Title: Safe

Author: Vera Steine

Summary: Short vignette set after 'Guilt', as Harm waits for news of Mac.

Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, never will.

Rating: G

Spoilers: Guilt, Adrift (little)

Author's notes: Now I thought TPTB didn't nearly give Mac as much attention as they'd given Harm back in 'Adrift', even if DJE made the best of the few moments he had. So I added a small piece. Enjoy!

Extra note: Thanks for pointing out the problems with the format. I hope this will correct it!

0421 ZULU
North of Union Station
Washington, DC

Harmon Rabb, Jr. stared out into the darkness. He swirled the beer around in his nearly empty bottle and took a swig. Behind him, he heard Sturgis Turner uncap another bottle.

"Care to talk about it, buddy?"

Harm turned slightly away from the window, but kept his eyes on the dark street. "No, not really."

Sturgis shrugged, he could tell without even looking, and sat down on the couch. Harm felt his eyes on his back. He tore his eyes away from the window. Sturgis was looking at him with an unreadable expression.

"What?" Harm said exasperated.

"Nothing, buddy," Sturgis said, his voice even.

Harm glared at him. "Then why are you looking at me like that?"

Sturgis held up his hands in defense. "Why don't you sit down for a second? You've been tense ever sinceā€¦. Well, for a long time today, anyhow."

Harm shook his head and sighed. He set his beer bottle down on the table. "I don't know, Sturgis. I - " He broke off and sat down.

"Why don't you start at the beginning, Harm?"

"You know, you're starting to sound like Mac," Harm said, pointing an accusatory finger at his friend.

Sturgis blinked. "Who's Mac?"

Harm sighed again. "My partner. At least she was. Right now, I don't even know if she's okay."

Things began to dawn on Sturgis. "Is that what everybody was so anxious about today? Lieutenant Roberts - "

Harm interrupted him with a nod. "The admiral told me this afternoon that she was at the American consulate in Indonesia."

"The one on Acheh?"

Harm nodded. "Yes. And we haven't heard anything yet. I waited with Bud and Harriet a while for more news, but nothing came, and they had to go home to their son." Harm drank some more beer. He looked wryly at the bottle and set it down again. "I don't even know if we're still partners, but I need to know if she's allright."

"I understand that. What went wrong between you two?"

Harm shrugged. "A million things. After my crash last year, well, things went a little haywire for her. The night I took a dive in the Atlantic, was the night before her wedding."

"You missed her wedding?" Sturgis asked.

Harm shook his head. "No, she didn't get married. It's a long story, Sturgis."

"Care to talk about it?" Sturgis said.

"No," Harm said curtly.

"Okay," Sturgis said slowly. "How long have you been partners?"

"Six years," Harm said. "And believe it or not, but she's the spitting image of Diane."

He stood up and got his wallet out of his jacket. He handed Sturgis a photo of the two of them. It was taken at one of the many official functions they'd attended together. Mac was smiling into the camera, with Harm slightly behind her, his arm around her waist.

Sturgis whistled softly. "She does look like Diane."

"Mac and I - it's complicated, to say the least." He got up and started to pace the apartment. "I wish they'd call. So I'd know something."

The words were barely out of his mouth, or the phone rang. Harm dove immediately for the handset.


"Commander, it's Admiral Chegwidden. I just got news from the colonel. Everybody is unharmed. They're safe."

Harm let out a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding. "Thank you for letting me know, sir."

"You're welcome. Good night, Commander."

"Good night, sir." Harm replaced the phone in its cradle and turned to Sturgis. "She's safe."

Sturgis allowed a small smile.

Harm sat down on the couch again and accepted a second bottle of beer. "Thanks, buddy. For everything."

Sturgis smiled a wide, knowing smile. "Don't worry about it, Harm." He got up. "I better get going before it's tomorrow."

Harm got up as well. "You're right, it's probably late. Mac would know."

Sturgis frowned at that comment. "You know, buddy? I look forward to meeting her."

Harm grinned widely at that comment and looked at Sturgis for a moment as if trying to picture him with Mac. "I'll bet. Good night, buddy."

"Good night, Harm."

The End