Well, due to this weekends news, I decided to start posting early. Getting lost in fanfics are fun!
So here we go, not sure when part 2 is going up, but, at least this part does'nt end with a cliffhanger. ;) BTW – SFTP has 15 chapters, I know sometimes ffnet does some screwy things, so make sure you read that one first.
Thanks to: XBlueShadowX, Aimee5, Charmboy4, starryeyes10, Nikki, dansingwolf, jag4ever, lei, Jackia, EternalSleep, Cristina, Tina Frank, achaon, Abigaile, Hieros Gamos, froggy0319, joanoa, JadeAlmasy, SpaceMan546, dansingwolf, carbygirl , JAGJenni, Manda, starryeyes, BiteBeccy, ng59678, LtColDevilDog, martini, mizukimarr, jtbwriter, Macaroon, Lissie, n.k, Lt.jgMegAustin, cbw, dansingwolf, Apion, alix33, jnp, MacHarm4Ever, Tania, Macaroon, harmfan, Jagnut, Claire Vincent, Navy Babe, Nix, Martini, jaggurl, Laura, CoolCat, sunnysky, smithknk, mjag, FoxyWombat, carbygirl, and anyone else I missed for the Feedback on SFTP, you rock:)
Title: Fully Engaged
Summary: Sequel to "Something For The Pain." (Read that first.) Trying to clear his name and get to the bottom of things, Harm, with the help of Mac, head out to locate the stolen Aurora's. But, their enemies are still at large. Who will succeed in this battle of good vs. evil?
PART 1 – The Slightly Hurt and The Badly Injured
July 17, 2005
Bethesda Naval Hospital ICU
The beeping of the equipment in the hospital room was enough to drive anyone insane. Doctors and nurses were keeping a round-the-clock eye on the man that was barely alive and likely not to make it through the evening if he didn't stabilize. The man who was with him, stood outside peering in through a glass window, he too had injuries – merely scrapes and bruises, but the other. . .things didn't look so good. It was a difficult trip to Bethesda and while the most injured of the two swore the bullet wound wasn't that difficult to bare, inside he was dying, knowing that his hours were slowly winding down to nothing. And it all was supposed to be, for once, an easy mission. . .
July 17, 2005
Somewhere In The Appalachian Mountains
Alex grabbed Harm, placing a hard punch on his abdomen, winding Harm who wasn't prepared for too much physical exertion, it had been miracle that he made the hike. He'd managed to, somehow, take hold of Alex's gun. "Don't. . .make this . . . harder on. . .yourself, Rabb!" The agent said between groans. The gun was moving towards his body though he was fighting to keep it away. "You're. . .weak." He said, noting Harm's strength was diminishing.
As Webb made to turn around and help Harm, a shot rang out and then two others. Both men had stilled and a pool of blood started to cover the rocks bellow. Harm glanced downwards noting that one shot had hit Alex in the gut. As he pushed the dead weight off of him, he slowly came up to his knees. Harm's eyes glanced around the area and that was when he saw Webb. Unfortunately, the first shot, one that Alex had gotten of, sailed through the air, hitting Clayton Webb in the chest. "Webb!" Harm hurried to his side, examining the injury. It had hit Webb a good three inches away from his right shoulder. The bullet had made it clean through, leaving an ugly hole that was bleeding profusely. "Clay? Talk to me."
The pain was worse than any torture Sadik could have done on him. It felt as if his arm had been severed, though he knew differently. "I'm fine, Rabb. . .Let's get out of here."
Harm nodded and somehow managed to lift the agent up, carrying him fireman style. He'd only needed to walk about twenty yards before they found one of the vehicles the agents had used to get into the area. "Hang on, Clay. . .Just hang on." Half hour into the drive, Webb passed out.
July 17, 2005
Bethesda Naval Hospital ICU
General Creswell followed Mac through the corridors of Bethesda. "Colonel, will you tell me what in the hell is going on?"
"You won't believe me, unless I show you, sir." She said and swiftly wound up heading towards the ICU. The whole day had been pure hell for her. She'd known the exact moment something had happened because she felt this dread and knew that Harm was in danger. So wound up she was that the General had sent her home, which only made her feel desperate. She had no one to call, no one to check in with. Incommunicado took on a whole different meaning. When she'd gotten word from Bethesda of the situation, she knew that she could no longer do things alone, so she called the General for back up.
The General followed her through the halls and towards the ICU. She was heading towards the nurses station, when a figure in the waiting room caught her eye. She rushed to him. "You know, sailor, I am NEVER letting you out of my sights again." Thought the hospital had sworn that Harm wasn't the one that was shot, she needed to see him to be sure.
Upon hearing her voice, his face lit up, until he noticed the General. Harm stood up, coming to attention. "Sir."
Creswell looked as if he'd seen a ghost. "You were right." He said to Mac, then turned to Harm, gawking in bewilderment. "Sweet Jesus, you're alive."
Mac couldn't help the smirk, she'd been right all along.. "The Commander has been back since the third of July, sir. . .There's a lot you need to know."
