|The Cookie Story
Joe Dawson's hands halted on his guitar strings, and he looked up. The speaker was a young man, obviously trying to look older. With him was a woman who appeared to be about the same age. Her faded jeans and Henley were a marked contrast to his blue suit.
"What can I do for you?"
"My name is Kevin Dakin. This is Jane Richards." He held up his wrist, exposing a circular tattoo. "We were hoping you could help us."
"That depends on what you need." He put the guitar carefully down and picked up his cane. It was late afternoon, and the bar was empty. Still, some conversations should only take place behind closed doors. "Let's take this into my office."
The new arrivals took the chairs opposite Joe's desk, and he perched on the corner of it. "What kind of help are you looking for?"
"Information." Jane leaned forward and rested her elbows on her knees. "I'm in research. After the incident in Bordeaux I was assigned to try and figure out what the connection was between Cassandra, Koren, Caspari, and Silas." She glanced at her companion. "So far I haven't been able to find anything. But there was someone else there. We suspect he's an Immie, and we're hoping you might be able to help us find him."
"I'd like to help you, but I wasn't in Bordeaux; MacLeod was watched by people already in Europe."
Jane looked at her companion.
Kevin spoke up. "I'm an archivist. I do cross-referencing, cataloging, and indexing. I kept finding references to an unknown Immortal. Steven Keane's Watcher, Cassandra's Watcher, Kristin's Watcher, all reported seeing an unknown Immortal, tall with short, dark hair."
"That man was in Bordeaux," Jane added.
"Like I said, I wasn't."
"Whenever anyone sees this guy, MacLeod is always nearby. You're MacLeod's Watcher," Kevin said.
"Any idea who he is, Mr. Dawson?" Jane asked.
Joe frowned. "MacLeod knows a lot of people. Tall, dark hair, that's pretty non-descript."
"He also has a large nose."
Joe coughed. Leave it to the old man to have a distinguishing feature. "Like I said, non-descript."
"Hey, Joe, you here?"
A distinguishing feature, and great timing. "In the office."
Methos opened the door and stuck his head inside. "I don't mean to interrupt. I can come back later."
"Come on in."
Methos stepped into the room, one arm crossing in front of his body as he took hold of the opposite elbow.
"Adam, this is Kevin Dakin, and Jane Richards." Joe gestured in Methos' direction. "This is Adam Pierson.
Methos extended a hand to each in turn, making note of the tattoo.
"Adam used to be one of us, but he left for the hallowed halls of academia."
"Really? What did you do?" Jane asked.
"I was in research."
"That's a coincidence. So am I. What did you work on?"
"The Methos project."
"That must have been interesting," Kevin said.
"Not really. I spent a great deal of time in dusty archives, translating old documents that no one cared about when they were written."
"Still, Methos," Kevin said.
"Do you think he really exists?" Jane asked.
"I think he did."
"You don't think he does now?" she persisted.
"I think five thousand years is an awful long time to survive the game."
"Cassandra's survived three thousand," Jane pointed out.
"Yes, but Cassandra appears to have other abilities besides her sword."
"What about Kronos?" Jane asked.
"Kronos?" Methos echoed.
"Who was he?"
"An old Immortal. An enemy of Cassandra's."
"Mac killed him," Joe said.
"Did he? I'll have to ask him about it."
"You're friends with MacLeod?" Jane asked.
"What is about this guy that everyone wants to be his friend?"
Methos shrugged. "He's likable."
"Maybe you can help us," Kevin said.
"What kind of help do you need?"
"We're looking for an old Immortal."
"Why don't you tell me about it?" Methos suggested, going to sit beside Joe on the desk.
Methos glanced at his watch. 5:30. It was a twenty-minute drive to MacLeod's. He forced his attention back to the conversation at hand. He needed to concentrate. After all, his life might very well hinge on the outcome.
"You really think this Edward Hastings might be our guy?"
"I don't know. He matches the description, and he's old."
"How come we didn't find him in the files?"
"He's been inactive for centuries."
"Does he know MacLeod?"
"I don't know."
"What about this other guy?"
