Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

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bluegirl
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by bluegirl »

Good morning on a sunny Sunday to all of you! So sorry, I didn´t make it yesterday :oops:

So, Mac has finally made it into medical care and is physically recovering... the bad guys are caught... but what about him psychologically... and Pete´s and Mac´s relationship...? :roll:

Only one more to go after this chapter... 8-)

Part 12


Three weeks later…

MacGyver let the door of his apartment fall closed behind himself, limped over to his couch, and dropped down on it with an exhausted sigh. He took a couple of deep breaths while he ran his hand over his leg. His long fingers cautiously probed over his knee and over where the tears in his skin had been. He sensed the brace stabilizing his knee below his jeans and straightened his leg with a small wince at the sudden sting he felt.

After the walk he´d taken, some throbbing had returned, although the remains of the swellings the infection had left him with had gone down a little. He puffed out a breath and glanced toward the kitchen over his shoulder.

I should get myself an ice pack, Mac thought. Doc has told me to cool it should it start hurting again… he´s also told me to slowly start exercising… but a two-hour walk probably wasn´t what he meant by ‘slowly’… maybe I´ve overdone it a little. Should´ve spared out the middle part of walking through the beach sand… should´ve stayed on the pavement like yesterday.

With another deep sigh, MacGyver pushed himself off the couch, limped over to the kitchen, and opened the refrigerator. He grabbed the orange juice, filled up a glass, and then reached for the ice cubes he´d kept there since he´d returned home. He poured a few of them into a plastic bag, crushed them a little, and then slowly strode back to his couch with the glass and the ice pack in his hands.

He flopped down on his comfortable couch again, laid his throbbing leg up on the coffee table, and covered his knee with the ice pack. He took a sip of the orange juice, relaxed against the backrest with the glass still in his hand, and let his gaze wander aimlessly around the room. Unintentionally, memories of the past few weeks popped up in his mind.

His certification test and the scenario, the DXS had put him through during it, to begin with. He´d needed a day or so to wrap his head around the fact that all of it had been an elaborate set-up. One good night´s sleep or two had cured the headache; the bruises had been forgotten only a few days later. Although Thornton had told him to take some time off to recover, he´d returned to the senior agent´s office after taking only one day off to rest. His boss had been a bit surprised but also pleased with Mac´s eagerness to get to work and introduced him to their daily business and some current proceedings.

MacGyver had checked back with his hand-to-hand combat trainer as well for some refinement lessons, which Pete had appreciated.

But soon, the assignment to retrieve information from behind the Iron Curtain had come up. He´d been sent off together with Craig Bannister and had truly enjoyed getting to know the man who´d already been working as a government agent for two years a little better, especially, since Craig had shared some ‘inside stories’ of the DXS with him during their flights.

Mac had appreciated Bannister´s company as well as his guidance throughout the mission. He´d also appreciated that Bannister hadn´t treated him as a newbie for once but as an equal all the time. Their mutual respect had made completing his first assignment an experience he´d truly enjoyed. He´d grown to like Bannister during their days abroad. On their return home, Mac had still been high with excitement about their mission working out almost as planned.

Thornton had then assigned him to research and also to assist the analysts, so he´d get a wider picture of what working for the DXS could be about. And then this last case had come up.

Illegal arms dealers… no… even arms smugglers. A worldwide network. Supplying warlords and terrorists all over the globe. The DXS had suspected one of their main operating bases to be in the northwestern US.

The situation had called for action. Urgently.

But all experienced agents had been either out of the country or occupied with other cases. MacGyver had noticed how Thornton had hesitated while he´d introduced him to the mission. But Mac had also known that the senior agent hadn´t had much of a choice. He, the rookie, had been the only agent around and available at the time.

Mac, on the other hand, hadn´t hesitated at all. With his aversion to guns which rooted deep in his childhood, he´d been eager to take on this case before Pete had even finished explaining the whole situation. Of course, he´d agreed instantly when Pete had asked him if he felt ready to fly solo. He´d been on his own on several missions during his service in the military, so MacGyver hadn´t doubted himself being able to handle the assignment for a second at that moment.

But when he thought back now… he wasn´t so sure if it had been a good idea.

His mission objective had been pure reconnaissance, but he´d gone way further than that. Too far. He´d gotten careless. He hadn´t made sure he had a safe way out – and he´d gotten caught. His eagerness to stop those weapon dealers had almost gotten him killed. Hadn´t Thornton come and freed him from his prison, Moreno and his men would have beaten him to his death, and the collected evidence would have been lost - as would have hundreds and thousands of lives, had those arms smugglers been allowed to continue with their business.

MacGyver took a large gulp of his orange juice while those thoughts floated around in his head. He reassessed his decisions throughout the mission and had to admit he´d pushed his luck quite far a few times. He´d come out alive, but only barely, and thanks to Pete Thornton. Mac sighed deeply and readjusted the ice pack on his knee.

Maybe it was true what was rumored about all those three-letter agencies. That they tended to recruit young men without any family ties… because they were more likely and willing to risk their lives.

His mind traveled back to his weeks in the military hospital. The medical personnel had taken good care of him during his recovery. The sepsis and his wounds had healed swiftly thanks to their treatment, and the physical therapy had kept the mobility within his infected and sprained knee. He´d be as good as new real soon.

Pete Thornton had been forced to leave only a day after he´d shared the good news of Moreno and his men being arrested with Mac. The department chief had ordered Pete to manage and accompany the transfer of the arms dealers to a high-security prison and then called him off to coordinate the ongoing investigation and analysis of all the gathered information and evidence from the L.A. headquarters.

Another team of agents MacGyver hadn´t met before had visited him to record his statement about what had happened during his days out in the woods, and once his condition had improved sufficiently, he´d taken on the task of writing his own report. With Pete being back in L.A. he´d been alone and bored most of the time in his hospital bed, so recalling all the details had been no problem. Only the last hours of his way to the clearing, after he´d been shot and had fallen down the cliff, had remained blurry in his memory.

But the amount of time he´d spent alone had also given MacGyver a lot of time to think. To evaluate. To reconsider. A process, that hadn´t stopped yet.

By now, he´d come to the point of doubting if his decision of signing up for this job had been the correct one. After all, his daring times, when he´d done similar work for the military, had been a couple of years ago. He´d changed since then. He´d allowed his personal feelings to cloud his judgment which had led to him almost screwing up the whole mission and endangering countless lives including his own.

So much for one of the best recruits ever, Mac thought bitterly. He´s been polite enough to never say so, but by the way he snapped at me after he´d rescued me out of Moreno´s prison, I must have sorely disappointed Pete Thornton. Even if the final outcome of the mission exceeds the assignment´s objective with which I´ve been sent off… I´ve caused the department and especially the senior agent quite some trouble. So, I´ve failed to meet the high expectations Thornton had for me… on my first solo assignment. Not what you´d call a good start… well, maybe being a government agent isn´t the life that suits me after all…

MacGyver´s gaze caught on his desk and the typewriter sitting on it. Suddenly his mouth went dry and he took a few sips of his orange juice to quench the feeling.

Maybe it´s better to admit failure and defeat and end this before I screw up something even more important on my next attempt.

With another sigh, MacGyver set down the glass on the coffee table, grabbed the ice pack off his knee, and gingerly got up. He strode over to his desk, sat down, and placed the ice back on his knee. Appropriate phrasings started to form in his head while he drew in a deep breath and squared his shoulders. Then he puffed out the breath and started to type.

++++++++++

MacGyver felt for the envelope in his pocket for what felt like the umpteenth time as he walked up the stairs to the entrance of the federal building on the next morning. He´d read the letter a few times yesterday evening and re-read it this morning before signing it, folding it up, and placing it in the envelope. A part of him expected Thornton to be relieved about his decision, but another part of him was worried the senior agent wouldn´t accept it and try to argue about it, try to change his mind.

Either way, even if Mac was still officially on medical leave, he owed Thornton as much as to drop this off personally. He also owed Thornton an explanation, should he insist on hearing one. MacGyver respected the older man way too much to just send in his letter of resignation via mail.

