Sweetest Gift Chapter 1

Authors Notes: Okay, I had to start this fic two months early, because I knew if I didn't, there was no way that I'd finish it in time! I was going to wait to post it, but next week is finals, and then the week after that, I'll be packing, because my school's orchestra, band and choir is taking a trip to Europe and I get to go! dances I'm so excited! Anyways, I figured I better get this up while I have the time. So I hope that you guys enjoy it! grins Please review!

Disclaimer: 'Christmas Without You' is sung by Dolly Parton and the characters of JAG don't belong to me. I changed the lyric 'Old Christmas songs we knew and used to make love to', to 'sing along to' since the whole, making love thing didn't exactly fit Harm and Mac….pouts Unfortunately. :P

The fire was roaring, the snow was falling, and Sarah Mackenzie was absolutely miserable. It was Christmas Eve, and she was alone…again. She had just gotten back from the church service, and afterwards went straight home. Harriet and Bud had invited everyone over both before and after the service, and Mac had gone, but afterwards she just wasn't in the holiday mood. She had changed out of her nice outfit, a long sleeved black shirt with a red skirt, and into some old Marine Corps sweats she had laying around.

It wasn't that she didn't enjoy seeing everyone, she did. Bud and Harriet had invited the usual gang, Sturgis, Mike, Jen, AJ, and they invited their new CO, Gordon Cresswell. And Harm, of course they had invited Harm, Mattie, and her father. She was happy for them, she really was, but when she saw how wonderful Harm and Mattie got along, she couldn't help but to think how many chances she had lost with him. By this time, this year, she could have been pregnant with his child, and probably married to him. But once again, life had complicated things, and nothing turned out the way that she planned.

This was the first year that she and Harm hadn't spent together. Last year she had told him that she had plans with Webb, but she didn't and he knew. About an hour after she left Mattie and Harm at the Wall, they were on her doorstep, bearing old Christmas movies, and ingredients for hot cocoa. It was like a tradition for them, ever since the second year of their partnership. No matter what their relationship was like, they had spent at least a little bit of Christmas Eve together.

But tonight was different. It was 2300, and she had a feeling that he wasn't going to show. She didn't expect him to; they hadn't talked about it, so why should she expect him to remember? He had Mattie, although he no longer had custody of her, they were still very close. He had what she so desperately wanted…a family. They weren't conventional, but in their own way, Mattie, Harm and Jen were family. And she wasn't included.

She was sitting on the couch, looking through an old photo album. It had pictures of she and Harm throughout the years, from the NATO ball, to just Christmas last year. She smiled as she came across the picture they had taken in Afghanistan, and felt a longing for those days. The days when just being around each other was enough, that being them, was enough.

'White Christmas and I'm blue
Like fireworks with no fuse
Christmas without you
The fireplace keeps burning and my thoughts keep turning
The pages of memories of time spent with you
Old Christmas songs we knew and used to sing along to
Make it hard to get used to
Christmas without you'

Mac sighed and got up off the couch, heading towards the window that overlooked the street below her. The white flurries were falling faster, and she grinned. She and Harm would sit on the couch listening to Christmas carols, and sharing stories from their past. The year when Sergei came to America, Harm had snuck over to her apartment while he was asleep and spent the night there.

She smiled softly as she wrapped the blanket tighter around herself. They had stood at this very window that night, watching the snow fall down. She could still feel his strong arms wrapped around her, making her feel safe and warm. That had been a good year for them, she thought to herself.

'Christmas without you
White Christmas and I'm blue
I love you I miss you
So sad but so true
Christmas without you
Like a mystery with no clues
Like fireworks with no fuse
Christmas without you'

She sighed, and decided to go to bed, knowing that she wasn't doing herself any good by throwing a pity party. "You could have stayed at the party Marine, but you decided to come home." She said to herself quietly, padding into the bedroom.

While she changed into her pajamas, a certain Sailor stayed on her mind. Their relationship was getting better; they had some of the banter back, and were more comfortable in each other's presence. So much had passed between them the past few years, and at one point she was afraid that they would never regain what they had.

She came back out, and headed into the kitchen, intending to fix herself some hot cocoa. But there was a soft knock on the door that stopped her in her tracks. Her heart fluttered , hoping against hope that it was Harm. She went to the door, and cautiously looked through the peephole. She smiled and quietly called out, "Who is it?"

"Santa." The Flyboy replied playfully. Mac's smile grew as she opened the door.

She leaned against the frame of the door, regarding Harm carefully. "You don't look like Santa. The Santa that I know has a beard, and wears a red suit." She playfully poked his stomach. "And you definitely don't have a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly."

Harm laughed, "Are you going to let me in or not Colonel?" Mac looked like she had to think really hard about this one.

"Hmmm….I don't know." She smiled suddenly, opening the door to him. "Are you bearing gifts?" She teased as he walked in. But the truth was, that he was the best gift that anyone could give her, she thought as he took off his cover. She laughed as he shook off some of the snow that had clung to his coat. Yes Sir, the best present she could receive this year was her best friend in the form of a snow covered Commander.

'The sweetest gift I know would be if the new snow
Could fall on your footsteps on this Christmas Eve
The most joyous Christmas if luck could be with us
Would be if Saint Nicholas brought you home to me'

Author's Notes: Remember to review and let the author know how much you love her! grins Just kidding, but I really would appreciate it if you reviewed! Happy Holidays everyone! By the way….I have a few more chapters, so if I get a few reviews for this story, maybe I'll post the others!