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Classification Romance (H/M)
Length Approx 45,000 words, 137 pages (8 x 11)
Spoilers Just about everything from seasons five and six.
Rating GS
Author's Notes This starts out right after "Goodbyes" and goes from there. However, I've changed a few things from the show to fit the purpose of this story. If you haven't seen seasons five and six, you will probably get lost a couple of times, since I make references to things that happen during that time.
 

 

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

 

 

 

2200 EST
Friday, May 28, 1999
McMurphy's Tavern

 

Harm walked into the crowded room and headed towards the bar. His bags were packed and sitting beside his apartment door, and everything he needed to take care of before he left for Pensacola was finished. Now all he had to do was keep his mind occupied for the next twelve hours so he wouldn't think about how much he missed Mac already.

After ordering his beer, Harm settled onto one of the barstools and turned his back to the bar. When he made his decision to go back to flying, he never imagined that leaving JAG would be so hard. He had expected Jordan to be upset with him, but he hadn't anticipated Mac's reaction to the news. And he definitely hadn't counted on how Mac's reaction would cause him to second guess his decision.
Harm closed his eyes as the scene from earlier in his office replayed through his mind. He hadn't been prepared for her tears. He had known that it wasn't going to be easy to say goodbye to her, but he never imagined that it would hurt so much.

Her tears had nearly been his undoing. She tried so hard to keep them from falling, but with the uncertainty of when they would see each other again looming over them, she had finally given in and let them flow. He wanted so much to give her what she wanted. It had taken every ounce of willpower he possessed to let go of her and walk out of that office without promising her that he would be back for her.

How could he do that to her though? How could he make a promise that he didn't know if he could keep? How could he put into words how much she meant to him when he had no idea how long it would be before they saw each other again? It wouldn't be fair to ask her to wait indefinitely for him to return.

Harm sighed and took another swig from his beer as he looked around the crowded room. A movement to his left caught his attention and he turned slightly and found himself face to face with the object of his current turmoil.

"Hi," she said softly.

"Hi," he replied.

"Is this seat taken?" she asked, motioning to the stool beside him.

"It is now," he answered.

Mac ordered a soda and then settled down next to him. "I wasn't expecting to see you here tonight. I figured that you'd be spending your last night with Jordan."

Harm snickered slightly before he replied. "Well, Jordan isn't exactly speaking to me right now. It seems that she only wants to be a part of my life if I'm a Navy lawyer, not a Navy pilot."

"She actually said that?" Mac asked. In response, Harm nodded and took another long drink of his beer. "I'm sorry, Harm."

He shrugged and turned to place his empty bottle on the bar. "There's really nothing to be sorry about, Mac."

"I know that you cared about her, Harm."

He shrugged again. "She's not the first woman who couldn't accept me for who I am."

Mac picked up her glass and slowly sipped it while she studied Harm's profile. After a couple of minutes, Harm turned around to face her. "What?" he asked when he noticed her watching him.

Mac shook her head and placed her glass back on the counter. "Nothing, Harm."

"So what brings you here tonight?" he asked. "I figured that Brumby wouldn't even wait until the elevator doors closed before he was trying to get you to go out with him."

Mac smiled slightly and turned to set her glass back on the bar. "He's not that bad, Harm." At his raised eyebrows, she continued, "He at least waited until you were in the parking lot."

Harm shook his head and looked away from her. "What a bastard."

"Why do you say that?" she asked. "It's not the first time he's asked me out."

"It's just different now," he replied.

"Why?" she asked. "Because you're not at JAG anymore?"

"Yes."

"Why should that matter, Harm? It's not like you and I are a couple or anything."

"Forget it," he replied with a noncommittal shrug.

"Maybe I don't want to just forget it," she challenged. "Maybe I think I deserve an answer as to why you're playing the jealous boyfriend all of a sudden."

"I just don't want to see you get hurt, Mac."

"And you don't think this hurts, Harm?"

"This is different," he answered softly as his eyes met hers.

"How?"

