Okie Dokie Smokies, we are at the end. Below, at the bottom are quotes/lines from Story 3. Muahahaaa.. I'll be nice, the first 1-4 chapters are all Harm and Mac, cuteness, hanging out, flying, going to see Harm's folks, etc. Then it will get weird. Hint, think of The Imposter, just different. ;)



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Part 17 – Return to Arlington

August 4, 2005
1820 Zulu
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia

The rows of tombstones lined the well manicured lawn, rolling up and down much like ebb and flow of the seas. There, in the middle of the perfect resting place stood Harmon Rabb, Jr over his own tombstone. It was strange seeing his own name etched into the stone, almost surreal. But, then again, that was exactly the term to use: surreal. The whole year for him had been surreal. "This is. . .weird." He said gently, turning to glance at Mac who stood just a few feet behind him.

"The service was beautiful." She said simply because it had been, though she nearly broke when the F-14s flew overhead in perfect formation until one split high into the air. "Taps" never sounded so sad before in her life. The one thing that unnerved her the most was how gorgeous that day had been, despite the storm going on within her. "I couldn't come back to see your grave, though. . .I refused to really mourn you."

Harm stood and turned to her. "You always believed?"

Did she always believe? No, she didn't, there were times that just looking into his office and not seeing him there threatened to kill her. There was nothing worse than returning each and every day to their place of interaction. So much had gone on between them in the walls of JAG Headquarters and missing such a prominent force in her life had slowly threatened to take her own life. "Yes, part of me always did. . .But, it was difficult, especially when your friends keep telling you to accept what had supposedly happened."

"I still can't get over the look on your face when I appeared at your doorstep." He flashed her a half smile, then turned back to his grave. It was in a very nice place, shaded by a massive tree that seemed to be the most lush one in the whole cemetery.

Mac refused to set her eyes anywhere near the tombstone, it just was something she didn't want to think about, not now. If possible, not ever. "I never expected you to just show up at my place."

Squatting down, Harm traced the outline of his name with his fingers and took a deep breath. This could have been him, it could have really happened and things would've been over. True, his death probably would have protected a lot of people, for sure Mac wouldn't have gone on a near fatal mission with him. "Sometimes I think I am immortal and looking at this, I realize I'm not."

"No, you're not." Though she wish he were every bit the superhero, including that gift of immortality. "So many people just believed you were gone. . .The General ordered me not to look into things. So did Webb. Your mother even told me to move on."

"Mom's had practice at that, I wouldn't be too surprised if she's waiting for something to happen to me." As much as he hated to admit that, he knew that his flying scared the death out of her. "She hates that I fly almost as much as you do." He gave her side long glance and grinned.

Mac shook her head and smiled down at him. "Yea, but you flying is part of what I love about you."

He placed his hand on the top part of the stone and said a slight prayer, a thanks for returning them home safely. "I wish I could just rip this out and smash it to pieces over Levine's head."

Ah, Levine, what happened to him? Well, the government quickly stripped him of his title and just as quickly stuck him in Leavenworth, on death row. It, surprisingly, did not take much more than a few days. Then again, the amount of information Porter Webb's associates had dug up gave no doubts as to what Levine and Temir were up to. The compound in Newfoundland was taken over by the Marine insurgents and there, more information was found about the terrorist activities. Files of the men captured, including Harm and Andy, as well as intricate information on the planes. If Temir had acted sooner, God knows what would have happened.

"Mrs. Webb said he's well taken care of. She's positive he'll get the death penalty, as well as the others that conspired with him." Though that was a comforting thought, that men like Levine would be out of the picture, somehow, she would have felt better ripping him to shreds with her bare hands over what he did to Harm. "If I'd ever get my hands on him. . . God help him."

With a sigh, Harm wiped his hands on his jeans then stood. It was time to leave this behind and start anew. After all, he did get a new lease on life with fringe benefits. He walked away from the grave and reached over to Mac, wrapping an arm around her waist. "Let's go, Mac."

They headed down the pathway of Arlington and down to where her Corvette was parked. Harm's knee was still bothering him, which left Mac chauffeuring him around town. It was nice, and he didn't complain too much about her driving. As they slipped out of Arlington, it occurred to Mac that she had yet to contact Trish and Frank about Harm's resurrection. She didn't think to do it over the phone, for sure they'd want to see him, so that gave her an idea. "You know? We have some downtime, how about we go visit your folks in California?"

Harm grinned at her. "Uh huh, you just want to head to the beach and work on your tan."

"No, I want my boyfriend's parents to know that he is alive and well." She said seriously. That conversation with Trish replayed in her head from before.

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

Harm studied her for a moment, he could tell she had spaced out, no doubt thinking about the past and his 'death.' "I think it's a good idea, Sarah. . .We can book the tickets tonight, head out tomorrow morning." He took her hand that was resting against the gearshift and brought it up to his lips. "Thank you."

"For what?" She said, her eyes locking onto his.

"For believing. . .For saving me." Leaning forward, he brought his lips gently against hers kissing her lovingly.

Harm and Mac will return in story three: The Thin Line.

Quotes from The Thin Line:

Trish shook from the happy sobs that escaped her. Her arms tightened around her son, holding him as if her life depended on it, and it did. "But, how? Everyone thought you were dead. . ." She trailed off a moment and glanced at Mac. "Everyone but Mac. . . I'm sorry for not believing you."

"Done this before, sailor?" Mac teased laying on a blanket that they'd brought from the house.

"Yes, but never with such intriguing company." Harm responded, turning to his side so he could look at her.

For the first time in a long time, Sarah MacKenzie felt utterly hopeless. "I saw Dr. Chen today at Bethesda."

"Maybe, I want to be put through that. . . I don't care how it happens, Mac. . .Honestly, I don't care if it happens. . .All I care about is being with you."

He straightened himself, tried to remain stoic and more like a CO than a friend. Without preamble the words came out, "Who is Clark Palmer?"

She wasn't a little girl anymore, she was a capable, strong woman, a Marine officer who would not give in, damn the consequences. "Sarah MacKenzie – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps – 501-02-7158."