All characters belong to their creators in the Highlander universe. They do not belong to me, nor do I receive any profit from them. This story is rated NC17 and contains graphic homoerotic sex. If you don't like such things and/or are underage, please do not read. Much thanks to the fabulous esjay for beta duties. All remaining mistakes are completely my own.
He stared into the empty glass. The beer's head had left behind a delicate lace pattern around the sides of the glass. The sign of a well-crafted beer. Of course, he could have found good beer in any number of other bars in any number of other cities around the world. He would no doubt be better off in any one of them than in this particular bar. But he'd found himself returning here anyway. He would continue to come back here as long as Joe was alive. Joe had become a touchstone in Methos' life. Joe kept him connected to a semblance of normality. Joe also kept him connected to MacLeod.
Suddenly the glass was picked up and unceremoniously dropped in the sink of soapy water behind the bar.
"So," Joe said as he plunked down a new glass of India Pale Ale in front of him and leaned on the bar, "it dates back that far, huh?"
"Yeah, 1415. You see the English were accomplished with the longbow. In an attempt to thwart them in battle, the French decided to cut off all the middle fingers of any English soldiers they found. Unfortunately for the French, they weren't able to capture enough English solders to make much of a difference, and were defeated. The English soldiers started a practice of mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at them. And a grand tradition was born."
Joe's lopsided grin had grown wider throughout the tale, and he scratched at his chin. "Is that the truth?"
"Don't you trust me?
He took a drink and noticed the look on Joe's face over the top of his glass. "What?"
Joe cocked an eyebrow at him. "Trust is not exactly something you instill in people, you know that?"
Methos dropped his eyes back to the glass in front of him. "That does seem to be a recurring problem."
Joe shook his head and was about to respond when Methos felt the jarring thrum ripple down his spine. Joe must have seen that register in his eyes as well. The chuckling came to a halt as the bartender looked toward the door. Methos didn't have to look.
MacLeod stood just inside the door. Methos could almost feel the man's eyes boring a hole into his back. It wasn't only the feeling of immortal presence buzzing through him that had the hairs on the back of Methos' neck standing up.
Mac took the seat next to him at the bar. When he spoke, the tension was thick in his voice. Tension and, Methos thought, just maybe an underlying hint of sadness. "What brings you to town?"
Methos gave a small smile, but still didn't look up. "Just visiting."
"Planning to stay long?"
Methos slowly tilted his head and looked over at Mac. "Would you rather I didn't?"
They assessed each other, but neither spoke. Methos felt as if he had fallen into some sort of poker game. Both of them holding their hands close to the chest. He wasn't sure if he could remember how to stop bluffing.
"I like it here, Mac. I've missed Joe." Methos lowered his voice and looked into MacLeod's eyes. "I've missed you."
Nothing at all registered in Mac's eyes, but his mouth set in a firm line. Looking across the bar he finally acknowledged Joe standing quietly by, watching their little drama play out. Instead of asking for a drink, Mac stood and walked back out the door.
Methos watched him go, and then turned back to his beer as if looking for an answer within its depths. When none was forthcoming, he then looked up at Joe. Joe shrugged.
"Hey, don't look at me. This is your mess, not mine."
Methos hit the sidewalk just in time to see the Thunderbird turn the corner. Damn. The man could be so exasperating. Shoving his hands deep in his coat pockets, Methos started walking.
He stood in front of Mac's door. Mac knew he was there, obviously, but he was going to make him knock. He wished for the days when he hadn't needed to knock. Mac had trusted him enough to give him a key. He still had the key, but the trust had been lost long ago. With a deep sigh of resignation, he raised his hand and knocked.
The door opened. Mac's eyes were still unreadable. Funny, Mac didn't used to be so good at masking his feelings. His emotions were always shown in plain sight right there on his face. Maybe this was a result of all that he'd been through in the past couple years. Maybe it was due in no small part to him. Methos mentally winced, but was careful to keep his expression neutral.
"May I come in?"
"What do you want, Methos?"
"I thought we might talk."
"Too bad you didn't have that thought a year ago."
Mac turned and walked into the kitchen, leaving the door open for Methos to come through. He picked up two beers and handed one to Methos.
"Thanks." Methos twisted off the lid and hesitated only briefly before dropping it in the wastebasket. He looked at the man standing across from him and wondered not for the first time if there was anything salvageable of their friendship.
A year ago he'd drank champagne with Mac, Joe
and Amanda, in a quiet celebration of life and friendship. But he'd still felt
the distance. Too much had happened between them for things to go back to the
way they'd been before. So he'd left rather than try and settle for something
"I thought it would be best if I left for a while. Give you some space, some time to let things settle."
"Well, thank you for deciding what's best for me. You know, you may be five thousand years old, but you don't know everything."
Ah, there it is, Methos thought. There was anger in Mac's eyes. The mask was slipping.
Methos looked steadily into those eyes and put all the sincerity he could summon into his voice. "I'm sorry."
The anger bled out of Mac's eyes to be replaced with sadness. He looked away, and took a drink. When he spoke again his voice was rough. "It doesn't matter anymore."
One thing's for sure, Mac hadn't lost his touch for brooding.
"Look, Mac. We were friends once. Good friends." Might as well lay all the cards on the table. "More than friends" Methos added quietly.
Mac's head snapped around. "And what, now you want to be friends again? Just like that? I don't even know you anymore!"
"I'm just me. The same person I was before. Mac, trust me, nothing's changed."
