It was taking a great deal of
effort, but if he tried really hard, Chris could ignore the fact
that his twin was being sliced like a steak. The suppressing of
every natural urge in his body was a difficult task, but with
some severe concentration the Immortal was up to the trial. After
about twenty minutes of trying to forget his brother even existed,
he'd decided he needed something to occupy his mind, so he headed
for Joe's. If there was one thing that could keep his thoughts
away from the proximity of a sword to Richie's skin, it was Karina,
so he turned up on Dawson's doorstep hoping to find her.
"Afternoon," he said
brightly as he walked in and found Joe stock taking.
"Hi Chris," the Watcher
greeted, he never seemed to have any problem telling the twins
apart, even when the English one of the two dropped into a local
accent, "have a seat."
"Thanks," the other
replied and pulled up a bar stool. "Just you here?"
"At the moment, yes,"
the older man said and refused to listen to what his mind was
telling him, "everyone decided to go out after lunch. Can
I get you anything?"
"Coffee would be nice,"
the twin responded and tried to hide his disappointment.
They weren't alone for long,
however, as Joe placed a steaming mug in front of Chris the young
Immortal's eyes flew to the door. The tension only drained out
of the young man's back when Adam walked through the entrance.
"I have got to stop jumping
out of my skin everytime that happens," the younger man scolded
He wasn't used to the strange
unidentifiable feeling that Methos caused in him, he hadn't met
many Immortals. Chris was used to being able to identify those
approaching by the tingle that started behind his eyes, and he
still found the ambiguity of the ancient Immortal unsettling.
"Caution is the better part
of valour," Adam commented with a smile and came strolling
over. "Any more coffee?"
"Yeah, well I don't see
any of the others looking like a startled rabbit everytime you
show up," the blond man returned.
"They've had more practice
hiding the momentary anxiety," were Methos' next words of
wisdom. "There is a very good reason we can't sneak up on
each other and it makes most of us nervous."
Chris was still embarrassed by
his reaction and to hide it he took off his jacket and put it
on the stool next to him.
"Ow," he said and winced
just as he was about to pick up his drink.
Joe asked as he produced Adam's coffee.
The Watcher was almost as good
at harvesting drinks from thin air as Immortals were with swords.
"No," his younger guest
returned, "Richie's sparing with MacLeod is all. I think
he'll have more holes in him by the time they've finished, than
British tax law."
Some things definitely rubbed
off from mother to son.
Adam said with unabashed curiosity, "would you care to complain
about it for a while, I'm most interested?"
It was damn near impossible not
to laugh, and Chris finally decided to leave the sulking to Amanda,
who seemed to have it down to a fine art.
Chris had no intention of leaving
until he'd at least clapped eyes on Karina, and the conversation
was entertaining so time passed with none of the three really
noticing. Stock taking was usually dull, but roping in Adam and
Chris made it a hell of a lot more interesting. Admittedly, it
complicated the process, since the two Immortal's insisted on
goofing around half the time, but at least it was fun. It was
almost four by the time the reason for Chris' presence actually
"Hi guys," she said
as she put her head round the door, "could someone give me
a hand out here please. I have a cab full of shopping."
Nothing could have beaten the
youngest Immortal to the door. Adam had to hide his smile at the
look that crossed Joe's face.
"So did you break your credit
limit?" the blond Immortal asked as he looked at the back
seat full of bags and boxes.
"Birthday money," Karina
replied cheerfully, "it's been burning a hole in my bank
account for a couple of months now. This city has more shops than
the back of beyond, where I live."
"If you say so," Chris
They emptied all the containers
onto the ground, much to the cabby's delight, since he sped away
the moment they closed the door.
"What's his hurry?"
the Immortal said disgustedly as the vehicle nearly took a bag
out of his hand.
"I think he was afraid I
might out talk him," the young woman replied with a grin.
It was going to take a feat of
engineering to carry all the purchases into Joe's at the same
time and Karina decided that maybe they could do with another
pair of hands.
"You wait here," she
said brightly, "I'll go get Adam to lend us his assistance."
Chris looked a little out of
his depth, surrounded by shopping.
