Disclaimer: I wish...
AN: this is quick and short, written in our tropical conditions at the moment. 28oC overnight and 97% humidity - I hate humidity - for a challenge.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by floods in Queensland, NSW and my state of Victoria, as well as many places around the world experiencing similar catastrophes. xox
It was a bet that he lost which saw Harm at Mac's door on the first Saturday of January. He would have said he was bright and early but Mac had expected him an hour a go and the heavy, snow laden sky was anything than bright. Still, he was a man of his word and the result of losing to Mac in a 5 mile run on New Year's Day was, what others would call, a 'honey-do' list.
In essence, Mac had a list of must do things around her apartment during her leave, which they had discussed at the New Year's Eve party at the Roberts. Nothing all that major, just a lot of things she'd neglected for way too long and now needed attention. In her talk with Harm she'd outlined all the tasks and that her resolution was not to let things go. However, she conceded, she was sure she didn't have half the tools necessary, and so she was hiring a maintenance man from some service Sturgis had recommended.
Instantly, Harm had volunteered to do it. After all, he had a huge box of tools he hadn't taken out in a while and one of his resolutions was to spend as much spare time with Mac as possible, not that she was privy to such information. This was the perfect opportunity. Mac had argued against it, although not too vigorously as she was quite happy with the idea of spending some down time with Harm, but not wanting his to feel she was taking advantage of him she decided on the race.
A race Harm conveniently lost, in very convincing circumstances, with a last minute stumble on a partially hidden rock.
"You're late," were Mac's first words as she opened the door before seeing his snow covered head and coat. "Oh, the weather," she added.
"It's freezing out there," he said as he entered her apartment to be hit with a wall of heat. "Not in here though," he added before noticing she was in a tank top and pj bottoms.
"I know, sorry," she apologised. "The radiator's broken." She pointed to the offending item on the wall. "Maybe you should start with that."
Harm discarded his coat and sweater before he went to work, his eyes frequently drifting from the task at hand to Mac as she moved around her apartment barefoot and completely at ease. He was an hour into the job before he realised everything he was doing was making it worse and unless he wanted to make a complete fool out of himself, it needed a professional.
"Ah, Mac," he said, padding into the kitchen and helping himself to a big glass of cold water. "I think you're going to have to call someone in for that radiator."
"Any idea what's wrong with it?" she asked, offering him something from her fruit bowl.
"It's broken," he said with a laugh. "Although, I don't know if it's more or less broken than before I started."
"Okay," she said, "I'll call someone and you can get back to the list...unless it's too unbearable to be here."
"I'm tough, I can handle a bit of heat," he said with a huge flyboy grin.
Setting off to work on the tasks, Harm wasn't aware that Mac hadn't actually dialled a number before she started talking repairs.
"Repair man thinks he's about two hours away," Mac lied, as she inspected the appliance herself.
"Okay," he said, fixing the hinge on her front door. "Well, you can cross this one off."
"One down and 23 to go," Mac laughed as she ran a pencil through the list. "Well, 22 since the radiator is now someone else's problem."
Over the next two hours, Harm worked away and Mac spent her time watching him and keeping him hydrated. 22, 21, 20... lock, squeaky chair, leaking faucet. 19, 18, 17... sticking drawer, sticking door, kitchen faucet. 16, 15, 14 ... and the list went on.
"Can I get you some lunch?" Mac asked as Harm stopped to wipe the sweat off his brow.
"What did you have in mind?" he asked furrowing his brow. Often, Mac's idea of lunch was not his.
"Well, I have some vegetable soup I can heat up or I have the things for a salad," she said and Harm's eyebrows shot up.
"In the middle of winter, you have salad ingredients in the house?" he questioned.
"Yes, Harm, I do," she replied with an air of indignation. "I did know you were coming."
"Salad would be good," he said quickly. "Especially in this tropical heat...feels just like summer."
With lunch done, Harm went back to work while Mac spent some time cleaning the living room. Through her mirror over the fireplace, she watched as Harm pulled off his tee, and his bare back came into view. The solid muscles, straight spine, broad shoulders...it was enough to make a girl drool. Slowly, Harm turned around and Mac groaned audibly as his chest came into view. His physique was something which she dreamed of regularly...and more often than not it wasn't hidden then either.
"You okay, Mac?" he asked at the sound of a second groan.
"Yeah," she said, quickly shaking her head. "Just had enough of this heat."
"Me too," he agreed, wiping his brow. "Think you should call him again?"
"Yeah, just thinking the same thing," she replied.
A second fake call later and fake advice of tightening a particular bolt, Mac returned to the living room, fixed what she'd 'broken' earlier and turned to Harm.
"Wasn't that hard after all," she said with a laugh and he studied her curiously, something just didn't quite add up.
With the heat still built up in the apartment, and Mac reluctant to open the windows, given the snow which was still falling, Harm continued working bare-chested, Mac studying him whenever possible.
"Cross this one off too," he said, "What does that make? Three left?" he asked as he took a mouthful of water.
"Yep, we're getting there," she replied with a smile.
"We?" he repeated. "And what's your contribution to getting through this list?"
"I fixed the radiator," she said with a laugh.
"Hmmm," he replied, "I'll give you that one. What's next?"
"That shelf is loose," she said pointing to her bookcase.
Harm had it fixed in two minutes. "Next?"
"The battery in the smoke detector needs changing and I can't reach it, even with the ladder," she said, handing him the new battery.
"That's what you get for being short," he said with a smirk which earned him a punch to the arm.
Mac was the one with a smirk as she watched him climb the ladder, his muscled legs, his tight six...Mmmmmm.
"Okay, one to go," he said. "What is last on your list?"
"I need you to flip my mattress," she said, heading to the bedroom.
"You were going to get a complete stranger to flip your mattress?" he said in surprise.
"No, I added that when I knew it would be you," she said laughing.
Standing at the foot of her bed, Mac nervously waited for Harm.
"It's not even stripped," he said, coming to stand beside her.
"No, but you are," she said, turning and running a finger over his bare chest.
"Maaac," he drawled, not too sure if this was heading the way he was thinking.
"Yeeees," she replied, locking her eyes on his as her finger traced ever lower.
"I thought you wanted me to flip your mattress," he said, his voice a little shaky.
"Did I say that?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "Oops, what I meant was I wanted you to flip me on my mattress."
Harm's eyes widened instantly and suddenly Mac was swimming in pools of blue.
"Is that a little too forward, Harmon?" she asked, her finger trailing back up to his chin, tilting his face up to meet hers.
"It wasn't...ah...wasn't quite what I was expecting," he said with a little cough.
"So, is that a no?" she asked pouting and Harm shook his head.
"Oh, definitely not a no," he said, stepping closer to her.
After all, his resolution for the New Year was to get closer to her and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Mac's resolution was also to tend to things which had been neglected and aside from the apartment, she needed some things attended to of a much more personal nature and getting Harm here, into her apartment, into her bedroom, into his state of undress in her tropical heat had all been a part of her plan.
"So?" she said, running her fingers through her hair. "What's next?"
Harm grinned and instantly flipped her onto the bed before kissing her soundly.
For the rest of the weekend, Harm and Mac spent hours generating a certain magical heat of their own, one which put many a tropical island to shame.