Author: Kelly Min | moonshinescribe
Word Count: 911
Pairing(s): Smacked (Stella Bonasera/Mac Taylor)
Disclaimer: CSI: NY is copyright of Jerry Bruckheimer, Anthony Zuiker, and CBS – this includes all minor and major characters that were once in, or still currently in the show. The only thing I can claim as mine – is the idea.
Author’s Note: This is a little ficlet I decided to do because we all know of the troubles Mac has when it comes to sleep. I hope you all enjoy it. WARNING, NOT BETA'D.
Mac Taylor in one word.
The hues dancing around the luxury apartment that was rented under his name gave off night, possibly early evening. Shadows cast from normal everyday and rudamentary things -- gave off different reflections than in the daytime. There were sounds coming from the bathroom and finally the door gave way to a nearly fully nude Mac, steam escaping from beyond him and a towel tucked firmly around his waist. Do pardon his singular guest as she gets only slightly distracted by the sight before her.
Stella only seeming to become unfocused for a moment, cleared her throat and noted something. "Nice hot shower didn't do the trick?"
Mac gave a sigh of desperation. "No," The shower had relieved some soreness from aching muscles, but sleep was nowhere to be found. "it didn't."
Stella and Mac had been at this all night; trying different methods. Hot cup of tea. Hot shower. Warm Milk, even though Mac refused it for a good hour or so. Reading. Listening to soothing sounds on a CD. Taking a walk, jogging -- even at his full potential, that didn't seem to work. She had even attempted to stuff him full of all her favorite Italian recipes and all that did was satisfy his hunger and account her some praise for her cooking.
Stella... was running out of ideas.
And she was beginning to worry. But then again -- she always did when it came to Mac. She knew sleep had proved exceedingly difficult since Claire died. He hadn't slept well since. He had barely slept at all. He hadn't gone the route of sleeping pills, but he had tried everything under the sun and nothing seemed to do it for him. Every once and a while, he full out crashed and on days like those -- Stella automatically assumed "acting supervisor" because she knew sleep was a precious thing when it came to Mac.
Eyes softening, Stella placed a hand gingerly on Mac's damp shoulder. "Come on," She spoke softly, giving the shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "I've got one last idea."
Mac gave another sigh; but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. It was nearing midnight and he was beginning to wane on hope. Giving a nod, he followed as they both went to the bedroom. Stella stayed outside just for a while as he changed into his pajamas, which were a worn but comfortable pair of USMC pants all with little "devil dogs" on them -- of course, in USMC colors; and a simple slate grey wifebeater... which helped accentuate those hard-earned muscled arms. "You can come in now Stella," Mac offered a gentle smile. "coast is clear."
Stella stepped in then, arms crossed over her chest. "Cute," A smirk formed on her lips as she noted his attire. "and oddly somewhat appropriate."
Mac gave a bit of a chuckle. "Thank you. So," He exhaled quietly. "what now?"
"It's very easy, Mac." Stella approached the King-sized bed, hesitated by the right side. "Lay down. Close your eyes. Try to relax."
Mac glanced to the bed, almost as if it was a foreign piece of furniture he has never seen before in his life. "Stella, I'm not sure -- "
Stella cut him off, without so much as a second thought. "Just trust me Mac, try it."
Mac knew then, if he didn't before -- that her heart was truly in this and she was being sincere. It made him smile. Knowing that. But he always knew that, didn't he? He knew she's always cared -- that she'd always be there. No matter what. And it worked both ways. Peeling back the royal blue flannel sheets, he climbed under and settled himself as he usually tended to do. Within moments, he was doing as told.
Stella calmly assumed a sitting position just beside him. She would slip off her shoes and open a book she had brought along.
Lay down. Close your eyes. Try to relax. Stella's gentle tone echoed in Mac's mind. Just trust me Mac, try it. Her voice of reason. He wasn't sure if it was working or not, but... he knew he felt something was off. As if a piece were missing. Slowly, he opened his eyes, turning to her. "Stella?"
"Mm?" She glanced towards him. "Not working?"
"No, but I have an idea of what will."
Without a word, Mac gently tugged her into his arms and put the book aside. Not exactly startled by this, the comfort the both of them found here was overwhelming to a point that it made perfect sense. "I think what happened is a break of a continued cycle, Stella," Mac's voice was quiet, as he held her close. "I slept in this bed with someone else, with Claire, right up until the morning of. And then she was gone. Years of doing that can create a non-breakable habit, and this habit was broken by death." Mac sighed. "I think the thing that was missing all these years, is the fact I had emptiness in this bed, in my heart -- in my life."
"Mac..." Stella breathed. But he quietly hushed her.
"But I realize now that the solace, the comfort that I needed, has been right here all along. You, Stella." His eyes focused on hers. "It's always been you."
And with that, they shared a mutual agreeing kiss, and drifted off to sleep in one another's arms.