Identities

Mary Ellen

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DISCLAIMER : Joe Dawson, Duncan MacLeod, Amanda and Methos belong to Davis-Panzer Productions. Richie Ryan used to belong to them. He belongs to his fans now. Fiona MacDonald belongs to me. All characters are free to return to their original owners, but they refuse to go, so I guess I'm stuck with them for now. Please do not repost this story without asking me first. Direct all comments to me.

Absolutely no permission is granted to use this story in whole or in part in another piece of writing.


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As usual, Richie Ryan was late. Fiona MacDonald waited impatiently for him in the deserted parking lot. The two Immortals were supposed to meet for lunch before she drove Richie to the shop to pick up a part for his bike. She tried to convince him to let her buy him a new motorcycle, but he refused. He insisted the part was all he needed. When she sensed another Immortal, she expected to find an apologetic Richie coming towards her.

She was surprised to find a woman standing a few feet away. Slender and pretty, she reminded Fiona of Amanda. As much as Fiona hated to admit it, Amanda had better fashion sense. Studying the female Immortal, Fiona doubted she was very experienced. She held her sword awkwardly. Fiona knew full well it could be a ploy on the other woman's part.

"I am Fiona MacDonald of the Clan MacDonald. I have no quarrel with you."

The other woman's eyes lit up.

"I'm Leda. Steve's infatuated with you, you know."

As flattering as that was, Fiona had no idea who Steve was. When the other woman raised her sword, Fiona drew her Claymore. Although it was smaller than most swords of that type, the weapon was still a bit large for her. Centuries ago, Connor MacLeod taught her how to overcome the size and weight of her blade. Those factors were no longer a handicap.

Leda hesitated. The Claymore was much larger than her rapier. Leda hoped that if she took Fiona MacDonald's Quickening, Steve would be less fixated on this other woman. He'd been Leda's companion for decades, but he always spoke lovingly of Fiona. Abandoning all caution, she came straight at the older Immortal.

Fiona easily fended off the younger woman's attack. As Fiona suspected, her opponent wasn't experienced. She managed to wound Fiona only once. The wound stung, but did not hamper Fiona's abilities. She killed the other woman quickly to spare her an exhausting battle against a superior opponent. She had known Connor to toy with an adversary like this, but she saw no reason to teach anything to someone you were about to kill.

The Quickening was stronger that Fiona expected, but much weaker than most others she had taken. She struggled to her feet when she sensed another Immortal. She wasn't really ready for another battle, but she could defend herself. If it was the woman's consort, she would try to explain. Whatever she said would be inadequate. She looked up to see Richie rushing towards her. He quickly wrapped one arm around her as if he expected her to fall.

"Are you okay?"

"Of course, Richie. I won. Stop fussing."

Fiona suddenly felt dizzy. Bits of the young woman's memories swirled through her mind. She appreciated Richie's presence. Although the other woman's memories were fading, she could feel a headache forming. She gave Richie her car keys.

Helping her into the car, Richie was reminded of another time when he had driven her home. After a difficult fight against a male Immortal, she was dying. He was relieved that this time she seemed to have only a minor wound that had already healed.

Complaining that the sun bothered her eyes, Fiona slipped down in the passenger's seat. She hoped if she took a short rest, she could get the other woman's memories completely under control by the time Richie got her home.

When she opened her eyes again, they were outside the house she shared with Richie. The younger Immortal rented the downstairs apartment from her. Telling him to take the car and get the part for his bike, Fiona went inside. She wanted to go upstairs and rest.

The cool darkness of her bedroom was exactly what she needed. She slept uneasily. Vivid dreams woke her repeatedly, but she couldn't remember anything about them afterward. There was something troubling about the dreams from the other woman's Quickening. It involved the loss of an Immortal companion. Fiona sat up. She tried not to think about losing either MacLeod. She desperately wanted a drink and some company. She knew exactly where to get both.

****

Methos felt the presence of another Immortal when he got to the door of Joe Dawson's bar. As he stepped inside, he couldn't believe his luck. Fiona MacDonald sat at the bar laughing about something with Joe. Methos knew Duncan MacLeod was currently occupied with Amanda. This was very likely his best chance to get to know Fiona better. He distractedly returned Joe's greeting as he sat down next to the Immortal woman.

Fiona turned to look at Adam Pierson. She hadn't seen him in some time. He was grinning idiotically. Fiona wondered why Joe didn't notice. Joe placed a beer in front of Adam. One glance at the Watcher's ironic smile told her he was perfectly aware of the other man's expression. He winked at Fiona. The trio exchanged pleasantries until Joe moved away to wait on other customers.

"How about dinner tonight?"

Fiona pondered the invitation. If she refused, he would very likely keep asking until she said yes. He was nothing if not persistent.

"Why should I go out with you?"

"Because the alternative is unthinkable."

Fiona frowned. It was a terribly romantic reply. She nodded. She would go out with him this once. She would see what happened after that. He was grinning like an idiot for a second time. Once again, Fiona wondered who he really was.

Fiona looked towards the door when she sensed another Immortal. As Duncan entered the bar alone, Fiona wondered vaguely where Amanda was, but she didn't really care. Being alone with the two men could be amusing. MacLeod kissed Fiona before greeting Adam. Fiona saw disapproval flicker across Adam's face, so she casually mentioned his dinner invitation. Although he covered it quickly, Duncan's jealously was obvious to her. Smiling, he made a few restaurant suggestions. Adam thanked him politely, if coldly. Watching them was entertaining. Unfortunately, Amanda was sauntering across the bar.

Because MacLeod and Methos stopped talking as soon as she got close enough to overhear, Amanda immediately assumed something was going on. She put her arm around MacLeod. Whatever it was, it had to involve Fiona and Amanda was not about to let the other woman distract Duncan MacLeod from her. It surprised her when MacLeod said Adam and Fiona were going out to dinner together. She always thought Methos had better taste.

Excusing himself, Methos went to the pay phone to make reservations at a local restaurant with an excellent reputation. He really wanted to take Fiona to a five star restaurant, but knew she would be overwhelmed by it on their first date. Some night he would take her there and order the finest champagne. For now, he had to take it easy.

From across the bar, Fiona watched Adam Pierson talking on the pay phone and wondered if she would regret agreeing to go out with him. She decided to go home and change. Adam could pick her up there. If she had to look at Amanda's smug face too much longer, she might be moved to violence. Just for effect, she kissed Duncan. He seemed delighted. Amanda did not. Fiona spoke to Adam briefly before blowing a kiss to Joe and leaving the bar.

