Title: For Infinity
Author: Sarah MacMethos
Classification: R, Harm/Mac
Spoilers: none, really. It’s purely fantasy.
Summary: Mac leaves her baby at Harm’s doorstep and disappears.
June 2nd, 2001
North of Union Station
I wake up with a jolt. Someone’s pounding on my door. “Mac,” I think, but it can’t be her. She’s been gone for seven months. Still, I run to the door without bothering to put any clothes on top of my boxers. I open the door and gasp. It is Mac. A very disheveled looking Mac, but Sarah MacKenzie nonetheless. “Mac!” I exclaim.
“Shh, Harm. I need your help.” Her voice sounds raspy. She hands me a bundle of rags. “Take care of him, and always remember that I love you. For infinity.”
With that she runs down the hall and gets on the elevator. I set the bundle on my couch and step out the door to go after her. I hear a baby crying…in my apartment! It isn’t just a bundle of rags! I look towards the elevator door one last time, then back at the bloodied baby. I hope that Mac knows what she’s doing, because this baby needs me more right now. I shut the door and close my eyes for a moment, then go to the baby lying on my couch.
June 2nd, 2006
North of Union Station
“…Happy Birthday dear Mac, happy birthday to you.”
I pick MacKenzie up so he can reach his cake. “Blow out your candles, Mac,” I tell him. With my help, he does, and everyone claps. All of my friends are here- Bud and Harriet with little AJ and Sarah, AJ, Mettoni, Caroline Imes, Stryker…all of my friends except the most important one. There is a knock on the door. I hold my breath as I go to answer it, hoping it’s her. The same thing I’ve been hoping ever since she left me MacKenzie. I open the door. “Webb,” I exhale.
“Nice to see you too, Harm,” Clayton remarks wryly.
“Sorry, Clay,” I am. “I was just…”
“I know Harm, I feel the same thing when I follow each lead.” I look at Webb. He has dark circles under his eyes, and smile lines that aren’t often in use anymore. Sarah’s disappearance has affected him also. I wouldn’t have expected it, but Clay’s the only one who’s stood by me from the beginning; who hasn’t given up. Clay is holding a wrapped package, complete with bow, under his right arm. I step to the side of the doorway.
“Come on in, Clay,” I try to smile. “Give your god-child his birthday present.”
“Thanks, Harm.” He comes in. “Did you get one this year?” Clay refers to the unsigned birthday cards that have arrived every June 2nd since MacKenzie’s been with me.
The smile drops from my face. “No.”
“You know what they say, Harm, ‘no news is good news.’” He’s trying to cheer me up. “Besides, we don’t even know they were from her.” I know.
June 2nd 2002
North of Union Station
It is MacKenzie’s first birthday, and I try to keep him from crying while I straighten up for his party. I hoist him onto my shoulders and he squeals with delight. MacKenzie already likes being in the air. I think he’ll make a great tomcat pilot. A knock on the door interrupts my thoughts and MacKenzie’s happiness. I move him to my arms and cradle him, trying to stop the crying. The clock reads 12:00, so it’s probably just the mail man, but I hold my breath while I open the door. Upon seeing the postman, I release my breath, and take the mail inside. Among the bills and catalogs, a bright blue envelope stands out. Probably another birthday card for MacKenzie from someone who can’t make the party. I sit down on the couch and situate Mac on my lap. “Look, Mac! Another birthday card!” He coos when I slide it from the envelope to reveal a teddy-bear-shaped-card. Inside “Happy 1st Birthday” is printed. I look for a signature and fine the mathematical sign for infinity. I gasp loudly and Mac starts crying again. “Shh,” I comfort him. “It’s from your Mom.”
I turn the envelope over to look for a postmark, but find none. Later, I’ll give the card to Clay to run tests, but I already know what the results will be- no fingerprints except Harm and MacKenzie Rabb’s. She never leaves a trace.
June 5th, 2001
Bethesda Naval Hospital, Maternity Ward
I can only look at my baby from behind glass. The paternity tests proved he is mine. MacKenzie Mathew Rabb lies in an incubator with oxygen tubes running to his nose, and feeding tubes down his throat. I’ve been at this vigil for hours, ad I decide to take a break and get a diet coke from the machine down the hall. The machine eats my change and I give it a swift kick before giving it my last two quarters. The nurse at the desk gives me an admonishing “SHH!!”
I murmur an apology and head back to my son. I stop cold in my tracks. There is a chocolate-haired woman standing by the glass humming a lullaby.
“Sarah!” I try to yell, but my voice doesn’t cooperate. I try to run to her, but a nurse pushes a bed with a patient on it into the hall, blocking my way. By the time it goes by, Sarah is gone. I run to the stairwell and open the door, but she is not there. I go back to my son. What else can I do? If Sarah doesn’t want to be found, she won’t be. I can’t find her, anyways, but maybe Webb…. Speak of the devil. The elevator dings and Clayton Webb saunters out.
“Hello, Rabb,” he greets me.
“Webb,” I acknowledge.
“Which one is yours?”
I point to my Mac in his incubator.
“Tot that it’s any of my business, but I didn’t know you and Sarah were together,” Webb comments.
