Disclaimer: JAG is the property of Donald P. Bellisario, Paramount Pictures, CBS Television and Belisarius Productions. I hope I spelled all of that stuff right.
Author's Note: (1)This is my Halloween/Ghost story. Hehe. Now I'm trying something really new for me. This story has major character deaths but at the same time they aren't major character deaths. It's really hard to explain until you've reached the end of the opening chapter, but it's not that bad! This story will change the ending of Hail and Farewell Pt. 2 and blatantly ignore the rest of Season 10.
Summary: Two ghosts haunt the halls of Manderlee, always waiting for that day when they will be eternally at peace. Little do they realize that all they need to accomplish this is to rely on themselves.
Chapter One: The Day We Died
September 24, 2004
Harmon Rabb, Jr.'s eyes flew open suddenly. He felt dreamy and lethargic as if he had just taken a long nap. He looked above him at the plain white ceiling and saw the sunlight filtering through the lone window. His eyes shifted in his head, back and forth, trying to recognize where he was. He slowly moved his body. It was so strange. He could barely feel the bed beneath him as he pulled himself up into an upright position. Everything felt so...numb. He tried thinking about what he did last but was hard pressed to remember anything at all. He couldn't remember what he ate for breakfast or what he did last week. As he thought harder, it took him a long time to recall what he did for a living!
He shook his head as if trying to loosen the cobwebs in his foggy mind. He turned to see Sarah Mackenzie lying next to him, also asleep. It amazed him how he even remembered her name with the way he was feeling right now. Even still, he scrunched his forehead now very confused. Why were they even in the same bed? He finally pulled himself up off the bed and stood up. He stretched and turned around to wake her up. His breath caught in his throat, or so he thought it did, as he viewed the unthinkable.
His body was still on the bed as if he had never moved. He was standing there looking at himself; a crumpled form laying in an uncomfortable position. His eyes closed, trying not to see. He muttered the words, "No way..." as he stood perfectly still, and resumed staring at himself. Then he saw it. The blood. His blood. It was hard to see in the red fabric of his shirt, but the stain was there. A blood stain from what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his abdomen. At the sight of this, he felt he had no choice but to whimper, "Mac...?"
He wasn't aware his utterance was loud enough to be heard, but she stirred at the sound of her name. His eyes widened in horror as he watched a misty form of her rise from the bed, while her actual body remained still. Just like him, her movements were slow. She yawned and stared at him. Her brown eyes, which were actually more like a murky brown, gave him the most befuddled expression. "Harm? You look...different."
She also shook her head, feeling incredibly groggy. She tried to think of what time it was, but nothing came to mind. She tried again, but still nothing. Her ability to tell time at the drop of a dime was gone! Not panicking yet, she looked at her watch, but that too appeared to be broken. Or maybe the battery was just dead. She studied her hand and squinted her eyes. Was she having trouble seeing? Her hand looked almost transparent.
"Dead...," was all he could finally mutter as it became painfully obvious what he was seeing. His words were barely audible.
"What?" Mac coughed at the sound of those words. She jumped up from the bed quickly, however, in the end she felt as if she merely drifted off. Once she was able to, she looked down at herself still lying on the bed and nearly screamed. The same shock that overtook Harm only moments before rumbled through her, shaking her to her core. She stumbled backwards and then realized she couldn't feel the ground beneath her feet. She stopped moving all together and turned away from the bed, refusing to believe it. "This isn't...possible..."
"Maybe...this is one of those....out of body experiences," Harm spout off, trying to make sense of it all. He couldn't be dead. She couldn't be...dead. This was just a bad dream!
"What the hell are you saying?!?" she almost yelled at him and retreated to a corner trying to hide from the horrible sight. She was flipping out and he had never seen her this way before. She was always in control. Always so stoic and refined. Of course, seeing herself lying motionless on the bed would surely cause her to freak. Anyone in this situation would lose it.
Instead, this time, Harm took the initiative to try and rationalize the situation even though he wanted to scream right along with her. He continued to talk just to hear something other then the deafening silence, "An out of body experience. When a person's consciousness seems to depart from a person's...body enabling the observation of the world from...from...another..."
