A QUICKENING OF FRIENDS
by Maxine Mayer, 3/14/97
The dojo storey of Duncan MacLeods building, which accommodated his
quarters, is rank with the smell of sweat. Its close to midnight on a
evening. MacLeod and his Immortal friend and sometimes lover, Amanda,
notice. Each is intent on the others sword strokes, as they practice the
combinations of fight moves again and again.
"Half speed, half power," mutters MacLeod, and Amanda nods. Sixteen
sixteen strokes, advance, retreat, turn then turn again, first Mac the
with Amanda defending, then the reverse.
"Okay, okay, stop now," Mac shouts. "What are you doing?"
"What?" Amandas eyes widen, and she lets her sword arm fall.
"Youre not concentrating, Amanda," Mac shouts hoarsely, impatiently.
"I am, I am."
"No - youre not. How many times must I tell you - your upper body isnt
its a females weakness - youve got to compensate, by skill, by
"I do - I am."
"No, youre not!" MacLeod grabs her shoulders. "If you go up against a
man, the way you just came at me, hell take your wrists and force your
out of your hands, and you wont be able to stop him. Any man, Amanda -
not Methos, skinny like that, but no, Methos, too, hes got height.
Immortal with any upper body mass at all, and any training, will get your
away from you - Richie, me, Kalas - how many times have you had that
"Im tired, MacLeod." Amanda tosses her head. "And youve got a nerve!
lived twice as long as you - I must be doing something right!"
MacLeod grabs a towel and dries his sweaty hair. He sits on a bench along
wall, pushing Amanda away with his foot when she makes to join him.
She whacks his foot away, then sits on the floor in front of Duncan.
"How many men have you killed in a fair fight, Amanda?" he asks, with a
"Enough." She pouts. "Some." Then, "A few."
"Not drunk, not drugged, not tied up spread-eagled on a bed -"
"Amanda, those days, theyre gone." Reasonable. "The days when feminine
charm and wiles won you protection from men, or gallantry. Nobodys going
you live, now. Its the time of the Gathering. Youre one more obstacle
through. Chivalry is dead -" Mac stops speaking.
Swords at the ready, both Immortals are on their feet instantly,
the "buzz" of another Immortals approach. Its an old familiar "buzz,"
cackle of more centuries of living than any other Immortal had survived.
Simultaneously, relaxing, they tell each other, "Methos."
"Whats this I hear, MacLeod - chivalry is dead - this, from you?" He
a tall thin drink of water of a man, smiling his sunniest smile,
wrinkling his nose,
sniffing the air. "Disgusting odor in here," he says, giving Amanda a
lightly punching MacLeods upper arm. "Glad youve come around to my way
thinking, good buddy."
"I didnt mean it the way it sounded." Flustered, MacLeod turns and goes
freight elevator, beckoning the others to join him upstairs. "I was just
work a little with Amanda on her sword technique. Shes really good,
Better than youd think."
"MacLeod," Methos interrupts, "no decent Immortal would kill Amanda, and
anyone not decent, who would and could, she cannot stop, not with all the
you can teach her. Youll only give her a false sense of security. Her
elsewhere, as well she knows."
"You tell him, Methos," Amanda says, laughing. "And chivalry or no, Im
showering first. Im glad youre here. I was exhausted, and Duncan
when to call it a night. Bor-ing!" she adds, her voice ringing out in the
"Well have a drink at Joes, if you like," Methos calls after her back.
Amanda turns and nods, "Absolutely!"
"Whats up, Methos," MacLeod asks, eyeing the tuxedo his friend is
"Been to the opera?"
"You wish! No, Im going to a funeral."
Instantly serious and concerned, Duncan asks, "Whose? When?"
"Mine. Probably tomorrow." Methos drops onto the sofa, stretching out.
a beer, would you?"
"Thats not funny, Methos. Someones after you? Joe hasnt said
"He doesnt tell you everything, you know, MacLeod. And he doesnt know
"You look relaxed for a man expecting to die. What kind of joke is this,
"No joke. Edward Rasmussen, formerly known as Erasmus Minor, heard about
our little contretemps with the Horsemen this winter, and decided he
piece of the action."
