Notes: I'm going to say very little about this particular story because, well, you'll see why when you get to the end. I totally blame elistaire and amand-r for getting me into this, but what follows only can be blamed on my twisted brain. It started innocently enough as an idea for my Secret Santa recipient, and then it just got really weird. But it so totally works as a Halloween story! Silver lining and all that. Many thanks to ninjababe and the long-suffering mischief for feedback, beta, and editing chores.
Methos felt his visitor before the knock on the door was heard, the sound of it resonating down the hall. Sword at his side, he wondered who it might be while warily approaching the front door of his brownstone. He didn't have any immortal acquaintances in New York, let alone friends. Another knock -- more like a pound -- sounded, followed by a voice he recognized all too well.
"Methos! I know you're in there!"
With a weary sense of déjà vu, Methos pulled open the door. "Amanda." He didn't even try to hide the note of exasperation. Standing aside, he let her in, closing the door none too gently behind her. "What are you doing here?" He noted the suitcase she was carrying and wondered what the hell had brought her to his doorstep.
"Not much of a greeting for a friend you haven't seen in years," she said in response, sounding more than a bit aggrieved. Putting down her suitcase, she looked around his sitting room with undisguised curiosity as she removed her long black leather trench coat, placing it over the suitcase. Black must have been in again, because she was clad in it from head to toe. From the black high-heeled boots, to the shawl collared knee-length knit dress. Even her earrings were some sort of black stone set in titanium.
"Ten years, to be specific: Joe's eightieth birthday party," he corrected, leading her to the sofa. Joe's last birthday party. He pushed that thought back. Methos didn't want to go there today, especially not with Amanda. "And you still haven't answered my question."
"It's not important." She shrugged one shoulder negligently.
"If you say so." She'd tell him eventually. "Tea?" He nodded at the gleaming silver tea service on the side table. "I was just having a cup."
"Please." She wasn't quite looking him in the eye.
There was nothing like social ritual to overcome a strained situation. Methos poured hot tea into a Wedgwood cup, adding a cube of sugar, before handing it to his unexpected guest.
Amanda nodded her thanks, taking a small sip. As he sat down next to her, the scent of jasmine and something that almost smelled like nutmeg drifted around him. Small sounds blended together as they drank their tea in silence. The clock ticking on the mantel, Amanda's teaspoon clinking against bone china as she toyed with it, the pop of burning wood in the fireplace.
He glanced over at her as he set his cup and saucer down, the sharp cool light of the autumn afternoon catching in her dark hair as it glittered through the window. It was longer than he'd seen it in quite some time. Not the waist-length tresses as when they'd first met, but still long, falling to just below her collarbone. Just why was she here? He still had no clue.
Amanda looked up, her dark eyes locking with his, the tip of her tongue brushing at her top lip. "Do you remember when we first met?" It seemed her thoughts were in the past with his.
His lips curled into a half smile. "How could I forget?"
Smiling winsomely in reply, she scooted closer to him. "It was a very cold winter." Leaning in, her breast brushed his arm. "You'd come to see Rebecca and I retired to my room after supper to give you your privacy."
"It was very considerate of you," he replied teasingly.
"I thought so. My room was very, very cold!" Now Amanda's hand was at his waist, her clever fingers plucking at the silken fabric of his shirt. "I was feeling very sorry for myself, all alone in my freezing bedchamber."
His breath caught a little as the hand slipped under the waistband of his loose fitting black linen slacks, her other hand pressing against his chest, pushing him back against the arm of the sofa. "Amanda--"
"Shhhh…" she interrupted, putting a finger to his lips. "Not long after, you and Rebecca appeared at my door. She said it was far too cold to sleep alone and you took me back to her bed."
The memory of that night took hold and he saw it in his mind's eye as if it were just yesterday, not a millennium ago. "You weren't cold after that," he finally said, his voice warm and smoky. "We weren't cold after that."
"No," she whispered against his lips, before kissing him slowly, her warm tongue teasing and exploring.
He couldn't quite hold back a gasp as the hand that had been at his waist slipped down across bare skin, fingernails skimming across his pelvis. Methos had always enjoyed being with Amanda, but they hadn't been intimate in several centuries. Part of him wondered why she seemed intent on resurrecting that aspect of their relationship, but most of him didn't give a damn.
"That's when I learned how much you like this." Her voice was a low purr as deft fingers reminded him just how much he did like it.
This time he groaned and decided he really didn't give a damn about Amanda's motives after all.
"Are you going to tell me now?" Methos asked Amanda.
They were lying on his bare bed, the coverings long ago having landed on the floor in their enthusiasm for each other. Her back was pressed against his chest, one of his hands lazily caressing her breast, fingers teasing a nipple.
"You have the most amazing hands," she murmured, ignoring his question.
He smacked her lightly on the hip. "Amanda, answer the question!"
"And if I don't?"
"Do you really want me to answer that?"
Rolling over, she over at him speculatively. "Maybe later," she said like it was a dare.
