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Classification Romance (H/M)
Length Approx 100,000 words, 296 pages (8 ½” x 11”)
Spoilers Through the series finale “Fair Winds & Following Seas”
Rating IM-15 for sexual reference
Summary Mac, Harm and Mattie begin life in London while Mac and Harm begin the challenge of having their own child.

 

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6
Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12

 

 

Harm’s eyes were still shut, but he was awake and soaking up the warmth of the soft sexy body at his side. He didn’t think the smile had left his face since the late April evening just a week ago when Mac had shown up at his door and asked to talk about “you and me.” They had said they would get married in London or San Diego depending on the flip of the coin. Mac had called tails, which had meant they would marry in San Diego, and Harm would resign his commission, his promotion, and hope to get his retirement at 20 years. The coin had landed tails and then Mac had pulled a fast one on him that he hadn’t seen coming.

 

<Flashback>

 

The coin landed with a jingle on the floor and spun to a stop before landing with the scale side down.

“It’s tails, Ma’am...you won the toss...Sorry Captain, but it looks like Colonel Mackenzie will be taking the job in San Diego.” Bud had looked sadly at Harm knowing he would have to give up the new title.

“No Bud...I won’t.” Mac had said with a smile. “We may get married in San Diego -after all that’s where Harm’s parents live, but I belong with my husband in London. I’m the one that will resign my commission.”

“Mac?” Harm’s warm voice drew her eyes to his and they had one of their infamous silent conversations.

“I’m sorry Colonel, but there is no way the Marine Commandant is going to let you retire with the skills you have. I can probably send someone else to San Diego, but I believe the best you’ll be able to do is reserve your commission - not resign. We need your skills.” General Creswell spoke calmly knowing that this could turn out to be a volatile situation if not handled carefully. His wife Dora had taught him that much about love and relationships. “I’ll expect you both in uniform at JAG tomorrow morning for final steps in your rotation out. Commander Turner, I suggest you pack a bag for San Diego TAD. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to the office and get some work done...tonight...Petty Officer Coates...if you could join me in say an hour, I would appreciate it. I’ll try not to keep you long.”

“Aye-aye sir.” Coates saluted him as he finished his drink, placed it on the bar and left the group in shocked silence.

“What do you think he’s up to?” asked Bud as they watched the door close between the General and the group of long time friends.

Harm held Mac close in his arms as he looked into her face and asked her, “Mac, are you sure you want to do this?”

“Yes...and now that the General says I’ll probably have to reserve my commission - not resign - it seems even a better solution for us. I really think that where our wedding takes place is all that coin flip should have decided.”

“But you agreed...” Harm protested.

“Yes...and all along I had a plan to finally upstage you with a grand gesture.” Mac looked up at Harm pleased with herself. The smile on her face and the light in her eyes reinforced her delight at being able to be the one to pull off the grand gesture on him this time.

“You planned it?”

“Yeah...call it pay back for the stunt you pulled when Bud was hurt that time.” Mac smiled before she leaned in and kissed his lips briefly in front of their friends.

 

<End Flashback>

 

So much had happened in the short time since then, Harm thought as he enjoyed the early morning quiet in their bed and Mac’s warmth at his side. They had reported to JAG in uniform the next morning. The General had been a busy man after he had left them. Coates was there to greet them, her bubbly personality even happier this morning as she bustled around doing her job.

 

<Flashback>

 

“Good morning...He’s waiting for you...go on in.”

“Good morning Captain Rabb and Colonel Mackenzie...I have news for you. As I expected the SecNav informed me that he would not approve your resignation Colonel. He did accept Commander Turner as your replacement to take over the San Diego billet, but does have a reserve billet that I think you’ll like.” Creswell wore that mysterious look on his face when he knew something his people didn’t and he could enjoy the torment of keeping them in suspense.

“Thank you sir...I think. What is the reserve billet, may I ask?”

“You will provide legal counsel at our Embassy in London and also be available on an on call basis for the Judiciary. Your Commanding Officer will be General Langley currently heading up Judicial Services in Naples. This will allow you to use the skills for which you’ve been trained. Travel is involved with the Judiciary. Will this be a problem?” Creswell paused and saw Mac glance at Harm. He also saw Harm’s subtle nod and smile back to the Lt. Colonel, before she returned a nod to him.

