Mac sits back down onto his sofa, phone in hand and a relaxed smile on his face for the first time that evening.
"So, how did she do?" she asks him.
He nods even though she can't see it. "Pretty good. She found a body in her first five minutes."
He can hear the genuine amazement in her voice.
"Thrown in at the deep end."
"I guess that kinda ruined the plan to get her with the autopsy prank."
"A little bit."
There's a second's silence and then she asks, "Mac… Are you okay? Tough case?"
She always could tell without having to see him. "Yeah. The suspect pulled a gun on us and…"
She would be able to fill in the rest.
"Oh, Mac… Are you all right?"
"We're fine," he tells her, and he actually feels like he means it. "It's just… Still a shock each time."
He can practically hear her nodding. He knows the exact expression she has on her face. "I know," she tells him softly. Then, exactly as he needs, she takes the focus off him. "How's Lindsay?"
"She's doing better. She'll get there… She showed me the present you sent her… How are you doing with that?"
Her laughter drifts down the phone line and he smiles, fondly.
"I don't think they know that I'm still terrified."
"I'm sure you're doing an excellent job," he tells her.
"Oh I am," she quips and he pictures her teasing smile. "I just hope I still do when the fear wears off."
He shares her laughter this time. "I'm sure we only talk every day so I can tell you how wonderful you are."
"Well I don't get to hear it in person anymore."
"Ah, so I'm right?"
"Do you want me to stop calling?"
His response is immediate. "Definitely not. I look forward to these conversations."
There's a slight pause before she responds, but her voice is soft when she does. "So do I."
He smiles, truly content, and brings his legs up to rest on the sofa as he settles back and says to her, "So, tell me about your day…"
A/N: Okay, so I was disappointed that there was only a miniscule reference to Stella in the episode. Then I thought, well they don't have to talk about her, because they obviously still talk to her all the time, and therefore aren't missing her too much :) And this was born! It may or may not develop into a series of missing scenes as the season progresses. But for now, let's say it won't. I have no control over my muse!
Notes for those who don't want to watch the episode:
- Lindsay shoots and kills Shane Casey when he's in her apartment and has Lucy.
- New CSI starts and finds a body in the lab.
- Stella sends Lindsay a frame in which it says "Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid." (or words to that effect!)
- Mac and Flack have to shoot the suspect in their case when he pulls a gun on them.