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, 2001-2


UNFORGIVABLE SINNER

by Karen Colohan

	Kinda lose your sense of time
	'Cause the days don't matter no more
	All the feelings that you hide
	Gonna tear you up inside
	You hope she knows you tried
Follows you around all day And you wake up soaking wet 'Cause between this world and eternity There is a face you hope to see "Unforgivable Sinner" - Lene Marlin

It had been almost an hour; nearly sixty minutes since Alexa had drawn her final, painful breath. She had closed her eyes for the last time and finally given up her brave, doomed fight for life. One hour - such a short space of time in a life that had spanned five thousand years. Why, then, did it feel like such an eternity?

He had been sitting here at her bedside while the minutes crawled by. He knew she was gone and yet, somehow, he still wasn't quite able to believe it. Even though, now, he knew she had already been dying that very first time he had met her. But wasn't that true of all mortals? Perhaps, but they still hadn't had enough time. Never long enough, but with Alexa in particular the time had been far too short.

The pale skin was cool under his touch, the slender hand held between his own unbelievably frail. Alexa had never been physically strong, but the slight frame had housed such a brave spirit. Sometimes he had been awed by the strength with which she had fought to cling to those last few days and weeks of life. But now the clear eyes had closed forever... and yet he still sat at her side, hoping.

The machines had all been switched off and the room was eerily quiet. He'd grown used to the steady susurration of the ventilator which had maintained Alexa's breathing. It was stilled now, as was the slow rise and fall of her chest.

Alexa was dead and, despite his efforts to gain the Methuselah stone, she had died as she'd been born, a mortal. She would not be coming back to life. There would be no miracle for her.

The man Alexa had known as Adam Pierson finally accepted the inevitable. He bent his head and laid his forehead on the soft pillow. How many times in five thousand years had he found himself having to say goodbye to a loved one for the final time? Methos, the oldest Immortal, couldn't count them any more. What he did know was that it was far too many times... and that it never got any easier. Each loss brought the same sharp pain as all the ones before. Somehow that always surprised him. Shouldn't he have grown used to it by now?

His grief finally sought outward expression and he wept. He made no sound and the tears were lost in the white linen of the pillowcase.

Methos wasn't sure how long he sat like that, keeping his silent vigil, his head resting beside Alexa's on the pillow. Eventually, though, the discreet sound of someone clearing their throat roused him. He looked around. One of the nurses stood in the doorway, her expression compassionate.

"Monsieur Pierson, I'm sorry, but we must..."

From somewhere he found the ghost of a smile, polite, meaningless. "Of course, I understand. Thank you for being so patient."

Slowly he stood. For the last time he looked down at the frail mortal who had given him such a new lease on life. He had taken her to places long familiar to him and somehow she had helped him see them with new eyes. Alexa had given him back his sense of wonder. For that alone he knew he would never forget her. It was a rare gift, one he had been unable to repay.

He kissed the cold hand one final time, saying a silent goodbye. Then he laid it back gently on the bed, smoothing the sheet automatically as he did so. Methos felt an icy chill within himself. He was suddenly devoid of direction, bereft. Somehow he made his feet take the few steps which brought him outside Alexa's room.

It was over. What did he do now?

tbc


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