Title: Letting the Days Go By or Old Relationships, New Friends
By: Liz D
A Future Fic based on the AU created in Old Friends and Old Friends, New Relationships
Chapter FINALE
Spoilers/Prereqs: Sequel to Old Friends and Old Friends, New Relationships
Written: Winter 2005
Disclaimers: No disrespect to JAG's cast, crew or creators.


Letting The Days Go By
Chapter FINALE

October 31, 2008
1830 EST

Office of The Secretary of the Navy

Washington DC

"This offer will only be on the table for as long as you are in this room." He looked down on Captain Rabb and Colonel MacKenzie. "Administrative separation – Retirement -- nothing will go in your file, you will retain all pay and benefits."

"In exchange for what?" Harm asked.

"You will cease and desist the investigation, all information gathered will be turned over, a guarantee that you will take no further action and discuss what you THINK you found with no one … not even each other."

Mac and Harm shared a look. Clearly they were not happy.

Mac looked back the SecNav. "And if we refuse?"

"You will be brought on charges." His eyes flared, he was not a happy man. "Conspiracy, disrespect toward a superior officer, assault, insubordination, failure to obey an order, unlawful detention, making false statements, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, fraternization, treason … hell I will throw the whole book at you and make it stick … you won't see the light of day much less each other for 60 years – if they don't hang you from the yard arm."

Harm and Mac did not answer right away.

"What has gotten into you two? I would have expected this from Rabb, but MacKenzie … you are smarter than to be involved in this." The SecNav flipped through the pages in front of him. "This is RIDICULOUS." He bellowed. "Is there any evidence that supports these claims?"

Both Harm and Mac forced back the urge to blurt out all they suspected.

"Rabb." He barked. "Is there any evidence?"

"Sir, yes we believe if we were allowed to finish the investigation -."

"So 'NO" … you have nothing … this is rumor … innuendo … total speculation."

"Sir, if you will permit me … there are more questions than answers -."

"To what?" He stopped him. "You were conducting a …a … rogue … for lack of a better work … investigation into the shooting of retired Admiral Chegwidden after being repeatedly ORDERED to stop … after his shooter had already confessed and was being processed by the local authorities."

"Sir we had evidence that linked --."

""HAD" Rabb." Again the SecNav interrupted. ""HAD" … so you don't have it now."

"No Sir, it was lost."

"What was the nature of this … so called EVIDENCE?"

"Phone logs, memos, and correspondence from Warrant Officer Jackson to his wife discussing what looked to be a very elaborate operation that had been going on for years that was arming the insurgents in Iraq."

"To what end?"

"We hadn't got that far, sir." Mac explained. "But if we were given more time."

"No Colonel … all the people you have listed here are no longer in the military … in fact all but one is working for Hendershod Industries. This is a civilian matter."

"The actions we are investigating happened when they were still in service, sir."

"You two have been watching way too much television." He shook his head. "Can the wife verify this correspondence?"

"No sir." Harm explained. "She was killed in a car accident three days ago when she was on her way to give us the letters. Nothing was found in the vehicle."

The SecNav sat down. "I assume that you think she was murdered and the evidence stolen."

"We have nothing to support that, sir." Mac stated. "But if we were given more time."

He clapped his hands together. "Well, time is one thing you don't have. My orders were very clear. This investigation is to stop – right now. I suggest you consider this VERY generous offer carefully." He was sincere. "Principles are a good think to have … very admirable, but are you willing to give up the rest of your lives for something you cannot win."

"Sir." Harm sat forward.

"We are at the end of our discussion, Rabb." The SecNav stopped him. "This is the United States Navy … in the real world … this conspiracy you are cooking up in absurd. It doesn't matter how much time you are given, there is no truth to what you are saying so there will be no evidence to prove it. All you have is a series of unanswered questions that can be answered one of a hundred ways. I will not let you call the entire Navy … in deed the entire military into question just to feed some fantasy of yours. You will not be allowed to destroy the career and legacies of some of the finest men it is ever been my pleasure to know. We are a country at war … and the two of you should understand that. Your investigation was reckless and irresponsible. You were acting on emotion."