Amanda comes in, already dressed in a slinky black dress, her hair
under the fluorescent kitchen light. She gets a beer and joins Methos on
arm, runs her fingers through his short dark hair, drinking her beer.
that mean - a piece of the action?"
"Dont fool around, Amanda," MacLeod advises. Amanda gets up quickly and
goes to stand near the window.
Lazily, Methos replies. "Rasmussen figures if he takes me as well as you,
get more old power, and young vigor, than hell ever find in one place
"And, better fighters. He must be a fool, to try for both of you."
"Not a fool, Amanda. And he wont be the last to try. Yes, were good.
But so is
he. Old as the hills. Quite calculating, too."
"Wait a minute," Amanda interjects, excited, "I think I remember him now
was a monk -"
"He managed to get away from Kalas with his head, even though Kalas had
advantage of surprise." Methos offered.
Duncan says, "But he didnt kill Kalas."
"No - Kalas scooted back to Holy Ground. Rasmussen didnt follow him."
"You know that -?" Mac asks, surprised.
"I wrote it up for the Watchers. It was a long time ago."
"Why didnt you go after Kalas back then?"
"What - and blow my cover?" Methos grins. "I havent survived this long
looking for trouble."
MacLeod sits and buries his head in his hands. Amanda and Methos exchange
"What?" Amanda asks.
"First Grayson, then Xavier, Kalas, Coltec - now this one, this
Rasmussen - all
"Not stronger than you, old sod," Methos chimes in, to comfort.
"Thats not the point," MacLeod replies bitterly.
Amandas voice rises as she speaks. "Duncan, youll take his head and
like it! I
dont give a damn how old he is!"
"What am I missing here?" Methos sings out.
"He doesnt like to kill you old ones - thinks its disrespectful."
"No," Duncan explains, "not disrespectful. Its like - vandalizing a
church, or a
museum - its destroying something valuable, and beautiful, thats lasted
- its - its killing our history."
"I dont like the sound of that, MacLeod. Im not a bit of history, and
Erasmus. Were alive. Now. And besides, you take all we are, when you get
Quickening - everything valuable -"
"I dont believe that," Duncan replies. "Who you are is more than your
power, and your memories. Who you are is - its you loving Alexa, and
her laugh, its you drinking a beer with Joe, or listening to
fun of opera. Who you are is a man who says candygram when he comes to
door. Not an ancient relic from before the time when men walked upright.
that cant be replaced - or received - in a Quickening. Death wont ever
"Bravo, MacLeod, and thanks. But Ive had my run, you know. In the end
can be Only One. It certainly wont be me. And it wont be Rasmussen or
Amanda here. Maybe itll be you, MacLeod, or Richie, or someone who
even achieved First Death yet. But its what we do - and we accept the
we fight to the death. Dont cry for me, Argentina!"
Amanda goes over to Methos and hugs him, then kisses his cheek. "God,
Methos, I love you! But you date yourself so, with those outlandish
"Yeah, I know." A dreamy look comes into Methos eyes. "I once told
felt as though Id left my heart in San Francisco. The worst thing about
it, is that
the man I said that to understood the reference!"
Curious, Duncan asks, "Who was it?"
Methos grins. "Kronos."
MacLeod makes a face. "Im taking a shower. You two stay here. Dont get
yourselves killed before we have a chance to talk with Joe. I want to
about this Erasmus, Rasmussen, whatever hes calling himself now. And not
what he did a thousand years ago."
Behind Joes Bar, in a private back room, the three Immortals, and
Watcher, Joe Dawson, stand in hostile silence.
"I dont believe this, Joe," Mac says, finally.
"Believe, Mac. Im a Watcher, not your personal spy. Theres no reason in
world for me to give you guys information on Edward Rasmussen. Hes in
Game, so are you three. Hes no danger to anybody outside the Game. Hes
Immortal. He doesnt kill Mortals. Ive no right to reveal anything about
the guy to
"Joe," Amanda says, "pretty please. We just want to know where he lives -
hangouts - nothing really personal."
"Why? So you can kill him before he even challenges you? On the strength
rumor? No soap, guys. Youre on your own."
"Lets go, kiddies." Methos turns and starts towards the door.
"Wait a minute. Youre telling me you wont help us. Why? How is this
"Its different, is all. Think about it, Mac. This mans done nothing to
to anyone. Hes a law abiding citizen. Hes just an old Immortal, living
bothering anybody. Let it play itself out, Mac. Its the way to go."
