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The right questions

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The Quickening is stronger than I thought it would be, how many heads has Kristin taken since I knew her? Methos implied she was here for me, did I ask him the wrong questions?

The Quickening is over, Kristin is gone by Methos hand. I can still feel it around him we need to get out of here before the police arrives the power flowing in him what happened to Maria? I don’t want to reveal how aroused I got when seeing him Challenging that confidently. Did Maria die after all? Richie will be devastated I can hear an ambulance we need to get out of here. I finally turn back to Methos, he has knelt next to her.
My rambling thoughts and unwanted arousal dies simultaneously, giving way to a nauseous feeling. He’s undressing her!?  “Methos! What the ^hell^ are you doing?”

“What does it look like, I’m stripping her. Are you going to help me or what?”  He snarls back.

I feel sick as he removes the clothes of her dead body with the skill of much experience, seconds and she is naked.  “Why!?”

“I’m not sure she has changed since meeting Richie, his DNA found on her could be trouble. I promised Vicki to deal with the cleanup. Are you going to help?
If not, I suggest getting the hell out of here fast. Your car is at the other side of the marina, key on the left back wheel.”

Calm and professional as he drags her to the waterline, stronger than he look, always more than meets the eye.

I watch in silent horror how he rolls her body in a combination of plastic sheets and metal wire, picking up the head and start cutting into the severed neck with a piece of wire.
I turn away hulking.

“If you are going to throw up I strongly recommend you do it in the water. I rather not have to clean that up to.”

He sounds tired, I reflect.
Of course he is! I feel stupid, I don’t know how many times I’ve just walked away after a Quickening, to wrung out to care, leaving the cleanup to the Watchers.
The Watchers! Adam is a Watcher… “I promised Vicki to deal with the cleanup.”
“Usually the body just disappears. Is this really necessary?”  I ask him, trying not to look when he uses the wire at the body too.

“Unfortunately yes, this is a high profile case with FBI and several international agencies involved already. She can’t just disappear or Richie will be investigated far more than his current identity could handle. Could you please throw her sword in the water for me?”  Methos says as he ties the wire around one some of the stones by the shore, the flood already lapping around his ankles.

For Richie, so he can stay here, keep contact with his mortal roots a little longer. Otherwise he would have to stay away from Seacouver as well as Paris, that would leave him nowhere to call home... I swallow my discomfort and do as Methos asked.

“Thanks, let’s get out of here, the tide will remove the rest of the traces.”  He says, picking up Kristin's clothes on the way.

I follow him along the beach, the water is rising quickly now, we get to a rocky part just as it reaches our feet. He moves over the slippery rocks with a elegance and surety that is beautiful, I stumble and slip behind him.
When we stand by the road again I turn to look back, blue lights flashing by the house, far more than just one ambulance. The police are already there...

“You moved my car?”  The other side of the marina, bit of a walk, when did he have time for this?

“Of course not.”  A snort. “The Watchers are an ^organization^, we organize.”

He’s sitting on a stone, shivering slightly with his coat wrapped closely. Taking of his shoes?
Oh, they got wet, easier to get warm without them. We? “You really consider yourself a Watcher?”

He removes the wet socks and tuck his feet in his knee folds with a stunning agility.
“Adam Pierson certainly is.”
I try not to stare at his groin, and to ignore my own reemerging arousal. The power from the Quickening pulsating trough him is not helping.
“Can I convince you to go for the car? I rather not walk anywhere right now.” He asks, almost whining.

Definitely a turnoff, but also a call of reality. He’s wet, not just the feet, and has just taken a Quickening. How he manages to not snap at me more is a miracle. And I really should get the car now, questions later.
“Of course, wait here!” I wince at my stupidity. His chuckle is a relief.

I don’t get to leave before he has made me promise to try to find some hotdogs on the way. I’m not sure why hotdogs, but food cravings, protein to be exact, sometimes comes with Quickenings so I’m not exactly surprised, I promise to try to find some food for him.
Meat, he specifies.

I leave trying not to think about other urges that tends to come with Quickenings, reminding myself that not always and not for everyone.

O ~ O ~ O ~ O ~ O

It takes some time to walk back without getting to close to the house. Then some more to find the car, the hotdog stand next to it is till open so that’s quick at least.

When I get back with the car he’s sitting on the ground with a fire in front of him, the legs stretched out, bare toes almost touching the fire.
Looking up at me with the same unsurprised calm he had the first time we met, looking unarmed vulnerable and unprepared.
I ^know^ he has the sword close, he probably had that time too, still it makes me want to protect him. It’s ridiculous how I go between thinking he’s the strongest I’ve ever met and this need to protect him like he’s new and unable to.

I take out the bag with eight hotdogs in it.

He shines up like a child.  “Great! You remembered.”  Eagerly reaching for it.  ”Have a seat.” Pointing at the ground next to him.

I give him the bag and take a seat, wondering were he got the wood.
Kristin's disappeared clothes tells me what he used to get the fire going, but not how he got it started. There was no wood on the ground near when I left, now there is traces of one quite large branch having ben cut into a couple of pieces.
A scraping sound has me looking up, a dog with a branch in her mouth. Definitely a bitch, probably still nursing pups. A tawny street dog, no... a coyote I think, slim but not malnourished, she drops the branch sinking to the ground growling when she spots us.

