Author's Note: Looking at this chapter, it is just a short filler for the next set of things that are going to happen. Just a small update to let you know that I'm still working on things at what seems to be a snail's pace. Hopefully the weekend and Thanksgiving break will help me get some writing done. Enjoy and review if you would like!
The next morning, Harm left for work and Mac had invited Jenna over for lunch to talk about what had happened those few Fridays before. Mac had been able to claim she was sick while she worked through what she wanted to tell Jenna about her situation. She remembers how easy it had been to tell Harm she was an alcoholic, meeting for the first time and letting him know about her Uncle taking her to dry out. Now, it didn't seem as easy to tell someone else.
Jenna's knock to the door, startled Mac, who was chopping setting out the salad for their lunch.
When she got to the door, Jenna greeted her with a hug and well wishes, "I'm so glad you're feeling better! I felt like I gained this awesome friend finally and then she just vanished off the face of the earth. You okay?"
"I'm fine, actually, but I wanted to talk to you about something while we ate." She says, nodding and trying to reassure her new friend.
"Are you pregnant?" Jenna asks with an eyebrow raised and a glance to Mac's stomach.
The word slammed her for a minute and she forced herself to realize that when someone of child bearing age claims to have a stomach bug for a few weeks, one would come to that conclusion. She takes a few deep breaths and sighs, but remembers that the other woman knew nothing of what had happened before, so she smiles and shakes her head to the negative.
"Okay, then what's up?" she says, sitting down at the table while Mac sits across from her.
"Why don't we eat first?" Mac suggests, but can tell that Jenna senses something bigger is at work here.
"Why don't you talk to me now, because I'm going to worry the whole time we're eating if you don't."
"I'm an alcoholic." She blurts out, much like she did when she and Harm worked that first case together. She figured that it worked out fine then, so why not use the same tactic now.
"I know. I actually started slipping that night we went out to dinner after working on the house. It was right after the hospital and-"
"Oh my God, I was the one who suggested the wine… Sarah, why didn't you tell me! I was so stupid." She says, interrupting and Mac can tell that she's upset with the revelation.
"No, you weren't. Usually it isn't a problem for me. Harm used to drink around me all the time, as did all our friends. I just… it was that day that you took me to the hospital. I hadn't known that I was pregnant and I had been told a little over a year ago that I probably wouldn't be able to conceive. I was around six weeks pregnant and was miscarrying the day Matt came to move the furniture in. The whole situation shook me more that I thought it would, and with Harm gone, I didn't have anyone that I could really talk to. I turned to the drinking that night and regretted it. Then someone called to follow up on how I was doing, and I realized that I needed the peace that the drink would give me. It sort of spiraled out of control and when Harm came home I was keeping it hidden pretty well."
"Until the night you came over and I mentioned the wine." She says, going through all the times that they had shared a cocktail while Harm was gone and she had come over to the house to help Mac with something.
Mac nods, "he figured it out then and we had to leave. I'm sorry about that."
"Now, I'm going on one week and five days of sobriety and Harm and I are working through everything that happened."
"What do you need from me?" Jenna asks in the very matter of fact way that Mac has come to appreciate her for, much like the way Harriet used to deal with things.
"I just need a friend. My only other close girlfriend is back in D.C. and I couldn't call her about this. They all know about the past drinking, but they don't know about the miscarriage and what happened after that."
"I can do that." Jenna says with a confident nod.
"Jenna, I totally understand if you go running for the hills with this. You just met me and this was a lot to unload to you. It is also totally unlike me to do this…so I'm clearly in need of a girlfriend here."
"Well, you are in luck that I just happen to be needing a friend as badly as you do."
"You're really okay?" Mac asks, knowing that this was a lot for a new friend to take on.
"Are you going to tell me when something is too much?"
"And are you going to let me know when you need something and Harm can't be that person?"
"Then we're good." She says, pulling the napkin from its ring and placing it on her lap before serving herself some salad like it was any other lunch date. "and let's eat!"
Mac just smiles and thinks of Harriet and how she probably would have said the same things to her if she were here. It was a rocky start to a friendship, but good.
"So, can I ask you something?" Jenna starts as the two get into their meal.
"It's about the pregnancy and everything, so if you don't want to talk about it, you don't have to."
She takes a breath before answering, "I need to learn how to talk through it, so ask me what you want. I'll tell you if I need to stop for a minute."
