When Will I See You Again

By Nettie

A/N: Not having seen the final ep, this is my version of the ending. As always I will adapt things to fit my story, so apologies in advance.

JAG Headquarters Conference Room

Tuesday 1:45 pm

'Wow,' muttered Bud as General Cresswell exited the conference room after dropping his bombshell.

'Wow, indeed,' echoed Sturgis thoughts racing through his mind. They both looked across at Harm and Mac who hadn't moved from their seats and hadn't said a word.

'Well, congratulations Harm or should I say Captain Rabb,' offered Sturgis throwing him a mock salute.

'Ah, oh, yeah, thanks,' Harm replied standing to shake Sturgis' outstretched hand. 'Have to say it was unexpected myself.'

'Now why would you say that, Harm, I mean your record is…well…' Sturgis laughed. Harm was an excellent lawyer and officer but his methods had been known to ruffle more than a few feathers over time.

'I guess I got the promotion to take up the posting,' he said looking at Mac who still hadn't spoken.

'The London post is a huge honour, Harm, you should be very proud,' Bud said trying to be positive about the changes ahead.

'Oh, I am proud it's just things are going to be very different, everything's going to change.'

Silence descended on the group. The General had just informed them that their home at JAG Headquarters in Falls Church would be no more. JAG would be relocating to more appropriate locations and the staff would be reassigned accordingly. Harm's promotion and posting to London was the first of many for the group who had become family over their time together.

'Mac, are you happy about going to San Diego?' Sturgis finally asked.

'Yeah, I guess. Just like any other post, right? I mean, we all knew that this one wouldn't last forever.' She looked from one to the other. Duty stations had always been a temporary thing, she had served around the world but this one was different. It was where she truly felt at home, a home that, up until she had arrived nine years earlier, she had never experienced.

'The weather will be warmer,' offered Bud as a consolation. For his part he got to stay in Washington DC and Sturgis had several options but nothing confirmed.

'That's something I guess,' Mac said before standing and walking out, leaving her notes on the table.

'Mac doesn't seem to have taken the news too well,' remarked Sturgis as the door closed behind her.

'No, she doesn't,' commented Bud. 'I guess we're all a bit shocked. I had no idea that this was on the agenda. There's been no scuttlebutt. It's come in right under the radar.'

Silence again descended as the men stood lost in their own thoughts. They had a week left together, by next Monday everything would be different.

Bud's Office

4.27 pm

Bud was hanging up the phone when Harm knocked on his door.

'Come on in,' he said without much enthusiasm.

'Harriet?' asked Harm.

'Yeah,' sighed Bud.

'How did she take the news?'

Bud shook his head.

'That well?'

'I couldn't understand most of what she said because of the sobbing?'

'Your's or hers?' Harm asked half jokingly.

'Both! I can't believe that Mac, you and Harriet and I are going to be so far apart. We are going to miss you both and so are the kids, especially AJ, he loves you both so much.'

'And we love him. It will be strange at first but we'll keep in touch, there are phone calls, emails, photos, visits.'

'It's never the same though, is it Harm?'

'No I guess not.'

'Anyway, was there something you needed?'

'Huh?'

'You came in here, were you looking for something?'

'A friendly face, while I can get one. I went to talk to Mac but …'

'She's not a friendly face?'

'Not today, Bud, not today.'

'What are you going to do?'

'About what?'

'About what! What do you think?' Bud nodded towards Mac's office.

'I don't know. Maybe give her some time to …'

'You don't have time, do you?'

Harm shook his head. He loved Mac he always had and always would. He truly believed that for all their difficulties that they would end up together. He had dreamt about it and fantasized about it. He had even prayed for it but there was always someone or something in their way. This time it was going to be nearly 6000 miles.

MAC'S OFFICE

4.35 pm

'Enter,' she said looking up from her desk. Sturgis walked in and sat down.

'How you doing, Mac?' he asked sympathetically.

'Me, I'm fine. Why do you ask?'

