"Did you love him?"
Mac sighed. "Of course I loved him, Harriet. I wouldn't have gotten engaged to him if I didn't."
Harriet tilted her head. "You never said that you loved him."
Mac shrugged. "There are a lot of things that I don't say. Anyway, I knew that he would take my saying that I loved him as my saying that I was in love with him."
Mac shook her head. "No," she said softly. "I wasn't. I wanted to be. And God knows he was in love with me. But… I guess it just wasn't mean to be."
Harriet smiled. "What about Harm?"
Mac's eyes narrowed. "What about him?"
"Are you in love with him?"
Mac laughed. "Well, duh, Harriet! You've known that I was in love with him longer than I have!"
Harriet shrugged and grinned, then sobered. "So, what's the difference between them?"
"Mic and Harm? Honestly, I don't know." Mac sighed. "I mean, I know that, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't be in love with Mic. And Harm… he's so easy to love. And damned hard to love, too!"
Harriet and Mac shared a chuckle over that, before Mac continued. "Mic and Harm were so different. I don't know if I can compare the two."
"Try," Harriet requested.
Mac sighed again. "All right." She thought for a moment. "Mic… Mic tried to hard to get me to love him. He tried too hard. Sometimes, he made me feel rushed, and pressured. But with Harm, I had to make the first move. And not only did he not push, but he backed away, as well.
"But then, Mic was always there for me, not matter what. Even from the beginning, if I needed something, he would drop what he was doing to help me. Harm's not like that. I mean, yeah, he's there for me, he always has been. But sometimes, he's too busy with other things.
"Mic was always sweet and caring, and always tried to accommodate me. Harm is kinda selfish and self-centered and doesn't always think of what I want."
Harriet interrupted Mac. "If you don't mind my asking… if Mic was so better than Harm, why did you let Mic leave?"
Mac shrugged. "He wasn't Harm."
"But you love them both." Mac nodded. "And Mic was better to you." Mac nodded again. "So why not Mic?"
Mac sighed. "Harriet, it's hard to explain. I mean, it's the same, but… different."
Just then, the door opened. "Hi, sweetie," Bud greeted as he walked in with Harm.
"Hey, Harm, hey, Bud," Mac greeted. "Hey, Flyboy, we were just talking about you."
Harm raised his eyebrow. "Really? Everything good, I hope," he said as he leaned down to kiss his wife.
"Mmmm…" Mac murmured against Harm's lips. "Something like that," she said with a cheeky grin.
"Oh, you!" Harm exclaimed, bumping Mac's arm lightly. He sat down on the couch next to her, pulling her back to rest against his chest.
"So, what did Ariana and Krista think of their new babysitter?"
Harm laughed. "They got along great! Amanda's ex-husband left his complete set of Trek with her when they split, so that takes care of Krista's obsession without us having to drive her here all the time!" Harm said, nudging Bud's leg with his foot.
"What?" Bud asked. "I'm innocent!"
Everyone laughed, and Harriet said, "Sweetie, you're a lot of things, but when it comes to Star Trek, innocent is not one of them!"
The four friends laughed again, relaxed in the amicable and loving atmosphere of the house.