“It’s not your business, Webb, but we weren’t. We just had one night. Then she disappeared.” I need to change the subject. “Are you making any progress on the search?”
“Well, not exactly, but we have some leads that we are following.”
Webb goes on about the leads, and I tune out. I lean my head against the cool window pane. The words fot he lullaby run throught my head “…and down will come baby, cradle and all.”
I hope wherever Mac is, her landing is soft. I hope she comes back to me.
End Part 1
Same disclaimers apply
November 1st, 2000
Sarah MacKenzie’s Residence
Mac and I are working late again. We’ve been doing this for a week, alternating from my house to hers. Tonight we’re at Mac’s.
“Do you khnow what time it is?” I ask her.
“0100 hours,” she relies automatically.
“No, Mac! You’re supposed to say ‘What time is it, Harm?’”
She rolls her eyes, but obliges me anyways. “What time is it, Harm?”
“It’s time for a break!” I shout, throwing a pillow at her.
“Harmon Rabb, Jr.!” she scolds.
“Can’t take the heat, jarhead?” I pick up another pillow and tap her on the head.
“You asked for it, Harm!” Mac picks up a blue-fringed pillow and rams it into my gut, causing me to exhale.
“You want to play rough, Marine?” I pick her up effortlessly and toss her on the couch. I bend over and start tickling her ribs.
“No, Harm, stop!” she laughs. I pause for a moment, letting my guard down. She shoots her legs around me and pulls me on top of her, tickling my ribs. I try to support my weight on my knees and elbows so that I don’t crush her, but she pulls my arms out from under me and I fall on her. I can feel her heart beating against my chest. My face is less than an inch above hers. My breathing is heavy. I kiss her softly; questioningly.
Mac brings her hand to my face, and I fear she’ll push me away. Instead, Sarah pulls me closer and kisses me back.
June 2nd, 2010
North of Union Station
Today is Mac’s ninth birthday. I walk in to his room, and watch im sleeping. He llooks so much like his mother.
“Mac…” my voice is husky. I clear my throat. “Mac, wake up.”
“What time is it, Dad?” he mumbles.
“It’s 4:30, we’re going up in ‘Sarah’,” I say, referring to my yellow Steerman.
“All right!” Mac exclaims, throwing off his sheet and jumping out of bed. “Do I get to fly?”
“We’ll see,” I try to hide my smile. That’s exactly what I had planned. “Go brush your teeth.
I think he sets a record in how quickly he gets ready. I take his first present from my closest. “Close your eyes and stick your arms straight out. He does, and I slip a leather pilot’s jacket on him. “Okay,” I say, and Mac opens his eyes.
“Wow, Dad! This is the best present ever! Thanks!”
“Look at the name plate,” I tell him.
He looks down and reads aloud. “ ‘MacKenzie Rabb/ Hammer III.’ Really, Dad? IT’s okay for me to have that call sign?”
“Well, I’m not using it much,” I tousle his hair. “Let’s get going, huh?”
"Did you sleep good?" I ask him when we get in the car.
"I was pretty excited 'bout today, but I fell asleep...."
I look over to see why MacKenzie stopped talking.
"I dreamt about her again," he blurts.
"Yeah," he acknowledges. "She said she's watching over me."
"I know she is," I assure him.
"It was so real, Dad. It was like she was right there in my room with me!"
I slam on the breaks, automatically shooting my arm accross Mac's chest. "What'd you say Mac?" I breathe.
Mac's eyes are wide. I scared him. Well, he scared me. "I said it's like she was really in my room," he bites down on his lower lip. Hard.
"Shh, Mac. I'm sorry. It's ok. I just wish... I just..."I try to comfort him, but can't even find the words to comfort myself.
"You miss her," he asserts. Nine-year-olds think they know everything. This one does.
"Yeah," I smile. I press my foot back on the accelerator.
June 2, 2005. 0140 hrs. Harm's apartment, North of Union Station
If this is a dream, I never want to wake up. MacKenzie is curled up on the right side of my bed with his teddy bear, his small body shaking with tears from another nightmare like the one that brought him in here. I am on the right side. Between us is the love of my life, Sarah MacKenzie. She hums softly as she strokes our son's hair, but doesn't say a word. Satisfied that he is peacefully back to sleep, she curls up to me. Not for the first time, I wonder at how perfectly our bodies fit together. I start to say something, bt she stops me with a slender finger to my lips. She closes by eyes by drawing her hand down my face and over the lids, and pulls tighter to me. In that moment somewhere between awake and asleep, she whispers two words: "For Infinity."
The alarm rips me back to reality at 0600. I pop straight up, wondering if it could possibly be real. The thought of Mac being here with me is far more jolting than my morning cup of coffee. I jump out of bed and go to the kitchen phone so I won't wake MacKenzie. I dial the number that has been so frequently dialed these past five years.
"Clay," I say, without preamble, "I think she might have been here." The morning light is starting to get to me, the hope fading with the night before. "It's probably just a dream," I admonish myself.
"We won't dismiss any possibility," he interrupts me. "I'll be right over."
Clay and his sweeper team dust the apartment for prints and search for any clue- a strand of hair, a disturbed plant, anything. But there is no trace. No trace, except the lingering smell of lillies between the sheets.
TO BE CONTINUED