TWO WEEKS LATER
SARAH MACKENZIE'S APARTMENT
It had been a long two weeks since their last night together. Although Harm and Mac talked every night or emailed each other everyday, their newfound relationship was on hold. With Mac being on the Seahawk and Harm in Washington working overtime, most of the phone conversations didn't get much past hi, how are you, time to get to work/bed.
But now, Sarah MacKenzie was walking towards her apartment door looking forward to getting out of her uniform and into a hot bath after her long day of travelling. Knowing that her apartment hadn't been lived in for who knows how long, and anything left in the refrigerator was a lost cause, she knew that dinner was not in the cards tonight. Sarah chuckled to herself; Harm would find this incredible, Mac giving up on food.
Harm. Just a fleeting thought brought tears to her eyes. Not sad tears. Not necessarily happy tears. Just tears of a very tired woman who wants nothing more to be hugged and held by the man she loves. To know that he loves her too.
If it weren't for the fact that she desperately needed to bathe and she had to report to the Admiral first thing in the morning, Mac would have gone straight to Harm's apartment tonight to see him, to reassure herself once again that everything they said on the Seahawk so long ago was more than a dream.
Having arrived at her door she pushed through it not even bothering to turn on the lights as she made her way to her bedroom. Then it hit her. Her lights were already on. That's when she heard the sound of a throat clearing behind her. She would know that sound anywhere. Dropping her bags and whipping around she lunged at the tall handsome Naval Commander standing in her living room with a broad smile on his face. Catching her he picked her up in a bear hug and spun her around. Sarah could do nothing but repeat "Oh my God" over and over as she clung to her flyboy.
Placing her back on her own feet Harm couldn't bear to let her go, encircling her waist with his arms. "Hey" he finally said softly placing his forehead against hers.
"Hey yourself, Sailor," she whispered as he leaned forward and gave her a chaste peck on the lips. Still adjusting to their new status as a couple, they both just stood there looking at each other reveling in the fact that they could just be near each other again.
"What are you doing here, Harm?" Mac finally asked surprised but ecstatic to see him.
"Waiting for a beautiful Marine I know to get home…I've missed you, Sarah." Harm said as he pulled her close, nuzzling her neck and savoring the smell of her perfume and all that was uniquely Sarah MacKenzie.
No matter how hard Mac tried to hide it, she let out a yawn quietly, hoping Harm wouldn't notice; she didn't want this to end. It was so great to finally act on all of those feelings they have had for so long.
"I saw that sleepyhead, c'mon let's go." Harm teased as he lifted her in his arms and started towards the bedroom.
"Harm" Mac squealed, excited but not really sure what was going on. Instead of stopping in the bedroom like she thought he would, Harm continued onto the bathroom. As they entered the room Mac saw candles, flowers and a nice warm bubble bath waiting for her. Touched she pulled Harm's head down to hers and thanked him the only way she could, with a long and passionate kiss. Harm could feel her tongue licking at his bottom lip. Although he wanted to push further and see where this all took them, he knew that he had more surprises in store for her, so with a groan he pulled away.
"Alright, Marine, in the tub. You have 30 minutes until the dinner I am making is done, so you better hurry up!"
"Oooo food," she said as she pulled away from him and started to take off her uniform. Debating on staying for the show or actually getting back to their dinner before the fire alarm interrupted them, he grudgingly left the bathroom taking a few deep breaths on his way to the kitchen.
Exactly 30 minutes later Sarah came out of the bedroom and headed towards the kitchen looking for Harm and of course dinner. When Harm turned around to see his beautiful fiancée in nothing but a burgundy silk bathrobe with matching nightgown he almost dropped the plates he was carrying. Mac saw his face and slowly made her way towards him, coming up to him and wrapping her arms around his waist.
"Thank you sooooo much! I think I would have fallen asleep though if it weren't for the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen! I haven't eaten since my layover in Germany!"
Harm smiled as he led her over to the table and pulled out her chair. "It's not much, I kind of had short notice that you were coming back. I had interviews all day in Norfolk and I only got your message on the way back. After the way I was speeding to get back here I don't think Sturgis will ever trust me to drive on the interstate again."
