Dinner and Surprises

Author: Shannon/Raindrops on Roses

Rating: PG
Category: General, AJ/Mac

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. They belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al.

Spoilers: "Back in the Saddle"

Author's Notes: This is in response to this week's (11/2/03) challenge on 15minuteficlets. In the same universe as "A Dream Come True?" The challenge word was "gathering".


"Hey, Mac, Cathy and I are having a small gathering at our place tomorrow night. Bud and Harriet will be there with the kids, and the admiral might stop by, too. If you wanna come, just bring yourself, okay? Talk to you later."

Mac shook her head and deleted the message. Harm had been badgering her to get out more lately--she supposed this was yet another ploy to make her do so. But if he was planning to fix her up with someone, her shoe would connect with his backside. But why not? It wasn't like she had anything better to do.


Mac knocked on the apartment door. Harm had moved in with Catherine Gale to help her take care of her daughter, Elizabeth. They both swore that they weren't involved, but anyone could see that Harm doted on both Elizabeth and Catherine, or Cathy, as he liked to call her.

"Mac! Glad you could make it!" Catherine exclaimed. "Harm's changing Lizzie right now. Bud and Harriet should be here any minute. Come in. Can I take your coat?"

Mac laughed. "Whoa, Catherine, calm down! I'm not going anywhere!" She handed the blonde woman her trenchcoat and stepped inside the spacious apartment. Looking around, she smiled as her gaze landed on Harm and the baby.

"Oh, look at her! She's so adorable!" Mac cooed.

Harm beamed. Mac had to resist the urge to laugh aloud; he looked just like a smitten father. "I know. Would you like to hold her?"

Mac glanced over at Catherine to make sure this was acceptable. When she nodded, Mac said, "I'd love to!"

Harm handed her the baby, who looked up at her with wide blue eyes. "Hello there, Lizzie. How are you today?" She giggled as the baby blew a raspberry. "Not so good? Well, I hope your day gets better."

There was a knock at the door. "Hello, Admiral! Please, come in."

"Good evening, Ms. Gale. How are you and the baby doing?"

"We're doing wonderfully. Harm has been a godsend, really. I would've lost it by now if it weren't for him."

AJ smiled. "Well, that's good to know." His gaze landed on Mac and the child. "Hello, Mac," he said softly.

Mac's face lit up as she realized who had arrived. "Admiral! How are you doing, sir?"

"Fine, Mac. And it's AJ. You're not in my chain of command anymore."

"Yes, sir, AJ," Mac said. The adults laughed. "Would you like to hold Lizzie, AJ?"

AJ looked doubtful for a moment. Mac encouraged, "Here. She's such a sweet baby." She carefully placed the child into AJ's arms. AJ smiled as Lizzie gurgled at him happily.

"Oh, isn't that cute?" Harriet whispered to Bud. The Roberts family had just arrived to see Mac hand the baby to AJ. "They look just like a little family."

"Harriet!" Bud hissed.

"What, Bud? It's true. And they're not paying attention to us, anyway."

It was true. The two were lost in their own little world. They chatted quietly, fussing over the baby, not paying attention to the others--that is, until Harm declared that dinner was ready.

"I'll take Lizzie for you, Admiral," Catherine said. He relinquished the infant to her mother, then offered his arm to Mac.

"Shall we?"

Mac took the proffered arm, and said, "Certainly." They grinned at each other and walked into the dining room.

Harriet smiled triumphantly at Harm. "Pay up."

He grumbled and reached into his back pocket. Pulling out his wallet, he handed Harriet a crisp $20 bill. "Are you psychic or something?"

"No... a woman just knows these things." Winking at the confused commander, she joined her husband and children at the table.