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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


Part 4

Reading was one thing Adam had no problem with: he enjoyed it and was very fast. A note pad, a pencil and the two books he was interested in were all he needed to keep him happy, and since his job was researcher, Joe found him a room out back and nobody bothered him. The two documents were a study in opposites, and yet, they were inextricably linked. One was a fake leather, A4 note book, filled with Joe's neat, well trained hand writing, and the other was Iltyd's autobiography with it's worn cover and slightly faded ink. The door was locked to prevent anyone seeing the documents that would have made a Watcher's century, and had been since ten o'clock when Joe had returned from the bank with his precious record. It was now nearly noon, and Methos had the translation of the marked passage in the old book finished, had glanced at other pieces in the work and was about to turn his attention to his friend's creation. Dawson had recorded every detail he could remember and his speculations as well. With Scholarly enthusiasm, the oldest living Immortal began to read.

"This volume is the most important document I have ever written for the Watcher organisation: I urge any who read it to treat it's contents with caution as to how they relay them. The Gathering has changed our fellowship as much as it has altered the lives of Immortals and this is why I find myself keeping the secret for as long as is humanly possible. Find here recorded all details of the events of what may be looked back upon as the turning point of Immortal history."

Then came Joe's personal information, some reference numbers and the dates of the occurrences.

"Question : Why when Richard Ryan's Immortality became known, was the existence of his twin, Christopher Seaton, not discovered. The routine background check and personal history record should have brought to light this information. How could we, as an organisation, have missed such a vital piece of data, which has in itself so drastically changed the lives of the following Immortals:

Duncan MacLeod [reference number] Madelaine Seaton [reference number] Craven Manheim [reference number] Amanda Darieux [reference number] Richard Ryan [reference number] Christopher Seaton [reference number] Note : This list may increase."

There followed a list of places to be cited in the main record, with meticulous details about position, size and other characteristics that Watchers found impossible to overlook.

The whole thing was a document overflowing with excited information, but all was put down for posterity with practised discipline and coherent legibility. Exact descriptions of what Dawson had witnessed were placed next to reports, of what he had not seen, from the Immortals involved, and they filled page after page with elaborate particulars. Personal ideas were added in the margins or different coloured pen, some as after thoughts and others as part and parcel of the data being written. There was absolutely no doubt that Joe had been distinctly affected by, what he called, "The Dividing". It was in fact the most peculiar chronicle that the archives would ever see: this was a document that had the open collaboration of the Immortals involved and in such, broke every rule the Watchers had. Without this co-operation, however, the full extent of what had occurred would never have been completely understood, and if it ever reached general release, it would probably divide the community.

"There were all the signs of a normal Quickening from the room at the top of the stairs. The explosions were audible and the lightening could be seen through the open door, it only left the matter of who had lost the fight. When all Immortals who were known to be inside, were observed to still have their heads on their shoulders, it posed the question: what had occurred? A few minutes after their hurried exit from the building, the structure was engulfed in a huge detonation which totally destroyed it. A report of any findings from the wreckage will follow at a later date if an investigation is found to be practicable.

Personal : MacLeod, Chris and Madelaine all entered the building ready to kill Manheim. I have watched Duncan for years now and the mood he was in on that night suggested to me that he would not give up until he had his adversary's head. I fully expected it to have been him receiving the Quickening even though I had seen Richie enter the room from my vantage point. When they reappeared they seemed as confused as the mortals around them, that they no-longer felt any hostility to their former opponent. The experience they shared touched them all on a deeper level than any of us can expect to understand: I have never seen quite the look on MacLeod's face that he had that morning.

Manheim prevented his mercenaries..."

It was Joe's thoughts and feelings that made the most impression on Methos, as he studied the manuscript since he was already in possession of the facts from yesterday. The Immortal from the point of view of a Mortal could be most enlightening, and Dawson's interpretation of what he had seen and heard opened many ideas in the reader's mind.

"Talk to Berengaria Danworth," were the most prominent words on Adam's latest page of notes.

The truth of the matter was obvious now: the circumstances were clearly defined, and now the job was to formulate his own opinion of the matter. Something so alien to the Immortal world was fascinating to Methos, who had watched the ages pass and nothing really change for his race, but he couldn't say he was comfortable with the idea. Maybe it was the right way forward, or maybe if they survived as a group and were the only ones left, their fellowship would break down and they would turn on each other. He read the demonstration of the twins inability to harm each other, and it gave him a little peace of mind. There was so much to consider, and Adam sat back in his chair thoughtfully, letting his eyes trace the edge of the opposite wall.

