Written for nickygabriel in the gen ficathon
Much thanks to nam_jai for her beta. It's not stated anywhere in the fic, but in my head this takes place at sometime post S5.
Resonate with Stillness by amaresu
“I need to get one of these,” Methos said as he spread his arm out, a gesture meant to encompass the entire island around him.
At least MacLeod hoped he meant the entire island, because otherwise Methos wanted to get some trees, or possibly a deck and some chairs. “Don't you already have an island?” It seemed a safe bet to assume the island.
The look Methos gave him as he sat down and started messing with the fishing line clearly stated: Idiot. “I have five, no wait, six, islands. No, I don't need an island. Haven't been to the last one in centuries though. Wonder if anyone remembers that someone owns it?” His expression looked contemplative, but MacLeod could almost see the amusement coming off of him in waves. Bastard.
So, not an island. MacLeod held in a sigh as he sat down in his own chair and poured some coffee for the two of them. Perhaps if he pretended not to be interested Methos would continue. Of course if he did ask, Methos would probably decline to answer, instead choosing to sit and laugh at him all day. Either one was possible. Although Methos looked like he wanted to talk about it, MacLeod could practically see the lecture being written in the old man's head. Instead of saying anything, MacLeod sipped his coffee and stared out at the lake, waiting for the sun to rise. Maybe Methos wouldn't be the only one amused today.
It was midday before Methos broke. The day had been a quiet one — fishing wasn't something that invited conversation, but MacLeod hadn't made any effort to start one either. They were packing up the equipment and heading back to the cabin to clean the fish for dinner when Methos looked over at him. “You're really not going to ask?”
“Ask what?” It was hard not to laugh at the expression on Methos' face, but MacLeod managed. Methos had been itching to talk about whatever it was all day and MacLeod had done his best to ignore all the signs. It was the funniest thing he'd seen in weeks and he couldn't help but wonder if this was why Methos was such a bastard at times. Apparently watching people squirm for your own amusement was a fun way to pass the time.
Rather than answering, Methos scowled at him and used his longer legs to his advantage and hurried up the trail to the cabin. MacLeod tried to wait until Methos was out of hearing range before laughing, but he wasn't sure he succeeded. When he reached the cabin Methos had already started making lunch, pointedly leaving out all of the implements for cleaning the fish. This time he didn't bother to hold back his laughter. Amanda was right — Methos was a terrible influence on him.
Lunch passed quickly, with Methos heading out into the woods to meditate almost immediately after finishing. He hadn't even given one of his patented speeches about the many benefits of meditation. Instead he had left MacLeod with the cleanup, but seeing him in a huff was enough to make up for that. Despite the fact that Methos had apparently used every dish in the cabin. There hadn't even been any gravy, let alone potatoes to rice, yet the gravy dish and the ricer both sat in the sink waiting to be cleaned.
Methos showed back up for dinner, arriving just as the food was finishing cooking. Dinner passed in silence, much like lunch had, but this time Methos appeared amused rather than annoyed. It wasn't until the dishes were done that Methos held up a bottle of wine and some glasses. “Dock?”
“Sounds good.” Grabbing the corkscrew out of the drawer, MacLeod led the way back down to the dock. “There isn't much light pollution out here. We should be able to see the stars clearly.”
“I've been a terrible influence on you,” was all Methos said before grabbing the corkscrew from him and moving into the lead. MacLeod smiled and continued down the trail at a steady pace.
Methos had already opened the bottle and filled the glasses by the time MacLeod got to the dock. He was lying stretched out on the dock, propped up on his elbows and looking up at the sky. His expression was wistful and, watching him, it suddenly occurred to MacLeod that not even the stars were a constant for him.
Silently he sat down next to Methos, mirroring his position. Taking a sip of his wine he started talking. “I'm not sure I could stand it.”
“Stand what?” The question was quiet.
Looking up at the sky, he answered, “My whole life I've always been able to count on the stars being the same. There are different constellations in different parts of the world, but the stars have always been the same. Everything else changes, but not them. I'm not sure I'll be able to stand it when they no longer look like this.”
“Everything changes MacLeod. Everything, even the stars.” Methos' voice sounded tired. Tired like it only did when he was thinking about the past, times so long gone not even archaeologists really knew what they were like. “Even you.”
“I'm not good at change.” He wasn't. He knew that, everyone knew that.
Methos sighed next to him and topped off his glass before responding. “You don't need to be good at change. You just need to accept it and let it happen. That you can do.”
He didn't respond. Methos had a point. If he wasn't capable of change then he never would've lived past his first century; he never would've lived past Connor.
They sat in silence for awhile, staring up at the stars. It wasn't until they'd finished off the last of the wine that Methos spoke again. “Holy ground.”
“Hmm?” It seemed to be a non sequitur, but with Methos you never really knew.
“I have six islands, a dozen estates, and more apartments and lofts and flats then I can honestly be expected to remember, but I don't own any holy ground.” Methos turned back to look at the island, every inch of it holy ground. The one place MacLeod knew he could safely travel without his sword.
MacLeod smiled up at the sky. He couldn't give Methos something constant to hang on to through the centuries, but maybe for a little while, he could give him this. “You're welcome to come here whenever you want.”
He could see Methos looking over at him from the corner of his eye. It was the pleasantly stunned expression that sometimes showed up when people did nice things for him, like it'd been so long since he'd had friends he forgot that they did that.
“Mi casa es su casa,” MacLeod said quietly.
The only response he received was a happy chuckle. It was enough.