"Because you know that I care about you, Mac. I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you. I don't think that Mic Brumby's motives are quite so noble. After all, the man did try to pin a murder charge on you."

"That's in the past, Harm."

"I don't trust him, Mac. Not when it comes to you."

"I'm a big girl, Harm. I don't need you to look out for me."

He sighed and looked away from her. "I don't want to argue with you, Mac. Not tonight."

"What do you want then, Harm?"

"I want you to understand why I'm doing this," he replied as he looked back at her. "And I want you to be happy for me."

"I'm trying," she whispered. "It's not easy though. I keep thinking about the fact that when I go into work Tuesday morning, you're not going to be there."

Harm saw the tears glistening in her eyes and he reached out to gently cup her face. "I never meant to hurt you with this decision, Mac."

"I know that," she replied. "But knowing that it wasn't intentional doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I feel like I'm losing my best friend, Harm."

Their eyes locked and for several moments all they did was look at each other. Finally, Harm broke the silence that had settled over them. "Dance with me?"

Mac nodded her agreement, and Harm took her by the hand and led her to the dance floor. The soft music wafted around them as he pulled her into his arms. As they swayed back and forth in time to the music, they unconsciously moved closer together, each one longing to make the moment last, and neither one sure how to do so.

Harm felt Mac shift in his embrace and he looked down at her, not surprised when their eyes locked again. Her eyes held questions, but he shook his head to keep her from giving voice to them. Instead, he bent his head to hers and slowly brushed his lips across her forehead before pulling her closer and resting his cheek on the top of her head. He had no idea what he was doing or why he was doing it. All he knew for sure was that at this moment in time, he had everything he had ever wanted right here in his arms.

Mac sighed as she rested her head against Harm's chest. She could hear his heart thundering under her ear, and she knew that her own must be doing the same. What was going through his mind? Was he just feeling lonely after his break-up with Jordan? Or was it possible that in some remote part of his heart, he felt the same way for her that she did for him?

Not finding any answers with her face pressed to the solid wall of his chest, she leaned back again and looked up at him. The look in his eyes when they met hers took her breath away, and everything around them seemed to disappear as Harm slowly lowered his head.

Their lips were mere centimeters apart when Harm spoke. "Mac?"

Granting him the permission he was seeking, Mac nodded her head and closed the remaining distance between them.

It was a mere brushing of lips against each other, almost over before it started, but the intensity behind it caused them both to pull away slightly breathless. Meeting each other's eyes, it was as if by some mutual agreement they were once again drawn together.

Harm's conscience was screaming at him that they shouldn't be doing this, but before he could do anything to stop it, Mac's lips parted under his in invitation. Ignoring the voice inside of his head, he traced her lower lip with his tongue before delving into her mouth. His hands moved to either side of her face, angling her head slightly to allow him to deepen the kiss while her arms tightened around his waist, forcing their bodies into a more intimate contact.

Harm's voice was a harsh whisper when he pulled his mouth from hers. "Mac?"

Meeting his gaze, Mac barely recognized her own voice as she said, "Let's go back to your apartment, Harm."

"Are you sure you want to do that?" Harm asked. "I'm not sure that I'll be able to keep my hands off of you if we do."

Mac gently rocked her hips forward, eliciting a small gasp from him. "I'm kind of counting on that, Harm."

Seeing the hesitation on his face, Mac leaned up and gently brushed her lips against his again. "Well?"

Once again ignoring the part of his brain that was telling him to run away as fast as he could, Harm flashed her a smile. "I'll drive."

With an answering smile, Mac took a step away from him and reached for his hand. Interlacing their fingers together, Harm led them out of the crowded bar and to his new SUV.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Harm unlocked the door to his apartment and stepped back to allow Mac to enter in front of him. Once he had closed and locked the door, he gave her a nervous smile. "We're here."

"Yeah," she agreed. "We are."

Harm cleared his throat and looked around the room once before asking, "Do you want something to drink?"

"No," she replied as she took a step towards him. When he took a step backwards, she smiled at him. "I'm not going to hurt you, Harm."

