The boys aren't mine, never have been and probably never will be. After this season, they probably won't belong to anybody but themselves. I'm just borrowing them -- without permission -- but will return them unharmed and none the worse for wear when I'm done playing. Comments are welcome, but no flames please. I burn easily.
Car # 5 in Seacouver's newest and tallest office building jerked to a halt somewhere between the seventeenth floor and the basement garage. The interior lights flickered once, twice, a third time before giving up the struggle entirely and casting the car and its two Immortal occupants into total darkness.
"MacLeod?" The normally bantering baritone of the Oldest Living Immortal was tight and strained -- almost as tight, MacLeod thought, as the long slender fingers clasping the Highlander's right wrist. "MacLeod," the voice hissed again. "What the hell did you do?"
"Me," Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod growled, attempting, vainly, to free his arm from the vise-like grip and thus restore circulation to the rapidly numbing limb. Methos clung like a limpet. "Why do ye always assume it's my fault if something breaks down?"
The Oldest Immortal sighed. "Because, Mac, it usually is and then I have to fix it. Like your car the other day and the refrigerator the week before that and the air conditioning yesterday."
"You used ice, Methos," the Highlander grumped. "That's hardly 'fixing' the air conditioning."
Worked didn't it," the old man purred. "I did make it cooler didn't I?"
MacLeod snorted and glared at his friend. Rather, he glared in Methos' general direction, an action which, under normal conditions might have elicited a laugh, an apology or maybe a light kiss, now produced no reaction at all. Hardly surprising since neither man could see a thing in the pitch-blackness of his five-by-five prison. "No, Methos, you dinna make it cooler," he sighed, resigned to possibly losing the use of his sword arm for the next several hours. Hardly a problem though as there was little or no possibility of actually meeting another Immortal given their current situation. "Actually, as I remember, it got considerably warmer. At least, it did for a while."
Mac felt a slight tingling in his hand as Methos released him and began to pace. MacLeod could count the steps as his friend marched from one side of the box to the other. One, two, WHAM; Methos had obviously reached one wall. One, two, UMPH.
Mac felt the lean body slam into his, knocking the air from his lungs. "Sorry, MacLeod; didn't see you there." The pacing continued, until Mac grew dizzy just trying to keep the count. "Damn it, MacLeod," Methos groaned, coming to a halt once more and gripping the broad shoulders. "Don't just stand there like a brick; do something!"
Mac could imagine any number of things he'd like to do; unfortunately, they required more space than the elevator provided. He slipped his arms around the narrow waist, and nuzzled his partner's throat. "What did you have in mind, Methos?" He was practically purring.
"Not that certainly," the Oldest Immortal retorted, jerking away and beginning his restless pacing once more. "Think of something, MacLeod," he prodded. "You're the Boy Scout, shouldn't you be prepared?"
Mac snorted indelicately and leaned back against the wall. "You're the one with a plan."
Methos winced and stared up towards the roof of the car. The walls felt awfully close and the darkness weighed heavily around him. "Maybe one of us should climb up there and see if we can find the trouble," he suggested hopefully. "I could lift you and . . ."
"And throw your back out again. I think not, Methos," the Highlander replied brushing his fingertips lightly along the narrow jaw, hoping for a positive response from his friend -- a grin, a chuckle, anything rather than this near-panic he felt bouncing off him like tennis balls off a backboard. "Besides, you're lighter and quicker. It won't be nearly the strain for you to shimmy up that cable as it would be for me and I can support your weight better, too." He could just see Methos swinging up that line, hand-over-fist, the long legs gripping the cable like Death itself. Well, actually, he couldn't technically see anything, but he could imagine.
He felt, rather than saw, the grin spread along that angular face; heard the low throaty chuckle build in the broad chest and burst out through that perfect mouth. "But MacLeod," the Old Man gasped, still laughing, "if there is something wrong, we'll need your brawn to knock it loose. Best you go up there and I'll stay down here and keep watch, so to speak."
The Highlander would not be swayed and at last Methos gave up the effort, conceding defeat in light of Mac's most persuasive argument. "Fine," the Highlander had said after nearly twenty minutes had passed with him trying to convince his slender partner that, in this case at least, brains would be more to the point than brawn in securing their release.
"Good," the Highlander snarled, beginning to feel put upon.
"We wait for someone to rescue us then," the Highlander snapped and the other man went still.
"MacLeod," Methos had wailed, feeling the walls closing in once more. "That could take hours!"
