Disclaimer: This is my very first fan fiction. I'm a big fan of the movie(s) and haven't had a chance to read the books…yet. Constructive criticism, suggestions and feedback are welcome. Flames will be cheerfully ignored. All recognizable characters belong to their respective, copyrighted Owners. Jordan Waters is mine. I have no money; please, don't sue. A special 'thank you' to Raq for beta reading/editing.
Note:In 'Highlander, End Game', Duncan was married to another Immortal, Kate/Faith. In my story, Duncan was never married. Period.
" . . . In the days before memory, there were the Immortals.
We were with you then, and we are with you now.
We are driven by the endless fight to survive
In a game which knows no limit of time or place
We are the seeds of Legend, but our true Origins are unknown.
We simply are. . . "
"Code blue, Life Flight, helo-deck!"
The Public Address system intoned the announcement overhead three times, sending the medical team scrambling to meet it. Elsewhere, in the hallway of the Operating Department, Jordan Waters stood to one side, pressed against the wall as the on coming surgical team hurried past her. For a brief second she was tempted to keep walking, but her conscience got the better of her; with a sigh, Jordan pulled out a clean mask from the box over the scrub sink, fastened the ties, and stepped into the operating room reserved for trauma cases. Inside was a controlled frenzy of activity.
"It's a 'Code Blue'; what's going on?" Jordan asked her colleagues as she helped unwrap the sterile equipment.
"This is what separates the men from the boys Jordie - trauma. A car with multiple unrestrained occupants rolled over, all ejected, driver only survived. You can imagine his injuries. We're ready if the Code Blue needs his or her chest cracked open." The Charge Nurse replied as he helped the team prepare the room.
"A better question to ask is: 'why are you still here, Miss Waters?'" Craig asked. Though the bottom half of his face was covered by the surgical mask, Jordan could well imagine the scowl it covered.
"I thought you guys could use the help." Jordan said.
"If a sick call comes in the next thirty seconds, consider yourself drafted until the morning. Get out o' here while you can!" Craig sternly but affectionately instructed her. Jordan couldn't help but concede the point; he was right, for there was no way of telling how long the case would run, and she really was tired.
"Just let me help you guys open, Craig. They'll be coming any second." Jordan replied.
"You've done your shift and you're off the clock. Go before I change my mind!"
"Fine, fine! I'll see you when I get back. Have a good shift." Jordan replied.
"Count on it!" Craig said as he gently but firmly pushed her out the door.
Though willing to stay until things calmed down, Jordan was glad to leave. In the female locker room's full-length mirror, the woman studied her reflection before removing her OR cap and shaking her hair out. Winding a length of blue-black hair around her finger, she examined it.
"I need a trim." Jordan said, frowning.
Spiky bangs with graduated side layers framed an oval face, its length reaching her waist. Jordan leaned forward, critically examining her features; the most striking of her features were her eyes. The almond shape hinted at her Asian heritage; however, the unusual color spoke of her American roots; green as a new leaf one moment, they could darken to moss, depending on her mood. Or so she was told. With a sigh, Jordan made her way to her locker, changed out of her scrubs and into her street clothes.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Jordan Waters has left the building-Wooohooo! Hello vacation!" she muttered to herself wearily as she shrugged into her coat, grabbed her purse and closed her locker door. Though weary, her footsteps lightened as she drew closer to the exit.
"Need an escort to your car, Jordan?" A hospital security guard asked.
"No thanks, I'm fine — see you in a month!" she replied.
"Must be nice! Where do you think you're goin'?" the burly guard asked jovially and just a bit envious.
"On my vacation? Anywhere but here, my friend!" Jordan called over her shoulder as she headed towards the exit.
With a mischievous grin, Jordan waved good-bye as the automatic doors slid shut behind her with a pneumatic hiss. Making her way to her car, the smile on the woman's face faded as she thought about her night . . .
