Sorry for the delay guys! I've been buuuuuuuuusy. Nuff said!! Enjoy this part, it is the end... sniffs
Th enew story will start to post sometime in August so, please, be patient with me. There are a few kinks I am working out of and trying to write a smut scene. . . yes, our minds go back to the gutter again. Isn't that nice? ;)
Chapter 8 - A New Life.
September 25, 2005
San Diego, California
The only reason he wasn't kicked out after visiting hours was because Harm had done everything possible to remain the model visitor. He would quickly move when nurses or doctors came to check on Mac's vitals. He was patient when asking questions and he was trying to look as if he was strong enough for this despite an aching that was growing in his heart.
They still didn't know what had caused Mac's fall, but it was possible that stress from work and wedding planning might have been the culprit. Past the fact that she hadn't regained conciseness, Mac was the picture of health. Tired of the silence in the room, he grabbed a remote and began switching through channels. As luck would have it, the movie Titanic was playing on one of the channels. He'd seen it before, but like most true sailors, never liked that the director chose to portray a fake love story instead of the tragedy itself.
"Harm?" Mac's voice was so soft he might have missed her calling to him.
In a split second, he came off of the chair and to her side. "Mac? Mac? Talk to me. . ." But her eyes were still closed. "Mac, baby, please wake up." He pushed the button for the nurse and waited. . .
April 15, 1912
Somewhere In The North Atlantic Ocean
"Harm?" Mac turned abruptly glancing deeply into his eyes as concern washed over her face. "He's my fiancé. I won't leave without him." She turned slightly to the crew member who was holding back the lifeboat from launching though it was half full. "Please, sir."
Third Officer Herbert Pitman shook his head. "I'm sorry ma'am, Ladies and Children first."
"Sarah, get on." Harm took Mac's hands, running his fingers over her gloved ones. They had weaved their way through the ship, trying to find a spot where they could safely hide out until they docked but just like everyone else aboard, were caught up in the turmoil. Several believed that the need to launch lifeboats was preposterous, Harm knew otherwise. "It'll be alright, I promise."
"I can't lose you again, Harm." Her voice broke slightly as her eyes dropped to the decks. "I can't go through that pain again."
"You won't." He assured, lifting her chin up so he could look into her eyes. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
Harm turned to Pitman, giving Sarah's hand to him. "Please make sure my fiancé is safe."
"Yes, sir." Pitman took Mac's hand, helping her onto the lifeboat before jumping in as well. What pained him the most was his order and the fact that he had to separate the lovers.
Sarah stared up, watching Harm intently as the lifeboat was launched and cast downwards. "Harm?"
"I'll find you. . .I promise." He said, swallowing down the lump at his throat as everything he wanted was being forced away from him. What hurt him the most was that, somehow, in his haste to put her on a lifeboat, Harm had forgotten to kiss her.
The lifeboat was not cast off with ease. As it descended, it was found that the plug that enabled water not to seep in was not in its rightful place. Heart in her throat, Sarah stood still as Quartermaster Olliver moved past the passengers' ankles until the hole was plugged. Harm breathed a sigh of relief when he heard Pitman using a whistle to signal that the lifeboat could now be fully lowered. It landed at the bottom with a tiny splash and soon the Titanic crew members on board began to row away from the ship.
Her eyes never left his figure, even as they rowed away from Titanic, Harm seemed to remain rooted in place, almost as if he were making sure she was really safe. It was then that Sarah saw the horror begin to unfold. The ship was actually starting to tilt towards the bow. "She's sinking."
Pitman signaled the men to turn the lifeboat around, hoping to shield the passengers from the sight. "She won't sink. . .We'll return to her by morning, I believe."
But the look on Mac's face noted how badly she didn't believe him. "Mr. Pitman, you do not have to protect us. . .If we are in this situation, I think the truth is needed."
Olliver glanced at the officer, he too believed the ship would sink, but his place in the food chain stated that he needed to keep his mouth shut. "Aye, ma'am. . .Mr. Pitman is correct, we'll be back on board by morning."
Harm watched for as long as he could, finally deciding to try and find a lifeboat for him to climb aboard. As he moved down the boat deck, he spotted the MacKenzie's. Deanne was helping Joseph into a life boat which, Harm supposed, he probably bribed his way onto. It was obvious that their scuffle from earlier was still affecting him. "Bastard." He said under his breath, then decided to turn the other way and avoid an altercation.
