Carson Kearns' Highlander Fanfic
Lost in the Loving: Coming Home
by Carson Kearns
The morning passed quickly, Duncan arriving back late, dirty and needing a shower. Rachel arrived at noon to look after Mary while the adults attended the burials.
Methos came up behind him, falling into one of his favorite caresses, wrapping his arms around Duncan from behind and laying his cheek against his back.
Mmm - you smell of heather, Duncan
smiled, reaching up to cover Methos hands with his own.
Darn. I thought I was using the tar soap!
Duncan turned around and, oblivious of who was watching, gathered Methos into his embrace. Dont ever move from along side of me, Gradhach.
|Gathering their coats, they left the house, and walked to the beautiful
old church which had been sheltering Tessas and Richies remains.
Joe had opted to be driven to the service, accompanied by Anne, in deference not
only to his legs and the rough ground but also to allow Duncan to be alone with Methos.
Methos put his arm through Duncans, feeling his tension ease as soon as the contact was established. Stopping he turned Duncan to face him. You OK? he queried, leaning over to cup the side of Duncans face.
Duncan closed his eyes and turned his face into the caress, as he always did. Smiling, he remembered how Methos always teased him about having been a cat in a past life. Opening his eyes he stared at his lover. Yes. I am. Im not looking forward to it, if thats what you mean. But you don't have to worry about my tendencies towards the overly dramatic. Im keeping it simple. Ive even changed my mind and asked a priest to come. And I feel as if I can finally say my own farewell to them all. He reached out to mirror Methos caress. "And, youll be pleased to know that I will finally know where they are, he said, referring for the first time to their conversation that morning.
Where are they? Methos had repeatedly
asked him. And he hadnt been able to answer the very simple question.
The old church welcomed them, its golden brown stone merging beautifully into the green Glen. Joe, Anne and four pall bearers waited. Duncan walked up to the coffins and genuflected, in the way of the old religion, and leaning down, softly kissed each one. Signalling that he was ready, the pall bearers came forward and tenderly lifted Tessas coffin. Methos and Duncan took the position at the front, hoisting the heavy coffin onto their shoulders, interlocking arms for support. Ten minutes later the pattern was repeated with Richies coffin and both were slowly taken the short distance to the site of Duncans parents graves.
Duncans early morning activity was now clear, as one large hole revealed itself where previously there had been two existing graves.. The half containing his parents remains was surprisingly shallow to modern eyes - only some four feet deep. The dirt all over Duncans clothes, when he had returned, also now confirmed what Methos had suspected.
The reason behind his hurried trip to Rachel also now made itself clear. New MacLeod tartan covered the existing remains of Iain and Mary MacLeod.
Duncan turned and thanked the pall bearers who bowed reverently, and departed to wait out of sight until they were called to lower the coffins. Reaching into his pocket, Duncan took out a small pair of scissors. Methos. Cut a lock of my hair for me? My mother loved my hair.
Duncan smiled as he realised how carefully Methos was selecting a strand from beneath, so it wouldnt show. Taking it, their fingers touching, Duncan pressed the offering hand in reassurance and walked up to the edge of his parents graves. He stepped down to kneel by the remains of his parents and gently pulled back the tartan. Two skeletons were revealed, still clad in the decaying remnants of their Highland clan finery. Patches of red and gold hair could be seen, still containing the colors of Scottish sunset over Loch Shiel, he realised. He snipped a relic of the hair from both of them. Then he took his own long strands and bound them around the two lower arm bones still lying side by side. He drew a letter from his pocket and placed it beneath the bones.
|Reaching over, the Highland son gently kissed
the skulls of both parents and gathered a
large MacLeod brooch from his fathers rotting raiments, a ring from
the bones that were once his finger and a
further ring from his mothers lifeless hand. Simple pieces, //... but more precious,
more precious than everything I own..//
He reached behind and took a beautiful hair tie from where it now lay in the dirt behind the bones of her neck.. He smiled as he remembered the occasion of her receiving it from the normally gruff Iain.
two objects from his pocket and placed a favorite ring of Tessas on
what had been his
Mothers ring finger and a racing medallion of Richies in his Fathers hand.
Tenderly laying the beautiful MacLeod tartan over them once again, he pinned a
magnificent new MacLeod heraldic brooch on top. It was one of his most precious
possessions, Methos having had it specially made for him as a birthday present.
