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uniquelyjas
Posted: 22 February 2020 - 01:12 PM                                    
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Sorry...had to laugh at the part of putting Mac back together in one piece...I like it, but it sounds more typical of Murdoc! smile.gif

I like how we get still more insight into Willis as he's sitting with Mac in the hospital as well as how Dr. Thompson tries to protect Pete from learning about Mac's treatment in the camp.

Oh, poor Pete...having to be excluded from such a difficult time for Mac!!

Overall I think this is the best part yet!! VERY well-written and completely gut-wrenching. I LOVE that you take the time to go into such detail and delve into Willis and Pete's thoughts. This is becoming a character study on all three and I think it's great. Pete is totally true to form and totally believable.

While I'm relieved Mac is being taken care of, I know there is still a lot for him to overcome, especially psychologically, but now the same is becoming true for Willis and Pete. Looking very forward to reading the next part...and the next...and the next...LOL!!



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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bluegirl
Posted: 22 February 2020 - 01:48 PM                                    
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Well, the doc is supposed to be a bit harsh at times, but with a caring heart...

Thank you so much for your feedback - the whole story is ment to be an exploration of true friendship and trust - how much it can take before the trust is broken - how it affects the indivuduals - and what it will take to restore it...

Part 7 will air on monday morning thumbup.gif



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 22 February 2020 - 03:55 PM                                    
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QUOTE (bluegirl @ 22 February 2020 - 01:48 PM)
Well, the doc is supposed to be a bit harsh at times, but with a caring heart...


At first I wasn't sure I could trust him. That's Sanguine rubbing off on me...she thinks every new character I introduce is up to no good!! LOL!!



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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Posted: 23 February 2020 - 11:06 PM                                    
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Good morning, everyone! It is time to wake up - also for Mac, but how will he cope with it?

Part 7

Again, as he slowly regained consciousness, the first thing MacGyver noticed was silence. It was only disturbed by a low, constant beeping that somehow matched his heartbeat. One after another he realized, he was lying on his back on something soft, was covered with a blanket and wasn´t freezing anymore. There was next to no pain, yet his whole body felt a little numb. But the vertigo was still there.

Mac tried to raise one his hands and tried to put it to his head, but just then realized that he couldn´t move. He was bound. Within the blink of a second his mind went to overdrive, memories and fear washed through him, adrenaline rushed into his system. He frantically pulled on both wrists, also felt the straps around his chest and his ankles. His sore wrists twinged with pain and all he could think of, was: Oh, no. Not again. Out of the frying pan into the fire. I´ve got to get out of this.

In that very moment he felt someone taking one of his hands and another hand was holding on to his shoulder.

“Shh, MacGyver! Stay still!” he heard a well known voice.

Willis! But how…? Why…? His mind had troubles sorting through his jumbled and blurred memories in his panic. Mac´s body was still tense; his breathing ragged as he slowly turned his head towards that voice. Biting back a moan he blinked his eyes open.

“It´s all right, Mac.” Willis continued. He had bolted out of his chair as he had seen Mac struggling. “Don´t fight it. No one´s gonna harm you.”

His eyes slowly focusing on Willis´ face, MacGyver stopped pulling on the straps holding him. It took a few seconds before he could ask: “Willis? Where…? What…?” His voice was hoarse; he couldn´t finish without coughing.

“We took you to the Phoenix Foundations underground research complex. We are at sub-level two.” Willis explained. “We set up a sick-bay down here for you.”

Mac´s eyes left Willis and went scanning the room. Yes, it looked somewhat familiar.

“How long have I been out?” Mac´s voice was still breaking. It took all his strength to talk.

“It is almost midday on day four.” Willis told him.

MacGyver noticed the IV in his arm and got a glimpse at the straps holding him. The panic returned. He couldn´t stop himself from trembling. Mac had to close his eyes due to the increasing vertigo. He felt Willis squeeze his hand a little and take the sweat off his face with a soft cloth. After a few deep breaths he opened his eyes again and found Willis´ concerned face.

“Take those off me… please…” Mac pleaded.

Willis sighed, and then managed to smile apologetically.

“I can´t. They´re there for your own protection. You might hurt yourself, if you overreact again as just did.”

MacGyver couldn´t take that answer. His trembling intensified; he had to close his eyes.

“Quiet, Mac.” he heard Willis talking to him in a soothing voice. “It´s okay. We´re all here to help you. No one will hurt you, I promise.”

Mac hardly succeeded in calming down his breath, yet his body relaxed a bit.

“But you´ve got to allow us to help you.” Willis added. “Can you do that?”

MacGyver gazed at Willis. He felt the darkness taking over again. The shock and the fear had consumed nearly all of his remaining energy. He was exhausted. Mac nodded weakly.

“I´ll try.”

“Good.” The smile on Willis´ face broadened. “You´ll be all right, MacGyver. You just need to rest. We´ll take care of you.” Willis had noticed that Mac was on the verge of passing out. “Shh, Mac. You need to sleep.” he continued in calming Mac down. “You need to recover. Give it time. I´ll be here, when you wake up again. You won´t be alone.”

When Mac looked at him, Willis could still clearly see the fright in his eyes. Then he slowly closed his eyes and his whole body relaxed, while he drifted off to sleep again. Willis straightened himself and let go of Mac´s hand and shoulder, suddenly realizing that his own heart was pounding and his hands were shaking now that Mac was asleep again. He had to sit down, covering his face with his hands. He was shocked. He had known MacGyver for years. Mac had always been an optimistic, bold and intrepid man. Willis had never seen his friend fearful like this.

After a few moments Willis got up looking intensely at the sleeping figure. His determination was back on the upper hand.

“I´ll be back soon, Mac.” he told him. “Just have to get some things going in the lab.”

He rushed out of the room and to his lab. Willis ordered his lab technicians to run some new tests, fetched the results that had turned in while he had been with MacGyver, and then returned to sit with his friend. He could study those reports while watching over Mac. When Dr. Thompson returned for his regular check-up on Mac, Willis told him about his first short attempt to regain consciousness. Willis talked about the panic Mac had felt and had only barely been able to control.

“I believe it were the restraints that triggered the fear. The very moment he discovered that he couldn´t move, he went into panic.”

“That´s exactly what I was afraid of.” Dr. Thompson responded. “But I had no choice. Call me the next time he comes around. I´d like to be there. Let´s see how he will react to me. Maybe we can relieve him of it.” He took a deep breath. “In the meantime I´ll brief Director Thornton.”

It was early evening until MacGyver stirred again, moaning lightly in his sleep. Willis was instantly on his feet, but nothing more happened. Mac seemed to be dreaming, but went quiet after a few minutes.

It took another few hours, almost until midnight when Willis suddenly realized he must have dozed off. He was awakened by Mac trying to move in his bed, his breathing heavy, his head tossing from side to side although his eyes were still closed. He was muttering in his sleep, first low but getting louder.

“No, please… stop it…don´t… No!”

Willis jumped out of his chair, uncertain what to do. MacGyver was obviously reliving a memory, causing this nightmare. He pressed the button that would call Dr. Thompson in here, as abruptly Mac´s body tensed, his back arched as much as the restraints would allow, and he was pulling hard on those restraints.

“No!” he cried out terrified. “Don´t… Please, Pete, stop it!”

Willis froze. What? Had he just begged Pete to stop? It was a shock to Willis, but it confirmed their speculations.

The door opened and Dr. Thompson rushed inside.

“What is it?” he asked, trying to assess the situation quickly.

“He´s having a really bad nightmare.” Willis explained. “I wasn´t sure what to do. It keeps getting worse. He was begging Pete to stop.”

Dr. Thompson held his breath for a moment, looking at Willis. His face turned dark.

“So it is true. Sometimes I hate being right.” he stated. He stepped back from MacGyver´s bed. “Try to wake him. Gently.” he ordered Willis. “We should better get him out of it. I´ll stay back at first.”

Willis swallowed hard.

“MacGyver, can you hear me?” he asked. “Mac!”

MacGyver winced as Willis took his hand and laid the other one on his shoulder. The pictures in his mind moved faster and faster. First he was bound to the wall and Pete was stabbing him with his Swiss army knife. Then the wall disappeared and he was standing at the abyss. He frantically tried to get away, because this time there was no rope around his wrists. He felt Pete pushing him, tried to turn around, tried to hold on to something, to anything. But he fell and saw Pete falling with him. The drop felt endless.

Then a voice was calling out to him. That voice didn´t fit into the pictures. Just before he and Pete would have hit the ground, someone held on to him, shaking him softly.

“Mac, listen to me! This is a dream. Wake up! MacGyver!”

He was startled awake, his eyes wide with shock, disoriented at first, searching the room.

“Mac, It´s okay.” the voice said.

Mac turned his head, finding Willis´ concerned face. He was still breathing heavily; his heart was pounding, his body trembling. It took a moment to realize that he was back in the sick-room, no one was stabbing his back, and he was not falling anymore.

“It´s over, MacGyver. It was only a bad dream.” Willis told him. “You´re safe.”

Mac´s shock mixed with confusion.

“But… it felt… so real…” he answered back with a low voice.

Willis squeezed his hand.

“It was just a dream.” he repeated. “It´s over. We´re all here to help you.”

As MacGyver slowly came out of his shock, he suddenly sensed another person in the room. Dr. Thompson carefully approached Mac´s side, causing his body to stiffen again. He still couldn´t control the trembling, his gaze wandering from the doctor to Willis and back. Willis still held on to his hand.

“Do you remember Dr. Thompson?” Willis asked. “He was with me when we found you on that mountain.”

Mac nodded. “Yeah… but you forced me…” He couldn´t finish the sentence as the memory of the syringe popped up in his head and sent a shiver down his spine.

“I am sorry, that I had to sedate you.” Dr. Thompson apologized. “But I had no choice at that moment. You were in panic. You wouldn´t have allowed me to treat you. You would have hurt yourself even more in fighting us. I am sorry.”

Mac remained silent, watching the doctor doubtful, while he desperately tried to sort the jumbled memories and pictures in his mind.

“The effects of the drug you´ve been given, added to it. That´s why we kept you asleep for almost four days, and that´s why those straps holding you are still there.” the doctor continued. “We had no idea how you would react on waking up. I didn´t want to take any risk.”

Mac nodded again. He still had a hard time controlling his emotions.

“But the drug is gone from your system and your injuries are responding well to the treatment. Will you allow us to take care of you? Can I rely on you? Can I trust you?”

Mac just stared at him kind of frozen. He wanted to agree, but all his memories washed over him and panic rose again.

“Mac, it´s okay, we´re all…” Willis wanted to help the tense situation, but Dr. Thompson raised one hand to cut him off.

“Willis, would you excuse us for a few moments?” he asked softly.

At first Willis wanted to protest, but then obeyed. He squeezed Mac´s hand briefly, before letting go of it.

“I´ll be right back.” he reassured Mac before leaving the room.

MacGyver all of a sudden felt even more trapped.

Dr. Thompson was standing at his side, his face soft as he touched MacGyver´s arm.

“MacGyver, you´ve been through a lot in the last weeks.” he stated. “Your injuries tell quite a story about what you had to endure physically. But with your initial reaction to us and the need to sedate you, I don´t have much information on what you had to endure mentally and emotionally.”

MacGyver´s gaze was fixed on him. He still couldn´t control the shivering. He didn´t know what to say, what to reveal. What did they know? Had they also found Pete´s body? Did they suspect him of killing Pete? His fear now mixed with grief and guilt, causing tears to well up in his eyes.

“MacGyver, you´ve been tortured. I can tell as much as this. It is quite understandable, that you´re frightened. I know the restraints don´t help it. But I can only remove them, if I am sure that you will try to trust us. All of us are working to get you mended soon. Yet we do need your cooperation to go on with the treatment. What do you say?”

Mac decided not to reveal anything at the moment. He managed to blink away the tears. The doctor really seemed to care. Willis really seemed to be concerned. He really felt a lot better, at least physically. The answers to his questions could wait. MacGyver gave in and nodded.

“I will try.” he answered hoarsely after taking a deep breath.

Dr. Thompson sighed with relief. “Thank you.” He turned to push the button that would call in the nurse. “Do you need something to ease the pain?” he asked afterwards. “How bad is it?”

Mac needed a few moments to think about that question. Compared to what he had felt during the torture, it was nothing. But compared to feeling comfortable and being able to sleep quietly again… He nodded weakly, suddenly feeling his full exhaustion as the adrenaline rush subsided.

“Yes, please.” he answered. “It´ll help me to rest.”

The doctor smiled at him. “All right.”

MacGyver changed his gaze to the door as it opened; saw Willis and a nurse entering. His vision got blurred as he felt dizziness. He realized the doctor was opening the straps that held him. First the ones at his ankles, and took them off the bed, lifting his legs to do so, and handed them to the nurse. He continued with opening the straps around his wrists and chest, then looked at Willis.

“Can you help him to sit up?”

Willis returned to Mac´s side, “Sure.”

MacGyver turned his head to face Willis who was leaning over him.

“Hold on.” Willis asked him while putting one of Mac´s arms around his neck.

“Be careful with the IV and his back.” Dr. Thompson advised.

“Ready?” Willis asked while sliding his hands under Mac´s shoulders.

Mac took a deep breath, tried to tighten his hold on Willis and raised his head a little. He raised his second arm to grab on to Willis´ arm.

“Yeah, I think so.”

With a combined effort they managed to raise MacGyver until he was sitting upright, still leaning on Willis. The bandages had pulled on his wounds; he clearly felt his broken rib. He couldn´t suppress groaning with the pain. Willis held him close, stabilizing him, steadying his head, while Dr. Thompson and the nurse removed the leather straps from the bed. After the nurse had left, the doctor made a quick check-up on MacGyver´s back.

Satisfied with what he saw, he ordered: “Now let´s lay him down again. Real slow and careful.”

Mac felt himself being lowered, supported by Willis´ and the doctor´s hands. He let it happen, having not much energy left to do it by himself. The mental strain also seems to take it´s physical toll, he automatically assessed his own condition, while he was sinking back into the soft bed and the pillow under his head. He had to close his eyes as his wave of relief over not being bound anymore turned into vertigo. His emotions wouldn´t calm down fully. A part of his mind truly enjoyed being able to relax, to trust, to let himself being helped. Mac tried to give in to that feeling, but another part of him refused to. That part was still on high alert, still ready to fight for his survival. That part of his mind wouldn´t allow him to relax fully; it always replayed the memories of his torture, of his escape and of Pete falling to his death.

MacGyver felt a hand touch his sweat-covered forehead, then feel for the pulse on his neck. He blinked his eyes open and found the concerned face of Dr. Thompson above him.

“How are you feeling?”

“Dizzy… exhausted… tired… thirsty…” Mac answered with a low voice.

The doctor looked up at Willis.

“I´ll be right back.” Willis seemed to understand and left.

Dr. Thompson concentrated at MacGyver. “How bad is the pain? On a one to ten scale?”

Mac thought about it for a moment. “Three, sometimes five or six.”

The doctor nodded, straightened himself and turned to a table beside to the bed. He picked up a medicine bottle and partly filled up a syringe. Mac felt a shiver run down his spine at the sight. Dr. Thompson seemed to notice.

“Are you all right with this?”

Mac had to swallow hard. “Yeah… Do what you have to…”

He couldn´t take his eyes off the syringe as the doctor emptied it into his IV. Willis returned just as Dr. Thompson had finished.

