The Men in the Mirror
(text by SCS, illustrated by Corinna Baust, 01/00)

January 23rd, 2000 - 6:15 p.m.

"You ready?" There was a soft knocking on the door.
"Almost." He gazed in the mirror. {Almost.} he repeated in his thoughts, as he had a closer look at his picture in the bathroom mirror. {Was this the face of a 50 year old man?} It had to be, because it was his face that he saw. {Oh, man. Half a century.} He put down the shaving brush and reached out for the razor. They wanted him clean shaven tonight?? {Okay.} He thought. {Fine with me.} The hiatus was almost over anyway. {What you want is what you get, no?} He held the razor into the jet of water and then he started shaving. 

"A penny for your thoughts?! I bet you're wishing to be far away from here, in your lodge. In Minnesota."
When the actor looked up from the sink in the mirror again, he did not see his picture, but the one of a man in his late thirties, with shoulder-length long blonde hair and a winning smile - MacGyver.
"That's where I would like to be, if it were my birthday," added the blonde man in the mirror.

Both men had a closer look at each other. Eyes, nose, and mouth of both people were the same - only the color and style of hair were different. And of course - the man in the mirror did not have shaving creme from one ear to the other.

"Oh, come on." The actor cleaned the razor, one cheek almost done. "You know that's not true. You're mixing things up. You are the guy who hated birthday parties like hell. I am different."

"You sure?" Mac winked his eye. "You cannot tell me lies. I know you. You were me."

"Yeah, but only for a certain period of time. That's over now. Ahem, would you mind?" Due to the second picture in the mirror it was hard to continue shaving, and the man in front of the mirror gestured wildly with the razor.

"Oh, sure." Mac stepped aside. "Why don't you sneak out of the house? I could come up with a plan."

"Yeah, sure. You are still famous for that." The man sighed. "But - I don't think that's an appropriate action."
"He will not run." Another person appeared in the mirror - Adam McFadden.

"When he was me, we had a lot of fun at family get-togethers. Take it easy, Buddy. You'll love it." Adam McFadden sounded convincing. "You're not like him, who decided to quit his job at his surprise birthday party." Adam shot MacGyver a reproachful look and received an annoyed look in return.

"Who's going to quit his job?" From out of nowhere Ernest Pratt materialized in the mirror. "That would be a bummer. Don't you dare!" He moved his index finger, no no. "There are people out there, on your side of the mirror, who are waiting for a sequel of our adventures. Not to mention - me. Uhm, I meant us. Nicodemus and me." Ernest Pratt pushed Adam McFadden aside. "Remember the fun we had? The booze, the women, the eccentric professor. The gadgets."
{Inventions.} A thought flashed through the actor's mind. {Those were inventions.} 

Before he could reply to Ernest Pratt, the Legend author continued arguing with the others. 
"You must know he liked us more than any of you."

"Is that true?" Another silhouette stepped out of the dark background of the mirror - Simon Adams. 
"Remember? You looked good in the uniform. You enjoyed the set and the people there. We were -."

"Rookie," hissed Ernest Pratt, scornfully. "We're talking about fun. What do you know about it?"

"Please." intervened the actor. "I AM already late. What is it that you want? I did not call you. So, please -." With a quick move of his hands, he tried to scare away the men in the mirror. "I have to finish this."

"Keep the mustache." suggested Ernest Pratt.
"Don't shave at all." Another character joined the group - Jack Rourke. 
"The goatee will keep your face warm. Remember, it's winter."
"We're in LA, aren't we?" interjected MacGyver. 
"It's not for warmth. It's for disguise."

"He should know it does not work," giggled Nicodemus Legend. "It's our eyes, Dick. One look in our eyes, and the people know who we are."
"Don't you call him that," protested Michael Brooks who walked up to the group in the mirror. 
"He hates that. You all should know." 
He gave the whole bunch a reproachful look.

Embarrassed silence.

"What about a poll?" MacGyver was the first who dared to speak again.
"Voting for a proper shave - raise your hands!"

Four arms went up in the air.

"Okay. Cross-check!" Ernest Pratt and Jack Rourke raised their hands.

"We do have a result." MacGyver sounded relieved. "He is to continue ....."

{Thank you.} The actor sighed, but as he raised the razor, another man joined the group.
"Hey, who are we to decide? We're History. It's his very own -. Oh, be careful." 
Shocked, Bill Parish saw that the actor cut his chin.

