Happiest of birthday wishes to the lovely Lily Moonlight! Hope this can continue your birthday weekend :) x
Thanks, as always, to my beloved ABFF, Beta and dress designer extraordinaire, Tricki xx
Only in New York City could you buy a slice of pizza and eat it on the banks of the East River whilst wearing a tuxedo and ball gown and not have anyone bat an eyelid.
Not one second look to the guy trying in vain to rub away a tomato sauce stain from a black cummerbund, nor to the woman smirking as she held out another napkin.
"You can shoot a gun out of a perp's hand at 100ft, but it's nice to see you still can't catch a sauce drip from mouth height."
"Am I still so predictable?" he took the outstretched napkin, dabbing it on his tongue and resuming the assault.
"After four years, I like that not everything has changed."
He smiled, giving up hope on the stain and tossing the crumpled napkin into the empty pizza boxes at his side. "Four years..."
"I know. Hey, is that Lebanese place still on Thirty-Fourth?"
He shook his head, "It's a Quiznos now."
She scowled. She had had many a good time in that little dive of a restaurant; post-shifts drinks with the team, eating foods they couldn't pronounce but knew where to point to on the menu.
She looked out to the skyscrapers - God, she had missed that landscape. She could map the skyline with her eyes closed, had walked the streets in her sleep, longed for that Lebanese meal that was sixth on the menu. Four years had flown by yet also dragged impossibly long.
"There's a Thai place on Eighth that I hear is just this side of condemned for your liking. Thought we could go tomorrow?"
She smiled, "Am I still that predictable?"
"Some things will never change. I hope."
"You hope? You didn't say that after that Indian in 2005..."
He grimaced, shifting in his seat. That Indian did not react well with him...
She couldn't help the grin as she settled back further into the wooden bench, hugging her arms over her chest. The two glasses of champagne she'd had had at the ball weren't warming her enough from the chill from the river.
Noting the slight shudder run through her body, he slipped his jacket from his arms and passed it to her. She would have refused, however the iridescent olive green dress did not exactly provide much warmth - New Orleans didn't call for coats quite as much as New York could.
She smiled her thanks, draping it around her shoulders and closing it around her chest. Sinking happily into the warmth, she got a flashback to just a few hours ago that warmed her even more; their first meeting after four years.
He was stood on the steps of the Met, no doubt cursing more than usual at making them spend her first night back in the City at a Black Tie Ball in the Chief's honour. She had pulled up in the cab, seeing him on the steps in his tailored Tuxedo, hands in his pockets and eyes cast to the night sky. She knew he would be trying to determine what stars and constellations he couldn't see thanks to the City's lights.
The cab driver had honked at an oncoming car when she was climbing the steps and seeing Mac turn to her and freeze in amazement was something that would always make her smile. Smile and blush.
She had to hitch the full length skirt up a bit, lest she trip and fall face-first in front of him on their first in-person meeting in four years. They had Skyped regularly, however only seeing someone from the chest up would never feel the same as being able to hug said someone hello.
The cowl neckline gave the illusion of dipping lower, yet actually only offering the slightest hint of cleavage. It was the deep swoop of the back, secured with loose ribbons in a corset style that had attracted her to the dress; she had waited almost two years for an excuse to wear it.
"You look..." he had begun, not quite finding an appropriate word. How she could look like that after a full day's work, a three hour flight and a quick shower and change, he would never know.
They had made their appearance, shook hands, represented the lab; It was unfortunate that she had received the urgent phone call that meant they had to leave before the Chief's speech, but with the time difference between New York and New Orleans...
They made their escape, walking down to Luigi's Pizzeria before taking a cab over to the Manhattan Bridge and sitting on the benches to watch the East River ripple in the moonlight. She had always loved it there - the sights, the peace, the hotdog stand two blocks up. Mac had found her there a number of times after rough cases, after successful ones, the first snow of the Winter...
"You missing home?" he asked, noting the far away look in her eyes.
Her lips tilted into a smile, linking her arm with his and settling into his side, "Usually. That's why I came back."