Title: Murphy’s Law- Part Two: Just Another Day at JAG

Author: Mel and Claire

E-Mail: Claire’s is c.d.beattie@dundee.ac.uk and Mel’s is m.a.jooty@dundee.ac.uk

Disclaimer: The characters of Harm, Mac, Admiral Chedwiggen, Meg Austin, Bud and Harriet are the property of David Bellasario, CBS and Paramount and no profit has been made by my utilising them in my story. All evil villains, weirdoes, medical staff, psychiatrists, annoying family member, friends etc are all our own creation, except Harriet and Bud who are weirdoes also but we all know who created them.

Summary: As the JAG team find out Murphy’s Law can be so accurate- when anything can go wrong it will go wrong.

Author’s Notes: Parts of this story can be described as dark comedy, depending on your sense of humour. For those of you who are perceptive it should be obvious Bud and Harriet are NOT are favourite characters. However, we do like Harm and Mac and even though we put them through hell, they do ride it out. There is a first part of the Murphy’s Law series which can be found on Claire’s JAG page and there are other parts coming to a computer near you soon!!! PS- parents, send any complaints to Claire, she just loves replying to them.

Archiving: Okay, as long as our names stay on it.

Feedback: Welcome, as long as you aren't a parent complaining about violence etc or if you actually would like Harriet to live.

WebPages (though it is not a recommended fanfic site for those few Harriet fans that exist out there): http://members.tripod.com/jagclaire/home.htm

_____________________________________________________________________

 

The day had begun fairly inconspicuously enough. It was another bright April Sunday, and the office was fairly quiet with most of the officers making the most of the good weather to take the family or simply lounge in the scorching sun.

 

Bud and Harriet, who were behaving like every bit the sickly newly weds they were, had the day off for a post-honeymoon. As for Admiral Chedwiggen, he was seeing his therapist after ‘accidentally’ beating the hell out of Webb during a drunken rage at a Naval charity dance when the CIA spook refused to let him have another drink (actually, the truth was the admiral was so pissed he was hallucinating and was probably under the impression Webb was a clone from the Planet Zog). Poor Webb, the guy had obviously forgotten the former SEAL could pack quite a punch despite his age. The compassionate Webb settled not to press charges but did handle the matter privately with the Navy brass. Chedwiggen’s erratic behaviour was getting too concerning to let the event to pass by without comment.

 

The Admiral was still coming to terms with losing his godson in that horrific murder case not two months ago- a case which claimed the lives of several fine officers, another two of whom he knew quite well from previous engagements. Though the Navy brass were willing to put his preoccupied state down to stress the incident with Webb forced them to insist he seek mandatory therapy. Since starting the psych appointments, Chedwiggen did seem to recuperate and he was slowly returning to his typical self.

 

The last of the duty officers had left for home by late morning leaving just Major Sarah ‘Mac’ Mackenzie in the JAG headquarters alone with Lieutenant Commander Harmon ‘Harm’ Rabb. The pair were busy finishing off last-minute reports, enjoying the peace with the others gone. Unlike any normal people, their lives revolved primarily around their work, whether they were in or out of court.

 

Inwardly, Mac would have preferred to have enjoyed a rare day off after a week of strenuous cases but when Harm had mentioned he was coming in to work, she had decided to join him. He was her partner, it was her job to check on his well being and to be quite honest, Harm had been a little obsessive over his missing father lately. Ever since he had discovered that damned list on that equally damned ship she could tell that even during his seemingly cheerful moments his mind was wandering back to the man he had lost back when he was just six years old.

 

Their little ‘vacation’ to Russia had all but proven Harmon Rabb Senior had perished years before, but it was clear that there were time Harm was having his doubts to the credibility of the story. To ensure he didn’t go off the deep end and attempt another trip to the Godforsaken corners of the Earth- this time ditching her- Mac decided to keep a wary eye on him and if that meant sacrificing her weekend then so be it. Besides, Mac couldn’t have Harm taking all the credit for doing the work.

 

Sometimes, however, one’s mind could not operate without fuel for the brain. A thriving intellect needed nourishment to both work on tedious reports and listen to her partner smugly prattle on about the joys of flying (God, she wished he’d never found out about her ‘slight’ motion sickness). Now, at exactly thirteen hundred hours, Mac felt she was in dire need of a hamburger fix. Her hands were itching towards her car keys when Harm coughed in disapproval.

 

"Now, now, now, Mac, you’ve already had four hamburgers today," he warned.

 

"Oh, come on, Harm," Mac whined, sounding like a spoilt two-year-old and not a bit like the Marine she was. "Hey, I’m a Marine, I need my strength."

 

"Here, eat this."

 

Harm tossed Mac a fruit bar- the confection landing perfectly on her desk. He flashed her a broad smile, as if he had performed the most generous act possible. As much as she valued Harm’s friendship and partnership, he had a lousy choice in food. He ate like damn vegetables and fruit were about to become extinct- as if one tiny piece of meat would kill him! Mac prodded the fruit bar into the bin by her desk, in disgust.

 

At Harm’s scowl, Mac shrugged. "It slipped."

 

"Yeah, right . . . Well, I’m doing this for your own good. Do you know how much cholesterol there is in one hamburger, let alone four?"

 

"Harm, I’m a thirty-four-year-old woman in the Marines, I don’t think I have to worry about cholesterol just yet."

 

"You’ll be thanking me when you’re sixty." The dark-haired commander searched his desk for something then sighed. "I must have left one of the files in the storage room, I’ll have to go get it." He eyed Mac suspiciously. "Can I trust you?"

 

Mac flashed him an innocent smile. "Harm, please, ‘course you can trust me."

 

"You won’t go off and buy another hamburger?"

 

"No, I promise. Now go get the file I’ll be fine."

 

When he disappeared into the corridor, Mac made a grab for the car keys and dashed for her car before she was caught. She had promised Harm she wouldn’t get a hamburger . . . but she hadn’t said anything about cheeseburgers.

 

**********

Elsewhere, miles from the JAG office where they worked, Bud and Harriet Roberts were enjoying a day at the beach. It had been a long and stressful week and they had hardly seen each other so when the Admiral was drunk, Harm had requested on their behalf that the Roberts could have a day off. AJ Chedwiggen was in no shape to refuse, one could have asked the Admiral for his entire house and possessions and he would have complied. His exact words were, "You can have whatever you damn well want, just don’t you dare touch my fuckin’ drink." To emphasis his speech, he clutch his bottle of scotch possessively- unfortunately for Clayton Webb, he made the mistake for trying to steal the scotch and paid for that mistake by taking a trip to the local ER.

 

Harriet’s cousin had offered the newly weds the lone of his private beach- situated near Richmond- and all the facilities. It was luxury. They had spent the morning lounging by the pool, sipping cocktails and eating scrumptious meals- though Bud noticed Harriet was using low fat ingredients, apparently she thought it was high time Bud lost his ‘baby fat’.

 

"But, Harriet," he had moaned.

