After a little controversy - 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...?
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.