It's Never Too Late Disclaimer: Nope. Still don't own. I wanted them for my birthday, but DPB and SJC didn't send them. Rating. K Summary: Harm meets an interesting woman one night on the way home from work. Please excuse the errors. I only proofread this once.
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I sigh as I reach for my cover and leave the office. It's been another long day…another long day without Mac.
I thought things would be different. But who was I kidding? We both knew that this could happen someday.
I haven't seen her in seven months or talked to her. We exchanged emails once, but that was strictly work related, courtesy of General Creswell. I called a few times, but she never returned my messages. Who knows? Maybe's she's too busy, maybe it's because it's her way of coping, or worse. What if she found someone else?
I often find myself wondering how her day was and if she likes her new command position. I hope does like it, well, at least more than I like mine. This job isn't how I envisioned it at all. London is a beautiful place, but it's not me. Everything is so different, and I hate the fact that I am in charge. I scoff as I wonder who in their right mind would put me in charge. I am the lawyer who fired and automatic weapon in the courtroom for crying out loud! Now, don't get me wrong. I am very grateful for the promotion, but I would much rather have the promotion and keep things the way they were before with me and Mac both JAG lawyers in Washington D.C. Am I sounding too selfish?
The air is crisp and the weather is fair as I walk down the street. I can hear the sound of the fallen leaves crunching beneath my feet as I walk. It's a beautiful night and I don't feel like going home to my apartment, er, flat and wallowing in my self-pity. So, I decided that tonight is the perfect night for a walk. There is the park, Finsbury Park, which I passed a few times before. I think I will go there.
Once I get to the park, I sit down on one of the vacated benches and think about my life. I've been doing that a lot lately. I think about Mac day in and day out. She is the first thought on my mind when I wake up and the last thought on my mind before I go to sleep. I think about all the little things that I used to take for granted. The scent of her perfume, they way her hair always smelled like raspberries, the sparkle in her eyes when she was happy…everything. I remember when we first met in the Rose Garden, how she went with me to Russia to look for my father, how she defended me in court, how vulnerable and weak she was after Paraguay and all that other crap with Webb, and most recently, the look in her eyes when we said our final goodbyes that night at McMurrphy's. I open my wallet and pull out a picture of "my girls" –Mac and Mattie.
Mattie. I smile tugs at the corner of my mouth. I think about her often, too. I try to stay in touch with her as often as I can. She's going through a lot with physical therapy and trying to gain her mobility back, and I know that's it's tough on her. But Jen assures me that she's doing great. When Mattie and I talk I remind her that once she get's better she'll be able to come to London with me, but I secretly wish that doesn't happen and that I can get transferred state-side. Perhaps, somewhere closer to San Diego? Maybe that can happen…I already filed the correct paperwork; now all I can do is wait to see what happens. Mattie might like London as a place to visit, but I don't think she would want to live here.
I hear the rustling and crunching of leaves on the ground and turn around to see where it's coming from. I was surprised to see that there was a woman walking over to the bench where I am seated.
Her smile is warm and friendly, "Excuse me, but is this seat taken?" she asks while gesturing to the empty space beside me.
"No," I shake my head. "Have a seat."
"Thank you." She sits down, "I'm DeeDee Turnan, by the way," she adds as she extends her hand.
I shake her hand. "Harmon Rabb," I give a small smile as I study the woman. She must be around five-six. She has long dark hair that rests on her shoulders; there is something about this woman that reminds me of Mac. She seems independent—like she can handle her own ground. Not too many women would sit by some man they don't know in the park at night.
She must have caught sight of the picture in my hands. "Do you miss them while you're away?"
"I beg you pardon?"
"Your uniform…I thought you were in the United States Navy."
"That's correct. You must be from there, too, huh?"
"Yeah," she smiles sadly. "I miss it."
"Me, too," I add softly.
"Do you miss it in general or do you miss them?"
"Both." There is something about this woman—the way she asks questions. "Were you a lawyer in some former life?"
DeeDee laughs and extends her hand. "Det. Sgt. DeeDee McCall. LAPD Homicide Division."
Once again I smile and shake her hand. "Captain Harmon Rabb, Jr. JAGC, USN."
"It's a pleasure."
"Yes, ma'am it is."
"Do you come here often?"
"To London or to the park?"
"No, this is the first time I've been here."
"Thought so. I've been coming here regularly for the past fourteen years and I never noticed you before."
"If my next question is too personal, tell me to mind my own business." I smile and she smiles back. "How'd you end up on this side of the pond?"
Her smile fades as quickly as it came. "I left the police force to get married and move to London. Actually, today is our anniversary."
"I'm certainly not an expert in that area, and I'm not married myself, but shouldn't you be with your husband now?"
"No. We've been divorced for the past nine years. Things just didn't work out between us. It's wasn't meant to be. My heart wasn't here. I think I left in LA with my partner. Hunter." She smiles widely. "Rick Hunter. He was a great man – never let me down. Even if we weren't getting along, I knew he was there if I needed him. And I was always there for him. But things would never have worked out between us. After my first husband was killed in the line of duty, I vowed never to marry a cop again. But sometimes….sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like I changed my mind and told Hunter how I really felt. How many hearts wouldn't have been broken?... If I would have been happier."
She falls silent and admires the hues of pink and yellow that the sky has turned. But as she told her story, I kept thinking of Mac and myself and how our situations were similar. DeeDee and I were both silent enjoying the peaceful scenery. It was so quiet that her next words startled me. "…You said you weren't married? I assumed that was a picture of your wife you were just looking at. It wasn't?"
