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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 15

There was really only on thing an Immortal could do when they were challenged and had not decided to run, and that was to prepare. Richie would quite happily have closed the dojo and spared with his twin all afternoon, but they both knew he was no good as an opponent. Oh, it was a test of ingenuity, speed and strength when they fought, but it was entirely different when you could read your opponent's mind. That was why when the young woman in a floppy hat, sunglasses, sweat pants and a body suit, walked in she found her lover swapping blows with Greg, using Bokens.

Several of the regulars sent appreciative glances towards the new comer before they realised that they'd seen her plenty of times before. Kari looked amazingly different with her hair in a curly bob, and some didn't recognise her until she threw herself on Chris and gave him a huge kiss.

"Wow," was all her lover could say as he took in her new look for the first time. "You look fantastic."

She whipped off the hat with a giggle and did a girlish twirl. The hairdresser had done an amazing job and there was a triangular shaved patch just in front of either ear that flowed under a mass of blonde bangs that had been shaped to accent her high cheekbones.

"Apparently it's all the rage," she said with complete exuberance and kissed him again.

She was so happy that she really didn't care what she was doing. She was newly Immortal and she was excited, no matter what else might be going on. She knew there was someone who wanted her lover's head, and she had made sure she would not be seen alive until the threat was over, but that couldn't dim her new zest for life.

"Y'know, fraternisation between the patrons is frowned upon by the management," a voice said from the office, much to the amusement of the regulars.

"Oops, we've upset the boss," Chris said with a grin.

He was quite glad for the break in the battering he and Greg had been giving each other, and he was more than a little impressed by his partner's new look. Richie was standing in the doorway tapping his foot like a disapproving father, even as his eyes glinted with mischief.

"Nah, he's just jealous," Kari shot back with a grin.

Her comment was greeted by a warm laugh and some of the humour that had been missing from Richie's eyes since the phone call came back. He'd never really considered the challenge idea from quite this angle before and he was beginning to realise that the waiting for the result was worse than the fighting.

"Amanda's upstairs if you want a woman's opinion," the Immortal said lightly, which of course they both knew, but it gave him something to say.

It was also a way to get Karina out of the dojo before some of the customers fell over their tongues. The newest Immortal knew she was the centre of attention, and she quite liked the feeling, but she also knew she was a distraction. She gave Chris one more passionate kiss, inciting more than one whistle of approval, and then she hurried for the elevator.

"You are a lucky man," was all Greg said and brought his Boken back up for the fight.

Since Madi was also upstairs, Duncan found the sudden need to be somewhere else as the two older Immortal women looked at him hard and indicated they wanted some time alone with the new recruit. He didn't need to be told twice as the three females launched into light chatter about all things trivial, which he suspected would turn into more very shortly.

As it was, Amanda and her normal sparing companion kept up the idle banter for a good half hour. Even Immortals had a weakness for clothes and all discussions feminine. It was only after Madi had made them all coffee, they had exhausted all hairdressing tales and were relaxing on Duncan's sofa's that the oldest of them decided to change the subject.

"New image, new life," she said as the conversation waned. "When do you want to start learning the noble art of the sword?"

It was a direct question, and it caught Kari a little off guard. Just at the moment she had other worries on her mind, and she hadn't really expected the question of fighting to come up quite so quickly.

"Um, when do you suggest?" she asked hesitantly.

"Well thanks to the modern world and a woman's need to protect herself in it," Madi took the discourse, "you're not a complete beginner. Have you ever picked up a sword."

This was turning into a grass roots discussion.

"Only when I did a little fencing at school," the new Immortal returned slowly. "I was into all that dungeons and dragons stuff for a couple of years and joined the club, but then boys happened and I sorta couldn't fit it in anymore."

That caused grins all round.

"Well the sooner you start, the sooner you'll learn," Amanda told her cheerfully, "but you might want to take a few days first. Once you have your family sorted out, we'll be quite happy to accommodate you."

