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The Colour of My Love

Rating: PG-13
Category: Harm/ Mac (Romance, Drama, and Angst)
Spoilers: Through Season 7's "Capital Crimes" and a minor spoiler for "Code of Conduct" as well

Summary: A former Chief Petty Officer threatens Harm and Mac's life together...

Disclaimers: I don't own JAG but rather it belongs to Mr. Donald P. Bellisario and CBS. NO copyright infringement is intended by the writing or publication of this story. PLEASE DON'T SUE ME!

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I'll paint my mood in shades of
Blue
Paint my soul to be with you
I'll sketch your lips in shaded
Tones
Draw your mouth to my own
I'll draw your arms around my
Waist
Then all doubt I shall erase
I'll paint the rain that softly
Lands on your wind-blown hair
I'll trace a hand to wipe out
Your tears
A look to calm your fears
A silhouette of dark and light
While we hold each other oh so
Tight

I'll paint a sun to warm your
Heart
Swearing that we'll never part
That's the colour of my love
I'll paint the truth
Show how I feel
Try to make you completely real
I'll use a brush so light and fine
To draw you close and make you
Mine

I'll paint the truth
Show how I feel
Try to make you completely real
I'll use a brush so light and fine
To draw you close and make you
Mine
I'll paint a sun to warm your
Heart
Swearing that we'll never part
That's the colour of my love

I'll draw the years all passing by
So much to learn so much to try
And with this ring our lives will
Start
Swearing that we'll never part
I offer what you cannot buy
Devoted love until we die

The Colour of My Love
By Celine Dion
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1030 Zulu (5:30 AM EST)
Rabb Residence
June 15, 2004

The alarm clock shrilled its annoying song for what seemed to be the millionth time that moment. Harm sleepily swatted at the nightstand, trying to turn off the source of his annoyance, wanting only a few more minutes of sleep.

Mac sat up rubbing her eyes. "Come on, sailor, time to get up. It's 1030 hours and I don't think either of us wants to be late for work." Nature called causing Mac to finally get up to head for the bathroom.

Harm groaned but didn't move an inch, keeping his eyes closed, and pulling the blankets over his head. He was snoring lightly by the time Mac returned. Mac rolled her eyes and yanked the blankets back before turning on the lamp on the nightstand.

"Come on, squid, rise and shine. You don't want it said that a Marine who is very much with child can out do, do you?" she said teasingly.

Harm finally opened his eyes, grimacing at the light in the room. "So as long as that Marine is my wife, I don't care." He finally sat up. "Whose idea was it again to start getting up this early again?"

"It was our idea, remember?"

"It was?"

"Yes, it was. Now that the morning sickness has FINALLY stopped, I want to get back to doing some sort of running in the morning. And since Dr. Anderson says that it's okay, as long as I don't get carried away, I want to get back to it as soon as possible," Mac replied.

Harm yawned finally getting out of bed. "Oh remind me not to stay up so late next time working on current cases." He entered the bathroom, closing the door behind him as Mac began to get dressed for their early morning jog.

"How late did you stay up?" Mac asked.

"Too late."

"How late is 'too late'?" Mac asked, deciding not to drop it just yet.

The bathroom door opened, and Harm was getting ready to brush his teeth. "Well let's just say Harriet had to call on Bud's cell phone before we decided to finally call it a night."

"Harm! You kept Bud here that late?" Mac said. She made a mental note to ask Harriet what time it was when she called.

"You know how it is when you're working on a case. The time just slipped by us," he replied.

"So you only got what? Two or three hours' worth of sleep?"

"About."

"I'm sorry I woke you up then. Do you want to go back to bed while I go jogging this morning?" Mac asked, leaning on the bathroom door.

"I'm awake now and besides I'd rather you didn't go into that park by yourself," he replied.

"I'd be all right by myself-"

"Before you give me 'I'm a Jarhead who can take care of myself' speech because I know you can, I just don't want you to forget you have someone else to keep safe now," Harm said, emphasizing his point by touching her stomach. "WE have someone else to keep safe now."

Just as Mac was about to reply, the baby decided to start kicking, and she gasped. "He or she seems to agree with you."

"I'm glad."

"Get a move on it, squid, or we're not going to have time to go to the park," Mac said, leaving him to finish getting ready.

***

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
1315 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.

Sturgis smiling disgustingly bright, walked into the kitchen, poured himself a cup of coffee. "Good morning, Harm."

"Hmmmmm," Harm replied, sipping his own coffee.

"Get up on the WRONG side of the bed this morning?" Sturgis asked, looking his friend over. "What is it with you and Roberts this morning?"

"What do you mean?" Harm asked.

"Well you two look like something the cat dragged in."

"If you must know, we were both up to the wee hours of the morning working on the Burnette case," Harm answered.

"And how 'wee' is wee?"

"0735," Bud answered, entering to make a beeline for the coffeepot. "Sir."

If Harm thought he looked worn out, Bud was even worse. His eyes were bloodshot and he had bags under his eyes. "Bud, did you any sleep at all last night?"

Bud sipped his coffee before answering. "I got about an hour's worth, sir. When I got home, Harriet was practically dead on her feet. The baby was sick last night and Harriet had been walking her all night, trying to get her to sleep. So when I got home, I took over trying to get her asleep and told Harriet to go to bed. Orli finally fell asleep after I had both walked and rocked with her. To top it all off, I have a creak in my neck from falling asleep in the rocking chair."

"Wow, I'm sorry I kept you so late last night," Harm said.

"It's all right, sir," Bud said, rolling his neck. "It'll be worth it when we win this case."

Sturgis smiled, heading out of the kitchen. "Roberts, if I were you, I'd try getting more sleep tonight because you're delusional if you think either of you have a chance to win this case."

"We'll see about that, Sturgis. We have a strong case, while you-"

"While I had a full night's sleep. See you two in court."

"Was Commander Turner making fun of us, sir?" Bud asked.

Harm smiled in reply, "You can bet he was. But that's okay, we're going to kick his six today in court, and you just wait until he has his own children. It'll teach him not to make FUN of expectant fathers or fathers with very young children."

Bud grinned. "Yes, sir."

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
1930 Zulu
JAG Courtroom

"Objection!" Sturgis said. "Relevance?"

"I'm curious about that myself," Colonel Blakely said, eyeing Harm. "Commander Rabb, what is the relevance to this line of questioning for your client's defense?" Harm explained where he was going with this, asking for the judge to give him a little leeway.

Finally Colonel Blakely shook his head no. "Not this time, Commander. Objection sustained. The witness may step down." As the witness exited the courtroom, Harm leaned over to talk to Bud.

Harm turned by to face the judge. "Your honor, the defense would like call our next witness."

"That will have to wait until the morning, Commander. This court is in recess until 1400 hours tomorrow morning," Colonel Blakely said, pounding his gavel before Harm could say a word. As soon as the colonel was gone, murmuring broke out in the courtroom.

"Care to discuss a plea bargain now?" Sturgis asked.

Harm glanced at his client who shook his head no. "Sorry, Sturgis, we're going to battle this one out."

Sturgis shrugged. "I'm just trying to offer your client a lesser sentence than what he'll get if a guilty verdict comes back from the members."

The petty officer stood up. "No thank you, sir. I trust the judgment of Commander Rabb and Lieutenant Roberts."

"Very well, Petty Officer Burnette. My offer is on the table until the verdict is in. After that, your fate is in the members' hands," Sturgis said.

Harm watched him leave the courtroom before turning to his client. "We're going to win this one, Petty Officer." He signaled the MPs waiting to take Burnette back to the brig.

"Yes, sir," the young man said, going with the MPs.

"Sir, do you really think we still have a chance of winning this case? I mean Commander Turner seemed to be punching holes through every shred of evidence we presented in the petty officer's defense," Bud said.

Harm closed his briefcase. "I think we still can win this case. We still have our biggest witnesses coming up."

"Yes, sir." They began to leave the empty courtroom together. "Sir, so you want me to come over tonight to plan our strategy for tomorrow's court session?"

They entered the bullpen before Harm could answer. "No, stay home tonight."

"But, sir-"

"Bud, we both need to get some sleep tonight. Otherwise, we might as well suggest to Petty Officer Burnette that he take the plea bargain that Commander Turner is offering."

Harm left Bud and entered his office, closing the door behind him. After dropping the briefcase in one of the chairs in front of his desk, he sat down heavily in the chair behind his desk, closing his eyes. He felt like a headache was coming on, something he didn't need. Oh he didn't have to be in court for the rest of the day but he did have a pile of paperwork stacked on his desk, waiting for his attention. And he still needed to go eat a late lunch, as Colonel Blakely had kept things going straight through.

A sudden knock at the door startled Harm out of his thoughts. With a sigh he sat up straighter, hoping that it wasn't the Admiral or the Admiral's new yeoman Petty Officer Carter telling him that his CO wanted to see him right now.

He opened a file on his desk. "Come in."

Petty Officer Carter did indeed stand at the other side of the door. "Sir, I was just coming to place some phone messages for you on your desk. Colonel Rabb has called several times today wanting to speak to you and I told her you were in court." He laid several post-it notes on Harm's desk.

