|Sands of Time: Beginnings
Author: DinaLori PM
Paris 1997. An ancient evil is stalking Duncan MacLeod, and he must reach out to a former friend for help. Can Bobby Singer help him before tragedy strikes? A rewrite of the Ahriman arc from Highlander seasons five and six. Prequel to "Die Another Day."Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Drama - Duncan & Bobby S. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 17,709 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 09-10-12 - Published: 02-17-12 - id: 7843938
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Sorry about the long delay in updating. Where I work summertime is our busiest season (and, of course, that's when all of my co-workers decided to take their vacations *eye roll*) so I really haven't had much time to write.
Usual Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't own. Please don't sue.
My thanks to DNAchemlia for the beta. I made a few changes after I gave her this chapter, so any errors you find are entirely mine.
Paris in springtime. It was one of those clichés that actually had a basis in fact: as if some fairy tale spell had been broken, winter's barrenness retreated and its black and white monochrome gave way to cascades of color. Songbirds returned to the trees and flowers bloomed against the centuries-old buildings, turning the city into an enchanted realm. The cold dreariness of winter was over but the oppressive heat of summer was still a long ways off, and the city as well as its human inhabitants reveled in nature's rebirth.
But this year spring was unseasonably cold. The trees were still leafless skeletons in May and even the birds seemed to refuse to acknowledge the turning of the seasons. Cold and drizzly, a heavy fog seemed to envelop the entire city and heavy clouds that blocked out the sky gave the nights an eerie feel. This night in particular was cold enough that as two men exited a barge moored along the river Seine, their breath was visible as bursts of steam.
"What the hell did we just agree to?" Joe Dawson asked as he maneuvered himself behind the steering wheel of his Jeep Grand Cherokee, confusion and frustration obvious in his voice. Duncan MacLeod's bizarre behavior over the past few days-talking about demons and insisting James Horton was alive-had him concerned, but it was the arrival of fellow Immortal Bobby Singer that convinced Joe the Highlander was in serious trouble. Singer had apparently lost his mind twenty years ago when his wife died under mysterious circumstances and he had become obsessed with the supernatural. Joe feared the man would now drag MacLeod further down into his delusions.
Slouching in the passenger seat, Methos considered Joe's question a moment then shrugged noncommittally. "I believe... we just agreed to let Singer prove that demons really do exist."
"Right." Joe nodded as he stared blankly off into the darkness. He paused, head cocked at an angle and deep in thought before asking, "And how exactly is he planning to do that?"
"Joe, I have no idea, I'm as in the dark about all this as you are," Methos sighed wearily. He closed his eyes and ran a hand over his face. "Oh God Bobby, what in the world has happened to you?" Opening his eyes he turned to Joe with a sad expression. "He wasn't always this crazy you know."
Joe started the car and slowly made his way through the Parisian traffic toward Methos' apartment. "Yeah, I'm familiar with his older chronicles. According to them he was an upstanding citizen and family man. Then there was everything he did during World War II-"
Methos shook his head quickly. "No, I meant before then. Before he even died his first death."
"What are you talking about?" Frowning, Joe quickly stole a glance at the ancient Immortal sitting next to him. He knew Methos had millennia of knowledge over him, but MacLeod was his assignment. That meant he was supposed to know everything about the Highlander, including the backgrounds of those Immortals he associated with, and Singer had once been MacLeod's student.
"I mean I knew him back then, when he was still called Whitney Ellsworth of Deadwood. In fact, I was almost his first teacher—JOE WATCH THE ROAD!"
Distracted by this sudden revelation Joe had taken his eyes off the road just long enough for the car to drift over the center line. His eyes snapped back to attention and he quickly jerked the wheel to the right, narrowly avoiding a collision with an oncoming taxi. "Thanks for the warning," he gasped as he struggled to calm his racing heart after the near miss. He was confused. What little he knew about Methos' past told him he tended to avoid others of his kind, and Byron was the only student Joe had ever heard about. "When the hell did all this happen?"
Methos straightened up and sighed. "I lived in Deadwood serving as one of the camp's physicians for a few months in mid- 1877 then came back in early 1878. The first time I arrived just in time for Ellsworth's wedding to the widow Alma Garret-a shotgun wedding incidentally, if the camp's gossip was to be believed."
"Shotgun?" Joe resisted an impulse to look to see if Methos was grinning at him, pleased that he'd fallen for the joke. "But he's an Immortal. There's no way the baby could've been his-"
"And, again," Methos interrupted. "According to the gossip, he knew that. Apparently the Garret woman had been having an affair with the camp's married sheriff for some time and the child was supposedly his. Ellsworth was prepared to marry her to protect her honor, claim the child as his own and raise it along with Garret's orphaned ward, Sofia. Let me tell you Joe," he shifted in his seat and leaned closer to him. "The man I knew then was nothing like the one we just left with MacLeod. He was honest and trustworthy, and despite his gruff exterior he had an exceptionally kind heart. Even the whores loved him, and I don't mean in 'that way' either. I had intended to stay in camp as long as necessary to keep my eye on him in the event he... well, you know."
"But... he looked at you like he'd never seen you before." He slowly shook his head in disbelief. "My God, is he really that far gone that he's forgotten about you?"
"Well, I have to say in his defense that there's very little reason he would remember me. He wasn't fully Immortal yet and I looked a bit different. Longer hair, beard, slightly different accent... plus I was calling myself Dr. Matthew Adams at the time."
Joe chuckled. "'Matthew Adams' huh? What happened to Benjamin Adams?" he asked, still adjusting to the idea that Byron's hedonistic, laudanum addicted teacher and his longtime friend were one and the same.
Wincing, Methos gave a curt answer. "Yes, well... Benjamin wasn't really a safe name for me at that time." Off Joe's questioning look he grudgingly elaborated. "There was a bit of a... a misunderstanding involving the McQuarry brothers, a shipment of gold and a posse. The story's not really that important at the moment." He waved a dismissive hand in the air, indicating he had no intention of giving up that much of his past.
"But it's a story you are going to tell me later. Right?" Joe snorted. No way was he letting the old man off the hook.
"Right, sure, later."
They rode in silence for several blocks before Joe's curiosity got the best of him. "So? What happened with Singer in Deadwood?"
Methos looked off into the distance, lost in his memories of the past. "It all began when I answered an ad looking for a new doctor in the New York Times..."
A/N 2: Yes, I will be telling the "Methos Goes to Deadwood" story, but it will be as a separate fic, entitled Into the West. Be advised: if you want to read that story it won't be listed under Supernatural crossovers since it takes place a century before Bobby becomes a hunter. It will be listed as a Highlander/Deadwood x-over and will most likely be rated "M" for profanity and offensive language. Try as I might I just can't get Al Swearengen, Trixie or Mr. Wu to clean up their acts.
If you want to know about Methos' Old West adventures with the McQuarry brothers, pick up a copy of Highlander: An Evening at Joe's. The story is part of the "Postcards From Alexa" section.