"I know," he replied.

She reached out and caught his hand in hers, pulling him closer as she said, "So why are you running away?"

He looked down at the bags that were stacked beside his door and then met her eyes again. "I'm just not sure this is the right thing for us to do."

"Are you afraid you'll regret it?" she asked softly.

"No," he replied. "I just don't want this to be a one-night stand, Mac."

"Who said it has to be?"

"I leave in the morning. I have no idea how long I'll be gone, and I don't think that this is fair to you."

"Do you hear me complaining?" she asked as she met his gaze.

"No," he replied. "But I feel like I'm pushing you into something that you're not ready for and I don't want this to be a mistake."

"We can make this work, you know."

"I can't ask you to do that, Mac."

"You're not asking."

"I don't even know when I'll be able to see you again."

"So we'll write each other, and we'll become competent e-mail users. And we'll have expensive long distance bills. I'm willing to take a chance on us if you are, Harm."

"I don't want you to regret this decision in the morning," he offered.

"I won't," she replied as she took a step closer to him.

"This won't be easy," he stated as he reached up and cupped her face.

"There are very few things in life that are," she replied, turning to place a kiss on his palm.

He smiled as he watched her tongue flick out and trace over the smooth skin at his wrist. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to seduce me."

"I am trying to seduce you, Harm. Now for once in your life, will you please stop thinking and just let yourself feel? I'm pretty sure you mentioned something about not being able to keep your hands off of me once we got back here and so far, you've been all talk."

Hearing the challenge in her voice, Harm quickly scooped her up in his arms and made his way towards his bedroom. Their laughter mingled as he unceremoniously dropped her in the center of his bed before falling down beside her.

"After tonight, you'll be spoiled for all other men, you know," he teased as he met her eyes.

"I'm counting on that," she replied honestly. "Now shut up and kiss me already."

"Yes, Ma'am," he managed to get out before his lips met hers in what started as a gentle kiss but quickly erupted into much more as their desire for each other was finally released.

It was much later when Harm reached up to push her hair off of her face, a soft smile in place on his. "I always knew it would be like this with you."

"What do you mean?" she asked as she propped herself up on her elbow to look at him.

"Perfect," he replied.

She smiled and leaned over to kiss him. "Now that you've spoiled me for all other men, you should get some rest. You've got an early flight in the morning."

He pushed himself up on an elbow so they were once again eye to eye before he said, "I know the timing is bad, Mac, but I do want this for us. I was serious about not wanting this to be a one-night stand."

"I don't either, Harm."

"It's not fair to you, though."

"Life isn't always fair," she replied.

"I don't want you to go through what my mom went through, Mac. I care about you too much for that."

She reached up and ran her hand down his arm. "Then be safe, Harm. And make sure you come home. The rest of it doesn't matter as long as you do that."

"I don't even know when that will be," he replied as he dropped onto his back and stared at the ceiling.

"When the timing's right," she stated. "Until then, we'll find a way to make this work."

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked with a sideways glance over at her.

"Are you?" she retaliated.

His reply was immediate. "Yes."

"Then no regrets, Harm. All we can do now is to give this a shot."

Harm smiled as he reached over and pulled her onto his chest. "The night is still young, you know," he said, moving his mouth to suck on her earlobe.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to seduce me," she said with a laugh.

"Is it working?" he asked.

"Definitely," came her breathless reply. "Please feel free to continue."

Their soft moans once again filled the room as they spent the night exploring this new facet of their relationship, thoughts of tomorrow put on hold for the time being.
 

June 18, 1999
To: Maj Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

I want to start with an apology. Things have been so hectic since I got here that I've barely had time to eat and sleep, much less time to write.

I hope that my silence hasn't diminished what we have between us. The night we shared was very special to me, Mac. Please don't doubt that. I was serious when I said I didn't want it to be a one-night stand. I'd like to give "us" a chance. I know it won't be easy, especially with me so far away. But I'm still willing to try if you are.

