After discovering the truth about Maris Donovan's terrible accident, Mac received a message from Danny:

"Mac, it's time."

A smile formed on his face, two of the people he loved the most were about to become parents, to start a family. He could still remember them walking into his office, telling him they had something important to communicate to him. How nervous and anxious they looked:

-Mac... with Danny we're going to be parents... I'm pregnant- Lindsay had said with a big smile, causing Mac's tired face to relax and transform into pure happiness. He hugged them and congratulated them both. He was very happy for them.

-They look more relaxed ... Am I the first person they tell?- He had questioned.

-Technically yes- Lindsay replied.

-Technically?

-Stella knew without being told.

The three of them laughed. Mac hugged them again and finally dismissed them.

After several months, Danny reentered Mac's office. He was pacing back and forth, nervous, because he didn't know how to act. He wanted to propose to Lindsay, but he knew himself and was afraid of disappointing her. However, when it came to doing so, his sincerity opened the detective's heart even more and she agreed to marry him. Happiness crept into her face when she saw Mac and Stella behind the door. She ran to hug them and Stella handed her a small bouquet of flowers that she carried with her for the bride-to-be, while Mac handed Danny the rings.

As the small, informal ceremony unfolded, Mac remembered concentrating on Stella. The detective wore a green blouse that matched her eyes and her typical curls falling down her shoulders. He saw a small tear roll down her cheek, and instantly placed a hand on her shoulder, causing her to turn her head and look into his eyes. The unique connection that characterized them was present for a fraction of a second. Next, she smiled broadly at him, to which Mac responded with a quick smile, for he had loved being a witness to that beautiful union, as much as she did.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~

When he got to the hospital, he saw the others sitting in the waiting room. To everyone but Danny, he was with Lindsay.

-I missed it?

-No, it's not arrive yet- Sheldon announced.

-Who would have thought? Danno and Lindsay?- Don mentioned.

Everyone nodded, amazed at the same time, it seemed yesterday that they had met.

-Yeah... it's amazing... it happened so fast.- Stella reflected.

-It's admirable that we are all still together after so long.- said a thoughtful Mac.

-Oh... about that- Adam began- I want to thank you, well you know... for allowing me to be part of this family.- They all smiled.

-Hey, this guy is a sentimentalist, who brought him into the group?- Don joked.

-You are a great friend Adam, but the position of the most nerd is still mine- Sheldon warned, causing a joint laugh.- Seriously, I'm grateful too. Since the death of my uncle I felt quite alone, that is... the rest of my relatives had passed away and I had no friends other than you- he said laughing at the end- I thank you for having been there for me.- Stella moved a little closer to him and hugged him.

-What can I say? Mac saved my life in that explosion. Your came to visit me in the hospital every day. I remember waking up one day to find Stella and Lindsay sitting by the bed, praying. It meant everything to me.- Don announced tenderly.

-Who's the sentimental one now?- Adam asked gracefully.

-So... I think it's my turn- Stella mentioned.- I've never had a family. If it weren't for the teacher, I might not have left the orphanage- Mac listened carefully- He gave me a home and a livelihood. When I reached the age of majority I started working, I entered the academy, and after a few years I was working with the best laboratory manager - she said looking at Mac, which caused a big smile on everyone's face - and now I'm here , with you... if I have learned something, it is that the family does not necessarily have to be of blood.

-You're right- said a smiling Don.

-Our family will not be of blood... but it is of ties... friendship, trust, love... they unite us... and I hope they continue to do so- Mac concluded.

Stella looked at him with a special twinkle in her eyes, and she could feel her heart race a bit when he looked back at her. Again, the connection was present, making them feel part of something, almost like a revelation. They always knew they had each other, but this went further. They were home to each other, where they felt safe, supported, understood, loved, held, they were all they needed. Mac was Stella's home, and Stella was Mac's home. It didn't mean at all that others weren't, or that they didn't feel that way with them, but it was different, it felt different. It was special to them, and almost imperceptible to others, or perhaps they were already used to their friends having these moments.

At that moment, a very tired but euphoric Danny came out the door announcing that the baby had been born. Everyone got up from their seats in the waiting room and ran to hug him and congratulate him. The bambino was finally dad.

After a few hours, after taking Lindsay back to her room, everyone was eagerly waiting to meet the baby girl. When they entered, they approached her, who was holding the baby, and congratulated her. Stella was the first to say hello.

-Hello... how are you love? Hi... how are you? ... Oh sorry to admit Danny, but she looks like you.

-Yes, you're right, she's beautiful- he replied.

-How are you doing?- Mac asked Lindsay.

-I'm fine, but she will be an only child because I will never do this again- she answered exhausted.

-Does she already have a name?- Sheldon asked.

-Lidia. Lucy- Danny and Lindsay answered at the same time.

-Do you like that one?- Don asked, as Stella carefully handed the baby over to Mac, who looked at her with unparalleled tenderness.

- Ignore her, her name will be Lucy- Danny said.- Mac, we have to ask you a question- he said, drawing his attention.

-We hope you consider agreeing to be her godfather- Lindsay said.

The proposal took him by surprise, but he looked delighted at the same time.

-Of course.

-They made you an offer you can't refuse- Sheldon mentioned.

- 'Godfather' is the keyword for 'changing diapers'- Don announced, causing a collective laugh.

-But will they let me spoil her?- Mac asked.

-I think Danny will take care of that- Sheldon replied. They all laughed, they knew that his daughter would be his weakness.

-Oh, I forgot the gifts!- Stella exclaimed- This is from everyone- she said, showing a beautiful little pink dress.

As the new parents continued to open the gifts, Stella focused on Mac. She could see the sparkle in his eyes and the joy in his smile. One that she hadn't seen in a long time. He really wasn't expecting it, but it was an honor for his. Now he was, officially, part of a family, and she was sure he would spoil that child for his entire life.

She couldn't help but smile as she saw him with Lucy in his arms. She was happy knowing any of them were, but seeing him happy brightened her day. Truth be told, it wasn't common to see his like this.

She couldn't feel more comfortable with the people who shared her life. They were certainly her family, a family of ties, but it was the only one she had and she was proud of each one of them, and of everything they had built.

When Mac took his eyes off the girl, he found Stella's beautiful smile, one of those that brought him back to life, full of pride and happiness. Almost out of inertia, he returned her smile, one as big as hers.

He look around. Adam's follies, Sheldon's intelligence, Don's irony, Lindsay's fearlessness, Danny's grace ... Stella's friendship ... he couldn't imagine his life without her ... without them. After all, it was also his family of ties... the strongest he could have imagined.