"Give over, MacLeod. You're not winning this one." Methos looked down at the man pinned beneath him. "You may out weigh me. Yes. But I do believe I have the upper hand."
The Scot glared up at the ancient immortal. It was true. He had no choice but to concede. This time.
"All right," he said low.
Methos bent closer. "What was that, I didn't quite..." He leaned a little more on the bony knee that was lodged perilously close to the Highlander's groin.
The old man rolled away and jumped to his feet. Being careful to put some distance between himself and his friend.
MacLeod rolled to his side on the mat and leaned up on an elbow. He regarded the older man for a long moment. "Where'd you learn that one? I've never..."
"Of course you've 'never,' MacLeod. You fight fair." Methos grabbed a towel and mopped his face. He looked down at his soaked tee shirt. "I smell," he said succinctly. He pulled the shirt off in one fluid motion. "Gonna get a shower."
The Highlander continued to watch. Methos knew. No doubt about it. The old bastard knew exactly how he pushed the younger immortal's self control. The flirting was outrageous and the innuendo bordered on obscene.
Well, maybe today was the day MacLeod would call his bluff.
The Scot got up and almost stalked into the locker room. He stripped down, and wasn't at all surprised to find he was hard just thinking about him.
It did surprise him that it'd taken so long to get to this point. Years, in fact.
MacLeod opened the shower room door and a cloud of steam engulfed him.
"Were you expecting someone else?" The Scot moved toward the other man. "Think you're using enough hot water?"
"Hmph." Maybe it was a little hot in here. But the steam and heat of the water covered the effects of his solitary activity. The bloody Scot didn't usually barge in. He was too polite. Too civilized. Or he had been. Up until today.
"In a hurry, Mac?" Methos very carefully kept his back to the Highlander, and picked up the soap.
The Scot grinned. And stepped in closer. "Nope. I have all day."
Something in his tone caused Methos to glance back. He was shocked to see MacLeod standing right there. Maybe he should readjust the water temperature. He took a step forward.
And so did the Scot. Right against Methos' back.
Methos whirled on his friend. "What the fuck. MacLeod? Have you lost your mind. This is not funny."
"Oh? Pretty funny from here." The Highlander moved even closer and put his arms up to bracket the ancient man as he leaned against the shower wall. His grin was almost feral. "Maybe it could be fun too?"
Methos couldn't move. MacLeod was pressing him. Pressing against him. He rocked his head back as the Scot leaned into him, increasing the pressure at hip and chest. The pain of his skull cracking against the tiles galvanized him. With a strangled curse he pushed his friend aside.
The Highlander fell back as Methos fled into the locker room. What?
He turned the water off and went after the old man.
Methos was fighting to pull jeans onto a still-wet body. He was cursing softly in some long-lost Semitic language when he looked up to see MacLeod approaching. He scrambled to put the bench between himself and the Scot. "Just stay away, MacLeod. I don't need this shit."
"What shit?" The Scot was completely at ease with his nudity. And completely ignored that he was dripping wet. And that he was completely erect. He held out his hand and took another step forward.
"No MacLeod." Methos had his jeans buttoned and zipped now, and felt much better. "I'm not doing this." He grabbed the Ivanhoe out of his coat. "I can't do this."
"I don't understand."
"What part of 'no,' 'not,' and 'can't' are you having trouble with? You've never been this thick before, Highlander."
"So, you're telling me I didn't see what I saw before?"
"What, a guy jerking off?" Methos snorted. "And you immediately assumed you were the object of my fantasy?"
"Yes." MacLeod moved forward a half-step.
Methos raised his sword in counter to the Highlander's weeping 'weapon.'
"You wouldn't use that on me." MacLeod took another step toward what he wanted. Needed. Yes. That was it. He needed Methos. His heartbeat tripped, and he smiled.
Methos felt a sudden backwash of lust along their linked presence. He shuddered. "Yes, I would, Mac. Stay away. I... I don't want to hurt you." His sword was held steady as his friend took another step.
"But you will. One way or another." Not a question. An absolute statement of fact. MacLeod kept going until his chest was pressed up against the very tip of the Ivanhoe. "Why, Methos? Why say no? It is what we both want." The Scot moved and a blood tear sprang up to trail down his abdomen.
Methos didn't back down from his stance. I can't. Can't. He winced as a thin trickle of blood began to drip from the Highlander's chest.
"What do you want to prove, Methos? You're just a guy? Or just a straight guy?"
"You son of a bitch," the ancient man snarled. "You have no fucking idea what you're talking about." He tossed his sword aside. "No fucking idea." He shook his head. Looked down for his shirt.
MacLeod saw his chance. He was over the bench and on Methos before the older immortal could move.
"Then, tell me, Methos." He had his friend's arms pinned to his sides. His blood smeared across both their chests...they were pressed so tightly together. "What's been happening to us since Bordeaux? I can't think of anything without thinking, 'and Methos.'"
