Chapter Seventy Seven

0800 Local Time
Thanksgiving Day
USS Patrick Henry

Harm and Emily got suited up. "Can you believe that we will be out of here soon?"

"I'm excited." Emily replied. "Brennen and I will finally be in the same home again after being separated for nearly half of his life. Sometimes I wonder if he will hate me."

"No, I don't think so. Mac says he calls you his hero."

"Harm, I want to apologize again for what my parents said to her. I just want you to know that I do not share my parents sentiments, and if they weren't taking such good care of Brennen, I wouldn't even associate with them." Emily said still totally disgusted at her parents for the comments that the said to Mac. Mac had tried not to make a big deal out of it, but Emily's parents had called and fessed up thinking that Mac had told her.

"Em, I know. Don't worry about. You are not your parents." Harm said giving her a smile. "Now are you with me?"

"To hell and back Hammer."

They made their way out when they saw the CAG waiting for them. "Hammer, Emily, good luck on this mission. We just found out that the transmission held some of our troop activities, so air support is definitely needed for them today."

"Of course sir." Emily said. "Keep some turkey warm for us sir."

"Hell, I'll save you guys an entire bird."

"We will hold you to it." They climbed into the cockpit and took off to fight for what they believed to be right.

0800 EST
Rabb Residence
King George, VA

Mac woke up to the sound of Mackenzie babbling away in her crib. She got up and went over to her baby. "Hi Honey. Do you want to go with Mommy to the drug store?" Mackenzie reached up for her mom. "Mommy's sweet angel," she cooed to the baby. "You have your Daddy's eyes."

"Dadadada, mamama, tatata." Mackenzie babbled to her mother as if trying to talk to her while she was changing Mackenzie into one of her cute outfits. "Bababa."

Mac made her way down the stairs. She found Grams already in the kitchen peeling potatoes. "Grams, you don't have to do that all by yourself."

"Nonsense, this is thanksgiving. I need to get started early. Besides Sergei got up early when he heard me down here at 5:30. I sent him back up to bed an hour ago to catch some last minute shut eye."

"I need to go to the drug store and pick up some cough drops and baby food for Mackenzie. She doesn't particularly care for the kind I have left, and I want her to have a good thanksgiving too." Mac said. "Is there anything you need?"

"No, but thank you for asking."

"Well, Mackenzie and I are going to run out then."

"I will see you in a few."

Mac walked into Walgreens a couple of minutes later. She went to the one hour photo place and had some digital prints picked up she picked up Mackenzie's baby food, extra toothbrushes just in case someone had forgotten theirs, toothpaste, and a pregnancy test.

She got back to the house a couple of minutes later, her bladder getting ready to burst. Mac settled Mackenzie into her playpen and turned on PBS and ran upstairs to take the test.

Mac mentally set her clock for five minutes and walked around the house keeping herself busy picking up Mackenzie's toys and Mattie's school things. When five minutes was up she saw the read out on EPT digital, Mac was definitely pregnant. She did the math in her head and realized that it must have happened when they were on board the Patrick Henry together, she had already missed two periods but thought it was due to travel and stress.

"Well Kiddo, I guess you and I are going to have to figure out how we are going to tell your daddy abut this."

She heard Mattie start her shower and then she heard Mackenzie start pitching a fit downstairs. She smiled at the thought of their family getting bigger. "Hopefully you will be a boy for your daddy's sake."

Mac walked downstairs and picked Mackenzie up out of her playpen. "Do you know you look just like your Daddy when you look at me with your pouty eyes? What's wrong baby?" Then she smelled it. "Oh yuck. I can't wait for your dad to get home so he can start changing your diapers again. Just my luck you will be getting out of diapers when this one will be getting in diapers."

Grams came out, "I knew you were pregnant Sarah."

"Oh, please don't tell anyone, I want Harm to be the first to know."

"Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. How far along do you think you are?"

"Around seven weeks. It happened when I was on the carrier with Harm."

Grams smiled at her. "Harm will be so excited when you tell him. Now, you need to take care of yourself. You are looking a little tired. I bet you didn't get any sleep last night."