Harm


June 19, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Maj. Sarah MacKenzie

You're right, Harm. It won't be easy. It hasn't been easy so far, and I honestly can't foresee it getting any easier. That doesn't mean I'm not willing to give it a shot though. When we talked about regrets that night, I didn't realize my biggest regret was going to be wondering why we hadn't taken a chance on "us" sooner.

I understand that you're busy out there. It's pretty crazy around here right now, too. Just write when you get a chance and I'll do the same.

Mac


June 21, 1999
To: Maj Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

My deployment is set for a week from today. I know this is really short notice, but I'd like to see you again before I go. If you can't make it down here, I understand. I know you're busy.

Harm


June 22, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Maj. Sarah MacKenzie

I've gotten it approved to have Friday afternoon off, but I'll have to be here for staff call Monday morning. I know that means I won't be there for the actual deployment, but I would enjoy spending the weekend with you.

Mac


June 23, 1999
To: Maj Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

I'll be looking forward to seeing you. Call me with your flight information and I'll meet you at the airport.

Harm

 

June 25, 1999
1700 EST
Pensacola, Florida

 

Harm stood back from the crowd of people as he watched the disembarking passengers enter the terminal. He heard the squeals of laughter as loved ones were reunited, but his eyes never wavered. He was there for only one reason and she was walking towards him with a shy smile on her face. He returned her smile as he took a moment to appreciate the sleeveless sweater and khaki shorts she wore.

"You look great," he stated as he moved forward to meet her, his arms open in invitation.

Mac willingly stepped into his embrace, allowing herself to be enveloped in his hug.

"How are you?" she asked.

"Better now," he replied as he looked down at her. "I hope you won't be offended if I wait until we're in a less public place to give you a proper hello."

"Not at all," she replied, giving him another brief squeeze before stepping out of his embrace.

He took her carryon from her and slung it over his shoulder before reaching for her hand and guiding her through the crowded airport and out into the warm afternoon sunshine.

"It's beautiful here," Mac commented as they strolled across the parking lot. "It sure beats the rain we've had in Washington this week."

"Nothing but blue skies and sunshine here," Harm replied as he led her to the rental car he'd been using for the past week.

He opened the trunk and put her bag in before walking around to the passenger side to unlock her door for her. However, instead of opening it, he moved until he had her trapped between the car and his body.

Mac looked up at him with laughter in her eyes as his hands moved to her hips and pulled her tight against his body. "I've missed you," he whispered as he lowered his face to hers, his lips brushing against the corner of her mouth.

"I've missed you, too," she replied as she wrapped her arms around his waist and tilted her face to meet his lips.

His kiss was demanding, his tongue seeking and gaining entrance into her mouth. She responded in kind, thrusting her tongue against his as he explored her mouth.

When the need for air finally forced them apart, Harm covered her face with gentle kisses before resting his forehead against hers. Mac let out a sigh of contentment as she hooked her thumbs in the waistband of his jeans and pulled him even closer.

They stood there in silence for several more minutes before Harm finally forced himself to take a step away from her. "We should go before I reach the point of not caring and simply throw you in the back seat and have my way with you here in the airport parking lot."

Mac laughed softly as she moved enough for him to open the door for her. Once she was settled, Harm closed the door and then took in a deep breath trying to get himself back under control. His intentions for this weekend weren't to simply ravage her. He wanted them to spend time getting to know each other as part of a couple so she would realize there was more to this for him than just great sex.

 

June 27, 1999
1600 EST
Florida

 

"Are you sure you don't want me to drive you to the airport?" Harm asked.

"Positive," Mac replied. "You should stay here and enjoy the party."

They had managed to find a quiet spot on the beach -- several hundred yards away from the traditional large scale deployment party going on -- and had spread out a blanket to spend their last few minutes together. Harm had settled Mac between his legs, his arms wrapping around her waist as she leaned back against his chest, to watch the waves lap against the shore.

"Thank you for being here, Mac."

"You know I wouldn't have missed it," she replied as she absentmindedly ran her fingers over where his rested on her stomach.

