The Blood of Brotherhood by Merrie Thomas Part I



Disclaimer: I do not own nor claim to own Methos, Kronos, MacLeod, Amanda, Joe, Cassandra or any other characters from Highlander. If I did own them, I would be making new episodes instead of writing fan fiction in place of new episodes. Oh well. (sigh)

Summary: Methos and Kronos were brothers. In arms, in blood, in everything except birth. What exactly does this mean for Immortals?



Characters: DM, J, M, A, C, K, Valerie Viscount OFC



Author's Note: This is an alternate-universe story based around the events of Comes A Horseman and Revelations 6:8, WARNING if you don't wish to read about a Kronos romance, you may still read this story, but you won't like parts of it. Also, I live in the Midwest and I have traveled few places in my life, so I took some liberty and made some stuff up about the cities mentioned here. No offense is intended. Please send comments, criticism, and/or general feedback to Thank you.



Rating: This story is rated PG-13 for language and violence.

Chapter One

The scent of blood hung in the air. The white sand was stained a luscious crimson red. Kronos reveled in it. The raid had been perfection. Well, he mused, all raids under Methos' plans were.

The caravan hadn't had a chance. They had never even seen it coming. With the sun at their backs, the Horsemen rode onto unsuspecting victims. That made it all the more fun. The riders in the caravan were slaughtered mercilessly. No one, not a soul had survived. It had been glorious.

That feeling was dashed away when Kronos saw what meager bounty they had come up with. Pickings had been getting slim lately. Too many other warlords around, he guessed. Well, there was always one way to solve that minor problem. Kronos walked over to where Methos was cleaning the blood out of his cloak. "Really, brother, I don't see why you insist on wearing white all the time. It just gets ruined. Why don't you just leave the blood in there? The color is becoming on you, brother."

"I like the white," Methos, the one Kronos called brother, answered. "It makes me more noticeable."

"Oh, I think you get plenty of notice already, brother. It's kind of difficult not too." Kronos looked down and smirked when Methos finally gave up his scrubbing and stood up to look at him.

"All right, brother. You win. This place bores me. Let us go and find ourselves some entertainment. And why don't we leave Silas and Caspian here, this time? The last time, we ended up having to kill off that entire village." Methos said with a small frown as he pulled on his damp, blood- stained cloak.

"It wasn't our fault that Caspian wanted to eat their leader, now was it?"

"And when he decided, he'd rather live?"

"Well, that was his problem, now wasn't it, brother?" Kronos asked, looking innocent.

Methos sighed. "I guess so, brother. Anyway, let us be off."

Seacouver, Washington 1997

Methos snapped awake with a start. A dream.'I haven't thought about that particular day for a very, very, long time' was the first thing he thought of as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. 'Kronos . . . ' He hadn't really thought about or heard from his brother in a long time either. Well, except to make sure he was still alive, but Methos was positive about that. His own life depended on it.

Methos stretched and got ready for the morning. No, wait, glancing at the clock, he amended himself. It wasn't morning, it was in the afternoon. Late afternoon, at that. His grinned as his stomach rumbled. He put on a pair of elfin slippers that he had gotten from Amanda one Christmas and padded toward the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator and pulled out a beer. 'Breakfast. Hmm... ' he thought with a wry grin. 'Well, it's not like it can kill me.' He shrugged it off and went to get the newspaper. As he sat down to read it at the dining table the dream came back to him. A dream of his Horsemen days. There were few people still alive that actually knew about that particular time in his life. And he liked to keep it that way. Especially with a friend like Duncan MacLeod, the white knight incarnate. The ever honorable boy scout. Methos figured that if he had even hinted to MacLeod about his darker past, he would never see the man again. And yet, Methos knew that the man himself had his own dark past. Now, granted, it wasn't as dark as Methos' own, giving that he had slaughtered thousand upon thousands of innocent people and MacLeod had merely gone into a vengeful rage and killed a few here and there, but MacLeod was a mere 400 years of age or there abouts, compared to Methos' own 5000 or there abouts. Who knew how many regrets one would have in that amount of time? Methos knew that he had quite a few. How many regrets would he have in another 5000 years? If he even lived that long. Methos' mind refused to think about that possibility. He did wonder what would happen if MacLeod ever did find out about him, though. It was hard not to. Especially with a mind as pessimistic as his could be at times. Sometimes even his own mind worked against him. Methos scolded himself. How could MacLeod ever find out? His other brothers, Caspian and Silas, would care too little to tell him, even if they were still alive, which Methos doubted. He hadn't really kept in touch or track of them over the centuries. And as for Kronos, well . . . he would probably tell MacLeod, but Methos hadn't heard from him in almost a century. He sometimes wondered what he was doing with himself these days. Probably causing havoc on some innocent mortal. Methos smiled. Yes, he could see Kronos doing that right now. Enjoying the hell out of it the entire time like he himself used too. God, how he missed those days sometimes . . . Methos stopped that train of thought before it could get any further. That left only one person that he knew of that could possibly be a threat to his friendship to MacLeod. Cassandra. He should have killed her when he had the chance. No, he stopped that line of thought too. There was too much of Kronos in him for his own good. His brother would be amused. He wondered, in turn, if there some part of himself in Kronos. Probably. It seemed likely, considering. Methos finished his beer and decided it was too nice a day to stay inside so he got dressed and went for a walk.

