Tangled Up In You
Chapter Eight – Previously Not Posted
Written Summer 2003
Spoilers – Through the End of Season 8
Harm tried to cancel his afternoon appointments but with the trial coming up on Wednesday, he needed to take one specifically. It was actually fine with Mac. The time and distance and the BIG NEWS had taken a bit of a toll. It would be better if they got their land legs back under them in a setting where they were more familiar and working a case is what they do best. He caught her up on the case and she had some interesting insights. It was good to work with her again. So they spent the afternoon at the office and had an early dinner with the crew. It was very good to see them all. Without discussing it, Sarah and Harm had chosen not to tell the others about her "condition" or that she would not be going back to Kabul. It meant there were a lot of vague answers given at dinner but with so much to talk about, no one noticed. Well Harm noticed.
Later that evening, Harm opened the door to his apartment for Sarah and let her enter first. His house was not the way he had planned for her return. She didn't care. He had planned a dinner and flowers and all that hoopla that goes with the return of your lover. He wasn't really feeling it at the moment and was glad that he did not have to put an act on for her. There was something eating at the back of his mind and had been since she dropped the news. Please don't misunderstand. He was glad, thrilled, over-joyed to have her home. Being able to see the smile in her eyes, hear the pride in her voice, feel the comfort of her touch, smell the passion of her perfume and taste the love on her lips, nothing else really mattered – she was home. Naturally the baby part of the whole thing was fantastic. Harm was born to be a father – well maybe he was made to be a father after his was lost – all he had been waiting for was the right woman to share the experience with. Sarah was that woman. But there was still something that was gnawing at him.
Harm dropped her bag in the bedroom as she reacquainted herself with the surroundings. A few things had changed; most notably was the picture of them on his desk. They were laughing and looked very happy. She didn't remember taking that picture. It was at a BBQ at Harriet's house shortly before Harriet and Bud were married. Mac looked so young. It was such a long time ago. So much had happened.
"Where did you get this?" She asked touched that he would have put it up.
"I have had it for years. It is my favorite picture of you."
"I don't even remember it being taken."
"I do. You were making some point about the case you just won and you zinged me pretty good."
"You seem to be taking it well."
He walked up and took the picture from her hand and looked at it. "You know Sarah, no other woman had ever gotten under my skin the way you did."
"You always seemed so cocky and confident – like you were so unphased by me – at least in the beginning."
"I was phased alright." He turned the picture back to her. "Do you want to know what I was thinking when this was taken?"
"I was thinking that you would be the woman I would spent the rest of my life loving and fighting with." He handed her the picture and moved to the kitchen. "Tea?"
A nod was all she could allow herself to do. This man could still take the wind out of her sails. How could he have known that back then, back six years ago, and still let all the other people (Dalton, Annie, Jordan, Mic, Renee) come between them? She followed him to the kitchen.
"You were very quiet this evening." She said casually.
"Is there something on your mind?"
"You could say that." He said evasively as he leaned against the counter.
"Could I also say that you have some thing you want to discuss with me?"
"You could say that too."
She sat down on the stool. "Are you upset?"
"I don't know." He shrugged.
She got a little frustrated. Mac was a direct approach kind of person and his ambiguity was getting in her way. "What do you know?"
"I know that you kept something very big from me for more than two months. I know that we talked nearly every day and that something like you being pregnant – one could argue – should have been mentioned – at the very least in passing."
"Do I get a defense?"
"I am not passing judgment Sarah. I just want to understand why and how you could keep that little tidbit from me for eight weeks."
"The 'how' was easy."
"Yes, you were doing this thing – this thing that I didn't know about – this resigning and opening your own practice. You were very secretive about it and kept the conversations very superficial. As time passed it became harder and harded to bring it up – so it was easier to not."
He took her words in. No dice. "Sorry, counselor. That argument will not fly. I told you that I was working on something for us – for you and me. That should have opened the door for you to disclose the little project you had going." His tone was becoming very sarcastic.
"Harm, if you are going to be snide . . . "
"I'm not." He exhaled to get rid of his tone. "So why you didn't tell me?"
"Can we sit down – over there?" She nodded to the couch.
