Remote Good-Byes by Holde_Maid
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Author's Notes:
I don't know what gave me this idea, but I hope it's not too sappy.


Among his friends, Methos was certainly not famed for going out of his way to be kind to someone he had never met. It was for Alexa’s family that he made an exception.

Like Alexa herself, her parents were relatively short. Her mother was stockier, with flabby arms and a gentle smile that spoke of sorrow. Her slender father had the air of a scholar. Distant and mild as he seemed, according to Alexa he actually drove a hard bargain. He was a banker, the mother a devoted mother and housewife who loved needlework. It was she who opened the door and bade him enter, as soon as he had ventured, "I have memories to give back to you."

Her smile was knowing. Though physically different, he recognised Alexa’s smile in it. The same intuitive wisdom. With relief he found he was glad he’d come here.

"What do you want?" Her father, brusquely.

"I want to give you these." The items in the woollen bag were few. Apart from the will that left Alexa's humble property to her parents only cheap souvenirs, really. A scarf Alexa had bought for her mother. An antique wooden safe for her father. She had purchased it in a small Egyptian village on the Nile. "Alexa got these for you." Now he had said her name, they could no longer ignore that he was indeed a messenger of the daughter who had left them to die alone, in Seacouver.

The old man was hiding his grief badly behind some gruff comment. He looked relieved when his wife begged their guest to take a seat and tell them more.

They sat together for hours. They had tea, and eventually it grew dark outside. Methos told them about how he had met her. How he had browbeat her into dating him. Abut their travels. And he told them how she had died, if in fairly euphemistic terms.

Her mother asked questions here and there, and repaid him with their side of the story. How they had been affronted when she had left them without telling them why. How they had been further mystified when she had given her reasons in a brief letter arriving from Greece. She told him of the devastation they felt at learning she had died.

"It would have been just as devastating from up close, if that is any comfort," Methos offered.

Suddenly her husband spoke. His voice was hoarse with anger now. "You’re a fraud." He cleared his throat. "Why would she let you be with her, but not us?"

At this, Methos let out a brief, sarcastic laugh. "If I were a fraud, I’d ask to ... stay in contact, at least, so I could wheedle my way into your hearts. I don’t. I want nothing from you."

"Then why are you here?"

"Because I have said your good-byes for you. I wanted to return the memory of that moment to where it belongs." He stood. "I believe I’ve accomplished the task now."

Alexa’s parents rose politely, but the father had a lost look on his features now. Methos laid a hand on his shoulder. "I’m sorry I could not persuade her to come back here for a weekend."

"But..." Her mother seemed to be searching desperately for the right words. After a moment, she settled for "Why not?"

"Because she was arrogant and silly." He smiled. "And she underestimated you terribly." He kissed her greying hair with a silent blessing and left with a heart made of lead. It was like losing her all over again. Maybe he shouldn’t have come here, after all.