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The light snow that fell thorough out the day now dusted the ground with a white cover. Walking out of the cemetery, Methos thanked Duncan for attending the funeral, said goodbye and got into his car to return to his apartment, alone with his grief.
Methos drove to the liquor store and bought himself a case of beer, hoping it was enough to last him through the night. Numb to the cold, windy chill that the snow brought; it mirrored his feelings of desolation and isolation. Alexa had reminded him what it meant to live and now that she was gone, he wondered if he knew how to live anymore. Could he or did he even want to face that challenge again? Living was so hard; existing was so much easier. Existing required getting up every day, eating, and sleeping, but not interacting with people, feeling or responding to those around him. Today he couldn't face that challenge so he drank his beer until the pain in his heart dissipated.
Methos woke the next morning with a painful hangover. He had buried Alexa yesterday so there would be no more late nights at the hospital or conferences with the doctors, no more hearing the insipid machines keeping her alive and seeing her with a tube up her nose. He could let her rest.
Methos tried to remember the last six months, burning the memories into his brain. After five thousand years, new memories had to push old ones away and he had to make a concerted effort to replace the old with the new. So much of his life he didn't want to remember, the Four Horsemen, his early years as an Immortal, hell he couldn't even remember his life before his first death, much less most of his 5000 years. He wanted to remember Alexa and the wonderful things she did for him.
They had traveled extensively in her last few months. He had taken her to the Rockies, the Grand Tetons, New Orleans, Paris, London, Egypt and the Pyramids; her life ending in Switzerland. He buried her in Paris, a city he visited frequently, so that she could be a part of his life. What was he supposed to do with his life? So much of his existence had become entwined in hers in the last year that he had forgotten what it was like to be anonymous. Live, grow stronger, fight another day. That had been his motto for so long, but could he really go back to that same Methos. He didn't know and he didn't care at this point.
It continued to snow for at least a week, but Methos was oblivious to the weather. Occasionally he felt hunger and had his food and beer delivered from the local grocery, not wanting to go out among people. People who were continuing their lives, unlike Alexa, buried in a cemetery, incapable of embracing the life she deserved. Unable to think clearly, his mind a jumble of memories, Methos' tears coursed down his cheeks as visions of their short time together ran through his mind. He missed Alexa and wanted her back. Mortals lived short lives, but hers had been taken from her before she'd had a chance to live. She had so much to offer, had made him feel alive and part of this world again. Knowing he would never see her beautiful smile light up the room, feel her presence bring joy to his heart or hear her laughter, saddened him.
His days were unproductive, spent sorting through memories, shedding tears for his loss and sleeping. He had neglected his sword practice since Alexa had been in the hospital, but he couldn't motivate himself to resume his life.
Duncan hadn't heard from his friend since the funeral and this concerned him. He knew Methos needed time to grieve and be alone, but he wanted to ease his pain. Remembering his own grief when Tessa died, he hoped Methos mourning was less intense, since Alexa hadn't had as much time to be a part of his life.
After Tessa's death, he didn't want to go on living, knew his heart would break from the grief and was glad that Richie had been able to handle a lot of the necessary affairs for him, but realized that task had been a burden on Richie. Richie had lost a great friend, a surrogate mother and then had to deal with his own Immortality. Duncan had not been fair to Richie, but he was grateful to him for his support. Duncan remembered it had been several months before he felt like rejoining the human race.
Duncan had only met Alexa briefly, seeing her waitress in Joe's bar. He enjoyed watching Methos squirm while he contemplated asking her out, fearful she would reject him. When the two of them had gotten together, the look in Methos' eyes told him that the man loved this woman. It didn't matter that he only knew her for a short time before she was taken from him; it made her death more tragic because Methos didn't have the time to build a lifetime of memories to store and examine at will. He only had less than a year's worth of living and sharing to remember.
Duncan attempted to call Methos, but Methos didn't answer his phone. He didn't want any contact with people to remind him that he was alive and would have to continue living while Alexa was dead in her grave, never to enjoy life again. Duncan tried for several days and at all hours to reach him without success.
Scared, he drove his Citroen to Methos' apartment to investigate. He saw Methos' car practically buried in the snowdrifts outside the apartment and his heart beat faster, trying to jump out of his chest. <Had someone taken Methos' head? Had his grief taken over and he let another Immortal take his life? Walking toward the door of the apartment, he felt the unmistakable buzz of another Immortal. Relief washed over his body, as he knocked on the door, eagerly waiting for Methos to open it.
When he didn't get an answer, he called out, "Methos! Open the door. If you don't open the door now, I will open it from this side."
Duncan heard a click from the lock and let himself him. He walked into the apartment and was overwhelmed by the site and smells that assaulted his senses. The empty beer bottles, the half-empty food containers, the dirty dishes and clothes strewn all over the apartment reminded him of an alley in skid row rather than the apartment of his usually immaculate friend. Seeing Methos, the apartment's physical state was quickly forgotten. Methos' skin was gray and sallow and was drawn tightly against his slight frame. He wore dirty clothes that looked like he hadn't changed them for several days and he reeked of liquor. As Duncan watched him stagger back to the couch laden with old newspapers, he was greatly disturbed.
"Methos," Duncan turned and looked into the older Immortal's eyes. Methos stared vacantly as if Duncan wasn't there. "Methos. Look at me!"
Walking to Methos, Duncan gently touched his shoulder, calling his name and turning his face to look at him. Methos slightly confused, gazed at Duncan, realizing he was talking to him.
