JAG: The San Diego Series Episode 8:
Watch Over Me
Part 2

Rating: Adult (for adult and sexual situations)
Pairing: Harm/Jen
Classification: Drama, Angst, Romance, implied f/f
Spoilers: My stories can contain spoilers of any episode already aired in the US
Disclaimer: I don't own them. If I did, the ending would have been *very* different.
Archiving: Usual drill. Archived at myjagfanfic @ Yahoogroups; and various other lists; http://jagficlady.com/ Anywhere else, please ask I like to know where my stories end up.
A/N: WARNING! DO NOT READ this if you're a Harm/Mac shipper and don't like Harm/Jen! And this story is *not* a Mac love fest. So don't read it if you don't like that sort of thing. Anyone who does and then sends me an email about it will be branded a Village Idiot and their email blocked. This one's for you, Suz, and my fellow Harm loving fans. LOL!
Summary: Begins at the end of Episode 7, with Harm and Jen going out to celebrate her being cleared of charges in Vic's murder. Neither of them suspect that Pia Bonfilio is watching them, waiting for her chance to get back at the woman she blames for her problems.


1800 Hours Local
Rabb Residence
La Jolla, CA

"Here she is," Mattie announced as Harm hung up the telephone after making last minute reservations as Le Clare using his step-father's name as 'leverage'.

Harm turned, his breath catching in his throat when he caught sight of the woman standing beside Mattie. The 'little black dress' was exactly that, especially when paired with Jen's long legs and the barely there black high heels. The material clung to Jen's curves in all the right places, leaving her shoulders bare except for thin straps and ending several inches above her knees.

"So, she cleans up pretty good, doesn't she, Dad?" Mattie questioned, finally forcing Harm to blink and draw another breath.

"Uh, yeah," he agreed. "She does."

"I *am* in the room, remember," Jen said, and he suddenly realized that she was just as nervous as he was with the situation. The realization calmed him down, and he smiled.

"I know."

Mattie spoke suddenly. "Wait just a minute. I forgot one thing." With that, she was gone, leaving Harm and Jen alone in the room.

Harm forced another breath into his lungs. "That dress -"

Jen did a slow turn, as if modeling the dress for him. "I've never actually worn it," she confessed. "Mattie and I were shopping one day and she saw it and insisted that I should buy it for a special occasion. I never - had the nerve to actually wear it."

"Then I'm glad I grabbed it out of your closet," he told her, his eyes moving down her long legs again, stopping at the shoes. "I don't remember bringing *those*, though."

Jen extended a leg out to examine the thin straps of black that circled her foot and ankle. "They're Mattie's," she told him.

His eyebrow rose at the news. "Oh really?"

"She bought them when I bought the dress."

Mattie returned, carrying something over her arm, stopping when she saw the look she was getting from Harm. "What?" she questioned.

"Later," he said, indicating Jen's shoes.

"Oh. I can - explain, Dad -"

"Later," he repeated, and then pointed to her arm. "What's that?"

"I thought Jen might need this," she said, opening the triangle of black, soft lace before placing it over Jen's bare shoulders. "It's perfect for the dress."

Jen fingered the material. "It's beautiful," she declared.

"It - it was my mom's," Mattie explained.

Jen started to remove it, shaking her head. "In that case -"

But Mattie stopped her. "No. I want you to wear it." She grinned. "After all, if things work out like I hope they will, you'll *be* my mom."

Harm sighed, deciding it was time that he and Jen left before Mattie could put any further pressure on them. "We have to go if we're going to make our reservations," he told Jen.

"Where are you going?" Mattie asked.

"Le Clare," he answered as Jen took the small black handbag from Mattie that she'd brought along with the wrap.

Mattie whistled. "Whoa. Lucky you," she told Jen.

"Night, Matts," Harm said, moving forward at last.

She gave him a hug. "I won't wait up."

Once they got into the car, and Harm backed out of the driveway, Jen fell quiet, and Harm glanced at her. "Did Mattie's teasing bother you?"

"No," Jen assured him, turning in her seat as much as the seatbelt would allow. "I'm used to it. She used to tease me about how I felt about you when we were sharing that apartment back in DC."

"She knew?"

"Yes. I don't know how, but she guessed one day when we were at your apartment playing a game and Mac called you. She said she could see the way I felt in my face."

Harm reached over to take her hand. "And I was too blind to see it."

"You were still hoping for a future with Mac," Jen reminded him.

"It's called tunnel vision. And it can mean death if an aviator lets himself fall victim to it."

"I thought it was target fixation," Jen replied with a small grin that Harm couldn't help but reply in kind.

"You might be right."

"Besides, it was a good thing you didn't know back then and were still focused on Mac. You were an officer. Any hint of anything would have destroyed your career."

"And yours," he pointed out.

"My career isn't as important," Jen insisted. "You were a JAG lawyer. You saved people's lives."

"And you kept the Admiral's office running smoothly," he pointed out.

"More or less," Jen agreed, and Harm smiled at the dimple on her cheek.

"You're being self-depreciating," he told her.

"Still, my career isn't going to be in the Navy," she informed him. "I'm not going to reenlist."

Harm was glad that they were parked at a stop light when she spoke, because he wasn't sure that he wouldn't have stepped on the brake at that moment. "What?"

"I'd already made up my mind before Mac left for Naples. It was part of the reason why I didn't go with her. Only I didn't want everyone to know before it happened."

"Jen, you're almost finished with college. You could apply for OCS -"

"But I don't *want* to be an officer. And I know I'm throwing away any pension, but, well, I'd rather not risk being transferred away from San Diego."

She's *said* "San Diego", but Harm heard what she'd really meant: she hadn't wanted to leave him and Mattie.

"I didn't want to have to leave you," she said, surprising Harm that she seemed to have read his mind.

"Not Mattie?"

"I adore Mattie," Jen told him, running her fingers across his hand on the shifter. "But she'll be going away to the Academy in another few years. You need someone here for you."

"I'm a big boy, Jen," Harm assured her, wincing as someone behind him honked, making him aware that the light had changed. Setting the small car into motion, he finished. "I can take care of myself."

This time, Jen was bolder as she put her hand on his leg. "You've been taking care of yourself for most of your life, from what I can tell. It's time you let someone else do it."

