A Matter of Research
by Ashlyn Donnchaid

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story takes place about one month after Friends Are Worth It, although it is not necessary to have read that to read this one. In the series time frame, it takes place after The Messenger and before Comes A Horseman.

"Thanks, Joe. I'll get it back to you soon."

"No rush, Mac." The Watcher grinned at the immortal. "It's not something I use every day." He watched as MacLeod went down the front steps and across the walk to his car, got in and drove away. He shook his head as he continued to smile. Amazing, some of the things Mac needed help with, he mused, as he went back in his house and closed the door.

Methos had spent a leisurely morning. MacLeod had gotten up and gone off on some errand very early, so he had laid in bed lazily, relaxing and thinking. It had been a lovely month, living there with the Highlander, but he was starting to wonder if it wasn't time for him to get his own place. He didn't want to have MacLeod start to feel he was in the way. As he stretched and caressed the sheets he mused, on the other hand, this was pretty enjoyable, and certainly where he'd rather be. Maybe he'd wait a while to make that decision.

He'd finally gotten up and had some coffee, then decided it was time to shower. He'd been in the shower for a few minutes, long enough to have soap all over his face, when he felt the unmistakable presence of an immortal. Damn. Here he was, soaking wet, soap in his face, and his sword at the other end of the loft. He tried to figure who it could be. MacLeod wasn't due back for hours, Richie was still out of town, and that didn't leave any good choices.

MacLeod had entered the dojo, the book he'd borrowed from Joe tucked under his arm. As he rode the elevator up he felt the presence and smiled, glad that Methos hadn't gone out. He wanted to talk to him about a few things. As he stepped out of the elevator, he heard the sound of the shower, and an impish grin lit up his face. He decided he was going to do something he'd thought about a few times. He put the book on the low table in front of the couch, and walked on toward the bathroom, stripping off his tee shirt as he went. He dropped it on the bed, sat down and pulled off his shoes, then slid out of his jeans. He'd felt the ache in his groin since he realized Methos was home. As he contemplated his plan he felt himself grow harder.

Methos heard the bathroom door open and close. He'd been frantically trying to rinse the soap off his face and had only managed to get it into his eyes, effectively blinding himself. As he peered through the soap and tears, he saw a figure standing outside the shower, but he couldn't tell who it was.

"I've come for you, Old Man." He heard the raspy whisper of the other immortal and grinned. MacLeod really should learn to disguise his voice better than that. He decided to play along with the Highlander's game.

"Who are you? Can't we talk about this?" He moved to the back of the shower in a show of fear. The other man stepped into the shower, grabbing Methos and putting one arm around his neck. He struggled a little against the hold, then reached a hand behind him and closed it on MacLeod's erection. "Nice sword. What did you plan to do with it?"

Mac chuckled. "You knew." He pushed against Methos' hand, feeling the strong fingers around his aching flesh, and reached his own hand to grasp the other man's growing hardness. He turned them both back under the shower spray and let Methos finish rinsing the soap out of his eyes. He stood for a moment, letting the water play on their skin as they stroked each other, then reached his mouth to the other man's for a long kiss, his tongue darting and swirling as he tasted the combination of Methos and soap. He pulled his head back and smiled.

"You still taste of soap. That gives me an idea." MacLeod reached for the bottle of shampoo, poured some into his hand, then began to lather Methos' hair, massaging the other man's scalp with his strong fingers. His work was rewarded with a moan of pleasure. He grinned as he continued lathering the rest of Methos' body, massaging and scrubbing his arms, then across his chest where he paused to tease the man's nipples into tight nubs. His hands moved lower, spreading the lather across the flat stomach and around the narrow waist. Pulling Methos to him, he reached around him to soap his back, then let his hands drift to the firm buttocks. He pressed his erection against Methos and felt the answering shift from his lover.

