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My Immortal Valentine

Part 3

Scene 9

Kaia had been gone less than twenty minutes, and Duncan was just preparing to go on a short run, when an Immortal presence struck him like a blow. Moments later Methos burst through the door, sword in hand. Duncan took an involuntary step backward when he saw Methos' eyes. There was murder in their gold-green depths.

But Methos pushed past him like he wasn't even there. He gave the main living area a cursory glance, then ducked into the barge's small galley.

"Methos..." MacLeod was baffled by his behavior.

Methos checked the bathroom and then the other small rooms without a word.

"Methos?!" He looked as if he was searching for something. Someone.

Joe came through the open door just as Methos returned to the entry. Neither man looked at MacLeod.

"She's not here. Try Richie again," Methos instructed tersely.

"What are you talking about?" MacLeod demanded.

Joe merely withdrew his cell phone from a pocket and dialed. He listened for several seconds and then shook his head.

"Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on here? What are you trying to get Richie for, and why are you," he pointed at Methos, "tearing around here with your sword drawn?"

"There's no time," Methos said impatiently, and moved to leave. MacLeod stood his ground, blocking his path.

"Explain. Now."

They were sitting on the couch. MacLeod was shaking his head in sharp denial.

"No. She's not like that. She wouldn't hunt young ones and..."

"She is like that," Methos interrupted.

"Mac, that's her M.O. She's been doing it for thousands of years," Joe asserted.

"Thousands? Come on, she's not much older than I am. She told me herself."

"I'm sure she did, that's part of it too," Methos insisted.

"The Watcher records on Kaia go back almost 2500 years," Joe said. Duncan stared at him in shock. "Methos here ran into her about 1500 years ago. She killed a student of his. I'm telling you, Mac, she's not the person you think she is."

MacLeod turned his eyes to Methos, who nodded and explained briefly. When he finished, MacLeod again shook his head in denial.

"I can't believe it."

"Believe it, MacLeod!" Joe was angry. "1698, Benat Mateo. 1748, Tibalt Hirsch. 1798, Angelique Montreau. Do you want me to go on? I know them all. There's one for every time you saw her. In fact, 1848 must have been a banner year for your sweet Kaia, because that time she got two, Lucio Donatelli and David Reis!" Joe was shouting by this time. Methos put a hand on his arm to stop him.

MacLeod listened in shock. Dead? All of them? He could see each face clearly...

"If we're going to catch her we'll have to move fast. She's probably already on her way to Richie's." Methos' voice was all business, wanting to get on with it.


"Yes, Richie," Joe said forcefully. "I'm sure she thinks he's a student. She said as much when he introduced himself."

"How could she find him?"

"By calling information, that's how I got his address last week," Methos said, exasperated. "We're wasting time, we've got to hurry," he said urgently. Something in his voice set MacLeod's teeth on edge.

"Why are you so hot to save Richie?" he asked suspiciously. "You never gave a damn about him before."

Methos' eyes flashed. "I'm not trying to save Richie, he can take care of himself. I have my own reasons for wanting her head."

"What? Some student she killed 1500 years ago? Come on, Methos, tell me another," he scoffed.

"Not for my student," Methos said, his voice low, deadly. "No, I have much more personal reasons." The murder was back in his eyes.


Methos had been living just outside a small village in the western Pyrenees Mountains for ten years. It was Basque country, and he loved the land and the people. He thought he could probably spend ten, or maybe even fifteen more years there before he had to move on. He'd found out long ago that he could vary his apparent age widely by changing the length of his hair.

The people in the village were finally starting to accept him a little, mostly because he was generous with his money without flaunting it, and because he spoke the language like a native. He should, all told he'd spent more than a hundred years among the Basque over the centuries. He'd married a local girl five years before, and was enjoying his quiet life. As a sheep farmer with no sheep, he had plenty of time to pursue his studies. Most of what he had in his house were books. He even had a secret place on his land, a hideaway, where he'd been able to store his journals.

He'd come in from his farm because traders, on their way to the pass, were in the village. He was curious to see if they had any books with them. There was quite a crowd around one of the wagons, and he moved to stand on the fringes. He was taller than most of the villagers, so he could easily see the traders' wares from the back.

The distinctive sensation of another Immortal impinged upon his mind, and he forced himself to be still, not looking around. He was in a crowd, there was some chance he could blend in and escape the Immortal's notice if he made no sudden moves. As the direction clarified, he slowly moved his eyes, and turned his head casually.

