The cutlass whizzed so quickly
by Methos' ear, he heard the air sing in its wake. The stench of the
old oil dump made his head swim and his eyes burn. Blinking
desperately, he swung his Ivanhoe high overhead, gathering momentum for
another assault. His opponent, sword held easily before him mirrored
his actions, following his footwork.
Damn, this kid is good. He
looked like nothing. Idiot! You look like nothing too, Methos berated
himself, Focus fool, before this child takes your head.
The 'child' – a hulking six
and a half foot, one hundred year old with the build and reach of a pro
basketball player and deceptively childish features – had cornered
Methos in an alley outside the dump giving him no option but to take up
'Focus' became his mantra,
centering his concentration to a diamond hard pin-prick of light.
Deliberately slowing his breathing, pulling his control around himself
like a shield, the answer came to him – a gift from his subconscious.
Gradually Methos maneuvered the tall Immortal into position, patiently
laying the trap. Then in two long strides, slashing down from the right
slicing open the chest - revealing gleaming white bone under layers of
yellow fat and bright red muscle - and then the left - opening the
abdomen so that the glossy ropes of intestine bulged obscenely – then
his opponent was down, his foot caught in the rotting floorboards under
a leak in the ceiling. Kicking the cutlass away with an impatient
booted foot Methos stepped in and with all the strength of his slender
body, relieved the monster of his head.
In the seconds before the
quickening took hold, the ancient immortal sensed the familiar buzz of
MacLeod's presence. Smiling wearily, he surrendered to the overwhelming
power of the lightening. His last thought came too late – the fuel dump
was not an ideal place to release large amounts of uncontrolled
MacLeod could only watch in
horror as the licking arcs ignited the fuel-soaked timber. Flames raced
up the derelict walls, glowing bluely, an echo of the unfinished
quickening holding his friend in its grasp. The final arc was still
joining victor and vanquished when the first explosion blew both men
off their feet. The blasts turned the building into a vision of hell.
The pain of the quickening paled beside the horror of the flames now
trying desperately to devour Methos. Duncan dived at him, ignoring the
sparks lighting his hair, reaching Methos just in time to see the life
drain out of the hazel eyes. Throwing him over his shoulder, the
highlander crashed them both through the disintegrating wall and off
the end of the dock into the icy water.
Methos was still dead when
MacLeod, streaming water, carried him into the loft and tossed him on
"What were you thinking, old
man? It's not like you to fight every hothead that comes your way."
With unaccustomed tenderness
Mac reached out to brush the damp spikes of soft hair back from Methos'
forehead, frowning at the blackened burns, then went to change out of
his unsalvageable clothing. It wasn't like the old man to need this
long to recover, he worried, the smoke and flame must have done more
damage than it first appeared. He settled down on the side of the bed
After a little while, his
natural inclination to action was too great and he set to removing the
sodden black overcoat and the ruined sweater, following with the black
boots still half full of water leaving unheeded puddles on the spotless
floor. The jeans were a mess, they would have to go, and as the jeans
came off the underwear did also. His sudden hissed intake of breath was
his only outward reaction to the shocking truth of Methos' injuries.
The worst burns covered his legs with a horrific geography of dry
gray-black full-thickness burns like charcoal, interspersed with
peeling pink-red partial thickness burns weeping clear lymph fluid. As
his eyes roved over the patchwork of black and red marring the usually
flawless skin, they skimmed across the quiescent shaft lying heavily
against the marble cold thigh. Just as quickly he looked away,
uncomfortable at taking advantage while the old guy was asleep.
Nevertheless, the small stirring of his libido at the sight of all that
unblemished perfection amid the horrific burns quickened his heartbeat.
He removed the temptation by throwing a blanket over the unresponsive
Mac's mind wandered over the
last five years since his life had become entangled with the enigma
that was Methos. Since that first meeting the man had worked his way
under his skin like a fish-hook, and to remove it now would be more
pain than he could bear. Logically he knew Methos would eventually
revive, but emotionally the wait was devastating. Then his reverie was
shattered by the sudden return of the presence and his heart leapt.
Methos returned to life coughing, gasping air into still healing lungs.
Duncan handed him a glass of water, watching anxiously as the spasms
"I've always hated dying that
way," he rasped, the quip belied by the shadows lurking behind his
"Thanks Mac," he whispered
through a scorched throat, "Your timing is impeccable." His eyes
slipped over the Scot's face, taking in the lines of worry and anxiety.
Well, well, well, I wonder if
MacLeod realizes just how much his face reveals?
Suddenly uncomfortable, Duncan
leapt up off the bed, fussing about straightening up, "So old man, what
the hell was going on back there?
Who was the ape?"
"So stupid, I let him corner
me in that alley. Same old tedious story – 'there can be only one'
blah, blah, blah. Boasting about being one hundred years old – can you
imagine it?" Methos trailed off wearily, dropping his forearm across
his eyes. "He nearly took me, Mac," the ancient ground out, "The
stupid, fucking 'child' nearly took me. His sword came so close to my
neck I can feel it even now. I can't believe I was so fucking careless.
No gun, no way out, no plan – just fucking stupidity. Some days I don't
know how I've lived this long."
"You're being a little hard on
yourself, aren't you? Everyone, even the great Methos, makes mistakes.
You're old - not perfect."
" Thanks for the reminder
MacLeod. I'm fully aware of my imperfections, I just don't expect them
to get me killed."
"And they didn't, you might
have come close but you've still got your head, right where you left
it. All this is just the quickening settling. Come downstairs and
practice. You haven't been working out with me much lately."
Mac had begun to miss
the company of the old immortal, who'd been conspicuously absent in
recent weeks, with an intensity that disconcerted him.
"Not now Mac, I think I'll
just get some sleep and let the rest of these burns heal," and to
Duncan's astonishment, Methos rolled over in Mac's bed and fell
Shaking his head in
faint amusement, the highlander drew the blanket up over the sleeping
immortal and went downstairs to the dojo.
