Peeling the Grapes of Wrath
by Suze


Not mine. No money, but I've already been paid. <weg>


Duncan set his beer on the table and glared at his so-called friend. Methos raised his eyebrows but ungraciously declined the invitation to glare back at him.

"Unfair, Methos. Haggis is mine."

"Owning a kilt and a bad accent doesn't give you exclusive rights to what passes for Scottish cuisine, Highlander. Besides, I'm sure I had it first."

"You had everything first, including crabs and head lice. And besides, haggis doesn't qualify as a disgusting meal."

Methos' eyebrows were in imminent danger of disappearing into his hairline. Duncan's helpless struggle not to leap over the table and flatten the oldest Immortal with one punch wasn't helped by the barely smothered snickers coming from Joe's side of the table.

"I think you're going to have to give him haggis, MacLeod. Your turn."

"Fine. Poached monkey brains. With peanuts and lentils in chili sauce." Duncan considered it a fine shot, but Methos just sneered and brushed it aside.

"You don't know what disgusting is, MacLeod. Fried banana sandwiches with chitterlings and peanut butter dressing. Now that's disgusting."

Duncan snarled and turned to Joe, appealing to their self- appointed referee for intervention.

"Yeah, that's pretty disgusting." No help there.

How did the infuriating man keep luring him into these games? Duncan was one stomach-turning meal away from losing this inane competition. Four chess games, twelve exchanges of smart ass remarks, the spontaneous race during their morning run, and now this ludicrous contest. Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod hated to lose, and he'd lost enough points to Methos for one day; it was time to get serious. He could still pull a mangled victory from the jaws of defeat -- if he was willing to descend to Methos' level. Was it worth it? Was a momentary, hollow victory, even if it was a victory over Methos, worth abandoning the code of a lifetime? He looked across the table at his competition, and sighed. No, probably...

Was that a smirk? That suspicious, twisted little twitch at the corner of Methos mouth? Yes, definitely a smirk.

Duncan picked up his beer, settled back in his chair, summoned his memories from the Dark Quickening, and rifled quickly through the cache of evil hidden deep within his soul. Honor was well and good for most things, but sometimes a man had no choice but to strip off the spotless white gloves of fair play, forget he was a gentleman, and fight dirty.

"Amanda's chicken a la king."

The normal background sounds of Joe's bar receded, fading into white noise as a momentary stunned silence descended over their table. Methos' eyes widened. His mouth opened, but no actual words were discernible through the strangled gagging. The pale, ivory skin turned a particularly unappetizing shade of puce and his eyes watered as he reached blindly for his beer.

"We have a winner!" Joe managed to gasp out the words before falling sideways out of his chair.

This was the life. Duncan relaxed against the inflatable pillow on the back of the tub, blew a noisy, gloating raspberry to dislodge the bubbles clinging to his glass, and sighed in blissful contentment. Maybe fighting dirty was all it was cracked up to be. Given half a chance, he could get used to this. But Methos wasn't likely to give him half a chance, so he'd better enjoy the fruits of his hard-won victory while he could.

"Oooh, Methos?"

Nothing. No hurried, eager footsteps. No response at all. Not even a sarcastic grunt. Duncan frowned at the door. Where was he?

"Methos!" Louder this time, with just the right hint of restrained impatience. The door finally opened, revealing Methos lounging indolently against the door frame, holding a tray in one hand and a crystal decanter in the other.

"You bellowed, Oh Lord of the Sheep?"

Duncan sniffed huffily and gestured with his glass.

"I need more cognac. And the water's cooling off. Add more bubbles while you're at it, towel boy. And what's keeping my snack?"

Methos set his burdens on the counter, twisted the hot water tap as far as it would turn, and upended the Batman-shaped bottle of Mister Bubble under the gushing faucet.

"Happy now?"

Duncan grunted and shifted to lower his shoulders into the water, wallowing comfortably for Methos' benefit. He gestured with the glass again. Methos filled it to the brim, slopping a few drops of expensive champagne cognac into the bath along the way. Duncan frowned at him.

"These petty displays of temper aren't becoming, towel boy. Where's my snack?"

Methos moved the tray to the edge of the tub. Grapes. This was his idea of an appropriate snack? Duncan looked at Methos and assumed a borrowed air of aristocratic disdain.

"First snarky towel boys, then unpeeled grapes. The level of service around here has fallen abominably. I'll have to file a complaint with the membership committee."

Methos looked at Duncan. Duncan looked back at Methos, grinned nastily, and raised an eyebrow, along with the stakes. Methos gaze moved to where Duncan's knees, pink and flushed with heat, formed rosy twin peaks above the bubbles. Something flashed across Methos' face too quickly for Duncan to identify. What was it? Amusement? Lust? A blood-curdling desire for vengeance?

Wait a minute. What was that in the middle of the list? Lust? Where had that thought come from?

