Title: After Paraguay

Author: MacGateFan

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Harm and Mac deal with the fallout from Paraguay as well as their feelings for each other. Will they be able to communicate or is it too late?

Disclaimers: JAG and all related characters belong to Donald P. Bellisario and others who aren't me.


Harm was still shell shocked from everything that happened in Paraguay. He was angry at himself for treating Mac the way he did but he was just as angry at her. Maybe she was right maybe it would never work for them. Harm just knew he always had trouble dealing with emotions.

Mac was the first person he had ever loved since Diane and Harm had to wonder if that was the reason for his inability to admit the love he had for the Marine. He wasn't proud of that, in fact, he thought he had made peace with it after that kiss on the pier the night Mac wore Harriet's uniform.

Obviously not.

So Harm decided that the minute he stepped off the elevator and into the bullpen, he was going to schedule a dinner date with Mac no matter what she believed regarding their relationship and to ask for her forgiveness for being so stupid.

Mac was his best friend and he didn't think he could stand it if she never wanted to speak to him. She hoped that wasn't what she meant by saying 'never'. He could live with her never being in love with him, but never wanting to be his friend again… he'd die.

"Commander!" Bud said. "Welcome back. The Admiral would like to see you in his office. The Colonel's in there already."

"Thanks, Bud."

Harm left his cover with his friend and knocked on the door, entering when the Admiral told him to do so. He stood at attention and Chegwidden said, "At ease, Commander."

He wasn't certain, but the Admiral's demeanor seemed cold towards him. Harm took it in stride, though. After all resigning his commission and then coming back probably made his CO's head spin, especially since this would be the third time Harm has done that.

Harm knew that even if the Admiral were pissed about his decision, the older man would reinstate him and give him the grunt work for a month or so. Harm would be just fine with that as long as Mac was alive.

The Admiral was asking Mac how she was doing and she replied that she was ready to get back to work. Suddenly he was looking at Harm. "Commander, your papers have been filed and your resignation is official."

Harm's heart skipped a beat. He waited a minute before responding, not sure if he was joking or not. Mac beat him to it. "Sir…"

"Colonel?"

Harm wanted to tell her leave it alone, that it had been his decision to resign. He knew full well it was possible the Admiral would have filed his resignation. Grant it, he had hoped he wouldn't, but it happened and there wasn't much he could do about it.

"Sir, Harm has resigned before, I have resigned before, but you never put the paperwork through."

He nodded. "Exactly, Colonel, and that is why I did. The Commander is not a team player. He's tried my patience one too many times and frankly, I'm sick of it!" The Admiral paused, looking at Harm. He never backed down. "Dismissed!"

"Aye Aye, Sir!" She said.

Harm caught her eye as they left the office, but he didn't say a word. Instead he went to collect his things. He stood staring at his desk, which was already packed up from when he'd been incarcerated for Singer's death. He stood there a minute and wondered if he would do it again even knowing how Mac acted down there, how he acted. The only thing he would change was how he acted. He hated being an ass and that's how he was.

With a sigh, he picked up the box and went out the door, nearly bumping into Sturgis. "Harm?"

"I'm out."

"Excuse me?"

"It's probably for the best," Harm told his friend.

He took one last look at Mac's office the doors and blinds were shut, and left the bullpen. Once he got outside that's when it really hit him. He was never going to walk through those doors again. He would never be with Mac.

Harm had arrived home to hear his phone ringing. He was able to answer it just before the machine picked up. "Harm, honey, how are you?"

"Hey, Mom," He replied, putting a smile into his voice. "I'm good, how about you and Frank?"

"We're fine. I wanted to see if you would be up for a visit. Frank has a conference in DC starting this Thursday and I would love an excuse to see you. Not that I need one, of course, I am your mother after all."

Harm laughed. "Of course I'd love to see you. In fact, I have the next few days off."

"Sweetheart you don't have to cancel any plans because we're coming," Trish told him.

"I wasn't doing anything special," Harm said. "I was thinking of taking Sarah up, but that's it. Maybe you'd like to join me."

"Oh heavens no, those small planes make me sick to my stomach. I'm sure Frank would love to join you, though, if he has time."

"Sounds good, Mom. What time will you be getting in?"

"Noon. I can't wait to see you, Harm."

"Me too."

Once he hung up Harm felt guilty for not telling her what happened. He knew his mother would be upset with the fact that he threw away his naval career especially considering the outcome and despite the fact that he couldn't just leave Mac behind.

He also had a feeling that Trisha Burnett knew that something was upsetting her son even though he didn't tell her. Harm knew his mother had a sixth sense about these things. There wasn't anything he could do about it now, besides Harm really wouldn't mind some TLC from his mother.

Sighing, Harm went up to remove his uniform. As he tossed it into the happen he became acutely aware that from now on Harmon Rabb would no longer be referred to as 'Commander' and that made it all the worse.


Harm's eyes snapped open at the sound of someone at his front door. He glanced at the clock 1500. He hadn't realized he'd fallen asleep. Getting up and answering the door, he was surprised to see Sturgis standing there holding a six pack of beer. "Shouldn't you be at work?"

"Nice to see you too, Harm," Sturgis replied. "Mind if I come in before I answer that?"

Harm stepped aside. "So, what brings you here?"

Instead of answering the question, Sturgis just looked at him, shaking his head. "You look like crap."

"Wow, I think that's the best thing someone's said to me all day," Harm answered with a chuckle.

Sturgis nodded as the two men sat down on the couch, each taking a beer with them. "Harm, you brought this on yourself."

"I know I did and I would do it again, it's just that…"

"What?"

"I think I seriously misjudged Mac's feelings for me," Harm explained. "And I need to admit here that I was an ass. I also need to add that I don't want you choosing sides here, okay? You're Mac's friend too."

Sturgis frowned. "What is this all about, Harm? Maybe if I hear your side and then talk to Mac I could help the two of you resolve it?"

Harm wasn't sure but he was willing to give it a chance. Sturgis was well known for calling Harm out on his shit and this was definitely some shit the former naval officer stepped into. "Okay, but please let me get this all out before you pass judgment on me. There's a lot to tell you and I'm afraid if I stop I won't continue."

"Fair enough, buddy," Sturgis said. "Take your time."

Harm took a deep breath before he began. He told Sturgis of his meeting with Hardy and finding Gunny down there. He explained that the two of them were the only ones willing to rescue Mac and Webb. "I saw them taking Mac to a small shack. When I was finally able to get to her they had just been about to torture her."

The memories of Mac on that table slammed into him full force. The fear in her eyes, the fact that she didn't say one word to him as he untied her from the table. The moment they were outside she went immediately to Webb.

"It didn't bother me at first, I mean the man had been tortured within an inch of his life," Harm told him. "But then… then he started talking about how he enjoyed pretending they were married. Mac said she did too and kissed him."

Harm shook his head. He decided to skip the plane crash and blowing up the weapons Saddiq had stolen. "By the time we got back to the hotel Mac and I were not in the right frame of mind for any sort of discussion. That didn't stop us from tossing zingers at one another. It was pretty bad.

"When Webb returned it all went downhill. For some reason I still hadn't told Mac I resigned my commission to find her. When Gunny mentioned she was pissed I didn't. She asked me why and I told her she should know.

"Again, not in the right frame of mind, I know, but it just made everything worse. As we were heading to the airport Mac told me it was never going to work."

Since Harm seemed to end it there, Sturgis spoke up. "Never as in a romantic relationship or your friendship?"

"I'm hoping for neither, but I don't know."

Sturgis nodded. "Well, my friend, I hate to say it but you're right. You both treated the other pretty bad. Do you have any insight as to why you acted the way you did? As you said, neither of you were in the right frame of mind, but is there something holding you back from actually telling her how you feel?"

"I was hoping not, but I came to a realization today that it might be Diane," Harm said, almost in a whisper.

"Diane Schonke?" At Harm's nod he continued. "I thought you dealt with that three years ago when you found out who killed her."

"I thought I had too and I know that Diane wasn't the one I was kissing on that pier."


It was Thursday and Harm was heading to the airport to pick up his mom and Frank. After his talk with Sturgis he felt a little better. His friend had promised to try and spend some time with Mac, maybe get her to open a bit. He hoped she would see it as an opportunity to save one of the greatest friendships (at least) they ever had.

When he saw his mom, every intention of being the strong son went out the window. He held it in as he gave her a hug, knowing that he had to get Frank to the Willard Hotel first. Harm knew they could tell something was wrong, but they just chatted amicably about Trisha's gallery and what Frank was expecting at the convention.

Once they had been checked in and Frank was signing in for the convention, Harm and his mom were alone in the hotel room. She finally couldn't leave it alone anymore and made him sit down on the bed. Trisha sat beside him and held his hands in hers.

"What's wrong, sweetheart?"

Before Harm could stop himself he was telling her everything, even a few things that she hadn't heard about, which included the fact that he had been framed for murder. He was a little surprised she hadn't heard that one because it was all over the news. Finally he told her about Paraguay.

"Mom, I need you to understand something," he said. At her nod, he continued. "Since the Admiral wouldn't give me leave or send me down there TAD the only thing I could was resign my commission. He wasn't even going to send anyone down to find her! He was a Goddamn Seal and he left her behind! I couldn't do the same, Mom, I couldn't! I… love her!"

Harm's eyes widened at his admission. He had never said the words out loud and now that he did it felt as if a weight had been lifted. Was that all it took? He didn't know. All he knew was that his mother wasn't speaking so he delivered the final blow.

"The Admiral had processed my resignation by the time we got back. He said I wasn't a team player."

