Be Not Coy
by Chelle

Disclaimer: Not mine, but, oh, if they were.


"When you're done with that, I'd like to fuck you," Duncan said, his voice distressingly loud against the white noise of lapping waves and the refrigerator's hum.

There was no answer, just the sound of a pan being dropped into the sink. Duncan waited, heart pounding, but Methos merely picked up the pan and resumed washing it. Duncan kept silent, shocked at having said the words aloud.

Amanda had left Paris almost a week ago, leaving Duncan with no more excuses. He knew it was best to fix his relationship with Methos now, and not trust in time to do it for him. Still, it was tempting to leave things as they were, and it had taken him almost three days to screw up his courage enough to call Methos and invite him to dinner.

What a dinner it had been. The conversation was awkward and stilted, neither of them willing to bring up the myriad things hanging in the air between them. The only comfortable moment had come when Methos had insisted on doing the dishes. Methos had washed and Mac had dried, and the shared task had restored a bit of their former easy companionship. Then Duncan had opened his mouth.

"Aren't you going to say anything?" Duncan asked, the silence having suddenly become unbearable.

"No. I was just going to finish this, strip of my clothes, and lay face down in the center of your bed." Methos glanced at him. "I'm assuming you know what to do after that."

Duncan swallowed, ignoring the image forming in his mind's eye. "You don't want to talk first?"

Methos rinsed the pan, and placed it in the dish strainer. Then he took the dish towel from Duncan and dried his hands. "Ahh. You don't want to fuck; you want to talk. I thought it might be something like that."

Methos left the kitchen and went to sit on the couch. Duncan followed him, sitting almost on the opposite end. "Maybe I do want to talk."

"So talk."

"I don't know what to say."

"Then maybe we should fuck, or maybe I should go."

"I don't want that."

"The fucking?"

"You leaving." Duncan leaned back against the couch and closed his eyes for a moment, searching for the right thing to say. Simple and direct usually seemed to work best. Opening his eyes, he turned his face toward Methos. "I don't want to lose you."

"I don't want that, either." Methos said quietly, then he rose and walked to the side of the barge, gazing out a porthole. "I didn't know how to tell you. I didn't want to tell you."

Duncan wondered what it had cost Methos to say those words. "I can understand that."

Methos turned to look back at him. "Can you?"

"Yes. There are parts of my life I'm not terribly anxious to share."

"You weren't a mass murderer."

"No, but I have killed."

"It's at least possible to see what you did after Culloden as justice. There is no defense for what I did."

"No, there isn't."

"So why am I here, Mac?"

"I don't know, Methos. Why are you here?"

Methos resumed looking out the porthole, and it was a long moment before he answered. "You're too important to lose."

"Too important to the Game, or too important to you?"

"Too important to me." Methos said the words so quietly that Duncan almost didn't hear them.

Duncan rose and went to him. He placed his hands on Methos' shoulders and gently turned him around. "I can accept it, Methos. I can accept you."

"Are you sure?"

Duncan smiled. "I don't have a choice. I can't afford to lose another friend."

"Fuck a lot of your friends, do you MacLeod?"

"Only the cute ones."

Methos chuckled, but only briefly. He was looking directly at Duncan, his expression showing uncertainty and a bit of hope. Then again, maybe the hope was Duncan's own wishful thinking.

"Tell me how you feel," Duncan said, voice soft, almost pleading.

Methos shook his head and stepped back, Duncan's hands falling from his shoulders. "I can't." He turned and took a step away from Duncan.

"Then show me."

Methos stopped and looked back.

Duncan extended a hand.

Methos took a step toward him, and then another. He ignored Duncan's outstretched hand, instead resting a hand on either side of Duncan's neck, his thumbs against Duncan's jaw.

Duncan held his breath while Methos studied his face, searching for something, or deciding something; Duncan wasn't sure which. Finally, Methos began to lean forward, and it felt like an eternity to Duncan, the time it took Methos' lips to reach his. Methos tasted him with more tenderness than anyone else ever had, and Duncan fought the urge to pull away. Methos would take him apart, piece by piece. But only if Duncan let him.

Duncan didn't wrap his arms around Methos, didn't seek to pull him closer. He simply stood perfectly still as Methos deepened the kiss, parting Duncan's lips with his own. Desire rose inside him, sharp, the intensity of it unexpected.

Methos released him, dropping his hands to his sides. "I should go."

"No, please stay."

"It's too soon for this."

"Maybe, but just because we're Immortal that doesn't mean we have forever. Either one of us could be gone tomorrow."

"Carpe diem, huh?"

Duncan nodded. "Carpe diem."

"Sex isn't a panacea, you know."