Harm tried to ignore the feel of her fingers on just above his knee as he continued. "That doesn't mean you have to leave the Navy, Jen -"

"I don't have a future there, Harm."

"And if things had been - different -"

"You mean if you'd married Mac?"

"Yeah. Would you still have left the Navy?"

"Yes. I thought - maybe I could go to work for you. Help you with your cases and such - It would have been a way for me to help you even if I couldn't be with you," she said.

"I see."

"I guess you think I'm silly, admitting all this without knowing how you feel, but I've kept it bottled up for so long -"

"No, I don't think you're silly. And as for how I feel -" he turned the car to the side of the road and took it out of gear before leaning across the console. "Maybe this will answer that question," he finished, his lips near hers. Jen closed the distance, meeting his lips with hers, and Harm wished he'd released his seat belt before doing this. Even though his could put his arms around Jen, he couldn't get as close to her as he wanted to be.

He wanted to stay here, arms wrapped around her, kissing her, forever in that moment. When the kiss finally ended, Harm pulled back only a little. "Anymore questions?" he wanted to know.

"Not a one," she assured him, her fingers moving farther up his leg.

With a strangled groan, Harm captured her hand and lifted it to his lips. "We have a reservation to make. And there will be lots of time for this later."

"Mmm," Jen sighed, reluctantly sitting back into her seat. "I'm going to look forward to it."

Smiling, Harm returned her hand to his knee before putting the car into gear and pulling it back into the flow of traffic.


1900 Hours Local
Le Clare Restaurant

"Dessert?" the waiter asked as he cleared away the plates after the meal.

Harm turned his gaze toward Jen, who quickly shook her head. "I couldn't eat another bite," she declared. "It was delicious."

"I'll tell the chef you said so, ma'am," the young man said. "Some coffee, then?"

"I think we'll take you up on that," Harm said.

"I'll be right back with it."

Harm glanced toward the entrance, and saw two familiar faces. "Don't look now, but Varise and Sturgis just came in."

He saw Jen's eyes widen. "What?"

Reaching across the small table, he captured her hand before she could pull it away. "Relax. There's nothing wrong with our being here together."

"I guess I'm just still used to thinking about not letting people know."

"They're going to find out sooner or later," he reminded her, lifting a hand as Varise pointed their table out to her dinner partner and they moved toward it. Harm rose from his chair. "Varise," he said, accepting her quick embrace before extending his hand toward his old friend. "Sturgis."

"Harm." Sturgis looked surprised to see them together. "Jen?"

"Hello, Miss Chesnut, C-commander."

"I'm glad I ran into you, Harm," Sturgis said. "You might want to give Mac a heads up if you talk to her in the next few days."

Harm glanced toward Jen as he responded. "I doubt that I will."

"Well, she might want to be forewarned about what might be coming down the pike," Sturgis continued.

"What's that?"

"After -" he glanced at Jen as he spoke, "what happened last night and NCIS' investigation, several female enlisted and officers have come forward to say that Lt. Vukovic harassed them on more than one occasion."

"We already knew about that, Sturgis," Harm said. "It's old news."

"But a couple of them have said that they complained directly to their former CO about it -"

"But there was no formal report made by that CO," Harm finished, aware that Jen was becoming more withdrawn by the moment.

"I had no choice but to file a report suggesting an investigation on the matter. If Mac turned a blind eye to what Vukovic was doing, it could cause problems for her. I thought - all things considered, you might want to warn her."

"I'll think about it," Harm told the other man.

"Sturgis," Varise interjected, taking his arm to get his attention. "You're talking shop again, honey. Why don't we go to our table and order? I'm starving."

"Keep me in the loop, Sturgis," Harm said.

"I will. She might need a good attorney if this goes that far. I'll see you tomorrow morning, Jen."

"Yes, sir," Jen agreed in a quiet voice.

After the other couple moved away, Harm noticed that Jen was toying with her napkin, her eyes fixed on the table between them. Reaching over, he covered her hand, stopping their nervous movement. "Jen, what's wrong?"

"He disapproves of my being here."

"So? He's just your CO. He doesn't own you and can't control what you do on your off duty time."

She finally looked up at him. "Are you sure about that?"

"Yes. Especially if you're serious about leaving the Navy."

"I am."

"So let it go. And tell me what else is bothering you."

"It's just - I don't want to be the one responsible for having caused Mac any career problems."

"You're not. Mac brought anything that happens on herself by not reining Vukovic in when she had the chance. And if they want my opinion, Gen. Creswell deserves some of the blame, as well."

"The General?"

"He was so sure the guy was the Great White Hope that he either didn't or couldn't see the flaws in Vic's character. Which means that he's either a lousy judge of character or was totally blind when it came to Vukovic. "

"I guess you'll be calling Mac - to warn her -" She wasn't looking at him again.

Harm squeezed her hand gently to bring her gaze back up to his. "No. Mac made her bed. She has to answer for her decisions. Or lack of decisions."

"But - she'll need a lawyer -"

"I don't think she would expect me to represent her, Jen. She knows how I felt about her handling of Vic. Now. Why don't we just forget all about Sturgis and Mac and Vic and get back to enjoying our date?"

She managed a smile. "I'm going to need some more things from my apartment -"

"I was thinking about the apartment. I know you'll probably argue about this, but - I don't think you should move back there. Especially not with Pia still out there somewhere."

"I guess I *could* move," she agreed.

"I have an idea about that - why not stay in La Jolla with us?"

"Do you think that would be a good idea?"

"The three of us did all but share quarters back in DC for several months," he reminded her.

"Yes, but that was before -"

"Before?" he prompted when she hesitated, and couldn't help but return the smile that appeared.

"Before you found out how I feel about you."

"You know, you make it sound like that feeling is entirely one sided," he told her.

"I'm not sure that it isn't," she confessed. "Although, I'd totally understand if you don't - I mean, I -"

"Jen, why don't we go to your place to get some more of your things, and talk?"

She nodded. "Okay. I need to go to the head," she told him.

"I'll pay the bill while you're gone."

He had just finished paying the bill when another waiter approached him. "Excuse me, sir, but the lady you were with isn't feeling well. She said she would meet you at the car."

Concerned, Harm looked in the direction of the ladies' room, but there was no sign of Jen. She could have come out and left the restaurant while he was paying the bill, he supposed. "Thank you," he told the waiter and picked up Jen's wrap to carry to her.

