Archivist's note: this comes from the Lyric Wheel/MacBeta Forum and is based on the song lyric's at the end of the story.
Not mine, not mine, not mine? well, maybe. Okay. If you recognize them from Highlander: the Series, or hell, from the original film, no, they're not mine. (Although after Endgame, I'm really tempted to put in a lien on Connor. I at least get the man laid. Most of the time.) Where was I? Oh. Regardless, R:P/D owns most of 'em, not me. No infringement intended, no profit made, and Happy Halloween.
Lyrics below, ones used marked with *
Thick, white stock with a severely proper border of matte, light-drinking black shifted back and forth as he considered it. "A skull and crossbones? Isn't that a little...much?"
The tall, slender, dark-haired man shrugged. "At least you didn't bitch that it was passť. It's All Hallows Eve, the night between years that belongs to neither, the propitiation of the dead. Why not a skull and crossbones?"
His companion shrugged, then, and the grey and white hair belied the mischief in those hazel eyes. "And they have to come as the deceased... I'm comin' to a party where no one's alive? Should be fun. Just make sure I do get invited, too, old man. I wouldn't miss this for the world."
"Of course you're invited. Don't be ridiculous. The only question is, do you want to be a guest, or shall I hire the band?"
"Nah, let the guys have their holiday." He paused, clearly considering costume ideas, then asked thoughtfully, "Why New York, though?"
"Because," came the amused answer, "who'd notice us there?"
"It's a Dead Man's Party, Connor," Amanda told him with a pout of full, dark rose lips. "Who could ask for more?" Sheer coincidence, of course, that her pose against the doorframe showed off those long, finely shaped legs under the suede miniskirt, or that the arch of her back pressed full breasts up and forward under a royal blue, not quite see-through top.
Connor, at least, flashed her a quick, irritating smile. "Lass, lass, have you forgotten which one of us you can lead around by the balls? I'll give you a hint for free--cousin Duncan's taller and darker."
"Well of course I know which one of you I'm talking to," Amanda said indignantly. "You're the stubborn one who just doesn't know what he's missing." His laugh made Amanda flush and then snap, "And don't bother, neither one of us believes Duncan would kiss and tell."
"I wasn't thinking of Duncan." Connor smiled at her outraged expression and added casually, "And no, I'll not tell you who...and I'd not recommend you throw anything either."
"Why not?" Amanda breathed, gliding toward him on high heels. "What will you do, Connor MacLeod? Spank me?" She pivoted smoothly around, one hip arched as she did to give him an enticing view of that pert derriere.
"Oh, aye," he answered with a chuckle. "And send you home after, too." Her outraged look only drew more of Connor's whiskey-rasp chuckle. "I did say I wasn't Duncan. Now. Give me a good reason I should go to this party, why don't you?"
"It'll be fun," she told him, annoyed by how easily he put her off and impressed, too. Connor MacLeod numbered among the very small group of men she'd never been able to seduce, and she did have to respect that. Amanda knew damn good and well that he was interested...just stubborn.
"Not good enough." Connor's eyes roamed across her figure, cheerfully lecherous and just a little too impersonal to suit her.
"I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go." She gave him her best 'distressed damsel' look.
He glanced at her skirt. "It's Halloween night. There are hundreds of parties going on tonight. Surely you can get invited to one or two?"
"Oh, all right, you bloody Scots spoilsport. Because Duncan's going to be there and he's missed you!" Amanda snapped at him, arms folded across her chest and a true glare of annoyance on her face.
"Now that," Connor agreed, "is a good reason to go. Go on, lass, go get dressed." When the offended look gained in wattage, he only laughed. "It's a Dead Man's Party, and the invitation said come as your favorite personage, now deceased. I doubt that you planned to impersonate someone so recent as that." Although he did take his time appraising the strategically placed patterns in her burnt velvet top, just to see if they really did cover everything necessary.
Amanda remembered, then, who she was going as, and giggled suddenly, the back of her hand near her mouth but carefully not mussing the lipstick. "You're right. I'll just get my bag out of the car...if I can borrow a room to change in?" Her narrowed eyes told Connor he'd pushed this as far as it was going. For now.
Music didn't pour out of the door so much as sweep out in pulsing waves of sound strong enough that Duncan literally leaned into it to get inside, showing his invitation to the door guard as he went by. The guard, dressed as a Western gunslinger with real six-shooters and a security company badge where a sheriff's silver would have been, glanced at it and waved him in. Once through the door, interestingly, the volume dropped off, and Duncan sighed in relief.
