Breaking Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

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Sanguine
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by Sanguine » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:03 am

It's an AU story. Period. The rules of "normal" MacGyver fanfic don't apply here. This isn't a VS story or even a canon story. It's a "What-If" scenario. Therefore anything can happen. It doesn't have to be believable. You could make Murdoc dance a jig in an AU story and get by with it. That's the whole point.

It's normal to receive feedback in the professional as well as the amateur world, sure, but the feedback needs to also reflect the genre conventions of the story. No one in their right mind would tell Stephen King that his horror stories should be more believable, for example, because it's expected that some aspects of the story will push the boundaries. That's the entire point of reading a horror or a thriller story.

Besides, do you really think *any* of the actual MacGyver episodes are believable? Most of Mac's stunts would have gotten him dead or in prison. Even though some of the show was based in real science, those writers were constantly pushing the barrier of disbelief, especially in the later seasons. Is it really believable that Murdoc could come back from the dead so many times? Or that MacGyver could've used his shoe to stop the pendulum in "Legend of the Holy Rose?" Or for that matter, literally anything else about "Legend of the Holy Rose?" C'mon. The whole point of fantasy---which is what MacGyver is---is to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride.

And I, for one, am enjoying this ride immensely, by the way.

Nobody's saying that it's wrong to give feedback or that anyone shouldn't give feedback. I don't think there's a writer out there who doesn't appreciate good, honest constructive criticism. It's just that, as I said previously, that feedback has to fit the story. Not all stories are going to fit neatly into that canonical episodic-formatted box. And they shouldn't!

Heck, if they did, I would never have started writing for this series in the first place.

Also, in most places an R rating, along with numerous warnings about pushing characters to their physical and mental breaking points, is more than enough to satisfy readers who wish to avoid violence.

Furthermore, Uniquelyjas is right. Soldiers in Vietnam did NOT necessarily receive training on how to withstand torture. Actually, most people wouldn't have. Most of them were scared kids who were drafted and leaving home for the first time. Many of them were actually from the National Guard and were never supposed to go overseas at all. I know this due to personal experiences with veterans in my family. Also, as far as we know, MacGyver was never a prisoner of war (unlike Michael Knight or the A-Team, for example), which means that he also probably never had anh firsthand prior experience with torture that could've given him an edge. Furthermore, the Phoenix Foundation doesn't exist, so we don't know what kinds of trainings they have beyond "MacGyverLand," and also it doesn't make much sense for them to offer torture training to all their employees for a variety of reasons---especially since it's mostly a business-like nonprofit rather than an actual government agency.

And even if he had somehow received torture training, how effective do you really think that is? All "training" can do is hold off the break. Everyone, trained or not, had a physical and mental breaking point. If you've never see Star Trek: The Next Generation, I recommend you look it up. Google search the phrase "There are four lights" and you'll see what I mean. If a man with as much dignity and respect---and actual military training---as Jean-Luc Picard can break, I can guarantee you that a kind-hearted compassionate soul like MacGyver would be all too easy.

In addition, any psychotropic drug strong enough to cause hallucinations in a person will generally have *severe* physiological and psychological effects that can last for days or even months in the human system. That's why going off of antidepressants or antipsychotics suddenly can be very dangerous, for example. (And also why you can't take certain types of painkillers or antihistamines for a few months after going off of strong antidepressants---the drugs just take that long to leave the body.) Any drug that directly affects the brain can and will have side effects that could last for days or months later, so the actual amount of time since Mac received the last dose would not necessarily preclude him from having disorientation or other side effects.

But that's just my 2 cents.

I have no credentials apart from 8 years of writing fanfiction and a degree for teaching English, so I'm sure there are people much more experienced and talented than me who could give better advice.

Also, I now have a desire to write a one-shot about Murdoc dancing a jig as Mac's houseboat burns, just like Nero fiddling amidst the embers of Rome... ;)

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Sanguine
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by Sanguine » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:52 pm

I just read the latest part, and I seriously am very excited to see where this story goes. I was really surprised by how much I liked the interaction between Mac and Willis. I agree with what Uniquelyjas was saying to you earlier, about how Willis is overlooked too often. It's nice to see him kind of stepping out on his own and being part of the team. I also thought that Willis handled the situation well and took care of MacGyver in a way that seemed very true to his character and also the situation.

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bftlovesRDA
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by bftlovesRDA » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:48 pm

Please, bluegirl, continue to post your fanfiction chapters. I look forward to each one.
B

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bluegirl
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by bluegirl » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:05 am

After a little controversy :cry: - LEO, if you are quoting my story at least do it correctly... and if you don´t agree with it why don´t you just stop reading it?

I am convinced that many of you like what I am doing and won´t try to tear it apart - I really appreciate that, and I really appreciate your support - I didn´t even have to defend my storyline myself! THANK YOU!

So, let those of us, who enjoy the story get on with the next part - Mac is finally getting help, but how will his friends cope with what they find out...?


Part 6

When MacGyver, Willis and the medical team arrived at the infirmary, Dr. Thompson sent Willis off to the labs with Mac´s blood samples at once.

“Take those to the toxicology scans. They sooner we know what they´ve given him, the better. We´ll take care of his injuries in the meantime.”

