Time and Tide

by Margaret

2nd September 1999

Disclaimer: Adam/Methos and Alexa don't belong to me. No harm is meant and no profit is made; I'm only doing this 'cause Adam asked nicely and who could resist that.

Rated: R for m/f sex

Pairing: Methos/Alexa

Summary: Waiting for the right time isn't always the best tactic, but sometimes it pays off.

They sat on the grass overlooking a thin strip of beach and watched the surge and retreat of the waves. Adam sat cross-legged, his back against a tree; Alexa sat in his lap with his arms wrapped loosely around her waist and his chin resting lightly on her shoulder. She hadn't wanted to sit this close, but Adam had just looked at her and she had realised months ago that she had no defence whatsoever against those pleading eyes. She had to admit it was nice though; she loved it when he held her; the feel of him warm against her back and his arms wrapped around her, it made her feel safe, protected, even loved, just her and Adam.

After months of travelling to places she had always wanted to see, Alexa had insisted that Adam take her somewhere special to him, somewhere he liked. So now they were here; an old vicarage on the West coast of Wales, well off the beaten track and surrounded by grassy rolling hills. She'd been a little worried when they'd arrived; the place had looked beautiful, an old, stone house with big windows and a surprisingly well-tended garden, but it also looked old. She needn't have worried; it had been renovated at some point and held all the modern conveniences she could wish for. Adam had said the house belonged to a cousin who used it as a holiday home. It had been in his family for years and he stayed there whenever he felt the need for a bit of peace and quiet, which it certainly had in abundance - not another living soul for miles.

Since they'd arrived they'd been on a few walks and even once ventured into the sea, but though it was summer, it hadn't been quite warm enough to make them want to try it again soon. This evening they were watching the sunset as it painted the clouds in pinks and oranges.

"It's beautiful," Alexa said quietly.

"Yup," Adam agreed. "Just like you."

"Don't be silly, Adam," she admonished him. She always felt uncomfortable when he said things like that; a mixture of pleasure and anger that he would say such wonderful things that were so obviously untrue.

"Nothing silly about it," Adam replied, unfazed. "You're beautiful to me." As if to prove his point he placed a soft kiss on the side of her neck.

Alexa drew in a quick breath at the touch; it wasn't that he'd never done it before, it was just that every time he did, it surprised her. The kiss lingered and became a slow exploration. Alexa felt a hand draw her hair away from her neck to grant better access. She let Adam continue his investigations, not sure whether she wanted him to stop or not. The wandering mouth travelled up to her ear and the warm breath tickled; Alexa squirmed a little in Adam's lap and abruptly became aware of a pressure from a lower portion of Adam's anatomy. She froze and Adam stopped.

"Alexa?" Adam's voice was as soft as his kisses had been.

"Do you... do you *really* want me, Adam?" Alexa asked, doubt colouring her words.

"Yes," came the immediate response, but then a pause. "If you don't want to..." he let the query trail off.

Alexa twisted to see his face, "Why?" she demanded ignoring his words.

Adam was silent, dumbfounded, as if he couldn't believe she would ask such an obvious question.

"Why wouldn't I?" It was the wrong thing to say, he knew it as soon as the words left his mouth, but it was too late by then.

Alexa stiffened further and reluctantly Methos released her from his arms. "I don't know. Why don't you tell me." Her voice was flat and he sighed inwardly as she stood and looked down at him.

"I'm tired. Can we go back now?"

Methos stood too, "Of course." He didn't try to slip an arm around her waist as they walked back, the way he normally would have. If Alexa wanted space he could give her that; he'd give her anything she would let him. The walk back to the house was made in silence.


Adam was cooking again. Alexa leaned against the door post and watched; she'd always belonged to the microwave school of cooking. When she'd been younger she'd always wanted to learn how to cook properly, but she'd never seemed to find the time and then that time had been taken away from her. Adam however, obviously had taken the time to learn; he didn't even bother measuring ingredients most of the time, he just put them together and somehow it always worked. Dinner tonight was chicken in white wine; dessert was a rather strange looking apple cake, part cake and part crumble, with fresh cream. Throughout the preparation Adam kept up his usual light banter, trying to make her laugh or at least smile. Until she'd met Adam she would have been hard-pressed to even remember how to smile.

