"You want to do what?"
Duncan wasn't sure he'd heard Adam correctly.
"I said I want to kill myself
off," the older Immortal repeated with a calm smile.
The two men had been just chatting
over coffee when Methos had dropped his bombshell, and the Highlander
was now looking at him as if he was out of his mind.
"But ... but," he tried
twice and still couldn't think of anything definite to say.
"I've thought it all through,"
his friend told him with a grin, "and I want you to help
me plan my demise. Adam Pierson is going to become Immortal, and
I figured you'd be a great person to help kill him off. This is
the sort of thing you're good at. After all you've died enough
His tone gave Mac the distinct
impression that there was absolutely no way to talk his companion
out of this course of action. His first reaction was that it was
a love sick, totally crazy idea that would back fire for all concerned.
Yet, as he actually took time to consider it a sly smile spread
across his face. It was a madcap scheme, but it might actually
"I take it you've talked
to Madi about this," he said wryly.
"Oh yes," the Immortal
replied with a huge, mischievous grin, "she was very
He'd been extremely late into
the library this morning. His expression drew a hearty laugh from
the Scotsman, there was no doubt what he was referring to. There
was a sparkle in the ancient Immortal's eyes that seemed to get
bigger the more time he spent with his lover. It was good to see
it there, somehow Methos had always seemed to be a somewhat lonely
figure. Even when he'd first joined up he had been that little
bit alone, as if his age set him apart. Whenever he spoke of Madi
his difference dimmed into insignificance and Mac was glad to
see his friend so happy.
"I was thinking, maybe a
mugging," the soon to be ex-Watcher said jovially, "with
fatal consequences. If we liaise with Joe and your beautiful doctor
friend we should be able to pull it off with limited hassle. Adam
Pierson can publicly kick the proverbial bucket, and bingo a new
Immortal to join the clan. It'll have to be good to fool the Watchers,
but it's not as if we haven't done that before."
"I think you're nuts,"
Duncan returned as he surveyed the happy expression on Adam's
face, "but it sounds like fun. I'd suggest that one of us
old hands dresses up and kills you, but that might look suspicious.
We do, however, have the perfect person downstairs. Greg's pretty
unknown in this area, with Joe's help I'm sure he'll be happy
to kill you."
They grinned at each other like
a pair of school boys planning a prank. They'd known something
like this would come eventually, it was exciting to find that
that time had arrived.
There was an electricity in the
air as Adrian sat on the chair, his note book in hand. He felt
a little strange just sitting there, and his fingers twitched
in anticipation as he watched his companion go through the motions
of putting himself into a meditative state.
Richie was kneeling in the middle
of the floor with his hands on his knees, his back straight, and
his eyes closed. It was a position he could maintain for hours
and he fell into it without really thinking as his lungs pulled
in strong even breaths. He hadn't been quite sure how to go about
the task he had set himself, but as he knelt there his thoughts
were following their own course.
In his mind's eyes there was
complete blackness as he emptied his brain of all outside influences.
Piece by piece he rebuilt the surrounding room in this strange
perception, the walls, the fire place, the furniture. He used
every ounce of concentration he possessed to recreate the entire
thing in his head, from the cobweb above the door to the pattern
on the rug. This was the Immortal mind at it's limits and he pulled
together things that once, he would have never dreamed possible.
The location complete, he put himself inside and the mental version
of himself stood up slowly. He was unaware of his surroundings
now, the thought world being the only thing that was important.
With deliberate ease he walked to the door of the cabin and opened
it, and smiled at the person who stood outside.
"I am Darius," the
monk said with one of his peaceful smiles, "may I come in."
"Please, step inside,"
Richie said calmly and walked back into the room.
He'd known this man such a short
time, but he had called him a friend and it was like welcoming
him back from the dead. The formal introduction had seemed right
somehow, and suddenly the young Immortal wanted to know everything
about this man.
"If I tell you all you want
to know, my young friend," the old Immortal said as he followed
his companion, "you will be here for years. This is a beginning,
not an ending, we have eternity to talk and you already know enough
about me. Write my name on your paper and allow the others in."