It surprised all three of them when Creswell took Harm in a 'manly' hug and patted him on the back. "Son, I don't know how you did that but. . .Christ it's good to have you back."
"Good to be back, sir." He glanced at Mac and gave her a soft smile, wanting so much to take her in his arms, but found it inappropriate with the General in front of them. "Have time for a story, General?"
The General pointed to the chairs behind them and nodded. "Fill me in."
July 18, 2005
Falls Church, Virginia
Bud and Sturgis nearly arrived at Headquarters in tandem. They'd been called in by the General for an urgent meeting, something that they were not to miss. "Morning, Commander." Bud said, as he walked into the elevator.
Sturgis handed Bud a cup of coffee that he'd brought for the Lt. Commander and shook his head. "Know what's so important at 0700 on a Sunday?"
"I was hoping you'd know more than I, sir." They exited the elevators and proceeded to head in through the double glass doors then towards the General's office. He knocked on the door frame. "Reporting as ord. . ." Instantly he froze as, from the corner of his eye he noticed the one person that had been missing from the office in the past seven months. "Commander Turner, I think I've lost my mind."
"Why's that Comman. . ." Glancing to the side, Sturgis felt a sudden wave of vertigo as he stared in disbelief. "Bud, are you seeing what I am seeing?"
Harm stood from one of the leather chairs and walked over to his friends. "Good to see both of you." They all hugged, ignoring protocol or any military formalities. They were out of uniform anyway, even the General who looked on with a smile on his face.
"How, sir?" Bud asked, his face still in shock over the whole thing.
"It's a long story Bud. . . reason why we called you in is because we need your help."
It was all classified information, but in the room were the people he trusted the most, all of which knew how to deal with sensitive information. He detailed a few of the finer points of his CIA mission and their capture. "I have to go back there, I know where the planes are. . . the woman that set me free gave me a map and I kept it." In fact, it was on him at the moment, it was somewhat of a security blanket.
"You can't use the CIA, sir?" Bud suggested, wanting for his friend not to go in blindly. Sure, between all of the people in the room, they could probably strategize some sort of half-baked, slightly well thought out plan, but backup was needed.
Harm shook his head. "They are after me for treason. . .I have to go at it alone."
Sturgis perked up, an expression of shock on his face. "Treason?"
"In a nutshell, they claim I purposely did something with the planes." The idea still seemed ludicrous to him as much as it did to those that knew him. "I know that they haven't been able to move the planes. . .I mean, I destroyed the master control panel. . so they can't just pick those things up and move them out."
"What makes you so sure?"
Harm shook his head. Was he sure? No, they could have someone on the inside, or maybe even taken one of the men that had trained him. There were manly possibilities, but, the truth was, "I have a gut feeling. . .I know it sounds crazy, but you guys have to trust me."
Mac didn't like the sound of that, because she knew what he was trying to do and, frankly, she was tired of him being the martyr. "Harm, why not contact the agency? . . .We'll vouch for you. . .Even if the planes are there, you said yourself that you took the control panel out"
"There's an override." He said with a grin, his words confusing the group. "And it's classified. . ."
A good part of the morning, he'd spent catching up with the three men, the friends he'd come to know and love. It was the first time he'd seen the General as something more than just a CO. The Marine had obviously been affected by the Commander's loss, but remained stoic to keep his team glued together. Harm briefly touched upon his being captured, leaving out horrors that he didn't want anyone else to experience. In the middle of it, Mac had excused herself and never returned. He had a feeling that third time was not a charm in hearing about his experience.
After things were said and an agreement was made to work as a group on his current 'mission,' he sought her out. As he walked across the bullpen, he couldn't help but notice the different things in his office. Before, he was too preoccupied with what to tell Sturgis and Bud to notice. Now, he saw the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, a bright red flag and a Marine saber. He'd been replaced. Slowly, he walked through Mac's open door. She was seated at her desk, her chair turned towards the window. "So, someone took over my office already?" Already? It had been half a year.
"My so called partner, Major Steele." Mac said without turning partially because of her own personal embarrassment to, even minutely, trusting her new partner. After the other nights fiasco, she loathed him more than ever and hated herself for being tricked so easily. Then again, some of her lack of judgment could be excused if you put into place the rollercoaster ride she'd been on in the past seven months. Unfortunately, her rollercoaster ride was full of endless turns and absolutely no way to get off or make it stop. She was just going to have to hang on and ride it out – something that she had grown accustomed to after her personal hell at the hands of her father.
Harm sensed some sort of tension in reference to Mac and the Major. It was odd, considering Marines had a penchant for sticking together and there had always been a small number of Marine officers. He'd figured Steele to be a comrade. Then again, she'd said partner not colleague – and that's when he realized what the problem was (or at least he thought he did), she didn't want him replaced by anyone. No, her partner was alive and well and coming back to JAG. "Might want to tell him that position was filled a decade ago."
But she didn't turn to him, only keep looking out the window, her voice somber. "He's a pilot turned lawyer, just like you." That was when she finally turned and smiled gently. "Unlike you his lawyering sucks."
