself as she climbed out of the truck and looked up at the building in front of her. 'He probably didn't even notice, you're overreacting' she tried convincing herself as she hurried after him to get inside.
As they made their way through the lobby and into the main elevator, the two of them made awkward small talk on the ride up; almost as if they were complete strangers as opposed to two people who have known each other for nearly 15 years; which again only made Stella more nervous.
Once deposited on Mac's floor she followed him down the narrow hallway until they stopped at his front door. Mac bent down slightly to leave the paint can on the floor so he could fish his keys out of his jacket pocket, but as he put the key into the door and went to turn the lock Stella's hand shot out and covered his and he looked back at her with a questioning glance.
"What is it?" he wondered in concern.
"Nothing. I just um... Is everything okay? You seem... quiet" she finally asked; not being able to stand the silence for another moment.
"Why would anything be wrong?" Came his vague response to which she just shrugged.
"Why so quiet then?" she pushed a little further and he opened his mouth to respond, but ended up just letting out a soft sigh and shaking his head as he continued in his task of unlocking the door.
"Come on" he gestured for her to follow as he picked up the paint can and headed through the doorway and into his peaceful apartment.
"Mac..." she huffed as she gently took his arm and forced him to face her once they were both inside.
"Stella I'm fine" he lightly laughed. "Just got a few things on my mind is all"
"Is there something you want to talk about?" She dug a little further, but he only shook his head.
"Not right now"
"Later?" She asked with a small frown.
"Stella, everything is fine" he replied firmly before planting a quick kiss on her forehead.
Still not convinced, Stella decided to just leave it be for now in hopes that Mac would open up to her later at a time when he feels ready to finally share his feelings with her.
"I'll be right back" Mac mentioned as he wandered down the hallway; stopping in the spare bedroom at the end of the hall to drop off the paint can, then taking a left turn to continue on to his bedroom.
A few minutes later Mac returned from his room; wearing a plain, ratty white t-shirt and a pair of dark khaki coloured cargo pants that already had a few dribbles of various coloured paints and grease stains on them. In any other scenario Stella would have trouble keeping her mind on anything but the sight of him like this; the tight, nearly see through t-shirt clinging to his toned chest and arms and just the overall masculine look about him. Seeing him in anything other than his trademark blue dress shirt and blazer was pretty much a guaranteed instant aphrodisiac.
Only not this time.
No, this time she watched him approach with a small frown adorning her face; her mind still racing a mile a minute.
"Thought you might want to change into something else" he mentioned as he passed her a couple articles of clothing. "I'll uh... I'll go get the supplies ready and let you change" he told her as he quickly turned away and headed back down the hall to the small storage room.
'Okay, something is definitely wrong with him' she huffed inwardly. She'd been spending almost every night for the last few weeks here; they get changed in front of each other all the time. Although they usually ended up undressing each other faster than they had managed to dress themselves as their morning routines would end up taking a back seat to passion and desire.
'Maybe that's it; he just really wants to get this done and doesn't want any distraction?' she wonders hopefully, but is doubtful that it holds much truth to it.
Letting out another heavy sigh, Stella clutched the pile of clothes tight to her chest and headed into the bathroom to get changed. She emerged a few minutes later wearing the navy blue plaid pyjama pants and vintage black Rolling Stones t-shirt Mac had given her to wear. She had twisted the excess fabric of the t-shirt up and tied it into a knot just above her hips and had her hair tied back into a messy bun.
"Okay, I'm ready to get started" Stella announced as she entered the spare room and clapped her hands together.
"Clothes fit... nice" Mac lightly stammered as he looked her up and down; the animal instinct in his brain instantly wanting to take over and press her up against the nearest wall and feel her body against his.
"What uh... what is this?" he asked as his fingers played with the small knot of t-shirt fabric.
"Oh, it was too big" she shrugged. "Why, do I look cute?" she asked with a sparkle in her eye and glimmer of hope in her voice; wondering if she had gotten 'her Mac' back.
"We should uh... we should probably get started before we lose the natural light" Mac mentioned as his hand retreated back to his side and he gestured his head toward the open window.
"Right" came Stella's defeated response. "Where do we start?"