"To be or not to be?" he said to himself quietly, and smiled at his dilemma.

"So have you heard any more from this Peters guy?" Richie asked as he unconsciously reordered the paperwork Duncan had abandoned the day before.

"Not a thing," his friend replied from where he was doing sit-ups. "He'll either turn up or he won't."

The Highlander didn't seem to be taking this challenge quite as seriously as his companions, but then again if he became totally paranoid every time someone came looking for him he'd have a nervous breakdown. He was taking the threat calmly, but he wasn't ignoring it: his actions proved that.

"Just make sure you haven't got your back turned when he does," the younger of the two men said evenly.

The world was really coming to something when Richie Ryan was giving advice to Duncan MacLeod.

"As always," Mac replied, and he wasn't joking.

The Scotsman heard tutting coming from the office as his young companion sorted through the desk: Richie was becoming a real organiser.

"Just make sure I can find those invoices," the older Immortal called out as he recognised the sound of paper being moved. "Your filing system had me confused for months."

"Can't be any worse than yours," his friend sent back, "I'm surprised you can find anything in here at all. You could at least have these stacked in date order. How do you keep track of everything you buy and sell?"

All he received in reply was a laugh.

"Heard anything from our old friend today?" Richie asked chattily, as he appeared in the doorway a few minutes later.

"Nope," Duncan responded, and switched to press-ups, "you?"

"Nada," the more experienced or the twins replied. "Do you think he'll bite?"

Richie never ceased to be amazed about the ease with which MacLeod moved: he was a joy to watch.

"To tell the truth," the older Immortal said after a few more exercises, "I don't know. I was surprised by Amanda's request, but she had witnessed a lot of the revelations. She was right when she said Methos isn't a joiner, but then again weirder things have happened."

"Too right," his companion returned with a laugh.

This wasn't the heart of the conversation, Richie was leading up to something, Duncan could tell. When he wasn't quite sure of the reception he would get the younger Immortal had a certain style that was easy to spot. Mac wasn't about to push him, however, it worked better to just let him make his own way to the real topic.

"What would you say if I said I thought he was important to us?" the young man asked eventually.

"I'd ask why," was the calm response and the Highlander gave up the workout.

There was that awkward look on Richie's face, that said he wasn't sure if he should go on.

"I dreamed him," he finally admitted.

"What, last night?" Mac was not about to throw any accusations or put downs at the young man.

"No," the other responded. "I'd have put it down to the incident yesterday, otherwise. I dreamt him the night before he arrived."

What could Duncan say to that?

"Had any dreams like this before?" he enquired after a moments thought.

Richie shook his head.

"Just the one," he replied, uncertainly.

"Well, Methos is very old," the Highlander said calmly, "he's very significant in the entire Immortal scheme of things. His presence has an effect on us all, maybe you just sensed him before the rest of us did."

It was a reasonable theory, Richie stored away the idea and made a note to ask Adam, exactly when he flew in.

"Thanks, Mac," he said, a little happier and turned back into the office.

"Anytime," his old friend replied.

When the phone rang for the second time in an hour, it was quite a surprise to Beren since the only person she had given the number to was Richie, and he had made the other call. She was working in the office her father had been lent by the local educational establishment, for the duration of his stay, and nobody ever phoned.

"Hello, extension 4518," she said brightly and put down the highlighter she had been using.

"Good afternoon," a pleasant voice returned from the other end, "this is Adam Pierson, am I speaking to Berengaria Danworth."

The use of her full name put back the young woman somewhat, quite frankly it embarrassed her a bit.

"That's me," she replied after she had adjusted, "please, call me Beren: it's easier to pronounce. You're Duncan's friend aren't you?"

"Richie mentioned me then," the Immortal replied on the line, "good, that saves me some explaining."

The previous evening Joe had come out of the back room and said hello, but Adam, as usual, was keeping his head low and had remained behind. Therefore, he had not had the opportunity to meet the love in Richie's life and so this was their first conversation.

"He told me that they've explained the whole story to you," the young English woman supplied easily: she was aware that with so many secrets floating around, exactly who knew what could be important in a conversation.

"Even better," the calm voice said easily, "then you can probably ascertain my dilemma. I'm really trying to understand exactly what happened a few weeks ago, and being a principle player, I would appreciate your side of the story."

