Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in this. They are owned by DPB, Belisarius Productions, Paramount Pictures, 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!
Category: H/M shipper (I promise), some references to Mac/Webb, drama, angst (sort of)
Rating: R, for language and violence
Spoilers: Anything up to and including "A Tangled Webb"
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AN: This begins during fall of 2003. We will just assume that Harm, Mac and Webb (and Gunny) make it safely out of Paraguay.
Unknown location in Northern Iraq
She once asked me what I'd be willing to give up to have her. This was a few years ago, back when she was TAD on the Guadalcanal, after her failed wedding to Mic Brumby. I can't say I hated the guy; I didn't like him, but hate is such a strong word. As long as he made her happy, I couldn't really hate him. Sure, at times, I wasn't sure she was really in love with him, like at her engagement party, but to my knowledge, he treated her well and she appeared happy. And because I was unsure of her happiness, I couldn't do anything. What if she really was happy and I ruined that for her? I couldn't live with myself then. So I let her go to him and lived my life. I didn't like Mic Brumby, that much is true. There are just certain people in life that you meet that just grate your nerves, and for me, Mic Brumby was one of those people. I'm really glad she didn't marry him. I don't know that I could have pretended to be friends with him when his company was required. I think I would have had to take another assignment and completely lose her. Thank goodness for small miracles.
But I sure as hell was jealous of the guy!
I smile at the memory. Any memory with Mac can make smile. Well, almost any memory, especially right now, here in this moment. All I can see in front of me is her beautiful face, complete with the smile that she has that lights up every room she walks into. I can hear the music that is her laughter. And if I think hard enough, I can forget where I am and make her my whole world.
I can see her on the darkness of my eyelids, not the terrorists with their guns trained on me. I can hear her voice, not my captors' footsteps as they pace the room and their whispers as they discuss their next step. I can't even hear the raging of my heartbeat, only her. Thinking of her brings me peace, my only solace at the moment.
My thoughts are broken as I am stabbed with the tip of a gun. I open my eyes and glare at the wielder of the weapon.
Even under his heavy accent, I can understand him perfectly. "What are you smiling about?"
"The end," I hiss back, smiling broadly. They may take my life, but they will never take my pride.
The man laughs heartily as he points his weapon at me again. I don't even remember why they were holding her hostage. I think they were trying to make a point when they caught the group of Marines, dangled them in front of the United States like an abusive owner dangling steak in front of a beaten and starving dog. The rest of the group was killed. They took special pride with Mac, though. I never did catch the reason why, but I have the sneaking suspicion it was simply because of the fact that she is female. I was going nuts without her and I charged in. Somehow, I pleaded with them, my life for hers. I told them I'd tell them what they wanted to know, anything, just let her go and they did. She glared at me as she was taken away and I was chained to the chair. The terrorists assured me that she made it safely away, and for some inexplicable reason, I trusted them. Maybe it's because we were so connected that I knew in my heart that she was still alive, just like I always knew where she was.
The laughter of the group increases as the man closest to me raises his weapon. What would I give up to have you, Mac? Is my life enough? My world goes black the moment I feel the impact of the weapon at the base of my skull.
I don't know how long I've been out when I regain consciousness. Mac would know, maybe. After that blow, her internal clock might be messed up. I slowly open my eyes and blink at the world around me. Everything is blurry and the room is spinning. As a former Tomcat pilot, I've never been one to get motion sickness, but even this is too much for me. I move my upper body as far as I can, leaning my head over, aiming for the ground, and vomit every last bit of food I've recently ingested. Fortunately, I've been here for a while and keeping me fed is not on the top of the to-do list of my captors. I think I got some on me, but I don't really care. I lean my head back and close my eyes again. My head is pounding. They just may have killed me with that blow. I hear their laughter far off in the distance as I slip back into unconsciousness.
I feel her fingertips on my forehead, brushing away the dirt and sweat. She kisses my forehead gently. "Harmon Rabb, you're a damn fool. You know that, don't you?"
"Yeah," I smile to her. She is in her BDUs, hardly attractive, but she is still the most beautiful sight that I've ever seen. The stars and a mostly-full moon illuminate the dark sky behind her. We are in the desert somewhere and the night is cool. A nearby fire glows orange and only increases the beauty of her skin tone. I reach up to touch her face, caressing her cheek with my fingers. Her skin is soft, the softest thing I have felt in a long while.
"Than you are every bit as arrogant as I always believed," she laughs softly at me. It is the most beautiful sound God ever created.
"And does this surprise you?" I look up into her brown eyes and I am lost.
She shakes her head. "No. I knew when I left that you were well aware of what you were doing. And I knew you wouldn't have it any other way. But you are still a damn fool."
I grin at her. "At least it's over now."
"No," she says grimly. "It isn't."
"But you're here, and we're together, so things are better." My fingers trace the contour of her face. "And at least we aren't in some dark cave being held hostage by crazy terrorists with guns."
Mac breaks the gaze we are holding.
"We are out of it, aren't we?" I ask her, my stomach in my throat.
"I am," she says, looking down at her fingers on my chest. She looks back at me with tears in her eyes. "But you're not."
I wipe a tear as it gently falls from one eye. "But this feels so real, Mac."
"It is, Harm. In your mind."
"Then maybe I can stay here. With you."
"NO!!" she yells at me.
I am taken aback by her harsh refusal.
"You can't stay here," she says, softer than before.
"I don't want to go back to what is waiting for me, Mac. There is nothing there. They are going to kill me."
"I know," she says softly, another tear sliding down her cheek, falling gently to the sand below. "But you have to go back."
"If there is nothing there for me, I'd rather stay here, with you. Even if it isn't real, it doesn't hurt. I'd rather stay here until they take my life. At least I'm happy here."
"Are you afraid to die?" she chuckles softly.
"No. I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid of losing you. I'm afraid of living my life without you. I'd rather die than face that reality."
Mac smiles softly through her tears, "That's why you have to go back."
I gaze at her for another moment, slowly comprehending her words.
"Go back, Harm. I'll be there. I'm not going to let you go. I'm coming to get you. You just have to hang on."
I can see the determination in her eyes. She means it. That's my Marine. "Don't make a promise you can't keep."
"I haven't yet," she smiles at me, thinking of our long ago conversation on the front steps of JAG Headquarters, when the roles had been reversed. I was the one making promises back then. Maybe, if I get out of this, I'll get to working on that promise. If? When did I get to be such a pessimist? When I get out of here, we'll get to work on that promise.
"I'll see you there."
She gazes softly at me. "Hang on, Harm. I'm coming."
"I will." She kisses me gently on the lips, so lightly I'm not even sure I felt it. She rises to her feet, salutes me, turns, and walks off across the desert. I watch her until she disappears from my sight. Only then, do I close my eyes and drift off.