Beg, Steal, or Borrow
Sweet Conflict - Part VI
J. L. Blackstone
Yes, I can live today
If you give me tomorrow
Long as You Follow~~~
(Christine McVie / Quintela) Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits
“Methos, do you mind?!”
“Not at all,” murmured Methos not looking up from the faded parchment he was reading.
Duncan shook his head in disbelief. He stared at the pile of papers covering the coffee table, the two armchairs, not to mention the torso and upper legs of the ancient immortal currently sprawled upon his couch.
“I’m working.” Methos picked up a piece of parchment that was lying on his chest and compared it to the one held in his left hand. Yes they definitely were written by the same hand.
“You were the one who wanted me to spend more time here.” He continued to read the 16th century chronicle while he spoke in a patient tone. “To hang out, I seem to remember was how you put it.”
“Yes, but not when I’m in the midst of cleaning.”
Methos’ hazel eyes flicked towards the tall figure, grinning up at the disgruntled expression on the highlander’s face. The grin broadening at the small towel his lover was anxiously slapping against a blue jean covered thigh in obvious irritation. Methos put the parchment down and opened his mouth to say something to wrack up the tension a notch higher, when he suddenly felt the presence of another immortal. He shot an alarmed glance at Mac just as the elevator stirred into motion with a loud creak.
MacLeod relaxed the instant the elevator started downstairs. Somebody with a key had gotten in. He smiled at Methos. “It’s Richie.”
“Uh-hmm. Right.” Methos started gathering the papers quickly, yet systematically. He hadn’t just spent the last couple of hours ascertaining which were actually a part of Wilkinson’s chronicle and which were forgeries to lose it all in case the immortal who stepped out of the rising elevator turned out to be foe instead of friend.
Methos had just gathered up the last of the documents and slid them into the black case that had been lying under the coffee table when the top of a blond head slowly came into view.
“Hey Richie!” Duncan lifted the cage when the elevator stopped, a bright smile on his face. He stepped forward intending to embrace the younger immortal but hesitated.
“Hi, Mac.” Richie smiled and draped his left arm across Duncan’s shoulders in a half hug as he stepped out, carrying his motorcycle helmet loosely in his right hand. He looked over at the other immortal who was sitting on the couch. “Me--Adam,” he greeted, quickly correcting himself, before turning his gaze back to his teacher.
“Ryan,” Methos acknowledged with a nod.
Duncan smiled. “Just get back in town?” He led the other towards the living area, after taking the helmet and quickly putting it down by the coat rack to the left of the elevator.
“Yeah.” Richie glanced around at the loft, his hands automatically going into his pockets as he followed, sitting down in the armchair opposite of the couch in front of MacLeod.
“So what’s going on?” Duncan cheerfully inquired. “Where’d you go?”
“Seattle, the usual.” Richie glanced between the two immortals sitting on the couch. “What about you guys, anything interesting happen while I was out of town?”
Duncan’s eyes darkened as he thought about Ingrid, but shook his head. “Back for a while?”
“Thought I’d stay a couple of weeks, maybe.”
MacLeod stood. “Beer?” he asked his old student, glancing at Methos for his answer. Not surprised when Methos shook his head and pulled out one of the pages from his briefcase. Duncan turned away and grinned at Richie.
“Sounds good.” Richie rose and followed Mac towards the refrigerator. Accepting the bottle Duncan handed him. He leaned against the counter and watched Duncan begin the familiar task of getting out pans in preparation for cooking dinner, occasionally glancing across the room at the ancient immortal who was now lounging on the couch reading a piece of paper.
“You weren’t gone long.” Duncan pointed out as he pulled out a saucepan. He’d expected Richie to be gone longer than two weeks considering the heavy weight he’d been under when he’d left. Not to mention absorbing the quickening of a two hundred plus immortal.
“Thought I’d come back, get some clean clothes.” A swig of beer punctuating the casual response.
“You’ll stay for dinner.”
“Sure.” Richie glanced over at Methos curiously.
Duncan spotted Richie’s glance as he pulled out some carrots from the fridge. “He’s staying as well,” he informed him.
“Actually, I’m not.” Methos stood up and walked toward them, carrying his case.
“Methos,” Duncan began warningly.
“I do believe I’ve aggravated you enough for one day, MacLeod. Besides, I still have some work to do.” He sauntered into the elevator and pulled down the cage without stopping as the highlander stepped away from the stove towards him.
He met the highlander’s eyes daringly through the cage but directed his words to the blond immortal. “See you later, Ryan.”
Richie lifted up his bottle in farewell, wondering what was going on between the two immortals, watching as Mac continued to stare at the other immortal until the elevator descended out of sight.
MacLeod turned to his former student. “Watch the stove,” he ordered, tossing the kitchen towel in his hand to Richie, before tearing off around the brick wall toward the stairs.
He was five feet from the exit when the loud slam of a door heralded the entrance of the highlander into the dojo. For a millisecond Methos thought about continuing, but he really didn’t want to have one of their tete-a-tetes in public. He sighed and turned to face the inevitable.
“What’s going on, Methos? What’s with the Houdini act?”
“The kid needs to talk, MacLeod. I’d just be in the way. I’ll be over later.” He grinned solemnly at Mac’s confused expression, before gracefully turning on his heel and walking through the glass exit doors.
Mac stared at the departing figure, exasperated. Just when he’d thought things were settling down…. He had half a mind to tackle the ancient immortal just to see his reaction. Damn him! He turned and slowly began to walk back towards the elevator.
Well, Methos was right about one thing, he did need to spend some time with Richie, for both of their sakes. He’d missed having his old student around, if only to spar with him. The only sparring he could get out of Methos was with his tongue, both in and out of bed.
Methos found himself almost humming as he walked towards the shiny new 4 x 4 parked across the street of the dojo. He smiled as he opened the door, remembering Mac’s comment about it being ‘too plain, didn’t Adam want something with more personality, faster?’ Shaking his head at his pointed reply that he ‘didn’t need a car to make-up for any lack on his part, unlike some people. At least with this one, he’d have plenty of space for those crucial yet bulky items which were so troublesome to conceal in a sports car.’ Mac’s disbelieving snort sending him into outright laughter.
He’d managed to secrete three strategically placed swords about the SUV with ease. Three backups which were easily accessible from different locations around the truck, in the event that he ever needed them.
Despite what he’d told MacLeod, he had no intention of working this evening. He frowned and pondered what to do with his sudden good or bad fortune depending on how you looked at it. If he stopped by Joe’s that’s exactly what he’d end up doing, working--at least till the show started. No, he wasn’t in the mood for the bar tonight.
He pulled up in front of his apartment building, staring for a few moments out at the bay, before picking up his case and getting out. He walked into the foyer, pausing briefly to get his mail, which he quickly flipped through during the ride up in the elevator. Nothing of interest.
The mail was dumped on the table beside the door as he made his way into the study, where he sat down before the computer, immediately switching on the monitor. A tiny flashing envelope in the lower right hand corner of the screen indicating he had e-mail.
Five new messages. More spam. He deleted the first three after a brief glance, a smiled breaking over his face at the fourth.
Good thing his tux was clean.
An exhibition of the some of the paintings and documents from the Silk Road is just what he was in the mood for. It had been a long time since he’d seen the artwork of the Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang. He wondered if any of the Buddhist exhibits were from the Cave of Manuscripts.
Methos stared at the ancient rendering of the “heavily being,” his eyes following the movement of the blue and gold strokes while taking a sip of white wine from the flute he casually held. He took a step towards the direction of the Prakrit wooden tablets enclosed in an air tight glass display case, and froze at the sudden feel of another immortal.
He casually scouted around, soon spotting a tall well built man who was also subtly looking around. Their eyes met. Methos took another sip of wine, and acknowledged the other immortal’s presence with a small nod, ostentatiously relaxing at the other’s answering nod.
Taking a quickening was something he really hadn’t been up to tonight.
The encounter however, drained all enjoyment of the impressive display of priceless artifacts for him. As soon as possible he made his way down to the parking lot. Apparently Seacouver was plagued not only with bad weather but immortals as well. Immortals which he’d no doubt run into as long as he stayed here--with the highlander.
