Carson Kearns' Highlander Fanfic
Lost in the Loving: Coming Home
by Carson Kearns
The warmth of the day was departing and, slowly, Methos rose from the
graves, carefully avoiding the two waiting holes in the ground. He started, again, to make
his way back to the house. But another obstacle waited on the path ahead, the two actual
coffins, lying side by side in the beautiful old stone Church where they awaited
internment. He felt the pull of the Highlander and stopped, unable to go on. Unable to
pass up any opportunity to seize every moment possible to be with him, even knowing that
this was not what Duncan would want.
He was satisfied, deep within himself, that the decision to bring three generations of the family together, in the peace and tranquillity of that sheltered glen, had been the correct one. Not blood relations.
Closer than that.
He struggled to remember the exact phrase that Duncan had once revealed to him, pronounced by his Mother to mark him through the ages as indelibly, indisputably, hers. If not of her blood, then of her soul.
Ye are my son. Let no man tell you different.... Duncan had even stressed the words with her inflexions.
And Duncan had honored that marking, that psychic branding, and had never, seriously, even changed his name. And if Duncan was a treasured son, then those he honored and loved and committed to, were also family and therefore kin.
That Ryan kid, hed delighted in throwing at Duncan, - long afterwards, when they could speak his name.
Iain and Marys tragedy suddenly became very real to Methos as he relived their pain at the loss of their treasured son, the light of their life. No children, no daughters-in-law, no grandchildren around them, - until now.
|He quietly opened the heavy door and stood, unmoving, at the end of the Church aisle taking in the scene before him. Knowing Duncan would know he was here.|
The two coffins were simple but stunning. As with much in great art, it
was the unstated, the colors not used, the words not spoken, the silences, that in saying
nothing said it all. The simple lines of the Church and the golden sunset streaming in
through the stained glass window saturated the coffins, bathing them in golds and reds and
Such vibrancy amidst the end of all vibrancy........
Everything associated with Duncan always exuded style so it was fitting that it should be so with death.
Simple strong lines, bronzed fittings. Plaques with Gaelic inscriptions.
<<And didnt the 17th Century Gaelic stir up some interest in Glasgow, on the way to Glenfinnan!
Particularly when it came so naturally, tripping off the tongue, only to then be written down with such ease and certainty....>>
The tragically haunting scene before him stopped his reverie and he suddenly found himself unable to keep standing and sat in the nearest pew, unwilling to now move away from the presence of the Highlander.
Gradhach.... he whispered. Beloved...
There had been a small number of times in his past when he had had exactly this feeling, the inescapable, unswerving belief that no other person would ever be able to fill the most recently created void in his heart and soul. But this time he knew it was true. How much of it was Duncan, how much Methos own need to find a 'Duncan' he had no idea and no interest in finding out. All he knew was that this mans essence, all that came together to make him Duncan, had permeated to every dark and lonely corner of every plane in Methos being, and tenanted his nights and his days.
Just like the stars and the super novas hed been reciting and thinking about, and imagining.
Or perhaps, hed thought afterwards, it was when he got to a more
earthy image of Uranus. But at that point hed decided that Duncans
education in matters astrological had probably been exhausted. And Duncans summation
of the masterly exposition on Methos part was evidence that Methos teaching,
and inspirational abilities, appeared to leave much to be desired.
Duncan had crawled back up the sated and enslaved body below him, and, after letting Methos taste his own semen now nurturing Duncans mouth, lips and throat, had uttered the type of retort that was truly every teachers nightmare.
|I dont care what you say, theres no way Im going to be a goat. I want to be the Archer. Warriors are archers. Not goats. So I'm going to be Sagittarius....Fuck Capricorn........|
Methos very quietly smiled at the memory.
//So thats just what I did, Duncan.
Even if you thought, Gradhach, that I was fucking the Archer.//
Methos had an extremely rare pang of conscience as he realised that his language concerning the fucking of Archers (albeit unspoken) left a little to be desired, given that he was on holy ground. Duncans fault on both counts, of course. For inspiring the memory in the first place and then making him feel guilty about it.
//Then again, maybe there really is something in the air around here that just leaves everyone feeling wracked with guilt all the time.//
In that case, he quickly decided, hed best depart as soon as humanly possible, given the motherlode of unnamed disasters and tyrannies he had yet to reveal to the Highlander about his past.
