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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 7

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 himself remorselessly.

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.

"Something wrong?" 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.

"Unusual problem," 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 showed herself.

"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 returned.

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 water.

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 replied calmly.

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 table.

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 logical conclusion.

"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 control.

"I thought," the Immortal began, "oh god, I don't know what I thought. Did anyone see it happen?"

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 quietly, "soon."

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 least.]

[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 his feet.

"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 pinion."

"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 elephant.

"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 he spoke.

"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 two."

"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 even demonstrated."

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 idle speculation."

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 behind.

"They know about me and Chris," was the first thing that left the younger Immortal's mouth.

"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."

End of Part 7