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Continuum, Mac's story continues 2 1/2 yrs. later
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MacGyver85
Posted: 25 November 2018 - 09:14 PM                                    
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This is great!

QUOTE
Me reading about all the tricks Mac tried to cheer up Joanna: Mac you idiot, it's going to take more than that. dry.gif

Me reading about Joanna's feelings towards Mac now: Joanna, you idiot. doh.gif

Me reading the ending parts: Jesse you idiot. sad.gif

Seriously, I love this so far, looking forward to the next chapter wink.gif


That's really similar to what I thought

 
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uniquelyjas
Posted: 26 November 2018 - 07:05 AM                                    
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QUOTE (MacGyver85 @ 25 November 2018 - 09:14 PM)
This is great!


Thanks so much!! I really appreciate the feedback:)

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: 26 November 2018 - 05:18 PM                                    
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QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 25 November 2018 - 10:40 PM)
QUOTE (Dragondog @ 25 November 2018 - 07:42 PM)


Seriously, I love this so far, looking forward to the next chapter wink.gif

Glad to hear it!! There are plenty more chapters to come!! Can't promise that no one will be an idiot, though!

That's why we love them, though! 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

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"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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 27 November 2018 - 09:37 AM                                    
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Chapter 11: Connectivity

MacGyver’s phone was ringing when he entered his apartment late that afternoon.

“Hello?”

“MacGyver! What in the world is going on out there?!”

“Hi Pete,” Mac replied calmly while pinching the bridge of his nose. “We had a little incident at Challengers, that’s all.”

“That’s all?! That’s all?! A student holding a teacher at gunpoint is more than a ‘little incident’! Phoenix has been scrambling to keep this from the media and panicking the public. Tell me exactly what happened.” Pete demanded.

MacGyver sighed and described the events of the day…again. “The girl is in custody and everyone is safe.” He concluded after several minutes.

“But how could something like this happen?” his boss queried.

“That’s what I’m going to look into on Monday. However,” MacGyver assured him, “this looks to be a calculated, onetime incident.”

The wind left Pete’s sails. “Alright MacGyver. I trust you’ll handle the situation appropriately. Oh, by the way, did you get the letter I forwarded to you?”

“Yeah, I got it Pete,” Mac replied flatly.

“It was from Sam, right? Is everything okay?”

“Everything’s fine, Pete,” MacGyver insisted as he looked at the missive still laying on the counter. “I gotta go. I’ll be in touch.” MacGyver hung up the phone.


MacGyver arrived at the boat house fifteen minutes early. He had mentally been rehearsing answers to possible questions Joanna might ask. This was very much out of character for him, but he knew he had to choose his words wisely if he was going to win back Joanna’s trust and friendship.

Joanna approached him ten minutes later. She was dressed casually in jeans and a light denim jacket to protect her from the slight chill in the spring air. Mac offered her a small smile which she hesitantly returned.

“Thanks for coming,” she said shyly.

“I said I would.”

“Do you always keep your promises?”

“I sure try to. Do you want to walk?” MacGyver nodded toward the paved path that wound around a large lagoon.

“Sure,” Joanna replied, stuffing her hands in her pocket and focusing her attention on the ground.

“So…” Mac began. “I know you saw Sam’s letter and you probably have a lot of questions.”

Joanna flushed. “I really didn’t mean to read it. It was just…there.”

“I know.”

When Joanna didn’t respond, MacGyver took the lead.

“As you know, Sam is my son. He’s currently in the Middle East working as a photojournalist embedded with American troops.”

“You and his mom must worry about him.”

MacGyver admired the way Joanna slipped the idea of Sam’s mom in the statement without actually asking the question he knew she was thinking.

“I try not to worry. He’s a grown man and can take care of himself. As he tends to remind me, he’s been on his own for a long time.”

Joanna stopped and turned towards him, quirking her eyebrow. Mac had learned this was her way of saying ‘tell me more’.

The last thing MacGyver felt like doing was playing 20 questions, so he decided to bite the bullet and tell Joanna the entire story. Well, at least the parts he knew about. If she hated him for it, then that’s the way it would have to be.

“Let’s sit down,” he said, leading her to a well-worn wooden park bench.

Joanna complied but remained silent, her eyes still questioning.

MacGyver blew out a breath and began recounting the series of events that had brought Sam into the world and this current situation.

“I met Sam’s mom, Kate Malloy, when she was studying to become a photojournalist. We obviously became very…close. She loved traveling and adventures as much as I did. She always said the only way we’d be happy was if we were on the road to somewhere else.” Mac paused, smiling sadly at the memory. “Anyway, after she graduated she took an assignment in Brazil. That was the last time I saw her. About ten years ago, according to Sam, she was covering a story in China when she was shot by Chinese soldiers. Sam saw the whole thing. Kate didn’t have any family, so some reporter friends of hers brought Sam back to the States and took care of him.

“Why didn’t you bring Sam home?” Joanna asked quietly as she processed the information.

“I didn’t even know he existed until a few years ago when we accidentally met on an assignment I was on.”

“Didn’t anyone ever try to find you?”

MacGyver shook his head. “Kate never told anyone my name. Not even Sam. They only way he recognized me and made the connection was from a photo he had in a locket his mom had given him when he was a child.”

After several minutes of silence, Joanna got up and slowly resumed walking around the lagoon. MacGyver followed a few paces behind, recognizing her need for mental and physical space. Just when Mac had thought she would never utter another word to him ever again, she stopped abruptly, turned and looked up at him. Her eyes were unreadable.

“Did you love her?” She asked. Her voice strong and sure.

“I did.”

“What would you have done if she had told you she was pregnant?”

“I would like to think I would have done the right thing and asked her to marry me. Settle down. Raise the baby. I don’t run from my responsibilities.”

Joanna started walking again, and this time MacGyver was at her side.

“Why do you think she didn’t tell you about Sam?”

“I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “I suppose she knew I would want to marry her, but she also knew that wasn’t the life for me. At least not then.”

“Maybe it wasn’t the life for her,” Joanna declared.

MacGyver had never thought about it like that. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you said she took an assignment in Brazil when she had to know she was pregnant, and then she continued her work even after Sam was born. She took a child to Communist China for a news story. Did you ever think that maybe she was the one who wasn’t ready to settle down?”

Mac had been prepared for Joanna to go all self-righteous on him. He hadn’t expected her to, in essence, defend him.

“I guess I never thought about it that way.”

“So, what did you and Sam do once he discovered you?”

“Oh, the usual. We worked together to bring down a Chinese smuggling operation. I took a hard fall, broke my arm and got knocked unconscious.” He tried to sound light-hearted and add some levity to what had been perhaps the most intense conversation he had ever had with someone.

“Just the usual, hey?” she laughed.

“So, when is Sam coming home?” she asked, curiosity in her voice.

“I don’t know,” Mac replied. “I honestly don’t know if he will ever come home. He’s used to being on his own, living where life takes him. Like I used to be.”

“’Used to be’?”

MacGyver grunted. In for a penny, in for a pound he decided. “Once we caught the Chinese smugglers, Sam and I did a two and a half year motorcycle tour of the West Coast. When we got back to L.A., I thought we’d put down some roots. I wanted to give him the stability he had missed as a kid.” At this point Mac snorted in self-disgust. “I even thought about buying a house, maybe get a dog. Sam could get a job or go to college.”

“But that’s not what Sam wanted,” she stated rather than asked.

“No, he wanted adventure. Like I did at his age.” He shrugged. “What could I do? I had to let him go.”

“But he knows you’re there for him, right?”

“I sure hope so.”

“Don’t hope Mac,” she put her hand on his forearm, “tell him.”

“You called me ‘Mac’,” he grinned. “Was it just a mistake or are we friends now.”

“I have a feeling you haven’t shared this story with many people. I feel privileged that you shared it with me,” she said solemnly. “Besides, ‘MacGyver’ just has too many syllables in it!” she grinned.

“Oh, like ‘Joanna’ is any better!” he teased, feeling more playful than he had in a while.

“Touche,” she laughed. “I suppose you’ve suffered long enough! You can call me ‘Jo’.”

“Gladly,” he sighed as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

By this time they had arrived back at the boat house. MacGyver stared out over the glassy water of the lagoon, but he could feel Joanna’s gaze focused on him.

“Do you feel guilty? About not being there for Sam?” she asked.

“Yeah, I suppose I do,” he confessed, jamming his hand through his hair as he watched a flock of Canadian geese skim across the small the lake.

“It’s not your fault, you know,” she assured him gently. “You had no way of knowing.”

“I know,” he agreed. “I just keep wondering, if I had followed her…”

“Would you have been happy?”

“I loved her.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

“I don’t know,” Mac sighed gustily, throwing his hands in the air. “No. I wouldn’t have been happy. There! Is that what you wanted to hear!?”

“I only wanted to hear the truth,” Joanna replied calmly. “You can’t take responsibility for something, or someone, you knew nothing about, and you can’t change the past.”

MacGyver finally turned to look at her, amazed at the serenity he saw on her face. “And here I thought you were going to be the one to get upset when you learned the truth about my past. About Sam.”

A hint of sadness tinged Joanna’s other peaceful countenance. “A lot of people underestimate me.”

“Are you saying I’m like a lot of other people?”

“Trust me, you are nothing like a lot of other people! What I’m saying is, don’t underestimate me.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he responded, his casual drawl back in place.

“You better,” she said with a smile before glancing at her watch.

“Need to get going?” he asked.

“Yeah, I should…um… by the way, my mom asked me to invite you to dinner tomorrow night if we were still on speaking terms after today. She has this thing about feeding people who save my life.”

“I wouldn’t want to impose,” he replied, offering her a way out.

“No imposition,” she said as she pulled out a piece of paper with her address and handed it to him. “Come around 4pm.”

“Yes ma’am,” he said softly as he watched her head to her car, deciding that she was predictably unpredictable.


“You’re the one who wanted to have him over,” Jo pointed out the next day as her mother fretted over dinner.

“I just want to make something he’ll like,” Judy Fairfax insisted. A petite woman with short, curly brown hair, Joanna’s mother looked several years younger than her age.

“Trust me. I’ve seen the man’s collection of take-out menus. I doubt he’s fussy.”

“But you said he had a lot of healthy, vegetarian food in his refrigerator.”

“Yes. And I’ve also seen him chow down on the mystery meat in the cafeteria. The chicken enchiladas will be just fine. Besides, if he doesn’t like them he doesn’t have to eat them.” Joanna tried to hide the frustration in her voice. They had the same conversation every time they had guests for dinner.

Joanna’s apprehension grew as the day progressed. It was silly, really. She and Mac had already shared a few meals. He was just a friend, nothing to worry about. Yet, it was important to her that her parents like him.

She peeked in the living room to check on her dad. He was in his recliner watching a basketball game. At least he had changed from his house slippers to loafers and he wore a long sleeved polo shirt in place of the threadbare plaid flannel shirt he typically wore on Sundays. Like her mom, Joe Fairfax did not look his age. Lucky for Jo, youthful genes ran in both sides of the family.

MacGyver arrived promptly at four o’clock. Joanna let him and introduced him to her parents.

“Mac, this is my mom, Judy Fairfax.”

“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Fairfax,” MacGyver replied congenially as he shook her hand.

“Please, call me ‘Judy’,” she instructed with a wide smile.

“Alright.”

“And this is my dad, Joe.”

“Nice to meet you, Mac,” her dad said and offered a hearty handshake.

“Doesn’t it get kinda confusing with ‘Jo’ and ‘Joe’?” Mac asked.

“Sometimes,” Joanna replied. “But at least there’s a 50/50 chance one of us will answer!”

Everyone laughed and the ice was quickly broken as Judy Fairfax whisked MacGyver away on a tour of their home. Built by Joanna’s grandparents during World War ll, there was a lot of history…and expansion, of which Mac received a play-by-play description. Once MacGyver had been properly regaled of the stories of the first floor, Judy dispatched him and Jo to the rooms upstairs, previously occupied by Jo’s grandmother before her death and now inhabited by Joanna.

“Now don’t rush down,” Mrs. Fairfax insisted. “Supper won’t be ready for a while yet.”

MacGyver allowed Jo to lead him up the staircase before whispering in her ear.

“Is there something I should know about?” he asked conspiratorially.

Joanna’s momentary confusion soon turned to amusement and she smiled.

“No. My mom’s harmless. However, she’s also not one to pass up the chance to throw an attractive single man in my path.”

MacGyver did not look convinced.

“Don’t worry,” Jo insisted. “Mom knows I’m not in the market for a guy.”

“Why not?” MacGyver frowned and wondered why he found this disconcerting.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


After MacGyver had bared his soul to her yesterday, Joanna decided from that point on she would be brutally open and honest with him as well. He deserved that much, especially after the dreadful way she had treated him.

“Look at me, Mac,” she directed with resignation. “I’m over forty years old, I still live with my parents, I’ve never been in a serious relationship, I’m dull as dirt and can’t compete with all the skinny young blondes out there like Ms. Candy. I tried a couple times. It didn’t work.”

MacGyver appeared stunned by her outburst, but when he took her shoulders to turn her towards him, she saw a mixture of anger and sympathy in his eyes.

“You listen to me,” he instructed, his voice low and deep, “I don’t ever want to hear you put yourself down like that again! You are an attractive, intelligent, witty, determined woman. From what I can see, you have a great relationship with your parents. That’s something to be proud of because not a lot of people do. Personally, I envy you that. And trust me when I say you are anything but dull! I know from first-hand experience!” At this point Mac chuckled and Joanna joined in though she was still awed by his declaration. She was pretty sure he had spoken more words in the last two days than during the entire time he’d been on this assignment.

The telephone rang, startling them both. MacGyver looked at her questioningly.

“We screen our calls. If it’s someone important Mom will get it.” Joanna had barely finished her explanation when her mom called up to her.

“It’s Evelyn…pick up the phone!”

Mac and Jo shared a glance, each knowing that receiving a Sunday phone call from their boss meant something was up. Joanna picked up her extension.

“Hi Evelyn.”

“Hi Jo. I’m sorry to bother you on a Sunday, but I wanted to let you know I’m calling an emergency meeting for tomorrow after school to discuss Friday’s incident. I just wanted to give you a heads up so you can plan accordingly.”

“Thanks, I appreciate that.”

“It’ll just be you, me and MacGyver. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to reach him today.”

“Oh, um, he’s actually here with me now. I’ll let him know. Bye, Evelyn!” Joanna quickly ended the call before her friend could ask any questions. MacGyver watched her expectantly.

“Evelyn wants to meet with you and me after school tomorrow to talk about what happened Friday,” she relayed.

“Good idea. There are some things I’ve been thinking about and would like to run by both of you.”

“Like what?”

“It can wait until tomorrow. No shop talk today, OK?”

“OK,” she reluctantly agreed as they were called to dinner.

The next two hours passed quickly, filled with good food and lively conversation. Judy kept up the Fairfax’s end of the conversation while MacGyver once again talked about growing up in Minnesota and shared stories of his past adventures. Before Joanna knew it, the dessert dishes had been cleared from the table and her mother was herding everyone into the living room for continued visiting. Unfortunately, MacGyver announced that he needed to head home in order to prepare for tomorrow’s ad hoc meeting. Reluctant good-byes were exchanged. Mac and Jo’s dad once again exchanged hearty handshakes while her mom enveloped him in a warm hug while pushing a Tupperware container into his hands. MacGyver then motioned with his head for Joanna to join him outside so she quickly grabbed a jacket.

“So, you think they like me?” he ventured as they stood in the driveway.

“Of course they did!” she chuckled. “My mom doesn’t send leftovers home with someone in her favorite piece of Tupperware if she doesn’t like them. I think she’s already taken you under her wing!”

Mac examined the plastic bowl he was holding as if he was now just seeing it for the first time.

“I’ll get it back to you tomorrow.”

“No hurry. Mom will only want to fill it up again and send it back,” she teased. “I have a feeling you’re going to be her new pet project.”

Mac’s gaze became serious. “You’ve really got something special here, ya know. Promise me you’ll always remember that.”

Joanna nodded soberly. “I will. Thanks. And know that you’re always welcome here as well.”

MacGyver cleared his throat to break the silence that had descended upon them.

“I, uh, wanted to run something by you regarding Challengers.”

“I thought we weren’t talking about work today?”

“Well, it’s not exactly ‘work’. I’ve got this idea for a hockey team—“

“Mac, I already told you, hockey costs a lot of money. Money we don’t have!”

“That’s what I wanted to talk about!” MacGyver insisted. “I’ve been spending some time at the Pettit Center and got talking to one of the managers—“

“The Pettit Center?! Are you insane?! That’s—“

“Would you just listen to me?” Mac worked hard to keep his frustration in check. “I think I can talk them into renting to us for a discounted rate. I’m going to look into getting Phoenix to put up money for uniforms and equipment. I think we can really make this work!”

Joanna didn’t look convinced.

“C’mon, Jo! You said yourself the basketball team was a flop! Why can’t you give this a chance?”

“Hockey season’s almost over.” It was a weak excuse, but the only one Joanna could think of at the moment.

“I know, and that’s perfect! We can get a head start on next season. Plus, there won’t be as much demand for ice time, therefore a cheaper rate.”

Mac was gaining steam, but so was Jo.

“And who is going to coach this team?”

MacGyver pulled himself up to his full height, threw back his shoulders and smiled broadly.

“You!?” Joanna exclaimed. “And what happens when you go back to field ops and get shipped off to God-knows-where? Who’s gonna coach then?”

“I’m gonna need an assistant coach anyway. I’ll find someone. Trust me.”

She did trust him. And she was starting to really like the idea of a hockey team. With the indoor rink, the kids could play year-round and if somebody threw a punch they’d end up in the penalty box instead of the police station.

“Look, just think about it, okay?”

“Okay,” she agreed. Honestly, it was getting harder and harder to say ‘no’ to this man!




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: 27 November 2018 - 11:07 AM                                    
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Yay, they made up biggrin.gif

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

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"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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 27 November 2018 - 12:16 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 27 November 2018 - 11:07 AM)
Yay, they made up biggrin.gif

Of course!!