"Damn you, Joe."
"Im sorry, MacLeod. I call em like I see em. This one isnt even gray,
where Im standing."
The three Immortals look at each other. Amanda is the first to go,
Methos, and out the door. Duncan quickly follows her.
Before he leaves, Methos says, "Youre wrong, Joe. And youll be in this
your baby blues before its done."
"Maybe so. Im sorry. I really am. I just cant help you here."
"Gotcha. Take another look, then call me. You know Ill be with MacLeod.
wont talk to you, so ask for me."
"I wont be calling, Methos."
"Yes. Oh yes. You will."
The three Immortals walk along the river, back towards the dark
MacLeod calls home.
"So - what do we do now, fellas? Wait and see?" Amanda swings around in
of them, walking backwards.
"You said it. Or - we could get drunk someplace else. Joes is not the
joint in this town. Theres a really nifty jazz club over on -"
"Methos, how well did you know this Erasmus?"
"Nothing deflects you, MacLeod, does it? I knew him well enough, a
years ago. He wont be challenging one of us, not while the three of us
"Nobody would," Amanda retorts.
MacLeod shakes his head. "Thats not necessarily true. Most Immortals
their prey by reputation. None of us would take a mans head when hes
after a Quickening."
"Speak for yourself, Duncan," Amanda says, smiling wickedly.
"Yes, you would. But Methos wouldnt let you, and neither would I."
"That never stopped me before."
"It would, if both of us were there with you," Duncan replies, smiling.
know he isnt trusting."
"Thats right. Hell want to see for himself," Methos muses. "Look,
Erasmus has survived a minimum of two thousand years. Hes good, hes
and hes patient."
"And determined?" MacLeod asks, looking Methos in the eye.
"Well, we wont be together forever," Amanda quips. "He can wait."
MacLeod puts his arm around her, looks at Methos, and smiles. "But we can
stand each other for one more night at least. Lets go back to my place
Edward Rasmussen walks out of the shadows behind Joes Bar. Seen by the
light of a halogen street lamp, hes a lean, hard-bitten looking man. His
silvery white. Deep grooves line his long, handsome Scandinavian face.
attractive man. By all appearances, serious. Crafty.
He watches as several of the bars help leave, calling out their
their boss. He waits until the lights inside are off, and the neon sign
outside is off
as well. He waits with patience, absolutely still and silent, as Joe
locks the outer door of the bar, and turns awkwardly, transferring his
one hand to the other. He waits until Joe reaches his car. Then he
Joe turns in the direction of the voice, and sees Rasmussen. "Yeah,
How can I help you?"
"Ive been told youre a friend of Duncan MacLeod, the Highlander. More
that. That youre his Watcher."
"Jeez, aint there nobody left, who doesnt know that?" Joe replies, with
"I think there are many, who dont know. But I do know. My sources are -
reliable. Like yours."
"Who the hell are you?"
"My name is Edward Rasmussen."
"My God !"
"Yes, I imagine you were expecting me."
Joe smiles. "Actually, I wasnt. Actually, Ive got more egg on my face
than I care to admit. You gonna kill me, now - to get MacLeods
"Thats not my plan. Or youd be dead right now. I was hoping our
would be less hostile than that. I want you to give MacLeod a message.
and his friend, Methos. Its a short message. Would you do that for me?"
Rasmussens voice is calm, quiet, nearly hypnotic. Intense. But relaxed,
"Youre a strange one, Rasmussen. But then, you old ones always are."
"Yes, we are. It comes with the territory. Cant be helped."
"What the hell - whats your message - a meet?"
"Yes. A meet, with both of them. Holy Ground. St. Johns By-The-Sea.
cemetery will do fine."
"Let me guess - by Haresh Clay and Carter Wellans graves."
"That doesnt matter."
"No, of course not. Youll sense each other coming."
"Mr. Dawson, I wont fence with you. Those men experienced something rare
and wondrous, recently. A special kind of Quickening. Simultaneous, and
extremely powerful. From two very old Immortals."
"You dont understand. Let me explain. They shared their Quickenings.
didnt simply happen at the same moment. It was - exchanged, shared. They
- one person - now."