Several times he tried to get aboard a lifeboat and as that task became a difficult one, he decided that it was better to help others. As the minutes became hours, the officers were overwhelmed by the amount of passengers trying to make it aboard a lifeboat. Harm had slipped on a proffered life vest as he balanced on his heels against the slope of the decks, still helping with the chaos.
As a sailor, he'd heard tales of shipwrecks and sinkings, but nothing could quite prepare him for this. True, being on a Naval ship was different. He was prepared to go down with that ship, but this was a cruise liner. This was different. They weren't supposed to sink so quickly. They weren't supposed to sink at all.
It was a few minutes past 2am when he found himself, along with a rather large number of passengers, moving against the waters that were rising above the decks. He glanced at two men standing towards one of the railings just past the second funnel. They shook hands and each lunged off the sides and into the cold waters. He decided to do the same. "God help me." Harm wrapped his coat around him tightly and with a deep breath of encouragement, threw himself over the railing.
In the lifeboat, Sarah's face blanched. She wanted to reprimand Pitman for his comments, but couldn't find the words to say it. All of the survivors aboard had taken to helping with the rowing, it would ease the cold and enable them to bare the situation better. "Oh God." The ship's bow was completely underwater and it was sticking up in an unnatural angle. Amazingly, the lights were still on, allowing them to see the persons jumping off of the railings. She watched with a sicken expression as others followed suit, jumping into the water with loud screams.
She tried to ignore the cold, telling herself that it was all just a dream, that she would wake up from it and still be lying by Harm, but each shiver her body took told her otherwise. In a split second, an already horrible scene seemed to get much worse right in front of them. The lights, which had been shining, nearly making it appear as if the ship was on fire, blinked once and then went out. They were cast into the darkness of the night and that was when the ship broke in two pieces. Minutes later, Titanic disappeared into a watery grave.
April 15, 1912
Somewhere In The North Atlantic Ocean
Sarah stepped out of the small prayer service that had been held by the crew for both the survivors and lost souls of the Titanic. Holding a handkerchief which a young gentleman had given her, she stepped outwards onto the decks hoping to ease some of the inner turmoil. She was trying to be strong, trying to believe, but after spending hour after hour waiting, hoping and praying, her world was spinning on its end. Despite the cold air, she had refused a warm drink and cabin, choosing, instead, to be one of the persons assisting the survivors that had been brought aboard after her lifeboat. By chance, she had missed an encounter with her parents but managed, sadly, to find that though the Burnett's and Ms. Peterson had all survived, Harm was no where to be found.
A shaky sigh escaped her lips as she moved towards the starboard railing, glancing down at the waters below. It had been nearly five hours since the RMS Carpathia was headed back to New York. Almost five hours of searching for him at every inch of the ship, but I had been no use. "Harm." She used the handkerchief to wipe away one tear and then another, forcing herself to remain calm. So many had perished and he could have been one of the many. "Please be alive."
"I am." Spinning around, she saw him, a little worse for wear, clothing two sizes bigger than his own, with a blanket tossed over his shoulders. "You're alive." He opened up his arms, welcoming her body under the blanket with him, reveling in the feeling of having her so near again. Harm hugged her as if his life depended on it and it did. It always would. He lowered his lips to hers, softly kissing her, ignoring the pain of his lips from long exposure to the cold. It was a miracle he was still alive.
The moment his body hit the water the cold overtook him, shocking the breath out of his lungs. He felt his body going downwards in an out of control spinning motion which he tried to swim against. Figuring he was too close to the ship, he began to swim under the water, trying his best to move as far away as possible, fearing a suction could pull him downwards. The short swim was exhausting, nearly draining every inch of energy out of his muscles. He floated in the water, somewhere between life and death when an overturned lifeboat, manned by Titanic's Second Officer Lightoller came near him. He was one of the few that the men helped onboard and, along with twenty-nine others, floated for six grueling hours, fighting off the harsh cold while maintaining the boat afloat..
Sarah lay her head gently on his chest, the tears she tried to hold back falling hard now as emotion swept her. From her vantage point, Deanne MacKenzie could see her daughter in the arms of the man she truly loved. A crew member of the Carpathia stopped just in front of her, holding a notebook full of names. "Excuse me, ma'am." His face fell down to the deck with a solemn expression. "Are you missing any of your loved ones?"
