Worlds Collide: The Gathering Storm

Lisa Krakowka and Heidi McKeon

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Lisa's Notes:

First off, thanks for being patient about this one. I know it's been a while since the first installment of the trilogy. Secondly, it's not about the Great Duncan MacLeod Rescue. Sorry. I'm saving *that* one for later. This is the second story in the Worlds Collide trilogy, penned by Heidi McKeon and myself. If you have not read Worlds Collide: History Fails, do so *before* you read this one. It would also help if you have read the MacGreggor arc (by yours truly) and Fiona, by Heidi. Those of you who are familiar with Sarah and Fiona might notice some strange things have been done to the timeline in both arcs. We know. It's hard to combine universes that weren't intended to be upon inception. Also...both Heidi and I reserve the right to split from this combined universe in the future. That is, if Fiona and or Sarah show up outside the WC triology, it may be part of the same arc, it may not be. We'll be sure to make that clear, though.

Please copy your comments/criticism to both Heidi and myself. We worked as a team on this. Hope you enjoy it! The third part is done and waiting for final revisions and should be out soon...

Heidi's notes:

Wow...where do I start? I especially want to thank Sandra McDonald for letting Lisa and I use her Seeds theory for this story. Sandra, you're the *best*. Lisa, even though we did this together, I owe you a lot for all the editing and meshg our styles...and hey hon, we didn't kill each other Wanna do it again sometime? If you missed the earlier Fiona stories, contact me for them. more's a time-line for you might help.

460AD-Fiona dies her mortal death

1002AD- Fiona and Methos meet-Cashel Erin, Ireland 1068AD-Methos and Sarah meet (Sarah's mortal death)-Glenstrae, Scotland 1070AD-Fiona and Sarah meet-Spain

1367-Methos and Sarah separated, thought each other dead-Lindau, Germany 1400's (no specific year set)-Fiona and Methos handfasted/married 1680-Sarah and Connor married-Glasgow, Scotland 1947-Adrianne Riordan born, Paris

1996-MacGreggor Arc starts

1996-Fiona comes to Seacouver

1998-Sarah and Methos married-Glenfinnan, Scotland 2058-Worlds Collide: This Gathering Storm, London 2070-2073- The Gaelic Rebellion takes place 2037-Worlds Collide: Ties Between Us

2096-Worlds Collide: History Fails

Disclaimer: Methos, Richie, and Connor belong to the Highlander Powers That Be. Fiona is Heidi's. Sarah is mine. Adrianne is..well...Sandra's and ours, I guess.

[part 1]

Northern Spain 1070

Methos eased his aching body into the hot spring with a sigh of relief that started in his toes and worked its way out in a wave of pure delight. Young Sarah MacGreggor was a natural astride and tended to forget that her teacher didn't enjoy mad gallops through the woods and over large obstacles half as much as she did. That last fallen log had been as high as his bottom ribs. His bottom three ribs, to be exact; for they had cracked when he went sailing over his mare's head and slammed into it. Every muscle in his four thousand some odd year old body was twitching and screaming at the betrayal. Sarah had merely grinned from her gelding and told him not to look down next time.

He leaned back against a mossy rock and stretched luxuriously, sighing again as the heat began to loosen his muscles. Maybe he should take Sarie to Rome. Living in the wild was all well and good to build your stamina, but there was much to be said for luxury and olive oil massages given by dark eyed women with pleasantly nimble fingers; though Sarie probably wouldn't appreciate that particular pastime.

Still, Rome would be the perfect place for her to work on her Latin, which was getting better by the day, and maybe Darius could convince her to put on a dress again. He hadn't seen her in anything but tunics and trews in the two years they had been traveling together since her mortal death. And although learning to fight was crucial to survival in the Game, one of the greatest benefits to being immortal was the many opportunities to enjoy all that life could offer. Sarah was a quick study with a sword, but she had yet to discover that life was more than the fighting and honor codes she'd grown up with in the Highlands. Perhaps she was simply enjoying the chance to live outside the confines of clan society and gender structure. Perhaps she was still dealing with the horrific details of her mortal death. Regardless, there were still centuries to refine her feminine side. And, though he wouldn't admit it publicly, Methos was enjoying having someone to swashbuckle with.

The unmistakable sound of clashing swords brought him out of his thoughts with an abrupt jolt. Sarie was good. She had even taken her first head, but she really wasn't ready to be in an unsupervised fight yet. Pleasant as the hot spring was, his urge to protect her sent him scurrying to the spot where his clothes and sword had been discarded. He started to pull on his trews, but a familiar voice shouted a truly off color oath in Gaelic and he dropped the pants in favor of the sword, dashing through the trees at top speed.

"Bloody Irish bitch. I'll have yer head fer that!" He heard Sarah say.

"Not likely," came the reply.

"STOP!" Methos burst into the clearing and slid to a halt, stubbing his toe on a fallen branch.

The two women circling each other with drawn swords were a stark contrast. Sarah, tall and lithe, her wrists bound in strips from one of his old shirts, had a deep cut across her abdomen and another on her left shoulder. Her opponent stood a good ten inches shorter with plaited ebony hair, had a slight wound on her left thigh, and was wearing a lethal expression on her soft face.

"Fiona?" He asked, truly astonished.

Sarah made the fatal mistake of turning to look at him and the smaller woman ran her through.

"Fee! Wait!" Methos jumped forward and grabbed the woman's arms, preventing her from taking a lethal stroke.

He looked down at Sarah, who was slipping into death wearing a smirk, and then over at one of his oldest and most dear friends, wondering why the two were seemingly amused. Then he noticed where Fiona's eyes fell and flushed a shade of crimson the likes of which neither woman had ever seen before.

"Putchyer pants on, eh Petey?" were Sarah's last words before she died yet another temporary death.

"Nice sword," Fiona added with a smile.


London 2058

Methos hated traveling, even in this day of advanced technology, he always felt stiff and tense from the small seats in those bloody transports. It was good to be home, he'd been gone for three weeks on business and was more than a little tired of ordering meals in Cantonese. He'd found the note from Sarah saying she'd gone shopping and wouldn't be back until late. Not too late, he hoped; he'd missed her the past few weeks, and was ready to curl up in her arms and forget about everything but her.

He headed towards the hot tub, knowing it would soothe his aching muscles and leaving a trail of discarded clothing in his wake. Sarah's note had also mentioned that Adrianne was out for the evening as well. Good. He could have a proper welcome from his wife without worrying about being disturbed.

Their student of nearly two years now was good with a sword and quite witty, but had a habit of showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Adrianne also sometimes shot him disdainful glances that left Methos feeling like a school boy, despite the fact that he was several thousand years her senior.

He sank into the hot water slowly, feeling it start to ease the tension in his muscles. Closing his eyes he leaned back thinking about Sarah, and oddly enough, Fiona. He wondered where his long time friend was and what she was doing. He hadn't seen her since Joe's funeral...nearly twenty years ago. He knew she'd taken his death hard and was worried about her; it wasn't like Fiona to stay out of circulation for so long. Methos sighed and swished his hands back and forth under the water. After he had settled into being home again, there would be time to look for Fiona.

Outside, a car coasted silently to the curb, its engine having been cut half a block back. The two women inside it waited cautiously, he should be home by now and they didn't want him to sense them. Sarah had told Fiona that Methos always headed straight for the hot tub when he returned from a business trip. And that bit of information was what set their little plan into motion. They got out of the car quietly, giggling like school girls, and with ready swords, should they need to begin the joke early. They tiptoed up the lawn to the spot Sarah said would be on the edge of the range of their collective buzz, were he in the hot tub.

Both women took a moment to get out any last minute giggles, stifling them with their hands and smirking uncontrollably with the effort.

"Now," Sarah whispered, as they moved into range.

Methos felt that unmistakable sensation of another immortal. Good, Sarie was home. She'd find him in the hot tub and they could spend the next two days in bed to make up for his time away.

Clanging metal distracted him from the pleasant thoughts of a reunion with his wife. Swords? What the hell was going on? Methos rose from the hot tub looking for a towel. Shit, he'd forgotten to get one on his way out. He climbed out and headed to where his jeans were laying on the floor.

"You bloody bitch!" Fiona yelled tapping Sarah's sword, almost as an afterthought as they felt his presence.

"How dare you show your face around here.?!" Sarah retorted loudly, suppressing a laugh.

Oh hell, Methos thought, a sword fight on his front lawn, and Sarie was involved. Not exactly the welcome home he wanted or expected. Grabbing his sword, he left the jeans as they lay and ran through the house toward the front lawn.

Sarah and Fiona stood in the middle of the yard, clanking their swords together just enough to make it sound real and occasionally shouting expletives at one another, to keep up the pretense.

Methos ran out the front door, scanning the yard. He could hear the swords clanging down the bend of the drive and followed the sound. Rounding a large Rhododendron, he saw the two women standing in the middle of the drive, casually tapping their swords and laughing.

"Hi Petey, welcome home. Look who's come to visit," Sarah yelled to him.

"Bloody hell," he replied, knowing he'd been had.

Sarah and Fiona collapsed forward in hysterics and leaned on one another, gasping for breath.

Methos threw up his hands and headed back to the house, hearing their comments as he left.

"He still has the best bum I've ever seen." Fiona said loudly, " Not to mention a *very* nice sword."

"Putchyer pants on, Petey!" Sarah called.

Methos refused to acknowledge them and tried to walk away with some sense of dignity.

Damn women. They each were a handful on their own, now he'd have to put up with their pranks again. It was like over seven hundred years had disappeared and they were back traveling around Europe and Asia again.... Sarie and Fiona pulling small pranks on him. Or just galloping off and leaving him on his ancient mare to plod along behind. They knew he wasn't the rider they were, but he was just so damn much fun to harass.

