Chapter 1 - A Doppelgänger
The vacation to San Francisco was the first real chance in a long time for Joe and Adam to do something they both really enjoyed, going to jazz clubs, bars, concerts and listening to live music performances. This vacation wasn't the first trip they had ever taken together, but this was the first since Joe had learned that Adam was Methos, the 5,000 year old Immortal. They both had been especially looking forward to going because it was more like the trips they had taken back in the good old days, when Adam was just a young researcher and Joe only watched MacLeod.
The San Francisco night scene offered both men a chance to explore each others taste in jazz and rock. Joe dragged Adam to every jazz and blues club he could find, while Adam dragged Joe to every rock and roll performance in the Bay area. They had planned to be on holiday for a long four day weekend but in the end both Adam and Joe decide to stay the week.
The Fairmont was a first-class hotel. Adam's only fear was that it was the kind of hotel that might attract other Immortals, but so far so good, he hadn't sensed any. Adam registered under the assumed name of James A Phelps, and paid cash. This was definitely a place Adam Pierson could not afford, but hell, they were on vacation! The two friends shared a spacious two bedroom suite, which had a main room with a balcony that overlooked the Bay. Joe thought the view was very spectacular, he imagined that lovers all over the town were enjoying the panorama view of the Bay and the San Francisco skyline. Adam never commented on it. Joe thought it was still too soon after Alexa's death for Adam to be thinking of how romantic the views were.
Tonight was special. Adam had tickets to the Cow Palace where the Queen Reunion was playing to an almost sold out crowd. He was very excited. Even Joe was looking forward to hearing the band play.
As soon as they arrived at the concert, they rushed to their seats. Adam found that Queen was even better than Joe or he had remembered. As Adam listened to the music he scanned the crowd and noticed a woman sitting near them. She was petite, with an exquisite figure and curly blond hair. Adam couldn't stop staring at the woman. Joe finally interrupted Adam and said, "Hey Adam, you paid scalpers over $300 a piece to get these tickets and all you're doing is staring at a woman! OK Adam, give, what's the deal here?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, it's just that she looks like someone I knew a long time ago." Adam replied.
"She's not an Immortal is she?" Joe asked in a nervous tone.
Adam shook his head and said, "No." Then he paused, he was hesitant to explain, even to a person he knew as well as Joe. Methos rarely revealed much about his past, but this time he could not help himself from saying, "Its Lydia!" Adam paused then giving the women an endearing gaze he continued "I can hardly believe it Joe. She looks just like Lydia; she was a woman I was married to a long time ago. She even has the same soft curly blond hair and dimples when she smiles, just like Lydia did."
"A doppelgänger? Oh, that's almost impossible. Have you ever seen a doppelgänger before?" Joe asked pushing for more information.
"Not like this one, she looks exactly like Lydia."
"Spooky," Joe replied in his best horror film voice he could find, waving his finger in the air as to suggest a ghost. Seeing that got him absolute no response from his immortal companion, Joe took another tack, "OK now that you brought her name up can you at least tell me about her Adam? Like for instance, how long ago were you married to her?"
"Oh lets see, Joe, it was a very long time ago. I'm not sure I remember" Adam gave out a deep sigh and leaned back in his seat. He feared that he had said too much already, Joe knew exactly how evasive his friend could be, especially when it was something that could be added to a watcher chronicle.
"Cut the bullshit Adam. You are telling me that this girl is an exact double for a woman who was your wife, and you don't remember when you were married to her!" Joe just shook his head, and wondered to himself, (How many times have you been married? Naw, I better not ask. If I start asking too many questions you'll never tell me anything and I want to hear about, Lydia.) "You know you can trust me its not like I keep a private watchers journal on Methos. I'm your friend I wouldn't do that." Joe lied
"OK, I think it was from...," Adam paused, wishing he had never said anything in the first place but finally continued. "It was 815 to 825 or 26; she died either after the winter solstice or just after the New Year, I can't remember, Daruis knew that date. He was kind enough not to speak to me of it. Lydia died of the Black Death when she was only 26. You know, the plague, it killed more people back then than cigarettes do today. It was really my fault. She begged me to take her home to Paris, she missed her family and Lydia wanted to see Father Darius again. I knew that there was a plague there I never should have let her talk me into going. I will always regret doing that," Adam said in a heavy voice. "That girl is Lydia's double, that's for sure."
"Be careful old buddy. MacLeod had a Doppelganger who looked just like Tessa and she almost killed him. It was just a few months before you met him." Joe remembered sadly, thinking of his dead brother in-law, James Horton.
