Fandom: Highlander
Genre: Slash
Rating: MA Mature Audiences or NC-17
Warning: Coerced M/M Sex
Story Notes: The aftereffects of the joined quickenings on both Methos and Duncan. To read my a more detailed spoiler go to the story notes at the end.

Sweet Conflict IX

J.L. Blackstone


Dialogue taken from the episode
Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Written by Dom Tordjmann
No copyright infringement intended.


Methos cradled his head in hands and groaned. He’d been combing through the chronicles for weeks and he still hadn’t found an answer. Tons of implications and suppositions but no hard proof except what he’d experienced personally. Well more accurately he knew and talked with the two other immortals who’d experienced an atypical quickening besides himself.

Darius had experienced a “Light Quickening” while Duncan a “Dark Quickening.” Both men had described the familiar initial charge of wild energy but much more intense and lasting much longer than ordinarily, so that instead of being merely fatigued it had overwhelmed them.

Darius had emerged with his bloodlust gone, while MacLeod had seemingly shifted from one persona after another almost as if he had multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia. Joe had reported that “Duncan” did have enough control to stop from killing Joe in the dojo, but he’d seen himself later that whatever “goodness” Duncan had wasn’t enough to prevent him from murdering Sean Burns in cold blood.

Kol’Tek being a hayoka and absorbing evil since the 12th century was probably the reason behind the difference. Apparently goodness blended together as one regardless of its origin while evil kept it’s individuality or initially attempted to. 

Duncan had enough strength to seek out his old friend the psychologist for help but not enough once he got there. Killing Burns was the reason why Duncan had held it together long enough for him to get him to the spring at the monastery without killing nor raping him. Both possible fates which made that car ride less than pleasant at the time.

It had been a long shot but it was the only thing he could think of; no matter how mad. A “magical” spring. However, he’d felt something there, a deep calm or something when he’d first stumbled upon the place centuries ago.

He just hadn’t wanted to believe it when Joe had told him. It wasn’t until he’d seen it himself that he’d finally realized that what Darius had told him so long ago was true. MacLeod had been so different, so full of rage. He’d come closer to losing his head in that church by the sea than he’d had in awhile. Even now he remembered the fear that had coursed through him at the madness in the highlander’s eyes.

If it hadn’t been for holy ground.

Lust had burned in those eyes. It had been touch and go for a second there on the floor. The prospect of rape all too great. He didn’t know if it had been MacLeod who’d turned the tide away from the act or if the other ‘personas’ were in too much of a hurry.

Either way, he’d been grateful.

Duncan would never have been able to forgive himself if he’d raped him. They certainly wouldn’t have ever gotten together, not that they were ‘together’ now per se. Besides some polite nods whenever they’d run into each other, they still hadn’t spoken more than five words to one another. It seemed easier to say nothing. Better to do that than destroy the fragile comfort he felt whenever he was in the highlander’s presence. A peculiar balm to the memories that were still buzzing around in his brain, popping in at inopportune moments.

He wondered if Duncan felt the same. Even though MacLeod’s eyes were filled with curiosity he demanded no answers about the Quickening. He acted just as he’d done after the dark quickening. Duncan had never asked about his actions while under the influence so he’d assumed that the highlander had remembered everything.

Burns’ willing sacrifice was the turning point back then. It must have been.Burn’s quickening hadn’t jumped to him at all. Duncan had absorbed it all and he’d been closer to them than he was to Kronos and MacLeod. Duncan was more lucid after Burn’s quickening and didn’t kill him even when he had the opportunity.

Perhaps that was it. Kronos’ quickening coming so closely after MacLeod’s Dark Quickening.Maybe that’s why it jumped. How many quickenings had the highlander received since then, anyway? Before Caspian?

No, it was Caspian’s quickening that had probably done it. That incident coupled with two immortal deaths taking place at the exact same time or near enough to be indistinguishable had to be the cause of the occurrence.

Although Caspian wasn’t as old as Kronos he’d still been approaching, if not over two millennia. MacLeod had only two days to absorb it. Maybe he couldn’t accommodate Kronos so soon, and the energy having no where to go skipped to the next available outlet.


If he hadn’t been there it would have been lost, like Darius’ quickening; pushing back the time of the Gathering even further.

It was NOT some revenant of Kronos within the quickening which made it strike him. He ruthlessly suppressed the instant revulsion that rose in his throat at the idea of having any part of the psychopath still inside him.

No it was an overload and the improbable occurrence of two immortals in the same proximity being “open” to a quickening.

Next question, were there any long term effects?

They would have to stay in one another’s presence longer than twenty minutes to figure that out. And talking would probably help. Only as much as he wanted to be close to the man, there was an equal instinct to stay away from him. Far away.

The sarcastic snort he tried to make turned into a groan. “It’s finally happened. He’s driven me mad.” He didn’t even feel the impact with the desk as he dropped his head to the hard surface with a sharp thud.



At first he was determined to ignore the knocking like usual. But he was getting hungry and he didn’t feel like moving from his current position.

If it was Wyatt, he could send him out again. Not Chinese, though. Where could he get some good stew in Paris? What time was it anyway? He leaned his head back trying to get a glimpse of the clock hanging on the wall in the kitchen.

An inkling of actual motion permeated his brain just as he heard the key turn in the lock. He relaxed his head back down at the sound. Aaah, there was only one person who had a key…

“Adam, you in here?” Joe called out.

“Hey Joe,” Methos greeted the watcher as he emerged from the front hallway, not moving from his spot on the couch.


Joe looked around at the piles of books and scattered papers that decorated every available horizontal surface including the body of the man lying sprawled upon the couch with his head hanging off the end.

Doesn’t that hurt?” he asked, exasperation colouring his voice. “The blood rushing to your head.”

“Nah.” The shake that accompanied the refusal made his own head give a wince.

“Get up.can’t talk to you like that.”

Methos sighed and gave an elaborate show of picking up the two opened books, one across his upper thighs and one across his chest, and marking their place before he closed them. They were then placed primly on the nearest tower of books. He then swung his legs gracefully over to a sitting position. “Happy now?”

Joe sighed. “I’d be happier if I could sit,” he griped. It had been hard enough managing to get this far into the room with his cane through the mess.

“Fine, fine. Never let it be said that I’ve ever been anything but a good host,” Methos grumbled but Joe spotted the faint smile on the ancient immortal’s face.

He accepted the chair that Methos brought over to him after dumping the previous occupants onto the floor into yet another pile of books. “Is this,” Joe asked waving around at the chaos, “what you’ve been doing for the last five days?”

“Yep,” Methos replied as he swung his legs onto the seat cushion to lay back against side of the couch.

“Tim was worried.” Joe shook his head in disbelief at the chagrined expression that appeared at the words.

“Please convey my sincere apologies to the dear boy.”

“Boy?! The man is your Watcher, not your glorified gopher! I cannot believe you! Corrupting another Watcher. How many is that for you now? Three? Four?” Not that he really expected the immortal to answer.

Methos shrugged. “After all the trouble he went through…tailing me to Le Vivarois, it would‘ve been impolite not to offer him something and the restaurant was full.”

“Sure, tell me another one.”

“I won’t be tripping over him, Joe. No matter what the Tribunal thinks, it is not all powerful. They’ve kicked me out. As far as I’m concerned I’m doing them a courtesy.”

“What? By not killing him?” Joe scoffed.

“Precisely.” The eyes held him for a second before lightening in a flash, accompanied by a grin. “What’s up?”

His eyes narrowed at the jocular tone but he answered. “Nothing besides one pain in the ass immortal dropping out of sight for five days, not answering the phone, the door...” He looked around at the books again. “Find anything?”

“Nope.” Methos shook his head as he joined him in the glance at the papers and books strewn around the room. “How is he?” he asked while not looking at him.

“Good. It seems you were right. The memories appear to be settling down from what I can tell and what he’s not saying.”

