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The Journey Continues, Continuation of "Continuum"
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Dragondog
Posted: 24 November 2019 - 09:38 PM                                    
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Episode:Halloween Knights
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QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 23 November 2019 - 02:25 PM)
QUOTE (Dragondog @ 22 November 2019 - 09:59 PM)
I can understand that, just not relate to it, so apologies again if my snarkiness came out too strongly tongue.gif

I don't wear any jewlery, so I've never been in that situation, but I do get upset when I lose something (but I'm more honest about it). Most of what I misplace is either found or not very valuable. Usually both XD

No, no, no!! Do NOT apologize! I wish we would have had this conversation a couple years ago when I first wrote this chapter and posted it on a fan fic website. My aunt, who was a professional author for a time, told me one thing that's really stuck with me, and that is to make sure your characters' motivations and actions make sense. You've actually inspired me to go back and tweak this part, giving it more of a back story to explain Jo's reaction to losing the ring. As I said, it's based on my own experience, but I didn't share everything...What made my experience really bad was that, from the time I was old enough to keep a ring on my finger, my grandma always made sure I had a sapphire one (my birthstone). After she died, I felt I as outgrowing the one I had been wearing for several years so I took the stones and had them reset. THIS was the ring that was stolen and my mom was super upset because because they were the stones my grandma (her mom) had bought for me so there was obviously a lot of sentimental value. That's where the strong emotions really came from...along with me being super responsible and just tossing it on the dresser the night before. Si THANK YOU for the feedback!!

Well, I'm glad i could help then smile.gif

And ouch! I can see why that was such a bad experience sad.gif I can't imagine losing something of that value blowup.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: 27 November 2019 - 06:04 PM                                    
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Episode:Faith, Hope, and Charity
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Ch. 25: Aunt Betty’s B&B

“Welcome to Cloverton! Home of Aunt Betty’s Bed and Breakfast proudly owned and operated by none other than our very own Penny Parker!” MacGyver proclaimed as he turned his Jeep onto Main Street and cruised the two lane road lined with several storefronts on either side that comprised the downtown area of the small town. It had been nearly ten years since Mac first visited here with Penny to check out the large Tudor Revival style mansion she had inherited from her aunt and it appeared nothing had changed. In fact, he highly doubted anything about this town had changed since the 1950’s.

“I still don’t feel right about leaving Cynthia alone at Challengers,” Joanna protested from the passenger seat.

“She gave us her blessing, remember?” Mac reminded her. “Besides, it’s been a crazy summer and in a couple weeks you’ll be starting your new part-time job at the high school. I thought this would be a good chance for us to spend some time together, just the two of us.”

“You did call Penny to let her know we’re coming, right?”

“Yes. I called. Now would you stop worrying! All you have to do for the next few days is relax. Do you think you can handle that?”

“I guess I can try.”

MacGyver glanced over to find Jo smiling playfully back at him and his heart squeezed in the most delightful way.

A few minutes later, he parked the Jeep in front of the large house. The masonry base, stone chimneys, and upper stories done in stucco and timber were all familiar. However, the overgrown trees and shrubs had all been trimmed and colorful flower beds scattered throughout the yard gave the old place warm appeal. He climbed from the driver’s seat and met Joanna at the back of his vehicle, ready to open the hatch.

“MacGyver!” a bubbly female voice called. “Joanna! I’m so glad you’re here!!” Penny Parker skipped down the front steps and engulfed them each in an enthusiastic hug.

“It’s good to see you too, Penny,” Mac chuckled. He opened the back of the Jeep and went to reach for a piece of luggage when Penny put a staying hand on his arm.

“You can get your stuff later,” she told him. “First, I want you to see your room. Oh! I just know you’re gonna love it!!” She flashed her famous smile before unwittingly turning her back on her new guests, assuming they would follow.

As MacGyver and Joanna climbed the grand staircase, Mac’s head swiveled to take in the changes that had been made to the house. His memory of a dreary, shadowy shell was soon quashed by the bright, welcoming warmth the home now exuded. He followed the two women down the long hallway to the corner room where Penny stopped beside a closed door.

“Oooh, this is so exciting!!” Penny cried, her body quivering with barely contained excitement. Jo tossed Mac a grin over her shoulder just as the younger woman threw the door open.

“Ta da!!” she exclaimed as her guests warily crossed the threshold.

In the center of the large room accented in red and gold stood an ornately carved king size canopy bed, its comforter littered with pink rose petals. Mac watched as Joanna moved forward and picked up one of the pieces of the velvety flower, gently rubbing it between her thumb and forefinger, a questioning look on her face. MacGyver shrugged and took a step back, bumping into a standing silver ice bucket. He pulled out a chilled bottle.

“That’s sparkling grape juice,” Penny explained with a knowing grin from her position just inside the doorway. “I know you don’t drink...well, at least you never used to...and I figured Joanna doesn’t either...or at least she wouldn’t mind--”

Mac held up a hand to silence his friend. “What is this all about?” he asked.

Penny’s gleaming smile fell just a fraction. “It’s the honeymoon suite! I wanted to make it extra special for you!”

“Penny,” Jo replied gently albeit with a slight blush, “We’re not on our honeymoon.”

“But I assumed when MacGyver called to tell me he wanted to bring you someplace special that you two had gotten married.” Penny’s frown deepened and tears began to pool in her eyes. Mac walked up to her, took her shoulders in his hands, and ducked his head so he was looking into her eyes.

“Penny, don’t you think that if Jo and I had gotten married we would have invited you to the wedding?”

“Oh, I never thought about that,” she said quietly. “But you could have eloped!” she stated hopefully. Mac shook his head.

“I’m such an airhead,” Penny moaned, tears threatening to fall once more. “I went through all this trouble because I wanted to do something really special for you guys and I blew it!”

“It really is lovely, Penny,” Joanna said. “It means a lot that you went through all this trouble just for us.”

“Really?” the younger woman asked, rallying just a bit.

“Really,” MacGyver assured her.

“I just thought of something else,” Penny wailed. “I don’t have any place else for you to sleep! I booked all the rooms because I thought you’d be sleeping...well, you know...together! I mean, it’s okay if you do...it’s not like it’s any of my beeswax...but I suppose I could figure out something if you don’t…”

“This will be just fine. We’ll make it work,” Joanna declared, once again coming to the rescue.

“Yeah. I could always sleep in the bathtub,” Mac teased, but the old joke fell flat.

Joanna continued to address Penny. “That bed is so huge Mac and I won’t even know the other is there. We can even put pillows down the middle. It’s no problem.”

What she said was true and right, yet he felt unduly disappointed that she planned to keep her soft warmth well away from him. Then again, with those kinds of thoughts running through his head, perhaps her plan was wise. If not, there was always the bathtub.

XXXXX

“What in the world did you pack?” MacGyver complained as he hefted Joanna’s suitcases out of the Jeep.

“Just the basic necessities and a few books,” she replied airily.

“It feels more like everything but the kitchen sink and an entire library.”

“I like to have options,” she shrugged, picking up a small wicker basket with a hinged, quilted cover.

“What’s that?”

“My knitting.”

“You knit?”

“Yeah. I knit hats and scarves to donate to my church’s winter clothes drive,” Jo explained then grinned cheekily. “There are still some things you don’t know about me, Mac.”

They were about to enter the house with their belongings when they heard a high-pitched squeal followed by the crash of a metal rain gutter on the porch’s concrete overhang. They automatically cringed.

“Oh, terrific!” Penny exclaimed as she stood on the lawn surveying the damage. “Now what am I going to do?!”

“Why don’t you tell me what you were doing in the first place?” Mac asked, abandoning the luggage to join his friend, Joanna close behind.

“I was trying to clean out the gutters before the next rain and now look what happened,” she pouted, her shoulders slumped in defeat.

“Don’t you pay someone to do that kinda stuff?” he inquired.

Penny let out a huff. “I did until last week.”

“What happened last week?”

“My handyman was cleaning out the gutters in back when he fell off the ladder and broke his leg. He won’t be able to work for six weeks!”

“So, hire someone else,” Mac suggested.

“It’s not that simple,” Penny replied softly, literally wringing her hands.

“Why not?”

“Well, before the ladder incident my cook was frying chicken for supper when the pot tipped over and the oil burned her hands. She quit on the spot! With two freak accidents in one week some of the townspeople are saying the house is--”

“Don’t tell me they think it’s haunted,” MacGyver interrupted.

Penny nodded silently, her eyes on the ground.

“We’ve been through this already. There’s no such thing as ghosts!”

“And I’m not the one saying it’s haunted!” Penny shot back. “In fact, before I opened for business, I had a séance just to make sure.”

“Aw, Penny!” Mac threw his hands up in the air in exasperation and turned away but she ignored him.

“Anyway, the house got a clean bill of health,” she proclaimed.

“Don’t worry, Penny. Mac and I will help out while we’re here,” Jo promised.

Mac spun to face the two women. “No! No way!” he protested. “We came here to relax and that’s exactly what we’re gonna do!”

Joanna grabbed his arm and pulled him several yards away from the house.

“What has gotten into you?! Penny’s your friend and needs our help! She could’ve gotten killed trying to clean those gutters by herself!” Jo exclaimed, her steely gaze boring into him.

“That’s exactly my point!” he spat back. “My friend’s always need my help and I’m getting sick and tired of being their go-to guy! Penny’s been running this place for years and has apparently been doing just fine without me. She can manage on her own.”

“I can’t believe you just said that!” Joanna responded, her tone conveying both shock and disappointment. “If you want to kick back and relax, fine! But I’m gonna help Penny! And you can sleep in the bathtub!!” She turned and strode purposefully toward the house.

“Fine!” Mac called to her retreating figure, slapping his palm against his forehead when he realized how selfish and childish he sounded. He hurried to catch up so he could apologize as well as agree to assist with the B&B. He had let his pent up frustration get the better of him. There was no way he would deny Penny his help. He entered the foyer to find Joanna standing stock still, watching a heated argument between their host and one of her guests.

“And I’m telling you that I had the entire house rewired and brought up to code. I don’t know what’s wrong!” Penny insisted.

“Well I suggest you find out my dear! And when you do, I’ll be in my room handwriting my manuscript!” an older gentleman with a grey mustache and reading glasses replied frostily.

“What was that all about?” MacGyver asked once the man had returned upstairs.

“Oh, him,” Penny replied dejectedly. “That’s Mr. Bidwell. He says he’s an author who needed a quiet place to work on his next novel but all he’s done since he arrived a couple days ago is complain. Right now he’s upset because his electric typewriter isn’t working and he insists there’s something wrong with the electrical sockets in his room.”

“Did he ever consider that there might be something wrong with the machine?” Mac asked.

“That’s it, MacGyver! You’re a genius!” Penny gushed. “Why don’t you go and see if you can fix it?!”

“Um, Penny, I don’t know…” He caught Jo’s reprimanding look out of the corner of his eye and cleared his throat. “Lead the way,” he sighed.

After Penny knocked on Mr. Bidwell’s door and introduced him to MacGyver, the man grudgingly stepped aside allowing Mac to enter. He immediately went to the old typewriter that, like the rest of the town, looked like it belonged in the 1950’s.

“Nice looking machine,” Mac mused.

“Indeed, my boy!” the author boasted. “I’ve traveled around the world with it. Made me the top-selling novelist you see today. Never gave me a moment’s problem until I came here.”

“Mind if I take a look?” MacGyver asked politely.

“Go ahead, if you must, but please be careful.”

“You bet.”

Before taking off the cover, Mac checked to make sure the machine was unplugged. He was not in the mood to get electrocuted today. Once he exposed the inside workings he surveyed each section carefully. Though not an expert in the field, he couldn’t find anything obviously wrong. For good measure, he pulled out his Swiss Army knife, found the tool he wanted, and checked to make sure that all the wires were in place and secure. He carefully put the heavy cover back on and plugged it in.

“Go ahead, give it a try,” he encouraged Mr. Bidwell.

The older man sat down in the chair and touched a key. It worked perfectly. He typed a word, then a sentence, then a paragraph.

“Well, I’ll be!” he exclaimed. “What did you do to it young man?”

“Oh, nothing much,” Mac hedged. “I just tweaked a few things.”

“And I thank you for that. It works as good as new! Now please, be on your way. I have a novel to finish!”

“How did it go? Were you able to fix it?” Penny asked anxiously when MacGyver returned downstairs.

“Actually, I couldn’t find anything wrong with the typewriter or the socket. I pretended to tinker with it, but it was fine. Mr. Bidwell is happily typing away as we speak.”

“Gosh, that’s kinda strange, isn’t it?” Penny’s eyes widened.

Mac shrugged. “Not really. It’s an old machine and bound to act up at times. It probably has happened before but Bidwell would rather blame you than admit it.”

XXXXX

The piercing ring of the alarm clock startled MacGyver awake. He slapped at it hoping to find the snooze button. He then turned and looked at the red glowing digits. Two in the morning?! He looked across the wide bed at Joanna. True to her word she was huddled on the far edge, seemingly still fast asleep, with a wall of pillows between them. At least he wasn’t in the bathtub. Making sure the alarm feature on the clock was no longer set, Mac rolled over and went back to sleep.

Thirty minutes later the clock blared again. Mac shot up, grabbed it, and banged it against the nightstand. This couldn’t be happening! He once again looked at Jo who had turned onto her back and was snoring softly. Deciding that perhaps there was something wrong with the wiring in the building, MacGyver leaned over and unplugged the digital clock before flopping on his back to stare at the ceiling until slumber claimed him once more.

A distant but persistent ringing coaxed MacGyver awake, his hand automatically searching for the button to shut off the alarm. But wait. Didn’t he unplug it during the night? He sat up shaking his head. Apparently now he was dreaming about hearing the alarm! Joanna emerged from the bathroom, already showered and dressed for the day.

“Hey there, sleepyhead!” she greeted him cheerily. “I thought you were the morning person?”

“Did you hear the alarm clock ring just now?” he asked.

“No. Why? Did you have it set?”

“I don’t suppose you heard it during the night?” he continued, ignoring her question.

“Nope,” she shook her head. “I slept like a rock!”

“So I noticed,” he groaned, peeling back the covers and slowly climbing out of bed.

“Mac? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. I just didn’t sleep very well is all. By the way, what are you doing up so early?”

“Penny and I are gonna try to recreate Aunt Betty’s famous cinnamon rolls. You sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah,” he replied with a reassuring smile. “I’m gonna take a quick shower and I’ll meet you downstairs.”

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Penny was already in the kitchen retrieving ingredients from the pantry when Joanna appeared.

“How did you sleep?”

“Wonderfully,” Jo replied. “I hate to say it, but I guess Mac was right. I really need some time away from work.”

Penny smiled and handed Joanna an apron. Soon the two women were combining flour, sugar, and eggs and rolling out dough, all the while chatting amiably until a loud yowl from upstairs interrupted them.