 

"Oh, don’t be so silly, Bud," Harriet had said, waddling over and placing his meal in front of him. "It’s not right for a twenty-eight-year-old man to still have baby fat."

 

As it was, by mid-afternoon the pair were ready to explore the surrounding area. It was a beautiful day- the sun was scorching down on the yellow sands and the clear blue waters were cool and crisp. It was a perfect day to take the horses out.

 

Riding down the isolated beach was such a calm, relaxing experience for the two JAG junior officers. However, twenty minutes into the ride, Bud’s horse, Sandy, looked ready to collapse under the young man’s hefty weight and the horse bristled at Bud’s attempts to calm it.

 

"I don’t think Sandy likes me, sweetie," Bud said to his wife, who was now mounted on a white stallion named Oodles of Poodles (apparently, Harriet’s four-year-old niece was the one who named the horses).

 

"Oh, Bud," cooed the blonde ensign, "don’t be so silly, everyone likes you."

 

Apparently, Sandy did not agree for he began bucking and kicking. Bud, not prepared for this new development, fell . . . right under Sandy’s pounding feet.

 

The pain- it was everywhere. The horse beat on Bud’s arms and legs and the young man tried to protect his head by curling into a ball. Tears welled in Bud’s eyes as he braced against the agony that washed through him.

 

Finally, after a five-minute assault, the horse regained its tranquillity and galloped into the distance leaving Harriet to deal with a buried, bleeding and unconscious Bud.

 

"Oh my goodness me . . . " mumbled Harriet, bending down to Bud’s side.

 

His limbs were in odd positions, like a crocked puppet, his hands actually looking crushed. His stomach was hard, indicting massive internal injuries, and his breathing was raspy. Blood saturated his white T-shirt, the coppery smell wafting over the fragrance of the sea.

 

In his semiconscious slumber, Bud wheezed, "It would be nice if you could call an ambulance, kitten." Then his eyes shut.

 

*******

Blissfully unaware of her colleague's grim circumstances, Mac happily drove to the nearest Beltway Burgers joint. She knew she should have felt some guilt for lying to Harm but her need for a burger outweighed her conscience. Hopefully, remembering the dreadful state of the storage, Harm was still searching for his file and she’d return back quickly with him never knowing any different. It was a sneaky stunt to pull, especially on someone as loyal and gracious as Harm, but one did not get to become a lawyer without pulled a few sneaky tricks. Maybe, she’s buy him a whole box of Nutragrains tomorrow to make up for this . . . but for now, she needed burgers.

 

Feeling like a woman possessed, Mac almost skipped into the burger joint with glee, her mouth watering at the anticipation of a juicy cheeseburger and a portion of deliciously greasy fries, her personal definition of heaven. Perhaps it was an accident- pure coincidence- or perhaps fate did not encourage deceiving the innocent, but just as she was about to join the shortest queue, Mac slipped on a fry sending her ploughing across the floor to land in an awkward heap in the corner.

 

"That’ll be another law suit," muttered someone, as people crowded around the fallen Marine to lend assistance.

 

"Hey, isn’t that a military uniform she’s wearing," screeched some annoying kid who Mac would have gratefully, whole-heartedly murdered on the spot if she could stand.

 

Someone snorted at the teenager’s remarks. "Oh great, I feel helluva lot ‘safer’ knowing our army who protect the damn country is made up of folks that slip on frigging fries," was the sarcastic response.

 

Didn’t these onlookers’ parents ever teach them about showing a little sympathy to the wounded? Her head and leg were killing her here and they were standing commenting on her Marine conduct. Thank God they hadn’t recognised her- after Chris’s death she became very popular by the media.

 

A young waitress approach Mac, paling at the crude position of Mac’s left leg. "I think she’s broken a leg, you’d better call 911."

 

"Hey, I’ve seen her before," spoke up the teenage that had picked up on her military status. "Wasn’t she in some kind of case a bit like Monica Lewinsky and adulterous murder?"

 

If that damn little shit didn’t shut his mouth soon, she would be forced to ram his head into a fucking wall, broken leg or no broken leg.

 

Even despite the pain, Mac could only think that this’ll make a great news headline this little incident would make. She could see it now, ‘Adulterous, Fraternising, Murderer Marine Survives Tour Of Duty In Bosnia Only To Slip On A Fry.’ The brass would love this. And Harm; God, now he’ll definitely know about her little ‘secret’. She moaned.

 

"Just relax," said the waitress, under the impression Mac was in pain because of injuries, "everything will be alright."

 

Yeah right, kid, you may as well kill me now because I’d rather be incinerate now than face Harm in a bad mood. Could this day get any worse?

 

**********

Unfortunately for Bud, it had. Lying on the sandy beach mortally wounded, he actually prayed for death in his agonising semi-conscious haze. He was quickly loaded into the ambulance, he had lost consciousness soon after Harriet had called the ambulance. The paramedic loaded Bud's broken body into the back of the ambulance. Harriet tried to jump up into the back of the van but her efforts were in vain, as the medic restrained her.

 

Harriet was hysterical, her body was shaking, tears poured from her eyes and she could no longer focus on anything but Bud, and the horrifying site of his body laying on the stretcher battered and bruised. Unfortunately, Harriet was not slow the realise that Bud's injuries extended far beyond some simple bruising, before she had called the ambulance her examination of Bud, with a crude knowledge of the human body after the simple medical course she had received from the Navy, that he most likely had massive internal injuries. Her stomach lurched as she recalled the scene of Bud, lying on the ground; his white T-shirt stained red.

 

The ambulance roared down the road, Harriet looked at Bud only to turn away in horror she just could not look at her husbands body, as she heard his pitiful groans, she became hysterical and started to hyperventilate.

 

"Oh dear, OH GOD, BUD, BUD, OH HELP PLEASE," Harriet wailed in a high pitched shrill voice. The paramedic tried to calm Harriet to putting the oxygen mask over her face. The blond women struggled against the medic, how could she even try to breathe normally with her husband in such a condition.

 

The medic were frantically working to stop the huge bleeding Bud's was suffering from.

 

*********

"Damn her!"

 

When Harm returned from the storeroom with file in hand, it was to find his office empty. A flash of concern fleeted across his mind- perhaps that they caught the wrong man, maybe the serial killer was still out there- but he quickly realised Mac’s car keys were missing.

 

Glowering he sat down behind his desk he conjured up ways to get even with his vexing partner. Maybe he could submit her for a psych test, she would probably fail and be carted off to the nearest loony bin. Or maybe he could have the Admiral temporarily transfer her to those Appalachian Mountains…in an F14 with the hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners Commander Krennick for company. He smirked satanically at that idea. Krennick always did enjoy mingling with the Falls Church JAG crew, he would love to see Mac try her crap on her.

 

He was picking up a transfer form from his desk when his office phone rang. He was puzzled since any concerned with JAG would have assumed the headquarters were shut for the day and would have tried Harm on his cell-phone.