His cell phone rang, just as he reached the Jimmy. Methos waited until he was safely inside before pulling it out and pushing “talk.” “Pierson. Joe? What? Is something wrong? Is it MacLeod? No, he’s not with me, okay. Yeah, I got it. You want me to stop by alone. How about after closing time. Good. I’ll see you then.” Methos shook his head as he started the ignition. That was odd. He never remembered hearing Dawson sound so anxious? Tense? Not even when he was almost killed during the whole Watcher debacle…
The key turned noiselessly in the lock allowing him an almost silent entry. He strolled down the short hallway not even gasping at the sudden feel of a sword brushing his Adam’s apple. He simply froze.
“A key?” Duncan inquired with a hint of anger, shifting the sword a fraction forcing Methos to tilt his chin even higher to avoid being cut.
Methos swallowed, his memory flashing back to the last time he’d been in this position with the highlander. That time he’d been on his knees, trying to control the desire he’d felt for MacLeod from making him do something that would shatter the illusion of friendship that they’d cloaked their interactions up till then in. Desire that he now had no reason to hide.
Duncan stepped closer, seeing the lust flare in the hazel eyes.
“Universal key, opens seventy-five percent of manufactured locks…” he explained, relaxing as the blade was gone as suddenly as it appeared. His eyes automatically fixed on the lean form gracefully striding away, the black silk pajama bottoms billowing out around the ankles. The tense set of the powerful shoulders, only drawing attention to the play of muscles beneath the dark skin.
Unlike him, Duncan very rarely wore a shirt to bed. Although, lately on occasions when he’d stayed over, both he and MacLeod had found clothing superfluous. He shook his head. If they had sex there would be no way he’d make the meeting with Dawson.
Methos let his coat lazily drop off as he sauntered towards the highlander’s bed, discarding his clothes carelessly along the way. “Told you I’d be by.”
From the state of the bedcoverings, MacLeod had already retired for the night.
Duncan snorted as he pulled back the rumpled sheet and sat down. He carefully placed the katana on the floor before laying down, ignoring the other immortal who was currently stripping on the other side of the bed. He turned onto his right side, and settled back into the warm bed that he was so rudely pulled from by the other’s arrival.
Methos shook his head at the back which had been so pointedly presented to his face as soon as he’d got into the bed. And the highlander complained that he was the one with a taste for melodrama. He closed his eyes, relaxing into the cushioned warmth.
“Where were you?”
Methos glanced over at the still form and sighed. “Seacouver Art Museum.”
“The Silk Road exhibition?”
“It was by invitation only…”
“Was it?” Methos asked in a disinterested tone as he closed his eyes. The silence held for several minutes. “How’s Ryan?”
“Fine. It was like old times.” A long pause. “Thanks.”
Methos smirked at the almost inaudible word. He glanced over at the head of long dark hair for a few seconds, before gracefully turning on his side to lie parallel to MacLeod. He remained still for a couple of seconds wondering if the highlander was going to pull away. Becoming bolder when nothing happened and gently placed his left hand on Duncan’s hip, shifting closer to spoon up behind him.
Methos breathed into the hair, and gently moved aside a few strands to gently place a kiss on the tantalizing neck. Methos smiled as a broad hand covered his before pulling it forward to rest on the warm muscular stomach. He relaxed at the welcoming touch and closed his eyes.
He woke, fully aware. From the light, he guessed it was sometime around two in the early morning.
Methos glanced at the warm body on his right. The deep even breathing tempted him into blowing off the meeting with Dawson. He stared at the peaceful expression on Duncan’s face, damning himself for his sentimentality as he traced the comely face with his eyes, remembering the taste of the full lips. It seemed that ever since the annoying moralistic highlander had come into his world, he’d allowed himself to be ruled by emotion rather than reason.
With a soft sigh, he slipped out of the bed, trying to move the bed as little as possible so he wouldn’t wake the sleeping immortal. He had no urge to explain why he was sneaking out. The fact that he didn’t know wouldn’t be believed. And if he said it was Watcher business…
A bitter smile played across his face as he remembered the all too familiar expression that MacLeod always got whenever the Watchers came up in conversation. Darius’ murder was still not forgotten--nor forgiven. Dawson’s trial and its outcome had merely cemented the highlander’s distrust of the ancient organization.
Methos stood for a second and glanced down at the darkly handsome face before quickly picking up his boots. He was out the door and getting dressed in the clothes from the bag he’d left outside on the balcony within moments.
“Joe,” he softly cursed while lightly walking down the stairs, “this had better be good.”
The strum of a guitar flowed through the heavy air. Methos stood in the dim light and listened. It had been a while since he’d heard Joe play. The long lamenting chords were almost painful to hear, filled with a timeless sadness.
Methos watched the lone man sitting on the stool, his fingers moving effortlessly up and down the neck of the guitar, his eyes tightly closed as he transformed emotion into sound.
After a few moments, he stepped into view and slowly made his way towards the stage, not wanting to startle the mortal.
Joe opened his eyes as the last strains faded away, showing no surprise at the presence of the tall thin immortal standing motionless in the sea of upturned chairs. “About time,” he muttered as he carefully stood, his hand gripping the guitar while the other leaned on his cane. He placed the guitar in the case, listening to the sounds behind him of Methos getting himself a drink at the bar.
Methos poured whiskey into a second glass for Dawson and waited, sipping his own. “Everybody gone for the night?” he asked when the Watcher finally approached.
Joe nodded and picked up the glass but didn’t drink. He held it in his hand at an angle, before pushing it away with a sigh.
“What’s up?” Methos asked in a cheerful tone, his eyes intent on the expression on the grizzled face. Unease filled him as the grey eyes darted in his direction before looking away, and the hand that had just produced such magic of emotion was run nervously through the silvered hair.
Methos closed his eyes for a millisecond in denial, sensing the futures--his future shift. And he still didn’t know why…
“MacLeod?” Joe asked after finally taking a sip.
Joe nodded but still avoided his gaze.
Silence fell. Silence that Methos didn’t really mind. It was that much longer he had before whatever it was shattered the little peace he’d been able to build…
The name startled him. “Con-nor? MacLeod?”
Joe finally met his eyes and Methos wished he hadn’t. Anxiety, the kindest emotion he could detect in the grey eyes among others. “I thought he’d disappeared?” The minute shake of the Watcher’s head made him groan silently. That’s what Duncan had told him.
The highlander had not been able to find any trace of his kinsman after the day of the explosion. Mac had just met with Connor at the older immortal’s mysterious request, but had never seen him again, nor found out the reason for the requested meeting.
“He was in China.”
Dawson’s statement confirmed his deduction, that the Watchers had always known the elder MacLeod’s location.
“In a monastery…”
Methos nodded. “Trying to get back a sense of balance, I would think.”
“Yeah, he raised Rachel Ellenstein as his daughter, after all.”
“You said ‘was’?”
Joe’s narrowed as he stared at the guileless young face, surprised and knowing he shouldn’t be. Not with the mythological immortal “Methos” standing before him--five thousand years of history all bound up in one mind. “He’s left holy ground…” Joe paused and looked away.
“And…” Methos prompted.
“He’s contacted the Watchers.”
Methos stared for several long seconds at Joe’s down turned face. The Watcher studiously traced a line of condensation on the counter with a forefinger. “He didn’t contact the Watchers, he contacted you. Why?”
Joe shrugged carelessly, and looked up. “Like other immortals he was aware of the Watchers, but didn’t pay particular attention to us. He mentioned he knew I was Mac’s Watcher and that we we’re friends.” He snorted at the expression on Methos’ face. “Yeah, evidently rumors of my trial traveled far and wide.”
“Joe!” Methos demanded that the man get to the point. A point that he just knew that he wasn’t going to like given Joe’s current behavior.
“He’s asked me about Sanctuary…”
“He’s heard about it through the years, I don’t know from where - hell we’ve all heard the stories. I told him it was a myth, that there was no such place to my knowledge. I’ve asked around and got nothing. No one that I‘ve talked to in the Watchers knows anything but the tale. A place where Immortals are taken out of the Game. Protected.” Joe stared into the dark eyes. “Then I thought I’d ask…”
“…Me, because who better to ask about a mythical place than a Myth,” he completed in a sing-song voice. He turned slightly, the new angle throwing shadows across his face. “What have you told him?”
A startled expression flashed over Joe’s face before he quickly controlled it. “About you--nothing. I said I’d ask around and get back to him. He doesn’t know anything.”
“Where?” he asked in an unemotional tone, careful to betray none of the conflicting emotions rioting through his mind.
Joe carefully studied the tall immortal whose face was turned away, lost in half shadow. “He’s in New York.”
“You’ve spoken to him. How does he sound?”