His words slowed but he kept talking. It was becoming more and more obvious that this was no out of body experience. The blood on the both of them and the awkward positions their bodies were in was enough to quell any other explanation. They were dead. Plain and simple. He finally finished his sentence painfully, "From another point of view."
He felt the need to cry, but the tears wouldn't form, or maybe he just couldn't feel them. He couldn't feel anything. He looked across the room at her, curled up in a ball. Her form still seemed misty, but now she seemed more whole. Just like in the movies, she had taken on the form of an apparition. A ghost. He turned his head and saw a mirror. He was looking into it trying to see his reflection, but couldn't see himself. "Mac?"
"What do I look like?"
He returned his attention back to her as she finally lifted her head up and stared straight back at him. Those eyes of hers were now much sadder than he could ever imagine. It was as if the destruction that was formerly known as Clayton Webb and the rest of the world didn't matter anymore. Why would it? She was dead. She swallowed hard before answering, "You look like...a ghost. I can barely see you."
He went to move and discovered it was more like floating then walking. He reached the bed and tried to touch his dead body but his hands went right through. He released another soft wail of terror as he somehow forced himself away from the bed. He drifted down to the floor and came to a stop on the old carpeted surface. He could hear her sniffling in the corner, trying to suppress the whimpers but doing a bad job. It was indeed quite a tragic revelation, but unlike his partner, Harm couldn't bring himself to cry anymore.
Emotions were already becoming a formality. What good would it do to cry? No one could hear him except for Mac and for the sake of both of them, he had to be strong. One of them had to be strong. He stared at the bed again, taking in all the details. His red shirt and khaki pants. Her dark jacket, yellow blouse and striped pants. That long hair of hers was pulled back into a messy ponytail and he smiled. He never told her before, but he liked her hair that way. His memory was slowly coming back now. His lips quivered slightly as he called over to her, "Do you remember what happened? Do you remember how we...."
He might have heard her say yes, but he wasn't sure. He closed his eyes hoping he would wake up from this nightmare but it only made the memory clearer....
One hour earlier...
"Kill me, you kill her," Simon Tanveer threatened while Harm held his ground. Harm gripped his firearm tighter, not willing to let go. Mac tried to remain neutral. She didn't make eye contact with either man. Simon and Harm exchanged glances, challenging the other to make a move with their eyes.
"Put your weapon down and she lives," Simon insisted, his voice now even slimier then Harm could remember. "He's the only one I want."
"And after that?" Harm asked, still maintaining his position.
"You're not on my employers wish list," he smiled slightly, then looked at Mac again. "Nor is she."
It was then, Clayton Webb did something utterly stupid. He spoke. He looked at Harm and muttered, "Next time, you be the decoy."
As he was saying that, he stood up and Simon ordered for him to stay down. Mac then ordered, "Shoot him, Harm."
"No, Harm," Clayton argued. "He wants me."
Harm's eyes started to dance, trying to communicate with Mac. Clay was being irrational. He was moving too much and pissing Simon off. She caught his alarming eye movements but it was too late. Clayton tried to get up again and reason with Simon. It was then the former MI-6 agent made good on his threat. He shot the gun in Mac's direction. Everything from that point on was a blur of chaos and confusion. A blur of stupidity started by a brass CIA agent.
Clayton yelled a hellish "No! You son of a bitch!". Mac screamed out in pain as the bullet pierced her flesh. Harm charged forward livid at just what happened to her and fired at Simon who fired back in return. Suddenly, Harm felt a sharp pain and hit the floor. His gun sprawled across the floor away from him and he sputtered, realizing he had been hit also. He looked ahead of him and saw Mac writhing in pain and Simon smacking Clay across the face.
"You stupid bastard!" Simon bellowed at him. "Why did you make me do that? Do you know what will happen to me?"
Clayton fell to the floor after the last blow delivered by Simon. Harm couldn't tell if he was dead or alive. Simon cursed some more and grabbed his side, trying to stop the blood. He had been hit too. It relieved Harm he didn't completely miss his target. Simon limped over and leaned down next to him, "If it was one mistake you made in your entire life, friend, it was making acquaintance with Clayton Webb."