"Joe that was Horton's doing and hardly anyone knows I'm an Immortal. Until today I never even told anyone about Lydia. The only Immortal who knew her was Darius, and he is dead. Anyway Joe, I'm supposed to be the paranoid one, not you! There is something so strange about seeing her again. I know it's not Lydia, but somehow I still want to meet that girl." Adam looked serious about meeting the Doppelgänger.
"Adam I shouldn't have to remind you, if it's too good to be true it probably is. Anyway, I checked before we left Seacouver. There are at least 24 Immortals in the greater San Francisco and San Jose areas; you need to keep a low profile."
"You mean 25, you didn't count me. That's a regular mini-gathering, Ha Ha" Adam chuckled
"Adam, you're not taking this seriously. That is not like you, I know you're still grieving for Alexa, but what will you do if you see another Immortal?"
"Come on Joe, it's been almost a month since Alexa died. You do realize that she is not the first lover I ever lost. I'm OK! You're asking me what I will do if I see another Immortal. What do you think I'll do if I am challenged?" An evil smirk came over Adam face "I'll cut the bastard's head off, I guess that is the standard operating procedure, isn't it." Adam said as he started humming the theme to Mission Impossible while looking into his friends shocked face. "Oh Joe, I'm just kidding! I will run and hide as usual, I have no interest in taking heads or anyone taking mine, now stop worrying and enjoy the music."
"Adam, you called me only few weeks a go to tell me that the woman you loved had died and then you suggested this trip to San Francisco for a vacation. Now you tell me you're completely over the fact that Alexa is gone forever, but you can't take your eyes off a girl that's a double for another dead lover. Adam, what are you going to do? You're not really planning on meeting this girl. Are you?" Joe asked, with a half angry half panicky tone in his voice
"I'm not going to do anything. She is just a girl, its no big deal. Joe, you know you would have been real helpful at the Spanish Inquisition. Is the interrogation done now? Can we both just enjoy the band?" Adam said to Joe as reluctantly they both settled into their seats listening to the sound of rock and roll.
Adam had lied. She definitely wasn't just a girl. His mind drifted back through time to the early part of the ninth century and to a woman named Lydia…
"Lydia stop! Really girl, you must stop it now! I have work to do and we can't leave on our journey until I finish this writing! Why don't you go down to the river and do whatever you women do when you go down there." Methos said as he pulled his young wife off his desk spilling the ink all over the manuscript he was working on. "AUGGGHHH! LYDIA! I'll have to start all over again! I was expected to have these letters written yesterday, you want me to lose my job to another scribe, and we need this money if you want to travel to Paris, just get out of here, NOW!" Methos yelled at the sulking curly haired blond.
She began to cry and ran from the house. Methos just shook his head, and after looking at the mess on his desk, he bolted out the door after her. Paper and ink could always be replaced, but Lydia's feelings were a lot more fragile. As usual, Methos was more involved in his work than his young bride.
Methos had been completely taken with Lydia from the first moment he saw her. She was the daughter of the Duke of Lambert du Lutetia, who was only 16 and on her way to marry the Duke du Cléroy who was known to be a cruel man. (Lutetia was the Roman name for the city of Paris.) But this marriage was to unite the two aristocratic families not a love match. Lydia was in the charge of Darius, who besides being the family's priest was also an old family friend. They had been traveling with a troupe of priests and nuns when they encountered a roving band of bandits that attacked their group. Darius was having a difficult time fending off the attackers by himself. The Guards her father had sent to protect her were killed by the bandits. Lydia was kidnapped by the bandits for ransom.
As fate would have it Methos who in those days was a wandering Knight errant, just happened to pass by. He helped Daruis rescue Lydia from the bandits. It was love at first sight between Methos and Lydia. Needless to say, Darius was not pleased because she was promised in a political marriage approved by the Emperor himself. Methos had to find a way to rescue Lydia from her fate and married her himself. This meant killing the Duke du Cléroy who was Lydia fiancée who was to become an immortal himself.
The path of true love is not always straight and often has many twists and turns especially when other immortal get involved. There was a time Methos gave up hope and almost lost his head. But Lydia never stopped loving Methos and was willing to fight for him even when he didn't deserve it. In the end Methos won victory, killed the Duke du Cléroy and took Lydia for his own. Daruis married them and Methos took his new bride and escaped to Spain to live a quiet life in the Pyrenees Mountains.
He had not told her of his Immortality but Lydia knew that her husband was not like other men. Methos wanted to say something, but the words never seemed to come out. Now nearly nine years later, he wanted to tell her more than ever, but couldn't bring himself for the fear that she might reject him. He loved her so very much and didn't want to take any chances on losing her.
"Lydia, I'm sorry. You know I'm a swine when it comes to my work. Can you please forgive me?" Methos pleaded with his young wife as he swept her up in his arms.
"You are a swine! You disappear for days on end, never telling me where you have gone. You ignore me whenever you're caught up in one of your projects, and worst of all, you have never truly trusted me!" Lydia cried.
