All right, this is a fic that is in response to a new friend's idea for a post JAG fic. I am all about roses and fluff, but she was right in saying that we don't have the real people angst anymore. So, as tempting as it might be to gloss over the hard stuff, I'm bound and determined to write this without the easy copouts. I hope you enjoy it and stick with me on the Mac and Harm rollercoaster. Review if you would like. I know this may be different from my other stuff, but I want to try the real and not the fluff for once. This first chapter is a bit fluffy, but be prepared!
"You believe in fate?" he asks.
"Well it put us together… sort of." She replies with a questioning glance, not knowing exactly where he was going with this line of questioning.
"Fate could keep us together forever."
When he declares it, the looks that exchange between the two of them are typical Harm and Mac. She questions him and he raises his eyebrows in answer like a whole conversation had passed between them. It almost doesn't matter when he leans in to kiss her again, as they wrap their arms around each other for the first time in a long time.
"Wait…" she says, pulling away from the kiss, still breathing heavily.
"We've waited long enough, don't you think?" he says, trying to lean back in to finish what they had started.
"No, what did you mean by that?"
"We flip a coin."
"Flip a coin?" she says, cocking her eyebrow and looking at him in disbelief.
"We get Bud to bring the Admiral's JAG coin to the bar and we decide from there."
"Harm, we can't flip a coin to decide our future."
"The way I see it, we've had all these 50/50 chances our whole life and that's really what life is anyways, so why don't we take the choice out of it." He says, standing up from the stool and pacing around the counter in front of her.
"What's the 50/50?"
"San Diego or London."
"Don't you think that's pushing it a bit? Harm, we don't know what we want out of all this… we can't just up and throw away one of our careers."
"What we want? Mac I want you… I want to marry you and I want to be with you for the rest of my life. I've known that for a long time now."
"But you've only just let me in on this revelation. You propose and now we're deciding who's going to give up their career so we can be with each other."
"You were the one with the Freudian slip comment."
"I know, but maybe…" she starts, but is interrupted by his next question.
"Answer this… did you love Mic Brumby?"
"No, answer it Mac."
"Looking back? No, I didn't."
"What about Webb?"
"Webb was a misguided… I don't know what."
"No. I thought I did."
"What about me? Do you love me, Sarah?"
"Yes. I love you."
"That's the difference Mac. You could never give a straight yes or no answer when I asked you about any of those men… You still can't! You cast it off and made it out at the time like it was supposed to be obvious that you did love them. This was the first time that I ask and you gave me a flat answer."
"Because I do."
"Why the difference?"
"I don't know… I just… with you there is something else there. I've loved you for a long time and couldn't ever place my finger on why, but it just was."
"But you aren't willing to put it all on the line to have us? Flip a coin to decide the rest of our lives? Mac, I would say that maybe you're the one who can't let go." He says with finality, wagging his finger in her direction as he moves towards another box to tape.
"That's not fair. I'm the one who showed up tonight, you know. You didn't come knocking on my door."
"Honestly… I wouldn't have made it in London without this conversation. I would have lasted a few weeks at most before I jumped ship and came running back to you."
She contemplates this as she watches him tape another box and label it for the movers. She didn't know if she would have made it much longer in San Diego without him either. That is what made her decision.
"Okay…" she says, coming to stand next to him and placing her arms around his neck.
"We flip a coin."
"I knew you'd come around, Mac." He says with a smile before leaning down to kiss her again.
With little furniture and more wits than they both wish they had, they agreed that they needed to meet up with those that mattered and decide their fate before moving forward with anything. The coin toss would have to come with the JAG coin, and it needed to happen soon.
"Do you want to call Bud, or should I?" Mac says, laughing as they sit next to each other on the floor with their backs up against the island.
"Why don't you call… that way you can listen to Harriet scream into the phone."
"And the plan?"
"McMurphy's in an hour?"
"I need more time than that… make it two?"
"You're beautiful the way you are." He says and she realizes for the first time that when he says something like that, he really means it.
"Thank you, but since this is our informal engagement party, I think we should look the part Captain Rabb."
"All right, two hours."
"I'll see you there." She says, leaning in to kiss him once before getting up to leave.
"Yeah?" she turns back to face him.
"Are we getting married?"
"We'll see…" she says with a smile.
"I love you." He replies, and braces himself for her flying back in the door to kiss him with even more fervor than their first meeting. It was uncharacteristic of her to do such a thing, but the night was proving to be more than either bargained for.
"I will never get sick of hearing you say that."
"I won't ever get sick of saying it."
"You've got to get going, call Bud and Harriet. I'll call Turner and Coates… maybe see if she can get the General out."
"I love you too."
With a final kiss and a glance back she walks out of the apartment and down to her car, thinking the entire time about what just transpired.
When she calls Bud after getting home, she realizes that all of their friends had really just been waiting for the call. Why did it take the two of them so long to come to terms with something that everyone else saw on a regular basis? Harriet screamed and asked for all the details, which she realized were not in any way a typical engagement story, and told them to be at the bar in a few hours with Bud's JAG coin. She didn't tell the reason for the coin, but they would have dropped anything to be there for this anyway.
