Title: I is for Insecurity
Author: stellaluna_
Rating: PG
Pairing: Mac/Adam
Summary: For fruitbat00.
Disclaimer: None of these are mine. Characters are the property of Anthony Zuiker, Jerry Bruckheimer Television, CBS, and Alliance Atlantis.


Adam is still flinching every time Mac moves too suddenly or raises his voice, and Mac hates to see it. He feels guilty about it, but he also has a gut feeling that bringing it up directly to Adam would do no good; Adam deserves an apology, but it needs to be one that won't make him feel worse about himself, because that won't do either of them any good. Mac has never been good at apologies himself, either making them or receiving them, and maybe, he thinks, that helps him understand Adam a little more.

He doesn't go out of his way to be nice, ever, but he's more aware these days of how he acts around Adam. He tries to temper himself, or at least not to do anything that will make the situation worse. He talks to Adam when he can, asks his opinion or praises him for good work, and he thinks that, over the months, Adam begins to relax just the tiniest bit.

That being the case, he should feel better about everything, but he doesn't, not yet. Not until he runs into Adam at the tiny Greek diner off the lobby of the Newsweek building one evening, and instead of going on his way like he usually would, he stops to talk. "A little far to come for lunch break, isn't it?" he asks after they've both said hello.

Adam shrugs and smiles. "I could say the same thing to you," he says. He starts to look nervous again as soon as the words are out.

"Good point," Mac says. "I like to get away from the midtown crowds, and this is cheap and easy."

"Ditto," Adam says. "Plus the moussaka is really good. So are the burgers."

"I don't think I've ever tried the moussaka."

"Oh, you should," Adam says. "It's great. I think even Stella would like it, and you know how fussy she is about that stuff."

Mac laughs. "Yes, I do know," he says.

"You could..." Adam glances down at the book folded open next to his plate for a moment, then looks back up at Mac. "You could have lunch with me," he says. "I mean, if you aren't getting it to go. I was just gonna read, but that can wait."

"I'd like that," Mac says, and he sits down across from Adam.