*** Bordeaux, France

Kronos surveyed the main room of the abandoned sub base. It had taken him years to find such a place and even longer to create it, along with a large sum of money; which Kronos had, of course, but now it was finally complete. It was comforting, somehow. Relaxing. It reminded him of a better time and place. A place where he and his brothers ruled the known world. And ravaged it.

He'd even decorated the place in honor of his brothers, should they ever be together again in one place. Four chairs at the large main table, four rooms. But Kronos doubted that they all survived the millennia. Kronos wondered how he had survived himself in some of his darker self reflections. He knew Methos had survived, but that was all. And that was one of the reasons Kronos himself had survived. In some ways he considered himself a bit lucky to have a blood brother who valued his survival higher than everything else. But for his other brothers, Kronos had not heard from Caspian or Silas for centuries now. He often wondered whatever happened to them. Maybe one day he would find out. Or, better yet, maybe one day he would see them again in this place like he dreamed. He could go searching for Methos, he knew how to find him, but it wasn't really worth it. Without Silas and Caspian, the four horsemen could never be again. Kronos, again in his darker moments of self doubt, wondered if having Caspian and Silas would have really changed this fact, but a small, self-conscious voice in the back of Kronos' mind told him that it would never be the same. Ever. The horsemen's time was the Bronze Age, and they had taken full advantage of it. In this world of modern technology, the tactics of that time would never work. Unless, of course, they were forced upon people. But no, Kronos liked the new world. He liked modern technology. He even liked computers. In fact, he was quite adept when it came to using them. Kronos was fascinated with this new century, with the whole millennium in fact. If someone had come up to him back in the Bronze Age and told him about all the things he would see in his long life, almost 4000 years, he would have killed them on the spot for trying to make a fool out of him. Kronos chuckled. He did so love being who he was. He was glad that wasn't changed after Methos became his brother. Kronos didn't like to think of the consequences of that fateful day, but most of the time it was unavoidable. He and Methos were blood brothers. There was no way around it.

***

Methos' walking was conveniently leading him nowhere, or so he had originally planned. Instead, out of some will not his own, he ended up at the DeSalvo dojo. He didn't remember when he started heading in that direction, he had just looked up to realize he was there. Methos blamed it on his earlier thoughts of MacLeod. Damn him. He was always finding new ways of weaseling his way into Methos' subconscious mind, even if MacLeod himself wasn't completely aware of it. Methos sighed. 'Oh well,' he thought. 'I might as well go on in there.' He approached the dojo and nervously put a hand on his sword as he felt an Immortal presence. He knew it was probably MacLeod, but Methos hadn't live to be as old as he was by being careless. He approached cautiously and knocked on the back door. It was immediately opened by a robed highlander holding a sword. Apparently he hadn't gotten up early this morning either. Methos suddenly felt another Immortal presence. Amanda. That explains that. "Sorry to bother you, MacLeod. I was just walking by and I thought I'd stop and say hello. Good afternoon, Amanda." Methos said to the beautiful black-haired Immortal as he pushed his way past MacLeod and plopped himself down on the couch. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" Methos asked, feigning complete innocence and concern for his intrusion.

"Oh, of course not, Methos. Why ever would you think something like that?" Amanda asked, looking just as innocent. MacLeod sighed in the background as he closed the door.