"Couldve fooled me."
"Apparently, they have."
"If they did become one person, neither Mac nor Methos knows it. I
"Perhaps. Yes. Perhaps I am. Ill find that out. My message - you will
pass it to
"Tomorrow night good for you?"
"Very good, Mr. Dawson. I thank you."
"No, I thank you, Rasmussen. Youve vindicated me."
"I told them to let it play itself out."
"I see. They wanted you to break your vow, reveal my whereabouts, my
perhaps. That is unworthy on their part."
"Not really. They just got a little overexcited, they havent recuperated
yet, from - things."
"Months have passed," Rasmussen muses, "but theyve not recuperated yet?
yes, a very special Quickening, I think."
"Whyd I tell you that?" Dawson asks, almost to himself. "I cant believe
"Dont concern yourself, Mr. Dawson. I shant use it against them. Nor
expose what weve said here to your friends. As to why youve told me all
have - its quite simple, really. I am a very old Immortal, and you are a
special Watcher. Youd give your life for any one of us whos worth his
"Yeah - whatever."
"Goodnight, Joe Dawson. And thank you."
"That was Joe," Methos says, hanging up the phone.
"What does he want?"
"MacLeod, you know you cant stay angry with Joe, so why do you bother
You cant want to hurt him."
"Its not your business, Methos, my friendship with Joe."
"Hes my friend, too. I dont like seeing you hurt him -"
"Boys, boys - no fighting. Methos, whats the message. What did Joe say?"
"Hes on his way over."
"No. I dont want to see him," Duncan says quickly.
"Oh yes you do. He just had a face-to-face with our friend Erasmus -
Rasmussen. In the parking lot behind his bar."
"Is Joe hurt?" MacLeods about-face is so immediate, and so predictable,
Amanda and Methos burst out laughing.
"This isnt funny, you two. I take it, Joes not hurt."
"Yes, it is funny, MacLeod. If you could see your face."
Amanda adds, "Duncan, theres nobody quite like you! Youd make me laugh
while somebody shovelled dirt on my grave!"
"Which God forbid!" says Methos.
The elevator up to the loft rises, and Joe Dawson struggles to open the
when it stops.
"Sorry, Mac. I know youre angry. But youll want to hear this."
"Im not angry, Joe. Not any more. What did Rasmussen want?"
Joe sighs. "A meet, what else? Tomorrow night, Clays graveyard."
"Whats he like, Joe?" Duncan asks.
"Its not really a question of what hes like, Mac. Its how much he
he believes - about the two of you." Joe points his cane at Duncan, then
"He knows youre a Watcher, my Watcher."
"Thats the least of it. Im getting used to every Tom, Dick and Harry
that." Joe chuckles. "We used to be a secret society. Now, we might as
have put an ad out on the Internet."
"Things are tough all over, Dawson," Methos cuts in. "Tell us about
havent seen him in a thousand years."
"Hes - quiet. His voice - its like he hypnotizes you. Hes skinny, like
leans a better word. Hes like a vampire. Bloodless, intense."
Amanda says, "Sounds scary. Lighten up, Joe. Hes like any of us. Hes
"Yeah, Amanda - just which guy?" Duncan responds angrily. "A guy like
"Below the belt, MacLeod -" Amanda responds.
"- Or like Kalas, or like Kronos. Or maybe, just maybe, hes like a
Watcher guy, I know, like Methos here!"
MacLeod is growing angrier by the minute.
"Hey, Mac, thats not why I came over - to discuss this fellows
"So, why did you come, Joe?"
Joe sighs. "Can I get a drink, somebody?" Hes hesitating. The Immortals
Methos says, "Uh oh."
"Yeah, sure, you can have a drink." MacLeod pours a Scotch for his
Joe downs it in one gulp. "Thats good stuff, Mac."
"Thanks. Now - whatd he say?"
"Imaginative, Ill give him that," Methos says, grinning. "One person,
- has a
nice ring to it, dont you think?"
Mac asks, "You dont believe thats what happened, do you?"
"What, that you two guys shared the Quickening? That you each got the
both of those guys you killed?" Amanda asks.
"Not that," Duncan answers. "That we were open to each other, too, during
Quickening. Got each others - guts - along with the rest."