All was quiet and uneventful in the Operating Department – until an emergency rolled in during the last hours of Jordan's shift. Despite the heroic efforts of the surgical team, the man died, leaving behind three young children and a wife. During the operation, it was learned that two days prior, the patient came to the emergency room suffering from a stroke; after the usual battery of tests, it was discovered the stroke was actually caused from a blood vessel bleeding in the brain – or a ruptured cerebral aneurysm. Ironically, he had been scheduled for surgery early that morning, but the re-bleeding aneurysm drastically altered those plans. Jordan did not envy the doctors their grim and unpleasant task of informing the family of their sudden and tragic loss.
Life is so precious and fragile. I wonder if he got to say good bye . . ? she thought to herself.
Lost in her thoughts, Jordan didn't see the dark figure shadowing her steps until he was literally upon her.
"You don't need this, girlie" a rough voice growled.
Startled, Jordan looked up at her assailant as he snatched her purse. Angry and indignant, Jordan hung onto it—until he pulled out a screwdriver and repeatedly stabbed her in the chest and stomach. Falling to the ground in shock, her last conscious thought was "Duncan's not going to like this . . . "
Darkness… a dull throbbing pain in her midsection. With a gasp, Jordan's eyes flew open as sat up, frantically feeling where she had been stabbed – in the heart.
"Rule number one Jordie – 'pay attention'. Here, drink this." Duncan handed her a tumbler filled with whisky.
"No, I don't-"
The younger Immortal obediently reached for the proffered tumbler and took a small sip, choking as the amber liquid burned its way down. Jordan glared accusingly at her rescuer as she took a second sip; grimacing from the sting of the alcohol, Jordan took stock of her situation. She was in Duncan's loft, in his bed, wearing one of his shirts; on her, its hem reached her knees and looked more like a muu-muu. Her bloody and punctured clothing was draped over a nearby chair, as well as her coveted purse.
"Don't worry, everything's in there. He didn't get far…"
Jordan didn't bother asking what happened to her assailant; she knew Duncan would deal with him as he saw fit, and frankly, she didn't care what happened.
"Did anyone see?" she hesitantly asked.
"Fine security the hospital's got." The Highlander snorted sarcastically.
"I guess that means 'no'." Jordan concluded, relieved. So far, she'd been successful at staying alive – until now. With no witnesses, she wouldn't need to leave everything behind and assume a new identity – and life.
Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, also known in Immortal circles as the Highlander, sat back in his chair, a faint smile on his lips. The sight of Jordan in his bed took him back in time, to a special moment in his long life, when he shared his heart, home and bed with Tessa Noël. For a little over ten years, he was blessed with her, the love of his life. They had so much love for one another; they built a life together, and were planning to marry when Tessa was cruelly taken from him – fatally shot by a mugger. Though never lacking in offers to share a woman's bed, and occasionally accepting one, it had been a long time since Duncan had a woman share his bed; now there, in the middle of it, sat Jordan. Ironically, all he felt for the young Immortal was that of a brother's love and mentor's concern. Thankfully, it was mutual.
"You know, Jordie — if you continue to day dream when you should be alert, that pretty little head of yours won't be on your neck for much longer. Not to mention that mortals will be on to you. We survive by secrecy and I'd rather not be parted from your company sooner than I must. It's a good thing I came when I did." Duncan said.
Though his tone of voice was deceptively mild, his Highland burr was more pronounced, and his dark eyes were more intense than usual – unmistakable signs of his displeasure. Silently, Jordan accepted the rebuke. Standing, the Highlander tossed Jordan some clothes.
"Here are sweats Richie left behind. Joe and a friend are here; join us in the kitchen after you've dressed. I'll fix you a plate." Shaking his head, Duncan sighed and left the room. Jordan could hear low voices; thankfully, a lacquered screen provided a measure of privacy in the loft's open floor plan.