"Is that all, Petty Officer?" Harm asked.

"Yes, sir."

"You're dismissed then."

"Aye, sir."

"And close the door behind you, Petty Officer."

"Yes, sir."

After he was gone, Harm picked up the post-it notes, finding several of the messages read simply: 'Call me'.

"Call me. Call me. Call me," Harm muttered as he read them. The last note was different as it read: 'Call me at my office - Mac.'

Smiling he picked up the phone, and dialed her office number at the Pentagon. A voice answered but it wasn't the voice of his beautiful wife.

"Colonel Rabb's office. Staff Sergeant Jessup speaking," said a young female voice.

"Staff Sergeant, this is Commander Rabb. Is the colonel in her office?"

"No, sir, you just missed her," Jessup replied.

Harm rolled his eyes. "Would you please tell her that I was trying to return her calls?"

"Yes, sir."

"Thank you, staff sergeant," Harm hung up. "Great, now I have to add a game of phone tag with my wife to end a not so PERFECT day!"

End Part 1b

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
2125 Zulu
Somewhere on the Beltway

As always, the traffic on the Beltway was murder, and Harm had been stuck sitting it for over ten minutes. He hoped that Mac had made it home already but he doubted it somehow with the way the traffic seemed perpetually stuck in one place on the freeway. Suppressing a yawn he blew the horn at the car in front of him, wanting the driver to move up as the car in front of them had moved again. Finally when the traffic began moving a little faster, his cell phone rang.

"Rabb," he all but growled into it.

"Well that's some way to greet your wife," Mac's voice said teasingly.

"Oh, sorry, honey. I had quite the day at the office," he said. "But that can wait until I get home."

"Are you on your way home now?"

"Yeah."

"Stuck in traffic on the Beltway?"

"Oh yeah."

She heard the frustration in his voice. "Well I've taken care of dinner, so when you get home we can eat and relax. Unless you have to prepare for court tomorrow?"

"Dinner and relaxing-- now THAT sounds wonderful. I told Bud to stay home tonight, as we both need the rest if we're not going to let Sturgis finish swabbing the deck with us tomorrow. I'll see you in a few minutes."

"I love you."

"I love you too."

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
2205 Zulu
Rabb Residence

"So do you think you'll somehow win this case?" Mac asked as Harm finished relaying his day. They had finished dinner of 15 minutes ago, having had Chinese take out as Mac said she had had a craving for it all day long. They were now on the couch with Harm sitting on one end and Mac lying with her head on his lap.

"Yeah, I think so," Harm said. "So how was your day?"

"Relatively uneventful when compared to yours. We just had meeting after boring meeting after boring meeting," Mac said, "Tomorrow will be a BIG day for us as tomorrow representatives from Davidson Technologies are coming to start contract negotiations."

"Civilian contractors?"

"Well I DID transfer to the Pentagon because they needed a legal weenie to advise them in negotiations with civilian contractors," Mac replied.

"I know," Harm said. "Do you ever miss working at JAG?"

"Well I won't lie and say that I don't miss it sometimes. I'll even go as far as to say that the work isn't the same kind of challenge I got used to at JAG. But it IS challenging nonetheless and it's fulfilling work." Mac paused. "But I think if there's anything I miss the most about JAG is the people I worked with there."

"And I miss seeing you everyday," Harm said, leaning down to kiss her.

"That too," Mac smiled.

End Part 1c

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
1352 Zulu
JAG Courtroom

Harm smiled, as he got ready to leave his office to head on over to the courtroom. Last night was perfectly relaxing, him and Mac having spent the night just talking. At around 8:30, he had finally been forced to turn in as the previous night's lack of sleep was getting to him. So after saying goodnight to Mac, who had elected to stay up to get a little work done, Harm had went to bed, asleep from the moment his head hit the pillow. Now he ready refreshed and ready to battle it out with Sturgis today in court, ready to take back all the ground that bubblehead had gained yesterday when he faced off with the tired opposition.

Bud caught up to Harm just outside of the courtroom. "Good morning, Bud."

"Good morning, sir."

"I trust you got some sleep last night, Lieutenant."

"Yes, sir, I did," Bud replied. "Sir, did you hear that Commander Turner called in today sick?"

Harm stopped just short of the courtroom's doors. "No, I didn't. What's he got?"

"Stomach flu I believe it is, sir."

Harm frowned. "That's a shame. I was looking forward to swabbing the deck with him today. Do you know who the Admiral has asked to replace him in court today?" He opened the door.

"Uh no, sir."

They entered the semi-full courtroom to find that someone was already sitting at the prosecution's table.

"Just when you thought he was gone, the man returns like a boomerang," Harm muttered.

"Sir?" Bud asked puzzled.

At that moment, the opposition rose and turned to face them.

"Commander Brumby!"

"Hello, Leftenant," Mic said. "Good to see you again." Mic nodded at Harm. "Harm."

"Mic."

"How are you and Harriet, Bud?"

"Oh we're fine, sir..."

Harm busied himself with taking out his files, not wanting to really talk to the Australian until he had to.

At that moment, the door to Colonel Blakely's chambers opened, cutting their conversation short.

"All rise!"

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
1535 Zulu
JAG Courtroom

"Petty Officer Second Class Eric Burnette, United States Navy: On the charge and specification of Article 118, premeditated murder this court martial finds you.... Not guilty."

"The members are thanked for their service. This court is dismissed."

As soon as Colonel Blakely was gone, PO Burnette reached out to shake hands with Harm and Bud. "Thank you, sirs."

"You're welcome, Petty Officer."

After the young man left, Harm gathered his files, still ignoring Mic as much as he could. However, Bud had picked up where they left off on their conversation earlier.

"We had another baby, sir," Bud was enthusiastically filling him in on details.

"Oh that wonderful, mate! A boy or girl?" Mic asked. Harm was leading the way out of the courtroom.

"A girl. We named her Orli Hope," Bud answered.

"That's an unusual name."

"Yes, sir. It means 'my light'. Harriet and I went through hundreds of baby name books and websites to find it."

Mic smiled. "Congratulations again, Bud! I would love to see pictures of the little lady if you have any."

"Sure! Come by to my office and I'll show you the pictures, sir," Bud said.

Turning to Harm, Mic noted the wedding band on Harm's finger. "So, who's the lucky woman?" Mic asked as they entered the bullpen. "Did you and Renee finally decide it was time to say 'I do'?"

The Admiral's voice interrupted Harm's reply, "Commander Brumby, my office."

As they watched him leave, Bud spoke. "Do you really think Commander Brumby doesn't know that you and the Colonel are married now, sir?"

Mic came to attention in front of AJ's desk, waiting for him to speak. The former SEAL glared at Mic for moment before speaking. "At ease and sit down, Commander."

Mic sat down as ordered. "Thank you, sir."

"Now, Commander, when I agree to allow back under my command, albeit however temporary, I did it with what I thought was a FULL understanding that you would not come back into JAG to start causing trouble by butting heads with Commander Rabb. In the courtroom is one thing but in the office is an entirely DIFFERENT thing."

"Sir, I wasn't trying to cause any trouble with Commander Rabb," Mic replied, clearly puzzled. "All I wanted to know was who the lucky lady was that he decided to marry, that's all. I'd also love to know, sir, where Colonel MacKenzie is. I haven't seen her since I got here this morning. Does she still ever work here, sir?"

AJ noted the formal way he inquired about Mac, and he decided to sit down himself before answering Mic questions. "No, Commander, the Colonel doesn't work here at JAG any longer. She transferred to the Pentagon about a year ago."

"Blimey, that's a shame, sir! She was one bewdy of an attorney."

"Yes, she is," the Admiral agreed.

"May I ask why she transferred, sir?" Mic asked.

"Because, Commander, she married Commander Rabb," AJ replied, watching the Australian's face as he said this.

Mic was silent for a moment. "It's about time. I was convinced Rabb had Kangaroos loose in the top paddock."

"Will this cause any problems between you and Rabb?" the Admiral asked.

Mic sighed. "No, sir. Since I left last time, I've moved on with my life. I'm seeing someone else now back home. I knew I never really had a chance with Sarah because Harm had her heart from day one. It's just a bloody shame it took them both so long to realize it and that so many of us had to be hurt to get everyone with the ones they belong with."

AJ cleared his throat. "Well, Mr. Brumby, just keep in mind what you just said to me during the remainder of your time here at JAG and we should have no problems."

"Aye, sir."

"Dismissed."

"Aye aye, sir."

End Part 1d

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
2200 Zulu
Rabb Residence

Mac's nose was bombarded with mouthwatering smells as she unlocked the front door of their house. She smiled garlic bread in the oven, and she heard Harm rummaging around in the kitchen. Smiling she laid her briefcase and cover on the end table before discarding her shoes from her aching feet. Quietly she made her way to the kitchen and peeked around the corner where Harm was busy cutting up veggies for a salad.

"Hi, sailor," she said, causing Harm to jump.

"I didn't hear you come in," he said, pausing long enough to kiss her.

"Sorry, I should have yelled to let you know I was home."

"It's okay. Why don't you go change into something comfortable while I finished dinner?"