"Fellas," Joe interrupts, "get real, here. The guys a crackpot. Have you
experienced the slightest thing to make you believe youve become one
person?" Joe looks at each of them. "Any evidence at all?"
The two male Immortals look at each other intently. Their silence fills
"The same taste in beer, maybe?" No response.
Amanda, puzzled, says, "What is it, guys? Duncan?" She turns to Methos.
"Methos? Say something."
Slowly, Duncan nods his head, and Methos speaks. "Its nothing absolute.
not. Just - dreams."
"You mean, some kind of nightmares you two are both having?" Joe asks.
One word at a time, Methos croaks out, "Not that sort of dream."
"What sort, then?" Joe is skeptical.
"The hope kind. Like in, all my hopes and dreams. Like in, wanting
things. Like in, stepping on each others words, finishing each others
Knowing, before we speak, what each of us is going to say."
"And thats your evidence? How long has this crap been going on?" Joe is
"You mean, without us letting the Watchers in on it, Joe?" Duncan
not your business to know us intimately. Its an accident. Not meant to
Watchers watch, you observe, record. If you can get close enough to one
even listen. But no Watcher is expected to read our minds, Dawson. You
watch all the time. Youre not voyeurs. And youre not meant to be our
"Or our psychiatrists," Methos adds.
Joe turns and walks towards the window. "Well, isnt this just great.
dandy. This son of a bitch is after the two of you - my friends, I dont
you say - for the Double Quickening. And I laughed at him, laughed at his
theory. And now, I find out the S.O.B. is right!"
"It doesnt matter, Joe," MacLeod says. "His theory doesnt matter,
not gonna take our heads."
"Not any day soon," Methos follows up quickly, as though hes reading
Amanda looks at Dawson. "Theyre not going to keep the meet. Theyre
"Youre kidding!" Joes incredulous. "MacLeod, you havent run from
years. Methos, maybe -"
"No. Both of us. Were outta here," MacLeod says tightly. He and Methos
one, grab their coats and swords, and leave by the back staircase.
Amanda and Joe stand rooted to their places, looking at each other, as
theyd been struck by a bolt of lightning.
"Did I just see what I think I saw?" Joe quips, finally.
"We both saw it. I just dont believe it," Amanda answers. "They just
want us out
of the way, safe. And Im gonna prove it. Before Im done, Im gonna
And get that sonofabitch Erasmus, too. You believe that, Joe. Believe."
"I do, Amanda, I surely do."
The two Immortals reach the cemetery within the hour. Methos parks
atop Carter Wellans headstone, while MacLeod sits on the ground and
Haresh Clays epitaph. "Even thats a lie, false date of birth, false
Everything - lies."
"So, MacLeod, those were dark days for Richie, were they?"
"Fallout from my Dark Quickening, Methos." MacLeod looks straight at his
companion. "Clays death made it right between us, Richie and me, but Im
it had to happen the way it did."
"You didnt mention Clay as one of your old Immortals, those worth
was about Amandas age, as I recall."
"Give or take, yes, he was. But thats not why I didnt speak of him. He
- and one
other - they were unusual men. Brave. Honorable, in their way. Their
were - bad. I regret them. I always will. But I treasure something noble,
something fine, I got from each of them, in the Quickenings."
"Ah, yes - about Quickenings - what do you make of that last insanity?"
studies his fingers as he speaks.
"Methos, something did happen. That never happened before - at least, not
me. You know it did. Something different."
"You think so?"
"Why, dont you?"
"MacLeod, Ive lived five thousand years, give or take. Nothing as awful
moment - nothing as frightening or glorious - ever happened to me before.
your soul, and it confirmed me in my path." Methos gazes up at Duncan.
you? Was it - dreadful - for you?"
"It was incredible, Methos, my friend - and you know it. Absolutely
Im still in shock."
"Are you?" Nonchalantly, Methos asks, "Might I know why?"
Duncan turns away, stares out at the sea. Finally, he looks at the older
"Methos - youve got - I felt - it was - oh, all the memories, the
deaths, the blood - that was all there. And your age, your pain, the
deep sadness. It felt like I was riding the current of a very deep river.
But - there
was something else, something Ill never forgive you for keeping from me,
"Ah - the unforgivable. Back to that, again. Im sorry, MacLeod - I
didnt plan it
that way. For us to - share - that way. Truly not."