Especially, since Pete had taken the time to pick him up at the airport when MacGyver had returned from the military hospital three days ago. Some DXS agent had been tasked with taking his car back to his apartment way before that, during his recovery, but Pete had been there in person to drive him home. MacGyver had sensed that the senior agent had been tense for some reason – but Thornton had only told him something about his huge workload and being short on time when Mac had asked about what was wrong.

On the other hand, the older man had been honestly concerned about MacGyver´s condition and recovery and had wanted to know all about it during their drive. He had seemed truly glad to see the younger man almost back to normal.

Even more reason to hand this letter over personally, Mac thought as he straightened himself a little and reached for the door´s handle. Fortunately, his leg had recovered well overnight, so he wasn´t limping anymore as he approached the entrance counter.

“Good morning, Mr. MacGyver!” The security guard´s face lit up with a smile when he noticed Mac. “Back on duty already?”

Mac sensed the tension inside himself rise with the innocent question, but forced himself to return the smile as he signed himself in. As usual, the guard seemed well-informed about certain proceedings of the employees.

“Morning.” Mac greeted the man. “Not yet. Just need to drop something off. It´s meant to be only a short visit.”

He squared his shoulders as he straightened himself and walked off to the elevators. He was grateful the guard hadn´t pestered him with any further questions when he stepped into the next car going upward. Mac was also glad he was alone riding up and took a few deep breaths to quench his inner tension.

No need to be nervous, MacGyver assured himself internally. You´re just righting a wrong decision you made a few months ago. Thornton will understand. He won´t be upset.

He managed to appear unfazed when he left the car on the correct floor and strode down the hallway toward Pete Thornton´s office. The corridor was quiet; he saw no one until he arrived at Thornton´s door. MacGyver hesitated for a few seconds and licked his lips before he raised one hand and knocked. He waited, listened, but didn´t get an answer from inside, even after a couple of moments. He was just about to try again when Agent Carlyle rounded the corner to his right, carrying a couple of folders.

“MacGyver! Good morning!” Carlyle greeted and stopped next to Mac. “Didn´t expect you back so soon after the rough ride you had.”

Mac lowered the hand he´d just raised to knock again and turned to Carlyle.

“Good morning!” He returned the greeting and forced himself to smile. “Well, I´m not… yet,” he explained slowly. “I just wanted to see Thornton… and hand him something.”

“Do you have an appointment?” Carlyle asked while he shifted the folders to his left arm and reached into his pocket.

“No.” MacGyver shook his head. “It is my idea.” His words trailed off when Carlyle produced a bunch of keys.

“Well, I hope it´s not urgent.” Carlyle shrugged apologetically and reached out to unlock the door. “Because you won´t be able to meet him here today. He´s been ordered to Washington yesterday evening. To report in person about our current findings and status of the Moreno case.”

“It´s not.” MacGyver subconsciously held his breath for a second at the mention of Javier Moreno´s name. Then a sudden realization hit him and raised his inner tension once more.

If he´s been called off to headquarters in Washington, Pete probably has to face some punishment for choosing me, the rookie, for this case.

He opened the door for him while Carlyle pocketed the keys again. Carlyle then shifted the folders back to both arms and nodded his thanks as he walked past MacGyver into the vacant office and toward Thornton´s desk.

“Do you know when he´ll be back?” Mac asked and slowly followed the agent inside.

“Probably tomorrow evening,” Carlyle replied while he laid the folders onto Thornton´s desk. “But with headquarters involved, we can´t be all too sure about that. Depends on what kind of and how much detail the bosses want to hear.” He straightened himself and shot Mac another apologetic smile. “But you can leave whatever you got for him right here…” he gestured beside the folders. “… and I´ll tell him you wanted to see him as soon as he returns.”

MacGyver froze as his thoughts ran wild. This wasn´t even close to how he had planned to do it. He´d wanted to hand the letter over personally. But if he withdrew now, he might arouse Carlyle´s suspicion that something was off with him, and Mac wasn´t keen on any rumors running around either.

“No one else has access to this office.” Carlyle´s words at his hesitation broke MacGyver out of his thoughts. “I´ve only got his key while he´s out of town.”

MacGyver drew in a deep breath, met Carlyle´s expectant gaze, and nodded.

“Of course,” he answered, reached into the inner pocket of his jacket, and pulled out the envelope.

He took the last steps to Thornton´s desk and placed it next to the folders while Carlyle already walked back to the door. MacGyver shot the white envelope a long last look as it lay on the desk. He´d written Pete Thornton´s name on it to make sure whoever saw it knew it was meant for him… personally. His mind wandered off again. Back to their days out in the woods. During that time he´d grown to not only respect but really like the older man and something Pete had called him in the helicopter still drifted around in his mind.

Friend? … This isn´t exactly how a friend would handle this…

“What´s the matter, MacGyver? Are you okay?”

Carlyle´s question from the door startled Mac out of his reverie. He quickly turned his head toward the agent. Wasn´t I thinking about not arousing any suspicions a minute ago, he chided himself internally.

“Yeah, sure,” he replied and stepped back from the desk. “I´m fine.” He strode over to Carlyle who was waiting for him at the door. “I was just lost in thought for a moment,” Mac explained as he walked past the agent out into the hallway, back to displaying his outward nonchalance.

“Thinking back to your last assignment?” Carlyle asked over his shoulder as he closed and locked the door.

“Yeah,” Mac answered slowly and stuffed his hands into his pockets. “Sort of.”

He drew in a deep breath and squared his shoulders when Carlyle turned to him with a smile.

“From what I´ve heard about it,” the agent said impressed. “That was one hell of a way to exceed your mission objective. Especially since you´ve only been a certified agent for such a short time.”

“I´m just glad it all worked out.” MacGyver shrugged with a lopsided smile. His gaze briefly caught on Thornton´s key in Carlyle´s hand and he felt a sudden pang of guilt tighten his chest. Yeah… it has worked out… but only barely… and thanks to Pete, he thought.

“Listen, I´ve gotta get back to work.” Carlyle´s smile turned apologetic while he pocketed the keys. “And I guess, you ought to get back to rest and recovery. It was good seeing you.”

“Yeah, I´d better,” MacGyver nodded. “Likewise… have a good day.”

Carlyle´s smile widened a little and then he turned and left toward where he´d been coming from a couple of minutes ago. Mac stood still for a moment, glanced at Pete Thornton´s nameplate on the office door, and then puffed out a breath. No, he convinced himself inwardly. Pete won´t be all too upset about me just leaving the letter on his desk… Carlyle will tell him that I´ve been here personally… It´ll be okay… I hope.

MacGyver strode back to the elevators, rode down to the lobby, and waved his goodbye to the guard. But his inner tension didn´t ease up, even when he left the building. He only managed to shove his thoughts about the senior agent to the back of his mind once he arrived home and turned to his household chores and to reading a science journal he´d had in his mail the day before.

++++++++++

Two days later…

A lot of different thoughts floated through Pete Thornton´s head as he unlocked his office door. The last two days in Washington had been quite stressful for him. His superiors at the headquarters of the DXS had demanded a very detailed report on the Moreno case, on what had led up to the operation up north in the woods, about what had happened out there, on their findings, and on their proceedings and plans concerning the remaining members of the arms dealer ring.

He´d been especially grilled on his reasons for sending off a ‘newly certified agent with very little experience’ on his own since headquarters considered it an important case. Pete had been forced to go into detail about why he´d chosen MacGyver and trusted him to handle the assignment, and had explained why the young man had gotten caught by Moreno and his men. He´d also had to justify going in himself to rescue Mac.

But in the end, his presentation of the gathered evidence, the arrested goons, and the prospect of blowing the whole dealer ring had convinced his superiors. Thornton´s defense of his and MacGyver´s choices and actions throughout the mission had been successful. He´d even received a commendation for the exceedingly good work they had done on the case. He planned on telling MacGyver about it as soon as possible, depending on how much and what kind of work had accumulated on his desk during the last two days.