“What was that?” Penny asked, fear evident in her eyes.

“I don’t know, but it sounded like it came from my room!”

Together they bolted up the stairs and down the hallway, ignoring the guests peeking out of their rooms to see what all the ruckus was about. When they got to the honeymoon suite, Joanna pushed the door open and skidded to a stop so quickly that Penny almost knocked her over from behind. They gaped at MacGyver who stood in the bathroom doorway dripping wet, hair plastered to his head, towel wrapped around his waist, and scowling like a bear who had just been woken from hibernation.

“Wha...what happened?” Jo asked, biting back a giggle.

Mac’s gazed was pinned on Penny. “I just ran out of hot water! That’s what happened!” he snapped.

“But that can’t be.” Penny’s expression was one of pure innocence and confusion. “I had an extra-large water heater installed just so something like this wouldn’t happen!”

Turning serious, Joanna pushed past MacGyver, reached into the tub, and turned on the faucet.

“The water’s just fine, Mac,” she reported as it flowed over her hand. “Maybe you accidentally knocked the--”

“I didn’t ‘accidentally’ do anything! I’m telling you, there was no hot water!”

“Well, there is now,” Jo shrugged. “Why don’t you get dressed and come downstairs. We’ll go for a walk or something.”

“Fine,” Mac ground out as Joanna and Penny retreated, both of them giggling softly.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“You’ve really done a great job with this place,” MacGyver commented later that morning as Penny was giving him and Joanna a tour of the grounds. After a quick jog and a hearty breakfast including a fair facsimile of Aunt Betty’s cinnamon rolls, Mac was feeling much more like himself.

“I really didn’t do that much,” Penny replied shyly. “I just hired people to do it for me.”

“But they still used your ideas, right?” Mac cajoled.

“Well, yeah. I guess,” she shrugged.

They were just about to round the front corner of the house when they heard raised voices coming from the porch swing.

“That’s Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. They’re here celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary.” Penny whispered to Mac and Jo.

“Doesn’t sound like they’ll make it to sixty-one,” MacGyver observed, earning slaps on either arm from his female companions.

“I’m tellin’ ya, Iris, that girl is downright incompetent! I told her I wanted somethin’ special for our anniversary and what does she do? She sticks us in a room with twin beds and a TV that’s on the fritz!”

“Don’t be so hard on the poor girl, George! After all, I heard she used to be an actress. What can you expect?! But I must say her cooking does leave something to be desired.”

Mac’s jaw clenched as he watched tears well in Penny’s eyes. Sure, she might be a bit hapless at times, and she had a tendency to find trouble but that wasn’t really her fault. Penny’s greatest problem was that she had a trusting heart and childlike innocence about her. And MacGyver didn’t consider that a bad thing. Suddenly they heard a loud clank, clatter, and then a thud followed by irate bellows and cries for help. Rounding the corner the trio saw that one of the chains securing the swing to the porch canopy had broken, causing George to crash to the ground and an overweight Iris to land on top of him. They hurried to make sure the elderly couple was okay.

“That’s the last straw I tell you!” George bellowed, struggling to his feet as MacGyver put a steadying hand under the man’s elbow. “We’re packing our bags and going home!”

“Oh, Mr. Jackson, please wait!” Penny begged. “Let me make it up to you!” She threw Mac an apologetic glance before continuing. “The honeymoon suite just became available. I’ll have your things moved right away!

“I’m sorry, young lady, but that’s too little too late,” he growled.

“Now George, be reasonable,” Iris urged as she brushed the dirt from her dress. “It’s not her fault the swing broke.” Then she turned her attention on Mac and Joanna. “Are you the young couple staying in the honeymoon suite?”

“Yes ma’am,” MacGyver replied.

“But didn’t I see you arrive just yesterday?” Iris asked. “You can’t be planning on leaving already!”

“Actually we--”

“George, we can’t take that room away from them! Look how much in love they are...just like us sixty years ago! We’re paid up to tomorrow. One more night won’t make a difference.”

“Well, I suppose not,” her husband grumbled.

“Then it’s settled! We’ll all stay right where we are!” Iris declared. “But I do think George and I will be going into town for dinner this evening.”

Penny sighed with relief as Mac put his hands on her shoulders.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she smiled reassuringly.

“Then why don’t you show me where the handyman keeps his tools so I can fix that swing?”

“Oh Mac, you don’t have to do that!”

“I want to, Penny. That’s what friends are for.”

XXXXX

MacGyver stared at Joanna, longing and frustration warring in his heart. She was curled up in a wingback chair on the other side of the living room engrossed in one of her novels. The other guests, and even Penny, had retired for the evening and it was finally just the two of them. And she was ignoring him completely. This was not what he had envisioned when he planned this little getaway.

“I’m gonna get a snack,” he announced. “Want anything?”

“No,” Jo mumbled, not even looking up from the page.

Mac pushed himself off the couch and headed for the kitchen. As he entered the room he saw Joanna’s knitting basket sitting on the small table in the corner. A skein of blue yarn and a pair of knitting needles sat next to it. Apparently she had been keeping Penny company earlier as dinner cooked and he repaired the television set in the Jackson’s room.

He had just turned toward the counter when he heard a soft clink behind him. He turned and found one of Joanna’s knitting needles on the floor. Not thinking much of it, he picked it up and put it back on the table which he assumed was slightly less than level, making sure it was still before rummaging through the cupboards for something to eat. He had just begun to spread some peanut butter on a piece of whole grain bread when he heard the clink again.

“Really?” he muttered, putting down his knife and once again picking up the knitting needle. This time he stabbed it securely into the skein of yarn.

Feeling satisfied, he returned to his snack and had just taken a bite when he heard the noise again. He turned and stared at the offending tool lying on the floor, noticing that its counterpart remained securely tucked away as he had left it. He moved to pick up the needle but stopped himself. Joanna could pick up after her own self! He was looking out the window into the starless night as he chugged a glass of milk when he sensed her presence.

“Mac, have you seen my knitting?”

“On the table,” he grunted without turning around. “And pick up the needle on the floor while you’re at it.”

“There’s nothing on the floor,” she said, the confusion in her voice causing him to turn and look for himself. Jo was right. The needle was on the table, just as he had originally found it.

“What the…?! I’m telling you, I heard the needle fall and saw it lying on the floor,” he insisted.

“Well it isn’t there now,” she replied, irritating him by pointing out the obvious.

MacGyver had had enough. He needed this day to be over.

“You going back in the living room?” he asked brusquely.

“No, I was planning on going upstairs.”

“Then I’ll turn off the lights.” He brushed past her without a glance.

“Mac, is everything okay?” Jo asked, dogging his heels.

“Everything’s just swell,” he replied drily.

He was halfway across the room when he felt her reach out to him.

“Mac…”

Her voice was so soft and sweet he couldn’t help but stop and turn toward her.

“Look,” she continued gently, “I know today’s been kinda--”

“Stop,” he commanded huskily, putting his hands on her shoulders and squeezing gently. “Let’s forget about today. Just now I acted like a dumb, selfish kid because Penny’s goofy problems and your friendship with her got in the way of us spending time alone and I’m sorry.”

He waited silently as Joanna looked around the room then back at him, a mischievous gleam in her eye.

“It looks like we’re alone now,” she whispered, smiling up at him.

“So it does,” he grinned.

He pulled her toward him, lifting his hands to her face as she wrapped her arms tightly around his waist, bringing them even closer together. Her eyes fluttered close as his lips found hers, kissing her the way he had been aching to since they first arrived.

When they were both breathless, MacGyver broke the kiss, still cradling Joanna’s face in his hands he leaned his forehead against hers.

“I think we should stop,” he said, his voice ragged.

“Why?” she whispered against his lips.

“Because we’re sharing a room,” he stated huskily.

“So?” She playfully nipped his lower lip.

“We’re sharing a bed.” He nipped her back, enjoying the intimate playfulness she had initiated.

“So?” Her breath mingled with his. “Oooh!” she finally comprehended, pulling away from his touch. “Maybe you’re right,” she conceded, her cheeks flushed.

“Of course, I could always sleep down here on the couch,” he suggested, already missing the warm softness of her body in his arms.

“It’s not like you haven’t done it before,” she reasoned.

That was all the encouragement he needed. He reached for her again, closing his eyes knowing that his lips would find hers of their own accord, when suddenly he felt hands on his chest pushing him backward. His eyes flew open and his arms flailed instinctively in an attempt to keep his balance. He took a step back to steady himself, but his foot caught on the edge of an Oriental rug and the next thing he knew he was lying on his back. His view of the ceiling was quickly eclipsed by Joanna’s concerned face.

“Mac! Are you okay!” she asked anxiously, kneeling beside him, her eyes wide with concern.

“What’d you do that for?” he moaned, rubbing the back of his head which had hit the floor with a sickening thud.

“Do what? I didn’t do anything,” she protested. “I didn’t even have a chance to touch you!”

“What happened?! I thought I heard something fall!” Penny exclaimed, emerging from her private quarters and hurrying down the hall to the living room. Her eyes widened when she found MacGyver on the floor.

“That ‘something’ was me,” he groaned, regaining his feet. “I tripped,” he explained, glancing suspiciously at Joanna whose expression was innocence personified.

“I told you I didn’t touch you!”

“Oh, yeah?! Then whose hands did I feel on my chest?!”

“I can’t believe this is happening again,” Penny moaned.

“What?” Jo and Mac asked in unison.

“Isn’t it obvious?” their host asked. “I have a new ghost!”

“I am not having this conversation again!” MacGyver exclaimed, spinning on his heels and striding toward the far end of the room.

“Then how do you explain all the strange things that have been happening?” Penny challenged.

“I don’t know! Accidents? Faulty plumbing and electricity? Coincidence?”

“I thought you didn’t believe in coincidence,” Joanna observed.

“Well I believe in it a heck of a lot more than I believe in ghosts!” he shot back.

Heavy silence shrouded the room.

“Look,” Mac sighed, his voice calmer now. “Why don’t we take a closer look at all these ‘incidences’ and try to find a logical explanation, okay?”

Penny perked up immediately. “Great! I’ll go put on a pot of coffee!”

“Penny, wait! I--”

“I know you don’t drink coffee, MacGyver. It’s just a saying!”

“No. I was going to say that I didn’t plan on having this discussion tonight. It can wait until morning.”

Mac watched Penny’s happy face crumble and he felt like a first-class heel. “Then again, why put off until tomorrow what can be done tonight.” Penny’s bright smile immediately returned and MacGyver felt as if he had just successfully navigated a minefield blindfolded.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“You don’t really believe in this stuff, do you?” Mac asked Joanna as they settled themselves around the kitchen table while Penny went to grab something to write on.

“Don’t you want to put Penny’s mind at ease?” she asked.

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“You didn’t answer mine! But I’m not gonna say I don’t believe.” MacGyver pulled a face, but Jo continued. “People have been experiencing hauntings for centuries and there’s been tons of pretty scientific and persuasive research done on the subject. I would think you could at least respect that.”

“I do, but--”

“Here we go!” Penny came bouncing back into the room, took a seat and handed Joanna a pen and legal pad. “What’s the plan?”

“We’re gonna make a list of all the weird things that have happened, the people affected, and see if we can find a common denominator,” Joanna explained. “Now, when would you say this all started?”

Penny thought for a while before answering. “I guess the beginning of last week when the cook burned her hands,” she replied. “Boy, you should have heard some of the words that came out of her mouth!”

“Did you two get along?” Jo continued.

“I guess,” Penny shrugged. “I mean, we weren’t friends or anything. She thought she was too great a chef to be working at a B&B, but she wasn’t, really. Some of the stuff she cooked was just awful! And she wouldn’t try fun, new things. Like try to make Aunt Betty’s cinnamon rolls.” The young woman smiled warmly at Jo who smiled back, remembering their culinary experiment and subsequent success twelve hours earlier.

“Okay, what happened next?” Joanna asked, frowning as she watched MacGyver fidget in his chair.

“That would have to be the handyman falling off the ladder,” the younger woman replied definitively. “I had been asking him to clean out the gutters for weeks, but he kept grumbling about being nagged by someone young enough to be his daughter. He finally gave in and look what happened.”

Jo shot Penny a sympathetic smile as Mac headed for the refrigerator and a glass of juice. “Next?”

“Oh, you were here for that! It was when Mr. Bidwell’s typewriter wasn’t working.”

“Right. And you said he had been complaining a lot.”

Penny nodded vigorously. “You’d think if he didn’t like it here he’d just leave!”

“Okay, we’re up to number four,” Jo announced.

“That would have to be Mac’s alarm clock going off,” Penny offered. “And number five would be when he lost hot water in the shower.”

“I told you, some glitch in the wiring and a too-small hot water heater can explain those,” Mac reasoned even as Joanna sent a quelling look his way.

“Does that take us up to the swing chain breaking while Mr. and Mrs. Jackson were sitting on it?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Penny mumbled, chewing her lower lip. “I thought they liked me until I heard them talking about me.”

MacGyver reached over and covered her hand with his. “Don’t worry about it. We managed to get everything straightened out. And I’m sure they like you. They were just a little disappointed with their circumstances.”

Penny smiled her thanks at Mac who had turned his attention to Joanna.

“I guess that brings it back to me and the knitting needles rolling off the table which, by the way, simply means the table...this table...isn’t level.”

“Well that’s easy enough to check,” Penny said, getting up and rummaging through a drawer before producing an old fashioned level and putting it in the middle of the table.

Everyone stood up so they could watch the little bubble which, once stilled, proved that the table was completely even.

“That can’t be,” MacGyver muttered.

Jo shrugged and motioned to the device. “The proof’s right there.”

Mac plopped back down in his chair and let out a huff. “Then I guess the final incident is me not being pushed back by Joanna.”

“Right,” she replied absently, already studying her notes.

“Did you find anything helpful?” Penny asked, peering over Jo’s shoulder.

“I’m not sure,” she answered, her brows knitting together. She aimed her next words at MacGyver. “Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that there is a ghost here. It seems the only people it bothers are those who’ve had run-ins with Penny. It’s almost like he, or she, is protecting or avenging her.”

“Then why, ‘for the sake of argument’ does he, or she, have a beef with me?!” Mac glowered.

“I have no idea,” Joanna replied thoughtfully. “Maybe it gets a kick out of annoying you or making you think you’re going crazy or something.”

“And it obviously doesn’t want me to have a love life, either,” he mumbled.

“Aha! So you admit I didn’t push you!” Jo exclaimed triumphantly.

“That’s not what I meant!”

“You said it yourself, MacGyver,” Penny goaded.

“Can we just get on with this?” he snapped.

“Fine,” Joanna replied frostily.

“Penny, did you bring anything new into the house right before the cook’s accident?”

“I bought some groceries the day before. Why?”

“I mean, did you find or buy some kind of object...maybe a decorative antique? It’s pretty well established that ghosts can attach themselves to objects and wherever the object goes, so does the ghost.”

