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Second Chances

by: LauraBF

Disclaimer: They aren't mine. The song isn't mine, either. [bg] But they can have my keychain collection and my pocket lint collection for them!

Author Notes: My thanks to my super-secret beta readers for looking at this... and for getting me hooked on JAG. Song by Daryl Worley.

~*~*~*~

Harm took another swallow of beer and glanced around his notably empty apartment. His career was a wreck--he was now unemployed thanks to the idiot TV crew, his friends had all pretty much moved on, and even Mac now hated him. He closed his eyes, trying to dismiss the dreams and hopes, fantasies really, that he harbored about one day marrying his marine. No, he silently acknowledged, she wasn't his. Perhaps she had never been anything other than his best friend. He sighed, picked up his guitar, and started to play. He'd heard the song the year before and learned it. Somehow it just seemed like the thing to play. Harm sang the words softly, getting a twisted kind of joy at prodding the half-healed wound on his heart that Mac had gifted him with last spring with her outright rejection.

"I miss the look of surrender in your eyes

The way your soft brown hair would fall

I miss the power of your kiss when we made love

But baby most of all"

He paused for a moment and swallowed hard. He'd always wondered what it would be like to make love to Sarah Mackenzie, but now there was no way in hell that he’d ever find out. He took a deep breath and continued on with the song.

"I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in

The one I felt the safest with

The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again

And let the light back in

I miss my friend"

Mac walked up to Harm's half-opened door and paused before knocking. She could hear music coming from his place and somehow, didn’t want to interrupt. She knew that music was his catharsis, and that after everything that had happened, perhaps he needed the outlet. Her eyes widened as she began to listen to the lyrics.

"I miss the colors that you brought into my life

Your golden smile, those deep brown eyes

I miss your gentle voice in lonely times like now

Saying it'll be alright..."

"I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in

The one I felt the safest with

The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again

And let the light back in

I miss my friend"

Mac looked down and studied her feet. She wished she'd never said such bitter things to him after the plane crash, but there was no taking them back now. He hadn't made much of an effort to contact her, but she suspected that most of that was because of being out of the country on covert ops missions. Was he singing about her? Had he really missed her as much as she'd missed him? Deep down, she knew that she wanted more than friendship from him; the fiasco with Mic had proven to her who the most important person in her life was. If she had to just stay friends, then so be it. She needed him, and she had a suspicion that he needed her.

"I miss those times

I miss those nights

I even miss the silly fights

The making up

The morning talks

And those late afternoon walks..."

"I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in

The one I felt the safest with

The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again

And let the light back in

I miss my friend"

Mac bit her lip, took a deep breath, pushed open the door, and walked in. "Hey, squid," she said softly. "I heard you were back in town."

"Mac," he said, with a curt nod, not looking her in the eyes, as he set his guitar on the floor and leaned it against the couch. "Took you long enough--I’ve been back for a couple of weeks."

"I know," she whispered. "I've been trying to find enough courage to do this."

Harm looked surprised, but still avoided looking at her. "Find the courage? Marine, you've got that in spades."

"So do you, Harm... except neither of us have been very good with this kind of thing for a while." Mac took a deep breath. "I'm sorry," she admitted. "I should have said this much earlier, but I’m sorry for what I said after the plane crash. Forgive me?"

He looked at her for the first time, his eyes bright with pain. "How?" he rasped. "I've spent most of the last year wondering where our friendship went--we’ve always had that, if nothing else."

Mac came closer and gently laid her hand on his hair and started stroking it. "I'm sorry," she said at last, wishing she dared give him the hug he seemed to so desperately need. She knew he was strong, but after the hell he'd been through, something had to give sooner or later. "I've missed you, squid. I miss seeing you at work; I miss pizza nights over here, and a whole lot of other things."

Harm closed his eyes and relished the feel on her touch. "Why didn't you say anything to the Admiral that day?" he asked abruptly, unwilling to give up just yet.

"Because I was shocked," she said softly. "I’ve tried to talk to him, but nothing seems to make a difference... I thought about kicking his six into next week, but in his frame of mind, it wouldn’t do anything other than sending me to Leavenworth for the next fifteen years or so."

Harm chuckled softly. "I'd almost pay money to watch,”" he offered.

Mac smiled for the first time since entering his apartment. "It might be worth it," she said.

"Mac, what are we gonna do about this mess? About us?" he asked quietly.

"I want to be best friends again," she whispered, not daring to say that she wanted more.

"No," Harm shook his head. "You and I both know that we haven't been *just* best friends in a long time." He looked at her for a minute. "Oh, *hell*. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead--I've got nothing left to lose, anyway," he muttered. He stood, pulled her close to him, and kissed her with all of the pent-up longing and passion of six years, not caring that she just might decide to tear him apart for doing it.

Mac melted into the kiss. If nothing else, he never failed to surprise her at moments like this. She wrapped her arms around his neck and opened her mouth, allowing him access as she began her own explorations of until-now unfamiliar territory.

Harm broke the kiss off slowly and looked at her. “Sarah?” he said, uncertain of the reaction he would get. "I think you know how I feel about you, even though I've never said the words. I *love* you, Sarah Mackenzie--what I don't know is how you feel about me."

Mac looked up at him, her brown eyes dark and unreadable. She wasn’t sure if she could say how she really felt, but she had to say *something*. "You are... my *best* friend. And...sometimes people marry their best friends."

A huge smile lit up Harm’s face. "Mac--Sarah--don't you think we ought to try dating first?"

The End? [eg]