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 Pete Townshend.

Rated NC-17 for homoerotic content

Thanks to Maygra for all her inspiration and encouragement.

The Dirty Jobs-Duncan

by Zen&nancy

The engine whine of a passing vessel in the harbor wakes me, and I open my eyes to daylight. The barge rocks gently on the wake. Methos is lying next to me, sleeping on his side. One arm is thrown out across my chest, the other stretches above his head, under his pillow. His fingers curl limply against my side, holding me in his sleep. We've kicked off the covers, they're tangled at our feet.

I stretch a little, flexing the muscles of my legs and arching my back. He makes a little 'hmph' sound and turns to lie on his back. The arm that was holding me drags across my stomach, flopping limply against the sheet. His breathing is light and even again, as it was before I disturbed him. I don't want to wake him up, it's early, and my lover is not at all fond of mornings. I just want to lie here quietly and look at him. He is so beautiful, like something out of a myth. Marble skin, taut, lean muscle, every part of him perfectly proportioned and symmetrical. His beauty is timeless, classical, and very much connected to the power that I can feel almost radiating from his body when he's awake. But asleep he's like a statue, or a painting. His pure, unadulterated image almost too perfect to be real. His face is so different in sleep, he looks even younger than people usually do. When I see him sleeping, I always think that he must have been very young, after all, when he died the first time.

The skin under his almond shaped eyes is delicate, almost transparent, and his cheekbones are sharp. The softness of his mouth and jaw give his face a vulnerability I rarely see when he's awake. His eyes are usually crinkled up in amusement, or squinting in irritation. I forget that he has these fragile, beautiful half moons beneath them, and that his lashes are this long.

His chest is slightly concave, the definition of the last three ribs apparent. His chest is almost hairless, the skin looks invitingly smooth to touch. My hand reaches out of it's own accord, the fingertips grazing across his lustrous skin. He sighs softly in his sleep, but doesn't wake up. There's something wonderful about being able to touch him while he sleeps, to know that it is my right to do so. It still thrills me to think of myself as his lover.

My hand trails slowly down his chest, my palm flattening across his solid stomach. He's smiling slightly in his sleep, perhaps he's dreaming. His cock lays gracefully against his thigh, not hard, but slightly distended. I have the wicked thought to take him in my mouth, and wake him that way. As soon as I think it, I know I'm not going to be able to resist.

I move very slowly, careful to keep my weight even on the mattress and not wake him. Sliding down an inch at a time, until my head is at his hip and my legs are curled up underneath me, at the foot of the bed. I watch him carefully, making certain that he is still asleep.

Leaning over his thigh, I take him into my mouth. His eyes are still closed. He sighs, a soft vowel sound, and shifts a little on his back. I suck him gently into my mouth, a tiny bit at a time. He's harder now, almost totally erect, but his breathing is still light and regular. Swirling my tongue cautiously around his tip, I keep my eyes open, watching him. He moans a little, arching into my mouth. I think he will wake up soon. Swallowing him completely, I hold him still in the back of my throat, my tongue moving languidly against him.

I can feel it the moment he wakes, although my eyes have drifted shut. It's a vibration in his quickening, a little spark of his consciousness in my head.

"Good morning," I smile up at him, bending my neck to take him back into my mouth. I flick him with my tongue lightly, thrumming up and down his length.

"H-how did you know I was awake?" he asks me breathlessly.

" 'can feel it," I mumble around him, not quite releasing him from my mouth to answer.

"Oh," he answers, or maybe it is only a moan. I slide very slowly back down his cock, relaxing my muscles to take him deeply into my throat.

"Mmm, soft..." he moans breathlessly above me.

When my lips are stretched around the base of his cock, I look up at him, watching his response. Sucking gently, I let myself get lost in the act of giving him pleasure. I could do this forever. I love listening to his breath, the small sounds of pleasure he makes, and to feel him respond against my tongue.

My lips glide smoothly up and down his flesh, slick with my saliva and the liquid oozing from the slit at his head. The rush of him gliding swiftly down my throat is irresistible. My brain swims from lack of oxygen and the powerful sensation of holding him captive in my throat. His hands come down on my shoulders, holding me down.

"No, not yet..." he whispers harshly, arching up against me.

I moan around him, caressing the underside of his cock with my tongue. I twist under his hands, encouraging his touch. I want him to take control, to hold my face in his hands and make love to my mouth. It sends a shudder of excitement through me to submit to him this way, and feel him thrusting slowly into my throat. His hands are wrapped up in my hair, guiding me gently up and down. I am completely focused on his touch, reading what he wants from the press of his fingertips against my skull.

"Duncan..." he groans, arching into me. My tongue dances excitedly on his cock, anticipating the wash of his taste flooding my mouth. I suck him hungrily, breathing through my nose in little snatches of air as I move up and down.

He's still watching me, his eyes bright with passion. His hands tighten in my hair, holding me still so that he can push into me slowly. The head of his cock is thrusting deep into the back of my throat, as far as it will go. I melt around him, relaxing and welcoming the intruder with soft suction. I'm moaning and gasping around him in my mouth, reaching to take as much of him as I can each time he thrusts into my mouth.

He goes very still a few seconds before he comes, freezing half-way down my throat. His hips arch farther off the bed and buck against me once, twice, as he spurts in my mouth. Hot, thick fluid slides over my tongue, and I savor his taste, holding him in my mouth until his cock begins to shrink, slipping between my lips.

