Spoilers/Timeline: None/Set in the future
A/N: So... this is my first JAG fic. It seems a little crazy with how into the show I was that I never wrote one before, but better late than never, right? *chews lip* Lots of love to bloodwrites for the read through and suggestions and to NicoleMack for reinvigorating my love for the show.
Disclaimer: JAG doesn't belong to me; Title from the Faith Hill song of the same name, which somehow wormed its way into my head and sparked this idea.
Groaning, he turned off the TV and stood up. It had been a dismal game for his team and what did he have to show for it? A sore neck and a couple lost hours that he could have spent working on his car or getting ahead on work for the following week.
Ok, so he could've chosen to abandon the game when they were done by seven runs, but he kept hoping for a comeback. Screw sports, his own life had shown him that was possible more than once.
Really though, he had two important cases he was consulting on in the next month so the sooner he started research, the better. After three years, he knew that from experience.
He'd thought he'd hate being a consultant, the label alone had given him pause the first two (or, ok, six) times Mac had brought it up, but it really wasn't that bad. And as long as he had her to come home to what did it really matter?
Not that there hadn't been a few thoughts over the years of what life would have been like if the shoe had been on the other foot, if they were in London driving on the left, munching on chips and using the loo, there'd even been one blazing fight about... In the end though he was more than happy with how things turned out. It was amazing to be on the same page and the same continent for once.
Hmm, maybe he could tempt her with a run and a joint shower before he got chained to the comput—
He blinked, pausing in the door to kitchen. Pictures and paper, tape and - was that a rubber stamp? - were strewn across the table in front of her. Suppressing a laugh, he leaned against the doorjamb, watching her work.
Somehow she moved efficiently and relaxed all at once, her body swaying slowly to the soft music echoing through the room. Choosing a piece of paper, she tilted her head to the left and picked something out of a pile he couldn't ascertain the contents of.
He grinned as she continued, wondering how it was possible she still managed to surprise him, it was baffling yet oddly comforting.
A page turned and he crossed his arms over his chest, gaze flicking across the pictures on the fridge, the card from Bud propped on the window sill, before landing on Mac once more.
She was humming now, her head bowed forward. Even with her back to him, he knew the look on her face. Her lips pursed slightly, the fire dancing in her eyes as she considered what option worked or, in this case, looked best.
"You know..." He inhaled sharply, his eyebrow lifting in question as she turned to face him. "You're going to wrinkle if you keep staring like that."
"What's one more?" He shrugged, pushing off the wall and moving into the room. Her ring caught in the sunlight as she turned her attention back to her project and he brushed his thumb across his as he sank into the chair next to her. "Ok, who are you and what have you done with my wife?"
"Watch it, Flyboy."
It came out half stern, half teasing and he shook his head as she began moving paper and pictures around again. Angling his body towards her, he glanced over her shoulder. Pictures upon pictures of DC, of their friends—family—composed the piles and he idly wondered where she'd gotten them. Some he knew were hers, but some seemed to more personal, intimate. Like Little AJ playing trucks by driving them across his back while Mac laughed in the background or him tucking her hair behind her ear one Christmas. Probably came from Harriet or Tiner... most likely, both of them, if he was being honest.
She smoothed a label on the page and glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. He was being way too quiet. If she'd learned anything over their years of marriage it was that, much like a small child, quiet and Harm should never be in the same sentence. Their previous anniversary dinner, when he'd somehow silently set a towel on fire and then managed to drop her gift down the sink, was proof enough.
(The take-out and steamy shower had more than made up for it.)
He was still watching her, his mouth turned up in a half smile, fingers drumming against the table in rhythm to the music. Yes, he had some wrinkles, especially around his eyes—she sighed, it was from all the smiling, laughing—but he was still as handsome as ever.
Maybe even more so.
Their eyes met and, uncharacteristically, self-consciously, she pulled her bottom teeth between her lip. "I just thought... Mattie or Chloe or even... would enjoy..."
He nodded, his smile growing into a full-fledged trademark grin as his hand covered hers. It was too much, his knee bumping against hers, the cockiness mixing with lust in his eyes, she leaned over and smeared the open glue stick across the back of his hand.
"Wha?" He gasped in mock horror, blinking slowly at her and then his hand. "You... you could've gotten my shirt..."
She rolled her eyes, laughter bubbling quickly to the surface. It was his Saturday 'I-don't-have-to-do-anything-today' shirt and they both knew it. Still armed, she ran the glue over his wrist before grabbing a stray piece of paper and—
"Oh, I don't think so." His hand caught hers in mid-air and he leaned in, closing what little distance was between them. Eyes challenging, he reached behind her, picking up the opened ink pad and pressing it to her cheek.
It was a full out war. Paper went flying, confetti she'd been using as page accents was thrown in both directions, a spool of ribbon bounced off his bicep. Laughter echoed through the space, her shoulders shaking as ink smudged on his jaw.
"You ready to surrender?"
"Not a chance, Marine."
She was out of options, or more like ammunition; somehow he'd managed to scoop most of her supplies to his end of the table. Standing, she made a run for it, scanning the cupboards for anything unbreakable to use.
"Oh come on, Mac..." He quickly followed her, pinning her against the sink. "You know it can't be over that easily."
"No." He ran a now sticky hand across her cheek.
"Hmm, I don't recall saying anything about giving up..." Reaching behind her, she nudged the cold water on and aimed the detachable nozzle at him, sending a rush of liquid down the back of his shirt. His jaw dropped, eyes widened, and he nudged his knee between hers, blindly reaching to turn to the water off before she accidentally sprayed some on all her hard work.
"You knew it when you married me."
"I did." He rubbed the back of his neck, a smile slowly spreading across his face. "I just wasn't aware you were willing to flood the kitchen to—"
"Oh, stop being so dramatic, Harm." She bit the inside of her lip, hoping to keep the lightness out of her voice even though she knew her eyes betrayed her. "As if I'd risk a water rescue by a lowly consultant."
"Ouch, that hurts."
"The truth does." She grinned, hands settling low on his waist. "What do you say, truce?"
"Hmm..." He seemed to do a quick survey of the cupboard to her left before reaching his decision. "For now, but I reserve the right to launch an attack in the future."
"Oh, bring it." She winked, her fingers slipping under his wet shirt.
He shuddered, eyes settling on the stray scrap of paper that had landed in her hair during their fight. Laughing, he plucked it from its place, tossing it to the floor as he leaned down and covered her mouth with his.
She sighed into the kiss, fingers flexing against his skin as his tongue stroked over hers. His arms tightened around her and he smiled against her, felt a new wave of heat wash over him, as her hips pressed against his.
Breathing deeply, he pulled away, grinning. "Come on, let's go get cleaned up and then..." He paused at the table, running his hand down the spine of the scrapbook. "Then we can look through this..." He caught her hand, thumb drawing circles on the inside of her wrist as he pulled her forward. "Together."