Title: Home of the Brave|
Author: Sharon Clinton: email@example.com, Kimberly Knipp: MCK8686@aol.com, Stacey Meador: Stacey@westex.net, Mickey: Ninjagrl44@aol.com, Erin Schipper: firstname.lastname@example.org, Selena: email@example.com, Kimberly Sneller: firstname.lastname@example.org, Pat Steiner: SbpMN@aol.com, Patti Stiles: Turboowl@aol.com, Susan: Sstroud@aol.com, Bridget Walker: email@example.com and Whiteley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: JAG/X-Files Crossover. Round Robin.
Disclaimer: Standard stuff...
Home of the Brave
"Sting is a double agent."
The words Special Agent Clayton Webb heard from the other end of the phone line only confirmed what he already suspected. And that meant Harm was in danger.
"Webb? You still there?" Viper demanded.
"Yeah, I'm here. We've got big trouble with this one. I'll get back to you later. Right now I need a plan," Webb stated and hung up the phone.
He sat down on the edge of the bed and stared at the floor between his feet with blank eyes. A string of curse words aimed at himself filled the air. Harm was set to meet with their newly confirmed double agent - Richard Fercheau - otherwise known as Sting to the ranks of Intelligence. Viper's confirmation of Webb's suspicions that Sting was working for the Israelis moved their operation to a whole different level.
Harm and Webb had been in Lebanon for a few days setting up this operation. It had long been suspected that Sting was selling information for whoever could pay him the most. Currently, it was a shipment of diamonds that the Israelis had available for which they were willing to trade for guns from the Russians. Webb and Harm were there to stop that trade from ever occurring. Fourteen long months had gone into this operation. Longer than any other agency would have held on or any other agent. But not Clayton Webb. He would bring this man down if it were the last thing he ever did.
Grabbing his coat, Webb ran out of the hotel room and down to the street to hail a cab. He had to get to the meeting point to warn Harm before Sting got to him first.
"Webb was notified twenty minutes ago."
Cold gray eyes lifted to the face of the younger man standing before him. Slowly, he rose from the desk where he sat and turned to look out the window.
"Kill them both."
When the door closed, signaling the man's exit, the man the rest of the country new as Sting, but out a curse. Webb had once been of great use to him. Now he was a nuisance. A nuisance that wouldn't go away. But once and for all he would deal with the Agent and with the man he'd brought in to help him. Some Navy lawyer. What a fool Webb was. Trusting his life to someone with no experience in how the game was played. They would both die for it.
Harm felt like a million pounds were weighing him down. Drawing in a slow breath, he struggled to lift his tired eyelids. The concrete beneath his cheek was wet and cold, overhead a light rain drizzled on him. Fire was spreading through his limbs, though, licking at his insides. Drawing in another breath, Harm carefully pushed himself to his knees. More pain exploded behind his eyes and barbed wire ripped through his gut. Looking down, he stared dumbly at his blood-soaked shirt. Hen it all came rushing back to him in a burst of memory. They'd ambushed him before he could even say his first word. He knew without a doubt the men who shot him were following orders given by Sting. Lifting his head, Harm studied his surroundings. They left him in the alley - how original.
Grabbing the city dumpster next to him with both hands, he struggled to his feet, sweating profusely and biting out a string of curses when pain shot through him anew. Lights flashed before his eyes as he forced himself to take several slow breaths. He had to get out of here in case they came back. Placing one foot in front of the other, he began to walk toward the main street. A couple of times his legs buckled, threatening to pitch him on his head but he forced himself to keep going. At the end of the alley, he spotted a cab and headed for it, pulling his jacket tight around him to hide the blood.
"Hey, man, you look like you have too much drink. I take you home, yes?" he jumped out and opened the back door for Harm.
"Take me to the airport," Harm ordered.
"The airport? You sure, man? You don't look so good."
"I'm recovering from the flu and I'm wet. I need to get to the airport immediately and I'll double your fee if you step on it," Harm muttered, not in the mood for conversation.
The cabby's frown turned into a smile. "You got it, man."
Once they were underway, Harm tugged off the heavy boot he wore and reached inside to withdraw his passport and cash. Then he put the boot back on, safely hiding the small fold of papers tucked inside. He was sure Sting's men probably searched him for any information he might have on him but they never would have thought to look in his boot under the lining.
He must have dozed off during the drive because the next thing he knew the cabby was shaking him. He sat up with a start and sucked in a sharp breath.
"We here, man. You need help inside?"
"No, thanks, Here, keep the change," Harm handed him several bills, including the double fare he promised.
"Hey, thanks, man. You have good trip."
Within thirty minutes, Harm was on the next flight bound for the States. The only thing he could get would take him to Florida but that was good enough. As long as it got him back on his own turf. When they arrived in Miami Beach, he booked himself on another flight leaving within the half-hour to Denver. Clear across the country from where he needed to be but it was better than making a direct trip. He stopped at a small tourist shop and bought several black T-shirts. In the restroom, he used two of the shirts to make a pad to staunch the steady flow of blood from the bullet wound in is side and strapped it on with his belt. Then he put the other T-shirt on and zipped his jacket up over the whole lot.
Several hours later he was onboard a Greyhound bus on its way out of Denver. He was bleeding off and on and the pain seemed to be increasing although Harm didn't know how it could get any worse. From his position behind the driver, he could hear the steady rumble of the bus radio. Balancing back and forth between consciousness, Harm's head jerked sharply when he heard a special news report float over the line.
"-reports just came in regarding the death of two Israeli Officials earlier today. Israeli and American agents are looking for an American military officer they believe to have taken part in the murders. The man's name is being withheld at this point."
Harm's head was spinning with the information. Could it be a plant from Sting to get Harm taken care of permanently this time? Sting was the one who ordered Harm to be killed and probably Webb, too. Maybe the agent was planting the story as insurance in case Harm survived the shooting. Unless they knew for sure he had survived. My God, the older man had more contacts than Webb did. He had to get somewhere he could hide out until he felt a little better and could think straight. Lurching to his feet, he swung around to face the driver.
"Stop the bus and let me off," he ordered harshly.
"What? Are you crazy? I can't let you off in the middle of nowhere!"
Harm's hand shot out and he grasped the front of the man's shirt. "Stop the bus right now," he gritted out, his voice deadly calm and hard.
The driver's mouth worked for a minute as he saw the coldness in harm's eyes. Finally, he nodded jerkily. The big Greyhound came to a shuddering halt on the side of the dark, deserted highway and the doors opened with a whoosh. Harm stepped off into the cool night air and was bus was gone in an instant, its red taillights growing smaller and smaller until they faded altogether. Then they were out of sight and the darkness closed around him, the enormity of what he's done hit him right between the eyes.
He could barely stand up. How the hell was he going to make it to anywhere there might possibly be people? He would just have to try. Just like in the alley, he put one foot in front of the other and started walking. He stayed as far off the shoulder as he dared so the occasional passing car didn't pick him up in their headlights. Lightning flashed in the distance and Harm knew a storm was headed his way, making him wonder how much worse things were going to get. It wasn't long before he found out.
Part 3 - By Pat Steiner (SSbpMN@aol.com)
"Good Morning, Scully." Fox Mulder breezed into the office with his usual casualness.
"Mornin', partner," Dana Scully returned, with an affectionate glance at the man she had called partner and best friend for the past six years.
"How was your date last night?" Mulder asked, his voice teasing.
"I went to my godson's christening," Scully reminded him. "The closest thing I got to a date was when a nerdy waiter wrote his phone number on a napkin and..."
She was interrupted by the telephone and picked up the receiver, listening for a moment. "Okay, we'll be right up."
Mulder gave her a quizzical look.
"Clayton Webb is here to see us," she explained. "He's up in one of the interview rooms."
"Tell him you couldn't find me," Mulder muttered.
"Yeah, that's gonna happen," she answered, reaching for her suit jacket. "And I'll have to deal with him myself. If we don't go up, he'll just come down. You know he knows the way."
Mulder sighed and helped her on with the jacket, slipping his own on at the same time.
Clayton Webb was pacing nervously back and forth, awaiting the arrival of the FBI agents.