His plane from Washington had arrived in L.A. really late yesterday evening, and Pete had taken a taxi to his apartment without any detours. Having to deal with the ’higher-ups’ and their penchant for red tape had exhausted him. He´d dropped into bed after taking only a quick shower since he´d already eaten on the flight.

He´d driven to the office a little later than usual this morning and gone directly to see Carlyle to get his key and an update on the news of the past two days. There hadn´t been any urgent or very important stuff, but Carlyle had told him that MacGyver had dropped by the other day, wanted to see him, and had left some envelope on his desk.

Fits good, Pete thought as he opened his office door. I´ve got to call him anyway because of that commendation we´ve received. Even if he´s still officially on medical leave. Got to as well ask him how his leg is doing. Maybe he is already getting restless… forced to stay at home and recover.

Pete smiled to himself as he strode over to his desk, opened his suit jacket, and sat down. He could very well imagine the young man getting itchy and wanting to get back to work after the long time he´d been holed up in the hospital, especially since he´d gotten to know MacGyver as a constantly active and energetic man. Even injured and in serious condition back in the woods, he hadn´t been willing to stay still and take it easy.

Pete´s smile died as he took in the pile of folders waiting for him on his desk and he frowned. Then his eyes caught on the white envelope next to it. MacGyver had scribbled Thornton´s name on it. Pete recognized Mac´s handwriting immediately and his serious expression relaxed somewhat.

Maybe the young man had remembered a few more facts he wanted to add to his report. But had it been urgent, he would have said so, and Carlyle would have told him about it or even tried to reach out to him while he´d been in Washington. Pete picked up the letter, eyed it briefly, and then laid it aside. He´d deal with MacGyver´s passion for details a little later. First, he needed to have a look at the folders on his desk to see what kind of and how much work lay ahead of him today.

With a sigh, Thornton turned to the folders and started sorting through them. It had taken him almost one hour until he had divided them into three piles: ‘urgent’, ‘important’, and ‘can wait’. The clock had reached midday by the time he was done with dealing with the ‘urgent’ pile. Thornton was just about to get up and leave for his lunch break when MacGyver´s letter caught his attention again.

Might as well have a quick look at what he wants to be added to the report so I can take care of it right after returning from lunch, Pete thought as he picked up the envelope. He leaned back in his chair, drew in a deep relaxing breath, and tore the envelope open. He pulled out the single sheet of paper, tossed the empty envelope onto his desk, and unfolded the sheet. That the text was laid out like a letter surprised Thornton at first glance. A slightly uneasy feeling rose in his gut although he couldn´t tell why. But only a few moments after he´d started reading, Thornton´s eyes widened baffled and then narrowed with confusion.

“What the…” he muttered under his breath.

He frowned at the sheet in his hands, not willing to believe what he´d just read, and let his eyes go over it for a second time. But there it was… the kid wanted to resign. Because he believed he´d failed. A sudden wave of consternation followed by anger welled up in Thornton.

How on earth can MacGyver be convinced he has failed? Why does he think he´s screwed up the assignment? With all the information he has gathered? After all we´ve gone through together on that darn mountain? After all the efforts he took to get us and the films out of there alive? After he´s put his life on the line for the sake of this mission more than once?

The senior agent leaned forward, slammed the letter onto his desk, and turned to reach for his phone. He picked up the receiver and was just about to punch in MacGyver´s number when he abruptly froze. His stomach turned into a tight knot.

Wait… he hasn´t even mentioned barely getting killed in his letter, Pete realized. He drew in a deep breath and forced himself to reign in his emotions. Can it be possible? Endangering his own life or even dying does not bother Mac as much as not living up to the expectations he thinks I set in him?

Pete Thornton placed the receiver down with a sigh and stared at the letter on his desk. He went still and read through the letter for a third time. No, he hadn´t misunderstood… and he hadn´t overlooked anything. His sudden fury morphed back into confusion, and then mixed with concern. Pete leaned back in his chair while his thoughts ran wild.

He´d become aware of the young man´s tendency to doubt his abilities and also of his propensity to blame himself should anything go wrong already during his training, but Pete had never expected MacGyver to take it this far. There was no way he could talk about this to Mac on the phone. It had to be a face-to-face conversation. But in order to summon him for a meeting here, he´d have to call him. Pete sighed again. Meeting him at the office wouldn´t work anyway, he realized. He knew it wasn´t likely for MacGyver to open up in this setting.

Pete drew in a deep breath, then picked up the letter, refolded it, and placed it back into the envelope. He was thankful that no one else at the department had seen or read this yet, so he still had the chance to do something about it. He had to make the young man see how wrong he was in his own assessment, how much he had achieved, and that he hadn´t failed at all. Pete stuffed Mac´s letter into the inside pocket of his suit jacket and urged himself to concentrate back on the folders on his desk. If he wanted to leave early this afternoon to have enough time to seek out MacGyver and talk to him in person, he´d have to get on with his work. His appetite was gone anyway.

++++++++++

It was early evening when MacGyver leaned his bicycle against the end of the breakwater and then climbed to the top of it. He walked forward almost to the waterside end and sat down on one of the huge rocks, staring out to the ocean. It had been a nice and sunny day with only a little wind. The waves were rolling ashore softly right and left to him. He stretched out his long legs and felt for his healing knee, relieved to sense no problem there today. Unlike three days ago, when he´d overdone it by walking through the beach sand.

He´d switched his training routine to riding his bike in order to reduce the strain on his knee but up the demands on his cardiovascular system. How feeble he´d felt during his first few days in the hospital had scared him to some extent and he hated the still lingering weakness in parts of his body. To quickly restore the physical strength he was used to and due to the good weather, he had taken a bigger tour today. Toward and then through the hills north of L.A. until he´d turned down to the beach and chosen to take a break just north of Pacific Palisades. He planned to ride home along the beaches sidling the Pacific Coast Highway.

MacGyver drew in a deep breath and tried to relax when the realization hit home that it had also already been three days since he´d written his letter of resignation and two days since he´d laid it on Thornton´s desk. Pete should have returned to L.A. yesterday evening unless anything had gone wrong. Meaning, he should have found the letter yesterday or, at the latest, today. But he hadn´t heard from the senior agent yet.

Which partly worried, and partly surprised MacGyver. Worried, because Mac feared Pete might have to face repercussions or even punishment due to Mac´s failure. Surprised, because Mac had expected his superior to contact him immediately after he´d read the letter. Even if a part of him had imagined the older man to be relieved about Mac´s resignation, he´d never expected him to just accept it without any comment, without any kind of reply.

But while he sat there, musing about Pete Thornton, MacGyver suddenly held his breath. What if Thornton is angry with me? … For just dropping that letter on his desk while he was away? … Or because he really does have to face some punishment? … And sees my resignation as me taking the easy way out? His body stiffened subconsciously with the thought. Mac puffed out the breath he´d been holding.

Am I just taking the easy way out?

For a moment, he sensed the certainty of his decision wavering. His gaze lowered to the rocks he was sitting on. Mac took a deep, steadying breath and urged himself to recall his reasons for quitting. He´d failed to complete his assignment. He´d gotten caught. He´d almost blown the whole mission, the whole case. He wasn´t ready for a job like this…

He slowly let the air flow out of his lungs and relaxed once more. His eyes returned to the soft waves of the Pacific Ocean and the sun that was nearing the horizon. Despite it being a beautiful evening, there were only a few people on this part of the beach and even fewer swimmers in the water. MacGyver appreciated the quietness and allowed the sound of the water lapping against the breakwater to wash away his thoughts and clear his mind.

++++++++++

Pete Thornton let out a deep sigh as he finally put his car into ‘park’ and turned off the engine. For a moment, he just sat there quietly. His search for MacGyver had taken up a lot more time today than the last time he´d sought out the young man. Time, that hadn´t helped ease the inner tension he sensed in anticipation of the conversation lying ahead of him… or them.

Somehow, he had to convince Mac to reconsider his resignation. Somehow, he had to convince him that he hadn´t failed… or disappointed Pete… not at all.