The first thing he heard was
the squeal of tyres as he surveyed the goods and he looked up
to see Karina, frozen in the path of a speeding car. Whoever was
driving, either did not care that she was there, or did not know,
because they made no attempt to prevent the inevitable. Everything
seemed to slow down and the Immortal just reacted. The parcels
were forgotten as he moved and threw himself at the young woman
in the road. Their bodies connected just before the vehicle reached
their position and Chris' momentum was just enough to send Karina
spinning out of the way, but the collision stopped him dead. The
car's fender caught him mid leg and the impact sent him upwards
in a deadly arc. He was thrown like a rag doll, up and into the
windscreen, and on over the roof of the vehicle. The driver never
even attempted to brake and all that was left were a glimpse of
its tail- lights and a broken body in the road.
When Karina entered the bar there
were tears streaming down her face and Joe moved faster than he
should have been able.
"Uncle Joe," the young
woman said in a small voice, "a car ... Chris ... he's dead."
The Watcher's face went pale
and Adam charged past him out of the door.
"Thank god for apathy,"
the Immortal muttered under his breath as he took in the total
lack of good Samaritans outside.
It was obvious what had killed
Chris: his head was at a most peculiar angle thanks to what could
only be a broken neck. One leg was shattered and bone had ripped
through flesh and material to reveal a compound fracture: quite
frankly, the young Immortal was a mess. The graze down one side
of his face did not help appearances any.
"We've got to get him inside,"
Joe said as he limped out of the building.
Karina was too much in shock
to realise what was going on, all her brain kept telling her was
that she had nearly been killed and a friend was dead.
"Kari, you have to help,"
the Watcher said rapidly, "we have to get him out of the
street before anyone comes, I'm too slow."
"But why?" the young
woman asked, almost hysterically. "He's dead for god's sake."
"No, Kari," Joe knew
this probably wasn't going to help right now, but needs must,
"he's not, well not permanently. Chris is Immortal and he
mustn't be found here."
The information didn't seem to
register in his companion's mind. Karina had never knowingly met
an Immortal, she knew about them, but they were people in her
father's world not hers, and her thought's couldn't grasp what
she was being told after the horrific events. Help was at hand
from another source, however, Graham appeared out of the shadows.
"This is against all the
rules you know," he said even as he bent down to help Adam
pick up what was left of Chris.
"We'll talk about that later,"
Joe said with storm clouds in his face, "for now get him
out of sight."
The other two Watchers moved
the lifeless body as the bar's owner managed to convince his female
guest to at least help him move all her shopping out of the street.
Richie picked his bike up from
the side of the road where it had slid to a halt, as terrible
thoughts washed through his mind. The pain had been one blinding
flash and he'd almost lost control of the vehicle completely,
only just managing to turn it on it's side in a controlled crash.
He'd been heading back to the dojo to finish some paper work after
going home to clean up from the afternoon's exertions, when Chris'
fury and agony had hit him. It was like looking down into an endless
pit: his brother was gone from his mind and the yearning chasm
of despair threatened to overwhelm him. He'd never really experienced
this before, the only time his twin had died there had been too
much else going on to let him really feel the loss. It took him
long minutes to force down the rising panic and set his mind to
understanding what had happened. Hunters and evil Immortal's alike
flashed through his brain like a tidal wave and he fought to push
them out of the way and do something. Eventually he brought his
racing thoughts under control and focused in on what he had felt
just before the emptiness had asserted itself in Chris' place.
Richie had not been paying much attention to his twin that afternoon
and he had no idea where he was or what he was doing, but their
connection came to his rescue. The last few milliseconds of Chris'
experience were imprinted on his mind, and there right at in the
last confusing flash, was a winking neon sign that said "Joe's".
Adam and Graham had put their
burden on the nearest flat surface, which as it turned out was
the bar. This repair job, was going to take a while, the impact
had broken lots of bones and ruptured several vital organs, not
to mention the damaged spinal cord and fractured skull.
"Help me straighten this
leg," Methos said as he surveyed the damage, "it'll
heal faster if it doesn't have to relocate itself first, and find
something to keep his head level."