Alexa knew she'd hurt him earlier, but still he was trying to put her at ease, make her feel better. Why couldn't she have met Adam while she had still been well? He didn't deserve to have to watch her waste away like this, to have to put up with her moods. Adam looked up then, hazel eyes warm, but a little concerned.

"Alexa? Are you alright?"

His words pulled her out of her thoughts, "I'm fine," and she summoned a small smile for his efforts. Alexa felt that his answering grin was entirely out of proportion to his success, but she couldn't deny that she also felt the butterflies that particular grin always sparked.


Dinner was a cosy affair, no candles, but a kind of soft warmth pervaded the room and the scent of cinnamon flavoured the air. Adam was entirely sweet and gentlemanly and Alexa felt warmed far beyond what could be explained away by the fire in the hearth.

After the meal they settled on opposite ends of the couch in front of the fire. Adam was writing in his journal, as he did most days, while Alexa pretended to read her book. She was actually trying to watch him without being noticed; she wasn't very good at it, Adam was too observant by half, but she couldn't seem to stop herself from trying anyway. He was pretending not to be aware of her now, she could tell, still giving her the space she had demanded earlier. She didn't know why she tried so often to catch him unawares; perhaps she was waiting for him to drop the act, to look at her with the pity everyone else did, to see in his face that he was doing all this out of some obscure sense of duty. She hadn't found it yet and they'd been travelling together for over a month now, but still she couldn't stop herself from looking for it.

It was only about 10.30pm when they finally went to bed, each in their separate rooms. Though they had shared rooms before, they'd always had separate beds; Alexa hadn't insisted, but Adam hadn't wanted to assume.


Alexa's room was spacious, the furnishings looked like antiques, but they were in good repair and obviously meant for use. The thick carpet was peacock blue and a richly embroidered counterpane covered the bed. The large window faced west and the dark blue velvet curtains were open allowing the bright moonlight to shine into the room unhindered.

Alexa took her evening dosage of pills and got ready for bed, slipping into her pale blue nightgown she flopped onto the big double bed. She closed her eyes and immediately Adam's face formed behind her eyelids. Adam, who was showing her the world, who cooked her dinner and brought her flowers. Adam, who never pushed too hard and tried to make her smile. Adam, who comforted her when she woke up crying in the middle of the night and held her until she slept again.

She could recall with perfect clarity the boyish grin he always gave her when she smiled at his jokes and stories. He always understood when she wasn't feeling well, but he didn't pity her. He was saddened by her illness, she could see it in his eyes sometimes that he hurt for her... and some days like today she just hurt him even more. Yet still he stayed, the alternative was apparently unthinkable, whatever that meant.

Alexa had to admit that, if for no other reasons than those, she loved him, but it went deeper than gratitude, she knew. Somehow though she couldn't bring herself to tell him, as though to admit it would be to end it, and selfishly she wanted to keep hold of him for as long as she could.

Alexa twisted onto her side and stared out the window at the bright, full moon. She was sure Adam loved her, though he'd never said the words, it was there in every gesture and look.

So she loved Adam and Adam loved her, she thought. Why then was she so reluctant to let him closer? It wasn't that she didn't find him attractive - she did. Adam wasn't conventionally handsome, like his friend Mac, he was... unique. Pale skin, tall and lanky, prominent bone structure, and the nose... but on him it looked perfect, beautiful even. Compared to him she was about as plain as you could get, it was difficult to understand what he saw in her or how he could want her, especially when he turned on the charm and she knew he could have anyone he liked for the asking.

Was she afraid that if she took that final step in their relationship he'd change his mind and decide he didn't want her after all? Irrational a fear as it was, given his actions so far, she still felt it. Her lack of experience bothered her too, though by comparison it was a minor concern. She'd always said that she wanted to wait until she got married. At 18 there was no rush; at 22 it would happen in its own time; at 25 there was still plenty of time; at 27 sorry you're dying, no time left at all.

