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 June - December 2000.

WHEN THE MADNESS STOPS...

by Karen Colohan

 So you're the kind who deals with the games in the mind
 Well you confuse me in a way that I've never known
 You confuse me in a way that I've never known
 So break me shake me hate me take me over
 When the madness stops then you will be alone
 Just break me shake me hate me take me over
 When the madness stops then you will be alone
   - Savage Garden "Break Me Shake Me"

Methos was thrust back into awareness with a gasp and a long shuddering breath, only to find himself immersed in darkness. The pressure across his eyelids told him this was not a natural condition, at least not exclusively so. He had been blindfolded, the cloth thick and heavy enough to prevent the possibility of any light penetrating it.

The second sensation Methos became aware of was the movement of cool currents of air across his skin - his bare skin. He had been stripped naked after being killed. That realisation had Methos shivering reflexively. The reaction was born not of outraged modesty, but a sudden uncertainty about his captor's motives. This wasn't what Methos had expected - and, until now, he had thought he understood.

Suddenly anxious, his survival instincts kicking in, Methos tried to move, though his body still ached and felt somewhat weak. The effects of the massive Quickening followed so quickly by the long, painful death had taken their toll on him it seemed. Still, surely his limbs should have healed enough by now to be capable of movement...

Another deep chill settled into Methos' body as he realised his arms and legs were perfectly fine. They were, however, fully extended and tightly shackled in that position. Not like him to fail to recognise that particular sensation, thought Methos ruefully. Ah well, he'd had rather a lot on his mind lately, hadn't he. And now he had a whole new set of questions to consider.

This definitely wasn't the scenario he had expected to awaken to. Anger, righteous indignation, those he had been well prepared to face; although Methos had thought that killing him in such a painful fashion might have bled away some of that pent up rage. Apparently not, indeed, it looked as if that had only served as an appetiser for the main course. But what exactly was that going to be, Methos wondered.

Before the events of the previous day Methos would have felt confident that he could predict his captor's behaviour every step of the way. After all, hadn't he staked his life on that familiarity? But now? Methos wasn't even certain that he knew whose hands he was in any more. He could detect elements from both the malevolently ancient Quickenings so recently absorbed in the logistics of this exercise, but precious little of the underlying personality. And yet it had to still be in there; if not, his head would have been removed from his body before any of this was begun.

Methos could recall the angry confrontation over his crouched and uncaring body with surprising clarity. At the time it had been so much background noise as he struggled to assimilate a Quickening he had taken, but hadn't wanted, plus parts of another which had no right to be inside him at all. And what the hell had that blinding spiral of energy been about anyway? Methos still didn't understand what had happened. For the first time in a very long while Methos had experienced something utterly new and unknown and it had been very disconcerting. When - if - he had the leisure to do so, Methos intended to explore all the ramifications of that unnerving Quickening.

But first he had to survive this experience. It wasn't new in itself, but considering who the person Methos thought held him captive was, it was definitely outside his knowledge of what to expect. Yesterday the man had wanted him to live - had stared down the witch who was ready to strike Methos' head from his body until she had thrown down her weapon and walked away. Then, almost in the next breath, he had stalked up behind Methos and sunk his bloody katana into Methos' body with deadly force. The unexpectedness of the action had hurt almost as much as the stroke itself.

Methos could still clearly see the mask of fury his erstwhile friend's face had become in that moment. He would never forget the loathing and disgust in his eyes as he stood over Methos and ruthlessly twisted the blade buried deep in his guts. At the time Methos couldn't have said that he didn't deserve it. After all, he had manipulated and betrayed, using the man for his own ends, but Methos hadn't thought he would seek recompense this way.

Now, blindfolded and chained naked to one of the hard, uncomfortable beds in the abandoned base's barracks, Methos really didn't know what to think. He had watched Duncan MacLeod go through one Dark Quickening. What might the combined Quickenings of Caspian and Kronos do to him, then? And they both knew him so well, knew Methos' fears, his weaknesses. Guided by that knowledge who could predict what MacLeod might do. Cursing his helplessness Methos felt real terror curling in his belly. He wasn't afraid of Duncan killing him; that would be the easy part. What he feared was the road he would be forced to walk to reach the release of death.

