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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


Part 6

The barrier was suddenly gone and the full force of Chris' mind suddenly burst into Richie's. The change was so sudden that he gasped for breath as his twin let him in and his thoughts cut straight through the hurricane of confusion in his brother's head.

Richie felt hands in his own and reality came thudding back like a mountain landing on him. He was cramped, he was shaking and perversely, he was hungry.

So much relief flooded through Chris as he felt his twin move and a semblance of thought start in what had been unreadable turmoil, that he felt dizzy. He couldn't decide if he wanted to laugh or cry, the release was so great. All he could think to do as Richie looked up at him with bleary eyes, was to give him a huge hug.

It was once Richie had seemingly begun to recover that, Kari who was completely better from her earlier episode with Chris, took charge, and in the true British fashion she had learnt from her lover, put the kettle on. Whilst Chris had been trying to get through to his brother, the young woman had explained the entire situation to Duncan, who had only had a garbled pleas for help from Beren. Once the crisis appeared to be over she had imparted the news to the Highlander as he hung on to the other end of the line, and then rung off with promises to explain in the morning.

With Beren on one side and Chris on the other, Richie made it to the living room, but he was more than a little shaky on his legs. Once she was sure he wasn't about to keel over, his fiancee took enough time to go and collect a blanket and wrapped him in it. Then she tucked her legs up underneath herself on the sofa and refused to be more than a few millimetres away from him.

Richie still seemed dazed, but he accepted the steaming hot cup of tea Karina produced from the kitchen a minute or so after he had settled. He hadn't said anything since he'd opened his eyes, and no- one was pushing for information. If he was going to tell them anything it had been silently agreed between everyone that it would be in his own sweet time.

"Thanks," he said about thirty seconds after he had been presented with the drink and his manners caught up.

Nobody was quite sure what to do or say. On the one hand no-one wanted to appear overly curious, but on the other, sitting there in complete silence was particularly ridiculous. The tea seemed to have all of Richie's attention, his brain being in sequential rather than parallel mode at the moment, but shortly the fact that it was very quiet even dawned on him. He peered over the mug and swung his gaze past everyone.

"Stuck for conversation, huh?" he said and the smallest smile played at the corners of his mouth.

It was typical of Richie to see the funny side, and it brought a snort of disbelief from his brother.

"Okay, we can go, people, he's got his sense of humour back," Chris announced sarcastically.

That brought a slightly bigger smile from his sibling, but it slowly faded away as the memories of the past half an hour intruded once more. The crisis was over, but there were still mountains to climb. Richie's mind was a bit of a mess at the present time and he knew it was going to take some serious thought to reassert order. Less than three months before the wedding was probably not a good time to discover this, but he'd had very little choice. He really didn't feel like explaining what had happened, but he could see the need to know in all the eyes that were looking at him.

Chris felt the acknowledgement from his brother, and then he couldn't help himself, he launched into a question.

"What the hell was that?" he asked pointedly.

All he had to go on were flashes of confusion and fear, but he knew his sibling had a better understanding. Normally the twins would have passed the information automatically, but this time Richie was in no state to hold his own mind together, let alone allow another person access to it.

"Greg's inclusion caused the voices to overflow," the explanation was designed to impart knowledge to Chris, none of the others had a clue what the blond Immortal was talking about, "but I know what I have to do now."

The pair looked at each other a moment and then Richie continued.

"I've been a bit of an idiot," this was a better start to letting the rest of the room understand. "We absorbed all those Quickenings and then expected them all to just go away. I've been ignoring their presence for months, just trying to forget that they're part of us. Tonight I was rather sharply reminded that they're there."

The light of comprehension began to dawn in Craven's eyes, he was beginning to realise what had happened.

"Are you saying that the psyches of all those Immortals are still intact?" he enquired carefully.

Since it seemed to be question time, and Richie appeared willing to talk, there was no reason not to join in.

"Sort of," was the quiet, but firm reply. "When we take a head we absorb all that that person was, we automatically integrate them into ourselves. I never really thought about it before, but there are parts of me that are the same as the Immortals I've killed. Sections of me are like Mako for example, and I made his power part of mine by accepting that. There were so many at the Dividing that it couldn't just happen like that. Bits and pieces became part of me and part of you, but it was random, incomplete. It's still as if they're separate entities, they have not been recognised."