After his emotional purging of the morning , he felt as if a veil had been lifted away. It was as if every thought, idea, and recrimination ever pondered and grieved over concerning his parents and Tessa and Richie had tumbled out, on his walk to Rachels house. He had long wondered why such a religious people could not have seen his resurrection as something holy, instead of the devils work. And only this morning did the pieces come together.
Of course, he realised, he was already regarded as touched. He was, after all, a foundling child, born on the winters solstice, who had survived a night in Donan Woods. Survived, after Robert had reported him going down under a huge white wolf. Survived, without a mark. And after that night the ravaging white wolf had never returned, except her female form in his sexual fantasies. Cassandra had recently reminded him of just how simple those times were. How black and white the belief system. How fragile the line between acceptance and rejection.
He remembered his fathers fierce hug and joy when he had found Duncan unharmed after that night in the woods. Gently touching his fathers chest now, through the tartan, he acknowledged for the second time that day, what his sons banishment must have meant to this proud old warrior. And what torment and pain he must have suffered, through his inability to reconcile his religious prejudices and beliefs from his feelings of love, pride and joy in his only son. Duncan had stopped on the path that morning, feeling overwhelmed with the revelation and his belief in it. I was loved. I am loved. They loved and cherished me.
Silently, he spoke to his parents. //.. Ive come to understand Father, that yew still love me and that yew never stopped loving me. Four hundred years later, Mother, Father, Im kneelin here alongside of yew, loving yew, proof that love endures...//
The ancient Gaelic poetry of Ossian came to him from the deep recesses of his mind. It spoke of a proud warrior Chieftain, and the love he bore his son. And the pride he felt in his achievements. Duncan had long wished it had been so with his own father but had never been able to recite the memorised words without bitter recriminations. Now he spoke them aloud, with pride, truly believing that it was his Fathers voice he could hear:
A mhic mo mhic's e thubhairt an rìgh,
Oscair, a righ nan òg fhlath,
Chunnaic mi dealradh do lainne's b'e m'uaill
'Bhi 'g amharc do bhuaidh 's a chath.
'N a aobhar shìnin mo lamh,
Le failte rachainn 'n a choinnimh,
'Us gheibheadh e fasgath 'us caird,
Fo sgàil dhrithlinneach mo loinne.
(Son of my son, so said the king,
Oscar, prince of youthful heroes,
I have seen the glitter of thy blade, and 'twas my pride
To see thy triumph in the conflict.
In his cause I would stretch out my hand,
With a welcome I would go to meet him,
And he would find shelter and friendship
Beneath the glittering shade of my sword.)
Methos was awe-struck by Duncans next action. Father. This is Methos, my lover, my clan brother. I ask for your blessing on us.
Methos said nothing aloud, but inside - inside - his soul sang of the ways in which Duncan MacLeod continuously surprised and delighted him. It was so typically Duncan, he acknowledged. Once he had really made up his mind about something, he would sweep all before him with his certainty. He recalled a certain bedroom in The Ritz in London, twelve months before, when Duncan had openly demonstrated in front of Joe his new easiness with external shows of affection and caring between himself and Methos.
Methos thought that his heart would
break with pride and love from Duncans affirmation and declaration of a
love forbidden in the eyes of Duncan's parents. That gesture spoke of more courage, more total acceptance, more unconditional love,
than Methos ever dared hope for. He recalled their lovemaking session when Duncan had
promised to make Methos a member of the clan MacLeod, to give Methos a stake in
Duncans own memories. Methos recalled hed raised it, in reality, as a joke.
But now, - now,- he was profoundly moved.
Rising, Duncan stepped out of the grave and walked to Tessas coffin. The lid had been loosened as hed requested. Seeing what he intended, Methos helped him lift it aside. He had never seen Tessa except in photos and some videos of Duncans. She was dressed in a magnificent designer dress of a stunning chocolate-colored silk, with scattered pearls.
My god, Duncan, she's beautiful. Methos had thought he would be prepared but nothing could have prepared him for the beauty of the woman before him. Duncan had had her embalmed and had clearly spared no expense in ensuring that it was done by a world expert. Despite the six years, and the unavoidable marks of time, Tessa still looked beautiful, her hair still gold, her makeup subtle and refined.