"You'll have to-" Presence. He ignored it and continued. "Investigate him. I don't know much beyond the name."
"Hey, Joe." Duncan's voice sounded from outside the office.
"We're in the office."
Duncan opened the door. "Adam."
"I was just getting ready to leave. You saved me a trip. This is Jane and Kevin."
Duncan shook hands with the two Watchers. He looked quizzically at Methos.
"We should go if we're going to make our reservation," Methos said.
"Reservation?" Joe asked.
"The new Mexican place." Methos slid off the desk. "Good luck with your search. If there's anything else I can do, just let me know."
"Thanks for your help," Kevin said.
"You're welcome. Come on, MacLeod. I'm starving."
"What was that all about?" Duncan asked when the office door closed behind them.
"I'll tell you in the car. You drive." Methos tossed his car keys to Mac.
"They're Watchers. They're trying to learn the identity of a mysterious Immortal reported by several Watchers, including Keane's, Kristin's, Cassandra's."
"You said it."
"I'm sorry, Methos."
"Getting you exposed."
"I'm not exposed yet. And even if I were, you wouldn't be responsible. I chose to take that risk."
"Because of me."
"Doesn't matter. The choice was still mine."
Duncan fell silent for a moment. "How do you want to handle it?"
"I sent them off after a couple of red herrings. They should be occupied for some time."
"What if they figure it out?"
"Then I'll deal with it. That's our restaurant, just ahead on the right."
"So, what did you think?" Methos asked as they walked to his car.
"They're terrific, every bit as good as their reputation. The soprano was fabulous."
"She is. And Chris Norman is one of the best flautists I've ever heard."
"I've never seen a flute player with stage presence before."
Methos opened his car door. "Do you want me to take you to Joe's for your car, or back to the loft?"
"The loft. I can pick up the car in the morning."
Methos pulled his car into traffic.
"I should probably sell it as well," Duncan said suddenly.
"The car? Why? You can't drive a boat around on land."
"I don't know. Clean slate, I suppose."
"Are you going to cut all of your ties to Seacouver?"
"After Tessa died, Richie kept me here, but now..." Duncan turned to look at his friend's profile. "Now you're here, so I don't know."
Methos could find nothing to say to that, and they drove the rest of the way to the loft in silence.
"Would you like to come in?"
"I shou-" Methos stopped, started again. "I would."
They took the elevator up and Methos' mind flashed on every story he'd ever heard in which there was sex in an elevator. He shook his head to clear it.
"Beer?" Duncan asked as they stepped into the loft.
"Do you have any tea?"
Duncan opened a cupboard. "Chamomile or lemon?"
"Lemon'll be fine."
Methos studied the loft. He hadn't been here in years, but then, neither had MacLeod. It hadn't changed. No physical evidence of the emotional changes Mac had undergone. Unlike the barge, the barge was a physical manifestation of MacLeod's inner turmoil.
"You're awfully far away."
Methos turned to look at Duncan. "Just thinking. How's the sale coming?"
"A couple of people have looked at it."
"It's a good space. I always liked it."
Duncan looked around. "Thanks. It doesn't feel like home anymore."
The kettle whistled, and Duncan turned away to pour the tea. He carried two cups to the couch.
"No sugar and biscuits?" Methos asked as he followed Duncan.
"The sugar's in the canister, and as for the biscuits, you're lucky I had tea."
Methos sat upright, unable to muster the concentration necessary for a good sprawl. They drank their tea in silence. Some silences are comfortable, and some are comforting. This one was neither. This one was tense, edgy, crackling with energy.
Duncan stood. "Would you like to spar?"
"It's eleven o'clock at night."
"I know. I just have all this energy."
"Me, too," Methos stood as well. "Perhaps I should go."
"I'd like you to stay."
"For a little while longer, I have class in the morning."
They both returned to the couch, and silence descended once again.
"Nothing." Duncan started to stand again, returned to sitting. "This is crazy. Fifty-four centuries between us and we can't-"
"I don't know." Duncan leaned against the back of the couch and Methos, still perched on the edge, turned to face him.