The waiting was unnerving. Methos had nothing to help him measure the passing of time in his darkened world. It could have been days or merely hours, but it seemed to go on for an eternity either way. He was beginning to wonder if his punishment was to be abandoned in this place - left to die of hunger and thirst, over and over again. Was MacLeod capable of such cruelty, Methos asked himself. No, whispered a small voice in his head, but Kronos was...

Before he had a chance to continue that train of thought Methos stiffened. Both welcome and feared, Methos felt the touch of Immortal presence. So, he wasn't to be abandoned, then. Methos found he was grateful for that mercy, even though he had no idea what MacLeod's return might herald. And it was MacLeod who approached him now, Methos was certain of that. Even without the confirmation of his eyes, Methos could feel the identity of his silent companion vibrating deep in his own Quickening.

More strangeness - Methos had never been able to recognise another Immortal simply from the touch of his presence before. What had Kronos done to them as his Quickening spiralled between their bodies, grounding partially in each of them? Methos wondered if Duncan felt it too, that soul deep recognition. Something else to add to the list of new and unsettling experiences Methos seemed to be compiling these past few days.

Soft footfalls rang hollowly on the concrete floor, announcing MacLeod's approach more conventionally. They came closer and then stopped.

"You're still here then," said MacLeod, his tone cool, detached.

Methos laughed humourlessly at the ridiculousness of the statement. "Where else did you expect me to be? I'm a little tied up right now."

"I'm not sure what I expect from you any more, Methos," replied MacLeod. His voice was flat and expressionless. "Who can tell what Death might do."

"Well, I've never been big on escapology," Methos shot back sarcastically. "I take it the chains were your idea. I'm assuming this isn't a social visit - after you stabbed me in the back," he added bitterly.

"Are you going to say you didn't deserve it?" asked MacLeod, anger sparking in his tone.

"No, but if you wanted me dead why didn't you just let Cassandra finish the job? I'm sure it would all have been highly cathartic for her." Methos was still honestly puzzled by Duncan's insistence on that point. "You told her you wanted me to live. Why? Was it just so you can have the pleasure of taking my head? She'll probably never forgive you for that, you know."

"I don't want your head, Methos," sneered Duncan. "Do you think I'd make it that easy for you?"

"So you're going to torture me, is that it? How quaint." Methos let a sardonic smile twist his thin lips. "Learned some good tricks from Caspian and Kronos, have you? Hate to spoil your fun, MacLeod, but I've seen it all before."

"I know." It was a flat statement of fact and Methos wondered just how much Duncan had been able to glean from Kronos' Quickening. "But it's like Kronos always said, I do so love the old ways."

That wrung a shudder from Methos' slender frame. Kronos had devised some wonderfully unpleasant ways of tormenting him over the centuries they'd been together. Which ones might appeal to MacLeod's sense of justice?

"What's it to be then, Mac?" Methos asked, his tone bright with false interest. "We already have the chains, so what else do you have in mind? Whips, knives, red hot pokers? They all have their good points."

Faintly mocking laughter greeted his suggestions and it sent chill shivers racing along Methos' nerves. There was a long moment of silence before MacLeod replied.

"Pain, it's a useful tool, Methos, but not against you. You're far too adept at handling it for it to be truly effective." MacLeod paused, and then his voice continued from a point close by Methos' ear. The other Immortal could feel the warmth of Duncan's breath against his chilled skin. "I've been looking at everything Kronos gifted me along with his Quickening; everything he knew about you. And he found a much more effective weapon against you, Methos; though he never realised its full potential...

"Don't you remember - all those long, long nights you and he shared? Sex, that's how Kronos controlled you, kept you to heel. In chains like this or down on your knees and begging - he knew what you were and now I do too. You're nothing but a cheap whore, Methos - anyone's for a quick, hard fuck. It's a pity I didn't realise that before or things might have been very different for us."

