|Subject: The Consequences of Suppositions, Chapter 2
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Date Posted: 10:58:09 01/04/09 Sun
The Consequences of Suppositions, Chapter 2
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Rated: R (for language and sexual situations)
Author’s Notes: See Chapter 1.
New note: Yes, I now realize I got my dates confused. Little James Kirk wouldn’t have been born until late fall of 2003. Please excuse this mistake and accept him to the family a little early!
From Chapter 1:
Not for the first time Mac wondered what was going on between them, and more importantly, what wasn’t. It’s not that she was unhappy. She was happier now than she'd ever been in her life, but being happy and being satisfied were two very different things.
Mac was sure of one thing, she wasn't going to push him into anything. She tried in the past and hadn't gotten them anywhere except for farther apart. The ball was in his court.
Mac moved toward the bed, sat down on the edge and brought her hand to rest on Harm's muscular shoulder, gently waking him. "Time to go or we'll be late."
August 30, 2003
Fino's Restaurant and Jazz Bar
Downtown Washington D.C.
“I've flown around the world in a plane. I've settled revolutions in Spain. The North Pole I have charted, but I can't get started with you.” Ella Fitzgerald, Can’t Get Started
Harriet and Mac were seated at a table just far enough away from the jazz ensemble to allow for a decent conversation. Fino's was a great little place that had some of the best Italian food in the city, not to mention probably the only great jazz bar left in D.C. that hadn't been overrun by the social and political elite looking to be seen.
Mac had been coming to Fino's almost as long as she had lived in D.C. A guy she had only dated for about two weeks some eight years ago brought her here on their second date. Mac lost the guy but kept Fino's.
Harriet seemed to like it too. "This place is great, Mac. How did you find---?"
She was cut off by the arrival of Fino himself to their table. "Sarah, it is so good to see you. I see you left your commander at home tonight. And who is this lovely young lady?"
Mac felt the heat rise to her cheeks at the insinuation made by the charming older man with a thick Italian accent. "Fino, I'd like you to meet my good friend Harriet Simms."
Fino brought Harriet's hand to his lips. "It is my pleasure, Harriet," he turned back to wink at Mac, "I'll bring you ladies some drinks on the house."
An hour and half later both Harriet and Mac were more than full. They had had a complete meal: appetizers, soup, salads, entrees, desserts – the works. Harriet had also enjoyed a few glasses of sangria, leaving her just a little tipsy. Mac was delighted to see her friend cutting loose a bit, but Harriet's next comment would make Mac rethink that sentiment.
"I know this is completely inappropriate of me, but I just have to tell you that you and Harm are just the cutest couple I have ever seen in my entire life. I know you two are trying to keep it quiet, so I won't say anything, but I just had to tell you." Harriet's eyes were gleaming as she gushed, finally giving in to the temptation to pry into Harm and Mac's enigmatic relationship.
Mac almost choked on the tonic water she had just taken a sip of.
She paused to compose herself. "Harriet, Harm and I," she stopped a moment and looked down at the napkin on her lap, "aren't together."
Harriet leaned over the table a bit, conspiratorially lowering her voice, "It's just me, and I'd never betray your confidence, Mac. Come on, you don't really expect me to believe that do you?"
Mac finally looked Harriet in the eye. "Contrary to popular opinion, we aren’t involved. We never have been."
Disappointment flooded her dinner companion's fair features. "Umm…I'm sorry for being so nosy. I guess I just thought with the way everything's been the last year or so that you two had finally…," Harriet trailed off.
Mac thought about what Harriet was saying. It's not as if she hadn't had similar thoughts, but hearing it voiced by a third party made it seem more real somehow.
Mac didn’t respond immediately. Her gaze had settled on the base guitarist riffing with his ensemble, lithe fingers gliding effortlessly over the thick steel strings. "I was reading this article three days ago in the Post. It was about how Mars would be so incredibly close to Earth this week. The reporter talked about how amazing the event would be and about all the hype that it was causing. You know what though, even at the moment when Earth and Mars were closer than they had been in forever, they were still 34,646,418 miles apart."
Harriet looked shell-shocked at the analogy and after a moment of uncomfortable silence, Mac deftly changed the subject. She idly wondered why she was the only one who got bombarded with questions about their relationship. She doubted that Bud would ever have the gall to question Harm like this. It wasn't like she resented Harriet for asking or for assuming, but it was almost painful to hear how happy she had seemed about the prospect.
The two women lingered over coffee for a little longer as they enjoyed the rest of their evening, gossiping about everything and everyone while the band played did their best Coltrane impression in the background. Eventually the women called it a night and decided to go back to the Roberts' to rescue the fighter jock turned au pair.
August 30, 2003
Georgetown, Washington D.C.
“Desperate for changing. Starving for truth. I'm closer to where I started, chasing after you.” – Lifehouse, Hanging by a Moment
Harm inwardly groaned in pain as he walked Mac to her door. His night with A.J. and Jimmy had been fun but his back was now complaining for letting A.J. climb all over him. He gingerly placed a hand on the small of his back hoping to alleviate a bit of the tension.