"Taking chances is never easy."
"Is that what we're doing?"
Methos nodded. "Big ones at that."
"I want to kiss you."
Methos grinned. "This is our third date."
Methos pulled back, trying to remember the last time he had kissed someone for so long his mouth had gone dry.
"Beer?" Duncan asked, his voice cracking slightly on just the one syllable.
"Sure," Methos answered, following Duncan with his eyes. Except for the obvious erection and the reddened lips he looked remarkably kempt for someone who had spent the last, Methos glanced at his watch, hour and ten minutes kissing.
Methos deliberately brushed his fingers over Mac's hand as he accepted the beer, even the man's fingers were warm. Duncan settled back onto the couch and Methos continued to watch him, grinning.
"I just can't believe that we've been sitting here, necking on your couch like a couple of horny adolescents."
Duncan chuckled softly. "Don't worry, I doubt anyone else would believe it either."
"Probably not," Methos answered.
They finished their drinks in companionable silence, both wanting to leave the questions between them unasked. Methos put his bottle down, "I should be going. I have class in a few hours."
Methos leaned in, intending a quick kiss, but Duncan's arms tightened around him. The desire they had been keeping carefully banked all evening managed to escape the barricades, and Methos was unsure if he was the devourer or the devouree. Duncan lay back on the couch, pulling Methos on top of him. Methos didn't try to stop his hips from pushing against the body beneath him, the one pushing rhythmically back. It was frantic; hips grinding together, mouths crushed so tightly against each other not even the moans escaped.
Methos began to chuckle almost as soon as it was over, his face pressed into the cushion beneath Duncan's head.
"Okay, now I feel like an adolescent," Duncan muttered, causing Methos to laugh harder.
The knock on his classroom door forced Methos to pause mid-sentence. Without his having given permission, the door opened, and a head wearing a white cap emblazoned with the words LaShomb's Floral Shop appeared.
"I have a delivery for you."
I'll kill him, Methos thought, and when he revives, I'll kill him again. He met the young man partway across the room and accepted the box as graciously as he could manage. He returned to the head to the class, and opened his mouth in a vain attempt to resume teaching.
"Aren't you going to open them?"
"I wasn't planning to."
This drew several protests from his students. Holding up his hands, he agreed to open the box. It contained a dozen long stemmed red roses. The card read: From one fifteen year old to another. He chuckled in spite of himself. "They're roses," he informed the class, setting the box aside.
"We can see that. We want to know who sent them."
Methos began reconsidering his pedagogical practices. Maybe encouraging his students to relate to him as a person as well as a teacher was not such a good idea after all. "Of course you do, but there's absolutely no way I am going to tell you that."
"You're no fun at all."
"That's not what the card says," he shot back. The class laughed.
Duncan chuckled. "It seemed appropriate. I wouldn't want you to think I was only interested in the sex."
"Too late." Methos lifted his feet onto his desk and adjusted the phone against his ear.
"And here I thought you were just the person to appreciate a little old-fashioned romance. Or were you born before that too?"
"Be nice, or I won't come to dinner."
"I can invite you to my place if you prefer."
"Here'll be fine. What time?"
"My last class gets out at two, but I have office hours until four."
"Come by anytime after four."
Methos watched the clock on his office wall. All professors were required to offer four office hours per week, but this early in the semester none of the students needed to see him. So he sat. Watching the clock.
He'd tried to read. Nothing held his attention. Not the novel he'd started a couple of days ago and still hadn't finished, and not the Chomsky article he'd assigned and tried to skim in preparation for Monday's class. What had he been thinking, holding office hours on Friday afternoon? He'd been thinking few students would come, and he'd have a couple of hours at the end of the week to just sit and read.
Until Duncan MacLeod had ruined it by distracting him.
Fifteen minutes to go. Maybe he should call and ask if Duncan wanted him to bring dessert.
Andrea knocked on the side of the open door. "Nice flowers."
"Thanks." He'd convinced the department secretary to give him an almost empty coffee can to use as a vase.
"Who are they from?"
"The card was unsigned."
"You have a secret admirer."
