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We have a total of 23
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Jennifer wondered why Methos was just sitting against the shed wall
while she had her arms piled high with wood, but when she looked
closer, she knew something was wrong. His eyes were unblinking,
staring blankly at the still falling snow, and he wasn't breathing.
She dropped the wood and screamed, but before she could reach Methos,
something hard hit her in the side of the head. She dropped into
Farley's waiting arms and was hoisted like a sack of grain up over
his shoulder. Farley started running towards the woods as the cabin
door behind him burst open.
Attracted by Jennifer's scream, both MacLeod and Michaela had run for
the door. MacLeod was first, bursting through to see Methos' body
against the woodshed. Michaela looked beyond him to see Farley
struggling through the snow towards the trees with his human burden.
MacLeod looked up to see and started off the porch, but Michaela drew
him back with a hand. "Take care of your friend." She pointed him
back to Methos, then snarled, "Farley is mine!" With that, she
bounded off the porch, running through the snow after the escaping
Realizing he couldn't make his escape carrying his human baggage,
Farley stopped and lowered the girl to the snow, then pulled a knife
from the sheath at his waist. "This should take care of you, little
bird. You can't sing any songs I wouldn't want to hear." He drove
the knife into her abdomen, then backed away from the body as
Michaela ran up, sword in hand. She quickly checked Jennifer over,
then slowly approached Farley with a grim cast to her face.
A sword had appeared in Farley's hands as if by magic, but Michaela
didn't even look at it. Instead, she slowly advanced, staring into
his eyes. He sneered at her as they slowly circled each other.
"Your quickening will be mine, woman!" He raised his sword.
Michaela returned his sneer. "Obviously you've been dealing with the
wrong type of women if you think it is that easy to take my head!"
She matched his every move, keeping her sword at the ready. "This is
now an equal opportunity world!"
Farley raised a brow as he lightly touched his sword to Michaela's.
"Oh, I'm a firm believer in the 'glass ceiling'. I like to be able
to look down and see you under my feet!" Michaela curled her lips in
disgust and gave a vicious thrust with her sword, which he easily
blocked. They continued to circle each other.
Meanwhile, Methos staggered up through the snow to Jennifer's body
with MacLeod's help. She groaned and held her stomach as Methos
knelt and tried to get her up out of the snow. When Methos saw the
blood seeping from between her fingers, he blanched.
"NO!" he cried out. He hugged her to him gently as MacLeod knelt
down and carefully checked the wound. He glanced up and silently
shook his head. Methos gently held her, rocking slowly.
Jennifer looked up at him. "Adam, it's okay." Her voice was a light
caress and he looked down into her eyes. "We all have to die, you
know." She paused a moment, and Methos could hear her breath rattle
when she inhaled. She gazed intently into his eyes. "I should be
mad at you for keeping me in the dark. You're one of them, aren't
you?" He nodded blindly in answer. "I thought so. You were dead
just a while ago." He nodded again, not feeling the tears coursing
down his face. She grimaced, then continued. "You were starting to
grow on me, you know."
Methos closed his eyes a moment, then smiled through his tears.
"Yeah, I was starting to get attached to you, too." He gently
smoothed her hair from her face.
She smiled back. "Life's a bitch sometimes, ain't it?" He kissed
her forehead and watched as her smile faded, along with the light in
her eyes. He looked helplessly at MacLeod, who silently gripped his
shoulder in sympathy.
Meanwhile, the dueling pair gave no sign of noticing anything else
but themselves. Michaela gave a bored sigh. "If you think I came
here to dance, you'd better think again!" She gave a sudden jab, but
failed to break through his guard.
"Shut up, you bitch!" Farley snarled, lunging at her chest with his
sword point. Michaela, who gave him a saccharine smile, easily
"That wasn't much for a big man such as you, Farley," she egged him
on. Farley took a swing at her abdomen, making her jump back to
avoid the blade. She brought her sword down on his arm, barely
slicing through the coat to his skin. He paused as a little blood
"Damn it! I liked this coat!" Again he swung for her abdomen, and
she easily blocked his move and danced back.