A small pile of mannequins, fabric-stuffed dummies, and...children's dolls, Duncan realized, grinning in disbelief, lay just inside the entryway. A large, hand-written sign over them said, "Leave your 'body' at the door! We did not put BYOB on the invitation, and it did not mean Bring Your Own Body!!!!"
His grin only widened as he took in a very large circle of people doing the Time Warp. Somehow in a dance like that, he almost expected what he saw: Elizabeth I next to Julius Caesar, who was dancing beside Robin Hood. Duncan turned to see who else had come, what other costumes and personas were mixing so wildly, and felt several immortal presences buzz over him, including two so familiar he'd have known them dead-drunk or half-dead. A slow half-turn let Duncan see what had to be the Great Pumpkin, Houdini, a harem girl that made him remember Amanda and grin, a trio of witches in black and silver, Death in dark robes, skull mask and scythe accompanied by a skeleton with a rat head and rat tail, also carrying a scythe, and Bonnie and Clyde.
The last two made Duncan pause, until he realized that what had caught his attention were the Tommy guns: they were real. Amanda and Cory both waved to him, grinning widely as they came up, and Cory called cheerfully, "Don't run away, it's only us."
Amanda smacked him before Duncan completely finished wanting to, and asked, "Duncan, dear, a Templar?"
"Why not?" he answered, and swept her into a careful hug before nodding to Cory. "It's New York--armor seemed like a good idea." He nodded to the taller skeleton, feeling Methos' familiar presence wrap through and around his bones. But he asked ruefully, "Death, huh?"
A slow shrug answered that, and Methos' voice echoed hollowly from behind the mask. "It's my party and this is la noche de los muertos."
Duncan just grinned, then, and turned to look at the other skeleton, admiring the articulated bone tail and the oversized rat skull mask with its apparently sharp incisors. He didn't intend to check with a fingertip; with Connor, they just might be sharp. "You're not going to get many women as the Death of Rats, kinsman."
"But you can't deny he's dead," Connor pointed out. "And I always hated rats. Good to see you, Duncan."
"As if I can see you under that?" But Duncan smiled fondly at him anyway.
Cory chuckled and tilted his fedora to a more jaunty angle. "You'll never guess what I heard, guys."
"Who, exactly, did you two come as, or do I want to know?" Duncan interrupted.
"Don't be ridiculous, Duncan. We're Bonnie and Clyde," Amanda explained impatiently. "Well, we were better at it, but still. Now, what story, Cory?"
"I'm walking past Frankenstein, who's flirting with the Bride of Frankenstein--and, man, what a fox," he digressed before glancing hastily at Amanda and taking the story back up. "And talk about a corny pick-up line. He tells her, 'I was struck by lighting walking down the street.' Before he can ask her to kiss it and make it better, and he's trying to, she smiles at him, wraps herself around a female bodybuilder dressed up as Maid Marian, bow and all, and says, 'I was hit by something last night, too, in my sleep' " Cory laughed. "Man, it's amazing how fast he lurched away. Nice lurch, though. I admire a man who can stay in character...."
Hearing two skeletons laugh, an odd, echoing sound, cleared them some room in the already crowded party. Duncan stared at the number of people there, the numbers still coming, and said incredulously, "Adam, how many people did you invite?"
Death turned to look at the security man headed their way, with a rather...mundane-looking official with him, and Death reached into his robe. "Maybe one or two more than I should have. I'll just go deal with the fire marshal, why don't I?"
Amanda offered sweetly, "I'll come help. Cory, dear, take this," and she handed him the Tommy gun. "Connor, I do want to hear how you had a costume like that ready when you said you weren't coming to the party, so why don't you all go get drinks and think about a good story?"
Then she turned to Methos/Death and said archly, "Come along, Adam. Let's go offer the man some appropriate party tokens: heads of dead presidents."
Dead Man's Party
I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go *
Walkin' with a dead man over my shoulder
Waiting for an invitation to arrive
Goin' to a party where no one's still alive *
I was struck by lighting *
Walkin' down the street *
I was hit by something last night in my sleep *
It's a dead man's party *
Who could ask for more *
Everybody's comin', leave your body at the door *
Leave your body and soul at the door . . .
(Don't run away it's only me) *
All dressed up with nowhere to go
Walkin' with a dead man
Waitin' for an invitation to arrive
With a dead man . . . Dead Man . . .
Got my best suit and my tie
Shiny silver dollar on either eye
I hear the chauffeur comin' to the door
Says there's room for maybe just one more . . .
Don't run away it's only me
Don't be afraid of what you can't see
Don't run away it's only me . . .