Methos saw her then, boldly standing in the middle of the street some thirty feet away staring defiantly at him. His eyes narrowed as he recognized her. Kaia.

He moved away from the crowd, walking slowly toward her, and stopped with fifteen feet still between them. He was thinking rapidly, for he could not afford a fight here. So focused was he upon her, that he failed to hear the approach of the out of control team of horses and wagon until it was far too late. They ran him down, and his last thought before death took him was that she had fooled him again.

When he revived, he was surrounded by people. The priest was administering last rites, and his wife was holding his hand and weeping. His first gasp of breath started most of them screaming.

"He's in league with the devil," an hysterical voice cried. Methos turned his head. It was Kaia, standing next to one of the traders, probably the one who spooked the horses, he thought grimly. This had happened to him once before, and he'd barely escaped. He got to his feet, hoping to find a way out of this mess, but the priest ordered several of the village men to hold him.

They burned him, of course. The priest had always had a fanatical bent, and with Kaia to incite the crowd, Methos hadn't really had much of a chance. He'd revived hours later in the forest where they'd dumped his charred body. He had made his way back his secret place on his property. The healing was slower than anything he'd ever experienced, and the pain greater. Finally, when it was over, he washed and dressed in old clothes he'd left in his hideaway. Then he gathered his things and quit the area. There was nothing left for him there.

By the time Methos had caught up with the traders' caravan, Kaia was no longer traveling with them.


"So, am I going by myself, or are you coming along?"

MacLeod rose, and Joe began to get to his feet.

"No, Joe. You stay here." Methos' voice left no room for argument.

"Fine, but there's one more thing. The Watchers believe that Kaia may be able to sense other Immortals at almost double the usual range."

"Is that possible?" MacLeod asked, looking at Methos. Methos shrugged.

"Well, just watch yourselves," Joe cautioned.

As they walked to MacLeod's car, Duncan struggled to phrase his request to Methos. "I know you want to take her head because she had you burned, but..."

"Being burned has got nothing to do with it," Methos interrupted. "I mean, yes, it hurt, like nothing you could imagine, but I'm an Immortal. I lived. I got over it. No, I want her head because she took away one of the best lives I'd ever had. And because she fooled me. Twice."

"But all those young Immortals she killed... they're dead because of me. I need to do this, Methos," Duncan said earnestly.

"No. I'm not giving way to you just to salve your guilty conscience."


"No. And if you're trying to tell me that's why you want her dead, save your breath. We both know that's not true."

MacLeod opened his mouth to insist that was his reason, but the words stuck in his throat when he met Methos' eyes. They seemed to be looking right through him.

They both got into the car without another word.

Scene 1 0

Richie stepped out the back door of the house he rented just outside Paris, paused to lock the door, and continued down the steps. He checked his hands, wondering if he'd gotten off all the grease.

He'd been out in the shed working on his bike since 3 am when he'd finally admitted he really wasn't going to get any sleep. He'd been trying to decide whether to stick it out for the remaining week that Altea would be in Marseilles with Amanda, and do the research he was supposed to be doing, or just bag everything and go down there.

After he'd decided to go (never do the work today that you can put off 'till tomorrow), the question became how? If he just flew down, she could decide he was checking up on her, or worse, feel like he was suffocating her. It was at this point he'd hit upon the idea of the motorcycle. If he fixed it up, he could ride all the way down there, and she might just see it as a grand romantic gesture.

So he'd worked on it the rest of the night, getting it ready for a long ride, and now he was finally ready to go.

He stopped suddenly, feeling the presence of another Immortal. He reached toward his sword, head turning, eyes searching.

"Mac?" he called out.

He sensed rather than heard something behind him and dove to his left, narrowly escaping what would have been a killing stroke. He rolled back up onto his feet and pulled his sword as he rose. His face grew puzzled as he realized who had attacked him.

"Kaia?" he said incredulously. "What the hell?" Then his mouth went dry as he took in her appearance.

She looked completely different from the way she had the night before. She was dressed in a turtleneck and light cotton pants pegged at the ankles, light shoes with good traction, her hair pulled back away from her face. Fighting attire. But the biggest difference was in her eyes. They were cold, hard... lethal.

They had driven to Richie's in silence, Methos using the time to prepare mentally for the coming fight. He knew that he outclassed Kaia as a swordsman, but he wasn't going to underestimate her again.

MacLeod parked the car and they both got out. They could see no sign of either Kaia or Richie.

"Must be 'round the back," Methos commented, and started off in that direction.

"Methos, wait."

"What?!" Methos was impatient now, and his eyes narrowed as he turned to see MacLeod coming around the car.

