It was almost as if Chris and
Kari were baby-sitting, or that's the conclusion to which Beren
was coming. There were always coming over and making sure she
was all right, and she was beginning to find it funny. They never
intruded, but her continued good cheer seemed to be a mission
as far as the other couple were concerned. Richie had sent his
apologies via his twin when his stay away turned into day four,
but the process of naming all the others was taking longer than
"I'm beginning to think
he's enjoying himself a little bit too much," Chris said
cheerfully, as the three of them sat in Beren's living room. "He
wakes me up every morning at about six and expects me to be as
enthusiastic as he is."
They'd finished dinner a good
hour previously and had been chatting idly since. As usual the
conversation had eventually come round to Richie and his actions
on the island. Chris didn't mention it when any of the others
were around, but when the three were alone they always managed
to move onto the same topic. It was very understandable, the twin
was involved just about as much as anyone else could be, and Beren
wanted to know everything about her lover.
"Ha, and then my dear one
here takes it upon himself to make sure I don't get to sleep either,"
Kari put in with a laugh.
"You haven't complained
yet," Chris responded with a sly smile.
The explanation of how exactly
he chose to wake his lover every morning was written all over
his face and Beren sighed in mock exasperation.
"You two are getting worse
than Richie and me," she told them with a very good impression
They both just looked at her
"Ach, away with you,"
she said in a very bad Scots accent, "before I get jealous."
It was headed for ten thirty
and they all had early starts the next day, so there were no argument.
"And tell that brother of
yours," Beren said after they retrieved their things and
headed for the door, "if he's not back sometime tomorrow
I shall reconsider my position."
To that, Chris just laughed.
If the English woman and his brother could keep their hands off
each other for more than five minutes when he returned the Immortal
would be most surprised.
"I shall pass on your message
dear lady," he responded with gallant flare, "just as
soon as the man himself emerges from his latest trance."
Since Chris could step into his
sibling's mind it would have been quite easy for him to walk into
the mental room, but he chose never to intrude on what Richie
The three said their goodbyes,
after which Kari and her partner headed down the stairs and out
of the building. It was a pleasant evening and they climbed into
her car regretfully. It was a big old Chevy that her father had
bought for her on her eighteenth birthday. She'd brought it to
the city once her holiday had turned into a more permanent arrangement.
"Let's go for a walk in
the park," the young woman suggested suddenly as she pulled
away from the curb.
"Sounds nice," the
Immortal returned with a smile and was so wrapped up in his own
thoughts it never occurred to him that the car that went to follow
them was not his usual tail.
This late a night the piece of
green at the centre of the city was used for more delicate activities
than walking the dog, and there were several cars parked as the
young couple pulled up. Some had taken their business further
into the wooded groves, but there were several cars with tell
tale misted windows.
"Let's stroll," Kari
said at the wicked glint in Chris' eyes.
"Aw," he said with
a soulful puppy dog look, but opened the door anyway.
The air was warm and the sky
clear as they locked the vehicle and smiled at each other over
the top of the car. It occurred to Chris that it would be difficult
for him to find a time when he had been happier than he was now.
Oh his life was complicated, but it was so full.
"I love you," he said
She reached out a hand over the
metal box and he took it without hesitation. As they gazed into
each other's eyes it was almost as if the magic would last forever.
There reverie was, however, shattered in a most decisive and dreadful
way. Kari went flying backwards as a shot rang out, one temple
turning red as she fell. Time was moving impossibly slowly as
Chris watched it all happen in agonising moments. His cry of denial
sounded distant and distorted in his ears as he threw himself
across the hood of the car to reach his beloved. She was laying
on the ground, totally still, like some discarded ragdoll. Blood
leaked slowly from what seemed to be such a small wound on the
left side of her head and the Immortal fell to his knees beside
her. Breath still moved her chest up and down in a gentle rhythm,
but it was so shallow.
At the sound others had climbed
out of their cars and they began to gather round. Chris couldn't
even bring himself to touch her, his mind was frozen by the total
inconceivability of what had happened. His hands hovered above
her as her body floated just this side of death and he didn't
know what to do. The he felt it, the first twinge of another Immortal
close by. His head came up, his eyes scanned the crowd and slowly
drawn by a moving car his gaze settled on a man who was looking
right back. His skin was the colour of ebony and the white of
his smile showed all too clearly as he suddenly sped up and disappeared
into the distance.