 

Upon answering, he listened with a range of emotions varying from concern to anger then finally to a childish self-satisfied. Apparently, Mac had slipped on a fry (wait till Monday and he spread this around the office! She would never hear the end of this, not if he had anything to with it) and was currently at Bethesda Naval Hospital suffering from a broken leg and a concussion. They were admitting her for observation and were notifying him, as both her next-of-kin and her commanding officer.

 

Considering her injuries were not severe, Harm enjoyed a few moments laughing quietly to himself at the sheer equity of the world. If a passer-by had seen his little display he would have been the one carted off to the loony bin. It was cruel he knew to laugh at his friend’s pains, but hell cruelty be damned- this was entertaining. Only two-year-olds and old grannies broke their legs slipping on fries. What kind of klutz was Mac?! He spent another minute or two chuckling before deciding what to do about it. The matter of whether to visit her in hospital arouse.

 

It was tempting to just leave her to rot in that hospital, hell it served her right but his conscience got the better of him and he found himself driving down to Bethesda Naval Hospital carrying a little bouquet of flowers and a bag of chocolate after calling a relief officer in to take any messages and lock the place up. God, why did his mother have to raise him to be conscientious?

 

**********

In brightly light wards of the hospital in Richmond, Harriet Sims paced relentlessly, as she awaited Bud to come out of surgery. It had been hours since he was brought it, with massive internal injuries. They had not told her much about his condition, they were frantically trying to stop the bleeding and make sure he lived to even be taken to the OR.

 

She had tried to get hold of someone- Major Mackenzie or Commander Rabb- but a young ensign at the JAG headquarters had informed her Mac had been hospitalised after a fall and Harm was with her. As much as she hoped Mac was alright, her train of thoughts were on her husband who was probably lying on some cold surgical table dying.

 

No! Not Bud! He couldn’t die, he hadn’t even been involved in combat before- he couldn’t die after some stupid, simple fall from a horse. But she had been there and she was more than aware his fall was anything but simple…

 

"Oh dear god, Bud." Harriet sniffed as she once again passed the same coffee machine. The cheap and tasteless vended drink had long since lost their appeal to Harriet, she couldn't tell exactly how much time had passed since Bud was admitted to the OR, only that it was too long.

 

The young woman could see her quaint little life collapse before her, she wondered for a second if she should call JAG, tell Harm and Mac of the incident after all. Mac was in hospital but surely they would want to know, Bud was their friend. No, Mac was sick and she needed Harm with her, besides their presence would be strictly for her own benefit. She had to stop acting like some helpless six-year-old and deal with it, her husband needed her- through sickness and in health, that was what she vowed that day in church and that was damn well what she was going to do. This was one thing that for the first time in her life Harriet would have to do alone.

 

********

She dozed on the small waiting room couch for what seemed like weeks but could not have been more than four or five hours. She become aware of someone watching her and she roused quickly, knowing the news she had been waiting for had arrived. Harriet's eyes blinked to cope with the strange surroundings. A middle aged dark haired women sat opposite her, intently watching Harriet.

 

"Wha…what…happened?" Harriet asked in a groggy voice.

 

"Hello, Mrs Roberts, I'm Doctor Elizabeth Jones," greeted the woman, grimly. "I’ve been attending to your husband’s case and I was the one who operated on him during these past few hours."

 

"Oh, my Bud what will...will happen to him." Harriet stuttered nervously "He'll…be okay, won't he, Doctor?" Her voice was a pitiful whimper.

 

The Doctor sighed deeply, she moved to sit nearer Harriet. Jones had studied the young blond after her fainting fit and wished she had better news to tell her when she awoke. But she was a doctor, not a damn magician! As much as she wanted to censor the truth, shield Harriet from the anguish she would face in the weeks- hell, months or even years- ahead, Jones was more than aware it was not only her job but her duty to reveal every impairment Bud had accumulated. God, there were days when she hated this job.

 

Sighing, the doctor gazed into Harriet’s anxious blue orbs. "The operation went well but I have to be honest and tell you that your husband has some hard times ahead of him. Bud suffered serious injuries; his spleen was ruptured and we were forced to remove it, his lung was punctured, there was considerable internal bleeding and he suffered a serious concussion. He gave us a few scares but he’s holding his own. For now all we can do is wait." As Harriet tried to assimilate this information into her frightened mind, the Doctor now had the worst news of all to supply Harriet. Jones proceeded with extreme caution, the young wife was not stable and she feared for her sanity. "But Harriet," she began, "I am afraid to tell you that we had to amputate both his legs. The damage was too extensive…"

 

Panic and fear clutched Harriet, once again she found it difficult to breathe, her whole body went into shock there was no possibility that she could even scream out her anger, her horror, her total and consuming pain. Her grip on consciousness was fading and her legs felt giddy.

 

"Harriet!"

 

Harriet glanced up to the doctor, who had spoken her name sharply in an attempt to gain her attention. Jones’ face was gentle and tolerant but unyielding.

 

"Harriet, you can’t afford to get hysterical," the doctor chided gently but firmly, "you have to focus and get a grip on things. Bud is going to need you, and you have to have a clear head if you’re going to help him through this."

 

Nodding slightly, understanding what the doctor had said was true, Harriet drew in a deep breath. It was going to be tough- Bud’s life, in essence, was forever altered in so many ways. His career with the Navy was finished, his love of sports was cut-short, but she was not going to allow this to destroy their marriage and their love…they would prevail, they had to.

 

"Can I see him please, Doctor Jones? I have to let him know I’m here for him and that we’ll get through this together."

 

***********

"I told you those burgers were going to hurt you one of these days."

 

Mac looked up from her hospital bed to find Harm standing at the door of her room, striving to appear stern and disapproving but failing miserably. He was too much the ‘nice guy’ to be incensed.

 

Since arriving at the hospital after her accident, Mac had been admitted for overnight observation. Though the leg break was minor, the crack to her head had resulted in a mild concussion and the doctor had insisted on admitting her to ensure she received complete rest. Damn that doctor. If it hadn’t been for her, Mac could have slipped out of the hospital and limped back to JAG, telling Harm she hurt her leg running an errand.

 

And trust her to be wearing her uniform. When the EMTs had realised she was military they had taken her to Bethesda Naval Hospital and now the whole damn Navy and Marine Corp knew about her little accident.

 

Harm walked over to her bedside cabinet and placed her flowers in a small vase. Instead of handing her the chocolates, which were her favourite flavour, he stuffed them in his pocket. "People with concussion shouldn’t eat within the first six or eight hours, it could make you nauseous" he explained when he saw her glare. "That means no chocolate for you." He pulled a piece of the chocolate from his pocket and shoved it into his mouth, smiling at the taste. "It is delicious though. So creamy and chocolatey. It’s a real shame you can’t have any."

 

"Hope you choke on it," she muttered. He smirked, a grin which disappeared when she said, "Think you could get me a burger later? I hate hospital food."

 

"You’re kidding, right? God, Mac, I can’t leave you alone for a minute before you go break your leg for a hamburger. Was it worth it?"

 

"No, I never got to order." Harm rolled his eyes. "So I take it everyone knows."

