Previously in Handling It
If you didn't read Handling It – a very brief synopsis – Harm and Mac have a baby named Mackenzie, they adopt Mattie, live together, life is great, he gets shipped off, and gets killed.
Now – on to the story
Resemblance to Life
December 7, 2005
Harm and Mac's Residence
King George, VA
"Hammer, SAM on our six!" Emily cried out
Harm tried to out maneuver the SAM, but it got a lock on him and headed straight for the nimble plane.
"Eject!" Emily screeched pulling her ejection seat handle pulling off a martin baker.
Harm went to pull his but nothing happened. He braced himself for impact from the SAM as he continued to try to out maneuver it. The last second he turned the plane and the SAM grazed one of the engines, disabling the small plane. Harm tried to maneuver the plane into one of his uncontrolled landings, but the attempt was futile. The plane crashed into the Iraqi desert.
"I'm so sorry Sarah." Were the last words he whispered before the blackness took him to a place where he could see his family again.
Mac woke up sitting straight up in their bed; it was the same nightmare that she had been reliving over and over again for the past week. Drenched with sweat she climbed into the shower waiting for their youngest daughter to wake up. Her mind was locked into the memory of what she was told on Thanksgiving Day.
Mac started picking up the pieces of the platter that had just moments ago held their Thanksgiving Day dinner. The love that she was so thankful to have found was gone. She threw the pieces of the broken platter into the sink, catching her hand. Her shoulders started shaking, and AJ put his arms around her.
"Mac," He started to say trying to comfort her.
"Don't! He is still alive, I know it." She screamed. "I have to go to him, go find him."
Mattie came running down the stairs, she knew. Jen rushed down after checking on the kids, Mattie was already barreling down the stairs though.
"Mom, no, please say it isn't true!" Mattie screeched in the arms of her Dad's brother. Sergei had caught her and was holding her in a bear hug.
"I don't believe it." Mac said.
"Mac," Admiral Jonas started.
"Where's the proof?"
"His remains were recovered from his Tomcat thirty minutes ago."
"No, turn back around, get back in that car, and leave." Mac said tears starting to roll down her face. "No, it can't be. He is still alive, I would feel it if he was gone, and I don't feel it."
"Colonel, we are shipping his remains home. What were his final wishes?"
"To come home!" She snapped at them. She knew that they shouldn't be the source of her anger, but they were.
"Military funeral." Trish whispered. Frank was standing stoically behind her, always the pillar of strength; the woman had survived her first husband going down and now her son. "That is something that Harm would have wanted, something his father never had."
"Why are we planning his funeral, he's coming back!" Mac screamed getting up and running out the door.
Admiral Jonas looked at Mac and started to go after her. AJ stopped him, "I'll go. I have known her longer."
He walked down the path to the horse barn. He knew that would be the only place that she could go. He found her at the flagpole that was by the barn. She was sitting on one of the hay bales shivering in the cold of the late November night. "Mac . . ."
"Don't start AJ."
"Colonel Mackenzie," He started gruffly, and then softened his tone. "Mac, what is the evidence telling you?"
"I know he is alive, or else I would feel dead, and I don't. We have always been connected, you know this."
"I have no doubt in my mind that you are connected. Mac, honey, the ground troops saw him crash. Did you ever think that you feel connected to him because you are keeping him alive in your heart?"
"His plane was shot down."
"Harm would have ejected, he would have dodged the missile, he would have done something other than get shot down! For God sakes the man played tag with a freaking dirty nuclear warhead, only to what, get shot down! No, there is something more going on here, my fiancé is not dead! What happened in the air?"
"Mac sometimes there is no answer." He answered her.
Mac stood there. "What happened to Emily?"
AJ looked at her, "Emily didn't make it either." How much more was this woman supposed to take, she just lost the love of her life, and now she knew her cousin was with him. "Her parents are arranging to have her ashes scattered where husband died." He told her what Chaplain Turner had told him.
"How am I going to tell Mackenzie that her Daddy is never coming home again? How am I going to tell this baby about the Daddy that it will never meet? AJ, I can't do this alone." She sobbed cradling her stomach unconsciously.
"Yes." She whispered.
"How far along?"
"How can that be, you only saw him two weeks ago for liberty."
"The investigation on the Patrick Henry. Harm and I were together. I thought there was a chance I could be pregnant when I was in Italy, but there was just too little time, and that I was rundown because of taking care of the kids." She told her former CO knowing that there was nothing he could do about what happened now.
"Did he know?"
"No. Hell AJ, I didn't even know until this morning. I was going to tell him when he got back. It was going to be a surprise."
"What are you going to do?"
"I don't know. I feel so alone right now."
"Mac, you aren't alone," Sergei said coming up behind her.
"Colonel, you and the Commander have always made me feel like I was family, even though I was a misfit. Let us be there for you." Jen said with her arms around Sergei.
Mac felt the breeze run through her and Harm's favorite horse Tommy came up in nudged her. "I can't explain it, but I know that he is alive."
AJ shook his head. She had been so close to realizing that he was never coming back. "The remains were identified as his. They found his dogtags and a locket on his body. The plane exploded on impact. There wasn't much left Mac. Honey, don't worry about the funeral, I'll take care of all the arrangements."
"I don't care what you say. He isn't dead, I will never believe it until I know for sure."
"Mac. . ."
Mac picked herself up off of one of the bales of hay that she was sitting on. "I know he is alive, and I am going to find him."
"Do you want his girls growing up like him? They need to have closure Mac!" AJ argued. "Harm would not want his daughters to grow up trying to find him like he spent 30 years trying to find his father. The remains are his!"
"I just talked to him yesterday. He sent me an email today."
Admiral Jonas came up to her. "He was going after Seaman Ladir-Famino. They were providing the air support when a surface air missile locked on to him. He was circling our troops keeping them safe. The plane was hit in the wing. He tried to land it, but according to the troops it was in flames by the time they got to the wreckage."
She looked up and saw Mattie's window open. Jen looked at the woman who was trying so hard to believe something that contradicted the facts in evidence. "Mac, Mattie is going to need you right now."
Mac started to make her way back to the house. She needed to talk to her daughter. She was so consumed by her pain, that she wasn't thinking about what Mattie was going through. "I need to talk to her and try to calm her down."
She turned and looked at them, and sank to the ground losing consciousness. "MAC!" Sergei screeched running to her.
Jen ran up to the house. "Quick, clear the couch! Mac fainted out in back, AJ is bringing her back."
End Mac's flashback
The rest of the next couple of days were a blur for Harm's family. Due to the nature of his body they had to wait for the DNA analysis to be run. Theresa Coulter called Mac with the devastating news.
"Mac, I have news that you aren't going to want to hear."
"Terry, just tell me."
"I just received the paper work on the remains brought to me from the F-14 crash in the desert. Mac, it was Harm and Emily. I am so sorry."
Mac held the receiver in her hand, "Bring him home to me Terry."
AN – Okay, for all of you guys who wanted to stone me, well – this story is going to go a little slower with posting because I am in the process of moving and getting the rest of my life in order, and I am still in the process of writing it Chapter One if it entices your interest, I will continue. I decided to post the first chapter a little earlier than expected because I felt you guys deserved to see Mac's reaction with the bomb I dropped on yall last night. Thanks for all the reviews!