"Thank you for seeing me," he said the second they entered. "I've got a major problem."
"Webb, with you there's no such thing as a minor problem," Mulder sighed, watching as Scully accepted the file which Webb was handing her.
She opened the folder and began to read, her partner standing behind her, his mouth so close to her ear she could feel his breath on her cheek. When they had completed the reading Scully soberly handed the folder back to him.
"What do you need from us?" Mulder asked, now seeing the seriousness of the situation.
"Commander Rabb had a passport and a credit card under an alias," Webb explained. "Between the two we've finally traced him to Denver where he got on a Greyhound bus. The driver remembers a man of his description demanding to be put off about thirty miles east of Denver. A man who looked sick or hurt, or both. For obvious reasons I can't call out a full scale search. I've had a couple of my people in the area but so far they haven't turned anything. Right now Rabb is missing."
Scully gave an involuntary gasp and looked up at Mulder, remembering times past when he had been in similar straits.
"It's okay," he mouthed, understanding at once and gave her shoulders a quick squeeze.
"Clay, what does Mac say?" she asked softly. "And what can we do to help?" Webb shook his head. "I haven't told her."
"You haven't told her?" Scully was incredulous. "You haven't told her that her partner, her friend, is missing?"
"I'm not telling her alone," Webb shook his head again. "There is no way I am going to tell a woman, who will turn into one hundred twenty pounds of angry Marine Lieutenant Colonel, that the reunion she's expecting to have today with her partner, her friend as you say, is not going to happen."
His eyes looked pleadingly at Scully. "I was hoping you would...you know...break the news to her. After she finds out what's happened there will be no problem with her accompanying us."
"Us?" Mulder picked up immediately on that word.
"Please, guys," Webb begged. "I've already got the approval of your AD after I called in a couple favors but he stipulated it had to be voluntary on your parts."
"I'm in," Mulder said quickly and turned his partner to face him. "Scully?"
"Now you know there's no way in hell I'd let you go alone," she retorted. "I don't want to be wondering where you are-again."
"Then let's go tell Mac and get started," Webb said. "Thanks, guys."
45 MINUTES LATER
"Yes, sir...I understand...I'll take care of...yes, sir,"
Lt. Col. Sarah Mackenzie was standing beside her desk, speaking into the phone with exaggerated patience when she looked up and saw Dana Scully standing in her doorway.
"Dana," she smiled with her hand over the mouthpiece. "Come in. I'll just be a minute here." She turned her attention back to her caller as Scully sat in the desk side chair and Mac finished up with her caller. "This place is going nuts. Thank god Harm is due back this week. I hope you came to ask me to lunch because I'm starved and I need to get out of here for an hour."
"Mac," Scully began and then took a deep breath, unable to stop from projecting herself into the position in which Mac was about to be. "Mac," she began again.
"Mulder and Clay are here with me." She lay a soft and on her friend's arm. "I'm so sorry, but Harm is missing. He's been working with Clay the past few days, not aboard the Lexington like he told you."
Mac's face went white and she gripped the side of the desk to steady herself.
"Sit," Scully ordered her and then rapidly relayed the information Webb had provided.
"My, God," Mac gasped when she was finished. "Sick or hurt? We need to find him, now."
Scully nodded her understanding. "Clay is talking to Admiral Chegwidden now. Mulder and I already have permission from our AD to go."
Mac flew from her office, striding across toward where the Admiral was walking out of his with Mulder and Webb, with Scully following her closely.
AJ held up his hand. "Slow down, Colonel. It's all taken care of thanks to Mr. Webb. Transportation is being fueled now. You should be in Denver in a few hours."
"Thank you, sir," Mac said softly. "I'll let you know as soon as we have some news."
Mac did not speak on the drive to Washington National airport, staring straight ahead through the windshield as Webb tried to reassure her that they would find her partner and friend. In the rear seat, Mulder and Scully were equally silent, the only movement from either when he seemed to be reading her thoughts and pressed his large hand on the top of her small one. With the flash of a badge Webb got them admitted through an unmarked gate at the airport and parked within sight of a commuter jet. They boarded and took off with no delay. Once the flight leveled off Mac wandered to the back, away from the others, taking a lone seat. Webb looked back and started to go to her when Scully touched his arm.
"Clay, she's hurting pretty bad right now and in her logical mind she doesn't blame you. But the part of her that cares deeply for her partner does. Believe me I know." She paused and slipped her hand into Mulder's. "I've been there. I know what it's like to have the most important person in your life missing. It's like part of you has died inside and you do want to blame, blame anyone you can and especially anyone who might have been involved. I explained to her what happened, and you talked to her on the ride to the airport. Best leave it alone for now."
"I guess I do feel responsible to some extent since I got him into all this in the first place," Webb admitted.
"Harm's a big boy, Clay," Mulder spoke up. "He wouldn't have gone if he hadn't thought it was for a good cause; hadn't thought he could do some good."
"That's what I try to tell myself when you take off and ditch me," Scully told him, squeezing his hand hard. "But it doesn't make it any easier waiting back home to find out where I can go pick you up."
"I know," Mulder sighed, returning her hand squeeze. "I never mean to worry or upset you but it always ends up that way."
"Yes, it does," she returned with a wry smile. "And I'm going to go commiserate with Mac about unappreciative partners right now." She stood and stepped into the aisle, and only then did they release hands.
"Your partner's thinking 'there but for the grace'," Webb observed unnecessarily.
"I know," Mulder nodded, giving her a long look as she walked toward were Mac sat alone. "And I've given her plenty of reason to in the past I have to admit. I can be pretty self centered sometimes. It's not a quality I admire in myself."
Scully stopped and filled two cups from the coffee service and took them to where Mac was sitting. She pressed one cup into Mac's hand, asking gently. "Would it help to talk?"
Part 4 - by Bridget Walker (email@example.com)
Mac looked up at Scully and tried her best to form a smile, unfortunately she was unsuccessful. Seeing the effort that Mac was taking, Scully took the seat next to her and turned to face her. She repeated her earlier question, this time deciding to use Mac's given name as a way of hopefully getting through her resolve.
"Sarah, would it help to talk?"
Mac covered Scully's hand with her own. "I don't know, Dana, I know what all the textbooks say about opening up about your feelings, but at the moment to tell you the truth, I have absolutely no idea what I am feeling."
Scully smiled. "Well this is a good start. May I ask what Harm told you?"
Mac's face fell at the mention of her best friend's name. She went to reply to Dana, but found her throat suddenly dry with emotion, hoping to rectify this, she took a long deep breath and slowly sipped the cup of coffee that Scully had so generously offered her. Feeling confident Mac decided to try again.
"What did Harm tell me, well... he came to my apartment two weeks ago and told me that he had an assignment aboard the Lexington. I thought that this was pretty strange that he was going on assignment without me, but he assured me that it was probably going to be boring anyway, and that he would be back in fourteen days. But now.... Why couldn't he trust me, Dana?" Mac asked, her eyes pleading with that of her friend.
All Dana could do was shrug. She opened her mouth to speak, when she was interrupted by a hand on her shoulder and a man's voice. " I can answer that one."
Scully looked up to see Webb standing there. Quietly she stood up and made her way to Mulder. She slipped into the seat beside him and without saying a word placed her hands within his, both drawing from the strength of one another, both watching the scene that was about to take place, both hoping that the Marine would not kill the CIA agent.
Meanwhile up at the front of the aircraft, Webb sat down in the seat that had been vacated by Scully. Slowly he put his hand on Mac's shoulder only to have it shrugged away and have Mac turn away from him. Feeling hurt but understanding, Clay decided to persevere. "Mac, let me tell...."
Suddenly Mac turned to him, her eyes blazing. "Tell me what, Webb? How you got Harm mixed up in other one of your botched operations? Or are you going to tell me that it is for the good of the country? Or are you going to tell me - now this is the clincher - how you talked him into lying to me? Well...?"
For once Clayton Webb had no answer, he knew from what Scully had told him that Mac was hurting, but he had to tell her what he knew so that she was not entering this situation blind.