Although his back did hurt, he never would have admitted it without having an ulterior motive. Harm hoped his request wasn't seen for exactly what it was, a cheap ploy to spend more time with the woman who was currently unlocking her apartment door. "Mac, could I get some Tylenol or something?"
Mac opened the door and motioned for him to enter. "It's your own fault, you know. I'd bet any money that you let all forty pounds of your godson hang off you all night long."
"Forty? It felt more like seventy-five." Harm grunted in response. "Actually, Mac, it's mostly your fault. All I signed up for was to take you to dinner. I don't remember babysitting being any part of the original plan."
"Oh, so you're claiming fraudulent enlistment?" Her rich laughter filled the apartment as she headed for her bedroom. “Excuse me for a second, I need to get out of these heels.”
Harm wandered to the kitchen to grab a glass of water and then waited for a few moments before heading in her direction.
The object of his affection emerged from her bedroom clad in navy blue pajamas. The shirt and pant set looked to be the matching counterpart of the unbelievably sexy silk robe she tossed at him earlier in the night. The button-up top was a v-neck that dipped just low enough to show off a shadow of cleavage.
Damn. A lesser man would have bit his fist at the view.
He looked her up and down and then quickly focused on her face. She caught him staring though and raised an eyebrow as she handed over two blue Aleve capsules.
He hadn’t expected to feel such a contact spark from the simple exchange. It was like a jolt through his entire body that went straight to his groin. They both lingered longer than necessary, barely inches apart. Mac looked up at him with wide brown eyes.
What was happening? After all of these years, could it really be this easy. She was so close, he could feel her breath on his face. For a moment, he leaned slightly forward. He thought he might actually kiss her.
Instead, he made the biggest mistake of his life.
Harm turned his head, coughed and took a step back before washing down the two light blue pills with the glass of water still in his hand. “Thanks, Mac.”
Mac took a deep breath and looked away. “Yeah.”
“It’s late, I should probably get going.”
“Yeah,” she said again, quietly adding, “Thanks again for watching the kids for Harriet. That was kind of you.”
“Anytime.” He shot her a bright grin, betraying the awkwardness he felt. “I’ll see you Monday.”
Harm closed the door behind him, wondering if he was imagining the disappointment he thought he saw in her warm eyes.
The entire way back to Union Station, Harm thought about turning back. If he hadn’t pulled away, would she have? Would they have ended up in bed together tonight?
They couldn’t remain in limbo forever, and he wanted her so damn badly. He just wasn’t sure what she wanted. There were times, like tonight, when he imagined they were in the same place, wanting the same thing. But, after all this time, caution ruled and it didn’t make any sense to risk their deep friendship unless he was sure Mac felt the same way. Harm didn’t think he could bare to casually date her, he wanted all or nothing.
It had been more than two years since she broke off her engagement, and Mac hadn’t seemed to date anyone since. He hadn’t either – he had barely looked at another woman since Renee left.
They just never seemed to find the right time. When Mac got back from her TAD on the Guadalcanal, she said they should find a time to talk “when it happens”. Well, that time hadn’t come yet apparently. She hadn’t brought it up again, so neither had he.
August 31, 2003
Georgetown, Washington D.C.
I’ll close my eyes, then I wont see. The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me. Morning will come and Ill do what’s right. Just give me till then to give up this fight.” – Bonnie Raitt, I Can’t Make You Love Me.
As consciousness became inevitable, Mac stretched out her long body in an effort to reduce the stiffness of a good night's rest. She finally rose from her comfortable bed, a bed covered with a goose down comforter and 1200 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, briefly lamenting that it wouldn't be such a bad idea to spend her Sunday in it.
She put on a pot of Starbuck’s finest before running downstairs to pick up Sunday’s Washington Post. Mac was surprised she slept so well. Initially, it had been hard to fall asleep, despite how tired she was.
As she stood at her counter drinking her coffee and reading through the Metro section, filled with news about the city’s failing school system and current budget challenges, Mac kept playing the evening over in her mind.
She was almost sure Harm was going to kiss her. She wanted him to, probably would have given anything in the world for it. But, he didn’t. He just left with a quick thanks and a smile – like every other time he was there.
Mac wasn’t sure how much more she could take of their tenuous situation. At some point, she would have to come to terms with the fact that he just didn’t want her.
September 1, 2003
Falls Church, Virginia
It was rare that Admiral A.J. Chegwidden was in his office this early. He was certainly not a 9-5 man, but this was early by anyone's work standards, especially when he would probably not leave the office for at least another twelve to fourteen hours.
A call from the SecNav on Friday afternoon had severely upset him and he devoted the entirety of his weekend to finding grounds to dismiss the allegations against one of his top aides. His efforts had been extraordinarily unfruitful, and in the end he found
nothing to stop the impending train wreck.
He briefly allowed himself to reminisce about how nice this past year had been and then mourned it because the calm wouldn't be lasting very long before the next storm hit.
He spent two more hours glancing through the files before summoning his yeoman. "Coates, I need to see Commander Rabb and Colonel Mackenzie ASAP."
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