"Still like to play with fire, don't you?"
"Always. It makes life worth living."
"If you say so." She was nothing if not exasperating.
Suddenly serious, she sighed. "I…" Shaking her head, she blurted out, "Duncan and I split up."
Now they were getting to it. "I certainly hope so, considering what we've been doing the last few hours." He kept his tone light. Reaching down a hand, he snagged a sheet from the pile of linens on the floor, throwing it over them both.
"We just want different things." She sat up, leaning against the headboard and drawing the sheet up across her chest. "Methos, I'm tired. I want to leave. I want a new life, a life full of places and things I've never seen before. You can understand that, can't you?"
Joining her against the headboard, he stroked her hair, gently brushing it away from her face. Methos realized suddenly just how much he did understand. "Yes, I can." In fact, he'd been feeling the same way for quite some time. He just hadn't worked himself up to actually doing something about it.
Nodding, she continued, "I managed to get two berths on one of the ships leaving Earth. There's a waiting list, and if I don't go now, it could be years before I have another chance. Duncan refused to go with me. I thought when he knew I was determined to go, he'd change his mind—"
"But he didn't," Methos finished for her. He wondered just how she had managed to procure those tickets. They were as precious as diamonds these days. Well, Amanda had always had a talent for getting what she wanted.
"No, he didn't. So I left him behind in San Francisco and came here to see you."
"I'm glad you did," he said softly. "I wouldn't want to miss saying goodbye."
Turning to him, she took his hand. "Come with me Methos!"
Come with her? That was crazy! But not crazy enough that he discounted it entirely. "I can't."
But she heard the note of indecision in his voice. "Why not? I have two berths and you said you feel like I do! What have you got to lose? It will be a totally new experience! And we can come back to Earth one day; we have time."
We have time…
And that was how, two weeks later, Methos found himself at the spaceport, waiting to board the ship that would take them from the planet he'd walked for more than five-thousand years, Amanda by his side, more excited than he'd ever seen her.
He gazed at the ship sitting there, gleaming silver in the sun. Oddly, it reminded him of the teapot he'd served Amanda from that fateful afternoon. Looking down at her, he squeezed her hand. "We're really doing this." It was almost a question.
"We really are."
Like marionettes on the same strings, they both stiffened as the presence of another immortal washed over them. Methos found he wasn't even really surprised that the immortal in question was Duncan MacLeod. There had been a time, a time not so long ago, when they'd been friends. Not that they were enemies now, but the friendship they'd had before had withered from grief and death.
The man acknowledged Methos with a nod, before turning his attention to Amanda. "I've changed my mind, Amanda. I hope you haven't changed yours." He didn't sound like he was at all sure what her answer would be.
Methos gently extricated his hand from hers. "Of course she hasn't," he answered for her. Amanda looked up at him, searching his eyes. Leaning in, he said softly against her ear. "It's okay. You and I both know it's really Duncan you want to take this journey with."
Throwing her arms around his neck, she kissed him. "Thank you, Methos."
"What are friends for, after all? And like you said, we have time. A few years from now, you may very well find me knocking on your door."
"I hope so," she whispered.
"Count on it." He tapped her chin with a finger. Turning to MacLeod, he reached out a hand, which the Highlander took in a firm handshake. "Take care of each other," Methos instructed as Amanda put an arm around Duncan's waist.
"We will," the other man answered. "I hope you do knock on our door again one day, Methos." It seemed like he might say more, but instead, he just nodded.
"¿Su casa es mi casa?" Methos asked with a laugh.
This time Duncan smiled. "Yeah, something like that."
It was more than Methos had hoped for, considering the near severing of their relationship a decade ago. Leaving Earth on a ship to the stars wasn't the only way for Methos to get the fresh start he'd been wanting. And for that, he was grateful.
One last hug from Amanda and the two immortals headed to the ship that would carry them away. Methos watched till they'd moved through the hatch, disappearing from sight, and a wave of melancholy cascaded over him. Sighing deeply, shoving his hands deep in his pockets, he turned away.
He was so deep in thought, he didn't even notice the woman hurtling past him till she nearly knocked him down in her run for the ship. Cursing the rudeness of people in general, and the woman in particular, he shot a glare at her as she passed.
Methos realized she was shouting something as the gangplank began to rise. He froze in horror as her panicked words registered.
"It's a cookbook!"
"The recollections of the oldest being on Earth, with appropriate flashbacks and soliloquy. Or more simply stated, the evolution of man, the cycle of going from dust to dessert, the metamorphosis from being the ruler of a planet to an ingredient in someone's soup. It's tonight's bill of fare on the Twilight Zone." with apologies to Rod Serling.
End Notes: In case you got to the end and have no idea what the heck just happened, this was my take on the Twilight Zone episode 'To Serve Man'. Told you my brain was twisted! The tag is the actual Rod Serling narration from the end of the episode, except for, of course, 'the oldest being on Earth' bit.
Thanks for reading!