Carson Kearns' Highlander Fanfic

Carson Kearn's Montage by Killa

Lost in the Loving:

The Calling

by Carson Kearns

(carsonkearns@hotmail.com

Warning, Background and Disclaimer

NC-17

All standard disclaimers apply. The Highlander characters are the property of Davis-Panzer and are used without permission. But I'm not making any money out if this. This material may not be copied or distributed without my permission. Do not link, publish or post this material without permission.

 

This Chronicle is set immediately after Lost in the Loving (Musing): Killing the Deer

N.B. I take no prisoners in this Series in that I assume an intimate knowledge of Highlander, its major characters and their respective journeyings.

The
Lost in the Loving Series attempts to stay as close to canon as is possible.


This story was written for the wonderful D/M zine, Futures Without End.

 

Chapter 1

New York. Rooftop Restaurant at the Metropolitan Museum. Summer, 1999.

"Well, MacLeod, if you'd only said that some decent beer was part of this deal, you wouldn't have had such a time getting me here. Then again, who's complaining?" Methos raised his glass and licked the froth from his lips.

"Exactly my point, Methos." Duncan smiled as he also took a long sip of the cold beer. He let himself get momentarily distracted by the froth on the lips opposite him, before breathing deeply and turning away to take in their surrounds. He gazed over Central Park, speaking more to himself than his lover, "God, I love this place. Great view of New York. Rodin sculptures--" and turning back to stare at the five-thousand-year-old man sitting opposite him, he licked his lips, "--you."

Methos watched, fascinated by the physical changes that always accompanied that particular slow lip tasting and biting of Duncan's. He watched, fascinated, as the eyelids grew heavier, and the Highlander's eyes darkened as energy and blood raced to his erogenous zones. Duncan's was truly a body incapable of deception. A body that mirrored his soul. Methos smiled and leaned across the table. "One of these centuries, your mind might understand the technicalities of disguising lust. But I needn't worry. I don't think your body will ever catch on. Want me, do you?" For if Duncan MacLeod wanted you, he wanted you with his mind and his heart and his soul--and his body.

"You've got delusions of grandeur." But the smile was there for Methos to delight in--the 'I've been caught out' smile.

Methos had always found Duncan's inability to hide his desire an incredibly erotic trait. It had been a long time since he had felt so openly yearned for. Lusted after. And he liked it. Indeed, he loved it. It amused him inordinately that the Highlander was still embarrassed by public displays of obvious affection between them. As he reached across to stroke his lover's cheek, Duncan subtly pulled back.

"You pull back from a harmless stroke of a cheek, Gradhach, when your body language drips first class, X-rated, unbridled lust and passion."

"I'm not pulling back...." He quickly reached down to take the hot cup of coffee into his hands. Anything to provide a much-needed distraction.

Indeed, Duncan's supposed hidden passion for his lover always, in Methos' view, drew more attention simply because it was so furtive and therefore very erotic. And he loved the cosmic irony that this fact was totally lost on the Highlander.

So here they sat, in the roof top restaurant of the Met, a stunningly beautiful man sitting opposite him, licking his lips, his eyes black with lust--oblivious to waiters or whomever asking him questions...oblivious to people staring at him. Perhaps, mused Methos, they stared at first just because of Duncan's extraordinary good looks? But then they would follow Duncan's gaze and be pulled into the lustful energy passing between the two men at the table. Public handholding would attract less attention!

"I tell you, MacLeod, if ever a man could be read like a book, then you are a walking encyclopedia. An X-rated version!" Methos confirmed, his body responding to Duncan's yearning for him. His lip-licking tasting of him.

Methos let the beer moisten his mouth and throat as he continued to take pleasure in the sight of his lover and their surrounds. He loved the way the Scot's lips swelled and colored when he became excited. Like my bloody cock. Loved the fact that he could arouse Duncan so easily, just by being near him. Loved being swept up by the dark lashes fanning everything around them, as if vainly attempting to cool the sexual heat.