"Now see what you've done?" Jack Rourke grabbed Bill Parish by the lapels.

"Could have been worse," muttered Ernest Pratt. "Imagine if he had cut off his ear."

"Oh, please." Adam McFadden pulled a face. "Shouldn't we help him?"

They saw that the shaving creme on the actor's face showed signs of blood. MacGyver searched his pockets, but before he could come up with something, the crowd divided and Dr. Jeff Webber stepped forward.

"I think it's my turn now, boys." He shoved his hand into the pocket of his doctor's coat and pulled out a gaze tissue. "Let me have a look."

"I don't think he's in need of a soap opera hero." A hand grabbed Dr. Webber's collar and pulled him away from the center of the mirror. "He can stand pain. He's like me." Ray Bellano, muscular and with long black hair, showed his teeth.

Both men started struggling, and the actor saw the others intervene and separate the squabblers. As the actor dabbed the blood off his chin, he saw from the corner of his eye Tony Kaiser appear at the edge of the crowd.

"Hey, people. Stay calm. We're making him nervous. I know he can do the shaving with his eyes closed." He gave the actor a confident nod.
"Who asked you?" 
Bradley Matthews made his way through the crowd over to Tony Kaiser and rapped his chest. 
"If they wanna fight, let them."
"What kind of kindergarten is this?" 
Jack O'Neill lined up with Tony Kaiser.

"Yeah, I agree." MacGyver nodded his head affirmingly.

"Are you challenging me?" Offended, Matthew Bradley stared at MacGyver and Col. O'Neill. "Come on. You know I was not really that bad. It was only in the script." He defended himself, but no one really paid attention to that.

"Did anyone already tell him why we're all here? At last, we exist because of him." 

James Holland took the initiative and drew the attention to himself. "Remember, we had a plan."

"Yes, my plan, and no, nobody told him yet." Mac gave James Holland a apologetic look. "Who will have the honor to begin?" He looked at all the people present, questioning.

"Well, why don't we do it in alphabetical order, eh?" suggested Ernest Pratt. "What do you think?"

Silent acknowledgment.

As the characters discussed, the actor finished his shave. He dried his face and wiped away reminders of foam with a towel. He dropped the wet towel on the floor and had another look in the mirror.

The group of characters had now lined up in the background of the mirror. The first one in line was Simon Adams. He made one step forward and was sucked up by the actor's picture in the mirror.
"My gift is my youth," were his words, before he vanished.

"I give you my strength," said Ray Bellano, as he followed Simon Adams.

Michael Brooks was the next in line. "Courage. That's what I'll offer you." He smiled and then he faded in the mirror.

"My thoughtfulness was chosen to be my present for you." James Holland gave the man in front of the mirror a confident nod and then he mingled with the actor's reflection.

"Righteousness shall always be a part of your character," added Tony Kaiser before he left the mirror.

"Never forget you're a smart guy, too." MacGyver winked his eye and stepped right through the actor's reflection in the mirror.

"For you is - my power." Bradley Matthews said, hesitantly. "For lack of a better gift." He shrugged his shoulders and left.

"You shall always be loved." Adam McFadden nodded toward the actor, before he turned into fog.

"Sarcasm and humor." Col. O'Neill indicated a salute. "An absolute must, don't you agree? That's what people like about us." He followed the previous speakers into nowhere.

"Fairness." Bill Parish adjusted his glasses. "Life's no good without it."

"Hey, what about fun?" Ernest Pratt stepped forward. "Okay, the kind of fun you like. I don't want to talk you into something." He stepped right into the actor's mirror reflection and was gone.

"My gift for you is trust." Jack Rourke rubbed his bearded chin. "Always remember, there are people out there, trusting you, relying on you."

After Jack Rourke had disappeared, only Dr. Jeff Webber remained. "Hey, remember? It's me everything started with." The actor and the man in the mirror exchanged glances.

"What's your gift?" asked the actor, a little bit confused by what was happening to him.

"The coming years shall be carefree and without trouble." Dr. Jeff Webber made a move to leave, but then he stopped. "Your chin? Are you sure you don't need -?"

"No." The actor touched that part of his face and found that the bleeding had stopped. "I am fine. Really. Thanks for asking." 

When the actor looked up again, he found the crowd in the mirror gone. There was only one face in the mirror left and the man in the mirror was - him.