"Damn, Methos. I think I love you. It's killing me. But...I think... I know I have to have you..."
"No!" The old man began to struggle again, but he couldn't stop MacLeod from backing him into a corner. Nor could he stop the searing kisses the man was lavishing on him.
Methos managed to pull away. "No! Kronos..."
"What?" The Highlander stumbled away and Methos almost fell without his support. "What'd you say?"
Methos eyed his former captor and groaned. MacLeod, his Highlander, Duncan, looked like some primordial god. His long, dark hair hung just past his shoulders in dreadlocks. His eyes, already so dark, were dilated black with passion. Blood stained his breast where he'd almost impaled himself.
And he was still hard. Rock hard. His cock bounced with every panted breath he took.
"Kronos? Did he...?"
Well, maybe it was time for a new revelation. Methos smirked. "He wanted me. Yes. Oh, yes. We were together for a thousand years. Don't you think if I was going to, I could have done it. And saved myself a lot of trouble, MacLeod."
Methos strolled over and got a towel and wiped his friend's blood off himself. "I'm sorry if I somehow misled you." He shrugged, and picked up his clean shirt and pulled it on. Stepped into his boots and didn't bother to tie them. Gathered his soiled clothing and stuffed it into his bag.
"I'm going, Highlander." He pulled on his coat and settled his sword. Picked up his duffel.
"Going?" MacLeod asked. "But, Methos, I don't want you to go." He reached out, and watched in horror as the ancient man almost cringed.
"Yeah, well, Mac, when did I become someone who cared? I'm outta here." He whirled and was gone.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Joe Dawson had just flipped the switch that lit up the sign in front of his bar
and unlocked the door. He hadn't even made it back behind the bar when the door
swung open with a bang.
"Adam?" Joe looked over his shoulder at MacLeod and the grin died on his face.
"Mac, what's wrong?" It couldn't be another immortal in town, could it? There hadn't been anything in the latest report. As a matter of fact, Seacouver had been quiet for the past couple of months.
Too quiet? Was the shit about ready to hit the fan?
The Highlander opened his mouth. Then snapped it shut. What could he say? 'Oh, nothing's wrong, Joe. I want to fuck Methos. And he won't let me.' Right. That'd go over just great.
"Is there some kind of trouble Mac? Something I should know about?" Is someone after your head? Adam's head? Joe sometimes wanted to grab his assignment and shake the information out of him.
"No. No, not that I know. It's just... Adam's not at his place. I, uh, thought he'd be here?"
"Doesn't he have class tonight?"
"Oh. Yeah. That must be it."
"Sorry, Mac. Haven't seen him since you guys were in last night." Joe shook his head as he placed a draft in front of MacLeod. He called them his bachelor boys. As steady as an old married couple. About the only time he saw Adam in here without MacLeod was when the Scot was entertaining.
Two hours later the Highlander was still sitting at the bar when a wave of presence announced an immortal's approach. He tensed, then relaxed. Methos. And turned towards the door while Joe put another beer down next to him, then went off to answer a phone call.
But Methos wasn't alone. And he and the five others he was with swept past the bar to find a table at the darker end of the place.
The three couples settled in, and ordered pitchers of beer. Methos paid, then handed one of the girls the change. She and her boyfriend headed over to the jukebox and made their selections. An Elvis song began. A slow one, and Methos pulled another of the girls onto the dance floor. The didn't do much moving. Not dancing, anyway.
Joe came back from the office to find MacLeod staring.
"About damn time, " he said softly.
"Time for the old man to get back up on the dating horse."
The Scot snorted in derision. "Yeah, right."
"Mac, you want to explain this-whatever? You sound, jealous. And God knows, you of all people have no right to be."
"You don't know what you're talking about, Dawson."
"Don't I? Christ, Mac, he's got nobody."
He has me, Duncan thought. "Cut it out, Dawson."
The Watcher looked over at his friend. His friends. Fuck, but MacLeod was in a full-out sulk.
Closing time, and the three couples were still partying. They weren't drunk. Or rowdy. Or any more amorous than any of the other couples. Joe was almost sorry to run them out. Almost. But it did mean he could get rid of the glowering Scott too.
Except to go and piss, MacLeod hadn't moved all night. Had ignored every attempt by both females and males to pick him up. Sighing to himself he made last call, then flipped on the fluorescent lighting.
There was the usual minor uproar from the last of the patrons. "Yeah, yeah, yeah." Joe made his customary reply and laughed. "You bums go home. This bum's heading that way too."
He leaned heavily on his cane this late in the evening, and eased himself onto the stool next to MacLeod. He turned, watching with the Scot. as Methos and his group prepared to leave.
"He's up to something, Joe."