When Trisha finally looked up at Harm, tears were in her eyes, but she was smiling. He wondered why she could be doing that since he pretty much told her he threw his life away. Trisha placed her hands on his face and spoke.

"Harm, I'm proud of you for finally admitting that you're in love with Sarah, and I'm proud of you for going after her. It shows how much you love her that you gave up everything."

Harm smiled sadly. "Thanks mom, but I don't think she saw it that way."

Trisha stood up and she shook her head. "Harmon Rabb, don't be such a sourpuss, of course she did!"

"Mom, she said it would never work."

"What?"

"Never is a long time," Harm said. "I love her and it's too late. I waited too long! I should have said it in Australia. I should have said it on the Admiral's porch. I should have said it the night Brumby left, but I didn't. This is my fault."

Harm, who had tried so very hard not to cry about any of this, who was the strong one in family, lost it. Trisha immediately pulled him into her arms. "It's going to be okay, sweetheart," she told him. "You'll get through this, I promise."


Life at JAG HQ had returned to a somewhat normal state, at least that's what most people said. Most people weren't Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie. It was hard to concentrate on anything when all she could think about was Paraguay and a certain former naval commander who gave up everything to find her.

He still never told her why he did that. True she had asked him, but all Harm would say was that she should know why. Mac tried to wrack her brain but all she could come up with was the fact that she was his best friend. It wasn't like he ever admitted anything else to her. Harm and emotions go together as well as oil and water.

She was pulled from her thoughts when there was a knock at the door. Mac looked up to see Sturgis standing there. "Hey, Mac."

"Hey."

"How does it feel to be back?"

"Good, thanks," Mac replied. At least that was the truth. Despite the foul mood Admiral Chegwidden was in and the fact that Harm was no longer there, she was very happy to be back at JAG. "How are you doing?"

Sturgis smiled. "I'm doing well. I was wondering if you would like to join me for dinner tonight."

She was a little surprised and Mac wondered if this had anything to do with Harm. She shook her head of those thoughts. Sturgis was not a manipulative person. "Sure that sounds nice."

"Great! 1930 at Nora's?"

"See you then!"

Mac arrived at the restaurant with time to spare. She was a bit surprised since she had stopped at home to get changed, not feeling like being in uniform. Looking around she saw that Sturgis already had a table. She smiled as she sat down across from him. "Well don't you look lovely," Sturgis said.

She laughed. "Thank you. Sometimes I like to go out without having people stare at me in my uniform."

"I know what you mean." The waitress came to get their drink order and then they were alone again. "How are you doing, Mac?"

She had a feeling the question wasn't in regards to the day, but Paraguay. Mac took a deep breath. "Okay, I guess. I've been having nightmares but spending time with Clay seems to help."

Sturgis was a bit surprised at that despite the fact Harm mentioned the two had gotten a bit closer. "Really? How's he doing after everything?"

"He should be back to work on Monday."

"That's good to hear… Mac, I want you to know that I'm here for you too. I mean, if you ever want to talk about what happened," Sturgis said.

She smiled. "Thank you, I really appreciate that. I usually go to Harm…" Mac's smile faded as she trailed off.

Sturgis took her hand. "I'm going to say something, but I want you to listen before you respond, okay?"

"Okay."

"I spoke to Harm a few days ago and he told me everything that happened. I told him, since I'm a friend to you both, that I would hear both sides and maybe help you to resolve whatever problems you might have."

Mac stared at him in silence. She didn't know whether to be pissed at him or hug him. True Sturgis was just trying to be nice, but she couldn't help but wonder if maybe Harm put him up to this. "Are you saying you thought of this on your own?"

Sturgis frowned. "Are you saying you think Harm put me up to this? Mac, no! I told him I wanted to help the two of you. He probably doesn't even know I'm meeting you for dinner tonight."

"I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't mean to accuse of you anything. Okay, I'll talk to you, but not until we've ordered because I'm starving!"

He chuckled. "Yes, Ma'am!"

Once the food arrived Mac launched into the story. Sturgis noted that they were virtually the same. There were a few differences just from being from Mac's point of view now. "I know it probably wasn't a good idea, but I thought he was going to die so I… flirted with him a bit. I told him I enjoyed being married to him and gave him a kiss.

"Harm and I stole a plane from a farmer after Gunny went off with Webb to find a hospital. We were still trying to locate the missiles. Unfortunately we were shot down. I… sort of teased Harm about it and I may have upset him. He was meaner than usual but I think that was from his head injury. He mentioned something about blurred vision."

That was definitely news the Sturgis. Harm never mentioned anything about the plane or the fact that he crashed it. He probably would have teased Harm too so his friend didn't mention it. Mac went on to tell him about the fact that they were baiting one another and saying stupid things.

"When Gunny mentioned Harm had resigned I was pissed. Not because he had but because he didn't tell me. Why would he do such a stupid thing? Of course I never got an answer except that I "should know". What the hell does that even mean? I can't read his mind!"

Sturgis nodded. "He never said what that meant?"

"No, so I told him that it could never work."

"What could never work?"

"Us."

"Relationship wise or friendship wise?"

Mac gave him a look. "Why are you giving me the third degree, Sturgis?"

"I'm just trying to understand is all," he explained. "Look, Mac, everything you told me is what Harm told me. He left out the part about the plane crash, but he did mention the two of you were bickering and saying mean things to each other. He told me—"

"That's enough, Sturgis! I knew he put you up to this!" Mac stood up, throwing her napkin to the table. "If you would kindly refrain from speaking to me about this ever again I would appreciate it."


Early Friday morning Harm had an interview with the CIA. Apparently they wanted him to fly missions, pick up their agents and make drops. Harm was a bit hesitant but he figured that he needed the job and it wasn't like he had much going for him right now anyway so he accepted the job.

Now he was bringing Frank and his mom to the airfield where Sarah was kept. Frank wanted to go flying Trisha wanted to watch. She didn't say but Harm had a feeling she wanted to see him doing something he enjoyed.

Harm hadn't been there for a while and was surprised to see the airfield was now owned by Grace Aviation. He went over to the young girl who was sitting at a desk doing paperwork. "Hi!" She said with a smile.

"Hi! I'm here to take my Steerman up," he explained. "Harmon Rabb."

She nodded. "Mathilda Grace. My mom owns the company."

"Nice to meet you."

"You too! Need some help getting her out?"

"No thanks, I've got someone with me."

"Cool. Have fun!"

Harm nodded and waved Frank over. The two quickly got her out and as Harm did the pre-flight checks he could feel his mom's eyes on him. When she turned to face her, she walked over to him. "What's wrong? You look like someone kicked your puppy."

"I was all ready to fly, but I just remembered the first time I took Mac up."

Trisha nodded. Harm had told her about that. "When you called me and said you were almost killed by psychotic poachers I didn't know if I should believe you." She gave him a hug. "That was mostly a good memory, sweetheart. Go flying."

Harm smiled, kissing her cheek. "I love you, mom."

"I love you too."

Harm felt all his worries and concerns melt off him as he flew. He could hear Frank laughing in the front cockpit. "Having fun?" he shouted.

"Definitely. I think the last time I flew with you, all you did was fly in straight line, worried you'd drop out of the cockpit."

Harm laughed. "Yeah."

The two men were enjoying their flight when Harm started feeling really dizzy. A sharp pain assailed him and he was shouting at Frank to take the stick. "Harm?" He called out. "Harm, are you okay, son?"

"My head… Frank you need to land for me."

It was a good thing Frank knew how to fly. He immediately took control and began radioing to explain their situation. His mom was going to freak out! Harm laid his head back with his eyes closed. He wasn't sure what was happening but it felt like someone was hammering his skull.

Harm was so out of it he didn't even realize they'd landed. Frank reached over and took off his goggles. "Harm, can you hear me?"

"Frank, what's…?"

"Take it easy, okay? We're going to get you to a hospital."

The last thing he heard was his mom calling his name.


Mac rushed into the emergency room. She was almost surprised Harm still had her name listed as next of kin, but then realized he probably never had time to change it even if he wanted to. She was about to ask the woman at the desk about him when she saw Trisha and Frank.

She immediately went over to them. "Mrs. Burnett," Mac said.

"Oh, Sarah!"

"I didn't know the two of you were in town. I'm listed as next of kin for Harm," She explained.

Trisha nodded with a smile. "Yes, that was my suggestion actually."

"Have you heard from the doctor yet?"

"Unfortunately not," Frank replied. But no sooner did he say that, the doctor appeared looking for Harm's family. "That's us."

"Hello, I'm Doctor David Overton. We've completed our scans and learned that your son has developed a subdural hematoma. That's when there is an increase in pressure that happens when blood collects in the space between the skull and the brain. The bleeding is usually caused by torn veins in the brain following a head injury."

Trisha frowned. "Sarah, do you know if Harm hit his head?"

Mac was suddenly transported back to Paraguay after the plane crash. He kept brushing it off and was now wondering if Harm had even gone to see a doctor at all. She wasn't with him to convince him like she normally did.

"He did, but that was almost a week ago, wouldn't it be immediate? At the time he complained of blurred vision and was dizzy," Mac said. "I'm not sure if he ever had it checked out."

The doctor nodded. "It can be, but sometimes, if the bleeding is minimal, symptoms may not develop for weeks. Even after the bleeding has stopped and the blood has clotted, fluid from surrounding tissues can be absorbed into the space, slowly increasing the pressure within the skull."

"What can be done?" Frank asked.

"We're going to go in and drain the blood, but there's something you should all know. There is a possibility he could slip into a coma."

Trisha gasped a hand to her mouth. "Would he come out of it?"

