The Balance of Regrets

by Margaret

12th July 2003

Disclaimer: Not mine, no money, no harm.

Rated: PG-15

Pairings: Duncan/Methos, Methos/Kronos

Notes: Set during the closing scene of Revelations 6:8. First person pov.

Summary: The old debate of quantity versus quality.

He won't fight me. From the first day we met he wouldn't fight me and he still won't. I don't know if it's for his sake or mine. Is that the secret of his survival? His ability to roll with the blows? Cassandra went for his head, screamed accusations he didn't deny, yet he didn't fight back and I'm not so sure it was because he felt he deserved it. Kronos took over his so independent life and plans and he didn't raise a hand in protest - or maybe he did, but not where I could see, not where it counted. Even now he won't fight back, won't defend or justify his actions, won't even really offer any kind of explanation at all, letting the results be his sole argument.

I *want* him to fight back, it would be easier for me to hate him then, to side with Cassandra. At the same time it would be infinitely more difficult because the one and only time he did, I caught a glimpse of the passion that Methos is capable of. The passion he denies having had for millennia - that's another of his defensive lies I think. I saw that passion blaze bright in those cat's eyes of his and I watched it locked down, shut away and in a moment of revelation I knew I had to see it again. To know that the sleeping beast can be so beautiful when roused, so dangerous when cornered... It's terrifying and worse because I don't know how to inspire it in him again and I *need* to so badly.

I watch him walk away from me, a study in casual indifference, no resemblance to the man who carved up his own past with a cold-blooded efficiency that makes my skin crawl. I remember those final moments too well. There was passion there, though of a different sort, I can still clearly recall the ache I felt in pure sympathy to the gut-wrenching sobs and the pitiful few tears he let himself shed for his brothers. I'm not even going to pretend I understand whatever it was between them, but the cold fury I felt in the aftermath of Caspian's Quickening is still vivid. It was branded across my soul when I looked down the stairs at Kronos, Methos at his shoulder, and knew with another soul's sadistic certainty that Kronos could and had brought forth the Ancient's passion, that for Kronos alone Methos actually willingly offered it. God, I wanted him dead. I wanted to kill Kronos so badly and it had gone far beyond our petty tit for tat duels, beyond Cassandra's thirst for revenge, beyond even Kronos' threat to the peoples of the world. I wanted him dead because I wanted Methos. I wanted whatever it was that Methos had given his brother, whatever it was that the Horseman had taken. I wanted the fire that could fuel five millennia of existence, I wanted to bask in its heat, I wanted to burn with it.

Be careful what you wish for they say and just this once I should have listened. Kronos is dead now, as dead as it's possible for one of us to be, but Methos has withdrawn from me, from the world. The occasional glimpses of warmth, the sometimes surprising depth of our friendship, those faint echoes of the fire within are ashes now. It's ironic how far apart our regrets have driven us when I know now that he is the only one who understands enough to help me live with this. Our new distance has been made all the more painful by the haunting flashes I received from Kronos in the few moments before his Quickening chose its new home. Fleeting, corner of the eye glimpses of Methos in a temper, in playful good humour, in sheer unbridled freedom and slit-eyed sated lust. None of it was mine and now I can't see how any of it ever could be. It doesn't stop me wanting it though, I don't think anything ever will, short of losing my head, and the thought of living with this need is the sweetest torture Kronos could ever have devised. If he were still within me, I'd take the greatest pleasure in carving him from my soul piece by bloody piece. But he's with Methos now and I find I envy even that.

A thousand regrets Methos? I may not have quite that number yet, but if quality counts for anything, these last few days have brought me close.



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