In the parking lot, he stood at the Vette, looking around. "Jen?" The car was still locked, and there was no sign of Jen anywhere. He unlocked the car, and was about to open the door when he felt something in the middle of his back.

"Don't move, Harm," a vaguely familiar voice told him. "I don't have any problem killing people, as you well know."

A chill went down his spine as he realized who the person was. "Pia Bonfilio."

"Right on the first guess. Jen said that you were smart. Really sang your praises when I stayed with her. Not that I blamed her. If I'd been living next door to you, I wouldn't' have been able to keep my distance."

"Jen has more self control," Harm pointed out. "Where is she?"

"Still in the ladies' room," she assured him. "And well. Hurting her now wouldn't suit my purposes at all. Now, put your hands behind your back."

Waiting for the right moment, Harm did as she asked, surprised when he felt the cold steel of handcuffs against his skin. The lace shawl and keys fell to the pavement beside the car, unnoticed. "What -?"

"Come on," Pia said, jerking his arms back, her weapon still pressed against his spine.

"Where are we going?"

"You'll see." She stopped at a car, and opened the back door. "Get in."

"No. I won't be a part of whatever game you're playing."

"Then Jen will find you dead right here," she declared, and Harm heard the sound of a revolver hammer being pulled back. "And there won't be anyone to stop me from taking her out, will there?"

Harm got into the back seat, feeling the butt of the gun connect with his head as he did so and everything went dark…


1930 Hours Local
Le Clare Restaurant

Jen came out of the ladies' room to find a busboy clearing the table - and no sign of Harm. Frowning, she scanned the area near the door, the frown deepening when she didn't see him.

Cmdr Turner and Varise were still sitting, having just been served their appetizer, and Jen approached the table. "Excuse me, sir-"

Sturgis looked up at her. "Yes, Jen?"

"Did you see where Harm went? I went to the ladies' room and when I came out, he was gone."

Varise spoke. "I saw a waiter talk to him just after he paid the bill," she volunteered. "He left the restaurant right after that."

Jen glanced around. "Which waiter?"

The other woman looked around the room. "I don't see him right now."

"Maybe he went outside to wait for you," Sturgis suggested. "Probably wanted to smoke an after dinner cigar. You know Harm."

"Yeah," Jen nodded, not wholly convinced. "I guess I'll go out and see if he's there."

She saw Varise give her dinner companion a hard look before he said, "I'll go with you."

"You don't have to do that, sir."

"Yes, he does," Varise assured her quickly.

Sturgis stood and told Varise, "I'll be right back," before escorting Jen toward the front door. Outside, they paused, not finding Harm anywhere around the area. "He might have gone to the car -" Sturgis suggested, stepping off the curb, his hand on Jen's elbow.

"I don't think he would have without telling me," Jen said, but she went with him.

"How long have you and Harm been seeing each other?" he asked.

"This is our first date, sir," Jen assured him, having been expecting the question. "Nothing happened between us when he was still in the Navy - or while Col. Mackenzie was here."

The Vette was sitting where they had left it - but there was no sign of Harm. "This is *very* strange," Sturgis decided at last, moving to try and open the drivers side door.

"It's unlocked," Jen realized when he opened it without a problem. "I know he locked it. He *always* locks it unless it's in the garage with the door closed."

"I know." He started to get into the car, and stopped, bending down to pick something up from the pavement. When he did, the jangle of keys was loud in the silence.

"My wrap. And Harm's keys," Jen declared, taking them when Sturgis held them up. "Something's happened to him, sir."

"Do you have a cell phone?"

Jen nodded, opening her small handbag to remove it, knowing where he was going. "I'll try to call him -" She pressed the speed dial button and waited for the phone to be answered.

"Hello, Jen."

"Pia," Jen said, looking at Sturgis, who took out his own phone and moved away.

"I was wondering when you'd call to check up on Harm. Don't worry, he's fine. We're going to have a little party when he comes to. You're welcome to join us."

"Pia, let him go. He's -"

"Important to you. Unlike that idiot Vic. You should thank me for killing him. He was a total jerk."

"I'm supposed to thank you for trying to frame me - *again*?"

"You brought it on yourself, Jen," Pia insisted coolly. "Now, are you going to join us for a party?"

"Harm won't 'party' that way, Pia," Jen warned.

"He'll do whatever I say to stay alive," Pia countered with an edge to her voice.

"Where are you?"

"Uh uh. You get in that lovely car and start driving - and don't hang up the phone so I'll know you're not telling whoever might be there where you're going."

Jen slid into the driver's seat and put the key into the ignition, turning it over. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Sturgis turn and head back toward her, but Jen wasn't going to let him risk Harm's life by insisting she wait for the police. It had been awhile since she'd driven a stick shift, but it came back to Jen after twice grinding the gears, apologizing to Harm over and over as she did so.

Grabbing her cell phone, she pressed the 'speaker on' button and put it down again. "Okay, Pia. Where do you want me to go?"

"Just follow my directions, Jen," Pia responded.


Harm wasn't sure what hurt worse. His head or his pride that he'd let Pia get the drop on him. In the darkness, he could see that he was still in the back seat of Pia's car - and a cautious attempt to move his arms told him that the handcuffs were still in place - and that his feet were bound together as well. He was twisted up in the small seat, but didn't make a sound as he listened to Pia speaking to Jen, giving her instructions as to where they were going. He only hoped that Jen had found some way to let someone know they needed help and wasn't trying to do this herself.

Pia was dangerous, and he knew that she had no intention of letting either of them go if Jen were to find them. He knew, too, that if Pia killed him, Jen would be devastated - as he would be if something happened to her. He continued to remain quiet, listening as Pia taunted Jen with the promise of a 'party' with Harm. "Just like we used to have with Vince, remember, Jen? You used to enjoy those, didn't you? . . . I'm sure that once he sees us together he'll get so horny that he won't even think about anything else," she finished, and Harm felt sick to his stomach at the thought of Pia trying to force Jen into anything like that. He had no delusions about Jen's life before she'd been forced to join the Navy, but that life was long over, and the idea of Pia trying to force her to relive it was troubling.

From listening to Pia's directions, he knew they were heading toward the warehouse district in Chula Vista. Not a good place to be after dark most of the time.

