The Essay

Disclaimers: Does not belong to me, never will, or else I would be rich living in a house like Manderley.

No spoilers in general, may tie into my other stories currently in progress, AU- Mattie will always live with Harm in my head. Takes place during the universe of other fic Handling It, so the baby Mackenzie belongs to me

Mattie's School
EST 1300 Hours

Mattie stared out of the window. It was such gorgeous spring day outside. Her thoughts though were not of the birds and the clouds, it was with her father, Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr. who was currently stationed on the Patrick Henry, and was listed MIA.

"Mathilda Johnson, did you listen to a word I said. Get your head back here." The dragon lady was being relentless today, maybe her head would explode.

"Its Mathilda Rabb. And I would appreciate it if you would call me that from now on." Mattie got up and stormed out of the room. She knew the dragon lady would be calling Mac, so she just waited in the principal's office.

The principal came out and gave Mattie a concerned look. "Come on in Mattie, Mrs. Jameson said that you would be coming this way. Another outburst?"

"You wouldn't understand."

"Try me kiddo," her principal said sympathetically.

"She called me Mathilda Johnson. She doesn't exists anymore."

"What do you mean, you are standing right here."

"Mathilda Johnson was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Johnson. Since my mother is dead, and my real father, even though he still loves me, doesn't quite fit into the traditional father mode," Mattie started rambling on.

"Mattie, get back on track."

"Sorry, my father, Commander Rabb, was in the process of adopting me when he was shot down. He has been listed as MIA presumed KIA."

Mac walked into the office and gave her surrogate daughter a kiss on the cheek. "Will you please inform Mrs. Jameson that I am here for the parent/teacher conference?"

"No need." Mrs. Jameson walked into the room. "Who are you? I was expecting to see Jennifer again, its not like that guardian of hers ever shows up for these things."

Mattie got up and started yelling. "Shut up bitch. You know nothing about my life!"

Mac felt the anger start rising into her body. She put a hand on Mattie's shoulder. "Honey, go take Mackenzie out on the playground. I'm sure you can swing her in one of the baby swings."

"Yes Mac." Mattie reluctantly left the room.

Mac turned to her teacher. "Now to answer your questions. Lt. Colonel Sarah Mackenzie, USMC. I understand that Mattie had an outburst in class, what did you do to bring it on?"

"Well, I never!"

"No, you have never put an interest in her life." Mac started back at her. "You called her Mathilda Johnson again, didn't you. I wrote you a letter explaining circumstances, and you just totally disregard my daughter's feelings! If you ever call her guardian, the man she thinks of as a father worthless again, I will sue you for slander. For your information, Mattie's guardian was shot down in the Middle East a couple of days ago. Mattie got her change of name forms filled out the day it happened."

The principal listened to the escalating conversation. "Is this true?"

"Mattie legally had her last name changed, it is even in the school rooster. I brought the papers myself, and had a letter drafted to her teachers."

"Well, just because she had her last name changed does not excuse her from listening in class and causing a ruckus. As for her so-called father, I hope he is alright, but he knew this could happen when he wanted her for a ward."

The principal cut in again. "Mrs. Jameson, I think it would be best if you left the school for a while. Ms. Mackenzie, I am switching Mattie to the advanced English class. I called the teacher when I heard about this confrontation from other students. I took the liberty of getting her assignments."

"Thank you for all of your help Dr. Porter."

"Mattie is someone special, isn't she?"

"You have no clue. Now if you will excuse me, I will go collect my children."

1600 EST
Harm and Mac's house

"Mattie, this new English teacher said that all you would have to turn in your paper on 'What is a Hero.' It should be easy enough for you."

"Thanks Mac."

Mattie trudged up the flight of stairs. She was just grateful that Mac, even though she understood the outburst, didn't flip out and ground her for weeks. She got put on phone restriction until the she finished her homework. She sat down at her desk and booted up her laptop and began to write.

Fictional Lives Turned Reality

Mathilda Grace Rabb

September 13, 2004

When I was a child, there were so many different superheroes. They ranged from animals to human, from white to black, female to male. The point was is that they did something so extraordinary it sent them apart from the rest of society, all they wanted to do was to change the world.

Well, the world changed for all of us on September 11, 2001. The mighty towers fell, and the Pentagon was hit, and life began to unravel for everyone. But in the midst of the tragedy, heroes arose. Policemen, firemen, and everyone who worked those tragedies are classified as heroes, and everyone in the military can be lumped underneath that category. The man I believe to be the embodiment of heroism though is my father, Harmon Rabb, or DA! as my little sister screams.

In order to understand where I am going with this, you have to understand one thing, my dad is the typical hero. He leads one life during the day, and another life at night. Except for my father fights for truth, justice, and American way during the day, and at night, he corrects my algebra homework.

Commander Harmon Rabb Jr. United States Navy. I love watching my father run out of the house every morning with ribbons adorning his chest. I get stories about my dad from Mac. She has told me that my father saved her life in everyway that counts. She even told me about my father's war medals, three DFC's are included in the plethora of ribbons that adorns his uniform.

I could go one and talk about the stories behind these medals, but you could look it up for yourself on the internet. What I believe makes my father a hero is the fact that he did save the world, and that is not because he adverted a nuclear disaster. He saved mine. He gave me everything I thought I never wanted. He saved my life and made me into the woman I am today. I miss you dad, come home soon.