Amanda couldn't believe how pleased with himself Methos was. Both men looked at her strangely when she asked him why he wanted to go out with Fiona. She made a few choice observations about the other Immortal woman. MacLeod answered her tersely. Thinking he might not want to hear anything else that was said, Methos finished his drink and headed home to prepare for his dinner date.

****

Methos dressed carefully, wanting to make just the right impression. On his way to Fiona's, he stopped to buy a dozen roses. He arrived at Fiona's promptly. When she opened the door, he smiled brightly at her. She looked enchanting. He hoped she believed him when he told her so. Methos presented the flowers to her. She sniffed the roses' perfume.

"They're lovely, Adam. Thank you."

Methos grinned. Perhaps this time he had done something right. Following her up to her apartment, Methos watched Fiona arrange the flowers in a vase. When she finished, they left for dinner.

Seated at the best table in the restaurant, they chatted over drinks. He was disappointed by her apparent indifference to his veiled and not-so-veiled suggestions for future activities.

They both became alert when they sensed another Immortal. Glancing around, Fiona saw Duncan speaking to the maitre d'. Amanda stood just behind the two men. Her annoyed expression tickled Fiona. She had to surpress her urge to laugh when she looked at Adam. He was clearly as annoyed as Amanda. The maitre d' innocently showed Amanda and Duncan to the table where Fiona and Adam were seated. After cheerfully ordering a bottle of champagne, Duncan grinned as he opened his menu.

"How's the food here?"

"Awful."

Amanda shrugged as MacLeod frowned at her. When he suggested they go out for dinner, she didn't expect to end up double dating with Fiona and Methos. As far as she was concerned, the further she could keep MacLeod from Fiona the better. One look at Methos told her he felt the same way. At the moment, it seemed that she and Methos were invisible. Fiona had MacLeod's undivided attention. Amanda got the impression that she could have wild sex at the table with Methos and the only two people who wouldn't notice were their dinner partners. She toyed with the idea of initiating something with the other Immortal, but he looked particularly unreceptive at the moment. In fact, he seemed as fixated on Fiona as MacLeod.

Methos and Amanda made vain attempts to join the conversation. Amanda eventually succeeded in distracting MacLeod from Fiona by accidentally . . . well, almost accidentally . . . knocking a glass over and spilling its contents on Fiona. Although she thoroughly enjoyed the other woman's displeasure, Amanda didn't expect both men to offer to help Fiona. Looking daggers at Amanda, Fiona excused herself to try to repair the damage to her outfit.

When Fiona returned, Adam sat sullenly at the table by himself. When she asked, he said only that the other couple left. He omitted his impression that they departed after a brief skirmish in an impending war. Methos was amazed when Fiona picked up their conversation from where they left off before the others arrived. It was as if MacLeod and Amanda had never been there.

His earlier disappointment faded. They talked easily. Fiona was an interesting woman. Like most Immortals, she had been many places. Some of her stories involved a MacLeod or two. She spoke of them without the emotion he expected. The trio had been involved in their share of brawls and adventures.

They discovered they were both doctors. Methos was impressed she had gone to medical school when women were still a rarity in that profession. He was more impressed that Connor MacLeod had paid her tuition and expenses. From the little he knew about the man, generosity was not his strong suit. There must be more to her relationship with the elder Highlander than he expected from reading the Chronicles. Evidently, there were things about Fiona and the MacLeods that the Watchers didn't know.

Fiona found she was enjoying herself despite her earlier misgivings. Adam was entertaining and charming when he stopped trying so hard to dazzle her. While she waited for the leftovers in a doggie bag, Fiona invited Adam back to her apartment for a nightcap. He again grinned like an idiot.

Outside the restaurant, they sensed another Immortal. Methos frowned. If MacLeod was still lurking around, he didn't want to know about it. He certainly didn't want the Highlander following them back to Fiona's. He glanced around. Something about the situation didn't feel right to him. He quickly steered Fiona down an alley. She seemed confused by his actions. One thing 5,000 years had taught him was to avoid unnecessary confrontations. The sense of another Immortal faded quickly. They got to his car and back to her house without incident.

****

Richie was sweeping up the dojo when Mac and Amanda returned. They had told him they were going out to eat. That usually meant they would be back long after he went home. They stomped past him without acknowledging his existence. He doubted he could cut the tension between them with his sword. The couple seemed to be ignoring each other as the elevator started up to Mac's loft. Richie assumed it would be better if he finished his chores quickly and returned home. Something told him there would soon be shouting emanating from upstairs.

****

When Richie arrived home, he glanced up at Fiona's windows. The lights were on. After seeing Mac and Amanda, he really wanted to talk to her. Besides, he was hungry. She was usually willing to provide him with something to eat. Calling her name, he ran up the stairs. As usual, her door was ajar. It was their habit to leave the apartment doors open when both of them were in the house. Frequently, the smell of Fiona's cooking led Richie up the stairs.

"In the kitchen, Richie."

Methos groaned inwardly when he heard Richie's voice. Although he liked the younger man, Methos wasn't happy to see him. He wanted to be alone with Fiona.

Richie bounded into the kitchen. He hesitated when he saw Methos. He expected Fiona to be alone. Reasoning that she wouldn't have invited him in if he was interrupting something, Richie got himself a can of soda from the refrigerator and sat down at the table. Fiona put a plate of food in front of him. The food looked like the remnants from a doggie bag, but it smelled delicious. Richie ate some of it quickly.

Methos frowned as he sat down across from Richie. There was something wrong about watching the other man devour the remains of a dinner he paid for. He realized commenting on it would make him seem petty. He sighed. Fiona seemed to be constantly surrounded by male Immortals.

"Did you see Mac today? Boy, was he grouchy."

"Yes, we saw MacLeod. He . . . joined us for dinner."

Richie's head jerked up at Methos' statement. Fiona had dinner with Methos? No wonder Mac was grumpy. If Mac took Amanda with him when he tried to horn in on their date, she would certainly be angry. At least that explained their behavior at the dojo. This could be interesting, if it didn't lead to a sword fight. He tried to imagine who might fight first: Fiona and Amanda over Mac or Mac and Methos over Fiona. The possibilities made him glad he wasn't involved.

Methos stared pointedly at Richie wishing the young man would just disappear. When Fiona put a beer in front of him, the older man glanced up at her. She smiled at him and then at Richie. Methos was disappointed. He hoped she was going to send Richie back to his own apartment. Instead, the three of them chatted about random topics while Richie ate.