"You dont understand, Methos. What you gave me, what I found - was
innocence, your innocence! The soul of a child. Clean as snow. Fresh -
spring flowers. How could you hide that from me, from all of us, tell us
"That might have been Silas -"
"It wasnt Silas, Methos - it was you - you - as distinctive as a
"Youre right. Silas was slow-witted, not innocent. Youve found me out
MacLeod. Im really a ten year old with a high I.Q."
"Dont belittle yourself, Methos," Duncan says earnestly. "Its a
achievement, to retain your innocence after what youve seen, what youve
"What Ive been, what Ive done?" Methos mocks. "What you cant forgive?"
"Dont knock it - Richies not as clean inside as youve managed to keep
"Not keep, MacLeod - restore. Take back. Wash in the Blood of the Lamb.
"Whatever, Methos, whatever you want to call it. Its worth saving, worth
knowing, worth having. Youre worth saving."
"So, youve found me out at last. Not just a guy, much worse, a child -
always said I had no words of wisdom for you."
"Innocence after fifty centuries! How much wiser do you want to be,
the end, there can be Only One -"
"In the end, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod," Methos says, standing
"there can be only love. Yes. My first insight, and the one I remember
see. It shouldnt surprise you. Its what I discovered in your heart,
"That man, that Rasmussen - he mustnt get your head, Methos. Ill die
let that happen."
"My heads worth nothing, MacLeod - you are the One whos too important
"I dont want to kill this man. I dont ever want to kill at all,"
MacLeod says, tears
in his eyes. "Ever again."
"Not up to you. Up to him. Youll find, I think, good reason to kill
you get to know him."
"Joe says hes harmless. Quiet."
"Youre forgetting - thats what Joe said, before he met Rasmussen. Now,
dropped an uglier word. Vampire. Not exactly a term Id use, if I wanted
describe somebody harmless."
"There is that," MacLeod agrees.
"Come on, MacLeod. Lets get some sleep. Weve got a big night ahead. We
cant go back to your place. Gotta keep Amanda and Joe out of this."
"Where, then?" Duncan asks wearily.
"Ive got a hidey hole down by the docks. Dont look so surprised - just
say Ive no place to stay, thats no cause for you to believe it. My
elegant, but it is mine own."
Duncan gets up. "Why do I feel so horrible, Methos?"
"Like therere ghosts walking on your grave?"
"Yeah. No. Worse."
"Haresh Clay wants his fight, to the death. Its what he did. Hes there,
along with all the others. They take their toll, the Warriors, MacLeod,
"If they wont let me rest, what should I do?"
"Ah, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, what should you do? Drink in the
heady brew of spring and innocence you say you got from me! Trust it!
you out like a light, my friend!" Methos smiles, and wanders towards the
Duncan follows, answering with a laugh, "You trying to tell me your
Methos, that itll put me to sleep?"
"If the shoe fits -"
"Yeah, Im wearing it, been wearing it for months."
When they get to Methos loft, MacLeod marvels. Its huge, painted white,
Paris apartment was. Hed set up only a small portion of it, with
which caught ones eye first, and a kitchenette, a computer work station,
Army cots, situated about ten feet from each other.
"That ones yours," Methos tells Duncan.
The sheets are silk, the quilts high-piled and soft. Several pillows are
atop the blankets. But the bed is an Army cot, however disguised.
"Im beat," Methos says. "Theres beer in the fridge, if you want it.
in that cabinet there, over the sink. Im turning in - dont wake me
"Yes, sleep, friend."
But when Methos wakes at dawn, suddenly, shivering and frightened, from a
nightmare, Duncan isnt sleeping. Hes sitting in lotus position on top
of his cot,
watching Methos. Immediately, he goes to Methos side, sits on his cot,
hand strongly with both his own. "Its all right now, its just a
"Im freezing, MacLeod, Im freezing," Methos repeats again and again.
"Aye, I know." Duncan fetches another quilt from his cot, and wraps it
Methos. "Try to rest, Methos. Youll need your wits about you, tonight."
"Its the nightmare again," Methos replies through clenched teeth. "I see
face, Kronos - and Cassandra, as she was long ago."
"You did what you had to do, Methos. We both know that."