"Is that so?" He chuckled lightly, keeping his eyes trained on hers when she nodded. A slight movement of her hand and he noticed a mark on her wrist, one that wasn't there the night he left with Clay. "What's that from?"
"Major Steele." Mac wasn't going to hide it because she knew he'd notice. She wasn't going to start lying to him either. Then, there was some small satisfaction at the look on his face; a look that would kill. And, if she wasn't being a complete sadist, it was almost pleasurable to think of Harm kicking the Major's ass for her honor. It had to be the first time in her life that the whole Neanderthal, male complex, thing appealed to her. Still, she wasn't going to play the damsel. "It's fine really."
"How did it happen?" Harm's protective switch turned to 'on' as a million scenarios flashed through his head. Someone had hurt her. His partner. His Marine. The Major was a dead man.
"I thought he needed help and apparently he didn't realize that a business dinner is just that." Maybe it was Marine Corps camaraderie or the need to help out a fellow officer. But, anyway you put it, But, anyway you put it, a voice inside had always told her something was wrong; she was just too stubborn to admit it. Then, there was her worry over Harm and Clay. (More Harm than Clay.) She needed to get out of the house and away from the space that he'd been occupying in hopes that she wouldn't lose her mind. "Anyway, this was a parting gift."
Now that, had Harm livid. "He attacked you!. . ." He yelled so loudly that, had it been a regular work day, the bullpen would have been stopped dead in it's tracks. "He's a dead man!"
Mac waved off his attempts at gallantry. "Oh, don't worry about it. . .after the place that I kicked him, I doubt there's much man left to kill." She grinned slightly, it had been a cheap shot, but there weren't many self-help books or videos in the art of brawling in an automobile.
"Oww. . ." He resisted the urge to cover his private parts with a shudder. Then, before silence could overtake them, he gave her the information that she already knew. "The General and the boys offered to help me find an easier way of going back there. . . I know you aren't going to like it, but I do have to go back there, alone." There, he said it. It was unceremonious, he didn't hesitate, it was out in the open and from the look on her face, she wasn't going to make his departure an easy one.
Fundamentally, Mac understood what was going on. They were born and bred to serve their government against all enemies. He had a job to do, something that she couldn't stop him from doing. But, it didn't make things any easier and she would be damned if he would go at it alone. "You can't do this alone. . .You need backup." The wheels turning in his head as he tried to figure who would join his endeavor. She made the choice for him. "I'm going with you."
"No, Mac." He stated in a tone that hung with finality. "You aren't going with me."
"Yes I am. . . Look, I am an expert shot." She pleaded her case. "I know how you operate. . . You know how I operate. . .We've done things like this before and tend to get out of it with minimal bumps and scratches. . . .and of course, occasional buck shot." It was a lame effort, joking at their past situations, but she was right – they were good together – in more ways than one.
"The General won't let you go." Or at least he hoped that Creswell would see things his way. He doubted I though, as he'd noticed that the old Marine had a respect for Mac's abilities more than any he'd ever seen.
"Then I'll pull a Harmon Rabb and resign."
That took the wind completely out of his sails. He stared at her and that sly grin that he'd come to love so much. Harm's mouth opened and closed a few times, unable to come up with any other response but, "This is dangerous."
"We've been in dangerous situations before. . .and I trust you." Mac's chocolate colored eyes conveyed that trust – the type that words couldn't describe. Had they really gotten their footing back? Were they ready to trust each other with more than their lives?
"Mac, I can't ask you to go with me."
"I told you I wasn't letting you out of my sight again, and I am keeping that promise. . . so either I go, or I'll order you not to." And there went that sly grin again making it much more difficult for him to deny her anything.
It wasn't what he wanted – far from it – what he wanted was to be back in her apartment, in her bed, learning to trust each other as lovers. He was ready for that and suspected she was too, but his disappearance had, somehow tainted all of that. He'd be perfectly happy if they just lay together, healing the demons that those months had resurrected. But, no, he was going to concede on her joining a mission that was dangerous as hell. "Okay, you go."
Mac smiled brightly, a little too bright considering the task at hand. "Thank you, Harm." She cooed sweetly at him and then walked over to Harm and placed a kiss on his cheek.
Not the reunion everyone as longing for, but I will make it up. Believe me. ;)
NavyBabe – Webb's gonna be out of the picture with this one. As for Steele and Levine, well they have a lot up their sleeves. A lot. Levine is in deeper than people think.
Froggy – LOL! That line will be in Part 3 I think. Or two. . .A hint – it's a porch scene. ;)
Carby – There will be more ass kicking, therea re a LOT of people that need to be throttled in this story.
Jackia – It'll be a third part or a separate story. And you gave me the… idea for it, sorta. ;)
BiteBeccy – So how was this chapter? Is therapy still needed:D
Jtbwriter – Date with the weasel? Could be fun. I might not be a Marine but I am a Cuban with a temper, he wouldn't get past cocktails LOL!