 

"Yep, I e-mailed everyone with the news so they can come ‘visit’. Isn’t that nice of me." He was grinning mischievously as he spoke.

 

Mac glowered at him. He only told everyone to get some twisted form of revenge, and they had the nerve to say he was such a good, impeccable officer. He could be quite malicious when he wanted to.

 

"So does it still hurt?" he asked, his partial anxiety breaking through in his voice despite his attempts to have her think otherwise.

 

"A little. My head feels like a nuke has exploded inside my skull but the leg isn’t too bad. Nothing like the Appalachian Mountains. I’m glad you came, Harm, after what I did you didn’t have to." At this Harm looked decidedly guilty for some reason.

 

He came over to sit in the chair by her bed and pulled out the candy he had crammed in his pockets. "Wanna a bit?"

 

Just as she was about to accept and question him further on his change of heart, suddenly two scruffy men barged into the room, slamming the door shut behind them. Scowling at their intrusion, Harm was about to complain when he abruptly realised in the men were carrying weapons.

 

"Lookie what we got here, Nico," said the blond of the pair, staring at the two JAG officers. "A nice pair of hostages."

 

The dark-haired one frowned at his accomplice. "Well, Joey, thanks to your fucked-up idea to raid a goddamn military hospital we’re gonna need ‘em."

 

"Who the hell are you? What’s going on here?" Harm demanded to know. His characteristic composure had flown out the window now that he had his injured partner to protect. True he knew Mac was more than capable of taking care of herself (though if that were really the correct she wouldn’t have such lousy taste in men) but the pain of her injuries fatigued her and could easily slow her down.

 

As Harm rose to his feet to forcibly confront the men, the man who was evidently called Nico waved his gun. "Not a good idea, General."

 

"It’s Lieutenant Commander actually," sneered Harm in barely contained rage. "What are you doing?"

 

"Well, General, Joey and I needed to stock up on some…goods shall we say. Hospitals are the best supplier. We decided to hit a military hospital, it seems the city hospitals have clicked to our little trading and have security. It’s actually quite scary, now easy it was for us to get into this place- a few fake ID’s downloaded from the Internet and we were on our way."

 

"You won’t get far taking two officers as hostages," Mac said confidently. "Actually you won’t get far at all."

 

"Who said anything about two officers," Nico smirked. He grabbed Mac roughly by the wrist and yanked her towards him. Mac moaned slightly at the sudden jolt to her still aching leg. "I think we’ll just take you and leave Lover-boy behind."

 

"You stay away from her!" shouted Harm. He went to punch Nico but Joey struck him on the temple with his gun knocking the Navy officer to the ground.

 

Blood oozed out of the wound and Mac tried to struggle out of Nico’s grasp to help her injured partner. Harm was gasping in pain, his dilated eyes coming up to meet the gaze of their captors.

 

"Don’t try that again, General," Nico said. He pushed Mac into Joey’s arms. "See to them, I’m going to find the quickest way outta here then we’ll all take a little trip."

 

The second Nico had marched out of the room Harm’s eyes narrowed as he searched for a way out of this predicament. With Mac incapacitated, it was his prerogative to get them both to safety. He perceived Joey was the amateur of the two, he didn’t have a clue what to do and seemed jumpy- but stable enough to deck him one.

 

"Hey," Joey said to Mac, "d’you think Nico will let me keep you when we’re done, pretty thing?" Mac rolled her eyes in disgust. "That’s the way it is with you," he responded gripping her tighter, "people like us not good enough. Well, we’re alone we’ll see what’s good."

 

Not liking the way he was talking, Harm exchanged a glance with Mac. She knew what had to be done and was not too happy. But what choice did they have? He didn’t particularly revel the idea of getting killed but that was a chance they had to take if they wanted to get out of this alive. The minute Nico had them outside the confines and safety of a military facility their chances of surviving this diminished.

 

Mac turned to Joey, smiling ever so sweetly. "Oh, Joey, didn’t anyone ever tell you not to mess with Marines."

 

Weakly but effectively, she back-kicked him in the knee then in the groin. Joey instantly released Mac, who promptly slumped, and the felon fell to the floor writhing in pain. He lifted his gun to shot Mac but Harm was faster.

 

Blood still seeping from his head, Harm dived at the man. They fell backwards against the wall, the was a loud smack sound as their heads collided with the wall. Harm grabbed Joey by the throat, his anger for Joey’s disgusting insinuations towards Mac flowing out.

 

Joey had a firm grip on his gun and brought it back down on Harm’s wound again sending the commander into a haze of unconsciousness. Joey finally certain Harm was out, turned his back on the officer- making his first mistake. As he walked to over to punish Mac for her part in the attempt Harm, weak as he was, rose unsteadily to his feet and grabbing the nearby chair he heaved it above his head and struck it down onto Joey’s head and body. The sickening sounds was a gurgled cry from the man and smashing noise of the bones in the body breaking echoed through the room. Harm felt an unimaginable hatred towards this man and continued to smash the poll into the man’s limp body enjoying the smashing sounds and his body was destroyed.

 

"Harm, Harm, stop," Mac called without success. She as worried about his mental state- she had seen the frenzied glint in his normally placid blue eyes and she prayed it was only a symptom of his concussion (and he damn right had a concussion). The Marine Major drew in a deep breath and shouted. "Damn, Harm, You've killed him so STOP IT."

 

At this outburst Harm throw the poll down. He was breathing heavily, rasping from rage and the exertion. His head was killing him but his only concerns were Mac. He turned to her, whispering, "Are you okay, Mac? He didn’t hurt you?"

 

She took him by the shoulders and held him against her. "No, we’re both fine." She lightly touched his bleeding head, he winced and pulled away slightly. "We need to get that looked at, it seems I won’t be the only one spending the night in hospital."

 

Harm stood back and limped to the call button. "I’ll get someone come by, we’ll need security and-"

 

Suddenly he was cut off when he felt a white hot pokers plunge into his chest. The thundering sounds of a gun resounded through the room and the adjacent corridor as blood splattered over Mac- his blood. Harm slammed to the floor and heard Mac call out to him. The pain was unbearable. He wanted to slip into the enticing darkness so badly but Mac’s frantic voice halted him.

 

Mac watched Harm struggled against unconsciousness and glowered at his tormentor- namely, Nico.

 

"You bastard" she screamed at Nico, who stood by the door glaring at the two officers lying on the floor. When she saw the blood pouring from Harm, Nico simply laughed- not caring about his own fallen friend. He turned to sprint away just as all the hate and rage Mac had felt, suffered, throughout her life built up and picking up the gun which lay strewn nearby she squeezed off four of five rounds into the man who had hurt the only true friend she had ever had.

 

Desperately attempting to calm herself for Harm’s sake, she crawled over to her fallen friend and partner’s side. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she tried to manoeuvre her injured leg to allow her to sit by Harm and offer him whatever help she could. She took his head into her lap, holding him gently.

