Straight and Low



Duncan honestly thought -- whenever he had thought about it, which wasn't all that much, just a small obsession two or three times an hour for the last eight years when he hadn't anything more life-threatening to do -- that once he'd made the first move on Methos it would be all plain sailing from there.


The old bastard was clearly waiting for him to do it. He couldn't have made himself more available over the years without hanging a sign around his neck. Staking claim to his couches time after time with his legs spread and his neck bared and that 'come and get me' dare glinting in his eyes. Sidling inside his personal space at every opportunity. Sprawling across his bed, for crying out loud. Could the man have been any more obvious?


But Methos avoided starting anything, so Duncan always figured it'd be up to him. And that was fine. He'd choose a time and a place when he was completely ready for Methos and everything that came with him. Okay, so it had taken him eight years and that was slightly pathetic, but now that he'd decided to go for it, he'd expected it to be pretty much plain sailing. Well, as plain sailing as he could manage with a viper-tongued five thousand year old man in his bed.


Boy, was he wrong.


Hugely wrong, stunningly, startlingly wrong. Wrong on the scale of that Prince Albert he'd let Amanda talk him into. Wrong on the scale of wearing platform shoes to a sword fight. Wrong like that codpiece that shrank in the rain and almost crippled him. Just plain wrong in so many ways.


Duncan hated being wrong.




Part one: The first move is the hardest. Yeah, right.


"Come for dinner tomorrow night?" Duncan asked, as off-hand as he could manage with his heart thudding like a kettledrum in his chest.


Methos glanced up from the chessboard. "Sure." He paused with his fingertips just touching his queen. "What's the occasion?"


The queen was entirely the wrong piece for Methos to be playing at that point, so it had to be a sign, right? Comforted, Duncan smiled, filing it away with his long list of other Signs That Mean Methos Wants Me, and said, "Pierre at the fishmongers says he can get me some sea anemones. Thought I'd try that recipe you gave me." It was all good; voice just casual enough, right amount of eye contact -- not so much as to give the game away, not so little as to brush him off.


"Mmm... Haven't had those in a long time." And Methos lifted the queen and placed it down on the board. "Check and mate." He grinned up at Duncan with such smugness that if Duncan had wanted him any less, he'd have been tempted to take a sword to him.


As it was, he simply ignored his ignominious defeat and concentrated on the word 'mate', letting his imagination run wild. He'd feed him dinner, flirt a little more openly than usual, ply him with some of the finest wines in his cellar and let nature take its course. Methos would be eager, and skilled beyond his wildest dreams. And he was capable of some fairly wild dreams. He'd take that long, hot, body into his arms and into his bed and wipe that smugness away with his mouth and hands and cock. Over and over and over again.


It was a good plan.




It was a bloody atrocious plan.


What had he been thinking? Methos' sea anemone recipe called for a variety of bizarre ingredients that he'd never even read about, let alone seen. Vaguely unpronounceable things. And was that passum, or possum? Good grief. Liquamen? He didn't want to know. This was turning out to be a lot more complicated than he planned. Fuck it. He'd go with something simple. Soup was simple; soup he could do. A thick seafood soup with sea anemones. Delicately flavored, sensually textured, as smooth and creamy as Methos' skin. Oh yes...That was a much better idea.


But he had to stop thinking about Methos' skin or he'd never get it done on time.


And for a while it seemed like it was a better idea; the soup was coming together nicely, simmering away in the big pot on the stove, smelling damned good even if he said so himself. Bread was warming in the oven and a bottle of really exquisite Semillon Blanc was chilling next to the salad in the fridge. A simple meal, not too overdone, not too heavy.


Methos arrived, not on time, but not as late as he sometimes showed up. Everything was ready, looking quite beautiful. Sparkling crystal, snowy white linen -- the works. Duncan was shaved, showered and fragrant, dressed a little better than he did for their usual dinners, but not well enough to be intimidating. A fresh tube of lube was in the drawer by the bed. God was in the details, after all.


And Methos... Duncan was sure he knew something was up. He looked wonderful, skinning his coat off at the door to reveal a fitted black t-shirt and tailored trousers that hugged his shapely ass to perfection.


"You're looking good tonight," Duncan said as he handed Methos a glass of wine.


A wrinkle of confusion creased Methos' brow. "Thanks." He sniffed the air. "That doesn't smell like my sea anemone recipe." He wandered into the galley and lifted the saucepan lid, peering into the pot. "Couldn't manage the liquamen, huh?"


"Something like that. You'll have to show me how it's done, sometime." Duncan was right behind him, practically breathing down his neck. He smelled great.


Methos slipped away and turned to lean back against the bench. "Maybe I will. Sometime."


Duncan stirred the pot once more. "Ready to get started?" he asked, enough innuendo in his tone to sink a flotilla of barges.


Methos shrugged. "Sure."


Methos sipped his wine and Duncan watched him from the corner of his eye while he ladled soup into bowls.


"Hungry?" Duncan asked, raising an eyebrow in his direction.


Methos tossed back the last of his wine. "Starving."


Duncan had to look away before the ravenous look on Methos' face undid him completely. He bent and retrieved the bread from the oven, wondering if Methos was watching. Wondering if he was enjoying the view. It was good thing Methos didn't know how pathetic he was; otherwise he'd never get laid. He had an image to preserve after all.


He was thinking about that; thinking about fucking Methos' mouth, or his ass, blowing him where he stood, or something equally pornographic and satisfying rather than thinking about what he was doing.


He should have been thinking about what he was doing.


Distantly, he realized that something was burning. Then, somewhat less distantly, he realized it was him.


"Shit!" He almost dropped the tray of bread. The dishtowel he'd been using as a potholder had caught on the burner and was well alight by the time he snapped out of fantasy-land. He managed to get the bread onto the bench in one piece but the towel was still flaming away merrily.


Methos plucked the towel out of his hand and dumped it in the sink, turning the water on to dowse it. "Steady on there, hot stuff," Methos said with a smirk, dusting some burning embers from Duncan's sleeve.


Duncan looked up from his smoldering shirt cuff and checked his Methos Subtext Meter. That one was right up there. Practically a come-on. Suddenly, his ruined shirt was of no importance at all and the evening's agenda was right back on track after the tiny detour.


"I'll just go and take this off," Duncan told him, with a sultry up and down flick of his eyes.


He'd rarely been so glad of the barge's open design than he was at that moment. He strolled up to his wardrobe beside the bed and unbuttoned his shirt, checking over his shoulder to see if Methos was watching. The contrary bugger wasn't. He'd snagged one of the incendiary dinner rolls and was nibbling on that instead.


That wouldn't do. "I've got some movies we can watch later if you like," Duncan called as he slipped the shirt from his shoulders. Now Methos was looking. And if Duncan wasn't mistaken, that was a flash of pointed pink tongue he'd seen wetting Methos' lips. Oh yeah. That was much better. He turned around to face him. "I got that new one with that guy from that Gladiator movie you thought was so funny." Duncan hadn't exactly seen the humor in that one, but then he hadn't been there.


He found a plum-colored silk shirt he hadn't worn in a while and pulled it on. He considered not buttoning it, but that perhaps would have been a fraction too obvious. He settled for just doing up a few in the middle. Methos smiled appreciatively as he walked back down to the galley, so he thought he'd probably made the right decision.


"Looking forward to it," Methos said as he came near. The Subtext Meter pinged again.


He managed to get the dinner on the table without further mayhem or wardrobe despoilage, but it was a near thing with Methos standing close to him, six foot of utter temptation in head to toe black. Duncan breathed him in as he moved past. Dear god. His cock throbbed in his pants, making him wince as he sat down.


"Are you all right, Mac?" Methos asked, pouring some more wine for them both. "You seem a little...distracted."


Duncan unleashed his best smile, reassuring, not too predatory. "I'm fine." He lifted his wine glass. "Bon appetit."


The soup was good. And judging by the crotch-rattling little noises Methos was making as he ate it, he thought so too. All Duncan could think of was having Methos make those same sounds around his cock. Bloody hell. Why had he waited so long for this?


"This really is very good," Methos said, pausing to break open a roll. "The Romans thought sea anemone was an aphrodisiac, you know."


Duncan blinked, green lights flashing happily in his mind. "I think I read that somewhere."


"Of course the Romans thought any number of ridiculous things were aphrodisiacs so you can't really take their word for it."


"So...," Duncan began over the top of his wine glass, "they don't have that effect on you?"


The corner of Methos' mouth twitched. "No more so than candlelight and a bottle of decent wine."


Duncan glanced down at the table, where the wine was sweating and the candles were dripping creamy white streaks over their holders. And smiled that killer smile that had stood him in such fine stead in four hundred years of fucking his way across four continents. He may have raised an eyebrow, but he was too busy staring into Methos' eyes to pay much attention to subtlety.


Then Methos cleared his throat and reached for the wine and the moment was gone. Damn it. There was only a dribble left in the bottle and Methos held the empty up with an expectant look. Duncan took the hint and the bottle and went into the galley for another.