"I thought you could take this wall;" Mac began, nodding his head at the wall straight ahead of them. "And I'll start on this one" he said, turning his head to the right.
"Fine" came Stella's short response as she bent down, picked up a roller and filled it with paint; wasting no time in starting into her task.
Another twenty minutes passed them; neither of them speaking a word to the other one, the only sounds heard were the soft strokes of the paint rollers being swept up and down the walls until finally Mac broke the silence.
"What is it Mac" Stella lightly huffed in return; her eyes still focused on the wall in front of her as she was feeling to frustrated to even look at him right now.
"Can we talk now?" he asked softly and her head dropped slightly.
"Of course" she answered nervously before taking a deep breath.
"Aren't you going to at least look at me?" Mac asked and Stella bit her lower lip and closed her eyes in an effort to keep any tears from falling.
Was this it? Was whatever this was between her and Mac over? He hadn't been serious with anyone since Peyton and looked how that turned out. Maybe he was afraid of real commitment and she just ruined everything.
Her mind raced a mile a minute and she had to remind herself just to breathe.
"Stella?" He asked again and she simply shook her head.
"Just say whatever it is you need to say Mac" she said quietly.
"Right" he frowned, then cleared his throat before continuing; speaking only to the back of her head.
"I'm sorry if I've seemed a little off since earlier it's just… what you said back in the paint store was… unexpected" he explained and waited for a response but got nothing from her so he felt the need to continue.
"Look Stella, if you're not going to talk to me will you at least teach me how to paint? You're wall looks so much better than mine, I don't think I'm doing this right" he chuckled slightly.
Stella felt a twinge of both pain and anger as Mac continued speaking. Here she had told him that she loved him and all he could say is that it was unexpected and now he wanted to talk about painting techniques? Maybe he was right, maybe she was getting ahead of herself; although she certainly didn't feel that way an hour ago standing in that paint store.
Finally she took a breath and then spun herself around to face him; preparing to have a real conversation about where exactly they stood in their 'relationship' but the moment she turned to face him her jaw dropped and her eyes instantly welled up with tears.
It was true, he certainly wasn't painting the wall correctly but she'd be lying if she said that hers looked better than his. He had simply taken a small painter's brush and written a message with the blue paint across the white wall:
'WILL YOU MARRY ME?'
She looked from the wall back over to Mac who had a grin spread across his face that could light up a room. Her hands retreated to her face to cover up the shocked expression and Mac simply chuckled before lowering himself down onto one knee and pulling a small blue velvet box out of his pocket and extending it towards her.
"Stella" he began; his voice shaking slightly. "Will you do me the honor of marrying me and painting our walls any god-awful shade of pink your heart desires?" he asked then popped the box open revealing a pink paint swatch and Stella giggled slightly as a few more tears rolled down her cheeks.
"Oh, sorry, wrong one" he corrected himself before reaching back into his pocket and pulling out a diamond engagement ring.
"Oh my God, Mac!" she gasped as she admired the band of white gold with the moderately sized diamond that sparkled brilliantly before her eyes.
"She speaks" Mac quipped before pushing himself up off the floor and standing to face her. "What else does she say?" he asked quietly as his blue eyes pierced through her green ones.
"She says yes!" Stella quickly answered before throwing her arms around his neck and pressing tightly against him. Tears continued to roll down her face and Mac nuzzled into the crook of her neck as he wrapped his arms around her back to hold her close.
"I love you so much Stella" he confessed softly against her skin.
"I love you too" she smiled brightly before pushing him back slightly to be able to look him in the eyes.
He took her hand in his and carefully slid the Tiffany engagement ring onto her slender finger and they both smiled as they realized it was a perfect fit.
"It's perfect" she told him with a small laugh as she wiped the tears from her face.
"You're perfect" he responded with a genuine smile that made her knees feel weak.
"Now, about this wall" he sighed as he tilted his head back to look at the wall behind him that he was supposed to be painting.
"Don't even think about it mister" she quickly scolded him. "We're never painting over this"
He smiled. He didn't need words to remind him just how much he loved her, but if she wanted it, well, he wanted her to have it.
And that included a pink bedroom if it was her wish…
A/N: Well that's it folks. Hope you enjoyed it, let me know with a review :)