Harm and Mac sat still.

"I will give you an hour to discuss your options." He got up to leave. "As I said, the offer is only good until you leave this office. Hell, if it were up to me, I would bring you up on charges, but the president just wants this to go away. He admires your zeal however misguided which is why he has asked me to extend this offer." He stood at the door. "Think very clearly … this is your reputations and in deed your future is at stake."

He left the room.

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

Mac bolted out of her chair. She was LIVID.

"We need more time." She started her rant. "They are trying to shut us up because we are close to something. Well they better think again."

"You think the SecNav is in on it too? The president?"

"I don't know … maybe … all I know is that we are close to something … very close."

"I think we should take it." Harm said simply.

She flipped around to face him. "What?"

"I think we should take the deal." He repeated.

"I can't believe you are saying this." She shook her head.

"Mac, step back and look at this. This all stared when Loni Jackson called AJ to ask him to find her missing husband. She told AJ about these letters that she had received vaguely inferring that he was doing something illegal. Question One: why would Jackson write that in a letter to his wife much less many letters?"

"So you are saying that she is crazy." She shook her head. "Was crazy."

"Don't know. AJ never saw the letters, but launched an investigation on his own. AJ eventually found the husband holed up with another woman – but not before there were questions raised about his activities in Iraq before and after Jackson retired. Question two: why didn't AJ just tell the wife about the other woman and end his investigation?"

"Because he believes what we believe … that some people were using this war for profit … some very influential people … and that it went all the way to the top."

"Yes … all the way to the top … or the NEXT top."

"What does that mean?" She asked.

"Mac we are trying to link a decorated retired marine corps general who is quite possibly the next president of the United States in to a treasonous plan to defraud the American people."

"I know."

"Mac … do you know what kind of scrutiny the presidential candidates are under by the press? We are days away from the election. If there were anything shady in his past it would have come out by now."

"You don't know that." She exclaimed. She wiped her hand over her face. "If you felt this way, why didn't you stop this weeks ago. You were the one pushing so hard to keep this going."

"I was … I really was … and I know we have found several of the people involved, but we only have one person linking General Hollister and that person is very suspect."

"That is only because we aren't able to get the evidence … it keeps slipping through our fingers."

"Or it was never there to begin with."

"Harm."

"Mac … look … I am not so convinced … not any more … neither is AJ. The only person we have is Jackson and the corporation he works for and the only thing we can prove is that they were shipping something in and out of Iraq … but we have nothing to show what it was."

"We KNOW what it was."

"We can't prove it."

Mac slumped down in the chair next to him. "I can't believe you want to cut and run." She shook her head. "I can't believe that you would just let this rest knowing that Hollister might be involved."

"We can't do anything from Leavenworth."

"We can beat those charges." She stated clearly.

"Can we? Did I or did I not disobey a direct order from my CO and continue this investigation? Did you or did you not assault Lt. Colonel Mitchell? Did we or did we not walk into Hollister's office and accuse him of something we didn't have the facts to back up? If we can't prove our accusations – and at the moment we can't – then we are just making false statements. The conspiracy and treason would be hard to make stick, but both of those definitions get rather lax when the country is at war."

"Harm."

"Mac … we may not be in the same chain of command by what you and I did last night would definitely be called 'fraternization'."

She waved him off. "I can't believe you are being so … calm about this … this is not like you. Rabb the mission man … Super Rabb."

"I am not giving up the fight, but it is best to know when you have been given an opportunity to make things better."

"What does that mean?"

"Mac … we have our answer."

"To what?"

"We can be together."

"Huh?"

"If they kick us out … if we retire … you don't have to go back to Okinawa … we don't have to worry about duty stations or protocol or anything … we can do what we want … any where we want. We don't even have to stay in Washington."