Finishing his food, Richie thanked Fiona. He stopped to kiss her on the cheek before returning to his own apartment downstairs. He really needed to think now. Fiona and Methos. What a concept.

Methos frowned. As much as he liked Ryan, the younger man often seemed to be all mouth and no brains. Although he thought MacLeod was frequently too rough on Richie, Methos wondered why Fiona treated the young Immortal so well. She often seemed to pamper him.

"What do I have to do to be treated that way?"

Fiona looked at Adam. He was visibly pouting.

"I know who Richie is. You are not Adam Pierson. That isn't the name you were born to."

Methos was surprised by her response. He remained silent a few moments. He never heard it phrased just that way. Besides, few Immortals used their original name all the time.

"What does my name have to do with it?"

Fiona shrugged. She took the dirty plate from the table and washed it.

"Your name is meaningless, but you aren't who you seem to be. I don't trust you."

Methos tried to think of a witty response, but there wasn't one. He frowned. He seemed to be losing ground. Fiona picked up her drink.

"Let's sit in the other room, Adam."

Fiona put soft music on the stereo before settling herself comfortably on the couch. Adam immediately sat next to her and slipped his arm around her. She sighed, but didn't pull away from him. Sometimes she wished he would stop trying so hard. He was an attractive man. There was no reason for him to act like a fool.

She ducked away as he tried to kiss her. Disappointed, Methos sipped his beer. He just couldn't seem to get it right with Fiona. He wondered what he should do instead.

Fiona shook her head. She needed to get to know Adam Pierson better. He was obviously attracted to her, but she was uncertain about him. He seemed lost in thought. Fiona got up from the couch and walked towards the kitchen. She needed something to do.

"Would you like coffee, Adam?"

"Methos."

Fiona turned toward him. She appeared confused. He took a deep breath. He didn't expect this to be easy. It usually wasn't.

"My name is Methos and I'm over 5,000 years old."

She returned to her seat next to him. One look at his face told her he was finally telling her the truth. She had heard rumors about Methos, but never believed them. Now the proof claimed to be sitting next to her. He would be the oldest of their kind.

Methos didn't like Fiona's shocked expression. It was almost like telling a mortal about Immortality.

"You said you needed to know who I am. If you don't believe me, ask Richie."

Her expression changed slowly.

"Adam . . . Methos . . . I . . ."

He kissed her cheek gently. It was probably better if he left her alone now. She looked as if she needed to think. He could see where being told that you just spent the evening with a 5,000-year-old man could be overwhelming.

"Don't say anything. It's late. I'd better be going. I'll call you."

Fiona walked him downstairs and let him out. After she locked the door behind him, Fiona stood thinking about what she'd just been told. She wasn't sure she believed him, but it made sense to her. She would discuss it with Richie in the morning. The young man would tell her the truth.

****

As she neared the bottom of the stairs, Fiona smelled coffee. It was a good sign. It meant Richie was up. She entered the apartment calling his name. He came out of his bedroom pulling on a T-shirt. Richie blushed slightly when he saw her.

Fiona smiled at him. She had always liked Duncan's student. She enjoyed the combination of street smarts and naiveté that was Richie Ryan. If he knew how many men she had seen in various states of undress over the centuries, he'd never stop blushing. She followed him into the kitchen where he offered her a cup of coffee.

Richie got himself a bowl of cereal before joining her at the table. He thought she looked puzzled. Before he could to ask what was wrong, she asked him a question that nearly knocked him out of his chair.

"Richie, is Adam Pierson really Methos?"

"He told you?"

Fiona nodded. Richie took a deep breath. It was a big admission for Methos. He must be serious about Fiona. Richie hadn't been certain what the relationship between the two Immortals really was. Now, he knew she must still be avoiding the man. He wondered what she would do. She was already involved with both MacLeods.

Fiona asked a series of questions about who knew Adam Pierson's secret. As he answered her, Richie glanced at his watch. He had to be at the dojo soon. When he mentioned it, she said she was planning to stay home and get some writing done. Fiona finished her coffee and left his apartment absent-mindedly. He shook his head. He thought life was complicated now. What would happen to him in a few centuries?

****

Richie had just finished setting up in the dojo when Mac came down for a workout. He could tell from the intensity of his mentor's actions that the previous evening had not been easy. Amanda breezed by telling Richie she was going shopping. He frowned. She never told him what she was doing. Evidently, she wasn't speaking to Mac. The Highlander didn't even turn around to watch her walk away as he usually did.

This wasn't good at all. Richie tried to think of something he could do to reconcile the couple. He drew a blank. He went into the office to do some paperwork. Maybe something would come to him. Engrossed in the work, he lost track of what was going on around him.

"Get out, Richie."

Richie looked up. Mac stood in the doorway toweling off his face and shoulders. Through the office windows, he could see that some of the regulars had arrived and started their own workouts.

"I've got a lot to do here."

Mac frowned at him. Richie put down his pen and got up from behind the desk. When Mac frowned like that, it was usually better to be elsewhere. He offered to get some lunch for the older man. Mac grunted in reply. Taking the sound as a yes, Richie left the dojo without taking his sword. He was only going a couple of blocks away. There was a deli that made great sandwiches. He thought he'd also pick up one of Mac's favorite treats. It might change the Highlander's mood.

He hadn't gone very far when he sensed another Immortal. He could take his pick between Fiona, Methos and Amanda. It was possible Amanda was going to bend his ear about Fiona and Mac. He really didn't want to hear it. Of course, it could be Methos wanting to pump Richie for information about Fiona. That was something else he could live without.

Hoping to see Fiona, he turned around. A male Immortal stood about 20 feet away. Richie didn't know the tall, fair-haired man. The other Immortal just stood there looking at him. Richie wished he hadn't left his sword behind. He groaned when he sensed another Immortal. Richie turned back towards Mac's favorite bakery. A second male Immortal blocked his way. On the other side of the street, a third stepped out of an alley.

Richie was in serious trouble. There was a church close by, but he'd never make it safely to Holy Ground. He walked into a trendy gift shop with a mixture of moderately priced and expensive items. The other Immortals gradually followed him. Richie realized they were surrounding him. He figured that once the other Immortals cornered him, they would hustle him away and kill him. He tried ducking down a couple of aisles in an attempt to elude them, but they were following him too closely.

A store clerk innocently engaged Richie in conversation. He had noticed the attractive woman in the neighborhood and wondered about asking her for a date. Now he wondered about surviving the afternoon. One of the gang gripped Richie firmly by the shoulder. Richie quickly reached out and swept two expensive vases off the shelf. They smashed resoundingly to the floor. The other Immortals dispersed, leaving Richie standing in the rubble with the clerk. She frowned at him.

