FF: Dating In The Dark.

Summary: Ever since they met, Harm and Mac's chemistry has been undeniable. Spending so much time together, something's got to give. Had they been dating without realizing it?
Author: Jackie (Aka: Radiorox)

AN: The suggestion has been posed that Harm and Mac were dating without realizing that they were. So, I shall delve a little more into that subject. As of late, I'm in the post "Adrift" or "Season 3" mood for stories. I'm trying to get over my hang-ups with seasons 9 and 10. Hard to do, I know.

BTW – Harm and Mac are here in Miami. Not sure what Harm's up to but Mac opened up a supermarket near my Dad's house. It's a small place but, it has decent Cuban coffee.

So here we go!

Enjoy!

Jackie

Chapter 1 – Interuption.

There were much easier jobs out there, ones that didn't require so much energy and research. Jobs that offered normal, nine-to-five hours; lengthy vacations, no uniforms or silly regulations. But then, that's not what Sarah MacKenzie was looking for. She very well knew that after the chaotic nature of her teenage years her life needed stability. It was why she remained in the Marines and done so well she was recommended for OCS. Mac thrived in the environment and was extremely protective of the military and all of those that sought to destroy their purpose.

Still, there were times that it would have been better to deal with civilians and not military secrets. Her current case was one of those 'classified' types – with an outcome that would not matter to anyone but the accused. The public could never and would never know the depths of military sacrifice. In essence, she was defending a martyr – Marine Major Roger Ozols, on a trial for a crime he should have committed.

Major Ozols had discovered that Jake Anderson, a Private under his command, had been selling cocaine and heroin to local high school students. Several of the students had been given a free taste of cocaine, a strategy that many pushers used in order to get kids hooked. Tragically, one of those recipients had thoughtlessly mixed the drug along with cold medicine; the mixture causing a violent overdose that the teen could not recover from. The victim had been Ozols' sixteen year old daughter, Amanda. In a violent rage, the Major raced to the brig where Private Anderson was held and shot the enlisted man five times. He would die from blood loss before any medic could arrive.

Though Mac abhorred senseless deaths, there was something about this case that was forcing her to fight for Major Ozols. He did the one thing that so many people wished they could do. There were other ways around it, like a trial that would have surely locked Anderson up for the rest of his life. Then again, trials could be botched and a certain victory for the family could have been difficult to secure – though Anderson would have been found guilty for possession, there was little concrete evidence that linked him with the cocaine Amanda overdosed on.

"Colonel, ma'am, I know some people will find what I did to be irrational and despicable but, I couldn't let Private Anderson get away with what he did to my daughter." The Major had told Mac after sitting with him for no more than two minutes. She had gone to the interview with a certain belief and came out believing something else entirely. As irrational or despicable as the crime had been, it had to be done. Now, all she had to do was find a way to keep Major Ozols far away from the death penalty.

Mac took a deep breath and placed her pen down on the table. She rolled her head one way and then the other, trying to work out a kink that had been driving her crazy since mid-day. "Damnit." She cursed and pressed her hand to the back of her neck only to have someone else's hand brush hers away.

"Here, let me." Harm said as he placed a book he'd been searching for on the table next to Mac's research. He'd been in the library for the better part of an hour, searching for a law book that had been seriously misplaced. Common sense told him to abandon the search but, he wanted to get a head start on the case and have some details jotted down before his began on Monday.

That's when he'd discovered Mac seated with several books strewn in front of her on the conference table. Her head was down, reading information and then quickly taking notes. He'd heard her sigh from time to time and her shoulders slumped over, a sign of the gargantuan task she'd been given. Harm was thankful he wasn't prosecuting this one – cold blooded murderer or not, he had a soft spot for Ozols' plight.

Harm was always fascinated in watching her work, especially when she didn't know he was looking. Mac had the cutest expression when she concentrated; brow furled slightly, lips pursed. She would often resort to small, victorious, pump fists when she scored a big piece of info. He was sure she wasn't aware of her own actions, which is why they were so cute to begin with.

When he saw her stretching, his body had a mind of its own, carrying him to her. Before he could stop himself, one of his hands had already started massaging her neck; the other hand was soon to join.

Mac would have been startled but, she barely had the chance to. The moment he touched her, she became putty in his hands; all sense of resistance gone. Instead, she took a breath and closed her eyes, allowing herself to relax and drift away. Harm had always had the magic touch when it came to her; his fingers finding certain spots and kneading until the pain went away. It made her feel slightly drunk and euphoric. "Don't stop." She said in a soft, breathless voice.

"I won't." Harm wanted to ask her to slip out of her jacket and unbutton the collar of her blouse but, he knew how inappropriate that would be. They were still in the office, still bound by military rules and professionalism. Besides, someone could walk in and then. . .

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything." The sound of the Admiral's gruff voice snapped the two officers to attention. Mac stifled a groan as she banged her knee against the bottom of the desk. She nearly fell back and, as a result, Harm held her by the arms and helped her stand. All it did was make a bad situation look worse. "Is there something I should know?"

Mac pushed away from him and then opened her mouth to say something but, it was Harm who decided to save face. "No, sir. The Colonel has a headache and I was just trying to work some of the kinks out of her neck."

Chegwidden folded his arms across his chest and leveled the pair with a look that would make them combustible. "I honestly could care less what you two do in your private lives but, keep the touchy feely out of my department."

"Aye sir." "Yes, sir." They replied simultaneously and remained at attention until their commanding officer stepped out of the conference room muttering something about needing a chaperone.

Harm cleared his throat and nervously looked down at Mac. "Sorry about that."

"It's not your fault. At least he didn't give us a good dressing down." She expected it, what with the way she was moaning as if they'd. . . "Anyway," She cleared her throat and continued, " I'm gonna wrap up for the night. This case is making my head spin."

"Wanna grab some dinner?" He asked. They'd been doing that a lot lately – going to dinner. It was sometimes at his place, sometimes at hers but, for the last five Friday's they'd gone out to dinner together. Just the two of them, in uniform, very casual and platonic but, it had become a ritual of sorts; renewed after several years of a broadening divide between them. "I need to eat something soon. Skipped lunch and my blood sugar is taking a nose dive."

Mac wasn't sure if it was the prospect of food or Harm's company but, she was eager to join and leave behind her current workload. The hearing wouldn't begin until Wednesday and she had a whole weekend to find loop holes in Sturgis' case. "Dinner sounds great. Where to this time?"

"Your choice, I picked last week, remember?"

"True." That was correct, he had chosen last week and taken her to the sushi place in Georgetown. The week before that, it was Pizza. Today, though, Mac was in the mood for artery clogging comfort food. "Well, partner, I think it's about time we visit the greasy spoon." AKA: DC's American City Diner. To her surprise, he didn't protest.