Author's note: Erm…/shuffles feet sheepishly/…hi. I thought I ought to finish the story. Sorry about leaving it…/sneaks away in shame/.
Disclaimer: No, just because I was gone doesn't mean I was on to bigger and better things. I still don't own anything.
Author's note 2: Just a reminder that this story is set before the departure of Admiral Chegwidden. Just another painful reminder of how long I let this story go unattended. Again, apologies all around.
"Riddle me this," I said to Harm as we drove into work in his SUV, "Why don't we get a snow day? AJ got one!"
"That's something you'll have to take up with the school board," he answered. /And JAG, he added to himself.
"Yeah, well, this traffic is terrible. You'd think people would have learned how to drive in snow."
/You'd think./ He was irritated. Harm is not a morning person.
It was Monday, and Harriet and Bud were still stranded at the airport, which meant that we still had AJ with us.
"I hafta go potty," he called from the back seat.
/Zip-a-dee Doo-dah…/ "Can you hold it?" Harm asked out loud.
"Not really," he answered earnestly.
Harm took a deep breath. /One…two…three…/
"Harm is gonna pull into the next place we see, okay? Why don't we play 'I Spy'?" I suggested, trying to take AJ's mind off his need to use the restroom while simultaneously giving Harm the time he needed to de-stress.
"Okay, me first!" he answered enthusiastically.
Twenty minutes later, we were at JAG.
/Finally/. "Okay, I've got court first thing this morning, which," he paused to look at his watch, "I will just barely make. Are you okay with AJ?"
"Sure. Go," I answered, pushing him to hurry.
/Love you/ "See ya later, Mac."
I smiled warmly. "See ya." Love you, too.
AJ was in my office playing quietly while I worked on my cases. After about an hour, I said to him, "AJ, I'm going to get some coffee. Do you want to come with, or will you be okay in here by yourself for a minute?"
"I'll be okay," he answered without looking up from his action figures.
"Okay." I walked out of the office and headed quickly for the break room. When I got back to my office less than two minutes later, AJ was gone.
"Dammit," I muttered to myself. I put my coffee mug on my desk and went in search of my godson. I walked into Harm's darkened office and called out softly, "AJ…are you in here? Aunt Mac can't play hide-and-seek right now."
I checked under the desk, but didn't find him anywhere. I turned to walk out, and instead ran smack into Harm, just returning from court.
"Whoa!" he said. /I don't think the office is the right place for this/
Har, har. "Harm, I need your help finding AJ. I was gone for a minute to get coffee, and when I got back to my office, he'd disappeared."
/Not good/ "Okay, lemme put my stuff down and we'll search."
He put his briefcase and folder on his desk and guided me out of his office, and we began the search. We checked underneath desks and asked a few people if they'd seen him. Finally, as we passed the Admiral's office, we heard his voice loud and clear.
"…ice cream at the park! And Unca Harm pushed us on the swings."
Without announcing ourselves, Harm pushed the door open and stepped inside, interrupting AJ's story. "Admiral, I can explain."
The admiral held up his hand, then looked back at AJ. "Continue."
"Anyways," he proceeded, "Aunt Mac and Unca Harm stayed the whooooole weekend together! And we went to the laundry, and Unca Harm looked at Aunt Mac's underwear, and they were sleeping together, and they were gonna take a shower, and they're getting married, and Aunt Mac lost her ring, and Unca Harm found it, and they kissed! And," AJ took a deep breath before finishing, "Aunt Mac is gonna have a baby."
Harm and I stood in the doorway mortified.
/My military career is officially over/
Admiral Chegwidden smiled indulgently at AJ, then looked up at the two of us. He seemed to choose his words carefully, and finally said, "Is, uh…is this true?"
"Uh…" Harm started.
"Well…" I tried.
We looked at each other pleadingly, and for the first time in days, I could tell Harm was doing some serious thinking, but I couldn't hear any of it.
Finally, I took a deep breath, exhaled, then said, "Well, sir…I'm not pregnant."
The Admiral pursed his lips and nodded his head. "Uh-huh…."
He finally noticed my ring and said, "We'll need to talk about this. Meanwhile, just keep it out of the office."
Harm and I stared at him in disbelief. He shuffled some papers on his desk, and we still stood there. After a moment, he looked up. "Was there anything else?"
"Very well," he said. "Dismissed."
We both executed a smart about face and walked quickly out of the room, I ushering AJ in front of me.
"And congratulations," Admiral Chegwidden called to our retreating forms.
Once in the outer office, we stopped and AJ looked at Harm and me appraisingly and said, no doubt quoting some movie, "I think that went well."
Harm and I chuckled, relieved.
To those two of you who still stuck with this story, please read and review. Or don't. I probably don't deserve it anyway.