DISCLAIMER - Highlander and its characters is the copyright of Rysher and Panzer/Davis Productions and no infringement is intended. The story, such as it is, is copyright Karen Colohan May 1999.

This story is currently unbetaed, consequently, any errors are mine - mea culpa.

INTERMEZZO

by Karen Colohan

I'm sure I should be thinking something incredibly profound. After all, I've just come face to face with the oldest of our kind. Then again, his appearance isn't exactly calculated to engender profound thoughts - not with Walkman headphones dangling around his neck and a pile of beer cans beside him on the floor. Actually, the most persistent thought running through my mind is, God, isn't he beautiful!

Be that as it may - and frankly I'm a little surprised at myself for that swift, instinctive response to him - the fact remains that this man is old beyond imagining. Yet that ancient soul is clothed in a body that looks younger than my own. Truly a legend made flesh... but not at all what I would have imagined the myth that is Methos to be like.

If pressed, I don't know that I could say how I would have envisioned Methos. A venerable old man, perhaps? Hardly likely, though, given the sheer number of challenges he must have taken. No, he would have had to be young at first death to have the strength to fight and survive for this long. Still, it's hard to believe that 5000 years of life is contained in this slender frame before me. Carelessly sprawled like that he doesn't look strong enough to carry the weight of so many years. And yet, if you look into his eyes...
They really are amazing. When he first looked up at me I felt as if his gaze was taking me apart piece by piece. Then, just as suddenly, everything was shuttered away behind his lashes and it was as if he were deferring to me. In that moment I knew without a shadow of a doubt who he was. He could call himself Adam Pierson or anything else he liked, but I knew he was Methos. And he had known my name too, as soon as I walked Methos does cute
through his door. It would have been a good deal more unsettling for me if I hadn't remembered that Joe had warned him I was coming. After all, why would a legend know anything of me?

I'm caught yet again by those incredible eyes. They're so changeable - gold, green, hazel - I can't begin to describe their colour. One thing I do know is that they seem so much older than the rest of him. Yes, only Methos' eyes really betray his great age. They must have seen so much - the rise and fall of who knows how many civilisations - and it shows when they look at you. As he is looking at me now. Forgive me the foolish flight of fantasy, but it seems as if you could fall into those eyes and keep on falling forever...

Ridiculous as it seems I can suddenly feel my protective instincts in full cry. I know I'm a mere child beside him and yet he seems so much more vulnerable than I am - in need of a protector. No doubt Methos would find that highly amusing. He has to be more than capable of taking care of himself to have survived this long. Yet, I still want to be his shield. The Clan chieftain in me wants to take this beguiling, ancient stray into the circle of my protection and keep him safe from harm. And he is in danger - the threat from Kalas is very real, as I'm sure he knows.

I suddenly realise that while I've been so absorbed in my own thoughts Methos has been talking to me and I haven't heard a word that he's said. He's on his feet now and shaking his head at my inattention. He grabs his coat and I can see the outline of a heavy sword for a moment as he shrugs into it. Apparently he still wants to talk, but not here. I'll admit I have more than a few questions of my own.

I look at the unopened can of beer in my hand and then at the lanky figure now standing just a short distance away from me at the foot of the stairs. I realise it's going to take me a while to absorb all the contradictions of this myth made real.

Methos bounds past me, up the stairs and out the door. I set down the beer and follow after him, feeling myself pulled effortlessly into his orbit. Strangely, it feels as if I am exactly where I was always meant to be.

THE END

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