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 Post subject: San Diego Blues – Chapter Nine
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Location: What kind of question is that? At my computer, silly!
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San Diego Blues – Chapter Nine

- - -

Hunter and McCall sat at their desks as they waited for the ADA to call.

Hunter tossed the paperclip he was playing with off to the side and looked up at McCall, “Can I ask you something?”

“Anytime, partner,” she answered before looking up. Then she looked up, “What’s up?”

“Why is this case getting to you?

“What are you implying?”

“You’re caught up in this case.”

“Of course I’m caught up in this case,” she replied calmly. “I want to make sure that Jennifer and Chloe and Elizabeth make it home safely and that Palmer is off the streets for good.”

“That’s all?”

“Well … no.”

“No?”

“Mrs. Rabb has everything I ever wanted, a beautiful house, a terrific husband, and a family – and I don’t want to see her lose that.” McCall looked at Hunter but couldn’t bring herself to tell him what Harriet told her. Harriet had told her that Mr. and Mrs. Rabb were partners at JAG before they got married and moved to San Diego.

He nodded, “Okay.”

- - -

“Mac,” Harm prompted once again. “You’re really starting to scare me.”

“It completed me for a long time – being a Marine. But I knew it wouldn’t complete me much longer. What completes me now is, you, Chloe, our daughters, and this little guy,” she patted her stomach gesturing to the baby. Then she trailed off and was silent for a while.

“Mac …”

“On my way to McMurphy’s that night, I spent a lot of time thinking about our careers. I didn’t need to think about it long, because I decided that I wanted to give up the Marines.”

Harm’s eyes grew wide at her confession, “Are you serious?”

“Yeah … you have more invested in the Navy than I could ever invest in the Marines. You are a pilot and a lawyer. I didn’t want to see you give up your passion for flying or,” she tapped his gold wings and added playfully, “those gold wings.” Then she became serious again, “I wanted to marry you- Commander Harmon Rabb Jr. the Naval aviator and lawyer – this,” she touched the ribbons and wings on his uniform, “- this is who you are. … And well … I knew I’d be able to find a job as a lawyer elsewhere.”

“Why’d you wait this long to tell me?”

“I was going to tell you sooner … at McMurphy’s … but then …” she trailed off once again.

“Then what?” Harm asked.

“All our friends were there and I was stuck in the moment.”

“But are you happy?”

“Harm, if I wasn’t happy … we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Because we wouldn’t be married right now … I am happy. Really, I am.”

Harm tried to pick up on the look in her eyes. And he recognized it; it was a look that he would remember forever. It wasn’t fear and it wasn’t worry. It was the same look that was there when they got married, the same look she had in her eyes the both times she told him she was pregnant, and it was there when the twins were born. There wasn’t a word strong enough to describe it. To say that the look in her eye was “joy” would be a significant understatement. “Mac.”

“Yeah?”

“I’d give up the Navy for you,” he whispered.

“I know,” she whispered back. “I know.”

- - -

Hunter looked at his empty coffee cup, “Want a refill?” he asked McCall.

McCall looked at her cup, “Sure.”

Not long after Hunter disappeared, his phone rang. McCall reached over the desks and picked up the phone, “Lt. Hunter’s desk. This is Lt. McCall speaking, how may I help you?”

“I must say that I’m disappointed,” William said.

“Oh?” DeeDee asked. “And why might that be?”

“Because you’re answering your partner’s phone instead of mine.”

“Can we cut to the chase?” she snapped. “Did you get the warrant?”

“Yeah. I did. It’s ready whenever you are.”

“We’ll be right there,” she said before hanging up the phone.

“Hunter!” McCall called as she ran through the empty precinct. “Hunter!” She stopped calling his name when she found him in the conference room. “They got the warrant.”

Hunter quickly finished pouring the coffee into the “to – go” cups and handed one over to McCall. “Let’s go!”

- - -

“That was a great breakfast,” Mac said, referring to the pancakes that Bud and AJ picked up from a local diner.

“We should start getting pancakes from there more often,” Harm added.

“Well, I’m glad you like it,” AJ said. “We were going to go to McDonalds, but we knew Harm wouldn’t like it.”