"I can't answer all of those questions, Mac, but I will tell you what I can. Fifteen days ago I approached Harm about using him undercover in order to assist me with an operation overseas. At first he was all against it but then I made the stupid suggestion of using you instead and of course he threatened me and told me that there was no way you were getting involved and that he would do it. Anyway, I arranged for a phony investigation to need to be taken aboard the Lexington and for Harm to be the one to investigate alone. Instead of going on board he met me and we started the briefing on what his role would be in this operation." Webb took a deep breath and looked over at Mac. She was not moving but her eyes were open and she was just looking at the floor. Taking this as a sign to continue, he did. "Harm met up with Sting and everything seemed to be going along fine until three nights ago."
Webb was finally interrupted by the sound of Mac's voice, he looked over only to see her looking more vulnerable than he had ever seen her. "What happened, Webb? What happened three nights ago that as a result, has you, me and two FBI agents on a plane in order to find Harm? C'mon tell me!"
Webb sighed. "Well, three nights ago we received word from one of our contacts that Sting was a double agent and that orders had gone out to kill Harm. This is where the details get sketchy. All we know is that two Israeli officers are dead and that Harm has been shot, apart from that we know nothing else. In other words we have no idea where Harm is."
Once again Mac found her voice. "All I can say to you, Webb, is that when not if but when we find him he better be alive because if he is not I will kill you myself. As for finding him don't worry about that. If Harm is near me I will find him. Now you better buckle up, the plane is making its decent and we are about to find Harm."
With that Mac buckled her own seatbelt and looked out of the window. Inwardly she was going over everything that Webb had just said. <Harm took this operation to keep her safe. Like usual Harm was protecting her but now it is time for that to stop. this time she was going to find and protect him> Whispering softly to herself Mac began to whisper the same phrase over and over.
"Hold on Harm, we'll find you."
Part 5 by Erin Schipper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The three agents and one Marine disembarked the plane quickly after their four-hour flight. There was none of the joviality that normally accompanied the arrival of a plane. These four were on a mission... one that none of them particularly wanted to be on. Webb's badge cleared the way for them to move quickly through the airport. A car was waiting to take them to the hotel that would serve as their command post in Denver. Clay led the way into the hotel, across the lobby, to the elevator. Mac walked silently behind him with Mulder and Scully bringing up the rear, his hand in its customary position at the small of his petite partner's back. Scully took some comfort from the familiarity, but her thoughts were more with the Marine who walked ramrod-stiff in front of them. Reaching the penthouse floor, Webb unlocked the door to the suite. Pushing it open, a room larger than Mac's entire apartment in Georgetown was revealed. A breathtaking view of the mountains was framed by a wall of windows.
The room boasted a bar, a state-of-the-art entertainment center, and a couple of sofas with cushions so fluffy that it looked like a person could get lost in them. Several doors led off of the main room. Clay indicated that the one to the right was the bedroom that would be shared by the two women the one to the left was Mulder's room, which he'd share with Harm when they found him. The third bedroom was stocked with every kind of electronic surveillance equipment imaginable.
Scully and Mac headed into their room to drop their small bags. Off the room was a huge bathroom, which included a Jacuzzi large enough for two people. Scully stared at the tub wistfully. Right now she would love to drop everything and soak in it for days. However, they had more important things to do. Heading back into the living room, they found Mulder sitting on one of the sofas and Webb on the phone. After Webb hung up, he motioned for the ladies to join them in the middle of the room. A map was spread out on the coffee table. An X was drawn in a spot outside of Denver.
"Here's where the bus driver says he dropped of the man," Webb said using his pen to indicate the X. "I've had men searching the area around the spot, asking at the houses. Nothing... He never made it back to Denver or to any of the other towns around here. No one has seen him since the driver dropped him off."
Mac stifled a gasp. Scully looked over at her friend. Tears were coursing down the Marine's face and she made no effort to stop them. Scully inched closer to Mac and dropped an arm around her shoulders. Mac stiffened momentarily, not wanting to show any weakness, but soon she relaxed. She leaned her head onto Dana's shoulder and sobbed, her entire body shaking with the effort. Webb watched the tableau with apparent disinterest. However, inside he was being eaten with guilt. He knew it was his op that went sour and had landed them all here. Harm was out there somewhere...in bad shape...if he was still alive at all.
0115 LOCAL TIME
They had stayed up late into the night, planning, discussing what to do next. They were at a loss... they had no idea where to look anymore. All logical locales for where Harm might be had already been searched and had yielded nothing by more dead ends. They had finally gone to bed, exhausted, just after 12:30. Mac had fallen asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. Scully, however, was unable to fall asleep. She sat in her bed and watched her friend sleep. Every once in a while, the Marine would mumble something and make a movement that looked like she was fighting with someone in her dream.
Scully finally decided that enough was enough. She got out of bed and padded quietly to the living room. There she was not very surprised to find her partner awake. He was watching the television, the sound muted so it wouldn't disturb the other occupants of the suite. Mulder looked up as his partner came into the room. He patted the sofa next to him. She smiled and willingly sat next to Mulder, her legs curled up under her, her head leaning on his shoulder.
"Mulder, I'm worried about Mac... I'm worried about what will happen to her if we don't find Harm...or he turns up dead," Scully said quietly.
Mulder put his arm around Scully. "We'll find him, Scully."
"But, if we don't this could send her totally over the edge. It could push her off of the wagon that she has so carefully kept herself on." Scully took a deep breath. "Mulder, she loves him...she won't admit it to anyone, not even herself, but she does. If she loses him, she'll lose part of herself."
Mulder had no reply to that statement, so he just held his partner close. They sat that way for a while. Scully had almost fallen asleep, when a scream ripped through the silence in the room.
Part 6 Mickey Ryan (Ninjagrl44@aol.com)
The screams echoed through the room. Ragged, gut-wrenching cries that filled all who heard them with terror. Scully jerked awake, her hands gripping Mulder's shoulders in fear and confusion. She glanced around the room, and recognition slowly dawned on her.
"Mac!" Both agents jumped to their feet and began running to the adjoining room.
As quickly as the screams had begun, they stopped and silence once again filled the hotel suite. Mulder's hand paused on the door handle, as waves of indecision washed over him. He pulled his hand back and stared at the door before turning to his partner.
"Should we go in? Maybe we should just let her fall back to sleep on her own." Mulder asked.
"No, we need to make sure she is okay, she is so close to the edge right now. I shouldn't have left her alone," Scully said guiltily, and quickly looked away from her partners probing eyes. She was secretly grateful that it was Harm missing and hurt instead of Mulder. She couldn't face the idea of losing him again, but it broke her heart to see her friend going through the same agony she had so often faced.
"Scully, you can't watch her all the time. Not only would that be impossible but that Marine in there would not approve and I wouldn't want Mac angry with me." He gave her a conspiratorial smile and gently rubbed her shoulder. "Shall we?" He asked gently, knowing how hard this was on her.
"I would prefer to go in alone but if she isn't fully awake I may need your help to restrain her. As soon as she is aware of her surroundings and coherent, it would be best for you to leave us. Maybe she will open up to me if we are alone."
Mulder shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, but his face was still showing concern, despite his best efforts to cover it up. >>Is this what I put Dana through, when I go on missions without telling her? How could I hurt her like this? Even when I'm trying to protect her, I cause her pain.<< These thoughts lingered in his mind as he turned the doorknob.
What they saw was more frightening than if she had been thrashing around in the throes of terror. Mac was sitting with her back against the headboard of the bed, her knees pulled up to her chin and her arms wrapped tightly around her legs. She was staring straight ahead and although her face was expressionless, her eyes were filled with a deep and consuming sorrow. Tears flowed down her cheeks continuously. After giving Mulder a look of assurance and a small nod, he left the two women alone. Scully reached out tentatively and when Mac did not pull away, she touched her shoulder. Giving up her usual professionalism, Scully sat down next to her and put her arm gently around Mac's shoulders, pulling her closer to her and comforting her the only way she knew how. The carefully controlled expression Mac had held crumbled and she began sobbing uncontrollably. Dana held her and whispered comforting words. Slowly the sobs quieted, turned into small shudders, and then stopped all together. Mac's face was once again blank and her eyes seemed to be empty and overshadowed. It was as if her body was now a shell and Sarah was no longer inside.
