Author's Note: I know that, among loyal MacGyver fans, the episode "Passages" in Season 5 is generally well-loved and respected. For this chapter, I did not try to copy it, merely apply the concept to a different set of circumstances. To copy or rewrite it was never my intent. I hope you enjoy it and I would especially like feedback either in the form of a review, PM, or other message for those of you who know me!

Passages II

As soon as Joanna was stabilized, the paramedics carefully loaded her onto a gurney. MacGyver stepped forward, intent on riding with her in the ambulance when a heavy hand on his shoulder stopped him.

"There's nothing you can do for her, son," Leroy's deep voice rumbled. "Her parents have been called and will meet her at the hospital. We need you here to give your statement and help secure the crime scene." The lawyer shoved a moist cloth into his hands. It was then that MacGyver looked down and realized Joanna's blood still covered his palms and fingers.

Wiping the sticky, red substance from his hands MacGyver sighed. The job came first. The job always came first.

MacGyver entered the emergency room and quickly located Joanna's parents. Her mother had her head bowed and hands folded, no doubt praying for her daughter. Jo's father stared blankly at a baseball game being played out on a television mounted high on the opposite wall.

He approached them somberly. "How is she?"

Judy Fairfax immediately stood and hugged him while her husband shook Mac's hand.

"They took her right into surgery," Judy informed him. "We're still waiting to hear from the doctor."

MacGyver sat down. Leaning forward, he rested his elbows on his knees and stared down at this folded hands. It had happened again. Another loved one's life hung in the balance because of him. Why had he acted so foolishly? Why had he allowed himself to think that a new job, a new city, a new life could bring him the love and peace he sought? Mac scrubbed his face with his hands when a doctor wearing surgical scrubs approached the trio.

"Are you all Ms. Fairfax's immediately family?" he asked, looking pointedly at MacGyver.

"Yes," Judy stood and replied without hesitation and MacGyver silently thanked her for allowing him to be included in this moment. "How is she, doctor?"

"She's very lucky," the doctor sighed. "The bullet missed all her organs. She did lose a lot of blood, but with time and rest I expect her to make a full recovery." The relief in the room was palpable.

"When can we see her?" Judy asked.

"I'll take you to her now, but you can only stay for a few minutes. She's still groggy and needs her rest."

The surgeon led them to an elevator and then through a maze of corridors before coming to a stop outside Joanna's room and bidding them farewell. MacGyver stepped aside, allowing her parents to enter first while he hung back near the doorway.

Mrs. Fairfax headed directly to her daughter and gave her a gentle hug before tears of relief and happiness began to fall. Joanna's dad squeezed her hand, and MacGyver could tell the man was holding back tears himself. As was he.

Once assured that their daughter was, indeed, alive and well and as comfortable as possible, the couple headed out of the room with promises to return soon. As they were about to walk through the door, Judy put a comforting hand on Mac's shoulder. "Go to her."

"Yes ma'am," MacGyver choked around the lump in his throat as he went to stand beside Jo's bed. He had never seen her look as weak and helpless as she did right now, lying in a hospital bed, connected to wires that monitored her vital signs and an IV that provided life-giving fluid.

"You didn't think you could get rid of me that easily, did you?" Joanna quipped, her voice hoarse.

MacGyver reached out his hand and smoothed her dark bangs away from her forehead. "What makes you think I want to get rid of you at all?" he smiled back at her.

"Are the kids okay? Did you catch—"

"Shhhh. I'll tell you all about it once you've gotten some rest"

"You'll come back tomorrow?" she asked.

"Count on it," Mac promised.

He was about to turn and walk away when she grabbed his hand. "This is not your fault," she told him groggily. "You know that, right?"

"Yeah, I know that," he lied, gently releasing his hand from hers.

The following afternoon MacGyver entered Joanna's hospital room to find her sitting up in bed chatting with her parents.

"Hey you," she greeted him.

"'Hey' yourself. How are you feeling?"

"Surprisingly not as miserable as I expected. They're saying I can go home in a couple days."

Mr. Fairfax got up from his chair and motioned for MacGyver to sit down.

"I'm going for a walk. Maybe stop in the cafeteria. I'll be back later."

