Title: Heart Attack

Author: Shannon S. lemae_298

Category: H/M of course. Angst/Romance

Rating: R for sexual content and maybe one bad word.

Spoilers: Anything before Back In The Saddle. Takes place after Mac leaves Harm's apartment to ask for his help with Imes. He's still upset with Mac.

Summary: Mac's uncle dies, but who does she have to turn too? (No, Webb does not make an appearance.)

Disclaimer: All characters are property of CBS.

Special Thanks: Thanks to Carol for beta reading for me again. I'm starting English classes this week, so hopefully you won't have to spend so much time on my grammar next time.

Mac's Apartment

Saturday 1400

Phone ringing

Mac had just walked in the door from grocery shopping and rushed to answer the phone before the machine picked up.

"Mackenzie."

{"Yes, is this Colonel Sarah Mackenzie?"}

"Yes it is. How can I help you?"

{"Hello, this is Colonel Sheffield; I'm the warden at Leavenworth."}

Mac was surprised and got a very bad feeling in the pit of her stomach; the warden would not personally call her unless something was seriously wrong. She couldn't bring herself to ask all the questions going through her head, so she waited for him to continue, afraid to breath.

{"I'm sorry to have to call you on a Saturday, but I'm afraid I have some bad news concerning your uncle." He paused knowing how much he hated making these phone calls. "At approximately 0800 this morning Mister O'Hara suffered a major coronary attack."}

Mac gasped, but waited for him to continue.

{"Our medical staff was able to stabilize him for a transfer to County Hospital."}

She began to relax when she heard the word 'stabilize'. She also began to breathe again, but her world was quickly shattered with the Colonel's next words.

{"He arrested again in the ambulance and his heart completely stopped. They exhausted all their medical capabilities, but were unable to bring him back….I'm very sorry, Colonel Mackenzie."}

Mac's knees gave out on her and she sank to the floor unable to believe what he just told her. She couldn't speak, she was completely in shock. He couldn't be dead...he just couldn't. She spoke to him the other day; he was coming up for parole next month. She was going to take leave and help him settle in. He was even considering moving to Virginia so he could be closer to her.

Mac was brought out of her thoughts by the voice on the phone.

{"Colonel...Colonel Mackenzie are you there?"}

"Yes...yes I'm here."

{"I'm sorry this must come as a great shock. As far as arrangements go, we can ship the body to Arizona; his state residence or we can cremate him here and send the remains anywhere in the US."}

She was having trouble following what he was saying. All she heard was cremation, or Arizona. "Umm...Arizona...I guess...yeah."

{"Okay, do you have a funeral home we can contact? We're going to need someone to accept the body."}

"Funeral home?" Mac said in a daze. She had no idea what to say. She never planned for this to happen. Anytime her uncle brought up what to do in case something happened to him, she changed the subject. She never wanted to think about Uncle Matt never being there for her. This was too much.

Colonel Sheffield realized she wasn't ready to fully deal with this so he offered her an out.

{"Colonel, I have your e-mail address. I'll send you a list of all the funeral home in Arizona and where they're located. Look them over and get back to me. I'd hate to rush you, but I'm going to need a reply by the end of the day if possible."}

"Okay...thank you...you'll have a reply by 1700." She was going on auto-pilot. She would not break down on the phone with a stranger.

{"Again, I'm sorry for your loss."}

Mac pressed 'end call' and dropped the phone to the floor as her vision burred from tears welling up in her eyes. She couldn't control it any longer; she completely broke down into sobs. Mac was a mess, her shirt was starting to get wet from the continuous flow of tears, her nose was running as well, and she didn't think the ache in her chest would ever go away. In a matter of minutes she allowed her walls to crumble and all that was left was the scared little girl she tried so hard to hide.

Next Morning

0530

Mac finally gave up on sleep and got up. She put on her jogging suit and left her apartment.

Mac had sat on her floor for an hour sobbing uncontrollably, letting her emotions take control of her for once. When she finally got up she was completely exhausted, but she had things to take care of. She checked her e-mail and picked the funeral home closest to Red Rock Mesa. After that, she called Admiral Chegwidden and arranged for emergency leave. He was very kind and offered his help if there was anything she needed. She then called the airlines and booked the first flight available. She had to be at the airport by 1645 the next day.