"I would ask how you are, but I know the answer. Methos, what has gotten into you? You have lost other lovers before. Talk to me." He demanded; his voice filled with a mix of anger and desperation. Silently he chastised himself for failing to check on his friend sooner and continued with his questions, hoping to receive some coherent answers from his friend. "I know you're upset over Alexa's death, but you have to continue to live. When did you have a decent meal that didn't come from a takeout counter? I can understand your wish to be alone, but you have to take care of yourself. I walked in here and you didn't even raise your sword to me. What if I had been after your head? You're lucky I wasn't. You may not be that lucky the next time."
Methos looked at Duncan and shrugged; too absorbed in his grief to respond to Duncan's accusations.
"Let's start by getting you clean and shaven. Then we can go get some real food. By the look of this place, I would say your body is severely malnourished and you need a maid."
Duncan told Methos to shower and shave. Methos stood there for a few moments trying to process the request and then Duncan pushed him toward the bathroom. Methos began to undress and Duncan left to clean up the apartment. With Methos clean and presentable, the two men drove to a little Italian restaurant and Duncan ordered their meals. Neither spoke through out the meal, except to ask for service from the waitress. After dinner, Duncan drove Methos back to his apartment and helped him get ready for bed.
<How could I let Methos be alone for so long without checking on him? What kind of friend am I that I didn't call or stop by to see that he was okay? I will be here until I'm sure he is ready to face the world again.
Grabbing a blanket and pillow from the closet, he made a bed for himself on the couch and watched over his friend. In the morning, he stretched out the kinks in his back and went into the kitchen to make breakfast. Methos had little food and Duncan vowed to remedy that situation as soon as possible.
Methos woke about 10:00 in the morning and felt the buzz of an Immortal. He lay in bed for a few moments thinking about the possibility of a challenge and decided that an Immortal who wanted to challenge him would have already done so. He searched his memory and remembered Duncan, the Eternal Boy Scout, coming to his place yesterday. <I might as well get up. I doubt he'll leave unless he thinks I'm okay. He emerged from the bathroom just as Duncan finished setting the table. Looking at his friend, he noted that Methos looked calmer, less distraught over his recent loss than he had yesterday. Relieved to see the ancient man resembling the living, his color returning to the light pale that was his true skintone, rather than the dull gray he encountered yesterday, Duncan completed the last preparations for breakfast while Methos walked over to the coffee maker and poured himself a cup.
They ate their coffee, juice and eggs in silence. Duncan kept giving Methos surreptitious looks throughout the meal, hoping to spurn conversation, but Methos ignored his glances for now, wanting the discussion to begin on his terms, not Duncan's. After breakfast the dishes were cleared, Duncan poured himself some coffee, then walked to the living room, choosing the brewer chair to sit. Methos poured himself some coffee and joined Duncan in the living room, sprawling on the couch.
Thoughts ran through each man's mind concerning the circumstances that brought them to this point; Duncan thought of his friendship with Methos and Methos' thoughts were of his grief, but also of the kindness of his friend.
An indeterminate time later, Methos looked at Duncan and unable to keep his silence any longer, spoke softly, "She was such a wonderful woman."
The heart wrenching sobs that followed this statement were so loud that Duncan could see the visible wracking of Methos' body trying to compensate for the tears. Duncan felt helpless; he gently wrapped his arms around Methos and rocked his body as the sobs continued; allowing his friend to cry, hoping his nearness would comfort Methos. Methos cried for a time and, eventually exhausted, fell asleep in Duncan's arms. Duncan held him while he slept and thought about the ways he could try to help his friend.
Duncan felt Methos stir in his arms, and he moved to the edge of the couch, giving Methos space. Methos went to the bathroom to wash his face and returned to the living room with a bottle of beer in hand. After drinking about half the bottle, he looked at Duncan and began talking to his friend.
"I loved her. I haven't loved anyone that much in such a long time. I'd forgotten what it was like to lose someone you love. She made me participate in life rather than hide in the shadows. I enjoyed life more in the last year than I have for the last several hundred years. Alexa was my reason to live. Now that she's gone, I have no reason...I miss her so much." Tears rolled down Methos' cheeks as he continued his monologue. "I reach out and think she should be there, but she isn't. I think I hear someone in the hall or hear my name called, only to discover that they are illusions. I see something funny and want to point it out to her, only to remember she's gone." Taking a draw of his beer, he looked at Duncan, trying to see understanding in his face. Finding it there, he continued. "She became so much a part of my life in such a short time. I don't remember anyone affecting my life like that in a very long time. You have to care in order for someone to affect you and I haven't cared in so long I'd forgotten what it's like."
Methos continued to talk about Alexa and her impact on his life. He talked about their travels and how she made him see the world through her eyes. She was like a child, each new place they visited was magical for her and she embraced each new experience. Methos envied her excitement.
"We traveled all over the world. She loved the Pyramids, especially the sunset in the backdrop. She loved the ancient places as if her soul remembered some past life. Her favorite place was Paris, the city of romance. I promised her we'd come back to Paris in the spring, but she never made it.
He spoke of their love for each other. The look in Methos' eyes showed the extent of his love, making the words superfluous.
"I loved her laugh. I guess after 5000 years, a man can forget that human nature is quite funny. She'd laugh when I'd get up in the morning and hide from the sunlight. She was a morning person and would wake up as the sun's rays would peak through the curtains. She'd tickle me. I hate being tickled! Every morning she would kiss me and try to pull the pillow out from over my head. It became such a ritual that when she became too weak to tickle me, she still tried to talk me through the morning ritual."