"Good idea," Mac said, turning to exit the kitchen. "By the way, what's for dinner? As long as it's not your 'famous' meatless meatloaf, I'm one starved Marine."

"Ha ha ha! I actually fixed one of my other specialties, and this one I remember you said you liked," he yelled so she could hear him in the bedroom.

"And that is?"

"Vegetarian lasagna!"

"Oh that sounds wonderful!"

A few moments later, Mac reappeared dressed in shorts and a Marine Corps T-shirt. She grabbed a small carrot stick from the salad causing Harm to swat playfully with her with a dishtowel.

"Out! It'll be ready in a few minutes," he said.

"Hey, we're starving here," Mac replied, trying to look pitiful while patting her stomach.

Harm laughed. "I'm hurrying. Why don't you go pick out some dinner music for us while I get this on the table?"

Mac went over to the stereo/CD player, and after a minute she put on a Celine Dion album to play. She was about to return to the kitchen when the doorbell rang. Wondering whom it could be, Mac went to answer the front door.

"Yes-"

Before Mac could get in another word, the man on the other side of the door forced his way in, covering Mac's mouth with his hand even as he shoved her back inside. Mac tried to struggle free of the man's grasp by using her Marine training but all he did was counter it.

"Relax, Colonel," he murmured, "I'm not going to hurt you -- yet." He reached over to turn up the music full blast. "First, you and I are going to have a little talk, and then I am going to kill you." He shoved her roughly towards the couch, and pinned her down before Mac to get up again.

"HARM!" she screamed. The man reached out to cover her mouth again. "HARM!"

In the next second, the man didn't know what hit him as Harm came running into the living room and pulled him off Mac with one swift movement. Without thinking he threw the guy into the wall, where the intruder turned, ready to fight.

"Sarah, call the police!" Harm said above the music.

Mac wanted to help Harm fight the intruder off, but the urge to protect her baby right now hurried her towards the kitchen. She dialed 911 as she heard someone slam into the bookcase in the living room, followed by a crash into the coffee table.

"911-- what is your emergency?"

"There's an intruder in my home!" Mac said, peeking around the corner when things got quiet suddenly. "Oh, God, no! Harm!" He was lying on the floor, blood pouring from a head wound. Mac all but hang up the phone when she saw him lying there, very still unmoving.

The intruder was gone.

"Ma'am? Ma'am? Hello?"

"Send an ambulance!" Mac said before dropping the phone to rush to her husband's side.

End Part 1e

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
2327 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.

"Chegwidden." He waited for a reply. "Hello, who is this?"

"Admiral."

AJ suddenly gave his full attention to the person on the other end. "Mac, what the-"

"Sir, I don't have much time to explain it all but I'm on my way to the hospital."

"Oh my lord, Mac, is it the baby? And where is Harm?"

"No, sir, it's not the baby. Someone broke into our home tonight and attacked us," Mac replied. He could tell by her voice she was shaken up quite a bit.

"Are you hurt? What about Harm?"

"I'm fine for the most part, sir. Just shaken up. Harm was hurt badly though. I'm in the ambulance taking him to the hospital."

"Which hospital?" he asked, taking down the information. "I'm coming down there and NO arguments from you, Mac." He looked at his watch. "I'll be there in about 30 minutes. Mac, have you called anyone else to come stay with you?"

"Yes, sir. I called Sergei as soon as the police would let me."

"Good. I'll be there as soon as I can."

The Admiral hung the phone up, quickly gathering his things before he headed full speed out of his office, running right into Mic who had been hovering around the open office door. Immediately, papers from Mic's file went flying in all directions as well at the two men.

"Brumby, what ARE you still doing here at this hour? And WHY are you hovering around my office doorway?"

Mic picked up the papers on the floor. "Sorry, sir. I was just catching up on a few things and I'm sorry about the eavesdropping but I unintentionally overheard your conversation with Mac. Did I hear something about Harm and a hospital?" Mic asked, offering his hand to the Admiral to help him up from the floor.

Ignoring the offer, AJ got to his feet on his own, still glaring at the Australian. "Yes, you heard correctly. Harm was injured tonight and Mac is going with him to the hospital. I'm on my way there now."

"May I accompany you, Admiral?" Mic asked.

"All right. But you give me your word that you WILL NOT cause any trouble down there," AJ said.

Mic nodded. "You have my word, sir."

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
1230 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.

The Next Day...

"May I have your attention please?"

Immediately the bullpen came to a screeching halt, everyone turning in the direction of his or her CO to hear what he had to say. The Admiral took the time to note that all of his officers were present before he began to speak.

"Last night, Commander and Colonel Rabb were intruded upon and attacked in their home. Colonel Rabb and the baby are fine. However, Commander Rabb was seriously injured and the doctors at Georgetown University Hospital list him as being in critical but stable condition. The injuries he sustained last night have caused him to slip into a coma."

Everyone started to talk at once and AJ held up his hand for silence. "Yes, Lieutenant Roberts?"

"Sir, I was just wondering, do they know who broke into the Commander and Colonel's home last night?"

The Admiral nodded. "As a matter fact, Lieutenant, they do know who it was. It was a Mr. Mason Alcott, an employee with a civilian contractor that has been in negotiations with the Pentagon this past week." Bud's eyes widen. "Yes, lieutenant, Mason Alcott as in the former Chief Petty Officer you assisted in the defense of with Commander Brumby. Anyway as a result of the Colonel identifying the assailant so quickly, an APB has been put out for Mr. Alcott. However they have yet to catch him."

"Also as a result of last night's incidents, and the illness already present in this office, we are VERY shorthanded. Everyone's workload will be heavier this week, possibly for the next two weeks until Commander Turner is able to return. Be prepared; people, for some VERY long hours. Any questions?"

"Sir, what about sending the Commander some flowers?"

"That's a very good idea, Petty Officer. The Commander is being transferred to Bethesda later today, so if any of you wish to send flowers to Commander Rabb, speak to Petty Officer Carter later this afternoon for the information. If there aren't any other questions," the Admiral waited a second, "Let's get back to work, people. Commander Brumby, Lieutenant Roberts, my office." Without a word, both of them followed the Admiral into his office.

"At ease. The reason I called you both in here is because I need to know that I can count on you both for the next two weeks until Commander Turner is back at work. Mr. Roberts, as a result of what's happened, I am going to be laying a few more responsibilities than you are used to on you. Now I know you have a new baby at home and I hate to ask you to do take on even more right now, but I need to know that I can depend on you to get things done."

The young officer's expression was serious as he answered. "You can depend on me, sir."

"Good, Lieutenant. Return to my office in ten minutes for your assignments. Dismissed."

"Commander Brumby, I may need you to stay here for more than the two weeks we originally agreed on."

"I'll take to my superiors, sir. I am sure they'll be willing to extend my stay after I explain the situation."

The Admiral nodded. "Thank you. Let me know what they say. Dismissed."

***

1430 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.
One Month Later...

Mac exited the elevator, and quickly entered the bullpen, grateful that none of her friends were currently present. For over a month, Harm had been in a coma without giving any signs he would wake up any time soon. To make matters worse, the police when they had arrested Alcott, they had had to let him out of jail on a technicality. And it just kept getting better from then on out as he had hired a civilian lawyer by the name of Bobby Donnell to represent him in the lawsuit he was beginning against them.

No one in the office took notice of her as she headed for the desk of the Admiral's yeoman. Carter looked up startled when she entered, and nearly jumped up until she halted him with a gesture.

"Is the Admiral in his office?" she asked.

"Yes, ma'am, he is. However, Commanders Brumby, Turner, and Lieutenant Roberts are in a meeting with him at the moment," the petty officer replied.

"Would you please let him know that I am here and that I need to speak with him as soon as possible?" Mac said.

"Yes, ma'am," Carter pressed the intercom button.

"Yes?"

Mac cringed in sympathy for the young petty officer as the Admiral's tone of voice indicated that he was irritated at the interruption.

"Sir, Colonel Rabb is here to see you. She says that she needs to speak to you."

A second passed before a reply came. "Carter, tell her that I'll be with her in a moment."

"Aye, sir," Carter said. "The Admiral will be with you in a moment, ma'am."

"Thank you, Petty Officer," Mac replied, taking a seat.

Five minutes later, the office door opened with Sturgis and Bud filing silently past her. However Mic paused and he looked like he wanted to say something to her. Mac turned her eyes away from him, not really wanting to talk to him.

"Sarah-"

"Commander Brumby?" the Admiral's voice came from his doorway.

"Yes, sir?"

"Is there a reason you're hovering in the front doorway of my office?"

"No, sir."

"Then I suggest you get to work, Commander."

"Aye, sir," Mic replied, leaving without a glance in Mac's direction.

"Come on in, Mac," AJ said, his tone considerably gentler as he noted she was not in uniform.

Mac rose up from her seat, and followed him inside and waited for him to close the door. "Thank you for seeing me, sir."

"Not a problem. Please, Mac, sit down," he said, gesturing towards the chairs in front of the fireplace.

"Thank you, sir," she said, sitting down.

"Now, what's on your mind?" AJ decided to skip the pleasantries as something was obviously bothering her.

