Title: Revenge I: Saccharin Sweet
Spoilers: Any episode through the end of season 7 may be referred to (and quite a few are)
Disclaimer: I wish I owned these characters—one especially—but I don't. Please don't get upset with me for using them.
WARNING: Contains violence.
Notes: This is the first fic I started. I've gone over it for spelling and grammar – as I still am not using a beta – but haven't changed anything else.
Friday, May 31, 2002
Commander Harmon Rabb knocks on the door then opens it far enough to stick his head through the doorway. "You wanted to see me sir?"
"Come in Rabb and close the door behind you," Admiral AJ Chegwidden replies. He is seated in his chair facing the window behind his desk. He turns as the Commander enters. Clayton Webb is standing next to AJ's desk.
"Where are you with the Arams case, Commander?"
"I'm still working on the papers, Sir."
"When does the hearing start?"
"Will you be ready?"
"I believe I will have all of the information by then. I'm nearly finished, just having a little trouble with the technical aspects of the final papers." Harm glances from AJ to Webb. "Is that what this is about?"
Webb looks uncomfortable. "Word has leaked out that you have the information and are able to decipher the code. I understand you're planning on going to California for the weekend?"
"I fly out at 1900. Should I change my plans?"
"No. I need you to keep those plans. By the time you return I expect to have found the leak and there won't be any problems."
"What if you aren't able to find the leak, Webb?" AJ asks.
"We'll provide Commander Rabb with security if this isn't resolved over the weekend. In the meantime, no one will know he's in California, so he'll be safe there." He holds up a hand forestalling AJ's comment. "If I don't find the leak, there will be a team to meet Rabb when he lands Sunday night."
AJ looks at Harm. "Any problems with that, Commander?"
"No sir," Harm replies. He doesn't trust Webb, but he does trust his CO.
"Bring all related materials to me before you leave for the evening, Commander. I want to take a look at what you've deciphered so far."
"Aye sir. I'll get them now." Harm snaps to attention and leaves the office to retrieve the documents.
AJ turns to Webb as the door closes behind Harm. "Webb, you'd better not be involving Rabb in another one of your schemes."
"I assure you, Admiral, you know as much as I do about all of this. I'm not really sure what information got out, but I wanted to cover all of the bases. I expect to have this wrapped up before Monday."
"I hope so, Webb."
A quick knock precedes Harm's reentry into AJ's office. He carries with him two folders. He hands the thickest one to AJ first. "This one has the information from Arams. The other contains all of my notes. There's nothing on my computer. I've kept it strictly on paper."
AJ glances at the files and places them on his desk. "I'll put these in my safe when I'm finished with them. See me first thing Monday morning, Commander, and I'll return these to you."
"You're dismissed, Commander. Give my regards to your mother."
"Yes sir." Harm snaps to attention one more time then turns neatly on the balls of his feet and walks to the door.
"Rabb," Webb stops him just before he exits the room.
"What is it, Webb?"
"I always am when you're involved, Webb."
Harm heads through the bullpen and enters his office.
"Where are you off to in such a hurry tonight, Commander?"
"I have to get ready for a 1900 flight, Colonel," Harm replies, sticking his head out his door.
"Admiral Chegwidden is sending you on a case over the weekend?" she asks incredously.
"No, I'm on my way to San Diego to visit my mother. He and Webb want me out of town for the weekend."
"Why?" she inquires stopping at his office door.
He steps out of the doorway and motions for her to come in the office. She reads his unspoken request and shuts the door behind her. "Webb is concerned about a leak. He thinks someone has given out information that I have the materials from the Arams case. He wants the weekend to find and plug his leak."
"And he doesn't want to use you as bait?" She smiles ruefully, remembering some of their previous dealings with Webb. "That doesn't sound much like Webb."
"Apparently Webb believes he can find his leak without dangling me from his hook." Harm gathers his briefcase, coat and cover and heads for the door, pausing with his hand on the knob. "Now, if he hasn't found his leak before I return…" His voice trails off; they both know what might happen with Webb involved.
"Then you will be the bait."
"Only if Webb promises to take good care of me. The admiral doesn't approve of this whole scenario. If Webb doesn't have his leak plugged by the time I return, he's promised to have a team in place to keep an eye on me." He flashes Mac a grin. "I wouldn't put it past the admiral to make Clay take that assignment on himself."
They share a laugh at the thought of Webb personally protecting Harm. Mac returns to their earlier conversation. "I take it you're flying." At his nod she admonishes, "be careful out there, Flyboy."
"Gotta keep up my hours," he flashes her another grin and opens the door. "Enjoy your weekend. I'll see you when I get back."
"Take care of yourself Harm," she says under her breath as he walks through the bullpen to the elevator.
The hallway is full of shadows as Harm steps off the elevator at. He closes the doors on the old-fashioned car and turns for his apartment. He doesn't see the shadow breaking off from the rest and heading for him as he unlocks the door.
The door opens as he is reaching for the knob. He stares in shock at the face he sees.