Methos stopped talking as his tears began to flow more freely. They soon became sobs and Duncan felt helpless to comfort his friend. He thought Methos was beginning to heal; the tears a balm for his pain. Wishing he could do more for him, Duncan moved over to the couch where Methos sat and wrapped his arms around the Immortal, holding him until the sobs became more like hiccups.
"What a woman."
He shared some of their adventures, mishaps as well as their escapades.
"I remember one night we were walking in Cairo, or was it Haifa, anyway we were walking and just enjoying the smells and sounds of the city. She stopped walking and just sighed. At first I thought she was ill and something was wrong. But when I asked her if she was okay, she said of course."
"I'm just so happy. I didn't think anyone could be this happy. You make me feel so alive and wonderful, I could just wrap myself around you."
"Of course, I told her she could do so anytime. She looked around the street and took my hand and led me to the alley. She began kissing me and caressing my chest and hair. I thought she was going to try to take me right there in the street. Then she just sighed again and asked if that was what I had in mind. I was speechless; she began laughing hysterically and we both enjoyed the brief interlude. We quickly walked back to our hotel for the night and made each other very happy indeed."
As Methos talked, Duncan listened. He saw his friend returning to the Methos he knew and cared about. Duncan said little throughout the afternoon, allowing his friend the healing balm of conversation and memories.
"That was one of the best years of my life this century. I feel so dead inside now. I don't remember feeling a lover's death so painfully as I feel hers. Maybe it's been too long since I cared. It hurts, Duncan. It hurts so much I can physically feel it in my body. I'm lost without her. I didn't realize how special she was until she was gone. I mean I knew she was special, of course, but I didn't realize the effect she had on me."
Methos got up from the couch and went to the kitchen for a drink. He grabbed a beer for himself and one for the Highlander. He returned to the living room and continued his reminiscing.
Duncan's concern for his friend lessened, but he knew Methos needed time to recover from his loss. He hadn't heard any sarcastic or witty remarks all afternoon. Methos had always been the strong one, the one who needed no one. Now the ancient Immortal searched for a meaning to his life. He wanted a direction, some goal or purpose and needed something or someone to give it to him.
<What can I do for him? When the Dark Quickening came, he took me to the magic spring. With Kalas, he called the police and eventually gave me the courage to fight him. There aren't any magic springs to heal broken hearts, no magic potions to help people remember to embrace life and to live, not just exist. I will help him find a reason to want to live again.
They saw the lights come on in the street and the darkness descend upon the road. Their stomachs growled and they realized they had not eaten since breakfast. They put on their coats and went to the corner grocery to pick up some food and liquor. Returning to Methos' apartment, they prepared dinner together and ate in relative silence, neither man speaking except to request a dish of food or drink. Each man was lost in his own thoughts thinking about the last several days and weeks.
After dinner Duncan felt the fatigue and exhaustion claim his body. He knew Methos still grieved and would for a long time, but he felt that the initial crisis had passed and Methos would defend himself if approached, so he excused himself, telling Methos he'd return in the morning.
Duncan got in his Citroen and drove to the barge. His thoughts were a jumble on the drive home. Duncan enjoyed life even when it was difficult. He had mourned death too many times to count, but each time he bounced back because he knew he wanted to live. It was difficult for him to understand Methos' reclusive nature, choosing to hide and live vicariously wasn't Duncan's way of life. Alexa had obviously made a huge impact on Methos, and Duncan was glad he had encouraged Methos to go out with her. Joe had his doubts since he knew she was dying, but maybe Methos needed to immerse himself in someone else's needs so he could forget to blend into the woodwork. He had to forget he was Adam Pierson, perpetual grad student, poor, lowly researcher. Duncan silently thanked Alexa for the happiness she had provided Methos in the short time she had touched his life, thanked her for bringing Methos back to living in this world instead of just existing, for that is what Methos was good at, existing and not living.
When he returned to the barge, he went to bed and slept the night through. After the mentally grueling day he'd spent with Methos yesterday, he was surprised to wake up very refreshed from his sleep. Duncan showered and dressed quickly, then drove to Methos' apartment hoping to provide him a reason to return to living. He hoped that the conversation he'd had with Methos yesterday helped the ancient Immortal begin his healing process.
He let himself into Methos' apartment and heard the shower running. Duncan waited while Methos finished his daily routine and then followed him into the kitchen where he helped Methos make breakfast. While they ate, Duncan remembered the spark in Methos' voice as he spoke of his travels with Alexa. Methos obviously enjoyed traveling, and visiting places he had seen in his long life brought back pleasant memories. A trip together would continue the healing process; hopefully helping Methos to spark an interest in life again. He needed to live again, to feel the pulse of the world around him, not just see the insides of a research library. A trip would remind him that there is life worth embracing.
"Methos. I've been thinking of traveling again. I haven't been anywhere except Paris and Seacouver for a long time. You know my life has been very hectic lately and I think I need to get away and sort it all out. Join me. We could go someplace warm, maybe go to Bora Bora, I hear it's nice this time of year."
Methos didn't answer, but looked pensively at Duncan.
"Methos. I want to help you live again and remember all the wonderful things in the world. Immortality is a gift. We're allowed to reinvent ourselves often and we can be anything we want. Our dreams can be fulfilled multiple times. Alexa helped you remember that gift, don't throw it away again because she's gone. Let me help you rediscover the gift."
He looked into the gold green eyes and saw pain and fear in them. What was Methos afraid of? Methos was five thousand years old and he had loved so many women and enjoyed so much life, so what did he fear?
"Yes. I'll go with you. Where shall we start? Just promise me you won't play Boy Scout the entire trip. I don't want or need a nursemaid."
