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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 9

There was something special about the island. Richie had never been able to put his finger on exactly what it was, but it filled him with a sense of peace as he stepped onto it's shores. It wasn't just that it was holy ground, the young Immortal had been in plenty of churches that didn't feel like this. There was something else, the same air about it as Darius' church when the old man had resided there. It couldn't just be described as a presence, more of a shutting out of evil. The church in Paris had lost that feeling when it's nave was desecrated and it's holy man killed, the island still retained it. It filled Richie with such warmth that he didn't even mind the sound of an outboard motor cutting off in the distance as his shadow prepared to alight on the other side of the piece of land.

"There ain't gonna be a lot to see, kimosabe," the young man mumbled to himself and pulled his pack out of the canoe.

He'd decided to do the last bit of the trip the hard way, and he felt exhilarated, even though he was a little tired from the exertion. The cabin sat up the bank like a friendly giant welcoming him home and he set off towards the door at a trot.

Well, Greg didn't know a lot about running a dojo, but then when Richie had started, he hadn't either and most of the time it wasn't particularly complex. The membership had been growing quite nicely ever since the plumbing was sorted out, and Duncan had invested in a new flashy sign and a very small advertising campaign. Having new people turning up did, however, have one drawback: sometimes they didn't get on with the regulars. The temporary manager cum keeper of the peace heard the argument start as he sat playing a computer game whilst pretending to work. He hit the pause button and wandered out of the office.

Philip was a young actor of about twenty, whose mainstay of work was the young athletic hero type, in local productions. He had been coming to the dojo for a couple of months and he and Richie had become friends. The young Immortal had been tutoring the other man in basic fighting techniques for an upcoming role, but since he was away he'd taken to beating the hell out of a punch bag.

The big problem who had just walked out of the changing room was a large, jock of a man who's name Greg couldn't recall. He'd been working out in the dojo for just under a week, and it was obvious that he fancied himself as something of a fighter. The black haired Immortal had been warned to look out for him, since he'd tried to take on several of the regulars, each time stopped by Richie. Since the boss was away he was trying again and this time his victim was Phil.

"Come on, kid," the Neanderthal was saying as Greg approached, "think you can take me?"

"Please leave me alone," the younger returned as politely as possible, for the second time, "I'm not interested."

"You afraid?" it wasn't exactly the most sophisticated line of attack, and even though Phil really wanted to smack this guy in the mouth he was sticking to the house rules about brawling.

Sparing was perfectly all right, but this oaf was not interested in a mutual test of skill, he just wanted to pulverise somebody. Some of the others had been ready to break up anything that started, but as they saw Greg approaching they went back to what they had been doing.

"Is there a problem here, gentlemen?" the Immortal asked loudly and Phil looked relieved.

Now the regulars had seen Greg before, he and Richie had done a little sparing the previous day, but the big guy hadn't been in then. For all he knew, this guy was just sitting in for the what he considered to be `the regular kid', and quite frankly, this morning, the Immortal didn't exactly look the part of a warrior. Compared to most of the rest of the people in the dojo he was short, and he was dressed in jeans and T-shirt rather than anything practical for fighting. His appearance caused the large man to make a critical error in judgement, and he chose to push the matter.

"We were just gonna do a little sparing," he said with a misplaced look of superiority on his face.

It was an unspoken challenge and the others began to take surreptitious interest, this could be interesting. Now nobody went up against Richie, he'd been known to kick butt on several occasions, and he didn't pull any punches if someone pissed him off. What the interloper did not know was that the man he was trying to stare down had knocked Richie on his arse several times yesterday, as well as giving his own rear end a work out on the mat.

"I don't think Phil's particularly interested in sparing with you at the moment," Greg said reasonably, although he was pretty sure it wouldn't do much good. "Why don't you go and do something else for now."

He was giving the guy a very large way out, if only he was bright enough to take it. From the look in his eyes, that wasn't going to happen this century.

"I don't want to do anything else," were the next words out of the Neanderthal's mouth, "I want to spar. Maybe you'd like to take his place?"