As MacLeod moved his fingers into the crevice between the cheeks, he heard a warning growl from the older man and chuckled. "Don't worry. No soap up there." He held Methos against him, their cocks pressed together in a primal duel. His mouth again sought out Methos' and tongues parried and thrust in a pattern that matched the hands and hips below. He heard a moan of disappointment when he pulled his mouth away, but it was replaced with a sigh as he slid down the lean body, trailing a path of kisses until he reached his goal. He used his hands on Methos' hips to urge him to move under the shower. When he did, Mac stroked with his hands as the suds sheeted off him, then moved in to place gentle nips along the length of the throbbing shaft. He felt hands in his hair, asking for what he knew his partner wanted, and he gave it enthusiastically.

He took the head of Methos' cock in his mouth, swirling his tongue around it and probing the small opening. When the hands became more insistent, he started sucking as he took in more of the length, stroking the base with one hand as he massaged the balls with the other. He set a rhythm that kept Methos wanting more, pressing harder. Deep moans of pleasure made MacLeod's erection ache for attention of its own, and when he knew Methos was close to the edge, he gently pulled his mouth off the man's cock and stood up.

Reaching for the bath oil, he poured some in his hand and on his own cock, then used his slick hand to prepare his lover. He squeezed the firm buttocks, then moving his hand between the cheeks, caressed the puckered opening, and when the hips pressed back against his hand, he slid one finger in to lubricate and stimulate, then added a little more oil and another finger. A groan and the urgent motion against his hand let him know it was time. He positioned his aching shaft and pressed inward slowly, letting Methos push back to take him in at his own speed.

As Methos braced himself against the wall of the shower, MacLeod wrapped one arm around his partner to hold him close and with the other hand began stroking the other man's throbbing erection. Methos moved between the two pleasures, the cock inside him and the hand caressing him and as he did, MacLeod thrust his hips against the motion, adding to the intensity as they both moaned in response to the feeling. Mac laid his head on Methos' back and closed his eyes, letting the feel of the water combine with the firm grip of the muscle around him and the hard cock in his hand. He moved faster, and giving himself up to the pleasure, pumped his heat into Methos in long strokes. He continued massaging the throbbing shaft in his hand until he felt the other man reach his climax, squeezing hard until the last of the spasms had passed.

They were still for several moments as the shower washed over them and their breathing returned to a more normal rate. MacLeod kissed the shoulder and neck beneath him, then separated from the other man gently, turning him in his arms and kissing him deeply. Methos returned the kiss with an equal passion, then pulled back enough to speak.

"You think we should get out of here before we get too wrinkled?"

MacLeod grinned. "I think some parts are already wrinkled. Wait a second, though." He grabbed the bar of soap and quickly washed both of them, then rinsed and turned off the water. "This must be what they mean when they talk about good clean fun."

Methos chuckled at him. "You're certainly in a good mood this morning."

MacLeod pulled a towel off the rack and started drying Methos. "And why shouldn't I be? Good friends, great sex, what more is there?"

"Nothing, MacLeod. But I didn't know that you knew that." He grinned as he picked up a towel and started working on his lover. When he had finished, he handed Mac a robe and took one for himself. "Go make more coffee. I'm hungry." He swatted MacLeod on the butt to get him moving, and followed him out of the bathroom.

As MacLeod passed the couch he noticed the book he'd left on the table. Nonchalantly, he picked it up and took it to his book shelf, sliding it in among the volumes. He went on to the kitchen and started making the coffee.

Methos had not missed the maneuver with the book and on his way to the kitchen he detoured by the bookshelf where MacLeod had tried to hide the volume. He pulled the book in question off the shelf and brought it with him to the kitchen. MacLeod tried to intercept him and grabbed at the book in his hands. Methos was quicker, and with a swift sidestep and a hand on Mac's arm he managed to get them both on the couch, the book still in his possession. He turned the volume, looked at the cover and grinned.

