(AN: First of all, I am no bomb expert, and I've researched way too many questionable things this week alone, to be able to look up much about it. So, I guessed. It's most definitely wrong but whatever I hope you like this anyway)
"Why do they get a day off?" Bozer didn't mean to sound so whiny, but it wasn't like he wanted to be in the phoenix headquarters while Jack and Mac were at home laying around.
Matty frowned at his tone, and made her own equally grumpy. "It's not like I want to let half my team stay home, but they refuse to come in on Cairo day. Feel free to try and get them here, but prepare for the rest of the day to consist only of Jacks lecture about why it's bad luck."
Riley crossed her arms, as she put her feet up on the seat in front of her. "I thought Mac would come in at least. He doesn't believe in bad luck."
Matty turned her back to the two young agents, focussing instead on her tablet. Her voice was smaller, as if talking to herself. "Yeah, well whether he believes in the Cairo curse or not, today is hard for him too. It's not exactly something he wants to remember."
Riley took her boots off the couch, to lean forward, just as Bozer did. "What do you mean? What happened?"
Matty looked up from her screen, to frown at the two. "Oh no. Nuh uh, they won't talk about Cairo, I won't either. Go play in the lab or something; find something useful to do. Just because there isn't a mission, doesn't mean you aren't working."
Bozer ran for the door, with Riley following after, before Matty could say anything else; but she should have known they wouldn't stop at just asking her about it. Jack and Mac had been going on about their horrendous failure of a mission since forever, and they wanted to know about it.
Bozer waited till they were out of Mattys earshot before he leant towards Riley with a conspiratorial smirk. "You thinking what I'm thinking?"
She smiled, rising her eyebrows excitedly. "Shall we do a little snooping?"
Bozer did his best impression of a villain laugh, and opened the door to the labs. "After you Miss Davis."
It didn't take long for Riley to get into the system she needed, or for her to find the file she was looking for, although it was buried deep in reports and mission logs. But when it came to click on it, she hesitated.
"Should we be doing this? They don't want to tell us, maybe we should just respect their privacy."
Bozer frowned. "They don't talk about it, because they think it's bad luck, not because they don't want us to know." He paused, staring at the screen. "Although...I do hear Mac having nightmares sometimes, and I know they're about Cairo because he calls Jack over and they talk about it, in his room."
Riley nodded. "Yeah, I've heard Jack have nightmares about it too, and he always insists on checking on Mac afterwards. What do you think happened?"
Bozer stared at the computer screen, unsure of what to do. Maybe he didn't want to know, maybe they shouldn't snoop, but eventually his curiosity won out and he went to click the file.
"Mac said he'd never keep anything from me again, so if he can't talk about it, I'll just have to read about it."
The file was fairly large, with mission reports from Mac and Jack, as well as a bunch of other files from the higher ups and some from...DXS's medical personnel?
"What happened on this mission?"
Bozer looked just as worried Riley, but surged ahead regardless. "We might as well find out."
The bombs timer was ticking, but the terrorists didn't take the bait. The plan failed.
Mac looked down at the timer, counting down from ten seconds, as he swallowed his fear. Jack whined unhappily, as Farhad and his guys pointed their guns at them, not seeing a way out.
The situation was bad, but not quite as bad as Jack believed it to be. Mac may have taken a risk with the bluff, but he hadn't been totally stupid about it. The bomb wasn't activated, just the timer was. He'd disconnected the wires from the rest of the scary looking tanks and explosives around it, leaving it as nothing but an oversized, horrifying, counter.
Farhad looked very pleased with himself, as he jerked his gun forward with a smile. "You really thought you could stop us? Now you're going to die, along with the thousands of people you've just sentenced to death with your little stunt. All we have to do is wait the last five seconds."
Mac tutted his tongue, tilting his head to the side as he confessed. "Actually...I didn't even activate the bomb. It's ticking down to nothing."
The gleeful look fell from Farhads face, as Jack laughed hysterically, with relief. "What?"
"Oh thank god! Mac, I thought we were about to die!"
The terrorist did not think it was as funny as Jack did, and thrust his gun forwards once more. "You still are!"
Thank god for coincidences, and bad traffic, because while someone a few streets away, definitely crashed their car, the sound was enough of a diversion for Jack to get to his feet and take out a couple of the terrorist assholes with a few well placed punches.
Mac was less lucky, managing to catch one of the bad guys in the face with his elbow, and tear a gun from another, before one of them got in a good punch to his face, and he stumbled back.
His vision blurred and swirled, but he managed to stand upright again, in time to block another hit, as Farhad yelled at his men to keep them alive.
Mac heard Jack grunt as he took a hit, and worked harder to get the terrorists off him, but there were too many. He managed to turn enough to see Jack get hit in the stomach, before the butt of a gun came at his face, and everything went black.