Then he followed Mac and his medical team into the treatment room they had set up. The two nurses and the second doctor were already preparing the heart rate monitor, the medicines and the instruments they would need. MacGyver was still unconscious, lying wrapped up in the blanket on the stretcher in the middle of the room. Dr. Thompson walked up to his side, focusing on him.

“All right, everybody.” he addressed his team. “Let´s put MacGyver back together into one piece.”

*****

It took a few hours for Willis to get the results of the toxicology. When he returned to the infirmary, MacGyver had been transferred to another room. They had cleaned and dressed all of his wounds, and put in stitches where needed. They had also x-rayed him, found the broken rib and assessed the damage to the tendons of his shoulders and arms. After MacGyver had been cared for all over physically, they had laid him into a softly padded bed. The especially soft padding was supposed to take some pressure off his wounded back.

Dr. Thompson was still at his side, when Willis entered the room. MacGyver lay quietly on his back, all but his arm with the IV covered with the sheets. He was asleep, his face still pale and marked with strain and exhaustion. Yet he seemed peaceful, now that he no longer felt the pain. Transparent tubes reaching into his nose were supporting him with extra oxygen.

Willis hesitated to close in as he took in the sight. The whole day had been kind of a shock to him. He had often been part of Mac´s and Pete´s operations, but only in the lab, in a supporting role. He had been reading MacGyver´s reports afterwards. It had always felt “theoretical”. This time was different. He was involved in it first row.

He had never seen MacGyver like this. He had never seen him wounded and in distress and danger. Normally Mac was the one to be sent out for the rescue of others. This time everything was upside down. Mac was the one in need of help. Willis was worried about his friend´s well-being; he was scared about what they might find out about the last three weeks.

Dr. Thompson cut off his thoughts. “You´ve got the report for me?”

Willis needed a moment to react. Then he walked up to the bed and handed the papers over. His gaze was still fixed on MacGyver.

“How is he doing?” he asked.

“He´s okay.” the doctor replied while scanning through the pages. “Serious, but stable. We managed to put the pieces together and in place again.” He smiled lopsided at Willis. “That tox screening fits well into it. He was right. It won´t kill him. The symptoms of it should be gone in one or two days. Yet we´ve got a lot of different areas with problems. Each of it – standing alone – wouldn´t be a threat, but they all add up.” He paused for a moment, looking at his patient. “I´ve decided to keep him sedated for a few days. He might hurt himself even more if he panics again. The treatment of his injuries will be a lot easier, and his body should recover a little faster without him noticing the pain fully.”

Willis nodded. “Have you notified Pete Thornton?”

“Not yet.” Dr. Thompson replied. “I was going to do that now. Can you stay with him?”

Willis took a place at Mac´s side a little hesitantly. “Sure. Do I have to look out for anything special?”

The doctor looked up with a little reassuring smile.

“Just be there for him.” He told Willis. “We still have to keep his medication low, due to his weakened condition and the drug. He might stir a little because of remnants of the spasms and the pain. He´ll be okay, Willis. He won´t wake up. Just be there, offer him comfort.”

He turned, added the toxicology report to the rest of MacGyver´s medical report and left.

A few seconds later, after the door had closed behind the doc, Willis noticed the constant low beeping of the heart rate monitor and the soft hiss of the oxygen supply for the first time. Apart from that everything was silent. Standing there, watching over MacGyver, Willis also realized how exhausted he was himself. The past three weeks searching for Mac had been hard on all of the team, especially this last, very long day. He didn´t dare to imagine, how Pete Thornton had been and was feeling now. He was closest to Mac, they were like family, and he wasn´t even allowed to be here.

Finding that double of Pete hat aroused a lot of questions; MacGyver´s reaction to seeing Pete had aroused even more. Willis thoughts circled in his mind, considering everything he knew over and over again. Hopefully Pete´s investigation of the camp would add more parts to the puzzle they were facing and provide answers to some of the questions.

After some time Willis got himself a chair and settled into it alongside Mac´s bed. He was resting his hands on the bed, close to Mac´s arm and hand, ready to be there if he was needed. It was already late at night, so at some point he must have dozed off.

He was startled by a soft moan. Willis was wide awake instantly, looking at Mac´s face. He saw Mac still asleep, but his face was distorted with pain, his body tense. He was breathing hard, moaning every now and then. Willis got up fast, taking MacGyver´s hand into his.

“Shh, MacGyver.” he tried to calm him down. “Easy. It´ll be okay.”

Mac flinched a little away from the touch of Willis´ hand first. Even though he was unconscious, he seemed to listen, to notice that Willis was there. His breath got a little more regular, his body relaxed a bit.

“That´s good, Mac. Calm down.” Willis encouraged him.

MacGyver´s forehead was covered with sweat again. Willis fetched a cloth from one of the tables close to the bed and dabbed the sweat off Mac´s face, carefully avoiding any wounds or bandages.

“You´ll be all right.” he said, not sure if he tried to reassure MacGyver or himself. “Just hang in there…”

He could feel that Mac was still feverish and small shivers were running through his body.

“Relax, MacGyver.” he said softly. “Don´t fight the meds. They´ll make it easier for you. Sleep on.”

Again Mac seemed to hear Willis´ words. His fingers closed a little tighter around Willis´ hand, then his whole body went limp slowly. Willis sighed. MacGyver lay quiet again, but it took Willis some minutes until he could sit down, still intensely observing his friend.

