Summary: Ten years after moving to California a coincidental meeting brings Harm back to Washington and the woman he once loved.
Spoiler: I took this from the beginning of season nine, maybe 'Shifting Sands'. After that I let out the parts that wouldn't fit this story.
Disclaimer: I don't own the people I've been writing about and I don't own the basic idea for the plot either, I just wanna have some fun.
Just a little warning: This might be a little out of character, but I tried to make it all sound reasonable.
Flashbacks will be in italic.
This is kind of an old story, I've written a while back and at the moment I'm not quite happy with its style. But a friend urged me to post it nonetheless, so here it is. (Are you happy now, Vampirecat?) Tell me what you think please.
TO WHERE WE BELONG
1 – Two Lives Apart
"Hello." The man smiled warmly when stepping onto the porch facing his backyard.
"Hi." The girl answering was about 19 and watching two kids playing in the garden while doing some kind of homework herself.
"No work for me tomorrow. So you're off, we'll see you on Monday."
"Thanks." And with that the babysitter grabbed her books and started to leave. She had been working with this family since being 17 and they had all grown pretty fond of each other. She waved a goodbye to the kids. "Bye you two!" and was gone.
"Bye Amy," the girl shouted and only now did she realize that her dad was home.
The little boy was out of the sandbox in no time and running to his daddy. His sister followed behind. Taking a slower step she figured more fitting her age. She was 9 already and not a baby like her five year old brother. When the latter had reached his father who had waited for him on the porch he wrapped his arms around the neck of the tall man who had knelt down. By now the girl had joined them and was greeted by her father with a kiss on top of her head.
"Hi daddy," she smiled.
When the greetings were done, the man turned round and headed for the chair Amy had been sitting at.
"Look dad. Kenny marked his hands on your back."
"Oh, did he really? My summer whites never last long around you two, do they?" he asked in a mocked voice, but his eyes were sparkling with joy.
"Hey daddy look, I'm a sailor."
The man's eyes drifted to the little boy. His whole head was hidden underneath his father's cover.
"Come over here sailor."
Carefully Kenny stepped closer to his father and sister, minding his step due to hardly seeing anything. The man pushed the cover a bit farther into the boy's neck and was greeted with two big blue eyes looking at him revealing childish joy.
"I'm going to the Navy when I'm big. Just like you daddy!"
"You surely do!" his father said and saluted his son wherefore the boy did likewise. But with this movement, the hat had once again fallen into his face completely hiding it from view. Hannah had to laugh at the looks of her brother and shortly both males were joining her.
Captain Harmon Rabb jr., base JAG at NAS North Island California, definitely loved being around his children.
Approximately 2500 miles east and 2 hours later in the outskirts of Washington DC there was a woman lying awake in her bed, thinking about life in general and her life in special. Sure enough she was glad with the way things were. She had an amazing son, an interesting job and a couple of very good friends. But one thing was missing. Love had never been an easy thing for her. She had gone through all the ups and downs. She had been married, widowed, engaged, secretly in love and involved in several love affairs over the years. But nothing had been lasting so far. Most failures were to blame on her. But now she was longing for someone, not only for her, but for her son all the same. He was going to grow into puberty so fast and would need some male to talk to by then. Only for the glimpse of a moment did his father resurface in her memories, but she managed to ignore him. He was gone and never to come back.
She turned around face down into the pillow and tried to force her mind to rest so she could sleep. She felt the seconds tick by. 0145 … 0146.
She sighed and turned back on her back never once opening her eyes. She didn't have to. Sarah MacKenzie could tell the time by heart. Ever since the age of fifteen had she been capable to do so. And it would not have helped any opening her eyes, because there wasn't a clock in the whole room. There weren't many clocks in the whole house either. Although her son wasn't able to tell exactly the right time yet, he was learning fast. He had been the first to learn from her how to do it. And with this loving thought of Aaron she finally drifted to sleep.
Luckily the Friday had not been that long. So Mac was on her way home by 2 pm and was even an hour early. That gave her time to shower and put some civvies on. It wasn't that she did not love her Marine Corps uniform but there were more comfortable things to wear.
Now she was standing in front of her huge wardrobe full of shoes and was searching for a fitting pair. With all these shoes she remembered something she had once told her former partner: 'I want a life that is simple and good, a great career, a good man and shoes, lots and lots of comfortable shoes.' For a few minutes her mind focused on Harmon Rabb. She wondered where he was now and what he'd be doing this very moment. When he had transferred out of JAG about half a year after getting his commission back they had lost contact fast. Both of them seemed to be equally relieved about ending their highly stressed 'relationship' and not bothering to work it out. They had tried though. In the end things didn't work. When she couldn't come up with anything about him, though she might ask the Roberts for he'd probably still be in contact with his godsons, their godsons, Mac's mind focused back on the wishes she had voiced that long ago. She had reached the good career within the Corps and Aaron was as good a family as she had hoped. But the shoes, she was still facing this problem. Finally she decided on a pair and was ready to go.