Penny started to shake her head then stopped. “Wait a minute...on the way to the supermarket I stopped at this little pawn shop because I’ve been meaning to get rid of some of Aunt Betty’s old costume jewelry and I ended up buying a ring!” At that, Penny shot up out of her chair and hurried to her quarters. Upon returning, she had the ring in the palm of her hand and held it out for Joanna and MacGyver to inspect.

“A silver skull?” Jo asked warily.

“Weird, right? But I don’t know...it just seemed to call to me. Like I had to have it. Not that I ever plan on wearing it!”

“A death’s head ring,” Mac said under his breath so softly Joanna wasn’t sure if she heard him correctly.

“What?” she asked, hoping for clarification.

“Nothing,” MacGyver responded a bit too quickly. “I’ve had enough for tonight and I’m going to bed. If you two want to stay up and tell ghost stories, don’t let me stop you.”

Joanna watched as Mac emptied his glass of juice in the sink, exited the kitchen, and climbed the stairs. Something wasn’t right. Rising from her own chair, she picked up the pad of paper and gave the pen back to Penny.

“I think we should call it a night, too,” she suggested.

“But what about the ring? How are we gonna find out whose ghost is attached to it?”

“Let’s worry about that in the morning, okay?” Right now, Jo was more worried about Mac.

Joanna opened the door to the honeymoon suite to find MacGyver lying on top of the bedcovers, staring at the ceiling.

“Wanna tell me about it?” she asked, climbing onto her side of the bed.

“There’s nothin’ to tell. I just got tired of all that dumb ghost talk.”

“That’s not true and you know it. I watched you turn three shades whiter than a ghost when Penny showed us that ring. You recognized it, didn’t you?”

Mac suddenly sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and rubbing his eyes with the heel of his hands. “It just isn’t possible.”

“What isn’t possible?”

“Murdoc always wore a ring exactly like that. It was like his signature,” MacGyver ground out.

Joanna crawled across the bed until she was sitting next to Mac, a comforting hand placed gently on his back. She could feel his warm, taught muscles through the thin fabric of his shirt.

“There have to be hundreds of rings like that roaming around,” Jo reasoned. “You can’t really believe it could be Murdoc’s?”

“Just like I don’t really believe in ghosts?” he countered.

“Mac, think about this logically.”

“I am!” he exclaimed. “That’s the problem!”

Joanna must have looked as bewildered as she felt because he continued without missing a beat. “Remember when I told you how Murdoc posed as that rock opera director, Jacques La Rue? It was then that he fell in love with Penny. And Penny thought she loved him when he was Jacques. It makes perfect sense that he would want to protect her and harm people he believed hurt her. And me? Well, I’m just a great big juicy bonus!”

“Are you listening to yourself?” Jo asked incredulously.

MacGyver must have considered it a rhetorical question because he didn’t respond.

“Look, first thing tomorrow morning the three of us will go to that pawn shop and find out where that ring came from. Chances are some kid found it in an alley and decided to cash in.”

“You’re right,” he acknowledged, sounding more like himself. “I’m just letting this stupid house get to me...again.”

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next day, MacGyver, Joanna, and Penny were standing outside the Cloverton Pawn Shop when the owner opened for business.

“What can I do for you folks?” the tall, lanky man asked.

Penny placed the ring on the counter.

“We were wondering if you remembered who sold you this ring,” MacGyver said.

“Sure do!” the store owner replied. “One don’t quite forget a piece like that. At least not around these parts. Guy who hocked it wanted to get rid of it real bad, too. Didn’t even haggle over the price.”

The trio looked at the man encouragingly and that was all it took for him to continue his story.

“Seems this guy was into buyin’ stuff at estate sales and such. Said he’d been in L.A. when he’d seen this ring. Story goes it belonged to some big time secret assassin. The dude’s been dead for over a year, but some of his possessions were found in an abandoned warehouse and sold off. But like I say, it’s just a story. Probably to get people to pay more than the stuff is worth.”

“Why was the man who sold it to you so anxious to get rid of it?” Penny asked.

“Can’t rightly say. Some mumbo-jumbo about them poltergeists or somethin’. With what he was willin’ to take, I wasn’t gonna ask. Now, if you’re thinkin’ about returnin’ that I’m ‘fraid all sales are final.”

“We understand,” MacGyver assured him in a clipped tone. “Thanks for takin’ the time to talk to us.”

Penny retrieved the ring and the small group headed to the Jeep. The ride back to the B&B was completed in silence. MacGyver kept his jaw clenched and his spine stiff as his logical mind tried to make order of all he had heard and experienced. He glanced in the rearview mirror periodically, always to find Penny staring at the silver piece of jewelry in the palm of her hand.

When they arrived at the house it was to find guests milling about the gardens, enjoying the late summer day. Penny silently hurried from the car and into the kitchen to prepare the midday meal. Mac expected Joanna to follow her, but instead she followed him up the stairs and into their room. He sat down on the end of the bed and scrubbed his face with his hands.

“This has to just be a big, freakish coincidence, right?” Jo asked, sitting down next to him but keeping space between them.

“Right,” he muttered.

“I mean, everything that’s happened can’t be because of the ring. And the odds of Murdoc’s ring showing up here after all this time have to be astronomical. Right?”

“Yeah,” he murmured.

“So what now?”

“I gotta convince Penny to get rid of that ring.”

Joanna’s jaw dropped and in any other situation Mac probably would’ve laughed. “You seriously believe Murdoc’s attached to that ring?” she asked.

“No. But Penny does and that’s what matters.”

Minutes later, Joanna had taken over cooking duties while MacGyver spoke with Penny in the living room.

“You want me to what?!” she cried, causing him to flinch.

“You gotta get rid of it. Throw it into the deepest lake you can find, bury it in the middle of nowhere. I don’t care, just get it out of this house.”

“But I thought you didn’t believe in ghosts,” she challenged, fingering the silver skull that now hung from a chain around her neck.

“Let’s just say I prefer to play things safe these days,” he grinned.

“Fine,” she frowned.

“Hey, I know how you felt about him when you thought he was Jacques, but that wasn’t him. It never was. It was all an elaborate act. It meant nothing.”

“Yeah, sure,” she agreed softly before heading back to the kitchen, her downcast eyes never leaving the floor.

XXXXX

“You all packed?” MacGyver asked from his side of the bed later that night.

“Yeah, I just wish we didn’t have to leave so soon,” Joanna bemoaned as she climbed under the covers on the other side.

“So then you wouldn’t be opposed to coming back sometime?” He purposely flashed her the smile he knew she couldn’t resist.

“I’d love to. But make it clear that we need separate rooms. I don’t want Penny making any assumptions again.”

Mac made a show of looking around until he found and caught her eyes.

“I don’t know. I kinda like this one,” he replied, his voice a bit raspy as he lost himself in the liquid chocolate depths. “Only next time we won’t need the pillows as chaperones.”

“What are you saying?” Jo asked suspiciously.

“Just thinkin’ out loud,” he replied smoothly, checking one final time to make sure the alarm clock was unplugged before sliding under the covers.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

In the room directly below the honeymoon suite, Penny lay on her bed facing the nightstand, staring at the silver death’s head ring that seemed to be staring back. She thought back to that night so long ago when Murdoc had captured her, revealing his true identity, as Pete and MacGyver fought for their lives in an elaborate trap he had devised. She remembered trying to convince him that he was musical, charming, and romantic and how he told her she brought those qualities out in him. How he didn’t know what it was like to smile until he met her. How he had fallen in love with her. And what was her response? She had called him insane right to his face, snuffing out any hint of hope or joy that may have been there. Now, in hindsight, perhaps he had possessed some good qualities. Perhaps he really had loved her. MacGyver wanted her to get rid of the ring. But what if Murdoc’s spirit was, indeed, attached to it, and he was even now watching over her, protecting her, loving her. She gently took the ring, placing it safely in the drawer of her nightstand. What MacGyver didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.










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: 30 November 2019 - 11:16 AM                                    
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QUOTE

MacGyver glanced over to find Jo smiling playfully back at him and his heart squeezed in the most delightful way.
Wouldn't it just be so romantic to propose inside a nice, comfortable room inside a B&B, and then to run off for a quick wedding, (because you both don't really like being fussed over), and then return to Challenger's and surprise everyone with the sudden news? Well, I suppose Sam would be ticked off, being left out, but-

QUOTE

“MacGyver!” a bubbly female voice called. “Joanna! I’m so glad you’re here!!” Penny Parker skipped down the front steps and engulfed them each in an enthusiastic hug.
*GLOMP* XD

QUOTE

“Penny,” Jo replied gently albeit with a slight blush, “We’re not on our honeymoon.”
*clears throat* It's not too late to change that ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

QUOTE

“I’m such an airhead,” Penny moaned, tears threatening to fall once more. “I went through all this trouble because I wanted to do something really special for you guys and I blew it!”
I mean, she is an airhead sometimes, but I always get heartbroken when she feels like it sad.gif (Besides, sometimes she reminds me of me XD )

QUOTE

“I just thought of something else,” Penny wailed. “I don’t have any place else for you to sleep!
Of course you don't... (I swear, sleeping together is practically a pasttime with them now XD)

QUOTE

“This will be just fine. We’ll make it work,” Joanna declared, once again coming to the rescue.

“Yeah. I could always sleep in the bathtub,” Mac teased, but the old joke fell flat.
This made me laugh laugh.gif

QUOTE

Joanna continued to address Penny. “That bed is so huge Mac and I won’t even know the other is there. We can even put pillows down the middle. It’s no problem.”
I love beds like that. I just like space XD

QUOTE

“It feels more like everything but the kitchen sink and an entire library.”
Not working for Phoenix has made you out of shape, huh Macky? XD

QUOTE


“Yeah. I knit hats and scarves to donate to my church’s winter clothes drive,” Jo explained then grinned cheekily. “There are still some things you don’t know about me, Mac.”
So is this based in reality?

QUOTE

“I was trying to clean out the gutters before the next rain and now look what happened,” she pouted, her shoulders slumped in defeat.
Super Mac to the rescue again? XD

QUOTE

“And I’m not the one saying it’s haunted!” Penny shot back. “In fact, before I opened for business, I had a séance just to make sure.”
What the heck Penny...

QUOTE

Mac spun to face the two women. “No! No way!” he protested. “We came here to relax and that’s exactly what we’re gonna do!”
Since when are you so big on relaxing? Normally you're the one leaping up to help XD

QUOTE

“What has gotten into you?! Penny’s your friend and needs our help! She could’ve gotten killed trying to clean those gutters by herself!” Jo exclaimed, her steely gaze boring into him.
Joanna gets it XD

QUOTE

“That’s exactly my point!” he spat back. “My friend’s always need my help and I’m getting sick and tired of being their go-to guy! Penny’s been running this place for years and has apparently been doing just fine without me. She can manage on her own.”
Ok boomer...

QUOTE


“I can’t believe you just said that!” Joanna responded, her tone conveying both shock and disappointment. “If you want to kick back and relax, fine! But I’m gonna help Penny! And you can sleep in the bathtub!!” She turned and strode purposefully toward the house.
Wow, not even married and she's already kicking him out of the bed XD

QUOTE

“Fine!” Mac called to her retreating figure, slapping his palm against his forehead when he realized how selfish and childish he sounded. He hurried to catch up so he could apologize as well as agree to assist with the B&B.
Good boy XD

QUOTE

“Actually, I couldn’t find anything wrong with the typewriter or the socket. I pretended to tinker with it, but it was fine. Mr. Bidwell is happily typing away as we speak.”

“Gosh, that’s kinda strange, isn’t it?” Penny’s eyes widened.

Mac shrugged. “Not really. It’s an old machine and bound to act up at times. It probably has happened before but Bidwell would rather blame you than admit it.”
DUN DUN DUUUNNNNNNNNNN

QUOTE

“I’m tellin’ ya, Iris, that girl is downright incompetent! I told her I wanted somethin’ special for our anniversary and what does she do? She sticks us in a room with twin beds and a TV that’s on the fritz!”

“Don’t be so hard on the poor girl, George! After all, I heard she used to be an actress. What can you expect?! But I must say her cooking does leave something to be desired.”
Oh poor Penny...

QUOTE

“George, we can’t take that room away from them! Look how much in love they are...just like us sixty years ago!
roller.gif roller.gif roller.gif EVEN RANDOM STRANGERS "FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT"!

QUOTE

“What happened?! I thought I heard something fall!” Penny exclaimed,

Mac: Yeah, my shirt fell.
Penny: That sounded way heavier than a shirt...
Mac: I was in it when it fell.

QUOTE

Joanna must have looked as bewildered as she felt because he continued without missing a beat. “Remember when I told you how Murdoc posed as that rock opera director, Jacques La Rue? It was then that he fell in love with Penny. And Penny thought she loved him when he was Jacques. It makes perfect sense that he would want to protect her and harm people he believed hurt her. And me? Well, I’m just a great big juicy bonus!”
Okay, but if that ends up being what happened, it's actually kinda cute in a way XD

While we're on that subject, I have to laugh at the image of Murdoc's ghost watching Mac and Jo making out and being like, "Okay, I've seen enough for one night..." *pushes Mac* That's better, lol."

So the ending... Cliffhanger? XD

Also, ironic how this was posted around the same time as the VS which ALSO has a ghost storyline XD



"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: 30 November 2019 - 12:02 PM                                    
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OMG...I never connected it with the VS episode!!! I promise it was totally random! And yes, I do knit hats and scarves to donate to my church...actually just took in 7 sets last week. And I do take my knitting on vacation! I loved the dialogue you added with Murdoc watching Mac and Jo make out...yes, he would do exactly that!!



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: 1 December 2019 - 09:04 PM                                    
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QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 30 November 2019 - 02:02 PM)
OMG...I never connected it with the VS episode!!! I promise it was totally random! And yes, I do knit hats and scarves to donate to my church...actually just took in 7 sets last week. And I do take my knitting on vacation! I loved the dialogue you added with Murdoc watching Mac and Jo make out...yes, he would do exactly that!!

It's even funnier when you realize how long Mac and Jo went before Murdoc pushed him. Like:

Murdoc: Ergh, I took some time out of hell... just to watch this?!

Ugh, go back to your room...

Mac: We should stop.

Murdoc: Yes, you should.

Joanna: Why?

Murdoc: Listen to the man, woman!

Mac: Because we share a room.

Joanna: So?

Murdoc: *groans*

Mac: And we share a bed.

Jo: So? Oooh, yeah, you have a point.

Murdoc: 'Bout time...

Mac: Or I could take the couch...

Murdoc: Seriously?

Joanna: I mean, it's not like you haven't done it before...

Murdoc: Okay, first, the couch is MINE, second, I'm not dealing with this any more *muttering under his breath* How dare he have better luck with women than I ever did? *pushes Mac* That felt deliciously satisfying...