"My dad hates hospitals," Joanna explained with a wry grin. "Now tell me, what happened with the Crandells?"

"You're not gonna believe this," Mac told her. "It was the nanny who was behind the threats and the kidnapping."

"No way!" Jo gasped, her eyes twinkling in anticipation of further details.

"Yeah. Remember how she was the one who ultimately determined who got custody? Turns out she was really upset about how Mr. and Mrs. Crandell were very 'hands-off' parents and she thought the children would be better off with her. She had tried to convince them to turn over guardianship to her, and when they decided not to, she set this little scheme in motion."

"Wow," Joanna replied. "She must have had some money and resources as well to pull it off."

"Let's just say she was not Mary Poppins," Mac grinned.

They continued to talk for the better part of an hour before MacGyver announced he needed to leave.

"You'll come back tomorrow?" Joanna asked hopefully as he rose from his chair.

"I'll try. Leroy wants me on a new case so I might be pretty busy."

"Mac?"

It was all he could do to meet her confused gaze. "I'll try," he said again with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes.

MacGyver arrived at work early the next day, but Leroy summoned him to a small conference room before he even had a chance to boot up his computer. When he walked in the room, he saw a young blonde woman sitting next to his boss.

"Have a seat, MacGyver," Leroy invited. "We have a new project to discuss."

Mac's gaze traveled back and forth between Leroy and the blonde.

"Oh, please excuse my manners," Leroy apologized. "This is Melissa Swenson. She's an expert in geological and environmental research."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. MacGyver," Melissa replied, reaching across the table to shake his hand. "My friends call me 'Missy'."

"The pleasure is mine. My friends call me 'Mac'," he returned her greeting, holding her hand just a moment longer than necessary.

Leroy cleared his throat. "We have a lot of work ahead of us so let's get started," he prompted. "An out-of-state developer wants to build a strip mall on a large plot of land northeast of the city. It's currently old farm and swamp land. The township is opposed to this and hired us to do a survey of the ecological impact such a project would have on the area and file a lawsuit if necessary. I'm assigning the two of you to work on this and present your results to the township and developer in two weeks."

MacGyver could hardly wait to get started on this project. A nature lover and conservationist, he had done a number of similar studies and reports for Phoenix.

"How about we grab some coffee and work out a plan," Missy suggested after their little meeting adjourned.

"Sounds like a great way to start," Mac grinned as he watched the lithe woman lead the way. No need to tell her he didn't drink the stuff. He could make an exception. After all, what was one cup of coffee compared to potentially saving the environment?

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Time passed excruciatingly slow for Joanna marked not by minutes or hours but by mini-milestones. Graduating from an IV to liquids and Jell-O to soft solid food. Walking five feet further down the hall than the day before. Staying awake long enough to finish a game of Monopoly with her dad. The one thing that didn't change, however, was MacGyver's absence. She had not seen or heard from him since her first days in the hospital. Her mother tried to reassure her that he was just preoccupied with work. When Leroy called to check on her progress, he told her the same thing. But Joanna knew differently. She had seen the look on his face when he saw her lying in the hospital bed for the first time. The guilt. The blame. She had tried to reach out to him, calling him at home and the office, but he never answered…never returned her calls.

Several days after being declared fit to resume normal activities, Joanna got up early and drove to MacGyver's apartment hoping to see him before he left for work. She was glad to see his Jeep still in the driveway when she pulled up. Eager to see him, she hurried to the front door and knocked twice before turning the knob and walking in.

"'Morning, stranger," she greeted him. At the sound of her voice, Frog appeared from out of nowhere, skidded across the wood floor and slid to a stop at her feet. She bent down to ruffle his ears but winced as the movement tugged at her newly healed incision.

MacGyver looked up from pouring one of his healthy concoctions from the blender jar into a glass, a surprised look on his face.

"Joanna! What are you doing here?"

Struggling to remain upbeat in spite of the less than stellar greeting she straightened and replied, "I've missed you! I know you've been busy with a big project at work so I thought I'd drop in. I plan on coming back in a few days and then I'll be able to help you out. Unless, of course, if Leroy needs me for something else."

"Mac, where do you keep…oh, I didn't know we had company."

