Written for the Halloween challenge for "Discovered in the Fallen Leaves" on the discoveredinalj livejournal community to the prompt "Bodie and Doyle meet The Headless Horseman."
MacLeod glanced at Methos in time to see him take an abrupt detour into a narrow alley. He stopped walking and cast a look at the street. "What?" A moment later, he was grabbed and pulled into the alley. "What is it?"
From behind Mac's shoulders, Methos peered out into the street. "Bloody hell."
"It's those two--coming along now."
Mac leaned against the wall at the entrance to the alley, effectively blocking any view of Methos. The two men walking towards them appeared to be in their fifties. One had curly grey hair; the other had salt and pepper. They moved like men who could take care of themselves. As they passed the entrance to the alley, both glanced at him--the quick, assessing look of police or security the world over. Mac held himself to a casual stillness. In the silence their voices carried to him.
"You haven't any idea where it is, have you?"
"It was right here! Somewhere. Honest, Ray."
"Never mind." The man called Ray ran a quick hand over the bum of the other. "We'll manage without."
Mac blinked at the devastating leer that appeared on the other man's face. "I'll make it up to you."
"That'll be interesting."
Their voices faded as they walked away, and Methos stepped close to Mac's side. "They're still together." He sounded amazed.
"Who are they?"
"I've no idea."
Mac looked at him.
"I'm serious! I only met them once--years ago." A sly, mischievous look that Mac distrusted, but appreciated, slid across Methos' face. "I told them they should fuck each other." He tilted his head. "Maybe I should be careful who I say that to."
"When was this?"
"All Hallows Eve. Nineteen...eighty-three." Methos stared down the street, the mischievous look lingering. "I was a bit...irritated at the time."
Bodie reacted instantly to the sheer, bloody terror in Doyle's cry. He dropped to the ground just as a dark shape stepped in front of him, and then he heard the roar of guns. The dark shape fell--a man enveloped in a black overcoat. And then all was silent.
"Christ." It was Doyle's voice.
Bodie raised his head and saw a large, blond man lying on the ground. The yard was lit by the light of a lamp overhanging the garage entrance. In front of the blond lay O'Meara. Sodding, hell. Cowley was not going to be pleased. O'Meara must have been caught in the crossfire, just like the other man--the one who'd stepped in front of him.
"Bodie." He turned his head and saw Doyle still in shooting position. His arms were held straight, both hands gripping the gun that now pointed towards the ground. They stared at each other. Bodie pushed himself off the ground, and three strides brought him to Doyle.
"Its not your fault."
Doyle took one of his hands away from the gun and stood straight. The look he gave Bodie seared him. "That's my bullet in his back."
"He stepped in front of me; got in the way. There was no way you--"
"Check the shooter." Doyle's voice was firm, and empty of emotion. He brushed past Bodie, heading for the man in the overcoat.
Bodie closed his eyes for a moment, then walked to the blond man. How the bloody hell had this happened? One moment they were chasing O'Meara down the alley, the next they'd burst onto a scene out of some twisted fantasy: two men fighting with swords. O'Meara had stumbled between the men, unable to break his headlong rush. Bodie had followed, but then Doyle's shout had stopped him, and the gunfire had erupted. There was a Magnum not far from the blond's outstretched hand. A sword and a Magnum. No wonder Doyle had cried out.
The blond, however, wasn't dead. He was unconscious, but there was a pulse. While Bodie did what he could for the man, Doyle pulled out his r/t, contacted HQ, and ordered backup and ambulances. When he was finished, he put the r/t away and picked up the Magnum.
Bodie walked over to him, standing close, but wary. "You saved my life."
The look in Doyle's eyes made his stomach clench. "Yeah."
"I'd do it again, Bodie. Do you understand?" He glanced at the man in the overcoat. "I'd do it again." The words were fierce, and as hard as bullets.
"Okay." He wanted to touch Doyle, grip his arm, steady him. But lately it seemed his touch only made matters worse. Doyle had been like a sparking live wire for weeks--dangerous and unpredictable. He felt helpless.
"Christ, Bodie. Don't--" Doyle grabbed him, fingers hard on his arm. His other hand clamped on Bodie's neck. An instant later, Bodie found himself being kissed by Ray Doyle. It was electric. All Doyle's energy concentrated on him, surged through them, and Bodie took it all--absorbed it like lightning being grounded.
They broke apart at the sound, stunned and reeling. Bodie reached for his gun, but he left one hand on Doyle's waist, holding fast. He wasn't going to lose contact again.
"What the hell did you do?" The man with the overcoat sat up and glared at them.
"You're dead." Doyle's tone was blank. Bodie tightened his hold on him.
"I am not." The man enunciated each word, and rolled to his feet. "I am, however, sore."
"You must have missed."
"He doesn't miss," Bodie said, eyes narrowing. "And what the fuck were you doing with swords?"
The man looked at him. "Sparring."
Bodie smiled without humour. "That wasn't sparring."
"No, you look--"
"Bodie." Doyle silenced him with a glance. "He stepped in front of you."
"I did not!" The man looked at Doyle and then Bodie. "I was trying to get away."
But they both knew the direction the man had moved.
"Why don't you two fuck off? In fact, why don't you go fuck each other? Then we'd all be happy."
Doyle frowned and took a step away from Bodie. "Listen, sunshine, I have a few questions for you."
"Doyle--" Bodie broke off as the man in the overcoat suddenly jerked upright. He whirled and saw another man come through a doorway to the garage, already firing. Bodie jumped to the side, brought his gun up, sighted, and shot the man dead centre in his heart. He turned his head to find Doyle rising to his feet beside him, gun in hand. The man in the overcoat was on his knees, wide-eyed, but he appeared to be unharmed. He was examining a hole in his overcoat.
Doyle glanced at Bodie, then turned towards the garage.
Doyle looked back, and Bodie saw his face soften. "Yeah. Later. I promise." He headed for the garage door. In the distance, Bodie could hear sirens approaching. Later. He smiled.
"The cheeky bastard had backup!" The overcoat man climbed to his feet and stalked over to the blond, who opened his eyes as he approached. "Not very good backup was he? I do approve the tactic, however."
"Who the hell are you?" The blond's voice was barely above a moan.
The man in the black overcoat smiled. "Death."
"So you brought Death out for them. A Horseman on Halloween."
"I told you I was irritated. I had to move--that identity was blown. It was a royal pain."
Mac nudged him. "You could have been a Headless Horseman."
"Too much of a cliche."
They left the alley and resumed their journey. "Wait a minute, when we met you said you hadn't faced anyone in two hundred years."
Methos looked at him.
-- THE END --