Disclaimer: I have absolutely no rights to anything in this fic.
A/N: This is a one shot that has nothing to do with my Highlander fic. It could be a sequel to Things Happen, but not really. I have plans for an actual sequel that would contradict something in here, but I wanted to write this one anyway. It's set just before Shuichi's 21st birthday, so Yuki & Shuichi have been together a year and a half to two years. No specific time in Highlander canon.
Stranger Things Have Happened
"But why do you have to go now?" Shuichi whined for the hundredth time that night.
Yuki didn't answer. Instead, he kissed Shuichi's neck then began to gently nibble on the boy's earlobe. Yuki was leaving for New York the next morning, on business, and was hoping to distract Shuichi from his incessant nagging long enough to make their last night, before nearly a week of enforced abstinence, a memorable one.
Shuichi's eyes slowly closed as he leaned into Yuki's ministrations and purred contentedly. Then, suddenly remembering his original point, Shuichi pushed himself slightly away from Yuki--but not that far away, Shuichi was still firmly in Yuki's lap, just far enough to get out of nibbling range. Shuichi leveled an accusing look at Yuki and said, "You promised we could do something together for my birthday."
"I don't remember promising anything," Yuki contradicted. Then, before Shuichi could launch into a full-fledged tantrum, he relented, rolling his eyes at the ridiculousness of the whole thing--after all, it was just a birthday. "If it's really that important to you, I guess I could spare a few hours... have a picnic or something."
"But you'll be in New York and I'll be here," Shuichi pointed out, pouting at the unfairness of it all.
"Isn't your birthday next Thursday?" Yuki asked--that's the day Hiro had the surprise party planned for.
Shuichi just nodded in response, pleased that Yuki actually knew when his birthday was--never mind the fact that he'd been dropping hints for the past month.
"My return flight is Wednesday morning," Yuki pointed out.
"You'll be back for my birthday?" Shuichi half stated and half asked.
"Assuming I don't find the love of my life living in the wilds of New York and decide to stay," Yuki answered facetiously.
Delighted, Shuichi threw both arms around Yuki's neck to give his lover a grateful hug. Then it was Shuichi's turn to indulge in a little ear nibbling. "I'll miss you," he whispered softly into Yuki's ear.
Yuki growled in response and scooped Shuichi up in order to relocate from the couch to the bedroom.
"Eiri-san," Seguchi Tohma answered his cell cheerfully.
"How did you know it wasn't Shuichi phoning about some disaster?" Yuki asked curiously.
"Shindo-san is downstairs, working on Bad Luck's next album. Besides, I can't imagine him calling me directly for anything," Tohma pointed out reasonably.
"Whatever," Yuki audibly shrugged aside the subject and then got to his true motive for calling. "I'm going to New York for a few days, mind if I use your apartment?"
"Not at all," Tohma responded readily. "You still have your key?"
"Yeah," Yuki replied, sounding somewhat distracted.
"When are you leaving?" Tohma asked.
"I've got a flight in three hours," Yuki answered, still sounding distracted.
"Three hours?" Tohma repeated, more than a little surprised. "Isn't this rather sudden?" he said tentatively. Things between him and Yuki had been a bit strange of late. He didn't want to come off pushy and intrusive. He knew that if he came on too strong, Yuki would just hang up on him.
"Not really," Yuki answered absently, completely unaware of the intense mental and emotional calculations going on at the other end of the line. "The English release of 'Cool' and all those wretched launch parties I have to attend have been in the works for months. I just kept forgetting to ask about the apartment."
"Ah," Tohma said a bit nonplused to find that he was so ill informed about the goings on of Yuki's life but also somewhat relieved that it wasn't anything personal dragging Yuki back to that particular city.
"If it's too short a notice, I can get a hotel room," Yuki offered, completely focused on his packing and having no idea what was actually behind Tohma's loss for words.
"No, no, that won't be necessary. No one is using the apartment, you're welcome to it," Tohma reassured.
"Thanks," Yuki answered. "I hate hotels."
"Have a safe trip," Tohma said. "Call me when you get back. We should have lunch. You can complain about the hack job the translators did on your book."
"Sure," Yuki agreed. "See you next week," he added, clearly a goodbye
Tohma pressed disconnect button on his cell and set it down on the desk in front of him. Tohma sat silently at his desk for a moment, contemplating. Then Ryuichi, his longtime friend and band mate, bounced into his office wearing a pink bunny suit.
Seeing Tohma's serious expression, Ryuichi stopped in mid-hop. Pushing the floppy bunny-ear hood off his head, Ryuichi walked over to stand in front of Tohma's desk and asked, "What's wrong?"
Tohma, after a quick shake of his head to clear away the cobwebs, smiled his usual imperturbable smile and said, "Nothing."
"Are you sure?" Ryuichi asked, still concerned.
"Nothing is wrong," Tohma said definitively. "I was just thinking."
"'Bout what?" Ryuichi asked curiously.
"Things," Tohma said with a dismissive shrug. Then, a speculative look crossed his face. "Ryu-chan, do me a favor?"
"Sure," Ryuichi agreed, nodding enthusiastically.
"Pack Shuichi a suitcase, whatever he'll need for a few days, and take it to the airport."
"Huh?" Ryuichi asked, scratching his head in confusion.
"Shindo-kun is going on a little surprise trip," Tohma explained.
Ryuichi thought about it a little bit, still didn't get it, figured he was missing something, but he was often missing something so he just let it go. "'Kay," Ryuichi agreed to Tohma's request.
"I'll call you with his gate number so you'll know where to meet him," Tohma called after Ryuichi as his eccentric friend hopped out the door.