Only a few minutes later Dr. Thompson returned. Without saying a word he conducted a check-up on MacGyver. He took a quick look into the medical report, then prepared a Syringe with some opaque white medicine and emptied it into Mac´s IV.

“You did well on calming him down.” he stated, still focusing on his patient.

Willis looked up on him surprised. “How do you know…?”

“We´re monitoring this room – him – via camera.” Dr. Thompson explained smiling at Willis. “I wouldn´t dare not to observe MacGyver for only a minute. Director Thornton would have my head if anything happened to him.”

Willis also had to smile at that thought. That was true. Pete would tip off the world if it was for saving MacGyver.

“Have you talked to Pete?” he asked.

Dr. Thompson straightened himself. “Sure.” he nodded. “He´s still searching that compound on the mountain for any clues. We agreed to meet in the morning.” He turned to look directly at Willis. “You look like you´d also better get some rest until then.”

Willis suddenly felt torn. He was exhausted, he desperately needed some sleep, but he didn´t want to leave Mac alone.

The doctor seemed to know his thoughts.

“You can use one of the beds in our ready room, if you don´t want to go home.” he added. “We will look after him. We´ll get you if we need you.”

Willis hesitated for another long moment, but then gave in to his tiredness. He nodded, got up, and with a last concerned look at MacGyver left the room.

*****

At the next morning Pete, Willis and Dr. Thompson met in a room just across the corridor to Mac´s sick-room. From there the medical team was monitoring him. One screen was showing Mac lying in his bed; another was mirroring the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing surveillance. MacGyver´s medical report next to some x-rays and more folders were lying on the table.

“Looks like you didn´t take my advice, Mr. Thornton.” The doctor greeted Pete as he entered the room. “Willis did. At least for a few hours.”

Willis took a closer look at Pete. He was really worn out. He looked like he hadn´t slept all night. Yet his concern for Mac and his determination remained.

“There was no time for rest, doctor.” Pete replied sharply. “We tried to get some answers. I guess you didn´t sleep either.”

Dr. Thompson shrugged. “No. But that´s okay, regarding our patient.” He picked up the medical reports, opened one folder and skipped through the pages.

“I´ll give both of you a brief status report now.” he began, addressing Pete and Willis. “Fortunately the night has passed uneventfully. MacGyver´s condition is still weak but stable. So far we´ve had no complications. The fever has dropped a little until the morning and he´s sleeping quietly thanks to the medication.”

Pete sighed with relief and took a quick look at Willis, who also drew in a deep breath.

“So far, so good, doctor, but I need to know what happened to him.” Pete demanded.

Dr. Thompson´s face grew serious and dark. “Are you sure?” he asked. “All of it?”

“I am sure.” Pete replied a little impatient. “It´s MacGyver we´re talking about!”

“That´s why I was asking.” Thompson answered quietly. He closed the folder and set it down. “MacGyver has been missing for three weeks. His body´s injuries tell quite a story about what happened to him. He´s been beaten several times, electrocuted several times, some of the wounds of his back look like they were caused by a leather whip, and he has a few cuts on his back that fit the blade of his Swiss army knife. He´s got a broken rib; his arms and shoulders are strained and pulled. His wrists are sore and torn from being handcuffed or bound. His arms show several needle marks because he´s been drugged or poisoned regularly. Some of the bruises and injuries have healed or are starting to heal, and new ones are adding up above them. So I can tell this has been going on over all the three weeks. I can´t tell too much about the mental side tough, as far as we had to sedate him yesterday in order to even be able to take care of him. Right now his physical recovery is on priority. That´s why we still keep him asleep.”

Pete and Willis were speechless and stunned. Willis had seen some of it yesterday, but he had not realized the full picture then.

“His latest injuries are a stabbing wound to the back of his thigh, bruises on his neck and a mild concussion. Someone must have chased him, while he was on the run. The stabbing stopped him from fleeing and someone tried to strangulate him.” the doctor added.

Pete was still shocked. “You mean, he´s been…” he managed to ask, but didn´t dare to say it.

“MacGyver has been tortured, yes.” Dr. Thompson broke the tense silence that hung in the room for a moment. “They were causing maximum pain and mental stress without killing him. The drugs add to that. The mixture they used causes hallucinations, disorientation, convulsions and excruciating pain.”

Pete held his breath while his eyes were fixed on the monitor showing MacGyver sleeping in his bed. He felt tears welling up in his eyes, caused by the concern for his best friend as well as the anger about the guys that had been doing this to him.

“But he´ll live…” he asked.

Dr. Thompson nodded. “Yes. His life is not in immediate danger. Given some time, his body will heal. But you have to find out what this double of yours had to do with it. We can´t hold him asleep for too long. When he wakes up, we should have an answer to that question.”

“We´re trying.” Willis nodded. “But there is a lot of evidence from the camp to sort through. I´d better get to work on it right away." He hurried out of the room and to his lab at the next level, where all the stuff had been taken to.

Pete was still staring at the monitor. “Have you taken pictures for evidence?” he asked.

Dr. Thompson nodded again. “Sure.”

“I want to see them.”

Dr. Thompson sighed and shook his head. “No, sir, you don´t.”

Pete looked up at the doctor, hardly able to keep his composure.

“You´re right.” The pain could be clearly heard in his voice. “But I have to.”

