Disclaimer: Zen&nancy donít own Duncan, Methos, Joe, or anyone else from the Highlander Universe. No money made here, no malicious intent. Characters, concept etc. owned by Greg Widen, Rysher, Panzer/Davis and a bunch of guys who make a heck of a lot more money than we do. Please donít pick on us, itís all in good fun.

Story title borrowed without permission from Joni Mitchell.

Rated NC-17 for homoerotic content

Thanks to Maygra for all her inspiration and encouragement. Special thanks to Moonpuppy for being beta goddess at the House Of Slack. Zen&nancy take the blame for any remaining mistakes.

Case Of You-Duncan

by Zen&nancy

"Duncan, wake up, someone's here!"

He's shaking me. Not the nicest way to wake up, but not the worst either. The first thing my brain registers is his hands on my shoulders. I reach for them, trying to pull him closer.

"Hmm?" he's squirming, and I can't catch him with my eyes closed.

"Wake up! I think it's Joe."

Wake up? Why? I wish he'd stop moving and come closer... I guess I have to open my eyes.

"What?" I ask him sleepily. He's looking up at me from under my arm, panic in his eyes. I don't want to deal with whatever he's saying. I pull him closer, nuzzling my head into his throat. Waking up and finding him in my bed is more wonderful than I could have imagined. Maybe if I kiss him he'll shut up.

"Duncan! Wake up now! Joe's at the door."

"Okay," I mumble into his shoulder, trying to understand if I've agreed to moving. I tighten my arms around him, just in case.

Joe's voice calls out to us from across the room.

"Mac? You here? I called..."

Methos has frozen, like an animal caught in a hunter's sights. My half awake brain realizes that he is genuinely frightened, and I make myself sit up. I grin at him, hoping it will help. I can see the panic fade and turn into indignation in his eyes. Well, that's better.

I laugh out loud, I can't help it, "Yeah, Joe, I'm here."

I can hear my friend following my voice to the stairs, Methos has curled into a fetal ball beside me, and he's got most of the blankets.

"Your phone's out, I thought... Holy Shit!"

He's standing at the bottom of the stairs, gaping at us. Methos has caught my hysteria and is laughing with me.

"Hi Joe... " I manage to get it out, but it only throws me into another bout of laughter.

Joe stares at us blatantly for another minute, then chuckles along with us.

"I'll be damned... I never thought you two would stop dancing around each other. I guess you're going to tell me you want me to keep this off the records, too?"

That would be a very good idea. A dozen different disturbing thoughts I didn't want to have to think about yet come crowding in. My lover has buried himself under the blanket, almost exposing me in the process. I think we all need some coffee.

"Adam, you can't hide under Mac's covers forever," Joe is teasing Methos.

"Want to bet?" an ominous voice growls back from under the blankets.

My poor Methos, I know the thing you hate most is feeling like you have to explain yourself. Now you'll pull away from me... definitely coffee, I'm not awake enough for any of this.

My boxers are lying on the floor halfway between Joe and the coffee table, and there's no way the old man is going to give up any of those blankets. Oh well, I guess there's no hope for it. Bounding out of the bed, I get to my shorts before I can think about the fact that I've just crossed the room naked.

I look up at Joe, trying for casual, "So, where are we going for breakfast?"

He shakes his head at me, chuckling, as if to say, 'what the hell am I going to do with you, MacLeod'. Well, it's good to keep your Watcher guessing.

Methos' black jeans are under the coffee table. I walk half way back to Joe to grab them, and whip them across the room at him. They land squarely on the curled up form hiding under my covers, but he doesn't move.

My own jeans are next to the couch and I pull them on before going to the kitchen to make the coffee.

Joe has gone back to the couch, picking up the hair tie I was wearing last night from the cushion and putting it on the coffee table before sitting.

Holding up one finger to him, and motioning to the coffee brewing, I go back to the bed, where Methos is still taking refuge under the covers. He fights me when I make a grab for the covers, but after a minute I win, pulling the blankets off him in a satisfying sweep. He scowls at me, and scrambles for his pants, which have fallen to the other side of the bed. Giving me a furious look he stalks into the living room to flop in the opposite corner of the couch from Joe.

Sighing, I go back to the kitchen to pour us all coffee, hoping this will be easier after caffeine.

I hear Joe speaking from the other side of the room, "I tried to call, did you know your phone's out?"

Pulling three cups from the cupboard, I answer him distractedly, "No, I'm sorry Joe. Maybe the storm knocked the lines down." Yeah, and maybe we broke it when Methos threw me to the floor last night, catching the cord under my feet. I remember hearing it go flying across the room, and not caring at all. Well, the memory is more than worth the price of a new phone. I can hear Joe speaking to Methos in a low voice, but not what he's saying. I hope he's okay. I pour the coffee, anxious to go back to him.

He won't look at me when I put the steaming mug in his hand, his fingers close around it automatically, but he doesn't acknowledge me.

I hand Joe his cup, trying to cover my distress. Going back to the counter to get my own coffee, I feel like I have to break the silence. I do it from the safe distance of the kitchen counter, calling back to Joe, "Sorry for the shock, Joe, but you did just walk in."

He looks at me incredulously, "Your door was half open, Mac. I was afraid I was gonna' find your head three feet from your body and this place blown to pieces." He looks around at the magazines and clothing and the broken glass of my favorite crystal candy dish and laughs again, "Well, blown to pieces... How did you manage to wind up with socks in the fireplace? Never mind, I don't think I want to know."

I grin sheepishly at him, "Sorry Joe."

My eyes search out Methos, drawn up as small as possible into the corner of the couch, around his coffee cup. I hope he can see that I'm not sorry at all.

Taking a deep breath, I go back to the living room to sit facing them on the coffee table.

"Seriously though, Joe, can we keep this between ourselves?"