"You'll have to pay for those."

Richie glanced around. The Immortal gang lingered nearby. He shrugged. He didn't have the money anyway.

"No, I won't," he said belligerently.

The clerk's eyes widened. Richie tried to maintain his uncooperative demeanor. He'd never get a date with her now. He was deliberately making a jerk of himself. Overhearing the crash and subsequent argument, the owner appeared. Richie noticed the gang had retreated again.

Richie argued loudly with the owner. The police were called. At the sound of sirens, the other Immortals disappeared. Relieved, Richie argued with the cops as they searched and cuffed him. He wanted to be certain they took him with them. One of them thought he recognized Richie. It was possible. This was far from his first experience with the police.

On the way to the police station, Richie debated about who to call when he got there. Although Mac would be angry with him, his mentor would probably come to get him. Amanda was a good bet, but he would have to go through Mac to get to her and they weren't speaking to each other. For all he knew, Amanda wasn't even at the dojo. That left Methos, Fiona and Joe Dawson. He knew he could reach Fiona immediately. She had mentioned she expected to be home all day.

At the police station, Richie breathed a sigh of relief when he heard Fiona's voice.

"Fiona, it's Richie. I've been arrested."

"I'll be right there."

Richie wanted to explain, but she wasn't interested. She only wanted to know where he was. She hung up without asking for details. It was as if he called to ask a simple favor.

When Fiona arrived, the store owner was filling out a report on the incident. Complaining bitterly about the loss of almost $2,000 in merchandise, he confronted the well-dressed woman asking for Richie Ryan. Fiona glanced at the desk sergeant. He seemed irked by the owner's behavior. When the man paused, Fiona offered him $3,000 to drop the charges. Startled, he agreed instantly. He was even more surprised when she produced the entire amount in cash. After tearing up the papers, the man disappeared. Fiona decided she would entertain herself one day and visit the man's store to harass him and his employees. For now, she was content to get Richie.

Richie was relieved and happy to see Fiona. His sudden calm puzzled the police. With no charges to hold him, the police were only too happy to release their previously belligerent prisoner. Fiona waited until she pulled away from the precinct to comment.

"What was that about, Richie?"

"Look, Fiona," Richie began. He stopped when he saw the expression on her face. She didn't seem angry, but she certainly wasn't happy.

"Just tell me what happened. I know you got yourself arrested. You must have had a good reason."

Richie explained the situation as quickly as he could. Fiona nodded when he was done.

"You did the right thing, Richie."

Richie shrugged. The police were the only way out for him at the moment. He still wondered what Mac's reaction would be. He knew Mac wouldn't hurt him, but the elder Immortal knew how to make life uncomfortable. Fiona dropped him off at the dojo.

"Get your sword and meet me at Joe's. I want to see if he can give us any information. Tell Duncan and Amanda to come, too."

****

Joe Dawson watched Fiona MacDonald cross the bar to him. She seemed to be on a mission of some sort. He smiled at her. She barely smiled back. Telling him she needed to speak to him as soon as possible, she retreated to a table. Joe poured each of them a drink before joining her.

Fiona gave Joe the few details she had about Richie's recent experience. He frowned when she was finished. She wanted him to search the Watcher files for information about the gang. He should turn her down, but the story troubled him. It could mean real danger for all the Immortals he knew. Joe invited her to come into his office while he tried to answer her question. She refused. She wanted to wait for Richie.

When Fiona sensed another Immortal, she focused her attention on the door. Richie came in and scanned the room for her. As soon as he saw her, he headed in her direction. She told him to sit facing the entrance. If any of the gang came in, he would be able to see them.

"Where are Duncan and Amanda?"

"Mac's mad at me for getting arrested and calling you to get me out. He wouldn't listen to anything else I said. I didn't see Amanda."

Fiona frowned at him. If there was a gang of Immortal hunters in the area, both Duncan and Amanda needed to be warned.

"Hi, Richie. Sorry, Fiona, I couldn't find anything in the Chronicles."

"Do me a favor, Joe. Call Duncan and tell him what's happened. Ask him to meet us here and bring Amanda. Call Methos, too."

Joe was startled that Fiona knew Adam Pierson's true identity. He looked at Richie. The young Immortal said nothing. Joe glanced at his watch.

"Methos usually gets here about now. Take Richie and go to Holy Ground, Fiona."

Frowning, Fiona shook her head. Joe sighed as he walked away to call Mac. He wished she would take just one of his suggestions seriously.

Methos sensed another Immortal as soon as he got to the door of Joe's. After the events of the previous evening, he wondered who might be inside. He saw Richie and Fiona sitting at a table on the far side of the room. He was pleased when Fiona gestured to him to join them. After getting drinks for them at the bar, he slipped into the chair next to Fiona.

A few minutes later, Duncan arrived with Amanda. The Highlander scowled deeply at Richie and Fiona. She could see he was angry. She tried to ignore the self-satisfied expression on Amanda's face. The other woman was getting too much enjoyment out of Duncan's displeasure.

Duncan demanded to know what Fiona had done to get Richie released. She shook her head. That was unimportant. Besides, if she told him about the $3,00, he'd start lecturing her and forget everything else. Instead, she prompted Richie to relate the events that led to his arrest. When the younger man finished, Duncan looked thoughtfully at Methos before turning to Fiona.

"Take Richie and go to Holy Ground, Fiona."

Fiona frowned again. Why did men think that was the answer to everything?

"I'm not sure Richie's their target. They might just be hunting. All of us are at risk."

To Fiona's surprise, Amanda agreed. Annoyed by Amanda's apparent defection, MacLeod looked to Methos again. His presumed ally shrugged.

"Maybe we should just stick together, MacLeod. How many of them were there, Richie?"

"Three. Maybe four."

MacLeod agreed reluctantly. Amanda immediately grabbed his arm possessively. Richie thought that was interesting considering that earlier in the day the two weren't even speaking. It made him wonder what had occurred when she returned to the dojo.

Ignoring Amanda, Fiona glanced at Richie. They would be together at her house. That left only Methos alone. She suggested he could stay with Richie. She thought his reaction was too obviously disappointed. When she looked at Duncan she saw she was correct. Despite Amanda's presence, he was glaring at the other man.

MacLeod wondered how Fiona knew that Adam Pierson was really Methos. Something must have happened during their dinner together. He would have to ask Richie about Fiona and Methos.

Pouting, Amanda pulled on Duncan's shirt. He seemed to snap out of his trance and patted her hand. He suddenly suggested they all stay at Fiona's. Amanda looked as if she was about to explode.