He nodded, but was worried that being close to her would make him forget what he was upset about. He didn't want this discussion to be swept under the rug or covered over with sex. He was smart enough to know that the issue would fester if it weren't tended to immediately. He was also smart enough to know that it would not take much coaxing for him to lay her down and give her a proper welcome home, consequences be damned. Something he had been imagining, planning and fantasying about since she left and pretty much the focus of his mind since their eyes met again eight hours ago.
They went over to the couch; he took his jacket off and hung it on the back of the chair. Harm was very deliberate to sit away from her. She took notice and kept a short but safe distance. "Can I say that I did not NOT tell you to hurt you?"
"That is not enough."
"Harm, I found out unexpectedly. I was not anticipating hearing that kind of news – I didn't go looking for it. In fact, I thought we took some serious precautions considering – it was not even in the back of my mind as a possibility." She was implying that they were a little out of control the week they spent together and yet they still took careful precautions – though in hind sight not 100.
"That is hardly the issue, Sarah."
"I went to the doctor because I was tired and could not get enough sleep. I thought I might have caught something over there, but was not too concerned. It is natural to be tired when you are working 18-20 hours a day, but I thought … I don't know what I thought. I went to the doctor. He ran some tests and told me that I was not sick." She looked up at Harm. "You could have knocked me over with a feather. I didn't believe him at first and made him run the test again." Harm was waiting earnestly. "The day he told me was the first day that we did not talk on the phone since I left. You were busy. I was busy. We played phone tag for a couple of days. I took that as an omen. An omen that I needed to sit with the information for a little bit."
"That was not my plan – not that I had a plan at all. The next time we spoke you were hot on this new thing and to be honest I thought maybe the a baby would get in the way."
He let he argument sink in. Nope. "Sorry, Mac. You know me better than that. You know my history and you know how I feel about kids. I told you about Singer and my brother. You know that I would not let any child of mine or my brother's not be taken care of. You know that I would have wanted to know – sooner rather than later."
"There is a larger issue that you are missing."
"I am waiting."
"I was worried that maybe you didn't want the whole package."
He shook his head. "I think that is a load of bull."
"Well forgive me – but I do know you and I do know your history. You have never been seriously involved with any woman-."
"That is not true."
"Harm you have never even gotten close to getting married, much less having a child with a woman. How the hell do you expect me to know how you would react to that kind of news?"
"Mac, since we got together, have I ever given you the impression that I wanted out or that I was not expecting to take this -- thing with us all the way."
"What does that mean: 'all the way'?"
"You know what it means Sarah. Over the last four months, we talked about a lot of stuff – very intimate touchy feeling stuff, as you women like to describe them."
"Don't go there, Harm."
"Via e-mail and the phone - we dealt with a lot of the misunderstanding that we had over the years. The late night phone conversations were more honest than we ever had been. You had to realize how serious I was about you – about us."
She got a far away look in her eye. "They were the only things that kept me going sometimes." She got a little croak in her voice.
"So your argument doesn't hold water." She was silent. He pushed on. "I think it was you that did not 'want the whole package.'"
At that she looked up at him. "No. That's not true." She reached out her hand to take his.
The touch sent a wave of desire through him. He forced himself to hold back. – AAAH – he could taste her, he could smell her, he could feel her move under him. Damn – give it up Harm and take her to bed. He resisted. What the hell is wrong with you? Take her in your arms. Reenact the conception and call this discussion over. He held himself in check.
Mac was confused. She could feel his desire. Although it could have been her own reflected back. Why was he resisting? All she really knew was that he was resisting and needed to respect that. She had been waiting to get him alone, hoping that he would let go; hoping to feel his arms around her and his soft mouth seeking her own - but he had an agenda. It hurt to be this close and this apart. She has been so alone the past few months. Knowing that she was pregnant and not being able to tell anyone isolated her from the people around her. It was now taking its toll with Harm. She released his hand and sat back.
"So?" He said grateful to have power over his voice again. "I ask again, why didn't you tell me."
"I wanted to tell you in person."
"You could have asked me to fly out there."
She exhaled forcefully. "I was scared."
"The last time something good happened to me, my whole world changed."
"And it will again. Sarah, a baby is going to change our world."
"I know." She started to tear. He could not take her tears at the moment. He really needed to understand why she didn't tell him.
"Please – don't cry."
"You can't ask me that." Tears were streaming down her face.