Joe gives us each a hard look before answering, "Look, guys, I don't even know what this is yet." His hands gesture between us. Methos looks even more uncomfortable. "All I can say is I hope you're smart enough to keep from getting each other killed, and I'm glad you finally figured it out. I've been watching you two throw sparks at each other for two years now."

Wow. Has he really seen this between us for the past two years? Was it that obvious? I wonder what Methos thinks about that? I know if I asked him he'd deny it, but I'm sure it bothers him.

"So you'll keep it off the records?" I ask Joe. Maybe if Methos hears Joe say that he will, he'll relax a little.

"Yeah, for now, Mac. At least until you guys send out the wedding invitations."

Methos laughs shortly at that, it's not a pretty sound. His look challenges Joe from the other side of the couch, "You're taking this awfully well, aren't you even going to accuse me of seducing him?"

I hope he's only as angry as he sounds, and not ten times more so, at finding himself stuck in my living room trying not to explain himself to Joe. I'm afraid he's going to bolt. He's so tense, every muscle in his face is clenched. It reminds me of what he looked like last night, standing on the deck. Oh love, please don't run, you need what I have to give you...

Joe looks him over carefully before replying, "Oh, I don't think there's any point in accusing you of anything, you'll just deny it. For the record, I think he seduced you, and I think you loved it."

Joe grins at him, and I am elated to see the corners of Methos' mouth curl into a wry grin in return.

"You're awfully good at what you do, Joe Dawson," he smirks.

My Watcher rubs the tattoo on the inside of his left wrist, "Yeah, well, I've had some interesting teachers." I wonder if I'm one of them?

Methos looks like he needs to get out of here, now. I watch him staring blankly at the torn magazines scattered on the floor for another minute. I remember what it felt like to lie beneath him on the hard floor, his hands holding me down.

I stand, draining my mug, and ask them again where we're going for breakfast. Joe takes my hint and lets go of whatever question he was phrasing in his head, staring at my extremely uncomfortable lover.

We go to a cafe two blocks down the river that I eat at a lot. The place is noisy and bustling with the business lunch crowd. I know the girl who's doubling as waitress and hostess this afternoon, and we get a table in the back right away. Methos catches her attention, ordering a Belgium ale for himself before we've sat down. I frown at him, but of course it has no effect whatsoever.

Joe and I get more coffee, and he tells me about what happened last night after I left him. Peter of York was exactly what he looked like, a very young Immortal with far too much money and confidence, and not enough common sense. I can't help feeling guilty. I shouldn't have let Methos have his way, I should have tried to talk to the boy, maybe I could have saved him...

I'm glad when the conversation moves on to other Immortals. Joe tells me about a friend of mine who just had a gallery opening in the states. Methos is overly interested in his beer, but he looks more comfortable now that the topic had moved from the quickening that he took so unexpectedly last night.

Simone comes back to take our order. Joe wants quiche, I order for both of us and send her away before the old man can ask for another beer. I watch her weaving across the crowded room, aware of the lengthening silence.

Joe laughs, cocking his head at us across the table, "You two sure as hell aren't acting like two people drowning in the afterglow, you've barely said five words to each other. Is there something more here you're not telling me?"

My friend is the most perceptive mortal I have ever known, and he never fails to offer his opinion. I'm almost relieved that he's thrown it out in the open like this though, I've been trying to reach Methos with my eyes since we sat down, and he won't acknowledge me. I do want to say something to him about last night, badly, but I'm not sure what. Somehow I don't think 'I liked it' is what he wants to hear, although it's true. I know he's angry, mostly at himself, but maybe at me as well.

I know I'm blushing, I have to say something. I look Joe in the eye, reminding myself that he's my friend, and that he cares about me. Joe is not a judgmental man, and whatever I tell him, as long as it's the truth, he'll accept it.

"No, it's um, a quickening thing. Things got a little out of hand last night, and I'm afraid that Methos might have some regrets... but I don't."

I look at Joe when I speak, because answering him is easier than looking at my lover, although my words are for him, not Joe. It didn't come out anything like I wanted it to, but it's the truth. I hope that's enough. I want to tell him that I understand that he's angry with himself, that he fears the way he reacts to a quickening, but that I love him, and that there was nothing wrong about what we did. I was only trying to help him. He was so close to the edge when I found him standing on the deck last night... and then something happened, something about the way he held me down, made me want it. I wanted to make him give me all his aggression and his passion and his chaos. I'm still amazed that he let me, that he trusted me that much.

Joe looks irritated, as he always does when I give him what he thinks is an evasive answer. I'm afraid to look at Methos to see his reaction.

"Well, that explains everything," Dawson grumbles, looking pointedly across the table at Methos. I finally follow his gaze, just in time to see him rise fluidly from his chair. The beer is empty, he never touched his breakfast.

"Well, it's been lovely, but I think I'll be leaving now. Have a few errands to run today. See you back at the barge Mac," he doesn't even glance at me before he goes.

"Methos, wait..." I don't know what my excuse is, maybe to give him my keys, but he doesn't turn around, so it doesn't matter.

"Well, looks like you handled that really well Mac."

I let myself take just a little of my frustration out on Joe, "Well, you being so bloody blatant about it didn't help either!"

"Relax Mac, he'll come back, he said he would."

"He never has before," I tell him morosely. Well, that's not entirely true, he came back yesterday, but yesterday seems like a world away. I curse Peter of York for not even giving us a chance.

"Has he ever said that he would before?"

"No, of course not, you know him, he just disappears."

"But this time he said he wouldn't. Trust me Mac, he was pissed, but in spite of that he bothered to tell you that he'd go back to the barge. He's not going to leave."

"I wish I could be that sure," I can't believe I'm talking to Joe about Methos like this.

"Listen Mac, I am sorry that I walked in on you two this morning. You should've had time to talk to each other. The first morning after is always pretty uncomfortable, and me barging in sure didn't help."

My face is red again, I can feel it, but I'm grinning.

