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HFS
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 2

For Duncan, it was actually quite alarming to see Methos in such a state. The young looking Immortal was like Darius: he just didn't become riled like this, he'd seen too much to be surprised. Watching, possibly, the oldest person in existence, pacing around like a caged animal was more than a little disconcerting.

"Adam, sit!" the Highlander commanded suddenly, when he could take the footsteps no more.

His friend glared at him darkly, but found a chair anyway. Methos was at the end of the loft near the bed and the other five were in the kitchen area trying to decide exactly what to tell him. It wasn't that Mac didn't trust his friend, it was that the others weren't quite sure and this had to be a group decision.

"I don't like this," Amanda said pointedly, but quietly, "I can't believe in a man who's been hiding longer than I've been alive. When you sneak around for that long you pick up bad habits."

It was a typical reaction from the ex-thief, she always suspected people of things of which she herself could be capable. The straight and narrow had never quite been the woman's route through life, it was the way she survived: Immortals needed to be cunning.

"He's been a good friend to me," Duncan decided now would be the time to put in a good word.

"For how long?" his on-and-off lover shot back.

"A while," was all the Scotsman returned.

"He already knows something weird is going on," Richie pointed out, but did not voice his feeling that Adam should be put in the picture.

He wasn't about to tell anyone that he'd dreamt the man's arrival, or that he had the sneaking suspicion Methos was a significant player in their near future. Life was peculiar enough without becoming an oracle, so he'd decided that all this was just fluke timing.

"He'd make a great addition to the group, if he was so inclined," Chris pointed out helpfully.

Mac wasn't so sure that his friend would be interested in joining them. Methos was a lone player, it was how he had lived so long, and he wasn't the type to go into something he didn't fully understand. Then again, not so long ago, Duncan would never have dreamed where he'd be now.

"I'm not so sure he will trust us," Craven said calmly and glanced at their guest. "It's not difficult to see he's very upset that we know who he is, and my reputation for one, is not good."

"If we explain anything at all," the Highlander half agreed, "it would have to be the truth from beginning to end. I don't think I've ever met a man who can spot a lie quicker than Methos."

"He's not a joiner," Amanda stated with complete certainty, "or he wouldn't have been able to hide so long."

"Neither were you," her dark haired friend replied, "neither were any of us for that matter. Let's face it, we haven't got a clue what would happen if Adam did decide to join us. We're working blind, here: he's that old we can't be sure we could bring him in."

"Oh, we could enrol him," Chris and Richie said at exactly the same time with total confidence.

The Immortal at the other end of the room heard that and looked very edgy.

"We have to make a decision," Duncan insisted, finally, "or he's going to leave."

They all looked at one another, trying to asses the group's leaning.

"He won't betray us," it was a point on which the Scotsman had no doubts, "I say we tell him. He may even be able to give us some more information: he's been around long enough to pick up all sorts of things."

"I'm with Mac on this one," Richie decided a moment later and Chris nodded his agreement.

"Me too," the twin put in.

Manheim took a second to contemplate the current state of affairs.

"I'll bow to your superior knowledge," the blond Immortal concurred with his friends.

An uncomfortable look crossed Amanda's face. If she said no then there'd be a lot more discussion, but the likelihood would be that it would just go round in circles. She could hold a veto, but for how long, and did she really want to. Most of the time Duncan's judgement was very good, and yet sometimes he could be too trusting.

"You'd better be right, Highlander," she said eventually and crossed her arms in resignation.

Suddenly, Methos had five pairs of eyes on him and the group walked towards the seats. Everyone sat down except Duncan who walked over to one of his cabinets and opened it calmly.

"Well you wanted to know what's going on here," he said as he turned back with Iltyd's book in his hands. "You're probably old enough to remember when this language was used."

He handed the volume to the seated man and indicated that Methos should open the book at the marker.

"I've come across this dialect," the ancient man said as he slowly scanned the relevant page, "but I'm not fluent. It would take me hours to translate this text."

"It's not important," the Highlander returned calmly, "since we already know what it says. It's just if you think we're crazy once we explain everything, the book is two thousand years old and it agrees with us."

"Who translated it?" the annoyance was beginning to leave Adam now, and curiosity was taking it's place. "There are only two men in the world that I can think of, who have any concept of this language."

Richie looked a little sheepish.

"I did," he replied quickly, "with information from the Quickening of the man who wrote it."

"You beheaded an Immortal who was," Methos looked at the book and took a rough estimate of when the time when the language would have been used, "over three thousand years old."

He sounded scandalised.