“And I’d agree with him,” Harriet chimed in.

Bud added, “Another reason why we didn’t go there.”

The sound of the doorbell broke through the chuckles.

“It might be the warrant,” Bud said.

AJ said, “I hope so.”

“Me too,” Harriet agreed.

Standing up from the table, Harm said, “I’ll get it.” When Harm opened the door, Hunter and McCall greeted him. Hunter was holding up a green rectangular piece of paper. “Is that the warrant?”

“Yeah,” Hunter answered.

“Mac!” he called as he reached for his Navy hat. “Mac! They got the warrant.”

Mac walked as fast as the baby would allow to the front door.

“Everyone ready?” Hunter asked.

Mac adjusted her Marine cap, “Let’s go.”

“Be careful,” Harriet called before the front door shut.

- - -

“Here’s what we’re going to do,” McCall said to Commander Rabb. “We think it would be best if the two of you follow us there. We already have some unmarked units doing a surveillance and from what we understand he hasn’t moved yet.”

“That’s great,” Harm said.

“However, in the event that he would move, it’d be best if we exchanged cell-phone numbers.”

Harm checked his pocket and pulled out McCall’s card, “I still have yours,” he said. Next he pulled out another card, “And this is my card.”

DeeDee took the card. “We’ll be in touch.”

After putting her purse in the Pacifica, Mac returned with the keys. “Is everything okay?” she asked after noticing that everyone was still in the standing in the same place.

“Everything’s fine,” McCall said.

“That’s good,” Mac said. “Here, Harm.” She tossed the keys in his direction.

- - -

“Thank God, there isn’t any traffic.”

Mac glanced over at Harm. He may be sitting right there next to her – driving the car, but he seemed to be a thousand miles away. She gently placed her hand over his, which was resting on the gearshift. “A penny for you thoughts, Sailor,” she offered.

“It’s times like this when I’d be at The Wall … if we were in DC.”

Mac was right. He was thousands of miles away. “Why don’t you talk to me?”

“Because it isn’t the same,” he said without thinking.

Mac withdrew her hand and placed it over her stomach, “I understand,” she said sadly.

He knew he hurt her. He didn’t need to look at her – he could hear it in her voice. “I’m sorry, Mac; it wasn’t supposed to sound like that.”

“Really?” she asked innocently.

“Really,” he confirmed. “You see, Mac, there’s just so much going on right now and I’m used to going to The Wall – where it was just me … in a sense.”

“But it’s not just you anymore,” she pointed out. “We’re a team. Hell, we were a team even before we were married.”

“I know, and I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that.”

Mac nodded.

“I just – I wanna know what Palmer is telling them … if he’s scaring them or telling them a bunch of lies about us. What if … they’re going to be scared of me?”

Mac, once again, placed her hand over his. “They won’t be scared of you.”

“You sound so sure.”

“I am sure. Harm you’re their father – their hero. Lizzy and Jenny admire you. They love you so much … Hey, I saw Judy Maroni – Amber’s mom- at they store yesterday – she said that our girls always talk about you. They told her that you are “the bestest Daddy in da world” because you’re in the Navy, fly airplanes and you’re a lawyer. I wanted to tell you as soon as you came home, but this came up and I forgot … Jennifer and Elizabeth love you very, very, very, much and Palmer can’t change that. No one can.”

“I wish I could be as sure as you are.”

“I come from a broken home. And I promised myself that I wouldn’t do that to my children. I wanted to make sure that’d I’d give them a home, not a house – but a real home. A home filled with love and happiness, and if you ask me, I think we’re doing a pretty good job. I mean they say they love us and gives goodnight hugs and kisses every night. That never happened in my house … that’s how I know we’re doing a good job.” Mac listened to the words as they came out of her mouth. “That doesn’t make any sense, does it?”

“I get the point that you are trying to make,” Ham said. He hoped that she wouldn’t tell any more stories from her childhood. From the little tidbits she told, he found it much too painful to listen. If it was that painful for him to listen, he couldn’t imagine how hard it was for her to tell him. “And I know that they love me, I never doubted that. But Palmer – he can be so manipulative and –“

“Harm, I’d rather we not discuss this anymore. I want to be happy when we pick up Chloe, Jennifer and Elizabeth.”