“I got you some water.” he told Mac as he approached his side. “But I guess you´d have to sit up a little again.”

Mac nodded and started to raise his head. Willis´ hand and arm wove instantly around his shoulders to help him, to hold him. Mac drank only a few sips enjoying the feel of the cool water running down his throat. He looked at Willis after lying down.

“Thanks, Willis.”

MacGyver felt the pain diminish already. His eyelids grew heavier. He tried to fight the darkness as he heard the doctor say: “That´s okay, MacGyver. You need to rest. Get some sleep. We will be there to watch over you.”

Mac got another glimpse of Willis and the doctor and then allowed his eyes to close and the oblivion to take over.

*****

The following days brought slow, but steady recovery for MacGyver. The only people around him were Willis, Dr Thompson and his medical team. Willis kept seeing him regularly, being supportive and reassuring. Dr. Thompson and his team went along cautious and regardful of his fears, yet changing the bandages on his wounds wasn´t all too comfortable. At least his body seemed to be on the way to mend. Slowly he started to relax and calm down in their presence. Slowly his mind started to accept that they meant no harm.

However sleeping quietly still remained difficult to MacGyver. He wasn´t able to get rid of the nightmares. His sleep didn´t provide the amount of rest, he was hoping for. Waking startled out of a bad dream several times per night left Mac exhausted even though he had been asleep for hours. Dr. Thompson had offered to assist his sleep medicinally, but so far Mac had refused. He was determined to try and confront those pictures on his own. But still, the recurring pictures were frightening. He knew his torment was most possibly over, but he wasn´t yet able to feel it. Some part of him deep inside refused to calm down.

MacGyver´s mind kept clearing the more his body recovered. He was awake for longer episodes, having more time to sort his memories and emotions. So far no one had tried to question him about his captivity. He wouldn´t have been ready to talk about it, if anyone would have pressed him to reveal what he´d been through. How could he? He had killed his best friend. No matter what Pete had done to him, this was not how Mac had intended it to end. The guilt and grief about it kept getting clearer and stronger with every day. He knew very well, that he would have to tell his story soon. Every time Willis came to visit him, reminded him of that. It was inevitable, but he was afraid of it. He would have to confess.

Mac couldn´t imagine how the board of directors of the Phoenix Foundation would think about it. What did they already know about what happened? What if they didn´t believe him, just as Pete hadn´t listened to him? What did Willis know? So far, MacGyver had no way to tell.

He didn´t know anything about the efforts everyone was taking beyond his room. Investigating all the evidence recovered from the camp had led to some clues, but still a lot of questions remained. Willis and Pete agreed that Mac would certainly be able to provide some answers. Pete had been keeping track of Mac´s progress at least twice a day. He had been visiting the underground labs daily, even though the doctor didn´t allow him to see MacGyver personally. He had been sitting in the monitoring room for hours on some days, watching Mac on the screen, observing him as he slept. With his physical state improving, Pete´s worries about Mac´s mental and emotional condition increased. He seemed quiet and calm when awake, but too quiet.



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 24 February 2020 - 01:59 PM                                    
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<shakes head> I KNEW he would panic when he felt the restraints. I was going to mention that in the last part. Poor Mac!

I agree with Willis...it IS hard to see Mac like this...certainly not what we are used to, but he IS human, after all.

As I said previously, I really like that you are taking time to delve into Mac's recovery. I think your approach really reinforces what Mac went through physically and psychologically. Obviously, he has never experience something this intense before so it deserves to be examined more thoroughly. Oh, my heard just aches as he is still convinced he killed the real Pete! When you end saying that Mac is too quiet, that's scary. Again it brings me back to The Widowmaker where he was also too quiet and wallowing in guilt and self-pity.

Well done!



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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Dragondog
Posted: 25 February 2020 - 11:22 AM                                    
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QUOTE (bluegirl @ 24 February 2020 - 01:06 AM)
Good morning, everyone! It is time to wake up - also for Mac, but how will he cope with it?

Funny how you say that, because when you make these posts, it's 1 a.m. where I'm at laugh.gif



"If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer" - Hank The Cowdog

"You have the heart of a chief, and the soul of a dragon"- How to Train Your Dragon 2

"[T]he more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each one of us will be" - Zootopia

"Love makes you do strange things." - Charlie Brown

"When something looks too perfect, it probably sucks" - Dreamworks Dragons Race to the Edge

 
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bluegirl
Posted: 25 February 2020 - 11:52 AM                                    
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Well, I usually try to post the new parts around 8 or 9 am CET... wink.gif next one is due tomorrow!



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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Posted: 25 February 2020 - 11:30 PM                                    
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Hello again, 48 hours have passed - here´s the next part for all of you to read

Mac´s road to recovery - physically, metally and emotionally - is kind of rough and bumpy, but fortunately he has friends caring about him


Part 8

It was the evening of day seven when Pete, Willis and Dr. Thompson met in the monitoring room, discussing how to continue.

“I can´t allow that yet!” Dr. Thompson exclaimed upset.

“But we do need some answers!” Pete replied. “One of the men got away when we stormed that camp. We won´t be able to track him down without a better description. The one we arrested still isn´t talking. We need MacGyver´s help. And he has a right to know the truth.”

“He isn´t up to it!” the doctor insisted.

“I haven´t tried to ask him…” Willis tried to calm the tense atmosphere. “He wasn´t mentioning anything from himself. Talking to him and being with him feels like he´s locking up all his memories and emotions to himself. He won´t reveal anything if I don´t press him to.”

“I need to talk to him.” Pete demanded.

“Pete, he still thinks you´re dead!” Willis reminded him.

“I believe, he thinks he´s killed you.” Dr. Thompson added. “You can´t just go in there. He´s still too weak. We can´t risk that.”

Pete sighed deeply. He knew Mac well enough to know how disturbed he must be feeling. Pete hated the current situation.

“I might try. The doctor might try.” Willis suggested. “Maybe he´ll talk to us.”

“But we have to be careful given the fragile trust he has in us.” Dr. Thompson explained. “He´s trying hard to pretend that he´s okay to us, but he´s definitely traumatized. I don´t know how long he will be able to keep up his composure. It´s slowly using up his strength.”

“It´s MacGyver we´re talking about!” Pete said angrily. “He´s a fighter. He always comes through!”

Willis and the doctor looked at him quietly for a moment. Then Dr. Thompson laid a hand on Pete´s shoulder.

“I know what he means to you. That´s why I´m being extremely cautious. I don´t want him to break down.”

Pete wanted to protest, but inside he knew the doctor was right. The dreading situation was using up his nerves and strength as well. He slowly sat down in front of the monitor showing his sleeping friend, fixing his gaze on the image.

“We´ll give it a try tomorrow.” Dr. Thompson told him softly. “I don´t want to wake him. Willis and I have to run some lab tests. Can we leave you alone here? Will you be okay?”

Pete nodded absently. “Yes, I´m all right. I just want to stay here for a while.”

*****

Pete had been watching silently for about an hour when MacGyver started having nightmares again. It hurt Pete deep inside to see his friend suffer but not to be able to help him. He had to watch Mac moving around in his bed, curling up, stretching out, turning from one side to another. He was trying to push away things only he could see in his dream while moaning in his sleep. It lasted only a few minutes, then Mac lay quiet again. But while moving he had also pushed the blanket that was supposed to cover him and keep him warm away. It had slipped off him and now covered only part of his legs.

Pete noticed it, also seeing the bandages and bruises on Mac´s torso. Uncertain what to do Pete first sat quietly, waiting. He knew very well that he was not supposed to go in there. After some time the screen´s picture showed that MacGyver was starting to shiver from getting cool. Still being weak, his body was more vulnerable to the cold than usual. Pete´s concern grew rapidly.

No nurse around, the doctor still running tests in the lab. Pete had to act.

After all, MacGyver was asleep, he wouldn´t notice Pete covering him with the blanket. He would leave the room immediately after it.

Pete took a deep breath, got up and hurried to the room opposite to the corridor. It felt strange sneaking as silent as possible into the sick-room of the man he was so familiar with. Trying to avoid being heard or even seen by Mac didn´t feel right. Pete stood frozen for a few moments just inside the door, watching MacGyver for the first time without a monitor since days. He cautiously closed in on the bed. Mac´s eyes were shut; he was breathing regularly and slowly, lying on his side, facing Pete. The blanket had folded up behind his back.

Standing beside the bed Pete saw all the exhaustion and pain the torture had caused in MacGyver´s pale face. He seemed to be peaceful in his sleep, but the wounds dressings and the lines etched into Mac´s face told a different story. A shiver running over Mac´s whole body reminded Pete of why he was here – where he shouldn´t be. Careful not to touch MacGyver he reached over him for the blanket, pulled it up to his shoulders and covered his whole body again. Pete deliberately tucked in the blanket around Mac´s shoulders and neck and started to retreat right after it.

But it was too late. MacGyver had felt the slight touch. He moved his head a little and blinked his eyes open as Pete had only reached the door and pulled on the handle.

MacGyver´s mind was still horrified with the episode of nightmares he´d had. Now pictures of his cell filled his sleeping head. It was cold, terribly cold. He felt the shivers running through him. Pete had been there in his dream again, tormenting him with electric shocks. The trembling he felt was partly caused by the cold, partly by the fright. Through his dazed mind between really sleeping and being wide awake he noticed something covering him. Something was touching him softly. Someone had to be moving that something. Was he not alone in his cell anymore?

Slowly he turned his head to see who was there. His eyes needed a moment to focus on the man who was already at the door. What he saw instantly set off all his alerts.

Pete.

“No!”

A sudden wave of shock and adrenaline made him bolt up and back in his bed. He slipped over the edge backwards and fell to his knees and hands, not being strong enough to stand. The IV got ripped out of his arm by the tube of his infusion. Mac felt the burning pain; his whole body protested wildly against the sudden movement. A wave of vertigo hit him. But this was about surviving! MacGyver forced himself up on his feet in the next blink of an eye and rushed to get further away. That door was the only entrance and escape he realized in his panic. He crashed backwards into the wall after a few yards; his head colliding hard with it. Mac felt a sudden stinging pain in his back, stars dancing in front of his eyes he went down to the floor. He lay in the corner of the room trembling with fear, breathing hard in shock and pain, desperately fighting the darkness that threatened to take over. His vision blurred totally; Mac had to close his eyes.

No, he thought, not now. I have to get away! I have to stay alert!

Gasping he tried to turn, to curl himself up, to protect himself, to get up. But it was no use. His body wouldn´t obey. MacGyver collapsed to the ground again.

Pete froze in shock as he saw MacGyver´s reaction. It all happened within seconds. He had never expected something as intense and fierce. Only a moment after Mac had collapsed, he felt someone brush past him, as the door opened and then someone grab his arm and shove him to the corridor. Just then he saw Dr. Thompson´s darkened expression.

“Director or not, get out of here!” he ordered angrily, then turned on his heels and hurried back in to look after his patient.

Pete was left alone in his shock, feeling like someone had stabbed his heart, his stomach tight as a knot. He had endangered MacGyver. He had made a huge mistake.

MacGyver was still frantically fighting the darkness as he heard steps rushing to him. Someone crouched down.

“Mac!” he heard that someone call him through the ringing in his head. In the next moment he felt a gentle touch on his shoulder. Being trapped in his shock he didn´t care who it was. He desperately tried to push and knock away whoever was close to him without looking. But his arms were caught fast and spread out. One against the floor, the other against the wall.

“Stop it, MacGyver!” the same voice ordered, but Mac was still in his survival mode. He kept struggling with all the energy he had left against the one holding him.

“Mac, look at me! It´s me! It´s Willis. Stop fighting!”

Mac´s resistance ceased slowly though his body remained tense. He turned his head to look at that voice. His eyes had trouble focusing. The room seemed to be moving around him. He recognized Willis facing and holding him; Dr. Thompson was standing a few yards behind him. He recognized the room he had been in for a week by now. His gaze searched frightened around the room and then fixed on Willis.

“What happened, Mac?” Willis asked softly.

Mac´s trembling intensified as his last memory popped up in his mind. No, I can´t tell them, he decided quickly. That´s impossible. It couldn´t have been real. I must have been dreaming.

Still disoriented he took a few deep breaths and then answered: “I don´t know… Maybe that last dream was feeling too real…” He wasn´t lying. It still felt very real.

Willis slowly released his arms and put one of his arms around the back of his neck to help stabilize Mac´s head. MacGyver´s heart was racing as the doctor also knelt down and felt for his pulse.

“Was anyone here when you entered the room?” Mac suddenly asked them. Am I still having hallucinations?, he asked himself inside.

Willis and Dr. Thompson exchanged a quick look.

“No one.” Willis reassured MacGyver. “Whatever spooked you, it must have been that bad dream. Try to relax. Everything´s fine. You´re safe.”

All of a sudden MacGyver´s shock and his emotions took over. He couldn´t control the panic any longer, even with Willis and Dr. Thompson at his side. He turned to lie on his side, curled up a little. He covered his face with his hands to hide the tears welling up in his eyes. He was unable to keep his body from shaking. He heard Willis´ voice trying to calm him. He heard the soothing words. He felt his comforting touch at his shoulders and stabilizing his head.

It took a few minutes until Mac regained control over his body and emotions. Now thinking calmer and more logically he assessed, it must have been a dream. Wiping off the tears he raised his head a little, looking up. MacGyver´s eyes found two concerned faces.

“We´d better get you back to your bed.” Dr. Thompson suggested. “I´d like to have a look at your back.”

Mac nodded weakly. None of the two men pressed him further to reveal what he had seen in that dream. None of them mentioned his short emotional collapse. They were being patient and regardful as they had been over the last days. With the help of the two men he got up. They assisted him in lying down comfortably on his side, and Willis covered him with the blanket.

“I´ll be back in a few minutes.” Dr. Thompson told them. “I´ve got to prepare everything for changing the dressings and bandages. I had it scheduled for tomorrow morning, but I´d rather like to do it now.”

When Dr. Thompson left the room, he found Pete still standing stunned in the corridor some yards away.

“In here!” he ordered him into the monitoring room which also held a lot of medical supplies. “You were damn lucky.” he continued after Pete had closed the door behind him. Then he started to collect the dressings and bandages he would need to care for Mac´s wounds out of the drawers.

“He was going through a bad nightmare. His blanket had…” Pete started to explain, but was cut off by a warning look of Dr. Thompson. He had stopped moving around and now turned to face Pete.

“I don´t need no explanation.” he answered sharply. “Mac could have hurt himself real bad. Fortunately he trusts us. He believes that what he saw was part of his nightmare. But we all got a glance at his real mental condition behind his carefully kept up façade.”

He turned again to pick up the last items and then left to take care of his patient.

Pete slowly sat down in front of the monitor. He was still in shock about Mac´s reaction to him. And he felt guilty. He never wanted to cause any harm to MacGyver, but in his attempt to help him, he had probably done just that.

When Dr. Thompson returned, Mac had settled down a bit. He was still shivering and his face was pale. After a probing look the doctor set down the supplies on a table behind MacGyver´s back and came back to face him. He brushed some of Mac´s damp hair back from his sweaty forehead and felt for his temperature.

“Shall I ease the effects of the shock?” he asked softly.

Mac turned his head to look up at him, attempting a weak smile. He was starting to master his self-control again.

“No, thanks. I think I can handle it.”

