"Well, you tell me. They cheered every time anyone
brought up Evil Duncan's name, and they offered to rip off
his clothes if he showed up."
Richie laughed, shaking his head. "You gotta love
The two sat across from each other at Gate A6 of Denver
International Airport. They had just finished appearing
at the latest "Highlander" convention, and their
flight to Paris was scheduled to take off in an hour. Even
though shooting for the rest of season five didn't start
for a week, they were going early so they could hang out
for a little while.
Only one person was missing -- Adam Pierson. Or Methos,
as he was also known. Richie had found out his real name
during the summer when some ditzy fanfic writer had told
him. He'd had to hide his knowledge on the set, lest The
Powers That Be throw a fit that he'd found out before they
wanted him to know.
Richie knew Methos would be late to the airport, since
the night before he'd stayed up late partying with the Methos
minions at the convention hotel. Methos had been quite taken
with Lisa Krakowka. Richie wondered if it had something
to do with the boots she'd been wearing. Maybe Methos found
Then again, according to all of the Methos fanfic floating
around, the 5,000-year old Immortal found everything erotic.
He was always having sex, unlike Richie. Most of Richie's
fanfic writers only tortured him. Nobody wrote stories solely
for the purpose of letting him indulge in his wild sexual
fantasies. It left him feeling completely unsatisfied. The
sensation did not please the Immortal frozen forever at
the age of 19. Eternally horny, that was him.
A leggy blonde sauntered by Richie and he flashed his most
charming grin, to no avail. He shrugged and watched as another
trim young woman walked near him, and tried the same grin.
This wasn't right. Even if women didn't exactly fall at
his feet, they usually at least smiled back. Unless -- he
sat up straighter, and Duncan looked at him curiously.
"Uh huh," Richie said slowly, scanning the area.
"None of the women here are checking me out."
Duncan rolled his eyes. "Getting a little egotistical
there, aren't you?"
Richie gave him a dirty look. "Mac, the average woman
smiles back at me, if nothing else."
"So what do you think is up? Are we in the Twilight
Zone?" Duncan joked.
"No, worse. The fanfic zone."
Duncan sighed. "Great. Just what we need. Do you have
any idea whose?"
Richie paused. "Judging from the fact that I'm sitting
here wearing nothing but blue silk boxer shorts and I feel
sexually frustrated, I'd guess it's Angela Mull's."
Duncan tried unsuccessfully to stifle a laugh.
"This isn't funny, Mac. You know what she's like.
She just got done shooting me and leaving me to suffer in
your stupid cabin, and -- "
" -- and she never lets you have sex," Duncan
"Just because she's sexually repressed doesn't mean
I should suffer," Richie said, tapping his naked chest.
He looked down at himself. "Oh, man. I need some clothes."
He opened up his carry-on bag and rummaged through it.
Once. Twice. Richie started yanking out everything inside,
stacking up a mound of blue silk boxer shorts. Finally he
found a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt. He glared balefully
"She thinks this is funny, you know."
"I know I do," Duncan supplied cheerfully.
Richie scowled and headed toward the nearest bathroom,
conveniently located 10 minutes away from the gate. After
he changed, he rejoined Duncan.
"She's a lunatic," he told the older Immortal
as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"Careful, careful," Duncan said, waggling a finger.
"She'll hear you."
"She always does," Richie said in a singsong
He leaned forward, scrutinizing Duncan, then laughed and
settled back into his seat.
"What?" Duncan asked.
"Well, given the fact that you're not her favorite
character, I'm guessing that there's something nasty waiting
Richie shrugged. "I don't know, but I'd be on my toes
if I were you."
"This reminds me of that time when -- "
"Oh, no. Not another flashback," Richie interrupted
in disgust. "Can't we have just one day without one
of your flashbacks?"
Duncan's eyes widened suddenly. "She didn't! She wouldn't
dare! Not to me! I'm the main character!"
Duncan buried his face in his hands and groaned. "She
took away my flashbacks," he said, voice muffled against
his fingers. "I can't remember any!"
"Hmm. Maybe this isn't so bad after all. If only TPTB
would do that, I'd have more air time."
Richie's shameless grin was covered by a pair of boxers
Duncan threw at him.
Methos sauntered in midway through an announcement of their
plane's arrival. He had an oblong khaki duffel bag slung
over his shoulder, and he stopped a few feet in front of
Richie. The mound of boxer shorts caught his eye.
"Interesting," he said dryly. "I take it
one of your more ardent admirers has ensnared us in another
Richie nodded as Methos flopped down in the chair next
to him. Duncan sat still as a statue, his face slick with
sweat. He looked at Methos with a pained expression. Methos
kept his eyes on Duncan and leaned toward Richie.
"What's his problem?" he asked in a low voice.
"He can't have flashbacks," Richie whispered
back. "She won't let him."
"Oh." Methos paused, then smirked. "Considering
that I've never actually had a flashback on the show, I
don't feel sorry for him."
The boarding announcement brought Richie and Methos to
their feet, but Duncan remained where he was. Methos threw
a questioning glance at Richie, who shrugged.