"Well I'm not exactly dressed for the part am I," Greg gave the man one more chance.

When the oaf's hand reached out and actually pushed him on the shoulder, he stepped back and took a deep breath. This was not the way he'd wanted to start his stint as temporary warden of the mad house.

"You afraid too?" the taunt was meant to get under his skin, all it did was make him laugh.

"I believe the rules were explained to you when you joined, sir," the Immortal shot back with calm efficiency. "If you're going to be like this I'm going to have to ask you to leave. You may return if and when you decide to change your attitude."

Now the other guy laughed.

"You gonna make me?" he enquired with little imagination.

"If that's what it takes, sir, yes I will enforce the rules," the steel in Greg's eyes should have been a warning that he was not a soft target.

The swing came almost immediately, this was one testosterone trip the guy would regret. It was almost too easy for the Immortal as his left hand came up to block the blow and his right shot out and connected with the other's jaw. Greg knew how to hit, and he knew how to hit hard: his opponent flew through the air. The intellectually challenged individual landed next to a pair of feet, and found himself being scrutinised by a very familiar face.

"Not too bright, that," Chris said calmly, in a perfect imitation of his brother.

It was difficult enough to tell the twins apart when they were being themselves, but when one wanted someone to believe they were the other, no-one had a hope.

"You really should reconsider your attitude," he continued evenly and stepped over the prone form. "Come back when you have and your membership can be reconsidered."

Now the regulars had been told that Richie would be away for a few days, but even they were a little confused by the goings on. Chris could do such a perfect version of his brother that several people doubted what they knew. It was only after the trouble maker had grabbed his bag and scurried out that anyone actually said anything.

"That was fun," Chris commented with a chuckle, peculiar cross accent back in place, "I can see why Rich likes this job."

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, they weren't going crazy, Greg just grinned. He of course had the major advantage that he had an alternative way of telling the two apart.

"That's eerie, man," Phil commented as the twin walked past him and the two smiled at each other.

"And so enjoyable," the young man returned.

"For god sakes, don't encourage him," Greg said lightly and headed back for the office.

The twin followed him as everything returned to normal in the gym.

"So anything I can do for you?" the older Immortal enquired as he sat back down.

"Well since I don't have any clients to see this morning," Chris returned easily, "I have been sent on an errand by my brother's beautiful wife-to-be. She wants me to talk to you about photographs."

Greg had this feeling that he'd just been tied down.

Finding the correct frame of mind for what he was gong to do was taking longer than Richie had expected. He stood outside the cabin, breathing deeply and just surveying the beautiful view. It was as he watched a pair of loons paddling along together that the smell of a campfire reached his nose. He had to smile, the smoke wreaked of damp twigs and firelighters, his watcher must not have been much of an outdoor person. He didn't know who it was at the moment. For a while it had been David, but Joe had felt it prudent to reassign him and place a young, unknown individual on Richie's tail. An idea occurred to the Immortal as he pictured the unfortunate man, and he set off across the island with a smile on his face.

The fire was pitiful and on the verge of going out, as Richie watched the clueless man try and cook something on it. He was no more than about twenty five, and about the only thing he'd managed correctly was his clothes for this camping trip. His garb was just right for the current weather, but his tent was badly put up, his campsite was in completely the wrong place, and no way would his provisions last him three days. It was quite a turn about having an Immortal watching the man who was supposed to be following him, and Richie sat at the top of the slope on his haunches, enjoying the feeling for a while. He remembered all too well when he hadn't had a clue about the outdoors, and he felt sympathy for the man. Finally he could take the horrific attempts at cooking no-longer, and stood up stepping out of his hiding place.

"You look miserable," he said loudly and the Watcher almost dumped his lunch on the ground.

He had to laugh at the look of complete horror that crossed the young man's face, even as he tried to cover his angst. It was possible to actually see the cogs of his mind working as he tried to come up with a reason for his presence. He was new to the operative world and he didn't know a bust when he saw one.

"God, you scared me," he said, recomposing himself nicely, "I didn't know anyone else was on this island. I'm not trespassing or anything am I?"