“All right.” Dr. Thompson nodded and returned to the other side of the bed.

“You need to lie a little more on your front. I guess you know the procedure by now… Or do you want to sleep through it? I could…”

Mac shook his head. “No. I´ll be okay.”

Then he adjusted himself on the bed to allow the doctor access to his injuries. Dr. Thompson pulled back the blanket and cautiously felt all over MacGyver´s back. When the doctor started to cut open and remove the bandages, Mac closed his eyes and bit back a moan. Willis instantly took one of Mac´s hands, holding on to it, his other one ready to assist the doctor if needed.

“You were lucky.” Dr. Thompson declared after exposing his whole back. “Only one of the deeper cuts has torn open and is bleeding, but it won´t need new stitches. Could have been a lot worse.”

He pressed some gauze on to the bleeding wound which made Mac gasp in pain and squeeze Willis´ hand.

“I´m sorry.” The doctor apologized as he felt Mac´s body tighten under his hands. “I have to stop the bleeding.”

MacGyver only nodded silently. As soon as he had closed his eyes minutes ago, pictures had started to flash into his mind. Although his senses had been affected by the drug most of the time, he recalled every moment of every hit, of every shock, of every cut or slash. His mind played the memories over and over while Dr. Thompson was at work. It wouldn´t stop even as he forced himself to open his eyes. He started shivering again. Willis and the doctor noticed it immediately.

“Mac, are you all right?” Dr. Thompson asked.

MacGyver took in a deep breath. “Fine.” he answered, while he tried to straighten his back a little. “I´ll live.” He suddenly felt extremely tired. As Dr. Thompson had finished treating all of his wounds and started to put on fresh dressings and bandages, he closed his eyes again and gave in to the darkness that swept over him. Willis was the first to notice him going limp. He squeezed his hand worried.

“Mac? MacGyver!”

“Don´t!” Dr. Thompson stopped him. “Let him sleep. It´ll be a lot easier for him. He desperately needs to rest.”

He finished bandaging MacGyver´s back and then asked Willis to help him turn Mac over and performed the same procedure on the injuries on his front. At last he set up a new IV and took care of Mac´s arm, where to other one had been torn out.

Willis also felt worn out by the time they were finished. He nodded automatically as the doctor asked him to stay with MacGyver, but he didn´t know how long he would manage to stay awake. The last days, the last weeks had been eating on all of them. He settled into his chair, held contact to Mac with one of his hands and soon dozed off.

*****

Against expectation MacGyver felt rested when he woke in the morning. A night´s sleep without any bad dreams had served him well. When he opened his eyes his first gaze went to the clock, then he noticed something beside him. Looking down he saw Willis in his chair, his arms and head resting on the edge of Mac´s bed. He had to smile and then touched Willis´ arm softly with his hand.

“Willis?”

Willis was startled awake, a little disoriented at first. “What… where…” Then his eyes found MacGyver´s smile.

“MacGyver! You´re awake!” he exclaimed with relief. “How are you feeling?”

“I was going to ask you the same thing.” Mac answered. “I´m fine. A lot better than yesterday evening.”

“You gave me a heart attack yesterday.” Willis looked intensely at him.

Mac´s smile was instantly gone. “Yeah, me too.” After a little break he added: “You look like you need to get some sleep. IN a bed.”

Willis rubbed his eyes, nodding. “You´re right. But first I need to tell Dr. Thompson that you´re awake. I´ll see you later.”

He got up, put on his glasses and left the room.

Only a minute later Dr. Thompson came in.

“Good morning!” he greeted Mac. “Willis told me, you´re feeling better?”

Mac nodded while the doctor checked all his vitals. “Yeah. I´ve been sleeping quietly as it seems. Did you have anything to do with that?”

“I just aided it.” Dr. Thompson smiled apologetically. “The shock you´ve experienced, did most of it. You were exhausted, also mentally. I just made sure it would last all night… to give you enough time to rest.”

“Oh…” Mac raised his eyebrows. Dr. Thompson could see, that Mac wasn´t sure if he liked the doctor´s decision.

“Listen, MacGyver, I was planning to get you out of this bed and move your body a little today or tomorrow, but wanted to do it slow, cautious and with assistance. Do you think you´re up to that? Given what happened yesterday?”

The sudden change of topic interrupted MacGyver´s thoughts about the medication. The memory of those frightful minutes flashed back into his mind. His expression darkened.

“MacGyver?” the doctor asked concerned as he didn´t respond.

Mac looked up at him, managing to lighten up his face again. “Yeah, sure. I´m fine.” he replied.

Getting out of this bed; being allowed to move around. That was something to look forward to. So far he had only been walking from his bed to the bathroom in his sick-room, and only with help. Increasing his radius of action was encouraging.

Until Willis returned in the afternoon, his day had followed the usual routine.

“Dr. Thompson had told me, that he allowed you to get out of here.” Willis greeted him. “But we have to stay on sub-level two.” He set down a well known sports bag on a chair. “I´ve been at your houseboat and got you some clothes.” He couldn´t tell Mac, that Pete had been there to get Mac´s favorite stuff.

“Thanks, Willis.” MacGyver carefully sat up in his bed.

“So, let´s get you dressed and out of bed.” Willis encouraged him. He handed Mac a t-shirt, sweat pants and sneakers and helped him steady himself as he slowly got out of bed after putting them on. MacGyver felt dizzy for a few moments as he stood upright. He had to hold on to Willis.

“Are you okay? Are you up to it?” Willis asked.

MacGyver took a deep breath and straightened himself.

“Yeah, I´m fine. Just needed a little time to adjust myself to being vertical again.” he explained. “Let´s go.”

Slowly, carefully they made their way to the corridor and along it. At first MacGyver had to lean on Willis for support, but he got more confident with every step. His leg wound had been healing well. He could feel the sting, but it wasn´t bothering him too much. Halfway down the corridor Mac was walking on his own. Yet his strength was limited, so they soon ended up back in the monitoring room with coffee for Willis and herbal tea for MacGyver. Being alive had just started to feel comfortingly normal again to MacGyver as Willis started asking questions.

“MacGyver, you really scared us yesterday… What happened?”

MacGyver froze in the same moment. He knew it had been bound to happen. He wasn´t able to talk his captivity. Not yet.

“I guess, I just overreacted to a bad dream.” he tried to brush off the question. “I´m fine.”

Willis look still showed deep concern. “Those nightmares keep tormenting you.” he insisted. “Mac, you´ve been gone for three weeks. Your injuries tell some story. But none of us really knows what you´ve been through. Don´t you want to talk about it?”

MacGyver kept his eyes on is mug, his expression suddenly darkened.

“No.” he answered with a low voice, staring into the distance at something only he could see.

“You know, it might help you getting rid of those dreams.” Willis tried again, but Mac didn´t react.

His memories replayed in his mind. The rapid change of being tortured, questioned, escaping and killing Pete made him breathe faster. Willis noticed it.

“Mac, you don´t have to handle this on your own. We´re here to help you.” Willis pressed on.

“Willis, I said no!” Mac suddenly shouted angrily at him. “I don´t want to, I don´t need to talk about it!”

The outbreak was so abrupt that it made Willis wince and draw back from his friend. Mac was also surprised by his intense reaction. He took a deep breath, licking his lips nervously.

“I´m sorry.” he continued after a short pause, his voice again low and soft. “I didn´t mean to snap at you… Listen, I know all of you are trying to help… But I can´t… I just can´t talk about it. Not yet.” He tried to avoid looking at Willis and took a sip of his tea.

Willis needed a moment to relax, then laid a hand on Mac´s shoulder.

“That´s okay.” he accepted the apology. “Take your time.”

They both sat in silence while finishing their hot drinks. Afterwards Willis escorted MacGyver back to his room. But after getting back into his bed Mac asked him to leave him alone. He felt Willis hesitate.

“Willis, I´m fine. Really.” Mac reassured him. “Thank you for getting me out of here. But right now I´d like to be alone. I need some time to think… and I´m a little tired.”

Willis nodded, but his face showed some doubt.

“All right, I´ll see you tomorrow.” he said before he left.

*****

With MacGyver now sometimes walking around, Dr. Thompson had declared sub-level two off limits for Pete Thornton. He, Pete and Willis had to meet at the lab they used for all the evidence and its investigation at sub-level three. Three days had passed since the ‘evening incident’ and the doctor had finally forgiven Pete´s mistake. Again they were discussing how to proceed.

“Pete, I´ve tried several times during the last days.” Willis told him. “He won´t talk to me.”

“But we have to get through to him somehow.” Pete sighed deeply. “I can´t stand watching him suffer like this anymore.”

“I´ve tried getting him to talk to Dr. Beattie, but he has locked up to that offer.” Dr. Thompson added. “He keeps telling us that he´s okay. He has improved physically, yet he is still considerably weakened. After three weeks of torture he has some catching up to do. But I have to admit his mental strain is not helping it.”

The three men looked at each other quietly for a moment.

“But how do we confront him without risking more damage?” Pete asked what they were all thinking. “I can´t just walk into his room…”

“No way. We have to be very cautious.” Dr. Thompson addressed Pete. “He´s not only traumatized by the experience of being tortured, but his well known world has been destroyed by that ‘other you’.”

“But he´s still MacGyver.” Willis suddenly joined in.

Pete and Dr. Thompson looked at him puzzled.

“What do you mean by that?” Pete asked.

“He´s curious. He´s nosy. He´s scientifically interested.” Willis explained. “Maybe I can get him down here on one of our walks with something he will be interested in. Maybe I can confront him with parts of the evidence. Step by step. Maybe he will open up to it…”

Pete nodded slowly, considering the thought. “That might work…”

“Or cause him to break down.” Dr. Thompson wasn´t convinced.

Pete and Willis looked at each other.

“We have to try.” Pete finally told the doctor. “I can´t go on, not letting him know what really happened. He has every right to know.”

Dr. Thompson nodded, yet remained skeptical. He held the gaze of Pete and Willis for a few silent moments.

“Both of you should know that it´s a dangerous game, you´re intending to play.” he answered. “Be careful not to break him.”

Pete took the warning serious. But he had known Mac for many years. He knew how strong his friend´s resilience was.

“I know, doctor.” he replied. “But it´s MacGyver we´re talking about. We´ve got to give him every chance to get his real self and his life back. We have to trust him, that he´ll use it…”

*****



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uniquelyjas
Posted: 26 February 2020 - 10:38 AM                                    
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I'm wondering, since Mac is still blaming himself for Pete's death, if he wouldn't handle seeing Pete better than the doctor anticipates. Then again, that would be a "normal" Mac, so maybe the doc is right on this one.

Oh dear, I feel SO SORRY for Pete. He's absolutely the closest person to Mac and now he can't go near him:(((

This all could really damage Mac long-term as in PTSD:( And it's totally typical Mac to shut down his emotions and keep it all buried inside.

My favorite part is when Willis says "But he's still MacGyver". YES!! In my opinion (Sorry Dr. Thompson) it's time for them to stop coddling Mac so much and start getting him to help himself in the recovery process. I bet once he starts thinking/doing "MacGyver stuff" he'll feel better and more open to talking to the others as well as seeing Pete. Oh! I hope I'm right!!!



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bluegirl
Posted: 26 February 2020 - 12:17 PM                                    
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Well, seeing Pete is not going to be that easy - after all, he´s been in charge of the torture, he´s tried to kill him - he´s dead in Mac´s mind, right? Think about all the pain and angst that he has caused. Or would we see Mac panic if he was 'himself'? Yes, it is the beginning of PTSD...

Getting him to open up is going to take some effort - but I guess I´m going a different way with the story than you are thinking I might. You´ll know more on friday! wink.gif



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Posted: 26 February 2020 - 01:13 PM                                    
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QUOTE (bluegirl @ 26 February 2020 - 12:17 PM)

Getting him to open up is going to take some effort - but I guess I´m going a different way with the story than you are thinking I might. You´ll know more on friday! wink.gif

Oooh, that makes it more exciting!!



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"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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Posted: 26 February 2020 - 01:37 PM                                    
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That´s what it is supposed to do - I was really unsure about this part and the next two. I thought about cutting them down and making them less 'dramatic' - but now I am really looking forward to your comment on the next two parts. What happened to Mac is dramatic and there is no sense in not showing it. Writing this one and the next two parts was the most challenging during the whole process...



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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Posted: 26 February 2020 - 04:12 PM                                    
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QUOTE (bluegirl @ 26 February 2020 - 01:37 PM)
That´s what it is supposed to do - I was really unsure about this part and the next two. I thought about cutting them down and making them less 'dramatic' - but now I am really looking forward to your comment on the next two parts. What happened to Mac is dramatic and there is no sense in not showing it. Writing this one and the next two parts was the most challenging during the whole process...

Oooh, Now I'm really excited!! ANOTHER reason to look forward to Friday:)



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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Posted: 27 February 2020 - 10:54 AM                                    
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The whole time from the moment Pete saw the blanket slip off of Mac through the whole incident, I was like "Noooooo surprise.gif "

laugh.gif



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Posted: 27 February 2020 - 11:08 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 27 February 2020 - 07:54 PM)
The whole time from the moment Pete saw the blanket slip off of Mac through the whole incident, I was like "Noooooo  surprise.gif "

Well, I hope the noooo is going to change tomorrow... we´ll see what Pete and Willis are trying to do to help Mac...

And hopefully the 'Nooooo' isn´t caused by my storytelling...?



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Posted: 27 February 2020 - 10:52 PM                                    
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Here we go again...

Pete and Willis are planning to get through to MacGyver, carefully, cautiously, slowly - but with Mac involved, will it work out as planned...?


Part 9

On the following day Willis spent the whole morning preparing the lab. Until midday everything was ready. Upon entering the room it wouldn´t arouse suspicion. On the table next to the computer lay only a few manila envelopes and folders. Willis had put the evidence from the torture in sturdy cardboard boxes on the shelves on the side of the room. The silicone masks from Pete´s double were hidden in a separate box in the back corner of the shelf, together with the pictures and videotapes they had retrieved. They had found another mask as they had searched the camp ten days ago, along with photos and videotapes showing ‘the real’ Pete Thornton. Obviously Pete´s double had used those to practice his role, in order to be able to fool MacGyver´s already drug- and pain-confused mind. The shelves on the other side of the room held a microscope with some soil samples. Everything was set up.

Pete arrived shortly after noon and went straight to Willis´ lab. The two men stood silently for a few minutes, after greeting each other, looking around the room, assessing their idea for a last time.

“Do we really think this will work? Will he look around while I pretend to set up another test?” Willis asked nervously. “Will he even follow me down here?”

“I don´t know.” Pete sighed. “But if there´s some part of the MacGyver we know, that´s still intact, it should work… It has to work…”

“Do we really have to trap him like that?” Willis added. “I don´t feel to good about it… I know, it´s been my idea, but…”

“I don´t like it either.” Pete cut him off. “But I hate seeing him now. I hate letting him believe that he was tortured by me. I hate letting him believe that he killed me. For MacGyver´s own good, we have to end this. We have to try. We have to do everything possible to get back the MacGyver we know. And we have to go after the men who did this to him.”

After another reassuring glance at Willis, Pete left for the neighboring lab where they had set up a surveillance monitor for their ‘trap’. Willis remained alone. He needed a few moments to calm himself and to prepare mentally for what he was about to do. Then he nodded to himself and went to see Dr. Thompson and MacGyver.