They were silent for several more minutes before Mac turned slightly to look up at him.

"Harm?"

"Yeah?"

"Do you remember the day you left? How I told you that I couldn't find the words to say the things I wanted to tell you?"

"I didn't need the words, Mac. In fact, I think it would've made it harder."

"What about now?" she asked carefully. "What if I told you that I'd found them?"

Harm brought a hand up to her face and gently traced a finger over her features before his eyes locked with hers again. "I know this sounds like I'm running, but I'm not, Mac. I hope you understand that. But please don't say them now. Letting you go is hard enough already."

Mac nodded her agreement and then placed a kiss on his hand. "I understand, Harm. And I'll keep them to myself...for now anyway."

"Thank you," he whispered. Leaning forward to brush his lips against hers briefly, he added, "How much time do we have?"

"My cab will be here in five minutes."

With a groan of frustration, Harm untangled himself and got to his feet. After helping Mac to hers, he pulled her into his embrace. "I'm going to miss you."

"Nah," she replied with a grin. "You'll be too busy flying your planes to miss me."

"Not likely," he replied. "It can get lonely on a carrier."

"I'm never more than a whisper away, you know," she replied as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a kiss.

They stood there for several moments, their lips gently caressing, tongues teasing, hands groping, completely lost in each other until the sound of a car horn shattered the silence.

"That's my ride," she whispered.

"Goodbye, Mac," he said softly.

"Goodbye, Harm," she replied just as tenderly. After one final kiss, she placed her hand over his heart and said, "Be safe, Harm. I'll be here when you get back."

With that, she turned and made her way towards the cab, stopping only long enough to pick up her bag and look back for one final wave before disappearing from his sight.

"I love you, too, Mac," Harm said once she was out of sight. "And someday, I'll find a way to say those words to you."

July 2, 1999
To: Maj Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

I don't remember ever having to work this hard the last time I was on flight duty. I guess that's what happens when you suddenly find yourself surrounded by guys ten years younger than you.

How are things going there? Bud sent me pictures of little A.J. I can't believe how much he's grown already. Give him a kiss for me, will you?


I don't know how often I'll have access to e-mail while on board, but I'll do my best to keep in touch. Thank you for last weekend, Mac. You are an amazing woman and I appreciate the time we spent together before my deployment.

Harm


July 5, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Maj. Sarah MacKenzie

There is nowhere I would have rather been than with you, Harm. I only wish I could have been there for your actual deployment. I would have enjoyed watching the pride shine on your face as you boarded the carrier and stepped into your new role.

I celebrated the holiday with Bud, Harriet and baby A.J. yesterday. A.J. was asleep before the fireworks began, but that's probably for the best. He's still too young to appreciate the beauty of them. He is so precious, Harm. He's already changed so much since his birth. He's starting to look more like Bud everyday, except for the blonde hair. He definitely gets that from Harriet.

I hope you are taking care of yourself. You're not twenty anymore, you know. Nor are you invincible. Please keep that in mind when you're pulling g's out there.

Mac

 

July 30, 1999
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia

 

Mac did her best to keep from rolling her eyes as she listened to Mic give his closing arguments. Since she was sitting first chair on the defense council, she had opted to let Bud handle theirs. Brumby hadn't done a very good job with his burden of proof, and Bud had been instrumental in finding several holes in the prosecutions case. Because of that, Mac figured it was only fair to allow Bud to bring the case to a close. Looking over the head of their client, Mac met Bud's eyes and offered him a smile of encouragement. He looked somewhat nervous, but Mac had no doubt that once he began speaking, his nervousness would fade.

When Mic finally finished, he looked over at Mac and winked at her. This time, Mac didn't even bother to try to hide rolling her eyes. He wasn't just arrogant; he was nauseatingly obnoxious as well.

"Is the defense ready for closing arguments?" Captain Sebring asked.

"We are." Mac replied as she stood. "Lieutenant Roberts will be doing the honors today, Sir."

