Summary: Methos has been investigating Alliance medical looking for the source of the Reaver virus. This story switches to his POV.
And What Did You Do During the Apocalypse, Methos? (3/3)
The intercom buzzed and Joseph went to his desk to answer it.
"Yes Lina," Joseph said.
"Sir, we have a situation," his assistant replied. "We've received a voice contact from an unregistered vessel requesting permission to land on our dock."
"They claim they are on Society business. We can't identify their ship and they seem to be jamming our sensors because we can't get a fix on them. The vehicle ID they've supplied isn't one of ours nor is their captain in our data banks."
"Who's the captain?"
"An Anne Gabriel. She says it's imperative we allow them to land."
Methos' head shot up at the familiar name as relief flooded through him.
"I've never heard of her," Joseph replied. "Deny the re- "
Methos bolted to the desk, interrupting Winchester. "Give them clearance, Lina. I'll vouch for them."
Joseph quirked an eyebrow at Methos. "Someone you know?"
Methos couldn't help but grin at the confused faces in the room. "It's Chloe!" he announced. "I should have known they'd figure out a way to conceal their arrival and what better way then to let everyone think they were dead."
Buck let out a whoop of joy as he embraced Amanda with one arm and Methos with the other. "That crew sure knows all about the dramatic entrance."
"How in the world did they pull that off?" Joseph was stunned.
"Does it really matter?" Methos was bouncing with renewed hope. "Let's go greet our wayward brethren."
Without waiting for a reply, Methos exited the office and, ignoring the elevator, he practically ran up the stairs all the way to the roof.
Methos sensed when the others joined him on the roof. The relief he felt when he'd heard Lina name one of Chloe's aliases was making him almost giddy. He watched the horizon and willed the ship growing in the distance to hurry up.
"It's really them," Amanda whispered.
"I didn't want to believe it until I saw the Impala with my own eyes," Joseph said as the four watched the sleek firefly land perfectly on the docking pad.
The ramp lowered. Duncan and Richie were the first to exit the ship. Methos didn't see Chloe among the others filing out of the hold. He assumed these strangers were the crew from Serenity.
He moved to intercept Duncan. His joy at seeing his old friend put aside any formality as Methos embraced Mac. "Good to see you again!"
Duncan returned the embrace. "I just saw you a few weeks ago," he laughed, as they separated.
"Well, yes but…" Methos shrugged and pulled Richie into a similar embrace.
"Duncan!" Amanda pushed passed Methos and Richie to fling herself into the Highlander's arms. The kiss she planted on his lips was almost pornographic in its intensity. Duncan hesitated only momentarily before retuning the kiss with equal fervor.
When they came up for air, Amanda stepped back and slapped him. "Don't ever do that again!"
Duncan looked confused.
"I think she thought we were really dead," Richie explained.
"Why Amanda, I'm touched," Duncan said a he pulled her close to him. "I had no idea you still cared."
"Of course I care, you big idiot." Amanda laid her head against his shoulder. She then reached out to squeeze Richie's arm. "You too kid."
"It's nice to know we'd have been missed," Richie laughed. The younger Immortal eyed Methos. "I do believe the old man would have been sad if we were gone."
Methos tried to compose himself but his true feelings about his oldest friends could not be denied. "Yes, I would have been sad. Satisfied?" he snapped. "Now where is Chloe?"
Richie couldn't stop smirking at him. Methos sighed knowing he'd be hearing about this emotional reunion for years.
"Chloe's with Dean in the cargo bay." Duncan pointed back toward the ship. "Our newest Immortal is a little - shy."
"Why don't you go introduce yourself," Richie suggested.
Methos noticed an odd look pass between Duncan and Richie. What were they hiding that had them looking so smug? He'd worry about it later, right now he wanted to see Chloe.
Joseph walked over to drag Duncan and Richie away to facilitate formal introductions with Serenity's crew.
Methos took the distraction as an opportunity to escape. He waved off Joseph's attempt to include him in the meet and greet. "Not now, Joseph. I want to see Chloe."
As he headed toward the ship, Methos noticed that Buck was embracing a petite brunette – Inara Serra, the Companion he'd contacted for Chloe weeks ago. He caught a snippet of their conversation as he passed. Methos shook his head laughing to himself, of course Buck and Inara knew each other. The man knew every companion in the verse.