Slipping into the familiar
routine of a kata, he tried to avoid the depressing thoughts spinning
in his head.
He's never going to want me.
Why would he? He doesn't even come around much anymore. One day he'll
do one of his disappearing acts and I'll never see him again. God, I
want him in my life... I want him... I need him.
He drove further disturbing
thoughts out with a punishing routine that left him sweat-soaked and
breathless. As he sank to the floor he sensed the welcome song of
Methos' presence tickling along the base of his skull.
Methos stopped as he left the
elevator - wearing only the jeans he'd 'borrowed' from MacLeod's
wardrobe - forcing his face into an intentionally blank expression and
his body into a casual slouch. He would not – could not – allow
anything in his demeanor to convey what he was feeling. Internally he
was blown away – stunned yet again by the sheer physical glory of this
man. The sharply defined muscles, pumped from the recent exertion, slid
smoothly under the flawless golden skin, and as he watched, MacLeod
pushed a perfectly manicured hand through the curling sable waves of
his hair. Methos allowed himself a fond chuckle at the small vanity.
Duncan turned towards him at
the sound, a query in his raised eyebrow, "Something funny?"
"I think I'm ready to practice
with you now."
"Now that I'm exhausted, you
mean," Mac rose and took down a pair of swords from the bracket on the
wall and tossed one to Methos.
"We don't always get to choose
the time or the place. The bad guys don't generally respond to 'sorry
I'm a bit tired, please come back tomorrow.'" He forced even more
biting sarcasm into his tone than usual.
They circled one another, each
immortal twirling his sword with a roll of a strong wrist. Methos went
in hard, setting the pace with a series of vicious thrusts. The elder
pulled no punches, using elements of several different fighting styles
mixing them in a way Mac had never seen him use before. Duncan was
pushed to parry the blows, forced onto the back foot, defending
himself. Naked menace glittered in Methos' dark hazel eyes, sending a
tiny frisson of fear down Mac's spine. This was the real Methos, this
warrior, stripped to the waist, total concentration evident in every
line of his finely drawn body. MacLeod's attention was distracted for a
millisecond by a look of raw hunger in his opponent's eyes as they
bored into his own.
Methos pounced on the lapse
like a leopard on a gazelle, driving the highlander back until his back
hit the wall, the old one's sword poised at his throat. Chests heaving,
gasping for breath they glared at one another across the gleaming
metal. Almost imperceptibly, something changed in Methos' expression.
The menace bled away from his eyes, but the gaze was no less piercing
for the departure. If anything, Duncan realized, it was growing
stronger, searing him right to his soul. Laying him bare to the
ancient. Breath caught in Duncan's throat - unable to read the emotions
trapped within the gaze he swallowed nervously - then the moment was
Methos spun away, angrily
hurling the sword into a corner, "How have you stayed alive a whole
four hundred years?" He stalked off, heading upstairs to the loft.
Mac sank down the wall, eyes
burning, head spinning, a hole in his gut where his stomach once was.
"Idiot, fool, moron..." MacLeod quickly ran out of invectives to heap
on his own head. He then tried banging the back of his head against the
wall, but this also failed to change the facts. Once again he'd proven
to Methos what a complete idiot he was. For the briefest of instants he
thought that Methos might step over the line and kiss him and he was
deeply disappointed that he had not. Shaking his head Duncan refused to
continue with that train of thought and followed Methos up to the loft.
He found him, as if nothing
had transpired between them, sprawled on the sofa downing a cold beer.
"Beer, MacLeod?" Methos
"Don't mind if I do," Mac
returned in the same tone.
An uncomfortable silence
telescoped endlessly. Mac stood in the kitchen placing the bench
between them, nervously pulling at the beer. Methos maintained his
studiously casual pose refusing to end Mac's discomfort by breaking the
silence. Finally the Scot stumbled upon a safe subject and blurted out,
"We should go back to the oil dump and look for your sword. I didn't
have time to find it in the fire. The cops and the fire department
should be gone by now."
"I'll need something to wear;
it's a little chilly for the shirtless look," Methos rose and rifled
through the dresser without waiting for a response.
He slipped into a black
sweater that matched the black jeans he'd already helped himself to,
and turned to find the highlander watching him intently. Raking MacLeod
with an arrogant sweep of his eyes he added, "I'll need a spare sword,
too. I can't very well walk around naked." He was gratified to find the
ripple of reaction flitting across Mac's face at his words.
"Sure, which one do you want?
The claymore's probably the closest in weight to your Ivanhoe."
"Why not? I haven't had my
hands around a Scottish blade in ages." It was all he could do not to
laugh out loud at the blush that heated Mac's face at his words. He
really shouldn't tease the highlander so mercilessly, but it was so
A short while later they
arrived at the burned out building, a reeking heap of blackened boards
and twisted metal drums all that remained.
"Talk about a needle in a
haystack," Methos complained.
"Sorry. I had this strange
notion you would rather I'd haul your scrawny ass out of the fire than
worry about a sword."
"Yes, well my 'scrawny ass'
thanks you, MacLeod, however leaving a bloodstained sword at the scene
of a beheading is an invitation to trouble," Methos lectured
"It should be around here
somewhere, you were in the center of the building when you took his
head." Duncan kicked aside rubble as he searched.
"Yes I do know where I was.
Thank you very much," Methos snapped.
Trying to ignore his friend's
unfathomable mood swings, Mac continued to search until a glimmer of
silver light caught his eye.
"I think I've got it. Shit!
It's still hot," he exclaimed, almost dropping it again. Other than
some blackening caused by the fire the sword was unscathed and the old
immortal accepted it gratefully.
"Come on, Mac, we'd better get
out of here before anyone wonders what we're up to." Methos turned to
head back to Mac's car.
