MacGyver looked at Nikki as he held her in his arms as she cried over her husband. They had had survived Murdoc and the climb to Widow Ledge. He supposed he could survive a few days of her staying with him if it meant he would not loose another friend. He didn’t really like having people stay at his house boat, which was why there was no guest room, but on the occasions where it was necessary, he slept on the couch.
“Damn you, MacGyver,” Nikki said with little heat behind the words. She turned in his arms. “You’re going to drag me back to the land of the living, aren’t you?”
“It’s only fair,” Mac said. “When Mike died, you drug me back from the pit of despair. It’s my turn.” He sneezed.
“Bless you,” she said automatically. She looked down at her neighbor’s dog at her feet. “I guess I go take the dog for a walk.”
“While you do that, I’ll change the sheets on the bed,” Mac said. He got the spare sheets out and changed the bed. He grabbed the dirty towels from the bathroom and got out his spares for Nikki. Then he got out his spare blankets and made up the couch for the night.
An hour latter, Nikki and the dog returned to find MacGyver once again upside down in the traction chair breathing in the aromatic steam of his home remedy.
“Does that really work?” Nikki asked as she settled the dog down in the doggie bed she had brought with her.
“Sometimes,” Mac replied. “Though I think it is mostly the steam. Something in the eucalyptus oil helps with the breathing and clears up the congestion faster. It’s something my Grandpa taught me.”
“And where does the hanging upside down come in?” she asked, not picturing anyone’s grandfather hanging like a bat for any reason.
“That’s my own idea for draining things faster.” he replied. “I haven’t tried it that way before.”
“Well I suppose I should actually get some sleep so we can figure this out in the morning,” Nikki said.
“Good night, Nikki,” Mac said softly.
“Night, Mac,” Nikki said as she climbed the spiral stairs to the bedroom.
MacGyver made himself comfortable on the couch. As comfortable as possible anyway. He pondered Nikki’s situaation as he tried to fall asleep. Mugged and home invaded both in the same day. And let’s not for get the attempt at being run down in the car. Two of those he could see as being a coincidence but all three in a twenty-four hour time frame? That was something else. He wondered which of those Mob families had it in for Nikki. But before he could come to a conclusion he fell asleep.
There was a wet tongue licking his face, MacGyver woke as he swatted at that tongue. Bunky was up and wanting out. MacGyver was just getting off the couch when Nikki noticed the dog.
“Bunky! Don’t wake up MacGyver,” she called as she came down the stairs in her slacks and blouse, she looked ready to start the day at the office.
“Too late,” Mac said as he moved the blankets to reveal he was wearing a matching set of grey sweat pants and sweat shirt.
“I’m sorry,” Nikki said. “I meant to have him walked before you woke.”
She finished coming down the stairs and grabbed the leash. She clicked it into place and looked over at him.
“You’re looking better,” she observed. “You feel any better?”
“Tons,” Mac agreed. “Let me take a hot shower and I should be good enough to start the day.”
“I’ll take Bunky for a walk while you shower,” Nikki suggested.
“That’s a good idea,” Mac said as he walked over to the stairs. “When I’m done I’ll make breakfast then we can go back to your place and see if we can figure out who’s after you.”
“Sure,” she said as she let herself and the dog out of the houseboat.
An hour later, Mac, dressed in his jeans and button up shirt looking like he hadn’t been sick at all, stood at his stove making scrambled eggs and toast while Nikki set about making some coffee for herself. He was having licorice tea to sooth the last remains of his cold.
“You’re pretty handy in the kitchen,” Nikki observed. “How come there isn’t a Mrs. MacGyver? I’m sure there have been plenty of women who would be up for the job.”
“There have been several who would have been good candidates but...” Mac admitted.
“But when it came down to commitment of being more than friends, you ran the other way scared,” Nikki filled in for him.
“Something like that,” he agreed as he slid the eggs onto two plates. “I guess I just prefer to be able to go where I’m needed when I’m needed without leaving someone behind to worry.”
“Are you saying Pete doesn’t worry?” Nikki asked. “Because I saw how worried he was about you after Mike died.”
“Pete worries,” Mac admitted. “I know that but it is different. He knows I can take care of myself. He just worries because he wishes he was out in the field himself. You know what that’s like, when a friend has to go out and you stay behind.”
“I do know what that’s like,” Nikki said. “I also know what it’s like to be the spouse at home while the other is on assignment.”
“Your husband?” he asked.
“That’s how we met,” Nikki said. “We were undercover in East Berlin as a newly married couple for a month. When we got back we found that the roles suited us and that it wasn’t a role anymore.”
Mac didn’t know what to say to that so he just concentrated on finishing up his breakfast. He polished of the eggs and toast and swallowed the last of his tea. Nikki finished her breakfast and coffee as well.
“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable,” Nikki said. “Just after last night, I finally feel like I can talk about him without feeling guilty.”
“I’m glad I could help,” Mac said.
“Shall we get going?” Nikki asked as they loaded the dishes into the dishwasher for later.
“We shall,” Mac said as he grabbed the keys to his jeep and his leather jacket.