 

"HELP! We need some help in here," she screamed to anyone who could hear her. She looked at Harm, his eyes had rolled back and he was barely breathing and there was an odd gurgling sound coming from his throat. "It’s okay, you're going to be all right, Harm. Just hang on and stay with me."

 

"Mac…" Harm whispered. He didn’t have the strength to speak above a low rasp.

 

"Yes, Harm, you're going to okay, okay?" she repeated. "I’ll get you out of here."

 

He groaned, breathing was becoming increasingly difficult, she knew it, she screamed for help again as Harm lay bleeding to death in her arms.

 

"Mac, I . . ." He couldn't quite finish.

 

"Harm, you're going to be all right. You've just go to wait a while longer, damn Harm I'm not letting you die." She knew the first part to be true, no question, as for his survival chances she saw enough shootings to know that he would not survive, unless added by some miracle that would allow him treatment right now, but no such miracle was forthcoming,

 

Before Harm could answer he fell to the bed and Mac could tell he had stopped breathing. Fear and panic gripped her for a split second before her Marine training kicked in. Harm was her partner and her best friend, he couldn’t die- she wouldn’t let him.

 

Taking a brief moment to squeeze the call button by her bed- thus alerting the medical staff- she dashed back to Harm’s side to begin CPR. This wasn’t how she imagine her lips touching his during those occasional pangs of wonder. She tilted his head back and pinching his nose, she breathed into his mouth twice sending desperately needed oxygen to his limp body. Then, locating his breastbone, she clasped her hand together and started cardiac massage- firmly on his chest fifteen times.

 

"Come on, Harm, don’t you dare give up on me," she pleaded inwardly as she counted the chest compressions.

 

There was no response on Harm’s part.

 

Mac repeated the process twice, filling his lungs with air and compressing his motionless chest. Still nothing.

 

"NO, HARM! DON’T YOU DIE ON ME, NOT LIKE THIS… not after everything we’ve been through." The last statement was little more than a whisper.

 

As she was about to administer another cycle of CPR medical personnel invaded her tiny room. Evidently, having heard her pitiful screams, they were prepared for the worse producing resuscitation equipment and monitors. Her attending physician, Dr Cassie Lamford, took her by the shoulders, pulling her back to allow the crash team to work on Harm. Mac struggled against her but Lamford held her gently but firmly.

 

Mac’s strength was depleted - through grief and the physical stress of administering the CPR- and Cassie was able to lead her out of the room without much difficulty. The Marine was eerily quiet, her eyes wide in shock and she was limping heavily from her broken leg. Cassie guided Mac to an empty room nearby, placing her on the bed as to allow her leg to rest.

 

At that moment, Mac tried to sit up again. "I have to go to him," she wailed, like a confused child separated from a parent. Cassie held her back. "Let me go! Let me go, he needs me."

 

"Major, Harm needs a doctor." A whole damned set of doctors, thought Cassie, though she kept quiet for her patient’s sake. Mac continued to grapple weakly and Cassie let her vent her anger until she limply hung from the doctor’s grasp. "Major... Sarah, Harm will be fine. He’s very sick but we have the best doctor’s in the country

here, you’ve gotta believe in his will to survive."

 

"What the hell took you so long? I called for you!"

 

Cassie frowned. "We came as soon as we heard the shots and your screams, Sarah."

 

Slowly her internal clock kicked in as she realised only a few minutes had passed since Harm had been shot though in her mind it could have been eternity. Four minutes- that meant his heart had stopped for four minutes. Could a person survive after that? Grief choked within her as she imagined losing Harm to some punks.

 

"It’s my fault," Mac whispered.

 

"What?"

 

"How can it be your fault he got shot? From the way I see it, it was those terrorists who shot him."

 

"I wanted a cheeseburger so badly."

 

Cassie began to worry now. Had Sarah Mackenzie snapped? What had cheeseburgers to do with the shooting of a Navy officer? She was about to ask when Mac spoke, her voice barely audible.

 

"He said I’d had enough, but I needed another one. God, I’d had four damn burgers already but I wanted one more. If I hadn’t slipped in that fuckin' burger joint I wouldn’t be here and he wouldn’t be dying."

 

Just as Cassie was about to placate the Marine, a young doctor raced into the room. Cassie only hoped Mac’s attention was not drawn to the blood, which was splattered across the young man’s white coat.

 

"We got him back!" the doctor exclaimed, breathlessly. "He’s going to surgery now." He took off again, no doubt to check on the triumph that was Harmon Rabb.

 

Kneeling in front of Mac, Cassie took her hands. "Did you hear that? He’s alive. Harm is strong, he’ll be okay. Now I’m going to bring you something to help you sleep. You’re going to need your rest now if you want to help Harm in his recovery."

 

*********

It had been a few hours since Bud had brought back from surgery, his hold on life precarious, and she had been told to prepare for the worst. When his attending doctor actually listed his injuries, Harriet nearly fainted on the spot. How could this happen to him? He was so young, they were just married…this was going to tear him to pieces. But she knew would have to be strong. For his sake.

 

Harriet cautiously entered the room of her new husband, Bud Roberts. Harriet was frozen in shock at the sight of Bud's body, she could not absorb the pale look on his face and his body still battered and bruised but most of all the multitude of machines that were connected to his now weak body. The young man's grip onto life was so fragile Harriet realised.

 

It took all of Harriet's strength to accept this sight and walk over to her husband’s bed. She slowly brought her hand down to his and tenderly held it. The flesh was cold and lifeless. A small tear ran down her face and lost all strength she ever had, the tears continued and her small voice produced a body wracking sobs, as she fell to Bud's bed.

 

********

Later that day Harriet was lead back into Bud's room, she felt a little of her great sadness and pain because she had been told the Bud had regained consciousness. The thought that now she would be able to talk to Bud gave Harriet a little confidence that the future was not a bleak as it had seemed many hours ago.

 

"Harriet…" a voice called out weakly.

 

"Oh Bud" she cried seeing her husband lying to a prone position still wired to a dizzying array of machines. She reached his bed and reached a hand over to stroke his face, his skin felt warmer than before. It was small comfort to Harriet after the terrible news she had just received. Doctor Jones had left the young couple alone.

 

"Harriet," his voice was weak but urgent "I know what has happened to me, you..." he groaned in pain, but forced himself to continue, "you have to go Harriet."

 

A shock descended over Harriet she could not cope with the piling desperation of the situation. What could he mean, she leave her beloved? No, No, he was wrong. She did not understand him, as a tear once again poured down her face young Harriet Sims, choked out, "Bud, I'd never leave you."

 

Bud eyes began to glaze over, no, though Harriet, she saw his will to live dying before her eyes. "Bud, BUD" she began to scream.

 

Gather all the strength he had in his weak body, he screamed "Damn you Harriet, I can't burden you like this. I can’t have our children looking at me in this condition. I don’t want to live, you deserve better! Damn you, get the hell out of my life! Get out now! I’m calling the lawyers, we’re getting divorced. Get out, get out, get out, get out!" This caused several doctors to rush into the room, to calm down Bud and restrain Harriet who was by now very unstable. Her mind turned over at great speed her and Bud's life and the life they would never have. At last she finally passed out in the arms of Doctor Jones.

