Carson Kearns' Highlander Fanfic

Lost in the Loving: Coming Home

Chapter 2

by Carson Kearns

 

glenmap3.jpg

 

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, he’d delighted in throwing at Duncan, - long afterwards, when they could speak his name.

Iain and Mary’s 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.

glenchurch.jpg 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 blues.

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 didn’t 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 man’s 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.

C˛ chuala e no chunnaic e
No fhuair an nÓdar duine e,
Gach uaisle tha,
A choinnich ann ad chrÚ?

<<Who ever heard it, or saw it,
or found it within the nature of man,
that all the noble qualities,
have met in your body?>>


He took a deep cleansing breath and continued to stare at the scene before him, indulging himself in the remembering. He had had a rather successful period as a seer at one stage. What child of the ancients could not find the heavens and their attendant mysteries and magnetic pulls riveting (and very saleable)? Beneath the veneer of cosmic weariness and wit, he occasionally found himself totally and absolutely over-awed with the realisation that no other being in the world had been as influenced by the varying solar, lunar and stellar influences as had he. He’d always found it fascinating and had often, in the past, made a very good living explaining the universe’s patterns and plot lines to the interested and the gullible.

No one had been more surprised, he recalled, than he himself, when he had revealed himself to the Highlander that day in his apartment. But no other living being had ever known who he was, just by looking at him. And when he walked down those steps, Duncan had truly come home.

Mi casa es su casa.

Methos knew it in an instant. It was the most frightening and exhilarating insight of his long life, which was why he always referred to it by a totally superficial title. His Walkman Insight. Wouldn’t want the Highlander getting delusions of grandeur.

He shook his head, trying to remember where on earth these thoughts had started.

Duncan, of course. That went without saying. Cosmic forces...connections.....knowing. Methos....... astrological insights...........and suddenly the memory was recaptured. He’d been trying to understand why he had felt such a connection with Duncan. He had studied Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod in minute detail. And this included his life signs. He’d even constructed a very detailed astrological chart.

Like the Celts, Duncan, if you hadn’t existed, I’d have invented you, at that time of my life.

So afterwards he’d been able to rationalize why he had reacted to meeting this amazing fictional person in the flesh. In fact, he had deliberately stayed away from him after Kalas, so convinced was he that the connection had been fabricated in his own imagination in the long nights reading Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod’s Chronicles, rereading his chart.

And now, sitting here on the very spot where this winter solstice babe had been born brought it all back with amazing clarity. Or perhaps it was just that he had read it so many times that he knew it by rote:

............... in 1592, in Glenfinnan, Scotland, the sun moved into Capricorn at 12:02 pm, local time. That was the moment of the solstice, over Glenfinnan, that year. And the chart described a great ruler, prince, avatar, hero. Duncan MacLeod was born at the solstice...a Capricorn, with moon in Leo, and Aries rising.

And Duncan’s chart was so very unusual, with the Sun conjunct Jupiter exactly on the midheaven of the chart, directly over head at the exact moment of the solstice. The child born at this time had Mars in Scorpio, a warrior's energy, and Venus in Capricorn, a sensual and earthy lover.

<<Oh my gods, a truer phrase had never been uttered,>> he sighed.

If someone had wanted to choose a birthday and place of significance for an archetypal hero, this was the perfect choice.

Coming back to the present, Methos noted the irony of the last rays of the sun continuing to bathe the coffins in dying light. But then, he'd always been a magnet for cosmic irony. Duncan’s image continued to swirl before him, unclear, almost ethereal, in the colored dust particles claiming their own, tapping on the coffins, seeking the clay now that the spirit’s departure had let down all defenses.

..........Duncan’s chart..........He tried to make himself more comfortable on the hard pew, remembering that Duncan had never really taken any interest in it all. Indeed, he mistakenly thought he was Sagittarius until Methos had insisted on enlightening him one playful morning. Duncan had loudly complained about never having been so bored in his entire life and how could Methos believe that mere dead rock, millions of light years away, could possibly have the slightest effect.....and Methos had insisted on droning on, determined that Duncan must internalize how important he was, cosmically...........

