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Classification Romance (H/M)
Length Approx 5,000 words, 15 pages (8 ½” x 11”)
Spoilers Through season five
Rating GS
Author's Notes This little piece of scribble is set in that period between Goodbyes, King of the Greenie Board and Rules of Engagement. What happened at the start of season five doesn't really fit into this scenario. In my little world, Harm and Mac kept in touch.

 



The emails began three weeks after Harm left his world in Falls Church and started a new one out in the wide expanse of the ocean. He had promised he would keep in touch, and true to his word, he did. But it had taken three whole weeks thought Mac. She hoped he might have contacted her after when he arrived out at the Patrick Henry. So she kept herself busy with work. Once in a while she found herself gazing off into space, only to be brought back to reality by the likes of Bud asking her if she was okay.

Of course she was okay.

She had contemplated sending him a message, but resisted the temptation. He was the one making all the promises, she would wait.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hey Mac

Made it here safely. Well I guess if I hadn't, JAG would have heard about it by now.
"Geriatric pilot dies thinking he can fly again!" How would that be for a headline?
Yeah I know. you're thinking... what does he think he knows???)

I *know* what you're thinking about that remark! So, how's the world with you Mac? Miss me yet? <g>

Like a hole in the head I bet.

Anyway, got to go.

Harmon Rabb Jr.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac scoffed. 'Harmon Rabb Jr.' Who did he think he was? They were friends, and he was sounding so pompous and proper. The rest of the message seemed fine. And he was being his typical self, joking about knowing her thoughts! Even though he was thousands of miles away, he still knew her well. And as for his comment! How could he *think* like that? He wasn't going to die. Who would she argue with if he wasn't around? Nope, that option was out of the question.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hello Harmon Rabb Jr. <g>

I didn't say anything about your remark. Honestly!

So having fun there Flyboy? Bet you are. Back here? Well we're busy, as we always are. Mic is gradually getting the hang of it. Bud is just the same, although I don't know, he seems a bit more... I'm not sure. Something.

The Admiral, well I think he misses ordering you around. I was in the bullpen the other day when he bellowed for Tiner to "tell MacKenzie and Rabb I want them in my office 10 minutes ago." unquote. When he realized what he had said, he buzzed Tiner and instructed him to get Mic.

I have a heap of work to do here. I better get to it or the Admiral will be breathing down my neck.

Take care.

Mac

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

A week passed before Mac received a reply from Harm. Almost to the hour she mused. She had just arrived back to her office after conducting interviews for one of her current cases. She still had to construct a report for the Admiral, but she decided there was at least time to read Harm's latest effort.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hey Marine...

Glad to hear that you are so busy. Kicking Mic's six I hope. Don't let him get the better of you. Damn egomaniac that he is.

I got an email from Bud. He seems fine. But I guess it could be hard to tell from this distance. You're keeping an eye on him right?

I haven't much time this week, so this is short. I've got a new nickname... 'Pappy' Guess it fits considering.

Got to go.

Harm

(is that less formal for you?)

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac choked back the laughter as she composed her reply. Harm really had a problem with Mic Brumby. Secretly she knew who would have come off second best if Harm had stayed around. Mic would be happy that he no longer had to compete with Harm. But there was no way in the world he would replace her old partner. And as for keeping an eye on Bud? Well Harriet knew there was something up with him, and she planned to find out exactly what. She promised Mac she would let her know when she found out. Harm sounded like he was having a great time. She wondered if he missed his old life? She didn't want to pose the question. She wasn't sure if she wanted to hear the answer.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hi there *Pappy*.

Oh I wish I could have been there when they bestowed that one on you! You poor old thing. Makes you sound like someone's grandfather!

I know it must be hectic out there. If a weekly email routine is taking up too much time then I will understand.

I hope you're sitting down. I did something today and I think you'll be proud of me.
I had salad for lunch today.

Not a dead cow in sight!

What have you done??