Later that evening when the coin landed in her favor, she didn't know what to do. Her own command would be amazing, but the Navy was all he had his whole life, and she couldn't really ask him to give that up. Even with a smile on his face, she knew that he was holding in what he really felt.
"San Diego it is!" he calls out and pulls her in for another kiss.
"Then I guess I should be asking about coming with you then Colonel." Coates says with a cautious look to Harm before asking. She knew too that this would be a hard thing for him to give up.
"ummm… you know what? Wait a minute and enjoy your drinks while I talk to my future husband for a minute." Mac says after thinking for a moment about Coates wanting to come with her to San Diego.
She grabs him by the arm and leads him outside before he even knows what's happening.
"Mac. We should be inside celebrating!" he says, gesturing back inside.
"I'll go to London." She replies quietly, but seemingly with no regret.
"Mac, no… we agreed."
"We agreed that it would decide it for us."
"And it did, and we're going to San Diego."
"No… we're not. I won the toss, so I get to choose where we go. We go to London."
"What if I told you that I didn't want to go to London?" he says, causing her jaw to drop. This was something she didn't see coming.
"You want to retire?"
"No, I don't want to retire. I just don't want a position like that. It's too far away from home and it's not what I can see myself doing for a long period of time. "
"Well what do you see yourself doing?"
"I don't know, but I do know that I don't want to be in charge of the entire European group of JAGs halfway around the world. It's a great opportunity, but given the circumstances, I would rather stay in the states and be with you than go off to London for that."
"I don't think that you have a choice in the matter. It's probably one of just a few O-6 spots opened in the world right now."
"And you have another."
"Mine's not an O-6 though, Harm."
"It will be soon enough. I know that you can do great things with a Command, Mac… so I do think we should go to San Diego."
She looks at him for a moment, thinking about his dedication to all things. His dedication to the Navy and to what it stood for was something that she admired about him. She didn't have that. Yes, she was proud to be a Marine and to serve her country, but she didn't need it like he did.
"Hold on." She says, telling him to stay there while she ran inside for something that he wasn't expecting.
A few minutes later, the General is standing in front of him outside, "The Colonel tells me that we need to figure out a few things."
"Are there any other O-6 positions available state-side that he could be transferred to?" Mac asks.
"None near San Diego, if that's what you're getting at."
"No, I'm going to be the one to resign, General. That has been decided, but we both agree that London isn't what we want."
"Before we talk about the Captain, I want you to know that you are on your way to becoming a full bird Colonel. That position will be one that gains an O-6 fairly quickly. You are an outstanding Marine, and you do have a future in the Corps."
"While I appreciate that, sir… if going to San Diego means I lose Harm, I don't want it. You find me a job with him and I'll go proudly and serve my country. Right now, I'm choosing to bow out gracefully."
"It will be a loss, Colonel."
"For me as well sir, but for once I'm going with what my heart really wants."
He regards her for a moment, knowing from the Admiral's brief talks that the two of them were a long time coming. He read the files and the reports surrounding the pair and their different adventures. It made sense that the two of them would finally open their eyes and realize that they were meant to be with each other. It was a loss to the Marines though.
After thinking, he turns to Harm, "Now… thinking about you Captain Rabb, how do you feel about greenies?"
"I know that there is a spot over at Great Lakes opening up. Overseeing the training of new recruits. It's a base with a lot of young men. You would be one of just a few higher ranked officers on the base, but it's stateside. Really, you'd be working with some high rank enlisted men to get the newbies ready for the Navy."
"What about the lawyer side of things, General?"
"Your experiences at JAG and otherwise will prove to be quite important for these younger men. Someone with your experience might also be an asset to have in the Midwest in case anything came up as well. I'm sure that the government would appreciate having someone of your caliber out there rather than having us send someone from here out to investigate something."
"You think that you could get him that position?" Mac asks, knowing that Harm would be good in a position like that, commanding young Navy men and still getting to see some legal action on the side.
"I could make a call, but I need to know for sure what both of you are planning on doing by 0500 tomorrow. You don't have long until your stuff is supposed to be headed around the world and across the continent." He says, putting his hands in his pockets and turning back into the bar.
"What do you think?" She asks.
"I don't know, Mac. This is a big decision."
"One that I might add, you wanted to decide solely by coin flip. I've made peace with resigning my commission, and here is your other option, but we have to act on it."
"You would be okay with moving to the Midwest and me overseeing new recruits? You want to give up the Corps?"
"I don't want to, but I don't want you to give up your Navy career."
"Then again, we're back at the beginning."
"No, we aren't…. Harm, I may not want to go out, but I've done my duty. I have had a great military career and I feel good about what I have done. Could I do more? Yes. Would I be okay with bowing out at the top of my game? Certainly. Now what about you?"
"I've never been in a position like that… helping with the training of new recruits."
"You did a great job helping Bud when he was new around JAG. I think you'll be great out there. The majority of it would be you teaching the teachers really. I don't know how much you'd interact with the younger enlisted men. Maybe you would though, knowing you."
"You really think so?"
"I do. So?"
"We're moving to Illinois and you're quitting the Marines?"
"Sounds perfect." She says, leaning up to kiss his cheek.
"Let's go talk to the General."