Catacombs of the Heart
Part Six



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********

JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia
Friday, September 26, 2003
1635 Hours (local)

"Hey, Mac," Harm called softly from the doorway to her office.

"Hay is for horses, Harm," she replied, looking up at him with a smile. She had done her best all week to act like nothing was wrong and she didn't know anything. It wasn't always easy, but if she could put the club incident out of her head, she was okay.

"Smarty pants."

"That's me," Mac responded brightly. "Now, are you bugging me for a reason?"

"Well, if I'm bugging you…" Harm trailed off, offering her a half-hearted pout.

"Spit it out," she demanded, as if she were talking to a small child, still with a smile on her face.

"You doing anything this weekend?"

"You planning on going back to the club, Harm? I didn't know it impressed you that much," she teased.

"No, not really. But I do have the Bennett court-martial on Monday and I was hoping I could bounce some things off of you over the weekend."

Mac regarded him closely for a moment. It wasn't unusual for them to bounce ideas and run opening and closing statements by the other, provided they weren't on opposing sides of the case. "What do I get out of it?"

"You get to spend time with me," he said, giving her a goofy grin.

"And why would I want to do that?" she questioned sarcastically. "You'll have to tempt me with something better."

"I'll cook for you."

"Sold. Just tell me when and I'll be there."

"Sunday afternoon? It'll give me time to get everything prepared."

"Ooo!" Mac said excitedly. "Am I to expect a five-course meal?" she asked with a smile.

"Silly. No, I need to prepare the case."

"Oh. You got me all excited there for a moment, Harm."

"Sorry to disappoint you, Mac."

"I'll bet."

Harm turned to walk away. "I'll call you."

"You do that," Mac responded as she returned to her work with a smile.

-----

Harm's Apartment
North of Union Station
Washington, D.C.
Sunday, September 28, 2003
1957 Hours (local)

Harm had made eggplant Parmesan for dinner. Mac had been reluctant to try it, as she was always leery of Harm's new recipes, since some of them turned out to be as toxic as "Harm's Meatless Meatloaf," but he had sworn by this one. And he had been right. Mac was no big fan of eggplant, but for something containing eggplant and lacking meat, the dish was delectable. By the time she was done eating, she thought she was going to have to unbutton her jeans just to breathe.

"Harm, that was absolutely delicious," she declared as she leaned back from the table. "I'm going to have to jog home just to lose enough weight to fit into my uniform in the morning."

Harm smiled. "I told you it was good."

"Yeah, well, there's no accounting for your taste. You think your meatless meatloaf is good."

"Meanie-head."

Mac laughed as she asked, "Did you just call me a meanie-head?"

"I sure did."

"You are so juvenile!"

"I could have called you a butt-head."

Mac laughed even harder as she balled up her napkin in her lap. "Harmon Rabb! What would your mother think of you using such language?"

"She's heard worse. She married a sailor!"

Mac laughed even harder. He was in fine form tonight. He had done an excellent job preparing for the case and Mac had been impressed. Add that to her enjoyment of his meal, and his ego had probably quadrupled during the evening. Mac gave Harm a playful smile and threw her balled-up napkin at him, hitting him square in the forehead.

"Now who is being juvenile?" he asked.

"You started it," Mac tossed back playfully.

"And I'll be the one who finishes it, too," he said, returning Mac's playful grin.

"Ha! I'll believe that when I see it!"

Harm rose from the table and picked up both his and Mac's plate to take to the sink. He smiled slyly at her as he said, "Just you wait. I'll get you."

"Promises, promises…" Mac said, baiting him. She wanted to see what he would do.

Harm rinsed the dishes off in the sink and left them sitting there. He said nothing as he walked up behind Mac. She watched him as he walked, eyeing his wet hands suspiciously. When he was directly behind her, Mac braced herself for getting wet. But he didn't touch her; he just pulled back on her chair, tipping Mac backwards.

Mac squealed and jumped forward out of the chair and turned around in one swift motion, hitting her hip on the table in the process.

"You okay?" Harm asked seriously. He hadn't meant for her to hurt herself.

"I am, but you won't be," she said as she gave him another playful grin.

"Is that a threat?" Harm smiled.

Mac stepped out from around the chair. "You bet it is."

"Well," Harm smiled smugly. "I'm not done with you yet," he said, holding up his still-wet hands.

Mac bolted out from in front of the chair and ran to the far side of the table. Harm was quickly on her heels. He chased her around the table for a minute, always ending up just opposite of her, the table between them. "You have to get me first," she said. She inched forward again.

Harm switched directions and started heading in the direction opposite of Mac's direction, narrowing the space between them. She quickly reversed directions and ran the other way. Harm was quick and he changed directions as well. And instead of circling the table again, Mac darted past him and out into the living area. Harm was right behind her. Once in the open space, Harm lunged and grabbed a hold of Mac around her waist. This action threw them both off balance and they took a few clumsy steps to the soft landing of the couch, Harm landing on top of Mac. "Got you," he stated, smiling down at her.

"I guess so, but it's only because your legs are longer."

"I don't know, Mac, you do have pretty long legs."

"You've been checking out my legs?"

Harm nodded, suddenly becoming aware of their current position. He was precariously close to Mac's lips and he couldn't take his eyes off of them. His body was pressed against hers and he felt desire stirring within him, having obvious effects on other parts of his body.

Mac giggled. "You are naughty, Harm."

"I can show you naughty, Mac," he said, licking his lips.

With those words, Mac, too, became aware of their position. And she also became aware of a rapidly hardening presence on her thigh. She swallowed hard. "Um, Harm?"

"Mac…" he breathed, still focusing on her lips that he was desperate to kiss.

Mac trembled beneath him. "Harm…" she whispered.

He inched ever closer to her, intent on claiming her lips.

"Please… Don't…" she said, a little louder, her voice trembling now, along with her body.

Harm turned his focus from her lips to her eyes and was startled by what he saw there: uncertainty and… hurt? He immediately backed off, pulling his weight off of her. "I'm sorry, Mac," he said hastily, a little confused.

Mac pulled herself up on the couch and looked away. "It's okay."

For a moment, they just sat in silence. Harm was trying to figure out what happened and Mac was trying to purge her mind of images of Harm with Denise.

Finally, Mac rose to her feet and said, "I should go. I do have some things I want to get done before tomorrow," she explained as she walked to the door.

Harm got up off the couch and followed her. At the door, they both paused. "I'm really sorry about that, Mac. I didn't…"

Mac just shook her head, "It's okay, Harm. Don't worry about it. I'll see you tomorrow." She stepped out of the door into the hallway towards the stairs before Harm had a chance to say anything else.

-----

JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia
Monday, September 29, 2003
0809 Hours (local)

Harm saw Mac already in her office when he arrived. He stopped by to talk to her. "Good morning, Mac," he called.

She looked up at him. "Morning, Harm."

"How are you?"

"Good. Coates brews better coffee than Tiner, but it still isn't strong enough."

Harm smiled warmly. She seemed to be in good humor. "About last night…" he said, testing the waters.

"Harm, forget it. Don't worry about it. Nothing happened."

Harm looked down at his feet for a moment. "I know. But I still feel bad for how I acted."

Mac sighed and smiled to him. "Harm, don't feel bad about it. We just got carried away last night. It wasn't only you. I kind of led you on." And had it been another time and had she not seen Harm and Denise at the club the previous weekend, she probably wouldn't have put an end to it, but welcomed where the events were heading with open arms.

"So we're okay?"

"Yeah," Mac nodded.

He smiled, his face relaxing, as he turned. "Thanks, Mac."

"No problem," she said as she returned to her work.

********

7/21

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