Jack leaned back in his chair, staring up at the ceiling tiles. He had started counting them a couple of times, only to lose count and give up. Man, he hated being bored.
He was sitting at a round table in the director's conference room, along with Riley, Thornton and MacGyver. Normally, after a mission, they would debrief with Patricia and that would be that. But this mission had gone all twisty and topsy, turvy. Due to bad intel, the people they had been sent in to save were actually the bad guys. But, per the usual, MacGyver had figured out what was going on and they had turned things around, stopping the sale of a bio-weapon to a foreign buyer and catching the bad guys to boot. Mission accomplished.
However, Director Sturgess, *top dog* at the Phoenix foundation, wanted to debrief them himself. He just happened to be late, apparently due to a business call. So they had been sitting there, waiting, for over twenty minutes.
Whistling tunelessly, Jack began swiveling back and forth in his chair until a cool voice shut him down.
"Sorry," he apologized to Thornton. Needing another way to amuse himself, Jack looked over at MacGyver, expecting to see the kid making use of the small bowl of paper clips in the middle of the table. The last time Sturgess had debriefed them, MacGyver had made three of his paperclip art pieces and Jack had learned that the Director had kept them. According to the rumor mill, he had kept everyone that MacGyver had made and now had quite an impressive collection. Hence the small bowl of paper clips on the table.
Weird thing was, MacGyver wasn't making his paper clip art. In fact, he had ignored the bowl completely in favor of folding his arms on the table and laying his head on his arms. As far as Jack could tell, he looked half-way asleep. Granted, it had been a long mission and none of them had slept in almost twenty-four hours, but it wasn't like Mac to fall asleep while still on the job. Glancing over at Patricia, Jack could see that she was watching Mac as well and that she looked as concerned as he was starting to feel.
Jack slid his chair over to MacGyver's. "Hey, buddy. You feeling all right?"
"Fine," Mac mumbled, not even bothering to lift his head.
"You're not acting fine," Jack countered. "In fact you're acting very weird for you and it's starting to worry me."
MacGyver lifted his head, blue eyes narrowed with laser-bream precision on Jack, when the door to the conference room opened and Director Sturgess walked in and took his seat.
The Director looked at MacGyver and frowned. He then, not so subtly nudged the paper clip bowl in the kid's direction.
Taking the hint, Mac sat up and snagged two paper clips, his deft fingers quickly working them into what looked like flames. He made his creation while answer Sturgess's questions about the mission. The moment the Director turned his attention to Jack, Mac laid down his paper clip art. Leaning back in his chair he focused on what Jack was saying, doing the same when it was Riley's turn. The moment the Director said he was done, Mac was out of his chair and out the door.
Jack was after him like a shot, following MacGyver as the kid raced down the hall and into the nearby bathroom. Jack entered just in time to hear Mac violently retching in one of the stalls. He winced as he leaned against the sink, waiting for the kid to finish. When MacGyver went quiet but still didn't exit the stall, Jack got worried. He strode over and knocked. "Hey, you okay in there?"
"Peachy," Mac drawled, hoarsely. "Go away, Jack."
"I'd ask if you ate something that didn't agree with you, but we haven't eaten yet," Jack countered. "So I'll ask again. You okay?"
MacGyver pushed open the door, stumbling over to the sink where he rinsed his mouth before pulling a stick of gum out of his pocket and popping it into his mouth. The mint helped settle his stomach as well as diluting the taste in his mouth. "Stop staring at me," he groused to Jack. "It's creepy."
Jack continued to stare, unapologetically. "You don't look so good, bud."
"Thanks for sharing," Mac shot back, turning to head for the door, only he got dizzy and stumbled.
"Whoa...easy!" Jack lunged and caught MacGyver by the arm before he could hit the floor. He propped the kid up against the wall and realized he could feel the heat of Mac's skin through the layer of his shirt. "You're burning up, bro. I think we need to get you home and into bed."
MacGyver pulled away, but his legs still felt wobbly and he had to support himself with a hand against the wall. He did feel hot and like crap, but like hell was he going to admit it. "I'm fine," he insisted. "And, for the record, I was planning on going home anyway."
