5,000 words, 15 pages (8 ½” x 11”)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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!
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.
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.
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.
"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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Sorry I know that it's been a whole month.
Hope you're okay.
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.
Yes, I'm fine.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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?
She hit send and looked up over her computer.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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
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.
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
Where else does it ache Sarah?
I will need to know if you want me to fix it?
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.
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
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
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
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
"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
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."