Duncan answered one of his questions. It was to be her wedding dress. He then leaned down and kissed her lips and her eyes. Hello sweetheart. Ive brought you home. Once again, he handed Methos the scissors and took the long tendril of his silken hair and threaded it through Tessas fingers. Methos noticed a beautiful ring, already on her wedding finger. Suddenly a wet stain appeared on the dress and Duncan pulled back to wipe his face. I love you, Tess. I love you. He stood upright, threw his head back and breathed deeply, getting himself under some control
Anne put her hand to her mouth, visibly moved. No matter how often she entertained death and kept it company in the small hours at the hospital, she knew that she would never come to grips with the reality of it. What cruelty the grim reaper engaged in, she lamented, taking someone as beautiful and as dearly loved as the woman before her had been. Moving closer to the coffin, she noticed the tear stains on the silk and felt her own cheeks running with tears for this stranger. The pictures of Tessa she had seen in the loft took on a new meaning and she wondered how she could ever have felt any jealousy of her. She now felt a deep caring and compassion and deep-seated anger that one so full of life and love and talent should have been so cruelly cut down. And seeing Tessa in death suddenly made Duncans periodic phases of despair so much more understandable.
Confirming what she was thinking, Duncan looked down at the ring he had just taken from his Mothers hand. He brushed dirt from it, cleaned it as much as he could, and gently placed it on Tessas wedding finger. Kissing her hand he drew back. Taking the scissors, he then cut off two locks of her hair and put one in his pocket.
He gathered himself and moved towards Richies coffin and once again the pattern was repeated as Methos helped him remove the lid. Methos quickly moved alongside Duncan, having no idea what they would find inside. Duncan knelt, staring at the boy he had last lain eyes on that tragic night in Paris. Like Tessa, he had been superbly embalmed. He was dressed in the clothing of his generation - Levis, a black high necked pullover he had borrowed from Duncan and never returned, a black leather jacket.
Leaning down, Duncan kissed him on the forehead. Richie. Ive brought you home to be with your grandparents. Oh Richie,.càit an robh fasgadh bhon chas-shileadh fuar? Methos quietly translated. "Where was the shelter from the cold, drenching rain?"
Taking his fathers brooch, Duncan pinned it on the pullover
and laid Richies hands over it. He wrapped the intertwining locks of Tessas
and his own hair in the lifeless hands before him and snipped a lock of Richies hair
to leave with Tessa.
And one for himself.
|Having bound the four people and the three generations to each other, he looked up, his dark eyes flashing, and drew a deep breath to center himself. For a few years I had a joy in my life that will light me through all my remaining years. Facing the two coffins, he finished. This is your home, Tessa, Richie. You're with your clan. Oidhche mhath. Beannachd leibh.|
Joe stood looking at the scene before him, deeply moved. He sighed, inwardly as the
words of an old poem played themselves over in his musicians soul. Hed been
thrilled when hed come across a poem called MacLeods Lament - little
realising how often it would form the backdrop to so many of his dealings with Duncan.
It should have been the brave dead of the Islands
That heard ring oer their tombs your battle-cry
To shake them from their sleep again, and quicken
Peaks of Torridon and Skye!
Gone like the mist, the brave MacLeods of Raasay,
Far forth from fortune, sundered from their lands,
And now the last grey stone of Castle Raasay,
Lies desolate and levelled with the sands;
But pluck the old isle from its roots deep planted
Where tides cry coronach round the Hebrides,
And it will bleed of the MacLeods lamented,
their loves and memories!
Hed once asked Duncan how any Immortal stayed sane. Hed decided, long ago, that they didnt.
//.I guess, Mac, thats why Ill always forgive you
anything. Anything....// he thought, looking at Richie laid out before him. What must
it feel like, he wondered, to stand before the dead youth you had helped raise, and have
his Quickening inside you? To look on that face, once so filled with laughter and joy,
enthusiasm and mischief, - and faith - and know that you, the most trusted person in the
world to this young man, had ended forever that life, that hope, that trust.......?
And he knew beyond knowing that this was why, at the end of time, these two Immortals would be there. He could not think of anyone who could have come through such a tragedy with any shreds of any sanity at all. Certainly, he couldnt think of any who would be able to stand before the slaughtered child, as Duncan now did, facing everything he had done, accepting all of its consequences, exposing all of his weaknesses and strengths.