She had nothing to offer him really except herself and that seemed woefully inadequate since she couldn't even offer that long-term, though with her moods that might be a good thing. He had everything; friends, money, looks, charm... his health, and yet he still wanted her and she just couldn't understand why. That he did want her seemed obvious; she could still feel the warmth of his arms wrapped around her and the gentle kisses he had offered; truth be told she had wanted him too. But she had stopped him, stopped them. Was she trying to protect Adam or herself, afraid that getting that bit closer would only make it hurt more in the end. But if they never took that step, never got any closer, she would still die and she would have forever lost her chance to have that intimacy with Adam. The bed was suddenly too cold and too empty by half.

Alexa shifted around in the bed again, lying first on one side then the other, unable to get comfortable. Eventually she just gave up on sleep altogether and lay staring up at the ceiling, damning her propensity to think things to death. When had she started second guessing everything? That was easy - the day they'd told her life wasn't going to work out the way she'd always thought it would. If she'd just acted on her feelings instead of analysing them she wouldn't now be lying in a cold bed all alone.

Disgusted with her own cowardice and determined to do something about it, Alexa got out of bed. Maybe Adam was still awake and she could convince him to let her stay with him tonight. Perhaps he would believe she had woken up in tears again and he would hold her, like he always did, until she slept. A little white lie had to be better than this empty feeling at least and maybe... maybe it would help her courage for the next time he asked her without words, if he ever did, if she hadn't pushed him away one time too many.

Determination won out over fear for the first time in what seemed a long time and Alexa carefully tiptoed out of her bedroom, her bare feet making no noise on the thick carpet. Halfway down the darkened corridor her fears returned. What if he was asleep? She didn't want to wake him just because she was feeling sorry for herself. A faint noise made her freeze in her steps, almost a moan, but quiet and muffled.

It was late, Adam had to be asleep, perhaps it was a bad dream and she could offer him the same comfort he gave her. She owed him that at the very least.

Alexa crept up to Adam's door and halted, listening. There was no sound at all now, though maybe that was a rustle of movement or maybe it was just her imagination. She almost, *almost*, was tempted to forget the whole thing and slip back to her room, but the thought of Adam suffering through a nightmare alone prompted her courage. As quietly as she could, Alexa eased the door open and stepped inside. The sight that greeted her was nothing she had expected.


Adam was definitely awake. He was sitting up in bed with his back resting against the wall, his head tilted back and his eyes closed. The covers had been kicked off and his long legs stretched out in front of him. The boxers he normally slept in lay rumpled with the covers at his feet, but Alexa barely noticed them, her attention was drawn instead to where they should have been. Adam had one long-fingered hand wrapped around his erect cock, stroking it slowly, while his other hand cupped and fondled his balls.

Alexa's breath caught soundlessly in her throat. Naked in the bright moonlight Adam didn't look like Adam at all. Alexa had seen him in almost as little clothing several times when they had gone swimming, but he had never looked like this. The moonlight washed his pale skin with silver and the shadows it cast put his distinctive features in sharp relief. He looked almost magical, but at the same time large as life and somehow more real than the Adam she remembered. Her Adam was so sweet and gentle it was hard to believe he could cope with what was happening to her, but this Adam seemed so much stronger, so much more solid. A shiver ran down her spine to join forces with the butterflies in her belly. This was the answer she had been searching for. She had always been afraid to rely on Adam because he seemed so fragile, but seeing him like this, all strength and beauty, Alexa realised she could put her faith in him, trust him to look after them both and he wouldn't let her down. She watched as his hand stroked over his length again and this time she couldn't stop the tiny gasp that escaped.

Abruptly Adam's eyes flew open to focus on her and he hastily grabbed for the covers, his face gaining colour even in the moonlight.

"No! Don't stop," Alexa hadn't known she was going to speak until she heard her own voice and almost died of embarrassment herself, when she did.

Adam did stop though and he studied her, that piercing gaze he used when she told him she was fine and he didn't believe her. He took in her flushed face and her quickened breath and for one agonising moment time seemed frozen. Then he appeared to reach a decision and he settled back into his previous position. His erection had subsided a bit at the surprise of her interruption, but when he wrapped his hand around it again and resumed stroking, it quickly revived.