*****

Dr. Thompson was with MacGyver as Willis arrived at the sick-room. He greeted the two men.

“Good to see both of you! How is our patient doing, doctor?”

Mac´s smile was a little lopsided. “I´m fine.”

Dr. Thompson looked first at MacGyver then at Willis.

“He´s improving.” he answered Willis´ question. “We were able to remove the stitches in his back this morning. His injuries are healing well. He may feel a little more tired than usual because of the procedure. He´s still weakened, also due to the weight loss during the captivity.”

Mac had remained silent during the doctor´s explanation, but now he added with a grin: “What he´s saying is I´m fine.”

Willis had to smile, but the doctor shot him a warning look.

“Don´t overdo it today.”

Willis hesitated for a moment. Should we better wait until tomorrow?

“Can I take him for our afternoon walk?” he asked.

“You can.” Dr. Thompson looked at him intensely, knowing what Willis and Pete were planning. “But be careful with him.” Then he left Mac and Willis.

Willis stood silent, watching Mac as he slowly sat up in his bed.

“Would you mind handing me the sweatshirt?” Mac asked, pointing to a chair in the corner.

“Sure.” Willis picked up the sweater from that chair and handed it to Mac, who put it on cautiously. “Mac, are you up to it? Dr. Thompson said you might be tired.”

MacGyver froze for a moment, then looked at Willis, trying to seem determined.

“I am fine.” he confirmed. “Willis, I´m looking forward to getting out of here at least once a day. It helps me train my body and its circulation again. I need to get back in shape. Let´s go.” He swung his long legs out of the bed and reached for his sneakers.

Willis stepped aside to assist him, feeling a little sting to his heart. He was about to lure his friend into an unpleasant trap. He knew, he had to do it, the outcome would hopefully be a relief to all of them, yet it felt like betrayal. And the doctor´s warning had reminded him of the risk they were taking.

As usual for the last days MacGyver held on to Willis´ arm for the first minutes. He felt the strain from removing the stitches quite clearly, but he wasn´t going to admit it. He was determined to cope with it. Mac let go of Willis as his steps slowly got more confident. After walking around the corridors of sub-level two for some time they took a break sitting down in the small kitchen with their usual coffee for Willis and herbal tea for MacGyver. Mac had soon noticed that Willis was a little off-center today.

“What´s going on, Willis?” he used the break to ask. “Something wrong?”

Willis suddenly felt trapped himself. Had he really believed, he could hide his unease from MacGyver? He took a quick look at his watch to avoid Mac´s probing gaze.

“No.” he replied. “Just waiting for some results of a test that I started in the morning. Should be ready by now.”

Mac nodded. “Urgent?”

Willis shook his head. Now or never, he thought. “No, I just need them for a simulation.” he replied. “Only scientific curiosity, you know. I´m waiting to see, if the research matches my theory.”

“Oh.” Mac raised his eyebrows and nodded in understanding. “What´s it about?”

Willis sighed. Baited and hooked, he thought. Time to reel him in.

“It´s just my usual soil and groundwater stuff. Searching for patterns in the spreading of chemicals and toxins.” he answered.

“Can I have a look at it?” MacGyver was instantly interested.

Willis looked up from his mug.

“I am using a lab at sub-level three, but I surely can get the papers up here. Dr. Thompson hasn´t allowed you to leave this level so far.”

“I know.” MacGyver sighed deeply. After a small pause he added with a boyish grin: “But does he have to know that we´ve been down there?”

Willis looked at him surprised. That had been easy. Yes, the nosy part of MacGyver is still there, he assessed to himself.

“I don´t think that´s a good idea…” he replied.

MacGyver was already exited by the idea.

“Willis, you´ve told me that I´ve been a captive for three weeks, I´ve been down here for ten days. I need to see and think about something that has no connection to that. Please…”

Willis looked at him silent. Again he felt the sting to his heart. MacGyver noticed it, but he mistook it for compassion.

“I´ll take the blame, Willis. I´ll tell the doc, I talked you into it.” he continued. “Please, let´s go.”

Willis hesitated another moment, then nodded. “All right…but you did talk me into it.”

MacGyver´s grin widened, he shrugged apologetically as he emptied his mug. Willis also drank the last of his coffee and then they both got up and left for the elevators. Willis´ key card allowed them access and they descended to the next level. Willis had a hard time hiding his inner tension as he guided MacGyver to the prepared lab. Opening the lab door with his key card gave him a moment to take a deep breath. Coming up was the most important and most crucial part of his and Pete´s plan.

When he entered the lab Willis went directly to the computer, took a quick look at the monitor and then headed for the printer. He had set up the computer and readied a print-out to be waiting for him. Willis retrieved the papers, returned to the computer and sat down in front of it.

MacGyver followed him slowly, leaving the door open, looking around the room. He noticed the folders and envelopes on the table, the microscope and the door leading to the adjoining room that was housing the more sensitive analysis equipment. Stepping closer to Willis and the computer he also saw the cardboard boxes on the shelves on the other side of the room. It felt comfortingly familiar to be in a lab again. Releasing a deep breath Mac glanced over Willis´ shoulder. Willis was typing results from the print-out into some input mask on the screen.

“This will take only a few minutes, Mac.” Willis told him. “I´ll be right with you…”

Mac nodded and straightened himself. He took another, closer look around the lab. He walked around the table and looked into the microscope. Mac saw some soil sample with others still waiting next to the microscope. He rose up after a few moments, as leaning forward made him feel every one of his wounds. Turning around the boxes on the far side of the room caught his attention.

Quite big for soil and water samples, Mac thought while he approached them. Willis noticed where Mac was headed in the corner of his eye. His pulse shot up.

“More samples in here?” MacGyver asked, just as he lifted the lid of the first of the boxes. What he saw made him freeze at once. He recognized the contents of the box very well. For a moment his heart seemed to stop, as all the memories washed over him. The box held iron cuffs with dried blood on them, and the stick they had used to electrocute him. MacGyver took an involuntary step back; the lid dropped out of his hand. He didn´t see how Willis stopped typing and slowly got up. He didn´t hear Willis talking to him at first. His mind was blocked with the pictures of his brutal confinement flooding into it. He didn´t realize that Willis had closed in on him, until he softly touched his arm. Mac winced and stepped aside.

“MacGyver?”

Willis saw he was trembling, his eyes filled with fear and his face frozen with shock. Bit by bit MacGyver regained some self-control. His mind was still on overdrive tough.

“Where did you get these from?” he asked with a low, hoarse voice. He felt trapped again.

What does Willis know? What does the Phoenix Foundation know? If they had found the camp, had they also found Pete´s body? Why has no one questioned me so far? What the heck is going on here?

The questions kept rotating in his head rapidly. Mac had to concentrate hard to hear Willis answer.

I am in charge of coordinating the lab investigation.” Willis explained. “I got those from the camp, after they had searched it thoroughly. Along with the other evidence. Soon after we had found you.”

Mac tried to calm down his ragged breathing. He couldn´t stop his hands from shaking.

They had to know… but who were they?

“They?” he heard himself ask after a few moments. Now his heart was racing. He heard Pete´s voice echo in his head: Willis has been cleared. He knows nothing about this. Really? Or had Pete also been wrong about that? Have I made a mistake in trusting Willis?

The thought sent a cold shiver down his spine. He took another step away from Willis, his eyes still fixed on what lay in that box. He had not expected to see remains of his torture in here. Nor had he been prepared for it. Willis didn´t follow him.

“Only the finest of our Phoenix Foundation operatives and forensics.” Willis told Mac. “Handpicked by and together with…” Willis hesitated for a moment then continued: “With Pete Thornton.”

As Willis mentioned that name, MacGyver felt like someone had hit him hard into his stomach. His head and heart seemed to explode.

Pete?!

For a moment his legs seemed to give way before he steadied himself to avoid falling.

That is impossible! How?

He could barely breathe. He looked at Willis in pure shock.

“What?” It was merely a whisper. “It can´t be…”

Willis moved to the shelf and opened another one of the boxes.

“MacGyver, I need to show you something.” he told Mac as calm as possible, observing him closely. “You have refused to talk about what happened, but regarding your reactions and the evidence… We believe that those men made you believe Pete was one of them. That Pete was part of the torture. That he tried to kill you… But that´s not true.”

Mac´s mind was still running berserk. Now confusion added to it.

“I´ve known Pete for many years, Willis.” he tried to argue. “Don´t you think I´d recognize him?”

“You have been tortured.” Willis sighed. “You were weakened and in pain. You were drugged.”

Mac didn´t respond. His gaze was locked on the box.

“It was a double.” Willis continued after a short break. He reached into the box, took out one of the silicone masks and showed it to Mac.

“They used silicone masks. We took this one off the dead guy that had fallen off the cliff.”

He laid it aside and took out the videotapes and pictures.

“They had pictures and tapes of Pete to help that man practice his role. So they would deceive you.”

He spread out the pictures next to the mask and then retrieved another folder.

“We took pictures of that dead man wearing the mask.”

Willis also put them next to the mask, but then stepped back to allow MacGyver a closer look. He didn´t want to put too much pressure on him by being too close.

MacGyver was paralyzed for a few moments. His mind refused to comprehend what Willis had just told him, just as it had at first refused to accept Pete´s appearance in the camp. Cautiously, like in slow motion he went a little closer. His whole body was trembling, he was still breathing hard. Mac didn´t dare to touch the mask, as if it would be able to hurt him. More and more memories flooded his already confused mind. The panic of being hurt and tortured again threatened to take over. His memories collided with what he saw lying on that shelf.

Could it be true? But how? I´ve felt Pete´s hands around my neck, I saw him falling… Can´t I trust my own memories anymore? Am I going crazy? Or had they really been able to deceive me? I didn´t kill…?

“Are you telling me, I didn´t …” MacGyver began to ask slowly, while turning to face Willis. He didn´t finish the question, but froze again, staring at something behind Willis. His eyes widened with shock and his face instantly went pale.

Willis turned to see what had gotten Mac´s attention. Pete was standing in the open doorway, frowning, his face marked with a mixture of deep concern and pain. He tried hard not to let his hurt show, instead managed to sound calm and comforting.

“No, MacGyver. You didn´t kill me.” he answered the most pressing question on Mac´s mind.

Hearing Pete´s voice loosened MacGyver´s paralysis. He straightened himself, swallowed hard and stepped back from the shelf. The memories of Pete stabbing his back with his own knife, of being pushed over the edge by him, of Pete trying to strangulate him took over. Mac had to close his eyes for a moment and shook his head in an effort to clear his mind. But he couldn´t control the fear of being hurt and having to fight for his life any longer. He stepped further away from Willis, trying to get as much distance as possible between the two men and himself. His eyes frantically scanned the room, but the only way out was blocked by Pete. Like a cornered, hunted animal he prepared himself it fight for his life.

“I was never there.” Pete continued, as he took a step into the lab. “It was a fraud. Please, try to believe us. Look at the evidence.”

MacGyver´s eyes switched rapidly between Pete, Willis, the silicone mask and the pictures. Shivers were running over his body; he felt vertigo rising within.

“But I saw you… I heard you… How can I?” Mac´s words were only a hoarse whisper.

It tore Pete´s heart to watch his friend like this. He barely managed to sound quiet.

“Those men weakened you with the torture. They disturbed your senses with the drug. They knew exactly how to use your mind and your emotions against you.” he explained. “They tried to break you mentally.”

MacGyver didn´t respond. His thoughts were rotating faster and faster.

“You saw me kneeling next to that dead double, before you ran off.” Pete tried to convince him further. “Do you remember that?”

Mac nodded shakily. That was the one memory that he had not been able to place yet. He had accepted it as a hallucination caused by the drug.

“I and Willis came to your rescue.” Pete carried on.”We had only seen a body from the helicopter. We didn´t know you were close by. We didn´t know that we would find that double. We didn´t know what had happened to you…”

Mac still remained silent, his breathing ragged. Pete and Willis saw him sway a little. They realized, they were acting dangerously close to the edge of how much Mac could take.

“MacGyver, we´ve been the best friends for many years. Deep inside you got to know that I could never do something like this to you. I would never hurt you. You´ve got to know that.” Pete tried again. “Please, believe me… Don´t tell me they were successful in breaking you apart… Please…” His last words were choking with the tears welling up in his eyes.

MacGyver didn´t move. He was still shaking. His gaze was now fixed on Pete. His mind was confused with his memories, his fear and what he´d just seen and heard. What Pete had told him made sense, logically. He felt torn inside. Pete´s last words had touched something he had buried deep inside his heart. He desperately wanted to believe him. But the part of his mind that had not calmed down all the time he´d been here, was on high alert. Mac was hardly able to control it. He tried to straighten himself.

“It wasn´t you…?” he asked doubtingly. He could see the tears in Pete´s eyes.

“No, Mac.” Pete replied with a breaking voice. “I´ve been searching for you… I´ve been trying to get you back…”

MacGyver felt a wave of relief as part of his mind accepted that he had been betrayed. He sighed, yet had to close his eyes as the dizziness all of a sudden intensified. As he opened them again his vision blurred. Mac tried to grab something to steady himself, but the table and shelves were too far away. Fighting the darkness creeping up he tried to focus on Pete again.

“Pete…?” It was only a whisper. Mac wanted to reach out to him, but the darkness and vertigo swept over him and he collapsed unconscious to the ground. He didn´t hear Pete calling out his name scared.

“MacGyver!” Pete rushed past Willis and crouched down beside him. He put one hand around Mac´s neck, steadying his head and the other one to his shoulder. “Mac! Come on!” He felt for Mac´s pulse. It was racing, but strong.

Willis closed in right after Pete.

“I´ll get the doctor.” he told Pete after a quick look, got up again and hurried out of the room.

Pete abruptly felt uneasy. Had he pushed too far, too early? Had he put MacGyver´s life at risk again? Had he been able to successfully reach out to his friend? Seeing Mac lying limply on the ground sent a shiver down his spine. He had to blink the tears out of his eyes, tried to focus and calm down. Pete carefully pushed some damp hair off Mac´s sweat-covered forehead. His skin felt clammy.

“I´m sorry, Mac.” he told him, tough Mac would probably not hear it.

But only moments later MacGyver stirred. Moaning he took a few deep breaths, his face marked with pain. Pete was still there, steadying Mac´s head with his hand.

“Easy, MacGyver, take it slow…” he attempted to comfort him.

His mind was still confused, as MacGyver slowly came out of it. His injured back hurt, but why had he fallen? Pictures played back into his head. He wasn´t sure at first, if his last memories were real or if it had been another frightening dream. As he tried to move his head, he felt someone holding him softly. It felt somehow familiar. Just then he heard a voice that set off all his alarms. He opened his eyes and saw Pete hovering at his side. Without thinking, he struggled to get up and away, but he was too weak. Pete held him at shoulder and neck, gently pushing him down. Mac´s body was tense and shivering within the blink of a second.

“Quiet, Mac, please…” Pete asked him softly.

MacGyver had grabbed on to his arms and tried to pull them away. His grip loosened only a bit.

“It´s me, pal. It´s Pete.” Pete tried to calm him. “Remember, what we just told you?”

Slowly MacGyver´s frightened mind cleared bit by bit. One after another he sorted his memories and started processing them. He let go of Pete´s arms and allowed his body to relax a little. His gaze remained locked on Pete´s face.

