Another Time 4

It had been a week since Rob had seen the enigma known as Mackenzie Wells. Something about her had him captivated, absolutely enthralled. He thought about her a lot, and he didn't know why. The comment that Jack had made, about him being 'smitten' with her was still bothering him. He didn't even know her, there was no way that he could fall for her. No way.......was there?

Harm was walking back from the officer's mess, when he ran straight into a woman. "Oh I'm sorry Ma'am." He said automatically, grabbing onto her arm to steady her. She looked up, and he got a good look at her. "Lt. Wells?"

"Lt. Hall. It's nice to run into you again. Literally." She grinned, putting the files she was carrying to her hip. "I'm sorry about that. I was so concentrated in not dropping any of these files, that I wasn't watching where I was going."

Rob smiled, and waved her apology off. "Don't worry about it. You need some help carrying those?" He asked. She nodded, and he took some of the files. "Thanks Rob. Is it okay if I call you that?" She asked.

"As long as it's okay if I call you Mackenzie." Rob said with a flyboy smile. She smirked, and looked as if she were in deep thought before nodding. "Then I guess it's okay if you call me Rob."

Suddenly a voice came over the ship's communication system, calling all pilots to the ready room. "Looks like you have to go." Mackenzie said quietly. She was disappointed, she had to admit to herself. Rob was intriguing to her for some reason, she felt a certain connection between them that she couldn't explain.

"Yeah." He murmured, handing the files back to her. "Sorry Mackenzie. But I'll see you after our mission gets back." He said, turning towards the ready room. "I'll see you later Lt."

"Bye Rob." She said. Right before she headed off in the opposite direction, she turned around abruptly. "Good luck!" She called out. Rob turned around and smiled, and then gave her a thumbs up.

Later....

Mackenzie had been in the office when the planes had taken off, but they were about to come back, and she was all done with her files, so she decided to go and watch them land. Afterwards she was planning on catching up with Rob. She stepped outside onto the vultures row, and leaned against the railing. The planes were just coming in. Two landed fine, and Mackenzie was wondering which one Rob was in.

The third one was coming in now, and even Mackenzie could tell that something was wrong. It was coming in too low, it was going to hit the ramp. She wanted to look away, but she just couldn't. She hoped that it was all in her mind, that the plane was actually fine. But she heard the commotion below her on the flight deck, and knew that it wasn't. And then another thought struck her. Rob was in the plane.

She didn't know why this thought suddenly stuck her, but her stomach dropped to her feet. The plane was going to crash, and Rob was in it. Everything from that point on seemed to happen in slow motion, but was over in just a few seconds. She saw the pilots eject, and could only hope that they made it out okay. The plane hit the ramp, and exploded. The heat from the blast hit her suddenly, and she had to turn her head away finally.

She wanted to go somewhere, anywhere, to get away from the scene in front of her, but she couldn't move. She saw the medical team on the deck, and saw one pilot being carried out on a stretcher, but she knew that it wasn't Rob. She bit her lip, hoping that he would be okay.

After what seemed like a lifetime, she saw another stretcher going across the deck. She let out a breath that she was unconsciously holding. 'Why do I care so much? Of course it's a tragic accident, especially if something happens to one of the pilots, but...Why am I so worried about Rob?' She knew most of the pilots, and a crash had never affected her this way.

She could finally move, and went running inside. The halls were abuzz with the news of the ramp strike, but she hurried past everyone, rushing to her quarters. She flung open the door, and luckily her roommate wasn't there. She sighed as she sat down in one of the chairs. Why was this affecting her so much?

A few days later...

Her fears were confirmed only a few minutes after the crash, the pilot of the plane was one Lt. Rob Hall. Both he and his RIO had ejected, and both had thankfully survived. His RIO's injuries were more severe than Rob's, so he was transferred to Bethesda. Rob on the other hand, was staying in sickbay.

While Mackenzie was off one night, she decided to visit him, just to see how he was doing. She knocked lightly on the door, and opened it when she heard, "Come in." She stepped inside quietly, and put a smile on.