Alexa was fascinated by the length of reddened flesh and it was a long moment before she realised the impropriety of her regard and raised her eyes to meet Adam's hazel ones. She felt a shiver race up her spine at the expression she saw there, the embarrassment had fled to be replaced by intense arousal. She flushed further when she realised that right now her own eyes were telling him exactly the same thing. Alexa drifted almost dreamlike to the edge of the bed and climbed on, kneeling between his feet. When she had settled Adam flashed her a quick grin, like a shaft of sunlight, and she felt the butterflies melt into something more like a pool of hot, liquid honey - warm, sweet and thick with promise.

"I've... never done this before," she said quietly, hesitantly, her courage held tight in both hands.

Adam's smile was warm and infinitely reassuring. "That's okay," his voice was soft, slightly deeper than usual. He reached out with his free hand to lightly stroke her cheek and she leaned into the gentle touch. She'd wanted this intimacy with Adam for almost as long as she'd known him, even once or twice tried to imagine what it would be like, but it hadn't prepared her for this. Her half-formed romantic notions had never taken into account the sheer power of what she felt for him right now.

Alexa dropped her eyes from Adam's bright gaze and was almost ashamed to realise she was watching the motion of his hand on his cock again. Adam wasn't ashamed, why should she be... then again, her body certainly seemed to know what it wanted and that imperative was rapidly burning away any other considerations.

Tentatively she reached out her hand and twined her fingers with his as they moved over his cock. She could feel the warmth of his eyes on her, but didn't dare look up. She could barely believe this was happening; she was touching Adam's cock. He was hot and hard, but the feel of his skin was so soft, like silk. She followed his movements as he guided their joined hands and then, gathering her courage, she brushed her thumb lightly over the tip as she had seen him do. The reaction was immediate and gratifying; Adam's hips jerked in response and he gasped. Alexa squirmed herself at the sudden sharp edge it gave her arousal - she wanted this badly.

Spurred on by her own need Alexa dared take the initiative, stroking slightly harder, watching his face for guidance and taking surprising pleasure in the openness of his responses. She slid her thumb over the weeping head again and smiled as Adam's eyes slipped closed and a low groan escaped his lips. The obvious pleasure she was giving him inspired a sweetly carnal hunger and, made bold, she spoke, "Adam."

Eyes deep and dark with arousal, opened in time to see her take his cock in both small hands and bend down to place a kiss on the head, her tongue slipping out to trace the weeping slit at its tip.

This groan seemed pulled from somewhere deep inside him and she could feel his eyes burning on her, even though she could no longer see them as she delicately tasted his cock. If someone had told her three days ago that she'd be doing this, she would have laughed at them. It wasn't something she'd ever imagined herself doing, even if she had found Mr. Right. She'd found the idea frankly disgusting; now though, she understood exactly why people did it. The liquid was bitter on her tongue, but it bothered her not at all with the sounds of Adam's pleasure still shivering sweetly through her body.

Adam's large hands came to rest lightly on her shoulders, then smoothed through her hair, she could almost feel the restraint he placed himself under. She looked up then and saw such a mixture of love, arousal and determination to be gentle that suddenly the taste of him just wasn't enough. She released his cock, hearing not so much as a whimper as she left him bereft, and slunk up the length of his body 'til she was on hands and knees above him and could claim his mouth in a brief kiss. The realisation as they kissed that he would taste himself in her mouth sent an unexpected jolt of lust straight through her and she had to break the kiss and gasp for the breath that had deserted her. Adam let her go reluctantly; she watched his tongue flicker out to touch his lips as though savouring the flavour and she fought the urge to refresh that taste of heat and hunger.

Alexa settled back straddling his narrow waist and reached for his hands, pulling them up under her nightgown to rest on her thighs. Long fingers splayed across her skin, burning so hot she felt branded and she gasped at the sensation.

"'Lex?" Adam's beautiful voice was rough with need, but she understood the abbreviated question.

"Yeah, Adam..." she couldn't have put her desires into words if she tried, but that was alright because she could see in those dark eyes that he understood exactly.

This time his hands moved without her urging, sliding up her thighs, gathering the satin along the way, past her hips and up her sides. She raised her arms without prompting and the nightgown came the rest of the way off and was discarded. Slowly Adam slid his hands back down, pausing to caress her small breasts and tease the erect nipples to further hardness. Then they moved on, stroking her belly and gliding further down. One hand slid 'round to rest on her hip, while the other skimmed through dark curls to slip between her legs. At that first touch Alexa gasped and squirmed, surprised at the intensity of her body's reaction. Adam smiled and his fingers began to play, sliding through her slick heat, circling and teasing until she thought she might go insane if he didn't do something more soon.

