|In the Mirror
by Maxine Mayer
Every time he looked in the mirror he saw himself as he'd been that evening in Le Havre when he'd sponged himself off, naked from the waist up, in the home of a cockney merchant seaman and a French wife.
Every time he looked in the mirror, in the morning, after a shower, while he shaved, he saw himself as he'd been at that time, when he'd seduced the French woman, Dominique, fucking her as the butcher he was that night, with no sense of her personal loveliness, her human beauty. No sense of her at all.
Every time he looked in the mirror, after a workout, or a run, he saw himself as he was that night, violent and ugly, rapacious and angry, frightened and brutal. Naked in his brutality as he was naked in fact.
Would he never look in a mirror again without seeing that, and remembering every moment of his dark time, and the way he'd ended by murdering Sean Burns?
He was pretty certain he would not.
Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod completed his morning toilette, as he always did after saying a prayer in which he asked for forgiveness directly to Sean Burns. And then pushed those thoughts away for another day.
This was to be a day like any other he'd endured this entire August. Dawson was away at the lake with his family - a sister-in-law and niece. Amanda was God only knew where - in Greece, probably. Richie was on the road, on his cycle, seeking adventure. Trying hard to live at least one lifetime of his so-called Immortality, before somebody took his head. It was years since Duncan had heard from Connor.
Seacouver was a desert, with only him in it, it seemed, this hot August day. A run in this heat was unthinkable. Duncan wondered whether training on the boxing bag or doing kata was worth the sweat: the dojo wasn't airconditioned.
He poured himself some icy cold fruit juice and brought the glass with him to his favorite chair. It seemed almost too hot even to listen to music. Or do anything at all. His mind drifted away from the present, to the past, and Anne, as he sat in his chair, sweating even when he wasn't moving. He'd spent one whole summer renovating a house for her and her daughter. It had been among the best times of his life. Richie'd worked with him, for a while. Even Methos spent a few days painting the porch with him. They'd had a good time, a really good time.
The day loomed too long in front of him. Hours of nothing to do. Methos had the right idea - ten years to clean up the mess in his Paris bookstore cum basement was a good thing. A really good thing. No doubt about that. Anything to pass the time, would be a good thing, Duncan acknowledged. Methos had the right idea.
Maybe he should make work for himself, even if he didn't need the money, and at this point, could find nothing that really interested him to do to earn his keep, had he needed to do so.
Maybe he needed a drink, he thought, something stronger than fruit juice. Scotch. At eight in the morning, Scotch. That was unacceptable. Not without any cause at all, to drink hard liquor so early. It wouldn't harm him but it was a nasty habit to get into. It set him apart from Mortals in a way he didn't want to be separated from them. Fruit juice would have to hold him, until five o'clock at least.
Who's that? Duncan thought, immediately stiffening at the "feel" of another Immortal's approach. Who's left? Nobody'd come here, except a friend. The unfriendly of his Kind challenged elsewhere, usually. Didn't come to his home.
A moment later, he recognized the "feel," the familiar wild tune denoting Methos' presence, and he sighed with relief, and joy, too, because the loneliness was over, for a while.
"Methos, good to see you," he said, opening the door to his loft wide, then smiling at the older Immortal. "Come in, please."
Duncan returned to the kitchen area and asked, "Want some coffee, or juice?"
"I'll have a beer." The older Immortal sounded weary.
"Here you go!" Duncan said, tossing a can of beer to Methos, who'd already dropped his traveling bag on the floor and settled on the couch. "What brings you to Seacouver in August, Methos? The heat's unbearable - nobody's in town, not even Joe."
"Missed you, MacLeod," Methos answered.
Duncan froze where he stood, back to Methos, his hand gripping a glass bottle of orange juice. "What?"
"I said, I missed you. So I decided to brave the heat of August and the wilds of Seacouver, to see you, spend some time with you."
Duncan relaxed with an effort, deciding his friend must be joking, and poured himself more juice. He returned to his favorite chair, which faced the sofa where Methos was sprawled, and smiled at the older man. "Sure you did."
"Come on, Methos, give. What's the bad news? Who's hunting me now? Give me the scoop. I'm bored as hell - could use a good fight."
"Nobody. At least, nobody I know of. Probably all on the Riviera, touching up their tans. Probably, I should be there too. Can I drag you away from this town?"