And Methos? Methos would always survive. But with Duncan, he mused, you never knew when the dormant tendrils of guilt would awaken and strike out, striking down those too close to him, destroying a few more fragments of his sanity and bright eyed hopefulness. He shook his head, once again sighing for the lives these people were forced to lead. He walked to the coffin to gently kiss Richie for the last time.
Duncan gave Joe time to say his goodbyes, for a second time, to Richie Ryan. Turning towards the Church he then signalled for the waiting priest and the pall bearers to come forward. As the coffins were taken up and laid in the joint plot the priest began Psalm 50. Duncan closed his eyes and let the words of the beautiful old psalm wash over him. Once, it had always been said for the Meeting of the Body.
Against thee only have I sinned and done evil before Thee: that thou mayest be
justified in Thy words, and mayest overcome when thou art judged.........Thou shalt
sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me and I shall be made
whiter than snow.....averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis...cor mundum crea in me, Deus...........Create
in me a clean heart, O God.....libera me de sanguineibus, Deus, Deus slautis meae.....Deliver
me from blood guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation........
Methos looked at the priest, presiding over the ritual, wondering whether he had any idea that his words were for Duncan, not the bodies before him.
And while the chant continued, both Immortals found themselves hearing the more familiar Latin, not the English coming out of the old priests mouth.
vocavit te receive thee and may the angels conduct thee into Abrahams
bosom......Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: and let perpetual light shine upon
Tessas coffin was taken up and gently lowered, followed by Richies, to lie alongside their clan ancestors. Duncan pulled more lengths of clan tartan out of a package he had left earlier, and kneeling, lowered the material to cover the coffins.
......May the angels lead you into paradise...Everyone that liveth, and believeth in
me, shall not die forever....Per christum Dominum nostrum.
Here the priest
sprinkled holy water and incense over the grave and the coffins.
.................Lord, have mercy on us.
...................Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison..
...................Requiescant in pace.....
...................The Lord be with you....
...................May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.....
Duncan looked around at the landscape of his home and attempted to ground himself as he started to slip in and out of the rituals of so many of the past cultures he had lived amongst, and studied.
...Sangyela kyabsuchao .........I take refuge in the Buddha...
.....Another means to help the dead is the practice of the Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful
....All things are impermanent, and all things die.... ...the Great Wheel spins, and it is perfect justice.
. Perhaps all I can do is to guard the gates.
..... We are a part of the universes ceaseless becoming....
Suddenly he was back on Iona...bathing his soul in that ethereal light...and then back in the mystical calm of the monastery in Malaysia...and then from a long way away Duncan was aware of that other presence that took up so much room in his heart and his soul, - Methos - gently applying pressure on his arm. Blinking to clear his vision, he looked up from the coffins and realised that the actual ritual was over and that it was time to cover the coffins. Normally, this was left for the grave digger. But Duncan had undertaken to be the gatekeeper. Reaching over he picked up a shovel and started to cover, forever, these precious people.
Methos turned and walked over to Joe and Anne, suggesting that they start back to the house, thanked the priest and continued on to farewell the pall bearers. It was all done so quickly and efficiently that within five minutes all that could be heard was the sound of the soil as it was scraped, scooped and layered atop the coffins. Within thirty minutes, the plot was no more, now being filled completely. The two ancient headstones and the two new Celtic crosses stood sentinel.
Methos finally spoke, as Duncan laid down the shovel. Well come back tomorrow if you like, and do some landscaping.
Yes. Id like that.
For the third time that day, Methos came up behind his Highlander and caressed him from behind. You okay?
Duncan nodded, denying Methos the deep vibrations of his voice. Turning, he smiled. Im glad you made me do this. For the first time, in a long time, I can think about all of them, and not feel sick to my stomach with guilt and anger. I feel as if Ive let go. Let them go. he finished, sighing. I actually feel a sense of liberation.
Methos smiled, behind Duncans back.
//...And knowing you, lover of mine, youll
soon feel guilty about that feeling...//.
Maybe I shouldnt have said liberated. That sounds like Im glad to be rid of them.......