Duncan looked away and shifted uncomfortably, raising his shoulders above the water line and modestly lowering his knees, rearranging the bubbles to hide them. Then he colored with embarrassment, realizing what he'd done. Duncan abruptly decided he might have had more cognac than good sense would strictly call for. Yes, that was it. It was the alcohol. He silently repeated his it's-only-the-alcohol mantra, rearranging the bubbles again as a part of his anatomy even more rosy and flushed threatened to expose a solitary peak.

Staring at his fragile shield of bubbles, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. Methos was kneeling beside the tub, eyes lowered to the tray, his face blank of all expression, peeling grapes. His long fingers hovered over the bunch, chose an especially plump, tempting one, plucked it from the stem, then delicately peeled off the skin, and dipped the grape in the cognac. The hand moved toward Duncan's mouth, touched the juicy fruit against his lips, and waited.

Duncan opened his lips, and Methos slid the wet, rounded fruit between them. His fingers slid gently over Duncan's lips as they withdrew. Duncan's tongue chased after them, managing a brief flick against the retreating finger tips. Duncan didn't look at Methos' face; Methos kept his eyes down, hidden beneath his lashes. Neither spoke. Methos peeled another grape, anointed it with cognac, and raised it to Duncan's waiting lips. Again, the gentle touch of fingers. Again, the eager, questing tongue. Again, Methos withdrew.

Another grape, another touch. But this time Duncan grasped Methos' hand in his, delaying it's retreat long enough to lick the palm once before releasing it. It lingered, stroking once over Duncan's jaw before dropping to the tray for the next grape. The long, sensual fingers wandered over the wet globes, touching, caressing, stroking, searching for the perfect shape and size to pluck and peel and...

Duncan groaned, and reached out to stop Methos searching hand. Methos' head tilted, and the green-gold eyes glittered at Duncan from beneath the long lashes.

"Enough grapes?" he asked.


Methos moved the tray from the edge of the tub, but remained kneeling on the floor.

"If you stay in there much longer, you're going to shrivel up into nothing."

"I don't think I'm in any danger of shriveling up, towel boy." But he stood anyway, trailing water and bubbles as he stepped from the tub to tower above Methos.

Methos tilted his head back and looked up. Duncan felt the heat growing in his belly unfurl and spread through his body as Methos' eyes traveled over him. Over his long legs, lingering a moment on his proudly jutting erection, then moving over his tight stomach, broad chest, and wide shoulders to his face, and finally his eyes. Questions that had been three years coming were asked and answered in that look.

Then Methos looked away, reached for a towel, and started wiping the water and bubbles from Duncan's feet. Slowly, with a deliberate, sensual touch, he paid homage to each of Duncan's toes before moving up his strong calves. Then over and behind the guilty, lust educing knees. Methos leaned forward and Duncan felt warm breath glance enticingly across his hard cock as the towel ventured between his thighs, stroking, caressing. Duncan widened his stance, braced his hands on Methos shoulders, and prepared himself. But warm breath was the only attention Methos paid his aching erection before the towel moved up over Duncan's belly toward his chest.

Methos started to rise, and Duncan pushed down on his shoulders, keeping Methos where he wanted him to be. Where he needed him to be.

"You missed a spot." the threatening growl rose unbidden from deep in Duncan's chest.

"I did?" The lashes raised and lowered over the teasing eyes, and Methos lips parted slightly as if in puzzlement. "Where?"

Duncan leaned forward slightly. An inch was all it took to rub the hard column of flesh against Methos' cheek.

"Oh. Now how did I manage to miss that? Is it all for me?"

"Every inch of it. And soon, towel boy." Further prompting proved unnecessary as the wet heat of Methos' mouth closed comfortingly over Duncan's aching cock.

Duncan repaid Methos' teasing without guilt or hesitation. Keeping one hand braced on Methos' shoulder, the other grasped the silky hair and held his head still while Duncan began to thrust into the hot mouth. At the first thrust, Methos' hands locked around Duncan's thighs, at the third he took Duncan deep into his throat.

God. It was so damn good. Duncan had had his share of good blow jobs, but this was different. This was Methos -- kneeling at his feet, sucking him, licking him, taking his cock as deep as it would go. As hard and fast as Duncan could give it to him. Yes. God, yes. It was about damn time. He'd wanted this for so long. If Methos had been a woman, or easier to read, or less damn sarcastic, surely they would have done this years ago. This and more. Much more.

Yes. More than this. He wanted more than this. He wanted all of Methos. Every tight, hot, silky inch of him. And since Methos didn't seem to be objecting, he was going to take what he wanted, and trust Methos to stop him if he went too far. Self- preservation was one area where he trusted Methos' instincts implicitly.

The whimper when he pulled out of Methos' mouth was encouraging, as were the clutching hands and searching lips that followed him hungrily as he stepped back.

"No. You've had enough. Insolent towel boys don't deserve more than that."

Methos looked up at him in shocked disappointment. Damn, he was gorgeous like this. The thin face was flushed, the soft lips parted and eager to be taken and used. Temptation was kneeling on Duncan's bathroom floor among the crushed grapes and spilled cognac, kneading strong fingers into his thigh, rubbing its cheek against his leg, apologizing, promising to be good, begging to be fucked long and hard.