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 November 2018 - 06:31 PM                                    
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QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 27 November 2018 - 02:16 PM)
QUOTE (Dragondog @ 27 November 2018 - 11:07 AM)
Yay, they made up biggrin.gif

Of course!!

Not that I doubted 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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 29 November 2018 - 07:46 AM                                    
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Chapter 12: Belt and Suspenders

After returning home from the Fairfax’s, MacGyver pulled out some paper and penned a response to Sam’s letter. Although he had intended to keep it short, he ended up explaining about his headaches, his assignment at Challengers, and Joanna. As he wrote, he was amazed at how his life had changed in a few short months. And he had a feeling the transformation wasn’t complete. After stuffing the letter into an envelope, MacGyver proceeded to reflect on the unfortunate incident with Jesse and scribbled several notes to discuss with Evelyn and Jo. As he replayed that afternoon in his head, he became acutely aware of the many mistakes he, as security advisor, had allowed, and the familiar feeling of guilt gripped his heart. It was pure luck that Joanna hadn’t been killed.

MacGyver, Evelyn, and Joanna all made a point of arriving especially early Monday morning to quickly debrief before the rest of the staff and students arrived. Thankfully, the local media had not picked up on Friday’s story. However, it was difficult to determine what was being said on the streets. Therefore, Evelyn decided to call an impromptu all-school assembly to briefly address the incident. As staff and students entered the building, Officer Carl and other faculty members funneled everyone down the long corridor to the gym where Evelyn already stood behind a microphone flanked by Joanna on one side and MacGyver on the other. The trio aimed to get two messages across to the teens. They wanted to assure the students that Challengers was still a safe zone, but they also wanted to make it clear that any inappropriate behavior would not be tolerated.

After the final morning bell had rung, Evelyn stepped up to the microphone. She provided a very brief overview of Friday’s incident and assured everyone that the student would no longer be attending Challengers. She urged everyone, particularly staff members, to remain vigilant and encouraged the students to confide in a trusted adult if they were aware of any suspicious activity or just needed to talk. Evelyn stressed the need for honest communication to keep everyone safe and then dismissed the teens to their classes.

A police officer was waiting by the main entrance and approached Joanna as she headed for her office. MacGyver and Evelyn remained by her side and she was touched by their unspoken show of support. The officer had been sent to ask if Joanna wanted to press charges against Jesse. Joanna declined. Sensing MacGyver’s disapproval, she turned to him and explained her decision.

“I know Jesse needs to be held accountable for her actions. But I know enough about the legal system to believe that there has to be a better alternative to help her through this.”

Evelyn agreed. “I’ll make some calls and get a good social worker assigned to her case. I’ll stay on top of this. Don’t worry about Jesse.”

Joanna smiled her thanks, knowing Evelyn understood. Mac’s expression had softened as well. As soon as the officer had left, they each headed to their respective offices, leaving the doors wide open.

Joanna quickly completed some routine paperwork before spending the majority of the day interacting with students and staff in the learning center, rec room, and cafeteria. She felt it was important for everyone to see that she harbored no ill effects from her ordeal. She refused to take on a victim mentality and did not want others viewing her as a victim either.

MacGyver went into full field ops mode, prowling the corridors and carefully inspecting classrooms when they weren’t in use, making mental notes of ways the school could be better secured. At one point, Mac even retraced the steps Joanna had taken and considered what could have been done to prevent the incident. After lunch, he left the building saying he had some important errands to run before the meeting later that afternoon.

Evelyn assumed her normal duties, though she did flip on the P.A. system every now and again to listen in on some of the classes. Everything seemed to be running smoothly. As promised, she placed a few phone calls to some juvenile court judges and social workers regarding Jesse to make sure the girl received the proper treatment. Joanna was right. Juvie was no place for an obviously troubled teen who needed help, not punishment.

The afternoon passed quickly and soon Evelyn, Joanna, and MacGyver were heading towards the teachers’ lounge which Evelyn had commandeered for their meeting. A bowl of various fresh fruits and another filled with granola bars greeted them, along with bottled water and a pitcher of juice.

“Who’s the caterer?” Joanna asked as she reached for a water and her favorite flavor of granola.

“I believe we are seeing the results of Mr. MacGyver’s little errand from this afternoon,” Evelyn replied with a wink.

“Guilty as charged!” Mac held up his hands in mock surrender.

“Impressive,” Joanna complimented him as they exchanged smiles.

Evelyn studied the interaction. Had these two finally called a truce? Or better yet, decided to show they actually liked each other? Too bad it had taken Joanna being held at gunpoint for them to get over their pride or pettiness or whatever was getting between them.

Once each of them had grabbed a snack, Evelyn took a seat at the head of the rectangular table. Joanna sat on her right with MacGyver across from her on Evelyn’s left. The administrator called their little meeting to order and began the discussion.

“I’ve read the police report and your individual statements. This afternoon, I want us to take a look at why this happened and what we can do to prevent something like this from happening again.”

Mac and Jo whipped their heads toward her. “It’s all my fault!” they insisted in perfect unison before giving each other an uncomprehending stare.

The vehemence of their statements caught Evelyn off guard, but she quickly regained her equilibrium. “Oh, really?” she challenged. “Joanna, since you are the victim in this case, why don’t you tell us your version of the events?”

Evelyn chose to ignore the younger woman’s discreet eye roll at the term ‘victim’.

“I was in my office after school finishing up some data entry,” Joanna began until her boss interrupted her.

“Was your door open or closed?”

“It was closed,” Jo admitted as she shot a glance toward MacGyver.

Oh my, if the situation wasn’t so serious Evelyn could really have some fun with these two.

“Go on,” the older woman prompted.

“You had left and Carl had informed me he was leaving as well. About five minutes later someone was pounding on my door and calling my name. When I opened the door, Jesse was there and very upset and afraid that Mr. K. was dying. She took off running and I instinctively followed, a bit panicked myself.” Joanna went on to recall the rest of her harrowing experience.

“Now,” Evelyn said calmly. “Please explain to me and Mr. MacGyver why you think you should take responsibility for the incident.”

“I’ve replayed the whole thing over and over in my head and I did so many things wrong. First of all, it never even occurred to me that Jesse should not have had access to my office. And when she told me she had been with Walter, I never asked why! I just assumed he was tutoring her after school which, once I thought about it, would never happen.” Evelyn had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from grinning as she caught Mac and Jo exchange wry smiles.

Joanna continued her line of reasoning: “I also should have tried to find another adult to go with me instead of blindly following Jesse, and I should never have turned my back on her when I entered the room. I didn’t know what we would find and I was trying to protect her from what we might see.”

“You bring up some valid points,” Evelyn concurred, as she leaned back in her chair. “However, hindsight is always 20/20. At the time, did you feel your actions were appropriate and in everyone’s best interest?”

“Yes, I did,” Joanna responded softly. Evelyn could not miss the gentle, sympathetic gaze with which MacGyver watched her young friend.

“Then I don’t see any problem,” Evelyn concluded. “Now it’s your turn, Mr. MacGyver.”

“I assumed everyone was gone for the day so I decided to head out early as well. I wouldn’t have even known anything was wrong if Candy hadn’t asked about Jo.” He ran his large hand through his hair, guilt weighing him down more and more. He continued to convey his version of events. “Joanna did everything right. When Jesse turned on her, she didn’t panic. She kept Jesse talking and didn’t make eye contact with me while I tried to negotiate with Jesse even though I had to say some hurtful things. And I didn’t even have to tell her when to run. She knew exactly what to do,” he finished, unable to hide the pride in his voice. “It’s my fault she had to go through that,” he added flatly.

“Then please explain to Joanna and me why you think you should take responsibility for the incident.”

“I’m your security advisor! I’m the one who’s supposed to make sure these things don’t happen, but I didn’t!”

“All right, MacGyver. What would you have done differently?”

Mac shifted his weight and reached into his back pocket, pulling out the notes he had made last night. “First of all, there’s no way Jesse should have been able to bring a gun into the school. We need to secure the entrance better. I’m thinking we should bring in a metal detector for everyone to walk through.”

Evelyn nodded but remained quiet, so MacGyver continued.

“We also have to be able to better monitor the students inside the building. I’m thinking cameras in the corridors, common rooms and classrooms.”

“Hold it right there!” Joanna broke in.

Evelyn held up a hand to Jo. “You had your turn.”

Joanna crossed her arms in front of herself and slouched in her chair as Evelyn turned her attention back to MacGyver.

“We also need communication devices in all rooms,” Mac went on. “Phones, panic buttons, some way to indicate trouble. Finally, there needs to be a routine procedure in place to sweep the building to make sure all the students are gone when they need to be. And that’s just the prevention aspect. We need to develop an action plan and guidelines for when a situation does arise.”

“You have a lot of interesting ideas, MacGyver,” Evelyn responded, her voice neutral. “They also sound quite expensive and somewhat labor intensive.”

“You can’t put a price tag on safety,” he countered.

“Safety? That’s what you call it?” Joanna had straightened up in her chair and pinned MacGyver with her dagger-shooting glare. “I call it a prison! This is supposed to be a safe and welcoming place where students don’t have to fear judgement and punishment! I’ve taught in correctional institutions with less safeguards! I will not allow you to waltz in here and turn Challengers into a jail!” she yelled across the table.

Evelyn had never heard Joanna yell at anyone before and was stunned into silence which was soon broken by MacGyver as he went toe-to-toe with Jo.

“How can you possibly be against safety precautions when just a few days ago you had a gun pointed at you!? If I had done my job, I wouldn’t have almost gotten you killed!” MacGyver slammed his hand on the table, shot up from his chair and turned to the window behind him in one swift motion.

“This isn’t all about you, Mac!” Joanna shot back.

“Enough you two,” Evelyn warned sternly. “I suggest we take a break before discussing this matter further.” With that she turned on her heel and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her leaving MacGyver staring out the window and Joanna staring at his back.

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The anger that had fueled Joanna’s outburst was quickly drenched by the overwhelming guilt she saw in MacGyver’s eyes before he abruptly turned away from her. She got up from her chair and slowly walked over to stand next to him, careful not to invade his personal space. She, too, stared out the window.

“You haven’t cornered the market on guilt, you know,” she told him gently. “I made some poor decisions, too.”

“But if I had done my job properly, you wouldn’t have had to make those decisions to begin with!”

“Mac, there’s no way you could have predicted—“

“I was sent here to do one job. Secure the facility. And I failed. I let myself get distracted and lost my focus. Phoenix was right to pull me from field ops. I’ve clearly lost my edge.” He hung his head and sighed.

“That’s not true!” Joanna turned to face him. “It was you and your quick thinking that rescued me. Besides,” she continued quietly, “I feel like I’m one of the main reasons you’ve been distracted.”

MacGyver looked down at her. “We make a fine pair, don’t we,” he laughed humorlessly.

“Yeah,” Jo agreed with an unladylike snort.

“Maybe we could try working with each other instead of against?” MacGyver suggested.

“I think that’s the best idea I’ve heard so far,” Joanna smiled at him. “Should I go let Evelyn know we’re ready to resume the meeting?”

“Yeah,” he smiled back. “And while you’re doing that, I need to get something from my office.”

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Five minutes later the little group reconvened. Joanna noticed MacGyver now had three small boxes on the table in front him. Evelyn resumed her place at the head of the table.

“I trust we are ready to proceed as the rational adults we all are?” she queried.

Her two subordinates nodded before MacGyver spoke up.

“Ms. Evelyn, I owe you and Jo an apology. I let my personal feelings get in the way and I guess I kinda went all ‘belt and suspenders’ on you,” he smiled sheepishly as Evelyn burst out laughing.

“Now that’s a phrase I haven’t heard in a long time!” she exclaimed gaily as MacGyver joined in the laughter.

Joanna smiled uncertainly, not understanding what must obviously be an inside joke. Evelyn was the first to notice the younger woman’s confusion.

“Pete Thornton, Mac’s boss, always described himself as a ‘belt and suspenders’ type of guy meaning he was overcautious and expected and prepared for the worst,” she explained.

As the meaning of the strange little phrase dawned on Joanna, she laughed as well. “I hope I get to meet Pete. I think we have a lot in common!”

Once the laughter had died down, Evelyn got the meeting back on track. “I think we can all agree that we have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s agree on some of the main points before we adjourn for the evening.”

MacGyver cleared his throat to capture the women’s attention.

“As we said earlier, communication is a key part of any successful security plan. This isn’t the answer, but at least it’s a start,” he said, as he slid one of the boxes in front of him to Joanna and another to Evelyn while keeping one for himself.

Joanna gingerly removed the cover and pulled out a device which fit in the palm of her hand. Evelyn and MacGyver did the same.

“What is it?” Jo asked.

“It’s a cell phone,” Mac answered her.

“I can see that. What do you want us to do with them?”

“We need to carry these at all times,” he began. “I’ve already preprogrammed them. Hitting key number one will automatically dial 911. Joanna and Evelyn, I’m your first emergency contact so just hit number two for me. Number three will connect you to each other. You can add more contacts later on. Joanna, I made you my first emergency contact and Evelyn will be my back-up if both of you agree.”

The two ladies nodded their agreement.

“Now the next step,” MacGyver continued, “is to figure out the most effective school-wide communication system.”

“What about walkie-talkies?” Joanna ventured, warming to Mac’s plan.

“That’s an option, but I was leaning more towards outfitting all adults with cell phones like ours. Not only are they smaller and easier to carry, but an alert can be sent out discreetly and silently,” MacGyver explained.

“But what if something happens to a teacher and they can’t use their phone? How could someone else call for help?”

“Are you going ‘belt and suspenders’ on us, Joanna?” Evelyn lightly teased.

“She has a good point, Evelyn. Each room should have an emergency communication device that anyone can use. Sorta like a fire alarm. Since you already have a working P.A. system in place, the simplest solution might be to rig it so each room can not only receive but transmit from it as well.”

“Didn’t this school used to have telephones in each room?” Joanna asked Evelyn.

“I believe it did,” her boss replied thoughtfully.

“If that’s the case,” MacGyver added, “the wires may still be in the walls and we’d just have to connect them again. That might be the place to start.”

“Good idea, MacGyver. You go ahead and look into that,” Evelyn instructed him. “Now for the metal detector…”

“Phoenix is always working on prototype detectors to improve effectiveness and efficiency. I’ll make a few calls and see if any are ready to go. I could get us approved as a field test site and we’d get the latest technology without spending a dime,” MacGyver offered.

“Lovely,” Evelyn praised. “Now the last item we’ll discuss for tonight is the cameras. Joanna, I know you have some concerns about this. Would you care to elaborate?”

Joanna consciously softened her features and took a few calming breaths before addressing MacGyver directly. “I’m sorry for my outburst earlier, I know you’re only trying to keep everyone safe. I’m fine with cameras in the hallways, and I’m even on board with putting them in the common rooms. Those are areas that are difficult to monitor due to the large ratio of students to adults. But I just can’t condone cameras in the classrooms.” She had to make him understand. “I firmly believe teachers would be less effective because they would feel their power has been usurped, not to mention the fact that they would feel like their work is being scrutinized, or the students feeling like they’re being spied on.”

“But that’s not the idea,” MacGyver insisted.

“I know,” Joanna replied, proud at the calm tenor of her voice. “But, speaking as a teacher myself, that’s how I would feel. Look at it this way, Mac,” she urged. “How would you feel if you had to wear a body-cam every time you went into the field? Even if it was only intended for your own protection? Can you honestly say you’d be comfortable with that?”

“You’re right,” he replied with a crooked smile. “I’d hate it!”

“Then it’s agreed, no cameras in the classrooms,” Evelyn ordered. “On that note, let’s all go home for the night. MacGyver, feel free to start implementing your plans and don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. Let’s all remember that this is a process, and we need to take our time and do it right. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” Mac and Jo responded in unison.





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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 4 December 2018 - 08:26 AM                                    
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Episode:Faith, Hope, and Charity
Vehicle: Jeep
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House:  House boat



Chapter 13: Spring Break: The Beginning


The following days passed in a blur of activity. Joanna escaped her office as much as possible in order to take a more active role with the students and faculty. MacGyver, on the other hand, stayed closeted in his office either researching various security measures implemented in other schools around the country or studying the blueprints of the old school building to get a clearer idea of what lay behind the longstanding walls. It surprised them both when Evelyn beckoned them into her office late Friday afternoon.

“So, how do the two of you plan to spend Spring Break next week?” asked the spunky administrator. Evelyn didn’t miss the shadow that briefly crossed each of their faces. The shadow that indicated they feared she was going to interfere with their plans. Oh, if they only knew!

“I was planning on using the time off to visit the Phoenix office in Chicago and see if I could get some security measures in place while the school is empty,” MacGyver replied matter-of-factly.

“And you, Joanna?” Evelyn asked.

“I was planning to come in and catch up on some paperwork.”

“No,” Evelyn declared.

“What do you mean, ‘no’?” MacGyver asked.

“With everything you’ve both been through lately, I want you to take some real time off and ‘get out of your heads’ so to speak. Relax, forget about work for a while, have some fun!”

Evelyn sighed as Mac and Jo looked at her blankly. Well, she hadn’t expected it to be easy. At least not with these two.

“Mr. MacGyver,” she prompted, “do you still enjoy fishing and the great outdoors?”

“Yes ma’am,” he answered without volunteering more information.

“Joanna, do you and your folks still go to that place on Lake Delton?”

“Yes, every summer,” Jo answered succinctly. She and Mac both looking perplexed.

Good grief, was she going to have to spell it out for them? She hoped they were being purposely obtuse because she hated to think that two intelligent adults couldn’t put the pieces she was handing them together.

“Do I have to spell it out for you?” she asked, frustration tinged her voice.

Joanna was the first to respond. “Are you suggesting we go up to the lake…together?” Her brow wrinkled with concern.

“Look, Honeypots,” she replied, pinning both of them with her steely gaze, “I’m not asking you to elope, just spend some time together, away from work, relaxing and enjoying yourselves.”