Shocked that Methos had said yes so easily, Duncan eagerly looked forward to traveling with his friend, knowing that this could lead to a stronger friendship between the two men. They talked about their trip the remainder of the day and settled on leaving at the end of the week with only a few destinations chosen.
Duncan and Methos readied themselves for the journey, anticipating the adventures they would share with each other. The night before they were to leave, Duncan decided to stay at Methos' apartment.
As they were making last minute preparations, Duncan began to think about their relationship. <I've only known Methos for two years, yet he is entrenched in my life. He would die for me, permanently. He left Alexa to save me from a Dark Quickening. What do I feel for him? I care what happens to Methos; I want him to survive. Methos doesn't need my protection, not like the women I always feel compelled to protect from harm. He watched him out of the corner of his eye and suddenly felt an odd sensation come over him. <I love Methos and it matters what happens to him. When did this happen? How could I fall in love with a man?
<Yes, I love this man, but my feelings are deeper than the love of a friend. I want to be with him physically and not just a one- night stand. How can I love Methos like that? I am Duncan Macleod of the Clan Macleod- the most heterosexual of men. I've never been with another man, never looked at another man as a possible sexual interest. Why did this happen with Methos? There have been others who have saved me from danger, risked their lives for me and I didn't ever consider them in this way.
He is special; Methos accepts me with all my faults and shortcomings, doesn't judge. I let him see into my soul, see my hurt, my disappointment, and my joy. Our friendship offers a respite from all the half-truths I tell my mortal friends; allows me to share all of my life and I'm unwilling to forego this friendship. I love him, but I will not jeopardize my relationship with him by acting on these feelings.
He quickly moved his eyes away from the ancient man and returned to checking his gear. His luggage packed, he told Methos he was going to bed as they had a long day tomorrow, leaving Methos to finish his packing for the trip.
When Duncan left the room, Methos let out a sigh of relief. He was beginning to have difficulty restraining himself. Watching the Highlander pack the last few items of his gear, the muscles in his back and shoulders visible through his shirt, his tight jeans curving over his muscled thighs and buttocks, brought stirrings in Methos' body. Duncan was his friend and he hadn't shown any interest in Methos' in that way. Methos wasn't about to ruin that friendship.
<I've come to rely heavily on the Highlander. I love him, but I won't ruin our friendship by acting on those feelings. I loved Alexa and am still mourning her death, but Duncan is Immortal, our love is different. A relationship with an Immortal can mean for eternity and I know if I started this, that is what I would want. Immortals are dangerous to me; they know how to kill me permanently. Not that I would fear for my life from MacLeod, but I won't put myself in that kind of danger. I would do anything for him, even offer my head. Duncan is too important to lose, but when did he become vital to my existence? I'll do anything to keep this man in my life for a very long time.
Duncan is the epitome of heterosexuality. I've read Duncan's Chronicles and he's never been with another man. Duncan is definitely straight and I'm not about to ruin a friendship with my desires. I'd rather be just friends than be scorned for some misguided tryst.
Methos finished his packing and when Duncan had finished in the bathroom, he went to prepare for bed. The trip would give both men a much-needed respite from their hectic lives. As both men slept they each dreamed about lying in each other's arms and bringing their friendship to another level. Both men slept fitfully and were awakened by the sun's early light. They ate a quick breakfast and went to the airport to start their journey.
Their first stop was a secluded island in the West Indies. Duncan had visited this island with a few friends throughout his lifetime and enjoyed its unspoiled scenery. Since they had eaten on the plane, they were ready to enjoy the warmth the island paradise offered as soon as they arrived. The bungalows at the resort were secluded from the other guests. It was a favorite spot for people who were seeking a retreat from the world and these men fit that definition well.
It had been the dead of winter in Paris and Methos hated winter, particularly in Paris, where the gloom and gray skies never left the city for very long. Methos' smiled and his walk even appeared to develop a lilt as he relished the feel of the sunshine on his face. Dropping his gear in the side bedroom of the bungalow, he quickly shed his clothes and pulled out his swimsuit to retreat to the ocean. Duncan got a huge grin on his face as he saw his friend's reaction to the new clime. He left his gear in the other bedroom and quickly joined Methos on the beach.
Methos swam in the ocean, enjoying its warmth on his skin. Looking at Duncan lying on the beach, he silently thanked his friend for the invitation to join him on this trip. He remembered what sparked the invitation and his heart ached at the thought of Alexa. It would've been wonderful to have her swimming next to him in the ocean, enjoying the sunshine and warmth as much as he did. When they first started traveling, before she got too weak, they would swim and enjoy the warmth of the water every chance they could.
Duncan watched Methos playing in the water and was glad that he agreed to take this trip. Both of them needed respite from their Immortal lives.
Duncan didn't feel like joining him in the water and pulled out his book to read in the sun. His olive skin soaked up the sun's rays while he read and he quickly fell asleep in the sun's warm embrace, waking out of his slumber, when he felt a few drops of water on his skin. When he realized the Immortal sense he felt was Methos, he relaxed again, but gave him an accusatory glance and asked him why he was dripping on him.
"You looked hot, so I thought I'd cool you down," Methos said with an evil grin on his face.
"I was not hot. I'll have you know I was perfectly comfortable lying in the sun relaxing and enjoying a short nap. I like the sun and unlike some people, I don't burn in a few short minutes." As he looked at the slightly pink tinged skin of his companion he admonished him. "Look at you! You've already started to burn. You may be Immortal and will heal, but sunburns can be painful. Grab my bag, and I'll put some lotion on you. Now go!" he admonished the fair skinned man.