Admiral Sebring looked over at Bud with a nod. "Very well, Lieutenant, you may begin."

Bud took a deep breath as he got to his feet and began his speech. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, at the beginning of this trial, the prosecution promised they would present irrefutable evidence to the guilt of Petty Officer Jeffries. Instead of that, they have done nothing but lead you on a wild goose chase. This case has proven to be plagued with miscommunication, deceit and a lack of professionalism on the part of the investigators. Not only was evidence mishandled, but the truth behind Petty Officer Jeffries involvement in this crime was relegated to the back burner in an effort to distort the facts."

"The facts of this case are simple. There is no proof whatsoever that Petty Officer Jeffries is guilty. There is no murder weapon, there is no motive, there is no opportunity, there is even no physical evidence linking Petty Officer Jeffries to the scene of the crime. While the prosecution has paraded witnesses in front of you who claim that Petty Officer Jeffries had it in for the deceased, not one shred of evidence exists that support their claims."

Mac chanced a look over at Mic and couldn't help but smile as she saw the frustration on his face. He had sorely underestimated Bud. Mac felt pride well within her as Bud thanked the jury for their time and then returned to his seat. He reached for his glass of water as the jury was dismissed and then stood with the rest of the courtroom as Admiral Sebring dismissed court for the day.

"Nice job, Bud," Mac said as she reached over to shake his hand.

"Thank you, Ma'am," he replied. "How do you think we did?"

"I think we did great, Bud. Now we'll just have to wait until the jury decides."

Bud offered her a small smile before reaching down to pick up his briefcase.

"And here I thought I was going to get to watch you in action," Mic said as he stepped up behind Mac.

"Not today," Mac replied as she turned to face him.

Mic waited until she had gathered her things and then fell into step beside her as they headed out of the courtroom. "How about you let me buy you dinner tonight?"

"No thanks, Mic," she replied as they reached the elevator. "I already have plans tonight."

"Still playing hard to get, aren't you?" Mic asked as they stepped into the elevator.

"I'm not playing anything, Mic," she replied as she stepped to the far corner of the empty elevator, hoping he would take the hint and leave her alone.

"Come on, Mac," he argued as he once again stepped into her personal space. "Cut me some slack here. All I want to do is buy you dinner."

"How many times do I have to tell you that I'm not interested?" she replied as she turned to face him.

"Your mouth says you're not interested, but your body says something else," he replied as he reached out and tried to pull her towards him, his lips descending to hers.

Before he realized what was happening, she grabbed his hand and twisted him around, forcing him into the wall. Leaning in behind him, she said, "This is your last warning, Commander. If you want your career to remain more intact than your hand right now, I suggest you take a hint. I am not interested."

Mic winced in pain when she released her hold on him and he immediately pulled his hand around to look at it. "I think you broke it."

"You're lucky that's all I broke," she replied just before the doors opened and she stepped off the elevator. She was still fuming, but she forced a smile as she stepped into the bullpen and saw the small crowd gathered around Bud listening to his version of what had happened in the courtroom.

Getting Tiner's attention, she pulled him aside. "Tiner, you might want to go check on Commander Brumby. I think he might have hurt his hand on the elevator."

"Yes, Ma'am," Tiner replied before hurrying out of the bullpen.

"You were great up there, Bud," Mac stated, wanting the group to realize how proud she was of him.

"Thank you, Ma'am," he replied. "I've had excellent teachers."

Mac smiled at that as her thoughts drifted to Harm and she quietly excused herself to her office.



July 30, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Maj. Sarah MacKenzie

I swear that sometimes I'd just like to wring Mic Brumby's neck. You wouldn't believe the stunt he pulled today. He actually tried to kiss me in the elevator. He's lucky that he only ended up with a broken finger. I was considering breaking something else.


I sure wish you could've seen Bud in court today, though. You would've been so proud of him, Harm. He sounded a lot like you while he was giving his closing arguments. I think he might have won our case with those last few words.