"No, but sometimes it's possible to say things with your body that you can't with words."

"So we'd be fucking because we can't communicate any other way." Methos started toward the couch, but paused beside Duncan's desk. After a moment he sat in the desk chair, lifting his feet to rest on the desk.

"Talk to me or fuck me, Methos. I don't care which you choose."

"Really? No preference at all?"

"My preference? My preference would be both."

Methos snorted.

"I want to save our friendship. You want to save our friendship. Why are you making it so difficult?"

"Do you trust me?" Methos asked.

"I don't know."

"That would be a 'no.'"

"I want to."

"But I lied to you."

"You manipulated me."

"I wanted to keep you alive, keep us both alive."

"Why couldn't you tell me that? Why not just be honest with me?"

"You're a lousy liar. You couldn't have hidden any plans we might have made together from Kronos."

Duncan crossed his arms in front of his chest. "You're making excuses."

Methos glanced up at him, clearly startled.

Duncan smiled, capturing Methos' gaze and holding it, daring Methos to look away. "Do you really think I can't see through your bullshit?"

"It isn't bullshit."

"Isn't it? Do you trust me, Methos? You're so quick to throw that question at me. Let's see you answer it. Do you trust me?"

"I trusted you with my life."

"No, you trusted me to act a certain way, because you think you know certain things about me. You did not trust me."

"Now I should demonstrate my trust for you by letting you fuck me, is that it?"

"No," Duncan shook his head. "No."

"What is it you want? What penance do I need to do?"

"There is no penance, Methos."

"Really? 'Cause this certainly feels like one."

Duncan stalked across the room, and leaned over the desk chair, one hand on each of its arms. He turned both chair and occupant, forcing Methos to drop his legs from the desk. "I don't want apologies, or excuses, or atonement. Those I leave to you and your conscience." Methos opened his mouth, but shut it again when Duncan glared. "I want you. I want you to stop hiding, stop defending, stop thinking I can't handle it, and just be with me. Here, now, my friend."

Methos' face was closed off, and he was avoiding Duncan's gaze by looking at something over Duncan's shoulder.

"Look at me, Methos."

"MacLeod, I..."

"Not MacLeod, Duncan."

"Duncan..." Methos said his name, but nothing more.

Duncan eased back a little, dropping to his knees in front of the chair, hands still resting on either side of Methos.

Methos swallowed, and started again. "Do you realize what you're asking? You really want to know Methos, no holds barred, no secrets, nothing kept back?"

"You don't have to tell me all your secrets. It's just... one thing this whole mess made me realize is how little you've told me about yourself."

"I'm not that interesting."

Duncan barked out a laugh, the sound grating, even to his own ears.

Methos shook his head, a small smile forming. "Okay, maybe I'm a little interesting."

"Just a little," Duncan agreed.

"I'll try to tell you more about my past."

"Thank you." Duncan eased back farther, sitting on his heels.

"Thank you." Duncan eased back farther, sitting on his heels.

"What are you going to concede?"

"What?"

"I made a concession. In the spirit of compromise, don't you think you should make one too?"

"Okay. What do you want me to concede?"

"No more teasing me about fucking."

"I wasn't teasing," Duncan answered, quietly, firmly, wanting to leave no doubt about the truthfulness of his answer.

"You said you wanted to be friends. Fucking will make us lovers."

"Never had a fuckbuddy, huh?"

"Of course I have, but not you. I can't be that with you."

"Why?"

Methos pushed with his feet, rolling the chair back, out of Duncan's reach. "Some people I can be casual with and some I can't. You're one of the can'ts."

"That isn't an answer. That's just restating what you already told me."

"You're the one who was going on about how we communicate with our bodies. You tell me."

Duncan thought immediately of the kiss they'd shared. "You love me."

"Bright boy."

"So..." Duncan grabbed both of Methos' legs and used them to pull Methos and the chair back to him. "Let's become lovers."

"I'm not Amanda. I've been married 68 times, remember?"

"You won't be disappearing after a few weeks, you mean?"

"No, I won't. That is I wouldn't, if I were going to, which I'm not."

"Why aren't you?"

"You may not have noticed, but so far all of the declaring has been a bit one-sided."

"You didn't declare anything. You made me guess." Duncan slid his hands, still holding Methos' calves, up the outside of Methos' legs. "Why don't you guess, too? You asked me earlier why you were here. Why do you think you're here? Why did I invite you?"

"You wanted to save our friendship."

"Yes, yes, I did." Duncan ran his hands slowly back and forth along Methos' legs. "You think you know me so well. Why do you think your friendship matters so much? Why do you think you matter so much?"

Methos' eyes widened for a moment, and then he shook his head. "No."