There was nothing he could do. He pulled her into an embraced and held her. To feel her next to him, every part of his body was screaming out. TAKE HER. TAKE HER NOW. You want her. She wants you. There is nothing standing in your way but your own stupid pride. His resolve was about to break; when the teakettle started to whistle. Saved (?) by the whistle. He pulled himself away from her and took the kettle off the flame, but did not make the tea. Instead he came back, sat down on the coffee table in front of her and took her hands in his.
"Why didn't you tell me?" He asked very gently.
"I was scared." It took a lot for her to admit a second time, but it still was not enough. "We had talked – yes – a lot – yes – about some very personal, deep, intimate things – yes. I learned and confirmed things about you that kept you close in my heart." She removed one had from his grasp to brush aside the hair that dipped into her face. "In all the times we talked, we never talked about our future. I was – worried. You had made a comment before I left about things moving too quickly. A baby would send us into Mach speed. The only thought in my mind was being worried that you may not want so much so soon. Can you understand that?" She paused for a moment and then forced her self onward. "I have seen you push people away, push me away – when too much is asked of you. I couldn't take the risk, not while we were half a world apart."
Harm sat back. She was right. He had avoided all talk about a long-term future with her. Not because he wasn't interested, but because he wanted to be supportive of her career. He had every intention of spending the rest of his life with her and if it started in six months, twelve months or twenty-four, he didn't care. And she was right, he would rather have had more time with her by themselves. She was also right that he tended to push women away who asked for too much. All they had was ten days and ten – well nine actually – nights together – seven years and nine nights. Honestly he couldn't remember a time when they weren't 'together.' When he thought about their history they were together the whole time.
When he spoke his voice was very soft. "I wanted to be – I didn't want - I didn't want you to feel guilty about your assignment. I knew we had the rest of our lives, I could let you have this time to cement your career."
"So again, we presume to know the other so well and we wind up with misunderstandings and misgivings."
He smiled. "Seems like we are doomed to repeat history."
"Can we stop it?"
"I think we just did."
She sat up and got very close to him. "Harm, let's rewind the clock." He nodded. "I have something wonderful to tell you." She pulled loose his tie. "I am having your baby."
He leaned in and took her face in his hands. "Sarah MacKenzie – " She kissed him softly. It only distracted him mildly. "Sarah MacKenzie, you have made me the luckiest man alive." He returned the kiss as tenderly as she had given it.
"It is I who am the lucky one."
"I think our luck has changed." They kissed.
The loving kiss turned passionate finally giving way to their desires. Harm pulled back, drew her to her feet, and led her to the bedroom. At the end of the bed he turned to face her. He pulled her tie free. She freed his. Slowly he unbuttoned her uniform blouse, which opened to reveal her soft white skin covered only by a silken camisole – not marine issue. He needed to touch her, to feel the softness of her skin next to his. He slipped his hands around her shoulders and let the blouse drop to the floor. His mouth found her neck and the sweet spot just below the hairline. His hands – re-familiarizing with her soft curves – undid her skirt. It dropped to the floor. Sarah gave a little sigh; which only served to encourage him. She tore open his shirt with an urgency fueled by four moths of late night phone sessions. The sensation of her hands on his now bare chest was powerful. The wait was over. He had her and she was his. He pulled his shirt free and drew her to him. His mouth again found hers. The hunger for her was becoming so intense he lost the strength of his legs. He drew her down onto the bed and to him completely. They were entwined, enmeshed, entangled in each other both physically and emotionally. Neither one of them had ever been so consumed by desire. There was nothing left to think about, there was only instinctual sensual needs to be satisfied. Neither one could describe what came next in words or how and in what order. They only knew that the need to possess and consume every part of the other was driving their actions. The final clothes were shed and they made wild, wonderful, passionate love until physically drained of desire and sleep over took them.
Sarah woke. It was just after midnight. They had made love for hours and the sleep they took was short. Harm was lying with his head gently resting on her abdomen facing away from her. She let her fingers comb through his hair to let him know that she was awake. He moved slightly into her touch, by made no motion to move from where he was.
"What are you doing?" She asked softly.
"Our child. It sounds like the ocean in there." He turned his head so that he could see her but put his other ear against their future. He pulled her hand to his lips for a kiss.
"Are we OK?" She asked carefully.
