Four people stood at the foot of a grave in the otherwise deserted Paris cemetery. Four friends remembering one they all held dear to their hearts.
Amanda stepped forward and placed a single white rose on the headstone. ”I still can’t believe he’s gone.” She whispered a single tear rolling down her face.
Methos set an Egyptian medallion next to the rose. ”May you rest in peace my friend.” He whispered. Methos had not known the youth that long but had truly thought of him as a friend. Methos had too few friends; somehow the Highlander seemed to always take them away.
Joe was next. He opened the cooler he had next to him and pulled out a bottle of the deceased’s favorite beer. He opened it and followed suite with another four. After Joe had passed them all out he held his bottle up to toast. ”To Richie Ryan, one of the good guys. We really miss you kid.” They all took a drink and Joe poured the spare beer over the grave.
”I think the brat would have liked that.” Methos mused somberly.
Duncan looked up tears gleaming in his eyes ”I should be the one in that grave not Richie.” Duncan declared solemnly. Amanda pulled the Highlander into her arms for a hug.
Amanda whispered in his ear ”Duncan you really need to forgive yourself. It wasn’t your fault Richie wouldn’t want you to do this to yourself.”
”Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod feeling sorry for himself, now there’s a thought.” Methos scoffed, and then took another drink of his beer.
Joe shot Methos a warning glare but Methos ignored it. Methos was hurt and didn’t like it. So Methos did what he was good at and lashed out ”So McLeod, how does the kid feel about visiting his own grave?”
Duncan looked over at Methos for a second before answering. ”He’s kinda wierded out about it.”
Methos stared at the Scott for a moment. “Duncan sounded just like Richie. You mean to tell me after two years he hasn’t settled yet?” Methos asked
”No and I don’t think he ever will.” Duncan replied quietly sounding more like himself
A shiver ran through Joe at the implications ”It’s getting a little cold out here I think it’s time to go to Joe’s. Drinks are on the house.”
”Sounds like a plan to me.” Methos replied deciding it would be easier to find out more if they were warm and the Highlander had a few drinks in him. So he and Joe started towards Methos’ car
”Duncan it wasn’t your fault.” Amanda whispered in his ear still holding him close.
”It sure feels like it is. I miss him so much!” Duncan replied hoarsely,
”The guys are going to start without us. Come on I’ll drive.” Amanda tried pulling Duncan with her but he slipped out of her grip easily.
”I’ll be there shortly, you go ahead.” Duncan replied not taking his eyes off Richie’s head stone.
”Are you sure? I can wait in the car.” Amanda offered worried. She hated seeing Duncan this way, his brooding always left the Scott vulnerable.
”It’s only a few blocks to Joe’s. I’ll be fine. Now go before Methos drinks all the beer.” Duncan said softly. He turned her in the direction of the car taping her behind playfully with his hand. Amanda reluctantly started moving to the car.
Once Duncan heard the sound of the car moving away he put his hand on the top of the grave stone. ”I don’t know how but I’m going to find a way to bring you back to make things right. I promise.”
A small breeze whipped around him and he could almost hear Richie’s voice ”Hurry Mac!” Duncan left the cemetery and slowly started to walk to Joe’s. He was determined to get his plans off the ground tonight. A small smile crossed his lips as he walked away.
Joe was pouring a pitcher of beer when Duncan walked into the bar. ”Hey, we were starting to get worried.” Joe called out ”Pull up a seat. I’ll get you a glass.”
”I’m not staying long. I just wanted to let you know I’m going back to the states for a few weeks.” Duncan replied
”Ok, well I have to check some things out at my other bar so I’ll just make a surprise visit.” Joe replied already making plans in his head.
”No, that’s not necessary I’ll stay out of trouble. I promise.” Duncan answered as he put up the universal Boy Scout sign.
Joe chuckled at the sight glad to see his friend joking a little ”Ok just check in every so often.” He requested.
”Not a problem.” Duncan answered then turned to Methos ”Hey can I talk to you for a second.”
”Sure.” And they both went to an empty booth ”What’s up?” Methos asked taking a long drink of his beer.