"It's...over," Harm mumbled, suddenly losing a sense of reality. What was happening to him? Why did he feel so dazed? He watched Simon lift Mac off the floor and carry her out of the room. "Simon! Don't touch her!"
Harm tried to follow, but the pain was too much. It was moments later, Simon came back and lifted Harm up off the ground as best he could. The force of being pulled was making Harm ache all over. For whatever reason, Simon dragged him up the stairs and into a plain white room with a queen sized bed. Mac was already laying there, motionless. Harm was tossed on the bed and he heard Simon release a tired sigh from the flight up the stairs.
Simon left the room and Harm felt very tired all of a sudden. As much as he wanted to follow, he couldn't move. His hand touched the bullet wound for the first time and then his eyelids shut from the pain.
"He killed us...we're dead," she mumbled, still sitting in the corner, trying to erase the memory. She was now sitting, her arms hugging her knees up against her chest. They didn't know what to do but stare at their former motionless selves. Their clothes were rumpled and they looked so uncomfortable. "Harm?"
"If we're...dead...then why," she began, but another tragic whimper interrupted her. "Then why are we still....here?"
Harm looked at the floor, feeling very depressed and defeated. "I don't know."
They were surprised to see the door to the bedroom swing open loudly and enter their murderer, Simon Tanveer. He rushed in and started to pace in front of the bed, as if trying to decide what to do now.
The shock of their situation had worn off now, but now Harm was slowly boiling inside. Denial started to set in and his rage took him over. He was sitting on the floor staring at his killer and he wanted nothing more then to return the favor. He quickly stood up and rushed forward, trying to tackle Simon, but his efforts were fruitless. His metaphysical self flew though Simon's body and he rolled onto the floor next to Mac. Harm went to try again. To try and exact his revenge, but he felt someone grab him. Surprised to feel anything at all, he turned around and saw Mac grasping his arm.
He couldn't feel or tackle Simon, but he could feel the pressure of Mac's hands around his arm. For a moment, her touch calmed him and made him feel better. But only for a moment.
"Harm, stop trying...," she said, as if already accepting what had happened. If was as if she was giving up, but he wasn't ready for that. He wasn't ready to give up. He returned his attention to Simon, who had wrapped up Mac's body in a blanket and was carrying her out. On his second trip, he grabbed Harm's body and carried him out as well.
"Mac, I can't just sit here and watch this!" Harm finally yelled at her and ripped his arm from her hands.
"You think I want to watch this!?" she shouted at him as he ran out after Simon and followed him. On the way out, Simon let the door shut and Harm wasn't paying attention. The door slammed shut in his face, but he walked on as if he were passing through air. His ability to go through walls frightened him at first as he found himself out on the porch facing the garden. He could see the gate they had entered upon arriving and the fence surrounded the entire place. He searched the area for Simon, remembering why he was out here.
He heard the clang of a shovel against rock and dirt. Harm drifted as quickly as he could to the sound and saw Simon digging a huge trench. It was apparent he had started digging some time ago for the hole was almost four feet deep. The anger raged inside of Harm again and he yelled through his rain of tears, "Simon! Simon!"
Just like he expected, Simon didn't hear him at all. It was so hard to accept that he didn't exist anymore.
"Harm!" Mac called from the upstairs window. He turned around to look up at her. "Come back inside, please!"
"Not now, Mac! I have to stop him!" Harm cried, still in denial. He wasn't dead. All he had to do was wake himself up!
"Harm, I don't want to be in here alone!" she called, her voice slowly fading as she disappeared from the window. She was most likely going back to the corner to curl up into a ball. He started to feel guilty for leaving her behind. She was just as scared as he was, maybe even more. He looked over his shoulder at Simon who was finishing off their grave. It was as if Simon was trying to erase their existence by making their bodies impossible to find.
Mac found her way down the steps, trying to get used to her new way of walking. It was hard to get used to. The floating and drifting. Feeling like a bed sheet hanging out on the line to dry. She reached the kitchen, realizing Harm wasn't coming back inside until he felt he accomplished whatever the hell he thought he was going to accomplish. Yes, it shocked her, but the fact was they were....dead. She thought he had accepted that, but it was obvious he hadn't. She looked down and still on the kitchen floor was Clay. He had a cut on his head from the last time Simon hit him.
