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Classification Romance (H/M), AU
Length Approximately 5,000 words, 12 pages in MSWord (8.5 x 11")
Spoilers None
Rating Rating: GS

 

 

Part One

 

It’s funny, in a strange, sad sort of way. I still wait daily, for her to come to me, to come home and tell me she’s found the one. The man who will now fulfill all her dreams, who will bring the romance and fantasy, she so rightly desires, into her life.

I guess I was wrong. It’s been five years. We’ve been married for five years. We have two beautiful children. She just told me, last night, there is going to be a third. But I was wrong to do this to her. To deprive her of the possibility of an exciting life with a man she could love with all her heart. It was so selfish. God, I love her so much.

I thought friendship would be enough, it seemed all she wanted from me. And, as with me, the search for more had become a burden. Not that I wanted more. She was the answer to all my dreams. I knew it all along, but by the time I admitted it to myself, she didn’t want to hear it anymore. Maybe she never did want to hear it.

She agreed though, to a relationship based on our overwhelming friendship, a friendship that had seen us though tough personal times, and darkest physical perils. A friendship that had effectively killed any other relationship either of us had ever attempted. And so we agreed.

It happened late one Friday. As was our practice for a while, we ordered takeout, worked on some cases, to prepare for Monday, and relaxed on the couch to watch a movie. It must not have interested either of us very much. I found myself coming slowly awake about 02:00 to discover we were stretched out on the couch together. She was nestled against me. It felt so good, so perfect. I wouldn’t have disturbed her, even though I wanted her so. I had been telling myself I had no right to her body, if I couldn’t have her soul, but the argument was wavering badly.

When she rolled closer, tangled her leg around mine in a way that brought my thigh in close contact with……well in close contact, a shot of something tore through me, that I fought desperately to control. Her breasts pressed against me, as her head moved to just the right angle. I just couldn’t stop myself; I kissed her. Gently, but I just had to kiss her.

I expected to land on my butt on the floor, but it would be worth it. I guess I felt I could plead being half-asleep. I was enormously surprised when she not only kissed me back, but also increased the power level. Then she pulled back, for a moment, and whispered my name. No one else’s. Mine. And moved for another kiss. After that, neither of us stopped, neither hesitated, neither looked back.

I gave her everything that night, and every night after. Maybe I couldn’t say the word, but I could try to show her. Every kiss, and every caress, was an expression of how I loved her. Sometimes, in her response, I could pretend I felt my love returned. I know it was a fantasy; a game of my mind, but it sustained me.

We talked later, but we never mentioned the ‘L’ word. It was all logic and warm friendship. What better basis for a relationship, we told ourselves, ingenuously. We felt good with the conviction of our beliefs, but how much better it could have been, if that one other element had been allowed.

There were times I wanted to say the word, but I couldn’t risk losing her. Times I caught a strange look from her, and moved a distraction in her path, for fear she would say it wasn’t working for her.

We married shortly after that first night, and in time, Lizzie came along; still I waited for those awful words. That moment, when she would tell me she was leaving.

When Lizzie was two, Tommy blessed us with his presence. She’s almost four now and very precocious, he’s almost two and about as big a handful as two can ever be.

Now there will be a third. I wonder daily how long my heaven, my happiness, my family, will last. When will she tell me; when will she leave me, because for her, it’s never been enough.



Part Two

 

I told him about the new baby last night. I thought, at least, that would make him happy. I think it did, momentarily. But as with everything, there seemed to be a shadow. I know he wanted children, but I sometimes wonder if I have been unfair.

The deal was for one child, this will be three. I need them though. If I’m to be alone, I at least want that from him. I will have his children, and I will always have some part of him. They are wonderful children, and I will try to give them all the happiness the world has to offer.

I wonder, if I’m being selfish in this, as well. I know one day he will come and tell me that friendship isn’t enough, that he wants excitement and romance. Some playful blonde will catch his eye and capture his imagination, and the hunt will be on. But until then, I will spend each day absorbing the wonder of being part of his life, and giving life to his children. It’s what I live for.

I know I was selfish, when I accepted his offer, of a life together based on friendship. I had always hoped for so much more. Almost from the day I laid eyes on him, I wanted him for my own.