"Sorry, I wanted to call you sooner, but the CAG told me I had 20 minutes to get on the transport or I had to wait another day, and there is no way I could have waited another night to sleep in your arms."
"Is that an invitation to stay?" Harm said as he wiggled his eyebrow and gave a sexy smile.
"I think the part about us being engaged and having been away from each other for 2 weeks kind of implied that, plus I believe we have some unfinished business…"
Leaning over to kiss her Harm whispered, "that we do." This kiss quickly got out of control as tongues fought with each other and hands started wandering. Harm's hand had made it to her thigh and was inching up under her robe when her hand came in contact with the bulge in his jeans pocket.
"I know you are happy to see me Sailor, but maybe we should finish dinner before we take this that far" she whispered against his lips.
When Harm realized what she must have felt he started laughing and said, "I was going to wait until later but I think this time is as good as any."
Getting out of his chair and kneeling in front of her, Harm took Sarah's hands in his own and looked up into her eyes. Sarah thought this was more of the same game and went to lean forward to restart the kiss but Harm pulled away. Confused, she looked Harm in the eye, asking what was wrong.
"Well I have practiced this enough times, let's see if I can get it right. The day we met I was receiving one of the greatest honors a pilot could ever receive, it was the highlight of my career. But that moment pales in comparison to what happened only minutes later. I was introduced to this kick-ass Semper-Fi Marine who took my breath away. I won't say it was love at first sight, because looking back know, I don't honestly think I knew what love was. Being your friend over these past 7 years has taught me what friendship and love truly is. It has taught me to be a better version of myself. I know I made a lot of mistakes along the way... I know that I am going to make a lot of mistakes in the future too, but I also know that I will never stop loving you. I love you as my partner, my best friend, and now, I can finally say it, the woman I want to marry and grow old with. So…" he said as he fished the ring box out of his pocket, "let's make this official. Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Catherine MacKenzie, my Marine, my partner, and my best friend, will you marry me?"
Completely overwhelmed, tears were running down her cheeks as she gazed at the antique diamond in the box he was holding up to her. "No." As his face fell and she realized that this was not the best time to harass him. Taking her hand and putting it to his cheek she noticed that his face too was wet with tears "This wonderful man already flipped a coin and conned me into marrying him…" she said with a smirk.
"Oh, well maybe I should call him up and send him the ring…after all, it already was engraved for you…"
"Well, I kinda cheated." Showing her the script on the inside of the band Mac saw "Eternity HR&SR". "The ring comes from one Sarah Rabb to another. My grandfather, Henry, had this ring made for her when he proposed."
"Harm, it's perfect." With that she held out her left hand shakily and Harm placed the ring on her finger stopping to kiss her hand where the ring came to rest.
Just as Harm went to lean in for another kiss a loud growl was heard between the two of them. Laughing, Sarah placed a hand on her stomach "I guess it's time for dinner after all, seeing it is 1047."
The moment broken, Harm pulled away laughing and sat back down in his chair. "So, Mac, now that we're official and all, am I ever going to learn your secrets?"
"And what secrets would those be?"
"Well, how you do that time thing, where you hide that tattoo…I'm sure there are a few others…"
"Well, I don't know about the time thing, but if you are a good boy and you feed me, there is a very good chance you will learn the answer to the other mystery tonight…"
"Let's eat!!!!" Harm exclaimed. They both dug into their food, laughing and talking over their dinner for hours.
They spent the next few hours talking about their adventures and misadventures from the past few weeks. Now Harm and Mac found themselves cuddled up with each other on the couch in comfortable silence.
With their left hands joined Harm was rubbing the engagement ring he had just given his Marine and Mac was just staring at it, wondering when she was going to wake up from this dream.
"Thank you." With that said she snuggled in closer to his chest curling up to his side.
Harm adjusted to make room for her and gently combed his fingers through her hair. Within minutes she was asleep, beat from her trip and all of the emotions that had been swirling around the both of them for the past month. Wanting to get her to bed before they both fell asleep, he moved from underneath her, stood up and picked her up to carry her to bed.