Jack chuckled. "That you are," he confirmed. "And guess what?" he continued, looping one of MacGyver's arms over his shoulder and supporting the kid as they headed out the door.
"What?" MacGyver asked, playing along even as he let Jack guide him out of the bathroom, down the hallway and into the underground parking.
"I'm going to drive you home," Jack stated, guiding Mac over to his car, after by passing the kid's. "Don't even try to argue, we both know you're too sick to drive."
MacGyver wasn't going to let that statement go uncontested. "I'm not sick," he grumbled, even though he slid into the passenger seat and it felt like heaven to be sitting down again.
Jack didn't respond as he slid behind the wheel. He knew how stubborn MacGyver was when he was sick. The sicker he was, the further into denial the kid went. So Jack just let it go, driving out of the parking lot and easing onto the highway.
The drive was made in silence, other than the country station on the radio, and it was a testimony to how crappy MacGyver felt that he didn't once mock the music.
"Home, sweet home," Jack drawled, pulling into the driveway.
"Thanks for the ride," MacGyver said, opening the door and gearing himself up to make his body move. His limbs felt leaden and his joints and muscles ached and he longed for a hot shower and his bed.
Jack was out of the car before Mac was. He helped the kid to his feet and pretty much manhandled him inside. "I think I'll stick around." As he hit the light switch he realized the place seemed empty. "Where's Bozer?"
Mac frowned at Jack. "The foundation sent him to San Diego for that latex sculpting seminar he was so excited about."
"Oh...that's right." Jack made Mac sit on the couch. "I vaguely remember you telling me that." Reaching out he pressed his palm to the kid's forehead then yanked his hand back and shook it. "Hell's bells, bud. You're seriously burning up. Do you have a thermometer in the bathroom?"
"No." MacGyver pushed off the couch and slowly made his way into the bathroom, Jack trailing behind him. "Please get out, I'm going to take a shower then go to bed. I'm fine." He wasn't fine but he would be, right after he got some sleep. Beautiful, wonderful, magical sick-curing sleep.
Jack was already rummaging in the medicine cabinet. "I don't see a thermometer in here."
Mac heaved as dramatic a sigh as he could muster. "I told you that, now get out." He waved at the door and was relieved when Jack left, closing the door behind him. Tugging off his clothes, MacGyver stepped into the shower, sighing as the cool water flowed over his scorching skin.
On the other side of the door, Jack was on his phone. He knew there was a local drug store that was open all night. He called in an order then hung up. As soon as Mac was tucked safely into bed, he would go and pick it up. Listening to the shower running, Jack found himself pacing. He really was worried about the kid. So he was relieved when Mac stepped out a few minutes later, dressed in sweats and a tee-shirt and swaying on his feet.
"Bed for you," Jack said, guiding the kid into his room. He could feel Mac trembling, even though his skin was still way too warm. It worried him that MacGyver let him manhandle him and cover him up once he was lying down. "Can I get you anything?" Jack asked, resisting the urge to fuss any further.
"No." MacGyver couldn't stop his teeth from chattering as he pulled the blankets up, nearly over his head. "Go away now." He appreciated the ride and that Jack was concerned, but he really just wanted to be left alone to sleep so he could forget how lousy he felt.
Jack patted his shoulder. "It's cute that you think I'm leaving you when you're sick. But I am going to run out and get a few things. I won't be gone long and just call if you need me."
MacGyver heard what Jack said to him, but it didn't fully register beyond he was leaving. And Jack leaving meant he would be left alone to die in peace. "Kay...bye," he mumbled, curling further into himself in an attempt to get warm. But despite three layers of blankets he couldn't stop shivering.
