Author's Note: Here we go with another installment of this one. I hope that you enjoy them getting to know each other a little bit better. Next time they go out all together in search of a Rabb home. Review if you would like!
"How was school?" Mac asks as she meets the younger girl at the door.
"It was okay. I'll be glad when the summer gets here because I really need the break." She says, noticing how Mac has folded her hands in front of her while walking in a nervous gesture. "Thank you for coming to get me from school. I know that this isn't what you had in mind."
"You only had two months left in the school year and we talked Mrs. Booth into letting you stay with us on the weekends while you were finishing out. We really want to have a new place when you come to live with us all the time. And we want you to help us find it."
"A house or an apartment?"
"Harm and I want a house, but we want your opinion on a few that we had the realtor select for us."
"That's fine with me. When are we looking at houses?"
"Well, I thought that we would do that tomorrow. Tonight it is you and me, so I thought we would go to a movie and get some food before going back to my apartment for the evening. How does that sound?"
Katherine takes in the moment, realizing it was the first time in a very long time that an adult was really wanting to spend time with her. She could tell that it made her biological mother nervous, but couldn't put her finger on why, so she asks, "Why are you nervous?"
"What do you mean?" Mac says, perking up instantly.
"You just seem like you aren't sure about what you're doing… about telling me your plans."
"This is just the first weekend that you're going to be here and I don't know what you want to do and I don't want you to think that I'm trying to hard or anything like that."
Katherine nods for a minute, acknowledging Mac's statement and choosing to mull it over while they get into the car and make their way toward Mac's apartment.
When Mac shows her inside, she shows her to the guest room that she made up for her that week, adding an easel with some paints and drawing materials in the corner. Katherine is immediately drawn to the area, swiping a hand over the wood of the easel and examining the paints. Turning around to thank Mac, she realizes that she is alone.
"Thank you for the paints, they're really good ones, so I can do some cool things with them." Katherine says, walking out into the living room where she didn't see Mac.
"I thought that you might enjoy them, but I didn't know what you liked to work on. I thought we could drop by the craft store during our outing tonight to pick up some canvas or board for you to mess around on." Mac says from the hallway, coming out from her bedroom after changing into jeans and a sweater for the evening.
"Cool." She says, noticing the change of clothes and giving Mac a sideways glance.
"What is it?"
"I've never seen you out of uniform. When I came and met you at the office, you were in uniform, and any time that we've met with Mrs. Booth, it has been right after work. Even when Uncle Matt sent me pictures it was from military articles and you had your uniform on."
"Oh, I guess I didn't think about that."
"It's just you… and I know that you're nervous. I am too, but I've liked everything that you said and I don't think that you're trying too hard. I'm probably going to think that of myself too."
Mac seems to let out a breath before sitting down on the couch.
"What is your ideal Friday night then? I just want to do whatever it is that you want to do… we can go out or we can stay in… it really doesn't matter to me."
"You might think that this is weird, but I wouldn't mind going out to the store, picking some food up, and staying in with movies and nothing else. I could paint or draw and you can do whatever and we can put a movie in or we could just hang out. The past few years, I've been in some really crowded houses, and I could never just sit in a room by myself and draw or even think. It's so quiet here… I'd love to have that for a while."
Mac regards her for a moment before standing up and walking over to her coat, "Well, then let's get our stuff and we can spend a night in."
"Where's Harm?" Katherine asks as she is getting her own coat on and following Mac out the door.
"He's working late on a case with Bud, so he decided that we could just have the night with each other. He'll be over sometime after breakfast for our appointment with the realtor."
"Okay, that sounds good."
They make the car ride in silence and park near a strip mall that houses both a Chinese restaurant and the art store that Mac wanted to take her to.
"Why don't we go into the art store before we get the Chinese… if you're anything like me with your hobbies, you'll spend an hour just looking at everything." Mac says with a laugh and leading her out of the car and into the store.
"Wow." Katherine says looking at the aisles filled with paints, markers, pens, pastels, and basically anything that she could think of to make art with.
"Why don't you just guide me around and we can see if there is anything that you'd like aside from the paints. I know that you mentioned the art classes, but I didn't know what you liked to use best or anything like that."
"I like painting, but I've doing a lot with colored pencils and pens too. I've got a set of colored pencils at the house that I like to do things with."
"Well, why don't we start there and you can pick out a new set for our place. I didn't get you a book to mess around in because I didn't know what kind of paper you would like, so we can look into those as well." Mac says with a smile as they explore the store a while longer.
After looking at everything Mac notices that of all the things the girl explored and touched, she didn't hold on to any of it. "Is it overwhelming?"
"I've never been to a store like this… there are just so many different things that I'd like to try out."
"Okay…" Mac says in a questioning tone that the girl recognizes.