Sarah and Fiona followed him, still laughing and recounting the scene. By the time they got to the house, he'd found his jeans and managed to pull them on. Methos was in the process of picking up the rest of his clothes when they walked into the pool room. He shot them a rueful expression and continued about his way. When he approached the side of the pool he was shoved from behind and wound up tumbling head first into the deep end.

He came up sputtering for air and saw them stripping off their clothes and climbing into the hot tub. Bloody hell, he thought, and climbed out of the pool, stripping off his now soaked jeans.

"Come join us," Fiona said.

"Are you two finished with your pranks?" He asked, trying to act disgusted. They nodded, and he shot them a dubious glare, but descended into the water and sat down next to Sarah, who slipped into his arms for a welcome home hug. He kissed her, then looked over her shoulder to Fiona.

"Hi Irish, it's good to see you," he said, moving to hug his oldest friend.

"Hi Old Man. It's good to see you too," she said as he hugged her.

The three of them sat for a while, laughing at and with Methos and catching up on recent events. About an hour later, Fiona excused herself to allow Methos and Sarah their reunion. She gathered her clothes and headed to the guest wing, bidding them goodnight.

Sarah sighed as she watched her go. There had been moments earlier in the evening when the Druidess had seemed closed off and distant. Could it be that she was still mourning Joe Dawson after all these years? Sarah had tried at several points to ask Fiona how she had been coping with Joe's death, but the older woman had always turned the conversation to Methos or another mutual friend.

"She looks so sad, Petey," Sarah said.

Methos had been leaning against the edge of the tub with his eyes closed, but opened them in time to watch Fiona move deliberately through the garden toward the western wing of the house. He smiled. She still walked with that quiet grace that had been one of the first things he had been attracted to in Cashel Erin.

"I'm sure she still misses Joe," he said, pulling Sarah closer. "You cried for days after he died. Imagine what Fiona must have felt."

Sarah sighed again and nodded, then smiled at him, planting a kiss on his chin. "Hey you, welcome home."

Fiona retreated to her suite in the back of the house. As much as she loved Methos and Sarie, it was hard to see them together. It had been sixteen years since Joe died and the pain was still fresh, and most likely would be for a long time to come. Joe had come the closest to touching her soul in the same way the Methos did and his loss left her empty. There would be other lovers eventually, but right now she was just too hollow to even try to love someone.

She sunk down onto the bed and sighed. Methos and Sarah both knew what she was feeling...they had gone through the pain of believing the other was dead. But their story had a happy ending. For her there would be no reunion ...not two or even two hundred years in the future. Joe was dead. Her pain would be immortal.

Morning came too early for Fiona. She had tossed and turned most of the night, dreaming of Joe, and of her home in Ireland. She dressed haphazardly and stumbled into the kitchen finding Methos and Sarah already up with coffee and the paper. Methos saw her come into the kitchen and got up to get her a cup of coffee adding sugar and cream, and setting the cup on the table in front of her.

"Thanks," she mumbled as she picked up the cup. "Perfect," she added after the first sip.

"Sleep well?" Sarah asked.

"Fair, I guess. It's hard sometimes," Fiona replied.

"Want to tell us about it.?" Methos asked, reaching across the table to grasp her hand.

She gripped his hand tightly then released it. "I really don't know where to begin."

Sarah came up behind Fiona and rested her hands on the older woman's shoulders supportively, smiling down at her when the Fiona looked up and patted her hands in a gesture of thanks.

"After Joe's funeral, I just had to get away. I couldn't stand even to stay in town, there were too many memories. Every where I went I was bombarded by them. Joe and I were here for a play, there for a picnic... it just went on and on. Forty-six years together can build a lot of memories as I'm sure you two can attest.

"So I went to that cabin he and I would go to occasionally, and I pretty much stayed there most of the time. Oh, I would venture into town once a month or so and pick up supplies, but mostly I stayed home. Gardened in the summer, wove rugs and various textiles in the winter. Basically I lived naturally and tried to come to terms with Joe's death. I've been married before and have lost lovers to death, but nothing came close to losing Joe."

Tears began to slide down her face as she spoke of Joe.

Sarah and Methos exchanged glances over the top of Fiona's head. They both felt Joe's loss as well, but knew their pain could never compare to Fiona's. Sarah knelt down by Fiona's chair and opened her arms to the other woman, stroking her hair as she began to sob quietly on her shoulder. Methos nodded at his wife and retreated behind the newspaper to let her comfort their friend as only a woman who'd lost a lover could. Fiona's tears subsided and she brushed at the wet spot on Sarah's shoulder, trying in vain to smile.

"Thanks," she whispered to Sarah. Sarah smiled again and stood, allowing Fiona to regain her composure.

"Can I ask you a question?" she asked, moving to the counter to pour herself some tea. "This probably isn't the best time...but I'm just dying to know...."

"Sure," Fiona replied with a smile.

"You and Joe were together what, forty-six years? Why didn't you ever get married?"

"Joe never wanted to because of his position with the Watchers," she said. "Besides... you could say I was already married."

Methos looked over the top of the newspaper, hoping to catch Fiona's eye. Damn she was looking at Sarie.

"You're married!" Sarah exclaimed. "To whom?"

"Methos, of course."

The newspaper shook as Fiona revealed her news. Methos looked to the door, calculating the distance and wondering how fast he could get there, suspecting that Sarie would have deadly aim with throwing knives and knowing that there was a block of the finest cutlery in all of Europe sitting at her elbow. He risked a glance at Fiona, then looked up to see a wide range of emotions cross Sarah's face.

Finally, she set her jaw, placed the teapot gently on its trivet, settled the cozy around it, and walked out of the room without a word. Methos leapt to his feet, dashing after her.

"Wait! I can explain!" He said, catching her by the elbow.

Sarah spun and looked at him expectantly.

" was a long time ago," he stammered.

"Why didn't you ever tell me you were still married to her?" Sarah demanded.

"I forgot."

"You forgot? You *forgot*? Nice to know you take marriage so seriously, Petey," she jerked away and stood glaring at him.

"I do!"

"Fiona and I have both heard that one before," she snapped. "Now, I'm leaving, *don't* follow me."

"Leaving? Define leaving, Sarie."

Sarah noted the worried expression on his face and sighed.

"I just can't be where you are right now. I'll be back later."

Methos looked to Fiona for some support, but she just frowned at him and shook her head.

"Sarie!" He called, but she was already out the back door and striding across the garden.

"You, jackass," Fiona said. "Why didn't you ever tell her? I thought she knew."

Methos shrugged. "I meant to once but it just didn't seem important. It's not like we've been husband and wife any time in the past 375 years."

"That's not the point," Fiona scowled. "Sure, we were married under aliases so our marriage wouldn't be technically valid, but you owed it to her to tell her."

Methos shrugged again and flopped into his chair. He should have known there would be no peace with both women in the house.

[end part 1]

[part 2]

Connor MacLeod found his ex-wife doing kata in the dojo that Duncan and her present husband had built. He could tell from the complete lack of fluidity in her motions that she was upset about something.

"I'm not ready to talk yet," she said, her back to him.

"Not even to one of your oldest friends?" He asked.

"Connor!" Sarah spun around and strode across the floor rapidly, throwing herself into his hug. "What on earth are you doing here?"

"I'll tell you after we both have some liquor in us," he smiled. "You're looking lovely as ever."

"Neither flattery or booze will get you anywhere," she grinned.

"Where's your skinny Englishman?" Sarah scowled.

"Who cares?"

"Trouble in paradise?" Connor asked, raising an eyebrow. "Is now the time to make my move?"

Sarah sighed, but wrapped an arm around his waist. "Come on, let's go find some Scotch, I think Petey has a bottle stashed in his study somewhere."

Connor threw his arm around her shoulder and walked with her through the small courtyard and down the stone path to the central part of the house.

"So," he asked, watching her produce a two hundred year old bottle of amber liquid from a drawer that was supposed to be secret and locked. "You and your Petey are on the outs?"

Sarah shook her head. "He just neglected to tell me something crucial about our marriage."

"And that is?"

Sarah filled a glass for him and handed it across the desk, then flopped down in the chair and sighed, fingering the label on the bottle.

"He's still married to Fiona."

Connor nearly spit his drink onto the Persian rug. He set the glass down carefully, then doubled over in laughter.

"What's so damn funny?" Sarah demanded.

"Lots of things," he said. "I would have paid money to see his face when he told you that!"

"He didn't, *she* did."

"Even better!"

"I'm glad you find my life so amusing, Connor," she frowned.

"Oh Sarah, it's about to get hilarious," he snickered.

Sarah rolled her eyes. "What?"

Connor reached into his pocket and pulled out a worn piece of parchment paper. He laughed at it loudly, then handed it across the desk.

"What's this?" She asked. "Just read it." "It's in Latin," Sarah mumbled, searching her brain for the translation of the faded words. "Oh my god, this is a joke, right?"

Connor shook his head, unable to conceal his obvious amusement. "Where did you get this?" Sarah stared at the parchment in disbelief. "I found it in some papers of mine that I had sent over from Glenfinnan," he said, forcing a straight face.

Sarah continued to stare at the ancient marriage license, her mind wandering back to a day in Glasgow in the 17th century. She vaguely remembered standing next to Connor, holding a bouquet of lilies that he had lifted from a passing funeral procession. They had both been stone drunk and under the impression that it was the village Blacksmith that was marrying a joke. In fact, it had been the Archbishop of Glasgow, and they had been husband and wife for about four hundred years.

"I think you owe me one hell of a wedding night," he said.

Sarah cocked an eyebrow at him, then erupted into gales of laughter. Finally, after about five minutes of hysterics on both their parts, she caught her breath and flashed him a positively wicked grin.

"I know that look," Connor said. "You're plotting against the Englishman, aren't you?"