Dr. Thompson hesitated for a moment. Almost everyone at Phoenix knew how close those two men were. He knew it would be unsettling for Pete Thornton to see those pictures of his best friend. He slowly picked up another folder and set it down in front of Pete.

“I´m going to do a check-up on Mac. I´ll be back in a few minutes.” He briefly laid a hand on Pete´s shoulder and then left the room.

Pete delayed it for a few seconds, but after the door had closed and he was alone, he opened the folder. Each of the photos felt like a stab to his heart. He had to sit down after looking through all of them. He was mad at the guys who had done this; he felt deep sorrow for Mac, who had had to endure all that Pete had just seen on the pictures. And once again he was deeply impressed by MacGyver´s determination and stamina, who, after all this, still had had the energy and spirit to contrive an escape and follow through with it.

Pete´s gaze was fixed on the monitor again, when Dr. Thompson returned to the room only minutes later.

“Are you all right?” he asked Pete, who remained motionless.

“Can I see him?”

The doctor took a seat close to Pete.

“No, sir.” he answered. “That would be too dangerous. Given the reaction you earned yesterday and after his reaction to what Willis and I did, I´m afraid he might panic if he notices you. He might hurt himself, and it might ruin the trust he at the moment has with Willis. We can´t risk that.” He paused, giving Pete the opportunity to react.

Pete looked up at him. “But we´ve known each other for years. I am closest to him.”

Dr. Thompson sighed deeply.

“For now this is just speculation on my side,” he said. “But I am afraid, that is exactly what they used against him. I am afraid, they made him believe, that you had turned against him to break his spirit. The hands of this dead double of yours fit the marks on MacGyver´s neck.”

Pete´s expression turned to shock. “They made him believe, I was trying to kill him?”

“That masked man has a stabbing wound in his arm that also fits the Swiss army knife.” The doctor continued. “But when we found Mac, the knife was in his pocket, covered with blood.”

“You mean he stabbed “me”?”

Dr. Thompson nodded. “In his effort to survive, yes, I think so. I am still waiting for the results of the blood samples from the Swiss army knife.”

Pete´s heart skipped a beat. Could it get any worse? “Mac had to fight “me”?”

“Quite possible, sir.” the doctor answered. “Although I think it was the rockslide on top of that cliff that caused your double to fall and break his neck. But to Mac it sure feels…”

“As if he had killed me.” Pete ended the sentence, feeling devastated. “Oh, no…”

They sat in silence for some moments. Then Pete Thornton slowly got out of his shock.

“What can I do for him? How do we tell him the truth?”

The doctor shook his head. “At the moment we don´t. We have to give him some time to recover physically first. In his weakened condition I am afraid he might not be able to take the stress of confronting him. We might risk a serious breakdown.”

Pete nodded slowly. His eyes were again fixed on the screen. He hated the idea of letting Mac believe he had killed him. But the doctor was right. MacGyver needed some time to recover, and Pete needed some answers fast. For now, all was speculation. He had to be sure, before he might try talking to MacGyver. Pete got up. He still felt the urge to see Mac, to be there for him.

“Thank you, doctor.” he said. “We´ll keep in touch.”

Dr. Thompson also got up. “At least once or twice a day.” He reassured as Pete left the room and hurried for the lab to see Willis.

Pete had refused to believe in all that he had seen in that camp while they had stormed it. He had refused to accept the direction the evidence was pointing at. This couldn´t and shouldn´t have happened to MacGyver. But the pictures he had just seen left no room for further doubt. Most likely those guys had used him, Pete, to get under Mac´s skin. This was insane. His sorrow and pain partly changed into determination. Whoever was behind this would have to pay for it. He had to talk to Willis and then they would hunt them down.

*****

The next days were filled mostly with investigative and lab work. Willis was conducting a lot of tests on the evidence they had collected from the mountain camp. The DNA test of the blood samples from the Swiss army knife showed two people: MacGyver and the dead guy with the mask. Every result that had turned in, had added in supporting Dr. Thompson´s hypothesis. Let alone, there was no one they could ask to confirm their suspicions.

One huge man had been killed during the shooting while storming the camp; they had retrieved the body of the dead double, and they had arrested a well trained Asian guy. But he wouldn´t talk. To no one. Pete had tried several times, but he had found no way to get any information from that man. Not even his name.

The only person who might be of help and could possibly answer those questions was still in his medicated sleep. MacGyver had recovered well over the last days, his fever had diminished and his wounds were healing well without further complications. Pete had obeyed in not seeing him personally, though it had been very hard on him. He had to trust fully in what Willis and the doctor had told him about Mac´s progress. Willis had stayed with Mac as often as the lab work had allowed him to.

*****

It was the morning of day four when Dr. Thompson called Willis to the infirmary. Pete Thornton was already there in the monitoring room, when Willis arrived.

“I´ve called you both in, because this is a little more than my usual daily morning report on MacGyver.” the doctor began. “His overall condition has improved enough to let him come out of his sleep.”

Pete held his breath for a moment. This was crucial.

“The infections of his wounds are gone or under control. His temperature is back to normal since yesterday morning. The blood tests show no remains of any drug or poison.” Dr. Thompson added. “But he is still considerably weakened, so we have to be careful.”

Pete and Willis could just nod.

“Willis, he seems to trust you, so I´d like you to stay with him. You should be able to calm him down if he overreacts or even panics.”

