Disclaimer: Not mine. Not making money.
Summary: Harm may be fearless and strong, but there are some things that even he is scared of.
Harm whistled to himself, knowing the day was coming to a close. So far, his day had been free of blemishes. No fights with Mac. No mention of Clayton Webb. He won his case quite easily over Sturgis and he even joked with the Admiral about baseball. There was only one more thing that would make this day perfect. Dinner with a certain Marine. The moment she stepped out, he quickly strode up to her and cut off her path.
"You seem a little more cheerful than usual," Mac said, who couldn't help but smile at Harm's brightly lit face.
"I've been having a very good day," he beamed and folded his arms across his chest. The grin on his face was priceless, but instead of poking fun at him, she decided to congratulate.
"Well, at least one of us has been having a good day," she returned. "Great job today. I heard Sturgis didn't have a chance."
She tried to walk past, but Harm gently tugged on her arm keeping her from leaving. He let his grin fade and he asked, "You didn't have a good day?"
"Well, I spilled coffee all over one of my reports and had to redo it. I missed a meeting with my client today which resulted in a chewing out by the Admiral and then to top it off, I lost my case," she listed, trying to keep up a strong front.
"Aww, Mac," Harm sympathized. "Look, why don't you come by my place and I'll make you dinner. Anything you want."
"Anything?" Mac started to smile radiantly and Harm nodded yes. She paused, then said, "Okay. I think I'm in the mood for anything pasta."
"Really? Pasta?" Harm questioned, amused by her choice of food.
"You can add in Italian sausage too," Mac laughed. "I'll see you at 7:00?"
"That sounds great," Harm smiled and watched her walk away. Harm turned around on his heel and walked to his office. He was still on a winning streak today. Mac was coming over for dinner and it wasn't for a case or anything JAG related. Maybe they could finally work some things out and put the past behind them. Everything was going his way.
Harm continued to whistle, a habit he had just picked up today. It seemed to fit his very good mood and he just couldn't stop. He pulled out a pot and filled it with water. It was time to boil the spaghetti noodles for dinner. He set the pot on the burner but before he could cut it on, he heard a loud buzz go by his ear. He instantly whirled around to see what it was, but could see nothing. His heart was thumping in his chest, but he took deep breathes trying to calm down.
He laughed at himself and practically scolded, "Geez, Harm. You got scared for nothing."
He turned back to the stove and saw it sitting on the edge of the pot. He quickly stumbled back and slammed into his counter. He stared down at the little creature and began to mumble, "Be...Be...Bee."
Harm opened one his drawers slowly and grabbed a spatula. Then suddenly, the bee flew at him and Harm swung mercilessly. He also swung blindly, backing up then flipping over his couch. He landed on the floor hard, but quickly recovered. He speedily looked to his left, than to his right. The intruder was no where in sight. He mentally kicked himself for acting this way, but he couldn't help it.
For as long as he could remember, he had always been afraid of bees, wasps, hornets, etc. Of course, it was natural for any human to be scared of them, but for him it was different. As a kid, he had terrible nightmares of the little beasts that kept him up half the night. Even as an adult, he made a fool of himself at the Academy when a bee found comfort on his left shoulder. He danced around in the parking lot with all of his colleagues looking on; wondering what the hell was wrong with him. To make matters worse, he took cover behind a random car and huddled on the ground until a good friend told him the coast was clear.
Once Sturgis heard that story, he never let him live it down. Now he was here again, taking cover behind his couch with a spatula in hand waiting to see if that bee was going to attack him.
"C'mon, Harm! Get a hold of yourself! It's just a damn bee!" Harm practically ordered. He then looked to his left again and saw the bee buzz right by him. It was then he realized he wasn't dealing with a bee. He jumped up and yelled, "Wasp!"
He scurried back around to his kitchen and slid on the tile behind the island. He came to a stop and felt himself begin to tremble in fear. Never before had his fear of bees been this bad before! He felt so inferior! He was instantly transported back in time to that little boy again having the awful nightmares about bees and wasps. When it came to size, he was much bigger than a damn wasp, but that didn't matter. He was still scared nonetheless. He began to grimace as the thought of Mac crossed his mind.
"She can't see me like this!" he moaned, his vice like grip on the spatula becoming deadly. He opened a door, grabbed a pot and stuck it on his head like a helmet. He slowly rose up and peered over the island, searching for his prey. That wasp had to go. If he didn't kill it, Mac would laugh at him for the rest of his natural life.
Suddenly, his door flew open and Harm's eyes widened. Jenn and Mattie were standing there, giving him the most befuddled expression. Jenn cracked a small smile and said, "Sir?"
"Harm?" Mattie asked, stifling a giggle herself. "Why do you have a pot on your head?"