Joanna's head jerked to the top of the spiral staircase where a slim, leggy blonde stood wearing Mac's favorite hockey jersey and little else.

"Um, Melissa, this is Joanna, from work."

The blonde descended the remaining stairs until she stood level with Jo.

"Oh, you're the poor thing that got shot." Melissa all but crooned. "And please, call me 'Missy'."

Joanna leveled MacGyver a deadly glare. The pain in her abdomen was a day at the beach compared to the pain from the invisible knife that was stabbing her in the back.

"Missy…um…Melissa works at the office and is helping me with the project," Mac tried to explain.

"I see," Joanna responded, her tone clipped. "I didn't mean to interrupt. I guess I'll just be going."

She turned and walked out the door before MacGyver could utter a protest. If he even wanted to. Tears stung her eyes and clouded her vision as she got into her car and drove off. Upon turning the corner a block away, where no one could see her, she pulled the car to the side of the road and shifted into park just as sobs began to rack her body. She knew what he was doing. He was pulling away. Trying to protect her. But all her traitorous heart knew was that she had found the man she loved with another woman.

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The pain in Joanna's eyes when she had seen Melissa almost ripped MacGyver's heart in two. If he was honest with himself, he was ashamed of the way he had been acting these past couple weeks. Staying away from the hospital, ignoring Jo's phone calls, and now allowing her to think he was seeing another woman. But he had to do it. He had to push her away if he was to keep her alive. It may be cruel and painful for both of them, but that's the way it had to be. The way it always had to be.

"Why are you wearing that?" Mac snapped at Melissa.

"It was the only thing I could find to put on after my shower," she answered innocently.

"There's a robe hanging on the back of the bathroom door," he ground out.

"It's too hot for that heavy thing," Melissa replied lightly as she reached for the protein shake he had just poured, but MacGyver grasped her wrist before she could raise the glass.

"Let's get one thing straight," MacGyver replied in a firm, controlled voice. "We are co-workers assigned to the same project. Nothing more. I apologize if I led you on in anyway. We've logged a lot of hours together and last night went a little long so I let you stay over and use my shower, but that's it! You understand?"

"Oh, I understand!" Melissa shot back. "Let's just finish this report and get through the presentation. In two days I'll be out of your life. But let me give you some friendly advice. Decide what and who you want in your life, MacGyver. And when you finally make a decision, commit to it!"

MacGyver sat at his desk Friday morning staring at the thick report in front of him. In a couple hours, he and Melissa would present their findings and he could get on with his life. He had not seen nor heard from Joanna since that day in his apartment. He wanted to go to her, explain everything, but he had forced himself to wait until after this presentation when he could give her his undivided attention. He was pretty sure she would understand. The question was, would she forgive him?

The ringing of his telephone broke into his thoughts.

"Hello?"

"Mac, this is Judy Fairfax."

Was she calling to lobby for her daughter? "Hi Judy, what can I do for you?"

"It's Joanna. She's back in the hospital and things…things don't look too good."

MacGyver didn't remember hanging up the phone or running down the hall to tell Leroy he was leaving. He didn't remember driving across town to the hospital. But he would never forget the look on the faces of Joanna's parents when they met him at the hospital entrance.

"What happened? How is she?" he demanded as they led him to a small waiting area.

"She spiked a very high fever yesterday," Judy Fairfax began to explain. "She had gone upstairs to take a nap. When she didn't come down for supper I went to wake her, but she was unconscious."

"Why didn't you call me?!"

"When we got her here, the doctor said it was just an infection. He put her on intravenous antibiotics and a sedative. He expected a quick response to the medication and full recovery."

"But…?" Mac wasn't sure he wanted to hear more, but he had to know.

Judy sighed sadly. "She's still running a very high fever despite increased doses of antibiotics. The doctors have been doing more tests but can't find anything except the infection that should be responding to the meds but isn't. They don't know why. We thought that, regardless of what you two have been dealing with these past couple of days, you'd want to be here."

"Thank you," MacGyver choked back tears as he bent down to hug the petite woman. "Can I see her?"

For the second time in as many weeks Mac once again stood in the doorway to Joanna's hospital room. She looked pale, weak, and tired. MacGyver pulled a chair over next to her bed and took her hand in his as he sat down.

