Paris. May the 21st 1980.
Straightening the collar of his coat, MacLeod gave the
heavens what had become his customary glare, not believing
the late spring weather. It was raining, drizzling again,
making the old stone pavements under his feet gray and
slippery and giving Paris a dull, damp look. A grieving
appearance.... He would be very glad when the
uncharacteristic wet spell passed, because Paris in spring
and summer was one of the few pleasures he still savored,
somehow it seemed to reaffirm life injecting his spirit
The last decade had been hard. He had drifted from one
casual relationship to another with waning enthusiasm,
touching life rather than living it. He was tired of
existing, of surviving, wishing for something that could
fill him with the joy of life again. But nothing had
infused him so brilliantly since Little Deer had been
murdered on March 13th 1872. A date burned into his brain
by its viciousness. Not only because of her death but
because it had destroyed all he'd held precious, all he had
protected and believed in. He had endured the pain but
felt like he was only observing life now. Occasionally he
had glimpsed happiness with friends, lovers, and events
but.... he wanted something more.
He wanted a consuming
relationship that took up every ounce of his being. He
wanted to be loved and be able to love completely.Was that too much to wish for? Too much for an Immortal
to desire peace and happiness?
Disillusioned, MacLeod shoved his hands further in to his
coat pocket, cursing the dampness of the fabric as he stood
in the drizzling rain. What was wrong with him?
even kept away from the Game, encountering the occasional
Immortal, visiting those few Immortal friends he cherished
and fighting only when forced. He was not a hunter, never
wanted to be a hunter but....
but otherwise he was simply
trying to find a direction for his life. Existing instead
of living. What he wanted, needed, he could never have.
That illusive feeling of utter peace. To have one person
whom he could rely on to be there, who knew what it was
like to be immortal, who understood the dangers, the pain,
the thrill, like Robert had Gina
, he thought wistfully.
To just belong. He craved to be able to come home and find
his life filled with the soul deep knowledge of acceptance
and love. He had hoped Amanda....
but he shook his head,
water flying in all directions as he muttered a curse.
Amanda he adored but they would kill each other. Amanda
needed to be free
, noh -
theirs was a relationship based
on friendship, on affection and companionship. A casual
affair, though that was no longer enough for him either, so
he had returned to Paris. Hoping, desiring to find his
heart as well as a new direction. Paris the city of love
and romance, only it was raining, washing his dreams away.
Shoving his hands harder into his damp pockets, MacLeod
ambled down the old stone steps to the Seine River level.
Recently he had purchased a barge and had great plans to do
it up, to enjoy the best of both worlds by living so close
to the heart of Paris and living on the water. The
decision had felt right, had felt very good as he changed
his lifestyle and used his money. Maybe he should
continue with the antiques trade - make a serious attempt
of turning it into a profitable business? After all, he
had gone to all the trouble of getting that new
license.... or he could go into the art business. So
Already he was aware of friends, good
friends, Immortal friends, who had given into despair and
had lost a challenge to some eager headhunter, and he vowed
never to be like that. He would keep his head and keep his
perspective. If Connor could do it and Fitzcain could do
it, then so could he.
Strengthening that silent resolve, MacLeod stopped under
Tournelle's arched magnificence and looked towards his
silent home. The barge, his barge, sat on the calm water,
motionless and dark. Behind it loomed Notre Dame, filling
the evening skyline with its impressive bulk and majesty.
Involuntarily he shuddered.Damn!
He had to shake of this depression. Had to
Trailing that thought off, MacLeod tensed when the hairs on
the back of his neck prickled up, washing him in a strong
buzz of unwanted presence. Scanning the waterfront he
turned slowly, rolling his shoulders back and picking out a
dark shadow that detached itself from under the bridge
behind him. This was just what he needed now. A
challenge. Maybe Paris no longer possessed the luster and
beauty he yearned for, and maybe there would be no relief
from this blackness of spirit he sensed? Maybe he was
doomed to loneliness...
. Hardening his resolve and
shoving his surge of useless anger aside, MacLeod drew his
sword and held it before him in warning. "I am Duncan
MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod! I have noh quarrel with you."
He got a snicker in return, the figure moving closer being
lit briefly by the reflection of light off the sword's
"A MacLeod. How poetic."
Deciphering the Scottish accent, MacLeod squinted into the
dimness and stepped back, forcing his opponent to follow so
he could get a better look at his challenger. "I have no
dispute with you." He declared, doubting he could halt the
"But I do with you!"
"You know me?" MacLeod asked disconcerted. He had never
seen the Immortal before, getting his first decent look at
the man's face. A hard stern face, with long wavy hair,
tied back, much like his own. Only the Immortal sported a
full beard and held a Scottish Claymore.
"You are a MacLeod!" The Immortal shot back. "What else
is there to know except it is my duty to give you a painful
Raising a brow at the overly dramatic statement, MacLeod
carefully stepped back, eyeing his opponent, noting his
stance and confidence. "Do I at least get a name?"
"McKellen." The Immortal spat. "And I curse you and all
Circa 17th century. Highlands, Scotland "Connor?" Exhaling harshly Duncan grimaced as he lifted
the thick, blood-sodden blankets, half expecting to find
his beheaded kinsman or worse a mortal - dreading to see
another child so brutally hacked to death. "Who has done
this?" He asked out loud, but only silence answered him.
He had seen many battles, had fought on many bloody fields,
but this.... this willful, unnecessary murder of the
innocent turned his stomach.
Dropping the blanket back over the body of the elderly man
he had found on the straw bed, Duncan carefully walked
through the demolished cottage desperately searching for
his cousin or any sign of life. But not much was left of
the large family that had lived up here in the high
country, and he absently wiped his hand over his chin,
aching with the grief of so many deaths for so little
"Connor?" Duncan called a second time, pushing back the
partially destroyed door and going outside. It was snowing
now, a light fall of soft flakes that magically started to
obscure the blood and devastation of this small community,
masking the ugliness with pure whiteness and Duncan lifted
his face to the snow and breathed in deeply. The freshness
was welcome after the stench of the last cottage he had
walked through, his anger receding into a numbness of grief
as he viewed the blatant slaughter. Why?
He glanced around, knowing this place, knowing these
people. They were simple farmers, decent, honest folk who
offered food and shelter to travelers. They had opened
their homes to him a few years ago, and Connor had returned
to visit. Distant relatives of the MacLeod's, or so Connor
believed, and Duncan smiled sadly remembering how his
clansman had become infatuated with one of the fiery-haired
women of this small community. Grace.... But she was now
dead. He had found her lifeless body in the first thatched
roof cottage. Grace and her five younger siblings....
Tensing as the surge of Immortal presence swept over him,
Duncan was reaching for his sword, drawing it as he turned
and snarled, finding his anger was quick to rise as he
stood in the middle of this atrocity. It fired his blood,
making him want to fight, to release the useless rage. But
his anger soon died as he saw his kinsman, bloodied but
alive, an inner fury discoloring the normally light blue
"I-I.... I thought you were someone else."
Hearing the suppressed rage, Duncan swallowed, the
implications very clear. "One of us did this?" He
gestured around in disbelief. "Why?" But his kinsman
didn't answer and Duncan was forced to follow his cousin to
the end of the village as perfunctory, Connor started to
bury the dead. Shelving his questions, Duncan took off his
coat, re-sheathing his sword and offering silent help and
It took them most of the afternoon to bury the dead, each
small body adding to the helpless feeling of desolation.
It left a gaping wound in the earth, in them both and
Duncan could see how Connor bled grief, bled vengeance -
how his kinsman tried to hold it all in until after
everything was done. Then and only then did he cry in
sorrow, in despair for the pointlessness of this massacre.
"Why?" Duncan asked again as he tended a fire, both of
them choosing to stay outside, away from the death and
carnage in the dark empty cottages behind them. Gone was
the laughter, music, and life.
"Because they are MacLeod's." Connor whispered tiredly.
"What?" Duncan blinked at his cousin. "But they are only
distantly related. You said so yourself. So far removed
they don't even carry the name."
"They carry enough." Connor said tiredly, lifting his
eyes to find Duncan's. "Did Ian MacLeod never tell you of
the dispute between the MacLeod's and the McKellen's?"
"Noh," Duncan started, frowning. He thought back, knowing
the name sounded familiar but not remembering why.
"Four centuries ago there was a dispute," Connor stated,
his tone reflecting his distaste. "..over a fertile piece
"A clan dispute?"
Shaking his head, Connor held his hands out to the small
fire, staring into it and remembering the trivial details.
"No. It was between two families. One a MacLeod the other
a McKellen. But rather than settle the dispute before the
elders, the McKellen's decided one night to take matters
into their own hands. They killed all the sheep in one
pasture belonging to the MacLeods'."
"And I take it the MacLeod's retaliated."
Again Connor nodded. "Little by little more and more of
the surrounding family members were dragged into the
dispute. From what I was told it went on for years, until
Expecting this, Duncan still sighed, knowing how that
would escalate to war.
"I think it was an accident, and the life that was lost
was a McKellen's - but by then there was too much bad
blood, nothing but distrust and anger on both sides for
anyone to see reason."
"So the McKellen's avenged their dead by killing a
Connor nodded. "Only they killed all within the
"All?" Duncan asked in disbelief.
"Even the little ones." Connor confirmed as he looked up
at the night sky. "Then the MacLeod's who lived in that
province sought revenge and took the lives of those
responsible. Only that didn't end the dispute, rather it
turned the tragedy into a clan war and a war that neither
side could win. In the end I think most of the McKellen
males were killed, leaving only women and children to
manage the farms." Connor sighed, collapsing back to lie
on the damp ground and study his hands. "The few that
survived were offered shelter in the MacLeod holdings.
Those that refused, died the following winter."
"When was this?"
"1472." Connor said.
"That was over 270 years ago. Surely this cannot be
"Ahhh," Connor gave a twisted, humorless smile. "From the
way I remember the tale told, it seems a close cousin to
the McKellen's returned near the end of the war, and he
sought revenge. He was killed, but refused to die."
Connor said his eyes meeting Duncan's and holding them for
a long moment, before he glanced away and spat on the
ground in disgust. "Everyone believed it was an ill omen
and the land that was once fertile was declared cursed and
the few McKellen's that survived and refused to leave the
land were also cursed. They died."
"An Immortal," and Duncan closed his eyes, now getting a
good idea of who and what they were facing.
"Bruce McKellen." Connor stated. "I have heard it
whispered among the older ones that his tormented spirit
still lives and that he arose from death to seek revenge
for all the blood spilt by his kin." Connor shook his head
in fury. "I have never completely believed those legends.
"So what do we do?" Duncan asked, feeling his blood heat
up at the injustice surrounding him. "These people were
innocent." He hissed. "He has to be stopped-"
"And I will stop him." Connor vowed, his eyes pinning
Duncan. "If he is Immortal, then he can be hunted. You
must go and warn the other clans."
"This is now my fight, Duncan. I do not want you
Letting his mouth curve up into a wicked grin, MacLeod
recognized the name instantly and found his enthusiasm
peaking in anticipation. Even after two hundred and thirty
one years he could still see the mutilated dead bodies,
could still smell the stench of death at the back of his
throat and his warrior instincts took over. Bruce
McKellen of the Clan McKellen - a butcher, murderer and
sworn enemy of the MacLeod clan since the 13th century
It was a dark piece of Scottish history, only MacLeod had
never believed he would ever meet the infamous Immortal who
had been the cause of so much hardship and tragedy for his
people. "You are the one cursed, McKellen." MacLeod
pronounced harshly. "You are the one who kills your own
Roaring in anger, McKellen didn't give a coherent reply,
lunging at MacLeod with a savagery that was inspirational.
Side-stepping, MacLeod didn't even get time to raise his
blade, swiveling around to defend himself when the sudden
flashing of police lights blinded him.
"Curse you Highland dog!" McKellen hissed, stepping in
close and pinning MacLeod against the cold damp wall with
his sword. "I would like to stay and sever yewr despicable
head, but I have a previous appointment in London. Maybe
another time, MacLeod!" He finished in Gaelic, laughing
insanely before gut-punching the Highlander. "Give my
regards to Connor." Laughing again when he saw pain sweep
across MacLeod's face, McKellen raised the hilt of his
blade and brought it down hard on the other Immortal's
skull, then hastily moved back. He snarled at the
approaching police officers, taunting them and judging his
options before cursing in Gaelic a second time. Saluting
MacLeod with his blade he determinedly stepped towards the
Hiding his sword, MacLeod placed a hand over his forehead
noting the stickiness of blood on his fingers before he
watched in disbelief as McKellen dived into the Seine.
There were other ways to avoid the Police and MacLeod
blinked after him, stilling when he saw half a dozen police
officers level their guns at him. Slowly he raised his
hands and turned to give the officers' an innocent smile.
Meeting the Police offer's gaze, MacLeod sighed. He had
the strange feeling this was going to be a very long night.
But hadn't he just wished for some spice in his dull
Four hours later, tired and mildly frustrated, MacLeod
glanced towards the door, eyeing the Inspector who returned
to the police interview room. Idly he wondered if they
were going to charge him or let him go. But the Inspector
only sent him a strained smile, closing the door softly and
pacing towards the table in the center of the room.
"Monsieur MacLeod," the French offer started politely.
"Are you sure you have told us all that you know?"
Rubbing his eyes in a mixture of annoyance and exhaustion
MacLeod waited until the man was level with the desk and
gave him a forced smile. "To tell you something I would
have to know something." he countered blandly.
Not fooled in the least, the Inspector sat on the edge of
the desk and briefly eyed the duty officer behind their
suspect. "So you are staying with the story, stating that
you did not know your attacker? That you had never seen
the man before?"
"I have never seen the man before in my life." MacLeod
stated with conviction. It was the truth after all. He
might know of McKellen by reputation but had never met him.
Besides, Connor had long since wangled a promise out of him
not to hunt the mad, deranged Scottish bastard because his
ex-teacher had a personal score to settle - for Grace
and her clan
. He respected Connor's request, understood
Connor feelings, and knew his clansman periodically hunted
McKellen, but that still didn't mean he couldn't challenge
the bastard if their paths 'accidentally' crossed again,
did it? Noh....
"He gave me no reason for the attack,
but I assume he intended to rob me."
"And your sword?" The inspector pushed, knowing full well
that MacLeod was not telling him the whole truth. Only
problem was he had no proof.
"I told you." MacLeod said on an exasperated breath. "I
am an antique dealer."
"It is an old sword, I will agree." The Inspector broke
in. "But why carry it around monsieur MacLeod? Why was it
not locked away with other valuable items?"
"I was moving it." MacLeod said with all sincerity. "I
had been to the auctions earlier that afternoon and-"
"Yes." The policeman stopped him, giving MacLeod a
suspicious glare. "Your alibi checks out."
"So?" MacLeod pushed, praying they would let him go. He
really didn't want to drag legal representation into this
dispute. It would take too long and he felt he didn't have
the time to waste.
"If you remember anything else, I pray you will inform me,
otherwise this man may attack another innocent citizen.
And they may not be so lucky, monsieur." The Inspector
went on, watching MacLeod's face intently. "For McKellen
is a known murderer, wanted by Interpol."
"I really wish I could help." MacLeod put sympathy into
his tone. How he wished he could tell the Inspector that
no amount of police intervention would stop a mongrel like
McKellen. Only an Immortal could do that.
"If I were you, I would find new accommodation for a few
"I will." MacLeod assured him. "Thank you."
"You are free to go for the present." The Inspector
informed him unhappily. "But I warn you, do not leave
Paris, Mister MacLeod."
Frowning MacLeod slowly stood up, being escorted from the
room. His mind was already working over how to trace
McKellen, then shoving the useless desire aside. He
couldn't actively hunt, but....
Then he remembered
something else. McKellen had said he was going to London
and MacLeod knew Amanda was currently in London playing
house with a wealthy Lord. Dammit! Amanda loved to be
the social butterfly and he could just imagine her getting
into trouble if McKellen found her
. It was a slim
possibility, but all the excuse he needed to chase the
Scottish Immortal to London.
Stopping at the duty officer's desk, MacLeod signed for his
sword and found the Inspector still watching him
distrustfully. "How long before I can travel?" He asked
"Why?" The Inspector countered.
"I have a.... ummm," MacLeod covered his hesitation by
wrapping his sword in a cloth the duty police officer had
given him. "There is a auction in London I was planning to
attend next week." He said abruptly remembering seeing it
advertised in one of his brochures.