“Captain Rabb, normally your office provides legal counsel to the embassy, but the SecNav feels that Colonel Mackenzie can fill that roll as a reservist under General Langley which frees up your people unless there is a situation. I spoke to General Langley this morning Colonel and he was impressed by the fit rep you received from Admiral Morris during your TAD to the judiciary before. He said to tell you that he will keep you relatively busy. ”

“I don’t know what to say, General...thank you doesn’t seem adequate.” Mac looked from her fiancé to her commanding officer in wonder.

“Thank you will do nicely. I assume this is acceptable to both of you?”

“Yes sir.” Harm spoke for both of them as Mac simply nodded.

“Good, I took the liberty of having Coates file a last minute change of shipping orders on your possessions Colonel. They will be going to London as well. Were we correct to assume you want them sent to the same destination as Captain Rabb’s things?”

“Yes, sir,” Mac answered after exchanging another brief glance at her fiancé.

“Coates said that she thought you would need some extra time to deal with some court concerns regarding your foster daughter. She is currently making some calls at my request to try to expedite the court situation. As for your flight schedule I believe you have a lay over in San Diego before you depart for London. I’m sorry I can only delay your departure by one week. Captain Rabb you must report for duty on May 9. Colonel, General Langley will meet you at the Embassy the following day, Tuesday, at 0900 Zulu.”

“Thank you sir.” Harm and Mac answered in unison.

“About your staff requests for London, Captain, do you have those ready for me?”

“Yes sir I do.” Harm handed Creswell his list of requested staff. He had decided to keep most of the ones already there. He had met some of them at different times throughout the years while others had solid reputations. He wanted to give them a shot. He had needed to appoint someone as his assistant. When Bud had turned down the billet, he started to look at lists of people due for promotion. A name from the past had been on it and that was the person he wanted to try as his assistant. He had also needed to find a reliable investigator and would need his own yeoman. Last night he had shared his request list with Mac and she had agreed.

General Creswell studied the list. “Captain Rabb, two of the three names on here directly impact my plans...but you have made excellent choices. Have you spoken to any of them as yet?”

“No sir I haven’t.”

“I will have Petty Officer Coates cut the orders for all of them and they will arrive in London next week as well. I, of course, will need to replace practically my entire staff.” Creswell said with a grimace.

“You still have Lt. Vukovic, sir,” Mac reminded him unable to resist the subtle jab at her CO for all his praise of the young officer and his insistence that he had potential.

“I deserve that Colonel...and him I guess. Oh well, I could send him out with Commander Turner...maybe I’ll just do that. At least I have Commander Roberts.”

“Yes sir. He’s a good man and won’t let you down.” Mac praised the man Harm had taken under his wing and the two of them had mentored over the years.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve with both of you. Good luck.” General Creswell shook hands with both of them and walked them out. “Petty Officer Coates it seems your presence is requested in London. I’d like you to cut orders for Gunnery Sergeant Victor Galindez and Commander Meg Austin to report to London, then get me a revised list of who’s left to staff this place before you cut your orders to London as well. Any idea who could take your place?”

“Yes sir!” Coates watched the general return to his office and then looked at Harm and Mac. “London?”

“Unless you don’t want to go with us,” Harm answered.

“I do sir. I just...wow...”

“Harm, I think we’ve left the Petty Officer speechless. Jen, we know you’re taking courses and you’re feeling that you don’t need us the same anymore. We agree you don’t need us, but we’ve also learned that family is important and having our family stay together as much as we can is important to us. We’ll be there to let you spread your wings and we’ll support you. Harm and I both want you to join us in London.”

“Thank you...I think I’d like that. Oh...you have a court date at 1500 today in Blacksburg. I’ve taken the liberty of booking the flight for Mattie as well and told them she will probably be in a wheelchair so they are prepared to meet her needs. Here are the papers you’ll need. Looks like I’ll see you next week.”

“Thanks Jennifer...for everything.” Harm’s sincerity was evident in his voice. “You ready Colonel?”

“Yeah, are you?” Mac asked.

“Without a doubt. Let’s go.”

 

<End Flashback>

 

Harm felt Mac stir at his side and he opened his eyes to watch her. She took his breath away at times. He thought about their first time together last week. They had been at his apartment and once they had started kissing, it was like neither of them wanted to stop. They had kissed over and over each one with more heat and passion than the last. At the same time they were trying to talk over the things they needed to discuss and decide. It took them nine years to let go but when they finally did the passion had blazed hot and they had come together in a rapid fiery explosion of passion before they had hurried off to tell their friends and make the arrangements that needed to be made.