The rich, velvet voice had grown colder as Duncan spoke until, in the end, it didn't sound like MacLeod at all. Methos tugged at the chains binding him, trying to distance himself from the man bending over him. He wanted to believe it was just an idle threat. Surely MacLeod would never do something like this; it wasn't in his nature. But was MacLeod in control here? Methos thought again of the Dark Quickening. Was it Mac or was it Kronos who was the driving force now? Methos was far from certain.

"Mac, this is crazy..." Methos began.

"Is it?" The dark voice still came from close by his ear. "You used me, Methos, right from the very beginning."

"No!" the old Immortal protested.

"Yes! And now it's my turn to use you," Mac hissed.

"MacLeod, this isn't you," Methos insisted desperately. "This is just Kronos talking, can't you see..."

"No." The denial was harsh and absolute. "You'd like to be able to rationalise it away like that, wouldn't you - another Dark Quickening. But it's not. This is Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod you're dealing with, Methos, and I'm very much in command of all my faculties."

"Then why do this?" asked Methos, feeling his control over his fears slipping away. "Whatever you say, this isn't you - you don't behave this way; Kronos might... would, but not you."

"Wrong, Methos, it is me," said Duncan sadly. "You made it me when you pushed me into fighting Kronos and taking his head for you. Nothing is the same any more. How can it be? I know exactly what you are now."

"What I was, MacLeod!" insisted Methos. "And if you do this now you force me to be that man again to deal with it. Is that really what you want? Because I certainly don't. Believe me, that whole thing about the old ways being the best is just crap."

"What I want, Methos, is for you to understand how I feel now." All at once Duncan sounded deathly tired. "I trusted you - with my life, and more. I thought I knew you and now I discover I didn't know you at all. You betrayed me - played me for a fool. That hurts, Methos. And I want you to feel the same kind of pain I have."

"So you're going to rape me. Very honourable..." spat Methos in disgust.

"Rape? Who said anything about rape?" replied MacLeod softly.

"You just said you wanted to use sex to hurt me," said Methos. "I'd call that rape."

"Oh no, you misunderstand," said Duncan, and Methos could hear the satisfaction in his voice.

"Enlighten me, then," snapped Methos. If he was going to get fucked why didn't MacLeod just get it over with? What else was there to understand?

Duncan didn't reply and then Methos felt blunt fingers probing at the back of his head. He tried to pull away before he realised MacLeod was actually unfastening the blindfold. Methos stilled and let him continue unhindered. Once the cloth was removed Methos blinked rapidly, trying to accustom his eyes to the light. The room was really quite gloomy, but after the absolute blackness even that much light was too much. Eventually, though, Methos was able to bring things into focus.

Turning his head slightly Methos looked up into the shadowed face of Duncan MacLeod. He looked as if he hadn't slept in a week, dark circles heavy under his eyes. And the eyes themselves were dull and lifeless, their usual fire dimmed. Methos frowned.

"You look like hell," he muttered.

"I feel like I've been there," said Duncan flatly. "You don't look so good yourself, either."

"Well, now that we've got the compliments out of the way are you sure you wouldn't prefer to fuck someone else?" asked Methos sharply.

The smile which twisted Duncan's lips wasn't pretty. "You'd like that, wouldn't you? To be let off the hook? Well, I'm sorry, Methos, but this doesn't work that way."

One inquisitive finger touched the lightly stubbled skin of Methos' cheek almost tenderly. It traced a slow path round to his lips, then softly drew around their outline. In any other circumstances...

Methos shuddered and turned his head away sharply. Oh no, he couldn't let himself think like that. That particular delusion was far too personal and especially dangerous right now. If MacLeod suspected, even for one moment, that he had ever wished for this...

Reality crashed in on the oldest Immortal as Duncan's hands moved very precisely to turn Methos' face back towards him. MacLeod knew exactly what he was doing and the effect it would have on Methos. A small, helpless whimper escaped Methos as he looked up into those dark, knowing eyes and took in the ruthless smile spreading across Duncan's lips.

