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: One last time I would like to thank you soo much for your feedback! I hope you enjoy the close to this tale!
Hail and Farewell: A Noble Adieu
Mac had noticed Harm's sudden silence and inattentiveness. She too looked over her shoulder and saw it. That same bright light that Clay had walked into a week ago. It softened a bit, becoming circular. It looked like an inviting portal to an unknown world. A portal that would finally lead them to eternal rest. However, there was something different this time.There was something was coming out of the light! She whispered, "Harm?"
"I see it," he said quietly, feeling a pang of fear at the approaching shape. Clay's exit seemed so simple, but this unnerved him. What was coming at them?
Mattie unwrapped herself from Harm's arm and turned around to look at what they were viewing as well. She squinted and then saw the figure too. She couldn't recognize who it was, then Mac mumbled a name that she couldn't understand. Harm looked at Mac first, saying it wasn't possible, but Mac wasn't listening to him. Suddenly, the figure was clear as day, wearing a Marine uniform and smiling a toothy grin at them. At that, Mac shouted in surprise and excitement, "Uncle Matt!"
Her ghost flew at him suddenly, embracing the other wispy frame. Harm stood there still too stunned to move. Uncle Matt was coming out of the bright light?
Mac released her uncle and shook her head, "I don't understand...you died...?"
"Yes, I did," Matt nodded, as Harm floated over slowly. "While I was still at Leavonworth. Heart attack. Maybe a year after I heard you twowere killed."
Harm finally found his voice and asked, "Are you the welcoming party?"
"You can call it that," Matt smiled and gave Mac another hug. "You have been down here way too long, Sarah. I thought this day would never come."
Once his hug with Mac was over, he firmly took Harm's hand and shook it. "It's good to see you too, Sailor."
"Likewise, sir," Harm smiled back, still feeling very weird about the whole situation. Uncle Matt was the closest thing to Mac's dad. He felt awkward; suddenly feeling like Mac's boyfriend and fearing the reaction of the father. "Uh, sir, if I may say so...I..."
"Don't worry, Harm," Matt chuckled, sensing Harm's uneasiness. "I'll admit, I didn't approve of you at first...but I wouldn't want anyone else with Sarah."
"Oh, right, thanks," Harm mumbled and felt a tug on his arm. He turned around and saw Mattie, on the verge of tears but still smiling. His face dropped and he looked at her with saddened eyes, "Oh, Mattie..."
"No, it's time you go," Mattie interrupted him and sniffled. "Don't be sad. I'm really very happy. I promise."
"You're a special young lady, Miss Grace," Matt told her with a warm smile. "You have a gift. At first, it's hard to handle, but I trust you'll do the right thing."
Mattie just slowly nodded, not sure how to respond to that. Never in her wildest dreams did she think she would be able to communicate with the dead. Never. Now another spirit was telling her she had a gift. A gift she should share with other people. She forced a smile and finally said, "I'll do my best."
"And that's all we can ask of you," Matt winked at her, then gently pulled Mac by her hand. "It's time to go you two."
Before Harm and Mac could comply, there was another voice. An older one, but it sounded vaguely familiar. "Now wait, Matt! They can't come in here looking like that! They've been wearing the same clothes for 10 years!"
Harm and Mac watched another spirit come out of the portal and said simultaneously, "Mrs. Webb?"
The shock of seeing her wore off quickly. With all that had gone on in the last two months, nothing surprised them so they waited until she floated over. She smiled cordially at them, before holding up her present. In her hands she held Mac's Marine cover and Harm's Navy cover. "I believe these belong to you."
They both took their covers and held them, suddenly feeling whole again. Just the sight of them made them remember just what they're past lives were all about. Why they chose the path that they did and what it was that made them good officers in the first place. Mac was the first to putit back on, feeling the weight of her cover on her head again. With that action, there was a flash of colorful luminosity and when it cleared...she felt different. Mattie beamed and said, "Welcome back, Col. Mackenzie."
She was in her Marine greens again, all her medals and bars on her jacket. Her shoes, tights, skirt. Everything was there. It felt so good to don the uniform again. Matt coughed and said, "Stop gawking, Sailor and get put that cover on!"
"Yes, sir!" Harm said quickly, averting his eyes away from Mac as fast as he could. He heard Mac laugh at him and he glared at her playfully, "I can always take that 'I love you' back and doom us to an eternity of nothingness and..."
"Just put the damn cover on!" Matt barked.
"Right," Harm shut up and slowly but surely stuck the cover on his head. The same thing happened with him just as it did with Mac. The flash of light and the revealing of Comdr. Harmon Rabb, Jr. as he once was. Harm ran his finger over his wings and medals. He smiled to himself and gulped back any sign of tears or emotion. He finally looked up and said with confidence, "I'm ready to come home, sir."
