BACK INTO THE SHADOWS
Set after Highlander: Endgame.
Methos watches Duncan and knows what he has lost.
An established relationship story.
Written: April 2007. Word count: 700.
Methos watched from the shadows, ensuring that he was just out of reach of the Immortal's sensory ability; just as he had been on many previous occasions. Now, as then, his hand hovered over the hilt of his sword, prepared to defend or revenge Duncan if the need arose.
Twice recently he had believed that he would have to break the Immortals' Law of not interfering in a challenge, or of only one Immortal taking on another.
During Duncan's fight with his clansman Connor, Methos had feared his own Highlander would refuse to take the other Scot's head. Had Duncan refused and lost his own head, Methos would have been the one to face Kell.
The five-century-old Immortal didn't enjoy fighting, but he hadn't survived those centuries by not being able to fight. Joe and he had shown Duncan how many heads Duncan himself, Connor and Kell had taken, but Duncan had never asked Methos's tally. Had he done so, he would have learned it was more than enough for Methos to take anyone he chose.
Duncan, however, had come through the fight with Connor, so Methos had re-sheathed his sword and backed away further, never once letting his lover know that he was nearby.
He had then followed Duncan and watched the desperate and nearly fatal fight with Kell. Here Methos had risked getting even closer, trusting in his essence being swallowed up by the fury and concentration of the other two Immortals.
Again he had been ready.
Again he had not been needed.
Now, as he stood watching Duncan and his wife, a chill settled around him, wrapping him like the long coasts he wore.
It was over. Not the game, that never would be over, but his relationship with Duncan MacLeod.
He had finally lost him. Not to someone's sword, although that could still happen, but to a woman. The woman whom the young McLeod had wedded, killed in order to allow her to spend eternity with him, only to lose her for three hundred years, before finding her again, still angry, bitter, and apparently his enemy. However, all that had changed, and once more they were together.
As he watched them together, wrapped up in one another, Methos didn't know who he hated more at that moment: Kate, Duncan, or himself. For centuries he had not allowed himself to truly care or love, never trusting another Immortal, never wanting a human being.
And then Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod had come into his life, and everything had changed. His barriers had been overturned and he had fallen in love. Duncan had never been able to commit himself just to Methos, but that hadn't really troubled Methos. He hadn't minded, because Duncan had always come back to him. However, this time things were different. Of that he was certain.
As Duncan found Kate's mouth and his arms secured her, Methos allowed himself a second or two's memory of what that felt like. Then he pulled his coat around him and turned away, moving back further into the shadows. He would head for the airport and possibly England; maybe it was time he went home.
However, first he would find Amanda and tell her about Kate. She would want to know, and better from a friend than from the grapevine. Maybe they could even . . . After all they were both hurting, and only she would know just how much Methos was aching. Only she had known the truth of how Methos felt about Duncan. Only she had known what the two Immortals had shared together.
Duncan broke the kiss he shared with Kate and brought his head up. Something had changed. The tingling Immortal essence had infinitesimally altered, lessened, cooled.
"Methos," he whispered, recognizing too late the extra essence that had surrounded him from the moment he had sought out the oldest Immortal. The additional spark that had been there throughout his fights with Connor and Kell; that had been there from the moment Kate had appeared.
He felt his heart crush as Kate pulled his mouth back to meet her own. And as he kissed her, he wondered if he would ever sense that extra essence again.
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