"He may not," the doctor admitted.

Mac stood there trying to take it all in. Maybe she should have listened to Sturgis; maybe she should have gone to see Harm. She knew she should have at least made certain he saw a doctor, but of course she didn't. Instead she ignored him and pushed him out of her life.

"Sarah." Mac looked up to see Frank looking down at her in concern. She smiled even though it didn't reach her eyes. "Come and have a seat. The doctor said he would take us to see Harm for a few minutes before surgery."

"No, I…" She wasn't sure she should see him, not the way she'd been acting. Mac then thought that this could be the last time she did see him if he woke up or not.

Suddenly Trisha was standing beside her and gave her a hug. "Dear, Harm told me a little about what happened between the two of you on assignment." She smiled at Mac's startled look. "Well, what little he was allowed. I know that you both said some pretty hurtful things to one another but don't let that keep you from seeing him. I can tell you love him just as much as he loves you.

"I'm not happy that he's lying in a hospital bed or that he has to have surgery, but I think this what you needed to see how much you love him," Trisha told her.

Mac sighed, closing her eyes. When she opened them Trisha was still there holding onto her. "I don't know who was worse. I just know that I've felt ill since then and I don't know how to make it right. Sturgis tried to help but I just pushed him away like I've been pushing Harm away. I guess I'm a little scared."

"Harm is too. I think he's scared to fully love you because of your resemblance to Diane," she explained. "Oh you should have heard him when he called me and said he'd been partnered with her double! And then again the day he found her killer and you dressed up in that uniform. Harm even said he wasn't sure who he was kissing at first. I think he knows now."

Frank got their attention. "They're letting us see him now."

Trisha nodded and took Mac's hand when she saw the younger woman wasn't going with them. "Sarah, I insist you come and speak to him. I truly believe he'll hear you."

"Okay," she said quietly.

Mac stood to the side to allow Trisha and Frank some privacy. A moment later she was standing next to Harm holding his hand. She bent down to place a kiss on his forehead and spoke into his ear. "Harm, its Mac. I'm sorry for how we left things. I didn't mean 'never'. I guess I'm just a little scared to love someone again. My past experiences aren't good examples. I love you; Harm and I think you love me and might be scared to say so too. I'll be ready to talk about it when you wake up."


Mac sat at her desk staring at the file in front of her. She wasn't reading it, though. It had been two days since Harm slipped into a coma and that was all she could think about. So far she only told Sturgis but she said she wanted to be the one to tell Bud and Harriet when they arrived.

She took a deep breath when there was a knock at the door. "Come in," Mac said.

"Colonel, Commander Turner said you wanted to speak to us."

"Yes, Bud," she replied. "Shut the door please."

Mac saw Harriet's eyes widened. "Is something wrong? Are you feeling okay?"

"Something is wrong, but it's not me. Harm was admitted to the hospital a couple days ago. He's in a coma," Mac told them.

Harriet had to sit down and Bud placed a hand on her shoulder before saying anything. "How did it happen?"

"When Harm and I were in Paraguay we borrowed a plane from a local farmer. We took some fire and crashed in the woods. Harm hit his head and was unconscious for a good 25 minutes. He complained of blurred vision, but never said anything after that.

"I never made certain he got to see a doctor and everything happened pretty fast over there," Mac explained. "He lost consciousness and was brought to the emergency room in Blacksburg, Virginia. He… he had some bleeding in his brain they had to drain and never woke up from the procedure."

Bud took a breath before replying, "Did they say when he'd wake up?"

Mac shook her head. "They don't even know if he will."


The mood at JAG was depressing to say the least. Admiral Chegwidden could say one thing about his staff and that was they didn't allow it to interfere with their work. He wouldn't begrudge them their feelings though. In fact the Admiral felt the same way.

It had already been a month and a half since Harm slipped into a coma and despite their differences that man was like a son to the Admiral. Besides it would be rude not to check on Trish and Frank Burnett while they were waiting for him to wake up. "Petty Officer Coates!"

"Yes, Sir?"

"Cancel my afternoon appointments," he told her. "I won't be back in until tomorrow morning unless it's an emergency."

She smiled, knowing exactly where he was going. "Aye, Sir!"

Admiral Chegwidden arrived at Bethesda with three real cups of coffee and some bagels. He found Trish and Frank sitting in the waiting room, but there was no sign of Mac. "Admiral Chegwidden!" Trish said, standing up.

"Mrs. Burnett, I'm sorry for not coming to visit sooner," he replied shaking their hands.

"Nonsense, you're here now!"

He smiled. "I am and I brought some food. I know the cafeteria here leaves something to be desired."

Frank nodded accepting the bag. "Thank you, we really appreciate it. Sarah's in with Harm now, but I'm sure she wouldn't mind if you go in as well."

Once he did he felt like an intruder. Mac was holding onto Harm's hand for dear life and tears were streaming down her face. "I know we both said some pretty awful things to one another in Paraguay and I'm sorry for my part. I didn't mean it, Harm. I was angry and frustrated and I took it out on you… on us. I love you and I want to be with you forever! I want you to wake up so badly. I don't want our last words to be hurtful. God, Harm, please!"

Chegwidden was about to take a step back when Mac gasped. Instead he moved closer. "Mac…"

"Admiral!" She exclaimed in surprise. She recovered quickly though. "Sir, he just squeezed my hand!"

"Keep talking to him then!"

"Harm, it's time to wake up now. You've been asleep for too long. Come on let me see those beautiful eyes. Please!"

The Admiral wanted to jump up and down with excitement when Harm's eyes opened. Instead he left to find a nurse and Harm's parents. All three returned with him rather quickly. Trish and Frank went to stand behind Mac as the nurse went to the other side. "Mr. Rabb, can you hear me, Sir?"

"Yeah," he replied, voice barely above a whisper. "What… where am I?"

"You're at Bethesda, Harm," Mac told him.

Harm was completely confused. The last thing he remembered was flying Sarah with Frank. "What happened?"

Frank explained how Harm experienced a headache while flying. The older man was able to land and the owner of the hanger called for an ambulance. Harm nodded, still a bit out of it. He glanced over at Mac.

"I'm guessing everything went okay in Paraguay. When did you get back?"

Mac was staring at him in stunned silence. Harm wasn't sure why she looked like she'd been smacked. Looking up at the Admiral, he saw the man had the same expression on his face. Before he could get any answers, though, the doctor arrived.

"Mr. Rabb, it's good to see you awake," the man said. "I'm Captain Overton. On a scale of 1-10 how's the pain in your head."

Harm thought for a minute. "About a six," he replied.

Overton nodded. "That's to be expected. The injury you received in your plane crash a few weeks ago is the cause of this. I was told you never sought medical help, but honestly, even if you had they may not have caught it. Sometimes when these bleeders happen they can be so tiny that it's missed even with scans."

"Captain," Mac spoke up. "He doesn't remember anything from the past two weeks."

"Oh. Having trouble remembering anything else, Mr. Rabb?"

Harm's eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "I didn't realize I had forgotten anything at all!"

"Sweetheart," Trish said. "You went to Paraguay to find Sarah. Don't you remember?"

"No, mom, and how do you know about that? It's classified!"

Trish glanced behind her at the Admiral, who nodded. Frank followed the naval officer out into the hall. "Doctor, do you mind if I speak to my son for a moment?"

"Not at all, Mrs. Burnett. I'll send the nurse in with some dinner."

"Thank you." Mac was about to leave but Trish caught her arm. "You should stay, dear."

Harm looked at Trish then at Mac. "Mom, what's going on?"

"Harm, we're going to give you a cliff notes version of events. I don't want to overwhelm you with everything just yet, okay?" Trish told him.

"Yeah."

Mac took a deep breath. "I did go to Paraguay with Webb. You weren't happy about it. When I didn't come back right away you went to the Admiral to see what you could do to come and find me. He wouldn't grant you any leave or assign you for a so-called investigation. Harm, you resigned your commission."

"I did?"

"Yes, you did," Mac said. "I asked you why and you said I should know."

Harm thought for a moment and although he didn't remember resigning he did know why he would do something like that. "Go ahead."

"You saved me, Harm. You saved Webb too. We borrowed a plane from a farmer and were shot down. You were unconscious for a while. We also… had some difficulty communicating and I thought you had gone to see a doctor when we got home. I would have made you if I knew you hadn't gone."

He wondered what Mac meant by difficulty communicating. For now he would leave it alone and hoped it would come back to him. If it didn't in a few days he'd ask her about it. "Okay so we came home in one piece then, right?"

"Right."

"Mac, what aren't you telling me?"

Harm watched the looks that were exchanged between Trish and Mac. His mom placed a hand on her shoulder and told him herself. "Harm, the Admiral processed your resignation. You're no longer in the Navy."

Okay he really wasn't expecting that! Certainly deep down he knew the Admiral was supposed to do that, but he didn't the last time he resigned. He didn't when Mac resigned. What the hell made him do it this time?

"Wow," was all he could really say at this point. Now his head was aching more and he was getting sleepy. He didn't want to talk about any of this anymore. "I… think I'm going to get some sleep."

Trish sighed and Harm knew she wasn't too pleased about him hiding his feelings about the situation. "Harm."

"Please, mom, not now. You said you were telling me a cliff notes version and this was overwhelming enough as it is. I just need some time to process everything you both just told me."

"Okay, dear," she replied, giving him a kiss. "We'll be back in the morning."


"How did he take it?" Frank asked when Trish and Mac appeared.