“Out of sight, out of mind,” drawled the melodic voice with a hint of irony drawing a sharp glance from him.

“You?” Joe asked his eyes full of curiosity. Neither immortal had told him anything further about Bordeaux. All he’d been able to deduce was that something had happened and that both immortals were affected. Although, Cassandra’s Watcher, Melanie, hadn’t made it inside the base but she had chronicled that the quickenings appeared to have lasted longer than usual. Probably due to the ages of the slain immortals. Or one began before the other had ended, making it appear to someone outside that it was one long quickening.

MacLeod, however, appeared to be unusually affected by memories that were not his own. He was experiencing them similar to the way vets flashback to the war. They didn’t last long only a few seconds but it had been happening often enough for him to notice. Ever since the dark quickening he paid particular attention to the Scot’s demeanor after absorbing a quickening for all their sakes. He didn’t want to take any chances.

“Interesting dreams,” Methos replied while staring straight forward.

“Humph.” Joe stayed quiet for a moment, hoping for something more but sighed when only silence fell. “Richie’s here.”

Methos’ turned to Joe with his eyebrow’s raised. “Oh?”

Joe nodded. “Mac’s gone down to Bergerac to check things out.”

Isn’t he dead in France?”

“Yeah, but according to Mac he’s going by the new moniker of Redstone.”

“Good for him. And the student exceeds the teacher,” Methos softly murmured while he looked down with a thoughtful expression.

“Huh? What are you talking about?” Joe asked his forehead crinkling in confusion.

“Nothing,” Methos quickly replied. “So how’s the tour going?” he asked in a jovial tone.

“Pretty good. I mean the places aren’t sold out but there aren’t that many empty seats in the place either. We’re thinking about putting a demo together.”

Methos smiled. That’s great, Joe. If you need funding…”

That’s okay. We’ve got that covered, but thanks for the offer.” Joe peered into the hazel green eyes for a long second. “Are you sure you’re all right?”

I’m fine, Joe. A little down, perhaps but I’ll soon get over it. Time heals all wounds, you know.”

“Uh-huh.” Joe shook his head slightly in disbelief but didn’t say anything more. That was all that he was going to get from the old man and he knew it.

“So no more sending Tim out for Chinese, okay?” Joe playfully reminded him as Methos walked him to the door. “Some professional distance would not be remiss. I do not want to go through the hassle of assigning you another Watcher.” Finding one who didn‘t want to either kill the ancient immortal or worship at his feet had taken even longer than he‘d originally thought. He‘d gone through a hundred of applications before finally deciding on Wyatt. And now it might seem that the field agent’s objectivity was rapidly dissolving in the face of Methos’ charm.

“Like you could,” rebuffed Methos.

Joe sighed, “Yeah, you’re probably right. But hey,there’s nothing in the rules that says it has to be an actual human being doing the recording.”

“You wouldn’t,” Methos stated shocked at the idea of his flat being bugged.

He smiled. “You just never know, now do you, pal? Play nice with your Watcher and we’ll play nice with you.”

“Hah!” Methos smiled and laughed. “Thanks, Joe,” he said softly patting him on the back as he walked through the door.

“Any time,” Joe replied over his shoulder, still grinning.

Joe’s visit had achieved its goal, at odd times throughout the rest of the day, Methos remembered the grizzled man’s expression and smiled.


Methos shot up, his hand immediately coming up to cover his mouth as the bile rose in his throat. He stumbled out of bed and sprinted towards the toilet, barely arriving in time to shove up the lid before the contents of his stomach erupted into the porcelain bowl.

Each spasm seized up his entire body, its single focus to rid it of the foulness. It lasted only a few minutes but it felt like forever. For a moment, he rested his face against the edge, enjoying the coldness against his cheek before shakily getting to his feet.

He lurched over to the sink and wrenched the faucet open. The startling clearness of the rushing water washing away the remnant within his mind.The taste even better. One scoop after another, he furiously rinsed his mouth out. Each time hoping that the next would rid his tongue of the aftertaste; his mind of the knowledge; his soul of the sin.

If Caspian hadn’t already been dead. He would have killed him himself.


“Are you positive?” Methos asked the man.

“Three weeks, a month at the most,” the man replied.

“And the wall?” Methos gestured to the wall adjacent to the hallway, where the new air vents would be installed. “How long will it take to rebuild it, after the…installation?” he asked although he knew the answer.

“That would be done the last week.”

“So if I did the wall myself it would take off a week, Monsieur Janick,” Methos questioned, his gaze still up on the wall.

“You know building?”Janick asked with a curious expression.

“A bit, while I was in University,” Methos elaborated. “Enough to put up a wall.”

“The area will have to be clear of all this…furniture,”Janick pointed out diplomatically, although his expression communicated his feelings all too well.

Methos laughed. “The former tenant….thought himself an artiste.”

Janick’s laughter joined his as they walked towards the door.

I’ll have the place cleared by next week.”

“Good. Good. I shall give you a call. The apartment will be vacant, then?”

“Yes.I’ve just moved in myself and want to get the renovation as quickly as possible before I settle in. It should help your schedule as well, eh? Not having to do the wall…”

Ouioui, something always comes up, a week leeway would be a big help.”

“Good.” Methos shut the door and walked back towards the long wall that met the back wall of the kitchen at five meters. When he’d first gotten the notice from his landlord about the renovation he hadn’t been thrilled but now after talking with the contractor this morning he looked forward to it. It was a astonishing opportunity to design some built-in “storage space” into the wall that no one knew about. A chance that was rare nowadays with modern dwellings.

He sat down and began making a list of supplies for building a wall.


Methos picked up the last book and put it into the leather backpack. He looked around to make sure that he’d gathered everything. All of the chronicles that he’d been borrowed from Dawson had been returned days ago.

His stuff, what he’d already moved into the flat was gone as well or bunched up into the far end of the place against the windows. The couch that he’d inherited from the former tenant had been taken by Helene, who lived on the ground floor. She’d been looking for a new sofa and had talked the movers into giving it to her instead of placing it on the street for collection. Personally he couldn’t see the appeal of the ugly, uncomfortable thing.

With a sigh he looked around at the now mostly empty space. It was a good thing he hadn’t moved in any of the antiques he’d planned to before receiving the notice. He swung the backpack over his shoulder and locked the door. 

Dawson was out on tour. Joe wouldn’t mind a house sitter, now would he?


He stared into the bright light, cursing the Watcher under his breath. Joe had cleaned out his refrigerator before going on the road. The bare shelves all too apparent. “Not even beer!” he muttered, shutting the door not so softly.

The absence of nourishment notwithstanding, the place was nice. Wide hallways and hardwood floors dominated the two bedroom house in a quiet little neighborhood. Far different to the apartment Dawson had awhile back. It seemed the Tribunal was finally realizing what they had in the mortal Watcher.

A sigh escaped him as he remembered another Watcher who once entertained him with song and laughter before a similar fireplace. With his forefinger he traced down the back of the books upon the bookshelves in front of him. The presence of the library had thrilled him when he stumbled upon it in the large room at the end of the hallway.

There would be no dearth of reading material during his little sojourn here.


It would be his luck. The handle of the plastic basket he’d picked up inside the door of the grocer had broken making him have to carry the thing in both hands. Talk about being vulnerable.

With only a cursory glance, the cheese was dropped into the basket along with some bread. He was standing before the liquor, debating which to buy since his usual was nowhere in sight when the ringing began.

A quick juggle and he had the mobile phone up to his ear. “Pierson.”

“What in blazes do you think you’re doing?!”

“Shopping,” Methos calmly replied while he peered at the label of the bottles in front of him.

“Shopping? What the hell are you talking about? Why are you at my place, Adam?”

“My place is being fumigated,” he commented with apparent disinterest, not willing to give the Watchers an opportunity to install any built in electronic devices. Although he trusted Joe, he knew the Tribunal were itching to get access to ‘The World’s Oldest Known Immortal.’ Which is why he’d made his journey to Joe’s patently obvious to Wyatt.