After what felt like hours of cold and aching misery, but was probably only twenty minutes, Mac gave up on trying to rest. Since now he was starting to feel over-heated again on the outside, while feeling like an icicle on the inside, maybe a cup of tea would make him feel better. Mac remembered how his Grandfather would make tea with honey, lemon and a dash of whiskey in it when he had a bad cold or the flu. To be honest MacGyver had never been sure if the concoction actually made him better physically, or if he just believed he felt better because his Grandfather swore by it. Scientifically there were reasons why it would help, with the heat and the honey smoothness to ease the ache in his throat and warm him from the inside out as well. Truthfully, Mac always figured if he added enough whiskey he wouldn't care how terrible he felt.
Dragging himself to the kitchen, wearing one of his blankets wrapped around him like a cocoon, MacGyver put water in a mug and put it in the microwave. He knew they had a tea kettle somewhere, but right now it was all about the short cuts. While the water heated he scrounged in the cupboards and the refrigerator for the rest of the ingredients.
That was how Jack found MacGyver, sitting at the counter, wrapped in a blanket a coffee mug cupped in both hands. He joined him, setting down the bags from the drugstore and pawing through them to remove three bottles of Gatorade, a huge bottle of ibuprofen, flu medicine for both day and night time, a gallon of orange juice, a four-pack of Kleenex , a giant bag of cough drops and a thermometer.
"Why are you out of bed?" Jack asked, eyeing MacGyver with concern. The kid was hunched over, flushed yet pale, still shivering and his eyes looked glazed. Physically, he was the very definition of abject misery.
"Can't sleep," Mac mumbled before taking another sip of what had pretty much turned into tea-flavored whiskey with a huge dollop of honey. It tasted surprisingly good.
Jack spotted the whiskey bottle near the microwave and grew suspicious. "What are you drinking?" He leaned over trying to peer into the mug. He didn't actually need to get all that close to smell the alcohol.
MacGyver clutched it to his chest, protectively. "Tea with honey," he stated, purposely not mentioning the whiskey ingredient.
"That's some powerful concoction you've got there, bud." Jack pushed the bottle of Gatorade towards Mac. "You need to drink this, you need fluids. And I need to take your temperature."
"Good luck with that," Mac snorted, which sent him into a coughing fit of epic proportions. He coughed so hard it shook his whole body, even as it made his lungs burn. The mug in his hand tipped and would have spilled all over him if it hadn't almost been empty.
Grabbing the mug and setting it on the counter, Jack winced in sympathy as he listened to the kid trying to hack up a lung or something. He wished there was something he could do to help, especially when it looked like MacGyver was never going to be able to catch his breath and stop coughing, but it finally eased up enough so that the kid was able to sit up and pull in some much needed, albeit wheezing, breaths.
When it looked like MacGyver was about to tip off the stool, Jack moved to steady him. "You okay?" he asked, not liking how pale and shaky the kid was.
"Been better." MacGyver winced at how raspy his voice sounded. All the good the tea, honey and whiskey concoction had done for his throat had been wiped out by his hacking. Right now he felt nauseous, dizzy and achy. He was also overly warm, which wasn't the improvement he would have hoped for, now that he was no longer shivering.
"Let's try this again," Jack began, as he settled MacGyver so that he was supported by the counter. When he was sure the kid wouldn't fall over, he moved to grab the thermometer again. "You are going to let me take your temperature, or I'm going to pin you and do it anyway." Jack waved the device in front of his friend. "We both know you wouldn't be able to put up a fight right now. So what's it gonna be?"
Knowing that Jack was right and that he wouldn't stand a chance against him, MacGyver gave in. "Fine, give me the thermometer." He held out a hand that was trembling more than a little.
Jack shook his head. "The deal is I do it. I got the kind that goes in your ear. The pharmacist told me it's the more accurate than the other ones." As he spoke he popped the device out of it's packaging and put on a probe cover. "And it takes a reading in just 8 seconds."
"Lucky me." MacGyver tugged the blanket off his shoulders. He was definitely too hot now. As Jack plopped one hand on the top of his head, Mac resisted the urge to twitch as he felt the probe press into left ear. What must have been eight seconds later he heard a beep and the probe was removed from his ear.
"Crap!" Jack exclaimed, as he read the number. "Not good, bud."