She knelt down and asked, "Clay? Were you the man in the park? Did you fire at me? Clay?"
He then moved and it caused her to jump. Did he hear her? Was he responding?
"Clay!" she called.
However, he just stood up and stumbled, trying to regain his balance. He never heard her. He stumbled so far, he ran into her. Well, not exactly. He went through her, not noticing a thing. But for her, it was an entirely different experience. If she could still feel pain, she would imagine Clay flying through her body like that would hurt. Instead of hurting, it just felt weird. Like she had been stretched and disoriented for only a moment. She turned around and followed the faltering Webb outside. Once they were both on the porch, they heard three gun shots and Simon sputtered, "You bitch!"
Mac could see Harm standing out there, looking down at the body of Simon. Mrs. Webb was there holding her little pistol. She had taken Mac's advice to heart and came to help her boy. Only she was too late to help them.
"Two would've been enough, mother," Clay said, sounding annoyed with her presence altogether.
"I wanted to make sure," she scowled at him as she stepped forward then tripped. She looked down and her face went ghostly white. "Oh, Clay...."
Clay ran over to his mother's side and saw Mac's hand partially covered with dirt. He immediately kneeled down and clawed at the dirt, trying to free her. Once both of them were uncovered, he tried checking for pulses. He panicked when he realized he wasn't getting any response. He began to let tears flow down his cheeks as he realized what had happened.
"Oh no, Sarah," he whimpered and completely pulled them out of the grave Simon dug for them. He shook Harm out of exasperation and called, "Harm? Stop playing with me! Wake up, damn it!"
All the while Clay was doing this, the ghosts of Harm and Mac watched on in surreal shock. Harm could feel Mac pressed up against him, her arm hugging his waist. His arm went around her shoulders, squeezing her as tightly as he could. They watched Clay's tears fall on their bodies and in the distance heard the sound of the ocean's waves crushing against the sand in the distance. Such an ugly scene at such a beautiful place.
The gate swung open and Harrison Kershaw walked in and stopped in horror at the sight that lay before him. "Oh my..." He ran over to Clay and pulled him away from his friends, trying to tell him to get a hold of himself. All the while Clay mumbled, "I killed them..."
Kershaw misunderstood Clay's utterance as the truth and ordered for Clay to get in the car. Mrs. Webb was told to do the same. Before too long, the paramedics were there cleaning up the mess. Harm watched as Mac's body was being carried away. He wanted to follow but upon reaching the gate, he was stopped by some unknown force. He tried to continue forward, but he was stuck. Something was keeping him from leaving. Mac also tried and discovered the same thing. The only way out of Manderlee was being blocked.
"Harm?" Mac choked as she helplessly watched the cars drive away. "Harm, we can't leave!"
"I know," he mumbled. The cars turned the corner and disappeared forever.
After the cars left, they found they could make it as far as the beach. They rested their weary spirits on the sand watching the ocean. The sun was setting on a most depressing day. They both imagined the shocked looks on their colleagues faces. How Admiral Chegwidden would look once he heard the news. Surely, his newfound retirement would be ruined.
"I guess, it's over with Clay," she mildly joked. Deep down she wished she had been given the opportunity to free herself of Webb. To tell him what she should've told him months ago, long before his "death".
Harm tried to smile and replied, "Is that what you want?"
"I don't have a clue of what I want, I just know what I don't want," she sighed heavily, looking down at her ghostly figure. She could see the sand through her toes and it frightened her. "I'm sick of dissecting relationships. I don't want to be...this."
"We're in the same boat here. Talk to me," Harm offered, looking at her for the first time during the conversation.
"I appreciate the offer," she forced a smile.
"But...," he pushed.
"Look at us. I mean....there's so much more to talk about than just Webb," she responded, using Clay as her excuse to stay silent.
"Well, Mac, when you're ready let me know," he said somewhat indifferently as he stood up to walk away. "We've got all the time in the world now..."
She watched his retreating form roam down the sandy beach back towards their new home. A house owned by the Webb family. A place where they were murdered and forced to haunt the halls of for...all eternity? She stared sadly down at the sand. Harm was right. They had all the time in the world now...
Ten years later...