It was really quite a profound moment. These two Immortals were offering to teach Kari all they knew out of a bond that went beyond friendship. All of a sudden, the young woman quite tearful and had to blink back the wetness that threatened to take her vision.

"Thanks," she said, her voice slightly heavier than usual, "I ... um ... oh."

She couldn't help it, the mixture of happiness and all the experiences of the last days just bubbled up inside her. The tears would not be held back as kinship brought comfort and emotions just became all mixed up.

"Hey, there's no need to cry," Madi said lightly as the two older women made bee-lines for the cushions either side of their friend, "we're not that bad."

Kari was laughing through her tears, even as the women dissolved into a three way hug.

Time had a funny way of disappearing as afternoon turned in to evening and the hour drew that much closer to nine. Nerves had meant that Chris really didn't feel like eating, but his twin and the Highlander had forced some dinner down his throat. There had been little distance between Kari and her lover since he'd stopped training and seen fit to inform her of exact what would be happening that evening.

Greg and Madi had gone home, and Beren had turned up after work as the company shuffled a little. As the zero hours approached and Chris started to get ready to leave, Amanda stayed in the loft, but everyone else ventured downstairs in to the now empty dojo. Out of all of then, Duncan appeared the calmest as he looked on with a mask made from experience. The newest Immortal was not taking her lover's departure well, but Beren was looking after her with true British stoicism. The young English woman would have taken her back upstairs if she had been able to pry her away from Chris. He himself was trying to look nonchalant, but the anxiety was showing around the edges as he checked his sword for the hundredth time. Strangely, however, it was Richie who appeared the most agitated. The blond Immortal didn't seem to be able to stand still and only his promise was keeping him from trying to beat his twin to the challenge.

Little was said as Chris went to leave, there were no adequate words, and he just kissed Kari in silence as the others stood around. It was only as he finally headed through the doors that the silence was broken.

"Don't loose you head," all the Immortals said at virtually the same time.

The comment drew a smile from the departing man and even managed to invoke a slight grin from his twin.

"See you later," was the return and then he was gone.

The four people he left behind just stood there for a moment, unsure of what to do, but finally Beren moved.

"Come on, Kari," she said as lightly as she could manage, "I don't know about you, but I'm hitting Duncan's drinks cupboard."

There was no argument from her female friend and the two headed for the elevator quickly. Their male companions did not move to follow and they'd still barely moved when the sound of the motor broke the ominous silence. They looked at each other, well aware that they had similar feelings of trepidation within themselves. Student and mentor, now in mutual anxiety for another.

"I need to beat the crap out of something," Richie said finally, "care to join me?"

"I'll get my things," the Highlander replied as a knowing smile played at the sides of his mouth.

The building site was large and empty, a great plane in a multitude of dark offices and shops. This area of town was a hive of activity during the day, but at night it slept, leaving the life to the cultural hot spots of the city. The ground had been cleared, but not yet dug for foundations, and it seemed almost the perfect spot for a battle. It felt wrong just to walk out into the emptiness, so Chris arrived and hung back in the shadows beside the site hut. He did not have long to wait, and the stirring of his soul announced the approach of his kindred.

The figure that walked out into the shadowy half light was ghost like with pale clothes and almost invisible skin. He strode with a confident step and just about all the other Immortal could see of his face were his eyes. The only luminance came from the reflections of yellow street lamps on the surrounding buildings, and for a moment Chris just took in his opponent.

"I know you're there, child," the stranger said loudly, "I am M'boku Seleti, come and meet your death."

Anger burned brightly in the younger Immortal, but he quelled the flames with iron self control. He had a role to play, and anger would just give away the truth much sooner than he would like. Like an actor walking onto a stage he fixed his features in a furious, but somehow lost expression and stepped into the light.

"You already know my name," he said, using the memory of the previous night to bring a touch of helplessness to his voice, "and you killed someone I care about. For that I will make you pay."

His disclosure was greeted by a laugh, but it did not stop his journey forward. Chris finally halted only a few feet away from his adversary, and with a quick flick of an arm he threw his coat to one side. Immortal faced Immortal, swords in hands, spirits soaring at the impending battle.