MacGyver frowned, wondering why Jack suddenly looked worried. "What is it?"
Jack scowled. "One oh two point eight. You are taking ibuprofen right now." Grabbing the bottle, Jack shook two tablets into his palm and held them out. "Chase it down with the Gatorade."
"If I take them, will you leave so I can wallow in my misery in peace?" Mac queried.
"Not gonna happen." Jack took MacGyver's left hand and dumped the pills into his palm, before holding out a bottle of orange Gatorade. "Drink up so I can get you back into bed."
A part of Mac really wanted to deliver a snappy comeback, but his brain hurt, along with the rest of him, and he was too tired to argue. So he accepted the bottle of Gatorade and swallowed the Ibuprofen. He then felt Jack pulling him to his feet and the trip to his bedroom was mostly fuzzy. Lying down felt good, but the blankets Jack tried to pull over him did not. "Too hot," Mac mumbled as he rolled onto his stomach.
Jack let it go. He was just glad the kid was lying down and resting. He settled himself into the chair in the corner and pulled out his phone. Hopefully the pills kicked in fast and went to work on MacGyver's fever. Keeping half of his attention on his phone and half on Mac, Jack counted down an hour before retrieving the thermometer and feeling relieved that it was down a little bit. From 102.8 to 102.3. Not a lot of progress, but at least it was moving in the right direction.
Heading into the kitchen, Jack retrieved the Gatorade and grabbed a soda for himself. He helped himself to a bag of chips and returned to the bedroom and settled back into his chair. An hour later MacGyver's temperature was down to 102. Jack was pleased. He went back to playing angry birds on his phone unaware of dozing off until he heard MacGyver cry out. Glancing at his watch, Jack saw that over two hours had passed. But he was distracted when he saw Mac thrashing on the bed. He ran over and pinned the kid down by the shoulders, only to pull back at the heat he could feel emanating through the thin material of Mac's t-shirt.
"Dammit!" Jack wanted to check MacGyver's temperature, but the kid was still struggling and then he cried out Jack's name. "Mac!" Jack patted the kid's cheek in an attempt to wake him. He was happy when the blue eyes opened, but they were glazed and staring vacantly at Jack.
"Jack, NO!" MacGyver screamed as he watched the armored vehicle blow up. He was too late. He had failed to disarm the bomb and Jack was dead. "NO! NO!" MacGyver needed to get out of here. He couldn't look at the burning remains. But when he turned to run he found arms wrapping around him, stopping him.
Jack realized the kid was caught up in a nightmare, and with his fever being so high he wasn't aware of his surroundings. "I'm right here, Mac," he said, as he held on tight. The kid was struggling to break free, and it scared Jack that the slender body was trembling and he was easily able to capture the thin wrists and trap MacGyver's arms. "I'm right here, kid," he said again. "I'm right here...you're safe. You just need to wake up now."
The familiar sound of Jack's voice startled Mac and he stopped struggling as the image of the burning vehicle faded away. MacGyver blinked, his surroundings blurry but recognizable. "Jack..." he whispered, blinking again and bringing his friend's face into hazy focus. "You...you died."
"Not me. I'm alive and well." Jack eased MacGyver back against the pillows and smoothed the wayward blond bangs back, letting his hand rest against the flushed forehead. "I need to take your temp. Okay?"
"Okay." MacGvyer frowned as he realized he was in his bedroom. The last thing he remembered was being in the kitchen. Something touched his ear and he jumped.
Jack pressed a hand to MacGyver's shoulder. "It's just me. Hold still so I can get a reading." All too soon he heard the beep and his stomach dropped when he read the number. 103.2. So not good. "I need to get you in the shower, bud, to cool you down. Okay?" He cupped the kid's face in both hands, almost jerking back from the heat. "Are you with me?"
Mac frowned, hearing what Jack said but the words sounded jumbled and his head really hurt. Not to mention his skin felt like it was burning yet he was beginning to feel cold again. Which made absolutely not sense.
