Methos has a type when it comes to men, especially Immortal men. He's well aware of this fact. They're always domineering, self-assured, and a little too black-and-white in their views – even if it is in unique ways. The morality is changeable, but somehow always intrinsically tied to the era it originates in.
He thinks of Kronos keeping what was his the only way he knew how, of Byron's hedonism and obsession with death, and of MacLeod's notion of clan and clear-cut idea of chivalry. Each man was precisely a product of his time.
So Methos isn't too surprised when he's been dragged into one of Amanda's jobs and he comes across a dangerous pre-Immortal, and the thrill Methos feels is only partly an echo of the potential Quickening. The man growls at the obstruction, low and deep, as he stalks around Methos. He clearly recognizes a threat, no matter how innocuous Methos tries to appear, and it's all the best parts of Kronos and the worst parts of MacLeod. Methos can't help the smirk that twists his mouth.
Methos finds himself up against the wall, a hard thigh nudging between his legs and a hand gripping his throat. It's a confused mix of flirtation and threat that leaves Methos gasping for breath and turned on. Then a mouth is on his, firm and insistent. He yields, or at least pretends to, and one hand moves to a knife hidden in the small of his back and the other slides around the man's waist. There is a pouch attached to his belt, undoubtedly where the jewels are, and Methos considers lifting it – to stay in practice, to hold over Amanda, because he wants to, and any number of other reasons – but he doesn't.
An alarm goes off and the man pulls away abruptly. He grins at Methos like this is all foreplay and takes off. Methos hesitates a moment or two longer then takes off in another direction. He knows Amanda well enough to know she's already making her own way out and that she won't even think about him, but that's not an issue because he has at least three contingency plans he can put into action immediately.
Methos is at a café in Italy the next time they meet. He's reading Night Watch – in the original Russian – when the man settles into the chair opposite him. He's long since sensed the latent Quickening, but he makes a show of looking surprised.
"Adam," the man says in greeting. A tactic designed to leave Methos feeling wrong-footed and at a distinct disadvantage. But Methos has had more names than even he can remember, so finding out information on his current identity is hardly a monumental task. Methos smiles slowly, but makes no reply.
He eyes Methos predatorily and a shiver runs down Methos's spine. This man could spin him into his web, draw him inexorably into the heart of it, and destroy him, if he wanted to. But Methos has always played it close to the edge, in his own way.
He'd allowed MacLeod to do almost exactly that. There are times when Methos thinks it was pure luck he'd made it out alive and at least mostly whole. It's still better than how it'd ended with Kronos. Even thinking about it years later still makes Methos's chest clench painfully. He'd loved Kronos, more deeply than he'd ever loved anyone else. The Immortal had been part of his life for 4000 years, for good or ill, and it's impossible to just let that go.
"Eliot," the man tells him as he watches Methos from beneath hooded eyes. Methos already knows that and more besides, but it's stupidly irresponsible to give up an advantage so early on.
"So which should I be prepared to defend? My physical prowess or my virtue?"
"Might have designs on the latter."
"That so?" Methos says archly and sips at his coffee.
"Yep," Eliot says bluntly, his smirk just short of wicked.
Methos knows better, he really does, but he leans forward and openly appraises Eliot.
"You got a place nearby?" he asks, because there's no way he's taking Eliot back to his place. He's got more than a few artifacts that would be worth something to a retrieval specialist, especially one of Eliot Spencer's caliber, who has the skill necessary to recognize their true value.
Eliot raises an eyebrow, clearly sensing an alternate motive, but he acquiesces easily enough. Methos raises his hand to call for the bill.
Methos gets up from the bed when he feels the prickle of his Quickening under his skin as it heals the imprints of hands and teeth scattered over his body. He quickly slips on his boxers and t-shirt to cover marks he doesn't have.
He's tempted to stay, tempted to get back into bed and curl into the comfort of another person who doesn't yet know the Game, but he's not quite so nonchalant with his safety. Seducing someone to lower their guard is hardly a new tactic. Nor is using mortals to gain an advantage over an Immortal.
Dressing is a little awkward, but not nearly as hazardous as undressing. Methos straps his backup gun to his ankle – he's taken to carrying more weaponry since he's been associated with MacLeod, especially as an apparently new Immortal – and glances back at Eliot who's still reclined on the bed, hands folded behind his head. There's a knife under the pillow; Methos felt the outline of it when Eliot pinned his hands above his head and pressed him into the mattress with the weight of his body.
He glances across at where Eliot's clothes have been collected in a pile – not obsessively neat, but not strewn around either – Methos figures it's to provide Eliot easy access to his weapons; at least half a dozen from what Methos saw.
Methos pulls on his jeans and slips his knife into the sheath at his back. He hesitates and turns to face Eliot. If he leaves now it'll just be one great night – a bright point in some pretty shoddy years – but that's all and he doesn't want that. It feels like years, decades, since he's had anything solid to hang on to. Mortals are fragile, transient, and MacLeod has a disturbing habit of vacillating when things get difficult.
Eliot is strong where Methos is not, and worse – Methos can tell from Eliot's smug expression as he watches Methos watching him – Eliot knows it. Methos wants to give in to his pride and tell Eliot to shove it, but Eliot is standing, unashamed of his nudity, and approaching him.
Strong hands grip his arms and pull him close, then slide down his shoulders and back. They drift perilously close to the knife sheathed at his back and he tenses before they settle on his hips. Eliot edges him backward, a position of weakness, but Methos's at his most dangerous when he's cornered. Lips claim his in a surprisingly sensual move that has more than an undercurrent of ownership, especially when Eliot pulls away enough to nip at his jaw and then bite the crook of his neck. The mark won't stay, it never does, but the thought of it sends a shiver down Methos's spine.
"See you later," Eliot says, like he knows anything more is just as likely to send Methos running as it is to draw him closer. But then Eliot doesn't know about Kronos, the last person who tried to possess Methos so completely, and who Methos wanted to possess him more than was healthy.
"Yeah," Methos says a little hoarsely and slips away from Eliot. He grabs his coat, the weight of his sword on the left side and his gun on the right a comfort. "I'll call you." It sounds trite, even false, and he can't be sure if he really means it or not. He's never been one for honesty, even with himself.
"If you don't," Eliot tells him with a wicked smile, "I'll find you. You can't hide from me."
Methos laughs, truly amused, as he looks coyly across at Eliot.
"More dangerous men than you have tried to find me before."
"So then don't hide too well."
"Don't give up so easily," Methos says, then slips out the door.