Trish shook her head. "Not well. Even the less overwhelming version overwhelmed him. I think it hit him hard when I told him his resignation was processed although he didn't seem to mind the fact that he did it to find Sarah."

Frank smiled. "No, I didn't expect he would."

"Are you two sure?" Mac asked still not completely convinced.

"Dear, why do you think Harm always had something to say about the men you were dating? It wasn't because he was being protective. It was because he loved you and he just couldn't express that. He was jealous."

"I had wondered about the two of you," The Admiral said.

Mac turned to face him. "Sir?"

He smirked. "I wondered how long it would take you to admit to one another how you feel. Harm may not have admitted it to you but he was telling me how he felt when he resigned."

"We still haven't, Admiral. And when he remembers what I said to him the night we left Paraguay he won't admit anything," Mac said.

Before anyone could respond, she walked away.


Harm was feeling a little better the next morning. He was tired but his head didn't ache as much as it did earlier. He was also starting to remember bits and pieces of Paraguay. They weren't pleasant memories and he was still trying to figure out why Mac was there visiting him.

He hadn't admitted to anyone that he heard her talking to him while he was in the coma. Was she just saying all that because she felt guilty and she thought he was going to die? Did she think he needed to hear that in case he never woke up again?

Harm smiled when his mom entered but it quickly faded when another memory assailed him. One that made him realize Mac had to be feeling guilty. She was in love with Webb and after he saved her she went straight to him and began kissing him. Mac never said one word to Harm until she had to.

"Harm, dear, are you okay?" Trish asked a hand on his shoulder.

"Yeah, mom, just remembering."

She put his overnight bag on floor and sat down. "What have you remembered?"

"What an ass I was."

Trish chuckled. "Well, at least you can admit that. From what you told me, though, Mac wasn't very nice either."

"No, we were both stupid. And I… mom I gave up everything for her and while I would do it again in a second…"

"Harm, Sarah knows that you gave up everything and she loves you even more for that!"

He stared at Trish. What was she saying? "She certainly has a funny way of showing it, mom! She completely ignored me and went straight to Webb. She was kissing him and telling him how much she enjoyed pretending they were married. What would you think if you saw that?"

"Probably the same thing you did, honey, but you have to remember something. They had been through a lot together. You said so yourself. It's only natural they formed a closer bond. And did you ever stop to think that Mr. Webb loves Sarah whether or not she returns those feelings?"

Harm understood going through a lot with someone. He'd been through a lot with Mac in Russia and she was there every step of the way. He loved her more than life itself, more than the Navy. He took a deep breath before answering. "I did, mom, and that's why I didn't tell Mac that I resigned for her. If she's in love with Webb I'm not going to ruin her happiness. I love her too much to do that."

Trish's face grew red as she stood up. Harm had no idea what was going on. This last time she turned that shade he was being yelled at for driving her car without a license. "Harmon Rabb, are you really that blind? Are you that scared? Don't you think you're just as worthy of being loved as Sarah? As Clayton Webb? Why are you denying everything right in front of you?"

Harm just shook his head. She was right he was being stupid about everything. He never even gave Mac a chance to tell him how she felt. He owed her that much at least. Smiling he said, "Thanks, mom! I think I needed to hear that."

"That's why I'm here, sweetheart," Trish replied. "I spoke with your nurse. She said the doctor may release you tomorrow as long as your scans are good. Are you still experiencing headaches?"

"Yeah, but they're not as bad as they were yesterday."

Harm was quiet again as he thought about everything. He wondered where Mac was and suddenly he remembered what she said to him as they were getting into the cab.

Never.

He wondered if he had missed his chance. Even if his mom was right, and Mac did love him, she said it was never going to happen. If he thought about this anymore it was going to give him another headache.


Mac was originally going to visit Harm after work. She had planned on it yesterday evening before she left the hospital, but now she decided against it. She was exhausted emotionally with everything that happened between the two of them. She wasn't going to play the game anymore.

Harm had no intention of telling her why he really went down to Paraguay. Certainly, with anyone else, his actions would be obvious, but Mac needed to hear the words! She wanted to hear the words. Part of the reason she'd been with Dalton and Mic and Webb were that they not only showed her how much they loved her, but they told her every day. That was just the way she was and nothing was going to change.

Mac was making tea when there was a knock at her door. She opened it to see Webb standing there smiling. When he saw that she was wearing sweats he frowned. "Did you forget about something?"

"Oh my God we had reservations tonight, didn't we?" Mac asked rubbing her forehead. "I'm sorry, Clay. I had a long day and I completely forgot!"

He nodded when she let him in. "I'm sure you were busy visiting with Rabb. I heard you've been hanging around there a lot."

Mac took a deep breath before responding. She didn't want to fight about this. "I have been, yes. Just because I was angry at him doesn't mean I'm not going to be there for him or his family. He's still my friend."

"I'm sorry," Webb said, pulling her into a hug. "I didn't mean anything by it. I just… I've been having a rough time sleeping without you."

She accepted his hug but knew there was truth in what he was saying. Yes she was hanging around there a lot and not just because Harm was her friend… her best friend. She really was in love with him. Mac pulled away when she realized what she was thinking. "Clay, I think…"

"What is it, Sarah?"

Mac took a deep breath, tears in her eyes. "I think you may have been right."

"About what?" he asked shakily.

She had a feeling he knew what she was going to say. "I love you, but only as a friend. I hate that I'm saying this to you especially after everything you've been through, but I can't live a lie."

"But in Paraguay, the last few weeks here… Sarah, you said you loved me."

Mac had to turn away she couldn't look him in the eye. "I'm sorry, Clay. I'm in love with Harm. I have been for a long time but we've been pushing each other away and now… now I need to tell him. I need him to know."

"Wow," Webb breathed out. "Honestly I can't believe it took you this long to figure it all out. I thought that maybe we could work out. I really thought you felt the same way because of what you said and did. I guess I was the stupid one."

"Clay…"

"No, Sarah. This is for the best right? I want you to be happy and if it's not with me then there's not much I can do about it but let you go," he said, going to the door. He turned to face her. "I do love you, Sarah, and I always will. Goodbye."

"Goodbye, Clay."

Mac stood there for a few minutes. She was broken from her reverie by the teapot going off. With a sigh she went into the kitchen.


Harm ended up being discharged a few days later than he anticipated. He hadn't complained the whole time he was there though and he thought his mom would have been worried, but she never said a word about it.

Harm followed Trish into his apartment. He was so happy to be home. Frank was already there making lunch. "I thought you were heading back home," Harm said, shaking his stepfather's hand.

"Well when you own the plane you can come and go as you please," he replied.

He was about to respond when the phone rang. "I haven't even been here for ten minutes," Harm said with a shake of his head. He also wondered who could even be calling him. "Rabb."

"Mr. Rabb, this Director Kershaw's office. He would like to see you tomorrow morning at nine am. Are you available?"

"Yeah, I'll be there," Harm replied.

"Have a good evening."

Harm hung up the phone and joined Trish and Frank at the table. "Everything okay?" Trish asked.

"Everything's good. Let's eat!"

Early the next morning Harm got up and headed out to CIA Headquarters. Trish and Frank were going to leave after he returned. Once he arrived he was immediately ushered into the Director's office. He was a little surprised to see Webb there.

"Mr. Rabb," Kershaw said, shaking his hand. "How are you feeling?"

He nodded. "Much better, thank you. Webb."

"Harm."

"What's this about?" he asked when he was offered a seat.

Kershaw glanced over at Webb then looked back at Harm. "I'm afraid I won't be able to use you after all, Mr. Rabb."

Harm stared at him before replying. "Are you… why is that?"

"Honestly? You're a liability. I know I offered you a job with us, but there are still a few people above even me who have decided you won't work out here."

He had a feeling Webb had something to do with this, but Harm didn't say so. "Well, I guess there isn't anything I can say to make you change your minds."

"I'm afraid not," Kershaw replied. "Good luck, Mr. Rabb."

Harm stood up and with a nod left the office. He was walking down the hall in a state of shock. He couldn't believe he'd been fired before he even had a chance to be assigned on a case. He was so lost in thought that he didn't hear someone calling his name.

He nearly jumped when he felt a hand on his arm. "Catherine!"

"Hey," she said with a smile. "I was hoping I'd catch you before you left."

"You did! How's your mom doing?"

Catherine shook her head. "Much better, but I was going to ask how you were doing."

Harm sighed. "Well I guess I can't really complain, can I?"

"After everything you've been through, I can honestly say you are allowed to complain."

"Even if I'm the reason all this crap has been happening to me?"

"If we can't vent about the stupid things we've done in our lives," Catherine said, "especially to our friends, then how are we going to forgive ourselves for it?"

Harm laughed. "Well, I can't argue with that logic."

"Can I meet you for dinner tomorrow night? My treat."

"Sure, sounds great!"


Harm sat back with a satisfied grin. "Wow! I think that was the best veggie lasagna I've had in a long time!"

"I knew you'd enjoy it!" Catherine replied. She nervously took a sip of her iced tea before looking back up at him. "There's something I think you should know, but I honestly don't know how to tell you."

"What is it?" he asked in concern.

She bit her bottom lip. "I'm sorry, but I don't think I should tell you here."

"Let's go to my place," he told her.

Harm requested the check and soon he was helping Catherine with her coat as they headed outside. He didn't see Bud and Harriet watching in confusion as they left. Upon arrival at his apartment, Harm asked Catherine if she wanted any coffee. "No, thanks, Harm. The doctor said I should steer clear of that, especially at night."

He nodded and invited her to sit down. "Okay, now tell me what was so important."

Catherine took a deep breath before she spoke up. "It was Webb."