"Just stay put," Jack said, when he realized Mac wasn't tracking what he was saying. Running into the bathroom, Jack turned on the shower and grabbed some towels. He had a bag stashed in MacGyver's closet for emergencies, so he was cool with getting wet. Returning to the bedroom, he practically carried the kid into the bathroom. He paused only long enough to strip them both of their t-shirts, then he hauled Mac under the cool spray. Not surprisingly, the kid started cursing and trying to get out. "We need to bring your fever down," Jack said, not letting him move. "It's this or a trip to the doctor's."
Those were the magic words and the moment they registered, MacGyver went still. "No doctor," he mumbled, head down and shivering hard enough to make his teeth chatter as the cool water rained down upon him.
Jack knew the kid was miserable, and the cool water had to hurt against his burning skin, but he had no choice. He supported Mac, ignoring his own discomfort, until he could feel the kid's skin cooling down a bit. Turning the water off, Jack grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his shuddering friend. He then grabbed one for himself. "I'm going to bring you some dry clothes. You okay to get changed on your own?" The glare MacGyver leveled at Jack reassured him more than any words could. "I'll be right back then I'll use the other bathroom to get changed." That said he rushed out to collect dry underwear, sweatpants and t-shirt, rushing back in and laying them on the counter. "Leave your wet stuff in the shower and I'll take care of it," Jack ordered, before rushing out again so he could dry off and change.
MacGyver cursed as he fought to get changed without toppling over. He hated feeling weak, he hated being cold and he wished he could control his damn body and make it stop trembling. After pulling on his t-shirt he shucked the rest of his wet things and dried off as best he could before finishing getting dressed. At that point he felt like he'd crossed the finish line after a triathalon. He was dizzy and his legs felt leaden, but Mac made it to his bed where he crawled beneath the covers. Curling into a ball, he closed his eyes and willed himself to fall asleep.
"No sleeping yet, bud." Jack's voice announced, as he entered with the bottle of Ibruprofen in one hand. "More drugs for you and you need to guzzle some Gatorade."
"I'm not thirsty," Mac protested, but he sat up all the same and swallowed down the pills. Lying back down, he curled up into a ball again, pulling the blankets nearly over his head. He was so damn cold.
Jack sighed and took MacGyver's temperature again, surprised that the kid didn't protest, but relieved that it had gone down to 103. He then took up residence again in the nearby chair. He got a text from Thornton, asking how Mac was doing so Jack filled her in and she told him to alternate the ibuprofen with aspirin. Jack remembered seeing some in the medicine cabinet when he'd been rummaging for a thermometer. He retrieved it then spent the next twelve hours alternating the aspirin and ibuprofen every 4 to 6 hours while checking on MacGyver's temperature every hour. The kid dozed fitfully and every chance he could Jack tried to get some Gatorade down him. When he was awake, Mac refused to drink it other than when Jack made him take a pill. He also refused to eat anything and Jack let it go for now.
He was pleased when Mac's temp continued to go down, but when they hit the twelve hour mark it seemed to have gotten stuck at 102.6 and refused to budge. Jack resorted to using ice packs and cool compresses and a couple of hours later he got it down to 101.6, at which point he was content to give MacGyver another dose of aspirin before heading into the living room and stretching out on the couch for a power nap. Which just happened to last for 7 hours.
Waking with a start, Jack sensed something was off. He scrubbed a hand over his face as he jumped to his feet and headed for MacGyver's room. His heart stopped for a minute when he realized the kid wasn't in bed, but he felt it jump start when he heard the shower running. Taking in the damp sheets and blankets, Jack realized that Mac's fever must have finally broken.
Relief washed over Jack and he almost knocked on the bathroom door to assure himself MacGyver was okay, but he decided to take a moment to use the other bathroom to relieve his bladder and splash some cold water on his face. Once done, he returned to Mac's room to find the kid stripping the bed. He looked better but it was obvious he was still weak and shaky and Jack took him by the arm and made him sit down. "I'll do that, you rest."
