Title: Confused Memories (28/29)
Category: Drama, Romance, Crossover (JAG/Harry Potter)
Spoilers: Through "The One That Got Away" (JAG); Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter)
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters. The JAG universe belongs to DPB and his gang, and the Harry Potter universe belongs to the goddess, JKR.
Chapter 28: In which there is a serious discussion
"The seatbelt lights have been turned off. You are now free to move about the cabin."
Sarah smiled tiredly at AJ. They had been on the move all day. After leaving Hogwarts, they had Apparated directly to the hospital. Leaving the hospital, they had been accosted by dozens of reporters begging for a scoop. They had jumped into a cab and hurried to the airport. They had had to avoid more reporters at the airport, go through security, and check their luggage. Then, they had a six-hour flight to Dulles to suffer through.
"You know, this is a pretty nice plane when you don't have to sit around the entire time," Clay said.
Mac whispered, "Clay, you know better than to appear when there are Muggles around! It's a violation of your permit! Wait until we get to JAG, okay?" The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures (Spirit Division) had allowed Clay to leave Hogwarts, as long as he chose one area to remain in. He chose JAG Ops--which had not made AJ happy, but had amused Mac to no end.
"Fine," Clay mock-sulked, disappearing. Mac rolled her eyes at AJ.
"He's going to be more trouble after death than before it," AJ said, shaking his head.
"You've got that right, sir," Mac agreed.
"Mac," AJ said. "Call me AJ. At least for now."
"All right... AJ." Mac bit her lip. "This probably isn't the most opportune time, but seeing as we have six hours without interruption..." she trailed off.
"You want to talk," AJ finished.
"We need to, AJ. What are we going to do when we get home? I can't just put this behind me. I don't want to."
"Mac," AJ began, "First, I want to tell you how sorry I am for taking advantage of..." Mac placed a finger on his lips.
"No. You did not take advantage of me. I knew exactly what I was doing when I approached you. If I recall correctly, you tried to stop me several times."
"I should have tried harder."
"You're only human, AJ. Stop beating up on yourself." Mac narrowed her eyes. "And now, I'm only going to ask this once. Do you love me?"
"Of course," AJ said.
Mac softened her voice. "Are you in love with me?"
AJ gazed into her deep brown eyes. "Yes," he whispered.
"Then why the hell did you say you weren't, you big jerk?" Mac exclaimed, drawing attention from a few of the other passengers. She lowered her voice. "You broke my heart, damn it. Why did you do that? Why did you push me away?"
"What was I supposed to do, Mac? I'm still your commanding officer. We still can't do anything about our feelings. You know that. It's your job to know that."
"Yes, it is. But AJ, I'm not going to be your subordinate forever. In fact..."
AJ turned to her. "In fact, what?" he asked suspiciously.
Mac bit her lip. "I was offered a job in the Department of International Magical Cooperation," she said. "They need someone with my language skills, I've already traveled all around the world, and I can be diplomatic--which is more than can be said for the current ambassador," she said wryly.
"But... I thought you loved being a lawyer," AJ said.
"I do. But I can't turn my back on my heritage. I learned that the hard way. This is a great opportunity--and a great challenge. And it gets me out of your chain of command."
"It also gets you out of the Corps."
Mac smiled secretively. "Not necessarily." AJ raised an eyebrow, and Mac answered his unspoken question. "My new designator will be Intelligence, but I'll be TAD to the DIMC for an indefinite amount of time."
"You've really thought this out, haven't you?" AJ said dryly.
"Yes. So what do you think, Admiral?" she said formally.
"First--transfer request approved. Be in my office next Monday for an exit interview." Mac smiled. "Second--marry me."
Mac's jaw dropped in shock. "What?!"
"You heard me. Marry me."
"Wait. Yesterday you told me you didn't love me. Today, you're asking me to marry you? AJ, that's enough to give a girl whiplash!"
"I told you my reasons for that. I've loved you for a long time, Mac. I just haven't been allowed to say it. Technically, I'm still not. But I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
"Whoa! We barely know each other, AJ. Sure, we know that we're compatible at work--and in bed--but we don't know each other on a personal level. Don't you think we should do that first, before jumping into marriage?"
AJ nodded. "If you want to slow it down, then we will. We have plenty of time, after all." They shared a smile. "Just know that the offer's on the table."
"'The offer's on the table'?" Mac repeated. "You sound like you're making a plea bargain."
"I am. For my heart."
Mac's eyes filled with tears. "You're a closet romantic, AJ Chegwidden."
He grinned. "Don't tell anyone. I'd hate to have to kill you."
She lay her head on his shoulder. "Don't worry. Your secret's safe with me."