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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 3

Adam had decided to go and find Joe, to gauge his opinion, Amanda had gone shopping and Craven had gone home. That left Duncan with time to himself and a chance to clean up some office work he'd been meaning to do for over a week now. It was all well and good to find yourself with a new destiny, but it was distracting and life had to go on. Madi had offered her services as an accountant: she was accredited on both sides of the Atlantic, and that was the position she would be taking up when she returned, but for now the Highlander had his own affairs to organise. Richie had the dojo running smoothly, but Mac's other interests were his own. It wouldn't take Madelaine long to gather clients in the area: she was good with numbers and being Immortal, very clever with exactly what the government would ever find out. It would never do to have the IRS banging on someone's door for two hundred years back taxes.

Half way through MacLeod's third invoice for some items he had purchased, the phone rang.

"DeSalvo's Dojo," he answered automatically, "MacLeod speaking."

"Greetings, Highlander," a cultured voice said from the other end, "just to let you know, I've come to keep my promise. Bran's death will be avenged and your Quickening will be mine. See you around."

"Wait," Duncan put in quickly, but the line had already gone dead.

The voice was not familiar, but the name and the threat brought back memories...

##########

"I don't want to fight you, Bran," the Scotsman said in his thick accent that always seemed to come back when he was under stress. "I'm not interested in your head."

They were in the middle of a forest and their horses stood aside, tended by another Immortal no more than a few years into his new life. This was a pointless battle: Duncan had never even heard of the man standing opposite him until he had walked up and challenged him. He was tall, just over the Highlander's height and there was a blood lust in his eyes that the Scot didn't like at all. They were both dressed for the road and had discarded their heavy coats before they began circling each other. The sword Bran held was a cavalry sabre and it looked somehow clumsy next to the dragon headed katana.

From what MacLeod could tell, Bran treated his pupil as more of a slave than anything else, but the young man worshipped the ground he walked on. The Highlander only hoped that he would not have to deal with the inexperienced Immortal after he had killed his master.

"I'm in a hurry," Duncan said without any fear in his voice, "I'm quite willing to forget all about this if you'll just get on your horse and go."

His opponent just sneered at him.

"Put down your sword and this'll be over in seconds," the pernicious man replied.

The mouse haired, brown eyed Immortal seemed to have an inflated view of his abilities: he was overconfident, full of himself and headed for a fatal lesson in manners.

"Have it your way then," MacLeod returned evenly and brought his sword to fighting readiness.

It wasn't a long fight. Bran attacked and Duncan parried easily, bringing his weapon inside to take a nick out of his adversary's arm.

"We can still stop this," were the only words that passed between them.

It hadn't been a jest when the black haired Immortal had said he was in a hurry.

The offer was turned down with a cry of rage and a charge straight at the Scotsman. It wasn't that Bran was a bad fighter, he just wasn't as good as Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod and no more than ten strokes later he was staggering away with a cut to his abdomen. Another two and he was disarmed and on his knees.

"There can be only one," the Highlander said loudly and with a sweeping cut, Bran's head came away from his body.

The tendrils of the Quickening had caught him as he turned and found the gaze of the half furious, half terrified Immortal by the horses. As usual all he could do was spread his arms and scream as power transferred from the dead to the living. Pain touched every cell in his body and wrenched his very being , even as it filled him with the most gratifying elation. Only as the tumult cleared and he came back to himself, muscles weak and head ringing did he see the youngster, his master's sword in hand coming straight for him.

"My name is Jackson Peters and I'm going to kill you for that," he cried and only falling flat on his face saved Duncan's head.

He was on his feet in seconds, using the flood of adrenaline to over come the shaky feeling throughout his body. He tackled the confused Immortal at chest height as the younger tried to figure out why he had missed, and they both slammed against a tree. Jackson's fighting skills were only rudimentary and he lost hold of the sword almost immediately only to find a very sharp blade under his chin.

"You're an idiot, boy," the Scot said as he pushed him against the wood. "Your mentor is no reason to loose your head, he was an upstart and a moron. Learn from his mistakes and make your own way in life. You're young, go out and find someone who can really teach you something."

With a shove the Immortal landed on his backside in the mud and Duncan picked up the fallen sword. He wasn't stupid enough to turn his back on this pathetic individual, anyone could put a knife between his ribs if he wasn't watching them. He dropped the sword after he had mounted his horse.

"Goodbye, Jackson Peters," the Highlander said confidently, "remember this, and understand, if you come for my head again, I will kill you."

Then he turned and rode away.

"I will avenge him," the cry followed him through the trees, "you head will be mine, MacLeod, I swear it."

Duncan really didn't take any notice of it, his mind was on his destination and he galloped away without another thought for an Immortal who would loose his head if he was not very careful.

##########

Someone coming to avenge a meaningless death of over a hundred years ago was all MacLeod needed right now.