"I've been resting," MacGyver muttered, totally giving in to the urge to pout. It did feel good to sit down, since he still felt weak and a bit woozy, but at the same time he was feeling stiff and achy from being in bed for so long. Getting to his feet, albeit on wobbly legs, Mac started collecting the sheets off the floor until Jack stopped him.
"What are you doing?" Jack demanded, taking the sheets away.
MacGyver frowned at him, wondering why he needed to explain the obvious. "I'm going to go do laundry."
Jack shook his head. "You are not doing laundry. I'll do it after I make the bed." He knew where the sheets and blankets were so he grabbed a fresh set and got to work, after making MacGyver sit down again. Tossing a blue blanket at the kid he said, "Wrap up, you look cold. I'll be done in a few minutes and you can crawl back in again."
"I told you I'm not going back to bed," Mac insisted, but he did wrap the blanket around his shoulders.
"We'll negotiate that in a minute." Finishing up with making the bed, Jack reached for the thermometer on the bed table. "First things first, temp check."
Mac considered protesting, but he figured if they were going to negotiate him staying out of bed, then he would score points in his favor by giving in to Jack on this one. So he sat still while Jack stuck the probe in his ear and when it beeped he asked, "Well?"
Jack turned the thermometer so MacGyver could read it for himself. "99.1, which is a vast improvement. You made it all the way to 103.2, bud. For a while there I thought your ginormous brain might actually melt."
"I vaguely remember a freezing cold shower," Mac said, shivering at the memory. "I'm assuming that's why?"
"You would assume right." Bending, Jack scooped up the discarded sheets, blankets and pillowcases. "If it hadn't started coming down after the shower, you would have taken a trip to the ER." He caught Mac rolling his eyes in disbelief. "You listen to me, I'm serious. You were burning up and having some bad nightmares. You didn't even know me for a bit, and at one point you thought I was dead."
Mac remembered that dream, mainly because it wasn't the first time he'd suffered through it. There was also the one where Murdoc succeeded in killing all of his friends. Bozer, Jack, Riley and Thornton, all dead because MacGyver had failed them. He shuddered and willed such thoughts away as he pushed himself to his feet. "I'm going to make some soup," he announced, before he wobbled precariously and would have fallen if Jack didn't grab his arm.
Stepping over the sheets he'd dropped when lunging for MacGyver, Jack guided his young friend out into the living room and straight over to the couch where he made him sit. "I'll make the soup after I start the laundry. You stay put, you hear me?"
"I hear you just fine," Mac groused. "But you are not the boss of me." He knew he was being cranky, but he was tired of feeling tired and weak and out of sorts.
"I get it." Jack sat down across from MacGyver. "You hate being weak and having to rely on someone to help you. But that's what friends are for. You are tough and smart and resourceful like no one else I've ever known, but even you can create a way to get over the flu in one day." He clapped Mac on the shoulder and grinned. "So suck it up buttercup and look at it this way...you have me at your beck and call for the next few days."
Mac considered how much fun that could be, but only for a moment, because the last thing Jack said finally registered. "I can't be sick for a few days. What if we have a mission?"
Jack could see that MacGyver was getting wound up and anxious, and that was the last thing the kid needed right now. "Whoa...chill out, just chill out. I filled Patty in on what's been happening and she gave us the week off so you can recover."
"I don't need a week off!" Mac felt indignant. "I'll be fine by tomorrow." He knew he was stretching the truth a bit, but if the foundation needed him for a mission, then he was going to be ready to go.
"Maybe you'll be better in a couple of tomorrows," Jack countered as he rummaged for the remote. Finding it he held it out to MacGyver. "I'm going to start the laundry then make you some soup." He got up and grabbed a bottle of Gatorade off the counter, bringing it over to Mac. "Meanwhile you're going to watch tv and drink this whole bottle. You need the fluids. Trust me. A little Gatorade, a little soup, a nice long nap and you'll be feeling like your old self again...in a few days. Meanwhile, we can finish catching up on Game of Thrones. It'll be fun." And it would be, simply because they could both chill out for a bit, and Jack could keep an eye on his friend. The think about MacGyver was that he worried about everyone else, but he never focused that same attention on himself.