 

As Bud breathing had returned to normal and he had apparently calmed down, Harriet returned to consciousness to find her self seated in the corner of Bud's room. The conversations between this married couple continued for hours with Bud adamant that he no longer wanted Harriet in his life, all Harriet's attempts to reassure her husband failed miserably. Doctor Jones had for sometime watched this marital exchange but she could no longer bear to see the pain the young women was going through so she did the only thing she could. She informed Harriet that Bud needed rest and promptly removed a now widely hysterical Harriet from the hospital ordering her to go home.

**********

Harriet's car swayed in the road, barely avoiding cars trying to overtake. Horns blasted in her ears but she couldn't concentrate, tears poured down her fat face. It made her makeup run, stinging her eyes. She had been in this condition since she left the hospital, she had not been heading anywhere is particular just as far away from this horrible ordeal as possible.

 

"Bud" she though the fat idiot had asked her to leave him. Now of all time, after all the help she had given him after his accident. How could he doubt her in such a way? Of course she realised that what she had to offer Bud in his current state was horribly inadequate.

 

Bud for his part realised how she felt, he could not do this to her. His only intention was to not be a burden to her. The best, the only solution in his mind was to tell her he no longer need or wanted her. A lie, obviously but he had done it for her. Of course before he had tried to convince her to leave but he had to actually tell her to leave before she would. Harriet had wanted to stay, he was her husband, and it was her job, her duty to love after him. No, she thought, that is the whole problem, Bud thinks I am only doing this because I feel obligated but it wasn't but as much as she tried to convince him, he insisted she go.

 

Oh this was useless thought Harriet, there is nothing I can do now. Bud was determined that he did not want her around, maybe he though if I am ever able to look after my self then maybe, "but that's not likely to happen" he grumbled

 

Harriet brushed the tears away from her eyes, trying to focus on the road as see started to hear the horns in the background. A car tried to run up the side of her; it was driving by a young man about Harriet's age. He motioned for her to roll down the window.

 

"Hey lady!" the man called.

 

Harriet was in no mood to talk, all she wanted was to get away, away from everything Bud, JAG, and her whole life had collapsed since the accident. This guy whatever he wanted could go to hell; she tried to focus on the road and look away from him. Horns went off again coming from the man in the car opposite Harriet. She paid no attention. The man pressed the horn again, "What the hell is she doing" he thought. She was sure to cause an accident she he used his car to block the over taking lane. Surely the police would show up soon but he realised that this women was terrible upset, he wasn't sure the police would understand that when they arrived. However all his efforts were to no avail as Harriet for the first time turned around to shot "Go away, Leave me alone." He could not hear her so, he made a signal for her to roll down the window, this time she did only to throw a bottle of anti-freeze at him, "I told you to get lost," she screamed.

 

"Damn crazy lady," the man said to himself as he gave up any attempt to help this Damsel in Distress. He said back down in his car and pulled away down the beltway. Harriet kept driving although she had no idea where she was going; she was looking form some one, anyone to help her.

 

The police car horn blared in Harriet's ears they were approaching fast and in her little car there was no way Harriet could avoid them, no it had come to an end for Harriet Roberts. She pushed the pedal in her car to the floor. As she sped down the beltway the coast came into view. She had now stopped crying she could not do it anymore. She had cried enough over that fat little shit, no not anymore.

 

The sun was slowly setting over the sea, making Harriet's view of the horizon even more vivid. She finally though of Bud, how upset she had been after he had asked her to leave, the damn idiot what did he expect, her to leave him or for her undying devotion for the rest of this what was such to be miserable life. Well it wasn't going to happen she decided.

 

But unfortunately for Harriet now, was not the time to make that decision. The police car was closing in on her, she had no choice but to stop since all that was in front her was sea and damn it, she wasn't going to let Bud do that to her. Sergeant Dullard, got out of his car and walked over to Harriet.

 

"Miss, you realised you were speeding. I'm going to have to book you for speeding and dangerous driving," the officer told her. "Right I need you to step out of the car please."

 

Harriet sunk further down in her seat, Dullard could she that had been crying as her makeup was smeared down her face. "Okay, Miss we can do this test here or down at the station," he said pulling out an alcohol reader. Harriet eventually got out of her car, "Take a deep breath and breathe into here."

 

She did and the officer looked on surprised when the readings came back, he normally saw allot of dangerous driving and the great majority were alcohol related. But regardless of her reasons she was dangerous and he had no option other than to take her down to the station. Harriet saw the officer look at her in surprise, tears began to well up in her and she made a dive for her car, she could not live in her life of crime she finally realised that she was a weak timid creature and could not cope with Bud's accident. There was one way she could be assured of never being in this situation again. She slammed the door shut before Dullard could reach her. Harriet took a deep breath and pressed the foot pedal down hard. Her eyes closed as her car plunged over the cliff.

 

The car plunged to the depth of the gorge, exploding as it hit the bottom, both Harriet and the car was engulfed in a ball of flame.

 

People gathered around, wondering what could have possessed such as young woman to take her own life. Unfortunately no one had any explanations. She has seemed upset and disorientated but, this was so…so unexpected, no shocking.

 

**********

If he had not felt so apathetic Bud would have been mildly interested in the ironies of life. One minute he felt King of the World- he had a loving and loyal wife, a great job and terrific friends- then it was all snatched from him in an instant. He had nothing. No job, hell, how could he serve in the Navy if he couldn’t even walk, and a few hours ago he had been informed that Lieutenant Commander Rabb was fighting for his life after a hostage incident at Mac’s hospital. Worse of all he had lost his wife, he had lost Harriet.

 

Apparently, according to the admiral who had the tough of job breaking the news to his injured young lieutenant, Harriet’s had ploughed off the road. She had no chance of survival. She was to be buried with full military honours, but what use was that? She was twenty-six years old; she had her whole life in front of her. War heroes or the aged were buried with full military honours. Harriet did not even have the chance to mother a child, or even see her damn thirtieth birthday.

 

She was gone and there was nothing left on this world for Bud.

 

Never let it be said Bud Roberts was not a studious schoolchild. From an early age he had paid notable attention in his classes . . . and one of those classes happened to be anatomy. In the tenth to twelfth grade, he studied anatomy and biology in great detail. He just never thought it would come in handy for what he had planned.

 

Earlier, one of the doctors had left his clipboard on Bud’s bed. Though partially his arms were immobilised Bud was able to reach and grab the clip. It was perfect for the job- thin, hard and, most important of all, sharp.

 

There were points on the human body, which should not be compromised-, the brain for one, the femoral arteries, the veins in one’s wrist . . . by most notable of all the points, was the carotid vein- located in one’s throat. All it took was a little incision and a person’s whole blood supply would be lost in a matter of seconds. For a healthy person there was a slim chance of survival, for a sickly invalid the chances were nil.