"I'm here now, baby. It's gonna be okay. We're gonna get through this together."

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Joanna slowly opened her eyes to find the bedroom bathed in bright summer sunlight. She sat up slowly, trying to get her bearings. How could she be here? It was impossible! There was no way she could be in the vacation house on Lake Delton. It had been destroyed by a tornado over a year ago! Or had that all been just a bad dream?

She climbed off the bed, her clothes a bit wrinkled, and headed toward sounds coming from the kitchen. A plump, gray haired woman in a white nurse's uniform looked up when Joanna entered the room.

"About time you wake up, sleepyhead," she said in a warm, comforting voice.

"Who are you and how am I here?" Jo asked warily.

"Come down to the lake and we'll sit and talk," the woman replied with a kind smile.

Oddly trusting of the stranger, Joanna followed her out the patio doors, across the yard, and sat down next to her on a wooden bench overlooking the water.

"My name is Martha," the woman said gently. "I was sent to stay here with you while you heal."

"Heal?"

"Oh dear, you don't remember, do you?"

Joanna shook her head. "I'm afraid not."

Martha sighed. "You are a very sick woman. You're body needs to fight to keep itself alive. You've been brought to the one place that always calms your soul so you can get the rest you need."

"Am I going to die?"

"No dear," the woman chuckled. "That's not in the plan. Of course, you do have free will."

"What do you mean?"

"The outcome is ultimately up to you and the choices you make."

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MacGyver's head jerked up. How long had he been asleep? Minutes? Hours? He still held Jo's too-warm hand in his.

"Mac, why don't you take a break and go get something to eat?" Judy urged from a chair in the corner of the hospital room. "You won't help matters if you get sick yourself."

MacGyver rose and reluctantly let go of Joanna's hand. From what her mother said, he must have been sitting here quite a while.

"You'll call me if there's any change?"

"Absolutely," Judy promised.

Mac sat at a table in the cafeteria, poking a fork at the salad he had bought, but he wasn't hungry. He wasn't thirsty. He wasn't anything, except hurting. Why did Joanna have to suffer because of him? He tried to keep her close and she got shot. He tried to push her away and she got sick. Did his callous treatment of her recently contribute to her succumbing to this infection…if that's what it was? He should have been treating her with kindness and gentleness, offering her his love and support. Instead, he ignored her and allowed her to think the worst of him. He abused his salad for a few more minutes before tossing it in the trash and heading back to Jo's room.

When he arrived, the doctor was talking to Joanna's parents. Her dad was smiling and her mother was weeping what he assumed were tears of relief. The band that had been squeezing his chest since he heard the news loosened slightly.

"What'd I miss?" he asked, trying to sound upbeat.

"Her fever has finally broken," the doctor turned to him with a smile. "She's not out of the woods, yet, but she should wake up once the sedative wears off."

MacGyver leaned over and brushed a kiss against her forehead. "Hear that, baby? You're gonna be okay."

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Joanna didn't know how long she and Martha had been sitting on the bench when they heard a rustling sound behind them. They turned to find a well-dressed man approaching them. As he got closer, Joanna noticed his blondish, curly hair and dark eyes. He appeared slender yet athletic, but not as tall or broad as MacGyver. His posture was impeccable and spoke of extreme confidence. He moved gracefully with his chin up, shoulders back, and head high. However, his sharp cheekbones, angular jaw, and wide smile that didn't quite meet his eyes caused Joanna to feel uncomfortable.

"What are you doing here?" Martha asked with disdain.

"I heard a friend of MacGyver's was here and I wanted to drop in and welcome her. They do let me out every now and again for good behavior, you know."

"She's not staying," Martha replied harshly.

Joanna didn't understand Martha's reaction to this man. He seemed harmless enough. Her curiosity rose when he said that he knew MacGyver. Perhaps he could give her some insight into that infuriating man.

"You know Mac?" Joanna asked the stranger.

"I do. Well, 'did' if you want to get technical about it."

"What's your name?"

"You can call me 'Eddie'. Or Tom, or Dick, or Harry if you like. It really doesn't matter."

Eddie continued walking past them and out onto the pier before turning to pin Joanna with an intense stare.

As if reading her mind, he asked, "So, what do you want to know about dear old MacGyver?"