Later that night they had taken time to really explore and learn about each other’s bodies and what felt good to each one. They were still learning and exploring. Harm had assumed that after the first mind-altering climax they had shared, that it would return to something he was more use to...but it hadn’t. Each time they uncovered new depths, new needs, new likes, and more passion resulting in something as good as or better than the time before.

They had arrived in Blacksburg after leaving the General’s office. Mattie had been thrilled to see them and her doctor had reluctantly agreed to let her out of the hospital if Mac and Harm could take the time to learn some basics with the therapists and nurses before she left.

Mattie’s spine injury had effected her ability to control her bodily functions. She was starting to recover sensation which helped. She would need to remain catheterized for the time being and would need assistance with personal care. Mac had not hesitated to have the nurse and Mattie show and tell her what to do. Mattie would need to be in a wheelchair. The hospital allowed them to take the one that she was using.

The therapist showed Harm and Mac the exercises they wanted Mattie to do three times a day. Mattie would need to go into a rehabilitation center when they arrived in London. Her doctor would make the arrangements so they would expect her on the evening of May 8. Harm hated to have to put Mattie in a hospital, but Mattie even agreed it would be better for her to really learn how to be independent before she came home.

The doctor gave Harm a letter for the judge regarding Ton Johnson’s lack of parenting during this time, while Mac had helped Mattie to get cleaned up and dressed.

“Captain, I’m impressed with how you’ve been here for this girl. When I first saw her, you know I felt her prognosis wasn’t good. But with a family like you to support her, I think she has a good chance to fully recover.”

“The military has a medical and rehabilitation facility in London. Here’s the number and information they would need to admit her as my dependent. Could you please try there first?” Harm asked.

“Of course. Call me Friday and I’ll give you a status report. Good luck Captain Rabb.”

“Thank you Doctor.”

The three of them had reported to the courthouse at the appointed time. The same judge that had handled the original disposition presided on the bench again.

 

<Flashback>

 

“Hello again Mattie. How are you feeling?” the judge asked.

“I’m getting stronger every day, Ma’am.” Mattie politely answered.

“I’m glad to hear that. I understand congratulations are in order Captain Rabb.”

“Yes Ma’am. You may remember Lt. Colonel Mackenzie...she has finally agreed to marry me.”

“And together you are filing for joint custody of Mathilda Grace Johnson?”

“Yes, your Honor.” Harm answered.

“How do you feel about this Mattie? I mean you consented a few months ago to be returned to the custody of your biological father, Tom Johnson. I’d like you to tell me why I should grant the request of Sarah Mackenzie and Harmon Rabb, Jr..”

“Your Honor, Harm - Captain Rabb - made sure that my father and I talked and worked things out. I felt that he would be there for me if I ever needed him, but I wanted to be able to give my father another chance. Mac - Colonel Mackenzie - and I talked and she explained to me that she had waited too long to give her father a second chance and to get at the truth. She regretted it and wished at times that she had someone like Harm in her life back then to make sure she had gotten to the truth. My father was doing okay. He would sometimes talk to Harm and get advice on how to handle me. But when I had the accident he fell apart.

Thankfully I had Harm. I can remember hearing his voice and feeling that I had to hang on...that I had to open my eyes and that giving up was not an option. I would have died without him there. It’s going to be a while before I can take care of myself. I’m 16 now, and I know it’s unusual for the courts to take permanent action in cases with someone my age. But I know that I need a lot of care and Tom Johnson can’t give me what I need right now. Harm and Mac are my family and they are being transferred to London. If I don’t go with them, I’ll be alone. With them, maybe my father can get well again and I can stay in touch with him when he’s ready. Harm has already shown me what a good father he is. And Mac is good for both of us. Please your Honor, say that I can legally be part of their family...that I don’t have to stay here and recover alone.”

“I have read the letter written by Tom Johnson and the letter submitted by Mattie’s physician both supporting this request as well. Although it is highly unusual, as has this entire situation and case been, I am going to agree to the minor, Mathilda Grace Johnson, being placed in the care and custody of Harmon Rabb and Sarah Mackenzie immediately. Are there any contentions to my decree at this time?” The judge paused and Harm, Mac and Mattie held onto each other waiting. “Then it shall be so. Any questions? Mattie?” asked the judge seeing her hand go up.

