Jack wiped the sweat off his face with a red bandana that he then stuffed into the back pocket of his camouflage pants. When his buddy, Tank, tossed him a water bottle he caught it and guzzled most of it before dumping the last few chugs down the back of his neck. He seriously hated Afghanistan. Seriously. Once this run with Delta force was over, he was never coming back. Time to move on to something new, someplace where their wasn't any sand. Well, unless the sand was a part of a beautiful tropical beach next to the Ocean and a beautiful woman was involved.

"Dalton, Tank, Morris, Rubino!" Snapped their unit leader, Hendricks. "Load em up, boys, we're on the move."

"Where to, boss?" Dalton countered, even as he reached for his pack and his MK 18.

Hendricks clapped his hands to get them moving faster. "We're tagged to rescue one of our own. An EOD specialist was cut off from his unit and taken by Taliban rebels. They're holding him at a location forty klicks from here."

Jack asked the question they were all thinking. "When did they grab him?"

"Two days ago," Hendricks replied, as they moved to their land rovers and loaded their gear.

"The odds are not in his favor," Jack stated, wishing it were otherwise.

Hendricks slid behind the wheel of Rover One. "Intel says he's alive and we're going to make sure he stays that way."

Jack nodded as he claimed shot gun. "Copy that. What about his unit?"

"Six man unit, including the EOD specialist," Hendricks replied. "Two dead, three injured."

"Wonder what condition the EOD will be in when we find him," Tank commented, as he slid his big bulk into the back.

They all knew that the Taliban were not fans of the US Military in any way. Jack shuddered. "I'm guessing he'll either be half-dead or wish he was dead."

Hendricks started the Rover and waved for Rover two to follow as he pulled out of the encampment. "You two Mary Sunshine's can zip it," he ordered. "Whatever condition we find him in, we're rescuing our fellow soldier and bringing him home."

"Amen, brother!" Tank sing-songed from the back.

"So...what's his name?" Jack asked, because having a name made it more personal for him, which motivated him just that much more.

"Angus MacGyver," Hendricks replied.

Jack chuckled. "Angus?" he echoed, feeling sorry for the dude being shackled with such a moniker. "Well let's get this party started, Captain. Peddle to the meddle."

Hendricks did just that and the Delta Force team drove forward, slipping through the darkness like deadly shadows.

It didn't take the unit long to travel the, just under, twenty-five miles to the Taliban encampment. They did not drive straight in, because they knew they would not be welcomed with open arms and allowed to leave with the EOD expert after a few kind words and a handshake. Instead they drove to higher ground where they could eyeball the encampment below.

Jack stretched out on his stomach on the ridge, peering through binoculars as he studied the layout of the encampment. There were tents set up around a half crumbled mud and clay dwelling, typically found in the desert.

Hendricks crouched down beside him. "What do we have?"

"Twelve guys I can see," Jack replied. "I'm guessing we can figure in maybe half a dozen more that I can't see." He handed over the binoculars and directed his Captain to check out the half crumbled structure. "I'm guessing out guy is being held there. Looks like the entrance is to the back and I'm betting he's below ground."

"I'm betting you're right," Hendricks replied, after peering through the binoculars. He handed them back then stood up to instruct his unit. "Rubino, you take point from here and clear the way for the rest of us," he ordered. Rubino was the unit sniper he never missed his target.

Jack patted Rubino on the back as the other man stretched out on the ground in position. "Remember to take out the bad guys only."

Rubino rolled his eyes. "Don't tempt me, Dalton."

Chuckling, Jack turned to his Captain. "I'm guessing it's divide and conquer for the rest of us?"

"Everyone but you," Hendricks replied. "Dalton, you're only focus is on finding and rescuing MacGyver. Get him to safety no matter what. You don't stop and you don't look back. You hear me?"

"I hear ya, boss," Jack replied, even though he wasn't happy about it. It went against the grain to not have his brother's in arms backs, but the mission came first. He took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, then he turned and saluted his unit. They were the best of the best, but that didn't mean the mission wouldn't go sideways and one of them might not make it back tonight. So Jack made it a point to always honor them with a salute.

They saluted him back as one, then they all put their game face on. It was time to get the job done.

During the two days of his captivity, MacGyver had learned every inch of his cell, had memorized the time table of his guards and had taken stock of the supplies available to him. So the moment an opportunity presented itself, Mac took it. An empty shell casing, some gunpowder, a small flame and *boom*, he was out of his cell and on the move. He made his way out to the surface and, after setting off a few more explosions to cause chaos and confusion, he was able to slip into the shadow and escape to the south. He was heading for the road when a convoy truck appeared and cut him off.