"Think it was Lise?"
Methos shook his head. "I think Mac pretty much put an end to that."
"You never did tell me how you and Duncan met."
"It was in Paris. I was in grad school. He needed help with some research and a mutual friend suggested I could help him."
"How long ago was this?"
"Four, five years ago."
"You seemed pretty close, but he didn't know you were here."
"What do you want to know, Andrea?"
"Nothing, really. I'm just curious."
"I thought historians were only curious about dead people."
"There's always been something unusual about Duncan."
"He's evasive, hard to pin down, always seems to know more than he's willing to say. Like you."
Methos smiled broadly. "That's us. Two peas in a pod."
"And I'm not going to learn anything interesting from either of you, am I?"
"You might. I know lots of interesting things. Duncan, on the other hand..."
Andrea shook her head slightly. "I actually came by for a reason. I was wondering if you'd like to join us for dinner."
"I've got plans, but thank you."
"The flower sender?"
"Maybe. Any more phone calls?"
Andrea shook her head. "Not since we changed the number. But now it's the paper. Whoever it is, is stealing the morning paper. Sometimes they just take a section, sometimes the whole thing. Once or twice they've gone so far as to just cut out a single article."
"What do the police say?"
"They think it's a harmless prank."
"What do you think?"
"I think it gives me the creeps. No one's been hurt, and there's no hint that it could get violent, but-"
Methos shook his head. "It's intended to frighten you, to put you off balance."
"Tell me if anything else happens, will you?"
"That makes two of us," Andrea said, smiling slightly. "I'll keep you posted."
"Good." Methos smiled.
Andrea returned it. "I'll see you Monday. Have a good time tonight."
"I plan to."
Methos glanced at the clock as she left. Four o'clock. He shoved his book into his brief case and pulled on his coat. Flowers firmly in hand, he left.
He made it to MacLeod's a few minutes before five.
"It's open," Mac called before he could knock.
"That was stupid," Methos said as he entered. "I could have been anyone."
"I was expecting you."
"Doesn't mean it was me."
"It was you."
"Beside the point. It might not have been."
"Methos, I'm a big boy. I can take care of myself."
"Sometimes I'm not so sure of that."
"Let it go."
Methos put the flowers on the counter and held up the bag in his hand. "I brought dessert. Boston cream pie."
"There should be room in the fridge."
"What's for dinner?"
Duncan held up a flour-covered drumstick. "It's the all-American meal. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes."
Duncan wrapped a leg around Methos' calf, pulling them more tightly together, pressing against the erection kept flat against Methos' body by his pants.
Duncan pressed again, kissing Methos frantically, wanting nothing more than to hear that sound repeated.
To Duncan's disappointment, Methos pulled his lips free. "Bed," he said, desire coarsening his voice.
The haze cleared enough for Duncan to register what Methos had said. Bed. He started to pull away, to climb off of the couch, but his body protested Methos' loss, and he found himself pushing forward again. They were lying side by side on the couch with Duncan on the outside. There was nowhere for Methos to go, and Duncan took advantage of that fact, reclaiming Methos' mouth.
Methos' hands moved between them, pushing gently, but firmly, on Duncan's chest. "Duncan, I am too old to come in my pants two nights in a row. Bed, please."
Duncan scrambled off of the couch and walked toward the bed with Methos following close behind. As soon as they reached it, he wrapped his arms around Methos, re-initiating the heady kisses that had already stripped away his higher thought processes.
Methos' hands were on his chest again, pushing. Duncan tightened his hold on the other man in answer.
Methos pulled his lips away, keeping them away when Duncan tried to reclaim them. "Clothes, Duncan. Not in the pants, remember?"
Duncan nodded, but he couldn't resist a brief taste of Methos' neck before pulling back enough to yank his sweater over his head. He undid his belt and pulled down both pants and underwear in one smooth movement. He stood up and met Methos' gaze, both proud of what he knew was an attractive body, and humbled by desire. Methos' eyes fell slowly downward, coming to rest on the floor. Duncan looked down, following Methos' gaze. He was still wearing his socks.
