Title: Comes a Horseman…
Author: A Lanart
Prompt: Methos walks into a bar and meets Susan Sto Helit
Fandoms: Highlander: the Series, Discworld
Word count: 870
Rating/Warnings: G – no warnings required
Comes A Horseman
Being a 5000 year old immortal former anthropomorphic personification of Death led to Methos having a unique world view, which he thought was a bloody good job especially when other 'people' - who had kind of shared the same job and strictly speaking should not exist - decided they wanted to meet up. He generally did not object to those odd requests as their idea of a suitable meeting place was usually some sort of drinking establishment and in all of his possibly more than 5000 years, Methos could count the number of times he'd turned down free beer on one hand.
All of which meant that when he received a cryptic message that told him his 'presence was required' in the Drunken Duck he didn't really think of not turning up. As an immortal who was capable of dying if he wasn't careful, it really wasn't a good idea to go pissing off Death by not turning up for a meeting. However, that didn't mean Methos would arrive unprepared; the sword, dagger and gun were permanent fixtures in his coat anyway and it didn't take long to add a garrotte into the collar along with a few other more esoteric items that might prove useful in certain company.
He ambled along the road in the looming twilight, waiting for the correct moment to enter the pub – the appropriate door only being visible at certain times, and to certain people. He was looking forward to it in a way – the Drunken Duck had very good beer, even the part of it that wasn't entirely in this world.
As the last rays of the setting sun disappeared there was a quiver in the building and an old, gnarled door shimmered into existence; Methos stepped forward and pushed open the door.
The inside of the Drunken Duck was always dim in the evening – in reality and otherwise – so Methos had to wait for a moment for his eyes to adjust, keeping his hand in the vicinity of his sword while he did so. Soon he was able to make out some of the patrons of the bar and his eyes rested on one particular individual. He sighed at the sight of the chiselled face framed by scraped back white hair with a black streak, he'd been hoping it might have been the cute goth chick with the ankh pendant – he *liked* her. Still, it could have been worse; at least it wasn't Susan's grandfather sitting there.
He approached the table with the comfortable slouch that he *knew* would annoy her, though she wouldn't admit to it in a million years, and folded himself into a chair.
"Well, I'm here," Methos announced somewhat acerbically, knowing that the 'what do you want?' was perfectly audible without being enunciated. Susan glared at him. About par for the course, so far…
"Yes, I can see that," she replied primly. Methos could imagine that her fingers were just itching to reach out to impose a little bit of order onto his carefully orchestrated untidy sprawl. He smiled at her; it wasn't a particularly pleasant one at that. Nevertheless, it awoke an answering smile, equally unpleasant, in her. Methos laughed. Fair enough, they could go tip-toeing around each other for hours and not accomplish anything beyond the subtle art of scoring points off each other but there was a reason that Susan had requested his presence, and it wouldn't be just for the sheer hell of it. He straightened in his chair, she slumped a little in hers; it was as much of an indication of agreement that they would get down to business as they were going to give each other.
"So, to what do I owe the pleasure? Why me?" Methos asked.
"I have need of your particular skills," Susan replied. Methos was somewhat taken aback.
"You're asking for my *help*, Ms Sto Helit?"
"It would seem that way, yes."
"May I ask why?" Methos asked gently. Susan *never* asked for help unless the world was ending or someone close to her had a problem she couldn't sort out herself – which didn't happen very often.
"Binky is getting old. You've been the Rider of the Pale Horse, you know what Grandfather needs in a steed, plus you understand the animals in a way I never could." Susan shuddered. Methos patted her hand in sympathy, apart from Binky – who was an exceptional horse – Susan really didn't like horses one little bit. He could understand why she had come to him, now. For all millennia had passed since he was a Horseman in truth, he still viewed horses as his 4 legged brothers.
"Well I know just the place to start, as long as you can twist time for me; I don't think the pair of us turning up at Appleby Horse fair in this decade would be a good idea."
"I can." She started to get up, and then sat down again. "Finish your drink first; we might have a long night ahead of us."
"And it could be thirsty work," Methos raised his glass to her and drank deeply. "Here's to a successful night's hunting," he said. Susan smiled, and raised her own.
"I'll drink to that."