"To whom do I owe this unexpected visit, Methos?" MacLeod asked, sounding as if he had gotten cheated by whomever it was.

"Oh, no one. Except my own feet. I decided I'd go for a walk, and I ended up here. The funny thing is, I don't remember deciding to do any of that. Hmm. Oh well. I guess the dojo just seems to be centrally located."

"I'm sure. What do you want, Methos?" MacLeod asked with another sigh.

"Oh a beer would be nice. You don't mind, do you?" Methos put on his most sheepish look.

"Oh not at all, your majesty." MacLeod bowed with a flourish and headed off to the kitchen.

"Psst. What's wrong with him? Was it something I said?" Methos asked looking every bit the concerned friend he was portraying. Amanda sighed at the question. 'There goes my morning,' she thought. Methos just smiled.

***

Kronos drank heavily from the glass of bourbon in front of him. God, how he had felt that he needed it. He had been feeling more and more depressed lately. It was a sinking depression. The longer it lasted, the worse he felt. Nothing seemed to be able to snap him out of it. He had just sat around his room at the sub base doing nothing. Just thinking about the things that would never be. The four horsemen could and never would be again. Just the looking at the motif of fours in the place made him want to tear it apart. But, he refrained himself, yet another thing he could probably attribute to Methos, being able to reign in his anger before it got out of control. If he had been the way he was before, he probably would have torn the place apart. Now, that idea did still appeal to him, but he wouldn't allow himself to follow it through. He had changed. He was the not the same as he had been. He doubted he ever would be again. For better or worse, this was how he was now. He had to accept it. What the hell was he doing here feeling sorry for himself? He was 4000 years old! He has been the leader of the most feared band of men in all history! Damn Methos for making him like this! Damn himself for letting him! Kronos was disgusted with himself. He threw down a couple of bills for the drink and headed outside. He needed some change. Something new. 'Well, I could always travel,' Kronos mused. Yes, that appealed to his characteristic sense of wanderlust, which had been put down for so long. But where would he go? The answer came to him almost immediately. America.

He boarded a plane as soon as he could. Practically as soon as he got to the airport, coincidentally enough. A plane was leaving for Denver, Colorado in about 10 minutes. He quickly bought a ticket with his seemingly un-endless amount of cash and headed for his plane to the New World.

***

Sipping his beer, Methos called out to Amanda, who had just gotten finished dressing, "So Amanda, how long have you been in town?"

"I only just arrived late last night." Amanda said.

"Well then, I must take you out to lunch. Besides, I'm starving. I kind of skipped breakfast. Oh, and I guess MacLeod can come along to if he wants." Methos said with a small smirk, pulling on his jacket, and already heading out the door. "Coming my dear?" he lowered a hand to Amanda who clasped it with a smile, and latched onto Methos' arm.

"Coming, Mac? We'll have to use your car anyway, seeing how Mr. Forgetful here forgot that he walked over here." Methos tried to hide a sheepish grin. MacLeod sighed.

"If I must." He finally agreed.

"Oh you must darling, you must." Amanda said as she linked her other arm around MacLeod's and led the two of them out of the door.

***

Kronos walked down the walkway heading to the plane. He was a bit nervous. He had never liked planes. In fact, he hated them. It seemed unnatural to him to be able to fly without wings. Well, unless you counted the fact that the plane did have wings, but Kronos didn't. But since if was the fastest way to travel now a days, he abided by it. And besides, he wasn't about to let anything like that get to him. Kronos made his way to his seat and looked at it dismayed. A window seat. Well, the curtain-like thing was just going to have to stay down for the entire trip. And God help whoever sat next to him if they tried to raise it. Kronos just leaned back in his seat and waited patiently for the flight to begin. Just before the attendants were about to close the outer door, a voice shouted out "Wait! Wait! Don't close that door! Don't leave without me! Please! This is the only way home!" The voice was American. The attendants didn't look happy about being delayed, but they obliged. Kronos didn't bother looking up at whomever had made such a fuss. He heard the person moving through the aisles, making a lot of commotion as they bumped into people and things, making apologies as they went and then the person stopped. Right next to the seat beside Kronos. He tried not to groan. 'Why me of all people?' The woman took her seat next to him, after stashing a small bag in the overhead compartment. "Hello, my name is Valerie Viscount, originally from Loveland, Colorado. I guess I am to be your seat partner for the flight. And you are?" She prompted with a smile on her face. Kronos took in her features before answering, committing them to his excellent memory. Long straight reddish brown hair with hazel eyes, set on a very round face. A medium sized triangle nose in the middle of it all. She was thin, but not overly so. Not very tall, from the looks of it, but she had long slender legs. She was dressed casually in a dark maroon long sleeved shirt and black pants. She had on a pair of leather boots with both a zipper on the sides and laces up the front. Kronos struggled to remember the alias he had given to get on the plane. Something British sounding, um . . . Nigel. That was it. Nigel Kretzlich.