"Methos - why are you here?"
"Really, MacLeod," Methos replied, with a shake of his head, "is it so difficult to believe that I missed you? We have a pretty good time together, don't we? Sparring, of one kind or another, and so forth. What - didn't you miss me?"
"I haven't even thought of you, if you must know. Not in weeks," Duncan answered. That was the truth. Unless you counted every time he looked in the mirror at his own naked torso, and remembered Le Havre, and murdering Sean Burns, and Methos. Methos, there, there for him. Saving him. Risking his own life to save him. Because Methos believed he was too important to lose.... Hadn't thought of him once, in weeks, except every day.
"Well, that's flattering." Methos made to rise. "Guess I've outlived my welcome in this life. I'll move on. Been really thrilling knowing you, MacLeod. We'll talk again, in a century or two."
"No - Methos - I was joking! Please, I was only joking! I'm glad to see you. I have missed you." With a wry smile, he added, "I've even thought about you, once in a while."
"Well, that's better," Methos said, grinning. "Thought I'd lost my touch. Most people do find me amusing, you know. Of course, with a bloke like you, one never knows."
"Mildly entertaining - that's the best I can do." Duncan laughed.
"I takes what I can gets," Methos replied. "So - how've you been entertaining yourself without me?"
"Like I said, I haven't. I'm bored. Which isn't too good for me. I tend to brood, you know."
"So I've heard. And what exactly have you been brooding about this time?"
Duncan made a face, almost deciding not to say. Then, in an instant, decided to tell Methos after all. Perhaps the older Immortal had advice to give, about mirrors and memories. After all, after fifty centuries, Methos must recall a few deeds he'd rather forget, when he looked in the mirror....
"Le Havre," Duncan answered, low and blunt.
"Le Havre? What's that mean? Oh - you mean that - the mess."
"Mess? Is that what you call it, a mess? What I did back then?"
"What do you want to call it? High drama? Tragedy? The worst thing anybody ever did in the history of the world?"
"It's not funny. Maybe it isn't the worst thing anybody ever did, but calling it a mess is a little like calling the Crusades a quarrel."
Methos laughed. "Okay, MacLeod, it was more than a mess. I grant you that. Why'd it come to mind today?"
"Not just today, Methos. Every day. Twice a day, or more. When I look in the bathroom mirror. I - I sponge bathed in that woman's home, at her sink, with my shirt off. And I still remember how I thought, how I felt, and what I did, that night, those days. Whenever I look in the mirror. It brings everything back."
"Grow a beard, MacLeod! Then you won't have to shave. Or look in the mirror."
"Methos - it's not funny!"
"What can I say? What do you want to hear? The memories will dim, I promise you that. In time. How much time, you ask? Depends how superficial you are. A guy like me - not too long - a century or so. But then, I'm just a guy. A hero like you - could be millennia. Who knows?"
"You're doing it again. Making fun of me."
"But there's truth inside the teasing, MacLeod. And plenty of it."
"So, you're saying, there's nothing I can do. I've gotta live with it. Every day?" MacLeod felt angry at that thought. Somehow, put upon. It wasn't fair.
"Unless you can make different associations, when you look in the mirror," Methos replied, with a shrug.
"What kind of associations?"
"Pleasant ones, of course!"
MacLeod nodded. "Yeah, of course. Pleasant ones."
"Or," Methos offered, with another shrug, "memories so different, so shocking, so traumatic, they totally wipe out whatever else used to come to mind."
MacLeod frowned. "Like what?"
"I dunno. Something you never did before."
"Stands to reason, pleasant would be best."
"There's not too much, that's pleasant, that I've never done before," MacLeod mused. "What did you have in mind?"
"Me? I've got nothing in mind. It was just a thought. Maybe something will occur to you."
"Yeah," Duncan agreed, "maybe. Eventually. Meanwhile, is there anything you can think of to do today, that doesn't include dying of the heat?"
"You do have airconditioning up here, MacLeod. Why don't you turn it on?"
The younger Immortal didn't answer.
"Well? Why don't you turn on your airconditioning. It's stifling in here."
"Millions of people do without. Old people. Children. Sick people. Poor people."
"Soooo?" Methos asked, apparently genuinely not getting it.
