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Methos slowly became aware of every hair on his body standing on end.
He opened his eyes and looked up into the frightened eyes of their
Her eyes were wide as she asked him innocuously, "Have we met?"
"What?" He stared a moment, then burst into laughter. He started to
move as he said, "I guess we should explain ourselves..."
" Ourselves? Plural?" If possible, her eyes grew even wider.
Then, when MacLeod walked in with a tray of food, she tried to become
invisible. "Could someone please tell me what happened?" she asked
in a small voice. Methos reached out a hand, but she shrank away,
her face full of fear and distrust.
MacLeod set the tray down, then sat on the arm of the couch, his
hands clasped loosely between his knees. "We found you outside in
the blizzard last night. You were unconscious, underdressed for the
weather, and suffering from hypothermia when I brought you in. We
had to get you warm as quickly as possible". He sat calmly, trying
to convince her with his body language that she was safe.
"It was all perfectly innocent, my dear girl," Methos said quietly.
"MacLeod saved your life." He moved slowly, propping himself up on
an elbow, afraid that he would spook her. He could see that her eyes
were starting to lose their glazed look.
MacLeod broke the uncomfortable silence. "Maybe you'd like your
clothes." He gave a smile as he spoke. "Things tend to look a bit
different when one is fully dressed!" He gestured to her clothes,
which were neatly folded and piled on the end of the couch. She gave
him a quick smile that lit up her face, then tried to stand up still
wrapped in the quilts. She almost fell over on top of Methos, but
when he moved to try to steady her, she pulled away from his touch.
She picked up her clothes and looked at MacLeod, who pointed to a
back room, barely managing to keep back a grin.
As she closed the door behind her, MacLeod looked at Methos and shook
his head. The older Immortal tried to sit up, forgetting he was in a
sleeping bag. Methos scowled as he tried to unzip the uncooperative
zipper. "What is wrong with this thing?" he muttered darkly.
"Probably nothing that a little wax could have helped," MacLeod said
as he watched his friend.
Methos shot him a dirty look as he struggled with the difficult
sleeping bag zipper. Trapped, he managed to struggle to his feet and
turn to the light from the window to continue the fight. MacLeod
stood and poked him in the chest with a finger, making him fall back
on the couch, and breaking the zipper's hold.
"MacLeod!" Methos hissed. He pulled his long legs out of the bag,
then pulled off his shirt to exchange it for the clean one the
younger Immortal offered him. "How's the weather now?" came a
MacLeod gave him a wry grin. "Same as last night, only deeper. I'm
afraid we'll be here for a while." He looked serious as he continued
to speak. "I wonder what your friend was doing outside in a
blizzard. For that matter, what is she doing up here in the
mountains at all? There aren't any campgrounds nearby." He raised
his eyebrows as he looked at Methos.
Methos pulled his head through the neck of his T-shirt. "Ha! She's
no friend of mine! And don't look at me like that!" He took a
breath, then calmly continued. "You know just as much about her as I
"Which isn't much, is it?"
Both men whipped their heads around to stare at the woman who came
out of the back room. She slowly walked up to them, a slim woman
with shoulder length dark blond hair. She looked at each of them a
moment. "You know as much about me as I know about you." She
blushed. "Maybe a bit more, since I'm fairly certain that I didn't
Methos gave her an apologetic grin of his own. "It was a necessary
evil. When you passed out in MacLeod's arms, we discovered you were
a Popsicle. We had to get you warmed up. I hope you don't take it
She walked up to MacLeod. "I take it very personally. After all,
you two saved my life. I'm deeply in your debt, Mr. MacLeod. Thank
you." She turned to Methos. "And you, Mr...?"
"Pierson. Adam Pierson." Methos said hurriedly. "Please, just call
She smiled. "Adam. Thank you." She shyly offered her hand and
Methos took it, bowing over it.
MacLeod cleared his throat and stepped between them, taking her hand
from Methos, and raising it to his lips European style. "Please,
call me Duncan."