Just as Joanna was about to head toward the pier, Martha put a firm hand on her arm to stop her.

"It is time to go, child," she said, her serene tone once again emerging.

"Now? Can't I stay and talk to Eddie for just a minute?"

Martha looked nervously between Joanna and the house.

"You need to go back. It is not time for you to stay here. You must come with me," she said with uncharacteristic urgency.

Joanna felt torn. She wasn't ready to go back. Not yet. She wanted to talk with Eddie. She wanted some answers.

"I'll be okay," she assured Martha. "Just tell me how to go back and I promise I will in just a couple minutes."

The older woman sighed in resignation. She knew she could not impede a person's free will.

"See that shelf of clouds off to the west?"

Joanna looked up and nodded.

"You must be back inside the house before the edge of the clouds covers the sun, otherwise you will be here for eternity."

"You mean I'll be dead?" Joanna asked uncertainly.

"I'm afraid so. As I said before, it is ultimately your choice."

Joanna nodded. "I understand," she replied firmly before turning and walking out on the metal dock to join Eddie.

"Ah, you've decided to join me after all!" Eddie exclaimed upon seeing Joanna standing next to him.

Joanna glanced up at the sky. "I can't stay long, but I do have some questions."

"About MacGyver, no doubt."

Joanna nodded.

"Well, go ahead then. Ask me what you want to know."

"It's not so much a question as…well…before I came here I thought Mac might be falling in love with me. At least a little. But after I got shot, he pulled away. I know why he did it, but it still hurt. And then I found him with this pretty woman. I just don't know what to do."

"I think the answer is pretty simple, my dear. MacGyver obviously no longer wants to be with you. That is, if he ever did in the first place."

Joanna frowned.

"Oh come now, don't look so sad. You can't honestly think that MacGyver could commit to someone. Especially someone like you."

"What do you mean?" Jo asked defensively although she was sure she already knew the answer.

"An innocent little wallflower like yourself can't expect to hold MacGyver's attention for long," he explained haughtily. "A man like MacGyver needs adventure, intrigue, passion! Why, just look at all the women he's dated. If none of them could keep him satisfied, what makes you think you can."

"But Mac said he's changed. That he wants to settle down and have a normal life."

"Well, he obviously lied," Eddie said bluntly. "You must be able to see that now."

"Then what am I supposed to do? I think I love him."

Eddie turned so he was facing Joanna. He put his hands on her shoulders and looked straight into her eyes with his most convincing stare.

"Let him go," he said. "If you love him like you say you do, let him be free!"

"How can I do that?" Joanna asked, her heart breaking.

"By staying here, of course! If you die, MacGyver will be free to move on and sow his oats hither and yon without anyone holding him back. That's the only way he'll ever be truly happy, you know."

Tears started pooling in Jo's eyes. Was that really the best thing she could do for MacGyver? Die so he could truly live?

"But what about my parents? If I die—"

"Don't worry about them," Eddie replied flippantly. "They're old. You're greatest fear is that they'll die and leave you all alone. Now you don't have to worry about that! In the meantime, they have each other, their friends, and their faith to see them through."

Joanna was so confused. She looked up at the sky and was surprised to see how much closer the wall of clouds had gotten to the sun.

"So you really think it would be best for everyone if I just stayed here?"

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"Why isn't she waking up?" Judy Fairfax asked the doctor, panic underlying her tone. "Her fever broke twelve hours ago and the sedatives should be out of her system by now!"

Mr. Fairfax and MacGyver stood nearby, waiting for an answer as well.

"We can't really say," the doctor began. "Her blood count is returning to normal but her vitals are weakening. It could just be her body telling us that she needs more time to recover. We'll run more tests in the morning if there's no change."

MacGyver looked at Joanna's weary parents. "Why don't you guys go home and try to get some rest. I'll stay here and call if anything changes."

"Oh Mac," Judy laid a comforting hand on his arm. "You've been here day and night as well, but I'll feel better knowing you're with her."

MacGyver watched the couple turn and head toward the bank of elevators before returning to Joanna's side. He sat down and held her hand as he had been doing for hours on end.

"Aw baby, I know I really messed up this time. But if you'll just come back to me I'll explain everything. It wasn't what you thought."

