|The Good Doctor
by Rachael Sabotini
CYA: All standard disclaimers apply, whatever they might be. I don't own these guys; I just like to have fun with them. I make no money off this; I mean no harm.
There is something of a Violence Alert attached to this story, though it's all implied.
Even though she was mortal, Methos took her head. Her spine shattered as any immortal's would under the force of the blow, her blood dripped from the tip of his sword, red as any immortal whose head was cut off; her body fell as leaden and lifeless as any immortal who died. But no quickening came for him, no life force surrounded him, no power consumed him. Instead, her death echoed faintly in the room, another strain in the haunting melody surrounding him as he tried to feel Richie's presence.
The chateau was dark-its windows had been boarded up by the owner years ago-and damp; Methos could feel the mold on the walls whenever he touched them. Still, he thought he would be able to find Richie quickly, despite the three stories and twenty odd rooms, if he ran through the main hallways and waited to feel something besides stale air and death. In the kitchen, he felt the vague sense of immortality, and it pulled his attention up the steep narrow stairs behind the pantry door. No light filtered in here, and Methos had to feel his way up the cramped staircase. It opened out into a large room, probably the cook or maid's room in better years, and there he found what was left of Richie, lying naked on the bare wooden floor. He eased the young immortal into his arms and carried him down the stairs and out the back door, occasionally propping himself up to better distribute the weight. Eventually, he and his bundle made it to the Volvo. He carefully laid Richie in the back seat and covered him with blankets, threading one of the young immortal's hands through the break in the seats so that he could reach back and touch Richie while he drove. It made the trip awkward, but it was the only thing that would stop Richie's almost continuous, barely-audible moan.
Methos had chosen a room on the first floor of a motel, one with an entrance away from the street, the type used when a quick getaway was important. He got out and opened the room door, scanning the area carefully to make sure no one saw. Then he carried Richie into the room, still wrapped in blankets.
The bundle in his arms moaned again, as Methos placed Richie on the bed, turned, shut and locked the door. He carefully unwrapped the kid, then stood away, quickly, swallowing hard. It took a few moments to get control of his rebellious chi, but he did.
The last four days had been hell. Methos had heard about Richie's disappearance right after everything had been blown apart by Shapiro and Jacob. Both MacLeod and Dawson were back in Seacouver, and neither one seemed to be answering the phone. Given everything that had happened, Methos felt like he owed MacLeod one, and had spent the better part of the last four days finding Mac's protégé. Turned out that picking up strange women in bars was still a bad idea, even for an immortal.
"You'll be fine, Rich, just fine." He kept up this litany as he cataloged the injuries, running his hands over every inch of Richie's body, inspecting every wound. Most would heal easily, in a few hours, the broken bones, maybe overnight. The electrical burns worried him. Richie wouldn't let him get close enough to examine his genitals in detail, but it looked like Marcia had wrapped his cock in bare wire and given him a number of jolts. Cauterization always made a wound heal more slowly. Methos tried to pry open Richie's thighs, only to be frustrated by the instinctive way Richie protectively covered himself and curled into a ball. When Methos was finally able to get a good look at the young immortal's balls and shaft, he discovered that Marcia Snipes had had a distinct flare for sexualized brutality.
The circumcision scar had almost been hidden by the blisters on his skin, left when his body had been so overwhelmed that it couldn't repair itself properly. Methos didn't touch anything, hoping that the healing would start back up now that the damage had stopped. At least she hadn't bothered to geld the boy, which was one small favor; his balls were still safely tucked in their somewhat damaged sac. Methos carefully closed Richie's thighs and sat back, wondering how long she'd had the kid before she knew that he wouldn't die.
He got up from the bed and opened his duffel bag, pulling out the raw ingredients he needed from his current store. He mixed together a potion of valerian root, skullcap, and hops, then added a dose of morphine for good measure. He'd keep Richie drugged until he healed physically, then he could decide what to do about the emotional scars. If Richie would let him do anything at all, would-be tough guy that he was.
He sat on the bed, easing Richie's head onto his lap; Richie didn't respond, except to moan. Something was wrong with the set of Richie's lower jaw, and the moans focused his attention on the damage around Richie's mouth. Methos laid his hands on the sides of Richie's jaw and pressed in at the hinge, opening his mouth. With that, he found one other injury: Marcia had cut out Richie's tongue, so that his screams wouldn't be heard. That was why the young immortal only moaned throughout the car ride; he couldn't do anything else.
He managed to get Richie to swallow the potion, then laid him back down on the bed. The missing tongue worried him. If he could find it, and re-attach it to Richie, there was some possibility that his body would regenerate the missing flesh. Without it, there was no pattern for the healing to follow, and it might be centuries before Richie could speak. He pulled on his coat once Richie had settled into a healing sleep, and headed back to the car. Knowing Marcia, she'd probably kept Richie's tongue as a trophy, someplace in the chateau. Methos shuddered, wondering what else he would find.