"What's this?" he asked the Highlander, "you taken up research?" He opened the book to the title page. "Social Interaction in Ancient Greece and Rome ... isn't this a little deep for you?" Methos continued turning the pages until he got to the table of contents. "Oh, I see why you got this." He ran his finger down the list of chapters and stopped at one that looked interesting. "Sexual practices and oddities. Hmmm... Wonder what they consider odd. Why don't we take a look." He held the open book as he moved closer to MacLeod, sliding one arm behind him and leaning in to him so he was effectively reading over Mac's shoulder. With his free hand he turned the book to the chapter in question. "This looks very interesting. Where did you get this book?"

MacLeod felt the heat as his face flushed from the memory.

He'd called Dawson the night before, asking if he could stop by in the morning. He'd told Joe he needed his expertise on a matter. He hadn't said what the "matter" was, but Joe agreed without a question.

He'd arrived at Joe's house early and explained what he was looking for. The Watcher had laughed so hard that he had tears in his eyes.

He wiped his face and looked at MacLeod with a grin. "You need what?"

"I told you, Joe. I'm trying to find some sort of book that will tell me about ancient sex practices." He knew he was blushing, but there was nothing for it, he'd started the conversation, he might as well finish it.

"You could just ask Methos what you want to know." He grinned as the Highlander glared at him. "I know, I know. You want something you can surprise him with." He chuckled again. "Kind of tough having a lover with so much more experience, isn't it?"

"Come on, Joe. Can you help me or not?" MacLeod was not enjoying being the butt of the joke.

"You know, I think I can. Let me go look." He pushed himself out of his chair and went into the back of his house, returning after several minutes. "Thought I remembered that I had this." He handed a large book to MacLeod. "There's a few chapters in the back that may be what you're looking for."

MacLeod took the volume and opened it, leafing through to the part Joe had mentioned. "Looks great, Joe." He looked at the Watcher and felt his face redden even more. "You won't mention this to him, will you?"

Dawson shook his head and held up his hands in mock surrender. "Not me. Never say a word." He grinned as he thought of one thing. "Do you think this would count as interfering?" He laughed at MacLeod's increasing glare.

The Highlander stood up to leave. "Bye, Joe. I don't think I can take much more of your help right now."

It wasn't until he was driving home that he wondered what the Watcher was doing with a book like that in his collection.

"I borrowed it from Joe," he answered Methos.

Methos turned a couple of pages in the book, then pushed it into MacLeod's hands for him to hold. "It's your book, you turn the pages. I'll just look at the pictures. Don't go too fast, though, there might be something I don't know in there." He draped his chin on Mac's shoulder and looked on as the pages turned over, one by one. It was full of reproductions of old artifacts and line drawings to illustrate what the author was describing. "Stop there." He pointed to a photograph of a decorated vase. "See. We've done that. What else have they got?" Mac turned a few more pages. "Wait. See that? Never could understand why anyone did that."

As the pages were turned, he reached his free hand inside MacLeod's robe and began to caress the man's chest. "Hold it. Look at that one. Always liked that. Not much fun for the other guy, though." He turned his head and nibbled on MacLeod's ear. "So what made you go looking for a book like this?"

The Highlander dropped his head in embarrassment. "I figured there might be something you wouldn't have told me about. I wanted to surprise you."

Methos continued to nuzzle his neck and the hand inside the robe drifted down the chest, loosening the belt as he went. "It was a lovely thought, but as you can see, sex hasn't changed much over the centuries. There's only so many combinations of body parts that are any fun." His hand found MacLeod's cock, which was already responding to the combination of Methos' assault and the ideas in the book.

Mac closed the book and reached to put it on the table, and in the same motion, turned and trapped Methos under him on the couch. "I thought you said you were hungry." He grinned at the other man.

"I am, but food can wait." He pulled MacLeod's head down into a kiss, then whispered into the man's ear. "What did you have in mind?" His cock was throbbing in anticipation of whatever the Highlander had planned.

"I thought maybe we could try that one you said you always liked." He'd looked at the picture and it didn't seem too bad.

"I also said it wasn't much fun for the other guy. You sure?"

