A/U all the way! Just written (again) for a Fanlib contest. Cute little Mac-let
Mac gently shook the young CSI’s shoulders.
Lindsay shot up, so quickly he almost fell off his seat. She looked at him.
“You were fast asleep Lindsay.”
Lindsay looked around. She was lying on the sofa in the break room, a file spread across the floor where it had fallen from her hands.
She swung her legs off the sofa, her cheeks burning.
“I’m so sorry Mac, I was working here till late, and I guess I just...”
She looked up, to see Mac laughing at her.
Mac’s eyes were bright.
“Lindsay, its lunchtime. When exactly do you imagine you fell asleep?”
Lindsay’s cheeks grew and even deeper shade of crimson, and she knelt on the floor, gathering the papers up into her arms.
“Ok, ok, I was up all last night.”
She shoved a loose strand of hair behind her ear, and for a moment Mac held his breath. She was so like her. The pain tore at his heart, and he knew his loss would never leave him. He watched Lindsay silently and sadly. She was with someone else. There was nothing he could do. He knew she couldn’t be, there wasn’t a chance of it. But he still loved her with all his heart. Everything about her was the same as the Claire shaped gap in his heart, down to the sweet little smile that crossed her lips.
It was his own turn to jump, as he now saw they weren’t alone. His whole team stared at him. Lindsay was laughing.
“Earth to Mac? Now who’s sleeping!”
Her tinkling laughter was like a shot to his heart, and he tried to laugh along. But the laugh didn’t reach his eyes, and eventually he stood up.
“Ok everyone. Joke time’s done. We’ve got work to do.”
She saw alone in his office, waiting. Just waiting. She’d known it for so long, maybe now was the time. She had to tell the truth.
Mac walked in without noticing her, walking to his desk and scanning it for a file. She coughed.
His head shot up, and a brightness filled his eyes, one she’d seen so many times recently. His voice was soft, just as she remembered.
“Lindsay? What do you need?”
He quickly lowered his eyes, as if he knew they were dancing with joy. She’d come to see him. It would be work related, but who cared? He couldn’t hide is feelings forever, yet it seemed so wrong. To love someone because they were like the person you would always love.
Lindsay’s eyes were darting around the room, trying to fix on anything but his face. Anything.
“Look, Mac, maybe we shouldn’t talk about this here. Can you meet me in Billards in twenty minutes?”
Mac nodded, unable to say a word.
Lindsay walked out of the office, leaving him reeling. She wanted to speak to him alone. Was it possible she felt the same way? Could she love him, as much as he loved her? As he’d loved Claire. Claire.
He sat down with a thump. Claire. In all his high spirits, her name had almost evaded him. He couldn’t do this to her. He still loved Claire. She was dead, he couldn’t change that. But he couldn’t move on. Even to someone he loved so much.
Grabbing his jacket, he made his way to the cafe. He didn’t know what he would say to her. All this time, and he hadn’t got a clue.
Lindsay sat waiting. She’d already ordered them both coffees. She knew how Mac liked his. She always had.
Mac walked in in a daze, seating himself on the opposite side of the table.
“What did you need to talk to me about?”
Lindsay opened her mouth, but the waitress appeared before she could say a word.
She placed the mugs on the table, and both of them sipped silently for a few moments, willing the other to speak first.
Eventually, Lindsay broke the silence.
“Look, Mac. There’s really no easy way to say this. I just ask that you hear me out. I did what I did for a reason, and I know you’ll understand. I just want to apologize in advance. For the pain. For the heartbreak, for all the problems I’ve caused for you.”
Mac started to speak, but Lindsay held up a hand.
“No please. Let me finish.”
She took a breath, the steam rising from her cup and encasing her face, giving her a ghostly, mystical look.
“Mac, my name isn’t Lindsay Monroe. I’m not from Montana. My name is Claire Conrad-Taylor.”
Mac didn’t say a word. He couldn’t. After what seemed like a lifetime, he finally parted parched lips.
“Where’s the real Lindsay Monroe?”
Lindsay – Claire, looked shocked. She’d expected him to ask questions, not just take it so simply. Or at least, not ask that question.
“She’s still in Montana. She’s on her way now, She’ll be taking my place. I flew out there when I found out the crime lab was hiring her. I convinced her to let me take her place, just for a few weeks. Just to check on you. And maybe make it easier for me to tell you.”
“Is that all you’re going to ask?”
Mac nodded, finally looking at her.
“You’re not dead.”
Claire shook her head.
“No. I can’t explain why I hid. I just needed some time Mac, especially after that, tragedy...”
She trailed off, her eyes filling with tears.
“I’m so sorry, I just couldn’t come back after so long, I thought you’d be angry, I-“
Mac slipped into the seat beside her, holding her close.
“I’m so sorry Claire. I’m so sorry too. Sorry you couldn’t come to me.”
He pressed his lips to her forehead, and she snuggled into the familiar curves of his body. Neither said another word. Neither had to.
Author's Notes: This is just me being cute again. There is no realism intended her at all, just good clean fun LOL