"I just don't want you spending a lot of money on this stuff for me. You guys are trying to get a new house, and I can make do with the stuff I already have." Katherine says quickly.
"Here's the deal kid… I've already told you that I tell it and see it how it is. This is your thing, and I want you to be able to do what makes you happy. For me, it's cleaning dinosaur bones and running in the park. For you it's art—"
"I actually like the running in the park thing too." She adds as Mac smiles.
"Well, that's another day. I'm not trying to buy your affections or anything like that, but you should be able to do what you love to do. So I'm giving you this money…" she says, pulling the cash out of her wallet and handing it to her daughter. "Then I'm walking out of here to pick up our insane amount of Chinese food, and when I come back, I expect you to have a bag full of art supplies and no change. Got it?"
"Get shopping, kid, cause this Marine is getting hungry. I'll meet you at the car."
Mac walks out, wondering if she had done the right thing. She knew that the young girl was not used to people giving her handouts like that, but she also knew what it was like to not have someone support what you were doing or wanted to do.
Katherine was a bit shell shocked with that. She knew that her mother… God, she couldn't really figure out what to call her yet. She had been avoiding actually calling her anything, but really needed to figure that out soon. She knew that Mac wasn't trying to buy her affections. She had already proven that it wasn't the case, but it was a loving gesture. The idea of getting some new stuff to experiment with was exciting, but she also didn't want Mac to think that all she wanted her for was to get her things and let he do stuff that she couldn't. However, she knew that the woman meant business, so she counted all hundred dollars Mac gave her and set out to find the things that she wanted.
When they got into the car, Mac asks, "How'd it go?"
"You'll have to show me what you got when we get back to my place. I realized when I bought the paint that I really had no clue about any of it, so maybe you could help me figure it out."
"Okay." Katherine said in a small voice. "Hey," she says trying to get Mac's attention for just a moment, "Thank you."
After getting home and seriously eating the Chinese food they had ordered, they sat down in the living room to watch a movie.
"Can I show you the stuff that I got?" Katherine asks quietly.
"Oh! Yeah, let me see what you got!" Mac says excitedly, knowing that it must have taken a bit for her to come out and be a bit excited to show her the new supplies.
She goes into the guest room and brings out the bag and sits next to Mac on the couch, placing the bag on the coffee table.
"Ummm… before I show you, can I tell you about something?"
"Sure." Mac replies, unsure of where this could be going.
"The reason why I didn't want to get anything was because I don't want you to think that I'm using you or using Harm for anything. I could be happy with no new things and a family. I just didn't want you to think that you had to do things like that."
"Can I tell you something?"
She nods in response and Mac continues, "I'm not doing it because I think I have to. I'm doing it because I think you enjoy it."
"All right, now that we've cleared that up, why don't you give me the supply tour."
There is another few moments of silence before Katherine starts again, "I have one more thing though… I… um… I've been thinking about this and I didn't know what you wanted me to do, but what should I call you? You're my mother, but I don't know if that would be too much for both of us… but I feel like calling you Mac is kind of weird too, you know?"
"I haven't really thought about that, but I would be fine with whatever you would like to call me… mom… Mac… Sarah… whatever it is."
"Whatever you want to do is fine with me."
"Mom… I kind of… I kind of want to try that out. If it's weird though… are you going to be upset that I go back to calling you Sarah or Mac?"
"Can I ask you something?" Mac finally says, seeing the girl's nervousness about the whole conversation.
"Are you scared?"
She looks at Mac for a minute before understanding that Mac knew what was going through her head more than even she did. "Yes."
"I learned early to not call them mom or dad because every time I did, I was moved around and I had to start all over again. I know that you guys are okay with all this now, but I'm worried about what happens down the line. You and Harm get married and adopt your own baby or have your own and then I lose Mom and Dad again and you just become another couple in a list of others along the way."
"I'm sorry that you think that… but I get it. My mom abandoned me when I was fifteen. I get that you don't trust anyone and I get that you don't know about your future, but Harm and I are really trying to help you and show you that not everyone leaves. Harm lost his dad when he was really young, so both of us had these horrible commitment issues. Then we realized that there was one person that we had met that we knew would never abandon us. Yeah, they might hurt us along the way, but when push came to shove, they were there. It was each other. I hope that you come to see that with us too… because we both get it, Katie… we do."
"Oh, I'm sorry…" Mac says, apologizing for the slip.
"No one ever calls me Katie."
"Well, that is what your Uncle Matt and I called you…"
"I like it… I mean coming from you… I like it."
"All right then… now that we've gotten the names out of the way, what do you say, Katie? Are you ready to show me what you got?" Mac says with a smile on her face.
"Sure, Mom… " she says, rolling her eyes a bit and digging into the bag, not catching how the smile crept further into Mac's eyes as she said it.