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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.

Discoveries by Tasha

This is the second in the Dividing series, the others may be found at:
Dividing of The Ways
Disclosures

 

Part 1

It was almost six weeks to the day on which the world had changed for six Immortals, and it was four o'clock in the morning. This made it somewhat odd that one of the aforementioned selection of society was sitting on his fire escape staring at the nearly obscured stars. Richie didn't usually take nightly meanderings, after all, there was a very good reason to stay tucked up in bed: Beren was great to snuggle up to, but tonight was different. By now he was quite used to having the odd thought pop into his head that bore no relation to how his mind usually worked: ancient languages hadn't exactly been his forte and beating Duncan at chess had been a new experience. It was just that his dreams had woken him up from what had been deep slumber, and no matter how he tried, sleep would not return.

Darkness did something to the human mind: made it a little more susceptible to the thoughts running through it; linked it with humankind's primeval fears. Which was why one Immortal was looking at the slightly orange sky and trying to remember the bits of his dreams that were still floating around in his head. The nightly wanderings of his mind were not Richie's best subject, usually he didn't remember a thing: not even the erotic ones. This time, however, bits of his thought's creations were very clear and it wasn't hard to bring them to the forefront of his brain to investigate them a little further. This of course led him to a simple question: why was he dreaming about Adam Pierson? The man's face kept reoccurring in his mind's eye, over and over again the Immortal's gaze seemed to fix him with a stare, and each time it was the same: the face would dissolve away and those calm eyes would always swallow him.

It was one of the most peculiar dreams Richie had ever had. There had been so many other things for the group to think about and do, that except for steering clear of their own kind, other Immortals had not really come up recently. Madelaine was the only one who had chosen to leave the area and she was planning on coming back after sorting things out at home. It wasn't that they didn't have their separate lives anymore, it was just that for a while they wanted to stick together and explore what had happened to them.

It hadn't been difficult to realise that Richie was the most changed of them all: the outflow of so much power had altered him in ways that were quite a surprise to most. The Quickening they had shared had one major difference to all others before it for the young Immortal: it had passed on years of experience he did not have. There were even odd quirks of character that had melded with his own, so much so that he didn't realise they had been integrated. Only comments from his friends alerted him to the, sometimes, peculiar idiosyncrasies that appeared every now and then. He was still basically himself, that much was clear, but there were small things that had added to his persona. For instance, he found that he very much liked to cook now. From who this interest had been transferred was not clear, and as if to prove that not all information had crossed into Richie, none of the skills required seemed to be part of him. The young Immortal had gone out and bought himself several books on the subject only a few days after the Quickening, but he still had a long way to go before he could produce anything that resembled a successful souffle.

Sparing sessions had underlined the fact that someone's or maybe several people's fighting skills had made themselves part of his repertoire and quite a few languages as well. The raw power had entered all of them, but most of the unusual skills seemed to have been caught by and stuck in Richie. He'd gladly offered to share them all with the group, but they'd declined: it was a time consuming and tiring process as the first attempt had shown, so it was decided to transfer knowledge only when necessary.

The conjoined Quickenings of all the "lost" Immortals could not be taken from them even if Richie died: it would pass to another of them, of this they were absolutely sure. They were all competent fighters, including Chris, who didn't need any assistance to share his twin's prowess with a sword. The two shared a link unlike anything the Immortal community had ever seen before, or would ever see again, and they were equally matched in everything. Knowledge and skill seemed to just seep from one to the other without conscious thought and they held no secrets from each other.

It was also the twins who were drawing attention from the Watcher community. Joe had agreed with his friends that now was not the time to let the world know what had truly happened in Craven's arena, not even the select group to which he held allegiance. It would, however, have been impossible to keep Richie and Chris a secret. There now existed a hand written note book in a very secure safety deposit box, that held the events of six weeks ago, but the computer report just mentioned the twins and a peculiar change of heart on Manheim's part. That something strange was going on was clear to any Watcher with the least bit of experience, but what, was a mystery to them. Some of the unoccupied operatives had actually been brought out of moth balls to lend extra eyes to the surveillance of the brothers and their friends.

It took quite a lot of quick thinking by Joe, to make sure no-one saw anything they shouldn't, but somehow he managed it. Theirs was too great a secret to let out and even though it broke his oath to his colleagues, Dawson was dedicated to helping this new option for Immortals reach as far as possible before anything moved into their path. Sooner or later the truth would come out: six Immortals in the same place without a quarrel was a very unusual thing and if their numbers increased significantly Watchers would begin to dig out the facts. If anything reached the Immortal community it would also reach their shadows, and unfortunately, the other way around as well. Whatever either side liked to believe, they were a closed circle which could not be broken or prevented. Watchers saw themselves as completely separate, but there were always links, some good, some bad: Joe was a prime example.