'Well, the General's bombshell seemed to knock you about a bit. I just wanted to check that you were okay.'

'Thanks, but I'm fine. It wasn't what I was planning on but I'll adapt.'

'What were you planning on?'

Mac sighed, shrugged her shoulders and gave a wistful smile.

'Mac?'

'Oh, nothing really, just the happily ever after every girl dreams of.'

'Oh, that little thing. Are you going to get it?'

'From San Diego, I doubt it.'

'Are you going to do something about it?'

'There's not the time.'

'Not the time?' Sturgis echoed. 'You've had nine years.'

Mac stood and turned to the window. She had had all the time she needed and she had had the opportunities but had blown them. She had dreamt of the happily ever after scenario and fantasized about it. She had even prayed for it but there was always someone or something in the way. This time it would be 6000 miles.

'Are you still in love with him?' Sturgis asked breaking into her thoughts.

'Yep.'

'Then you can still have your happily ever after if you're prepared to take the chance.'

Sturgis departed and Mac was left to ponder his words. A future with Harm was what she wanted but to be together one of them would have to give up their commission.

FRIDAY 7.30 pm

ROBERTS' RESIDENCE

As imminent and pressing as the break up of JAG was, the desire of the staff to spend their last days together was pre-empted by other matters that needed priority. There were cases to finalise, offices to pack, files to be archived, travel arrangements to be made, apartments to pack up, leases to organise and so it was that the week past in a blur with little time left for sentiment or reminiscing.

The official JAG farewell had been scheduled for Saturday night at McMurphy's, an informal get together to say goodbye and bon voyage and to celebrate the highs and lows of an incredible decade. But Harriet wanted more, she didn't want to say goodbye to her dearest friends surrounded by colleagues. She wanted this to be about her family and she knew that although it would be incredibly hard to have them leave her life it was going to be harder for Harm and Mac to say goodbye to each other. This was going to be her last endeavour at playing matchmaker. She had told Bud her plan and for the first time he hadn't objected.

Mac had arrived first and went into the kitchen to help Harriet. Their conversation was bright and breezy and both tried not to dwell on the 'it's the last time we'll…' scenarios that crossed their minds.

'Bud and I are sure going to miss you and Harm,' Harriet finally ventured.

'I'm going to miss you two, too,' said Mac giving her friend a quick hug.

'And Harm? Are you going to miss him?'

'Of course I am. I mean we've worked together for a decade now. We've become such a part of each others lives. It won't be easy breaking in a new partner, but I'll manage.'

Harriet nodded, Mac's words had come confidently but her eyes revealed her true sadness at leaving the love of her life.

They were seated in the lounge when Harm arrived, late as usual, Harriet asked him to help her out with the drinks and so he followed her into the kitchen.

'Are you all packed and ready, Harm?'

'As ready as I'll ever be I guess.'

'Bud and I will really miss you and Mac,' Harriet ventured.

'And I'll miss you guys too,' said Harm giving her a quick hug.

'And what about Mac?'

'I'll miss her too. It won't be easy working in a new office without having her around to tell me how I should be doing things.' He smiled trying to make light of the situation, but his eyes revealed his true sadness at leaving the love of his life.

'This might be easier than I thought,' Harriet muttered to herself as they moved back to the lounge.

SATURDAY 12.15 am

Harm looked at his watch, it was already Saturday. He couldn't believe how quickly the evening had flown. It was all so friendly and comfortable he could physically feel his heart becoming heavier with the knowledge that later on that night he would say goodbye to them. His flight to Heathrow was scheduled for 0955 Sunday and then it would just be him and the English.

'You got somewhere to go, Flyboy?' asked Mac as he checked his watch again.

'No, why do you ask?'

'You've checked your watch three times in the last five minutes.'

'Sorry. I just couldn't believe the time – where does it all go?'

'It is late,' said Bud.

'It's not too late,' added Harriet. She didn't want the evening to end, she wasn't ready to say goodbye, not just yet. 'I know, let's dance.'

'Dance?' asked Bud. 'Now?'