"How convenient." The Inspector stated. "When?"
Trying to remember the illusive detail, MacLeod covered his
hesitation with a smile to the pretty female officer close
by. "The 24th, or 25th of May. At Oxford." He did
remember that part. "I'll only be gone a week." MacLeod
assured, deciding to ignore the suspicion. "Besides like
you said, I should change accommodation until you find this
Studying MacLeod, the Inspector nodded once, laying a hand
on his arm when MacLeod turned away. "Make sure you inform
this office of your itinerary, in case we need to contact
you urgently." He ended with a pleasant smile. In the
back of his mind he had already decided to alert the
relevant authorities in the UK, just as a precaution.
Nodding, MacLeod pulled away, glad to get out of the stuffy
police station. Having the police follow his every move
was not advisable, but he was sure once he hit London he
could lose whoever was tailing him and finish his business
with McKellen swiftly. For the French police, even
Interpol did not hold power in England. After that, all he
would have to do is find Connor and pacify him before
telling his cousin that the bastard, McKellen, was dead.
Stepping out onto the damp streets of Paris, MacLeod no
longer noticed the gloominess of the place, his mind filled
with plans and strategies. First he would get back to the
barge. Book a flight and then ring Amanda. Make sure she
kept her head down and then arrange some hotel
accommodation. Something expensive and classy. It was
time he lived again, seized life with both hands and
embraced his fate. It was the only way to survive the
Game. To survive the lingering depression of losing all
you loved and cherished.
And along the way he was positive he would find an anchor.
Someone who would fill his mind, body and soul again with
the thrill and excitement of life. With passion and
danger. Love and happiness. He just had to be patient.
May 23rd 1980. London.
"And I suppose it was your bright idea, Bodie, to go
charging in at the drop of a hat?" Cowley growled, noting
the guilty look that the target of his outburst threw at
his partner. Both operatives were standing before his desk
looking for all the world like schoolboys dragged in front
of the Head Master, which is effectively what was
happening. "Do you know what sort of explanations I have
had to give the Home Office about this whole sorry
debacle?" Cowley carried on, taking off his glasses and
studying his two most experienced agents. "I've a good
mind to send you both for a refresher course. I'm sure
Macklin could do something with you." He took great
satisfaction in the winces of dread that were displayed by
both men at the mere thought of spending time with the
notorious Instructor. Cowley smiled benevolently.
"However, this morning I was informed of a particular
assignment that at this point in time seems right up your
alley." A low mutter from Bodie caught his attention.
"I'm sorry Bodie, did you have something to say?" Cowley
demanded, pinning his errant agent with an icy stare.
"No Sir." Bodie snapped out, straightening into the
classic 'Attention' stance.
"I'm glad to hear it. And you Doyle, did I say something
funny?" Cowley questioned, noticing the other man grinning
at his partner's discomfit.
"You Sir? Say something funny, Sir? Never Sir." Doyle
replied in his slow relaxed style.
Cowley hid a smile, Doyle always was the one less
intimidated by his temper, and it was one of the things he
respected about the other man. "That's quite enough Doyle,"
he admonished making his tone stern. It would not do to
let either man know how he really felt
. In his opinion,
Bodie could have been right,
the actual disaster may not
have been foreseeable. However, this little dressing
down just might make them both think a few seconds more
before rushing in next time. Picking up a folder from his
desk, Cowley held it out to Doyle. The curly-haired agent
took it and flipped it open while Bodie moved closer to
peer over his shoulder.
"This is your assignment." Cowley stated, letting a sly
grin form. "This is a covert surveillance operation I've
agreed to handle for Interpol. We are doing them a favor."
He tapped the photograph with a hard finger. "A one Duncan
MacLeod, Antique Dealer. They think he is a target for a
suspected serial killer named Bruce McKellen." Cowley
tapped a second photograph of a mean looking man who was
glaring at the camera. "Interpol want us to look after
MacLeod." Cowley paused to allow the customary response to
a babysitting job to occur, he was not disappointed as both
men groaned with feeling. "Your job is to make sure
MacLeod returns to Paris alive and in one piece. The
operative word is 'alive' Bodie. Do I make myself clear?"
"Sir," Bodie said as Doyle muttered a similar response, his
eyes still on the dossier.
"Good." Cowley ended. "Now stop cluttering up my office
and get out to the airport. He arrives in two hours." He
finished with a vague dismissing motion of his hand.
"Great! Just flamin', bloody marvelous!" Bodie complained
once the door was closed. "That's all I need, another
bloody Scot to baby-sit!"
"And a good looking one at that." Doyle pointed out.
It was an entirely unnecessary observation in Bodie's
opinion and he glared at his partner.
Doyle caught the scowl on Bodie's face and his grin
widened. "Not worried about competition are we?" He
"Not bloody likely." Bodie answered hotly, before
realizing that he was being setup. He decided to ignore
Doyle and strode on ahead, his partner's laughter chasing
him down the narrow corridor of CI5 Head Quarters.
Reaching the car, Bodie swore remembering Doyle had the
keys. Putting on his best scowl he slumped against the car,
arms crossed, to wait for his irritating partner to catch
him up. Damn but he hated babysitting jobs,
and to add
insult to grievous injury it was a Goddamned Scotsman and
a rich one to boot
, and Bodie wanted nothing to do with
him. He snorted at Doyle's jibe. Competition? Ha!
musings were interrupted by the arrival of his partner.
Doyle took one look at the scowl on Bodie's face and his
grin widened of its own accord. This case might prove to
be a far from boring,
he mused. The instant dislike that
his volatile partner had taken to their new assignment was
going to be fun to watch if the case turned from covert to
active and Bodie had to actually talk to this Duncan
MacLeod. Not to mention the excellent fodder for Bodie
baiting that the whole thing was bound to supply. Doyle
would have been worried if he wasn't sure that Bodie could
keep his feelings from interfering with his work, as it was
he would just have to sit back and enjoy the few relaxing
Sliding into the driver's seat, Doyle started
the engine and didn't wait for Bodie to finish getting in
before accelerating out of the gates behind CI5's parking
"Hey! The plane doesn't arrive for another two hours.
What's your hurry?" Came Bodie's disgruntled rebuke.
"Didn't want the old man to stick his head out the window
and see the car still sitting there." Doyle replied by way
of an excuse, grinning at the glare tossed at him from the
The journey to the airport was very tedious, especially as
Bodie complained and bitched all the way about the 'new'
assignment. Doyle was about ready to strangle his
exasperating partner when the turnoff for Heathrow appeared
and he could gratefully maneuver the car through the
traffic to the car park. "Bodie, would you just shut up!"
He demanded. "Bitching about it is not going to make it go
away." Doyle finished as he eased the Capri into a parking
space. Switching off the engine he glanced at the man
sitting beside him, but Bodie had fallen into a dark sulk,
and Doyle sighed. "Just for being a pain in the arse, you
can stay here and I'll go and pick up the mark." Doyle
took the continued silence for assent, however unwilling,
and got out of the car. Leaning back down, he eyed Bodie's
tense frame and tapped the keys, leaving them in the
ignition. Then he was gone, making for Terminal 4 to meet
the British Airways flight that would be arriving from
Paris in less than half an hour.
The flood of people from the arrival gate alerted him that
MacLeod would be making an appearance soon and Doyle easily
spotted the uniformed driver standing in the waiting crowd
with a name board for the Mayfair Hotel. Blending in with
the crowd he waited as the stream of arrivals thinned, they
would be the British citizens, foreigners would be going
through a more rigorous customs check and the people
waiting thinned. All except the Mayfair chauffeur and
Doyle logged the information away, impressed even though he
had briefly scanned MacLeod's folder in Cowley's office.
The man had money and obviously liked to spend it.
Leaning casually back on the railing, Doyle picked up a
discarded newspaper, skimming the headlines as he kept an
eye on the arrival gate and surrounding terminal. Now if
he was really lucky, this McKellen would show up as well
and he could capture the serial killer, save MacLeod, earn
Cowley's favor and piss Bodie off.
Grinning to himself at
the image of him as conquering hero, Doyle absently noted
the small dramas of welcome being played out repeatedly
around him. He was however very much alert, and when the
tall Scot came through the gate he spotted him immediately.
Hard to miss actually....
MacLeod was carrying just one
cabin bag, and an unusual long metal case, which Doyle
suspected contained a sword - the man had been listed as
specializing in antique weapons. In passing Doyle noticed
that his quarry moved with the unmistakable grace and
confidence of one who knew how to handle himself and he
suspected that the sparse notes in his dossier did not do
the man's martial talents justice. Bodie would not be
and he grinned even harder. He also could not
help but notice the effect the handsome Scot was having on
his surroundings. MacLeod was causing quite a stir as
women stopped to admire, men turned to glare and to make
matters even more interesting, MacLeod appeared to be
totally oblivious to his effect, although Doyle was quite
sure this could not be the case. No one was that naively
blind.... oh yes, Bodie was really going to love this.
When he spotted MacLeod talking to the Limousine Driver
from the Mayfair Hotel, Doyle tailed along discreetly
behind them until his target was safely ensconced in the
waiting vehicle. He loitered around the newsstand until
the immaculate Limousine pulled away, then he hastily
returned to the Capri.
Grinning, Doyle saw Bodie sitting in the driver's seat, and
conceded the minor point as he slid into the passenger's
seat. When Bodie was out of sorts he liked to drive, that
way he could take his frustration's out on the road. "He's
staying at the Mayfair." Doyle told his irritable partner,
slamming the passenger door.
"Don't tell me," Bodie stated as he gunned the engine.
"..he was picked up by the Hotel limo?"
"Got it in one, Sunshine." Doyle replied, trying to keep
the amusement out of his voice.
"Figures," Bodie murmured sourly.
Doyle decided it would be wise to leave out his assessment
of MacLeod's fighting abilities, general size and
devastating effect on the female of the species, for
provoking Bodie in this mood was not something he usually
did for fun. Well not in the confines of a car anyway
Thanks to Bodie's intimate knowledge of London's streets,
not to mention his driving skills, they reached the Hotel
in time to find the perfect spot across the street from
which to observe the front entrance. It also gave them
ample time to see the Limousine pull up and the tall Scot
emerge from the opened door and pass the driver what must
have been a generous tip as the chauffeur touched his cap
and smiled with genuine warmth. While Bodie kept an eye on
the entrance, Doyle checked in with Base, giving them a
rundown on the movements of their assignment so far.
"So, I wonder if Kilt Boy is one of those stay at home
types, or if he's going to have us chasing him all over the
bloody city." Bodie mused to his partner.
Doyle chuckled. He had wondered how long it would take for
Bodie to come up with a nickname and a not very flattering
one at that. "Him?" Doyle let a speculative smile grace
his lips. "I'd say you're in for some serious driving
mate. He doesn't strike me as the stay at home type at
all. Not at all."
"Bloody marvelous," Bodie began, but stopped moving back in
his seat as a taxi pulled up in front of the hotel. A
stunning woman got out with platinum blonde hair, wearing
the shortest dress possible and the highest shoes
imaginable. Whistling through his teeth, Bodie gestured to
the female with his head as his eyes drank her in.
Everyone at he Hotel entrance had stopped to stare at her
and the female seemed to lap up the attention as she swayed
her hips just a little more.
Doyle gave a wicked chuckle, seeing the doorman nearly fall
in his rush to offer aid, despite the fact the female had
no luggage. In fact the woman only laughed, the sound
carrying even across the traffic and Doyle breathed out
deeply in appreciation.
"Now that, is what I call a woman!" Bodie enthused, his
eyes tracking his target like a heat-seeking missile. "I
wonder how much that costs?" He mused.
"More than you can afford on a humble civil servants wages,
sunshine." Doyle replied with a snort of amusement. "And
keep your mind on the job. I don't want your brains
slipping into your trousers for the rest of the
"My brains are in their usual place, thank you very much."
Bodie replied, slightly offended.
"My point exactly." Doyle retorted in a low mutter.
"I heard that." Bodie growled, as his partner fended off a
scowl with a raised arm.
"Speaking of being able to afford things, what if she's for
MacLeod?" Doyle mused, momentarily forgetting his own rule
about not provoking Bodie in an enclosed space. A very
unamused grunt was the only reply he got before the other
fell into one of his famous silences. Sighing, Doyle
glanced at his watch, wondering how long they would have to
sit here. At this rate it was going to be a very long and
Sitting up straighter in his seat two hours later, Doyle
raised a brow, seeing the main doors of the Mayfair open
and the stunning blonde from earlier emerged, to casually
slip on her sunglasses. Then as if on cue MacLeod stepped
out of the foyer of the Mayfair and glanced around before
donning his own pair of sunglasses. The blonde turned to
MacLeod and laughed at something he said before she reached
up on tiptoes to plant a quick kiss on his lips. Still
smiling she linked her arm through MacLeod's and smiled at
the puce doorman. Grinning in delight, Doyle shook Bodie
awake as the hotel limousine pulled up and the happy couple
climbed in. "Wakey, wakey, Bodie. MacLeod's on the move."
Bodie grunted, jumping slightly. "I wasn't asleep," he
protested reproachfully reaching for the keys and starting
the Capri's powerful engine. Waiting to see which
direction the limousine went, Bodie checked his mirrors
then easily slipped into the early evening traffic.
"Yeah, yeah, you were just resting your eyes, I know."
Doyle shot back with a grin. "Not going soft on me are you
"You'll keep. I'll show you soft next time I see you on
the practice mat." Bodie returned.
Doyle snorted. "Well I'll give the guy one thing," he went
on ignoring Bodie's teasing glare. "MacLeod's got stamina.
That blonde bird's been in there two hours, and it doesn't
look as if he's even broken a sweat."
"Really?" Came the acid reply. "Well Einstein, maybe he
just hasn't got what it takes to satisfy a real bird."
Bodie shot back.
Doyle decided that he had better not dignify that one with
an answer- Bodie was driving after all.
Bodie stared morosely out the car window at the handsome
couple having dinner across the street in the Italian
restaurant. It had started raining, which meant keeping
the windows shut and the heaters on. It made the car
uncomfortable, muggy and stuffy. This was the worst part
about covert assignments, the sitting and waiting. The
inactivity and boredom, especially when you had a subject
that was having just a little too much fun with a drop-dead
gorgeous woman. Bodie noted how familiar the woman was
with MacLeod, and vice versa until he had to begrudgingly
conclude that she was probably a friend of MacLeod's rather
than a Call Girl. Pity....
Then again he wasn't sure if
that made him feel better or worse. "We're in the wrong
business, Doyle. You realize that?" Bodie observed
breaking the companionable silence that had settled in the
car over the last few hours.
Doyle grunted agreement. "Especially if it gets you into a
restaurant like that. With friends like that." He added
as an after thought. You could learn a lot from somebody
by watching them when they believed they were unobserved,
and Doyle had watched the couple very closely.
Bodie noted that Doyle had come to the same conclusion
about the woman, which probably meant he was right. He
trusted Doyle's judgement on such things more than his own
sometimes for his partner had always been a better judge of
human nature than himself. Had to be Doyle's Copper
he silently pondered. You didn't exactly
need to be a great judge of character, in the army, to know
that anyone on the other side was probably out to kill you.
They sat there for another hour, as MacLeod and his partner
enjoyed a five-course meal followed by coffee.
"Well, now we know where he gets all his energy." Doyle
quipped, not surprised when Bodie could manage no more than
a snort of disgust. It seemed to sum up the evening
MacLeod signaled the waiter for the bill and threw another
glance out the window at the Capri parked a little way down
the street. He had noticed it after the limousine had
dropped them off - something had woken his sixth sense and
he just knew they were watching him. Dammit, it was
probably an Interpol tail.
He hated being watched as it
always put him on edge and made him feel exposed.
His name followed by a light caress on his hand brought
MacLeod's attention back to the matter at hand and he found
Amanda peering at him. There was an expression of concern
on her pretty face as a waiter stood patiently at his side
with the bill on a small silver platter. Without looking
at the total, MacLeod handed over his credit card and
acknowledged the man's 'thank you' with a nod.
"What's the matter Duncan?" Amanda questioned, taking his
hand and bringing it to her lips to place a caressing kiss
on the tips of his fingers. "Is it that car outside? It
is, isn't it." She answered herself when he didn't reply.