Without a word, Mac opened her purse and withdrew a piece of paper to hand to him. She watched her former CO's face as he read the court order.

"They must be joking," he said a second later in an outraged tone, "You're the victim here, not this low life who attacked you in your own home!"

"Apparently the court doesn't see it that way, sir," Mac replied.

"Unbelievable," the Admiral shook his head in disgust. "Only in America could someone threaten to kill you in your own home as well as injure your spouse so bad that they are now comatose and then after they've gotten off on a legal technicality are actually be able to sue you for defending yourself!"

"That's our justice system for you," Mac agreed. "It's also the reason I came to you, sir. I need your advice on who to seek as legal counsel as representing myself in court wouldn't be a very good idea."

"I'll happily represent you and Harm in court, Mac," AJ replied.

"Thank you, but no thank you, Admiral. Sir, I didn't come here to find a lawyer. I just need advice as to who to talk about this."

AJ shot her one of his 'Don't argue with me' looks. "Mac, please -- I am not going to send you to a civilian lawyer when nearly everyone in this office, beginning with me, wants to help you and Harm through this. Besides I still owe you one for what happened with that lying kid I slapped."

The incident he had referred to had nearly finished his career as everyone from the President to the Secretary of the Navy had called for his resignation. When he had decided not to just hand in the demanded resignation but chose instead to fight it, Mac had asked to represent him at the Flag Mast. After some reluctance and stubbornness on his part, the Admiral had agreed to let her do it. And it was thanks to some discreet investigating that she'd done into the background of that student had revealed him to be a compulsive liar. When that had come out, the Flag Mast was dropped and he was allowed to remain the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.

Mac sighed. "I'll agree to let you represent us in court, sir, but I have one condition."

"And that is?"

"That you don't ask Commander Brumby to be second chair. I have nothing professional against the Commander, it's just that-"

"There's a problem with him personally," AJ finished for her.

"Not exactly, sir," Mac shifted uncomfortably. "It's more like -- I don't know! When he left and returned to Australia, I never expected to see him again. Now he's back here, in this country, working at JAG again. Sir, he's just a reminder of a very bad mistake I almost made for both of us."

The Admiral nodded, "I understand. I won't ask Brumby to sit second chair."

"Thank you, sir."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
2330 Zulu
Bethesda Naval Hospital
Harm's Room

Trish Burnett quietly opened the door to her son's room, and entered. Frank followed closely behind her and both stopped when they saw that Mac by Harm's bedside. She had fallen asleep, with one of her hands holding onto Harm's. Her neck bent in a strange position and Trish knew she'd probably have a sore neck when she woke up.

"Should we wake her?" Frank whispered.

Trish nodded, handing him her coffee cup. Silently she made her way to the other side of the bed, only briefly glancing down at her son before she lightly touched Mac's arm.

"Sarah, honey, wake up."

Mac's eyes opened instantly at the sound of her name. She looked over to Harm, and was briefly disappointed when she realized that it had been Trish who had called her, not her husband. Rubbing her neck, Mac glanced up at her mother-in-law.

"Trish, what time is it?"

"7:35."

"I must have been more tired than I realized," Mac said. "I wasn't expecting you guys to come tonight."

Trish smiled. "Yeah well, Sergei called us when he left the hospital. He said that you looked like you were ready to drop."

"Did you come here straight from work?" Frank asked.

Mac nodded. "Yeah, I changed into something more comfortable once I got here to the hospital. My uniform is hanging up in the closet. Listen if you both want to go back to your hotel and get some rest tonight, I'll sit with Harm."

Trish glanced at her husband and nodded, "We went back to the hotel for a few a hours this afternoon. We got some rest then. Do you have to work tomorrow?"

"Yes."

"Well then since we're pretty well rested, and since you have to work, why don't you let us stay the night with Harm?" Trish said. "And please NO arguments, Sarah. You look exhausted! Look if you don't want to go home and get some sleep for yourself then do it for my grandchild. It won't do you or that baby a bit of good if you work yourself into an exhaustion."

"And besides, I seriously don't think Harm would want you to do that to yourself either," Frank added. "Look, why don't you take our hotel room for the night."

"Frank, I-"

"Sarah, I know it's not all that late but you're exhausted and in the traffic on the road it'd take you 30 or 45 minutes to get him. Please," Frank said holding out the keys to her.

"You do have a fresh change of clothes with you, don't you?" Trish asked.

Mac nodded.

"Then it's settled. Take our room for the night," Frank said.

For a second, Trish thought Mac was going to argue with them. But then she just stood up, and leaned over to kiss Harm's forehead. "I love you, Harm." She released his hand, straightened up, and walked around the bed.

"You'll call me if there's any change?" Mac asked as she grabbed her uniform from the closet.

"We promise, honey," Trish said. "Goodnight."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
1330 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.

"At ease, Commander," AJ said, not looking up at the Australian. "As you may have heard already, the jackass who attacked Commander and Colonel Rabb, and consequentially put Harm into coma, has decided to sue them. At the Colonel's request, I will be lead counsel, representing them at the trial."

Mic smiled. "Do you need someone to sit second chair, Admiral? I'd be happy to help you nail that--"

"Thank you, Commander, but no I don't. I've already asked Lieutenant Roberts to be second chair and he's agreed. The reason I called you in here is because I need someone to be the acting JAG while I'm in court tomorrow as well for the rest of the time this thing takes. And since Commander Turner is away on assignment, the honor falls to you as the next most senior officer here," the Admiral said, finally looking up at him.

"I'll take the assignment, sir."

It was AJ's turn to smile. "Good, Commander, because I wasn't asking," He paused a second before adding, "That'll be all, Commander. You're dismissed."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
The trial lasted about a week. The Admiral and Bud found themselves being kept on their toes by the out of state lawyers but on the eve when the jury's verdict would be read, AJ had confidence that it'd be in their favor.

Meanwhile, things ran smoothly at JAG, and Mic found himself enjoying the job...

That is until the SecNav paid him a visit...

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
1500 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.
A Week Later...

Petty Officer Carter was so absorbed in his work that he didn't see the SecNav who didn't pause long enough to announce his presence. Instead, he headed straight for the door to the Admiral's office, not even knocking before he barged into the room.

"Who the devil are you?" the SecNav roared, "Where's Admiral Chegwidden?"

At that moment, PO Carter appeared at the doorway, looking apologetic to officer seated behind the desk. "I'm sorry, sir. I didn't see him come into the office."

"One of you better answer me and you better answer me NOW!"

The officer rose from the chair. "That'll be all, petty officer. Dismissed."

"Aye, sir," Carter replied, hurrying back to his desk.

"To answer your question, sir, I'm Commander Brumby, Royal Australian Navy. I'm in command of JAG until Admiral Chegwidden returns."

"And where is he, Commander?" the SecNav shot back.

"In court, sir," Mic replied.

 "Court?"

"Yes, sir."

"I wasn't aware of any current cases that call for him to be in attendance personally," the SecNav said. "I also want to know why he's left an Australian in command of this office while he's attending a trial here in THIS building."

"Sir, you misunderstood me. The Admiral is not attending a trial inside JAG HQ. He is away serving as lead counsel for defense in a law suit that's been brought up against Commander and Colonel Rabb."

The SecNav looked like he was about to explode when he spoke. "I see. Whenever Admiral Chegwidden returns, tell him I want to see him in MY office Monday by 1400 to discuss the Henderson case. No later. Am I understood, Commander?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good." With that, the SecNav stormed out of the office.

Mic stuck his head out the door. "Got that, Petty Officer?"

"I think the entire office got that," Carter said. "Uh, sir."

Mic nodded, deciding not to get onto the PO for the office comment. Instead he just turned back, and headed back into the office, closing the door behind himself.

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
2020 Zulu
Bethesda Naval Hospital
Harm's Room

As more time passed, the less the doctors became less hopeful that Harm would ever wake up again. But despite their declining optimism, none of them could find it in their hearts to suggest to Mac or his mother that he be taken off life support.

Mac sat beside Harm, alone for once as Trish and Frank had decided to take a short break to go to the cafeteria. With tears in her eyes as Mac held onto Harm's hand. The thought that he might not wake up in time for the birth of their baby was hard enough to accept without the thought that he'd never wake up at all. Reaching out to touch his face, Mac spoke softly.

"Harm, you've got to wake up," Tears finally spilled down from her eyes, "The doctors aren't giving us much hope that you will. I don't believe it because you're a fighter. You fought in the Atlantic to stay alive and I want you to fight to come back to me...to our baby now. Please, Harm, you've got to come back to us."

Suddenly the monitors began to beep sharply as Harm's body began to shake violently. "Oh my-- Harm, hang on! I need a doctor in here!" Mac yelled. Within seconds, a doctor came running into the room, followed by a few nurses.

As he began to check Harm, he looked at Mac. "Colonel, you need to leave the room."

At that moment, the heart monitor showed a flat line. "He's in cardiac arrest!" one nurse called out.

"Harm!" Mac said.

"Get her out of here now!" the doctor said.

A nurse pulled Mac towards the door, and she resisted with more strength than she thought she had left in her. Just as they reached the door, a hand reached in for Mac's arm to pull her out into the hallway...