"Well Joe, actually, yesterday morning would have been the first morning after, except that Methos decided not to share it with me. He was on his way to India when he changed his mind, so I didn't see him till late afternoon." The total absurdity of what I've just said makes me grin, but all I've done is tell him the truth.

Joe's giving me the look that says I'm on his last nerve, "Do you want to explain what the hell you're talking about, or am I supposed to guess?"

As I almost always do, I relax as soon as I begin to talk to him. Telling Joe can't hurt, it usually helps. "Methos showed up on the barge the night before last, after midnight. He woke me up and sat on my couch and drank my whiskey like he always does. He never talks when he comes back, and I didn't think it was going to be any different..."

I falter in my story here, not sure how to say with words what passed between us when we were sitting on the couch. I don't know how to explain what made me take Methos' hand and force him to feel what's between us. After that everything happened so fast, I don't know how to explain without giving Joe all the vivid details.

"And?" Joe prompts me gently.

"Do you really want to hear this?" I guess I need to be drawn out a little. Now that I've eaten and I'm really awake, I realize I'm feeling a little more jumbled up inside than I thought I was.

"Mac, you are not going to shock me. I've been watching Immortals almost half my life. It's not all that uncommon. Most Immortals over a couple hundred years are bisexual. I guess it stands to reason... but you're almost always the exception to the rule, Mac. With Methos, this is the first time you've had a male lover, isn't it?"

"Yeah. I guess I should have figured it wouldn't really freak you out, nothing does."

Joe laughs, "Well Mac, after you've seen guys fighting with swords, chopping each other's heads off and playing conductor to a pyrotechnics show, just about anything people do under the sheets seems kinda tame."

Joe lets me sit silently for a minute, remembering everything that's happened over the past forty eight hours. It feels like a fortnight. Simone brings us more coffee, giving me a little more time.

"So he showed up at two am and woke me up and I was so glad to see him... I didn't think he was going to come back this time, Joe. After Kronos, I don't know if I would have. I thought he would erase himself, disappear for a hundred years and become someone else. And I was so relieved that he decided not to, I couldn't help it. I asked him if he felt it too... Since the double quickening, there's something between us, like a connection... and then he kissed me."

Joe grins, I feel myself blush, but make myself keep talking. "The next thing I know he's trying to fly out the door and I'm standing there yelling at him and then he draws his blade and I'm yelling at him with his broadsword on my neck."

"Well, you usually lose all your brains when you're in love, but this sounds like you've both gone off the deep end. Did he really pull his sword on you? That doesn't sound like Adam."

"It wasn't Adam, it was Methos," I tell him, not very comfortable with his assessment of the situation. It makes me feel strange to hear Joe talk about me loving Methos. I do, more than life, I guess it's just the idea of the rest of the world knowing it that I'm not used to.

Joe's eyebrows disappear beneath his bangs. "Yeah, that does sort of sharpen the picture for me. In that case, I'd say you were being really stupid."


"So then what happened?"

If I can't tell him this, I'm never going to be able to tell him about last night, and I want to, I trust Joe's advice. I take a deep breath.

"I lunged at him and landed on top of him on the floor, and he didn't use his sword."

"I see."

"Well, no, not exactly, I mean, we did talk after that, I mean, before..."

Great, I'm blushing again.

"I get the picture. So he left while you were sleeping, because he's Methos, and then sometime before he actually disappeared he realized he was being an idiot and came back, and you guys came to Maurice's."

I shake my head at him in wonderment, "You're incredible."

He smiles, "You guys aren't all that complicated, you just like to think you are."

"I'm glad you feel that way."

Maybe you can help me figure out how to tell him it's okay.

"He seemed pretty happy when I saw him last night. Maybe kinda manic, but with him that's not necessarily a bad thing," Joe grins at me.

"No, he was being reckless. With that kid, he was trying to prove something, Joe. I think he's afraid. I wish I knew why."

"Why, so you could try and fix it?" His voice is kind, "If I were him, the answer would be everything. But he's doing this because he wants to Mac."

"I guess so," I don't know why, but hearing Joe say that makes me feel better. "He was so... alive last night."

I smile, remembering him faking my accent in the bar, sneering at the pretentious Peter of York. There is a part of me that loved seeing him like that, and treasures the memory.

"He was acting about a tenth of his age."

"I think you're good for him, Mac."

"You do, really?" I can't hide my anxiousness to hear it.

Joe laughs a little, "Yeah, I do."

"Joe, how am I going to convince him of that? I have to," I know I sound desperate, but there's no point in trying to hide how I really feel from Joe.

"I think he already knows, Mac, that's why he came back to you. Doesn't mean he likes it though. Come on, back up a little. So everything was good, you came to the bar, and he picked up your fight..."

I guess I should be glad that he has this gift for dragging things out of me, at least it makes it easier.

"He didn't expect to kill the kid. He didn't want that quickening, Joe. He doesn't really handle them very well, I don't think. Actually, I don't think it's just a fear of taking too many, I don't think he ever has. Sometimes, afterwards, it's hard to let your guard down and absorb the energy. It's like, the enemy is inside you now, and your instinct is to keep fighting. Instead you have to let that person inside you. You have to let their quickening become a part of you. When you don't expect it, or don't want it... fighting it only makes it worse. He was... I don't know how to explain it, he needed to let the rage out, and I... encouraged him to."

"On you," Joe clarifies softly, not interrupting the flow of my words.

I nod, continuing, "He needed to let go Joe, he needed to keep fighting and winning, it didn't matter that he already had. Does that make any sense?"

"Oh yeah," Joe responds quietly. He waits to make sure that I'm through before he speaks again. He gives me an odd look, as if he's trying to gauge how I will react to his opinion. "He hurt you, and you liked it, a lot. Is that it? And now he's freaked on you?"

The grain of the table top is intricate, I wonder if eventually my ability to blush will simply atrophy from over use...

"I guess that about covers it."

"Jeeze Mac!"