"I see you finally understand, Methos," said Duncan slowly. "Just as Kronos helped me to understand you. And this link his Quickening has somehow managed to build between us allowed me to learn everything else I needed to know. You do feel it there - between you and I - don't you?"

Methos nodded dumbly. Well, that answered some of his earlier speculations about the effect the strange double Quickening had had on them both at any rate. Not that it was much of a comfort to him. Duncan had indeed found the perfect weapon against him. Knowledge of Methos' own soul - if he still had one. Did he have any secrets left now?

Duncan's smile changed again, became more calculating. He tilted his head, watching Methos and the fear flickering in the green/gold eyes.

"Poor Methos," said Duncan mockingly. "You really don't know how to get out of this one, do you? Well, I hate to break it to you, but you don't. You're all mine and I will make you pay for what you did, the way you manipulated me. And isn't it ironic that I should have Kronos to thank for showing me the instrument of my revenge - myself. I really was naive not to have recognised the signs before, wasn't I. Poor lovestruck Methos...

"It's really quite pathetic, isn't it? No wonder you stuck around with Kronos for so long; you didn't have a choice. He knew exactly how to lead you around by the balls. But he missed one very important detail; he never even thought to look for it. I did, though, and I know it all now, Methos."

Methos lay - frozen in place even were it not for the shackles holding him - not quite believing he was really hearing these words from Duncan MacLeod. Yes, it certainly was ironic, because without the secrets gleaned from Kronos' Quickening - and his own - Methos was sure Duncan never would have guessed the truth that he had kept locked away deep inside. But now - thanks to MacLeod's defeat of Kronos, engineered by himself - it was out in the open. And instead of bringing them closer together it was being made to serve as a wedge to drive them even further apart.

Silently cursing a host of hitherto long forgotten deities, Methos could only stare at his tormentor. He was helpless and hopeless in the face of MacLeod's implacable need to break him... and Mac was frighteningly close to achieving his desire.

The damning voice spoke again.

"How often have you been in this position, Methos? Kronos certainly had you like this many times, didn't he. And you hated him for it, but you endured it because, ultimately, being with him made you stronger, helped you survive. Maybe being his whore didn't do much for your pride, but for all that he never broke you. Kronos could lay you open, make you vulnerable, but every time he did he only hurt you physically - and you could bear that. It didn't really touch you - not where it mattered.

"Kronos never understood the opportunity he had, but I do. I know your fear, Methos. If Kronos had ever taken you with tenderness you would have been lost. You'd have crossed that forbidden line and you would have loved him. But, fortunately for you, he was blind. He didn't see that you feared the pleasure more than the pain, and so you were safe.

"You're not safe from me, though, Methos," Duncan purred. "Now I know the feelings you've been hiding from me since the first day we met. So, I'm going to let you see how it might have been - if you'd only been honest with me... One taste, Methos, and I'm going to make you cross that line."

No! Don't do this, Mac... But Methos didn't dare say the words out loud. Then he realised it didn't matter. MacLeod could see them plainly enough in his eyes, feel them in the sudden fear that coursed through his body and tainted his Quickening.

To be offered one glimpse of what he had wanted for so long - the chance to learn how it might have been with Duncan... How could he bear that? One taste of heaven and then to be cast out of paradise, to be denied even the double-edged pleasure of being in Mac's company with his feelings unknown, unacknowledged. That was cruelty indeed. Surely Duncan couldn't really mean to do this. But one look into those dark, wounded eyes told Methos that Duncan was utterly serious. He was hurting, and like an injured beast he only wanted to strike out at those within reach - in this case, Methos.

Methos felt his heart split in two like a piece of rotten ice. No, he wasn't safe with MacLeod. He'd always known it, but he'd taken the risk and stayed close, even when all his instincts had counselled against it. Now it was all going to blow up in his face. Damn Kronos and whatever it was he'd done to their Quickenings in the dying moments of his existence! He must be laughing his ass off - wherever he was now - to see his brother so terrified by the prospect of having his heart's desire fulfilled.

"MacLeod..." Methos didn't care that he was pleading shamelessly. "Don't... you don't want to do this."