"I'll drop you at your place
then, shall I?" Duncan offered as he settled behind the wheel of his
"Fine." Methos replied shortly.
Not long after they pulled up
outside Methos' building. He didn't get out immediately, instead he
turned to look at his friend, "Come in?"
"Sure, why not?" Duncan's
instincts whispered as if he stood on the edge of a great precipice,
something life changing was in the wind.
As they entered the apartment
Duncan was struck by how little of the personality of the resident it
revealed. Aside from the books – and there were hundreds of them – it
was bland, displaying none of the eclectic art and furniture Mac had
admired in Methos' place in Paris.
This was definitely Adam
Pierson territory, the mild mannered watcher would be right at home
here. This wasn't the home of the Methos he knew (and if he was
truthful – loved). Duncan knew that was something that Methos didn't
understand. His constant slipping into 'Adam mode' when they were
together proved that. What Mac had come to think of as the 'real'
Methos was all too infrequently seen and usually only when Mac had
pissed him off royally. Or when they sparred like today – he recalled
with an internal shudder. It wasn't Adam Pierson who fascinated him,
drawing him in like the proverbial moth to the flame time and time
again – no it was Methos, that mercurial, temperamental, complex
Methos passed him a beer
without asking and they sat facing each other on the pair of sofas in
front of the cold fireplace.
"You want to tell me what's
going on, old man?"
"It's nothing really, just a
bit of post-quickening, post-revival weirdness. It'll pass, it always
"It's more than that and we
both know it," Duncan's innate honesty wouldn't let him hide from the
truth any longer, he inhaled deeply and dived off the edge of the
precipice. "There's something between us, I feel it and I think you do,
"So what if there is? And I'm
not saying you're right, by the way." The hazel eyes refused to meet
"So I think it's time it came
out in the open. We're just hurting each other like this. It can't go
on – I can't go on. I need to know, Methos, do you? Could you? Could
you feel the way about me that I feel about you?"
Methos was stunned at the
sudden confession and even more shocked at the question. How could
Duncan doubt his appeal? How could he believe that anyone in his right
mind wouldn't want him? The truly amazing part was that, if he
understood correctly, Duncan actually wanted him in return. In his
wildest dreams Methos had never really believed that MacLeod would come
to this point. Yet here they were, the late afternoon sunlight gilding
the plain room to beauty, tension humming in the air, discussing a
relationship that ten minutes ago he would
have bet serious money would
never happen. Well, never say never. At the same time he wondered if
Mac completely realized what he was getting himself into.
"How can you not know how I
feel about you? I've wanted you every minute of every hour of every day
for the last five years," Methos replied in a voice thick with emotion.
"I wasn't ready to know it,
not then. Even now it scares the hell out of me. You're not exactly any
"That's precisely what I am,
MacLeod, just a guy," and suddenly the lines of his body changed and he
was Adam again – smaller, more diffident, an ingenuous expression
plastered all over his face.
"Don't do that – you don't
have to be him with me!" Mac almost shouted, seeing the 'real' Methos
slipping further out of his reach.
"Don't do what?" 'Adam' asked
"Don't diminish yourself –
don't put on 'Adam Pierson mild mannered watcher' with me. It's not him
I want, it's Methos – the warrior, the schemer, the survivor, the
lover." His voice broke over the last words and he stopped, heart
racing in the passion of the outburst.
"You might think you do,
MacLeod, but you don't know him very well. He's not that much of a
prize." He paused, a brief flash of pain crossing his features, "Do you
know the tale of the fox and the viper?" Without waiting for an answer
he went on, "The fox was down by the river one morning, hunting for his
breakfast. He was a good fox, as foxes go, and always tried to do the
right thing – help out his neighbors and so on – you know the type.
Anyway, he was walking along and ran into a viper sunning himself on a
rock. He said, 'Hello, Viper,' and would have passed on by if the viper
hadn't said, 'Hello, Fox, would you like to help me out? I need to get
across the river to the other side. I can't swim, you see, but I could
ride on your back.'"
"Well the fox, even though he
had a tendency to be a little naïve, was not stupid, he knew what
vipers were like.
'How do I know you won't bite
me and kill me?'
'If I bit you while we were
crossing the river we would both drown and what would be the sense in
And the fox was so struck by
the eminent reason of the reply that he agreed immediately to take the
viper across the river on his back.
The viper climbed on and the
fox began to swim. Eventually they reached the other side, but instead
of slithering off the fox's back, the viper opened his mouth and sank
his fangs deep into the fox's shoulder. As he lay dying all the fox
could ask was, 'Why? Why did you bite me?'
The viper looked at him,
having never heard such a stupid question, 'You knew what I was when
you took me on. It is the nature of the viper to bite.' And so the fox
died – a victim of his better nature."
Methos' words hung in the air
for several moments and an uncomfortable silence arose.
"You're not a viper, Methos,"
Duncan spoke at last.
"You're missing the point
Highlander, I will hurt you. If you persist in this – what ever this is
– I will hurt you. There's no avoiding it. It is my nature." His accent
became even more clipped over the last sentence, his lips drawing back
"I don't accept that," MacLeod
"Yes, well you've had trouble
accepting what I am for a long time now, haven't you?" Methos' voice
grew even colder.
"I do accept you – good and
bad, light and dark, past and present. I just don't know how to make
you believe it!" Passion roughened MacLeod's voice to a rasp and he
grasped the beer bottle so tightly it shattered in his hand. The mood
broken, he leapt up, blood streaming from the wound where several large
"Gods, MacLeod, I can't take
you anywhere. Quick, into the kitchen and stop bleeding on my floor."
Holding the injured limb
tenderly, Methos quickly found some forceps and removed all the pieces,
washing away the blood even as the rivulets of lightening ran across
the broad palm. The wounds healed with the burning sensation so
familiar that Duncan rarely even noticed it anymore, but this time it
tripped a mental switch.