The car turned sharply, pressing Harm's wrists into his back at a painful angle. Harm grunted softly, but hoped that Pia had been too distracted by her conversation with Jen to hear it. From what he could see out of the dark tinted windows, they were in a dark place - probably in an alleyway. Deciding that the element of surprise might work best, Harm remained still as the car came to a stop.

"I'm going to mute my speaker, now, Jen, but I'll be able to hear you. So don't hang up or you'll never see your boyfriend again."

The interior light came on, and Harm closed his eyes, trying to make his breathing shallow. When the door opened, Harm expected to feel Pia's hand on his foot, untying the rope that bound them. "Open your eyes, Harm," she said, punctuating the words with the sound of the hammer being pulled back on the gun again. "Don't make me use this yet. I know you're awake."

He opened his eyes, seeing her for the first time. She had indeed cut and bleached her hair, altering her appearance almost totally. If he'd seen her on the street, he wouldn't have recognized her as the same woman who had wrecked such havoc in Jen's life. "How did you know?"

"I heard you grunt when I turned into the alley," she explained. "Now." She showed him a knife. "Be still when I cut these ropes. I still have the gun - and I would hate to cut you."

"Wouldn't suit your plan to have a party, would it?" he suggested.

She gave him a grin that revealed her insanity. "I'm looking forward to it. It's been at least a year now since Jen and I - well."

Harm knew she was trying to make him think that she and Jen had been together a year ago, but he knew Jen too well. He knew she would never have violated Navy regs that way. He remained still as she cut the rope and stepped back.

"Okay, get out." As Harm moved, she added, "Slowly," brandishing the pistol in his direction. Once he was out of the car, she closed the door and motioned toward a steel door into a nearby building. "In there. And no tricks, Harm. Jen's expecting to see you here when she arrives. You'd hate to let her down, wouldn't you?"

Harm entered the building, the gun still in the small of his back. He'd just have to wait a little longer for an opening. Surely she would slip up eventually. They all did.

They entered a room with a full bed in a corner of the room, and a single chair sitting within view of that bed. "Sit," Pia ordered, nodding toward the chair. When he had done so, she moved closer, standing just behind him. Into the phone, he heard her speak. "Okay, Jen. It's not long now. And we'll be together like we used to be. . . Oh, don't worry. He's fine. Really fine," she said, drawing the cold steel of the gun barrel against the side of Harm's neck. He fought the urge to pull away and give Pia that satisfaction.

"Where are you?" she asked Jen. "Good. Turn left at the next light. Come to the middle of the block and make a hard left into the alleyway and park behind my car . . ."

Harm realized that Jen was very close to the building and moved the chair slightly back, but Pia was ready for him. He felt a sharp, jabbing pain in his bicep, and looked down to see her pull a syringe away from his arm. "What did you give me?"

"Something to make you relax a little, that's all," she promised. "And then we'll party. Won't we, Jen?"

Harm could hear Jen yelling through the cell phone speaker, but found it suddenly difficult to move. He tried to stand up, but Pia pushed him back into the chair with frustrating ease. "Jen, don't come," he said, and realized his voice was slurred. She probably hadn't heard him, anyway.

Pia laughed softly, close to his ear, her fingers on his collar, brushing through his hair. "Oh, yeah. We're gonna have *fun*." He felt her lips touch his ear. "Mmmm. He tastes so good, Jen. Can't wait for you to get here to join us . . ."

Pia helped him to his feet, supporting him - the gun out of sight, Harm thought, but he couldn't be sure, since it was suddenly so hard to just *think* clearly. She led him toward the bed, and onto it, sitting against the wall, turned on his side so that he could see the chair and the door into the room.

While she did so, she remained on the phone with Jen, guiding her into the alley and then into the building. When the door opened, the gun was back, against the side of Harm's neck as Pia sat on the edge of the bed beside him.

Jen's eyes moved at once to his, and he could see the concern in them. "Harm, are you okay?"

"Drugged," he managed to get past vocal chords that didn't want to seem to cooperate.

"What did you give him, Pia?" Jen demanded as she moved into the room, closing the cell phone.

Pia ran the gun down Harm's chest. "Just something to keep him- loose, that's all. So he can enjoy the show. The way Vince used to enjoy it. Of course, it won't be the same, since we don't look so much alike anymore - I know. Why don't you cut your hair -?"

"No," Jen said. "I'll do anything else you want, Pia, if you'll just let him go."

"Oh, I'll let him go - after he's seen the real you." Pia rose from the bed, moving toward Jen, the gun still in her hand. "The you that used to enjoy being closer to me than you were to anyone else. The you who said we were just alike - mirror images of each other. I know what you like, Jen. I know how to make you happy. I can make you happy again."

Jen's eyes flickered from Pia back to where Harm was laying, watching them.

Pia saw that look, and reached out with her free hand to touch Jen's face. "You know you want to, Jen. It's been so long. This last year has been horrible, knowing you were on the other side of the country. But once I found out you were here, I thought maybe I could make you want me again that way. The way you wanted me when I stayed with you."

"I didn't," Jen denied, still looking at Harm.

Pia pushed Jen into the chair. "Yes, you did. I saw it that night. You wanted me as much as I wanted you. But you were too afraid of someone finding out - that *he* might find out," she said, nodding her head toward Harm. "But he won't care. Once he sees you, he'll get so turned on - don't you remember the way Vince used to watch us while he -"

"That was another lifetime, Pia," Jen said. "It's over."

"No!" Pia insisted. "It doesn't have to be." She smiled. "And if you don't do it, then your friend will die."

Harm saw Jen's eyes widen in horror. "What?"

"I gave him something to relax him. It will eventually relax even his heart muscle and he'll die - unless I give him something to keep it going. And I'll do that only after you and I -"

Harm sent Jen a message through the only means he had - his eyes, letting her know that he was okay with whatever decision she made. He didn't want her to subject herself to doing what Pia wanted her to do.

Jen licked her lips and leaned toward Pia. "You might be right, Pia. But it'll be strange, not seeing someone who looks so much like me -"

"I'm still me, Jen. And my hair will grow back -" she leaned in as well, and Harm closed his eyes, not wanting to be witness to the scene.

Suddenly Pia cried out and Harm opened his eyes to see her falling onto the floor, the gun flying out of her hand, and Jen diving to recover it before Pia could so do.

"You *bitch*!" Pia cried out, scrambling for the gun. But Jen grabbed her, trying to push her away from it, ending up sending the gun toward the bed instead.