“Agreed.”

“Good. – Harm! Is this it?” she asked when she saw Hunter’s black Crown Vic come to a stop.

“I think it’s a few street away still, but we’re going to stop here.”

“Okay.” Mac opened the door and started to get out.

“Wait a second now. Where are you going?”

“With you!”

“Nuh-huh.”

“Yeah- huh.”

“It’s too dangerous.”

“Are you forgetting that I was a Marine? I can handle myself.”

“It’s not just the two of us anymore.”

He thought she was going to protest, but she didn’t. “Fine.” She crossed her arms, “But I won’t like it.”

“I didn’t expect you to.”

“You know me so well,” she teased as she gave him a mock salute. “Is that all, sir?”

“Yes, it is, Colonel. It won’t be long now.”

She leaned over to kiss him, “I love you so much. Be careful.”

“I love you and I will be careful … always am.”

- - -

“I’m glad you came prepared,” Hunter said when he caught sight of Harm’s Navy – issued gun.

“Is everyone ready?” McCall asked impatiently. When she received nods in response, she added, “Let’s roll.”

- - -

Once Mac was sure they were out of sight, she got out of the car and made her way to the street.

- - -

“Okay,” Hunter said to Harm as they were walking down the street. “You will stay around back with Officer Walker . . . in case Palmer tries to leave.”

It wasn’t exactly what Harm had in mind, but he agreed, “Okay.”

“Walker!” Hunter called to an officer. The officer approached them, “Commander Rabb, I’d like you to meet Officer Walker; Officer Walker, I’d like for you to meet Commander Rabb.”

Harm extended his hand, but the officer saluted. “There’s no need to salute, Officer.” Harm said.

“Yes, there is, sir.” The officer said, “Former Lt. j.g. Mike Walker. You and Major MacKenzie defended me on an unauthorized absence charge some years ago.”

Harm nodded showing that he remembered, “We got you off, didn’t we?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Wait `till Colonel MacKenzie sees you. She’ll be so surprised.”

“She’s here?” he asked as he looked around.

“Yeah. She’s waiting in the car . . . actually, she’s my wife now.”

“Congratulations, sir. You know, I heard a rumor that JAG officers were making bets on the two of you.”

Harm grinned, “Well, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

“Did the LAPD ever make bets on us?” Hunter asked McCall.

She shrugged, “I don’t know.”

“You know,” Walker started. “I think there’s one floating around the SDPD offices … but you didn’t hear it from me.”

“There’s your answer,” McCall said with a smirk.

By now they were where they should be. “Okay,” Hunter said, getting everyone back on track. “You two go out back. McCall and will take the front. And a few more units are on their way as we speak.”

Harm nodded and Walker answered, “Got it,” as they disappeared to the back.

- - -

“On three,” Hunter said as he prepared to kick in the door.

McCall nodded.

“One … two … three.” Hunter went in first and McCall followed.

When the two officers entered the house, they saw Palmer sitting in the kitchen as if nothing was happening. And he was himself … not in his Harm “costume”. “I was expecting Commander and Colonel Rabb,” he said.

“Yeah? Well,” Hunter started, “you got us instead.”

McCall pulled out her radio, “Walker, tell Commander Rabb we got him.”

- - -

“They got him, sir.”

“Oh, that’s good to know.”

McCall’s muffled question came over the radio. “Is he going to make it a military arrest?”

“You bet your life I am,” Harm said to Walker.

“Yes, he is,” Walker relayed over the radio.

- - -

A dark – haired female officer entered the house, “Is everything okay in here?” she asked.

“Escort him to Commander Rabb,” Hunter said.

“Move,” she ordered as she pulled Palmer up by his collar.

“That was too easy,” Hunter said.

“Yeah,” McCall agreed.

“The kids!” they exclaimed simultaneously.

Hunter ran down the hall to meet up the other officer and Palmer. “Wait!”

The officer turned around.

“Where are they, Palmer?” McCall asked.

