As usual, Duncan MacLeod had spent the entire evening at Joe's, for the blues bar belonged to Joe Dawson, a friend of his.
Joe, however, had been busy most of the time tonight. More than that, whenever the customers had left him time for a breather, the man had still kept his distance.
A singer and bartender, he was usually outspoken enough. Today the salt-and-pepper-haired man barely spoke, though, except to clarify orders and the like. Duncan watched him, noticing Joe seemed restless, if withdrawn. Worried, maybe.
After a while Duncan decided the mortal would come to him if he wanted to talk. He took his glass of surprisingly good South African wine and sat at a table to listen to the funk band on the stage.
He stayed around until the last set was finished and the last guest was leaving. Then he reached for two topplers and the bottle of Glenmorangie Joe kept for him. He set the two small glasses down on the bar, one directly in front of his friend. He might not want to talk, but the little ritual of sharing a stiff drink would not go amiss.
He looked up at Joe to give him a meaningful glance, but all he saw was Joe's retreating back. The man had simply turned him his back and was now entering his office.
There was something in his stance that kept Duncan from feeling insulted. That and the fact that the door stayed open. Duncan wondered whether he was supposed to follow, while he filled their topplers. Before he could put the thought into action, though, his mortal friend returned. Joe shot back the Scotch. As soon as Duncan had followed suit, the mortal asked, "Methos doesn't write letters, does he?"
He hesitated. It was a strange thing to ask, considering Joe had known the ancient Immortal for several years before Duncan had even met him. Sure, Dawson had only known his current persona, Adam Pierson. There was a distinct difference between the two, but it would hardly extend to simple precautions like not handing out samples of ones handwriting.
"I wouldn't expect him to, no. Why?" he finally replied.
Joe handed over a sheet of paper. A few lines of neat handwriting, signed with "M." Well, not advertising his full real name was like Methos alright. But then, M could stand for many names, it didn't have to be Methos. Duncan, for one, could not recall having seen anything handwritten by the ancient Immortal. There was no way for him to tell whether or not he had written these lines.
While he was reading the letter, Joe commented, "The thing's as fishy as the fish market at auction time. It's just... I really don't know what to do with it."