|Rewind, Fast Forward, Play
Disclaimers: Okay, the legal stuff. The characters in this story and the concept of immortality used here don't belong to me (worse luck). They belong to the Men In Suits at Rysher and Panzer/Davis. They don't treat them very well, but there's nothing I can do about that except take them out to party once in a while. Not for profit, just for laughs.
Thanks go to Olympia and Pattie for tireless beta reading (over and over and over) and wonderful suggestions. Also to Diana DeShaun for inspiring me with her Tarzan game, and then being so gracious as to let me borrow it. Thanks Diana. And of course to Zen & nancy. Tireless, wonderful net friends, always ready with a warm virtual hug and a cold beer. Thanks ya'll, I wouldn't have made it without you. (Although I might have finished it sooner if I hadn't been fretting about the way ya'll keep beating the tar out of that hairy little Yankee anthropologist. OPB)
This story is rated NC-17 for language and juicy m/m sex.
Day One (evening, the barge):
Duncan MacLeod sighed and tossed another book of swatches onto the coffee table. He needed to make the decisions about the redecorating soon, the decorators were coming in to start the renovations on the barge next month. I can't make decisions if I can't concentrate, thought Duncan, and I can't concentrate while Methos' is sprawled all over my couch looking so...so...edible. Glancing at the older immortal, Duncan could see Methos' long, dark lashes lying like soft shadows under his eyes. Good. Safe to look. Duncan let his gaze travel slowly up the length of the other man's body.
Methos' long, denim clad legs were spread, one bent at the knee and leaning against the back of the couch, the other falling loosely over the edge to rest against the coffee table. One arm was resting over the back of the couch, the other was lying across Methos' chest, fingers just touching the base of his neck. The position was tempting. MacLeod indulged himself in a small fantasy. One quick pounce and Methos would be pinned to the couch, unable to move unless the Highlander chose to let him. Very tempting. MacLeod's groin tightened as his eyes moved up the ivory column of the neck, pausing to linger at the curve of the ear. The skin looked so soft there, like a baby's skin. Duncan snorted. Right. An incredibly irritating five thousand year old baby prick tease. But sexy as hell.
Damn him, MacLeod thought. He does it on purpose. He knows how I react to his body and he damn well does it on purpose. He has to know. How could he not know? He's spent the last three years slowly driving me insane. Coming over here at any excuse, drinking my beer and twitching his tail. Sprawling all over my furniture, spreading his legs like an invitation. Does he think I don't notice? I've known prostitutes and courtesans who didn't flirt as well, or as much, as Methos does.
Methos had grown more blatant in the three weeks since Duncan had taken Byron's Quickening. Duncan remembered the slender body brushing against him in the kitchen earlier that evening. Every time Methos moved into the room for another beer, or a surreptitious taste of what Duncan was cooking, he managed to make contact with some part of the Highlanders's body. By the time the meal was ready, so was Duncan.
Methos shifted his hips, causing the worn denim of his jeans to stretch tightly across his stomach and outline his groin. Duncan's mouth went dry as he imagined slipping his fingers under the soft material and caressing the tender flesh beneath. Forcing his eyes away from Methos' groin, MacLeod's gaze moved back up to his face. Methos was awake, contemplating the Highlander. A small grin flickered at the edges of the ancient immortals mouth.
"That's it for me," Methos yawned and raised his arms over his head, stretching his body to it's full, enticing length. MacLeod's eyes followed his friend's sweatshirt as it rose, revealing two inches of pale skin stretched taut over the muscles of Methos' abdomen. His groin ached as his jeans grew even tighter. I'm losing it, the younger immortal thought in disgust. I'm getting hot over a glimpse of Methos' stomach.
"You're leaving already? It's not even eleven." With a great deal of effort, MacLeod managed to keep his voice from squeaking. There was no way Methos was leaving here tonight. Not until they settled this, one way or another.
"The end of another exciting evening at Chez MacLeod. Watching you fuss over paint samples has been a thrilling experience, Mac, but I can't say I'm sorry it's over. Do call me next time you redecorate. I'll be sure to have pressing engagements in Katmandu."
"No, Methos, we're not through yet," MacLeod growled. He wasn't going to let Methos leave that easily. Not this time. This time Duncan was determined that the Old Man was going to finish what he'd started. I'm not taking another cold shower because of Methos, the Highlander vowed to himself. Moving swiftly, Duncan placed himself between the older immortal and the door. Settling his fists on his hips, he effectively blocked the small entryway.
"MacLeod, you have a really twisted sense of humor. The evening is definitely over for me. I'm an old man and it's past my bedtime. Get a professional in." Confident that Duncan was joking, Methos settled his backpack over his shoulder as he moved toward the door.
"Not this time," the serious tone of Duncan's voice brought Methos' head up. "Tonight you don't get to run away, Methos." One strong hand reached out and twisted the backpack off Methos' shoulder, tossing it into the corner. The other hand grabbed the older man and shoved him back into the room.
Methos stumbled backwards across the floor, landing on his ass in front of the couch. "Bloody hell, Highlander! What do you think you're doing?" Looking up at the other man in amazement, he wondered which of MacLeod's buttons he had pushed this time. Oh shit, he thought. How do I get myself into these things.
"Something I should have done a long time ago. In fact, if I had done this the first time we met, my life would have been a lot calmer." Duncan reached back and locked the door. Methos had been teasing his prick for three years, and payback time had finally arrived. A five-thousand year old man should be more careful. After all, Methos was the one who insisted chivalry was an outmoded concept.
Methos tensed. MacLeod had obviously lost his mind. Think fast old man, he warned himself. Keep your voice calm and don't make any sudden moves. "Duncan, this is crazy. What the hell is happening?"
"We're going to have this out once and for all, Methos. Clear the air, so to speak." Duncan began to move toward where Methos still knelt on the floor. The smaller man read 'intent to do bodily harm' etched in every one of his friend's well-toned muscles.
