When Duncan agreed to help Methos clear out one of his many storage units he had assumed there would be some furniture and some boxes and some odds and ends and a whole lot of books and he was not disappointed. The first day they worked on it he unearthed two bookcases still full.
"How did you get these in here like this?" he asked Methos, who was struggling with a roll-top desk on the other side of the unit.
"You know, I can't for the life of me remember," Methos said, looking over. He finally got the desk unlocked and rolled the top up to reveal two swords in their sheaths. "Damn. These have been in here for at least twenty years."
"Might still be salvageable," Duncan said as he poked through the books on the shelves. Behind him he heard the sound of steel being drawn and had to suppress the instinct to reach for his own blade. Which, he realized, was in his coat. And his coat was draped over a couch near the front of the unit. "So, remind me why you need to clean this place out?"
Methos re-sheathed the sword and tried the other. "The place changed owners and the new ones have a shady reputation. I'd rather not lose anything to antique dealers, no offense."
"And this is all going in that house you bought?" He still couldn't believe Methos had bought a house. It seemed unreal. Methos had never owned a home that Duncan could recall. He had rented and leased and couch surfed.
"It is indeed. It's a big house," Methos assured him. "There's some stuff already there, but not much. There's plenty of room."
Duncan shook his head and went to get some empty boxes to load the books into. Methos grabbed two of them from him as he packed and tucked them into the pocket of his coat.
It was hours later when Methos and Duncan loaded the last few boxes that would fit into the truck Methos had rented. The unit was still about half full as they locked it up and drove away.
"Are we going to the house?" Duncan asked.
Methos shook his head. "Not yet. It's got no beds. We'll go tomorrow morning to move stuff into it. I got us a hotel tonight."
At the hotel there were two rooms reserved, next door to each other but not connected. Methos had brought in two books from the bookcases they'd packed up and Duncan almost asked him about them, then didn't in the end. Methos hadn't seemed all that interested in sharing and Duncan had learned well not to press Methos on some things. Knowing which things to press and which to leave was a matter of trial and error and instinct and his instinct now said to let those books go.
Early the next morning Methos was up and knocking on Duncan's door.
"MacLeod! Come on, rise and shine! You're supposed to be the morning person in this friendship!"
Duncan had been awake for an hour already and was showered and dressed. He had assumed Methos would sleep in, but now it occurred to him that perhaps Methos' sleeping habits were more out of necessity than preference.
Together they took the truck out to a town nearby and up a hill to a house that looked like it needed a lot of repairs. But as they went up the drive, drawing closer, Duncan could see a good house under the peeling paint and shabby bushes out front.
Methos stopped the truck in the drive in front of the house and got out.
"What do you think?" he asked Duncan.
"Needs work," Duncan said, taking stock of it all.
"Of course it does," Methos said as he walked around the truck and opened it up. "And you're going to help me with that. You need a project."
"I do?" Duncan asked, joining Methos to help him start unloading the first of the boxes. Not that Methos was wrong. He knew that full well and he'd already agreed, after all.
Methos leveled a look at him and laughed. "Of course. And you owe me after you made me help you paint that place you gave your doctor friend. Come on in."
The interior of the house was better than the outside at least. It looked like it had been cleaned recently and painted. There was some furniture and it looked new but it wasn't, well, Methos. Duncan looked at one particularly ugly couch and frowned. Methos walked up next to him and looked at the couch too. It was beige. And covered in velour. Sort of. There were bare patches where the plush part had been worn away and it looked like a dog had chewed on one of the legs. Someone had sewn a big purple flower patch over what was obviously a hole in the back.
"Isn't it hideous?" he asked. "I bought it from some guy online for twenty bucks. It's horrible. I think I might burn it."
"We can do that once you have everything else moved in," Duncan said. "We'll have a bonfire."
Methos turned to look at him, silent for a few long moments. Finally he smiled and nodded. "Yeah. Let's do that."
It took three days to get everything packed up at the storage unit and then moved into the house. Even that was a push and through it all Methos and Duncan stayed at the same hotel, one room apart. Duncan thought he heard Methos moving around late on the last night, but wasn't sure if company would be welcome.
Once everything was in and mostly arranged, though not entirely unpacked from the boxes, Methos flopped down onto the beige couch and heaved a great big gusty sigh.
"I think I could live a good decade or so in this house," he said. "I bought it from an old friend about forty years back. Had some renters for a while, then a caretaker. I figured I might as well get some use out of it myself."
Duncan sat down next to him. "Yeah? You think you'll live here full time?"
Methos nodded and propped his feet on Duncan's legs. "I think I will. Come on, let's heave this monstrosity off the back porch and put it out of its misery."
There was another couch from the storage unit and it was definitely more Methos' style Ð low and soft and upholstered in a deep green suede. They'd already put it where Methos wanted and Duncan had considered just falling asleep on it.
"You'll stay, right?" Methos asked as they moved the beige couch. "If you're going to help me fix it up, you'll need to stay for a while."
Duncan nodded. They'd gotten the couch to the back porch and Methos seemed intent on actually tossing it into the back yard, which was rather huge. Together they hefted it up over the railing and on the count of three over it went, landing with a thud and a crunch and several sprung springs.
They did not light it on fire that night. Instead, Methos made canned soup and sandwiches and promised a full trip to the grocery store the next day. Duncan found him later in what seemed to be the master bedroom. He was seated at the roll-top desk, writing in one of the books he'd grabbed in the storage unit. He didn't shoo Duncan away when Duncan stopped in the doorway and he didn't tell him to go when Duncan walked into the room.
"What's in it?" Duncan asked, stopping a few feet away.
Methos held the book up and in it Duncan could see new writing in English. The handwriting was the same as another entry on the facing page. "It's a record I keep of everywhere I've settled down, what it was like, who I lived with, if anyone. It's a good thing to remember and I'd forgotten them for years. I've been trying to bring them up to date. And you know whose name keeps cropping up?"
Duncan stepped closer and Methos looked up at him.
"Duncan MacLeod. Apparently where I call home is where you are."
Duncan nodded. "And is this home?"
"Is this where you are?"
Duncan reached out and took the book from Methos, then leaned down and kissed him, drawing him up out of his seat and in close to press their whole bodies together. This wasn't trial or error, it was just instinct. Methos's arms around him, his mouth on Duncan's, told him the instinct was right.
When they parted Methos looked at him expectantly. "Well?"
Duncan had to laugh. "Methos, there's only one bedroom with a bed. Of course this is where I am."