Looking Back by Mel Title: Looking Back
Author: Mel (e-mail me at m.a.jooty@dundee.ac.uk or cosmic_quest@yahoo.com)
Disclaimer: The characters of JAG are the property of Donald Bellasario, CBS and Paramount and no profit has been made by my utilising them in my story. Everyone else belongs to me.
Rating: PG
Pairings: Harm/Mac. Harm/other.
Summery: The truth about why Meg Austin left JAG so abruptly. This story is in Meg's POV
Archiving: As long as you ask first, it should be okay.
Central Park
New York City, New York
1455 EST, July 18th 2008
It was on days like this that I realised what a small world we live in. After a tedious morning in arguing a paternity alimony case in court, I had settled for a nice walk. It was a lovely, scorching day in New York and what better way to enjoy that talking in the sights in Central Park. As rough as the city was, Central Park remained a beauty in the drudge. Having said that, it came no-where near beating the idyllic and tranquil setting of the Texas ranch of my childhood stomping-grounds but one took whatever one could get. And it was as I flicked through a magazine, waiting for my 'date' to finish the game of chess he had started with one of the locals, I heard his voice. Of course, I thought it was impossible; I had to be hallucinating. Not only was *he* was a good few hundred miles away, there was also twelve years separating us.

But no, just twenty yards away stood Harmon Rabb Junior- Navy officer, JAG lawyer and my former lover. Our affair, if you could even call it that, was ever so brief and we were only really together once. Nonetheless, that was enough to make me realise that once was enough. He was on the tracks to an accomplished career in JAG and, at the time, no woman could ever compete with his private quest to find his MIA father.

So, I did the honourable thing and ran away, putting the whole Pacific ocean between us. When I did return to the States six months later, I had already broken contact with Harm determined never to see him until I was good and ready...

But life just doesn't work like that.

Concealing myself carefully behind the magazine, I peeked over the cover to study Harm. He looked good; his hair was slightly longer but still conformed with military regulations, he seemed relaxed compared to his perpetually active younger days, and he could still turn the heads of the female population.

One particular group of women, probably little older than their late teens, were eyeing him as he stood by the petting farm and seemed bitterly disappointed when two toddler girls dove into his arms. A raven-haired woman, who smiled coyly before kissing him passionately on the lips, followed the children. Harm probably didn't need the advances of teenagers when he had his own little fanclub.

It came as no surprise that Harm was married and now a father. I was always aware he wanted a family at the right time and I just wasn't there at the right time. It didn't matter to me though, I had moved on and I am glad he has too. However, Harm would forever hold a special place in my heart for more reasons than he could care to know.

I felt a hand lightly touch my shoulder and turned to find my date had apparently grown weary of chess.

"How was your game?" I asked. I could tell it hadn't gone well, he had the most very expressive blue eyes and I had long since known I could read him like a book just by losing myself in those beautiful azure orbs.

"It sucked," was my moody reply.

"Well, it doesn't matter. Winning isn't everything." There was little point in telling him that, he was nothing if not competitive and determined (stubborn more accurate; I think he inherited that from his father's side).

Seeing he didn't have my full attention, he followed my line-of-sight only to ask the inevitable question: "Mom, do you know them?"

I smiled at my son. Only eleven years old and already so observant for his age. But then Derek had always been a bright child, so curious and astute for a boy his age. It was difficult raising a child alone but Derek had never given me any problems; he was too happy and boisterous to have time for tears and tantrums. He had only one concern and that was, if he was ever going to grow taller. However, although he was presently the smallest boy in his class, if he was anything like his father then I know for certain he'd shoot up to tower over me.

I smiled inwardly at that thought. Oh, and Derek was exactly like his father in so many ways. With his silky dark black hair and solemn blue eyes, his paternity was obvious to anyone who had seen Harmon Rabb Junior. His excellent report cards, interest in flying and almost obsessive resolution in attaining his goals and ambitions were just the icing on the cake.

"Mom?" Derek repeated, a slight note of impatience in his voice.

"Yes, honey?" I answered, my voice still a little dreamy as I thought of my lost opportunities.

"Do you know them?"

I turned to find him casting Harm an appraising stare and I found myself wondering if, on some deep level, Derek knew who he was. The mother in me had found that children were often more empathic than we gave them credit for.

"No," I told him, "why do you ask?"

"Just the way you're looking at them."

Before he could start on his usual inquisitive trail of questions, I quickly diverted the conversation. I wasn't ready for him to know the truth about Harm's identity. Every boy deserved a father, but Derek was only eleven years old and his sudden appearance in Harm's life would just create upheaval for his family and emotional trauma for my little boy.

"How about we go get an ice cream then catch a movie?" I suggested, all-too-aware how my sweet-toothed, movie-buff son could never resist.

"Okay!" he exclaimed, flashing me that dazzling smile that reminded me so much of Harm.

Some- the few who know my secret- have asked why I kept Harm's child from him, that if I truly loved him I would have been honest about Derek. But I knew love comes in many forms, and my love for Harm forced me to keep him in the dark about the child he wasn't ready for. I had to leave JAG and hide in Japan because, at that point in his career, a family would only have stunted his success. There were so many times I wanted to run back to DC and present him with his son; Derek's birth, his first birthday, his first step, his first day at school- those were all moments I wanted to share with Harm. I know he would have made a wonderful father. I can see that from the way he is playing his other children.

Ironically, it was on Derek's seventh birthday that an old friend from DC informed Harm had married his JAG partner, Sarah Mackenzie, and a year later that they had twin girls, Corrie and Kasey. I supposed it's quite fitting that Derek remains Harm's only son. One day, when Derek is older, I hoped to see our son stand proudly next to his half-sisters and his father- the only man I've really loved. But until then, I was content to provide our son- Derek Harmon Austin- all the love his needs on both our behalf's'.


Well, what did you think? It wasn't as depressing as I could have made it. Yes, I know it is shocking that I actually had Harm married to Mac, but although I could see them together I only want that to happen towards the end of the show otherwise JAG would just turn into another 'Lois And Clark' disaster.