I crawl back up to lie next to him, propping myself up with an arm beneath me.

"Good morning," I tell him seriously, trying to hide the huge grin that wants to spread over my face.

"Ah, yes..." he answers breathlessly.

My fingers run up and down his chest, I have this need to touch him, to be connected to him.

"You are far too smug for eight a.m.," he tells me his voice still rough from sleep.

"Not smug, just happy," I answer, smiling at his sleepy, squinting eyes.

"I'm going to make you breakfast," I tell him, kissing his shoulder. I can't help it, there's a part of me that just wants to take care of him. I think I would do almost anything to please him.

"I don't eat breakfast," he always looks so adorably confused when he first wakes up. He's naturally grumpy in the morning, sometimes downright dangerous, but my tactics must have worked, he's smiling.

"You know, I noticed that yesterday," I chuckle, thinking how lucky I am he came back. I don't think I could breathe without this man anymore, it's that bad. I love him with everything I am.

"Yes, well, you're a bright boy, then, aren't you? Mind if I shower?" Methos snaps, rolling out of bed.

Now what did I do to deserve that? I will never understand him. He is so touchy, volatile at best. In the morning, it's like holding a grenade in your hand.

"I'll make coffee."

One of us definitely needs some.

I watch him stalk off to the bathroom, reluctant to leave the bed. It's still warm from our bodies, and I don't want to let go of the sense of completion I felt here a moment ago. It occurs to me that he is much easier to adore asleep, than awake.

The water hisses in the pipes, letting me know he's in the shower. I make myself get out of bed, leaving his scent and body heat behind. I concentrate on counting teaspoons of coffee grounds, resisting the urge to try to join him. It's not easy, standing here with a very inspired morning hard-on, picturing what he looks like, standing naked, with the water streaming over his body.

The coffee maker's last gurgle pulls me back from my fantasy, I pour myself a cup, and burn my tongue. The little static spark of healing is an irritating feeling, and I gulp more hot coffee to spite myself. I thought I could make him wake up happy to be in my bed, and have that morning I wanted yesterday and didn't get. No such luck. Post coital depression sounds like such a silly term, but it is the violent separation from his body, and his anger, that have sent me into this funk. Leaning against the counter-top, I close my eyes, trying to conjure back the taste of him over the hot coffee. What I feel when he's holding me down, possessing me and wrapping me up in his power... it's a kind of peace I have never felt before. It is so good, it feels more right than anything ever has. I can get so lost in him. Afterwards it always hurts. It feels like more than physical separation, as if I've lost a part of myself in him, and I can't get it back.

He comes out of the bathroom fully dressed, stopping in front of me at the counter to put a hand on my shoulder.

"It's just morning, Duncan, not the end of the world. Okay?"

"Okay." Could have fooled me.

He pours himself a cup of coffee, taking it with him to flop on the couch. I watch him, trying to gauge his mood. I need a Methos-meter. Something.

"I'm going to go for a run, come with me?" I ask, trying not to sound too hopeful.

"No, you go ahead, I'll see you later."

That 'later' sounds ominous. I tell myself firmly not to panic. I have to get over this fear I have of him disappearing on me.

"Okay, I'll make you a copy of the keys to the barge while I'm out, that way you can come and go as you please."

He turns to look over his shoulder at me, anger sparking in his light eyes, "No, I come and go as I please now. That way you can feel just a little bit more secure in your hold on me."

"My hold on you?" What the hell do you mean by that Methos, I have no hold on you at all, and you will desert me any time you please, we both know that.

"Oh, please, don't act so coy, MacLeod. What the hell was your lovely little performance earlier, but another way to manipulate me?"

His angry words stab like knives. I feel heat and color rising in my face. I'm embarrassed, and now I'm angry, too. I guess I don't have the right to touch him without permission after all. I guess he isn't mine. The world feels like it's about to cave in around me, so I help it along,

"Is that what you think?" I demand, forcing myself to look at him.

"Yes, that's exactly what I think. Manipulating me is as natural to you as breathing. You think that you can use sex to keep me from even considering the idea of leaving you, and you're wrong."

I'm so embarrassed I want to hit him. I can't believe he said that. He thinks that I only sleep with him to keep him here, that it's only a way to manipulate him? He thinks that I use him? That's insane. Only Methos would say something so cruel, and so totally untrue, and believe it implicitly.

"Methos! That's not true. How can you possibly even say such a thing, when it was you that started this between us in the first place!"

I'm so upset I don't even know what I've said.

"I started it!!! Have you lost your mind, or just your memory?" he hisses furiously.

"Oh, yes, well, by all means, give me the truth, your most Holy Five Thousand Years," I might as well hear the rest of it. I brace myself against the counter-top, ready for the next blow.

"Have you forgotten that you were the one who kissed me? That you were the one who pursued me? That you wouldn't let me leave? Have you decided that you didn't plead with me to stay?"

Sometimes I don't even know how I can love him as much as I do, if he will use even that against me. So I should be ashamed that I was more truthful than he was, that I opened the time bomb in a box that's been sitting between us for two years? Well, two can play at this game, ancient.

"Of course, Methos, and you woke me up at two in the morning to tell me what? That you can live without me?" I ask him sarcastically. I want him to admit that this isn't all me, that he is a equal participant in the madness between us.