Sarah nodded vigorously. "Here's the plan..."


Methos heard Sarah come into the living room, but hesitated to look up from his book, uncertain of her mood.

"Does this look okay?" She asked.

He looked up and let out an appreciative whistle at the strapless gown she was wearing. It was precisely the same shade of moss green as her eyes and fell in elegant folds to the floor.


Sarah smiled. "I take it that's a good wow?"

He nodded. "You look incredible. What's the occasion?"

"I have a date for the theatre," she said.

"A date?" He cocked an eyebrow. "With whom?"

Sarah turned gracefully to examine her hair in the mirror and pulled on a pair of long gloves. "My husband."

Methos frowned, searching his memory. The only show in town was a revival of "Brigadoon" and he hated that play. He stood and crossed the room, wrapping both arms around her waist from behind as she fiddled with the clasp on the sapphire necklace he had given her for their twenty-fifth anniversary.

"Maybe we could skip the show?" He asked, kissing her neck suggestively.

Sarah laughed. "No, I really want to go. Kimberly Spencer has the lead."

"Okay," he smiled. "I guess I should go change then."

Sarah looked down at his torn jeans, ratty t-shirt, and bare feet and smiled. "Oh no, you're fine, Petey."

Methos furrowed his brow, obviously confused. He was about to ask her what was going on, but paused as the sensation of another immortal arriving blazed through their consciousness. Fiona had retired early under the guise of a headache, but Methos knew she was trying to give them time alone.

"Adrianne?" He asked.

Sarah shook her head. "No, that's my date."


She broke away from his embrace and turned to the door in time to see Adrianne escort a well dressed Connor in through the foyer. The elder MacLeod grinned broadly and offered a bouquet of Tiger Lilies.

Methos groaned. "Very funny, Sarie."

"Why Petey, whatever do you mean?" Sarah blinked at him innocently and opened her arms to Connor.

The Highlander handed the flowers to a stunned Methos and hugged Sarah, planting a kiss on her left cheek.

"I didn't think it was possible," he said. "But you look even lovelier tonight than you did on our Wedding Day."

"Oh Connor, you do flatter me," she smiled. "Petey, be a dear and find some water for those?"

Methos rolled his eyes. "Okay, very funny. You made your point."

"No, I don't think I have," Sarah said, reaching into Connor's breast pocket and pulling out a folded piece of parchment. "But this will do the trick."

She handed it to him and smiled, watching as he juggled the flowers to open it.

"What is this?" He asked, scanning the document.

Both Sarah and Connor laughed as the Tiger Lilies crashed to the floor and he looked up at them, stunned and slack-jawed.

"Seems the Watcher Chronicles were right after all," Sarah said.


"Sorry, Old Man, but we'll be late for the theatre," Connor said, wrapping his arm around Sarah's waist. "Coming, dear?"

"Certainly, honey," she smiled. "There's cold chicken in the kitchen, Petey."

"Sarie..." Methos repeated, but they were already on their way out the door.

"What is that?" Adrianne asked. Methos stared blankly at the paper for a few minutes, then sank down onto the coffee table.

"A marriage license. That bastard married her in 1680 and she never told me."

Adrianne smirked. "What goes around comes around, no?"

Methos glanced up at her and mocked the smug expression on her face. "I suppose you think this is funny?"

Adrianne smiled. "I suppose I think it's hysterical, yes."

Later that night Sarah climbed into bed quietly, knowing that Methos was still awake, but determined to make him say the first words. He rolled over onto his side and propped himself up on one elbow, looking down at her with a half smile.

"Okay, so how on earth did you fake that marriage license?"

"It's real," she responded.

"Hah hah, Sarie."

"No," Sarah shook her head. "It's *real*, Connor and I really were married in 1680."

Methos scowled deeply. "Why didn't you tell me?" "I didn't know until this afternoon when he showed up in the dojo."

"How could you marry someone and not know it?" Sarah cocked an eyebrow at him.

"How could *you* marry someone and forget?" Methos sighed.

"I told you before, we were piss drunk and thought it was the Blacksmith," she added.

"I bet he knew exactly what he was doing," Methos grumbled.

Sarah laughed. "If Connor wanted to trap me into marriage, don't you think he would have produced the license *long* before now?"

"Well, what are you going to do about it?"

"What do you mean?"

Methos dropped back down and toyed with the necklace, which she had neglected to take off. "I mean, are you going to have it annulled?"

"Annulled?" Sarah laughed loudly. "Have a four hundred year old marriage annulled? Get real."

"That makes you a polygamist," he said.

"Well then, we're even."

He leaned closer to her, trying to read her expression in the darkened room. Sarah worked hard to keep her face blank, but in the end a grin won out.

"Wench," he smiled and kissed her on the forehead.

"I think we should get Connor and Fiona to get married...what a love quadrilateral *that* would be," she said.

Methos laughed. "Connor and Fee? I'd give it three days before she was chucking whatever was handy at his head."

"I'd give it about twenty minutes."

He laughed again and sighed contentedly as she cuddled closer and wound her left leg between his.

"I'm sorry I never told you about Fee and I. It didn't seem important. And then I really did forget."

"Well, it was important enough to her to keep her from marrying Joe," Sarah said.

He wrapped one arm around her and tucked the other behind his head. "I never thought of that."

"Well, she did."

Methos sighed. Had he really been the reason Fiona had never married Joe? "You don't know what is going on in her head any more than I do," he said.

"She *told* us, Petey," Sarah echoed his sigh.

The three of them had always had a bit of a strange relationship. Fiona and Methos had been on again off again lovers many times during the three hundred years he and Sarah had traveled together and she knew their depth of feeling for one another. Privately, Sarah had always thought that the other woman would make a far better match with Methos than she did and wondered why he was involved with her at all. She knew that he would remain loyal to her, but, like her friendship with Connor set Methos' teeth on edge, having Fiona around was sometimes stressful, no matter how much she liked the older woman.

"You're wrong," Methos said.

Sarah raised her head off his chest and looked at him.

"I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. She's no better for me than you are. I love you both, but *you're* the one I want to spend eternity with."

Sarah chuckled and rolled her eyes. "There you go with those lines again, Petey."

Methos smiled. "Do me a favor?"


"Say something in Gaelic?"

The lilt in her voice had been one of the first thing he fell in love with all those years ago and they had spent a good portion of their first year together speaking in a mixture of Scottish Gaelic and what was passing for English at the time. Now, over a thousand years later, her burr was almost all but gone, but he knew she could still speak her native tongue and there was something about the tone of it that he found practically irresistible. No, completely irresistible...and arousing.

"What do you want me to say?"

"I don't care. Anything."

Sarah chuckled and thought a minute. "Ph o'sadh mi thu airson do sro'n ama'in," she said.

Methos laughed loudly and pulled her over on top of him. "Did you say things like that to your first husband?"

She nodded and grinned, dropping into a close approximation of the burr that had marked her speech for so many years, "Ah toole Allan ah oonlah mahrrid him a'couz a his sheep. His nose was nowt a bit like yer's."

He laughed again and kissed the spot where her scar disappeared into her shirt.

"Bha gaol agam ort o'na la' ud cho'mlaich sinn," she said softly, resting her forehead against his and smiling.

"Really?" He asked.

"Really, Petey. It just took me way too long to figure it out."

"Water under the bridge, luv," he said, tugging at the buttons on her shirt. "Water under the bridge."

[author's note: translations:

Ph o'sadh mi thu airson do sro'n ama'in - (paraphrased) The only reason I married you was because of your nose.

Bha gaol agam ort o'na la' ud cho'mlaich sinn -(also paraphrased) I fell in love with you the day we met.

Neither English phrase translates into Gaelic literally--but these are very close approximations. Thanks again Fiona Davidson!]


It wasn't too long after dawn and Methos figured he'd find Fiona in the garden; it was where she always went when she needed to think. He'd noticed she wasn't herself, even though she tried to hide it and he was hoping that she might talk to him.

"Fee?" He called.

"Arrawn," she called, stepping from the shadows. "What are you doing out here?"

Methos smiled. "Now there's a name I haven't heard in a while."

"I can't call you Pete, I just can't," Fiona said. "That's for Sarah, and I don't feel comfortable using your real name around Adrianne."

"That name brings back memories of Ireland, traveling with Brian Boru, and our first years together. They were good times weren't they?"

"What are you doing out here?" She repeated, not really wanting to talk about old times.

"Looking for you."

Fiona sighed and joined him on the stone walk. They headed down the path in silence until they reached the gazebo, where Methos offered her a hand up the steps and let her sit down before taking a cushion facing her.

"Fee, I'm worried about you. You're not yourself, and I can see something is bothering you no matter how hard you try to hide it," he said.

"Oh Arrawn, it's just so hard. Being here, with you and Sarie, it just reminds me so much of Joe and ..." she never finished; tears came choking her words.

Methos pulled her into his arms, and held her while she cried. When her tears finally ended she pushed back and looked at him.

"Will I ever be able to go through a day without there being some reminder of the love we shared and what I lost when he died? Will I ever be able to see a couple in love and not feel that overwhelming sense loss?"

"Oh Honey," he whispered, pulling her back into the hug. They sat in silence. It was all he could do for her; he knew Fiona needed the comfort of an old friend's arms while she grieved for Joe. She should have done this years ago when he died, but instead she ran and closed herself off from those who loved her. She would have to come to terms with her grief and all he could do was be here if she needed him. The answer to both her questions was, of course, yes, but that certainty only brought more pain when considering that immortals had the luxury of oceans of time to recover from the brief moments they shared with their mortal lovers.