//And the last thing I need is some subliminal cosmic force bringing any of it to the surface.//
It wasnt that he didnt believe that there was a place for guilt in the world. And conscience. But, as hed once told Duncan, the Celts sucked everyone else dry. And being without guilt, he said, it was such a relief that he couldnt ever envisage trying to reclaim a single iota of it. All said with his Innocent Child face, one he was particularly proud of. The face that screamed wide-eyed purity. He normally reserved it solely for Duncan (or for matters concerning Duncan). It always worked. And Duncan had looked at him in that way he always did when he was trying to determine whether Methos was joking or not but was too afraid to ask.
Looking around at the simple fittings inside the Church he couldnt help but be struck by the ironies of what was before him. The very concept of Immortals being delivered into eternal life certainly reeked of cosmic irony. Priests lived on holy ground because they, too, regarded it as sanctuary. Taking into themselves the body and blood of another immortal being, just as Immortals took the Quickening. Then again, he decided, the transubstantiation performed every Sabbath was certainly a lot cleaner than the way Immortals had to get their equivalent hit.
Turning back towards the coffins, he decided that hed distracted for long enough. Quietly, he walked to the front and stood beside the larger coffin.
He didnt do it consciously, but this place just lulled him into speaking aloud without his even realising it. His simple inquiry, gently spoken, which he had intended to be How are you, beloved? somehow emerged with far too many /th/ sounds for English.
Ciamar a tha thu, Gradhach?
Duncan turned around from where he was sitting in the first row and smiled. Tha mi gu math. Sgith.
Youve a right to be tired. And I doubt youre as fine as you think you are, Highlander. Come on, walk back with me. Youve left me on my own all day. Not that I noticed.
Duncan took the outstretched hand and let Methos pull his tired body to its feet. He turned and laid a hand in farewell on each of the coffins.
Until tomorrow, Tess. Richie.
As they emerged from the Church both took deep breaths. Duncan turned back and looked at the coffins, as if frightened that they would disappear.
Theyll still be here tomorrow, Duncan.
Theyll be here for centuries, thanks to- he stopped himself when he saw the look on Methos face.
Bright boy! Don't even think about dredging up Guilt #467 off your Brood for the Day List. You promised that if I brought you here I wouldnt have to cope with you in a major black funk. He looked hard at his lover. Im not kidding, Duncan. Ill leave and you can meet up with me afterwards. I hear-
Duncan cut him off. If you say that fucking Bora Bora is nice this time of year....
Actually, its not. But New Zealand is. But because he knew what was coming out of his own mouth, he had early warning concerning its effect, and managed to side step the playful punch of the Highlander easily.
Stopping, Duncan pulled him into a tight embrace. I love you, Methos.
I know. Like I said. You're a bright boy - for a youngling. Duncan noted that at least he had the good grace to allow his beautiful eyes to twinkle when he made retorts like that.
Tousling Methos' hair, he smiled as they set off down the path. So what have you been doing all day while Ive been making the arrangements?
Dont try and make me feel guilty MacLeod. I offered to do everything but youre the one who insisted that only you could cope with the complexities of dealing with the locals. He rolled his eyes. What you think I did for the four and a half thousand years before Duncan MacLeod was around to do the paper work is beyond me. A raised hand forestalled Duncans retort. But, in answer to your question, I had a very relaxing time. Sat by Loch Shiel and read for hours. Some nutter was swimming...
Youre kidding. In Loch Shiel? Local??
No idea. Didnt pay him any attention. I was too absorbed in my novel.
Duncan smiled. Did you miss me?
Didnt think of me once?
Why would I sit by a Loch like some moonstruck teenager pining for companionship when I had a backpack of interesting beers- thank you by the way- and an old C P Snow to re-read. Methos turned, and looked at him in amazement. You really are insecure, arent you Duncan? It may surprise you to know that I can actually go fifteen minutes without needing a Duncan MacLeod fix.
Duncan laughed at that. Youre protesting too much. You did miss me.
The path started to narrow, allowing only one person at a time. Methos suddenly stopped and threw Duncan against the nearest tree, kissing him deeply. Pulling back, he laughed and grabbed Duncans chin in his hand, forcing him to keep looking at Methos. No. I did not. He leaned in and kissed his forehead lightly. But now that youre right here in front of me you clearly have your uses.
Part of my charm. Looking over at the Highlander he noted the lines under his eyes, always a giveaway. How are you really, Duncan?