”I’m going to an auction in New York to acquire something from Egypt and I need your help.” Duncan said it was almost a whisper
”Great, I’ll look at it as soon as you get back.” Methos replied
”Actually, I need you to go to Atlanta. I’m meeting someone there. We’ll probably be there for a while so...” Duncan pulled out an envelope and handed it to Methos ”This should cover all the expenses including a two bedroom apartment.”
Methos opened the envelope, inside was a plan ticket and quite a bit of cash. ”Not a problem, but why leave Joe in the dark?” Methos was curious now.
”If this pans out I’ll tell him, until then I would prefer to keep the watchers in the dark and Joe safe.” Duncan answered
”This wouldn’t have anything to do with Richie would it?” Methos asked needing to broach the subject.
”Yes and as soon as I meet you in Atlanta I will tell you everything just drop it for the moment alright.” Duncan evaded
”Well then, in that case I guess I’ll go start packing.” Methos answered they stood up shook hands and Methos waved his good byes to the others at the bar as he left.
Duncan walked back to the bar where Amanda and Joe were ”So when do we leave?” Amanda asked sweetly as she cozied up to Duncan.
”I’m leaving. You’re staying here.” Duncan replied. He pulled out his wallet and grabbed a credit card from inside ”It’s an early birthday present since I won’t be here in person.”
He handed it to Amanda her eyes narrowed as she studied him ”Alright spill. What’s going on?”
”Nothing’s going on its like I said, I just need to clear my head. It’s been two years and Richie’s Quickening still hasn’t settled. It’s like he refuses to believe his life is over or maybe I just won’t accept him. Either way I need to figure it out so just give me a little time. When I get back maybe we’ll go on a trip.” Duncan answered deciding some truth instead would be better.
Amanda looked Duncan in the eye ”He’s really still not settled?”
”No.” Was all he said as he handed her his credit card ”Just don’t go overboard Ok.”
Amanda took the card and gave him a hug ”I promise and you be careful alright.”
”Always. I’m going to go I have packing to do and an early flight.” Duncan kissed her softly and left waving to Joe on his way out.
Diana opened her laptop and set it in her lap. She was having another night of take-out Chinese and grading papers. Diana was an ancient history teacher at Kennesaw University. She was just checking her email real quick before getting started on the papers.
She clicked on one from a friend at another University ”Hey thought you might like this.” Diana clicked on the link. An announcement for an auction in New York came up and the piece on the page was an old papyrus from Egypt. Something about it intrigued her
”I bet this would make a great addition to the museum exhibit.” She mused to herself. ”It’s to be sold this weekend” She browsed the site printed off all the pictures that she needed for the scroll and a few other items she thought the university would want then put together a quick presentation for the Dean tomorrow.
The next day felt like a blur. Diana had called the Dean’s office as soon as she arrived on campus and made an appointment for later that afternoon. All her classes went smoothly she was finally starting to get through to her students. When her last class let out at 4:30 Diana grabbed her books and backpack and started towards the Dean’s office. Every step she took was a little harder there had been no time to get nervous until now. By the time she made it there she was so nervous her hands were sweating and she felt like a grad student all over again.
The secretary told her the Dean would see her. The older woman gave Diana a warm smile ”You’ll be fine he doesn’t bite.” Diana smiled back a little less nervous and walked into the Dean’s office
Dean Simmons stood up and extended his hand Diana quickly took it.
”Thank you for seeing me on such short notice.” Diana managed amazed that her own voice sounded so steady
”Not a problem, now what can I do for you Miss Mathews?” He asked as he motioned for her to take a seat.
”I would like to go to an antiques auction to try to acquirer a couple of items for the new exhibit. A friend of mine emailed me this information last night.” Diana replied as she handed him the portfolio she had put together the night before. ”I know this is short notice but I could get the flight myself to save the school time and a little money. I would just need the funds to bid with.”
He looked over her proposal then looked back at her "I think this is an excellent idea. When will you be leaving.” He asked
”Tonight at seven if I can get the flight. Then I should be back before my first class on Tuesday.” Diana replied excitement flooding her system
Excellent! Be back here in an hour. The documents for your funds should be ready by then.
Diana thanked the Dean and left to go get her things and prepare for the flight.