Harm knew that moving would only speed up the flow of blood, increasing the drug's effect. But the gun was so close --- All he had to do was move a little - grab it - He had to try, for Jen's sake.

Pia and Jen were still struggling for the gun, moving closer to the bed. Before Harm could force his sluggish body to move, Jen had the gun in hand, and was pointing it at Pia. "Don't move, Pia," she ordered.

"You won't kill me," she said, an ugly smile appearing on her lips before she leapt onto the bed, placing her hands around Harm's throat. "Not before I kill him, anyway," she added, squeezing.

Harm gasped for air, trying to force his hands to move so he could pull the slight woman off of him.

"Stop, Pia!" Jen yelled. A bullet flew, hitting the wall just over Pia's head. Harm felt shards of cinderblock cut his flesh, but he was still struggling - albeit without much success - for his life, since Pia didn't seem to blink an eye at Jen's warning shot. He opened his eyes and met Jen's once more.

Jen swallowed heavily, took careful aim, and fired - hitting Pia's shoulder. Surprised, Pia slumped over Harm, and a moment later, Jen was pulling her off of him, already talking into the cell phone. "I need to report a kidnapping and shooting . . ." after giving the police the address, she threw her arms around him. "Are you okay?" she asked, seeing the blood on his shirt.

He nodded. "Jen. I -"

"Don't say it, Harm. Not now. You're going to be okay. Just stay still. I'm going to look for whatever it was that she gave you."

"How -?" he managed, "Pia."

Jen reluctantly moved to check her old friend. "She's alive. Looks like the bullet went through her shoulder -"

"She'll - live."

"In prison," Jen agreed, moving away again. She put the gun down onto the chair, and started searching the room, finally locating two vials along with another syringe just as the sound of voices in the building reached them. "We're in here!" Jen called through the now open door.

Harm tried again to talk when she returned to his side. "Jen. I l-"

But this time the police and paramedics interrupted his attempt as they came forward, taking the vials that Jen gave them and attending to Pia's gunshot wound. He hoped they were in time --- since he couldn't keep his eyes open any longer…


0300 Hours Local
Naval Hospital
North Island

Harm opened his eyes to see a blue pair filled with concern. "Hey," he said, his voice a little rough.

"How are you feeling?" Mattie asked.

"Better." He smiled at her, holding out a hand. "You've been crying," he noted.

"A little. I was so worried."

He seemed to remember Jen telling him that she'd called his mom and Frank to have them bring Mattie down, since they wanted him to stay overnight for observation - and Jen had to go with the police to make a statement about what had happened. "Where's Jen?"

"She's still with the police. Pia's going to be okay, too. They put her under arrest for killing Vince Dolan and Vic and for kidnapping and drugging you. The doctor said you almost died."

"I didn't," he reminded her. "Where's Grandma Trish and Frank?"

"They went to get some coffee. They should be back any minute."

"Then I want them to take you home."

"No way," she insisted. "I'm not going anywhere."

"You still have school tomorrow," he reminded her. "I'm fine. And as soon as I can convince the doctors of that, I'll have Jen bring me home."

"They said not til tomorrow."

"Then I'll see you after school. But I want you to go home and rest some rest, Matts," he insisted, letting her hug him. He could feel how frightened she'd been of losing him. Almost as frightened as he'd been of losing her after her accident. "Promise me you'll go."

She sighed, and nodded. "I promise."

Trish and Frank entered with the coffee, and were delighted that he was awake. After he recounted some of the incident - leaving out the part where Pia had expected Jen to leave the Navy and Harm to be with her - he told them to take Mattie home for the night, and promised to call as soon as they released him.

"I'm glad you're okay, darling," Trish told him, giving him a hug. "And Jen. Give her my love when she gets here, okay?"

"I will," Harm promised. Once they were gone, he put his head back on the pillow, closing his eyes. It had been too long since he'd gone through anything like this, and he was seriously out of practice. Being kidnapped, threatened and drugged was something that he would have easily shrugged off not too terribly long ago.

But things were different now. He had Mattie. And his mom and Frank. And Jen. A soft hand touched his arm, and he smiled, opening his eyes to see Jen. "There you are. Is everything okay?" he asked, searching her face.

"I'm supposed to be asking *you* that question," she replied. "But yeah. Pia's under arrest at the hospital where they took her. Under armed guard."

"Has she talked?"

"Nothing except to tell them she did it to get me 'back'," she said. "Looks like my Navy career would have been over even if I hadn't planned on not staying in."

"Jen, they wouldn't just take her word for things," he pointed out.

"No. But if they asked about - before I joined -"

"You can't be prosecuted for that. Only for what you've done since."

She looked at him. "You're sure that it didn't happen last year?"

He nodded, patting the bed. "I'm sure. I know you too well. You wouldn't have risked your career a year ago." When Jen sat down, he took her hands, and then pulled her forward onto his chest. "Thank you."

"For what?"

"Saving my life."

"I didn't do that. The paramedics -"

"If you hadn't taken that shot, she would have killed me. And the paramedics wouldn't have been able to change that."

She relaxed against his chest, putting her head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry my past came back in such a big way. I thought I'd put it behind me -"

"You have." He lifted her chin to look at her. "I love you, Jennifer Coates."

"You said yourself that you're grateful -"

"This isn't gratitude anymore than what you feel is," he assured her. "And when I get out of here, I'll show you exactly how I feel." He brought her lips to his, easily drawing a deep response from her. He felt her move fully onto the bed, half on top of his body. Harm tightened his arms around her, deepening the kiss even further. Once the kiss ended, she started to move, but Harm refused to let her go. "I want to spend the rest of my life showing you how much I care, Jen. I know it's probably going to raise a few eyebrows, but - I don't care. Marry me?"

Jen's face seemed to glow as she smiled at him. "You're sure?"

"More sure than I've been about anything in my life. I made the mistake of waiting too long with Mac, and what we had simply couldn't withstand that. I refuse to let that happen to us."

"Yes," she said after what seemed to Harm to be minutes and was in reality only bare seconds. "I'd be honored to marry you, Harm. I've never felt this way about anyone, and I know that's not going to change." She initiated the kiss this time before resting her head on his chest again.

"Now, why don't you tell me what happened this evening?" he asked.

"You start. How did she get you to leave the restaurant?"