Before the terrorist in the back could shoot him, MacGyver scooped up apalm- sized rock and hurled it with all his might. It hit the gunman right between the eyes, causing him to fall out of the back. Wasting no time, Mac ran for the back of the truck and jumped onto the bumper. He rolled into the bed as more shots rang out and searched for something he could use as a weapon, only to fall back onto his ass when the driver sped up. Getting back to his feet, Mac moved to the front to try and stop the driver only to find the man slumped over the steering wheel, dead, the victim of a stray bullet to the brain.

Peering through the windshield, MacGyver could see that they had veered off the road and were heading for what he knew was a cliff face. Not good. Wishing it weren't so dark out, MacGyver searched the back of the truck for something sharp. Finding and empty bottle, which had apparently contained some sort of alcohol at one time, Mac broke it so he could use the jagged edge to cut through the canvas covering the truck. He was running out of time, but he made himself focus on tying rope to the corners of the canvas so when he felt the truck bump to the edge and start to go over, MacGyver hurtled himself out the back. He held his breath as he waited for his make-shift parachute to fill with air and lift him away.

Jack was ready to make his way down the incline with his unit, when they all heard what sounded like a muffled explosion coming from the terrorist encampment.

Hendricks signaled for them all to hold up. They watched as the Taliban rebels reacted to the sound. They scattered about like ants, yelling and running with weapons in hand. Soon after there was another, louder, explosion followed by several more in a row.

"What the hell is going on?" Jack wondered, out loud.

"Good question," Hendricks countered, moving to Jack's side with binoculars in hand. "Looks like they're splitting up and looking for something."

Jack grabbed the binoculars and looked for himself. "Something or someone? Maybe someone else wants to claim our EOD tech? I mean, a bomb expert would prove useful to a whole array of bad guys."

Hendricks nodded. "You're not wrong."

"Then we should get down there and join in the fun!" Jack was ready and willing to jump in and shake things up.

"Not just yet," Hendricks stated, only to change his mind a moment later. He pointed to a truck moving North. "Dalton, you follow the truck!" he ordered. "Rubino stay here and everyone else follow me. Let's go get our man."

With that the unit moved out, slipping in and out of the shadows like ghosts.

MacGyver didn't have much steering control over his make-shift parachute, but he was able to make his way over to a fairly flat location. His landing wasn't the best and he felt his ankle twist a bit upon impact, but he ignored the pain in favor of fighting his way out from under the canvas. He didn't have time to hang around, so he got his bearings and headed off South again.

Jack took off in the direction of the convoy truck, only to see it veer off the road and go sailing over a cliff. What surprised him more was the sight of someone dangling from what looked to be a make-shift parachute. Ignoring the truck, Jack shifted gears and followed the parachute.

By the time he found he reached the location, the parachute was descending and he winced as it looked like the guy made a hard landing. Finding a path that looked relatively manageable to traverse without breaking his neck, Jack made his way down. By the time he got close the dude was on the move heading south. Without hesitating, Jack followed.

MacGyver heard someone fast approaching from behind and he searched for a hiding place. Spotting a likely spot, he darted off his path and into the shadow, wedging himself behind a big rock and into a deep crevice.

Jack saw the guy dart off into shadows and he started running, but by the time he reached the spot where he'd seen the guy disappear, there was no sign of the dude. Pulling out a flashlight, Jack pointed it at the ground and saw scuffed boot prints. He followed them until they disappeared but he saw nothing but rock and shadows. As he was about to turn back and retrace his steps, Jack heard a thump coming from his left. Turning, he realized his mistake too late, before a body slammed into him and he hit the ground hard. Hard enough to suck the air out of his lungs and make him lose his grip on his rifle. As he tried to get his breath back so he could sit up, Jack fully expected a bullet to rip into him at any moment.

He was surprised when a flashlight beam nailed him in the eyeballs, blinding him as he tried to get to his feet.

"Who are you?" a deep voice demanded.

"You first," Jack shot back, as he finally made his way upright.

"I won't ask again," the voice warned.

Jack believed him. "Dalton, Delta Force," he stated. "Your turn." He felt the odds were in his favor since he hadn't been shot yet. A Taliban rebel would have shot him on sight, and by the same token he wouldn't have been running away from the encampment via parachute. So instinct told Jack that he was dealing with the EOD Expert who had, somehow, managed to free himself.

