Title: Out
Author: Jilly James
Fandom: MacGyver 2016
Characters: Jack Dalton, Angus MacGyver, Tony DiNozzo
Genre: pre-slash Jack/Tony
Prompt: Jack Dalton
Word Count: 1,983
Summary: Jack admits some stuff. And looks at a lot of asses.
Warnings: No beta

– – – –

Jack made it into the Phoenix Foundation’s HQ and nearly ran over Mac who was doing some weird shit with a garbage bag and a trash can that Jack likely wouldn’t understand. But he had to ask, “What are you gonna do with that? Make a weather balloon?”

Mac shot him a look but simply put the bag in the trash can and placed the retaining ring back on. “It’s a trash bag. It’s for trash.”

“Yeah, and it’s not at all unusual for you to be changing a trash bag,” he snarked as he put a hand on Mac’s shoulder and steered him toward the elevator. “You wanna just confess what you did with the last one, or should I rely on the rumor mill?” At Mac’s amused, but tight-lipped look, Jack added, “I’ll take gossip for $100, Alex.”

When the doors closed, Jack gave a happy sigh. “We’ve got a mission.”

“You have any idea what?” Mac prompted.

“No, and I don’t care. It’s been too quiet lately, and I’m bored out of my skull. I almost tried to understand the science behind that thing you did with the fire hose and the baklava on our last op, but then I caught myself.”

Mac snorted. “The baklava was a snack. It was for eating. The firehose–”

Jack held up a hand. “No spoilers, man. Do I explain my awesome?”

“Routinely,” Mac said dryly as he shoved Jack out of the elevator.

They entered the briefing room, and Jack rubbed his hands together. “Patti! What’s the op and how soon can we leave?” He nodded a hello to Riley, who was tapping away on her computer.

Director Thornton,” she countered automatically, “and you’ll leave as soon as we can get you in the air.”

“What’s the assignment?” Mac asked.

“You’re going to Spain. Textile manufacturer, Manuel Pérez, who happens to be brokering the sale of what we believe is a nerve agent.”

“Believe?” Jack repeated.

“Pérez is also on the board of a Spain-based pharmaceutical company. Our intel suggests that the company is doing some… questionable research. Interpol is handling the company side of things, but the nerve agent is already out there.” Before anything further could be asked, Thornton held up a hand. “Mac, you are not the primary on this mission.”

“I’m not?”

“He’s not?” Jack echoed.


“Particular reason why?” he prompted before Mac could say anything.

“Because the last time a mission hinged on MacGyver convincingly playing the role of a gay man, and believably flirting with his mark, the mission ended… badly.”

Mac winced, and Jack made a face. Yeah, that had been unfortunate. But suddenly Jack was less entertained by life. “I guess I’m on deck, then,” he said somewhat reluctantly. Mac shot him a funny look.

Thornton blinked. “I appreciate the offer, but no. There’s an asset in place. You three,” she pointed at all of them individually, “are to ensure his mission is successful and get him back here. He’s a former DXS asset who nearly got burned when we imploded. He was one of our best undercover operatives, and I want him at Phoenix. I’m sure it will buy some goodwill if we get him home, considering his last handler hung him out to dry.”

They finished the mission brief, then grabbed their bags and headed for the plane. As soon as they were in the air, Riley put on her headphones and started doing some voodoo with her laptop.

Jack was just about to read up on the mission that had already been underway in Spain, which they were co-opting to prevent this buy, when Mac asked, “So what was that about?”

“What that?” he shot back, sprawling back in his seat and feigning casual.

You were gonna go undercover?”

“I can pretend with the best of ‘em,” he said, glancing around, trying to find a distraction.

“No, not really. You’re much more of a…”

“Blunt instrument?” Jack supplied.

“Right. Besides, you really think you’re gonna play gay any better than I can?”

Jack shot Mac a sharp look. Mac blinked.

“Okaaaay,” he drew out. “How did I not know this?”

“I’m not gay,” he groused.


Jack rubbed his hand over his head and sighed. “I’m not exactly straight either.”