"What's your pleasure?" he asked, surprising himself with how husky his voice had gone.


Methos came over and peered over his shoulder at the rack. "The Chateau Y'Quem?"


"Good choice." Duncan lifted it out and turned around. Methos was still there, not even arms' length away and utterly delectable. He set the bottle on the bench and reached out, his heart drumming out of control, to touch his forefinger to the side of Methos' face.


Methos looked a little puzzled, but he didn't move away. More importantly, he didn't pull a blade. "Do I have something on my face?" he asked, lifting his hand to Duncan's.


"No," Duncan answered softly with the ghost of a smile. "I just wanted to touch you." And he leaned in, spreading his fingers to tilt Methos' face to exactly the right angle, and kissed him.


And dear God, Methos tasted wonderful. Wine and spices and something that had to be just him. Duncan stroked his tongue along the seam of Methos' lips, easing it inside, finding Methos' tongue and tangling with it. Methos' lips sealed around his, kissing him back hungrily. For a long, long moment it was perfect, easily the best kiss he'd had in a couple of hundred years and certainly the best first kiss ever. Methos' hand crept up his chest.


And pushed him away. Hard.




Part two: When is a Methos not a Methos? When he's Adam Pierson, of course.


What the fuck? "Methos?" Duncan blurted when he could speak.


Methos slipped away and retreated to the far side of the room. "I can't do this, MacLeod."


Okay, the old guy was jittery. He could deal with that. It had probably been a long time for him. "It's okay... I won't do anything you're not ready for."


Laughter snorted out of Methos' nose. "You just did."


Now he was really confused. "Then that must have been someone else kissing me back a minute ago. Funny, it looked just like you."


"I didn't--I can't... Damn it, MacLeod. You have the worst timing ever."


Confusion was turning into utter perplexity. "Methos, you're going to have to explain. I have no idea what you're babbling about."


Methos was pacing back and forth, obviously having some sort of serious dilemma. Duncan went to him and grabbed hold of both his hands, arousal all but burnt away by concern.


"Methos, whatever it is, we can work it out. I can help you."


Methos laughed bleakly and pulled his hands free. Then he dropped the bomb:


"Adam Pierson is straight."


Duncan burst out laughing. He couldn't help it. It was so utterly, completely ludicrous. Methos wasn't terribly amused, judging by the dark look on his face, but Duncan couldn't stop. It was possibly the silliest thing he'd heard all year. Eventually, though, he managed to get himself under control enough to wipe his eyes and stifle the laughter.


"I'm sorry," he said as the chuckles died away. "Hell, Methos, if you didn't want me you could have just said. You didn't need to make up something as ridiculous as that."


"It's true!" Methos protested. "Adam Pierson is as straight as they come. A Kinsey zero. No guys, not now, not ever. Just women."


It was weird hearing Methos talk about his alter ego as if he was a real person instead of just a cover story. Duncan frowned, trying to catch up with the latest strangeness from his very strange friend. "But you..." He waved a hand vaguely. "Methos, you aren't seriously telling me you've never had sex with a man."


Methos rolled his eyes. "I'm not talking about Methos. I'm talking about Adam. Adam Pierson, mild-mannered ex-Watcher, is your basic hetero."


Duncan noticed Methos had never mentioned not being attracted to him. This was clearly a Good Sign. "As it happens," Duncan told him, advancing slowly, "I'm not interested in sleeping with Adam, sweet as he is. Methos on the other hand..." He trailed off as he came closer to his quarry, backing Methos up against the bulkhead.


"Oh no, you don't," Methos countered, side-stepping neatly. "I've got a good few years left in dear Adam, not to mention a doctorate in the offing. Ask me again in ten years when I'm someone else. I'll make sure the next one's queer."


This one was pretty damn queer if you asked him. And..."Ten years?" Anything could happen in ten years. He wasn't waiting ten years. He was cranky about waiting ten minutes. Methos was edging towards the door, but Duncan was onto him. "This is all some elaborate plot to drive me insane, isn't it?" he said as he went after him. "You flirt with me until you're all I can think about and then you pull this stunt. What'd I ever do to you?"


Methos stopped in his tracks and blinked at him. "I'm all you can think about?"


"Yeah," Duncan said sincerely, wrapping his hands around Methos' upper arms to keep him from escaping. "When I'm not fighting for my life, or asleep." He rubbed his thumbs over bare, warm skin. "Come on, Methos...give Adam the night off..." He tried the killer smile again. "You know you want to."


Methos swayed towards him and tilted his head. Oh yeah. Duncan pulled him closer until their mouths were almost touching.


"Mac, no," Methos breathed, stiffening in his arms.


"You're serious about this." Duncan was still finding it incredible, but apparently Methos really was.


Methos nodded, looking distinctly unhappy about the fact. Perversely, that made him feel a lot better. Not as great as he'd feel with Methos writhing and sweating beneath him, but for non-naked, non-contact amusement, it would do for now. This was a long way from over.


Methos slipped his arms free and stepped back. "I should go."


"You don't have to."


Methos looked him up and down. "Yes, I really do."


"Okay..." Duncan smiled, trying not to look too wolfish as Methos backed up towards the door. "I'll see you later." Boy, would he.


Methos made for the door, grabbing his coat on the way. Duncan couldn't resist one last jab.


"Oh, and Methos...?"


Methos paused and the sardonic eyebrow lift that Duncan was so fond of was back.


"The straight-guy act needs a little work."


He could have sworn Methos stuck out his tongue at him as he fled.




Part three: The things we do for love -- or at least a really hot fuck.



It was probably a bad thing that Duncan was considering killing Adam.


Certainly it was a low-down, dirty, unethical trick to play on a friend. Terrible. Awful. But that didn't stop him from thinking about it. Fantasizing about it. Plotting out the how and when and who. He could do it. It would be easy.


It would be wrong.


Methos would never forgive him. Of course never was a really long time and anything could happen. He might possibly forgive him long enough for Duncan to distract him with some spine-melting sex. Duncan smiled. Oh yeah....


Of course Methos might kill him two or three times first and that would be a pain in the ass (not to mention painful) but it was a small price to pay. It wasn't like Methos would take his head for it. Would he?


Probably not. But with Methos one could never be one hundred percent sure about anything. Duncan went back to thinking about it. There had to be a way of doing it so everybody would be happy. Unfortunately, nothing was coming to mind at that moment, so Duncan ordered another beer.


And another. And another.


Sometime after the eighth or ninth, beer became scotch, and sometime after the fifth or sixth scotch, Methos appeared at his elbow like some apparition out of a Dickens novel. The ghost of orgasms yet to come -- or something.


Methos was grinning, but even through all the booze Duncan could see it was two-edged. "Are we having fun, MacLeod?"


Duncan leaned an elbow on the bar, rested his cheek in his hand and swiveled to look Methos in the eye. "Not as much as we could be."


Methos rolled his eyes. "And here I was thinking that you were too much of a gentleman to mention that."


Duncan considered that carefully. "Nope."


Methos sighed and ordered a double. "Another great myth bites the dust."


Duncan tossed back his shot. "Life's a bitch."


"Careful, Mac, that almost sounded bitter," Methos chided with utter insincerity.


Snarky, hot, bastard. "Blah, blah, blah..." He looked up and nodded to Joe for another shot. It arrived, sliding down from the newly established DMZ at the far end of the bar. Joe had too much sense to come any closer. Duncan grabbed the glass and downed the scotch before adding, "Still Adam?"


Methos smirked and leaned closer, talking almost directly into his ear. "Still horny?"


Duncan grinned, not bothering to disguise the wolf this time. Methos' coat was hanging open, right by Duncan's free hand. Maybe it was a coincidence. Maybe it wasn't. It didn't really matter. Opportunity beckoned. Duncan slid his hand inside the warm cashmere and found the warmer, softer skin of Methos' waist, curving his hand around it.


Methos went very still. Duncan took this as another Sign and slipped a finger inside the waistband of his jeans, stroking the outline of his hipbone. His skin was even better than Duncan had imagined. Fine and smooth and silky. Duncan made himself concentrate on making Methos hot rather than on the purple prose crowding his racing brain. Methos' eyes were wide, not shifting from Duncan's even when he moved his hand from the bar and brought it to cover the hand groping him.


And practically dislocated Duncan's finger when he bent it back viciously. Duncan yelped in a mortifying falsetto.


"I think you lost something, MacLeod," Methos whispered, tossing his hand back at him. "I found it somewhere it didn't belong at all."


Duncan massaged his hand and glared back.


"You should keep an eye on all your appendages," Methos told him with a purely Adam smile. "No telling what might happen to them if they wander into the wrong places."


Duncan stood up from the bar stool and looked down on him. "I'll keep that in mind, Adam." And he turned on his heel and walked away.


He was only vaguely aware of bar patrons scuttling out of his way as he strode out of the bar. There was only one thing on his mind.


This was war.


All bets were off.


Adam Pierson was a dead man.