"Oh, but that's where you're wrong, Methos. I do." Duncan surveyed the chained Immortal, his gaze suddenly heated as it caressed the pale, naked flesh. "I want you to burn for me," he whispered, leaning close. His lips just barely brushed Methos' skin as he spoke and the old Immortal shuddered at the elusive touch.

"No," Methos begged. "Kronos is the only winner if you do this. He'll have succeeded in destroying whatever friendship we had."

"You did that, Methos," said Duncan firmly. "You destroyed it when you lied to me; when you pretended you didn't know Cassandra. Even then it wasn't too late... if you'd told me then I might have understood, but you didn't."

"I know how you judge, MacLeod," Methos protested. "It always has to be black and white with you, never shades of grey. Real life isn't like that, though, not now and certainly not 3,000 years ago. And how does persisting with this make you any better than Kronos... or me?"

"It doesn't," said Duncan simply. "I don't care about that. I only want you to hurt as much as I'm hurting. I trusted you - absolutely, completely. I would have done anything for you, Methos... even loved you."

"No!" Methos wanted to deny the evidence of his own ears.

"Oh yes," Duncan breathed and then swooped down to stop any further protests as he covered Methos' mouth with his own.

At first Methos tried to fight Duncan off, but chained as he was it simply wasn't possible. The beautiful mouth - soft lips and sweet, agile tongue - claimed Methos' soul as surely as it took possession of his lips. Methos had spent the better part of three years dreaming of this kiss and now it devastated him even as it aroused him. He had no defence against the sweet assault; quickly Methos found himself welcoming the invading tongue, twining his own with it in an erotic duel that left him gasping and whimpering like a lost child. When Duncan pulled away Methos craned his neck upwards, trying to prolong the kiss which suddenly seemed as necessary to him as breathing. But he was denied.

Duncan met his gaze with eyes that were wide and black - all dilated pupil. "Do you like this, Methos?" he asked. One broad palm caressed the straining neck in a parody of tenderness, lightly stroking the corded muscles.

"Do you like it?" Methos panted, deflecting the challenge. He sank back onto the bed, willing himself to relax. He could survive this with his heart intact... he had to.

Duncan smiled in acknowledgement of the hit, then offered his own riposte. "Would you like to see how much I liked it?" he asked slyly, and his hand slid down to cup his own groin suggestively.

Methos shook his head. No, he didn't want to see MacLeod naked. He didn't want to be tormented with that particular image later. His imaginings were quite enough to give him fevered dreams as it was.

"We're really going to have to work on this truth thing, aren't we," Duncan chided. "Besides, how can I fuck you with my clothes on? Hold my place, will you," he added as he climbed to his feet. Then, slowly and provocatively, Duncan began to undress.

Methos squeezed his eyes tightly shut and resolutely refused to watch... until a stinging slap to his cheek caught him by surprise. Methos' eyes flew open again and he found MacLeod bending over him with an irritated expression on his face.

"What the hell...?" Methos spluttered angrily.

"You're not paying attention, Methos. That isn't polite." MacLeod frowned. "Don't make me have to do that again."

Methos was on the verge of an angry retort - until he really looked at Duncan and noticed that he was now stripped to the waist. The strong, bronzed chest with its light furring of dark hair was too much of a distraction and Methos' irritation evaporated in a heartbeat. Drawn by the sleekly muscled contours Methos tried to reach out and touch, but the chains held him back, preventing him from doing so. A growl of frustration escaped the old Immortal's throat.

"Damn you, MacLeod!" he hissed. The sensible, survival oriented part of Methos' brain protested that he was a fool; that he shouldn't - didn't - want MacLeod this way. At the same time a far louder voice was speaking to the deeper, more visceral part of his mind and insisting, to hell with good sense - nothing was more important than possessing the Highlander.

MacLeod smiled, seeing the conflict evident in Methos' eyes. "You can look, but you can't touch - yet," he cautioned the other Immortal. Then Duncan straightened up and went to work on the fastening of his trousers.

