MacLeod looked down. Methos was on his knees, staring expectantly at him, smiling at him. Smiling like the first time theyd met, mysteriously and charmingly, effortlessly, as if he wasnt tired from the fight, as if he wasnt breathing heavily from the exertion. Mac let the edge of his blade slide across the vulnerable neck. It shouldnt have been this way.
He remembered every moment he had spent with Methos, from the easy and comfortable companionship of the first years of their friendship, to the painful apprehension that Methos wasnt what he thought he was. The ancients past almost destroyed their friendship and cast a long shadow over everything that followed. Things had never been the same after Bordeaux, and that was over a hundred years ago. They couldnt keep away from each other for long, Methos always sought him out and offered him his help and advice whenever Mac needed it. But Mac could no longer trust him completely as he had done before. Couldnt really believe that Death was buried forever.
They stood like that for some time, resting, capturing their breath. Methos spoke quietly. I love you, you know.
Mac simply nodded. He knew that. That was the reason behind Methos return each time. The old man had never pressed him for anything and Mac finally understood that Methos would never initiate anything. It had comforted him to know that, for he wasnt sure if he could say no without hurting the fragile remnants of their relatiotionship even further.
I think I always have. Methos rubbed his throat against the blade. He grinned and shifted a little, so that hed be more comfortable. Im so glad its you.
Im not. Mac let his weariness and sadness show for the first time after so long. It meant that hed be all alone now. He hoped that the prize would make him mortal, for immortality at such prize was not worth it.
You were the best of us, Ive always known that. There was no other more fitting than you to take the Prize. Methos smiled. Come on, the world will be your clan now! You shouldnt feel guilty about winning.
How can you say that? Mac withdrew the katana and sat opposite Methos.
Because Im too old and too tired to care about the world anymore. He let out a small chuckle. Hell, I dont even care about myself anymore. Methos stretched and tilted his head. So, are you ready?
Mac shook his head.
Its not an execution, Mac. You won. Now, get on with it.
Mac stood up reluctantly, although he knew there was no other way this could have ended. He closed his eyes and concentrated, getting ready to strike. He opened his eyes. Methos was still kneeling, arching his neck backward, still smiling.
Can I ask you something? the old man suddenly said, his voice hesitant.
Make love to me before I die.
Mac smiled. Youre incorrigible.
Methos grinned. Always. His expression turned serious again. One kiss, Mac. Please.
Mac leaned over and kissed Methos chastely on the lips. He was afraid that the old man would open his lips, that his tongue would chase his, that somehow one thing would lead to another, that if it happened he wouldnt let go, but nothing of the sort happened. He pulled away and heard Methos sigh softly.
Thank you. Ive wanted this ever since Bordeaux, Methos admitted shyly. He was even blushing and Mac had never seen him look so young.
Mac swallowed hard as he fought down a lump in his throat. It shouldnt have been this way. He raised his katana and took one last look at Methos, willing his hands to stop shaking as the ancient immortal had the most peaceful expression on his face, Methos whispering I love you, as he lowered his sword in one strong and graceful arc, severing the head from the body, drawing a ragged breath before the Quickening, saying I love you to no one.