"So," Duncan said, his head to the side. "So, why should I be cool, just because I've got a few more dollars?"
"MacLeod! You're impossible!" Methos exploded. "What earthly good does it do those impoverished sick people for you to suffer from the heat?"
"I don't know. It's simply - not fair - that I'm cool while they sweat."
"You - you're gonna drive me nuts, Duncan, you know that? Absolutely out of my skull!" Methos thought for a moment. Then he said, "How about this. Think about me, suffering from the heat, dying of the heat. I'm a person. One you can do something for. Put on the airconditioner, for my sake!"
MacLeod laughed. "Okay, okay. You got me." He got up and put on the airconditioner, standing in front of the vents and letting the cool air dry the sweat he'd built up since his shower.
"Thank God!" Methos said with a grin. "And now I'm gonna do something for you, poor suffering Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod."
Duncan raised an eyebrow and smiled, slowing walking back toward Methos from the airconditioner. "You are?"
"I am." Methos stood.
"My God, I didn't realize your legs actually could hold your torso upright, when you aren't walking!" MacLeod joked. "I thought they only served to move you from the door to the sofa!"
"No, these are very serviceable legs. Not only do they hold me upright, they also walk me over." Then, suiting action to words, he walked over to MacLeod, took his hand, and pulled him to the far end of the loft.
MacLeod followed without resistance, curious as to what the older Immortal had up his sleeve. Hoping against hope that Methos could make good on his promise, to make him see something different, when he looked in the mirror, something good. Not the Butcher of Le Havre. Someone else. Someone worthy. Too important to lose....
"Sit, MacLeod," Methos ordered, when they'd reached Duncan's bed. "Very good. Now, take off your shoes and socks."
"What, you're gonna give me a massage?" MacLeod joked.
"Maybe. We'll see." While Duncan removed his shoes and socks, Methos did the same, standing near the bed.
"Lay down," Methos instructed. "No, on your stomach. That's right."
"Well, a massage never hurt, I admit. But I don't think it'll do the trick, Methos," Duncan mumbled, his mouth half buried in a pillow.
"Trust me, MacLeod, any massage I give will do whatever trick I want it to do," Methos replied. Then he straddled MacLeod and began to massage his shoulders through the thin t-shirt the man was wearing.
"Maybe I should take off my shirt," Duncan suggested.
"Good idea." Methos lifted himself enough so Duncan could remove his shirt without any difficulty. "That's better. Where do you keep your baby oil? Or do you have something else? Something good-smelling? What do you and Amanda use, when you give each other massages?"
"What makes you think we give one another massages, Methos? She been talking about me again?" Duncan asked with a grin.
"I've known Amanda a long time. She's got really strong hands. Likes to show them off. If she isn't giving you massages, I'd complain, if I were you."
"Uh huh. Sure, I'll complain. In the nightstand drawer. No, the other one," Duncan said. "It's some kind of Asian oil, not clear." He turned his head to look. "Yeah, that's the right one. Sandalwood."
"This is excellent. Kind I use myself, MacLeod. Now, hold still."
"I'm not moving. You sure you feel like doing this. I mean, you must have just got off a plane. Aren't you tired?"
"Anything for a friend, Duncan. You need help. I can sleep later."
"Okay! You won't get any more complaints from me, if you want to give me a massage."
"A massage. Right. No complaints. Works for me," Methos muttered, working a bit of the oil into his palms and beginning again to knead Duncan's shoulders, this time directly on the skin. "You should cut your hair, MacLeod," he remarked, pushing the long tangled strands away from the younger Immortal's neck. He worked for a while, strong fingers impersonally finding and soothing away the deep knots of tension.
After a few moments, Duncan said, "I should cut my hair for what - a massage once a millennium? You're daft!" Then, "Ouch - that feels good!"
"Ouch, that feels good? Make up your mind, MacLeod!"
"It feels good, but you pulled my hair, too!"
"Okay, shoulders pretty well done. Moving right along."
"You're not tired?"
"You want me to quit?"
"No! No! Never mind. It feels good. Professional. You been a masseur in one of your past incarnations, Methos?"
"Thanks." Methos had moved further down on Duncan's torso, straddling his thighs and massaging the vast expanse of MacLeod's back, down towards his hips and buttocks. He put a little more oil in his palms. "How's that?"