Methos did as he was told and grabbed the suntan lotion from Duncan's bag. He handed the bottle to his friend and turned his back to the Highlander.
"Duncan why in the world do you have sunscreen? You have olive skin and don't burn? Were you expecting someone else on this trip? Oh I forgot, Be prepared- The Boy Scout motto. Remember, I don't need or want a nursemaid. I can and will survive just fine." A tinge of sarcasm and anger coming through his retort.
"No. I wasn't expecting anyone else. I'll have you know, I always carry sunscreen in case I'll be out for a long time. I do have olive skin, but can burn too. I'm Immortal, not invincible."
A silence ensued between the two men and then Methos turned to sit down in front of his friend to have the lotion applied.
Duncan carefully put sunscreen on the ancient Immortal, relishing the feel of the lotion between his fingers as they applied the slick lotion to the tight muscles of his shoulders and upper back. He then moved down from his shoulders to his lower back and sides, feeling the muscles relax under Duncan's application of the coconut scented lotion. Duncan placed a little lotion under the swimsuit area as well to insure there would be no burn there. When he was finished with his friend's back, he told Methos to turn around so he could apply the protective shield to his chest and arms.
As the application of lotion to Methos' body continued, Duncan grew concerned at his body's reaction. He knew the feel of Methos' skin under his hands should not bring such pleasurable sensations, yet the enjoyment he garnered from this act was exquisite. He was allowing himself to touch forbidden fruit by offering to perform a simple acceptable task for his friend. The feel of another man's body had never aroused him, but Methos' body was as erotic as any woman Duncan had been with in his 400 years. As he continued to touch Methos' body, he felt his erection growing beneath his suit, felt his breathing become labored and his desire soar. He knew he should stop before he got himself into trouble. He chastised himself, remembering his admonition that Methos' friendship was too important to allow him to act on any feelings he had toward him. He attempted to slow his breathing and neutralize his arousal.
Methos knew that he could apply the lotion to himself, but he allowed the Highlander to apply it to his chest, enjoying the man's touch on his torso. His growing erection was physical proof of his heightened reaction to Duncan's touch. His breathing was shallow and he knew he should thank Duncan, and return to the ocean quickly or he wouldn't be responsible for his actions.
Duncan finished his application of lotion to Methos' body, but he still wanted to feel Methos' touch." Methos why don't you put some lotion on me?" He asked, trying to keep his voice from hinting at his arousal.
Placing a small amount in his hands, he directed his friend. "Turn around. Let me get your back first."
Methos began at the top of Duncan's back. He felt the strong broad shoulders and the tight well- defined muscles underneath his touch. He wanted to linger there and caress the man, but knew this was supposed to be an innocuous gesture, not a prelude to more intimate contact. As Methos continued to apply lotion to Duncan's back, he slowly allowed his fingers to move down the strong sinewy flesh, enjoying the well developed muscles of the man and appreciating the differences in this man's muscular build and his own slight one. His hands traveled down to Duncan's small waist, the taut muscles again illustrating the training and discipline this man had for his body. When he completed applying the lotion to Duncan's back, he motioned for Duncan to face him and began applying lotion to the Highlander's chest.
He surreptitiously stole a glance toward the Highlander's face and looked into his eyes. The desire he saw in those eyes both shocked and surprised him. Duncan looked at Methos and saw the desire reflected in the ancient Immortal's eyes as well. At that moment, the two men leaned forward and gently kissed each other. First a tentative peck, but then deepening the kiss as it was responded to by the other man. Methos began exploring Duncan's mouth with his tongue, enjoying the taste of warm sea air and musk, the Highlands. Methos savored the feel of Duncan's lips on his mouth and eagerly returned the Highlander's kiss. Duncan eagerly tasted Methos' mouth, salty from his swim in the ocean. Methos had an earthy taste and Duncan relished the feel of the man's tongue in his mouth. Each man was exhilarated by the exploration, but the reality was still not connecting in his mind.
Methos began exploring the Highlander's body. He still had lotion on his hands and began massaging the Highlander's chest. He felt the magnificent muscles that he had seen in many of their sparring matches, the well-honed body of a warrior and chieftain's son. Duncan was truly a beautiful man and Methos wanted to explore every inch of him. He broke the kiss from Duncan's mouth and began kissing him on the face. He started with his eyes and gave him little butterfly kisses on his eyelids, then he moved to his cheeks and ears. When he got to Duncan's earlobes, he began giving him little bites under the lobes and moved down to little nips to his neck. Duncan offered his neck for Methos to claim.
An Immortal's neck area is one of their most erogenous zones and since both men knew this to be a very vulnerable area, it was especially poignant that Duncan offered his neck to Methos so openly. It demonstrated the level of trust he had for him.