That wasn't a bad idea, Mac realized, as he shifted to stretch out on the couch. Turning on the TV he hit Netflix then brought up Game of Thrones. He even took a few swallows of Gatorade to appease Jack. "I will be back to work the day after tomorrow," Mac stated, as Jack headed back into the bedroom for the laundry.
Jack couldn't help but laugh and shake his head. The thing is, if strength of will had anything to do with it, the kid would be back to work in two days. Scooping up the sheets and blankets, along with their wet clothes he'd forgotten in the bathroom, Jack tossed them in the washing machine and poured in detergent before hitting the start button. He returned to the kitchen and searched through the cupboards for a can of chicken soup. He saw that MacGyver had brought up Game of Thrones on Netflix but hadn't pick an ep yet. "Which one are we on, bud?" Jack called out. When he didn't receive a reply, he moved to the couch to check on his friend.
"Back to work in two days?" he whispered. "Not seeing it." Jack smiled as he stared down at his sleeping friend. He smoothed the blanket over MacGyver's shoulders then snagged the remote.
When MacGyver woke up it was to find Jack watching the food network. It didn't take him long to realize he'd fallen asleep again. "How long was I out?" he croaked, reaching for the Gatorade and gulping down a few mouthfuls.
Jack glanced at his watch. "About two hours. Ready for some soup?" He was worried about the fact that MacGyver hadn't eaten in well over twenty-four hours. He needed food to fuel his body if he wanted to get stronger and better.
"Sounds good," MacGyver allowed, stifling a yawn. He thought about getting up and offering to help, only getting up seemed like too much effort and the couch was really comfortable. Maybe he wouldn't be ready to return to work in two days.
So Jack made soup and they watched Game of Thrones. MacGyver fell asleep again and this time Jack joined him in slumber. Then there was more soup, more Netflix, several hours of Gin Rummy and before Mac realized it, two days had passed and he finally felt more like himself.
After sneaking out on a coffee run, Mac realized he still wasn't up to par, because after drinking his coffee, ignoring his bagel and getting yelled at by Jack, he fell asleep on the couch. But he woke up, shaking from a nightmare, to Jack sitting across from him, his face grim.
Offering MacGyver a bottle of water, Jack asked," Want to talk about it?"
"Not really." Mac screwed open the cap and took a gulp of water, focusing on swallowing and breathing to settle his anxiety.
"You called out my name again." Jack was nothing if not persistent. "Did I die again."
Scrubbing a hand over his face, Mac nodded. He knew Jack understood all about nightmares, but he wasn't ready yet to face this one. "So, you ready to binge watch Season 6 of Game of Thrones?"
Jack reached for the remote. "Sure thing." When MacGyver sat up he moved to sit beside him. "You know I'm available...whenever you're ready to talk about it."
"I know." MacGyver pushed off the couch. "Soda?" When Jack nodded he grabbed two and returned to the couch.
"You really should be drinking Gatorade or water?" Jack reminded him.
MacGyver pointed to the water bottle on the coffee table." I can drink soda and water...mom," he teased. "Want to get pizza for supper?" It was hours away and MacGyver wasn't the least bit hungry at the moment, but it sounded good...and normal. He was ready to get back to normal.
Jack was always ready for pizza. "Can we get a meat lovers?"
"Half meat lovers," Mac allowed. His stomach was up for all that grease. Making himself comfortable in one corner, he looked over at his friend, grateful for the fact that he had such good people in his life. "Thanks, by the way."
"For what?" Jack always appreciated the sentiment, but he wasn't sure what the kid was thanking him for.
Mac raised his soda bottle in a toast. "For always being there when I need you."
Jack smiled and clinked their bottles. "Always and forever, bro. Always and forever." Once upon a time it had simply been his job to watch the kid's back, but somewhere along the way he had found in MacGyver a lifelong friend.
"Back atcha." Mac replied, as he settled in to watch their show.
He didn't remember falling back asleep, but this time he didn't dream.