This takes place before the 34th floor. I don't own any of the characters.

Stella stepped out of the elevator with one destination in mind, Mac's office. She saw that he was still there staring intently at a case file. The lab was busy at work and paid her no attention when she walked into his office. She made her way closer to his desk and stopped just inches away from him. He must have been focusing on something really hard, because he didn't hear when she walked in.

"Mac. Can we talk?"

Mac looked up from the case file. "Sure Stella what's up?"

She had thought about how to tell him in a lot of different ways, but decided that she couldn't wait any longer than she had to. She knew that it wasn't fair to Mac and she felt bad about just blurting it out, but the decision was really starting to take its toll on her. "I was offered a job to head the crime lab in New Orleans."

She saw shock register on Mac's face and then confusion. She wasn't sure if Mac was breathing, but eventually he spoke. "I think you should take the job Stella."

"Really Mac?"

"Yeah, Stella. It sounds like a great opportunity for you."

"Yeah it sounds like it." She had to force a smile, because she knew that Mac was just telling her what he thought she wanted to hear.

"Have you told anyone else yet?"

"No. I wasn't sure if I'm going to accept the position."

"I think you should take it. The others should be happy for you Stell. I know I am." This was not the reaction I expected Mac to have. I assumed that he was trying to play the part of the best friend and be supportive and happy, but on the inside he was probably hurting.

"You're right Mac. I guess I will go tell the others and see what they say. Thanks." She turned and walked out of the door and made her way to Lindsay and saw that Danny was with her. She decided that now would be the perfect time to tell them. Well as perfect as any other time at least. "Hey Lindsay. Danny."

"Stella. What's up?"

"Well I have something to tell you. I was offered a job in New Orleans." She saw Danny tense and Lindsay force a smile.

"That's great Stella. Right Danny?"

"Yeah. Stell that sounds good." Danny looked down at the ground and wouldn't make eye contact.

"Why don't I believe you Messer?"

"I don't know Stella. Do you want me to be happy that you're moving?"

"Well yeah I guess."

"I can't do that Stella because you're my friend. I can't picture you leaving this lab and us."

"Danny. You should be happy for Stella."

"Are you babe?"

"Well truthfully no, but it's not like we're never going to see her again."

"How do you know that?"

"That's not the kind of person Stella is for one."

"Danny do you think this has been easy for me? I don't want to leave you guys because you are my only family. I've known you both for years. I love you guys, but I need a change of scenery."

Danny looked into Stella's eyes and saw the hurt and sadness in them. Knowing that Stella had probably thought about this decision thoroughly in her mind, he realized that she needed their support and not a rough time. "I'm sorry Stella I just can't think about you leaving."

"I know me either Danny." She embraced him in a comforting hug and then released him. When Lindsay held her arms out she embraced her in a tight hug as she felt the tears starting to come.

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