Mac frowned, his big brain obviously smoking from the processing power in use. “And you didn’t think you could tell me? Did you really think I’d care?”

He hated confessions and big reveals. “You were never the problem, Mac. It was everyone else.” His hand curled into a fist, and he wished for a punching bag. “I was military and then CIA. And maybe it was okay to do certain things out in the field, but you didn’t talk about it, and you sure as hell didn’t do anyone on repeat.”

He huffed, then shot Mac a disgruntled look. “I’m too old to be having this conversation.”

Mac’s lips twitched. “What conversation is that?”

“The coming out one.”

“Are you?” Mac challenged.

Jack forced himself not to twitch. “Not exactly.”

“But sort of.” Mac shrugged. “That’s cool.”

And Jack knew that it was and felt himself relax a little.

Riley took off her headphones. “If you think I ever didn’t know you were interested in men, you’re crazy.”

Mac started laughing.

“Seriously,” Riley added. “You look at way too many butts, on both genders, for you to be strictly straight.”

Jack grinned and spread his arms wide. “What can I say. Why limit my options?”

– – – –

Mac climbed into the van after slipping away to set up some contingency plans in case they needed something special to extract their asset with the would-be bioweapon. Jack had his headphones on but only over one ear, monitoring the operative as he charmed the pants, almost literally, off Pérez.

Slipping his own headphones on the same way, Mac shot him a grin. “Now that I’m looking for it, Riley’s right.”

“About?” he asked somewhat warily.

“You and asses. DiNozzo’s butt is lucky it’s not on fire from the heat of that stare.”

Jack felt something in him uncoil a little. “I tell ya, Mac, that is all kinds of perfect. And the tuxedo don’t hurt none.”

Mac cocked a brow. “Your type, huh?”

“You don’t even know.” Yeah, DiNozzo tripped all his triggers. When they’d been preparing for tonight, it had been hard to keep his eyes in his head.

“I am totally enjoying this,” Mac said with a big grin.

“You know that’s weird, right? To be so appreciative of the specialness that is my sexual orientation.”

“Yeah, you’re a real snowflake, Dalton.”

“Damn right.”

“Because bisexual hasn’t been a thing for literally ever.”

Jack flipped him the bird, but something in the audio caught his attention. “DiNozzo might be in trouble.” But Mac had heard the same thing and was listening intently. A minute later, Jack relaxed. “Damn,” he said appreciatively on a long exhale.

“He’s good,” Mac admitted. “Better than me, really.”

Jack snorted. “No one’s better than you.”

“At my special skills? No, you’re right. But I’m not quite that smooth undercover.”

A few minutes later, Jack was shaking his head. It was eerie how good this guy was in a role. Jack made mental note to track down DiNozzo’s former handler and punch him. Repeatedly.

Then everything got insane and Mac had to talk DiNozzo through something crazy with a lighter, some q-tips, a bunch of rubbing alcohol, and a box of latex gloves. Jack left him to his wizardry and got out the big guns.

Mac’s contingency setups were desperately needed as Jack utilized the distractions to retrieve DiNozzo from the opposite side of the property, which was not at all part of the plan.

Once they had the nerve agent and DiNozzo, the trip to the airport went off without a hitch. As soon as they were in the air, Jack grinned. “Man, when was the last time we had a plan go off so smoothly?”

DiNozzo, who was soot-streaked and more than a little tired looking, blinked a few times. “I blew out the wall of a house,” he said dryly.

“Just one,” Jack countered.

– – – –

Jack was officially losing his mind. It had been a month since they’d dragged DiNozzo back from Spain, and Thornton had been successful in keeping him in the Foundation. Problem was, Jack was seeing him all the damn time. In all his exceptionally hot glory. And it wasn’t only that he was exactly what Jack liked in a guy physically, he was everything Jack liked. Period. He was sharp, had a crazy sense of humor, rolled with the punches, and didn’t care that Jack could kick his ass in the ring. He just got up, learned something, and went again.

