"Trying to leave without saying goodbye, Sir?" Harm hooked his office door with his foot and let it slam shut. He turned to face Meg, who was leaning back leisurely in his chair. Smeared across her face was a grin that captured his heart. It was also so very smug.
"Leaving JAG to be a top gun, Sir?" she questioned the grin never faltering. "Meg…" Harm said, "I would never leave without saying goodbye." Harm smiled right back at her, only this time it was more forced. "I hope not, Sir, I don't take very well to being forgotten." Harm glared at Meg, "Forgotten, Meg?" Meg's smile was giant by now. "Well you see Sir, if you didn't say goodbye you would be either avoiding me or have forgotten, Sir." Meg's façade cracked a little bit. Harm glimpsed a sad young woman.
Meg was tough. Meg always smiled, brightened up his small world. "Meg…you ok with me going?" Meg's face fell a little. "What do you mean, Sir?" He hated leaving her. Her Texan accent was getting stronger, a clear indication she was upset. Harm opted for glaring at her in mock annoyance. "You know exactly what I mean Meg".
Meg stood from Harm's chair, leaving it swinging in her absence. "Goodbye Harm." It came out barley a whisper, but he heard it. And it killed him to hear the pain in her voice too. In an instant Harm made up his mind, she needed him. Maybe she didn't need him exactly, but someone.
"Come here Meg; you can't without a hug, Lieutenant." He opened his arms towards her. Meg hesitated for a moment, and then stepped into his embrace. Meg wrapped her arms around him and hesitantly clung to the back of his shirt. They both stood there for a long time. Eventually Meg relaxed, her shoulders loosened. Then Meg started shaking. Harm felt the wet patch that was growing steadily on his shoulder. He hugged her, creating a moment of safety for both of them before he left for an uncertain fate.
Meg had assured herself that she would be strong, when the goodbyes were said she could go home and cry. Cry by herself; in bed, for hours, and without embarrassing herself at work. So much for that plan of action, here she was acting like a little girl crying into a boy's shoulder. No wonder they didn't want woman in combat.
"Meg?" Harm questioned. He didn't break the embrace; instead he loosened it to allow Meg to escape. "Damn you Harm", Meg spoke into his shirt. "I'm gonna miss you, Sir." The words were muffled in his shirt, but Harm heard them. He gave her one last squeeze and stepped out of the embrace. Reluctantly Meg released him. Nervously she stepped back. Her eyes were swollen with tears, which hadn't ceased, and her face had gone all blotchy and red. All in all she was a mess.
"This isn't goodbye Meg. We'll keep in contact when we can." Harm assured her. Meg stared at her feet. She pulled herself together. "That won't be necessary, Sir." Harm grimaced. Meg wasn't going to accept help if it killed her. "It's a promise Meg, and you know I…", they both finished the sentence, "never break a promise". It was a tender moment, similar to the many that had taken place over their partnership. She was going to let him go, it was the right thing to do. Meg didn't want Harm to wait for her; she wanted him to be happy. Even though theirs it wouldn't be that kind of relationship.
"Don't make a promise you can't keep. You have a plane to catch, enjoy your time in the sky", Meg looked at Harm, "live your dream flyboy, farewell." She walked away from him, knowing he would do exactly as she said, Harm would live his dreams.