"Can you tell me what happened?" Scully asked. When there was no response, she tried again. "Mac? How do you feel?"
She was becoming more worried by the minute. This silence that seemed to dominate the woman beside her was not a good sign. Sarah MacKenzie was slipping away, she was retreating inside herself. Scully knew how dangerous this could be, especially for someone as strong willed as Mac. She could conceivably close herself off entirely and stay that way. Dana knew she needed to get her friend to start talking about how she was feeling or she might lose her forever, and that was not an option she was willing to consider.
"Come on, talk to me. Mac? How are you feeling right now? Answer me. Sarah, look at me, now." At the sound of her given name, Mac turned to look at Scully.
"What?" Her voice sounded raspy and weak even to Mac's own ears. As soon as she allowed herself to focus on Dana and the situation they were all facing, the pain and hopelessness she had been hiding from invaded her soul. Her eyes clouded with the pain and fear once again.
The ache inside of her chest was almost more than she could bear. The emptiness and sorrow that enveloped her was overwhelming. Mac didn't want to fight anymore - she just wanted that blissful feeling of nothingness back. To be numb, that was really her only chance to survive this ordeal. Dana, her friend, was trying to pull her back to the present moment.
Scully gently pushed a strand of hair off Mac's face. "What happened?" She asked her sadly. She hated to see Sarah in so much pain and she couldn't help but remember all the times she had felt the same way.
Mac's eyes were filled with pain as she uttered the next words. "I've lost him Dana. He's gone. He's gone." She pulled away from Scully and lay down, curling into a fetal position, and staring off into space again.
"No. Sarah, no! We will find him. I promise. We will find Harm."
Mac's voice was soft and void of all emotion. "It doesn't matter. Nothing does. He's dead. Harm is dead."
Part 7 by Kimberly Sneller (email@example.com)
CABIN OUTSIDE DENVER
0115 LOCAL TIME
"Well, I guess its time to check on out patient," Marie told her husband John, yawning as she got up and walked to the adjoining room.
They had decided to check on him every couple of hours, seeing he was bad condition.
"John, hurry, he's not breathing!" she yelled to the other room.
"Well, you're the retired nurse, give him CPR!" he shouted back, making his way into the room.
"I'm trying!" she said in between breaths.
After a couple minutes, she was about to give up when he started breathing. His pulse was barely there and his breathing was shallow, but he was alive. She wondered who he was and who was missing him. John had gone out hunting yesterday and had found this man, unconscious in the woods, a couple miles from the nearest highway. She had cleaned the gun wound the best she could and tried to keep him comfortable.
She felt for his pulse again and it felt stronger. As she listened to his breathing, it sounded better but he was saying something. It sounded like he was saying Mac.
0130 LOCAL TIME
"Harm!" Mac screamed out again. "Scully, I can feel him again! He's alive...he just has to be."
"Why don't you try and get some rest and we'll search for him in the morning," Scully tried to reason.
"No. He needs me - I can feel it. I am not going to go to sleep while my partner may be dying. I am going to find him."
"Mac, are you sure?" Webb asked for the hundredth time.
"Yes. Take me to where the bus driver let him off. I am going to find him and nothing is stopping me."
"Yes, ma'am," Webb responded. He was not about to make this Marine on a mission even more mad at him. He slowed the car down and pulled off on the shoulder of the road.
"This it?" Mac asked.
"This is it," Webb responded as Mac climbed out of the car and started walking toward the woods.
"Where are you going?" Webb asked.
"Follow me if you like, but I'm going to find Harm." Mac didn't know how to explain it, but she just had this overwhelming feeling to head that direction.
Mulder and Scully began to climb out of the car and Webb followed suit. They silently tagged along behind Mac, hoping and praying that wherever she ended up, Harm was there.
A couple miles later, Mac felt Harm even stronger. She kept walking and a mile or so later she could see a cabin with its light on. She felt hope well up in her heart at the chance of Harm having made it to this cabin. She reached the door after what seemed like ages and gave a small knock. A gray-haired woman answered and she tried to explain why she was at this woman's home at two o'clock in the morning.
"Hi, my name is Sarah MacKenzie. You wouldn't by any chance have found a wounded man out in the woods, would you? Tall with dark hair?"
"I'm Marie Bronston and this is my husband John. And actually, yes," she said as she led Mac back to the room where Harm lay.
Mulder, Scully, and Webb introduced themselves to John. He offered to take them into where Mac went but they declined, knowing Mac needed some time alone with Harm first.
"Oh, Harm," Mac said lovingly as she took his hand in hers and pressed a tender kiss on his forehead.
"My husband found him while he was out hunting. He's been unconscious ever since then. About an hour ago he stopped breathing but I gave him CPR and he finally came around again. Only thing he's been saying is 'Mac'. That's you, isn't it? Your last name shortened?" the older woman asked Mac.
"Yes," she replied, surprised the woman had picked that up. "And thank you for saving his life."
"Mac?" Came a hoarse whisper.
Part 8 By Patti Stiles (Turboowl@aol.com)
Harm tried to sit up but Mac placed her hands on his shoulder and gently pushed him back down. "Harm, lay still. We will move you as soon as we can."
"Mac, you have to leave," he whispered.
"No way, Harm. I am not leaving you, not now that I have found you."
Only able to whisper hoarsely, he said, "Mac, please leave. You are only in danger by being with me." His eyes begged her to leave.
Mac squeezed his hand and kept the eye contact they had. "Harm, Webb, Mulder and Scully are with me and we are going to get you out of here and then we will get you fixed up better. After that we will go to a safe place until Webb can fix this mess he got you into. And then you can explain why you lied to your partner about this case."
"Mac, how did you find me?" Harm wanted to change the subject because he knew he didn't have enough strength to get into why he didn't want her to know about this case.
"I don't know exactly. I just could sense you and that feeling got stronger the closer I got to you. "
"I could feel you, too, but I thought it was just a dream." Harm's voice got quieter as he talked, he was fighting the sleep his body needed.
Mac could tell that he was pushing himself and not letting himself rest. "Harm, rest right now. You are safe and I am not going anyplace without you." Then she leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on his forehead as he fell back asleep.
Scully peeked in and whispered. "Mac, how is he?"
"Oh, Dana, he is so weak. Marie told me she had to give Harm CPR to bring him back." Mac's voice started to break as a single tear rolled down her cheek. "I almost lost him this time."
"Mac," Dana reached over to lay a hand on her shoulder, giving it a squeeze. "Harm is going to make it. I promise. He is a strong person and look what he has to live for. Also he made it this far without much help."
Mac reached up and squeezed Dana's hand. "Thank you for everything you have done to help me through this."
"Mac, there is no need to thank me because I know how you feel. Now you need to promise me this one thing."
"Anything you name it."
"Mac, you need to tell him. Tell Harm how you feel when he wakes up again. Just think of how you felt when you thought you lost him and didn't get to tell him that you love him. And don't try to say you don't because it was written all over your face from the moment you heard about him missing and then when you woke up and thought he was dead."
"I know, Dana, and you are right I do love him. I just realized that. And I will tell him just that when we all get out of this mess."
"No, Sarah. You need to tell him as soon as he wakes up. Don't waste anymore time. Now I am going to go and tell both Webb and Mulder how he is doing and that we can't move him until the morning when he is stronger. You just stay right here with him and I will come back and wake you up when it is time to leave."
"Dana, you are a very good friend and I don't know how I would have made it this far without your support." Mac looked back at Harm as she heard the door shut quietly. Whispering more to herself than to Harm as she lay her head down next to him, she said, "Harm, I love you."
Mac was asleep almost as soon as her head hit the bed and didn't hear Harm also whisper. "I love you, too, Sarah."
Scully went back out to the living room to give the update on Harms condition. "He is going to make it thanks to these two people." Motioning to Marie and John. "Thank you for everything you did for him."
"Scully, when can we move him?" Webb asked.
"I think we can in the morning. He should have gotten some of his strength back up by then and by waiting Mac will also have gotten some sleep which she needs, too."