"My name is Nigel Kretzlich." Kronos told her finally. She burst out laughing right then and there.

"Nigel?! Your name is Nigel?" She broke out between her loud laughter. The other passengers didn't look like they found anything funny. "I'm sorry, but I find that terribly amusing. However did you end up with a name like Nigel? It's so, so, so not you! No wait, I guess it could be you, I don't know you very well, since we just met, and I sometimes make assumptions of other people, and if you like your name, then so be it, and I hope I didn't offend you in anyway, that would be bad, I would have no one to talk to on this long flight, and I do mean long. Am I talking to fast?" She finished with a gasp. "Sorry about that. Sometimes it's hard to stop once I get going. I really didn't mean to make fun of your name. I hope we can still be friends." She finished with a smile. Kronos just sat there stunned. This was going to be a very long flight.

***

Cassandra was having a dream. The same dream she had every night for the past 3000 years. It was about her life as a slave of the Horsemen. About Methos. About Kronos. But this time something was different. Methos had been the one to kill her rather than Kronos. She had become Kronos' slave, not Methos'. She had stabbed Methos to make her final escape. Everything was opposite from how she remembered it. What could this mean?

Cassandra woke up with a start. She quickly took in what was surrounding her to bring her back to the present. She was no longer a slave. She was no longer in Kronos' hands. Or were they Methos'? She had never had a dream like this before. She had to find out what it meant, even if that meant facing the demons of that long ago time once again. She had to know. Did they still survive?

***

Kronos laughed. "And so you just left them there speechless?" He asked the person sitting next to him.

"Yes" Valerie fairly wheezed out through her own laughter. "You should've seen their faces!"

Kronos fairly roared with laughter. The other passengers on the plane gave them both dirty looks, but Kronos was having too much fun to care. Valerie had turned out nothing like he had thought she was going to be. She was absolutely beautiful, funny, and fun to be around. Kronos thought for a minute. He hadn't felt this way about a woman in a long time. A very long time. Not since his last wife, a beautiful immortal woman named Allorem who had at once been his equal and his slave at the same time.

She had been a wild temptress and thief of men's very souls, and even though Kronos hadn't thought he had one, she had taken his as well. He had been completely engulfed by her wiles. In fact, he had enjoyed her enough to spare her life as a slave of the Horsemen and to even marry her. It ended badly though. She had thought herself greater than the Horsemen. She had forgotten her place, and he had forced her out of the camp to fend for herself in the Immortal world. Kronos sometimes wondered what had ever happened to her. He wondered if she was even still alive.

"Nigel? Nigel? Come back to the earth where you belong." Valerie's voice broke though his thoughts. He looked up at her again. "Where did you go? You were laughing and suddenly you stopped and got this stupid 'dur' look on your face."

"I'm sorry, I was thinking of something." Kronos excused himself almost sheepishly. 'What is happening to me?' he thought. 'I'm letting myself be taken by some woman! And what the heck did 'dur' mean? He shook his head a little, he really had changed. And it was all Methos' fault. Damn him. He was in love.

***

Methos, MacLeod, and Amanda had gone to the best place that they knew of in town for a good lunch. Joe's.

"How are you doing, Joe?" Amanda asked the 50-year-old man with a salt and pepper hair and beard behind the bar. The man in question looked up from the beer mug he was filling and smiled.

"Amanda! When did you get back in town? It's good to see you again." Joe said as he finished filling the beer, handed it to a customer at the bar and limped out to Amanda, leaning heavily on his cane.

"Oh, late last night. I would've come and seen you, but the bar was closed by then. I'm doing fine, thank you very much for asking, and how have you been?"

"I'm good. Things here at the bar have been going great and MacLeod here hasn't had any real crises lately and that's always a plus toward my personal sanity and safety."

