Title: Something For The Pain
Author: Jackie
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Days before New Years Eve, Harm is lost and presumed dead leaving Mac to deal with her emotions. But, is he really gone or did something more sinister occur?

AN: There will be a few "dark" scenes here and there. Some of the characters won't act the same mainly because there will be a few traumatic experiences. This is an angsty piece, you are forewarned. ;)

AN2: The "times/dates" in the story will jump around a lot not sure why, it just is what it is. ;) I've tried re-writing it, but it doesn't work, so we'll have to deal! Basically there are a lot of flashbacks going on, well not a lot, there are some. It's not that difficult, just follow the times and if anything is slightly off, ignore it. LOL!

For all of you nutty people that like this sort of thing, woo hoo!! Here ya go! Enjoy!

Jackie…

Something for the pain inside me that will never die.
The pain inside me that will never die.

My heart bleeds.
Look at you hiding all the things to endure me.

I need you here with me.
Breathing, wanting you to believe me

Something for the pain inside me that will never die.
The pain inside me that will never die

I see you in all of these faces.
Blush with shame when I think of you and your pale skin.
I'd sell my soul for you.

Hush Hush
never enough
never enough

The pain inside me that will never die.
Something for the pain inside me that will never die.

"Something For The Pain" By Zeromancer from their –Clone Your Lover- LP.......

PART 1 – Relief In A Bottle

July 1st, 2005
0120 Zulu
Mac's Apartment
Georgetown

The bottle of vodka was new, shiny and so tempting. As it stood on her coffee table, it called to Mac, it's promises of placing her in another place and time without pain were hard to resist. She bit her lower lip, so much so that it bled. The coppery taste of blood filled her mouth as she swallowed hard the lump at her throat. "He's missing." Words from half a year ago reverberated in her head. "He's missing and presumed dead." Life would never be the same again. . .

December 30th, 2004
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia

Happy, ecstatic, revived. So many words to describe what she had been feeling since her partner had showed up at the hospital and spent the night by her side. Christmas, after Mac was allowed to leave the hospital, he'd spent it entirely with her. Though they weren't an official couple, it had felt like it. He'd been sweet, tender, attentive, everything she wanted in a man. "You're spending New Years with me, right Mac?" He'd asked her, in that boyish, yet sexy way that only Harm could muster. It felt right then, so right and so real and yes, even a little scary. But, Mac embraced it with open arms. She was determined to make that 4 solution work for her; for them.

Harm wasn't in the office the day that General Cresswell and summoned her. He was called away to do a cross country flight for his F-18 quals and he promised he'd return on the 31st, sometime in the afternoon. But, the day before, the General changed her life forever. . .

"Mac. . .sit down." Mac? Cresswell never called her anything other than "Colonel." The moment her nickname was spoken, she felt the hairs stand up at the back of her neck. "There is no easy way to say this. . . so I won't beat around the bush. Commander Rabb is missing."

Mac blinked a few times, her head trying to wrap around the news. "Missing, sir?"

"Yes, he's missing." The normally tough Marine was being oddly gentle with her. No doubt the office scuttlebutt of Harm and Mac's closeness had arrived at his doorstep. "He went on a special CIA assignment. I don't have details, a lot is classified, but, according to what Deputy Director Kershaw said, he was flying an aircraft and it malfunctioned. He had to punch out. They haven't heard from him two days."

Mac sat there with her mouth partially open. Feelings of fear and anger overridden only by how worried she suddenly was. "I am sorry, sir. . . I don't understand. Harm, Commander Rabb was supposed to be doing a cross country qual. . . how would the CIA be involved?"

Cresswell frowned, he didn't like surprises, especially when they came in the shape of some political mess. He'd been aware of how JAG officers had been pawns for the CIA, it was something he vowed never to let happy again. Rabb had somehow gotten away from him. "I wasn't informed about his involvement until the CIA contacted me about his MIA status."

MIA Status?! Flashes of Harm Sr. and their trip to Russia sent Mac on, yet another, emotional roller coaster ride. No, the fates couldn't be so cruel to take him away from her when they had so much to discover. This wasn't happening. "Are they even looking for him?" A stupid question to ask knowing full well how the CIA didn't care who they left behind. Cresswell didn't verbally answer, he only shook his head no and shifted his gaze to a spot on the carpet. "Who authorized this?" She felt the anger burning inside, a raw, out of control anger.

"Me, Sarah." Mac stood and spun around, coming face to face with non other than Clayton Webb. "We needed his expertise."

"Mr. Webb." She regarded him in a voice full of spite and disdain. Mac hated him now not just because of his deceit, but because he willingly toyed with hers and Harm's lives in dealing with Tanveer. How could she have even tried to make herself believe she would fall for him? How could she have even shared a bed with him? The thought now disgusted her. "Whatever Commander Rabb was needed for, I am sure you have TRAINED operatives to do for you." Webb visibly cringed at how sharp her words were. Though before, when they were together, he had some ways of controlling her wrath, it was evident that his powers were gone. Mac was kryptonite to his not-so-superman.

