|Methos' Journal: May 1997
by Lisa Hughes
Following events in the episode "Forgive Us Our Tresspasses"
Well, I've seen him again. MacLeod. Wasn't planning on seeing him. Knew he wouldn't be ready yet. Was biding my time, really. Ah well, the best laid plans and all that. Perhaps it's just as well.
It started with the presence of an immortal waking me in the middle of the night (not something I react well to). It was Amanda The Brat, of course, yelling and knocking fit to wake the dead. I answered the door dressed only in boxers (my days of sleeping in the nude ended after the last time I had to fight naked. Too... distracting), but thankfully she refrained from ribbing me too badly. She was probably just too upset.
She told me that MacLeod's own sordid bit of past had come back to haunt him. The time after Culloden, when he'd hunted down the English officers who'd slaughtered his people. It had come back to him in the form of a friend of the general he'd killed. Amanda believed that he wouldn't really fight Keane, fight to win, because he thought that Keane was right about him. That what he'd done all those years ago negated all the good things before and since.
If she'd just asked me to kill Keane, I wouldn't have hesitated. But no, she wanted me to talk to MacLeod. And to talk to him, I'd have to see him. I was afraid of what I might see in his eyes. Contempt? Loathing even? And if I pushed him too soon, he might cut me off completely. Given enough time, things would sort themselves out, I was sure. And that little voice in my head kept whispering 'too soon,' as it had been ever since I myself recovered.
I didn't ask Amanda if she knew what it was she was asking of me, because of course she did. And the fact that she would ask anyway meant that she believed MacLeod was really in trouble, and there might not be time for things to sort themselves out. Upset or not, Amanda is a very persuasive brat when she puts her mind to it. And I never learned how to say no to Amanda when she really wants something. Besides, she is... dear to me. I wonder if Duncan knows that Amanda is a completely different person when she's not with him.
I went to talk to him, of course. Will the sight of him will ever not hit me like a physical blow? The chill in his eyes when he looked at me... cut me to the quick. But it wasn't hate I saw, or indifference, which would have been worse. He didn't want to talk to me, though. I'm used to him not agreeing with me, but this was different. He usually argues with me, tries to convince me. This time, he just stood there waiting until I'd finished, and then told me to mind my own business. Not even impugning the sainted Darius got a rise out of him.
So I shot him. Okay, not terribly original, but effective. I couldn't just stand by and watch while he let this guy take his head. Besides, how could I go back to Amanda and say "Well I tried, but he wouldn't listen. Sorry."
It's probably best that MacLeod didn't actually see the fight. He still thinks I'm rusty. He was too busy fighting Kronos to see my fight with Silas. I'd rather not disabuse him of the notion. I like to keep my abilities secret if at all possible. Where survival is concerned, it's safer to keep some things in reserve.
Still, Keane was pretty good. He must've thought he had me when I slipped and fell. But I've been at this a lot longer than he has, and I always keep a few tricks up my sleeve just in case. Keane seemed to think it was cheating somehow. Odd how most of the young ones don't seem to understand that the Game isn't about winning, it's about not losing.
So I beat him. I had him down, and was just about to finish it, when MacLeod showed up. He threatened me. Told me that I'd have to face him if I killed Keane. I was furious, didn't he realize I was just trying to help him. Ungrateful son of a... But then I really looked at him. I wasn't too angry to see the "don't make me do it" look on Duncan's face. He was all but begging me not to make him kill me. So I leashed my temper (a monumental effort I might add), and walked away. I wonder if he knew I was responding to the unspoken plea, and not the threat?
I went looking for MacLeod later at the barge. Instead I found Keane. He tried pretending he would kill me if I didn't cough up some information, but I knew it was an empty threat. And when he discovered I couldn't tell him where MacLeod was, he just left. Good guys and boy scouts, they're the same the world over.
Then Amanda came to me angry at MacLeod for "ratting" her out to the police. After she'd framed him. Amanda... thank you, my darling, you gave me the best laugh I've had in weeks, even if I couldn't do it in front of you.
Amanda was going to make one last ditch appeal to Keane (she wasn't that angry), and I didn't try to talk her out of it. But I knew it wouldn't work, I'd met him. Too sure there was only good or bad, black or white. No grey at all. Too much like MacLeod himself.
Amanda and I were waiting for MacLeod when he got back from the fight. And he had finally decided to explain himself to us. Of course he did it as if he were speaking to particularly slow children. Turns out he intended to fight his best fight all along. Trial by combat, as it were. He hasn't relinquished his role as moral arbiter. As judge. Of himself and everyone around him. But then, that is so much a part of him, I hadn't expected it. He is who he is.
The most disturbing part for me is that Duncan has stopped really talking to me. In times past he would have come to me and told me all about it. Talked it to death, truth be told. I would have told him that the idea of a fight settling things was idiotic, and then he would have gone and done it anyway. Not this time. He told me nothing, even when I questioned him, prodded him. And he told Amanda nothing, though she's used to that, and maybe it's because he sees her as an amoral miscreant. Has he put me in that category? Probably not. No, I think he's spent the time since we last spoke erecting defenses he believes I cannot breach.
MacLeod spoke about none of us being that different, all of us making mistakes. But when I ventured to observe that we all have mistakes to forgive, the walls slammed up again. He wasn't ready to go there yet. Not ready to deal with his altered perceptions of me. His feelings. Amanda jumped in with a distraction, in the form of her cute little behind being in jeopardy, diverting the premature discussion. Breaking the tension. She was right, of course. Better to wait.
Perhaps the chill I feel from him is just a reflection of the lack of trust between us. Duncan is simply not over what happened yet. He's thrown up a wall between us. (To protect himself from what? From me?) Well, I had needed time to make the adjustment, and I'll have to allow him time for the same journey. We have been torn apart... it will take some time for us to grow together again. But the time for me to be absent is over. For the restoration to occur, we will need to be together, not apart. I love you, Duncan MacLeod, and I will not allow you to cut me out of your life just because you don't know how to deal with the real me.
My own journey to recover balance was a dark one, to be sure. But I'm better now. The nightmares have gone, and with them that sense of confusion. I am the product of everything I have been and done and seen and heard and understood. Paraphrasing one of Darius' lessons, 'to deny my past is to deny my present.' The one cannot exist without the other. I have evolved over the millennia into the person I am now.
I am Methos, oldest of my kind.