I missed you being here to argue the benefits of my lunch. Oh well... back to burgers tomorrow <g>.

Don't go over doing it Pappy!

Mac.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

She hit send and watched the message disappear from her screen. Leaning back in her chair she wondered just how long they would keep up this communication? They had been good friends, but he was so far away now. The thought of their correspondence one day being reduced to birthday and Christmas cards, and then to only Christmas cards before nothing at all. How depressing she thought. "Come on Marine!" she told herself out loud. Harm was a stronger friend than that. She would not let his new endeavors put a barrier between them. Time to go home. Mac logged out and switched her computer off.

Again, another week went by before Harm replied. Mac had been in the archives for most of the day researching precedents. A task she would usually let someone else handle, but Mac had a feeling this particular case could benefit with some closer attention.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hello Healthy Mac!

I am totally impressed the many years of hassling you over your eating habits are starting to pay off. Mind you, I am less than impressed you chose to wait until I was thousands of miles away before doing it. You're a rebel Sarah. No doubt about that.

And the weekly email routine is no hassle at all.

Saw the most magnificent sunrise this morning out on recon. For some reason it made me think of you and wish you could have been there to see it. Of course, getting a marine into a tomcat is not something I can envisage. But hey, you would have loved it. Sunsets are over-rated. <g> All the soppy stuff in those trashy books Harriet reads - forget it. Why watch a sunset at the end of something when you can see the beginning of the day with so much glory. Beginnings are so much better than endings.

Have to go now.

Harm.

Ps. Please do *not* call me Pappy! It's bad enough out here. I don't want to hear it from you until I am a grandfather. I will be one day - right? Our deal's still on or have you changed your mind?

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac sighed. A faint smile danced across her lips.

Their deal.

Five years had seemed like such a long time away when she had agreed. It still was. She doubted that she really had to worry about it, as the chances of Harmon Rabb junior still free and single at that point in time seemed highly unlikely.

She wondered why she didn't entertain the thought that *she* might be the one in a relationship in five years, rather than it being him?

She smiled at the thought of him being a grandfather and then almost simultaneously shuddered at the vision of herself as a grandmother! Oh file *that* one away in a folder marked 'not to be opened unless in an emergency!' she told herself.

The intercom buzzed bringing her firmly back to reality. She reached over and pressed a button.

"Yes?"

"Colonel Mackenzie... the Admiral requests your presence in his office."

"Thank you. Please inform the Admiral I will be there right away."

Mac closed down her email program. She would just have to reply to Harm later.
Duty called.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac strolled into the office bright and early the next morning. Admiral Chegwidden had given her yet another case to work on. She didn't know how she was going to find time to do all the research on this one. She had so many cases in various stages as it was. Mac was uncertain whether she felt inundated with work because they were particularly busy at the moment, or if Mic wasn't able to handle the workload Harm dealt with? Either way, she seemed to be picking up the slack for everyone else.
She knew that most of her day would be spent pouring over interviews and witness statements, and this would be her only chance to reply to the previous day's email from Harm.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hey Flyboy.

Your sunrise sounded so beautiful that I made the extra effort to see one this morning. Just for you. You know me, I'm always up at that time, but I guess I just never bothered to notice. Well it was a good intention, pity the cloud cover ruined it. Maybe one day I'll let you show me one?

I thought I might *try* and eat a 'Harmon Rabb Jr. healthy lunch' at least once a week. I won't promise anything. One wagon to stay on might be enough for me without balancing two. <g>

Had dinner with Bud and Harriet and our godson last night. I am getting Bud to scan some photo's of little AJ to send to you. He is growing so fast. Before we know it he will be off to school and not have time for us.

I spoke to Harriet about Bud. We both decided that he is feeling a bit lost without you around. I guess you have a big influence on him. I think if you get time this week a nice long email would do him the world of good. He misses you. We all do I guess. But we are happy that you are happy.

Mic is infuriating me at work. I'd kill him if I knew I wouldn't end up in the Brig. Especially when my favorite legal counsel is off chasing sunrises. You're not around to raise bail.