"I don't get any sleep while he is out to sea."

"Well, try to make an old woman happy, and go lie down. I will take care of the children. Mattie will be all to happy to help me out." Mac smiled.

"I guess I could look into getting the sleep. Thank you. I will get up in two hours to help."

"Take as much time as you need dear. I will have sandwiches ready for lunch around noon."

"Our guests will probably arrive around then."

"Good, because I plan on feeding this woman's Navy." Grams informed her. "Now get some sleep. Mattie will wake you in time for lunch."

"Do I look that bad?"

"No sweetheart, but you should sleep as much as you can now. I am sure you know that with a baby you get no sleep whatsoever."

Mac trudged up the stairs and luckily made it to her bathroom before she lost all the contents of her stomach again, at least this time she didn't think it was a stomach bug. She went to Harm's closet and pulled out one of his sweatshirts that she stole from him. She put it on and it still smelled like him, she crawled on to his side of the bed and that is where Mattie found her when she woke her mother up for lunch two hours later.

"Mom, time to wake up. It's Thanksgiving. Uncle AJ, Aunt Harriet, Uncle Bud, Sturgis and Varese just got here. Great Grams invited everyone over for lunch."

Mattie crawled on to the bed and Mac pulled her into a hug. "Happy Thanksgiving Matts."

"Happy Thanksgiving Mom. Are we going to hear from Dad today?"

"Probably not Mattie. He was going to fly a little this morning, and then the guys on ship had a party planned, duel party, a Thanksgiving feast and they are celebrating the adoption. He wrote me an email saying he would call tomorrow if he could get to the com room. But he said that he loves us all."

They heard AJ call them from downstairs. "Mac move it. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?"

"I almost forgot. I signed up for it last week, the God Squad against the JAG team." We are all meeting at the park to play football."

Mattie ran downstairs to say hi to her Uncle AJ so Mac could change into jeans and a long sleeve shirt. She grabbed her Navy ballcap and pulled her ponytail through and ran down the stairs.

"I knew we would convert you sooner or later Marine!" Sturgis hooted as he spotted her.

"It's Harm's hat, I lost a bet with him last week, so this is my punishment." She grabbed Mattie and Mackenzie and Trish snapped a picture.

"I'll send this picture to Harm."

"Thanks Trish."

Grams looked up, "Sarah, are you playing football with those boys?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Be careful honey." She said knowingly.

"I will Gram." AJ quirked his eyebrow up. "You boys better be back by 1700 for the first course of dinner. Trish and I will keep the kitchen cooking." Sarah Rabb commanded them.

"Yes ma'am." Sergei said kissing his grandmother on the cheek.

Mac grabbed a turkey and cheese sandwich and grabbed one of the milk chugs from the refrigerator. "Are you sure you can watch Mackenzie? I can take her with and set her up in a stroller."

"No, I want to spend some quality time with her."

"Okay Gram. I will make sure we are in time to wash up for dinner and to make sure the kids are presentable."

"I'll see you soon sweetheart."

Mac stood out on the football field and called the play out to her teammates. "Guys, are you ready to beat the God Squad?"

"Sure are!" Harriet screamed. Harriet normally didn't join in on the sporting events but made an exception since it as touch football.

"On three scream Go Navy!" Mattie yelled. Mac rolled her eyes.

"Why can't you just say Go Marines for once, or even Go JAG?" Mac chided her child.

Admiral Jonas snickered, "Admit you are beat Mac."

"Okay on three . . . one, two, three, GO NAVY!" Admiral Jonas, Mattie, Harriet, Mac, AJ Chegwidden, and Sturgis took the field against three chaplains and two Marines, and Lil whose father was on the chaplain team.

Mattie faced off against Lil who smiled. "Ready to get beat?"

"In your dreams Lil."

Mattie stood in front of Mac and snapped the ball back to her mother. The JAG team continually ran their plans and beat the God Squad by one touch down. It was something that they all needed.