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
Sergei exited the elevator onto the floor where Harm's room was located. He nodded to the Marine guards Admiral Chegwidden insisted be posted just in case Alcott got it into his mind to try to attack Harm or Mac again. Just as he neared the last corner to his brother's room, a doctor and two nurses came running by him nearly knocking him to the floor.

"CODE BLUE! Room 503! CODE BLUE Room 503!"

After hearing this, Sergei ran the remaining distance to his brother's room. Inside he could hear shouting going on as well as a doctor ordering Mac out of the room. Sergei knew however they'd have to forcefully remove her from the room. As he neared the doorway he heard a nurse say, "He's in cardiac arrest!"

Fear shot through Sergei when he heard this but he didn't have time to let it really sink in before he heard Mac's voice call out Harm's name. He then heard the doctor order the nurse to remove Mac from the room. Sergei knew she'd struggle, wanting to remain close to him, and the truth be told he wanted to do the exact something. Sergei also realized that they needed to let the doctors do their work if there was to be a good chance they could bring him back.

Reaching inside the room, Sergei pulled Mac out into the corridor, the nurse shooting him a split second glance of gratitude before returning to help the doctor. Mac didn't even turn to see who had her before she sent her elbow flying into Sergei's stomach.

"Let me go!" she shrieked.

Sergei resisted the urge to clutch his stomach and instead he moaned, muttering in Russian. Mac still struggled against him, but Sergei's grip on her remained tight. Just as Sergei believed he'd lose his grip on her again, another set of hands reached out, pulling Mac towards the person they belonged to. Sergei looked back to see that Trish had returned with Frank but it was Frank who was holding Mac tightly in a hug against him. Mac finally seemed to cease her struggling, and she just sobbed quietly into his shoulder as he held her tight.

Trish looked into the room where the doctor was working to save her son and she whispered a prayer, "God, please don't take my son. Not like this." Tears welled up in her eyes, and she felt a tap on her shoulder. Sergei stood there, offering his arms to her. Surprising her, Trish found herself in the arms of her late husband's second son, and what surprised her even more was the fact she found some comfort there.

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
Harm blinked against the brightness of the sun's light...

//How did I get here?// he wondered.

He was standing in the midst of a green field with rolling hills, with patches of flowers blowing in the breeze here and there. Was this Heaven?

He hoped not because he knew that meant he was dead, that he'd left Sarah behind with their unborn child.

"Hello, son."

The voice came from behind, and Harm KNEW it...

He turned slowly, not believing what his eyes saw.

"Dad!" Harm exclaimed. "How? Why? Where-"

"Isn't it enough we're together, son?" Hammer replied.

Harm nodded as his father pulled him into his arms...

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
"All right, let's prepare to defibrillate. Charge to 200 please," the doctor said as the nurse handed him the paddles. He prepared to place the paddled on the correction areas of Harm's chest. "Clear!" Harm's body jumped as the electricity shot through him. "Check for a pulse."

"No pulse."

"Charge again....and clear!"

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
Harm couldn't tell how long they'd been standing field, tossing a baseball back and forth, and laughing when the other would just miss catching the ball. He wasn't sure he really cared about how long he'd been here because he was with his father again. He could stay in this place forever, as long as he didn't remember the life he'd be leaving behind.

Hammer. watched his son, smiling at the joy he was obviously feeling. He knew what his son was feeling because he was also experiencing the same thing. But as much as he wanted this to last forever, Hammer knew that he couldn't afford to take such a luxury yet.

He couldn't be that selfish.

Harm watched his father drop his glove, and sit down on the grass, motioning to his son for him sit down beside him. As he watched, his father's expression suddenly became serious.

"Dad, is there something wrong?" he asked.

Hammer sighed. "Yes, son. There is. You're here."

A puzzled expression crossed Harm's face. "I don't understand."

Hammer smiled sadly at him. "Now, don't get me wrong. It's been wonderful seeing you again, and seeing what kind of man you grew up to be. But, son, you can't stay with me here. It's not your time to join me and it won't be for a LONG time, God willing." He touched reached out to touch his shoulder. "Harmon, its time you remembered your life before the coma."

A jumble of images passed through Harm's mind, showing him people that were waiting for him to wake up and the places he had yet to visit. Finally, his mind settled on two specific images. One image he recognized as his wife Sarah but the other was of a young woman he had never seen before. The image was brief, giving him no chance to study the young woman's face more closely but he saw her long enough to know WHO she was.

"That's why you have to go back, son. I have a granddaughter waiting to be born and I don't want her to grow up without knowing who her father was," Hammer said. "And you have to go back for your wife. She really loves you."

"Sarah..." Harm muttered, wondering how he could have forgotten about her. "Wait a minute! Did you say something about having a granddaughter waiting to be born?"

"Yes," Hammer smiled. "I did."

"I'm going to have a daughter?"

Hammer saw the joy return to his son's face. "It's time for you to go back, Harm."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
Mac lifted her head from Frank's shoulder, turning to look at the room where the doctors were still working on Harm. She tried to pulled away from Frank but found his grip to be tight.

"I'm not going back in there. I promise," she said.

Frank nodded, and released his grip on her. Mac hugged herself as she walked to the doorway. She saw the doctor shock Harm for a third time; new tears made their way down her face.

"Harm, come back to me. Come back to US!" she murmured. "I am NOT going to raise this baby alone!"

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
Tears welled up in his eyes as Harm hugged his father again one last time...

"I love you, son," Hammer breathed.

"I love you too, Dad."

Hammer pulled back to look at him. "I only ask two things of you now, son."

"What, Dad?"

"I ask you to always love your wife and daughter. NEVER of them for granted, and always cherish your time with them," Hammer said.

"I will. I promise you I will."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
"Still no pulse!"

"Come on, Commander. Fight!"

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
"The other thing I ask of you is to tell your brother, Sergei, that I am sorry we never met in life." Harm nodded. "And tell him that I love him."

"I will, Dad."

The world around him started to fade, as did his father and he heard his father's voice one more time...

"And tell your mother that I never stopped loving her..."

Then he knew nothing but darkness...

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
"That's it! We've got him back!" the nurse said. Harm's eyes flew open as he immediately began to struggle against the respirator.

"Commander Rabb," the doctor leaned over him, "I'm Doctor Swenson. You're in Bethesda Naval Hospital. We've got you on a respirator and I need you to stop fighting it. Commander, can you hear me?" By now the nurses in the room were helping him to restrain Harm who seemed to want to pull out the tube in his throat. "Commander, I know you're disoriented but if you don't stop fighting, I am going to have to sedate you." He looked at one of the nurses. "Prepare a sedative."

As Dr. Swenson was about to place the needle into the IV port, Harm visibly calmed down, and the nurses felt the tension leave his body. Finally in the light of realization of what was going on around him came into Harm's eyes as he watched the medical personnel around him. Swenson watched him for a second before recapping the injection in his hand.

"Welcome back, Commander Rabb," he said with a smile. Harm gestured to the breathing tube in his mouth. "You want it out?" Harm nodded. "I'm sorry but we can't remove it yet. I need to run some tests first and make sure you'll be okay if I take you off the respirator." Harm gestured. "Get the Commander something to write on. I'm sorry I can't understand what you're trying to tell or ask me but we'll take care of that."

After the nurse placed a pad of paper down on the bed, she placed a pen into Harm's hand. Harm found it difficult to write as he was still very weak from his near death experience, but he managed to scrawl out one simple question: Is my wife okay?

"She's fine," Swenson replied.

Harm wrote another note: Was I in a coma and if so for how long?

"Yes, you were. You were in it for about 6 weeks." Harm's eyes widen.

Harm wrote one last note: What about my baby? Is she okay?

"The baby is also fine but no your child hasn't arrived yet," the doctor paused. "I know you want to see your wife and the other members of your family but first I need to run some tests. As soon as they're completed, I promise I'll let your family come in to see you."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
2048 Zulu
Bethesda Naval Hospital
Harm's Room

It took about twenty minutes for the nurses to do everything Dr. Swenson wanted. As they exited the room, the head nurse spoke briefly with Mac, Trish, Frank, and Sergei.

"He's awake now but try not to excite or upset him as he is still weak from what just happened. Also, for now Doctor Swenson wants to keep him on the respirator until he's sure the Commander will be all right without it. You can go in now." Mac went into the room without another word.

"Thank you, Carolyn," Frank said as he allowed Trish and Sergei to follow Mac in first. Carolyn nodded, and after she left Frank waited another second before he went into the room.

Mac was already sitting by Harm again, holding onto his hand, and wiping away tears with her free hand.

"You really scared us this time, Harmon," Trish said, leaning over to kiss his forehead.

Sergei nodded. "I really thought I had lost the only brother I have. Don't ever do that again or I'll-" he said the next part in Russian.

Harm gave Sergei a frustrated glare before scribbled out a note: What did he just say?

Mac smiled. "It's better if you don't know."

Harm replied: Oh really?

Sergei just smiled, before looking at Mac. "Can you give me the Admiral's phone number? I think it would like to know that my brother is awake now."

Mac stole Harm's pad for a moment to write the number down. Tearing off the number, she handed him the scrap of paper. "Would you please ask him to let Bud, Harriet, and Sturgis all know that Harm's awake?"