Marie interrupted at that moment. "John and I are willing to do what ever you need to help out. We aren't too sure what is going on but I am a retired nurse and John here is a retired Agent."
"I thought you looked familiar, sir." Webb said. Webb remembered seeing his picture on the wall of honor for agents who have either lost there lives or were injured while doing their job.
Part 9 By Sharon Clinton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Clayton Webb. Your father wouldn't be the infamous Neville Webb would he?"
"One in the same, sir."
"Well, son, I am proud to see you followed in your father's shoes."
"Thank you, sir. And I am proud to make your acquaintance."
"How is the Under Secretary these days?"
"Fine, sir, just fine."
Mulder tried hard to hide his smirk at the mention of the agency but not before John noticed and turned to address him as well. "If he is Neville's son, that would make your father William Mulder."
"Yes, it would. You knew my father also?"
"Knew him! Are you kidding? Both your fathers and I were the ones who were instrumental in trying to show Agent Spender up for what he really is back in '65. It was one of the rare times that our agencies willingly worked together. Shame the way it turned out."
"You're that Agent Bronston?!"
"One in the same."
"Webb, we really are in the presence of a legend."
"Coming from you, Fox, that's something." Clay said looking from one man to the other.
Scully who had been watching the whole exchange cleared her throat and moved to Mulder's side in one smooth motion. He reached down and squeezed her hand but nothing was said.
Marie broke in then and said, "I best get you all settled. I hope the floor is okay. I have lots of blankets, but we're shy on beds."
"The floor is fine, ma'am." Mulder spoke for them all.
Within a few minutes the house was quiet and dark. Webb was ensconced on the couch since Mulder and Scully had opted for the floor. They lay together with her back to his front, enjoying the silence. Only a few minutes had passed when Scully spoke in a hushed whisper.
"Mulder, there's something I need to tell you."
"What's that? You sound so serious."
"I never intended for this to happen and I surely never thought that I would be telling you like this, but with everything that has happened with Harm and Mac, I just don't want to take any more chances of never getting to..."
She stopped mid-tirade at the sound of her name. Shifting, Fox moved around to face her and before she realized what his intention was she felt the gentle pressure of his lips on her own. They pulled apart almost immediately but not before she saw the promise in his eyes and returned it wholeheartedly. From the couch just barely audible over the squeaking of the springs came Clay's voice.
"Well, at least something good has come out of this for you two. Now get some rest so we can make sure that Rabb and MacKenzie will get their chance, too."
A combined "Good night." could be heard from the floor then all was quiet once more. Outside, however, three figures emerged from the line of trees and approached the cabin guns in hand.
Part 10 By Susan (SStroud@aol.com)
Mulder lie awake listening to the gentle sound of Scully's breathing. He reached out a hand to move a strand of hair off of her face, but froze when he heard a noise outside of the house. He quickly untangled himself from Scully and reached for his gun.
"Mulder?" Scully questioned as she opened her eyes.
"Shh! I think we've got company." Mulder reached over and shook Webb awake as Scully grabbed her gun.
"Webb, we've got company," Mulder whispered.
Webb sat up and grabbed his gun from the table. He motioned for Scully to go check on Harm and Mac and for Mulder to follow him. Scully quickly made her way into the spare bedroom as Mulder and Webb moved to the front door.
Webb turned and aimed his gun as a noise sounded behind him. John lifted his hands until Webb nodded in recognition. John showed Webb that he was armed and then motioned that he would cover the back door. Webb nodded again in agreement before turning back to the front door.
Mulder grabbed Webb and pulled him against the wall as the doorknob turned. They stood motionless in the silence of the room as two hooded figures made their way into the house. Webb motioned for Mulder to take the one on the left and Mulder nodded. Webb mouthed a silent, "One. Two. Three," and then he and Mulder stepped out of the shadows and quietly dropped their would-be assailants to the ground.
After ensuring that they were completely unarmed, Webb motioned for Mulder to check the rest of the house. Mulder silently made his way to the spare bedroom where he found Mac tying up a third assailant while Scully checked on Harm. Scully flashed him a quick smile to assure him that they were okay and Mulder stepped back out of the room.
Mulder quickly checked the master bedroom, bathroom and kitchen and then returned to the living room where John and Marie were guarding all three intruders while Webb talked on his cell phone. Mulder turned on a desk lamp to illuminate the room as he made his way back to the spare bedroom.
Scully and Mac both looked up as Mulder entered the room. "How is he?"
Scully stepped away from the bed. "His blood pressure is a little low, his respiration is labored and he has a fever."
Mulder arched an eyebrow at her. "Infection?"
Scully glanced over at Mac. "Probably." Scully placed a hand on Mulder's arm and pulled him out of the room. "We need to get him to a hospital, Mulder."
Webb shut off his cell phone and joined them by the bedroom door. "Is it safe to move him?"
Scully glanced around the room. "I think it's safer to move him than it is to stay here, Webb. Besides, he needs medical attention."
Webb nodded his head. "Isn't there anything that you can do for him?"
"I can give him medication to help ease the pain but he needs the bullet removed from his abdomen. Not only that but he's probably going to need a blood transfusion and a full round of antibiotics to fight off the infection that is starting to set in."
Webb glanced over at their prisoners. "I've arranged to have a transport meet us. We can get Harm to a hospital once we're out of this area. Unfortunately, we left the car behind earlier and we have no way of knowing how many more Russian agents know where we are."
"You can take our SUV," John stated as he approached the group. "If we put the back seats down you should be able to keep your friend fairly comfortable for the ride out of here."
Webb glanced at Mulder and Scully before turning to face John. "There's a team on the way here to pick these three up and take them in for questioning. We need to be gone before they get here. Will you and Marie be okay?"
Marie chuckled from her seat on the couch. "We've been okay here for nearly ten years, Mr. Webb. I think we can handle these three for a couple of hours."
Webb turned back to Scully. "Make sure Harm's ready to transport. Mulder and I will find something to construct a makeshift stretcher out of."
Scully nodded her assent as Mulder joined Webb in his search for a gurney. Marie made her way into the kitchen and began preparing sandwiches for the group to take with them.
Scully took a deep breath before walking back into the bedroom. "Mac?"
Mac looked up from her spot at Harm's side. "Are we leaving?"
Scully nodded as she approached the bed. "We're going to get Harm to safety. Now help me change the dressing on this wound so we can get on the road."
Twenty minutes later, the SUV pulled out onto the highway with Webb and Mulder in the front seat and Scully and Mac on either side of the stretcher that they had made for Harm. Mac leaned her face down beside Harm's ear. "Don't you dare give up on me, Sailor. We're almost there now."
Part 11 By Whiteley (email@example.com)
SOMEWHERE IN COLORADO AIRSPACE
0414 LOCAL TIME
Sting was surrounded by the comforts of his luxury Leer jet, but he was unable to enjoy the soft leather chairs or the mixed drink that sat on the table next to him. He was perched on the edge of his seat, yelling into his cell phone.
"Those idiots! You can't depend on Russians to do anything. Democracy has made them soft."
"Yes, sir," the young man replied.
"This mission has been a disaster right from the start. First, that damn Naval officer managed to survive..."
"Well, sir, according to my information, he won't last much longer if that's any consolation..."
"No!" Sting barked. "It's no consolation, Mr. Adler. He should have been dead days ago. And then the Russian soldiers bungled their mission. I am surrounded by incompetent people."
"And to top it all off, we still haven't been able to exchange the diamonds for the Russian guns and there's a very angry group of Israelis waiting for the weapons to start their coup."
"Yes, sir. I understand that, sir."
"What's the latest news?" Sting asked as a forced calm descended upon his voice.
"Webb, Scully, Mulder, MacKenzie and Rabb were picked up by a chopper and are en route to Pueblo General Hospital in Pueblo, Colorado. They will arrive in less than half an hour."
"Good, Mr. Adler. We'll find a place to set this bird down and I'll be there within two hours. I expect Rabb to be dead by then but leave Webb for me. Do you understand?"
