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Secret Virtues (the Blackmail and Bars Remix)

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Some time in the future.

“So what name are you using these days?” Amanda’s hands are tight on her glass, Methos sprawled on the bench but alert as always.

“Circe,” Amanda says. “It’s funny, I remember when that was a name straight out of mythology.”

“I remember meeting her,” Methos says. “Bygones are bygones, Circe.”

“And you?” Amanda asks.

“It’s back to Adam again.”

“You never could resist the pun.” Amanda’s amusement is genuine this time, and he smiles with her. She sobers and sighs, looking down at her now empty glass.

“Duncan wanted me -” she begins, and Methos shakes his head and touches her hand lightly.

“Let’s just have a quiet conversation and then go our ways,” he says. “I’ve no interest in hearing what the boy scout has to say for himself.”

“He really does miss you,” Amanda says quietly, and then raises her hand for another glass.

“Yes, well,” Methos says. “How has the Persephone been treating you?”

“The crew’s lovely, but I could ask for larger quarters,” she says. “Still, the voyage has given me an excellent opportunity to scope out the security around the Governor of New Perth’s emeralds. They’re the catch of the century.” She pauses and laughs. “Quite literally.”

“Please don’t mention that to me. I’m a cop, I can’t know things like that.”

“You know, I’d swear I remember a story about a certain Immortal who stole the fabled diamonds of - “

“How do you even know that story?” Methos demands, indignant, and she grins and toasts him.

“I remain the person with the largest collection of embarrassing Methos stories,” she says. “And proud of it, too. For instance, do you remember that one time in Turkey with the pheasant and the hawk and the watermelon?”

“Who told you about that? Nobody even knew!”

“I have my ways,” Amanda says. “If I don’t tell anyone, will you promise not to interfere with my thievery?”

“Gods, yes,” Methos says fervently. “You can never tell anyone that story, understand?”

“Deal,” Amanda says.


150 years later, a similar place.

“Fancy running into you here,” Amanda says, and her smile is wide and bright. Her hair is long now, bright fire engine red, and the dress she’s in is turning everyone’s head. Methos half regrets having caught her eye - this much attention is something he’s never been comfortable with, but that’s just a result of knowing Amanda.

“You look lovely,” Methos says. “And your escort is glaring at me.”

“He tends to do that when he thinks people are getting in on his territory,” she says, but doesn’t seem too concerned. The next moment she’s stealing his glass, and Methos sighs and raises his hand to order another.

“Must you?” he says, and she shrugs and throws back her head, her pose deliberately accentuating every curve in her body.

“I demand a dance later,” she says. “A tango would be preferable, but I’ll settle for a waltz if I can’t fit you in for a tango.”

“Amanda, you know I prefer to avoid attention. Dancing with you - looking like that - would hardly be avoiding attention.”

“A waltz it is,” she says blithely.

“Amanda,” he says.

“Methos,” she parrots back. “Do you really want me telling Duncan about Dysa’s most fascinating marriage? Because I will.”

“You wouldn’t,” he says halfheartedly, but the battle’s already lost and they both know it.

“Fabulous, darling,” she says, and leans down to air kiss his cheeks before swanning back off to her escort. He glares back at Methos, and glares again as they dance a perfect waltz. Amanda is as graceful and flamboyant as ever, and Methos’ restrained guidance shows her off admirably. It’s exactly the sort of attention he could do without right now, but it’s Amanda and blackmail.

He’s more okay with it than he lets on.


80 years later. Duncan’s place.

“No, really,” Amanda says, laughing, and Methos can’t hold back his grin.

“Duncan?” he says, and the Scots blushes and mutters something about how he holds his drink just fine and something even lower about feathers that Methos can’t quite make out.

“This is fantastic,” he says. “I never would have believed it of you. Amanda, how’d you even hear about that?”

“I know everything, haven’t you heard, Methos?” she says. “For instance, I could tell Duncan a story about, say, Florida beaches and stranded turtles and a - “

“I’m sure Duncan has no interest in turtles whatsoever,” Methos interrupts hastily. “I doubt he even knows what a turtle is.”

“I’m not illiterate, Methos,” Duncan grumbles, but there’s no heat in it. He’s long since learned to live with Methos’ jibes at his lack of interest in travel. “But what do stranded turtles have to do with - Amanda, do you have dirt on Methos?”

“Do I have dirt on - “ Amanda pauses and shakes her head. “Duncan, is the sky blue? Grass green? Does the earth revolve around the sun? Please. I have garbage mounds on Methos.”

“I always knew this day would come,” Methos says, head in his hands. “What do you want, Amanda?”

“Nothing,” she says cheerfully. “Just a chance to enlighten Duncan on some of your less serious sides. Like, for instance, that one time with the three village maidens and the bandits.”

“Oh please, not that one,” Methos says. “Please pick something else.”

“With pleasure,” Amanda says, and he remembers too late all the other stories she has on him.

“I was being entirely facetious, you don’t have to tell him any stories,” Methos covers hastily. “There really isn’t anything of interest. I’ve always been a stodgy, rather boring person. It’s how I survived, remember?”

“Tell, Amanda,” Duncan demands, leaning forwards, and his eyes are dancing with mischief and oh god, there is no way he is going to get out of this, no way.

“Okay,” Amanda begins, settling back into her seat gleefully, the champagne bottle nestled in her arms. “Let’s see. Aha. Back in French Canada about 1750, Methos was posing as a trapper named Piers-Paul Matthieu...”