Im better than I was. The smile faded as he sighed. Dont push me for more. But Im glad that you pushed me to bring them here. Its like bringing them home. It wouldnt be possible to feel any worse than I always have about their deaths, but Ive come to terms with it, Methos. And I do feel a lot better about their being here. Together. I didnt like Richie not being with Tessa.
He spoke for another few minutes and Methos just let him ramble, the meaning of the words being far less important than the process. As long as Duncan always had something to do and preferably someone to do it with, he was fine. But Duncan sitting for hours alongside the two coffins had not been on the days agenda.
How long were you in the church?
Dont try to make it sound like an innocent inquiry, Methos. I know you too well. I wasnt there long. Behind him Methos had stopped and raised his eyebrow in disbelief. Hed seen the dust outline around Duncans handprints on the coffins, the dust leaving a thinner layer where Duncans hands had disturbed existing patterns.
They were finishing an in-depth discussion concerning some type of linguistic bet between them, for which the loser would have to allow the winner to enact their favorite sexual fantasy, when the house came into view. Dusk was just beginning to settle. "You're crazy to get into these bets with me. There's no way in the world you could possible win you know," Methos taunted.
"Maybe I don't want to!" Duncan retorted, unnerving him. Methos immediately began re-prioritising his top ten fantasies and what a five thousand year old man could do with a dark haired, golden skinned Scottish warrior. And dark woods by moonlight. And kilts......truly, he surmised, the simplest fantasies were invariably the best...
The approaching car interrupted his catalog of possibilities and both men
stood and watched as a car pulled up and Joe, Anne and Mary jumped out. Methos could feel
the tangible joy vibrate from Duncan as Mary saw the tall, black coated Highlander. As she
started to run into Duncans arms Methos felt he couldnt let the moment pass
without a welcoming commentary.
Great! Shirley Temples arrived. If I find another sticky lollipop in one of my coat pockets again, or a cookie in my floppy disc drive... Whats wrong with the word biscuit? The rest of his warm welcome was cut short by Mary arriving in a flying leap in Duncans arms. Mary held onto the Highlander as if her life depended on it, kissing him on every part of his face that she could find. It was a game they played.
Methos couldnt resist. How cute. Hey, Shirley. Leave some for me.
Duncan was laughing at the ritualised game they always played with the child. Adam really is glad to see you, Mary. Why dont you give him a big kiss as well.
Mary looked, had she but known it, at the worlds oldest man, and her bottom lip started to quiver. M'Adam said I wasn his bestess girl any more cause his poota got crumbs.
Duncan started to laugh uproariously. 'M'Adam' glowered. Thank you for introducing me to her as a combination of Methos/Adam so often that Ill eternally be M'Adam in her eyes.
Well - it does sort of suit, M'Adam. Duncan buried his head in Marys curls, unable to keep looking at M'Adams narrowed eyes.
Methos turned to Mary. The computer did not get crumbs Mary, as when one gets a cold. You gave it the crumbs, and honey, and butter, when you tried to jam that piece of soggy toast into it.
With a pouting lip that had been perfected through imitation, insisted Methos, of Duncan, Mary turned her large blue eyes on the Highlander, always her refuge when M'Adam got snitchy. But it was hungry. she pleaded.
Putting on his Mary Face, when she gave her many and varied explanations of the many and varied crimes she always committed, was something Methos had down to an art form.. Indeed, so good was he with it that Duncan really did not know, for certain, how Methos felt about her.
Duncan bit his cheeks, badly. Turning to Methos he lost his battle and started to laugh. I told you not to use something as crass as a flying toaster screen saver! Mary, sweetheart, well talk about it later. You run back to your Mother and Uncle Joe and help unpack the car.
Methos watched her little legs race back to the car, grateful that she was in fact here for Duncan, who clearly adored her.
As did he, of course.
And he never begrudged Duncan time with her, and for that Duncan was thankful.
Looking after her, Duncan leaned over to Methos' ear, taking the
opportunity to breathe hot, moist air all over it. "You can stuff my floppy drive
whenever I look hungry...." he whispered, his eyes full of definite sinful
intent. Before Methos had a chance to make a suitably clever retort, Duncan had left him
alone to consider the Highlander's general state of health, and whether some forced
feeding might not be in order.
Duncan strode out behind Mary, his long cotton duster coat flowing behind him like a mast. Reaching Anne, he leaned down and gave her a warm kiss, commenting on how tired she looked.