Fiona didn't know whether to laugh or shout angrily at the Chieftain's son across from her. First, Duncan showed up while she dined with Methos. Now, he wanted to stay at her house. The man was clearly trying to chaperone her. He was usually overprotective. She smiled to herself. Connor would react the same way except he wouldn't suggest anything. He would simply do it.

Fiona suggested that Amanda could sleep on her couch while the men shared Richie's apartment. Everyone seemed dissatisfied with the idea, especially Richie. He would have to put up with both of the other men.

Smiling wickedly, Fiona proposed that the men could stay in her apartment while Amanda stayed downstairs . . . alone. The others seemed stunned. After seeing the look on Fiona's face, Richie laughed. Looking from Richie to Fiona, Mac laughed, too. Fiona's sense of humor never ceased to amaze him. Her next plan was likely to involve everyone in the bar. Methos and Amanda eventually got the joke. Neither seemed terribly amused.

Fiona briefly considered taking everyone to Holy Ground. There was certainly enough room at her house. She didn't like the idea of Amanda's presence. She had too many valuable things to trust the light-fingered woman. Amanda had stolen from her before.

After a brief whispered discussion, Amanda and Mac prepared to return to the dojo. Fiona wasn't certain it was exactly what Duncan wanted. Explaining that he had work to finish, Richie went with them. Fiona objected until Duncan promised they would make certain he got home later.

After they left, Fiona offered to go with Methos while he got whatever he needed to stay with Richie. To her surprise, he refused. He did insist on following her home before he went back to his place.

****

When she sensed another Immortal, Fiona grabbed her sword before going downstairs. She was relieved to see Methos standing outside. Along with a backpack, he carried a bottle of wine and another dozen red roses. She smiled to herself. Two dozen roses in two days. She thought it might be a record. She told him to leave his things in Richie's apartment before coming upstairs.

Methos found Fiona in her kitchen. While she finished preparing dinner, he opened the bottle of wine. Smiling, he handed her a glass. He toasted her before drinking. She sipped the liquid. Methos had chosen a very good wine. She was impressed.

He moved closer to her. She again avoided his attempt to kiss her. Fiona shook her head. She had grown up with Duncan, but wasn't really romantically involved with him until after they were both Immortal. She'd known Connor nearly a century before he kissed her on the mouth for the first time. This man moved much too fast.

Disappointed, Methos helped Fiona bring the food to the table. They both sensed another Immortal. Methos cursed under his breath as Richie ran up the stairs. He'd been too focused on Fiona to notice that the table was set for three.

Methos envied the younger man. Richie and Fiona seemed truly at ease with each other. He knew Richie visited Fiona at her house on Holy Ground. Methos had only been there once. She never reissued the invitation. He hoped she would. He sighed. Perhaps he was making too much of her relationship with MacLeod's protégé.

Watching the older Immortals, Richie wondered if a romance was beginning between Fiona and Methos. He decided it wasn't. Fiona's attitude toward Methos seemed the same. Methos appeared to be chasing her while she kept him at arm's length. They were kind of interesting to watch. It was almost like a game or a dance. Despite Methos' outward moping, they both seemed to be enjoying themselves.

After dinner, Richie volunteered to clean up. Fiona stroked his hair affectionately before leaving the room. Methos followed her. When Richie came out of the kitchen, he found them sitting on the couch together. They were talking amiably, but Fiona seemed to be deliberately keeping her distance from Methos. Announcing she was tired and wanted to go to bed, she ushered the two men out of her apartment. Richie gave her a quick peck on the cheek. She allowed Methos the same privilege.

Once they got into Richie's apartment, Richie couldn't believe how disagreeable Methos was. He grumbled about everything. Richie reconsidered throwing the older man out. The gang of Immortals could be anywhere and much of Methos' mood was probably his frustration over Fiona.

Richie frowned. From the things Fiona and Mac had told him, they'd always known each other. Richie still hadn't figured out Fiona and Connor MacLeod. Her association with both MacLeods was long-standing. He felt his own relationship with her was tenuous at best. Methos needed to give things some time. Richie thought someone over 5,000 years old would have more perspective.

****

Methos lay awake on Richie's couch staring at the ceiling and thinking about the woman upstairs. He'd been married 67 . . . or was it 68? . . . times. Women rarely had the affect on him that Fiona MacDonald had. He couldn't quite figure out why he seemed to lose his mind as soon as he saw her. He didn't think he usually behaved like an idiot. MacLeod never appeared confounded by Fiona. Richie acted normally in her presence. At least, what passed for normal with Richie. Only he seemed incapable of behaving rationally. Every time Fiona entered a room, his brain turned to jelly. He closed his eyes. Someday, he would figure out this Immortal woman. In the meantime, he would enjoy trying.

****

The next morning Richie woke up with the feeling that something was wrong. He was usually groggy when he got up, but the unshakable sense of uneasiness made him feel wide awake. On his way to the kitchen, he passed his houseguest snoring contentedly on the couch. Richie was too impatient to wait for the coffee to brew. He wandered off into the bathroom. By the time he took a quick shower, the coffee was ready. He didn't hear Fiona upstairs. He thought he would take her a cup of coffee as he sometimes did when he got up before her.

Filling two mugs with coffee, he went up to Fiona's apartment. The door was ajar. Richie nudged it open, calling Fiona's name. She didn't answer him. He ventured toward her bedroom. On rare occasions, he found her still asleep. She didn't seem to mind if he came in with coffee. Sometimes, she sipped it while she sat in bed talking to him. Those were pleasant mornings. They would drink coffee and talk about anything. He occasionally got up the nerve to ask her about women. She never refused to answer his questions or give him advice.

Calling her softly, he stepped into the bedroom. It was empty. He suddenly realized what was wrong. He couldn't sense her. She wasn't in the house. Running back down the stairs, he burst into his apartment calling Methos. The older man sat up sleepily on the couch. He grabbed a mug of coffee from Richie. Sipping the coffee and grimacing, he eyed Richie.

"What's the problem, Richie?"

"Fiona's gone."

"What do you mean gone?"

"Gone. Like not in the house. Like she went somewhere alone."

Methos was immediately as awake and agitated as the younger Immortal. He started pulling on some clothes.

"I've got the point. Let's go after her."