Sanding was cathartic -- probably not as good as knocking down walls, but he had few enough of those as it was, so sanding it was. He just kept ripping off the surfaces and plotting the downfall of one Adam Pierson. Back and forth, back and forth, plot and counter-plot.


Poisoning the pain in the ass had merit, Duncan decided as he worked on the barge's hull. Just what he deserved after that stunt at the bar. He was still ticked about that. What game was Methos playing this time? Whatever it was, poisoning was probably too good for him.


Shooting him would have a certain poetic justice. He was still a little pissed about that shot in the back all those years ago. He'd always felt Methos had enjoyed it just a bit too much. Perhaps he could shoot him. Nah...shooting was definitely too good for him.


Maybe he could find a garbage truck to run him over.... A full one.


Whatever it was it would need to be public -- very very public. Le Blues Bar was the perfect place. Joe would be less than happy about it, but Duncan would make it up to him somehow. And surely Joe had known Methos long enough to understand the irresistible urge to kill him. Maybe he'd even help.


And of course, then Methos would need to leave Paris for a while. And Duncan would have to go with him. But he could deal with that; there were plenty of places they could live. He'd been here long enough and it was time to move on anyway. Hong Kong might be nice -- he hadn't been there in a while. But he was getting way ahead of himself.


He had an alter ego to kill first.




Part four: Blue balls. Nobody's friend.


Methos really was an utter bastard. Duncan wondered distantly why this should be such a surprise to him after all these years, but perhaps it took an incident like the previous day's to make him really appreciate the full extent of Methos' bastardry. But he was up to speed now. And how. Fortunately for the both of them, Duncan could be just as much of a bastard.


And he was a bastard who'd spent the past few nights remembering the touch of Methos' skin, the taste of his mouth, the quick, skilled heat of his tongue. That made him a horny bastard with blue balls. It was not a good combination.


He was sitting in his usual spot in Le Blues, innocently plotting the demise of the object of his affections, not bothering anyone, (except Joe with his semi-regular requests for scotch) when Methos wandered in. And he was not alone.


Very obviously not alone.


And Duncan (who was deeply in lust but not blind) couldn't fail to notice that the person -- the woman, of course -- Methos was busy being not-alone with was gorgeous. A Vivien Leigh in designer jeans. Dark-haired and fair-skinned, groomed to perfection while remaining entirely touchable in the way that only French women seemed able to manage. And Methos was touching -- boy, was he touching.


It all had to be for his benefit, Duncan figured, watching them with a jaundiced eye. Methos didn't seem the type for public displays of affection. Yet there he was, standing behind her at the bar, arms wrapped around her, nibbling on her neck while she laughed throatily and leaned back into him. Revolting.


Duncan's cock hardened in his pants. He would have ordered another drink, only Joe was being sucked into the disgusting display at the other end of the bar and wouldn't have noticed Duncan if he was on fire. He grunted and reached over the bar, helping himself to a bottle of his usual. Though he doubted there was enough alcohol in the whole bar to help him deal with this. He poured himself a double anyway.


All he could do was watch and imagine himself in the woman's place. Although he hoped he wouldn't be laughing quite so vapidly. He would, however, be leaning back into Methos, grinding his ass over the thick ridge in his groin, slipping his hand back and down Methos' thigh, tilting his head to one side so Methos could bite his neck. Guiding his hand to cover his own hard cock, turning in his arms to smile darkly and whisper something filthy into his ear, something that would make Methos' breath quicken, make him grab his car keys off the bar and tug Duncan out the door.


And maybe they'd make it home before Duncan fucked him raw, maybe they wouldn't. Either way was good.


And it would be good. Damned good. If Duncan could ever cure Methos of this ridiculous obsession with being straight-as-a-die Adam Pierson, that was. Well, there was no time like the present.


Duncan checked his look in the mirrors behind the bar, not actually surprised by the pure evil in his smile, and rose from the barstool, ready to do battle. Oh yes, this was going to be very very good.


He shouldered his way through the light crowd lining the bar and made a space for himself right next to them. Methos slanted a knowing, superior look at him from behind his date's back. Duncan didn't bother smiling back.




"Oh my god!" Duncan cried, camping it up as much as he could. "Adam? Adam Pierson? I thought it was you!"


Methos and his date turned to look at him. He thought Methos' hand twitched a little towards his sword. Duncan ignored it.


"I thought you'd left Paris for good," Duncan went on, reaching out to lay his hand on Methos'. "Wasn't that what you said when you left?" His voice was thick with wounded desperation. "You said you couldn't see me any more because you were going to Tibet on that research expedition?"


Methos' eyes bugged and his face went a color that couldn't have been healthy. He snatched his hand back and laughed without a shred of amusement. "I'm sorry, Marina, I don't think you've met my friend Duncan MacLeod, well-known madman and wannabe comedian. Marina de Vere, Duncan MacLeod. He was just leaving." Venom dripped from every syllable.


Duncan let his face fall, making his eyes wide and tragic. "Adam? What are you talking about?"


The woman twisted out of Methos' arms. "What is all this about, Adam?"


"He's joking!" Methos told her, glaring daggers at Duncan. "Tell her this is all a joke, MacLeod." It wasn't a request.


Duncan's lower lip trembled. God, he was good. "Were you joking when you told me you loved me? Or is that just a line to get me into your bed?" He was vaguely aware of Joe retreating to the opposite end of the bar, his shoulders shaking silently. Smart man.


"You didn't tell me you were bisexual," Marina said evenly. It was all Duncan could do not to laugh. This was going so well.


"I'm not!" Methos blurted.


"So you're gay." Said with a very Parisian matter-of-fact-ness.


"No!" Methos was shouting now and people were starting to turn and stare.


"But you slept with this poor man."


Duncan blinked at her pathetically, remorseless with the taste of victory.


Methos narrowed his eyes at Duncan, lowering his voice as he hissed, "I'd sooner sleep with a rancid goat."


"Adam! That's a terrible thing to say about someone who loves you so." She picked up her handbag from the top of the bar. "I think I should go. You boys have a lot to talk about." Tossing her head, she brushed off the hand Methos placed on her arm.


"Marina, wait, please," Methos implored, his voice completely at odds with the death in his eyes when he shot a look at Duncan. 


"No, Adam. I'm leaving. You should stay and work things out with your friend."


"He's not my friend," Methos growled.


"Goodbye, Adam," Marina said calmly. "Don't call me." She sashayed out of the bar with her head high.


Duncan had to give her points for class. He also had to get out of Le Blues without losing his head.


That might prove to be something of a challenge.




Part Five: Return of the Adam -- The Pierson Strikes Back.


Duncan watched Methos watching the beautiful woman walking out of the bar. There was still a chance he could get out of here with his head still on his shoulders, but it was getting smaller all the time. He'd never run from a fight in four hundred years, but right now it was looking like the smart option.


On the other hand, faint heart never won fair.... Duncan never got to finish the truism (which was, perhaps, not terribly true after all, there being very little either fair or maidenly about Methos), because Methos was turning around to face him and suddenly all his survival instincts were on high alert.


They pinged even louder when Methos smiled. A quick, nasty smile that said no good could come of this. And it didn't.


The attack came out of nowhere, stunning in its obvious simplicity.


"You gave my sister herpes, you bastard!" Methos shouted, loud enough to be heard in Beijing.


Duncan, stunned into gap-jawed silence, heard a couple of people behind him muttering French translations for the benefit of their friends. Great. Fucking perfect.


Then two unexpected and yet reasonably predictable things happened:


At the top of his voice, Methos yelled (in French this time for the edification of the majority of the clientele), "I hope your tiny, diseased prick falls off!"


And a large, creamy, cold cocktail landed on Duncan's head.




"That was quite a show you put on last night, buddy," Joe said as he put Duncan's drink in front of him.


"Thanks," Duncan said absently. Yeah, he was drinking more than usual and spending a lot of time at the scene of the crime--err...the bar, but that was just another thing he could blame on Methos. The bastard. It wasn't like he could spend all his time at home alternately jerking off and plotting. Sometimes he needed to get out and drink and plot. Otherwise he'd run out of tissues.


"Take you long to get the cocksucking cowboy out of your hair?" Joe was having entirely too much fun with this, Duncan decided.


He glared at him. "No." Actually he'd had to shampoo three times before he'd got all the butterscotch smell out. But he wasn't telling Joe that.


"Cos, you know, it's damned hard to get the smell of a cocksucker out of anything usually. The girls are always complaining about it." Joe's grin was sly and knowing.


"All right," Duncan said, slamming his drink down and looking Joe in the eye. "How much do you know?"


The grin widened. Joe was clearly loving this. "I know you're in a mess of trouble, MacLeod." He laughed, shaking his head. "Adam's got you by the short hairs, hasn't he?"


Duncan felt his mouth twist. "The bastard." Duncan had sent him flowers this morning. With a note of apology. Some of it was even sincere. Okay, Methos was a bastard, but he was his bastard and Duncan wanted to keep him that way. If only Adam wasn't in the way....


But he wouldn't be for much longer. And then Methos would be in Duncan's bed where he belonged.


