Disclaimer: If I owned them, Donald P. Bellisario would be the name on my birth certificate. Since it's not, then it's safe to say that: No, I don't own them. Never will.
Author's Note: I guess Season 9-ish. No particular spoiler warning here. Just a little ditty written way back when. Found it on my harddrive recently. Enjoy.
Harmon Rabb, Jr.'s Day Off
Falls Church, Virginia
Admiral AJ Chegwidden removed his glasses and gave Comdr. Harmon Rabb, Jr. a thoughtful, yet very confused stare. Did Harm just ask for some time off? Vacation time?
Harm began to fidget a little as he saw the look of disapproval on his CO's face. Was it really that bad? Other people did it, why couldn't he?
AJ stood up, came around his desk, stopped near Harm and folded his arms. He cleared his throat and said, "Would you repeat that, please?"
"I was hoping you would allow me to take the day off tomorrow, sir," Harm repeated with a slight quiver in his voice this time. The first time he asked with confidence, but with the grave look that AJ was giving him now, he felt like he just asked for permission to annihilate the world. AJ still seemed wary of the idea so Harm decided to do the one thing he knew how to do: Persuade.
"You see, sir, I haven't taken any time off since I've been back, and I know I have a few days on the books," Harm began. "I've already finished tying up loose ends on most of my cases and promise to have everything completed before I leave tonight. Furthermore..."
"Harm," AJ interrupted with the wave of his hand and with a small smile said, "You can have the day off."
"I can?" Harm asked, slightly confused but overjoyed at the same time. "But with the way you were looking at me, I thought..."
"I'm sorry, Harm, you just surprised me," AJ smiled again and took his seat behind his desk again.
"Surprised?" Harm repeated.
"Harm, you don't just have a few weeks on the books. You have several," AJ pointed out with a smirk. "Hell, Mac takes more time off then you do."
"Oh," Harm smiled and then added, "Well, thanks anyway, sir. I appreciate it."
"So, what's the special occasion, Comdr.?" AJ asked and folded his hands. "Someone's birthday?"
"No, sir," Harm smiled and placed his hands behind his back.
"Is Mattie in a school play?"
"No, she isn't, sir."
"Uh...no, sir," Harm said, nearly laughing at the thought of him going to a baseball game on his day off. He watched as AJ tried with all of his might to figure out why Harm would want the day off. Harm sighed. Was it really that hard to believe that he just wanted some time off for himself? Harm coughed and said, "I just need a mental health day, sir. That's all."
"Mental health day?" AJ repeated.
"Yes, sir," Harm nodded quickly. "I'm sure every once in a while people need a mental health day."
"I guess they do," AJ smiled again, then put his glasses back on. "You're dismissed. Oh, and Harm..."
Harm looked over his shoulder before leaving, "Yes, sir?"
"Have fun on your day off," AJ demanded.
"Yes, sir," Harm grinned widely and then exited the Admiral's office. Once the door shut, AJ leaned back in his chair and chuckled to himself. Harmon Rabb taking a mental health day? It seemed hard to believe, but Harm was actually taking the day off just for himself.
Lt. Col. Sarah Mackenzie, shook her pen, praying for it to come back to life. She tried to scribble some more, but it was useless. The pen was out of ink. Mac groaned and threw her pen across the office. She put her face in her hands and sighed heavily.
"Whoa!" Harm joked, taking cover in her doorway and staring at the pen on the floor that nearly smacked him in the head. "Should I come back later?"
Mac uncovered her face and blushed slightly, "Oh, sorry, Harm. No, come on in."
Harm picked up her pen and set it on her desk, before taking a seat in front of her. He gave her a warm smile and said,"So, you having a rough day or something?"
"Or something," she sighed. "So, what's up?"
"I just wanted to give you my notes on this case," Harm handed her a folder. "You can finish it without me, right?"
"Sure, no problem," Mac smiled and took the folder. She piled it on top of another stack of folders and Harm frowned at the sight of her desk. It was almost always a mess, but she seemed swamped with work today. He felt guilty handing off even a little assignment on her.
He leaned forward and said,"You know what? I'll take it back and try to finish up before I go..."
"No, it's okay, Harm," Mac cut him off. "You seem to be in a hurry, so I'll take care of it."
"I'm not really in a hurry," Harm argued, trying to grab the folder again. "I was trying to get out a little early, but I shouldn't push this off on you..."
Mac stopped Harm again, a little surprised with his behavior. He shouldn't push work off on her? Did she just hear him correctly? Harm was always quick to push work off on her and he knew it. She began to wonder what was going on and snatched the folder away out of his reach, "What's going on, Harm? If you have to leave, then go."