"Aye. It's starting to annoy me." MacLeod returned, not
surprised that Amanda had picked up on the tail.
"I noticed it when we pulled up. Do you think we should do
something about it? It's not something I should worry
about, is it?"
"No. I think I know who it is. I'll leave it, see what
else they do." MacLeod broke off as the waiter returned
with the credit card slip for him to sign. He did so and
they left the restaurant when the Mayfair limousine arrived
out front. Casting a discrete glare at the shadowed silver
car, MacLeod hastily helped Amanda into the spacious car
and climbed in also. As they pulled out onto the road,
MacLeod kept a careful watch in the driver's rear view
mirror, both riled and vindicated when the Capri pulled out
to follow several cars behind.
From the look on his face, Amanda figured that the car was
still following them, and she nibbled her lower lip in
genuine worry. In fact she had begun to worry about Duncan
a lot lately. It was nothing Duncan had done or said
directly, but there were subtle things that troubled her.
For she knew the signs well. Duncan was getting broody
again, he did it every five or six decades when he would
start to search for a mortal companion to settle down with
and have a normal life. And no matter how many times it
ended in disaster Duncan just kept on doing it.
sighed, judging that it was probably time she rang Connor
to warn him for she knew he was in London and he would want
to know how best to snap Duncan out of such a mood. Why
Duncan didn't take her advice and play the field like she
, Amanda had no idea. But she supposed that was what
made Duncan MacLeod the man she adored and she sighed
contentedly, snuggling into his solid warmth. It just
pained her to see him so out of sorts.
When the limousine stopped outside the hotel MacLeod
escorted Amanda out of the car and tipped the driver
generously, glancing at the shadowed Capri parked across
the road. Thanking the driver, he followed Amanda into the
"Who are they Duncan?" Amanda asked quietly as they entered
the lift. Duncan's suite was on the 17th floor.
"Interpol I think." MacLeod answered. "I'll explain
later." He continued, raising an eyebrow and inclining his
head at the young man in uniform who was operating the
lift. He saw the young valet blush at the smile Amanda
directed the child's way.
Waiting until they were alone, Amanda pounced on Duncan,
helping him shut the room door. "Come on Duncan, give!
What is this whole Interpol thing?" She demanded. "You're
not in any trouble are you?"
"No Amanda, I'm not in any trouble." MacLeod assured with
a wry smile.
"It's not about me, is it? I mean, they're not here
"No Amanda, they're not here because of you." MacLeod
replied in amusement, wondering what she had been up to
recently to be this paranoid. It wouldn't be the first
time that he'd had unwanted involvement with the police
because of the beautiful thief.
"Then tell me what this is all about Duncan. I can't leave
if you're in trouble, I won't leave!"
"Amanda, I told you, I'm not in trouble and this is nothing
for you to worry your pretty head over." Mac insisted,
cupping Amanda's face with his hands and leaning in to
place a kiss on her parted lips. "Now lets forget about
who ever it is that is unlucky enough to be stuck out there
on a night like this, and get on to more interesting
pursuits." He finished with a flourish, sweeping her up
into his arms and whisking her into the bedroom.
Doyle sighed, if he had to put up with Bodie's grousing
much longer he would not be responsible for his actions,
and he was certain that no jury in the country would
convict him. "Goddamit Bodie - will you shut up! We're
stuck here until the night guys arrive - if Control can
spare a relief team - and I can tell you, sunshine, I don't
want to hear anymore about how much you can't stand this
guy. Okay!?!" Doyle exploded, ignoring the slightly
stunned look his partner was throwing at him. "Now, I'm
going to find somewhere that sells edible food under ten
quid, so that leaves you with Kilt Boy!" Not waiting for a
reply he excited the car, slammed the door, and went in
search of dinner.
Bodie watched his partner's back as the other strode away.
He supposed he had been laying it on a bit thick, but he
was still smarting from the almost botched job they'd been
on before they got landed with this plum
assignment. A fucking babysitting Job!
babysitting. He supposed he shouldn't be taking it out on
Doyle though, for it was hardly Ray's fault. Bloody
Ten minutes later Doyle returned with coffee and sandwiches
from a late night dinner he'd found down the road.
Settling into the passenger seat he handed Bodie one of the
paper coffee cups and one of the film wrapped sandwiches.
Steadying the cup on the dash, Bodie sniffed at the
sandwich, suspicious of the sly grin on his partner's face.
"Jesus Doyle. You know I can't stand liverwurst!" He
exclaimed, barely resisting the urge to throw the offending
sandwich out the window.
"Oh, sorry mate. I forgot." Doyle returned, his best
contrite look gracing his face.
"Yeah, right. And I'm a sodding monkey's uncle," Bodie
muttered under his breath, knowing full well this was
Doyle's way of paying him back. "Just for that, you can
take the first walk around the Hotel." He finished,
glaring up at the dark expanse of building before them.
At night, the jungle of civilization differed little from
the jungles of Angola.
He couldn't wait until their
relief arrived, if they got relieved,
Doyle had been
right about that point. The mood Cowley had been in
earlier didn't suggest they would get much rest this night.
May 24th 1980. London.
A light tap on the glass near his ear brought Bodie to full
alert with a start and he cursed as the sudden movement
caused him to bang his knee on the dash. Turning the full
force of his glare out the driver's window he found his
view obscured by a thin film of condensation. Growling to
himself in displeasure and ignoring the chuckle from Doyle
he wound down the window to find a young man standing
beside the car, dressed in the royal purple and gold piped
uniform of the Mayfair Hotel. The young man, obviously a
waiter, smiled down charmingly before gesturing to the
large tray he held.
"Good morning, Sirs." The waiter began. "I've been asked
to bring you breakfast. Compliments of Mr. MacLeod in room
Bodie simply stared at the man, wondering when some idiot
with a microphone was going to step out from behind a
telegraph pole and yell 'smile, you're on candid camera'
"Excuse me, what did you say?" He asked, because he
couldn't have heard the waiter right.
"Breakfast Sir." The young waiter repeated. "Compliments
of Mr. MacLeod. He rang room service this morning and said
that there might be two very hungry and cold gentlemen
outside in a silver Capri that might just like a hot
breakfast. So, here you are Sirs." He finished by
propping the tray on the bonnet of the car and holding out
one of the covered dishes to Bodie.
"Well come on mate, don't just sit there with your jaw
dragging on the ground, give me one of those. I'm
starving." Doyle chimed in, prodding Bodie in the side.
"Never look a gift horse in the mouth." He was having a
hard time suppressing the laughter that threatened to spill
out at the stunned look on Bodie's face. So, MacLeod had
spotted them last night,
very interesting, perhaps there
would be more to this assignment than he'd first imagined
He wondered when exactly they had blown their cover,
Doyle smiled at MacLeod's obvious sense of humor. Then he
groaned, realizing they'd have to tell the Cow that their
covert status had been blown wide open. Christ but the
old man was not going to like that. Maybe he could blame
it on Bodie....
Dismissing that mischievous idea, Doyle
blinked up as something hot and smelling of bacon was
shoved into his hands.
"You get to tell the Cow about this." Bodie growled,
glaring at the plate of bacon, eggs and sausages that was
now sitting in his lap and trying very hard not to be
grateful for it, as his saliva glands and stomach made it
known that he had been neglecting them for far too long.
"Alright." Doyle agreed far too easily. "But I'm eating
this first. Don't want to face the firing squad on an
empty stomach." Doyle returned, tucking into his food.
"I'll just be off back to the restaurant now Sirs." The
young waiter inturruped them a second time. "The breakfast
crowd is big this morning. I'll leave word with John, the
Concierge, that when you're done I'll pick up the dishes
"Thanks." Bodie muttered around a mouthful of bacon and
eggs, watching the young Mayfair waiter return to the
"Didn't your mother ever teach you not to speak with your
mouth full?" Doyle teased, looking down his nose at his
Bodie chose to ignore the bait, concentrating on his
Both men finished their meal in silence before Doyle broke
the companionable atmosphere. "Well, I guess I'd better
tell the Cow the good news." He mumbled picking up his R/T
from the dash with a heavy sigh. "Mind you I haven't eaten
like that in years.
"Think we can claim it on expenses?" Bodie asked absently,
his eyes now trained on all the people entering and leaving
the posh interior of the Mayfair. He hated to be upstaged,
especially by a bloody Scot.
"In your dreams, mate." Doyle muttered and raised the R/T
to his lips. "4.5 to base. Come in base."
"Go ahead, 4.5."
"Patch me through to Alpha One." Doyle asked, checking his
watch and seeing it was close to 7am. This time in the
morning, the Cow would be up and on his way to the
"Patching you through now 4.5."
"Thanks." Doyle acknowledged, waiting for the connection
to be made.
"I trust this is urgent Doyle as I have a meeting with the
Cowley's tone was gruff and Doyle pulled a face, hearing
Bodies' snort of amusement before lifting his R/T back up
to his mouth. "I believe it is, Sir." He started,
choosing his words carefully. The shit was going to hit
the fan regardless. Looks like a refresher course was
"Contact has been made. Sir." He added the
'Sir' hastily on the end.
"Contact?!" Cowley grouched bad-temperedly over the line.
"I never authorized you to make...."
Cowley's voice trailed off and Doyle could almost picture
his bosses displeased scowl. He winced, glancing at Bodie.
"I see, 4.5." Cowley ended tartly. "How did that occur?"
"Don't know Sir." Doyle asked honestly, deciding not to
beat around the bush, offering no excuses and knowing that
none would be accepted. "But I suspect he was either
tipped off, or he expected to be followed. Maybe Interpol
warned him before he left Paris. Sir."
"Very well," Came the measured reply. "Make formal contact
with MacLeod and explain the situation to him." Cowley
returned. "Keep me informed. Alpha One out."
Doyle released a breath he had not been aware of holding
and glanced over at his partner. "Well, I guess we go up
to room 701 and get the introductions over with."
"Oh joy." Bodie replied with heavy sarcasm, handing his
breakfast plate over to Doyle and exiting the car without a
Doyle glared at his partner's broad back then down at the
dishes in his hands, placing them both on the recently
vacated seat before getting out of the car himself.
Gathering up the plates, he placed them on the tray still
sitting on the bonnet of the car, then locked the Capri.
The posh neighborhoods were the worst for thieves.
Catching up with Bodie, Doyle heard his partner give the
Concierge instructions regarding the dishes, receiving a
polite nod in return. He entered the Mayfair foyer,
feeling Bodie beside him, glancing back once at the
Concierge and seeing the man's displeased glare. "Oie," he
nudged Bodie in the ribs. "I think you forgot to tip the
"He'd be bloody lucky," Bodie muttered, his dark blue eyes
scanning the immaculate interior expertly.
Dismissing Bodie's curt words, Doyle went to the lifts and
pressed the up button, bouncing on his toes and getting his
mind into proper order, knowing this first meeting with
MacLeod was vital. He just prayed his unpredictable
partner didn't immediately put the Scot into an
Reaching the 17th floor they found the door marked 701 in
bold brass gothic lettering and Doyle made an 'after you
gesture' to his partner. He figured that after the past
twenty-four hours of hell Bodie had put him through, he
would stand back and let his partner handle the
pleasantries. It was going to be fun to watch Bodie try
and mind his manners within MacLeod's presence.
Bodie just glared at Doyle, knowing what his perverse
partner was doing and taking up the challenge. Stepping up
to the door, he knocked loudly, a perfect imitation of the
clichéd policeman's knock. He was about to try again when
there was the sound of a chain being removed and a stunning
semi-naked blonde woman confronted him.
Amanda had a fair idea who it was banging on the door,
she'd heard that particular knock too many times to mistake
it, besides Duncan had told her a little of what was going
on - but only after she'd worn him out. Although much to
her annoyance he wasn't telling her everything. Like the
name of the Immortal who had challenged him. He'd also
insisted that she leave town immediately, extracting a
promise from her, and growling that she would do as she
was damn well told for once
. It would have been cute, if
she wasn't so worried about him. Then Duncan had added
insult to cuteness by having the gall to make her repeat
her promise with her hands in plain sight. She would have
been miffed if she hadn't actually had her fingers crossed.
Well, if Duncan thought she was going to leave this alone,
he had another thing coming.
Oh, she planned to keep part
of her promise, no fingers crossed, but she also planned to
contact Connor and fill him in on the situation. All
Duncan's talk of responsibility and honor was
insignificant, making her teeth ache - she was more
concerned with something happening to him in this brooding
state. And now he had to involve the police.
As a rule,
she disliked the police, but maybe she could have some fun
with these two plain clothed men. After all, it wasn't
often she got the chance to play with the law with relative
It was with that thought firmly in mind that she opened
the door at the brisk, businesslike knock. Peeking out
with an innocent, girly smile full of charm, Amanda found
herself facing a tall, well-built and very handsome man.
The only distraction to his masculine beauty was the scowl
presently decorating his face. "Oh my," she gushed in her
best vacant voice. She hadn't realized that the plain
clothed police were so dashingly handsome. Would almost
be fun to get caught....
"You must be room service," she
said impishly, turning back into the room before the
stunning man could answer. Calling out to Duncan in an
exaggerated sexy tone, Amanda sent her sometimes lover a
mischievous wink. "Duncan honey, you shouldn't have.
Really. This one is soooo
"Amanda." MacLeod warned under his breath.
"He didn't." Bodie interrupted, his face and tone
completely neutral as he pushed the suite door open and ran
assessing eyes over the room.
Doyle hid a grin. Yes, this was definitely going to be an
"Bodie. CI5." Bodie stated, thrusting his ID under the
semi-naked female's nose. He'd seen women in less
clothing, had busted birds with equally appealing breasts,
long legs, pale, touchable softness....
throat, Bodie lifted an eyebrow, banking down on his
appreciation of her feminine form. "This is Doyle."
Doyle flashed the woman a quick smile, his eyes not missing
a single curve, taking out his own ID and centering his
attention on MacLeod. The Scot looked amused and he
wondered how many times this attractive female had pulled
this trick on the male of the species.
"We're here to see Mr. MacLeod." Bodie informed the
pouting female, reaching over to pick up what looked like a
hastily discarded bra that was hanging off the side
lampshade. A 32D-cup if he wasn't mistaken.
it to the woman and gave her a charming grin.
"Oh, you mean you're not room service?" Amanda exclaimed
with a disappointed little frown and a seductive batting of
her lashes. Taking the offered bra she sighed sensually.
Growing impatient with the female's persistent teasing,
Bodie tore his eyes away from her artful stance to glare at
MacLeod. If this were his bird he wouldn't parade her in
front of unannounced visitors.
"Amanda, give it a rest." MacLeod advised, stepping
forward and taking the towel from over his shoulders and
wrapping it around Amanda's skimpily clad figure. She
would be the death of him at this rate
and MacLeod sent
the two police officers a tight smile. He was only dressed
in a pair of sweat pants, his long hair damp and loose from
their playful shower and he noted with interest how swiftly
both men at his door assessed him with professional
interest. So maybe they were not police
and he peered at
the ID badge the curly-haired man held up a second time.
CI5? Now where had he heard about that law enforcement
agency? From Fitzcairn? Probably.
"Amanda, why don't
you go and get dressed." He told her, giving her a pat on
he behind for good measure.
"But Duncan sweetie," she started, bending gracefully
forward, displaying a nice length of taunt thigh muscle and
inviting cleavage. "I haven't had any breakfast yet."
"You'll survive." He informed her with a slight growl.
Covering his smile, Duncan shook his head. She could be so
naughty when bored. Or when she wanted something. Right
now he couldn't decide which it was. Going up to her he
physically shoved her in the direction of the bedroom,
allowing his two guests into the room before closing the
door. "Make yourself at home." He gestured to the
comfortable lounge in the center of the suite. "Get
dressed Amanda, or you'll be late for your flight." He
stated pointedly, throwing a behave-yourself look over his
shoulder at her.
Amanda stuck her tongue out at him in retaliation, then
sauntered with an exaggerated sway of her hips in the
direction of the suites massive bedroom. She stopped by
the dinning table and gingerly picked up the silk stockings
she'd discarded there the previous night, running them over
her fingers in a blatant manner. Duncan could be such a
she decided, sighing
dramatically and imagining Duncan's wince at her over the
top display. Serves him right for wanting to shove her
out of the way into a safe place. When will he learn that
sometimes you have to trust your friends?
second time, she purposely let her eyes caress the tall,
dark-haired CI5 agent, liking his dangerous, smoldering
appraisal. What she couldn't do with such a man,
wrinkled her nose up in delight. Then just as quickly
turned and provocatively walked into the bedroom, shutting
the door with a definite snap.