Manheim was looking a little awe-struck, he'd never considered a Quickening in that way either, but when pointed out it seemed so obvious. It took some Immortals years to realise what appeared to have occurred to Richie in only a few moments. It was quite a frightening concept when observed in cold black and white because the battles that raged were usually between enemies. To accept what the blond young man said, an Immortal had to admit that something within themselves was the same as the people they had killed, and that was frightening.

"Can we help?" the older Immortal asked quietly.

"Not at the moment," the other replied slowly, and he looked a little lost for a second. "These are my voices, aspects of me. It's why it takes so long to transfer any knowledge between us, you're absorbing one aspect at a time, the way it's supposed to be done. You'll have the same knowledge eventually, but I have to know my ghosts before I can let you have them."

He actually smiled at his last words. Earlier he had been afraid of the voices, but now, as he thought of the kind face of Darius, he realised he'd been so blind.

[I'll call if I need a brace, Bro,] his voice said in his twin's mind.

As he'd been talking the truth seemed to have sunk in, and he didn't seem as apprehensive now. His tight shield around his thoughts was down again and Chris began to feel as if this might actually be turning out all right.

[I'll be here,] he replied and half smiled back.

Much to most people's surprise Karina handed Richie the phone.

"Since you seem to have made a remarkable recovery," she said brightly, "not that I have a clue what you're talking about, you can call Duncan and put his mind at rest."

She looked determined and the young Immortal chose not to argue.

There were great advantages to working with people who shared the same lifestyle, one of which was when everyone slept in there were no awkward explanations to the boss.

Beren's hours were irregular as it was because she'd gone onto flexitime to allow her the freedom to organise the wedding as much as she liked. Her father's dig had finished months ago, but with Paul and Duncan on her side she'd been offered plenty of work after that. Yvonne, Beren's mother was going to be coming over two weeks before the wedding to help with the final arrangements, and the family kept in regular contact over the phone.

Working in a bar meant that Kari's day often began at midday anyway, Chris had no appointments the next morning, neither did Craven, and Duncan put a note on the outside of the dojo apologising for late opening.

Given the previous nights events, Mac was surprised to see Richie climb off his bike and head for the door at ten in the morning. The Highlander hadn't really thought that his protege would show his face all day. He looked over to where Greg had dropped in for a late breakfast and it was obvious who the Scotsman had seen.

"Well there's no time like the present," the ex-photographer said lightly and climbed to his feet.

He had been totally amazed at the feeling of kinship that his inclusion in the group had brought with it, but he definitely liked the way it felt. He knew that there was a fellowship here, and it was a fulfilment of his deepest dreams. What could not be ascertained, however, was exactly how Richie would react to him. Yes the homicidal tendencies would have melted away, but was friendship really an option. Duncan had tried to explain that eventually there was no doubt that the pair would forget their differences, but Greg was interested in now.

He smiled as he headed for the elevator.

"Wish me luck," he said and Amanda gave him a little wave of encouragement.

Of course, Richie knew exactly who it was coming down to meet him and he waited in the middle of the room patiently. He was holding Duncan's sign in one hand and a backpack in the other, a very ordinary snapshot of life. As the wooden cage slid upwards the two men came face to face and their eyes locked.

The crazed face flashed in the younger Immortal's mind as he saw it's placid form, but the fear did not reassert itself. The memory was still there, the experience was still catalogue in Richie's mind, but it no-longer belonged in context with the man stood a few feet away. The killing instinct was gone between these two, and with it any threat that may have been perceived.

They just looked at each other a moment, the younger in contemplation, the older in trepidation, and then slowly Richie smiled.

"Morning," he said calmly, "welcome to the fold."

The relief covered Greg's face in a huge grin, it was like a weight being lifted from his shoulders. This was a new page and there was nothing written on it yet, now was the time to make a friendship. Richie headed for the office and beckoned to the other Immortal.

"Come on in," he invited amiably, "I think we have some things to talk about."

"So do you do lottery numbers?" were the words that Duncan heard when he ventured downstairs half an hour later.

"Oh, I wish," Richie's voice was light and full of laughter, which was a very good sign as far as the Highlander was concerned.

The older Immortal put his head round the side of the office and both of it's occupants smiled at him.

"No bruises," he commented cheerfully, "that's good."

"Oh, the one slug was good enough to put me down," Greg joked back and Richie just laughed.

The two seemed to have put all differences behind them, and the friendship that had been erased by Gregor's actions appeared to have reasserted itself. The fact that they looked as if they were totally at ease in each other's company was warmth to Mac's heart.

