To Conquer Death

Ekat

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DISCLAIMER: Never watch "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Endgame" back to back. This story was inspired by the gaps in the story line in Endgame and the song "Gethsemane" in JC Superstar. I don't own the character of Connor MacLeod. I'm merely borrowing him.

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Ten years. Had it really been ten years since I walked away from this place? Walked? Who am I kidding? I ran. I took the coward's way out of things so that I wouldn't have to deal with the pain and the hurt.

I looked up at the abused exterior of the building that had once been the home of Russell Nash Antiques. While I still own the building, it's no longer my home. Why had I returned? I needed to put some old ghosts to rest -- that's why.

I stepped into the charred interior of the building for the first time since the explosion took my beloved Rachel. I looked around. The once richly decorated and upscale loft was blackened and nothing more than a decaying skeleton of its former glory. The walls that once where a showcase for the masters of the renaissance were now covered by the territorial markings of the masters of Krylon. Everywhere I looked there were the indications of the explosion, but a subtler damage was present as well. The untrained eye would not notice the evidence of a recent Immortal battle. They would dismiss it as vandalism or, at the least, basic deterioration of a long abandoned building. But I had lived for too many centuries not to see the tell-tale sword gashes in the support beams, the footprints in the long settled dust, the unmistakable scorching from a Quickening.

I walked across to the room that was normally hidden by a sliding bookcase. The bookcase was lifted and the doors to the room were wide open. Somebody had entered my haven. Had my visitor been examining my belongings and been interrupted? As I approached the room, glass crunched under my feet. Just one more painful reminder of what had happened here a decade ago.

A cursory glance around the circular room showed that nothing of great value was missing. I entered and began a closer inspection of my collection. Instantly, I knew who my mystery guest had been. Duncan. It was the only logical conclusion. The picture of him from the First World War was on a different shelf from where I usually kept it. The swords that we had used in Italy when I had tried to teach him the art of the fence had been disturbed. Other small mementos of our times together had been touched. Only Duncan would have been drawn to all of them. I had to smile at the indications of his stroll through the past by the use of my memories.

A ray of light from the setting sun meandered through the cracks of the outer walls and into the room. It fell onto a framed picture of a pretty blond teenaged girl in the standard garb of a high school graduation. Rachel. I felt tears begin to well up in my eyes. She had been my daughter; my companion; my best friend. Besides Duncan, she was probably the only person to know the real me. I can still remember the look in her blue eyes as she saw the wounds from that Nazi soldier heal magically before her. "It's a kind of magic," I had told her. With understanding that only a child could have, she accepted that as an answer. Even when she was older and I had to explain to her the reasons why I never seemed to grow older, she understood. "Like you said, Connor, 'it's a kind of magic'." For fifty years she had been the light of my heart. And ten years ago she became the most recent of my loved ones to fall to Kell.

The tears were threatening to fall. I reached into the pocket of my trench coat in search of a handkerchief. Instead I removed a small piece of silver jewelry. My heart stopped when I saw the necklace. I had forgotten that I had it. It was the cross that my mother had worn the entire time I had known her. It had only been removed from her body once in all my memories, the night she was accused of witchcraft. Those simple-minded fools said she was a witch because she refused to say I was not of her body. That madman who had once been my friend had ripped it off of her when she refused to tell them what they had wanted to hear.

I walked to the lower level of the room and sat down. I looked down at the precious memento. That maniac Kell had dropped it onto me after our encounter in the cemetery. He did it knowing how much pain the memories of that night would inflict. I didn't need a physical object to remember vividly. I had relived that night over and over again as I lay in a drug-induced slumber in the Watchers' Sanctuary.

During all those endless days, I dreamt of my mother. I only have to close my eyes to see her. Her warm smile, her loving eyes. Caiolin MacLeod was the only person in the village not to view me as a demon sent from Hell. Instead, she saw me as her "Waterhorse", the mystical creature sent to help guide the souls of the dead to the land beyond. She truly was God's angel on earth. And the first of many who have left my life due to the actions of Jacob Kell.

Jacob Kell. >p> He and I had been friends once. I had even vouched for him at his ordination. How did he repay me? By playing judge, jury, and executioner to my mother. I wanted to kill him that night. But for some reason I couldn't do it. Maybe it was because when I looked at him I saw the boy I had grown up with. I was willing to collect my mother's body for burial and leave, never to face him again. But when the other priest touched me and ordered me to leave my mother's body alone, something inside me snapped. I hadn't meant to kill him. I don't care what Jacob has managed to delude himself into believing. In the heat of the moment, many things happen that are never intended.

My mind left that disturbing night in Glenfinnan and traveled to earlier this afternoon. To the cemetery. To my first encounter with that murdering bastard in over 400 years. Seeing him made me realize that he was the one who started all this, not I. He was the one who killed my mother. I only killed the priest afterwards. He asked me if Rachel's death would be enough to repay for killing the man who had all but raised him. He had killed my mother. I had killed his father. An eye for an eye. It should have ended there.