“Yes, Ma’am. I know that at my age adoption is rarely considered, but to avoid confusion and hassles in a new country, I would like the court to grant a legal change in my name by adding Rabb.”

“Captain Rabb...would you like to respond to Mattie’s request?”

“Thank you Ma’am. Mattie, I would love you to use my name, but are you sure you want to make this change legally? You would be making your name Mathilda Grace Johnson Rabb. That’s a mouthful.”

“Can I drop Johnson?”

“Mattie are you sure you want to do that?”

“Mac, when you and Harm get married, are you keeping Mackenzie or adding Rabb or changing your name to Rabb?” Mattie asked.

“I’ll change my name to Rabb.”

“Then I want to drop Johnson and change my name to Rabb too. Please judge...you can do this right?”

“Yes, I can add that to the decree...if you’re sure.” The judge let her think a minute and waited for her to nod again before making the name change official.

“Congratulations on your new family and new name Mattie and good luck in your recovery.”

 

<End Flashback>

 

Harm felt Mac’s hand slide across his stomach as she wiggled closer still, her leg resting on his. He smiled and returned to his memories.

They had been very happy leaving the courthouse. They had driven to Mattie’s house and packed up her things. The house was not wheelchair accessible, so Harm had carried her inside while Mac brought the chair in. She had supervised the packing of the things she wanted to take with her. Six boxes would be shipped to London, the rest went into the suitcases that would travel with them.

They had returned to Washington, DC later that evening and taken a suite in a hotel not far from the airport. Mattie had been exhausted and went to bed early. The next morning they had flown to San Diego to introduce Mac and Mattie to his mother and stepfather. Harm had decided to surprise his parents and they had shown up unannounced at their La Jolla home on the cliffs over looking the Pacific ocean.

 

<Flashback>

 

“Harm! What a wonderful surprise...and you brought people with you...come in...please.” Harm’s mother had greeted him with a hug and then ushered them into her home.

“Mom...this is Mac...my fiancée...and our ward...Mattie.”

“Mac...I just knew you were the one...now why he’s taken so long to bring you out here to meet us I don’t know. Welcome to our home.”

“Thank you Mrs. Burnett.”

“Please...call me Trish. Mattie...I’m so glad to see you were able to get out of the hospital and make this trip. Are you tired?” Trish looked at the teenager sitting in the wheelchair which Harm had propelled forward.

“A little...but I’m kind of hungry.”

“Good. Frank should be home soon for lunch and then we can all get to know one another better.”

Harm had brought their things in from the car and shown them to the bedrooms while Trish got their lunch ready. Mattie was put in the guest suite that had its own bathroom. It was the one that Harm usually used when he was here. Harm put Mac and his things in the guest house which was next to the pool across the patio.

Introductions were done again when Frank got home as they sat down to eat lunch. Trish and Frank asked about how long they had been engaged and Harm and Mac had taken turns telling them about Harm’s promotion to Captain and the limited time they had to decide what they were going to do. Trish was disappointed to hear that they had come close to moving to San Diego, but she understood how the military worked. She knew how lucky they had been that the fates had smiled on these two finally and that both had been able to keep their careers and be together.

“So when are you going to get married?” Trish had asked.

“We haven’t really had time to decide,” Mac had admitted.

“Are you going to have a big wedding?” Trish had pressed.

“I’d rather not...but if Harm wants to go that route...” Mac had been interrupted by Harm.

“Mac...I want you to have the kind of wedding you have always wanted.” Harm had taken her hand and smiled as he told her he would honor her choice.

“Are you sure?” Mac had asked with a playful gleam in her eye.

“Yes.”

“I’ve always wanted an outdoor wedding with a few special guests...something private but special and beautiful,” Mac told them.

“In that case, I’d like to offer our patio,” Trish told them. “We could pull something together if you’d like before you go to London.”

“It’s up to you Mac...I suggested we take a run to Las Vegas but she didn’t want to do that,” Harm teased.

“Well I should hope not!” Trish responded.

“The coin toss said we should get married in San Diego, Harm, remember?” Mac teased. “He was just teasing me Trish.” Mac assured her future mother-in-law. “Actually this would be perfect. The General gave us only a week until we have to report to London...can we really arrange things that fast?”

“Let’s see...if you were to get married on Wednesday or Thursday you could take off for a couple of days for a honeymoon before you leave for London on Sunday...would that work?” Trish asked.

