The Commander crosses the bullpen in a few
steps. Slams the door of his office close behind him. And I seriously mean
slams. The Major has been gone for two and a half weeks now, and I can't really
say that the Commander has been feeling better now that she's gone. His mood
has dropped to below zero.
As I knock on his office door, I realize that he has to be missing the Major very much. And he should be. She's his wife. It would be weird if he didn't miss her. I open up the door after I've knocked again, and stop when I realize that he's on the phone. His chair is turned with the back to the door and he's staring out of the window.
"…don't know what to do anymore, Mom. It's getting harder and harder every day. Gabe keeps staring out of the window at night, asking me when his Mom is going to come home. And all I can tell him is that I hope it will be soon. There is nothing about it that I can do to make it easier…"
Oh, poor kids. Of course they miss the Major. She's their mother. And the Commander misses her too. Terribly. "We talked about it the other day. Well, at least we tried to… … No, Sarah just really thinks that it's her that should be the one resigning and staying with the kids."
I softly walk back out of the office and close the door behind me. If they really talked about that, it means that we're gonna have to say good bye to one of them. I'm not the one who can judge them, because we're about to have a baby, but maybe, with three kids… I'd probably do the same. About ten minutes later, I try the office door again, hoping that the Commander is done now. After I hear the familiar 'Enter!', I enter the office and smile at the Commander. He gives me a small smile in return. "What can I do for you, Lieutenant?"
I hand him a file. "I just wanted your signature on this, sir."
He reaches for a pen at the same moment the phone rings. Shooting me an apologetic smile, he picks it up. "Rabb." For about ten seconds, all he does is listen to the caller. Then his eyes grow wide. "What? Where? Is it serious?" The Commander pushes his chair back and rises; a worried expression on his face. "Where are they taking him?"
I calmly stand there; pretend that there is nothing out of the ordinary going on. But this whole thing is out of the ordinary. That's the thing. Something's happened. The Commander grabs his briefcase and starts to pack it while still being on the phone. "All right, I'll be there shortly. Tell him that I'm on my way, all right?"
With that, he puts the phone down. Gets into his coat and grabs his briefcase off his desk. "Gabe had a little accident on the playground. They're sending him over to the hospital."
I nod. "Of course, sir. I'll inform the Admiral." Giving him a reassuring smile, I add: "Everything will be fine, sir."
He steps out of his office and starts to walk out. "I hope so, Harriet."
Yeah, so do I. After I informed the Admiral, I spend the next twenty minutes on finding an old report down in Archives for Major Garcia and when I get back in the bullpen, Commander Jones is on the phone with someone I know. She overheard the conversation I had with the Admiral earlier when I told him that Commander Rabb had to go to the emergency room with Gabriel.
"No, I'm afraid Harm's not in, right now. Can I take a message?" Commander Jones asks, reaching for a notepad and a pen. "Where Harm is? He had to run to the emergency room with his little boy… Something about a little accident on the playground."
I bite my lip. Why does she have to say it in such a casual manner? Gabe's the Major's son as well. Oh right, that's still something kept under wraps. I don't have any idea why they're doing that. Keeping things under wraps, that is. Every time I see the two of them together it strikes me again how good they are together. How much in love with each other and their kids they are.
"I didn't see him when he headed out, Mac. Harriet's the last person who saw him." Thanks for bringing me in the mix, Commander. Mandy looks up and mentions for me to come over. "She's right here. I'll hand her over." She holds out the phone to me. "Mac wants to talk to you."
Yeah, so much I'd gathered. "Major?"
"What the hell happened to Gabe, Harriet?"
That is absolutely the Major. And she's not happy. "Nothing much, ma'am. The Commander got a phone call saying that there had been a little accident on the playground with Gabriel, and that's all I know, ma'am."
I close my eyes when she goes on. "That's my son, Harriet! If something serious happened to Gabe and I'm not there… If he's in a lot of pain…"
"Ma'am," I try to calm her down, "if something serious happened to Gabriel, I'm sure that you'll be the first to know. The Commander is with him now, and I think that everything will be fine."
I can hear her sigh on the other end of the line. She's trying to regain composure. "I'm sorry, Harriet. I'm just a little freaking out here. It's been two and half weeks since I came here, and I've missed Reen's first tooth, and Noa's birthday is coming up and I still don't know if they're going to let me get out of here before that and now this…" She sighs again. "I'll just wait for Harm to call me."
I force a smile. My guess is that the Major turned herself into a complete mother. Mother and wife first, Marine and lawyer second. "I wouldn't worry too much, ma'am. I'm sure everything will be fine."