"You want me to admit that I can't stay away from you? You want to hear that you are essential to my being? Don't hold your bloody breath! I can live without both your charming personality and your legendary sexual skills, Highlander."

Yes, I do want him to admit it, badly. It would make the desperate, all consuming need to belong to him a little less terrifying. Why is he so unwilling to admit that he loves me? Or that he might actually need me almost as much as I need him? He can make me angrier than anyone else, and it's only because I love him so much...

"Really? Is that why you always come back? Is that why you come to my place in the middle of the night and drink yourself into a stupor on my couch? Is that why you can't stay out of my fights, why you plot and scheme to keep me alive?"

There, I've said it. We both know it's true, even if he will never admit it. I am very much aware of his agenda to see to it that I am alive to fight the final battle.

"No, I come back because I love you, I love your life. But I will not allow you to use my feelings against me, MacLeod, don't even begin to try."

I'm too hurt to realize that he might be trying to meet me half way on this one. What difference does it make if he loves me, or my life, if it will never prevent him from leaving me? I'm no longer sure that his definition of love and mine have anything in common. If he loved me, he wouldn't use his propensity to disappear against me this way, when he knows I need him.

"That's quite a self-righteous statement, coming from the master of manipulation and deceit," I yell at him, remembering how much his lies hurt, and how he orchestrated the entire Horsemen nightmare to serve his own ends.

"Yes, well, we all know of the impartial fairness of the great judge Duncan MacLeod, don't we?" he yells back, apparently right on my wavelength.

How did we get from arguing over which one of us needs the other more to Kronos? He is so horribly good at arguing, anytime his back's against the wall, he can turn the tables on me in an instant.

"Fuck you, Methos, you have no right.."

He interrupts me, jumping to his feet, "I have no rights at all! Maybe when you decide I have the right to make my own decisions, I'll come back. Stay angry, MacLeod, it looks good on you."

The door slams, and he's gone. Again.

I watch, calm and detached, as my coffee cup arcs across the room and shatters against the back of the door he slammed. There is a moment of pure silence after it explodes and the pieces have all clattered to the floor, scattering down the steps.

I drop my elbows down onto the counter top, hard, my head falling into my hands. How many times are we going to do this, Methos? Is it ever going to get any easier? Incongruously, this time I am almost certain that he will come back, eventually. Yesterday I was so afraid, even though he told me he'd come back here. Just now he was furious, so am I, but through the fog of frustration I am certain he'll come back to me.

There must be a way out of the circle of fear and mistrust that we're spinning in, but hell if I know what that is. If after five thousand years, this is the best he can do, I don't suppose I can hope for much better from myself. I am so incredibly frustrated! Pacing the length of the barge does nothing to relieve the ball of tension in my stomach. It happens every time he leaves me, a tight, angry knot of pain in my middle that lessons, but never goes away.

I wonder how long it will take him to find a place to drink, and how much trouble he'll get in before he comes back? I laugh out loud, and the harsh sound hurts my throat. Just as Methos is easier to adore sleeping than awake, I understand him best when he's not here at all. A huge sigh comes out of me and I'm irritated by the sound of it. Just when I think I'm getting the hang of how to deal with him, he turns it all against me.

God's teeth! The man is neurotic. He has the largest collection of disorders, compulsions, phobias and disassociations I have ever seen. He's pompous enough to be the King of England, and just as difficult to win an argument with. I want to tear him apart. I want to hold him down, and strip away all his layers until I find the truth. His truth is more elusive than any holy mystery, and lately, I begin to doubt it exists at all.

In spite of all this, I love him. Helplessly, hopelessly, painfully, but I love him. Enough to do anything within my power to find a solution. Picking up the pieces of my coffee cup I have to smile a little, I have no right to accuse him juvenile behavior. He pushes my buttons even better than Amanda.

A hot shower is the only thing I can think of to do next. I check to make sure the door's unlocked first, taking my sword with me into the bathroom. Just in case he has a change of heart before he gets to the bar.

Standing in the shower with the water hitting the top of my head, I turn the hot water tap up as high as I can stand, letting the hot stream burn off my anger. It takes a long time, the water sprays off my head, running in rivulets down my back and over my chest. I slam my head against the shower wall behind me, once, releasing the last of the rage.

The stricken, nauseous feelings that follow are even worse. Leaning against the wall, I don't know how much more of this I can stand. I feel as though he took his sword and ran it through my gut. One of us is going to have to find some answers, Methos, because I can't take another one of these arguments. I know that it's naive to think that loving you would make you any easier to understand, but does it have to be so hard? There is nothing I want more than your love, but the price is painfully high. Have you always been so hard to love, Methos? Or is it the most recent hell you've been through that's making you so afraid?

I wish I could kill Kronos ten more times, for the things he did to you. For the things you did to me, as well, for that matter. What would you have been without the Horsemen, Old Man? I know you must think about it, at least a little, and lately I think about it a great deal. Your scars run so deep, Methos. I think your fears are one of the hardest things to understand. Every time I think I do, we're yelling again and you're leaving. At least that's what it feels like today.

The water's cold, he didn't leave me much hot. He's a selfish old thing, too. How does he manage to get me this mad? And over what? Giving him a set of keys? Giving him a blow job first thing in the morning?

Did I have an ulterior motive? I don't know. Is wanting him to wake up happy an ulterior motive? With him, I guess it could be. Methos could accuse me of anything and make it sound believable.

