Disclaimer: Not mine, Bellisario's

Love you, pumpkin

It was the annual Halloween party at the Roberts and Mac enjoyed herself throughout. Not in the least for the company she had: Harm. Not just her colleague Harm, nor her best friend Harm. But her boyfriend Harm. They had been dating for two month now, starting shortly after the JAGathon. They had decided to go back to the beginning, building a friendship again but to her surprise, and joy, soon afterwards Harm had asked her for a date. It was what she had hoped for for years. With a smile she looked up to him while they circled the dance floor. His smile back was warm and tender en he pressed a kiss on her temple. It was perfect.
It was just over twelve o'clock. Saying her goodbyes to Harriet and Bud she walked out of the door. Harm was standing next to the car, making a phone call. Seeing her he quickly terminated the conversation and put the cell in his pocket. To Mac's opinion he made a bit of a secretive impression. What was he up to? Who could he be calling, in the middle of the night? Surely it had to be someone he had a close relationship with?
In the car he was silent. Not that she wanted to admit it, but it made Mac feel a bit uncertain. He had been nervous all day, she pondered. She had noticed the small quivering muscle besides his eye now and then and he had reacted absentmindedly to her questions, ducking answers.
Normally his silence didn't upset her, they were good in being silent together, only exchanging a look now and then, feeling the connection between them. But this was a different silence, heavy with a feel of tension. Something was brewing; she had no other word to explain it.
Her hands got sweaty, her breath became more erratic. She fought to control her panic. Maybe things had gone too well.
Somehow Harm felt her distress and looked aside. He reached out, gave her hand a small squeeze, then brought it up to his lips to press a kiss on her palm. As the red light turned green, he addressed his attention to the traffic again.
Mac felt the fear leave her. Harm could be clueless at times and rather clumsy with words but his actions were always true. Talking herself into a panic made no sense; in fact it was quite stupid, childish and very unmarinelike. But still …
When they arrived at her place and drove into the parking lot Harm honked once. Mac frowned again in surprise. He never did such a thing. It looked like he was giving someone a signal. What was he up to? After parking the car Harm walked over to her side and helped her out of the low seat. Not being the one for gallantries Mac now gladly accepted his hand. The long wide gown she wore made rising a bit more tricky than normal.
"I'll walk you to your door," Harm smiled leading her to the front door. He looked up to the building. Following his gaze Mac looked up too, just to see the curtain of a neighbour close. It only served to raise her suspicion once more; he had something up his sleeve. Worried once more she followed him in.

On first sight the elevator was dark, like the power had gone down. Then, when her eyes had adjusted, she realized there was a faint light, coming from the mine lamp someone had put in one of the corners. She smiled and turned to Harm, lifting her face to him invitingly. To her surprise he looked nervous again. She caressed his cheek and felt the tension.
"What's wrong?"
"Nothing." The answer came a bit too fast and he knew it. "Nothing is wrong," he repeated, stressing the word 'wrong'. He leaned in to give her a quick kiss. Mac, still not at ease, tried to pull him in for a deeper kiss but then they reached Mac's floor, the elevator dinged and stopped. When the doors opened Harm turned Mac around so she could exit first.
The corridor to her apartment was scarcely lit too. The top lights were out. On first sight the only light came from candles, placed on stands aside the walls.
Then she saw the pumpkins, lining the walls and standing at the end of the corridor. Each one had with a light in it, too, each one was carved. But it weren't the normal jack-o'-lanterns or scary faces. There were letters, words.
Slowly Mac walked along the corridor. Her knees felt a bit wobbly. Her fingers traced the letters carved into each pumpkin, one by one. The first said 'Sarah, the second had the letter 'I', the third sported a heart, the fourth and last one read 'Y-O-U'.
She turned around, ready to fling herself into his arms. Finally he said it. But although his smile was warmer and more loving than she ever had seen, he didn't open his arms but in stead motioned her to go on. At the end of the corridor was another side table, beautifully decorated with autumn leaves and five more pumpkins sitting on it. These ones were also carved with words and in a whispering voice she read them all, one by one, "will …. you …. marry …. me? …. Harm."
She had to make an effort not to sag and slowly turned around to face Harm once more. He wasn't on his feet anymore, in stead he was down on one knee and holding a small black velvet opened box in his hand, containing something that sparkled even in the faint light. His voice sounded hoarse.
"Sarah, I love you, I have for so long. Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"
Later Mac never could recall how she had managed to walk the few yards to him, but suddenly she found herself in his arms, clinging to him as if her life depended on it and nodding fervently, since her voice had decided to refuse duty. Finally she managed to croak "Yes, I want to be your wife."
Harm carefully removed the Marine ring from her left ring finger and replaced it with his ring, sealing the action with a kiss. "I love you so much," he whispered. She wrapped her arms around his neck. "I love you, too."

The end