teachwriteslash: (iantomethos)
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Chapter 3


Mac was home several weeks early. He hadn’t called Methos, wanting to surprise him instead. Once the driver pulled away, Mac punched in his code and slipped in through the security gate. He’d carried only his sword and laptop. The handyman/driver/gardener – the son of their housekeeper – would fetch his other belongings. Mac wasn’t even a step inside the gate when he felt Methos’ presence wash over him.


Ever since Bordeaux and the shared Quickening, he’d known Methos from all other Immortals. The longer they were together, the more soothing and familiar his Quickening became. They also noted their range with each other was growing wider. Every year, they could feel each other from farther away. Gina and Robert de Valincourt, Immortal friends of theirs who had been married for centuries, said it was normal.


The front door opened and two dark shapes flung themselves at MacLeod. “Whoa!” he shouted. “Down, Brandon! Down, Breena! Arghhhh!” he cried as he was bowled over by eight legs, two tongues, and two tails.


The German Shepherds had been a gift from Amanda and Nick. After Methos’ proposal at Amanda’s wedding, the men had purchased this house outside of London together. They’d held a small, private partnership ceremony in Scotland before moving in. A week after they returned from their honeymoon, an excited Amanda had shown up with the puppies. Nick had stood beside her looking chagrined and muttering something about ‘you try to stop her’ when Methos glared at him.


Despite their protests, Mac and Methos had fallen in love with the fur balls and spoiled them rotten, though they had trained them extensively as well. Their names were Gaelic variations on The Raven, Amanda’s alias from her criminal days. Mac adored the dogs and was happy to see them, but he really wanted to breathe and to see Methos.


“Down. House. Now!” The commanding voice reverberated through the air. Mac recognized that tone. He could imagine it on the battlefield or in times of crisis, but mostly he knew it from their bedroom. The sound rocketed straight to his groin and reminded him just how long he and Methos had been apart.


As the dogs scrambled to obey, Methos turned to his partner with a grin. “Highlander. Me Casa es Su Casa. Wanna beer?” It was their staple greeting.


“Later,” MacLeod groaned as he stood and pulled the other man into a crushing kiss. He felt it returned with equal fervour, and relaxed into it before stiffening in alarm.


Methos had lost weight that he could ill afford. He was always slender, but now he felt skinny. Pushing him back away, Mac looked at his classical features. The skin was drawn and gray, there were smudges under his eyes, and his weight loss highlighted his cheekbones. “What the hell, Old Man? Are ye sick?” Mac only slipped into the vernacular of his childhood when he was upset.


“I’m fine, Mac. Immortal, remember? I’m just glad that you’re home.” He sagged a bit into Mac’s arms and the Highlander embraced him tightly.


“I’m home. Now let’s get you inside. You look like you need a friendly ear and some food.” Mac started to steer them towards the house when another presence filled his mind.


“Maybe he’ll listen to you!” Amanda stood with her travelling cases around her and her hands on her hips. “I came for a friendly visit since Nick is so busy. I find him transfixed by something on that computer, barely eating, and screaming loudly enough at night for me to think you were home, Duncan.”


MacLeod blushed but ignored Amanda’s innuendo. “Screaming?” He looked at Methos. “Nightmares?”


“Later.” Methos gave a small gesture towards Amanda, who was now rushing forward to hug Mac.


“I didn’t know you were coming home!” The Immortal thief was pouting. “I wanted to see you, but I can’t stay. Nick’s coming over to London for work, and I promised to meet him at the Marriott.” She glanced at the looks Mac and Methos were giving each other. “Not that you two would notice if I were here,” she pouted, trying to look indignant.


“Now, Amanda,” Methos sighed theatrically. “Of course we would. At least long enough to hand you Mac’s credit card and say ‘Goodbye! Have fun storming Harrods’.”


“She has a husband. Let her use his credit card.” Mac shook his head good-naturedly. Marriage had mellowed Amanda but not changed her. He hoped it never did. He turned at the sound of a horn from the driveway.


“That would be my car service,” Amanda smiled seductively. “Help me with the bags, Duncan?”


Groaning theatrically, Mac hoisted Amanda’s luggage as the slender woman bid farewell to Methos. “Take care of yourself, Old Man. I’d worry but I think all the medicine you need just walked in the door.”


“Bon Temps, Ma Cherie.” Methos kissed her hand. “Say hello to the Cub Scout.”


“Nick hates when you call him that,” Amanda tossed over her shoulder as she followed Duncan outside.


Methos shrugged as he replied. “Mac hates when I call him Boy Scout, and Joe can’t stand me to call him Pops. It’s never stopped me.”


Laughing, Amanda joined Duncan at the car as the driver loaded the luggage. She slipped her arm through his. “I’m glad you’re home. I was going to call you and suggest you get back here. He’s been like this since I got here.”


Mac fixed her with a gaze. “How long has that been?”


“Ten days,” Amanda admitted. “Just after that to do with the President.”


“To do?” Mac repeated incredulously. “The man was assassinated by the British Prime Minister, who was then murdered by his wife.”


Amanda shrugged with a distinct lack of concern. “I never liked Lucy Saxon. Bad fashion sense.”


“It was an international incident,” Mac scolded, wondering why he let her wind him up this way. He knew Amanda was shrewd and very attune to the world around her. She just liked to pretend that she was not.


“Yes, well.” Amanda examined her nails. “It sure made New York boring; everyone is so gloomy. Nick’s busy. I knew you were out of the country. I thought I’d annoy Methos. Instead, I found him like this.”


“And calling me never occurred to you?” Duncan shook his head. “I’ve talked to him several times. He never told me anything was wrong or that you were here.”


“I threatened to call you and he threatened to ‘reactivate’ some old warrants that are floating out there. He would, too.” Amanda tried to sound aggrieved.


Mac sighed. “He would. He’s that damn stubborn.” His blood chilled. “He’s not being challenged is he?”


Amanda shook her head. “I don’t think that’s it. You know Methos better than anyone does. If it were a challenge he thought he couldn’t win, he’d have ‘killed’ Adam and gone into one of your boltholes. You two have that completely planned. This is something else. Whatever the dreams are they’re violent and involve all of us – you, me, Joe, Nick, even Anne and Mary. It’s personal. His face lit up when he felt you. I think he wants to tell you, but he didn’t want to bring you running home.”


“He does that.” Duncan shook his head, thinking about when Methos had lost a good friend suddenly to an accident a couple of years before. Duncan had been on a business trip and wouldn’t have known his partner was hurting except that Mac’s former girlfriend, Dr. Anne Lindsey – who was now working in London while her daughter Mary attended school – had been one of the attending physicians on the case and had called Mac to check on Adam. “I'll take care of him. I'll call you. Maybe we can all have dinner before you go back to the States? Anne might even be able to join us.”


“Sounds marvellous. She and I are supposed to go shopping so I'll check with her.” She kissed his cheek. “Ciao, bella!”


Duncan watched as Amanda’s car pulled away. Shaking his head, he gathered his own luggage and ventured back into the house to find out what was bothering the 5000-year-old pain in the ass he was in love with.




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