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"Mac! Mac! Wake up!" Judy Fairfax shook his shoulders.

"Wha…What's wrong? Is there a change?" he asked sleepily.

"No, there's no change. But you have to go home and get some rest!"

Apparently time away from the hospital had done wonders for Jo's mom. She was back to her usual way of watching out for others. Maybe he should listen to her and take a break as well.

MacGyver took the elevator down to the main floor and decided to wander the halls and stretch out his muscles before driving home. He didn't pay much attention to where he was going until he passed a door with a gold cross on it. The chapel. He hesitated. He hadn't prayed since…well, it had been a long time. It wasn't that he didn't believe in God. He did. After all, Who could create such a wondrous universe? But why would that Creator take time to listen to him…again? He hadn't listened when MacGyver prayed for his dad and grandma to return home safely. He hadn't listened when MacGyver prayed to find a way to get to his mother before she died. But then again, what did he have to lose?

Mac quietly opened the door, walked down the aisle of the empty sanctuary, slid into a smooth wooden pew, and humbly bowed his head in prayer.

"Dear Lord," he whispered huskily, "please send Joanna back to us. I'm not asking for myself, but for her family, friends and all the people who love her. You're the only One who can help her now."

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"Get away from her, Murdoc!" A female voice called from across the yard.

Joanna turned so quickly she almost fell in the lake. A tall, slim woman with kind but determined eyes strode toward them.

"You're Murdoc?!" Joanna gasped and quickly backed down the pier away from MacGyver's greatest enemy.

"Kate!" Murdoc spat. "You have impeccable timing. Couldn't you have waited just a little while longer?"

"Go to the house, Joanna," Kate instructed calmly. "You need to go back."

By now Joanna was standing on the grass with Kate at her side. Murdoc remained on the pier, his face contorted in anger. She was incredibly confused and more than a little scared.

"Who are you?" Joanna asked the woman.

"I'm Kate Malloy."

"Sam's mom," Jo responded, her voice barely a whisper.

"Yes," Kate nodded. "You must go back. Angus and Sean need you."

Joanna wrinkled her brow at hearing the strange names.

"I'm sorry," Kate chuckled. "You only know him as MacGyver. His given name is Angus. He's always hated it, but I think it's a lovely name. That's why I named Sam after him."

Joanna's brain raced to process this information.

"Sam's full name is Sean Angus Malloy. He's chosen to use the acronym," Kate patiently explained.

"They don't need me," Joanna responded quietly. "Mac will be better off without me."

"Is that what Murdoc told you?"

Joanna nodded.

"Joanna, Murdoc is an evil man who lies to get what he wants. Can't you see that even after his death he's trying to hurt Mac by taking away one of the people he cares most about?"

"You think Mac really does care about me?"

Kate put her arm around Joanna's shoulder. "I've been watching you and Angus for a while now. He hasn't been this happy in a very long time."

"You know that he loved you."

"I do. That's how I know that he now loves you. He may not be able to tell you yet. Perhaps he doesn't even know it himself. That's why you must go back. You are not meant to stay here. You must go back to MacGyver."

A cool breeze blew across the lake causing Joanna to look up at the sky. The clouds had moved in rapidly and would soon start covering the sun. She glanced at the pier, but Murdoc was gone.

"You must go into the house now, Joanna. Time is running out," Kate urged.

"I…I don't know what to say to you. How to thank you. I know how special you were to Mac and Sam."

Kate gave Jo a brief hug. "Then go back and love them yourself."

A strong gust of wind distracted Joanna and when she turned back Kate was gone. Finally sure of what she needed to do, Jo ran across the yard and up onto the deck of the house. She pulled on the sliding patio door but it would not open. It was then that she heard Murdoc's diabolical laugh through the glass. Joanna pounded on the door.

"Let me in, Murdoc! I have to go back!"

"I think not, my dear," he replied coolly.

Jo picked up a metal patio chair and began banging it against the glass door.

"You're too weak, darling. Such a pity…for MacGyver!"

"No!" Joanna yelled as she once again slammed the chair against the glass.