Doyle caught the interesting by-play and the resigned look
on MacLeod's face and stifled his grin. Bodie was easy
bait - governed by his overactive hormones
, and Doyle
turned away to look around the room. Clothing decorated
various pieces of furniture, some feminine and some of a
more masculine nature and he had to summarize that MacLeod
and this 'Amanda' had enjoyed a prolonged sexual romp the
previous evening. That would do wonders for Bodie's
fantasies and overall opinions about MacLeod
, and Doyle
shook his head. Didn't Bodie tire of the numerous birds
he chased and bedded? Apparently not
, and abruptly Doyle
found his mood was souring. Pulling his mind back to the
assignment he settled his eyes on MacLeod again and
wondered what the Scot saw in the mischievous 'Amanda' -
besides great sex. What about a meaningful
He didn't figure MacLeod for the type to go
for airheads, so there must be more to the bottle blonde
than met the eye. But what had been seen was definitely
top class. Poor Bodie....
"So how can I help you gentlemen?" MacLeod asked breaking
the strained silence after Amanda's departure. She could
really make a mood or shatter it. In this case he wasn't
sure her feminine charms had been very well received. The
curly-haired agent - Doyle - didn't seem bothered, but
the smooth dark-haired agent looked like he wanted to kill
something. MacLeod could sympathize, for he'd sometimes
had a similar feeling after spending a prolonged amount of
time in Amanda's exasperating company
"We have reason to believe that you are aware that Interpol
are investigating a man by the name of Bruce McKellen. And
that you are a prime target for this man." Serial
, but Doyle left that unsaid, seeing MacLeod's raise
brow in interest.
"I'm aware of that." MacLeod stated evenly.
"We are here for your protection." Bodie continued the
word 'protection' coming out a little weaker than the rest
of the sentence. He saw MacLeod's eyes twinkle in
amusement and gave the man a tight humorless smile.
"I don't need protection. But thank you." MacLeod stated,
just as politely.
"It wasn't an offer." Doyle cut in before Bodie could
stuff up the assignment more. "How long do you intend to
stay in London, Mr. MacLeod?"
"A few days. A week at the most." MacLeod shrugged, not
liking the sound of this. Where they planing to chaperone
He hoped not.
"We'll need details of your proposed itinerary." Doyle
stated, walking away from the lounge and idly studying the
contents in the suite. Very little missed his expert eye
and he walked behind MacLeod before going to stand next to
his silent partner. He caught a glimpse at Bodie's pinched
expression and hid his smile. At this rate MacLeod could
be forgiven for thinking they were playing 'good cop, bad
"This is unnecessary." MacLeod started to protest.
Doyle shrugged, unconcerned. "You either tell us, or we
shadow your every move." We'll do it anyway
, he added
silently, watching MacLeod's brows draw down in annoyance.
So he wasn't so unflappable. Good. Bodie would like that
"I want to speak to your superior." MacLeod grated out.
How was he supposed to find McKellen like this?
"We'll see what can be arranged." Bodie grated out in a
Staring from one CI5 agent to the other, MacLeod debated
his options. He really didn't want to draw attention to
himself, so maybe he should play along. Besides he was
only planning on going to a charity auction that evening in
Oxford and it was unlikely McKellen would be there. If
worst came to worst he could lose the agents. Coming to a
decision he plastered on a cooperative smile and nodded.
"Very well." He went over and picked up his diary, seeing
that it was open at Connor's London address. Amanda!
And he cursed under his breath. Not that his cousin was
there at present
for he had tried ringing Connor earlier.
Still the sooner he got Amanda out of town the better.
Walking back to the CI5 men and putting on a studious look.
"I have a charity auction to attend this evening. Dinner
tomorrow night and maybe another auction the following
"Fine." Doyle nodded, taking out his note pad. "We'll
Modifying his glare, MacLeod begrudgingly complied. This
was going to prove very annoying.
Easing up behind the Hotel's Limousine when they arrived at
Oxford that evening, Bodie eyed the immaculate gardens, and
high-class visitors to this 'minor' function and charity
auction MacLeod had told them about. There was nothing
'minor' about this slice of high society, Bodie judged, his
scowl increasing. Waiting impatiently for the Limousine to
pull away, he purposely guided the Capri in front of the
valet and awaited service. But the young man in the smart
red uniform took one look at the car and promptly lost his
ingratiating smile, ignoring Bodie's glare completely as he
refused to open the door for Doyle. Both agents got out of
the car, Doyle waving his ID under the nose of the valet to
cut off the impending protest, whilst Bodie threw the keys
at the startled man. "And don't scratch the paint." Bodie
tossed over his shoulder grinning at his partner. Stopping
abruptly, Bodie looked down when he heard a pitiful meow
from somewhere in the vicinity of his left foot and found a
small feline looking up at him pleadingly. Startled to
find such a creature amidst such splendor, he scooped up
the cat, getting it off the road. "Bloody nuisance," he
muttered, dropping the cat just as quickly when it bit him.
Looking at his partner, Doyle grinned seeing the black cat
disappear down behind the main hall. Bodie had a way with
blonde birds, small children and dogs. But cats
just not on his partner's list of likeable converts.
With the first obstacle successfully overcome, the pair
entered the foyer of the Great Hall and stopped finding
themselves surrounded by patrons wearing tuxedos and satin,
pointedly reminding them of the class difference and their
state of being severely underdressed. Large flower
arrangements provided splashes of color amongst the dark
clothing. The murmur of low cultured voices a counterpoint
to the string quartet that was positioned at the back of
the entryway. Young women in maid's uniforms navigated
expertly through the crowd carrying trays of appetizers and
both agents managed a good imitation of casual nonchalance.
Both spotted MacLeod, their assignment's tall broad frame
and long ponytail instantly recognizable in the crowd as
MacLeod stood chatting easily to an older couple. White
uniformed waiters stood to the side of the entrance with
silver trays of Champagne Flutes and Bodie swept one up,
eyeing the man and daring him to protest. Wisely the man
chose to keep his opinions to himself.
"Bloody wonderful," Bodie muttered in an aside to his
partner, his eyes expertly sweeping the room and missing
Doyle rolled his eyes heavenward and for the hundredth time
that day prayed for strength. He hoped like hell that
Bodie could refrain from making a scene, no matter how
small, for he didn't feel like experiencing Cowley's boot
all the way into Macklin's refresher course. Then on top
of that, he also hoped that some petty official didn't come
along and give Bodie an excuse for starting a scene,
because then he would have to bail out his stupid, erasable
partner again, it was a full time job. Bloody hell, why
It was just the sort of thing that his sometimes-
contrary partner would derive enjoyment from and Doyle
could just imagine the debriefing in Cowley's office
afterwards. In fact the image was starting to make him
wince in advance, almost smelling the arrival of trouble.
Determinedly he stepped over to his partner's side, noting
how Bodie was already trying to charm one of the maid's
with his killer smile and Doyle scowled at his perverse
partner. Only 3.7
- problem was - the daft female had
already probably given his irresistible partner her phone
number, house key and bra size.
Doyle sighed, oh
well.... at least it kept Bodie happy and out of
and he placed a cautionary hand on
Bodie's arm. "Come on sunshine, you wouldn't want the poor
girl to lose her job for chatting to the guests. Now would
you?" Doyle interrupted. It only earned him a dirty
Bodie turned back to the pretty brunette and smiled his
patented smile. "See you around then love. This elderly
gentleman here needs my help."
The brunette smiled, blushed and murmured something along
the lines of - 'see you later.' Before giving Bodie one
last come-hither smile.
Doyle snorted. "I'll show you elderly next time we hit the
Bodie just grinned.
Then right on the dot of 8pm by some unseen signal the
crowd started moving and Bodie and Doyle trailed along
behind. They passed what looked like Greek or Roman
statues set at intervals down the long hall until they
reached a set of blue velvet draped partitions that
effectively cut the rest of the hall off from view. One
glance behind the curtains and they rightly assumed this
was where the Auction would be held.
"Lives of the rich and shameless," Bodie quipped to Doyle
as he smiled politely to one old lady who frowned at him.
"I keep expecting to see Cowley pop up at any moment."
"Nah, "Doyle intoned. "Not enough blood and guts."
"I keep forgetting. He likes establishments where men are
men and boys are-"
"Kept for better purposes." Doyle finished for his
partner, having heard the joke numerous times.
At the front of the hall rested a podium and a long
beautifully kept antique oak table. Running his eyes over
it Doyle knew one Scotsman who would be showing
appreciation for the magnificent items and table even as he
heard Bodie sigh impatiently beside him. But then his
partner of three years had long since compounded his
ignorance when it came to the fineries of life. Especially
if said items got in the way of the job. Doyle would never
forget the time they had gone to pick up a particularly
nice desk for the Cow....
and he grinned in memory now.
Then he had winced at the destruction of such
craftsmanship, but looking back, he now had to admit that
Bodie was right. He should have cut that desk loose
Around him the items displayed were beautiful
and Doyle assumed these were part of the auction. They
ranged from ornate vases to jewelry and a couple of swords,
which he assumed, were the reason why MacLeod was here.
Plus there were books, art pieces, statues and some old
"Oie," Bodie interrupted Doyle's appraisal of the table by
nudging his partner in the ribs. "The food, and-"
"Brunette," Doyle supplied in an aside voice.
"Kilt Boy," Bodie corrected with a patient look. "..are
back here, mate." He scanned the filling area and nodded
his head minutely towards the figure of MacLeod. Three
absolutely gorgeous women surrounded the man and Bodie let
his scowl deepen. "Unless you want to collect more antique
junk, I say we move."
Hearing the slightly clipped tone, Doyle had a fair idea of
its cause and smothered his grin. This assignment was
definitely going to supply him with ample material to goad
his partner with for years to come.
The Auctioneer had just called an intermission when Duncan
MacLeod felt the wash of a powerful presence assault his
senses. He scanned the crowd with difficulty, noting how
everyone was now making their way back out past the
partitions to where the light buffet had been arranged.
The other Immortal, whoever it was, seemed not be in the
immediate room, but he, or she, was close before the
presence faded almost as quickly as it had arrived.
Glancing back, MacLeod noted that his two watchdogs were
momentarily obscured by the retreating crowd and now would
be a perfect time to give them the slip. So was it
Walking calmly through the crowd, MacLeod made
his way to the fire escape doors at the far end of the
room, checking cautiously to make sure he was still
unobserved. Then he slipped out the door, leaving it
slightly ajar so he could use it to re-enter the hall if
necessary. Drawing his sword, he slipped passed the next
outer doors and side-stepped slowly along the wall of the
building, keeping his back to it.
MacLeod glanced around, annoyingly seeing no sign of anyone
and he extending his senses, moving hurriedly away from the
side of the building. The sense of presence had vanished,
and he doubted now that it was McKellen, for the Scottish
bastard would have stuck around for another challenge, or
at least for a few taunts at his expense
. Despite that
fact, MacLeod never felt comfortable unless he knew who the
potential enemies were, so he scanned the area, curious
what other Immortal would attend a charity auction and why
walk away without identifying themselves. Odd....
Bodie checked the crowd again, but he could not spot
MacLeod's distinctive form. Swearing he glanced over to
the other side of the room catching Doyle's eye. But his
partner shook his head negatively. No luck either
Turning, Bodie scanned the perimeter of the room again, but
nothing looked out of place, except for the staff setting
up for the second half of the Auction. Seeing Doyle had
started another sweep of the room, Bodie conferred with his
partner by silent finger signals and moved to the opposite
end of the room to begin the search.
Finding a fire door slightly ajar, Bodie caught Doyle's
attention with a whistle ignoring the looks from the
disapproving staff and guests. He didn't care. When Doyle
reached his side, they both drew their weapons and slipped
out, immediately finding the outside door and being greeted
with an empty walkway between the buildings. "Christ!"
Bodie spat under his breath, following Doyle's nimble
figure into the evening darkness. Squinting slightly in
the gloom after the brightness of the auction hall, both
agents turned when they heard the fire door whisper shut
Swearing Doyle took out his R/T and radioed base before
following his partner and keeping a cautious eye behind
them. The alleyway took them into a small courtyard and
more dark walkways between old stone structures.
Releasing a frustrated breath when the abrupt resurgence of
Immortal presence returned, Methos - alias Adam Taylor -
stood waiting in the shadows for his visitor to find him.
He wasn't sure he should be doing this, but he was
intensely curious about the man whom he'd briefly glimpsed
in the auction hall. He had read so much about Duncan
MacLeod the last time he had been in the Watchers, that he
was interested to know how far the Scottish barbarian had
come in the last two hundred years. Darius was very
optimistic of MacLeod's potential to take the Prize, which
was saying a lot. And out of curiosity - boredom
- he had kept tabs on the younger Immortal ever
since Darius had told him how intelligent the Highlander
was he had given his word reluctantly to the old priest
that he would watch out for Duncan MacLeod. One of his
weaker moments.... or simply the fact Darius had dragged a
promise out of him while drunk.
It didn't seem to matter
now for all his questions were about to be answered.
Cautiously approaching the end of the second walkway,
MacLeod stilled and let the timber of the buzz assaulting
him sink in. Taking a deep calming breath he raised his
sword to a defensive position and stepped out into the pool
of light provided by the security light on the building's
corner. "I'm Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod." He
stated, and found himself facing someone he had never met
before. Someone who looked impossibly young and who wasn't
holding a sword. The youthful man before him stood in a
seeming relaxed stance, but MacLeod noted that his right
hand was inside the long dark trench coat. Frowning
MacLeod tightened his grip on his katana, seeing that this
Immortal was lean, his face all planes and shadows broken
by the prominent nose, while he stood at the very edge of
the light. A cautious ploy.
"Soooo," a soft baritone drew the word out mischievously.
"You are Duncan MacLeod. I've.... heard of you."
The silky tones were low and colored with amusement,
sending a jolt through MacLeod. The gentle words washed
over him, lulling him by the other's English accent along
with something that he had never felt before. Almost but
not quite it was like a shock of recognition, of pieces of
a puzzle falling into place answering questions deep within
his soul. Only he had not known that there were any
puzzles or questions to answer...
. Ignoring the
disturbing feeling MacLeod took a breath. "Is that so," he
replied clearly and concisely. "And your name would be?"
He continued, relaxing slightly when the other showed no
"I'm here for the auction." Methos stated, giving
MacLeod's tuxedo a deliberate once over before a cynical
grin tugged at the corners of his mouth. "Thought I might
see if any of it was mine." He finished, purposely
ignoring the question. "Did you manage to pick up anything
Duncan MacLeod was having trouble keeping his jaw from
hanging open. Here he was having a conversation with a
complete stranger - an unknown Immortal - about what he
managed to 'pick up' at the auction, with his sword drawn
He found the whole situation veering towards the twilight
zone at an alarming rate and was just about to deliver an
irritated reply when the buzz of a second presence washed
over him. He fell again into a defensive stance, scanning
the area around him, noticing that the other man did the
"What is this, Immortal Grand Central!"
It was an irritated mutter from the young man in front of
him and MacLeod glanced across and glimpsed curiously that
the English Immortal had still not drawn a sword. He
obviously carried one
, seeing the pale hand move further
inside his coat.... so why hadn't he drawn it?
all this Immortal had done so far was to take a long
measured step backwards, placing his face in complete
shadow. Very clever.... MacLeod mused. It was obvious
this young Immortal had decided to show his face to him
Methos cursed silently to himself, fuck this was all he
needed! Another bloody Immortal on the scene!
not draw his sword, not with the likelihood of a bloody
Watcher lurking somewhere in the darkness. If he was
spotted and his description recorded it would ruin all his
future plans. So all he could do was step further back
into the shadows and hope that any Watcher either had bad
eyesight, or they were too busy watching MacLeod and the
new idiot about to descend on them. Fuck!
"Well, well, well.... two pigeons for the price of one."
A deep voice interrupted from its own shadows. The
Scottish burr more pronounced than MacLeod's. "I should
attend these type of auctions more often, for you never
know what you can pick up on sale."