However, most of all, Methos was stunned that after five thousand years, he could still be so attracted, entranced, and entrapped by such a one. So lost in the loving of such a one. An exquisite, passionate, loving--disturbed--Immortal soul mate.

Disturbed? Aren't we all, mused the world's oldest historian and commentator on the mortal and Immortal condition. //All are mad. Some just manage to hide and control it better than others do. Most of the time.// Duncan, he knew, had been pushed over the edge too many times of late. Disturbed? Most definitely. A beautifully disturbing and disturbed work of art. Ravaged, but the patina remained intact, protecting the precious inner core. It had only been some thirty-five weeks since they had again become full-time lovers, after the O'Rourke fiasco. Thirty-five weeks--a blink in the life of an Immortal.

Methos took in the art works surrounding them, deciding that nothing compared to Duncan MacLeod--an extraordinary, surreal living work of art. And I want him....

However, the wry diagnoses, clicking over behind Methos' perennial Detached and Long-Suffering Face, were known only to himself.

Oblivious to his lover's thoughts, Duncan leaned forward, letting his eyes sweep Methos, enjoying his looks of appreciation. Indeed, Duncan was of the view that he was far more skilled and expert at reading Methos' many moods than Methos ever imagined. A slight twitch, a glint, a micro snarl...the line of his shoulders...the line of his lips...the exact closure of his eye lids...the movements of his hands and fingers...his swallow...his coloring...the vibrations from Duncan's far more experienced lover. The Highlander had spent centuries perfecting his feelings. Accordingly, his eyes scanned signals and fed them to his heart, as it was more perceptive than his mind.

Duncan carried his Celtic heritage like an Imperial Standard--with all its attendant mysteries and magics, lyricism and passionate surrender--to heart and not mind. So he knew beyond doubt what Methos was feeling, if not thinking. Duncan had lived too long with emotions. There was nowhere he could hide from them. Nowhere they could dilute themselves or fade. He could feel the unfeelable, expose the hidden, and nurture the dark places of the soul where true Celts spent so much of their time.

But like Methos, he betrayed neither his knowledge nor his thoughts to the man sitting opposite him.

They both knew that each kept too many walls around their innermost thoughts. Centuries of being betrayed by shared thoughts and feelings were going to take a long time to overcome, for them both. Shaking his head from what seemed like hours of such thoughts, Duncan tried to recollect what they had been talking about. The moisture running down Methos' beer glass reminded him of their earlier conversation. "So--why did you give me such a hard time about comin' to this museum? I told you that you'd enjoy the new exhibitions. Hurry up and finish your beer so we can get back to them."

"There's only one exhibit, Duncan, that I have the slightest interest in unveiling and observing. And that is you. I gave you a hard time because that's my forte." Reaching across, Methos laid his hand on the Highlander's forearm. "I've enjoyed it here these last few weeks. Why leave tomorrow? We can stay on a few more days."

Duncan reached down and covered the beautiful hand squeezing his forearm. He thought about bringing it to his lips and then remembered where they were. Looking around, he made sure that no one was paying them any attention, missing Methos' smirk, and satisfying himself of their privacy, he quickly tasted Methos' fingers. "I have a major appraisal to do for a seriously wealthy client who is going to pay me twice what he needs to. And that's before I let him know that I've found that Breughal he wanted. Besides, you have a deadline to meet for your Sumerian paper, don't you?" Duncan looked at Methos, bemused at his lackadaisical approach to living. "How did you ever meet any deadlines before I came into your life?"

"I didn't. I was always behind. Always late. Besides, it's not as if I have any competition in the dead languages arena. Can I help it if I get sidetracked easily? You sidetrack me. Let's get sidetracked here for a while longer? Come on, Boy Scout. Do something out of character. Be irresponsible. Be late without a note." Methos' eyes challenged with mischief. "Kiss me in public."