"Damn, blast, sh..." he went through as many curses he could think of, from English via every other language he knew right down to his native tongue.

After that he felt a little better and decided to give up on the invoices and sharpen his sword.


No-one knew that Adam Pierson had gone to see Duncan MacLeod, the stranger in the hooded jersey had been recorded as a John Doe and he looked completely different when he walked into Joe's bar. The place had seven people in it, all Watchers, none of whom recognised him.

"Adam, I'm so glad you could come," Dawson greeted from behind the bar.

This time Methos had rung ahead and a cover story for his presence had been formulated.

"Everyone," the grey haired Watcher continued, "this is Adam Pierson, one of our best researchers, so you can all relax. Julie, Dave, Graham, Jurgan, Maria and you've met Mike."

"Hi," the young looking man said and everyone smiled back.

Speaking to Joe about Mac and co. would have to wait until later, so for now he played the mild mannered book worm.

"Do sit down," Julie said with a friendly grin, "and tell us all about yourself. We don't get many researchers in here, we're all taggers."

"I'm sure you're job's much more exciting than mine," the Immortal said without even blinking.

This could turn out to be a pleasant afternoon, even if he couldn't have his questions answered yet.

Small talk was one of Adam's specialities and he managed to gain a better picture of the situation in the city as he chatted calmly. Maria was in the city because she had followed Amanda here; Jurgan had been assigned to Craven now that the organisation actually knew where he was; Julie, Dave and Graham had all been shipped in to study the twins. In Dawson's humble opinion the decision to send in so many operatives was somewhat over zealous, and he hoped they were being unobtrusive. When Julie and Dave had returned shortly after one, saying they had been spotted, Joe had not been happy.


It had been a long afternoon and Richie had not been pleased by the number of people following him. They were good, very good, but he couldn't help noticing them. He tried ignoring them and for a while it worked, then he just disappeared into a crowded mall and left them all behind. He was actually quite flattered by all the attention, but it was wearing sometimes. Only when he returned to his apartment did he loose his temper. As soon as he walked in he had the feeling that all was not right and when he found what someone had left under the plant pot on the window sill he was very unhappy.


If blending into the background could be described as an art form, Methos was a master, and as he felt the approach of another Immortal he became completely unobtrusive. When Richie came storming through the door he was half relieved.

The young man came to a skidding halt in the centre of the room and egos withered under his gaze.

"I have had just about as much as I can take," he was not even attempting to moderate his tone or volume: he was real pissed. "One I can manage, one I can ignore, but five is pushing it."

He was just over boiling point.

"And if anyone ever," he was not in the least bit joking, "and I mean ever, tries to bug my apartment again, I am coming back here and taking this place apart until I find the person who did it."

He was holding a small electronic device and he put it on the nearest table.

If looks could have killed several people would have been dead.

"Hello again," he said, looking at the couple two tables away and turned to leave.

It was quite difficult to make Richie as mad as he was just then and there wasn't a sound as he made his exit.

"I think he was upset," Graham said quietly as he disappeared.

He wasn't the only one either, Joe did not look happy.

"A bug," he said slowly, moving over to the table and picking up the offending object, "you bugged his home?"

This was not Watcher style, they looked, they recorded, occasionally they used hand held listening devices for important conversation, but stooping this low was almost as bad as being a Hunter.

"Who authorised this?" he asked pointedly. "This is beneath us, Immortals have a right to some privacy you know."

Nobody chose to reply.


Richie was still in a foul mood when Beren arrived home, and she found him glaring at the television.

"What's wrong?" she asked calmly, she'd only seen him like this before when he had realised what Manheim had done after he'd had him shot.

Her coat was casually draped over a chair and then she made him look at her.

"They tried to bug the apartment," he admitted finally, the anger slowly dissipating under her loving gaze.

"Who?" she asked evenly, as if she didn't have her suspicions.

"The Watchers," was the terse reply.

The young Immortal felt like a trust had been violated, why had Joe let it happen.

"Did you ask Dawson if he knew anything about it?" Beren saw straight to the heart of her lover's anger with very little difficulty.

There was a thoughtful pause.

"No," he replied eventually, some reason returning to his mind, "I was too mad. I stormed in to his bar, yelled at them all and left. Joe tried to call earlier, but I slammed the phone down."

Anger could be so blinding.

"You really think he would have let them do this?" she was making him do the reasoning, she'd found it always worked on her brothers.

Another pause.

"No," he said again, after all, Dawson had been helping them cover their tracks. "I'm being irrational, aren't I," he admitted eventually.

"Yes, my darling," Beren replied with a loving smile, "but I think I'd have been irrational if I'd found a bug in our home."

She moved round and sat in his lap.

"Give us a cuddle," she said with shameful grin.