“Is Jenlain-regular any good?”


I’m not real familiar with Biere de Gardes nowadays…”

The sigh of annoyance from the other end of the line made him smile.

“Beer,”Dawson muttered darkly, “I should have known. Try Brasseurs.”

“Thanks, Joe.” Methos placed the liqueur under discussion with care into the basket that was now resting on the floor at his feet. “Hmm…what?” he asked, not hearing what Dawson had said.

“What are you doing in my house?”

“Oh, nice place, Joe. Tribunal finally paying you the big bucks.”

“Yeah, yeah, I’mrollin’…” Joe replied, his voice thick with sarcasm.

Don’t worry, you won’t even know that I’ve been here.”

“Right. I better not.”

“Understood. Did you choose those window treatments in the bedroom or did you get someone in?”

“Adam,” Joe warned.

Gotta go, Joe. There’s a six foot harridan walking towards me. And she looks thirsty.” Click. He quickly picked up his basket and vacated the space.


Duncan tossed and turned in bed. Dizzying images flashed before him.…

Fear rose as he traipsed behind the sweaty naked man in front of him; pain spidering out from his wrists up to his shoulders. His feet were blistering upon the hot sand as the metal chain swung back and forth as the man ahead wrenched him forward while he did the same for the man behind him.

Although he could feel the charged healing happening in a myriad of places on his body, it did nothing to ease the dryness in his throat. Water. They had to give them some soon, even the drops that they have parceled out so miserly before would be--they stopped.

He glanced around it was a market of some sort, but all he could focus on was the gushing water cascading from the cistern on the other side of the market.

The push from behind surprised him and he fell bringing the man behind him to the ground as well.

“Get up!” was bellowed and the man behind him scurried to his feet bringing his unwilling self upright as well. When they were finally shoved naked upon a stage in the center of the open space he was relieved. This could finally get a move on. He knew better than to fight, that might have gotten him beheaded by an overzealous guard as were a few of his fellow tribesman who’d tried to escape along the way through the desert.

It had been nothing, a skirmish between them, but one they had lost. He was rudely yanked out of his thoughts by his head being yanked back.

“Fine alabaster skin, fit, a young hearty young man trained in a variety of tasks.” The knowing laughter from the crowd before him told him the gesture the harker was making although he couldn’t see it.

He tuned out the slaver’s spiel. Not caring who bought him. His gaze still focused on the sparkling water.

Blankets twisted around him like chains, sleep receded slightly before Duncan snug deeper into the pillow, his forehead furrowed as if in pain. 

Sweatdrops fell on his face making him turn his head away to hide his revulsion from the hulking mass above him. Cries of pain carefully transformed into moans of pleasure before escaping his lips.

Hands slipped down the sweat ridden back in a weak charade of desire as the hard flesh continued to thrust inside. Each burning lunge only escalating his desperation for the end; as disgusting as the thought of the man’s seed desecrating his insides. A cry escaped him as his head was wrenched back to stare upwards.

Into greedy bulbous eyes and a face flushed florid with exertion; its tongue panting like a dog.

Waves of fluid scalded inside him; a nightly sensation which had become sickeningly familiar. 

Duncan shot upwards in bed, gasping for breath; deep revulsion from the foreign memory still full in his mind. Methos had hinted more than once that he’d been a slave but he’d never really thought what that meant. His own stint as a “slave” had been even more of sham than he’d realized. Sex had only ever been a joy for him not the torment that he‘d just second handedly relived. Is that how Theresa felt every time she submitted as Consone’s wife?

Yes, it was definitely time for Consone to die.


Methos twisted the rod until he felt it tighten. There that did it. He straightened up and stepped back to get a wide eyed view of the re-modeled bathroom. Although it was a good sized bathroom, whoever had installed the commode and shower did not have a disabled person in mind. Dawson had gotten by with a flimsy shower chair and steel railings that were awkwardly placed due to the existing tile.

Joe deserved so much better, and since he had nothing better to do. He’d ripped out the tile, the commode, sink basin…wellhe’d basically gutted it and started over. Detailed Italian fresco tile work now trimmed out the bathroom walls and all of the newly designed shower stall. Functional yet elegant was the rule.

It included a shower stall which had the lowest raised border separating the beginning of the shower floor from the bathroom floor that he could find. Metal railings placed where they could actually help someone transferring from a wheelchair to the built in shower seat. All were metal but they appeared to be wood to match the new crown moulding that he‘d added throughout the walls of the house giving it a finished look of the Victorian era. There were dual controls to everything. One at normal standing height and another set if one was sitting.

Life was hell if you had limited mobility especially from the waist down as he personally knew. It was his money that had gotten him through it personally long ago. Even though it had only been a couple of months, it had been too long.

In the past only affluent individuals could manage a semblance of a dignified life. For commoners being paralyzed was a death sentence if they were lucky, mockery and abuse if they were not. Today things were better but not perfect as the previous bathroom design proved.

It had taken him eight days and more than a hundred thousand francs to get it done but it had turned out better than he envisioned. He’d taken inspiration from a couple of the paintings in the living room depicting an Italian sidewalk café, not to mention several of the religious icons simulacra decorating the shelves in the library.

He was just about to turn out the lights and go to bed when he felt his heart falter and he suddenly found himself kneeling upon the cream marble floor where his left shoulder slumped against the doorsill was the only thing keeping him upright.

His hands were trembling and the tips of his fingers felt static-y; like he’d received an electric shock. They were tingling and for a millisecond he could swear he’d almost seen faint electrical pulses of light arc from his fingertips.


A loud clap of thunder drew his attention from the page and Methos looked up. The rain was beating furiously upon the foggy panes of window, reinforcing his earlier decision to stay in for the night.

He’d turned his attention back to the printed page when his cell phone rang.

“Pierson,” he automatically greeted after pushing ‘send.’

“Adam? How are ya doing, man?” asked a young male voice.

“Ryan?” He was the last person who’dhe’d been expecting to call him.

“Yeah, it’s me. Actually it’s Redstone now…”

“So I understand,” Methos drawled, “and how are you enjoying the continent, Mr. Redstone.”

“Ha, very funny. Listen, I was wondering if you could do me a favor?”

Why me and not MacLeod, Methos wanted to ask but didn’t. “If it’s in my purview,” he finally replied after a long pause.

“Yeah, Joe mentioned something about you knowing that travel guy who goes around taking all those pictures. The one with his last name…Dawson.”

Methos’ lips twisted as he tried to keep the smile that was threatening to break across his face at Richie’s unknowing revelation. So Joe knew about his “nephew” the photojournalist. Now the question was how long the Watcher knew about his alias in Chicago and perhaps more importantly, did he know about any of the others that honored theDawson family. “Adam Dawson and I are acquainted.”

That’s great. Do you think that you can get him down here,”Richie asked assuming that he already knew where he was, probably thought MacLeod had told his good friend Methos. From the friendly easygoing sound of the young immortal’s voice, it was apparent that Duncanhadn’t told him about the Horsemen.

About him.

“Entirely possible,” he replied in a bright tone. “In fact, AdamDawson’s editor has been pestering him about some new photos…a weekend in the French countryside while staying at the…”

“New Hotel LeMartin,”Richie laughingly replied on cue.

“…sounds exactly what the dear old fellow needs.” All gaiety fled as he wondered if MacLeod would be around. He didn’t want to ask outright. “How are the ladies, pretty?” he asked, cheerfully adding, “I’m sure Mac has cut quite a swath…”

“Mac? Nah, he’s back in Paris.Didn’t you know?”

Methos cursed silently. “No, I thought he was still out of town. I’ve been somewhat busy here...”

“Yeah, Joe told me you were staying at his house.”

I’m sure.Which incidentally will be one reason why he’s going to be overjoyed that Adam Dawson will be leaving for the country forthwith.”