Even in the gloom of the room it was clear to Methos that Duncan was already hard. Try as he might Methos couldn't tear his eyes away as Duncan carefully lowered the zipper and parted the concealing fabric. Then, still as slowly, he pushed the trousers down over his hips and let them slide to the floor. That left only the white cotton briefs to hide the secrets of Duncan's body that Methos had spent considerable time fantasising about.

Duncan took his time, taunting Methos. The other Immortal had nothing to shield his arousal from Duncan's roving eyes and the Highlander drank in the sight of Methos' swollen cock. The visible success of his plan to humble Methos was pleasing and he allowed himself a moment to enjoy it. Slowly MacLeod peeled off his briefs and stepped out of them, exposing himself to Methos' hungry stare. He moved closer, his thick cock right at the old Immortal's eye level, but just out of reach. Duncan watched as Methos licked his lips, his desire clear.

"Do you want this?" Duncan asked huskily. He slowly stroked his swollen penis with the fingers of one hand, tilting his hips towards Methos' face.

"Please..." Methos didn't care if he was begging. He only knew he wanted to taste that thickened flesh, to feel it filling his mouth and sliding into his throat. The sharp scents of sweat and pre-come flooded his senses and made his body ache with need.

Duncan made him wait for it. He continued the slow, steady motions of his hand until drops of pearly fluid seeped from the head of his cock. Then he inched closer, painting the salty pre-come over Methos' mouth.

Methos' tongue flicked out, sampling the offering glistening on his lips. It wasn't enough; he had to have more. He craned his head around until he could lick along the slick length of the swollen shaft, delicately tasting. Greedily Methos opened his mouth, reaching out to draw the precious flesh inside, but before he could Duncan pulled away.

"Wait," he growled when Methos began to protest.

Instead Duncan clambered up onto the bed, straddling the old Immortal's spreadeagled body. He slid forward until his cock was nudging at Methos' chin. Then he grabbed the other man's head between his hands, angling it so that the parting lips were perfectly aligned to accept his cock as he thrust forward with his hips.

Methos sighed his pleasure as the prize once more came within his reach. He wished that his hands were free so that he might use them as well. He wanted to learn the shape of the thick, sturdy cock and the feel of the warm, smooth skin that covered it so that he could commit them to memory. But again the chains prevented it, so Methos concentrated on sight, taste and scent instead.

Duncan was thrusting into his mouth with hard, rythmic jerks of his hips. Methos relaxed and let the swollen head of Duncan's penis glide into his throat, swallowing against it and tasting the fresh surge of pre-come. Duncan was sinking so far into his mouth with each thrust that the rough tangle of curls at his groin brushed against the sharp blade of Methos' nose. Methos inhaled deeply, pulling in the masculine scent of MacLeod's arousal and letting it fill his senses.

It hadn't been Duncan's intention to let Methos make him come so soon, but the old man was supremely skilled at this. His lips and tongue pulled the pleasure from Duncan's body, so that almost before MacLeod realised it was happening his orgasm crashed over him. He shuddered as liquid fire seemed to course through his veins, spreading the intense sensations along every limb. His penis plunged deep into Methos' throat and spilled its pulses of semen, which Methos eagerly drank down. Then the old Immortal suckled the softening flesh until Duncan pulled free, unable to bear the continued stimulation of his over-sensitised cock.

As he drew back Duncan watched the expression of utter contentment which spread across Methos' face. The old man looked positively beatific.

Enjoy it while you can, Methos, thought Duncan darkly. Indulge your little fantasies. They're all you'll have once this is over. But somehow that thought didn't give Duncan quite the satisfaction he had expected it to. Maybe it was just hard to be vindictive with the post-coital warmth still curling around him. Or perhaps it was the fact that Methos looked strangely beautiful - the very antithesis of Death - as he savoured the taste of Duncan's climax, which still filled his mouth.