ROOFTOP OF PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0446 LOCAL TIME
The helicopter touched down gently but to Harm it felt as if he had just been dropped 50 stories onto a cement floor. He took one last look at Mac and shut his eyes, preparing himself mentally for the jostling that would occur when they transported him into the building.
"Harm?" Mac asked weakly, fearing he had lost consciousness.
In response, he squeezed her hand.
"Is he okay?" Webb asked.
"Yes, it seems he's conserving his strength, which is smart since the next hour will be critical," Scully replied.
Before anymore could be said, the orderlies whipped open the doors, unloaded Harm and rushed his gurney across the bumpy rooftop toward the emergency room doors. Mac and Scully trailed close behind and Webb hurried toward a young man, who was pacing back and forth on the landing pad.
Mulder disembarked from the chopper, gusts of wind from the slowing blades disheveling his hair and causing his overcoat to billow around his legs. He took in the scene before him, trying to find order amidst the chaos. Something didn't sit right with him. How had the Russians known that Harm was holed up in that little cabin in the middle of nowhere? Mulder stood still and pondered that question as people rushed around him. Suddenly it occurred to him that the Russians didn't know where to find Harm; no one knew where he had gone after he got off the bus. Mac had led everyone to Harm--Webb, Scully, himself...and the Russians.
This thought left Mulder with another question. How did the Russians get a fix on Mac's location?
He and Scully were unofficially assigned to this case so no one at the FBI except Skinner knew of their whereabouts and they hadn't been in contact with anyone since the beginning of the investigation. Mac had been too shaken up to update her CO on the proceedings so no one at JAG could have disclosed their location. Mulder's gaze shifted to Webb; he was talking to the young man, presumably another CIA agent. It couldn't have been Webb; he was many things but certainly not a traitor. But Webb had made several phone calls during the course of the mission. Perhaps someone on his staff was the mole who leaked the information. With his long-legged stride, Mulder crossed the roof and in a few seconds was standing next to Webb.
"Ahh, Agent Mulder. This is Viper. He's just informed me that the latest Intel shows that Sting is on his way to the US from Beirut. So we should be safe here for several hours."
Mulder turned his nonchalant gaze from Webb to the other man. When their eyes met, Viper looked away. Mulder got the distinct impression that this man was lying. Perhaps he was the mole. He would have to gather proof before he acted on his theory.
PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0550 LOCAL TIME
Harm had come through surgery and was in stable condition but still under the influence of the pain medication. The doctors, under Scully's supervision, had been able to patch up all his wounds. Now it remained up to Harm to overcome the fever caused by the infection. He lay in the sterile hospital bed and Mac was by his side, gripping his hand as if her touch would heal him. She was utterly exhausted; her legs shook with weariness and her eyelids felt heavy. But she didn't want to leave Harm.
"Mac," Scully whispered gently.
"Hmmm?" she replied.
"We're going to the cafeteria for coffee. Come with us. We're going to discuss what happens next."
"I don't want to leave Harm unattended."
"We'll have one of Webb's men watch over him. I'll go find someone."
CORRIDOR OF PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0555 LOCAL TIME
Mulder sidled up next to Viper, determined to strike up a conversation with the young agent. "Soooo, Viper," he drawled, "Do you have a name? Besides the code name, of course?"
"Adler. Greg Adler," he said uncertainly. "What about you? Do you always go by your last name?"
"Yes," Mulder stated flatly and then immediately changed the subject. "Interesting life, isn't?"
"What?" his eyes darted furtively around the hallway.
"This secret agent thing."
"Yeah, I guess," he said as he squirmed.
"How long have you been working with Webb?"
"A little over a year.... Listen, I'm going to go to the snack bar. Can I get you anything?"
Mulder smirked, knowing he was making Adler uncomfortable. "No, thanks, though."
Adler hurried away, wondering why Mulder was questioning him. As he turned a corner, he almost ran into Scully.
"Oh, Viper, can you stand watch over Commander Rabb? We need to get Mac something to eat and she won't leave unless he's safe."
"Sure, Agent Scully. I'll relieve Major Mackenzie right now."
He breezed past Scully and entered Rabb's room. "I'll sit with him, ma'am."
"Thanks. We'll be in the cafeteria if there's any change...."
Now was the time for him to strike.
CAFETERIA AT PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0602 LOCAL TIME
Mac, Webb, Mulder and Scully were gathered at a small, flimsy table surrounded by Styrofoam cups and food wrappers.
"We need to formulate a plan so that when Harm wakes up we'll be able to proceed with the mission," Webb said.
"You still want to proceed with this? Harm is in bed, suffering and you still care only about your mission," Mac said.
"That's not true...."
"Listen, guys, we have bigger problems," Scully interrupted.
"Exactly. Webb, who else is privy to the information on this mission?" Mulder asked.
"Well, the four of us, Harm, the director of the CIA and Viper. Why do you ask?"
Mulder explained his theory to the group.
"You must be kidding, Mulder, Viper has been in my employ for over a year. He's been cleared in a deep background check..."
Suddenly Mac stood, interrupting the argument. "Where is he now? Where is Viper now?"
"Guarding Harm," Scully said sheepishly.
Everyone jumped up from their chairs and dashed toward the elevator.
ROOM 462 PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0607 LOCAL TIME
Adler had been standing at the foot of Harm's bed for several minutes. He knew his mission, but was suddenly reluctant to complete it. He was supposed to have just relayed information to Sting. He wasn't supposed to kill anyone. But he had no choice: It was either kill or be killed. And the latter was unacceptable. He picked up an extra pillow and pressed it onto Harm's face.
Part 12 by Selena (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0607 LOCAL TIME
Mac couldn't wait for the elevator, afraid that the precious seconds it wasted would cost Harm his life. And as she raced up the stairs, the only sound she could hear was the blood pounding in her own ears and the sound of a pleading voice that was strangely unlike her own.
"Please let him be okay. Please don't let me lose him now."
Only a moment ahead of Webb, Mulder, and Scully, Mac burst through the stairwell doors and ran to Harm's room. Her blood ran cold but then boiled as she saw Viper standing over Harm and covering his face with a pillow. Not wasting a second, Mac made her move against the double agent.
Viper had pivoted as soon as he heard the door open, the pillow and his mission forgotten as he prepared to defend his life. All his training, however, was no match against the Marine who spun him around and landed a punch to his face before he even had time to react. He went down heavily and suffered many more blows until he heard a familiar voice in the background.
"That's enough, Colonel. He's down. Mac, stop it!" Webb tried to use a calm voice so that he wouldn't have to physically restrain Mac, but his words had no effect on the Marine. Reluctantly, he moved toward Mac and took a firm grip on her arms, turning her so she would face him. Looking directly into her eyes, Webb said. "He can't hurt Harm anymore."
The rage in Mac's eyes was immediately drowned by the tears that threatened to overwhelm her. Nodding violently toward Viper, she said coldly, "Get him the hell out of here and find out who he's working for."
Then she pulled slowly away and walked towards Scully, who was checking Harm for any further injury. Giving Viper a disgusted look, Webb jerked him to his feet before he and Mulder took him from the room for first aid and questioning.
Her voice barely above a whisper, Mac nervously asked, "How is he?"
Scully tried to give a reassuring smile. "His breathing is normal and he's responding to stimuli. It doesn't look like any damage was done but I'd like to call in his surgeon for a second opinion."
Mac nodded numbly as she dropped into a chair beside Harm's bed. Scully was walking toward the door, so she almost didn't hear her murmur, "I shouldn't have left him alone. I should never have left him."
Turning, Scully strode back across the room and knelt in front of Mac. "This is not your fault. You couldn't have known who Viper was working for. None of us did."
Mac violently shook her head as a tear escaped down her cheek. "But I should have suspected something. And I shouldn't have left him. I could have lost him for good this time."
Knowing that this conversation wasn't going anywhere, Scully replied, "But you were here when it mattered. And you didn't lose him." Then she squeezed Mac's hand before pulling herself to a standing position. "When he wakes up, Mac, you have to tell him how you feel. After everything he's been through, he deserves to know...and I think you both deserve to be happy." With those words hanging heavily in the air, Scully went to find Harm's doctor.
PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0624 LOCAL TIME
Viper sat hunched over a steaming cup of coffee, his broken nose bandaged and his cracked ribs aching with each breath he took. He refused to meet the eyes of the man he'd worked with for the last year. He hadn't gotten into this to murder anyone. Joining the agency had seemed like an adventure. Then when he'd been approached to play both sides of this mission, it had seemed like an even bigger adventure. However, he'd never expected it to end this way.
"We can do this the easy way," Clayton Webb's voice was hard as stone as he leaned heavily on the table in front of the young man. "Or we can do this the hard way. You've already seen Colonel MacKenzie's version but you haven't seen mine."
"Or mine." Mulder moved in behind the man, close enough so that he could hear the FBI agent's quiet breathing.
Shuddering, the man replied, "This wasn't supposed to happen. I was never going to have to kill anyone. He didn't tell me until today that taking out Rabb was part of my mission."
Webb slammed his hands onto the oak table. "Who? Who is giving your orders now?"
Almost glad that this was coming to an end, Viper let out a long breath before he answered. "I never knew his name. I was simply told to refer to him as 'sir.' I've never even seen him."
Growing more impatient, Webb didn't bother to control the annoyance in his voice when he asked, "But how did you hear from him today?"
Viper still avoided eye contact, but answered clearly. "He called from the air about an hour ago."
Mulder stepped even closer. "Where is he?"
However, Viper wouldn't reply. His silence was the only answer Webb needed.
Striding for the door, he swore softly. "It's Sting. He's coming here."
0630 LOCAL TIME
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary when the well-dressed man stepped off the crowded hospital elevator into a crowd of other visitors. And no one noticed as he headed down the hall toward Harmon Rabb's room and murmured to himself, "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself."
Part 13 by Stacey Meador (Stacey@westex.net)
PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0635 LOCAL TIME
Sting was approaching Harm's room when he heard yelling coming from the room. He ducked into the vacant room across the hall from Harm's room. What he saw made him smile. He would not have to kill the military guy. Musing to his self <One down, one to go.>
"NO! HARM IS NOT DEAD! PLEASE GOD! NO!" Mac was staring at the doctor in disbelief. Hearing Mac from the restrooms Webb came running into the room.
"Mac, What is wro...?" Webb voice trailed off.
Mac turned toward Webb and approached him. Webb knew he was a dead man as soon as he seen Mac eyes. Mac had tears running down her face. " DAMN YOU, WEBB! I TOLD YOU IF HARM DIED. I WOULD KILL YOU MYSELF!"
Mac pulled out her gun and shot Webb from across the room. Webb fell to the floor and made no other movement.
Scully and Mulder were coming back from the coffee shop as they rounded the corner headed for Harm's room. Just then a loud noise echoed down the hallway. They looked at each other and as their eyes met knew what the sound was and where it was coming from. Dropping their coffee, they grabbed their guns and headed for Harm's room. Entering the room, they both saw Webb lying on the floor and in Mac's hand was a gun. Scully looked past Mac to Harm's bed and knew when she saw the sheet had been pulled up over Harm's face. Mulder was still looking at Mac.
"Mac, Please put down the gun."
Mac dropped the gun to the floor and turned to the bed and put her head down on Harm's chest and started to cry again. Mulder went over and picked up the gun off the floor. The doctor rushed over to Webb and pronounced him dead. The doctor went to make arrangements for the bodies to be picked up.
Across the hall, Sting was enjoying the show. <I guess, my work is done and I didn't do a thing> Peaking out the door, he walked to the elevator and got in. The elevator door opened to the lobby of the hospital. Walking out and into the lobby, Sting got an uneasy feeling. He started towards the glass front doors, stopping dead in his tracks. Standing outside the front doors, where FBI and CIA agents. "Damn," whispering and going to the stairs and down to the basement parking.
Sting made it to the basement. He found a plumbers van parked in the basement parking and inside it had a pair of coveralls. After he put the clothes on, he got into the van and made his way to the exit. At the exit, he saw a couple of agents stopping all the cars and searching them. The car in front of him went through and the agents motioned for him to pull on up. Just as he got to the agents, he floored the van and was gone out of sight.
OUTSIDE OF HARM'S ROOM
PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
0800 LOCAL TIME
Mulder pulled out a radio. "Did you get him? What do you mean he got away?" Looking at Scully, "We better go tell them." Turning and walking into the room,
"They let him get away!"
"Damn it!" Webb said as he got up off the floor. "We need to get Harm into a safe house. We cannot be sure if Sting will believe our performance or not now."
"Are you okay, Webb?" Mac asked as she walked over to him.
"Yeah, will you help me get this vest off? It weighs a ton. Remind me never get you mad at me again. I thought you were really going to kill me," Webb said.
Smiling at Webb, Mac said in a teasing voice, "I thought about it. Harm would be mad if he didn't get to do it first."
Laughing at that Webb shock his head. "Yeah, you are right."
The doctor walked in and wanted to look over Harm, before he was moved to the safe house. "He will be fine, but he needs rest and some TLC."
Scully looked at the doctor. "We will make sure he gets lots of rest and the Colonel here will make sure he get the TLC."
Mac could feel her face blush as Scully turned and winked at her. Everybody laughed. "Yes, sir, I will," was all Mac could say.
STING'S MOTEL ROOM
0930 LOCAL TIME
He had ditched the van about an hour ago. Walking to the hotel, he was cold and very ticked off. Pulling out his cell phone, he dialed a number. "Viper needs to be taken care of. NOW!"
Throwing the phone down on the bed, he thought to himself, Bringing him out of his thought; he heard his cell phone ringing.
"Yes! I don't care where they have him. I want him dead. He can lead them straight to us. Do you understand that? Good! Next time I hear from you the job better be finished or I will finish you!!" Sting said as he paced around the room.
PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
Harm woke up and looked around his room. "Mac?" his voice barely over a whisper.
Mac was sleeping with her head on the bed. She raised her head and saw his eyes looking at her.
"I'm sorry, Mac."
Putting her finger to his lips, "This is not the place or the time, Harm. We are fixing to move you to a safe house and when all this mess is over. We will talk, okay?"
Webb walked in. "Mac, we are ready to move him. Well, nice to see you awake, Rabb." He walked over to the bed. "You gave us all a scare, Rabb. Your Marine nearly killed me."
Smiling Harm look over at Mac. "That's my Jarhead."
Part 14 by Kimberly Knipp (MCK8686@aol.com)
PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
Webb sighed and moved a step closer to the bed. "Sting is here, Rabb. We think he's after you but he escaped the blockade outside the hospital."
Harm swore under his breath. "What are we going to do?"
"Set a trap," Webb answered simply.
PUEBLO GENERAL HOSPITAL
Cautiously Sting traced his way into the hospital through the laundry entrance. They wouldn't be suspecting him to return here - not with all the men they had on duty. It was the perfect time for him to make his move.
Mac had an uneasy feeling in her stomach. It was rare for her to have flimflams in her belly but these were in full force now and growing more uncomfortable by the moment. She was in a small room away form the others were her vantage pint would let her see anyone approaching. She pressed a hand to her stomach and drew in a slow, deep breath. Their plan would work - and there were enough men planted around the hospital to start a small war. Carefully, she eased the door shut and stepped back into darkness. Before she could draw another thought, she found herself in a chokehold - a man's hand covering her mouth and the cold steel of a knife pressing into the tender flesh of her throat.
"Don't move, Colonel, and I may not hurt you."
Mac gave a sharp nod against the man's hold, fear whispering through her.
"I'm going to move my hand. If you make one sound I'll cut your throat."
Mac nodded again, feeling the cold, emotionless voice clear to her soul. She knew without a doubt Sting was holding her. He removed his hand and she nervously licked her lips.
"We knew you'd come back," she whispered.
"I couldn't let Webb and Rabb get away with this. They turned my own men against me. Now where is Rabb?"
"I don't know who..."
Mac's air supply was cut off again when he hand closed around her throat, knocking her head back against the door.
"Don't lie to me. I know all about your relationship with him. I know he's been here since that couple rescued him. I know my men botched their earlier job. I should have known then if I wanted something done right I had to do it myself."