“He’s on the edge. According to his Watcher he’s been running around visiting old abandoned ruins. Sounds to me like he must have been researching the Sanctuary all this time.” Joe stared at the other man, for the first time really feeling the years that separated them. Methos still hadn’t answered the question and he knew that the immortal never would.
“This conversation never took place. No matter what happens in the future. If I’m dead, MacLeod and I have a falling out. What-ever hap-pens. This conversation never took place. Not in your private journal, not anywhere. Understood.”
Joe wouldn’t have been able to refuse even if he’d wanted to, caught as he was by the sheer force of personality blazing from the gold eyes, bringing home just who--and what, was demanding his..troth? He nodded and took a sip of whiskey. Relieved that when he looked back into the other’s eyes he saw nothing more than his old friend Adam.
“Give him this number.” Methos grabbed a napkin and scribbled the number on it before sliding it towards Dawson. “Tell him Adam Pierson will be expecting his call at one.”
“And why should he trust Adam Pierson? Who should I tell him you are?” Joe asked disgruntled.
“Adam Pierson is Duncan MacLeod’s good friend. That should suffice and if it doesn’t…” Methos shrugged. After all the immortal needed his help, not the other way around. He turned and began walking towards the exit. “Good night, Joe.”
“Huh? Yeah, good night.” Joe stared down at the number. It was one he didn’t recognize, but he knew he wouldn’t keep it. No matter how tempted he was.
This time around he didn’t bother to conceal his entrance. He was more concerned with the leaking coffee cup in his hand which was leaving a wet trail on the floor MacLeod had spent a good part of yesterday polishing. The cup was quickly held over the kitchen sink while he grabbed a glass from the cupboard.
He was pouring the coffee into the new container when he heard the unmistakable sounds of the highlander rising. “Good morning,” he called over his shoulder as he heard the approaching footsteps.
Duncan was still more asleep than awake, and didn’t acknowledge the greeting as he padded towards the heavenly smell, startled suddenly at the sudden feel of something wet on his toes. “What!?”
He instantly looked down, his eyes following a trail of liquid that ran from around the hallway towards the kitchen. “What the hell have you done, Methos!?” He stepped over the liquid and strode into the kitchen, now wide awake.
“Hungry?” Methos asked, turning and holding out the cup of coffee with a grin. “I brought croissants.” He brushed past, seemingly oblivious to the tall immortal whose eyes were shooting daggers at him.
Methos opened the bag and began pulling out the flaky pieces of bread. “Hand me a plate, would you?” he casually called over his shoulder.
Duncan took a step forward before he remembered about the floor. He got the requested plate and stalked up behind Methos. He placed the plate before his lover, but grabbed the long pale hand that reached out to pick it up. Duncan tightened his grip, forcing Methos to turn and look up curiously. He arched his eyebrows before pointedly glancing over at the wet trail on the floor. “I just polished that floor, Methos.”
“You did? Hmph. Good job. It looks great.” With a flick of his wrist, he broke the hold on his hand and proceeded to deposit the croissants on the plate. “Or it did. Don’t worry, MacLeod. I’ll clean it up, its not like its blood or anything. Did I ever tell you how difficult it is to get blood out of…”
A dark hand quickly came up covering his mouth. “Just don’t.” He smiled slowly as Duncan moved to stand behind him, the stubbled cheek resting against his as they watched him arrange the croissants attractively on the plate.
“Why do you do that?” The whispered question caressed the side of his face making a shiver run down his spine.
“Habit.” He closed his eyes. The feel of the bare chest pressed against his back filling his mind with provocative images of how they could spend their morning. Methos relaxed back against MacLeod and was reaching up to caress the dark face resting on his shoulder when his lover suddenly pulled away.
Duncan grabbed a croissant and tore off a bite. “Um, good,” he managed after swallowing it quickly down. He took a sip of the coffee from the cup he’d finally picked up and he backed away. “I’m going for a run.” He grinned at Methos’ frustrated expression while he took another drink of coffee. He turned and was lightly stepping over the spilled liquid when he called over his shoulder, “Don’t forget about the floor.”
Methos was still silently cursing when his lover emerged from the bathroom, although he’d moved to one of the armchairs facing the couch. He watched expressionlessly as Duncan pulled on sweats and a shirt. Once the intriguing form was clothed, however, his gaze shifted to the cup of fresh coffee he was holding, his fingertip absently tracing its rim as his thoughts drifted. “Mac…”
“Yeah,” Duncan looked up from tying his tennis shoe to glance at the lithe form lounging in the leather chair opposite him.
“I might be going out of town for a few days.”
MacLeod froze at the softly drawled statement. The sudden cessation of movement blatantly obvious in the sudden silence. He stared at the other immortal fixedly, forcing the hazel eyes to rise and meet his. Eyes which, of course, revealed nothing but flecks of gold set in a background of green. “When?” he finally asked before he looked down to continue to tie his shoes.
“Two days at most.”
Mac nodded before he gracefully stood. He looked down at the older immortal with an unreadable expression for several minutes, wondering if he should ask and risk the anger he’d feel if--when Methos refused to tell him.
“Well?” Methos finally baited, looking up beneath his lashes at the highlander’s face.
Duncan gave a slight shake of his head and moved past towards the elevator. “I’ll be back in an hour.”
Methos’ lips twisted into a bitter smile as he listened to the highlander leave. It seemed Mac was learning. He stood and walked toward the wonderful smell of freshly baked croissants.
He was toying with what was left of the pastry on his plate when MacLeod finally returned. Methos watched the sweaty Scot walk past him without a word. The sound of the shower being turned on a minute later breaking the silence that had held since his departure. Without thought, he glided towards the sounds, as a moth to the flame. Unlike the moth, however he knew what fate awaited him. But he could no longer bring himself to resist.
Duncan didn’t notice his entrance - well perhaps he did, but Mac wasn’t acknowledging it. He leaned against the doorframe and watched the water flow down the broad chest and back, appreciating how the powerful muscles in the legs flexed as his lover turned around, tilting his head back and closing his eyes so that the water cascaded over the mane of thick hair.
“Are you goin’ to join me or not?” Mac asked, with his eyes still closed.
Strangely enough it was the voice and not the tantalizing body before his eyes that guided his decision. The Scottish burr only thickened in Mac’s voice with unspoken emotion.
Methos pulled off the navy blue pullover he was wearing and began to undo his jeans while walking forward.
His boots he’d abandoned shortly after MacLeod had left for his run, which allowed him to push down his boxers and jeans and kick them off with little hassle. He watched the strong hands continue to soap along the dark muscles in the arms while he pulled off his socks without looking. His eyes frozen on the water flowing over the tight muscular body.
The brown eyes met his from beneath thick black eyelashes as he stepped onto the cold wet porcelain. Strange that he often forgot precisely how handsome MacLeod was. The sheer force of personality blazing out from the brown depths was always the image that appeared whenever the younger immortal occupied his thoughts.
They moved in the same instant, the kiss furious as both dueled with open mouths and tongues. MacLeod’s soaped body putting Methos at a distinct disadvantage; his hands kept slipping as they slid over the muscular shoulders and back preventing him from getting a good hold…
The angry thrusts bombarding his mouth communicated Duncan’s feelings regarding his imminent departure all too clearly. Methos reached up with both hands and grasped the wet head of hair within both fists, forcing the tongue inside his mouth to still. He waited until the highlander’s eyes opened, before slowly and deliberately sucking MacLeod’s tongue, entreating it with deep swipes of his tongue into a slower sensual dance. Promising with his eyes what he could never do with his voice.
Methos pressed closer, their bodies clinging to one another as the water flowed down between them. His hands trailed through the drenched black strands down to the powerful back. He caressed the long lean muscles, sliding his hands down past the tight waist and back up to the chest in a soothing motion. The hands holding his neck changed, the tension leaving the strong arms. Methos gasped as his mouth was finally released. The slow sensuous kisses being bestowed upon his face and neck making him feel as if he was being worshipped or -- memorized.
“Duncan,” he softly moaned at the feel of that wonderful mouth sliding across his chest to engulf his nipple.
“Sssh,“ Duncan whispered into his ear, his body slithering against his while he slid behind him, turning him to face the back of the shower. The brown muscular arms shadowed his own, mirroring his in pressing against the tiled wall for a moment. He moaned at the feel of the head of Duncan’s cock pressing against his ass before those brilliant hands were down holding him open.
His hands slipped on the tile at the first thrust, a whimper escaping him at the exquisite feel of the familiar invasion. The nuzzling and biting on his neck, a pleasant counterpoint to the feel of the hard length slowly withdrawing before suddenly forcing itself back deeper inside him.
