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HFS
Fanfic page with pictures, music, previews, staff bios and episode listings, all you could want, and more, for Highlander fiction fans. HFS season one is finished, we have a total of 23 episodes, and they're all available if you follow the HFS link.

Disclosures by Tasha

This is the third in the Dividing series, the others may be found at:
Dividing of The Ways
Discoveries

 

Part 1

The atmosphere around the Immortals who had become part of the Dividing could have been described as unsettling for those who watched them: it was peaceful. All the Mortals knew why it was so quiet, it was just that assignment to MacLeod and his friends had always meant action and battles. Observing a group of people just preparing for a wedding didn't sit right. At first the Watchers had been full of excitement, this community was something new, something so different than what had gone before that interest was high, but summer coming round and with very little going on, it was beginning to fade into the background. The organisation was not being lax in it's chronicles, it was still taking down every detail, but the situation had faded back to a normal. Occasionally the twins' Watchers would be treated to a display of their telepathic abilities, which would be faithfully recorded. These incidents were not common, however, Richie and Chris were in contact all the time, it just didn't show that much on a grand scale.

The measures that Dawson's people had taken to ensure that news of the Dividing did not fall on the wrong ears seemed to have worked. Craven had been challenged by an old adversary, but the woman had known nothing about the community, she had been looking for revenge. His victory had been duly recorded and another name added to the list of heads he had taken. There had been no Immortals turning up because of what they perceived as a threat. Much to the happiness of those involved, others seemed to actually be leaving the group alone. Six known Immortals in one place could be just a little bit dicey for a challenge situation, and no-one chose to make trouble. In fact, for once these unusual people seemed to be getting on with their lives just like their Mortal neighbours. The top of the list of things to do was make sure that everything was arranged for the wedding of the year, and Beren appeared to have everyone well organised.

It was a sunny morning and the light streamed in through the dojo's large windows to fill the office with brilliance. Since she'd sent Richie and Duncan out for a fitting, Beren was standing in and running the show. Not that there were many customers, it was the wrong time of day and the only two people working out were a couple of regulars who looked as if they were almost done. Boredom was slowly beginning to set in as the young English woman gazed at the computer screen. There were only so many ways you could rearrange a file system and since the local Internet provider was down for repairs she couldn't go web surfing. That's why, when someone she'd never seen before, who looked friendly enough, wandered through the entrance she brightened considerably.

The young man in question was not particularly tall, with a shock of black hair that fell over the forehead of a well defined, honest looking face. The white, long sleeved T-shirt, blue jeans and flowery waistcoat gave him a cheerful air that seemed to be echoed by the way he smiled as he caught sight of Beren. He was carrying a long black bag, and of all things, a camera: he looked like a cross between a sportsman and a tourist.

"Hi," he greeted and stuck his head around the office door, "am I in the right place to find Duncan MacLeod?"

He appeared so friendly and bright that Beren forgot to be anything but the same herself, suspicion never entered her head.

"Right place," she responded with a smile, "but I'm afraid it's the wrong time. He went out about half an hour ago and I don't expect him back before lunch."

"Story of my life," the dark haired stranger said with an easy grin, "always the one step behind."

He looked a little undecided as to what to do, so the young woman chose to eliminate the problem.

"You can hang around if you like," she offered calmly, "it's nearly eleven thirty, Mac can't be too long, and I really need someone to talk to."

"The work's that thrilling is it?" he shot back good naturedly.

Beren indicated a free chair and he slid into it gratefully, as if he'd been on his feet too long. He looked tired and a little crumpled, and his hostess came to the conclusion he'd been travelling.

"I'm Beren," she introduced and walked round the side of the desk to perch on it, "the stand-in for when there's no-one left to keep an eye on this place."

"Greg," the other fell in step with greetings, "not an anything just at the moment. You could say I'm between lifestyles."

"Nice to meet you, Greg," his companion said animatedly. "Can I get you a coffee or anything? If you don't mind me saying so, you look as if you could do with something."

"The magic words," he said with mock exhaustion, "I would love coffee. I've been travelling by bus for two days. I thought I'd take the slow route and see the country side, but all I've found are dusty stations with truly awful beverages."

There was a lot to like about Greg, and Beren found herself smiling again. She disappeared to get some cups without a second thought. It only occurred to her on the way back, as she caught a glimpse of this man when he didn't know she was looking, that her knowledge of him was distinctly lacking. Just for a second the cheerful mask was dropped and all that was there was the weary traveller, whose face held a slightly unsure look. Then he noticed her and the smile slipped back into place.