“With all due respect,” Joanna spoke up, “couldn’t we do that on our own?”

“You could,” she replied, “but where’s the fun in that?! Besides, if you’re together you’ll keep each other honest and not try to sneak back to work!”

Evelyn watched as MacGyver and Joanna exchanged meaningful glances before MacGyver spoke up, answering for both of them. “OK, we’ll leave on Monday,” he said flatly.

“Lovely!” Evelyn exclaimed gleefully. “I’ll see you after the break!”

Once the appropriate farewells were given and the pair had left her office, Evelyn stood looking out the window, hoping she had made the right decision. Best case scenario they’d return with a solid friendship. Worst case scenario….she didn’t want to go there, but the words ‘justifiable homicide’ niggled at her brain.

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Monday morning Joanna pulled her Cavalier up to Mac’s apartment building. By the time she parked and climbed out of the driver’s seat, MacGyver was already heading towards her. She popped the trunk to allow him to deposit the duffle bag he carried before they both settled into the car and began their trek.

Sunny and mild, it was the perfect Wisconsin spring day. Three hours after leaving Mac’s place and making a quick stop at a nearby grocery store for basic provisions, Joanna maneuvered her car into the small parking lot of The Delton Bay Resort. She released her seatbelt and leaned her head back, allowing her body to relax and soak in the peacefulness she always found here. It was her sanctuary. The one place she could go to forget her worries and just be herself, if only for a few days out of the year. MacGyver, on the other hand, had crawled from the passenger seat as soon as Jo had shifted into park and was now exploring his new surroundings. She heard him let out a prolonged, appreciative whistle and smiled. When she told people about the resort, they generally pictured rustic log cabins, not the two and three bedroom vacation homes that were placed strategically amongst the towering trees that shaded the grassy lawn. Three boat docks and a small, sandy beach beckoned visitors to the water’s edge.

Joanna slowly made her way towards the main house and office to check in. MacGyver joined her, insisting she let Phoenix pick up the tab. The long-time owner, Kathy ‘Kat’ Barnes, smiled widely as the pair entered the small office. She and Jo had become friends over the years and eagerly looked forward to their summer reunions. This extra trip was a bonus. After MacGyver had been properly introduced, the financial transaction completed, and the luggage removed from the car, Joanna led the way across the lawn to the two-bedroom home they would share. She stood back as MacGyver took in the large open living, dining, and kitchen space that occupied the front half of the house. Patio doors opened onto a wraparound deck and large windows overlooked the water. Down the hall was a bathroom and bedroom with two twin beds as well as a master bedroom with a private bath. Joanna was headed directly to the smaller bedroom that she always stayed in when she felt MacGyver’s large, gentle hands on her shoulders.

“Oh no, you don’t,” he announced, halting her progress. “That one’s mine,” he declared, nodding toward the room.

“But I always stay in this room,” Joanna explained.

“Not on my watch,” Mac insisted, as he steered her towards the master suite.

Every fiber of her being wanted to protest. She considered him her guest and since he was physically larger than her, he should take advantage of the larger room. Instead, she bit her lip to stay quiet and vowed she would let MacGyver have his way…for now.

After they had stowed their belongings and put away the food they had bought, MacGyver entered the living room and announced he was going fishing. He had a telescopic pole in one hand and tackle box in the other.

“There’s a bait shop down the street,” Joanna offered.

“No need,” Mac replied cryptically as he set down the rod and box and pulled out a stick of gum from his back pocket. He carefully unwrapped it, popped it in his mouth, and began to chew, all the while seeming to enjoy Joanna’s quizzical gaze.

“This will do quite nicely,” he said, holding up the metallic gum wrapper.

Jo’s gaze turned to disbelief and she raised one eyebrow.

“Fish are attracted to shiny objects. When the sun hits this wrapper it should catch their attention and make them want to investigate.”

“These are pretty smart fish up here,” she warned him. “They always manage to eat the worms off my dad’s hook without getting caught.”

“That’s even better,” MacGyver replied seriously. “They won’t be expecting this!” His eyes twinkled as Joanna let go a little laugh. “Hey,” he continued, “would you mind bringing out that box on the table?”

For the first time, Joanna noticed another tackle box on the dining table. This one was smaller than the other. “Sure thing,” she replied lightly as she grabbed the box and headed after Mac. She found him staring at something above the tree line.

“What’s that wooden platform up there?” he asked

“One of the zip line stations,” she replied. “Have you ever done that before?” She inclined her head toward the attraction.

“Never just for fun,” Mac mused, heading toward the lake.

“I assume these are for guests to use?” he asked as he flipped over a canoe that had been pulled onto a grassy incline. Before Joanna could answer, he had the long, thin boat in the water and his fishing gear on its floor. He reached for the box Jo held.

“I don’t get it,” Joanna commented thoughtfully as she relinquished the box. “You don’t use bait but you have two tackle boxes.”

“That one,” he nodded to the larger box sitting in the canoe, “is my tackle box. This one,” he held the other one up high, “is for Phoenix. When Pete found out where I was headed he asked if I’d take some water samples to send back.”

MacGyver settled himself in the little boat and took up his paddle. “Care to join me?” he asked Joanna.

“In that?!” she replied with distaste.

“Yeah! Don’t you trust me?”

“I trust you all right, it’s that floating tin can you’re sitting in I don’t trust.”

“C’mon, people have been using canoes for centuries.”

Joanna held up her hand toward him. “I don’t need a history lesson and I’m not getting in that thing.”

“Suit yourself,” MacGyver chuckled, as he expertly turned the canoe toward the open water and began to paddle away.

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Joanna watched from shore as Mac reached deep into the water with his oar, causing the canoe to swiftly slide across the glass-like water. His movements were strong yet graceful as he handled the boat efficiently, not expending any unnecessary energy. The gentle breeze ruffled his too-long, darkening-blonde hair and Joanna stood mesmerized.

“So where’ve you been hiding him?” Kat asked accusingly.

Joanna jumped, unaware that her friend had walked up behind her.

“I haven’t been ‘hiding’ him anywhere. We just met a couple months ago.”

“You go, girlfriend!” Kat exclaimed, her long blonde hair waving in the breeze, her hazel eyes glistening with excitement.

“It’s not like that, Kat. He’s here from L.A. to help out at the school. He’s a temporary colleague, that’s all.”

“Whatever you say, Jo,” Kat replied as she patted her friend on the shoulder.

“I have a book I want to finish,” Joanna muttered, as she turned her back on Kat and the lake and headed for the house.

Several hours later, Joanna had finished her novel and was knitting a winter scarf. MacGyver still had not returned. It wasn’t a big lake and there weren’t enough fish in it to keep even the most avid sportsman entertained for this long. And how much time could collecting water samples take? Much to her chagrin, Joanna found herself heading out to the deck to watch for Mac as she heartily tried to convince herself he wasn’t worth the effort…but he was. Jo shivered, blaming the lake-cooled breeze, and stepped inside to grab a jacket. When she returned, it was to find MacGyver pulling the canoe ashore, chatting and laughing with Kat who had apparently gone out to help. Joanna’s breath caught, hurt and jealousy knotting in her stomach before she could rein in her emotions. As if sensing her presence, Mac turned around and waved to her. She returned the gesture half-heartedly as she watched him say some final words to Kathy before heading towards the house. He carried the case for the water samples but that was all. Joanna figured Kat had assured him his fishing gear would be safe in the canoe.

“What, no fish?” she asked, hoping to sound nonchalant.

“Nope. Not today.”

“Oh,” Joanna replied. Turning around she mumbled, “But you sure were out there long enough.”

“What?”

“Nothing!”

“Hey, I know I kinda lost track of time. You weren’t worried or anything, were you?”

“Of course not!” she all but snapped at him. “What do I care how long you sit out there waiting for a fish to chew on your gum wrapper. I’m hungry, let’s get something to eat.” And with that she headed to her bedroom and closed the door…loudly.

A wide smile began to spread across MacGyver’s face. He was finally starting to figure out the puzzle that was Joanna Fairfax, and he knew with certainty that she only got upset with people she cared about.

When Joanna finally emerged from her room after changing clothes, she found a freshly showered MacGyver wearing clean khakis and a collarless shirt flipping through the television channels.

“So, where do you want to go eat?” she asked, trying to sound friendly and in control. She had decided that, since they were stuck with each other anyway, the days would go a lot smoother if she stopped trying to pick a fight with every little thing MacGyver did or said that got under her skin.

“It’s a surprise,” he answered, holding out his hand to her.

“What’s that for?” she asked, looking pointedly at his hand.

“Car keys. I’m driving.”

Jo felt herself begin to bristle, but before she could say anything MacGyver responded. “If you drive I’d have to tell you where we’re going. Then it wouldn’t be a surprise.”

Well, the man did make a logical argument. Joanna grabbed her car keys off the dining table and tossed them across the room wear Mac effortlessly snagged them out of the air.

Minutes later they pulled into the parking lot of an exclusive, upscale restaurant that Joanna had passed thousands of times but never stopped to dine there.

“This place is awfully expensive,” she informed MacGyver, her front teeth worrying her bottom lip.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got a Phoenix credit card and expense account. Let’s just enjoy, OK?”

Joanna quickly agreed which surprised them both, but she figured this might be the only chance she had of darkening the door of this particular supper club. Why look a gift horse in the mouth?

MacGyver escorted Joanna into the restaurant and to their secluded table, his hand never leaving the small of her back. She heard him chuckle softly when she opened her menu and her eyebrows instinctively shot up upon seeing the prices.

“Remember, this is on Phoenix. Order anything. We’ll eat tofu sandwiches tomorrow,” he teased.

Joanna was still studying the menu and waffling between a few choices when their waitress delivered the glasses of ice water they had requested and stood ready to take the rest of their order. Before Jo could make up her mind she heard Mac talking to the waitress.

“We’ll each have a house salad, Maine lobster tail and baked potato.”

Joanna’s head snapped up. That had to be the most expensive meal on the menu!

“Anything else?” the waitress asked.

“Butter and sour cream for the potato,” Joanna added. What the heck, might as well go all out!

“That stuff’ll kill you, ya know,” Mac whispered as the server walked away.

“Then at least I’ll die happy,” Joanna whispered back mischievously.

The pair conversed amicably between savoring bites of their delicious meal. Joanna was glad she had allowed MacGyver to splurge. When it was time for dessert, they ordered one Turtle Sundae to share. The server placed it between them and they leaned forward and dug in. Joanna thought this probably looked quite intimate to the other diners, but she didn’t care. In fact, she kinda liked that idea.

By the time they arrived back at the resort, the sun had been down for a while and colored lights strung between the trees illuminated the small beach area. The night air was cool, but not uncomfortable. Even so, MacGyver suggested that they relax by the fire before calling it a night. Sated from the large, delicious meal they had just consumed, Joanna didn’t have the energy to argue. Besides, it sounded rather nice.

Kat was waiting outside the office when they came walking up the drive.

“So, was Wally’s everything I told you it was?” she asked MacGyver.

“That and more. Thanks for the suggestion.”

Joanna’s inquiring glance flitted between them.

Mac cleared his throat. “I think I’ll go get my fishing gear,” he told the two women and then headed to the lake.

As soon as MacGyver was out of earshot, Kat grabbed Jo by the arm.

“So, how was it?” she demanded eagerly.

Joanna shrugged, “It was nice.”

“Nice?!” Kat exclaimed in frustration. “You go to one of the finest, most romantic restaurants in town with a gorgeous guy who is totally into you and you say it was ‘nice’?!”

Joanna worked hard to downplay the dinner. “I told you before that MacGyver is just a temporary colleague, that’s all. What’s more, the insufferable man made me eat lobster and share his dessert,” Joanna pretended to pout.

“The heathen!” Kat exclaimed before the two broke out laughing.

“By the way, how did you know which restaurant we went to,” Jo asked, once their giggles had died down.

“This afternoon he asked me the best place to take a girl out to dinner,” Kat shrugged.

“Is that what you guys were talking about when he came back from fishing?”

“Yeah, why?”

“No reason,” Joanna muttered, suddenly regretting how she had reacted earlier that day. “I better head in.”

The two women wished each other a good night and returned to their respective homes. As Joanna walked through the living room, she picked up the remote to turn on the enclosed gas fireplace before changing into jeans and a sweatshirt. She settled herself on the couch and glanced at her watch. Where was MacGyver? How long could it possibly take to retrieve and stow his fishing gear? Once again, she found herself waiting for him.

Unable to sit still any longer, Joanna crossed the room and stepped onto the deck. A shadowy figure headed towards her and she didn’t need to see its features to know it was Mac. She had quickly learned to recognize the rhythm of his gait and the way he carried himself…among other things. She stepped off the deck and closed the space between them.

“Where have you been?” they asked in unison.

MacGyver motioned for her to speak first.

“I turned on the fireplace,” she gestured towards the house. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

“Well I started a fire in the pit by the shoreline,” he explained, nodding his head toward the flames licking the air. “I’ve been waiting for you!”

They stood staring at each other, as if waiting to see who would flinch first. Finally MacGyver threw his hands in the air, a gesture he was doing more and more often.

“Fine,” he exhaled. “We’ll go inside.” As he stepped past Jo, she put her hand on his arm to stop him.

“No,” she contradicted softly. “I like your idea better.” And she headed towards the fire pit giving Mac no choice but to follow.

The pair settled themselves side-by-side next to the fire in plastic patio chairs Kat provided for her guests. Joanna slouched and stretched out her legs, crossing them at the ankle while she crossed her arms and rested them on her stomach. MacGyver did the same.

“Cold?” he asked.

“No. I’m fine.”

Silence reigned as they stared silently into the fire, watching the bob-and-weave dance of the flames. Occasionally MacGyver got up to add a log or poke at the embers.

“A penny for your thoughts,” MacGyver ventured as he allowed the fire to slowly die down.

“I’m not sure they’re worth that much,” Joanna responded quietly, still staring at the fire.

MacGyver turned his head to look at her. “Enough with the self-deprecating remarks. Is it so hard to just talk to me?” he asked firmly but without censure.

“No, it isn’t,” Joanna sighed, rolling her head against the back of the chair so she was now looking him in the eye. “It’s actually incredibly easy so be careful what you wish for,” she warned him.

“I always am,” he spoke softly, his eyes searching hers.

Joanna sighed again and turned back to the fire which was now little more than dying embers. She found comfort and safety in the darkness which now enveloped her and she yearned to pour her heart out to MacGyver, but she didn’t know how. It wasn’t her way.

“It’s about work,” she confessed after several long minutes of silence.

“What about it?”

“I don’t know,” she shook her head. “Everything?”

“The school’s not turning out the way you envisioned,” he stated more than asked.

“No. I remember when we first started the school. Everyone was so excited and hopeful. We had top-notch faculty, the other staff was great, and we all worked together like a well-oiled machine. Now I’ve got a teacher counting the days to retirement, another that hits on anything in a skirt, and one that cares more about keeping her manicure appointment than turning in grades on time!”

“What needs to happen to improve Challengers?” MacGyver asked.

“I’m at the point where I want to fire everybody, cancel the upcoming summer session and just start from scratch!” There, she had said it. The thoughts that had been keeping her up at night for weeks on end had finally been spoken and now hung in the air over Lake Delton.

“Have you talked to Evelyn about this?”

“Mac, things just don’t work like that. It’s too complicated!”

“Then un-complicate it. Stand up and fight for your ideas like you fight with me!”

“Do you really think it could work?” Jo asked quietly.

“I think you could make it work,” he encouraged her.

“But it would take too much time and money,” she countered.

“Would canceling the summer session give you enough time?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Then do it.”

“You’re starting to sound like a Nike commercial,” Joanna laughed. “But what about the money?” she asked, quickly sobering. “You tell us not to worry about it, but this would be a huge undertaking and it costs money to get quality teachers.”

“Don’t worry about the money,” Mac insisted. “We’ll take care of it. And by ‘we’ I mean Pete. He needs something to occupy his time now that he no longer has to think up life-threatening missions to send me on.”

“We could really do this!” Joanna said excitedly, finally convinced.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!” Mac exclaimed as he reached over and grabbed her by the shoulders to give her a shake, making her giggle.

“Now go get some sleep. I have a big day planned for us tomorrow,” MacGyver informed her.

“Oh really,” she drawled. “Care to enlighten me?”

“Nope.”











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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Jediferret
Posted: 4 December 2018 - 10:30 AM                                    
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Awww... lol

I dunno why, but I keep thinking Mac has a mustache as I read this. haha

Anyway, I'm still enjoying it! Reading the interaction between Mac and Joanna is so relatable and fun! Good job! thumbup.gif

"Walk in love. Walk in service. And you will walk in honor." (Good Knight MacGyver)
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Posted: 4 December 2018 - 10:49 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Jediferret @ 4 December 2018 - 10:30 AM)

Anyway, I'm still enjoying it! Reading the interaction between Mac and Joanna is so relatable and fun! Good job! thumbup.gif

Thanks! I'm glad you like the Mac/Jo combo. Given people's reaction to him having a girlfriend on the show, I'm really cautious with Joanna...Obviously I want readers to like her, but I don't want to take away from Mac being Mac...if that makes sense!

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: 4 December 2018 - 11:13 AM                                    
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QUOTE
“That stuff’ll kill you, ya know,” Mac whispered as the server walked away.

“Then at least I’ll die happy,” Joanna whispered back mischievously.


Oh my gosh, SAAAAAMMMMEEEE laugh.gif

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Posted: 4 December 2018 - 01:33 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 4 December 2018 - 11:13 AM)
QUOTE
“That stuff’ll kill you, ya know,” Mac whispered as the server walked away.

“Then at least I’ll die happy,” Joanna whispered back mischievously.


Oh my gosh, SAAAAAMMMMEEEE laugh.gif

thumbsup.gif

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: 4 December 2018 - 08:59 PM                                    
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QUOTE
“Butter and sour cream for the potato,” Joanna added. What the heck, might as well go all out!