Methos grabbed a towel from Duncan's bag to lay on the sandy beach and slowly eased Duncan and himself down to the towel to continue their explorations. Methos continued his kisses and nibbles down Duncan's neck onto his chest. He began to massage his chest again with a strong caress and was rewarded by Duncan's deep moans of pleasure. Methos found his nipples and began softly tweaking them until they were pointed like arrows. Methos bent down and began to suckle Duncan's nipple as he continued to rub the other one. After a while, he switched his attention and suckled the other nipple and tweaked the remaining one. Duncan could feel his erection straining against his swimsuit and began pushing himself against Methos' body. Methos slowly kissed his way down Duncan's chest, stopping to lick and nip along the way. Duncan couldn't remember being this aroused in a long time. Methos kissed his way down to Duncan's swimsuit waistband and grabbed it with his teeth, slowing pulling it off. This was too slow for Duncan's liking and he quickly assisted Methos in his quest. Methos kissed down the hairline from Duncan's navel until he came to the top of his erection. He slowly began trailing kisses down Duncan's thighs and legs, then made the return journey and began swirling his tongue on the sensitive ball sac, gently placing each ball into his mouth and sucking. Duncan sighed loudly, his arousal reaching a point of discomfort, as he arched his back to show Methos his need. Methos left the ball sac and began licking his way up Duncan's shaft to the top of his erection. He swirled his tongue as he carefully kissed and sucked the erection as he traveled up and down the shaft. He continued with this motion for only a few moments and then felt Duncan explode in his mouth. He sucked hard and captured all of Duncan's essence in his mouth. He lay spent on the towel for a few moments and then realized that Methos was there beside him smiling.
Having received pleasure from Methos, Duncan wanted to return the feeling, but Duncan had never done anything like this before and was hesitant to begin, fearing he would disappoint Methos. Sensing his hesitation, Methos felt a chill go over him and suddenly he thought he might have misread the look in Duncan's eyes. Maybe it wasn't desire, but fatigue he read in Duncan's eyes. <On no, what have I done? I've just ruined a wonderful friendship by my foolish actions. He began to get up and leave, trying to discern the quickest way to expedite himself from the awkward situation without jeopardizing the friendship any more then he had. Duncan saw the horror on Methos' face and quickly realized that Methos mistook his hesitation for regret rather than confusion on where to begin. He pulled Methos down to him and kissed him on the mouth. The gentle kiss quickly deepened into a passionate one that Methos could not mistake for anything but desire. When Duncan relinquished his kiss, he looked Methos in the eyes.
"I've never been with a man and don't know what to do. I want to make you happy. Help me. Tell me what to do." Duncan's Scottish accent was easily discernable.
"Don't worry. Just do what feels good to you. If it has felt good to you, then it will feel good for me too."
Duncan realized the wisdom in Methos' statement and began to explore Methos' body. He had never caressed a man before and the feel of the sinewy Immortal's chest underneath his hands was a delightful experience. It was a new territory to explore. He'd been with hundreds of women in his 400 years, but had never been with a man. He began kissing the Immortal's chest and tasting the salty ocean on his skin. He found the nipples and began playing with them, rolling them between his fingers and suckling them like Methos had his own. The pleasure he felt in kissing and tasting Methos surprised him and filled him with wonder. Duncan began kissing the Immortal and found his swimsuit bulging as his own had been just a few short moments ago. He helped relieve Methos of his suit, and began sucking on the erect shaft of Methos cock. He then took his hands and began gripping the base of his penis. He sucked and groped until he felt Methos arching his back. He began slowly stroking the sensitive area underneath the sack and sucked on Methos' head. He tasted the beginning of his explosion and found it salty and slightly bitter, but continued his actions wanting to savor the experience; and then felt Methos explode in his mouth. He swallowed all of Methos and continued sucking until Methos was finished. He smiled and then lay down beside Methos. He was exhausted, but happier than he could remember in a long time. He closed his eyes and slept.
Duncan awoke a short time later to find himself alone on the beach. He felt chilled as a slight breeze blew over his body. When he looked down at himself, he was surprised to find himself naked, but then he remembered the events of the afternoon. He smiled. He'd made love to Methos. There was no other word for what they'd done this afternoon. He was so surprised at the ancient's actions, but he was thrilled too. He never thought their friendship would take this road, but now it seemed this was the next logical step and he had no regrets.
He continued thinking in this vein for several minutes, then stopped short. < Where was Methos? Why wasn't he here? Did he regret their actions? Maybe it had been a mistake and Methos' had fled as far away as possible. A chill ran through him when he realized he didn't feel the ancient Immortal nearby. He quickly found his swimsuit and dove into the ocean to wash off. Then he went into the bungalow to find his clothes and change. He didn't know where to look for Methos, or even if he should, but he did know this was not finished. He wasn't about to lose this relationship when it had just begun.
When Duncan entered the bungalow, he went into Methos' room and found his gear still dumped where he left it this afternoon. Duncan's fear that Methos had run away disappeared and he returned to his room, changing into a lightweight pair of pants and began performing a Kata to relax. Midway through his routine, he felt the familiar tingling in his spine and the hairs of his neck bristle with the approach of another Immortal. Looking at the doorway, he was relieved to see it was Methos. He finished his routine, mopped his face and arms with the towel he'd left on the chair and went to welcome Methos back.
Methos closed the refrigerator after he placed the Colby and Meunster cheese into the crisper drawer. Realizing he didn't have his customary beer in hand as he completed his domestic chores, he opened the door again to grab a bottle of Guiness. As Duncan watched this little scene he laughed and Methos frowned. Seeing Methos' dislike of his reaction, he went over to hug him and Methos returned the embrace. Duncan kissed him lightly on the neck and started to kiss him on the mouth, but Methos pulled back, breaking the embrace. Methos looked at the Highlander, seeing the mixture of love and confusion in his liquid brown eyes.