The clouds were moving in quickly now. There wasn't much time left. She began banging her fists on the door, hoping that the piece of humanity Mac had seen in Murdoc would soften his heart enough to let her in. It was then that she saw a shadow moving down the hallway, away from her. She could tell by the stride and posture that it was MacGyver. She yelled to him, but he continued to walk away.

Frantically, she picked up the patio chair once more and heaved it at the glass again and again as she continued to yell.

"Mac! Mac! MacGyver! Help me! Open the door! Mac!"

She anxiously glanced over her shoulder at the clouds which were now seconds away from edging out the sun. With all the strength she could muster, she hurled the chair at the glass one last time as she yelled with all her might.

"Annnnguuuus!"

The glass shattered and Joanna lunged over the threshold just as the edge of the clouds began to cover the sun.

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MacGyver didn't know how long he sat alone in the chapel, longing for a peace that did not come. When he could take the silence no longer, he headed back to Joanna's room. The nurse informed him that Mr. and Mrs. Fairfax were in the cafeteria, but while they had been gone, Joanna's vital signs had strengthened though she still remained unconscious. Perhaps his prayer hadn't fallen on deaf ears after all?

Mac entered the room and took up his place beside the woman who had wormed her way into his life and his heart. MacGyver sighed as he stretched out his legs, rested the back of his head against the cushion of the chair, and closed his eyes.

A strange noise startled MacGyver awake, his heart pounding. He sat up straight, looking around the room. He was still alone. Joanna was still sleeping. He shook his head. As his heart resumed its normal rhythm he began to lean back in the chair once more when he heard something.

"Mmmm. Mmmm." Joanna whimpered.

Mac shot out of his chair to summon the nearest nurse.

"She's waking up!" he said excitedly.

The nurse grabbed a doctor and they hurried into Joanna's room with MacGyver on their heels. The pair immediately began taking her vitals as she continued to whimper and moan. Soon her body began to jerk and she rolled her head back and forth on the pillow, her brow wrinkled in pain or distress.

"What's happening? Is she okay?" Mac asked, hovering over her.

"Please give us some room and let us do our job, sir," the nurse commanded.

He had just taken a step back when Joanna opened her eyes and muttered softly but clearly: "Angus."

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Several days later, Joanna was curled up on her love seat while MacGyver sprawled in the recliner in her small living room. They both watched as a movie played out on the television screen.

"So when are you—"

"Shhhh," Jo scolded him. "This is the best part!"

Mac sighed. "You said the same thing about the part where she carried the watermelon, and the part where they practiced lifts in the water."

"But this is really the best part," she insisted.

MacGyver watched as the handsome actor walked over to a small family table and smoothly delivered the now infamous line: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

Joanna savored the long awaited scene for several seconds before turning her attention back to MacGyver.

"Okay, what did you want to ask me?"

"When you were in the hospital, unconscious, what was it like?"

Jo shrugged. "Pretty much like sleeping, I guess."

"Did you have any dreams?" he ventured.

Joanna sat so she could look him in the eye. "I did have a dream. A pretty weird one, actually."

"You wanna tell me about it?"

"I dreamed I was up at Lake Delton. In the house we stayed in. At first I was with this nurse but then…" here she hesitated. "I dreamed that I met Murdoc and he tried to convince me to stay away from you, but then Kate Malloy came and made me come back," she said in a rush. "Sounds ridiculous, right? I mean, I never even met these people."

"It doesn't sound ridiculous at all," Mac assured her. He pushed himself out of the recliner and sat next to Joanna on the small couch, pulling her close.

"Did I ever tell you about the time I almost died?"

"Which one?" she giggled.

"When I flat lined in the hospital."

Jo turned serious and shook her head. Her eyes searching his.

"I dreamed I was on a cruise ship. I was following Harry who had just died. My folks were there. I wanted to stay so badly. To be with my family."

"What changed your mind?"

"I was told that Pete's life was in danger. I was the only one with the information to save him. I had to come back for Pete."

"I'm glad you did," Joanna replied as she wrapped her arms around him and snuggled closer.

"Me too," Mac said, kissing the top of her head. "Tell me something. When you met Kate, what did she say?"

"That's between us girls," Jo teased him before sobering. "She said that she loved you and that she wants you and Sam to be happy. She said I had to come back to you…Angus."