"You know Methos, the healing
hurts, sometimes it hurts like hell, but we wouldn't forego it – would
Ah, MacLeod, if you're
determined to do this insane thing I don't know if I've got the will to
resist much longer, Methos thought, a twinge of sadness stabbing his
"You let me take care of my
pain and I'll let you take care of yours," Duncan finished as he turned
to face him.
Raising the hand he still held
to his lips That's it, I surrender. Methos whispered, "What if I
want to take care of you?"
Lowering his face he took
Duncan's breath away by placing his mouth over the newly healed skin,
teasing the sensitized nerves with tiny flickers of tongue.
Duncan was mesmerized.
Time and space were compressed
into the three square feet where they stood. Every sensation in Mac's
body was concentrated in the palm of his hand, on the heated tongue
tickling along the lines of life and fortune. After a long while
or an instant, he slowly lifted the hand, catching Methos under the jaw
and raising the angular face to his. Eyes locked, their mouths met for
the first time. Methos had the odd brief sensation of homecoming – a
rightness – a perfect fit. Slowly they savored the moment, tasting,
exploring with exquisite care all the planes and surfaces of each
other's mouth. Passion building, Methos' hands crept up to cradle
Duncan's face, long fingers stroking the soft skin below his ears.
Bodies pressed together, the kiss refused to end. Greedy hands grasped
at hair, shoulders and backs. Legs entwined and hips ground together
but the kiss went on. Tongues duelled like rapiers, lips slid over lips
enclosing deep moans of pleasure. A step and half a turn saw Methos'
back pressed against the kitchen bench, increasing the heat and
friction between the grinding hips. His hands slipped down Duncan's
throat to his chest blindly unbuttoning the silk shirt, baring the
solid wall of muscle. Mac growled as he lifted the sweater from Methos'
whipcord lean frame, forcing the kiss to break finally. With reverent,
feather-light touches his fingers explored the elegant lines of muscle
and sinew, gazing with something akin to awe at the revealed torso, as
pale and perfect as a marble god.
"God, Methos, you are
beautiful," he rasped.
"Look who's talking," Methos
replied in a gravel voice, his eyes boring into Duncan's.
Suddenly uncomfortable under
the intense scrutiny MacLeod ducked his head to sample the tender flesh
of the ivory neck. Methos moaned softly and melted into the solid
warmth, voluptuously molding his body to every curve of the
"Unless you want our first
time to on my kitchen bench, we might consider adjourning to the
bedroom," he whispered as MacLeod feasted greedily on his neck.
"Mmm, good idea," he managed
Eventually they stumbled into
the bedroom, an ungainly many-legged creature prone to bumping into
walls and moaning with ecstasy. Still joined they fell onto the wide,
soft bed. With sudden desperation they clawed at their remaining
clothes, a stray fly button pinging off the ceiling unnoticed. They
paused in a frozen moment, drinking in the sight and sound of one
another's body, breath coming in ragged gasps. As if by agreement they
moved together, fitting their bodies as closely as possible. In a
tangled, breathless blur hands and mouths, arms and legs grasped and
grappled, stroked and gentled, teased and tantalized and drove each
other into a frenzy of desire and need. Then the moment was upon them,
Methos sitting up between Duncan's legs, the question clear in his eyes.
"Yes. Now. Please." Duncan was
barely coherent in his desperation.
Without replying, Methos
reached for the small bottle of oil beside the bed, savoring the hunger
on Mac's face as he watched his every move. Pouring a little oil into
his palm he warmed it and coated his fingers in it before slipping one
long, pale digit through the tight puckered opening, his mouth quirked
into a half smile at the answering moans. A second, then a third
followed, Mac's need became a frantic all-encompassing universe.
Withdrawing the fingers with a
final ripple across the prostate he eased into the tight passage,
working his way in deeply.
Unable to wait another second,
he began to move, slowly, infinitesimally building to the crescendo.
Mac could only ride the waves of pleasure coursing through his system.
Methos was so close to his own completion that when MacLeod arched and
cried out, his semen spilling out over his belly, the contractions of
the tight muscles tipped him over the edge, fireworks exploding in his
brain. Panting heavily he collapsed forward, nestling in against Mac's
Basking in the afterglow of
gluttonous satiation, they soon slept – in the way of men everywhere –
together but separate, content to have their own space but always in
reach. And they did reach, time and again – unable to still the desire
that arose at every touch. With the desperation of addicts they fed
from one another, ravenously drinking in the taste and touch until they
were no longer sure where one ended and the other began. The morning
sun was an unwelcome guest in their private universe, forcing their
notice. A miasma of sweat and sex hung in the air, intensifying as the
sun warmed the room. MacLeod, as always, woke first, languidly
stretching and rolling towards his lover.
Methos, my lover, he thought
with an odd mix of wonder and satisfaction.
Brushing the sweat-damp
spikes away from the smooth forehead, he studied the face of the man
(he loved). He looked so young as he slept, even younger than he must
have been the first time he died. This train of thought led him to
think of the vast difference in their ages, leading him to feel
insecure all over again.
Enough brooding, idiot, time
to get moving. Action being preferable to thought, every time.
"Come on sleepyhead, time to
wake up," he whispered in the old guy's ear.
Methos shivered and blinked.
"After five years haven't you
learned never to wake me at the crack of dawn? Or is it that you don't
like your head where it is?" Methos affected his best evil hiss, but
was unable to completely hide the amused glint in his eyes.
"It's been tried before," Mac
"Get over here you great
barbarian – what time is it anyway?" He pulled Duncan down to him,
pushing a hand into the dark, silky tangle.
"Time we had a shower, or
hadn't you noticed the rather - pungent aroma in here?"
"Mmm... now you mention it I
could be persuaded to join you."
"Join me? I think that's how
we got in this state in the first place," Mac chuckled.