He walked into the cargo hold, and stalked right up to Chloe ignoring Winchester and the newbie to grab his former sidekick in a hug. He didn't say anything; words could not express how much he would have missed her if she'd died.
"Suffocating won't kill me, but I prefer to breathe," Chloe said as she attempted to break free of his iron grip.
Methos released her but only far enough to keep her within his embrace. "Little sister, next time you decide to play dead, could you give me a heads up?"
Chloe smiled. "Now where's the fun in that?"
"Hey old man, wanna' let my girl go?" Dean asked. There was no antagonism in his voice. It seemed for once Dean understood Methos' need to reconnect with Chloe.
Methos looked over at Dean. "Don't worry Winchester, I have no…" Methos finally noticed the man standing to the left of Dean. The new Immortal.
"It can't be." Methos' stepped away from his sidekick to approach the stranger. He looked back to Chloe for confirmation as he pointed the tall shaggy haired man who was the spitting image of Sam Winchester. "Is that who I think it is?"
Before she could respond the doppelganger greeted him. "Sam Winchester." He held out his hand. "I assume you're old enough to have known me back on Earth. I'm afraid I don't remember."
Speechless, Methos shook the offered hand as he continued to stare at Sam.
Sam blushed and looked to Dean.
"Sam, this is Methos," Dean said when Methos didn't respond. "He's a really old guy, I mean like 6000 years old, probably the oldest of our kind. He's also the pain in my ass, but Chloe seems to like him."
Sam's eyes went wide. "Six thousand?"
Dean nodded. "And he was a good friend to you. Even babysat your kids once," Dean snickered.
"Saying something nice about me, Winchester? Now, I know we're headed for the Apocalypse." Methos quipped. He remembered that night. Katie had tricked him into watching their five rug rats and, much to his surprise, he'd ended up having a good time.
"Enjoy it while you can old man. It won't happen again." Dean smiled.
Methos returned the smile. He and Dean hadn't always antagonized each other, but it had become their regular mode of communication over the years. Dean had been a different person after Sam died. It was obvious that the shadow Methos suspected had always haunted Dean was gone.
Chloe moved to stand next to Sam who seemed unsettled by Methos. "You're going to have to get used to people being surprised by you and not believing what they see."
"Yeah," Sam acknowledged. "Not looking forward to being the freak on display."
"You really don't know me?" Methos asked.
Sam shook his head. "It's complicated, but Dean's the only one I remember."
Methos studied the man who would be Sam Winchester. He'd been around the supernatural long enough to know that the 'hows' and 'whys' were not always easy to determine.
"Are you sure it's really Sam?" He didn't trust Dean to be objective when it came to his brother, but Chloe nodded in response to his question. Her, he trusted. So, Sam Winchester had returned to them through some odd confluence of events and now he was Immortal to boot. "I can't wait to hear this story."
"We'll explain everything," Chloe said. "But all you need to understand right now is that he's really Sam and he's the key to winning this war."
Methos thought of himself as a patient man and could wait. In the meantime, he had to admit he was looking forward to everyone's reaction to Sam's resurrection.
"Ready, Sam?" Dean asked. "Best to get the introductions over with so we can get to the business of stopping the Apocalypse."
Sam nodded and followed Dean off the ship.
Methos leaned over to Chloe. "This should be good."
She smacked him lightly on the arm, but smiled. As they walked down the ramp, she gave Methos a quick rundown on who was who in the crew from Serenity.
"Hey Joseph," Dean called to his nephew, a smirk barely concealed on his face. "Got someone you need to meet."
Joseph looked over from where he'd been in conversation with some of the mortals. It was almost comical the way his mouth flopped open as he recognized the man at Dean's side; most likely from pictures he'd seen of Sam. Buck and Amanda looked equally stunned.
Buck was the first of the trio to shake off their surprise and approach them. "You gotta be a Winchester 'cause you're the spitting image of Sam. I'm Buck Wilmington," he offered his hand, "and you are?"
"Sam Winchester," he replied, adding after a beat, "The original."
Buck laughed. "No seriously. Who is he?" He asked Dean.
Dean continued to smile. "He's Sam."
Buck looked to Methos, who nodded his belief in the situation. Buck smiled and smacked Sam on the shoulder. "Welcome back. I'm sure there's a good story behind your return."