He turned his head, to meet Duncan’s roughly. Water droplets dripped from the dark chin, the heat of the hard body surrounding him, the pulse of life thrusting inside him all combining to overwhelm him in a sea of perception. MacLeod.
Everything he knew haunted him with the knowledge that what he was about to do could cost him. He gasped as Duncan shifted, the cock inside him now brushing against his prostate, sending bursts of pleasure throughout his body.
White sparks decorated his eyelids as he moaned, wanting, needing to make their connection last as long as he could. He pushed back to meet the thrusts, rolling on the balls of his feet to keep his balance on the slippery surface as each thrust brought him up on his toes and each withdrawal back down to his heels. The hands clutching his hips his only anchor.
Methos rested his face against the cold tile and breathed heavily. The surface cooling his enflamed skin. He reached down and began stroking himself in time to the cock forcing itself inside him in rough short pops, no longer fully withdrawing.
He slid his hand down the shaft of his cock, using the thumb to tease against the sensitive head. The callused hands pulling him abruptly back heralding the arrival of the hot liquid inside him.
The dark hand closing over his a few moments later, made him gasp.
“Let me give ya a hand with that.” The words breathed into his ear made Methos turn his head sideways, wishing that he could see the expression hidden behind the curtain of long wet hair.
During all their episodes of lovemaking, MacLeod had only pleasured him with his hand once before and never with his mouth. Before that, he’d always skipped evidence of his obvious masculinity, making love to his thighs, legs, even his toes--but never his cock. Just like a few weeks ago, Methos had no reason as to why.
It still surprised him that Duncan had recognized, let alone acted on the sexual tension that existed between them. Methos had known even then, however, that it was he who’d have to play the part of boy, their personalities making any other scenario impossible given the differences in their ages.
The highlander had been raised in a time when being buggered was an insult, settled only at the edge of a sword. And for all the time that had passed, MacLeod was still the clan chieftain’s son with his moralistic code of honor.
Methos always hoped that their coupling would diminish the admiration that still alighted in his friend’s eyes at odd moments or dispel the wonder in MacLeod’s voice whenever he spoke of the amazing things Methos must have experienced in five thousand years. Not once considering what evil he must have witnessed--or participated in. To see him as a man, just a regular guy who’d lived a very long time. Make up for all that he could never tell MacLeod.
It hadn’t. He had no real idea of what Duncan thought about him--how he allowed himself to be buggered without question. Actually it was a subject he never really wanted to have with the highlander. It would cause more of a headache that Methos just didn’t need. He was content with whatever MacLeod chose to give him.
He closed his eyes tightly and removed his hand, allowing Duncan to take over. The feel of the different hand--MacLeod’s callused hand -- compelling him into a higher level of excitement. The cock still buried within him only magnified the razor sharp sensations that coursed through him. “Duncan,” he cried as he suddenly came.
The breath of air dispelled by the soft chuckle beside his ear caressed the left side of his face. Satiated, he leaned back against MacLeod, allowing him to carry his weight, for once not feeling anxious about the warm embrace of the highlander.
The nuzzling at his neck Duncan's only infuriating response.
Methos walked out of the bathroom, rubbing his hair absently with a towel, his eyes immediately drawn to the fully dressed figure sitting on the leather chair. MacLeod was holding a chess piece in his hands, his attention fixed before him on the board. “You moved,” he muttered.
“Wondered when you’d notice,” Methos instantly replied as he stepped forward, dropping the towel onto his right shoulder.
Mac snorted and glanced up for a moment, catching Methos’ eyes for a heated second, before directing his attention back to the game.
Methos wasn’t surprised at the heat. Although he’d encouraged Duncan to take him again, the still hard cock nestled inside him only too obvious, MacLeod had withdrawn and after quickly rinsing off had fled the bathroom. The shower encounter had merely banked the sexual fire that always seem to simmer between them lately, not dissipated it.
He stopped beside him, his blue jean leg slightly brushing against Mac’s knee. He stared down at the highlander’s intense expression for a few moments before reaching out to gently brush back the stray locks of brown hair that were ruining his view. “I do plan on returning. This isn’t one of my…”
“Disappearing acts,” MacLeod finished, standing up to face Methos. Duncan sighed into the solemn face. He absently picked up the wet towel from Methos shoulder and began to neatly fold it. “I get that. Otherwise you wouldn’t have even bothered telling me. I would probably have ended up havin’ to hear it from Joe.”
“That is my M.O,” Methos joked, trying to lighten some of the bitterness in the highlander’s tone. “At least I’m consistent.”
“You are at that.” MacLeod gave a quick grin and draped the folded towel over his right forearm. He reached up to grasp the back of the slender neck with his left hand and pulled him close, staring intently into the green eyes for a few seconds before pressing his mouth to Methos’ quickly. He pulled slightly away, before pressing his forehead gently against the older immortal’s and sighed.
Methos closed his eyes at the chaste kiss, forcing himself to relax as their heads rested on each other. For a while nothing more was said, both men stood with their eyes closed, loathed to shatter the moment.
“I know, Methos. I… just…worry.” Duncan punctuated each word with a short kiss to the thin lips, his left hand cupping the fair face while the fingers of his right ran tenderly along the smooth jaw line.
Methos pulled away with a grin. “Of course, consistency is a virtue…”
“Oh really?” MacLeod teased back with a broad smile. “I’m heading out to meet Richie for lunch, do you…” he trailed off at the negative shake of Methos’ head.
“Can’t, I have an appointment,” Methos called over his shoulder as he walked over and picked up his coat which was lying draped over the back of the couch. Both men ignored the telltale clink of the sword hidden within it.
“Anybody, I know?” Mac asked with the teasing note still in his voice, following the older immortal towards the elevator.
“Nope,” he instantly replied, guilt rising as the lie left his lips. He made sure his face revealed none of his unease as he turned to MacLeod half a second later as they stepped in the elevator.
“Dinner at Joe’s, about seven?” MacLeod asked very casually just as the elevator reached the first floor.
“How about Carmello’s instead? I feel like Italian, some fusilli bucati with a little bit of that basil pesto…” He really did not want to test Dawson’s obfuscation abilities throughout an entire evening with MacLeod. The idea was enough to even give an immortal an ulcer.
MacLeod chuckled at the enthusiasm in the charismatic voice. “Sounds good.”
“Mac. Mac! Hey! Anybody in there?” Richie waved his hand in front of MacLeod’s face.
“What?!” MacLeod started as hands suddenly appeared in front of his face. He frowned and batted them playfully away with a chuckle. “Sorry about that.”
“I thought I’d lost you there, Mac.” Richie took a drink of his beer.
Duncan shrugged and looked out over the other diners in the restaurant. “Just thinking.”
“Oh really,” Richie stated exaggeratedly. “Anything I should know about?” The good-natured expression on the young man’s face suddenly became serious. “Is someone in town I should avoid?”
“No, it’s nothing like that,” Mac quickly reassured him. “What were you saying?”
“I asked if you wanted to go see a movie?”
“Sure, no wait. What movie?” The expression on the highlander’s face made Richie laugh.
“The Long Kiss Goodnight, or Twister.”
“Twister, haven’t you already seen that movie before?” Duncan asked as they rose.
“Yeah, but it has such great special effects. It’s like you’re actually there inside a tornado…” Richie’s hands gestured wildly in accompaniment to his enthusiastic description.
MacLeod held the door of the restaurant open for his former student, smiling affectionately as Richie continued his spiel about the movie on their way to the parking lot.
He dropped his keys on the kitchen counter and began filling the kettle with water. Methos stared out the window above the sink, the sky had turned grey per usual for this time of day. It wouldn’t be Seacouver without a shower or two in the afternoon.
Instant coffee. Well it was better than nothing. Perhaps not. He grimaced and dumped the remaining cup out. He shot a baleful glance at the clock, something he’d been doing every quarter of an hour since he’d been home.
He turned and walked towards his desk. While the computer booted, he absently went through the pile of mail sitting on the desk. Other than stopping to pick up clothes he’d spent very little time here--ever since a certain Scot commented on his lack of social skills when out of bed.
Methos snorted as he quickly separated the important letters that actually required him to read from the junk mail. Out of the corner of his eye he caught the flashing icon in the lower right hand corner of the computer screen that indicated he had new e-mail. He clicked on it and began to curse.