"Very punny, MacLeod, go on
then, out you go." Methos swatted Duncan's ass as he climbed out of the
Now that is one of the
superior backsides of the western world. "Lead on, MacLeod."
Duncan groaned at the truly
dreadful pun and headed for the bathroom.
It took a freezing blast from
the empty water heater to drive them from their steamy sanctuary,
flushed and glowing pinkly.
"Here's one that's yours
anyway, Mac." Methos tossed him a sweater from the drawer.
"I wondered where this one had
gone. Have you taken to stealing my wardrobe along with my heart?" The
words were out before he could censor them.
Methos noticed the panicked
look that flashed across the highlander's face, "Your heart, Duncan?
You stole mine years ago, surely you know that?" Stepping in close, he
slipped his hands up to clasp either side of Duncan's face. "When I
said you were too important to lose, I meant you were too important to
me. I love you, MacLeod. Isn't that the strangest thing you ever heard?"
"Strange? No, I think it's
just about perfect – you see I love you too, old man," there was a
tremor in his voice that betrayed his vulnerability as his hands
settled on Methos' narrow hips.
MacLeod's stomach lurched like
he was on a roller coaster, his head spun and his throat grew tight –
this was all happening so fast. The implications of loving Methos were
so huge, so life-changing, so awe inspiring, that the concept seemed
almost too big to fit in his head.
Methos could see the conflict
race across Duncan's saturnine features and it tore his heart in two.
He wasn't ready for this – for him. He was a fool to have laid his
feelings open like this. A self-mocking grin escaped out one side of
his expressive mouth. Better to tough it out, not let Mac see the width
and depth of his pain.
"It's not too late to write
this all off to experience, you know. No harm, no foul as it were." His
attempt at lightness fell as flat as his spirits and his voice, no
matter how carefully he reined it in, held the tremor of his agony.
"Dear God, Methos, don't you
listen to me? I love you. It scares the hell out of me – yes – a lot of
the time you scare the hell out of me. This is moving really quickly, a
day ago we were to all intents just friends – now look at us. But I
love you, with everything I am and everything I have. So unless you
want out, I think we're stuck with each other," Mac's bass tones
scraped over the last words as emotion thickened his voice.
Slipping his hands up the
well-muscled back, he pulled Methos close, hugging him fiercely,
inordinately pleased when the gesture was returned with an equal amount
of passion. With very little effort on MacLeod's part they fell onto
the bed, the air escaping from Methos' lungs with a grunt as Duncan's
weight landed on top of him. Their eyes locked together as Mac leaned
in and with the lightest of touches captured his lover's mouth. With
feather-light caresses he teased the responses from the mobile lips.
His tongue flicked gently along the outline and slowly dipped inside.
Methos groaned, deep inside, as Mac traced the satiny interior of his
mouth. Methos’ elegant hands swept over the firm muscles of MacLeod's
back to rest in his damply curling hair. The highlander continued to
feast sensuously on his lover's hot mouth and as the passion sparked
between them, Methos pulled Duncan down, increasing the pressure. Their
swollen groins ground against each other throwing yet more fuel on the
fire. Suddenly the need to touch skin became an overwhelming obsession
and with a frenzied clutching of hands their clothing was torn aside,
baring the soap-fragrant surfaces to hands and mouths.
Slithering his long golden
body down his lover's pale one Mac paused at the flat coppery nipples,
drawing one in, sucking strongly, grazing teeth over the pebbled
tissue. Methos inhaled sharply as pleasure washed over him and his back
arched off the bed. Mac's hand covered the other nipple tweaking it
firmly before drifting down to where Methos' cock waited impatiently.
Grasping it below the weeping head he stroked it slowly, feeling the
pulsing beat in the vein beneath his hand. Fire racing through his
blood, Methos thrust up into his lover's hand, body stiffening, toes
curling as pleasure drove conscious thought away. Mac's clever fingers
were relentlessly drawing the fevered responses until he was desperate.
"Gods, Mac – no more."
"Do you want me to stop?" He
replied, a teasing glint in his eyes.
"Do and I will kill
you," Methos rasped out through gritted teeth.
"What do you want then?"
Duncan rumbled against the curve of his neck.
"Fuck! I want to fuck you
now," he gasped.
"What's that? You want to fuck
my mouth? Your wish is my command," Duncan's silken whisper dripped
His tongue traced the
sensitive slit and over the glans, tasting the salty fluid, then took
the reddened cock deep into his throat, sucking hard until his lips met
the coarse curls gathered at the base. With infinite patience he
reversed the motion, swirling his tongue around the gently flared head.
As the mouth Methos had always fantasized over continued to take him to
the edge, he thrust up off the bed rushing towards a climax. A square
tipped finger insinuated itself against his anus, Methos moaned
desperately, lifting his knees to his shoulders to encourage the
access. The sensation of the finger as it finally entered him sent him
arching off the bed again. Then as the head of his cock was drawn
deeply into the silken throat, he came, the rushing in his ears
drowning out the wild cries as Duncan swallowed every drop.
When he was again
capable of coherent speech, he murmured, "When did you learn to do
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
Mac replied slyly, as he moved to meet Methos' eyes, "Now shh," he
whispered, dropping hot, wet kisses down the length of the muscled
Methos’ arousal soon returned
and he was moaning and writhing against his lover.
"It has to be now, Mac," he
begged in a graveled voice turning over onto his side as Mac reached
for the lubricant.
Duncan worked the oil into the
tiny orifice, grinning ferally at the gasp that escaped Methos. Slowly,
in minute increments he pushed his length inside, relishing the tight,
hot sensation. He reached forward to wrap his hand around Methos'
neglected cock, stroking it in time with his thrusts until they were
both shaking. Blood pounding in his ears, he pulled back almost all the
way out before beginning a steady rhythm that soon had them lost in a
maelstrom of delight. They came on the sound of each other's
name, the intensity strangely quiet. Together they lay, drained and
limp, spooned against one another, reluctant to let go.
