||Look at him. Sitting
there. Completely ignorant of my attentions.
When did he become my Highlander?
I suppose from that first moment. When he came looking for Adam Pierson and found Methos. That first moment, when he gazed upon me, his soul knowing me instantly. And he softly uttered my name.
I was lost.
I love him. As a friend. As a brother.
I wish to love him as a lover. To feel his body beneath mine. To feel his body cover mine. To feel him close. In heart. In body. In mind. In soul.
He drives me to do things I never would have considered doing in my saner days. The days when I kept to myself. Didn't draw attention to myself. Kept a low profile and lived safely.
There is no living safely with the Highlander. He draws me into life. Endangers me. Not only my life but my very essence. Makes me question who I am. Who I have been. Who I will be. Who I can be.
Could he love all those me's? There have been so many in five millennia.
He's seen me as Death. At my worst and at my best. And when Death came back to haunt me, I had to choose. I chose my Highlander.
My precious Highlander.
I must be content to gaze upon him. Call him friend. He will never be mine. Worse. I will never be his.
He feels my eyes upon him from across the room. That dark gaze lifts to meet mine. For one brief unguarded moment, I let it all shine forth from my eyes before shielding them again under the guise of humorous cynicism.
His mouth quirks slightly. There is a fondness in his eyes for me that I never thought to see again after the Horsemen. It is enough. It has to be.
I barely hold back the sigh of contentment as his voice, a slight Scottish burr coloring it, gentles my name.
I nod my head slightly at him. My voice is a mere whisper. "Highlander."
He holds my gaze a moment longer, as if checking for something he hopes to see there. Then his gaze returns to the book in his lap.
My gaze remains on him a moment longer. The dark head bent over the book. I long to touch him. To caress him. To love him.
Finally, I tear my eyes away to stare sightlessly across the room.
It is not to be.
He's staring at me.
He thinks I don't notice.
He's been doing a lot of gazing my way lately.
I pretend not to notice. Soon, I'll lift my eyes to meet his. He'll give me one of those unreadable looks. Or better yet, one of his wide-eyed Adam Pierson looks. I'll say something to give him a lead-in to conversation, which he won't take. Then I'll go back to what I was doing. All the while pretending not to notice that he's staring.
Flip a page in the book you're pretending to read, Duncan. The old man has sharp eyes. He'll figure out you're not reading if you don't.
Page flips. Eyes are kept down. I pretend to still be reading. Pretend not to notice that he's still staring at me.
When did this start? I search back through recent history.
Probably with that first meeting. When I was expecting to find Adam Pierson. Watcher researcher. Mortal. And found Methos instead. Oldest living immortal.
He flashed one of those enigmatic looks at me then. And I knew. In an instant, I knew.
Little did I know then that name would become synonymous with friend. Or that it would become such a strong friendship. I was in awe of him then. Still am at times, but I don't let him know that. He doesn't need to be encouraged. But no matter what he says, he's not "just a guy".
I remember that first walk on the day we met. I felt a kinship with him then. Thought it was reciprocated. But it was difficult to tell. Methos does elusive very well. And he was very elusive back then.
But there was a kinship there. And we became friends.
Then the Horsemen happened.
I can't remember the last time something cut me that deeply. I raged at Methos when all I wanted to do was shake him and ask "why?"
I'm still not sure I have the answer to that question. Somehow, though, we've worked through the worst of it. We became friends again. But there are new undertones to our friendship now. And a certain leeriness.
I find myself nervously wondering what other hidden secrets the old man has. And he seems to tread lightly where our friendship is concerned, as if afraid of trampling it. I suspect he wonders why I allowed him back.
But did I?
I suppress a smile. The old man prodded and kept prodding until he wormed his way back into my life. I don't actually remember reaffirming our friendship. It was more like we just gradually grew together again. As if it were meant to be. This friendship. This brotherhood.
I don't think I could take another betrayal by him. But did he betray me?
It all comes down to survival, I guess. Methos did what was necessary to survive. I didn't realize until it was all over that he did what he did to ensure my survival as well.
I'm important to him. Sometimes I think more important than he is to himself. It doesn't match up with his "me first" survival instincts that he proclaims have seen him through five thousand years.
Then again, I really have no idea of the sacrifices he has made in those five thousand years. Sometimes I see a sad, lost cast to his eyes and wonder if the losses far outnumber the victories.
Time to raise my eyes now and give him one of those inquiring looks he seems to find so humorous.
My eyes meet his, and for a brief moment there's something in those eyes. Something that usually isn't there.
A message for me.
A fleeting flash of--
Impossible to decipher.
Or maybe not so indecipherable.
Impossible to believe then. Impossible to read what I think I read there.
The expressive eyes close down once more and the familiar shell of anonymity slides over his features.
I catalogue that flash of truth in his eyes away for later review. Still, I can't help myself. I speak, softly, so as not to interrupt the moment.
"Methos." It's half statement half question. I guess that's how I see Methos most of the time. Half statement half question. A dichotomy if there ever was one.
He inclines his head in that familiar gesture reminiscent of the first time we met. "Highlander."
I give him a slight grin and go back to pretending to read the book. I can still feel his eyes on me. That continues for a moment longer before he looks away.
I steal a glance out of the corner of my eye. He's got that faraway look again. The one he gets when he's lost in the past.
As usual, it's a mystery what he's thinking.
Maybe he'll tell me someday.