One slender finger dipped just inside her and her breath caught in her throat as all her awareness seemed to crystallize in that intimate touch. She pushed against him trying to increase the contact. She couldn't seem to get her mouth to form the words to tell him what she wanted, so instead she put it to better use. Adam's mouth was hot and he tasted so good; he seemed unfazed by her desperate claiming, welcoming her in and matching her stroke for stroke. If she'd thought the kiss might distract and ease the ache inside her she was wrong; it only intensified the sensation until she was gasping into his mouth and wordlessly pleading for more. Adam pulled away reluctantly to meet her eyes and then he gave her all she wanted.

He grasped her hips gently but firmly, tilting her slightly and guiding her slowly back until the head of his cock rested just at her entrance. He smiled reassuringly as he met her gaze, a question in his eyes; Alexa just nodded quickly, not actually in any mood now to appreciate his patience. Adam moved just a little and breached her. Her breath caught at the sudden shock of invasion, but that was swiftly overwhelmed by the sudden fervent *need* to feel more of him. She wriggled against him and abruptly pushed down, taking him in entirely as his hands lost their grip on the struggling, sweat-damp skin. Mirrored cries of exquisite surprise echoed around the room adding pleasure to the more common night sounds.

The sudden delirious flash of pain was swallowed without trace by the incredible sense/knowledge that Adam was *inside* her. Alexa slumped against Adam's chest, hearing his ragged breath and feeling a heart beat so loud and fast she couldn't tell if it was his or hers.

Gentle hands brushed damp hair away from her face and drew soothing patterns across her back. "'Lex?" Adam's voice was as gentle as his touch, but she could feel him trembling beneath her. Alexa lifted her head and smiled at him, a truly radiant smile that granted her the beauty she had always felt she lacked. Adam returned the smile and pressed himself up into her. Alexa's eyes slid closed as her body responded instinctively to the motion he began, rocking against him while those long-fingered hands played over her body.


All too soon though, the easy rhythm wasn't enough and Alexa began to move restlessly, trying to take him deeper, to fill that aching need. "Adam," she barely recognised the pleading, mewling sound as her own voice as she begged, trusting him to know what it was she needed when she herself didn't.

Adam didn't reply, he just moved. Pulling her closer for a moment, he twisted somehow and before she could quite work out what he'd done, Adam's weight was pressing her into the mattress and it felt so *good*. He flexed his hips and slid just that little bit deeper into her and Alexa cried out her pleasure. This was it! This was exactly it - what she needed so badly.

Adam set the pace now, pulling out almost completely before thrusting deeply, while his mouth left burning trails over her throat and breasts. Alexa slid her hands down his back to cup his buttocks, fumbling in her urgency, pulling him closer and urging him on, faster and deeper.

Ecstasy, when it came, was annihilation. Her body convulsed and her mind blanked; dimly she heard Adam's cry a heartbeat behind her own and felt his love warm within her. If this was really what death was like... maybe dying didn't have to be so bad after all. And the world faded away.


Alexa drifted into awareness with the realisation that Adam was no longer a part of her; a chill swept through her, but fled the moment she felt a pair of strong arms wrap around her and pull her tight against a warm, solid body. She snuggled closer and for once all the second guessing inner voices were silent, she didn't think she could be more content if she tried. She felt a blanket being drawn up over them and her eyes slid closed of their own volition, but she couldn't go to sleep just yet.

"Adam," her voice was barely more than a murmur.


She felt him shift slightly to see what she wanted. "Love you," her speech was sleep-slurred, but she'd said it. There was a whisper of warm breath at her temple and a soft kiss. "I know," the soothing baritone response took away the last of her resistance and Alexa slipped softly into sleep.


It was the bright sunlight streaming through the open window that eventually woke Alexa. She felt fantastic, despite a few unfamiliar aches that eased as she moved. Outside she could hear the trees rustling in a light breeze, a couple of birds were chirping busily and underneath it all was the faint roar of the sea. Wrapped up in a sense of wellbeing, it took her a few moments to register the emptiness of the bed beside her and her world came crashing down.