Methos looked through rows of dismembered body parts, neatly on display in glass jars of formaldehyde, like tomes on a library book shelf, each jar labeled neatly in a small cramped handwriting with the owner's name and the date the trophy was taken. He willed himself not to remember as he passed by fingers, toes, and bits of hair and scalp. The breasts hurt, and the balls made him shake, but eventually, he found Richie's tongue.
Upstairs, the body of Marcia Snipes would be still be soft, yet the flesh stone cold. Methos hated the fact that she was dead, because what he had seen made him want to kill her again. He went out into the fading daylight, and set the jar holding Richie's tongue in the front seat of the car. He went around and opened the back of the wagon, and lifted out the can of petrol he'd bought at the small store up the road. He lugged it back into the house, to the main ball room, and doused Marcia's body with about half the can. Then he quite deliberately took out a match and set her body on fire.
"Rot in hell, Marcia," he whispered, as the flames consumed her body. He left quickly, before anyone had a chance to notice the fire and the Volvo, trying to believe that her victims would at last find peace.
Richie was only vaguely conscious when Methos returned. He looked better, and what Methos could see of the electrical burns looked like they had started to heal as well. He never let Richie see the jar in his hands, surreptitiously setting it on the pressboard desk, behind the medical kit. He turned on the bathroom light as well as the lamp near the bed, cradling Richie with a dim, fluorescent glow, leaving the rest of the room hidden in darkness.
Methos hesitated, knowing what he needed to do, yet hating to do it. The wound must be new for healing to occur, so he would need to cut the end off of what was left of Richie's tongue and sew on the dead bit from the jar in order for the tongue to re-attach itself. Luckily, it looked to be less than a day since Snipes had cut the tongue off; another day, and there would have been nothing Methos could have done. He drugged Richie with the most powerful narcotics he had on hand, hoping to kill him in the process.
That way, the tongue could be re-attached, and Richie would never know.
The moaning and groaning roused Methos from his fitful slumber in the uncomfortable captain's chair. Richie tossed and turned, his eyes wide open, sweat pouring off his body in riverfulls. Sparks lit the room whenever Richie opened his mouth; re-generation had begun.
Knowing the pain Richie must be feeling, Methos mixed together another tincture. He sat down on the bed next to Richie, and laid his hands on Richie's thigh, trying to get his attention. The young immortal relaxed under Methos' hand. Methos pulled the boy's body close, and dripped the pain-killer into Richie's mouth, ignoring the sparks.
He squatted at the end of the bedside and watched, hoping that this draught would be the last. Too many immortals turned to drugs as it was; Richie didn't need that sort of help.
Richie looked so different from what Methos remembered. Something had happened to his hair-probably Marcia had taken off hunks of it as a trophy during his stay-little remained of his boyish curls. His body looked different as well: like Richie, yet not like Richie. Sometime in the last few months, the boy had been replaced by a man. He tried to place the last time he'd seen Richie, the cocky young kid calling him 'old man' back in Seacouver. That must have been just after he'd taken Kristen's head, and before he'd left with Alexa. Long enough for Richie's innocence to fade...
Methos shook his head at his own imagings. Richie wouldn't be a man until he hit at least one hundred; more importantly, Richie was still in a hell of a lot of pain.
He pulled close again and stroked Richie's face; the young immortal grew silent. Methos sat back; Richie started moaning again. Surprised, Methos weighed his options: it seemed his touch eased the pain almost as much as his tinctures.
Methos stood and stripped, then crawled under the covers. He pulled Richie into his arms- bare flesh pressed against bare flesh, Richie's sweat-slickened skin sliding against his own-Methos rocking him and stroking him as a mother touches her child. There was no magic to this, no miracle being performed. Just the touch of another being; a breakwall against the darkness.
His mind empty, freely wandering through the maze of his past, Methos held Richie tight, finally noticing that at some point, in the middle of the night, the young immortal moaned no more.
That was when Methos told him what else needed to be done.
"Richie, I need to take a look at you. I'm not sure how much you remember of what happened in the chateau-" Fortunately, the physical pain would soon be forgotten, immortal memory being what it was; there would be no telling about the emotional. " -but your captor played a lot of games with you, some of them quite violent. I need to make sure everything has healed properly." He didn't add, 'or else I will have to break it again'. He didn't want to put Richie through that type of pain unless it was absolutely necessary.
Methos looked down at Richie, who looked to be one step from unconscious. He shook his head at himself. What had he expected? He had the kid on enough pain killers to sedate an elephant. Face it. Consensuality was one thing, healing was another.
He worked as skillfully as he could, stroking and caressing Richie's cock and balls, working quickly, his hands working Richie's cock as if it were his own, finally bringing Richie's body to climax. Richie moaned as he came, and Methos fled. He went to the bathroom, washed his hands, removing Richie's essence from his skin, and tried to calm his breathing. It meant nothing, the image of MacLeod naked above him, flashing through his mind like that. It meant nothing at all.
