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All the King's Horses Chapter 11

Title: All the King's Horses
Chapter: 11
Show: JAG
Disclaimers: None of this is mine
Setting: Season 8
Summary: After Harm intervenes in a moment of crisis, Loren attempts to put the pieces of her life back together.

0205 local time
114 George Washington Blvd
Washington DC

   ..."Please! Stop!"
   She redoubled her efforts but wasn't able to draw any closer to the hazy shadow of a man that was in front of her.
   Desperately she reached out. "Please! Give me back my baby!"
   At that the shadow stopped and turned around, revealing the face of Theodore Lindsey. Cradled in his arms was a peacefully sleeping infant.
   She tried to move towards him but was unable to.
   Lindsey looked down at the baby in his arms then back up at her. "Why should I give her to you. You don't deserve to be a mother. In fact, you don't even deserve to live."
   Suddenly she found herself dangling from the bridge railing. Lindsey stood over her, watching as she slowly lost her grip.
   "Please! Help me!"
   But he didn't move and finally she couldn't hold on anymore. She fell into the darkness, the sound of fast moving water rushing up to meet her.

   Loren sat bolt upright in bed, her heart racing and her breath coming in panicked gasps.
   Loren half turned and reached out to turn on the bedside lamp then pushed sweat soaked hair out of her face. She'd been having a variation of this dream since waking up in the hospital. And no matter what she did in it, it always ended the same way.
   With a sigh, Loren threw the covers back and swung her feet out of bed. Even if she was able to fall back to sleep, she'd simply find herself back in that nightmare again.
   Suddenly needing to get out of her apartment, she threw on some clothes and grabbed her car keys. And while she didn't have any particular destination in mind when she started driving, she couldn't say she was all that surprised with where she ended up.

Knock Knock Knock
   The sound penetrated his unconscious and Harm groaned, rolling over in bed as consciousness slowly returned. He cracked open one eye and glanced at the clock on his nightstand. 0233
   He groaned again.
Knock Knock Knock
   "Okay, okay." He called out. "I'm coming."
   Grabbing a pair of jeans lying on the floor at the end of the bed, he stepped into them and stumbled over to the door. After fumbling with the locks he pulled the door open.
   "Loren." He said, surprise driving away the lingering sleepiness. "What are you..."
   "I didn't know where else to go."
   She seemed on the verge of tears and despite his anger at her Harm's heart went out to her.
   "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have come." She turned to go.
   Harm sighed. "No, it's okay." He reached out and laid a hand on her shoulder. "Come on in."
   Loren sat huddled on the couch while Harm went into the kitchen. He started heating up some water while rummaging through his cupboards, finally finding what he was looking for shoved in the back corner of the far cabinet. It didn't take very long for the water to start boiling and in short order he had a cup of chamomile tea fixed up. He walked back into the living room and handed it to Loren. She hesitated a moment before reaching out to take it, sipping at it mechanically.
   Slowly at first, she started talking, pausing only to sip at her tea. Harm sat there beside her, listening as she described her nightmares in vivid detail. Inside he felt like kicking himself. Once again he'd misjudged her, this time by not bothering to look past her words to see all the hurt and pain and insecurity she was trying to hide. Why she couldn't have just told him the truth the other day he couldn't say but it was clear to him now that the woman sitting next to him would give anything to be able to go back and do things differently.
   Finally she ran out of words and fell silent.
   "Have you talked to anyone about this?" Harm asked quietly.
   "I'm talking to you, aren't I?" She said, laying her head on his shoulder. She raised her hand to cover up a yawn.
   "That wasn't exactly what I meant." Harm said. "It might help to talk to someone..."
   Harm trailed off as he looked down and saw Loren's eyes closed. Carefully he took the empty tea cup from her hands and set it on the floor beside the couch. Turning his attention back to Loren he saw that a strand of hair had fallen into her face. Carefully he reached out and tucked it behind her ear.
   He hesitated a moment before pulling his hand back, continuing to look at her. He couldn't deny it anymore, how he felt about her. But he couldn't tell her either. The last thing he wanted was for her to think he was doing all of this because he was trying to get something from her.
   Harm sighed. He started to shift around on the couch so he could lay Loren down on it. She seemed to be sleeping peacefully so he wasn't going to wake her up just to send her home. As soon as he started moving, though, she started stirring. So with another sigh Harm stayed where he was. He stretched his legs out so his feet rested on the coffee table and pulled the afghan off the back of the couch. Draping it over the two of them as best he could with only one hand, he tried to make himself comfortable.