Neither paid much attention to the buzz of another immortal. There were three others in the house and sometimes it was a symphony of buzzes as they moved about. Sarah stopped mid-way down the path and nearly dropped the glass of juice she was carrying. She had come out to the garden looking for Fiona, wanting to offer the Druidess some comfort. But Petey had obviously beaten her to it.

Sarah ground her jaw and fought back a wave of what she knew to be completely irrational jealousy at the sight of them in each other's arms. She stalked back into the kitchen muttering to herself and trying to block centuries old memories of sleepless nights in ancient Europe punctuated by the sounds of Methos and Fiona making love in nearby rooms or tents.

Nearly an hour later, Methos entered the kitchen to find Sarah slamming pots around in the sink.

"You don't look very happy," he said.

She glanced up at him and threw the rest of her juice down the drain.

"What's the matter, Sarie?"

"You need to pick a wife."


Sarah turned toward the window and gestured to the garden with a dirty spatula.

"*That*? Come on, Sarie, you know what Fiona and I have."

"Exactly," she snapped.

Methos heaved a sigh. "I thought we had settled this."

Sarah tossed the spatula into the sink and made no response.

"It's not like she showed up here waving our marriage license in your face," he added.

"Oh please! Don't drag Connor into this."

"And why not?"

"It's not about Connor, it's about you being a..."

Methos cocked an eyebrow at her, expecting a long string of expletives.

Rather than give him the satisfaction, Sarah snapped her jaw shut and turned back to the sink.

"It's as much about MacLeod as it is about Fiona," he said evenly. "And you didn't see me flying off the handle and being completely irrational when he whisked you off to the bloody theatre last night, did you?"

It was one thing to know the she was being irrational and quite another to be told so. Sarah reached for the nearest projectile object and spun.

"Did I hear my name?" Connor asked cheerfully, wandering into the room.

It all happened within a heartbeat. Sarah hurled the jar of marmalade at Methos' head. Methos, having experienced her temper at its very worst when she was far younger, ducked expertly. The marmalade crashed into the doorjamb about three inches from Connor's left ear, showering the Highlander with preserved fruit and glass shards.

The world's oldest living immortal sank to the floor laughing uproariously. His wife glared at him and crossed the room with profuse apologies and a towel for Connor.

"I hate orange marmalade," the Highlander muttered.

[end part 2]

[part 3]

It was useless. There was no way she would be able to concentrate on kata, not with the guilt and embarrassment of this morning's scene in the kitchen running through her head. Sarah sighed and grabbed a towel, heading out of the dojo on her way to find both Methos and Connor....she owed them each an apology.

Much to her surprise, Adrianne told her they were together in the living room. Sarah paused a moment to taste the beef stock her student was preparing as part of their dinner before continuing on through the house. Her mouth watered in anticipation, the girl was nothing if not an incredible cook.

"So we're at the Emperor's table and the servant puts down a lovely plate of Sushi in front of Sarie and she looks at him and says 'wot in the bluidy hell is this crraap? Me muther's haggis dusen't even look this bad'."

Connor threw back his head and laughed, not only at the story, but at Methos' terrible imitation of a Scottish burr.

"And I'm trying to simultaneously get her to shut up and translate what she said into something that wouldn't get us killed..."

"Must we relive *every* embarrassing moment of my youth?" Sarah said from the doorway.

Both men looked up at her, glanced at each other, then ducked, throwing their hands up to cover their heads.

"Oh you two are a regular laugh riot," she grinned.

"That was a brand new shirt!" Connor said with a wink.

"And good marmalade is hard to come by now a days," Methos added.

Sarah rolled her eyes. "I came to apologize to both of you. What do I have to do, get down on my knees? There is such a thing as being a graceful winner, you know."

"If it had been anything but orange you would have been long forgiven by now," Connor smiled. "But I *guess* I'll call off rallying the MacLeod's against your clan."

Sarah swept a low bow in his general direction. "My thanks, Laird MacLeod. You will find fifty of my husband's prize sheep on your door in the morning."

Connor laughed.

"Hold on then," Methos said. "First you throw my favorite marmalade at the wall and then you give away my sheep?"

"Oh no," Connor get to his feet. "I have a strict policy never to get between a husband and wife when livestock are involved, if you need me, I'll be in the garden harassing Fiona."

He gave Sarah a peck on the cheek on his way out the door and disappeared whistling a Queen song that had been quite popular over a hundred years prior.

"I *am* sorry," Sarah said, once his tune had faded from hearing.

Methos held out a hand to her. "Things have been tense to say the least, Sarie. It's all right. I shouldn't have brought Connor into it anyway."

She sighed and took his hand, flopping onto the couch next to him. "Is Fiona okay? She looked pretty upset in the gazebo."

Methos nodded. "She'll be fine, but you should go talk to her yourself."

"You think she's still speaking to me after that little incident this morning?"

Methos laughed. "I'm sure she is. And I'm sure she feels guilty about being here and being a point of stress between us. She needs to be with friends now, Sarie. She's been keeping Joe inside for too long...and....I bet that, had she seen it, she would have kept handing you things to throw until you actually hit me."


Sarah felt the hammock shift, but didn't bother to open her eyes. It was very like Petey to join her under the oak trees and keep her from getting the afternoon nap that she enjoyed. This, however, was not her husband. Well, not the present one at least. Make that not the one she had intentionally married.

"Connor, what are you doing?" She cracked one eye open in time to see him grin at her from the far end of the hammock.

"Just enjoying the view," he said with another grin. "It's a lovely garden you have here."

Sarah smiled. They had put a lot of work into the medium sized yard that flowed out from the courtyard. Fiona had spent much of her time during the last few days wandering amongst the flowers and tending the plants. Sarah had a bit of a green thumb, as did Methos, but the Druidess had a way with gardening that brought even the sickliest of plants back to blooming health. And Adrianne, bless the girl, loved to work with her hands and had built not only the gazebo, but all three of the wooden benches that popped up along the path. In fact, she was busy working on a forth and the blows of her hammer echoed softly through the trees.

"Thanks," she said. "And please take your hand off my knee."

Connor laughed. "Worried your Englishman might challenge me?"

Sarah sighed. "Connor, I love you, you know that. And you're great fun to flirt with and very good at tormenting Petey. But this isn't the time to play games with him. Things are a bit um...tense between us."

Connor smiled and tucked his hands behind his head. "Yeah....quite a love triangle you have going there, Sarah. What's going on, anyway?"

"Petey and Fiona have known each other forever," she said. "They were lovers most of the time that he and I were traveling together. The three of us have this really weird relationship."

"I'll say."

Sarah sighed.

"Hey," Connor poked her lightly in the shoulder with his left foot. "He'd be a fool to leave you for her, you can tell him I said that."

She smiled. "I'm not really worried about that. It's just hard to see them together sometimes. We were thinking you two should get married. Then we could be one big happy family."

Connor laughed loudly. "Not my type."

Sarah was going to respond, but the sound of a power saw cut into her words. The whine stopped a few moments later and the pounding resumed.

"And *that* one," Connor jerked his thumb in Adrianne's general direction. "What is *her* deal?" Sarah shook her head, confused. "What do you mean?" "She's so dark and brooding. It's like having Duncan around...only at least he turns down the Opera after midnight."

Sarah laughed. "That's it! I've been telling Petey she reminded me of someone since the day I met her, but I couldn't place's Duncan! She even moves like he does."

"It's the walk," he said. "She walks almost exactly the same way he does. You'd think they were related."

Time stopped. Sarah's mind flew back to a conversation at a dinner table in Glenfinnan nearly sixty years ago. Just suppose, Duncan had said, just suppose we could have children with other immortals. She had scoffed at the theory he had shared--that immortal women went through periods of fertility and gave birth to children they would never remember. It was ridiculous. Or was it?

"Pardon me, MacLeod, but if you don't move your hand from my wife's leg, I think I'll have to take your head," Methos said, appearing at the foot of the hammock.

Connor grinned. "She was my wife first, I have dibs."

"As if she'd be interested in you," Methos snorted. "You don't even know how to use a razor. The scruffy look went out with Miami Vice, you know."

"Coming from a man who looks like Mr. Bean, I find that statement holds little weight," Connor responded.

Methos scowled. "Why don't we ask the lady which she prefers then? Or maybe you wouldn't like the answer..."

"Ask away, laddie," Connor said, gesturing toward Sarah.

"Well Sarie?"

"Hmm?" Sarah looked up, having missed the entire exchange.

"Which of us would you rather spend time in the hammock with?" Methos asked. "What? Can't you two act your age for once?"

"He started it!" Connor said.

"Did not," Methos pouted.

"Oh for Heaven's sake," Sarah lurched to her feet, tipping Connor to the ground. "You boys have your little duel. I'm going to find Fiona and have a conversation with a fellow adult."

Methos watched her walk off toward the back of the garden with a jaw slightly slack, then scrambled to leap into the hammock before Connor could reclaim his place.

"I'll climb right in there with you," Connor grumbled.

"Try it and you'll be on your ass faster than you can say haggis," Methos answered, crossing his ankles and flashing the Highlander a merry smile.

Sarah thought about foregoing the search for Fiona in favor of a quiet nap upstairs, but the Druidess was obvious in her unobtrusive manner of wandering amongst the roses. Sarah sighed and watched her pinch off some dead blooms and check for insects, debating inwardly about approaching her old friend, but found her feet carrying her down the stone path toward her. Fiona smiled a hello and they walked quietly around the garden, coming to a bench hidden away under some trees.

"It's a lovely garden," Fiona said, sensing Sarah's discomfort and hoping to ease it with small talk.

Sarah nodded. "Petey planted the roses and does most of the work on them. I swear, I just *look* at them and they shrivel up and die."

Fiona chuckled.

"The herbs are mine. I think I'm going to have to take a machete to the Lavender, it's getting out of control," Sarah continued. "And the Thyme is finally coming in..."