The ancient immortal rose slowly to his feet and began to back away. "Have what out? MacLeod, this is ridiculous. Whatever I did to piss you off, violence never solves anything." Methos continued his retreat, wary of taking his eyes off the man stalking him through the room. Watching Duncan move, Methos was reminded of his last encounter with an unfriendly mountain lion. Don't show fear, he reminded himself desperately, they can smell fear. He didn't believe Duncan would go as far as taking his head, but the Highlander did look capable of beating the shit out of him, and pain wasn't on Methos' list of preferred sensations this week. Retreating behind the desk, Methos realized he was about to be trapped.
"It may not solve anything, but just think how much better it'll make me feel. You of all people should understand that." The tight grin that twisted Duncan's mouth made Methos' breath catch in his chest. Oh yes, the Highlander was really pissed at him this time. What the hell did I do, Methos wondered frantically. Moving to the short flight of stairs leading to the bed, Methos backed up them slowly, as the other man continued his relentless advance.
"Are you challenging me, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod?" Methos asked quietly.
"I'm challenging you to tell the truth, Old Man," The Highlander answered, unfazed. "How long has it been since you told anyone the simple truth? A hundred years? A thousand?" He had the older man trapped now. The only place he could retreat was the bed, and that was just fine with MacLeod. The bed was exactly where Duncan wanted that lean, tempting body, preferably naked, oiled, and writhing passionately under his.
Startled by the seeming incongruity of the question, Methos laughed. "The simple truth? A very long time, MacLeod. I try to avoid it. It's not exactly a survival-oriented trait." The backs of Methos' legs were pressed against the edge of the mattress. He had run out of room to retreat. As Duncan moved to close the distance between them, Methos took a deep breath and straightened. The Highlander's cheeks were flushed and a fine sheen of perspiration made his face glow in the soft light from the desk lamp. His dark brown eyes were narrowed in concentration, and what they were concentrating on was memorizing every inch of Methos.
Methos stiffened in shock. He hadn't suspected MacLeod was capable of surprising him this completely. Fuck, he thought. When did this happen?
"Tonight we're going to stop lying to each other, Methos." MacLeod's voice was low and deep. Methos had never heard the Highlander use that tone to a man. It was the husky, whiskey soaked voice Duncan reserved for seducing women. A flare of heat ran through Methos' body and settled in his groin. His eyes widened as he felt himself pushed firmly back onto the bed, Duncan's strong, heavy body pressing him down into the mattress.
What we have here is a failure to communicate, the ancient immortal thought, as he felt the warmth of the younger man's lips moving roughly against his.
"MacLeod..." Duncan took advantage of Methos' open mouth to slide his tongue inside. Methos tasted wonderful, smooth and heady like good beer. His body felt so right under MacLeod's. Every curve of the lean torso seemed to match perfectly with Duncan's. Too many clothes, thought the Highlander, and reached for the waistband of the older man's jeans.
Methos could feel one of MacLeod's warm hands pushing up under his sweatshirt, while the other was jerking open the snap on his jeans, brushing against the naked skin of his abdomen. Methos sent his body urgent signals, demanding it not heed it's almost overwhelming need to respond. Twisting his head to one side he managed to break free of the Highlander's mouth.
"Duncan, no. I don't want this." Methos' hands were clutching the bedcover to keep from grabbing MacLeod, but his voice was low and calm.
"Bullshit. You've wanted this for three years. I'm neither a fool nor a virgin, Methos. I know when someone's flirting with me, and I know when someone wants me. And I know the difference." Duncan lowered his mouth to the pale skin of Methos' neck and began to suck.
"Good at differences, are you Highlander?" Methos' breath came in a gasp as Duncan's teeth closed on the vulnerable skin of his throat.
"Try this one. Isn't 'no,' the difference between seduction and rape?"
In one violent motion, Duncan propelled himself off the other man and out of the bed. Methos took the opportunity to jump off the opposite edge and move down the stairs toward the center of the barge.
"Shit, Methos. You don't have to run from me. I'm not going to rape you." If he had thought Duncan sounded pissed off earlier, it was nothing to how he sounded now. Methos moved to add the width of the coffee table to the distance between them.
"Fifteen minutes ago I wouldn't have doubted that. Now I think I'll stand over here, thank you." Keeping an eye on the Highlander, Methos refastened his jeans and straightened his sweatshirt.
"Methos, what the hell kind of game are you playing now?"
"Game? Me? You're the one playing 'Me Tarzan, you Methos'. I don't remember asking to be chased around the coffee table."
MacLeod stared at Methos in disbelief. Was the man actually going to pretend he hadn't been trying to seduce Mac since the first moment they met? Surely Methos didn't think Mac was going to let that pass. Duncan could feel his blood pressure rising. He wondered how long it took for an immortal to come back after stroking out.
"Asking for it? You've been begging for it!" MacLeod raised his hand and began counting points on his fingers. You have never passed up an opportunity to flirt with me, you spend so much time on the barge it's a wonder the Watcher's don't think you live here, and you managed to touch me seventeen times while I was making dinner. Seventeen, Methos. I counted. And in just forty- five minutes."
MacLeod headed toward the kitchen and Methos circled the room to maintain his distance. Duncan glared at the older man.
"And your standard response to flirting is date rape? Do you get good results with this technique, Highlander? I only ask because it hasn't worked for me in three thousand years."
"Stop it Methos. It was a misunderstanding. An incredibly embarrassing mistake. I would never have forced you. But you were flirting with me. It was driving me crazy."
Deciding he was no longer in physical danger, Methos dropped to the couch and stretched his legs out on the coffee table. Wasn't this an interesting development? He had begun to wonder if the last three years were wasted effort. There had been very few men he wanted that couldn't be persuaded to give sex with him a try, but the Highlander had been particularly stubborn. He hadn't given Methos many clues by which to judge his responses.