"Your quarrel is with me, McKellen!" MacLeod growled, not
wanting to drag the unknown Immortal into the fight. This
was clan business, and with a shock he realized that his
protective instincts were in full force towards this
unknown English Immortal. Ridiculous! And he didn't
even know the young man's name, let alone history!
sensed innately that there was no threat and never would
be. Not like McKellen.
"My quarrel is with whoever I like, Highlander!" McKellen
snapped back peeved. "Including the skinny kid over
there!" McKellen growled back, waving his blade in the
A muffled, strangling sound emanated from the direction of
the young Immortal and MacLeod couldn't tell if it was
laughter or outrage. But the last thing he needed was for
this young fool to now draw attention to himself.
McKellen advanced further into the light, his Claymore
drawn but held in a seemingly negligent grip. "I'll kill
you first Highland dog, then I'll take your friend!"
"My, my.... aren't we all being so civilized." Methos cut
in with heavy sarcasm. "Don't let me interrupt the
reunion, just think of me as an interested bystander."
McKellen's head swiveled to glare in the direction of the
stranger, his expression altering from annoyance to outrage
in a second. "You!! I know that voice-" he gasped then
spat in disgust. "It is a voice I have vowed never to
forget!" He snarled, side-stepping to put distance between
himself and MacLeod, before advancing on the other
"Stop right there, McKellen!" MacLeod ordered, moving
forward in an attempt to keep himself between the other two
fighters. Damn the younger man's mouth! What was it with
young Immortals and the need to be brash in the face of
"Stay out of this, Highlander," McKellen snarled, slapping
the katana aside as he turned back to his tormentor with a
vicious grin lighting his lips. "Your sorry wolfshead is
mine, Loxley! Or what ever you call yourself now! And it
will be a pleasure taking it."
"Some other time perhaps, de Renault." Methos returned,
emphasizing the name and twisting it into an insult
expertly. Bowing slightly to Duncan MacLeod Methos backed
away further, intending to make his escape. He trusted
that MacLeod would delay the Scottish lunatic and that any
Watcher's would stick around to watch the fight. It was a
McKellen cursed, reaching into his pocket and taking out a
gun to shoot the retreating man before the other made it to
the corner of the building. The bullet slug slammed into
the slender man's chest causing him to grunt in pain and
fall backward to land in an inelegant sprawl on the cold
MacLeod blinked, hearing the groaned profanity and not
believing what had just happened. He turned to snarl his
rage at McKellen's dishonorable actions, instinctively
stepping between McKellen and the injured Immortal on the
ground with the intention of forcing the Scottish blaggart
to deal with him. "I challenge you! Or do you have no
courage for a fair fight!?!"
It was at exactly that moment that two figures came
skidding around the corner, guns drawn and shouting for
everyone to freeze. Both MacLeod and McKellen froze, both
hastily glancing in the direction of the CI5 agents.
Exhaling in frustration MacLeod backed up a step, already
trying to think of a way to explain the unexplainable as
McKellen roared in anger at the intrusion.
"You're bringing mortals into your fights now MacLeod?!"
McKellen demanded incredulously. "It's nice to learn that
you are not so honorable as many believe." He ended with a
MacLeod winced at the use of the word 'mortal' and hoped
that neither of his two hindrances understood the language.
He also dismissed the insult on his character, knowing
McKellen's past history and despising him for it. "Yewr
mine," he hissed back in deadly promise, switching to
Lowering his sword, McKellen made a show of complying with
the two CI5 agents request, before he spun around and
lifted his gun a second time. He fired two shots in quick
succession, seeing both mortals dive for cover as MacLeod
stepped back instinctively. Then he swore again and took
off at a run down one narrow walkway.
Bodie dropped flat as the bullets whisked past him, unable
to return fire for MacLeod stood in his line of sight. He
heard several shots from his left, seeing Doyle roll to one
side as the new assailant disappeared down another dark
alleyway. "Christ!" Bodie swore, hurriedly climbing to
his feet. If they weren't careful they would lose this
madman in the labyrinth of the University's grounds. And
he had the sneaking suspicion this was McKellen - the
serial killer who wasn't even supposed to be in London....
MacLeod cursed savagely, throwing a brief glance at the
unmoving form of the injured Immortal on the ground, torn
between going to him and covering his injuries, or chasing
McKellen. But then before he knew it he was heading toward
the same buildings as his rival, wanting McKellen with a
passion that bordered on insanity. This bastard had
killed, murdered for pleasure. Had slaughtered innocent
children, was systematically destroying his heritage.
wanted Bruce McKellen and centered his mind on finding the
depraved bastard before more died.
Climbing to his feet, Doyle swore viciously checking his
clip automatically. He was sure he had clipped the man in
the shoulder. Yet....
"Well this is going straight to
hell real fast!" He growled, glancing at Bodie. "That was
"No joke!" Bodie hissed, hurrying to the alleyway entrance
and cursing when MacLeod blocked his line of fire again.
"You go after them," Doyle ordered, stopping at his
partner's side and assessing the situation. "I'll call in
and check this one over." He snapped, gesturing to the
barely moving man on the ground. Cowley was not going to
like that fact a bystander was injured.
"Right." Bodie replied tersely. Taking a steadying breath
Bodie took one more look at his partner kneeling next to
the fallen bystander and set out in pursuit of MacLeod.
If he was lucky he could cut the man off behind the next
Letting his senses expand, he sought out the
telltale signs of a chase from the myriad noises that made
up the night, catching the faint sound of a curse in an
unknown language off to his left. Smiling, Bodie follow
MacLeod came to a halt feeling McKellen's presence faded
and he lost the echo of the big Scot's retreating
footsteps. Cursing loudly and graphically in Gaelic he
searched the area for signs of his quarry, knowing it was
futile but unable to just stand and do nothing. Then
behind him the sound of running footfalls on cobblestones
had him swiveling, automatically taking a defensive stance
with his sword raised when Bodie came into view. Breathing
out loudly, MacLeod dropped his sword down, peeved and
frustrated, knowing his watchdog was going to have
questions and not caring to answer them. "Shit," he
muttered not missing how Bodie refused to lower his gun as
the other man drew level with him.
Sliding to a halt, Bodie stared incredulously at MacLeod,
anger warring with respect at the expert way the Scot
handled the weapon. It took skill to use such a
weapon.... but this crap he didn't need
and he started to
wonder why MacLeod would bring a weapon like this to a
charity auction. Antique dealer or not!
the oddities, for he liked clear, easy fact. Doyle was the
one who enjoyed a mystery. Yet still.... a goddamn
sword? And a live edge by the looks.
put the sharp object down before you hurt yourself." Bodie
ordered, ignoring the scowl directed at him by MacLeod. He
was not going to get into an argument with this Scot for he
was a firm believer in letting Cowley do the
interrogations. Besides he figured any explanation MacLeod
now offered would probably be a lie. "Pick that up at the
auction did we?" Bodie asked with false pleasantness,
already knowing the answer. "I don't remember seeing it on
display, and I would have remembered something like that."
MacLeod eyed the tense operative, his scowl deepening with
every second. This was not going to be as easy as it had
been in Paris. Lowering the katana even more, MacLeod
chose not to answer the agent, going instead for a
belligerent silence. At this point he was probably a lot
safer with silence than explanations. Bodie would never
believe the truth anyway....
Noting the closed stance and tight-lipped scowl directed
at him, Bodie figured that MacLeod was not feeling inclined
towards being co-operative, and that just pissed him off
more. He had an innocent bystander shot, possibly dead
and this damned Scot had developed a case of lockjaw?
This jackass had just placed him and Doyle in danger, an
and if there was one thing he was not
going to allow it withholding vital information. Not when
it could mean his partner's life. Lowering his gun but not
returning it to its holster Bodie decided he was going to
get some answers. "Listen up MacLeod, I don't care who you
are and I don't care what sort of friends you have in high
places! When you are under our protection you will damn
well do as you're told! And that means you don't sneak out
the back door and get innocent people killed!!" Bodie
hissed, gesturing to the alleyway behind him. If the
bystander died Cowley would eat them for breakfast.... the
Home Office would suspend them and the media would crucify
MacLeod took exception to the other's tone almost
immediately. It looked like this Bodie was going to be one
of those men who just rubbed him the wrong way from the
very start and he painstakingly dismissed his own anger.
Bodie was an arrogant child who thought he knew it all and
didn't have the brains to know when he was wrong.
agent's words did give MacLeod a guilty start when he
mentioned the other Immortal as an 'innocent bystander'.
MacLeod was almost positive that the wound was a fatal one,
and dreaded to think what would happen now if the other
Immortal came back to life before his body hit the morgue.
Dammit all to hell....
he swore to himself again. This
was a complication he didn't want to face. For it would
mean the other Immortal would have to leave England, change
names and set up a new identity. All because this English
Immortal had wanted to attend an auction.
"It is my
fault," MacLeod whispered to himself, not realizing he had
spoken the words out loud. Lifting his eyes he saw Bodie
frown at him and MacLeod sighed. He would have to make it
up to the other Immortal. Find out his name and offer
assistance. Offer him a life out of England.... perhaps
even get Amanda's help.
It was the least he could do.
Bodie took in the cold hard expression on MacLeod's face
and decided that returning to the auction was probably the
best course of action. They had after all lost the suspect
and running around unfamiliar territory at night with a
sword-wielding-gun-toting-nutcase on the loose was not a
good idea. Besides he had a 'sword-wielding-nutcase'
currently in his custody which was enough to think about at
present, and Bodie promised himself that sometime soon
MacLeod would explain. "Okay Sir Lancelot, let's pack it up
and get back to the auction hall."
MacLeod hesitated, hearing the jibe at his character and
ignoring it also. He was reluctant to give up the chase,
even though he knew it was hopeless and one look at the
determined expression on Bodie's face confirmed his worst
nightmare. With a silent curse in the direction McKellen
had taken, MacLeod re-sheathed his katana and then gestured
for Bodie to lead the way back towards the auction
Turning his thoughts away from the chase with difficulty
and banishing the concern he felt for his partner being
alone with no one at his back, Doyle approached the young
man on the ground and knelt down. His fingers
automatically searched for the carotid checking for a pulse
and he let his gaze assess the amount of bleeding with an
expert eye. Under his fingers Doyle found the pulse beat,
weak and fluttery, his eyes returning to peer down at the
victim's blood stained hands that were clutching the long
coat determinedly closed. It was an odd gesture, and Doyle
gently tried to pry the fingers away only to be met with
firm resistance. It baffled him and he glanced back up at
the man's pale face, seeing very white teeth bite into a
bloodied lip with grim determination. The young man looked
to be a student, not one of the well-dressed patrons from
the auction in progress and Doyle cursed again. He just
hated it when innocent bystanders got dragged into the
middle of such needless disputes. It was so unjust!
Pulling out his R/T, Doyle let his gaze travel the length
of the student's body, seeing the shivers and knowing the
man was going into shock. Shit!
"4.5 to Base." He said
in a no nonsense voice. "I have a man down and require an
Ambulance at-" checking around the area, Doyle wondered if
this causeway had a name. "I'm at the back of the main
faculty hall. Oxford campus. 3.7 is on foot in pursuit of
suspect. Require backup. Repeat, requiring back up.
Patch me through to the medics when they're rolling." He
"Base to 4.5. Acknowledged. Complying." Came the
efficient voice of the female dispatcher on the other end.
Placing the R/T on the ground next to him Doyle set about
assessing the man's condition, already knowing he was not
going to like what he found. Problem was this student was
also a witness....
Reaching down Doyle went to open the
bloodied long coat a second time and found surprisingly
strong fingers still barring his way. He frowned letting
his worried gaze lift to see vivid green eyes now trying to
glare at him. Doyle had seen his fair share of glares in
his day and this one was amazingly direct, yet a little
Well he could well understand that and
sympathize. "Come on mate," Doyle whispered in a
reasonable tone, hoping to relax his patient. "The medics
are on their way-"
It was grated out and Doyle raised a curious brow. He
didn't have time for this bullshit, for his partner was
alone with two maniacs. And unless he was reading the
signs wrong this young fool was going to die very quickly
if he didn't receive help. "Listen sunshine-"
"No." Methos repeated as he tried to warn the other off
with his eyes. But this stubborn man ignored his protests
and he groaned in a mixture of disbelief and pain. Fuck!
But he hated dying. Hated it even more when it was
His chest felt like it was on fire, a
heaviness settling insidiously over his entire body. The
weight of death was pulling him down and he knew there was
nothing he could do. So where the fuck was MacLeod!
Surely the self-righteous do-gooder he'd read about would
not leave him in the hands of this child, unless the big
beautiful Scot was dead. Or fighting. But surely....
Cutting off his thoughts, Methos coughed, struggling to
draw breath and catching one final look of the man leaning
over him so protectively. It made him want to laugh. The
man's eyes were filled with a useless anger, but also with
a kindness and fear. The round face was surrounded by
abundant curls, one cheekbone looking oddly disfigured.
Yet there was definitely compassion in the
darkening green eyes that drew him back for a brief moment
before he succumbed to the inevitable. He no longer had
any strength to fight the persistent hands and fingers that
tugged at his coat, his fingers turning numb as death
claimed all his limbs. Dropping his head back Methos
breathed out a painful breath. Shit!
Hearing the sigh, Doyle acknowledged that this time the
word was getting weaker, and he watched in growing concern,
hearing the other cough wetly. Disregarding niceties, he
pried the fingers loose and opened the ruined coat,
encouraged when the student continued to fight him, if only
weakly. It meant he had a chance....
and Doyle let his
eyes scan the damage, feeling his small surge of hope fade.
Damn! What a waste of a young life!
everything, and Doyle took in everything from the blood
sodden sweater, hairless chest to the blood splattered
white skin of this man's throat, seeing where the sweater
had ridden up. It was a mess, and he doubted there was
much he could do. The bullet had hit the student in the
center of his chest, and Ray Doyle cursed the murdering
bastard a second time shaking his head over the waste of
such a young life. Gently, but hastily he probed the
wound, seeing how the younger man winced in agony. "Sorry
mate," he whispered, feeling his charge start to shake in
delayed reaction. He no longer got any fight from his
patient and Doyle watched the long lashes come down before
a faint groan reached his ears. I'm going to lose him
he thought desperately, swiftly applying pressure to the
wound, knowing it was useless. "Bloody hell, where is that
medic!" Doyle snapped in frustration as he gingerly turned
this slender man over and reached under his back to feel
for the exit wound. It was there and huge. "Shit!"
Sitting back on his haunches, Doyle glanced around
helplessly before he raised blood stained fingers to feel
for a pulse again. It was hardly there and he was not
surprised to hear the slight exhale of breath as the body
under his hands went limp. "No-" he whispered, haunted by
the image of having seen too many lives lost for no reason.
Standing up, Doyle angrily kicked out at the cobbled
ground, before wiping his hands on his jeans leaving smears
of blood. It was such a damn waste.... So pointless!
Sucking in a deep breath to calm his anger, knowing Cowley
would berate him for his reactions, but he was not Bodie.
He was not capable of turning off his feelings so easily.
Shoving his frustration aside, Doyle went back to the body
and gently turned the young man again, searching for
identification. Some poor bastard would have the task of
telling the family and he didn't envy them. Not one bit
Behind him he heard a sound and prayed it was Bodie, only
to see a number of student's rush over and stare down wide
eyes. "Get back!" Doyle barked, not wanting to deal with
ghoulish spectators and inane questions.
The babble of voices behind him grew and Doyle pulled out
his badge and shoved it under a couple of noses. "Now I
want you all to get back! By that wall over there.
Move!" He ended the last word with a firmness that had the
half dozen or so students obeying instantly. Shaking his
head, he opened the dead student's wallet and checked the
One Adam Taylor. Born 1956, which made him around 24
Doyle calculated. Letting that information
sink in, Doyle wondered if he was doing a Masters in
English, or just a postgraduate course. Looking at other
items in the younger man's wallet, Doyle noted that
Taylor's current address was the University dormitory. The
few other items comprised only of three student cards, some
concession cards and about thirty pounds. No pictures, no
other information to suggest who they would have to contact
about his death. No phone numbers at all. Not even a
Squatting down again, Doyle kept a careful eye on the
growing number of onlooker's, as he silently prayed for
back up to arrive. He had not heard any other gun shots
echo around the grounds so had to assume his partner was
all right. Imagining anything else was pointless and
dangerous. Start down that road and.... Bodie just had to
be all right, just had to be.