****

Richie arrived at the dojo after a fruitless search for Fiona. He foolishly allowed Methos to talk him into being the one to tell MacLeod that Fiona couldn't be found. Standing at the door, he sensed another Immortal. Although he was vaguely aware of Mac and Amanda in the loft, the sensation was not coming from inside. He turned around hoping to see Fiona coming towards him. One of the Immortals he had seen with the gang stood across the street watching him. Richie started down the stairs, but stopped suddenly. He'd seen enough scams to know this felt like a set-up. He went back to the door of the dojo and opened it. When he looked back to where the man had been, he was gone.

As soon as Mac showed his face in the dojo, Richie gave him a brief summary of the morning's events. Mac was ballistic. Richie quickly left the dojo to resume his search for Fiona. He really couldn't listen to Mac anymore. If he did, he'd have to admit the older man was right. It was clear Mac felt that Richie had screwed up again.

****

Fiona left her publisher's offices. She had nearly forgotten about the meeting and hurried from the house without waking either of the men in Richie's apartment. She knew they had agreed to stay together for safety, but showing up for the meeting with two strangers seemed a bit extreme. It was much simpler this way.

Sensing another Immortal, she expected to find an angry Richie waiting for her. He had a tendency to act like Duncan where she was concerned. Of course, he wouldn't dare lecture her, but he'd certainly make his feelings known. She'd offer to buy him breakfast to placate him. She knew he was probably late for work. Duncan would be waiting impatiently for him at the dojo.

It puzzled her when no one approached her. Suddenly concerned, Fiona got into her car and drove away. She would return to Duncan's dojo. It would be safer to be with Immortals she trusted.

****

MacLeod and Methos were in the dojo's office when they sensed the approach of another Immortal. Mac frowned. It better be Richie and he better have Fiona with him. The dojo door opened and Fiona walked in. The Highlander smiled. Women were a rarity in the dojo and Fiona walked with the confidence of someone who had no thought that she was in a place where she did not belong. He'd seen her do that before. After all the centuries she had lived, she was still the Chieftain's daughter.

The men in the dojo stopped their workouts to watch her every move. Their attention waned as MacLeod move forward to meet her. He hurried her into his office.

Methos had been draped in a chair sipping a beer. He immediately stood when Fiona entered. Fiona smiled slightly. It was an old fashioned gesture and she thoroughly appreciated it.

After MacLeod slammed the door, Methos resumed his seat. He'd been listening to MacLeod complain about Fiona for what seemed like days. Now, it was time for Act Two. He wished he had time to get another beer before the curtain went up.

"Where have you been, Fiona? You know we're supposed to stay together."

Fiona stared at Duncan. He rarely used that tone. He sounded like a Chieftain.

"I had things to do. There was a meeting with my publisher."

Methos glanced at MacLeod. The Highlander was even angrier than he had been when she was missing. He began a new tirade, but hesitated when they heard Richie's bike pull up outside. A clang and a muffled shout sent the three Immortals running to the dojo's back entrance.

Richie's sword was just inside the door. MacLeod got outside just in time to see Richie being shoved into a van by two Immortals. He tried to stop Fiona as she ran past him brandishing her sword and screaming Richie's name. As the van sped away, MacLeod grabbed her from behind. Protesting that Richie was in danger, she struggled against him.

The dojo door opened again. Amanda emerged, sword in hand. She suggested they try to find Richie's kidnappers before they killed him. Fiona never expected to agree with Amanda, but this was an exceptional situation. They split up into two cars and went in search of Richie and his abductors.

****

The ride was uncomfortable for Richie. The two Immortals took turns pummeling him. Of course, Richie knew how to use his fists. He was a much better street fighter than the jerks who had grabbed him. The other Immortals were bleeding and healing as much as Richie. Richie assumed Mac and the others would be looking for him. All he had to do was stay alive. A challenge was one thing. Immortal hunters were completely different. He hoped they would be able to find him before he lost his head.

When the Immortals arrived at a secluded location, they spent a few minutes beating on Richie before dumping him out of the van. The beating continued outside until the tall, fair-haired man interfered. He kicked Richie a few times before drawing a sword.

Steve grinned at the semi-conscious Immortal in front of him. This was just another hunt for a Quickening until his intended victim made it personal. This man had taken the head of an old friend and Steve wanted revenge. He raised his sword over the helpless Immortal.

"What are you doing, Sergei?"

Steve froze. He would recognize Fiona MacDonald's voice anywhere. She had been his teacher and mentor over a century earlier. The tone of her voice was unmistakable. She was not happy. When she spoke to him like that, it was usually followed by a punch with the hilt of her Claymore or a swat across the backside with the flat of the blade.

He remembered their first meeting. Aside from her story about Immortality and The Game, the Scottish woman who spoke fluent Russian fascinated him. He thought she was exquisite. It was rumored she was once mistress to a Czar. The only time he got up enough courage to ask her about it, she slapped him hard enough to make his nose bleed. He never brought up the topic again, but the rumors persisted. When they met, she said she was nearly 300 years old. Sergei still wondered which Czar it had been.

The only Immortal he ever met who was more demanding was the man she considered her teacher. Connor MacLeod was also her lover. Sergei had foolishly considered killing the Highlander as a way into Fiona's bed. He underestimated the older man's skill and received a brutal beating. He died from his injuries repeatedly. When he recovered enough to keep from dying again, he found MacLeod standing over him with his katana against Steve's neck. Although he couldn't see her, he heard Fiona tell MacLeod not to kill him in a calm, clear voice. MacLeod had no visible reaction. He continued to stare at Sergei coldly. The elder Immortals had a brief conversation in a language Sergei did not understand. A slight smile spread across MacLeod's face as he pressed the blade of his katana against Sergei's neck. Instead of killing him, MacLeod warned him to stay away from him and Fiona or face beheading. Sergei hadn't seen Fiona since that day.

He turned towards her. It was much smarter not to let her stand behind you. There were other Immortals with her. He didn't recognize any of them. He watched the man with the ponytail stop the other man from approaching them. The two men argued briefly, but Steve couldn't really hear what they said. He did catch Fiona's name a few times. He wasn't certain, but he thought he heard the other man address the first man as MacLeod. That wasn't good.

He noticed Fiona watching the argument. She seemed amused. He knew that side of her as well. She had a strange sense of humor at times.

"The name's Steve now. I'm taking a head as you taught me."

Her head snapped back in his direction. There was fire in her eyes.

"I never taught you this."

Fiona spat at him. The spittle landed within a millimeter of his shoe. Duncan MacLeod smiled. As a child, Fiona was always the best spitter in either of their villages. At the time, it was one of her admirable qualities and made her acceptable to the boys. In a way, that was still true.