After a moment of silence, the guy asked, "What are you doing here?"

"Rescue mission," Jack replied. "You wouldn't happen to be Angus MacGyver, would you? Because if you were, that would make my day because...mission accomplished." Abruptly Jack found himself blinking away black spots as the light was clicked off. Once he could see again he was surprised by what he saw. First off, the person before him was not holding Jack's own gun on him. Second, the guy with the deep voice was little more than a kid. A kid with a dirty face and shoulder length hair, who looked stick thin in the baggy tan shirt and pants he was wearing. No way he was Angus MacGyver, EOD specialist.

"You here alone?" MacGyver asked the man in front of him. In the flash light beam he had looked a bit taller than Mac with dark hair shaved close and wearing desert cammo. He had also appeared to be somewhere in his forties.

Jack shook his head. "I'm part of a five man unit. So...you never did answer me. Who are you?"

Feeling relief wash over him, because now he had a definite ride home, Mac replied, "I'm MacGyver. Who sent you to rescue me?"

"We don't get details like that, we just do as we're told." Jack searched about until he spotted his rifle, then he moved to retrieve it, clipping it to his kevlar vest. "Kid...how the hell old are you?"

"Old enough to be a bomb expert," MacGyver replied. This wasn't the first time he had been asked that question, and he doubted it would be the last.

Jack had his doubts about that. "Have you even graduated high school yet?"

Mac decided to humor him. "I graduated high school, MIT and EOD training. All with high honors, so to speak. Can we get out of here now?" He was tired and hurting and more than ready to leave this place.

"Yeah, sure thing, kid." Jack turned and gestured for MacGyver to proceed him. He didn't miss the fact that the kid was limping as he moved past him. "You hurt?" he asked.

"I'm fine," MacGyver said, making a point to stop limping.

Jack didn't argue with him, when they got back to their camp he would have Rubino check the kid out. Rubino was both sniper and medic. "Were you tortured?"

MacGyver shook his head. "They wanted me in working order. They were waiting for someone else to arrive, someone higher up in the Taliban terrorist hierarchy."

"Did you get a name?" Jack hadn't expected that they might end this mission with both MacGyver and intel. To be honest he really had expected to be rescuing either a broken or dead body.

"Azul, that's it." MacGyver stopped and did a slow turn to get his bearings. He noticed something that made him freeze. No shots being fired, no explosions, just...silence.

Jack caught up to him just as his radio buzzed twice. That was the signal that all was well and to use channel two to check in. He hadn't wanted to call it in until he was sure he had MacGyver. "I've got the package and it's in good shape," Jack replied. "Can I get a ride?"

"Copy that," Hendricks replied. "What's your location."

After giving directions, Jack gestured for MacGyver to start walking again. They would meet in the middle. After a few minutes, curiosity got the better of Jack. "How did you get out of there, and I'm guessing you set off the explosions?" The kid was a bomb expert after all, so it made sense.

MacGyver had been waiting for Dalton to ask those questions. "I waited for the opportunity to present itself and took it. I couldn't be sure they would send anybody for me because for all they knew I was dead. Hey, my unit...what happened to them?" He kicked himself for not asking sooner.

"Two dead, three injured," Jack replied. "I don't have names or details. When we get back to camp my Captain can find out for you."

"Thanks." MacGyver didn't even want to think about who had died. He would deal with that later.

Twenty minutes later Rover one pulled up and Jack nudged the kid into the passenger seat before sliding into the back. Hendricks took off immediately, letting Jack know the team had tied up all loose ends and they were already on their way back to camp.

Jack then filled Hendricks in with what he knew, including the intel about Azul. Hendricks asked MacGyver for more details about his captivity, his escape and Azul before falling silent.

They drove into camp and MacGyver asked to use the radio to contact his supervisor. Jack interrupted to inform his Captain that MacGyver was injured and needed to be checked out, ignoring the glare the kid sent his way. So Hendricks called Rubino over to give MacGyver the once over before letting him make his call.

Once they were gone, Jack turned to Hendricks. "Since when did the Army recruit high school kids to be bomb experts?"

"He does look young," Hendricks allowed, shaking his head. "But what he did back there, getting himself out of that terrorist camp on his own...that's damn impressive."

"Yeah it is," Jack confirmed. "You should have seen his home made parachute. Unreal." He didn't share the part of the story where the kid had gotten the drop on him. Hendricks and the others would never let him live that one down if they knew.