The familiar beeping of a mobile
phone told Chris that someone was calling the emergency services,
but he still didn't move. He was numb, and the only thing that
burned inside of him was a small flame of fury. The deathly pale
face of his love filled his mind and he could think of nothing
The room had been quiet as Richie
prepared to wake himself from his self induced hypnosis. He had
realised that he could take only short periods of the trance like
state and he had become adept at realising when he should return
to the real world. He was just about to banish the illusion when
suddenly, he was no-longer alone. Chris was there kneeling beside
the door, just staring at the floor. His head came up slowly and
he looked at his twin, his eyes so full of sorrow. That gaze swallowed
Richie and he felt his consciousness wrenched away from his control
as his mind filled with only one name.
Adrian saw his companion stiffen
and then the Immortal lurched to his feet screaming a name. This
watcher knew enough about his subject to realise who Kari was.
It was difficult to know what to do with what appeared to be a
hysterical Immortal. The young man was very glad when the cry
stopped and at least the semblance of a normal expression returned
to Richie's face.
"Your boat," the blond
man said slowly, "I need your boat."
Adrian did not argue.
By the time Chris came to his
senses enough to actually think about the situation, it was too
late to do anything. The police and the ambulance had turned up
and he couldn't exactly just tell them to let her die. He gave
them the information they wanted and quietly rode to the hospital
by her side, it was out of his hands.
Half an hour later he was sat
in the hospital hallway when Joe turned up. The police had contacted
him and Kari's parents, and he had left the bar under Mike's capable
"Chris?" he said quietly
as he found the young man just staring into space.
The twin's gaze slowly turned
to his friend. His features were placid, but a deep anger burned
in his eyes.
"It was another Immortal,"
he said evenly. "I think I've just been challenged."
The lack of emotion in his tone
was eerie and it sent a shiver down the Watcher's spine. This
was not the care free young man he was used to talking to, this
was a cold Immortal who had murder on his mind.
"Have they told you anything
yet?" Joe chose not to investigate the avenue that lead to
the fiery pit of fury in his friend.
"No," Chris replied,
changing very suddenly to almost how the watcher would have expected
a normal human to be, "they took her into surgery a few minutes
ago. It could be hours."
The way the young man was reacting
made Joe doubt the conversation he had had with Methos a couple
of days ago. Chris was acting just like any other person who's
lover had just been shot, and it was at times like that, when
Joe could really see that Immortal's were human too. The older
man took the seat next to his friend and they sat in silence for
"When will her parents be
here?" the young man asked eventually.
It seemed to be a reasonable
question and he wasn't sure he could talk sensibly about anything
"It's a six hour drive,"
Joe returned as calmly as he could manage, "we're on our
own until then."
"Did you tell anyone else?"
was the next enquiry that followed seconds later.
"No," the Watcher responded,
a little confused by the question.
Another few moments silence as
the Immortal considered something. He'd returned to staring into
space and he did not look back at his companion.
"Good," he concluded
finally, "don't. I have to call MacLeod."
With that he climbed to his feet
and headed for the pay phone. He didn't look back.
It was a great comfort to Adrian
when Richie seemed to calm down a little. The Immortal had been
almost frantic and the boat would only go so far no matter how
many languages in which the young man swore at it. Decorum and
what was correct for a Watcher and the man he was watching had
been totally upended and forgotten as the two tried there best
to get to the mainland as fast as possible. Three days ago and
Adrian would have been worrying about his position, now he was
only interested in helping the man he considered a friend. Richie
was a difficult person not to like, and spending that amount of
time with him had sucked the Watcher right in.
Their belongings had been left
where ever they happened to be in the cabin. They literally had
only what they needed to get back to the city with them. The first
disaster happen when they reached the shore and the place where
Richie had parked his bike. Someone had seen fit to relieve it
of one of its tyres. He was most surprised when Adrian handed
him his car keys.
"I'll just say you hijacked
me," he said at the puzzled expression and pointed to a blue
Ford. "It's not as if I could just leave you here."
"Thanks," was all the
Immortal could find to say, before the two men set off at a run
for the other vehicle.