"You said you wouldn't be shocked," I remind him, fighting to control my embarrassment.

"I did. Okay, I'm not, but what the hell were you thinking? Look Mac, I understand what you're talking about, with the quickening thing. It's something I've read quite a bit about. You know, it still shocks the hell out of me that he's even sane. But I have to question your judgment here, Mac. Was throwing yourself at him in a situation like that really a smart thing to do?"

"I trust him, Joe."

"I know you do Mac, probably more than he trusts himself. But there's a difference between trusting someone and testing that trust."

"I guess I just didn't see it that way. I still don't. I didn't do it to test his trust, or mine. I did it because it was what he needed, and I... wanted it."

"Hey, Mac, I'm not going to judge you here, I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with that, as long as Methos can handle it. I think you have a hell of a lot more faith in him that he has in himself. How do you think he feels about this?"

"I don't know! I wish I could tell him that he didn't do anything wrong, that I wanted it, but I don't think that's what he wants to hear."

"Probably not, but I think you have to tell him anyway."

"I hope I get the chance."

"Don't worry Mac, you will."

The cafe has thinned out considerably, and I realize we've been sitting here all afternoon. I wonder where Methos is, and if he'll be waiting for me on the barge when I get back.

"Thanks Joe. I guess I really needed to talk about him."

"It's no problem Mac, I wish I had some advice for you, but I think you two are just going to have to be honest with each other and try to talk it out."

"That's good advice all by itself. I should get going... I want to clean up the living room before he gets back."

"That's probably a really smart idea, Mac. Don't let him have any more beer before you get him to eat something, either."

"Well, that's a battle I'm not sure I can win, but I'll try."

Joe laughs, "You do love him, don't you Mac?"

This time it's not such a shock, it feels good to meet his eyes comfortably and tell him, "Yes, I do."

Joe smiles, standing up and shrugging on his coat, "I'm happy for you."

"See you around?" The weight of my sword in my coat reminds me that I didn't do my kata this morning.

"Yeah, I'll call you. Mac," Joe's hand catches my arm, "be careful, don't get hurt."

I smile back at him, even though it hurts, "If I do, it will be worth it." It's true, I wouldn't trade the past forty eight hours for anything, no matter what comes of it.

The barge is dark and quiet when I get back. I'm trying not to be disappointed that he's not here. I stopped at the market on the way home and picked up some fresh vegetables to make dinner with, and more beer.

It's really not as bad as it looks, it takes ten minutes to pick up the glass and magazines and right the furniture. Opening the porthole windows and airing the place out seems like a good idea. I rummage in the desk for the Mt. Fuji incense Amanda sent me from Japan. I find an old brass burner in my chest and light the cones.

It's too quiet in here. I flip the radio on, it's tuned to a classical station and I leave it be, turning the volume up a little so I can hear it in the kitchen. What should I make him for dinner? I'm not hungry, but I want something that will keep me busy.

I rummage around in the cabinets, pulling things down from the shelves at random. I can't help being aware of the space near the door, anticipating the moment it will open. What will he say? Nothing, if I know my Methos, but maybe that's what he needs...

I wish I understood him better, sometimes I feel like I'm completely in the dark with him, and sometimes I feel like he's inside my head and he always has been. Right now I have no idea what's going on in his ancient head. I know that he fears the strength inside him, and that terrifies me. I'm afraid that he'll hold back in battle because of it, because he fears the capacity for destruction inside himself. I could lose him. It's almost an obsession, this fear of him losing to the game, I am so torn between my desire to have him with me, and my fear of exposing his identity.

I'd like to ask him about the difficulty he seems to have absorbing his quickenings, but I'm afraid he won't talk to me, and I'll make things worse. I'm far more concerned about that than what we did last night. I don't have any idea why, but it feels right to submit to him. I trust him completely, and it feels good to show him, until he cannot possibly doubt it. It was that, and then there was the feeling of his teeth sinking into my skin, marking me and drawing my blood to his lips. I'm shaking. Just the memory of the shocking, explosive pleasure of his mouth unnerves me. I wish it were that simple for him, but I know it's not.

So what the hell will I say to him? How do I make this right? Maybe Joe was right, and I shouldn't have let it happen like that. But, what was I supposed to do? He needed it. I was afraid of what would happen if I didn't force him to let me into his turmoil, I was afraid he would leave. It's always that. I know I have to get over it, and I know that it's very likely that he will, eventually, but worrying about it won't keep him here.

I don't want to be this jumbled mess of emotions when he walks in, so I make myself concentrate on the food lying on the counter in front of me. The slanting light of dusk is pouring through the porthole windows, it must be almost six, I wonder where he is? Well, I'll try to just relax and make him a nice dinner, I want this to feel like home when he comes back.

He's knocking. I wish he felt comfortable enough to just walk in. Panic stops my brain from doing anything for several seconds. I take a big, deep, breath, forcing myself to calm down. It's going to be okay, because I love him and he's here. He really came back.

I open the door, drinking in the sight of him. I want to pull him into my arms, but I won't let myself. I smile at him instead, letting him see how happy it makes me to have him here. I'm suddenly nervous again, so I head straight back to the kitchen and the pot simmering on the stove. It's bubbling nicely, smells like it's going to be really good.

"Soup?" he asks me, standing in the middle of the room as if he's not sure where to put himself.

"No, stew. I know you didn't get to eat breakfast, and I figured stew would sound good on a day like this."

He smiles at me, obviously appreciating the rich smells of dinner filling the barge. "It smells absolutely wonderful. Thank you."

He looks like he's been out in the cold all day, his cheeks are pink, and so is the tip of his nose.


"What is it Duncan?"

"Thanks for coming back." It's the only thing that will come out of my mouth.

"I'll always come back, Duncan."

Relief floods over me, and I feel myself relax for the first time all day. I can do this, I can give him as much time as he needs.

"This is almost ready, do you want to build us a fire?" I want to give him something to do, make him feel less like a guest.