"Mmm. Best I've ever had, and I've had a few massages over the centuries, Methos. You done?"
"Not - quite - yet." Methos moved off MacLeod's thighs and knelt along his side. He began to work on Duncan's calves. When Duncan turned a bit and began to rise from the bed Methos pushed him back down. "Might as well get the full treatment, or you won't get the full effect, MacLeod," Methos said.
"You don't need to do this, Methos. I'm okay now. I feel great." He did. Somehow, he thought, he'd needed some kind of physical contact, from someone, anyone. Something to show somebody knew he was alive in the world. Cared about him. Methos' massage had hit the spot. His spirits were up. He could imagine tackling the big bag in the dojo, or doing kata, or taking a run. Whatever. Something physical. He could imagine that now.
"Not quite done yet, MacLeod," Methos muttered.
"Okay, give me the works. Shave and a haircut, two bits," Duncan said with a grin, and settled himself back onto the bed, his arms crossed over his head, his face turned to the side. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Methos figure, out of focus, from that angle. He had missed him. He was glad he'd come back from wherever he'd gone, wherever he went, when he left. Very glad.
"Duncan, I'm gonna ask you to remove your shorts now."
"Yeah. You want the full treatment, it includes the whole body. Thighs, buttocks, the works."
"Really? Well, I suppose it does. That's the way they give massages in Europe, anyway, even if they don't do it here." Duncan lifted his body enough to remove his shorts and Methos pulled them off and tossed them to the floor.
"They do. But - they don't call them massage parlors here. Or rather, they call them massage parlors, but mean something else, something more - here."
"Got you." Duncan smiled. "But -"
"Nothing. Just remembering something."
"Tell me," Methos said, as he continued to massage Duncan's body with brisk impersonal motions, from calves up to thighs.
"Well, eventually, in Europe at least, and in the east, they turned me over." Duncan grinned into the pillow as he spoke.
"Yes, I suppose they still do. Haven't had a massage in a long time. Absolutely. I remember now. They definitely turned me over."
"They don't here, though," MacLeod murmured, stretching his legs a bit, pushing into the rhythm of Methos' massage. "Hmm, that feels good. Didn't realize how tight I was."
"Oh, you're tight, all right, MacLeod. When's the last time you were with a woman? Amanda has a lot to answer for, believe me!"
Duncan laughed. "That's one conversation I don't want to be anywhere near!"
"No? You think Amanda'd resent my mentioning it to her? That she'd fallen down on the job?"
"Resent it! You'd be lucky to get away with your head on your shoulders!"
"Oh, I dunno. Amanda's pretty down to earth," Methos said, beginning to work on Duncan's buttocks. "She always says, 'when you're right, you're right, Methos,' even when I tell her downhome truths nobody'd want to hear."
Duncan stopped holding up his side of the conversation. Distracted by the rhythmic kneading of his buttocks, a most sensitive part of his anatomy, he grew silent. And his entire body stiffened up.
"Did I hurt you, Mac?" Methos asked in a serious tone. "I'm sorry."
"No." Duncan took a breath. "No, it doesn't hurt."
"You're gonna turn me over, right?"
"Turn you over?" Methos asked, the frown of not understanding what Duncan meant very evident in his voice.
MacLeod muttered without turning his head. "You're gonna turn me over. Right. Methos. That's the plan. Right."
Very coolly, and very quietly, Methos replied. "Yes. Oh, yes. That's the plan."
"But it's up to me, right?"
"Sure. Who else? You're the customer. I'm just a masseur."
Duncan nodded into the pillow, his eyes closed. He was centered and divided both. Centered in his cock, which was swollen and hard. And divided in his mind, which was scrambling for a coherent thought. And his throat was pulsing too, he noticed. "This is something you've done before," Duncan said, contempt in his voice.
"Uh huh. Many times. And the reverse."
"With other men," MacLeod declared.
"Many times," Methos replied, quite matter of factly. "Is that a problem?"
Duncan didn't answer for a long time. He felt the tears before he realized they'd welled up in his eyes.
"MacLeod? I asked you a question. Is that a problem?"
Duncan bit his lip. Swallowed. "No. No problem. When you're ready. Turn me over. No problem."
"I can walk away now, MacLeod. If there's a problem." Methos paused. "It needn't happen at all. Up to you."