Immortal killed in Barton Falls yesterday. Victor fits the description of our hunter.
Barton Falls. Methos glanced at the map he’d pinned up on the wall to his left. One hundred and fifty miles from Seacouver. But he frowned at the city’s direction. It was northeast of the drawn line he’d penciled in. Perhaps the hunter’s destination wasn’t Seacouver or MacLeod after all.
He stood and marked the new death on the map, hoping that for once he was proven wrong. That the deaths had nothing to do with MacLeod and it was only a coincidence that he’d been headed in this direction.
Ring. Methos swiftly turned and stared at the phone.
All he had to do was not answer.
Not get involved. But if Joe was right. If Connor was on the edge and suicided, and Mac found out later that he’d known and did nothing or even if he did do something.
He’d never forgive him.
“Adam Pierson,” he brightly greeted.
“Do you know where it is?”
Methos mentally snorted at the directness. “Perhaps, will you meet me?”
He smiled at the distrust in the harsh voice, pity that Mac hadn’t picked up a little more of that from his old teacher. “Certain discussions need to be conducted in person.”
A long silence on the other end of the line followed. Methos waited patiently, once again berating himself for doing this. Madness was what it was. Lunacy that he only seemed to exhibit when around a particular tall Scot who was more charismatic than he damn well should be…
“Chicago. Bessie’s Tavern. Eleven, tomorrow night.”
“I’ll be there.”
Methos listened to the dial tone, a wry grin on his face. Although it had been unspoken, the threat in the rough voice had been unmistakable. Little did Connor know just how much trouble he’d be in if Duncan ever found out he had anything to do with this little meeting let alone his death, making Connor the safest immortal on this planet next to the kid. From him at least.
“Hey Joe, how ya doing?” Richie smiled brightly as he sat down on the stool in front of the bar.
“Hey Richie. Good to see you, didn’t know you were back.”
“Yeah, right, Joe.” Richie shared a knowing look with MacLeod who was just sitting down beside him.
“So what can I get you guys?”
“Beer and a couple of sandwiches,” Richie ordered.
“Just a beer for me, Joe. Thanks.” Duncan accepted the bottle gratefully and shook his head at the peanuts Richie was offering him.
Joe sent the order back to Tiny. He stared at the younger immortal, remembering him as the tough smartass kid he’d first met not that long ago. “So, Richie, what’s up?”
“Nothing much. We just got back from the movies. Have you seen Twister yet, Joe? It’s great.”
Joe laughed at the sour expression that had formed on the highlander’s expression at Richie’s statement. “Uh-huh. MacLeod looks really impressed.”
“Mac just doesn’t appreciate fine cinema.”
Mac sputtered as the beer he’d been drinking suddenly went down the wrong pipe. “Wait a minute.”
Joe chuckled and tossed a rag to MacLeod to clean up. He smiled into Richie’s face, “So tell me about this great cinematic achievement.”
The smiled on Richie’s face got even broader while Duncan merely rolled his eyes and pulled the bowl of peanuts closer.
Duncan absently scooped up a handful of peanuts, dimly aware of the conversation going on beside him as his thoughts returned to Methos and the forced casualness of their parting this morning.
He was actually shocked at Methos explicit assurance of his return, a departure from his usual manipulative methods of distraction. The sex, well that was to be expected, and this morning it had been him as much as Methos. A way of assuring himself that the ancient immortal was still here with him, in body and in mind.
Methos would sometimes slip away from him. Oh he was there physically, lounging on the couch, reading down in the office but he would be somewhere else, somewhere far away where he couldn’t touch him. A place where the burnished gold eyes would turn cold and dark.
It didn’t last long, he wondered if Methos was even aware of the moments. Mac had a suspicion that Methos did know, and even that he’d noticed, because afterwards the ancient immortal would then remark on something totally inane, quite often angering him into a fight.
A fight that would be followed by makeup sex that usually was so mind-shattering that it left his nerve endings tingling for days. The fight and what instigated it long forgotten.
Or so he let Methos believe.
He almost wished that the ancient immortal had pulled one of his disappearing acts. Simply left him a note. Or word with Joe. His eyes focused back on the grizzled Watcher before him.
“Excuse me fellas, I think that beer was the clincher,” Richie announced before heading back towards the bathroom leaving the two of them alone.
“Awfully quiet today, Mac. What’s up?”
“Just thinking.” MacLeod looked down at the empty bowl he was currently fiddling with. “So,” he began in a bright tone, “what musty old book are you sending the wayward Mister Pierson to pick up for you? Some chronicle or other, I expect.”
Joe shook his head, a confused expression on his face. He stared silently into the highlander’s face for a few seconds. “Adam’s pulled one of his vanishing acts, I take it.”
Duncan shook his head, “No. Said that he was going to be out of town for a few days. I thought it was Watcher related…”
“I don’t know anything about it. But hey, it still could be. Adam might have received a request from someone higher up. Something I’m not privy to -- bureaucracy you know.”
“Yeah, sure.” MacLeod smiled wryly. He appreciated his friend’s attempt at reassurance.
“Did he say where he was going?” Joe asked, accepting the plate that the waitress who’d just walked up, handed to him.
“Hey guys, what did I miss?” Richie asked as he rejoined them.
“Nothing much,” Duncan replied.
“Here you go, Richie.” Joe placed the plate of sandwiches and chips in front of the young immortal. “Chow down.”
“So who’s playing tonight?” Duncan asked Joe as Richie began to eat.
“A local guy, you’ve heard him before Russ Taylor…”
Methos stared at the row of shirts and frowned. He didn’t know why he was acting like this was a first date. It was just dinner, something they’d done about a hundred of times by now. Yet, here he was staring into his closet, wondering what to wear like some blasted teenager.
He knew what the problem was. It was what it always was--MacLeod. He knew that the tiresome child would think if he showed up too nicely dressed. That he was never coming back. Too casual clothing would indicate that he was trying to lure MacLeod into a false sense of security and still not coming back.
It didn’t matter that he’d said he was planning on returning. He didn’t know why he even bothered telling the truth anymore, no one ever believed him either way.
He angrily reached out and grabbed the first shirt in front of him, a light blue one that from past experience he knew would make his eyes appear light grey.
The phone rang just as he finished buttoning the shirt. “Adam Pierson.”
“Adam, good! I’m glad I caught you.”
Methos frowned. “Didn’t realize you were fishing…”
“What?” A snort, “you know you’re real funny. A real laugh of the ages.”
“Look, Joe I’m about to head out for the night. What’s up?” He glanced at the clock, well it wouldn’t due to be ‘right’ on time, would it? That would be suspicious.
“Mac and Richie came by…”
“Yeah. MacLeod let drop that you were going out of town…”
“Can we move this along, Joe. I would like to arrive before the dessert.”
“Does this little sojourn of yours have anything to do with what I sent you?”
It took a second for him to realize what Dawson was referring to. He shook his head, “No, Joe it has nothing to do with the e-mail you sent. It appears that I was wrong, and our diligent hunter is not headed here.”
Methos smiled at the deep sigh of relief that was clearly audible from the other end of the line. “I’ll keep an eye out, anyway.”
“Always a wise idea.” Methos looked around restlessly, his eyes once again falling on the clock. “Look Joe, you know how MacLeod gets when he’s kept waiting.”
“Yeah, sure. Have a good night, Adam.”
“Talk to you later, Joe.”
Methos hung the receiver up with a gentle click and picked up the mid-length black leather coat that he’d left lying across his desk. He slid his right arm into the sleeve as he walked towards the hidden panel in his bedroom wall, sliding it back to reveal half a dozen swords and a few guns.
Now came the important decision of the night.
Duncan couldn’t stop the grin from forming on his face when he spotted the familiar aristocratic profile standing just inside the restaurant. He stood up, the smile on his face broadening as he recognized the expensive leather coat that Methos was wearing as one of his. “Just when did you pick that up?”
Methos’ forehead furrowed in pretended confusion. “What are you talking about, MacLeod?” He sat, or more aptly placed himself artfully yet with ostensibly graceful ease onto the chair. The perfect pose of a ‘gentleman at dinner.’
The enigmatic eyes laughed at him, as he sat back down with much less grace, let alone humor. “What is it with older immortals, does everyone over a millennia steal?”
“It’s called borrowing, MacLeod. Besides, mi casa es su casa, recuerde.”
“Good evening, gentlemen. My name is Jacob and I’ll be your waiter. Would you like to try one of our house wines, I can recommend…”
“Draft beer, please,” Methos instantly ordered cutting off the young man’s spiel.