0800 Local Hours
Rabb House
La Jolla, CA

"I don't want to wait long before we get married, Jen," Harm said once he was settled in the kitchen with a cup of herbal tea, watching Jen, now wearing her uniform. When she moved within reach, he took advantage of the fact to grab her arm, and tug her gently into his lap.

"Harm, I have to report for duty. Cmdr Turner gave me half a day to get you home and settled," she pointed out, sliding her arms around his neck.

"That leaves us four hours," he told her, his fingers moving to circle the top button of her blouse.

"The doctor said that you need to stay calm, remember? Nothing strenuous for at least a couple of days."

Harm sighed, resting his head against hers. "You're right. Okay. Give Sturgis my thanks for helping last night."

"I will. I didn't mention that he asked me how long we'd been dating, did I?"


"When we were walking to the car. I told him that it was our first date."

"And it won't be the last," he confirmed. "But I can't promise they'll all be as - exciting."

"Every minute with you is exciting," Jen informed him, leaning in to kiss him. "Now, I have to go."

Harm released her with great reluctance. "Take the Vette," he told her.

"Your Vette?

"Do we have another?" He asked, laughing. "You drove it last night - and this morning."

"You trust me with the Vette?"

"Didn't I just say that?"

"Not in those words, no."

"I trust you," he said, pulling her close again. "With my car, and with my heart."

Jen smiled up at him, "I'll take great care with both," she answered, giving him another kiss. "Damn. I wish I didn't have to leave."

"If you want, I can call Sturgis, tell him that the doctor didn't want me to be left alone -"

"It's tempting," Jen sighed. "But considering the fact that I'm already in hot water, I'd rather not make things worse by playing hooky."

"Are you sure about not reenlisting?" he wanted to know.

"More than ever. Another month, and I'll be a civilian again."

"Come on. I'll walk you out to the car."


Jen was barely gone when there was a knock on the front door. Harm glanced through the window in the door before opening it to admit Keeter. "I'm surprised to see you, buddy," Harm told him.

"I'm surprised to see you, pal," Keeter replied. "You look like hell."

"A little pale," Harm admitted. "But the doctors said I'll be fine." He indicated that Keeter should follow him into the kitchen, where he got a couple bottles of water out of the fridge.

"When Sturgis called me last night, I was afraid I'd never see your or Jen again. What happened?"

Harm retold the story again, including Jen's actions in saving his life. When he finished, Keeter gave a low whistle. "She's some girl."

"Yeah," Harm confirmed. "I know." Suddenly he worried that he might be stepping on his old friend's toes. "Uh, Keeter, about Jen - are you and she -?"

Jack Keeter laughed loudly, shaking his head. "No. I figured you might think we were, but her attention has been focused elsewhere - I guess you know now that you're the only one she's interested in in that way, since Sturgis made sure to tell me that you and she were on a date last night."

Harm gave a wide grin. "We were. First date and I end up kidnapped and Jen has to shoot one of her oldest friends."

"At least she can't say it was dull," Keeter pointed out. "So she finally got the nerve to tell you how she felt. And I guess you were okay with it?"

"I still think I'm too old for her," Harm said, and Keeter responded.

"Damn right you are. But if I had someone like her in love with me, I'd go for it. Oh, and if you ever hurt her, buddy, you'll answer to me. Got it?"

Harm lifted his hands in a mock defensive gesture. "Got it," he confirmed. "And you didn't let me finish. I'm too old for her - but being with her makes me *feel* almost ten years younger."

"She had that effect on me, too. But then, according to some people I've never grown up anyway," he said with a wink.

"Got that right," Harm agreed, laughing.

"So, what's the plan?"

"Well, we're going to get married."

"Whoa. Is this 'take everything slow and easy' Harmon Rabb Jr. that I'm talking to?" Keeter asked.

"It's me. I don't want to wait. And neither does Jen. Hell, we've known each other for long enough to know what we want. We spent enough time together in DC to know how we'll get along in the same house. And - I hope you'll agree to be my best man."

"Only if the wedding happens this time, buddy," Keeter said. "Have you told Mac yet?"

Harm shook his head. "No. Hell, I haven't even officially told Mattie or my mom yet. Jen's going to tell Sturgis today - along with telling him that she's not going to reenlist."

"She told you about that, too, huh?"

"You knew?"

"Jen needed someone to talk to. She couldn't talk to Mattie, since she was sure Mattie would mention it to you and you'd try to talk her out of it - for her own good."

"I did," Harm admitted a little sheepishly. His cell phone rang, and Harm opened it to answer. "Hi, Mom."

"I just wanted to find out if you were still going to join me for lunch today, dear. If you're not feeling up to it, I'll understand."

"I'm fine, Mom," Harm assured her, giving Keeter a long-suffering grin. "Keeter's here - would you mind if he came along?" he asked, ignoring Keeter's shaking head.

"Harm -"

"Of course not. You know I like Jack. Tell him he's more than welcome. I'll see you both at noon, then?"

"We'll pick you up," Harm said.

"Okay. Bye, dear."

"Bye, Mom."

"You owe me, Harm," Keeter grumbled, but Harm knew it was an act. Keeter and Trish Burnett had always gotten along.

"We'll just mark it off the ones you owe me," Harm replied easily.

"Such as?"

"Well, saving your six at least twice - make that three times."

"Three? I only remember two times. Cuba and Iran."

"What about when I dropped chaff to keep Commander Jennings from finding out that you were chasing after his daughter?"

Keeter groaned. "That was ages ago, man!'

"But it still put *my* Academy career at risk. If he'd found out the truth -"

"You'd have been walking punishment tours for two terms and I'd have been out on my six."

Harm stood up. "Come on. We'd better get going to meet Mom. You gonna give me an answer about being my best man?"

"Hell, Harm, I'm already the best man," Keeter teased, slapping Harm on the back as they moved toward the front door. "But yeah, I'd be honored to stand up with you at your wedding."


2100 Hours Local
Rabb House
La Jolla, CA

"Night, Dad," Mattie said, giving Harm a hug and turning to Jen. "Night, 'Mom'," she said in a teasing voice before giving Jen a hug as well. "This is *so* cool!" she declared once again before leaving them in the living room to go to bed.

"Night, Matts," Harm called after her, shaking his head at Jen's red face. "You okay," he asked.