"You're impossible, Methos. No wonder there are still unpacked boxes of books and papers all over your bookshop. And your fingers taste of hot dog!" Taking firmer hold of Methos' hand, he reached for the salt shaker and laughed as Methos pulled his fingers out of the line of fire.

Tentatively, Methos tasted his own fingers. "Mmmm. American hot dog. Just the indefinable, exotic aroma I was going for. Anyway, we both know that it's only a matter of time until you unpack those boxes for me. I can see your frustration every time you look at them." Methos noticed, but didn't comment on, the fact that the Highlander had ignored his jibe about kissing him in public. It will wait, Gradhach.

"If I do unpack them, don't complain about where I put them. I can't stay in New York any longer. Duty calls. But you don't have to come back with me if you'd rather stay here for a while." Duncan said nothing more, letting his body language and eyes say it for him. It didn't take long.

Methos rolled his eyes. He sprawled lower in the chair, taking firmer hold of his beer and refusing to budge. "Spare me, MacLeod. Gods--I'll get a full-scale pout from you soon. You're so predictable."

"I was just building up to a full-scale pout," pouted the Scot in playful response.

Unseen to their left, the elevator doors opened to reveal a silver-haired man with a cane, who scouted the immediate area for the two Immortals. He sighted them close by, but sitting apart from the other patrons and well-screened. Instinctively, he watched for a full minute before intruding on the scene, overhearing and enjoying their banter. He could make out snatches of Duncan's observations on the Temple of Dendur in the glassed Sackler Wing. Something about "...what a spectacular setting for a Quickening by night..." Joe couldn't contain his smile at Methos' delight in pointing out that the odds of the Highlander surviving a decapitation by window pane would be minimal, given that the entire wall of the Sackler Wing was made of glass-- "...big, heavy, Immortal-killing panes of glass, MacLeod...."

Duncan was chuckling. "Where's your sense of adventure? A little risk is part of the fun!"

"And imminent sword decapitation isn't fun enough on its own? Risking getting your head chopped off by either a sword or a falling pane of glass! Or both? Imagine winning, only to lose your head during the Quickening to a pane of glass!" Methos shook his head in feigned exasperation at his foolhardy lover, then continued, "Besides, I've had a Quickening at the Temple in its original setting. I was even there when Augustus had it built." He moved his foot over to rub Duncan's calf, hoping to embarrass the Scot. Stopping to take another long alcoholic sip, Methos continued, "Who'd have thought I'd be standing by the same temple, transported halfway across the world, thousands of years later? You do realise, I hope, that this sightseeing is all very depressing for me. Some of those mummies used to drink with me!"

There had been too little laughter over the past few years, mused Joe Dawson. He stood happily watching Duncan laugh at Methos' pathetic picture of the mummified alcoholics scattered throughout the Museum. Duncan further informed Methos that the mummies' livers were probably in better shape than Methos', even with his Immortal healing.

Suddenly seeing the Watcher, Duncan instinctively released his lover's hand. The resigned look on Methos' face promised yet another discussion on the issue when they were alone. Duncan ignored the look and signaled for another beer as he pulled up a chair for Joe.

"Well, Joe, do I want to see Mirror of the Medieval World or not? MacLeod here is trying to convince me to go for a walk down memory lane, instead of feeding my brain by sitting here drinking. He refuses to believe that this is like walking through a cemetery for me."

Joe ignored Methos' complaint as he eased his tired legs into the chair Duncan had provided. "Sorry, pal. I didn't see any exhibition on the medieval world. Maybe it's at the Cloisters? I've been at the Sacred Visions exhibition--the one with all the mid-eleventh to mid-fifteenth century paintings from Tibet. You'd both enjoy that, particularly as you've both spent some time there."

Duncan started to gather his coat and bag. "What floor is that on, Joe? Come on, Methos. We'll need to hurry if we're going to do it justice."

