… "911. This is Joanne speaking, what is your emergency?"

"There has been an accident…gas…smoke…can barely see…please help!"

"Sir, where are you at? Are you injured? Is anyone else there?"

"We're stuck on the 3rd floor…JAG HQ coughing can't breathe…"

"Sir, please remain on the line…can you tell me your name?"

"Admiral Chegwidden…"

"Ambulances are on there way, just hang on…focus on the sound of my voice…"

Earlier that day…

Everyone arrived as usual. Commander Turner called in sick; he picked up a bug on his last TAD assignment to Artic. Colonel Mackenzie showed up 10 minutes early and Commander Rabb was 10 minutes late. He managed to stroll into his office just early enough to grab his case files and head off to the morning meeting. As he walked in he noted Sturgis absence and cracked a joke about submariners. A few moments later Admiral Chegwidden came in looking a bit gruffy as usual. Until the JAG crew had had their first morning cup of coffee they were all a bit unpleasant to be around…nothing like a cranky SEAL who hasn't had his coffee to liven the team's morale. They had had a rough week, last week the all the cases were piling up since they were down two officers. While Sturgis was TAD, Bud was out doing is annual PT and hand gun qualifications. Mac and Harm seemed unable to agree on a deal for their clients and spent most of the week arguing in and out of the court room…par for the course.

The Admiral took his seat at the head of the conference room table with Rabb to his left and Mackenzie to his right. With Bud back, the Admiral began redistributing cases and research. Both Mac and Harm were able to unload a bit of behind-the-scenes work onto Bud—which all were hoping would alleviate some of the tension and frustration that remained stagnate in their offices…and lingered into the bullpen.

However, those closest to Rabb and Mackenzie, as close as they would let anyone get to them, all knew that the only way the tension in the office would subside is for them to finally sit down and talk about their relationship. They had been partners for over 6 years now, and it was becoming apparent that if they continued to ignore the "spark" between them that it was going to burnout, and they'd lose something special, something rare. Their relationship was at a crucial turning point…it could go one of three ways…good, bad, or ugly. Everyone in the office tried to place bets and make heads or tails of the "star-crossed lovers," but they always came up short. Every once in awhile they would both drop their armor and swords and just be flesh…enjoy the moment and live as they both love. Over the years they have shared impassioned embraces, tear-jerking kisses, and seductive glances, yet it appears as though neither one truly knows what the other is thinking after all these years. Granted human emotion is a bitch to foretell…it's like playing Russian roulette, where losing your heart is just as bad as losing your life. Today started out in its usual way, but as always true to form—life has a way of throwing you a curve ball and making the usual extraordinary and deadly.