"No," the other shot back quickly, "he killed himself just after he finished that book. It's difficult to explain unless you start from the beginning."

Now the oldest Immortal really was confused.

"You have my attention," he said bluntly, "I'd appreciate some clarification, please."

Everyone looked to Duncan: he was the appointed spokesman.

"A little over seven weeks ago," the Scotsman began, "I had a friend visit and she brought her adopted son with her. There was nothing unusual about that, until she invited Richie and me to dinner and he met Chris. At that point, Chris was still human in the full sense of the word, and at that point we felt twins was enough of an earth shaking experience for one lifetime. We were wrong. Then Craven came into the picture."

"I read the file," Adam put in quickly, "he kidnapped Richie. I was surprised to hear of your change of heart, Manheim: you're listed as psychotic and extremely dangerous."

"Oh, I was," the other returned politely.

No-one was about to deny the truth.

"Well, to cut a long story short," Duncan continued, "our friend's plan went a little awry: Rich was about to behead him when things became really weird. Evans, one of Craven's henchmen shot Chris and he died, which acted as a supernatural switch. We were all taken by a Quickening you would not believe: the power of all the lost Immortals, like Darius. It joined us together, made us one."

The disbelief was obvious on Methos' face, he did not bother to hide it.

"But the Gathering..." he began.

"Does not have the same goals for us anymore," the Scotsman was not about to let his friend convince himself this wasn't real. "It's not that we've decided we don't want to kill each other anymore, Methos: we can't. The concept no-longer holds any meaning, it would take more will power than any of us possess. If you're worried that we're all suddenly pacifists, don't, we're not. An enemy is still an enemy, and if we're challenged, we'll fight, but among ourselves the conflict is over."

The sincerity in Duncan's eyes dared his friend to comment.

"We share our Quickenings," Richie tried to explain why they were so different now, "and that's what the game is all about. We don't need to hack off each other's heads, we wouldn't gain anything from it, in fact it would be damaging. If we survive until there's no-one else left, the Prize will be in all of us."

Then something occurred to Adam.

"But Amanda wasn't there," he pointed out before his mind could truly accept what the curly haired youngster was saying, "the report said she arrived later."

"We can increase our numbers," Craven elaborated evenly.

"I asked Duncan to bring me in," the only woman in the room said slowly.

It was obvious that their new confidant couldn't decide if they were all crazy or he was hallucinating: total denial was a good way to describe his reaction.

"You can ask Joe," Duncan told him seriously, "he saw most of it. Take your time, formulate questions, we don't mind. It took us a while to get used to the idea as well. All we ask is that you tell no-one else, we'd rather not be targets that quickly."

It was beginning to dawn on the ancient Immortal that it was as important to the group that their secret not get out as it was for him to hide his true identity. The consequences if his friends were telling the truth, were large and far reaching and Methos' active mind was realising them.

"I will not betray your confidence," he promised faithfully, "who'd believe me anyway. One of my colleagues has already lost all her credibility for suggesting that Richie and Chris are telepathic."

"Thank god for that," the pair said simultaneously, "we'd rather that didn't go too far," Chris finished.

The look that crossed their companion's face said he'd rather they hadn't confirmed his suspicions. After living over five thousand years, things that he didn't understand made Methos nervous.

"I should have known Joe would be in on this," was all he could find to say.


"Gotta go," Richie said two hours later when he looked at his watch, "things to do, people to see."

By now, Adam's habitually calm visage was back in place and he was beginning to think he understood his friends' point of view. He seemed to have reserved judgement on whether this turn of event was a good idea and if, when it came down to it, it would work, but at least he believed they hadn't all taken a dive off the cliff edge of insanity.

"See you for lunch," Chris responded as his sibling stood up to leave. "I wonder how many spectators there'll be today?"

"Ask Adam," the other shot back with a grin. "Later guys," he concluded and pulled the door down on the elevator.

"Bye, Rich," and similar comments came from all.


Beren had taken a job doing paperwork for her father's dig, and by twelve she was glad to get away for an hour. It wasn't that she didn't enjoy the cataloguing work, she did: it was interesting, but she could only take so much archaeology before she went stir crazy.

"Hi, Sugar," Richie said in a mock southern accent as she came round the corner to their usual meeting place.

"Shut up talking, and give us a kiss," she returned playfully and grabbed his jacket collar.

Their lips met with equal enthusiasm on both sides and the young woman slipped her arms under his coat. It hadn't taken her long to figure out how to achieve this operation without coming across a sword hilt, and she embraced him for a long moment. The magnetism between the two hadn't diminished at all over the weeks since they'd met, in fact it had grown and was still becoming stronger. The shock of the strange events had worn off, but none of the sincerity in the promises they had made to each other had faded with it.