Shaking his head, Methos firmly steered the ex liberated lover towards the path that led down to the Loch. Well, were making progress. You managed to avoid guilt there for at least 45 seconds. Im certainly beginning to have an effect for the better. By my calculations, Mac, thats approximately nine seconds per year since we first met. At this rate it will only take a century to get you up to a solid 15 minutes in a year of guilt free reminiscences. Well have ninety nine years to plan for how well handle the momentous experience.
Duncan had the good grace to grimace. Im sorry that Im so predictable. Didnt I already apologize for that once already today? But thats me Methos. Too many habits are ingrained. And by the way, I like the way you assume that well together in ninety nine years. He stopped. It would be wonderful to sit by the Loch, but shouldnt we be getting back to the others?
|Methos let his exasperation show. Lets pretend that Joe and
Anne are adults and capable of entertaining themselves without the light of your presence
for one hour. Methos looked at Duncans face and sighed. Come here.
Im sorry I snapped. Come here.
He took him into his embrace, using his hands to soothe the back of his head. It was a shock wasnt it? Seeing them...
The man in the comforting circle of his arms simply nodded, saying nothing.
Okay. Thirty minutes quiet time isnt going to be begrudged by anyone. I passed a wonderful spot not far from here. Thirty minutes to just sit and breathe. Nothing more. I promise I wont make you talk about it. Methos pulled back from the Highlander, looking into his eyes.
Duncan looked doubtful. Promise.
Ten minutes saw Methos sitting on a log in the middle of a private clearing overlooking the Loch. Duncan sat on the ground, by his knees, his head resting on Methos lap, his arms flung out casually over Methos thighs. He had said nothing. Methos released Duncans hair tie and fanned the luxuriant locks around his neck and shoulders and then began kneading and massaging the strong neck before him. Gradually he moved around to get at Duncans temples and forehead. The only sound was the screeching of birds as they soared over the still waters of the Loch, swooping, gliding, oblivious to the two life forms intruding on their favorite playground. The day was pleasantly warm and Duncan had shed his coat. From the air, the stunning silk shirt of Duncans made it appear as if one of the life forms had a huge red blood stain over his upper thighs. There was no discernible movement from below, encouraging the birds to totally ignore them as they played with each other atop the wind currents.
Suddenly Duncan broke the silence, as Methos knew he would. I dont know what I was expecting. But I wasnt expecting that. He gripped Methos thighs more tightly, looking for all the world as if he were spread across an executioners block.
Expecting what, Duncan? Methos kept up the same rhythm, his fingers circling the energy meridians at Duncans neck. Hed first come across acupuncture thousands of years before and had long been a devotee of the shiatsu massage techniques. The emotional stress Duncan was suffering was, he decided, definitely impeding his ki channels and Methos had determined that he would give Duncan a full shiatsu massage later that evening. But for now, this was working.
They were vibrant, laughing, moving. All of them. Mother, Father, Tessa and Richie. And then you see them in front of you. Dead. You kept asking me this morning where they were and I said I didnt know. Knowing their precise location physically didnt help me place them spiritually. I felt as if they were trapped somewhere. But I think now that it was me who was trapped. He kept talking, now that Methos had succeeded in getting him into a state of calm and familiarity around the beloved Loch. Seeing them like that...I realised that Id been thinking of them, somehow, alive in those coffins. Going to the cemetery and talking to them..... He sat back and turned around and leaned his head back on Methos thighs but now the sun shone down on his face. Methos kept massaging his forehead and cheeks, even as he continued speaking. Its funny. In burying them, I feel as if I actually released them from their caskets. I dont think of them in there any more. Now I just think of the bodies they inhabited as being there. And I think of them as being with me.
He suddenly sat up, as if the doors of perception had suddenly been
cleansed. Now I can talk to them anywhere. He looked up at Methos.
How do you stand me? It must be like living with a pre-schooler. It all seems so
obvious now. But before...before, I felt as if I was swimming through treacle. I
couldnt make anything clear or understand it.
Methos simply smiled. You are a pre-schooler in comparison to me. He playfully tousled Duncans hair. No wonder you and Mary get on so well.
So, smiled the pre-schooler, can I use your body for finger painting practice?
Only too happy to help a promising, but struggling, pupil. Leaning down he captured Duncan's beautiful mouth. And after some minutes they recommenced breathing. But I dont think that theres anything you can teach me about that particular activity, Duncan.