Regretfully, Methos had been forced to conclude that not getting kicked off the barge was a null indicator. Duncan could be amazingly, stupidly chivalrous. It was nice to know he had been getting to the Highlander. But the way MacLeod had chosen to respond just wouldn't do.
I can work with this, the ancient immortal decided. The Boy Scout likes to brood, let's make him happy. I'll give him enough material for a week-long pout. He'll feel better after he gets to wallow in guilt for awhile.
"Bloody hell, Duncan. If you didn't like it, why didn't you just say something? You never know, I might have been persuaded to stop. You were." Nice little extra twist of the knife there, old man, Methos congratulated himself.
"I didn't say I didn't like it. I just misunderstood. I thought you wanted...." Duncan looked at Methos. The other man was sprawled across the couch, his long limbs enticingly spread. His head was lowered and he was gazing at Duncan from under his lashes. Damn, the old slut was doing it again!
"Methos, if you don't want me to respond to that, stop doing it." Duncan's voice was rough with frustration.
Methos grinned, and stood up. Walking to where Duncan had thrown his backpack, he lifted it and turned back to the younger immortal.
"It's not that I don't want you to respond, Highlander. I just want you to respond...differently. Yes, I've been flirting with you for three years. And for three years you've pretended not to notice." Methos moved to stand in front of the other man.
"You've not given me one clear signal to indicate you returned my interest. And suddenly you throw me to the floor, then chase me to the bed? I'm too old for that shit, and you're supposed to have too much class. If we're going to do this, and I sincerely hope we are, then let's take the time to do it right."
"You're talking about playing more games, Methos," Duncan sighed. "I would have thought we were both too old for that."
"No MacLeod, that's not what I'm saying at all," the ancient immortal replied softly. "I'm talking about stretching every moment of joy as long as you can. Savoring every detail." Methos reached out and gently brushed a lock of long, dark hair off of Duncan's face, tucking it behind his ear. "Five thousand years, Highlander. That's a lot of rainy Sunday afternoons to fill. When I find something new that intrigues me the way you do, I want to take my time and enjoy it."
Methos stepped away and pulled the backpack more securely onto his shoulder. "Besides, the "Me Tarzan" game has never been one of my favorites. Been there, done that."
"Methos, exactly how much time are we talking about?" Duncan shifted uncomfortably. Methos' warm fingers brushing his face had once again made him desperately aware of the hot, tightening flesh straining against his jeans.
"Have you ever had an affair with a man Duncan?"
"I'm four-hundred years old, Methos. I've been with several men."
"MacLeod, there's a big difference between being with a man, and having an affair with a man. Just like there is with a woman. I'm not interested in having a one-night-stand with you, MacLeod. That would put entirely too much strain on this relationship."
"And you think an affair wouldn't?"
"No, I think it would, shall we say, broaden our lines of communication. I can get sex anywhere, MacLeod. I don't need to ruin a friendship I value just to get laid."
Methos reached for his coat and moved toward the door.
"Methos, don't leave. We need to talk about this."
"No Mac. I think we've talked enough. I think you need to think about it." Methos opened the door, then turned his head back toward Duncan. Time for one more cheap shot.
"But for the record MacLeod, even if I were a one-night stand you picked up in a bar, I would expect better than being jumped and thrown to the floor." Methos left, shutting the door behind him.
Duncan got a beer from the fridge and went to sit on the couch. He could still feel the warmth of Methos' body from the leather cushions. He drank his beer, looked at the ceiling and thought.
"I can't believe the old man thought I would fall for that cheap guilt trip. I must have really caught him off guard."
After a few minutes, the Highlander grinned wickedly and stood. Moving to his desk, he retrieved a pad and pen, and began planning his campaign.
If Methos wanted to be courted, then by damn, he would court him. And Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod was going to do it right.
Day Ten (evening, the barge):
Methos leaned back on the sofa and watched the Highlander walk across the room. God, he loved to watch that man move. Someday, Methos thought, I'm going to get him to dance with me. The images of dancing with MacLeod, his own slender body pressed tightly against the more muscular form of the larger man, caused Methos to shift uncomfortably and adjust his sprawl on the cushions, hoping to give himself more room in his jeans. It didn't work, but he hadn't really expected it to. After all, it hadn't worked at any time in the last ten days.
He had challenged the Highlander and the man was apparently determined to make Methos pay for it. Yes, he had wanted to take this next step in their relationship slowly and enjoy every moment of it, but the younger immortal was moving forward at a pace that felt absolutely glacial. In the last two weeks Methos had suffered through a series of goodnight kisses that had kept him hard and awake for hours, even after he gave in and started taking cold showers every night before bed.
Long, passionate kisses. Kisses that kept getting longer and more passionate as the days passed. Last night they had necked on Methos' couch for two hours. Methos had been sure MacLeod had reached the end of his endurance and was finally going to make another try at getting Methos into bed. Methos was certainly ready. Had been ready for days. Then Duncan had pulled back, touched the diamond stud in Methos' ear, kissed him gently, stood, and said goodnight.
How did Duncan stand it? Methos decided that his friend had a cruel streak that he had managed to keep very well hidden. Half of him was glad to see it; it gave him hope for the Highlander's continued survival. The other half was sorry he had stopped MacLeod's original pass. Was the man never going to get on with it? He hadn't realized the Highlander could be such a low, conniving son of a bitch. The Boy Scout was better at this than he had expected.
Maybe it was time for Methos to make the next move. After all, MacLeod had spent almost two weeks giving Methos what he said he wanted. How hard could it be to give Duncan what he wanted. The simple truth couldn't be that hard. He was just so out of practice. Well, as long as he didn't make a habit of it, it shouldn't be too painful.
