True Love Never Was Easy
Part One
This Is Love

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in this. They are owned by DPB, Paramount Pictures, Belisarius Productions, and CBS Television. I'm just borrowing them for a little fun. Please don't sue. You wouldn't get much, just some shirts, some pants, and underwear, lots and lots of underwear. Starving college student here!

Rating: NC-17 for sexual content

Spoilers: Anything up to and including "A Tangled Webb"

Feedback is always welcomed and appreciated. It can be sent to

AN: This takes place after Season Eight but before Season Nine and assumes that Harm is allowed to return to JAG.


JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia
Wednesday, July 16th, 2003
2123 Hours (local)

Mac leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, sighing heavily. She was exhausted, the current case taking its toll on her. She thought that if she sat there long enough with her eyes closed, she just might sleep in that chair for the night. She reopened her eyes and leaned forward to study the case on her desk again. She saw him approach from the darkened outer offices out of the corner of her eye.

"Working late?" Harm asked.

"The Hoskins court-martial."

"I heard from Bud that's it's pretty nasty."

"It is. I decided to let him go home hours ago. He's got little AJ and Harriet, who looks like she is about to burst."

"Why don't you go home?"

"Lug all this home to do it there? There's nothing really that enticing about brining this horrible thing home. I don't even have Jingo at home anymore."

"Have you talked to Chloe recently?"

"Last weekend. And Jingo's fine up there, slower and older, but aren't we all?" she smiled to him.

"Speak for yourself. I'm feeling great these days," he quipped. "Look, Mac, its getting late and I'm heading home, why don't you come by my place and we'll dig up some food, have a late dinner together instead of by ourselves, and call it a night?"

Mac looked at him uneasily. "What's up with the dinner invite?"

"Do I have to have a reason?"

"Yeah. Usually you only invite me to dinner after you win a big case or need to talk to me about something."

"It's late, we've both been busy lately and haven't really had a chance to talk. Anything wrong with inviting a friend to dinner?"

"No, it's just out of character for you."

"I like to keep you on your toes."

Mac shifted in her chair. "I'm not on my toes, Harm. I'm sitting on my six."

"So, will you come?"

She looked at her case for a moment. "Yeah, okay. Give me a moment to organize this and I'll be out of here."

Harm snorted. "You and the word organized don't even belong in the same sentence."

"If you're mean, I'm not going to come over."

Harm stuck his lower lip out into a pout. "I'll pick something up on the way home and meet you there, okay?"


Harm turned to go, leaving her shuffling through the papers on her desk.


Harm's Apartment
North of Union Station
2202 Hours (local)

Mac leaned her body up against Harm's apartment door. He wasn't home yet and she was waiting for him. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. A few moments later, she could hear him coming up the stairwell and smell the pizza he had with him.

"I thought Marines were supposed to be prepared for anything," Harm stated as he approached her.

"They are."

"Well, you don't look like it."

"I am."

Harm was standing in front of her, holding the pizza box off to the side. "You haven't even opened your eyes, Mac. I could have been anyone."

"I knew it was you. After almost eight years, I can recognize your footsteps. Plus, I could smell the pizza," Mac smiled as she opened her eyes and pulled herself away from the door.

Harm inserted his key into the lock. "I decided to get pizza as opposed to cooking. You look like you're about to drop now and didn't need to wait for food." He swung the door open.

Mac entered the apartment before him. "I appreciate it, although I could have waited."

Harm set the pizza box on the bar. "I'm going to change out of this uniform real quick. I'll be right back," he said as he ducked into the bedroom.

In the kitchen, Mac pulled out two plates and set them next to the pizza along with a few napkins. She pulled a bottle of water out of the refrigerator for each of them. She peered into the box and smiled happily when she saw the half-veggie/half-meat-lovers pizza inside.

"After almost eight years, I know how you like pizza," Harm said as he left the bedroom, carrying a small bundle of clothes. "Here," he handed the clothes to her.

She held them up and asked, "What are these for?"

"Usually, clothes are to be worn, although in a pinch, they do make good pillows," he joked. "I thought maybe you'd like to change out of your uniform."

"Are they yours?"

"Yeah. The smallest I have. I figured the shirt might be a bit long, and the shorts will be a bit too loose, even if you roll them, so that's why I brought a safety pin," he said, grinning as he unclenched his fist.

"I like the way you think," she said taking the safety pin off of his palm. "I'll be back," she said as she walked into his bedroom.

"I pulled a hanger out for your uniform, too," he called after her.

"Thanks," she yelled back at him.

She returned a minute later to find Harm seated on the couch, two slices of pizza on his plate and two slices on her plate, which he held out to her. "The safety pin was too small to hold the shorts, so I just didn't put them on. The shirt is long enough."

Harm nodded. "It was worth a try."

"Yeah," Mac agreed as she took the plate and sat next to him on the couch.

He couldn't help but to look at her long, tan legs that were exposed from mid-thigh on down as she sat.


Harm's Apartment
North of Union Station
2246 Hours (local)

Her stomach full, Mac leaned back and lied down on the couch, stretching her feet across Harm's lap. She had eaten her entire half of the medium-sized pizza and Harm had left a single slice in the box. Maybe eating wasn't such a good idea because now she was very sleepy.

Without thinking about it, Harm started massaging one of Mac's feet.

"Umm..." Mac moaned, closing her eyes. "That feels good."

Harm smiled to himself and let her relax for a few moments. "You've been really tired and withdrawn lately. It hit you hard, didn't it?"


