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By: Ultracape - Ultracape@aol.com
Spoilers: In Country
Disclaimer: Do people actually think we could possibly make money off of this?
Summery: A socio-political discussion of comparative cultural prerogatives and interpersonal relations leads to goat herding. You think I’m kidding?
All feedback welcome.
On the road in Afghanistan
It was hot, when it wasn't freezing. It was impossible to keep the sand out
of everything from the driving winds, when it wasn't so deathly calm you
couldn’t get a breath. The roads were so bumpy they could cause an abortion,
where there were roads. And to top it all off, if the natives could possibly
figure a way to charge for breathing the air, they would, and at five times
the going rate.
Yet the man sitting next to her had the biggest silliest smile on his face
she had ever seen. "You like it here," Lieutenant Colonel Sarah "Mac"
MacKenzie accused her partner Commander Harmon "Harm" Rabb, Jr.
Even as they traveled over the odorous deposits recently left by a camel
crossing the road, Harm nodded,
"You wouldn't understand."
How could he explain it to her? How could he explain that for the first time
in a very long time, he felt like the two of them were true partners? Again!
Their banter was back and yet they were not competing, not trying to outdo
the other, not trying to win. How could he tell her how great it felt to be
alone with her, where no one, like a video princess or a cocky Australian,
could butt into their growing bond? And most importantly, how could he tell
her that it felt so free to be able to show some affection without the fear of
Harm felt that Sarah was his true equal, or better, in almost everything and
it was just so great being around her. But because of the types of lives they
led, it was only here, in this god-forsaken place that he really got to enjoy
her company without all the pain of regrets. How could he tell her that he
"It's man's country." Oh, that was one of the stupidest things he had ever
said. Maybe only that remark about Mac's relationships, or his really idiotic
performance on that ferry, may it sink into the sea with Bugme on it, could
match. She'd get him for that one though, he was sure of it and he kind of
looked forward to it.
"Ah, and there's two of them right there."
Chagrinned at his less than adequate performance in negotiating their
passage, Harm sat back and awaited with anticipation and enjoyment the
riposte from his last stupid remark.
"The problem with Man's Country is that it's governed by men."
"True, but at least we understand each other and with no misunderstandings,
especially those caused by trying to figure out the female species, progress
can be made."
Mac barely forced back a laugh, "Harm, you're talking about one of the most
backward countries in the world."
"But at least men here have figured out how to handle their women."
"You're kidding, right?"
Was he kidding, he really didn't know. Yet in true Rabb fashion he had to
defend his stupid remark to the last. Besides, the gauntlet had been tossed
and who was he not to pick it up?
"No, I’m not. Men here don’t have to think about, such nonsense as oh say, ‘Men Were From Mars and Women Are From Venus,’ or keep track of the Pissed At Men’s Shit time of the month.”
Mac rolled her eyes. “Right, besides, here women don’t have to wait for a time of the month to be pissed at men’s shit. They can be pissed at men’s shit all month long.”
Harm turned to face her as he merrily digged himself in deeper. “Look Mac, what I mean to say is if you and I lived here then instead of just dreaming about forbidden fruit, I could just go to your father or uncle or nearest male relative and say, 'I'm in love with Sarah and I want to take her as my wife and though she’s worth more than I could ever have, I’ll give you ten goats for her. And before you knew it, we'd be married, you'd be barefoot and pregnant and I'd be happily raising goats and children, not necessarily in that order. And there wouldn't be any regulations, mores, rules, laws or what have you to come between us."
Harm hadn't realized that during his rush of male justification, of his
stupid remark, the jeep had stopped and Mac was attempting to catch her
breath while staring wide eyed at him, unable to close her mouth. It was only
the soft choking sounds made by her that brought his attention back to the
here and now.
"Mac, are you alright," Harm immediately moved over to her trying to find
what was causing her such distress. "Mac, Mac, speak to me."
After a few more gulps of air Mac regained some power of speech.
"Would you mind repeating what you just said," she gasped, "ah, just for the
“What did I say?"
"That thing about the goats."
Oh G-d, "Ah, did I say that out loud?" Mac slowly nodded her head. Unable to
remove his foot from his mouth, Harm realized that by some miracle he had
actually said something that he wouldn't need to apologize for later. In
fact, Mac was starting to smile a really beautiful smile.
"Ah, so, Mac, what do you say when we get back to the states, we, you know,
do the married thing? That is, of course, if you want to?"
Maybe there was an aura, spirit or force that compelled female compliance to
male domination that stigmatized the country, because against every American cultural feminist prerogative Mac the Marine had in her, she felt herself continue to nod.
"Okay, good, we'll do that then." Harm settled back in his seat and felt his
smile growing from ear to ear. This was working out better than he had ever
"And, ah Mac."
She continued to nod.
"You know I love you."
"Yeah," that smile was dazzling him.
"You can start the car now. Sooner we get this mission done the sooner we
can, you know, start on the children thing."
"Uh, huh." She turned back to the task of steering the Humvee along the very
Harm was really starting to like this place. It just made things so much
"Children yes, goats no."
"Anything you say, Mac, anything you say."
AN: I just felt that the remark about Man's Country was too good to pass up.
I really couldn't see a liberated man who boasted of his unchauvinistic ways
saying such a stupid thing. Then I realized, we're talking about Harm here. I
hope you enjoyed.
AN2: I don’t know why so many fanfic writers have shown Harm to be a romantic. To my recollection, Jordan said he was and he spent $60 on flowers for Renee, but other than that, nada. He doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body. So I figured that if he were ever to ask Mac to marry him, it would have to be in the same way he has managed to NOT ask Mac to marry him, by putting his foot in his mouth.
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