Its been a hectic time in London, but my Paper went very well. And Id be lying, Duncan, if I didnt admit to being exhausted." She placed her arm through his. "Thank you for inviting us up here. Mary hasnt stopped talking since your invitation came through. If you dont manage to find Nessie for her shell never forgive you, she teased.
He laughed. Well manage to find something close for her. I only found out from Joe two days ago that you were in London and I couldnt pass up the chance of showing you and Mary Scotland, when you were so close. As he leaned over to help with the luggage, Anne took him aside. Duncan, Joes told us why youre here. I cant help but feel that were intruding in something very personal. And Mary isnt going to understand, and I dont want to have to be telling her to be quiet all the time.
Hey, I wouldnt have invited you both up here if I didnt want you here, " he smiled. "Its important to me to have the people who are the closest to family that I still have. And you dont have to worry about Mary. Im much more tolerant of her noise than you are and you know thats true.
When is the burial? They turned and began walking back towards the house.
Tomorrow. Anne, its a closure for me. I feel as if Ill be able to let go, in a way I havent been able to until now, knowing that theyre at peace and theres nothing more I can do. You dont have to worry about dark brooding days. And besides, Methos has threatened to fly out to Bora Bora if I get morbid.
Anne looked at him closely, smiled and nodded her head. She would never understand this strange relationship with the acerbic-witted Dr Pierson. And especially, she would never understand how the best lover she had ever had, and the most heterosexual, could be so enamoured of Dr Pierson. She suspected that he had been captured, when most vulnerable, by the seductive and wily Immortal . She had never actually stayed in the same house as both men and found the prospect of seeing Duncan and his male lover interacting at such a close distance unsettling. Particularly as she herself had never really gotten over Duncan's equally seductive charm.
Leaning in to give Duncan a tender kiss, she held him close for comfort, until Mary insisted on riding on his back. Cheerfully he managed to accommodate her wishes, while carrying two large bags back up to the house.
Passing Adam, Duncan turned to Mary and said, You know Mary, you should have asked Adam to give you a ride. Hes a much better Horseman than me.
Joe started choking.
M'Adam wheres your horsie? I wanna ride him.
You are! M'Adam scowled.
Even Duncan burst out laughing at that, although Mary insisted on knowing why Duncan was M'Adams horse, and did M'Adam whip him (Not as often as I should.) and was Unca Duncan a good trotter (Unbelievable!) and could they both brush his mane and give him a sugar cube (Of course. Why, we should even think about branding him with our own special sign.).
Whereupon, M'Adams very special horse was made to squat down and give
Mary endless wild rides until Adam returned with the requisite materials, a brush and a
marker pen. One hour later Joe and Anne sat having a very warming whisky in front of a
fire, watching the extraordinary scene of one of the deadliest men on the planet
having his hair brushed and brushed and brushed, plaited, threaded with ribbons, and
having reigns put on his broad shoulders so that Mary could better keep her balance. Adam
showed her how important it was to gently pull your horsies ears, and tickle their
tummies, and rub noses with them. He even designed a special sign, a Bulls head,
which he drew with painstaking care on Unca Duncans wrist, very occasionally using
his tongue, when none were looking, to make the color run, just so.
Duncan stared at the wonderful drawing appearing by stages before his eyes. Its my clan crest, Mary, the special symbol of the MacLeods. The bull says Hold Fast which means never give in, always stay strong.
Do you always do what va bull says to?
Methos closed his eyes at the poignancy of the question.
Out of the mouths of babes, mused Joe, shaking his head.
No sweetheart, sometimes Im naughty and I dont always stay strong. But I try. And thats why I have friends like you," he whispered, leaning down and kissing the tip of her nose, "and your mummy, and Uncle Joe, and Adam. They help me stay strong....
Before anyone could get morbid, Mary broke the tension of the moment with, Im strong. I can lift you right up in ve air. Im a bull Unca Duncan arnten I?
Yes sweetheart. You are a bull. You can be my special bull. Duncan looked up at Methos, both smiling at the irony of the words coming out of the four year old mouth. For who could have guessed that at four, she should be providing such support to the man before her who was, did she but know it, over four centuries old.
And picking her up her Highlander swung her around, before bringing her to him, and holding her fast.
Go to Chapter 3
Re-edited 24 October 2000
|Copyright ę Carson Kearns 1998-1999||Disclaimers||Contact
The photographic montage banner is the work of and
is owned by Killa
Thanks to Georgia C. Chamaine for the astrological information used above