Because eventually Methos would forgive him for last night's and any future stunts -- though it might take him a little while, a lot of groveling, and possibly sizable applications of hard currency -- and then he could take that long, hot, infuriating body to his bed and screw him senseless. Now there was a thought to keep him warm in the meantime....  


And Joe was still talking, Duncan noticed in the midst of his recurring Methos-fantasy. Duncan shook his head. "Sorry, Joe? What did you say?"


"I said: if you two jokers want to keep drinking in my place, you'd better start acting your ages." He might even have been serious, but Duncan could see the amusement lurking around his eyes.


"Sure, Joe. Sorry," Duncan said, trying to mean it. He looked around. Lunchtime drinkers were starting to filter in and he recognized a few faces from the night before. And they looked like they recognized him. There was muttering and pointing. The occasional giggle. It was time to go.


He tossed a bunch of notes on the bar to pay his tab and stood up. "Don't worry, Joe," he said as he shrugged into his coat. "It won't be for much longer."


Oddly, Joe didn't seem overly reassured by this. Duncan shrugged; he clearly lacked Immortal perspective.




Bearding the lion in his den had seemed such a good idea at the time. A simple confrontation to sort this idiocy out at last. Simple, straightforward. Honest. And okay, he was less than confident that anything to do with Methos could be described as any of the above, but damn it, short of killing the man or going quietly insane, he was running out of options.


But now that he was standing in front of Methos' front door, feeling his presence screeching in his head like faulty brakes and wondering what the hell he was going to say when and if Methos actually opened the door, he was less than certain that this was anything approaching a good idea.


He had his best smile all prepared, but it fled in the split-second between Methos flinging open the door and the sword point reaching his throat. He swallowed and tried to resurrect it.


"Hello, Methos."


"Hello, Methos?" Methos hissed incredulously while the sword point dug a little deeper. "You fuck over my date -- try to fuck over my entire life -- my carefully constructed life, thank you very much -- and all you can say is 'hello, Methos'?" The sword was whisked away. "Get inside."


Duncan did as he was told, slightly surprised not to be dead already. The door slammed shut behind him. Methos' sword seemed very large all of a sudden and Duncan made himself look elsewhere. Oh good, his gift had arrived. It was sitting, large and resplendent on the kitchen table. Most of it anyway. A single blood-red petal lying on the table gave a hint to its fate. His long-stemmed roses were now just long stemmed...stems. Someone (and there were no prizes for guessing whom) had lopped off every single flower head.


Which was probably a Sign. And not a good one. Suddenly, his neck itched. But it didn't stop him trying on the smile again and saying, "I see you got my roses." He could still salvage this.


No, he couldn't. Cold steel plunged through his chest, the death he'd been expecting flooding over him in a hot, panicked rush.


He died to the sound of Methos snickering.




Methos was still snickering when Duncan heaved back to life. Or maybe he just started again. It was one of those things you could never really be sure of.


Like where your clothes had gone while you were out cold.


Or how you came to be lying balls naked on the floor of a lift with an armed and possibly insane Immortal.


"Oh good," Methos purred. "You're back." He pressed a button and the doors whooshed open.


It was a huge effort, but Duncan made it as far as his knees. "No-oo!" he yelled when he felt the boot on his backside.


Too little, too late. Duncan went tumbling out of the lift and into the glass-walled lobby. Naked. Bare-ass, birthday suit naked.


Methos gave him a cheery little wave from behind the closing doors. "Bye, MacLeod."

It should have been hard to feel murderous in the midst of having to scramble for a single shred of dignity, not to mention cover from an indecent exposure charge, but Duncan managed it with no trouble at all.




Part six:  No sex plus no sense makes Duncan something something...


A sensible man would have taken the never-to-be-mentioned-again-on-pain-of-death lobby incident (and the subsequent attention of the gendarmerie) as a hint. A big one. And Duncan liked to think of himself as a sensible man. Usually. But he was also a man with a mission and the mission was more important now than it had ever been. Hints and sense be damned.


It was revenge.


No, it was sex.


All right, maybe it was a little of both and maybe it was something else entirely, but he couldn't really think about that, because the important thing was that Adam Pierson was going to die. The method no longer mattered as much as the end result.


He was a man clinging to the edge of the windowsill while some bastard pried his fingers off one at a time. If Methos wanted him insane, then he could give him insane. And how. He caught sight of himself in the porthole window, his face reflected against the black river. His hair was wild where he'd dragged his fingers through it and his brows were drawn down in a scowl so deep they almost met in the middle.


And still, he didn't think he looked all that bad.


But, out of force of habit and nothing else, he threw himself in the shower and tidied up a little. Tonight was the night. He was going to find Methos and end this, one way or another. So it was only right that he looked his best.




In the end, he didn't have to look far for him at all. The soon-to-be-late Adam Pierson was at Le Blues -- the first and last place Duncan would have expected him to be. But Duncan wasn't going in, that wasn't in the game plan tonight. He made himself as comfortable (and inconspicuous) as he could in the alley beside the bar and settled down to wait as long as it took.


Keeping a sharp eye out for the gendarmerie. They'd let him off with a warning yesterday, his indecent exposure being explained away as a buck's night prank gone too far, but lurking armed and dangerous in a public place might be a bit harder to explain away. And certainly inconvenient. He had plans for tonight that didn't include a jail cell.


It was nearly 3am before Methos' presence swelled and shifted, becoming the familiar cacophony in his head. Duncan pushed away from the wall where he'd been leaning for the better part of six hours and breathed deep.


Once more, with feeling.


He peered out around the corner of the wall and picked Methos out of the straggle leaving the bar. He could see Methos was tense, cautiously looking for the source of the presence as he headed for his car. Duncan stepped out into plain view, just to see what he would do. Methos stopped in the light of a streetlamp and looked straight at him.


Duncan licked his lips and smiled. "Adam!" he called, forcing pleasantry into his voice. "Can we talk?"


He caught the flash of a smile in the streetlight, before Methos strolled on over, as relaxed and arrogant as you please. Duncan watched him, the palm of his hand itching for his sword. But he made himself stand still and calm. It wouldn't do to scare him.




"MacLeod?" Methos said when he came near enough. Which was nearer than Duncan thought he'd come. "Almost didn't recognize you with your clothes on."


Prick. "Ha. Ha. You got me arrested, you know." Duncan had to work hard not to sound bitter. He grinned and slouched on one shoulder against the wall. "Enjoy the view?"


Methos flicked a look below his belt. "It was cold in that lift, wasn't it?"


Yes, it bloody was. "Warm at my place though. We could let bygones be bygones."


Methos sighed and tilted his head, slanting a look at him. "You know I can't."


Duncan swept his eyes up and down Methos' body. The cold or something was making Methos' nipples peak beneath the soft fabric of his Henley. Duncan dragged his eyes back up. Methos smirked. The bastard didn't miss a trick. "This is stupid, Methos."


"Stupid is as stupid does," Methos shot back with an edged smile. "Look, MacLeod--"


That was it -- he'd had enough. Duncan cut off whatever half-assed explanation Methos had in store for him next by the simple act of reaching out and grabbing him and throwing him up against the wall. And throwing himself in after.


He pressed Methos up against the wall with the whole of his body, gathering up his hands and pinning them. Methos was struggling, but Duncan was stronger.


"Interesting foreplay," Methos gasped. "Going to drag me off by the hair next?"


"Maybe later," he murmured, millimeters from Methos' throat.


Methos' hips twitched and he bared a little more of his neck. He was breathing fast and deep, his hard little nipples bumping against Duncan's chest.


Duncan bit him, not hard, just enough to make him whimper. Delicious.  He let Methos' hands go in favor of being able to touch him. He slid his hands up upside Methos' coat, up over his chest to his neck, burying his fingers in Methos' hair. Leaned in to kiss him.  Deeply. With tongue. Methos went boneless against him.


And unless that was a gun in Methos' pants (and this was Methos, so the chances of that were better than average) he was more than a little pleased to see him. It was so damned good he almost forgot he was here to kill Adam, not fuck him. Damn, he kissed like he'd spent a thousand years perfecting the art. Maybe he had. Maybe killing him could wait. Methos' arms were wrapping tight around his back, his hands busy finding Duncan's skin.


Coming within inches of the gun he had tucked into the small of his back.


Duncan slid to his knees, as if he'd planned to all along. As improvisations went, this one was bloody inspired. He flicked a look upwards and licked his lips while he opened Methos' jeans.


And was more impressed than he would ever let on. He should have known there was a reason Methos was such a smug bastard. Killing him could definitely wait.


He curled one hand around Methos' hard-on, bringing it to his mouth. "Tell me you don't want this," he whispered, letting his breath feather over the tip.


"You talk too damn much," Methos groaned, pushing his cock between Duncan's lips.


It'd been quite a while since he'd blown anyone in an alley, but for this he'd risk it. He wrapped his hands around Methos' skinny hips and swallowed him down. Methos made a sound like he was dying and grabbed two handfuls of Duncan's hair. Which wasn't his favorite thing, but not enough to put him off. Not when Methos was fucking his mouth and making that sound.