"Special Exhibitions Galleries on the first floor, just opposite the European Sculpture Court. Thanks, Mac, for suggesting it. I actually enjoyed it."

Quickly finishing his beer, Duncan pulled his reluctant companion to his feet. Methos groaned. "Geez, MacLeod, what possible interest do you think sixty old painted objects from the mid-eleventh to the mid-fifteenth century have for me? I probably painted some of them. Weren't we just on the first floor? Isn't that where the Temple is? Why don't you be a good preschooler and trudge off and ogle the exhibits while I sit here and annoy Joe?"

Duncan sighed. "Firstly, I enjoy that type of exhibition. I was there in the seventeenth century." He stopped, remembering his days with the Dalai Lama, after Buddhism had taken a firmer hold in Tibet. "Some of these Thankas may have come from Lhassa, from the time I was there. Come on. Please? Come with me. You've spent longer than I have in Tibet. You can give me a private commentary."

Methos secretly called this Duncan's Bambi Face. All doe eyes and innocence. "Come with me, MacLeod? Did I hear that right? And in public!" Methos rolled his eyes and smiled sardonically, both for Joe's benefit and to embarrass the Highlander. "How could I resist an open invitation like that? You heard him, I hope, Joe? Lead on, MacLeod."

"Go on, get outta here, both of you. Run along and play. Go on, scoot. And don't let him distract you from why you came, Mac. That exhibition on Illustrated Fencing Books from 1500 to 1800 is in the same exhibition area, by the way. About twenty-five books, along with swords, daggers, shields and gauntlets." Joe stopped to whistle in appreciation. "They're claiming that some of them are the only known copies. But I know I've seen at least three of those books in your collection, Mac."

"And I know what they're worth," Duncan chuckled. "Never let Amanda know! Not that they're for sale, Methos!" he reassured his lover. Methos was of the very loud opinion that anyone who sold a book deserved to have their heart and soul ripped from their living body. Laughing, Duncan grabbed Methos' upper arm to steer him in the appropriate direction, pausing to confirm with Joe their meeting time the next day in the foyer of the Waldorf.

Joe watched the pair finally leave the Roof Garden, clearly enjoying themselves and their surrounds very much. As was he.

 ***************

  In reality, the world's oldest Immortal always found himself depressed after a tour through his past. He didn't enjoy seeing all these reminders of long-dead friends and companions. He found that humor worked best to temporarily keep the pain of the memories at bay. The Highlander was still too young, he realized, to feel the immense weight of so many dead places and dead bodies. Dead lovers and friends, dead dreams, hopes, and aspirations. The Museum berated him at every turn with the death of his innocence and the birthplaces of so many guilts and burdens. For overarching the glory that was Greece and the splendor that was Rome was a thick black stain, polluting Methos' memories with sorrow and loss for the what might have been and the what would never be again.

While the people around him gazed open mouthed at Senebi's tomb--or Princess Sithathorunet's jewelry--in the Egyptian collection, Methos could only see Senebi, the man, and remember who and what he had been and the amazing times that they had shared. He'd first seen the exquisite jewelry four thousand years ago in Egypt. Indeed, he'd given gifts like it and still owned some original pieces. A cemetery indeed, he mused. The detritus of my long-dead acquaintances' lives is immortality of a sort, he conceded.

So the ancient Immortal deflected, laughed, threw off wry jibes about his fossilized, long-dead drinking companions, keeping all the depressing thoughts safely secured behind his Disengaged Face as he accompanied his lover.

 ****************

Two hours later, Joe Dawson saw both Immortals laughing at the Three Hundred Years of Eighteenth-Century Fashion books left over from the late 1998 exhibition. "I've got to buy this for Amanda. I can distinctly remember that I used to get into all sorts of messes trying to get her out of some of these outfits. I eventually got it down to a fine art. Just needed lots of practice," he smiled, remembering the delicious sensation of being smothered by voluminous petticoats and far too many intricate laces and fastenings for his large hands. Her delicious smell. Her taste. Her touch. The way her full breasts spilled out of the corsets...the oyster succulence of her labia and vagina. Shaking his head, he sought to dislodge the memories and turned away from the books.