“That stuff’ll kill you, ya know,” Mac whispered as the server walked away.

“Then at least I’ll die happy,” Joanna whispered back mischievously.


QUOTE
“Nice?!” Kat exclaimed in frustration. “You go to one of the finest, most romantic restaurants in town with a gorgeous guy who is totally into you and you say it was ‘nice’?!”

Joanna worked hard to downplay the dinner. “I told you before that MacGyver is just a temporary colleague, that’s all. What’s more, the insufferable man made me eat lobster and share his dessert,” Joanna pretended to pout.

“The heathen!” Kat exclaimed before the two broke out laughing.


roller.gif roller.gif roller.gif I love it!

 
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Posted: 5 December 2018 - 06:52 AM                                    
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QUOTE (MacGyver85 @ 4 December 2018 - 08:59 PM)
QUOTE
“Butter and sour cream for the potato,” Joanna added. What the heck, might as well go all out!

“That stuff’ll kill you, ya know,” Mac whispered as the server walked away.

“Then at least I’ll die happy,” Joanna whispered back mischievously.


QUOTE
“Nice?!” Kat exclaimed in frustration. “You go to one of the finest, most romantic restaurants in town with a gorgeous guy who is totally into you and you say it was ‘nice’?!”

Joanna worked hard to downplay the dinner. “I told you before that MacGyver is just a temporary colleague, that’s all. What’s more, the insufferable man made me eat lobster and share his dessert,” Joanna pretended to pout.

“The heathen!” Kat exclaimed before the two broke out laughing.


roller.gif roller.gif roller.gif I love it!

Thank you!! clapping.gif

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: 5 December 2018 - 12:45 PM                                    
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Chapter 14: Spring Break: The Tourists

Early the next morning, MacGyver was relaxing in a living room chair flipping through a guide book for the area when he heard the soft squeak of Joanna’s bedroom door opening. He watched as she padded sleepily down the hall towards him and the kitchen. She wore green and yellow plaid lounge pants and a white, oversized sweatshirt. He let out a wolf whistle to catch her attention. It worked. Her head jerked up and she glared at him.

“You look—“

“Shut up,” she warned.

“Comfortable. I was gonna say ‘comfortable’,” he explained innocently.

She grumbled something he couldn’t quite make out and he had a feeling he was glad he couldn’t understand her reply.

“Not a morning person?” he asked.

“Only if morning starts at noon,” she replied smartly.

“But you’re always at work so early…”

“I do what I gotta do,” she shrugged.

MacGyver watched as Joanna rambled around the kitchen preparing her breakfast. He thought back to their fireside conversation the night before. He admired how dedicated Jo was to her job and the kids, but he also believed she shouldered too many responsibilities. Responsibilities that weren’t hers to carry. He longed to lift the misplaced burdens. Perhaps that was why, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, he became determined to show her a good time today. He longed to see her bright smile and hear her contagious laughter that she kept so fiercely locked away.

“So, what’s on the agenda for today?” she asked, interrupting his thoughts.

“I thought we could play tourists,” he replied, holding up the brochures he had picked up in the resort’s office earlier.

“Sure,” she replied. “We could check out some of the shops downtown and go from there.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Mac concurred, surprised she had agreed so easily.

An hour later, Joanna’s car was parked in a public lot and they were strolling along the five city blocks that made up the downtown area of this tourist destination. MacGyver enjoyed checking out the souvenir shops, especially the wood carvings and paintings, while Joanna gravitated toward locally crafted jewelry and pottery. It didn’t take long to figure out that most of the stores sold the same things at the same prices. What a racket! MacGyver was growing bored when his gaze fell upon a sign advertising an old time photo studio.

“Hey, let’s check that out!” He eagerly headed towards the storefront, his long legs quickly eating up the short distance with Joanna in tow. Two large windows on either side of the door displayed black and white photos with modern families dressed in vintage clothes, posing in front of various tableaus ranging from the Wild West to Woodstock.

“We gotta do this!” MacGyver exclaimed with a child-like enthusiasm that made Joanna laugh.

Once inside the little studio, the photographer instructed the duo to choose their scene and costumes of the one-size-fits-all variety.

Joanna began examining their choices. “So, what should we be?” she asked him.

“I wanna be a cowboy,” he answered without hesitation, not caring if he sounded like a five-year-old. Growing up in Minnesota, he dreamed of being a hockey player…or a cowboy. What little boy didn’t? Now was his chance.

“OK, then I’ll be the barmaid,” Joanna decided as she held up a low-cut, long-skirted dress. She grinned saucily and Mac’s pulse jumped.

Once properly outfitted, the photographer instructed them to begin striking poses and ‘just have fun with it’. The camera began to click and old-time piano music blared from hidden speakers. A bit unsure at first, Joanna stood dutifully behind the bar pretending to hand Cowboy Mac a mug of beer. Before long, MacGyver hoisted Joanna up on the bar where she sat with her legs crossed and skirt pulled up to her knees enticingly. Warming to the role of cowboy, he grabbed a stiff length of rope and lassoed the barmaid who tried to appear chagrined despite her laughter at his antics.

After the impromptu photo session, Mac and Jo, both still in costume, stood by a table examining the many pictures of their western selves, carefully deciding which ones they wanted to buy.

After changing into their street clothes, Joanna and MacGyver walked out of the studio and into the bright spring sunshine. They shared a light lunch at a sidewalk café before heading back to the car.

“Having fun?” Mac asked from the passenger seat as Joanna slid behind the wheel.

“Yeah, I am,” she responded thoughtfully. “I really am. What’s next on the agenda?”

Mac’s heart lightened at the easy way Joanna had slipped into ‘tourist mode’ and was looking forward to their next venture.

“I think I want to play cowboy again. Ever been horseback riding?”

“Yeah!” Joanna’s face brightened, then instantly dimmed. “But it’s been several years.”

“No problem,” MacGyver assured her. “As long as you know how to start, stop, steer, and sit properly, the rest is a piece of cake!”

“I can handle that,” she promised. Mac showed her the brochure he had found advertising trail rides and she followed the directions to the given location.

The place looked nothing like the picture. A large barn with peeling paint sat adjacent to an unkempt corral where still-saddled horses stood nibbling weeds and grass. A dilapidated lean-to on the far side did a poor job of providing shade to the tired horses resting there.

Joanna stopped the car and MacGyver could feel her looking at him.

“I don’t like the looks of this place,” she said softly, as if afraid of being overheard.

“Me neither,” Mac replied as he continued to look out the window and assess the situation.

“Shouldn’t the horses be unsaddled until they’re ready to be ridden?”

“Not necessarily, but it is rather odd seeing we seem to be the only ones here. It’s not as if they have a lot of people waiting to ride,” MacGyver replied thoughtfully.

“The horses don’t look very energetic, either,” Joanna observed. “Maybe we should go.” She reached to turn on the ignition, but Mac covered her smaller hand with his to stop her.

“I think it’s best if we stay,” he told her. Something was definitely wrong here and MacGyver wanted to investigate.

They slowly got out of the car and started walking towards the corral when a short, pudgy, middle-aged man wearing denim overalls and a worn cowboy hat appeared from the barn. Four lanky teenagers clad in Western garb also appeared and made their way towards the corral. Apparently they were the stable boys.

“Stay close and no matter what I say or do, follow my lead, okay?” Mac whispered to Jo who nodded her head in agreement.

“Howdy folks! Name’s Earl. What can I do you for this fine afternoon?” the pudgy man asked with a smile as he headed their way.

MacGyver thought the answer was obvious, but responded anyway. “We’d like to go for a trail ride.”

“Oh, what a shame,” the Earl shook his head. “We’re short-handed today and my only guide just left with the last party of the day.”

Mac surreptitiously surveyed the small parking area and spied a beat up minivan.

“No problem,” MacGyver said confidently. “We’re both experienced riders and know the area well. If we could just have a couple of mounts we’ll head out and catch up to them.”

“Sorry. No can do. It’s against policy, you see. How do I know you’re not going to take off with my stock?”

“I’m willing to pay double.”

The man’s eyes bulged and he smiled widely. “Well, you two look like honest folk. Tommy!” he called to one of the boys. “Get a couple of horses for the lady and gentleman here!”

“Actually,” MacGyver cut in, “we were hoping to pick out our own rides.”

“Well, I don’t know…”

“I’ll pay triple.”

“Well, then, go right ahead,” Earl invited as he puffed out his chest.

“Convenient that you have all your horses saddled and ready to go,” MacGyver commented casually before he caught Joanna’s gaze and held it a bit longer than necessary. Giving her an imperceptible nod he hoped she’d pick up on what he wanted her to do.

“Well, like them Boy Scouts say, ‘always be prepared’!” Earl chortled as Mac handed over his credit card.

Joanna had already slipped into the corral and was in the process of choosing her horse when MacGyver joined her. Together, they strolled amongst the large animals, patting their necks and smoothing their withers. Some startled at their touch. Others tried to avoid them altogether. The invading humans walked leisurely, visually inspecting the animals’ coats, eyes, and what they could see of their mouths. Finally, Mac grabbed the lead rope of a large black quarter horse and headed toward the corral’s gate. Joanna followed, leading a gentle bay mare to a mounting block. MacGyver effortlessly swung himself onto the back of his horse. Had the saddled slipped slightly? It was hard to say. Nudging the black with his heels, he met Joanna and her bay at the trailhead. Together they settled into a rhythmic walk and followed the well-worn path.

“What do you say we do a little off-roading?” Mac suggested.

“Lead the way,” Jo encouraged.

MacGyver gently tugged right on the reins, leading his horse into a field decorated with wildflowers and dotted with leafy trees. He heard a slight scuffle behind him as Joanna’s bay momentarily resisted the change in direction.

“I think she’s used to the trail,” Joanna commented.

“Could be,” Mac agreed. “Let’s pick up the pace and see how they respond.”

The couple and their horses trotted side-by-side before Mac suddenly pulled back on his reigns, causing Jo to do the same.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Not sure,” he responded. “Thought I might have felt the saddle slip.” Again. “Let’s just walk them for a while.”

He heard the mare skitter once more. Thinking Joanna must be holding the reigns too tight, he turned around to tell her to slacken her grip.

“My grip can’t get any looser,” Joanna told him as she held up the limp leads.

“You shouldn’t give her that much slack,” he instructed. “She could take the bit and run.”

“I doubt that. She seems pretty listless.” But MacGyver saw Jo tighten the reigns just a bit even as she was talking.

“Mac?” Jo called, an edge to her voice he hadn’t heard before.

“What is it?”

“I’m not sure, but I think my saddle moved.”

“Let’s stop and check things out.” This was getting weird. He watched the mare side-step as Joanna signaled for her to halt. Suddenly his own mount began tossing his large, dark head from side to side.

“Let’s dismount, but try not to put extra weight on your stirrup in case the saddle is loose,” he instructed. Unlike the traditional method, MacGyver gracefully swung his right leg forward over the horse’s head, kicked his left foot out of the stirrup and lowered himself to the ground. He watched as Joanna impressively executed the same maneuver.

“OK, let’s see what’s going on,” he muttered, looking around to make sure they were alone.

Joanna led her bay over to him, a concerned look on her face. “Her bit is wedged in her mouth,” she told Mac. “See how irritated the skin is?”

MacGyver examined the mare’s mouth, a grim look on his face.

“I didn’t think I pulled that hard on the reins,” Joanna said softly.

“You didn’t. The chafing on her mouth happened over a period of time.”

Mac then went to examine his own horse’s mouth. “He’s OK,” he informed Jo who had been watching anxiously. “Let’s check out these saddles.”

As MacGyver unclipped straps and unbuckled cinches, his muscle memory took over from his time spent riding as a boy and he was soon tossing the black’s saddle and blanket on the ground. He approached to examine the horse’s back, bile rising in his throat at the site of several large, angry welts. Anger burned in his chest.

“Take his reins,” he instructed Joanna as he quickly unsaddle the little mare. She had the same sores though not as bad. Probably because she was smaller and carried less weight.

“Are they saddle sores?” Joanna asked, her voice husky.

“Yeah,” Mac replied, fighting to quell the rage building within him. “Most likely from the saddles being too loose and worn the whole day. From the look of things, they’ve been this way for a while.” How could anyone treat defenseless animals this way? It was unconscionable!

“What about her mouth?”

MacGyver sighed. This wasn’t going to be easy, but he had to get that bit out. He slowly moved from the mare’s side to her head, keeping a hand on her at all times so she knew where he was and wouldn’t spook when she saw him.

“C’mon baby, take it easy, let me help you,” he crooned as he slowly reached up to undo the buckles and straps of the bridle. With an economy of movement, Mac pulled the bridle down over the horse’s ears, gently coaxing the bit from her mouth. “That’s it, just a little more…” he murmured. The bit came out and MacGyver stepped back in case the bay decided to protest. When she didn’t strike out, Mac once again approached her and began to stroke her long nose with one hand while holding the bridle with the other.

“Joanna, come here and take the lead rope off the bridle and snap it on her halter.”

Joanna quietly did as he asked and joined him in soothingly stroking the mare with one hand as she held the reins of his horse in her other.

“What are we going to do now?” she asked, keeping her voice low so she wouldn’t spook the horses.

“We’re going to take them back and call in the proper authorities. My guess is these aren’t the only horses that have been mistreated.”

MacGyver stacked Joanna’s smaller saddle on top of his bigger one along with the saddle blankets.

“You lead the horses and take the bridle, I’ll carry these,” he told her as he lifted the saddles into his arms.

They walked side-by-side, the horses following behind them. MacGyver chuckled when his horse reached out and began to gently nibble his hair.

Returning to the trailhead they saw a number of police cars and an ambulance pulled up to the barn, a group of people gathered around it. Earl broke away from the group and headed directly towards them.

“What have you done to my horses?!” he bellowed, his face so red MacGyver half expected the man to have a heart attack and drop dead at his feet.

“I was going to ask you the same thing,” Mac shot back, not caring that his voice sounded harsh as he dropped the saddles at Earl’s feet.

“What’s going on over there?” Joanna interrupted, raising her chin toward the barn.

“Oh…um…nothing!” Earl stuttered. “Just a little misunderstanding is all.”

“Is that so?” Mac asked, heading toward the crowd before Earl could answer. Joanna followed with the horses plodding behind her.

“Excuse me, what’s going on over here?” MacGyver asked one of the police officers.

“Who are you?”

“Name’s MacGyver. My friend and I just got back from a ride. Is everything okay?”

Mac had been surreptitiously surveying the scene as he spoke to the officer. A little boy no older than seven or eight sat on the ground flanked by EMT’s while a couple, presumably the boy’s parents, spoke animatedly to another police officer.
The guide and stable hands were also being interviewed.

“Horse got spooked and threw the kid. Looks like he has a broken arm,” the officer stated matter-of-factly.

“Could’ve been a lot worse,” MacGyver observed before Earl blustered into their conversation.

“Dang kid messed with my horse!” the older man exclaimed. “They’re gonna get one of them big city lawyers and sue me! You just watch! And it’s all that little brat’s fault!”

MacGyver pinned Earl with a steely glare, fighting to control the anger that roiled within him. “Where’s the horse now?” he asked. His teeth clenched, his voice barely audible.

“He was pretty riled up when we got here so we shot him with a tranquilizer and put him in his stall,” the officer supplied.

MacGyver suddenly became aware of Joanna standing by his side. She kept their two mounts behind her as if protecting them. Her mere presence caused MacGyver to relax just a bit.

“Officer,” he said calmly, “if you take a look at that horse in there I bet you’ll find the same kind of sores on his back and possibly around his mouth as we did.”

Without prompting, Jo led the horses up to the officer for inspection.

“The accident wasn’t the boy’s fault,” Mac continued. “And it wasn’t the horse’s fault either. I believe that Earl here has been mistreating these animals for some time now. The horse was in pain, that’s why he threw the boy.”

“Hey, Chief!” the officer called. “Come over here and take a look at this!”

Joanna was quickly relieved of the animals as she and Mac were separated to give their statements to still more officers. By the time the police released them, MacGyver’s head was pounding and he was way past hungry. Joanna rejoined him looking tired and pale.

“What’s going to happen now?” she asked, concern showing in her weary eyes.

“The local police will get the proper authorities involved. The horses will get the medical treatment they need and Earl will be shut down.”

“Good,” she replied, her shoulders slumping with relief.

“You hungry?” Mac asked.

Joanna simply nodded as she dug in her pocket and held out her car keys to him.

MacGyver’s eyebrows shot up and he pointed a finger at himself as if to ask, “me?”

Joanna nodded again and headed toward the car.

They stopped at a small diner on the way back to town and ate in companionable silence. Back at the resort, Kat was once again waiting for Joanna to arrive and swiftly herded her friend into the office to get the scoop on the day’s events. MacGyver headed to the house and strode purposely to his bedroom, grabbed the duffle bag he had stowed under the bed, and pulled out his cell phone, punching in the numbers he had memorized almost a decade ago. He strolled back to the living room and gazed out the patio doors as he waited for his call to be answered. After several rings, a familiar voice greeted him.

“Hey, Pete. It’s Mac.”

“It’s so good to hear from you!” MacGyver couldn’t help but smile at the enthusiasm in his friend’s voice.

“Are you having a good time? Is everything OK? Did you get the water samples?” Pete peppered him with questions.

Mac assured him that the water samples had been properly obtained and stored. He then took a deep breath and launched into an account of the last several hours.

“And what do you want Phoenix to do about it?” Pete asked.

“I don’t know! Something!” Mac pleaded as he jammed his fingers through his hair. “They’re good animals, Pete! They need to be taken care of. Given good homes.”

“OK, I’ll see what I can do,” Pete said in surrender. “Other than that, how are things going?”

MacGyver continued to gaze out into the now-dark night.

“This whole episode today made me realize how much I miss being in the field, taking down the bad guys, protecting the innocent. I need that back, Pete.”

“You’re starting to sound like a superhero.”

Mac ignored the statement. “I’m going to schedule another MRI for the day after school lets out for the summer. With any luck I’ll get a clean bill of health and be celebrating the Fourth of July in the wilds of Africa or someplace.”