Sam never liked to be the center of attention the way his brother had. Methos felt sorry for the kid, he looked decidedly uncomfortable with the idea that each Immortal he met was going to demand an explanation for his existence.
Methos noticed that Duncan had headed off Amanda before she could go on the attack, dragging her away from the group. He was glad that the Highlander had gone on the offensive because Sam probably wasn't ready to face an inquisition Amanda style. She was obviously distressed and kept pointing back at Sam.
While Duncan was busy calming Amanda, Joseph took the opportunity to approach Sam. "It's an honor. I'm Joseph Winchester. For what it's worth, I've been doing this long enough to know that when the fate of the world is at stake – well, nothing is impossible. Welcome back, - Granddad."
Dean flung an arm around his nephew's shoulders and smirked up at his brother. "Joseph here is your descendant by way of James. One of the twins, I told you about."
"I can't wait to introduce you to the rest of the family," Joseph said. "And I can't wait to find out how much Uncle Dean exaggerated some of those early adventures."
"Hey!" Dean tried to look indignant.
Sam plastered on a smile. "It's very nice to meet another Winchester. I know you have questions – hell, I have a few myself, but can it wait? I think our discussion of the impending war should take precedence over any family reunions."
Methos remembered Sam as a very level headed guy in a world full of craziness, he was heartened to see that he hadn't changed.
"Of course," Joseph agreed. "We can finish catching up after we pool our information. Let's move this to the meeting hall and I'll contact the other council members."
Joseph led the way to the stairwell. Methos hadn't strayed from Chloe's side. They were trailing behind when he noticed that Sam had stopped to look out across the roof toward the center of Capitol City.
"Everything ok, Sam?" Dean asked.
The question had Joseph halting everyone's retreat from the roof. He indicated that they should all wait to find out what had captured Sam's interest.
Sam ignored his brother and moved to the edge of the roof continuing to stare out across the concrete and steel landscape.
"Is he alright?" Methos asked Chloe.
When Dean moved to stand beside his brother, Sam pointed to the edifice that dominated the skyline not two blocks away. "What is that building?"
"That's where the fei fei pi gu of a president and his lackey senators work. Why?"
A lithe brunette that Chloe had earlier identified as River practically danced her way over to Sam. "They're here, too."
Sam nodded and turned to face everyone. "We have a problem."
"Reavers?" Dean asked.
"That building is full of them," Sam said.
" Gou neong yung de! You sure?"
Sam just rolled his eyes and reached for Dean's wrist.
"No Sam!" he said backing away before Sam could touch him. "We went to a lot of trouble to convince them you were dead until we got this all sorted out. You're not gonna start exorcising Reavers from the roof of the Watcher's building.
"I can't just let them be, Dean. They could infect more people."
Duncan joined them at the edge of the roof. "Dean's right. We don't know everything we're up against." He coaxed Sam back to join the waiting group. "Let's think this through."
Methos had listened to the exchange. He'd been willing to accept that Sam had been resurrected but it seemed there was more to the story. "You want to explain to the rest of us how Sam knows there are Reavers two blocks away."
"Be patient, Methos? I really only want to go through this one time for everyone because you're not going to believe me at first," Duncan said. "Hell, I didn't believe it at first."
"Try me," Methos quipped.
"Ain't we already had this conversation?" Jayne asked.
"They weren't there," Zoe said trying to quiet the big man.
"Are we gonna have to go through this every time we meet another Immortal?" Mal asked, frustration tingeing his tone. "Because it's gonna get tedious."
As much as he hated to admit it, Methos realized that the crew from Serenity was correct; it had to be annoying repeating themselves so much. "Alright, I'm willing to wait for my answers along with everyone else," Methos sighed.
"Good, let's go. I will say that Sam's the key to winning this war." Duncan clapped Methos on the shoulder.
"Why am I not surprised?" Methos chuckled. Those were the exact words that Chloe had used to convince him to be patient. "The Winchesters always feel the need to change the rules."
"Lucky for us they do," Duncan smiled and began herding everyone off the roof."
"'Bout time," Jayne grumbled.
Mal grunted his agreement as they followed Duncan.
"Dean, what about the Reavers?" Sam pointed to the building behind him.
"They're not going anywhere, Sammy," Dean said, pushing his brother toward the exit. "We'll take care of them soon enough."