“I’ll never tell.”

“You sick - ”

“McCall!” Hunter cut in.

“Check upstairs, Hunter. I’ll check down here,” McCall said before disappearing into the other room.

- - -

“MAC!” Harm exclaimed when he saw Mac standing on the sidewalk a few houses away. “What are you doing here? I thought I told you stay in the car!”

“You did, but I decided to come anyways.”

“Mac –“

“Save it. Harm these are our kids we’re talking about! Did you really think I would stay in the car?!”

- - -

It was a Victorian house; therefore Hunter and McCall had a lot of ground to cover. Room after room was empty, but eventually Hunter came to a locked door.

“This is it,” he thought. “Now all I have to do is figure out how to get in there.” He touched the door. “I don’t think I can kick it open, it’s solid oak. Umm … aha!” He reached for the screwdriver in his pocket. “I’ll just have to prove to McCall that she’s not the only one who knows how to pick locks.” The lock was an easy one to crack, after a few wiggles it was unlocked. Slowly, he opened the door and saw Lizzy and Jenny huddled next to each other sitting on the floor in the middle the room. He entered the room as slowly as he opened the door. “My name is Rick,” he told them as he went down to their level. “See this?” he asked referring to his badge, “I’m a police officer.”

“Can you take us to Mommy?” one asked nervously.

“Yes, I can,” Hunter said calmly. “I promise … You must be Jennifer,” Hunter said pointing to the little girl with straight hair.

Slowly, Jennifer nodded her head.

“ … And that makes you Elizabeth, right?” Hunter asked the other little girl.

“Mm-hmm.”

“Okay. My friend DeeDee is here, she’s a police officer too. Now, I’m gonna go get her, so will you stay here for a minute? … I’ll be right back.”

The twin girls nodded their heads.

“Okay, good,” Hunter said before exiting the room and walking to the stairs.

- - -

McCall came across a door with a chain lock on it and she was a cop long enough to know that Chloe would be on the other side.

She unlocked the chain and switched the light on. It flickered a few times before dimly lighting up. Just in case, McCall reached for her flashlight. “Chloe!” she called as she walked down the stairs. “Chloe!”

Chloe knew she heard the voice before, but she was unable to place it.

“Chloe, it’s DeeDee. We spoke on the phone today.”

“That’s it!” Chloe thought. “Now I remember.”

“Chloe?” DeeDee called as she waved her flashlight around.

“Over here,” she answered softly.

“Oh!” McCall exclaimed when she came to Chloe. “Are you okay?”

“I think … yeah.”

“Here,” McCall extended her hand and helped Chloe up from her spot on the floor. “How long have you been down here? It’s pretty cold.”

“He brought be down here after I called Harm and Mac. H-he said she didn’t trust me. Th-this is all-all my fault. Isn’t it?”

“No, no it isn’t. Don’t say that. Clark Palmer is a very sick man and Commander Rabb will talk to you about that later. But now …” DeeDee changed the subject, “let’s go upstairs.”

“McCALL! Can you come up here?!” Hunter called from upstairs.

A very confused looked washed over the young lady’s face.

“It’s okay,” DeeDee assured her. “That’s my partner and “McCall” is my last name.”

“Oh.”

“I found Elizabeth and Jennifer!” Hunter called again.

McCall, not wanting to yell, pulled out her radio. “I’m on my way, Hunter. And I have Chloe with me.”

“Great! Come on up; I’ll meet you at the top of the second-level stairs.”

“We’ll be right there. Out.” McCall put her radio back, “After we meet my partner upstairs we can go see Commander and Mrs. Rabb.”

Chloe’s face light up, “Are they here?”

“Yes, both of them.” DeeDee smiled.

- - -

“Okay,” Hunter said to the little girls, “DeeDee is on her way up here.”

“If you are a policeman,” Elizabeth started, “then why don’t you gots a policeman uniform. Mommy was a Ma-rine and has one so does Daddy. He’s in the Naby.”

Hunter chuckled to himself, “they sure are smart.” He thought. “That’s right. Your Mommy and Daddy do have uniforms. But I don’t wear on all the time. DeeDee doesn’t either.”