Mac


August 2, 1999
To: Maj Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

Do I need to set Brumby straight? I know we agreed to keep our relationship low key and somewhat quiet for now, but I'm not opposed to flying back there to kick his ass.

Harm


August 3, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Maj. Sarah MacKenzie

There's no need for you to worry about Mic. I can handle him. However, if you want to fly home under the pretense of defending my honor, I wouldn't be opposed to seeing you.

Mac


August 4, 1999
To: Maj Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

As tempting as that sounds, I don't think you really need me defending your honor. I'd be willing to bet that you downplayed the incident for my benefit.

Please tell Bud how proud I am of him, Mac. He's developing into quite the lawyer, isn't he?

Harm

 

September 20, 1999
USS Patrick Henry

 

Harm let out an exhausted sigh as he dropped onto his bunk. He'd been buried in legal paperwork on top of everything else that he was supposed to be handling. The briefings and de-briefings that went along with every flight were both mentally and emotionally draining, and it was starting to catch up with him. He was tired.

The last thing he wanted to deal with was the X-Man's complaint against his plane captain. Buxton was an overconfident, arrogant jackass and Harm wanted nothing to do with him. Yes, there was some competition there. Yes, Harm was struggling with the fact that he was no longer the top gun he once was, but that didn't change the facts. Buxton was dangerous.

Hearing a groan come from the bunk above him, Harm sat up. "Tuna, you okay up there?"

"Just feeling a little queasy," came the muffled reply.

"Maybe you should go get yourself checked out," Harm suggested. The last thing he needed right now was his bunkmate getting sick all over him.

"I will later," came the reply. "Right now I just want to catch some shuteye."

"I hear you on that one," Harm agreed as he dropped back down against his pillow. He looked up at the picture he had taped to the bottom of Tuna's bunk. He reached up and gently traced his finger across Mac's features before finally giving in to the exhaustion and closing his eyes. He was too tired to be second-guessing himself now.


September 22, 1999
To: Maj Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

Please tell me that you're the one the Admiral is sending out here to investigate this mess. I need to see a friendly face and I'd really like it to be yours.

Harm


September 23, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Maj. Sarah MacKenzie

Mic and I will be there sometime tomorrow. And I have a surprise for you.

Mac


September 23, 1999
To: Maj Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

A surprise? You know how much I hate surprises, Mac. Why don't you just tell me now?

Harm


September 24, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Maj. Sarah MacKenzie

I think you'll get a kick out of this surprise. Sorry, no hints though. You're just going to have to wait. I'll see you in a few hours.

Mac

 

September 30, 1999
To: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

I'm not sure which was more of a surprise...those shiny oak leaves on your uniform or the fact that you snuck into my bunk last night. I'm just glad that Tuna was still in sick bay fighting off the flu.

I'm sorry for acting like a jerk concerning Brumby. Can we just mark it up to jealousy this time and forget about it? When I saw the two of you working together like that, it just reminded me of how things used to be between us. I miss that, Mac. Probably a lot more than I'll ever admit to myself. I can't guarantee that I'll never overreact again, but I'll do my best.

In case I didn't tell you this, I'm very proud of you. You're one of the finest officers I've ever had the pleasure of serving with. I'm not just saying that because we're sleeping together, either. Granted, that might be what's given me the courage to own up to how much I respect you, but the respect has been there all along.

Thank you for being here this week, Mac. It means a lot to me. I miss you.

Harm


October 1, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie

I don't know what to say. Somehow, thank you just doesn't seem adequate. I hope you know that I'm proud of you, too. I might not have understood your decision to return to flying at first, but I think I do now. Being out there and seeing you do what you love to do...what you were born to do...it all makes more sense now.

For the record, jealousy doesn't become you, but it's water under the bridge now. And I honestly don't know what possessed me to sneak into your bunk like that. I just couldn't imagine another night of not being in your arms when you were that close.

I've got to get to court now.

Mac
P.S. I miss you, too


October 12, 1999
To: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

I hear that it's been pretty interesting around there. Did you really get stuck defending the SecNav's son? That's got to be tough, Mac. I'm sure you'll do great though. You're an incredible lawyer.