“We have to leave Saturday night actually to be there in time on Sunday.”“ Harm informed his mother before looking at Mac.

Before either could say what was on their minds, Trish turned to Mattie. “You wouldn’t mind staying here with Frank and me for a few days would you Mattie?” Trish asked.

“No that would be okay.” Mattie agreed with a shy smile. She was old enough to know that Harm and Mac would want some privacy but young and innocent enough to be a little embarrassed by the thought of the kind of intimacy they would share.

“Good...then after lunch, you two can start calling your friends and find out how many can get here for Wednesday evening. Frank, will you call Reverend Marsh and see if he can perform the wedding?” Frank had nodded as Trish continued issuing directions.

“Harm, you call and find out if you need blood tests or not and if you do make arrangements for the two of you to go in the morning. I know they changed the waiting period from three days to 24 hours, so you should go first thing in the morning to get the license. Once we know how many people will make it, I’ll call the caterers. Tomorrow I think we need to go shopping, right Mac?”

“Yes...although I have a white suit I can wear...”

“We’re going shopping. Mattie will need a new dress too.” Trish smiled as she took control and organized the whole event.

The guest list had been short. Bud and Harriet Roberts, Jack Keeter and Tom Boone had all promised to be there to see them get married on the cliffs by the ocean in La Jolla. Bud and Harriet served as their witnesses.

The men wore their dress whites. Harm had not brought them with him and ended up getting a new set from the store at North Island Naval Air Station. He picked up an extra set of Captain’s boards, insignia and cover at the same time along with a new pair of white shoes.

Harriet had worn a navy blue sleeveless cocktail length dress and carried a red rose. Mac had found a classic-cut pearl-white silk dress shot with gold threads that boasted a pearl and beaded bodice above a skirt that fell to mid-calf. The two-inch heeled shoes that came with it had the same bead work and gold threads on the toe of the shoe. In her dark hair rested a halo of pearls and glass beads woven into a gold braid with miniature red roses. She made a breath-taking bride.

Harm had arranged for them to take a short flight via Frank’s company plane to Avalon on Catalina Island for a quick honeymoon that included golf, laying on the beach, and time to be with one another. The Seaport Village Inn had the privacy they desired. It was the perfect setting for romance and fun, something that they had denied themselves for far too long but promised to give each other on their honeymoon.

 

<End Flashback>

 

Today they would be heading back to pick up Mattie before leaving for London, England and their new life together. Harm looked at his bride sleeping in his arms. They had laughed and talked and just took pleasure in being together. Last night they had started talking about Mac’s endometriosis. They had tried a position that hadn’t worked for Mac, and it brought the reality of the situation they faced crashing back to them.

 

<Flashback>

 

“Ow..Harm...please stop...Ow...”

Mac had been relaxed and enjoying Harm’s attentions. He had been reminding her of the time she claimed he was a prude as he proceeded to try a variety of things on her to show her how wrong she had been. He had tried a position with her that would allow for deep penetration, but when he had slid inside her body, slowly and gently, the awkward position had given her the first discomfort during intercourse that she had experienced in months, since before her surgical procedure. Before she could say anything he had pull out and slid in again with a little more force. When Mac had cried out and asked him to stop, he had frozen and then carefully removed himself from her body.

“What is it Mac? Did I hurt you?” his anxiety and concern were barely contained.

“It’s just the position I think...” Mac moved and opened her arms to him. “Try it now...” Mac had pleaded after she had turned on to her back and brought her legs up to wrap around his waist, a position that they had used repeatedly with no problems.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes...please Harm...I want you inside me...please?”

Carefully he had entered her again and this time she had seemed to be pain-free, moving with him; helping him bring them both to another climax. As they had held each other afterwards, Harm had asked Mac to tell him what she knew about her condition from the doctor.

“Dr. Chen said that the tissue that builds up can create blockages and lesions that can sometimes be painful during intercourse. She cleaned up the lesions that were in the lower tract and said that both ovaries and tubes were severely compromised. She said that it is unlikely that I could conceive and I asked why she hadn’t removed the blockages in the upper tract and she said it’s a more involved procedure and didn’t think it would do any good at this point.”

“Did you get a second opinion?” Harm asked.

“Not yet. Harm, are you sure you’re going to want to put up with everything it might require for us to have a baby?”