Willis again nodded. “Sure, I´ll do whatever I can.” He knew about the responsibility. MacGyver was one of his best friends. No matter how difficult, he had to be there to help him through this. Especially now in this situation, where Pete couldn´t be at his side.

“Unfortunately we have to take some security measures.” Dr. Thompson continued. “I may not like it, but I and the rest of Mac´s medical team have agreed to restrain him. He will be strapped to his bed while we wait for him to wake up. We have to do this for MacGyver´s own safety. He might hurt himself or others if he panics unrestrained.”

Pete suddenly felt the pain, the worry and the horror again, that he had managed to push away for the last days. To be honest, no one of the three men really knew what Mac had experienced. None of them knew how he would react to it. Pete was afraid of what still lay ahead of MacGyver.

Dr. Thompson didn´t give them much time to think about it. “We have reduced the meds gradually since the last night, and we´ve put on the straps after we had taken care of his injuries and changed the dressings earlier this morning.” he explained. “It´s time.” He looked at Willis and Pete.

Willis just nodded, picked up his morning coffee and left for Mac´s sick-room.

Pete didn´t move at first. He couldn´t take his eyes off the monitor showing Mac. Seeing his friend like this, but not being able to do anything for him, was tearing on him.

Dr. Thompson was about to follow Willis, but stopped close to Pete. “Are you okay?”

Pete looked up at him. “Yes. I just want to be there for him… just like I usually am.”

“You are. You will be.” the doctor reassured him. “Give it time. You sent all of us to take care of him. He´ll be all right.” Then he left Pete alone with the monitors.

Willis had settled in his chair alongside MacGyver´s bed when the doctor arrived. Mac´s face was still pale, but the oxygen tubes were gone. Only the IV and the heart rate monitor were still connected. Willis had noticed the straps around Mac´s wrists and ankles. They were about four inches wide, made of leather but softly padded, yet held tight. Another strap crossed his chest just below his armpit.

Dr. Thompson conducted a quick check-up, then turned to Willis.

“As you remember, he´s been fighting the medication every now and then over the last days. But there´s really no way to tell, how long it will take until he wakes up. I´ll be in my ready room, so you may call me anytime.”

Willis concentrated on MacGyver. “Will do.”

When Dr. Thompson returned to the monitoring room only one of the nurses was there, but Pete Thornton was already gone.

*****
The stuff is already there. I just find a different way to use it.

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bftlovesRDA
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by bftlovesRDA » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:27 am

Thanks, bluegirl, for this chapter. Very good. Want to read more. Thanks again.
B

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tvero80
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by tvero80 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:51 am

Thank you, bluegirl :)
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Jack(s)
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by Jack(s) » Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:56 am

good chapter as always. thanks and have a nice weekend 😊
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uniquelyjas
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by uniquelyjas » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:25 pm

I think this is your best writing yet!! So detailed, well-paced, and on-point with the characters. Again, I'm so glad to see Willis playing a bigger role. We know so little of him from the series so it's really interesting to read your version of him. You give some great insight into his character while he's with Mac in the hospital. And poor Pete!! You are so good with his character!! This whole thing must be killing him and my heart aches for him! It is so refreshing to have someone focus on the characters and not just the plot, MacGyverisms, etc. I really appreciate this approach as I tend to take it as well. Character studies are always so interesting to me and I think yours really holds true. Using the "What if..." approach allows for creativity and discovery and I'm enjoying this so much!! I've started reading a LOT of Mac fan fic but generally stop when it gets a couple chapters in because it's not believable, well-written, following canon, etc. Therefore, you are doing an awesome job as I am totally hooked on this story and feeling the emotions. In my own Mac writing, I consider it a success if I can get my reader emotionally involved and you are doing just that for me! Thanks so much and I look forward to more!!!

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bluegirl
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Re: Breaking Point

Post by bluegirl » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:03 pm

Thanks so much for your feedback to all of you!

This story is ment to be a MacGyver adventure - but is even as much ment to be an exploration of true friendship, trust and emotion and how challenging they can be. I love how you appreciate my approach.
The stuff is already there. I just find a different way to use it.

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Re: Breaking Point

Post by bluegirl » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:03 am

Good morning, everyone! It´s time to wake up - also for Mac, but how will he cope with it?

Part 7

Again, as he slowly regained consciousness, the first thing MacGyver noticed was silence. It was only disturbed by a low, constant beeping that somehow matched his heartbeat. One after another he realized, he was lying on his back on something soft, was covered with a blanket and wasn´t freezing anymore. There was next to no pain, yet his whole body felt a little numb. But the vertigo was still there.

Mac tried to raise one his hands and tried to put it to his head, but just then realized that he couldn´t move. He was bound. Within the blink of a second his mind went to overdrive, memories and fear washed through him, adrenaline rushed into his system. He frantically pulled on both wrists, also felt the straps around his chest and his ankles. His sore wrists twinged with pain and all he could think of, was: Oh, no. Not again. Out of the frying pan into the fire. I´ve got to get out of this.

In that very moment he felt someone taking one of his hands and another hand was holding on to his shoulder.

“Shh, MacGyver! Stay still!” he heard a well known voice.

Willis! But how…? Why…? His mind had troubles sorting through his jumbled and blurred memories in his panic. Mac´s body was still tense; his breathing ragged as he slowly turned his head towards that voice. Biting back a moan he blinked his eyes open.