Pulling back the covers and placing her gently on the bed, Harm stripped down to his boxers and climbed into bed. Curling around each other like they had done in the dessert and on the carrier, Harm kissed Mac's forehead and said "Good night Sarah"
SARAH MACKENZIE'S APARTMENT
Harm had been lying awake for about 15 minutes trying to figure out the best way to wake up the beautiful woman in bed next to him. Slowly he trailed his fingers softly along the curve of her arm and then down over her hip. He brought his band back up her thigh, dipping under the silky fabric before trailing his fingers up over her stomach and ribs and then lightly skimming her breasts. Getting back to her shoulder he started the process all over again, gently rousing his sleeping fiancée.
Mac awoke with a groan, not sure at first if she was just having one of those dreams. Coming awake and feeling the heat of the warm body behind her, she knew that the man of her dreams was truly a reality in her bed and she never wanted to wake up any other way but this.
On the next pass over her body Harm entwined their fingers and started tracing the same path around her body. Mac was getting more aroused by the second and could not believe how erotic it was to have Harm's hands leading hers to touch her own body. When his hand reached her thigh he began leaving hot open mouth kisses along her neck and collarbone, hitting the same spots that he remembered she enjoyed from their time on the Seahawk. Mac was reveling in all of the sensations coursing through her body amazed at his patient and loving touch.
As they reached under her nightgown this time, she wouldn't let him pull their hands back out to move up her stomach again. She needed him and had been waiting weeks for this, there was no slowing down now. Harm was getting more and more excited as she traced their hands over her inner thighs as she took over control of their hands. Mac knew he was enjoying this just as much as she was by the growing pressure of his arousal against her leg.
Turning her head so that they could look each other in the eye, she led their fingers to her mound, tracing though the trimmed curls there. Harm groaned as he felt her for the first time. Mac let go of his hand as he moved it lower to her wet folds, showing him just how much she wanted him. Feeling her grow more and more wet as his fingers traveled up and down her slit Harm rolled Mac onto her back so that he could finally kiss her on the lips, tasting her for the first time that morning.
Harm brought his thumb to her clit and slowly circled. Slowly he began skirting around her opening before sliding a finger inside.
Mac lowered Harm's boxers, freeing his straining erection. Just as Mac took him in her hand, the telephone rang. Both trying at first to ignore it and continue on the path they were on, heard the answering machine come on and the distinct voice of their CO yelling over the line
Instantly killing the mood, they pulled away from each other. Sarah tried to calm down before she picked up the phone and answered the Admiral.
All Harm heard were "yes sirs" and "right away sirs" but he knew that this was not the morning he had planned. Realizing they both had to get up and probably head over to HQ earlier than usual, Harm climbed out of bed and was gathering clothes when Mac hung up the phone. With a frustrated sigh she ran a hand through her hair and got out of bed to go tell Harm they had to get to work and probably take a cold shower before finding a clean uniform to wear.
SARAH MACKENZIE'S APARTMENT
The phone made a sleepy Sarah MacKenzie jump off the couch and grab the phone.
"What are the chances that as soon as you get back in town, I get sent to Miramar?" answered a familiar deep voice.
"I know, sometimes I feel like I am engaged to a telephone."
"I'm really sorry, I wanted to wait and see you before I left, but Tiner had me on the next transport out. Apparently, they really want to get this case resolved as soon as possible."
"Are you all settled in?"
"Yeah, but I would much rather be there."
"Oh, c'mon, who are you kidding, you're ecstatic to be back where the smell of jet fuel wakes you up in the morning."
"I don't know, I think I like the smell of your coconut shampoo better."
"Awww thanks. So are you going to see your mom while you are out there? Tell her the big news?"
"I was thinking about going over there tomorrow night. See how far I get on the case first. I wasn't going to tell them yet though, do you want me to tell them?"
"What, are you ashamed of me or something?" Mac said a little hurt.