"So are you an old friend of Duncan's or just looking for him?" the young woman enquired amiably, as she walked back in and handed over her burden.

"We go back away," Greg returned honestly, "but I've never been here before. The last time I saw MacLeod he still had the antique store. Somehow I think this suits him better."

"Oh, so you must have known Tessa," Beren had heard a lot about Duncan's previous love, from Richie and she was eager for more information whenever the opportunity arose.

Of course, it was also a way to check out the stranger.

"Not really," a look of sadness and regret travelled across Greg's face so quickly that his companion almost didn't see it, "I only met her a couple of times and we didn't really get on. I wasn't exactly on an even keel last time I was around here, you could say I annoyed a few people."

It was difficult to reconcile the image of this man as he was, with an idea of someone to be disliked, and Beren wasn't quite sure how to take his honesty.

"Duncan put me back on the right tracks," the dark haired individual said with a smile, "if you know him at all, you'll know what a good Samaritan he is. It's why I came by, I'm headed off to pastures new and wanted to thank him."

The look on Beren's face said she knew exactly what he was talking about, but was still dubious as to how this man could be a problem.

"First rule of recovery, admit you were ill," Greg's tone was playful, but his eyes showed he was deadly serious.

This was way too deep for Beren's English sensibilities and she took the easy way out, she changed the subject.

"That's quite a camera you have there," she said lightly, "take many pictures?"

The other grinned, he was quite happy to go with the flow.

"I used to be a photographer," he told her calmly, "now it's more of a souvenir. Mind you, I'm still snap happy."

Without any warning he picked up the instrument, peered through the view finder and, click he had a picture of Beren. All the young woman could think was what a mess she must look.

"One for the album," Greg said cheerfully at the look of shock on her face.

As the surprise wore off, Beren's face broke back into a smile and she sat down on the table once more. The cogs in her mind were turning, and as usual, just at the moment, all roads led to the wedding. Originally they had been thinking of having a small affair, just Beren's family and the group of Immortals who surrogated as Richie's kin, but things had sort of ballooned since. The list of guests had grown, the simple ceremony had turned into a full blown marriage, reception and party, and Duncan had insisted on helping pay for most of it. That didn't mean that the young English woman was not conscious of the cost, however, and she saw an opportunity to cut the expense of recording the occasion for posterity.

"So how long are you planing on staying?" she asked cheerfully, and Greg, in all innocence began to answer.

"Well, if Mac doesn't want me out of his sight as fast as possible, I was thinking of staying around for a couple of weeks," he replied non-committally. "I have three months before I actually have to be anywhere specific, so I'm travelling."

Beren's smile grew wider as she planned her course of attack: the wedding was in two an a half months, and Greg had as good as said he was free. She, of course, was oblivious to the fact that there was history here, between her fiance and this man that would probably not make for a calm ceremony.

"So what did you used to photograph?" she enquired, as if she were just making conversation.

"Art," he replied with a laugh, "at least that's what I called it. I think I was just trying to find darkness anywhere and everywhere, so I could parade it in front of polite society. It made me sought after for a while, but I can't say it made me happy."

"Well, what do you photograph now?" Beren tried again.

Greg grinned.

"Anything that doesn't get out of the way fast enough," he responded lightly.

Now this was going in the direction the young woman had in mind. However, before she had a chance to get her teeth into the subject of choice, her companion's head rose sharply and his eyes moved to the door in a gesture with which Beren was all too familiar.

"Oh, your that kind of old friend," she said quietly as Craven walked through the door.

Greg heard the comment, but he was too busy watching the newcomer to actually address it. The blond Immortal's face was set in firmly neutral lines as he wandered through the dojo and into the office.

"Morning, Beren," he greeted cordially, "who's your companion?"

"Gregor Powers," the dark haired man introduced himself calmly, "I'm waiting for MacLeod."

"Craven Manheim," the other returned evenly. "I don't recall Duncan ever mentioning you, but then again he has a lot of friends. You are a friend I take it?"

"My intentions are purely peaceful," Greg promised faithfully. "I just dropped by to see Mac, and thank him for some help he gave me a while back."

He wasn't about to go into details with another Immortal, and he kept all his references vague, since he didn't know exactly what Beren knew.

"Well. I'll go get the material," Beren said, cutting straight through the atmosphere. "That is why you're here isn't it, for the trimmings? It's so sweet of you to deliver them to the dressmaker for me. If she didn't live on the other side of the city, I'd have asked Duncan to do it, but I had enough trouble just getting the pair of them to the tailors."

"Yes," Craven started as she smiled," but..."