"Duncan it is," she said with a smile. Methos gave his friend a
disgusted look, then folded the comforter up and sat on the couch.
MacLeod settled back onto the arm of the couch. "We were hoping you
could tell us some things. Like, how did you end up on the mountain,
and with no gear? This is private property." He looked at her
She shifted uneasily on the couch. "Sorry about that. I didn't have
time to check if anyone was using the cabin. All I could do was hope
there wasn't anyone up here." MacLeod crossed his arms and Methos sat
back, both men waiting to hear more. "All right!" She threw her
hands in the air, then got up and started pacing.
"My name is Jennifer Bellan. I work...or worked... in the Seacouver
Police Department as a dispatcher. And now I'm in deep trouble."
She sat on the edge of an old overstuffed easy chair. "Listen. I
overheard a couple of strange radio transmissions while I was working
overtime one night. I put two and two together, and realized that
something odd was happening, so I started looking and digging a
little. I found out that a high city official was on the take, hiring
paid killers to eliminate people that were getting in his way
FLASHBACK COUNCIL MEMBER FARLEY'S OFFICE: FAIRLY RECENT PAST
"I don't care what you say, you just can't do that!" A fist thumped
violently on the desktop. The man sitting behind the desk just
leaned back in his chair and smiled a lazy smile at the owner of the
"And how are you going to stop me, Owen?" he asked condescendingly.
"I have the power. The people gave it to me. Only they can take it
away, and they will never know my agenda." His smile grated on the
nerves of the owner of the fist, a short, middle-aged balding man.
Owen ran his fingers through his thinning gray hair in a nervous
"I don't know how, but I will find a way to stop you!" He started
pacing in short, agitated steps. He pointed a finger at Farley. "The
people voted you in because you promised them certain things. They
don't deserve to be treated like this!" He ran his fingers through
his hair again.
Farley continued to smile, but as he stood up, the smile was no
longer lazy. "Owen, it is time for you to leave. Now, I don't care
if you do it by the door, or by the window," he gestured to the glass
wall, then continued. "But personally, I think a 12 story drop is a
bit hard to recover from." He advanced on the older man, his tall
frame as menacing as the sudden tone change in his voice. Owen
slowly retreated from him, backing towards the door. He bumped into
it and turned to fumble with the knob.
"You'll never get away with this! I'll see to it! Just wait!" He
couldn't get out the door fast enough, a scared expression on his
face as he caught the look Farley gave him. He barely made it
through the door before Farley slammed it shut.
"You can't do anything, you sniveling little pipsqueak!" He snarled.
He strode back to his desk and punched a number out on his phone.
"Jack? I have a pest control problem that you need to take care of.
Yes ..., yes..., no, no need to farm it out. Just call one or two of
our inside boys. They can handle it. They ARE professional
'exterminators', after all." He gave a sneer as he hung up, and
swung his chair around in circles. "You're just a cockroach, Owen,
and I will squash you like the little pest you are!"
"Uncle Owen was working with the D.A. and was wearing a wire that
day. He was found dead the next day, and then Farley came after me.
I guess he thinks that because I'm Owens' niece I have the tapes or
know something." She drew a shaky breath, then continued. "There's
no way to convince him that I didn't know anything. I provided the
D.A.'s office with the radio transmissions and frequencies, but my
testimony is just hearsay and not enough to put him away."
She took a sip from the juice glass MacLeod handed her. "Nothing
stops Farley, and no one can stand in his way for long without
something dreadful happening. They aren't out and out murders that
anyone can tell; some of them are real works of art. People
committing suicide in assorted ways for all sorts of scandals and the
Methos sat forward. "And now what?"
Jennifer reached for a muffin from MacLeod's forgotten tray. "Well,
since I'm not testifying, I don't rate the Witness Protection
Program. However, the FBI did assign me my own little protection
force. Didn't stop the bastard from finding me, though." She took a
bite of the muffin, then looked up at MacLeod with appreciation.
"Hey, this is good!"
