The park had very few people
within it's green boarders after noon on a week day and Mac found
his old friend sitting on a bench just watching the few individuals
"It's a beautiful day isn't
it," were the first words out of Greg's mouth, which did
a great deal to bolster Duncan's confidence. "I hope I didn't
cause too much of a stir this morning."
"Well I'll put it this way,"
the Highlander said with half a smile, "you didn't manage
a quiet visit."
The Scotsman took the opportunity
to sit down and the two Immortals took a moment to view the lives
passing them by. There was a mother and her three children, one
of whom was no more than a babe-in-arms. The little family group
were anything but peaceful, and yet they had something that neither
of the men watching could ever know. Another of those in the sunshine
was an old man with his dog. The creature was totally unidentifiable,
but it ran and jumped, always coming back to its master and bringing
such joy to the gentleman's face. It was all so ordinary, and
yet so full of life. It was a great change from the life Greg
had been observing when the two Immortals had last seen each other
face to face.
"There seems to be quite
a crowd around you, Duncan," the younger man said eventually.
"I really didn't expect to find anyone except you here. I'd
never have come if I'd known Richie was around. If I were him,
I'd be sharpening my sword."
"He was a little upset to
hear you'd been holding a conversation with his fiancee,"
Mac returned lightly. "He's a little stressed out about the
wedding as well, so basically you picked a very bad time to come
"If I didn't think it would
end in bloodshed I try and apologise," Greg imparted the
information with a shrug. "How long do you think he'll hold
Mac's face was unreadable.
"What Richie?" he said
evenly. "I'd give it a couple of millennia."
That drew a grin from his companion.
"Oh, not so bad then,"
the ex-photographer said brightly.
Greg was a bolt from the past,
he had no idea what he'd stepped into and MacLeod enjoyed the
whole nostalgia of it. It was good to see him sans morbid black
clothes and with a genuine smile on his face. It was like re-finding
a person who'd been lost, and Duncan found himself wishing that
his friend's transgressions had not affected Richie so badly.
"So, how is it you're so
out of touch?" the Highlander enquired conversationally.
"I am a little behind on
the news aren't I?" the artist returned. "Last time
we spoke I'd just about got my head straight hadn't I?"
His companion nodded.
"Well after therapy I tried
the whole picture thing again for a while," Greg explained
calmly, "but it didn't work out. Oh I was huge for a little
while. You know the thing, artist has a breakdown, artist comes
back and everyone thinks the works wonderful even if you wouldn't
show it to you cat. It was sitting in the rain after yet another
party that I decided I was sliding back down the path to homicidal
cynicism, so I just up and left. I dropped everything, found a
monastery and climbed inside to re-find myself."
He looked over to Mac and smiled
at the surprised look on his face. Greg had never seemed like
the religious type, ever.
"It was just what I needed,"
he continued happily, "it gave me time to think. There's
nothing like brewing beer to concentrate a man's mind inwards.
Holy ground's great for peace, and I just let myself forget time.
Then a few months ago I suddenly found myself wanting the outside
again, wanting to interact with people. I came back to this side
of the pond and started to build a new life. It's taken me a while,
but I've recreated myself and I've been trying to get into medical
school. It's amazing what a few false computer records can do
for your prospects and I start in three months. The old Greg Powers
dies this year, and Greg Davis will emerge, so I decided to round
off his life by thanking every one who's helped me."
There was a deep gratitude in
his eyes, and at that moment, Duncan was sure his friend was well
again. Up until then there was a nagging doubt in his mind that
Greg may have been just pretending, but that look defied all uncertainty.
From a shattered beginning this Immortal had put his life back
together, and the Highlander could be nothing but happy for him.
"That's great," he
said genuinely. "How is it we all go full circle eventually?
I'm forever ending up in the middle of an army and you gravitate
"It's how we're made, MacLeod,"
the other responded with a smile. "We're habitual creatures."
That drew a laugh from the Scotsman,
it was so true. To look at these two men did not seem to fit together.
One appeared to be a business man, with his neatly pressed trousers,
expensive shirt and polished boots, the other was a student type
with jeans and a T-shirt, all slightly wrinkled. Yet their secrets
bound them together, and an inner fire that could only be seen
if the viewer looked very hard.
