Author: Laura Dugan
Feedback: Kindly, at AliasGirl@hotmail.com
Disclaimer: I don't own any of it: the show, the characters, nothing. They belong to CBS, Belasarius Productions, and its subsidiaries. I mean no infringement.
Category: Post Ep Persian Gulf, Mac/Harm Romance
Summary: Mac spirals out of control after killing Sadik. Will Harm be able to save her from herself?
Notes: I had an immediate response to Persian Gulf and the previews for the next episode. This is my interpretation of that episode. Thanks to Arica for helping, in a general sense, with this story. :) Special thanks to Dr. L - the JAG poster inspired me to get his finished!
Chapter 4 :: Truth Be Told
Sunlight peeked through a crack in the curtains, as if peering in on a secret rendezvous, catching stolen glances at the sleeping couple. They had not much changed positions since falling asleep last night. They both lay on their sides, Harm's arm casually draped across Mac's stomach, their bodies perfectly aligned, forming one uniform shape under the covers.
Mac awoke first, slowly, luxuriously enjoying the warmth that seemed to surround her. She glanced at the clock, surprised to see she'd slept for a solid nine hours. She hadn't slept that well since, definitely before Sadik, probably before the fateful Paraguay trip. So much had resulted from that one venture south. She'd almost been killed, she'd uncovered the softer side of Clayton Webb, and almost walked out on Harm forever. Almost.
Closing her eyes, she thought about his question. Why had she stayed? It was more than the fact that she was in love with him. She loved him, more than she had loved anyone else - Mic, Clay, definitely more than her ex-husband, but there was something else there, something that kept her coming back again and again.
Harm stirred besides her, interrupting her thoughts, and it sunk in for the first time that he was still in bed with her. She had felt the warmth, felt his arm around her, but it hadn't sunk in. It had all seemed so natural, so ordinary that she hadn't realized that she had only asked him to stay until she had fallen asleep. Not that she was upset, far from it - she felt happy and safe and somehow right, like everything fit exactly where it needed to.
She carefully rolled over so she was facing him and his arms tightened around her as she hoped they would, Mac burrowing in against his chest. In that moment, feeling Harm's heart beat beneath her, feeling his strong arms holding her close, Mac knew why she had never left and never would.
She could feel Harm begin to wake, his muscles stirring, as he, too, went through the process of realizing he was still in Mac's bed and she was still in there with him. She felt him tense for a moment then relax and one hand moved to touch her hair. She snuggled against him again, tingling as he ran his fingers through her hair.
"Guess you never made it home last night," she said softly.
"Think Mattie's worried?"
"Probably not. She knew where I was." And she's probably thrilled, Harm thought, that I spent the night. Mattie loved Mac and Harm knew she would love nothing more than to see them end up together. He cleared his throat. "How did you sleep?"
"Better than I have in… I can't even remember how long. Didn't even have any nightmares. I started to, but then it went away. I think I'm finally getting over Sadik. Finally getting him out of my head."
"I'm glad," Harm said as he absently twisted strands of Mac's hair. "You need to keep that head of yours free for all of the problems that I cause you on a daily basis." Mac chuckled, and he felt it more than heard it, and he suddenly realized how close she was. He abruptly stopped playing with her hair and moved back slightly so he could look at her.
Mac opened her eyes at the loss of warmth and immediately got lost in his deep blue gaze. She wanted to kiss him. Wanted him to kiss her, desperately, feverishly, and she was amazed at the emotions this man awakened within her. And he looked, for a brief moment, like he would kiss her, but something stopped him.
Their hearts were racing, both feeling the chemistry in the air, like a third being in the room, urging them to finally give in.
"Why do you stay, Sarah?" Harm asked softly, and there was something in his tone, an urgency, a sense that nothing would be the same again, and Mac knew it was time for the truth.
"I didn't figure that out, not exactly, until this morning when I woke up in your arms and I felt at home. Truly at home." Harm smiled and Mac knew that what her heart had told her was right. "We have been through every crisis imaginable and no matter what, no matter how long it takes, we always end up together. We may go months separated by work or by our own egos, but it always comes back to us." She paused, exhaling slowly, her eyes never leaving his. "And we are an 'us,' Harm.