 

It was time to join Harriet in eternal life.

 

Bud raised the clip to this throat and in one fluid movement, slit through his carotid vein, jugular and his windpipe- which was remarkable considering his strength was diminished. As he sank into perpetual oblivion, Bud watched in morbid fascination as his blood splattered across the wall of his room.

 

Wow, he thought, numbly, I always thought this room could do with some colour.

 

The medical team, alerted by Bud’s change in heart rate and blood pressure, rushed in to find the young lieutenant lying dead in his bed- his body and room covered in a thick crimson liquid and a faint smile on his podgy face.

 

The young man had finally joined his wife…

 

***********

It had been six days, fourteen hours and forty-three minutes since the shooting, and Harm remained in a deep coma. Mac sat by his bedside in the Intensive Care Unit, watching over his inert form, praying for his survival and his will to live.

 

He had been ‘lucky’, according to the doctors. The first bullet had broken two ribs, passed through his left lung, grazing his heart and the second had entered his abdomen rupturing his spleen and causing some damage to his intestines. His main problem had been hypovolemia - massive loss of blood- coupled with a collapsed lung. The former resulted in respiratory and cardiac arrest. It was also a major cause of his comatose state not to mention the serious concussion he had received when those thugs had head-butted him with a gun.

 

Almost every medical piece of hardware imaginable surrounded his bed. A respirator tube coiled from his throat- pumping the oxygen he could not produce himself into his broken body, his chest rising and falling in rhythm with the respirator machine. God only knew how many IV’s stemmed from his wrist and forearm; it hurt to count them all. A heart and blood pressure monitor beeped constantly, enough to irritate Mac at times but necessary to assure her he was still with her. His chest was covered in gauze and his face was so bleached, his sunken eyes a stark contrast to his extreme pallor.

 

But he was alive and to Mac that was all that mattered. It was strange, she didn’t think of herself as an intensely emotional person- she left that to Harriet- but sitting at her best friend’s bedside as he lay, for all intents and purposes, half-dead she felt a range of emotional stirrings pervade her. Maybe it was the fear of losing the only person who had been loyal to her in her whole life, which broke the dam. She talked the subject over with Harm in a way she never could if he were awake and aware. Still, she would rather have remained repressed than radiate her emotions over her comatose friend.

 

Much had happened during her bedside vigil. Apparently, Harriet and Bud Roberts were dead- both lost within days of one another. She did not know the exact details of their deaths, she was distressed to lose to colleagues and friends but she had to concentrate on Harm. He needed her more.

 

Holding his slack hand, she smiled feebly at him. "Guess what, partner? I’ve given up burgers. Yeah, I’ve decided meat is not good for my cholesterol and today I even ate two Nutri-Grain bars. Maybe we can have fruit fixes together. But for that, you have to wake up."

 

Inwardly she smirked. Was it ethical to lie to the infirm? She had finally accepted it was not her really fault Harm got shot. It was Nico and his stooge, Joey. Maybe if she had not been in hospital at the time and fate had decided to strike Harm elsewhere he might not have received the medical help he required urgently. Still, she could not face another burger...yet, at least. She would try never touch another burger as long as she lived, but during her days at the hospital she discovered a taste for hot-dogs, the only edible food available in the cafeteria. And if shooting was her fault she could only hope Harm could find it in his heart to forgive her.

 

"I was thinking, once you’re up and around we should take a vacation, we deserve it and I’m sure the office can run for a few weeks without us. We’ll go somewhere hot and catch some rays- y’know, I’ve always wanted to visit Disney World…I taped the play-offs for you. Yep, when you get better we can watch them."

 

When he gets better? She did not even know if he would wake up let alone walk out of here in the same shape as he came in. The doctors were skirting around her but she knew there was a possibility of brain damage. The blood loss and coma could vouch for that. It would kill Harm to know he could not practice law anymore … it would kill her to know her best friend would never recover.

 

She had to remain positive though. If she was not confident in him how could she expect him to be confident in his own abilities. She was his strength until he had enough to support himself.

 

************

Eight days after Harm first lapsed into a coma, Admiral Chedwiggen visited with his new girlfriend, Doctor Gabby Scott (that was all Mac needed, more doctors). Chedwiggen’s eyes drifted to his officer’s comatose frame and Mac could tell he was deeply affected at seeing a normally active young man like Harm lying lifelessly on a bed. The admiral looked onto Harm as a surrogate son (with a spoilt little shit of a daughter like Francesca, who could blame him?), and to see the younger officer so debilitated must have hurt him in a pain only a parent could feel.

 

"Sarah," Gabby said gently, "why don’t we go have a coffee and a sandwich? You look exhausted, AJ can stay here with Harm."

 

Mac glared at the psychologist. Gee, just what she always wanted - to be psychoanalysed while her best friend lay half dead.

 

"Go on, Major," said the Admiral, in a tone that told her he expected his requested to be obeyed. "Major...Mac, you’ve sat here for six days. Go eat something now, I expect my two JAG officers to be back to work soon, fit and well."

 

Mulling over his plea, Sarah stood up grudgingly. She did not want to leave Harm, least of all only to be hassled by a shrink but she was a Marine and she had an obligation to do what was best for her commanding officer. The admiral had lost two of his staff in close succession, a third was on full life support and a fourth was dead on her feet. Also, the man was close to Harm, he must want to spend some time with him.

 

Tenderly she walked over to Mac, a put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, Mac smiled slightly at this. "I know, I know" Gabby answered, "but AJ really believes he's going to be okay. And are you going to argue with your C.O."

 

"No, Ma'am" she answered barely a whisper and she against forced her attention on Harm.

 

*************

Mac and Doctor Scott walked down the corridor toward the hospital cafeteria, Doctor Scott turned to smile at her.

 

"Mac, are you sure the walk isn't too much for you? You’ve been sitting in that chair for days and your leg must still be hurting."

 

Mac shook her head. She did not even want to start a conversation with this women. Another damned doctor who thought she knew more than the rest of the world.

 

Her patience with the medical profession was ebbing as, in the past week, Mac was forced to listen to too many doctor prattle on about getting some rest to. Of course, they could not force her to leave and in fact they eventually allowed her to stay at the hospital but she knew that as military personnel the moment they felt she was taking on ‘too much’ they could boot her out. Their pestering insistence that she go home, to wash, rest and get clean clothes she could barely cope with and she often ignored them to spend the night by Harm’s bed.

 

What she could not, even now, bare was the doctors reports on Harm's condition. He had survived the shooting but no one knew if he would or even could come out of the coma, the though of Harm never waking up terrified her so she pushed the thought away anytime it threatened to pervade her already fragile psyche.

 

The rest of the walk to the cafeteria was in silence though Mac could feel Gabby’s penetrating eyes critically analyse her. God, she probably made one helluva case for any shrink; the messed-up, delinquent Marine whose addiction to meat nearly killed her partner.

