Victory's Shadow

by Margaret

26th September 2003

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit made, no harm meant.

Rated: PG-13

Notes: Set after Revelations 6:8. For Athena.

Summary: Victory doesn't always mean the war is over.

I knew I'd find you here brother; I'll always find you. Whatever your words, whatever your deeds, you could never hide your heart from me. My mistake was to think that because I knew your heart, I could predict your actions - you always were stronger than me in that respect. I would and have done many things for your sake brother, but dying was nothing next to the difficulty of accepting what you ask of me now.

I lean close enough that I can smell the salt of your sweat and the lingering actinic bite of blood, steel and lightning. Your hand clenches around the hilt of your sword, a comfort reflex easily misinterpreted, but not by me. I feather borrowed fingers over the dried trails of your tears; I see my jacket stuffed beneath your cheek, silvered streaks betraying your tears there too. I'd be concerned that you haven't yet woken to my presence, but I can feel our unbroken bond lulling you - the total exhaustion, emotional and physical, wrapped around your senses, deadening them to all but your misery even in sleep.

Millennia ago I swore I would have no more regrets and so I let you go, knowing that we had gone too far down the wrong paths to fix things then and there. We needed to separate, to untangle our disparate selves until we could clearly see what it was we each now needed. I have no idea what your solitary sojourn told you, Methos, but I knew what mine would show me - a certainty borne out by each passing year. I need you Methos, I always have, always will, and death is no impediment to such as us.

I don't know what went wrong this time; I was too desperate to see the signs maybe, too fixed in my purpose to realise that your goals and mine did not yet coincide. I miss that as much as I miss your body next to mine. For when our purposes were in accord, truly, nothing could stand in our way. Just like now - had you truly wanted me gone I would not now be here.

MacLeod sleeps victorious, complacent in the belief that he has won, but there are far more vital battles of which he remains unaware. He is too confused and hurt yet to make sense of this dream we share. I doubt he'll realise the truth for many years yet, if he ever does. He's too young, too rigid in his thinking, to see the possibilities we ancients have long since owned.

This has changed him deeply, on levels he has yet to recognise, but alone it is not enough. Do you know the regard in which he held you, brother? How he has let it be degraded by his own naive morality and the ravings of a witch? The foolish child has no concept of the nature of true survival in this Game. He is too easily swayed by immaterial things, holds too tightly to his outmoded beliefs. He has already lost, he just doesn't know it. You know it, don't you, brother - will you show him the error of his ways? Will he let you?

I could show him the way, put him on the path to reconciliation, but I don't know yet that I feel so inclined. For what he did to us, I'm far more inclined to fuck with head - you must have noticed how easy that is. Small amusement, I admit, but enough for beginnings I think. Far more of a challenge to mess with yours, dear brother, harder still to do so without you recognising my hand in it. Now there's a thought... Do you know I'm here, brother? Will you tell him when you find out? I don't think so somehow. Our secret - one of many - I don't think you'll tell him the others either. I doubt he would find our games to his taste, assuming of course that he could grasp them in the first place. Maybe I can teach him a few tricks, make him a little more entertaining for you, persuade you to stick with the child a little longer, because, though many things have changed these last few millennia, my need for you has not, merely the vessel that houses it. It only remains to be seen whether I'll accept this role you have offered me or whether I will finally demand my due - the last home I have ever wanted.



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