Shaving at the sink mechanically, I'm trying to decide if he's right. If I did sleep with him the first time to be more certain that he would stay here in Paris, and be close to me? I don't know, I can't see it that way, it doesn't make any sense. Of course I wanted him to stay, I love him, I want him...how is one thing separate from the other? And which one makes him so angry?

When he made love to me last night I felt as though he was giving me not just a part of himself, but everything. And then afterwards, he withdrew so quickly. I remember asking him to stay, almost demanding it, and his complicated answer. Nothing is ever easy with Methos, least of all forever.

That must be it, he's afraid to promise me forever, and somewhere inside him he knows it's a lie to do anything less. No matter what the future holds, I know that I will love him forever. I think, maybe, he knows it too, and it scares him. Don't fight it too long, love, who knows how much time we have left.

Wrapping a towel around my waist I go back to the coffee pot for a second cup. It's not very likely he'll be back anytime soon, maybe not for a day or two, if he really wants to prove his point. Maybe that's a good thing. I think it's going to take at least that long to find a way to love him only as much as he wants me to. I think I'll go running anyway, go to the park and stand on the bridge for a while, that's one of the best places to think.

Staggering across the gangplank, I realize that the two hour run has done me a world of good, even if I didn't find any answers. Another shower, and a change of clothes later I'm sitting on the couch again, trying not to think about it. The only conclusion I've come to is that I don't know how to love him any other way than the way I do, with all of my being. And that really doesn't help very much.

Maybe not thinking about it is the best thing to do. I can't make him come back to me any faster by sitting here and going over every angry word we said to each other in my head. I'm hungry, I realize I didn't eat breakfast either. I go into the kitchen to make myself a sandwich, taking it and a beer back to the couch.

The afternoon passes slowly. I spend most of it pretending to read. I'm really just watching the clock. I turn the page every few minutes, but I'm not comprehending anything. I wish he were at the other end of the couch with a book of his own, just spending the day with me. Is this too much to hope for? I don't want to domesticate him, I don't want to marry him or make him my wife, I just want to spend my days with him. I don't know why a quiet life with Methos is such an impossible thing to ask for.

I miss him, I miss his physical presence, the sound of his voice. Don't drink too long, Methos. Setting the book down with an exasperated sigh, I get up to pace the barge again. I've done more pacing, pining and worrying in the past three days than I can remember doing all year. It's hard to believe it's really only been three days, it feels like so much longer. Telling myself for the thousandth time that worrying won't bring him back sooner, I flip on the evening news. Not much happened in Paris today, at least nothing they're going to tell us about. I wonder where he is?

Stretching out on the couch, I pick up my book again. Heinlein finally draws me in, taking me away to a world where immortality is the least of people's worries. The barge is cozy with the portholes open and the evening air coming in. The lights are warm and everything looks right, just as it always does, except that he isn't here with me.

I must have drifted off reading, the telephone wakes me. I jump, the book dropping from my fingers. My watch says it's eleven fifteen. That was record time, he must be plowed.

"MacLeod."

"Hi!" Yep, he's trashed. I can't believe how loud the background noise is, it sounds like he's in the middle of a riot.

"Methos? Where the hell are you?" Maybe not the best reconciliation words ever spoken, but it's what came out of my mouth. Hopefully he's too drunk to decide I'm being controlling or protective or whatever it is that makes him so angry.

I can hear him talking to someone else in the background, and then he shouts over the noise at me again. He's slurring his words, and between that and the din I have to strain to make out what he says.

"This wonderful place called the Pit, it's catty corner from my old flat, two doors off the corner."

"You're drunk," I tell him, hoping to gauge by his response exactly how drunk he is. If he argues with me I'm going to tell him to keep drinking.

"And you're a clever boy, whom I owe at least an apology, and possibly a blow job."

And the answer is...just drunk enough. How can he be so impossibly predictable about things that don't matter at all, and so hard to figure out when it's anything important?

"Well, when you put it that way, I suppose I might be inclined to offer an apology of my own. Really, Methos, I am sorry, will you come back? I'd really like to talk, if nothing else..."

"Just come drink with us, Duncan, Please?"

He interrupts me, probably didn't hear a word I said. Oh all right. I'd much rather have him just come home to me, but if going out drinking will please him I suppose it's not much to ask. Suddenly, the 'us' part of his appeal registers in my brain.

"Who's us?" I raise my voice to make sure he'll hear me, trying not to sound angry.

"My friend, Morgan, she has excellent taste in ale."

Great, he's picked up a barfly...how does he talk me into these things? Well fine, if I have to go rescue him from some promiscuous woman, than I will.

"All right, Old Man. Do you think you can stay out of trouble till I get there?"

"Yes, absolutely, however, after that, I make no guarantees. Oh, Duncan, definitely dress down."

I laugh, thrilled to hear him in such a good mood, even if he is drunk. I may have to thank this Morgan before I snatch him away from her.

"Yeah, well, wouldn't want to make you look bad. I'll see you shortly." I hang up the phone, almost bursting with joy and jubilation. I knew he wouldn't leave me. Thank you Methos.

I grab my car keys from the top of the desk and pull my coat on. I'm walking to the car when I remember what he said. I don't think I even noticed what clothes I picked when I got dressed today. Well, I'm wearing black jeans and an old dark blue fisherman's sweater. If that's not 'down' enough for him I'm sure he'll let me know.