Hendricks patted Jack on the shoulder. "I'm going to radio the Commander and let him know we have MacGyver and find out where to drop him off. Keep an eye on him."

Jack nodded. "Will do." He had planned on it anyway. There was something about MacGyver that brought out the protective instinct in Jack, so he headed off to check on the kid who he found arguing with Rubino about his state of health. Jack stood in the opening of the tent and watched the show. His money was on MacGyver.

Come sunrise they had pulled up camp and moved to a safe location where the kid had showered and slept for ten hours straight. Hendricks had informed the unit that they were on two days leave while MacGyver rested. Their next mission would include the kid. They were to follow a lead on the location of Azul, and MacGyver was going with them because their path would take them through bomb infested areas and they would need him to disarm them.

While the kid had slept, Hendricks had learned more details about MacGyver and shared them with his unit. Jack was damn impressed by everything the kid had done and how freaking smart he was, but he still had a hard time dealing with the fact he was only nineteen and looked younger.

However, during the three months they worked together gathering intel on Azul as MacGyver disarmed bombs, Jack had come to learn just how unique the kid was. He could fix things or create them, with whatever he found on hand at the time. Watching him do his thing never ceased to amaze Jack. But he had never been more appreciate of MacGyver's skills than when they arrived at a location where intel had placed Azul's second-in-command, only to find an Army platoon under attack.

Delta Force had jumped right in, with MacGyver being ordered to stay put and stay safe. The kid hadn't listened, which hadn't surprised anyone. When it was all over they were grateful that he hadn't stayed put. The platoon had already been cut down to half it's size by the time Jack's unit had arrived. They were out manned and out gunned and were, basically, being slaughtered.

Even with the five Delta Force guns in the mix, they were fighting a losing battle. Until MacGyver started setting off explosions and taking out the enemy forces with various explosions and projectiles and distractions, which allowed the remaining soldiers to take down the rest of the enemy fighters.

In the end the platoon had been decimated down to only six men left and only two weren't injured. Delta Force hadn't gotten off scot free either, they had lost Hendricks and Rubino in the fire fight. It had been a blood bath of the kind Jack hadn't seen but once before and he knew the image would haunt his dreams for years to come.

They had managed to find Azul's second in command, thanks to MacGyver, and the kid had turned out to be beyond useful in a medical capacity as well. Twelve hours later the cleanup crews arrived and American dead were collected to be sent home, the injured were taken to medical facilities and Jack and the remainder of his unit were debriefed, while Azul's second-in-command was whisked away to be locked up and questioned.

The next day a service was held in honor of the fallen and it was the first time Jack had seen MacGyver since they'd been brought in for debrief. The kid looked pale and exhausted, but Jack had no doubt he looked the same way right down to looking as if grief were weighing him down like a rock on his shoulders.

After the service, Jack went looking for MacGyver, to talk to him, but the kid mysteriously disappeared. They weren't being sent home for two days and during that time Jack made a life-changing decision. He had been planning to re-up but instead he had put in for retirement, time served, effective immediately. There were other things he could do, like return to his gig with the CIA. Whatever he decided, it could wait for a while. The first thing Jack was going to do once he was stateside again, was take six months off to consider his options.

When he found himself finally on the plane heading for home, he was surprised to discover that the only other passenger was MacGyver. The kid had his head stuck in a book and he only barely glanced up when Jack sat down across from him. But it was enough time for Jack to see that the kid looked like he hadn't eaten or slept in a week. He was pale and too thin and with his hair loose and tousled about his face, he looked all of about about 16. Way too young to have lived through the past week of bloodshed and loss.

"How are you holding up, kid?" Jack blurted out.

"Stop calling me kid," MacGyver mumbled.

Jack chuckled. "I calls em as I sees em." Leaning forward, he tapped Mac on the knee until the kid looked up at him. "Seriously, how are you doing?"

MacGyver sighed and did his best to avoid Jack's gaze as he muttered, "I'm fine."

"Yeah?" Jack didn't believe him for one minute. "Because for someone who says he's *fine*, you look like hell."

"Pot...kettle," Mac responded.

Jack couldn't deny that one, nor would he. "Thing is, I never said I was fine. To be honest, I'm feeling pretty messed up right now. Enough so that I'm retiring."

MacGyver was surprised to hear that. "For real?" he countered, because he couldn't see the man as being anything other than a soldier.

"For real," Jack confirmed.

"What are you going to do?" MacGyver realized he was asking out of genuine interest rather than idle curiosity. In the couple of months they had worked together, Mac had come to think of Jack Dalton as a friend. He would miss him.