The other Watcher didn't argue,
he just held onto the inert Immortal while his companion gave
a stomach turning pull on the shattered limb. Chris' T-shirt gave
very little resistance when split down the middle and the reason
for the large amount of blood on it was revealed. The leg bone
wasn't the only one to have broken through skin, two ribs have
made jagged holes at impossible angles.
"Not a lot we can do with
those," Adam said and continued checking for wounds he could
assist in repairing.
"Thank god he's Immortal,"
was all Graham could say.
"What happened, Graham?"
Joe asked the other Watcher as soon as he'd sat Karina down in
an available chair.
The young woman was just staring
at the world as if she'd never seen it before.
"Some guy in a car, going
too fast," his colleague responded, trying not to let his
emotions out, "probably high on something. He was going to
hit Karina, Chris pushed her out of the way."
Watchers were supposed to be
detached, impartial observers, but Graham was angry, he had never
been able to totally set himself apart from the people he followed
and he liked Chris. This man was well into his fifties, but he'd
never seem a dead Immortal up close and it was difficult to accept
that this one was going to revive after so much damage.
Karina had a gash above her left
eye and grazes on her hands, she needed attention and Adam went
for the first aid kit under the bar.
"Let's get them both cleaned
up," he said practically and disappeared to find some hot
As Joe gently dabbed antiseptic
on Kari's forehead she slowly began to come back to herself, and
she dried her eyes on the handkerchief the Watcher provided.
"Chris is Immortal?"
she said quietly as she observed Adam and Graham trying to remove
most of the blood from the motionless individual.
"Yes," the older man
Now was no time to display any
sort of emotion what so ever.
"He saved me," the
blonde woman continued in an even smaller voice.
There was nothing to say to that.
"Why didn't you tell me
he was one of them?" she demanded much louder.
Her shock was mutating into anger
at anything and everything, making the secrecy a good reason to
lash out. Rationality had stepped outside for a while and she
was going to shout at somebody.
"You know how we work,"
Joe said without responding to her fury, "it's need to know.
You're not a Watcher, you didn't need to understand who he is."
"But I... " she started,
unsure whether to be appalled at some of the things she had been
thinking over the last day, or what, "I ... that is, I ..."
She trailed off, she wasn't sure
how to express herself.
"Oh, Uncle Joe," she
said and the tears began to flow once more.
What else could the Watcher do:
he enveloped her in a fatherly hug and let her cry.
The door nearly flew off its
hinges when Richie came through it and scanned the room with one
all encompassing glance.
"What the hell happened?"
he almost yelled, and nearly threw his helmet onto the nearest
He was very far from calm, having
time to think about what occurred, had done him no good what so
ever, and he was only just on this side of sane. Graham's eyes
were wide and startled to see the other Immortal, but slowly realisation
dawned in them as his Watcher mind linked events and came to the
"Hit and run," Joe
decided to step into the role of referee again, "Chris stopped
the car killing Karina."
Richie's eyes fell on the pale,
young woman and knew exactly why his twin had run into the road.
With his panic dissipating, lucid thoughts were returning and
with a deep breath he managed to bring his rapid breathing under
"I thought," the Immortal
began, "oh god, I don't know what I thought. Did anyone see
He really hoped the answer was
no, he didn't want his brother to have to live with the complications
a public death would bring.
"Nobody to worry about,"
Dawson returned calmly.
The relief was so clear in Richie's
eyes that the others in the room could almost reach out and touch
it. The need for action gone, the young Immortal actually began
to shake: this wasn't anything he'd been prepared to deal with.
He walked over to the bar slowly and gently rested his hand on
his brothers shoulder, but being able to touch him and still feel
nothing was almost worse than before. Chris had felt the emptiness,
three times he'd had to deal with the death of his twin, and at
last, Richie fully understood the pain it caused.
"Wake up," he said
He sat down on the nearest bar
stool, what else was there to do, except wait. He looked at Graham,
his gaze even and contemplative. One of the secrets was out, he
could see the knowledge of how deep his relationship was to Chris,
all over the Watcher's face. He was just left to wonder how long
it would be before the rest of their confidences were recorded
in a chronicle for the whole Watcher community to see.