He sucked harder and slid his hands around the lush curves of Methos' butt. Warm, smooth skin and hard muscles tightened under his fingers and still Methos was making those inflammatory little noises and fuck, he was going to come in his pants if he didn't end this soon. He hummed and sucked hard and pressed his tongue along the underside of Methos' cock.


"Jesus -- Mac," Methos gasped, shuddering and coming, shoving his cock impossibly far down Duncan's throat.


Duncan swallowed and stroked him through the orgasm, feeling oddly tender considering the circumstances. Which weren't exactly the greatest, he'd have to admit. Methos had been eating asparagus or something that made his come taste...strange, to put it charitably, and now that he was cooling off a bit he was starting to feel more than slightly whorish on his knees in an alleyway with said come dribbling from the corner of his mouth, but still...he'd won! Ha! Take that, Methos, you smug prick. Why had he ever thought this was a bad idea?


He rocked back on his heels and grinned. "Guess Adam's straight days are over."


Methos looked down on him with a saccharine smile and patted his head. "Guess again."


Uh-oh. The sword was in Methos' hand faster than he'd thought anyone could move, the pommel connecting with Duncan's skull in a flash of pain and bright lights that snapped out in an instant. Leaving just the blackness and the faint, receding sound of Methos sniggering.




Part Seven: Who dares, wins.




Someone was poking him. And not in a good way.




Duncan opened his eyes. "Joe?" Bloody hell. Dawson was standing over him, prodding him with his cane and looking somewhere between worried and amused.


Then it all came flooding back to him in a single, mortifying rush. The whole catastrophe: alley, Methos, blowjob, near fatal head injuries.... And what the fuck was that smell? He looked around.


Garbage. Dear god.  He was lying in garbage. Fucking Methos must have dragged him on top of the trash bags lying around the bar's back door after knocking him on the head. Apparently this was public humiliation, part three. He picked himself up, shaking his head to clear it.


"Jesus, MacLeod, what the hell happened to you?"


Duncan shook his head and plucked something brown and slimy from his coat. He didn't even want to know what it was. There was more of it on his shoe. And something cold and sticky was trickling down the back of his neck. Disgusting. He shuddered, wiped it away and envisaged himself tossing Methos into a garbage compactor. To his surprise, it actually helped -- a little.


Duncan patted himself down, checking for other Methos-related damage. Sword? Check. Gun? Gone. Wallet? Gone. Car keys? Gone. Barge keys? Also gone. Sanity? Gone, gone, gone. Great. Just great. He clenched his fists so hard he thought he'd break a bone. 


"What the hell happened here, Mac?" Joe demanded again.


"Methos," he spat, fairly spluttering with rage. He'd said it before, but he was going to say it again: Adam Pierson was a dead man.


Joe nodded like he knew exactly what Duncan was talking about. But then he had known Methos a long time.




Duncan went home. More correctly, Duncan walked home. He'd get his car later when he found the spare keys. And when he didn't smell quite so rank. The walk gave him plenty of time to think. Plot. Brush more garbage from his clothing. Of course, when he arrived at the barge he had to break in, which didn't help his mood at all, but eventually he was in and comfortably ensconced in the shower, trying to wash away his foul mood. And the foul odor. Both were hard to erase.


He'd gone wrong somewhere along the line; that much was clear. If he'd gone with his first instinct then none of this would have happened. He'd let Methos distract him from killing Adam, which was what he should have done in the first place. Bloody Methos, he was distraction on two legs. And he played it for all it was worth.


Well enough was enough. He was done with playing around. Done with being distracted by smooth, white skin and a fuckable little ass. It was Time. Now all he needed was the right plan. Which was harder than he would have imagined. Every time Duncan thought of a way to kill him he saw Methos weaseling out of it somehow. Slippery bugger.


And no matter how it was done there would be no feeling sorry for him. No last minute reprieves, no sympathy. Duncan picked more eggshell out of his hair. Absolutely no reprieves. Just death for his dear friend, the Immortal formerly known as...


Anyway. The garbage smell was finally gone -- he hoped -- so he stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel, wondering idly how hard it would be to procure cyanide these days.




He didn't go to the bar that day, or the next or the next. He stayed home. There was a plan percolating in the darkest recesses of his mind. And he had a constant stream of delivery boys and girls bringing him the best food and booze Paris had to offer while he plotted. It helped, more than he would have thought.


Staying home was step one of the new master plan. He wanted to make Methos sweat; make him wonder where the next attack was coming from. Anticipation was everything.


Well, actually it was only a quarter of everything; at the moment the other three quarters were preparation, infatuation and masturbation. He was well accomplished in all four by now. A master, if you like. In fact, he was starting to think that if masturbation was an Olympic event he'd be a gold medallist.  He probably should have felt worse about that. He didn't.


Because every time he jerked off, every time he took his cock in his hand, he could see Methos where he should have been, naked and sweating, begging for Duncan to fuck him. Begging looked good on him. It was an image that never grew old, no matter how many times he used it. And soon, sooner than Methos could know, it would cease to be fantasy and turn into living, breathing, throbbing reality.


But he was starting to see where he'd gone wrong now. He'd been treating this as a seduction, albeit the weirdest one he'd ever seen, when in fact it was a battle, a struggle for supremacy. The art of brinkmanship. Who dares, wins.


And no one did daring like Duncan MacLeod. Methos was his -- it was just a matter of time now. Adam Pierson was a dead man.




Part Eight: Any problem that can't be solved with a sword can probably be solved by a piece of eight gauge fencing wire. Or reasonable facsimile.


Le Blues was the usual shoulder-to-shoulder scrum on Saturday nights and this one was no different. Duncan had to be more than usually pushy to make his way to the bar. Methos was there, somewhere; he could feel him, throbbing in his head like a vaguely remembered hangover. He couldn't see him yet, but for now it was enough that Methos knew he was here.


Joe was behind the bar, watching him with an unconvincing smile. He mouthed something over the noise, but Duncan shook his head and raised his eyebrows as if he didn't get it. He did, of course. He could recognize the words 'watch your head' in a multitude of languages, symbols and mimes. Smiling blandly, he pointed at the beer tap and held up one finger.


Joe narrowed his eyes at him, but gave him the beer anyway. He had that 'I wanna talk to you, MacLeod' look on his face but Duncan wasn't here to talk to Joe. There were Other Things he needed to do. He turned away from the bar and scanned the crowd. Ah, there he was, the soon-to-be-late Adam Pierson, lounging by one of the booths, pretending he wasn't peering down the bodice of some over-endowed redhead while he chatted her up.


Duncan drank his beer and pretended not to notice. He angled himself towards the stage so he could fake watching the band and still watch Methos. Aside from a negligent glance when he'd first walked in, Methos was pretending Duncan wasn't there. Which suited him fine, actually. Methos was playing right into his hands.


The first beer was gone in no time. Methos was still chatting up the redhead and not making a lot of headway, as far as Duncan could see. He could have done a lot better himself. So he caught a passing waitress and ordered more beer -- two this time. One for him. One for Methos.


He watched her carry it over to him and smiled to himself as Methos took it, sniffing warily. Duncan was insulted. As if Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod would stoop to poisoning a man's beer. That would be...too obvious.


But because, when you came right down to it, Methos had giant, cast iron balls (figuratively, of course; Duncan was intimately acquainted with the size and texture of his actual ones) he erased the wary frown in a heartbeat, raised his glass high, looked Duncan straight in the eye, and smirked.


Duncan let it sail on by with a serene smile of his own. Methos could smirk and feel superior all he liked at this point. It wasn't going to change a thing. All the pieces were in place and this time there would be no ignominious defeat. Adam Pierson was a dead man.




Duncan kept up the stream of beers over the night, sending a new one over to Methos every time he finished the last. He thought he spotted a puzzled frown crossing Methos' face between beer three and beer four, but it was gone before he could be sure. For the rest of the time he simply accepted the beer from the waitress and ignored Duncan entirely.


After beer six Duncan was pleasantly buzzed and lounging on a bar stool with his back to the bar watching Methos, who'd inveigled his way into the redhead's booth by this time. He wondered a bit at the capacity of Methos' bladder because his own was filling fast, but the discomfort was tempered by the delight of a plan coming together perfectly. From time to time he slipped his hand into the pocket of his leather jacket and fingered the small box secreted there. And smiled.


Ah, finally. Methos was excusing himself to the redhead and sliding out of the booth, looking in the direction of the men's room. Duncan waited a moment and followed him, shouldering through the crowd so he didn't lose him. Methos didn't even bother to turn around, though he had to know he was being tailed. Duncan tried hard not to think about Methos' tail.




The men's room was a miasma of urine-stench and overly bright lights, the same as always. Methos was just fronting up to the urinal at the far end of the row, leaving a gap of two between himself and the next guy. Duncan found himself blessing the unwritten code of men's rooms.


He strode up to the urinal next to Methos', catching him just as he unzipped. Methos turned to him and smirked as he pulled out his cock.