Fiona glanced at Duncan. He had a gleam in his eye that made her wish Amanda was elsewhere. The other woman was in for an interesting evening. When Amanda moved closer to Duncan, his expression changed. Maybe Amanda's evening wouldn't be quite so interesting after all. Fiona's envy subsided. Duncan's reaction had been for her. She still wished Amanda was elsewhere.

"Kill her, Steve."

Fiona turned back towards the younger Immortals. They had gathered closer to Sergei. Apparently, he was their leader. Her former student shook his head at the man who had spoken.

"She trains with the Highlander."

The others seemed to take a step back. They stared openly at Fiona. She saluted them with her sword. It was nice to know the term Highlander garnered such respect.

"Which one?"

Steve paused. He had never met the younger Highlander, but knew Fiona was close to both men. She spoke of them frequently during his training. Like her, they were formidable fighters. If the man with the ponytail wasn't the other MacLeod, he certainly looked the part. Steve noticed he carried a katana. He knew much too well what the blade of that sword felt like. He'd tasted it at the hands of Connor MacLeod.

"Both."

The others stepped back further. Fiona smiled. Their fear and Sergei's reluctance gave her an edge. She knew about his attempt to usurp Connor's place in her life, but he had been a good student. He was intelligent and skilled. She didn't want to hurt him unless it was absolutely necessary.

"Walk away, Sergei."

Fiona heard a groan. She watched Richie get up and limp slowly to where Duncan and the others stood. She noticed they had moved closer to her. Fiona fought her impulse to go to her young friend. Amanda murmured comfortingly to Richie. Fiona approved. At least the other woman had some feeling for the young Immortal. She saw Duncan put his hand on Richie's shoulder. Richie nodded in response to something Duncan said before reclaiming his sword from his mentor's hand.

Richie could feel himself healing. He turned to watch Fiona's confrontation with the other Immortal. From what he overheard of the conversation and Mac's comments, Richie surmised the other man had been Fiona's student. It seemed wrong to let her face him.

"He killed my friend."

"He is my friend. Walk away, Sergei."

Richie started back towards them. Mac tried to stop him, but Richie shook his head. He couldn't let Fiona fight for him. MacLeod let him go. He understood Richie's reaction. As Richie approached them, Fiona raised her Claymore.

"Walk away, Sergei. This doesn't have to happen."

Fiona became aware of Richie standing behind her. He always seemed to stand a little too close. That usually annoyed her, but with Richie she didn't mind.

"This is my fight, Fiona."

She shook her head. Sergei was her student and he needed to be disciplined . . . or killed. Besides, Richie was hurt. She couldn't let him take a chance like that. When Richie moved next to her, Fiona looked at him. He was angry. He needed this fight. Lowering her sword, she stroked his hair.

"Keep your head, Richie Ryan."

"Aren't you going to wish me luck?"

Steve wasn't fast enough to avoid being punched with the hilt of Fiona's sword. He hit the ground hard. Steve got up slowly. To emphasize her point, Fiona kissed Richie on the mouth before turning to walk away.

Noticing the other man's reaction, Richie smirked. If the guy was jealous that Fiona kissed him, maybe he could use it against the jerk.

"I trained with both Highlanders myself, pal. Fiona's taught me, too."

Fiona smiled. She liked the way Richie said taught. It implied many things. Not all of them had to do with Immortality or sword fighting.

Sergei frowned. That meant nothing to him. He'd learned with Fiona and the elder MacLeod. At worst, it meant they were evenly matched. If this boy was more than friends with Fiona, his death would compensate Sergei for his treatment by the elder MacLeod. Besides, the Immortal woman would learn what it felt like to lose a companion.

"You killed Leda."

Fiona spun around. Sergei was angry. She could see the puzzlement added to the anger in Richie's eyes.

"I killed Leda."

Sergei shook his head. This other man had been seen near Leda's body before driving away alone in a car.

"Watch it, sunshine."

Fiona turned in the direction of Amanda's voice. She knew Duncan would never let the other woman harm her in front of him. The Immortal woman was holding her sword on one of Sergei's cohorts. The male Immortal engaged Amanda in battle. He appeared to be beating her back away from the others, but Fiona could see that Amanda was actually leading him in that direction. Fiona assumed the man was going to be very surprised at some point.

Fiona felt a hand on her shoulder. She could tell without looking that it was Duncan.

"C'mon, Fiona. This is Richie's fight."

"Not if they're fighting over Leda. I killed her, Duncan."

Sergei took a step back. He had been correct. This was the other Highlander.

"You can't fight your own student, Fiona."

The clash of swords behind them attracted their attention. Another of Sergei's cohorts had challenged Methos. It was easy to see the man was overmatched.

Fiona stroked Richie's hair again before allowing Duncan to lead her away. She knew she would have to let Sergei go if he killed Richie, but she would hunt him down later and kill him. Duncan would definitely disapprove. Her thoughts were interrupted by the flash of a Quickening. Amanda returned carrying her opponent's sword.

Richie and Sergei didn't notice her. They were involved in their own combat. Despite Duncan's objections, Fiona insisted on watching. Sergei still fought as she had taught him, but he hadn't developed much beyond her lessons. She admired Richie's abilities. She could see both Duncan and Connor in his actions. Convinced he would win, she walked away. Duncan followed her. She watched him take Amanda in his arms. Amanda seemed to crumple into him.

Lightning announced another Quickening. Unlike Amanda, Methos came back to the group looking as if he had barely exerted himself. Seeing Amanda in MacLeod's arms, Methos slipped his arm around Fiona. He noticed MacLeod looked decidedly unhappy about the gesture.

Ignoring both of the older Immortal men, Fiona turned back towards Richie's fight. Richie was bleeding badly from a deep cut along his left arm. She could see bone when he moved. He winced. The arm was healing during the fight despite repeated movements. Sergei moved in against Richie and slashed him diagonally from shoulder to hip. Richie sagged.

Completely focused on the fight, Mac loosened his hold on Amanda. He moved closer to Fiona. The Highlander was tense. Fiona could hear him murmuring encouragement and instructions. Richie couldn't possibly hear his mentor, but the younger Immortal suddenly mounted an attack against Sergei. His unexpected vigor threw Sergei off-balance.

With mixed emotions, Fiona watched Richie behead her former student. She was glad the young man had survived, but she mourned Sergei's death. He had been a good, if presumptuous, student. She regretted his deviation from the Rules of The Game and wondered what she should have done differently.

Richie knelt near his opponent's body. The force of the Quickening drove his body backwards until he was almost lying on his legs. He screamed with the intensity.