"Hey Joe, I'm just going to help myself to a beer if you don't mind." Methos said, casually slipping behind the bar, not waiting for a blessing.

Joe sighed. "Why don't you guys have a seat? Is there anything I can do for you while you're here?"

"Well, actually we came here because I'm starving." Methos said taking a seat with beer in hand.

"Well, that's what I'm here for, Adam." Joe told him.

"Hmm. I'd like a double hamburger and french fries please." He looked up at the others' expressions. "What? It's not like it can kill me, now is it?" Amanda and MacLeod sighed and made their own orders to Joe who left briefly to go to the kitchen and have the cook prepare them. Leaving the three Immortals to chat amongst themselves.

***

Cassandra was getting nowhere in her search. She could find no mention of neither Methos nor Kronos in anything except legends. Methos, the world's oldest man, and Kronos, legendary leader of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. But that was all. She had no real sources for information among other Immortals either. She was relatively unknown in the Immortal community, and she liked to keep it that way. She didn't much care for challenges from other Immortals. If she faced one, she would either run or use the Voice against her opponents. She didn't like to fight. In fact, she knew she wasn't a very good fighter at either. She knew that one day, she wouldn't be able to run, and the Immortal she was facing would be immune to the Voice, Cassandra had seen it happen before by very old Immortals, and she would lose her head. Cassandra accepted this fate. She had lived a very long life. Millennia longer than any one human should be allowed to live, and she definitely did not want to be the One. The very thought of that outcome made her shudder. She had always been a relatively solitary Immortal, but to be the last of her kind on earth . . . to have no one else to share her experiences with that would really understand? To Cassandra, that would be worse than the Horsemen. Much worse. As she walked and pondered these thoughts, she noticed someone was following her. A girl, mid twenties, writing down things in a small notebook. Why was this girl following her? Cassandra went to find out.

Marie-Claire de Lioncourte was nervous. She tried not to be, but she couldn't help it. She tried to be everything a Watcher was supposed to be, but she was just nervous. It wasn't really her fault though. She had only been assigned as a field Watcher the previous week. HQ decided to give her someone easy to watch as her first assignment. Cassandra. She didn't go out much, and she didn't know about Watchers yet, which was surprising, given her connections to Duncan MacLeod. Marie-Claire knew that MacLeod knew about Watchers. He had learned through his own Watcher, Joe Dawson. Dawson was an oath-breaker, but Marie-Claire didn't think of him in that negative way. In fact, she wished she herself had the courage to do what Dawson had done. She hadn't been a field agent very long and already she had felt the pressures of the oath of non-interference. She wanted so much to know Immortals. To talk to them. To find out what they knew. Imagine what kind of things one could learn from someone who had been alive for hundreds if not thousands of years. Imagine what Watchers could learn from someone like Methos, a 5000 year old Immortal, supposedly the oldest of his kind. What secrets could he have learned over the course of his life? Of course no one even knew whether or not Methos actually existed.

Marie-Claire looked up from her thoughts to find that she had lost Cassandra. "Damn! Where could she have gone? I only looked away for a second!" she said to herself. "Oh, I am in so much trouble!" She hurriedly searched the area around her, hoping that she had just missed Cassandra. She looked around corners, even asked passers by if they had seen a woman with long reddish brown hair come their way. She got no's all around. She slumped down on a park bench dejectedly.

"Are you looking for me?" a woman's voice whispered to her. Marie- Claire looked up in surprise. That was Cassandra's voice!

"I um . . . no. I was just . . . " Marie-Claire stammered, not knowing what to do. She had never paid much attention to the classes at the Watcher Academy on what to do if you ever met your Immortal face to face. She hadn't thought she'd needed to.

"You were looking for me, and I know it. Don't lie to me girl. Who are you?"

"I'm sorry but I don't know what you're talking about. I'm a student at the University. Nothing more. I wasn't following you." She tried to look scared and innocent. She tried to look like she was telling the truth. She didn't think it was working though.

"I warned you not to lie to me, girl. Now you will face the penalty. {Come with me}" Cassandra said, using the Voice on the poor young girl. She hadn't wanted too, but the girl had given her no choice, refusing to cooperate and tell her why she was following her. She led the girl into her apartment, forcing her to take a seat at the couch. "{Now, who are you?}" Cassandra sat down beside her as Marie-Claire began to speak.