“I will do what ever it takes until you tell me you no longer want to go through with it. If we get to that point, we’ll talk about adoption and foster care. Until then, we explore every option. Deal?” Harm had asked.

“Deal. I’ll call for a second opinion when we get to London.” Mac had snuggled into his arms and promptly fallen asleep.

 

<End Flashback>

 

Now he was watching her sleep and thinking over the past week. Last night had been a rude reminder that not everything in their world was perfect. His heart had almost stopped when he had realized that what he was doing had caused her pain, yet they had shifted positions and been able to finish what they started. They had talked briefly afterwards, but from the research he had done when she had first told him about her condition, he knew that she would go through a lot if Dr. Chen’s assessment was correct. He felt Mac stir and he turned his attentions back to his wife, kissing her eyes as they fluttered in an attempt to open.

“Hey...mmmmm...I’ll give you about five minutes before I expect a kiss with more substance,” Mac murmured.

“What makes you think I’m going to kiss you with any more substance than this?” Harm teased back.

“Because you always do...you can’t resist...” Mac’s word were cut off when Harm claimed her lips as she had known he would do. She opened her mouth to meet his tongue, loving the way he used it to seek entrance into her mouth before he would embrace hers. While some people would say their tongues dueled, there was nothing combative about theirs. They searched, sought each other out and caressed the other with their tongues as they did their hands.

Harm broke the kiss and lifted his head to look at Mac. “I think we need to talk about a few things before we leave, don’t you?”

“Yes. Like how do we handle the logistics of getting settled into temporary quarters, settling Mattie into a rehabilitation center and both returning to work...you right away. At least I have an extra day before I need to report to General Langley at the Embassy.”

“It will all work itself out...but that wasn’t what I was referring to. I think we need to talk more about what happened last night. I don’t want to try that position again...and I don’t want you to be uncomfortable when we make love. Tell me what else doesn’t feel good...please.”

“Harm, really...that’s the only thing that didn’t feel good. Every thing else...well let’s just say you seem to have the touch when it comes to making me feel...good.”

“Yeah?”

“Oh yeah...so why don’t you start touching and stop talking, Flyboy...” Mac teased.

Harm had obliged with very satisfying results, while Mac was pleased she had distracted him from talking about something she wasn’t prepared to talk about again, until she had more information.

 

May 9
0730 Zulu
Rabb Residence
London, England

 

“Are you sure you don’t mind me leaving you like this?” Harm asked as he slung his bag over his shoulder.

“It’s fine Harm. I’ll work on unpacking the things we need right away and see if I can get some food for the cupboards. Now go...your driver is waiting Captain Rabb.” She kissed him and then brushed the lint from his jacket with the Captain’s stripes on the sleeve. She was proud of Harm. He had overcome a lot to reach this point in his career and she was glad the promotions board had been able to sort through all the chaff in his records and recognize all that he had done for his country. He deserved the promotion and this billet.

One of the perks of this billet was that he would have a car and driver available to him as needed. This was due to the restrictions surrounding military personnel wearing their uniforms in certain public areas and the train station. Harm would need to keep a change of civilian clothes and a clean uniform in his office at all times which was why he had a bag with him this morning.

Climbing into the waiting car, Harm greeted the driver. “Good morning Corporal,” Harm greeted the Marine driver that would be at his disposal.

“Morning Captain,” greeted Corporal Ruiz. “Petty Officer Under said that someone is waiting for you already this morning.”

“Did he say who or what the nature of their business is?” Harm checked.

“No sir.”

“Well let’s go see what they want, Corporal.”

“Right away sir.”

The corporal let Harm out and pointed him in the right direction. Harm paused looking at the one story building in front of him. He took a breath, pulled himself to his full height, and headed into his new world.

Harm was surprised to see a familiar face waiting for him when he entered the building at 7 North Audley Way as he reported to his new duty station with the intention of meeting his staff.

“Gunny! At ease,” he returned the salute and smiled as Gunny came to attention and saluted him. “It’s good to see you.”

“You too...Captain. I must admit I was a little surprised when I got my orders.”

Harm extended his hand to shake with the Gunnery Sergeant whose talents had been wasted at JAG Headquarters in Washington, DC. He introduced himself and Gunny to the petty officer that was also waiting for him, his temporary yeoman, Petty Officer Danny Unger. They talked as they followed Petty Officer Unger to Harm’s office.