Sergei nodded. "Certainly."

They all watched the young Russian exit the room. Not a minute after Sergei left, Harm's eyes began to grow heavy with sleep. Mac saw him fighting to keep his eyes open. She got up to kiss him.

"Get some sleep, sailor. We'll be here when you wake up again."

Harm nodded, made one last effort to write out a note: I love you.

"I love you too," Mac said as his eyes closed.

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
2110 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.

The intercom buzzed annoyingly loud...

"Yes?" AJ said sharply.

"Sir, there's a Sergei Zhukov on the line with what he says is some very good news," PO Carter replied.

"Put him though, Carter," he replied, waiting. "Sergei?"

"Admiral?"

"Yes, it's me. What's going on? How's Harm?"

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
"May I have everyone's attention please?" AJ said. At this hour, the bullpen was starting to thin out as people finished up work and prepared to go home. However, he saw that both Bud and Sturgis were still present. "I have some wonderful news."

Unable to stop a grin from crossing his face as he spoke, "Commander Rabb has come out of his coma." The remaining personnel in the office erupted into a cheer at hearing this. He fielded a few questions after everyone quieted down. "If any of you are thinking of paying the Commander a visit, wait a few days please before doing so. His brother told me that he's very weak."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
2230 Zulu
Bethesda Naval Hospital
Harm's Room

Dr. Swenson entered Harm's room to find his patient asleep with his family scattered throughout the room. Mac was seated by Harm's bedside, reading a book while Trish napped with her head propped on Frank's shoulder. Sergei was just staring out of the window, turning towards the door when he entered.

"Good evening," Dr. Swenson said quietly. "I just wanted you to know that I've gotten the test results back and I am satisfied that Commander Rabb will be all right if we take him off of the respirator. However, I see that he's asleep."

"I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you wake him up for that, doctor," Mac said.

Dr. Swenson smiled. "Probably not. But I think we need to let him sleep tonight. I'll make sure that he's taken off the respirator first thing tomorrow morning. In the meantime, why don't you all go home and get some sleep."

"That sounds like a wonderful idea, doctor," Frank said, nudging his wife awake.

Sergei spoke to Mac in Russian and a moment later she nodded, stretched, and stood up. "Sergei just reminded me that I have to appear in court tomorrow for the verdict." Slowly they all exited his room, Mac and Trish each taking turns kissing Harm before quietly following the two men out.

"Do you want us there for the verdict?" Frank asked.

Mac shook her head. "No, someone should be here whenever Harm wakes up. Besides, I will have someone there because besides being our attorneys, Bud and the Admiral are also very good friends."

"As long as you're sure, Sarah," Trish said.

Mac smiled. "I am. Thank you."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
1100 Zulu
Bethesda Naval Hospital
The Next Morning...

Doctor Swenson entered Harm's room the next morning to find him awake and anxious to be taken off the respirator. After calling for a nurse to assist him, he told Harm what they were going to do before disconnecting him from the respirator.

"All right, Commander, I need you to take a deep breath and then on the count of 3 blow as hard as you can," Swenson leaned over ready to pull out the tube, "1....2....3!"

Harm blew as hard as he could, his face red from the effort but the breathing tube was removed the very first try. As soon as the tube was out of his mouth, Harm began to vomit but the nurse was there to catch it in plastic pan. Thankfully, the vomiting only lasted for a few moments. As soon as it was over with the nurse used a damp cloth to wipe his mouth off before she gave him a small cup of water to rinse his mouth out with.

"Now, Commander, I know your throat is sore from the breathing tube, and that you're thirsty but I am going to order that you only be given water, one cup at the top of every hour, for the first six hours. I don't want you to get sick from drinking it too fast." Harm tried to speak but soon closed his mouth as his throat was on fire. "Let that be a lesson to you. I don't want you to speak until 2300 tonight, and only then you are to WHISPER. Until then use the writing pad to communicate whatever you need."

Dr. Swenson looked at the nurse. "Make sure that he gets plenty of rest today when his family arrives. They're free to see him but only with the understanding that I want Commander Rabb to get the rest he needs to recover."

"Yes, doctor."

He turned back to Harm. "I'll see you in six hours, Commander. Get some rest." Harm nodded okay, and Dr. Swenson left the room.

The nurse made sure Harm was comfortable. "Your family won't get here for another hour or so. Why don't you try to get some more sleep until then?"

Harm nodded, closing his eyes, and he was sleeping again before the nurse walked out of the door.

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
1300 Zulu
Virginia Courtroom

"The jury may publish the verdict," the judge announced.

The foreman looked at Mac as he read their decision. "We, the jury, find in favor of the defendants, Mr. and Mrs. Harmon Rabb, Jr."

"WHAT?!!" Alcott exclaimed. "You can't be serious!" Alcott reached for a folder that was lying on the table and hurled it in the direction of the jurors.

The judge pounded his gavel. "Mr. Alcott, I am ordering that you be held in contempt of court!"

"You're just as crazy as they are!" Alcott replied.

"That's it! Bailiff, remove him from my court immediately!"

As the Bailiff moved towards him, Alcott threw a punch, knocking the man to the ground. In the next second he was at the defense's table, lunging towards Mac only to be stopped by both the Admiral and Bud, both making sure Mac was well out of Alcott's reach behind them. Alcott managed to surprise AJ with one quick punch to the face, but then an angry SEAL’s took him down right cross.

As the Bailiffs finally collected Alcott off the floor, everyone could see that he clutched his bleeding nose in his hand. "You broke my nose!" he said in shock as they began to lead him away. Just before the reached the door at the back of the court, he yelled at Mac. "This isn't over, colonel! I can promise you that this ISN'T OVER!"

His words reverberated throughout the courtroom as the judged pounded his gavel again. "Order! Order in the court!" All conversation ceased and the judge looked at the defense table. "Thank you for your help, Admiral Chegwidden." AJ nodded and the judge looked at the plaintiff's table. "I am sure that your client with want to retain your services for the near future, Mr. Donnell, as I am bringing him up on charges of assault." Finally the judge looked at the jury. "The jury is thanked for their services and you are dismissed. This court is adjourned."

As soon as he'd pounded his gavel one last time, AJ turned to Mac. "Are you okay?"

Mac nodded. "I'm fine."

"Are you sure, ma'am?" Bud asked. "Because you don't look so great."

Mac frowned at him. "I'm fine, Bud, really. Can we PLEASE just get out of here now?"

"Of course," AJ replied as he along with Bud collected their folders.

***

1345 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.
September 21, 2004

"Lieutenant Roberts reporting as order, sir."

"At ease, Lieutenant," The Admiral picked up a file from his desk, handing it to Bud. "Take a look at that, Lieutenant."

Bud opened the file. "What is it, sir?"

"A chance to advance your career, Lieutenant."

Bud's eyes grew wide. "It's an offer to be senior trial counsel at the JAG at TSO Pacific in Pearl Harbor."

"That's not all. Keep reading, Lieutenant."

"Promotion to Lieutenant Commander?"

"A promotion that is WAY overdue as it is. However, you should know that your promotion to lieutenant commander is not hinged upon you taking this new duty assignment in Pearl Harbor. However taking the new assignment would help to advance your career in the right direction."

"Sir, are you saying I should take this assignment?" Bud asked.

"No, Lieutenant, I'm not. It's not my place to advise you what to do. I believe that's Lieutenant Sims' job," AJ replied.

"Yes, sir. How much time do I have to make a decision about this, sir?"

"I need to know what to tell the CO of the Pacific office within a week. Take NO longer than that to come to your decision, Lieutenant."

"Understood, sir."

"Dismissed."

"Aye, sir."

*   ~   *   ~   *   ~   *
1558 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.

"Ready to go, sailor?" Mac said as she walked into Harm's office.

Harm didn't look up. "Yeah, sure. Give me one more second to finish these notes."

Mac snorted. "That's some greeting for your wife when she's made the effort to come to take you out to lunch especially when she looks like the Goodyear blimp!"

Harm looked up at that smiling. "First of all, you DO NOT look like the Goodyear blimp. And second, I apologize for the way I greeted you -- I'm just a little preoccupied with all the paperwork that accumulated while I was in the hospital." He had returned to duty about two weeks ago after the doctors gave him a clean bill of health. After he finished writing the sentence he was on and threw the pencil down, eager to kiss his wife, and to stretch a little.

After the briefest of kisses, Mac pulled him towards the door. "Come on, let's go get lunch. I'm starved."

Harm smiled, and picked up his cover to follow her out of his office. After closing the door, they made their way through half-frenzied bullpen. They had just exited that area and were nearing the elevators when Harm heard his name being called out. It came from the direction of Sturgis' office and Harm all but groaned when the former submariner in question caught up to them as they waited for the elevator.

"I thought I saw you two making a beeline for the elevator," Sturgis said with a smile. "Hello, Mac, good to you see again."

"Likewise, Sturgis."

Harm gave his friend a frustrated look. "Yeah, we were on our way out to lunch."

Sturgis smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry to hold you up but-"

"Don't say it, Sturgis!" Harm interjected.

