A Tournament of Lies
The swords rang together
in the early morning mist, throwing sparks that reflected off the moisture in
“I never liked you,
MacLeod,” Methos snarled and backed around, wary of his opponent’s advance.
“You’re an arrogant bastard.”
“And you’re a
misanthropic hermit who had no business interfering with my life,” Duncan
returned the snarl, adding a twist to his katana, trying to force the Ivanhoe
out of his opponent’s hands.
Methos withdrew his
blade, then darted in, slicing a cut across MacLeod’s sweater and chest. He
spun, catching Duncan’s advance, and parrying it away.
“I never interfered with your life, Highlander. You drug me
kicking and protesting into your schemes. And always at the possible cost of my
It was Duncan’s turn to
advance, and he did, catching Methos’ right arm, forcing the man to switch his
sword solely to his left hand, his right dripping blood. “Oh, and it’s my
fault that whatever I involved you in never had your best interests in mind.”
Methos only nodded, a
savage grin on his face, his right hand tucked behind his back, his left foot
now his leading foot, his Ivanhoe held firmly in a defensive position.
MacLeod snorted. “When
I first met you I was in awe of you,” he began.
“Your problem, not
mine, child,” Methos intoned, in a chilling tone of voice.
Ignoring the taunt,
Duncan continued, “But now I realize that you really are nothing but a guy. An
arrogant, obnoxious, overbearing guy. A survivor. A user who does nothing that
doesn’t profit you in some manner.”
“Is that why you always
searched me out? Interested in my profit?” Methos thrust in towards Duncan’s
left leg, allowed the parry to move his sword outward, leaving Duncan’s front
mostly open for a strike from the dagger Methos pulled from his back harness.
He moved fast and hard, driving the short blade into Duncan’s belly,
dropping the Highlander to his knees.
Methos drew back, both
men breathing heavily, Duncan holding his katana with one hand and his belly
with the other. The katana was mostly on the ground, Duncan knowing that the
fight was over.
“Drop it,” Methos
growled, not moving in until Duncan had obeyed and had moved his free hand over
his bleeding wound.
“Do it.” Duncan
raised his head, proudly, not afraid to meet his death after all this time.
With one foot on the
katana, Methos stepped close in, grasped Duncan’s hair and pulled his head
back, exposing his throat. “What
say you now, Highlander? Am I just an arrogant user? A profiteer not worthy of
your attentions?” His sword, now back in his right hand, lay at the base of
Duncan’s neck, resting on one shoulder.
Duncan moved his head in
a negative motion He looked into the ever-changing eyes staring down at him.
“No, Methos, I think you’re just a guy. A very talented, retiring guy
who’s doing the best he can to survive the world around him.”
Methos saw the mask drop
from his friend’s face, saw the light start to dim in those wondrous brown
eyes. A smile played across his face, and he shook his head fondly. “You
always have to push it, don’t you Highlander?”
corrected his victor.
repeated, then placed a gentle kiss on his upturned lips, feeling the body die
and begin to sag. He released his hold and let Duncan collapse onto the ground.
He bent and retrieved his dagger, wiping it on Duncan’s ruined sweater. He
cleaned his Ivanhoe, then the katana, in the same manner, then sat back and
waited for MacLeod to revive.
When the body spasmed and
the brown eyes fluttered open once again, he said, “Satisfied now, MacLeod?”
“You don’t play fair,
Methos,” Duncan gasped, trying to calm his body in its after-death revival.
“Never said I did,”
Methos admitted, handing Duncan the katana. When he was breathing regularly, he
stood and offered his friend a hand up. “I hate you, Duncan,” he said
“And I, you, Methos,” Duncan agreed as he pulled Methos close to him, one arm around his shoulders. “And I, you.”
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