Pete abruptly pulled the keys out of the ignition and got out of his car. He´d thought, he´d seen MacGyver´s bright red bicycle leaning against the breakwater while he´d slowly driven along the Coast Highway and immediately turned onto the parking lot nearby. As he now walked toward the beach, he spotted the lone figure sitting on the end of the breakwater, oriented toward the ocean. He recognized MacGyver´s lanky build once he came closer and puffed out a relieved breath.

Found him. At last.

Pete strode toward the breakwater determinedly and quickly noticed that, once again, he wasn´t appropriately dressed for the beach. Suit and dress shoes didn´t fit walking through the sand all too well and wouldn´t help climb the rocks either. He´d almost reached them when he sensed someone hurrying up to him from the side.

“Sir! Please, don´t!”

Pete heard a man call out to him only a few yards before Pete would have gotten to the rocks. Thornton stopped and looked sideways. A young lifeguard was coming his way.

“You shouldn´t climb the breakwater.” The lifeguard continued softer once Pete was looking at him. “That would be dangerous given your outfit and your shoes.” He stopped next to Thornton.

Pete glanced briefly toward MacGyver, saw that he hadn´t noticed the scene yet, that Mac was still looking toward the ocean, and then turned his attention back to the lifeguard. He puffed out a quick sigh and thought about how to explain why he had to get up there when the lifeguard continued.

“MacGyver´s allowed to be sitting out there,” the lifeguard stated. “We know him. He knows what he´s doing.”

At first, Thornton was baffled by the young man´s assurance but on second thought, the fact that MacGyver was known around the lifeguards didn´t surprise him all too much. He´d probably helped them out during some tricky rescue or helped them repair something or… Pete could instantly picture MacGyver in a couple of situations where he might have assisted the lifeguards. Now, how could he convince the young guard that he´d be okay climbing the rocks and that he also had a very good reason to do so?

Normally, Pete wasn´t the one to quickly flash his badge but right now, he wasn´t in the mood for a long discussion either. So he pulled out the DXS-issued credentials that identified him as a government agent and showed them to the lifeguard.

“I´m glad to hear you trust MacGyver.” Pete smiled as he noticed how the young guard drew back instinctively once he´d taken in the ID. “I need to talk to him… privately.”

The lifeguard eyed Pete probingly and concerned for a moment.

“Is he in some kind of…” he then started to ask hesitatingly, his words trailing off.

“No.” Pete cut him off, dissolving the man´s worries about Mac being in trouble. “Not at all. Everything´s fine.”

“But Sir…” the guard again tried to argue as he gestured toward Pete´s outfit but fell silent when Pete raised one hand.

“I know. My shoes.” Pete voiced his concern. “I´ll manage. I´ll be okay.”

The lifeguard´s gaze remained doubtful but he knew he was overpowered. He retreated a little and glanced toward his nearby tower.

“Alright… I´ll be over there, should you need me.”

Pete nodded his thanks.

“Keep an eye on MacGyver´s bike, if you can,” he asked. “We don´t want it to get stolen.”

Now the young man smiled as he drew back even further.

“I promised him to do that anyway when he arrived almost one hour ago,” he replied and waved a quick goodbye before he hurried back to his tower.

Pete briefly returned the smile and then turned to the breakwater once more. Why doesn’t this surprise me as well, he thought with a lopsided grin to himself. Then he focused on Mac, who still seemed oblivious to this presence. Thornton eyed the rocks forming the breakwater closely and drew in a deep breath to steel himself for his climb toward MacGyver… and for the soul-searching conversation that lay ahead of him… or rather ahead of them both.
The stuff is already there. I just find a different way to use it.
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bluegirl
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by bluegirl »

Hello everyone!

I´m surprised - no comments at all for the last chapter?? :shock: That bad? :?

Anyway, I´m sorry, it got a little later than usual... but I had to get all the details thoughout this last chapter perfectly right - after all, it´s meant to set up the foundation for a great friendship.

So, this is it. The last and final part of this story. Enjoy! Let´s go. :D

Part 13


MacGyver had no idea how long he´d been sitting on the breakwater when he suddenly heard someone coming up from behind. He hadn´t cared about keeping track of time since he was still on medical leave and had nothing else but cruising home on his bike planned for today. At first, he suspected the young lifeguard on duty, probably wanting to tell him that this shift was over. But after only a few seconds, his senses told him that something was off. The training for the DXS had finely honed his perception and his observational skills. The steps on the rocks behind him weren´t caused by something soft like jogging shoes, but rather by hard leather soles and heels, you´d find on dress shoes. Shoes that weren´t suited all too well for climbing rocks or walking on the beach. MacGyver´s body stiffened involuntarily with a little alarm.

Why would anyone approach me out here… in shoes like that? And who would?

He resisted the urge to turn around for another second but then a single name popped up in his head. Mac quickly shifted his weight and looked up and behind himself only to find his suspicion confirmed.

“Hey, Pete,” he greeted the older man.

“MacGyver.” Pete only barely glanced at Mac to return the greeting while he crossed the rocks.

Thornton´s initial greeting is curt and tense, but that´s probably caused by the concentration he needs to walk over the rocks in those shoes, Mac assessed internally. On the other hand… it could also be caused by pent-up anger.

He drew in a deep breath and nervously licked his lips as he waited for Thornton to make it to his side. His inner tension rose again. Mac just hoped it wasn´t too much of the latter.

The senior agent stopped on the boulder next to the one Mac was sitting on, took a moment to catch his breath, and eyed his rookie all over. The young man looked up at him with a carefully guarded expression – which concerned Pete a bit. Does MacGyver really expect me to tear his head off, he mused. I thought we´d gotten way beyond that point.

“Took me quite a while to find you this time,” Pete stated and decided to sit down as well.

“I wasn´t hiding from you on purpose, I was just…” MacGyver started to defend himself but broke off when Pete raised one hand.

“I wasn´t saying so.” Pete stopped his protest and drew in a deep breath. He settled on the rock and noticed that MacGyver had returned his gaze to the waves.

“Sorry,” the young man muttered once Thornton had found a somewhat comfortable position. “No offense meant.” Inwardly, he scolded himself for how he´d just let his nervousness and unease show.

“None taken,” Pete instantly assured. Somehow, he had to get the young one to calm down. “Since I haven´t seen you for almost a week,” he chose to start the conversation. “How are you doing? How´s the knee?” His eyes followed MacGyver´s out to the ocean.

“Better,” Mac answered after a second. His superior´s tone had softened, and Mac sensed himself relax a bit with the honest concern he´d heard in the older man´s voice. “I´ve overdone it a little at the beginning… but by now… the knee´s doing fine.”

Subconsciously, one of his hands rubbed over his healing leg. Pete noticed the gesture out of the corner of his eye and looked sideways at MacGyver. The young man´s face seemed pensive, even withdrawn.

“Glad to hear that.” Pete strove to keep his tone positive but decided to get to the most important issue, now that he knew that Mac´s physical recovery was going well. No point in beating around the bush, he thought. “On my return from Washington this morning, Agent Carlyle told me you had come to the office and wanted to see me.”

MacGyver straightened himself as his thoughts started running wild in his head.

“Yeah,” he replied slowly and shyly lowered his gaze.

He was still thinking about how to begin when Thornton pulled the envelope, Mac had left on his desk, out of the inner pocket of his suit jacket and laid it down between them. MacGyver´s eyes instantly caught on it. He held his breath for a moment.

The envelope is torn open. So Thornton must have read the letter.

“I suppose, what you wanted to discuss has to do with this letter?” Thornton asked when Mac didn´t continue.

“Yeah,” Mac said sheepishly. His hand found a small stone next to his knee, and he picked it up and turned it around between his fingers. “I´m sorry, I hadn´t planned to just drop my resignation off on your desk… but you were out of town… and I also didn´t want to arouse Carlyle´s suspicion by pulling back.”

Pete sighed at MacGyver´s apologetic reaction. Somehow, he had to encourage the young man to open up and speak more freely.