Harm knew something was wrong. There hadn't been a peep in the corridors of the hospital but he felt it in the pit of his stomach all the same. Restlessly, he moved around his room. He was dressed, feeling only small twinges of pain now and prowling the floor in darkness. They expected Sting to return here. He wouldn't stop until he killed Harm and probably Webb, too. And if not here then somewhere else. Again the feeling of unease swamped him. Gingerly, he eased open the door and slipped into the hall. Easily, he slipped the gun in the back of his waistband free, bringing it around in front of him. When he reached the narrow hall that went left of the main area, he stopped cold. The two men placed there as a buffer for Mac were lying on the ground. Then Harm knew with certainty that Sting had Mac. Holding his gun before him, he swept the hall with his gaze.
"Sting, I know you're somewhere close enough to hear me. You came here to get me - let Mac go."
"Ahh, finally, you've come. I knew it wouldn't take you long to figure out something was wrong. Colonel MacKenzie is fine for the time being. You do what I tell you and she'll remain that way. You're the most worthy opponent I've ever had, Rabb. I must admit you've tested my patience. I've never met an agent with your kind of tenacity. It's too bad I couldn't convince you to come over to my side of the fence. Your talents could be put to much better use with rewards beyond your dreams."
"Let her go, Sting. This is between us."
Mac remained quiet, knowing Harm would have to focus if he was going to save them both.
"Yes," Sting drawled. "I'm aware of that fact. But why would I want to let her go? She's quite useful to my plan. Besides, she's very lovely and I can see what draws you to her."
Sting's words taunted Harm. "If you hurt her I'll rip your heart out."
The older man's laughter rang out. "You haven't even been able to catch me. What makes you think you can kill me?"
"Don't underestimate me, Sting."
Sting moved forward then, coming out of the dark doorway and into the light of the hall. Harm kept his gun trained on the older man.
"Go back, Harm," Mac pleaded softly.
Mac's frustration and fear were evident. She tugged on Sting's arm but only succeeded in getting him to marginally loosen his hold.
"Let her go, Sting. You don't need her anymore. I'm here face-to-face," Harm taunted lightly.
"You're not being very smart, Rabb. I could kill you where you stand. You wouldn't risk firing and hitting your lovely partner," Sting sneered.
"Maybe," Harm shrugged. "Maybe I'll kill you first."
The two men stared at each other for several long minutes. Tension curled through Harm's body, pulling his muscles taut, honing his instincts and blocking out everything except the man standing in his line of vision. After all the long months of tracking the double agent, Harm never suspected it would come down to this. A showdown in the hallway of a hospital. A face-off only one of them would walk away from.
Mac's mind worked furiously, trying to think of a way to get away from the man holding her and wishing desperately she could see both of their faces. She feared for Harm's life - knowing that the only way he could stop the man holding her was to kill him. She knew, without a doubt, he would give Harm no other choice.
Harm was close enough now to read the look in Sting's eyes. He could see no emotion there, only a cold finality of what lie ahead. The demise of his nemesis or perhaps - even his own death.
"What's it going to be, Sting? You gonna hide behind a woman?" Harm taunted.
"I have only one strand of patience left and you're standing on it. You're brave to come out in the open. I could easily put a bullet between your eyes."
"Maybe," Harm nodded casually.
Almost imperceptibly, Mac felt Sting's arm loosen. Then she made her move. She hit him hard in the midsection with her elbow then snapped her head back, feeling it connect with Sting.
"Harm!" she screamed, flinging herself to the ground.
Two cracks of gunfire rent the air simultaneously and then all was silent. Stunned, Mac lay still - trying to catch her breath. Slowly, she lifted her head, listening for something - anything to tell her who was still standing.
She was in his arms before he could say more.
"I'm so glad you're all right!" she cried with relief. "I thought he was going to kill you! I thought..."
Harm's mouth covered hers before she could get the last words out. Mac's arms went around his neck, holding him as tightly as she could while his mouth plundered the sweet warmth of hers. Harm tore his mouth from hers with a deep groan, framing her face in his hands.
"I love you," he whispered raggedly. "I'm not waiting another second to tell you that," he stated, staring deep into her eyes.
Mac pretty mouth melted into a breathtaking smile. "I love you, too."
"Harm! Mac! Are you okay?"
Harm and Mac turned slightly and saw Webb, Mulder and Scully racing toward them. They parted just a fraction of an inch and both nodded.
"Fine," Harm answered.
Webb stepped swiftly past them and knelt beside Sting. He stood a second later.
"He's dead," he announced to no one in particular.
"He was holding Mac. I had no other choice," Harm stated simply.
"No loss," Webb muttered and then turned up the corners of his mouth in a sardonic grin. "Now what do you say we all get the hell out of here?"
NORTH OF UNION STATION
"Glad to be home?"
Harm set down the sack of groceries he was carrying and sighed. "Definitely. And glad this whole mess is behind us."
"Webb called while you were out. He said they found Adler dead in some back alley. Probably by Sting or his men. And Mulder and Scully send their best."
She was standing at the window, looking out at the dark night sky. There was a tense set to her shoulders. He walked over behind her. She felt his warmth at her back and squeezed her eyes shut. Harm slid his hands down her arms to her hands, twining his fingers through hers. He lifted her arms with his and wrapped them around her, drawing her back against him.
"You feeling okay?" he murmured, against her hair.
Mac nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
Harm sighed. Something was definitely bothering her. Mac felt every breath he took and emotions swamped her. She was confused now about them. Things were different now - too far different for them to go back.
"We have some things to talk about," Harm murmured gently, his warm breath fanning the hair at her temple.
Slowly, he turned her around to face him and lifted one hand. Tenderly, he pushed a strand of dark hair back from her face. "Would you please tell me what happened and how you found me?"
Slowly, she began to tell him her side of the event. Starting with the visit from Mulder and Scully to tell her Harm was missing. She told him about blaming Webb until the other man told her Harm was a willing participant in the mission. He could feel the anger vibrating from her when she told him in a cold voice about wanting to kill Webb. The hours that followed as Webb pulled in every string he could to find Harm.
She went on to explain about finding him at the Bronston home. About knowing he was there because she could feel his presence as surely as if he'd been standing beside her. And Harm listened while she talked - listened to all the things she was saying and to everything she wasn't. She surprised him further by telling him that John Bronston had known and that the older man knew the fathers of Webb and Mulder.
"When I saw you on that cot in their house..." she paused for a moment and swallowed hard, looking down at the floor between her feet. "I've never been more terrified of anything in my life. I didn't even know if you were still alive. Marie told me they came close to losing you more than once."
Her beautiful brown eyes were so full of pain. Harm knew she hadn't quite come to terms with what happened. It would take her some time. All the same, he knew exactly how she felt because it was the same way he felt. He slid from his chair and knelt on the carpet at her feet. He covered her hands where they rested on her lap and squeezed them tightly.
"I would have died myself if anything had happened to you," she whispered haltingly, squeezing his hands. Tears blurred her vision and she blinked rapidly to clear them. Without a word, he laid his head down in her lap, and his arms went around her lower legs, hugging them. Tenderly, she slid her hands into the thick coolness of his hair. They sat there for several minutes, not saying anything else. Finally, Harm pulled back slightly.
"Thank you," he whispered deeply.
"For what?" Mac asked tenderly, reaching out to touch his cheek.
"For making me free."
"We've wasted a lot of time. I propose we make a pact right there and now. No more double talk and second-guessing. I want a future with you built on exactly what made our friendship so strong in the first place. Respect, love, honesty communication. All the things that make us strong. The things that make you and I a team."
Mac leaned forward slightly and pressed her lips to his. "I want that, too," she murmured against his mouth. "I don't ever want to be away from you again."
"All I want from you is your best. Besides, fighting will just give us a chance to make up," he grinned wickedly.
Mac laughed delightedly. "I'll make another pact with you, flyboy. Let's promise never to go to bed mad at each other. No matter what."
"Deal, ninja-girl. My heart will always be with you. I love you from the very bottom of my heart," he stated simply.
Mac gave him the biggest, brightest smile he'd ever seen from her.
"I love you, too, flyboy. Forever."