Oh I know, I pushed him away, I ran from him; he scared me to death with the depth of my feelings for him. I couldn’t let him see. I couldn’t let him think I was just another of the women who fell all over themselves, to have a glance or a smile from him. Another of his groupies. Besides what chance did I have? I wasn’t slender and blonde, and I wasn’t going to get it from a bottle, blonde hair just wasn’t me.

But when he suggested, in the heat of that very spontaneous moment, that perhaps our friendship could sustain us for the future, I leaped at the offer. After all, we had a virtually unbreakable bond that had lasted through the natural disaster that constituted both our lives. The fact that I loved him beyond all reason was enough for me. I could do this. I guess at the time, I didn’t stop to think whether he could.

When we’ve made love he’s always been so sweet, yet passionate. So gentle, yet strong. He makes it seem, for a little while, as if he really loves me, and I get lost in the feelings. I can show him how I feel, even if I’m never allowed to say the word.

I don’t know what I’ll do when he leaves. My life will end, and yet it can’t end, because I will have the children. So, I awake each morning and pray he will stay just one more day. I go to sleep each night and thank God that he is still with me. I’m not certain how much longer I can live with the uncertainty. Sometimes I think I’ll just end it, just get it over with, but I know I can never leave him. And as a result, I stay, and I pray.



Part Three

Six months later

 

I’m sitting in his Lexus, waiting for him. At eight and a half months pregnant, it’s more comfortable than my Corvette, and he insists I drive it, because it’s safer. It’s about to rain, but I’m not shivering from the cold. He left a note with my yeoman this afternoon, while I was in court.

S

Meet me at the west entrance to Little River Park at 17:00.

H

That’s all it said. Little River Park is halfway home. I got out of court at 16:30, and I just barely had time to get here. I know this is it. It’s 17:10; he can’t even be on time for this.

I think I knew two weeks ago. We were shopping, for the baby, at the mall. I looked up from wiping Tommy’s nose, to find him staring at a group of sub 20 something girls. Not surprising, just a bit disappointing, I always assumed he was, at least, a little more mature. Never had him pegged as the mid-life crisis type.

God, they were a sight, their hair was longer than their skirts, their flat stomachs peeked from under short knit tops, and their legs went all the way to their chins.

I tossed a caustic comment his way, about taking the children home, so he could finish his shopping. He blushed furiously and stammered something inane about never allowing Lizzie to dress that way. Didn’t really seem like a pressing problem since she’s only a little more than four. But at that point, I figured it was only a matter of time.

And now, I’m waiting by a closed park entrance, to hear him utter those fateful words. Maybe its better this way, it won’t be in front of the children.

He just pulled up, and he’s walking toward me, slowly, reluctantly, almost. I open the door and start to get out, but he stops me, with his hand on my arm.

“Stay inside, it’s starting to rain, you’ll get cold.” I see, almost fear, in his eyes, but at least he looks concerned for me. “I’m sorry Sarah, I had to go home to pack, and say goodbye to the children. I wanted to see you, but there wasn’t time to get back to your office. Please forgive me, I’ll make it up to you somehow, but I have to go.”

The pain is physical, and I know I cry out. It couldn’t hurt more if I’d been kicked in the stomach.



Part Four

 

I knew she’d be upset; but I haven’t even explained, and she’s already crying. I’ve never seen a look on her face like that. She’s been acting oddly for several weeks now.

Her doctor said this pregnancy is harder on her than the others. He’s as puzzled as I am, because she’s in good health. She won’t allow me to comfort her. She’s always loved to be held and cuddled, but now I’m lucky to even get an impersonal goodbye kiss.

I’m beginning to wonder if now will be the time. If I’ll come back and find her gone. But I have to go; I have orders

“Sarah please, listen to me. I don’t want to go, honestly, but I have to. It’s only for one night and one day. I’ll be back by Sunday.” I try desperately to explain.

“Sunday?” she looks at me as if I’m speaking a foreign language.

“Look Sarah, I know I said I would try to put the flights on hold until you delivered, but please understand, please. They had a flu outbreak at Pax River, and there’s no one else. They had to call up everyone they could find; they’re flying double backs, and its just too dangerous. The CAP flights have to be flown.”

“CAP flight?” Now she’s starting to sob. God please, I have to go, and I can’t leave her like this. Please help me out here. Maybe I can call Harriet or Meredith.