“Ha-huh, I’ll be sure to pass it along. Thanks, Adam. Call me when you’re on your way.”

“Will do.” He stared down at the cell phone for a long while, not thinking.

Lightening flashed outside and a deafening clap of thunder made the frame of the window shudder. Hopefully the weather would be better in Bergerac. A soggy Paris was only romantic in the movies.


Methos stepped out onto the platform and paused to readjust the bag’s strap over his right shoulder. He took a deep breath of fresh air and looked around for Ryan. Although he was on time it appeared that the young immortal wasn’t.

Richie had mentioned something about picking up some supplies and meeting him on the way back to the hotel. He headed towards the exit, hoping that he would encounter the familiar buzz that heralded another immortal soon. The snack he’d eaten during the four and a half hour train ride had been awhile ago.

A dull white grey landscape dominated the sky over the town. Soon the patches of green scattered throughout the city would be a riot of color with spring flowers but now everything was still cold and gray.

From the dryness of the ground, it appeared that it hadn’t rained in the past few days. Now if his luck held, or more to say Adam Dawson the photographer’s held, the sun would break through the clouds and stick around for some truly dazzlingly shots. His shtick was finding fresh perspectives on the old tourist shots of monuments and such. Although very few actual monuments were present in the photographs in the end.

At least that’s what Adam Dawson attempted to do in his work.

He was about to give up on Ryan when a loud grumble from an approaching lorry caught his attention. It slowed as it approached him and stopped.

The accompanying immortal buzz as it had approached heralded the face he encountered as he peered through the side window at the driver. “Richie,” he greeted.

Richie opened the door and walked around the front of the truck. “Hey, man. Sorry I’m late. It took them a while to load the truck.

Methos grinned and handed over the hold-all bag that the other was indicating he’d carry for him.

“I really appreciate you coming out here…”

“No problem,” Methos replied as he got into the truck. “I usually go on holiday around this time anyway.”

“Cool.” Richie started the engine and they moved forward past the station. For a while he watched the deft and sure movements of the young immortal as he drove them through the city before turning his attention to the scenery.

“Seems like a nice place.”

“Oh it is. And the hotel is beautiful. We’re hoping to open in mid April for spring. If we can get the place booked from the first day it would really help the place get established as a serious holiday spot.”

“Glad I could help. Where is the Hotel exactly?” Methos asked five minutes after they had left the last remnants of Bergerac behind them.

“Outside a small village called Montcourit’s where the casino that MacLeod hung out at in 78‘ is located,”Richie said with a questing glance in his direction.

“Oh really?” he drawled.

“Yeah, his girlfriend go robbed apparently. By the same scumbag that was trying to get Marina to marry him.”


“Yeah, Mac didn’t tell you about her? Humph, well it’s her family’s chateau and the Baron had gotten into debt with this guy Capodimonte who turned out to be the same guy that ripped him off before.”

Methos became more amused as he listened to the tale and laughed out loud at the description of the ‘older’ MacLeod attempts to save the chateaux.


When the horse finally made it to the crest of the hill, Methos turned it around for a look back at the hotel. From this distance the grandeur of the 18th century dwelling was spectacular. A great landscape intro photograph.They’d done a good job on the renovations. Preserving all the elegance of the existing structure while adding the modern amenities crucial to a luxury hotel.

He’d greatly enjoyed the hours relaxing in the claw footed bath after they’d finally arrived last evening. Although it was a reproduction, the faucets worked and the water was hot which was all that mattered to his tired soul.

From what he could tell, Marina Le Martin had a light touch with the furnishings--and not only with the wallpaper. Ryan appeared to be well and truly hooked. For the first time the boy seemed to be settled, not looking for the next thrill. It might not be forever but it would probably be for a good while, but what did he know?

Everything he’d thought he’d be doing, or more to the point--who he’d be doing it with crashed and burned with a knife sticking out of his chest.

No use crying over spilt milk as the saying went. Well no more crying, sincehe’d done enough wallowing back in Paris. He took a couple of shots of the hotel and then moved off down the hill. The Baron had mentioned some medieval ruins to the north of the chateau.

He was leading his horse by the reins as he carefully walked around through the rubble of what appeared to be an old church given its proximity to an old graveyard when he heard the sound of hoof beats coming closer.

The security of holy ground didn’t keep him from resting his hand lightly on the gun in his right jacket pocket. It was only after recognizing the dark blond rider approaching that he let down his guard--a tad.

“Claire,” he called out with a slight nod.

“Adam, or should I call you Methos?” she asked as she dismounted.

“Your call.”

I’ll call you Adam, then, since that’s more familiar,” she added with an uncertain smile.

They stood there for awhile looking awkwardly at one another, both waiting for the other to speak first. The only sound the horses shifting as they nuzzled bits of grass.

The unease being broadcast from the woman motivated him to speak, otherwise he felt they’d be out here all night. “To what do I owe the honor?”

“We have some questions?” she began.

We?” Methos challenged, “or the Council? And why you, and not Joe?”

“They want an object--” she cut herself off. “They think Dawson’s reports are still being heavily edited.”

“Humph.” Methos looked off into the distance for a moment before meeting her eyes. “They aren’t.Dawsonhasn’t been told anything more.” Okay maybe he had told Joe a tad more than what he is reporting but the rest he surmised was all conjecture on Dawson’s part. Conjecture and guesses have no place in an official chronicle. Dawson knew too damn much as it was. “What do they want to know?”

“Did you modify any other chronicles beside your own?”

He grinned. “No.”

“But you did alter your own?”

Methos quirked an eyebrow but said nothing.

Claire sighed. “Why did you become a Watcher?”

Aaah, the real question. “To hide. The best way to avoid encountering other immortals is to know where they were.”

“You didn’t’ use us to hunt?”

The small negative shake of his head seemed to set her more at ease.

“When did you have your last Quickening?” she asked.

He smiled at the carefully worded question. Have not ‘take.’ “Circa 1794.”

“Oh.” She looked down, clearly uncomfortable.

“Anything else?”

“Is this the first time you infiltrated…?”

“No.” Let them ponder that one, the deliberate use of that word indicated that Claire had been coached for this conversation. There was even a remote chance she might be wired or the conversation recorded somehow but he didn’t think they’d have the guts. “Come on, Claire.” He ushered her back towards the horses. “You’ve been in Montcour longer than me. Where should we have dinner?” he cheerfully asked her.

You’re finished?” she asked, gesturing to the camera around his neck. “Adam Dawson.

He laughed out loud. “Yeah.” He swung his right arm over her shoulder as they began to walk. “Now, Bailey what do you think of Marina LeMartin? Is Ryan in trouble?”

Claire laughed and shook her head slightly before she began to gossip about her immortal with the former Watcher.


The bottle slamming down on the table reverberated loudly through his head. Methos looked up and grimaced at the blond immortal laughing way too loudly across the table from him, which seemed to thunder through his head. “Shut up!” he muttered or tried to but it seemed that his mouth wasn’t working because the only thing he heard was a “ssss” sound.

Dammit he swore that he wasn’t going to get this drunk again, but Richie had started talking about his mentor and it all went down hill from there. He absolutely despised himself when he was this maudlin over the Boy Scout.

“Yeah, so Mac went on and on about the dance and the circle and I just didn’t get it. The guy killed his girl and he wanted to be all ‘gen-tl-mnly’ and honor--able…” Hiccup.

It was the hiccup that did it. “Okay, that’s enough for you…,” Methos pronounced as he stood up and carefully made his way around the table that he could swear was moving or had grown some additional legs.

They had to get out of here before they both passed out. He hauled the Richie up as carefully as he could although he slipped through his arms a couple of times as they staggered their way back to the car.

“Do you think, I’ll ever be as good?! Richie asked after being placed or rather dumped in the passenger seat.

“Huh?” Methos replied as he narrowed his eyes at ring of keys, and continued to pick one up at a time and stare at it in an attempt to find the right one. There had already been several false starts.

