G Methos knew Darius

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters.

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Confessional
by MarbleGlove

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"It was his choice to die by mortal hands."

Methos' words came as a sudden break in the silence that had settled over the bar. Duncan MacLoed had been staring morosely into his glass while Joe Dawson had slowly been rubbing down the bar, being company while not disturbing him. Joe had been glad to see Methos walk in, knowing that he would not let MacLoed brood for too long even though it was the anniversary of Darius' death. Methos had waited all of fifteen minutes before deciding to liven things up a bit.

"What! Why? Why let so much power go?"

An elaborate shrug and then a long swallow of beer answered MacLoed before, "Maybe for that very reason. Many of the old and powerful need to consider not only how to survive but how to die, if die we must, at the right hands. I wanted you to get my quickening rather than Kalas."

"Oh. And he didn't think anyone was good enough?"

"I think, all things considered, he would have like to be taken by an evil immortal and been a light quickening like the priest before him." Methos smiled but then became more serious, "But no. He promised me that no one would receive his quickening."

"Why would he promise you that?"

"To convince me it was safe to go to confessional."

"And did you?" The question fairly burst out of Joe who looked like he regretted it instantly and hoped it wouldn't break the mood.

Methos merely looked amused. "Actually yes." He paused. "I spent almost two years as his guest. He spent the first several months trying to convert me and eventually convinced me that I could be Christian without believing in the Bible. I couldn't be catholic of course, but I could believe that Jesus was the son of god."

Methos remembered the conversation that persuaded him to give confession. Darius had said, "Jesus died for the sins of the people and that includes you. He has already taken on the pain and suffering. Will you let that sacrifice be in vain? Do you consider yourself so isolated that you cannot accept help? Haven't you told me repeatedly of the necessity of letting go of the past? Let go of your guilt and exchange those ties to the past for the companionship of a forgiving god who can be with you for as long as you both shall live." And Darius smiled at the irony, but his eyes had been serious.

"I had just stopped by in my wanderings to say 'hi' and ended up staying for a very intense year. Every evening for a year I spent several hours telling him of my sins and what led up to them and how I left them. Well, almost every evening. At least once a week, he'd announce that we would just talk on less serious matters, for even God rested on the seventh day. And so then he would tell me stories of his life and taught me chess.

"I stayed for several moths after I had reached the present time and ended my confession. It was to acclimatize basically. I had spent a year almost entirely in flashbacks and the rest of the time either in tears or fits of rage. It would have been dangerous to reenter the world after that. And then I needed to learn to live without the guilt that had weighed on my soul for so long. It was an odd feeling. Both freeing and terrifying.

"If Darius had been mortal I would have run from him at that point and not returned to the area until after his death. But he was immortal and so I stayed and learned to look him in the eye. And that was what really freed me: looking in his eyes and knowing he considered me forgiven.

"And the day I left he told me that if he ever died it would be by mortal hands because confessional is sacred and he would allow no immortal to know my confession."

Methos smiled. It was a happy memory, all things considered. Almost every happy memory he had could be followed up by the thought that then all the people had eventually died.

"Darius forgave you?"

"I told you I hadn't felt guilt since the eleventh century."

"But your sins..."

"The Christian god is all forgiving if you just ask. Darius convinced me to ask."

It suddenly occurred to Joe what Methos was doing. MacLoed hadn't just been feeling sorrow, he had been feeling guilt at not having protected Darius although it had not been his responsibility to do so. Rather than try once more to convince MacLoed that he couldn't take the weight of the world on his shoulders, Methos was trying to show Mac that there was another way to deal with guilt: to admit it, do penance, and then move on. There were tricks to living for a very long time without going insane, and Methos was slowly introducing MacLoed to them.

"So you believe in Jesus?" Joe stepped in before Duncan could make an ass of himself.

"I believe in many gods. But yes, Jesus of Nazareth is one of them. Darius could be quite convincing in religious debates."

Remembering what Methos had said before about the bible, Duncan asked, "Why did Darius have to convince you to be Christian without the Bible? How can you believe in Jesus but not the Bible?"

"How well do you know the Bible? Specifically, Revelations."

"Not particularly well. I recognize the Four Horseman reference if that's what your asking."

"Everybody recognizes that but you obviously don't know it all that well because you don't remember that Death on a White Horse wears a crown on his head and is God's champion."

Both Duncan and Joe stared at that. "Yeah." Methos agreed with their astonished faces. "I'm not about to believe that."

Methos took a deep drink of his beer. "There are really only two options. Either it was a vision of the past, in which case the Bible was wrong, or it's a vision of the future, as it claims, and I sure as hell am not going to support it with my belief if that's the case."