The place doesn't even look open. If I couldn't hear the noise blaring out of the bar from across the street, I'd be sure I made a wrong turn. The Old Man has always had a romantic attachment to dives, but this is by far a new low. I can't see anything when I first walk in, it's too dark, and the cloud of cigarette and possibly marijuana smoke is thick. I feel like I've walked into a movie. A bad one made in the eighties. Punk rockers and other assorted weirdos are packed shoulder to shoulder, most of them doing something that looks like a violent game of ring around the rosy in the middle of the room. Almost everyone is wearing leather, black eyeliner and boots.

I only have a minute to take it all in before Methos approaches, dragging a girl with bright, neon green hair sticking straight up in a razor thin line down the center of her head along with him.

"Duncan! This is Morgan."

You've got to be kidding me, Methos. You've spent your night drinking with a girl who looks like the survivor of a science fiction holocaust? Okay. Well, I guess that's better than my first assumption.

"Hi Duncan, how's it going?" she yells over the music. At least she seems friendly, and twice as trashed as my lover. Well, I know what drinking with him is like.

"Hello, Morgan, it's a pleasure to meet you." Shouting over the music, I don't have to worry too much about the level of sincerity in my voice.

She shouts something back at me, but the noise level has increased and I can't here her. Methos leans close to my ear, swaying dangerously, and translates.

"What do you drink, Duncan?"

"Glenmorangie," I shout back at her, seeing total lack of comprehension in her eyes. Well, I didn't really expect her to recognize it.

"What the hell is that?" She cocks her head at me, a very amusing effect with the green mohawk.

"It's scotch. How about a beer instead, whatever you two are drinking."

She disappears, ducking under my arm and off into the crowd. Methos is standing very close to me, regarding me with the solemn eyes of the thoroughly drunk. It doesn't matter. I know him, he'll remember it in the morning.

"I did it again, Methos, I'm sorry..."

He interrupts me, a wide grin spreading across him face.

"Don't apologize, Duncan, I like you just the way you are."

Now I know he's trashed. I can just imagine how many beers it took to get him in this condition. I bet he's been here all day.

Before I can answer him, Morgan is back at his elbow, holding three bottles of New Castle ale. My opinion of her just improved drastically. I follow them to a table at the other side of the bar. More than one person crashes into me on my way around the edge of the large square room. There doesn't seem to be much point in getting upset about it, apparently crashing into each other is what they do.

Methos and Morgan leave me at the table to go consult the jukebox. I watch him, leaning over her shoulder and talking excitedly. It amuses me, now that I've gotten over the shock, that this painfully loud, dark, dirty dive is where I have to come to get him. Every time I think I have an idea of who he is, he surprises me again. Now he's going to try to tell me he was a punk rocker in the seventies, I just know it.

Leaning back against the wall on my barstool, I watch two girls dance together. The music is so fast I can't see how anyone could dance to it at all, but they aren't even following the beat. They're carousing arm and arm across the floor, doing something that looks like a cross between a waltz and a polka. It's sort of sweet, in a carnival noir kind of way.

I spot Morgan's green hair first, weaving her way back to me, followed closely by Methos. He looks like he's been having the time of his life. I take a minute to decide if that makes me angry, and decide it doesn't. I want him to be happy wherever he is.

"So, Duncan, what do you think of the Bosstones?" Morgan shouts across the table at me.

"Um, that's a band?" Why do I feel so much older than the five thousand years sitting next to me?

"Yeah, skapunk. What kind of music do you like?"

"Mostly opera."

"Opera?"

"Just opera," The Old Man clarifies, grinning madly and drawing a square in the air in front of him for Morgan's benefit. She collapses in a fit of giggles against the wall.

When she's recovered, grinning at me guiltily, I smile back, and ask her what she does for a living. She gives me a blank, stunned look.

"I'm a slacker."

"Is that good?" I ask her, completely lost.

"Definitely," she answers, grinning madly, and I know I've asked a silly question. Methos is making a Herculean effort not to laugh at me, and the effect is even funnier. I crack up, reaching for his hand under the table. Morgan jumps up to dance, and Methos watches her go, the green fin visible, bobbing through the crowd. His smile is nostalgic. Well, who knows, maybe he was going to the clubs in London in the late seventies when all this noise started.

When he turns back to me I lean close to his ear, trying to tell myself that I will accept a refusal if that's what he gives me.

"Can I take you back to the barge with me?"

"Yes, take me home. And by the way, where's my key?" He smiles at me innocently, and somehow pulls it off.

I'm too confused to say anything. What did I miss here? Is this really Methos? My Methos? The same one that stormed out on me this morning? Probably. What am I going to do with him? He's incorrigible, impossible, he's a brat. I'm going to take him home and tell him I love him a hundred thousand times.

"Do you want to say goodbye to your friend?" I stand up, watching him slide off his barstool. He is the most graceful drunk I've ever seen. It's not that he hides it particularly well, it's the way his limbs become fluid, his balance based on a theory of constant motion.

I let him lead the way back to the door, following him through the crowd. He stops a few feet ahead of me, Morgan's arms wrapped around his neck. She says something in his ear, which he answers gravely. Releasing him, she grabs my arm.

"Take good care of him!" she tells me sternly, dark eyes flashing.

"I will, I swear."

She smiles, nodding. I guess Morgan's approval couldn't hurt. Too bad the rest of the world isn't this easygoing.