"Harm we have made the military our career … or lives … if we leave now …"

"Nothing will go in our file … if we stay … we go to court. Let's say we win … on the off chance that we get a good lawyer." He smiled. "What happens then? We have slurred the name of how many fine officers and hopefully gotten the bad ones convicted. This thing could go on for years – Hollister would be in his second term before we see a trial date. We have dragged the Navy and the Marine's dirty laundry out in public for all to see --."

"This is a lot more than some dirty laundry."

"My point is … even if we win, we lose. There is no way we will come out of this the heroes. They will dump us on opposite sides of the world in desk jobs. We will never see each other again."

"That is a bit dramatic."

"Is it?" He took her hand. "Do you think you will get to keep that cushy command position you have?" He smiled. "I will be sent to Alaska or downtown Baghdad."

"So you would rather quit and let them win."

"I would rather protect what I have … and nothing says that an anonymous call to the right person won't let someone else take up the fight."

"Harm."

"Mac … listen to me … this is the right thing to do. At least the right thing to do for right now and definitely the right thing to do for us." He leaned in. "Come on Mac … we were great … working together … it was great … better than it has ever been."

"So you want to quit and open a 7-11?"

"No … we are still lawyers … investigators … hell, I don't care what we do as long as we do it together."

"I never would have guessed you had this side."

"Mac … since July … well since before then … but definitely after and particularly after AJ was shot … I have had one thing on my mind: not wasting anymore time. I know we can't live on love …as romantic as that sounds it is just not realistic. You and I love to work and we love our jobs-"

"Jobs that you are trying to throw away."

"Mac, our jobs - as they existed - are gone. JAG is not available to us anymore. So, after 20 years should we just bend over and let them do what they want … or do we take the out that was given to us and do what we want?"

"What about Hollister and the rest of them?"

"He will get his … if he is guilty it will come out."

"In a hundred years?"

"No … not that long."

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

November 4, 2008 – Election Day
1500 EST

National Naval Medical Center

Bethesda Maryland

"I am standing in front of the Hollister for President campaign quarters where the mood here is very grim." The TV reporter announced. "The allegations by Retired Warrant Officer Luke Jackson that came out just last week have clearly affected Hollister in the polls. What looked like an easy win now appears to be a bit of a fight."

AJ clicked off the TV set and looked at Harm and Mac. "What did you do?"

"Nothing sir." Harm said innocently.

"Mac?"

"Nothing sir." She echoed.

Gates smiled. "I think Jackson had a change of heart." She stated.

"And how do you think that happened?" AJ squeezed her hand.

"I think he might have had a discussion with someone who convinced him that too many people had already been hurt."

"And that someone would be …"

"A concerned citizen." She grinned.

"So Jackson had something tangible all the time." Mac asked.

"He didn't even know it." Gates stated. "Didn't know he had it in him. His wife death really shook him up."

"That was ruled an accident." Mac stated.

"Doesn't matter … when you are guilty, you take responsibility for all accidents … she never would have been driving on that road, on that day, talking to you about him … if he hadn't have had an affair and written those letters."

"Gates, you're a bully." He pulled her down for a quick kiss.

"I have my ways."

AJ looked back to Harm and Mac. "Is this gonna come back and bite you in the ass."

"Now that the link is undeniable, I don't think the Navy or the president will want to bring us up on charges. I think they are going to want to distance themselves from Hollister as far as they can."

"So what are you two going to do?" He asked.

"We have not decided yet … we are going to enjoy the holidays and see what the New Year brings."

"That is a good plan." AJ said. "Ya know … Vic and I have more work than we can handle … you ever think of being PIs?"

"And working for you again, sir?" Harm asked.

"We would let you two buy in … partners." He laughed. "Got to clear that with Vic first … he might like to be your boss for a while."

Harm wrapped his arm around Mac. "Can we get back to you on that AJ?"

"Take your time."

"So …you two want to make it a double wedding?" Gates jumped in glad to have things getting back to normal.

Mac looked up at Harm. "We need to get back to you on that too."

"But you are coming to our wedding."

"We'll be there." Harm confirmed.

"'Scuse us." Gates pulled Mac out into the hall and let AJ and Harm find something to talk about. "So … you OK?" Gates asked.

