By Amy Fortuna
Fandom: Highlander, Duncan/Methos
Summary: Duncan, Methos and that conversation in the churchyard at the end of Revelation 6:8.
The wind whips about my face, blowing strands of my hair against my cheeks. I shiver in the biting cold, drawing my coat closer about my body. I wait for you.
It's come down to this; we are forced to meet on holy ground only, not trusting each other in our homes or in our hearts, as once we did. I would weep at the thought, but I am Duncan MacLeod, and he does not cry because of a failed love affair.
My hands touch the tempered steel under my coat. You will also carry a sword, carefully letting me know of its presence while hiding it from all others. It will be in the way you walk, that I know so intimately. It seems so long ago that we laid aside our weapons in each other's presence, putting to one side the creed of 'there can be only one,' and joining our bodies in love.
And now it seems we have nothing in common except the Quickening of Kronos, shared between us; something I have never seen or heard of before. I wonder if you had.
Your Presence sweeps over me like a warning cry, and I raise my head to see you approach. Your head is bowed, eyes cast to the ground, but I know you are aware of me.
"Methos," the sound comes out of me in a rush, a name spoken in relief.
"Duncan," you answer, forgoing the "Mac," calling me the name you say in bed. For that alone I am almost ready to forgive you.
You look up at me then, and there is a sorrow, a nameless grief, in your eyes that I haven't seen since the day we met and you begged me to take your head.
"Why did you bother?" you ask, and the question catches me off guard.
"What do you mean?" I say.
"Why not let Cassandra take my head?"
I shake my own head. "Four thousand years of bitterness was enough for anyone, Methos. Your death would have solved nothing."
You give me a wry smile. "You persist in thinking I've changed, then."
"Yes, I think you have," is my quick answer.
You say nothing to that, but turn away from me, looking over the gardens for a moment. Your eyes are sad and grey in the dim light and I wonder what you are thinking, what you are remembering.
"I tried to forget," you say at last. "Forget that any of it ever happened, hope that I would never have to face any of them ever again."
I shake my head. "But you had to know Kronos would come for you one day," I say, my voice low.
"I tried not to think about it," you answer, and there is the choke of almost-tears in your voice.
I attempt to change the subject. "You could have killed him. Why didn't you?" I say, and you turn away from me, shaking your head, moving down the age-worn steps.
"I wanted to," you say, almost as if to yourself only, "but we were brothers, in arms and blood and everything except birth, and if I judged him worthy to die, then I judged myself the same way. And I wanted to live. I still do." Your eyes meet mine, and I know you are right, you want to live, I can tell in the spark of sarcasm in your face. I move forward, quickly.
"Kronos was right. You set the whole thing up, didn't you?" I gasp out, not wanting you to get away without a word accounting for your actions.
You smile, a faint echo of that ancient grin. "What do you mean?"
I try to explain, almost frantically. "You knew he'd come after Cassandra, and you let him -- because you knew I'd come after her. You couldn't kill him, but you hoped I could."
You shrug, turn and walk away from me again, throwing a casual "Maybe" over your shoulder.
I echo it, sounding sarcastic even to my own ears, and follow you down the steps. "Methos, what about Cassandra?" I ask, wondering how, after all these years, you and she could still have so much pain between you.
Your eyes go dark and sad again and you turn, one last time, to me. "One of a thousand regrets, MacLeod," you whisper. "One of a thousand regrets."
And then it is as if the conversation ends, on that single note, and we turn our different ways, the ruins of a love lying shattered in the dust.
I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, and he does not cry over a failed love affair. I don't look back, though my heart is burning to watch you in the fading sunlight. I stop, willing my eyes not to fill with tears, and whisper the words of an old song in the dying wind.
"If I had you now, as I had once before...."
Against my will the tears come to my eyes as I cover my face with my hands, your Presence still singing in the back of my mind.