"What are you saying?"

"He's the one who convinced Kershaw to fire you."

Harm couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Are you sure, Catherine? I mean I know that Webb and I can get into heated arguments but I don't think he'd go so far as to have me fired!"

"I'm sure, Harm," she told him. "I… over heard him talking with another agent. He was upset that Colonel Mackenzie broke things off with him. He said it was your fault because she loves you."

He sat there taking in what Catherine just told him. So everyone around him was either telling him Mac loved him or screwing him over. Everything was so messed up that Harm didn't even know what to say to Catherine.

She stood up and gave him a hug. "I know this is a lot to take in and I'm sure you're tired. Just remember that my door is always open if you need a friend to talk to, okay?"

"Yeah, thanks Catherine."

Even though he was tired he never got up from the couch and he never went to bed. He sat up all night thinking about what Catherine told him. That and the fact that he was out of a job again because of someone he thought was his friend.

"This has got to be, without a doubt, the worst year I've had in a while," Harm muttered to himself.


"Harriet, what are you doing?"

She glanced at her husband. "What do you think I'm doing, Bud? I'm going to check on Colonel Mackenzie!"

"No! I mean, I don't think she wants to talk about Commander… Harm right now."

"That's not what I was going to ask her about!" Harriet said. "She broke up with Mr. Webb."

"Oh. She did?"

Harriet shook her head. "I love you, Bud, but sometimes you're oblivious," she replied heading over to Mac's office and knocking on the door.

"Come in."

"Colonel?"

Mac looked up. "Yes, Harriet?"

Suddenly Harriet became flustered. "Ma'am, I was just… I mean… are you doing okay?"

She smiled. "Yes, Harriet, I'm okay. Thank you for asking."

"Okay. I'm just making sure because last night Bud and I saw Commander—I mean, Harm with Ms. Gale and I know you and Mr. Webb… I'm sorry this isn't helping anything I'm sure."

"Harriet, breath! I have no clue what you're talking about."

"You… you don't? You didn't know about Harm and… and…?"

Mac shook her head. "No, I didn't. I haven't spoken to Harm since he was released from the hospital."

Harriet was beyond confused now. Colonel Mackenzie was no longer seeing Mr. Webb and everyone knew she was in love with Harm. And now he was dating Catherine Gale. She took a breath and sighed. "Well, I'm just going to keep my mouth shut from now on!"

She turned and left nearly bumping into her husband. "Harriet?" he said when he saw the tears in her eyes.

"I blew it!"


Mac stared after Harriet. So Harm must have remembered what she said in Paraguay or he wouldn't be dating Catherine. Either that or he doesn't remember that he loves her. Well it looked as if Webb's wish for her to be happy wasn't coming true anytime soon.

There was another knock at the door and Mac was surprised to see that it was Catherine. "Ms. Gale," she said. "Please come in."

"Colonel, I won't be long but there's something I need to talk to you about."

Mac held up her hand. "I already know. I just wish Harm would have told me about it sooner. I won't get in the way; I just want him to be happy."

"What do you think I'm talking about?" she asked. "I don't think he's going to be happy right now because he was just fired from the CIA."

"What? When did that happen? He just got out of the hospital a few days ago! He hasn't even been able on a mission!"

Catherine nodded. "I know. And I know why he was fired. I told him about it yesterday when we had dinner."

"Why?"

"Clayton Webb."

Mac was stunned. "You can't be serious! Clay would never do that to anyone!"

"I wish that were true, but I overheard him telling someone about it myself. Harm is a good friend of mine and I thought he had a right to know. You're his best friend and the woman he loves and you were dating Webb. That's why I'm telling you because I know he won't."

"Wait, I'm the one he loves?" she asked. "I thought you and Harm…"

She chuckled. "I know we were "married" and he is a great kisser but no, we're not together."


After some serious thought Harm called Mac. He was unable to reach her at work or at home. He left her a message to call him as soon as she got in, telling her it was important he talk with her. It would be the next day when he found out from Sturgis that she was investigating a missing crew member aboard the Seahawk.

Harm turned into the airfield and turned off his car with a sigh. What he wouldn't give to be on a carrier again whether it was flying a Tomcat or for an investigation. He got out of the car and headed to the hanger where Mattie Grace, his boss, was waiting for him.

In the last few weeks Harm had gotten to know her pretty well. He was shocked to find out that Mattie's parents weren't around. Her mother died in a car accident that her father was responsible for because he'd been drinking.

Her mother had bequeathed her their home and Grace Aviation in her will. Unfortunately Mattie's father was nowhere to be found. He was most likely drunk and sleeping it off anywhere but their home. Mattie wasn't even going to school.

Harm soon came to care for the young girl and didn't think she should be left alone. Mattie seemed to be fond of him as well and trusted him implicitly. Their bond was so strong that Harm told her he would do everything he could to become her legal guardian. Mattie readily accepted.

"Hey Harm!" Mattie said with a grin. "How are you?"

"Pretty good now that I'm about to take a ride."

Mattie frowned. "You haven't heard from Colonel Mackenzie yet have you?"

"It's a bit scary how well you already know me," Harm said shaking his head.

"I can tell how much you love her just by the way you talk about her," Mattie explained. "My mom used to talk about my dad that way until he started drinking. I know she still loved him even while he did it. That was why she tried so hard to get him help."

Harm was about to reply when he saw Mattie's eyes widen. Turning he saw Admiral Chegwidden walking over to them. He knew she was about to say something she shouldn't. "Mattie!" he warned.

The young girl nodded and went into the office. "Admiral," Harm said, turning to face his former boss.

"Harm, how are you doing?"

"I've been better."

The Admiral watched him as if waiting for Harm to say more. When he didn't, he spoke up again. "I'd like to talk to you about possibly coming back to the Navy and JAG."

"Really? I thought I wasn't a team player."

"Harm," The Admiral said, "I want to apologize for that and for officially turning in your resignation. I never realized it before, or maybe I did but I didn't want to admit it, but you're the heart of JAG. Everything just seems to fall apart without you there. We just learned that Commander Imes doesn't even have a law degree and now we have to retry her cases. We're swamped and could really use the help."

Harm glanced into the office to see Mattie duck her head pretty fast. He knew she was listening. "I'll let you know in a few days, Admiral," he told him.

"Thank you."

He watched him leave and Harm shook his head. He was so tempted to accept now and get his life back, but he couldn't. Not just yet. He would have to let the Admiral sweat for a while. And he wanted to talk to Mattie. Harm went over to the office and leaned against the doorframe, arms crossed. "So how much of that did you hear?"

"All of it," Mattie replied not looking up. Harm swore he heard hear sniffing and placed a hand on her shoulder. "What?"

He wiped the tears from her eyes. "Why are you crying?"

"You're leaving aren't you? You're gonna go back to that job where they don't respect you. You're gonna go back to working for Admiral Annoying."

Harm sighed. "Mattie, even if I do go back that doesn't mean I'm going to leave you hanging. I gave you my word and we've already started the process for me to become your legal guardian. I don't go back on my promises."

Mattie nodded. "Well, you could right now and I'll understand."

"No Mattie. Not now, not ever!"

She smiled. "Thanks Harm."


Mac returned home after being on the Seahawk for a week, getting home on Wednesday. Apparently the missing Lieutenant decided he wanted to live in Venice, Italy for the rest of his life so he went AWOL. It made her mad that she went all the way out there just to find him living large as a gondolier!

She reached over to turn on the light only to find the power was out. "Damn it!" she muttered turning on the small flashlight on her keychain. It took a minute but she found the fuse box and flipped the switches.

Glancing at her answering machine Mac hoped that she hadn't missed any important calls. She shrugged there wasn't much she could do about that now. Right now she could worry about having a nice hot bath and a good night's sleep.

By the time Monday rolled around Mac was ready for another week of work. Hopefully she wouldn't be assigned anything too difficult. She just felt exhausted and was half tempted to take a few days off. That was probably why the Admiral told her to take off Thursday and Friday. She probably wouldn't be allowed to take off for a few months with them having to retry all of Carolyn Imes' cases.

She had just put her briefcase down when Sturgis appeared at her door. "Good morning, Mac."

Mac smiled. "Good morning."

"You look rested!"

"After the week I had, I needed it!" she replied. "Not only did I have to investigate that AWOL sailor, when I got home my electricity had been out. I was expecting an important phone call and if it came I wouldn't know because my messages had been erased."

Sturgis frowned. "Oh shit."

"Sturgis?" Mac asked surprised at his language. "What's wrong?"

"Harm told me he called you Wednesday night and left a message. I told him you were out of town but would be back by Friday. I saw him on Sunday and he said you never called. I think he's starting to think your 'never' is coming true."

Mac groaned, putting her head on her desk. "Oh shit!"


Harm was scheduled to return to JAG on Wednesday and the final hearing for custody was Friday. He was relieved when Mattie's dad said he wouldn't attempt to stop them. Mattie seemed to be as well. She said maybe one day she would be able to make peace with him and what happened but it wasn't going to happen in the near future.

Now the two were at the Air and Space Museum, Harm's favorite place to unwind. Mattie was just as fascinated as Harm was when he first went. She asked him all sorts of questions and he saw she was very fluent with aspects of physics.

"I love figuring out how planes fly." She paused glancing at a Tomcat they were passing by. Mattie took Harm's hand in hers. "I know you miss it."

He blinked. "What?"

"Flying, being in the Navy. I know I've been kind of a brat about you going back. I'm just mad at everyone who hurt you."

"Thanks Mattie, but I wasn't that innocent in this whole thing either," Harm reminded her.