"Where's that brother of yours?" Beren asked as they finally broke apart.

"Playing hide and seek with his Watcher," the Immortal returned with a mischievous grin. "He enjoys loosing him every time he spots him. The man must have eternal patience. Chris'll meet us at the cafe."

"You're incorrigible," his lover said with a laugh, "the both of you."

"Part of our charm," Richie returned and planted another kiss on her forehead. "Let's get going or your father'll be on at me for making you late back from lunch, again."

Once upon a time, the young man wouldn't have noticed if an army was following him, today he caught the figure detaching herself from the doorway across the street as soon as the couple began to walk. The Watchers were subtle and careful, but very little escaped the Immortal anymore, another gift from somebody who's name and face were stored deep in his memory amongst a multitude of others. He tried to make sure these memories never reached his conscious mind anymore, he'd even refused to list the names for Joe's reference material: they were disconcerting. He'd seen and known them all in that instant when they became part of him and the others, but he wanted no more thought of their ghosts. Maybe one day he'd be able to face the remembering of those few milliseconds and write it all down so they would all know who the lost ones had been, but for now, no-one was pushing him.

The cafe they'd chosen to have lunch in today was small, but bright and pristinely clean, with a bubbly proprietress who introduced herself as Sandy. The establishment's system was pick your own sandwich filling and sit down whilst it was prepared: the options looked wonderful as the couple tried to choose. Chris walked in a few minutes later and meandered over to the table since Richie had already ordered for him. It was useful to be able to ask him what he'd wanted without the aid of a mobile phone.

"Nice place," the newcomer said cheerfully and took a seat, "where'd you hear about it?"

"Angie recommended it," his twin returned, "seems it's in fashion with student doctors."

"Not having thoughts about education are we?" Chris teased amiably.

"Well when you're sitting with two people who have degrees you begin to think about it," Rich responded playfully.

Beren had a bachelor of engineering and Chris had a bachelor of science although the latter had no idea for what he could use a Physics degree. By rights, Richie's brother should have been a year away from finishing any university education, but when he'd moved to England a confusion between the American and local systems had pushed him up a year. By the time anyone realised the mistake it had become quite obvious that the youngster was happy, and capable of maintaining the standard required where he was, so no-one had bothered to put him back. It didn't, however, occur to Richie to be jealous of the opportunities the others had had, he was quite happy to take his life as it had been and enjoy the future.

"You'd probably sleep through half the lectures," Beren laughed at the thought: her lover was not the studious type.

"You're right," he said with mock sincerity, "maybe when I have a couple of hundred years under my belt."

Just then, the door opened and another couple walked in, ordered two coffees and sat down.

[The observation team's arrived,] Richie commented silently and leant back with a smile as Sandy brought their sandwiches over.

"Thanks," they all said gratefully.

"Twins no less," the woman returned chattily, "my cousins are identical as well. Although, they're not as alike as you: one's taller and has a mole on her neck."

"D'you have moles, Chris?" Richie asked playfully.

"Can't say," the other responded mischievously, "maybe someone should check."

Sandy, who was sixty if she was a day, found the pass from a man only just out of his teens, hysterical.

"You've made my day," she told him cheerfully. "Enjoy your meal, gentlemen, young lady."

"Richie, Beren, Chris," the other Immortal introduced before she could walk away. "We will."

"We'll have to come here again," the female of the group said as the woman walked away.

They chatted idly over their food, about everything from Beren's work to what would happen if man colonised Mars: it was somewhat of a butterfly conversation. Just about the only topic they didn't cover was Immortals, much to the frustration of the two people trying to look as if they weren't listening. The woman's face was a picture when for about the hundredth time she glanced over at the other party and Richie waved at her.

"Nice coffee?" he asked calmly as the pair exchanged startled stares. "Shame you can't stay longer and sample the food."

His smile was friendly, but the couple took the hint. It wasn't wise to annoy Immortals, and regulations stated that if you were spotted you vacated the area. They left a tip on the table and departed.

"Watchers," Chris said as Beren looked a little confused, "we have to keep them on their toes, you know."

It had all been completed with no hostility, but Richie was beginning to become just a little fed up with the number of people who were trailing around after him. Sometimes he wished he could just go back to not noticing them. If it was just the one, he could probably ignore them: maybe Joe could do something about it all.

"Weird people," was all Beren said: sometimes she was bothered by the idea of people who spent their lives following around her lover and his friends, but today she was in too good a mood.

End of Part 2