Title:The Pleasure of My Company
Characters: Hugh Fitzcairn and Duncan MacLeod
Author's Notes:Thanks to my betas idontlikegravy & amandr for their lightening quick turnaround.
Summary:Fitz visits Duncan, who is working as a stuntman in Hollywood in 1929
The Pleasure of My Company
1929 - California
Duncan had been living quietly in California when Fitz invaded.
"So this is America," Fitz said as he entered Duncan's small apartment. "I'm not impressed so far, and what is this hovel you're living in?"
Duncan stood speechless at the open front door as he watched Fitz wander around, inspecting the furniture. He opened the door to the bedroom "And where am I supposed to sleep?" he asked. "There's only one bed and not a very big one at that."
Duncan shook off his surprise. Closing the front door, he walked over and also closed the bedroom door. "I never thought I'd see you in the states, Fitz."
"Come now MacLeod. You go on and on about how much you love the colonies, I thought I'd finally see what all the fuss was about." Fitz looked around for a place to put his bag and finally just shoved it at Mac. Fumbling, Mac grabbed the bag and then pushed it back at Fitz.
"America hasn't been England's colony for one hundred and fifty years." Mac reminded him, "And I don't recall inviting you to visit."
Fitz scoffed at the idea that Mac wasn't happy to see him. He placed his bag on the floor and settled himself on the small sofa along the wall. "I didn't realize I need an engraved invitation to visit an old friend."
"Well, 'old friend,' every time I see you I find myself running for my life." Mac sat down opposite Fitz in the only other chair in the small living room. "I don't really want to get involved in another of your harebrained schemes."
"When have my schemes ever been harebrained?"
Mac dragged a hand across his face, "Do I really need to detail the last four times we saw each other?"
Fitz let a small smile escape."Well, maybe that time in Italy. But that wasn't my fault."
"It never is," Mac sighed. "Look, I have a very nice, quiet life here, a job and friends. I don't want leave it."
"Really, you're choosing this life?" Fitz indicated the apartment. "And you're working in those moving pictures. I find them tedious; not like real theater." Fitz reached into his pocket, pulled out his pipe and lit it.
Mac ignored the jab at his choices and asked pointedly, "Why are you here, Fitz?"
Fitz laughed at him, "Mac, I thought it would be obvious. I want to meet American girls."
Mac smiled for the first time since Fitz had barged into his apartment. "Are you saying that you need my help to meet women?"
"You wound me, MacLeod, by even suggesting that I might have trouble finding companionship." He puffed emphatically on his pipe. "Point me in the direction of the ladies and I'll find my own entertainment for the evening."
"You're not bringing some girl back to my apartment, Fitzcairn."
Fitz looked around the tiny apartment, "No, I don't suppose that would work. Well then, hotel room first, and then off to find what passes for nightlife in this country."
"Not tonight, Fitz. I have plans for the evening."
Fitz leaned forward. "Really, what kind of plans?"
Mac hesitated, knowing he was going to regret his next words, "There's a premier and a party for the picture we just finished."
Fitz grinned. "That's perfect. There's sure to be women dying to meet me at that party. Though I've never been fond of actresses-,"
"They tend to recognize a line when they hear one." Mac interrupted. Maybe taking Fitz along wouldn't be a bad idea. Most of the women would be trying to get the attention of the producers and the big name actors at the party. They wouldn't be interested in some no-name friend of his. It might be fun to watch Fitz strike out for once. Smiling, he added, "I agree. I think you should come along."
Fitz eyed him suspiciously. "MacLeod…"
Mac stood. "I'll get changed. Then we can get you a hotel room, and I know a place we can get you a tux.
Fitz intercepted Mac as he headed for the bedroom. "MacLeod what are you thinking? You agreed just a little too readily."
Mac pushed past Fitz,. "You're being paranoid," he insisted as he shut the door in Fitz's face
Mac and Fitz entered the large house on the hill, "Now this is more like it," Fitz acknowledged as he looked around the opulent foyer. "What is it that you do, that you live in a hovel?" he asked Mac. "And what was that piece of drivel that I had to sit through? I didn't see you on screen anywhere."
Mac sighed, "I told you Fitz, I'm the stunt coordinator. I choreograph the fist fights and the sword duels. You didn't see me on screen because you're not meant to know it's me."
Fitz nodded. "You're a nobody. I get it. That explains the hovel." He headed into the main room.