"Sure, will it earn me a beer?"

I laugh, remembering Dawson's warning, but I figure I'll get food in him soon enough, it's safe.

"Here, advance payment," I tell him, handing him a bottle.

I go back to getting dinner together, not wanting to mess up the easy familiarity between us with words. I'm proud of the meal I've made him. I know he's crazy about bread hot from the oven and the loaves I've baked turned out perfectly. He's standing near the fireplace watching me, a faraway look in his eyes. Are you here with me Methos?

"Dinner," I call to him softly, hoping I'm not jarring him back from somewhere.

He gets us each another beer from the refrigerator and joins me at the table. He eats ravenously, pausing every third bite to tell me my food is fabulous. I take great pleasure from watching him ripping his bread and soaking the large chunks in the gravy of his stew. It makes me happy to watch him eat the food I've made, it's one of those things I've been taking covert pleasure in for years. Now that there's so much more between us, it's even nicer, to sit here and watch him devour my dinner. I'm glad I made two loaves of bread.

I know nothing has been resolved, but I feel a calm between us that mellows all my apprehension. We will talk, and I'll accept anything he tells me. I won't fight with him, even if I know he's wrong. So long as he's here, and I can be near him and love him, there will be time to convince him to trust us.

He's almost done with his second bowl of stew, I think it's a good time to start...

"Methos, I know I freaked you out this morning in the cafe, I'm sorry. We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. I would like to know what it is about what we did that you're having a problem with, but not until you're ready to tell me." Whew, that was hard. I am not going to push him.

"Why did you do it?" he asks me abruptly.

He sounds angry, but I won't let myself get upset. He needs me to be calm right now.

"Do what?" I'm not being coy, I want to give him the truth, and I want to be sure that I know exactly what he's asking.

"Throw yourself at me like that when you could see I was out of my head."

I don't let myself think before I answer. "Because you needed it, needed to let it out. You hold yourself so tight, Methos. I know that you think you have to, that you fear the capacity for rage inside you, but sometimes you have to let go. It's good to do it with someone who loves you." I watch his face, and he seems to take that okay.

My turn, love, "Why did you do it? Why did you want to fight Peter of York?"

That look, derisive and self critical and amused all at once, it's just so Methos.

"I don't know, I was happy, maybe I was trying to prove something to myself. That I wasn't afraid of living."

We're both quiet for a while, thinking about what we've revealed to each other. I know that it seems like a huge risk to him, loving me. I want to tell him not to be afraid so badly.

"Why do you trust me?" He asks me abruptly.

Again, I don't hesitate before I answer, letting the feelings form words by themselves, "There is no reason, there is no why, I just do. Maybe because I need you, or because I have no reason not to. I realized that while you were away you know, I have no reason not to trust you."

It doesn't seem to reassure him. I wonder if he's afraid he'll do something to lose my faith in him, as we did over Kronos. I feel so badly about that, for not being more certain of him.

"What did it mean to you, Duncan? To submit to me?" his whisper interrupts my thoughts.

Oh god, Methos, everything, how can I tell you? I smile at him, hoping he can feel how much I love him right now. "Everything," I'm not ashamed to give him the truth, "It was the most compelling thing I have ever felt. It was, life affirming, and intensely pleasurable."

His eyes are shadowed. I search his face hopefully, trying to see if he can accept that. He looks pleased, but the shadow of self criticism is still there, I can see it in the sarcastic twist of his smile. Sometimes I can't help wishing you weren't four thousand five hundred years older than me. How can I take away the jaded, bitter hurt in that smile?

"Can I ask you what it meant to you?" I want to bite my tongue, I swore I wasn't going to push him, but it really seems like he needs to tell me. I hold my breath, waiting to see if he'll answer me. I watch his Adam's apple bob as he swallows the last of his beer. I'm about to get up and get him another one when he speaks.

"Duncan, what happened with Kronos," he pauses, this looks hard for him. "It brought back a great deal more than bad memories..." His voice trails off and I wait patiently, I can give him all the time he needs. I love him so much, nothing is more important to me than this. "Maybe that's one of the reasons I can't bring myself to leave you. I need you. I need you because your goodness makes me remember the possibility for goodness inside myself. I did enjoy what we did last night, tremendously, Duncan. I hope you can understand why I am both awed and horrified by the way you gave yourself to me. Don't ever do that again, Duncan. Not like that, not after a quickening, please. I was not in control of myself. If you had told me to stop, that you didn't like something I was doing, I wouldn't have been able to. That terrifies me. That's not how it's supposed to be, love."

"If you keep giving me all these sweet endearments you'll swell my head completely. You do realize how it makes me feel to know that the world's oldest, most powerful Immortal desires my company, don't you?" What he has told me is incredible, overwhelming. I just want make him smile, to tell him again what it means to me to have him here with me.

"I desired your company for years before I met you, MacLeod," he laughs, and I can tell that he's telling the truth. Really? I don't know what to think about that.

"And I love you," he continues quietly. "I mean it though Duncan, I want you to promise me, never after I've taken one, not like that. I don't ever want to be anything but one hundred percent with you when we're together. I wasn't last night. I was lost in my own head, and that's dangerous."

I will swear to you anything, Methos, so long as you don't ask me to stop loving you. I take his hand across the table, needing the reassurance of his touch.

"Alright, Methos, I swear, on my love for you. I will give you space and time the next time you come back to me after a fight, and I won't throw myself on you." I can see him relax, his body losing it's rigid posture. "No matter how much I'd like to," I can't stop myself from adding, grinning at him.

"Thank you," he sounds so serious, I need to see him smile.

"You're welcome. Should I be offended, that it pleases you so greatly when I promise not to have sex with you?"

"Never that," he smiles at me, and my insides turn to jelly. How is it possible for me to love him as much as I do? This much love should kill you.

