Spoilers: Through the beginning of season nine.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No infringement is intended.
Sadik was dead.
Mac paced the room, her mouth set in a grim line. She should have felt relieved. After all, the cloud that had been hanging over their heads for months was now gone.
However, everything came with a price. Mac flung herself into a chair and clasped her hands in her lap. She gazed at the man on the bed, seeing not the tubes and machines keeping him alive, but the vibrant, energetic man he had been.
"Damn you, Rabb! How many times do I have to tell you I can take care of myself?" she whispered. She took Harm's hand carefully.
When Clay had found Sadik's latest hideout, Mac had insisted on going with him. Clay had objected, but Mac refused to give in. After all, she had been with him in Paraguay. She knew what that bastard was capable of. Besides... she wasn't one prone to vengeance, but she had to see with her own eyes that Sadik was gone.
She told Harm that she was taking time off. He, the stubborn lawyer that he was, quickly deduced what she was doing. He didn't say anything, just followed her quietly. She hadn't even known he was there.
The next few days were a blur in her memory. She remembered screams, and explosions, and gunshots. However, what stood out in her mind the most was the way Sadik's eyes had locked on hers as she emptied her gun into his chest. She shuddered. She was a Marine, sure--but she would never grow used to killing. Even if it was necessary for her own survival.
In the insanity of the gunfight, she had lost track of Clay was. When Beth O'Neil, the CIA pilot Clay had conscripted to help them on their mission, had landed in the nearby field, Mac had insisted on going back to find him. Harm hadn't even argued with her--he was used to the 'leave no man behind' mindset.
They had found him beneath a flipped-over car. They had pulled him out... but it was too late. No hospital could help him. Mac had carried him to the airplane, despite his wheezed protests to leave him and save themselves.
And then... and then...
Mac gripped Harm's hand tighter, as if that could stop the onslaught of memories. And then the last man had shot at them. Harm covered her as she had run the rest of the way to the plane. When he didn't come back, she had gone searching for him. She found one dead gunman... and one nearly-dead Naval officer.
Even though she was exhausted, she had found the strength to drag Harm to the airplane. She alternated between worry, guilt, and rage--like she did now.
It was her fault. She made so many wrong decisions. Clay was dead--Harm was almost dead. They weren't the only casualties in this personal war, though.
Porter Webb, for one. She lost her husband to the CIA... and now she had lost her only son, as well.
Mattie. Oh, God. What was she going to say to Mattie? Yet another adult--yet another loved one--was being ripped from her. She was so young. Mac prayed Mattie would handle it better than she had herself.
The entire JAG staff. Bud, Harriet, Coates, the Admiral... Harm was family to them. Harm was JAG. The staff was adrift without him--that had been proven when Harm had resigned his commission.
Herself. Every man she had ever loved... Mac bit down on her lip hard. She blinked, startled, when she tasted the coppery tang of blood.
She paused in her self-flagellation; listening to the monotone beeping that told the listener Harm was still hanging on.
"You fight, Harm. I'll be right here. I'm not going anywhere."
They had won... but was any victory worth this price?