MacLeod hadn't laid eyes on Methos in well over two hundred years the day the old son of a bitch walked into MacLeod's dojo, grinning from ear to ear and acting like he owned the place. "MacLeod-san," he said by way of greeting, his eyes roaming over MacLeod as if to make sure all the parts were intact. "Still keeping in shape, I see."
MacLeod blinked in shock. "For God's sake--Methos!" Before he'd really absorbed the fact of Methos' presence he was already moving, his own grin threatening to split his face. He reached out without thinking and Methos met him halfway. They grasped wrists, and in a moment their arms were around each other, a breathless laugh caught in MacLeod's chest. He pounded Methos on the back and had to fight unexpected tears.
"Easy," Methos breathed against his neck, laughing, too.
They separated. There was a question in Methos' eyes, and MacLeod knew all it would take was a signal from him and they'd be kissing each other hello. He held Methos at arm's length, feelings knotted up like a fist. "Christ, it's good to see you."
Methos' eyes flickered, question answered. He relaxed under MacLeod's grip. "Same here."
Desperately thrown off his game and trying not to show it, MacLeod led him through the garden and into the house. He urged Methos to sit, to make himself comfortable; painfully aware of his old friend's presence, MacLeod broke out the last of the home-brewed ale he'd made. Methos' expression when he tasted it was a fine thing indeed.
They drank it as the shadows grew longer on the patio, Methos spinning yarns of his travels as he had once in Seacouver long ago. MacLeod listened to him talk, feeling like he didn't know what to do with his hands. He couldn't seem to stop staring or keep himself from smiling.
At last, watching him fidget, Methos sobered. "It's been too long, Mac."
Heat rose in MacLeod's face, his throat. Barely able to get the word out, he said, "Yeah."
"We're too old to be such idiots. We should never have let so many years come between us."
MacLeod couldn't hold his gaze. He got up and paced a few steps away, leaning on the bar, needing the support. When he could speak, the words came husky with feeling.
"We always said this is how it would be for us. That when the time was right, our paths would cross again."
"I know what we said," Methos cut in, impatient. "I'm saying I've missed you. And I'm tired of missing you--missing us. I'm saying I think maybe we took the easy way out when things got rough. I'm saying, maybe we ought to try something different."
MacLeod had to look at him then. He could scarcely believe what he was hearing, and he realized only from the fast beating of his heart, the weakness in his stomach, that a part of him had been waiting to hear that from Methos for almost three hundred years.
Misreading MacLeod's turmoil, Methos sat back, brought himself up short. "You're with someone, aren't you?" He laughed. "I'm such an idiot."
"No. That's not-- no." MacLeod instinctively closed the distance between them. He knelt without thinking between Methos' knees, touched his forearm; his hand closed around it, the old electric connection sparking between them with a power that took his breath. He felt unsteady, butterflies crazy in his stomach; his eyes traced Methos' face, remembering the mercurial gaze, sharp angles of nose and cheekbones, the sardonic and yet oddly vulnerable quirk of that expressive mouth. "Methos, no," he said roughly. "There's no one else."
Methos' voice was rough, too. "It's good to hear you say my name. I've missed that more than you know."
Awkward, heart beating so hard he thought Methos could probably feel it, MacLeod slid his hand up Methos' arm. The space between them barely counted for anything, it was that small, and MacLeod let himself cross it without thinking. He touched the hollow of Methos' throat where the pulse beat strong and fast; his lips sought the answer of Methos' mouth, a rough, tender greeting he should have given the moment he walked into the dojo. It was three hundred years overdue. So stupid, he thought, emotion thick in his throat and hot behind his eyes. Both of us.
"There's no one else," he choked out, when Methos let him breathe. His lips and tongue felt too warm, like he'd been drugged, the heat of Methos' body calling to his.
Methos touched his face, brushed a thumb over his lips. His gaze, hungry and heavy-lidded, ranged over MacLeod's face and said the same thing.