"I was just telling Greg about my premonitions," the blond individual told his mentor, "and we just came up with a use for them. Do you think you can come up with a situation that made winning the lottery vital to our little group?"

Richie had long since realised that his visions were only ever to do with the small community. He'd had one since Methos joined them which had prevented Adam's premature discovery by an over enthusiastic Watcher. Yet, there had been no indication of Craven's battle with his old enemy, it did not seem to be a predictable process.

"That one might be a little tricky," the Highlander replied with a grin. "Well since you two aren't trying to kill each other, I'll be off."

He managed to half turn before Richie caught him.

"Ah, Mac," he started, a beginning which Duncan recognised all too well, "I was wondering, could I borrow the cabin for a few days?"

The request caught the Scotsman entirely off guard.

"I need some time to sort myself out," his young friend continued honestly. "Greg has offered to step in for me here, I just need a chance to be alone."

It took a moment for MacLeod's mind to catch up and for a while Richie thought he might actually say no. Then his face cleared,

"Yeah," he replied quickly, "of course. How long were you thinking of staying there? Is Beren going with you?"

"I hadn't really decided," the blond young man replied honestly, "and no, Chris and Kari have said they'll keep her company while I'm gone. I can see myself being distracted if she's around. I was planning on leaving tomorrow if that's okay."

"No problem," the black haired Immortal returned, "remind me to give you the keys before you go today."

"Thanks, Mac," his protege said genuinely.

The older man smiled and nodded. He no-longer tried to fathom exactly what went on inside Richie's head, he just accepted what it brought. There were some things that the Highlander did not fully understand and this was one of them. In some ways Duncan was older and wiser than his pupil and in others he was a babe who hadn't a clue. It was funny to think that there were subjects that Richie was now better equip to deal with than the man who had once taught him everything he knew.

The two younger Immortals returned to their conversation as Mac headed out and it looked like any other day that passed in the dojo.

It was so late in the morning that the meal to which Chris and Karina had sat down could only be called brunch. The table top was covered in spread and preserve jars of all types which had leant themselves to some interesting toast and x creations. The weirdest was probably lemon curd and cheese, sprinkled liberally with chocolate sauce which the male one of the pair had decided he quite liked and his partner had binned when he wasn't looking. Chris had just popped two more slices of bread into the toaster and Kari was nursing a mug of coffee when her train of thought finally prompted her onto the subject that she had been wondering about.

"What's it like?" she said suddenly as her lover turned back from the counter.

"What's what like?" he returned, a little puzzled by the question.

"Being Immortal?" now that was not what Chris had been expecting at all.

He opened his mouth to reply almost at once, but shut it again as he thought about the question. The answer to that enquiry could be very important in the future and so he took a moment to think about it as he sat down.

"It's not that different from being Mortal, really," the young man began finally. "I mean we still try and avoid being injured, it might heal fast, but it still hurts like hell."

He smiled at her lightly and she grinned back, but the question was still in her gaze.

"Sometimes I don't even think about it," he continued calmly. "It's not like between Richie and me, that's always in my mind, it's natural to me, but Immortality only occurs to me when I meet another one of us. I mean, you don't go around all the time thinking, Oh my god, I'm mortal, and it's the same for me. The presence of one of the others brings home my Immortality, but otherwise it's a secondary thing. I suppose we're more willing to put ourselves into dangerous situations because we know that not a lot can kill us, but we'd rather avoid it."

A small frown was creasing his lovers brow as he finished and he knew that wasn't quite enough.

"But what does it feel like," she enquired, "to know you're going to live forever? What's it like to have a wound heal in front of your eyes?"

It took a while for Chris to know what he really felt about that, let alone explain it.

"It's daunting to tell you the truth," he said slowly, "and exciting all at the same time. I can't imagine what it's like to have seen as much history as Duncan or Craven, and yet someday, if I survive, I will. It's still incredible to me."

Then he grinned.

"And the healing bit," he said lightly, "it tingles."

That wiped away the serious frown, just as he'd hoped it would. Karina smiled at him and went to take his hand when she stopped. She sniffed once and then an amused look crossed her face.

"Oh, the bloody switch jammed again," Chris yelled as the smell of burning reached his nose as well.

As he leapt out of his seat Kari just laughed and the two black morsels that jumped out of the top of the toaster as Chris hit it, caused her to dissolve into a fit of giggles.

End of Part 6