September 23, 2014
She opened her eyes and sat up straight in the chair. For a moment, she thought it was a dream, but once she looked around the house her hopes were crushed again. She was still here staring at the white, sheet covered furniture and plain white walls. She used her arms to push herself up and found herself floating in the air. She flew down the hall and into the kitchen where Harm was concentrating on the tea cup. The one left by Clayton Webb all those years ago. After a few minutes passed and he didn't notice her, she coughed. Harm looked up and joked, "Oh, I didn't hear you come in."
"Ha, Ha," she rolled her eyes at his lame joke. It was true. Several times over the years, they made a game of scaring each other because they truly couldn't hear each other. There was no tip toeing or sneaking. They just floated in the air and burst through the walls, each time trying to out scare the other. They admitted it was childish at first but it was the only way to pass the time. They didn't eat anymore, they pretended to sleep. To be blunt, being a ghost was absolutely boring.
He noticed her tormented and woeful expression; a look he had grown accustomed to seeing over the past ten years. He let his smile fade and asked, "Hey, are you okay?"
"Yeah," she forced a smile. "I was just thinking...about it again."
"The day we died?" he asked and she nodded. He shrugged and looked at the tea cup again, "Well, it will be..."
"Ten years at exactly 3:47 tomorrow afternoon," she answered for him.
Harm looked up surprised and asked, "You can tell time again?"
"No, I just know 3:47 was the last time I could remember before dying," she shrugged and stared at the tea cup. "Have you been able to move it yet?"
"No, but I think I'm getting closer," he grinned, having the time of his life. She laughed at him, still unable to figure out how he could remain so chipper after ten years of nothing. After ten years of existing, but not existing at the same time. She watched on, seeing the same creases in his forehead when he was thinking really hard. The same determined look in his eye. If it was one thing they didn't lose it was their youth. They were able to eternally hold on to their appearance without letting wrinkles or other aging processes ruin them. Harm had joked one time that they finally found the fountain of youth.
He closed his eyes concentrating. He was trying to move the cup without touching it. Using his 'paranormal capabilities', whatever the hell those were. Instead, she used her finger to push the tea cup for him.
"Look Harm! You moved it without touching it!" she exclaimed and laughed uncontrollably. He opened his eyes and saw it had changed position, but knew she moved it.
"After ten years, you decide to move that damn tea cup now?" Harm scolded her and flew at her. His wispy arms wrapped around her and they spun out of control. They fluttered across the room until they landed nicely on the couch, wrapped up in each other and laughing until they cried. The wind suddenly picked up outside, quieting their ruckus instantly. Harm looked up and out one of the bay windows. A dark figure roamed past the window and he mumbled, "He's back."
"He comes back every year," Mac whispered. "He's always trying to get inside..."
"I'm glad he can't," Harm said as he gently let go of Mac and cautiously floated over to the window. It was the ghost of Simon Tanveer. For whatever reason, the day Simon died, his ghost didn't surface as quickly as they did. Than three days later, while Mac was out at the beach she saw him coming at her. Mac fled as if her life were endanger which was ironic considering she was already dead. She made it inside and went to hide, but noticed Simon couldn't pass through the walls like she could. He couldn't get inside.
So for the last ten years, he had been showing up for three days circling the house. Always looking for a way in. Just like Harm and Mac could never walk through that gate and leave Manderlee, Simon could never get back in the house. For three days out of every year, Harm and Mac prepared themselves to stay inside and ignore the dreadfully dark figure that was once Simon Tanveer.
"Do you think he'll ever give up?" she asked meekly.
Harm shrugged, set his feet on the floor and took the time to walk back to the couch instead of float. She watched his movements carefully knowing he only took the time to walk when he was worried. "Harm?"
"Huh?" he looked at her, coming out of his foggy daze. "Sorry, Mac. It's just..."
"What Harm?" she asked and got up to stand next to him.
"It seems every year, his movements are closer to the house," Harm said with worry. "Like he's one step away from entering this house and finishing what he started."
Mac didn't respond and simply hooked her arm in his. Simon's dark figure roamed past the window again and for the first time, she noticed what Harm had seen. The ghost of Simon did seem closer than he had in years past...
To be continued...
So, should I keep going? Are you interested?