"Prove it," I taunt him, smiling. The self recrimination is gone from his smile, and there's desire in his hazel eyes. What it does to me, to see him like this and know it is me he desires... I can't remember anything ever affecting me so deeply. I love his eyes, even if half the time I can't read them at all.

"Come here," his voice is husky, he pushes his chair back from the table, making room for me in front of him.

I go to him, kneeling, and pull him into my arms. I have been needing this since he woke me up this morning. It feels so damn good to hold him. He kisses me, and my brain shuts down. He is so overpowering. His tongue glides across my lower lip and I open to him, shivering, as his tongue burrows into my mouth. With one kiss, he can make me want him so badly, that nothing else matters. I can't think, I can't reason, all I know is that I need him.

My fingers trail up the seam of his blue jeans, running lightly up the inside of his thigh. The cloth is soft and the seam worn, he lives in these jeans. I want to rip them off of him. His hand is buried in my hair, his strong fingers massaging my scalp, holding my head still for his kiss. I feel myself groan into his mouth, begging him with my tongue for more.

"Methos, I want you so badly," I gasp when he releases me.

"I know," he whispers back, his voice is rough and his breathing no more controlled than mine. To see him like this excites me more than anything. What is it about him that makes the sight of his arousal so devastating? He's usually so reserved, so inside himself and his five thousand years. To see him wild like this, panting from our kiss, makes me lose my mind.

His mouth is magnetic, I can't pull myself away from his lips. It still shocks me, how badly I need to have him. "Can I..." I mutter against his mouth. I can't pull my lips away from his long enough to ask for what I want.

"Yes, anything," he doesn't sound like he's any more in control of this than I am.

I pull him up out of his chair, wrapping him hungrily in my arms. It is such relief, to have him pressed against me. I needed this so badly. He fits nicely in my arms, I love the feel of him. He thrusts his hips against me once, and the explosion of pleasure is so intense, it runs from my groin to up to my head and back down again in a long shudder. He's going to kill me.

I take a deep breath, trying to find some control. I can't make my brain work. I imagine him naked, in my arms like this, and the image brings such longing that it's almost painful.

"I want..." I moan against his neck, trying to remember how to form words.

"What love, what do you want?" he whispers, holding me tighter.

"I want to look at you, I want to see you naked. You are so beautiful Methos."

He disengages himself from my arms, his hands on my chest pushing me back until he is just outside my reach. I watch him take a deep breath as an almost far off look settles on his face. Moving very slowly, he lifts the sweater over his head, and I realize he's going to give me what I asked for, and more. He is so amazing.

At this point the barge could burn and I don't think I could tear my eyes from the sight of him. His movements are perfectly controlled as he peels the sweater off. I'm mesmerized by the rise and fall of his rib cage with the deep, even breaths he takes. His arms raise slowly, above his head, his back arching in a long curve. He's magnificent, perfect, the most blatantly sexual creature I have ever seen. The erection trapped in my jeans is painful, I'm going to explode if he doesn't stop this soon. I watch with a mixture of wonder and dread as he bends himself over backwards, his hips thrust towards me.

He holds himself like that for a moment, letting me look at him, before his abdominals flex, bringing himself back up slowly. His eyes flick over to meet my stare for a second, and then, with no warning, he turns his head to the side and his hand goes to the frayed buttonhole of his jeans. With one smooth motion he jerks the button and zipper apart and the jeans fall from his hips.

I choke on the breath I was trying to take, it gets caught in my throat with a harsh sound. He doesn't look at me again. Instead, he shakes his hips a little, kicking the jeans off his feet. He stands perfectly still, his arms loose at his sides.

"Beautiful..." I breath, not realizing I have spoken aloud until he moves towards me.

His hands go to the buttons of my shirt, pushing them through the button holes quickly and efficiently. I shrug my shoulders, helping him slide the cloth off my back.

"But not nearly as remarkable as you," he tells me softly as the shirt drops from his hands to the floor.

"Do you really think so?" I ask him. He is so beautiful to me, in four hundred years, he is the most perfect creature I have ever encountered. I've never thought about him seeing me that way.

"Fishing for compliments MacLeod?"

"No!" It takes a second for my brain to kick in and realized he's only teasing me. Mischief sparkles in his eyes, and I want to kiss him. Instead, I try to explain, "No, it's only that I haven't spent much time contemplating a man's beauty. Am I really what you find desirable? I'm curious."

"Oh yes, you are far more than just desirable." His voice caresses me, "You are sensual, erotic to the point of being nearly magnetic. For two years I have suffered, resisting the urge to reach out and touch you."

His hands go to the waist of my jeans. I feel the back of his knuckles brush lightly against my stomach, and I shiver, trying to hold myself still for him. The jeans are pulled from my hips so quickly that I don't anticipate his touch when he slides the silk of my boxers slowly across my desperately hard cock. I moan, unable to contain the feeling of his hands on me at last. His warm hand wraps around the head of my cock, and I gasp, swaying on my feet. I'm not sure how much longer I can stand up.

"Come, I want to take you to bed."

Thank god. "Yes," I agree, unable to say more.

He takes my hand, leading me to my bed. Pulling me down with him onto the comforter, we can't get close enough fast enough. Everywhere he is touching me, I am on fire. I groan softly when his erection nestles against my hip, and the words I can't hold back spill out of me.

"You feel so good in my arms, Methos, I want to hold you forever... oh love, when you do that..."

He's mapping my hairline with his teeth and tongue, sucking little bites of me into his mouth. How did he figure out so quickly just what will reduce me to a shivering, moaning mess in his arms?

"Caro... I love your teeth, your mouth... Te me faut, toujours... Innamorato... J'aurais toujours faim de toi."

He is moving slowly from the back of my neck down my side, across my chest, touching me much too slowly with his fingertips, and then his mouth. He turns lovemaking into an art form.

"Methos, you make me feel so much... you could kill me like this... please, oh paramour, my only..."

His touch is gentle, almost reverent.