"Palmer. What are you doing here?" He begins to back up in preparation to leave. The feel of the barrel of a gun in his back stops him. He puts his hands at waist height and moves them away from his body. His briefcase dangles from two fingers.
"Come in, Commander," Palmer taunts. "Ah, I see you've brought work home with you over the weekend." He motions for Harm to enter the apartment and takes the briefcase from his hand.
"You haven't answered my question Palmer," Harm says as he steps through the doorway.
Palmer is already at the kitchen counter trying to open the briefcase but it's locked. "I'm here to see you, Commander. Open the briefcase."
"I don't think so, Palmer." The mystery person at his back closes and locks the door before stepping into Harm's line of sight. "Chief Hodge?" Harm sounds confused. "What's going on, Palmer?"
"Open the briefcase, Rabb."
"There's nothing in there that would interest you," Harm says.
"Well then, open it so I can see for myself."
"All right, fine." As Harm walks to the counter and unlocks the briefcase, Palmer walks to the other side of the counter. Once he has the briefcase unlocked, Harm knows better than to open it. He slides it across to Palmer.
"Very smart, Commander. Glad I didn't have to have Hodge here shoot you." Palmer opens the briefcase and rifles through the folders inside. He doesn't find what he's looking for. "The Arams files. Where are they?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, Palmer," Harm replies.
"Don't fool with me. I know you've been assigned the Arams case. Where are the files you have been deciphering?"
"I don't know who your informant is, but you received faulty information. Besides, I'm on leave this weekend. I don't bring home any work when I'm not going to be working."
"I know you're working the case. And I know the way you work. You don't take leave the weekend before a major case. That's two strikes against you, don't make it three. Where are the files?" Palmer is getting steamed.
"Palmer, you're misinformed," is all Harm says.
"I believe you are going to regret that decision, Commander." He nods to Hodge who has been out of Harm's view.
"Hey," Harm says when Hodge sticks him with a needle.
"It worked the last time. At least until the major showed up."
"Wha…" Harm begins as he goes to his knees then falls forward.
Palmer pulls a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket and locks them around Harm's wrists, pinning his arms behind his back. "Let's get cracking. That should hold him when he comes around."
The two men proceed to methodically search every nook and cranny in Harm's apartment. They do it neatly, putting everything back where they found it. They even search the packed bag sitting on Harm's bed.
The sedative has numbed Harm's senses. He can hear Palmer and Hodge search his apartment. He is grateful the Admiral decided to take custody of the papers. He knew he shouldn't have even thought about bringing them along for his weekend, but he had been planning on trying to finish up the papers on his 'vacation'. With the knowledge they won't find anything, Harm gives into the pull of the drug and loses himself.
Andrews Air Force Base
"Sir, Commander Rabb was scheduled to take off 5 minutes ago. I just checked with the front gate and he hasn't signed in yet." The officer in charge of air traffic reports to his CO.
"Have you tried to contact him at JAG Headquarters?" the CO asks. "He could have been sent on assignment and not remembered to cancel his flight.
"I'll check on it, sir."
"In the meantime, make a note of it and have the front gate inform me when Commander Rabb arrives."
Their search complete, neither man has found any hint of the papers. Palmer approaches Harm and muscles him to a sitting position.
"Where are they?" Harm, still muddled but awake, doesn't answer. "You must have left them at your office. Guess you'll have to take me to get them."
Harm gives Palmer a look of astonishment. "You really think I'm going to take you to my office and turn the papers over to you?" His speech is somewhat slurred due to the sedative.
"So you now admit you have been given the papers."
"I don't admit to anything, Palmer. All I'm saying is I will not take you to JAG HQ for any reason except to expedite your return to Leavenworth."
"Wrong answer. You see, you're not in a position to deny anything at the moment. Let's get this started," he says to Hodge.
Hodge opens the bag at his waist and removes two syringes. The first he uses on Palmer, the second on Harm.
"What is that?" Harm asks. He's slow to react and didn't have a chance to put up even a token protest.
"Antidote for what?" Harm is confused.
"For the nerve gas I have." Palmer and Hodge get Harm to his feet and walk him to the door.
"You must've been exposed too," Harm says to Hodge.
"It hasn't been released yet. Just be patient."
Still fighting the effects of the sedative, Harm can offer no resistance as they take him down the elevator and into a waiting vehicle.
Harm is 'helped' into the back seat of the SUV. Palmer and Hodge get in on either side of him. A third, unidentified man drives.
A short distance from JAG HQ, the vehicle stops. Palmer turns to Harm. "Here's what's going to happen, Commander. You are going to drive
to HQ and you and I are going to go inside. If you attempt to tip off the gate guard, I WILL shoot him. At the moment you are not expendable, but anyone we encounter is, so be convincing."
"What then?" Harm asks.
"Then you will get us into the building and head directly for your office. I was sure you would have the papers with you this evening, but you must've left them at your office. We're going to go inside and get them."
"You can't shoot everyone in the building. Even if you try, I'll take you down."
"That's where the antidote you received comes in. If you try to summon any help, I will release the nerve gas in the building. The deaths of everyone will be on your hands."
