teachwriteslash: (iantomethos)
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Chapter 2


September 11 had been Immortals first foray into global peacekeeping, but it had not been their last. They had banded together again a little over a year ago, when the Torchwood Tower at Canary Wharf had burned. Duncan and Methos had been in Toronto, where the Old Man was presenting at an academic conference and Duncan was trying to keep himself and Amanda out of trouble. Nick was off ‘training’ somewhere with his friend, teacher, and mentor, Matthew McCormick. For those two, that could mean practicing sword techniques, undercover work, or bounty hunting.


Methos had connected Nick with McCormick after the young ex-cop became Immortal and Amanda had begged for his help since Duncan was nowhere to be found. McCormick trained Nick to use a sword and showed him how he could still be a cop – Immortal or not. It was also McCormick who had convinced Wolfe to hear Amanda out and give her a chance to explain her decision not to tell him about his Immortality until she triggered it to save his life.


The FBI agent had looked downright smug when he stood up for Nick at his wedding to the mostly-reformed thief. Mac had given away the bride, Joe had played his guitar, Mac’s goddaughter Mary Lindsey had been a flower girl, and her mother, Mac’s former girlfriend, Dr. Anne Lindsey, had stood up for Amanda. Methos had muttered something about ‘hating all this crap’ and then had proposed to Mac while the bride and groom had their first dance.


“So, I’ve been married sixty-nine times,” Methos had observed, gesturing at Amanda and Nick. “Never to one of us.”


“So you’ve said,” Mac had replied, not really taking his eyes off the bridal couple.


Methos had taken a sip of his beer, and then replied, “I was thinking I might give that a go – marrying one of us, if you’re up for it?”


It had taken Mac five minutes to find the air to say yes.


Like everyone else in the spring of 2005, the two Immortals had been following the ‘ghost shifts’. Methos had kept saying he had a bad feeling about it and trying to convince Joe to meet them in Toronto. The Bluesman had refused.


“You’re a brooding mother hen, Old Man,” he’d snarled, sounding half-irritated and half-amused. “Get a cat or something.” Then, he cancelled the call. An hour later, the world had gone to hell.


On the telly from Amanda and Nick’s high-rise, the three Immortals had watched in horror as the cybernetic invaders had come through across the world, but they felt marginally safe sixty floors above the streets, at least until the other creatures had appeared.


“Bloody hell, they can fly,” Methos had muttered, looking startled. “This place have a panic room?” he asked Amanda, who just shook her head and stared straight ahead.


As the two strange armies battled each other on the streets of London and around the world, they had worried about those they loved. Mac had questioned how they still had television reception and a distracted Amanda had made some vague reference to ‘modifications’ Nick had made to the equipment.


The invaders baffled them. One looked like modern versions of Dorothy’s Tin Man and the other looked like enraged pepper pots. When the creatures had suddenly vanished, all that remained was the destruction and the burning Tower at Canary Wharf.


“That’s the end of Torchwood as we know it,” Methos had remarked as Amanda paced, trying desperately to reach Nick despite the lack of mobile service.


Mac, who had been sitting next to Methos and alternately trying to reach Joe, Anne, and Connor’s family, hadn’t even known what Torchwood was until Methos explained, albeit impatiently. “What’s that when it’s at home?” he’d asked.


“How can you have lived in the UK as long as you have and not know what Torchwood is?” Methos had been incredulous. He had stood and stomped to the fridge for another beer.


“I lived in the States and Paris for better than a century,” Mac had pointed out. “Well, except for the War.”


The Old Man had flopped down on the sofa, a bottle in his hand. “You worked for the bloody foreign office, MacLeod. And you’ve been there through at least three invasions I can name.”


“Invasions?” Mac had repeated, shaking his head in befuddlement. “No, not since the War.”


“Bloody hell, MacLeod,” the older immortal had sworn. “I mean alien invasions. Spaceships over London, aliens in Downing Street, something crashing into Big Ben, and now whatever those things are destroying Torchwood Tower and killing a lot of people.”


“Aliens?” Mac had had blinked at the older Immortal. “I thought … I figured they were hoaxes.”


“Thank God you’re pretty, Boy Scout,” Methos had sniped with uncharacteristic venom, his worry for his good friends in London and desperation to know where Joe was evident in his face and voice. “Because you’re not smart. Aliens are real. It’s the absolute height of arrogance to look out at all those stars and not think at least some have life around them. Even if it’s just a fraction, we’re far from alone and we never have been.”


“They’ve been here before,” Mac had surmised, seeing something in Methos’ face. Both of them were aware of Amanda now listening intently to their conversation.


“Not these I don’t imagine, but yes we’ve been visited. Come on Mac, you’ve studied ancient civilizations. Did the Toltecs, the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Egyptians, hell even the Greeks, Romans, or Celts, have the technology to do half of what they did? There were others beings here, helping us start our civilization. Then they left and let us evolve. Now, apparently some think we’re ready to know about them, and others appear to want to conquer us before we are.”