“And for you, sir?” The waiter inquired turning towards him with no sign of discomfit at the abrupt request.
“Bring out an‘89 Merlot,” he replied. They’d been here before and it would taste wonderful with what he was planning on ordering.
“Very good sir. Here are your menus and I’ll be back shortly with your drinks.”
“Plus I thought you’d enjoy getting it back,” Methos simply stated picking up their conversation as if the waiter’s appearance hadn’t interrupted.
Duncan flushed at the images that flashed through his mind of him peeling off the coat from the pale lithe body it was currently adorning. Memory supplying the feel of the firm muscle beneath the smooth milky skin. He picked up the glass of water in front of him and gulped down a drink, staring at Methos whose nose was buried in the menu with an aura of complete unconcern.
“What are you getting, MacLeod, the usual?”
“Yes, the volpi prosciutto served with capelli d'angelo in red sauce. What about you?” he managed to reply in a neutral tone.
The waiter returned before Methos could answer, placing the beer in front of the ancient immortal before proceeding to open the wine. Duncan okayed it and gestured for him to pour it distractedly, his attention still on the immortal sitting across from him whose face was a mask of concentration as he continued to peer at the menu.
“Are you gentlemen ready to order or do you need a few more minutes.”
“I’ll have the Farfalle Florentine,” Methos replied.
“Volpi prosciutto.” Duncan took a sip of his wine, with a nod to the waiter as he left with their orders. “So, what did you do today, anything interesting?”
“Little research, nothing important.” For a millisecond it looked as if he was going to add something further but no, his lover and current pain in the neck, simply took another drink of beer. “What about you? How’s the kid?”
Duncan smiled. “Dragged me to the movies.” He held up his hand to forestall the inevitable question. “The one about tornadoes,” he admitted glumly.
Methos smiled. “Don’t tell me, you hated it.”
MacLeod glowered at the amused expression on Methos’ face. “Why would someone willingly sit through two hours watching the destruction and death caused by storms.”
“I’m assuming you’ve been on a roller coaster?”
“Yeah,” Duncan’s brow furrowed as he remembered, “Amanda dragged me on one of the first ones.”
“The exhilaration, the excitement, knowing the risk that if anything went wrong you’d fly off into the air…”
“A dangerous thrill, yeah, yeah. I don’t enjoy it when it’s happening to me…I definitely don’t want to spend two hours watching it happen to someone else. Our lives contain enough fear and excitement, thank you very much. It can never be a recreational past-time for me, nor would I think for any immortal.” He shot an inquiring glance at the hazel eyes and sighed at the ancient immortal’s answering grin.
Methos shrugged. “I’m easily amused, besides Adam Pierson lives such a quiet life, or did.”
“I suppose that’s my fault,” although he’d meant for it to come out teasing, apparently he’d failed from the frown that formed on Methos’ face at the words.
“No.” Just that, said solemnly with no expression, the frown gone in a flash.
Duncan sighed and looked down, nervously rearranging the cream colored napkin across his lap. “I’m sorry.”
“I don’t want to fight.”
“On that we agree.”
Duncan smiled. “You should try this wine, its very good.” He filled the empty glass before the immortal as he spoke, the red liquid swirling in the crystal goblet he held out to his lover.
Methos accepted the wineglass with a small smile. “Have you decided about university?” he asked after taking a sip.
“Well I do have the time, now that I’m not running the dojo, and I do enjoy teaching…”
Methos shrugged out of the leather coat as he left the elevator, absently folding it over his arm until he drew up to one of the chairs in front of the couch, where he dropped it. He turned around, not at all surprised to find the handsome face within inches of his. “MacL---” was all he got out before the full lips were on his and a tongue which tasted slightly of grapes slid against his.
A moan escaped him at the intensity of the deep kiss, his heartbeat accelerating as the languorous dance continued. The slow strokes of his mouth’s new occupant making him dizzy as he tried to remember what he’d been about to say.
“Yes?” Duncan breathed as he pulled slightly back after a few minutes, allowing him to catch his breath.
Methos opened his eyes dazedly. Seduction was suppose to be one of his talents. He shook his head slightly, and tilted his head back, shutting his eyes at the feel of the moist mouth now suckling on the underside of his chin. Shivering as the wonderful tongue slid down his neck.
He clutched Mac’s shoulders, softly gasping as he was suddenly pulled forward and pressed hard against the muscular body. Not able to keep from slightly thrusting against MacLeod’s groin, anxious for the delicious feel of their erections rubbing together, even if it was through cloth.
Methos felt himself being moved backwards but didn’t care, the clattering sounds of buttons hitting the wooden floor ignored as well at the feel of the hot hands coasting over his shoulders pushing off his blue shirt. Another moan at the moist tongue on his chest, hands roaming across his back, raising goosebumps over his skin.
The surface of the bed was rough against his back. He opened his eyes, his hands immediately drawn to the sides of MacLeod’s face, unable to keep from running his fingers through the long hair, tousling it even more.
Duncan glanced up for a second before returning his attention back to unfastening Methos’ pants, pulling them down and off in a single smooth motion. Methos hadn’t noticed when he’d lost his shoes. He laid breathing heavily at the feel of the socks being peeled off, immediately lifting his hips slightly at the gentle touch on his right thigh, aiding the removal of his boxers.
He glanced down at the still fully dressed highlander kneeling on the foot of the bed between his legs and frowned. “Why is it, that lately I’m the one who always ends up naked while you still have your clothes on?” he asked in a conversational, albeit somewhat breathless tone of voice.
Duncan’s body stiffened and before he knew it the dark eyes were peering down into his intently, a long finger pressed to his lips. “Don’t.”
Methos read the unspoken plea in the brown eyes and nodded, giving up all attempts to make this into something casual. He mentally snorted at the thought, even his first sight of the tall highlander had been anything but casual.
His eyes locked with Duncan’s as the other immortal finally began to undress. Desire uncurled from the pit of his stomach making him breath heavily with need. He sat up after the last of the clothing was discarded, and pulled Duncan on top of him, his tongue delving between the full lips hungrily.
Within moments, hands were on his chest pushing him back down. He whined in dismay when the wonderful mouth disappeared.
Gentle caresses across his chest, down his stomach and back, bathed him in trembling sensation. He bucked up against the body straddling him. Gratified to hear Duncan’s breath hitch as their cocks tantalizingly rubbed against each other for a second before the bewitching hands pressed his pelvic bone firmly down to the mattress.
He wasn’t going to survive this. He stared up into the heavy lidded gaze. “Please, Duncan.”
“Ssshhh,” Duncan whispered nipping his shoulder before turning his head to take his mouth in a soothing yet too brief kiss as his hands slid down his arms till they threaded his. Dark brown eyes were locked with his as Duncan drew his arms up over his head and pressed them firmly down for a telling second before releasing them.
Methos stared up at the flushed face, but didn’t move his hands, wondering what MacLeod had in mind. The dim light from the kitchen throwing shadows which prevented him from seeing much of the man’s face staring intently down at his left hand which he still held.
The fingertip tracing down the lines on his hand sent chills coursing up his arm and down his spine, making him moan. The tingling sensation spreading across his skin making him even harder. He started to pant, dimly aware that he’d lost control and not giving a damn.
Methos tossed his head in frustration wanting to thrust up against MacLeod but unable to do so, due to the hot sweaty weight deliciously pinning him to the bed. Although he could have moved his hands, he didn’t, much too willing to drown in the desire burning into his skin.
“You have such beautiful hands, ionmhuinn.”
Beloved his mind instantly translated the Gaelic endearment. His eyes closed tightly in a vain attempt to deny the emotion the words stirred within him, and tried to bury himself in the waves of sensation that were pouring over him.
“Long, elegant.” A kiss in the center of his palm made him gasp. Feeling the brown gaze shift to his face. He turned his head away, not wanting to look into the handsome face, to meet Duncan’s eyes, although he didn’t resist when a forefinger under his chin gently guided it back, parting his lips at the rough feel of a begging tongue.
Methos groaned into the hot mouth as the hands roamed down his arms to tightly grasp his own, the searing body rocking against him finally. Duncan shifted, aligning their cocks together perfectly, the perspiration soaking them easing the excruciating slow ride of the hard length as it thrust against his own.
The hot breath panted by his ear, murmuring. “Mo draghailala cridhe.”
He grasped the hands covering his tightly, his fingers slipping between Duncan’s as he lifted his hips to meet the Scot’s thrusts.