Methos looked up. "Argyle, huh?"
Duncan raised one leg and began to tug on the sock. He lost his balance.
Methos caught him. "Easy, Duncan, easy."
Flushing, he glanced at Methos' face. There was amusement there, but it was tempered by affection. Affection so strong and so clear it left Duncan unable to do more than nod.
Duncan took a step backward. His calf connected with the side of the bed, and he sat. Methos squatted between his legs, and raising first one leg and then the other removed the socks.
Methos stood, and Duncan reached for the top button on his shirt. "May I?'
Somehow he managed to get all of the buttons on Methos' shirt undone, pausing only to pull it free of Methos' pants. The shirt hung open now, framing the expanse of skin between Methos' neck and the top of his pants in a manner that could only be called enticing. Duncan leaned forward, pressing his cheek to warm skin.
Methos' hands settled on the back of his head, while Duncan's came to rest on Methos' waist. The gentle contact eased some of the urgency he'd felt earlier. Duncan turned his head and brushed his lips against Methos' abdomen, before lifting his face and looking up at his lover.
Methos smiled at him, his hands stroking Duncan's hair. Then he leaned down. Duncan groaned as their lips met, the urgency returning.
As they kissed, Duncan brought his hands from Methos' sides to his abdomen. He pressed one against Methos' erection, shocked by how badly he wanted to see it, feel it, and taste it.
Methos broke their kiss, his eyes a little wild. Duncan tried to undo Methos' belt while still watching his lover's face, but he was too clumsy. Stymied, he looked down. At last he managed to undo the belt, followed it with the button. Methos inhaled sharply as Duncan eased his zipper open.
The head of Methos' cock was peeking out of the waistband of his boxers. Duncan ran a single finger over it. He could feel Methos watching him, but he was too focused on what was immediately in front of him to look up. The skin beneath his finger was soft, not spongy- Methos was far too aroused for that- but soft, nonetheless.
It wasn't enough. He grabbed Methos' pants at the sides and tugged them down. The boxers followed. Duncan didn't notice that he'd only pulled them far enough to expose the object of his desire.
Freed, Methos' cock bobbed forward, pointing directly at him like an arrow. Duncan curled one hand around the shaft. He was drawn irresistibly forward, feeling as though it was taking forever to reach his destination.
But he did, and his tongue slipped out from between his lips, determined to get there first. His tongue was allowed only a brief taste before his lips closed around Methos' cock. His groan and Methos' were inseparable. Duncan began to stroke slowly, hand and mouth moving together.
It was comforting, the flesh sliding easily over his lips and tongue. He sucked harder, utterly unconcerned with skill or finesse, simply doing what felt right.
Methos felt, tasted, like home.
"Duncan, please, Duncan." Methos' hands were tugging on his head, trying to stop him.
It took a moment for the situation to register, but when it did he stopped, looking up questioningly, suddenly afraid he had, indeed, done it wrong.
"Too close," Methos offered by way of explanation.
Duncan resumed his previous activity.
Duncan again halted. This time he offered an explanation of his own. "Can't stop. Need to feel you. Need to taste you."
Methos didn't protest any further, and moments later, Duncan had what he wanted. Methos' hands were clutching his head, Methos' hips had thrust forward, and Methos' come was filling his mouth, warm and salty and utterly divine.
Duncan removed his mouth slowly, gently lowering the now semi-erect penis with his hand. After all, it would have been rude to simply let it drop.
Methos was leaning over him, his head on Duncan's shoulder. Duncan raised his hands to stroke Methos' back through his shirt.
"You," Methos said.
"Mmm," Duncan agreed.
Methos raised his head, and Duncan stretched up to kiss him. He hoped Methos would get the same erotic charge from tasting himself in his lover's mouth that Duncan always had.
Methos smiled at him. Every part of his face was involved in the smile. Duncan didn't think he'd ever seen Methos' face completely free of tension before. It made him look young, young, and in need of being debauched.
"Incredible, you're incredible."
Duncan blushed, which was ridiculous. His skills as a lover had been praised before, and in far more glowing terms.