BONUS

Penny: *shows them the Honeymoon suite*

MacGyver: Penny, we're not married.

Murdoc: What? I've been dead for like.... MacGyver why are you so SLOW?!



"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: 2 December 2019 - 06:17 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 1 December 2019 - 09:04 PM)
QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 30 November 2019 - 02:02 PM)
OMG...I never connected it with the VS episode!!!  I promise it was totally random!  And yes, I do knit hats and scarves to donate to my church...actually just took in 7 sets last week.  And I do take my knitting on vacation!  I loved the dialogue you added with Murdoc watching Mac and Jo make out...yes, he would do exactly that!!

It's even funnier when you realize how long Mac and Jo went before Murdoc pushed him. Like:

Murdoc: Ergh, I took some time out of hell... just to watch this?!

Ugh, go back to your room...

Mac: We should stop.

Murdoc: Yes, you should.

Joanna: Why?

Murdoc: Listen to the man, woman!

Mac: Because we share a room.

Joanna: So?

Murdoc: *groans*

Mac: And we share a bed.

Jo: So? Oooh, yeah, you have a point.

Murdoc: 'Bout time...

Mac: Or I could take the couch...

Murdoc: Seriously?

Joanna: I mean, it's not like you haven't done it before...

Murdoc: Okay, first, the couch is MINE, second, I'm not dealing with this any more *muttering under his breath* How dare he have better luck with women than I ever did? *pushes Mac* That felt deliciously satisfying...

BONUS

Penny: *shows them the Honeymoon suite*

MacGyver: Penny, we're not married.

Murdoc: What? I've been dead for like.... MacGyver why are you so SLOW?!

LOL!!! That is awesome!!



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: 2 December 2019 - 09:42 PM                                    
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QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 2 December 2019 - 08:17 AM)
QUOTE (Dragondog @ 1 December 2019 - 09:04 PM)
QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 30 November 2019 - 02:02 PM)
OMG...I never connected it with the VS episode!!!  I promise it was totally random!  And yes, I do knit hats and scarves to donate to my church...actually just took in 7 sets last week.  And I do take my knitting on vacation!  I loved the dialogue you added with Murdoc watching Mac and Jo make out...yes, he would do exactly that!!

It's even funnier when you realize how long Mac and Jo went before Murdoc pushed him. Like:

Murdoc: Ergh, I took some time out of hell... just to watch this?!

Ugh, go back to your room...

Mac: We should stop.

Murdoc: Yes, you should.

Joanna: Why?

Murdoc: Listen to the man, woman!

Mac: Because we share a room.

Joanna: So?

Murdoc: *groans*

Mac: And we share a bed.

Jo: So? Oooh, yeah, you have a point.

Murdoc: 'Bout time...

Mac: Or I could take the couch...

Murdoc: Seriously?

Joanna: I mean, it's not like you haven't done it before...

Murdoc: Okay, first, the couch is MINE, second, I'm not dealing with this any more *muttering under his breath* How dare he have better luck with women than I ever did? *pushes Mac* That felt deliciously satisfying...

BONUS

Penny: *shows them the Honeymoon suite*

MacGyver: Penny, we're not married.

Murdoc: What? I've been dead for like.... MacGyver why are you so SLOW?!

LOL!!! That is awesome!!

Thank you 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: 4 December 2019 - 08:52 AM                                    
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Chapter 26: Rolling Thunder

Sam weaved his way around the cubicles that made up most of the third floor of the Chicago Tribune with one destination in mind: The desk of Rebecca Williams. True to his word, a few days after the fundraising gala in Milwaukee, he had asked Becca out to dinner. They had kept the evening light and casual as conversation and laughter flowed easily. They had gone out a few times since, and Sam now recognized his feelings for Becca were definitely testing the boundaries of friendship and threatening to spill over into something more. He wondered if she felt the same.

Rebecca was furiously typing away on her keyboard when Sam arrived at her ‘office’.

“Big story?” he asked.

Becca looked up, her green eyes quickly finding his dark brown ones. There was a twinkle there he hadn’t noticed before. Perhaps it hadn’t been there before.

“No, just trying to meet a tight deadline,” she explained. “I can’t believe I finally get an actual assignment and I’m gonna mess it up if I don’t get it to the editor by the end of the day. By the way, how’s your toe?” she asked, biting her lower lip.

“Still attached,” he quipped, but when her frown stayed in place he sobered. “It’s starting to feel better already and the doc says the new nail should grow back just fine.”

Their most recent date had included an excursion to a local bowling alley. Despite Rebecca’s protests that she was a first-class klutz and lousy bowler, Sam had insisted she couldn’t be as bad as she thought and now he was paying the price. He had been standing behind her, giving her encouraging advice as she approached the alley, swinging the ball behind her when it slipped from her fingers only to land squarely on his big toe. Emergency room x-rays showed nothing was broken, and Sam put on a brave face in spite of the pain to keep Becca from feeling too badly. Now, five days later, he was finally able to walk without a limp, at least when other people were present.

“I wanted to let you know that Joanna and my dad invited us up to Milwaukee for the Labor Day Weekend. The Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealerships are throwing big block parties for the 94th anniversary of the company and they thought we’d like to go.”

Rebecca looked at him as if he had grown a second nose and third eye.
“Do you have any idea how much crime occurs in Chicago over a holiday weekend?! I could get three front page stories just by standing on a street corner for an hour! I can’t leave the city!”

“Whoa,” Sam held up his hands in surrender. “Don’t get all riled up. It’s not that big a deal, okay?”

“Okay,” she responded, a bit calmer.

“Then I guess I’ll see you when I get back on Tuesday.” Sam shot her his most devastatingly charming smile before turning his back and walking away...slowly.

“Sam, wait!”

The photojournalist turned to find Becca’s head popping out of her cubicle and he swallowed a grin of satisfaction.

“Change your mind?” he asked, feigning nonchalance.

“Yeah, I guess,” she admitted, blushing furiously as she made her way toward him. “I mean, I hear that Harley’s a big deal up there. Maybe I could still get a good story and have some fun at the same time.”

“That’s the spirit!” Sam praised her. “I figure we’ll drive up on Saturday. I’ll bunk with my dad and you can stay with Jo since her folks are out of town visiting relatives. We’ll have a great time!”

In the distance, they heard Rebecca’s computer ding, indicating she had a new e-mail message. Together, they returned to her cubicle where she clicked the mouse a couple times before the new message popped up on the screen.

“What is it?” Sam asked, peering over her shoulder.

“It’s an FBI press release. They’re asking for our help.”

Sam’s eyebrows raised. “Do they do that often?”

“It depends,” Becca shrugged.

“What’s this one about?”

“They want us to be on the lookout for a guy named Louis Lambista, one of the kingpins of an international smuggling operation.”

Becca clicked the mouse again and Lambista’s image appeared on her screen. His face was square and meaty, topped with a mass of curly black hair and made all the more menacing by a pair of dark, close set eyes.

“Nice lookin’ dude,” Sam commented facetiously, earning a scowl from his friend. “What’s his story?”

Rebecca continued to read from the email. “It says here that Louis and his goons have been ripping off custom car parts and shipping them out of the Port of Chicago for overseas distribution.”

“Car parts?” Sam wrinkled his nose. “Aren’t these guys usually into drugs or weapons?”

Becca shrugged. “Apparently not. It goes on to say that they’ve even been known to smuggle blue jeans. I guess a lot of European and Asian countries want regular American stuff and are willing to pay to get it.”

Just then, the police scanner Rebecca kept on the corner of her desk crackled to life, drawing her attention away from the missive on the computer. Though Sam could hardly make out a word, Becca urgently scribbled information in the small notebook she always carried.

“I gotta run! There’s been a jewelry store robbery a few blocks from here and if I’m quick enough I could get the scoop!” With that, she shot out of her chair and down the aisle, Sam on her heels in case she needed a photographer.

XXXXX

Sam settled himself at MacGyver’s kitchen table late Saturday morning, a glass of orange juice in front of him and Becca at his side.

“So Joanna and I thought today we’d check out the block party at a dealership a couple miles from here and then tomorrow we can rent bikes to ride in the parade to the lakefront where there will be a big food and musical festival before the celebration ends with a fireworks display over Lake Michigan.”

“Gosh, Dad, I didn’t think you’d have us on such a tight itinerary.”

Mac frowned. “Did you guys have something else in mind?”

“No,” Sam replied. “But when did you become such a planner?”

“I’m afraid that was my idea,” Joanna responded from across the table. “The city started this annual celebration for Harley’s 90th and every year it gets bigger so it’s best to have a good idea of what you want to do before heading out.”

“Makes sense to me,” he agreed. “But I didn’t realize you were a big motorcycle fan.”

Jo smiled and glanced at his dad before replying. “I know you and Mac like to ride, but I’m more of an admirer. It’s hard not to have a little Harley in your blood when you’re born and raised in Milwaukee. Besides, my grandpa worked with the original owners so there’s kinda a family connection.”

“Wow, he must have had a lot of great stories to tell!” Becca exclaimed, no doubt smelling a feature story.

“Actually, he died when my mom was young. She’s told me what she remembers from that time, though.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the younger woman’s face fell.

“It’s okay,” Jo smiled. “That’s what events like these are for. It gives you a chance to be part of history and feel connected to past generations.”

“Speaking of history, I’m afraid I don’t know much about the company,” Rebecca lamented even as she pulled her notebook from her purse. “What can you tell me?”

“Well, the company was founded in 1903 right here in Milwaukee by William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson. They built their first bikes in a backyard shed and by 1923 they were the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer.” MacGyver cleared his throat and Joanna stopped.

“Do you think you could cover the next seventy years in the car? We’ll miss the whole party at this rate.”

Joanna pulled a face before chuckling. “Actually, that’s about all I know.”

“But what makes a Harley so special?” Becca asked, truly perplexed.

All three of her companions grinned broadly.

“Oh, you’ll find out soon enough,” Sam assured her.

XXXXX

The street housing the nearest Harley-Davidson dealership was cordoned off for several blocks allowing vendors to set up tents to sell food, apparel, and souvenirs. Local bands serenaded the revelers and cycle owners proudly displayed their ‘hogs’. Of course, the showroom was open and eager salesmen were on hand for anyone wishing to purchase the ultimate memento. Sam’s pulse began to pound in time to the low, rhythmic rumble of hundreds of finely tuned riding machines and he swore he could feel reverberations through the concrete beneath his shoes.

“Hear that?” he asked Rebecca as the foursome walked towards the festivities. “It’s called ‘rolling thunder’. No other sound like it in the world! That’s one thing that makes these bikes special.”

“Okay, so they’re old and loud. I still don’t get what’s so unique about them.”

Joanna threw her head back and laughed even as she held MacGyver’s hand to keep from getting separated in the throng of people just ahead of them.

“That’s just the point!” she exclaimed. “Each bike is unique!”

She reached out with her free hand, grabbed Rebecca’s forearm, and steered all three of them to a row of parked motorcycles.

“Take a look,” she directed and stepped aside as Becca inspected a few of the vehicles. “Think all that leather and chrome comes standard? Harley owners pride themselves on making their bikes their own whether it’s a one-of-a-kind paint job or customized parts. People spend thousands of dollars on special accessories.”

Becca turned toward Jo, her eyes wide behind her glasses. “Did you say custom parts?”

“Hey, I’m starving!” Sam unceremoniously interrupted them, reaching for Rebecca’s hand in the process. “Let’s grab some food!”

Becca glared at him and he glared back.

“I know what you’re thinking,” he hissed, “And you can just forget about it. There’s no story here. At least not that one.”

“But Sam…” she protested as he pulled her along.

“No. Lambista is a big-time bad guy. Just let it go.”

Sam wasn’t sure where his protective instincts came from or why they were so strong, but there was no way he was going to let Rebecca even try to track down the smuggler.

“C’mon, let’s just enjoy the day, okay?” he cajoled as they stood in line at a concession stand waiting to place their order.

“Okay,” she agreed reluctantly. “I guess I get a little over-eager when it comes to getting a big story. I’m sorry.”

“Not a problem,” Sam assured her as he let go of her hand so he could pay for their food.

The two couples spent the rest of the afternoon admiring bikes, talking to their owners, listening to music, and browsing vendors selling everything from collectible trinkets to expensive leather outerwear. Rebecca and Joanna each bought a commemorative t-shirt emblazoned with the famous Harley-Davidson emblem while Sam caught his dad eyeing a Harley Sportster.

“She’s a beauty, isn’t she?” MacGyver asked his son.

“Sure is,” Sam replied.

“I still can’t believe I trashed my cycle on our road trip.”

“Look on the bright side, you still have your Jeep and the Nomad.”

“I know. It’s just not the same,” Mac lamented.

As Sam turned to look for Becca and Joanna, he bumped into a boulder of a man. Dressed in jeans, boots, and a black leather vest he was obviously a rider. Sam looked up to mutter ‘excuse me’, but the words caught in his throat as he found himself staring into the beady eyes of a square-jawed, black curly-haired...smuggler?

“Ex...Excuse me,” he stammered before slipping around the man and back into the street.

“What was that all about?” MacGyver asked as he caught up with his son.

“Nothing!”

Mac put a hand on Sam’s shoulder, forcing his son to stand still. “It kinda looked like something to me.”

Sam sighed and pulled his dad into the relatively privacy of a vendor’s tent.

“Before we left Chicago, Becca got this memo at work about a smuggling kingpin who looks very much like the guy I bumped into back there.”

“Do you think it’s him?”

“I don’t know,” Sam shrugged. “The guy goes after custom auto parts, so custom motorcycle parts wouldn’t be that much of a stretch. And this is a good place to blend in and poke around.”

“We should alert security just in case,” Mac suggested.

“Yeah, but can we keep this just between us for right now, if you know what I mean?” he asked, glancing over his shoulder to where Rebecca and Joanna stood talking.

“You bet,” his dad promised.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

MacGyver eased the Nomad to the curb in front of Joanna’s house on Sunday morning. Her car wasn’t in the driveway, but with her parents gone, she was probably using the garage.

“Now remember, don’t say anything about the guy I told you about yesterday,” Sam coached. “I don’t want Becca getting involved.”

“Don’t you think that should be her decision?” Mac asked turning to his son. “After all, breaking this type of story would really help her career.”

“I just don’t want her putting herself in danger.”

“Like your mom did?”

Sam shrugged. “Maybe.”

“Okay, I promise not to say anything. Now let’s get a move on.”

Rebecca greeted the two men at the door before either had a chance to ring the bell. She was wearing jeans and the Harley t-shirt she had bought the day before and wore her slightly untamed hair in a tight ponytail.

“Great timing!” she exclaimed cheerfully, closing the door behind her.

“Where’s Joanna?” Mac asked. Something wasn’t right.

“Cynthia’s short-handed at Challengers today so she went to help out. She said we should just have a good time without her.”

