CHALLENGE: umm, to fluff Mac in every State...oh, and citrus fruit in a police cruiser....
CHALLENGER: only I would be mad enough to volunteer someone for this...
DISCLAIMERS: not mine, no profit, just fluff....
AUTHOR'S NOTES: It may help if you've read 'A blonde walked into a laptop...' or it may not *g*
"I'm going where Sir?"
"New York City Mac."
"Yes Sir..." Ever a good Marine, Mac knew that was the only way to answer the question. Still, just because she always had a 'sea-bag' packed in the trunk of the Corvette didn't mean it had to be used quite this often....
"Lieutenant Roberts is routing your flights...you're going to be there tomorrow."
"Yes Sir..." Couldn't she just take the shuttle? It was far more comfortable...
"What do you know about citrus fruit Mac?" asked Admiral Chegwidden, leaning back in his chair.
"Lemon and Lime enhances a tonic water Sir?" ventured Mac, really not sure where this conversation was going.
"I suggest you inform Seamen Roberts and Jenkins of that when you see them."
"Yes Sir." There were moments Mac really hated her boss....
"Can I help you?" Serena Southerlyn was not having an especially good day, but, if facial expressions were anything to go by, she was having a better day than the Marine Officer standing stock still in the middle of the corridor.
"I'm sorry?" Mac hadn't been concentrating enough to decipher what had been said by the blonde, merely that she'd been spoken to.
"Can I help you? You look a little..." Serena paused as she tried to settle on a suitable word. She didn't think telling this highly decorated officer she seemed 'lost' was going to be a good plan.
"Out of place? Confused? Lost?" suggested Mac, despairing of her situation and deciding she'd best try seek some help. Battlefields in Bosnia she could navigate; the New York City Courthouse? She was done for....
"We don't see many Marines here..." admitted Serena, smiling shyly at the brunette who was gradually relaxing the rather austere formal facial expression she had been sporting and revealing rich brown eyes that sparkled with amusement at her situation. It really was funny, now Mac thought about it.
"Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie, JAG Officer..." rattled off Mac, holding out her hand in greeting to the blonde, her eyes widening when she heard the lengthy title, "...but I'm normally called Mac..."
"Serena Southerlyn, New York ADA...JAG?"
"Lawyer for the Navy and Marine Corp..." translated Mac, appreciating the strong handshake, but also glad to have found a 'local' who would be familiar with the courthouse.
"Ah, the citrus fruit case?" guessed Serena, her own eyes sparkling with barely concealed mirth. As pranks went, everyone was privately agreeing, it had been a good one, and the arrogant Captain had deserved it. Unfortunately, in public, they had to be a little more serious.
"You know about it?" asked Mac, trying not to groan. She really hated it when her cases involved too many civilians, made it...messy.
"Only as an amused observer who's glad Captain Grounder was the butt of such a joke...my cases are homicides..."
"I'm not allowed to be amused..." observed Mac, deliberately schooling her features when her inner clock reminded her of the time.
"A Marine Colonel thing?" speculated Serena, noticing the change in demeanor immediately.
"No, a defense attorney thing...the Colonel in me's hysterical..." admitted Mac, grinning fleetingly before becoming serious again. There was something about this blonde...
"I was actually going to watch the case..." admitted Serena shyly, nervous about how her admission would sound. She didn't want to seem like a groupie, but...
"Think you could show me the courtroom then? I imagine my clients are already there..." Smiling in agreement, Serena turned around and started leading Mac through the milling crowds towards her courtroom which, for the moment, was empty save for the bailiff supervising the two offending Seamen, who, judging by how he reacted, must have been ex-military.
"Your Colonel's here..." he said, trying not to grin as the two Seamen shared an identical look of 'oh, shit' before springing to their feet and standing at attention, even though Mac was still at the back of the room.
"They're doing that for you?" guessed Serena, impressed. On the rare occasions she'd defended, her clients had never behaved like that...
"Perk of being a Colonel..." shrugged Mac, smiling at Serena before pushing through the gate, determined to get to the bottom of this in about thirty seconds flat. As far as she could tell, the Seamen had only one defense - 'it was a harmless prank Ma'am'...
Fifteen minutes later, the case was concluded, with Mac managing to persuade the courts that, whilst the Seamen were guilty and worthy of penalty, the Navy could award that punishment far more effectively. It was the reason Mac had been sent up for the case, rather than the on-board JAG coming ashore. Rank, on occasion, did have its privileges, including, in this case, being able to put the fear of god into the Seamen and have the Judge convinced that a Navy hearing was the way forwards. Having dispatched the two Seamen into the custody of the waiting military police, Mac was ready to go back to her hotel and have a long soak in a hot bath. Today had been incredibly hard work for what felt like little reward.
"Are all your cases like that?" asked Serena, deciding that there was something about a woman in uniform, or rather, there was something about this woman in that uniform. Anyways, even without the uniform, she was a sucker for tall brunettes with nice legs...
"That entertaining? No..." admitted Mac, surprised but somehow pleased to know that the blonde had waited.
"I was actually going to say 'eloquently argued'..." corrected Serena, enjoying the half smile and faint blush that the compliment caused in her companion.
"Thank you..." Not being the greatest at accepting compliments, and unable to be able to resort to 'Thank you Sir', Mac trailed off, hoping Serena would lead the conversation somewhere new.
"Are you New York based?"
"No, Washington D.C."
"Aren’t there any military lawyers in New York?" asked Serena, genuinely curious.
"Yes, but the JAG wanted me to come...add some rank and position to the Navy's case..." explained Mac, feeling surprisingly relaxed about talking to Serena. There was just something about tall blondes with legs like that...
"Ah, I'm the JAG's Chief of Staff..."
"So that's what the Judge meant when he said he was reassured the Navy was taking this seriously?"
"Yeah...send an overworked lawyer who should be preparing for a murder trial when a green Lieutenant could have done it..." groused Mac, only just about good naturedly.
"Navy politics sounds as bad as ours..." sympathized Serena, disappointed to see that Mac had packed up all her papers. Thinking quickly she asked.
"So, are you having to head back now?" It was 5pm; the shuttle flight wouldn't be too bad...
"No, I've booked leave and am trying a long weekend..."
"Ah, sensible...shopping?" hazarded Serena, attempting to make the small talk last as long as possible. There was just something....
"Maybe...although right now I just need to relax..." The words were out of her mouth before she could think how they'd be interpreted...
"Dinner and a movie?" Fortunately, Serena's mouth was also running ahead of her brain.
"Is this a date?" asked Mac quietly, smiling at the idea.
"Would it matter if I said yes?"
"Yes..." As Mac paused to shoulder her bag, Serena's face fell as she anticipated the rejection.
"...I'm much more likely to enjoy myself if I've got out of this uniform..."
"Ah..." Happily surprised, Serena wasn't entirely sure what else to say.
"This dinner and a movie you've got planned..." teased Mac, knowing full well it was an entirely spontaneous impulse from her new friend, "...can it be combined with my hotel room at the Marriot?"
"Your hotel room?" spluttered Serena, hoping her face didn't reveal her suddenly pounding heart and inner tingling...
"Sure...to change...." began Mac, wondering what else Serena had thought, before suddenly realizing and finding herself liking the idea immediately. Noticing that there was no one left in the courtroom but the two of them, she pushed through the gate before saying casually
"Of course, room service's 24 hours...and I'm sure there's a movie on TV..."