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After Alexa turned away from him in the rain, Methos didn't try to kiss her again. He loved her, in that terrifying and wonderful way he sometimes fell for mortals, but he'd lived more than long enough to know that the love didn't have to be selfish. This journey was for her, in all its particulars, and he would be whatever she needed him to be.

From Seacouver they drove through the Rockies, stopping at all the magnificent views. Methos was almost sorry he couldn't show Alexa the Grand Canyon, but if they were going to get to Egypt and the Mediterranean too before she faded, they didn't have time for that kind of detour. It didn't seem to matter; Alexa drank it all in with rapt delight, holding his hand on their short walks and snuggling up against him at night in wayside inns. Methos breathed the clear air and sat quietly among peaks a literal hundred million years old, and he was happy.

He avoided Rushmore when they passed through the Dakotas. When Alexa asked him why, Methos responded without thinking, some absurd ramble about a lack of respect for ancient things. But Alexa took him seriously, so as they drove through the endless plains and on into lake country, Methos found himself transcending Adam Pierson: the history student talked archeology and mythology with a depth that Adam never could have achieved, and Alexa sat next to him, asking intelligent questions and listening closely to his every word.

They went through Chicago, of course; Alexa stoically pronounced Seacouver still the best city on the planet, but she loved it there. They took a ferry across the bottom of Lake Michigan, and in hotel rooms planned their itinerary for the rest of America. Alexa wanted to see Niagara Falls and New York City, and she fell asleep smiling. Methos stayed up half the night memorizing the fall of her hair and the little freckles on her nose, and couldn't remember loving anyone as much as he loved her at that moment, which was exactly how it should be.

They reached Niagara Falls at the end of their second week. They arrived at night, and once Methos was sure Alexa was comfortably settled, he walked up the road from their hotel to the Falls. The park was still open, and the Falls themselves were illuminated by bright floodlights, making them look unreal. Methos leaned on the railing, letting the sight and the great roar of the water fill up the world, and wondered idly if he could ever get away with going over the Falls in a barrel without attracting too much attention. Probably not. A pity; it might even be fun, and he could certainly think of worse ways to spend an afternoon than being crushed to death by thousands of tons of water.

He was sure Alexa would have hit his arm if he'd said that aloud.

The next morning he took her to the Falls. For a long time Alexa just stood there, staring at them with that same great attention to detail that she gave Methos' stories. When she finally turned back to Methos, her eyes were shining with delight and unshed tears. They were much too near the Falls to be heard properly, and when Alexa spoke, Methos couldn't be sure whether she said, "Oh Adam, thank you," or "I love you," but it made no matter, because Alexa then flung her arms around him and kissed him as though she'd remembered she was going to die, as though she'd remembered she was alive, and Methos' heart nearly broke with the joy of it.