“I mean he even beat you! The oldest one of us!!”

That got his attention. He suddenly felt very sober. “Yeah, with practice,” he replied smiling gently at the innocent looking kid who was now sound asleep. Ryan had grown on him the last couple of days. He finally saw what the highlander saw in the young immortal besides being the last remnant of his life with Tessa.


He automatically awoke at the feel of another immortal nearby. An old one. He grabbed the sword from the sculpture that was serving as a nightstand and moved to put his back against the wall as he listened, relaxing instantly as he recognized the irksome voice.

“Methos! Open the door! I know you’re there!”

Knock. Knock. Knock.

With a relaxed hold on the sword he started for the door, not bothering to get dressed. It wasn’t like he had anything the 1000 year old immortal never seen before…

“Methos! It‘s Amanda!”

What was it with all the knocking!? First Dawson and now Amanda. What did MacLeod do? Give lessons? “Do you want to knock a bit louder?” he demanded as he swung the door open. “I don't think they heard you in Philadelphia.”

“I'm sorry. It was an emergency, okay?” Amanda explained as she began to step forward.

He raised the sword to her neck, causing her to halt and give him a questioningly look.

“No, it was a good way to get your head cut off, is what it was,” Methos spat before he lowered the sword and shut the door behind her; resigned.

“You're turning into an old grouch, aren't you?” Amanda commented before adding in a sly tone, “Did I interrupt something important?”

“Amanda, it is the middle of the night, and I wasn't expecting anyone.” Methos replied as he walked away grumbling. “Give me a minute. You want some coffee?”


He placed the sword on the kitchen counter as he passed wondering what he’d done to deserve this. He’donly been back in town two days. What could MacLeod have gotten into already?

What’s with the smell?” asked Amanda.

“Place was renovated,” Methos replied, silently thanking the gods that he’d finished the wall yesterday. Secrets and Amanda did not go together. Well, secrets that weren’t her own. He threw on a t-shirt while the coffee was brewing, deliberately not analyzing the need to be dressed when around others. Modesty one of the graces he’d lost long ago or had appeared to before…

There’s a guy in town out to get MacLeod!” Amanda exclaimed.

“And?” Methos prompted wondering exactly was the emergency? He helped her off with her coat before going to check on the coffee.

“His name is Stephen Keane and he has some sob story about Duncan slaughtering his family…”

“Wait when was this?” Methos asked while he opened the cabinet for a coffee cup.

“I don’t know!” Amanda replied in exasperation. “1746, some Dunbar guy.”

Methos stilled at the date, knowing from the Watcher Chronicles that was the time that MacLeod appeared to have lost it after Culloden when the English were killing every Scot they ran across. It made no difference if it was a man, woman or child. The English killed them all and MacLeod did the same in return until he left the continent.

He picked up the cup and turned around toward Amanda.

“All right, tell me what you know about his Keane guy?” she asked as he handed her the cup of coffee on his way back to his bed. “Nothing. Never met him.”

“Wait a minute. I thought the Watchers knew . . . Everything.”

He stepped on the bed and picked up the rumpled coverlet. “Well, I've done with the Watchers.” he said while shaking out the blanket.

“Really?” Amanda remarked in a surprised tone,“ I thought you'd found the perfect hiding place,” .

“Well, I changed my mind. Sorry, can't help.” He lied back down and pulled the blanket up; preparing to go back to sleep.

“No, wait, listen Methos,” Amanda said as she walked towards him. “Why don't you just talk to MacLeod? You know, try to convince him that Keane is wrong about him,” she said as she sat down on the bed.

Methos sighed. “You want me to talk to MacLeod and tell him, uh, you know, 'Stop worrying, you're not a bad guy.'"

“Yeah,” Amanda nodded.

“Trust me Amanda that's not gonna work.” I’m the last person MacLeod will listen to right now. He turned over and buried his face in the pillow, willing Amanda away.

“Look--no, Methos.” She pulled the blankets away forcing him to look up. “You have to do something,” she whined, “I've never seen him this upset before, and you know how guilt ridden he can be.”

Methos sighed and sat up with a small groan, “Oh!”

“Look, if he goes up against Keane thinking he deserves to lose, he'll lose. He'll die, Methos.”

Methos sighed. ‘I seem to get more sleep in the damn man’s bed than out,’ he silently thought to himself as he wondered what the hell he was getting himself into now. Damn Amanda and her pleading brown eyes.


Methos watched the tall long-haired man walk through the garden towards him while he waited for Duncan to sense his presence. He stepped out between two square trimmed bushes just before MacLeod reached it. “So, nice day for it,” he casually remarked.

MacLeod sighed.

“Yeah, not too cold, ground's nice and dry,” he continued in an amiable tone, knowing that it would aggravate MacLeod but that the highlander would be unable to resist listening.

“Amanda's got a big mouth,”Duncan said.

“Well, she's worried about you.”

“Yeah, and you?”

“Oh, me, no,” he replied, looking down at the ground for a moment. “Just scholarly interest. I just came by to watch the perfect immortal die.”

“I'm not!” MacLeod denied coming abreast of him.

“Not what? Not the perfect immortal or not going to die?” Methos demanded, staring into the other’s face.

“Go away,”Duncan ordered and began to walk away.

“We're none of us perfect, MacLeod,” he began as he walked alongside the highlander. There was no way he was going to get rid of him now. “Not you, not me, not even Darius. I’m sure not your friend Steven Keane."

“You should write fortune cookies,” MacLeod stated in disdain.

“Yeah, well, maybe I should.” He sped up and stepped in front of him, forcing MacLeod to stop. “Just so long as I am not writing your epitaph.” 

Duncan looked at him but didn’t reply.

“What Keane hates you for, happened. Nothing you do is going to change that. You accept it, MacLeod. It's part of who you are.”

“Are we talking about me now?” MacLeod asked.

“Yes,” he replied, refusing to take the bait. “Do you remember what happened after Culloden?” he asked while looking into the achingly familiar brown eyes. 

Duncan looked away for a moment before returning to his face, “Yeah. I went after innocent men and slaughtered them.”

“No, that's how Keane tells it. I want to know how you remember it. ‘Cause they weren't innocent, were they? They were murderers. They were the English bastards who had destroyed your people, and they deserved to die, all of them.”

“You sure all of them did?”Duncan demanded.

“You were,” he instantly replied. “You wanted to kill, you killed them.” The highlander’s expression didn’t change. He wasn’t getting through the thick skull. “You know, Keane is just like you. He wants to divide the world up into good and bad! Well it's not that simple. We are all both. Good and evil! We have rage and compassion! We have love and hate…Murder and forgiveness,” he softly finished.

MacLeod looked away with a bored expression on his handsome face.

“Why don't you try forgiving yourself, for once?” Methos asked even though he knew it was pointless.

“Why don't you try minding your own business. For once,”Duncan replied, mocking him. “Tell Amanda to do the same.”

His eyes narrowed as he glared at MacLeod, silently cursing the Scot’s stubbornness.

“Hmm?” MacLeod added, his whole demeanor exuding arrogance.

Methos smirked and stepped aside, gesturing with his right arm for MacLeod to continue along the path. “She can't say I didn't try.”

He didn’t move as Duncan walked past, watching him as the highlander backed away, waiting until he turned his back to him to pull out the gun and shoot. “You are such a pain in the ass,” Methos said as MacLeod fell to the ground, dead.


Methos continued on the path further into the garden toward the other immortal presence he could sense.

“I don’t believe we’ve met,” Keane stated as he drew near. “Steven Keane.”

“So I heard.”

“I have no fight with you.”

“No, that's true, if you leave Paris and you leave Duncan MacLeod alone,”

“Guy's got a lot of friends.”

“Good men often do.”

“A good man? You must not know him very well.”

Methos smiled, “You'd be surprised, Keane . . . Let him be.”