They say a final goodbye, and Methos promises to come back soon. Oh well, hopefully next time he won't be running from me. I guess if this insanely loud, discordant music and freakish crowd make him happy, that's good. I don't get it. What does he see in these childish, angry people? Maybe he's right, maybe I am a snob.

I hold the door open for him, glad to be out of the claustrophobic, smoky bar. We walk across the street to the car and I open the door for him, smiling at the way he falls into the seat. He's unlocked the door for me, that's nice. Maybe I should keep him drunk...No, probably not a viable solution, and much too expensive.

"So, you made a friend?" I ask, fitting the key into the ignition.

"Yes, I did."

Well, okay, I guess I don't get to understand.

"What did you do all day?" he's turned to look at me, curiosity in his eyes.

"Sulked," I tell him truthfully, grinning.

"That's good, how about we go home and make nice."

You are absolutely right love, everything else can wait till morning.

"That sounds like a wonderful idea," I tell him, starting the car.

He doesn't say anything on the ride back, just holds my hand, looking out the windows. I'm still trying to get over the fact that he said 'home'. Well, he's drunk, maybe he didn't mean it. I don't suppose I'm going to get any kind of explanation.

I think he's sobered up a little, it doesn't take long for us, once you stop drinking. Pulling up in front of the barge, I shut the car off, waiting for him to come back from wherever his mind has wandered off to and realize we're here. He gets out, a little unsteadily, and I give him a hand over the walkway, cautioning him quietly.

"Careful."

"Yes mother," he's teasing, but I turn to frown at him anyway. I've had more than enough name calling for one day. One thing I am absolutely sure of is that we are not going to argue tonight.

"That's fine, Old Man, make fun of me all you like, just don't fall in the river. I don't want to have to fish you out."

"I'm not that drunk," he tells me, swaying against my back waiting for me to unlock the door.

"And exactly how drunk is that? If your friend Morgan's condition was any indicator, you've had an obscene amount of beer tonight."

"I'm surprised she kept up with me, actually. Impressive." He's shrugging out of his coat and kicking off his shoes, both of which get left on the floor in the middle of the room, of course.

"Alcoholic," I answer, thinking that any mortal who drinks with him is looking for alcohol poisoning.

"Be nice, Duncan, I like her. She's a survivor."

Is that what you have in common? I just don't see it.

"If you say so."

He's gone straight to his backpack, making me nervous again until he comes back with a tape to put in the deck.

"This night of superb music has inspired me. Dance with me, Duncan?"

"I'll do my best," I tell him, thinking about the dancing he was doing when I walked into the bar, but the music he plays is slow, almost jazzy.

He comes to me, slipping his arms around my neck. His eyes are calm, asking me to put the day away and dance with him. Yes, I can do that. I realize this is what he needs, my acceptance, and it feels like a revelation. I draw him close to me and he settles against my chest. He feels absolutely right in my arms, he belongs here.

I think about my realization, as we move in slow, swaying circles around the room. I think that's what he always needs from me, acceptance. How long has it been since anyone has known all of him, all his past, all his parts, and accepted it all? I see it now, all the times he's tested me, pushed and pulled and manipulated. He's been trying to define the line he can't cross with me, find the thing that will make me turn my back on him. I'm going to have to find a way to convince him that it doesn't exist, anymore. It's true, right now, I am absolutely certain that there is nothing he could do, and nothing in his past, no matter how vile, that would make me stop loving him. I'm certain that my spirit will go right on loving him after I'm dead.

His head rests on my shoulder, and his fingers have splayed through my hair. He sings to me softly,

I am going to love you till I reach the end

I will love you till I die

I will see you in the sky,

tonight

The song is beautiful, lonely and sad. I hum softly, letting myself get lost in the music, moving slowly. He is wonderful to dance with, although this isn't really dancing. I'm just holding him, rocking us to the slow beat of the bass.

I turn my head to kiss him, and find his lips are there waiting for me, hazel eyes watching me through the fringe of his lashes. I brush his mouth softly, I can feel the curve of his lips, smiling against mine. I am so happy. This is exactly what I wanted, what I want for all time. I close my eyes, sighing against his mouth. This is so sweet, and it's the most elusive thing, the peace of simply holding him. I kiss him gently, opening his mouth slowly under mine.

The music has ended, but it feels too wonderful to stop. Having him in my arms like this is nicer than anything I could have imagined. Our hips brush against each other lightly, creating a subtle, extremely pleasurable friction. He's responding to my kisses, his hands in my hair angling my head to kiss me deeper. He pulls back slowly, not opening his eyes. His head returns to my shoulder, nestling against the collar of my sweater. I can feel his breath, warm on my neck. It is so wonderful, to just hold him close to me. To not have to talk at all, swaying slowly to the rocking of the barge beneath our feet. I'm so glad he's able to give me this; this is better than any promise he could make me. I love him so very much.

"You know I'm not very good at making promises," he speaks quietly near my ear, as if he has read my thoughts.

"That's okay," I answer, gathering him closer in my arms. I realize I really mean it, all I want is his love, and any length of time he is willing to give me. I have this, right now, and it is so wonderful that I don't really care about the future at all.

He speaks softly, his cheek pressed to my collarbone, "I need you, Duncan. It scares me, the hold you have over me. If you were any less honorable I don't think I could do this. You are still so young Duncan, you cannot possibly understand how much time terrifies me. You know, I have never promised anyone, in five thousand years, more than one lifetime."