Fortunately, they’d only worked one other case with the man, because that level of distraction would be risky in the field. He thought maybe if he could get it out of his system that would help, but a) he wasn’t sure DiNozzo was even bisexual, much less gay, and b) he was pretty sure DiNozzo was going to be more addictive than beer and potato chips put together.

Mac slid down the wall next to where Jack was catching his breath from several rounds with the punching bag. He had been watching DiNozzo spar with one of the new analysts, and reluctantly turned his attention to his partner.

“He’s distracting you,” Mac commented without any judgment.

“Yep,” Jack agreed.

“Why don’t you just ask him out to dinner? Or go have a beer?”

Jack made a face. “Just because he plays gay in the movies doesn’t mean he actually is,” he snarked.

“I don’t know… he was pretty convincing.”

“Please,” Jack grumbled. “He pulled off a British lord on his last mission, and he sure isn’t English or noble.”

“I don’t know… he seems pretty noble to me.”

“Smart ass. You know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I get your point.” Mac hopped to his feet and started walking toward DiNozzo.

“What are you doing?” he hissed.

“Asking,” Mac shot back over his shoulder.

Jack watched in horror as Mac went up to DiNozzo, who was now toweling off. DiNozzo was pretty much friendly with everyone, but Jack knew distancing techniques when he saw them. But he seemed more genuine with Mac than most people at the Foundation. Jack had to fight the urge to rush over there and haul Mac away to some mission that would likely end in their deaths. Because that would be more comfortable that whatever the hell Mac was doing now.

He was contemplating the idea of strategic retreat when Mac came back over, sporting a huge grin, with DiNozzo in tow. He got to his feet, because he didn’t need a four-foot disadvantage when his partner was making his life miserable.

“Jack, this is Tony. Tony this is Jack.” Mac grinned evilly. “Tony, Jack wants to take you to dinner.”

“Jesus, Mac! This is not the fifth grade. You don’t just do… that!” Jack griped.

“What? Find out that your crush is gay and thinks you’re hot?” Mac said with his brows in his hairline.

“Exactly!” His brain caught up with what had actually been said. “What? Really?”

Tony started laughing. “Really. But, as entertaining as it is to be the instrument of Mac’s trolling, my day is done. And I really need a shower.” He headed for the door, then paused and looked back. “That was an invitation, Dalton.”

Jack blinked but then got his ass in gear. “Never let it be said that my daddy raised his son to be rude!” He caught up with Tony, calling back, “Don’t hold dinner, dear. I’m gonna be out late.”

Mac started laughing.

Tony murmured, “I plan to keep you occupied much longer than that.”

Sweet lord have mercy, Jack was a lucky son of a bitch.

– – – –

Author Note:

The Big Short is a short-story challenge on Rough Trade based on thematic or character prompts. The maximum word count for themes is 1k, for characters it’s 2k. They are not beta’d. I re-read them looking for errors but that is all.

Each short story is complete as is. They will not be expanded on, there will be no sequels, they are probably not connected to anything else, and they are not intended to prompt other writers. If you find inspiration in them, that’s lovely, but please write your own thing. My works are not up for adoption.


  1. He really is – I have a huge smile on my face – this is a very amusing short story – I love it – thank you so much for sharing

  2. Perfect combination of funny and HOT.

  3. I love everything about this! Thanks for sharing! (PS: I also love that you don’t run an adoption program….who would even ASK that??)

  4. Ok, That one was funny, and totally in character for all three of them

  5. that was great!

  6. Patricia Osmundsen

    Seriously – this was just plain fun. I had to look up the new MacGyver series to find out who played Jack. Can I just say yum? He was one of my favorite characters on CSI Vegas. This was just wonderful. Thank you – I needed both the drool factor and the chuckles.

  7. May Circe bless you. The mental images you’ve given me with this shall live in infamy. 😀

  8. I want to like this over and over. Actually, why is there not a LOVE button? Because seriously, I’m in love. 😀

    Thanks so much, Jilly!

  9. This was great. I never saw the McGyver version 2, but I might have to now.

  10. Wow, that was lovely.

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