Jack shrugged. "To be determined. I have a healthy nest egg, so I think I'll chill out for a bit. Maybe I'll learn to surf."

The image of Jack on a surf board made MacGyver chuckle. "Somehow I just can't picture you riding the waves."

"Me either," Jack allowed, pleased to see the kid animated and smiling, even if it was at his expense. "But I do so love a challenge." He knew MacGyver did as well. "Rumor has it you've opted out as well."

"I have." MacGyver couldn't see any reason to deny it.

Jack was rather glad to hear that, because the kid needed to start doing things that weren't related to bombs and terrorists, at least for a little while. "So what do you like doing besides disarming things that go boom?" Jack queried.

MacGyver set his book aside then tucked his hair behind his ears as he considered his reply. "I've had a few offers from a few places," he allowed.

"Such as?" Jack prompted, hoping they would be offers from labs or think tanks or something along those lines.

"NASA has been trying to recruit me since I was at MIT." Mac was surprised at himself for telling Jack about it, because he'd never told anyone else, not even his best friend Bozer. "Maybe I'll finally take them up on their offer."

Jack thought that was a great idea and very cool. "You should totally do that, kid. That would be pretty damn awesome."

MacGyver nodded. "Yeah, it probably would be." And yet he wasn't totally convinced. Maybe he would take a page out of Jack's book and just take some time to consider his options. Seeing that platoon of soldiers nearly wiped out and the loss of Hendricks and Rubino had hit Mac hard, and he was still reeling from the blow. He wasn't sure he was able to move on from that yet, even though compartmentalizing things, boxing them up and setting them aside was something he excelled at.

"Hey, you thirsty?" Jack asked, when he noticed Mac was drifting away from him, probably getting lost in thought in that giant brain of his. So it was time for a distraction. "I'm parched." He fetched two water bottles from the mini fridge, offering one to the kid. He was pleased when MacGyver took it. "I wonder what they have for snacks?" As he spoke, Jack wandered over to the side board and opened the cupboard. There were chips and nuts and granola bars and the like. "You hungry?" he tossed over his shoulder.

"Not really," MacGyver replied. To be honest he couldn't remember the last time he'd felt hungry.

Jack returned with a granola bar for Mac and a bag of chips for himself. He wasn't thrilled when the kid just set it down on the side table, but he let it slide. To pass the time he told stories about his time with the CIA while he polished off the bag of chips. Pausing to grab a bag of pretzels this time, Jack returned to his seat to discover MacGyver had fallen asleep. Snagging a blanket from the overhead compartment, Jack spread it over the kid before returning to his own seat and getting comfortable.

It wasn't long before Jack drifted off to sleep as well.

A nightmare woke MacGyver and he was relieved to note that Jack wasn't in his seat as he struggled to pull himself together. He made a quick trip to the bathroom answering the call of nature, before washing his hands and splashing cold water on his face. Mac avoided looking at his reflection in the mirror, because he knew he wouldn't like what he saw, but he felt back in control of himself by the time he returned to his seat to find Jack waiting for him.

Eyes locked on MacGyver's pale face, Jack could see that the kid didn't exactly look rested despite having slept for over eight hours. He didn't comment on it though, instead he gave Mac a heads up. "I spoke with the pilot and he said we'll be landing in about an hour." Jack was grinning as he made himself comfortable by wriggling around in his seat. "I love super sonic planes, don't you? Although I was surprised that they put us on the fast track to home. Surprised, yet grateful."

"Me too," Mac allowed, although he was feeling a bit disconnected again. He really wasn't sure what to do with himself now. His life was about to change and, for once, MacGyver wasn't sure he was ready for it this time. In an attempt to ease his anxiety, he reached for his book because reading always soothed him and quieted his mind.

Realizing that the kid needed some time to sort himself out, Jack was content to let him read while he dozed for the next hour. He was thrilled when the pilot announced they were to buckle their seatbelts and prepare for landing.

Once they had rolled to a stop, Jack was out of his seat and reaching for his duffle bag. He was ready to go home and chill. He'd sleep in a real bed, his bed. He'd catch up on his favorite sports teams, and stuff himself full of his favorite foods. In fact, he intended to spend the next week eating his way into a food coma with pizza and burgers and Chinese food and the like. He could worry about the rest of his life later.

MacGyver wasn't quite as happy to be disembarking as Jack was, but it felt good to be standing on American soil again. He smiled at the other man and offered his hand. "It's been a pleasure working with you, Jack."