Becca tried to head for the car, but MacGyver stopped her.

“Wait a minute! Why didn’t she call me? I’d have gladly gone in her place so she could enjoy today.”

“That’s what she said you would say and that’s why she didn’t call you.”

Mac pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. Whatever was he going to do with that woman?

XXXXX

Unlike the previous day, the street in front of the Harley dealership they had visited was now stripped of tents, vendors, and musicians. Instead, motorcycles ruled the road waiting to ride off and join up with groups from other block parties around the city and eventually end up at the lakefront for one big party. MacGyver noticed that the police presence had exponentially increased as well, but he figured that was par for the course. The trio slowly made their way through the mob of bikes and riders to the tent where they would rent two bikes for the day as well as a helmet for Becca since Mac and Sam had both brought their own. MacGyver watched as Rebecca settled into the seat behind his son and wrapped her arms firmly around his waist. He sighed inwardly. For days he’d been looking forward to riding tandem with Jo, imagining the feel of her arms around him, her laughter floating on the air as they sailed down the open road. But that wouldn’t be happening...at least not today. He brushed the thought aside and prepared to mount his own temporary cycle when he heard a small group of riders talking animatedly about what seemed to be a recent theft.

“Excuse me!” he called over the din of voices and engines. “Did I hear you say something about a theft?”

A young woman wearing a leather halter top and jeans nodded vigorously.

“The cops were here first thing this morning. Seems three bikes got ripped off last night.”

“From the party?” Mac asked the woman who had yet to provide a name.

“Nope. From the garage. Their owners were having them customized for the parade today. Man, you should’ve been here when they found out!”

“I’m glad I wasn’t,” MacGyver murmured before thanking the woman for the information.

He looked around at what had to be a hundred or more bikers ready to get rolling and then he looked over at Sam who was smiling at something Becca must have said. Was this the work of the smuggler Sam thought he saw? Did he have two other cronies with him? Would they have the audacity to ride the stolen bikes through town? An announcement over the loudspeaker asking riders to mount up broke into his thoughts. He once again noticed the number of police in place. This was their job. Not his. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t help out if the opportunity presented itself.

Thirty minutes later MacGyver was relishing the feel of the powerful engine beneath him as he glided down the interstate. Man, he missed this feeling. It was almost like skating, but on concrete. Knowing that hundreds more riders followed him only increased his sense of exhilaration and he silently thanked Joanna for seeing to it that he didn’t miss out on this experience. They had been on the road for about fifteen minutes when a trio of motorcycles suddenly peeled away from the group and veered off the highway at the next exit. Recalling that three Harleys had been stolen this morning, Mac decided to follow just in case. To his dismay, the image of Sam’s bike soon appeared in his side view mirror.

“What are you doing?” his son called above the noise of the traffic.

“Nevermind! Just go back to the others!” Mac ordered, but Sam only steered his cycle closer.

“You think they had something to do with the thefts?”

Great. So Sam and Becca knew about that too.

“That’s what I wanna find out!” Mac shouted back.

“Then we’re coming with you!” Sam insisted.

MacGyver wanted to protest, but they were now bobbing and weaving through city streets and he had to keep his eyes on the road as well as the three suspicious riders. It soon became apparent that they were all headed for the Port of Milwaukee. Traffic diminished significantly and Mac slowed, indicating for Sam to do the same. His intent was to observe and call the cops if needed. Unfortunately, a large semi-truck took the opportunity to slowly pull out in front of them, causing them to lose sight of their prey. Was it a coincidence or a planned diversion?

Once the truck had moved enough for them to pass the three motorcycles were out of sight. Mac stopped his bike and Sam pulled alongside. MacGyver scanned their present surroundings. Large warehouses sat eerily vacant, many of their windows broken or missing. A few dilapidated factories dotted what must have been a once thriving industrial section of the city.

“What do we do now?” Sam asked, the engine of his bike still purring.

Mac was about to suggest they turn back and report what they saw to the authorities, but before his mouth could form the words, his gaze fell on tire tracks in the gravel...fresh tire tracks. He turned the key to silence his cycle and dismounted.

“We go on foot from here,” he said quietly.

On high alert and walking as quietly as possible, the trio followed the tracks which ended at, of all things, an abandoned motorcycle plant. They flattened their backs against the rough brick exterior, listening for voices but hearing none. After several minutes, MacGyver peeked through a busted out window. In the center of the large factory sat three brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but their riders appeared to be absent.

“I’m gonna check it out,” he whispered. “Stay here.” He crouched low and began to make his way to a steel door when he felt his son’s presence behind him.

“I thought I told you to stay put!” he scolded, still in a whisper. Not only had Sam followed him, but Rebecca had followed Sam!

“But this could be the break I’ve been waiting for!” the normally quiet Rebecca insisted. “I’m going in there!”

Mac sighed and turned away. They were wasting precious time arguing, not to mention making more noise than he would have preferred. With a slight wave of his hand, he motioned them to follow him. They finally made it to the door, only to discover it was locked.

“Sam, keep an eye out for any visitors,” he directed, digging in his pant pocket and pulling out his Swiss Army knife.

In less than a minute he had picked the locked and slowly opened the door which creaked with age. Upon entering the large space, they stood still and listened once again. Certain they were still alone, they approached the bikes. Two were still in mint condition, but the third was already in the process of being dismantled.

“Hey, what’s that over there?” Becca asked.

MacGyver looked to where she pointed.

“Looks like a shipping container,” he replied. “Let’s check it out.”

Large boxes were stacked next to the container, no doubt waiting to be put inside.

“Look at this!” Rebecca gasped.

Mac and Sam hurried to where she had opened a box and now held up shiny new motorcycle parts. Knowing what they’d find, but still needing to confirm it, the two men opened other boxes containing more of the same.

“This has to be Lambista!” she exclaimed.

“And so it is!” a deep, menacing voice echoed eerily through the empty building.

They were standing out in the open, unprotected, when the first bullet whizzed by Mac’s ear. Needing no further motivation, they scattered and ran for cover as more bullets flew, pinging off metal machinery. When the barrage stopped, MacGyver urgently looked for Sam and found his son and Becca hiding behind a large sheet metal press. Mac made some quick hand motions and trusted that Sam would be able to decipher them. MacGyver then made his way to yet another large machine and punched the ‘on’ button, but nothing happened. He grimaced. They needed something to distract Lambista long enough to make an escape. Using his knife once more, he unscrewed the panel next to the power button and tugged at the wiring, stripping the thin insulation off two of the wires and then touching them together. They sparked and the decrepit contraption roared to life, causing a wide conveyor belt to chug into action.

“Now!” Mac yelled as he ran for the door. He could feel Sam on his heels. But when he turned to slam the door shut it was just the two of them. Rebecca hadn’t made it out.

“Dad! We have to go back for her!”

The gunshots had started up again and Mac knew that in order for all of them to survive, he and Sam had to run.

“Not now! Just go!” Mac pushed Sam ahead of him as the two stumbled away from the factory.

Several minutes later, hidden in an empty warehouse, father and son breathed heavily from their sprint to relative safety.

“We have to get Becca out of there!” Sam pleaded between breaths. “What if they already killed her?!”

“They won’t kill her, Sam. Not as long as we’re still out here. They know we all saw the same thing.”

“And they’ll use her for bait to lure us back and kill us all,” the younger man concluded.

“Afraid so.”

“So what’s the plan?”

“Right now we sit tight and wait. They’ll be watching for us. We have to give them time to let their guard down a bit,” MacGyver explained, wishing he felt as rational as he sounded. He could only imagine what Sam must be going through. He would be going out of his mind if that was Joanna in there and even though his son didn’t have that type of relationship with Becca, he knew Sam cared for her and he promised himself they would all make it out of this ordeal alive.

MacGyver looked at his watch.

“What time is it?” Sam asked.

“Five minutes later than the last time you asked.”

Sam sighed. “When are we going to do something?”

Mac watched as the door to the factory swung open and three men walked out, headed toward the dock.

“I’d say right about now,” Mac replied.

Together, he and Sam cautiously approached the old plant. MacGyver looked in one of the busted out windows. Becca was alive, but she was gagged and bound to the sheet metal press.

“Take a look,” he urged his son. “When we get in, go straight to Rebecca. I’ll watch your back.”

Sam nodded once to show he understood before they both eased through the doorway. While MacGyver kept a lookout for any unwanted guests, his son made a beeline for his friend, pulled out his own Swiss Army knife, and cut her loose. A gunshot sounded just as she pulled the gag from her mouth. Sam tugged her down behind the big machine and his dad soon joined them.

“Now what?” Sam asked as Rebecca clung to him.

MacGyver looked around, mentally cataloguing the items that still haunted the old factory.

“Stay here. And this time I mean it!” Mac instructed before he sprinted toward a large, flat piece of metal lying several yards away. He bent to pick it up and was thankful it wasn’t as heavy as it looked, but hopefully it was still strong enough to stop a speeding bullet...or at least significantly slow it down.

“Decide to come back for the girl, did you?” Lambista called, still out of view and hopefully bullet range.

MacGyver didn’t reply but pulled the metal sheet over to the press machine.

“Here. We can use this as a shield until we get to the door,” he told Sam and Becca who immediately grabbed onto the large piece of metal and crouched behind it, taking small steps.

They were halfway to their destination when gunfire erupted once more. This time, bullets came from every direction, a couple hitting their makeshift barrier but ricocheting off. Mac didn’t know how many hits the metal could take and he wasn’t planning on finding out, but soon they were backed up against a wall.

“There are too many of them,” Rebecca cried. “We’ll never make it to the door!”

“Maybe we don’t have to,” Mac told her, looking up at the broken window above their heads.

“How are we going to climb out without getting shot?” Sam challenged. “We can’t exactly carry that big piece of metal with us.”

His son was right, but they hadn’t lost the battle yet. Once more, in desperation, MacGyver looked around for anything that could serve as a weapon or diversion. Nothing. At least nothing within arm’s reach. He absently took a step sideways and felt something connect with his booted foot. He looked down and saw a gas can. Unfortunately, he couldn’t tell whether or not it still actually held any fluid.

“I’ve got an idea,” he told Sam, slanting his eyes toward the metal container. “When things get hot, you two climb out that window and don’t look back.”

“But Dad…”

“I’ll be right behind you.”

The bad guys were fast approaching and bullets continued to fly. Mac slid his foot sideways, knocking over the gas can. Thankfully, fuel began to spill from it immediately. Grabbing a strike anywhere match from his pocket, he flicked it against the wall and threw it on the stream of gasoline which quickly ignited to create a wall of fire between them and the smugglers. MacGyver watched as Sam shrugged out of his leather jacket and wrapped it around Rebecca to protect her from any stray shards of glass before boosting her up until she could reach the opening above. The flames grew as she shimmied through the small space. Then it was Sam’s turn. He jumped up, just grabbing the window’s edge before looking down at his dad.

“Go!”

At MacGyver’s command, Sam pulled himself up and disappeared through the window. Lambista and his men were yelling curses as Mac scrambled up the wall and out the opening, dropping to the ground several feet below. Sam and Becca were already running towards their motorcycles. MacGyver took a deep breath and kicked it into high gear. Angry shouts came from the burning building, but there were no more gunshots. Quickly making it to their bikes, they hopped on, revved the engines, and headed for the nearest police station.

XXXXX

After being grilled by police detectives and local FBI agents, it was almost suppertime when the trio emerged into the lobby of the precinct, finally free to return home. Mac’s eyes immediately slammed into Joanna’s. She had never looked more beautiful...or more upset.

“Thank God you’re alright!” she cried.

He opened his arms to embrace her, but was met only by air as she breezed past him and Sam to embrace Becca.

“I never should have let you go off alone with these two,” she said, both scolding herself and apologizing to their friend.

Rebecca shook her head. “It’s okay. I…”

“I should have listened to you and called MacGyver as soon as I heard from Cynthia,” Joanna continued unabated. “Now let’s go home so you can get cleaned up.” She put a protective arm around the other woman’s shoulders and led her out the glass front doors.

“Hey, what about us?!” Mac called.

“You’re creative. You’ll figure something out,” Jo retorted without breaking stride.

“Do you think she’ll be okay?” Sam asked, his voice colored with concern.

“Jo’ll be fine. She was just worried about us,” Mac replied optimistically, hoping he was right.

“I meant Becca,” his son clarified, somewhat self-consciously.

“Oh! Um...yeah...she has a lot of spunk. I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

Sam shook his head. “She wasn’t very happy about getting scooped by that reporter and becoming part of the news instead of covering it.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” MacGyver declared. “Maybe she could write a piece from the first-person point of view.”

“Yeah,” Sam replied, brightening a bit.

Upon arriving back at the duplex, Mac showered first so he could make supper while his son cleaned up. Sam had just trotted down the winding staircase and looked at the food already on the table.

“Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup?” he asked, wrinkling his nose.

“What?! After the day we had you expect haute cuisine?”

“Did you hear from Joanna or Becca yet?” Sam asked, changing the subject as he bit into his sandwich.

“No. I figure they need some space.”

“You mean Joanna has to cool down.”

“That too,” Mac smiled. “We’ll go over first thing tomorrow so you and Rebecca can get on the road.”

Sam put down his sandwich and stared at his father.

“What?” Mac asked, knowing his son had something on his mind.

“When did you know?”

Kids. They sure had a way of confusing a person. “Know what?”

“That you loved Joanna.”

MacGyver choked slightly as he swallowed a spoonful of soup.

“I don’t know,” Mac answered in something embarrassingly akin to a whine as he shoved a hand through his still-damp hair. “There wasn’t just one moment...why do you ask?” Yeah! Way to go! Turn the tables on the kid!

“I was just wondering,” Sam replied softly, gently stirring his soup with his spoon but not making an attempt to eat any.

Mac recognized the symptoms.

“You have feelings for Rebecca,” he concluded.

Sam shrugged. “I like her, if that’s what you mean.”

“That’s not what I mean and you know it.”

“We’ve gone on a few dates and now, after what happened today, I can’t imagine not having her around. Ya know? I mean, I know I haven’t had as much experience with women as you, but there’s just something special about Becca.”

“Then stop thinking so much about it and just enjoy her,” Mac advised. “If you’re meant to be together it’ll happen.”

“Then why didn’t it happen with you and my mom.”

Mac grimaced.

“Sorry. That was hitting below the belt,” Sam apologized.

“No. Nothin’ to be sorry about. I loved your mother, but we wanted different things and were too young to figure out how to make it work. But every couple’s different. If you feel something for Rebecca, give it a chance and don’t give up when things get tough.”

“Is that what you did with Joanna?”

Mac nodded. “And it’s something we’re both still doing.”

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“I hope mac and cheese from a box is okay,” Joanna announced as Rebecca shuffled into the kitchen. Fresh from the shower, she wore a baggy sweatsuit and had her long, damp hair piled in a messy knot on the top of her head. “I thought we’d be eating at the Harley picnic so I didn’t bother to get much food in the house.”