"It's not a…" Mac started but had to chase after Fitz. He grabbed his friend and turned him around. "Fitz, don't embarrass me and don't be an ass to anyone-"
"Yes, yes. I'll be good." Fitz waved a hand dismissively in Mac's face. "Now if you don't mind old boy, I see pretty women." Duncan watched as Fitz walked away toward a small group of women talking amongst themselves.
"Good luck with that," Duncan snickered quietly to no one in particular. He knew those women and had been rebuffed by a few of them when they'd found out he was a nobody working behind the scenes. He couldn't help their career and therefore was not someone they needed to know. Fitz wasn't used to women who had their own ambitions, and Duncan would be surprised if they gave him more than a passing glance.
Duncan moved to find others he knew. He allowed himself to be swept up into conversations and forgot about Fitz.
Much later Duncan felt a Presence as Fitz came up behind him. Turning, he had to mask his surprise at the sight of two of those ambitious women hanging from Fitz's arms.
"Duncan, my friend, these lovely ladies have agreed to accompany me back to my hotel for a night cap." Fitz grinned.
"Annie, Laura." Duncan nodded acknowledging the young women. Looking to his friend he asked, "I suppose you need a ride?"
"No, Laura here has agreed to drive. I simply wanted to let you know we were leaving." Fitz smirked, leaving no doubt in Duncan's mind he also wanted to rub it in his face. Fitz didn't need an audience to witness his conquests but he always enjoyed having one, especially if it was Duncan MacLeod.
"Of course," Duncan answered wearily. Crossing his arms as if to hold in his exasperation, he tried to maintain an air of indifference, but the truth was he was jealous. How did the man do it? He had not one but two of the prettiest girls in the room on his arms and almost in his bed. "I'll see you in the morning."
"Not too early. I need my beauty sleep." The two women giggled at the tired quip and the leering glance that Fitz sent their way. Duncan felt the need to roll his eyes but restrained himself. "If you'll excuse me ladies, I will get your wraps."
As Fitz disappeared toward the coat check, the three stood in awkward silence. Finally Duncan spoke, "So, you like Fitz." It sounded lame but he didn't know what to say. Duncan still couldn't believe they were really going to leave with the old rogue.
This opening elicited a gushing response. "Oh, Fitz is so charming." Laura said.
"Yes," Annie chimed in, "England sounds so exciting."
"We can't wait to go," continued Laura looking to her friend for conformation.
"It should be an incredible experience; making movies in England," Annie agreed.
Duncan looked at the woman curiously when understanding dawned. "Fitzcairn has asked you to be in his movies in England."
They both giggled and nodded vigorously. "He said we definitely have star quality." Annie confirmed.
"I bet he did." Duncan quipped, trying to keep the disgust from his voice. He saw Fitz making his way back toward the trio. "Excuse me for a moment, ladies. I need to discuss something with Fitz." Duncan took off to intercept the man before he could rejoin their circle.
Grabbing him by the arm he dragged Fitz to a secluded corner of the room. "Let go MacLeod," Fitz yanked his arm away and straightened his suit coat. "Dammit, I think you ripped my tux."
"Believe me, that may not be the only damage I plan on doing," Duncan snarled. "Did you tell those women you were some big shot producer in England?"
Fitz laughed, "You act as if you've never heard me lie to a woman before." Fitz tried to move past Duncan to rejoin his companions. Mac stuck his arm out to smack the wall, cutting off his escape.
"That's not the point. I will see these women again. I may have to work with them in the future. You can't go around telling ridiculous lies."
Fitz looked hurt, "I thought they were very good lies."
"Fitzcairn..." Duncan snapped.
"Trust me, MacLeod, I will make up just as plausible story when I tell them they aren't going to be in my movies after all. There will be no consequences to you, my lad, I promise." Fitz held out his hand out to seal his word.
Mac looked skeptically at his friend but shook his hand, "You are unbelievable. Half way around the world and you still manage to get the best girls in the room to go home with you."
"That's because women are the same all over the world, and all of them love me!" Fitz smiled and led Mac back to where Annie and Laura waited
Fitz assisted the women with their wraps. Then with a wink and a smile to Duncan, he escorted them out of the party.
Duncan watched with both admiration and jealously at Fitz's ability with women.
"Where is Mr. Fitzcairn going?"
MacLeod turned to see R.F. Simpson, the producer of the picture, standing beside him. "He had a pressing engagement. Why?"
R.F. looked disappointed. "I was hoping to finish our discussion about opportunities in the British film industry. That man is a genius."
Incredulous, Mac stared at his boss and then to where Fitz had disappeared, I'm going kill him