“Why?” Jennifer asked.

“Because … well … DeeDee and I are like detectives and it easier to catch the bad guys if we … blend in.”

“Oh,” Elizabeth said. “Okay.”

DeeDee entered the room with a smile. “Hi!”

“Oh, we were just talking about you, DeeDee,” Hunter said.

“Oh, really?” DeeDee turned to the girls. “I see you know Rick.”

Jennifer nodded, “He said you are a police officer … like him.”

“Yeah. I am. Would you like to see my badge?”

“Mm-hmm,” Jennifer said.

DeeDee took out her badge, “Look.”

“It’s shinny,” Lizzy added.

“It is,” DeeDee agreed. “Hey, why don’t we go see Mommy and Daddy?”

“No! I don’t want Daddy,” Elizabeth said before she broke into tears. “I just want Mommy!”

“I want Mommy!” Jennifer agreed.

McCall wasn’t sure why they didn’t want to see their father, but then she remembered. Clark Palmer was acting as their father, and that scared them. Honestly, it would scare her too. “Okay. That’s okay. We’ll go see Mommy.”

“Just Mommy?” Elizabeth asked.

“Just Mommy,” Hunter confirmed.

“I brought a friend with me,” DeeDee said.

“Another police officer?” Jenny asked shyly.

“No,” DeeDee answered. “Chloe.”

“Chloe!” Lizzy and Jenny exclaimed.

“Come on in, Chloe,” DeeDee said.

When Chloe entered the room, her “sisters” ran right to her. “We missed you!” Lizzy said.

“And I missed both of you,” Chloe said to them. “Um … are you ready to see Mommy?”

“YES!”

“Come on,” Hunter said as he started to walk out the door.

- - -

“Commander!” Walker called. “Hunter said they’re on their way out.”

“They are?” Mac asked with excitement. “Oh, that’s fantastic!”

Harm and Mac turned around just in time to see Hunter, McCall, Chloe, Jennifer and Elizabeth coming out of the house.

Mac moved closer and Harm chose to stay where he was. It didn’t surprise him when their daughters ran to her; it was what he was expecting. It hurt, but he knew that it was for the best.

However, he wasn’t expecting what happened next. Chloe was the one running over to him.

She hugged him. “It’s really you,” she said, but the tone in her voice suggested that it might have been a question.

“It’s really me,” Harm confirmed.

“I’m soooooo glad.”

“This might not be the time, but I need to know. How did you know it wasn’t me?”

“He sounded differently, acted differently, and the biggest clue of all …” she pointed to the gold wings. “They weren’t engraved like yours are.”

“You’re smart, kid. You’d make a good lawyer.”

“Maybe.”

Harm knew that Chloe probably wanted to see Mac and he wanted to see Elizabeth and Jennifer. “Let’s go see Mac.”

- - -

“Mommy sad?” Lizzy asked after noticing the tears in her mother’s eyes.

“No, no. Mommy is happy. I missed you,” Mac said.

“Daddy said we weren’t going to see you,” Jennifer added.

“It wasn’t Daddy,” Mac tried to explain.

“Was too.” Jenny said.

“Come here,” Mac led them to a nearby bench and sat down. “It was a man that looked like Daddy.”

“Daddy doesn’t have a twin,” Elizabeth said.

“Daddy doesn’t have a twin,” Mac confirmed. “This man wore a mask.”

The little girls were now in tears, “He said we wouldn’t see you again, Mommy. - - That you didn’t want us … he said you wanted the baby instead,” Jenny said.

“That’s not true. Daddy and I love you very, very much. We do want you … and the baby.” Mac was trying to calm them down when Harm and Chloe were walking over. “Look, look. Daddy’s here.”

Still in tears, Elizabeth asked, “Is it really Daddy?”

Mac gestured for Harm to kneel down in front of them. “Ssh, ssh,” she soothed. “It’s really Daddy.” Mac adjusted Lizzy on her lap and slightly leaned forward. Then she took Lizzy’s hand and ran it over Harm’s face. “See? See Daddy’s nose … and his mouth … and his eyes. Watch …” Mac gently pinched his cheek. “It not a mask.”