“Are you still mad at them?” Becca asked cautiously as Jo spooned the gooey noodles into the bowl in front of her.

“I don’t know,” Joanna sighed. “Maybe I’m more angry with myself. All I know is that they shouldn’t have gotten you involved. This sort of thing is second nature to Mac, and even Sam, but--”

“It’s not your fault,” Becca interrupted, surprising Jo at the force behind her words. “And it’s not Mac’s fault either. I’m the one who started the whole thing.”

“What do you mean?” Joanna asked slowly as she sat down in her chair.

“Back in Chicago I got this email at the Tribune alerting everyone to be on the lookout for a smuggler name Louis Lambista. He specializes in custom car parts. Then, this morning, Sam and I overheard that three custom bikes had been stolen. When MacGyver started following the cycles, I urged Sam to do the same. And then when we got to the old factory, Mac told us to hide but Sam insisted on following and, of course, I wasn’t about to be left behind. Then I tripped and got caught while trying to escape. If you’re going to blame someone, blame me.”

Joanna’s heart softened at Rebecca’s dismay. “I guess there’s plenty of blame to go around,” she observed.

“Just don’t be too angry with Sam and his dad,” Becca pleaded.

“You really have a thing for him, don’t you?”

Becca’s eyes grew wide. “How can you tell?”

Joanna shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe it takes one to know one. Everyone seemed to know Mac and I were crazy about each other even before we did.”

“But Sam just thinks of me as a friend and fellow journalist.”

“Are you sure about that?”

Rebecca looked down, regarding herself. “Trust me. Guys never think of me as more than just a friend. Especially great guys like Sam.”

“I find that hard to believe,” Jo replied. “Especially after seeing Sam’s face when he saw you all dressed up for the fundraising gala. And the fact that he risked his life today in order to save yours.”

“Yeah, but--”

“No ‘buts’! I felt the same way about Mac, thinking he could never be interested in someone like me. We both wasted a lot of time worrying about what the other thought. I don’t want you and Sam to make that mistake. Just enjoy each other and see where it leads.”

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Labor Day morning Sam pulled his VW Bug into Joanna’s driveway, his dad in the passenger seat. Together they walked to the front door where Rebecca greeted them.

“Hi. Dad and I thought we’d take you and Jo out to breakfast before heading home,” Sam declared.

“That sounds great, but Joanna’s not here.”

Mac groaned. For the second time in twenty-four hours she had bailed on him.

“Here,” Rebecca said, holding out a small piece of paper. “She said to have me and Sam drop you off at this address on our way out of town.”

MacGyver studied the numbers Jo had written down. It was the address to the Harley-Davidson dealership they had visited over the weekend.

“What is it, Dad?”

“I don’t know,” Mac answered, his brows knit in confusion.

Sam plucked the piece of paper from his dad’s fingers. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!”

Ten minutes later, after loading Becca’s luggage into the car, Sam pulled into the deserted dealership parking lot where vacant tents now stood. Joanna’s car was parked out front, but she had seemingly disappeared. Mac crawled out of the car with trepidation. He hadn’t spoken to her since seeing her at the police precinct and Rebecca had refused to give him any insight into what this little escapade was all about.

“Do you want us to wait for you?” Sam asked.

“Nah, I’ll be fine. Have a safe trip.”

“Sure thing,” Sam confirmed as he pulled out onto the street and headed for the interstate.

MacGyver watched his son leave before going in search of Joanna. He pulled the handles on the glass doors to the showroom, but they were locked as he had expected. Cupping his hands around his eyes to block out the sunlight, he peered through the windows, but the place was deserted. No doubt employees were recuperating from the weekend party. Not knowing what else to do, he began to walk the perimeter of the building, calling Jo’s name as he went with no response. As he turned into the back alley, his breath caught. There in front of him, Joanna straddled the exact same Harley Sportster he had been admiring only two days earlier. The saucy grin on her face the only thing able to outshine the cycle.

“Let me guess. You’re still mad about yesterday and plan on running me over with that thing,” he said, only half teasingly.

“Wrong on both counts,” she replied, swinging herself off the motorcycle. “Becca explained everything last night and I realized I owe you an apology. I’m sorry for the way I acted yesterday. When I heard about what happened, I was so scared for you.”

“How did you hear about it,” MacGyver asked, having wondered how she had ended up at the police station in the first place.

“Are you kidding?!” she laughed. “It was all over the TV news. Even Becca’s interview.”

“Oh, she’s gonna love hearing that!” Mac quipped before turning serious. “I’m really sorry I frightened you. It won’t happen again.”

“Oh yes, it will,” Jo contradicted. “But next time I’ll try to be a little more understanding.”

MacGyver fought the urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her senseless, but there was still one item that needed to be taken care of.

“So, what’s with the bike?” he asked.

Joanna turned toward the chrome and steel machine.

“I saw you looking at it yesterday. A friend of mine from college works at Harley so I contacted him and worked out a deal.”

Mac’s jaw dropped. “Jo, you shouldn’t have,” he admonished huskily.

“Well, technically, I didn’t...buy it, if that’s what you mean,” she smirked. “Consider it a donation to Challengers. There’s only one caveat.”

“Oh yeah, and what would that be?” he asked, looping his arms around her waist.

“You’re the only person allowed to ride it.”

“That might be a problem,” he frowned, looking at the bike.

“Why?”

“It’s a two-seater and I may not want to ride alone,” he explained.

“Hmmm, in that case we need a caveat to the caveat.”

“Oh yeah?” he grinned.

“Yeah,” she replied, reaching up to pull his face closer to hers. “Make that you and I are the only ones allowed to ride it.”

“I’ll sign off on that,” Mac promised as his lips found hers, his heart beating in time to the distant sound of rolling thunder as hundreds of Harley riders left town, if only for another year.




















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: 6 December 2019 - 11:56 AM                                    
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Phoenix Special Agent
********

Posts: 3,108
Joined: 11 Dec 2017
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Country: U.S.A.
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Season: ---
Episode:Halloween Knights
Vehicle: Motorcycle
Jacket:  Brown bomber
House:  House boat



*sees first paragraph* Yay, they're back again! biggrin.gif

QUOTE

Becca looked up, her green eyes quickly finding his dark brown ones. There was a twinkle there he hadn’t noticed before. Perhaps it hadn’t been there before.
Aww, they're just like Mac and Jo, only younger biggrin.gif

QUOTE
By the way, how’s your toe?” she asked, biting her lower lip.

“Still attached,” he quipped, but when her frown stayed in place he sobered.
I can totally picture this as a JoGyver conversation XD

QUOTE

Their most recent date had included an excursion to a local bowling alley. Despite Rebecca’s protests that she was a first-class klutz and lousy bowler, Sam had insisted she couldn’t be as bad as she thought and now he was paying the price. He had been standing behind her, giving her encouraging advice as she approached the alley, swinging the ball behind her when it slipped from her fingers only to land squarely on his big toe. Emergency room x-rays showed nothing was broken, and Sam put on a brave face in spite of the pain to keep Becca from feeling too badly. Now, five days later, he was finally able to walk without a limp, at least when other people were present.
This whole thing is a mood XD

QUOTE
Sam shot her his most devastatingly charming smile before turning his back and walking away...slowly.
wink.gif

QUOTE

“They want us to be on the lookout for a guy named Louis Lambista, one of the kingpins of an international smuggling operation.”
He'll be in Milwauke XD

QUOTE

“But what makes a Harley so special?” Becca asked, truly perplexed.

All three of her companions grinned broadly.
Me when someone asks me about my fandoms XD

QUOTE

“Hear that?” he asked Rebecca as the foursome walked towards the festivities. “It’s called ‘rolling thunder’. No other sound like it in the world! That’s one thing that makes these bikes special.”

“Okay, so they’re old and loud. I still don’t get what’s so unique about them.”
I am Rebecca in this scenario XD XD XD

QUOTE

Joanna threw her head back and laughed even as she held MacGyver’s hand to keep from getting separated in the throng of people just ahead of them.
I mean, it's not that you need an excuse to hold his hand, but there it is, just in case, right? XD

QUOTE

Becca turned toward Jo, her eyes wide behind her glasses. “Did you say custom parts?”

“Hey, I’m starving!” Sam unceremoniously interrupted them, reaching for Rebecca’s hand in the process. “Let’s grab some food!”
My two brain cells competing for my attention XD

QUOTE


“I know what you’re thinking,” he hissed, “And you can just forget about it. There’s no story here. At least not that one.”
Apparently Sam has forgotten all the excitement he's undergone in his life. If a story pops up, it will end up being wherever he is. Sorry, Sam, I don't write the laws of fiction XD

QUOTE

Sam wasn’t sure where his protective instincts came from or why they were so strong, but there was no way he was going to let Rebecca even try to track down the smuggler.
Oh, I can guess whyyyyyy biggrin.gif

QUOTE

“She’s a beauty, isn’t she?” MacGyver asked his son.
I wondered for a moment whether he was talking about the Harley, or if he was trying to have one of THOSE talks with Sam XD XD XD

QUOTE
Her car wasn’t in the driveway, but with her parents gone, she was probably using the garage.
Or Becca borrowed it to go after the smuggler because she somehow found out despite their attempts to keep quiet about it...

QUOTE

“I just don’t want her putting herself in danger.”

“Like your mom did?”

Sam shrugged. “Maybe.”
Dangit Sam, you always manage to bring out my maternal side, and technically (by timeline of this story) you are older than me XD

QUOTE


Rebecca greeted the two men at the door before either had a chance to ring the bell. She was wearing jeans and the Harley t-shirt she had bought the day before and wore her slightly untamed hair in a tight ponytail.
Nevermind, she's still here XD

QUOTE

“Where’s Joanna?” Mac asked. Something wasn’t right.

“Cynthia’s short-handed at Challengers today so she went to help out. She said we should just have a good time without her.”

Becca tried to head for the car, but MacGyver stopped her.

“Wait a minute! Why didn’t she call me? I’d have gladly gone in her place so she could enjoy today.”
WhY aRe YoU lYiNg BeCcA?!

QUOTE

“That’s what I wanna find out!” Mac shouted back.

“Then we’re coming with you!” Sam insisted.

Sam: I don't want Becca getting involved, so don't tell her anything!
Also Sam: *proceeds to follow Mac's unusual course, with Becca on the back of his bike, while knowing that he thinks smugglers are there*
MaKe Up YoUr MiNd SaM XD

QUOTE
Unfortunately, a large semi-truck took the opportunity to slowly pull out in front of them, causing them to lose sight of their prey. Was it a coincidence or a planned diversion?
Those darn semi-trucks, they always show at the worst of times XD

QUOTE

“And so it is!” a deep, menacing voice echoed eerily through the empty building.
And this is why you were supposed to stand guard, Sam XD

Ngl, I sort of feel if I were them, I'd be way too used to it by now. Bad guy tries to surprise me and intimidate me by showing up unexpectedly, and I just wouldn't even care, especially Murdoc. Like Murdoc: *walks in* Thought you seen the last of me? Me: Oh hey, Murdoc, no actually, I was wondering what's taking so long, ready to try to kill me again?

QUOTE
She had never looked more beautiful...or more upset.
Of all the times Mac has almost died, Joanna is most upset ever NOW? XD

QUOTE

“I should have listened to you and called MacGyver as soon as I heard from Cynthia,” Joanna continued unabated.
At least Becca was actually telling the truth. I wasn't sure at first.

QUOTE

He opened his arms to embrace her, but was met only by air as she breezed past him and Sam to embrace Becca.
Wow... roller.gif Okay, that's probably why she's so upset now.

QUOTE

“When did you know?”

Kids. They sure had a way of confusing a person. “Know what?”

“That you loved Joanna.”

MacGyver choked slightly as he swallowed a spoonful of soup.

“I don’t know,” Mac answered in something embarrassingly akin to a whine as he shoved a hand through his still-damp hair. “There wasn’t just one moment...why do you ask?” Yeah! Way to go! Turn the tables on the kid!
Mac and Sam discussing their various love lives while being super embarrassed and nervous about it is exactly what I'm here for XD

Also, funny how Sam is clearly an adult, (very young adult, but still an adult) and Mac still thinks of him as a kid. But understandable, since it's HIS kid XD

QUOTE

“Then stop thinking so much about it and just enjoy her,” Mac advised. “If you’re meant to be together it’ll happen.”

“Then why didn’t it happen with you and my mom.”

Mac grimaced.
Sam really has a way of hitting me right in the feels (I guess the credit for that goes more towards you, though XD)

QUOTE

“You really have a thing for him, don’t you?”
Ah, yes, time for the female version XD

QUOTE
Just enjoy each other and see where it leads.”
Wow. Exact same advice. It's... poetic. (Mac and Jo are meant to be together confirmed XD).

QUOTE

Ten minutes later, after loading Becca’s luggage into the car,
I get that Sam's luggage is presumably already loaded, but out of context, it sounds like Becca's the only one who brings anything, or at least can't travel light XD

I knew she got the bike for him XD



"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: 11 December 2019 - 11:23 AM                                    
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DXS Agent
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Posts: 476
Joined: 2 Apr 2017
Gender:  Female
Country: USA
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Favorites
Season: ---
Episode:Faith, Hope, and Charity
Vehicle: Jeep
Jacket:  Brown bomber
House:  House boat



Chapter 27: Everyone But Him

MacGyver scrambled down the spiral staircase, grabbed an apple from the bowl on the kitchen counter and his keys from the hook on the wall. He had overslept and was late for work. He couldn’t believe it. He never overslept. He opened the front door and almost barreled over his mail carrier.

“Hey Gertie, what’s up?” he greeted her quickly.

“I’m glad I caught you. I have a package here you need to sign for.”

Mac’s eyebrows knitted together in a questioning frown as he scribbled his name and took the rather small box. It was heavier than it looked. He planned to leave it on the counter and open it when he got home, but then he glanced at the return address. It was from Neil Ryder, his boyhood friend in Mission City. What on earth would Neil send him, especially without calling to give him a heads up? No longer concerned about arriving late to Challengers, MacGyver grabbed his Swiss Army knife from his pocket and sliced through the packing tape. Opening the flaps of the cardboard box, he spotted a white envelope with his name on it. Taking it to the couch he sat down to read it.

Mac:

A construction crew is renovating the nursing home that used to be your old house. One of the workers found this behind a wall and I figured you’d want it. Wish I could have delivered it in person.