'Why not?' asked Harriet in a tone Bud had learnt not to question.

'Why not indeed,' he said smiling at his wife.

Bud and Harm moved the coffee table to make more room and Harriet started the CD.

As the music started playing Bud held his hand out for his wife and spun her around. Harm held his hand out for Mac, she stood and moved into his arms, a place she wanted to be forever.

Phil Collins and Mariah Carey's voices sang out quietly

How can I just let you walk away,
just let you leave without a trace
When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh
You're the only one who really knew me at all

How can you just walk away from me,
when all I can do is watch you leave
'cause we've shared the laughter and the pain
and even shared the tears
You're the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now,
oh there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me,
just the memory of your face
Ooh take a look at me now,
well there's just an empty space
And you coming back to me is against all odds
and that's what I've got to face

I wish I could just make you turn around,
turn around and see me cry
There's so much I need to say to you,
so many reasons why
You're the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now,
well there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me,
just the memory of your face
Now take a look at me now,
'cause there's just an empty space
But to wait for you, is all I can do
and that's what I've got to face

Take a good look at me now,
cos I'll still be standing here
And you coming back to me is against all odds
It's the chance I've gotta take
Take a look at me now.

When the song ended Mac went to sit down, one sad song was enough – her chance of a meaningful relationship with Harm was against all odds and it broke her heart.

'Not so quickly,' said Bud, grabbing her hand before she made it to the sofa.

'Sarah MacKenzie, may I please have this dance?'

Mac looked at him, how could she say no.

Michael Bolton's voice came crystal clear from the speakers and Mac knew she would have a fight on her hands to stop herself from crying.

I could hardly believe it
When I heard the news today
I had to come and get it straight from you
They said you were leavin'
Someone swept your heart away
From the look upon your face I see it's true
So tell me all about it, tell me 'bout the plans you're makin'
Then tell me one thing more before I go

Chorus
Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
Now that I've been lovin' you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
How am I supposed to carry on
When all that I've been livin' for is gone

I didn't come here for cryin'
Didn't come here to breakdown
It's just a dream of mine is coming to an end
And how can I blame you
When I built my world around
The hope that someday we'd be so much more than friends
And I don't wanna know the price I'm gonna pay for dreaming
When even now it's more than I can take

Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
Now that I've been lovin' you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
How am I supposed to carry on
When all that I've been livin' for is gone

As the final chorus played, Bud whispered something to her neither Harm nor Harriet could hear. It made her smile and she kissed his cheek.

'Harriet, what CD is this?' asked Harm.

'A special one,' she replied, choosing not to tell him that she had spent hours that afternoon trying to find the perfect songs for the evening. She had painstakingly searched through her collection and had created a CD each for them for their trip home – hoping it would assist her matchmaking venture.

'I hate to be the one to do this but I still have lots to do tomorrow and if I don't leave now I'm not going to get it done,' Mac said sadly, still holding onto Bud.

'I guess we knew it would have to end sometime,' said Harriet, tears filling her eyes.

'Oh, Harriet, don't cry,' said Mac rushing to hug her. 'It's not like we won't see each other again. If fact we'll be seeing each other later on tonight.'

'Yeah, but it will never be the same. You two are our best friends. Our lives have changed incredibly in the time we have known you and you have both been a part of that. The highs were so much better because we shared them with you and the lows were easier to bear because you were there.' Tears streamed down Harriet's face, all thoughts of trying to compose herself were gone.

'Oh Harriet,' was all Mac could muster through her own tears and sense of loss. Harriet was her only true female friend; she didn't know how she'd manage being alone in the world again.

Bud moved towards the two and embraced them both, he had tried several times to find the right words to say goodbye to the two people who had influenced both his personal and professional live so much but he just couldn't. His wife had summed it up beautifully.

Harriet looked out at Harm who was standing watching his friends. She held out her hand and sadly said, 'Group hug.' Harm joined them, his tears mingling with theirs.

When the circle finally broke there was nothing left to say. As Harm and Mac walked to the door, Harriet handed them each a CD.

