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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 2

The news that there was a strange Immortal in the immediate area went round the group like wild fire. It was all Duncan could do to stop Richie leaving the fitting as soon as the phone call turned up, but he did manage to convince him that there were plenty of people to look after Beren. All seven were in town at the moment, Methos was making the trip from Paris look like a regular commute as he pursued his relationship with Madi. The others had decided that the pair enjoyed acting like a couple of covert operatives whenever they met up, and the joy they found in each other was obvious to all. He did, however, refrain from running to the side of his beloved at the news. As seemed to be common in Immortal circles, Chris had gone into his mentor's business, and he was with one of Craven's clients when the call came through, so he took the information on board and continued as if nothing was unusual.

Beren finally persuaded Manheim that two Immortals were enough to look after her and sent him on the errand. So when the Highlander and his protege finally returned they found the three woman gossiping in the office. The bride to be fell into her future husband's arms, but she was liable to do that at every opportunity, so it didn't reflect on the mood she was in.

"Don't look so worried," she said cheerfully at the expression on Richie's face, "everyone seems to be over-reacting big time."

Duncan looked undecided on the situation. The last contact he'd had with the artist, the other Immortal had seemed to have pulled his life together, but that was no guarantee he was still okay.

"How did Gregor seem?" he asked slowly as Richie finally appeared to relax a little.

When he'd heard who it was that had dropped in the young man had almost gone ballistic. His last memory of the photographer was a raving lunatic who'd thrown him against a door. The thought of that man in the same room as Beren had nearly caused him to explode. Mac had not bothered to try and talk him out of his blinkered view of Greg, he'd wanted to be sure it was the right thing to do first.

"He appeared to be a great guy," the English rose told them with half a smile on her face. "He was happy and friendly. If Craven hadn't of turned up I'd still be here chatting to him."

The Immortal Richie had met all that time ago could never have been called happy or particularly friendly, and both adjectives in the same sentence did not sit right. Now that his love was within his sight and he was sure she was totally unharmed, he was beginning to calm down, but he did have a right to over-react. Mac had explained Greg's problem to both he and Tessa after the Immortal had left the scene all that time ago. Richie could understand the despair and contempt from an aesthetic point of view, but he just couldn't distance himself from the memory of a hand clasped around his neck.

"I don't trust him," the young Immortal said firmly, and the look in his eye bore no arguments.

It was Richie's gut reaction, and Duncan realised exactly where it came from, but he wasn't so quick to condemn. He'd known Gregor for a long time and he'd seen the good man that had been. The Highlander had experienced the emptiness of Immortality more than once in his own life, and he'd fallen into it's depths. His pupil was working from experience that was very short and narrow, Mac was more inclined to give his old friend a second chance.

"Rich, it sounds like he's back to what he was," the older Immortal began. "You never saw the Gregor who was a dear friend to me, the man who cared more about saving Mortal lives than his own. You can't..."

"What I saw was a guy who wanted to kill me," rationality was not high in the young man's mind and the calming influence of Beren was losing ground. "He'd decided he couldn't feel anything so he wanted someone else to do it for him. I was mortal, MacLeod, I didn't know I wouldn't be gone very long and I don't want to see anyone go through the same thing. Greg is a fruit loop, he can't be trusted."

The strength of his feeling on this subject was in his tone, and every Immortal knew what he was hinting at. There was one person who was not quite as Mortal as most people thought, and Richie was worried for Karina as well as Beren. The other Immortals were beginning to see a clearer picture of why their young friend was so upset, but they were not about to enter the heated discussion going on between mentor and protege.

"That was years ago," the Scotsman was going for plain facts now, "he got help. Last time I spoke to him he was sorting himself out, he was letting go of the anger. I know there is no excuse for what he did, but you can't condemn a man for one mistake."

"One!" Richie's voice was becoming louder all the time. "I seem to remember something about him going for your head as well. The man's over the edge..."

"You're being totally irrational," it was Duncan's turn to interrupt. "I can understand you not wanting him around, maybe now's not a good time, but try and remember what we stand for."