"We need to talk, Duncan. <I've got to make him think this was a fluke. "This afternoon was wonderful, but I know Duncan Macleod, the eternal Boy Scout doesn't have sex with men. We both got carried away. You haven't had a woman in your life for awhile and you were feeling relaxed and loving. I was there and ....well you know the rest." Methos handed Ducan a beer from the bag and unloaded the remaining groceries. When the bags were empty, he continued his monologue. < I've got to convince him that it isn't a good idea for us to continue down this road. "A relationship between us isn't a good idea. We're Immortal and there can be only one or have you forgotten that key rule. People will come for us, or one of us, and it is not a good idea to have your partner used as bate or revenge." He walked into the living room and looked out toward the ocean, facing away from his friend, he watched the waves slap against the sand. "We both know that our friends and people we care about have been used against us. Magnify that risk about 100 fold when you have two very strong Immortals together and you see that a relationship between us is not a good idea. We can't continue down this road; it is too dangerous for our safety." <Appeal to his sense of self preservation- check, Appeal to his need to protect his "clan"- check. That should convince him this is not a good idea. He turned around and looked into Duncan's eyes, waiting for his reaction.
Duncan looked at Methos with confusion and hurt. He swallowed the lump that lay in his mouth, stopping his words from forming and replied to his friend's speech. "Methos, I knew what I was doing on the beach and it didn't happen because I hadn't had a woman for awhile or because I let my guard down; it happened because I wanted it too." He walked toward Methos, turning him away from the window, and lifted his chin to make eye contact with the Ancient Immortal. "When we were in your apartment last night, I realized how I felt about you, but I decided not to act on those feelings because our friendship means too much to me. I need a friend more than I need a lover." Duncan reached out and grabbed Methos' hands. "If you want this too, then I will be ecstatic. If you don't want to move our relationship beyond friendship, then that's okay. I just want you in my life."
Duncan looked at Methos, watching for any change in the man's expression, watching for acceptance of his words, but Methos' face remained a blank form. "I've never considered having a sexual relationship with a man before, but you're different. The fact that you are male doesn't matter." Duncan squeezed his hand and with the other hand gently caressed is cheek. "No. This isn't coming out right. I mean.... Methos, I find you attractive, but the attraction isn't just physical. There is a mental connection too; I trust you. You know all about me, about the Game and I don't have to explain why other Immortals will come after me. I don't have to hide my true nature from you. We can talk about our history and not allude to past experiences in masked statements. Please let's give *us* a try. If it doesn't work out then I still want to be your friend, you're an important part of my life." He looked into his eyes, hoping for some sign of acceptance.
As Duncan spoke, a wave of relief washed over Methos and he walked Duncan toward the couch against the wall. The two men sat down and looked at each other. "Duncan. I want your friendship, but I also want you in my life. I'm glad you don't want to forget what happened this afternoon. Neither do I. I wasn't sure if that is what you wanted and I value your friendship more than I want your body."
Smiling at his companion, he continued. "It is important to have friends that know about my Immortality and the Game. I don't have to lie to you and keep on my toes to come up with some twisted explanation of things that happen in my life or remarks that I make. Sometimes I remember historical information and comment on it, then people say, 'You talk as if you were there'. It's hard sometimes not to be able to explain that yes I was there and they have their information all wrong. Shakespeare had it right you know, 'Oh, What a tangled web we weave, when first we start to deceive.' Sometimes I can't remember whom I told what to or when certain events happened so I can alter them to fit the times I'm living in. It gets rather confusing."
Duncan leaned over and kissed Methos on the mouth, a soft kiss, a welcome kiss. Methos returned the kiss and looked into his eyes, seeing the love and acceptance he never thought to view in Duncan's face.
"I don't fear that you'll die of old age or sickness. Of course, you may be dead tomorrow if one of our kind decides he likes your body a foot shorter, but I will learn to handle that uncertainty. Someone will always be after one or the both of us. Of course, there can be only one, takes on new meaning when you have a relationship with an Immortal. This is uncharted territory for both of us and we will learn together, my Highlander."
Methos finished his beer and walked to the kitchen for another. He brought back a second one for the Highlander as well. Gazing at Mac sitting on the couch and realizing that this man was his 'lover' sent shivers down his spine. <Lover, I used that word with Alexa. How can I love MacLeod when she's only been dead a few weeks?
"Alexa made me feel alive. She made me realize that living involves more than hiding in obscure places, rarely interacting with others. I thought I'd lost that desire, that need to live, but I now realize it was just buried." Unable to keep the grin from his face, he leaned over and placed a small kiss on Duncan's forehead. "Thank you. I want to live. Do you realize how many lifetimes I have lived in 5000 years? I don't even remember my life before my first death. It's a real pain to keep reinventing yourself every 40-50 years and until I met Alexa, I didn't have a reason to live for a long time. When she died, I thought I had lost the desire to live again, but now you've given me a reason."
Methos speech overwhelmed Duncan so much that he couldn't respond for several minutes after he finished. He hadn't thought what it would be like to live that many different lives, to push one self for a reason to live so often. Duncan had many careers in his short life: warrior, freedom fighter, dancer, newspaper reporter, antique dealer, and dojo owner to name a few, but it was overwhelming to think how many different people Methos had been in his 5000 years. He realized there was so much about this man that he didn't know and he looked forward to exploring Methos' past as well as being part of his future. Methos wanted him in his life and Duncan was important to him. He looked at Methos with love in his eyes and went to embrace the ancient Immortal again. This time Methos did not step back, but rather returned the embrace with even more enthusiasm then before.
They kissed each other warmly and with obvious affection, Methos deepening the kiss as he explored Duncan's mouth. His hands moved across the Highlander's body, going underneath the Highlander's light shirt and finding his nipples already aroused, then running his fingers across the nubs and playing with them. A loud groan came from Duncan as Methos continued his play and Duncan began returning the play, but Methos stopped him.
"I want to make love to you Duncan. Let me explore your body. I've wanted this to happen since we first met and now let *me* enjoy *my* fantasy."