"Nice clean up job,"
he commented absently.
An awkward silence fell and slowly
Graham moved away from the brothers, nearer to Joe, where he felt
more comfortable. It was an unconscious move, but one that underlined
the basic difference between the people in the room. If the Watcher
had known what Adam really was he'd have realised there was a
perfect split down the centre of the room.
Quite suddenly there were several
audible cracking sounds and with a gasp of air, Chris opened his
eyes. The second thing he did was groan as muscles all over his
body spasmed and realigned themselves: coming back from the dead
was not a pleasant experience. Richie shot off the stool as if
he'd been ejected from a cannon and almost joined his sibling
in chorus as the pain echoed in his body. His reaction was half
angry, half utterly relieved and no matter how much it hurt either
of them he grabbed his brother by the scruff of the neck and pulled
him into a half sitting position.
"If you ever decide to run
in front of a speeding vehicle," he said in a voice that
was so full of emotion it was slightly strangled, "for god's
sake, keep going."
"I'll remember that,"
Chris said a little breathlessly and before he could do anything
else he found himself hauled into a hug.
It took a few more minutes before
the young Immortal could actually move without every nerve in
his body complaining of something, but he climbed off the bar
as soon as was physically possible. Of all the emotions he could
have been feeling, perversely, the strongest was embarrassment:
he was ashamed of having caused so much trouble.
[I know it's weird,] Richie's
voice said in his mind,[but there's nothing to be repentant about.
You saved her life, that'll give her more time to be normal, at
[But look at the way she's watching
me,] Chris returned silently.[It's as if I've grown another head
or something. She's never going to speak to me again, I think
she may even be afraid of us.]
Mortal reactions were a hard
thing to judge, but on the surface, Karina did appear to be taking
the afternoon's events very badly.
[There's nothing you can do about
it now,] the more experienced twin told his sibling.[Half of what
you're seeing is the shock of surviving a serious accident, she
may come rolling back soon. Don't try and talk to her yet, just
let her recover from the trauma first.]
It was good advice, pushing things
now would be a disaster. It was just that Chris ached to speak
to her, to explain: deep down he wanted to tell her everything,
instantly, including what she would become, but sense and simple
compassion kept him silent.
[I understand,] Richie said as
he read the emotions running through his brother,[it's hard sometimes.]
"We'd better be going,"
were the words that came out of his mouth as Chris staggered to
"Sorry about the mess,"
the newly awakened Immortal said as he surveyed the remnants of
the salvage operation.
He still felt an overwhelming
need to apologise for the whole business.
"Mess!" Joe returned
and walked over. "Don't even think about it, Chris. You saved
a very good friend of mine today, I am in your debt."
Richie watched his twin sway
slightly as he picked up his jacket and decided his mode of transport
was not a good idea.
"Fancy cashing that in?"
he asked and put a hand out to steady his brother. "I think
Chris could do with a ride home, he doesn't look up to sitting
"Of course," the Watcher
replied immediately, "I'll bring the car around."
The coat hid most of the bloodstains
as the younger Immortal pulled it on, but he didn't seem too with
it. The room had a nasty habit of shifting at the most inopportune
moments and he had a headache that could have brought down an
"Well, goodbye," Richie
said as he picked up his helmet. "Enjoy the rest of the day,
or at least try and survive it."
There was no reply: the two mortals
left in the room seemed silently wary and Adam really couldn't
say anything in the present company, so no-one spoke. Chris took
one last look at the people in the bar. His eyes rested on Karina
trying to see what she was thinking, but she could only hold his
gaze for a moment. She didn't seem able to come to terms with
his actually being alive. He so wanted to speak, but slowly, his
twin guided him out the door.
Joe drove his young friend to
Craven's house and Richie rode behind on his bike. As soon as
they arrived Manheim took over and immediately set about helping
his pupil like a mother hen.
"Thanks, Joe," the
compus mentis half of the twins said as his brother was assisted
up the steps to the house, "for making sure no- one saw,
as well as the ride."
"No need to thank me,"
the Watcher returned honestly, "what else could I do. Karina
really is like a niece to me, I don't know what I would have done
if she had been killed."
