Competition
by Devil Child

 

A Witchblade - Highlander Crossover

Rating NC-17 (Nottinham/Methos, Nottingham/Methos/Duncan MacLeod)
Disclaimer: A not for profit work of speculative fiction. (Modern fokelore in the making, folks!) Ian Nottingham and Kenneth Irons are owned by Top Cow/Image. Duncan and Methos are owned by Rysher/Panzer-Davis. I make no claims to ownership of these characters, just this story.

Thoughts are indicated by <>.

Special Thanks to Ellen and the rest of the RSM for their feedback.


Chapter one: An Afternoon at Sothebys

 

New York, 1996.

Methos had tagged along to this auction out of sheer boredom. Granted, he always loved looking at antiques and spotting the fakes, but seeing Duncan all wound up and hopeful over possibly buying a 17th century katana, well, the opportunity was not to be missed.

"Shit! Shit! Shit!"

Duncan's passionately uttered oath jolted Methos out of his idle daydreams. Curious, Methos tracked Duncan's heated gaze to a striking man who had just entered the room. Tall, with raven hair that fell to his waist, and clad in a black and gold brocade mandarin tunic, the man cut quite a figure.

"Duncan?"

"Ian fucking Nottingham. I can just about kiss that blade good bye -- unless you want to lend me a few hundred thousand so I can out bid him."

"Duncan?" Duncan rarely spoke with such vehemence, so naturally, Methos found himself intrigued. "Besides which, I'm Adam Pierson, Grad Student, vows of poverty and all that."

"Bastard is a senior VP for Irons Investments," Duncan snarled. "Rumor has it he's Kenneth Irons' assassin. He's filthy rich, speaks perfect French and better Mandarin than I do, outbids me every time we cross paths, and never misses a night at the opera.. So you see, I can't escape him when we're both in the same town. And to top it all off, he's English."

"Assassin?!" Methos felt as if Duncan had turned two pages at once. Most of the hitmen with whom he had crossed paths, were, well, like Kronos. This man certainly didn't look like the cream of the scum. Hitmen normially didn't wear clothing worth thousands of dollars and know the etiquette of the elite.

At that point, Nottingham noticed Duncan and politely nodded in his direction. Duncan returned the gesture with a smile while gritting out between clenched teeth, "That's just a rumor. He's always unfailingly polite, too. Bastard."

"But...?"

"But, there's just *something* about him that I don't like." Duncan finished rather petulantly.

<Right,> Methos thought <you just don't like the fact that he outbids you on the toys you want.> He settled back a little more deeply into the uncomfortable chair and waited for the real show to begin. He was not disappointed; when the katana came up for auction, nearly palpable waves of jealousy rolled off of Duncan. And despite a quick loan of $100,000, Duncan still didn't outbid Nottingham on the katana, which ended up going for $425,000.

After the auction ended, Duncan and Methos adjourned to the salon for cocktails and other refreshments. A tall, prematurely silver-haired man, dressed in an expensive Armani suit, sauntered into the room.

"That's Kenneth Irons," Duncan said quietly as the two of them turned back to the glasses of champagne on the sideboard, "If you watch, you can see the lapdog trot to his master."

A cool, breathy, and utterly cultured English voice came from the gap between Methos' head and Duncan's. "Is that a note of jealousy, Mr. MacLeod? -- that I'm not your lapdog?"

Stock still, frozen in shock that someone had snuck up on them, Methos could swear that that from the corner of his eye he had just seen Nottingham lick Duncan's ear. Methos watched as within a fraction of a second Duncan went from deathly pale to fully flushed.

Before Duncan could sputter out an answer, Nottingham, an amused glint in his slate-grey eyes, continued, "Tonight at La Boheme, then." With the briefest of bows he left them to join Kenneth Irons, and the two of them left Sotheby's.

Taking a gulp of champagne, Methos muttered dryly, "I never thought I'd find my self so anticipating a night at the opera."

Duncan merely glared at him in reply.

 


Chapter Two: A Night at the Opera

 

Just as Duncan had predicted, Ian Nottingham showed up at the opera, immaculately dressed in tuxedo and long coat. Kenneth Irons, surprisingly, did not accompany Nottingham; a young Eurasian girl who couldn't have been more than sixteen, by Methos' estimate, joined him in his box. A box, Methos noted with dry amusement, in full view of Duncan's box. Something, incidentally, that Duncan had seethed about all evening as they dressed for the show.