   Hovering somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, Loren was only aware of how rested she felt. She couldn't remember the last time she had gotten a good night's sleep.
   The next thing she became aware of was the feeling of being pressed up against another person. Panicked, she bolted upright, pulling away from the mystery man as she tried to remember just what had happened last night. She remembered having another one of her nightmares and then going for a drive. She turned her head to look at her sleeping companion and it all came back to her as she recognized Harmon Rabb. Despite her movements he was still asleep, his head bent to the side at what had to be an uncomfortable angle.
   Her lips curved up in a slight smile, touched by the discomfort he had endured for her sake. Deep inside behind all of the walls she had built up, she felt something stirring inside her. And the smile faded as panic started to kick in.
   Trying desperately to untangle herself from the blanket wrapped around her, all she knew was that she had to get out of there. Finally she managed to free herself. Heading towards the door, she glanced around for anything she might have brought over with her.
   "You don't have to leave."
   His words stopped her cold. Loren turned around to see him rubbing at his neck, no doubt trying to work a kink out of it.
   "I can make breakfast."
   "No thanks, I don't eat." Realizing what she'd said, Loren tried to rephrase. "Breakfast. I don't eat breakfast."
   Not giving him a chance to respond, Loren turned and fled, leaving Harm alone in his apartment.

0930 local time
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia

   "Are you busy Loren?"
   Loren looked up from the brief she was writing to see Harriet Sims standing in the doorway of her office.
   "I'm kind of in the middle of something Harriet."
   "This will only take a minute." Harriet said, walking into the room. She took a second to close the office door before continuing. "I just wanted to see how you were doing. See if there was anything you wanted to talk about."
   Loren looked at Harriet, narrowing her eyes at the other woman. Then she sighed and set her pen down.
   "Commander Rabb sent you." It wasn't a question.
   "He's worried about you." Harriet said finally. It wasn't a confirmation exactly, but it wasn't a denial either.
   "I'm fine." Loren said, a little more forcefully than she needed to. She winced as Harriet flinched.
   "Okay." Harriet said, backing up towards the door. "But if you change your mind about wanting to talk..."
   Loren opened her mouth then closed it again without saying anything. She watched Harriet turn around. The other woman was almost to the door before Loren spoke up again.
   "I'm sorry."
   Harriet froze. "What?"
   The shock was obvious in her voice. Slowly she turned back around to face Loren.
   Loren pushed her chair back and stood up, walking around her desk.
   "For the way I cross-examined you." She didn't say when, but then she didn't have to. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that to you. I had no idea..."
   "Oh Loren..."
   Harriet crossed the room and enveloped the other woman in a hug. Loren clung to her as sobs shook her body.

   "Well what Commander?" Harriet replied, turning her head to look at him as she walked through the bullpen.
   Harm fell into step with her.
   "Were you able to get her to talk to you? Is she okay?"
   Harriet stopped. She turned to face Harm directly. "No, Commander, she's not. But she will be. You just have to give her time to heal."
   Harm nodded. It wasn't what he'd been hoping to hear but he would just have to accept that.
   Harriet reached out to squeeze his forearm. She didn't understand why her friend seemed to care so much about Loren Singer, even after everything she'd done, but it was obvious that he did.
   "Make sure she knows you're there for her."
   Harm nodded again. That much, at least, wouldn't be a problem.

   Harm came up to Loren as she walked into the bullpen. He held up the file folder he had in his hand.
   "I've got a few ideas about our case."
   Loren turned to look at him. "You asked Harriet to come talk to me."
   "Um, yes." He said, slowing to a stop. The complete lack of inflection in her voice made it hard to tell if she was angry or not. Loren had stopped walking now too. Oh crap, there goes the eyebrow. She's mad alright. "I just thought that--"
   "That that was exactly what I needed." She laid a hand on his arm. "Thank you."
   Harm stopped, that being the last thing he was expecting to hear. It took him a moment to speak. "Um, your welcome.
   Loren removed her hand from his arm. "Don't do it again."
   Harm nodded. "Right."
   He started walking again, stopping after a second or two when he realized Loren wasn't with him. He turned back around. Loren seemed brace herself.
  "Commander, about what happened in court the other day... The things that were said..."
   Harm held up a hand to stop her. Glancing around, he took her arm and pulled her into a quiet corner. Loren started to speak again but again he stopped her.
   "Loren stop. You don't have to do this."
   Loren looked up at him in confusion. The other day he had all but demanded an explanation. "But the reasons I did what I did..."
   "It doesn't matter." Realizing that that didn't make any sense Harm tried to explain. "You're not the same person you were when you did those things. You've changed. And I'm sorry that for a minute I forgot that. If you do decide to tell me anything it should be on your terms, not mine."
   Not sure how to respond to that Loren just nodded, blinking back sudden tears.
   Then, as if to prove he meant what he'd said, Harm flashed her one of his flyboy grins and changed the subject. "Now come on. We've got a case to work on."


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