“Daddy!” Elizabeth launched forward and wrapped her small arms around his neck. “Daddy!” she exclaimed again through the tears.

“It’s okay, Daddy’s here now,” Harm said as he rubbed circles on her back, “Everything’s okay now.”

Once Elizabeth calmed down, it was Jennifer’s turn to learn that it really was Harm. Mac did the same thing she did with Lizzy. “See … look at Daddy’s nose And … and his smile.” Mac mouthed for him to smile, “No one else has Daddy’s smile.”

Jenny sniffled, “Daddy,” she said as she extended her arms gesturing that she wanted to be picked up.

Harm handed Lizzy to Mac and then held Jennifer. “I missed you,” he said.

“I love you, Daddy,” she said in-between sobs.

“I love you, too, baby girl. You know that.”

“Mm-hm.”

- - -

“These are the things I love about this job,” McCall said to Hunter as they observed the Rabb family.

“Me too,” her partner agreed. “But we do have to ask them to come to the Precinct … especially if they plan on making a military arrest.”

“I know. Maybe we should do that now.”

“Okay.”

- - -

“Are you sure you’re okay, Chloe?” Mac asked again.

“Yeah, I’m glad that you and Harm are here and found us.”

“Me too,” Mac gave Chloe the best hug she could without her belly getting in the way. “Me too.”

“Excuse us,” Hunter said when they approached the happily reunited family.

“We have to take care of some things at the station, right?” Mac asked.

“Yeah,” DeeDee answered.

“We should do that now, Harm,” Mac suggested.

“Yeah,” he agreed. “The sooner we get this over with the better.”

- - -

“Daddy and I will only be gone for a little bit, and while we’re gone, you two and Chloe are going to stay with DeeDee and Rick,” Mac said to Lizzy and Jenny.

“Where are you going?” Lizzy asked.

“Daddy and I are going to make sure that the bad man goes to jail.”

“Okay,” she said reluctantly.

“If it’s okay with your mom,” Rick started, “maybe we can get some candy from the vending machine.”

“Doesn’t that sound like fun?” Mac asked. She received a nod in response. “Yeah. Okay,” she gave each of them a quick kiss, “now, go with Rick. I won’t be long gone.”

- - -

“How’d you find us?” Palmer asked.

“It was easy,” Harm answered. “You aren’t as sharp as you were before.”

“I like to think that -“

“No one cares what you think! And I’ll tell you right now – Admiral Chedwiggen will be taking you back to DC and in case you forgot, he was a SEAL … I bet he knows at least eighteen different ways to kill you with his bare hands.”

- - -

After returning from the vending machine, Chloe was rather quiet, which was understandable, but Jennifer and Lizzy were talking up a storm. They were telling Rick and DeeDee all about school, their favorite food and how their daddy can fly airplanes.

“Wow! That sounds like fun!” DeeDee exclaimed.

“Mommy said that Daddy used to fly planes all the time before he was a lawyer,” Lizzy said.

“Really?”

“Uh-huh,” Elizabeth stated proudly.

“That’s pretty neat.” DeeDee commented.

Then Harm and Mac reappeared.

“Everything taken care of?” Hunter asked.

“Yep,” Harm answered.

Jennifer walked over to Mac, “Mommy, can we go out to lunch?”

“Of course we can,” she answered with a smile.

“Can DeeDee and Rick come too?” she whispered.

“If they want to,” Mac answered.

Jenny bounced back over to McCall’s desk. “DeeDee! Mommy and Daddy are taking us to lunch!”

“Oh … well, I’m going to miss having you, Lizzy and Chloe here. It was fun.”

“Don’t be sad, DeeDee! Daddy and Mommy said that you and Rick can come to.”

McCall couldn’t bring herself to say ‘no’, “Why, that sounds like a lovely idea. What do you say, Rick?”

“Pleeease,” Lizzy chimed.

“Okay,” Hunter agreed with a chuckle.

“Good!” Lizzy said. “We’ll have fun!”

- - -

This chapter is different from what I initially had planned, but I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Someday, if I have the time, I’ll right an “Alternate Chapter Ten”.


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