At that moment Duncan and Nottingham caught site of one another. Nottingham gave Duncan a smirking little nod. "English bastard!" growled Duncan, sotto voce, as he sat down.

Methos settled into the plush crimson velvet of his chair, sipped his champagne, and waited for the other show to begin. Midway through yet another tedious aria he excused himself, (Duncan barely noticed his going) and headed for the toilet. In the midst of emptying his brick hard bladder (ah! the joys of champagne) he noticed Ian Nottingham leaning against the far wall of the bathroom, arms crossed, a bemused glint in his eyes.

Somewhat taken aback at having his pissing technique studied so intently --and by such a striking man -- Methos snarled, "What are you doing?"

"Waiting for you to wash your hands so we can talk. That is the little unwritten rule, isn't it? After the other guy washes his hands it's okay to talk."

Two could play at this game. "And what if I don't wash my hands?" Methos asked archly.

"Then I'll start chatting you up right now."

"I'll wash."

"Good. I'll wait."

When Methos had finished toweling his hands, Nottingham spoke, "So, how long have you known Mr. MacLeod, Mister?..."

"Pierson, Adam Pierson." Methos said, extending his hand. Nottingham's grip felt warm and sure, and he had, Methos noted with some surprise, sword calluses. Those swords he outbid Duncan for didn't just hang on the wall. A rather odd sport for a VP, sword fighting. However, not only did Nottingham have calluses, his right hand had also been branded with an intricate design of circles and loops. Interesting. Not wanting this enigmatic stranger to have the upper hand, Methos decided to take the initiative. "It won't happen, you know."

"What won't?"

Methos gave an almost bitter chuckle and cut right to the heart of the matter. "I've known Duncan almost a year now; we're friends, and he won't even admit to himself that he wants to sleep with me. So what sort of chance do you think you have? He's insanely jealous of you -- largely because he wants you -- but he'll never admit that to himself. You haven't a chance of landing in his bed."

"And what do you want?" Nottingham whispered into Methos' ear, his voice intimate and knowing. "Do you chafe because you want something that is close, but out reach?"

"Oh gods, yes." Methos gasped before he could stop himself. Then he flushed profusely -- here he was, revealing his darkest wish to a virtual stranger, who also just happened to be Duncan's rival.

"That's what I thought." Nottingham murmured low and hot into Methos' ear. Methos felt his knees go weak. "Can I ask you something else, Mr. Pierson?"

"Y-yes."

"Do you want me, right here, right now?"

Methos felt such a rush of desire that the world greyed slightly around the edges -- that hot, moist breath against his ear, Nottingham's low and silky voice, the scent of the expensive cologne he wore, his underlying natural musk, those eyes, that body, that hair. Dragging himself back from the brink, Methos leaned back a fraction to look his seducer in the eye. He could up the ante. "What if I said yes?"

Before Methos could assimilate the movement, Nottingham's ravenous mouth covered his and firm hands on his shoulders maneuvered him back into a toilet.

Panic over took him -- when had he become such a frightened prude?! "What if we're caught?" Methos whispered.

"No one will say anything." Nottingham growled under his breath. "This is New York -- you can't hold anything over a person if you blab it out. And when the whispers do start, well, what harm is there in flattery? By the way, I like it hard. Don't hold back." In a swift, graceful movement, he knelt, unzipped Methos' trousers, and drew the leaking erection into his mouth.

<Hard. I can do hard,> thought Methos as he grabbed a double handful of that silky hair and began to fuck Nottingham's tight, hot mouth. Methos didn't even have time to give a warning; within moments he came with a sudden, violent orgasm. Panting, Methos sagged against Nottingham, who after a few seconds, stood, smiled, and swallowed. He held his own semen covered hand out to Methos, and Methos, for reasons he couldn't quite place, licked it clean.

"Thank you," said Nottingham, as he tucked Methos back in and zipped him up."It wouldn't do to have sticky fingers, would it?"