"I'm sure."

Methos pushed MacLeod off him. "Then we need the lube. I'll get it." He got up and went to the night stand where it was kept. His erection ached with the memory of ancient pleasures. He'd do his best to help MacLeod enjoy this at least a little. When he got back to the couch, he urged Mac to stand and stripped off the man's robe, then removed his own. He began fondling MacLeod's cock, but stopped hands that reached for him. "That's part of why this isn't as much fun for you. You have to be passive. Don't worry, you'll get a chance." He reached a hand behind Mac's neck and pulled him into a long kiss, noting with a little amusement when MacLeod started to reach for him again, then stopped himself.

As he moved against the Highlander, Methos guided him back until he was leaning against the wall. He pulled his mouth away for a moment. "Stay here." He reached for the lube and spread it on his erection. "Stand with your legs together." MacLeod did, and felt as Methos slid his shaft between Mac's thighs. He began a slow thrusting motion and moaned as he nuzzled and nibbled Mac's neck. After a few moments he stopped. "This isn't fair for you. Come on. It's better lying down." He led MacLeod to the bed. "You know, this is what the young boys used to do for the older men." He chuckled. "Appropriate, don't you think?"

When they got to the bed, he positioned Mac on his back, then lay down on top of him, his knees outside the other man's to keep his legs together. He slid his erection again between the muscular thighs and began moving slowly, savoring the sensation. He captured MacLeod's mouth with his own, searching the sweet depths with his tongue. He pulled back briefly to breathe and give one more instruction. "You can use your hands now." He returned to that sensual mouth once more and purred deep in his chest as he felt caresses start on his back and buttocks.

The rhythm of his thrusting increased, and the hands pulled hard on his rear. MacLeod's hard shaft was pressed between them, and Methos was sure the stimulus wouldn't be enough, but he'd worry about that later. Right now, all he could think about was how good this was and how long it had been since he'd had this sort of pleasure. He was losing himself in the sensation and he moved faster against the other man, his breathing now a combination of moans and gasps as he approached his climax. As the completion broke over him, he buried his face in MacLeod's shoulder and cried out with each spasm until he was drained. He let himself relax completely against the body beneath him, and smiled as the hands gently traced patterns on his back. MacLeod's erection was still hard between them, the man's hips pressing upward with his own need.

"Give me a minute. I'll help you with that." Methos slid off MacLeod to one side and reached down and wrapped his hand around the throbbing cock. He stroked it firmly as he placed a gentle kiss on MacLeod's lips. "Let me catch my breath." He laid his head on Mac's shoulder for a moment, breathing deeply as his hand continued its caress. "Now I'm ready." He reached up once more to kiss MacLeod, then started a trail of licks and nibbles down the man's neck, across his chest, around each nipple, down his belly, following the path of the dark hair until he reached his target.

Moans had followed his attentions to Mac's body, and as he took the head of the cock in his mouth, he heard a gasp. Gently, he let his teeth graze the sides of the shaft as he moved down over it, and again as he pulled back to the tip. He repeated the motion, using his teeth on the downward stroke, but this time, as he moved upward, he closed his lips around the cock and sucked hard. He set a rhythm for MacLeod that wouldn't let him last long, teeth and lips combining to drive him over the edge. Hands on his head and the hips thrusting upward let Methos know that his lover was fast approaching his climax. He took as much of Mac's cock in as he could, sucking hard as the man came, swallowing and sucking in combination until the body underneath him stopped moving. Slowly, he let the now softening member slip from his lips.

He slid up along MacLeod's body and settled himself in his lover's arms, his head on the strong shoulder. MacLeod pulled him up into a kiss, then relaxed as the complete contentment of the moment took over, and both men dozed off. Some time later, Methos woke up and caressed Mac's cheek with his fingers. When the Highlander opened his eyes, Methos smiled at him.

"I think I'm going to have to find a special way to thank Joe for loaning you that book."

The End
March 1997