"What the hell is she…oh." Feeling slightly embarrassed, Joe let his binoculars drop. "Great, now I feel like a peeping tom," he muttered under his breath.
"Remember what they say, Joe, watch and record," Rene said, his eyes still glued to his binoculars.
"Would you stop that," Joe said irritably, knocking them away from his face.
"Hey, it's not my fault Amanda decided to go skinny dipping in broad daylight."
Nick sniggered. "It's definitely more fun than watching Adam, I can tell you that," he said lightly. "Does she do this often?"
Joe sighed. "Leave it alone, kid."
"I'll take that as a yes, then. Damn it, why does everyone else get the fun assignments?
"Trust me, I need these little moments to keep me company during all those overnighters in jail," Rene joked, shaking his head as he jotted something down in his notebook.
"Sounds like a fair exchange to me," Nick sighed. "I swear, if I have to sit through one more evening of Adam perfecting his barfly act at Joe's, I might just end up becoming an alcoholic. The guy is way too fond of his beer."
"You can always ask Joe to call in his tab," Rene suggested.
Joe laughed at the sudden, hopeful look on Nick's face. "Sorry, kid, no can do; but look on the bright side, it has to be better than yak butter and tea."
Nick shuddered. "Don't remind me, my liver is still having flashbacks."
"What was he doing in Tibet, anyway," Rene asked absently.
"You mean other than making my life a living misery?" Nick drawled. "Staying on holy ground, mostly."
Joe's ears perked up. "Really, any particular reason?" he asked, trying to keep his voice casual.
Nick hesitated. "Don't quote me on this, but I think someone was hunting him."
Joe eyed the young watcher, noting his troubled expression. "Oh shit, what did you do now, old man?"
"Did you get confirmation?" Rene asked absently, oblivious to the sudden tension in the air.
"No, no confirmation," Nick admitted reluctantly. "Just a feeling."
"Probably all that high altitude," Rene said. "Bound to make you feel all light and dizzy."
"That or the yak butter," Nick agreed, grinning. "What do you think, Joe?"
"Who knows, kid." Joe muttered, making a mental note to corner Methos next time he got him alone. He may have agreed to keep Methos's true identity a secret, but he'll be damned if that meant he'd let his challenges go unrecorded.
"Heads up," Rene said, lifting his binoculars. "Something's happening."
Grumbling under his breath, Joe followed suit and focused in on the lakeside. Sure enough, Amanda had broken the surface with the Highlander in tow.
"Lucky man," Nick sighed wistfully as they watched the scene unfold beneath him.
Joe snorted. "You're forgetting she's the reason he was dumped in the lake in the first place."
"Your point being…?"
Joe laughed, despite himself. "Just keep in mind that the lady's trouble with a capital T."
"Didn't stop you running to her rescue last night, did it?" Nick asked rhetorically.
"Your point being?" Joe teased, relaxing. It was rare that he spent so much time in the company of other watchers in the field; it made a nice change.
"Hey, looks like your boy might be in a spot of trouble," Rene said lightly. "The Highlander is giving him 'the look'"
"What?" Nick said, hurriedly putting his binoculars to his face. "What did he do?"
"Search me, maybe he doesn't like his cologne?"
"Don't look at me, I'm as much in the dark as you are—"
"Whoah! Look at Adam go, I didn't think he could move that fast," Rene said, laughing. "Must have been eating his wheatos."
"Shit, you don't think the Highlander is going to challenge him do you…Joe…Joe?"
Joe pretended to give the idea some thought as he watched the Highlander march out of the lake. "Depends on the cologne, I guess," he said, smirking. "Hey look on the bright side; if the Mac kills him, you'll get a new assignment."
"This isn't funny, Joe," Nick muttered. "MacLeod looks really pissed."
"And wet, don't forget wet," Rene added.
"Relax, guys," Joe sighed, figuring he should put them out of their misery. "Mac doesn't have his sword with…oh." He watched Mac as he picked up Amanda's sword from her small pile of belongings and stormed into the trees. "Hmm, maybe I spoke too soon."
"Better grab the camera," Rene observed. "You know how the head office likes their quickenings on tape."
Joe caught Nicks eye. "Take the walkie-talkie too, you know I can't keep up with you on this kind of terrain."
"You don't seriously think…?"
Joe shrugged, trying to keep the grin off his face. "Best to be prepared." Cursing, Nick grabbed the camera and walkie-talkie and half fell, half skidded down the hill.
"The Highlander has no intention of taking Adam's head, does he?" Rene asked lightly, once Nick was out of earshot.
Rene laughed quietly. "You're evil, you know that? He's going to kill you when he gets back."
"No he won't, he'll be too busy laughing his head off."
"What makes you think that?"
"Call it a hunch, kid."
The walkie-talkie in his pocket hissed to life, and Joe smirked as he pulled it out. "Yeah?"
"You're not going to believe this," Nick voice whispered over the airwaves.
"Oh. I think you'd be surprised what I'd believe," Joe drawled. "Try me."
"Um, well, the Highlander was gaining on him, you see, and…and…"
Joe sighed. "Just spit it out, Nick."
"He shot him."
"What? Again?" Rene spluttered. "Doesn't that kid have any sense of self-preservation?"
Joe waved him quiet, suspecting there was more to the story. "And?" he prompted through the walkie-talkie."Well, apparently Adam's SUV has a very big boot…"
Joe bit back a wince as he heard the slamming of a trunk over the walkie-talkie. Mac was not going to be happy bunny when he woke up. "Anything else?"
"Well…don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure Adam just muttered something along the lines of…concrete shoes?"