Deanne glanced away from Sarah and Harm, focusing her attention on the crew member. "Yes. . .My daughter, Sarah MacKenzie. . .I believe she went down with the ship." This would be the exact same thing she would tell her husband.
"My condolences ma'am." The crewmember quickly wrote Sarah's name down and proceeded to another survivor.
There were times during most of Sarah's life that Deanne hadn't been much of a mother. She tried to nurture her daughter as best as she could, but with a force such as Joseph MacKenzie, Deanne had let fear rule her better judgment. This time, she would give her daughter the one thing she longed for – freedom. "Goodbye, darling." Though she would mourn the loss of her daughter, the one thing that comforted her was seeing Sarah so in love and well protected. She would be happy with Harm, something that she knew would never happen had she married Michael Brumby. "I love you."
Sarah raised her head up, her small hand coming to rest on Harm's cheek. "You promised me you'd find me."
"And I don't break promises." Once again, he lowered his head down, fusing her lips with his own. Two days later, they arrived at New York stepping back into their homeland with a new future ahead of them.
September 25, 2005
San Diego, California
"Harm?" Somehow, he'd managed to fall asleep, contorted between two guest chairs, with his head lulled to one side. The moment he heard her voice his body gave an involuntary jerk and every muscle fiber seemed to cry out in pain. This however seemed to be magically healed the moment his eyes met hers. Mac smiled broadly, taking a good look at her fiancé's position on the chairs. His feet were hanging off one end, one arm was draped through an arm rest. It just didn't look comfortable. "Morning."
Blinking a few times couldn't quite seem to clear the fact that this was real, that she was awake. "Mac? You're awake?" He slowly came off the chairs, stretching his body out before grasping her outstretched hand which he kissed the back of before bending over and kissing the top of her head. "How. . .how do you feel?"
She looked around almost as if realizing for the first time that they were not at their home. "Confused. . .What happened?" Sliding over, she made room for him on the bed, nearly dragging his form over so that he would lay with her.
Despite protests from his body, Harm slid next to Mac, watching her intently. "You passed out on me when we were at the Maritime Museum. . .You knocked yourself out." He brushed a hand over her head, towards a spot where the doctors assured him she would be sore for a while.
Mac winced slightly, following his hand to the same area. She hadn't needed stitches but it was a pretty nasty bump. "I guess I gave you a scare."
"You wouldn't wake up. . .You've been out of it for almost a whole day. . . The doctors said there was nothing physically wrong with you. You just. . .you wouldn't wake up." His voice fell flat as emotions overcame him. All he could think about while he watched her the night before, were the countless amounts of persons who never woke up. God, he didn't want Mac to be one of those, they still had so much left to do.
Doctor Sharp, the man who had tended to Mac through the days stood at the doorway with a clipboard in hand. "Nice to see our patient is awake." He smiled brightly as he stepped into the room. "How are you feeling, Ms. MacKenzie?"
"A little light headed and nauseous, but I'm okay, I suppose." She threaded her fingers through Harm's hand and rested her head against his shoulder. "When can he spring me?"
Sharp chuckled. People were always so darn eager to leave. "Soon, but there's a little matter to attend to." Normally, medical news was given to the patient and the patient only, but, what he had witnessed with Harm was truly heart wrenching. A love like that could take any news.
"Is she alright?" Immediately, Harm was on alert again, unwilling to feel as helpless as he did in the past days. "I thought you said that the tests results were. . ."
"Yes, Mr. Rabb. . .Her test results were fine. . .However, there was something that we missed. Something we normally don't test for, but one of our Interns gave me a suggestion." He glanced down at the file again and smiled. "Sarah is pregnant."
Mac's face fell. It was the type of news that she wasn't able to comprehend. "That can't be right." Less than four percent – that was what Doctor Chen had offered and she had learned to live with it. Now. . .Oh God, was she really getting everything she ever wanted?
Sharp nodded. "I ran the results three times, you are about four weeks pregnant."
Harm suddenly made the connection. "That's why you've been feeling sick lately. . .remember, we thought it was food poisoning." It also made sense why she had collapses, at least, he thought it did. "You haven't been eating properly." He accused, recalling the past chaotic week and the never ending cases from Hell.
