Joe first choked on his beer, then coughed it out over the condensation rings Methos had been idly working into a chessboard layout. Duncan inhaled good cognac and then exhaled it out when even immortal sinuses protested that; his cigar nearly set the fumes on fire and Joe lifted a water glass threateningly. Then, unfairly, they both turned and blamed it on Methos, who was slouched in his stool waiting for the inevitable complaints. "An elf?" Joe said disbelievingly. "That does it, I'm cutting you off, buddy." At the same time, Duncan growled, "Are you trying to annoy the Lords and Ladies?" Methos shook his head, sighed, and said, "This is why I tell people I've forgotten. Everyone's an expert these days." Joe just looked at him. "C'mon, Methos, an elf? I just can't picture you with pointed ears." "That's not the old name, but it'll do." Methos shrugged. "Really, Joe, I'm just a guy. I like my beer, my books, my peace and quiet… and you don't get that in the Courts. They're all feuds, and spats, and spite--" "And all the legends say the fay don't like cold iron," Duncan pointed out. "Of course no one who knows you believes you." "MacLeod, they were called the stone and bronze ages for a reason." Methos tilted his head and gave the younger MacLeod a suspicious look. "Your cousin was a blacksmith. You do know what cold iron is, right?" Duncan sighed and held up a hand for Methos to pause, then finished his cognac in one long swallow that did no justice to the vintage but might help insulate his nerves. "Fine. Tell me how you're really an elf with a sword." Methos shook his head in sheer disbelief. "What are they teaching them these days? Cold iron, MacLeod. As in 'not heated.' All the iron is forged these days, usually after being melted and alloyed." He shrugged. "The rest is just acclimation. No big deal, really. So. Beer, a bookstore, the new Bond flick has an 11:45 showing?" Joe shook his head, words failing him for once, and waved them out of his bar with shooing motions, like the recalcitrant chickens he sometimes claimed would be easier. MacLeod was still gaping like a fish (he'd deny it later, but that was all right). Methos sauntered out, slowly enough for MacLeod to catch up physically once he caught up mentally (or maybe that was emotionally), and without paying his bar tab. Those two owed him a night's drinks for the real story. Besides which, he was a little short of pocket cash just now anyway. Joe would kill him if he found leaves or fool's gold chunks in the till come morning.
~ ~ ~ finis ~ ~ ~Who knew I'd always wanted to write an inappropriate elf fic? Written for Darklyndsea's prompt: Methos's first life: not actually in the past of this world.
Not Heated by Rhi
NB: Do not eat or drink while reading this fic, the author takes no responsibility for your keyboard, monitor, or sinuses.