Temptation was overdressed for the occasion.

Duncan pulled Methos from the floor, pushed him out of the bathroom, and steered him towards the bed. It was a much longer journey than it had to be. Methos kept winding himself around Duncan, moaning mindlessly and rubbing himself frantically against any part of Duncan's body he could reach, and all of Duncan seemed to be in reach of those long arms and endless legs. It was a flattering display of lust, but it interfered with Duncan's increasingly urgent need to get him undressed and get those long legs wrapped around his hips where they belonged. If he'd known fucking Methos' mouth would have this effect, he would have stripped him first.

Finally, need out raced the remains of his patience and he lifted Methos off his feet and threw him to the bed. Holding him down with one hand, he tore the thin t-shirt over his head, and reached for the waistband of the jeans. Some inkling of Duncan's ultimate carnal purpose apparently penetrated Methos' lust clouded brain, because the slender hips lifted and the struggling stopped long enough to let Duncan finish stripping him.

Duncan barely had time to toss the jeans aside when he had a hot, whimpering Methos plastered to him again. It felt like the man had four arms, his hands were everywhere: stroking his back, twining into his hair, caressing his cock, twisting his nipples, pinching his ass.

"No pinching, Methos." It was a small thing, but a limit he could handle. They had to have limits, didn't they? If they kept this up, someone was going to get hurt.

"Anything. Whatever you want. Just fuck me. Fuck me, fuck me, fuckmefuckmefuckmefuckmefuckme. Now, Duncan, please!"

He fully intended to, but in his own good time. Duncan pinned the struggling body to the bed with his full weight, grabbed the arms, and tried to get Methos to slow down. It didn't work, but it got them close enough together to bring Methos' mouth into play. The hands were nothing compared to the mouth. The hands were dangerous, but the mouth was lethal. It kissed, it nipped, it licked, sucked and devoured. When it fastened to Duncan's mouth it tasted like grapes and cognac, it tasted like lust. It tasted like heaven and hell and paradise and redemption and temptation and punishment and tasted like Methos. Just Methos. But that flavor was more than enough to drown in.

Somewhere in the kissing he lost track of Methos limbs. When he was finally forced to come up for air, the arms were around his back, nails digging in deep, and the legs were locked around his hips, pulling them together. His cock, Methos' cock. Rubbing, pushing, fighting, grinding...

"Duncan, please, please, pleeeeease...." Methos head was flailing against the mattress in time to his frantic chant.

Duncan struggled to get Methos' struggling, thrashing body into position. For someone so hot to be fucked, Methos wasn't cooperating worth a damn. Finally, he got the slender hips just where he needed them, angled perfectly, and moved forward, rubbing the head of his cock against Methos' opening. Methos moaned, and tried to push forward and impale himself on Duncan's cock. Stopping for lube was out of the question, Methos would probably kill him. So he settled for spitting in his hand and rubbing it over himself quickly. Oh well, if it hurt, and it would, Methos had only himself to blame.

Methos wail when he entered him testified to the pain, but the thrusting hips and clutching arms confirmed the rightness of Duncan's choice. He sank deeper into Methos, slowly, fighting both his own desire to possess and Methos' frantic attempts to pull him in more quickly.

"Oh, God. Yes. Yesyesyesyesyes! Faster. Harder. Fuck me, Duncan. Yessssss!"

"Damn, Methos. A little impatient, aren't you? How long has it been since you've been fucked?" Duncan was suddenly grateful for the strength in Methos' clutching arms. If he'd been able to get enough oxygen he might have laughed, and Methos never would have forgiven him.

"It doesn't matter. It wasn't enough. It wasn't you." The voice was deep with passion, and breathless with truth. "It wasn't you."

Methos stopped moving. Suddenly and completely. His eyes searched for Duncan's, and they looked at each other. Methos looked frightened and guilty, as if he'd revealed a secret more dreadful and closely guarded than the Horseman. Duncan knew his own face must look stunned. They both knew how far from just sex Methos' confession would take them. Locked together, they stared. Neither moved. Neither spoke. And Methos' words hung unanswered and unexplained in the silence between them.

It wasn't enough. It wasn't you.

And something blossomed inside Duncan. A release from a tension he hadn't known was there, a sense of euphoric joy, a boundless gratitude for a priceless gift he hadn't even known he wanted, and wasn't convinced he deserved.

"It is now, towel boy." And Duncan sank fully into Methos, pulling him as close as he could before withdrawing to thrust again. Hard and fast, just the way his lover wanted it.

Methos' eyes closed and a sound like a strangled sob came from his parted lips. Duncan kissed the lips firmly, possessively, then feathered a softer touch across the wet eyelashes.

They held each other close, and moved again. Fast, but no longer frantic, moving together with a perfection of rhythm and a depth of passion that lust alone could never have achieved. But love had no limits they could reach.

"It's me now, Methos. It always will be."


 The End