I could see something through all the blackness that surrounded me, I was beginning to make out a shape, it looked like...a giraffes head and neck. What I giraffes head is doing her beats me? I moved closer and it began to look more like...ooh what was it though...That's it! A palm tree! But what in the name of all things holy was a palm tree doing in the middle of all this blackness? I walked towards it and stumbled on something invisible, suddenly I could see the tree any more and was falling...falling...falling

I woke up with a start. My t-shirt was drenched in a cold sweat, I looked around, it was pretty dark but I could make out the sleeping form of Mac and the contents of the small tent. I checked the time on my phone 4.30. Damn. It would be at least another hour and a half until Mac wakes up. I needed to somebody to talk to, but I didn't know what about or why. I held on the thought and I got a towel and a fresh t-shirt (Pink Floyd) and I headed over to the shower. I was pretty certain there would hot water considering I was probably the first person the camp site awake. I got under the flow of the shower, I was right the water was nice and hot. I thought about what I wanted to talk about and I was putting my conditioner in when it came to me. I quickly got the conditioner out and scrambled into my clothes, I ran back to the tent and got my cellphone,

"Hello?" Danny's groggy voice filled the receiver,

"Hi Danny," I replied, feeling bad that I had woken him. But he was up now.

"Hey, Stell. You okay?" I noted the concern in his voice,

"Mmm yeah, I just needed someone to talk to and well yeah."

"Touched Stella. So what do you want to talk about?"

"I dunno. How's the lab's going?"

"It's been pretty quite. Barely anyone is getting killed these days and to be honest I dunno if that's a good thing. Cuz I'm just sitting on my ass all day. I guess I am getting paid. It's damn boring here. How's camping?"

"Good...interesting." I needed to change the subject for now, until I figured out how to work out how to say what I needed to say. "What's our replacement's like?"

"Well...Rick Hyde, Mac's replacement is a textbook cop. He's good but he's so damn boring."

"And my replacement?"

"Allegra's great, She's just fabulous. Just like she always was."

"And that was/is?"

"Well she's a bundle of fun. Great at her job, not as good as you but she is younger, no offense. Allie was always a laugh and still is. Swears like mad. She's just great,"

I smiled, Danny was really smitten by her. "How do you know her?"

"I've known her since kindergarten. We lived on the same street, Our mothers are like best friends. Anyway we out in college but kinda drifted apart. She's been working in Texas for awhile. God Stella we have to hire her."

"Yeah, I'm not sure. Mac's choice..." I drifted off thinking about Mac.

"Stell are you sure your okay?"

"Yeah...i guess. I just needed to talk to somebody."

"What about Mac?"

"Danny, What I'm going to tell you, you must NOT tell anyone. Not Flack. Not Lindsay and definitely not Adam. No one,"

"Okay...I won't tell." Danny replied. I filled him in on the details of last night. The line was silent.

"Danny?" I asked, maybe I freaked out the younger man. But oh no...

"I'm the first to know this?"

"Except for Mac and I yeah..."



"Well I always seem to be the last to know this kinda thing."

"Nope, your the first."

"Boom!"I laughed, "Stell, that's great your finally moving on from Frankie!"

"Thanks Danny." I said, On the other side of the phone I heard a pager go off.

"Damn Stella it's a homocide, gotta go fight some."

"Okay then, bye Danny."

"Hang on, this weekend we are having a poker night. My apartment, Saturday 5pm. Talk more when you get back."

"Cool, well see you then."

"Okay, see you Stella."


I hung up and moved to the swing on the playground. The playground was quite old and mangy looking and covered in graffiti, and the swing was the safest and nicest looking item. I swung for awhile, the rain cloud's from the night before had cleared and I was bathed in moonlight and starlight. My wet hair dripping down my t-shirt.

"I really do have the best friends in the world." I said to myself. Danny despite his rough upbringing was such a sweetie as was Adam. Lindsay was so nice. Hawkes was just a dear. Flack's heart was made of complete gold, Sid was so nice and made everyone laugh. And Mac...he was Mac. My tower, my backbone, my light in the storm. I thought back to last night. I wanted a more than friends relationship with this man so much. But sadly reality was as co-workers it was forbidden. And also I was a post-suicidal spinster.

If we really wanted this to work then one of us would have to change jobs, that sure as hell would not be me. Career first and I love my job.

"Um...hello Stella" I said to myself again. That's how you got yourself into this mess. You always put career first. So you have nobody to blame but yourself. If you want a family your going to have to change.

"Stell?" Mac's voice interrupted my chain of thoughts.

"Yeah?" I replied, looking up. He looked worried.

"Are you okay?"

"Fine, I just couldn't sleep." I said shrugging. Argh you liar Stella.

"Why?" Mac asked,

"Bad dream." I admitted. I guess this was the truth.

"Frankie?" Mac asked again. I shuddered hearing the name.

"No, thank God. Just falling through emptiness."

"Okay then. Do you want to come back to the tent?"

"Yeah. Sure. It's getting cold." My wet hair had dampened my shirt and I was cold.

When we returned to the tent I wrapped my hair in a towel and sat down on the lilo. I lay next to Mac and we stared at the roof of the tent.

"Um...Mac." I better ask now. It was a opportune moment.


I paused. Trying Arranging my words. Screw it. "Oh hell, I'm not going to beat around the bush. I would to be in a more-than-friends relationship with you, I really love to. But dammit your my boss. It's against all regulations. This isn't a soap opera. It won't be tolerated." I opened my mouth but Mac pressed a finger to my lips.

"Stella, you know I'm not going to push you. It's all sorted. I'm changing jobs. I've been given an offer working on a forensics course and New York university. I've accepted and handed in my notice. I wouldn't do this unless I was sure."

"Your leaving?" I asked, slightly hurt he hadn't told me.

"Yeah, In three months."

"But...but who will replace you?"

"I'm looking at her." Mac said and grinned.

"Me!" I hugged Mac only I didn't let go. I lay there my arms around him, Mac put an arm around me. A tear ran down my face, followed by another then another. Next thing I knew I was sobbing into Mac's chest. It was the first time I had really cried.

"Cry all you want." Mac said gently patting my back, he rocked me gently like he would a baby.

"I can't take over from you...I would be crap...I'm recovering from a fucking suicide attempt that was my fucking fault...I don't deserve a promotion...I'm...a...terrible...leader..."

"Shhh, deep breaths, deep breaths." Mac whispered. I closed my eyes and I went to sleep.

A/N-I'm at a new school. Less Stress. More time. Should update in the next two weeks or so.

Review. It makes me feel I'm not alone.