Do you have any plans for Thanksgiving yet? I should be able to get some leave time that week if you're interested in getting together.

Harm


October 13, 1990
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie

"If" I'm interested in getting together? I think all that fresh ocean air is making you delusional, Harm. Of course, I'm interested. You just tell me when and where and I'll be there.

As far as this case goes, I think the SecNav is just trying to punish all of us here for being friends with you. I've got Bud on my side though, so we'll do our best.

Mac


November 5, 1999
To: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie
From: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb

How is Chloe doing? I'm sorry that I wasn't around to help you look for her, but from what I hear, you didn't really need any help. So now that you've seen her for yourself, and you know she's okay, how is she adjusting to her new life? Is she doing okay in school and everything? She wasn't too disappointed that you weren't spending the holiday with her, was she?

Harm


November 6, 1999
To: Lt. Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie

Chloe is doing great. She gave me quite a scare though. Once I was convinced that she was really okay, we had a chance to sit and talk for quite a while. She's at that age where all she talks about is boys. Not that I really have any room to say anything. I tend to ramble about you every time I talk to her. I think that's part of why she wasn't too upset that I wouldn't be visiting her for Thanksgiving. She knows how much I'm looking forward to seeing you.

Mac


November 20, 1999
To: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie
From: Cmdr Harmon Rabb

It's official, Mac. My promotion went through yesterday. I guess this means you can't order me around anymore. Unless, of course, you're wearing that little red number. Looks like you'll be spending Thanksgiving with a full Commander this year.

Harm


November 20, 1999
To: Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie

Congratulations, Harm! I sure wish I could've been there to see you get your promotion. I guess we'll just have to have a private celebration this weekend.

Mac



November 30, 1999
To: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie
From: Cmdr Harmon Rabb

I'm sorry that you got stuck in the middle of this one, Mac. And I hope you didn't think I wasn't being supportive. I had to go with my instincts on this one, and I just couldn't believe that Skates had done anything wrong. I hope you understand that.

I really enjoyed seeing you again this week, even if it wasn't under the best of circumstances. I was afraid that after our weekend together, it would be several months before I got to see you again, and I wasn't sure how I was going to deal with that.


I hope we're still okay. I know we didn't really have much of a chance to talk before I had to leave again.

Harm


December 1, 1999
To: Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie

We're fine, Harm. We were both just doing our jobs. I didn't feel like you were being unsupportive, either. You were just expressing your opinion. Just because we're sleeping together doesn't mean we're always going to see eye to eye. I imagine that we're going to have to deal with that for some time to come. I think our relationship is strong enough to handle the occasional difference of opinion though, don't you?

Mac


December 14, 1999
To: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie
From: Cmdr Harmon Rabb

I'm glad we're okay, Mac. You know, I can't remember the last Christmas that I didn't visit the Wall. I hate that I'm not going to be able to go this year. Would it be asking too much for you to go in my place?

Harm


December 14, 1999
To: Cmdr Harmon Rabb
From: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie

I'd be honored to go in your place, Harm. As much as I wish you were going to be with me for Christmas, I know that's not possible. So please try to relax and enjoy the season. Don't drive everyone around you crazy.

I miss you.

Mac


December 25, 1999
To: Lt. Col Sarah MacKenzie
From: Cmdr Harmon Rabb

I don't know what to say, Mac. I guess I'm still shell-shocked by Jenny Lake's story. Part of me wants to think she's lying, but another part of me wants to believe that he wasn't alone. Even after having time to digest the news, I still don't know how I should react.

I love my dad, Mac. And I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he loved both me and my mom with all of his heart. But I can understand his loneliness, too. It's not easy being away from the people you care about...especially around the holidays.

I feel lucky that I'm able to communicate with you on a regular basis. My parents didn't have the luxury of e-mail while my dad was at sea.

I miss you, Mac. Merry Christmas.

Harm
 

 

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