Fiona started slowly towards Richie. Duncan wrapped his arms around her from behind. Amanda frowned. This was at least the second time in one day that she had seen MacLeod holding Fiona. She didn't want the other woman in MacLeod's arms for any reason.

"Stay here, Fiona."

Shaking her head, Fiona tried to move away from him. He pulled her closer.

"I want to go to Richie."

Instead of letting her go, Duncan accompanied her. Although the Quickening was over, Richie still knelt near Sergei. Fiona stopped by Sergei's body. Murmuring in Russian, she took a ring from his finger. It had been a present from her while he was still her student. She had been surprised to see it on his hand earlier. Fiona knelt next to Richie.

"Sorry, Fiona. I know he was your student."

Fiona kissed his forehead. MacLeod thought she looked like a mother comforting her child after a fall. Murmuring in Russian again, she slipped the ring onto Richie's finger. MacLeod could see a confused understanding on Richie's face. Because of the Quickening, the younger man partially understood what she said. Earlier, she said goodbye to her student. Now, she accepted Richie in his place. MacLeod knew it was partially to comfort herself. The other part was to console Sergei. When Richie protested, Fiona kissed his cheek gently. She helped him to his feet. When MacLeod came forward to help her, she shook her head.

"I'll take him home, Duncan. We'll meet you at Joe's later."

****

Richie giggled. It was not a sound he was accustomed to making, but he was trying very hard not to laugh. Methos and Amanda glared at him momentarily before turning their attention back to the dance floor. Sitting in Joe's bar, they were watching Mac and Fiona dance to the music of Joe's band. Fiona was laughing in Mac's arms. The Immortal couple was obviously having a great time. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of their "dates".

Richie left the table and cut in on them. Both Methos and Amanda had tried the same thing and been rebuffed by MacLeod. Mac seemed about to send Richie back to the table when Fiona accepted him as her new partner. After warning the younger man that he intended to reclaim Fiona, Mac retreated to the table. Richie saw Amanda put her arms around Mac as soon as he sat down.

As Richie danced with Fiona, he was aware of a strong attraction to her. He'd experienced something like this when he met the mortal widow of Alec Hill. Mac said it was his imagination, but this was exactly the same sensation. He felt as if something inside him was drawing him to Fiona. When he looked in Fiona's eyes, he thought she might be feeling it, too.

"It's okay, Richie."

Fiona stroked his hair. He was holding her a little too close, but she didn't mind. As a matter of fact, she wanted him to. She knew they had to be careful. They had taken the Quickenings of lovers. The attraction would persist for a while. Fiona could handle Leda's yearning for Sergei. She could help Richie with Sergei's memories. It would take some time, but he had to learn. Although Duncan could help him, Fiona thought the young man might be more willing to talk to her. Besides, he could help her at the same time.

Richie and Fiona were too engrossed in each other to notice anything happening around them. Another Immortal entered the bar and walked directly towards Fiona and Richie. Mac glanced at Joe. He was glad the Watcher was mortal and couldn't sense the new arrival. He was equally relieved that Amanda had wandered off towards the ladies' room. Methos started to get up, but was pulled back into his seat by MacLeod.

"Don't interfere."

MacLeod's attitude stunned Methos. The man might be about to challenge one of the two Immortals on the dance floor. Someone should at least warn them. He watched the unidentified Immortal approach Fiona and Richie and cut in. The couple seemed surprised by his presence. The man had a brief conversation with Richie before dancing away with Fiona. Methos frowned. She never danced with him that way. She seemed as relaxed in her new partner's arms as she had in MacLeod's. She smiled at the man. Methos wished she would look at him that way just once.

Richie returned to the table and drank the remainder of his beer before picking up his duffel bag.

"Who is that, Richie?"

Uncertain about answering the question, Richie hesitated. Mac shook his head emphatically. Methos frowned at him and then at MacLeod. They were hiding something.

"His name's Russell Nash. He's a . . . friend . . . of Fiona's."

The name MacLeod mentioned was vaguely familiar, but Methos couldn't place it. He noticed Nash pulling Fiona off the dance floor. She seemed unwilling to leave. When the pair stopped near the door, Fiona pointed towards the table. Methos started to get up again.

"Don't interfere."

Methos wondered why MacLeod kept saying that. He watched Fiona cross the bar to their table. She stopped next to Richie. Methos realized they were standing very close together. He'd never seen her stand that close to anyone before. When she was that near to MacLeod, the Highlander generally had his arms around her. Richie wasn't even looking at her.

"Coming, Richie?"

Richie shrugged. He wasn't certain her suggestion would work.

"I don't know, Fiona. Maybe it's not a good idea."

"What's going on, Fiona?"

"I'm taking your advice, Duncan. I'm taking Richie to Holy Ground."

MacLeod frowned. It was just like Fiona to twist what he said, but Richie could probably use some time to adjust after the strong Quickening. Fiona would likely benefit from Richie's company.

"It's okay, Richie. Go ahead. I'll take care of things at the dojo."

Richie nodded. Mac must think it was very important for him to go with Fiona. He was rarely so willing to give the younger man time off.

"Russell Nash going, too?"

Startled by Methos' question, Fiona looked at Duncan. That particular innocent expression usually meant he was up to something.

Fiona glanced back at the Immortal in question. He looked like he was simply waiting for her, but she could see he was impatient. Smiling slightly, she came around the table to Methos. He grinned as she suggested that they try another dinner date sometime. She would call him when she returned. She moved on to Duncan. After kissing him, she invited to him to join them on Holy Ground. He frowned when she admitted she'd rather he did not bring Amanda, but laughed when she explained that she had too many small valuables and didn't want to tempt the other woman. He promised to call. They kissed again.

Fiona gestured to Richie. When the young Immortal was close to her, she took his hand and led him towards the door.

Watching their retreat, Amanda returned to the table. She wanted to make a smart remark about Richie being too young for the other woman, but she suddenly recognized the man standing near the door. Amanda waved at him. He did not respond.

"Hey, MacLeod, that's the other boy scout, isn't it? Is Fiona leaving with Connor?"

Although he was annoyed by her remark, MacLeod laughed. He would never dream of describing Connor as a boy scout.

"Connor MacLeod? In my bar? Where?"

Curious about Fiona and Richie's sudden departure, Joe had come to the Immortals' table just in time to overhear Amanda's questions. When he looked for the other Highlander, he caught a glimpse of Fiona and Richie leaving. The elder Highlander escaped his curious gaze.

Methos groaned. Somehow, wherever Fiona went there was always a MacLeod. Sometimes, there were two.

To Part Seven, "Absolution".

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