Methos watched the memories stealing across the Highlander's face. "I thought you were going to buy it for her?"

"Nah. I've just remembered that Amanda doesn't really like books," he lied, his eyes looking everywhere but at his lover.

Methos, confused by Duncan's guilty look, affected wisdom--and said nothing.

 ******************

  JFK Airport, New York. Following afternoon.

Joe froze. There were times, he swore, when he could almost feel the Immortal buzz himself, so sensitive had he become to Duncan's body language. Seconds before the Scot's trademark jolt of the head, the flared nostrils, the piercing eyes, Joe also sensed danger. Like two stallions sniffing danger on the wind, he realized. For that's what it was: danger, and to his Immortal.

Joe Dawson had no idea when he had come to care so much about Duncan MacLeod. Some seven months before, he had watched MacLeod on his knees before O'Rourke, willing to die to save the lives of his friends. To Joe's dying day, he knew he'd never ever forget the sight of Duncan MacLeod, going to his death with all the dignity and pride and honor that made him the extraordinary Immortal that he was. Indeed, the extraordinary man that you are, Joe reaffirmed, watching the Highlander continue to scan the area with every sense on red alert.

Joe had watched him over the past year, moving in and out of emotional maelstroms--periods of great happiness and decreasing periods of intense depression. With Mac, it always seemed to be one or the other. Now he appeared to be walking the knife-edge between the two states with increasingly stable steps. MacLeod seemed to be spending the majority of his time, Joe was pleased to see, on the side peopled with his friends, laughter, and light. Joe had delighted in seeing the old Mac re-emerge, even if he was still fragile and still inclined to lose himself in the grieving and guilt and loss surrounding his many dead.

Joe was further convinced that the two weeks Mac and Methos had just spent in New York had been another important step back toward stability and sanity for the Highlander. He'd watched the calming effects of long walks in Central Park, intense workouts, and even more intense drinking sessions. The only negative was Duncan’s insistence on following up old leads, searching for Connor.  He’d spent a fortune having Connor’s destroyed loft guarded day and night.  And despite Methos’ entreaties for him to accept that Connor was dead, or not coming back, Duncan had insisted that he would know.

“I would know!”

And no further discussion was entered into.   

With the extraordinary strength of will that had brought Mac through the deaths of so many, including the defeat of a millennial-old god, Duncan MacLeod seemed to be back in control of his life and his future.
Most of the time, mused the Watcher.

Joe turned and looked at the five-thousand-year-old man who had made all of that possible. He was standing some feet away, charming the employee who was responsible for ensuring that their luggage ended up in London, not Beijing. Joe had no doubt that the relationship between the two Immortals was so deep that if anything were to happen to Methos, Duncan would be irretrievably lost to them all. He knew of no one who could influence the Highlander, affect his every mood, have him laughing uproariously or weeping bitter tears, like Methos could. However, Methos, the man who had terrorized continents before the birth of Christ, was now smiling sweetly, innocently, to the young woman behind the counter. Joe chuckled. //If only you knew, sweetheart, that the charmer in front of you was once a Horseman of the Apocalypse.//

Thousands of years of living had taught Methos to operate on many different levels. So despite the portents of Immortal danger now surrounding and entrapping him, he continued checking their luggage through to London, seemingly oblivious to the deadly drama being acted out behind him as Duncan attempted to focus in on the new Immortal. Where are the bloody gods when you need them? Methos silently berated the deities, by name. Finally turning, he watched the Highlander still trying to locate the intrusive Immortal.

The trip back to Paris, via London, should have been relatively event free. Well, Methos sighed, as event-free as anything could be with Duncan MacLeod, Immortal Receiving Station for Every Stray Wannabe. Methos continued to casually scan the luggage area for the source of his frustration.