“I´m so sorry, Mac.” Pete told him. “I wish, you´d never have had to go through this. I wish I could have prevented it. I wish we could have found you earlier.”

MacGyver was still breathing heavily, still shivering. He saw the pain in Pete´s eyes quite clearly. Out of the blue the relief was back in his head and heart. His troubled mind accepted the facts. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes to fight the last remains of his fear. It was almost gone when he looked up at Pete.

“Pete.” His body eased up further and he held on to one of Pete´s arms again. “It wasn´t your fault…” His hand squeezed Pete´s arm.

A relived smile widened on Pete´s face, still mixed with concern.

“Oh, thank God.” he exclaimed and eased his grip on Mac´s shoulder. MacGyver tried to rise up, but he wasn´t strong enough yet.

“Wait. Let me help you.” Pete stopped him. He wrapped one arm around Mac´s shoulders and helped him sit up a little, resting Mac´s head against his arm. MacGyver gazed up at Pete and held on to the arm supporting him.

“Thanks, Pete.” he said, then relaxed into Pete´s hold and hid his face in the fabric of Pete´s coat. Shivers were still running up and down his spine. He felt Pete pull him even closer, cautiously holding him with both arms.

“It´s okay, MacGyver. It´s over.” he heard Pete´s soothing words.

Mac held on to Pete as all the memories and emotions of the last four and a half weeks washed over him. All the events were catching up on him. It lasted for minutes until his relief had gotten back the upper hand against his fears. The adrenaline rush wore off and he suddenly felt extremely exhausted. The vertigo was back with full force. Even the floor seemed to move. Mac struggled to calm his breath and raised and turned his head to look at Pete. His gaze was unsteady. His face had gone pale again.

“Pete?” he asked weakly. “I guess I could use some help… I´m not…”

Pete was there supporting Mac´s head fast.

“It´s okay.” he cut Mac off. “Willis already went to get Dr. Thompson when you passed out. They should be here any minute. Just hang on.”

A small smile played around Mac´s lips. His eyelids were getting heavy.

“That´s good.” he replied with a low voice. “Don´t worry, Pete… I´ll live… I just need to… rest.” His words got interrupted by the shivering.

Pete tried to return the smile, but just as Willis and the doctor entered the room, Mac´s eyes closed and his body went slack again. Dr. Thompson quickly kneeled down opposite to Pete, instantly feeling for Mac´s pulse on his neck.

“What happened, since Willis went to get me?” he asked.

“He regained consciousness soon after Willis left.” Pete´s eyes stayed locked on MacGyver. “He needed a few moments to remember and accept what we had told him. I´m afraid, the relief was a shock to him. I had to hold him for minutes until he recovered from it, but just as you came in, he passed out again.”

The doctor nodded and laid a hand on Mac´s forehead.

“Lay him down.” he ordered Pete while turning around to his case. He checked Mac´s blood pressure and shone a penlight into his eyes as he carefully opened his eyelids.

“Pupillary reflex is normal. Good.” Dr. Thompson stated, feeling for the temperature on MacGyver´s cheeks and neck. His skin felt cold, yet was covered with sweat.

“Willis, get the nurses down here with a stretcher. Fast.” the doctor ordered without looking up. He turned to his case and hurried to fill up a syringe. “Pull up his sleeve.” he addressed Pete, who was stared at him alarmed, but obeyed fast.

“Doctor, what´s wrong with him? What´s going on?”

Dr. Thompson didn´t react but quickly found a vein on Mac´s arm and emptied the syringe into it.

“Raise his legs a little.” he said.

Pete got one of the boxes from the shelf and put it under Mac´s feet and ankles. Then he returned to face the doctor, who was again checking Mac´s pulse. Pete´s tension grew with every second.

“Dr. Thompson!” he demanded. “What´s wrong with him?”

Dr. Thompson reacted only a few moments later.

“He´s gone into a severe physical shock.”

Pete was stunned. “What?” he asked unbelieving. “But how? He was recovering and stable…”

“I´m afraid it´s caused by the mental shock.” Dr. Thompson explained, fully concentrating on his patient, constantly monitoring his condition. “Since he´s here and awake, he has tried his best to keep up a calm façade, to hide his emotions from us. MacGyver has made an enormous effort in making us believe that he´s okay. This has drained a lot of his energy. Confronting him with the truth has most probably used up his remaining strength. When he started believing you, his relief suddenly reduced the adrenaline flow that´s been keeping him under tension. That´s what made him collapse. With the tension gone he´s totally exhausted and worn out.”

He looked up as he heard the stretcher rolling on the corridor and saw Willis and the nurse entering the room.

“We´ve got to get him back upstairs and under surveillance fast.” he told her.

Willis worry grew instantly as he hadn´t heard the doctor´s explanation.

“Doc, is he in danger?”

Dr. Thompson´s gaze fixed for a moment at Pete and Willis; his expression dark and serious.

“Not yet.”



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 28 February 2020 - 10:31 AM                                    
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OK, I just read your intro to this part and no, nothing ever seems to work out as planned when Mac is involved!!

Even as messed up as Mac is, I doubt he could keep himself from taking at least a peek at the lab!! That kind of stuff is always his downfall!

And true to character, Mac is always "fine" even when he isn't!!

Ha! Called it! Sure didn't take much convincing to get Mac to the lab:)) Good to see part of himself shining through!!

LOL! Mac is SO NOSY!!

OK...really glad that Mac is accepting the evidence, Pete, etc. as truth. Now worried about his physical condition again! Ugh!! You did a really good job explaining why he collapsed again and yes, I can't totally see Mac using all his strength to pretend everything's fine.

What a rollercoaster you have us on! Waiting for Saturday!!



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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bluegirl
Posted: 28 February 2020 - 11:13 AM                                    
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Way too much praise for me.... the rollercoaster ride has four more chapters to come...

If you liked this part, I am curious about what you will be thinking about the next one - due on sunday morning CET

happy_dance.gif happy_dance.gif happy_dance.gif



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 28 February 2020 - 11:47 AM                                    
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QUOTE (bluegirl @ 28 February 2020 - 11:13 AM)

If you liked this part, I am curious about what you will be thinking about the next one - due on sunday morning CET

happy_dance.gif happy_dance.gif happy_dance.gif

Hmmm, now I'm intrigued. Yeah, Sunday, guess I just have the weekend on my mind!! Still have about 2 hours left to go here at work:(



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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Posted: 29 February 2020 - 12:22 PM                                    
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QUOTE (bluegirl @ 27 February 2020 - 01:08 PM)
QUOTE (Dragondog @ 27 February 2020 - 07:54 PM)
The whole time from the moment Pete saw the blanket slip off of Mac through the whole incident, I was like "Noooooo  surprise.gif "

Well, I hope the noooo is going to change tomorrow... we´ll see what Pete and Willis are trying to do to help Mac...

And hopefully the 'Nooooo' isn´t caused by my storytelling...?

Don't worry wink.gif The "noooo" was because I could tell that Pete was going to go into the room when the blanket fell off of Mac, and I was worrying about the chaos that would cause. If anything, it's because you're a GOOD storyteller smile.gif



"If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer" - Hank The Cowdog

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"[T]he more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each one of us will be" - Zootopia

"Love makes you do strange things." - Charlie Brown

"When something looks too perfect, it probably sucks" - Dreamworks Dragons Race to the Edge

 
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Posted: 29 February 2020 - 10:34 PM                                    
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It is sunday - it´s time for the next step on the rough road to recovery

Part 10

Together they returned MacGyver to his room on sub-level two. Dr. Thompson connected him to the heart rate monitor, breathing and blood pressure surveillance and supplied him with more meds to keep his weak circulation going. Pete never left Mac´s side. No matter, what Dr. Thompson would or could have said, he was determined to be there for his friend.

Only a few hours after returning him, MacGyver´s condition had turned stable and started improving again. Pete had sent off Willis to get some rest at that point, whereas Pete and the doctor had stayed with Mac the whole time. It was close to midnight, when MacGyver stirred, moaning lightly. Both men were instantly on their feet, but Dr. Thompson shot Pete a warning look.

“Stay back at first.” he ordered with a low voice. “We have no idea how he will react. I don´t want to cause another shock.”

Pete nodded, stepped back into the far corner of the room and sat down again, while Dr. Thompson took his place at Mac´s side. He laid one hand on MacGyver´s forehead, brushing back his unruly hair and feeling for his temperature.

“Shh, MacGyver.” He tried to calm him. “Easy. Take your time.”

MacGyver´s head slowly turned to the familiar voice he heard. His mind was a little confused; he felt his injured back and cracked rib quite clearly. He blinked his eyes open and focused on the doctor´s concerned face.

“Doc?”

Dr. Thompson´s hand slid down to his neck and checked on his pulse.

“Yes, MacGyver.” he answered. “How do you feel?”

Mac needed a moment to reply, assessing himself.

“Exhausted… Somehow feeble… A little dizzy.”

“That´s understandable.” Dr. Thompson nodded. “Do you remember what happened?”

Mac started searching his mind. I am back in my room now, but why? How?

“Willis came to get me for my afternoon walk.” he recalled slowly, his eyes now looking into some unknown distance, unsteadily sorting through his memories. “He had told me about some soil tests he was conducting. I talked him into taking me to his lab on sub-level three.” He shrugged apologetically at the doctor. “When we got down there…”

He suddenly went silent, his eyes moving rapidly, concentrating to his inside. Mac´s breathing speeded up for a few seconds, then he held his breath. His jumbled memories washed over him, in a flash sliding back into their places. MacGyver abruptly focused on Dr. Thompson, tried to rise up quickly, but the doctor held him down at his shoulders.

“Don´t! Stay down! Slow, MacGyver…” Dr. Thompson ordered.

Mac stared at him with eyes wide open, the sudden pain in his back not mattering at all.

“Pete!” he asked excitedly. “Where´s Pete?”

Pete didn´t wait for permission or approval from the doctor; he was on his feet at once.

“Right here, MacGyver.”

MacGyver´s head shot to the other side; his eyes searched the room and quickly found Pete Thornton in the corner. His hand reached out and he tried to get up again.

“Pete…” he sighed relieved.

Pete was at his side with a few quick steps, grabbed MacGyver´s hand and held on to it. His other hand went to Mac´s shoulder gently pushing him back on the bed.

“Dr. Thompson said, you should stay down.”

MacGyver´s breathing was still labored but he held on tightly to Pete´s hand. His gaze was fixed on his best friend.

“It´s okay, Mac. Try to relax.” Pete continued. “I won´t be going away. I won´t leave you.”

Mac took a few deep breaths, striving to calm down his racing heart and his breathing. Dr. Thompson had observed MacGyver and the monitors showing his vitals sharply, but now his tension also reduced a little. He saw clearly how strong the bond and friendship between the two men were. The doctor knew very well, this would not take the experience and the memories off MacGyver. Healing his mental injuries was a huge task that still lay in front of him. But at least the darkest and most painful memory had apparently lost its potential to burden his soul anymore. The fright would return as would the nightmares, however for now Dr. Thompson was relieved. MacGyver knew that his life and his friends were still there and that he could still trust them and himself. This fact would make his recovery a lot easier, physically as well as mentally.

Dr. Thompson sighed and straightened himself. His hand left MacGyver´s neck, where it had been monitoring his pulse. That movement drew Mac´s attention to him. He turned his head to face the doctor. Dr. Thompson smiled at him.

“It looks as if the two of you don´t need me at the moment, so I´ll leave you alone. As it is the middle of the night, I´ll get some sleep. Remember, you told me, you´re exhausted, so don´t overdo it.” Then he looked at Pete. “He needs to rest. Don´t you keep him awake.”

Both men nodded, so he left the room. After the door had closed, Mac looked at Pete and squeezed his hand a little. Again he felt a wave of relief rush through himself.

“Thanks for getting me out of this, Pete.” Mac said with a low, soft voice. “Thanks for not giving up on me.”

Pete smiled. “Thank you for finally returning to me.” he replied. “And you did get out of there yourself, remember?”

“I wouldn´t have been able to do it without the uproar.” Mac´s expression instantly grew dark with the memory. “Must have been you and your team…” He paused for a moment, giving Pete the opportunity to nod. “I didn´t care about the reason at that moment.” he continued. “I was acting on pure survival instinct… Pete, they made me believe…” Mac wasn´t able to finish the sentence as his emotions took over. A shiver ran down his spine, his eyes were staring blank into the distance as his memories surfaced once more.

Pete gently squeezed his hand and his shoulder.

“Shh, Mac… It´s over.” Pete addressed him. “Please… come back to me… listen to me… you´re safe now…”

It took some moments until MacGyver managed to push back the images in his head. Slowly his eyes focused on Pete´s face. He sighed deeply and had to close them for a few seconds. His vision blurred a little with tears welling up in his eyes as he opened them again. Pete was still there. It had not been a trick of his mind.

“Quiet, MacGyver.” Pete tried to calm him further. “Don´t rush it… Take your time… We don´t have to talk about it now… you rather need to rest.”

MacGyver nodded weakly. He felt every bit of his exhaustion; his eyelids were getting heavier.

“Pete, please, stay…”

“Shh.” Pete cut him off. He had seen Mac getting tired. “It´s okay… sleep, MacGyver… relax… I´ll be here when you wake up. I won´t leave you.” he reassured Mac smiling.

MacGyver returned the smile feebly. Pete felt his body relax and saw him close his eyes. His breath became slower and more regular. Mac drifted off into a quiet sleep. Pete held on to Mac´s limp hand for a few minutes before placing it gently on the bed. He pulled a chair close to MacGyver´s bed and settled into it, preparing to watch over him at least for the rest of the night. Pete would be going nowhere soon. He wasn´t going to leave his best friend alone.

*****

“Pete, I need to see it!” MacGyver was a little upset.

“I don´t think that´s a good idea.” Pete replied, trying to stay calm. “And so do your doctors.”

MacGyver slammed his hand on the table, got out of his chair and started pacing the lab on sub-level three. He stopped at the far end of the room and turned to face Pete.

“So that´s your plan… Getting me out of one cage and putting me into another?” he asked angrily.

“Mac, it’s a safe house, no cage.” Pete still managed to answer him quietly. “Please, be reasonable. I told you that one of the guys is still out there. You gave us a good description, but we don´t have any lead on him yet. He could still be after you.”

MacGyver closed in on the table until he was standing opposite to Pete.

“But it´s not very likely that he´ll be in that camp on that mountain. You also told me, you´re observing it. So, what danger could it cause if I go back there? With company?”

He leaned forward with his hands on the table, his brown eyes fixed on Pete.

“Pete, I´ve got to see it. Without the drugs, without the pain, without being captive.”

Pete sighed deeply. After confronting MacGyver with the truth about the double, his recovery had been much less complicated. He had agreed to talk to Dr. Beattie fast and his physical progress had also speeded up with the lessening mental pressure. So yesterday, only two weeks later Dr. Thompson had agreed with Pete Thornton to release MacGyver into one of the Phoenix Foundation´s safe houses. There, they agreed, they could still watch over him, but slowly allow him to return to normalcy.

Dr. Beattie had also agreed. She was still concerned because Mac made every effort to convince everyone that the experience of having been tortured didn´t bother him anymore. However, talking to him one on one felt a lot different. He had opened up a little to her, had told only her some details about what had happened on that mountain. But even to her, he tried to hide his emotions and his real feelings. She knew it was part of his personal process of dealing with the experience. After the initial relief of Pete still being alive, Mac had also withdrawn from him. He was keeping up his composure, making everyone believe he was fine.