Duncan laughed out loud. There were some subjects where I always had a natural talent. These very shores were my classroom.
|Then we should erect a plaque. "On this spot, between the years 1602 and 1622, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan Macleod perfected the art of glorious, sinful lovemaking. Declared Holy Ground in this Summer of 2001, in memory of his wondrous achievements in advancing the cause of lovers and lovemaking everywhere'.|
Youre mad, Methos. But well order the plaque tomorrow,
since you insist, and nail it in a secret place. He laughed again, enjoying the
relaxation after the tension of the ceremonies.
He once again laid his head back on Methos lap. Duncan. I.... Methos found himself unable to continue, and looked away.
Gazing up at him Duncan smiled and noticed him rubbing the ring Duncan had given him that had lain on his Fathers finger for over four hundred years. He reached up to caress his cheek, moving down to his lips. Thats okay. I wanted to do it. Well get the ring cleaned and resized. He paused, remembering. He had large hands. At least, I always remember them as large. I remember him as a large man. But in reality he was probably shorter than Richie. When Methos still did nothing, he sat upright and frowned. Unless...Im sorry Methos. Did I misread something? Do you not want the ring?
Methos shook his head and smiled. No, no. Relax. You didnt misread anything. I want it very much. I was stunned, thats all.
Good - I like you off balance, Duncan chuckled. He stood, pulling Methos to his feet. We have to get back. Theyll think weve got lost.
Thats not what Joe will think. Or Anne, for that matter. They started walking towards the house, conversation now coming much easier. Duncan, have you actually spoken to Anne about us?
Duncan raised his eyebrows and grimaced. No. Anne was never the easiest person to open up to. Mind you, I was worse. I mean, lets be honest. Even Amanda had trouble accepting us. Its not as if I was even bi, Methos. Youre the first male lover Ive ever had. I find it hard enough explaining it to me, much less a female ex-lover. Stop looking at me like that. I just wouldnt know where to start.
Then what about Rachel? Methos noted the phrasing of the Highlander: <<...the first male lover. Not, the only male lover? So, Duncan, have there been others since we first made love?>>
Hed always assumed that Duncan would have
spent the many fractured times of their relationship either on his own or with female
lovers. This was definitely a revelation (if he was reading it correctly) and one to be
pursued in the near future.
What about Rachel? Duncan shrugged his shoulders. Is it your job in life to keep turning over rocks in the hope of finding something unpleasant for me to have to deal with?
Now you mention it. But seriously, you didnt find her behaviour after you announced your Immortality, a little strange?
No. Shes always suspected. Somehow shes always known.
Even so, Duncan, it was unbelievable. Im Duncan MacLeod, born in 1592...blah blah blah... to which Rachel replies 'Thats nice for you. Getting late, must be off. I mean, really...
I'm sure she already knew. The night I killed Kanwulf I got angry at Joe and screamed out for everyone within a two mile radius to hear that Kanwulf had killed my Father. But okay...yes.... Ill talk to her. But Im not talking about our relationship to Anne unless Im forced to.
Fine. Forget I ever brought it up. //...Youll worry yourself to death about it...//
Fine. I will. //..And dont think I dont know what youre doing. Pushing my guilt buttons.// Methos, Ive had new plastic button covers made!
They were close enough to the house for the sound of Methos laughter to be heard, judging by the curtain which was drawn back by a figure in the front drawing room.
As the two Immortals came into the entrance hall, and then the drawing room, Joe and Anne smiled as Duncan threw out yet another challenge in his seemingly hopeless wager with Adam Pierson. Bjor.?"
" But youve already asked me that. It was country #24
but I still get to count it. So you only have three left.
Quechua?" Duncan looked pleased with himself as Methos had to stop and spend almost a full minute on the answer.
Good one, MacLeod. But not good enough, bright boy. Sirwisa.
You dont have to look so self-satisfied, Adam. And how do I know youre telling the truth?
You dont. Joe laughed and poured them both a whisky.
Duncan took the drink with relief, raised his eyebrow and tried to read the face of his lover. Methos couldnt keep the twinkle out of his eyes, loving it when he reeled Duncan in like this - again and again...//...Dont ever change, Gradhach. Dont ever change...// Gazing back with his Inscrutable Face, easily confused by amateurs with his Innocent Face, he outstared the innocent child before him. Anne watched the interplay with a genuine amusement and a growing admiration, if not quite affection, for the strange Adam Pierson.
