This story takes place in Season 10. Mattie has had her accident (episode, JAG: San Diego), and Mac has gone to the hospital to see Harm (episode, Death at the Mosque) and has uttered the words "Let me know when you need me." This story becomes AU at that point, including a character death.
JAG and its characters are the property of CBS Television, Paramount Studios and Bellisarius Productions. All rights reserved. No monetary gain will be realized from this story and no copyright infringement is intended.
Mac was lying in bed unable to sleep. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw Harm's face and had a sinking feeling that he wasn't okay.
Mac hadn't talked to him in three days, not since she'd gone to the hospital in Blacksburg to check on him.
Harm had looked exhausted and worried, but other than the obvious signs of his hospital vigil at Mattie's side, he seemed to be okay. So, why did she have this nagging feeling that he was hurt?
Since she'd been trying for an hour and twelve minutes, Mac gave up on getting to sleep anytime soon and got out of bed.
Noting that the air felt a little chilly, she slipped a robe over her silky nightgown before walking into her living room.
Mac sat down on her couch and reached for the remote on the coffee table. With a push of the power button, the television came to life.
A repeat airing of last night's eleven o'clock local news broadcast was on the screen, and the line that she heard before the program broke away to commercial had her stomach in knots.
The anchorman had said, "When we come back, we'll have an update on the three car pile-up on I-81 near Blacksburg this evening."
Was this why she couldn't sleep? Had Harm been injured, or worse, killed in the evening car crash?
Mac sat impatiently on the couch, paralyzed with fear, staring at the TV while waiting until the two minutes and fifty-nine seconds of commercials had ended and the news returned to the screen.
"Channel 10 news has confirmed that this evening's three car pile-up on I-81 near Blacksburg has claimed a second life. As we reported at six o'clock, the driver of one of the vehicles in the three-car collision died at the scene. Two other people were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, and we've now learned that one of those people has died. The names of the dead have not been released pending the notification of their families."
The anchorman hadn't eased her mind with his report.
Mac rationalized that enough time had passed since the accident that she would've heard something by now if Harm had been involved.
She turned off the TV and swallowed down the lump in her throat.
In the now silent living room, she closed her eyes. Immediately, the image of Harm's face entered her mind, just they way it had been doing while she'd been trying to go to sleep.
Mac sat in peaceful concentration, much the way that she'd done to acquire his location when his plane had gone down in the Atlantic.
Mac got nothing but the image of Harm's face and, after thirty-two minutes, she gave up trying to get some sense of where Harm was or what was wrong with him that had caused him to dominant her thoughts tonight.
Mac wondered if the fact that they weren't as close these days as they'd been when she'd been able to put her finger on a spot on a map that had led to finding Harm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean was the reason why she couldn't figure out why his image kept appearing in her mind every time she closed her eyes.
Even though her Christmas Eve accident had them back to speaking regularly and taking an occasional lunch together, they still weren't as close as they'd once been. They'd even gone to dinner together after work three of four times since then, too, so they were certainly on the road to their once close relationship, or at least they had been until Mattie's accident.
Mac had known that something was wrong when he'd called her when she was about to have dinner with the general in San Diego at the end of the JAG conference. She'd mentioned that he sounded strange, but he hadn't even given her a hint as to what was on his mind. It wasn't until she'd returned from her trip that she'd found out from Petty Officer Coates that Mattie had been involved in a plane crash and was in the hospital. She'd tried to call him the moment that she'd found out, but her calls had gone straight to voice mail. She'd left messages, but he hadn't returned her calls, so she'd gone to see him at the hospital three days ago, but he'd pushed her away.
What else could she do for him? Maybe that was what her sleepless night was all about. She needed to do something for him in order to keep from losing the ground that they'd gained in the last few months, but what should she do? What could she do that he'd accept and not push her away?
Perhaps the answer was simple, show up at the hospital with something decent for him to eat, no touching, no words of comfort, just 'here's something for you to eat that will keep up your strength while you wait this out' and then leave him with the meal.
Yes, something as easy as stopping and picking up some noodles at Ho's could do the trick, she thought. It would let him know that she cared about him, that she had sympathy for what he was going through and, if he needed someone, she wanted to be that person...like she'd been his go-to person in the past.
Before Paraguay, the first person they'd turned to had been each other when things in their lives had gone wrong.
She'd blamed Harm for the meltdown of their relationship in Paraguay, but now she felt that they shared the blame equally. He could've been more forthcoming with his feelings, but she could've been more sensitive to the fact that he was feeling something. He shouldn't have thought that she could read his mind, but she shouldn't have thought that he could read hers, either. Even if she couldn't ask him to hold her, she could've stepped into his arms. He would've wrapped them around her and held her. She'd known that he would, but she'd thought that he should have known that's what she'd needed and made the first move.
There was no point in rehashing it yet again. They'd each done things to hurt the other and, after her accident, they'd each apologized for their own shortcomings that had led to the loss of their close relationship, and it was now time to put the past behind them and focus on the future, whether that was as close friends or something more.
Maybe that's why Harm was on her mind. She'd been thinking a lot about how much she wanted a baby and that the only man she wanted to share parental responsibilities with was Harm.
Mac opened her eyes. She closed them again and, immediately, Harm's face appeared behind her closed lids. Maybe nothing that she'd thought of so far was the cause of seeing his face.
Mac opened her eyes again. "Maybe a cup of tea will help me get to sleep," Mac said to the empty room before snickering because she'd received the variety of herbal tea that she had on hand from Harm.
He'd given her the assortment as a birthday gift, stating that she looked like she hadn't been sleeping much and pointing out two of the blends that could help with that. She hadn't been sleeping, but at the time, she'd been upset that he hadn't given her something more personal, but now it brought a smile to her face. Even when they hadn't been on the best of terms, he still knew her and had given her a thoughtful and appropriate gift, given the state of their relationship at the time.
He really was a good man, she thought, bringing about a sigh.
Mac stood and started for the kitchen, but a knock on her door stopped her in her tracks.
It was 0147 in the morning. 'Who would be knocking on my door at this hour?' she wondered for only a fraction of a second before the lump in her throat returned and her stomach began to feel queasy.
Was it the police or General Cresswell delivering the news that Harm was hurt or dead?