“Of course, a CAP flight, where else have I gone in the last two years? You know I don’t do field investigations any more. Sarah I don’t understand.” I’m puzzled by her response and it’s making me crazy. I expected her to be angry, but not hysterical.

“You’re flying a CAP flight?” She repeats. The sobbing has stopped, but she’s hiccupping

“Yes, but only two. By Sunday, the regular crew should be rotating back. Sarah, I know we were going out for our last dinner, before your delivery, but could we postpone it until Sunday? I’ll be back in plenty of time. Sarah, I need to know you are going to be OK. I have to be there by 20:00 for preflight.” I’m pleading for just the hint of sanity here.

She nods, and dries her eyes. It’s one of her sudden, Marine, suck it up moves. I am confused.

“I’ll be OK Harm. Go ahead. The weather’s getting bad. I don’t want you speeding. Go ahead, go.” Suddenly she’s completely collected. Except for the tear tracks on her face, you’d never know how out of control she had been, just moments before.

Now, I’m more confused than ever. She’s clutching my hand, but telling me to go. I look down at our joined hands.

“Harm, you’re getting wet. It’s starting to rain. You can’t catch a chill, you’ll get sick.” She is suddenly so intense.

“Sarah, are you going to be all right?” Maybe I can call and be excused. I’m not sure I can leave her.

“I’ll be fine Harm.” She declares more firmly than I expected. “You’ll come back?” She then asks, sounding so small and uncertain.

“Of course, I’ll come back. Why wouldn’t I come back?” I’m slightly exasperated.

And all at once, it hits me, all these years, it couldn’t be. But I look into her eyes and I think I see.

“Go, Harm, before you get soaked. Drive safely and good luck.” She always wishes me good luck when I fly. Her voice is soft and caring.

I lean into the car, and kiss her in a way I don’t think I’ve ever kissed her before.

“Bye Darling,” I say, and closing the door, I sprint for the Corvette. I need to drive very carefully. And I need to think very hard.
 


Part Five

 

Darling? He’s never called me darling before. Never. He calls me Sarah, and sometimes it sounds like an endearment, especially when we’re alone. Mostly, he still calls me Mac.

Where did ‘Darling’ come from? The way he just kissed me… something… it was different.

Oh no! No, it couldn’t be. Not all this time, it just couldn’t. That wouldn’t be fair.

I open the door and scream his name, but he has turned the car and is driving off. He couldn’t hear me over the wind.

“Good luck flyboy,” I whisper. “Come back to me, please come back.”

I close the door and start the car, turning for home and our children.

Lizzie will be so excited. She already loves the idea of flying. Harm takes her up in Sarah often, and in spite of the expense, he is having a little flight jacket made for her as a Christmas present. Tommy will just be upset because his daddy isn’t home.

What was that? A small cramp? It’s been a long week and I’m tired. Maybe Mrs. Brower will wait while I take a warm shower. She was going to stay the evening anyway, while we went to dinner. Surely, she will stay an hour or so.



05:00

 

I’m not sure what woke me. I listen for the children but they are quiet. I’m so tired, but in a minute, I’ll get up and check on them.

Mrs. Brower was so very kind. She not only stayed while I took a long shower, she made us some nice, thick, soup for dinner. Perfect for a wet cold night.

After she helped me tuck Lizzie and Tommy into bed, I insisted she stay in the guest room. It was just too nasty out, for her to go home last night.

I’m worried about Harm flying in this weather. It always brings back bad memories. But I know he’s a great pilot, and reason tells me his plane was flawed, on that fateful flight.

I wish he was here beside me, but I would never ask him not to go. Flying is part of who he is. I won’t stand for him to stop flying, unless or until it’s his decision. I certainly will never ask him to stop. It’s a part of what makes him the man I love.

And there’s another thought. When I arrived home, I was so tired, there wasn’t time to think about it, and then I fell asleep soon after the children. But what exactly happened when we said goodbye. Something suddenly slipped sideways. I wonder…..?

Ooooww! Oh my God, that’s what woke me. This isn’t supposed to happen for nearly two more weeks. I can’t have this baby now. Harm won’t be back until tomorrow. OK breathe, until it relaxes again. That’s better.

Now get up, go check on the children.

They’re fine, still sleeping.

Call the Admiral and Meredith. They will understand. They will help.

Good, they’re on the way.