Beren was stood about a foot away from Richie now, when the conversation had heated up he'd broken away. She was still close enough to see the look in his eyes, however, and she saw all logical thought vacate his mind. If there was one thing that could be said about the young Immortal, it was that he sometimes had a tendency to be overprotective. Where his fiancee was concerned he did not hold back, and he saw Gregor as a threat, a danger with which Beren had come into contact. There would be no talking to him now, not until he had had time to calm down, or the only person in the room who could break the stubborn streak spoke up. Mac's interruption caused his pupil to fall into a dangerous silence, and Richie's lover saw the explosion coming.

"Stop it, both of you," the English rose said suddenly and brought the discusion to a rapid halt.

The look in her husband-to-be's eyes was immediately a little confused. She smiled at him gently and reached out to hold his hand.

"Darling, I think you're not being very objective here," she said calmly. "I know you have your reasons, but I believe that there's not really a problem here. Greg came to see Duncan and as soon as he heard you were here he left. He knows you wouldn't be pleased to see him and so he went away to avoid any trouble. He said he was just passing through so he'll be gone soon anyway."

All thoughts of a wedding photographer had gone out of her head when she'd seen Richie's reaction to the other Immortal. Now all she wanted was to prevent her lover from taking any action against the transient artist whilst he was in town.

"In this case I really think he's telling the truth," she continued as she watched her words have an effect. "Let Mac handle this, he knows the man better than you do."

Richie could argue with most people, he had a obstinate side so bull- headed that he could dispute the most rational point, but not with Beren. Maybe it was the loving, innocent expression on her face that always seemed to appear at these times, or maybe it was the slight tilt of the head and the way she looked up at him through long eye lashes. There was just something that took away every contention that came into his mind.

Everyone saw the pained expression cross the young blond Immortal's face and then fade away, taking with it all the heat in the conversation. Amanda and Madi looked at each other and smiled slightly, as they acknowledged the art of a woman with her man. Richie didn't like the current situation, but now there was nothing he could do about it. The potential bad things on the horizon had been skilfully defused.

"I'll make sure he doesn't come here again," Mac said slowly, to ease his friend's consternation. "Just do me one favour: have a think about how much a person can change."

What could the young man say to that? He was assailed from all sides.


Beren watched her fiance crash around the kitchen for a while after they went home for lunch, his cooking had improved, but today his humour hadn't. The onions were taking a beating from a very sharp knife when she finally decided that maybe they needed rescuing. She didn't have the full picture here, and the only way she was going to understand was to ask.

"Want to talk about it?" she enquired quietly and made him jump.

He'd been so lost in his own thoughts and so busy pulverising the helpless vegetables, that he hadn't heard her come in.

"Sorry," she apologised immediately.

He shook his head at that statement.

"I'm the one who should be sorry," he responded rapidly, "I haven't said more than two words to you since we left the dojo."

She reached out and pushed a wayward curl away from his face, for a moment he looked so lost. There was usually something about Immortals, something that set them apart, an air that said they had a purpose, that they knew where they were going. It was there even when on the outside their lives seemed to have no direction. An Immortal's place in the scheme of things was written, even if their day to day living was confused. Just for a moment Richie lost that look, for a second he looked so vulnerable, so Mortal.

"He must have done something terrible to you," the young, English woman observed in no more than a whisper.

Her lover's eyes glazed in memory at her words, the recollections were so clear, but he blinked them away quickly.

"It would probably seem tame compared to some of the things I've seen since," he told her slowly, "some of the things I've done. I had no idea it had effected me so much, but when I heard his name I went crazy."

He turned back to what he was doing for a moment, using the transferring of the onions to the saucepan on the stove as an excuse to gather his thoughts.

"I've stood against Immortals many times my age, I've killed, but somehow it's all different," he tried to explain his reasoning. "When I died everything changed, I moved into a different way of life, I became something different. The Game is part of me like it's part of every other Immortal, the fighting is expected, but I met Gregor before I was killed."

Now Beren was beginning to understand.

"I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," he continued slowly. "He was so out of control, and there I was bang in the middle. Maybe if he'd just hit me and gone I wouldn't be reacting like this, but I was looking into his eyes as he held me against a door by my throat. He asked me if I wanted to know what it felt like to die. I've never felt my Mortality quite so clearly as I did in that moment."

He gave the onions a cursory stir.

