What I'd Give Up
Part Fifteen

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Six Months Later (June)
Harm's Apartment
1537 Hours (local)

Mac is lying beside me. We have spent this rainy early-summer Sunday afternoon making love in my bed. I can hear the pitter-patter of rain on the window outside. Maybe one day we'll hear the pitter-patter of little feet on the hardwood floor of the house the two of us see in our heads. We've been trying for that, for the family that we both want, but it hasn't happened yet. I only hope we haven't waited too long. Although, I feel confident that we haven't.

We told the Admiral in January of our relationship. With some Tylenol and Pepto-Bismol, he was okay. Being officers of equal rank, the only thing we cannot do is get married. At least not marry and work in the same chain-of-command. But we are content with that for the moment. I have not felt ready to leave JAG, not yet. And as long as we kept things out of the office, he was fine with it.

Around Valentine's Day I was taken completely off of my crutches and relied upon a cane. I still use it, but only for longer walks, like from my office to my car. But around the apartment, the bullpen, and in court, I walk without it. The doctors tell me that in another six months, they will probably want to operate again, insert another pin in my knee. I'm driving again. And shorter trips in my 'Vette are fine, but anything longer than about half an hour starts to wear on my knee, as the leg room isn't very good. And I haven't taken Sarah up for a fly yet, either of them, and it will still be a while longer, but I will fly again. I don't miss flying for the Navy as much as I thought I would. I guess I've finally outgrown my forty million dollar toys.

Mac and Commander Willis have become great friends. As I suspected, she has fit right in with our JAG family. Kaya is a part of the group when we go out after work with Sturgis, Bud, Harriet, and even the Admiral and Meredith. Mac and Kaya have gone out a few times, just the two of them. They went one night to a hockey game to cheer on the Capitals with a pair of free tickets Kaya won from a radio station. I watched the game with Sturgis on TV at my place. Mac came home that night from the Caps victory, smiling and laughing. She said she had not done anything like that in a long time and Kaya was so much fun to hang out with. I think that Mac looks after Kaya like a little sister, someone younger to watch over and help guide through this life. And I think that Kaya looks up to Mac in the same manner.

Mac is moving in with me. When the lease on her apartment is up in two months, she is not going to renew it. She spends every night here anyway. I still haven't been able to say that I love her. Those three little words are just so damn hard to say. She has said them and she knows I love her. Just knowing is enough for her.

Webb and I have regained something that resembles a friendship. As much as we can be friends with him running off to places all over the world all the time. He told me one night that he knew he could never have Mac. She was mine to begin with. One day I'll have to thank him for getting the two of us together on that first case.

She stirs in my arms. We have both been dozing after our latest romp. I awakened before her and decided to watch her sleep, something I love doing. She does it to me, I know. I smile down at her and I'm met by a smile from her.

"Hey, Mac, you remember that night after our last session with Commander Nyland?"

"Yeah," she nods sleepily.

"And I told you that I would never ask you to leave JAG and you said you would never ask me to leave?"

"Yeah," she says, looking concerned.

"Well, I seem to remember telling you that I'd leave when the time was right. And if it never became right, I'd make it right."

She nods again.

"Bobbi Latham called me on Friday. They want somebody to work as a military liaison when Congress is in session. She wanted to offer me the position, knowing I was looking for something good to come along. If I take it, I'll be working at JAG when Congress isn't in session and on Capitol Hill when it is. I won't be in the same chain-of-command. If you want me to take it. I don't want to do anything you'd be uncomfortable with."

Mac's smile lights up the room. "If you want it, take it."

I reach behind Mac and unclasp the chain that held her ring around her neck. She hasn't taken it off since the day I gave it to her. "In that case," I say as I slide the ring off of the chain. "Will you make an honest man out of me and marry me?"

Mac holds out her hand. "Of course I will. All you ever had to do was ask." I slip the ring on her finger and pull her close to me. I set the chain on the table beside my bed. I'm sure we'll find a use for it later. For now, I have the most precious thing in the world next to me and I want both hands free to hold her.

"I love you, Sarah."

She looks at me with tears in her eyes. "And I love you, Harm."


I know things won't always be perfect with Mac and me. The road won't always be smooth and straight, but as long as we travel it together, I know we'll be okay. I mean, we've made it this far, haven't we?


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