"Diet is an important aspect. . .I've prescribes some vitamins for you to take. Of course, you should run this through your OBGYN. . .I've asked the nurse to start processing your release forms. You can take her home today, Mr. Rabb." He smiled again, "Congratulations."
Unable to say anything else, Harm stared at Mac with wonder. They hadn't planned for any of this. In fact, he'd all but given up at the notion of them having their own children. Just having Mac was icing on the cake, it was enough, more than enough. And now. . . "This must be what they say a million Christmases feels like." Unconsciously, his hand dropped to her, still flat belly. "A baby?"
The shock still hadn't worn off Mac who tensed slightly at the feel of his hand on her abdomen. "I can't. . .This is just."
"Mac, you're going to be a mother. . .A little girl with your looks and my brains." He'd long since stopped dreaming of a son. For reasons unbeknownst to him, Harm's mind had conjured up the perfect little girl – daddy's little girl. Who said that she couldn't be a pilot like her father? And maybe, just to appease Mac, she would fly for the Marines. He studied his fiancé for a moment. "Mac, say something please."
"I don't know what to say. . .It's. . .it's everything I ever wanted." A baby. They were going to have the baby that they'd promised to each other so long ago. Everything that she wanted – that they wanted, had come full circle. "I love you, Harm."
"I love you too, Mac." He pulled her into his arms, careful of the IV's running through her veins. "I think now, more than ever, we have to finish with the wedding plans."
Mac sighed deeply, snuggling herself into his frame. The truth of it was that, as a Marine, she believed she could handle it all, storm the beaches and take on anything that crossed her path. Somehow, wedding planning made a battle seem like a piece of cake. "It's overwhelming."
"No, you don't." She shook her head then raised a hand to his lips to silence him. "My first wedding. . .if you could call it that. . .was a mess. My plans to marry Mic, most of it was things that he wanted and I went along with to appease him. . .This is different." Mac bit her lower lip as her eyes watered. This felt so stupid to her, landing in a hospital because of the amount of stress she was putting onto herself. Worse of all, she had scared him, she could see it in his eyes. At the very least, one piece of positive news came from it all. "I can honestly say I really didn't know love until I met you, Harm. . .and I want this to be perfect. For the first time everything I want is in my sights and I don't want to mess anything up."
Harm brushed away a tear that slid down her cheek. He knew very well that her want of perfection could sometimes cause a bit of undo stress upon her. But to see her so wound up about their wedding was both unsettling and endearing at the same time. "Babe, I hate to break it to you, but nothing is ever perfect." He wrapped an arm around her then ran his fingers soothingly down her arm.
"I know, but I was trying to get as close as possible." Impishly, she grinned at him only to be met by a scolding look. "Okay, okay. . .I'll ease off, I got a life growing inside of me to worry about now."
He smiled as her hand pressed on to his own and over her abdomen. Eight months to go. Eight short months. "You'd better ease off, MacKenzie."
"Or what?" She challenged right back.
"I won't marry you?" Harm replied in a playful tone.
Chuckling, Mac slapped him on the arm. "Rabb, if you don't get your six down that aisle, I will kick it from here to the Aleutians."
"Oooh feisty. . .So does this mean I have my Marine back?"
"You never lost her. . .She was just taking a nap."
"Don't ever do that again." Harm kissed her soundly, neither realizing the group that had gathered at the door.
Trish glanced at her husband with a big smile. "A daughter-in-law and a grandchild. . .I never thought I would see the day."
Frank took his wife by the arm and pulled her down the hall. "C'mon dear let's leave the kids alone."
Length: 882 feet 6 inches
Weight: 46, 328 Tons
Passengers: 329 First Class, 285 Second Class, and 710 Third Class
Total Lifeboat Capacity: 1,186
Cost: $7.2 million in 1912 ($400 million today)
Lives Lost: 1502
Side note: The sinking of Titanic and three years later, the Lusitania are usually the most famous tragedies of the maritime history, however, they are not the worst. That sad title goes to the Wilhelm Gustloff, a former German cruise ship that was turned into a troop transport/hospital ship. Towards the end of the second world war, refugees trying to escape Western Europe got aboard the ship, filling it way past capacity in order to flea. 20 miles after leaving port, the Gustloff was struck by three Russian torpedoes. The ship sank in 50 minutess and only 996 passengers survived out of a possible 6,000+ that were crammed onboard.