Unconditional Surrender

Nancy Eddy etxjaglady@flash.net

Pairing: Harm/Mac
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Through "A Tangled Webb Part 2" and possibly the next ep
Archiving: Please ask first. I like to know where it's going.
Disclaimers: I don't own 'em, don't have any money, please don't sue me. I'll return them relatively unscathed.
Author's note: This would take place about a month after the second episode. Harm's been away for CIA training, Mac's been holding down the fort at JAG, occasionally seeing Webb. Then, out of the blue, she gets a visit from Harm…


Mac put the half-eaten Beltway Burger down on the coffee table and picked up the file folder she'd been reading from. This latest case was a slam-dunk. There was no way that Sturgis would be able to pull one of Harm's white rabbits out of a hat on this one.

That thought turned the food in her mouth into sawdust, and she grabbed for the glass of iced tea that sat nearby, trying to wash it down. She tried not to think about Harm these days. It had been almost a month since she'd last seen him, walking out of the bullpen after the Admiral had given him notice that his resignation had been put through.

Harm had his life now, she had hers. Okay, so it *had* been her choice to put a stop to that infernal dance they'd been doing for eight years, but she hadn't really believed that Harm would give up so easily.

Maybe he'd finally accepted what she'd said as truth: they both wanted to be the boss, be the one in charge, and that couldn't work. Could it?

There was a knock at her door, and she frowned, wondering who it could possibly be. It was nearly midnight- she hadn't gotten home until nearly eleven after a trip to Norfolk for a witness interview.

Standing on tiptoe, she peered through the peephole, and felt her breath catch in her throat when she saw who was standing outside her door. Mac didn't hesitate a moment before opening it and looking at the man who stood there. "Harm."

"I know it's late, Mac, but I needed to talk to you." His blue-green eyes peered behind her after taking in the belted robe that she was wearing and her still wet hair. "If I'm interrupting something-"

"No," she said, stepping back so that he could enter. "Come in."

Harm entered the apartment and an eyebrow lifted as he caught sight of the remains of her dinner on the coffee table. "I'd have thought Webb would be plying you with champagne and candlelight dinners," was his comment. "Unless there's no need for anymore 'plying'," he added, a strange gleam in his eye that Mac wasn't sure that she understood. "Look, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. Sometimes my mouth engages before my brain," he admitted, giving her that flyboy grin that she had missed.

"I haven't seen Webb for almost a week," she informed him in a cool tone, not intending to elaborate. But her traitorous heart wouldn't be silence. "I don't think Mama Webb liked me very much."

Harm shook his head. "You're not saying that Webb's a mama's boy at heart?" He lifted his hand. "I apologize."

"Would you like something to drink?" Mac asked, more for something to say than anything else. Anything to keep her from asking about Catherine Gale and the fake "marriage".

"No, thanks. I just wanted-" he paused. "I wanted to let you know that I'll be out of town for a few days."

"Out of town?" Mac repeated. "Personal reasons?" she wanted to know.

"On- business," he said.

Mac finally understood. He had a job to do- and working for the CIA, even as a pilot, meant that job was probably something dangerous. "Where?"

"Need to know," he told her, looking apologetic.

"When do you leave?" she asked.

"Tomorrow morning."

"How long will you be gone?"

"No way of telling. Depends on- how things go."

"Harm-" she wanted to tell him to be careful. To come back safe and sound. To come back to her, dammit. But she couldn't. Not with the way things had been between them since that night in Paraguay. She didn't have that right.

"I just needed to tell you something." His voice was soft, and Mac realized that they were standing very close to each other.

"What?" Mac asked, looking up into those eyes, wondering if she was seeing what she thought was there, or if it was only something that she *wished* was there.

"This." Suddenly Harm's lips met hers, his arms sliding around her, pulling her close for a hard, long kiss.

Mac felt as if she were drowning, and Harm was her only lifeline. Her arms slipped up around his neck, returning the kiss for all she was worth. Slowly she came out atop the waves, out of breath, holding onto him for dear life. "Harm. Why-"

He placed his fingers against her lips. "I can't stay long. I'm supposed to be at a briefing. But I wanted to give you something to think about- to remember me by, in case-"

Oh, God, he was saying goodbye, Mac realized. Whatever this mission was, he wasn't sure that he'd be coming home from it. "Harm, I-"

"I just wanted you to know that I don't give a damn who's 'on top' anymore. I just want you in my life. On whatever terms you care to dictate." His lips this time were gentle, barely touching hers. "I love you, Sarah," he told her in a voice barely above a whisper. "I'll never stop." When he would have turned away from her toward the door, Mac placed a hand on his arm to stop him. He looked at her, gathered her into his arms once again for another kiss, and then he was gone.

Mac stood there in the open doorway, and then ran down the hallway toward the stairs, and out onto the sidewalk, where she saw him getting into a cab. "Harm!" she called out, and saw his head turn in her direction. He rolled the window of the cab down, and waited for her to come over. "I love you too," she told him, her hand reaching out to touch his cheek. "You'd better come back, Flyboy, or I'll never forgive you."

Harm's face relaxed slightly, making him look younger, more at ease than he had in a long time. He closed his eyes for a moment, and then met her lips through the open window. "I'll come back," he promised as his cell phone began to ring. Grimacing, he opened it. "Rabb here." Harm ran his thumb over Mac's lips as he spoke. "I'm on my way. Give me five minutes." Closing the phone, he frowned. "I really have to go."

"Call me?" Mac asked as the cab started to move.

"If I can," he said, and Mac released the cab, remaining on the curb until it turned a corner.

When she returned to her apartment, Mac realized that she'd won the battle. Harm had given her an unconditional surrender. But why didn't it feel like a victory, she asked herself, going to the window.

Maybe because it wasn't what she'd wanted after all? Because in order to give in, Harm would no longer be the cocky, arrogant, never-say-die man that she'd fallen in love with?

Mac rested her forehead against the cool pane of the glass. Damn him. Even in surrender, he somehow still managed to be in control.

The End

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