"So, Mac," Greg said
cheerfully, "what have I missed, and why do you have Immortals
coming out of the woodwork?"
"Oh, that's a bit of a long
story," was the understated reply.
There was no way Duncan could
just reveal everything to his old friend without consulting the
others, but he was seriously considering telling him at least
something. This Immortal was just the sort of person they wanted
to find. There was just one obstacle this time, and that was Richie.
"I've got plenty of time,"
Greg returned with an open smile.
Keeping it in the `family' was
not something just reserved for Immortal clans, Karina was working
for Joe. This kept her father happy, in that the owner of the
establishment could keep an eye on her and make sure the
Immortal didn't do anything terrible to her. There was therefore
a perfect excuse for Chris to drop in every now and then after
he'd finished for the day. Richie's information on Greg seemed
to be getting more confused by the hour, so by the time Chris
turned up for his habitual visit, he wasn't quite sure how to
describe the visiting Immortal to anyone.
"Hello, lover boy,"
Karina greeted cheerfully as her man walked through the entrance.
She'd been watching the door
when he came in. She really didn't know how, but she seemed to
have developed a sixth sense as to when he was about to arrive.
It wasn't something she noticed much, and definitely didn't think
about, but Joe had, and there were nasty suspicions at the back
of his mind. Chris hadn't observed anything, but Kari's uncanny
knack of being able to spot her boyfriend behind walls was worrying
The young woman placed a huge
kiss on her lovers lips and drew him into an embrace as if she
hadn't seen him in years. Young love being what it was, Chris
was quite happy to accommodate her, and it took a gentle cough
from the proprietor to separate them.
"So how's the art market?"
the Watcher asked lightly, throwing his darker thoughts to the
"The art's fine," the
blond Immortal returned lightly, "it's Rich that's worrying
me. I suppose you heard one of Mac's old friends appeared today."
"Greg Powers," Joe
responded calmly, "it would be interesting to see him and
Richie meet." Chris actually laughed at that.
"Just at the moment, I'm
not sure if one of them would end up a foot shorter, or just get
a bloody nose," the Immortal said and sat down, whilst still
keeping one arm wrapped around his girlfriend.
Joe put the glass he was polishing
down on the bar, Chris always had the same thing when he came
in, one beer and one coffee. It was almost a ritual, and come
rain or shine always seemed to happen.
"So he's that clear on the
subject, is he?" the barman commented brightly.
"First of all he starts
ranting at me," the twin explained with cheerful exasperation.
"Do you know how hard it is to keep talking when someone's
yelling at you in your head."
He had to smile at the look on
Joe's face, of course he didn't know, but the perfect listener's
expression was in place.
"Then just about lunch time
he wants to talk about it," the young man continued complaining
in a most amicable way, "and by the end I think maybe a war
can be averted. By mid afternoon he's ranting again, and now he
doesn't seem to know what he thinks. You don't happen to think
schizophrenia is catching do you?"
"In your case," Joe
returned amicably, "I'd buy health insurance now."
By this point in the conversation,
Kari was intrigued.
"Okay, guys," she said
before they could continue, "who's this Powers person, and
what's his connection to Richie?"
Both men looked at each other,
Joe was familiar with the history, but he nodded at Chris to explain.
"Greg's an Immortal that
Mac had a little trouble with a few years ago, before Richie died
the first time and Tessa was killed," the twin began, trying
to put everything that he knew about the photographer into a rational
order. "From what I can gather, he and Duncan were very old
friends, but the last time they met, Greg had gone off the rails.
He tried to take Mac's head, but not before he scared the hell
out of Rich, and left him unconscious. Well as is probably obvious,
our tame Highlander beat Greg, and then he sent him to get some
help. Greg turned up at the dojo this morning and bumped into
Beren. When my dear brother found out he went ballistic. Since
then he's been through about every level emotion between rational
to completely irate."
Kari half smiled and raised her
"He's taking it well then,"
she said sarcastically. "So has this Greg character sorted
himself out, or does Rich have grounds for his reaction?"
At that Chris just snorted indignation.
"From what Beren said when
I rang her," he told both his friends, "he seemed to
be an ordinary guy, and he left as soon as he realised certain
people might get upset at his presence. I just don't know what
to think. My logical brain says Rich is over reacting, which he's
been known to do on occasion, but the other part of me that knows
what he went through, is ready to hold the guy down whilst he
cuts his head off."
