A long time ago, Gentle Reader, in a
bed far, far away (or not so much, depending on your proximity to a
certain Pacific-West city) a man named Duncan turned to his own Best
Beloved and asked in a tone of wistful musing, "Have you ever seen a
pumpkin patch in the moonlight?" It was, perhaps, a silly question, but
Duncan was on occasion rather a silly man.
His Best Beloved (whose name was
Methos, in case you were wondering) chuckled, but affectionately, for
despite (or perhaps indeed, because of) the aforesaid silliness, a
propensity for Heroic Deeds and occasional lapses of sanity, Duncan
truly was his own Best Beloved.
Which worked out nicely for both of
Anyway, when Methos was done with
chuckling and ruffling his fingers through Duncan's hair he said, "I'm
five thousand years old, for all love, I've seen any number of pumpkin
patches in the moonlight."
Duncan's big, brown eyes went big and
sad (though still brown) but he smiled unconvincingly all the same. "I
guessed you would have," he said.
want to see a pumpkin patch
in the moonlight?" Methos asked Duncan, drawing him close with the
crooking of one finger beneath Duncan's chin.
"Not if it's not new for you," Duncan
answered, kissing him sweetly on the mouth. "It was just a thought."
"I could pretend, if you liked."
Duncan shook his head and kissed him
again, just once. "No. I don't want you to pretend with me. Forget it."
Then he helped Methos to forget the
silly thought with his mouth and his hands and sweet, urgent yielding
of his body to Methos' own. And for a while, in the midst of the joy of
having him, Methos did indeed forget.
The very next day, when the sun was
high and streaming like banners of gold through the wide loft windows,
Methos woke to find himself lying alone in their bed. The sun warmed
his bones and lay across his skin with a heat like the memory of Duncan
himself. Who was, at that very moment, standing naked at the window,
leaning one broad shoulder against the window frame and gazing out into
Methos spent the obligatory moment or
two appreciating the bronzed beauty of his Best Beloved, his eyes
lingering here and there (mostly there, Gentle Reader, and I
know where I mean). Then he left the bed and went to him, wrapping his
sun-warmed body around Duncan's and holding him close.
"Is everything all right?" Methos
asked softly, his lips brushing Duncan's ear.
Duncan turned to him and smiled
widely, but not well. "Everything's perfect."
Methos (because he was So Very Old
and Wise) knew that very few things were indeed perfect, but he said
nothing, choosing instead to wait and see what Duncan was up to. His
Best Beloved was charming and beautiful and brave, but he was a very
And so it happened that the very next
evening, while Methos warmed his cold feet in Duncan's lap (for even
fairytale heroes can succumb to the chill of an autumn night) Duncan
looked up at him and said, "Methos? Have you ever watched the sun rise
over the Coral Sea?"
Methos opened his mouth to answer,
but sometimes, Gentle Reader, lies come to the tongue a moment too late
to use and even the skilled prevaricator goes awry. So it was now.
Methos was master of many things, but he could not call back the lost
Duncan looked into his Best Beloved's
face and saw the kindly meant untruth there. He looked away, the light
dimming in his big, brown (but still sad) eyes. "Forget it. It doesn't
Methos crawled into Duncan's lap and
beguiled him into moaning and writhing and crying out the name of his
Best Beloved, but the questions in Methos' mind would not let him
alone, even when Duncan magicked first their clothes, and then the
space between them, away. Though there was a moment when Methos found
himself incapable of any thought at all, it passed all too soon and the
questions returned, more irritating than before.
The sun rose the next morning
(surprising no one) and Methos was already awake (which was a
surprise, to him at least). Beside him, Duncan slept, snoring not quite
softly. It was true, he was charming, beautiful and brave and many
other wonderful things, but he was not, after all, perfect. But
Methos loved him anyway, for his imperfections most of all and he would
not have him hurt for all the world if he could help it.
But the fact remained that Duncan
was hurting and Methos had yet to find a way to heal it. It
like he could help being so very old and having so very much past, nor
even that he would want to change it if he could, but it was true that
it meant very little was ever new to him.
Only, he mused to himself with the
first true smile for many days spreading across his face, that wasn't
precisely true. He went back to sleep with the seeds of a plan
germinating in the deepest, darkest recesses of his mind. And he was
Methos smiled throughout that day. He
smiled as he watched Duncan across the breakfast table. He smiled as he
dragged Duncan into the shower with him, and smiled wider as his Best
Beloved sank to his knees. He even smiled as he drove to work and
smiled all through his classes (frightening more than a few of
students, if the truth be told) and smiled all the way home again, even
though the traffic was snarled and slow.
He was still smiling when he arrived
home that evening to find his Best Beloved recently arrived and
brooding into his coffee while he sat not quite watching the hockey
game. Duncan smiled back, still not quite convincingly, but Methos was
"Come on," Methos said as he took
Duncan's hand. "We're going out."
"Out?" Duncan said as he stood. "We
just got in."
"Does that preclude us from going out
once more?" Methos said, handing Duncan his coat.
Duncan could only agree that they
were indeed free to go both in and out as they pleased, but he
expressed a certain puzzlement with Methos' insistence upon the 'out'
part at that particular moment. Methos simply smiled and declined to
explain further (finding as he had so often before that it was most
helpful in situations like this to have a reputation for
mysteriousness). Duncan put on his coat and, watching his Best Beloved
with more than a little suspicion, followed him out the door.
Methos manoeuvered Duncan into both
taking the T-Bird and letting him drive. After all, as he said, "It's a
surprise. You don't want to spoil your surprise, do you?"
Duncan admitted a smidgen of
discomfort with the thought of being surprised, but Methos just laughed
at him, gently, taking the keys and the wheel in short order. Despite
his loathing of all things frigid, Methos left the top down. He had his
A huge, golden moon rose over the
cool autumn night as Methos drove them out of the city. Beside him,
Duncan was silent, and when Methos looked over at him, his head was
tilted back as if the answers to all his Best Beloved's mysteries were
written in the brilliant wash of stars overhead.
Methos smiled again, inscrutably, as
he turned the car off the highway and onto a dirt road. He knew without
looking (because, as you will recall, he was Very Old and Wise) that
Duncan was staring at him with questions in his big, brown (but
hopefully less sad) eyes. But he drove on in silence.
When they finally slowed and then
stopped, Duncan could remain silent no longer. "Methos," he said sadly.
"You didn't need to do this."
Methos looked for a moment at the
pumpkin patch and the fat, orange pumpkins lit by the moonlight, then
at his Best Beloved. "Yes, I did," he said.
"But you've seen it before. I wanted
us to have something new and just for us," Duncan said, catching up
Methos' hand in his own. "Something you would remember always."
"It is something new for me," Methos
explained, climbing across Duncan and opening the door. "And I will
remember it always."
"Methos..." Duncan grumbled as he was
tugged from his seat. "I told you I didn't need you to pretend for me."
Methos pressed him up against the
side of the car and kissed him. It was not pure, but it was incredibly
passionate, some might even say it was toe-curling. Methos certainly
would have. And went it was done, Methos looked at his Best Beloved,
silvered by moonlight, and fell in love with him all over again.
"I don't need to pretend with you,
Duncan MacLeod," Methos told him with one hand laid against his beloved
face, "the world is full of pumpkin patches, but I've never before
kissed you in any of them."
Duncan could only smile with his eyes
big and brown, and definitely no longer sad, and kiss him back.
And they lived happily ever after.
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