He desperately tried to ignore the underlying need in the voice but couldn’t. He opened his eyes, meeting the brown gaze, immediately lost in the hunger, longing and ‘may the heavens help them both!’---love.
Methos’ closed his eyes to hide his sorrow, as he tenderly met the lips brushing against his mouth. He slid his tongue gently into the moist cavern, forgetting everything else, only dimly aware of the body shuddering its completion a few minutes later. He opened his eyes warily.
His hands quickly cupped the dark face, cutting off the Scot’s declaration. Methos reached down and brought up Duncan’s right hand and kissed the palm before rubbing it against his cheek like a cat. He gave a slight shake of his head and kissed Duncan in desperation until the moment passed.
Duncan rolled over, pulling Methos on top of him, his hands roaming tiredly across the pale smooth back in a dreamy caress. Methos rested his head upon the rapidly rising and falling chest while both their breaths quieted. His mind filtering a thousand thoughts at once, until-- “Did you call me annoying earlier?”
The rumbling of the chest beneath his cheek was not amusing.
“Among other things,” Duncan replied, his hand caressing the black head of hair decorating his chest.
Methos tilted his head up to shoot a glare at the handsome face but his heart wasn’t in it. He laid his head back down, settling down into a comfortable position, his legs entwined with his human pillow’s.
He waited until Duncan was on the cusp of slumber, the rise and fall motion of the slightly damp chest now a slow soothing rhythm, before he sighed and, “I can’t promise you forever, Duncan…but…I can promise you tomorrow--symbolically speaking of course.” The latter words hastily added with chagrin, since after all he was leaving town tomorrow.
Duncan’s eyes had flown open at the sigh. They held each other’s eyes for a long moment before Duncan gave a slight nod and closed his eyes, releasing him.
Methos settled back down onto his muscular pillow and fell asleep, a smile on his face.
Within moments of waking, Duncan knew he was alone. The presence, immortal and physical, that he’d once again become accustomed to waking up beside, felt nowhere nearby. He stared up at the ceiling for a few seconds before shaking off the melancholy that threatened.
He sat up and looked around at the scattered bedcovering intermixed with pieces of clothing. It appeared that Methos had simply tossed them on the bed, presumably when he got dressed earlier.
Not that he thought that the ancient immortal did it in an attempt to help out, no Methos probably had just thrown them out of the way in an attempt to get to his own clothes which had probably been buried under his, since he was the last one to undress last night.
His heart began to beat faster when he glanced at the leather armchair. The chair Methos was standing by when he first kissed him.
He suddenly stood up and searched the floor around the bed, tossing the sheets and duvet left and right. It wasn’t there.
Only one other place it could be. He strode over and opened the wardrobe, laughing when he didn’t find it.
His mid length leather coat was missing.
Methos stepped out of the airport and headed for the row of taxis at the curb. He gave the driver the address as he got in and settled back against the seat. His thoughts still back in Seacouver with MacLeod.
He hadn’t been able to get the highlander out of his mind all morning, wondering what he was doing. He caressed the soft black leather that covered his forearm. It was too warm for Chicago this time of year, but he hadn’t been able to leave it behind.
He’d armed himself within moments of stepping off the plane, immediately finding the locker outside the secured area where he’d stored a sword and several other weapons years ago as a precaution. Being stranded in a major city without weaponry was a scenario that held absolutely no appeal, bitter experience reminded him.
“Here you are, Mister.”
Methos stirred from his reverie by the driver’s call. He peered out the window, recognizing the brownstone they were parked in front of. “Thanks.” He handed the cash to the driver through the smaller window in the security glass and got out.
He quickly strode through the arched entrance and lobby, before entering the elevator, holding his carry all in his left hand. The furnished flat he kept here was on the fourth floor under the name Adam Dawson. A smile crossed his face as he pictured how Joe would react to discovering that a long lost third cousin, twice removed was a photographer who traveled extensively but kept a home base in the windy city.
Although A. Dawson hadn’t been in print these last year or so, at one time you wouldn’t have been able to pick up a magazine without at least one of his pictures decorating the pages. Sadness filled him at the number of photographs he’d sent off to his agent during his travels with Alexa. Egypt, Africa, Paris of course, Venice, Switzerland. If the same ‘tourist’ appeared in the background of many of the photographs, no one noticed or the smiling brown haired woman was simply cropped out of the picture.
All but Greece. Those pictures were his alone.
He flipped on the light switch and looked around. The cleaning crew had been by, not a speck of dust was seen and better yet… Methos opened the now stocked refrigerator and pulled out a beer, uncaring that it was still morning.
If it was one thing he needed right now it was a drink.
He opened the curtains of the patio, letting the light in, still bemused at why he was here and for whom. Twelve hours to kill. The beer was carelessly placed on the end table before he sprawled across the couch. Might as well get some sleep. It was going to be a long day and probably an even longer night.
Methos gestured for another whiskey from the barkeep and glumly looked around, automatically dismissing or noting the half a dozen patrons who were currently frequenting Bessie’s tavern in terms of threat.
He’d been here at dusk, knowing that it was much better to get the lay of the land before a battle. He snorted into the fresh whiskey. Yeah, he thought in war terms, it was a habit that had kept him alive for over five thousand years. Not that someone like MacLeod ever appreciated that fact. Another sigh escaped him as thought about what he was about to do or as it may turn out, not do.
Oh, he’d read his chronicle, parts of it. Knew what Duncan’s first teacher looked like, his name came up in conversations not only between him and Duncan but among the Watchers.
The elder MacLeod’s disappearance after the explosion that rocked his home/business in New York, killing the woman he‘d raised as his daughter…well it had been a hot topic of conversation at the time and four years later was still brought up occasionally at meetings.
People change, Duncan.
He was the only Watcher who knew what Connor had said during his last conversation with Duncan before the explosion--before he disappeared for all intents and purposes from the world. The immortal one anyway, from what Joe had revealed.
The Tribunal’s silence on the matter was very telling, but he hadn’t been able to find any trace of Connor in the Watcher database even before the mess with Dawson. But someone had known, probably the old Tribunal, all of which were dead except Shapiro. And no one was going to get much outta him. Jack Shapiro was a broken man after the death of his son.
He looked toward the door as the presence of an immortal brushed his senses. An old one, well older than most around these days. Connor. Methos stood and evenly met the eyes of the tall sullen faced man who stood just inside the bar.
He gestured with his hand at a table but Connor shook his head negatively and tilted it back towards the door he’d just come through.
Methos snorted and tossed a couple of twenties onto the bar before he followed. He should have known. Nothing is ever done civilized anymore, even matters of living death.
The alleyway it’ll be.
Connor swung just as edge of the prominent nose came into sight, stopping a hair breadth’s away from the thin neck. The lights outside the bar providing more than enough illumination for him to gauge perfectly.
“What is it with MacLeods and my neck?”
He frowned at the unperturbed expression on the angular face despite the razor sharp edge of the katana grazing his Adam’s apple.
“You’ve fought Duncan, then. Enemy!” He shifted the sword closer forcing the other to tilt his head back to avoid being cut.
The look the man shot him, made him flush with embarrassment, as if he’d missed an important point. A feeling that he hadn’t experienced since the 1540s--since Ramirez. He squinted at the face and took a step back, slowly easing the sword away another millimeter, allowing the chin to lower. “Who are you?”
An amused smile spread across the pale white face, a smile that didn’t match the dark eyes that seemed to pierce his soul with ease.
Connor took another slow step back as the unnaturally still man continued to stare. The cold bottomless eyes measuring him and finding him wanting. Long absent anger stirred within him.
“Tread carefully, high-land-er.” The slow melodious voice warned with an air of condescending politeness that only made him clutch the hilt of his sword even tighter, as he realized that he faced an older immortal. “Being kin to someone under my protection only grants you so much…”
“Who are you?!” he repeated, unable to mask his exasperation.
“Adam Pierson, at your service,” the immortal replied with a grandiose bow, his hand gracefully waving forward and down as if he held a feathered hat, eerily reminding him of the first time he’d met his old teacher Juan Ramirez ages ago. Bitterness filled him at the irony. It seemed that even at the end of this living hell he wasn’t to be spared from buffoons. At least this one wasn’t an overdressed haggis.
He eyed the expensive leather coat the other was wearing, noting the casually expensive clothing the man wore underneath it. “Duncan’s under your protection? Why?” Although he’d lowered his sword he hadn’t sheathed it, keeping a careful eye for any sudden movement Pierson might make.
