A hand rests on his shoulder.
"Adam?" Mac's voice is surprisingly gentle.
Adam rubs frantically at his eyes. "Oh, hey, Mac. I didn't get those DNA results back yet—uh, is that what you came for? 'Cause, uh...yeah." His voice sounds high and unnatural, and he's fumbling with the words because Mac's going to ask the question that Adam doesn't want him to ask, he's going to ask and Adam's going to have to explain, and he can't, because he might lose it and then he's screwed.
"Yeah." Adam lets out a sigh. "Sorry."
"Everything okay?" Mac's studying his face carefully, his normally sharp gaze uncharacteristically sympathetic.
He's fine. He should tell him he's fine. Let him know he's okay so everyone can get back to work and forget all about this.
Adam scrubs his face with his hands. "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine."
Unexpectedly, the hand is replaced on his shoulder. Adam looks up.
The look Mac's giving him says he's not buying the act, but at the same time, it's strangely kind. "What's going on, Adam?" he says quietly.
Adam can't seem to stop the burning at the back of his eyes, can't seem to pull himself together enough to fake normalcy. "My dad called." And suddenly he's choking on the tightness in his throat, salt stinging his eyes, nose, face.
Mac tightens his grip on Adam's shoulder. "He did?"
"And he's here in New York, and...and...and he wants to come to the lab, and I don't want to see him, Mac, I don't know if...." He's losing it fast, starting to break down. He can't cry in front of Mac, he can't cry in front of his boss, it's repeating over and over in his head. There's wetness on his cheeks; he doesn't know how it got there. The invisible hand squeezing his throat contracts, and that's it.
Mac grips the back of his neck gently and pulls Adam to him.
Adam fists one hand in Mac's overcoat, and lets his boss hold him against his shoulder. "I'm not crying," he tells Mac. Mac should know. It's important he know that Adam's not crying.
"I know." His free hand touches Adam's hair lightly. "I know, Adam."
Adam can't remember ever being hugged like this, man to man, as if by a father. He's not really sure what to do, so he just rests his forehead against the roughness of Mac's coat and lets Mac hold him.
Summary: Mac's really the closest thing to a father he's ever had. Mac, Adam. Spoilers for 3x15 'Some Buried Bones.'