"It's never over, Connor MacLeod," he had said as he towered over me. "I will take my vengeance on those you love." He pointed to Duncan, who had stood by watching all of it. "You, on the other hand, are on borrowed time."

It was then that I realized that Kell would never stop. Ever. He would keep killing those whom I hold dear. Taking away my support. All because I lost my temper. How many more have to die for me to atone for an ill-timed sword thrust? If I had a say, no more.

I sat there holding my mother's cross. Looking around, I realized that the room was full of too many memories. I had come to put the ghosts to rest, only to find that they would never rest as long as Kell was still alive. And unless he was stopped, more ghosts would soon be haunting my life. Duncan was next. One didn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out. I had said so myself; due to Rachel's death, he was the only one left on Earth who I gave a damn about.

Somehow Kell needed to be stopped, permanently. There was no way I could beat him. He had proven that on the road next to the cemetery. He had clubbed me, and clubbed me hard. What about Duncan? He has proven that he can take care of himself. He had taken the heads of some pretty powerful Immortals. Some so powerful and old that I wonder how he had managed to remain sane. But I don't think that even with the combined energy and power he could take Kell.

There's only one way we could stop Jacob. We had to do it together. But the rules of the game were plain. Only one Immortal can challenge another at a time. So it shall be. One Immortal at a time. If Kell was going to die, Duncan and I had to combine our powers. One of us had to die so that the other could take in his Quickening. And I was that one.

I found myself chuckling at the irony of all this. I had fled to the Sanctuary because I wanted to be free of the Game but I didn't want to die. Then suddenly I was realizing that Duncan was the stronger of the two of us and therefore stood the best chance of walking away from a battle with Kell with his head still on his shoulders.

Duncan's young. He has friends who love him. He has a life. What do I have? I have ONE member of my family left and the deed to a building that should have been condemned years ago. I'm a lonely, tired old man. It's my time. I've had a good run of things. But it's time to move on. I'm ready to join my mother, my daughter, and most importantly, my wife in the next world.

I shoved my mother's necklace into my pocket, stood, and walked out of the room and then out of the building. The sun had set. I looked at my watch. It was after midnight. I never realized just how fast time flies when one is brooding.

Quickly I made my way to Duncan's hotel and up to his room. I stood outside the closed door, willing him to feel my presence. When I heard him moving around inside, I made my way to the stairs. I waited just long enough to make sure he knew were I was going. He thought I was Kell, coming for him. Let him think it. Just so long as he follows me to the roof.

I reached the rooftop and ducked behind a large air-conditioning unit. I looked up to see a large neon billboard shining the letters JVC down at me. I wondered how much money the company had to shell out to have such prominent advertising. It's an absurd thought to have just before one goes off to commit suicide, but what the hell.

I felt Duncan's presence long before I heard the stairwell door open. He called out for Kell, confirming my suspicion as to who he thought had lured him up here. I closed my eyes and sent up a silent prayer, please make this easy. Before I change my mind.

Please remember one thing Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, student, friend, kinsman, cousin, brother. In the end, there can be only one.

~fin~


"Gethsemane"
By: Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber

I only want to say
If there is a way
Take this cup away from me
For I don't want to taste its poison
Feel it burn me
I have changed, I'm not as sure
As when we started

Then I was inspired
Now I'm sad and tired
Listen surely, I've exceeded expectations
Tried for three years
Seems like thirty
Could you ask as much, from any other man?

But if I die
See the saga through, do the things you ask of me
Let them hate me hit me hurt me
Nail me to their tree

I'd wanna know I'd wanna know my God
I'd wanna know I'd wanna know my God
I'd wanna see I'd wanna see my God
I'd wanna see I'd wanna see my God
Why I should die

Would I be more noticed than I ever was before?
Would the things I've said and done mattered any more?

I'd have know I'd wanna know my God
I'd have to know I'd wanna know my God
I'd have to see I'd wanna see my God
I'd have to see I'd wanna see my God
If I die what will be my reward?
If I die what will be my reward?

Have to know I'd have to know my Lord
Have to know I'd have to know my Lord
Why should I die?
Why should I die?

Can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain?
Show me just a little of your omni-present brain
Show me there's a reason for your wanting me to die
You're far too keen on where and how
But not so hot on why.

All right I'll die!
Just watch me die
See how I die.

Now I'm sad and tired
After all I tried for three years
Seems like ninety
Why then am I scared to finish
What I started,
What you started
I didn't start it.

God thy will is hard
But you hold every card
I will drink your cup of poison
Nail me to your cross and break me
Bleed me, beat me, kill me, take me
Now, before I change my mind.

Now! Before I change my mind.

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