By the time he came back to check on Richie, the young immortal had fallen back asleep. He ran a cloth over Richie's body, removing most of the sweat, blood, dirt and cum. Methos sat down in the wooden chair across the room from him, where he'd started the night. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but knew it would be impossible. Richie's voice had become MacLeod's somewhere in his mind, and all he could see was the Highlander's head thrown back, moaning as he came deep within Methos' body.
Finally, Methos locked himself in the fairly utilitarian bathroom, with its sink and its toilet and not much else, and there gave in to temptation. Then he cleaned himself off again, and climbed in with Richie, deluding himself with the belief that he would be able to sleep.
When Richie woke, he acted as if he had never been hurt. "Works great. See." He waggled his tongue at Methos. "How'd you know how to fix it?" He bounced around the room, never alighting on anything for more than a second while every pore in his body screamed denial to anyone willing to listen.
Methos found he no longer had the energy to pay attention to Richie's problems; sometime last night, he'd been ambushed by one of his own. So instead of trying to pressure Richie, to make him stop and talk about what had happened, he merely shrugged. "I wasn't sure," he said.
"You seemed sure yesterday." Richie sat down in the chair, then immediately stood up again.
Methos ignored him. "I'd read about it in one of the chronicles. There was a man, a mortal, who liked to capture immortals to see what their bodies would do."
"Like that Auschwitz guy?" Richie interrupted his thought, picking up one of the vials from off of the desk and looking at it.
"Hmmm?" Methos proprietarily pulled Alexa's old prescription out of Richie's hands and placed it in his bag.
"During World War II. He experimented on the Jews, freezing them, burning them, skinning them, lots of stuff, just to see what the human body could stand."
"Yes, like that." Methos quickly gathered his medical kit together, ignoring Richie's looks. Finally, he couldn't stand it any longer. "Okay, Richie, what is it?"
Richie's voice was a whisper and he refused to look at Methos. "Adam, do you ever see Mac anymore?"
Methos sighed. Richie had been traveling when everything happened between the Watchers and Mac. "No, Richie, I don't. What happened in the past is over. For all of us."
Richie looked at him with a bitterness that Methos had never seen in him before, his anger, his determination much stronger than Methos remembered. "He tried to take my head, Adam. Watch yourself around him. He's not what he says he is."
Methos stared at him in confusion, then everything slid into place. That's right, Richie didn't know what had happened at the holy spring. He tried to work up the energy to explain, but even that was beyond his abilities right now.
Before he could say anything, Richie was pulling on his clothes, clearly on his way out the door. "Anyway, if you do see Mac, don't tell him what happened. I don't need anyone's protection," his voice bitter beyond his years. The 'not yours and especially not his' remained unspoken, yet it hung in the air like shit on a summer's day.
Methos looked at Richie. "Mac's not talking to me right now, either."
Richie squared his shoulders under the brown leather jacket. "Good." He paused, a bit of the old Richie peeked through, "Thanks, Adam. For everything." Then the kid was gone, and the man returned as Richie cleared his throat. "Yeah, well, I'll be seeing you. You take care, too, huh?"
Methos nodded. "Don't lose your head."
Richie shut the door and Methos sank back on the bed, his head in his hands. The wracking sobs convulsed his system as he remembered everything that had happened, everything he had done.
His time as 'Doc Adams' had not been the only moment in his life when he'd experimented with death. At the time Methos was first with the Horsemen, they'd found one of their own kind, an immortal, who seemed uninterested in joining Kronos' little band. Methos had taken the man and used him for his own ends, finding out just what could be done to an immortal before they finally died. He had had personally drowned the boy, cut out his heart, amputated his legs and re-attached them, burned his hands, and left him alive while he drew his intestines out. Methos had flayed him and drained the blood from his veins; starved him, buried him, and crushed him beneath a pile of rocks. The boy had gone quite mad early in the process; Methos had cut out his tongue to stop the babbling and the screaming. It didn't regenerate before Methos grew tired of the game and took the boy's head.
The funny thing was, he'd never known the young immortal's name. At the time, it hadn't seemed important. Not then, and not with any of the others either. It was hard to care about life when you felt so dead inside.
Methos knew he would never tell Mac what had happened here. Duncan would ask questions, and Methos would give him answers, and that would be the end.
Yet Methos wanted to see Duncan MacLeod again; more than that, he wanted to taste Duncan's sweat with his tongue, feel rough hair glide through his teeth, and hear the moans of passion as Duncan came. His balls tightened and his cock jumped at the images in his mind, and there was nothing he could do to make them go away.
It wasn't just the sex, though. Methos wanted them to stand together against all comers when the Gathering finally came, wanted to find away to stop it if they could. Wanted MacLeod to trust him enough to accept everything that he had done.
What he wanted from MacLeod was so different from what he'd done to Richie, there was really no comparison. This chance encounter simply allowed him to pay back a little of the karma that he owed the universe, but it was a small drop in an enormous ocean.
Methos packed what remained of his clothes. He'd go to Katmandu, and talk to the monks again. He had changed so much in the last few thousand years; maybe this time they could help him find peace.