Joanna’s reflection suddenly appeared in the glass door. He hadn’t heard her come in. He turned to look at her, her face blank and unreadable. How much of the conversation had she overheard? Had his talk of leaving upset her? Was she having trouble dealing with what she experienced today?

“Pete, I gotta go,” Mac said and clicked off the call before his friend could say good-bye. “Jo, listen—“

Joanna cut him off. “It’s been a long day. I’m going to bed,” she informed him flatly and headed to her room, closing the door behind her.

MacGyver stared at the closed door for several minutes before flopping down on the sofa to find an old Western movie to watch on TV. Unfortunately, even the classic show wasn’t enough to hold his attention which kept wandering back to Joanna. He soon shut off the television and started down the dark hallway. He was about to enter his bedroom when he thought he heard a noise coming from Joanna’s room. He stepped close to her door, putting his ear against it. Sobbing. She was crying. Mac’s heart squeezed at the sound, an overwhelming urge to comfort her clawed at him. He tapped his knuckles lightly on the door. No response. He tried the doorknob. It was unlocked.

“Joanna, I’m coming in,” he announced before turning the knob completely and entering the room. Moonlight streaming through the window fell across the king-size bed. MacGyver could see Joanna’s form curled up on the far side of the mattress, her back to him and her shoulders quaking as more sobs escaped. He slowly made his way around the bed and sat next to her on the edge of the mattress. He put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked softly.

She shook her head against the pillow.

“Do you want me to leave?”

Again she shook her head without lifting it from her pillow.

MacGyver moved his hand from her shoulder and began tenderly massaging her back in small, circular motions. Her sobs turned to hiccups and eventually the silence of the room was disturbed only by her rhythmic breathing and gentle snores. Mac continued rubbing her back long after she had fallen asleep. His eyes caressed her face, now relaxed and peaceful. How he wished he could provide her lasting solace so her eyes would never hold pain, anger, or fear again.


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: 5 December 2018 - 07:20 PM                                    
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*reads all about Mac acting like a five-year-old* roller.gif

*reads all about the poor horses* sad.gif

*reads all about Mac's conversation with Pete, and how Joanna overheard* doh.gif

*reads the ending* love.jpg broken.jpg love.jpg broken.jpg love.jpg broken.jpg

So this might be the best chapter so far. Such a roller coaster of emotions clapping.gif

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

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uniquelyjas
Posted: 6 December 2018 - 05:58 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 5 December 2018 - 07:20 PM)
So this might be the best chapter so far. Such a roller coaster of emotions clapping.gif

Thanks! You have to know that this was my first attempt at fan fic EVER! I think the chapters (most of them) improve as the story goes along and I get more *into* it! Some will always be better than others, but I'm glad you liked this one:)

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: 6 December 2018 - 12:11 PM                                    
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QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 6 December 2018 - 07:58 AM)
QUOTE (Dragondog @ 5 December 2018 - 07:20 PM)
So this might be the best chapter so far. Such a roller coaster of emotions clapping.gif

Thanks! You have to know that this was my first attempt at fan fic EVER! I think the chapters (most of them) improve as the story goes along and I get more *into* it! Some will always be better than others, but I'm glad you liked this one:)

Could have fooled me. I thought you seemed pretty experienced at this already when I read this 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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 6 December 2018 - 12:24 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 6 December 2018 - 12:11 PM)
Could have fooled me. I thought you seemed pretty experienced at this already when I read this wink.gif

Thanks! I've heard that from other readers as well and I'm really pleased. To be fair, I must tell you I have my college degree in English for which I did A LOT of writing...however, that was mostly analytical. I dabbled in poems and short stories in high school and college but haven't done any creative writing since then (I'm 48 yrs. old) until I discovered fan fic and got inspired about a year and a half ago.

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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 10 December 2018 - 06:51 AM                                    
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Chapter 15: Spring Break: Miracles and Tragedies

Joanna awoke slowly. Her throat was dry, her head ached, and her eyes were sore and slightly swollen from the tears she had shed the night before. She remembered MacGyver coming to her, comforting her. She didn’t remember him leaving. He must have stayed until she was asleep. Her heart warmed. She sat on the edge of the bed, looking out the window. In her haste to bury herself under the covers last night she had failed to pull the curtains. Heavy grey clouds shrouded the sky and a misty fog rose from the water. All was quiet and still. She heard the patio door slide open or closed, she wasn’t sure which. Mac was already up and about.

After showering and donning her blue jeans and favorite Packer sweatshirt, she went in search of her friend. Yes, she now considered MacGyver her friend. Perhaps she always had but was too stubborn to admit it until now. She found him standing at the edge of the yard staring out over the lake. He slowly turned as if sensing her presence.

“Morning,” he greeted her, his voice gentle.

“Morning,” she whispered in reply.

“How’re you doing?”

“I’m fine. But I owe you an apology for last night,” she began softly.

“Nothing to apologize for.”

“I know most guys hate it when girls cry—“

“I’m not most guys,” he assured her before she could say more.

“Yeah, I’ve kinda figured that out about you. You tend to run toward things most people would run away from.” Silence, though she thought she saw a small smile tug at his lips. “Like at the stables yesterday,” she continued. “I wanted to leave when things didn’t feel right, but you didn’t hesitate to get involved. If it wasn’t for you, Earl would still be mistreating those horses.”
“Hey, don’t sell yourself short, I couldn’t have done it without you,” MacGyver reprimanded mildly.

“But all I did was stand there. I didn’t even say anything.”

“That’s not true,” Mac responded firmly. “You followed my lead and kept the horses calm and protected. We were in a nasty situation but you stayed focused and did all the right things, just like with Jesse.”

Joanna’s gaze fell and she remained quiet.

“Is that what upset you? The horses?”

“Maybe subconsciously,” she shrugged. “I’ve seen stuff like that on TV but never in person. It was hard to see, but I know they’ll be taken care of now.”

She glanced up at MacGyver and saw confusion marring his chiseled features. This conversation was harder than she had anticipated, but she had grown to respect Mac too much to try and hide things from him. Besides, she needed to share her pain with someone and he was there, hopefully ready to listen.

Joanna turned her back to the lake and walked to a large, red-wood swing. Mac followed her. They sat side-by-side on the bench and began to sway smoothly back and forth.

“Last night, when Kat and I were talking, she told me she’s sold the resort.” Her eyes began to sting as unbidden tears threatened to fall. She repositioned herself on the swing, folding one leg under her so she could turn and face MacGyver. “I know that probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, but this place is really special to me. It’s my refuge, my sanctuary. The one place I can come and let go of the inhibitions I live with for fifty-one weeks a year.”

Her head fell. “I guess that sounds pretty corny, hey?” she tried to laugh.

MacGyver reached out and put his strong index finger under her chin, tenderly raising her head until their gazes locked. He was looking at her the same way he had looked at the injured horses; not with pity, but with a kind of sorrow.

“It’s not ‘corny’ at all,” he murmured, as his thumb wiped away a stray tear from her cheek. “We all need a place like this. From the minute we arrived I saw a whole different side of you. The part you try to hide. The part of you that laughs, and teases, and flirts, and lives in the moment.” He drew his hand away as Jo attempted to give him a watery smile. “Did she say why she’s selling?”

“Yeah,” Joanna nodded. “A big developer is buying up a lot of lake property to build a condo community. She’s had a hard time keeping this place up and running, and he made an offer she couldn’t refuse.”

“I’m sorry,” he offered weakly.

Her gaze fell yet again. “I was going to tell you about it when I got back to the house, but you were on the phone with Pete. I heard how anxious you are about getting back into the field and I just felt like…I felt like I was losing everything.” Before Mac could reply Jo quickly continued, “I know your assignment here is temporary and I know that you have to leave, I just…”

“Aw baby,” Mac opened his arms and she leaned into his embrace, laying her head on his shoulder. “You’re not gonna lose me. I’ll always be here for you. I’m just a phone call away. I promise.”

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” Joanna warned him, raising her head and pulling back to look him in the eye.

“I never do.”

The air hung heavy between them.

Suddenly large drops of rain began to fall. “Oh terrific, looks like we’ll be stuck inside today,” Jo murmured.

“C’mon, I’ve got something I think will cheer you up,” Mac smiled as he grabbed her hand and they sprinted to the house, reaching shelter just as the sky opened up and rain poured down. He left Jo in the living room as he headed to his bedroom. When he came back he was holding a video cassette.

“A movie?”

“Better,” he grinned. “Hockey.”

Her brow furrowed.

“More specifically,” he explained, puffing out his chest, “The 1980 USA Olympic Hockey team’s ‘Miracle on Ice’ game.

Joanna’s eyes brightened. “How did you manage to get that?”

“Phoenix owed me a favor for an assignment I did for them a while back,” he shrugged. “Why don’t you grab us some snacks,” he suggested.

While Mac was getting the tape cued up, Joanna poured them each a glass of orange juice and filled two large plastic bowls with the fruit salad she had made the previous day. The pair settled into matching recliners and soon became engrossed in the game as the rain continued to fall.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

MacGyver couldn’t remember the last time he enjoyed watching a hockey game so much, or perhaps watching someone else watch a hockey game. From the first face-off of the game, Joanna’s eyes were glued to the TV. He wondered if she bothered to blink. True to her word, she had a strong basic understanding of the sport, but Mac soon discovered that a little knowledge was a dangerous thing as she began to pepper him with questions about the rules, penalties, and players. MacGyver took his time and answered all her queries until she was satisfied with his explanations. When she could not think of any more legitimate questions, she started to make humorous editorial comments and inquire about facets of the game most people took for granted. The more he pretended to get exasperated with her, the more she thought of off-the-wall comments and questions to share. Still, she paid rapt attention to the game and expressed her disappointment when referees would break up fights which Mac found both amusing and endearing. Most of the women he knew didn’t care for hockey, claiming it was too violent. Not Joanna. She seemed most delighted and cheered the hardest when a member of Team USA would check an opponent hard against the boards.

The afternoon passed quickly as the rain continued to fall, sometimes increasing in intensity accompanied by flashes of lightening and rumblings of thunder before slowing to a gentle patter on the roof.

MacGyver continued to enjoy watching Joanna’s excitement as she cheered for USA goals and strong defensive moves. With ten minutes left in the game, the US team had a 4-3 lead and Jo was literally on the edge of her seat, causing Mac to smile. As time ticked down, the Soviets took several wild shots on goal. The closing minutes found Joanna leaning forward in her chair, hands folded in front of her face, her lips moving silently. Was she actually praying?!

“Relax,” Mac grinned. “I promise that we win.”

“Shhhh,” she responded, obviously annoyed that he dared break the silence of such a historic moment. As the final buzzer sounded and the team and their fans celebrated, tears flowed freely down Jo’s face. MacGyver remained silent, giving her time to collect herself. To be honest, those final minutes and the ensuing revelry never failed to give him goosebumps.

“Wow! What a way to win the gold medal!” Joanna exclaimed.

“That wasn’t the medal game,” Mac explained. “That was the game that got them to the medal round. They still had to beat Finland.”

“Oh,” Jo frowned.

“Had enough hockey for one day?” he asked.

“Well,” Joanna responded sheepishly, “I’m getting kinda hungry.”

MacGyver glanced at his watch, surprised at how late it was.

“No problem,” Mac assured her. “We can always catch the last game some other time.”

“You want Chinese?” he asked, holding his cell phone in one hand and a delivery menu in the other.

“Sure,” Joanna replied. “Get whatever you like. Just don’t order anything too spicy. Oh, and don’t forget Crab Rangoon!”

“Yes ma’am!” MacGyver had the weird notion to salute her.

He dialed the number to the restaurant and perused the menu as he waited for someone to answer his call.

“Fortune Restaurant, how can I help you?” a slightly accented female voice came on the line.

“Hi. I’d like to place an order for delivery.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but we have stopped delivery service until the storm passes.”

“Oh, I see. Thanks anyway.” He hung up the phone.

“What’s up?” Joanna asked.

“They’re not delivering because of the rain.”

Joanna scrunched up her nose. “That’s strange.”

“Should we try for pizza?” Mac suggested.

“No, I’m sure it would take way too long. Let’s just eat what we have.”

MacGyver feasted on his famous alfalfa sprout sandwich and tofu while Joanna boiled some eggs which she paired with a hunk of cheese and a yogurt she pilfered from Mac.

“So, do you want to watch the gold medal game or find something else to do?” MacGyver asked after they had finished eating. Joanna shot him an ‘are you kidding me?’ look. “OK, more hockey it is!”

Joanna went to tidy up the kitchen as MacGyver turned the TV back on and tuned into a local television station. Even though the evening news was long over, a concerned looking meteorologist appeared on the screen, a very active weather radar behind him and the words ‘tornado warning’ scrolling along the top.

“Um, Joanna, you better come here.”

“What’s wrong?” she asked, as she stood beside him, now also focused on the TV.

“They said a strong thunderstorm with a history of producing funnel clouds is headed this way.”

Jo stood unresponsive.

“C’mon,” Mac grabbed her by the upper arm to spur her into motion. “Let’s grab some essentials and head for cover.”

MacGyver strode calmly yet purposefully toward his room, trusting that Joanna would follow. From her reaction, he assumed she had a deep-seated fear of such storms, but now was not the time for psychoanalysis. He pulled two large plastic bags from his duffel and turned around to hand one to Jo.

“It’s waterproof,” he explained as she reached out to him. “Grab a change of clothes and a few other essentials, but make it quick!”

Once MacGyver had packed his own emergency bag he headed to Joanna’s walk-in closet. She was still adding items to her own bag.

“There’s a trap door here that leads under the house,” he told her. “We’ll crawl down there and lay low ‘til the storm passes.”

As MacGyver struggled to lift the heavy door, Joanna rebelled. “Oh no! No way!” she proclaimed. “There’s no telling what kind of creepy-crawlies are living under there. I’m going to your bathroom. It’s an interior room with no windows.” And she began to walk away. Mac reached out to grab her but caught an armful of air instead.

“But this is the safest place,” he called, trying to reason with her as the wind and rain beat against the windows.

“I’ll be sitting in the shower stall if you need me,” she called back.

Insufferable woman! MacGyver started to go after her when there was a loud pounding on the door. Joanna had gotten there first and Kat was stepping into the small entryway.

“Grab your stuff and come with me,” she instructed. “I have a full basement under my house.”

The trio hurried across the lawn to the far side of the yard where Kat’s house sat. They reached it just as hail began to fall. Dripping wet, they rushed down the steps to the dark, dank basement. The storm seemed less ferocious here. Maybe it was passing them by. The high glass-block windows were no longer being beaten with rain and the lightening had ceased.

“I’m going up and check things out. You two stay here,” MacGyver instructed Kat and Jo.

Mac reached the first floor and hurried to the closest window. The rain had, indeed, stopped and the fury of the storm was replaced with an eerie calm. Suddenly, he heard what sounded like a freight train off in the distance. The sound grew closer as pressure began to build in his ears. He knew what was coming and he knew they didn’t have much time.

“Take cover!” he yelled as he scrambled down the stairs. He caught sight of a heavy wood dining table pushed against a wall.

“Under here,” he instructed, grabbing each woman by the hand. They scurried under the table and assumed a tuck-and-roll position. The roar was exponentially louder now and MacGyver’s ears felt ready to pop. Instinctively he leaned over Jo, protecting her head and back with his body while he attempted to protect his own head with his arms. He could feel the house above them begin to shake. The sounds of booming thuds and shattering glass surrounded them. He could feel Joanna trembling against him, a small whimper escaped from her lips.

“Hang on, we’re gonna be OK,” he promised, his mouth close to her ear. He felt her nod slightly. Time stood still as the storm raged on. The assault seemed to last for hours, though Mac knew in reality it had probably been less than a minute. When the roaring wind retreated and the earth was still once more, the threesome slowly unfolded themselves and crawled out from the shelter of the table. MacGyver led them up the stairs, uncertain as to what they would encounter. Blackness. The storm had taken out the power. Mac pulled two small flashlights from his pocket and handed one to Joanna. Kat had her own.

“Let’s split up and check on the house,” Kat commanded.

MacGyver preferred they all stick together, but he knew Kat was anxious about the condition of her home. After instructing the women to be careful and watch where they stepped, three beams of light went off in different directions. A few minutes later, the little group reconvened in the kitchen. Damage was limited to a few broken windows and everyone was greatly relieved. Unfortunately, the relief was short-lived as Mac opened the back door and cautiously stepped out to survey the property. Joanna and Kat followed close behind. It had started to rain again, but no one seemed to notice as they focused their light beams on the devastation that surrounded them. Of the five vacation homes, two were nothing more than a pile of matchsticks. The roofs were missing from two other homes and a large oak tree had fallen directly on the house MacGyver and Joanna had been sharing causing it to lean precariously on its footings. Several smaller trees had been uprooted while large branches had been ripped from older trees and thrown haphazardly around the yard. The small sandy beach was washed away and the aluminum canoes and rowboats had been tossed around like toys. Joanna and Kat started moving forward to further investigate, but MacGyver stopped them.

“There’s nothing we can do in the dark,” he said helplessly. “Let’s go back in the house. Kat, do you have a generator?”

“There’s one in the garage, but I haven’t had a chance to get gas for it. I do have extra flashlights and bottled water, though.”

“OK,” Mac sighed, running his hand through his wet hair that was now plastered to his head. His well-trained mind had gone into emergency management mode and he began to check off his mental to-do list. “Let’s go into the house and call the gas company. I don’t smell a leak, but we need to play it safe. Then we’ll call your insurance company.”

“Don’t bother,” Joanna emerged from the doorway. “The phone is dead. The lines must be down. I was trying to call home but…” her voice faded and Mac knew she wanted to let her family know she was okay.

“Let’s try my cell,” he suggested, pulling the phone out from his inside jacket pocket. At least something had managed to stay dry. He turned it on, then raised his flashlight to look at the screen. “Great,” he muttered, “no service. A tower must be down.” The worried look on Jo’s face tugged at his heartstrings.