"I'm so sorry." That was all he had to say and though his face looked like that of a person who was concerned, it didn't stop Mac.

She moved towards him, stopping when they were face to face. Mac's voice was strong, tough, like those used to bark orders at insubordinates. "Damnit, I thought I was done with this cloak and dagger bullshit when you and I were through!"

Cresswell should have sparked up at Mac's outbreak, but the truth was, he wasn't fond of having officers used for anything other than JAG business. "Mr. Webb, you said you had more information on the Commander, now would be a very damn good time to hear it."

Webb looked at Cresswell then at Mac clearly realizing that neither could be manipulated or lied to. "We thought we did. . .No intel can pick him up. . . he's missing and presumed dead."

"No!" Mac yelled, breaking her stoicism. She backed up a bit, struggling to regain her composure as the air around them grew thick. "Have you sent anyone after him?"

"You know we can't."

"Damnit, Webb, he isn't CIA, he's US military. . ." She edged in, backing Webb up with each word.

"He knew the risks." The words sounded so simple to him because he believed them. It was some sort of spook-credo: don't get caught else you are screwed.

"Tell me where he went down. . .I'll find him myself." Mac barked, instantly turning back to the stoic Marine, though her emotions were threatening to crumble her. But Webb shook his head, denying her access to the sensitive information that he couldn't relay for her safety. It only angered Mac more. She threw herself at the agent, grabbing him by the lapels of his jacket. One fist connected with the side of his face breaking his nose. "Damnit, tell me where to find HARM!"

Cresswell had immediately come out from behind his desk and reached over to grab Mac. "Colonel, STAND DOWN."

"You know I can't tell you Sarah. . . You know that." Webb said as he picked himself off of the floor. He gingerly pulled out a handkerchief and placed it under his nose.

"You did this on purpose. . . You wanted him out of the way." Mac yelled at him, trying to launch herself at the spook again, but she was being held back by Cresswell.

"How could you say that! Harm was a friend." Webb defended.

"Yea. . .A friend standing in front of what you want. . ." She spat, her voice cracking slightly. Though Webb had his moments, he was a friend once, a man that she allowed into her home, her bed. A man she trusted would keep her and her best friend safe because they'd done so much for each other. Now, in the midst of everything she'd gone through, she could literally take Clayton Webb's life and not feel bad about it.

Cresswell kept a firm grasp on Mac, as he battled his own anger. One thing was war, something he was familiar with. Another thing was an irresponsible government agent, who seemed to have a plethora of screw ups under his belt, losing one of his own. " I suggest you leave Mr. Webb before I have you thrown out on your ass."

Clay didn't say anything else, he knew that any words would be received with anger. So he left JAG ops, given dirty looks by Jen, Sturgis and Bud, those that knew how things operated. Those that still hated him for endangering two of their friends.

The moment Webb stepped out of the office, Mac braced herself on the side of Cresswell's desk and sobbed. She wasn't the type to break just like that, but so many things had happened in such a short time – Webb's death, his resurrection, their break up, Tanveer, the endometriosis, Harm and her misconception of Alicia, her time in therapy, the car accident. . . Everything finally boxed her in the moment the word 'missing' came up. "Damnit. . . Damn him!!"

Cresswell backed away slowly, keeping his eyes on Mac. "You were close." He asked after several long minutes.

"Not how you think." She wiped at her tears then sank down into a chair across from the General's desk.

"Enough for you to cry over him." He offered her a sad smile. News of the Commander and the Colonel's relationship did arrive at his doorstep. But, seeing as the two litigators seemed to keep all private involvement out of his office, he really didn't care how they spent their private lives so long as work got done on a timely matter. "I think you should go home and rest."

The days after the initial news about Harm's disappearance were a whirlwind. She'd exhausted all of her connections in the CIA, Pentagon and the Hill and was no where closer to finding him. About a week later, paperwork had come in with condolences. Harmon Rabb Jr. was officially dead. The CIA claimed that his body had been found in such a bad condition that only dental records could be used to find his identity.

The JAG staff honored their fallen comrade with a beautiful service at Arlington. His mother and step father had been flown over. Though a funeral seemed to be the one definitive symbol of someone's passing, Mac was in denial. She knew too well how the CIA worked and how its members sometimes faked deaths in order to achieve a goal. So, she stood there, ramrod straight as the flag was presented to Trish Burnett, unbelieving that her beloved partner's remains were resting inside the casket.

"Mrs. Burnett." Mac called to the woman, once the service came to an end.

"You can call me Trish, Mac. . . you know you can." They'd only met twice, and Mac always felt the need to be proper with the older woman. Perhaps, if things between her and Harm had been different, she would've called her 'mom.'

Mac took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as her eyes watered. "I don't believe he is gone. . .I think he is still out there." She looked up to the skies and stared off for a moment.

"Walk with me." Trish put her arm through Mac's pulling her away from the group of people, so they could walk past the tombstones alone. "I've always lived with fear over this. Always had a feeling it could happen. I guess I anticipated it. . .Harm Senior's MIA protected me from this, that night he crashed out in the Atlantic." Trish stopped talking, taking a deep breath as she too admired the skies and the beautiful day that seemed out of place when her only son was said to be gone forever. "If you really think he is out there, I believe you. But, if time goes by and he doesn't come home, go on with your life. Promise me you'll go on with your life." They walked together towards a bench and sat down. Trish sighed, wiping away tears that were still falling.