Dr. Beattie had talked to Pete about it. She had warned him, that Mac would quite likely push himself too far too soon. Pete watched MacGyver worried as he was pacing again.

“I just know I have to do it. I have to put those images to rest.” Mac´s eyes were haunted as he faced Pete.

“Are you sure about this?” Pete asked with a probing look at him.

“Yes, Pete.” MacGyver held his gaze and took a deep breath. “Maybe I can come up with something, you had not noticed up there. Maybe we can find more clues that will lead us to that Asian, together… Will you support me? … Or will you lock me up?”

Pete felt a sting to his heart.

“Mac, it´s not about locking you up.” he tried to argue. “We´re trying to protect you.”

Now MacGyver´s face turned sad. “After all those years we´ve known each other, after all we´ve been through together, don´t you think I can take care of myself?”

Pete had to sigh. “I know, you do, but…”

Mac raised one hand to cut him off.

“So? Dr. Thompson has allowed me to leave. Do I have to find my own way out of here and up to that camp? … Or will you help me?”

Pete still looked at MacGyver with deep concern. He knew very well, his friend was stubborn when he had made up his mind. He also knew that Mac was capable of working his way out of the labs or any safe house. After a few moments of consideration he gave in and nodded to Mac.

“All right, if you really insist on doing this… I´ll make the arrangements.”

MacGyver´s face showed no smile. Inside he knew it wouldn´t be an easy trip to make. To the outside he wanted to seem determined. He didn´t want Pete to worry about him.

“Thanks, Pete.”

Pete slowly got up, constantly observing Mac.

“Come on, I´ve got to make some phone calls and you´d better get dressed and ready for our trip.”

*****

Pete had arranged for a helicopter and two Phoenix operatives waiting for them outside the lab complex. MacGyver knew both of them from previous assignments. One of them was their pilot and both of them were supposed to guard the camp from the outside as long as Mac and Pete would be searching it.

Getting out of the underground installation felt good to MacGyver. He was no longer forced to sit around and wait. Knowing that the corpulent Asian man had been able to flee had become unbearable to Mac over the last days. Even though Dr. Beattie had warned him of serious flashbacks, he had to go after that man. Letting him get away was no option to MacGyver.

The longer the flight took, the more withdrawn Mac became. Pete noticed it soon. He had a watchful eye on Mac´s condition the whole time.

“Mac, are you all right?” he asked some minutes before they would reach their destination.

Mac had been silently looking out the window. He had recognized Widow Canyon passing below them. Pete´s voice made him snap out of his considerations.

“I´m fine, Pete” he replied. “Just keeping track of where we are going. It´s so close to Widow Canyon. No wonder it felt familiar to me as I was escaping the camp.”

The helicopter made its way through the neighboring valley up along a slope. A rocky wall stretched up until the end of it. Mac grew silent again, his expression turning dark.

“That´s where we found you and that double.” Pete explained while pointing to a certain spot along the rock face.

MacGyver´s eyes followed his gesture. He drew in a deep breath and held it for a few seconds. Even with Pete sitting right next to him, the memory of that guy chasing him, strangulating him and then falling off the cliff haunted him. All of a sudden he felt Pete´s hand on his arm.

“Mac?”

MacGyver flinched and looked at Pete tense and with pain in his eyes. He took another deep breath before answering.

“I still see you trying to kill me … I still see you falling … I can´t help it…”

“Give it time…” Pete sighed and squeezed his arm gently. “You can´t undo your memories by will…”

Mac only nodded as the helicopter passed the spot and ascended along the slope. Minutes later a building came into sight. At the upper end of the rock wall, situated right at the edge was a large wooden camp. The helicopter circled above it, allowing Mac a full view around it, before it landed on a clearing close by.

MacGyver hesitated a moment; he needed the time to pull himself together mentally. Then he got out of the chopper, closely followed by Pete Thornton. Mac walked towards the camp immediately. Pete had to hurry to keep up with him.

Mac slowed down as the building came into sight through the trees. He stopped a few yards away from the front door. He had never seen this part of the camp, but knowing what he was about to see inside sent his heart pounding fast. He could hardly keep his emotions under control with all the memories of his captivity welling up. Pete´s voice made him wince and draw back a little.

“Do you still want to do this?” Pete saw the pain and fear in Mac´s dark eyes clearly as Mac looked at him. “Are you sure about this?”

MacGyver swallowed hard before answering: “I don´t want to, Pete… I have to.”

His eyes went back to the building, scanning it for every detail that might be important. Mac was about to walk to the door as Pete´s voice held him back.

“Allow me just a moment, Mac, please.” he asked. “Before you go in there, I´d like to give you something.”

MacGyver turned back to him and raised his eyebrows puzzled.

“Since your old one is evidence now…” Pete continued. “I got you a new Swiss army knife. Hopefully I picked the right model with all your favorite tools.” He reached into his pocket and held the new red pocket knife out to Mac.

MacGyver´s face instantly froze with fright. He involuntarily took a step backwards away from Pete. Pictures, sounds and the feeling of Pete stabbing his back with the knife suddenly flooded his mind. He wasn´t able to control it at first. Then he held his breath concentrating on the thought that it had been the other man, the double. But in his memories the man still had Pete´s face.

Pete lowered his hand with the knife as he saw Mac´s reaction. He had not expected something like it.

“Mac? … What´s the matter? … What´s wrong?

MacGyver released the breath, he had been holding, and part of the tension also gradually left his body. He managed to take his eyes off the pocket knife and raised his gaze to Pete´s face.

“I´m fine.” he replied slowly. “Just remembering something… the last time I saw my old one, the other ‘you’ was first stabbing my back and then stopped my attempt to escape with it.”

Pete´s shoulders slouched. “I´m sorry.” he apologized. “I didn´t…”

Mac cut him off with a wave of his hand.

“It´s okay, Pete.” A small smile played around his lips. “You had no way of knowing…”

He reached out his hand and Pete handed him the knife a little hesitantly. MacGyver turned it around for a few moments in his hand, checking what tools it held. His expression relaxed.

“I love it.” he said as he shoved the Swiss army knife into the pocket of his jeans. “Thanks, Pete.”

Mac focused on the door again, steeling himself mentally for what he was about to see. He knew he had to be careful, the last moments had just shown him how fragile his composure was. MacGyver slowly closed in on the door, while Pete exchanged glances with the two operatives that had now caught up with them.

“I don´t want any surprises while we are in there.” he ordered the men. “Make sure, that the camp is safe.”

Then he followed MacGyver to the door. Mac had already opened it and went inside. He entered the dim corridor. Inspecting them for every detail he made his way through every room, one after another. Pete tried to stay close without hindering him and observed Mac´s condition closely. After all it was only his first day out of medical care.

MacGyver remained silent for most of the time while walking around the camp. He only shared some of his memories and possible hints in short statements to every room with Pete. While being captive he had only seen the corridor, his cell, the bathroom and the large room at the end of the corridor. He remembered those quite clearly.

They had discussed all the evidence during the last two weeks and now Pete shared his information about where and what had been recovered while they were looking around. Pete could see the tension building up inside MacGyver with every minute although he tried hard to keep up his calm façade. He avoided the larger room and showed Pete the back exit first, where he had managed to escape. But after that it was the only one left over.

MacGyver´s hands were shaking as he touched the handle of the door leading to the room where he had been tortured. Pete noticed it.

“Mac, you don´t have to…”

MacGyver´s glance cut him off. His eyes were filled with a mixture of pain and fear but also determination. He puffed out a deep breath, pushed the door open and entered the room. Pete followed him up close, leaving the door open. He didn´t want to raise the pressure by shutting the way out. In the last weeks he had noticed that closed doors made Mac feel uneasy.

MacGyver stayed close to the wall while walking around the room. He noticed that the table was still there, but the shackles mounted to the wall were gone. Only some dried up dark stains on one wall and the floor showed where he had been bound and brutalized. All his memories were coming back into his mind, getting more intense with every moment. He had to concentrate hard to keep his fear under control. Mac remained close to the table, scanning it with his eyes.

“Have you checked the table for fingerprints?” he asked Pete with a hoarse voice.

“We´ve tried.” Pete answered as calm as possible. He could see Mac´s body trembling by now. He could barely imagine how hard he was fighting back his memories. “Nothing conclusive so far.”

“Try again.” Mac sighed. “Take it to the lab. Both of them have touched it. More than once. There has to be something we can work with.”

As he looked up to the side wall he froze, suddenly staring blank into the distance. His most unsettling remembrance had returned.

“Mac?” Pete asked, instantly concerned and alert. “What is it? … MacGyver?”

Mac didn´t react, but slowly went over to that side wall, like on autopilot. He searched for a moment, found the mechanism and slid the door open. Pete was stunned and surprised. They had not found the sliding wall weeks ago, shortly after MacGyver´s escape. First he was impressed by the view, then he noticed the edge of the cliff was right behind where the wall had just been. The next thing Pete saw was the sturdy wooden beam that reached out over the abyss and the rope hanging down from it. He went a little closer noticing that the end of the rope was stained with dried blood. Then he saw MacGyver standing close to the edge, somehow frozen, paralyzed, staring down into the depth blankly.

MacGyver´s mind and feelings were blocked by his last memory of this room. He felt the rope binding his wrists; the huge guard was pulling and shoving him close to the edge. He felt the wind on his skin and playing with his hair, not knowing up from down. He heard Pete´s voice urging him to confess in his head. He felt hopeless and broken again. Panic rose in him and took over. Pete was about to push him over the edge… to his possible death…

Pete´s focus abruptly changed to his friend, who was obviously reliving a memory.

“MacGyver?”

As Mac didn´t reply or even react a bit, Pete slowly went closer to him. He became aware of his pale but sweaty face and the shivers running over his whole body. Pete knew about Mac´s fear of heights. Had they really used it?

“Mac?” he tried to reach out to him once more. Mac still didn´t seem to notice that Pete was there. He didn´t answer, so Pete tried to gently take his arm. He wasn´t prepared for Mac´s reaction.

MacGyver fiercely knocked Pete´s hand off himself, pushed Pete away and panicking drew back into the room.

“No!” he shouted. “Don´t! Please, don´t do it!”

Pete needed a moment to regain his balance and avoid falling off the cliff. As soon as he was safe he concentrated on MacGyver again. Mac had retreated a few steps into the room. His whole body was trembling and his eyes were filled with terror and shock. He was still staring into the abyss. The memory of being pushed over the edge, of almost falling to his death had control over his mind and senses.

Pete saw that he was swaying a little as he cautiously approached him.

“MacGyver, please … listen to me.” he reached out to him. “It is over … come back to me … no one will harm you.”

Mac took another unsteady step backwards, but then his knees buckled and he fell to his hands and knees, breathing heavily. Pete felt the sudden urge to rush to him, but kept his caution.

“Mac, it´s me. It´s Pete… please, believe me … you´re safe.” he kept calming MacGyver. “It´s over … it is only a memory … you can get out of this … come back to me.”

A little hesitant Pete crouched down and laid first one, then both hands on MacGyver´s shoulders. Suddenly Mac´s shocked eyes fixed on Pete. Pete felt his body shaking with fear.

“What happened?” he asked softly. “Mac, please tell me what you see… Don´t cut me out of it… Let me help you… what did they do to you?”

He squeezed Mac´s shoulders gently and steadied him as he saw his gaze return to present time.

“I was bound at my wrists…” Mac told Pete with a shaky voice. “You pushed me over the edge… I would have fallen to my death if the rope had not held me… it felt like being ripped apart…”

Pete sighed deeply.

“You know I didn´t do this. Do you remember the double?” he asked. “You know I am here to help you through it…”

MacGyver only nodded slowly; a part of him still seemed paralyzed. Pete pulled him compassionately into his arms, feeling how tense Mac´s body was. At first Mac hesitated, still trying to hide his emotions, but then he buried his face into the fabric of Pete´s coat at his shoulder. After a few moments he held on to Pete allowing himself to be comforted. It took minutes before he felt somewhat safe again.

Pete was patient. He just held MacGyver quietly in his arms until he felt him calm down. Seeing his friend like this was heartbreaking to Pete. Inside he had to control once more his rage against the men who had done this to MacGyver. After a while Mac raised his head and eased himself out of Pete´s embrace. He straightened himself and fixed his eyes on the edge of the rock and the opening again.

“Mac, are you all right?” Pete didn´t fully let go. One of his hands still held on to Mac´s arm.

MacGyver´s face was pale as he shot Pete a short, shy look, like trying to apologize for the outbreak. “I´m fine.” he nodded, gradually regaining his self-control. “The memory just returned too sudden, too intense. It took over… I couldn´t distinguish past from present…” He still was a little disoriented and stunned. He had never expected the flashbacks to be that overwhelming.

He cautiously got up, closely followed by Pete. MacGyver again approached the abyss with Pete staying close by, deeply concerned. Mac held on to the sliding wall as he reached the edge. This time he was able to control the vertigo and his fear of falling. After some moments of looking down into the depth he closed the wall and turned to face Pete. He managed to smile shyly and reached out to take Pete´s hand.

“Thanks for getting me out of it.” he addressed Pete. “Thanks for being there.”

Pete held Mac´s hand tightly in both of his but remained silent. Pete recognized that Mac´s ‘I´m fine’-composure was back up. MacGyver was back to trying to show no weakness and locking up his emotions to himself. Only minutes ago Pete had gotten a glimpse at the terror that still was present under the thin veneer. It did nothing to ease Pete´s worries about his best friend. He sighed.

“We´ll better get you out of here.” he suggested. “We´ve been through every room, and I guess, it has been enough stress on your first day out of the hospital for you – and me.”

*****



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 1 March 2020 - 01:23 PM                                    
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DXS Agent
*****

Posts: 570
Joined: 2 Apr 2017
Gender:  Female
Country: USA
SAK owned:

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Season: ---
Episode:Faith, Hope, and Charity
Vehicle: Jeep
Jacket:  Brown bomber
House:  House boat



Yay!! Mac trusts Pete again!! That is one friendship that will never be completely broken!!

Uh oh, Mac may be back to his old self a little too much...of course he's gonna want to investigate!! Yeah, no safe house could hold him....he's escaped much worse!!

Aw, Pete got him a new knife! sak.gif Granted, I wasn't expecting his initial reaction (though I probably should have been) but I'm glad he was able to shake it off quickly!

Yeah, well, I love Mac, but he was asking for those flashbacks by going back so soon. Though I'm not surprised he insisted on it!

Those guys were really mean preying upon Mac's relationship with Pete AND his fear of heights which we know is paralyzing from his reaction after Mike fell in The Widowmaker. And I just KNEW Widow Canyon was involved somehow!!

OK, so Mac is on the case, he trusts his friends. Now let's get the bad guys!!!



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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bluegirl
Posted: 1 March 2020 - 01:48 PM                                    
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Trouble shooter
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Posts: 69
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Episode:Do I have to decide?
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Soon, but not too soon, they´ll have to confront the bad guy that had gotten away - but there´ll be a little twist to it... There are three more parts to come whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif

And yes, Mac trusts his friends, but can he trust himself? whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif

Is he really back to his old self so quickly after what he had to endure? whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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bluegirl
Posted: 2 March 2020 - 11:34 PM                                    
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Trouble shooter
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Posts: 69
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Gender:  Female
Country: Austria
SAK owned: various

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Season: ---
Episode:Do I have to decide?
Vehicle: Jeep
Jacket:  ---
House:  House boat



It´s time for Mac to get some rest and slowly return to normality... slowly?