She nodded. "I know."

He could tell she was thinking about more than just being mad at his friends. Harm squeezed her hand. "What else is on your mind?"

"Well, I was wondering… do you think I have a chance at becoming a pilot? For the Navy of course!"

"I do!" he replied, giving her a hug. "I think you'd be a great naval aviator."

Mattie grinned. "Naval aviator. I like the sound of that!"

As the two left the museum Harm saw someone he didn't think he would ever see again. "Mac," he breathed.

"Harm?"

"It's Mac."

The two stood silently as Mac walked over to them. Mattie reached up to give him a kiss. "I'll be over there checking out those planes."

Harm smiled. "Thanks!"

Just as she walked away Mac was there. She watched Mattie then looked at Harm. "Who's that?"

"Mattie, but we can talk about her later," Harm said. "I left you a few messages, but stopped when Sturgis said you were on the Seahawk. He told me yesterday that your power went out so you didn't get any of them."

She nodded. "Yes, but that's no excuse for ignoring you after you woke up from that coma."

"Well I have been an ass so I'm not surprised," Harm said with a slight chuckle.

They went to sit down on a nearby bench. "You weren't the only one," Mac replied. "Harm there's a lot we need to talk about."

"I know, Mac. Maybe we just need to say what we're really thinking and stop talking in riddles. Maybe we need to stop assuming we know what the other is thinking. Maybe we need to listen to each other before jumping to conclusions. And maybe we need to ask questions if we're uncertain about what's being said."

Mac smiled. "You pretty much said everything I was thinking right there."

Harm glanced over at Mattie. "I… have to get her home soon. Do you want to come over for dinner tonight?"

"That sounds good. Do you need me to bring anything?"

"No, just yourself. 1930?"

"I'll be there."


As Mac drove to Harm's she thought about the young girl who was with him. She had never seen her before and she wondered who she was. Mac shook her head. Right now she had to worry about her relationship with Harm before asking about Mattie.

Mac took several deep breaths as she pulled up in front of the apartment and got out of the car. She could do this. She used to do it a lot. Having dinner with Harm, going over cases, and sometimes just having dinner without work in the way.

She was excited to have him back in the office come Wednesday. In truth Mac was excited with the prospect of having her best friend in her life again. She only hoped it could be more than that. Although with Harm coming back to JAG would they even be able to pursue a relationship?

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it!" she said to herself and knocked on the door.

Harm opened the door with a grin. "Come on in, Mac! Dinner is just about ready!"

Mac sniffed the air. If there was one thing besides flying that Harm could it was cook. She always liked to tease him about opening a restaurant. "Smells great!"

The two talked about Carolyn's cases while they ate, preferring to leave the heavier topics until they were finished. Once they had and the dishes were cleaned they moved over to the couch. Harm took a breath and told her to start.

"I'm sorry for the way I acted in Paraguay. I said some pretty harsh words to you and when I got into that taxi I just wanted to smack myself! I never even thanked you for saving our lives! All I did was berate every idea you had and get pissed off if you wouldn't let me do the planning.

"I'm sorry for not realizing the meaning behind you resigning your commission to come and find me. Harm, you gave up everything for me! Clay told me you risk your life constantly for people whether you know them or not and while that's true, you don't give up everything you hold dear for them. That's what you did for me and I repaid you by saying no when I wanted to say yes!"

Mac saw Harm's jaw drop as she waited for him to respond. She allowed him to gather his thoughts and when he finally did he said, "I should apologize for the way I acted too, Mac. I wasn't any nicer than you were. I think we're even on those grounds. And I don't care that you didn't say thanks because what matters most was that you were alive.

"I also should have told you that I resigned my commission and not let Gunny blurt it out. When I saw you with Webb I think my jealousy got the better of me. I guess I just thought that if you didn't feel the same as I did then you didn't need to know I resigned for you. Wow I can't believe how stupid that sounds out loud."

She chuckled. "Both our explanations sound pretty stupid."

"Mac, I did want you to say yes and I'm saying it now. I know I should have said it sooner. I don't want to live in the past or deal in what ifs anymore. I only want you. I love you, Sarah Mackenzie."

Mac's heart leaped into her throat. She had been longing to hear this from him forever. "I only want you, Harm. I love you too!"

Harm leaned in for a kiss and Mac readily moved closer. Nine years of pent up feelings came through in that kiss and they finally broke away if only to breathe. "I knew I loved you when you followed me to Russia."

"I knew I loved you when Harriet told me you never drink alcohol in front of me."

"What?" Harm asked. "I don't? And when did she tell you that?"

She shook her head. "Well not when we're having dinner together or when we're at Bud and Harriet's for dinner. She told me that just after we came home from Russia actually."

"But I could have sworn I've had a beer in front of you before."

"You have but you ask me if it's okay before you do," Mac replied with a smile.

Harm kissed her on the lips. "Well, I must be a pretty nice guy to do something like that."

"Yeah, I think you're okay," she said lying back in his arms. Mac finally felt it was time to ask about the young girl in Harm's life. "Who's Mattie?"

Harm was quiet for a minute. "Mattie is the owner of Grace Aviation where I keep Sarah. Her mom was the original owner but she died in a car accident. Mattie's dad was driving, he'd been drunk. I've known Mattie for almost two months now and I'm… we'll I'm filing with the court to become her guardian."

"What?" Mac was about to ask him all sorts of questions like did he know what he was doing and was he ready for such a responsibility as a teenager, but she refrained. She could see the seriousness on his face and she knew he would have thought this through. "All this time and you never mentioned it to me?"

"Well that's why I was part of the reason I was calling you, Mac. If you want to be with me you'd have to accept that Mattie will be a part of my life. I know you don't know her but I also know that you'll get along great. I'd like you to meet her tomorrow after work."

Mac nodded. "Okay! I'd love to meet Mattie!"


After dinner Harm and Mattie dropped Mac off at her apartment where she invited them in for coffee and tea. It seemed that the two women in Harm's life were hitting it off really well. They were enjoying each other's company when there was a knock at the door.

Mac went to answer it and was surprised to see Webb standing there. She could tell that he was a bit drunk as he came inside uninvited. "I need to talk to you!" he said. Webb stopped short when he saw Harm standing there. "I should have known."

"Harm?" Mattie said, standing up and grabbing his arm. Mac could tell she knew what was going on especially after experiencing this with her father.

Harm smiled reassuringly at her before taking a step closer to Webb. "Hey, maybe you should go home and sleep it off," he suggested.

"Oh sure, just get rid of the pathetic ex-boyfriend! Sarah doesn't love you, Harm! She's incapable of love. All she can do is lie about it because she thinks you're dying."

"Clay…"

He turned quickly and glared at her. "No, Sarah! You had you're say and now it's my turn!"

Harm made sure Mattie remained near the couch as he placed a hand on Webb's shoulder. "I think you should go before you say something you're going regret. Mac is your friend and I know you don't want to hurt her."

"Of course I don't want to hurt her!" Webb exclaimed gesturing wildly. "I love her, Harm, and I wasn't afraid to tell her! Well I guess it's better if you are afraid because then she ends up loving you all the more doesn't she?"

Mac took a step towards Webb and suddenly he was swinging. Harm jumped in front of her then fell to the ground with Webb's punch. "Harm!" She looked up at Webb. "I want you to get the hell out of her right now, Clay!"

"Sarah, I…I'm sorry."

Once he was gone she knelt beside Harm who was sitting up. His nose was bleeding and a small bruise had formed under his right eye. Mattie rushed over. "Oh my God, Harm are you okay?"

"Yeah, yeah. I'm just surprised he could hit so hard in his condition."

Mac and Mattie helped him over to the couch. "Mac, where are the washcloths, I'll go get one."

Realizing Mattie was giving them a minute to talk she told her. Mattie left them alone and held Harm's hand. "I'm sorry."

"What are you apologizing for, you didn't hit me!"

"I know but I'm the reason he did."

Harm shook his head. "That's bullshit and you know it! Webb can make up his own mind. Something tells me he wasn't as wasted as he was pretending to be. He probably knew we'd be together and wanted to hit me so he'd feel better."

"I guess you're right," she replied.

"I'm right? Get me a pen I have got to write down that you said I was right!"

Mac laughed. "If anyone asks I'll just deny it."

"Well there's one thing you can't deny."

"And what's that?"

"How much I love you!"


Harm's first days back were pretty low key. He mostly just worked on the cases he had versus Carolyn while preparing for the custody hearing for Mattie. It was finally Friday and he was pacing back and forth as they waited for the judge's ruling.

He glanced over at Mac who was chatting away with Mattie and smiled. What Mac said in there, he really believed the judge would rule in his favor. Mac's words echoed in his mind, "Your honor, I've given a lot of thought to the kind of man I would want as the father of my children. Commander Rabb is that man."

Harm was so lost in thought that he almost didn't hear the bailiff call them back into the court room. They all filed in and stood as the judge entered. He glanced at his friends. He would never be able to repay them for all the support they'd given him and Mattie.

"Commander Rabb, Ms. Grace. I've listened to the testimony and, with the consent of Thomas Johnson, I hear by grant Commander Harmon Rabb full custody of Mathilda Grace. There will be a six month probationary period to see how Mattie is doing. Congratulations to you both. Case dismissed, court is adjourned!"

Mattie laughed and launched herself into Harm's arms. "Thank you," she told him.

"You're welcome," Harm replied with a smile.

Bud and Harriet appeared behind them and Mattie turned around as Harm felt a hand slip into his. "Hey Sailor!"

"Hey," he replied, giving her a hug. "Thank you, Mac. That was… I don't even know what to say! I really…" He shook his head.