"I know it's up to me. There's no problem. I'm - ready."
"Very well," Methos said. And he resumed his massage, taking it to another level.
Methos stretched out beside Duncan, his right hand resting lightly on the younger Immortal's back, his left hand cradling Duncan's head. Methos was facing Duncan, but Duncan's eyes were closed. He couldn't see Methos' face. He could feel his friend's breath lightly cooling his forehead, though. And Methos' hand on his back, so impersonal and professional a few moments ago, had turned into a burning brand, though Methos hadn't moved it at all, since he'd last spoken.
Finally, Methos moved his hand slowly across Duncan's shoulders, scarcely touching the skin. Duncan shivered and his cock jumped, trapped beneath him though it was. Methos hand drifted down toward MacLeod's waist, passing lightly over his buttocks, which tightened for an instant, then towards his thighs. Knuckles pushed his right thigh away from his left, so gently, it couldn't be termed a push, not really. But Duncan parted his legs, exposing his inner thighs to the air, and Methos' hand. Fingers touched his testicles so lightly that he almost wasn't certain he'd felt them. He had. Gently, Methos' hand shifted until it was under his balls and held them without squeezing. Duncan took a deep breath. This was agony!
Methos held Duncan's testicles without squeezing or moving them at all for what seemed like hours. Time enough for Duncan to savor the incredible new thing being done to him, by this incredible person, who was not a woman. Duncan swallowed.
Methos somehow managed to indicate - by telepathy, probably, Duncan thought - that he should lift himself a bit. Even indicated, without a word, how much. MacLeod lifted himself and held the slight rise of his body by bracing his knees. His reward was the most assured passing of Methos' fingers over his testicles he could ever have imagined. One pass. One light pass. Duncan buckled, nearly came right then and there. Would have except for Methos, who stopped him cold by moving like lightening, gripping his shoulders with more power than he'd dreamt the old Immortal could summon, and turning him over. Startling him so, that he didn't come then.
But Duncan's eyes were open - for a moment. He found himself pinned to the bed, his own hands gripping Methos' biceps with what he could only term a death grip. Looking straight into Methos' eyes.
They held for a moment, strength to strength. Then Methos lowered his head and kissed Duncan's mouth.
"You're over, MacLeod," Methos said, his mouth long gone from Duncan's bruised lips. "You're turned over."
Duncan replied, his voice scratchy and thin as a reed, "I know."
"You're aroused. But you're still rational. I can stop now, and you can finish in the bathroom, alone, in front of the mirror."
"Uh huh. Alone."
"I'd rather you did it."
"Very well. Close your eyes now. Pretend it's the night," Methos said.
"I'll close my eyes, but I don't want to pretend anything. I want -"
"You want. You'll get. Patience, MacLeod. You want. You'll get."
MacLeod closed his eyes. As if by magic, it was night, as Methos required it to be. Duncan gave himself over to sensation, forgetting where he was. Seacouver, Paris, anywhere, nowhere, it didn't matter.
The hands were in his hair now, Methos' elbows resting lightly on Duncan's arms, which were stretched out, slightly away from his body. Methos' head lay sideways on his chest, just below his throat. The older Immortal didn't move for some time. Duncan thought he'd fallen asleep, so still had his friend become.
Tentatively, Duncan rested his hands on Methos' buttocks, hooking his fingers into two of the belt loops on his friend's jeans. He felt so relaxed, so comfortable, with Methos' weight stretched out on him like this, protectively, lovingly, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.... Somehow, it didn't matter what happened next. Maybe there'd been many others, for Methos, with whom he'd had sex, who he'd massaged.... But this childlike, trusting other side to Methos.... Duncan knew there hadn't been many others with whom Methos lay like this. Even in fifty centuries. Duncan unhooked his fingers from Methos' belt loops and lifted Methos' head from his own chest. The older Immortal's eyes were closed, and he didn't open them. But he wasn't asleep, Duncan knew. Duncan bent his head and kissed Methos' eyes. Then he gently returned the older Immortal's head to his chest and stretched his arms out alongside his body again.
Methos took a breath, then slid down MacLeod's body, coming to rest with his head among the curls surrounding Duncan's cock. The movement he made to reach that position sparked Duncan's senses, and his organ hardened and swelled. Methos turned his head slightly one way, and then another, resting still on Duncan's cock. The sensation was tantalizing. Once more, Duncan felt he was in danger of coming without anything further done to him. Once more, Methos prevented Duncan's ejaculation by a quick expert move, grasping Duncan's cock and squeezing it hard, once.