"Yes, I do," I answer quietly, ready to accept the idea that he can only give me a finite amount of time.

"None of it matters though, not really. The only thing that matters is that you are what I need. I love you so completely, Duncan, with everything that I am, There is no way I will ever be able to deny my love for you, or to walk away from this. Please help me be less afraid, love. I say the stupidest things when I think my back's against the wall. I didn't mean what I said this morning."

"Shh, I love you, I will always love you," I assure him soothingly. I can't believe what he's told me, that he really wants to be with me, always. I kiss him, trying to tell him how happy he's made me. We're standing very still, pressed against each other from knee to shoulder, our arms wrapped tightly around each other's ribs. His tongue is in my mouth, stroking the inside of my cheek and slipping past my teeth. Ah, Methos, your kisses are more potent than any drug or drink, I get so drunk on the taste of you.

When I open my eyes again I realize I've moved us to the stairs, guiding him slowly with a hand at the base of his spine. I can feel his arousal through his jeans, and the sharp curve of his hipbone pressing into me. For once, I'm going to do this slowly, I promise myself. Releasing him from my arms reluctantly, I take his hand, leading him up the stairs. He's silent, watching me, a small, complicated smile on his lips. I undress him slowly, catching the hem of his long sleeved shirt to draw it over his head. He inhales sharply when I move to the button on his jeans, making it easy to push them off. My breath catches in my throat, he is so beautiful.

He's taken my belt off and his fingers are fumbling with my waistband, taking much too long. I pull him against me, unable to wait for the feeling of his naked skin against mine. Kissing him is like drowning, except there is no pain. Ah, Methos, I think I like you drunk. You are so passionate, rubbing up against me so sensually, I can hardly stand to push you away long enough to get my pants off.

When I am finally naked, he pulls me to him, wrapping his arms around me, his hands roaming over my back. I pull him down onto the bed, reaching for his lips. His hard cock brushing against mine is sending little sparks of pleasure up my spine. I feel almost hypnotized by the feeling of his lips brushing softly across mine, his tongue licking delicately at my lips, pushing slowly into my mouth.

"I love you," I whisper in his ear, sucking the lobe between my teeth to nip gently.

"Mmm, Duncan," he breathes, twisting his head to the side to give me better access to his neck. Nuzzling behind his ear, licking slowly down the long column of his neck, I think I may explode from the joy bubbling up inside of me. To hold him in my arms like this, taking little tastes of his skin, feeling him respond against me... it is just so totally satisfying. He shivers in my arms, his mouth devours me, returning my kisses. His teeth close slowly over my skin, biting me just hard enough, and then sucking softly. It's devastating. I groan against his neck, pressing him even tighter against me.

Oh, god, Methos, this is so amazing. We're not moving, not at all, just our mouths on each other's throats, and the feeling of our naked skin pressed tightly together, hands roaming each other's backs. The restraint, and the anticipation, heightens every sensation, until the scrape of his tongue at the hollow of my throat sends shudders racing through me.

"Ahh, Methos," I hear myself cry, my hands sliding down to grip his ass tightly, pressing him against me.

"Yes," he hisses quietly, his mouth closing over my neck again as he begins to move against me.

It's so good, lying on our sides like this, we are perfectly aligned. His cock is sliding slowly along mine, creating a friction I can't resist. I push back against him, finding the rhythm and rocking slowly to meet his thrusts. My hands roam over his back, holding him greedily against me. His arms wrap around me, holding me tight, encouraging me to move with him. I feel as though he has wrapped himself around my heart.

His eyes are closed, his head thrown back now, his breath coming a little more harshly. I hear my own breath catching in my throat as our pace increases. The slide of his hard, hot cock over mine is so good, so irresistible. We move faster, our hips rocking more urgently, his hands have crept up into my hair.

I feel the pull at the base of my spine, the tightening in my balls and I reach to cover his lips. I come with my tongue in his mouth, groaning and plunging into the soft wetness, his arms holding me tightly. He is sucking on my tongue, his hands squeezing my back spasmodically. I feel him pulsing against me, and the wetness of his come on my thighs.

Our bellies come apart with a wet sucking sound, and I grin at him,

"Shower?"

"Mmm, very good idea, as soon as I can move."

"Ditto," I mumble, kissing his shoulder. We definitely need a shower. We're a sticky, sweaty mess, but I can't move yet.

I feel totally content, happy just to lay next to him and watch him drift in and out of sleep. When I can think about getting up I drag my nails lightly across his thigh, waking him from his doze.

"Shower?"

"Hmm? Yeah," he opens his eyes, squinting up at me, "Wash my back?"

"I'd love to. Come on," I take his arm, dragging him to a sitting position, and then to the foot of the bed, taking most of the blankets with him.

He follows me to the bathroom, his fingertips trailing down my spine. We don't really fit in the shower, but he doesn't seem to mind too much. He huddles against me under the hot water, pushing his face into my neck and letting the hot spray splash over the crown of his head. I take the bar of soap, working up a lather in my hands before giving it to him. I love washing him, sliding my soapy hands over every part of his body. He is perfect, every part of him long and sleek and graceful.