Richie Ryan. Thinking about him brought back the regret and guilt at taking his friend and student's head — no matter how accidental it was, it didn't change the fact that Richie had died by Duncan's hand. Though it had been years ago, it seemed like only yesterday. Once Immortality has been triggered, time's passing ceased to matter. The years flowed together with numbing sameness, marked by the number of heads taken, and the never ending battle to keep one's own head. Now Duncan had Jordan Waters again. She was his chance to atone for Richie's death. What the Scot hadn't expected, was that through the years, Jordan had become like a little sister, as well as a true friend. An endless romantic, intelligent, naïve and strong, she was full of contradictions that amused and frustrated him. Duncan swore to teach her all he could, to ensure she had a fair chance at The Game. Even then, things could change, he mused. After all, there can be only One. Duncan thought back to the time he first met her…
: : Philippines
Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod was fighting with the Allies in the Pacific campaign when his Army Company was deployed to the Philippines. As promised, General Douglas MacArthur returned the year prior, the war ended, and the American presence was in the Far East to provide stability and root out the remaining pockets of Japanese resistance. It was on a weekend liberty pass, that the Chieftain's son met Jordan Waters. Catching sight of her from across the street, the Clansman recognized her as a pre-Immortal; Duncan made discrete inquiries as to who she was, and followed her from a distance.
Cherished and coddled, Jordan was the only daughter born to an American entrepreneur who married a rich Chinese businessman's daughter; she was only 21 years old at the time. Even then she was a bit of a brat, but oh, what a lovely one. Eyes, lips and pearly skin Jordan inherited from her Chinese/Filipino mother. Her eye color - a startling shade of green, came from her American father. Jordan brought out the protective side in Duncan, especially when a rowdy bunch of sailors with too much drink in them followed her down a street, thinking she'd be willing to have their company.
After knocking a few heads around and bloodying several noses and faces, the Highlander was able to convince them otherwise. Making her acquaintance in such a dashing manner, Jordan was suitably impressed and invited Duncan to lunch; grateful for his timely interference, her father welcomed the gallant Scotsman and treated him to the best Cuban cigars and an endless supply of San Miguel beer. In her mother's eyes, the Highlander could do no wrong. The friendship progressed to the point where Duncan often stopped by Jordan's home – just to spend time with her parents; he could often be found with her father in his library discussing business, or in the kitchen flirting outrageously with their ancient cook, who often made the Highlander's favorite Filipino dishes with extra care when she knew he would be visiting.
The lighthearted times ended when Jordan died her first death. Running late to rendezvous with her girlfriends, the young lady stubbornly refused her mother's request that she use the family's chauffeur. Instead, Jordan opted to go by jeepney - the Filipino taxi-cab (retro-fitted Army vehicles embellished with outrageous decorations and flamboyant paint jobs), relishing the novelty of it, as well as the chance to be away from her driver's watchful gaze. After an exhilarating and hair-raising ride to Luneta Park, Jordan caught sight of her girlfriends across the street, waiting for her at the Jose Rizal monument; the pre-Immortal was crossing the street when another jeepney, whose driver was intent on beating pedestrians through the intersection, struck and killed her.
Duncan was at her parent's home, playing the tile game mahjongg with her parents and their close friends, when her family received word of her death. Too distraught to make the trip to the morgue to identify their daughter's broken body, the Highlander left her parents in the care of their closest friends and immediately took charge of the situation, making arrangements, pulling strings, calling in favors, and spreading a small fortune in pesos to purchase silence - knowing Jordan would revive, and the real questions would begin. Jordan's heartbroken parents, paralyzed by the loss of their treasured daughter, didn't question Duncan's sudden assertiveness in the matter.
The grieving parents cremated and interred the remains of another, believing it was their lost daughter; in actuality, Duncan had Jordan cloistered in an apartment he kept nearby. Revived, confused, and frightened, Duncan watched over the new Immortal as her wounds healed, and guided her through her disbelief. Initially, until he was able to reason with her, the Highlander often had to forcibly restrain Jordan from leaving and returning to her parents.
