Season 6 opens with Mac sitting in a hospital room.

"All stitched up, you're as good as new" the Doctor said.

"Thanks..." Mac said in a slightly groggy voice.

"Now, detective Taylor, that bottle hit you pretty good, you're lucky you don't have a concussion. Just try and get some rest tonight, and the headache should go away by the morning, okay?"

"Of course, thanks Doc."

Mac picks up his jacket and walks down the corridor towards the waiting room. The large hallway seems endless, or maybe he just wants it to be endless because he knows what awaits him at the end. Mac finally reaches the waiting room, where he finds Flack, Hawkes, and Stella waiting anxiously. Flack looks terrible, like he hasn't slept in weeks. Hawkes looks like his mind is going a mile a minute. You can see in his eyes he's already trying to understand what happened earlier this evening. And then, there was Stella. She's been through it all, she is a pillar of strength, but not tonight... Tonight was different. She hides it well though, as she caringly places a hand on Flacks shoulder to ensure him that everything would be alright.

"You okay?" Stella asks, as she notices Mac.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Any word from Danny yet?"

The team hangs their heads slightly and Stella shakes her head.

Suddenly Danny walks from around the corner. The team raise to their feet and stand in silence, waiting for Danny to say something... anything.

"She.. " his voice shakes as he tries to get the words out "She's gonna be okay. The doctors say she's gonna pull through. She's in the ICU now, resting, but she's stable"

"Oh Danny, thank God!" Stella cries as she runs to Danny and throws her arms around him. She lets go of her embrace and puts her hands on both of his shoulders "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, yeah. Thanks Stell. Really, thank all of you guys for staying here for us. It means a lot."

Mac stands up and walks over to Danny and pats him on the back "Thanks Mac. You guys should get going though, you're gonna need your rest cuz tomorrow you start processing that bar, and you're gonna find the cowards that did this to my wife!"

"Look, Danny, I'm fine. If you need me to stay..."

"No, no. But... oh wait—" Danny cringes slightly


"it's Lucy. We left her with the nanny when we went out tonight, and I just wouldn't feel comfortable leaving her there overnight"

"Hey, what are godfathers for? Don't worry about it, stay with Lindsay. She needs you now. I'll stay with Lucy. She'll be fine. Stella, you can come back in the morning and stay with Lindsay so Danny can come home for a bit?"

"Mmmm hmm, of course" Stella said, nodding.

"Uh, are you sure you're okay to do that boss? You look pretty banged up."

"Its nothing. Practically a scratch."

"Yeah, I'm not buyin' it."

"Really, I'm fine. Stella, will you tell him I'm fine!"

"Don't worry Danny, I'll babysit Mac while he babysits Lucy" Stella says as she winks at Danny.

"Alright, alright. Thanks again Mac, I really appreciate it."

The team say their goodbyes to Danny and walk into the dark parking lot.

A few steps away from Stella's car, Mac stops in his tracks and turns his head to look around. He can hardly see anything from the few dim lights that surround the Angel of Mercy hospital parking lot. "Something wrong Mac?" Stella asks, with a puzzled tone.

"No, no, I was just... looking for my truck. I forgot you drove me here"

Stella can tell when Mac is lying to her, but in light of tonight's events, and the stress he is under, she lets it go as they get into her car.

Mac is strangely quiet, as he stares intensely out the window the entire ride, thoughts racing through his mind.

"I know that look Mac..."

Mac turns his head to Stella "what look?"

"You're not going back to the crime scene tonight. You heard what Sinclaire said. We take tonight off, come back in the morning with clearer heads."

"You're right, you're right. I just..." Mac buries his face in his hands in frustration.

"Mac, we're gonna find them. We always do, right?"

Mac nods his head and goes back to staring blankly out the window, as they pull up to Danny & Lindsay's apartment.

Once inside, they relieve the nanny of her duties and Mac walks her to the door as Stella goes to check on Lucy, who is snuggled in her crib, fast asleep.

As the nanny leaves, Mac returns to the living room where he finds Stella.

"How is she?"

"Perfect. Sleeping. Like an angel" Stella says with a smile.

"Good, good. How 'bout some tea? I'll put some on."

As Mac makes his way to the kitchen, Stella can help but feel overwhelmed by the nights events. She thinks of Lindsay, lying in that hospital bed, Danny by her side, clenching her hand, and she thinks of Lucy, and what would happen to her if she lost her mother. She stands with her back against the wall and slinks down to the floor.

A few moments later Mac returns to the room and notices her sitting on the floor. He lets out a soft sigh, and as Stella notices him walking towards her she starts wiping the few tears that she had shed.

Mac slinks down the wall and sits beside her. He looks at the floor, as he tries to figure out something to reassuring to say to her.

"You know, Stella..."

"Its not fair Mac!" she interupts suddenly. "I know what its like! I know what its like to lose your mother! I was empty Mac, and just seeing Lucy tonight, and just thinking, what if..."

"Hey, hey. Shhhhh" Mac puts his arm around Stella and grabs her shoulder. "It's alright, okay? Stella. Look at me." Mac takes his finger and tilts Stella's chin up to look at him. "She's going to be alright, okay? Trust me."

Stella nods her head slowly as the last tear rolls down her cheek. "I know Mac, I think... I think I must just be tired. I'm sorry"

"Hey, don't be sorry. We're all going through this okay? Together. We're a team right?"
"Of course" Stella says, letting out a slight smile.

"We have to be strong now, for Danny, and Lindsay, and Flack. But you know I'll always be here for you, alright?"

"I know Mac" she laughs at herself as she wipes her tears away with her sleeve. "Thank God your okay, where would I be without you?"

"Hey," Mac chuckled "you didn't think you could get rid of me that easy did you?"

Stella laughed again and playfully grabbed the top of Macs hand. Mac smiled at Stella and their eyes met for a brief moment before Stella looked away to the floor. Mac flipped his hand over so that Stellas hand slipped into his and their fingers clenched. She looks back up to Mac and smiles again. "You're sure your okay?" Mac asks. "Yeah".

"Well, I guess we should get some rest huh?" Mac says as he gets up from the floor. "Come on, I'll help you up" Mac takes both of Stellas hands and pulls her up on her feet. She laughs as he pulls her up and she starts losing her balance. Mac throws his arms around her waist to keep her up "woah, woah" he says, now chuckling himself. He lets her go as she leans with her back agains the wall. He puts his arm up and rests his hand on the wall learning slightly in towards Stella. "oh, well, goodnight Stella"

"good night Mac."

He leans in and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek. He pulls his head back slightly to see Stellas beautiful smile staring back at him, and suddenly something seems different. Their eyes lock and neither of them move for a few innocent moments. Stella stares into Mac's intense ocean blue eyes until she feels she can no longer look at them, she she begins to close her eyes. Mac begins to lean in closer to Stella and-


Mac quickly spins around to realize Lucy is awake. Both feeling completely ackward, Stella leans forward from the wall and is standing up straight again "I'll check on her!"

"no, its fine, I can get her. You should just get some sleep, I'm fine."

"o..okay" she replies as she turns towards a bedroom and quickly scurries towards it.