Once MacGyver was able to convince the women to stay in the house and change out of their wet clothes, he went rummaging in the garage and basement for something to cover the broken windows. He found several assorted pieces of wood as well as some heavy plastic tarps that he firmly secured over the openings. Next on the agenda was to find some form of communication. By now, the wailing sirens of first responders were everywhere as red and white flashing lights danced on the smooth surface of the lake. Mac gingerly made his way across the yard, careful to avoid any downed wires or dangerous debris before heading up the road. At the top of the hill, a large tree lay across the street, a lone police cruiser stood guard and warned people away. MacGyver approached the officer.

“Excuse me,” Mac called by way of introduction. “Our phones are down and I was wondering if I could use your radio?” He pulled out his Phoenix Foundation ID for good measure and showed it to the officer.

In minutes his call was patched through to the Chicago field office. After giving instructions for them to contact Joanna’s parents as well as Pete and Evelyn, he thanked the officer and headed back to the house to find Joanna and Kat sitting by the fireplace and sipping hot cocoa. He felt like a drowned rat dripping in the doorway and he probably didn’t look much better. Kat quickly retrieved two large towels and instructed him to use the guest room to dry off and change. When he emerged looking a little less the worse for wear Kat shoved a mug of warm liquid into his hands and followed him to the fire. All three sat silently, listening to the sounds of crackling wood as it was consumed by the flames.

“What time is it?” Joanna asked quietly, still staring at the fire.

MacGyver glanced at his watch. “It’s not even ten.”

“It feels like it should be midnight,” she responded wearily.

“Well, it wouldn’t hurt any of us to get a good night’s sleep,” Kat pronounced. “We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. Joanna, you can take the guest room. Mac, I’m sorry but you’ll have to sleep on the couch.”

“No problem,” he replied. His apartment had spoiled him. It had been a while since he spent any quality time on a sofa.

The following morning dawned sunny and seasonably warm. A stark contrast to just twelve hours earlier. MacGyver had slept better than he had expected but not as much as he had hoped. He pulled himself off the lumpy couch and headed for the door, reluctant to see the devastation he knew awaited him in the light of day. He stepped out and once again surveyed his surroundings, awed and humbled by Mother Nature’s wrath, yet thankful for her fickleness that had spared Kat’s house. As Mac turned and headed toward the lake, he saw Joanna sitting on a picnic table. He could only imagine the sadness and pain she must be feeling. He was about to turn and head back, leaving her to her thoughts, when he remembered her words from the day before: “You tend to run toward things most people would run away from.” He yearned to offer her any comfort or solace he could so he continued forward.

“How was your night?” he asked gently, climbing up next to her on the table.

“Pretty lousy,” she confessed. “How was yours?”

“About the same.”

Joanna laughed quietly and turned to look at him, the expression on her face nothing like what he expected to see. Instead of sadness, anger, or fear he saw only profound peace and serenity.

As if reading the questions dancing in his eyes, Joanna began to speak, her voice calm and sure.

“Yesterday was really a cathartic experience for me,” she explained. “I was so upset about Kat selling the resort it never occurred to me that I could lose it in other ways as well.” At this point she paused to look around at the storm damage. “I was also so afraid of losing you, but you were there when I needed you. Protecting me. When we were under that table and it sounded like the world was being ripped apart, I realized that you will always be there for me if I need you, no matter how hard I try to push you away,” she smiled. “And thanks for contacting my folks. You really didn’t have to.”

“Yeah, I did,” he replied huskily, putting his arm around her shoulders and drawing her close to place a soft kiss on her temple.

“So,” Mac cleared his throat, “how do you feel about staying a couple extra days to help get this mess cleaned up?”

“You trying to be a hero again?” Joanna teased, nudging him with her shoulder.

“Nope. Just a friend.”

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: 10 December 2018 - 03:58 PM                                    
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And that was another roller coaster of emotions. Joanna really reminds me of myself. And I wish I had a friend like Mac

And while I'm not usually a shipper, I ship those two 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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 10 December 2018 - 05:00 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 10 December 2018 - 03:58 PM)
And that was another roller coaster of emotions. Joanna really reminds me of myself. And I wish I had a friend like Mac

And while I'm not usually a shipper, I ship those two tongue.gif

I think we ALL wish we had a friend like Mac wub.gif

And I'm glad you're liking Joanna. I worked really hard to create a girl people would want to see Mac with.

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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 12 December 2018 - 08:13 AM                                    
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Posts: 415
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Episode:Faith, Hope, and Charity
Vehicle: Jeep
Jacket:  Brown bomber
House:  House boat



Chapter 16: The Setback

MacGyver pulled his Jeep into the Challengers parking lot Monday morning. He glanced at the clock on the dash, realizing he had never been this late before, even though school didn’t start for thirty more minutes. He almost drove past his usual space since Joanna’s Cavalier was absent. Mac was just climbing out of his car when the Chevy appeared next to him and Joanna jumped out, obviously running behind as well. She smiled at him over the roof of her car and together they headed into the building. He noticed a lightness in her step that hadn’t been there a week ago.

“Did you get some rest?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she replied, trying to stifle a yawn. “Just not enough,” she added ruefully.

“Same here,” he agreed as they reached their offices and began to prepare for the day ahead.

Joanna and MacGyver hadn’t arrived home from the lake until late Saturday night after agreeing to stay a couple extra days to help Kat and her neighbors clean up from the storm. Though small in size, the twister had packed a punch, skipping along several miles and causing sporadic damage. After making sure that Jo and Kat would be okay cleaning up the resort, MacGyver had struck out on his own to help others, including emergency clean-up crews, clear the streets and haul away debris.

While he was cutting fallen trees, repairing chainsaws, securing power lines, and finding alternative ways to make the general tasks easier, Joanna and Kat focused on cleaning up what they could at the resort while still leaving enough of the mess untouched so the insurance adjuster could make an accurate report. Mac had found a pair of long iron bars and showed them how to magnetize them by striking them against a nearby fire hydrant. The two woman then carefully scoured the yard, picking up nails and other small metal objects that might have been missed initially.

MacGyver found Joanna to be a hard and willing laborer. She did what was needed without question and took each assignment, no matter how menial or dirty, to heart, not stopping until it was completed. She actually enjoyed donning oversized gloves and a hammer to pound nails out of boards that had been ripped free from the houses. She said it was a good way to get rid of her frustrations. Even though the weather had turned unseasonably warm and her sweaty bangs stayed plastered against her forehead and her cotton t-shirts were damp with sweat by noon, she never complained. In fact, Mac had never seen her smile or laugh so much, and he admired her work ethic and resiliency.

As for himself, MacGyver took great satisfaction in once again being able to assist people in challenging situations. At first, his body protested the onslaught of physical activity which used to be part of his daily routine. Long nights on Kat’s lumpy couch added to his discomfort, but he didn’t mind. Feelings of accomplishment far outweighed the physical pain and exhaustion.

By mid-morning, the students and staff had resumed their pre-break routine. Joanna knocked on Mac’s open office door and he invited her in.

“I’ve been thinking,” she began.

“Uh oh,” he replied with a quirky smile that he knew disarmed her every time.

She rolled her eyes in the cutest way before continuing. “I’ve been considering your request to form a hockey team. I think it’s a great idea. I’ve already gotten approval from Evelyn so you can start recruiting right away. If you could get a group together by summer, that’d be great. A lot of these kids’ homes don’t have air conditioning so what better place to cool off than a hockey rink?”

“That’s great!” Mac exclaimed, standing up so fast he almost tipped over his chair. He wanted nothing more than to give her a celebratory hug, but he refrained, wary of pushing the boundaries of their developing friendship.

Joanna laughed at his exuberance. “On that note, Evelyn wants to see us in her office at noon,” she stated before leaving, a smile still on her lips.

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The short, red-headed academy administrator leaned back in her desk chair. There was a soft knock on her door promptly at midday and she smiled, welcoming MacGyver and Joanna into her office.

“So, how was your vacation?” she asked, “tornado notwithstanding.”

“Interesting.” This from Joanna.

“Educational,” replied MacGyver.

Evelyn leaned forward folding her hands on her desk. “It was a vacation. Not a field trip. How was it? Really?”

The two glanced knowingly at each other before Mac spoke up.

“It was good. Really,” he replied. Joanna simply smiled in agreement. Well, that was interesting!

“I think I know you both well enough to assume that you discussed some work issues,” Evelyn stated. “We have less than two months until the summer session. What are your plans for moving forward?”

MacGyver started speaking while Joanna chewed her lower lip.

“I want to continue to line up a metal detector and get communication devices installed throughout the building. Joanna just told me I have the go-ahead to start putting a hockey team together, so I’d like to get on that as well.”

“Sounds like you have your plate full,” Evelyn observed. “If I may ask, are you planning to stay longer than originally anticipated?”

She saw MacGyver glance furtively at Jo before answering. “I was planning on having another MRI in a few weeks and making a decision based on the results.”

“That sounds fair,” Evelyn replied.

“And what about you, Joanna?”

“Um, I think I’ll let the two of you take it from here,” MacGyver said as he started to stand. Joanna quickly turned her head and shot him a look. It wasn’t the ‘dagger stare’ Evelyn expected, but a pleading gaze.

“Or I can stay if you don’t mind,” he responded, settling back into his chair. Things were getting interesting indeed.

Joanna took a deep breath. “Evelyn, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that Challengers Academy has not stayed true to the vision we had for it. If anything, it has declined in all aspects since we first opened.”

“I do agree,” Evelyn concurred. “I assume you have some suggestions to help get the school back on track?”

Joanna glanced at MacGyver who appeared to be sending her looks of silent encouragement. She raised her chin a bit, her confidence firmly in place.

“I do,” Joanna announced, “but they are both a bit radical.”

Evelyn remained silent, consciously keeping her expression neutral as she waited for Jo to continue.

“The first thing I want to do is cancel the summer term,” Joanna said matter-of-factly.

“And why do you want to do that?”

“Because I want to fire the entire faculty and staff and start from scratch to build a cohesive team, not continue on with the patchwork quilt we have now,” Jo replied bluntly.

“That is a very radical proposition,” Evelyn agreed. “I assume you realize it will take a great deal of time and energy?”

Joanna nodded.

“Do you feel confident this is the best solution?”

“I do,” Joanna replied without hesitation. Clearly she had thought this through.

“Will the current employees have a chance to reapply?” Evelyn asked.

“Of course. But they also need to understand that if we find stronger applicants, we cannot guarantee their re-hire.”

Evelyn paused for good measure as she pretended to seriously consider the plan. However, it was all she could do to contain her excitement that Joanna had finally made a firm, albeit drastic, plan to turn the school around. And it appeared she also had a partner in crime.

“Fine,” Evelyn agreed. “I’ll call a mandatory emergency all-staff meeting for Wednesday after school. No sense putting this off. I’ll also inform Phoenix of the plan and keep them in the loop. Now, go grab some lunch. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

“Yes ma’am,” Jo and Mac replied in unison before leaving the office.

Evelyn’s eyebrows rose as MacGyver put his hand on the small of Joanna’s back to guide her through the door. And Joanna let him.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next few weeks passed quickly at Challengers Academy. The emergency staff meeting was uncomfortable but necessary. To expedite the hiring process, it was decided that MacGyver would interview non-faculty applicants as well as perform all background checks while Joanna interviewed faculty candidates with Evelyn making all the final hiring decisions.

MacGyver had also posted hockey sign-up sheets around the school and names were slowly added as practice was scheduled to start the following week. Joanna found it curious that most of the interested students were freshman, many she knew to be small for their age, and several with no hockey or even skating skills. She smiled and shook her head. Knowing MacGyver, these were exactly the kids he was looking for. The underdogs. The kids who needed to gain physical strength and mental toughness. They probably would never win a game, but each goal would be a victory.

A week later, Joanna was working her way through an influx of resumes she had received since a nearby private high school had announced it was closing at the end of the semester. Several highly qualified teachers with impressive credentials were seeking a new home, and Jo was excited to start meeting with them face-to-face. But that would have to wait until school was out for the summer. She sighed and glanced at her watch, surprised to see it was already dinnertime. With the mid-May sun staying higher in the sky with each passing day, Joanna easily lost track of the time. MacGyver had been going to the ice rink every day right after school to coach his new team…if you could call it that. Even Evelyn was leaving earlier these days saying she needed to tend to her yard. Joanna had just begun to gather her things before heading home when the cell phone on her desk rang, startling her. She had kept it with her at all times since Mac had given it to her and it hadn’t rung once. Checking the name on the small screen, she saw that it was MacGyver and quickly pressed the correct button to answer his call.

“Hey Mac, what’s up?”

“Is this Ms. Jo?” a child-like voice asked hesitantly.

“Yes, this is Ms. Jo. Who is this?” Joanna’s defenses went on alert.

“This is Raul, from Challengers.”

Raul. A small Hispanic boy who had transferred in mid-year and whose name she had seen on the hockey sign-up list.

“Raul? Where are you and why are you calling from Mr. Mac’s phone?”

Repressed memories of Jesse James luring Joanna to the science lab surged to the front of her brain.

Before the boy could answer, she heard a man’s voice in the background and then the shuffling of the phone being transferred from one hand to another.

“Is this Joanna Fairfax?” a gravelly male voice asked.

“Yes, this is Joanna,” she replied cautiously. Her heartrate had quickened and her mouth had gone dry. Where was Mac and who was using his phone?!

“My name is Winston. I’m one of the managers here at the Pettit Center. There’s been an accident and your name was listed in the phone as an emergency contact.”

“I’m on my way!” Joanna gasped and clicked off the call, not bothering to ask for details. Something had happened to MacGyver. She had to get to him!

Pausing only long enough to lock the school’s main door behind her, Joanna drove to the ice rink in record time. She was running through the parking lot just in time to see a side door open and two paramedics wheel out a gurney, heading towards an ambulance parked nearby. Several boys and an older man emerged from the doorway and stood against the building. All wore worried frowns. Joanna knew instinctively that Mac was the prone figure lying on the stretcher, his head and neck immobilized by a large, padded brace.

“Where are you taking him?” she called to the medics.

“West Memorial,” the one in the lead said calmly.

Joanna nodded and watched as the gurney was loaded into the back of the ambulance. The doors slammed shut and the vehicle took off, siren blaring.

“What happened?!” Joanna demanded as she rounded on the little group.

“We’re sorry, Ms. Jo,” a young boy she didn’t recognize whimpered, only to be slapped on the arm by a taller, African-American boy she did know.

“Damon?” She pinned him with her most menacing teacher glare.

“It was just an accident.” Damon shrugged as if it was no big deal.

“What was ‘just and accident’?” Joanna asked, enunciating every syllable. Her professionalism as well as her patience had flown out the window the second she learned Mac had been injured.

It was Raul’s turn to speak up. “Mr. Mac was teaching us some skating steps when…when he…when he fell and hit his head.” Since when did the boy stutter?

“Was Mr. Mac wearing a helmet?” she asked as calmly as she could.

“Naw man, none of us were,” Damon answered her. “The dude was just showing off his skating moves when he wiped out. Must’ve caught the edge of his blade or something.”

Mac didn’t strike her as the type of man to be hot-dogging around a hockey rink, especially with children present, but before Joanna could respond, the older man stepped forward and addressed her.

“You must be Ms. Fairfax. I’m Winston, we spoke on the phone.” He held out his hand and she shook it automatically.

“Did you see what happened?” Joanna asked.

“No ma’am, I’m sorry. They were just skating around like the kid said. I had to take a call in my office and when I got back the guy was laying on the ice.”

“Did he lose consciousness?” Joanna turned back to the boys.

“He might’ve blacked out for a couple seconds, then he started groaning and holding his head,” the boy she didn’t know answered.

“Look, I gotta get to the hospital. Do you boys all have a way home?”

As soon as Winston assured her he would look after the boys, she hurried back to her car, pulling her cell phone from her purse and calling home to let her mom know what was going on and promising to call with any new information.

The automatic doors to the emergency room whooshed open as Joanna hurried through and found the nurses’ station.

“I’m looking for a patient. His name is MacGyver,” she announced, hoping to catch someone’s attention.

“Are you a relative?” a tall, gray-haired nurse asked brusquely.

“No. We work together. I’m his emergency contact.”

“I’m sorry,” the nurse replied firmly, “but we can only give out information to family members.”

“But the paramedics brought him in about 20 minutes ago,” Joanna continued, raising her arm to check her watch and confirm the time. Her fingers brushed the high work counter, her sapphire ring catching on the edge causing her to hiss as it dug into her skin. She absently rubbed the sore skin when an idea began to form. It was worth a shot.

“You don’t understand,” she told the nurse, trying to sound believable. “I’m his--“

“Excuse me,” a middle-aged doctor wearing a white lab coat approached her. “Did I hear you say you were looking for a Mr. MacGyver?”

“Yes!” she replied hopefully.

“Is your name ‘Joanna’?”

“Yes, I’m---“

“Right this way. He’s been asking for you.” The doctor led her down a long hall, past several partitioned off rooms. “In here,” he said, motioning to the last door on the right.

Joanna paused on the threshold, unsure of what she might see. MacGyver lay flat on his back in a hospital bed still wearing his clothes from school. The bulky brace the paramedics used had been replaced with a more moderate plastic collar. Mac’s sandy colored hair splayed across his pillow.

“We’ve immobilized his head and neck until we can run some scans and determine the extent of his injury,” the doctor explained.

Joanna nodded her understanding before gingerly making her way to MacGyver’s side, leaning over the bed slightly so he could see her without having to move his head.

“You came,” he whispered hoarsely, slowly raising his hand from the bed, searching for hers.

“Of course,” she whispered back, her hand finding his.

The doctor cleared his throat. “Excuse me,” he interrupted politely, “but it’s time for Mr. MacGyver to go up to radiology.”

It was then that Joanna noticed two hospital orderlies entering the room.

“Joanna,” the doctor continued, “you can go to the waiting area and someone will get you as soon as we bring him down.”