"No, really Mac," Harm chuckled uneasily. "It's no big deal. I should've thought of you first. I didn't know you had a lot of work."
"What's the real reason?" she leaned forward. "Why did you want to leave early anyway?"
Harm shifted restlessly in his chair and mumbled quietly, "I just wanted to get a head start on my day off tomorrow, that's all."
"You what?" Mac looked at him curiously. "Did you just say you were taking the day off tomorrow?"
Harm nodded quickly, ready for Mac to kill him for trying to give her more work, simply because he wanted a head start on his day off. Instead, Mac laughed and waved for him to leave. He looked at her confused and asked, "Mac? What's so funny?"
"You..." she laughed some more, this time harder. He saw her wipe a tear away from her eye and he rolled his eyes. First AJ thought it was funny, now she thought it was funny! It wasn't that funny!
She leaned back, flipping some hair out of her face and finished, "You taking a day off is funny, but anyway. Yeah, go ahead and I'll finish this up."
"Wait, wait," Harm leaned forward, very irritated now. "Why is it so funny that I want to take a day off?"
"I dunno, Harm," she shrugged. "It just is."
Harm stared at her wanting her to continue; to give an explanation. She grinned slightly and finished, "Harm, no offense, but you don't seem like the type of guy who "takes days off", you know?"
Harm shook his head, not understanding her, so she tried a different approach, "Harm, what are you going to do? I mean, your idea of a day off is sitting on your bed listening to the radio, working on cases you can do at home and maybe strumming that guitar of yours."
"And that's...bad?" Harm asked, somewhat intrigued by her theory of what he would do on his day off. The sad part was, she wasn't too far from the truth.
"Of course that's bad!" she laughed, a little surprised at how right she was about Harm. Sometimes she forgot she had been friends with this man for the last 8 years.
"Well, let's say I was going to do all that stuff you mentioned," Harm tried to say hypothetically, but his voice was shaking mildly in embarrassment. "What should I do instead?"
"See a movie, go shopping, dine out and have a good meal," Mac began to list. "There's lots of things you could do, Harm. I just don't think you should be holed up in your apartment all day. Just think, all those hours you usually spend here at JAG, you'll be spending by yourself in your apartment. Trust me, you will get bored."
Harm leaned back in the chair and folded his hands in amazement. He never thought of it that way before. He probably would get bored and he had no plans for going out! He looked up, his eyes looking completely lost and Mac nearly laughed again, "You didn't give this much thought, did you?"
"No, I mean, I was just going to take a mental health day," Harm chuckled and rubbed his chin. "I'm just not sure I can do all that stuff, Mac. I'm not a big movie guy and shopping? I don't know."
"C'mon, Harm, surely there's something you need to buy," Mac leaned forward, then added quickly, "And don't say you need to go grocery shopping."
Harm sighed in thought and in frustration. Besides grocery shopping, he couldn't really think of anything else he needed to buy. After a few moments, his face lit up and he smiled sheepishly, "Well, I don't really need it, but I've always wanted it."
"What?" Mac asked, getting kind of excited. It wasn't everyday Harm gushed about some material item he saw or wanted to buy. That and Harm was very stingy about his money. She couldn't prove it yet, but she knew Harm had at least half a million dollars saved up somewhere. He just had to. He never spent any of it!
"Well, it's this pot," he said, getting excited and talking with his hands. "They have holes in the top and well, wait. Let me start from the beginning. They are pots you use for pasta. You boil the noodles and when you are done, you can easily dispose of the hot water by pouring the water out of the holes in the top. You know what I'm talking about?"
"I, uh, I think so," Mac gave him an amused stare.
"Now what?" he asked, seeing her about to laugh at him...again.
"You want to buy a pot?"
"Mac, it's not just any pot," Harm corrected and waved a finger at her. "It's the Magic Pasta Pot. In fact, there are three different sized pots in the set. I've always wanted it."
"Oh, I'm sorry, it's the Magic Pasta Pot," she grinned widely, then sobered up when she saw he looked a little hurt. "Okay, I'm sorry Harm. Go for it."
"I'm glad I finally got your approval," Harm said sarcastically, then stood up. "Are you sure you don't want me to take that folder back?"
"I'm sure. I only wish I could take the day off with you," she smiled warmly this time and motioned for him to leave for the umpteenth time. "Now go and buy your Magic Pasta Pot and have fun on your day off."
"Thanks, Mac," he smiled widely and waved goodbye. He strolled out of her office with a little more pep in his step then when he first came in and she laughed to herself again.
Harmon Rabb, Jr. was taking the day off to buy a Magic Pasta Pot. Go figure.