 

Mac sat at the table as Gabby went to buy Mac a hotdog while she bought herself a salad sandwich. As Mac saw the psychologist approaching she felt a sense of dread, this women had invited her for lunch to talk. To ‘talk’ about Harm, how she should go home and rest. But she just couldn't and no seemed to understand her need to stay with Harm and she didn't except any understanding from this women either.

 

"Sarah…Sarah?" Gabby called, the Marine was looking intently down the corridor that lead to Harm's room. The psychiatrist sighed, what was AJ thinking, she would need a whole groups of Marines to get Mac out of here, even for a few hours.

 

"I really have to get back to him, I know I’m behaving like some obsessive freak but he’s my best friend and he’s my partner. I’m a Marine and we never leave our own. You would do the same if you were in my position and you’d be a liar if you said otherwise."

 

What could Gabby say to that? She sensed there was some deeper reason to Mac’s unyielding loyalty to Harm but she also knew this was how she was trained to behave, ‘never leave your own’. Who was she to keep Mac from her partner? There would be a time later on when she could counsel both Harm and Mac to this incident- hell, they would be needing it- but for now, Mac’s place was by her injured friend’s side.

 

Gabby walked over to Mac and placed a hand on her shoulder reassuringly, "I know, I know," she whispered. "Just finish up your meal and we’ll get back to him."

 

**********

Life was suck…there was no denying it, life was totally and utterly suck.

 

Fourteen days. Harm had been unconscious- comatose- for fourteen long and tiring days. Fourteen days- two weeks, a fortnight…a very long time.

 

Mac appreciated the fact he needed to rest his broken body, hell she had been the one to perform CPR on his limp form. But now she was beginning to worry and she knew the doctors were too. She had been in the Marines long enough to read people’s body language and from Harm’s attending physician to the neurologist sent to assess Harm’s case, she could tell they were starting to think they had mis-diagnosed their previous appraisement that her partner would walk out of this with little more than a scar.

 

It was ironic really, Harm was something of an insomniac- up at the first sign of trouble, whether it be a new development in a case or simply because she needed his support. With time to think about it, Mac could only guess he caught an average of around five hours sleep per night since he was usually first in the office and last to leave at night. The idea of him sleeping away his life scared her witless.

 

Of course, if- when he woke up he would face a world of pain both physical and mental. The doctor had spoken of weeks of respiratory therapy to get his lung capacity to full volume and physical therapy to tone up his wasted muscles. Not to mention he would have to deal with the fact Bud and Harriet were dead.

 

Oh God, it was then it clicked. As a child she remembered the old saying ‘bad luck always comes in threes’…Number one, Bud; number two, Harriet; number three, Harm?…No, number three had better not be Harm.

 

It was getting so frustrating. Watching him lie there as that damned respirator forcibly pump oxygen into his debilitated lungs, Harm no longer to even breathe for himself. He was usually so active, always on his feet bouncing with never-ending energy. It hurt to see him so fragile. As that medical junk surrounding his prone form only served to intensify her doubts he would return to her.

 

No, she couldn’t allow herself to indulge in such negativity. He needed her to be positive. To think of death and dark images only invited fate to take hold, take him away…He would come back to her when he was ready, she had to believe that for if she didn’t what hope did she have.

 

"I’ll be here for when you wake up, Harm. Rest up but I want you to open those baby blue eyes soon. You know, I’m not a very patient person."

 

*********

It was at 4:38 in the morning, eighteen days after his brush with death, as the city of Washington DC slept, that Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb junior returned to the world of the living.

 

Mac couldn’t be sure what alerted her; maybe it was a noise, perhaps it was a change in the cardiac monitor or it could have been simple intuition but she awoke from her doze to find two azure blue eyes, bleary but attentive, watching her.

 

"Oh my God . . . Harm? Can you hear me? It’s me, Mac." His eyes followed her every movement as she ran to press the call button. He tried to speak, but the respirator tube lodged in his throat, restricted his vocal cords. He reached to pull it out, Mac holding his wrists down gently. "Just relax, don’t touch the tube, Harm. I’ll have a doctor here in a second."

 

Harm nodded weakly. His attending doctor, Dr Louise Barton, arrived a few seconds after Mac had signalled for help and she examined Harm, deeming it safe enough to remove the respirator. The second the tube was out, Harm broke into a spasm of coughing then smiled at Mac.

 

"Hi," he whispered his voice hoarse.

 

"Hi there," Mac greeted back, lost for words. "Welcome back." A tear of joy and relief rolled down her cheek as she spoke.

 

"Sarah . . .I thought Marines don’t cry."

 

Oh God, he called me Sarah! He called me Sarah.

 

"Just somethin’ in my eye, hotshot," she smiled. Her tone dropped. "I’m glad you decided to join us..."

 

Harm frowned. "W-what happened?" He struggled to sit up. "What happened to Nico and Joey?" he wheezed. "Did they hurt you?"

 

Mac eased him down, stroking his hair back to calm him. "Harm, you killed Joey, remember? And Nico’s dead. I were shot him after he shot you…You’ve been in a coma for eighteen days."

 

"Shot?" He swallowed then grinned weakly, more for her benefit. "So that’s why I feel like shit, huh?"

 

"Better to feel like shit than be dead and if you had died, Harm, I’d never had forgiven you."

 

"If I had died you probably would have had an exorcist bring back my soul so you could torture me, either that or you would have dragged me from my grave and kicked my ass all the way to Mars and back…"

 

His eyes were drooping and Mac could see what little energy he had was draining. "You should sleep, Harm, save your strength and get better for me."

 

"Sleep? Why do I get the feeling I’ve been asleep for ages?" His voice was soft now, almost a barely audible whisper.

 

"You have- for eighteen days, Sleeping Beauty." She smiled at him. "It’s okay, Harm, we have plenty of time to talk. Go to sleep."

 

He was hardly awake now. "Did I… miss much…?"

 

Well, let’s see. Two of our JAG team - Bud and Harriet - are dead, the admiral has found himself a new girlfriend who creates a whole new definition to the words ‘nosy and interfering’ and Clayton Webb is God knows where (after the beating the admiral bestowed to him, Clay had probably taken the first plane to Australia in a bid to hid). And I’ve spent more than a fortnight at your bedside praying you’d come back to me. All in all, it’s been just another day at JAG.

 

Luckily, before Mac could form an appropriate answer, Harm drifted back to sleep. He was still exhausted from his fight to return back to the land of the living, giving Mac time to think up a good way to break the latest news to him.

 




Return to the main fan fiction page


THE END

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Remember to send feedback or we will write a story where Meg and Harm get married. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck. Now stop us before we fill the hospitals with people suffering from severe depression and nausea because they are so repulsed by the very mention of this evil being know as Scrubber Meg aka Meg the Smeg. Now we wouldn't want that, would we? PS- for those who hate Brumby and Annie there will stories to satisfy your homicidal urges soon…

 

********************

 

COMING SOON

 

MURPHY’S LAW 2 – SUN STROKE

 

"Mac’s curse strikes again as JAG’s finest vacation in Miami after the events of "Just Another Day at JAG."