Jack kept the fight going a little longer, only stopping when he heard Mac grunt in pain, and something heavy fall to the floor, before one of the men's voice rang out, amused and pleased with himself.
"Surrender, or your friend will die!"
Jack didn't want to turn, because he knew what he was going to see. The other men backed off and trained their guns back on him, as he turned to see Farhad dragging Mac's limp form off the ground, to point a gun at his head as it lolled forward, chin on his chest.
There was blood trailing down the kids face, where he'd been hit over the forehead with the gun, and Jacks blood boiled with rage.
"Which one of you bastards hit him? I'm going to make you regret it."
Farhad laughed, gestring to Mac. "You're just as stupid as this one."
Jack shrugged, trying desperately to figure a way out of their god awful situation. "Stupider, actually." If he could just get poor Mac out of that bastards hands, and get a gun or two, he could blast his way out. But there were too many. Farhad was still talking.
"- tried to ruin our plans, but I think I like yours better. So, we're going to set the bomb off here, to maximise the death toll, and you two are going to stay behind to see it happen."
He scowled as he dumped Mac on the floor, calling out to his men in a foreign tongue, as Jack lunged forward.
How dare he dump Mac on the ground so carelessly! He wanted to tear that man apart, but he didn't even get close, before a foot found his back, and kicked him to the dirt. Hands jerked his arms behind his back, and they pulled him over to the bomb they were rewiring.
Jack could only struggle, as he watched one of the men pick up Mac's leg and drag him across the ground, to the giant crate holding the bomb. He groaned a little, at the rough treatment, eyebrows scrunching in pain, but he didn't wake up.
With their new plans,and accelerated timeline, Farhad wasted no time in tying both boys up to the crate, and activating the bomb.
"Goodbye, and thank you for making this so much fun." He and his men turned to leave, before considering, and turning back with a grin. "Oh, I almost forgot. Since, your man seems so intent on playing around with my bomb, I should probably make sure he doesn't do it again, huh?"
Mac was just starting to come around, head rolling as he huffed and puffed in irritation at his arms being tied, but he woke up all at once, when the knife came down in his thigh.
He screamed in agony, as Farhad and his men laughed, watching Mac's eyes spring open in panic as he looked down at the blades handle standing up from his leg.
Jack kicked and pulled at his bindings, spewing curses at the men in front of him, but he couldn't get free.
"Goodbye, enjoy our bomb; and enjoy dying knowing you killed so many more people than we had even planned."
Jack continued to curse as they left, bomb ticking away, while Mac was gasping, and trying to concentrate through the pain.
"Ugh, Jack. Get the knife."
Jack paled, at the blood trickling down his partners leg, and the way his whole body was trembling from the pain. He knew what Mac meant, but he couldn't."
"If I move that knife, I could cut something important, and you'll bleed out in minutes."
Mac was panting, eyes lifting to the ceiling as he tried to stop the room from spinning. "If you don't get it out, and use it to cut these ropes, I'll only live long enough to feel it when we both blow up."
Jack scrunched up his face, wriggling his arms around to try and get his hand far enough to grab the handle of the knife. "We'll feel it?"
Mac blinked heavily, out of breath. "No, I was...just get it out."
Jack watched his partners face closely as his fingers stretched closer to the knife, wincing in sympathy when Mac sucked in a breath at his touch.
"Sorry, I'm sorry. Mac, this is going to suck, so, just don't pass out okay? I still need you to disarm this bomb."
Mac closed his eyes, hands curling into fists, as he nodded.
Jack clenched his teeth together, wishing there was another way but knowing there wasn't. He pulled the knife out as straight up as he could, to try and minimise the damage, but there really wasn't any painless way to pull out a knife.
Mac did his best to bite down on his scream of pain, but it still came out as an agonised groan, and he was left panting and shaky.
Jack quickly started on the ropes, ignoring the blood dripping from the blade. "I'm sorry, buddy. I'll get us out of this, and we'll take care of that leg, just keep breathing for now."
The ropes came free quickly, and Jack unwrapped them both, as Mac leant against the crate, eyes closed.
Jack took a peek at the bombs timer, sighing in some semblance of relief when he saw they had twenty minutes. It was better than it could have been.
Now, he just had to stop Mac's leg from bleeding, so he wouldn't pass out on top of the bomb. While the warehouse was huge, there wasn't a lot to work with. It wasn't like he could patch him up with artifacts.
He didn't want to move too far away from the kid either, so he settled for the cleanest drop cloth he could find, and dragged it over, tearing it into strips to use as bandages.
It wasn't the best option, but it would have to do for now. Mac barely moved as he wrapped the cloth firmly around his thigh, only whimpering once, when Jack cinched it tight before tying it off.
