Author: TR

Subject: HBX October 2008 challenge FF: Sometimes

This story is in response to the October 2008 HBX challenge. It's set during their last night in Paraguay.

I wrote it in a half hour, I hope it's readable.

All mistakes are my own.

Honest feedback is appreciated.

I don't own JAG, but if I did I would put out Harm and Mac outfits for Halloween. Masks and everything.



Mac woke with a jolt. A jolt of what she wasn't sure, but a jolt just the same. She woke reaching for someone. Who exactly she wasn't sure, but reaching just the same. When her hand encountered warm sheets, her nose detected the stale thick air of the Paraguay heat, her senses returned and she remembered who she was reaching for. She could feel him in the room, that thump in her chest, that weight in her gut. A signature that had been distinctly his since the moment they'd touched hands in the rose garden an eternity ago. It took her a minute to locate him, when she did, she knew the waves of tension rolling off of him, had been the catalyst to her waking. She could always feel it when he was stressed or hurting. Many times she'd counted on that particular gift to let her know when things were going awry with him. Her form of protection for him, even when she wasn't near to draw her sword and ward off the demons in person. She sighed, it was good to know that even in that hell hole, some things hadn't changed. Their connections, such as it was, remained in tact.

She could barely make him out sitting in a chair, his form silhouetted against the blinds on the windows. He was slumped over, his face in his hands. Slowly she shook off the fatigue, and got to her feet. He didn't look up as she approached him. This fact alone was alarming. Softly she said his name, placing her hand on his back and rubbing lightly as she did so. He winced, and that one small reaction lanced through her breaking her heart just a little bit more. They would never be what she'd hoped for for so long. She was sure of it.

"Harm," she said again, even as she attempted to remove her hand from his back. He caught her wrist as it slid over his shoulder.

"No." His voice was like gravel. "No, keep touching me. I don't remember the last time you touched me."

She nearly gaped. After the way they'd left things she'd assumed he'd written her off for good. Clearly he hadn't. And clearly he was distraught. Whatever else he may be to her, or she hoped he'd be, he was still her best friend, and if he wanted her to touch him. Touch him she would.

"You okay?" She asked, in almost a whisper. She dropped to a squat at his side, still touching him, trying to catch a glimpse of his eyes. He had them closed, then covered them with his hands.

He didn't answer, just shook his head.

"Sometimes you piss me off Mac. And sometimes you make me worry. And sometimes you make me jealous. And sometimes you make me forget my own name." He raised his head. Looked at her with glassed over gray blue marble eyes, and the emotion housed within stole her breath away. "Sometimes I lash out because I too easily forget that I need you. Sometimes even after all these years, I'm still not used to the feeling of needing another human being. And sometimes that pisses me off!"

He stood up, but didn't pace away lest her hand fall from his back. He hesitated, sat again, scrubbed his hands over his face. "I don't want to be pissed anymore Mac. Or afraid. Or jealous. Or…" He reached over and touched her wherever he could reach, on her thigh, between her knee and hip. "I don't want to hurt anymore. I don't want to hurt YOU anymore Mac. Do you get that? I'm just…" he ran his had through his hair, pulled a little. "I just don't know what to do about you!"

"What do you want to do?"

He sighed and looked away. "I want to believe you, that you don't want Webb."

He stopped her as she tried to protest.

"I know what you said. But you're good hearted enough to try not to hurt me. You went through hell with him Mac. And I know you. I know when your protective spirit ignites you can bond very quickly with the person you're protecting."

"Are you trying to throw me into his arms Harm? Is that what you want?"

"Is that a place where you want to be?"

She looked him directly in the eye. "No."

"Where do you want to be Mac?"

"Sit back and I'll show you."

Slowly he sat up straight, when his arms dropped his side, she lowered herself into his lap. "This is where I want to be. But again, is that what you want?"

"Do I want to throw you into his arms? Not a chance. But something tells me he's not going to give up. What he wants is you, I could see it in his eyes."

"Webb knows where my heart lies Harm. And…" She hesitated, wary of pouring out her heart when she still didn't know his full intentions.

"And?" He prompted.

She sighed. "And if I love you, it doesn't matter what he wants."

It was Harm's turn to gape, moments before her pulled her in close and closed his eyes. "Sometimes you're all I know." He said against her hair. "And I'm sorry for everything I said that hurt you. I just felt so...separated from you. I can always feel your presence Mac, and you were just...gone. And I didn't know what to do. It scared me to death. And I tried not to need you, but that didn't work either. You were gone. And I just want to be where you are." He lifted her chin, kissed her mouth ever so gently. "Sometimes all I know is that I want to be where you are."

Touched beyond words, she wrapped her arms around him, and kissed him on the forehead. Holding him to her, she let him feel her close, reconnect. Until she heard him whisper against her cheek, "Sometimes I forget that I love you and it makes me a little crazy, but God help me, I do love you."

He could feel her smile against his cheek. "Sometimes," she said. "That's all I need."

He turned his head and took her in, mouth, body, and soul.

End of scene? Good? Bad? Arthropluera?