"Why did they think you couldn't conceive?"
"I have endometriosis and my scarring is apparently pretty bad. When another doctor saw me after I miscarried though, she seems to think that since I was able to conceive on my own once, that I can possibly do it again."
"So are you guys going to try for it?" She asks, picking at her salad.
"We are, but we're talking through our other stuff with someone and I'm going to meetings now. Harm and I both agreed that we want to have a good foundation before we start on that route."
"From what you told me about your relationship, you guys had an excellent foundation."
"As friends, we do. As more than that, we still need work."
Jenna nods and continues eating her food, growing quiet after her question to Mac. After a few minutes, Mac notices the silence as being more uncomfortable than normal and notices the picking at the salad.
"The whole thing is too much for you, isn't it?" she asks, and the other woman looks up.
"No, it… it isn't. It really isn't. I ummm… we said we'd be honest with each other, right?"
"I can't have kids… that's why I asked you about why you couldn't conceive. I thought we would be able to commiserate that one together." Jenna says with a half-hearted smirk in Mac's direction. "I had to have a hysterectomy about three years ago, right before I met Matt. They originally thought that it was endometriosis like you, but it was just a bad case of fibroid tumors. No matter how hard they tried when I was younger, they kept coming back and they kept becoming more and more painful until I couldn't deal with it any more."
"Is that something you guys wanted?" Mac asks, hesitating before doing so because she thought it might be too much for Jenna as well.
"We talked about it when we were dating and he had said that he was more than okay if we wanted to adopt. After he said it, I broke up with him and told him that he deserved something better than me."
"And obviously that didn't stick."
"The next day, he showed up at my apartment with a ring and told me that I wasn't going to be able to get rid of him that easily because he had already fallen too in love with me for anything else to stick."
"Do you ever think about the guys we married? I know Harm and I had our issues, but I can actually feel how much he loves me when he looks at me… and Matt… that is the grandest romantic gesture I've ever heard."
"Most women would kill us for both of them." Jenna says, agreeing with Mac's assessment.
"I'm a former Marine, so I've got your back."
"Good to know." She replies, articulating the statement by point her fork at the former Marine in question.
"Okay, so what are your thoughts now? Are you going to think about adopting?" Mac asks, getting back to their original topic of discussion.
"I do want it. Now that I'm a bit older and settled with a great man, I want a family."
"Go for it then."
"What about you guys?"
"Harm and I made a deal three years into our relationship that we would go halves on a baby. We were standing on the steps of JAG watching our best friends get loaded into an ambulance after having our Godson A.J. Harm was leaving to go back to a squadron and I was feeling bad about everyone leaving for better things. He was the one who suggested it, and I just remember thinking that we were crazy. So we said that five years down the road, if neither of us were in a relationship, we would make it happen."
"Why does that not surprise me?" she asks, shaking her head at the marvel of their relationship just having met the pair,"…And five years later?"
"Five years later, a week before our Godson's birthday, was when I found out about the endometriosis and the chances of conceiving. Harm brought up our deal not knowing about the diagnosis, and then when I told him, I had thought it just changed everything. Then he started talking about fertility drugs and procedures and adoption. He said that he didn't care how it happened as long as it happened between the two of us."
"You didn't happen though."
"I turned him down." Mac says, throwing up her hands as if to say that she didn't believe it herself.
"Ah, well that is why we're in counseling… I have no idea. I do, but I really don't know why. Now that we've gotten married and we talked more about it, we're going to try the natural way and then definitely work toward adoption if it doesn't happen in the next two years."
"Sounds like a plan for you."
"And what about you?" Mac says, reaching across the table to cover her friend's hand.
"I feel like I'm ready for it, but I don't know."
"So look into it and see what you're thinking then. It is a long process anyways, and there are lots of things that you guys will have to talk about through that process. You'll figure out if it's right for you then."
"You really think so?"
"Well, if you're my only friend, then I wouldn't mind another kid around mine whenever I get him or her."
"Thanks." She says with a laugh.
When they look back years later, Mac knows that they'll smile about the conversation they had at lunch that afternoon. In fact she is pretty sure that taking it day by day the way they are doing right now is going to work out for the best anyways. She and Harm had made it this far… made it into this life without being blown up, shot, drowned, or any other way in which the two of them cheated death. She was sure that they would be able to survive moving to the suburbs and being a married couple.