Although she was exhausted sleep would not come. Mac tossed and turned all night. If she did manage to fall asleep it was never for very long. Every time she woke everything came rushing back and then the tears would come.

She reached for the phone a couple of times during the night to call Harm. Then she would remember he wasn't talking to her and that would make her cry harder. She didn't even have her best friend anymore and it was her fault. Looking back, Mac had no idea why she acted the way she did in Paraguay, but she did know that the price was too high. She never needed him more than she did right now, but she couldn't bring herself to call him. Mac had never felt so alone.

She had no idea how far she had run, but finally stopped at a cafe at 0655. The thought of food made her stomach turn, but she ordered toast with her coffee anyway. She needed to eat something, even if it was just dry toasted bread. She was killing time, so eating slowly wasn't a problem.

Mac needed to call Bud and turn over her current case with Commander Imes, plus brief him on over viewing all of her past cases. With her gone he would be in charge of briefing the Admiral. She wasn't worried about him, after all Harm would be there to help him.

Harm….how could everything have gone so wrong? She had no idea, but suddenly it didn't seem to matter. Harm was mad at her and the Admiral, Mac was mad at Sturgis, Sturgis was mad at Bud, the Admiral was mad at everyone. Why? It all seemed so petty now.

She paid her check and left the cafe. Mac didn't have it in her to run anymore, so she hailed a cab and went home.

It was almost 0800. She would wait another hour before she called Bud; it was Sunday after all. In the mean time she showered, packed, and trashed everything in her refrigerator that wouldn't last two weeks.

0900

She didn't want to talk to anyone...well, that wasn't exactly true. There was one person she would gladly talk too, but would he talk to her?

'Suck it up Marine.'

She picked up the phone and dialed Bud's number.

{"Hello."} It was Harriet; cheerful as always.

"Harriet, its Mac."

{"Good morning ma'am, what can I do for you?"}

Mac couldn't help but smile at her. 'Up beat as always.'

"Is Bud home? I have to discuss something with him."

{"I'm sorry Colonel; he just left to get some donuts. It's a weekly bribe for Little AJ. If he can go through the week without making me pull out all my hair, he gets donuts Sunday morning," she said with a laugh.}

Mac couldn't bring herself to laugh with her friend and instantly Harriet sensed something was wrong.

{"Is everything alright Mac?"} The switch to her nick name didn't go unnoticed and she knew it would be pointless to lie.

"No, actually it's not. My Uncle Matt died yesterday of a heart attack." Although she couldn't stop the silent tears which started to fall, she refused to let it show through her voice. "I'll be in Arizona for the service. I'm not sure how long I'll be gone."

{"Oh my God, I'm so sorry Mac! I know how much he meant to you. Is there anything we can do?"}

"Thanks Harriet, but there's nothing you can do. I just needed to hand over a case to Bud."

{"I'll have him call you when he gets back. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes."}

"I'll be home most of the day; my flight doesn't leave till tonight." She needed to get off the phone.

{"Okay and Mac, if there's anything you need, even if it's just someone to talk too..."}

"I know, thanks, Harriet." She hung up the phone and laid down on her couch. She refused to break down again as she waited for Bud to call back. When he did she said a silent prayer that he was all business.

It wasn't till the end of the call when he surprised her.

{"Ma'am, have you told Comm...I mean have you told Harm yet?"}

Of all the people to bring up, why did he have to bring Harm into this?

"Uhhh...no, not yet...well that about covers everything, if you have any questions I'll have my cell phone on."

Bud ignored the last part.

{"I know for a fact he's staying home today doing home repairs...you should call him ma'am."}

He sounded so sincere. She couldn't bring herself to get mad at him for overstepping his bounds.

Mac didn't answer right away. He made it sound so easy, like she could pick up the phone and everything would be better. "I'll think about it, thanks Bud." She hung up the phone.

Before she lost her nerve she grabbed her car keys and was out the door. On her way it started to rain slowing down traffic. Only in DC would there be traffic on a Sunday. Mac finally pulled up outside his apartment and shut off her engine. It was still coming down pretty heavy.

'I'd better call first; I don't want to get wet if he's not here.' She pulled out her cell phone and dialed his number.

TBC