"I need to talk to you about the Henderson case," Sturgis finished.

"Can't this wait until AFTER lunch?" Harm asked.

"I'm afraid not, buddy," Sturgis replied. "I'm sorry but I promise you this won't take long."
Harm sighed, nodded, and looked at Mac. He was about to speak when she held up a hand.

"You don't have to apologize. I used to work here, remember?" she said and he nodded. "Anyway, you two go take care whatever it is you need to take care of."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure."

"I thought you were starved."

Mac playfully swatted him on the arm. "I AM starved but I'll go to see what I can dig up in the break room while you and Sturgis take care of your problem."

"Okay but only if you're sure," Harm said.

"I'm sure," Mac replied. She then looked at Sturgis who was watching their interaction with amusement. "And as for you, commander, if you keep him any longer than necessary, I will personally kick your six into the middle of next week."

Sturgis didn't hesitate in his reply as he saw the playful gleam in her eye. He raised his free hand in mock salute. "Aye, aye Colonel."

Mac rolled her eyes. "Would you two get going already?" She watched them walk off in the direction of Sturgis' office before she started to head in the direction of the break room. A familiar form was already there, turned towards the coffee machine as she entered the area. Smiling, Mac began to explore the cabinets to see what was stored there.

***

"Hello, ensign," she said as she abandoned the bare shelves to open the refrigerator.

Ensign Jason Tiner turned at the sound of her voice, and almost instinctively came to attention when he saw whom it was who had spoken. Mac almost couldn't help but smile when she saw his reaction.

"At ease, ensign," she said finally.

Jason only relaxed slightly. "How are you today, ma'am?"

"Jason," she said, finding it odd to use his first name, "When I'm out of uniform, it's Mac. And to answer your question I'm fine. How are you? How are your law classes coming?" Talking with Tiner occupied several moments for Mac as her quest to find any suitable snacks seemed to be a lost cause. Five minutes later, their conversation was interrupted as the Admiral walked in.

"Ensign, why are you just standing around when there's work to be done?"

Before Tiner could reply, Mac stepped in. "I caused the ensign to stay longer than he originally planned, Admiral."

Not sparing her a glance, AJ kept his eyes trained in his former yeoman. "Hmm, I see. Carry on with your duties then, ensign."

"Aye, sir," Tiner replied before making a hasty exit.

As soon as Tiner had exited the break room, AJ broke into a smile, turning to look at Mac. Suddenly it dawned on Mac that the reason Tiner had jumped when her former CO barked was because he had totally misread the Admiral's mood. Although, Mac decided, if she'd been on the receiving end of that storm cloud of a glare he had had on his face when he entered the room, she would have retreated too ASAP!

"Mac, no one told me that you were in the office today. Waiting on the Commander?" he asked.

"Yes, sir. We're going out to lunch, 5 minutes and 15 seconds ago," she replied.

The Admiral shook his head. "How DO you do that?" He waited a beat knowing she wasn't going to answer him. "Where is Harm anyway?"

"In Commander Turner's office. Sturgis managed to grab us before we could get out of the building. He said that he needed to talk to Harm and that it couldn't wait."

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

The amusement vanished from Sturgis' eyes the moment they entered his office. As they entered the office, Sturgis shut the door without saying a word, and Harm decided that he didn't like the look on his friend's face.

"Uh oh, something's wrong and this has nothing to do with the Henderson case, does it?"

Sturgis shook his head. "No, it doesn't. I didn't want to say anything in front of Mac but I just got a call from the police."

Harm went white, "It's about Alcott, right."

Sturgis nodded, "Yeah, they still haven't caught the S.O.B. but the reason they called is because he was spotted near JAG headquarters yesterday."

"Oh great, just great."

"Now, Harm, that doesn't mean he's still here or that he'll come back here," Sturgis said.

"Sturgis, he's got a vendetta against Mac and may I remind you he nearly killed me when I stopped him from strangling her to death!" Harm replied, "He's not going to leave us alone until he gets what he wants -- the both of us."

Sturgis nodded, "In any case, I have to alert the Admiral about the situation with Alcott."

Harm turned towards the door, "If that's all I'll take my wife to lunch now. Unless you really did need to speak to me about the Henderson case."

"No, I didn't," his friend admitted and Harm started to leave, "Harm, just promise me you and Mac will be careful out there."

Harm grinned, "You know us."

Sturgis watched his friend exit and he muttered, "That's what I am afraid of."

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
1608 Zulu
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, VA.

When Harm finally reappeared from Sturgis' office, he found Mac waiting for him in his own. Poking his head inside, he said, "Come on, let's get out of here before the Admiral decides he wants to see me." Mac didn't have to be told twice, and soon they were in the elevator, heading down and out for lunch. They had just made it into the parking lot when Harm heard his name being called out again.

"Keep walking. Maybe he'll think we don't hear him," Mac muttered.

"Commander Rabb!" Mic persisted. "Harm!"

"No such luck," Harm said before he halted, turning to face the Australian. "What do you need, commander?"

"Good to see you again, Mac."

Mac nodded. "Likewise."

"Mic," Harm began, "We were on our way to lunch, so-"

Mic shook his head, turning his attention to the business at hand. Opening the folder in his hand, "Oh sorry, mate, I won't keep you long but I needed to talk to you about the Aaronson case."

"Yeah, you and the entire office," Harm muttered.

Mic moved to where he was standing in front of them with his back to the guard station, and just as he did a gunshot rang out.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
Admiral Chegwidden's Office
Same Time

AJ's head snapped up as he heard what sounded like a gunshot, and immediately he hit the floor. As he moved over towards the office's window, he thought about how much that single shot had sounded like a sniper's rifle but the view out of his window showed nothing out of the ordinary.

Picking up his phone, he dialed the number to the guard station. No one picked up from their end. As another shot ran out he went barreling out of his office. Taking note that no one in the office seemed to have heard the gunshots, he began looking for one specific person in the bullpen.

"Gunnery Sergeant Galindez?"

"Sir, did I just hear gunshots?" Gunny asked.

The Admiral nodded. "Get on the horn, call Security, and inform them that we have a possible man down at the guard station."

"Aye, sir," Gunny replied picking up the phone. "Anything else, sir?"

"Yes, meet me at the south exit ASAP, along with Security. We're going to exit the building from there, circle around to the front, and see if we can't determine what is going on outside."

"Aye, sir."

AJ raised his voice, "Meanwhile not another soul is to leave this office. Do I make myself clear?"

"Aye, sir!" several staff members echoed.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
JAG Parking Lot
Same Time

Mic's sudden appearance distracted the gunman enough to where his shot causing the bullet strike a car behind Harm instead. Immediately, instinct and training kicked in causing all three officers to get down even as they sought cover behind the parked vehicles. After helping his wife to settle on the ground behind the Admiral's SUV, Harm turned back to Mic who was already trying to locate where the shots were coming from.

"They seem to be coming from the guard station," he said as Harm joined him.

Harm stuck his head up a little too far and had to cover his face quickly as he ducked when a bullet shattered a nearby car window.

Shaking his head he looked at Mic. "He's taken the guard out."

***

He had just made the final turn to JAG headquarters when Clay could have sworn he heard a gunshot. Slowing down, he waited to see if he heard anything and sure enough another gunshot followed the previous one. Pulling over to the side of the road, he checked to make sure his gun was loaded before abandoning the car completely...

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

The shots continued to fire at anyone who dared to stick any parts of their bodies out from cover but Harm finally managed to get a look at who was firing at them. Swearing, he turned back to Mic, "It's Alcott."

"The Alf who trying to kill you and Mac?"

"Affirmative, mate," Harm replied.

"Well, I'd said he's got us pinned," Mic said.

Harm nodded, and pulled out his cell phone, and was about to dial it when it began to ring, "Yeah?"

"Are you three all right?" the Admiral's gruff voice shot back.

"For the moment, sir," Harm said. "Fortunately, Alcott didn't get a clear shot at any of us and we took cover the moment we knew there was a problem."

"Uh, Harm, we've got a problem!" Mac suddenly said.

"Hold on one moment, sir," Harm lowered the phone, "Sarah, what's wrong?"

"I think my water just broke. I'm in labor!"

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

"Did I hear Mac just say she's in labor?" AJ asked.

Harm's eyes went wide as his wife's words sank in and he didn't hear the Admiral on the phone. "The baby's coming....Now?!!"

Mac breathed in sharply as another contraction hit her, "'Fraid so, sailor."

"Commander?" AJ was growing impatient with trying to get someone's attention. "Commander Rabb or Brumby - someone had better answer me or so help me-"

Mic snatched up the cell phone from where Harm had laid it on the ground as he helped Mac ease onto her back, "I'm here, sir."

"Commander, look 9 o'clock to your left, towards the bushes, but do it so Alcott can't see you," AJ said he watched as Mic got lower to the ground before sharply turning his gaze over in the direction indicated.

"I see you, sir," Mic said.

AJ nodded, "Tell Harm and Mac to stay put, you as well. I have a team here - we're going to try to sneak up on his six and take Alcott out."