"What? Sorry MacLeod, I was...drifting for a moment. What did you say?"
"Brandy or cognac?"
"Oh, cognac, definitely."
MacLeod poured the drinks and moved back to the couch. Handing Methos his glass, he reached over and put his hand on Methos' leg, pushing it over to make room on the couch. He left his hand on the denim clad thigh a little longer than was strictly necessary, enjoying the feeling of the tight muscles beneath the cloth. He also enjoyed the way his touch made Methos' catch his breath before he shifted the long legs out of Duncan's way.
Duncan was surprised at how much he had been enjoying 'courting' the older immortal. Maybe Methos was right. Why rush through the preliminaries? They had plenty of time, after all, and for once Duncan was having fun with one of Methos' little games. The best part though, was Duncan's suspicion that Methos wasn't enjoying it much at all any more. It was fun to watch the old man squirm a little.
Day Three (morning, the barge):
He had started with flowers. Safe, traditional flowers. Red roses. Lots of them. After two days Methos had called him.
"MacLeod, enough with the roses. My apartment smells like a funeral home. Three days after the funeral."
"You don't like roses? I'll change the order and send something else," MacLeod was glad they were having this conversation on the phone. It would never do for the older man to see the grin Duncan couldn't hide.
"NO! I like roses, but enough is enough. The four dozen you've sent will last me for awhile. It's a small apartment, MacLeod."
"Oh. All right. Are we still on for dinner Wednesday night? I'll pick you up at eight."
"I'm perfectly capable of getting myself to the club, Highlander."
"I know you are Methos, but it's a date, and I invited you, so it's my responsibility to pick you up and get you home safely. I'll be there at eight." MacLeod hung up before Methos could register any further protests. Okay, the flowers had worked. Lifting the phone again, Duncan set other plans in motion.
Day Six (morning, Methos' apartment):
"I've created a monster, Joe. I'm usually better at this. How did I misread MacLeod so completely."
Methos finished his beer and rose to get another from the fridge.
"Beats me, Methos. You knew MacLeod was a chivalrous son of a bitch. If you had given it any thought at all, you could have predicted this. Instead, you let your dick do your thinking and walked right in to it."
"Bullshit. If I had let my dick do my thinking I'd be a lot better off. I would have let MacLeod fuck me senseless the first night and I wouldn't be having this problem now."
Dawson grinned at the ancient immortal. It was fun to see the old man out of his depth for once. After enduring three years of sarcastic 'wisdom', it was immensely satisfying to watch the five thousand year old man get broadsided. And by a mere babe of four hundred.
The night before had been especially entertaining.
When the Highlander had called and told Joe what he wanted, Joe hadn't believed it. Champagne? Okay no problem, the two immortals were obviously celebrating something. It was nice to know they were getting along again, and Joe was sure that he would eventually find out what the occasion was. Flowers on the table were a little more unusual, but Joe went with it. Special musical requests were nothing new, but love songs? For Methos? Unfortunately, MacLeod had hung up before Joe could get over his astonishment and start asking questions.
Joe knew that MacLeod had had male lovers before, but the Highlander was always very discreet. If the Watchers hadn't been looking closely, they would have missed them. As it was, Joe was sure they didn't know about all of MacLeod's amorous adventures with his own sex.
Dawson had decided that in this case Mac's twisted sense of humor was working overtime. The Highlander was obviously preparing some elaborate practical joke. Well, Joe didn't mind helping out, especially if the joke was on Methos.
When the two immortals arrived, he had all of Mac's requested arrangements completed and was ready to enjoy the fun. At least he thought he was. He wasn't ready to see the Highlander treating Methos like a date. Mac held the door for the older man. He pulled out his chair. When Mac reached across the table and held Methos' hand, Joe knew that something was really up, and his Watcher instincts went on full alert. But he still wasn't prepared for the shock of realizing the two immortals were playing 'footsie' under the table. Damn. MacLeod finally got a clue.
So here Joe was, sitting on Methos' couch at an obscenely early hour when both he and the old man were usually still in bed. Luckily for him, Methos was as flabbergasted by MacLeod's actions as Joe was, and apparently desperate to talk it. After two cups of coffee for the Watcher and three beers for the immortal, Joe had heard the whole story. He just didn't believe it. Although to judge by last night, and by the over-powering scent of roses in the small apartment, Methos might be right. Joe contemplated the pile of stuffed animals Methos had flung into a corner. The dagger Methos had thrust through the pink gorilla was an especially telling touch. Joe decided Methos was right. He had created a monster.
"Just be prepared for anything, Methos. MacLeod is a romantic at heart, but he's got all that Scottish pride and you've issued a challenge. He won't back down. If he's decided you're what he wants, and he thinks this is how to get you, he'll pull out all the stops. It's an E ticket, Methos. You might as well sit back and enjoy the ride."
"Dammit, Joe, that's not very helpful. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from MacLeod. Public displays of affection toward another man weren't only not on the list, they weren't even in the same room with the list. If I've misjudged him so badly about this, what else..."
A knock on the door interrupted the immortal's tirade.
"If that's another goddamned teddy bear, I'll kill him."
Striding to the door, Methos jerked it open, fully prepared to verbally eviscerate an innocent delivery person. Joe couldn't get a clear view of the door without standing, but when he didn't hear a body hit the floor, he decided it probably wasn't anything furry. Mac's head was safe, for now.
Methos returned with a cheerful expression on his face and a large gold-foil wrapped box in his hands.
"This is more like it. Chocolate!" He set the box on the coffee table and removed the lid. Humming lightly to himself, the world's oldest man gazed raptly at the tempting selection.
"Expensive chocolate," Dawson commented, recognizing the name of the exclusive chocolatier on the box.
"Only the best for MacLeod. The man does know how to live well, I'll give him that."
Methos made his selection and leaned back to savor it. Joe stared at the other man in amusement.