“Shh girl, he won't hurt you. Come here. He brought you food. Come here girl.” Methos deep voice is shooting and calm.

The bitch pulls the branch with her, tail wagging between her legs as she looks at me anxiously. Surprised I stay very still.
Methos keeps talking to her in that dark calm voice. She drops the branch in front of him. He tanks her seriously and put it on the fire, then gives her all eight of the hotdogs before telling her to get back to her pups. She takes of without looking back.

We sit by the fire in silence, the stones protects us surprisingly well from the wind, it’s not cold. Methos has put the socks close to the fire but not bothered with the shoes.

“Shouldn’t we get out of here?”  I finally ask.

“Socks are not dry yet.”  He mutters, almost to low to be heard.  “I ^hate^ being cold.”

“I’ve a car with functioning heating and a loft with a bathtub.”

His eyes turns to me with renewed light. My breath hitch as my body interprets the look and responds with interest before I have a conscious thought.

A thoughtful look.  “You are an attractive man MacLeod. But I’m old enough to have left any stupid notions of virgins being a good thing far behind me. You admitted to no experience with men last time we talked about it. Has this changed during the day?”
“No.” I say, blushing hard.

“Then my earlier statement stands. When you’ve enough experience to know what you want I’ll be more than a little interested. However, I would say that right after me having taken a Quickening is the worst time for a first time, no matter the level of experience.
Please don’t tempt me, I would hate to ruin a potential friendship on a Quickening rut... I think…”

I know that feeling, the power of the Quickening running through you making you reckless and uninhibited, like a drunk mortal.
Food and alcohol, any drugs actually, works against it. As does any type of workout, including sex. He’s right of course, the only one with experience should definitely not be intoxicated, a recent Quickening amounts to the same.
Now if I could get my body to agree it would be easier, but I’ve not taken a Quickening tonight, that gives me a certain amount of responsibility in this.
I get up and go to the car, start it and put the heat on full blow.

Methos gets up, picks up his shoes in one and socks in the other hand then walks barefooted to the car. Once in the car he puts on the socks and opens the coat towards the heat.
We don’t talk on the way, Methos appears almost asleep but is immediately awake when I turn of the motor. A little stiff, still shivering a little from cold, as he follows me inside.

“Can I borrow your phone, please?”  He asks carefully.

I se his hands shaking slightly as he hangs his coat, shoulders hunched as if trying to stay warm, invoking my protective feelings again. “Of course Methos. Did you want that bath?”

He seems almost startled as he looks up at me, then a big smile. “Oh, yes MacLeod. I would love a hot bath.”

I go and start it for him, when I get out he’s on the phone.

“... I’ll ask how he wants it officially.
... Yeah, she should be fine.
... They’ll find her tomorrow at latest I think.
... Is it really that urgent, isn’t tomorrow afternoon good enough?
... Right, se you tomorrow then.”
Methos sighs tiredly and hang up.
“Joe wanted to know if I’ll report it as your kill or as a unknown. You’ve any preferences?”

I’ve not even considered that. “What about Kristin's Watcher. Won’t he report what really happened?”

“Kristin's Watcher was outside Richie’s apartment tonight, and will be unhappy about having missed the show if not about the outcome. But won’t be reporting anything about tonight’s events, except that Richie was not there. Which we already knew since he’s at the hospital with Joe to se Maria.” Methos says with a little self-satisfied smirk.

“Richie is with Joe?”  I feel like I missed half the explanation somewhere.

“No, Joe is with Richie. A good thing since he might need a trustworthy alibi, and someone to keep him calm, when FBI comes asking questions about him and Kristin.”

Between them Methos and Joe seems to have thought of everything.
Joe is Richie’s friend and cares for him a great deal I’m not surprised about his involvement. But Methos didn’t seem to like him that much, why did he get involved in this?
I turn to ask him and freeze at the sight of the bare muscular back as he closes the door to my bathroom behind him, the clothes in a pile outside.

When I have finally gotten my rebellious body back under control I pick up the pile and put it in the laundry basket. Almost an hour later Methos is still in the bathroom and I have cleaned, done the dishes and a million other things to keep myself from going in there to join him.
When the phone rings I’m almost relieved, despite it being almost midnight and not a time people usually calls.

It’s Joe. He’s a little surprised at getting me on the phone but tells me that Marie is fine, she will stay at the hospital for observation for another day or so and that he and Richie are at the bar now.
I tell him I will be there soon and hang up. Knocking on the bathroom door I tell this to Methos.

He emerges minutes later, fully dressed, having apparently brought clothes with him. With a dark turtleneck and a confident stride he looks far more dangerous than usual. Instantly my knees goes weak in arousal.

A knowing smile on his lips as he eyes me from toes and up, our eyes meet, his hand reach for me. I stumble closer before I think. Next thing I’m pressed down on my knees by a strong hand in my hair.
I realize what is happening, a sharp shame overwhelms me, I can’t let him! I start fighting, trying to get back up.