A month after her funeral, Duncan brought Jordan word that her parents, in an attempt to ease their grief and pain, embarked on an extended trip away. As if a painful death wasn't bad enough, the fledgling Immortal finally realized her former life was lost to her forever, when Duncan informed Jordan her father's business and her childhood home was sold; to make matters worse, all her family's assets had been liquidated shortly after her parent's departure. Everything was gone: her family, her friends - she didn't even have a single Centavo to hold, for her personal effects were given to her stunned parents. Jordan's life as she knew it was no more, and she now had no choice but to learn The Game.
"You're under my instruction now, Jordie. And for as long as you live, you'll be under my protection." The Highlander swore.
"But . . . after I'm stronger . . . will you come after my head?" she anxiously asked.
"Don't give me a reason to." The Highlander answered her.
"That's not reassuring, Duncan." Jordan said.
"It's the best I can give you." He replied.
Duncan began training Jordan in the art of combat, with a combination of saint-like patience and restraint—from having to beat her into compliance. In the beginning, it was difficult working with the Princess Jordan was then; however, once he was able to get Jordan to focus, she proved to be an apt and diligent pupil. During their sparring sessions in the Philippines, Jordan learned the ancient art of Escrima, or stick fighting. The duo traveled through the Asian continent; in Thailand, he taught her basic survival skills in the wild - a far cry from her pampered lifestyle. In Japan, the Teacher taught his Student the way of the sword. Duncan enjoyed teaching Jordan how to throw knives, spikes and other weapons. It was then they discovered the new Immortal's skill with the shurikens—or throwing stars. Beautiful and deadly, they were Jordan's favorite. The Highlander was pleased with the progress of her training, but Jordan still had much to learn, things that the Scotsman couldn't teach; only time, experience and determination, the best instructors, would teach her - provided Jordan kept her head on her shoulders.
It was after Jordan took her fifth head, that Duncan gifted her with a dozen of her own Scorpion shurikens, a set of Escrima sticks that, when joined, became a bo staff, and her first sword- a beautiful Katana forged by a wizened master sword smith; shortly after, Jordan had a serious case of wanderlust and decided it was time to strike out on her own. After making Jordan swear to keep in touch, with many misgivings - and Duncan's parting gift of ten thousand American dollars, Teacher and student parted ways. :
Dressed in Richie's old sweats and a pair of Duncan's thick cotton socks, Jordan looked like a forlorn child as she slowly made her way to the kitchen. Joe Dawson, a Watcher and good friend, sat on a kitchen stool drinking a glass of Cola. Smiling as he slid off the stool, Joe enveloped Jordan in a gentle hug before pulling out a stool for her to sit on; smiling her thanks, Jordan took her seat at the kitchen bar as Duncan pushed a plate of food before her.
"Good to see you, kiddo; Duncan here tells me you had a little…'incident' at the hospital; kinda ironic, eh?"
Making a face at Joe while she chewed, Jordan swallowed before she smiled sheepishly.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah—I'm glad my knight in a cluttered antique shop came to my rescue!" she replied.
Ready to put the incident behind her, Jordan looked quizzically at Duncan's other guest. An older gentleman dressed in a dapper gray suit with silver-white hair, he had an unmistakable aura of authority about him. However, it was his eyes that caught her attention; kind in expression, blue-gray in color, they held a perceptive glint. Jordan felt as if with a single piercing glance, Gregory knew everything about her. Trying to shake the feeling, the Immortal looked expectantly at Duncan, who was quietly watching her.
"Jordie, I want you to meet a friend of mine. This is Gregory McGulloch-Gregory, this is Jordie. He also deals in antiques, mainly Celtic items from Scotland, England and Ireland; his Paris shop isn't far from mine." Duncan said.
"Lovely to meet you, Jordan Milagros Waters. Duncan tells me you two go back quite a ways." Gregory's sharp gaze rested upon her.