"Methos, I've seen rapid mood swings, but this is ridiculous. Less than five minutes ago you were threatening to kill MacLeod."
"That was teddy bears, Joe. This is chocolate!"
"Do you often have beer and chocolate for breakfast?" Just imagining the combination made the mortal wince.
"Only on really good days." Concentrating on selecting his next piece of heaven, Methos missed the grin that crossed the other man's face.
"I'll leave you alone to enjoy it. Let me know what happens, will you?" Joe headed for the door.
"Well, as much as I think you can stand to hear, Joe," Methos smirked.
"This is too important to miss, Methos. I'd like to get the story from you, but I'll assign a Watcher if I have to." Dawson smirked back at the ancient immortal.
Frowning, Methos raised his eyes from their contemplation of the chocolate. Blackmail. The man was actually going to blackmail him!
"Exactly how many of the graphic details do you need, Dawson?"
"You're a good scholar. Take notes."
The other man was still cursing when Dawson closed the door behind him. At least he assumed it was cursing. I gotta get him to teach me that, he thought. Might be useful to be able to curse in a few dead languages.
Day Six (afternoon, the barge):
"Positively orgasmic, Mac. Did you know he reacted to chocolate like a drug, or was it just dumb luck?" Joe asked as soon as MacLeod opened the door.
The Highlander grinned as he moved back to let his friend enter the barge.
"Interesting. Not even a 'hello Mac.' I gather you've talked to Methos today."
"Better. I was at his place when your latest offering was delivered this morning. And just in time I might add."
"Just in time for what?"
"Just in time to keep Methos from coming over here with his sword drawn. You've really thrown him off balance, MacLeod. Methos doesn't like being off balance, it makes him uncomfortable. And an uncomfortable Methos is a dangerous thing."
"That's what the chocolates were for, Joe."
"Kind of like throwing a drugged steak to a watch dog while you sneak over the fence, huh? How did you know the chocolate would work?"
"Let's say it was an informed assumption. Methos is the most sensual, hedonistic person I know. That just seems to go with a love of chocolate."
"Right. Personally I would have put smart ass at the top of the list, but I'll take your word for it. What's next?"
"Yeah MacLeod, next. Chances this good to get to the old man don't come along very often. You have got to let me help."
MacLeod reached for a beer and offered one to the Watcher. Joe shook his head.
"You know, Joe, I wasn't sure how you were going to react to the idea of me and Methos being together. It doesn't bother you at all, does it?"
"I hadn't expected it, but that was your fault. You'd been ignoring the man for three years so I assumed you weren't interested. But bother me? Why should it? You're certainly both adults, who you choose to sleep with is your business. Not to mention the fact that if Methos is with you I get two immortals watched for the price of one, with no one being the wiser. Besides, I think you and the Old Man deserve each other."
"Very funny, Dawson. I thought you would be concerned about the Watcher's wondering what 'Adam Pierson, mild mannered grad- student and ex-Watcher researcher' is doing having an affair with an immortal."
Dawson snorted and moved to settle in a comfortable chair.
"Come live in the real world, MacLeod. The Watchers have had the shit kicked out of them in the last three years. Believe me, The Powers That Be are too busy at the moment to get worked up over something they know happens all the time. As long as you and Methos are relatively discreet, it'll be a 'don't ask, don't tell' situation."
"And we know how well those work."
"Anyway, none of them will be surprised. Half the people at headquarters already assumed you and Adam were at least bi."
"They're trained to watch, Mac. They've got almost four hundred years of your life on file. And considering how much of that four hundred years you spent fighting or screwing, they're convinced you'll screw anything you don't have to kill first. And Methos is a sexy son of a bitch. That young, innocent, 'lamb among wolves' Adam Pierson facade. All those well-practiced 'come hither' looks. That slender, well-toned body. That tight, young ass..." Joe saw the stunned look on Duncan's face and blushed.
"Joe," Duncan began tentatively. He wasn't sure how to put this in a way that wouldn't further embarrass the Watcher. "Are you sure you want to help me do this? I mean, it sounds like maybe you..."
"Hell, Highlander, I'm straight, not dead! Just because I'm not interested in playing bounce and tickle with the old man doesn't mean I can't see what the attraction is. And Methos isn't always subtle about what he wants. Frankly, I wondered what took you so long. Amanda and I..." Oops. Joe hadn't meant to bring that up.
"Amanda? You've discussed this with Amanda?"
"She started it."
"Doesn't she always. What did she say Joe?"
"Nothing relevant. Let's get back to your plans for Methos."
"Joe. Tell me what Amanda said."
"Just that if you didn't jump the Old Man soon, she was going to." Joe watched the Highlander's face carefully. He seemed to take that well, so Joe continued. "On your behalf."
"What the hell does that mean, 'on my behalf'?"
"Think about it, Mac. It'll come to you." Joe grinned as he saw realization dawn in the other man's eyes.
"Does she really think the three...does she really want both..." A flush covered the Highlander's face as he considered the possibilities of what Amanda might want. He downed the last of his beer and grinned at his friend.
"Enough digression, Mac. What's next for Methos."
"I think for the next few days I should take it easy. Just the normal stuff. You know, dinner, movies, concerts."
"No more entertaining little gifts? C'mon Mac, it's so much fun to watch his face change colors."
"Just ordinary stuff. Jewelry, books, Beer of the Month Club membership. Of course this is Methos, so it'll be the Beer of the Day Club."
"MacLeod, I hate to spoil something I'm having so much fun with, but have you considered just getting him drunk and...Oh, fuck. I don't believe I said that. Do me a favor and forget you heard it."
"Actually, it crossed my mind. But keeping him drunk would be too damned expensive."
Day Nine (morning, Methos' apartment):
Methos stood in front of the small bathroom mirror and stared. He didn't believe he had let Mac do that to him. Turning away from his reflection in disgust, he retreated to the kitchen in search of a beer.