Even as he spoke Mic saw the former SEAL begin to signal the Marines with him and they all began stealthy movements towards Alcott using the bushes as cover to conceal their presence. Disconnecting the call, Mic watched the Admiral lead the others towards their target.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Using stealth of his own, Clay crossed the half of block left to JAG, where he ducked behind a mailbox. Once there he saw one Marine guard down, probably dead, and another dressed in ill-fitting Corps uniform. The sniper was cold-bloodily shooting at what looked like three people, JAG staff no doubt, huddled down behind some cars for protection against his bullets.

Aiming his own gun, Clay stood up and just as he about to pull the trigger a woman somewhere nearby let out a scream. The scream was enough to startle Clay to where his aim was just off, striking the guard's station instead of his intended target. Cursing, Clay just did duck behind mailbox as the sniper turned on him, firing a handgun at him.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

AJ's team momentarily halted when they heard a new source of gunfire. Squinting, AJ looked at Gunny as he spoke the answer to his question, "It looks like Mr. Webb has just joined the party, Admiral."

"Then, by all means Gunny, let's give the man a hand."

"Aye, sir."

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Harm's uniform jacket now acted as a pillow for Mac's head even as Mic had removed his to for Mac to lie on. Harm beside his wife, her hand in his as Mic kept an eye on Alcott. Harm tried to help Mac remember the breathing she'd learn in the Lamaze class but the techniques seemed to help her very little as the labor intensified.

Suddenly they all heard another gunshot that was not followed by the sound of the bullet impacting in one of the cars. The Aussie commander dared to raise his head to look to see who was firing now and he saw Alcott firing in the direction of the left corner of the office driveway.

"Blimey, someone else is firing at the Alf," he said, glimpsing back. "I'm going to see if I can't get to Alcott."

"Mic, get down before you get shot!"

"Stay here," he said.

"Mic!" Harm hissed.

Ignoring Harm, he began to creep out from behind what was left of the Admiral's SUV and began to make his way towards the guard station, using subsequent vehicles as shields. Unfortunately about 50 yards away from Alcott, the cars ran out and Mic only hesitated a moment before deciding to make a break for it.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Alcott was firing on Webb but he wasn't so distracted that he didn't see Mic's brazen attempt to take him down. Turning calmly after firing off on last shot at Clay, he turned and took aim.

A single gunshot rang out...
 
 

***

Mic blinked, breathing in slowly before he dared to look down at the rest of his body, fully expecting to see a blood spot somewhere on his uniform. Relief flooded him when he found none and he looked up just in time to see Alcott fall to the ground.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Clay took the chance the crazy Australian had given quickly rising, taking aim of his own, and fired the shot that caused the sniper to fall to the ground a fraction of a second later. As he moved towards the body he saw out of the corner of his eye the team of JAG security begin to run towards his position. Kneeling beside the sniper's body, Clay turned the man over.

"Not that I'm not grateful for your help, Webb, but what are you doing here?" AJ asked as they approached Alcott with weapons ready.

Clay had reached down to check for a pulse, and then he looked up at the Admiral, "You can relax, Admiral, he's dead. And to answer your question I was here to bring a present to Harm and Mac for their baby. Would you mind telling me who this guy was and why was he shooting at your people?"

"This is Mason Alcott, formerly a Chief Petty officer in the Navy. Mac prosecuted and consequently got him dismissed from the Navy."

"You mean this is the same guy who put Harm into a coma?"

"The one and the same."

Clay looked down at Alcott's face, noting that the man's eyes were still open, a shocked expression on his face, "Well then I'm not sorry I took him out then."

The Admiral turned away from them to look at Gunny, "Find something to cover him up with until the police get here."

"Aye, sir."

Turning back to Webb, "I think you'd better stay awhile because I think they'll want to talk to you too."

Clay nodded, "I'll stay."

***

“Mac can you move?” Harm asked. “Because if you can, now would be a good time to move while Alcott is distracted.”

 

“If you haven’t notice, flyboy, I am busy right now!” Mac snapped. “Harm, this baby is coming!”

 

“Now?!!”

 

“Yes, now!”

 

At that moment they heard another gunshot and fearing Alcott had shot Mic dead Harm cautiously peeked around the SUV. What he saw surprised him as it was apparent Mic was fine, and it was Alcott who was dead. Of all people he didn’t expect to see that day was Clayton Webb as he stood up from behind the mailbox, gun drawn. Clay with much caution approached the area in front of the guard station where Harm assumed Alcott’s body had fallen.

 

“Oh…Harm…” Mac said, in between contractions, “Is he all right?”

 

Harm only watched as the Admiral and a team of MPs approached the spot that Clay now stood over. After they exchanged some words he saw Gunny break off from the MPs, holstering his weapon.

 

“Harm?”

 

Harm looked back at her, “Mic’s fine. I think Alcott is dead.”

 

“You think…ahhhhhh!”

 

At hearing his wife’s cry of pain, Harm hurried back to her side, realizing he needed to make her as comfortable as he possibly could. Kneeling beside her, he began to remind her to breathe. Not for the first time since they met, Mac felt like she wanted to slug that trademark Rabb grin that she up until now had found sexy.

 

“If you don’t stop telling me how to breathe, I’m going to-“

 

“Corporal, go call another ambulance,” AJ said as he discovered the couple’s dilemma, “And tell them we have a woman here whose about to have her baby.”

 

“Aye, sir!” said the corporal in question, taking off towards the building.

 

“Move it, Marine, or I’ll have your six,” the Admiral said when the corporal didn’t move fast enough for him.

 

“Aye, sir!” the corporal broke into a run then, disappearing inside of the building.

 

AJ knelt down, removing his uniform’s jacket and spread it over Mac’s legs. “Mac, the medics may not get here in time so I am going to take a look and see how far along you are, okay?”

 

Mac nodded her consent as did Harm. Mac was surprised that embarrassment didn’t flood her as her former CO poked his head underneath the jacket. Pulling back out, he looked at them.

 

“I can see the baby’s head,” he informed them. At that moment he saw Gunny walking by with a blanket. “Gunny, give the blanket!” The blanket his was carrying was intended to cover Alcott, but it was still a blanket and they needed it right that moment.

 

“Aye, sir,” he replied.

 

AJ quickly spread it out, using it to cover Mac, and once she was cover he throw aside his uniform jacket. “Gunny?”

 

“Sir?”

 

“Go find another blanket or towel,” the Admiral ordered.

 

“Aye, sir.”

 

“I want to push!” Mac said.

 

“I know, Mac, but I need to you to wait until Gunny has returned,” AJ replied calmly.

 

Harm never ceased to be amazed at how calm the Admiral was when it came to delivering babies. Then again after one had been in numerous missions as a SEAL, any situation one faced after that had to be calmer than those past missions.

 

“Ahhhhhhhhhh!”

 

Then again, maybe not…

 

Exactly one minute after he sprinted off, Gunny returned with both a blanket and a snowy white towel. “Here’s the blanket and towel you requested, sir.”

 

Right at than moment police cars pulled into the parking lot, “Gunny, keep those people away until the ambulance gets here or until this baby has come.”

 

Gunny nodded, “Aye, sir.”

 

Victor looked at Harm and said, “Good luck, sir.”

 

“Thank you, Gunny.”

 

“Good luck, ma’am, and Semper Fi,” he said before hurrying off to intercept the police officers.

 

Getting the towel ready, AJ said, “All right, Mac, you can push.”

 

Taking a deep breath as she squeezed Harm’s hand with more strength he ever thought she had, Mac let out another scream as she pushed with all her might.

 

“The baby’s head and shoulders are out,” the Admiral said, “One more big push should do it.”

 

“I’m so tired.”

 

“Just one more push, Sarah,” Harm said wiping away sweating from her face. “Come on, you can do this, Marine.”

 

The contraction came and taking a deep breath, Mac let out one last, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

 

The baby slipped out and into AJ’s arms, and after seeing to the cord he wrapped the newborn in the towel, “Congratulations, Harm, Mac. You have a beautiful bouncing baby girl.” He laid the little girl into her mother’s arms, and went to direct the paramedic that had just arrived.

 

***

Birth Announcement: Lexi Morgan Rabb made her entrance into the world on September 21, 2004 at 1:09 PM Eastern Standard Time. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 5 ounces. After a brief stay at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Lexi is expected to go home with her parents, Commander Harmon Rabb Jr. (USN) and Lt. Colonel Sarah MacKenzie-Rabb (USMC).

 

***

JAG Headquarters

A Few Days Later…

 

“At easy,” AJ Yes, lieutenant?”

 

“I’ve talked it over with Harriet, sir,” Bud said, “And I want to take the transfer to TSO Pacific.”

 

“I’ll notify them immediately,” the Admiral replied, “In meantime, you will need to wrap up all your current cases.”

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

“You’re dismissed, lieutenant.”

 

“Aye, sir,” Bud said, coming to attention briefly before turning to leave.

 

AJ waited until he was at the door, “Oh and Bud?”

 

Bud turned half to him, “Sir?”

 

“Congratulations, Lieutenant Commander Roberts.”

 

Bud grinned, “Thank you, sir.”

 

AJ watched him leave before he returned to his own work…

 

The End

 

 

***

Story started: 3/14/02

Finished: 10/20/03