Neil

MacGyver now looked down at the wooden box on his lap, his mother’s name ornately carved into the top. A sudden wave of memories knocked Mac’s breath from his lungs. His mother used to call this her ‘treasure chest’. He remembered her tucking away handmade birthday cards he had given her and the silver ‘necklace’ he had created out of paperclips and duct tape. She had said it was too special to keep in her regular jewelry box. He took a deep breath and gingerly opened the hinged top. Sure enough, there was her ‘necklace’ along with greeting cards made from colorful construction paper and decorated with crayon pictures and the lettering of a young boy. Of him. Digging a bit deeper, he came upon a stack of his grade school report cards secured with a rubber band. He chuckled to himself and tossed the packet onto the coffee table. He would look at those later. At the bottom of the box lay another envelope. This one was yellowed with age and had his name...his whole name...written on the outside. His hands stilled and his eyes became misty as he immediately recognized his mother’s flowing script. He opened the envelope and as he removed the single piece of paper, two thin gold bands, one with a small diamond in the center and both in desperate need of polishing, fell out and into the box. Mac quickly unfolded the letter and began to read:

My Dearest Angus,

If you are reading this letter, I am no longer of this earth. But please do not grieve for me as I am finally reunited with your dear father which is something I have longed for these many years past.

By now a pair of rings have probably fallen out of the envelope. They were your Grandma Cecilia’s engagement and wedding rings. After her funeral, Harry gifted them to me and I thought it only right to pass them down to you, my beloved only child. It is my greatest hope that you will find a woman in your life to wear these, but perhaps that is just the wishful thinking of an old lady. As I write this, you are far away, still full of wanderlust. Besides, girls of your generation are sure to want something flashy and expensive. Therefore, do what you will with this token of your grandfather’s love toward your grandmother.

The good Lord alone knows when and where this message will find you my adventurous son, but know that wherever you go and whatever you do, you take my love with you.

Until we meet again,
Mom

P.S. Always remember: “Ice Cream!”

MacGyver closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose to keep threatening tears at bay as he took deep breaths to calm the inner swell of emotion. He knew exactly who would wear these rings and she would cherish them just as his mother wished. The bigger question was when would he finally put old fears aside and do what he had been wanting to do for so long now? Was the arrival of this gift at this time just an ironic coincidence, or was there a greater message behind it? Mac tenderly fingered the gold bands before returning them to the envelope along with his mother’s parting words to him.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“I’m gonna kill him,” Joanna grunted as she pushed an overstuffed chair against the wall so she could scrub the floor beneath it. “He asked me to come in extra early on a Saturday morning to help get the place in shape for the six month grant review next week and he’s a no-show!”

“Something probably came up,” Cynthia shrugged nonchalantly.

“Yeah, I guess,” Jo reluctantly agreed. “But it’s not like him not to call and let us know.” She knew all too well that MacGyver took his job and commitments seriously. Sometimes a little too seriously. “I hope he’s okay.”

Cynthia chuckled. “A minute ago you were ready to kill him. Now you’re concerned about his welfare?”

“When I find out he’s all right, then I’m gonna kill him,” Jo replied, a smile tugging at her lips. Just then the telephone rang.

“That’s probably him now,” Cynthia said with obvious relief. Joanna let her colleague take the call as she picked up her mop again.

“That was the bookstore,” Cynthia announced a few minutes later. “The novels you ordered are in and ready to be picked up.”

“Finally! I want to get them all out on display for when Pete and the board members from Phoenix get here. Mind if I go get them?”

“Why don’t you call MacGyver and have him pick them up on his way in?”

“But then I wouldn’t have an excuse to take a break from cleaning,” Joanna smirked as she propped the mop up against the wall and grabbed her purse, her car keys already jingling. “I’ll be right back.”

“Take your time. I’ll hold off the dust bunnies!”

Jo pushed through the main doors and out into the mid-September sunshine. She took a deep breath of the unseasonably warm air before getting into her car. Given the nice weather and light weekend traffic, she decided to take the scenic route. She had started her part time teaching job at Lincoln High School a couple weeks ago and, though she enjoyed it immensely, between that and her duties at Challengers she had precious little time to enjoy the waning days of summer. She was accelerating away from a stop sign when a rabbit darted out into the narrow road, freezing a few yards in front of her. Knowing she could never stop in time to avoid hitting the frightened animal, she jerked the steering wheel to the right before stomping down on the brake pedal. Unfortunately, her tires caught in the gravel on the side of the road, sending the car skidding head first into a large tree. Joanna felt the sting of her seatbelt against her neck before it suddenly released. The last thing she remembered was her forehead hitting the steering wheel before everything went black.

XXXXX

Joanna sat up in her hospital bed, her mother in a chair next to her, their hands joined. Her father stood staring out the window. Given his aversion to hospitals, his presence in the small emergency room bay was a testament to the scare she had given her parents. They were currently waiting for the results of her CT scan. She had been unconscious during her rescue and ambulance ride to the ER, but the doctor on-call had told her that a passerby had witnessed her accident and called 911. She drifted in and out of consciousness while various medical personnel tended to the cut on her forehead and bruises on her neck and collarbone before she was whisked away to radiology. It was only after her return from the scan, when she was finally fully awake and had satisfactorily answered questions to test her memory, that her parents were allowed to join her.

“I couldn’t find Mac’s phone number, but I called Cynthia at Challengers,” Judy Fairfax said, breaking the silence. “She promised to tell him about your accident as soon as he gets in.”

“Thanks,” Jo responded before a handsome man in a white lab coat asked permission to enter.

“Hello Ms. Fairfax. I’m Dr. Chandler, the on-call neurologist.”

Joanna smiled at him as her heart pounded faster. The rate increase having nothing to do with the pain in her head but with the handsome physician in front of her. His dark brown hair was cut short and neatly styled while his blue eyes seemed to twinkle of their own accord. She could tell he was fit, even with the lab coat draping his tall frame. Her eyes automatically strayed to his hands which held a metal clipboard. No wedding ring. Yes! When she looked up again it was to find him watching her with a knowing smile that made her blush. Finding her voice, she introduced him to her parents.

“I have the results of your CT scan and I must say you are a very lucky lady.” He moved closer to the end of her bed. “Aside from the cut on your forehead and the contusions from the seatbelt, you only have a very mild concussion. Now that we know you have no further injuries I’m prescribing something for your headache.”

She heard her mother breathe a sigh of relief. “When can we take her home?”

“Normally I’d say as soon as she feels up to it, but given the length of time she was unconscious I’d like to keep her here the rest of the day for observation. If everything checks out she’ll be home before bedtime.” Then he turned his attention to Joanna. “Of course, she’ll have to promise to follow all my instructions and take it easy for the next few days,” he said with a wink that caused her stomach to flutter.

“What about work? Mac needs me?”

“Who’s Mac?”

“My boss.” Joanna thought she glimpsed a look of surprise on her mother’s face but she was too focused on her own concerns to question it.

“Well, he’ll just have to be patient. I don’t want you trying to resume all your normal activities at once.”

As if their conversation had conjured him, she looked to find MacGyver standing in the doorway. His shaggy, dark-blonde hair, brown, beady eyes and oddly shaped lips a stark, and unwelcome, contrast to the attractive doctor.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

MacGyver stood in the doorway to the emergency room bay that housed Joanna and her family. She was sitting up in bed, listening to something the doctor was saying, a white gauze dressing peeking out from beneath her bangs the only obvious indication she had been in a car wreck. Since Cynthia had given him the news he felt as if a steel band was wrapped around his chest, his worry so intense his heart physically hurt. Having imagined the worst, he went weak with relief at the scene before him. Her clear, sharp gaze finding him was his undoing.

“Oh baby, I’m so glad you’re alright,” he said huskily as he strode to her bedside and embraced her gently, pulling away when her muscles stiffened.

“Do you hug and call all your employees ‘baby’?” she asked, almost accusingly.

He figured she must be teasing, which released even more of his tension.

“Only the special ones,” he replied softly before reaching for her again. This time her body became even more rigid if that was possible. Confused, he straightened and took a step back sending a questioning glance toward Judy, but the older woman only shrugged.

“Care to introduce us, Ms. Fairfax?” Dr. Chandler asked cheerily, apparently trying to cover the awkward silence that had descended upon the room.

“I’m sorry. Dr. Chandler, this is my boss, Mr. MacGyver. But everyone just calls him ‘Mac’. None of us know his first name.”

At her declaration MacGyver’s blood ran cold. She didn’t remember his first name. Worse, she didn’t seem to remember not remembering!

“Could I speak with you in the hall, doctor?” he asked, ignoring the look on Joanna’s face which was a mixture of concern, surprise...and fear.

“What’s wrong with her?” Mac asked, frustrated and more than a little anxious.

The doctor hesitated.

“Look, you can get permission from her mother to tell me how she is if you need to.”

The doctor sighed. “There’s actually nothing to tell. Except for a bump on the head she’s fine. Given a couple day’s rest she’ll be good as new.”

“But she’s not fine!” Mac exclaimed, loud enough to garner quelling looks from the nursing staff. He continued in a lower tone, “She doesn’t remember me!”

“She seems to know exactly who you are, Mr. MacGyver.”

“It’s not like that. Joanna’s not my employee, she’s my business partner. We’re close friends. Very close. And she most definitely knows my first name. Yet she’s acting as if we’re practically strangers!”

The doctor hugged the clipboard he was holding to his chest and lowered his head, mulling over this new information.

“I don’t know what to tell you. She passed all our memory tests, both short and long term, with flying colors. And she does remember you to some extent.” Here Dr. Chandler paused for what felt like an eternity. “I suppose, if she doesn’t object, I could ask her more questions. Dig a little deeper, so to speak.”

“Thank you,” Mac let out the breath he’d been holding. “Can we do it now?”

The doctor smiled. “No time like the present!”

Together MacGyver and the doctor reentered Joanna’s room.

“Ms. Fairfax, would you mind if I asked you some more questions about people who have come into your life within the past few years?”

“No, not at all,” Jo answered the doctor, a little too warmly for Mac’s peace of mind.

Over the next thirty minutes MacGyver’s heart broke piece by piece as he listened to Joanna describe her relationships with Pete, Connie, Cynthia, Sam, the kids at Challengers, her co-workers at the high school, and even Penny and Jack with love and affection. Only when she spoke of him were her answers vague, emotionless, and annoyingly polite. Even Frog garnered more regard than he did.

“Well doctor, did I pass?” she asked once the inquiries ended, smiling coyly. Mac’s stomach dipped. Was she flirting with her doctor?

“You did just fine,” Dr. Chandler assured her. “Now it’s time for us to leave so you can get some rest if you want to go home later.”

As MacGyver followed the neurologist and Jo’s parents out the door, he heard her gently call his name. His breath caught. Had this past half hour jogged her memory? He quickly returned to her bedside.

“I just wanted to apologize for how I acted earlier,” she said softly, her gaze lowered. “I know how much you care about everyone and I appreciate your concern.”

Mac swallowed around the lump in his throat but remained silent. Her words had been so formal. So professional.

“Could you do me a favor?” she asked shyly.

“Anything.”

“Could you go to the bookstore and pick up the novels I ordered for the club? I want to get them up on display before Pete and the Phoenix review board arrive.”

“You got it,” he promised. “Now try and get some rest.”

His heart heavy, he stepped out into the hallway and joined Mr. and Mrs. Fairfax who were already deep in conversation with Jo’s doctor.

“What did I miss?” MacGyver asked.

Doctor Chandler turned to him. “I was just explaining that Ms. Fairfax appears to be experiencing a case of dissociative amnesia, though I’ve never seen it this specific before. She remembers you and experiences with you, but she cannot recall her true feelings for you. It mostly happens when the victim has experienced emotional trauma. They use their amnesia as a defense mechanism when something is too painful to deal with. However, according to her mother, you two have had a very positive, loving relationship. To be honest, I really can’t explain it.”

“So what do we do about it?” Mac asked, his mind spinning with this new information.

“I don’t believe there’s much we can do,” the doctor sighed. “The mind is a funny thing and there’s still much we don’t know about it.”

“Yeah. I’ve heard that before,” MacGyver muttered.

“There’s a very strong chance all her memories will return on their own after she’s recovered from the shock of the accident. The best thing is not to pressure her to remember. Let it come naturally. I want to see her in a week for another CT scan, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything. If her memory of you still hasn’t returned, we’ll discuss further options.”

XXXXX

MacGyver sank down on his couch Tuesday evening, head in his hands. He wasn’t sure which was worse: Not seeing Joanna at all, or seeing her at Challengers every day, interacting normally with everyone but him. As the doctor had predicted, Jo had returned home late Saturday evening. According to her mother, she spent Sunday resting and returned to her teaching job Monday morning but chose to skip her shift at Challengers. He couldn’t blame her. Recovering from a head injury, no matter how minor, was always more physically challenging than one would expect. And he ought to know.

Today, she had arrived at Challengers just after lunch to make sure everything was in order for Phoenix’s visit tomorrow. He had teased her when he caught her rearranging the novels he had put out on display, but instead of a usual sassy retort, she sheepishly apologized and he quickly backpedaled to assure her that she had done a much better job than him. Later, he watched as she chatted with Cynthia as if they had known each other forever, patiently helped Suzy and Davey with their homework as always, and played a round of eight-ball with Raul and laughed heartily when he beat her. She even made a point of giving Frog some extra attention and slipped him treats when she thought Mac wasn’t watching. It was only when MacGyver was near that she reined in her enthusiasm, allowing a mask of professionalism and indifference to fall. He knew the doctor had said not to pressure her to remember, but surely a little nudging couldn’t hurt. After the grant review tomorrow, Mac would begin ‘Operation Joanna’. At best, her feelings for him would return. At worst, he would simply have to get her to fall in love with him all over again.

Pete and a small entourage of Phoenix board members arrived at Challengers on Wednesday afternoon. Once introductions and greetings had been exchanged, a couple of the men sequestered themselves with Cynthia in her office to take a thorough look at the ledgers while others fanned out to inspect the recreation room and dormitory. The remaining men struck up casual conversations with some of the club members and volunteers, including Joanna. Her wide smile and hand gestures told MacGyver she was enthusiastically regaling the men with positive stories of Challengers and the community it served.

Once the evaluation was underway, Mac guided Pete to his office, helping his friend into a chair before taking a seat himself.

“So how’s Joanna doing?” Pete asked, concerned etched on his face.

“The same,” Mac sighed.

Pete was silent for a moment before responding. “Well, it hasn’t even been a week since the accident. These things take time.”

“I know, but it’s just so...so…”

“Scary?”

“Yeah.”

The older man began to smile. “I’ll never forget that time you lost your memory and the bad guys convinced you that I was the bad guy. You even held a gun on me. Yet somewhere, deep down, you knew the truth.”

“And you helped me find that truth. Even as I was about to shoot you.”

“I guess it’s your turn to do the same for Joanna.”

“I’m already on it, Pete.”

“I figured,” he snorted.

XXXXX

“Well, that seemed to have gone well,” Cynthia stated as she, Joanna, and MacGyver gathered in her office that evening.

“When will we know if our grant gets renewed?” Jo asked, more to Cynthia than Mac.