[You okay?] a very familiar voice asked in Richie's head as he watched Sirius twinkle in the sky.

[Yeah,] the young Immortal replied to his twin,[just couldn't sleep. Sorry I woke you.]

[You didn't,] the animated voice continue,[I was reading a book and I couldn't put it down. I just finished it and noticed some peculiar things coming from your direction.]

Telepathy came easily to the pair of Immortals and they often conversed from mind to mind. None of the others could quite get used to the idea that the brothers were so deeply connected, but it was something they had rekindled from their childhood and it was a natural part of their relationship.

[I've been having weird dreams, that's all,] Richie explained calmly.

He laughed to himself and passed it on automatically.

[I can think of better things to wake up over than Adam Pierson,] he continued and sent a mental picture of the man in question to his other half.[He's a friend of Duncan's and for some unfathomable reason, my mind has decided to throw pictures of him at me.]

[Immortal I take it,] Chris responded as he digested the information.[How old is he?]

[Haven't a clue,] was the quick reply,[I don't know much about him. He's a bit of a mystery man, but a nice enough guy. You'll probably get to meet him sooner or later, he has a habit of turning up.]

[Well if you're okay, Bro, I'll be getting to bed,] the newest Immortal of the company returned.[If I'm late for practice one more time, Duncan's going to brain me.]

[Good point, dear brother,] Richie responded,[see you at the dojo in the morning. I think I'll try for some more zzzs as well.]

Their connection returned to the passive, almost unconscious monitoring of the other's state of health and the young Immortal on the fire escape climbed to his feet. It wasn't that cold out, but jogging bottoms and a jacket weren't exactly the warmest of clothing and Richie suddenly noticed the chill of the air. He smiled at the thought of the warm body lying under the covers in the bedroom, and hurriedly climbed back in through the window. It didn't take him long to dump the clothes back on the chair from which he had, earlier removed them and then he carefully drew back the duvet on his side of the bed. Beren was quite a sound sleeper, but he was careful as he slid back into the warm folds: he didn't want to wake her. It was an automatic reaction to snuggle down and embrace her gently as he finally felt that sleep might actually be, once again, possible. Talking about things seemed to have helped no end, and his mind was at last quiet.

"You're cold," his lover's muffled voice said from beneath the cover, "the least you could have done was warm up your hands."

Her tone was disgruntled, but it didn't stop her leaning back against him, deeper into the hug.

"Sorry," he returned quietly and kissed her shoulder, "I thought you were asleep."

"I am really," her drowsy voice returned, "this is illusion..."

The words petered out quietly and her body relaxed slowly.

"Night, love," Richie said in a whisper and closed his eyes.


Duncan watched silently as twin battled twin in unarmed combat. It still surprised him as each twist and turn either made was quickly blocked and the fight continued: half the time it was like watching a real person in combat with a mirror. Only when one of the brother's concentrations slipped could the other even begin to take an advantage: they knew each other's moves before they were even made.

"Fascinating, aren't they," Craven said quietly from his position at the Highlander's side, "I wonder if we'll ever truly get used to them?"

"You couldn't see it before Chris died," Mac replied in agreement, "but it's so obvious they can read each other's minds. Their fighting styles just keep becoming more alike. Sometimes I actually find myself thinking of them as the same person, and then Chris'll do or say something that Richie wouldn't come up with in a million years."

"I must admit they can also be very individual," the blond Immortal acknowledged with a laugh.

In the time since the Quickening, Chris had taken a liking to Manheim and was staying at his large house in one of the more affluent suburbs. The two had come to an arrangement where the five hundred year old was a mentor, similar to the relationship between Mac and Richie, and both the older men found a fresh enjoyment in passing on their experience to their friends. It was a new luxury for Immortals to let go of all their fear, be able to let down their guard completely and not be afraid that one day their teachings would come back to kill them.

Madi and Amanda had been sparing partners for a while and since the English woman had gone home a few days before, the older woman had been sulking and complaining that it was no fun to fight with men. The skills required by the females of their race were different because they didn't have the brute strength that some of the males employed, and Amanda had enjoyed having another woman around with whom to practice. All six of them were joined in one accord to offer the Immortal world an alternative to endless killing, but that hadn't wiped out their characters, and their oldest female member could mope with the best of them.