Everyone had been invited back to Mac's, but several people already had prior obligations, so the JAG family said goodbye to their CO and they made their way back to the house to enjoy the family dinner.

Mac came walking in the door just as Mackenzie was getting ready to have a meltdown. "Time for a nappie Sweetpea." She took her daughter and clicked on Harm's lullaby DVD that he had made for Mackenzie. She put her head down in her play pen and immediately calmed herself down.

"You know Harriet, if Harm didn't make that DVD, then Mackenzie wouldn't have taken him being gone to great." She said closing the door to the family room where the Mackenzie was napping. The twins were upstairs in the nursery and Jimmy was in the office taking his nap.

"It is a shame he is going to miss Mackenzie's first bite of cereal."

"I'll catch it on tape. Can you keep an ear out for her, I need to take a shower."

"Sure. You took a hard one for the team." Harriet said commenting a time where Mac got tagged a little too hard.

"We have a pretty big water heater, I'll be out quick and then you are more than welcome to use my shower if you want to get one. I will leave a clean towel out for you."

"Thanks Mac, I appreciate it."

After Mac finished her shower she checked her email. Harm had sent her a quick email.

Dear Mac,

Well, we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner in between missions. I don't think our enemies particularly care for our holidays. We got a lead on Ben Ladir-Famiro, and I am providing the air support for our troops.

I got the proof of you wearing my ballcap! Great picture, that is one that will go with me in my flight suit. Anyway, sorry it is so short. I love you and the girls so much. Only two weeks until I get home.

See you soon, love you lots,

Harm

Mac sat down at the family dinner and looked at Mackenzie smiling and Mattie laughing at little AJ play with his food. Sarah Rabb got up, "I don't know if you guys do this, but I would like for everyone to go around and say what they are thankful for."

Mac sat and listened to the JAG family say their piece and then Mattie got up, "I am thankful for my new life. When I wasn't wanted by anyone in the world, I was proven wrong. Many people fought for me last year, and I am thankful for that. I love you guys as much as I loved my old family. Thank you for making me feel loved again." Mattie addressed everyone.

Sergei stood, "I was alone much like Mattie, no mother, no father, my wife was killed. I found new love over here, for that I am thankful for. My father's family and his wife opened up their arms to me, and I want to express my gratitude. Thank you for helping me through the transitions."

Mac smiled at them. "I am thankful for family, friends, and love. I never really had much of it until I moved to DC. Now I am completely surrounded by it."

They all ate a wonderful thanksgiving spread complete with turkey and ham. Sergei prattled on about how they didn't celebrate Thanksgiving and that it was his first ever, and it wouldn't be his last. Towards the end of dinner, Mac started helping clear the dishes and Mattie ran upstairs to call Max.

"Mom, there is a car pulling up."

Mac walked to the door as she was drying one of the platters. "I got the door."

Mac opened it and saw Admiral Jonas and Chaplain Turner standing on the other side of the door.

"Mac," Admiral Jonas started saying, sympathy pouring from his eyes. The platter fell to the ground and shattered. "It is my duty to inform you that your fiancé, Commander Harmon Rabb Jr. was killed in the line of duty." In that instant Lt. Colonel Sarah Mackenzie's world shattered.

AN – OKAY EVERYONE, BEFORE I GET STONED, THERE IS A SEQUEL ON THE WAY – AND I WROTE THE ENDING IN AROUND JANUARY, AND WANTED TO END IT SOMEHOW – SEQUEL ON THE WAY, SO STICK WITH IT PLEASE! KEEP AN OPEN MIND. REMEMBER, I GREW UP WITH A NAVY FATHER WHO WAS ON A SHIP MORE OFTEN THAN NOT FOR BIRTHDAYS AND HOLIDAYS, THAT IS WHY I KEPT HARM AWAY FOR SOME OF THE BIRTHDAYS AND HOLIDAYS – I WROTE MATTIE'S PART MUCH LIKE THE WAY MY LIFE WAS WHEN I WAS YOUNGER – THAT IS WHY MATTIE ADORES HER DAD, MAYBE BECAUSE I ADORE MINE.