The half a dozen bags that Amanda was carrying when she arrived back at Duncan's place had cheered her up no end. There was something about spending money that filled her with joy, especially when it was MacLeod's. He had plenty to spare and he'd forgive her once she got his clothes off. It was only as she stepped out of the elevator that she noticed the smell of sword oil and saw the faint signs of Duncan's handiwork on the counter top. She was sure he hadn't been practising with the weapon today and he'd looked at it yesterday, suddenly she was concerned.

"Duncan," she said as she walked up to where he was reading a book, "why have you been sharpening your sword."

"It needed it," he replied and turned the page.

"Don't lie," she shot back, "you don't do it very well. What happened?"

There was nothing for it, Mac knew she wouldn't stop until she had the answers.

"I received a phone call," he replied and finally put the volume down.

"From whom?" were her next words.

"A man named Jackson Peters," the Highlander told her calmly, "I killed his mentor a little over a hundred years ago. He went for my head after the Quickening and basically I showed him not to be so bloody stupid. He said he'd come for me. I haven't heard anything of him since we last met, and if he's anything like Bran, he's a pompous idiot. I thought I'd sharpen my sword, just in case."

"Oh," was all his lover could think to say.

She hadn't expected to get the information out of him so easily and she was stumped for words.

"That's all we need," she finally concluded, and went to put the kettle on.

Duncan had to smile: the comment was so Amanda.


A somewhat more subdued Richie, walked into Joe's bar at about ten that evening with Beren by his side. The Watchers were gone and the normal clientele had replaced them, only Mike was still around. The young English woman's presence made the bartender feel a little more comfortable, but his acknowledgement of the Immortal was tentative.

"Don't worry," the young man said with half a smile, "I'm not here to tear anyone's head off. Is Joe around?"

"He's out back," the Watcher replied, "he's been trying to call you all evening."

"Yeah, well after I slammed the phone down the first time, I ripped the cord out of the wall," Richie replied, almost guiltily. "I only just put it back."

"Took a woman's touch to calm him down," his lover put in and smiled.

Reason made some of the Immortal's reactions look a little silly and he was somewhat embarrassed by his earlier outburst.

"What can I get you?" Mike asked as he gauged the situation perfectly, like all good bar staff.

"Beer," the young mister Ryan replied and looked to his companion.

"Glenmorangie," Duncan had laughed when he'd found out that Beren's favourite tipple was the same as Conor's, but that hadn't stopped the young woman, "one ice cube."

"Is he free?" the Immortal asked and nodded towards the door as the bar tender brought them their order.

"Someone's with him at the moment," Mike returned calmly, "a guy named Adam Pierson, I could go interrupt for you."

"Don't bother," Richie replied and fished in his pocket for his wallet, "I'll knock before I go in."

"Put the money away," the man on the other side of the counter said quickly, "you think Joe's going to let you pay for anything this evening. He really chewed some tail this afternoon after you left and instructions were, if any of your bunch comes in the drinks are on him."

It was a typical Joe reaction and Richie took it gracefully.

"Thanks," he said and picked up the bottle from the bar, "look after Beren for me."

He received a slap on his behind for that comment.


Adam was staring at the door as the younger Immortal came through it at Joe's acknowledgement.

"Richie!" the proprietor was somewhat shocked to see his friend after the response he'd been getting from the phone calls.

"Before you say anything else," the younger man put in quickly, "I came to apologise for the scene, earlier today. I was annoyed about the bug, but I shouldn't have stormed in here like that. You didn't know about it did you?"

"No," the other returned, even more surprised: Richie didn't usually calm down this quickly if he was riled.

"Hope I didn't scare anyone too much," the Immortal added repentantly.

Joe had to smile at that, an angry Richie had been quite something to see.

"Let's just say, I don't think anyone will ever suggest someone bugs any of your homes again," the older man replied, his spirits fully revived by the conversation.

"Hi, Adam," the newcomer said as if a huge weight had just been lifted from his shoulders. "Well I'll leave you guys to it."

"You're not leaving are you?" Dawson enquired quickly, he still felt he had to make up for his colleagues bungling.

"No," Richie replied, "Beren likes the place so we'll stick around for a while and listen to the band. And anyway, Mike told me about your instructions."

He grinned broadly and then disappeared, closing the door behind him.


Methos was laughing when the Watcher looked back at him.

"Are you sure you didn't act too hastily?" the ancient man said wryly. "Immortal's don't die from alcohol poisoning you know."

"Richie doesn't drink all that much," Joe returned with a grin.

"Most of the time," was all the other replied and began chuckling again at the worried look that crossed Dawson's face.

He liked to make people believe he knew something they didn't, especially when he was joking.

Through most of the evening the pair had been talking about the events that Duncan had explained that morning and Adam was feeling much better about things with two perspectives on the matter. Joe had promised to show him the record the following day, with all it's instant detail, and his mood was much improved now he had access to the facts.

End of Part 3