Anyway I have an Article 32 hearing to prepare for tomorrow. Don't worry, no one you know!

I promise I won't call you Pappy if you really truly don't want me to. <g>

And have you forgotten I'm a Marine... we don't back out of a deal!

Are *you* having second thoughts? You've still got plenty of time to change your mind.
Keep chasing those sunrises Harm.

Sarah.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac felt her destiny was to be chained to her desk.

The Article 32 hearing went smoothly, followed by several cases of disorderly conduct, one unfortunate marine who had attacked his CO whilst sleep walking. A case of one officer, who had decided the ideal way to get a female co-workers attention was to harass her. It never ceased to amaze Mac the lack of active brain cells that some of the people she prosecuted or defended possessed. But the continual flow of way wards kept her mind off the fact that Harm hadn't returned her last message.

She reminded herself of the old cliché "...no news is good news..." but it didn't stop her from being concerned.

When a message *did* arrive, it left her even more frustrated.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hi Mac.

Sorry I know that it's been a whole month.

Hope you're okay.

Harm.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac read his message over and over again. No answer to whether he had changed his mind about their deal. Two lines - 15 words, well really only 12 words if she didn't include the opening and closing. Is this all it was going to be? Had their friendship disintegrated to 12 words?

Two could play this game. See how *he* liked it.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hi Harm

Yes, I'm fine.

You?

Mac

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

It had been weeks since she had sent her brief response to his equally brief message. Who was teaching whom a lesson?

She was missing him. Mac now wished she had sent him one of her usually chatty messages full of news from Falls Church and his friends. She was feeling guilty that she hadn't thought about the fact that his new life was so hectic that he didn't have time for a longer email. But he had at least bothered to think of her and send *some* sort of message to check that she was okay and obviously let her know that he was. How could she have been so thoughtless?

Mac had almost given up on hearing from Harm when his message finally arrived. She had been clearing her desk to go home.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Dearest Sarah

Sorry it's taken so long to reply properly to your last message. Life kicked in here in a big way. Can't tell you the details obviously, but yeah.

Things are sort of back to normal.

How has Bud been? I took your advice and sent him a decent message.

I received the photo's of AJ. You're so right, I can't believe he has grown so much. I hate the fact that I have missed watching that. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing coming back to this.

Better go. Glad to hear our deal is still on.

Harm.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

She exhaled deeply. Had she been holding her breath all this time? It felt like she had. She shrugged her shoulders a few times and rolled her neck, closing her eyes in the process. She could see his face in her mind. She had been feeling so wound up, now everything seemed fine again.

Reply time.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hello Harm.

That's okay, about the delay in replying I mean. I figured I would have heard if there was any problem right? Of course. It was only 5 weeks, 3 days longer than usual. Not that I was counting of course!

You're sounding a bit downhearted there Commander? How are you holding up? Sounds like you must be due for some R & R??

If you're thinking about giving the Flyboy lifestyle away, I am sure I can find you a job here counting paperclips? Sound like a challenge for you?

I have to go. Mic is standing at my door waiting to discuss yet another case. Ha! He thinks I will give in and plea bargain with him! He has no idea at all does he?

Look after yourself, okay?

As always,

Sarah.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

She hit send and looked up over her computer.

"Okay Mic..."

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac wandered back to her desk after a hectic day in court. She had won. Mic *still* hadn't realized exactly what he was up against. A fact that amused her greatly.

She opened her computer files and checked her email. Three messages it said. Her heart skipped a beat for a second as she downloaded them. Realistically it had only been a couple of days since Harm had sent her his message. He might not have read her reply by this stage. As she expected, none of them were from her Flyboy. She sighed, 'her' Flyboy. Well technically he was. No one else called him Flyboy. She smiled to herself at the memory of his broad cheery smile, but then frowned. He seemed a bit flat in his last email. She hoped everything was going okay for him. She missed that cheeky smile, their banter, a good argument...
 