"Now, now," I say in my best lawyer voice. "Never assume, Detective."
She chuckles. "My skills may be tad bit rusty. I apologize."
"There is no need to apologize… No, Mac, the woman in the picture, isn't my wife. She was my partner back at JAG."
At that DeeDee's head snaps around so that she is facing me. "You love her. Don't you?"
"Yes," I admit softly. "So much."
"Did you ever tell her that?"
I shake my head. "No. We haven't been on good terms this past year. A lot stressful things happened."
DeeDee nodded, "I see. But why didn't you tell her before?"
"I wish I knew. We both worked so hard to get where we were with our careers that it wasn't worth it to risk everything for something that might not even work."
"Do you think it would have worked?"
"I think so. We're both too stubborn for it not to work."
"Then it wouldn't have been a risk."
"But," I emphasize. "It would have been fraternization which can be a very serious charge."
"Isn't love and happiness more important?" I don't say anything and she continues. "Do you think Mac feels the same way you do?"
"Yes, on some level."
"Then tell her. Tell her how you feel. If you don't you'll always regret it. Call her or tell first thing when you get home."
"I don't know when I'll get home. I was transferred here and Mac was transferred to San Diego. I haven't seen her in seven months. I put a transfer in to go back to the states, but I don't know when or if it will be honored."
"Whatever you do, don't let seven months turn into fourteen years. Take a vacation if you have to. Just go see her…tell her what you told me."
"I think I blew my chance."
"No." She said firmly. "It's never too late."
"And you should tell your partner how you feel. Chances are he probably feels the same way."
"I-I-I can't do that."
"I haven't seen him for fourteen years!"
"That doesn't matter."
"Yes it does," she argues.
"I don't think so," I respond. I know that she knows I'm right; I just have to get her to see that. Now would be a great time to put my skills as a lawyer to work, but for some reason I can't think of the right words. "You can't sit there and tell me to tell the woman of my dreams that I love her and not be willing to tell the man you love the same thing."
"He probably moved on with his life," she challenges.
"When was the last time you saw or talked to him?"
"Fourteen years ago today," DeeDee answers. Her sadness and regret is evident in her voice.
"Take a chance," I encourage. " 'What if' is never going to get you anywhere."
"Fourteen years was too long t—"
"Ah!" I cut her off. "A very smart woman said to me just recently "it's never too late.""
She has that Mac glare right now and I have to force myself not to laugh. "You…" she starts and points her finger at me, I think she's upset, but her face breaks into a smile. "Are absolutely right. I guess I just need to hear that from someone other than my sub-conscience."
One Week later…
Clad in my winter blues, there is a bounce in my step as I enter the gate to Finsbury Park. I took DeeDee's advice and called Mac as soon as I got to the flat (well, first I had to call Harriet to get the correct number) that night. She wasn't too happy that I called at 3am her time, but she got over it quickly. As it turns out, she wasn't avoiding me. She never got the messages I left because she had her cell-phone number changed when she moved. She also told me that she intended to send me an email since she didn't have my number, but she was too swamped. Needless to say we had a very emotional conversation, there was even crying on both ends. But it feels great to be on the same page. I can hardly wait to get to San Diego later tonight.
I stop a few feet away from where DeeDee and I had that very important conversation just a week ago. But what I saw surprised me. DeeDee was there with little boy, now I know that she said she comes here often, but I wasn't expecting to see her again…a part of me even wondered if she was real or if I imagined the entire thing.
But, now, I am drawn to the scene in front of me. The little boy pulls the bubble wand out of the bottle of bubbles. "Phfth." There were no bubbles, and soap fell of the wand. "I can't do this!" He cried.
"Yes, you can. Yes, you can." DeeDee says. "Watch me." She dips her own bubble wand into her own bottle of bubbles. "Blow gently. Like this."
The boy laughs as the bubbles glide in the air and land on his hand.
"Ahem," I clear my throat.
"Oh, Harm!" DeeDee exclaims. "I didn't see you there."
"Is this your son?" I ask while looking at the boy.
DeeDee ruffles his sandy-blonde hair. "No, this is Stefan. I babysit him. Stefan, say hello to Captain Rabb. He's a friend of mine."
"Hello, Captain Rabb."
"Now," DeeDee says to Stefan. "Why don't you go play over there—" she points to a spot about five feet away—"while I talk to my friend."
"Okay!" he exclaims as he runs off to where his babysitter pointed.
"What's up?" DeeDee asks.
"I decided to stop by here before I flew to San Diego today."
"You called her," states with a smile. "Things went well."
"Yes, they did."
"That's terrific. I called Hunter…"
"And he's flying out for Thanksgiving."
"Thank you for talking me into calling him."
I give her one of my patented- Flyboy grins as Mac would call it. "Thank you for talking me into telling Mac how I felt. I put in a transfer awhile back and I just found out that this time next month I'll be officially stationed stateside."
"Wonderful! You two will make it work."
"And I truly believe you and Hunter can make things work somehow. It night be hard -- him in the states and you here, but somehow it will work. Everything will fall into place."
"Thanks for the confidence."
I'm ready to leave, but I as we give each other a hug, I add, "You know, if you're ever in the states, look us up. I'm sure Mac would love to meet the woman that talked some sense into me."
She pats me on the back. "I will. Good luck!" She calls as I walk away.
"You too," I call over my shoulder.
Today is the start of a new beginning.
Let's pretend DeeDee and Alex got married in November…