"Poor Farley! Don't you have anything new in your repertoire?" She
watched his face carefully, seeing his temper soar. She managed to
meet his high stroke, then blocked a low swing, turning on the ball
of her foot and swinging around to catch his blade yet again against
hers. She slid her blade up Farleys', trying to get her point
underneath his guard, but this time he easily turned her blade away.
Again they clashed, this time running up almost face to face.
"What's the matter, Farley?" Michaela asked. "No smart comments
coming to mind now?" Farley answered by spitting into her face and
pushing her aside.
Michaela stumbled back into the deep snow, struggling to keep her
balance while trying desperately to wipe her eyes clear. She barely
managed to keep her sword up, blocking what would have been a killing
stroke from Farley. As it was, his sword made it through to slice
into her left shoulder. She looked down a moment, then back at
Farley. "Now you've done it! This is MY favorite parka, and I am
mad!" She stood up menacingly, causing Farley to back up.
He raised a brow as he backed off. "Is that all you women ever think
about? Your clothing? Besides, the color is good on you. I was just
doing you a favor!" He lunged forward, swinging at her legs. She
leaped into the air and tried for his neck, but he dropped beneath
her blade. Again, they circled each other, their swords resounding
in the cold air.
"I can do this for hours!" Michaela warned her opponent. "Surely you
know that aerobics is a wonderful training device for this type of
"Surely YOU know that women are only good for one thing, and
shouldn't be heard unless spoken to!" Farley snarled back. "I prefer
my centuries of experience in killing, both mortal and immortal, to a
piss-ant activity such as aerobics!" Michaela gave a hefty swing,
but he blocked it, pushing her sword down. Michaela jumped back and
fell to her buttocks, and Farley gave an evil laugh.
"See? Women! They can't fight worth a damn!" He raised his sword
to bring it down on her exposed neck.
Michaela paused a breath, then jerked a long knife from her mukluk
and stabbed it neatly into his gut, bringing him to a stop. "I've
been called many things in my long life, but "piss-ant" was never on
the list!" She gave the knife a savage twist, making a horrendous
wound and causing Farley's body to jerk. His sword fell from his
upraised hands as he sank to his knees.
He looked down at the knife in his gut. "Damn you!" he said in
curious surprise. "I am supposed to win. I always win. I would
never lose to a woman!" He fell back in the snow, trying weakly to
get up and failing. He stared up at the woman who now stood over
him, looking at him in disdain.
"You stupid chauvinistic bastard!" She pulled her knife out and
nonchalantly wiped the blood off on Farley's jacket. "You have raped
and murdered your last woman. Robbed and murdered your last man.
Plundered your last city, you son of a bitch!" She watched as he
struggled again to rise, then fell back. "I've been around a long
time, too, and I've learned many ways to kill. This one is not a
nice way to go, but then," she shrugged, "you were never nice."
Farley lay back, glaring nastily at her, his breath coming in gasps
as he held his hands to his abdomen, trying to keep himself together.
"Go ahead and do it, you bitch!" he groaned. "At least then I won't
have to hear your damned voice!"
"Damn you, Farley!" Michaela yelled. "You've gone and made a request
that I have to follow through with! You just don't KNOW how much that
pisses me off!!" She raised her sword above her head, then sliced
down mightily. She stood, frozen in place, for a moment that seemed
to stretch into infinity. She was vaguely aware of MacLeod and
Methos moving away. Then she fell to her knees.
Everything was deathly silent in the woods. Neither creature nor leaf
moved. Then the wind began to build. It became an earsplitting
roar, and bolts of lightning appeared. Michaela raised her sword and
screamed: "There can be only one!" A bolt of lightning struck the
upraised sword, causing it to glow. Her body shook and jarred with
A dead fir tree behind her took another lightning strike and burst
into flames. It broke off at its rotted base, falling directly
behind her with a sizzling crash. The fire popped and roared along
with the flashes of light and roaring wind. Then, almost as quickly
as it had started, the wind died down. Finally, as Michaela fell
weakly to her knees, the only sound heard was the burning tree.