Fiona looked at her, smiling. "You don't have to beat around the proverbial bush, you know. It's never been like that between us."

Sarah nodded and looked down at her feet. "I suppose you heard about the fight Petey and I had this morning?"

"Connor was muttering about marmalade all day," Fiona smiled.

"I just wanted to tell you that, rationally, I know that there is nothing going on between you and Petey..."

"Of course there isn't," Fiona answered. "But there was nothing irrational about your reaction to seeing us out here."

Sarah snorted.

"The first time I saw you two together, I mean *really* together--as a couple--I just about reached for my sword."

Sarah looked up at Fiona with obvious shock.

"It's true," the Druidess nodded. "You and he have always had a bond that is so completely unlike the one he and I have...I guess I kind of felt like I was the one he loved and you were his buddy and there was a great security in that. But then I saw you two in Joe's that night and I watched how the entire room ceased to exist for him when you walked in and I was jealous."


Fiona nodded. "I thought I was the crazy one. But it seems I'm not alone," Sarah smiled.

"It's hard for both of us..." Fiona said. "He is both our cornerstone and the one thing that can come between us."

"Fiona, can I ask you about Joe?"

"What do you want to know?" Fiona answered with quiet reserve, guessing Sarah's next question.

"Why didn't you and Joe ever get married? Was it because of Petey?"

"Oh Sarah, it had nothing to do with Arrawn. Joe didn't want to get married because of his position with the Watchers at first and then after he left the Watchers it just.... didn't seem to matter any longer," Fiona paused. "I knew I would stay with him until the end and marriage just didn't seem to come up again. I would have married him, I loved him that much," She said, tears running down her cheeks.

Sarah reached over and took her friend's hand, squeezing gently.

"Sarah, what ever you do don't take the love you and Arrawn have for granted. Love him with all your heart, because you never know when he might be taken from you. I knew that I would eventually lose Joe but it didn't lessen the pain any."

Sarah smiled, then sighed. "I learned that lesson about Petey the hard way back in '98. I don't take anything for granted anymore, Fee. And I'm sorry you had to lose Joe. No matter how many times we bury mortal lovers, it never gets any easier."

"I know. Joe's been gone for sixteen years now and I still wake up expecting to find his head on my shoulder." Fiona sniffled, wiping the tears away on her sleeve.

"I know," Sarah said, squeezing her friend's hand again. "I dream about him sometimes and I always wake up in tears. I can't imagine what you're going through. But I know that he's with us, with you...watching and laughing and grumbling."

Fiona laughed through her tears.

Sarah laughed with her, then stopped suddenly and looked ready to speak, but shook her head and looked back down at her feet.

"Go ahead," Fiona said.

"Fee, I know this is a bad time to ask, but I just have to know," Sarah drew in a deep breath. "Having both you and Connor here is throwing Petey and I into this weird loop...he doesn't really believe that there never was anything romantic between Connor and I and I know all about what went on between you and Petey. What's going on now, Fiona? You *are* still married to him."

"I love him, Sarie, I will always love him. He's a part of me, but it doesn't mean that I can't love someone else, like Joe. And what I feel for him is different now than it was then. He's my best friend now. I hope you can understand that."

Sarah nodded. Of course she could. Methos had been her best friend for centuries before romance had muddied the waters.

Fiona giggled suddenly, drawing Sarah out of thought.

"And here I thought I had just crossed a line," she said. "What's so funny?"

Fiona winked conspiratorially. "If we were *really* mean, we'd get out our swords and make him think we were fighting over who gets to be his wife."

Sarah snickered. "And boost that ego even more? You can have him, Fee, I've got me a MacLeod."

"Oh no," Fiona laughed. "I did my time, he's all yours!"

"Come on, Fee," Sarah got to her feet and pulled Fiona up. "I'll buy you a drink down at the Bull and we'll put it on Petey's tab."


Sarah paused at the door to Adrianne's room and thought a moment, trying to identify the Opera that was blasting through the young woman's speakers. Opera, she shook her head, the girl really was a lot like Duncan. But that could be mere coincidence, or simply a function of age leading to an appreciation for the finer aspects of culture. A common passion for Wagner did not a father and daughter make. She heard Methos whistling in the courtyard and ducked inside the room, uninvited.

"Hello," Adrianne looked up.

"Sorry," Sarah smiled and closed the door quickly. "But I didn't want Petey to see me."

"What's in the box?"

Sarah looked down at the wooden box she had tucked under the tail of her shirt. "It's a bottle of Scotch. I need you to do me a favor."

Adrianne cocked an eyebrow at her teacher.

"First, can we turn down the Wagner?"

Adrianne reached to the stereo and hit the volume pad, cutting the sound level in half.

"What kind of favor?"

"I need you to sneak into Petey's study and stick this in the secret drawer under his desk. Connor and I polished off the one he usually keeps stashed there and he'll kill me if he finds out."

Adrianne grinned. "You should have seen him pacing around this place while you and MacLeod were at the show. He spent the whole time muttering about blacksmiths and Scottish heads on his mantle."

Sarah smirked. "Good."

"And Fiona spent the whole time chuckling at him and telling him he got exactly what he deserved."

Sarah smirked again and sat down on the bed next to her student.

"What is the story between you guys anyway?"

"Who?" Sarah asked.

Adrianne opened her mouth, then closed it, then opened it again. "All of you. I need a scorecard to keep track of who is married to whom."

"We're all married to each other," Sarah chuckled. "Though it wasn't planned that way. Turns out that Petey and Fiona were married in the fifteenth century and never divorced. Then, Connor and I *thought* we were joking around with a friend who was a Blacksmith in 1680, but somehow wound up married by the Arch Duke of Glasgow."

"So, what happens now?"

"Nothing. We can't very well march into the town hall and ask to have two marriages annulled that took place a collective eight hundred years ago, now can we?"

"And it doesn't worry you that Fiona has shown up again now?" Adrianne asked.

"Why should it?"

"You tell me, I'm not the one who pitched jelly at Peter's head yesterday."

Sarah frowned. "That was a moment of pure rage. I was suffering from irrational jealousy."

"I don't think it was irrational," Adrianne said. "It would worry me if my husband's previous wife showed up to announce that they were still married."

Sarah shook her head. "That's not what she did. She thought he had told me about it."

Adrianne cocked a delicate eyebrow Sarah's way.

"Don't be ridiculous," Sarah scowled.

"To each his own," her student shrugged.

"Sarie?" Methos' voice echoed in through the door.

"Here," Sarah shoved the box into Adrianne's hands. "I'll keep him busy for the next hour or so. You know where the drawer is?"

Adrianne shook her head.

"Open the third drawer on the left and reach up into the back, the one above it has a false bottom. You can pick the lock with his letter opener pretty easily," Sarah said quickly, getting to her feet as she heard Methos approaching outside.

Adrianne nodded and shoved the box behind her as the door opened and Methos poked his head in.

"Adrianne have you seen....ah, there you are, Sarie," he smiled.

"Right, so make sure that you have the dojo floor waxed by the time we spar tonight," Sarah said, trying to sound stern.

"Who am I, Richie Ryan?" Adrianne countered.

Sarah bit back a smirk.

"Tell her, Peter," Adrianne said. "Tell your wife I'm past the floor waxing stage."

Methos grinned. "I say we have MacLeod do it."

[end part 3]

[part 4]

Adrianne Riordan crept up the stairwell, concealing a six hundred year old bottle of Scotch in a towel. She paused on the landing for a moment and glanced down the hallway that lead to the study, breathing a sigh of relief that no one was in sight. Fiona was no doubt out in the garden, the woman seemed to spend every waking moment out there, and Connor MacLeod had said something about running into the city to pick up something, so there were only her teachers to worry about.

She set the bottle down for a moment and dashed up to the top floor, cocking an ear toward the master bedroom. Sarah had promised to keep Peter busy, and that most likely meant they were in bed. But the third floor of the house was dead quiet and her teachers never managed to spend *any* time in bed quietly. The complete lack of the sensation of other immortals nearby came with somewhat of a shock, but not without relief.

She descended rapidly, grabbed the bottle, and dashed down the hall to the study, closing and locking the door behind her. The sheer volume of books in this room had always amazed her, but this afternoon Adrianne paid them no attention and focused on the huge oak desk. The first time she had met Peter he had been sitting behind this desk, head bent in concentration. Sarah brought her into the room and he flashed his wife a most amazing smile that conveyed centuries of emotion and had faded instantaneously at the realization that Sarah had brought home another immortal.

That moment had set the tone of their relationship and in the two years that Adrianne had shared a house with the MacGreggors, she had never truly warmed up to Peter. He had never been anything but congenial and charming, if not a bit cool, but she was not one to easily forgive a perceived slight. And he'd have her head if he found out she was poking around in his desk. Despite his outward demeanor of friendliness, Adrianne had no doubt what so ever that Peter MacGreggor could be ruthless and calculating. He was old, older than Sarah--who was well over a thousand--and it must take a certain amount of severity to survive that long.

There were papers scattered across the desk and Connor's and Sarah's marriage license sat atop the pile, but Adrianne ignored the temptation to snoop and got down to business. She found the letter opener and had the hidden drawer unlocked in a matter of moments, calling on some skills she had picked up in the orphanage in Paris. She had placed the bottle carefully and was about ready to close the drawer when the sight of a leather bound book caught her eye. It must be one of the journals Peter was constantly writing in...but why would he hide this one in a secret drawer when the others were in relatively plain sight on the shelves?

Adrianne glanced at the wall clock and gave in to curiosity.

His handwriting was neat and crisp and slanted slightly upwards on the page.