Glancing at the wallet again, Doyle jumped when the man
next to him abruptly gasped. Frowning he stared at
Taylor's pale face, then tensed seeing and hearing the body
gasped a second time. Stunned, Doyle watched fascinated as
not only did Taylor gasp again but the young man also
lifted long lashes to reveal dazed eyes, his slender body
arching up in pain. Then the body lay still for a long,
"Bloody hell," Doyle muttered stunned, falling back
slightly in shock when the dead body twitched a third time.
Post death tremors? He speculated, not missing how the
body took a deeper, shuddering breath. It wasn't
in fact totally beyond the realms of
and Doyle swallowed as not only did he
hear another gasp of pain, but saw the long lashes flutter
open and stay open this time showing over bright eyes that
locked on him in anger and amusement. Amusement? What
Jumping as his R/T beeped, Doyle stared at it a moment
before his eyes went back to the breathing corpse at his
side. Was he imagining thing? Hallucinating?
up the annoying R/T Doyle depressed the call button.
"Patching you through to the medic as requested, 4.5."
Came the crisp response before Doyle heard more static and
then a deeper voice.
"We should be with you in ten minutes. Can you give us an
update on the emergency?"
Biting his bottom lip Doyle heard the urgency in the
medic's voice and he shook his head bemused before reaching
forward and feeling for the corpse's carotid again. Yep,
there was definitely a pulse where there had been
and he trailed his fingers down the blood soaked
sweater to expose bloodied flesh that now lacked the bullet
hole he had seen earlier. Meeting the green eyes watching
him, Doyle shivered, his mind trying to find justifiable
solutions, only seeing Taylor start to grin at him in
mischief didn't help matters. It was insane....
his R/T again, Doyle cleared his throat nervously. "Ummm,
can I get back to you on that?"
"But we were informed there was a shooting-"
"There appears to be some...." He took his finger off the
send button of the R/T and just looked at Taylor with
apprehension and growing distrust when the student sat up
and stretched. "Shit." He muttered before depressing the
R/T button again. "Take your time fellas, there's been a
"Now where have I heard that before-"
Not bothering to acknowledge the comment, Doyle's eyes were
riveted on the man sitting up in front of him. It was a
miracle.... It was impossible.
"Police, or...?" Methos opened the conversation not sure
what to do. In a different time, different place it would
be simple. He would just kill the witness. But times had
changed and so had he. It had been over five hundred years
since anyone had witnessed his demise like this and he
pushed down his immediate panic.
"CI5." Doyle said automatically.
Coughing slightly, Methos peered down at his damp blood
stained outfit and pulled a face. He hated wallowing in
blood, hated its smell and stickiness. Hated the
"What the hell is going on?!?" Doyle demanded, getting
past his initial shock and realizing Taylor was not
surprised to be sitting up uninjured. In fact he looked
mildly put out that his clothing was ruined.
what are you?!"
"I take it that's not a rhetorical question?" Methos
asked with a grin, absently fingering his wet sweater.
"You got that right!" Doyle snorted. "I saw you die. And
then.... then.... well, in my book you should be going to
the morgue. In a bag."
Regarding the CI5 agent, Methos saw the slight wildness
around the other's eyes and stifled a curse. "Trust me,
you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"I'm not having this conversation," Methos muttered
glancing around to see that a small crowd had gathered.
But he hoped there were no Watchers among them or
his cover would be ruined.
"Think again." Doyle growled.
Hearing the steel behind the tone, Methos turned back and
considered the agent. There was intelligence and honesty
reflected back at him. A depth of conviction that spoke of
a strong moral and ethical mind, plus fierce determination.
, and he let his smile grow. How long had it
been since he'd felt this reckless? This intrigued? First
MacLeod and now this man.
But the feeling was hard to
squash and he let a smile enter his eyes as he met this CI5
agent's frank stare. "I take it you are going to insist?"
"Too bloody right," Doyle confirmed.
Burying his own emerging smile as he saw how quickly the
student's large eyes became petitioning and innocent, Doyle
warned himself not to trust this man's mildness. It was
obviously a front. "Doyle." He said taking out his ID and
flashing it under Taylor's nose very briefly.
"Raymond Doyle." Methos mused just catching the full name
on the badge.
"So, you were going to explain, or do I need to haul your
arse down to Head Quarters and get my boss to extract the
Narrowing his gaze, Doyle nodded.
"Yes, I've read the paper." Methos muttered. In fact he'd
first heard of George Cowley forty odd years ago when a
mutual friend had talked about this young hot-headed Scot
who possessed all the tact of a rampaging German tank.
was an old memory now. "So what do you want to know,
officer?" Methos asked with just a touch of mockery.
"How...." Doyle floundered slightly, gesturing to the
vanished bullet wound. If it wasn't for all the blood and
the fact he had seen the man die with his own eyes, he
would say it had all been part of some weird drug induced
"Ah," Methos grinned. "Let's just say I have strong
"And let's just say you give me the goddamn truth before I
shoot you myself."
"I'm immortal, Raymond Doyle." Methos whispered in all
honesty, knowing that the truth was rarely believed. It
was his best defense until he could get away.
"Immortal?" Doyle questioned, his eyebrows rising in
disbelief. Was this another weird University cult thing?
Taylor looked normal, yet from experience he knew it took
all sorts of people to form cults. Yet the man had
"Precisely." Methos quipped. "Now can I get up? Or-"
Placing a hand on a narrow shoulder to stop Taylor from
rising, Doyle glared at him hearing his R/T sounded.
Bloody hell, how was he supposed to explain this to Bodie?
And where was his irritating partner?
"6.2." Murphy's unmistakable voice replied. "We're at the
front of the hall-"
"Stay there." Doyle cut Murphy off as he stood abruptly.
Reaching down he dragged Taylor up also. "I'm coming to
meet you." He added before shutting the R/T off. Then he
took a firm hold on his charge and started them moving
toward the front of the complex. He barely gave the few
persistent onlookers a glance, shoving Taylor in front of
"Doyle," Methos started in annoyance.
"Just shut up and walk." Doyle informed him. "You can
explain it when we get to an interrogation room."
"Oh brilliant!" Methos scoffed unimpressed.
Not trusting this man Doyle swiftly took out a set of
handcuffs and locked one around a slender wrist before
Taylor could protest.
"Insurance." Doyle told him with a grin.
"You're arresting me?" Methos asked stunned.
"No." Doyle told him reasonably. "You are now a material
witness and I am insuring your safety."
"And do you treat all witnesses this way Mr. Doyle?"
"Just the uncooperative ones."
"I'm sure there is a law against this-"
Dragging his reluctant prisoner forward, Doyle navigated
the old buildings expertly, meeting Murphy and Anderson at
the front of the immaculate hall. Anderson was on the R/T
and Doyle nodded in greeting to both men. "Bodie is-"
"Don't worry," Murphy assured him with a grin as his eyes
traveled over the bloodied figure beside Doyle. "Been
wrestling in a slaughter house again, 4.5?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." Doyle quipped,
pulling Taylor towards the car and handcuffing him securely
to the door. "Stay." He said condescendingly, reaching
over to pat Taylor's pale cheek. He would deal with
Taylor later. When he could think and when he knew Bodie
"Ray?" Murphy asked as the older agent came back towards
"Material witness." Doyle explained. "Adam Taylor."
"Only he's not so helpful?" Murphy guessed.
"Got it in one." Doyle said as he glanced back once at the
man behind him. Taylor was currently looking as peeved as
he felt. "Bodie?"
"Over near the library I think." Murphy said, gesturing to
a building behind him. "Anderson and I were just going to
relieve him of his burden before he kills MacLeod."
Suppressing a smile, Doyle could just imagine that. At
least his partner was okay. It was a relief. "Well, let's
"Ray," Murphy stopped him with a hand. "What happened," he
left the rest unsaid as he absently gestured to the man
handcuffed to the car.
"Taylor got caught in the cross fire," Doyle started.
Hell, but what could he say? What could he write in his
"And all the blood?"
"He got winged-"
"Christ, Ray." Murphy admonished. "I'll call the medics-"
"No." Doyle stopped him. "He's fine. Trust me."
"Ray!" Murphy whispered furiously, seeing Anderson, his
temporary partner, walk towards them. "If he's not a
suspect and he's injured then we-"
"Material witness, Murph." Doyle sighed. "And I checked
him over myself. It's all show. He's just got a bit of an
attitude and I'd rather we didn't lose him until Cowley's
Still not completely satisfied, Murphy refrained from
commenting as Anderson lit up a cigar.
"Bodie's requesting our presence." Anderson drawled in his
deep voice. "Is it okay to leave Egyptian boy cuffed to
"Egyptian boy?" Murphy and Doyle both said in unison.
"Either that or Arabic. I could never get those languages
straight regardless of Cowley's orders." Anderson
shrugged. "But he's cursing like a trooper."
Glancing back at the muttering man locked to the car, Doyle
felt awe eat through him as he remembered what he had just
witnessed. It was going to take a lot to wrap his brain
around it and come up with a coherent report. But first he
wanted to get to his partner and make sure Bodie was okay.
Make sure his idiot other half didn't shoot the
Then he would talk to Taylor again.
"So," Murphy started leaving the rest unsaid, but implied.
"I doubt he's going anywhere." Doyle said as he saw a
couple of uniforms turn up.
"Then after you my son," Murphy bowed, before following
Doyle and Anderson to where Bodie waited impatiently.
Keeping up a running monologue, Methos scanned the area
surreptitiously, making sure that no one was paying close
attention to him before fishing out a lock pick from his
coat pocket. The copper - Doyle - hadn't even bothered
to check for anything like that, must be his innocent face
he smirked to himself. Shielding the process with his
body, he picked the lock on the cuffs before getting the
attention of the nearest uniform. "Ummm, excuse me, but I
thought I saw those men over there trying to get your
attention." He said in his best 'I'm-just-a-poor-innocent-
student-caught-in-the-cross-fire' voice, pointing to where
the others had gathered around the Highlander.
"Oh, thanks." the man replied, tapping his partner on the
shoulder they made their way over to the indicated group.
"My pleasure," Methos murmured to himself as he placed the
cuffs neatly on the passenger seat, open. "I always like to
help the boys in blue." He finished with a tight grin,
before assuming his best 'I'm-so-innocent-butter-wouldn't-
melt-in-my-mouth' face and wandering off into the crowd
that had gathered to ogle the excitement.
Doyle approached the two men, his eyes automatically
scanning his partner needing to reassure himself personally
that Bodie had taken no injuries while out of his sight.
Both Bodie and MacLeod looked angry, studiously ignoring
each other and Doyle could well imagine that Anderson had
only been half joking about Bodie's desire to kill MacLeod.
"So, where's the suspect?" He asked casually.
"We lost him." MacLeod informed him.
"MacLeod lost him." Bodie emphasized pointedly before he
cast the Scot a deadly glare.
Doyle sighed with long suffering exasperation. For
supposedly grown men they acted a lot like children
he mused to himself while stifling a grin.
Neither man would appreciate the comparison.
"How's the shot student?" Bodie inquired, throwing another
glare at MacLeod. "Please don't tell me he died." He hated
Doyle swore to himself, how the hell was he going to
explain this to his partner,
he wasn't sure he believed it
himself yet, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Bodie noticed the troubled look and the hesitation and drew
the obvious conclusion. "Fuck! He's dead isn't he?" He
snarled, turning to MacLeod. "Okay Mr. High-and - Mighty
you had better think of some convincing arguments or that
will be the last time you taste fresh air for a very long
time!" Bodie snapped, jabbing an accusing finger into
MacLeod's chest for emphasis.
Doyle winced, then saw the pained look that flashed across
MacLeod's face before the expression was swiftly hidden.
Then only anger colored MacLeod's eyes and Doyle groaned,
knowing his partner's temper was going to land them in more
trouble with Cowley. "Bodie! That's enough. Taylor
is.... alive." He managed, pushing between his partner and
MacLeod and dragging Bodie away from the Scot with a
restraining hand. "Calm down, mate. Taylor was just
winged," he added firmly, wondering if he was trying to
convince himself of that fact of Bodie.
MacLeod shot a searching look at Doyle, instantly knowing
that the CI5 agent was lying. He knew damn well that the
shot had been fatal.... which meant that Doyle now knew
about Immortals. Noh!
"Taylor?" Bodie asked, noting the strange look directed at
his partner by MacLeod and trying to fathom the reason
behind it. "That was the kid's name?"
"That's his name." Doyle confirmed, narrowing he gaze as
he saw MacLeod's worried glance. MacLeod knew Taylor?
Not possible. Yet....
"Taylor is currently handcuffed to
the car and only a little worse for the wear." Doyle
assured as another even scarier thought entered his head.
MacLeod knew Taylor would revive? He knew about this
Doyle suddenly had a sinking feeling that
he and Bodie were getting into something way over their
heads. But who the hell would believe him?
"Handcuffed?" Bodie asked again, getting annoyed at
having to ask so many stupid questions and feeling like he
was definitely missing the plot somehow. "Ray?" He shook
Doyle's arm to recapture his attention. "You alright,
"Yeah," Doyle breathed, feeling far from all right.
"You went a horrible dusky color for a moment," Bodie
covered, forcing himself to step away from Doyle before he
did something stupid like hug him. He hated it when Ray
"Taylor is a little reluctant to tell his story," Doyle
covered. "You know how I dislike those uncooperative
types." He saw Bodie give him a warm smile. "So I made
sure he wasn't going anywhere. Not only is he involved
somehow in this mess, but he's also the only other witness
apart from MacLeod here. He could identify McKellen."
Doyle finished, gesturing to the silent Scot.
Bodie snorted. "McKellen is another bloody Scot. Isn't
he?" Bodie asked, settling a pointed look on their charge.
"They're worse than the Irish, if you ask me."
Choosing not to dignify that comment with a reply, MacLeod
searched the immediate area for Taylor. He could not feel
his immortal signature, nor see him by the cars near the
front entrance and wondered if Doyle hadn't already sent
the young Immortal to CI5 headquarters. If so, then he
hopped that was where they were taking him, for he would
like to have a word with this Taylor. For some strange
reason he found himself growing anxious to see the other
man, to find out who he was and if Taylor was his real
name. "If you 'gentlemen' will excuse me I'll be leaving
"Not so fast." Bodie cut in. "We still have some
questions. Remember the sword?"
Glaring at the infuriating agent, MacLeod sighed, before
looking at Doyle. The curly-haired agent seemed to possess
more brains and courtesy. "Do you mind if I return to the
hotel? I will come to your headquarters later, if
necessary." He asked politely.
Doyle grinned at Murphy and Anderson. "Not at all Mr.
MacLeod. We were all just about to leave, so we will
escort you back to the hotel." Doyle replied, ignoring
Bodie's dark look with the ease born of long practice. It
really made him laugh how similar in temperament both Bodie
and MacLeod were. Yet also so different. But if he dared
voice that observation Bodie would kill him, and Doyle
smothered his grin. Two dominant alpha males
MacLeod turned back to the man in front of him and muttered
a curse in Gaelic about how a little power just went to
some people's heads. At an obvious signal from Doyle,
Bodie stepped aside, and MacLeod glanced between the two
agents again, knowing now that he had worked out who
controlled the partnership. Doyle....
and he let his
eyes assess the man again. He obviously was the brains of
and MacLeod gave up arguing as he walked toward
the waiting cars. He felt both men flank him
If they ever had to face
McKellen, MacLeod knew he didn't want to be responsible for
As they approached the cars, MacLeod searched again for any
sense of Immortal presence, but there was none, his eyes
traitorously looking for a certain tall, lean figure in a
long coat. Then his mind flashed him an image of another
enticing, tall, slender figure in a short coat and he
stopped abruptly. Since when had he forgotten Amanda?
And more troubling, why was he now associating Taylor with
Hearing Doyle's questioning tone, MacLeod shrugged and
continued walking. It was a shock, but he could not deny
the urge to see Taylor again, and he stopped a second time
when Doyle reached out and pointed to one of the unmarked
cars before swearing. Going over to the driver's door,
MacLeod saw an open set of handcuffs sitting on the padded
seat and bit back his laugh. Oh aye, this Taylor was one
Doyle crowded up next to MacLeod, cursing fluently.
