They were having a pleasant evening in Joe's bar when disaster struck out of nowhere: Amanda stretched out in her chair and said, "So, what do we have planned for tomorrow, Duncan?"
Duncan blinked. "Tomorrow?"
Methos smirked. "Valentine's Day, boy scout."
"Oh! I'm sorry, Amanda, I'm going to be busy tomorrow." Duncan seemed to realize belatedly what a dangerous thing that was to say, and added, "I didn't know you'd be in town. I can make it up to you later?"
Amanda looked at him for a second, then folded her arms on the table and turned to the other man. "So, Methos, where are you taking me for dinner tomorrow?"
Duncan snickered. Amanda raised an eyebrow at him. "You won't get much out of him," Duncan said. "He doesn't believe in chivalry and romance. Says it's all a fad that was invented by a couple of bored poets in the Middle Ages."
Amanda glanced at Methos and giggled. He opened his eyes very wide and made desperate 'shushing' motions. This just caused her to lose it completely, dissolving into laughter.
"Amanda," Methos said desperately. "Amanda, my darling, hope of my heart, flower of all that is fair, I'll take you out to dinner in the most expensive restaurant in the city."
Amanda waved a hand at him and shook her head. Duncan watched them, bemused. Joe, noticing the commotion, wandered over and dropped in beside him. "What's up with them?"
"I have no idea, Joe."
"So, Duncan," Amanda said, catching her breath. "Did I ever tell you about the first time I met this old faker?"
"I'll give you all my credit cards!" Methos said shrilly. "And the keys to my warehouse in London!"
"It was in a castle in Poitiers, around the turn of the eleventh century. He had the worst singing voice I'd heard in two hundred years, but he could make a vielle sound like the music of angels, and I've yet to hear anyone who's better on a syrinx. It helped, of course, that he had Lady Ermengarde wrapped around his little finger."
"My god - you were Piere li Trobador?" Joe shook his head. "*You* were Piere li Trobador?"
Methos groaned and lifted his head from his hands. "I needed the money, okay? And I thought those hairy barbarians could use a dose of good old-fashioned matriarchy. I didn't expect it to *catch on*!"
"Wait a minute," said Duncan. "Who's Piere li Trobador?"
"He was an Immortal who appeared out of nowhere in Provence in the middle of the eleventh century. After Rebecca's Watcher reported him we had somebody on him for about twenty years before he went off the radar again. He started out as a traveling jongleur, singing reworked Arabic love poetry adapted to French tunes. Then he ingratiated himself with Count William IX's mad wife and became a court musician, and, well, it caught on. The whole tradition of courtly love and medieval romance, you know."
"Since when are you a fan of love poetry, Joe?" asked Methos, eyes narrowed.
Joe shrugged. "I read Amanda's Chronicle. That was one of the more interesting parts."
"An interesting part, huh?" said MacLeod, looking between them speculatively.
"She was pretending to be a lady in order to get access to the Countess's jewellery chest," said Joe, grinning. "He caught her and blackmailed her into keeping up the charade for almost a year. Ermengarde *hated* her for having his favor, they spent the whole time creatively making each other miserable. It must have been even more entertaining to Watch than it was to read about."
"He wrote me a poem, all my own!" Amanda said brightly. "Let's see, how did it go?" She hummed to herself for a second.
"'Oh, someday will come a day/ When we put our swords away,/ And she gives her gift of love,/ And her ring and heart she grants./ God, may I live long enough / Just to get into her pants.'" She smirked. "Oh, how I miss the days of courtly love."
"I hate you all," said Methos.