"I've been doing this a long time, little one," the ebony skinned man returned calmly, "and your fire for revenge will not be enough."

"Why," the blond man spat suddenly, a need to know this Immortal's reasons upon him, "why did you do it?"

For once there was no humour in the other's face, and there was a far away look in his opponent's eyes. This was not the face Chris had seen smiling from the window of a car, this was the real visage of Seleti. The other had been part of the trap to ensnare his victim into the fight, now all Chris could see was the warrior.

"Because it was the only way to guarantee that it would be you who came to fight me," the dark skinned African returned evenly. "There are so many Immortals in this city and one of your friends would have come in your place, maybe even that brother of yours, and I wanted you. The only way to assure that a man will fight is to give him a reason, so I gave you yours. There can be only one, Mr Seaton, and I intend it to be me."

Cool, calm logic, from a man who had adapted to the Game. That was what had brought about Kari's first death, and Chris realised that this warrior was doing what he believed he needed to do to survive. The Gathering, the Game, it took so many lives, and suddenly that made the younger Immortal very, very angry. Seleti took the sudden flare of his opponents eyes to mean that the blond man had given into his hate. He was wrong and therefore he misjudged exactly how well Chris would be thinking. Their swords met with a loud clang and battle was joined.

They had fought a little, traded a few blows and throws, but soon Richie had picked up his sword for a kata. Duncan had offered to spar with blades, but his companion was uneasy that when Chris began to fight he might loose his rationality. The last thing he wanted was to wake up with Mac's blood on his sword and having gone for the Highlander in any way, shape or form. His friend had seen his need, and gallantly given him the floor, retreating into the office where he could pretend to be occupied, but still keep an eye on his companion.

Richie's arm was fully extended, holding his sword up at shoulder height in the middle of a move, when he suddenly just stopped. What Duncan saw, was his young friend smoothly move into a forward thrust and then just freeze. Chris had started to fight, and his current position and surroundings were immediately unimportant to Richie. The warrior in the challenged sibling had slipped into place and with it came his twin's undivided attention. There was no sight in Richie's eyes as he stared blankly ahead, he saw what his brother saw, heard what his brother heard, and felt what his brother felt. His own body had little or no meaning as he joined his cunning and skill with that of Chris, both together in the one body.

Seleti had no idea that he was fighting anymore than an Immortal a few months into his new life. The news of twins had reached his ears months before and intrigued him, but he did not see the happening as any more than a curiosity. To him it just meant a new Immortal and a new target. The obvious skill his opponent displayed as soon as the battle began was somewhat of a surprise, but the aggressor did not let it phase him.

They were both skilled warriors and they exchanged blows on more or less even terms, or so it seemed. The sound of blades clashing filled the empty night and if anyone had been watching they would have seen the buildings light up as they were touched by blue fire. Neither opponent held back when it came to landing strikes and sparks flew when the swords joined and Immortals fought for their lives.

Only once did Chris' anger get the better of him. Seleti almost reached past his defence and it brought a bright smile onto the dark face. He looked so much like he had done in the car that the cold flames that drove his opponent roared with molten heat and for a moment the older Immortal was driven back under a flurry of attacks. It was not a good strategy, however, because Chris was doing very little thinking and a fault in his style appeared almost immediately. The dark skinned warrior did not need to see it twice and his sword took good advantage of the opening. It was the burning pain of broken flesh that brought Chris' rage under control and he drew back with a gash on his torso for his foolishness.

The Highlander did not attempt to touch his young friend, but it was difficult not to be fascinated as he walked out of the office to get a closer look. A rapier was a heavy blade and yet Richie was holding his at arms length without the slightest sign that he was bothered by it. It was like looking at a wax dummy, except for the fact that an almost silent, slow breathing indicated that this man was alive. An eerie, almost unreal feeling settled over Duncan as he watched his friend. Caution kept him from interrupting whatever trance Richie had fallen into, but he almost stepped forward as he saw a small red patch begin to form on the younger Immortal's grey top.

End of Part 15