“Are you okay with this Gunny?” Harm asked wanting to have a situation where the people working for him wanted to be there.

“Yes sir. I respect you and know that we can work well together. I hear you and the Colonel have finally figured it out...Congratulations.”

“News travels fast...but thank you. Mac and I arrived yesterday with our teenage ward, Mattie. She starts tomorrow with a reserve billet to Judiciary and as the Embassy legal consultant. I know she’ll be happy to see you.”

“Yes sir.”

“Have you settled in to your quarters yet?” Harm asked.

“Not yet. Wanted to check in here...get the lay of the land if possible.”

“The others will be reporting in this week. I don’t think you’ve met any of them - at least not at JAG. Excuse me, Gunny,” he said turning to his yeomen. “Thank you Petty Officer. I’d like to explore a little on my own and then I’ll call you when I’m ready.”

“Aye-aye, sir.” Unger left closing the door behind him.

“Unger will be leaving after he trains my new yeoman, Petty Officer Jennifer Coates. She was the General’s Petty Officer after Tiner left to go to law school.”

“General? What happened to Admiral Chegwidden?” Gunny asked.

“Retired last year. General Gordon Creswell was promoted and given the billet. He’s an okay guy, although he loves to keep you guessing. Gets his kicks that way I guess. The admiral use to do that once in a while too.”

“A Marine...how did he handle all you squids, sir?” teased the Gunny.

“Mac claims I gave him pause and forced him to reevaluate his opinions on ‘squids’ and then Lt. Commander Bud Roberts did the same.”

“I spoke with Commander Roberts the other day. He’s the one that told me about you and the Colonel. He said one of you was leaving the military.”

“We couldn’t see any other way for things to work and allow us to be together. We flipped a coin and it landed tails...but Mac pulled a fast one on me...said that was only for where we were getting married. She announced that she would resign. The General informed us that the SecNav probably would not accept her resignation and so she should plan on a reserve billet of some kind. SecNav pulled through though and found the perfect solution.”

“Excellent sir. Who’s going to be your XO?”

“Well I had tried to convince Bud to come over, but he and Harriet felt they needed to stay stateside. I’ve asked Commander Meg Austin to be my assistant. I worked with her at JAG before I met Mac. I’m hoping she’ll get here today or tomorrow. Look Gunny, why don’t you take today to get settled and report back here at 0800 tomorrow. Unger can show you your office and give you a tour of this place. They’ve provided us with closet space in each office as well as a locker room so we don’t have to travel in uniform. I’ll be keeping uniform and civilian clothes here just in case. After your tour tomorrow, come back here and I’ll explain what I see your role being here.”

“Very well...I’ll see you then sir.”

Harm read information his predecessor had left before familiarized himself with the building and the existing staff. When he had finished making his rounds, he returned to his office to read through some files waiting to be distributed.

 

Same Time
Rabb Residence
London, England

 

“Hey Mattie...how you doing this morning?” Mac asked when Mattie answered the phone.

“I think I have jet lag. I just want to sleep.” Mattie mumbled.

“Did you sleep okay last night?”

“Yes. What’s your place like?” Mattie asked.

“It’s temporary quarters Mattie...very temporary...Upstairs...no elevator. I already called housing and they are looking for something else for us. In the meantime, I think Harm wants to start looking for something to buy...that we can make ours.”

“Guess I can’t come visit for now can I.”

“We’ll come see you every day...sometimes twice. I’ll be by around lunch time. What would you like me to bring?”

“I don’t care...”

“I’ll surprise you.”

“Okay...see you later Mac.”

“Later, Mattie.” Mac hung up the phone and then called the medical center again.

“This is Lt. Colonel Sarah Rabb, USMC. I would like to get an appointment as soon as possible with a gynecologist...female if possible.”

“I’m sorry Ma’am...the only doctors we currently have available are male. Dr. Wright can see you this afternoon around 1:30, however.”

“That would be wonderful...I was diagnosed with endometriosis and I want his opinion on whether he thinks there is any chance that I can still have children.”

“I’ll make a note of it. Do you have your records with you?”

“Yes, but I believe if you access military medical records you’ll find them under Lt. Colonel Sarah Mackenzie...I was just married last week. My married name is Rabb.”

“Congratulations...we’ll see you at 1330 Zulu then.”