Standing off to the side, Duncan sighed in frustration. It wasn't as if he didn't know that the quiet vacation couldn't last. But it pissed him off immeasurably to have evidence of it so soon. The time they had just spent in New York had been volatile, restful, lust-filled, peaceful, passionate, energizing, cathartic, exhausting...in short, many things. In addition, there had at least been some respite from the Game. Not quite as much as Duncan had hoped for, but he had no intention of revealing to his trusting five-thousand-year-old lover that an old head and a very powerful Quickening had indeed been taken by the Highlander.

Duncan centered himself and brought his focus back to his current predicament--locating the source of the Immortal buzz. Finally he saw him, standing against a wall, looking like an extremely hungry man waiting to devour a very tasty and much-prized morsel--Duncan MacLeod's Quickening.

Duncan stiffened, stunned. "No. I don't believe it!" he whispered to no one.

Joe followed his gaze, already starting his mental search on the Immortal stranger. "Don't believe what, Mac? Who is it?"

"Robert Masters. Wonder if he still goes by that name?" Duncan had visibly paled and hadn't let his eyes move from his newly intended victim. "But it doesn't really matter, since he soon won't have a need for a name."

"In case you've forgotten, Mac, your sword and assorted weaponry have already been checked through."

"Damn!" The white-hot anger was obvious to anyone observing, given not only the Scot's fists opening and closing in murderous frustration, but also the large flashing eyes and drawn-back mouth. "Fuck it!" Still Duncan's eyes had yet to move off his target. Staring at the Immortal before him, Duncan's vision was soon filled with another picture, playing itself out in the inner room of his mind that he reserved for his most tragic memories. Master's appearance triggered unpleasant memories that he had successfully buried for decades.

Duncan could still feel Amanda in his arms, weeping and distraught, the latest victim of the Immortal now lounging against the terminal wall. In full white knight mode, the Highland warrior had mounted his charger and rescued her. But he'd never stopped feeling guilty about the trauma she had suffered until he'd found her. It was one of the many reasons why he invariably forgave her anything. He also saw the tattered, bloodied fragments of other incidents between himself and Masters, but he quickly stopped those memories, just as he had done so often in the past.

Methos turned in time to see the mime being played out between his lover and the intruder.

Moving up to take the Highlander's arm, Methos shook him to get his attention and to prevent any other bystanders from becoming suspicious. "Christ, Duncan, back off! I can smell the battle lust from here. Ease up. You can smell testosterone for twenty bloody feet. Take a few deep breaths. Who is he?"

Duncan shook his head and quickly looked at Methos before turning back to stare at the despised Masters, so near to him--so close. "No one you need be concerned about," he informed his lover.

To Methos' surprise, Duncan broke free, and before he or Joe could react, was striding towards the stranger, black duster coat billowing out behind him, no sword to anchor it down. Angry words were exchanged, but because the Highlander had his back to them, neither Joe nor Methos could see if anything else was exchanged. Like a phone number to arrange a fucking future meeting place, fumed Methos. Duncan was soon on his way back to them, looking pale, but focused and determined.

"Tell me you didn't," Methos asked, in a voice that would have melted ice, had there been any around.

"Okay, I didn't. Happy?" he said with that flippant, brattish, smart-ass style that Duncan had perfected for just such occasions, fully aware that it infuriated his lover.

Joe, always more sensitive to the mortal nuances around him, reacted before Methos could. "Can we take this somewhere quieter? We're attracting attention."

All three moved towards their boarding gate, the high tension still present. Joe's comment about attracting attention was correct, but not for the reasons he assumed. All three men were very attractive, and Duncan was always going to stand out, no matter how under whelming he tried to be. Of course, as Methos often pointed out, under whelming was not a characteristic with which the Highlander had any real acquaintance, unlike his good self, who could adopt the insignificant grad student persona at the drop of a hat.