“Pete said it’ll take a couple of weeks,” MacGyver replied. “He told me we have nothing to worry about.”

“I’ve heard that before,” Cynthia sniffed sarcastically.

“Pete wouldn’t lie to us,” Joanna declared. “We need to think positive.”

A soft knock on the door interrupted their conversation.

“Excuse me,” Rosie Garcia poked her head in. “All the kids have gone home for the night. Do you mind if I leave a bit early?”

“Not at all,” Cynthia replied. “In fact, that sounds like a really good idea. It’s been a stressful day for all of us.” She gathered her purse and headed out, MacGyver and Joanna behind her. It was now or never for Mac.

“Hey Jo, hold up a sec!”

Joanna stopped and turned, but didn’t say anything.

“I’m still kinda wound up from today. How about a game or two of air hockey before going home?”

A smile tugged at her lips and a fraction of Mac’s anxiety dissipated.

“We haven’t played that in a while, have we?”

“Nope.”

“I’m still pretty bad at it.”

“I’ll take my chances,” he replied. “How about we have a pizza delivered?”

“Sure,” she agreed. “Just make my half of it normal,” she said, wrinkling her nose.

Mac’s heart skipped a beat. At last, a glimpse of ‘his’ Joanna! “You got it,” he smiled.

And so it began. Air hockey games, pizza, and even a trip to the ice rink. Just like the old days. Joanna began to visibly relax around him and laugh and talk with him. His plan was working.

They didn’t see each other on Saturday due to Joanna’s follow-up CT scan. When he didn’t see her at Challengers on Sunday he began to worry. Surely if the scan had shown something her mother would have called. Perhaps Jo just needed to rest. She had been pushing herself at the end of the week what with teaching, Challengers, and spending time with him. Had he pushed her too hard? After a late supper of yogurt and a banana he sat on the couch, staring at the box Neil had sent him sitting on the coffee table. He slowly opened it and took out his grandmother’s rings, stroking the smooth gold and twisting them around the tip of his finger. Would these bands ever find the destination he had planned? Though more at ease in his presence, Joanna was nowhere near giving him her heart...or remembering that he already had it. And it was all his fault. If only he hadn’t overslept that day, or not taken the time to open the mysterious package. If only he had gotten to Challengers before she left for the bookstore. He could’ve run that simple errand and life would have went on as usual. He read his mother’s letter again, focusing on the last two words. Ice cream. How did she know he needed those words now, and would everything really be okay?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Joanna pulled her parent’s car up in front of MacGyver’s townhouse late Sunday evening. After the accident, her beloved Chevy had been taken to the body shop, damaged but not beyond repair. She glanced at her watch and sighed as giant butterflies flitted in her stomach. Actually, it felt more like dinosaurs stomping around her midsection. What in the world made her think that coming to Mac’s house and asking to speak alone with him was a good idea. She thought back to the days since her crash. Everyone and everything was just as it always was, except when he was around. She felt a tension between them that she wasn’t sure had existed before, and every time she looked in his eyes she saw a flicker of pain. Then, today, she had found a crumpled up hockey jersey buried in her dresser drawer. Something wasn’t right and she knew MacGyver was the only one who could provide the answers she sought.

She knocked on his front door and waited impatiently for him to answer. Perhaps he had gone to bed early. She was just about to leave, or more accurately, run away, when she saw him approach through the glass door.

“Hey!” he greeted her, his surprise obvious.

“Hey,” she echoed back, forcing a smile. “I hope I’m not bothering you.”

“You are never a bother. Please, come in.”

Joanna slipped through the doorway as he stepped aside and led her to the couch where he sat down next to her. Close, but not too close, and she couldn’t decide if she liked it or not.

“I was hoping to see you at Challengers today. How did your CT scan go?”

“It went fine. At least that’s what they told me,” she replied, hesitant to make eye contact.

“That’s a good thing, right?”

“I guess,” she shrugged, nibbling her lower lip and debating how to continue. “The thing is, I don’t always feel ‘fine’, especially when I’m around you.”

She heard his quick intake of breath and took a breath of her own. She had no choice now but to plow ahead, no matter how awkward this conversation became. She just hoped she wouldn’t lose her job at Challengers over it.

“I feel like I’m missing something. That I’ve forgotten something. Something important. I remember working with you and spending time with you and your friends, but I don’t remember how I felt when we were together and I know it probably sounds really weird and I’m probably making a fool out of myself but I can’t shake the feeling that we’re more than just casual friends. Then today I found this.”

She pulled the rumpled up jersey from her oversized purse and held it out so the name placard faced him. She didn’t need to see it again. The words had been seared into her mind...and her heart. ‘Mac’s Girl’.

MacGyver took the jersey from her, holding it almost reverently in his hands and blew out a sigh.

“You’re not making a fool out of yourself and you’re right, we are more than just friends,” he assured her. “In fact, last Christmas I tried to propose to you but it didn’t work out exactly as planned.”

“That’s when Jack had his accident and you went out to L.A. to be with him.”

“You remember Jack’s plane crash but you don’t remember me proposing?”

She shook her head, tears welling in her eyes. “Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?!” She motioned to the jersey he still held. “Or about you?! Why didn’t you say anything?!”

Mac gingerly reached out and she allowed him to caress her cheek with the back of his firm, solid fingers.

“I wanted to, baby. I wanted to tell you so many times, but the doctor said it would be better if you discovered your feelings on your own.”

“Do you love me?” she asked, feeling her face turn red at such a direct and intimate question.

“Yeah. I do,” he responded softly, his eyes meeting hers with a shared sadness.

“And do I love you?”

“Yeah,” he answered in a husky whisper.

“Then help me remember, Mac. Please help me,” she pleaded as tears rolled down her cheeks and he moved close to envelope her in a comforting embrace that she could never in a million years imagine she could forget.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

That week, MacGyver made a point of spending as much time with Joanna as possible, and she did the same. They were practically inseparable from the time she arrived at Challengers until they left, often grabbing take-out on the way to his place where they would spend the evenings watching old Westerns, video-taped hockey games, or simply talking until the moon was high in the sky. It became harder and harder for Mac to watch her leave, and she must have felt the same as her steps became slower, their goodbyes longer. Her humor and friendship soon shone through and MacGyver could tell she was learning to trust him once again. But she wasn’t progressing as quickly as he would have liked. She still found silence between them uncomfortable and shied away whenever he leaned in to kiss her, even if he only meant to give her a peck on the cheek or forehead. However, he was grateful for each step, no matter how small, and would do whatever it took and wait however long he needed to in order for her to rediscover her love for him.

Friday was a busy day at Challengers right from the start as the schools were closed for a teacher in-service day and all the kids had off, many with nowhere else to go. Thankfully the volunteers stepped up to make sure the club was fully staffed, but that left MacGyver with little to do. Joanna had told him she would probably spend most of the day at school so he didn’t even have her presence to look forward to. He must have looked as pitiful as he felt because at noon Cynthia came to him with a white paper bag from the corner deli.

“A turkey club for her and a bunch of veggies on bread for you,” she said, holding out her offering.

“But she said she probably wouldn’t be in today.”

Cynthia rolled her eyes. “Just because she doesn’t come here doesn’t mean you can’t go there. Even teachers have to eat, you know!”

It suddenly occurred to Mac that he had yet to set foot in Joanna’s classroom though school had been in session for about a month. If what she told him the night before was correct, the mandatory morning meetings would be finished by now and she’d be catching up on work. Not wanting to go the entire day without seeing her and risk losing any of the progress they had made, he quickly headed over toward the high school.

With the principal’s assistance, he soon found Jo’s room and leaned lazily against the door jamb. She was standing on the top step of a short ladder, her back to him, busily removing ‘Welcome Back to School’ decorations from her bulletin board and replacing them with colorful, laminated posters citing proper grammar and punctuation rules. His thoughts tumbled back to the first time he saw her, in very much the same position. Only today she wore sneakers instead of heels.

“Lookin’ good,” he observed cheerfully. But he must have startled her because she turned around quickly and began to sway. Taking two long steps he was at her side, his hands planted firmly on her hips until she regained her balance.

“We gotta stop meeting like this,” she smiled down at him.

“You remember?” he asked cautiously.

“Of course I do!” she replied as, with his assistance, she stepped down onto the floor.

Instead of moving away from him as he expected, she stayed right where she was, so close she had to tip her head back to meet his eyes.

“It’s not every day a damsel in distress gets rescued by a tall, handsome hero. Lucky for me it’s happened twice...so far.”

Her smile shifted into a sly grin as she reached up to slowly rake her fingers through his hair before gently urging his head down so his lips met hers in an achingly tender caress. MacGyver’s heart stilled and his thoughts fled as he instinctively pulled her closer and deepened the kiss, mindful to keep it soft and undemanding, until she broke the connection.

‘Mmmm, I’ve missed that,” she mused, her arms still around his neck, her fingers teasing the hair at his nape.

“Jo?” he asked, his heart now beating triple-time.

“It’s me, Mac. I remember everything. I remember us.”

“But...how?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s all the time we’ve been spending together. I just woke up this morning and suddenly all the pieces of the puzzle fit, ya know? I was trying to finish up here and get to Challengers so I could tell you.”

“I think I like this way better,” he smiled. “But I still don’t get why you forgot your feelings for me after the accident? The doctor said it usually happens to people who want to repress certain memories.”

Joanna shrugged. “Maybe my subconscious is still afraid of my feelings for you. I’ve never felt like this about anyone before and maybe a part of me is still afraid it may not last.”

“Hey! I thought I was the one with commitment issues,” Mac teased, earning him a watery smile before becoming sober.

“Aw baby, what can I do to make sure you know I’ll always love you?”

“Promise to hang on to me and never let me go no matter what?”

“Count on it,” he vowed. “And if I ever get knocked loopy, you do the same, okay?”

“You gotta mean ‘when’, not ‘if’,” Jo snickered, the warmth of her laugh lighting a fire deep within him.

Unable to recall a time when he had ever felt happier, he wrapped his arms around her waist, lifting her slightly off the ground before kissing her again, this time more completely. When they finally separated, each of them breathless, she looked up at him with a light in her eyes that hadn’t been there since her accident. Filled with sweet love and desire, he couldn’t tear his gaze from her. She was back. His Joanna had come back to him...to stay.


















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: 12 December 2019 - 12:06 PM                                    
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QUOTE
Chapter 27: Everyone But Him
Hmm, wonder what this means... hmm.bmp

QUOTE
It was from Neil Ryder, his boyhood friend in Mission City.
It is late and I'm tired, apparently, because I misread that as "boyfriend" and was like, "Whoah whoah whoah, back it up, what?!" XD XD XD

QUOTE

MacGyver now looked down at the wooden box on his lap, his mother’s name ornately carved into the top.
I feel like this is going to make me shed theoretical tears...

QUOTE

P.S. Always remember: “Ice Cream!”
Yep, there it is, those dang feeeeeeeeeelllllsssss...

QUOTE

MacGyver closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose to keep threatening tears at bay as he took deep breaths to calm the inner swell of emotion.
Can I hug him? I want to hug him... *considers hugging my laptop* *decides against it*

QUOTE
The bigger question was when would he finally put old fears aside and do what he had been wanting to do for so long now?
I've been asking that for a long time XD

QUOTE
Knowing she could never stop in time to avoid hitting the frightened animal, she jerked the steering wheel to the right before stomping down on the brake pedal. Unfortunately, her tires caught in the gravel on the side of the road, sending the car skidding head first into a large tree. Joanna felt the sting of her seatbelt against her neck before it suddenly released. The last thing she remembered was her forehead hitting the steering wheel before everything went black.
*sigh* Can't you guys do ANYTHING without someone getting hurt? X'D

QUOTE

Joanna smiled at him as her heart pounded faster. The rate increase having nothing to do with the pain in her head but with the handsome physician in front of her. His dark brown hair was cut short and neatly styled while his blue eyes seemed to twinkle of their own accord. She could tell he was fit, even with the lab coat draping his tall frame. Her eyes automatically strayed to his hands which held a metal clipboard. No wedding ring. Yes! When she looked up again it was to find him watching her with a knowing smile that made her blush. Finding her voice, she introduced him to her parents.
Oh, Jo... XD XD XD

QUOTE

“Normally I’d say as soon as she feels up to it, but given the length of time she was unconscious I’d like to keep her here the rest of the day for observation. If everything checks out she’ll be home before bedtime.” Then he turned his attention to Joanna. “Of course, she’ll have to promise to follow all my instructions and take it easy for the next few days,” he said with a wink that caused her stomach to flutter.
I mean, at least you got a break from cleaning XD

QUOTE

As if their conversation had conjured him, she looked to find MacGyver standing in the doorway. His shaggy, dark-blonde hair, brown, beady eyes and oddly shaped lips a stark, and unwelcome, contrast to the attractive doctor.
Excuse me, how hard did she hit her head?!

QUOTE
The doctor sighed. “There’s actually nothing to tell. Except for a bump on the head she’s fine. Given a couple day’s rest she’ll be good as new.”
Ah, I understand the title now XD

QUOTE
Even Frog garnered more regard than he did.
Been a while since Frog was mentioned XD

QUOTE
He read his mother’s letter again, focusing on the last two words. Ice cream. How did she know he needed those words now, and would everything really be okay?
My emotions... (idk, this part just grabbed me laugh.gif )

QUOTE

“Then help me remember, Mac. Please help me,” she pleaded as tears rolled down her cheeks and he moved close to envelope her in a comforting embrace that she could never in a million years imagine she could forget.
I'm not sure exactly what it is, but this whole chapter, the drama, the emotions, they're all grabbing me just right *insert a smiley clutchin it's chest that doesn't exist on these forums*

QUOTE
She was standing on the top step of a short ladder, her back to him, busily removing ‘Welcome Back to School’ decorations from her bulletin board and replacing them with colorful, laminated posters citing proper grammar and punctuation rules.
This feels familiar biggrin.gif

QUOTE

“Hey! I thought I was the one with commitment issues,” Mac teased, earning him a watery smile before becoming sober.
Considering you still aren't married, I'd say you both have issues XD

QUOTE
She was back. His Joanna had come back to him...to stay.
Got me again XD (Also, go propose, because you almost lost her, don't let it happen again without doing whatever you could to hold on to her).

On a related note, I saw a sad video comic dub, and someone in the comments said "The feels on the bus go round and round" and while I snorted very hard, it's also very true XD DX




"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: 12 December 2019 - 01:25 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Dragondog @ 12 December 2019 - 12:06 PM)
QUOTE

“Then help me remember, Mac. Please help me,” she pleaded as tears rolled down her cheeks and he moved close to envelope her in a comforting embrace that she could never in a million years imagine she could forget.
I'm not sure exactly what it is, but this whole chapter, the drama, the emotions, they're all grabbing me just right *insert a smiley clutchin it's chest that doesn't exist on these forums*


Thank you!! That's exactly what I was going for with this chapter!!!



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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