"Good," Matt said, this time his smile returning. He nodded at Mattie before turning on his heel to head back; Mrs. Webb was close behind him.
Mac drifted over to Mattie and hugged her, "Thank you. I'll miss you."
"You're welcome and I'll miss you too," Mattie replied, feeling a real pressure from the embrace. The most solid physical contact she had been able to feel from either one of them. Then it was Harm's turn. His longer arms scooping her up into the air and spinning her around, causing her to laugh.
"That's right, laugh. No crying allowed," Harm ordered as he set her down. "You be good."
"I will," Mattie smiled.
"And don't drive Jenn and Jason crazy," Harm went on.
"Okay, Harm...," Mattie nodded.
"And if you get kicked out of law school, I may have to come back and..."
"Harm! I get it! I'm 26, remember?" Mattie laughed and hugged him again. "I'll be fine."
"I know you will be, kiddo," Harm said, before letting her go for the last time. "I know."
Mac pulled on his arm, indicating this was the last chance to leave. Mattie watched them float away until they were practically standing in the "doorway" of the portal. There was one last glint of light off of Harm's gold wings and then he flashed that infamous smile of his. The portal started to close with his arm wrapped tightly around Mac's shoulders and her arm around his waist. They were finally at peace and where they belonged. With each other.
She blinked once and then saw nothing but beach and sand. She whispered, "Goodbye..."
She turned and looked down the beach to see Little AJ running at her full speed. She wondered why he was here and waited for him to reach her. He stopped when he got to her, out of breath and red in the face from running. Once he was ready he spoke really fast, "We came back to check on you. I wanted to make sure no more ghosts were hurting you again..."
She smiled and tilted her head to the side, "While that's incredibly sweet of you to say, the last time a ghost attacked me, he whipped you with a rope and you ran off."
"Hey, it's hard to fight something you can't see!" he said defending himself and holding up his arm, showing her the rope burn from that incident. "I never saw this coming!"
Mattie laughed and started to head back to the house. "Let's go."
"What? Why?" Little AJ followed her. "Are Harm and Mac around? Maybe we can play football. You know, have you and Mac on a team and Harm and I on another."
Mattie paused, realizing how much fun that would've been. She turned to him and said carefully, "They...went home, AJ. Do you understand what I mean?"
He stopped, pondered that statement for a minute, then motioned up to the sky with his eyes, "Like...heaven?"
"Sure," Mattie shrugged, not quite sure what to call the place they had left to. "That's where they are. They don't exist here anymore. I'm sorry..."
He let his shoulder's drop in disappointment, but he understood completely. They had entirely crossed over, just like all ghosts do eventually. He put his hands in his pockets and said, "I'll be inside soon. I need a minute..."
"Sure," Mattie said, completely sympathizing. While she walked off, AJ plopped down in the sand and put his head in his hands. He looked out at the ocean, sorry his encounter with actual ghosts had come to an end so soon. He was also sad his last opportunity to play football with Harm slipped through his fingers as well. He spread out on the beach, not caring if he got sand in his hair or under his clothes. He closed his eyes, trying to hold back any tears and listened to the wind and the seagulls fly over head.
He opened his eyes lethargically and sat up. He turned his head and blinked his eyes, not believing what he was seeing! He stood up and saw an object flying at him. He recognized the thing and caught it. It was a football! He stared out ahead and saw Harm waving at him and yelling, "C'mon! Are we going to play or not?"
AJ didn't care if this was real or not. He was getting his wish! He threw the football back and Harm caught it. He tossed the ball up in the air behind his back and then caught it in front of him, obviously showing off. AJ waited on him to throw it back, but Harm stopped tossing the ball and looked at him. He winked and said knowingly, "You don't really want to play football, do you?"
Little AJ opened his eyes again and sat up. He looked around. There was no football and there was definitely no Harm. He had been dreaming. He leaned back in the sand shaking his head, using his hands to support himself, but felt a sharp tip poke his palm.
"Ow," he mumbled and found the item that had caused the pain. He looked at it dazed as he wiped the sand off of it. It was a pair of gold wings, similar to the ones he always saw on Uncle Harm's uniform! Where did they come from? He looked around and didn't see anyone that could've dropped them. He let the wheels crank in his head as he smiled mischievously. Or maybe...someone did drop them so he could find them! He hopped up quicky and held up the wings in the air to get a good look at them. Just to make sure they were real.
He wasn't sure whether Harm's ghost dropped the wings on purpose or not, but he knew one thing for sure now. He smiled and said aloud, "You're right, Uncle Harm. I don't want to play football. I want to fly like you!"
He spread out his arms like wings, made a few circles in the sand then started to sprint back towards Manderlee. He couldn't wait to tell his father the good news. He was suddenly five years old again and he couldn't wait to grow up and join the Navy. He couldn't wait to grow up and be like Uncle Harm.
And this time, there was nothing that was going to stop him!