"No, no, I didn't mean it like that. I just kinda wanted you to be there when I told Mom and Frank that I am the luckiest man on Earth."
"Alright, sweet talker, good point. I want to wait until you get back here so we can discuss it with the Admiral and tell all our friends too. Or I could just start wearing the ring when I get it back from being sized. See how fast they all notice it."
"Well, when I get home, the first thing, well maybe the second thing, we'll do is figure out how to tell everyone. I think they gave up on us a long time ago, I can't wait to see their faces."
"I know. Speaking of coming home...how long do you think you are going to be in California?"
"I should hopefully be back for the weekend. Got any plans?"
"Nope, just to spend some time with you...Do you realize, for the two and a half weeks we have been together we have only been in the same time zone for 40 hours?"
"Hopefully, we will finally get a full 48 uninterrupted hours together this weekend. What do you say, your place or mine?"
"Hmm, let's make it your place, we haven't been there yet and we can hide out better there."
"I can't wait."
Both of them not ready to hang up sat and listened to the other breathing through the line.
"I love you."
"I know, I love you too."
After another minute of silence...
"I miss you."
"I miss you too honey."
"Ha, yeah...that OK?"
"Sure, Flyboy. I think it's time for me to go to bed though."
"OK, sweet dreams."
With a sigh Sarah hung up the phone and trudged to the bedroom, hoping to dream of her sailor.
SARAH MACKENZIE'S OFFICE
FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA
"Ma'am, you have a phone call."
"Thanks, Tiner" Mac sighed, hoping that it would be Harm calling her with his return flight information.
"Guess what! My dad's ship is coming in, to Norfolk, and my grandma said that if you like said it was OK I could come down for the weekend and see him, it's been such a long time, and I miss him a lot, and I want to be there when he docks, and I told her it would be OK, right?"
"Whoa, slow down. When is his ship docking?"
"Saturday morning. He has to stay onboard for duty or something, but he said he could get away to see me for a little while. And I haven't seen you since Christmas either, so I thought this would be perfect. I can fly down tomorrow afternoon, I already looked up a flight."
"Saturday?" Mac asked, realizing that her uninterrupted weekend was about to be interrupted. But how could she say no to Chloe? Especially when it is the only chance she will get to see her dad? "Alright, it's fine with me, just call me back with all the flight information."
"THANKS SOOO MUCH!!! LOVE YA!!!! I'LL CALL BACK IN A FEW MINUTES!!!"
"Whoa, Chloe, quiet down, I am at work here."
"Sorry, Mac, see you tomorrow!"
Mac picked up the phone and knew this next conversation would not be so great. Telling Harm that their weekend plans now had to include hosting a teenager would not go over well. 'It's a good thing he likes Chloe' she thought.
DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Harmon Rabb had just gathered his luggage and was walking through the terminal, trying to make his way through the crowd and home to Mac. He somehow managed an earlier flight so that he could see her sooner. He knew that this weekend wasn't going to be as special as originally planned, but he just had to see her with his own two eyes. He loved talking on the phone with her, but the disembodied voice just wasn't the same. They had also agreed when they talked the night before that they weren't going to tell Chloe about the engagement either. They both wanted to tell Harm's family and the Admiral first. Looking up he could have sworn he saw someone who very closely resembled his thoughts. Shaking his head and thinking he was crazy he looked up again and met eyes with the stranger.
Mac looked up and could see the tall handsome aviator in his summer whites and thought she was dreaming. Since Harm wasn't coming in until after midnight she knew it couldn't be him. But then they locked eyes and she knew.
They both started pushing through the crowd to get to each other. Harm dropped his bags and pulled her into his arms, thankful that she wasn't in uniform and he could greet her properly.
"What are you doing here?" he asked as he hugged her tightly.
"Picking up Chloe. What are you doing here?"
"I was coming home to surprise you," he answered with a wide grin.
With a wide grin to match, she said, "I like the sound of that. C'mere Sailor." as she pulled his head down to hers so she could kiss him like she had wanted to all week.