"If it helps," Joe
offered calmly, "Greg Powers spent the last couple of years
in a monastery."
The look on Chris' face said
it didn't much, but thanks for trying. It wasn't an easy task,
reconciling the facts with the torrent of emotion that his twin
seemed to have become. What nobody else knew, was that Greg's
presence wasn't the only problem Richie was dealing with at the
moment. There were things going through the young Immortal's head
that he hadn't even told his brother and the only reason the other
twin knew about them, was the unbreakable bond that sometimes
transferred things without conscious consent. It wasn't that the
more experienced Immortal was trying to keep secrets from his
other half, he just didn't know how to explain. Just recently,
as the stress of the wedding started to get to him, Richie had
been hearing voices. Not voices that told him to do anything,
but voices none the less, and Greg Powers was all he needed.
"I'll keep it in mind,"
Chris told his companions slowly.
MacLeod didn't return to the
dojo until six in the evening, and he was surprised to feel Richie's
presence as he walked up the steps. These days the young Immortal
habitually went home about five to see Beren, and returned about
seven if he had any outstanding paperwork. To find his protege
still in the office at this time of day was very unusual, and
to say that the Highlander hadn't realised this when he picked
his time to return would have been lying. As Duncan meandered
through the door he found his young friend leaning against the
open portal to his place of work. He smiled blandly at the twin
and headed for the elevator, neither of them said anything.
It wasn't that Mac wasn't willing
to discus Greg, it was just he could do without it just now. Even
the eternal boy-scout became tired of good deeds every now and
then. He'd spent three hours telling the photographer half truths
and catching up on old times, and he just wanted a stiff drink.
For a few minutes he thought he'd gotten away with it, that Richie
didn't want to talk, and then the elevator arrived.
"So how was he?" a
simple question, and one that opened a whole can of worms.
The other Immortal was looking
directly at him as Duncan turned to face him.
"I think he really is recovered,"
the Highlander returned without giving away his current mood.
"He's going to med. school in a few months, and he came to
say goodbye. Greg's killing off his old persona and moving on."
"Oh," the other said
The wooden door grated as Mac
pushed it upwards, and he had to ask his next question.
"Look," he said quietly,
"do you want to come up, we can talk?"
Sometimes personal feelings had
to be put aside for the sake of other people. Richie suddenly
seem to find his feet amazingly interesting. A small frown furrowed
his brow as he contemplated his answer.
"No," he said finally,
"thanks, but I've got to get home"
The reply surprised Duncan, but
for once he wasn't going to argue.
"Okay," was the word
that came out of his mouth.
He stepped into his chosen route
to the loft, turned round, and realised that Richie still hadn't
moved. His instinct was to ask another question, but pushing the
younger Immortal never did any good in most situations. The doors
slid into place evenly and he reached for the button.
"You want to bring him in,
don't you?" it was a straight question, and Richie walked
round to the front of the elevator as he asked it.
Hedging never entered MacLeod's
"Yes," the Highlander
responded calmly, "I think he'd make a good addition to the
His young friend stared at him
for a long moment in silence. His gaze was not accusing, but it
wasn't agreeable either, in fact it seemed rather lost. They both
knew that if Greg came with a recommendation from Mac, none of
the others would object, except of course Chris who would come
down on his brother's side no matter what. That meant Richie was
the only obstacle.
"Do you have a contact number?"
it was not what Duncan expected to hear at all.
He stood there for a moment,
unable to decide what to do, the request was so out of the blue.
He was so surprised that the truth of the matter was written all
over his face. He had a phone number, but he couldn't make his
mind if he trusted Richie enough to give it to him, or not. Quite
strange, as far as Mac was concerned, was the fact that his young
friend made no attempt to put any pressure on him, he just stood
there, waiting patiently.
"Yes," the Highlander
He pushed the wooden slats up
once more and took a single step towards his companion. He fished
in his pocket and produced half a beer mat that had been the only
plain surface available to write on in the bar where he and Greg
had spent most of the afternoon. Mac already had the number memorised
and he passed it to Richie slowly. It took a great deal of faith
in the young man for him to actually do it, and his pupil nodded
an acknowledgement before he turned and headed for the door. Not
another word passed between them.
of Part 3