Part 11

On their way back to the helicopter MacGyver reluctantly agreed to be taken to the safe house, at least for a few days. The safe house, Pete had chosen, was situated in a rather remote area of the hills north of Malibu. It was secluded, yet had a beautiful view towards the Pacific Ocean from its terrace. The pilot set the helicopter down in the garden while several men emerged from the house. MacGyver looked at Pete in surprise.

“That much personnel?”

“I´m not taking any chances. Mac.” Pete explained with a serious expression. “I want you to be safe. They are here to protect you and the house you´re in. You know all of them from previous assignments.”

Mac shot him a doubtful glance.

“I´ve ordered them to keep an eye on you and the place, but not to pester you. They are professionals, remember?” Pete continued. “I´ve got to get things going, so we can follow the hints you´ve given me. I don´t need to show you around, do I? You should remember the house. Your stuff is already there…”

MacGyver nodded and prepared to get off the helicopter.

“I guess, I´ll see you later in the evening?” he asked.

“As soon as everything is on its way.” Pete confirmed. Mac wanted to open the door, but Pete held him back at his arm. “MacGyver, please, promise me you will stay put…”

Mac turned to look at him directly. His eyes showed his inner turmoil, but he smiled at Pete.

“Promise… for now…”

Then he left the helicopter without giving Pete the chance to reply. MacGyver hurried to the house as the helicopter took off. He greeted all the men and went inside. Mac remembered the house very well. He and Pete had used it on various missions. He knew the room layout so he went directly to the kitchen, prepared himself a glass of orange juice and returned to the living room.

MacGyver flopped himself on the couch and looked out through the open glass doors. All Phoenix operatives had returned to their positions guarding him and the house. He could no longer see them, but knew they were there. It felt safe yet strange. Usually he was the one looking over someone in danger. He had accepted that Pete was right about some protection. Although Mac would never admit it to Pete, inside he knew that he was far from being back to his old self. He didn´t want Pete to worry, but he had to confess to himself that he felt mentally unstable and vulnerable.

MacGyver took in every detail of the extraordinary view. He enjoyed sitting there alone and quiet. For many weeks he had not been able to breathe fresh air or look into the distance. Now he started to really feel the end of his captivity and his new freedom. No more walls surrounding him, shutting out the outside world, holding him a prisoner. The relief of a wide open space allowed him to relax. Sitting there, he gradually realized how tired he was. He felt the strain of the long helicopter flights and the mental exhaustion from searching the camp. He tried to push the inner unrest away by concentrating on his physical condition. He noticed that his cracked rib and the pulled shoulders were aching, as well as some of his only recently healed wounds did. After all it was his first day out of medical care…

MacGyver sighed, emptied his glass and set it down next to the corner of the couch. He adjusted himself into a horizontal position on the couch, still keeping an eye on the wide open doors and the view over the ocean. Within minutes he was sound asleep.

*****

After some hours the nightmares returned. Being to the camp had brought back his carefully suppressed memories to the surface. He was reliving the moments of being pushed over the edge by Pete´s look-a-like, of being strangulated by him and of being stabbed by him over and over again. He was frightened. After a while his exhausted mind went quiet, but the images stayed lingering. His dark, cold cell was surrounding him in his dream; the walls were slowly closing in on him. All the feelings and images made Mac shiver in his sleep.

Suddenly he felt something covering him from his feet upwards, wrapping close around his whole body. As it reached his shoulders, the fear of being immobilized made MacGyver wake up startled. He bolted up and pushed away whatever was enveloping him. Someone grabbed his upper arms, steadying him, holding him tight. In his frightened and disoriented state Mac tried to free himself, no matter where he was and who was holding him. He didn´t even look at first.

“Easy, MacGyver! Look at me!” Pete called out to him. Then his voice turned soft and soothing. “It´s okay… It´s me, Pete… You´re safe… No one will harm you.”

MacGyver´s eyes were wide with terror as he found and focused on Pete´s face. Gradually he realized that he was still lying on the couch of the safe house north of Malibu. It had only been Pete who had attempted to cover him with a blanket. It had gotten dark outside since he had dozed off. Slowly the terror left his brown eyes and his body relaxed. Pete noticed it and let go of Mac´s arms. MacGyver let himself drop back on to the couch, drawing a deep breath. He covered his face with his hands and then ran them through his unruly hair, sighing.

“I´m sorry, MacGyver.” he heard Pete apologizing. “I didn´t mean to wake you. I saw you shivering in your sleep and …”

Mac cut him off with a wave of his hand.

“It´s okay… I´m fine.” he replied. He opened his eyes and prepared to get up. As he looked up at Pete´s face, he saw it lined with concern. MacGyver sat up and swung his long legs off the couch. Pete stood up and took a step backwards to allow him enough room.

“Pete, you worry too much.” Mac managed to smile at him. “It was only a bad dream… I´m all right.” he tried to brush off Pete´s unease. He retrieved his empty glass, got up and went to the kitchen.

“Have you got any news for me?” he asked over his shoulder casually changing the topic.

Pete followed him. “Yes and no…”

MacGyver had just opened the refrigerator, but now turned to look puzzled at Pete, his eyebrows raised in surprise.

“Yes and no?” he repeated Pete´s words.

“After I dropped you off here, I sent a forensic team to the camp.” Pete explained. “They went after every one of your hints and took the table to the lab. You were right, Mac. They found two sets of fingerprints on it. One of them is matching my dead double. With a little help from the police and the FBI we now have a name for him. He was a hired local low life. No connections to any bigger crimes so far. There are only a few cases of trickery and assault on his record.”

Mac turned to the refrigerator and filled his glass with orange juice again. He closed the door and leaned against the kitchen counter behind him, facing Pete but subconsciously keeping his distance.

“What about the second set?”

“I certainly had to dig deeper for results on him.” Pete sighed. “I had to pull on a lot of strings to get this information. Even the DXS got nervous when I asked for help…”

“Yes?” Mac pressed a little impatient.

“Together with your description and connecting him to the Asian man we arrested, we finally have got a name. And the organization he is working for.” Pete continued. “Both of them are tied to a Chinese syndicate specialized in technology theft and espionage. The name of our fugitive is Dan Ni Chen.”

He pulled a photo out of the pocket of his jacket and showed it to MacGyver. Mac face instantly froze at the sight of his torturer.

“That´s him.” he managed to say with a low voice, a shiver running down his spine. Pete noticed it and pocketed the picture fast.

“Their target was Phoenix Research. We still don´t know what project they were after, but it seems since their first attempt failed… they took you to get the information about how to get inside our computer systems… Their research on you that we found in the camp was quite impressive.”

Mac stared into the distance, considering the new information.

“It certainly was…” he agreed. “They knew about my help in building up the security for the computers. At first, they asked for the access codes…” His voice trailed off and he shook his head. “But why would they bring up you? … Accusing me of selling off classifieds?”

“Well, you are able to be remarkably stubborn.” Pete sighed. “I guess they realized it would take more than physical pain to break your resistance and your spirit.”

Mac´s haunted eyes suddenly focused on Pete, but he remained silent.

“Mac, their research on you and on us had to be thorough to pull this off. We´re still trying to figure out, where all their information on us came from.” Pete continued. “This Chinese syndicate came into the intelligence focus soon after the initial attack on the research department. But they are really good at covering their tracks. That´s also why it took three weeks to find any connection to that mountain camp and find you. To be honest, it was a long shot; I had no real clues to you being up there.”

Pete paused for a moment as he saw the pain returning into MacGyver´s eyes. Mac made every effort to keep his memories under control, while looking at Pete.

So, I have been lucky again, he thought.

“Mac, I´m sorry for what you had…”

MacGyver cut Pete off with raising his hand.

“You´ve got nothing to be sorry for.” he assured Pete. “I know you did everything possible to find me. Even if it was a lucky assumption… After all, you did get me out of there…”

He looked at his orange juice and took a sip.

“So, now that we know who this Chen is, do we have any lead on him?”

“I´m afraid, no.” Pete shook his head. “He vanished into thin air. He might be out of the country by now.”

MacGyver raised his gaze again.

“I managed to escape. He failed his contract and his assignment.” Mac stated. “I don´t think he´ll give up that easily. Not after all the effort he took so far. I am sure, he´s working on another way to get what he or his syndicate wants.”

Pete´s look grew doubtful.

“How could he?” he asked. “The security for the research division and for the whole Foundation has been raised to maximum. There´s only a handful of people in the whole Phoenix Foundation, that would know how to access the system from the outside now. Only one person is in charge for each lab complex.”

Mac´s eyes were fixed on Pete. Pete recognized the look. Mac was following an idea.

“I guess, he knows that.” Mac replied. “And their initial attack focused on the L.A. labs. They are after something we are working on right here… Pete, you do have those codes.”

His eyes widened with worry, but Pete shook his head.

“I can only get inside from a Phoenix computer terminal. You know, I wouldn´t be able to hack any computer system.”

Both of them stood silent for a few moments, reconsidering their train of thought. Pete was the first to speak.

“This is going to lead Chen to…”

“Willis!” MacGyver finished the sentence with a shocked expression. “Oh, no…”

He glanced at his watch and noticed it was past 9 p.m... Mac quickly set his glass aside and hurried for the telephone in the living room.

“Pete, contact the labs through the helicopter!” he called over his shoulder. “If he´s still there, tell him to stay! He´ll be safest there. I´ll try to reach him at home.”

He saw Pete run to the helicopter outside while he dialed the number of Willis´ apartment from memory. He listened to the ringing tone but got no answer. Willis was a known workaholic. It was common for him to stay in the lab until late evening. Nevertheless MacGyver´s stomach turned into a tight knot. He felt the terror of his torture rise inside.

If Willis would have to endure something similar to that…

MacGyver tried to shake off the thought as he put down the receiver. He heard the helicopter engines roar to life in the garden. Pete and his pilot were getting ready to take off. Without a second thought MacGyver ran outside. He was not going to leave his friend to this Chinese syndicate. Mac reached the handle of the helicopter´s back door and pulled it open, just as it was about to lift off the ground. He jumped inside and slammed the door shut.

The pilot had seen him coming; he was only stunned for a moment and then looked at Pete. But Pete turned and stared shocked at Mac.

“MacGyver, no!” he called out. “You´re staying at the house.”

“Is Willis still in the lab?” Mac asked, raising his voice over the roar of the engine and ignoring Pete´s order.

“No.” Pete answered. “He left with his car about 20 minutes ago.”

“Then let´s go!” Mac replied fast. “We´ve got to get to him!”

Pete´s face grew serious.

“Mac, I am not taking you along. I´m also your boss, remember? You promised me you´d stay at the safe house.”

He saw a mixture of resoluteness, pain and fear in Mac´s dark eyes.

“I´m sorry, Pete. I can´t. I won´t abandon Willis.” MacGyver´s voice was determined. “I´m coming with you… Don´t try to stop me.”

Pete held MacGyver´s stare for a few seconds. They had no time for a discussion. And it would be useless; Mac had made up his mind. Pete knew that look of his best friend. Reluctantly Pete nodded to the pilot.

“Go... Hurry.”

Then he turned again to MacGyver who just settled into the back seat. Mac looked up after fastening his seatbelt.

“Mac, are you sure, you´re up to whatever might happen?” Pete asked deeply worried. After what he had seen today at the camp, he was really afraid of the possibility that Mac would have to confront his torturer.

MacGyver was silent for some moments. He still kept fighting back his memories and his fear by concentrating on saving Willis.

“I have to, Pete.” he replied with a low voice, his words trailing off. “For Willis.”

*****



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 3 March 2020 - 04:25 PM                                    
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I had to laugh when Pete made Mac promised he stay put in the safe house:)

"Pete, you worry too much" Totally classic response!! And yes, he does!

Oh good grief! Now I have to worry about Willis?!?!

And it's MacGyver to the rescue...Hopefully!

Great chapter! I'm SO GLAD to see Mac returning to "normal", working with Pete, and being stubborn!

I really like the way you captured the interaction and dialogue between Pete and Mac. Now I'm waiting for the exciting finish...even though I know it's a few days off!



Jody~

"I've found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable" ~ MacGyver (The Heist)

 
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bluegirl
Posted: 3 March 2020 - 11:23 PM                                    
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Tomorrow, my dear... and the last part on saturday...

whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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Dragondog
Posted: 4 March 2020 - 12:15 AM                                    
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It's time for Mac to be there for Willis. After Willis was there for him all this time.

This story is making me feel things, and I love it tongue.gif



"If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer" - Hank The Cowdog

"You have the heart of a chief, and the soul of a dragon"- How to Train Your Dragon 2

"[T]he more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each one of us will be" - Zootopia

"Love makes you do strange things." - Charlie Brown

"When something looks too perfect, it probably sucks" - Dreamworks Dragons Race to the Edge

 
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bluegirl
Posted: 4 March 2020 - 12:36 AM                                    
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I was always thinking that´s what a good story is all about - making their readers to feel with the characters, getting them into the heads and minds of the characters...

If I´ve accomplished that, I´ll take this as a huge compliment for me! biggrin.gif



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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Dragondog
Posted: 5 March 2020 - 12:07 AM                                    
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QUOTE (bluegirl @ 4 March 2020 - 02:36 AM)
I was always thinking that´s what a good story is all about - making their readers to feel with the characters, getting them into the heads and minds of the characters...

If I´ve accomplished that, I´ll take this as a huge compliment for me! biggrin.gif

Absolutely wink.gif



"If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer" - Hank The Cowdog

"You have the heart of a chief, and the soul of a dragon"- How to Train Your Dragon 2

"[T]he more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each one of us will be" - Zootopia

"Love makes you do strange things." - Charlie Brown

"When something looks too perfect, it probably sucks" - Dreamworks Dragons Race to the Edge

 
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bluegirl
Posted: 5 March 2020 - 12:13 AM                                    
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So, Mac and Pete are on their way to make sure, Willis is safe...

Part 12

Willis´ apartment was located in a five-story building in a quiet area north of Los Angeles. The flight didn´t take all too long. The pilot set the helicopter down on the parking lot of a shopping mall two blocks away. MacGyver was out of the helicopter as soon as it touched ground and passed around it to where Pete had just climbed out of it.

“I saw his car parked in front of the apartment building.” Mac hurriedly said. “Willis must have arrived at home by now.”

He wanted to rush off into the direction of Willis home, but Pete managed to grab his arm and stop him. He felt Mac´s body stiffen instantly.

“I know.” he replied, looking intensely into Mac´s face and eyes. Pete knew he had no way of holding him back. He could only cover his tail, as always.

“MacGyver, please… be careful…” he asked with deep concern.

Mac covered Pete´s hand with his own. His face grew even more serious.

“I will, Pete.” he nodded reassuring. “I promise…”

With a sigh Pete released MacGyver´s arm and watched his friend turn on his heels and run off to Willis´ apartment. He was, once again in all those years he knew MacGyver, deeply impressed by his courage.

MacGyver´s heart was pounding as he ran towards the apartment building. Inwardly he told himself that it did because he was still weakened, his body still in recovery. He tried not to admit that it did because he was afraid, but he felt it clearly. Mac slowed down as he reached Willis´ car, catching his breath and examining the car for anything suspicious. The engine was still warm. Willis couldn´t have arrived too long ago. Mac crouched down to look under the car, but everything seemed perfectly normal.