Now, wake Mrs. Brower.

Fine, she will stay with the children, until Bud and Harriet wake up. Can’t wake their children at 05:15.
 


06:00

 

Mrs. Brower made us some tea. I just had another contraction. They don’t feel right. I hear the Admiral and Meredith at the door. I’m going to ask him to take me to the hospital to be checked.
 


Part Six

Carrier Deck
Offshore

 

We were ordered here, after our flight, due to weather conditions. The storm was short but severe. The carrier was beyond the edge, the flying clear.

It’s still raining inland, but the winds are down.

As I ready for my flight, I can’t help allowing my mind to slip over what flying means to me. I once, jokingly, told someone it was the most fun anyone ever was paid for. Like stealing from the government. In a way, it’s true. Taking this powerful metal bird into the sky, rolling, looping, soaring. Until I met Sarah, there was nothing to compare.

Sarah, there’s another thought. The flight last night gave me time to think. That is, I don’t consciously think when I’m flying; I mean I don’t dwell on things. There’s no time for distractions. But any time I’m in or near a plane, is a good time for the sub-conscious to sort through things.

Like now, when I’m pre-flighting my bird. As I walk around it, my fingers trail the surface; I feel the strong, smooth titanium skin under my hand. I know that, shortly, I will climb aboard, and become the conscience and soul of this overwhelming machine of destruction and protection. That I alone have the responsibility of adding humanity to it’s circuits, metal and munitions. I’m not sure anyone can understand, or if it can be explained. I only know the honor, privilege, and responsibility, which go with the joy and pleasure, make the experience undeniably unique and humbling.

I also know with certainty, that she understands. She, of all people. She gets deathly ill in my beloved Tomcat, but still she knows.

So, during last night’s flight, she was with me, and in some part of my mind, we talked of things never said before. I know this won’t be my last flight. But, it just may be the most important. I discovered something up there; something I never knew was mine.

I’m concerned, though, on another level. I woke with an odd feeling something was wrong. I had one chance at the phones, but the machine picked up. I left a brief message telling her where I am, and what happened.

I told her I loved her. It wasn’t fair. I shouldn’t say that, for the first time, to a machine, but I had to say it. I’m not sure why.

I’ll be home soon. I’ll tell her again.
 


Part Seven

Late Saturday

 

I’m so tired. I’m not sure what time it is any more. It’s been hours. I need Harm. Why can’t they find Harm?

The Admiral is talking to my doctor; I hear something about a medical release. Words about depression, anxiety, extreme stress, hormone imbalance, fatigue. Someone has to tell me what’s happening. I try to rise, but fall back.

Now Harriet is with them, I call to her.

“I’m here, Mac.” I feel her take my hand.

“Harriet please, where’s Harm? Tell me what’s happening.” My voice sounds strange to me. So far away.

“Mac, listen carefully. I have something to tell you. I need you to understand what I’m going to say.” Harriet isn’t usually so intense.

“No!” I cry, “not Harm!”

“No! No, easy Mac. Harm’s fine, we just can’t contact him right now. The Admiral’s been trying, but we missed him.” Somehow, I realize she’s trying to explain.

“Missed him? Tell me.” My brain is foggy.

“Listen Mac, this is more important. Harm’s fine, but you are exhausted. You’re getting weak and so is the baby. She hasn’t turned properly. The doctor is afraid she can’t deliver naturally. Mac, please listen, they need your approval for a Caesarian. There isn’t much more time.”

“But Harriet, why? I need Harm, I can’t think. Please get Harm.” I know I’m not being reasonable, and I’m not making sense, but I can’t help myself.

“Mac, please try to concentrate, the doctor needs your help. Harm will be here soon. But we have to help you, and the baby, now. Please listen.” She’s crying now, I think I understand.

“What?….Ok… fine…..whatever’s best.” I stammer. “But Harm, where’s Harm?”

“Harm’s Ok, Mac. There was a message on your machine. I went back for some of Lizzie and Tommy’s things. Harm was sent to a carrier this morning because of the storm. He tried to call but nobody was home. By the time we got the message, he was back in the air. You have to be strong for him and the baby. Listen to me Mac; he’ll be here soon. He said he loves you. ”

“What?” I need to hear that again.

“You have to be strong Mac.” She repeats.