“You don’t have to…” Mac whispered.

“No. But I will,” she replied, gently prying her hand from his as he was rolled away.

The doctor escorted Joanna to the emergency waiting room. “We found his Phoenix Foundation ID in his wallet and contacted them immediately. They are faxing over his medical records as we speak so we should have them by the time the test results come back.”

Jo simply nodded and sat down, watching the doctor disappear down the long corridor to tend to another patient.

An hour later a nurse came to inform Joanna that Mac was back in his room and escorted her down the hall. Once again Joanna stopped in the doorway. Mac was now wearing a hospital gown, but the neck brace was gone and the top of his bed had been raised to a forty-five degree angle. Moving closer she saw that his eyes were bright and the earlier grogginess seemed to have faded.

“Hey,” she greeted him, pulling a molded plastic chair next to the bed and sitting down.

“Hi,” he replied, his voice less scratchy. “They should have the test results pretty soon. When they found out I work for Phoenix I became a top priority,” he grinned wryly.

“What happened at the ice rink?” Joanna asked. “How did you fall?”

MacGyver closed his eyes and ran his large hand down his face. “I can’t remember,” he confessed. “I remember showing the kids a few basic skating moves but that’s all.” There was frustration in his voice, but Jo didn’t want him to get upset so she quickly changed the subject.

“By the way, thanks for asking for me.” Seeing MacGyver’s puzzled expression she explained further. “When I first got here they wouldn’t let me see you because I’m not a relative. I was about to…lie, when the doctor saw me and said you’d been asking for me.”

“Yeah, they’re pretty strict about that stuff,” he concurred. Then he grinned mischievously. “I told the doc you were my fiancé. I was counting on you wearing that in case we needed proof.” He pointed to her birthstone ring.

Joanna let out a small laugh and then blushed. “I was going to tell the nurse the same thing. I guess great minds think alike!”

Just then there was a knock on the door and a different doctor entered. He said he was from neurology and began discussing the results of MacGyver’s brain scans. The old bruise was still present and he confirmed that Mac had sustained another concussion when his head hit the ice earlier.

“Can you recall the accident?” The doctor asked.

“I remember skating, but that’s it. The next thing I knew I was on a gurney.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” the doctor said flatly. “From your medical records it appears you collect brain injuries like some people collect stamps. I suspect you are suffering from remote temporal retrograde amnesia.”

“What exactly does that mean?” Joanna asked.

“It’s the reason I don’t remember the accident, at least not yet. It may come back to me in time,” Mac supplied with a sigh.

Jo looked to the neurologist for confirmation. “He’s correct,” the doctor replied to her unspoken question. “Right now the best thing he can do is get a lot of rest.” To MacGyver he said, “We’d like to keep you overnight for observation just as a precaution.”

Mac started shaking his head before the doctor finished the sentence and then winced in pain.

“C’mon doc,” MacGyver began to protest, “You just said I’ve had concussions before. I know the drill, and I’m going home.”

“Is there someone who can stay with you tonight?” the doctor asked.

MacGyver smiled slyly, reached out and took Jo’s hand, threading his fingers through hers. “My fiancé here won’t leave my side, I promise. Right sweetheart?”

That rat!

“I’ll be on you like a flea on a dog, dear,” she promised.

“Alright then. You go ahead and get dressed, Mr. MacGyver, and I’ll give your fiancé instructions for follow-up care.” The doctor and Joanna stepped out of the room, closing the door behind them. Mac grinned broadly. He had managed yet another escape.
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“I need to stop home and grab a few things if I’m going to spend the night at your place. It’ll only take a couple minutes,” Joanna informed MacGyver as she drove out of the hospital parking structure.

“You didn’t think I was serious about that?!” Mac asked incredulously. “I only said that so they’d spring me!”

Joanna’s heart dropped to her toes. How stupid she was to think that MacGyver might actually need her, want her, to help him.

“But the doctor said someone should check on you hourly to make sure you don’t lose consciousness again. Do you have a friend or neighbor—“

“Look, I’ve been through this before. If it’ll make you feel better I’ll set my alarm every hour to wake me.”

“And I suppose your alarm will call 911 if you slip into a coma and don’t shut it off!” Joanna shot back.

“I just don’t want you to feel obligated,” he said softly.

“I thought we were friends, Mac. That makes me automatically obligated. Now please, swallow your pride for one night and let me help you.”

“Alright,” MacGyver gave in. “You can play Florence Nightingale for tonight, but that’s it.”

“It’s a deal,” Joanna grinned.

The stop at Jo’s house lasted only long enough for her to change into jeans and a sweater, throw some other necessities into a small duffle bag, and place a call to Evelyn to let her know what was happening. Soon she and Mac were slowly walking through the lobby of his apartment building. He dug in his pants pocket and pulled out a key.

“While we’re here, mind if I get my mail?” he asked, not waiting for a reply as he walked gingerly towards the wall, opened his box and pulled out its contents. When they entered his apartment, he flipped through the envelopes before handing them to Joanna.

“Things are still a little fuzzy,” he explained, lowering himself to the couch.

Joanna shuffled through the mail to make sure there was nothing important when she saw a familiar postmark.

“Looks like you got a letter from Sam,” she told Mac who had closed his eyes and was resting his head on the back of the sofa.

“Would you read it to me?” he asked sheepishly.

“Of course,” she replied, stunned that he trusted her with such a personal letter. She tore open the envelope and began to read:

Dear Dad,

Thanks for the long letter. I’m not much for words. I use pictures to tell my stories. Hopefully you can see them someday soon. I was supposed to get a couple weeks of leave, but stuff happened. Actually, a lot of stuff happened, but it’s hard to explain. I know you understand.

The Challengers Academy sounds really cool and Joanna sounds like a great lady. You need someone like her in your life. Do you think she’s step-mom material?

Joanna paused and glanced at MacGyver. His eyes were still closed but a blush was creeping up his neck. She quickly continued reading:

I’m glad you finally had your headaches looked into and that it’s nothing serious. By the time you get this letter you’ll probably be back in the field, just like me!

Gotta run, another story calls!

Love,
Sam

MacGyver lifted his head as Joanna handed him the letter and sat down next to him.

“I hope you don’t mind that I told him about you?”

“No, not at all,” Joanna replied quickly. “Maybe I’ll get to meet him someday,” she added.

“Yeah, sure,” Mac agreed listlessly as a heavy silence permeated the room. Neither one wanted to broach the subject of the last paragraph.

After several long minutes, MacGyver sighed gustily. “Well, I might as well face it, after tonight I’m done as a field agent. Guess I’ll be hanging around longer than I thought,” he told Jo.

“Look at it this way,” she tried to encourage him. “Phoenix’s loss is my, um, Challengers gain.”

“Yeah,” he forced a small smile.

“Maybe after another few months you can have another MRI and—“

“Didn’t you hear what the doctor said?” he snapped. “I still have the bruise from last time. I wouldn’t have passed concussion protocol even if I hadn’t fallen on the ice!”

Joanna looked down at the floor, unsure of how to respond.

“Hey, I’m sorry,” Mac said, gentling his tone. “I didn’t mean to take it out on you.”

“That’s okay. I understand,” she told him softly. “Maybe you were right all along. Maybe I should just leave you alone tonight.”

“No!” he exclaimed quickly. “I mean, after all your fussing you might as well stay. At least until I can rig the alarm clock to call 911. I’m gonna go change and then you can tuck me into bed. How does that sound?”

“It sounds corny as heck,” she replied bluntly.

Mac smiled. “Sorry that you have to bunk on the couch. There’s a pillow and blanket in the front closet.”

“Thanks. And don’t worry, I’ll be fine out here.”

As MacGyver headed to the bathroom, Joanna went to the kitchen to raid his ‘fridge. She hadn’t eaten since lunch. As she passed the breakfast bar she saw the message light blinking on his answering machine.

“Mac,” she called, “you have a phone message.”

“Be right there,” he answered.

She had just grabbed a yogurt when Mac appeared before her wearing pajama bottoms and a long sleeved t-shirt.

“Bathroom’s all yours if you want to change,” he offered.

“Oh, no thanks. I’m good.”

“You’re gonna sleep in your clothes?”

“Yeah,” she replied. “I want to be ready just in case…well, belt and suspenders, ya know?”

“I know,” he replied solemnly before hitting the playback button on the machine.

“MacGyver! What in the world is going on?! Phoenix just notified me a Milwaukee area hospital put in an emergency request for your medical records! Call me…if you can. If not, have someone else call me.” The message ended abruptly.

“Aww Peeete!” Mac ran his hand down his face. He was tired, sore and frustrated. He did not want to have to make this call but knew he needed to.

“Go ahead and call him,” Joanna instructed. “I’ll just get settled.”

Jo rummaged through the bag she had brought, pulled out a thick novel, and curled up on the couch. She tried to concentrate on the words, but couldn’t help overhearing MacGyver’s side of his conversation with Pete.

“I’m fine!” Mac insisted. Jo could hear the older man’s voice on the other end of the line but couldn’t make out his words.

“I don’t remember,” MacGyver admitted sheepishly.

“No, I’m not alone.” Then, “she’s a friend, Pete.”

“I will. Goodnight.” And with that he hung up the phone.

“Everything okay?” Joanna asked.

“Yeah,” Mac mumbled.

“He’s only upset because he cares,” she offered.

“I know,” MacGyver replied repentantly as he flopped down on the sofa next to Jo.

“You must be hungry,” she ventured. “I could fix you a snack or something.”

Mac shook his head and winced. “Do you want some aspirin?”

“No,” he sighed. “I just want to crawl in bed and forget this day ever happened. No pun intended.”

“Holler if you need anything. Otherwise I’ll see you in an hour,” Jo informed him as he rose from the couch.

“Hey, thanks for everything, Jo. I mean it.” He bent down and placed a chaste kiss on the top of her head before turning towards his bedroom

“No problem,” she declared as she set her travel alarm and settled in for a long night, her head tingling where his lips had touched.

Joanna’s eyelids were growing heavy and the words of her novel were beginning to blur when her alarm chirped for the first time. She shut if off then hesitated, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. She had been in Mac’s place several times, but never in his bedroom. Of course, she was just being silly. They were only friends and, on top of that, he was injured and needed her help. She rubbed her tired eyes, chiding herself. Eyes. She needed to check his pupils like the doctor had told her. She rummaged in her bag once again, pulled out a small pen light, and headed to his room. Mac had left his door slightly ajar and a dim lamp burned on the dresser. She knocked softly on the door before walking in. MacGyver lay on his back in the middle of his double bed.

“Mac,” she whispered, reaching out to shake his shoulder. No response. “Mac,” she said a little louder. “Are you awake?”

“I am now,” he grumbled as Joanna let out a sigh of relief.

“The doctor said I need to check your pupils to make sure their equal and reactive. Could you scooch over? I can’t reach from here.”

“No,” Mac muttered.

“Look,” Joanna said, no longer shy but determined. “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Are you gonna let me look in your eyes?”

He just shook his head even though it must cause him pain.

“Well, then I guess we do this the hard way,” she proclaimed as she climbed onto the bed, crawled over to him, and sat with her legs straddling his stomach. The shocked look on his face made her want to laugh out loud, but she controlled herself.

“I gave you a choice,” she shrugged. Clicking on the small flashlight she leaned over to look directly into his eyes.

He rolled his head to the side. “Not tonight, dear. I’ve got a headache.”

“In your dreams,” she scoffed.

MacGyver laughed and finally allowed her to examine his eyes. When she was satisfied that both pupils were of equal size and shrunk when the light hit them she crawled off the bed and straightened the sheets she had wrinkled.

“See you soon,” she said, but doubted he heard her. Mac was already snoring when she reached the door.

And so the routine began. Every hour, on the hour, Joanna’s alarm chirped and she padded down the hall, called Mac’s name, received a grunt in reply, and went back to reset the clock and catch another fifty-five minutes of sleep. In the early, pre-dawn hours she felt the need to check his eyes again. Just to be sure.

“Mac,” she whispered loudly standing by the bed. “Let me check your eyes again.”

“OK,” he agreed, all resistance gone. She figured he was just too tired to argue.

“Could you scooch over this time?” she asked nicely, hoping he would see fit to comply.

“No. I liked it the hard way.” He then gave her a long, slow smile which would have curled a lesser woman’s toes.

“I should’ve just left you to die,” she muttered under her breath as she once again crawled across his bed.

“What was that?”

“Oh, nothing,” she replied innocently. She readied her flashlight and started to lean forward when she felt his hands settle softly on her jean-clad thighs. Her stomach did a little dance, but she wasn’t about to let on how his touch affected her as she continued with her examination.

“Am I gonna make it, doc?” Mac grinned up at her.

“I think you’ll pull through,” she proclaimed, leaning back but making no move to leave. His hands stayed warm on her legs.

“You’re planning on going to work tomorrow, aren’t you?” he asked.

“Technically it’s today and yes, I planned on going in.”

“Then would you please forget about me and get some rest.” It wasn’t a question but a command.

“It’s only a few more hours,” Joanna protested.

“Exactly.”

“We’ll see,” she murmured as she crawled off the bed.

When Joanna next awoke, sunlight was streaming through the front window. She bolted upright and looked at the clock. She had slept three hours straight! How had she slept through the alarm? She checked the clock again, this time noticing that the alarm button was set to the ‘off’ position. Had she forgotten to set it when she returned from checking Mac’s eyes? What kind of care-taker was she?! Throwing off the blanket, she rushed to his bedroom only to find him sitting on his bed, already dressed and putting his shoes on.

“Something wrong?” he asked innocently.

“Yeah, I’m sorry. I must have accidentally shut my alarm off when it rang and I didn’t—“

“It wasn’t an accident,” he cut her off. “I couldn’t get back to sleep so I turned it off. One of us needed to get some rest.”

“I agree. And it should have been you!”

“How was I supposed to sleep when you kept pouncing on my bed all night?” he teased.

“I didn’t pounce— “she stopped short, refusing to take the bait. “How do you feel?”

MacGyver raised an eyebrow to let her know he hadn’t miss the sudden change of topic.

“I have a headache, but I’ve had worse,” he shrugged, standing up and heading to the kitchen.

“Any dizziness, nausea?” she asked, following behind him. “Do you want an ice pack, some aspirin?”

MacGyver stopped and turned so abruptly Joanna almost smacked into his chest. “I’m fine,” he insisted. “I told you, I’ve been through this before. No big deal. Besides,” he continued when he saw her frown, “I had a great nurse looking after me.”

“Thanks for saying that.”

“I’m only telling the truth,” he replied. “Not many people would’ve hung around like that.”

“Well, maybe I’m ‘not many people’,” she smiled shyly, realizing they had had a similar conversation in reverse not that long ago.

“I’m glad,” he smiled back.

“I should really go home and change before work,” she said, suddenly feeling awkward.

“Yeah, you probably should.”

“I’ll tell Evelyn you’ll be out the rest of the week.”

“Tell her I’ll be in tomorrow,” he retorted.

“I’ll call you later,” she said as if she hadn’t heard him, then hesitated. “Have you remembered anything more about your fall?”

“Nope,” he sighed, clearly frustrated that the memory eluded him.

“Hang in there, it’ll come,” she said as she gathered her things and walked out the door. In the meantime, she was going to try and find some answers herself.


















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: 12 December 2018 - 07:46 PM                                    
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The Challengers Academy sounds really cool and Joanna sounds like a great lady. You need someone like her in your life. Do you think she’s step-mom material?


I choked roller.gif

So, Evelyn has been shipping them from the start, Sam apparently ships them, Pete probably ships them... 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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Posted: 13 December 2018 - 06:00 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 12 December 2018 - 07:46 PM)
QUOTE

The Challengers Academy sounds really cool and Joanna sounds like a great lady. You need someone like her in your life. Do you think she’s step-mom material?


I choked roller.gif

So, Evelyn has been shipping them from the start, Sam apparently ships them, Pete probably ships them... laugh.gif

LOL! Yeah, pretty much everybody is probably shipping them, except themselves of course!!!

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: 13 December 2018 - 06:37 PM                                    
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It's like how people say that they can sense when others are in love or belong together, but they're always blind to their own selves 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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Posted: 19 December 2018 - 08:37 AM                                    
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Chapter 17: That’s a Wrap

It was only ten o’clock in the morning and MacGyver was already bored. After Joanna left, he had fixed himself a light breakfast and turned on a morning news show that failed to hold his attention. He pulled his guitar out from its resting place in a corner of the living room and began to pluck at the strings, but he couldn’t concentrate. Deciding that maybe he needed to rest after all, he sprawled out on the couch. The blanket and pillow Joanna had used the night before were still there and he could smell her coconut shampoo and another scent that was uniquely hers. He sat up and put his head in his hands. He had flirted shamelessly with her at times the night before. What had he been thinking? He wished he could blame the pain medication, but he hadn’t taken any. What’s more, she hadn’t rebuffed him, though she hadn’t reciprocated, either. She had stood her ground, and he found that oddly stimulating. The telephone rang, interrupting his thoughts. He picked up the receiver.

“Hello?”

“Good morning,” a cheerful female voice greeted him. “May I please speak with Mr. MacGyver?”

“Speaking.”

“This is Jenny calling from West Memorial to follow-up on your visit to the emergency room yesterday. How are you feeling today?”

“Fine.”

“Do you have any concerns or questions you would like a doctor to address?”

Well, he did have questions, but he highly doubted a medical doctor could help him find the answers. “No,” he replied flatly.

“All right, sir. If you begin noticing new or worsening symptoms, please contact your physician or have someone bring you to the ER.”

“Will do.”

“Thank you for your time. Have a great day!”

“You too, Jenny.” He hung up the phone.

He had barely taken two steps when the phone rang again.

“Hello?”

“Hi Mac, it’s Joanna.”

“Hey, what’s up?”

“Not much. How are you feeling?”

“Bored.”

She chuckled. “Sorry about that. How’s your head?”

“Okay.”

“Need anything?”

“I’m good.”

“Okay,” she almost sounded disappointed. “I’ll check back later.”