He grinned as he poured another glass of orange juice and handed it
back to her. "I do what I can," he said modestly. Methos gave an
Jennifer grinned. "Glad to see you two get along so well." As she
took a drink of juice, MacLeod grinned at Methos, who rolled his
MacLeod looked back at Jennifer, who missed the exchange, as if
nothing had happened. "So, you look in pretty good shape for him
having found you."
An odd look crossed her face. "Yeah, well, the agent assigned to me
isn't doing so hot. In fact, she's dead. And it's my fault."
"What do you mean, your fault?" Now it was Methos' turn to raise
his eyebrows. He sat forward, his elbows on his knees.
Jennifer pursed her lips, then sighed. "I ignored her warnings to
stay inside the safehouse. The hitman found us just because I
couldn't listen to her. He did a sloppy job, and Agent Montchalin
managed to save my life, but I saw her gunned down. No human could
have taken that many hits and survived! When I saw she was dead, I
ran. Farley would know his plan had failed, and would come again, so
I went to a safe place the only Michaela and I had discussed." She
swallowed a couple of times, then looked at them with pleading eyes.
FLASHBACK: 2 WEEKS PAST
"Jennifer, I wish you'd take this seriously!" Agent Montchalin said
exasperatedly. "This is not the time to take a stroll through
the neighborhood!" She ran her fingers through her blond hair,
trying to think of a way to drill this into her charge's stubborn
Jennifer rolled her eyes. "Honestly, Michaela! He killed my uncle.
Of course I take this seriously!" She walked past the agent and took
her coat off, hanging it on a wall hook. "I just needed some ...
air." She waved an arm around vaguely. "Being cooped up is starting
to get to me!" She started down the hall towards the kitchen of the
safehouse. "I need some coffee. How about you?"
Agent Montchalin ground her teeth. "If you need air, just breath,
ok? No, I do not want or need coffee." She checked the door lock
and muttered to herself, "I need something a helluva lot stronger!"
She turned and stalked down the hall to the kitchen, raising her
voice to make sure Jennifer heard her. "If you ever lie to me again,
or sneak away, whatever happens will be on your head, and I'll
just wash my hands of you!"
Jennifer came to the doorway with a cup of coffee and a repentant
look on her face, but before she could say anything, the front door
burst open with a bang and a shower of splinters. Agent Montchalin
shoved Jennifer back into the kitchen as shots rang out. The agent's
body twisted from the shock of the bullets, but she managed to get
her gun drawn. "Run!" she hoarsely instructed Jennifer. She fired
at the unknown assailant, killing him, but not before his final
bullet ended her life.
As the silence grew, Jennifer finally managed to crawl across the
floor and carefully look towards the door. There was a body lying
across the threshold, unmoving. She dragged her eyes back to the
agent, finally seeing the blood splatters staining the front of her
shirt. She reached a trembling hand out to touch it, then stared at
her fingers. She saw splatters of red on her own shirt, and realized
it was the agents'.
She staggered to her feet, trying to think. She could hear sirens in
the distance, and this jarred her into action. She headed for the
back door, grabbing a small overnight bag left next to it, just as
Montchalin had made her rehearse repeatedly. Contingency plan, she'd
called it. Just in case. Jennifer was horrified that the worst case
scenario had come to pass. She didn't hesitate now, but slipped out
the door, headed for the location only she and Montchalin knew.
"You have to believe that I'm not crazy, okay? I mean, I know
Michaela was dead! I was standing so close I had her blood on my
shirt! But then she showed up at the safe place, and I kinda lost
it." She didn't see MacLeod and Methos exchange serious looks over
her bowed head. "I remember clobbering someone that was trying to
get in, then escaping out a window. I like to camp and had a bunch
of camping gear stored in a locker, so I grabbed it and ran. I've
always wanted to come here, but under better conditions." She
shivered and wrapped her arms about herself.
She looked up at the men, only to discover them not paying any
attention to her. "Hey, you guys okay?" They were both looking
around like they heard something, then they zeroed in on the door,
just seconds before there was a knock. Before they could move, the
door burst open and a snow-covered figure burst into the room, a
gleaming sword in hand.