"I thought we were better than OK." His sly grin faded and he answered the question in earnest. "Sarah, we are OK." He sat up slightly. "Do you think we are OK?"
"I do." She caressed his face. He pulled himself up and kissed her. Then shifted position to spoon up behind her. He let one hand cover her stomach while the other pulled her tightly against him.
"You know what this means don't you?" He said playfully kissing the back of her neck.
"What does it mean?"
"We are going to need a bigger place."
"We are going to need to pick a place."
"A new place?"
"A house? With a picket fence? And a dog?"
"Nah – normal doesn't become us. Maybe I'll just finish off the garage. Turn it into a nursery."
"Think again, sailor." She playfully elbowed him.
"I guess we do need to think about that. I mean five months are going to fly by."
She turned to him and looked at him seriously. "Can we enjoy this part for a couple of days – at least a couple more hours – before we start doing any major planning or decision making?"
"What do you mean?"
"Harm, we have had such a strained relationship. We fought it for a long time."
"A very long time."
"Then when we finally gave in -."
"Gave in?" He cocked his brow at her choice of words.
"What would you call it?"
"Came to our senses?"
"My senses were fine."
"Oh, so you are saying it was my fault." The lilt in his voice let her know that he was playing.
"I'll let you make it up to me."
"You have gotten off to a pretty good start." She kissed him.
"How long are you going to 'hold' this against me?"
"How long are you going to let me?"
"Thirty forty years?"
"I can live with that."
"Can you?" He playfulness ebbed.
"What do you mean?"
"Are you going to marry me?"
"What?" She pulled away, sat up and looked back at him.
"Are you going to marry me?"
"Harm, this is what I am talking about."
"So the answer is 'no'."
"I didn't say that – but can we please just take a little time to just be."
"That is highly unlikely." He cocked his head. "And not like you at all."
"I know." She curled back into him. "I just feel that we have missed a very special time."
"That easy time that comes at the beginning of a relationship. The time when the past is ignored and the future is held at bay. We never had that time."
He thought for a moment. "We didn't." He paused. "But there is a different reason why we didn't than the one you are thinking of." She shook her head to let him know that she didn't know what he meant. "Sarah, we were never meant for that kind of relationship. We started off serious and took off from there. Why do you think it took us so long to get together and why we fought it so hard? We both knew and know now that anything between us would be all or nothing."
"We had nothing for a long time."
"I don't see it that way. I see that we had a great deal. Your friendship and respect was and is very important to me – it kept me going in some very difficult periods - and the times I let you down were very --."
"I will not argue with you. I don't want to bring up the bad times – not here, not now, not while I have you in my bed."
"There is no better place to be. I feel very safe here."
"You are. We are." He kissed her. "But you have to know we were not meant for a dating/falling in love/romancing chain of events."
"I suppose you are right – this time."
"I am right a lot of times."
"Here is the thing: I - we have a lot of decisions to make and they are going to have to be made sooner rather than later."
"All I am asking is for the weekend; a weekend with you and me and nothing else. I don't want make a decision about my career and what direction it should take. I don't want to decide on where we are going to live or whether or when we should get married. I don't was to decide on baby clothes or names or who we tell first. I pretty much don't want to make any decisions other than what to eat for dinner or if we should bother to get dressed. Our lives are going to change quickly enough regardless of what happens this weekend."
"Harm, I have just come off a very stressful assignment not to mention discovering that I am pregnant, being thousands of miles from home and allowing myself – for the first time - to miss a man I have loved forever. I need a break. I need just a couple of days to feel the earth beneath my feet and know that the rug is not going to be pulled out from under me. I need a couple of days of --."
"TLC – I got it. And you got it. As of this moment this is nothing beyond the next seventy-two hours and you will not have to make a decision about anything."
"Do you mean that?" Mac asked.
"I do. We are on vacation. In fact – that is a hell of an idea."
"Vacation." He jumped out of bed to grab is phone book. "I know a perfect place for us to disconnect from the world."
"Does it involve a plane to get there?"
"Huh? No, why?"
"When the two of us get in a plane, disaster strikes."
"That was a cheap shot – but no. There is no plane and only limited driving." He scooped her up and kissed her, before directing her to the bathroom. "Come, get your butt in gear. We are missing out on valuable relaxing time."
That Ends the Beginning For Harm and Mac …