Raindrops on Roses
by Rachael Sabotini

 

This story is rated PG-ish, and only needs a HL:Endgame spoiler-type warning. I don't think anyone wants to be associated with this, but Davis-Panzer owns the original source product of 'Highlander.' I make no money, I mean no harm.

Elynross let me twist her arm and agreed to beta this; I thank her for that kindness.


Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles
And warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string
These are a few of my favorite things --

But those weren't his favorite things. They were someone else's, someone who believed in the power of the familiar. It did nothing to cheer Duncan up; the things that were familiar for him weren't things he thought of with fondness. Duncan blinked again, and the letters on the tombstone swam back into focus: Connor MacLeod, Beloved Husband of Heather.

At least this time he hadn't had to carve the letters himself.

He winced at his thoughts. This black humor didn't sit well with him; he wondered if it was a facet of his own personality that he'd never noticed, or something left over from Connor. The melancholy that had settled over him like a mantle after Connor's death felt worse than almost anything in the past five years, on the level of what he'd felt after Richie's death.

Death, now. That was something familiar. The feel of his sword in his hands, the sound of it biting into flesh, the sense of the Quickening when it finally came. Both men dead now, his brother and his son. Both of them by his own hand.

He shifted a little; the wind was biting into him now, the darkness gathering. He should be getting back to the hotel. Still, he couldn't manage to tear himself away quite yet; not until the first drops of rain started to fall.

If they started to fall. The sky still looked too bright a blue for his comfort. Why couldn't the weather ever cooperate?

Were those his thoughts, or another's? Duncan stuffed his hands in his pockets and blinked again. Yes, it was time to go.

The car was over the hill, not a bad walk. He felt warmed by the time he opened the door to the rental and climbed inside. It would be another twenty minutes before he got back to the inn; twenty minutes alone with his thoughts.

Duncan cheered up the moment it started to rain.


The buzz hit him as soon as he opened the front door. He didn't have to look around; Methos was at the far side of the room looking at him. The book in his hand was almost half-finished, if the bookmark was any indication. The fact that it wasn't completely finished meant that Duncan hadn't been the only one thinking too much.

"You look wet." The words were nonsense, considering he was dripping all over the entryway carpet, but Methos' eyes told him what the words did not, that Methos had been worried and was glad that he was back.

"Started to rain just outside of town."

"I see." Methos crossed his arms over his chest, the book between them, and walked over to him. He glanced at Duncan, his head slightly bowed, so that he was looking up slightly. "So you did have the sense to come home before it started."

"Yes, Methos. I did." Duncan smiled back. "I know when to come out of the rain."

"Good." Methos nodded and laid his hand on Duncan's arm. "But I still think I should get you upstairs and out of those things."

With a laugh, his mood lighter than it had been all day, Duncan unbuttoned his coat. "You may be right about that. It would be a shame to catch cold."

"Wouldn't it?" Methos nodded wisely. "Come on, then. We'll take the stairs. It'll be faster."

Watching Methos walk away, Duncan couldn't help but smile. Now *that* was probably one of his favorite things.

"MacLeod?"

"Right behind you."

Suddenly things didn't seem so bad.


The End
09/20/2000