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Opposites by Tasha

Opposites is a Highlander/Kindred : the Embraced Xover.


Part 10

Several conversations just stopped as Richie walked into the Haven, and he grinned at the shocked expression on Duncan's face. The slightly opened mouth visage dissolved into one of relief as he recognised his young friend's habitual disposition.

"I think he's back to normal," the older Immortal commented as his comrade began to walk across the room.

There was a quizzical look on Lillie's face as she watched the younger man approach.

"Not quite," was her quiet response, and she looked to Julian for confirmation.

"Mr Ryan still feels somewhat like one of us," the Prince offered slowly, "but his heart is beating, and he appears human on the outside."

Cash was hastily looking in his employer's direction, even as Sasha surveyed the new talent, and Julian just smiled. The Gangrel tried not to look too uptight as he suddenly found the younger Immortal was headed in his direction. He was most surprised when Richie actually stopped.

"Look, sorry about yesterday," the blond man apologised calmly. "Love the jacket, man."

Then he walked on not waiting for a reply.

"So, what happened yesterday," Sasha enquired curiously, "and who's the guy with the mixed up messages?"

Having been hanging out across town for the last couple of days, the Brujah hadn't been part of all the excitement. All she knew was that there had been some fuss over a human that she was neither interested in, nor part of.

"I'll tell you later," was all the Gangrel replied.

The young Immortal slid into the booth on the opposite side to his mentor, and just smiled at the others.

"I thought we'd go home now," he said lightly.

Nobody was quite sure what to say to that.

"Are you okay, Richie?" Mac finally asked slowly.

"Fine," the younger replied calmly, "a good Quickening will do wonders for a guy."

For Duncan that explained it all, but Richie went on anyway to make sure all was clear.

"Damon's dead, I'm as close to normal as I think I'm going to get," the blond Immortal said evenly, "Frank discovered death as well, by the way, but he'll get used to the idea. I've really had enough of this town, and I'd like to go home, where nothing more exciting happens than the odd Immortal trying to kill me."

It took a while for everyone to catch up.

"What happened to Frank?" it was Julian who asked, and he was not happy.

"Some Kindred decided to use him as a punch bag," was the quick reply, "and he broke his neck. Since he's Immortal it didn't bother him for long, and I have him stashed somewhere where no-one can find him until he feels like being found."

Righteous anger flared in the Prince's eyes, and Richie had his next question figured before he asked it.

"Who were they?" he demanded hotly.

Now Richie had no intention of giving the brutes up to the slaughter, he thought they'd probably learned their lessons.

"It doesn't matter," was the calm reply. "Take it from me, they will not be trying it again."

The two men locked gazes for a moment as Julian thought about pushing the issue. He didn't like to be told what to do, even in situations like this, but he quickly found the stubborn streak in the younger Immortal. The Ventrue looked angry for a moment, but slowly the expression changed into a smile.

"Have it your way," he finally said and much to Lillie's surprise, gave in.

It was the Toreador Primogen who spoke next.

"Well gentlemen," she said with a smile, "I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to steal Richard for just a little while. I'd like to have a few words in private."

Now it was the blond man's turn to look surprised, but he did not object as the dark haired siren led him to a quiet corner. She looked at him thoughtfully for a moment and then kissed him on the cheek.

"Thank you for what you did for Alexae," she said warmly, "your gift arrived here a while ago. After what he did to you, your actions surprise me."

Now Richie understood why she had wanted to talk to him, and he smiled.

"I got rid of all my anger when I staked him," the young Immortal returned honestly, "and my more rational side came into play. I saw Jessica as she was about to throw herself off a roof, and I suddenly knew that they would be good for each other. He needs someone, that's why he tried to take me. She has never seen how life can be good, and he can give that to her. I just followed my heart, which, for once, doesn't seem to have landed me in trouble."

Lillie ran her hand down one side of his face and just smiled at him for a while.

"You're very kind," she said slowly, "I wouldn't have expected that in someone who has to kill like you do. Don't ever let go of your soul, Richard, it makes you a wonderful person."

Then she kissed him again and walked back to Julian, leaving the Immortal to contemplate what she had said.

It had taken them another day to get out of the city, what with explaining everything to Frank and getting him to organise his vacation, along with the formal farewells. Julian had wanted more information, but he couldn't really push it. Even though these Immortal's appeared friendly, he was sure they could be very dangerous, besides which, he would have time enough to talk to Frank later. After all the hassle in San Francisco, the days of rigorous training that Duncan decided to put Frank through, using Richie as an example, seemed almost restful.

The blonde Immortal had not been able to shake the desire to paint, another lingering Toreador trait, so his apartment now had an easel and canvases strewn around. He found himself doodling at the oddest moments, the most bizarre of which had to be when Duncan had caught him making patterns on the counter with the salt. He was trying to keep the urge under control, but occasionally it got the better of him.

"So why don't you just shoot them and then take their heads?" the cop asked as he and the younger of the other two Immortal's took a break in a sparing session.

He was looking at Duncan for the answer, but the Highlander just huffed and walked into the office. When Frank turned to Richie for help he found the young man laughing.

"Those kind of questions are best left unthought," the blond man said lightly, "especially with Mac around. He has this big honour streak in him, and ideas like your tend to tick him off."

The ever practical side of the newer Immortal still couldn't see the problem, but good sense won over.

"Okay," Frank admitted, "it was only a thought. So what was this move you're supposed to show me?"

"Well, it's like this ..." Richie began and they walked toward the centre of the floor.

Then they both looked up at the door, Frank wincing slightly as the presence of a new Immortal made itself very plain to his brain. It was an odd sensation to get used to, but he was managing. Richie was holding the wooden sword he had, defensively, until Adam Pierson strolled through the door with a broad smile on his face.

"Hi guys," he said, a little too brightly, "it's only me. So who's the new recruit?"

MacLeod walked out of the office with a broad smile on his face.

"Phone, Adam," the Highlander said jovially, "I know it's a modern invention, but it's useful. Prevent heart attacks, and misunderstandings."

"One day I will call," Methos said lightly, "then you'll get worried."

He wandered further into the dojo, happy that no-one was going to try and give him a height adjustment, and came to a stop just beside Richie. It took a few seconds, but suddenly the two were staring at each other, wide eyes.

"Gangrel," Richie said rapidly.

"Toreador," was what the other Immortal replied.

"You were embraced," they both said in unison.

Methos found this very funny, Frank and Duncan just looked at each other.

"You must have made one strange Kindred," he said with a laugh, "I'd only taken one head when they tried the number on me, and I had a split personality for weeks."

The younger of the two was looking rather shocked.

"When, how long ago?" he almost demanded.

It was a surprise and a relief to find out he was not the only one who had made been in contact with the wrong vampire.

"A while," Methos returned with a smile. "I'll tell you exactly after we've had a long talk about ages."

Some Immortals were touchy about how long they'd been wandering around, Richie accepted this and moved onto his next question.

"So do the after effects wear off?" he inquired directly.

"You mean the hearing and things," the ancient returned lightly, as if this was the most normal conversation in the world. "No. They might fade a little over the next hundred years or so, but you're stuck with them. I have also been reliably informed that, from time to time, in the throws of passion, my eyes change colour."

Richie looked a little dubious.

"Ever had any complaints?" he finally asked.

"No so far," was the cheerful reply.

The End