Mac laughed. "Wow! A speechless Harmon Rabb! I never thought I'd see the day!"

"Very funny, Marine!"


It was three months later when Harm received a call he'd been dreading. He sat in his office staring into space. He was so lost in thought that he didn't hear Mac knocking at the door. He didn't even hear her when she called his name several times.

Harm finally realized she was there when she placed a hand on his shoulder. "Mac, when did you come in?"

She frowned. "I've been trying to get your attention for the past five minutes. Are you okay? You're awfully pale."

"Mac, I… I just got a phone call from Judge Mason."

"That's the woman who was in charge of Mattie's custody hearing. What did she need?"

Harm swallowed around the lump in his throat before replying. "She said Mattie's grandparents have come forward for custody."

"What?" Mac asked. "I thought they were dead!"

"Her mother's parents are. Tom's parents, however, are still alive. She hasn't seen them since she was about six though. Apparently they happened to get in touch with Tom and he told them what happened. The judge doesn't think I'll have much of a problem with this, but we have to be prepared for the worst."

Mac didn't like the sound of that. "The worst as in we could lose Mattie."

"Yeah," Harm said running a hand through his hair. "The only reason I can think of as to why they want custody of Mattie is for what her mom left her, the home and the business. I mean I'd like to think they really care for her and want to be in her life of course."

"I know, Harm. Everything is going to work out, you'll see," Mac told him with a smile.

Harm stood up and pulled her into a hug. "Thanks, Mac."


The next morning Harm took a half day off work to pick Mattie up from school and take a look at a few houses. He asked Mac to join them and since her court session was in recess until the morning she did. He was nervous as the two went upstairs to check out the master bedroom.

Harm was nervous because he had something burning a hole in his pocket. Before he left work that day he spoke with Admiral Chegwidden. While the older man had known Harm and Mac were together he never said a word since they were very professional about it.

The Admiral listened as Harm explained that he wanted to propose to Mac and wanted to know the implications of them being married. With being in the same chain of command they wouldn't be able to work together anymore.

Apparently the Admiral had a solution for them, and after speaking with the SECNAV, had been given approval to send Mac to the judiciary side since while Harm would take over her duties as Chief of Staff. Of course this was all dependent on Mac's answer to his question.

As he waited, listening to them exclaiming with wonder, Harm thought back to when he told Mattie about her grandparents. Her eyes widened with fear but it quickly dissipated. The freak out he was expecting never came. Instead she smiled, gave him a hug and told him that it was all going to work out.

He had a feeling that Mac might have spoken to her before him.

"Oh my God, Harm!" Mattie shouted as she bounded down the stairs. "This place is awesome! Chloe's gonna love it!"

Harm smiled remembering when Mac had put the two teenagers in touch. They hit it off through phone calls, e-mails, and text messages without even meeting each other. He wasn't surprised, though, both girls were very outgoing.

"Where's Mac?"

Mattie winked at him. Harm had told her what he was planning. "She's up in the master bedroom drooling over the walk-in closet. I'll be in the backyard."

Once she was gone, Harm took a deep breath and went upstairs to find Mac.


Mac was looking out the back window and watching Mattie run around the yard excitedly. She had grown on her just as fast as Chloe had. Mac could tell the young girl was partly responsible for the change that had come over Harm.

He never really needed a change Mac knew that, he just needed a push to help him learn how to show his emotions. He needed someone to help him realize that it wasn't a weakness to show them.

Mac leaned back when Harm came up from behind, wrapping his arms around her. "Hey beautiful," he said. "So, I've been thinking. You have a good career, right?"

"Yeah, I think so," she replied with a grin.

"You definitely have a good man!"

"Without a doubt!"

"I'm guessing that closet would be large enough for comfortable shoes," he added.

Mac laughed. "Lots and lots of them!"

Harm nodded and turned her to face him. He was suddenly on one knee and opening a small box. "Sarah Mackenzie, you are my best friend. You've always been there for me and I was an idiot to wait so long. I would be the luckiest man on Earth if you were to marry me!"

Mac was staring at the gorgeous, yet simple ring, but what really got her attention was small note written on the inside lid of the box: Because you're my best friend.

Tears formed in her eyes as she nodded and squeaked out a "Yes!"

Harm immediately stood up and slipped the ring on her finger. A moment later he gave her the most amazing and breathtaking kiss she had ever received. When they finally pulled apart for air Mac suddenly realized something.

"What about JAG?"

"Well, I sort of talk to the Admiral about this already…"

Mac's eyebrow rose. "Oh really."

"Yeah," Harm replied. "As long as you go to the judiciary side we can both still work there. You may travel a bit more though and I'd become Chief of Staff."

"You've thought of everything, haven't you, Sailor?"

Harm nodded. "We've had enough delays in our lives so I thought I'd try to get a jump start on this portion of it."

"Good idea, Sailor!"

Harm kissed her again. "I love you, Sarah."

"I love you too."


Harm was a little surprised at the demeanor of Brian and Ellie Johnson. From what the judge told him they were insistent on becoming Mattie's guardians yet as they sat before them, Harm realized the two just wanted her to be happy.

"Mattie," Ellie began, "we didn't stop coming over because we didn't want to, we stopped because Tom wouldn't let us anywhere near you. I don't know what went wrong with my son but once he started drinking he wasn't going to stop for anyone."

The young girl glanced at Harm, who nodded. "That's what mom told me. I just… well I'm happier than I've been in a long time, you know ever since mom died. Harm and Sarah have been great and I love them both. "

Brian nodded. "Sweetheart, we have no intention of taking you away from them. We spoke to the judge and we told her to keep the ruling as it is. We would, however, love to get to know you if you're interested."

"I am!" Mattie replied with a grin.

"Mattie is a wonderful young woman," Harm told them. "She's taught me a lot and I know she has her heart set on going to college."

She laughed. "Well, I was thinking more along the lines of the Naval Academy."

Harm looked at her and when he looked up at Mac he actually had tears in his eyes. "Really? What happened to business school?"

"I want to be like my dad," Mattie told him. "I want to be an aviator."

Before Harm could reply there was a loud bang and everyone turned to see Tom Johnson in the doorway waving a gun. Harm immediately stood to protect his family. He could see security guards out in the hall, weapons raised. Without turning, Tom used his foot to kick the door shut.

He looked at each one of them, his eyes stopping on his daughter. "Mattie, why don't you come with me now, honey? I'll take good care of you and we'll be a family again."

"Now son," Brian said, taking a step closer. "You know as well as I do that Mattie can't live with you when you're like this. You don't want to hurt her, do you?"

"So what then? This guy gets her instead? He gets her love, he gets her laughter? Well what the hell do I get?"

Mattie took a deep breath and answered, ignoring Harm's protest on moving in front of him. "I didn't want this anymore than you did, but you gave me no choice. I was living on my own for six months! Six months! I never knew if you were alive or dead! I can't live like that anymore. I'm going to live in a place where I know someone is going to be there for me, where someone is going to love me!"

"That doesn't mean you can be a part of her life, Tom," Harm added, taking Mattie's hand. "It will be up to her if she does want to see you, but I won't stand in your way. Your parents are going to be a part of her life, why not you?"


Mac wasn't sure what struck a chord, Mattie's words or Harm's, but suddenly Tom was rushing towards them. Harm shoved the young girl behind him and moved to tackle Tom. She jumped at the sound of a loud bang and the two men fell to the ground, Harm on top. Neither was moving.

"Harm!" Mattie exclaimed, rushing to his side. She looked up to see Mac kneeling on the other side. "He's not moving."

Mac took a deep breath before responding. "Call 911!" she exclaimed. Ellie gently helped Mattie to her feet as Brian helped Mac to turn Harm onto his back. She remembered hearing he had been an EMT. There were no visible signs of injury.

"Oh crap," Brian muttered.

"What is it?" she asked, heart beating wildly in her chest. Mac followed his gaze to Harm's chest. There was no blood that she could see but there was a bullet hole. It was just beneath his heart. With shaking hands she unbuttoned his jacket.

"It doesn't seem to have nicked an artery," Brian was saying, relief evident in his voice. "That's why you're not seeing a lot of blood."

Mac didn't know what to say. All she could do was stare at Harm's face willing him to open his eyes. She was studying him so intently that she didn't hear the ambulance outside the building or the fact that security had already taken Tom Johnson away.

She reluctantly stepped away as Brian explained to them what happened. She stood next to Mattie holding onto the young girl tightly. Mac blinked when Brian was standing in front of her. "Do you want to ride with him?"

"Yes," she replied. "Yes, I do."

"Can I go too?" Mattie asked, voice cracking.

Brian glanced back at one of the EMTs who nodded. "You can sweetheart. We'll follow right behind okay? Everything is going to be all right."

Mac smiled and the two followed Harm out into the hall. They had just gotten settled in the ambulance when one of the men spoke up. "He's waking up! Commander, can you hear me?"

"What… Mattie… Mac?"

"They're fine, Commander," he said. "They're right here."

The man moved aside so Harm could see them. "Good," he said then lost consciousness again.


Harm slowly woke up to the sound of beeping. He looked around with heavy lidded eyes to see Mac and Mattie sound asleep on either side of him. He wanted to stay awake but he was just too exhausted and drifted back to sleep.

When he woke again, there was a woman next to him checking over the beeping machine. She smiled when she turned and saw him awake. "Welcome back, Commander," she said. "I'm Lieutenant Missy Jansen, Sir, and I'm your nurse this evening."

He nodded. "Water?" he asked.