Mac had grinned evilly and waited a full sixty seconds before delivering his bombshell. Sixty seconds that seemed like sixty minutes to the Oldest Immortal in the soul-numbing darkness that surrounded them. "Actually, Methos," he'd corrected smugly, sliding along the wall nearer the other man. "It could be days. You're forgetting it's the start of the Christmas holiday." He paused once more for full effect. "There won't be a soul in the building until next Monday at least."
A choked off sob had escaped the slender throat as Methos digested that bit of information and capitulated.
The next thirty minutes had been spent with Methos perched on the Highlander's shoulders, trying vainly to wrest open what should have been an escape hatch of sorts but was proving to be a singularly uncooperative one. "I told you, brawn not brains, MacLeod," he hissed, struggling to keep his balance. Mac tightened his grip on the long legs and shifted slightly. "Don't do that," Methos said hoarsely, clutching at the large strong hands in a frantic effort to stay put. What a nightmare this was turning out to be. He slid down at last and leaned shakily against his friend.
"Well," MacLeod sighed, slipping down to rest on the floor and resigned at last to spending the rest of the night in this stuffy box. "If we're going to spend the night in here, we can at least enjoy ourselves."
His shoulders hurt; his back ached and his jaw was nearly numb from clenching his teeth. He had, he thought, exhibited remarkable self-control while supporting Methos' efforts to free them. He hadn't groped the old man once. Not that he hadn't been tempted, mind you. He had been and sorely, but he had restrained himself. A true Boy Scout he had proven to be; loyal, trustworthy, thrifty -- he checked his pockets for the change he always carried, enough for a phone call at least. Oh, yes. Brave -- well, most of the time. He hated snakes and spiders as much as any other normal human being. Clean -- he checked his hands. They felt clean, not grungy and grimy like Methos' probably were. Reverent -- he was practically on his knees right now offering up prayers to any number of deities that a certain wily old Immortal would stop being such a royal pain-in-the-ass and entertain at least the possibility of a romp in the dark.
"What exactly did you have in mind, MacLeod?" The Old Man slid down beside the Highlander and began fishing through his pockets. They could starve to death in here before help came, unless . . .
His fingers caught on several rectangular objects in his left coat pocket. "Have a piece, MacLeod," he urged the man next to him, holding one of the slim bars aloft and stuffing the others back into hiding. No point in eating them all at once. He'd have to ration them carefully so they'd last.
The Highlander leapt into action, surprised and gratified Methos would be so forward and determined to make the most of it. "Aye," he breathed, threading his fingers through the silken hair, smelling the faint hint of chocolate on the other's skin. Chocolate? He pressed closer, straddling Methos' hips, lips trailing hot kisses along his lover's shoulder and throat. Methos gripped his hands, struggling to free himself from the crazed Scot's grasp.
"Damn it, MacLeod! What do you think you're doing?" He pushed backward, slamming his head into the wall and rendering himself nearly senseless in the process.
"You said, 'have a piece', Methos," Mac moaned, pulling the crisp white shirt free of the waistband of Methos' slacks. "And that's what I'm trying to do. Have a piece -- if you'd only cooperate."
The older man groaned aloud. The child was insatiable. "Not now, MacLeod, please," he pleaded. "I've got a headache." He rubbed the knot on his skull for emphasis and kissed his partner lightly. "Think of something else for a bit, will you, and have a bite of chocolate. It'll keep up your strength."
Mac nibbled at the candy, then sucked at the slender fingers to remove the last traces of the sweet. "Will I be needing my strength do ye think, Methos?" He certainly hoped so.
Methos sighed. "I suppose so, MacLeod. After my skull stops pounding that is." He scrunched out of reach and leaned back against the wall. Perhaps he could close his eyes and sleep for a bit. When he woke, he might find this all had been a dreadful nightmare and they were really home in the dojo loft, cuddled up in that big soft bed. Whatever had possessed him to agree to accompany MacLeod to this ridiculous meeting?
There was a rustling nearby; the sharp sounds of something ruffling and his skin began to crawl. "Cut or deal," the Highlander inquired and Methos barely resisted the urge to throttle his companion. They couldn't see their hands in front of their faces and the man wanted to play cards? The lack of oxygen in this restricted space must have addled his wits.
"What did you have in mind, MacLeod? Fifty-two pickup?" He slid further away; MacLeod followed, fingers plucking at the older man's coat.
"Read to me, then, Methos. Please," the Highlander begged resting his head on the broad shoulder of his friend. He loved listening to Methos read.
Methos stroked the dark hair, twining his fingers through the shaggy locks. "Right, MacLeod," he said giving the hair a slight tug. "Find me something in Braille and perhaps I shall. Have you looked 'round lately, lad? Notice anything peculiar about the space we're in?"