"Methos, please, I'm yours, only..."

He's moved lower, leaving a hot trail of kisses across my stomach. He nuzzles the base of my cock, caressing me with his mouth, everywhere but where I need him most. His hands rearrange me gently, moving me until he is satisfied.

It is impossible to stay still under his mouth. I'm so desperate for his touch that I cry out at the first touch of his lips on me. I think I will go insane from the pleasure. He is pressing these tiny, hot kisses up and down the length of my cock, and all I can do is hold myself up for his touch. He's cruel, and so sweet. He wants to make me scream...

"Oh Methos, when you touch me like this... pure heaven... please, don't tease. Methos... oh love..." the words spilling out of my mouth turn into a long moan as his tongue circles the tip of my cock delicately.

I can't stand it, it's too much and not enough at the same time. I hear myself, realizing that my moans are very nearly screams. As if he knows, exactly, just when I can take no more, he moves. Long, sweeping strokes of his tongue caress the underside of my cock.

Grinding my hips into the mattress beneath me brings no relief. His tongue is so hot... I feel his hands on my hips, holding me down, and now it's easy to hold still for him. He kisses the seeping head once more, before finally relenting, opening his mouth to draw me slowly inside.

Hot, wet suction, explosive pleasure. "Methos..." I moan his name, wishing I had the ability to tell him how much I love him.

He has total control over me, his hands on my hips press me firmly into the bed. I think if not for his hold on me I would just fly away. His tongue encourages me now, instead of teasing. Hard, quick strokes while he draws me deep into his throat.

"No one's ever... I've never felt with anyone," I'm panting, there's not enough oxygen flowing to my brain to form anything like a cohesive sentence.

"Mmm," he responds, sucking harder. The vibration of his voice against me almost sends me over the edge. I am so close...

My hands grasp his shoulders spasmodically now, my whole body convulsing with the waves of pleasure tearing through me.

His hand is between my legs, stroking lightly behind my balls. It feels so good, his touch is gentle and persistent. I hold my breath, trying to hold back the inevitable tidal wave building rapidly inside.

I realize my hips are moving, rocking in the rhythm of his mouth moving over me. His movements encourage me, until he is holding still for me, letting me thrust gratefully into the back of his throat. One finger enters me gently, insinuating itself inside my body and twisting out again.

I'm keening, my body jerking in tight thrusts into his beautiful, wet mouth. His finger inside me, stroking me so intimately, as if he can feel exactly what this does to me. It sends me right over the edge.

I freeze, deep in his throat, as the first spasm of pleasure swells in my belly. He makes a little sound of satisfaction as I arch helplessly off the bed, the pleasure pulling every muscle in my body taught.

My eyes are open, but I see nothing, curling around the one that tortures me and gives me such unimaginable pleasure. My cock throbs in his mouth, spilling hot fluid onto his tongue. He sucks hard, pulling me deep into his throat as I empty myself into him. It is as if he wants to swallow my soul.

"I love you," I whisper, falling back against the bed.

I can't breath, can't control the fluttering of my muscles. I gasp for air, feeling everything inside me slowly turning to water. I don't think I could move for anything. Oh god, how does he do this to me? I'm giddy, no brains left at all, I can only smile up at him vacantly. I still can't believe what he does to me, and all I want is more. Even though I can't move, can't even catch my breath, all I can think is that I want him closer, want to touch him.

"You..." I pant, trying to tell him how incredible he is.

"Yes love?" he grins at me, looking very pleased with himself.

"You're going to kill me one of these days, you know that?" Of course he does.

"Well, it's not like I wouldn't get you back," he teases, crawling up to kiss me.

I had almost got my breath back, and now his lips steal it from me. My tongue pushes into his mouth, hungry to touch the source of my pleasure. He pulls back, giving me a look that is pure heat.

"You're dangerous," I tell him.

"You knew that."

Oh yes, love, I did, and I wouldn't give you up for the world. "Aye, I did," I answer softly.

His smile is brilliant, he plasters the length of his body against me, and the touch of his skin ignites the fire he just quenched.

"You feel so wonderful in my arms Methos, do you know how happy this makes me?"

His eyes sparkle with mischief and desire, "No, show me."

I laugh, rolling him beneath me, "It would be my very great pleasure, mon amour."

He clings to me, wrapping his legs around mine. His fingers dig into my back, and his hips rock enticingly against me. It feels so wonderful, to move with him. He exhales a sigh of pleasure, his hard cock pressing between my legs. He's trapped, moving urgently against me. Even like this, hungry and almost feral in his passion, he loses none of his grace.

"I love the way you look beneath me, Methos, you are so erotic," I whisper in his ear, delighted by the shiver it elicits. I hold him tighter, nuzzling his neck. Even this isn't close enough, I want to be inside him.

"Let me make love to you, Methos."

His eyes are smoky, glazed with the power of his desire. He arches against me one last time, before relaxing the arms wrapped around my shoulders.

I brace myself on my elbows to part his thighs with my legs and slip between them. Rising to my knees, I reach for him, pressing his shoulders down with my palms. He is restless beneath me, sighing and groaning softly as my palms slide over his chest.

"Shh, let me give you what you need," I whisper, trying to soothe him with my hands. He is so hungry for my touch, I can feel it in the heat of his skin, the urgency of his movements.

My hands encircle him, drawing a groan from his open mouth. His skin is so smooth, like velvet. He pants silently, his eyes beg me for more than this light, constant stroking.

Lifting his hips, I pull him up onto my thighs, petting him with light, quick touches. He groans, pushing against my hand. Easy love, you are so beautiful, I just want to look at you like this, your cock straining for my touch.

The pressure of my hand increases a little, closing fully around him. He makes a sound that is almost a whimper, and his body relaxes a little. Oh yes, this is exactly how I want you, my beautiful love. My hand releases him, reaching over him to fumble for the tube of lubricant in the drawer of the bedside table.