As MacGyver got up and gazed up to the windows of Willis´ apartment, he became aware that his hands were shaking. He closed them into tight fists, froze for a moment, then opened them again and flexed his fingers.

There´s no time for that, he chided himself mentally, fighting the upwelling fear. Not now! Stay focused!

Knowing that Pete and Jonas, the Phoenix operative who had been flying the helicopter, would be following him as fast as they could after securing the helicopter, MacGyver rushed into the building and up to the third floor. He was familiar with the building layout from his previous visits. He knew the way to Willis´ apartment by heart because he had helped him in moving in.

MacGyver felt every bit of the last weeks while he ran up the stairs. His heart was racing and his cracked rib was aching badly as he reached Willis´ door. He knocked impatiently, while he took deep breaths, striving to calm himself down, physically and mentally. Willis needed a few seconds to get to the door. He looked surprised as he opened it.

“MacGyver? What are you doing here?” he asked. “Aren´t you supposed to be at the safe house?”

MacGyver steadied himself at the doorframe, still out of breath.

“I was.” he answered as Willis allowed him to enter the apartment. “Is everything all right with you?”

“Me?!” Willis exclaimed as he closed the door behind Mac. “Look at yourself! What´s going on? Why are you here?”

MacGyver took a quick look around the apartment, then took another deep breath and turned to face Willis.

“We finally have a name matching our fugitive. He is Dan Ni Chen, member of a Chinese crime syndicate. They are specialized in technology theft. He tried to break into the computers at Phoenix research.” he explained. “They are after some project of the L.A. labs. As he didn´t get the access codes from me, he quite likely might be looking for another way in.”

“We raised security to the highest level.” Willis shook his head. “I don´t see how…”

“You are in charge of the security for the computer system?” Mac cut him off.

“Yes, I am. That´s why…” Willis agreed.

“You know the codes.” Mac stated.

Willis nodded again, this time remaining silent. He didn´t like the direction of Mac´s train of thought.

“You would know a way to hack the computer system from the outside?” MacGyver asked.

Willis looked at him stunned.

“Are you suggesting this Chen might be after me?” he asked with a frightened tone in his voice.

Willis remembered the condition they had found MacGyver in, very well. Knowing what this Chinese man was capable of scared him. Mac´s suggestion that he might be the next target of this man scared him even more. MacGyver´s eyes were still scanning the apartment.

“I´m afraid, yes” Mac replied. “That´s why I´m here. Pete and I are just being precautious.” He laid a hand reassuring on Willis´ shoulder.

“Pete?” Willis was still staring shocked at MacGyver.

“He should be here in a few minutes together with our pilot.” Mac started to search through every room of the apartment. “Did you notice anything strange on your way home?”

Willis remained standing stunned in his living room and shook his head.

“Nothing.” he answered. “But I guess I wouldn´t…”

Willis didn´t finish the sentence because all of a sudden all the lights in the apartment went out. MacGyver instantly felt the adrenaline rush into his veins as everything went dark. His mind hit overdrive. He was at Willis´ side with a few swift steps, grabbed his arm and shoved him towards the kitchen.

“In here, fast.” he whispered. “Get down. Take cover.”

MacGyver nearly closed the door behind them, leaving only a small crack. He rapidly scanned the kitchen, opening and closing the closets. He found sturdy rubber gloves under the sink, chili and pepper powder within the spices and a bottle of vinegar. Willis was observing him with a puzzled look in the dim light that filtered in through the window.

“Do you have any baking soda?” Mac asked barely audible.

Willis nodded mechanically and pointed to a jar on the counter, next to the stove. His eyes were wide with shock. Mac quickly retrieved it and crouched down again.

“What are you doing?” Willis managed to whisper.

“Cooking a little surprise.” Mac responded under his breath. His home-made teargas had worked well years ago when he had gotten into a supermarket robbery. He poured chili, pepper and soda powder into the two gloves.

Both men froze instantly as they heard the front door close. MacGyver slowly put down the gloves, listening intensely. He signaled Willis to stay quiet while he got up for the kitchen thread. Mac cut off two pieces with his Swiss army knife and motioned Willis to hold the gloves up for him. Mac partly filled them with vinegar and hurried to tie the open end tightly shut. Then he shook them lightly, watching how the gloves inflated and increased their size. Satisfied with the result, MacGyver signaled Willis to stay back and down and turned to the door.

His hands were shaking again and he felt shivers running down his spine. He managed to hide it from Willis, but only just. Mac had a hard time fighting back his memories and his fear, knowing who was most probably in the apartment now. Slowly he approached the door, each of the gloves in one hand. Since they had heard nothing apart from the front door moments ago, he had no idea where in the apartment their attacker might be. One finger resting on the handle of the door, ready to open it, he waited while trying to memorize the room layout. Only a few seconds later Mac heard something drop to the floor at the far side of the living room.

Now or never!

In a swift movement MacGyver pushed the door open, took one step into the living room and threw one of the gloves across the room in the direction of the sound, aiming head-high. He realized too late, that no one was there. The glove burst with a bang when it hit the wall.

At the same very moment Mac felt someone grab his other arm tightly and turn it around. The second glove fell to the ground harmless. Mac gasped in pain and felt a sharp pull on his arm only the blink of an eye later. Being completely unprepared for and attack from this side, he was thrown against the wall violently. His head crashed on to the hard surface and he dropped to the ground dazed. Mac desperately fought to stay conscious and tried to get up on his hands and knees. So far he had not even seen his opponent.

In the next second a forceful kick to his chest drove the air out of his lungs and made him cough. The next kick sent a sharp, stabbing pain through him, as he felt his cracked rib and the ones next to it break. MacGyver bit back a painful cry as the third vigorous one let him drop helplessly to the floor. He was lying on his stomach, not able to move, gasping for air, frantically trying to keep the darkness that threatened to take over away. He had to stay awake; he had to protect Willis – at least until Pete would catch up.

Mac sensed someone kneel down next to him, grab his wrist, turning and bending his arm up against his back to immobilize him. He arched his body, striving to avoid the pain in his arm and the shoulder, but had to groan as his attacker leaned over and on him.

“Hello, MacGyver.” The man said in a low voice only audible to him and Mac. “What a pleasant surprise. I wasn´t quite finished with you. I´m sorry to say it, but you left a little early… Now, up on your feet.” He pulled on Mac´s twisted arm and his neck, forcing him to rise.

MacGyver didn´t have to see the man that was holding him. He recognized the voice instantly. It made the blood in his veins freeze. While Chen forced him to get up until he was standing, all his memories of the torture rushed back into his mind. Mac couldn´t suppress the panic and the trembling anymore. Time seemed to stop. He was paralyzed, barely able to stand on his feet, unable to act.

Suddenly he felt something cold touch his neck and press against his throat.

“I can feel you do remember me…” the Asian continued. “I still own your fear… I can still control you… You are still my prisoner…”

He dragged MacGyver backwards and turned him around, using him like a shield. MacGyver was trapped in his frightened mind, filled with pictures of his three weeks on that mountain. His ragged breathing felt like someone was stabbing him because of his broken ribs. His vision blurred, he couldn´t even reply. He felt the cold blade cut slightly into the skin of his neck.

“Mr. Willis?” Chen suddenly raised his voice. “Would you mind joining us? Otherwise I´d have to hurt MacGyver.” After a small pause he added to Mac: “But you know that, don´t you?”

He dropped the knife below Mac´s collarbone and slowly pushed the tip of the blade into his flesh. MacGyver desperately tried to remain silent. He had to close his eyes and felt his legs weaken. He couldn´t avoid a hoarse moan as the steel nearly touched his ribs. When Chen pulled back the knife, Mac managed to open his eyes again. Tears of pain blurred his sight, but he saw Willis standing in the kitchen doorframe. MacGyver felt his own blood slowly oozing down his chest, warm and sticky. He saw Willis terrified expression, but was still caught and frozen inside his panic. The knife returned to his throat.

“I need some information from you.” Chen addressed Willis.

Willis took a small step into the living room.

“Please… don´t harm him…” he pleaded.

“That depends on your cooperation.” Chen replied coldly. A shiver ran down Mac´s spine. He had heard that sentence before. He knew what was to come next.

Willis raised his hands a little in defense.

“I will cooperate.” he hurried to answer. “I´ll tell you everything… Just don´t hurt him anymore… Please, release him…”

Mac´s eyes locked on Willis face. Mac´s panic mixed with desperation.

Don’t risk the Phoenix Foundation for me…

He almost imperceptibly shook his head. No, he mouthed silently to Willis. Don´t do it, please.

Chen seemed to enjoy the fear he saw rising in Willis.

“I don´t think, I can let him go yet…” he smiled while drawing the cut on MacGyver´s neck a little deeper and causing him to cringe back.

“Chen! Drop the knife!”

MacGyver winced at Pete´s shout from the main door. Chen swirled around, keeping Mac in front of him. Mac almost lost his balance and footing with the sudden pain of being rudely dragged around. He had to close his eyes again, groaning as his trembling intensified.

Willis was stunned when he heard the shout, but relieved as he saw Pete Thornton and Jonas, his pilot, at the door, their weapons drawn and aimed at Chen and MacGyver. He instinctively stepped back to the kitchen at the sight of the guns. Chen needed a moment to take in the new threat.

“I´d rather say, you should better drop your guns.” he replied with a stone cold voice. “I might cut him into pieces…”

The knife dropped to Mac´s side and he started pushing the blade into his body again.

“MacGyver!”

Mac heard Pete call out to him and all of a sudden Dr. Beattie´s words during one of their last sessions echoed in his mind, pushing back the memories a little.

There´s always a way. Don´t stop looking for it. That´s what your good at, MacGyver. Just keep on fighting the fear. Don´t let it control you. Don´t let it control you.

Don´t let it control you…

As the hurt in his side got worse, that last sentence played over and over in his mind. Gradually getting more intense than his memories and the panic, it suddenly loosened his paralysis. MacGyver forced himself to raise his head and open his eyes. Moaning with agony, still trembling, he fixed his gaze on Pete. Their eyes locked, Mac could see the sorrow in Pete´s face. An idea rose in Mac´s mind. They still had one chance.

MacGyver tried to direct Pete´s attention to the second glove, which was – still blown up like a basket ball – lying only a few feet away from his and Chen´s feet. A small gesture of his free hand was all that Mac managed to do. Even though the light was dim, Mac sensed Pete´s understanding. With a final effort he braced himself for what he intended to do.

Chen felt Mac´s body stiffen, but he mistook it for a reaction to the pain he was causing. Pete straightened himself and let his weapon drop a little. Jonas followed his example reluctantly.

“All right… Just don´t hurt him anymore…” Pete addressed Chen.

As he saw Pete lowering the gun, Chen´s grip on Mac´s arm loosened a bit, feeling he had the upper hand. That was exactly, what MacGyver had been hoping and waiting for. Then everything happened within a flash.

“Now, Pete!” Mac croaked.

Pete quickly took aim and fired at the glove. It exploded with a bang and sprayed Chen and MacGyver with the home-made teargas. Caught off guard, surprised and trying to protect himself, Chen almost let go of Mac´s arm, allowing him enough room to pull out of the immobilizing hold and turn sideways. Unfortunately Chen didn´t pull back the knife. MacGyver felt the blade enter his body even deeper as he tried to turn away from his torturer.

Then a second shot rang out. To MacGyver it felt as if Chen was being torn away from him. Mac watched him groan and fall and took a staggering step backwards as in trance. Just then he realized the burning ache on his face from his own mixture and the severe pain in his side caused by the knife that was still there. He felt for the wound with his hands automatically, touched the cold steel and his warm blood. Suddenly everything blurred, his knees gave way and he dropped to the ground.

MacGyver heard Pete and Willis call his name, but it sounded strangely distant. He heard steps rushing to him. In the next moment someone grabbed his shoulders.

“MacGyver!” Pete´s voice sounded desperate. “Oh, no…”

He felt for Mac´s pulse on his bloodied neck and then quickly assessed his injuries. Mac noticed it, but he was too weak to react. Staying barely aware consumed all his energy left.

“Willis, get me some towels. One of them wet. And call Dr. Thompson. We need him here fast.” Pete ordered. “Jonas, make sure that Chen is secured and call an ambulance for him. Then inform the DXS to pick him up.” Then he focused on MacGyver again.

“MacGyver, please, hang in there… stay with me.” he pleaded.

Only seconds later Mac felt an excruciating wave of pain rushing through his body as someone pressed a folded towel on the wound with the knife. He cried out in agony; his body started shivering. He could hardly breathe as the pressure also reached his broken ribs. His hand found the hand holding the towel, grabbed on and tried to pull it away. The pressure lessened only a bit.

“Don´t, Mac.” he heard Pete say. “I have to stop the bleeding.”

MacGyver turned his head towards Pete´s voice and blinked his eyes open. He could see Pete´s worried face only through a haze.

“Please… let go…” he managed to whisper between shallow breaths. “Some ribs… are broken… You´re pressing… on them… I can´t… breathe…” He had to cough, which sent his whole body shaking.

Pete instantly released the pressure, relieving Mac of the worst of the pain. His second hand went to MacGyver´s neck where it helped stabilize his head.

“I´m sorry.” he apologized.

MacGyver tried to blink the haze away, wanted to focus and cling on Pete´s face while Willis came close on his other side. He gently tried to wash the burning mixture off Mac´s face. Mac slowly turned his head to look at him.

“Are you all right?” Mac asked hoarsely.

Willis laid the cool and damp cloth on Mac´s forehead and managed to smile for a brief moment.

“Yes, MacGyver. I´m okay.”

“Sorry for the mess…” Mac continued with a small boyish grin. “I guess I´ll have to renovate your living room.”

Willis only nodded silently.

They all heard a groan from Chen as Jonas was attending to his bullet wound after cuffing his hands securely. MacGyver tried to rise, striving to look at him, but Pete gently held him down.

“Easy, MacGyver. Stay down. Don´t move.”

Mac´s gaze locked on to Pete. “But…”

“It´s over.” Pete cut him off. “After that gas bomb of yours had exploded and you had turned away, Jonas hit him in the shoulder. He won´t threaten you again. You did it.”

MacGyver´s face went serious.

“I couldn´t… have done it… alone…” he whispered, his voice breaking. He felt himself getting weaker and more tired with every moment. “Thanks, Pete…”

He held on to Pete´s hand on the towel again. A feeble smile of relief showed on his pale face. Pete remained silent for a second and then he returned the smile.

“Just hang in there, pal.” he reassured. “Help is on the way. Dr. Thompson should be here any minute. You´ll be fine.”

MacGyver nodded weakly. He felt the darkness creeping up again. The exhaustion of the last day was catching up and taking its toll on him together with the pain and the blood loss. But the terrifying pictures had left him along with the panic, at least for the moment. His mind relaxed with the knowledge of his torturer not being able to cause harm anymore.

Pete is safe. Willis is safe. I am safe.

He let out a deep relieved breath. The adrenaline rush was also over and he felt himself getting tired and cold.

Going into shock, I guess, he thought. A little too much activity for my first day out of the hospital…

Just then the oblivion took over and he went unconscious.

*****



The stuff is already there, I just find a different way to use it!

 
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