It was for this reason that her friend's were somewhat surprised to see Amanda come through the side door in a black cat-suit and gym shoes.

"Who's first?" she asked brightly, an evil glint in her eye.

It seemed that she had decided to take her frustration out on an innocent victim and Duncan did not feel like volunteering. The sight of a very beautiful woman all in black was, however, enough to distract Chris for that one second that Richie needed. With a triumphant cry, the blond immortal dumped his twin on the mat.

"No fair," the prostrate young man moaned as his brother grinned down at him.

"Never let your mind wander," Richie said with a laugh, "you'll end up on your arse."

"Ha," said Duncan as he heard the remark, "hark who's talking."

"Did I say I was perfect," Ryan said lightly and put on his most innocent face, "I think not."

It wasn't as if Chris would have a bruise or anything, and he grinned wryly as his sibling helped him up.

Quite suddenly, they all felt the familiar shivers up their spines and prickling behind their eyes: another Immortal was entering the building. The sensation was not distinctive, this was someone they did not recognise and questioning gazes were hurriedly exchanged.

"Richie, Chris, office," Duncan said quickly, "Amanda, upstairs; Craven, stay right where you are."

There was no time to argue and it was a reasonable course of action.

A few seconds after three of the Immortals disappeared a hooded, casually dressed man walked in through the doors.

"Not interrupting I hope," said an amiable voice and the individual reached up to push back the material hiding his face.

There was an almost audible sigh of relief as MacLeod recognised Methos and he leaned against table behind him as the tension in him dissipated.

"Adam," the Highlander said ruefully, "Do you know how to use a phone?"

"It's much more fun this way," the young looking man said cheerfully. "Anyway, I didn't think anything could surprise you anymore. I have my head in a private book collection for a couple of months and when I re-emerge I find that there's a lot of interest in your part of the world. I was beginning to think that my colleagues had all lost their minds, so I came to find out."

Under the desk in the office, where Richie and Chris had dived for cover, the pair were just staring at each other. They could hear everything and both of them couldn't help but notice the significance of Duncan's friend's presence.

"Coincidence," Richie said quietly, but firmly, "just coincidence."

His twin gazed at him for a moment longer and then nodded hastily.

"Definitely," he agreed with a little more certainty than he felt, and the pair decided it was time to crawl out of their hiding place.

It wasn't difficult to spot the two heads appearing through the glass windows of the office and for the first time in a very long while, Methos looked slightly stunned. His reaction was exactly the same as all the other's had been, and Mac had to smile. This was the oldest living Immortal and the twins still surprised him.

"Adam, this is Chris," Richie said as he reached the door, "Chris, this is Adam."

The younger of the two smiled warily.

"Hi," he greeted tentatively, "I know we're a bit of a shock. We were a bit of an astonishment to each other."

"Remarkable," was all the other returned.

There were things that had not been discussed over the last few weeks, Adam Pierson was one of them.

"I had hoped Richie and Chris wouldn't attract too much attention in Immortal circles," Craven said slowly and eyed the newcomer up carefully even though he appeared friendly. "At least not so soon."

"Oh, I think Adam probably came by his information through Watching channels," the Highlander enlightened calmly, "they're faster than Immortal ones."

"But... how... you're one of us," Manheim said with a confused, mischievous delight in his voice.

The idea of someone following him around and reporting what he did, still made Craven uncomfortable, and the idea that one of his kind had managed one up on the Watchers was appealing.

"They think I'm dead," Methos said calmly, "and I'm very good at hiding myself away. Disappear for a decade or two and you can be anybody, even a Watcher."

They were interrupted by Amanda opening the door once more.

"Oh good," she said icily, "another man."

"She's just sulking," Duncan said lightly and winced under the steely gaze he earned for his trouble.

"Beautiful women do not sulk, Duncan," Adam said with smooth charisma, "they merely withdraw their charm from those who are undeserving."

That gained him a sweet smile and a flirtatious batting of the female Immortal's eyelids.

"Learn, Highlander," she said and turned her glare back to Mac, "from one who knows how to treat a lady."

Sometimes it could be fun to orally spar with Amanda, but today Duncan took the safer route and kept his mouth shut. With the mood she was in, there could be some injuries before she forgave him. She'd never go for his head, but she was wild and wasn't above something to remind him of his manners.

