|Carson Kearns' Highlander Fanfic|
[TEXT and PRINT VERSION]
Lost in the Loving: Lighting You Home
by Carson Kearns
11am. Monday. 22 September.
St Ronan's Bay, Iona.
Two hours later their bags and belongings were picked up by the same horse and dray which had met them on Iona so many weeks ago. Their trip to the pier in St Ronan's Bay and the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry that waited, took longer than it should have. As soon as word spread that they were leaving it seemed as if the entire population of Iona came out to farewell them.
Finally, the farewells were over and the ferry pulled out into the Sound on its way to Fionnphort. From out of his pocket, Methos took four stones. To the Scot's silent query, he replied, "It's customary for pilgrims who go to Columba's Bay to take two of the large stones. They're called 'Columba's Tears'."
Duncan looked down at the beautiful stones lying in Methos' palm. Two had a pink tint and two a slight greenish tint. Methos watched the Scot stop and stare at the stones. "You throw one rock into the sea, representing what you've left behind, and you keep the other as a token of your future and what you've taken away from the experience of Iona. I know – all very touristy. I of course don't believe in any of it but I knew that you'd like it," he smiled, opening his palms to allow Duncan a choice.
"I thought that you were the one who was easily amused," Duncan challenged. He chose the pink stone to throw into the Sound of Mull, and stared at the beautiful white stone with the green tint. It reminded him of the green of Methos' eyes. "After I…" but the look in Methos' eyes prevented him from saying anything further about the Persian god, or from mouthing any lies about the future they would have - one day.
"I'll keep the stone safe," he promised, closed his fist on it and leaned to kiss the man who had put up with so much from him in the past three months. "Are you ever going to tell me more about your time here on Iona?"
Methos smiled. "Perhaps. One day…"
From out of nowhere Duncan asked the one thing Methos had no answer for. "On that cliff top you threatened to kill yourself if I committed suicide. Would you have?"
Methos shrugged his shoulders, giving himself time to think. He gazed back at Iona and took in the receding images. "Well that was all months ago and I never believed that it would ever really happen. I invariably find that, whenever I get into these scrapes, the closer I ever get to killing myself the worse the idea sounds."
Duncan shook his head. "Why am I not surprised?"
"It's nothing personal you understand. I mean if I was going to do a Romeo and Juliet then you'd certainly be up there – as a possible Juliet." He saw the look on Duncan's face. "Or Romeo, " he corrected. "But we can't all have your unerring sense of self-discipline and purpose." He had the good grace to pause for breath. "You bring out the theatrical in anybody – cliff tops, red sunsets, blood covenants. It's like being in a ruddy Greek drama with you. I just got carried away," the Prince of Lies lied.
The entire speech was, of course completely untrue - and they both knew it. But it was a nice, thoughtful lie, for Methos. Duncan simply looked at him and shook his head. Only Methos could even think about, much less actually recite the farcical explanation, in the midst of such tragedy. And get away with it.
//"Then again, it's probably why you're still sane, and I'm…"// - but the Highlander stopped that thought before it could take form and deflect him from his intended purpose.
He turned to the rail of the ferry and looked out over his homeland, breathing it and his lover deep into his body and soul. He had no idea when he would be back, if ever. He had agreed to go to wherever Methos was taking him and he would stay there until he felt fully prepared to engage with the god called Ahriman. He closed his fist further on the beautiful stone Methos had given him and thought about one of the certainties that he was taking away from the experience of Iona. He would never again put those he loved at risk. He would fight to protect them when needed. But it was his soul's intention to never again be that physically close to any living being – mortal or immortal. He prayed that one millennia, his heart – and Methos' - might understand why he had taken that decision.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~White Strand of the Monks
On Mull, Methos took Duncan by the arm as they made their way to the large chauffeur driven limousine that was waiting for them. As their bags were loaded for the trip north, Methos turned and took in the final images of this place that had figured so prominently in his life. He gave thanks that at least the light of the sacred isle had pierced some of Duncan's darkness - just as it had, over the years, pierced his.
In the meantime, he would continue to be lost in the loving of the Highlander, - and to continue to dream of what might be, if enlightened gods ever managed to rule the earth. He turned and stared at the Scot, seemingly lost in his own reveries. One day, - one day– he would have the Scot back in his home, his bed and his life.
One day, Duncan would stop seeing illusions, and would come back to him.
He continued to look at the man still at his side, but already in his mind far away, fighting gods and dragons.
Methos turned and let his gaze follow Duncan's. Neither said anything, but through their clenched hands Methos could feel the stone he had given Duncan. As the sacred isle disappeared from view, its golden light still continued to streak the sky. On a rocky crag, overlooking the Cave of the Dead, a large eagle-like bird swooped and circled on the winds of the Sound.
Methos closed his eyes before he could see whether the eagle rose – or plummeted.
Duncan, his soul silently screamed – Duncan …
…Please know, the candle still burns bright, to light you
and make us whole…
It was a fine piece of romanticism for writing on dark and stormy nights, he smiled. And whilst he acknowledged that five thousand years had not really blunted his romantic streak, he had found that it didn't really help one get what one wanted. So romanticism aside, Methos determined that whatever Duncan was plotting and planning in his very clever mind, Methos would be one step ahead. But it was only one weapon. Such sentiments scored direct hits with the sentimental Highlander. But Methos determined then and there that he needed a retreat of his own, where he could find and sharpen the many more weapons needed in the coming months and years, to secure and safeguard Duncan's sanity, and future presence in his life.
Their limousine quickly drew away from Fionnphort, on the first stage of their journey towards another plane of enlightenment – the Monastery at Kampuk. He had spent many years out of the past five thousand at Kampuk and its earlier incarnations. There would be nothing, he assured himself, that the Scot could do there that would not be known to Methos.
"How do you feel about saffron and rice?" he threw at the Scot.
Duncan MacLeod turned, and smiled. Lifting Methos' hand he continued to play the game that would allow them to part. He echoed the much needed light banter with an appropriate retort about not being surprised that Methos would choose somewhere so cheap, the limousine they were currently in no doubt burning a hole in his little used credit cards.
"Who said I was using mine?" the ancient Immortal quipped, - but didn't resist when Duncan gently raised his hand to his mouth, kissed the knuckles and refused to let the hand go.
One day – one day, Methos mused, he would hold onto Duncan's hands so tightly that Duncan would never be able to spend his time wielding his sword of righteousness, smiting the wicked and killing Persian dragons. He let that thought comfort him as the limousine reached the terminal that would see them across to Oban – thence Glasgow and on to the steamy surrounds of Kampuk. Perhaps the Buddha would be able to do for Duncan what St Columba had not? Then again, he suspected that Duncan MacLeod's stubbornness was a match even for the Buddha.
It was fortunate, he reassured himself, as they boarded the final ferry, that when it came to stubbornness, none of them were a match for his own, carefully crafted and nurtured over five thousand years.
He could wait – and he would win…one day….
End of 'Lighting You Home: Pt 1. The Sacred Isle.'
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