...I met Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod today. Interesting fellow. And rather perceptive, for one so very young. He asked me if I had found a purpose to this all, to the Game...I told him no. You'd think that in five thousand years I would have. That things would make more sense to me...that I would wake up in the morning and know what life was about. But I don't. I am just as utterly confused and baffled and scared as I was in Rome, in Babylon, in Sumeria, when I met my first immortal and he told me what I was. I tried to convey this to MacLeod, but I don't think he believed me...

Adrianne found her jaw growing ever the more slack. Five thousand years? No one could survive that long. Who was Peter thinking he was? Methos?

She skipped ahead a good portion of the book, scanning through the pages, until she found herself staring at the last one.

...We buried Alexa today. I stood in the rain and watched them throw the earth on her coffin and time folded backwards onto itself a thousand times.

Sixty eight times I've buried mortal wives. How simple it would be, if we could die like they do instead of reawakening gasping for air and clutching at your sword. In the end, she just closed her eyes, stopped breathing and died. Just nothingness... Sixty eight wives? Five thousand years? But Methos was the only immortal who was even rumored to be that old and he was a myth. Peter MacGreggor was old, no doubt about that, but five thousand? Wouldn't the legendary Methos be more...more...*something*?

A buzz blasted into Adrianne's brain and sent the journal flying to the floor. She grabbed it hastily and shoved it back in the drawer, slamming it shut and trying to calm her pounding heart.

"Sarie, I really need to return that phone call," Peter's voice drifted through the door and she heard his step on the carpet just outside.

"Come on, Petey, you know you want to."

"I do *not* want to learn how to catapult myself at breakneck speed on four little tiny wheels, thank you very much. I am far too old for that kind of nonsense."

Sarah responded with something that came through the door as a low mumble and sounded vaguely clouded with a Scottish burr.

"One would think you were trying to distract me."

"Why Petey, if I were trying to do that, I'd ask you to come to bed."

"The phone call can wait."

Adrianne heaved a sigh of relief as she heard Sarah laugh and their footsteps retreated toward the master bedroom. She tiptoed to the door and peeked out to assure that the hallway was clear before making a dash to the stairs. At the second floor landing she crashed headlong into Connor and sent the Highlander sprawling down the steps.

"Easy there, lass! Where's the fire?" He asked, getting to his feet and straightening his shirt.

"Sorry," she flushed. "I just remembered I was late for something."

Connor shrugged and watched her continue down the stairs. It never occurred to him to wonder what she had been doing up on the floor that only housed two very private rooms.


Fiona was sitting in the library, sifting through the books and looking for something to distract her from her thoughts. Joe still weighed heavily on her mind and now everything that was going on with Sarah and Methos...if she were smart, she'd grab Connor and beat a hasty retreat, leaving them to work things out between them before it got any worse. They had always had a twisted sort of relationship, the three of them, and it was very strange to see Methos and Sarah together as a couple, even after all this time.

For three hundred years Sarah had been the sidekick in their trio, young, hot headed, and eager. Fiona smiled, the young woman had always been able to succeed in bringing out the swashbuckler in Methos and she had always enjoyed watching the unique bond they had. Now that sidekick was over a thousand years old, had a wisdom that softened her temper, and was his wife. They made a good pair and Sarah was far better at tolerating his moods than she had ever been.

She felt another immortal approach and closed the book she had chosen, waiting to see who was coming in. When Sarah appeared in the doorway, she returned it to its spot on the shelf and motioned for her friend to join her.

Sarah entered the room slowly and almost hesitatingly. Fiona cringed inwardly; it seemed like all their conversations had been on egg shells since the whole marriage thing had erupted onto the scene and she missed their old rapport. Methos might be the cornerstone of their relationship, but the two women had been friends in their own right for centuries.

"Fee, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure, what's up?"

Sarah ran her hands through her hair and flushed slightly. "This is kind of crazy, please don't have me committed."

Fiona grinned. "I can't make any promises."

Sarah chuckled, then took a deep breath and launched into her query. "Have you noticed anything familiar about Adrianne? Like she reminds you of someone but you can't put your finger on it?"

"Oh my," Fiona said quietly. "Why do you ask?"

"Something Connor said. Ever since the day I met Adrianne, she has reminded me of someone, but I never could figure out who. Then, yesterday in the garden, Connor turned on the light bulb for me. It's Duncan."

"And?" Fiona asked, wondering where the conversation was going and hoping it wasn't in the direction she thought it might be.

Sarah sighed. "This is the crazy part. Duncan, Richie, Petey and I had this really bizarre conversation once about immortal origins. Mac spouted this theory that we aren't really sterile....then Connor tells me that Adrianne reminds him of Duncan and I got to thinking."

"Duncan?" Fiona had only seen shades of Sarah in the girl and had spent more than a few minutes over the past few days deliberating about Adrianne's parentage, but now that the light had been turned on, the resemblance to Duncan was obvious as well. "Are you serious? Do you have reason to believe that she could be a product of you and Duncan?"

She spoke without thinking, a rarity, and immediately regretted it.

Sarah's jaw dropped. "No. I How..umm..oh shit." She sank into the nearest chair and did some mental calculating, using her fingers to hold the place of extra decades.

Fiona watched with some dismay as the younger woman's color drained to a very disturbing shade of grey. This was not good. Not good at all. There was a reason they weren't supposed to know about the way immortals reproduced.

At last, Sarah spoke. "1946. Paris. Duncan and I had an, um, encounter. It was completely wild and uncharacteristic of our friendship, but I just couldn't help myself," she flushed slightly at the memory, then sighed. "When Adrianne first came to us, she told me that the adoption agency in Paris placed her birth date as sometime in 1946. I suppose it's too big a coincidence, huh?"

Fiona sighed, she had let another unwitting cat out of the bag, but at least this was one she could offer some explanation for. "Rebecca told me once that there were times during our lives when we had an irresistible urge to be with another immortal, and from that union would come a child. She called it 'the Mothering', I think. It all happens within the span of a day or so and we don't remember any of it."

Sarah nodded. "That would change the Game forever."

"Do *you* think Adrianne might be your child from a night with Duncan?"

"I don't know what to think, Fee. This is crazy. Could it be possible?"

Fiona nodded.

"That's it then," Sarah said, more than a little dumb struck. "When it rains it pours. I get both a husband and a child I never knew I had, all in the span of a week."

Fiona watched Sarah lean back in the chair and clutch her head, wondering what was going through the other woman's mind. This was incredible news to deal with under normal circumstances, it must be mind boggling to know that the student you had been sharing your home with was actually your child.

"Does Petey know?" Sarah asked.

Fiona shook her head. "I don't think so. And you shouldn't tell him. This isn't something that a lot of people should know about." Indeed, she never should have told Sarah anything. It would have been easy enough to dismiss it with a laugh at the very thought of immortal women having children.

Sarah shook her head, then nodded, then sighed. "I need to walk. I'll be back when I've sorted this all out."


Fiona was restless and the rain was keeping her inside when there were tomato plants to prune. She paced around her room for a few minutes before deciding to head to the kitchen and see if she could beat Adrianne to cooking dinner. She was rooting around in the refrigerator, looking for the last of the ingredients for a beef stew when Sarah found her.

"Don't tell me you are feeling the need to clean my kitchen?" Sarah joked.

"Actually, I'm looking for an onion," Fiona answered.

"In the bottom drawer, by the cucumbers."

Fiona emerged moments later, waving an onion triumphantly and smiling. Within minutes the two women were busy chopping vegetables and laughing, chatting about old times and recanting pranks they had pulled on Methos.

"I'll never forget the time you put that huge spider on his nose in Minsk," Fiona laughed. "I don't think I have ever seen Arrawn jump as high as he did when he woke up to that!"

Sarah smirked. "I wish I had know how frightened of them he was before that."

Fiona cocked an eyebrow.

"So I could have found a bigger and hairier specimen," Sarah added with a positively evil smile.

"You! Poor Arrawn, how does he survive day to day?"

Sarah smiled and dumped a handful of carrots into a nearby bowl. "Arrawn...wasn't that the name of an ancient Irish god?"

"Welsh, actually," Fiona answered. "God of the underworld."

Sarah blinked at her friend for a moment, then laughed. "God of the *underworld*? *Petey*?"

Adrianne was on her way to the Study, hoping to catch another glimpse of the journal and maybe figure out what was going on with Peter MacGreggor, but heard their voices in the kitchen and headed in to join them.

"Arrawn was also silver tongued," Fiona added.

"Ah, *that* explains it," Sarah chuckled. "Tell me, was Petey masquerading as this god when you first met?"

Adrianne halted when she heard the conversation. A little eavesdropping wouldn't hurt, she thought, now would it?

Fiona smiled. "No...I don't think even he could pull that one off."

"It's strange to hear you call him that's been a long time since I heard it," Sarah said. "Just about everyone we know calls him Peter now."

Fiona sighed. "I don't feel right calling him Peter. Petey is your name for him and I'm not sure he'd let anyone but you use a diminutive anyway," she said. "And with Adrianne around I can't call him Methos, now can I?"

Neither heard Adrianne gasp as the final pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Methos. Peter MacGreggor really was Methos.

"Oh, way to go, Fee," Sarah joked. "I really hope Adrianne isn't lurking in the shadows somewhere."

[end part 4]

[part 5]

Sarah paced around the study, stopping periodically to examine objects. She picked up the phone and put it back down no less than three times before finally settling into a chair and dialing Duncan's number in Paris.

She debated inwardly as the connection was being made. Did Duncan really need to know about Adrianne? Should she keep it quiet, as Fiona had suggested? He would want to know. Mac had always longed for children. Not that they could be any kind of parents to the girl at this late point in her life, not that she would tell Adrianne...but Duncan...Duncan was a father and deserved to know that.