“You try and stop me and I'll start with you,” Keane stated with his sword raised.

Methos sighed and looked at the ground. Your call!” he exclaimed with a cross cut thrust of his sword.

The two swords met with a clang and the fight was on. Keane was decent. He smiled at the swordsman as they both pulled back and circled after the first tourney. Methos increased the tempo hoping to force Keane into making a precipitous move while he though he was vulnerable.

He backed up and slipped on the gravel. Keane immediately sliced at his head from behind which he blocked with an upward thrust of his sword while he pulled out a dagger with his open hand and thrust it into his opponent’s stomach.

Keane stared down at him in shock. “You bastard.”

“Sticks and stones…” Methos drawled as he watched the immortal slump down and die.

Methos stood, leaving the dagger in Keane who was now sprawled across the gravel on his back. He raised his sword for the final cut when….”You do it and I'm next!” MacLeod threatened.

His shoulders slumped as he realized that he was outta time. “I am trying to save your head.”

MacLeod drew his sword as he walked up, “I don't need your help.”

Methos put his sword to Keane's neck again, glancing over at MacLeod to see if he had enough time to do it before the highlander reached them.

“You kill him . . . I swear Methos,“Duncan promised as he raised his sword, “You face me.”

Methos gave an incredulous laugh until he looked into Duncan’s face. He stared unbelievingly into the brown eyes. ‘I can’t believe it, he really means it. I give up!’

“Fine! It’s your funeral!” Methos declared as he walked away. ‘I’m going to KILL Amanda for getting me involved with the infuriating child once again,’ he thought, viciously pushing down the relief he felt at seeing the attractive man again.

The ancient immortal paused by the first payphone outside the park, using it to report a disturbance inside the LuxembourgGardens to the police. He would give MacLeod a couple of hours to cool down about his interference and then he’d go talk to him, something which he had been putting off ever since they both returned to Paris.


Methos sauntered up the barge’s gangplank, feeling the presence of an immortal on board, a distant part of his mind wondering why it didn’t feel like the highlander’s. ‘I guess I haven’t been around him in so long that it has become unfamiliar,’ he absently explained to himself as he walked into the barge calling out, “Mac!”

He stopped at the foot of the stairs, letting none of the shock he felt, show on his face as he came face to face with Steven Keane instead of the highlander.

Where’s MacLeod? Keane demanded, threatening him with sword in his hand.

Relief coursed through him, although his blank expression didn’t change, “I thought he’d be here...” He tilted his head back as the sharp blade came closer to his neck, “Would you mind putting that down or were you planning on using it?”

“What makes you think I won’t?”

I’m a student of human nature,” Methos calmly replied with a grin.

“Tell me where to find MacLeod,” Keane ordered, inching the blade even closer.

“I don’t know.” Methos met Keane’s eyes as the immortal maneuvered around him towards the door while still holding the sword against his throat.

Methos released the breath he had been holding after Keane left, softly commenting to himself, “I love good guys.”

‘Where the hell are you MacLeod?’ Methos thought frustrated as his hazel eyes surveyed the interior of the barge, noting the changes.

The larger fireplace was a welcome addition, he had always complained to MacLeod that it was too bloody cold during his sojourn at the barge a while back, in what seemed like another lifetime.

He sighed, ‘I really messed up. I should have told him about Kronos and the Horsemen but who would have thought that the bastard would still be alive...Damn the Fates! I’ll just have to see if I can repair the damage and salvage our friendship. Maybe if I give him a couple of decades...’ Methos thought as he walked over to the bar and grabbed the first beer he saw which he quickly opened and began to drink.

Shock filled him. It was his favorite type of beer, one which Mac never drank.


He walked around the barge for a while, waiting for either Amanda or MacLeod to show, when neither appeared after about an hour, he headed back home.

Methos hadn’t been at the flat for more that a half hour before his solitude was interrupted by the feel of an immortal buzz and a soft knocking. He relaxed his grip on his sword at the whispered, “It’s Amanda.”

“Why are you whispering, now? It’s early yet,” Methos informed her in an exasperated voice.

“The cops are looking for me! I need to hide out for a while. Apparently I was Duncan’s get out of jail free card. That necklace was worth half a mil.”

Methos walked over to the bar and began pouring a scotch. He’d surmised that Amanda had done something similar to his call to the police with her opening rant. Only Amanda had been first--and outwardly more devious.

“That son-of-a-bitch! That double dealing swine! You know there are cops all over my house. He even gave up my secret stash of rainy day jewels (Methos stopped pouring as he gave her a look)...well one of them.”

“Amanda what did you EXPECT? You got him sent to prison! Did you think he was just going to sit there and take it?”

“I was just trying to keep him alive and he, he turned on me.”

“Correct me if I misunderstood, but this was AFTER you framed him, wasn’t it? Have a drink, you’ll feel better,” he recommended as he handed her the glass.

“No, I was ratted out by my very best friend.”

“Well...I know how that feels,” Methos said dryly as he lightly tapped his glass to Amanda’s and walked past her.

“Methos, I was just trying to help him, you know? I didn’t care how mad he got at me, as long as it kept him alive!”

“Look, you did your best. So did I,” Methos said persuasively as he sat down. “Now it’s up to him.He’s lived a long time, Amanda. It’s not all luck.”

“But it’s not all skill, either. He’s gone up against immortals--much older, some better than him, and he’s always won. You know why? Because he doesn’t give up, not when he thinks he’s right.”

“No, which can be bloody annoying as we both know,” he said as he stared down at his drink.

There’s something different about this time, his heart’s just not in it.”

Amanda’s words made his head hurt. Is it my fault that MacLeod is in his present state of mind? Soul-sick. He had seen it happen often enough in the past. Immortals burnt out playing the Game, but it usually only happened to immortals at least past the millennia mark. Did finding out about my past shatter his illusions that badly?’ Methos mused as an emotion he barely recognized filled him. Guilt.

“Better get some rest,” he suggested as he rose and began preparing himself for bed. There was nothing more to do. Duncan had made it very clear that he didn’t want his help. “I hope sharing the bed won’t be a problem for you?” he asked, continuing at Amanda’s shake of her head, “didn’t think so. Turn out the lights when your done.”

Methos settled himself on the far side of the bed and forcefully made himself fall asleep. He didn’t want to analyze his emotions for the attractive Scot for yet another night.


Amanda was gone in the morning. What she was up to, he didn’t know and didn’t care. He stuck around the flat, however the entire morning, picking up the phone on the first ring.

“Hello...He‘ll be fine, Amanda. Trust MacLeod. I’ll talk to you later,” he said in an attempt to reassure her. Methos hung up the phone and sat down heavily in the big wooden chair, leaning his head against the back of the chair, his eyes tightly closed.

‘He has to win...’

It was one of the longest days Methos could remember. Funny, how ever since he met the highlander he spent more of his time worrying about MacLeod’s life than his own. The irritating man insisted on keeping to his ancient code of ethics, despite how irrational it was with their way of life.


He hesitated a moment before picking up the phone’s receiver.

“Hello...(he closed his eyes at the news) Does he want me to come to the barge? Yes, I know that, Amanda but we didn’t part on the best of terms...All right. See you soon.”

‘He probably wants to tell me to stay out of his life,’ Methos’ thought as he pulled his coat on and hid his sword on the left side.

Amanda let him into the barge, looking as beautiful as ever, with her mischievous eyes sparkling. He took off his coat and dropped it on the couch, standing with his back towards the fireplace. His hazel eyes instantly focused on Mac who was sitting by the chess-table on the far side of the barge. The highlander’s face was turned away from him, looking at the chessboard with the game he had began playing with him back before the Watchers’ tried Dawson for treason. It was theScot’s move after all.

Methos folded his arms across his chest, not from cold but from unease as he waited for the highlander to tell him why he was here.

“You really thought I’d lose?”

“Oh yeah, you didn‘t?” Methos answered as he looked briefly down at the floor.