“No, the other part. What did he say?” I grip her hand.

“He said he loves you, he’ll be home soon.”

Harriet doesn’t understand, she just doesn’t understand.

My hand goes to the baby. “Your hear that sweetheart? Daddy loves us; he’ll be home soon. I feel my entire body relax. I don’t remember anything else, after another severe contraction.



Part Eight

Mac’s Room
Early Sunday

 

I had planned to get a few hours sleep before driving back, but the Admiral had a chopper waiting when I landed. I’m still in my flight suit, and I left her Corvette in Pax River. She’ll probably kill me for that.

I took five minutes to check on my new son, he’s fine. I’m more worried about her at the moment. They told me she’s been sleeping for hours. Fortunately, they didn’t have to take the baby; he turned at the last minute.

I move cautiously into the room and pull up a chair. I’ll just wait ‘til she wakes up. The nurse said she had a real hard time.

The Marines have a very colorful description for the last thirty-six hours. Charlie Foxtrot. I think this time, that depiction of potential disaster may be a prelude to perfection.

I am just getting settled when she opens her eyes.

“Harm?” She doesn’t seem completely conscious.

“I’m here Sarah, just rest.” I take her hand and rub it soothingly.

“Did you mean it?”

I know what she means. “Yes, I meant it.”

“Me too. Hold me.” It was just too easy. Why did it take five years?

She’s almost asleep again. I slide down beside her, and wrap my arms around her. I intend to stay awake, but I find myself drifting.

It’s light, when I wake up. I find a nurse glaring at me. She would have made a wonderful drill sergeant. She has the look. I smile sheepishly and start to move, but Sarah holds me in place. I shrug to the nurse to indicate I have no choice.

“Mrs. Rabb, we have to check a few things. Captain, go visit your son.” She orders, in a voice that accepts no nonsense.

“Son?” Mac looks puzzled. “They said it was a girl.”

“Well, he’s definitely not a girl,” the nurse replies, and shoos me from the room, as she mumbles something about ‘sonogram nonsense’.

I wander to the nursery and look for him. He’s the only boy there today, but he’s still sleeping.

I watch him sleep, then I go searching for a coffee machine, and the men’s room.

Ten minutes later, I’m back with Sarah. Whatever they needed to do, I decide they have had enough time.

Her eyes are closed, but they slide open, as I sit down and gather her up again.

“A boy huh?” She asks.

“Yep six pounds, eight ounces, twenty-three inches long. The nurse said four pounds were his legs.” I smile down at her. I feel inordinately proud, even as I realize she has done all the work.

“Our Rabb clone?” she asks with a grin.

“I guess. What will we call him?” The comfort between us has completely returned.

“After you, of course.” Her response is immediate.

“Oh no, not a third. I hate that.” Mine is as quick.

“How about if we reverse the names.” She suggests.

I consider that. “Ok, that will do.” I agree.

She looks at me a long time, and I see the moisture build in her eyes; I know what she’s thinking. “We messed up again, didn’t we?”

“Yeah, I guess we did. Kinda dumb for two such smart people, huh?” I admit, feeling foolish.

“We’ve never done anything the easy way, you know.” Her tears are falling freely and so are mine.

“I know.” I pull her close, and we sit and cry for a little while, before pulling back.

“I love you, Darling, with all my heart. I always have, and I’m sorry I never was brave enough, or smart enough, to tell you. I didn’t understand.” It’s lame but sincere.

“I know, I love you too, and I made the same mistake. Let’s don’t make any more, and let’s don’t dwell on it. We’ll just go from here, all right?” she suggests.

“It’s a deal.”

I’m kissing her deeply and distractedly, when I’m hit by the two small hurricanes, we call our children. Lizzie clambers into her mothers lap, and Tommy reaches up to be hoisted onto my lap. Just the opposite of their normal preference.

Harriet stands in the door grinning. “They wouldn’t stay quiet any longer, they’ve been up since 05:00.”

“Its ok, Harriet,” we both chime together. I almost don’t think this could get more perfect, but it does.

The door opens again, to reveal the nurse, with one very unhappy infant in her arms.

She smiles apologetically ‘He’s hungry and he’s letting the entire nursery know it.

I grin down at Sarah and respond. “He may have my legs, but his appetite is all his Mom’s.”

 

 

The End
 

 
 
   

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