Title: Intrinsic
Author: Jackie

AN: This was originally written for the 10.5 JAG Virtual Season on Friends of JAG.

Since I was a kid, I had a fascination with the Titanic (the actual ship, not the movie. . .I never really cared much for the movie, there were parts of it that I wished would have been brought up due to the historical significance and parts that were cut for time but should have been left in as it discussed some aspects of why they hit the iceberg. Anyway, I never liked the romantic aspect of the Titanic movie and, yet, I found myself writing just that. Go figure! I'll hate myself later. ;) I figure, it's JAG, which means that we, as JAGnicks, can make anything JAGlike conform to just about anything, really. Right?! Right! Glad you agree.

So, here we go, enjoy!


Intrinsic: belonging to something or someone as an inherent and essential part of their nature.
Synonym: essential, fundamental, central, inherent, natural, basic, constitutional, elemental; Antonym: extrinsic.

1525 Local
Maritime Museum Of San Diego
RMS Titanic Exhibit
San Diego, California

Though it was not the most tragic loss in maritime history, the story of the White Star Line jewel, RMS Titanic, could be categorized as the most famous and compelling. At a time when grandiloquent ships ruled the seas, its tragedy would create a denominator for maritime safety. 2.5 miles beneath the sea and nearly a century later, its memory still haunts us. . .

Harm couldn't quite classify himself as a romantic and yet, he had to admit there was something romantic about the notion of being out at sea, alone, with a lover. As they headed through the exhibits of the Maritime Museum, Harm found himself concocting a plan that would involve him, a sailboat and Mac. He stared down at their conjoined hands for a moment, marveling in the simplicity of an act that meant so much to him. It was moments like these that he felt good, whole and utterly amazed of how simply things clicked when they'd finally let go. Sure, they still had issues, problems, things that probably wouldn't be resolved. Such was life. But it was nice to finally be part of something special, magical. How did he go so long without feeling so. . .in love? Glancing down, he felt his heart flutter upon witnessing that Sarah MacKenzie smile which he swore was only for him. "Never thought you'd be so enthralled with maritime history, Mac." He grinned at his fiancé, teasing slightly.

He'd lost the coin toss and wound up in San Diego, something that had actually pleased him more than his own command. Harm didn't want to leave the States for a foreign land and found a way to stay in the Navy while joining his wife to be in California. With the help of Chegwidden and Cresswell, Harm had landed a job as a liaison between NCIS San Diego and JAG Corps. He was issued an office on the same floor, but different wing from Joint Legal Services. He would run into Mac several times during the day but was not in the same command. Sturgis had taken over the London office and Bud would be venturing to San Diego in a weeks time – Mac had finally convinced Harriet that California was the place to be.

Vuckovic remained in JAG Headquarters along with Mayfield and Graves, who had started law school upon becoming the legal aid in HQ. Harm sometimes missed the courtroom but found that the investigations were more exhilarating and interesting for his analytical mind.

I wonder how it felt to sail the seas in her." Mac was truly captivated by all of the artifacts that had been salvaged from the RMS Titanic's watery grave. It was a sad story, one of great human loss, but it was just too easy to get sucked into the lifestyle and grandeur. The pictures were amazing and it was hard to believe that the old girl was nearly a century old.

"She was beautiful." Harm glanced through a protective glass box, staring down at one of the plates which had been salvaged from the wreckage. Its china gleamed, seemingly untouched by time.

"You think she still would have been afloat had she not gone down?"

"As a museum maybe, but I doubt it. . When a ship outlives its usefulness, they tend to become razorblades."

"Not this one. . ." Mac pulled him past the artifacts and to a massive replica of the ship's bow. The display had been one of the most elaborate ones either of them had witnessed. It included the sight of a star filled, moonless sky along with the feel and scent of ocean air. She stood against the railing, looking out towards the fake ocean, allowing her mind to take her back in time. "Must have been so romantic." She felt his arms snake around her waist, holding tight to him as his lips placed a soft kiss on her shoulder.

"Maybe you and I should go sailing?" Harm said softly, grinning as she turned in his arms to face him. There was a hesitation there, but it only took a second or two for that dazzling smile to captivate him all over again.

"That sounds nice actually. . ." Mac's own arms wrapped around his waist, the thoughts of sailing with him sounding more appealing by the second. Past the Naval vessels, she'd never quite done the sailing thing. With past significant others there just wasn't an appeal to spend X amount of time drifting in the middle of the ocean. Now, adding Harm to the sailboat changed her perception greatly. "You know, I could imagine us back then. . .meeting on board." She held his gaze with her own. "It would have been nice."

Harm chuckled slightly. The whole ambiance was starting to do things to the both of them, he was thinking the same thing. "Yes it would have, save for that little iceberg problem." He took her hand in his again, pulling her away from the display towards an exhibit with costumes from the movie.

Wistfully, Mac stared at a poster from the movie, one that had the two star-crossed lovers almost kissing. She felt strange then, her head taking on a surreal weight which she couldn't shake. "I think I've seen Titanic one too many times." She tried pinching the bridge of her nose, but only managed to make herself dizzy.

"I think you're a romantic in disguise." And though he would not admit it, he knew she was making him into one too. Not that he minded.

The room began to spin and close in on her all at once. "Yeah, I guess I am. . ." Her breathing changed suddenly. The deep breaths she was trying to bring into her body eluded her completely. She felt starved for air, almost as if someone were choking her. "Harm. . ." Her final attempt to shake the sensation from her was futile and before she knew it, her body hit the floor.