"Same here," Jack replied, frowning. "You sound like you're saying goodbye, kid. I gave you my number and I expect you to use it. Soon. Okay?"

"Okay." MacGyver wasn't sure he would call, but he liked the idea of being too. He would miss Jack. A moment later Mac found himself engulfed in a bear hug and he froze up for a minute, but then he hugged Jack back only to pull away a moment later when he felt himself becoming emotional.

Jack found himself not wanting to walk away from MacGyver, instead he wanted to take the kid home with him and make him eat and sleep until the blue eyes lost their shadows. In fact, he was just about to ask Mac to join him for dinner when he saw a woman walking towards them both. He nudged the kid and they both watched her approach. She was tall, slim, dressed in a black pants suit, with dark hair pulled back and sunglasses concealing her eyes. "Can we help you?" Jack asked, as she stopped before them.

Sliding the sunglasses off her nose, the woman offered a tight smile. "Actually, I'm here to make you both an offer."

"What kind of offer?" Jack countered, not even bothering to hide the undertone of suspicion.

"A once in a lifetime offer," Thornton countered. She turned to MacGyver. "I've been following your career since MIT. I'm building a strategic task force of the best and the brightest. I want you to be a part of it. Your particular skill set will prove most useful. There is nobody in the world like you, Mr. MacGyver, and I would know because I've spent the past ten years looking."

MacGyver wasn't sure how to respond so he countered with, "What about Jack? Would we work together?" He found himself intrigued by the offer, in part because Jack would be with him. Or so it seemed.

Thornton nodded. "That's the plan." She locked eyes with Jack. "I've done my homework on you as well, Mr. Dalton. Your military career and your time in the CIA. It would be your job to watch MacGyver's back."

"How much time do we have to think about it?" Jack countered.

"Twenty-four hours and it's a one time only offer," Thornton stated. She slid her sunglasses back on before stating, "I'll be in touch for your answer. It's been a pleasure, gentleman." With that she turned to leave.

MacGyver called her back by blurting out, "I'll do it." He turned to see Jack staring at him in surprise, but he didn't pause to reconsider because his gut was telling him this was the right thing to do. Now he just hoped his friend would make the same choice.

Jack didn't hesitate. "I'm in," he replied, because he realized that even though he had no idea what he was in for, if MacGyver was up for the challenge, then so was he.

"Excellent," Thornton stated. "I'll give you both two weeks to get settled back in here, then I'll be in touch to give you the tour of our facility and outline your duties."

"Sounds good," Mac replied. "Thanks."

Jack had one more question before she left. "What are you called? Not you...I mean...your agency."

Thornton smirked at him. "I know what you mean. We're DXS." With that she turned on her heel and strode off.

"DXS," Jack echoed. "I've heard rumors about them, but I thought it was just some government myth."

"Apparently not." MacGyver smiled at his friend. "You know, you don't have to do this just because I do."

Jack clapped the kid on the shoulder. "I'm doing it because I hate being bored and this sounds like fun."

MacGyver couldn't help but laugh, even though he knew Jack had agreed to the job, at least in part, so they could continue to work together. He was good with that. "We don't even know what we'll be doing," he couldn't resist pointing out. "For all you know, we'll both be bored."

"I'll risk it," Jack countered. "Hey, you want to go get some pizza, or maybe a burger? And I would kill for a milkshake and a real beer, though not necessarily in that order. And beer for me, not you, since you're not legal yet."

"Pizza sounds good," MacGyver allowed. "We could pick some up and take it to my place."

Jack agreed, in part because he was curious to see where the kid lived. Snagging MacGyver by the arm, Jack led him over to the car and driver waiting for them. "What kind of pizza do you like, and think carefully, because the answer could make or break our friendship."

MacGyver snorted. "All friendships should be based on the right pizza toppings. For the record, my favorite is sausage and mushroom."

"Good answer, bud." Jack clapped him on the back for snagging MacGyver's duffle bag and tossing both into the trunk before joining the kid in the back seat. "So what's your favorite football team?"

The questions kept coming, all the way to the pizza place, but MacGyver didn't mind. An hour ago his future had been uncertain, and he still didn't know exactly what was in store for him with DXS, but Mac found himself looking forward to whatever came his way now that Jack would be a part of it.

As the car delivered them to MacGyver's house, Jack whistled. The kid had a nice place. But Jack would have followed Mac into a dump without hesitation because somewhere along the way, Jack realized that where ever MacGyver went, that's where he belonged.

THE END