“Listen, MacGyver…” he replied calmly after a few seconds. “I´m grateful you dropped this off at my desk… and not at our department chief´s.”

MacGyver shot Pete a quick, surprised sideways glance but then concentrated back on the stone in his hands.

“You are?”

“Of course,” Pete shot back immediately. “He would have just forwarded it to your staff department… and I wouldn´t have been able to do anything about it.”

“Do about it?” Mac echoed without looking up.

“You can´t seriously expect me to agree with this.” The words left Pete´s mouth a lot harsher than he had intended to.

“Well, it is my decision,” Mac replied low, but determinedly and continued to fiddle nervously with the stone. Pete´s sharp words fueled his defiance. “I do have some rights concerning…”

“Yes, you do.” Pete cut him off. “But I can´t accept your resignation… certainly not for the reasons you have given in your letter.”

MacGyver´s hands stopped moving, his head snapped up, and he finally met Thornton´s gaze. He found Pete watching him intently and without any anger, but rather concern. The older man´s expression puzzled him.

“But… I´ve almost blown the whole case,” Mac countered a little hesitantly. “I got caught.”

“Getting caught happens to the best of us,” Pete shot back firmly and then drew in a deep breath. “Before that, you gathered way more information than we had hoped for, which will help us close that case… for good.”

Mac was silent for a couple of seconds with Pete´s appreciation, but the self-doubt Pete still saw in the younger man´s dark brown eyes worried him. They lacked their usual sparkle. Then MacGyver broke the eye contact and lowered his gaze to his hands again. The stone started moving between his fingers once more.

“Which would have been lost completely…” he answered slowly. “Hadn´t you come to my rescue.”

“I would have gotten caught as well with the camera in my hands,” Pete stated. “Had you not noticed and distracted Moreno and his goons.”

“Disobeying your order to stay put,” MacGyver interrupted low.

“Yes… but saving me and the intel.” Pete nodded, but then was silent for a beat and sighed. He strove to stay calm despite the young one constantly opposing everything he said. “And you´ve also kept me and the information safe on the following day when you insisted on distracting those goons alone.”

Mac remained quiet this time and seemed to concentrate on the details of the stone in his hands.

“MacGyver… don´t you have any idea what you´ve achieved?” Pete asked after another moment of tense silence. “You´ve stopped a worldwide network of arms smugglers… single-handedly. Given the short time, you´ve been a certified agent, that´s quite impressive.”

“Not single-handedly.” Mac protested and looked up again. “I wouldn´t have been able to hadn´t you been there.”

Pete was relieved to finally see a flash of energy in the young man´s eyes. Even if it was caused by defiance.

“That´s why we´re partners, Mac,” Pete argued firmly. “And I´m not willing to let you quit.”

“Some kind of partner.” Mac snorted with frustration. “I got you into trouble. You´ve even been summoned to the headquarters because of this case. You sure gotta face some kind of punishment for choosing me… and then having to go in yourself to save me… Face it, Pete. I´m not ready for this job.”

But his sudden anger at Pete´s unwillingness to see his failure morphed into confusion as a genuine smile widened on the senior agent´s face.

“Actually, MacGyver,” Pete chuckled. “We both got a commendation for our work.” He let his words sink in and enjoyed the baffled expression on MacGyver´s face for a moment. “And as for you being ready… I´ve told you before… you´ve been among the best recruits we ever had during training and certification. You´ve got all it takes to become one of the best agents I´ve ever met. But you´ve got to believe in your abilities… and you´ve got to allow yourself some time. You´ve gained some experience during your time in the military, but that was a couple of years ago… You´re new to this line of work. You´re still learning. You´ll find your stride.”

MacGyver was speechless for seconds at Thornton´s encouraging words, but a big part of him was still caught up with blaming himself.

“Learning?” he echoed self-deprecatingly. “I got careless, let my emotions interfere with my judgment, and those goons almost got to continue smuggling their guns to terrorists and crisis areas all around the world… which would have cost hundreds and thousands of innocent lives.”

The disappointment about his failure mixed with some anger about Pete not seeing it. To top it off, Pete was still smiling at him, although his smile had sobered up. And he didn´t reply.

“What?” Mac asked impatiently after a few moments. “Why are you smiling?”

“Because you care about those people, even if it´s not likely you´ll ever get to meet any of them,” Pete told him earnestly. “Your desire to save those lives is what made you go in deeper than you had been assigned to.”

“Deeper than I should have,” MacGyver said bitterly, lowered his gaze to the stone in his hands, and then angrily threw it out into the waves. “I didn´t think about making sure I had a safe way out. At least, I cared about hiding the camera.”

“A safe way out.” Pete calmly repeated his words. “Something very important in our line of work… You´ve granted it to me and the intel twice, at the camp and on the following day. You´ve learned quickly.”

MacGyver sat still, staring out to the ocean. Inwardly, his thoughts went berserk. Pete sitting there next to him and singing his praises partly fueled his defiance, but in another small part of his mind, he sensed his decision to resign wavering.

“And you´ll continue to learn,” Pete carried on after a moment. “If you don´t quit now.”

“But Pete… bottom line is…” Mac protested instantly, yet kept his eyes directed at the waves. “Given all you´ve expected from me after training and certification… I´ve failed to complete the assignment. I´ve disappointed you.” His voice dropped low until the end.

Thornton´s head snapped around to MacGyver and he stared at the young man stunned. He was speechless for a moment; his jaw dropped. Reading how Mac had assessed his actions during the mission as a failure in the letter had been one thing, but hearing from him in person how convinced he was about it and how much it bothered him that he felt like having disappointed the senior agent sent a sting to Pete´s heart.

“You what?” he asked for confirmation.

“I´ve failed,” Mac repeated quietly and apologetically. “I´ve disappointed…”

“Now stop it right there!” Pete suddenly growled at him. The young man´s self-recrimination was testing his patience. “MacGyver, have you listened to anything I said to you during the past minutes?”

MacGyver nodded sheepishly but stayed silent. Pete drew in a deep breath and urged himself to calm down.

“You´ve done anything but fail or disappoint me.” Pete then assured firmly. “Your decisions made sure those arms dealers never knew about me until it was too late for them. That's what made stopping them possible in the first place. Hadn´t it been for your determination, ingenuity and stamina, they would still be going on with their business. You made the change and risked your life while doing so. I was just along for the ride… If anything, you´ve exceeded my expectations… you´ve impressed me… and our higher-ups! Mac, once again… we both got a commendation on this!”

MacGyver´s head slowly turned to the senior agent after Pete was done with his speech. He met Pete´s gaze but his expression stayed pensive.

“But it was you who got me out.” The young man insisted low after a moment.

“Well, as your partner, I kind of had to.” Pete smiled lopsidedly. “Since you care more about saving innocent lives than your own.”

A bit of a shy and insecure grin spread over MacGyver´s face as Pete Thornton´s words and their meaning finally registered in his mind. But it didn´t reach his eyes yet.

“So… no punishment from headquarters in Washington?” he asked cautiously.

Pete puffed out a breath as the memory of how intense the board had questioned him returned before his mental eye.

“No,” he confirmed. “Although defending some of your methods wasn´t easy… Well, let´s say it´ll take some time for them to get used to your unique way of handling things… and to your special approach to our work.”

MacGyver´s grin widened a bit before he lowered his eyes. They briefly caught on the envelope before he looked out to the ocean. Pete noticed it and granted him another few moments to sort his thoughts.

“So, MacGyver,” he then probed slowly. “What are we going to do about this letter?”

Mac drew in a deep breath and sat up straighter. He hadn´t allowed himself to see his doing the way Pete had. He wasn´t sure about his decision to resign anymore. Once again since he´d met Pete Thornton, he was surprised how their conversation hadn´t felt the least like talking to his boss. It seemed Pete was becoming more of a mentor to him; someone he could look up to. The older man seemed honestly concerned about his tendency to doubt himself. MacGyver realized, maybe it would have been a good idea to talk to Pete about all this before writing the letter. He slowly let out a long sigh.