"I'm not sure I'll ever get used to being 'mom' to a 17 year old girl," Jen replied.

Harm extended an arm toward her. "Come here." Once she was wrapped in his arms, her head resting against his broad chest, he asked, "Better?"

"Um hmm," she murmured in a dreamy voice. "Much. "You realize that by planning the wedding for New Year's Eve, we're likely not to get everyone here we want to be. That's only two weeks away."

"We'll call Bud and Harriet tomorrow. Hopefully they'll be able to come out."

"I hope they're not upset - I know they wanted you and Mac to -"

"You didn't hear Harriet's reaction to Mac's decision," Harm told her. "She wasn't very happy with Mac at that moment. And they both like you. After all, you're responsible for Bud being alive after he was wounded."

"I still say I didn't do anything."

"That's not what I heard. Anyway, they'll be delighted as long as we're happy." Pulling her with him, he sank onto the sofa, keeping her close. "What else did Sturgis have to say about Pia's accusations?" he wanted to know. They had put off discussing the topic around Mattie.

"That there would probably be an investigation to make sure that I hadn't violated the regs while I was in the Navy - but since I was going to leave anyway, it probably wouldn't matter if I had."

"That's good news, anyway." They had discussed Sturgis' reaction to Harm and Jen's relationship when she had met him and Keeter at her apartment after securing for the day to start the process of moving her things out of it. "Let's hope he can sell that to Gen. Creswell and keep him from starting an investigation."

"I didn't want to mention it with Mattie in the room, but I think the General is going to have some problems of his own to deal with. There's scuttlebutt that a full investigation into Mac's not reporting Vic's harassment and the General's apparent 'blind eye' are going to happen soon."

"Sturgis has more than enough evidence without calling you for more," Harm reminded her, pulling her even closer in an effort to comfort her.

"What if he calls you, though?" she asks. "Would you be willing to say that you knew Mac hadn't done what needed to be done with Vic?"

Harm only thought about the question for a second before answering. "If I had to, yes. I told you last night, Jen. Mac made her bed. She has to lie in it now." He settled back and pulled her across his lap. "Now, no more talk about Mac or Vic or Gen. Creswell."

Jen gave him a teasing grin. "Well, what *do* you want to talk about?"

"As a matter of fact, I'd rather not talk at all," he said, leaning in to kiss her, burying his fingers in her long, dark hair. Jen moaned softly, wriggling her body against him, and Harm knew that she couldn't help but know how his own body was responding to her closeness. When they had returned home they had put her things into the guest room, neither one sure about whether or not they were ready to take the next step in their still somewhat new relationship.

Harm's fingers found the hem of her tee-shirt, one of his that she'd 'borrowed' the night before when Mattie's were too tight for her to wear, and slipped underneath, finding the soft skin of her back. His lips moved to her jaw, placing light, teasing kisses along it while Jen's hands stroked his shoulders and the side of his neck, moving up to trace the outside of his ear before sliding her fingers through his hair and pulling his lips back to hers.

His fingers kept moving up and around, to the edge of her breast. Jen gasped and sighed, "Yes," when he reached the taut peak at the point and circled it with a long finger. Suddenly she pulled away slightly, and Harm thought he might have overstepped their unspoken line, only to relax when she straddled his hips and was facing him, resting exactly where he wanted her to be. Reaching down, she grabbed the hem of the tee-shirt and lifted it over her head, revealing her upper body to his hungry gaze.

"You're so beautiful, Jen," he declared, pulling her close again for a kiss that left both of them in no doubt that by the end of this night they would be one in both body and soul.

His hands moved down to cup her ample breasts, enjoying the weight of them in his hands, and Jen's soft whimper made him even harder than he already was. "If we don't move this into the bedroom, Jen, I'm not going to be responsible for what happens."

Jen leaned back just enough to grasp the hem of his own shirt, and was about to pull it off when the doorbell rang, the sound causing them both to groan in frustration. "Do we have to answer it?" Harm asked.

"If we don't," Jen told him, "Mattie might."

Aware that if that happened, then Mattie would realize how close Harm and Jen had come to making love on the living room sofa, Harm gave her another kiss and lifted her from his lap. "I'll get rid of whoever it is," he assured her.

Jen grabbed her shirt and pulled it back on. "I'll go get ready for bed," she said, heading toward the bedroom as Harm moved toward the front door.

He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to smooth it after Jen's fingers had disturbed it before he opened the door - and went totally still. "Mac?"

"Hello, Harm," she said.

"I thought you were in Naples?"

"I was until NCIS dismissed the case against Jen and started an investigation of me," she said. "General Creswell put me on extended leave until things are resolved," she explained, then looked around him. "Can I come in?"

"Oh." Harm looked behind him as well, before stepping back. "Sure. Why here? I thought you'd be ordered back to headquarters -"

"I'll end up there eventually, I just - wanted to talk to you," she told him. "I need an attorney, and -"

"You want me to represent you," Harm finished.

"You *are* the best," she said.

Harm shook his head. "No, Mac."

Her face hardened slightly. "What?"

"I can't. Sturgis knows that I asked you to stop Vic on a couple of occasions. He'll likely have to call me as a witness if this gets that far."

"You'd - testify against me?"

"Would you prefer that I lied, Mac? Tell the investigators that we never discussed Vic and his harassment of female personnel? You know I can't do that."

"Not even for me?" she asked, moving closer to him.

"No." She stopped in her tracks, her dark eyes searching his face.

"What's going on, Harm?" she wanted to know. "You've changed. You said you - loved me -"

"I do. I always will. As a friend. But things *have* changed."

"Harm, don't you realize that I might lose everything? My career?"

"And that *is* everything to you, isn't it, Mac? Your career? Nothing else matters to you."

"Harm, I'm sorry if I hurt you -"

Harm heard a door close in the hallway, and wasn't sure whether it would be Mattie or Jen who came into the room until he heard the voice.

"Who was it, Harm?" Jen asked, and Harm turned to look at her, seeing Mac's surprised expression.

He understood the reason for that surprise when he saw Jen was wearing only one of his bathrobes - and apparently nothing else. "Mac's here," he told her unnecessarily, holding out his hand to her. She took it and he pulled her to his side.

Mac didn't miss the action and her face paled. "How long?" she wanted to know, her voice now cold and angry.

"Just since yesterday," Harm told her. "We're getting married in two weeks."

