Title: Adrift But Not Alone

Author: Jackie

Summary: What if Mac was Harm's RIO during that fateful flight over the Atlantic? – Another way to play with "Adrift"

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer – I own a mini F-14, but alas, I do not own JAG.

PART 1 – Thoughts They Shouldn't Be Having

2150 Zulu

JAG Headquarters

Falls Church, Virginia

"I didn't tell her." Commander Harmon "Harm" Rabb Jr. said to himself, frowning at what he knew would happen. She would be angry with him, think that he was doing it to miss her wedding. And okay, maybe, subconsciously, it was true. He kept telling himself that it wasn't his schedule, it was the Navy's, but he knew too well that his CO, Admiral AJ Chegwidden would more than likely bend the rules so he would not miss her wedding.

Sighing, he pushed himself up and then, just as quickly sat back down again. So what if he missed it? The woman, for which he harbored guarded feelings of love, was marrying another man! Harm knew there was nothing he could do about it. She had given him a chance and he had pushed her away for friendship, duty. . . fear. He felt things for her the way he'd never felt for a woman before. It had nothing to do with the fact that she was a dead ringer for his lost love, the woman that was taken away before he had a chance to state his intentions. No, Lt. Colonel Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie was something different. . . special. She challenged him, helped him, stimulated him (in more ways that one). She fascinated him, made him want to believe in the fairytale loves we've all read about. But, his relationship with Mac wasn't a fairytale and his track record with women wasn't exactly favoring his endeavors to fight for her. So rather than destroy a friendship that was still on rocky ground due to his departure from JAG ops, he pushed her away and expected her to wait for him. But, she didn't wait and he found that he'd involuntarily thrown her into the arms of another man.

Then came the subject of her engagement party held last weekend at Admiral Chegwidden's home. Somehow they'd wound up outside discussing the twists, turns and adventures that had been their friendship. And that is all they ever had been, friends. Friends that never allowed anything to cross that boundary, until that night. She'd pushed him, cornered him into admitting something. She read the pained expression in his eyes as they promised never to lose touch. 'Mac, you have someone who will always love you.' He'd told her then and was surprised to hear her respond in kind, 'And you have somebody that loves you.' Harm closed his eyes, allowing memories to take him back to that night. She'd leaned in to give him what he figured was a consolidation kiss, a goodbye kiss, something short, and non-intimate. But, when her lips met his, he felt the spark and the growing need to be with her grabbed hold of the reigns. As she tried to pull away, he grabbed her, pulled her body against his and gave her a passionately painful kiss. When they came apart, the look in her eyes did him in. 'We're getting too good at saying goodbye.' She'd told him, before stepping inside and returning to the party as if nothing happened.

But, things did happen and every time he was around her now, he felt the tension, thick and unrelenting. He apologized, tried keeping things simple and civil. Now he felt like he was walking on eggshells every time he was around her. So why, after all of that would he want to go to that damned wedding?

--

"No, Mic, I can not get off early today." Mac, from her own office said, speaking to her fiancé ex-Australian Naval Lt. Commander Michael "Mic" Brumby (damn what a mouthful!). She rolled her eyes for the billionth time since they had started the conversation. "OH! Don't forget to pick up the rings." She smiled as she heard those three words that seemed to make things so right with her. "Me too. . .bye." Hanging up the phone, Mac stared at her ring finger and smiled. Mrs. Michael Brumby. Sarah Brumby. Okay, so she wasn't planning on taking his last name, of that she had set him straight about. She didn't take her ex-husbands last name and certainly wouldn't do it now. MacKenzie wasn't just a last name. To Mac, it was something that reminded her of where she came from to where she was now. Plus, Lt. Colonel MacKenzie sounded so much more authoritarian. She chuckled at the thought, but then allowed for her mind to drift right next door where Harm was. Sarah Rabb, the name sounded nice and had special meaning because Sarah Rabb was Harm's grandmother. A woman who helped his mother raise him when Harm's father had gone MIA during Vietnam.

It was at that particular moment that a few dreaded thoughts starting going through her head. Things with her and Harm had reached a new, shall we say, extreme. He'd kissed her and she'd kissed back at the most inappropriate time to do so. And still, nearly a week later, her lips were still tingling and she found herself wondering what he would be like in bed. It was those thoughts that was making the whole wedding thing a bit more painful. She'd promised Harm that he wouldn't lose her. But, she knew it was a lie because Mic wasn't going to allow for his wife to spend time with Harm. 'Why did you go to him so quickly?' His question from her engagement party nearly broke her heart in two. And it wasn't just the question, but the way he had asked it, almost as if his soul were shattered. So, she told him the exact thing she'd been thinking all along when he looked at her with accusing eyes. 'You pushed me away, what was I supposed to do?' That was when he told her that he wanted her to wait and she beat herself up about that each and every time she replayed the night in her mind. How was she supposed to know that he wanted more time? If he'd told her that directly, she would have waited, forever if need be. And now she was marrying someone else and feeling guilty about the sad look in Harm's eyes. Then again, why should she care? He pushed her away, and she was just trying to move on with life. Then why was it so important what he thought about the whole thing. Why was she pushing him to admit his feelings that night? "Colonel, the Admiral would like to see you and Commander Rabb in his office ASAP."

Standing, she clicked the button for the intercom. "Thank you, Tiner." With a sigh, she cast away the thoughts that she should not be having and headed over to Harm's office. She watched him for a moment just sitting at his desk, but a million miles away mentally. Trying to get his attention Mac cleared her throat. . . nothing.

"Harm?" Looking up, he nearly paled at seeing the object of his affections standing at the door. She gave him one of those Mac smiles that seemed clear up even the stormiest of days. Then she rose that trademark Mac eyebrow, questioning what was happening. "You okay?"

"Uh, yea. . .just. . .never mind." He said, clearing the cobwebs out of his brain before offering her one of his dazzling flyboy smiles. "To what do I owe thee the pleasure, Colonel?"

Mac's smile brightened a bit more as she tried to conceal that flush that ran through her when he smiled that way. "Admiral wants to see us."

"Oh, let's not keep him waiting then." Walking side by side, they moved through the bullpen and towards AJ's office.