In the real room, Richie had
left a pen and paper on the low coffee table and he had recreated
in his mind. His mental image picked it up and wrote the Darius
at the top.
"Can you stay, just for
a while?" the young man asked tentatively.
He was doing this because he
knew he had to, but he was still a little afraid.
"I will be here for as long
as you need me," the monk replied calmly. "Shall we
They both looked to the door
and a bearded man of approximately six foot walked in. He was
wearing something of vaguely toga design and he smiled broadly
with cheerful openness.
"I am Iltyd Xemens,"
he said brightly, "it's good to finally meet you."
Richie reached out to shake his
Adrian was scribbling madly as
he watched an almost motionless Immortal change from persona to
persona. Richie's body had not shifted from the spot, but as the
images spoke in his mind the words came out his mouth. There would
have been nothing remarkable about this except for the fact that
it was like hearing completely different people. As Darius spoke
there was a serenity about the young Immortal, and Iltyd brought
a light cheerfulness. The Watcher was beginning to wish he had
brought a tape recorder, as his pen flew across the paper.
Beren tried to look happy as
Chris, Kari and Greg turned up on her doorstep, but it was obvious
that she was a little withdrawn. She hated that the apartment
felt so empty without Richie there. He always filled the place
with life, and she wasn't used to it not being there. To live
without him seemed totally inconceivable, and no matter how many
times she told herself this was only for a few days, she was depressed.
"We were planning on going
to the movies," the blond Immortal told her brightly.
He could see that she was moping,
but there was no way he was going to let her wallow in it.
"Angie and John are meeting
us there," he continued, totally ignoring her first attempt
to tell them to go without her, "and we're not leaving you
He grinned charmingly at her,
and she was torn between the desire to kiss him or kill him. The
flare in her eyes at being told what to do was just about unmistakable
and Greg chose the moment to step in.
"I would be most honoured
if the dear lady would see it fit to accompany me to the theatre,"
he interjected smoothly. "And we can pretend we don't know
the riffraff if you like."
His smile was broad and he was
just as likeable as the first time she'd met him. What could Beren
say? Then young woman looked down at herself for a few seconds
and then back at the other three.
"Give me five minutes,"
she said quickly, "no way the world sees these jeans."
The way his hand felt like it
was going to fall off was a good indication to Adrian that he
wasn't going to be able to keep up with this speed writing much
longer. His rear end was numb, his stomach was growling ominously,
his fingers were like lead and his vision was beginning to rebel
from all the staring at a piece of paper. Being wrapped up in
the excitement of what he was doing helped to keep him going,
but everyone had their limits and he was beginning to wish this
session would end.
The man crouching down by the
fire place was one of the many surprises that Richie had had during
the second half of the day. His name was Syrus McKay and he was
dressed in leather from head to foot. To call him scruffy was
somewhat of an understatement, there didn't seem to be one inch
of him that didn't have some dirt on it, and he appeared to have
at least three days of stubble on his chin. This was not exactly
what Richie had come to expect of a cowboy, but this man was from
the wild west.
"Not impressed by the way
I looked when I died, eh?" Syrus commented as his host looked
at him from his seat on one of the chairs.
It wasn't a chiding remark, just
a statement of fact, and a grin spread over his face.
"I didn't always look like
this," he said lightly and stood up to his full six and a
half feet, "how's this."
The dirt vanished, the leather
miraculously changed colour, and he gained a very traditional
looking cowboy hat. Richie had to grin back, he was impressed.
"I was only forty eight
when I bit the big one," were his next words. "Died
for the first time at twenty eight, just got used to this Immortality
idea and got my head chopped off by a new fangled loader. Take
my advice, kid, never work for the railroad: the pay's bad and
the work's dangerous."
"I'll remember that,"
the blond Immortal replied calmly.
Time was unimportant in this
place and he was not sure how long he'd been doing this. The clock
on the wall hadn't changed position as he stood up and put out
his hand to his latest companion. Syrus' grip was firm as they
shook on their acquaintance and he smiled cheerfully.