"Didn't you see enough the other night?" Methos said in a quiet purr.


Not quiet enough for the guy on Duncan's left, apparently. Duncan heard a flurry of movement as the guy beat a hasty retreat. The door banged.


Duncan shrugged and began to unzip. "Just here to take a leak, Adam," he answered mildly.


Methos' eyes narrowed, but he didn't say anything else. Duncan turned his head to the correct eyes-front position and waited for his moment. He pretended to fumble with his fly. Methos was apparently taking him at his word, or else the bastard thought he had nothing to fear because Duncan could hear the splash of piss hitting the porcelain.


Behind him, the door opened and closed with another bang. A guy took position on the far left, mumbling to himself and peeing noisily. Duncan didn't turn his head. Because it was Time.


He reached into his pocket and palmed the (fully charged and only slightly altered) taser, then a single smooth -- so smooth you would have thought he'd practiced it more than just the hundred or so he actually had -- movement and stuck the live end into Methos' stream of piss.


Methos bellowed like a hammered heifer and went rigid, falling straight back to the tiles. And lay there, his mouth hanging open and his cock hanging out. Duncan had to bite the inside of his cheek hard to keep from laughing out loud. Methos looked a right fool, and Adam Pierson was dead. At last.




Duncan stuffed the taser back in his pocket. He knelt down beside Methos just as another crowd of drinkers came through the door.


"He just collapsed!" he yelled, feigning panic with his fingers over the absent pulse in Methos' neck. "Help me get him out of here!" he ordered a man who didn't look quite as drunk as the others.


The man nodded and squatted down next to Adam's dead body. He gestured at the exposed genitals. "Shouldn't someone...?"


"No time for that, man -- help me get him out of here!" God, it was hard not to smile. And laugh. And punch the air in one of those idiotic victory dances. But he managed.


Between them, they hoisted Adam from the floor and maneuvered their way out the door and into the bar.


"Let me through!" Duncan shouted above the music, coincidentally catching the attention of every person in the near vicinity. Heads turned. Duncan pushed past, pretending not to notice. Of course it was hard to miss the stunned looks as the half-naked dead guy was carried through the middle of Le Blues.  More people crowded around when the band stopped halfway through 'Knocking on Heaven's Door'.


Which only added to the surrealness of the situation. He couldn't have scripted it better himself.


He thought he saw Methos' redhead in the crowd, but he barged on past her without a word. He saw Joe, stuck behind the bar with an unreadable look on his face. Duncan felt bad for him for a moment and then decided against it. Joe would just have to deal or get the hell out of his way.


"Need to put him in the office, Joe!" Duncan called, stumbling over something on the floor behind him. Methos' whole body lolled about, including his dick and Duncan nearly bit through his tongue in his determination not to laugh.


It was all working out perfectly.




Part Nine: Alas, poor Adam we knew him well.


"Damn it, Mac, what'd you do to him?" Joe snapped when the door was finally shut behind them.


"Nothing he hasn't done to me," Duncan said while he slipped the sword out of Methos' coat and stashed it behind the desk. He'd find a better hiding place later.


"You gotta do better than that, man. He is gonna kill you when he wakes up." Joe perched on the edge of his desk and shook his head. "Maybe more than once."


Duncan looked down at Methos' dead body and felt a twinge of remorse. Then he remembered: the barge, the bar, the lobby, the alley and the remorse vanished into thin air. "He already did that. More than once."


Joe was looking at him with more questions than he was willing to answer at that moment, so Duncan busied himself with picking Methos' pockets. He came up with a Ruger semi-automatic, a wicked-looking dagger, set of lock-picks and a length of piano wire. Methos really wasn't someone to fuck with.


But someone to fuck...oh yeah. Even with a slightly scorched cock, Methos was every bit as hot as he'd always been. Just a little more...dead than he was used to. But that was only temporary. Very temporary, if Methos was true to form.


Duncan squatted down beside the body and reached for Methos' generous cock. Across the room, Joe made a strangled sound. Duncan rolled his eyes, shook his head and gently tucked Methos back into his underwear. He shook his head again in complete disbelief; as if he'd molest Methos when he was dead. Waiting until he was awake was going to be much more fun.


Duncan was just tugging Methos' zipper up, when the door burst open. The late Adam's redhead flew through, shrieking, "Let me in! I am a doctor!"


Of course she was, Duncan groaned to himself. He stood and moved away from Methos, hoping he wouldn't choose that exact moment to rise from the dead. Dr Redhead might find that slightly perplexing.


"Tell me what happened," she said in a low voice as she examined Methos' still body.


"He was...uh...using the men's room and he just collapsed," Duncan answered, trying to inject the proper amount of concern into his voice. "He had a bad heart." Well, that was one way of putting it.


"Give me that lamp!" she ordered, flinging a hand at the light on Joe's desk.


Joe handed it to her without a word, though Duncan could see him beginning to panic. He shot him a look. Didn't seem to reassure him much.


The doctor shone the light into Methos' eyes one at a time, but Duncan could see even from where he stood that they were fixed and unresponsive. She put the lamp aside and touched the side of Methos' neck again.


And bent and began giving him CPR.


"No!" Duncan blurted. "You can't do that!"


She blew into Methos' mouth one more time and sat up, putting her hands in the middle of his chest. "He will die if I don't."


It was a judgment call, but Duncan went with half the truth. "He didn't want to be resuscitated if he died," he told her as she bobbed up and down, compressing Methos' chest. "He told me he was ready for it to be over." Duncan made a sad face. "The pain, you know." He kneeled down and put his hand on hers over Methos' heart. "Don't make him live like this anymore." Really. He looked into her eyes and blinked dolefully. "Let him be at peace."


She paused the compressions. "Are you sure? Are you the next of kin?"


Duncan nodded and curled his fingers around her wrist. "It's what Adam wanted."


The doctor looked at him a moment longer, then tugged her hands away. She looked down at the body one more time and shook her head. "I had no idea he was so sick."


"He was always so brave," Duncan said, brushing his fingers over Methos' eyelids to close them. "So uncomplaining."


Across the room, Joe snorted and Duncan heard him turn it into a smothered cough. Ignoring Joe, he rose and helped the doctor to her feet. Keeping hold of her hand, he led her to the office door. "Thank-you, Dr... I don't even know your name."


"Diane de Poitier," she murmured, shaking his hand and slipping hers free. "I am sorry that I couldn't do more for your friend."


Duncan nodded and opened the door for her, finding a crowd still milling about on the other side.


"What happened?" one of the waitresses called. "Is Adam all right?"


Duncan felt a twinge of real, actual regret. And squashed it ruthlessly. If Adam's friends were upset, that was the way it had to be. No one lived forever in one identity. He shook his head, but the doctor jumped in ahead of anything he was going to say.


"I am sorry, but I have to tell you M'sieur Pierson has passed away. There was nothing I could do." She shook her head and slipped away into the crowd.


Duncan stepped back into the office and shut the door, locking it this time. As Joe should have done in the first place. But it had worked out better than he could have expected, so he wasn't going to complain. Besides, he could feel the first faint stirrings of Methos' Quickening returning and he had more pressing things to think about.


 He pressed his back to the door and waited.




Part Ten: Good things come to those who wait. Sometimes.


Methos convulsed, gasped back into life, and scrambled to his feet. "What the fuck happened?" he demanded.


In two quick strides Duncan had grabbed him and slapped his hand over his mouth. "Shhh! You're dead. Don't let them hear you."


Methos struggled, then went still. Cautiously, Duncan let him go. And caught a sharp elbow in the belly for his trouble. Before he could catch his breath, Methos had him up against the wall, one hand on his throat.


"What. Did. You. Do?" he whispered, death in his eyes.


"Adam had a little accident in the men's room," Duncan managed to answer.


"That part I remember." The pressure on his throat increased. "And...?"


"And he died."


"In the men's room?"


Duncan nodded.


"Witnesses?" Methos was starting to hyperventilate.


He nodded again.


"How. Many?"


Duncan looked over at Joe, who was standing behind the desk fingering Methos' knife. Duncan caught his eye with a pleading look.


"The whole damn bar knows, okay?" Joe said. "Your doctor friend announced to the whole place that Adam Pierson was dead."


Duncan tried to tug Methos' hand away from his neck. Methos didn't budge. "I'm going to kill you," Methos told him in a mild and conversational tone. "We're going to go out in the alley and I am going to take your stupid, interfering head."


"Come on, Methos..." Duncan said (though it sounded squeakier and less persuasive than he would have liked with Methos' hand cutting off his airway). "Adam had to go sometime. You know why I did it."


"Maybe I should start cutting a little lower," Methos hissed, jamming his knee between Duncan's legs. "That's obviously what you've been thinking with."


Having Methos pressed up close against him was having the predictable result and Duncan felt himself hardening helplessly.


It was too much to hope that Methos wouldn't notice. He pushed even closer, put his lips to Duncan's ear and whispered, "You tasered my cock, MacLeod. Do you seriously expect I'll ever let you near it again?"