"No." Methos chuckled at the joke as he returned the favor, surreptitiously sizing Nottingham up and discovering something else out of the ordinary -- he was pierced, an ampallang.

"Well, then, the lobby after the show."

"Er...sure." Methos groaned inwardly. This game had just gotten a whole lot more complicated.

 


Chapter Three: Purgatory in the Lobby.

 

Duncan barely noticed Methos' return to the cozy confines of their box, but after about five minutes, he began sniffing.

"What's wrong?" Methos asked, slightly panicked.

"Oh, something..." [sniff] "smells like...sex." [sniff] Duncan spoke in an odd and distracted way, but then returned his full attention to the singing. Neither man spoke for the rest of the opera, and by the time La Boheme was over, Methos felt certain he'd run the gauntlet -- so to speak.

Down in the lobby, Ian Nottingham, accompanied by the Eurasian girl, approached them, but just before they got close, he sent her off to the concession area. Duncan's scowl grew darker by the second. Methos had to admit that there was something awfully smug and knowing in the expression on Nottingham's face. <Oh Gods! He's going to out me,> he thought rather bleakly.

"Mr. MacLeod, Mr. Pierson, what a pleasure --"

"Isn't she a little young?" Duncan cut in waspishly.

"What?" Nottingham blinked, taken aback.

"Your...escort. Or do you prefer the company of children?"

<Oh, shit.> Methos wished the floor would open so that he could vanish. This was about to get ugly, fast.

Nottingham fixed Duncan with a basilisk stare. "Setsuke," he gritted out between clenched teeth, "is like a daughter to me. Her mother's death was a great personal loss. Now, I'll admit that I have derived some pleasure from needling you here and there, but," his voice dropped to a hiss, "take care how you speak. I would never dream of making such an innuendo about you, Mr. MacLeod, and there are many, many, skeletons in your closet that I could have dancing out into the light of day. Good evening, Mr. Pierson." He gave a short, crisp bow, turned, gathered the arm of the baffled Setsuke, and stormed out of the lobby.

The unmistakable odor of sex trailed after him.

Duncan said nothing, but Methos could tell he was seething inside. Something told him this would end in a vesuvial blow up.

 


Chapter Four: We'll Always Have Paris

Sighing with contentment, Methos snuggled deeper into the thoroughly rumpled blankets of Duncan's bed. Next to him Duncan breathed the even breath of heavy sleep, and Methos knew he would soon join him in slumberland. But now...a few moments of pause and reflection, a giving of thanks to whatever higher powers might be for that blow job in the bathroom of the opera house and the furious fight that followed when he and Duncan had gotten back to their hotel....


"How dare you, Methos! How dare you fuck, or god knows what, with that bastard, Nottingham!"

"What makes you think--"

"I'm younger than you, not stupid. You both reeked of come. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out."

Methos had had all he would take. "Oh, yeah?!" He blurted out before thinking. "Maybe if you'd get over your bloody Scottish guilt and fuck me, like you want to, I wouldn't have to look elsewhere for satisfaction!"....


Well, that had done it. Yes, thank the gods for what had happened between him and Nottingham, because it had been the catalyst for the floor, the easy chair, and the bed (three times). And now, they were in Paris, in the barge, in bed, and about to sleep the sleep of the well-fucked.

An indeterminate time later, Methos awoke. He had the creepy, crawling sensation that comes from being watched. Instantly coming awake, he kept his body perfectly still and scanned the room with his eyes.

There, on the chest at the foot of the bed, in the lotus position, with Duncan's katana balanced across his knees, sat Ian Nottingham.

"How long have you been sitting there?" Methos asked evenly, as if finding an intruder in the house were a normal occurrence. Surreptitiously, he kicked Duncan awake as he reached for the bedside lamp.

The bed exploded in a blizzard of linens. "Wha-what?" mumbled Duncan, until he noticed who sat at the foot of his bed. "Why, you fucking English bastard!" Groping, he discovered that his katana was not in its customary hiding place.

"Looking for this?" Replied Nottingham with a bemused smirk, acting supremely calm and collected. "Oh, in answer to your question, Mr. Pierson, long enough to have slit both your throats and bundled your bodies into the Seine." Pause. "This is a beautiful katana, Mr. MacLeod. If I am not mistaken, I would say it is the work of Hideo Koto. Did you know him?"