"Mac! Hi!" Sarah started, then realized quite suddenly that she was speaking to his answering machine. After the tone, she took a deep breath and spoke. "Duncan, it's Sarah. I need to talk to you, it's very important. I...I have...there's something you should know. Don't worry, I'm fine, Petey is fine. Connor's here and he's fine too. Haven't heard from Richie lately, but I bet he's okay. This is just...well...please just call me when you get in. Thanks."

Sarah hung up the phone and sighed again. A child. She had a child with Duncan. Her head was spinning.


Adrianne found Methos in the dojo working through a Tai Chi form in quiet concentration. She watched him for a few minutes, trying to comprehend that the man she had known as Peter MacGreggor for so long was really over five thousand years old. The things he must have seen. The people he must have known. The sheer power that must reside within that lanky body.

Her palms were sweating in anticipation. She had beaten him several times in recent sparring matches and he had been preoccupied with this bizarre marital polygon in the past few days. Her chances of beating him and taking that five thousand year old quickening were as good as they were ever going to get. Sarah would undoubtedly challenge her for this crime, but Adrianne was counting on the added power from his quickening to help her along in *that* fight.

Yes, it was bad form to kill your teachers. But Adrianne Riordan was not burdened by the Highland honor that touched everything that Sarah MacGreggor and Duncan MacLeod did. And the Game was about survival, not form.

"You're looking rather serious," Methos said with a smile.

Adrianne nodded.

He narrowed his eyes when he noticed that her sword was drawn behind her back and walked over toward the bench where his towel and Sarah's rapier sat. Just this once, he wouldn't admonish his wife for not having her sword on her person...especially since his own was still lying next to the hot tub where he had discarded it on the night of Fiona's arrival. Life had been too crazy in the past few days for him to return it to it's usual place on the wall above the Sarah's old Longsword.

"Were we supposed to spar?" He asked.

"No. But I think we should, Methos."

"I wondered who had been in that drawer," he sighed. "Sarie is always clever enough to leave things the way she found them."

"Maybe in five thousand years I'll have mastered the art of snooping," Adrianne answered, bringing her sword into an attack position.

Methos sighed again and drew Sarah's rapier, turning to face his student. "If you're challenging me, only one of us will walk away from it alive."

"That's what I'm counting on," she responded, taking the first swing.

He blocked it easily and didn't have time to wonder about the consequences of taking his student's head before she was thrusting again.

The girl was a natural with the katana. Fluid. Swift. Deadly. She fought as they had taught her to; in a style that was a mixture of her own agility, Sarah's succinctness, and his guile and she scored three deep cuts on his arms and chest before he was ready to truly commit to the fight.

Then, she found herself on her knees, clutching at her abdomen in a vain attempt to hold her innards in. Their eyes met as her blood welled on the dojo floor and the coldness in them told him that she would try again if he allowed her to keep her head. Methos was both infuriated and disgusted.

He caught her by the chin as her head sagged forward. "Why?"

"The one thing you taught me that made the most sense is that, no matter what, my own survival comes first," she answered.

Methos shook his head and took hers with a stroke that sent spatters of blood flying onto his cheeks. And, just before the quickening overtook him, he wondered if he and Sarah had failed in their attempt to teach the girl, or if Adrianne had simply failed to learn.

Fiona stood in the doorway, watching in abject horror as the scene played out before her. Glass from the sky lights rained down on Methos as the Quickening gripped him and there was a growing lake of blood on the floor under Adrianne's body. When the last of the forks of the girl's life force were done tearing through Methos, he heaved himself to his feet and met Fiona's gaze.

"Oh Methos, what have you done?" she asked.

"The only thing I could do, Fee," he answered, visibly defeated.

"I know," she said. "But there is more to this than you know."

"What else is there? I killed our student, isn't that enough?"

Fiona was unsure of what to do next and in the moment it took her to decide, Methos turned and walked out of the dojo, leaving her standing in the rubble to wonder what kind of fate would play out of this.

"What the hell just happened?" Connor demanded, running headlong into the room.

"Oh Connor, nothing good. Methos just took Adrianne's head," she said.

"Sarah's going to kill him. Oh...God....Sarah.....Fiona what are we going to tell her?"

"Connor, just how much do you know about Adrianne?"

"If you're asking if Sarah told me Adrianne was her daughter, then yes, I know all about Adrianne. She is going to kill him, you know that don't you?"

Fiona frowned. Sarah wasn't the only one who needed to be clued in about this mess.

"Connor, we also need to tell him, he has no idea what he's done."

Connor sighed and kicked at a piece of molding from the skylight. "What if we don't tell him? What if we don't tell her?"

"He'll tell her, even if we don't," Fiona said, pulling a pile of towels from a locker and draping them over Adrianne's body.

"She'll kill him. I know Sarah. They've been tense all week. This'll send her over the edge."

Fiona nodded and stooped to pick up some broken glass.

"What in the name of God happened here?" Sarah asked from the doorway.

"Sarah," Connor said.

"Jesus," she muttered, advancing into the room and coming up short at the sight of a headless body.

"Sarie," Fiona began, moving toward her.

"Who is that?" Sarah pointed. "Oh Jesus, tell me that's not Petey. Where is he?"

"Methos is fine," Fiona said. "Sit down."

Sarah looked from Fiona to Connor and back at the bloody pile of towels, trying to figure out who it was. A jade handled katana glinted in the light and her hands began to shake.

"Adrianne?" She breathed.

Connor beat Fiona to her side and took Sarah by the elbow, steering her toward the door.

"Who? Who killed her?" Sarah demanded.

"Oh honey," Fiona said. "You don't want to know."

Sarah pulled away from Connor and saw that her rapier was leaning against the support pillar by her daughter's body. She shuddered convulsively as the pieces fell into place.

"Where is he?" She asked in a voice so cold that it sent ice flowing through Fiona's blood.

[end part 5]

[part 6]

Methos wandered into the dojo, not bothering to turn on the lights. The moon was full and streamed in through the skylights, leaving a series of pale squares across the hardwood floor. Someone had cleaned up the mess from Adrianne's Quickening and the late night breeze blew gently through the broken windows.

He sighed deeply and sank to the floor near one of the support beams, wondering what would be the wisest course of action to take. Sarah would certainly be less than pleased to know that he had killed their student. But, she would forgive him, once she knew the events that had forced his hand. He hoped that he would be the first to break the news, but suspected that MacLeod had already spilled the proverbial beans.

He heard Connor's voice before the other immortal's buzz reached him. Seconds later, the Highlander pelted into the dojo, breathing hard.

"Get out of here," he panted.

"What?" Methos asked.

"Get out of here," Connor repeated.

"Sarah is looking for you and she has her sword."

Methos chuckled. "And I suppose Fiona is with her? Tell them it isn't going to work again. For one thing, I'm not naked."

"What? I'm serious. And so is Sarah. If I were you, I'd get the hell out of here, before you lose your head."

"Sarie wouldn't challenge me over Adrianne," Methos said.

Connor frowned. "You have absolutely no idea what you've done, do you?"

"Adrianne challenged me, I did what I had to," Methos said with a shrug. "Sarie won't be happy about it, but she'll forgive me."

"Adrianne was Sarah's daughter, you fool!"

Methos looked up sharply. He'd known about how immortals reproduced for centuries. By logic alone, Sarah must have several children in the Game, perhaps even some with him. But Adrianne wasn't his child. She was moody and prone to pontificate...and her skin tone was far too dark to have come from his gene pool. The girl had always reminded him of someone. And he had even mistaken her for Sarah once, in a darkened room. There had been something about the way she was standing with one hip cocked and an elbow on the windowsill. But the dark hair and eyes...and a strange laugh that sometimes took him back to Seacouver.

Duncan. The girl was Duncan and Sarah's daughter. And neither of them were ever supposed to know what really brought them together in Paris in the 1940s.

"Shit," he swore. "How'd she find out?"

"It doesn't matter now; she's out for blood. And I sure as hell wouldn't want to take a challenge from her."

Methos was about to respond, but a buzz stopped him and Sarah appeared in one of the squares of moonlight, holding both her sword and his own and wearing a deadly serious expression.

She threw his sword to him, but he let it clatter to the floor.

"Sarie, can't we just talk about this?"

"Pick it up."


"Pick it up, Methos, or I'll start without you."

"Come on Sarah, he was only defending himself," Connor reasoned.

"Shut up, Connor. And stay out of this or I'll take your head too." Sarah snapped.

"Sarie, let me explain."

"Pick up the sword," Sarah said through ground teeth.

Methos squatted down and slid it across the floor to her. "I'm not going to fight you, Sarie."

"You'd better," she kicked it back to him and advanced, slicing at his chest.

Methos grabbed the sword and rolled, scrambling to his feet with just enough time to bring it up and block another slice. He swung back half heartedly, hoping to talk her out of this. But Sarah wasn't in the mood to talk. In fact, she was trying very hard to project the face of someone--anyone--else onto his, so she wouldn't have to think about who she was fighting.

Neither of them noticed when Fiona burst into the room and threw up her hands in defeat, realizing that she was too late.

"Sarie, we don't have to do this," he said, ducking to one side as she thrust at his stomach. Methos swung upwards to deflect her blow and shoved her backwards a few feet.

She regained her balance and sliced at his leg, drawing blood. He looked down briefly and set his jaw, knowing that she was determined, but not ready to commit to the fight himself.

"Maybe she's just blowing off steam..." Connor said quietly as Methos and Sarah paced across the floor swinging and blocking, their swords ringing.

"I don't think so," Fiona said as Sarah sliced another gash on Methos' leg, finding bone with her blade.

Methos growled in agony and jabbed upwards, catching her in the side with the point of his sword. Sarah ignored the pain and kicked at his knee with all her strength. But that was one of her moves he knew well and Methos countered by bringing his sword between her foot and it's target. He pulled upwards as it made contact and his blade bit down to bone as well.