”...The conjunction of the sun with Jupiter gives you Sagittarian qualities, Duncan ...”

“Give it a rest, Methos!” ........assuming that one of the world’s greatest astrological researchers could be distracted merely because, what Methos invariably described as the most sinful lips and mouth on the planet, were at that moment seeking sustenance from the very stimulated nipple below him, sucking out its life
forces........

//Concentrate old man. You’re more disciplined than that.........//

“.........as does the cluster of sun, Jupiter (both in Capricorn), Mercury and South Node (both in Sagittarius) in the 9th house (the natural house of Sagittarius). In other words, .......Duncan, ..............Bloody hell .......there is a lot of Sagittarian energy in your chart.”

Some groaning may have interrupted the lesson at that point, but since he had no idea who was responsible for it, he wisely kept his counsel.

“...... But the Capricorn energy is strong, too...your natural affinity for history & antiques , your love of strategy & tactics; ..........the leadership abilities which always have you naturally taking over, ....your strongly developed morality and over-respect for the rules. These are all ...........Capricorn ............traits,” he trailed off.

Methos moaned, unsure how much of the treatise had been actually verbalized and how much left in exploding tattered fragments somewhere between the dusty archives of his brain and the surging blood lust at his groin, fed by the indescribably sensual assault Duncan had mounted.

//Strategy and tactics indeed, Highlander!//

The object of the erudite reading had now taken possession of Methos' cock and was not letting it go, <<Thank all that was holy and unholy,>> until he had drained it also of all independent life, sucked it dry.

Methos had always looked back on the next few minutes as one of the most memorable in his life. He was never really able to make up his mind afterwards as to whether his continuing to recite Duncan’s chart, as his orgasm exploded, was an exercise in stunning self control or stubborn stupidity. Whatever -  it was certainly memorable.

“...........A few other things might be .....of interest.............Duncan. ........you have.......... moon conjunct Neptune, indicating a strong spiritual, not religious, streak. god...gods ...Mars in Scorpio correlates with deep passion, ..........in love,..........in fucking love...........and in war, ...........Fuck........ and deeply held beliefs; Gods yes Duncan.....drink it....swallow it......never stop..... Pluto in the first house ...............indicating charisma and Venus opposed to Saturn and in the sign ruled by Saturn makes you ........unlucky/unhappy in love, .............except with people that are much ...............older .....Like me ...........like Amanda ..........and if you even think about stopping I’ll kill you............ Aries ascendant, conjuncted by Uranus, ....Uranus...........makes you ........... bit contrary, and very,..........very ...................independent.....”

And then he’d shattered.

Just like the stars and the super novas he’d been reciting and thinking about, and imagining.

Or perhaps, he’d thought afterwards, it was when he got to a more earthy image of “Uranus.” But at that point he’d decided that Duncan’s education in matters astrological had probably been exhausted. And Duncan’s 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 Duncan’s mouth, lips and throat, had uttered the type of retort that was truly every teacher’s nightmare.

sagjewbw.gif “I don’t care what you say, there’s no way I’m 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 that’s just what I did, Duncan.

Fucked Capricorn.

Even if you thought, Gradhach, that I was fucking the Archer.//


Present

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. Duncan’s 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, he’d 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 wasn’t that he didn’t believe that there was a place for guilt in the world. And conscience. But, as he’d once told Duncan, the Celts sucked everyone else dry. And being without guilt, he said, it was such a relief that he couldn’t 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.

Fortunately.

Looking around at the simple fittings inside the Church he couldn’t 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 he’d distracted for long enough. Quietly, he walked to the front and stood beside the larger coffin.

He didn’t 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.”

“You’ve a right to be tired. And I doubt you’re as fine as you think you are, Highlander. Come on, walk back with me. You’ve 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.

“They’ll still be here tomorrow, Duncan.”