“It wasn’t about that,”Duncan informed them as he glanced at Methos, who was looking down at the ground. “You guys still don’t get it, do you? the highlander asked exasperatedly, glancing between the two other immortals.

No.” Methos simply replied, looking at him. 

Duncansighed, “I had to take responsibility for what I’d done...nothing you two could do was ever going to solve it for me.” Duncan explained as he drained his glass and stood up, “I had to face him and fight the best fight of my life, knowing he would do the same and trust the Fates to decide the winner.”

“Trial by combat...whoever survives is proved right in the eyes of the law,” Methos drawled.

“Bright boy,”Duncan said with a brief glance at the ancient immortal, repeating back the arrogant words Methos had said to him in the cemetery at Bordeaux. He made his way back to his previous place by the chess-table.

“But, what if he comes after you again?” Amanda asked.

“He won’t.”

“How do you know that?” she asked still curious.

“Because I wouldn’t.”

He’s not you,” insisted Amanda.

He’s not that different. None of us are. We all make mistakes...”

“...and we all have mistakes to forgive,” Methos added, looking across the barge at the highlander’s face. 

Duncan shot him an unreadable look.

“Speaking of mistakes.there seems to be an inspector who is determined to put my cute little butt in jail,” Amanda said as she stood up and walked over to sit in Duncan's lap.

“Sorry about that,”Duncan teased while he chuckled and embraced her.

“Hmmm, should I forgive you?”

“No, I don’t think you should.”

“I think this is my cue to leave,” Methos said with no emotion as he picked up his coat and put it on.

“Bye Methos,” Amanda called not looking at him.

“Bye Methos,”Duncan said while softly laughing.

“You guys be good,” he called with a brief glance over his left shoulder at the kissing couple. 

Duncan spoke with his eyes still meeting Amanda’s, “If not, we’ll try and be better.”

“What was that all about?” Amanda asked between kisses, after Methos left.

“Huh, what are you talking about?”

“All that talk about forgiveness. Did you and Methos have a fight?”

“I don’t want to talk about it. Leave it alone, Amanda,”Duncan warned with a glint in his eyes.

“You did, that was why I had such a hard time getting him to help me. What was it about? Did Methos disagree with another of your morality lessons?” she teased. 

Duncan abruptly pushed her off his lap as he stood. “It’s none of your business,” he said coldly as he began to pace.

“I see,” She stated as her eyes followed him as he picked up her glass and placed it on the bar. Amanda knew that she would get nothing out of him in his present state and, well, it really wasn’t any of her business. Speaking of business.“I think that is MY cue to leave,” she said as she walked over to pick up her coat. 

Duncan turned to her startled.

“I need to get out of Paris for a while, at least until that little inspector of yours gets tired of looking for me.” She walked over to the tall still man and gave him a peck on the cheek, “Be safe.”


Methos experienced a strange sense of deja vu as he was awoken from his deep slumber by the buzz heralding the presence of an immortal close by. He quickly grabbed his sword before quickly striding over to the door at the loud knocking.

“Amanda, I warned you...” Methos voice trailed off as he opened the door and stood facing Duncan MacLeod.

He stood there for several shocked seconds, clad only in his boxers, as he stared dumbly at the highlander.

“May I come in?”

“What? Of course,” he quickly replied, as he motioned Duncan inside and shut the door. 

Duncan stood in the center of the room looking around the apartment as Methos walked towards him.

I’ll go and put some clothes on,” he said as he started walking towards the closet.

I’ve seen you in less.”

Methos froze momentarily in his tracks at the hostility in Duncan’s voice, before continuing. He grabbed the first thing he saw, which happened to be the black turtleneck he had been wearing earlier, and quickly pulled it on.

He strolled out into the room, wondering what the highlander was doing here.

“So, to what do I owe the honor of this late night visit?” He asked sarcastically as he walked over to stand in front of Duncan.

“We need to get some things settled between us,”Duncan replied as he stared into Methos’ inscrutable face.

“Really? I thought you made things perfectly clear, earlier at the barge. I got the message, MacLeod. You can’t accept what I was and you certainly can’t forgive me. So there isn’t really anything more to discuss now, is there?”

“Just this,” Duncan said as he took two quick strides and pulled Methos’ head forward to meet his in a angry kiss.

The sudden movement startled Methos, causing his lips to open in a gasp which Duncan took full advantage of by deepening the kiss aggressively.

Methos jerked his head away while simultaneously breaking Duncan‘s hold. He stood panting as he looked at the highlander with an incredulous expression on his face. “What?Amanda not enough for you anymore, Mac? Is that it?”

“I don’t want Amanda.”

“Could have fooled me,” Methos stated as he put a little more distance between him and Duncan.

“Leave Amanda out of this.”

“Fine. Why are you here MacLeod?”

“I think you know,”Duncan answered as he stepped forward quickly recovering the distance between them.

Methos closed his eyes at the harsh reply. “It won’t help.”

“It might not, but at least it will get the blasted pictures out of my head!”

The ancient immortal paled at what some of the memories the highlander must have picked up as a result of Kronos’ quickening. “It was a long time ago, Mac.”

I’m not talking about long ago, I’m talking about how you went from my bed to Kronos’ in a single day!” The harsh words had barely been spoken before Methos’ found his chin being held in an iron grip. 

Duncan forced Methos’ head back so that he could look into the hypnotic eyes which had been plaguing his dreams since Bordeaux. “You let him take you without a fight!”

Methos’ knew damn well that Duncanwasn’t talking only about a swordfight. He held completely still in MacLeod’s close embrace as he answered calmly, “If I had fought him, I would have lost. It is as simple as that.”

“No, it’s never simple with you Methos! You betrayed me!”

Duncan’s tongue once again forced itself inside Methos’ mouth in a brutal kiss.

Methos’ mind was racing as he sensed the fury that the highlander was barely keeping under control. It seemed that the highland barbarian wasn’t as buried in the past as Mac liked to think.

A dark part of Methos, the part that craved violence, was thrilled at the level of rage that his infidelity had inspired in MacLeod. The rational part of him simply understood. He had committed one of the worst sins in the highlander’s view and because MacLeod couldn’t kill him that left only one outlet to the rage.

The ancient immortal’s face was expressionless when Duncan finally ended the kiss and opened his eyes. Methos’ gently broke the highlanders grip on his arms by the expedient act of reaching for the edge of his shirt and quickly drawing it up and off. He then quickly pushed down his boxers stepping backwards out of them. Several seconds passed as he stood silently standing naked before MacLeod. 

Duncan gave a bleak laugh as he quickly strode forward and pushed Methos backwards to lie sprawled across the bed. He roughly pulled the long thin legs apart and with a vicious pull brought the Methos’ lower body closer towards the edge of the bed. MacLeod stepped between the wide spread limbs while he jerked open his zipper. He didn’t even bother with getting completely undressed but only pushed down his underwear enough to free his erection through the opening in his pants.

Holding the hips in a brutal grip, Duncandidn’t say anything as he positioned himself and plunged into the complacent body.

Methos shut his eyes at the painfully abrupt entry, but didn’t cry out. He didn’t make a sound as Duncan began to thrust sharply into him. His eyes met the brown ones squarely as he felt Duncan spasm within him after only a dozen long forceful thrusts.

Duncan’s eyes were filled with sudden disgust. “You always yield, don’t you? Anything to survive? You always did act the whore well!” he spat, his hands slamming down on either side of the ancient immortal’s head.

Methos recognized the latter words as Kronos’, but he didn’t know if Kronos had taunted Duncan with them during their fight or if he had gotten it from the quickening, either way it didn’t really matter. All that mattered was the pain he saw in the eyes above him. “I didn’t act with you, MacLeod. Not ever.”

“Your whole damn life was an act, Methos! Our friendship...” Duncan angrily charged as he suddenly jerked backwards, trying to get away from the body beneath him.