Tohma then picked up his desk phone and dialed a number from memory. "Sakano, can you reschedule the meeting with LKI for the week after next?"
Sakano merely squeaked in reply, completely unable to breathe, much less speak. He'd been through hell to schedule the meeting in the first place, rescheduling was unthinkable.
"Completely impossible, I know," Tohma agreed, sighing in resignation. "Eiri-san is flying to New York in roughly three hours. Make sure Shindo is on the plane with him."
"Yes sir!" Sakano agreed enthusiastically, grateful to be set a task he could actually accomplish.
Across town two tall, dark, and handsome men who happened to be much older than they appeared boarded a plane and settled into first class.
"I came. I saw. I ate. And, I still don't get it. Raw fish is raw fish. What on earth possesses people with modern inventions like... fire to eat such things and pretend they enjoy them is beyond me," the one with the prominent nose and spiky hair said in an accent of indeterminate, but probably somewhere in the British Isles, origin.
"You seemed to like the beer well enough," the more heavily built and more classically handsome of the two replied in a somewhat different but equally indeterminate accent.
"The beer is good," the first man admitted. "If I didn't stand out in a crowd like a sore thumb, I might consider moving here for a bit, for a change of pace. Japan is one of the few countries in the world I've never lived in, probably the only one that's even halfway civilized."
"Who would have thought it? Methos, the legendary oldest Immortal, 5,000 years of experience and his two criteria for picking a place to live: Beer and Blending In," the second man mocked his friend.
"You should listen to your elders, MacLeod. Without one or the other of those two, I would be long dead," Methos replied in all seriousness.
Just when MacLeod was about to comment on the necessity of beer, they were hit by the familiar sensation of a pre-Immortal. MacLeod and Methos simultaneously turned toward the curtain separating first class from business class to see who the potential Immortal turned out to be.
A couple seconds later a short Japanese boy with dyed pink hair skipped into first class with a overstuffed duffle thrown over one shoulder. He glanced down at his ticket, then at the numbers on the edges of the seat. Spotting his place, the kid went over to a seat three rows down from where Methos and MacLeod were sitting.
Seeing that there was no possible way the kid was going to be able to get his duffle into the overhead compartment by himself, MacLeod offered his assistance. "Need some help with that?" he asked in Japanese.
"Yeah," the boy replied in the same language, looking up at the compartment that was just a little too high for him to reach easily. "Thanks. It really sucks being short."
"No problem," MacLeod said, after stowing the boy's duffle. Then he paused for a second and looked around at the nearly empty first class compartment, there was only the three of them there, the stewardess had even deserted them--hurrying back to coach, looking rather stressed. "Looks like it's just going to be the three of us and a really long nonstop flight," he commented, implying that it pays to be neighborly.
"Four of us," the boy corrected. "Yuki's suppose to be on this flight. He's probably outside smoking and waiting 'til the very last minute."
Wondering if the kid had already found a teacher and if this Yuki might be him, MacLeod decided to fish for more information. Leaning against the back of the vacant seat across from the kid's, he said, "It's not exactly tourist season. You and your friend going to New York to check out schools?" Considering the boy's apparent age, prospective college student seemed like a good guess.
The kid blinked a couple times then laughed delightedly. "That's so cool! You have no idea who I am. Anytime I go anywhere in Japan, I have to wear a disguise or teenage girls mob me, which was kind of cool to start with but it makes going anywhere a pain. Besides, teenage girls are scary. It'll be kinda nice to go somewhere, where no one knows who I am... for a little while anyway."
MacLeod chuckled slightly at this protracted babble--thinking about some of the teenage girls he'd met in the past he also couldn't help agreeing with the scary comment. "I take it you're famous."
"Sorry, I should have introduced myself. Shindo Shuichi, I'm the lead singer of Bad Luck," Shuichi introduced himself.
"Duncan MacLeod," MacLeod introduced himself. "That's my friend Adam Pierson," he said motioning back at Methos.
Methos waved, smiling faintly, when Shuichi looked back at him. Then he went back to shooting MacLeod 'mind your own business' looks as soon as Shuichi looked away.
Then the sit down and buckle up light came on. "It's nice meeting you," MacLeod said as he went back to his own seat.
"Me too," Shuichi answered distractedly, wondering where Yuki was--it was getting late.
Just as MacLeod sat back down next to Methos, they both sensed something. Looking back at the curtained doorway, in walked the stewardess, followed by a tall man with Japanese features and fair coloring.
"Yuki!" Shuichi called out as he hopped up from his seat. He quickly bounded down the center aisle and pounced on the newcomer. "I was starting to think you were going to miss the flight," Shuichi said, obviously relieved that Yuki had finally shown up.
Completely used to Shuichi's over exuberant greetings, Yuki managed to catch Shuichi without even breaking his stride. Yuki walked over to their assigned seats, carrying Shuichi. Then he dropped Shuichi in the window seat and took the aisle seat for himself. "Brat, what are you doing here?" he asked.
"Tohma sent me. You're not mad are you?" Shuichi asked, gnawing at his bottom lip nervously.
Yuki just shrugged. "I'm not mad." Then after a pause he added, "I'm not taking you site seeing."
MacLeod looked over at the couple snuggled as closely as airplane seats and seatbelts would allow when only one of them was putting in any effort. "They're both..." Mac said to Methos, softly enough to not be overheard.
"Seems like," Methos agreed. "It's either him or the stewardess and I didn't notice anything about her when she first showed us to our seats."
"But, two of them together, what's the odds against that?"
Methos shrugged, unimpressed. "Stranger things have happened."
Further A/N: If you want to read MacLeod & Methos as a couple traveling together rather than just close friends, that's fine with me.