"This isn't going to work, Palmer." As he gets out of the vehicle and approaches the driver's door under Palmer's watchful gaze, he finally gets a glimpse of the driver. He's sure he's seen him before, but with the fuzziness of the sedative still in his system, he can't place a name with the face.
"Your plans never work, Palmer. I've always stopped you before and I'll stop you this time."
"Just what makes you so sure? It's Friday. You won't be missed until Monday," Palmer states confidently.
Harm shrugs as he gets behind the wheel of his vehicle. "You know that bag that was sitting on my bed? I was scheduled to fly out of Andrews at 1900. I was flying to Miramar to spend the weekend visiting my mother."
"Nice try Rabb, but I don't believe you. Now drive. And remember, no tricks."
Harm shrugs again in a gesture that can only mean I told you so. He gets them past the gate guard with no problems and parks in his usual space. Palmer grabs his arm before he can get out of the vehicle. "You run, they will shoot you. Not to kill, just to slow you down." He gives Harm a pointed look. "You can be sure it will hurt."
Harm looks at the two men in the back seat before shaking off Palmer's hand and getting out of the vehicle.
It's after midnight at the beginning of a long weekend. Harm signs in with the duty officer and explains Palmer is there to help him with a case. The officer hands Harm a phone message. Somehow, Palmer doesn't see the exchange between the two men. Harm leads the way to his office, surreptitiously reading the message as he walks. The message is from Andrews AFB, checking to see if he will be taking his flight.
He deliberately stops in the doorway to his office. Palmer shoves him forward then turns around to close the door and blinds. Once he's confident no one can see in he turns on the lights.
Harm catches himself on his desk. He takes a quick look at Palmer who is closing the door and grabs a pencil off his desk. He quickly slips it up his sleeve along with the message from Andrews.
Palmer turns around as Harm is straightening up. He takes the handcuffs out of his pocket. "Can't have you interfering with my search," he says once again locking Harm's wrists behind his back. "Why don't you sit back and relax." He pushes Harm into his chair and begins to search the office.
Careful not to catch Palmer's attention, Harm tries to write the names Palmer and Hodge on the paper. It is difficult to do as he is practically sitting on his hands and they are behind his back, but he is confident someone will eventually find the message. He slips it into the crack at the back of the chair and positions the pencil such that anyone who sits in the chair and leans back will be jabbed by it.
Thirty minutes later, Palmer has searched the entire office and still hasn't found the papers he's looking for. "Where are they?" he demands.
"I've told you several times I don't have them," Harm answers exasperatedly. "Why won't you believe anything I tell you?"
"Because you are a lawyer and you're paid to lie."
"As a lawyer my first duty is to the truth. I was after the truth at Twenty-Nine Palms. That is why you lost, Palmer. The truth is a lot easier than lies."
"You were lucky at Twenty-Nine Palms. If you had backed off like you were ordered, you probably wouldn't be here now."
"What do you mean by that?" Harm asks. "Is this all somehow connected to the Bradenhurst Corporation?"
Palmer ignores him. "Where are the files, Commander?"
Harm shrugs and lets his question pass. He knows the truth about that too. "I don't have them."
"How about opening your wall safe?"
"There are no files in there pertaining to the case."
"I don't believe you," Palmer says. "Open the safe."
Harm decides not to press Palmer for the sake of those working. The files are not in his safe, so he decides to do as he is asked. "Are you going to remove these?" Harm indicates his handcuffs.
Palmer pulls Harm out of the chair and unlocks the handcuffs. He doesn't see the small note Harm has hidden in the seat.
Harm opens the safe and steps back. Palmer rifles through the papers in the safe, but they are not what he's looking for.
"Last time. Where are they?" Palmer is now angry.
"As I've told you, I don't have them. Wherever you got your information, you'd better check the source." Harm returns calmly.
Palmer realizes he's hit a brick wall—he can't search any of the other offices and he doesn't want to tip anyone that there might be a problem. "Fine, let's go," he says.
Harm can't believe Palmer is giving up so easily, but he doesn't argue. "I don't have to remind you of the consequences of rash behavior, do I?" Palmer reminds him.
"What would be the point; I don't have what you want."
They leave Harm's office and the building without incident. Harm once again gets behind the wheel. "Where to?"
"Take us back to the lot you drove us from, Commander."
Harm returns them to where they turned the vehicle over to him. By this time the effects of the sedative have completely worn off. He knows his chances against three are slim, but he doesn't intend to let any of them get away. He turns off the vehicle and turns to Palmer. "Now what?"
"Now you take a little nap, Commander," Hodge answers. He has another syringe ready and jabs Harm before he can react. It takes just a moment for this new sedative to take effect. Harm opens his door, jumps out, but makes it only a few steps before he collapses.
Palmer and the third man pick Harm up and carry him to the back of the vehicle where Hodge is waiting. "We'll just tell anyone who asks that our friend here has had a bit too much to drink. As his good buddies, we're taking him home to sleep it off." Palmer locks the rear of the vehicle then gestures for Hodge to sit in the back seat. "Watch him closely," he tells Hodge. Palmer and the third man climb into the front seats with Palmer driving.