Five thousand years of living had given Methos some moments of supreme shock. This definitely ranked in the top ten. Nottingham knew Duncan was Immortal! And not just that, it was the mild-mannered way in which he dropped that little tidbit into the conversation that floored Methos.

"How did you -- How do you --" Duncan obviously could not quite wrap his head around the fact.

"You haven't hidden yourself that well. Experience has taught me to be...thorough...in my research."

"And the fact that Duncan is four hundred years old doesn't shock you?" <This conversation was about to get very interesting,> Methos decided. <I hope he hasn't seen through my cover.>

"No." Nottingham paused for a moment and then continued, "My employer, Kenneth Irons, has dedicated his entire life to finding and controlling the sword that Joan of Arc, and a hundred other heroines through the ages wielded. I myself once possessed it for a few brief moments..." Methos thought he saw the intricate pattern of scars on Nottingham's right hand luminesce for a moment. "But the Sword of Zion, the Witchblade, chooses only women. It nearly drove me to madness. But in the brief moments I held it, I saw too many things..." Nottingham's voice trailed off, his slate-colored eyes growing vacant. Trance-like, he murmured, "Even now, though an ocean separates us, I can still hear it." He blinked, collecting himself, and spoke more firmly, "Let's just say that there is much that is dreamt of in my philosophy."

In an almost preternaturally swift move, Nottingham leapt to his feet, gesturing dramatically with Duncan's katana. "Gentlemen, there is a crippling disease faced by men such as me --one I hope you never have to face-- men who have all the money they could ever hope to spend, men who find life too easy, who set for themselves challenges they have seen cripple lesser men and surmount them easily." He laughed humorlessly and said, "N is for Nottingham, who died of ennui."

During this little performance Methos' mind had kicked into overdrive, "Is that why you work for Irons, then? Is he a diversion, an unsolvable riddle?"

"No, Mr. Pierson. He is one of the few people I know who can best me. And he has a goal. His life has purpose and meaning. So I have linked mine to his; it gives me something to do. For all of the tedious drudge work that comes with the job, I do find challenges that take me to the edge. Battles that require all of my skill in order to rip victory from the jaws of defeat."

"Is that what I am, to you, then? A bloody challenge?" A tinge of anger colored Duncan's words.

"Yes, and no." Nottingham spoke pensively. "Half of the reason you so resent me, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, is that you want me -- don't deny it. It's in your eyes every time you look at me. Half of the reason I want you so much, Duncan, is that you are the better man. Everything I've mastered so easily, I mastered to fill the void. Everything that you have mastered, you have done out of love and passion. I could never master you, Duncan, never tame your fierce spirit, and that is why I want you."

"What do you want?"

"A few hours in your bed, the three of us. I know you want it, Duncan. Don't deny yourself. Adam wants it. In fact, he has wanted it since he first had an inkling of where the conversation was going, am I right?"

Mouth dry with need, Methos only nodded.

Duncan did nothing. The only sound was the lapping of water against the barge.

"Oh, come on, then," Nottingham said petulantly, "or are you too much of a coward?"

"I'm no' a coward!" Duncan roared, leaping up to seize Nottingham by the collar.

Nottingham gave him the most goading of smiles. "Then prove it," he whispered.

The next few moments came straight out of Methos' deepest, most secret dreams. With a feral snarl, Duncan claimed Nottingham's mouth in a bruising, brutal kiss. Falling back into the bed, Duncan hauled the larger man by his shirtfront before literally tearing the clothes from his back. Nottingham gasped in pleasure, arching himself to meet Duncan's ferocious assault.

Not to be outdone by Duncan, Methos went to work on Nottingham's lower half, carefully but swiftly removing his boots and trousers. As exciting as what Duncan had done to Nottingham's shirt was, there was no way Nottingham would fit Duncan's trousers -- his legs were too long. With that thought, Methos pitched the pants over his shoulder and went to work on those long, sublimely muscled legs. From the corner of his eye, he noticed Duncan hard at work on Nottingham's neck and collarbone region. Nottingham's breath came in short, labored gasps.