“That is neither here nor there. Suffice it to say that your younger kinsman’s well-being is the sole reason I’m here.”
Connor looked around suddenly. “Does Duncan know?”
“No, nor will he.”
He relaxed slightly. “How old are you?”
Amusement flashed in the eyes, lightening them for moment to reveal flecks of gold and green. “Does it matter?”
“No.” Connor watched warily as the immortal nonchalantly walked past him, nimbly avoiding the drawn sword as if it wasn’t there, the hands sliding into the pockets of the leather coat and giving the impression that he was just a man out taking a stroll in the crisp night air. “How is Duncan?” he asked softly.
Pierson stopped and glanced back over his shoulder. “He’s good considering his only kinsman disappeared without a word four years ago.”
Connor sighed and drew up beside Pierson, his sword still drawn although pointing downwards.
“He’s been searching for you, you know.”
“Of course.” He glanced at the fire escape stairs on his left. “Shall we take this up to the roof.”
The eyes flicked up and then back to him before Pierson nodded.
Connor sheathed his sword before following the unknown immortal up to the roof. “Is Duncan all right?” he asked as he joined Pierson in looking out at the city street below.
“When did you last see him?”
He saw the shadowed cheeks of the face move and realized the man was smiling. “This morning.”
“And he was well?”
“How long have you known Duncan?” Connor tried to keep the suspicion out of his voice but couldn’t help it. Duncan hadn’t mentioned Adam Pierson, although it had been four years since he’d last spoken to him. That terrible day when his world ended.
“A couple of years.”
Connor glanced at the man beside him in shock. The way the immortal had been acting he was sure that it was longer, decades at least, maybe even centuries. “Why is Duncan under your protection?”
Pierson turned and sat on the short wall that bordered the roof, the light now completely behind him leaving his face in shadow, while Connor’s was completely illuminated.
“He saved my life once.”
“And you thought you’d return the favor.”
“More or less,” was the smooth reply.
Connor knew there was more but-- “Do you know where it is?”
“Why do you seek it?”
His eyes narrowed at the almost gentle tone, and turned away, walking towards the corner of the roof. He glanced back over his shoulder for a second. “I’m cursed.” He stared out into the night but saw nothing. Rachel’s beautiful face flashed through his mind, quickly followed by Heather’s, his bonnie Heather, then his mother’s. All gone. He gripped the edge of the building tightly.
“Have you ever had a child? Raised one as your own, seen the tiny hands and feet grow larger? Hear the laughter of pure innocence, tended a skinned knee, first dates, first heartbreaks. Watched the blossom of youth fade, the journey the human body makes from youth to old age?
Rachel was my life. And she was taken in an instant, like all the others I’ve ever loved. Violent painful deaths that I…I couldn’t protect them. Duncan is the only soul on this earth that means a damn to me. I don’t want him to be destroyed because of me, because of this curse that plagues me.”
“Do you, do you really?” Connor asked rushing up to the dark figure’s face. He peered into the eyes he could barely make out in the darkness. “Will you help me find peace?!”
He heard the crinkling sound of paper and suddenly it was in his hands.
“Go to this address,” Pierson directed as he stood, “tell them you’re a volunteer.” He began to slowly walk away, calling over his shoulder, “and if they ask who sent you, tell them George Allender.”
“Pierson!” Connor hurried over to the fire escape and looked down. “About Duncan…” he clutched the piece of paper in his hand and intensely searched the pale face in desperation.
“I’ll look out for him.” The eyes burned at the solemn vow, the face full of devotion and loyalty that was impossible to feign.
Connor nodded, comforted by the words of the strange immortal. Duncan would be all right. The tall immortal he watched saunter down the alley would ensure it, he had no doubt.
“Ready to go, Richie?” MacLeod asked as he pulled on his coat.
Richie stood and picked up the empty beer bottles from the table where they had been sitting. “No I promised Joe, I’d help close.”
“Okay. See you Joe,” said Duncan as he passed by the bar on his way towards the exit.
Richie went around behind the bar and dropped the bottles in the trashcan before walking back out between the tables.
“Mac was in fine form, tonight wasn’t he?” Joe remarked as he joined Richie.
“Yeah, I haven’t seen him in that good of mood in a while,” Richie replied as he placed the chair upside down on the table, immediately picking up the next chair and doing the same.
Joe chuckled. “I was surprised to see him here tonight.”
“Why not? We always end up here?” Richie asked absently, moving to the next table’s chairs.
“What with Adam out of town and everything,” Dawson vaguely replied.
Richie’s focus turned inward. “Joe?”
“Is it normal?”
“Is what normal?” Joe asked as he placed a chair upside down on a neighboring table.
“All these old guys hanging around Mac? Amanda’s over a thousand, Ashe--” his eyes went over to his jacket which held the man’s, one of MacLeod’s former teachers, sword--now his. “Ashe was almost three thousand when he died, el Kahir, and now…”
He looked around and whispered, “Methos, the oldest immortal alive. Five thousand years and he’s hanging around a four hundred and four year old. Why? Does he think that Mac’s the one who’s going to win? Did they all think that or is that why he’s going to win, because he got all this help?”
Richie shook his head slightly as he wiped the surface of the table. “I’m kinda hopin’ he is the one, it’ll make me feel better that the Prize goes to someone like Mac. Not that Methos is a bad guy, or Amanda, it just seems like all of the older immortals are crazy.”
Joe laughed. “That’s one way of putting it. It takes a lot to live as long as they have. Most don’t make it past a thousand. It takes a strong personality, ‘a joi de vie’ was how Amanda once put it.”
He stared steadily at Richie. “What brought this up?”
“I don’t know, meeting that guy who said he was Methos, then actually finding out that the sarcastic skinny guy that I already met was him.” He fell silent as he thought it over. “Maybe that’s how he’s lived so long. I mean, I really thought he was younger than Mac, only a few hundred years old at most.”
“Yeah, the old man gives that impression.” Joe closed the cash register and locked it.
“Maybe by living each identity as if its your last is the way to do it.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“I don’t know. But seriously, is it normal for an older immortal to hang around a much younger one when they’re not student and teacher. Adam isn’t teaching MacLeod some old style of fighting is he?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“I just don’t get it. Almost every time I see the guy, him and Mac are fighting. Did I ever tell you that the first time I ever saw him, he was on his knees with Mac’s sword at his throat…”
Duncan drew the katana out of his coat reflexively at the unmistakable buzz of another immortal and raised the cage of the elevator slowly, instantly noticing the large pan on his stove that had steam rising from it.
He stepped out and froze at the unlikely sight before him.
“Where’ve ya been, MacLeod?” Methos greeted him, looking up from whatever he was grinding with the pestle.
“So, you’re back. What are you cooking?” he casually asked, heading for the large pan of boiling….“Lentils?”. He shot a frown over his shoulder at Methos before turning and walking up behind him.
“I said I’d cook it for you some day. Well, some day has arrived,” Methos declared as he pushed away the ginger.
“Opisius’ famous road tar recipe?”
Duncan looked curiously around at the chaos that used to be his kitchen, chestnuts, bay leaves, whole cloves, peppercorns. Squinting at the contents of a little bowl that he picked up and cautiously smelled. “Ghee?”
“MacLeod, are you just going to stand there listing the ingredients or are you going to give me a hand here?
He smiled at the petulant tone and placed a quick kiss on the side of Methos’ face, before striding off, ignoring the outraged expression on the ancient immortal’s face. “Sorry, old man but I got all sweaty helping Richie move around some of the boxes in storage. I’m gonna take a shower.”
His smile felt like it was going to split his face when he spotted the black leather coat hanging on the coat rack as he took off his jacket. He could hear Methos muttering something under his breath behind him in the kitchen. “Oh, and please don’t burn the place down,” he called over his shoulder, “I’d hate to have to move.”
Duncan chuckled under his breath at the occasional word he was able to actually understand from the kitchen as he walked towards the bathroom. “Ungrateful” and “child” being the nicest ones.
Methos was back where he belonged, with him.
Any help with translations is greatly sought. Please inform me of any errors. Thanks.
Mi casa es su casa, recuerde -- Spanish. My house is your house, remember.
Si -- Spanish. Yes.
Mo draghailala cridhe -- Gaelic. My annoying heart.
Joi de vie -- French. Joy of living.
******Next up, the one everyone has been waiting for: Bodies Close but Souls Apart--Part A will cover the episode Comes a Horseman.