"Did I tell you I bought a
yacht?" Mac asked as they walked down the street to Joe's.
"What on earth for?" Methos
replied with barely concealed horror.
"I've wanted one for a long
time. I was thinking of buying one a few years ago with Richie..." His
voice trailed off, remembering. "Anyway
I heard about this one a few
weeks ago and it was perfect. She's called 'Phoenix'. Quite a
coincidence, don't you think? The immortal bird that rises from the
ashes renewed and young each time."
"Yes I do know the story. I
think I was in China once or twice in my life," his clipped tones
They entered the room,
claiming a pair of stools at the bar.
"Hey you two, how's things?"
Joe automatically pushed a beer in front of Methos and a shot of single
malt in front of MacLeod.
"Are we really that
predictable?" Methos raised a sardonic eyebrow.
"Always," Joe laughed.
It was all the lovers could do
not to burst out laughing, they looked into each other's eyes, heated
color creeping along cheeks and ears. The ever-observant watcher didn't
miss a thing.
"No, you two? You're kidding?
Well I'll be damned," he turned to Duncan, "You sure you know what
you're getting into?"
"Joe, don't worry about me. I
can take care of myself."
"Each to their own. Another
drink to celebrate?"
Comforted by their friend's
easy acceptance of their changed relationship, they spent the rest of
the afternoon at the bar, conveniently avoiding the contentious issue
of the yacht.
As Joe served at the opposite
end of the bar, Methos recalled their earlier conversation and asked,
"He didn't look at all surprised about this," and he waved his hand
between them, "now why do you think that was?"
MacLeod had the good grace to
look a little embarrassed, "Not everything Joe sees goes into my
chronicle. It's an uh, arrangement we came to so my chronicle doesn't
read like the letters section of Playboy. No men and only about half
"MacLeod you never cease to
surprise me," he smiled with genuine pleasure, lines like sunrays
forming at the corners of his eyes. Then the whole of MacLeod's meaning
hit him, "Men, what men?"
A teasing smile played about
the highlander's lush mouth, "Do you want to tell me about all your
Methos was all innocence,
"Come with me, Methos, you'll
love it, " Duncan urged.
"Mac you know how I feel about
boats. Don't ask me to do this." Methos was immovable.
"Just come out for the day. I
mean it's been what, twelve hundred years? Boats have improved somewhat
since then." Duncan was being his most charmingly persuasive, "It'll be
great – just us, no one else for miles and miles. No worrying about
surprise challengers. Sunshine, warmth, peace and quiet, what more
could you want?"
"A solid floor under my feet?
Terra firma all around? No threat of sinking? All of the above?" Methos
was determined to resist MacLeod's
"Just come out for a couple of
hours, for me? If you hate it we'll come straight back in, I promise."
For good measure he added the eyelash batting that usually was so
effective when persuading lovers.
"Don't bother, MacLeod, I am
impervious to such shallow tricks."
"Fine. Well what can I do
then? I really want you to come."
"Well as enticing as that
sounds, I'll have to pass," Methos' tone was icy.
"You are so stubborn," MacLeod
flung at him in sudden anger.
"Look who's talking," Methos
"You have no sense of
adventure, you never try anything new," Mac accused.
"I tried you, only you turned
out to be not so new after all," Methos hissed spitefully.
"What's that supposed to
mean?" Mac was outraged.
"Nothing, Mr My Life Is an
Open Book," Methos stood and flung his arms wide.
"That's rich coming from you,"
Duncan rose too, his chair clattering to the floor behind him.
"I've never pretended to be an
open book," Methos snapped, snatching up his coat.
"No, well you've pretended to
be everything else!" MacLeod roared.
"Well how about I stop
pretending to be interested in this conversation!" Slamming the
elevator gate behind him Methos stormed out, seething with white-hot
"Bloody stubborn, mule-headed
"Bloody stubborn old fool!"
Duncan was incensed. He moved angrily around the loft, erasing traces
of Methos' presence.
Not so new! What was that
supposed to mean? Did the old guy seriously expect him to be some
MacLeod was just slamming a
'Methos sweater' into a drawer when a buzz hit, momentarily
disorienting him. The realizations that it was
not Methos, and that his sword
was in his coat by the door, came almost simultaneously.
"Shit!" Still, maybe it was
The door imploded. Okay, not
Amanda. And the doorway was filled with an unfamiliar male shape.
"Where is he? Where's that
other bastard?" He bellowed, brandishing a saber.
Duncan darted forward,
snagging the katana from the coat stand, "I am Duncan MacLeod of the
clan MacLeod. If you're in my house you must be looking for me," and he
tapped the saber with the tip of the katana.
"I'm Peter Christie, the boy
the other one killed was my friend. Someone's head's gunna roll - may
as well be yours!" Stepping fully into the room, he waited in a
standard fighting stance.
"Come on, then – you want to
talk or do you want to fight?" MacLeod raised the katana above his
head, the tip pointing at Christie. He beckoned with a rolling wave,
"What are you waiting for?"
The battle, once joined, was
short but intense. Christie scored early with a few hits to Duncan's
upper body and arm but his rage-fuelled attack was no match for the
highlander's strength and skill. Blocking an overly ambitious thrust
with a blow to the shoulder of Christie's sword arm, Duncan slid his
left hand to the wrist of the challenger and turned almost as if they
were dancing. A sharp reverse elbow to
Christie's mid-section causing
him to double over in agony, making it easy for Duncan to finish him
with a short back-handed strike to the face. With an economy of motion
born of tens of thousands of hours of practice, Mac disarmed the
challenger and with a solid back-swing took his head cleanly.