She never gave him a chance to finish the sentence, she disappeared without another word. The two Immortals were left looking at each other awkwardly.

"Women," Greg commented with half a smile.

There was silence for a while as they weighed each other up like a pair of rutting stags, and finally the ex-photographer couldn't stand the quiet anymore.

"Something special going on?" he asked conversationally.

"A wedding," his companion replied shortly, he'd been around long enough not to trust strange Immortals, however friendly they claimed to be.

The look of happy surprise that crossed the younger man's face almost snapped Manheim's resolve, it seemed so honest.

"Whose?" was the next word out of Greg's mouth. "Can't be MacLeod's, surely. Now there's an eternal bachelor if ever I've seen one."

"No not, Duncan's," the other returned, he refused to weaken.

At that point the dark haired Immortal recognised defeat. There was no way in seven hells that he was going to get a conversation out of this man. He slumped back in the chair and waited for his hostess to return.

The young woman in question made her entrance from the elevator several minutes later. She was carrying a large brown paper parcel and as soon as he saw her, Craven made a very gentlemanly dash to relieve her of her burden. He followed her back into the office still eyeing Gregor suspiciously.

"I'll just get you the address," the bride to be chatted happily, "it's here somewhere."

She routed around on the desk for a moment and then produced a piece of paper with the flare of a mission successfully completed. The look on Craven's face when she tried to give it to him, however, told her that it wasn't going to be that easy to get rid of him.

"Beren," he said pointedly, "Richie would go for my head if he found out I left you here with a strange Immortal."

The blond man didn't miss the frown that passed across Greg's face at the mention of Beren's fiance's name.

"These things have to be there by twelve, I promised," the young woman continued oblivious to everything.

"Richie's still around?" Greg's voice interrupted both of his companion's next sentences. "Last I heard he had moved on."

The coldness returned to Craven's eyes as quickly as it had begun to melt. He knew the reaction he saw, this man most definitely did not want to meet MacLeod's young friend.

"Things change," the Immortal said evenly. "I'm surprised you didn't know, being such a good friend of Mac's."

"I've been out of circulation for a while," the other shot back.

His mind was working on several scenarios, and he wasn't fond of any of them.

"Maybe this wasn't such a good idea," he commented, more to himself than the other two people in the same room. "I think I'll give Mac a call later."

Manheim leapt on the chink in the armour of cheerful calm.

"Is there something between you and Richie?" he asked quickly and placed himself deliberately in the doorway.

Greg's smile was gone and he did not look happy about the threatening glare Craven was giving him. The air of tense unease was rapidly turning into hostility, and that was not why the dark haired Immortal had dropped by.

"Look I don't want any trouble," he said evenly. "Last time I was around, Richie and I parted on very bad terms. It was all my fault and I don't want to cause any problems here. I think it would be best if I just leave. I really don't want to be here if Richie turns up."

There was a definite air of disapproval from Manheim, but the only thing he could do to stop this man leaving was challenge him, and he'd rather not do that. Greg climbed to his feet slowly. This visit was getting way too complicated. It was supposed to have just been a simple meeting and a chat about old times, he was not interested in battles. He was working on a worst case basis, and in doing so, assumed that Richie would hold a grudge. The kid had still been Mortal and Greg had nearly killed him. It was not a great foundation on which to start an Immortal relationship, beginnings like that usual made for endings that involved blades.

Beren felt very uncomfortable at the cold tension that now reverberated from the two men. The morning had been going so well and suddenly it didn't look so great.

"Let him go, Craven," she said quietly. "I believe him, and we can always check when Duncan comes back."

The tall individual did as he was told as Greg picked up his bag, and grudgingly, he let him pass.

"I'm sorry if I upset you," the dark haired Immortal apologised as he stepped past the door frame, "it wasn't my intention. I hope the wedding goes well."

And with that he headed for the exit, but fate wasn't going to let him get away that easily. The room was empty, both regulars having headed for the showers, and as he neared the way out he was hit by the most incredible sense of another Immortal. He prayed it wasn't the Highlander and his pupil, that would be all he needed. His luck wasn't quite as bad as it could have been, however, and he was almost relieved as he was confronted by two women.

Amanda and Madelaine stood in the doorway for a moment and sized up the stranger, then they walked in. There was no misjudging the hostility in Craven's stance and they did not take their eyes of the potential threat.

"What the hell is this," Gregor demanded loudly, "a convention?"

He wasn't going to push his chances, however, and before any more Immortals could appear from the woodwork, he left. The two woman headed towards their friend to find out exactly what was going on.

End of Part 1