"Why not?"

"Because."

"Because why?"

"Just because."

"See what I mean about us and communication?"

Methos smiled, but it was a guarded smile. "Maybe."

"Think you could get out a full sentence?"

Methos smile changed, becoming more open. "No."

"In that case, I'll have to resort to other, more direct, means of communication." Duncan didn't wait for an answer; he simply leaned forward and pressed his lips to Methos'. Methos resisted at first, keeping his mouth still, but Duncan persisted, trying to kiss Methos with the same tenderness he'd been shown. When Methos finally answered him it wasn't with tenderness, it was with hunger.

It was as though something in Methos had given way, Duncan thought, as Methos slid from the chair to kneel in front of him. Their bodies were pressed together, and Methos tangled his hands in Duncan's hair, kissing him fervently. Duncan struggled to match Methos' intensity before finally surrendering.

The kisses went on and on, and Duncan couldn't keep up. One instant his lip was caught between Methos' teeth and the next Methos' tongue was sliding along his own. So he let Methos do whatever he wished. Any pleasure he derived from the exchange was quickly outstripped by frustration.

Methos' hands pulled at his shirt, trying to tug it lose from his pants, and Duncan captured Methos' wrists. Methos broke the kiss, and Duncan held the captured hands in the air between them. "Tell me, Methos, what do I need to do penance for?"

Methos jerked his arms back, and Duncan released him. "Nothing. You're the hero, remember?"

"Oh for Chrissake. I thought we'd already established that my armor is more than a little tarnished."

Methos laughed.

"Stop it." Duncan stood and walked to the couch. He dropped onto it, not looking at Methos.

"I'm sorry, Mac."

"Maybe you should go."

"Maybe I should." Methos rose from the floor and picked up the coat he'd slung over a chair.

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why are you pushing me away?"

"I kissed you. Since when does kissing count as pushing away?"

"You wanted to take, Methos, not share."

"Maybe that's who I am."

"Maybe it is." Duncan looked him directly in the eye. "Tell me. Did you take with Alexa, too?"

Duncan watched as the arrow struck home. Methos' expression registered shock, but only for a moment before turning to anger. "I thought there wasn't a penance, Duncan."

Duncan almost flinched at the resentment with which Methos inflected his name. "There isn't. Not from me, but I'm beginning to think you're pretty good at punishing yourself."

"And I would be doing that by pushing you away?" Methos shook his head. "The word arrogant mean anything to you, MacLeod?"

Duncan stood, and walked to Methos, stopping just in front of him. "Tell me you don't want me, Methos. Tell me you don't love me."

Methos met his eyes for a long moment, then he blinked and looked at the floor, before turning away entirely.

"You can't."

Methos had taken a step away from Duncan, and now he stopped. "I could. But there have been enough lies between us."

"So why are you running away?"

"I don't know how to do anything else." Methos' answer was spoken so softly Duncan almost didn't hear it.

"You can learn."

Methos chuckled, the sound shocking in it's impropriety. "Now that's ironic."

"What is?"

Methos turned back toward Duncan. "You, offering to be my teacher."

Duncan smiled. "I suppose it is." He took a step toward Methos. "But will you think about it, at least?"

Methos nodded. "I'll think about it."

"Good. That's all I'm asking."

"No, it isn't."

"Okay, it isn't," Duncan answered, his smile broadening.

Methos stepped toward him. "Just so you know, I can be quite adept at sharing."

"I never doubted it."

Methos kissed him as soon as the last syllable was out of his mouth. This kiss was unlike any of the others they'd exchanged, caring and pleasure given and received in equal measure.

When Methos pulled back, he was smiling. "Told you so."

Duncan grinned back, well aware that his grin could easily be described as foolish, and not caring. "So you did."

Methos stepped back. "Good night, Duncan."

"Good night."

Still smiling, Methos turned around and left.

Duncan sank onto his couch. That hadn't gone too badly. He finally knew how Methos felt, and Methos knew how he felt, and they'd work everything else out in time. He leaned back, allowing himself the luxury of remembering the kiss they'd just shared.

Immortal presence made him sit up and turn toward the door.

Methos entered, dropping his coat to the floor, and coming straight to where Duncan was sitting. He leaned over the back of the couch. "Still want to fuck me?"

"Yes."

"Well then, carpe diem, Duncan."

Grinning, Duncan wrapped his arms around Methos' shoulders and pulled him over the back of the couch so that he lay sprawled across the couch and Duncan's lap. "Amo tuum, Methos."

"You're insane. You know that, don't you?"

"Yes, but I'm in good company." Duncan kissed him before Methos could answer, and by the time Methos could answer any response he might have had was long since forgotten.

 


The End