"You told the whole bar I had herpes," Duncan answered as if it explained everything. "You poured a cocksucking cowboy over my head." 


Methos' head tilted to the left. "You scared off my date."


"You left me naked in a public place." He was still pretty pissed at Methos for that, but the lower half of his body clearly hadn't got the message. His hips twitched reflexively, rubbing his aching cock along Methos' leg.


"You practically raped me in an alley," Methos breathed, his mouth inches away from Duncan's.


He drew Methos' hand away from his throat and held onto it, rubbing his thumb over the pulse. "You enjoyed every minute of it."


"That's not the point," Methos answered, his eyes on Duncan's lips.


"You left me lying half-dead in the garbage." His hips were flexing continuously now, riding Methos' thigh.


"My heart bleeds...." Methos' voice was low and throaty.


"And you picked my pockets." He still wanted his stuff back, too. But not as much as he wanted...other things.


"I left you your sword." Methos pressed his hips closer; he was just as hard as Duncan.


"Garbage, Methos. Stinking, festering garbage." Duncan wet his lips.


Millimeters between them now. "You're damned lucky I didn't take your head."


"But you didn't," Duncan whispered. "I know why...I know you want me." He let go of Methos' hand and slid both of his down Methos' back to rest on his ass, groping him -- just a little. Okay, a lot. He grinned his killer grin and raised his eyebrows. "Come to bed with me," he wheedled. "Adam's not in the way anymore...."


Methos' knee came up -- hard. Duncan saw stars and collapsed into a gasping heap, breathing through the agony until it was gone. He looked up and found Methos standing over him looking down.


"I don't think so," Methos said with that saccharine smiled that boded no good. He reached up the back of his shirt and came up empty.


Duncan struggled to his feet. "Come on, Methos--"


Methos cut him off. "Where's. My. Sword?"


Duncan shot him a 'you've got to be kidding' look. Methos glared back, enough venom in the look to make Duncan think he'd seriously overestimated his chances of getting laid.


"Mac, you'd better get him out of here before we have any more uninvited guests," Joe said, finally reminding him that he and Methos weren't alone. He'd been so quiet he was probably taking notes.


"Yes, Mac," Methos put in snidely. "You'd better get me out of here." His thin smile was pure satire. "Like to see how you plan on doing it."


Duncan sent the exact same look back at him and pulled out his cell phone. He punched in a number. It was answered in two rings. "Yeah, we're ready," Duncan said. "Bring it around to the alley." He killed the connection and looked over at Methos. "It'll be here in a minute."


Methos was sulking against the wall with his arms crossed across his chest. He didn't ask what was going on and Duncan didn't explain. Which was a relief, really; he knew perfectly well how Methos was going to feel about his getaway 'vehicle'.


Which was good because Duncan hadn't finished making him suffer yet.




The van backed into the alley in all its gaudy green and gold glory. Duncan stifled his smile and stepped aside so Methos could see.


"It's a dog-grooming van," Methos said flatly.


"They're everywhere in Paris. No one will think anything of it."


"No." Methos crossed his arms over his chest and resumed sulking.


"It's the only way out of here," Duncan said happily.


"I could walk."


"A hundred people out there in the bar know you're dead. What if one of them saw you just walking around looking completely not-dead?"


Methos' mouth twisted. "I could call a taxi."


"And go where? You're dead," Joe put in irritably. "Just get in the damned van, Methos. The pair of you are giving me a migraine."


"Fine," Methos grumbled after the requisite eye rolling and show of disapproval. "But I get the front."


Duncan shook his head. "Uh-uh. Someone could see you. You'll have to get in the back."


Methos narrowed his eyes. "I will have a sword again soon, MacLeod. Do remember that."


Duncan swallowed and watched Methos skulk out into the alley and climb into the back of the van. When the doors slammed shut he collected Methos' weaponry from Joe, ran out and took the keys from a bemused (and well-compensated) Maurice, wondering how long he could keep Methos unarmed. Probably long enough -- if he played his cards right.


Duncan climbed in and started the engine. The whining from the back started at almost the same time. Duncan ignored it and threw the van into gear.


"I'm going to cut off your cock and stuff it up your arse for this," Methos called sweetly.


Duncan looked over his shoulder into the back and laughed. He had far more interesting plans and most of them didn't involve dismemberment.




Part eleven: Sex and Death.


The whining stopped about two kilometers from their destination. Prior to that Duncan had been alternately annoyed and entertained by a constant torrent of complaints ('It reeks of dogshit in here, MacLeod!'), threats (generally involving the removal of his head from his body, but occasionally becoming more creative), and insults (cock size, multiple variations on 'your mama', ethnic slurs and the ever-popular 'how stupid is Duncan MacLeod?') Duncan was a little disappointed; he'd thought Methos capable of better. And he'd said so, which provoked another tirade.


But eventually Methos had fallen silent and Duncan hadn't said another word, enjoying the last peace and quiet he'd be having for quite some time. He wasn't stupid enough (no matter what Methos said) to trust that it meant anything other than that Methos had grown tired of yelling at him.


But they were here now. And all Methos' threats were moot, because as soon as they'd driven through the gate, they'd been on holy ground. An old convent, tucked away behind a grove of birch trees, far from anywhere. Amanda had owned it for years. Of course, he lied outrageously when she'd asked him why he wanted it, but then after everything she'd put him through over the years she had it coming. He wasn't going to lose any sleep over it.


From behind him, Methos spat something that sounded like, "Wuss!"




"You heard me. Coward. Holy ground -- what a cop-out."


"Thought you were in favor of self-preservation." Duncan parked the van around behind the main building.


"My self-preservation, sure."


Duncan stepped out of the van and walked around to the back, opening it carefully. "But the rest of us can go to hell," he said as Methos climbed out.


Methos grinned. "Very good! He can be taught."


Duncan crowded him up against the van. "What about you?" he murmured with his eyes fixed on Methos' small, sweet mouth. "Can you be taught?"


Methos tilted his head and parted his lips. "Depends on the lesson."


Bloody irresistible and he knew it. Duncan took him up on the invitation and kissed him, quick and rough, until Methos was panting into his mouth. Then he broke away. Before Methos could say a word (which is to say, damned fast) Duncan bent and lifted him around the waist, throwing him over his shoulder.


"Well, today's lesson," Duncan said amongst Methos' swearing and struggling, "is don't fuck with me."


Methos weighed a ton, but Duncan managed not to drop him as he carried him into the old caretaker's cottage behind the convent, pushing the door open with his foot. He grunted with relief when he was finally able to toss the noisy bugger down on a sofa. He half-expected Methos to try to bolt, but instead he lay where he was thrown and looked up with that mix of challenge and invitation that was so very him. He might even have sprawled a little more. And that was so much better.


Methos raised an eyebrow. " fucking?"


Duncan forgot for a moment to wonder at the sudden turn-around and knelt down on the sofa between Methos' spread legs, putting one hand on Methos' knee. "I didn't say that."


Methos' smile was wide and genuine. Duncan didn't trust it for a second. But he climbed over Methos' body anyway, moving up until he was straddling Methos' chest. "Think you owe me something," Duncan said, opening his jeans with one hand and tilting Methos' jaw up with the other.


"Really?" Polite confusion creased Methos' face, belied by the darkening of his eyes.


Duncan rubbed his thumb over Methos' lips, dragging the lower one down a little. "Yes."


He should have been more wary when Methos opened his mouth obediently, licking his lips as Duncan guided his cock between them, but all he could think about was finally, finally fucking Methos so it slipped his mind. And who could blame him? Methos' mouth was everything he'd imagined: hot and wet and skilled beyond his wildest dreams.  It drove even the thought of thinking out of his mind as he thrust ruthlessly into that gorgeous, devious mouth. His toes curled.


Methos was doing something with his tongue and the suction of his throat that was utterly perfect, with his hands on Duncan's ass, pulling him in until he could go any deeper. This was going to be over far too fast. But that was okay too; they could always go for another round. Lots more rounds. He had no plans for the rest of the year.


And it was so fucking good with Methos' silky throat working over his cock like the tightest, slickest fist ever. He was almost -- almost -- there. Then Methos worked a finger into his ass and sent him flying over the edge.


"Jesus -- Methos," Duncan groaned, pumping his brain out through his cock.


He wasn't even finished coming when Methos shoved him back hard. So hard he banged his head on the armrest at the far end of the sofa and saw stars. No time to count them all though, because Methos was all over him, all come-flavored mouth and fast, clever hands.


Duncan was naked before he could even think of protesting. Not that he would have, except in principle and while his principles were important to him, now was definitely not the time. Not when he had a hot, horny, naked-except-for-his-socks Methos climbing all over him, trying to entice him into round two before he'd even finished round one.


 Except 'entice' wasn't really the word for the way Methos was dragging him along by the short hairs.


His cock was still leaking the last of his orgasm when Methos pushed his legs apart and pushed himself in between them. This wasn't the way he'd planned it at all. Which should have told him something about Methos and the futility of making plans, but Duncan was too busy working out how to get back on top that he didn't think about that until much later, when it was far too late. Then Methos' cock nudged up against his asshole and warning lights went off in Duncan's head.