Sarah retreated behind a pillar, hopping on one foot and breathing hard.

Methos advanced slowly, his sword poised to strike again. "Sarie, I'm sorry. She attacked me, I had no choice but to defend myself. There's no reason for us to kill each other over it."

"She was under *my* protection," she snarled.

"She tried to kill me, Sarie! What was I supposed to do?"

Sarah grimaced in agony as she put her foot back down, but raised her sword again. "She was my daughter, Methos. And you took her from me before I ever got to know her as anything but a student."

"You were never supposed to know that she was your child, Sarie. We're not supposed to have that knowledge. Look how it affects the Game. Look at what you're doing."

Sarah narrowed her eyes and, even in the dim light, he could see that they were cold and glinting with anger and betrayal.

Maybe he could wear her out enough to get her to calm down. Methos lunged at her, swinging hard and fast, giving no chance for Sarah to catch her balance or do anything but defend herself. She ducked under a head swing and sliced upwards, leaving a line of blood across his neck and he stared at her numbly as his shirt soaked up the deluge, suddenly understanding that it was all very real.

Fiona clutched at her own throat in dismay. This couldn't be happening. Sarah took advantage of the fact that Methos was momentarily distracted and disarmed him, bringing her sword up under his chin. He risked a glance downward; his sword was within reach. If she didn't behead him first.

Sarah shook her head at him and drew the blade back. She set her jaw and swung.

"Stop this!" Connor yelled suddenly, praying that she would listen to him, but knowing he was too late.

Fiona closed her eyes, waiting for the Quickening to come and trying to block the image of what she had just seen.

Methos felt the blade tear into his shoulder and threw himself to the floor, grabbing his sword and rolling to his knees. Sarah was still recovering from the force of her swing and could do nothing to protect herself as he plunged it upwards into her abdomen, twisting hard. She tried to gasp in pain as he pulled it free and flipped the hilt in his hand, but air was rushing into her lungs in all the wrong places.

He thought for sure that her expression would shift as her blood began to pool on the floor. And it did. Just in the wrong direction.

Methos did the only thing he could do and swept her wobbling feet out from underneath her with a kick, slamming his sword into her chest as she fell to the floor.

He stood staring at her body for a few moments, then turned and left without a word.

Fiona and Connor watched him go, their mouths agape in identical expressions of horror. The Druidess was the first to shake off the spell of the moment, and crossed the room to Sarah, pulling out the sword and kneeling beside the younger woman as she gasped back into life. She helped Sarah to her feet and lead her out of the room, steering for the stairs and hoping that a shower and a change of clothes would calm the Scot.

Sarah said nothing their entire journey to the bedroom and Fiona found words pouring out of her mouth very uncharacteristically.

"Sarah, she tried to kill him. She knew he was Methos and she wanted his Quickening, that's why she challenged him. He had *no* choice."

"I don't care," Sarah practically spat. "She was my *child*. And he took her from me. Don't try to fix this, Fiona, you can't."

Fiona sighed and watched Sarah strip off her bloody clothes and drop them in a furious heap on the floor.

"When you go to him, and we both know you will," Sarah said evenly in a tone that was laced with pure granite. "Tell him this isn't over yet."

The Druidess winced as the bathroom door slammed. Then she sighed deeply, glanced at the unmade bed and the pile of folded laundry on the chair, taking a change of clothes for Methos before leaving the room. Connor would help Sarah; she doubted she could. She wasn't even sure that Sarah wanted to be helped.

Fiona drove out of London to a small inn that sat on several acres of land and walked back to the old grove that stood at the back of the property. It had been years since she was last there, but she had known this was where she would find him. It was a little known place; its significance lost to all but those with life lines as long as hers and Methos'. But they had often sought refuge in it, both alone and together, when circumstances called for such.

"Methos," she called, as she saw him sitting amongst the trees.

"Fee, what are you doing here? Sarie, is she okay?" He questioned, his voice faltering with the words.

Fiona went to sit next to him, "She's furious, hurt and confused."

Methos made no response and stared down at his feet.

She handed him the fresh clothes and watched as he stood and changed, much the same way she had watched Sarah, not an hour before. But Methos didn't simply drop his bloody clothing, he tossed it aside as if it burned. When he sank back down next to her, she pulled him into her arms and let him curl into a fetal position, his head in her lap. She stroked his hair gently as he began to weep for what he'd lost--or thrown away by an accident of circumstance.

"Fee, was she really Sarie's daughter?"

"Yes, she was."

"Oh God. Fee, you have to believe me, I never would have...she tried to take my head...she would have tried for Sarie...I couldn't let her get Sarie...not my Sarie..." he choked out.

"Oh, Old Man, I wish I had the answers for you. I know you did what you had to do and someday maybe Sarah will to, but right now...I don't know."

They fell into silence and Fiona continued to hold him. There was little comfort to be had, but Methos found some in knowing that he was with his oldest friend and allowed her to lend some healing strength.


"Well, this is a fine mess, eh?" Connor chuckled.

Methos scowled deeply. "Where's Sarie?"

"Damned if I know. Long gone, I'm sure," Connor said, gesturing for Methos to take a seat in his own study.

Methos sank into the same chair the Highlander had been sitting in earlier that week when he produced the marriage license for Sarah to see.

"MacLeod, I'm in no mood for your games. If you know where she is, you'd better tell me," he said.

"I don't know. She and Fiona had a chat a few hours ago and I went to clean up the dojo floor," Connor sighed. "And, you'd better give her plenty of time to cool off, or you're likely to find your head a good six feet from the rest of your body."

Methos sighed. "Is she okay?"

"She's fine. Physically."

"I went upstairs," Methos said. "She left the longsword and her wedding ring."

It was Connor's turn to sigh. He knew that. "She'll be back. You two belong together."

Methos shook his head. "You know all about the damn Highland code that is so much a part of her. I killed her child."

"Sarah's not going to start a blood feud with you," the Highlander said. "She just needs a chance to cool off. She found out she had a daughter and lost her all in the span of twenty four hours. That's a hard hit to take. Give her time."

Methos sighed and threw his head back in the chair, staring blankly at the bookshelves. He didn't even notice when Fiona padded softly into the room. She came to a stop behind his chair and exchanged looks with Connor over the top of his head.

Methos glanced up at her for a moment, then turned back to Connor. "Will you go after her? She'll talk to you."

The Highlander shook his head. "No she won't. She's in no mood to talk to anyone and she could be halfway around the planet by now."

"No. You're wrong. She'll talk to you. You have to find her for me."

Connor glanced at Fiona, who rested both hands on Methos' shoulders and sighed.

"Methos," he said, "finding her won't do anyone any good. If we drag Sarah back into the same room with you it'll just come to swords again, we both know that."

"We could meet on Holy Ground," Methos' voice rose in something that sounded very much like desperation.

Fiona leaned down and hugged him tightly. "Think about it, love, would you really want to meet Sarie on Holy Ground? That's not like you two. Your bond is stronger than that."

Methos stared down at his hands, wondering if the dark stains in the tooling of his wedding band were age or blood.

"I can't fight her again, Fee. I can't."

"If you let her come back to you, you won't have to," Connor said.

Fiona nodded. "Your bond with her has transcended death twice, Methos. It will survive this as well."

"Fee, I wish I could believe you," he said, dejected.

"Methos,..." she started, watching him rise and pace across the room to the window.

"Just give her some time," Connor repeated.

"Stop trying to placate me," Methos said.

"We all know...just leave. Both of you. I want to be alone." He strode rapidly out of the room, punctuating his request with a loud slam of the door.

Connor sighed. "What now?"

Fiona shrugged. "I think we should just leave him alone for a while. I'll go talk to him in a couple of hours."

"I'll see what I can do about the dojo's still a mess."


The following morning, Connor MacLeod wandered into the kitchen to find Fiona staring into her cup of coffee.

"How's the skinny Englishman?" He asked.



Fiona looked up at him and nodded. "He's gone. No note, nothing. But he took Sarah's longsword and a suitcase."

Connor sighed, then nodded. "He needs time to think too."

"I'm worried about him. He's in no condition to be out in the Game right now."

"He's been out in the Game for over five thousand years, Fiona, he knows how to take care of himself." She took a long swallow of her coffee and stood. "The cucumbers are ready to be harvested, I told Sarah I would make a salad..." She trailed off and laughed suddenly. "A salad. Yeah, that'll fix everything."

Connor chuckled. "Life goes on, Fiona. And they both still have their heads. They'll find their way back together."

Fiona flashed the Highlander a small smile. "If the gods are willing."

Connor watched her leave the room with a heavy heart. Things were much easier in the days when he stayed away from friendships with fellow immortals.

He sat down at the table and threw back the dregs of Fiona's coffee, then got up to pour another cup. There were still bloodstains in the grain of the wood in Sarah and Methos' dojo, but they would be gone before he left. If either returned there would be many ghosts to face in this house as it were; there was no need of a physical reminder. On his way out of the room, the phone rang. Connor leapt at it, hoping it was Sarah.

"MacGreggor residence, Sarah, is that you?"

The wrong familiar voice came over the line. "No, it's Duncan. Since when are you their secretary?"

"Both Methos and Sarah are....out...I'm the only one home," Connor answered. "How are things with you?"

"Oh fine," Duncan said. "Sarah called last night and left me a message saying that there was something she needed to tell me, any idea what that might be? It sounded urgent."

Connor's heart dropped into his stomach. There were bloodstains on the dojo floor. And Duncan need never know whose blood it was that mixed with both Sarah's and Methos'. There was a chance things could end here, but not if an angry father were introduced into the plot.

"Not a clue," he said. "Maybe she had a lead on an antique for you."

It was the only lie Connor MacLeod ever told his kinsman.


To Part 10: Worlds Collide: Ties Between Us

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