“What does this have to do with that and this Torchwood?” Mac had gestured to the TV screen where the Tower burned.


“Torchwood was a secret agency founded by Queen Victoria to combat the threat posed by alien invasion,” Methos had recited, as if from a book.


“How the hell do you know about it?” Mac had demanded, sounding tetchy. Even after all these years, Methos’ secrets clearly still managed to annoy him and he didn’t bother to hide it.


“Perk of the job.” Methos had retorted and flashed the fading tattoo on his wrist. One night in bed, Mac had run his fingers over the symbol that had caused them both so much pain and asked his lover why he didn’t remove it, since it wouldn’t scar. Methos had simply said “Don” and left it at that. Mac had understood, knowing Methos still mourned his old friend and mentor, whom Kalas had killed before Mac’s blade ended his sorry life at the top of the Eiffel Tower.


“The Watchers know about Torchwood?” Duncan had asked, still sounding half-sceptical and half-intrigued.


Methos had nodded firmly. “And vice versa. Watchers don’t mess with the aliens. Torchwood leaves Immortals alone.”


“But why did you think I would know if they don’t interfere in the Game?” Mac had looked quizzical.


Methos had snorted. “Torchwood was the worst-kept secret in the Empire, even a century ago.” He glanced again at the televised image of the carnage. “It’s evolved and changed; gotten out of control really. It was inevitable it would bring itself down.”


“How do you know that?” Mac had demanded again. “Knowing about the organisation is one thing; you clearly have inside knowledge. Did you work for them, too?”


“Oh, hell no,” Methos had replied. “I would have burnt the place to the ground if I could have, but I have a friend. Nice guy, if a bit over the top. I’ve known him since the 1920’s. You’ll either like him or hate him,” Methos had shrugged then grinned. “At the very least, he’ll appreciate your ‘assets’,” he’d added with a leer. “He says the Twenty-First Century is when it’s all going to change, and we have to be ready. He’s in a position to know.”


Mac’s eyes had narrowed suspiciously at the way Methos described his friend – like he had been something more. “He’s Torchwood then? One of us?”


“No,” Methos had replied without elaborating.


Mac had looked back at the screen. He could imagine the death and destruction in the centre of London. He’d seen Ground Zero. He knew it was possible his lover’s friend was dead. “Methos …”


“He’s a little hard to kill.” Methos had nodded at the TV. “Besides, he won’t be there. He runs the Cardiff branch. He’s cut all ties with London.”


“Why?” Mac had asked.


“Not my story to tell. You can ask him when you meet him, which I have resigned myself to as inevitable.” Methos had checked his mobile again, and then tossed it onto the table. “Useless piece of crap. Network’s still down. Once we have service again, we need to find Joe, Anne, and the others then we need to get the word out. This is one of those situations that Immortals who don’t want to help need to stay clear of. Any vultures looking to pick at carrion will have to come through us. The government will handle the general population as they always do – drugs probably – but we seem to be immune unless we want to believe.”


“Like me you mean,” Mac had said softly. He no longer doubted anything his lover was saying. They’d forged an agreement after Ahriman to trust each other no matter how crazy it sounded.


Methos had taken a moment to cup Duncan’s cheek. “It’s expected. You were raised in a superstitious time and educated in the Age of Reason. All of your conditioning makes you want to believe these events are hoaxes, but they aren’t. At some point, something big is going to happen and the Immortals need to be on the right side of it or the Game is going to look like Candyland.”


They had gotten the word out almost immediately after that, thanks to laptops, emails, and the Watchers. After Kell, the Watchers had changed. They still never interfered in fair fights between Immortals, but they had a greater sense of the broader view of good versus evil. Innocents were protected whenever possible. Mac and Methos knew Joe had viewed that change as his legacy and had been more than ready to retire once it was in place. This time, few Immortals had challenged the edict. The ones who had, Mac, Steven Keane, and others had dealt with quickly. Most had been young and foolish, and now they were dead. Keane might have his issues with Mac because of his past and Methos because of Mac, but the Irishman was a good man and knew how to use a sword.


Still others, like McCormick, Wolfe, Alex Raven, Kyra, and Ceirdwyn had become active with UNIT, a more open organization than Torchwood. Mac knew Methos still monitored the secret organization. He had been hinting strongly that they needed to take a trip to Cardiff soon when a friend had approached Mac about the opportunity in Tokyo; one they both agreed was too good to pass up, especially since Methos was arse-deep in a special project for the British Museum that was limiting their time together anyway. “Better we’re both busy at the same time so we can have time alone when it’s over,” he had said seductively when he told Mac to take the Tokyo job. Just a few weeks later, Harold Saxon had gone mad, killed the US President, and then gotten himself shot.


Next Part

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