Cases, files and more files. Mac sat at her desk slowly drowning in the paperwork around her.

She looked at her inbox. His last missive was still there. She put the cursor arrow on it, clicked and dragged it to the special folder she had set up for all his correspondence.

She rubbed her eyes wearily and put her head down on her arms, resting on the desk.
It had been a long day.

Mac didn't know what woke her. She stretched and tapped her keyboard to erase the screensaver. She noted the clock and cursed softly to herself. She had been asleep for two hours, seventeen minutes. She was glad it was late and no one else was around to see her there. Right beside the clock she noted the familiar red flag waving at her.
She scooted the mouse around to find the cursor.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hey Sarah.

Surprise! Bet you didn't expect to hear from me so soon? Well you were right. R & R well and truly due, so I can spend a bit more time on here.

Sorry if I sounded a bit down last time. I guess I'm not as young as I thought I was. I knew it would be hard to go back to flying, but I never thought it would be this hard.

Counting paperclips? Sounds good as long as it means I can see your face on a regular basis.

Do you miss me Sarah?

Sorry, I don't know why I ask.

Mic is totally clueless! At least I know who you are Sarah...

Harm.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac chuckled at the 'clueless' comment. Harm had never thought much of Mic. And he was right. No one knew her as well as Harm did. Sometimes she wondered if he knew her better than she knew herself?

She looked at the time of the message. It had only just been received. Mac wondered if he was still online? Perhaps it had been the merry little tune that notified her of new emails that had woken her?

Quickly she hit reply to sender and typed away.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Harm

You still here?

I'm sure I could find you something more than counting paperclips. How about pens as well?

I miss you Harm. More than you could ever know.

I don't mind you asking. You're just so far away. Maybe we can organize something for your next shore leave?

I am still here for a little while.

Sarah

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

After Mac had hit send, she realized what she had said to him.

In one sentence she had opened herself up for the fall. She was now risking her heart for rejection. And if he rejected her? Oh no... what had she done? If he rejected her she realized she had nothing. The memories and well-hidden fantasies of her Flyboy had been keeping her going since he left. Would they now vanish into oblivion?

She moved the cursor arrow to her email properties and set her email notification from ten down to one minute.

She sighed. He might have sent the message and then gone.

Mac started packing up the files on her desk. So much work to do. Some of the files had been finished with and she created a neat stack to be returned to the archives in the morning.

Then her computer sang its little tune. In chimes, not lyrics '...Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high...' She didn't need the words, she knew them by heart. Not exactly standard military, but it was a special song for her. The Wizard of OZ had been her favorite film as a child. The thought of being transported away from everything bad had appealed to her.

She fought back the nervousness of what the message might say. Surely it couldn't be from anyone else at this time of night other than Harm? Please let it be him she told herself.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hey how's my Marine?

What are you doing there still? Working late are you?

You are missing me? Well I miss you too Sarah. And I think I understand how much. The thought of spending some shore leave with you sounds prefect. What did you have in mind? I guess that all depends on where shore leave is? Do you think you will be able to wrangle some time off? What do you want to do?

Sorry too many questions perhaps?

I have some ideas, but I think a little self-control could be a good thing at this point in time. So you tell me...

Harm.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mac smiled mischievously. If only he knew *exactly* what she wanted to do. It was the substance of her longings lying in bed at night, when sleep escaped her.

She liked to tease him. What the hell. It would make the wait until she finally saw him all the more fun or frustrating depending on exactly how far she let this one go.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Harm...

What I would like to do? Well this is going to sound bizarre but I really miss the idea of just grabbing some takeaway and curling up on a nice soft sofa with you to watch a movie. Something old and romantic yet gutsy. Say Hepburn and Tracy in 'Desk Set'. They had such chemistry when they worked together. Chemistry is always good. Do you know that film? You could follow it up with one of your famous foot massages. My poor feet ache these days. One day I will find comfortable shoes. After that, well I guess if you find any other aches in my body you could fix them too. <g>

What do you think about that?

