Disclaimer: It all belongs to people far more wonderful than me, I do this for fun and love.

Death takes a holiday

It was dark and silent in Methos' apartment, as it often is at night, and because it was twelve o'clock, the clock struck midnight1. Methos stirred in his bed, and awoke. He was never one to believe in the supernatural, but something, perhaps a finely honed survival instinct, made him look down at the end of the bed. There, floating some seven or so foot from the floor, were two blue pinpricks. Methos rubbed his eyes, but they did not disappear. He moved one hand to the light switch and the other to the revolver under his pillow, and then turned on the light.

YOU SHOULD GET ONE OF THOSE CLAPPING THINGS, a voice from the end of the bed said amiably. Ostensibly it came from the figure at the end of the bed, but as that was an eight foot tall skeleton, and its jaw hadn't moved, Methos wasn't entirely certain that was the case. He just had the general impression that the skeleton had spoken to him.

"You mean a clapper? Not very good for surprising sneak thieves," Methos pointed out. The skeleton nodded, conceding the point. "Now, who are you and what the hell are you doing in my bedroom?" Methos demanded.

YOU KNOW WHO I AM

"No, I know who you think you are," Methos replied, rationality desperately trying to maintain a grasp on his rapidly slipping sanity. This couldn't actually be who he thought it was, that was ridiculous, but then, that Voice… "I have to admit, the costume's good. I can't see the joins, must have cost a fortune; and the voice is…"

I AM DEATH. I HAVE COME FOR YOU

"Pull the other one, it's got bells on. A: you don't exist and B: the last person on earth you would come for is me2."

FOR TOO LONG YOU HAVE USED MY NAME, PASSED YOURSELF OFF AS DEATH INCARNATE.

"Ah, well about that…" Methos began.

THERE MUST BE A RECKONING.

"Really? A reckoning?" Methos said, pulling the gun from the pillow and aiming it at the intruder. He fired three shots, one in the chest, two in the head. Death looked down at the hole in his robe, then back up at Methos, who simply shrugged and dropped the gun. "Worth a shot."

AH, A PUNE. HA HA. YOU MUST COME WITH ME NOW.

"If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not. There's an I Love Lucy marathon on cable tonight, and I've been meaning to read The Da Vinci Code…"

COME.

Suddenly, they were no longer in Methos' apartment; they were standing in a garden. At least, it was trying to be a garden.

"Now see, this is exactly why I don't sleep naked anymore," Methos sniped, grateful for the pyjamas. Wherever he was, it was cold. And strangely monochrome. "What is this place? It's like I've fallen out of Oz and into Kansas," he said. Death looked at him. Methos wasn't sure but he thought that the skeleton looked confused. "And people complain I don't get pop-culture references."

THIS IS MY HOUSE.

"Oh! Lovely, bijou little place it is too. Why are we here?"

Death didn't answer, but instead strode toward a stable. He walked into the building and past several stalls. Confused, Methos followed. They reached the final stall, where a fine white stallion was housed.

"And Death rode a pale horse," Methos said, almost in a whisper.

HIS NAME IS BINKY.

"Of course it is," Methos said, suppressing a laugh.

I GENERALLY USE THE SCYTHE, BUT YOU MAY PREFER THE SWORD AS IT IS MORE FAMILIAR.

"Well yes…wait a minute, what sword?"

I AM TAKING A HOLIDAY. YOU WILL BE FILLING IN FOR ME. ALBERT KNOWS EVERYTHING, HE WILL HELP YOU.

"What! You want me to do your job? Are you mad?"

YOU USED THE NAME. NOW YOU MUST DO THE JOB THAT GOES WITH IT.

"But that was a long time ago. I'm not you, I can't transport people from one place to another, or do that spooky voice of yours."

THE ESSENCE IS IN THE NAME. THE NAME IS YOURS SO YOU ARE DEATH.

NO I'M NOT. "Er, I mean, no I'm bloody well not!" Methos replied, scaring himself slightly. "I rejected that name, that's not who I am."

YES IT IS. YOU WILL GET USED TO IT. I WILL ONLY BE GONE A CENTURY OR SO.

"What!?"

TIME MOVES DIFFERENTLY HERE. IT WILL NOT BE AS LONG FOR YOU. BESIDES, YOU ARE IMMORTAL. THE GAME CANNOT TOUCH YOU HERE. Death reasoned. Methos thought about this for a moment. GOODBYE. And Death vanished.

"No! Wait! You haven't explained…" Methos began, but stopped when he realised he was taking to thin air. He looked around him. "Now what?" he asked Binky. Binky just stood there chewing his hay. "Fat lot of use you are."

With that, Methos stalked out of the stable and headed for the house. Now, what was that name? he thought, Oh yes. ALBERT, YOU'VE GOT A BLOODY LOT OF EXPLAINING TO DO!


1 Although this is not always the case. In some parts of the multiverse they have no concept of time at all. In others the hours of the day are asymmetrical so there is no midnight, instead they call it parrot. But the strangest of all is probably the universe where they believe that the clock striking twelve is cause and not effect and so, in hopes of extending their lives, they have not let a clock strike in over four hundred years. Needless to say, Death still keeps regular business hours in that universe.

2 Actually, this isn't true. The last person on Earth that Death will come in person for is a Mrs Ethel Buffer of Crapstone in Devon in the year 2675. She will be the last person to believe in the personification of Death as a skeleton with a scythe. Everyone after that will be processed by a giant hedgehog named Phil.