"Where the bloody hell is Taylor?" He demanded out loud,
glaring at the few plain clothed police officers
controlling the crowd. Then he heard MacLeod's laugh and
directed his glare at the Scot. Picking up the handcuffs
he flung them onto the back seat, fuming. That arrogant
little prick had left them like a taunt,
and Doyle had a
sudden overwhelming urge to find the skinny little bastard
and kill him again. Maybe twice, just for good measure
"Shit!" Doyle exclaimed, what the hell was he going to
tell Cowley?!? I'm sorry Sir, but he picked the lock -
just wasn't going to cut it and Doyle glared at the still
grinning MacLeod. "Not a word, MacLeod. Not a bloody word
or I swear...." he was interrupted by the sound of his R/T
beeping. "4.5!" Doyle answered trying to keep his temper
"I want MacLeod in my office. Now 4.5!" Came the
distinctive voice of CI5 controller George Cowley.
Both Bodie and Doyle winced at the tone in the older
Scotsman's voice. "On our way." Doyle acknowledged. "4.5
"Running all the way," Bodie intoned and he opened the
passenger door and pulled his seat forward before
indicating for MacLeod to climb in. "It's not a limousine,
but it will have to do." He informed the over-dressed Scot
in a flat tone.
MacLeod ignored the snide comment, curiously wondering if
George Cowley was anything like his agents.
"Well Mr. MacLeod, I have to commend you on spotting my
agents. Bodie and Doyle happen to be two of my best men.
I think perhaps a refresher course will be in order for
them when this is over." Cowley kept his gaze fixed on the
man before him, interested in his reaction.
MacLeod studied Cowley, knowing that he would have to tread
carefully with this man. "Lucky break I guess," he
answered, leaning back in the chair and adopting a casual
"Luck, Mr. MacLeod. No, I don't think so. I think you
were expecting to be followed. I think that you are here
for some purpose other than that you gave the French Police
and Interpol. But that is beside the point. While you are
on English soil, Mr. MacLeod, you are under my care, and
that means you do as my agents say. And that does not mean
you can slip away and take matters into your own hands.
Regardless of what challenge McKellen may pose to you. In
this instance I believe a student was injured because of
your fool-hardly actions." Cowley finished, capturing the
other man's gaze.
MacLeod winced at Cowley's astute words, they were a little
too close to the truth for comfort, and for a worrying few
seconds he wondered if Cowley knew about his kind.
Dismissing the thought as a silly one, MacLeod simply chose
not to answer the unspoken question.
Cowley smiled inwardly, he had not expected any reply from
MacLeod, picking up a plain brown manila folder he flipped
through the surprisingly sparse pages, glancing sideways at
the man sitting opposite his desk. "You have an interesting
history, Mr. MacLeod, but there are also some interesting
gaps. Would you care to fill in some details?"
Again MacLeod chose to remain silent.
"It says here you are an antique dealer who specializes in
weaponry. Ancient weaponry." Cowley corrected, looking
over his bifocals at the silent man seated across from him.
"It also says you are an expert in a number of different
martial arts disciplines."
"It's good exercise." MacLeod remarked.
"So is walking a dog." Cowley countered his tone implying
he didn't believe MacLeod's spotless record.
"Owning a dog and traveling don't go together." MacLeod
returned just as blandly, letting a smile come into his
tone when he saw Cowley relent and offer a genuine grin.
"Point taken." Cowley told him, understanding a lot more
than what was being verbalized. "Thank you for coming in.
I hope we get the opportunity to speak again."
"I look forward to it," MacLeod replied politely, standing
in one fluid motion.
Pressing his intercom, Cowley gave an order to his
secretary. "Betty, send in 4.5 and 3.7."
Lifting his eyes Cowley didn't bother to stand. "Oh and
Mr. MacLeod, one last thing. Don't try and lose my agents
a second time or I may be forced to use other means at my
disposal to safeguard your welfare while in England."
Not misunderstanding the silent threat behind the plumy
accent MacLeod said nothing, turning to the door when it
opened and his two watchdogs stood there with unsmiling
"You sent for us, sir?" Doyle asked.
"Return Mr. MacLeod to the Mayfair and make sure nothing
untoward happens to him in future."
"Sir." Doyle inclined his head and lifted a hand gesturing
for MacLeod to precede him out. Bodie was standing at his
back and he could feel his partner's irritation all the way
down his spine. Closing the door of Cowley's office they
shepherded MacLeod back to the Capri. It had been a hell
of a night so far and Doyle was not looking forward to the
morning. The case no longer seemed like a walk in the park
and he still could not decide what to do about Adam Taylor.
He'd said nothing to Bodie and the hesitation was now
making it harder and harder to broach the subject. But
what could he say?
'Hey Bodie, Taylor died in my arms
then was magically resurrected and nope I saw no long-
legged blonde angel give him the kiss of life'. Yeah,
right. As if Bodie wouldn't have him frog-marched to the
closest loony bin for that kind of comment.
probably kept his mouth shut and did some investigating of
his own on Taylor. After all he knew where the man lived.
May 25th 1980. London.
Entering the University grounds for the second time in two
days, Doyle checked the time hoping he wasn't too early.
Casting a long look around at the immaculate gardens and
cobbled paving, Doyle liked what he saw. In another time,
another life he would have liked to have been a permanent
student. Study of any type always fascinated him.
Ancient civilizations, the mysteries of the human body,
English Literature.... Art.
Rubbing his nose in thought, he slowly did a full circle as
he advanced further into the large campus, wondering if his
hunch would pay off. Adam Taylor. Or as Anderson had
dubbed the student, Egyptian Boy. How old was Taylor?
What was Taylor? And could he be trusted?
Baffled by what he had witnessed, Doyle still had not told
Bodie, and in all honesty was reluctant to tell anyone.
For all he knew it could be a hoax.... yet the man had
. He was positive of that fact, had seen it with his
own eyes. Immortal? What in the blazes did that mean?
There was no such thing as immortality - outside the
Catholic Church -
he corrected silently. It was a concept
his old gran had believed in whole-heartedly. Immortality
of the soul
. But Taylor was alive, not dead. And Adam
Taylor looked far too alive and real for a walking,
Seeing a group of students, Doyle stopped them with a
smile. He could be just as persuasive as his silver-
tongued partner, especially when he wanted something
"I'm looking for a student named Adam Taylor. I was hoping
you could tell me where I might go to find him?" He asked
turning on the charm. He knew if he asked informally
first, he just might be in luck and find the mysterious
man. If he went through official channels he had the
strange suspicion Taylor would vanish. Like he had
vanished out of those handcuffs.
"Adam?" One of the girls piped up helpfully. She shifted
her books and sighed. "He's usually in the library-"
"Oh that cute recluse?" Another of the females said
flashing Doyle an interested grin.
"Why not try his room if he's not in the library. I think
it's the second level of the Connolly Wing."
"You think?!" The first girl said in disbelief before
laughing. "I thought you had all the seniors staked out,
"Especially at night." A third female chimed in helpfully.
"Thanks." Doyle cut in. It seemed Taylor had a bit of a
reputation. That always helped.
"The Connolly Wing
is...." Doyle left the rest unsaid as he raised an
inquisitive brow, not wanting to invite a bickering match.
All three girls pointed to the building off to the left.
Thanking them again, Doyle took the pathway and eyed the
old brick structure. How many delinquents did this place
put out a year? Potential bombers, drug chemists and
Going up the steps two at a time he reached the second
level and checked the names on the doors, only seeing
numbers. Just his rotten bloody luck....
Stopping as he
spotted a tall, graying man exit one room, Doyle smiled
again. "Excuse me, but I'm looking for Adam Taylor's
"82." The man said in a clipped tone before he carried on.
Blinking after him, Doyle shook his head. "Thanks," he
called, wondering what security was like in a place like
this. So far it seemed non existent. He could be anyone,
thief, murderer, rapist, bomber....
and he chastised
himself. He had to stop imagining the worst. Inspecting
the door numbers again, he soon found room 82 and checked
his gun before knocking. He didn't have to wait long as
the old heavy door was opened and he found himself half
glared at by the man in front of him. If anything Taylor's
expression showed no surprise, and a little amusement.
"Officer Doyle," Methos sighed in mild sarcasm. "Don't
tell me you've come to handcuff me to your car again?"
"Very funny," Doyle said, not waiting for an invite and
pushing his way into the room. He swiftly scanned the neat
"Oh do come in Officer. Make yourself at home." Methos
muttered sarcastically to himself.
Ignoring the snide comment Doyle continued his inspection.
Apart from the work desk covered with numerous open books,
the only other notable object in the small room was the cat
stretched out on the comfortable looking bed. A black cat.
In fact it looked suspiciously like the one Bodie had
tangled with yesterday evening. "Nice," Doyle said before
he turned back to the room's owner. "You ready to talk, or
do I march you down to my Head Quarters?"
Closing the door slowly, Methos leaned against it and
folded his arms. "Are you always this obnoxious in the
"Only when I don't get a straight answer."
"I.... see." Ambling over to the bed, Methos collapsed
down on it and regarded Doyle with open interest. "So
where's your shadow?"
Recognizing the evasion, Doyle decided to play along and he
prowled the room, fingering a couple of items. They looked
old and expensive. Taylor had good taste, if no manners.
But then maybe he was one of these rich kids rebelling
against his parents? The possibilities were endless....
"Babysitting." Doyle replied after a prolonged moment,
watching Taylor out of the corner of his eye.
"MacLeod?" Methos asked in feigned interest, glancing down
when the cat decided to use him as a cushion. He stroked
her head absently.
"Yeah, Kilt Boy." Doyle muttered.
Hearing that, Methos couldn't contain his amusement,
blinking at Doyle before bursting into laughter. He
doubted MacLeod would see the funny side of it, but it was
hilarious, and damn fitting. "Kilt Boy?"
"Bodie has a way with words."
"No doubt." Methos acknowledged.
"What's going on Taylor? And I mean it. You better give
me a damn good answer or I'll haul your skinny arse out of
"I seriously doubt you could haul my 'skinny arse'
anywhere, Doyle." Methos cut back offended. "But for the
sake of decorum, let me just say it is probably for the
best if you and your partner didn't interfere."
"Too late. We are already involved."
"Then uninvolve yourself."
"What the hell is going on?" Doyle repeated as he saw how
serious Taylor was. He walked over to him and pulled out a
chair to sit down facing the man, assessing the artful way
Taylor sprawled on the bed. It was a cover, and Doyle met
the narrowed hazel eyes letting the other man know that he
understood the evasion. "You know MacLeod." He stated
flatly challenging the other to deny the charge. "You are
part of this entire mess. You even know McKellen. Don't
"No." Methos said clearly. "At least not in the way you
"Trust me, you don't want, or need to know." Methos
answered just stopping the words turning sarcastic. He had
a feeling they wouldn't work against this determined man.
"Who the hell are you?" Doyle asked exasperated. "What
"Have you got a few years?" Methos quipped.
"Just give me the condensed version."
"No such thing." Methos stated as he sat up and pulled a
sword out from under his bed.
Doyle just blinked at him stunned never having expected to
see a blade produced so swiftly and with such grace. It
was frighteningly disconcerting and he automatically
reached into his jacket to grip the butt of his Browning.
"Relax," Methos admonished as he caught the reflex action.
"You want answers, I can only give you this." Then using
the fine edge of the sword he sliced open his hand, wincing
in pain as blood welled up and ran down his wrist.
"Christ!" Doyle was out of his seat and reaching over to
take Taylor's hand, eyeing the man as if he was deranged.
"Are you out of your mind??"
"Watch," Methos breathed, biting his lower lip and willing
the pain away.
Doyle just stared at him wide eyed, assessing his mental
state before dropping his gaze back down to the bleeding
hand. Taylor had not only cut the skin, but he had opened
the hand to the bone.... but to his amazement the skin was
knitting neatly back together, tiny blue sparks dancing at
the edges of the fast closing wound. Feeling his jaw sag,
Doyle swallowed nervously, taking a step back as he watched
Taylor wipe the blood away to reveal unblemished skin. It
was unbelievable. Totally off the planet. Right out
there with Kirk and Spock....
Taylor then flexed his
fingers and Doyle fell back onto his chair as if he had
"Satisfied?" Methos asked mildly, shrewdly watching the
way Doyle reacted. It was a dangerous ploy, but if he had
read this man correctly, Doyle could also be a very useful
ally. Risk - Chance - Fate or Death? Which of the
Ancient Gods was he now tempting?
"I think I need a drink-"
"There's a pub down on the corner." Methos offered. "I'll
buy the first round."
Still feeling numb, Doyle couldn't tear his eyes off Taylor
as the man savored his beer with obvious delight. The
sparkle in the changeable eyes, the smile on his lips and
the ease of his movements, all spoke of experience and
Doyle in that instant felt very young and extremely out of
his depth as this 'creature' played with him like a cat
toyed with a mouse. Or as Bodie played with
Yet to look at Taylor you would be
forgiven for assuming he was impossibly young and innocent.
What a farce!
"Now this is a good drop." Methos said in appreciation.
"Beats the canned stuff any day."
"How old are you?" Doyle asked, his mind slowly trying to
accept the impossible.
"Old enough to appreciate the head on this beer," Methos
said with a smirk.
"And you can never die?" Doyle carried on as if he hadn't
heard the attempt at humor.
"Never is a strong term." Methos pulled a face and glanced
around. But they were far enough away from the other
patrons not to be over heard. "Let's just say, it is
"But you look so.... so," Doyle shook his head. He felt
like he had definitely entered an episode of Star trek.
There's Klingon's on the starboard bow, starboard bow,
"I don't age." Methos told him.
"Bloody hell," Doyle lifted his beer and took a large sip.
He let his eyes flicker from the glass Taylor held to his
assessing eyes. There was a sparkle of mischief in them,
and Doyle narrowed his own gaze in distrust. Logically he
should be hauling Taylor's arse down to Cowley, or Ross,
but for some reason he felt it would be a bad move.
Nodding once, Methos took another drink of this beer.
Pulling all the facts together, Doyle just stared at him in
growing realization. "MacLeod's the same as you, isn't
Not saying anything, Methos just let his smug grin grow as
he looked around in amused disinterest.
"But what's with all the swords?"
"Listen, Ray.... can I call you Ray?" Methos asked as he
tried to distract the other man.
Doyle just gave a curt nod, his mind continuing to play
back all he had seen and read in the last 48 hours about
MacLeod and McKellen. It was all starting to make a sick
kind of sense. And now Taylor.... Bloody hell! How many
Immortals were there?
"For your own sake, it is best you don't get involved."
"How many of you are there?"
Groaning slightly, Methos slid down further in his chair
and drained his beer.
"Answer the question!"
"I don't know." Methos hissed back, then covered his
annoyance as he watched Doyle scowl. "It's not important.
The important thing is that we only fight each other, and I
advise that you don't interfere in a challenge. Ever."
"Or you'll die."
Hearing the cold tone, Doyle took in the words and saw how
serious Taylor was. Deadly so
. "And MacLeod?"
"What about him?" Methos asked in exasperation, fiddling
with the rim of his glass.
"Is he one of the good guys or the bad guys?"
"Oh," Methos gave a secretive smile. "He's definitely one
of the good guys."
Covering his smile, Methos relaxed even more into his
casual sprawl, his eyes dancing with suppressed mirth again
as he watched Doyle. "I'm neither."
"What?" Doyle asked, and was interrupted as his R/T
sounded. Swearing, he reached for it and depressed the
call button. "4.5."
"Where the hell are you!"
Deciphering Bodie's peeved annoyance through the static,
Doyle couldn't help but grin. "I'm busy," he said, eyeing
Taylor. "..interrogating a suspect."
Hearing the outrage, Doyle bit his lip to cover his smile.
"I have my Bodie handbook if I get lost-"
Licking his lips, Doyle caught Taylor's snort as the other
shook his head. "Report 3.7." He said instead of baiting
his partner more.
"Listen sunshine, you either get back here, or I'll-"
"You'll what 3.7?" Doyle prompted as he heard his partner
curse. "Has the situation changed with MacLeod?" He asked
abruptly, concern for his partner cutting across the
banter. Lifting his gaze he saw Taylor observing him
speculatively. It was unnerving.
"Kilt boy has just sent me out breakfast again, and if you
don't get back here, I swear I'll go up and strangle the
Not bothering to cover his amusement this time, Doyle
looked at Taylor and laughed, taking his finger off the
call button. "Tell me," he asked directing his question at
the man across from him. "Out of curiosity, if Bodie shot
MacLeod.... MacLeod will just get up again. Right?"