Methos eventually worked his way up to Nottingham's rigid sex, and after many light, teasing touches, drew it into his mouth, sucking hard, lapping, working at the studded ends of the piercing, Nottingham's rigid body and incoherent shouts all the urging he needed. Methos barely heard the muffled shout of warning before hot seed flooded his mouth.

"I tried -- I tried to -- oh god, harder -- warn you, Adam." Nottingham finally managed to gasp out while Duncan lapped and pulled at the slender silver loops adorning his nipples.

Crawling up to his head, Methos made a show of swallowing before claiming that ripe, kiss-swollen mouth. He liked the idea of letting Nottingham taste himself. Unconsciously he began to slowly grind his
member into Nottingham's lean and sinewy hip. Abruptly, Duncan flipped the two of them over, and with his fingers, began preparing Nottingham. Methos found the increased friction and pleasure heavenly.

"D-don't." Nottingham managed to stutter, "Just g-go."

"But, it will hurt, I'll tear you..."

"Yes, I know, b-but, I need it, I need it hard. I need to know you can best me."

With a shrug of his broad shoulders and a quick squirt of Neutrogena, Duncan readied himself. In one firm motion he thrust himself in up to the hilt, the motion pushing Nottingham against Methos, who shoved
himself back against the sweat-slickness of Nottingham's pelvis.

Within moments, all attempts at coordination and gentleness vanished. Duncan and Methos rutted mindlessly, intent only on their own completion, Nottingham's gasps and strangled moans urging them on. Under the intense pounding, Nottingham's cock revived, and Methos could feel it thrusting against his thighs. With a hoarse shout of ecstasy, Methos sprayed his seed, and within seconds, Duncan's insistent pounding caused it to smear all over, gluing Nottingham to Methos in a sticky mass of jizz and sweat.

As Methos watched, Duncan's eyes rolled back in his head, and with a near bestial roar, he gave a mighty, shuddering thrust. <Jeez, man, shove me through the mattress,> Methos thought as over four hundred pounds of muscle plowed into him.

Nottingham gave a short, choked cry, and then Methos felt his thighs and the sheet beneath them grow damp and sticky and hot.

After a few seconds, Duncan rolled off of Nottingham and lay next to Methos, panting. "God, but that was good, I should've done that years ago."

"Duncan, shut up and get him off of me."

"What?"

"He's passed out. Now if you don't mind, I'd rather not have two hundred pounds of deadweight pinning me to the wet spot."

Duncan, still weak with pleasure, managed to free Methos. "Good god, Methos, you're a mess."

Methos, looking as dignified as a man with come dribbling down both sides of his body could, shot Duncan what he hoped was a withering look and headed for the bathroom, returning with several damp washcloths and a few towels. "Let's get cleaned up." Nottingham roused to a sludgy state of semi-consciousness as they wiped him down, his skin sporting numerous bruises and his neck a lattice work of hickeys.

"Jeez, Duncan, next time remember he's a mortal. Give him a turtleneck tomorrow, okay?" Folding a towel over the wet spot and rolling Nottingham over it, Methos barely turned out the lamp before sleep claimed him.

When they woke the next morning, Nottingham had vanished, and so had one of Duncan's shirts and a silk scarf.

A week later a heavily insured box arrived. It had no return address. Inside, lovingly nestled in silk cocoons, were a wakizashi and tanto, both mates to Duncan's katana. A short note, written in elegant Kana, accompanied the blades. It read: I had long searched for the mate to this set -- it was feared that the katana had been lost. It pleases me to reunite them. Until next we meet, Ian.

Despite the generous gift, Duncan scowled.

"Duncan?"

"The bastard would write Japanese better than I do."

 


Epilogue

"I am very disappointed in your behavior, Ian." A severe frown marred Kenneth Irons' otherwise handsome visage, "I permit you the occasional session with Danette, and your puppy love for Sara Pezzini is most amusing. This is different. Do you have any idea of how many Interpol cases Duncan MacLeod has helped solve? You could have jeopardized my entire operation."

"Yes, Master." Nottingham knelt, head bowed.

"You know I shall have to punish you for this lapse in judgment, Ian."

"Yes, Master," Nottingham murmured, shivering with dark joy.

 


End