"You forgive me, then?"
"Theres nothing to forgive. I know that now."
Steam hisses gently from the radiators. The loft is warm and cozy.
takes off his jacket, then sits down again, at the foot of Methos cot.
"Dont leave me, MacLeod. Im so cold."
"I wont leave you. I promise. Rest now."
"Dont leave," Methos mutters, drifting back to sleep.
"I wont leave you. I wont leave you. Not in ten centuries. Not in a
Were in this together now, my friend. Together."
Night falls. Methos and MacLeod return to the cemetery, St. Johns
They stop and glance around, feeling for the source of the "buzz,"
"Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. Edward Rasmussen at your service."
"We dont have to do this, Rasmussen. Theres no reason. Walk away."
"MacLeod, we must," Rasmussen replies simply. "This happened once before,
me, I had a friend. We shared a Quickening. Became like brothers. Hes
now, but I still remember the feeling, the power, the glory of that
Quickening, the knowing of my friends soul. Id risk anything, to savors
moment once again."
"Youre not gonna savor anything, Rasmussen. Youre just gonna lose your
head. Give it up. Walk away. I dont want to kill you."
"Methos," Rasmussen calls out.
Methos emerges from a darkness behind a tomb. "Greetings, old friend. You
dont have to worry - I wont take your head while youre down. Ive
conscience in my old age."
"You mean, youve received one, from the Highlander."
"You said it." Methos smiles. "How about, we start with you and me, then.
trust MacLeod to do things right, dont you?"
"Ill start with him. Hes worth my while, alone. I dont need your old
Methos. MacLeod, first."
"Come and get it, then," Duncan replies, walking rapidly off Holy Ground.
other two Immortals follow.
Turning and saluting each other, Rasmussen and MacLeod begin their fight.
swords clank loudly in the silent night, sending fiery charges flying
sky. From a distance, Methos watches anxiously as the minutes pass,
that Rasmussen is stronger than he looks. Duncans hair escapes its
sweat is tangy in the wind. He charges, lunges, retreats, circles. Cannot
finish Rasmussen. The man is strong.
At last, Rasmussen trips, tumbles down a small hillock, is hidden behind
gravestone. Duncan cautiously approaches the spot where hes last seen
other Immortal. Steps round the area in ever decreasing circles, trying
Suddenly, the skys alight; explosion upon explosion burst in the night,
air with thunder, fireworks, enormous surges of power and light. Duncan
Methos both turn away from the Quickening - which someone else has taken.
At the same moment, Duncan and MacLeod say, "Amanda," as the sparks die
out, and the night is quiet once more.
The two Immortals rush to the spot where Amanda kneels, exhausted.
Joe Dawson makes his way to join his friends.
"She told me shed make him pay. She stole his Quickening, MacLeod. He
on a rock, was out like a light, for an instant. She seized the moment. I
would have believed it!"
"She was always a thief, Dawson," MacLeod replies. "Always. This isnt
time shes stolen a Quickening."
"Wont be the last, either, I think," Methos adds.
Duncan looks down at Amanda, and lifts her into his arms. "You little
youve stolen what was mine, Amanda."
"Id do it again, MacLeod, if I got the chance. He was one powerful
Worth a little petty larceny. Worth your disapproval."
Joe says, "I dont know about you guys, but I need a drink. How about you
me in your car, MacLeod, and Ill open the bar early."
"You go ahead, Dawson, weve got some cleaning up to do. Meet you later."
"You clean up, MacLeod," Methos puts in. "Ill take Amanda to the car,
"You said it!"
MacLeod stands alone on the hillside looking down at the dead body of
Rasmussen. "How long did you live, to come to this, in the end. For
no reason. How long? Why?" He hoists the body on his back, grabs up the
and walks heavily down to the river. He wades out as far as he can go,
water reaches nearly to his neck. Then he dumps the body into the river
turns back to shore.
When he stands at the shoreline he turns and stares back out at the sea.
are tears in his eyes. Finally, hes ready to leave, to join his friends.
a few words before he walks back to his car. An epitaph for an old
different than the words hes said for others. There arent any better
that Duncan can think of. "Rest in peace, Erasmus Minor. Rest in peace."
- Methos/Adam Pierson,
Child of These Times
Back to Main Page