Methos knelt between his legs; pants and shirt still half on. Methos' intent was crystal clear, and part of Duncan's mind protested, demanding more foreplay. But as Methos' mouth neared his cock, Duncan simply spread his legs farther apart.
There were no preliminaries, no teasing nibbles or swipes of the tongue, just Methos' mouth closing around him, warm and inviting. Oddly enough, this too felt like home.
A few strokes later, he felt the familiar tightening in his balls. It was too soon, he wanted more, but his body refused to be denied. He came with a cry that was half protest, convinced that even his toes were shuddering with the sheer power of his orgasm.
Methos' arms were around his shoulders, holding Duncan close. "God, we're good together," Duncan said.
Duncan felt the smile he couldn't see as Methos answered, "Yeah, we are."
"You still didn't get your clothes off."
"Someone couldn't be bothered to finish removing them as I recall."
"Your fault. If you weren't so bloody tempting..."
"If I weren't so bloody tempting you wouldn't have wanted to take my clothes off to begin with."
"True." Duncan pulled back far enough to see his lover's face. "Take them off for me now."
Methos stood and shrugged off his shirt. Bending over he removed his pants and boxers. Then he held up a leg for Duncan to remove his sock. Chuckling, Duncan did so.
The chuckle faded as he studied the form in front of him. He reached out, fingertips brushing across Methos' abdomen. Methos' muscles tightened in answer. He moved his hand to the side, touching with all of it as he slid it down Methos' flank.
Strength. There was such strength in Methos' body. He'd known it. He'd felt it, but this was the first time he'd seen it. It excited him. One simple touch, the sight of a fully naked Methos, and he was already becoming hard. He'd just experienced one of the most explosive orgasms he could remember, but his body had apparently forgotten.
Methos' hand touched his cheek, and Duncan leaned into the caress. "Yes, please."
"Whatever you want, Duncan, whatever you need."
"You. I need you. Need to touch you. Need to feel you touch me."
"Let's get on the bed."
Duncan scooted backwards, settling on his side in the center of the bed, and watching as Methos climbed in next to him, position mirroring his own.
Duncan raised his fingers to the side of Methos' neck and stroked gently across it. Methos copied his caress. At first he led, his touching of Methos echoed by his lover's hand on him. Then Methos led and Duncan followed. Back and forth they went, slowly exploring, until slow became unbearable.
Their lips met, at exactly the same moment as their hands curled around each other's erections.
Soon they were no longer kissing, unable to focus enough to kiss and stroke at the same time. But they kept their lips close together, groaning into one another's mouths, breathing one another's air.
Fluid splattered Duncan's chest. He didn't know if it came from his body or Methos', and he didn't care. All he cared about was the pleasure coursing through him, and the feel of Methos in his hand, and the sounds coming from deep inside his lover.
He pulled his head back slightly, wanting to see all of Methos' face. Methos' tongue licked quickly at dry lips, his entire body visibly relaxing. "Yup, definitely good."
Duncan laughed, "Good and sticky."
"Sex should be sticky, if you're not sticky, it wasn't any good."
Chests clean, and damp comforter replaced with blankets, they settled down to sleep. Duncan's previous lovers had always gone to sleep with their heads on his shoulder. He imagined most of Methos' lovers had done the same. Unfortunately, none of the books he'd read had covered the etiquette of post-coital snuggling between men.
Methos was on his back, and Duncan lay on his side, studying him. He wanted to snuggle; he wanted to hold and be held.
Methos turned his face toward Duncan. "Is there something you want, Duncan?"
Duncan nodded, swallowing. How could he say this, to Methos of all people? Christine's voice echoed in his mind, 'I asked.' It did seem to be the best solution. Horrified by the blind need in his own voice, Duncan asked, "Will you hold me?"
Methos smiled, and there was no mistaking the warmth in it, or in his voice when he answered. "For as long as you want me to."
Duncan moved so that his head was resting on Methos' shoulder. Methos' arms circled his shoulders, and a soft kiss was pressed to the top of his head.
This, too, felt like home, but Duncan didn't find it odd at all.