The chaos that characterized most modern airports continued around them. As they made their way to the appropriate boarding gate, Methos felt his blood pressure rising. "You exchanged contact details, didn't you? Is he coming to London?"

Duncan had his boarding pass rechecked and answered, slowly and deliberately. "Don't know and don't care. If he wants me, he'll contact me. And he wants me." Duncan winked at his lover. "You'd sympathize with that feeling, wouldn't you Methos?" he pouted, making sure his bottom lip looked particularly luscious.

//One day, one day, Gradhach, you'll do that once too often, and I'll throw you to the floor and fuck you stupid in front of everyone,// Methos promised himself.

Letting Methos walk ahead, Duncan looked over at Joe and signaled for silence concerning the intruding Immortal. Gazing backward, the Highlander noticed Masters preparing to board a flight to another city. The two exchanged looks that promised a very satisfying revenge when they finally met at the location they had just agreed upon. Masters caught his eye and tipped a business card in his direction--the business card upon which Duncan had written a time and date.

Duncan gave thanks that Masters wasn't on this same flight to London. He knew that if he had to sit with Masters in the same confined space for six hours, he would have attacked him with his bare hands.

Methos decided to let the discussion concerning the strange Immortal go until they were airborne, after bar services had commenced, and after he had a large cold beer to fortify and feed his suspicions. He was relieved to see that they had the first three rows of first class to themselves. He and Duncan settled side by side in two of the seats on the left-hand side of the aisle, leaving Joe two seats to himself opposite them on the right. The Watcher had long ago decided to accept MacLeod's standing offer to upgrade his ticket, and all three men finally got comfortable.

"Well? What gives, Duncan? Who is he?" Methos demanded.

Duncan turned to his left and gazed out the window, letting the recently served whisky soothe his over-stimulated senses. He dissembled, "Just a head-hunter."

"You promised, Duncan." The same body language that betrayed Duncan's love and lusts also betrayed his lies. He was incapable of successfully lying to anyone, much less his lover. This argument was old--one that Methos had, perhaps naively, thought that he'd won. He recalled the fights they'd had over Duncan's willingness to engage every stray Immortal who came hunting him. Methos had spent hours trying to convince the Highlander that it was only a matter of mathematics and luck before his time ran out. Or until his better, trusting nature was his undoing. To the best of Methos' knowledge, Duncan had abided by their agreement, and had hardly taken a head in some six months.

//Huh...to the best of my knowledge,// he regaled himself. He took another sip of his beer, hoping to calm himself. What Methos had just witnessed--the gait, the aroma, the arrogant confidence, the virtual pawing of the ground--the smell of imminent battle and death. These, he knew beyond doubt, were not the characteristics of a man, a warrior, he reminded himself, who had been out of the Game for some six months.

He and Joe had engaged in many private discussions about Duncan. Joe's view was that Duncan was more stable and secure within himself. Methos disagreed. //It's not you, Joe, who holds him when he wakes up screaming. It's not you who listens to him move silently from the bed to the deck above, where he thinks I can't hear the sounds of his frustration and his weeping,// Methos thought bitterly. He could recall on many such occasions the Highlander's large, strong hands, clutching himself around his upper arms, as if holding himself together. Holding himself fast.

He slowly drained his glass of beer as he continued to try and center himself--to make sense of what had just happened at the airport. He knew Duncan still visited the cemetery, spending hours talking to Richie and Tessa --apologizing, shredding his heart and soul. Too much of their time together was spent with Duncan apologizing for the nightmares that still plagued him. The moods. Telling Methos he should leave him.

//You never knew it would be like this. Just go.// When the darkness had Duncan prisoner, when the emptiness and the despair took possession of him, Duncan would repeat, "Just go, Methos. You didn't know what you were getting into. No one could say you didn't try."

 

End of Chapter 1.

 

Go to Chapter 2.

 


Posted here in this format 26 May, 2001
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