Are you telling the truth or have you cheated? Duncan demanded, right eyebrow suddenly too heavy for his forehead, mouth just beginning the early formation of a provocative pout. //...Dont try your Inscrutable Face with me, Methos. Ive got weapons you havent dreamed of...//
But as he gazed more closely at Methoss
eyes, he began to suspect that, as usual, he didnt stand a chance when it came to
Methos ability to tie him up in knots.
Dont you ever learn? If I am lying, Ill lie and say Im telling the truth. That revelation was reinforced with a cocky wider eyed stare, as if Methos were talking to a seriously intellectually impaired adult, or Mary. And if I was telling the truth, it still neednt follow that Ill tell it about everything. I could still lie about telling you whether I have or not, since it would be a different lie than the one youve asked me about. Youve only asked me about lying about the correct words, not about whether Ive told the truth. So simply asking me whether Ive lied or told the truth...
Still clutching the whisky for life support, Duncan put both hands to his forehead and attempted to clear his ears and mind. What? What on earth did that mean? And take that self-satisfied smirk off your face. I have no idea what you just said. Cant you just answer yes or no? Why is straightforward honesty so difficult for so many people?
Because you got such a large helping that there wasnt much left over for anyone else. But, essentially, Duncan, I did answer simply. He stopped to savour the taste of the Glenmorangie, keeping his eyes large and guileless. Its just that without the qualifiers and added contextual insights, you might have been confused and I might have inadvertently been ambiguous. Methos explained from somewhere behind his Wounded Face.
Duncan growled in frustration and sat down heavily in the nearest over stuffed armchair. Adam, have you lied, by making up or substituting an incorrect word for any country that you didnt know?.
Methos pulled back and narrowed his eyes. //...Gods, gods, gods I love this man...// " No, I havent lied. Satisfied?
Then why dont I believe you? Duncan queried, his face and eyes full of complete mistrust.
Because then you wouldnt have anything to worry about. And Marys already told us that you are the greatest worrier in Christendom. And besides, do you really care if Ive lied?
I care in terms of honor. Getting back out of the chair, he went over to pour himself another drink, taking the opportunity to whisper to Methos as he passed, But I might be persuaded to forgive you. Depending on what punishment you have in mind for the loser.
Methos laughed. Believe me, MacLeod, in this case, the loser is definitely the winner.
If you didnt have such a smirk on your face I might believe you. And if I lose, Im not doing anything I dont want to. He glanced at the others, suddenly embarrassed and conscious of the lack of any other conversation in the room.
You say that now, but you will. Youre too honorable for your own good. Youll feel too guilty if you dont. And besides, it would mean that your word meant nothing. Nothing at all. So much for honor. Not that I care about it, but I thought you did.
Duncan shook his head in complete frustration. How does this always happen. Joe? You explain it to me. Im the one who always tells the truth but Im the one Meth - er...Adam - always leaves feeling like his soul needs a shower and that I need to find the nearest Confessional! Why is that? He looked from Methos to Joe, in total confusion.
Methos checked his facial files for his Confused and Concerned Face, one hed truly perfected to an art form some two thousand years before when trying to persuade that dolt Brutus to do something or other he didnt want to do. There was a lot of Brutus in Duncan, he suddenly decided. Ive no idea, Duncan. It must stem from a guilty conscience.
Returning to his chair, intent on engaging Joe in conversation, Duncan threw a parting shot. Afrikaans?
Youve already asked that. Number 15. Oke. Youve got one left..._
I havent asked Afrikaans. Now I know youre lying. Armenian?"
Pausing for dramatic effect, Methos simulated a drum roll, before announcing to the room, Youve lost! Stopping to yawn, he announced, Number 50 of your quota of fifty Countries. Garejure. A slightly loose translation but it fits within the rules.
Duncan and Joe exchanged raised eyebrows. Huh! Rules. You and rules! Why do I bother. And so saying Duncan helped himself to his generous glass of Glenmorangie and settled down to begin a decent Scottish wake.
In the corner Anne pondered this strange relationship, determined to question it the first chance she got.
Go to Part 6
Re-edited 7 January, 2001
|Copyright © Carson Kearns 1998-1999||Disclaimers||Contact