"I can't just move on. . . I've tried before, it never works." Mac said sadly, her eyes drifting down to a spot on the ground.

Trish knew the feeling, because it was similar to what she felt over thirty years ago. She tried moving on, each time failing until the right person came along. Even then, she could never quite shake the feeling that she'd betrayed Harm senior, but it was too difficult being alone with a son that was identical to her beloved husband. Frank showed her how to love again. "I know what it's like, Mac. And I am not saying it will be easy, but you have to go on with life." She sniffled and wiped at the tears with the handkerchief Frank had given her during the service. She reached into her purse and pulled out a small box, the type that would encase a ring. "There's something I want you to have. This was mine and it was Grandma Sarah's before that. . ."

Mac took the box and slowly opened it. Inside lay a beautiful band with roses engraved around it. "I don't understand."

"Harm loved you." Trish stated simply, with conviction because she knew it was the truth.

Mac stared at the beautiful simplicity of the band, her eyes filling with tears over a man she possibly would never see again. A man that she never got to tell how much she loved him. "I know."

Trish watched Mac with interest, she'd always liked Mac in regards to Harm. The younger woman seemed to keep Harm in line and on his toes. She'd known her son had fallen in love when each and every telephone conversation would always wind up with him mentioning his partner. In fact, even when they were each with someone else, Harm never failed to find something about Mac to bring up. Trish always believed that he'd eventually ask Mac to marry him, until that fateful day when he'd called with news that she was engaged to someone else. He was happy for her, at least, that is what he said, but Trish knew her son well, inside, he was falling apart. "I don't mean a friendly type of love. . .My son was in love with you, Sarah."

"He told you that?" Mac's head snapped up, her tears falling freely and she didn't make an effort to wipe them away.

Trish smiled mischievously. "Yes. . . One night I dragged it out of him." That had to have been the most interesting conversation she'd had with her son. It had happened that year, when he'd called to ask a favor in regards to Mac. He wanted help with finding information on her medical condition and he figured that his mother would know where he could start. Somewhere in the conversation, she asked him what he felt for Mac. Ten minutes later, after a lot of motherly nagging, he said it, loud and clear. 'I'm in love with her.'

"I'm in love with him too." Mac said softly. Her fingers were slowly tracing each of the etches on the band. She felt her heart ache just a bit more. "We never. . .both of us. . . I think were too scared." She frowned thinking of all the mixed signals, missed opportunities.

"Yes, he mentioned something like that. . .On Christmas morning he called, told me about your accident and asked that I have the ring polished that he was going to fly over and pick it up." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I believe he was working on proposing to you. . . which is why I want you to have it."

Mac glanced down at the ring as she helplessly wondered if he would have proposed during New Years Eve. That was doubtful, seeing as they had so much to work out, but they could have done something similar to her last engagement, taken it slow until the time was right. "I can't take that, Trish."

"I want you to. . . please. No one else in his life was more deserving that you." She leaned forward, wrapped her arms around Mac and held on tightly. "I really wished you two would have straightened things out, Sarah. You and him were right together."

"How could you be so sure?" Mac said with a sniffle, hating how everything now seemed so definitive when her heart wanted to believe otherwise.

"A mother knows."

Mac pulled away slowly, then glanced at the right that was in her palm. She placed it delicately in the box and gave Trish a watery smile. "Thank you."

July 1st, 2005
0130 Zulu
Mac's Apartment
Georgetown

Mac gulped down the glass of water that she had gotten herself. It was similar color to the vodka, something she could use to pretend. Sadly, she tugged her dog tags out of her shirt and glanced at the ring that, since that day, rested close to her heart. "Wherever you are, I hope that you aren't mad about this, flyboy. . . I just couldn't wear it unless you put it on my finger." And she'd kept that promise to herself, though she was always tempted to see how the ring looked on her. From the way she gauged it, placing her Marine corps right next to it, the ring would fit as if it were made for her. Frowning, she stared down at the vodka bottle and shook her head fiercely. No, not tonight. Not tonight.
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Thanks for the e-mails, harassment letters, etc on the last few stories! They've been fun to read and it's been a blast issuing the restraining orders. ;) I am kidding. :P But, really, thanks for the support, glad you guys dig my odd interpretation of writing JAG fanfiction! Maidenpride - SEE!!! A story!! Woo Hoo!! ;) - I took a bit of time away from JAG over the X-mas break, mainly because writing and getting into the show sometimes becomes too much. I like writing and when I run into a brick wall with an ideaI can't sleep until I figure it out. Hence, I needed to pull away for a bit. Hopefully, the outcome is a good read, you guys let me know. Once again, a warning that this will be a dark story, but you who know me, i usually give you an ending you can live with, don't I? Ye a little faith and buckle up, cos it will be a bumpy one. ;) Muahahahahaaaa!!!