Your Ninja Girl!

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Sarah laughed cheekily at the message as it disappeared from her screen after hitting the send button. 'Let's see how you handle *that* one Flyboy,' she said out loud to herself.

She had barely had the chance to straighten anything more on her desk when her computer chimed again.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Ninja Girl...

You've got aches you want me to fix?

I know I can fix the sore toes and rub away all the aches and pains from your shoulders.
Where else does it ache Sarah?

I will need to know if you want me to fix it?

Flyboy!

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

She felt her face flush as she read his note. Touché she thought. Now she was painted into a corner. How did this very polite conversation deteriorate into something that was going to resemble cybersex if she continued to tell him what she really wanted?

Are you game Marine she asked herself? Of course, that was the whole point! She was Major Sarah Mackenzie, US Marine; she could handle anything a damn Flyboy could throw at her.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Harm.

I have several aches, but are you ready to handle them?

One in particular I can envisage could require soft lights - candles even. Some slow haunting tune. These however would be optional extras. I stress optional. All it really requires is a secluded surrounding, you, me and not much else.

I can't believe I am telling you this. Please tell me I'm not being foolish?

Sarah.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

There she thought. It was done. She had opened up completely. Mac reassured herself that it was okay. He said he had missed her. But suppressed insecurities started to seep into her mind. He didn't appear to be clowning around with her. Harm could joke around, but he seemed serious.

Oh please don't let this be a joke she told herself.

She grabbed a computer disk from her drawer and downloaded his messages to it before deleting them off her computer. The last thing she needed was anyone stumbling over these!

Mac pushed the keyboard forward and rested her chin on her arms crossed on the desk in front of her and looked up at the screen. Now she just had to wait until he felt like replying.

She watched the email notification spin. Five times it spun, each time announcing no new messages.

She sighed. His other messages had returned so quickly. Maybe she'd really blown it this time?

'Why did I have to be so damn foolish!' she chided herself out loud.

"You're not foolish Sarah."

Mac nearly jumped out of her skin. She sat back in her chair.

"What the... how the..." words stumbling out of her mouth as the tall and handsome Commander walked around to her side.

She was confused.

He was confusing her.

She could have hit him!

Harm read her expression as only someone so close to her could. He could see that look in her eyes.

"Just let me hold you before you hit me," Harm smiled as he spun her chair around.

She stood and without trepidation, threw her arms around his shoulders. He wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her as if he would die if he released her.

"But you were..." she started.

"No I was here the whole time," he replied.

She pulled back slightly from the embrace to look at his face. She slapped the palm of her hand into his chest. "I should kill you!" she laughed nervously.

"Can't do that. Kill me and there's no one to bail you out of the Brig," he replied sheepishly.

"How did you...?"

"I came in," he replied as he let go to tucking the hair that fell around her cheeks, back behind her ears. He brushed her face with his hand and once again encircled her in his arms. "You were asleep at your desk. So I wandered out and found Bud's computer. He told me his password once, just in case he forgot it. So I switched it on, changed the properties so the emails were coming from me."

"You could have told me you were here sooner. You let me say... all those things. And then when I had, there was no reply. I thought I had made a total jackass of myself," she blushed.

"Sweet Sarah... you couldn't do that. Never. I had to delete a few 'interesting' messages, change his preferences back and shut it down before I came in here," he replied softly. "I was just as nervous in Bud's office. What if you'd said you didn't miss me? If I'd come all this way and... I took a risk here tonight too," he replied.

"But I said..." she started.

Harm looked down at her. "If you didn't mean any of it Sarah, tell me now because..."

She smiled softly and put her hand up to his face, stroking his cheek gently and placing a finger over his lips.

"I meant every word of it Flyboy."

"Can I take you home Sarah?" he asked hopefully.

"I'm in your arms... I *am* home."

 

The End
 

 

 
 
   

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