"Trust you? Trust you!" Mac slammed the bottle down on the counter sending a spray of beer into the air. He advanced on Methos, his voice very low and very dangerous. "I did trust you. I trusted that you were just an irritating, argumentative guy who'd lived a really long time. I invited you into my home. I invited you into my life. I invited you into my bed. And then I find out that you're not just an old guy with a cute ass, no, no, no, you spent a thousand years raping and murdering your way through the world."
Methos stood his ground. "And like I said, nothing's changed. Yes, I have a past. That was all true before, you just didn't know about it."
Mac looked stunned. "I can't believe you."
Methos winced. What I mean is, I have lived a really long time. Who I was in 3000 BC is not who I was in 2400 BC, nor 800 BC. I grew, I changed, I evolved, and I was different still in 1453, and in 1808. Who I am today is the sum of all those parts, and that was true before you knew about it as well. Nothing has changed. I thought we'd begun to move past this."
"You're right." Mac said, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. "I thought we had too. And then you pulled a disappearing act."
"OK, not the brightest move on my part, I'll admit." Methos tilted his head. "But I honestly didn't know it would bother you quite this much."
He was beginning to see a glimmer of hope underneath all that bluster. MacLeod did feel something. He was hurt. Maybe the time apart really had been a good thing. Maybe it had allowed them both the time and opportunity to miss what they'd once had.
"Isn't it time we stopped running? We could argue this until we run out of breath, but I don't want to argue with you, Mac."
"I. Didn't. Run." Mac poked his index finger into Methos' chest, punctuating each word.
Methos caught Mac's hand in his and pulled it against his chest. "I know. I did. And I am sorry." He closed the distance between them, effectively trapping Mac's hand between their bodies and pushing him up against the kitchen counter. Damn it, this is what he wanted, and he wasn't going to waste time worrying about the consequences now.
"No, Methos," Mac whispered. "Don't."
"Oh, but I'm going to," Methos breathed. He leaned in and brushed his lips over Mac's. Finding only minimal resistance, he pressed on, deepening the kiss. With a groan, Mac's mouth opened to him and Methos slid his tongue inside, caressing, tasting. Releasing Mac's hands, he slid his fingers into the soft, dark hair that framed his face, massaging circles over his scalp and down the back of his neck. He felt Mac shiver against him, and then he felt warm hands sliding under his sweater, moving up his back.
Breathing hard, Mac pulled away, and Methos felt the hands slip away at the same time. "This isn't going to help," Mac said, reaching up and dragging Methos' hands from his neck.
"I disagree." Methos twisted his hands out of Mac's grasp, quickly turning the tables on the other man. Clasping Mac's hands in his, he wrapped his arms tightly around Mac's back, pinning his arms in the process. He placed a bruising kiss on Mac's mouth, cutting off a loud protest. He continued to torture Mac with long, slow kisses, only breaking contact momentarily to draw breath before diving in again. This was right, this was his, and he was here to claim it. Gradually, he felt the barriers start to crumble.
Methos released Mac's swollen lips and began working his way over his jaw and down his neck. Tongue lapping, teeth nipping, slipping over to suck on an earlobe, Methos took great care with Mac's neck. He'd never met an Immortal whose neck wasn't an erogenous zone and Mac was no exception. Very soon Methos had him panting.
Releasing Mac's hands, he used his own to unbutton Mac's shirt, baring his muscular chest. Bending down, Methos teased Mac's nipples with his tongue, first the right one, then the left. His skin was warm, and he tasted both salty and sweet. His nipples grew hard under Methos' tongue. By the time he came back to the right one, Mac had forgotten his protestations and was instead urging Methos on. Smiling, Methos sucked hard on the nipple while reaching down and undoing Mac's jeans. Pushing both jeans and briefs down Mac's thighs, he released Mac's straining cock. As it bobbed free, Methos wrapped both hands around it. Mac groaned deep in his throat. Looking down at the prize in his hands, Methos' mouth watered. He slid to his knees.
Methos flicked his tongue over the thick head, running it down the corona and around the rim. The flesh was warm and firm under his tongue. He cupped Mac's scrotum in his hand, gently massaging the balls in their sac. Pressing his lips to the head of Mac's cock, he ran them over it in circles before dipping his tongue into the slit to taste the saltiness inside. Opening his mouth wider, Methos slid his lips down over the head and partway down the shaft before coming slowly back up.
Mac was making pleading noises now, and gripping Methos' hair in both hands. Methos slid his mouth back down Mac's cock, all the way down to the base this time before slowing sliding back up. He started a slow and steady rhythm, sliding his mouth up and down. Mac was trembling now, and making incoherent noises. Methos could tell he was close, and his own cock was aching for release as well.
With his right hand, Methos unfastened his own jeans, pulled out his cock and began stroking it. He wrapped his left hand around Mac's ass, pulling him closer and helping to steady him at the same time. He increased the rhythm of his mouth on Mac's cock, adding a twist of his head to the sliding motion. Mac growled, and Methos could feel the tremor building in Mac's body an instant before he came.
Triumphant heat flowed through his own body as he felt Mac's release. His own orgasm overtook him, shooting up his legs to explode out of his cock, shooting hot semen over his hand and splattering Mac's legs.
Methos let go of his own cock and massaged Mac's thighs. He licked him clean, and then looked up to smile at the Highlander. Clasping Mac's hands, he helped guide his way as he sank to the floor.
Mac leaned his head against the cabinet and smiled back at Methos. "I don't .I don't know if that was a good idea."
Methos cupped Mac's face in both his hands. "It was the best idea I've had yet. Trust me, Duncan."
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