At least he had plenty of beer. That Beer of the Day Club was great. It almost made up for the pink gorilla. And the chocolates of course were great. And the baskets of fine wines and cheeses had been a lot of fun. But this. What the hell had he been thinking!
A glint in the window drew his attention, and once again he was staring at his reflection. Shit. He hadn't done anything like that in centuries. Millennia even. How the hell had MacLeod talked him into this? He hadn't even been drunk. Hell, if the Boy Scout didn't break down and fuck him soon, they were going to out smart each other into real trouble.
Day Eight (evening, the barge):
"It's a diamond, Methos."
"It's an earring, MacLeod."
"It's a perfect stone, Methos."
"I don't do earrings, MacLeod."
"I know it's only half a carat, but I thought..."
Startled, Methos looked up from the small, velvet covered box in the Highlander's outstretched hand. Surely Duncan didn't think he was complaining about the size? Even at 'only half a carat' the bloody thing was too big.
"Let me do this, Methos. I want to see it. Please."
As soon as he met Duncan's eyes he knew he had made a serious tactical error. Those eyes. He thought he could drown in the warm, liquid depths of those eyes. That tender mouth, the lower lip pouting and swollen from Methos' kisses, made the man look so damn vulnerable. Whatever MacLeod wanted, it couldn't be that bad, could it?
Taking Methos' lack of response as consent, Duncan took the small stud from the box and removed the back. It was perfect.
Duncan had gone into the jewelry store looking for another 'time to drive Methos crazy' gift. Five minutes later he found himself looking at diamonds, and it didn't feel funny anymore. As soon as the jeweler had taken the small stud from the case, Duncan had known he had to see it in Methos pale, beautifully curved ear.
Placing a soft kiss on Methos lips, he moved his mouth to the other man's ear and sucked gently on the lobe. Then, quickly, he removed his mouth, thrust the sharpened post through the tender flesh and secured the back.
"Ow! Shit MacLeod. haven't you heard that a little ice makes that easier?" Scowling, Methos reached up and explored the new weight on his ear. Duncan noticed he didn't try to remove it.
"You're immortal, it'll only sting for a minute." Duncan ran his hand gently through Methos' hair, lingering briefly to trace the small sparkling brand he had just placed beneath the ear.
The hand continued around to the back of his neck, and Methos felt himself being pulled forward, onto the Highlander's lap and into yet another endless kiss.
Day Ten, Again (evening, the barge):
"Uhmm. Nice." Methos sipped the cognac Mac had poured for him and looked over at the Highlander. Raising his legs, Methos stretched them out over MacLeod's lap, one bare foot pausing to trace circles against the inside of the younger man's thigh.
Mac let the foot linger for a minute, then wrapped his hand around it and squeezed gently.
"There's dessert if you want it," he offered.
"I definitely want dessert, but I doubt you've got what I want in the fridge," Methos grinned. Mac's hand was rubbing his instep now, slowly working it's way around his ankle and under the hem of his jeans.
"Try me." MacLeod smiled back at the older immortal.
Pulling his foot from Duncan's hand, Methos sat up and moved to kneel in the center of the couch. One of his hands moved to cup the back of the Highlander's neck, slender fingers tangling in the soft, dark hair. The other traced the outline of the full, lower lip. Methos pressed one small, light kiss to the beautiful mouth, then leaned back and looked at the other man.
"Duncan, the last two weeks have been wonderful. Not because of the gifts. Not because of the fancy restaurants and night clubs." Methos moved forward and straddled MacLeod's lap.
Duncan's caught his breath when he felt Methos' groin press into his. God they were both so hard! Come to think of it, he had probably done enough courting. Watching Methos squirm couldn't possibly be as good as feeling Methos squirm. It was definitely time to move this relationship forward. He grasped the older man's waist and held him tightly. Arching his hips slightly, he pressed harder against Methos' body.
"Oh God, Duncan. Don't." Methos groaned and pulled back.
"Don't? Shit, Methos. Make up your mind. I can't take much more of this."
"Neither can I, but I need to tell you this. You win Duncan. The simple truth is what you asked for. Well the simple truth is, I want you. Tonight. Now." Methos began unbuttoning the Highlander's shirt. "Right this minute."
Duncan watched Methos' face as he let the other man continue removing his shirt; he had waited a long time to see Methos like this, his green-gold eyes glowing and his pale skin flushed with desire.
The long fingers ran gently over his skin as he pushed Duncan's shirt down his arms and off, then traced their way back up the smooth muscles to rest on the Highlander's broad shoulders. MacLeod's stomach tightened when he felt Methos' tongue licking the hollow at the base of his throat. He slid his arms around the older man's waist and pulled him forward until their bodies were pressed together from chest to groin.
"Methos," he whispered against the pale, slender neck. "Bed."
Methos kissed the side of Duncan's neck one more time then moved back. Gently pulling away from Duncan's restraining arms, he rose and stood before the Highlander.
"Yes, you're right. Bed." Methos turned and began lifting his sweater over his head as he moved through the barge toward Duncan's bed. Passing the light switch, he turned it off, leaving only the yellow glow of the small bedside lamp to illuminate the room. Methos reached the bed and turned to face the Highlander. Locking his eyes with Duncan's, he unfastened his jeans and pushed them down his hips, letting them drop to the floor
"Duncan? Have you changed your mind?"
"Just enjoying the show."
"Oh. I didn't know that's what you liked. If I had known that was all you wanted, we could have gotten to this a hell of a lot sooner."
Duncan rose from the couch and moved quickly to the bed. Kicking off his shoes, he grabbed Methos and pulled him into a kiss, running his hands firmly down the slender rib cage and over the lean hips. Duncan let his fingers brush firmly over the other man's cock. Methos was hard and leaking already. They both were. Two weeks of teasing and cold showers had brought them to this moment in a desperate state of need. Duncan realized that their first fuck was going to be hard and fast.