"Nice try," Richie shot back cheerfully, "but I know why you're here. Now we can play hide and seek all week if you like, but quite frankly you're just going to be cold, hungry and unhappy by tomorrow morning."

The young man's face hardened as he thought he was going to be told he may as well abandon his assignment. He knew these few days could be important, and he was damned if he was going to miss them.

"Don't look so worried," the Immortal told him much to his surprise, "I'm not going to dump you in your boat and send you packing. I am aware of how persistent your kind can be, you'd just come back when my back was turned. The cabin is dry, it's warm and Duncan keeps it well stocked with food. There's a spare bed you're quite welcome to use, and I won't tell if you won't."

A stunned, confused expression replaced the annoyance. The Watcher just didn't seem to know what to do.

"Look," Richie said with a grin, "I'm here to find out exactly who was part of that Quickening. I was going to make a list myself and give it to Joe, but you may as well do it yourself."

The man was still motionless.

"Well I'm going back to the cabin," the Immortal concluded cheerfully, "if you feel like a nice hot meal and cup of coffee, I'll expect you when you've taken down that disaster of a tent."

He turned and vacated the area at an easy trot. A very perturbed Watcher was left to decide if he was going to except his Immortal's hospitality.

About half an hour later there was a tentative knock on the cabin door, and Richie grinned as he turned down the gas stove.

"Come in," he called lightly, "feel free to dump your stuff in the corner."

A good meal and several steaming mugs of coffee later, Richie still didn't know the young man's name, but he was at least not looking at the door every few seconds.

"You don't have to look so nervous," the Immortal said lightly, "I don't bite."

"No but you do have a mean sword arm," the Watcher sat back and managed a smile.

He was obviously very unsure about his current course of action, and he was uncomfortable. He was straight out of whatever passed for training for his organisation, and actually talking to an Immortal was a very big break in etiquette.

"Would it make it any easier if I told you there hasn't been a Watcher on my tail that I haven't spotted since the Dividing happened?" Richie enquired in an attempt to ease the brown haired man's angst.

This individual showed all the aspects of the perfect Watcher. He was a handsome man, but he was classically good looking, you could find a million of him in every American city. He had glasses clamped to the end of his nose and there was an air about him that spoke of someone who could be happy with his face in a book, or running around in the real world. The look in his eyes said that breaking the rules like this came right up there with murder, but he had no other course of action. Richie's disclosure did at least make him sit a little easier.

He seemed a little in awe of the Immortal this close, and he wasn't particularly vocal.

"Under all the hype I'm just a regular guy," the blond man tried hopefully.

That worked, the Watcher laughed at the suggestion.

"Yeah, sure," he said forgetting for a moment that he was supposed to be reticent, "you just happen to be telepathic and heal in seconds."

"Well, putting it like that," the Immortal admitted lightly. "But if you stop looking at me like I'm going to grow another head any second, we'll get on much better."

His companion looked apologetic, but he couldn't seem to settle.

"Me being here is enough to get my butt cooked before I've been at this more than a few months," he said eventually. "If they find out I've come within ten feet of you I'll be for the high jump."

"Then we'll just have to make sure they don't hear anything, won't we," Richie returned very practically. "I don't admit to understanding why you guys do what you do, but I've gotten used to the idea. Most of the time I ignore you, but I just couldn't leave you out there. You're not cut out for this camping thing."

On that point they had to agree, there was no doubt that the Watcher was not an outdoor person.

"You're supposed to be a city guy," the bespectacled individual said, losing just a trace of his anxiety. "Give me a street and traffic, lots of people, I can cope, put me in a wood and I sort of loose all sense of direction."

That drew a hearty chuckle from the Immortal, not so long ago, he would have said the same about himself.

"Well in a couple of days we'll be back in the pollution," he commented amiably, "and we can go back to the comfortable, remote relationship that was going so well. For now, what do I call you? Watcher doesn't sound quite right."

"Adrian," the other replied after a few moments thought.

He was rewarded by a big smile from his companion. At last, Richie thought he was getting somewhere: the tension was ebbing away.

End of Part 9