Richie had to get back to his
twin, there was no other greater need in his mind.
After five hours of surgery a
blue coated doctor walked slowly over to the two men seated in
the hall way.
"Joe, Chris," said
a very familiar voice.
Both of them looked up at Anne
Lindsay hopefully, but her face was full of regret.
"She's alive," the
woman said gently, "but I'm sorry, there's not much hope.
Come with me and you can see her."
It was a small white room, and
it was filled with the sound of machines as they walked in. Karina
looked for all the world like she was sleeping, laying there in
the bed, surrounded by all the technology modern science could
provide. Her golden hair fell across the pillow on one side, but
it was gone from the other to be replaces by bandages and tape.
There was the hiss of a ventilator as it breathed for her and
it was painful to hear.
"How long?" Chris asked
"Her condition is stable,"
Anne responded and put her hand on his shoulder, "but it's
only the machines that are keeping her alive. With therapy she
might come out of it one day, but she'll never be the same again."
The Immortal did not respond
to the prognosis, he just walked further into the room and pulled
up a chair beside his lover. He did not move again. The doctor
took Joe outside and explained things to him in greater detail.
"I wish I had better news,"
she finished slowly, "but the bullet destroyed part of her
brain. It's just so senseless."
"Not for the man who pulled
the trigger," Joe replied coldly, "I have a good idea
of who it was."
"You have to tell the police,"
Anne said automatically and then remembered to whom she was talking.
The look on the Watcher's face
"An Immortal," she
concluded evenly, "trying to get to Chris. Are you going
to tell him where to find him?"
A shake of the head was the first
response, and it was easy to understand Joe's reasoning.
"He's not in any condition
to go chasing another of his kind," the older man said as
if he regretted that truth. "If this Immortal follows his
usual MO I don't think I'll have to anyway. One thing's for sure,
I'm not letting Chris out of my sight."
After every conceivable delay,
including a flat tyre, Richie finally made it to the hospital
at exactly the same time as Kari's parents. They were just climbing
out of a taxi as the young Immortal approached the entrance and
he didn't need to look twice to see the hostile glare from Kari's
oldest brother. There was, however, nothing that was going to
stand between him and his twin, and he skirted the family quickly.
He didn't need directions and he homed in on his sibling like
a moth to a flame.
[They're here, Chris,] he sent
as he hurried in the correct direction, [are you ready for this.]
The other Immortal may have appeared
silent to those with him by Karina's side, but he had been talking
to Richie for some time. They both knew there was only one course
of action, and the arrival of the young woman's family was the
The three people were taken aside
for the situation to be explained to them before Anne brought
them to the room. They actually arrived ten minutes after Richie
and found the twins and Joe all waiting for them. Mary, Karina's
mother had obviously been crying and the gaze that Tim passed
over the Immortal's in the room was hard and cold. The young woman's
father, unlike the other family members, didn't seem to be feeling
anything as he looked on his motionless daughter.
Anne faded into the background
like a piece of scenery as the grief in the room hung heavy. Nobody
spoke for a very long time and a painful tableau held for agonising
"What happened?" Bill,
Kari's father asked.
Joe said finally as it appeared Chris was not going to answer.
He was going to go on, try and
explain better, but he wasn't given the chance.
"You have to turn off the
machines, she can't live like this," the blond Immortal still
held his lover's hand and his face was almost placid.
His statement brought a shocked
and total silence. Both Kari's parents seemed unable to believe
what they had just heard, but a smouldering hatred flared in Tim's
"We're human," he almost
yelled, "we don't think like you. While there's life there's
hope, but you wouldn't understand that. Mourn for five minutes
and then move on. Is that what you were going to do? My sister's
still alive and I'm damned if I'm going to let you kill her just
because you can't bear to see her like that."
Not even Richie could stop his
twin as everything that Chris had been keeping bottled up exploded.
He flew out of the chair, across the room and pinned the unfortunate
Watcher to the wall. His anger burned across his features, but
it died almost as quickly as he saw the fear in the other man's
eyes. He let go of where he had Tim's collar and backed away slightly.
"She can't heal until she
dies," he said quietly and walked past the man and out of
Richie followed, leaving the
family with Joe and Anne, other Immortals would just complicate
the acceptance of the news.
of Part 11