"I see." Her dark eyes pinned Jen. "This is why you wanted to stay here, isn't it? Because you wanted him. Because you always wanted him."

"Yes," Jen answered honestly. "But I would never have said anything if you and Harm had married, Mac." Harm was surprised to hear her call Mac by her name instead of her rank. She hadn't done that often. "I just being his friend would have been enough." She looked up at him. "Now, I want to spend the rest of my life taking care of him. Making sure he never has to be alone again."

Harm tightened his hold on Jen, smiling at her, and the fight seemed to suddenly evaporate from Mac. "I've been a blind, stupid fool," she declared, starting to move past them.

"Mac," Harm said, but she only stopped for a second.

"I won't bother you again, Harm. I have to go."

Jen pulled away from Harm. "If you want to go after her -"

Harm turned and gave Jen a kiss. "I just need to make sure she's not going to do something stupid, Jen," he assured her, touching her face. "I'll be right back. I promise."

He opened the door and caught Mac just as she started the rental car she'd arrived in. "Mac," he called, opening the door. "Don't go like this."

"I'm okay, Harm," she said. "I just - I guess I thought you'd be here waiting for me. But I guess you could only wait so long -"

He dropped to his haunches beside the open door. "I still want us to be friends, Mac. That hasn't changed. It doesn't have to."

"No. I guess not. Good luck, Harm. Be happy."

"You too," he replied in a quiet voice. "Keep in touch? For Mattie if no other reason?"

"Mattie will have you and Jen. She doesn't need a messed up middle aged woman to rely on. But I'll be around." She was half smiling, but Harm could still see the pain of realizing what she'd lost in her eyes. "I guess - you'll get your family now. Jen's still young enough -"

"Mac, that's not fair -"

"I know. But right now, it's the way I feel." She reached for the door, leaving him little choice other than to stand up and step back. "I just need some time to figure out the mess I've made of my life," she finished, closing the door and putting the car into reverse to leave the drive.

Harm watched the car disappear around the corner at the intersection before he returned to the house. He locked the door behind him and went into the living room to find it empty. Sighing, he turned out the lights and went down the hallway toward the guest room, only to stop when Mattie opened her door.

"Is everything okay, Dad?" she asked. "I heard Mac -"

Harm sighed again. "She was just caught a little off guard by finding out about Jen and me, that's all. She'll be okay."

"I guess if I say she's getting what she deserves you'll get angry with me, won't you?"

"No," Harm told her, moving to give her a hug. "Did you see where Jen went?"

Mattie nodded toward the guest room. "In there. She looked upset."

"She probably is," Harm confirmed. "I'd better go talk to her. Night."

"Night, Dad," she said, closing her bedroom door again.

Harm went to the door of Jen's room and knocked. "Jen?" he called softly, and a moment later he was relieved when she opened the door. She'd been crying, he noticed, and his heart broke just a little that he might have caused those tears. "Can I come in?" he asked. "Just to talk if that's all you want to do."

She opened the door and turned away, crossing the room toward the window, not saying anything. Harm closed the door behind him as he entered and stood there, watching her.

"I'm sorry."

"No, I'm the one who should be sorry. I shouldn't have come out. I knew it would upset her - but I wanted her to know that we were -"

Harm moved forward to slip his arms around her waist. "We *are*," he corrected gently, turning her to face him. "Mac is a big part of my past, Jen. But *you* are my future."

Jen sniffled. "I hate crying."

"I hate seeing you cry," he told her. "Do you remember the first time I saw you cry?" he asked, wiping the tears away.

"In that bar when you tracked me down that Christmas Eve after Lt. Singer accused me of stealing her bracelet."

"I knew then that you weren't the hard as nails young woman that you wanted people to think you were. I think - if things had been different - I would have fallen in love with you then."


He nodded, watching the flow of emotions that crossed her face. "Yes. I love you, Jen. *You*. And that's not going to change tomorrow or next week or next year. Even if Mac comes back a hundred times, she'll just have to accept that you and I are together and will always be together." He stopped. "If you still want us to be, that is."

Jen's answer was to wrap her arms around his neck and pull his head down to hers, meeting him halfway for a kiss as her fingers moved to the top of his jeans. "Does that answer your question?"

"Um, yeah," he managed when her fingers trailed even further south - over his hardness. Without further comment, Harm pulled the edges of the robe she was wearing apart and let it slip off her arms, leaving her totally naked in his arms. Then he picked her up and dropped her onto the bed, quickly undressing before joining her there . . .


New Year's Eve
1200 Hours Local
Rabb House
La Jolla, CA

"Do you, Jennifer Coates, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband," Reverend Johnson asked.

Once he finished the question, Jen answered in a steady, clear voice, "I do."

"And do you, Harmon Rabb, Jr., take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife . . .?"

"I do," Harm answered, his eyes never leaving Jen's.

Moments later, the small gathering cheered and applauded the announcement that Harm and Jen were now husband and wife. Bud, Harriet, and the children had managed to come out for the ceremony, jumping at the chance to get out of Washington to avoid a snowstorm that closed the city right after their departure. They were both delighted by the marriage, glad that Harm and Jen seemed "genuinely happy" as Harriet had proclaimed.

There had even been a card and gift from retired Admiral Chegwidden, along with a private message to Harm that if he ever hurt Jen, he'd answer to their former CO.

Harm was laughing as Keeter lifted his glass to toast the couple "Even though she married the wrong guy," in a teasing voice, only to have the smile freeze as he saw Mac lingering on the edge of the patio before she turned and walked away.

He'd heard from Bud that SecNav was 'cleaning house' in DC - that he'd asked for Creswell's resignation, and that Mac had been re-assigned to a backwater legal center to wait out her twenty.

Harm felt a tug on his arm and looked down to find his bride watching him, silently asking what was wrong. In answer, he gave her a kiss and a hug. "I love you."

"Enough to tell me where we're going for a honeymoon?" she asked with an answering kiss.

He grinned. "Bermuda. Frank and Mom have a place there -" Jen's eyes widened.


"I'm looking forward to seeing you in bikini."

"I don't own a -"

"Yes you do," Mattie interjected, joining them. "Consider it part of *my* wedding present, Mom."

Harm laughed out loud. Even if there were stormy seas all around them, his little section of the world was calm and serene.

For the moment, at least.


The End

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