Duncan nodded and continued to kiss Methos and enjoy the ancient man's caress. Methos' hands explored Duncan's chest, still slightly oily from the lotion earlier, his hands slid over it easily. He explored each rib and muscle as his fingers roamed over their new playground. Methos massaged Duncan's shoulders and his pectoral muscles as he marveled at the great strength behind the man. Needing to see the Highlander's chest, he swiftly pulled his shirt off of him, then stepped back and stood in awe for several seconds taking in the expanse of hard muscle. He quickly took off his own shirt so he could savor the skin to skin contact of his lover and resumed his exploring kiss.
He continued to kiss Duncan and reveled in the warm moistness that was Duncan's mouth. Their tongues danced and played hide and seek in each other's mouth, then settled down to savor the unique taste of each other. Methos knew that Duncan's taste would be wonderful, but he didn't realize how exquisite a kisser he would be. Relishing each swirl of his tongue and each dance they made, he slowly dropped down to his knees and brought the Highlander with him.
They continued to kiss as Methos tugged on the Highlander's pants, then removed his own clothing. Pulling Duncan into a reclining position, he lay down facing Duncan as he continued to kiss and caress his body. He felt his erection straining with the need for release, but was reluctant to let go because he enjoyed the foreplay too much. Duncan began making soft moans with the anticipation of the release he ached for. Methos kissed his way down the Highlander's chest, stopping to nip and caress as he traveled to his shaft. He grabbed the shaft with his slightly slick hands and began massaging the erection as he kissed the tip and licked the precum. He hastened his hand movements while he began sucking and swirling with his tongue. Duncan came with a loud groan; his sweat slicked body collapsing from the exertion. Methos continued to lick and kiss Duncan's erection until it deflated to its non aroused state. He kissed his way up to the Highlander's face and lay his head in the crook of his shoulder.
Duncan lay there for a few minutes, sated in this new experience, but wanting to please Methos as his lover had pleased him. Methos was an expert lover, one that Duncan hoped to emulate. Duncan began kissing Methos on the nose, face, and neck and was rewarded with a loud sigh for his efforts. Duncan began to massage Methos' chest, starting at the top of his shoulders and working his way down to the soft dark curls at the top of Methos' groin. He then took each leg and continued the massage, neglecting the sensitive area in the middle of Methos' body. Methos' erection was uncomfortable and he cried for Duncan to take him. Duncan reached for Methos' weeping cock and wiped the precum off of it. Adding his own saliva to the essence and cupping Methos' buttocks as he slipped his fingers between the man's cheeks, sliding them up and down the crevice, lightly pushing at the puckered opening in the center. Methos groaned louder and lifted his hips to allow Duncan easier access to the sensitive opening. Duncan slowly pushed one finger into the puckered opening and found his prostate and slowly caressed the gland with his finger, as his other hand reached in front of Methos to caress his erection. Soon Methos' control was nonexistent and he allowed himself to release his built up passion. He came into Duncan's fingers while calling his name. After the orgasm, Duncan pulled himself up towards Methos and spooned him as they both fell into an exhausted sleep.
It was dusk when the two men woke from their nap and they both agreed they needed showering. Cleansed and redressed, the two men went into the kitchen to prepare for dinner. They decided on a menu and began to prepare the meal. They cooked in relative silence, each man reliving the past afternoon and trying to sort his feelings about the other. They ate dinner, cleaned up and retired to the living room.
Both men began to talk at once. Methos nodded to Duncan to go ahead.
"Methos. Today has been an emotional roller coaster and I must say I have enjoyed the ride. I don't know how to tell you all the things going on in my head. I just know I am happier than I've been in a very long time."
He crossed to the other side of the room where Methos was sitting and embraced him. He lay his head on Methos' shoulder, resting it on the ancient Immortal's chest.
"Duncan. I understand. This is new for you. We will take it slowly and I won't push you into doing anything you don't want to do. I meant what I said earlier. Life will be very complicated from now on if we want to be together, especially with the Gathering at hand, but I am willing to take those chances because life without you is unthinkable."
Duncan's hand caressed his lover's chest and he watched with fascination as the nipples sprang to attention with each successive swirl. Remembering this afternoon's wonderful turn of events, he shared his joys and fears with Methos. "I knew I had feelings for you before we left Paris, but I never thought I would act on them. I want you here with me; I don't want to wake up one day to find you gone."
Listening to Duncan's heartbeat as he lay next to him, Methos ran his fingers through Duncan's long curls. "I'm glad "we" happened." Methos said as he kissed Duncan on the lips. "I know I have some bad habits, especially the one where I run away rather than face the world, but I want to be here with you. I realize I need to live, to be with people and I need you. I'm ready to live again, not just exist, hiding in libraries rarely interacting with people, unaware of time passing. You've made me remember that life is important. Live Highlander, grow stronger, fight another day."
"I will Methos. I will live, grow stronger, fight another day and you will be there beside me, living, growing stronger and hopefully not fighting." Duncan answered softly as he lifted his head from Methos' chest and gave him a soft kiss.
The two men looked at each other seeing their love reflected in each other's eyes; both men anticipating the new life they were ready to embark upon.
They each got up from their respective position to go to their rooms. Duncan came out with his luggage and so did Methos. They laughed as they saw each man had the same idea. They decided Duncan's room was bigger and that is where they would spend the week. Methos moved his luggage into Duncan's room. They both undressed and got ready for bed. With Methos' head resting on the Highlander's shoulder, the two men fell into a deep sleep.
Finis----To be continued
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