"Hello Rob. How are you feeling?" She asked, taking up a seat next to his bed.

He turned towards her, but his eyes focused on somewhere that was behind her. "I'm fine." He said tightly. "How are you Mackenzie?"

She sighed, leaning forward. "I'm fine Rob, but I don't think that you are. Jack's conducting the investigation, and he said that something was wrong with the plane. It wasn't your fault. Your RIO wasn't hurt, so everything is fine." But she could tell that this didn't put him at ease at all. "What's bothering you Rob?"

"I can't fly anymore." He said bitterly, refusing to meet her gaze. "When I ejected I screwed up my knee really bad, and now I won't be able to pass the flight physical."

"I'm sure that it's not as bad as you think it is Rob...." She trailed off when she saw his icy gaze.

"Flying is my life Lt. I don't have anything more. I think that it's best if you leave now." He said, turning away. Mackenzie got out of the chair slowly, keeping an eye on him.

"Good luck Lt. Hall. Bye." She said, reaching the doorway. She turned around and looked at him one more time, and when he didn't look back, she sighed and shook her head, and walked out of the room.

After Rob recovered, he asked for a change of designator and his request was granted. He was transferred off the ship within a few weeks. And for some still unknown reason, it hurt Mackenzie. She had done the one thing that she promised herself she wouldn't ever do again...let someone in. She decided to move on, knowing that she would never see him again.

But little did she know, that their paths were fated to cross again...

Four years later...

It was Lt. Commander Mackenzie Wells first day at JAG Headquarters in Washington. She stepped inside the large building, slightly intimidated by everything that seemed to be going on. She asked for directions to her new CO's office, and arrived with one minute to spare. She introduced herself to the JAG's yeoman, who told her to go in.

Admiral Bud Roberts sat behind the large mahogany desk as he watched his new JAG lawyer walk into the office. He couldn't help the shiver that ran down his spine at the sight of her. She looked so much like his mentor and friend that had passed on so many years ago. He had the same feeling when he saw Lt. Commander Robert Hall for the first time also.

"Reporting as ordered Sir!" Wells snapped to attention briskly, in front of the desk.

"At ease Commander. It's good to have you aboard. Your partner should be here soon, I just had him called in." Bud said. The passing years had treated him well, aside from more gray hairs and a few more wrinkles he looked like the same Bud that Harm and Mac had known.

Mackenzie was hit with a sudden sense of déjà vu as she stood in the office, but something seemed off. Someone else was sitting behind the desk, but she couldn't tell who. And just as soon as the feeling had come to her, it left. A knock startled her out of her thoughts.

Bud nodded, signaling who she assumed to be her partner to come in. "Lt. Commander Hall, meet your partner Lt. Commander Wells." Mackenzie turned around and was surprised to find the very blue eyes of none other than Lt. Commander Robert Wells looking back at her.

She smiled, and held out her hand. "Mackenzie."

He shook his head and smiled. "Rob."

Bud looked back and forth between the two, and at their familiarity. "Do you two know each other?"

"Yes Sir." They answered in unison. Mackenzie smiled and continued. "We were stationed aboard the Kennedy together four years ago, when Lt. Commander Hall was a pilot, and I was assistant to the JAG." She explained.

"Well don't get too close, you're going to be working together." Bud said, repeating the words of AJ Chegwidden many years ago. An uncomfortable air settled in the room for a minute, as all three had an uneasy sense of déjà vu, yet again. Bud shook his head. This was a little weird...even for him. "That's all, dismissed." He said.

The two officers snapped to attention and committed perfect about faces. Bud leaned back in his chair as they both exited, leaving him to his thoughts. 'Wait until Harriet hears about this...' He thought to himself.

Author's Notes: YAY! Another chapter! I hope that you guys are still enjoying this story, and I promise that I'm starting to make their lives more like Harm and Mac's. I'm not sure how long I can keep the story going, before another writer's block comes along.  Thanks for reading, and please review!