When Mac still didn´t respond for another few seconds, Pete picked up the envelope and turned it in his hands.

“Mac?” he asked quietly.

His action brought MacGyver´s gaze back to the letter and then to Pete. Nothing like admitting that you made a mistake in admitting a mistake, he thought.

“I´d like to have it back,” he finally confessed.

Thornton´s relief was almost palpable to MacGyver when the older man handed the envelope over.

“Glad to hear that,” Pete sighed. “I never wanted to have it in the first place. Let´s never mention it again.”

“Agreed.” MacGyver shot Pete a quick, sheepish smile that finally reached his dark eyes while he folded the envelope and stuffed it into the back pocket of his jeans.

“Now that this is settled,” Pete stated with a smile. “There´s something else I need to give you.”

Mac raised his eyebrows curiously as the older man reached into his pocket. A moment later, a mixture of surprise and gladness spread over his features when Pete held out a bright red, but well-worn Swiss Army knife to him. Mac recognized it instantly as the one Moreno had taken from him.

“I retrieved it for you from the evidence collected at the camp. Thought, you might want to have it back,” Pete said, now smiling broadly. “Thought, you might need it the next time you get yourself into trouble – or me, partner.”

“Trouble?” Mac asked with feigned innocence. “Who? … Me?”

Mac couldn´t help but flash Thornton a mischievous grin with his remark, but his face sobered up as he took the knife from the older man´s hand. His grandfather Harry had given him this one long ago, when he´d still been a kid. Pete was relieved to see the energetic sparkle return to the younger one´s dark eyes at the sight of the knife, even if his expression went serious quickly again.

“Thank you,” Mac said after a moment. “It means a lot to me. This is the oldest one I´ve got.” He squeezed his fingers closed around it before he pocketed it and directed his eyes back to the waves.

“You´re welcome,” Pete answered and followed MacGyver´s gaze. “You just looked as if this one bears a lot of memories.”

“Yeah,” Mac agreed slowly. “It does… way back to when I was a kid.”

For a couple of seconds, the two men sat silently looking toward the sunset before thinking about long-ago memories reminded Thornton of something else.

“By the way, MacGyver,” he started out. “You still owe me something.”

Mac turned his head and faced the older man with questioningly raised eyebrows.

“I do?”

“Of course,” Pete answered with only a sideways glance. “An explanation for your aversion to guns.”

Within the blink of an eye, MacGyver´s open and interested expression morphed into disgust, and then his gaze went dark and haunted before he hid his emotions behind a carefully controlled façade. He held his breath for a couple of seconds. Although Mac didn´t move as much as an inch, Pete abruptly felt him withdraw. The easy camaraderie he´d sensed a minute ago seemed to snap.

“I said, someday,” Mac replied curtly.

“How about making that ‘today’?” Pete probed, not willing to drop the topic that quickly this time.

MacGyver turned to the sun nearing the horizon and let out a long, quiet sigh.

“MacGyver?” Pete tried again when the young man remained silent for another few seconds.

MacGyver didn´t react. A flurry of pictures, of childhood memories, raced through his head faster than he could suppress them. The pain, the grief, and the guilt he suddenly felt were almost as intense as back then. He struggled with himself. He´d already refused to tell Pete about it once, a couple of weeks ago, during his training, when the older man had sought him out in the evening. They´d been a lot more distant then and their relationship had considerably changed since then, but had it changed enough to open up to Pete that deeply? After all, he was still Mac´s boss.

“Mac?” Pete pressed on, albeit softer this time. “You promised.”

“I know,” MacGyver finally sighed. “I was just under the impression that you already know about each and every detail of my past life.” The words left his mouth a little harsher than he had planned.

Pete drew back a bit with the younger one´s reply. Mac´s sharp tone surprised him even if he knew it was just a defense mechanism.

“Maybe… maybe not,” Pete answered, urging himself to remain calm since he saw how hard the young man fought to keep his emotions from showing on his face. “It seems I´ve missed something that´s important to you,” Pete continued when Mac didn´t respond. “MacGyver, I was under the impression that we´ve made it past the boss-subordinate relationship… and that you trust me.”

MacGyver´s head snapped around to meet Pete´s eyes. The sudden flash of pain in his brown eyes worried Pete.

“Of course, I do,” Mac assured after a second.

“Then talk to me!” Thornton urged instantly. “As your partner, shouldn´t I know if there´s something that´s bothering you? … We need to be able to rely on each other when working together… as partners … and also as…” He stopped himself before he finished the sentence.

Pete´s hesitation puzzled MacGyver a little, and he suspected it was because the older man was trying not to press him too hard, although he had a hunch which word Thornton had avoided. It had been floating around in his head since Pete had used it soon after they´d made it to the helicopter. But since then, Mac´s respect for the older man had kept him from bringing up the topic. On the other hand, maybe now was the time to talk about it. MacGyver raised his eyebrows inquiringly.

“Friends?” he asked when Pete didn´t complete his sentence even after a few seconds. “You´ve called me that before… in the chopper.”

“You remember that?” Now it was Pete´s turn to look baffled. “I didn´t think you would notice… you were pretty out of it by then.”

“I noticed… and I do remember.” MacGyver´s gaze stayed locked onto Pete´s when he softly nodded. His voice dropped low. “Friendship is something I don´t take lightly, Pete. It´s too hard to come by.”

“That´s true,” Pete agreed. “Especially in this dangerous business, we´re in… I´ve been disappointed a few times and also lost some good friends during my career.”

For a couple of seconds, they just looked at each other silently in mutual understanding. Then Pete reached out to Mac with his right hand.

“But I´ve never met someone like you before. You´re a very special person,” he said earnestly. “I´d be honored to call you my friend, MacGyver.”

For a moment, Mac hesitated. The months that had led up to this assignment had proven that Thornton really cared about his well-being, physically as well as mentally. The days out in the forest had proven that they worked fine together as a team and that he could truly rely on the older man. He had to agree that they´d moved way beyond the boss-subordinate relationship. Mac briefly considered the closest friends he had – the somewhat flaky Jack Dalton, for example – and realized how much of a different, probably stabilizing presence Pete Thornton had become to him. He allowed himself to give in to the older man´s offer.

“Likewise, Pete.” Mac took Thornton´s hand and nodded with a smile.

Pete returned the smile but held on to MacGyver´s hand a little longer than necessary. He scrutinized the younger man next to him intensely.

“Thank you.” Pete then continued. “And now that we´re clear about this as well… What´s keeping you from telling me why you despise guns?”

MacGyver´s smile died in an instant. He remained silent even as Pete slowly let go of his hand, but drew in a deep breath. I should have known, he wouldn´t let go of the issue that easily, Mac thought. Might as well get it over with and tell him that I´m responsible for the death of one of my best pals.

“I don´t know,” MacGyver admitted low after a moment. “Pain… grief… guilt… judgment.”

“Guilt?” Pete echoed incredulously as he watched the emotions flash over the young man´s face. “Judgment? … But why?”

“Yeah,” Mac sighed. “I made a very bad decision about a gun when I was a kid.”

He broke eye contact with Pete and shifted his position a little so he could stare out at the ocean waves again. Pete gave him some space and waited patiently for him to carry on.

“My dad taught me how to handle and shoot a gun,” MacGyver carried on after a moment. “My mother kept his revolver after he had died and I knew where it was hidden. When I was eleven, my three best friends and I wanted to have some fun with it one afternoon, shooting at bottles and cans… but when one of them suddenly aimed at a bird, I knocked the gun out of his hands. It went off as it hit the ground… and the bullet hit Jessie right in the chest.” He lowered his eyes to the rock he was sitting on and swallowed hard. His voice was thick with emotion when he continued. “Neil and Chuck were so scared that they ran off… I managed to build some kind of tricycle out of our bikes and take Jessie to the roadside… but it took too long until I managed to stop a car and get the driver to call an ambulance… the paramedics couldn´t help him anymore. I couldn´t save him.”