"Oh," now Beren was surprised, she didn't really think of herself as a major part of what had occurred. "Well if it would help. I suppose it must be difficult to come to terms with the group, I know I had trouble accepting everything I saw."

It was a very peculiar conversation. Both ends were being careful what they admitted to on the open line and it led to lots of meaningful pauses.

"Could we meet?" Adam requested in his gentle tones.

"I should think so," the young woman replied honestly. "When do you suggest?"

"Tonight?" was the considered response.

"I'll have to ring Richie and see what's arranged for this evening," Beren returned after a short pause, "but I don't see why not."

"I'd like to speak to everyone alone," Adam sounded a little tentative, "is that a problem?"

It was a reasonable request, after all groups did tend to come up with a point of view that was a mishmash of everyone in it.

"Shouldn't be," were the next words out of the English woman's mouth.

The tone of the voice on the other end of the line was such that it obtained instant friendship: Adam had a peculiar effect on people.

"As long as there's nothing special going on," Beren continued. "If you give me your number, I'll sort things out my end and give you a call."

"I'm at Joe's bar," was the quick reply, "I'd rather not have you ring me here, just in case someone else answers. If it's all right with you, I'll call back in thirty minutes."

"Fine," the graduate returned without hesitation, "talk to you then."

Once Richie quashed the irrational surge of jealousy that engulfed him the moment Beren mention Methos, he had no problem with the rendezvous. He could understand the older Immortal's reticence with the whole situation, and Beren would give him an angle on the events that none of the rest of the group could have. It was one thing to be at the centre of everything going on, but objectivity was a long way from it, and Mortal view points were distinctly different from their Immortal cousins. Since Adam was so careful with his real identity, Richie had not told Beren of his significance in the scheme of things, which in the end would probably make for an easier discourse. Methos was part myth and tended to draw awe rather than accurate information, Adam Pierson was just another Immortal, an idea with which the young English woman was already comfortable. The idea of enlightening his lover to the whole facts did cross Richie's mind, but then again it was Adam's secret and he had the right to keep it, or not, as he saw fit.

Something was bothering Amanda, that much was very obvious as Duncan chopped the peppers for their dinner. The Immortal woman kept glancing up form the magazine she was reading, and biting her lip as if she wasn't sure whether to speak or not. This was an unusual occurrence where the ex-thief was concerned, Amanda usually had no problem with her voice, what so ever.

"Spit it out," the Scotsman said finally as he tipped the vegetables into the nearest saucepan.

His friend looked startled, as if she hadn't been aware she was being obvious.

"That easy to read, huh?" she said quietly.

"You're like a caged panther," the Highlander informed her calmly.

She smiled slightly: she liked the comparison. Then the expression faded to be replaced by the pensive look that had been there only a few seconds before.

"I know that technically it's none of my business," she began in a rush, as if she didn't want to offend him, "but Jackson Peters' name rang a vague bell so I poked my nose in. Today I called in a few favours. Don't ask me from where, you don't want to know. This Immortal is no longer the young upstart you told me about last night: he's taken the heads of some powerful people. From what I've heard, he's been studying every weapons technique he can find since the day you killed Bran."

"I suspected as much," the Scotsman replied, much to his companion's surprise. "Anyone capable of maintaining a pointless hatred this long usually has a way to fulfil their revenge. Kalas had his brain, Peters didn't strike me as the complicated type, so that he's been learning to fight isn't much of a shock. At least he took my advice."

Amanda did not look pleased at the tone with which Duncan chose to phrase his voice.

"What's with you?" she asked pointedly. "You're not invulnerable you know, and Peters isn't going to go away. He may only be a hundred or so, but you can learn a lot of ways to kill someone in that time."

"I am taking this seriously," the Highlander assured her calmly. "It's just that everyone appears to be more uptight about this than I am. To tell you the truth, I'm excited by the challenge, more so than in years. Either he'll beat me, and you and the others will be coming into some property, or I'll beat him and we'll have a new member or a Quickening."

The conversation could have gone on and become long and complicated, but Amanda saw the look on Mac's face and decided it wasn't worth it.

"So who's getting what?" she asked to distract herself.

"Now that would be telling," Duncan replied with a ready smile.