"Webb's death."

"I suppose," Mac was silent for a moment. "I don't want to talk about it, Harm."

"Okay," he conceded.

After a few more minutes of silence, Mac spoke again. "I really thought he would make it with Gunny. They'd find help and he'd live. We made it out, Gunny made it out, but he was too beat up. I shouldn't have let that happen."

"You didn't let it happen, Mac. They tortured him. You were next."

"I didn't want him to die. Not for me. But I should have let them have me sooner and maybe he would have lived."

"You don't know that, Mac. Maybe you would have been the one to die."

"I guess, but Clay did it for me. He sacrificed himself so that I might live. I didn't ask him to, I didn't want him to. I wish..." Mac trailed off, the tears forming in her closed eyes. "I wish he hadn't died. He was a good man."

"He was. He served his country like you and I and he died for his country, like you and I would."

"No, he died for me. And I could die for my country, but I don't know that I could have given my life for Clayton Webb."

"You could have, if you needed to."

"Not without second guessing myself, not without regret."

"And what would you have to regret?"

Mac ignored the question. "I can only think of one reason a person would sacrifice them self like that," she paused. "Love."

"Do you think Webb was in love with you?"

"Yeah. And that's what makes this so hard. I wasn't in love with him." She paused again before continuing, "The only person I know that I would willingly sacrifice myself for, without regret, is you," she said in a rush, quietly, just barely above a whisper.

Harm didn't know what to say to that, or even if he was meant to hear it. "I just wish I had gotten there sooner, gotten both of you." Harm switched feet and started massaging Mac's other foot.

"I knew you were coming. Strapped on that table, the only thought in my head was, 'Harm is coming.' And then you burst through the door."

"I couldn't just let you go like that."

"I know. Did I ever say thank you for that?"


"Thanks, Harm," Mac said as she opened her eyes. The light in the room hurt them, so she shut them again.

"You're welcome."

Mac sighed heavily. "I should get going if I ever want to make it home tonight."

"Yeah," Harm agreed, but kept massaging her foot.

"You want your last slice of pizza?"

"Not right now. Are you still hungry?"

"No, but it might be good at three in the morning."

Harm snickered. "It's my pizza. No meat."

Mac made no response.

A moment later he said, "You don't seem to be moving very fast."

"You haven't stopped massaging my foot and I won't go until you stop."

Harm kept massaging. Minutes later, Mac was sound asleep. Harm just kept soothing her feet, knowing she was too tired to go anywhere. After several minutes, he lifted Mac's feet off his lap and stood up. Mac turned to her side, tucking her hands under her chin, and continued sleeping.

Harm wrapped the last piece of pizza in tinfoil on his plate and stuck it in the fridge. He threw out the box and dirty napkins, leaving Mac's plate in the sink. He did this all quietly, trying to not wake Mac. When he was done, he walked back to the couch and stood over her for a moment, watching her peaceful slumber. This is how it is supposed to be, he thought. Pizza, talk and foot massages, falling asleep on the couch, she in his clothes, or at least his shirt. He skillfully scooped her up in his arms and carried her into bed, pulling the covers up around her. He hit the light and turned to go.

"Harm?" he heard her say behind him quietly.

"Yeah?" he answered, his voice every bit as soft as Mac's.

"Thanks for listening, even though I didn't want to talk."

"That's what friends are for," he said as he turned to leave for a second time.

"Harm?" she called again. He turned back around to face her. She was sitting up, her eyes as wide awake as ever.

"It did hit me hard, Clay's death. He didn't deserve that," the tears were welling in her eyes. She wiped at them with her hands.

"It's okay to cry, Mac."

"I know," she said. "You don't have to leave, Harm."

Harm smiled and walked away from her. He didn't catch the knowing smile she wore as a single tear fell from her eyes. A moment later, the lights in the outer area of the apartment went dark and Harm returned to the bedroom. Mac was lying down again on her side, facing the edge of the bed.

Harm stripped his shirt and shorts off and climbed into bed clad only in his boxers. Mac rolled over and faced him. In that moment, Harm decided she looked very good amongst his maroon sheets, very much at home. He opened his arms to her and she pulled herself into his embrace, tucking her head under his chin. He held her close and the two of them drifted off to sleep together, Mac feeling right at home in Harm's arms.


Harm's Apartment
North of Union Station
Thursday, July 17th, 2003
0307 Hours (local)

Harm rolled over and felt the emptiness of the bed beside him. The sheets were still warm so she hadn't been gone long. He glanced at the clock. It was 0307. He heard a noise in the kitchen and he rolled himself out of bed to check it out. He found Mac, still in his plain, white shirt, leaning against the counter, one arm tucked under her breasts, eating his last slice of pizza.


"After I kind of threatened to take it with me for a three a.m. snack, I had to get up and eat it."

Harm shook his head and smiled. "Only you, Mac."

"You want some?" she offered, holding the slice out to him.

He leaned forward and took a bite of the cold pizza. Mac smiled at him, meeting his gaze and took another bite herself. A few minutes later and the slice of pizza was gone. They rinsed their hands in the sink and walked back to the bedroom.

Harm slung his arm around Mac's waist and said, "It's kind of nice having you here, Mac."

"It's kind of nice to be here, Harm."

They said nothing more as they drifted back to sleep, wrapped in each other's arms. They were both thinking that nice, quiet nights like this, where everything felt right and they felt like they were home- this was love.



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