Before the despair could overwhelm her completely though, the door opened and thoughts of self-pity evaporated. Alexa was torn between wanting the world to witness the scene before her and wanting selfishly to keep it all to herself.

Adam entered the room clad only in a pair of blue boxer shorts and bearing a breakfast tray. He set the tray carefully on the bedside table and sat on the edge of the bed, not quite distancing himself, but cautious. Alexa smiled and grabbed one big hand, tugging him toward her and indicating in no uncertain terms that where he was really wanted right now, was back in bed with her. Adam knew a hint when he was hit over the head with one, and clambered quickly up onto the bed before slipping down behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

Alexa snuggled back into the embrace, enjoying the feel of bare skin against her back. This was so good, better than she'd imagined.

A mug of tea appeared in front of her with a handful of pills and her contentment evaporated. She shrank back into Adam's support; she knew she had to take them, but she didn't want to. The little multi-coloured capsules and tablets seemed to represent everything she stood to lose in a single terrible reminder. The tea and the pills disappeared from view and long arms wrapped around her again, holding her close. Adam didn't speak, he didn't need to, he just held her close as she cried.

Eventually a gentle hand cupped her face turning it up to meet eyes gone deep green with sorrow. Soft lips kissed her tears away and when he pulled back she could see the sadness in his eyes had been subsumed by a love so strong it almost hurt to see it. Helpless tears welled up and spilled over again as she flung her arms around him, burying her face in the crook of his neck.

It was so unfair and at the same time so heartbreakingly beautiful. Adam had given her everything, was still offering more, and all she could give him in return was pain. He didn't deserve that; she didn't deserve him.

"Adam," her voice was muffled and broken with tears. "Why do you stay?"

She felt the arms around her tighten for a brief moment and his voice when he spoke held no trace of his usual humour.

"Because I love you, and cliché as it sounds, I'd rather be here with you than anywhere else on earth, no matter what. I do love you, you know."

And for the first time Alexa let herself believe it.

She pressed desperate tear-damp kisses against the soft skin of his throat, working up and along his jaw, unable to speak past the tears that threatened. His mouth opened to hers when she reached it, welcoming and accepting, soothing her desperate fears. Under Adam's tender persuasion the kiss became a languid exploration and when they finally parted Alexa found herself able to return Adam's encouraging smile with a small but genuine one of her own. Adam's smile deepened into one of his patent grins.

"Come on. I didn't go to all the effort of making breakfast just to let it get cold."


That evening the sky was so clear that the sunset was just a gradual change from the hazy gold of the western horizon to the deepest of blues in the east. Alexa shivered slightly in the cool breeze that had risen during their romantic vigil and to her surprise the arms wrapped around her let go. She twisted around to see Adam pulling off his sweater and before she could protest he had stuck it over her head and was trying to tug her arms through the sleeves, grinning all the while at her indignant sputtering. Unable to stay mad at that boyish grin Alexa acceded gracefully and slid her arms through the sleeves herself or tried to. Adam wasn't especially big, but he did like his sweaters oversized; what was big on him was absolutely ridiculous on her. The thick wool reached down to her knees and the ends of the sleeves were well past her hands; it was also warmed by his body and smelled faintly of him. All in all, she decided, it was perfect.

She dropped a kiss on his nose, surprising a startled look from him, the first time she had ever really shown him any of the affection she felt for him.

"You'll get cold now," she protested, eyeing his thin t-shirt.

"Nah," he grinned. "I've got my very own hot water bottle," and he gave her a squeeze.

She rested her arms over Adam's, covering his bare skin with the extra material of the sleeves and leaned back against him. "Nope, I'm sure you must be cold. I think we need to do something about it."

Adam raised an eyebrow and quirked a grin, playing along, "Oh? Like what?"

Alexa tried out her own 'Adam-grin' and tilted her head back to whisper a suggestion in his ear. When she pulled back she was pleased to note just the faintest suggestion of pink in his face. Adam moved quickly and with surprising strength, picking her up and setting her on her feet.

"Now that you mention it..." Adam took her hand and started walking quickly back towards the house, his long legs covering the ground rapidly. Alexa, unable to stop laughing, was dragged along behind him and she couldn't have been happier.



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