"You're right," Duncan said quietly, his face working as if the words themselves had a bitter taste.

"Right about what?"

"You're right about me. About why I want her dead."

"How so?" Methos was not willing to let him off the hook. He needed to say it.

"She used me. She made a fool of me for centuries, and that's why I want her dead," Duncan said slowly. "We both have scores to settle. Let me settle them for both of us. Please."

Methos searched MacLeod's eyes for a long moment, and then nodded.

Duncan breathed a sigh of relief, and gripped Methos' arm briefly as he moved past the older Immortal. Methos turned to follow. They'd taken no more than a few steps when they heard the distinctive sounds of a sword fight coming from behind the house. They broke into a run.

Scene 1 1

"Kaia, why? What have I done to you?" Richie asked, circling warily.

"Nothing, little one, nothing at all." Her voice had changed. The warmth he'd heard in it at the barge was gone, replaced now with an oily hardness that made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.

"Then, why come after me?"

"Because you exist, little one," she sneered, lunging at him. Richie parried and stepped back out of her reach.

"Does Mac know you're here?" He was totally on the defensive, warding off her blows, but not attacking himself.

"MacLeod?" she laughed disparagingly, voice full of contempt. "He hasn't a clue. He never did." She attacked again. Richie stepped away from her lunge and blocked, but did not take advantage when she left herself open. More than anything, he wanted to know what she was talking about.

"Never did?"

"Yes, little one, your precious teacher has a blind spot. A flaw." Kaia's laugh was totally without humor. "He's been leading me to young Immortals for centuries." She pressed her free hand to her heart dramatically, and said in a saccharine tone, "He pours out his heart, tells me all about the young ones he's met, all about his students," and her voice grew cold. "And then I go and kill them. Just like I'm going to kill you. A perfect arrangement, don't you think, little one?"

"Oh, absolutely," Richie responded, and with a flurry of blows, put her on the defensive. "There's just one problem..." he said as his sword sank deeply into her abdomen. Kaia fell to her knees, and looked up at him, shocked.

"I am not a student." He wrenched his sword free, brought it up and around, and swept her head from her shoulders.

In the lull which preceded the quickening, Richie felt an Immortal's approach, and turned to see MacLeod and Methos come around the corner of the house at a run. The shock on Duncan's face was evident, but he thought there was relief as well. Then the quickening began, sweeping everything else from his mind.

Methos turned away and led an unresisting MacLeod back to the car to wait.

Scene 1 2

"I should have known."

Joe and Methos glanced at each other, and Methos rolled his eyes. MacLeod had been wallowing in his guilt since they'd returned to the barge.

Methos rose to his feet. "There was no way you could have known." He picked up his glass and Joe's, and quirked an inquiring eyebrow at Richie, who shook his head. "From the records, it looks as if she was always careful to dispose of the bodies so they wouldn't be found." He took MacLeod's glass from him, moved to the bar, and began refilling their glasses with Duncan's excellent brandy. "She got rid of any evidence there'd been a fight so that it was very unlikely that you would ever find out."

"She was always so warm and generous... I still can't quite make myself believe that she would do that."

"You wouldn't have recognized her, Mac," Richie interjected. "It was like she was a completely different person from the one I met here yesterday. Her eyes..." he suppressed a shudder at the memory.

MacLeod shook his head, looking morose. Methos returned with their brandy, handing Mac his glass. He gave Joe a meaningful look as he handed over his drink and resumed his seat. They sat in silence for a few minutes, sipping at the brandy.

"All those young ones..." Duncan muttered.

Joe cleared his throat. "Let's not lose sight of one thing here," he said. "She'd been tracking Connor for months when he led her to you. She watched him knock you on your butt all that afternoon. She must've decided she could take you when she came after you the next day. If it weren't for a few lines of poetry, you might have been another young one she cut down."

"That, and your pretty face," Richie added with a grin.

Joe chuckled at that, and Methos' eyes danced merrily behind his glass.

"Well," Richie stood abruptly, putting his half-empty glass on the table. "I'm going home. I have a date with a pillow today, and a girlfriend to surprise tomorrow," he said with a grin. "See you oldtimers later." He touched Mac's shoulder briefly as he passed by on his way to the door.

Duncan looked up. "Safe trip, Rich."


Duncan sighed heavily and took another sip of the brandy. "At least she was wrong about Richie," he said finally.

"And she won't be going after any others," Methos said softly. Duncan looked up for a moment, meeting his eyes, and nodded.

The End

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