'Just a little something from us,' she said as she kissed Harm and then Mac.

'Drive safely,' said Bud putting his arms around his wife.

Bud and Harriet stood quietly on the porch watching their friends drive off in two different directions. She knew that if things went the way she hoped Harm and Mac would meet up again soon.

Mac listened to the CD on the way home, driving through a mist of tears. Every one of Harriet's handpicked songs brought up so many memories of the good times they had shared together, of the bad times, of the love she felt for Harm.

Harm had listened to the CD too but when he thought he needed his windshield wipers for rain and realised it was his own tears he turned it off. He knew it was going to break his heart saying goodbye to Mac he didn't need to experience it in song first.

Mac was four blocks from home when she was forced to pull over. It was a song she had heard so many times before, but this time it was different. It wasn't just background noise or elevator music it was the questioning of her heart.

When will I see you again?
When will we share precious moments?
Will I have to wait forever?
Or will I have to suffer and cry the whole night through?

When will I see you again?
When will our hearts beat together?
Are we in love or just friends?
Is this my beginning or is this the end?
When will I see you again?
(When will I see you again?)
When will I see you again?

Are we in love or just friends?
Is this my beginning or is this the end?
When will I see you again?
(When will I see you again?)
When will I see you again?
(When will I see you again?)
When will I see you again?
(When will I see you again?)
When will I see you again?

Mac took a deep breath and pulled her car back out onto the road, seeing there was no traffic she made a u-turn and headed to the only place she ever really wanted to be.

HARM'S APARTMENT

2.34 am

Mac knocked on his door and waited and waited. When there was no answer she let herself in with her key, realising she'd have to leave it with him.

'Harm?' she called as she entered. She gasped when she saw the room empty except for a few boxes alongside the wall. Her apartment looked the same but it had just hit her that it was over. After tomorrow this would no longer be Harm's apartment, her refuge from whatever haunted her. She could no longer call past to see him when she needed to. She would be in San Diego and he would be in London and that very thought frightened her.

Mac stood there in tears. She had tried to convince herself that they could maintain their friendship long distance, now she wasn't so sure. Harm was the only constant in what had been a difficult life, even when they weren't getting along she derived comfort from just knowing he was close by. She always knew he would be there to pick up the pieces if things fell apart, she trusted him, she loved him. She had no idea how she was going to be able to live without him.

'Mac?' Harm startled her coming out from the bedroom.

'I'm sorry,' she apologised. 'I knocked but…'

'It's okay. What's wrong?' he asked wiping away her tears.

'I can't do this,' she said, moving to the door.

'Do what?' he asked grabbing her and holding her to him.

'This. I can't say goodbye to you. I can't …I can't …'

He held her tight and kissed her head. He couldn't either.

Awhile later Mac broke away and gazed into his crystal blue eyes; they had been the first thing she had noticed about him.

'Come and sit down,' he said ushering her to the stool at the breakfast counter.

She sighed deeply. 'Damn Harriet.'

'Why?'

'Did you listen to her CD?'

'Only part of it. It, um, got a bit much.'

'Coward,' Mac smiled at him. 'I got four blocks away from my place when I had to pull over.'

'What song did it?

Mac began to sing softly,

When will I see you again?
When will we share precious moments?
Will I have to wait forever?
Or will I have to suffer and cry the whole night through?

When will I see you again?
When will our hearts beat together?
Are we in love or just friends?
Is this my beginning or is this the end?
When will I see you again?
(When will I see you again?)
When will I see you again?

'Oh, that one?'

Mac nodded.

'Lots of questions there,' Harm offered.

'Yes there is.'

'I guess you answered the first one.'

'Did I?'

'Yeah, by coming over here.'

Mac half smiled. 'I think I know the answer to the fourth one. I've done a lot of crying tonight.'

Harm kissed her forehead. 'They're the easy two, what about the rest?' He asked not knowing whether to feel dread or anticipation.

Silence ensued.