The things I do for you
Methos, he thought, contemplating the damage a quickening would do to
Unfortunately for the loft the
quickening was huge. The windows imploded, light bulbs exploded, and
every appliance in the place fused in a swirling, chaotic whirlwind of
power. Duncan was knocked to the floor, rigors contorting his body, his
back arched in a parody of pleasure. When, at last, the tremors ceased
he dragged himself up and surveyed the damage with a groan. The whole
apartment was trashed and there was a headless corpse in a massive pool
of blood that was rapidly soaking into the floorboards.
"Shit," was his dispirited
comment as he considered the job ahead.
After he had disposed of the
body, Duncan was in no mood to go back to the disaster in the loft.
Instead he pulled the T-bird up in front of Joe's. For once as he
walked into the bar no immortal presence assailed him. He checked and
the bar was indeed open, so he walked through the door and slumped at
"Jesus, who died?" Joe
"Guy called Peter Christie,
you know him?" Joe shook his head. "He broke into the loft looking for
Methos. Apparently the guy he took out the other day was Christie's
"Sheeit! So why didn't
Methos fight him?"
"Joe, Methos is gone again."
The desolation was all too apparent in his eyes. "We had a, uh, bit of
an argument. He hasn't been here, has he?" The casual expression he was
trying for was spectacularly unsuccessful.
"I'm sorry Mac, I haven't seen
him. So where did you end up fighting Christie – not the loft, surely."
"He didn't give me much
Joe whistled, "What's it look
"Pretty much how you'd expect
– like a bomb hit it."
"It's pretty late, do you want
to stay at my place tonight?" Joe offered.
"No, it's okay Joe, I
thought I'd sleep on the yacht. I've got a few things to work out and
it's quiet out there at the marina. Thanks anyway." He rose and left, a
defeated cast to his normally confident stride.
Aboard the yacht, Duncan lay
on the narrow berth gazing up at the stars through the open hatch. The
gentle movement of the ocean failed to comfort him, the soft breeze
through the portholes did nothing to soothe his torment. Methos filled
his mind and soul with turmoil until he didn't know which way was up.
Meanwhile Methos, feeling a
little guilty about the argument, headed back to the loft to try to
mend the rift. The sight that greeted him turned his heart to ice. The
wrecked apartment and the oxidizing bloodstain could only be the result
of a quickening, but whose? He turned on his heel and headed for the
only person who would know the truth – Joe.
A short, wild drive saw
him pounding on Joe's door frantically, shouting, "Come on Dawson! Let
Finally the door opened,
"Jesus, Methos! What the hell are you doing here at this hour?"
"I've just been to MacLeod's.
What happened? Is he alive?"
Joe turned his wheelchair to
let him come in, "Mac's fine. Someone came looking for a fight and he
had to oblige."
"So where is he, Joe?" Methos'
patience was not extensive at the best of times.
Joe looked at the haggard
features of his old friend, so clearly traumatized by the recent
events. "He's out at the yacht, Methos. He was pretty torn up about the
fight you guys had. What'd you say to him, anyway?"
"It was stupid. He was being
stubborn and pushy and I over-reacted. Gods Joe! What am I going to do?
I knew this would happen. I told him if we did this he would get hurt.
It's hell to be right all the time." He slouched deeply in a chair,
almost disappearing into the voluminous folds of his coat, looking as
dejected as Joe had ever seen him.
"Do you love him?" Joe asked
simply, cutting through all the bullshit.
"Yeah, Joe. I love him at
least as much as I've ever been capable of loving anyone. The length
and depth and breadth of my soul and all that romantic nonsense." The
off-hand tone he affected wasn't fooling anyone, the bleakness in his
eyes reflected his true state of mind.
"Go then, go and tell him. He
loves you, you know."
It was fortunate that Methos
encountered no traffic police on his wild drive to the marina as the
fines would have put quite a dent in even his considerable financial
resources. He screeched to a halt and leapt out of the car. Hands
shoved deep in his pockets holding the warmth of his coat against his
frozen body, he walked quickly through the marina, searching for a
twinge of Mac's buzz. He found the boat before he came in range of the
presence. He paused, feeling a tremor of apprehension, then it was gone
and calm certainty filled him. Stepping lightly onto the deck he called
"You never call me that,"
MacLeod answered smiling tiredly, "Come aboard, Methos, you look like
"Thanks," he replied, dryly,
"I'm considerably better now then I was. Do you know what I thought
when I saw the loft? I thought you were dead. I thought you died hating
me," he flung the words at the Scot passionately.
The desolation in the dark
hazel eyes almost brought MacLeod undone.
"I'm sorry, I just couldn't
stay there. I didn't think you'd be back – after the fight and all.
I've never hated you – I could never hate you." MacLeod was pale under
his tanned skin, there were dark shadows under the poignant brown eyes.
"You have before," Methos
"That wasn't hate, Methos,
that was pride – my own stupid vanity. I thought because I loved you I
knew everything you were. I couldn't deal with it when I was wrong. I
rejected you then when I should have been there for you. Did I ever
tell you how much I regret that? I handled the whole Horsemen thing
badly and hurt you in the process. I had no business judging you. Now
here we are again and I'm doing the same thing once more. The way
you've survived five thousand years with heart and mind intact is one
of the things I admire most about you. I shouldn't have thrown it back
at you. Everything you've been, everything you've done, has brought you
to me as you are now. How could I change that?"
"It's not your fault – we each
do what we're given to do. You were reacting just as 'Duncan MacLeod of
the Clan MacLeod' would always react. You are what you are, just
as I am. The question is, can we be what we are and be together. We've
already hurt each other - just as I told you we would. Are you
prepared to go through that time and again? Because I don't know if I
am. I love you but I can only be what I am, I can't be your version of
me." He turned away, unwilling to show any more vulnerability.
"Methos, I've only ever wanted
you to be what you are. It's driven me insane to see you pretending,
putting on Adam Pierson because you think I'll find him more acceptable
somehow. It's you I love, Methos, not him. Do you trust me enough to be
yourself with me? Or am I kidding myself, should I just walk away now
before we have nothing left to salvage – not even our friendship?" Mac
could barely breathe for the tension gathering in his chest.