"You asked me last night how I feel about you. And I always thought that it was obvious, but then I realized that it has never been obvious how you felt about me. Sometimes I would think I had it all figured out and then something would happen, like in Paraguay, and I would have no idea again.
"The reason I stayed was because no matter what happened, no matter what stupid thing you would say or do or I would do, I always felt deep down inside that we felt the same way about each other. Somehow I knew that…" She paused again, willing herself to take the risk, trusting that her instincts had to be right. "I knew that you loved me. And I loved you." Harm had been longing to hear those words for so long that it took a second to sink in. Mac went on, "I love you so much that it has nearly driven me crazy on more than one occasion. But if I had believed, truly believed you didn't feel the same way or that you never would, I would have left. I would have found a way to move on. I would have married Mic and would quite possibly have been very happy. But that wasn't the reality of the situation."
"How long?" Harm managed to get out.
"How long what?"
"How long have you known?"
"Well, since about ten minutes ago." She smiled. "I think I've loved you since we first met eight years ago. I felt something shift after Bud had his accident. I watched Harriet, I watched the two of them together, and I knew that I would be absolutely lost without you. That's why I would get so angry every time you ran off and didn't take me with you. But I didn't know until I woke up today that this was a forever thing. This is a forever thing, isn't it?" The first signs of doubt showed in Mac's voice as she realized that Harm had yet to reciprocate her feelings.
He laughed and pulled her to him and kissed her softly then with increasing passion, eight years of pent up emotions showing themselves in that one kiss. They pulled back, breathless, and Harm smiled. "Oh, Sarah, I can't remember a time in my life where I haven't loved you. There were times when it nearly consumed me. And there were times, like last fall, that I was so afraid I would lose you that I tried to suppress it. But it never worked." He began to say something, then closed his mouth, thinking. "I was going to say that I regretted that we waited this long to say how we feel. But I don't. We're both at the perfect places in our lives right now. At least I am. I did have a lot of growing up to do, but both you and Mattie have changed me and I finally feel like I am who I should be. I just wish it hadn't taken so long."
"I guess that just means that we have a lot of lost time to make up for." Mac smiled seductively, which Harm completely overlooked, choosing instead to focus on her words.
"You're absolutely right!" Excited, he threw back the covers and kneeled on the bed, then looked down at his legs and moved so he was on one knee. Mac lay on her back, staring up at him like he'd completely lost it. "I don't have a ring or anything, but it's been eight years, way too long for me to put off asking this." Mac's eyes went wide. "So what do you say, Marine, marry me?"
Tears came to Mac's eyes and she sat up, laughing. She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him. Pausing to take a breath, she looked into his eyes and said, "I hope you know what you're getting into, Flyboy."
"So is that a yes?"
They collapsed back onto the bed, both happier then they had ever been.
"We should call Mattie!" Mac said, sitting up.
"Yes, we should," Harm said, kissing Mac back down onto the mattress. "But first, there's something else I've been waiting eight years to do." He gave his trademark flyboy grin and Mac laughed.
"That long, huh?"
"Oh, yeah," Harm said as he planted kisses on Mac's neck and shoulders.
Mac pushed him away, a mock serious expression on her face. "I'm keeping my last name." She fought not to grin.
"I wouldn't have it any other way."
And they did call Mattie, who squealed with delight and asked when they'd all be moving in together. Next they called Bud and Harriet, who only questioned why it took them so damn long to get to this point.
The Admiral was last on their list. Harm listened to him grumble about office politics and the JAG code of conduct with a bemused expression on his face. He looked down at the beautiful woman by his side and smiled at her while rolling his eyes. Mac giggled.
After a few minutes of requisite ranting, the Admiral's voice grew lighter. His official standpoint aside, the Admiral was thrilled that his two best lawyers had finally managed to tell each other how they felt. "We'll find a way to make this work."
Harm pulled Mac closer to him and kissed her forehead. "We always do."