Methos draws a hard breath and backs up with a worried look.
“Fuck! I’m sorry Mac!” He’s breathing hard not looking at me. “I think I should find a hotel for tonight, this isn’t a easy one.” He look in my direction quickly, before lowering his eyes again.  “Or leave entirely, if you prefer that.”

To my great shame my erection is not bothered by either the fact that Methos is very much a man or that he was about to ^make^ me please him, actually almost the other way around! Still incredibly aroused I try to grapple with my contrary feelings.
And yet, even this confused I’m very much aware I was the one stepping closer and that I ^liked^ it when he pushed me to the floor. I wanted it, I want it?

“No! No, I don’t prefer that. I’m sorry too, I’m confused and you are right that this is not the right time to experiment.
Please, come back when you feel like it. You are always welcome in my home.”
I don’t want this to ruin anything, I almost always prefer solitude after taking a Quickening myself. It’s safer that way.
He said it’s not a easy one, sometimes they can make me unstable for days, or make it really hard to care for any kind of consequences. It gets easier with practice... oh good God! He hasn’t taken one in two ^centuries^!
I’ve not gone longer than, as most, 30 years, the first after that was bad, really bad...
“I understand if you want some solitude for a while, but please feel welcome back at any time!”

I get a relieved smile. “Oh, one night will be enough. I’ll be back sometime early afternoon with dinner makings.” He promises.
Then goes to dig out a second pair of shoes and some other stuff from his bag, apparently he’ll l be leaving it in the loft.

I think my smile is as relieved as his was. We part with smiles and a joke, but keeping a physical distance, both of us well aware this is just how things are sometimes.

It’s not until I’m leaving a couple of minutes later I notice that he left his coat! I feel calmer when I can’t find his sword anywhere, he must’ve had a second coat in the bag.

O ~ O ~ O ~ O ~ O

When I finally get to Joe’s he comes outside to meet me. I don’t think he has ever done that before.

“Is Richie ok?”  Damn! I should’ve come right away.  “Is ..Adam in trouble?” I ask suddenly wondering if I should have made ^sure^ the sword was not in his bag.
No, it’s to short for the sword it couldn’t have been, I will not go trough his things like that, and the sword wasn’t anywhere else in the loft either, I checked.

“Yes, no. Wait, Adam’s not with you?”  He gets in my way stopping me from going inside. “If you’d waited until I was finished before hanging up on me I would’ve told you Richie might not want to see you right now. He’s a little confused about Kirsten, give him a day or so, he’ll come around.”
He tries to explain, then asks me.
“Where’s Adam?”

“Why would he not want to see me?”  I’m confused, feeling like I missed something again.

Joe sighs.  “Because this morning Kristin was still the love of his life...”  Joe says slowly.  “He’ll get around, Mac. But maybe tonight’s not the right time to push it.”

I’m getting a little annoyed. “What’s the matter with you Joe? I’m not going to say I told you so or anything! I just wanted to make sure he’s ok, and Maria to. Maybe get a beer or something.”

Joe is surprised. “Well... you.. eh.” He stutters a little, not looking at me he says quietly.
“It’s just, you usually avoid people, at least mortals, when you’ve taken a Quickening.”

It takes a moment before I understand what he implies.
“I didn’t! M..”  I stop myself, we’re on the bloody parking lot.  “It was not ^me^, Joe! Can we get inside now?”

He blinks surprised.
“Not you? You mean…”  Then in one of those quick insights Joe gets. “Is he ok? It’s been a while.”

I’m torn between annoyance at the Watchers and relief that there’s no need to explain to Joe. He understands as much as a mortal possibly can.
He knows how I handle Quickenings. Probably more about how others handle them than I do the realization hits me.

“Yeah, he decided a hotel was a good idea tonight however.”

We move for the door and inside a Presence meet me, young, likely Richie. I look around, he’s behind the bar serving drinks. Our eyes meet briefly, he looks surprised but then focuses on the customers.
Joe has moved to the side for the elevator, I follow asking him about Richie with my eyes.

“He’s too young to learn handling grief with a bottle, I figured working was better for him. It’s not like alcoholism is rare in Immortals.”  Joe shrugs.
“So ’s Adam ok?”  He asks worried, then mutters unhappily.  “Damned! If I’d known that, I’d let him push the meeting to the evening, or at least as late as possible before we open.”
He turns to ask me. “D’you know what hotel he uses? What identity?”

I shake my head, amazed at Joe all over again. “Adam said FBI was after Kristin?”

Joe hesitates, then sighs and tell me. “JHA CFSP and Interpol, represents the European interests, FBI in cooperation with CIA the American, Egypt has a representative involved too.
Kristin didn’t leave Europe voluntarily, no one there would work with her anymore. Too many dead girls and ex lovers.”

I’m stunned, I knew she was a killer, but not like that!

I know what Interpol, FBI and CIA are, I guess the others are similar. Methos annoyance with me is suddenly much easier to understand, his decision to take things into his own hands to.

I definitely asked the wrong questions!