Chris knew that Joe's bar wasn't exactly the place to be inconspicuous, especially with so many Watchers around, but he wanted to relax and he liked talking to the owner. They never discussed Immortal things when the young man dropped by, usually the conversation turned to music, and since their relationship had developed under the careful scrutiny of many eyes, it was lighter than the others Chris was in at the moment. It wasn't that he found the group of Immortals stifling, in fact he was thriving, it was just nice to go somewhere that he knew that particular subject couldn't come up.

"Afternoon," he said cheerfully as he walked in to find Joe setting up for the night crowd, "or is it evening yet? I've always wondered exactly where the dividing line is."

It was actually about six o'clock.

"Evening, I think," the older man replied with a smile.

These visits were becoming something of a habit, and even if they did raise a few questions with his colleagues, Dawson enjoyed them. Immortal and Watcher cannot be friends, it was a fundamental rule, but Joe had thrown that out the window with Duncan and Richie, Chris was no different. Except of course that talking to Manheim's student was just like talking to a regular guy, with no undertones or hidden questions. If the young Immortal wanted information he went to his twin, Mac or Craven, he went to Joe for conversation and they both appreciated the fact.

"So how're the blues?" Chris asked with a grin and took a seat next to the bar.

"Melodic, as usual," his friend replied and finished wiping the table he had just cleaned. "Heard any smooth tunes lately?"

"There's some great new albums in the Record's Palace," the young Immortal had also been devoting some of his time to developing a friendship with the owner of that particular store. "Some blues, a couple of rock and one country that I was very surprised to find, I liked. Jamie made me listen to it before he'd let me leave, last time I was in there."

Music was a hobby the pair shared, Chris had been the vocalist in a band at University and when he'd found out Joe played guitar, nothing had stopped him finding out just how well. Richie didn't seem to share the fascination, but then again, it would probably filter over one day.

It didn't take long for the bearded Watcher and his younger companion to get into a deep discussion about the merits of various bands, and for this reason neither of them noticed the door open and a slight figure enter. Finally, when the newcomer had had enough of just standing there waiting to be noticed, she spoke up.

"Hi, Uncle Joe," said a bright voice, "hope you don't mind me interrupting."

Dawson looked up, somewhat startled by the presence of another in the room.

"Karina," he responded quickly, "what are you doing here?"

"Oh, that's nice," she said in a mock offended tone, "I drop by to say hello to my father's oldest friend and all I get is "what are you doing here?" ."

Joe grinned at the sarcasm.

"Sorry," he said, suitably rebuffed, "I just wasn't expecting anybody. Karina, this is Chris, Chris, this is Karina: the daughter of a dear friend and colleague."

"Nice to meet you," the Immortal responded to the introduction, whilst trying to hide the perplexed look which had momentarily crossed his features.

The young woman was carrying a heavy looking bag, it was obvious she was going to be in town a while.

"Do you wish to borrow the spare room?" her "uncle" offered as she unsubtley dumped the carryall on the floor.

"That would be nice," she returned with a huge grin. "Oh, and Dad said to give you his love."

Karina looked to be around twentyish, and her long blonde hair went nicely with her bright green eyes. Her face was alight with mischievous life, and it gave her an air of fun that was infectious. The jeans, sloppy jumper and light jacket did nothing to hide the slim figure and curvaceous body that Chris found somewhat distracting.

"Pleased to meet you, Chris," she said, cheerfully swapping subjects again and stuck out her hand, "any friend of Uncle Joe's."

The Immortal shook the extended limb gently and smiled.

"Karina, would you mind not referring to me as "Uncle Joe"," the Watcher asked with a pained expression. "I may have known you since you were born, but the name makes me feel about a hundred and three. Just Joe is good enough for me."

"Well if you are a hundred and three," the girl shot back cheekily, "you're keeping very well. Not holding out on us are you."

She had no tattoo, but she obviously knew exactly what she was referring to. The comment would have seemed innocent to all those without certain information, but Chris found the idea very funny. It conjured the picture of his friend wielding a note book and yelling "There can be only one." in the Immortal's mind, which struck a chord.

"What's so funny?" Joe asked as his companion began to laugh.

"Oh, nothing," Richie's twin replied between chuckles, "you don't want to know what I thought."

When the young man glanced at Karina, he caught her tying to surreptitiously look at his wrists: she was obviously wondering what he knew. Maybe she was a Watcher in training, or maybe since Joe had said her father was a colleague, she had just grown up with the knowledge that her dad had a peculiar job, following around Immortals. Joe did not seem to be trying to direct the conversation away from anything in particular, so Chris assumed Karina was to be trusted. She'd realised that the Immortal knew something and staying with Dawson, sooner or later she'd find out who he was, so being reticent did not come into the equation.