Missy poured some into a plastic up with a straw and Harm drank it greedily. He was so thirsty. "Take it easy, sir, your lungs are bit strained."

"What happened?"

"Your doctor is down the hall doing rounds," Missy told him. "I'll get him so he can tell you everything that's going on."

Harm smiled. "Thanks."

He was about to drift off to sleep again when the doctor finally came through the door. "Commander Rabb."

"Captain," Harm replied after a minute. "Sorry, I don't think I'm firing on all cylinders here."

The man chuckled. "Probably not. I'll make this as simple and as quick as possible so you can get back to sleep. First off, on a scale of 1-10 how is your pain right now?"

"I'd say about a six."

"Okay, we can get you something for that. Do you remember anything that happened?"

Harm was thoughtful before answering. "A little. I remember Mattie's dad charging in. I thought he was going to shoot her so I tackled him. I felt a sharp pain and then nothing."

The Captain nodded. "The bullet hit you in your lower chest, just below your heart. You were very lucky, Commander. As it is it caused two of your ribs to fracture so that's main portion of the pain your feeling. The bullet was lodged just to the side of your lungs."

"Damn," Harm breathed.

"You were a very lucky man, Commander, but you're not out of the woods yet. There's a possibility of a pneumothorax developing. That's when there's bleeding into the pleural cavity. We're keeping you on constant supervision and you'll be getting a chest x-ray in the morning."

Harm was a bit overwhelmed and worried he would forget everything the doctor just told him. "Um, I don't supposed you could write that down somewhere and tell my fiancé? I don't know that I got all that and it was a lot and you told me I almost died and I…"

"Commander, calm down."

He took a breath and nodded. "Sorry about that, I'm okay. You'll tell Mac… Colonel Mackenzie when she comes by in the morning?"

The doctor nodded. "I will, Commander. Just get some rest and I'll be back to check on you after your scan."

Harm had a hard time falling asleep after the doctor's little visit. He had a pneumothorax before and didn't relish having another one. He wondered how Mac and Mattie were doing. It wasn't enough that Tom had almost killed him, but for them both to have witnessed it really upset Harm.

The nurse popped her head in a few minutes later, a frown on her face. "Something tells me you're thinking about what the Captain told you."

Harm sighed. "Yeah and the fact that the people I cared about had to witness me getting shot."

"I understand," She replied with a sad smile. "But remember, Commander, you're alive and they know it. I've seen your medical file, Sir, and I have a feeling you're going to be just fine."

He nodded. "Thanks, I think I needed to hear that."

Harm slept pretty good considering the fact that people kept coming in to take his vitals or whatever else they were doing.

Around 0800 they took him down for a chest CT. Apparently someone in radiology didn't schedule him so he had to wait in a hallway for ten minutes. It was just as hard to sleep with people walking by and the lights shining in his eyes.

Finally the brought him in and the CT was performed. By the time he was back in his room his breakfast was cold. He was happy to see that Mac and Mattie were there as well. Harm smiled. "Hey!"

"Hey, dad," Mattie replied.

Harm looked at her surprised, but clearly touched. "Shouldn't you be at school?"

"It's Sunday," she reminded him as she gave him a hug. "I'm so happy to see you awake."

He held her tightly and nodded in agreement. "It is good to be awake."

"Are you hungry?" Mac asked holding up a small white bag and grinning.

"That better not be a donut!"

She laughed. "No, we took care of the donuts! It's a bagel."

Harm nodded and pulled her closer to him and soon they were kissing. "I missed you, Sailor."

"I missed you too, Marine."

"Um, excuse me! Can you guys get a room or something? Geez!"

Mac laughed, glancing back at Mattie. "Just close your eyes!"


Three weeks after Harm was released from the hospital they closed on their house. He loved where his life was going but it was going pretty fast. He knew things would slow down once they had everything situated.

Besides Mac still had a wedding to plan and she wasn't going to start without Chloe who would be arriving in a few days to visit for the holidays. Harm was trying to figure out how he was going to deal with three women in that house!

Harm didn't care though. In the last eight years he never thought any of this was going to be possible. Especially not with the way he and Mac communicated. He was almost surprised they were at the point they were.

He shook his head. Thinking about the past and how stupid they'd been wasn't going to change anything. He needed to focus on their future. Mac was upset that she would never be able to have a child on her own and after some discussion with Harm was worried he wouldn't want to be with her.

Harm straightened her out about that! She was the one he wanted to be with forever and if she couldn't physically have children then they would adopt an entire baseball team if they had to. Also as long as they were together he would be happy.

Harm was at the front door with Mac and Mattie as they waited for their realtor to arrive. Mattie was practically jumping up and down with excitement when the SUV pulled into the driveway. With a grin the realtor came up the stairs and hand Harm all the keys with a flourish.

"Congratulations, Commander Rabb."

"Thank you, Donna," he replied shaking her hand. "Thanks for all your help in making this possible."

She shrugged. "I'm just doing my job"

They all watched as she headed back to her car and drove off. "Well what are you waiting for, Harm? Let's open up that door! Mattie and I have to figure out how we're going to decorate the place!"

Laughing Harm ever so slowly moved to open the door. Mac slapped his arm playfully and he finally opened it with a flourish. Before he could even step foot inside the two were rushing by him. He was still chuckling when he heard a few cars pulling into the driveway.

The Admiral, Bud, Harriet, and Sturgis had arrived to help them with the move. He wondered how they had all beat the truck. Just as he was about to say hello his cell phone rang. "Mac and Mattie are already inside going over decorating ideas," he told them with a shake of his head.

"Welcome to my world, Sir!" Bud replied chuckling. He stopped when Harriet gave him a look.

"Rabb. What? How the hell did that happen? No, I don't care which way you go, just get the truck here! Thank you."

The Admiral stepped up beside him. "Problems?"

Harm ran a hand through his hair. "Apparently they got lost turning off the exit ramp. He was just going to turn around and come back tomorrow. I'm not even sure why he thought I would agree to that!"

"He's probably just embarrassed."

"Maybe." Harm watched as the Admiral admired the outside of the house. "What do you think?"

He smirked. "Something tells me that the two women in your life were more instrumental than you in picking this house."

Harm nodded. "I can admit that, but they're worth it."


Mac watched as Harm talked with the movers. The two men looked embarrassed and for a brief second almost pissed as they got back into the truck and drove off. Harm was shaking his head as he came up onto the porch.

"What happened?"

"I didn't tip them so I don't think they were very happy about that. I plan on calling their supervisor in the morning. It took them almost five hours to get here and we left at the same time! People with a job like that should really know how to get to places."

Mac pulled Harm into a hug and kissed him. He moaned in pleasure then pulled away clearly having calmed down. "I understand why you didn't tip them but just relax, okay? All our furniture is here and it looks like all our boxes are as well. Let's just go inside and help Mattie set everything up."

"Why are you teasing a guy here?" he asked pulling her back towards him.

"Because Sailor there are two things still in that house that we need to consider before we christen it." Harm's eyebrow rose. "The Admiral and Mattie."

"Good point!"


Epilogue

"Ensign Mathilda Grace Rabb."

Mac watched Harm grinning proudly as Mattie stepped forward to be commissioned. It was a very special day for them all. Not only was Mattie graduating from the Naval Academy but today was the anniversary of when Harm's father accomplished the same thing.

Once the ceremony ended Mattie headed over to her family. Besides her parents, of course, the Admiral (retired) had joined them, Bud and Harriet, Harm's parents, Chloe; even Mattie's grandparents had joined them.

Mattie accepted hugs and well wishes from everyone. Mac watched as Harm spoke quietly with her and her heart suddenly felt heavy as Mac realized Mattie was officially moving on. She would be moving to Pensacola in two weeks.

She blinked away the tears when Mattie finally stood in front of her. "Congratulations honey," Mac said giving her a hug. "I am so proud of you!"

"Thanks mom. I couldn't have done it without any of you," Mattie told her.

Mac smiled the young teenager they met four years ago had turned into a very bright and capable woman. Now she was headed to flight school and on the path towards becoming an aviator like Harm. "Well somehow I don't think any of us would be where we are today without having met you, Mattie."

"You think so?" she asked.

"Positive." Mattie gave her a kiss then went to talk to the Admiral. Mac felt her husband's arms wrap around her. "Hey Sailor."

"She's really grown up, hasn't she?"

"She has." Mac turned to face him. His expression was unreadable. "What are you thinking about, Harm?"

"Well, I was wondering… were you still interested in trying to adopt?"

Mac nodded. "You know I am!"

"Good."

"But there is something you should know before making that decision officially."

"What's that?"

Mac took a deep breath. "Harm, I'm pregnant."

He stared at her for several minutes before responding. "Wait a minute. I thought… you said…"

"I know, Harm, and the doctor was surprised too. He wants to keep a close watch on me and I've decided to go on reserve. Once I reach seven months, though, he recommended I take a leave of absence. I agree with him, just to be on the safe side."

Harm pulled her close nodding. "That's a good idea."

She looked up at him, biting her bottom lip. "I was actually thinking of resigning my commission."

"Are you sure that's what you want, honey?" he asked. "I mean I understand why you would but I just want to make sure you're okay with this."

Mac nodded. "I gave it a lot of thought and this is what I want to do. I want to be at home raising our child. I want to be there when you get home from work. I want to have dinner ready for you."

"Oh no, I'll take care of dinner, Mac!"

She saw Harm's grin and smacked his arm playfully. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"Not a thing, my lovely wife. Not a thing."

Sarah Mackenzie smiled. Her life wasn't exactly what she thought it was going to be but she had exactly what she needed. It was just what she wanted too.