"I begged for my life," he admitted eventually, it was a difficult thing to do. "I was just a kid who didn't want to die. And this was from a man who I thought had been my friend. I've never felt anything quite like it, the betrayal, the fear. Even when I really was killed, it wasn't the same. This was so ... personal."

He probably couldn't have told anyone else, except Chris, what he had explained to her, and Beren couldn't help but reach out and hug him. The saucepan was forgotten and it's contents left to caramelise as the two young people wrapped themselves in each other for a while.

That wasn't the end of it though, the issue was out in the open, but it wasn't solved. When they broke apart, Richie could see the question in his love's eyes.

"I don't know what made him like that," Beren began slowly, trying to judge he companion's reaction, "but the man who could do that wasn't the same as the man I met today. I'm not saying I met an angel, but he's different now."

The young Immortal knew she was right, but there was a part of him that couldn't let go.

"I can't trust him," he told her quietly, "I can't even conceive of being in the same room as him. Don't you see, it doesn't matter what he is now, I'll still see what was in his eyes that night."

She ran her fingers through his hair and gently kissed him on the nose.

"Then maybe you should meet with him," she said evenly. "I think that otherwise you'll be haunted forever."

Richie wasn't about to tell her that half his mind didn't trust himself to do that. That half of him thought if he ever came into contact with Greg, the outcome would not be pretty. She was right, he would never be able to put away that ghost, but was it worth the risk? He could accept the fact that maybe the photographer had changed on an intellectual level, but not at the point that guided his sword arm. Instinct was very strong, and his instincts told him to remove the danger. If they ever met, that could be very bad for Duncan's old friend.


"Richie really doesn't like this guy, does he?" Amanda had been working up to the subject for about half an hour and this was her play.

"You could say that," Duncan responded and poured the coffee.

Lunch was over and the young Immortal in question had just secreted himself in the office downstairs. It was never difficult to tell when Richie had something on his mind and Mac's lover chose now to ask the Scot about his protege and satisfy her curiosity.

"Greg," the Highlander continued, "was depressed, suicidal and homicidal the last time we saw each other. Richie was in the antique store when he came looking for me, and when he left Rich was out cold on the floor. They were friends for a while, it's not easy to forgive something like that."

"He's forgiven more," the female Immortal pointed out, "look what Craven did to him."

Duncan looked at her with his, you know that's not the same, look.

"None of us had a great deal of choice when it came to Craven," he said evenly. "Events were rather taken out of our hands. I can't quite understand why he's reacting so badly though, Greg happened a long time ago."

Amanda uncurled from her position on the couch and wandered over to the counter, Mac passed her a mug.

"A long time ago when Richie was Mortal," Amanda said with genuine insight. "Someone trying to kill you is a hazard of being Immortal, it's a little more difficult to come to terms with when you only get one chance."

There was a slightly surprised look on the Highlander's face, he was not used to his companion making such observations. Living forever had it's drawbacks, sometimes you forgot what it was like to have only a single life.

"This may just be the first of many hurdles," the older Immortal continued calmly. "There must be Immortals out there you wouldn't want to invite into our little company, I know there are some I wouldn't want, but do we have the right to disbar them just because we don't like them?"

She had a valid point. Duncan had automatically wanted Jackson Peters to be given a chance to join their community even though he had come head hunting, but there were some others he would rather not have anything to do with. Their over riding aim was to increase their number and stay alive, but personal prejudices had yet to be overcome.

Richie seemed to be dead set against having anything to do with Gregor, whereas Mac still saw him as a friend. There was no telling what would happen if Duncan ever suggested the group bring in the photographer.

"I don't know," the Scotsman replied slowly. "How deep do some of our hatreds run and what would that make us if they were to be taken away?"

The other Immortal just sipped her coffee, she had no answer. There sat there in silence for a while, contemplating their own thoughts, then the phone rang. Duncan picked it up quickly.

"MacLeod," he answered evenly.

He didn't speak for a while as he listened to the voice on the other end.

"I'll meet you in the park," he said eventually, "we can talk then."

It was a very short conversation and the Highlander looked at his companion as he replaced the receiver.

"Now we find out the truth," was all he said, and headed towards the coat stand.

End of Part 2