'Mac, I will never love anybody the way I love you,' Harm finally said.

'You'd better not say that to your wife,' Mac replied trying to give him an out.

'Let me make myself clear, Sarah MacKenzie. I am in love with you. I always have been and I always will. I guess the question now is, is this the beginning or is this the end?'

'I don't know the answer to that but I do know that I am in love with you, Harmon Rabb Junior, and I can't bear the thought of being so far away from you.'

She pulled him close to her and kissed him tenderly and he responded willingly.

Finally he broke away.

'I don't want you living 6000 miles away from me,' he whispered.

'Where do you want me living?'

'With me. Mac, let's get married.'

No words were needed; Mac let her actions do all the talking.

SATURDAY 6.45 pm

McMURPHY'S

'Let's mark this one down in the record books,' Sturgis laughed as Harm approached their table.

'Well, I guess it had to happen once,' chided Bud.

'What?' asked Harm defensively.

'Ignore them, Harm, they are just stirring,' said Harriet patting Harm's hand.

'That's right, Harm. You do realise that tonight's festivities are due to kick off until 1900,' said Sturgis.

'Well, you guys are already here.'

'Yeah but we are usually early or punctual – you on the other hand…'

'Am known for my tardiness, right?'

'Right.'

They all laughed.

'So are you all ready to go, Harm?' asked Sturgis as Harm sat beside him.

'Yeah, I think so.'

'Anything else you need to do?' asked Harriet, hopefully.

'No, I think I did everything I needed to do today.'

'Oh,' said Harriet.

'Wow,' said Sturgis as he spied Mac entering the room wearing a floor length red gown. All heads turned to watch her. The biggest smile imaginable spread across Harm's face and it was duly noted by Harriet. As Mac moved toward them Harm stood and to the delight of all present kissed her. It wasn't a friendly greeting kiss but a clear expression of their newly declared love.

'Oh my God!' exclaimed Harriet at the sight. 'Does this mean…'

Harm and Mac broke apart smiling at each other.

'Well,' prompted Bud.

Harm cleared his throat. 'Mac and I have an announcement...' he began.

'Announcement?' interrupted the General joining the group.

'Uh, yes sir,' said Mac.

'Am I going to like this announcement?' he asked.

'Probably not,' replied Harm.

'Well, get on with it,' said the General.

'As I was saying, Mac and I have an announcement…'

'Hello everyone,' interrupted Jennifer pulling up a chair. 'Did I miss anything?'

'Harm and Mac are just about to make an announcement,' said Harriet daring anyone else to interrupt. 'Go ahead.'

'Well, it will come as no surprise to any of you that Mac and I are in love. It has just taken us a long while to actually admit it…'

'That's your announcement? You're in love. Tell us something we don't know,' chided Sturgis.

'We're engaged,' Mac smiled.

'Yes,' shouted Harriet jumping up from the table to embrace her friends. 'This is fantastic, I am so very happy.' She kissed them both. Congratulatory kisses and hugs were exchanged before Bud asked the pressing question.

'So who's resigning?'

Harm and Mac looked at each other. They had started to discuss that very issue before the overwhelming urge to consummate their relationship took over.

'We haven't quite decided that,' said Harm.

'Well, I think it is important that you do, Commander. You are leaving for London tomorrow and the Colonel is due in San Diego Tuesday.'

'How are you going to decide?' asked Jen.

Neither Harm nor Mac replied.

'Toss a coin,' suggested Bud pulling out the coin the Admiral had given him on his own retirement.

'What do you think?' Harm asked Mac.

'Let's do it.'

'Your call,' said Harm.

'Heads and we go to San Diego,' said Mac.

'Deal,' said Harm.

Bud flicked the coin into the air. The group watched entranced as light reflected off the coin giving it a sparkling glow. Mac held her breath, as the coin spun she began hoping it would land on tails. If she and Harm were to have any chance of having their own family it should be her that resigned her commission. She caught the coin midair. 'London it is,' she said kissing him. 'This is the beginning.'