Playing the Game by Wabbitseason
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Adam Pierson sat on the floor of his apartment, rereading the journal. Even with his considerable academic training, he still needed centuries to decipher the cramped handwriting. Adam had always excelled at languages. But the original keeper of the journal had also used a form of complicated shorthand to protect the material from unwanted readers. Adam had learned some of the code, but other references still eluded him.

The researcher put on his headphones and switched on his Walkman player. He could use some good music to go with these dreary histories. Classical music might suit some people, but he preferred the good driving beat of rock 'n' roll.

Time passed and Adam silently flipped the oversized page to the next journal entry. Suddenly his eyes narrowed and his whole body tensed feeling the presence of another Immortal nearby. He remembered leaving his Ivanhoe sword within an arm's length just underneath the bed.

It was about bloody time.

Adam heard the door open. Out of the corner of his hazel eyes, he caught a glimpse of his intruder. He relaxed somewhat for the physical profile did not fit the picture of Kalas he had secured from the Watcher records. Tall and imposing, this new Immortal wore a long overcoat to accommodate his sword, his long dark hair pulled back into a ponytail.

He debated on how to react to this unexpected arrival. He had run before. He could simply slip out the back. For some reason, though, Adam stayed. Noticing the spare can of beer beside his pile of notes, a plan started to form his head.

"Adam Pierson?" The immortal called out in a low voice. His unmistakable Scottish accent confirmed the newcomer's identity. The famous Duncan MacLeod had arrived, intending play the noble boy scout of the Immortal set no doubt.

Switching off his Walkman, Adam pulled off his headphones and turned towards the other Immortal. He was hoping Joe's stories about the younger immortal were even half right. Otherwise, Kalas would be the least of Adam's troubles.

"Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod, have a beer," Adam tossed Duncan a can of beer. The Scottish immortal caught it nimbly in one hand, peering curiously at him. With a glint of mischief in his hazel eyes, Adam added in Spanish. "Mi casa su casa." He had effectively welcomed him into his home, challenging with no show of steel.

If Adam had intended to catch Duncan MacLeod off guard, he succeeded beyond his wildest imaginings. MacLeod was probably expecting some unsuspecting scholarly researcher in danger from Kalas. He wasn't expecting another Immortal, especially one who welcomed him without a fight.

Adam might not be the oldest immortal, but he wasn't reborn yesterday. Adam knew from his research that Duncan MacLeod was unflinchingly loyal to his friends, but deadly when forced to fight. Adam knew better than to challenge such an opponent. There were other ways to play the game. That was how he had survived for so long.

Duncan stared at the other immortal for several long moments. "Methos?"

Damn. Adam wasn't prepared for that. That simple name floored Adam. He had intended to play it safe, but MacLeod had nixed him playing the young Pretender.

Adam wasn't the first Immortal to play Methos. For all he knew, he wouldn't be the last one either. But this moment was a long time in coming.

With a slight incline of his head, Adam finally accepted his new role as Methos, the oldest living Immortal.