But he was Death, Duncan reminded himself - or had been, in a thousand year orgy of violence and destruction - and there was no beauty in that. Methos deserved everything that was coming to him. Duncan was merely meting out a long overdue punishment for the old man's past sins. And, added to that, he was claiming his own due - payment for the lies Methos had told him. Duncan felt his anger building again and decided Methos had been given long enough to recover. It was time for him to lie back and spread his legs - just like he had for Kronos. Duncan was going to give Methos a fucking he'd never forget, would never want to forget. And then, hopefully, he'd never have to see the deceitful SOB again.

Duncan scooted back until he knelt between Methos' spread thighs. The old Immortal's cock lay unrelieved against his belly, reddened and swollen. A small pool of pre-come had gathered at the tip. Duncan smiled nastily to see the evidence of Methos' desire for him.

The chameleon eyes were open again and watching him. A volatile mixture of emotions chased one another through those expressive depths, now more green than hazel. Duncan saw pain, sadness, desire and a strange understanding, but he didn't want this man's empathy. He wanted Methos' surrender and he wanted him to hurt - his heart torn the way Duncan's had been when Methos had so callously shattered all his illusions about the oldest Immortal.

"It's still not too late." Methos' soft voice sounded loud in the oppressive silence. "You don't have to do this, Mac."

Duncan's expression hardened. "Yes, I do," he said harshly.

"Who is this hurting more?" Methos persisted. "You or me?"

"You aren't going to talk your way out of this one, old man," Duncan growled.

"Fine." Methos sighed tiredly. "Let Kronos have his victory, then. Fuck me into next week, see if I care."

"Oh, you do care," hissed Duncan. "This..." He wrapped one broad hand around Methos' swollen cock and gave it several firm strokes. "This tells me that you do. So did the expression on your face when you made me come. You wanted it - you still do. And I'm going to give you what you want, but on my terms."

Duncan gave the thickened flesh one last squeeze, wringing a deep groan from Methos. Then he let it fall back onto the old man's flat belly. His hand was damp with Methos' pre-come, so Duncan brought it to his lips, licking the stickiness off provocatively. Watching his actions drew another moan from the old Immortal, but Duncan was unprepared for the jolt of pure lust that shot through his own body at the first taste. By the time he'd licked his palm clean Duncan was fully hard again. He circled his penis with his damp hand and caressed it slowly, feeling the pleasure build.

Methos watched Duncan avidly. Desire still warred with anger and confusion in him, but he could not deny his visceral reaction to the Highlander. And he was well aware of the mixed emotions he was engendering in Duncan too. Their intertwined Quickenings gave each of them a window into the other's mind and it was apparent to Methos that this situation was confusing the hell out of them both. But the barely settled power of the two ancient Quickenings Duncan had taken seemed to be inciting his own roiling emotions and driving him inexorably down this path he had embarked upon. All Methos could do was hold on and hope that he survived the ride... and that Duncan did too. Methos still couldn't help wondering how the Highlander would feel once everything was settled inside him and he was back to his more rational - and guilt-prone - self.

For the moment, though, Duncan was focused on his thoughts of revenge. And those thoughts had turned sexual once again as he prepared to release some of his Quickening inspired tension by fucking Methos. Duncan sucked two fingers into his mouth, wetting them thoroughly. He smiled as Methos flinched at the first inquisitive touch. Duncan tried to angle Methos' hips to give him better access, but the chains holding the old Immortal's ankles in place hampered him as much as those on Methos' wrists had frustrated the other man earlier. With a muttered curse Duncan scrambled off the bed and went in search of his discarded clothes. A quick hunt through the pockets turned up the small bunch of keys he needed.

Duncan turned back and cautiously undid the restraints around Methos' ankles. Methos gasped as circulation was suddenly restored and a thousand tiny pinpricks of sensation danced over his skin. He flexed his feet carefully, speeding up the painful process. Methos cried out again as Duncan grabbed both feet hard, holding them down firmly against the bed.

"Don't get any ideas about kicking me," Duncan growled. "This is for my benefit, not yours."

"Fuck you," muttered Methos angrily. "I was just trying to get some feeling back into my feet. Strangely enough, being chained up for hours doesn't exactly improve the circulation."