"What do you mean, I never trusted you? You're my wife, you're my life, and everything I have is yours."
"Everything but your secret! I can accept the fact that I will never have a child. I can even accept the fact that you are not even Catholic. But I can never accept the fact that you were like Father Darius and you never told me."
Methos was in shock. He dropped his hold on her, put her down and turned away.
"How long have you known that Darius and I were Immortal?"
"Father Darius is an old family friend. When I was just a child he saved me from some bandits, one of them ran him through with a sword and I watched Father Darius die. When he revived Father Darius told me about his Immortality. After he realized I loved you he revealed to me that you were also an Immortal. Daruis was trying to talk me out of loving and marring you. The good Father couldn't live with a clear conscious unless he told me what my life with you was going to be like. Methos Daruis was wrong; you have been a good husband. He knew I had kept his secret for years he felt he could trust me with yours. Father Daruis said you would never tell me yourself. He was right!" Lydia cried.
"Oh, Lydia I didn't tell you because I was afraid you would think I was a demon or worse, and you would leave me." Methos said as he looked deeply into her eyes. The glint of fear was vivid in his eyes. Methos realized he had made a terrible mistake in not telling Lydia the truth. "Can you ever forgive me?"
"Methos, you fool, you are my husband and lover, how could I not forgive you. Dear husband, just tell me one thing." Lydia smiled as she gave him a passionate kiss. "I have always wanted to know how old you are. Oh will you please tell me? Father Darius said he was over 800 years old, he said you were a one of the few ancient immortals much older than himself. It must be hard to live so long, and it is just so sad to think of you living on alone, after all those you loved die."
"I'm so old I have seen many civilizations rise and fall. I do not measure my life in centuries but millenniums. I have seen almost all of my friends and lovers die and I have even forgotten most of their names. Is that what you really wanted to know?" he said with a mix of anger and sadness in his voice.
"Will you forget my name when I am dead?" Lydia longingly looked into her husband's eyes.
"Never! As long as I live I will always love you. Every time I speak your name, I will think of the joy you brought into my heart, and the love we share." Methos said as he swept Lydia in his arms, and carried her back to their home, gently laying her on top of their soft feather bed.
"Promise me?" Lydia asked her husband as she pulled off his shirt and Methos began to undress her slowly while covering her with sweet kisses.
Methos brushed his lips softly against her ear and whispered, "I will do more than promise, I vow I will always keep you alive in my heart." then Methos kissed her. He pushed past Lydia's waiting lips and into her sweet mouth, tasting her. It seemed to Methos that every woman had a unique flavor and scent. Lydia was one of the sweetest he had ever found in all his over 4,000 years.
She reached down and started to unbutton Methos' pants and touched his growing manhood, but Methos took her hand and put it on his bare muscular chest saying "Slowly my love, we have all the time in the world. Let me first feast on your loveliness. Don't rush; first I want to have to make you beg me to stop." He laughed.
"Methos will you always my sweet lover?" Lydia moaned as his hand caressed her soft body sliding his fingers down until he found that hidden bundle of nerves, driving a shudder through her body. Methos didn't answer her; he just softly caressed her mouth and cheeks with his kisses. Then moving down her form he nibbled her neck and shoulders.
"I told you; first I must taste of all of your loveliness. Then, please my love, do with me as you will" Methos teased her as he looked up into Lydia's eyes and gave her a provocative sensuous smile.
Methos licks and nibbles down the length of her torso with his kisses. He teasing and tickling her skin with his lips and sliding his tongue along every curve of her body. Methos at first only kissed her sweetly, but soon teasing that most sensitive spot, driving Lydia to squirm and shudder with passion. Lydia moaned softly as her body arched and began to move along with the motion of Methos' caresses until rapture overtook her sent her to that place of euphoria and she cried out his name…...
"Adam… Joe paused then tried again louder, ADAM!" Joe Dawson reached over and gave Adam a shake. "Hey buddy where have you been?" Joe said as he watched Adam try to gain back some of his composure. "It's Intermission and it's your turn to go buy the beers. Adam, you still here with me?"
"Sorry Joe," Adam said as he cleared his throat. "I was just daydreaming." He realized that he had been licking his lips, staring blankly and breathing deeply. The noise of the crowd began to fill his ears again and return him back to the present.
"Well, what I wouldn't give for daydreams like the one you were having." Joe laughed, "Now go get the beer. You can walk straight, can't you?"
"I'm fine Joe, I'll be right back." Adam gave Joe a cynical look, while still trying to shake off the memories of Lydia. Seeing the doppelgänger had caused more of a reaction than he had thought was possible. Now, more than ever, Adam wanted to meet that girl.