The figure quickly scanned the room, then put the sword away. "It's
alright, gentlemen," the figure said as it stomped its' feet and
knocked the snow off. "I'm not here for you." An arm raised and
removed a snow-crusted ski mask to reveal a female head covered in
blonde hair. "I'm here to protect her." She pointed at Jennifer,
who was on her feet, staring in shock.
Jennifer shook her head, uttered "Michaela!" Then her knees gave
way. Methos griped her shoulders to steady her as she stared at the
Michaela shook her hair out, then shrugged out of her backpack. She
looked at Methos with a crooked smile. "Why is it some people have
that reaction?" She turned to MacLeod, who was standing next to the
couch, casually holding his sword in his hand. Quirking an eyebrow,
she looked at him.
"I hope you aren't planning on using that."
MacLeod leaned a hip against the couch. "Oh, it all depends on you.
I take it you're a friend, not foe?"
She laughed. "I'm friendly! Very friendly!" She removed her parka
and kicked off her boots. "That is much better!" she sighed. She
walked over to where Methos was helping Jennifer into the easy chair.
She knelt on the other side of the chair and looked soberly at
"You shouldn't have run like that, Jenn. How can I protect you if
you run from me?"
Jennifer looked vacantly back at her. "You are dead," she stated
slowly. "I saw it. Your blood was all over my shirt. You're dead."
She looked at Methos. "I'm not crazy. I know what I saw. I'm not
going crazy..." her voice trailed weakly off as she slowly sank back
into the chair. "I'm not going crazy," she whispered.
MacLeod looked at Michaela, who shook her head. Methos watched the
exchange, then got up and dragged the other two just out of earshot
of the shaken Jennifer.
"We can't tell her!" He hissed at them. "The less that she knows
about us the better!"
Michaela shook off his hand. "She saw me killed. No one could have
survived being shot like I was, and it was right under her nose."
She looked over his shoulder at Jennifer, who was just sitting there,
staring at them. "Look, if you can come up with a feasible way to
explain how I managed to survive, let me know, ok?" She shouldered
past him, headed for the fire, holding her hands out towards the
Methos turned to MacLeod, who just raised his brows and looked at
him. "We have to tell her something, Methos. Look at her!" Methos
reluctantly turned to see Jennifer watching Michaela as if she were a
fish with legs. He glanced at Michaela, who made a gun of one hand,
aimed it at him and mouthed "bang", and sighed.
"No other way?" he asked plaintively. Michaela's mouth twisted into
a wry smile as she shook her head. Methos sighed again, then walked
back to Jennifer.
He gently placed a hand on her shoulder. "No, you're not going
crazy. What you saw was real." He glanced at the others, but they
didn't interrupt. "Jennifer, there is something a bit ...
'different' .... about some of the humans that walk this earth. Can
you hear me?" He knelt next to her, turning her head to face him.
When her eyes locked on his, he continued.
"There are some people alive who are considered 'immortal'. They've
been around for a long time, some of them are hundreds of years old."
He ignored MacLeod's snort. "They can die, just . . . not as
easily as the rest of us." He stared into her eyes, seeing the
internal struggle to believe him, and pushed on. "You saw the proof
yourself, when Michaela 'died'. She probably did die," he shot a
quick glance at the female Immortal, who was nodding her head, "so
you know this is something that is real. You can shoot them, knife
them, hang them, run them over, but they keep coming back, some say,
like a bad penny." He clasped her hand in his, trying to lighten the
The FBI agent slowly rested her hand on the arm of the chair. "Jenn,
we may be different from you in that respect, but not in the rest. We
live, breath, laugh, hurt, and yes, we can die..." She gave a
sigh. "You weren't supposed to find out like this. Hell, you
weren't supposed to find out at all!" Jennifer shifted and looked at
her. "Well, it tends to throw you mortals off balance to discover we
all aren't the same..." She gave an apologetic shrug, then got
to her feet.