After weighing his words for a moment Duncan let go, but he still watched carefully as Methos slowly eased the cramps in his calves and feet. Eventually Duncan lost patience and caught hold of Methos' legs again, pushing them up and apart. Now he could survey his goal more easily.

"Hold there," Duncan instructed, his dark eyes reinforcing the command.

For a moment Methos considered defying him, but what was the point in antagonising Duncan further? With his wrists still chained Methos wasn't going anywhere. He might just as well get this over with as quickly as possible. Then, with any luck, MacLeod would let him go and he could retreat to Bora Bora or some other remote place to lick his wounds. It wouldn't be easy, but he'd have to start trying to piece together the shattered remnants of his life at some point.

Duncan's fingers, newly moistened, began to explore once again. Slowly they circled the muscular ring guarding the entrance to Methos' body. With very little encouragement it opened to admit one broad digit. It was clear Methos was no stranger to being in this position. He'd certainly spread his legs for Kronos many times in their thousand years together, but how many others had known this lithe body since then? How many had possessed Methos, and how many had he claimed in his turn? Or was he always the one on his back?

Duncan looked up the slender body to the pale, resigned face. The expressive eyes were closed again, and Duncan felt vaguely grateful for that. The mixture of desire and reproach he had seen there before was strangely disturbing. But he didn't want Methos retreating somewhere inside himself to escape from the knowledge of what was being done to him. He had the feeling Methos would have perfected the art of escaping that way - learning to avoid painful experiences - over the years. Not today, though, Duncan wanted Methos' full attention - wanted him to know exactly who was now claiming his body.

Carefully Duncan withdrew his finger. Then he slid down between Methos' thighs. After a moment in which he simply drew in the deep, masculine scent of Methos' body he bent his head.

The first swipe of Duncan's tongue over the tight opening had Methos tensing in dismay. His eyes flew open and he looked down to see the dark head buried between his thighs. As the agile tongue licked repeatedly at his anus Methos tried to hold still, but it was impossible. Kronos had never done this to him - would never have thought to pleasure him this way - but others had done so since, and Methos loved it. And so Methos was lost as Duncan's tongue finally breached him, easing inside and stealing a little more of his soul with every flickering thrust.

Methos cried out - he wasn't sure if the keening wail was born of pleasure or pain - and then came violently. Duncan hadn't even touched his swollen cock, hadn't needed to. Just the wet thrusts of his tongue deep into Methos' body were enough. Methos tensed, drawing his knees tight against his chest as the pleasure exploded through him in white hot bursts. And Duncan continued the delicious torture as he shuddered out his completion. Methos felt his semen splash onto his belly and its touch seemed to scald him. But too soon the pleasure began to ebb away, leaving Methos cold and desolate in its wake.

The flaying tongue had withdrawn and, but for the continued sense of presence in his head, Methos would have thought himself abandoned. Shakily he lowered his legs and then raised his head to find Duncan sitting back on his heels, watching him out of narrowed eyes.

"You liked that?" The tone was accusing.

It would have been pointless to deny it. "Yes."

"You really are a whore, aren't you, Methos," said Duncan icily. "You'd be anyone's if they just stuck their tongue up your ass."

"I don't make a habit of it," Methos shot back. "And I usually prefer it if they ask first."

"Really? You surprise me," Duncan continued. "I thought that was how you'd managed to live so long. If anyone threatens you, you just roll over and show them what an easy fuck you are."

Methos compressed his lips into a tight line, biting back the angry retort that rose to them. MacLeod was baiting him, wanted his response. Well, he was going to be disappointed... even if the words did have an uncomfortable ring of truth to them. In his time Methos had used all the means at his disposal to survive, including sex. Sometimes he'd had nothing else to barter for his life. But this act was something he had always enjoyed with his lovers - when it had been mutually agreed upon. Methos had loved the intimacy of it. Why did MacLeod have to make it seem so sordid, so cheap? And he'd been so good at it... made Methos feel such intense, deep, aching pleasure. The old Immortal clamped down on his emotions. He couldn't afford to let MacLeod get to him like this.

to be continued

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