MacGyver pressed his eyes shut, rubbed his hands over his face, and then ran his fingers through his unruly hair to ease some of his inner tension.

Pete Thornton observed quietly how the pain and grief Mac had concealed well only a minute ago now showed clearly on his features. His mind matched what MacGyver had just told him to an old police report he´d come across while he´d done his research on the young man right after the ‘Murdoc incident’, when he´d considered recruiting MacGyver.

But that old police report had labeled the whole thing as an accident. There had been no mention of blame on anyone, so Pete hadn´t paid much attention to it. Yet now, it was obvious to Pete that it was of the highest significance.

“It was my fault,” Mac added low after a couple of moments. “My life hasn´t been the same ever since… that´s why I refuse to use guns. I hate them.”

When he turned sideways and found Pete´s gaze again, there was steely determination on Mac´s face, besides the grief and pain still visible in his dark brown eyes. Pete nodded slowly.

“Alright,” he said sympathetically at the sight of the young man´s inner emotional turmoil. “Thank you for sharing your side of the story.”

“So you knew,” Mac stated with a tinge of disappointment and irritation in his voice. “Then why did you push me…”

“I came across the police report when I put your dossier together months ago,” Pete gently cut him off with the raise of one hand. “It didn´t provide much detail. Since it was considered an accident, I didn´t put too much meaning into it… seems I was wrong.”

“Accident,” MacGyver angrily snorted under his breath. He shook his head and moved his gaze to the waves lapping against the boulders. “It was my fault.”

“MacGyver…” Pete sighed deeply. “You were eleven years old. You did all you could to help your friend. It wasn´t your fault.”

“I knocked the gun away,” Mac shot back bitterly. “I should have kept in mind it might fire.”

“You had to act quickly to spare the bird,” Pete argued. “You probably didn´t have enough time…”

“I shouldn´t have brought the gun in the first place.” Mac didn´t let Pete finish. His voice grew a little louder and sharper.

“You were kids.” Pete did his best to stay calm. “It´s quite normal for kids wanting to try out exciting things, wanting to have adventures.”

“Right, and that´s why one of my pals got killed,” Mac muttered low and tonelessly.

Pete Thornton drew in a deep breath and silently watched MacGyver for a few moments. The guilt and grief Pete still noticed in the younger man´s eyes made his throat tighten. He could almost physically feel how much Mac was hurting. He´d realized quite a while ago that Mac was inclined to blame himself if anything went wrong. And for someone with a fine mind like his, he was surprisingly stubborn. Pete had tried to reason with him. To no use, he realized now.

“Mac, it was an accident,” Pete gave it another shot. “But I won´t be able to convince you that you´re not responsible for your friend´s death, right?”

MacGyver´s jaw was set as he slowly shook his head. Pete saw how his expression grew even darker; witnessed how bitterness took over his features. He knew that Mac´s pent-up anger was directed at himself, not at Pete. For the most part, he hoped. Maybe some of it is caused by me pressing him to tell me his story.

“I´m sorry your friend died,” Pete apologized slowly. “I´m sorry for bringing back all those emotions and memories.”

Mac just nodded silently. His expression relaxed a bit, but the sadness lingered.

“Well, now I can certainly understand why you refuse to use guns,” Pete added after a few seconds. “I promise not to pester you about it again.”

“Thank you.” MacGyver shot him a brief sideways glance.

For a couple of moments, the two men sat silently next to each other on the breakwater, both staring out to the sun that was almost touching the horizon by now.

“Thank you for trusting me deeply enough to tell me about it.” Pete then said low and soft.

“Thanks for not judging me for it,” MacGyver replied evenly low.

Pete Thornton puffed out an exasperated breath.

“Mac, I can´t and I won´t… not even as your boss,” Pete assured quickly. “But as your friend, I´m trying to make you see that your own judgment is a lot worse than…”

He broke off when MacGyver raised one hand in a defensive gesture. The young man couldn´t take any more of it. He turned his head and met Thornton´s gaze which was still tinged with concern.

“I´ll be alright, Pete.” Mac forced a smile onto his face. “I´ve learned to live with it. I´ve learned my lesson and made my decisions. I´ve drawn my consequences.”

“I won´t question them.” Pete´s expression stayed serious and honest.

Slowly, MacGyver realized how much Pete Thornton had sounded like his father probably would have throughout their whole conversation. The father, that MacGyver had lost way too young. How much respect the senior agent had shown. How he was already becoming much more than just his boss or his partner, even his mentor. How much he really cared about setting up a reliable and solid foundation for their friendship. And how much Mac was grateful that he´d met the man a few months ago for the second time, although it had turned his life around to a completely unexpected direction.

“I appreciate that,” Mac nodded as his smile widened. “Friend.”

Pete returned a relieved smile as he noticed how Mac´s inner tension slowly left him. He raised one hand, laid it onto MacGyver´s shoulder and squeezed softly in a silent gesture of comfort. He was grateful that the young man had finally found enough confidence in their relationship to trust him that far. He looked forward to where their growing friendship might take them both.

For another few minutes, they sat quietly side by side before Mac remembered that he still had some way on his bike ahead of himself. If he wanted to arrive at his apartment before dark, he ought to get going. He straightened himself and shifted a little on the rock, readying himself to get to his feet.

“The sun is setting,” he announced. “I should head home.”

“No light on your bike?” Pete glanced sideways at him puzzled.

“Well, yes… but for some reason, it´s not all too reliable since I´m back.” Mac shot him a quick, sheepish grin before he pushed himself off the boulder and stood up. “Haven´t gotten around to fixing it yet…”

He reached out with one hand and helped Pete up to his feet as well.

“Haven´t gotten around to fixing it?” Pete repeated unbelievingly once he´d found a secure footing. “You?”

“Been busy.” Mac shrugged and walked off toward the beach.

“Busy?” Pete echoed surprisedly as he followed MacGyver. His dress shoes forced him to be cautious on his way but he noticed gladly that the athletic fluidity had returned to MacGyver´s movements. “You´re on medical leave! You´re supposed to recover!” he protested nevertheless.

“I am,” Mac assured while he climbed down to the sandy beach. “But a neighbor´s kitchen sink was busted and another needed help in…” He broke off as he turned around, wanting to assist Pete, but saw the older man shaking his head incredulously.

“Why doesn´t this surprise me at all?” Pete answered once he had also made it to the sand.

MacGyver only gave him a silent, boyish smirk and picked up his red bicycle. Pete fell into step beside him as they walked off toward the parking lot and the Ocean Front Walk. Pete noticed MacGyver wave a quick goodbye to the lifeguard just before they reached the pavement.

“I could give you a ride home,” Pete offered.

“No, thanks.” Mac shook his head. “I gotta stick to my training plan. I´ll manage.” He mounted his bike once he was on the walk but sat up straight and faced Pete.

“I´m sure you will.” Pete nodded with a smile. “But take your time to recover.”

“I will.” MacGyver´s grin widened on his face. “Doctor´s allowed me to start training.”

“I know,” Pete sighed. “But there´s no need to rush anything.”

“I might be back after the weekend,” Mac thought out loud. “For some ‘light duty’ as you call it.”

“Mac, I just told you to take…” Pete protested but didn´t get to finish.

“Are you trying to tell me no case files are waiting on your desk?” MacGyver asked as his grin turned mischievous.

“Well, of course there are, but…” Pete started to argue but was cut off again.

“I could help you with research… and learn more about mission planning until I´m ready for field work again,” Mac suggested.

“I´d appreciate your help, but…” Pete sighed.

“So?” The young man interrupted Thornton again, now offering a broad innocent smile. “What´s wrong with me doing some paperwork?”

“Nothing.” Pete drew in a deep breath. “I just didn´t imagine it to be one of your favorites.”

“It´s not,” Mac admitted. “But it´s part of the job… and it´s better than sitting around at home and getting bored.”

“Bored?” Pete asked exasperatedly. “You just told me you haven´t even had time to fix the light on your bike during the last few days, and now you´re telling me you´re getting bored?” He´s got a penchant for testing my patience, Pete thought. Guess, I´d better get used to it real soon.