Mac reached into another coat pocket and pulled out a smallish rectangular object. "I thought you'd never ask," he said with a chuckle and handed the book to his friend. Methos opened it, fingers gliding gently over the thin metallic pages as he read the first two or three paragraphs. It was enough.
"Where did you find this, MacLeod," he hissed tossing the 'book' into the Highlander's lap. "Haunting the 'specialty' section of adult bookstores? I am not going to sit here reading another one of those bodice rippers you're so fond of just to keep you entertained." If MacLeod wanted something steamy, why not the classics? The ancient Greeks, Romans and Babylonians had produced literature that was far more erotic than this mindless drivel. Admittedly, there were times one did not want or need great depth in his reading material, times when all one wanted, or needed, was a simple charge of the old battery and Mac's choices were more than adequate for that. This was not one of those times however. What Methos wanted right now was something that would take his mind completely off their current trouble, something that would relieve the tension he felt creeping through his bones like a fungus and settling into his nervous system like some dreadful blight. He wanted something to alleviate the panic he felt crawling over his skin like the clammy hand of some ghoul or zombie, clinging to him like some massive web until he was nearly paralyzed with terror. This was not good.
Gee, Methos," grumbled the Highlander, pouting prettily if only his partner could have seen it. "I thought a little light reading might loosen things up a bit; you seem really uptight." He edged closer and found himself sitting nearly in Methos' lap. He made himself comfortable, wrapping his arms tightly about the broad shoulders and snuggling close. If Methos didn't want to play, Duncan would take a nap. Let the old man play the watchman.
"Mac?" Something was shaking him, hard, and pounding on his head. "Wake up, Highlander, you're squishing me." Mac stared around, trying to see through the haze swimming across his vision.
"Have we been rescued yet," he asked bleakly, suffering a mild twinge of conscience at having left Methos to bear the brunt of their vigil. It was a very mild twinge and he put it aside almost immediately. Methos deserved to keep watch. It was he, after all, who refused to cooperate in their joint entertainment; Mac had made every effort to get the old man to participate in some activity that would take their minds off the problem at hand and the stuffy old thing had rejected every overture.
"'Fraid not, MacLeod," Methos said, feeling every bit as bleak and glum as the Highlander sounded. He wanted to stand up and pace but his legs felt numb and he was almost certain his back had gone out again. Damn, but the man was heavy when he was asleep. None of that athletic grace and quickness that showed so readily when he was in motion. Asleep, Duncan MacLeod was quite literally a brick. "Could you move, please, MacLeod?" The old man's voice was weary and Duncan scooted off the stiffened limbs with a quick apology. Methos struggled to his feet, making it only as far as his knees before something locked and he could move no further. "Damn," he yelped, clawing at the sturdy figure next to him. "Give me a hand here, will you? Something's cramped."
Mac pushed underneath the other man's arm and prepared to lift. Something snapped and he went down as well, Methos toppling over to one side and both of them groaning loudly.
"Days, you said, MacLeod," Methos queried, voice breaking slightly. One of them would not survive this adventure; he was sure of that. He felt a moment's regret -- number 1001 -- but stifled it before it became too much of a nuisance. He would miss the Highlander, but his own survival must come first. He reached for the sword in its harness; a Quickening ought to call out the search-and-rescue teams.
"Aye, Methos, days," the Highlander replied, sensing danger but not knowing whence it came. He stroked his friend's throat and jaw, rubbing his fingertips lightly over the tightly compressed lips. "We should really try to enjoy this time together Methos," he suggested.
"I beg your pardon, Mac?" Surely, Methos thought, I can't be hearing aright.
"I said, we should try to enjoy these moments together," Duncan repeated patiently. Lord, was the man deaf? "An opportunity like this doesn't come along every day you know." He stroked lower, reaching for the waistband of Methos slacks.
"Yes, thank the gods," Methos snarled, drawing his sword. "Get over yourself MacLeod. We are trapped in a box in the middle of winter. It is dark . . ."
"Yes," MacLeod purred. Dark was nice. He might not be able to see in the dark, but his ability to touch more than made up for it. He was touching now. Every inch of Methos' skin currently exposed was receiving a most thorough stroking, rubbing, and teasing.
"It is cold . . ."
"Oh, yes." The Highlander was warming up very nicely thank you and more than willing to warm his slender partner, too. Methos suppressed a grin as he felt those warm hands skittering over his flesh. The sword slipped out of his hands with a clang and a bang that made both men wince.
"It is stuffy . . ."