He moans, clearly unhappy about the loss of my touch.

"Shh, I love you. I will never leave you," I let my hands roam over his body, relishing the response in his movements. My left hand toys with a hard nipple, while my right fights with the cap on the bottle I've retrieved.

I stroke him adoringly, my touch firm and deliberate. Down his sides to squeeze his hips, grasping his cock again briefly because I can't resist. Squeezing his sack gently, trailing my fingers back to the entrance to his body. One slick finger slides in easily. Moving slowly, stretching him gently with twists of my finger.

"Please... now," he gasps, pushing back against my touch.

"I don't want to hurt you," I murmur, trying to soothe his hunger.

"I don't care, please Mac, I need you," he sounds as desperate as he made me a few minutes ago.

"I'm yours," I tell him, withdrawing my finger and readjusting our position. Holding his hips, I press myself against him, lifting him a little to ease the angle. My cock is hard, slick with the lubricant, pushing against him with a mind of its own. I want get inside him more than I've wanted anything. I want to make myself a part of him.

"Methos, love, please, don't let me hurt you... tell me..." my breath catches, cutting off my words as the very tip of my cock enters him. I force myself to push very gently, entering him as slowly as possible. I watch, mesmerized, as the head of my cock disappears inside him. The emotions that well up inside me as I sink slowly into his body make me sob. I love him so much, this feels a thousand times better than I thought it would.

He's gone very still beneath me, breathing rapidly through his nostrils.

"Are you okay?" I ask him anxiously, already feeling remorse for causing him pain.

"Yes, kiss me."

Trying to stay still inside him, I lean over, reaching for his lips. Every other sensation fades away at the joining of our mouths. I let my tongue explore his mouth, reveling in his taste. I am consumed by my love for him, a feeling so powerful it threatens to burst from my chest. He moans into my mouth, and I know that he feels it too.

His hips push against me, pulling me a little deeper into his body. He gasps, throwing his head back, but I think this time it is pleasure, not pain. I force myself to breath slowly, sinking into him carefully, a little at a time, until I am buried completely inside him.

I'm afraid to move, the pleasure is so intense, I can't bring myself to give us more.

"Oh, Methos, you feel so amazing."

"I love you," he whispers, looking at me as if he knows that I belong to him.

"You are my everything," my voice breaks. I am at a loss to express what this means to me.

His eyes hold mine, telling me silently that he knows, that he wants it, everything I feel for him. His hands grope for mine, interlacing our fingers. His body arches sharply beneath me, using my arms for leverage to pull himself up. He wraps his legs around my back, arching against me, pushing me deeper inside him.

"Mercy!" I beg him, trying to breath. The shock of the pleasure has stolen my breath.

"Mmmm," he responds, settling on my lap.

I kiss him hungrily, feeling him respond deep within his body.

Bracing his hands on my shoulders, he rises up until only the tip of my cock is still inside him. My hands go to his hips, pulling him down with a mindless cry of pleasure. It is so good, to have him holding me deep inside his body. His movements become more erratic as he comes closer to finding release. I pull his mouth down to mine, wanting to capture his shout in my mouth when he comes. My hands hold his hips, guiding him up and down, harder when a fine sheen of sweat breaks across his chest. I know he is very close. Oh, he feels so incredibly good, I'm trying so hard not to hurt him, but I'm losing control. His tongue is wild in my mouth, everywhere at once, and I'm slamming him down onto me now, relishing his groans of pleasure.

He moans into my mouth as we come together. I sink deeply inside him one more time, refusing to even think about leaving the heat of his body. This is heaven. I wrap my arms tightly around him, pulling him close. I bury my face in his neck, overcome by emotion. I don't want to cry, but there's a lump in my throat. I hold him against me, taking comfort in his weight. He is so precious to me, I need him so badly.

"Stay with me," I beg him, my lips pressed against his throat.

"Shh, I love you," he whispers, pressing a kiss to my forehead.

I don't want to have to let go of him, ever. My cock has softened and slipped from his body, but I don't want to release him from my arms. It is so wonderful to have him wrapped around me.

He gives me an exhausted smile as I lower him back to the mattress. Curling up behind him, I pull him back tightly against me.

"Stay with me, Methos, always," the words come out before I can stop them, hanging in the quiet between us. I realize I've asked for more than he is willing to give me a moment before he turns in my arms.

"Duncan, look at me. I will stay. I won't promise you forever."

I could not possibly love you for any shorter period of time. I try to tell him this, but he covers my lips with his hand. I kiss his palm instead.

"No, love, listen to me. I can't talk about the future, I can't even imagine it. Do you have any idea how long five thousand years really is? Can you imagine it? The only thing that's real for me is now. If I look in either direction, forward or back, I get so lost... and that is my greatest fear."

Please don't be afraid Methos, I will do anything to keep you. "I want you here, with me," I tell him again. I know it's silly, but somehow I think if I find the right way to tell him what he means to me, he will stay.

"I am, and I love you, and I will wake up here with you tomorrow. And tomorrow night you can hold me like this and I will tell you that I will be here in the morning."

He's telling me that he can only give me one day at a time. Maybe he's right, maybe that's all we have, maybe there is no future, but I want so much more than that.

"It's enough," I whisper against the back of his neck, hoping he will believe me.

I drape myself around him, holding him as close to me as I can. "I will always love you, until the end," I tell him sleepily, covering his heart with my hand. It beats steadily beneath my palm, the rhythm lulling me into sleep. My last thought is a fervent hope that it will be long enough to give him all the love I feel.

I'm frightened by the devil

and I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid

I remember that time you told me you said

"Love is touching souls"

surely you touched mine

'cause part of you pours out of me

in these lines from time to time

oh you're in my blood like holy wine

you taste so bitter and so sweet

oh I could drink a case of you, darling

still I'd be on my feet

I would still be on my feet

Song lyrics borrowed without permission from Joni Mitchell

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