"Listen, Jenn, you are still in trouble. Farley is still running
around loose, and he has managed to follow you to the mountain. I
tracked him this far before I lost his trail in the blizzard." She
turned to MacLeod.
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this Farley is not a nice
guy. In fact, not only is he NOT a nice guy, he's not a nice
Immortal, and totally ruthless, evil, and uncaring about who he
hurts." She looked around the cabin room. "Do you have any sort of
MacLeod looked askance at her. "Well, we weren't exactly expecting a
modern day siege!" He carefully replaced his sword while Methos
slowly climbed to his feet next to Jennifer. "We should be safe
enough here. The cabin was built by a couple of savvy mountain men
who cared to keep their scalps. I'm just borrowing it." He walked
over to add more wood to the fireplace. "We have plenty of food;
enough to get us through several blizzards..."
"...if you like that much spam," Methos tossed in. MacLeod ignored
him and continued.
"The woodpile is right outside the door, and I just finished chopping
enough wood to see us through the end of the week, but as for
weapons..." He paused, thinking. "I don't keep any guns around."
Michaela gave him a disgruntled look. "There may be a bow in the
attic, but it's very old and brittle by now."
Methos sighed and started pacing. "Terrific. We're trapped on a
mountain with a mad immortal, a blizzard, no weapons and a large box
of canned meat by-products. Just ... terrific." He paused, then
calmly said, "Yes, I know. We're not exactly weaponless...but we are
facing an unknown element, and we'll need as many resources as
Through all this, Jennifer remained seated, watching the three of
them. She stood, then walked to Methos, placing her hand on his arm.
"Maybe the blizzard will take care of our problem?"
Methos gave her a quick hug. "Sorry, love, but that would just be a
temporary fix." He looked down into her face. "Did you see
MacLeod's sword?" He waited for her nod. "Well, Immortals can die,
but the only way to kill one for sure is by beheading." Jennifer
gave a horrified gasp and took a step back. He didn't try to stop
her. "Death is a part of life. Don't know why the game is being
played, or even who started it, or why. But an Immortal can either
choose to play, or die." He gave a shrug. "Now, MacLeod here is what
you would call a passive player. He kills mostly in self-defense."
He stared into her eyes. "If someone were coming at you with a
knife, would you just let them kill you? Not put up any defense at
She stared back, then shook her head. "No, I think I'd put up a
fight." She gave a grim smile. "I grew up with 2 obnoxious brothers.
If I wanted something, I had to fight for it. I don't think I can
give up my life just because someone else doesn't want me to have
it." She reached out and gripped his arm. "I'm a fighter. All this
is just a bit strange... not to mention highly unusual. I am NOT one
of those females who faints at the drop of a hat..." she gave a
grimace, " even though I did just that earlier. Now that I know what
to expect, and what's going on, I'm better prepared." She grinned at
Michaela. "At least you can attest that I'm no shrinking violet!"
Michaela grinned back. "Kiddo, one thing I would never call you is a
shrinking violet!" She walked over and held out her hand. "Welcome
to the Immortal Team!" Jennifer laughed and shook Michaela's hand.
"Thanks!" She turned a brilliant smile on Methos, who appeared to be
mesmerized. MacLeod smothered a smile and looked at Michaela who
rolled her eyes. They both started laughing as Methos snapped back to
"Yes, well, uh, why don't we make sure the doors and windows are all
locked, then play a friendly game of Russian Canasta?" He walked
quickly over to MacLeod's desk and pulled out two decks of cards.
Jennifer laughed, feeling better than she had in a long time. "You
know, even though I feel much safer, and much better now, I still
have a feeling that this week could be a long, difficult one!"
She laughed again as Michaela muttered, "You and me both, kid!"
MacLeod patted Michaela's shoulder in sympathy, then got out paper
and pencil and headed for the small card table Methos had quickly set
up. He made a quick trip around the cabin, checking all the
entryways, then settled down with the other three.