Jack bumped his fist against Macs, just like he'd done a hundred times before, but this time Mac's face twisted into one of pain, and he let out a cry, pulling his hands to his chest.
"That was a mistake!" His words were strangled by his own gasps of pain, and then he dropped like a stone.
Jack watched him fall to the ground, curling up, as his hands shook. The older agent, quickly knelt beside him, heart racing at the cries of pain that continued to come from the kids mouth.
"Mac? What's wrong?" He pulled at his partners shoulder, rolling him onto his back, and saw those trembling hands curled against Macs chest. They were bright red, and obviously badly burned.
"Oh dude! I'm so sorry."
Mac squeezed his eyes shut, and rocked himself slightly, trying to do anything to get away from the pain. Tears rolled down his temples, as he tried to catch his breath, and he heard Jack above him, starting to panic.
"I need a medic in here!"
Mac would have refused such a fuss, if the pain wasn't making everything else seem so distant. He couldn't focus on anything other than the agony burning over his skin. Every minimal movement, shifted his skin and made it hurt more, so, he just lay there, panting.
Jack didn't know what to do, he didn't even know what was wrong. He was almost afraid to touch Mac again, in case he hurt him further, but the kid was writhing on the floor, from the pain. His feet were scuffing the floor, as he twisted, shifting desperately to try and escape the hurt. And Jack couldn't leave him like that.
He took Macs shoulder, as Matty and a medic, stormed in; the former looking worried and angry at the same time, as she looked the two over.
The medic knelt next to the pair, snapping on gloves, as he looked at Mac.
Jack tried to explain, but honestly, he'd been in a burning coffin for most of the excitement.
"I don't know! He got me out of the box, and I went to fist bump him and he just collapsed. I didn't mean to hurt him."
The medic gently turned Macs hands, to get a good look, as he frowned at them.
"Looks like second degree burns. Are you hurt anywhere else?"
Mac was still gasping, biting down any noises of pain, but he shook his head.
Jack took that as permission, and gently slid his arms around his partners back, lifting him up, and pulling him to sit with his back against his chest. Mac seemed to appreciate the shift, and leaned into Jacks hold, lifting his elbows up a little, so Jack could wrap his arms around the blondes chest.
"It'll be okay, Mac. It's all good. And hey, you saved me from a horrible demise, so thank you for that."
The medic got to work, as Jack started his ramble, trying to distract his partner with his chatter. "It was getting a little too hot in there, if you know what I mean."
Matty frowned at him. "You were put in an incinerator, Jack. What else could you possibly mean?"
Jack matched her expression, hins tone distinctly whiney. "Oh, whatever Matty. What I'm trying to say is, my boy saved my bacon, just like he always does."
Mac let out a groan, pulling his hands back from the medic, as he flinched. Jack rubbed a hand over Macs chest, giving it a rhythmic thump in comfort. "You're okay, let him do his job. I'd tell you to squeeze my hand, if they weren't...you know, melted."
Mac let out a little laugh, though it was laced with pain. "They're not melted."
Matty lost her frown, for something softer, more concerned. She took her agents shoulder. "You okay, blondie?"
Mac looked to her, and did his best to give her a reassuring smile as he nodded. She hardly believed him, and brushed away the tears on his cheeks. "You almost gave me a heart attack when you crashed that car. I know it's not in your nature, but you really should try to be more careful, or I'll end up looking as grey as Jack."
Jack ignored the jab, in favor of the bit about the car. He leaned to the side, to see Mac's face, furious. "You did what, now?"
Mac looked guilty, shoulders hunched and stiff as the medic wrapped his hands. "I didn't have enough time to think of anything else."
Jack looked to the kids hands, unintentionally raising his voice. "Did you get those paws from dragging me out of the incinerator with your bare hands?!"
Mac avoided his eyes, leaning his head back on Jacks shoulder. "It would have taken too long to make anything."
Jack hugged him tighter, lifting a hand to brush back his partners hair. "Jeez, kid. Thanks for saving me, but maybe next time don't try to get yourself killed on the process."
Mac's voice was quiet, as he looked over to the smoking scraps of wood, left over from the coffin Jack had been in. "I had to get you out."
Jack sighed. "Yeah, I know. You did good, Mac."
He knew, because he'd spent the last five years, worrying about keeping Mac safe, and he knew the exact terror that Mac would have felt, when he heard Jack screaming for help. The amount of times, he thought he'd have a heart attack if he didn't get Mac back in his arms, to safety, could be counted in the grey hairs on his head.
He had made a promise, years ago, to always do anything he could to keep that kid safe; it could only be expected that Mac had made the same vow.
With his hands bandaged, and the pain under control, Mac turned in Jack's arms, and wrapped him in a gentle hug, careful not to bump his new mittens.
"I'm glad you're okay, Jack."
Jack hugged him back, as Matty smiled at the two. "Me too, buddy."