However, no matter how interesting Adam found philandering with Amanda, his attention was again taken by Richie and his brother. This morning the more experienced Immortal was in black and his twin was in grey, but other than that they were the same and it was enticing for the eye. Observation told Methos that there was more to their togetherness than met the naked gaze and he was beginning to wonder if some of the speculation from the Watcher network could be true. One bright spark had put forward the notion of telepathy because of an assessment of the data, and been laughed at even by her most experienced colleagues, who should have known better. To dismiss anything out of hand, when it came to Immortals was usually the wrong thing to do.

"Come in, Adam," Duncan said to break the silence that had fallen: the other was still hovering close to the doorway.

By now the warning feeling of this Immortal's approach, should have been fading into the background, but as he stepped closer, much to Richie's consternation, his presence increased. Nobody else seemed bothered, but the young man chose to hang back as MacLeod greeted his friend.

"Interesting read was it: this library?" the Highlander inquired conversationally, before the topic of discourse could change to anything else.

"Fascinating," Methos replied genuinely, unable to resist a discussion about his favourite subject: history, "the collector actually had some original Roman documents. Probably pilfered from some museum in the past, but enthralling never the less."

Even as he spoke, the Immortal was watching his companions and questions were beginning to pile up behind his eyes. You didn't spend decades observing and not realise when there was something you weren't quite seeing. He went from one face to another, trying to judge what he was missing and finally he found Richie's somewhat startled blue eyes. He saw in them the great change that had overcome the young Immortal and Richie found something in return. They just stared at each other as if their companions in the room were suddenly unimportant.

There was a component of the younger man that was trying to impart information, but other sections of his mind were rebelling. Adam's presence was having a strange effect on Richie as odd images flashed through his brain, images of the same face, but with garb from other eras. As each mental picture skipped through his thoughts he knew instantly where and from whence it came, but this was not beneficial to his equilibrium. These were not his memories, they did not come from his past, but from the lives he and the other had absorbed and his mind fought back. Specific memories were more than he could cope with, skills and vague thoughts he could assimilate, but these were definite pieces of people and they were invaders. Maybe every Immortal carried with them the significance of Methos in some subconscious form and so took avid notice of this unobtrusive man when they met him, even if they didn't know who he was; or maybe it was because he was so old and had come across so many people, but there were many instances of him in Richie's brain. The young man's head began to spin even as knowledge reached his uppermost thoughts and all that remained steady were the dark eyes into which he gazed.

"Methos," he whispered quietly and Chris came to the rescue as his twin's face went greyish and his legs wobbled.

Craven grabbed a chair and sat his young friend in it before anything else could be said. It was the ancient Immortal's turn to look startled and he didn't seem particularly calm about it.

"What's going on here?" he almost demanded as for the first time in many centuries he was witnessing something he did not understand.

Amanda had heard what Richie had said and she was staring at Adam like a wary hawk.

"You said it was a joke," she accused Duncan as she instinctively believed her companion's outburst. "When you called him that, you said it was a joke."

The tension level had just gone through the roof, but for now, Duncan was more worried about Richie. His friend was the whitest shade of pale you could get to without being dead and even among Immortals, this caused anxiety.

"Are you okay?" the Scotsman asked hurriedly: last time the young man had done something like this there had been some interesting revelations, namely Chris.

"I'll be fine," the seated individual replied, "never try and flashback to someone else's memories: it's not pleasant."

"Someone else's memories," Methos sounded more than a little unsettled, "you shouldn't have someone else's memories."

This Immortal had absorbed quite a few Quickenings in his time and he thought he knew exactly what was gained from them. Okay, so the odd memory could be momentarily passed over during the actual light show, but they always faded away and became vague recollections, just feelings that could be ignored. Rarely a skill might consciously be combined with the conqueror's own persona, and rarer still, a very strong personality could alter that of the victor's, but never conscious memories. Yet, the ancient man could not deny that there was something very different about Richie since the last time they had met, and the youngster knew who he was. Not just his name, but the significance of that name: he had seen it in his eyes just before he swooned. That Duncan had given up his secret crossed his mind instantly, but the Highlander appeared as shocked as all the others.

"I also shouldn't speak fluent Latvian, but I do," Richie told the man he now held with somewhat more respect. "Sorry about blurting out your name, it just sort of happened."

Both Amanda and Craven knew the legend of Methos, that just left Chris in the dark and his twin was too busy trying to sort his own mind back into order to explain in the most direct manner.

"Excuse me," he said in a very English fashion, "but I don't understand."

"Methos is the oldest living Immortal," Amanda supplied without taking her eyes off the man in question, "he's a legend. Just how old are you?"

There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Richie had spoken the truth: once unmasked, Methos was obvious.

"I can't remember," he said shortly: he was still annoyed and his charm had slipped.

End of Part 1