"Somebody here?" she called when she had entered the house across the street where Aaron stayed in the afternoons with his best friend. After all Jimmy and him where only about 14 months apart in age.
"We're over here," Harriet Roberts called back.
Mac followed her voice into the living room and found both Harriet and her husband seated on the sofa and reading the paper.
"Hi. Bud, congratulations on your victory in court. I heard you gave Sturgis a hard time."
"Thanks ma'am," smiled Bud, but instantly focused back on the article he was reading.
Commander Bud Roberts was now one of the senior lawyers at JAG and doing pretty well and Harriet was the soul of the whole office keeping everything in place.
"The boys are in the garden."
"I see." Mac had spotted them up in the tree house the moment Harriet had told her.
"Aaron, ready to go?"
"Just a moment mum," came the boy's voice from somewhere up that tree.
"I want you here ASAP. It's you who wanted to see the movie, remember?"
"I'm coming." And in a very Tarzan-like manner he came down a rope and landed only one foot away from the veranda and his mother.
"Hi mum," he grinned. "Tell you what?"
"Jimmy's going to summer camp this year. Can I go too?"
She hesitated a moment to think about it. And when she looked back down at her son she found him staring up at her with this pleading puppies look she couldn't resist a minute.
"We'll see about it. I'm talking to Harriet first, alright?"
Aaron was satisfied with that and was on to the next thing.
He called up the tree. "Hey Jimmy want to see this film I told you about?" and without taking a break he turned back to his mother and asked, "Could we take Jimmy please?"
And in no time Mac was in a cinema with two preteen boys along with other kids the same age. But Sarah MacKenzie wouldn't want to miss a beat.
Harm was waiting at the schoolyard for taking his daughter home. Kenny was running around, he was into the weekend for about an hour already and obviously happy about it.
Harm had to smile watching him. He had changed so much within the years. And only for the better.
"Hello Lieutenant," he greeted the Afro-American woman who just stopped next to him.
Living on a Navy Base there was nothing unusual about being greeted by rank even when in civvies. Most military people seemed to recall ranks more easily than names. And although he was not showing his age of 50 each time someone spoke his rank at the school of his kids he felt old. Most of the parents were much younger and only Lt. or Lt. Cmdr. at highest.
"Are you sending Hannah to summer camp this year?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "Haven't thought about it yet."
"I'm sending Susan and a lot of the other kids are going as well."
"I'll see about it when Hannah's asking, I guess."
"It only was kind of secret hint. You could relax while she's having fun with her best friends."
When Hannah came out she didn't ask about summer camp and Harm was glad about that. He enjoyed the rest of the day and the following weekend with both his children.
By Sunday when they were driving back from La Jolla visiting their grandparents he found the courage to ask her.
"Han, I've heard about a summer camp all your friends are going to this vacation." He watched her closely in the rearview mirror.
"Yeah, they've told me."
So she'd heard, he wondered why she hadn't told him. "You want to go?"
"No, I would miss you while I'm there."
"No you won't. You'll have lots of fun and no time to think about us." 'What am I doing here? I am talking my daughter into something she doesn't want to do and I don't want her to do. No it's not that I don't want her to have fun, but I don't want to let her go. It'll be the first time ever.'
"Maybe I can ask Susan or Brandon what that's all about." Hannah had obviously thought about the fun-aspect.
The moment he opened the door on Monday evening Hannah was by his side.
"Daddy I'd like to go. They've got boats and horses over there. You can go play in the mountains. Daddy please!"
She was so excited it had been hard for her to get these lines out straight.
"Thank god you're here Mr. Rabb. She's been talking about nothing else ever since she came home from school." Amy made a mocking face.
Harm smiled at the babysitter and turned back to his daughter.
"So what's the name of the camp so we can book you a place?"
"I don't know. But Susan's mum will know."
So Harm called Lt. Carter and asked all he needed to know about the camp.
"It's in Colorado? How are they going to get there?"
"By plane and by bus. But it's pretty good organized, it's a Navy run camp after all. They've never yet lost a child." He heard the young woman laugh.
"You got my daughter very much infected. She'll be going if I can get her a place."
Hannah was bouncing up and down next to his desk. Her smile had grown even wider than the moment he had come home. She was totally crazy about spending the summer in Colorado. And he was fighting hard to keep the fear of letting her go shut down deep inside.