Disclaimer: I don't own them... sigh.

A/N: I watched the season finale. I was inspired. I wrote. And now, you will read... and hopefully enjoy what you read... Since I don't know what the doc told Mac, I just went with the thought of it being bad news and hit the ground running...I'm totally in love with the thought of Harm and Mac being together forever... I always have been... Just wanted y'all to know... I've got a pretty good idea where this is going... Oh, and I wrote the song I make Harm sing..

And now...

"Through Thick and Thin"


Part 1

It's been a week since Mac told me. To say that I didn't take it well would make you extremely gifted in the art of understatement. I've tried not to act any different around her. I have failed miserably. Every time she moans or grunts, I'm by her side. I refrain from asking her if she's okay. Hopefully, she knows that I'm concerned and that I want to be there for her. She's taking it well, all things considered. She's not talking much, but I can't really blame her. I'm trying my best to just be there for her. I've brought her lunch all week long, I've given her Tylenol whenever I noticed that she was biting her bottom lip to keep from moaning, I've held the heating pad to her back while she sat at her desk going over file after file, and I've spent the last five nights on her couch, listening out for any signs of her discomfort. She didn't protest when I told her that I was staying with her for a few days. She just nodded and watched me turn her couch into my temporary abode. We've been riding to work together and every night I've cooked her dinner. She's quiet, and I know she needs her space. I try to stay out of the way. My uniforms are hanging in her closet, along with a few pair of jeans and a few t-shirts. She hasn't said a word. My shoes stay at the door and my aviation magazines are stacked on her coffee table. She doesn't seem to mind. Her bathroom shelf has my personal items on it. She has even given me a drawer in her bedroom to put my socks and boxers in. She's letting me move in a little more each day, and she's not saying a damn thing.

I can't help it. I want to be there for her. I'm trying to give her some space, let her deal with it on her own. It's killing me. I get the urge to just hold her, pull her into my arms and keep her safe and warm. But I can't do that. I can't be weak because she doesn't need me to be weak. She needs me to be strong. So that's what I'll be. She doesn't need me hovering over her either, but I can't help that. I've tried not to invade her personal space. I stay a few feet behind her. When she's in court and I'm free, I try to only check on her every ten minutes. If she has noticed that I'm checking on her, she hasn't said anything. If she has noticed that I stand in her doorway at night and watch her sleep, she hasn't called me on that yet either. Sometimes, in her eyes, I see a small flicker of annoyance, but I flash her a smile and it disappears instantly, replaced by an amused, grateful look she only shows to me...

Sometimes, at night, she cries. I can hear her sobs. I can hear her sniffing. I hear her talking in her sleep, and what she says kills me. Last night, all she said was, "Harm, don't leave me." Over and over again. She kept saying it. I finally got up off the couch and went into her bedroom only to find her bound by sheets, tossing and turning. I untangled her sheets, covered her up, and kissed her on the forehead. She calmed down and settled into a fitful sleep. I remember whispering, "I'm not leaving. I'll never leave you." And it's the truth. She's going to need me. She's not going to want to go through this alone. She's not going to have to. I'm not going anywhere. I love her too much to walk away this time.

Right now, I'm sitting on her living room floor in front of her couch, holding the heating pad to her back. She's laying on her stomach, head resting on my pillow, watching the news. I could care less about the damn news, but it's what she wants to watch, so I don't complain. She seems interested in whatever the guy is saying, so I steal a glance in her direction. She's wearing a pair of Marine green shorts and a black tank top. She's barefooted, and, as usual, her hair is all over the place. She looks beautiful. I can't help but smile. She must feel my eyes on her because she looks at me questioningly.

"There a reason why you're staring at me and smiling like that, Sailor?" She asks with a laugh.

"You're beautiful." I tell her simply. No more lies. No more dancing around the truth. I'm tired of not telling her how I feel, what I think. She smiles at me then hurls a pillow in my direction. I let it hit me. I don't even try to dodge it.

"I know I am. Now put your eyes back in your head and go get me a bottle of water." She says, still smiling. God, I live for that smile.

"Ma'am, yes, ma'am." I say, standing up and tossing a salute her way. I can hear her laughing from the kitchen. Her laugh is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. I grab two bottles of water out of the refrigerator and jog back over to her. I resume my position and move the heating pad up a little.

"Hmm. Thank you. That feels wonderful." She says, taking her bottle of water from me. I can tell that she is hurting, but she can't have any Tylenol for another hour or so.

I take a sip of my water and put the cap back on. She's watching me for some reason. I smile at her. "What is it, Mac?" I ask, scooting closer to her.

"Have I told you thank you for everything you've done for me?" She asks, her voice full of emotion, her eyes full of what I hope is love.

"Yeah. But the more you tell me, the more I like it..." This gets another laugh out of her and I laugh as well. Her laughter fades and she sighs. She's been doing that a lot lately. So have I.

"Harm, I mean it. Thank you." She whispers, resting her hand on my shoulder.

"Mac..." My voice trails off and I suddenly can't look her in the eyes. I need to tell her. I want to. But I can't. I don't want her to think that I'm trying to take advantage of her. I just want her to know that I care. "Mac..." I try again but fail. She smiles at me and waits. I'm going to try this one more time. "I want to be here for you. Through thick and thin." It's not much, but right now, it's all I can manage. If I say much more, I'll end up telling her everything.

"Will you rub my back now?" She asks, putting her bottle of water on the coffee table after taking a few long sips.

"Sure." I say, getting up on my knees. As if she had to ask. She tosses the heating pad onto the floor and my heart starts beating a little faster. I know what's coming next. I watch her sit up and peel the tank top off. She smiles at me just before she settles back down on her stomach. I swallow the lump in my throat and exhale a breath that I had no clue I had been holding in. I pop my knuckles and get to work. The tank top could have stayed on, but she gets no complaints from me. I am learning that Mac loves to be touched... and I have always known that I love coming in contact with her...