“It´s all right, Mac.” Willis continued. He had bolted out of his chair as he had seen Mac struggling. “Don´t fight it. No one´s gonna harm you.”

His eyes slowly focusing on Willis´ face, MacGyver stopped pulling on the straps holding him. It took a few seconds before he could ask: “Willis? Where…? What…?” His voice was hoarse; he couldn´t finish without coughing.

“We took you to the Phoenix Foundations underground research complex. We are at sub-level two.” Willis explained. “We set up a sick-bay down here for you.”

Mac´s eyes left Willis and went scanning the room. Yes, it looked somewhat familiar.

“How long have I been out?” Mac´s voice was still breaking. It took all his strength to talk.

“It is almost midday on day four.” Willis told him.

MacGyver noticed the IV in his arm and got a glimpse at the straps holding him. The panic returned. He couldn´t stop himself from trembling. Mac had to close his eyes due to the increasing vertigo. He felt Willis squeeze his hand a little and take the sweat off his face with a soft cloth. After a few deep breaths he opened his eyes again and found Willis´ concerned face.

“Take those off me… please…” Mac pleaded.

Willis sighed, and then managed to smile apologetically.

“I can´t. They´re there for your own protection. You might hurt yourself, if you overreact again as just did.”

MacGyver couldn´t take that answer. His trembling intensified; he had to close his eyes.

“Quiet, Mac.” he heard Willis talking to him in a soothing voice. “It´s okay. We´re all here to help you. No one will hurt you, I promise.”

Mac hardly succeeded in calming down his breath, yet his body relaxed a bit.

“But you´ve got to allow us to help you.” Willis added. “Can you do that?”

MacGyver gazed at Willis. He felt the darkness taking over again. The shock and the fear had consumed nearly all of his remaining energy. He was exhausted. Mac nodded weakly.

“I´ll try.”

“Good.” The smile on Willis´ face broadened. “You´ll be all right, MacGyver. You just need to rest. We´ll take care of you.” Willis had noticed that Mac was on the verge of passing out. “Shh, Mac. You need to sleep.” he continued in calming Mac down. “You need to recover. Give it time. I´ll be here, when you wake up again. You won´t be alone.”

When Mac looked at him, Willis could still clearly see the fright in his eyes. Then he slowly closed his eyes and his whole body relaxed, while he drifted off to sleep again. Willis straightened himself and let go of Mac´s hand and shoulder, suddenly realizing that his own heart was pounding and his hands were shaking now that Mac was asleep again. He had to sit down, covering his face with his hands. He was shocked. He had known MacGyver for years. Mac had always been an optimistic, bold and intrepid man. Willis had never seen his friend fearful like this.

After a few moments Willis got up looking intensely at the sleeping figure. His determination was back on the upper hand.

“I´ll be back soon, Mac.” he told him. “Just have to get some things going in the lab.”

He rushed out of the room and to his lab. Willis ordered his lab technicians to run some new tests, fetched the results that had turned in while he had been with MacGyver, and then returned to sit with his friend. He could study those reports while watching over Mac. When Dr. Thompson returned for his regular check-up on Mac, Willis told him about his first short attempt to regain consciousness. Willis talked about the panic Mac had felt and had only barely been able to control.

“I believe it were the restraints that triggered the fear. The very moment he discovered that he couldn´t move, he went into panic.”

“That´s exactly what I was afraid of.” Dr. Thompson responded. “But I had no choice. Call me the next time he comes around. I´d like to be there. Let´s see how he will react to me. Maybe we can relieve him of it.” He took a deep breath. “In the meantime I´ll brief Director Thornton.”

It was early evening until MacGyver stirred again, moaning lightly in his sleep. Willis was instantly on his feet, but nothing more happened. Mac seemed to be dreaming, but went quiet after a few minutes.

It took another few hours, almost until midnight when Willis suddenly realized he must have dozed off. He was awakened by Mac trying to move in his bed, his breathing heavy, his head tossing from side to side although his eyes were still closed. He was muttering in his sleep, first low but getting louder.

“No, please… stop it…don´t… No!”

Willis jumped out of his chair, uncertain what to do. MacGyver was obviously reliving a memory, causing this nightmare. He pressed the button that would call Dr. Thompson in here, as abruptly Mac´s body tensed, his back arched as much as the restraints would allow, and he was pulling hard on those restraints.

“No!” he cried out terrified. “Don´t… Please, Pete, stop it!”

Willis froze. What? Had he just begged Pete to stop? It was a shock to Willis, but it confirmed their speculations.

The door opened and Dr. Thompson rushed inside.

“What is it?” he asked, trying to assess the situation quickly.

“He´s having a really bad nightmare.” Willis explained. “I wasn´t sure what to do. It keeps getting worse. He was begging Pete to stop.”

Dr. Thompson held his breath for a moment, looking at Willis. His face turned dark.

“So it is true. Sometimes I hate being right.” he stated. He stepped back from MacGyver´s bed. “Try to wake him. Gently.” he ordered Willis. “We should better get him out of it. I´ll stay back at first.”

Willis swallowed hard.

“MacGyver, can you hear me?” he asked. “Mac!”