Harm slowly shifted his eyes up, spotting the rim of the pot. His cheeks flushed and he tore the pot off his head quickly and smiled uneasily, "Uh, no reason."
"Okaay," Jenn said, still looking quite confused. "I was going to take Mattie to a movie. Is that okay, sir?"
Harm remained behind the island, his body refusing to budge and he said meekly, "That's fine, Jenn. You two have fun. Now go."
"Harm, are you sure you're okay?" Mattie asked, skeptical of his over cheery smile. "I mean, you're hiding behind the island like you've just seen a ghost."
"I promise I'm fine," Harm gulped slightly, trying to make this embarrassing moment disappear. "Now, really, please just go!"
"Okay, Harm. Bye," Mattie said and shut the door. Once the door was shut, Mattie glanced at Jenn and the two them burst out into laughter. "What is his issue?"
"I have no idea!" Jenn laughed some more as they walked off. Then Jenn paused and said thoughtfully, "Although, I can't help but worry."
"I know the feeling," Mattie agreed, taking one last look over her shoulder at Harm's door.
Harm sunk to the floor again, throughly embarrassed and ashamed. He was afraid of a wasp. So afraid, he couldn't get up off the floor! Things couldn't get any worse. Or maybe they could...
Harm heard the buzzing again and he yelled loudly and began swinging his spatula fervently! He stumbled around his apartment, swinging and missing. He knocked over a plant, tripped over his own feet and nearly slammed into the wall several times, but his efforts were fruitless. The wasp was still coming at him! He ran to his closet, tearing it up looking for the bug spray.
"Where are you?" he called, tossing his clothes left and right. Finally, he found the can, but when the wasp bounced off his cheek, he dropped the can and totally freaked out. He dived across his bed and landed on the floor. He curled up and shook uncontrollably. His breathing shaky and his mind going crazy. Why was this happening? Why now?
Suddenly, the thought of bees was making him sick and he couldn't sit still any longer. He ran back into the kitchen, looking for the spatula again to defend himself. It was then that he heard a knock on the door and Harm instantly knew it was Mac. "I'm coming! Give me a...AGHHH!"
Mac immediately took on a face of worry and called, "Harm? Are you okay?"
She knocked again, but didn't get an answer. She leaned against the door to listen and could hear him yelling and hollering. It even sounded like glass was being broken! Mac, fearing the worst, tried the handle and found that the door was open. She bursted in and stopped dead in her tracks when she saw her best friend romping around with a pot on his head and a spatula in hand. He looked at her with wild eyes and shouted, "Take cover! Take cover NOW!!"
"What?!? Why?!?" Mac practically yelled back. She instinctively dropped to the ground, although she wasn't sure why. Her eyes looked around desperately for whatever Harm was fighting. She made her way across the floor in her nice shirt and skirt, trying to find Harm. She finally spotted his shuffling feet and called up to him, "Harm, what the hell are you fighting? Why the hell am I on the floor??"
"Uh...it's a...uh..." Harm stammered, looking around. His enemy had eluded him for now. "You can get up now."
Mac slowly rose from the floor and gave Harm the most perplexed stare, "Harm, you didn't answer my question. What are you fighting?"
Harm paused which gave Mac the chance to add, "And please tell me, Why do you have a pot on your head?"
"Well, you see, uh," Harm stammered some more, looking at the ground. "I kinda have this ungodly fear of bees and well...there's a wasp in here."
Mac gave him an incredulous stare and put her hands on her hips, "You're kidding, right?"
"Believe me, I wish I was," Harm muttered.
"Harm, it's just a wasp...," Mac said, before she heard the buzz go by her ear. She jumped back slightly in reaction to the buzz, but Harm went hysterical again. She watched as the pot slipped off his forehead and over his face, causing his sight to be close to nothing. She covered her mouth, trying not to laugh as he swung the spatula. Her laughter ceased, however, when Harm nearly smacked her in the head with his weapon.
"Harm!" she cried out, ducking away and tripping over a chair. He lifted the pot up slightly, noticing she was on the floor. He raced over next to her and said bashfully, "Are you okay?"
"I think I should be asking you that!" Mac shot at him and tried to get up off the floor. "As your friend, please understand that I mean this in the best possible way...but you are crazy!"
Suddenly, Harm grabbed her shoulders and said in the most pitiful voice she had ever heard from him, "You don't understand, Mac. It's just...I don't want to be..."
"You don't want to be what?" she asked, but she wouldn't get her answer. Harm jumped again, swinging and missing. She rolled her eyes, stood up and proclaimed, "Okay, Harm! This has got to stop!"
She looked across the room and spotted the bug spray. She raced over to get it and ran back.