MacLeod and Michaela stood at the back of the crowd, away from the
gravesite, waiting for the crowd to disperse. Time seemed to stand
still as each person filed past the grave. As he watched Jennifer's
family and myriad friends, he silently marveled at how many people
had been touched by her in her short life.
"It wasn't too hard to convince the Bureau that Farley's body was
irretrievable due to the terrain he met his fate in," Michaela was
saying quietly. "I had to fiddle with the geography a little, but
after a couple hundred years of practice changing identities, this
was a piece of cake." MacLeod gave a small grimace of understanding,
then glanced at the gravesite. Finally, only one person was left
standing. "What will he do?" Michaela asked quietly.
MacLeod shrugged fatalistically. "Carry on."
They slowly approached the older Immortal, the wind ruffling the
piles of flowers and swirling snow around their feet. MacLeod kept
his hands in his pockets as he stopped next to his friend. Michaela
gently placed a hand on Methos' arm and squeezed. He looked up at
her, his face devoid of emotion.
"That was a lovely eulogy you gave, Adam," she said. "You came to
know Jennifer well in such a short time."
Methos gave a harsh bark. "Yeah, that's me. Only takes a few short
days for me to know what to say on your headstone." His hands became
fists, and he visibly forced himself to clasp them in front of him.
Every line in his body, his face, was bitterly tense. "With hundreds
of years of people dying, I should know what to say about practically
everything!" He gave a lonely flowerpot a savage kick, sending it
spinning across the grave, shedding flowers in its wake. "We only
had 3 days! She had so much before her! She could have..." his
voice died down. " We could have..." he stopped, staring blindly
at the headstone, so new and polished and sharp, standing out amongst
the older, weathered markers.
Michaela glanced at MacLeod in dismay for help, but he shook his
head. She looked back at Methos sadly. "I'm sorry, but I'm not a
philosopher. I don't know any words of wisdom to ease the pain."
Methos gave her a tired smile that didn't reach his eyes. "My dear,
I've learned that sometimes there aren't any words, any experiences,
that can lessen some types of pain. Sometimes you just have to feel
it, to deal with it, any way that you can."
MacLeod finally pulled a gloved hand from his pocket and placed it on
his friend's shoulder. "We got to know her, too, and her memory will
live on in us. You are not alone in this, my friend."
"My friend." Methos whispered. He looked searchingly at his two
friends, and for the first time in days, smiled, the light finally
starting to reach his eyes. "I think there are two simple sentences
that mean more than riches or love or power. 'You are my friend',
and 'You are not alone'."
MacLeod didn't hesitate, but pulled him into a hug. "You are my
friend," he said into Methos' ear. Methos was taken by surprise, but
thumped his friend on the back. MacLeod pulled back, giving a wry
When they stepped apart, Michaela pulled him around to her for a hug.
"You are not alone," she said, tears sliding silently down her
Methos looked from her tear-streaked face to MacLeods' shining wet
eyes, then realized that he, too, was crying. He pulled them both
back into a fierce hug, then let them go. The three of them slowly
turned from the grave and started back to the road, Methos making one
last remark; "That is nice to know."
MacLeod pursed his lips, then nodded his head. "Always."
Methos nodded back. "And forever."
Michaela wrapped her arm around Methos' waist as they walked to their
Methos looked at his friend from the corner of his eye and opened his
Methos winked at Michaela. "Does that hug mean we're more than just
MacLeod came to a grinding halt, his great coat fluttering around his
legs. "Not bloody likely!" he sputtered. He looked at his friends
nonplussed, staring as they fell into each other's arms in laughter.
"You should see your face, Duncan!" Michaela lifted an arm to point
weakly at him before bursting into more laughter. She and Methos
continued to stagger to the car, leaving MacLeod to follow, muttering
"I'll remember this," he threatened as he slid behind the steering
wheel. "Next time you need help, don't come crying to me!" When new
gales of slightly hysterical laughter broke out as he slapped the car
into gear and pulled onto the street, MacLeod knew that his friend
would recover from his loss. As he checked the side view mirror, a
small smile crossed his face.
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