MacGyver winced as Willis took his hand and laid the other one on his shoulder. The pictures in his mind moved faster and faster. First he was bound to the wall and Pete was stabbing him with his Swiss army knife. Then the wall disappeared and he was standing at the abyss. He frantically tried to get away, because this time there was no rope around his wrists. He felt Pete pushing him, tried to turn around, tried to hold on to something, to anything. But he fell and saw Pete falling with him. The drop felt endless.

Then a voice was calling out to him. That voice didn´t fit into the pictures. Just before he and Pete would have hit the ground, someone held on to him, shaking him softly.

“Mac, listen to me! This is a dream. Wake up! MacGyver!”

He was startled awake, his eyes wide with shock, disoriented at first, searching the room.

“Mac, It´s okay.” the voice said.

Mac turned his head, finding Willis´ concerned face. He was still breathing heavily; his heart was pounding, his body trembling. It took a moment to realize that he was back in the sick-room, no one was stabbing his back, and he was not falling anymore.

“It´s over, MacGyver. It was only a bad dream.” Willis told him. “You´re safe.”

Mac´s shock mixed with confusion.

“But… it felt… so real…” he answered back with a low voice.

Willis squeezed his hand.

“It was just a dream.” he repeated. “It´s over. We´re all here to help you.”

As MacGyver slowly came out of his shock, he suddenly sensed another person in the room. Dr. Thompson carefully approached Mac´s side, causing his body to stiffen again. He still couldn´t control the trembling, his gaze wandering from the doctor to Willis and back. Willis still held on to his hand.

“Do you remember Dr. Thompson?” Willis asked. “He was with me when we found you on that mountain.”

Mac nodded. “Yeah… but you forced me…” He couldn´t finish the sentence as the memory of the syringe popped up in his head and sent a shiver down his spine.

“I am sorry, that I had to sedate you.” Dr. Thompson apologized. “But I had no choice at that moment. You were in panic. You wouldn´t have allowed me to treat you. You would have hurt yourself even more in fighting us. I am sorry.”

Mac remained silent, watching the doctor doubtful, while he desperately tried to sort the jumbled memories and pictures in his mind.

“The effects of the drug you´ve been given, added to it. That´s why we kept you asleep for almost four days, and that´s why those straps holding you are still there.” the doctor continued. “We had no idea how you would react on waking up. I didn´t want to take any risk.”

Mac nodded again. He still had a hard time controlling his emotions.

“But the drug is gone from your system and your injuries are responding well to the treatment. Will you allow us to take care of you? Can I rely on you? Can I trust you?”

Mac just stared at him kind of frozen. He wanted to agree, but all his memories washed over him and panic rose again.

“Mac, it´s okay, we´re all…” Willis wanted to help the tense situation, but Dr. Thompson raised one hand to cut him off.

“Willis, would you excuse us for a few moments?” he asked softly.

At first Willis wanted to protest, but then obeyed. He squeezed Mac´s hand briefly, before letting go of it.

“I´ll be right back.” he reassured Mac before leaving the room.

MacGyver all of a sudden felt even more trapped.

Dr. Thompson was standing at his side, his face soft as he touched MacGyver´s arm.

“MacGyver, you´ve been through a lot in the last weeks.” he stated. “Your injuries tell quite a story about what you had to endure physically. But with your initial reaction to us and the need to sedate you, I don´t have much information on what you had to endure mentally and emotionally.”

MacGyver´s gaze was fixed on him. He still couldn´t control the shivering. He didn´t know what to say, what to reveal. What did they know? Had they also found Pete´s body? Did they suspect him of killing Pete? His fear now mixed with grief and guilt, causing tears to well up in his eyes.

“MacGyver, you´ve been tortured. I can tell as much as this. It is quite understandable, that you´re frightened. I know the restraints don´t help it. But I can only remove them, if I am sure that you will try to trust us. All of us are working to get you mended soon. Yet we do need your cooperation to go on with the treatment. What do you say?”

Mac decided not to reveal anything at the moment. He managed to blink away the tears. The doctor really seemed to care. Willis really seemed to be concerned. He really felt a lot better, at least physically. The answers to his questions could wait. MacGyver gave in and nodded.

“I will try.” he answered hoarsely after taking a deep breath.

Dr. Thompson sighed with relief. “Thank you.” He turned to push the button that would call in the nurse. “Do you need something to ease the pain?” he asked afterwards. “How bad is it?”

Mac needed a few moments to think about that question. Compared to what he had felt during the torture, it was nothing. But compared to feeling comfortable and being able to sleep quietly again… He nodded weakly, suddenly feeling his full exhaustion as the adrenaline rush subsided.

“Yes, please.” he answered. “It´ll help me to rest.”

The doctor smiled at him. “All right.”

MacGyver changed his gaze to the door as it opened; saw Willis and a nurse entering. His vision got blurred as he felt dizziness. He realized the doctor was opening the straps that held him. First the ones at his ankles, and took them off the bed, lifting his legs to do so, and handed them to the nurse. He continued with opening the straps around his wrists and chest, then looked at Willis.

“Can you help him to sit up?”

Willis returned to Mac´s side, “Sure.”

MacGyver turned his head to face Willis who was leaning over him.

“Hold on.” Willis asked him while putting one of Mac´s arms around his neck.

“Be careful with the IV and his back.” Dr. Thompson advised.

“Ready?” Willis asked while sliding his hands under Mac´s shoulders.