As Gregory clasped her hand, the Immortal noticed his grip was firm, and his skin warm and dry. Glancing at the men's half-eaten plates of food, she picked up her fork and forced herself to take dainty bites of food as Joe settled back onto his stool.
"Likewise. Yes, Duncan and I traveled through Asia for a while. He taught me a few things." She shot a cheeky smile at Duncan, who raised his eyebrows at her in return. Gregory smiled apologetically to Jordan before turning to his host.
"Well, Duncan, it was a pleasure to visit with you again; alas, I've some business to attend to." said Gregory, "Kindly inform me if you find more antiques I may be interested in; I am here for three weeks and shall see you next week."
With his cane in hand, Joe Dawson slid off his stool as well. The Watcher turned to Duncan. "Same here, buddy, I gotta get going. Thanks for breakfast! I owe you one. A band's comin' over at 11:00 for rehearsal before their gig tonight. See you then-and make sure Jordie comes—there's more to life than the operating room, you know." Joe fixed Jordan with a steely glare, the smile on his lips softening the expression.
As Duncan walked his guests out, Jordan waited till they were out of sight. Glad to drop her façade of decorum, she eagerly devoured the rest of her food and started to work on Gregory's untouched fruit. Still hungry, the woman reached for Joe's half-eaten plate. Generously buttering a flapjack, Jordan piled scrambled eggs onto the center before placing two sausage links on top of the golden, fluffy eggs. Holding it like a taco, Jordan poured maple syrup over it before taking a large bite, her eyes closed in ecstasy as she chewed.
Slowing down long enough to enjoy her food, Jordan licked the crumbs and syrup from her fingers. Thinking about the Highlander's odd guest, the Immortal realized Duncan hadn't said her full name, yet Gregory McGulloch knew it.
Things that make you go 'hmmm' she mused. With a shrug, Jordan pushed it out of her mind, and thought about Joe's comments. Glancing at the clock, she was surprised to find that it was only 9:00am.
His guests must have come early; Either I took long to revive, or I really needed the rest. she mused.
Taking a sip of her cranberry juice, the hollow thud of Duncan's footsteps drew closer; cradling her glass between her hands, the younger Immortal steeled herself for the forthcoming lecture. Duncan sat next to her, pulled his plate towards him and picked up a fork. Taking a bite of his eggs, the Chieftain's Son chewed slowly and purposefully, a sure sign of his displeasure. Slowly sipping her juice, Jordan stifled a belch as she waited for him to speak. Placing his fork on the counter with a resounding clink, the Highlander turned to his Student.
"Jordie, you have seven puncture wounds. The fact that he was able to get close to you and take you out concerns me. He was mortal. What if he wasn't?" Duncan said, his dark brows drawn together. Eyeing his bacon, Jordan put on her best innocent expression.
"Are you going to eat that?" she asked him hopefully, batting her eyelashes.
Glaring at her, Duncan handed over three strips of bacon and placed them onto Jordan's—formerly Joe's—now empty plate. Taking a slice of toast from Duncan's plate, Jordan ignored his exasperated expression as she placed the bacon on the toast, folded it in half and took a bite. Chewing contentedly, she looked at the Highlander, who pointedly looked at the empty plates surrounding her.
"What? I missed lunch - I just got off work and healing always makes me hungry." She said defensively, her mouth full of food.
"Don't talk with your mouth full." Duncan said, slightly annoyed. The slight twitch at the corner of his lips gave him away; it was difficult to be stern with Jordan when she was obviously enjoying her food.
"Did you hear what I said?" he asked; his tone brooked no argument. Brushing the crumbs from her lips and hands with her napkin, Jordan sighed.
"Yes, Duncan, I did. To answer your question, well . . . I would've felt the buzz, right? Gimme a break. I'm okay. Granted you were there, I would've revived-" Duncan interrupted her.