Mindful that they were still in a very public airport they pulled away and just held hands, grateful that they were finally in the same time zone. "Well, if that's the welcome I get, I'll have to come home to you more often."
"Sounds good to me." He said with a final peck on the lips before they broke away and started walking towards some benches. Harm decided to wait with Mac for Chloe so he could have a ride back to his apartment and not have to worry about a taxi or the metro and of course to get a few minutes of quality time together.
Sitting there and waiting for the announcement of Chloe's plane, Harm and Mac talked about their plans for the weekend and made small talk. Soon enough Chloe's flight was called and they both got up and headed towards her gate. Chloe spotted Harm and knew where Mac would be. She came barreling up to them and hugged Mac.
"Harm, what are you doing here?"
"Well, it's nice to see you too Chloe!"
"That's not what I meant. I just didn't know that you were coming with Mac." As an aside she whispered to Mac, "Harm and Mac sitting in a tree..."
"Chloe! Harm's flight actually got in a few minutes ago and he saw me here waiting for you."
"Cool, so that means he can take us to dinner right? I'm starved."
Rolling his eyes Harm said, "You have been hanging around you sister here too much. OK, let's go, as long as the place we go has salad, I'll eat anywhere at this point."
They both followed a very excited Chloe out of the terminal, furtively brushing their hands together counting down the hours until Sunday night.
HARM RABB'S APARTMENT
NORTH OF UNION STATION
Mac stood nervously in the hall outside Harm's apartment. With Chloe taking up a lot of Mac's time and Harm busy finishing up the paperwork from his investigation at Miramar, they hadn't had much time this weekend to even talk on the phone let alone spend time together. They agreed that as soon as Mac dropped Chloe off at the airport on Sunday night that she would come over for dinner, and well maybe more.
Mac loved Chloe and loved spending time with her, but it seems now that all she wanted to do was spend time with Harm, at least to celebrate their engagement and their new status as a couple, everything and everyone was getting in the way.
Smoothing down her skirt and tucking her hair behind her ear she finally knocked on the door. She heard a muffled groan that sounded somewhat like "Come in" so she slowly opened the door and walked inside.
What she found however was not what she had expected. Harm was dressed in sweats and a bathrobe and was slowly making his way to the door to see her. He was pale and looked like death warmed over. "Hi" he said weakly as he leaned against the wall.
"Harm? What's wrong?"
"I don't know. I think I have food poisoning or something. I tried that new Chinese place for lunch and..." With that Harm ran back to the bathroom and Mac could hear him being sick.
Frustrated but more worried about Harm she kicked off her heals and settled in. First stop kitchen, Mac grabbed a couple of water bottles to stave off dehydration. Then she made her way to the bedroom where she tried to put the bed in order and grabbed another blanket from the closet. Last stop, bathroom, where she found a very sick Harm resting his forehead on the porcelain toilet. Settling down on the floor next to him she started rubbing his back until his dry heaves stopped.
Finally, when his stomach was done rebelling against the bad lo mein, Mac helped Harm to bed, bringing a trashcan, just in case. As he lay there, trying to get comfortable, Mac sat on the bed next to him and began running her fingers through his hair.
"Sarah, I am so sorry," he said weakly.
"Hmm? For what?"
"I wanted tonight to be special, but now you are sitting here watching me puke my guts out."
With a kiss to his forehead, "Harm, you're sick. It's fine. I'm in this for the long-haul, remember?"
"I love you."
"I love you too, now try to get some sleep, I'll be right here."
A few minutes later, after Harm had dozed off Mac got up and rummaged through Harm's drawers and found one of her favorite t-shirts of his and some sweat pants. She knew it was going to be a long night, might as well be comfortable. Taking a deep breath in the t-shirt as she pulled it over her head, she could smell Harm and smiled. Rolling the waist of the sweat pants she went to the kitchen and made tea for herself and grabbed a book from the living room. Back in the bedroom she climbed into bed next to Harm. But instead of opening the book like she had planned, she lay down and wrapped her arms around Harm. As she drifted off to sleep she laid there looking into the face of the man of her dreams, thinking about forever.