Title: Reaching Behind The Mask
Author: Amy Fortuna (amyfortuna@yahoo.com)
Rating: PG-13
Archive: Yes, please.
Feedback: *shy smile*
Summary: Duncan tries to figure out the puzzle of Methos. A CaH/Rev plotless bit of POV.

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It's so hard to reach you. So hard. I stretch out my hands to you and you just slip like quicksilver through them, becoming once again an enigma.

I want you. Not at the cost of my own certainty though. I want you to expose yourself to me, to make yourself open to my will.

You've done with your body what I want you to do with your soul, that is, lay it open to my decision and choice. Make me free to kill or to kiss, whichever I should desire. Yet you remain subtle, hidden behind that mocking personality, that sweet scholar, that shy young man you've named Adam Pierson.

Reveal yourself. Lay yourself bare to me. I want to know it all. Everything. All the good days and the bad. I want to know whose Quickenings you carry. I want to know the names of your lovers. I want to know what made you cry, long ago in those vanished years. I want to know *you*, all your worries and fears and problems. I want to know what names you think of and who you dream about.

****

Oh, but I did not want to know this. So this is you? I would not believe it if I was not sure. Even now I am not sure. I fear that you are being manipulated, held under threat of death unless you cooperate with this monster Koren.

What hold does he have over you? Was he watching you perform for me from the shadows? Did I do it right by saying "We're through," so convincingly? Did he hear me? Did you?

Even now I do not know who to believe, her or you. And yet I let you drag me across a series of continents, searching, searching for the trace of your footsteps.

France. We first met in this country. We first kissed in this country. And I remember falling into the well of your eyes here, when you pulled me by the hand out of that pool where I left my darker self behind. It was then that I knew our fates were entwined forever, that we would either love or hate each other until the last days came.

And I feel myself slipping from love to hate, with every breath, and still I follow you.

You slide through my fingers. "Trying to survive," you said, that's why you ally yourself with Kronos. Why then do you risk his wrath to tell me about his plans?

Or was it all a hideous setup? Did *you* plan to take Cassandra back, as a bargaining tool? Or worse?

I roam the streets of Bordeaux, looking for an answer, a solution, a place that you might be hiding.

Your friends are nasty fellows, indeed.

****

I followed Silas back to your hideout. Waited for a few moments to compose myself. Entered.
You don't have to do this, Methos. You don't have to become one of them, again. Ah, Methos, please.

And my silent cry for your soul echoes inside my head as I lower my sword and attack Kronos. So this will be my death-day, against you, lost to your choice, if not your blade.

I fight with the desperation of one who has no hope, fiercely, furiously. Dimly I hear the clash of swords in the distance. I also note that there is no Quickening fire, as there would be if you or Silas had taken Cassandra's head. Perhaps, I think. Maybe.

Kronos and I fight, silent, across the rooms, through the lab. Our swords clash angrily against each other. Dark meets light, I think. Dark always dies. Always. In all the old tales it is so. Let it be so again, I pray to whatever God might be out there.

The clash of swords gets closer, and, dancing across a small closed area, I look through slats to see....

Methos! It's you, caught like a child out of school, like a cat in the headlights, sword in hand. And my heart goes crazy with joy.

You are on my side after all. I have not lost you. I can love you!

And as Kronos yells out a last fiery declaration, I feel a wild exultation well up in my heart.

"You're history!" I laugh. Oh, yes.

My blade through his throat is almost an anti-climax. I turn to see you standing triumphant too. And as the Quickening of Kronos descends upon my body, I breathe in the joy of seeing the mask ripped away from your soul, seeing you as you really are.

Someone I can, after all, love.

END