His hands come up to my chest, sliding the bar of soap over my skin. It feels strange, but good, to stand still and let him wash me. His fingernails scrape lightly over my nipples and I shiver under the hot water, feeling myself harden against his thigh. I raise my arms above my head, letting him turn me this way and that. He leans against my chest, slipping his arms under mine to scrub my back. It feels incredibly good, the hot water and his soapy hands kneading my muscles. He moves in circles, from my shoulders to the base of my spine, strong fingers digging into my back. His touch is lighter, his fingers slipping between my cheeks to wash me gently, teasing and stroking with slick, soapy fingers. I moan against his shoulder, pushing my hard cock experimentally against his slick hipbone.

Then his fingers are gone, and he is turning me back under the spray to wash my hair. Now this is wonderful. His fingers knead my scalp, working slowly to spread the lather through my hair. His hand at the back of my neck guides me under the water to rinse, tipping me back and covering my lips with his. His tongue plunges into my mouth, the kiss is as hot as the water streaming down my back.

His tongue devours me, thrusting into my mouth to explore and tantalize, then retreating and returning again, until I am dizzy from lack of oxygen and desire. My hands come up to rest on his shoulders, rubbing back and forth against him, our soapy bodies slick and wonderfully slippery. He reaches for the soap again, taking the one step back from me that he has space for in the small stall. I watch his hands, rolling the bar of soap in his palms.

"I think I missed a spot," he tells me in a deep voice, his eyes dragging down my body, obviously enjoying his perusal.

"You did?" I ask him breathlessly, as he takes my hard cock in his hands. "Ahh, so nice..." I groan, leaning in to his hands.

Ah, god, Methos, that's so good. Your touch is like no other...so light, fast, and now even faster, and I can't think at all. There is only pleasure, breathing in the humid air and hearing my own moans reverberate on the shower walls. I'm trembling, my fists clenched at my sides, hovering at the brink of orgasm. His hand is devious, stroking so skillfully, each twist of his wrist taking me closer to the inevitable explosion. But I want to join myself with him, I want to come deep inside his body, and feel him convulse around me.

I want it so badly, to be inside him, and it feels like the most natural thing in the world to turn him around, stepping up close until he is pressed against the wall and my aching cock is nestled between the hard cheeks of his ass. He braces himself with his palms flat against the wall, pushing back against me a little in encouragement and consent.

It is all the encouragement I need, I want inside him so badly I can hardly see straight. I push a little against the tight opening, feeling his muscles respond to the stimulation. Shoving a little harder, the head of my cock forces it's way in, feeling the ring of muscle clamp down tight around me. It's so tight, almost scary to really be inside him. He cries out sharply, arching back to press his head to my shoulder. I wrap my arms tightly around his waist, drawing him back against me and onto my cock. I bite the back of his neck, sucking hard enough to leave a bruise, and try to find the control to move slowly inside him. I can't. After only a moment I am driving into him, pushing up into the wonderful heat of his body with hard thrusts of my hips. My right hand moves from his waist to his cock, dimly aware that I want him to come when I do. I find it's easy to keep the pace of my thrusts inside him with my fist around his cock, the force of my thrust is pushing him against my hand.

He's pushing back against me urgently, moaning and twisting in my arms. The sight of him like this, impaled on my cock and shuddering and bucking back against me, drives me right over the edge. I shout, my one hand clamping down on his hip to drive into him deeply, my other squeezing his cock in time to the piston-like thrusts of my hips. I feel him freeze beneath me, his muscles tightening deliciously around my cock, before his come floods over my hand, spurting as his body jerks spasmodically in my arms. I thrust once, twice more into his heat, exploding deep inside him as my hand milks the last shudders of orgasm from his body.

I hold him pulled back against my chest, unwilling to let go of him until the water starts to turn cold, and I realize he is covered in goose bumps. I pull out of him slowly, pressing my lips to the back of is neck to sooth the anxiety of separation. Oh, it felt so incredibly good, to be inside him, moving with him, feeling him respond to me from the inside.

He is leaning limply against me, his back to my chest, letting me take most of his weight with my arms around his waist. Oh god, what if I hurt him? I didn't think...

"Are you okay?" I ask him anxiously.

"Oh yes, just exhausted."

I turn him around in my arms, needing to see his face to be certain, "I didn't think...did I hurt you?"

He gives me a brilliant, if very tired, smile. "Only a little, it's okay. Bed?"

I pull him against my chest, wrapping his shivering body tightly in my arms. I feel so badly, I hurt him...

"I'm sorry."

"No, don't be, we heal, remember? Really, Duncan, it was most wonderful, don't be sorry."

Really? Well, I thought it was pretty incredible myself. I can feel myself blushing, but I grin at him happily, "Okay."

I open the door to the shower to a blast of cold air. Reaching for a towel, I wrap it around his waist before getting out to get my own. We dry ourselves quickly, wanting the warmth and comfort of bed and blankets and each other. He follows me out of the bathroom, crawling into bed behind and wrapping himself around my back. It feels wonderful, but he's shivering.

I roll onto my back to take him in my arms, settling his head beneath my chin, his cheek resting just below my collar bone. He sighs contentedly, the shivers subsiding. I have never been happier than I am now, holding him in my arms.

"Sleep well, Methos."

"Happy dreams, Highlander."

I know that if I dream at all, it will be of his love.

My kharma tells me

You've been screwed again.

If you let them do it to you

You've got yourself to blame.

It's you who feels the pain

It's you who feels ashamed.

I am a young man

I ain't done very much,

You men should remember how you used to fight.

Just like a child I've been seeing only dreams

I'm all mixed up but I know what's right.

Song lyrics borrowed without permission from Pete Townshend

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