"No tattoo," he said calmly, "just in the know."

There was, however, no point to ruin a perfectly friendly conversation, by bringing up something like Immortality, which had a tendency to kill such pleasantries.

"Oh, good," the woman replied, "then if my big mouth slips in such conducive surroundings, I won't have to come up with any off the cuff excuses."

There was no way someone from a Watcher family could ever be described as having a big mouth, it didn't come with the territory, but Chris smiled anyway.

"Just don't give away any of Joe's secrets," the Immortal returned quickly, "he might get upset."

"Oh, I don't know any secrets worth giving up," Karina assured both men with a cheerful voice.

"So who is he?" the young woman asked with an interesting glint in her eye, just after Chris had said his goodbyes.

They'd chatted idly for half an hour or so and then the Immortal had decided it was time to leave.

"A friend," Joe returned, trying not to sound cagey, "we met in the bar."

This of course was perfectly true, it just left out some interesting details.

"Does he come in here often?" the tone of her voice was beginning to make Joe think that maybe he should mention Chris' origins.

"Sometimes," Dawson told her, deciding that now was not a good time, "we talk about music."

This conversation was on it's way to becoming a little awkward.

"How does he know about Watchers and Immortals?" were the next words out of the young woman's mouth.

"A slip in protocol," was all Joe returned.

"Oh, so he's not supposed to know," Karina was making her own conclusions.

"You could say that," her companion replied.

"Don't worry, Joe," she said with a smile, "I won't mention it to anybody. I've heard there's a convention in town."

She was in on quite a lot of Watcher business, and had been for years, but since she had never "signed up" she did not know the details. It wasn't usual for non-members to know so much about the organisation, but Karina was one of those people who could find out anything if given enough time.

Duncan and Amanda looked at each other as they felt the approach of another Immortal.

"Richie," the young looking woman said with one eyebrow slightly raised.

"Chris," her companion decided firmly.

The twins were alike to look at and they were also very similar when it came to the distinctive feeling caused by their presence. It was better than not knowing they were friends, but it was still problematic deciding which was which. They were not, of course, exactly the same and Mac was better at telling one from the other than Amanda, who really only guessed.

"Evening," the visitor greeted as he stepped out of the elevator and the Highlander was once again proved correct.

Chris still held onto his peculiar accent, sometimes it slipped slightly, but usually, it was the one sure way to decide which twin was in the room.

"Hi," MacLeod returned, "what brings you here."

"Somebody I met at Joe's," the youngest Immortal returned with a serious look on his face. "Her name's Karina, she twenty one, the daughter of one of Dawson's Watcher friends, and staying with Joe for the next few days."

This didn't sound like the type of subject that would bring Chris all the way to see Mac, or give him the visage with which he currently looked on the world.

"And?" Amanda asked as he paused.

"And," the young man continued, "I don't think a career in the Watchers is exactly right for her. I'd lay large amounts of money on a bet that she's adopted and that her life expectancy is a lot longer than her family's."

"Are you trying to say, she's Immortal?" Duncan enquired calmly.

"Not Immortal, I don't have much experience with pre-Immortals," Chris said slowly, "but I got the weirdest feeling from her and I assume it's because she will be one of us. It was like with you guys, but weaker and somehow, remote."

"Sounds like you're right to me," the Highlander returned at the description and then looked to Amanda.

The woman's eyes were suddenly alight with interest.

"I should keep an eye on her whilst she's here, shouldn't I," she said, a smile pulling at her lips.

"Good idea," Mac replied with a nod. "Don't make it obvious, Chris can introduce you, but find out as much as you can about her. When she goes home we'll have to make alternative arrangements. We don't want her getting herself into any trouble whilst we can prevent it."

Their younger companion looked a little unsure of himself.

"Am I allowed to keep seeing her?" he asked awkwardly.

That made the Scotsman grin: at least Chris didn't do all his thinking with his hormones.

"Feel free," Duncan said with a laugh, "but just remember, Chris. Joe may not be comfortable with his friend's daughter becoming involved with an Immortal. It may be easier on you to leave well alone."

It was sensible advice, but young men with the sexual drive of an Immortal rarely listened to their brains when it came to beautiful women. Chris' mind was trying to tell him that Mac was right, but other body parts were urging in other directions.

End of Part 4