Mac took a deep breath, tried to tighten his hold on Willis and raised his head a little. He raised his second arm to grab on to Willis´ arm.

“Yeah, I think so.”

With a combined effort they managed to raise MacGyver until he was sitting upright, still leaning on Willis. The bandages had pulled on his wounds; he clearly felt his broken rib. He couldn´t suppress groaning with the pain. Willis held him close, stabilizing him, steadying his head, while Dr. Thompson and the nurse removed the leather straps from the bed. After the nurse had left, the doctor made a quick check-up on MacGyver´s back.

Satisfied with what he saw, he ordered: “Now let´s lay him down again. Real slow and careful.”

Mac felt himself being lowered, supported by Willis´ and the doctor´s hands. He let it happen, having not much energy left to do it by himself. The mental strain also seems to take it´s physical toll, he automatically assessed his own condition, while he was sinking back into the soft bed and the pillow under his head. He had to close his eyes as his wave of relief over not being bound anymore turned into vertigo. His emotions wouldn´t calm down fully. A part of his mind truly enjoyed being able to relax, to trust, to let himself being helped. Mac tried to give in to that feeling, but another part of him refused to. That part was still on high alert, still ready to fight for his survival. That part of his mind wouldn´t allow him to relax fully; it always replayed the memories of his torture, of his escape and of Pete falling to his death.

MacGyver felt a hand touch his sweat-covered forehead, then feel for the pulse on his neck. He blinked his eyes open and found the concerned face of Dr. Thompson above him.

“How are you feeling?”

“Dizzy… exhausted… tired… thirsty…” Mac answered with a low voice.

The doctor looked up at Willis.

“I´ll be right back.” Willis seemed to understand and left.

Dr. Thompson concentrated at MacGyver. “How bad is the pain? On a one to ten scale?”

Mac thought about it for a moment. “Three, sometimes five or six.”

The doctor nodded, straightened himself and turned to a table beside to the bed. He picked up a medicine bottle and partly filled up a syringe. Mac felt a shiver run down his spine at the sight. Dr. Thompson seemed to notice.

“Are you all right with this?”

Mac had to swallow hard. “Yeah… Do what you have to…”

He couldn´t take his eyes off the syringe as the doctor emptied it into his IV. Willis returned just as Dr. Thompson had finished.

“I got you some water.” he told Mac as he approached his side. “But I guess you´d have to sit up a little again.”

Mac nodded and started to raise his head. Willis´ hand and arm wove instantly around his shoulders to help him, to hold him. Mac drank only a few sips enjoying the feel of the cool water running down his throat. He looked at Willis after lying down.

“Thanks, Willis.”

MacGyver felt the pain diminish already. His eyelids grew heavier. He tried to fight the darkness as he heard the doctor say: “That´s okay, MacGyver. You need to rest. Get some sleep. We will be there to watch over you.”

Mac got another glimpse of Willis and the doctor and then allowed his eyes to close and the oblivion to take over.

*****

The following days brought slow, but steady recovery for MacGyver. The only people around him were Willis, Dr Thompson and his medical team. Willis kept seeing him regularly, being supportive and reassuring. Dr. Thompson and his team went along cautious and regardful of his fears, yet changing the bandages on his wounds wasn´t all too comfortable. At least his body seemed to be on the way to mend. Slowly he started to relax and calm down in their presence. Slowly his mind started to accept that they meant no harm.

However sleeping quietly still remained difficult to MacGyver. He wasn´t able to get rid of the nightmares. His sleep didn´t provide the amount of rest, he was hoping for. Waking startled out of a bad dream several times per night left Mac exhausted even though he had been asleep for hours. Dr. Thompson had offered to assist his sleep medicinally, but so far Mac had refused. He was determined to try and confront those pictures on his own. But still, the recurring pictures were frightening. He knew his torment was most possibly over, but he wasn´t yet able to feel it. Some part of him deep inside refused to calm down.

MacGyver´s mind kept clearing the more his body recovered. He was awake for longer episodes, having more time to sort his memories and emotions. So far no one had tried to question him about his captivity. He wouldn´t have been ready to talk about it, if anyone would have pressed him to reveal what he´d been through. How could he? He had killed his best friend. No matter what Pete had done to him, this was not how Mac had intended it to end. The guilt and grief about it kept getting clearer and stronger with every day. He knew very well, that he would have to tell his story soon. Every time Willis came to visit him, reminded him of that. It was inevitable, but he was afraid of it. He would have to confess.

Mac couldn´t imagine how the board of directors of the Phoenix Foundation would think about it. What did they already know about what happened? What if they didn´t believe him, just as Pete hadn´t listened to him? What did Willis know? So far, MacGyver had no way to tell.

He didn´t know anything about the efforts everyone was taking beyond his room. Investigating all the evidence recovered from the camp had led to some clues, but still a lot of questions remained. Willis and Pete agreed that Mac would certainly be able to provide some answers. Pete had been keeping track of Mac´s progress at least twice a day. He had been visiting the underground labs daily, even though the doctor didn´t allow him to see MacGyver personally. He had been sitting in the monitoring room for hours on some days, watching Mac on the screen, observing him as he slept. With his physical state improving, Pete´s worries about Mac´s mental and emotional condition increased. He seemed quiet and calm when awake, but too quiet.
The stuff is already there. I just find a different way to use it.

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