“I should find some time to take care of the light during the weekend,” Mac assured with a mischievous grin. “So?”

“Alright. Fine.” Pete puffed out a breath. “But make sure you get some rest and relaxation until then.”

“Yes, Sir.”

MacGyver formally agreed to Pete´s advice, but his voice had a teasing undertone, and he was still grinning. He gave the older man a sloppy salute before he leaned forward and grabbed the handles of his bicycle. Pete stared at him silently for a moment and then sighed deeply.

“Why do I have the feeling that working with you will regularly be putting my nerves to the test?” the senior agent asked.

Mac shot him a lopsided smile and shrugged.

“Who? … Me?” he asked innocently which only earned him a snort from the older man. He then readied himself to take off before he looked sideways at Thornton with a broad, disarming smile. “See ya on Monday, Pete.”

Pete couldn´t help but return the smile.

“See you.” He waved a quick goodbye and watched the young man drive off.

Pete still smiled to himself when he turned to the parking lot, walked off to his car, and thought about which cases he could hand over to MacGyver. He would have to find something challenging to keep the bright and sharp-thinking mind of the young man occupied.

As he unlocked his car and slid into the driver´s seat, Pete Thornton realized that a small part inside of him was grateful to someone he´d never thought he´d thank for anything. But hadn´t a certain, now dead hitman chosen to take a ride in MacGyver´s taxi cab that day, a couple of months ago, he probably wouldn´t have met the remarkable young man for a second time. And he´d never have gotten to know him any closer or even to work together with him. Pete drew in a deep breath and turned the key in the ignition. He put the car into gear and drove off.

“I can´t admit that to anyone… ever…” he muttered low to himself. “But… thanks, Murdoc.”


++++++++++ THE END ++++++++++


Well... this is it. I want to thank my two fellow MacGyver-fans who have taken the time to read my 'first draft' and offer their thoughts and constructive critizism so I could improve my story. Jody... Mark... I really appreciate your help!

I also want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read along. Although there has been only little feedback on all sites so far - I´m still looking forward to your comments!
The stuff is already there. I just find a different way to use it.
JB5
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by JB5 »

Hey bluegirl
Amazing - as usual and as I would expect!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D

Spent all day yesterday checking to see if you had posted the final chapter.... :? :? :? :? ......and each time I was disappointed :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: but I fully understand the need to get all the details right. That's what makes your stories so good. :D :D :D And I finally read the final chapter this morning...... :D :D :D

So now I'm going to treat myself and read the full story end to end :D :D :D ....and then I don't know what I'm going to do each Sunday without a new chapter....

8-)
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bluegirl
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by bluegirl »

JB5 wrote: Mon Jul 17, 2023 8:08 pm Hey bluegirl
Amazing - as usual and as I would expect!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D

Spent all day yesterday checking to see if you had posted the final chapter.... :? :? :? :? ......and each time I was disappointed :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: but I fully understand the need to get all the details right. That's what makes your stories so good. :D :D :D And I finally read the final chapter this morning...... :D :D :D

So now I'm going to treat myself and read the full story end to end :D :D :D ....and then I don't know what I'm going to do each Sunday without a new chapter....

8-)
Thank you so much for your encouraging feedback... Amazing is the kind of word you´d like to read after putting about one year (a little more) of hard work, research and a lot of thinking and considering into a story like this. Thank you! 8-)

You´re going to treat yourself? Read the full story end to end? Haven´t you yet? ;)

You do know there are three other stories by me floating around the sites... just in case you need more treats :lol: 'Point of View' even has a 'missing chapter' that I only posted on fanfiction.net and AO3 - just in case you´re interested - my author´s name on those sites is 'MacsBluegirl'. Those sites also have the correctly formatted text - with italics and all (keeping that up in the forum is a lot of extra work that I try to avoid :? :oops: )

As for not knowing what to do each Sunday - my next work is in progress already (although in its very early stages). After coming across two great novelizations of Stargate episodes and an also brilliant novelization of the MacGyver pilot, I´ve decided to give writing a novelization of an already given episode a try. Meaning, I do have to stick to a given story - but have the possibility of adding the thoughts, emotions, and 'missing scenes' that 'didn´t make it into the final 45 to 47 minute cut' we get to see on screen. I had a quite long list of episodes that intrigued me concerning this 'experiment' - but one of them kind of 'started itself' at one point.

Knowing my writing style - any suggestions? Any episode you´d also like to read, not only watch?
The stuff is already there. I just find a different way to use it.
ergomac23
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by ergomac23 »

aw great story bluegirl I'm sad it's over but I love the connection between mac and Pete and when mac told the story of jessie it is exactly how I pictured him telling the story to Pete great writing thank you bluegirl :D
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bluegirl
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by bluegirl »

ergomac23 wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 1:56 am aw great story bluegirl I'm sad it's over but I love the connection between mac and Pete and when mac told the story of jessie it is exactly how I pictured him telling the story to Pete great writing thank you bluegirl :D
You´re welcome - thank you for your feedback - great story and great writing are more words I love to read concerning my work 8-) :D

My next project has already started, so the same question goes out to you... I´m about to write a novelization of an already given episode - knowing what I like to write - any suggestions which one I should take on?
The stuff is already there. I just find a different way to use it.
ergomac23
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by ergomac23 »

bluegirl wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 8:21 am
ergomac23 wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 1:56 am aw great story bluegirl I'm sad it's over but I love the connection between mac and Pete and when mac told the story of jessie it is exactly how I pictured him telling the story to Pete great writing thank you bluegirl :D
You´re welcome - thank you for your feedback - great story and great writing are more words I love to read concerning my work 8-) :D

My next project has already started, so the same question goes out to you... I´m about to write a novelization of an already given episode - knowing what I like to write - any suggestions which one I should take on?
hmm.... "phoenix under siege" would be a good episode for a novel or "brainwashed" is another or "blow out" "secret of the parker house" and on that note "Cleo rocks" and "20 questions" there the ones I can think of off the top of my head :) I hope that helps
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bluegirl
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by bluegirl »

ergomac23 wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 11:12 pm
bluegirl wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 8:21 am
ergomac23 wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 1:56 am aw great story bluegirl I'm sad it's over but I love the connection between mac and Pete and when mac told the story of jessie it is exactly how I pictured him telling the story to Pete great writing thank you bluegirl :D
You´re welcome - thank you for your feedback - great story and great writing are more words I love to read concerning my work 8-) :D

My next project has already started, so the same question goes out to you... I´m about to write a novelization of an already given episode - knowing what I like to write - any suggestions which one I should take on?
hmm.... "phoenix under siege" would be a good episode for a novel or "brainwashed" is another or "blow out" "secret of the parker house" and on that note "Cleo rocks" and "20 questions" there the ones I can think of off the top of my head :) I hope that helps
I´ll certainly take those into consideration - at the moment, I´m working on "Cease Fire"
The stuff is already there. I just find a different way to use it.
ergomac23
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by ergomac23 »

bluegirl wrote: Wed Jul 19, 2023 8:09 am
ergomac23 wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 11:12 pm
bluegirl wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 8:21 am

You´re welcome - thank you for your feedback - great story and great writing are more words I love to read concerning my work 8-) :D

My next project has already started, so the same question goes out to you... I´m about to write a novelization of an already given episode - knowing what I like to write - any suggestions which one I should take on?
hmm.... "phoenix under siege" would be a good episode for a novel or "brainwashed" is another or "blow out" "secret of the parker house" and on that note "Cleo rocks" and "20 questions" there the ones I can think of off the top of my head :) I hope that helps
I´ll certainly take those into consideration - at the moment, I´m working on "Cease Fire"
ooh "cease fire" another good one I forgot that episode :D :D
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Wathorighh
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Re: Starting Point - a MacGyver FanFiction

Post by Wathorighh »

Hey bluegirl, finally got to finish reading the ending.

Await a more detailed feedback later. But let's just say. The ending was so catchy that I read it all in once because I couldn't stop reading. :lol:
**Andrea**
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