Richie had to banish the knowledge
of the young woman's pre-Immortal status from his mind before
"Yeah, well, I'd better
be going," he said a little too fast, "Chris is a little
wiped out and I think he could do with a steadying thought or
"Sure, Richie," his
friend replied, "see you around."
The older man went to climb back
into his car and the Immortal headed for the door, but the latter
stopped just before he reached the portal.
"Tell them what's between
me and Chris," the young man said calmly, "including
how we can't kill each other. Tell them I explained or something.
We don't want any misconceptions, do we."
Then he vanished through the
open entrance, leaving Dawson with the impression that the Watchers
understanding about him and Chris was a weight off Richie's mind.
Three more people were waiting
for Dawson when he returned, than had been present when he left,
and all appeared excited. Graham had obviously filled them all
in on the exact events that had taken place in and around the
bar and they had told him what they had seen when trailing Richie.
"There you are Joe,"
Ben said as his friend walked in, "we were beginning to wonder
where you'd gotten to."
"Isn't it amazing,"
Julia could barely contain herself, "actual evidence that
the twins have a psychic connection."
"And to think, Caroline
was transferred for suggesting it," Dave put in. "She
was right all the time. We've compared times, Richie fell off
his bike at the exact moment Chris was hit by the car, it's incredible."
There enthusiasm was commendable,
but Joe was not really in the mood and he had to force his response.
"It's amazing, all right,"
he returned and half smiled. "Just a shame we had to find
out in such a violent way."
Their colleagues lack of get
up and go could not dampen the other's exhilaration, however,
and he had no choice but to let himself be drawn in.
"The only question now,
is," Ben said quickly, "what exactly is the nature of
this connection. Did Richie just know something had happened to
Chris, or was it more? He seemed to know exactly where to go to
find him, but was that because he'd been told earlier or because
their connection provided the information?"
"I'm sure he felt the pain
when Chris woke up," Graham added his knowledge to the conversation.
Speculations were about to be
thrown around, Joe could tell a debate coming on when he saw one.
His friend's instructions were clear in his mind, and he decided
it was time to step in.
"They have complete, two
way telepathy," he said calmly and brought down total silence.
Adam was staring at him in startled
shock, he hadn't expected Dawson to provide any answers.
"They explained," the
Watcher said at the quizzical looks from his colleagues, "and
He wasn't actually lying, the
twins had told him and provided a display, that the others in
the room would assume they'd done so today and not previously,
was not Joe's problem.
"It seems, Richie for one,"
he continued, "would rather we know the truth than band about
The surprise that registered
on all the faces actually made the Watcher smile.
"Not all Immortals look
on us as lower forms of life, you know," Dawson told them
with a shake of his head. "Richie is one of the few who has
accepted us for what we are, I think he may even sympathise with
our point of view. The reason they've been keeping this a secret
is they think it'll make them targets."
The information was sinking in
around him and Ben actually seemed a little disappointed that
he didn't have to come to conclusions all on his own.
"Help me straighten this
place up," the bearded Watcher said more cheerfully than
he felt, "and I'll tell you all about them."
"Evening, Rich," Mac
greeted as his young friend exited the elevator with Beren close
"They know about me and
Chris," was the first thing that left the younger Immortal's
"You mean the telepathy
thing?" Amanda said, sticking her head out from behind the
shelves she was studying.
There was an air of resigned
acceptance about Richie as he wandered further into the room,
but it didn't take a psycho-analyst to realise that he wasn't
particularly unhappy about the current sate of affairs.
"Uh-huh," he responded
to the question, "by now they should know everything. Don't
ask me to explain why, but I gave Joe the all clear to present
his colleagues with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
the truth. Chris was hit by a car this afternoon and my reaction
wasn't exactly subtle."
"A car!" Duncan's reaction
wasn't exactly low key either. "Where? What happened? Were
there any witnesses?"
"You can stop worrying,"
the other returned, "he was outside Joe's and the Watchers
cleaned up the mess. The driver of the car had to have been a
drunk or a crack head, it was hit and run. The only headlines
which are going anywhere are into the Watcher's network."
of Part 7