|Methos' Journal: February 1997
by Lisa Hughes
following events in the episode "Revelations 6:8"
Time to disappear again... well, not exactly disappear. Back off a little for a while. MacLeod will need time to assimilate all that has happened. Ahh, Duncan... noble warrior prince. I wonder if you will ever be able to trust me again. If not... well, I shall miss flopping down on your couch with a beer, and watching you. Watching you tussle with one of your ever-present moral dilemmas. Watching you comfort those in need of comfort. Watching you guide those in need of guidance. Watching you occasionally have a little fun.
I know you never entirely approved of what you saw as my lack of a moral center. But I also know that if matters had not been brought to a head by Kronos' appearance, you would never have probed too deeply. All this time, no matter how often my "ethics" conflicted with yours, you never asked me any questions. Questions that could have revealed anything about me, or why I thought or felt or believed anything I told you I thought or felt or believed. It's almost like you were afraid to ask me anything that might mar that image you've constructed of "Methos, oldest living immortal."
I wonder how much of it is you feeling you owe me for how I helped you save yourself after you received the dark quickening. I suppose I could understand that, in light of your over-developed sense of honor. But I had hoped that just one of those barbed comments I've thrown at you so often would have pierced that image enough to make you look, really look at me. Me, not Methos. Would have made you even the least bit curious to find out who I really am and what experiences brought me to this point. But no, not even once was I able to shake you out of your complacency enough to get you to stop holding me at arms-length. I know you. I have learned. But you... you haven't even tried to know me.
When you came to me and demanded answers... I was tired. Tired of pussy-footing around your sensibilities. All the time I had spent trying to get you to see, trying to coax you into opening yourself to the possibilities for friendship between us, seemed like a waste. All my frustration surged to the fore and I wanted to hurt you, as I had been hurt by your complete disinterest in learning anything about me. You never asked me anything at all until you were faced with information you couldn't overlook, couldn't simply ignore, and then you came to accuse. Where was all of that famous MacLeod understanding when it came to me, this friend you supposedly trusted with your life?
So I hurt you...
Ahh well... When Kronos and Cassandra showed up, everything changed... for me and for the highland lad. For me it was a nightmare from my past revisited. For MacLeod it was a brutally-wrenching readjustment of his ideas about Methos (still not me, me today, me now!). I could have just disappeared. I thought about it. That well-developed survival instinct of mine was screaming for it. And yet, I couldn't. Not that I thought I could really erase the betrayal MacLeod felt (very open your face is, Duncan... emotions play over it as if you hadn't had 400 years of practice hiding things from others) by some act of redemption. But with MacLeod after Kronos and Cassandra egging him on, I couldn't pass up what seemed like the perfect opportunity to be rid of the Horsemen forever. Not just Kronos, Silas, and Caspian... but also a chance to purge "Death" from myself as well.
Kronos was right when he said that I missed the freedom and the sheer power we had in those days, just like he did. The difference between us is that I had long since decided that for me the price of that freedom and power was too high. The killing, the innocent lives lost... yes, that was part of the price... but if I'm to be honest, and I'm always honest here in my journal if nowhere else, it was the cost to myself that I no longer wanted to pay. Unless you are truly and wholly evil, like Kronos, to kill another person you have to shut yourself away from your feelings. And to do what we did, you must never allow yourself to feel or care for anyone. After the Horsemen disbanded, it took me a long time to learn to care again. To feel again. It was not until I had learned that I saw the price I 'd paid... and determined never to pay it again.
Of course, when you're an immortal, and you want to live, survival has to come first. Feel, yes. Care, yes. But first, survive.
So I set out to survive. And to keep those I cared for safe. And to rid myself of the Horsemen. A difficult balancing act to maintain, to be sure, and not without its elements of danger. Keeping Kronos happy and convinced of my loyalty. Keeping Kronos' plans from bearing fruit. Helping MacLeod to stop him.
When Duncan came to meet me in the church, I thought that perhaps indicated some measure of acceptance and understanding. Of trust. And perhaps on some level it did... trust, anyway. But I was disappointed afresh by the continuation of his righteous indignation. A measure of trust was only enough to bring him to me. But behind his rough question, "why did you lie to me?" I could see that what he really wanted was for me to tell him something, anything, that would somehow make it all go away. Acceptance was too hard for him. And then, "who are you now?" Ironic, that. You really have no idea... do you Duncan?
I wouldn't let him off the hook, though. It was important to me that since it was out in the open, that he accept it. I was tired of him only seeing Methos, an image of his own making. If we were to go forward, he had to accept what I had done, and open his eyes to who I really am. Me, not Methos.
He accused me of not choosing sides, of going with the winner, never realizing that by coming to him with information about Kronos' plan, I was trying to make sure he was that winner. Perhaps I could have held his hand and explained it all to him, and if he had met me with more acceptance and understanding, perhaps I would have... always assuming there was time before the bomb went off in the fountain. But I didn't. Perhaps it's arrogance... wanting him to come to me, to open to me before I reveal anything. I think, though, that my feelings for Duncan run too deeply for me to compromise my dream of a true friendship between us. I haven't had many real friends.
I hadn't planned on Kronos sending both Silas and Caspian, however. I thought for a brief while that MacLeod could not possibly have survived, and for that time I truly despaired. Not only was that wonderful, maddening Scot gone forever, but I was quite sure that in order to survive, I would have to go along with Kronos' plans. To pay that terrible price again. In order to live. Then came that moment when I discovered that he was still alive. And knew that he had come, and that the end was near at hand.
And MacLeod had at last understood... at least a little of what I had told him. Enough to realize that laying down his life for Cassandra would not help her. That she would rather be dead than stay with us. But he still didn't understand that by going "with the winner," I meant that he was the winner and that I in fact had chosen sides, until he saw me fighting Silas.
Silas. The only one I liked in that bunch, and yet I had to kill him to put an end to the Horsemen. And to protect Cassandra as she thought I would all those years ago (and as perhaps I should have). I tried to talk to him, to find out if he had changed as I had, as the others had not. But all he could think of was the power, and a return to the "glory days." Good-bye Silas. I liked you. I'm sorry that I had to kill you.
Duncan has accused me of being "the only guilt-free man in the Western World," and I suppose he's right in a way. I've just never seen guilt as a particularly useful thing. I mean, it's exhausting to keep beating yourself up for the same thing for thousands of years. When would you have time to live? At some point you have to accept the things you've done, forgive yourself if that's necessary, and then just... get on with it. There are things I regret, things I wish I hadn't done... but I don't plan on doing those things again. And if I've learned from mistakes I've made to that extent, then those events served a certain purpose. Better to see them as part of the large tapestry of my life, than to continually focus on and pull at those threads of regret.
The last time I saw MacLeod, it was on holy ground. Both of us wanting to be careful. He wanted to know why I didn't just kill Kronos myself. How to explain to him that that well-developed survival instinct of mine wouldn't let me challenge him when I lacked the conviction that I was worthy to judge him? Without that conviction, I could never have been clear-headed enough in a battle to the death to survive.
And I still want to live... odd how strong that feeling is after all this time...
Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod... we shall meet again. Maybe then you will be willing to know me as I am.