Methos’ quickly grabbed the Scot’s hips, preventing his withdrawal. “I never ACTED with you, Duncan, not about this,” he attested his hazel green eyes boldly meeting the highlander’s as he began to calculatingly push down onto the cock which was still hard inside of him.

Methos reached up with his right hand and cupped it around the nape of his lover’s neck, drawing Duncan’s tense face slowly down to his.

“Duncan,” he whispered as he tenderly kissed the corner of the other man’s stiff lips while still looking deep into his eyes. He moved his legs to encircle MacLeod’s waist, his heels pressing slightly into the man’s lower back as he raised his hips slightly higher before gliding back down riding the immobile cock inside of him. 

Duncan searched the glittering green eyes for some hint of deceit but found only regret and sorrow. “Damn you, Methos,” he softly murmured as he pressed down to meet the narrow lips in a passionate kiss.

His skin flushed with desire and he gasped into Duncan’s mouth at the shift of the man inside him. Thought fled before the raging fire wherever mouth and hands met his bare skin. Desperate for more contact, Methos blindly pushed at the offensive clothing.

Without thought Duncan aided the furious hands, shrugging off his leather coat and shirt; ignoring the muffled clank as they fell to the floor. He grasped the narrow hips in his hands and pushed the pale writhing body up so he could kneel on the bed. Once there, he thrust home again, his cock aching at the friction that surrounded it.

Methos moaned after the deep thrust, his hands sliding over the muscular biceps to rest upon the sweat-slicked back. Heavy lidded eyes peered up at Duncan’s face as tongues continued to slid and suck other. Palms slid down to the narrow waist, to the rough texture of the pants the highlander was still wearing.

“Your pants,” Methos gasped out between kisses.

It took a few moments for the words to penetrate Duncan‘s mind while his hands continued to cup Methos’ throat and chin as he made love to the ancient immortal’s face. But once they did, he quickly unbuttoned the front of his pants and pushed them down as far as the bed would allow. 

Duncan stared down at body beneath him which seemed to glow in the dim light. The chest moving as fast as his own, each breathing in the other again after so long. Every taste of the hot mouth only made him desperate for more.

Methos’ fingers combed through the long soft hair only to become tangled in it when Duncan began to move back before driving forward. Each thrust faster than the last while the activities between their mouths remained unhurried. The languid motion of tongues more savoring than abrupt. Each kiss more rich than the last. Flavors burst upon his tongue as his heart raced.

His hands coasted over the muscled shoulders for a moment before the want for more moved to push at them forcing Duncan to roll over onto his back with him straddling him. A groan escaped between both their months at the jarring of their bodies where they were joined.

Their eyes continued to meet each other’s as they cupped each other’s face and kissed. They slowly drew their mouths apart. Duncan nodded slightly to the question in the hazel eyes, his hands sliding down the pale sweaty skin to rest upon the narrow hips.

Methos took a deep breath and pushed up on his knees and whimpered as the object inside him brushed against his prostate. He then quickly sat down to repeat the delicious feel, wishing that it would never stop as he sped up his movements. Duncan aided him by thrusting up on his downwards motion making lights burst before his closed eyes in shock at the ecstasy.

His eyes were closed when Duncan rolled and he found himself looking up into the dark eyes once again. The millisecond of rational thought soon buried under the riot of sensations as Duncan continued the frenetic pace into him.

He was so close when he felt Duncan begin to bend down. When his cock brushed against he muscular curves that was all it took. Methos trembled as his mouth eagerly met the dry lips, laughing slightly a few moments later at the feel of hot liquid filling him. Cleansing him. He dropped his head down to the mattress with Duncan following. 

Duncan rested his face against a pale muscular shoulder as he closed his eyes and tried to catch his breath. It wasn’t until he tried to roll on his back that he realized that he was still buried in Methos. He rose up on his elbows and looked into the ancient’ immortal’s face.

Methos lifted his hand up and pushed away a strand of long brown hair back behind Duncan’s ear to avoid meeting his eyes.


Methos looked up at him and sighed. “Yes.”


“I don’t know,” he whispered, his hazel eyes unreadable. 

Duncan stared into his eyes for a few moments more. “Of course,” he said evenly. He rose up on his knees and began to slowly withdraw.

Methos reached up to caress the side of face forcing him to pause and hesitantly look into his face. “Please.” 

Duncan stared at him while he continued his withdrawal, knowing that Methos could see the confusion in his eyes.

He sat on the bed and looked down at the twisted pants tangled around his ankles in faint amusement. “This didn’t solve anything,” he said in what should have been a yell but came out more of a spoken sigh. A chest brushed up against his back as Methos sat up, bringing his attention forwards to the pale legs on either side of him.

“I know.”

I’m still angry.”

“Okay,” breathed Methos into his right ear as he moved his arms. 

Duncan relaxed back into the embrace, “No more secrets?”

“None worth mentioning,” Methos drawled.

“Methos!”Duncan turned to try to glimpse his expression.

Methos laughed softly, his arms tightening on the muscular man before him. “Okay, okay.” He stilled and the smile left his voice. “Ask.”

You’ll answer?”


“The truth.”


What’s the first thing you ever remember?”




Methos stared out into his flat without seeing the black entertainment unit against the far wall or the computer sitting on the desk. His thoughts all focused inward or on the man sleeping sprawled half on him. He still felt the dampness of tears upon his face from the emotional bloodletting he’d undergone only hours ago. Hating MacLeod for forcing him to admit what Kronos had done. That he’d come to enjoy killing…something that he’d never ever thought was inside his being.

But those centuries of Kronos had corrupted him, debasing his soul until he had to flee or be forever lost. Cassandra’s goodness had but slowed the degradation.

Killing him would have sealed it.

Duncan’s arms around his waist tightened as the highlander stirred. Methos returned to caressing his head, brushing down the long strands until he calmed back into a deep sleep. He stared at the dim light that was brightening each second from beneath the closed blinds.

The sun was coming up.

The End

Story Notes: Yes, Methos tells Duncan his life story or more accurately the story of the many lives he’s lived. There is too much for specifics so many centuries are told in general terms; what he did for a living, whether he was married, what he studied etc.

The joined quickening (JQ) that was a vortex. Everybody got pieces of everybody’s memories. Not only did Methos get Duncan’s and Kronos’ he got bits of Caspian’sDuncan got everybody’s plus Silas’. It was a maelstrom with memories flowing every which way.

Duncan’s OOC results from this strange quickening because he tried to grasp the memories from Kronos. In addition, Kronos quickening along with the others including the past dark quickening does change Duncan.

Duncan is different. He is not the same after the quickening simply by the fact that he has now absorbed two ancient quickening which may be argued are both pure evil. For better or worse, they are now a part of him. This has future consequences. (Foreshadowing big time).

It takes Methos and Duncan some time to find their center again as a result of the JQ. Their moods are up and down in an instant.

People LIE. Especially to themselves so Methos’ conclusions (particularly if Kronos is involved) are not necessarily sound. This is how Methos’ viewed it/experiences the world.

The RAPE: don’t view it as rape although my friends who’ve read it have argued it is. I call it coerced sex. Methos submits to Duncan because he knows to stop him, he’ll have to kill him. (Stick a knife in him etc.) Even though it won’t be permanent it is something he knowsDuncanwon’t forgive. It will be the end of them. Such violence at this point in time will destroy their friendship. And let’s face it. Methos doesn’t want to let MacLeod go. Let me know if you disagree about the coerced sex explanation JLBlackstone

The Gathering: My theory, at least I’ve never encountered it before. Each time an immortal dies without their quickening getting absorbed by another immortal the energy goes back into the “pool”, pushing back the time of the gathering, and resulting in new immortal foundlings. Energy is never lost, hey it’s my physics background coming out. Who knew? J

Next up: Joe, Methos, and Duncan spend some time at Le Blues Club in Sweet Conflict X.

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Posted.  April 11, 2005