"Yeah."

"Second thoughts … worried about what to wear now that the uniform of the day is a little more open?" She scanned her up and down. "Could use some fashion advice."

Mac looked down at herself. Jeans and a top. "What?"

"It is a little … flouncey."

"Flouncey?" Mac asked.

"Baby, you are over 40 years old … you cant wear shit like that anymore … even if you have a body like yours."

"Gates."

"Look, I'm just saying … I mean … I am letting you pick out what you are going to wear as my maid of honor and I just want it to be … you know … tasteful."

"TASTEFUL? Gates you are wearing beads and fringe."

"Not to the wedding." She laughed. "So really … things Ok with you and Rabb?"

"Great … I think we have really made some good choices."

"And those choices are?"

"Not up for discussion." Mac confirmed.

"So you are not even going to tell me?"

"No." She smiled. "Not right now …right now … Harm and I are great and you don't get to meddle in that."

"ME?" She laughed. "When have I ever meddled?"

"Oh Yeah … and I still owe you for Nea Johansson." Mac glared.

"You don't need to thank me." Gates wrapped her arm around Mac.

"THANK YOU?"

"I said you didn't need to ... but you are welcome."

"What?"

"Rabb needed a reminder of what he was missing."

"So you through a tall, blonde, Swede with legs that go on for days and an ass that you would kill for at him so he would think of me?"

"It worked didn't it?" Gates laughed. "There is always method in my madness."

"Right."

"Wanna get some dinner, AJ needs to sleep."

"Can't tonight … maybe in a couple of days."

"Call me."

"I love you, Gates."

"I love you too, baby."

Mac sighed. "Why does everyone call me 'baby'?"

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

November 5, 2008
1700 EST

Landers Aviation

Blacksburg, PA

"You are sure about this?" Mac asked as she stepped around the plane after Harm.

"You bet … you'll be great."

"And she is running right … I mean you haven't had her up in years."

"She is fine."

"Ok."

"Good … don't worry, Sarah … you'll be a natural."

"You are really thinking you can teach me to fly."

"The ground school was perfect." He leaned in and his voice got very sexy. "You sure know how to handle a stick."

She blushed. "Harm."

He pulled her in for a long kiss before she got too self-conscious.

"I love you." She whispered as she pulled him close.

"I love you."

"Are you worried about what is gonna happen to us?"

"You mean what we will do with our days … our nights are covered."

"Stop."

"Mac, we can do whatever we want to do. AJ's offer is good. We can open a practice and do what we have always done, only we get to pick our clients. You might find the flying is in your blood and we can buy this place. Hell, we can move to some remote island and open a café and serve tourists. The world is quite literally our oyster."

"What about Mattie?"

"Mattie is happy for us … she know that whatever we do, we love her and she will always be a part of us."

"What about kids?"

"Do you want kids?" He asked seriously.

"I don't know … I mean, I always thought that we would have them, but I kind of like the idea that we are free to do whatever we want without having to think about a kid."

"Me too … and if that changes … then it can change."

"But you still aren't going to marry me." She confirmed.

Harm got serious. "Mac … I love you … I will be with until the of my days – which I hope is decades away. It wasn't a piece of paper that kept us together last time, it was us. I want you with me because you want to be with me, and if you need to leave I don't want to ask anyone's permission."

"I won't leave." She vowed.

"So a marriage license won't mean squat."

"Maybe."

"Do you need it?" He asked. "If you need it we will fly to Virginia and get married tonight."

She smiled. "So you really think you can teach me to fly."

"Get in." He told her.

"Harm?" She stopped him. "I love you." She kissed him.

"I love you." He told her. "Get in and take the stick."

Mac taxied out to the end of the runway, with constant instruction from Harm, she easily got SARAH in the air. She set her course and flew directly into the setting sun.


Good Luck to them though I don't think they will need it. Looks like they are making their own luck.

Thanks for playing along. I hope you enjoyed and if you did, a little comment would be much appreciated. Thanks