While he kept missing with the spatula, she finally sprayed the sucker and it buzzed to the ground and died. She then hid the spray can behind a pillow and exclaimed, "Harm! You killed it!"
Harm stopped swinging and lifted the pot off his head, "I did?"
"Yeah, look," Mac pointed at the floor. "You killed it."
"Well, good," Harm smiled nervously and with very shaky hands placed the pot and spatula down on the counter. He looked down at the floor at the once living life form and pointed at it, "That's what you get you...you, stupid bug home invader!"
"Way to go, Harm," Mac patted him lightly on the back and rolled her eyes. "Maybe you should clean it up now."
"Uh, I was hoping you would do that," Harm smiled sheepishly and took a huge step backwards away from the dead wasp. "I mean, it could still be alive and I don't want to get stung."
Mac rose an eyebrow at Harm, watching how nervous he really was. She had never seen him like this before and now she was really concerned. "Harm, I think you need to see a doctor."
"Why?" Harm immediately objected. "I'm not crazy, Mac!"
"Actually, I think you are," Mac said smiling, still throughly amused.
"Well, I'm not," Harm stammered, folding his arms across his chest. "I just...I just don't like bees."
Mac sighed and blew a stray hair out of her face. She walked over to Harm and grabbed his shoulders and said unwaveringly, "I'm just saying...you practically destroyed your apartment over one wasp. I don't like wasps either Harm, but look at this place."
It was at that moment, Harm finally looked around at the mess he had made. Overturned lamps and tables. Books scattered here and there, a broken vase and a plant scattered on the floor. He could still feel his body tingling in fear. He gave Mac a hopeless look and said, "Maybe I do need to see a doctor."
"Yeah, you do," Mac smiled even wider and let him go. "C'mon, I'll help you clean up."
"Well, you take care of the dead wasp on the floor and I'll start way over here," Harm smiled weakly and quickly walked away from her.
Mac let out a little chuckle and said, "Wow, Harm. Just...wow."
"What?" he asked, playing dumb. He began to pick up some pillows and arrange them on his couch. He had never been anymore humiliated in his life.
"I just never pictured you afraid of anything," Mac shrugged and proceeded to clean up the dead bug with a napkin. She was about to toss her balled up napkin in the trash can, but Harm cleared his throat behind her. She smiled knowingly and asked, "Would you like me to flush it down the toilet, Mr. Paranoid?"
"If you don't mind," Harm answered nonchalantly.
Mac continued to laugh to herself and repeated, "Wow."
Harm watched her disappear behind the wall and groaned inwardly. He looked like a total fool. This wasn't the first time a wasp had disrupted his life, but now it was affecting how his friends looked at him. First thing tomorrow morning, he was going to see a doctor and find out what was really wrong with him.
"Take cover!" yelled Mac from his bedroom.
Harm's eyes immediately grew large and he dropped to the ground almost faster than gravity would allow. It was then he heard her laughter cross the room to his ears. He looked up and scolded, "That was NOT funny, Mac! Not funny at all!"
The Next Day
Sturgis, Harriet, Bud and many others had gathered around for this tale that Bud had playfully titled as "Harm and The Wasp". It was Harriet's first time hearing the story today and Bud's second. To Harm's misfortune, Mac couldn't help but tell everyone. Then again, looking back on it, it was just way too funny not to say anything!
"He yelled at me to take cover and he was swinging this spatula and wearing a pot on his head," Mac finished up the story with a small chuckle. "It was really quite comical."
"So, really Harm," Sturgis said, once he was done laughing. "What really happened with you?"
"Well, Mac drove me to Bethesda and I saw a doctor," Harm answered, still looking very embarrassed. "It turns out I have Cnidophobia or in simpler terms, a fear of being stung."
"Well, that explains why you flipped out at the Academy all those years ago," Sturgis commented, which elicited more chuckles from everyone else.
"Hardy har har," Harm gave his good friend a warning glance.
"Is there a way to treat it, sir?" Harriet asked, curiously. "While the events that took place were funny, it appears this is nothing to laugh at."
"Not really," Harm shrugged. "The doctor says only I can get over my fear and I'll have to work at it. He says it'll take time to overcome."
Harm then turned to Mac and smiled graciously, "Thanks for being so supportive."
"No problem," Mac smiled. "Just remember, you did kill the wasp, so you're already working on getting over your fear."
"Hey, you're right," Harm smiled wider. "I did kill it!"
The group discussed the wasp story for a few more minutes before they parted ways. Harriet remained at Mac's side and asked knowingly, "He didn't kill it, did he Ma'am?"
Mac rolled her eyes and said, "Harm could've been in an F-14 firing off a targeting missile made especially for wasps and still would've missed!"