"Nice to meet you, kid,"
he said without further ado, "I can think of worse places
to have ended up."
"Nice to meet you too, Syrus,"
Richie returned warmly, "I can think of worse people to have
That drew a hearty laugh from
his companion and the cowboy slapped him on the back with just
a little too much force. The younger Immortal moved sideways and
was going to right himself when a wave of dizziness threatened
to take away his legs. Only Syrus' quick move prevented him falling
as he took him by the shoulders and quickly sat him back in the
"Hey kid, I think it might
be time to stop this for a while," the cowboy suggested calmly,
"you're looking a bit peaky. This mind game stuff puts a
strain on your real body."
It was strange to find that even
a metal projection of yourself could be overcome by fatigue. Suddenly
Richie could feel the weariness of his physical shell and with
a final parting glance he was flung quite firmly back to reality.
His eyes opened suddenly and came face to face with Adrian who
had moved out of his position when he'd seen the young Immortal
"Are you okay?" the
Watcher enquired quickly as his companion blinked at him.
For a moment Richie just seemed
a little stunned until finally his mind managed to grasp that
it was back in the real world.
"Yeah, I'm fine," he
said slowly and realised that his voice wasn't working properly.
He had been talking for nearly
eight hours straight, and there was no moisture left in his mouth.
"I'll get you some water,"
Adrian decided quickly and left the Immortal to get up by himself.
Every sinew seemed to be complaining
loudly as Richie tried to climb to his feet, but he pulled himself
up with the help of the coffee table. Life was quickly returning
to his limbs as well conditioned muscles shook off the inactivity
easily. There was just one thing the young man hadn't predicted
properly, and that the amount of energy his activities would have
used. Whilst he was kneeling down it was fine, but as he stood
his body realised just how little sugar it had left on hand. The
world spun madly and Adrian found he had a fainting Immortal on
The film had been very entertaining
and the six young looking people had retired to an all night cafe
once it was over. Coffee and danishes all round, they were quite
happily eating and talking.
"Yeah, the only problem
being his all defeating sword move just wouldn't work," Greg
said cheerfully as he and Chris took the choreography to pieces.
"It was nice to look at
though," the other returned with a grin.
The others had come to a gap
in their discussions and were just sat watching the two have a
very animated conversation. Beren turned to Kari and grinned.
"I told you they'd be like
this if we went to see a sword and sorcery film," she said
lightly. "They just can't resist it, none of `em."
The comment alerted the two Immortals
to the fact that they were the centre of attention. They both
"Greg, we're getting predictable,"
Chris said cheerfully, "we're going to have to stop that."
"Gets difficult when you
reach my age," the ex-photographer shot back amiably.
Angie found that very funny and
began to laugh, she'd been in a very giggly mood ever since she
and John had come back off honeymoon. That had been a week ago,
and to say that the marriage made her glow was like suggesting
a hundred watt light bulb lit a room like a candle. The young
woman was looking radiant, and if woman's intuition was anything
to go by, both Kari and Beren had deduced that there would be
the patter of little feet before the next spring was out.
"More coffee anyone?"
Chris asked brightly and stood up with his empty cup in hand.
Luckily for him Greg had excellent
reflexes as the china fell out of suddenly weak fingers and the
young man went the most interesting colour. One of the photographer's
hand shot out to catch the wayward cup and the other to steady
"Let me guess," the
other black haired Immortal said calmly as his companion sat back
down rapidly, "Richie."
The twin nodded, but smiled reassuringly
at Beren's slightly anxious face.
"Don't worry," he said
lightly, "he just didn't eat enough at lunch."
There had been little discussion
of what exactly Richie was up to, and since Chris chose not to
discuss it, nobody chose to pry. There were some things it was
just difficult to talk about with so many people.
It was really the same over the
next few days: life just went on. Chris kept Beren informed that
his brother was on good health and things were going well. Greg
kept the dojo running smoothly whilst helping Duncan and Methos
plan Adam's demise with input form Joe. The senior Watcher asked
no more about Kari and everything was relatively normal, once
the group got over the fact that Methos was going to kill off
his current persona.
of Part 10