"He's getting back into life Mac." He grabbed a muscled forearm and pinned it to the bar when the Scot would have followed the others out. "You listen to me, my friend. Leave him alone." The old mortal got right in the Highlander's face. "It's bad enough..."
"Nothing. Just let him go, Mac. Let him go."
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
"I know about the shared quickening."
"How? You weren't there. Kronos and the others didn't have Watchers."
"Cassandra did. Her Watcher came to me. Told me all about it. All. Including the fact that our Adam Pierson is immortal."
"So why haven't the Watchers done anything about it?"
"Because she died before she could make an official report."
MacLeod opened his mouth. Then shut it quickly. He didn't think he believed the implications of Joe's words. But how could he not believe.
"I'm...I'm going home."
"Good idea, Mac. See you tomorrow."
The Highlander didn't go home. He left his car in Joe's lot and started walking. An hour, two, three. He had no idea how far he had gone.
Except to realize Joe was right. Methos had a right to his own life. He wasn't meant to be a sidekick. Or his fuck-buddy. Maybe it was just a side effect of the double quickening, this obsessive need to be with Methos.
Or maybe, just maybe, he did love him?
MacLeod had taken a good, hard look at the last years. And he had to admit, Methos had given up several decades of Adam Pierson's life.
All because of Duncan MacLeod. Both directly and indirectly.
Hell, he'd lost his friends, the Salzers. And MacLeod himself had outed him to Joe, Amanda, Rich.
Alexa. God, he'd loved that woman. Yet he'd left her alone. Dying. For me.
Then the year when everything had gone bad. Kronos and the other Horsemen. Cassandra. Keane. Ahriman. And fucking Byron.
Yet no matter how angry, frustrated, scared. Methos had been there.
And finally, he had given up everything of his life in Paris to move to Seacouver. To be with the Highlander.
MacLeod looked up and knocked on the door of Methos' apartment. He knew he was
home. And he knew if he wasn't alone that they weren't--weren't...
The fully dressed man that greeted him looked wary. "What do you want, MacLeod. Don't you know what time it is?"
Methos sighed and sagged. "Come in. I'll get you some coffee."
The Scot stood in the middle of the living room. All Methos eclectic art pieces were here. The stereo was playing a movie soundtrack that sounded faintly familiar. He looked around.
"No one's here."
"I didn't think..."
"We fucked and I sent her home in a cab. She was a nice fuck."
"Come on, it's what you were expecting, right? Just get over yourself, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod."
"I have." Methos handed the Scot the mug of coffee.
MacLeod looked at the murky contents of the mug. "Sorry. I just came to apologize."
"Can I sit down?"
"If you must."
"First, for the Salzers. And Alexa. And Silas. I won't apologize for Caspian and Kronos," the Highlander said defiantly.
Methos almost smiled. "All right. I give you those two. Go on."
"For Byron. I knew about him, Methos. I knew that if you had been with him, well, you had been 'with' him."
"What else?" The old man had slowly eased onto the couch across from the Scot, and was starting to relax.
"Making you kill Kristin. Outing you to Joe. Believing Cassandra about, well, you kow, everything."
"God, Methos, I'm just sorry..." He was tired. He wanted to go home.
"I'm sorry about his morning. I'm sorry about pushing. I'm sorry about trying to... I've never admitted how much I... Need..." The last word was a whisper. "...Love."
MacLeod put his head in his hands. He wasn't going to cry. He wasn't.
Then he felt a strong arm curve around his back. And a firm, callused hand pulled his own from his face.
"There. It wasn't so hard after all, was it?"
"What?" The Scot was truly stunned to find the ancient man beside him. Leaning against him. He suddenly felt like he couldn't breathe as he stared into Methos whisky-amber eyes.
"Admitting you were wrong. That you, Duncan MacLeod, immortal boy scout and self-appointed clan leader could be wrong."
"I don't understand."
Methos took both MacLeod's hands in his own for a moment. "I told you this morning. I couldn't give in to you for the same reason I could never give in to Kronos. Or any other man under the same circumstances."
"I can't give myself away. But I can share with an equal. With a partner."
"Exactly. I've been waiting for you, Highlander. Hoping you would figure it out." Methos started to chuckle. "Hell, even Joe got it quicker than you. Light." He touched MacLeod's chest. "Dark." He touched his own.
Methos pressed a quick kiss to the Scot's forehead. "It's simple. Life revolves around one principle. Nothing in excess. Hell, even too much oxygen can kill. Do you understand? It's all about balance." He looked into MacLeod's face.
"MacLeod, did you and your mates ever play on a balance board? With a bigger kid on one end, it'd never move. But if two stood together in the middle?"
"We're like that, don't you see? We have to stand together to keep our lives in
balance. We can't let either overpower the other."
"Because of the double quickening?"
"Oh, Duncan." Methos laughed. "Not even."
"Because we love."
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.