"I plan to do more than watch. Count on it." Pushing Methos onto the bed, Duncan continued removing his clothes.
"I'm glad to hear it." Methos propped himself on his elbow and watched as MacLeod stripped. The Highlander had a magnificent body. Of course, he had known that for some time. It's not like MacLeod was ashamed to show it. And good timing had quite often allowed Methos to adjust his arrivals at the loft or barge to coincide with Duncan's exercise schedule. The picture of Duncan wearing nothing but a damp towel had sent Methos to sleep with a smile on his face many times during the last three years.
His skin shining in the soft golden light, Duncan moved onto the bed. Taking Methos' foot in his hand, he raised the long leg to his shoulder and kissed the sole of Methos' foot. Inhaling the unique spicy fragrance that was Methos' own, he worked his way slowly up the inside of the slender leg, nipping gently at the sensitive skin behind the knee before running his tongue up the inner thigh. When he reached the juncture of thigh and hip he paused to blow gently on the dark hair tickling his face.
"Duncan, please," Methos whispered.
MacLeod moved up to cover Methos' body completely with his own. Grinding his hips into the warm flesh trapped beneath him, he savored the feel of Methos' hot, leaking cock rubbing against his.
"God, Duncan. Yes. That feels so good." Methos was twisting his body under Duncan's. Grabbing the younger man's hair, he pulled MacLeod's face to his and captured the teasing lips with his.
Duncan caught Methos' hands and raised them above his head. Trapping both slender wrists in one broad hand, he moved the other down between their bodies and closed it around his lover's hot cock. Gathering the hot liquid seeping from the swollen prick, he lubricated his hand and began pumping.
"Yes," Methos hissed through his teeth. "Oh God, Mac."
Methos was writhing now, the Highlander's body the only thing anchoring him to the bed. God, he had wanted this for so long. That strong, hard body pressing against his made his ass ache to be filled. Duncan's cock felt so big and hot. The friction felt wonderful and Methos began to thrust harder against MacLeod's groin.
Duncan released his wrists and Methos reached for the body that was torturing him, only to feel strong hands grab his hips and flip him over onto his stomach.
"Oh God, yes! Hurry. Fuck me! I need you inside me. Now Duncan!"
"Soon, Methos, soon," MacLeod whispered soothingly. "Let me do this." Methos felt bereft when the other man moved away from him, their only point of contact the warm hand Duncan left on his thigh. Whimpering with the loss, he tried to turn, following the weight he felt shifting the bed. Duncan's hand stopped him.
"No. Wait for it. I want this to be as good as it can be, Methos. I don't want to hurt you more than I have to. We're almost there, love. Hang on." Duncan reached into the nightstand for the bottle of lubricant. With his free hand he flipped the lid open, keeping the other on Methos hip to restrain him.
"I don't care if it hurts. I don't care if you tear me apart, Duncan, just do something soon!"
Methos sobbed when he felt the hand move from his hip to his ass. The warm fingers traced the cleft, parting them for the fingers seeking entrance to his body. When Duncan thrust two fingers into his ass at once, Methos shuddered. It had been so long. He had forgotten how good the pain could feel. Pushing his hips back, Methos screamed at his lover.
"Now Duncan. Damn it! Now!"
Ignoring the older man's demands, Duncan moved his fingers in and out of Methos ass, stretching the small opening as much as he could. It felt so tight and hot. His prick throbbed as he brought it to the puckered entrance and withdrew his fingers. Pressing against his lover's body, he arched his hips until the head of his cock was past the entrance, than stopped.
"God damn you, Duncan MacLeod! Fuck me! I swear to God I'll take your fucking head! I'll..."
MacLeod tightened his grip on the slender hips and shoved, pushing violently into the trembling body beneath him. It worked. Methos stopped talking and began to scream incoherently. Without pausing, the Highlander pulled almost completely out of the tight hot, channel, then thrust back in, roughly. Methos' screams became a long cry, interspersed with choking sobs when his body remembered to breath.
Reaching around the lean body, Mac pulled Methos up off the bed and held him tightly against his chest. As the angle of attack changed, Methos groaned and pushed back until he was completely impaled on MacLeod's cock.
"Damn, Methos. You're so tight, so hot, love. God, I want to fuck you forever."
Methos felt the Highlander's hand close around his aching cock and squeeze. Light flashed behind his eyes and every muscle in his body tensed, desperate for release.
Duncan held on tightly as Methos body began to convulse in his arms, the warm, sticky, fluid that signaled release flowing over his hand. Shoving Methos face down on the bed, he began pounding into the tight ass even harder as he felt his own orgasm approaching. As Methos finally went limp beneath him, he felt his balls tighten, and shoved one more time into the glorious ass. Dropping all his weight onto his lover's body, he sank his teeth into Methos neck, and came.
Methos voice sounded strangely hoarse. Duncan smiled. Amazing what a good, hard fuck could do. He had often wondered what it would take to shut Methos up. Now he knew.
Thinking about shutting Methos delightful mouth made MacLeod picture his cock, large and swollen, sliding between those thin, sensitive lips. Nice. Something to look forward to. As soon as he could move.
Duncan sighed. Turning his head he kissed the shoulder under his face.
"Duncan, it's getting a little hard to breath under here."
"God, love. I'm sorry." Duncan gently separated them and rolled off the body he'd been using as a cushion. Turning Methos to face him, he pulled the still limp body of his lover into his arms, cradling him against his chest.
"Methos, that was fantastic. Thank you." MacLeod pressed his face against the ivory column of Methos' neck and nibbled lightly on the salty skin.
"You're more than welcome, Highlander. I assure you, the pleasure was all mine." Duncan's mouth had progressed to his ear, and his dexterous tongue was flicking at the diamond stud.