Mac wanted to tell her not to bother, but a part of him liked the fact that someone was worried about him. He clicked off the call and poured himself a glass of milk. The gnawing question returned: What had caused his accident? He hadn’t fallen on the ice since he was a kid. Well, not without being pushed anyway. And the rink had been perfectly maintained, no chips or cracks on the icy surface. He went to the closet and retrieved his skates, inspecting them carefully. The blades were smooth, sharp and balanced. He decided to return to the Pettit Center. Maybe going back to the scene would jog his memory.

MacGyver laced up his skates and stepped onto the ice. He skated around the perimeter of the rink slowly at first, testing his balance. With each circuit he increased his speed and his adrenaline began to flow. The headache he had nursed since last night all but vanished as he pushed himself across the smooth surface, clearing his mind as he flew over the ice. Unfortunately, no memories returned. After several laps, Mac decided to alter his approach. He closed his eyes and imagined his eager young athletes waiting for his instructions. Alone on the ice, he mimicked the drills he had put them through. The sound of raised voices caught his attention. A man and a boy were arguing in the adjacent rink. As MacGyver watched the quarrel, the fog in his brain began to lift. He closed his eyes again. Disconnected images appeared. A small boy. A larger boy. Yelling. Arms flailing. Weightlessness. Blackness.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The morning dragged on for Joanna. Evelyn had scolded her for coming into work after the events of the previous night but really, what else could she do. After calling MacGyver, it was clear he no longer needed or wanted her help. His short, clipped answers had concerned her, but she was too tired to waste her energy trying to figure out that man. At least for now. Heat rose in her cheeks as she recalled climbing onto his bed not once, but twice. Good grief, she had acted like she was the one with the head injury! With her daily work well in hand, her next priority was to do a little detective work and see if she could unravel the cause of Mac’s fall. He was too experienced a skater to take such a hard fall for no apparent reason. She had to speak with the boys who had been with him. They were the only witnesses.

Joanna patrolled the corridor as the students moved from one class to the next. She soon spied Damon on his way to the science lab.

“Damon!” She called as she approached him. His eyes shuttered when he saw her.

“Damon, could I talk to you for a sec?”

“I don’t wanna be late to class.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll give you a pass. I need to ask you some questions.”

“If it’s about Mr. Mac, I don’t know nothin’! I told you that!” he spat.

“I know you did. I was just hoping you might have remembered something else since last night,” she explained calmly.

“Well I haven’t. Can I go to class now?”

“Yeah, go ahead,” Joanna acquiesced with a sigh. It was clear Damon wasn’t going to shed any new light on the topic. Based on his account from yesterday and his reaction just now, Jo had the uneasy feeling the boy was hiding something. But she needed proof.

A short while later Jo was assisting in the learning center when Raul raised his hand.

“What do you need, Raul?” she asked, her tone light and friendly.

“I don’t get this math problem,” he responded with a slight accent.

Joanna sat down next to him at the table. “That is a tough one,” she observed. “How about if you do it like this?” She went on to show the solution step-by-step.

“Hey, that wasn’t that hard!” the boy exclaimed causing Joanna to laugh.

“Raul, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, Ms. Jo.”

“It’s about Mr. Mac.”

Raul’s eyes grew wide and Joanna knew she had to proceed cautiously.

“He’s okay, isn’t he?” Raul asked anxiously.

“Yes, he’ll be just fine. He’s at home resting today.” Raul appeared to let out a breath he had been holding.

“Yesterday you told me that he fell on the ice.”

Raul nodded.

“Can you tell me why he fell?”

“How do you mean?” the boy looked furtively around the quiet room.

“Hey, how about we go to my office and chat. We can get something from the rec room vending machines on the way.”

“Okay!” Raul smiled. Bribery, especially with food, always worked.

After picking out a soda and a chocolate bar, Raul settled himself in a chair in Joanna’s office. She left the door slightly ajar before easing into her own chair.

The boy was now happily munching away, his inhibitions lessened. “Raul, Mr. Mac is a very good hockey player,” Jo began.

Raul nodded and swallowed. “I know. He told us he almost made it to the pros, but he got hurt.”

“That’s right,” Joanna concurred, but she felt she was making little progress getting him to answer her question.

“Was Mr. Mac showing off how good a skater he was yesterday?” She tried again.

This time the boy shook his head emphatically. “No! He was skating real slow, showing us how we are supposed to skate so we can play hockey as good as him!”

So, Damon had lied and Mac hadn’t been hot-dogging, just as she had suspected.

“Was there anything on the ice Mr. Mac could have tripped on?”

“No ma’am.” Raul took his time finishing his candy bar and soda and Joanna sensed his hesitation to continue.

“Raul, I need you to tell me what made Mr. Mac fall, and don’t pretend you don’t understand what I’m asking you.”

The boy sat silently staring at the floor for what seemed like an eternity. Joanna’s frustration mounted, but she kept quiet. Eventually Raul met her gaze. Fear shown in his eyes, but so did the desire to tell the truth.

“Didn’t Mr. Mac tell you?” The boy looked genuinely confused.

“No, he forgot how he fell when he hit his head.”

“Oh.” Raul seemed to consider her response before continuing.

“Mr. Mac was teaching us to skate like him. Damon started teasing us and then he pushed Jimmy and made him fall. Jimmy got up and tried to hit Damon. Mr. Mac got between them. He started shouting at Damon to leave Jimmy alone and then Damon shoved Mr. Mac real hard. That’s when he fell and hit his head.”

“And you were afraid to say anything because you didn’t want to get Damon in trouble.”

Raul nodded soberly.

“Thank you for telling me this, Raul. I’m glad you told me, and Mr. Mac will be too.”

That prompted a small smile on his otherwise serious face.

The lunch bell rang and Joanna encouraged Raul to join his friends in the cafeteria. She, on the other hand, needed to talk to Mac. She picked up her desk phone and dialed. There was no answer. Unbidden thoughts of catastrophic events bombarded her. She asked Evelyn for an extended lunch break and headed straight to MacGyver’s apartment.

Joanna parked at the curb as usual, but Mac’s Jeep was nowhere to be found. He had been out of the hospital for less than twenty-four hours and he was already driving around?! This man was going to be the death of her. No, scratch that. Caring about this man was going to be the death of her! She grabbed her purse and searched for her cell phone before realizing she had left it on her desk. Drat! Where would Mac go? When he wasn’t at home he was at school or…the ice rink!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Mac!” Joanna? MacGyver opened his eyes and turned toward the sound of her voice before skating quickly to where she stood on the other side of the boards, a smile emerging from his lips.

“I’m remembering, Jo! It’s just bits and pieces right now, but it’s all starting to come back!”

“That’s wonderful!” she exclaimed. “What do you remember?”

“There was some kind of fight. Someone was yelling. I think it was me. I see arms reaching out and then I’m weightless and falling. Then everything goes dark.” He frowned, disappointed that he couldn’t remember more.

Joanna was smiling and nodding her head encouragingly. “You figured out what happened, didn’t you?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she nodded again.

“Tell me.”

“I can’t,” she said weakly. “Or at least I shouldn’t. The doctor said it was best if you remembered on your own.”

“Did he say you couldn’t give me hints?” He summoned up his most enticing grin.

“Well, not technically,” she replied, her brow furrowed.

“Then will you ‘not technically’ help me remember?”

Joanna hesitated.

“C’mon Jo. I need to know what happened!”

“Alright,” she agreed after a moment’s consideration. “But we’re gonna do it my way.”

Had MacGyver expected anything less? He doubted it. “Fine. Let’s just get on with it,” he grumbled.

“Close your eyes,” she instructed.

Mac had already tried this, but he complied.

“You were here with a small group of students. Can you see them?”

“I can’t make out their faces. Who were they?”

Joanna continued without answering. “Is one of the boys bigger than the others?”

“Yeah.”

“What is he doing?”

“I can’t tell. Wait. He’s picking on the other kids.”

“Anyone in particular?”

Mac started to shake his head but then paused. “Yeah, Jimmy, the little blonde kid.”

“What is the bigger boy saying,” Jo continued to prompt.

“His name is Damon,” MacGyver declared with certainty. Then his eyes popped open, memories clicking like gears in a fine Swiss watch. “His razzing caught my attention and I saw him push Jimmy to the ice. Before I could get to him, Jimmy was on his feet going after Damon. I got between them and yelled at them to knock it off. That’s when Damon pushed me hard in the chest and I fell backward. I blacked out.”

Joanna was smiling and nodding her head furiously. Apparently his memories corresponded with what she had learned.

“That’s exactly what Raul told me!” Joanna concurred. “Now that you remember, you need to tell Evelyn what happened.”

An hour later, MacGyver was sitting in Evelyn’s office, giving her a clear, step-by-step account of his ‘accident’. “So,” he concluded, “what’s going to happen with Damon?”

Evelyn sighed deeply. “Damon struck a fellow student and injured a staff member. At any other school that would be grounds for expulsion.”

MacGyver winced.

“However,” the administrator continued, “this isn’t your average school and Damon isn’t your average student.”

“How do you mean?”

“Damon has been in the foster care system since he was a young child. Over the past several years he’s lived with five different families. None of them wanted to keep him. His school record is pretty much the same. He’s been expelled and suspended for more days than he’s attended. He has severe anger management issues and receives counseling, but apparently it’s not helping. Normally I would suggest a suspension from school and no more hockey, but I fear that would just perpetuate the cycle. Challengers is supposed to be about breaking that cycle.”

For the first time since Mac had met Evelyn she appeared tired and defeated. Her fire and passion gone.

“Before you make a decision, can I talk with him?” MacGyver asked.

“Be my guest. But don’t be disappointed when he doesn’t listen.”

MacGyver was standing outside the English classroom waiting for Damon’s last class of the day to end when the dismissal bell rang and students poured into the corridors. It didn’t take long for Mac to spy the boy.

“Damon, can we talk?”

“I got places to be,” Damon scowled and turned his back.

MacGyver was by his side in an instant. “We can walk and talk ‘til you get there.”

The boy rounded on Mac. “I don’t got nothin’ to say!”

“Well maybe I do!” MacGyver said quickly, struggling to keep control before Damon walked away. “How about we raid the vending machines in the rec room?”

Damon shrugged. “It’s your dime,”

MacGyver smiled to himself. He never knew a kid, including himself, who could pass up free food.

Ten dollars and a pile of junk food later, Mac sensed Damon was willing to talk. Or at least listen.

“Look Damon,” he began, “I know what happened at the ice rink the other day. I remembered everything.”

The boy looked wary but didn’t bolt, so Mac continued.

“You could be suspended from Challengers and barred from playing hockey.”

“No problem there, man. Summer vacation’ll come early for me,” the teen said with false bravado.

“Oh yeah? What about not being allowed back on the ice?” MacGyver challenged.

The boy shrugged, head down.

“From what I’ve seen, you’re a pretty good skater. Probably better than all the other kids put together. Am I wrong?”

“So I skate!” he shot back. “Don’t see too many Black guys from the ‘hood in the NHL, do ya?!”

“You’re right,” Mac conceded. “But that can change. It can start with you!”

“Easy for you to say! You’re white!” Damon hissed.

“No, it’s not easy for me!” MacGyver banged his hand on the table. “When I was your age I wanted nothing more than to play in the NHL. But stuff happened. I didn’t make it. But at least I tried! Are you going to give up without trying?”

Thirty minutes later, MacGyver walked Damon to the front door and shook his hand.

“See ya tomorrow?”

“You bet, Mr. Mac.”

MacGyver smiled and turned to find Evelyn watching him in disbelief.

“What just happened here?” she asked.

“Damon and I came to an understanding, that is if you’re willing to not suspend him and allow him to play hockey.”

“That boy could be big trouble, Mac,” she warned him. “Are you sure about this?”

“He gave me his word. That’s good enough for me.”

Evelyn didn’t look convinced, but she nodded and headed back to her office, leaving MacGyver to hope he just hadn’t made a really big mistake letting Damon off the hook.

The following morning, MacGyver was once again sitting across from Evelyn at her desk.

“Mac, I called you in today because there a couple things we need to clarify.”

He was sure he already knew what they were, but he kept quiet and allowed his superior to continue.

“First of all,” Evelyn began, “I need to know how long you are planning on staying at Challengers. As you know, next week Friday is the last day of school for the summer. Originally your assignment was open-ended, but with the changes Joanna has proposed, I’m afraid I need a more definite timeline.”

“I can stay as long as you need me to.”

“That’s not a definite answer,” Evelyn quirked her brow.

“I can guarantee I’ll stay through the summer,” he responded. Given his latest head injury, he wasn’t in a hurry to have Phoenix put him on the desk duty he knew was in his future.

“Good,” Evelyn responded, apparently satisfied. “Now, for a more pressing issue. Since we will be interviewing for new staff as well as getting communication and safety devices in place, I asked the custodian to turn on the air conditioning. He couldn’t get it to work, and I was wondering if you’d be willing to see if there was something you could do?”

“I’d be happy to take a look, but I can’t make any promises.”

“That’s all I ask.” Evelyn grabbed a set of keys from her desk drawer and led MacGyver up the stairs and out onto the roof of the building. A decades-old air conditioning unit stood sentinel in the far corner. MacGyver pulled out his Swiss Army knife and removed the panels. He poked and prodded, bent over this and crawled under that. Finally he emerged.

“Well…” Evelyn prompted.

Mac sighed, “I hate to tell you this, but I think it’s shot.”

“Isn’t there something you can do? Pete used to say you could make a bomb out of chewing gum and a paperclip!”

“Pete tends to exaggerate,” MacGyver replied dryly. “There’s too much damage for a quick fix. Several parts are broken and they probably aren’t even made anymore.” Mac wiped his brow and sighed. He hated when he had to admit that some things could not be fixed.

“So we need to replace the entire unit,” Evelyn stated in a dismal tone.

“Afraid so.” Then he had an idea. “You wouldn’t happen to have any old window A/C units would you?”

“I don’t know. I’ll give you the keys to the storage room and you can take a look.”

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The last week of the semester arrived and it couldn’t go fast enough for Joanna. She was looking forward to cleaning house, both figuratively and literally, and creating the school environment she had been striving for since she was first hired on. She was also excited that MacGyver would be staying on, at least for three more months. Unfortunately, she had a number of reports to complete and submit from this past year before she could move on. To make matters worse, the weather had turned unseasonably warm and the central air was out of commission making students, faculty, and staff even more eager for summer vacation.

Thankfully, MacGyver had found an old window air-conditioner tucked away in the storage area. After tinkering with it for several hours, he declared that it should help fight the heat as long as it wasn’t overused. Evelyn decided to have him install it in the teachers’ lounge which, over the next few months, would serve as the interview room. Of course, there was a good chance schedules would overlap and toasty offices would have to be utilized as well, but it was better than nothing.

The day before school ended, MacGyver headed down to the Phoenix Foundation offices in Chicago to present his final report on the Milwaukee-based Challengers Academy. Joanna had expressed her concerns to him several times over the past few days, and each time he reassured her that everything was going to be okay. That he was on her side and would get them the money and manpower needed to make the school comparable to its L.A. counterpart. Nevertheless, Jo was unable to concentrate on her work and spent a good amount of time pacing in her office. When that space became too restrictive, she moved to the main corridor on the pretense of monitoring hallways and classrooms. The truth was, she wouldn’t be able to relax until MacGyver returned and gave her a detailed report of the meeting and, more importantly, the final outcome.

It was late in the afternoon, long after the final dismissal bell, when MacGyver pulled his Jeep into the school parking lot. Joanna and Evelyn had been waiting by the front entrance since he had called to tell them he was back in town. They both frowned when he walked in. His suit was wrinkled, dress shirt disheveled, tie askew.

“Long day?” Evelyn ventured.

Mac rubbed the back of his neck and headed to his office.

The two women exchanged concerned glances and followed quickly behind him. They found him staring out his office window, suit jacket already hanging on the back of his chair. Joanna knew his mannerisms too well. The silence, the staring. Things had not gone well.

“What did the board say?” Joanna asked, cutting straight to the chase.

“I told them about the plans to shut down for the summer, revamp the faculty and add extra security measures,” he said, all while continuing to look out over the parking lot.

“And…?” Jo’s stomach was burning up.

MacGyver finally turned around, a huge smile plastered on his face. “And…they praised your initiative, volunteered any assistance we may need, and basically handed us a blank check to cover any and all expenses.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful!” Evelyn cried and quickly reached up and wrapped MacGyver in a celebratory embrace.

Joanna was more reserved. “Are you kidding?” she asked.

MacGyver disengaged from Evelyn and walked to where Joanna stood. He put his hands on her shoulders and ducked his head to look into her eyes.

“I have never been more serious,” he said in a low, smooth voice. “Phoenix promised to fund whatever the anonymous donation doesn’t cover.”

Caught in his gaze and trying to process the welcome news, Joanna didn’t immediately react causing Mac to back away, his smile fading. Evelyn silently slipped from the room, giving MacGyver a motherly pat on the arm as she past.

“I’ve never met anyone who’s taken good news so poorly,” Mac remarked to Joanna.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize, just explain.”

Joanna sighed, “I guess these past few months are just catching up with me. Jesse, the tornado, your accident, not knowing if I was going to have a job next week...” She looked up and gave MacGyver a shy smile.

“…not knowing if you were going to have me around next week,” Mac concluded for her.

“That too,” she agreed, her smile deepening.





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: 19 December 2018 - 06:36 PM                                    
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QUOTE
“How about we raid the vending machines in the rec room?”

Damon shrugged. “It’s your dime,”


QUOTE
Ten dollars and a pile of junk food later, Mac sensed Damon was willing to talk.


blink.gif That's a lot

"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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uniquelyjas
Posted: 19 December 2018 - 07:19 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 19 December 2018 - 06:36 PM)


QUOTE
Ten dollars and a pile of junk food later, Mac sensed Damon was willing to talk.


blink.gif That's a lot

Now that I re-read it you're right! Guess I was going off of the prices I see on vending machines these days...over $1 for a soda, etc.

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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