Then came the slow agonizing slides, pulling the outer skin down towards the base of Duncan's prick, holding there for a moment, then returning the sheath to its place. Lightly, without urgency, without intensity. But the rhythm was perfect, in time with Duncan's heartbeat, in time with his motions to meet Methos' hand.
Duncan knew he was drifting into the final moments before full peaking, forgetting himself in the pulsing, the tristesse already in his throat. Then Methos' mouth closed on his cock, and the sucking began.
Tristesse receded into a black nothingness, a place sparkling with Quickening lightning as Methos shifted from languor to urgency. He sucked Duncan's cock in rhythm to his strokes on the shaft, his left arm stretched crossed MacLeod's body, with his hand holding Duncan's jaw in a position of total contact, connecting head with prick, hand with mouth.
The whole fantastic wild thing Methos had become completely wiped any control Duncan had retained. He needed to enter, enter, now! Somewhere, his prick had to enter somewhere!
He grabbed Methos head and pulled him away from his cock. Methos' eyes were glazed over. Duncan stared at him. He growled one word. "How?"
In an instant, Methos' focused, understood, and stripped. He flung himself back on the bed head first, on his belly, next to Duncan. "Now."
Duncan swallowed hard. He looked around wildly for the sandalwood oil, slapped too much in his hands, smoothed too much on his cock, straddled Methos, and entered him so quickly that the older Immortal cried out.
"My God - no!" Duncan froze.
"No - go on! Startled. Only startled. Go on!"
MacLeod entered again, not much slower, but not as far. He held Methos' buttocks for a moment without moving. This could never happen again. This first time was a once in a lifetime time. There'd never be a first time again. His cock throbbing, he entered Methos further. The sensation was incredible, tighter than anything he'd ever known. He slid his hand around to touch Methos' cock, just the once, just to know what it felt like, to know if it was hard now, if it was thick and ridged and swollen like his own. But he met Methos' hand, and covered it with his own.
As Duncan took up a rhythm of pushing into Methos' anus, as far as he could, until his thighs slapped against his friend's buttocks, pulling out until all that remained unexposed was the tip of his cock, the hand that covered Methos' hand tightly moved with Methos as he masturbated himself to Duncan's rhythm. And the pace quickened, tantalizing itching sensations and unfathomable emotional fluctuations bringing Duncan to the agonizing end of the universe. He tore Methos' hand away and gripped the older Immortal's cock with his own hand, shocked by the feel of a prick other than his own. Silky, smooth, unbelievably stiff and thick and long. Everything the same as his own, but not his own. Methos' cock. The first time, and the last time it would be the first time.
Duncan's movements became frenetic, violent now, faster, harder than an anus is designed to endure. But Methos' cries went unheard, and were not meant to be heeded, as Duncan's drive towards orgasm ignited the passion between them. Methos slammed back against Duncan as they climaxed, each overreaching their past orgasms and ejaculating with pulsating beats and primitive wild screams.
It's over, Duncan thought. Forever. Never again will there be a "night" like this night, at eight o'clock in the morning. Never again.
He wasn't sleepy, which he knew was unfortunate, because the best thing for both him and Methos, would be to fall asleep now, without saying a word. Whatever they'd say would probably be the wrong thing. And he desperately wanted what he said to Methos next, to be right.
Methos lay next to him, similarly stretched out. They weren't touching each other with any parts of their bodies, now. So strange, even this, Duncan thought.
Methos sat up and spoke, surprising MacLeod.
"Come with me," he said quietly.
Duncan nodded, rose and followed Methos into the bathroom.
Methos went to the sink, leaned his hands on the rim, and looked in the mirror. Duncan came up behind him and looked in the mirror at Methos.
"What do you see?" Methos asked him.
"I see you. In front of me. Ahead of me."
"Nothing else. Just you. And me."
"There you go! Remember me, next time you shave!"
Duncan smiled. "How can I ever forget? I'll never forget."
"Never's a real long time, MacLeod. Try for a week."
"Don't sell yourself short, Methos," Duncan said, grinning. "I'll try for a decade."