"Not all of it. Uhmm, I love this earring," Macleod murmured.
"Do you want to borrow it? I'll be glad to insert it for you." MacLeod didn't need to see his face, he could hear Methos' smirk in his voice. He tightened his grip on the slender, damp body of his lover.
"No love. That one's yours. It's my brand. I want everyone to see it and know you belong to me."
"God, MacLeod. After watching you with Amanda I never would have guessed you could be so possessive." Methos snuggled closer to his lover's broad chest. He loved the time after sex before the world intruded. Duncan was so warm. He was going to be wonderful to sleep with. Better than an electric blanket.
"You're not Amanda. I've never given her a diamond. I've never wanted to give one to anyone but you and Tessa. This one's perfect. It even looks like forever."
Methos was drifting off to sleep when Duncan's words finally registered.
Bracing his hands against MacLeod's chest, Methos pushed back and stared at him accusingly.
"What did you say?"
"What? Methos, can't we talk later?" Duncan attempted to pull the slender body back against his, but Methos locked his arms and wouldn't budge.
"No. Just now, what did you say?"
"I said it's perfect. If you want a bigger one, I can do that. I just thought anything bigger would be gaudy."
"MacLeod, I didn't want this one! But that's not what I'm talking about. You said 'forever', Mac." Methos twisted away from MacLeod and knelt at the foot of the bed.
"Is that a problem?" Duncan leaned back into the pillows and gazed calmly at the ancient immortal. He didn't think he'd ever seen the other man this close to panic.
"Problem. You could call it that. It's certainly a hell of a leap from 'I want to jump your bones.' God, MacLeod! We didn't...I haven't...I...I...God, MacLeod!"
Methos was beginning to frighten MacLeod. The Highlander had never seen anyone turn that particular shade of grey and retain consciousness. Deciding he'd better do something before Methos did pass out, Duncan sat up and reached to pull the trembling body into his arms. Methos flinched and moved away. Frowning, Duncan stared at the other man for a moment before he rose and retrieved the cognac and a glass from the coffee table. Pouring a double, he offered Methos the glass.
"Methos, drink this, it'll help."
Methos looked at him and blinked. He looked down at the glass in Duncan's hand. He blinked again. Ignoring the glass, he raised his eyes to Duncan's. Letting his hand follow his gaze, he ran his fingers gently down the side of the Highlander's firm jaw. Duncan opened his mouth as if to speak and Methos moved his fingers to cover the warm, moist lips.
"No, Duncan. No more. Not tonight. I can't...I need...I need to think, Highlander. I need...time."
Jumping off the bed, Methos grabbed his clothes and began to dress.
"Methos, it's late, it's cold, and it's raining. Stay."
Methos fastened his jeans and pulled his sweater over his head. Inside out, MacLeod noticed absently. As Methos reached for his shoes, Duncan moved forward and grabbed his shoulders.
"Methos, don't do this. We can talk about this. Whatever you want, whatever you need, I can do it, Love."
Duncan didn't know if he would ever breath again. The beautiful green-gold eyes staring into his were filled with tears. The soft sensitive lips were trembling with Methos' efforts not to let those tears fall. Duncan felt his heart begin to break.
"Methos, calm down. I'm not asking for a commitment from you here. I'm just offering you mine. Whether you return it or not, whether you want it or not, I do love you. There's nothing I can do about it, and I'm not asking you to do anything about it. It's the way I feel, and I'm not ashamed of it."
The ancient immortal stared into Duncan's honest brown eyes. He knew Duncan was telling the truth, as he saw it. He knew because it was Duncan, and he would never lie to him. Not about anything important, anyway. Unless it was for his own good. The more Methos thought about it, there were an awful lot of qualifiers on that statement. Call it the 'truth du jour'.
Methos took the glass from MacLeod's hand and drained it. Taking the bottle from Duncan's hand he refilled the glass and went back and sat on the side of the bed.
"Duncan, I've been married sixty-eight times. I told you that. And never to one of us. That's a hell of a commitment MacLeod."
"I'm not asking for a commitment from you, Methos."
"Aren't you? Duncan, what if I went out right now and picked up some hot, young stud and took him home. How would you feel about that?"
"I'd deal with it. It's your right. You're not responsible for my feelings, Methos."
"That's not really true, Duncan."
"What do you mean? Methos, I may not be five thousand fucking years old, but I am a grown man. I'm responsible for myself, and I make my own decisions. And I've been doing it for a long time."
"But love changes that, Highlander. Haven't you noticed that? I know you have. I've seen it in the way you treat Richie and Amanda, and even Joe sometimes. You love them Duncan, and it shows in the way you keep trying to protect them. You feel responsible for them. You can't do that for me MacLeod."
"I know that Methos, but there's one big difference you haven't considered."
"And what's that?"
"I'm older than Joe and Richie, and more mature than Amanda. No one's older than you, Old Man. And I think that we're about even in the maturity department. Although you'd think that after five thousand years..."
"Five thousand fucking years. That's an important distinction, don't forget it." Methos was grinning again. The tightness in Duncan's chest began to ease.
"Methos, I'm not demanding forever. Just as long as you can give me."
Methos finished his drink and set the glass on the nightstand. Coming to his feet, he pulled his sweater over his head and unfastened his jeans. He moved back onto the bed and stared up at his lover.
"Well, Duncan, we can start with tonight. After that, we'll see."
Duncan grinned and moved on to the bed. Gripping Methos' jeans he pulled them off and tossed them into the corner of the room.
"Tonight, hmmm. Well, now that you mention it, I remember I had plans for that mouth of yours."
"And am I going to enjoy these plans you've made?" Methos wrapped his arms around Duncan's waist and pulled their bodies together.
"Count on it, Old Man. It's what you might call a reciprocal arrangement."