Warm lips pressed against his and he heard Mac sigh as he turned his head. "We can share the air, Methos." His breath tickled Methos ear and the Old Immortal began to choke, then squirm, hips and pelvis grinding against the other man until both of them were well nigh frantic. Mac began pulling at his partner's coat and shirt, wanting the feel of that smooth skin against him. Methos' hands were equally occupied, struggling with the tiny pearl buttons on Mac's silk embroidered shirt and the wretched clasp on the dark trousers.
It was not until they were pressed together, bodies hot and panting, hands stroking, mouths searching and tasting one another that Methos halted suddenly, staring at the doors. "MacLeod," he murmured, lips pressed against the sturdy throat. To think he'd been this close to separating that glorious head from its shoulders.
"Ummmmmmmmm," MacLeod replied succinctly, nuzzling Methos' ear and beginning a slow exploration of parts south of the border. His mouth slid down Methos' chest, tongue swirling around each perfect brown nipple until they stood at attention. He crept lower, kissing the hard flat abdomen, hands beginning a nervous little dance along the tight buttocks. Methos groaned and jerked slightly when Mac pressed a little too strenuously.
The Highlander reached for his coat and pulled out a tube of Vasoline Intensive Care. "Like you said, Methos," he reminded his friend with a grin. "I'm always prepared."
Car # 5 in Seacouver's newest and tallest office building jerked again. Lights flashed on, then off, then on again. "God, Methos," Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod sighed, nuzzling deeper into the warmth of the slender figure lying beneath him. "Did the earth just move or am I dreaming?"
Methos glanced up past the Highlander weighing so heavily atop his fragile bones, up past the elevator call box and all the way to the red lights flashing the floor numerals as they slipped past. "Oh, dear gods above and below," he breathed. "Duncan, you did say nobody would be around for days, didn't you?" Duncan nodded, seemingly oblivious to the movement of the car. Methos sighed again in profound relief. "Well, dearest, I sincerely hope you were right because the lobby is coming up rather rapidly and we're hardly in a position to receive 'guests'."
Duncan glanced up with a start, shock painted vividly across his features. "Oh, God, Methos," he panted, scrambling to his feet and pulling on his trousers, then lending a hand to the man still lying on the floor. "Did I squish you, love?" Methos nodded, but grinned. Squished he might be, but it was a nicely 'squished' feeling he had, rather safe and comfortable actually. If there really was a 'boogie man' out there, with Duncan atop, the monster would grab him first and one could trust the Highlander to make short work of any demon foolish enough to start something with him.
Methos had barely slipped into his slacks when they passed the fifth floor and both men were scrambling to finish their 'toilette' before the car reached the lobby. Duncan stopped in the midst of tying one shoe and stole a glance at his lover. Methos was having a terrible time with the buttons on his shirt cuffs, being much more familiar with tee shirts and sweaters than Oxford button-downs and Duncan reached over to give him a hand.
"Let me do that," he whispered seductively, running his hand over his lover's chest and Methos laughed a trifle nervously.
"Mac," he sighed. "These doors will be opening any minute and when they do . . ."
Mac grinned and pressed his slender companion hard against the wall. Their eyes locked, their lips met, bodies ground together as the car jerked to a halt and the doors slid open.
A pair of dark heads swiveled 'round and stared into the crowd of motherly matrons standing in the lobby. All five of them gaping like fish on the bank, eyes wide as wagon wheels and tittering for all they were worth. "It's the boys from the bookstore, Agnes," shrieked one and the blue-haired grandmother in horn-rimmed glasses nodded and smiled sweetly.
"Read any good books lately, dears?"
Methos blushed and slid down the wall to crouch on the floor while Duncan finished picking up their scattered clothing, hiding their swords in the folds of their coats. "Here, love," the Highlander said briskly, handing his lover the remainder of his attire. "I think that went rather well for a first rehearsal."
Methos glared and the elderly ladies giggled. "Actors?"
Duncan nodded as he helped Methos rise. "Would you," one lady begged and another crooned, "Could you, please?" Both men looked puzzled.
"Sign our books, dears," Agnes Blue-hair said, winking at the two young men. "The ones we bought at that bookstore the night you gave your reading."
"And perhaps an encore of that little scene you were just doing?"
"Not a problem," Duncan agreed brightly. He swept one arm around his lover's slender waist, bending the slight figure nearly double. Using the other to hold Methos' head still for the man was struggling like a rabbit caught in a noose, he kissed him passionately. Methos responded by playfully boxing his ears and nibbling his lip. "Ouch!" Duncan cried, covering his ears with both hands and dropping the older Immortal to the floor.
The ladies giggled some more as both men signed the books and swept out the door. "We shall never live this down, MacLeod," Methos said with a tight little grimace.
Duncan merely smiled and gave his lover another quick peck. "I certainly hope not," was all he said.