“They’ll 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 wouldn’t have to cope with you in a major black funk.” He looked hard at his lover. “I’m not kidding, Duncan. I’ll 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, it’s 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 I’ve been making the arrangements?”

“Don’t try and make me feel guilty MacLeod. I offered to do everything but you’re 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 Duncan’s 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...”

“You’re kidding. In Loch Shiel? Local??”

“No idea. Didn’t pay him any attention. I was too absorbed in my novel.”

Duncan smiled. “Did you miss me?”

“Nope.”

“Didn’t 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, aren’t 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. “You’re 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 Duncan’s 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 you’re right here in front of me you clearly have your uses.”

“You’re impossible.”

“Part of my charm.” Looking over at the Highlander he noted the lines under his eyes, always a giveaway. “How are you really, Duncan?”

“I’m better than I was.” The smile faded as he sighed. “Don’t push me for more. But I’m glad that you pushed me to bring them here. It’s like bringing them home. It wouldn’t be possible to feel any worse than I always have about their deaths, but I’ve come to terms with it, Methos. And I do feel a lot better about their being here. Together. I didn’t 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 day’s agenda.

“How long were you in the church?”

“Don’t try to make it sound like an innocent inquiry, Methos. I know you too well. I wasn’t there long.” Behind him Methos had stopped and raised his eyebrow in disbelief. He’d seen the dust outline around Duncan’s handprints on the coffins, the dust leaving a thinner layer where Duncan’s 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 Duncan’s arms Methos felt he couldn’t let the moment pass without a welcoming commentary.

“Great! Shirley Temple’s arrived. If I find another sticky lollipop in one of my coat pockets again, or a cookie in my floppy disc drive... What’s wrong with the word biscuit?” The rest of his warm welcome was cut short by Mary arriving in a flying leap in Duncan’s 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 couldn’t 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 don’t you give him a big kiss as well.”

Mary looked, had she but known it, at the world’s 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 I’ll eternally be M'Adam in her eyes.”

“Well - it does sort of suit, M'Adam.” Duncan buried his head in Mary’s curls, unable to keep looking at M'Adam’s 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, we’ll 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.

“It’s been a hectic time in London, but my Paper went very well. And I’d be lying, Duncan, if I didn’t admit to being exhausted." She placed her arm through his. "Thank you for inviting us up here. Mary hasn’t stopped talking since your invitation came through. If you don’t manage to find Nessie for her she’ll never forgive you,” she teased.

He laughed. “We’ll manage to find something close for her. I only found out from Joe two days ago that you were in London and I couldn’t 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, Joe’s told us why you’re here. I can’t help but feel that we’re intruding in something very personal. And Mary isn’t going to understand, and I don’t want to have to be telling her to be quiet all the time.”

“Hey, I wouldn’t have invited you both up here if I didn’t want you here, " he smiled. "It’s important to me to have the people who are the closest to family that I still have. And you don’t have to worry about Mary. I’m much more tolerant of her noise than you are and you know that’s true.”

“When is the burial?” They turned and began walking back towards the house.

“Tomorrow. Anne, it’s a closure for me. I feel as if I’ll be able to let go, in a way I haven’t been able to until now, knowing that they’re at peace and there’s nothing more I can do. You don’t 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. He’s a much better Horseman than me.”

Joe started choking.

‘M'Adam where’s 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'Adam’s 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'Adam’s 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 horsie’s ears, and tickle their tummies, and rub noses with them. He even designed a special sign, a Bull’s head, which he drew with painstaking care on Unca Duncan’s 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. “It’s 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 I’m naughty and I don’t always stay strong. But I try. And that’s 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, “I’m strong. I can lift you right up in ve air. I’m 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
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Copyright ę Carson Kearns 1998-1999 Disclaimers Contact Carson Kearns:
carsonkearns@hotmail.com

The photographic montage banner is the work of and is owned by Killa
Thanks to Georgia C. Chamaine for the astrological information used above