Author's Note: Hey, I want to thank everyone who responded, especially scullpell and Beach chickJASSNL. You gave me some great ideas and you'll be seeing bits and pieces of them throughout the rest of the story. Also, this baby is far from over so have no fear, I'll be giving you guys what you want. I'm just gonna tease you first. Oh, I haven't betaed this. I figured you'd rather deal with my mistakes than wait for me to beta it.
2345 Local Time
Falls Church, VA
Mac rolled over, confused as to why she was so cold. Half-awake, she reached for Harm... and didn't find him. She sat up still half asleep and discovered she was alone.
"Harm?" There was no answer. "Harm?" She was feeling a little irritated. She was groggy and cold and she needed Harm... for his body heat, of course. Her stomach rumbled. "Okay, okay, I'll feed you." She muttered and headed off to the kitchen. 'Maybe that's where Harm is, too.' She thought. She groped her way through the dark, wishing Harm had left the flashlight for her.
She approached the kitchen and saw a tall figure rummaging throught the cupboards. The flashlight in his hand barely illuminated his navy uniform. A shiver-- from the cold-- ran through her body. A sudden surge of courage ran through her body and she found herself approaching her sailor. She tiptoed to a position behind him and slid her hands around his midsection. He froze and she could feel his stomach muscles tighten beneath her fingers.
"I'm cold." She complained, resting her cheek against his back. He didn't answer. "Harm?" He turned to face her and she took a step back.
"Evening, Colonel." Mac leaped back.
"Oh my god, Sturgis! I'm so sorry. I thought you were, I mean I was hungry and..."
"You thought I was Harm."
"NO!" Mac blushed furiously. "I mean yes but it wasn't what you think. I was cold and I thought Harm could warm me up." Sturgis raised an eyebrow and Mac turned even redder, realizing what she had said. "I mean I thought Harm might have an extra blanket or something and, what are you doing here?" She desperately tried to change the subject. Sturgis gave her an amused look before humoring her.
"I was working late and got snowed in. Apparently you and Harm did, too?" Mac nodded. "I tried to get the generator going after the power went out but the starter cord was broken." Mac was glad the darkness hid her guilt.
"Uh, yeah, Harm and I noticed that, too. So is anyone else here?" She once again changed the subject.
"Not that I've seen." Mac's stomach rumbled again. "You hungry?"
"Yeah, a little." Her stomach rumbled loudly. "Okay, a lot." They both laughed. Sturgis handed her the flashlight and Mac dug through the cabinets looking for food. "Hmm, graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. All we need is a fire and we could make s'mores."
"What about the fireplace in the Admiral's office?" Sturgis suggested.
"I didn't even think of that. Good idea, Sturgis."
"Well, how about you and I go get the fire started and then you can take the flashlight and go find Harm?"
"Sounds good to me." The duo made their way across the bullpen to the Admiral's office. "It's creepy here when it's all quiet and dark." Mac admitted. "I feel like some kind of burglar."
"Especially going into the Admiral's office." Sturgis agreed. "It's like entering the forbidden forest." This elicited a laugh from Mac.
"Well as long as there aren't any creepy creatures lying in wait I think I can handle it." Sturgis turned the knob and... "Phew. No things or people lurking in the dark." Mac voiced as Sturgis swept the torch across the room. The two quickly set to work on the fireplace and in moments a nice orange glow blanketed the room.
"Here," Sturgis said, " take the flashlight and go find the ever elusive Commander. I'll stay here and get warm by the fire." He smiled.
"Gee, thanks. Give me the yucky job." She scrunched her nose up.
"Complain all you want. I know you like your quests to find Harm. Adds excitement to your life."
"I could do with a little less excitement in my life." She told him and plucked the flashlight from his hand. She quietly closed the door behind her as she stepped into the bullpen. First she wandered over to Harm's office, thinking he might have returned by now. Nope. Next she checked her office. Nada. 'Where is that boy?' She wondered. 'Hmm, maybe the kitchen.' That, too, turned up negative results. 'If I was a flyboy, where would I be... well, there aren't any planes in here so, possibly the bathroom?' She headed towards the lavatories. "It really is a little creepy out here." She said out loud.
"I thought you were a big, bad marine?"
"Ahh!" Mac exclaimed and swung around. Smack! The flashlight in her hand made contact with her would-be attacker.
"Oof." He fell to the ground.
"Oh no!" Mac cried out, realizing her victim was none other than Harmon Rabb. "Harm?" She gently shook him. "Harm?" Still no response. "Great, I've knocked him out cold. Smooth move, Mackenzie." She sighed, realizing she was going to need Sturgis's help to move her flyboy.