"And then what? How would you explain the situation to the security guards, or better yet, the media? Do you want to end up as someone's guinea pig? Trust me, it's not something you want to experience." The Scot assured her.
Standing up, the Highlander carried his plate to the sink; about to scrape his leftovers into the garbage disposal, he hesitated. Offering the plate to Jordan, she happily accepted it. Picking up her fork, she dug in and ate almost all of his toast and bacon.
"How can someone so small eat so much?" Duncan wondered.
Jordan shrugged and licked her fingers. Unable to finish the rest, she sat back and rubbed her full stomach. Hoping to make more room in her decidedly full belly, the woman slid off the stool and helped Duncan clean up. Together, they began loading the dishwasher. After consuming her large breakfast, Jordan looked forward to taking a nap on the balcony.
"I went by your apartment and picked up your gear and some clothes. If you're going to finish your food, do it now then
change and meet me in the dojo. We're training." Duncan said nonchalantly.
"But—" Jordan began to protest; her Teacher's look silenced any further protests as she scraped her plate into the garbage disposal.
Wincing as she pulled on her white shirt, Jordan studied her wounds in the mirror. The punctures over her heart, chest and abdomen were healed, the skin still pink and tender to the touch. She quickly plaited her hair into a tight French braid, the wispy side layers, too short to plait, tickled her face. Groaning, Jordan sucked her breath in as she buttoned her sturdy black denim jeans, which hugged her lower half like a second skin.
I shouldn't have eaten so much! I won't be able to move. She lamented. A belch helped ease her full stomach. Somewhat.
Over her shirt the Immortal buttoned a molded black leather vest, which served as both a fashion statement, as well as demi-armor. Draping a sash over her shoulder it held her shurikens for easy access. Cinched at her waist was Jordan's weapon belt: her Katana in it's scabbard on her left hip, her Escrima sticks at her right hip, both neatly out of sight, hidden within the folds of her overcoat. An Armani, of course-it didn't provide much warmth, but it looked fabulous. It was the Immortal's favorite; its graceful line, fabric and cut flattered her figure, but didn't hinder her movements.
The coup de grace was the secret scabbard that sheathed her Katana. Inspecting herself, Jordan was satisfied with her appearance. With her overcoat open, the shurikens were the only visible weapons, winking in the light. Changing her mind, Jordan left behind her sash, sticks and overcoat, and instead grabbed her Katana as she headed out to train.
Duncan was waiting for her in the middle of the dojo, with his Dragon Head Katana in hand. Looking around, Jordan could see that, like the man who owned it, it hadn't changed much. Various weapons hung from their wall casings and weight lifting equipment was at one of the far corners of the room. On the wall hung Japanese swords and scrolls with Kanji characters decoratively and strategically placed. Jordan's light footsteps whispered across the hard wood floor.
Stopping four feet away from her mentor and friend, the Immortals bowed then assumed a fighting stance. Raising their swords, they circled. Brilliant sparks flew once their Katanas connected. The force behind the Highlander's blade rattled Jordan's teeth, yet she held her own, glad to see Duncan wasn't holding back. For a time, their breathing and the ringing clang of metal on metal, were the only sounds in the room as they traded blows and parries in a dizzying series of thrusts and counter-thrusts, their bodies moving in a graceful yet menacing dance. Breaking away, circling each other, feinting, lunging, exchanging thrusts, the Immortals sparred, until at last Duncan signaled the end of the session.
"You've improved since the last time we trained." Duncan said approvingly, pleased to see that Jordan could keep up with him.
"I like my head." She replied with a saucy tilt of her head.
Looking out the window, the Highlander decided to end their session. "Okay, let's eat lunch." Duncan said. Surprised, Jordan followed his gaze to see the sun had climbed high in the sky.
With a wicked grin, she yelled, "I treat—you pay!" Duncan swatted her derriere with the flat of his blade, causing her to yelp in mock outrage. Sticking her tongue out at him, Jordan ran for the door as he gave chase.