The Beginning of the End
by
Sapphire
August 1999 - Current

Unfinished Snippet from The Grab Bag

Duncan followed Methos to the loft door, watching as Methos pulled the door open and stepped out onto the landing leading to the outside stairs. Methos, duffel bag in hand, turned to say good-bye, only to find MacLeod hovering much to closely. He met the Highlander's eyes, eyes dark with unhidden emotions regarding Methos' latest leave-taking.

If they had been lovers, Methos would have called the look that of a disappointed lover bidding his soul mate good-bye for an indeterminate time. However, they were not lovers. Not that Methos didn't wish for that. He had just never received any indications from Duncan that he wanted more than friendship, and so the world's oldest immortal contented himself with being MacLeod's friend. And that friendship had barely survived the resurrection of the Horsemen but, in the end, they had come out of that with a stronger bond, both men determined not to lose what they had started to build prior to Bordeaux.

Still, if he was so inclined to misinterpret that lost look MacLeod was throwing him and put a romantic spin on it . . . . An image of him dropping his bag, pulling MacLeod into his arms and kissing him into tomorrow dropped in on Methos with a suddenness that caught him with his shields down. Returning to the here and now abruptly, Methos gripped his duffel bag tightly and got hold of himself before he did something foolish. Acting impulsively was what got one into trouble. And he avoided trouble at all costs.

"See you 'round, MacLeod."

"Stay in touch, Methos."

Nodding, Methos turned to go. His foot had hit the top step of the stairs when, abruptly dropping the duffel bag, he whirled round, grabbed a handful of Duncan's sweater and pulled him in. Gently cupping MacLeod's face between his hands, he kissed him. Lingering. Thoroughly. Passionately. He pulled back briefly to find his breath before leaning back in for a quick chaste kiss, totally unlike the passionate one that had preceded it. Then he just as abruptly released MacLeod and returned to the stairs. Picking up the abandoned duffel bag, he headed down the stairs, tossing over one shoulder, "You'll be in my thoughts, Duncan."

He didn't turn to look at MacLeod until he reached his car. Duncan was still standing where he had left him. Their eyes met. Duncan's mouth turned up in a slow smile that widened into a grin. Raising his voice to be heard over the distance, MacLeod called, "Two months. I'll give you two months before I come looking for you. We have a few things to discuss."

Methos grinned, giving MacLeod a low sweeping bow before climbing into this car. That was why he so enjoyed MacLeod's company. The other man constantly surprised him.

Apparently, the kiss had been interpreted exactly as Methos had intended. Feeling giddy over the impulsive act, Methos wondered if that kiss could hold him for the next two months. He hadn't missed Mac's startled reaction at the first touch of their lips, but then Mac had fairly melted into his arms. Savoring it, Methos drove off, content that his impulse had been the right move and that the kiss held no regrets, only promise.

~*~

"I can't believe he's gone."

Richie Ryan gazed at his mentor. MacLeod had taken Methos' death hard. The two had been friends, sure, but Richie couldn't shake the feeling that something more had been going on. He hadn't seen Mac like this since Tessa had died.

 And then there was the way Methos had died. Of all the freak accidents to happen, it seemed impossibly absurd that the world's oldest immortal had died when accidentally decapitated in a car accident. His quickening had been lost, no immortals nearby to receive it. Even Richie, who hadn't been all that close to the old guy, twinged in sympathy over the loss of that particular quickening. Methos may have been a pain at times but he had been an interesting pain. Richie dragged his attention back to Mac, who was still talking.

"It's been nearly two months. I told him I'd give him two months. If he wasn't back by then, I warned him I'd come looking for him."


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