Mac was just blinking his tired eyes open, when Jack finished, and gently took his hand in a tight grasp.
"Hey, buddy. I know you're hurting, but we gotta get this bomb taken care of, okay?"
Mac nodded, bringing his free hand up to wipe the tears from his eyes. He looked so tired, and Jack knew he had to be sporting a concussion on top of everything else, but the didn't exactly have time to take it easy, and they had both dealt with worse hurts before in the middle of missions.
"Let's get you up." Jack tightened his grip on Mac's hand, and used his other arm to wrap around the kids waist, hauling him up to his wobbly feet so he could get a look at what they were working with.
Mac's vision wasn't as clear as he would have liked; the pain blurring everything at the edges, but he did his best to keep his head straight as he sagged heavily against the crate.
"Uhh...I can't disarm this."
Jack made a noise of agitation, adjusting Mac's weight in his arms as he held him up, hands wrapped firmly around the kids waist.
"Well, that's kind of our job here, man. So think of something quick before we all go up in flames. I am not dying surrounded by mummies and dumb, boring old artifacts. I'm dying somewhere cool, like the moon or-"
Mac shook his head slightly, waving a hand in front of him to quiet Jacks rambling.
"We aren't getting blown up. I can't disarm it, but I can take the kick out of it, by pulling out those tanks."
Jack looked into the crate, eyebrows lifting in awe. "So, you're gonna take the dirty, out of a dirty bomb?"
Mac nodded, and started carefully pulling at the chains, looking for the best place to cut them from. "The warehouse will still blow, but it won't hurt anyone in the street. Jack, get me something to cut these chains, and try to find a car or something outside, we need to get these as far away from the blast as possible, so they don't break open."
Jack nodded, and went to do as he was asked, but hesitated when it came to letting go of Mac. He looked down at his hands, feeling the way Mac was leaning into him.
"You gonna be good to stand on your own?"
Mac let out a small 'oh' and clung to the side of the crate, taking his own weight as much as he could on his uninjured leg, and trying to act as if he wasn't about to fall over. "I'm good. Go."
Jack was hardly convinced the kid would be able to stand long enough for him to come back, let alone long enough to de-bang the bomb, but nodded and left anyway.
Thankfully, with so many crates and boxes chained up in the warehouse, it wasn't hard to find a pair of bolt cutters, and Jack dropped them off to Mac, helping him cut the chains twined over the bomb, before going to find a ride to hotwire in the parking lot outside.
"I found a pickup truck that'll do just fine. How careful do I need to be with these, and how far away do you want th- Mac!"
The kid was hanging on the side of the crate, bad leg barely taking any weight at all and bleeding all over the place, as he tangled his fingers in wires. He looked like he was about to fall over any second, and Jack interrupted his own ramble of questions, to grab the kid before he could slip to the floor.
"Hey, you alright? You should sit down."
Mac shook his head, panting as he shivered. "Don't have time. Tighten the bandage and get these loaded in the truck. Take them at least a block away, and somewhere they won't be found by civilians."
He lifted a hand to his forehead, wiping away the annoying drip making its way down his face. When he pulled his hand back, it was smeared in red, and he grunted in annoyance, and wiped it on his shirt, unfazed.
Jack took a peek at the clock, and hurried his movements, pulling the bandage tighter on Mac's thigh, and apologising for his grunt of pain, before he started pulling the radioactive tanks outside.
He thought they'd have enough time, he thought he could stop anyone from getting hurt; but the truck he'd taken was not as fast as he'd liked, and the radioactive material he was handling needed to be hidden away from any prying eyes.
By the time he got back to the warehouse, there were mere seconds on the clock, and he knew he wouldn't get there in time.
He dumped off the loads, and tore down the street back to the warehouse, coming to a screeching halt, and sprinted to get Mac.
The bomb wasn't radioactive anymore, it wouldn't kill anyone that wasn't in that warehouse, but that was the problem because Mac was still inside.
Jack ran as fast as he could, and he could see the kid stumbling to the exit.
He looked up, blood pouring down his face, and matted through his hair, bad leg dragging behind him, and he knew he didn't have enough time.
"Jack, no! Get back!"
Jack did no such thing. Like hell he'd leave him.
Mac was so close to the doorway, if they only had a few more seconds...but they didn't.
Jack pushed his legs as hard he could, trying to just get there a little faster. But it was too late.
The bomb blew; fire and wood exploding upwards and out, before the building crumbled with a huge crash.
And Mac was gone.
(AN: please let me know what you think! This will be multichaptered I wouldn't just leave it there lol and also Mac is not dead just a little spoiler alert, because it wouldn't be any fun if he was dead hehe)