Mac has the most amazingly soft skin. This is a five day old discovery, yet here I am, amazed again at how soft and delicate she feels beneath my fingertips. She's tense at first, but I work out each little knot of tension with rough massages then dull the pain with gentle rubbing. She sighs contentedly and I smile. I'm doing my job. I look down at her back and watch my hands work. She's so small... fragile. My smile fades and once again I am filled with the sudden urge to pull her into my arms and just hold her for a while. I don't. Instead, I just keep massaging her back. Silence is proving fatal, so I decide to start up some small talk. "This feel good?" I ask, continuing to tenderly knead her lower back.

"Yeah. That feels really good." She replies, then laughs a little. "I think I'm getting sleepy." She adds, her words immediately followed by a yawn.

"You want to go to bed?" I ask, my knees starting to hurt. I don't care that my knees are hurting. I'd stay like this all night if that's what she wanted me to do.

"No. Not yet. I want to watch some TV. If you keep doing what you're doing, I'm going to be asleep in no time though. I relieve you of your present duties until further notice." She tells me, smiling beautifully.

"Okay." I say, smiling back at her. I can't help but look her over when she sits up and searches for her tank top. I hid it under the coffee table. She points and I shrug, acting like I have no idea what she wants.

"Harm, if you want the tank top to stay off, all you have to do is ask..." She says, flashing me an innocent smile. I feel myself blushing as I reach for her tank top. I hand it to her, not sure how much longer I can take looking at her in nothing but those shorts and that black silk bra. It's nothing but lace and it's leaving very little to my imagination. She must sense my discomfort because she takes the tank top from me and stands up. I stand up and I'm finally composed enough to offer her a lop-sided grin. "You want it on or off?" She asks, still smiling.

"Answering that could get me into some trouble." I tell her, looking her over once again. I can't help it. I know I shouldn't be playing along. I also know I shouldn't be staring at her like I am right now, but I'm only human... I'm a man, and Mac is more than a little attractive. She's standing there, waiting for me to give her a straight answer. She wants me to tell her to either put her shirt on or leave it off, but I can't be the one to make that decision. I hesitate a little too long and I can't help but frown as she puts her tank top back on.

"You had your chance, flyboy." She says, laughing as she flops down on the couch and grabs the remote control. She's flipping channels as I just stand here, regretting the fact that I am a gentleman. Oh, well... Maybe she'll make me the same offer tomorrow night. I sit down next to her and she just laughs.

We are now watching 'America's Funniest Home Videos' and she's laughing as a dad catches his son's pitch with his crotch. I had no idea that this show still came on, much less at two on a Saturday morning. I've been asking her periodically if she wants to go to bed. She just shakes her head and keeps watching TV. I don't mind. For the past three hours she has been leaning up against me, and I've been holding her close to me. For some reason, every now and then she looks up at me and smiles.

'America's Funniest Home Videos' goes off and a rerun 'Ally McBeal' comes on. She looks up at me and makes a funny face then changes the channel. I take it that 'Ally McBeal' isn't her thing. She's flipping channels again when she stops on some movie with a Marine in it. He's barking orders at some misfit kids, calling them little pukes and disgusting little balls of shit. I laugh and so does she. This isn't exactly the most romantic movie, but it will do. Besides, I'm still holding her, something I've been wanting to do for the past week...

I have finally figured out that we are watching 'Major Pain'. This movie is hilarious. Mac and I laugh at the funny parts; other than that, we are silent. She's getting tired. I can tell. I lean close to her and whisper, "You're getting sleepy..."

She looks up at me with a smile and says, "Yeah... I think it's past my bedtime." We stand up together and I repeat the actions of the night before and the night before that and the night before that...

I pull back her covers, she slips into bed, and then I tuck her in. I kiss her on the cheek and ask her if she needs anything. She tells me she doesn't. I then smile at her and say, "Good night, Mac. If you need anything, let me know." She assures me that she will and then closes her eyes. I walk out of her bedroom and head for her couch.

The TV is off and all I can hear is the whir of the fan overhead. I can't sleep. Again. I guess some things never change. I can also barely make out the sound of a nearby clock ticking. Damn that's annoying. Something in the corner is shining and it catches my eye. I know just what it is. It's my guitar.

I walk over and pick it up, cradling it, knowing that I will have to play softly or risk waking her up. My Marine is a deep sleeper once she gets to sleep, but I'll still play and sing softly.

I strum through a few chords and close my eyes. God, I swear this might be better than flying. My guitar comes to life and sweetly sings to me as my fingertips form chord after chord. I'm strumming lightly, praying I don't wake her up. I need to sing. I need to play. I'm surprised by my own voice as I quietly sing....

'You are my reason. You are my song.

You are my comfort when everything's going wrong.

And you are my heart. You make me whole.

You are filling me, filling up my soul.

Oh, I need you.

I'd die just to keep you.

You are everything

That means anything to me.

I'll die without your touch...

I need you so much...

You are everything

That means anything to me...

You are my hope. You are my ray of light.

You are the dreams that I'll dream tonight.

And you are my reason. You are my sanity.

You are the very blood that flows through me.

Oh, I need you.

I'll die just to keep you.

You are everything

That means anything to me..

I'll die without your touch.

I need you so much.

You are everything

That means anything to me...'

I stop singing and fight the tears I know will fall. I put my guitar back in its stand and head back over to the couch. All I can do for her now is get some sleep. She's going to need me, and I've got to stay strong...

But for now, she's not here... and I am far from strong as the tears streak down my face. All I can do is cry for her, for everything she's been through, and everything that she's going to go through...