Duncan eyed the now empty bottle of scotch somewhat mournfully. The fire had burnt down to a comforting glow, and two of the planet's four moons had risen in the night sky above them. "It's later than I thought it was," he commented. "Hey, where'd Triona get off to? She said she'd be back after checking on that loose power coupling. That was a few hours ago," he added, sounding concerned.
"She's fine," Methos reassured him. "Sound asleep on the ship in fact."
"That's a surprise. I don't think she's slept more than a handful of hours since we landed." He looked at Methos suspiciously; the other man looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. "How did you convince her to take a break?"
"I didn't." If anything, Methos looked even more pleased with himself.
"Methos, what did you do?" Duncan wasn't quite sure he wanted to know.
Methos looked sidelong at his companion. "Let's just say that last shot of scotch I put in her coffee had a little something extra in it."
Duncan sputtered a bit before choking out a response, "Something extra? You're telling me you drugged her?" His voice rose to a note of appalled disbelief.
"It was for her own good," Methos said reasonably. "If she wasn't going to listen to sense then more direct action was required." He laughed at the look on the Highlander's face. "Seriously, don't you think the woman who monitors the matter/anti-matter mix on the colony's power generation system should be operating on more than a few hours total sleep for the week?"
Duncan just stared at him with no idea where to start. Methos seemed to be totally and thoroughly unrepentant. In fact, he seemed rather proud of himself.
"At least you didn't shoot her," Duncan finally replied with a slightly aggrieved tone.
"That was for your own good," came the prompt and smug reply. "Please! Don't tell me you're still holding onto a pout over that?"
"I.... You…." he stopped. "Never mind about that," he finally said instead of whatever he had been going to say. "You never change, Methos. Arranging and manipulating those around you to suit your whims whether they agree or not!" He shook his head in exasperation.
Methos was quick with his rebuttal, "And you never change either, Mac. Always the White Knight for the women in your life whether they need one or not. And in this instance, it's not, in case you weren't sure on that point. She's my wife and I'll care for her as I think best." There was a note of finality in Methos' voice that clearly said the matter was not up for debate.
Duncan took the hint, knowing from long experience that Methos was immovable once he’d decided on a course of action. Whether it was shooting him in the back to keep him from fighting Stephen Keane, or drugging Triona so she would sleep, it was all one and the same. Methos would do whatever he thought was necessary to protect the people he loved — whether they liked it or not. So instead he said, "She's going to kill you. You know that, right?"
Methos just grinned. "She can try."
"Yeah, well when you need a place to sleep tomorrow night, you can bunk in my tent."
"That won't be necessary, Mac. By the time the day's over, she'll have totally forgiven me," he said confidently.
"You think so?" Duncan's tone spoke volumes at just what he thought the chances of that were.
"I know so." He was smugness personified.
"What are you willing to bet?"
Methos looked at him with a speculative gleam in his eye. "A bottle of single malt?"
"Done." Duncan held out his hand. "I guess we'll see just how persuasive you can be in about five hours," he said as they shook on it.
"Mmmm… probably more like eight," Methos said, looking just the teeniest bit abashed.
“Eight?” he exclaimed. “Just how much did you give her?”
“You know when it comes to Immortals that it’s always best to err on the side of caution,” Methos protested, once more the picture of innocence.
Duncan considered for a moment. “Let’s make that two bottles.”