"MacLeod, it's time to go," Methos said, and
waited for an answer. Duncan didn't even look at him. Methos
reached down and hauled the man to his feet, then guided
him to stand in the boarding line.
"I can't have flashbacks," Duncan said in disbelief,
his eyes reflecting grief.
"Oh bloody hell," Methos said in disgust. "Get
over it already. Worse things could happen."
"I know," Duncan agreed glumly, then straightened.
"It's just that I'm so used to using those flashbacks
to fill up air time."
"There's no script to pad here, Mac," Richie
chipped in as they neared the front of the line. "Just
relax. I'm sure that once we land, this fanfic will be over
and we'll all be back to normal."
Richie reached the front first, followed by Methos and
Duncan. They went to their first-class seats, but Richie
and Methos found theirs already occupied.
"Um, I think these seats are ours," Richie told
the stuffily-dressed couple.
"I'm pretty sure they aren't," the man said in
a monotone voice. He pulled out his ticket and showed it
"Looks like we both have the same seat number,"
Richie said, frowning.
"I'm sure there's room in the back."
Richie took a good look at the couple. The man had short,
clean-cut brown hair, hazel eyes and a mole on his right
cheek. He wore a pressed black suit and shiny black shoes.
The woman had straight auburn hair, blue eyes and generous
mouth. Richie thought her camel-colored skirt and jacket
and the white silk shirt probably hid a pretty nice body.
The man had a definite attitude Richie could feel. He'd
gotten similar vibes from cops, but these two were dressed
too nicely to be cops. FBI agents, maybe.
Methos smiled down at the woman. "I don't suppose
you'd like to give up your seat, would you?"
"I guess chivalry really is dead," she commented
to her traveling companion.
Duncan edged past Richie and smiled at the agents. "Please
excuse my friend. He's not a people person. Neither one
of you needs to move. They can sit in the back."
"Well thank you very much," Richie said heatedly,
glaring at Duncan. "I don't think I remember inviting
you to be my personal spokesman."
Methos merely shrugged and walked down the aisle to find
a stewardess. Richie and Duncan stood there awkwardly as
the man withdrew a thick file from a briefcase he'd stashed
under the seat. He leafed through it while the woman peered
at it over his shoulder. Finally, Richie could stand the
silence no longer.
"So what brings you here to ruin my chance at a first-class
"We're federal agents," the man said, producing
a badge and showing it to Duncan and Richie before putting
it away. "I'm Agent Mulder and this is Agent Scully.
We're on our way to investigate a case."
"How nice for you. And just what's waiting for you
"Not Paris," Scully said. "Chicago. The
plane stops there, and there's a rather...unusual string
of homicides we're investigating."
"How unusual?" Duncan asked, his attention focused
down the aisle to where Methos stood talking to a stewardess.
"Headless bodies," Mulder said. "Ten headless
bodies. There were sightings of lightning strikes where
each of the bodies were found. "
Duncan and Richie kept carefully blank expressions at the
mention of what sounded like Immortal activities.
Scully tilted her head to look at her partner. "Mulder,
I'm afraid I still don't understand why we're investigating
this. All we have are headless bodies. It doesn't seem like
our kind of case."
"Scully, this isn't the first time there has been
a rash of murders involving beheadings. You saw the file
I have back in the office."
"File?" Duncan sputtered. "You have a file
on headless bodies?"
"Yes, and almost all of those cases involved the same
sort of thing that's in Chicago. Clean cut through the neck,
followed by lots of lightning but no rain."
Richie frowned. Even though the agents didn't really know
what they were investigating, they knew more than he wanted
them to. The knowledge didn't sit well with him. He felt
queasy at the thought of the government poking around in
Scully saw the young man's face drain of color. "Mulder,
I think you should stop with the play-by-play. He doesn't
look too good."
Richie shook himself. "Uh, no, I'm fine, really. I
just think it's pretty creepy. Why would anyone go around
cutting off people's heads?" he asked, fishing for
more information. Just how much did they know?
"I'm sure it's just a string of serial murderers patterning
themselves after each other," Scully said, then looked
at Mulder. "Really, Mulder, I just don't think this
is our kind of case."
Richie and Duncan exchanged nervous, puzzled glances. "Just
what kinds of crimes do you investigate?" Duncan asked.
"Basically anything that defies a logical explanation,"
Mulder told him.
"But 90 percent of it can be explained through science
-- " Scully started.
"Scully, spare me the platitudes," Mulder said
in exasperation. "Haven't you seen enough these last
few years to believe that not everything can be stuck under
a microscope and dissected down to its finest points?"
Scully opened her mouth to answer, but Methos reappeared
and broke into the conversation. "Richie, there are
two seats together back here we can take."
Leaving Duncan to fend for himself, Richie hastily followed
Methos down the aisle. He was glad to get away from the
two bickering FBI agents, especially the man, who seemed
If the headless corpses did involve Immortals, Richie thought
he, Mac and Methos should stay as far away from the agents
End of Part 1