"Explain this, please, MacLeod. You're going to do what?"
"Coach a Peewee football team."
"American football?" The ancient immortal shook his head. "And what brought on this aberration? Wait. Don't tell me..."
"I asked you not to tell me."
"So, will you?"
Methos feigned memory loss. "What?"
"Be my assistant coach."
"Oh, so this wasn't just a friendly dinner after all. You do have ulterior motives."
The Scot grinned. "Of course." He handed Methos another beer. "So, did it work?"
"I'll let you know after dessert."
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
"No dessert is worth this." The oldest man in the world looked down and down and down at the fifteen children in their tiny little football uniforms. Several clung to each leg as Methos tried to walk across the field.
"They look..." he trailed off and gave a sigh.
"Look?" The Highlander could barely conceal his grin.
"Gnomes. I've seen better looking gnomes, MacLeod." Methos looked over at the
younger immortal. "At least we have decent colors." He regarded the Scot in his royal blue warm up suit. Not that he was about to indulge in such a display. 'I don't do team spirit,' he'd warned his friend..
The Highlander watched as Methos and the team finally reached the visitor's bench. Methos peeled the last of the children off his jeans, then arranged them so they could start their pre-game exercises.
MacLeod turned to Anne Lindsey. "Can you explain that to me?"
Anne shook her head and glanced up at the Scot. "I was gonna ask you," she confessed. "Ah, look, Joe made it." She waved to the man, then turned back to MacLeod. "Knock 'em dead, coach. Well, you know what I mean." She gave her blue cheerleader pompoms a little shake. She went off to join Joe and the other parents and spectators.
Meanwhile, Methos was uncomfortably sprawled on the aluminum bench. Ostensibly watching the children at their jumping jacks. His eyes were closed, though.
"Adam, they've been at that for a couple of minutes. Don't you think..."
"MacLeod, you are the coach. I am the assistant. Yours is the glory. In other words, I'm taking a nap. Wake me when the game starts."
Across the field, Anne and Joe sat together. Anne tried hard to keep her amusement from overflowing into gales of laughter. Joe didn't bother.
"Man, this is..." He gestured with his free hand.
"Great fodder for his Chronicle," Anne whispered.
"Yeah, oh, yeah." Not to mention the completely secret and unauthorized Adam Pierson Chronicle he'd been keeping.
The Watcher looked down at the end of the field where the Raiders had just scored another touchdown. The Highlander was bouncing excitedly. The oldest man in the world had pulled his black duster close to his body. He looked like a great hulking raven as he stood in the middle of the field. And eleven bouncing blue-clad gnomes.
All around Anne and Joe in the bleachers, the Raiders' supporters were cheering wildly.
The other team's supporters didn't look very happy. "Um, Anne, what's up with them," Joe asked. He pointed with his cane to the glum looking assembly in the next set of bleachers.
"Mac has two girls on the team."
"It pissed off the association. Until this year they managed to dissuade the parents who wanted coed football."
Anne gave Joe a rather evil grin. "I nominated Mac to be a coach, and they were almost salivating when he agreed." She grinned even wider. "I guess they forgot to ask about his gender politics." She snickered.
"Oh, look, they're going to score again. Go Raiders!"
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Methos glared at the Highlander. "I don't believe you, MacLeod. Letting those people talk you into a victory party at the 'Kiddy Arkade.'"
"It's a private party, Methos."
"Oh, right. I forgot. Fifteen kids on the team. Averaging at least three parents per child. Plus the siblings, half sibling and step siblings. And various and sundry aunts, uncles, cousins..."
"And us, Methos."
"...And no beer!" The old man slumped in the passenger seat of the Scot's SUV. "Tell them I'm sick. I think I'm coming down with the flu or something." He knew he should have gone to the game in his own vehicle. Now he was at the mercy of his obviously heartless friend.
"Something, is right. Come on, Methos. The kids love you. And you know it. That time you were late, they wanted to forfeit if you hadn't shown up."
"Gods Mac, that would have been..." He stopped and looked at the other man. "Oh, all right. How bad could it be? An hour, some stale popcorn and a flat Coke. I can do this. Okay."
"Great. A couple of games of whacky-golf, some air-hockey. We'll be good to go."
"Oh, no, Mac." Methos sat up straight in the seat. You never mentioned games. No. Absolutely not. No games."
The Highlander gave him one of his looks. Methos threw up his hands in disgust. "Oh, please. If you're going to do that."
Anne and Joe watched as MacLeod happily climbed into the 'ball pit.' Hung from the monkey bars. Climbed up, over, and around inside the play area. And cajoled Methos right along with him.
The children were ecstatic. Taking a cue from Mary, they had started calling the Scot 'Uncle Duncan.'
And they loved playing with him. But soon there were more calls for 'Uncle Adam.'
"Gee, Joe. It's like he's the Pied Piper or something." Anne watched Methos swing child after child up and over into the ball pit. Or hold them up so they could get out of the ball pit.
Joe shrugged. God, but Methos could have been... Nope, he wouldn't go there. "Yeah, he's got a knack with them, all right." He wondered how many children the old man had helped raise. If you could believe him about how many times he'd been married. If you could believe him about anything. If he even was Methos.
Well, if he wasn't, it was one great show he put on.
"I bet it's because he's a teacher, don't you think?" Anne smiled at Mary and MacLeod.
"Could be," Joe agreed.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
"That thing is...it's..."
"Obscene. It's obscene, Mac."
"You're just jealous, Methos."
"Ah, come on, now. Just because you don't have one as big as mine, don't rag on
"He's right, Mac." Joe gave it a wide berth as he went over to the sofa. "That's the biggest one I've ever seen. Nonprofessional, I mean."
"See." Methos went and got two beers. One for Joe and one for himself. "Hey, where's mine?" MacLeod looked over at his friends. Now Methos was going too far.
"What, can't leave it alone long enough to go to the refrigerator? Think it might shrink? Disappear?"
"Ha ha. So funny." The Scot got up, and couldn't resist patting the head of the 'Best Coach' trophy as he went by.
"So, Joe, you free tonight? How about dinner at Botticelli's"
"Botticelli's? You paying, old timer?"
"Botticelli's, Methos? Isn't that a bit, um, rich for you?"
"Maybe." The old immortal got up and started putting his coat on. "But, see. The dads got together and bought you that...thing." He glanced at the hugely ornate trophy and shuddered. "The mothers decided I could use a good meal." He waived a substantially large gift certificate under the Scot's nose.
"Seems the lean and spare look paid off this time. See ya, Mac."
The Watcher grinned at the Highlander. "A man's gotta eat." He joined Methos in the lift, and then they were dropping toward the main level.
Joe looked over at Methos. "So, if Mac coaches again next year...?"
"Wouldn't miss it."
Originally posted c 2002
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.