"I don't know the answer to
that, I want so desperately to trust you, to let you into all the dark
places in my soul but some of them terrify even me – how can I expect
you to accept them? How can I ask you to accept what I fought to accept
myself? So I re-invent myself, and let the past lie. If you're looking
for full disclosure, you'll have to look elsewhere – I don't play that
game." The shutters were back in the hazel eyes.
"I don't need to know anything
you don't want to tell me, Methos, and all I've ever wanted is for you
to be yourself, to let me love you. Although I could have done without
the 'not so new' crack." Duncan gave a wry little smile that didn't
quite reach his eyes as he tried to lighten the mood.
I'm sorry I was such a
spiteful shit about your past, I'm the absolute last person who should
ever do that. I get a little possessive when I fall desperately in
love, not that it's any excuse. I just had this vision of you sometime
in the future, writing me off as another in your long list of
conquests. It made me slightly crazed." Methos smiled ironically.
"You were never a 'conquest',
Methos. I don't have the words to tell you how far from that you are.
Whatever I've had with anyone else, it's not what I feel for you. I'm
sorry too, I knew you hated boats –“
"It was never about the boat,
really, Mac. I thought you realized that. How do you think I got to
this country two hundred years ago – walk?" Methos turned to face him
"Then what the hell was it
about?" MacLeod's disbelieving tone reverberated through the tiny space.
"It was about you – you're so
overwhelming. I feel that if I don't draw a line around myself, between
what I will and will not do, I'll be submerged. Do you know how easy it
would be for me to lose myself in you? To forget myself and my life and
live your life. Do you have any idea how seductive that is? To wrap
myself in your codes and your honor and your habits and your way of
life and pretend they're mine? It's so tantalizingly seductive my heart
aches with wanting it, but it's like a drug, MacLeod, I want it
desperately even though I know it'll kill me. The only way I've
survived this long with any shred of mental health remaining is that
whichever persona I adopted, whatever profession I took on, whatever
relationship I went into, is that they were mine. I chose them and
re-invented myself to fit into them but inside I was still Methos, the
sum of all of them. I'm afraid that if I let myself love you the way
you want me to I'll lose that and all I'll be is the man who loves
Duncan MacLeod. I can't let that happen," he finished on a broken
"Christ, Methos. I had no
idea. All I know is that I love you and I wouldn't change you for
anything. I keep saying it but you're not listening to me. I want you
to be who you are, what you are. Who you are now is the person I love.
Don't idealize what I am, there's plenty of dark places in my soul, you
know that better than anyone. We are both yin and yang – not one or the
other. But I think we bring light to each other's dark – we
fit...we balance...I think we can work."
He looked exhausted and as
Methos watched he swayed a little on his feet. Methos went to him,
placing his hands on the wide shoulders,
"Enough talk, you're out on
your feet, come and lie down."
Methos guided Duncan to the
berth, laying him down and would have walked away but the Scot wouldn't
release Methos' arm.
"Come, lie with me, you're
just as exhausted and your hands are frozen as always."
He moved over in the narrow
bunk pulling Methos down and enfolding him in his arms. They slept
deeply, not waking until the sunlight pouring through the skylight was
too strong to ignore.
Methos woke, blinking at the
bright light assaulting his eyes. He turned in the circle of Duncan's
arms, the movement enough to wake the highlander, "Hey, you," he
whispered pressing a kiss into that beautiful mouth.
"Hey, yourself. How are you
feeling this morning?" MacLeod's dark eyes searched his lover's face
for the truth.
"I believe I'll live, how
about you?" Methos' long fingers crept up to caress Duncan's stubbled
"Better, definitely better."
Mac's eyes fluttered closed as the fingers moved to stroke the
sensitive nape of his neck.
"What were we fighting about?
It can't have been as important as this, can it?" Methos made a little
sound in the back of his throat as Mac's arms tightened around him.
"Nothing's as important as
this. I still think I'll sell the yacht, though," Duncan offered.
"No, it is important to you. I
saw the way your eyes lit up when you talked about it, I couldn't take
it away from you now. Keep it – sail it – I'll be waiting for you when
you get back. Besides," he added with an impish grin, "There'll be all
that great re-union sex to look forward to."
Duncan smiled into his love's
eyes briefly before growing serious, " You do know that you're so much
more to me than that, don't you? Damn, Methos, you're a miracle. You
have to know how much I love you."
"Maybe I trust sex more than I
trust love. Love invariably leads to pain."
"When are you finally going to
believe that you deserve to be happy? That you are capable of
happiness? That I wouldn't change a single thing about you? That we're
strong enough to withstand whatever hurts we inflict on each other? We
are you know. Together there's nothing that can touch us if we don't
let it. Don't you feel that? When we're here like this I feel like I
could love you like this for the rest of time."
Well, old man, decision time –
stay or walk away – safety or risk – love or loneliness – yes or no.
Methos stared deeply into the warm brown gaze, glowing with emotion and
the world righted itself suddenly, clicking into place. Yes.
"I don't know about the rest
of time, Duncan, but right here, right now? Yes I think it'll be all
right, not easy, but all right," and he smiled, that rare wonderful
smile that lit his eyes and his heart.
To Be Continued in
Better Be Home Soon Back
(Tim and Neil Finn)
I lit the match, I lit the
I saw another monster turn to
Felt the burning lifting from
Do you recognize the nervous
That exposes the weakness of
When your turn comes round and
the light goes on
And you feel your attraction
Your instinct can't be wrong
Separate the fiction from the
I've been a little slow to
But it's nearly time to flick
And I'm hangin' by a single
Laughin' at the stony face of
When your turn comes round and
the light goes on
And you feel your attraction
Your instinct can't be wrong
Words used without permission.