He lifted his hips and bridged off the sofa, tumbling them both to the floor. He hit hard and Methos landed on top of him. Something crunched against his over-sensitive cock with a crack like a lightning strike and Duncan was seeing stars for a whole other reason.


"Fuck!" Methos screamed, right in Duncan's ear.


It barely registered with the agony in his groin grabbing all his attention.


"Christ, MacLeod. I think you broke me." Methos was curled on his side, his hands clutching his groin. "What the hell was all that about?"


His pain was fading but Duncan knew the torture was just beginning. Unless he could sidetrack it. Then he looked down at Methos' groin and didn't need to make anything up.


"Shit, Methos -- your cock!" Duncan winced in sympathy. Methos hadn't been kidding; he was broken. His lovely, thick, straight cock was now as bent as Methos himself. And it didn't look good. A bruise the size of an orange bloomed as he watched. Duncan reached out towards it.


Methos flinched and covered it with his hands. "Don't touch it, you idiot."


"It will heal, won't it?" Duncan asked, still a bit dazed. He sat up and folded his legs.


"Yes. Eventually," Methos hissed between deep breaths. "It just has to go down first."


Ouch... "Can I help?"


Methos opened his eyes and looked him up and down. "I sincerely doubt it."


"I'm sorry," Duncan said, a little belatedly. "Should I go outside?"


"Definitely not."


That look again, but much more predatory. Panic flickered again. He was beginning to wish he was trying to seduce Adam instead.


"Give me a minute."


"Sure." Duncan leaned back against the sofa. "Tried thinking about income taxes or something? That usually helps."


"Duncan?" Methos rasped.


"Yes, Methos?"


"Shut. Up."


Duncan wondered when he'd lost control of this little adventure. He wondered how he got himself into these things. Then he wondered how he'd ever been stupid enough to think he could control anything involving Methos. Maybe it was all that peyote way back when. Something had clearly addled him.




"No. Talking."


Oh. Oh... Duncan closed his mouth and settled for a smug grin; Methos got off on the sound of his voice. He tucked that bit of ammunition away for later use. After a long time, a lot longer than Duncan had expected -- time when Duncan had the opportunity to imagine how Methos would feel beneath him -- Methos uncurled himself and let go a deep breath.


Now that his face wasn't contorted with pain, he looked wonderful. Lots of slender muscle and pale skin that darkened to gold on his well-made forearms. Arousal shivered through him. He could still salvage this; make things go exactly the way he wanted. Shifting onto his hands and knees, he crawled over to where Methos sat. "Better?" Duncan asked, checking Methos out shamelessly. "Or do you need me to kiss it and make it well?"


"That might help," Methos murmured, letting Duncan push him back to lie on the floor.


Duncan kissed him, avoiding his dangerous mouth and zeroing in on his neck instead. He spent a long time there, savoring skin he'd been obsessing over for far too long. God, that was good, especially when Methos went all sweet and pliant beneath him, just the way he'd imagined. Methos' hands swept over his back, up his neck and into his hair. He shifted down further so he could reach Methos' nipples. There might have been a bit of a push in that direction on Methos' part.


Just a bit.


But it was all good, with Methos sighing and gasping underneath him while he licked and bit across Methos' broad chest. He spent a long time there, long enough to have Methos muttering distractedly with his hands tangled into Duncan's hair, pushing him further down. Duncan took the hint.


Methos' cock was not quite hard, still lengthening and filling when Duncan kissed it. It filled a lot more after that. Methos hissed and spread his legs when Duncan gathered up his balls and rolled them gently over his fingers while he licked small, licking kisses up the length of his cock. Duncan's own throbbed sullenly at being ignored. He soothed it with a rub up and down Methos' hairy shin.


A tug on his hair brought him upright to look a question into Methos' eyes.


Methos grinned. "Wanna fuck?"


"Why, Methos, you say the sweetest things," Duncan murmured, unfolding himself to lie alongside him. And not before time.


He took Methos into his arms and kissed his mouth at last. It started out slow and easy, and slid into fast and messy before he could think. Methos' tongue was bloody lethal. Methos moaned and shifted beneath him, but Duncan held him still, relishing his superior strength, just a little more than he probably should have. But, damn, it was good. He nudged Methos' legs apart.


And found himself rolled over to lie flat on his back with an amused and hot-eyed Methos chuckling on top of him. Duncan blinked and wondered where he'd gone wrong yet again.


"I have to check to make sure it still works, don't I?" Methos said as he nipped bruisingly hard along Duncan's jaw.


Duncan's whole body throbbed in time with his cock and he couldn't seem to find the words to argue. Not that Methos was waiting for him to say anything. Duncan's legs were pushed apart and Methos was slicking himself with spit as if he'd agreed to this all along. Which he actually hadn't, but now that he was here with Methos looming over him, poised to work his cock into his body, he couldn't think of any reason to say no. He spread himself wider and tilted his hips up.


"Slut," Methos whispered as his cock began to press inside.


Duncan reached down between their bodies and wrapped his hand around Methos' cock. "You want to fuck, or you want to call me names?" It was a piss-poor attempt at control, but he didn't have a lot left to work with.


Methos pouted. "Can't I do both?"




Methos kissed him, almost chastely, on the mouth. "I'm sorry. Can we fuck now?"


Duncan let him go. "Absolutely." Distantly, he realized how right he'd been, back whenever it was, when he'd thought that this was the weirdest seduction he'd ever been a party to.


Then Methos was pushing the rest of the way inside him and it was better than anything in even his wildest, most pornographic fantasies. Methos felt huge and hard inside him (not that he was ever going to tell him that; the man was quite smug enough already). But damn, Methos felt so bloody good, stretching him so wide that fireworks went off behind his eyes. And in other places.

Illustration by Kim Loh, exclusively for use on this site. Thanks, Kim! 


Then, with barely a pause for breath, Methos was riding him harder than anyone had ever dared. Every second or third thrust was nailing his prostate -- perfectly. He may have -- hell, did -- babble a lot of nonsense. Somewhere in the middle of all that he gave up any thought of it being any other way and let Methos batter at him long and hard until he fell into an orgasm so intense the world went gray and strange for a long moment afterwards.


Methos slid out and collapsed into Duncan's arms. He was heavy but it really didn't bother Duncan over much as he pulled him close and then had to blow a bunch of spiky dark hair out of his mouth. Deep satisfaction, the kind that comes with a plan well executed and a battle well fought rolled through him. Life was very good. He stroked the length of Methos' back.


Methos settled in with a little wriggle and breathed deep for a while, then propped himself up on one elbow, smiling like a slightly debauched angel as he looked into Duncan's eyes.


"Thank you," he said.


Duncan reached up and stroked his face. "For something in particular or just in general?"


"Poor Adam...." A wicked light was starting to glimmer in Methos' eyes. "Poor poor old Adam."


Truth began to dawn on him. And it wasn't good. "You--you--" And he was spluttering again, but he couldn't help it. He was losing what was left of his faculties.


Methos shook his head sadly. "It was his time."


"You said he had another ten years!" Duncan managed to blurt.


That cracked him up. "Come on, MacLeod! Adam's had this face for eighteen years. You really think anyone's going to buy it for ten more? Get real."


"Then you were--this was--" Duncan pushed Methos away and sat up. "You prick!"


Methos stopped laughing and raked Duncan with his eyes. "Tell me it wasn't more fun this way. A lot better than that cheesy dinner-wine-coffee-tea-or-me scenario you tried to pull."


Any remnants of Duncan's self-satisfaction packed their bags and took the next train out. The bastard had played him. Used him. Fucked him. Fucked him over. The utter, utter bastard. Duncan glared at him.


"Oh, stop frowning," Methos chided, standing up and dusting off his ass. "You'll rupture something. Something else. You got what you wanted. I got what I wanted. It's win-win. I thought you were all for that."


Normally, he was. This was far from normal. This wasn't even in the same time zone as normal. Duncan fumed some more. Then he noticed that Methos was standing naked in front of him with his cock softened, but still reddened and full. He really was a beautiful (devious, scheming, infuriating) person. Which luckily for him was Duncan's favorite combination. But he wasn't letting him off the hook just yet.


"So now I'm supposed to just forgive and forget?" he growled, standing up because the view of Methos from that angle was just too distracting.


Methos licked his lips and held his ground. "William Harden has a lovely place in San Francisco."


"Who's William Harden?"


Methos rolled his eyes. "Me. Or he will be when I go collect his papers."


Duncan thought about that. Digested the fact he'd been played by a master opportunist. Decided he could live with it. Until he got his own back, anyway. "William, huh?"


Methos stuck out his hand for Duncan to shake. "Will Harden, at your service."


Duncan could only laugh and use the outstretched hand to pull Methos into his arms. He was going to have lots of time to get his own back.



The end


Thanks very much to Athena, MacGeorge and Tritorella for the beta reading. This one's for my Em for her kink!fic challenge, and also because she makes me laugh.


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