Title: Dancing in the Dark Author: manette Disclaimers: All things JAG belong to DPB and Paramount Rating: PG-13 Spoilers: Harm/Mac story that takes place after ATW but was written before ATW2

Dancing in the Dark


He only comes to me at night-long after I should be asleep. But he knows that I rarely sleep much, and now I never want to close my eyes at all. I lie awake and wait-hoping this will be the night he comes to me again-once more in the darkness.

The Story-

The visits started after we returned from Paraguay. I had been so sure that the Admiral would welcome him back to Jag with open arms. After all, he had rescued me, and Webb, and the CIA's lousy mission-

But nothing in my life made sense anymore, including the fact that everyday when I went to work Commander Harmon Rabb's office remained dark and empty.

He'd started working with the CIA, but I couldn't bring myself to think that it was permanent. The earth was spinning uneasily on its axis knowing that Harm was not part of the Navy, and I just wanted-no, I ached-for things to be the way they used to be.

The first time he showed up unexpectedly I had been tossing and turning for hours, wrestling with my blankets as if they were responsible for all that was wrong in my world. It was after two in the morning, and I almost didn't hear the knock on my front door. Feeling modest enough in my flannel pajamas and bare feet, I stumbled out of my bedroom without turning on the lights and was surprised when I looked through the peep hole, to see him standing in my hallway. My heart jumped shamelessly at the welcome sight of him. He was dressed all in black, and he came in hurriedly when I opened the door. Walking quickly to my window, he checked the street as if he feared he might have been followed, and only then did he turn to me.

"I was hoping you would still be awake." He offered a tense smile as an apology.

"What's wrong?" I asked resisting the inexplicable urge to hug him. "Why are you here?"

"Nothing's wrong-I just needed to see you. We've barely talked since we got home from Paraguay." He wandered over to one end of my couch and sat down. I plopped down on the other end and pulled my feet up under me.

"It's the middle of the night, Harm--kind of a strange time for a visit." It was true. We had barely talked. He had been whisked away and caught up in this CIA job almost as soon as our plane touched down. I had a million questions, but his absence had made me shy. He seemed harder, darker, and more dangerous than the man who had been my partner for seven years.

"Ah-but I'm in the spy business now. We operate while the rest of the world sleeps." His tone was mocking. "The truth is I just finished an 'assignment', and I had an overpowering urge to see you." He laughed a little as if the admission cost him something, but his voice was husky, and his face was hidden in the shadows when he said quietly, "I should've stayed away, but I've missed you, Mac."

He sounded tired and a little lost.

I hesitated then said, "I've missed you too, Harm."

The only light in the room came from the streetlights outside the window. Darkness enveloped us as he closed the distance between us on the sofa and cupped my cheek with his hand. His eyes studied my face as if he needed to relearn it, and then he kissed me.


And then he was whispering broken words as he nuzzled my hair and crushed me against him. "My days are all wrong without you, Mac. Just let me hold you for a while. I need to hold you."

I was a willing prisoner. His arms captured me, aligning me so that I was stretched out across his chest. My legs tangled with his and my bare toes scraped his denim covered shins. His hands smoothed my hair from my face and traveled down my flannel covered back. His lips grazed my temple before moving from my check and on to my neck. I inhaled his closeness, and held on for dear life.

I didn't question why he was there or what it might mean. I didn't want to examine his motives or mine-I just wanted to learn by heart how it felt to be buried in his arms.

The tension in his body seemed to ease when I welcomed his embrace, and I relaxed too for the first time in weeks as he cradled me in his arms. He seemed content to simply hold me, and slowly I drifted off to sleep using his body as an anchor-a mooring that put my world back on an even keel at least for one night.

I woke up the next morning alone and in my bed instead of on the couch. I'd been disappointed but not completely surprised to find Harm gone. There had been an air of desperation about him that he would have been uncomfortable showing in the light of day. But I vowed that the next time I saw him, I would make him talk to me. The guilt I felt about what he had sacrificed was enormous, and I wanted him to reassure me that he had made the right choice by accepting this new job. He had thrown away everything he loved, and nothing about that felt right.

Attempts to contact him had been futile. I'd left a few messages at his apartment and on his cell phone, but I never heard from him. And apparently, no one at the CIA thought I had a 'need to know' when it came to the whereabouts of Harmon Rabb, Jr.

Days and long nights dragged by, and I heard nothing. I started thinking that his visit had been a dream-some kind of pathetic unfulfilled fantasy- the imaginings of a lonely woman. I dragged myself through my workdays making an effort to lose myself in court cases-searching for that passion for the law that had sustained me through the years. But these days all my passion seemed to be reserved for one man alone. And he was nowhere to be found. I ran for miles every evening trying to exhaust my body so that I could fall into some sort of sleep, but my mind wouldn't rest and each night I relived the brand of his touch, the echo of his murmured words.

And still I hadn't heard a single word from Harm.

I finally convinced myself that it was best if he stayed away from me. I would always be an unwelcome reminder of the life he had left behind. And we couldn't turn back the clock and recapture what we'd had, so the best thing for both of us was to move on with our separate lives. Someday I hoped to believe that. I'd drifted off to sleep hoping not to dream at all, praying if I did that it wouldn't be of Harm.

That night I woke up suddenly-startled to find myself surrounded by a large, warm body. He must have used his key to get in when I hadn't answered the door. I shivered thinking that he must have watched me sleep before stripping down to his boxers and slipping into my bed. Though he was asleep, he seemed restless and troubled. He held me tightly and mumbled a protest as I turned to face him. I studied his beautiful unshaven face in the half light of the bedroom. Even in slumber he looked worn out. I longed to soothe away the weariness, and so I touched him while he slept, hoping my gentle fingers would alleviate the coiled tension that radiated from his skin. I ran my fingers across his bare chest and up his neck. I brushed my lips across his brow and tangled my fingers in his hair.

I knew the exact moment when he woke up. His body went from tense to rigid in a matter of seconds, and I found myself flat on my back with my arms pinned above my head.

Cold flat eyes that didn't know me bored into mine and a harsh, menacing voice demanded in the darkness. "Tell me who you are before I kill you."

To be continued.