Mac had unpacked enough in the kitchen and in the bedroom and bathroom to get by. She had gone to the market on the corner and purchased fresh fruits and vegetables, some basic items, like milk, coffee, flour, pasta, butter, bread, cheese, eggs, salad dressings and chocolate. She returned to their residence, with her groceries and made up a salad to take to Mattie along with some chocolate. She arrived just as the nurse was removing covers from a very bland unappetizing plate of food. Mattie’s nose was wrinkled up until she saw Mac holding up lunch bags.

“Fresh salad?” Mac asked and was greeted with a sparkling smile from Mattie.

Over lunch they chatted like two people learning to be friends.

“Harm’s really big into family isn’t he?” Mattie asked.

“Yes...but isn’t having a family something important to all three of us Mattie?”

“Yeah...I guess you’re right. Think we can pull it off?”

“You know, I have this concern that in some ways we are all so much alike that we’re going to struggle to open up to each other...we all think we have to be strong and forget sometimes it’s okay to lean on someone else.” Mac gently told Mattie.

“I know...but Harm says that he wants to set a good example for me and that it pushes him to think about what he does or doesn’t do and how he says things. Maybe that’s all we need to keep us going,” Mattie suggested with a smile.

“Sometimes he surprises me with how wise he is.” Mac smiled at Mattie, suddenly feeling the beginnings of a real bond developing between them.

 

1330 Zulu
Dr. Wright’s Office
Military Medical Facility
London, England

 

“Colonel Rabb?” asked the sandy-haired, freckle-faced doctor that entered the examination room where Mac waited dressed in nothing but a hospital gown.

“Yes...you are Dr. Wright?”

“Yes Ma’am...and I’m older than I look as my 19 years in the military before I reserved would attest to.” The youthful-appearing doctor smiled trying to put Mac at ease.

“My apologies, doctor.” Mac smiled sheepishly for making assumptions.

“None needed. I’ve looked over your records from Dr. Chen. I’m familiar with her. I understand you want a second opinion?”

“Yes sir.”

“Well, I’ve seen the pictures that are in your file from a year ago when you had the laparoscopy. Based on those before and after pictures, I’m concerned that no attempt was made at that time to treat your ovaries or fallopian tubes. Are you having any pain or discomfort now at any time?”

“None until this past weekend...my husband and I tried a different position and I had pain - the first time since the procedures I’ve already undergone.”

“Has the discomfort or pain continued?” asked Dr. Wright as he made notes.

“No.”

“As I’m sure you may already know, the more well-endowed your husband is, the more likely you would have discomfort during intercourse. The fact that it only happens in certain positions could be a positive sign that it is controlled. I’m going to use an ultrasound to look at your ovaries and tubes. It should tell me enough to make a decision on our course of action.”

Mac relaxed on the table while the doctor used the cold gel on her lower stomach and took pictures of her reproductive organs. He showed her on the monitor the areas that were effected. Her left tube was blocked at the opening but not fully compromised as he had first read in the report. Her ovary on that side, was actually ovulating as they watched. Mac was fascinated at what she saw but didn’t process what it all meant as they watched.

On the right side, the tube was more fully involved as was the ovary. Her uterus showed only one area where the endometriosis was present. Its location explained why the position they had tried was uncomfortable.

After an internal exam as well that was somewhat uncomfortable, the doctor instructed Mac to get dressed and promised to be back with a plan of action within 15 minutes.

Mac was dressed and eagerly waiting for his return when he knocked and waited for her permission to enter.

“I think I have the news you want to hear Colonel...”

“I can get pregnant?” Mac interrupted him to ask.

“With another procedure I would say your chances will improve from Dr. Chen’s five percent estimate to close to a 50% chance. How does that sound?”

“Fantastic! What needs to be done and when?”

“You will need to be hospitalized for two or three days. We’ll go in and clean out the fallopian tubes. While not life-threatening...we can do it with an epidural if you insist...you will have some discomfort afterwards and we want to make sure you don’t show signs of infection and are healing before we let you go home. You would be out of work about a week. Is this something you want to go ahead with?”

“Yes!”

“Nurse Morse...could you check my surgical schedule and see when we can fit Mrs. Rabb in?”

“Yes sir...Sir?”

“Yes Nurse?”

“You have a cancellation for Friday.”

“Colonel?”

“Friday will be fine.” Mac took the instruction sheet the doctor gave her and left the medical facility feeling like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. The miracle of birth was still a possibility after all. She decided to head home to wait for Harm and to tell him the good news.

 

 

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