Author: Ragna (afteriwake)
Disclaimer: If it's a character recognizeable from CSI: Miami or CSI: NY, they are belonging to Jerry Bruckheimer, Anthony Zuicker, et. al. If you do not recognize the character from either series, they are mine.
Author's Notes: thiscanbegin gave me a good idea for a Mac/Rebecca fic that didn't fit in with what I needed for the fanmix project, so I'm writing it seperately. All you need to know is at this point Rebecca no longer works at the crime labs, but it's not in the "12 Year" miniseries timeframe yet.
She had been having trouble sleeping lately, for no reason other than it was nearing the anniversary of her husband's death again. Over the years the sleepless nights had dropped from a week or two to just a handful of days, but it still bothered her. Especially now that she had finally moved on and into another serious relationship.
She was awake in bed, curled up on her side with Mac's arm draped around her waist when she caught him mumbling in his sleep. She didn't move, not wanting to wake him up from his dream unless it sounded like it was going to become a nightmare. She had the next day off, and he didn't, and she knew he'd want a good night's rest.
And then she heard the word that surprised her. Very clearly, he said his wife's name. She was surprised because in the last few months he hadn't really talked about her, and then she belatedly remembered the date. She hadn't been the only person in this relationship to lose someone around the middle of September.
When he stopped mumbling she gave him a few minutes and then gently pried herself away from him to go into the kitchen of their apartment. She threw one of his shirts that she'd stolen from him and padded into the kitchen to fix herself a cup of warm milk and ponder exactly what she was feeling. Mac had been very good about giving her some space and alone time to cope with what she was feeling, but had she been doing the same for him? Did he need her to? Did he even want her to? The thoughts running around in her head weren't going to let her sleep until she attempted to get them sorted out.
She began the process of making her warm milk the old fashioned way. She poured some milk into a suacepan and, on impulse, added some hot cocoa mix to it. This was the way her mother had made her warm milk when she was a child, and a microwaved cup of milk never tasted quite the same.
She was so involved in making sure the milk didn't boil too much that it took her a moment to hear another pair of feet walk into the kitchen. "You need to sleep," she said quietly, a small smile forming on her lips as she continued to stir her cocoa.
"The bed got very cold all of a sudden," she heard him say. Her drink was done so she turned off the heat and looked at him. He had pulled on a pair of sweatpants and nothing else, as far as she could tell.
"I think I made enough for two. Do you want some?" she asked.
He nodded. "Sure."
She smiled at him and went to pull down two mugs from the cabinet and carefully poured the drinks into them. Then she went to the pantry and pulled out the bag of mini marshmallows she had there. "Want some?"
She took out a small handful and dropped it into one of the mugs before taking his to him. "I was going to curl up on the couch while I drank this. Want to join me?"
"I'd love to," he replied. They took their mugs and headed over to the most comfortable piece of furniture in the apartment besides the bed and settled in. "Want to talk about why you're up?"
"That time of the year?"
"Yes and no," she said before taking a sip of her drink. "This year, it's not so bad. I think partly because I have you in my life now. I've really moved on."
"Have you? I mean, I know we're together and you have, but have you done it completely?" She wasn't pressing for an answer because she was simply curious. This was something she needed to know the answer to.
He was quiet for a moment. "Yes, I think I have. I still think about her, and dream about her sometimes, but I've moved on."
Relief poured through her. "Okay."
"Why did you ask?"
"You said her name while you were sleeping," she said.
"Probably because I was dreaming that she met you and actually liked you," he said with a smile. "She would have, you know. You're the type of person she'd love to have been friends with."
"Really?" she said, surprised.
He nodded. "You actually remind me of her best friend in some ways. You have the same type of personality."
"Interesting," she said. "My husband would have liked you too, I think. You're the kind of man he'd respect, at the very least."
"That's good to know," he said.
She smiled at him. "Let's finish these up and head to bed, okay?" she suggested. "I get the feeling I'll be able to get some sleep now."
He set his mug down and then took hers from her and set it down as well before pulling her closer. "I'm lucky I found you," he said quietly.
"You're lucky I wanted a job with you," she said with a soft laugh.
"Best hiring decision I ever made," he said with a smile.
"Good thing I quit or we'd never have gotten together," she said.
"You have no idea how happy I was when you put in your two weeks notice." He kissed the top of her head and let her go. "Bed?"
"Bed," she said with a nod, getting up and offering him her hand when he was up as well. This was good, she thought. This was very good indeed.