Considering Doyle's direct stare, Methos gave in and
"Just as I thought." Doyle muttered before he depressed
the call button again and heard Bodie curse. "Sit tight
3.7 and if you're good I'll bring you back a beer."
"A beer?! Ray.... Doyle where the hell-"
"Later 3.7. 4.5 out." Doyle cut him off and ended the
call before slipping the R/T back in his coat pocket.
"Bodie would be royally pissed off if he knew that killing
MacLeod wouldn't accomplish a thing."
"Are you going to tell him?"
"Tell him what?" Doyle asked, then screwed up his nose.
"Nah. I'm not even sure I believe it. I can just see me
trying to explain it to Cowley as they drag me off to the
"It would be best if you kept out of it."
"As I told you, we can't." Doyle replied. "MacLeod is our
assignment. Until McKellen is caught, I'm afraid you are
stuck with me. And I strongly advise you don't try and
leave the country." Letting his eyes sweep over Taylor's
sprawled figure, Doyle thought of something else. "I
suppose asking you to give up your passport would prove as
ineffective as handcuffing you to a car was?"
"Indubitably." Methos confirmed.
"Just as I thought." Doyle sighed, getting up and taking
out his wallet to pull a card free. "If you think of
anything relevant, you can contact me on this number."
"So I take it, I'm no longer a prisoner?" Methos asked as
he took the card and committed the number to memory.
"No. But you are a witness." Doyle said, leaning down to
pin Taylor with his gaze. "And next time I'll use more
than bloody handcuffs."
"Promises, promises," Methos muttered, grinning up as he
caught Doyle's wary look.
"You better believe it sunshine." Doyle hissed back before
Laughing softly Methos just nodded as he watched Doyle
navigate the steps of the pub. He could really learn to
like Raymond Doyle, he decided. The man had class and
courage, plus a sense of humor. Pity they had to meet
under these circumstances. Stretching, he wondered if
sticking around was wise.
Leaning back against his work desk, Methos shook his head
over the day's events. From the sublime to the
Next to him, he heard a plaintive meow,
and glanced down at his feline roommate. Nefertiri, as he
had named her six months ago when her small-bedraggled wet
body had sat shivering outside his door. He was a sucker
for lost causes and she knew it. Bending down he picked up
her tiny frame and stroked her ears back, being rewarded
with a loud purr as she settled a paw on his chest and
flexed her claws. The perfect hunter. So seductive and
"You want food again?" He asked in mock
horror, getting a patient blink from the golden eyes as she
opened her mouth and yawned.
Sighing Methos gave in to her charms, adoring her heat and
the way she had taken over his life in such a short period
of time. Finding her bowl he filled it up with fresh food.
"You do know that I'm a poor grad student, don't you?" He
asked conversationally while she butted against his legs.
"Feeding you is keeping me broke." Yeah, right....
Standing up, he watched her for a moment, then turned back
to his current problem.
At Oxford he was trying to get a distinction in his second
year of English Literature without making it seem too
simple and now he has to run across not only that jackass
from Nottingham, but a nosey detective. Doyle.
worst part was, he actually liked
acknowledged that fact at he pub earlier when the man
shared his company. He could well imagine them having a
good relationship if they had met under less questionable
circumstances. Doyle was intelligent for a street cop.
Ex-street cop, now CI5 agent. And the man had balls to do
the job he did with no resurrection in sight.No
, that wasn't the real issue disturbing his thoughts,
though Doyle knowing about him was a problem. Having a
loose cannon out there knowing about Immortals was never a
. But killing the man not only felt
wrong - it was impractical in this day and age. Bluff was
a far better tool and if that failed he could always
postpone his scheduled entry into the Watcher Organization
as their new bright-eyed young grad student by a decade or
so. What was time?No,
it was MacLeod that troubled him. And troubled him
in a way that was frightening. Kilt Boy?
Doyle's voice in his head brought a smile to his lips. So
fitting. Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod....
McKellen had barely registered, but he could remember every
detail of MacLeod's face as the powerful Immortal had stood
in front of him, proud and commanding.
He shivered in recollection, wondering if his over-reaction
was due to the fact he was cloistered in the University
with children, or because it had been a while since he'd
played with real meat?
Then again maybe it was because
meeting the man only enhanced what he had read about him.
What Darius had told him
So what he was feeling now was old-fashioned lust. Nothing
new, just damn inconvenient. The spice of life
he knew bedding MacLeod was one fantasy that would never be
realized.Yet, MacLeod had stared at him so hungrily. Was it
simply curiosity? Or sexual desire? Or did the man want
Debating that, he pushed away from the
desk and ambled over to his cabinet and took out a warm can
of beer. He much preferred it chilled but had yet to
educate the dim minded within this facility of that. Beer
was beer and right now he needed a large drop of the amber
nectar. It was either that or sex.Sex
- a pastime he indulged in sporadically. He
currently wasn't attached and speculated on what it would
be like to wrestle MacLeod down and taste his warmth. A
hot lust driven imagining that would never eventuate, and
he groaned in dismay as he felt his body traitorously
respond to the idea.Yet was he feeling more than simple lust?
brown Scottish eyes had seemed to soften.... Gods
felt suddenly confused and claustrophobic.
But in his extensive experience with sex, and male sex in
particular, Methos had found each encounter usually fell
into one of five categories. The first category was often
the most difficult and the one he seemed to blunder into
with monotonous regularity. It was sex with a good friend.
Or comfort sex. Where from grief, shock or vulnerability
sex was initiated between two friends in an effort to
forget the past and initiate a sense of well-being.
Solace. Usually, in most cases, the aftermath of this
would forever destroy the friendship making the encounter a
bitter memory. Didn't he know it!
The second category was pure, mindless pleasure. A sexual
affair that was found non-restraining and extremely
exciting. While it lasted. Usually it burned hot for a
short period and then dissolved. Or he moved on. It was
wild, liberated, unconditional and guiltless. Passion of
danger. Sex with strangers. The spontaneous lust brought
on by stress, physical tension, or a recent fight. It was
usually associated with mutual consent and was totally
physical, feeding the body and disengaging the mind. It
usually left him replete and unaffected in a mindless sort
of way. Like a good meal....
The third category was the least desired. Sex under
duress. Or rape. The attacker not only fucked the body,
but also fucked the mind, utterly stripping the victim of
control and leaving emotional scars. It also destroyed the
spirit and confidence and he found that afterwards no
matter how tough he pretended to be, the memory lingered.
The vulnerability existed no matter how many years he put
between him and the experience. Even now just the thought
of past experiences, of Feldon, or Kronos finding him made
him break out in a cold sweat. He shuddered taking a large
gulp of his beer as he reminded himself why he hid so well.
Idiot Old Man! That's why playing with the Highland brat
The fourth category was pure, brutal dominance. A state
he was not proud of, but a state he had lived in many
centuries ago. This was where he was the controller, where
he took what he wanted, where he fed off fear, pain and
blood. A power rush of rage and destruction, that didn't
ease the ache or fill the heart with satisfaction, but
subdued frustrations and hunger. It was a state he never
wanted to fall into again.
Which brought him to the final category involving sex.
Category five - the one brought on by instant desire. A
craving that touched and tantalized every sense. It was a
total body experience. Not only satisfying the body and
mind, but screwing the heart as well. Fortunately this
type of emotional plundering was rare. Coveted, but
devastating to both parties involved. It destroyed all
rational thought and left the recipient exposed to outside
influences and ultimately death. Immortal suicide.
A scary prospect, especially now as he could feel his
heart constrict at the simple memory of MacLeod's searching
eyes. Fuck! Danger, danger...
. a small voice squeaked
in the far reaches of his mind. Heartache
This new desire he would have to keep
firmly to himself, and under control. Besides, he doubted
he would see the big Scot again. Even Doyle had said that
McKellen was hunting the Highlander....
thought, Methos frowned. McKellen was an unimaginative
bastard, but he doubted the blundering Scottish idiot could
best MacLeod in a fair fight. Fair fight. That was the
and he snorted, remembering McKellen's blunderings
in Sherwood. The narrow-minded idiot was incapable of
doing anything but cheating and if he shot MacLeod like he
had shot him earlier then the Highland boy scout would die.
It was a prospect that did not appeal to him at all.
But he'd seen the magnificent barbarian for
all of.... what? Two minutes?!? And already he was
smitten and hooked like a desperate groupie? Pleeeeease!!
But even as he berated himself, he knew his heart had
already made a decision, and he groaned silently. For his
own peace of mind he would have to see what he could find
out about McKellen. To protect MacLeod. For Darius'
sake. Yeah, right....Besides, wasn't living in Oxford just a tad boring?
Hadn't he complained about that in his diary just last
week? Shit, careful what you wish for Old Man -
raised his eyes to the ceiling imagining what he'd like to
do to that bitch, Fate.
Taking the card out of his pocket, he eyed Doyle's phone
number, knowing just how he was going to milk the
information out of the curly-haired operative. He could
do charm. Could do it very well.
Had seen the curiosity
and interest in Doyle's cat-like eyes. Oh yes, but he
was a wicked, perverted bastard
. And if it meant seeing
MacLeod again, then....
Swallowing he felt his gut
constrict in irrational anticipation. He was sick.
Definitely ill, depraved
, and he should have learned by
now that when he felt this drawn to a person to run like
hell. But somehow his feet never seemed to obey his brain.
And that little voice of survival that was screeching in
the back of his mind was also ignored as he started to plan
his strategy for involving himself in the Highlander's
Parking his gold Capri, Doyle released a slow breath and
re-gathered his thoughts. He knew Bodie was bound to moan
about the fact that he had taken off alone to interview
Taylor. Bodie would be infuriated if he even guessed he
was now willfully with-holding information about Taylor.
But what could he say? How could he explain it to Bodie -
except to maybe drag his opinionated partner back to Oxford
and force Taylor to demonstrate his incredible healing
abilities a second time?!
An ability he was sure Taylor
would pretend didn't exist. That much he had picked up
from the deceptively young man. He had been shown a
glimpse under the cynical mask and behind the amused hazel
eyes and Doyle knew enough to understand that what he'd
been told was dangerous information. He'd also noticed how
gleefully Taylor had watched him realize that very fact.
Bastard! Then again, was Taylor even human?!?
scoffed at the term. Adam Taylor was a master of
and Doyle could not think of a logical way
to expose him without getting himself, Taylor or Bodie
killed. And that was the problem.
For he did believe Taylor about the fact that this was a
personal dispute between MacLeod and McKellen. He also
believed that this dispute had nothing to do with an
Interpol investigation or with CI5 or even Taylor himself.
Yet how to tell Cowley that? Gut intuition??
hell," Doyle sighed as he released his grip on the steering
wheel. He really hated being dragged into personal
disputes, especially when it put him and his partner in the
firing line. Bodie
. Shaking his head Doyle let the
image of his partner fill his thoughts. From sheer
bloody-mindedness to uncanny tenderness....
Bodie. His friend - a man closer to him than any other
person on this planet. And if he couldn't tell Bodie what
Taylor had just told him, then how could he tell Cowley?
? And Doyle closed his eyes, dropping his head
back against the headrest. What exactly did that term
mean beside the obvious? Was it a curse? An illness....
his police trained mind dismissing such oddities as
mythical. If only Taylor would explain more
, but he had
the impression that the other man would bolt if he forced
more details. So it was a very fine line he now walked.
How old could Taylor be if the man couldn't die? And for
that matter, how old was MacLeod? Christ!
Bodie would be
pissed off if he learned that MacLeod had never been in any
real danger during the shooting.
Somehow he had to work out a way to find McKellen first and
get the bastard deported to France for his crimes so that
neither he nor Bodie were caught up in something that was
beyond their understanding. Or killed in the crossfire
as Taylor had so bluntly suggested. Because out of
everything that was one warning he truly believed Taylor
had not lied about - all else was open for interpretation.
"Damn him!" Doyle muttered, scanning the area and picking
out his partner's car. Seeing it was empty gave him a
momentary pang of worry until he forced himself to calm
down. Christ, but Bodie was going to be the death of him
with the ex-SAS' nonchalant disregard for personal safety
and CI5 procedure. The way Bodie acted you would think he
Dismissing that disturbing thought, Doyle quickly got out
of the car locked it and pocketed the keys. Since Cowley's
little discussion with MacLeod yesterday, they were no
longer undercover, so he assumed MacLeod had indeed invited
his exasperating partner in for a late breakfast. That
was guaranteed to get up his partner's nose faster than a
Thinking about an irritable Bodie and
how it enriched the partnership, Doyle nodded to the
doorman outside the Mayfair and ambling into the plush
foyer. Not often did they get to breakfast in such an
expensive joint, and be able to claim it on expenses
Doyle added silently. But the Mayfair made him feel
definitely under-dressed, especially when he was given a
number of disapproving glances by the staff.
Ignoring the pointed looks, Doyle strolled forward,
catching sight of his partner with MacLeod towards the back
of the terrace restaurant. He gestured to the two men and
flashed his ID at the stuffy Maitre'd, before slowly making
his way over to the table. Mentally he was preparing
himself to act normally around MacLeod while fielding his
partner's inevitable comments and looks. But MacLeod was
Immortal.... yet why did that bother him more than the
knowledge that Taylor was Immortal? Maybe it was because
MacLeod 'felt' dangerous while Taylor 'felt' harmless?
Speculating on that disconcerting realization, Doyle's
eyes automatically picked out MacLeod's confidence, his
obvious allure, power and strength, comparing them to what
he had seen of Adam Taylor. Frowning, Doyle was
immediately shocked to comprehend that the only definite
image he had of Taylor was his seductive vulnerability and
he felt his mouth drop open in shock. "That manipulating
little bugger," Doyle muttered as he saw MacLeod stand and
gesture him over. The Scot flaunted his strengths, where
Taylor hid behind a mist of deception. But which one was
It was a question he didn't need answered as he
saw MacLeod's genuine smile directed his way and Doyle
started to re-evaluate all that Taylor had said and not
"Ah, Mr. Doyle," MacLeod said with a smile, his dark eyes
twinkling in genuine pleasure. "Care to join us? I can
recommend the lobster."
"For breakfast?" Doyle questioned, sitting down and eyeing
the two men. "No thanks."
"It's a bit too exotic for Doyle, Mr. MacLeod." Bodie said
just covering his annoyance by keeping his face perfectly
straight and his tone polite. "The only seafood he
recognizes is cod covered in batter from the local chippy."
Choosing to ignore that, Doyle just sent his partner a look
promising revenge as he indicated to the waiter hovering at
his left shoulder to just bring him some tea.
Watching the two agents, MacLeod didn't miss the silent
communication, or the easiness between them before Doyle
targeted him with shrewd eyes. "Mr. Bodie tells me-"
"Please, can we drop the Misters?" Bodie asked on a tight
breath. "They're giving me indigestion."
Hiding his smile, Doyle knew how his partner hated titles
of any sort, and offered MacLeod an apologetic smile.
"Since we are stuck with each other until Mr. Cowley says
otherwise, I'm Raymond Doyle and this one only answers to
"Duncan MacLeod." MacLeod said simply, singling Doyle out
and noting that he was the more temperate of the two men.
The teaming made for an interesting combination
, and he
admired Cowley's strategy. But then opposites not only
attracted but also complimented each other perfectly
acknowledged. "Bodie here tells me that you were visiting
the student that was shot yesterday by McKellen." He gave
an innocent smile with that comment as he watched the way
Doyle's eyes darkened and narrowed. "I hope the young man
Considering his answer while the tea was delivered, Doyle
waited until they were alone again, watching how Bodie eyed
his lobster with disgust. His partner would definitely
. "I was just doing a follow up." Doyle
replied, pouring milk into his tea before giving MacLeod a
slight nod of acknowledgement.
"And the young man," MacLeod hesitated, not sure how to
proceed as Doyle gave nothing away. "..I take it he's all
"Fine." Doyle said, taking a sip of tea and pulling a
face. He felt Bodie's eyes on him and schooled his
features, knowing his partner would want information as
well. Only a more detailed explanation could wait until
later. "One Adam Taylor." Doyle turned back to MacLeod
and gave him a thoughtful look as he studied the man.
This man is Immortal.
"He's currently residing in the
Connolly Wing, room 82. A student of English Lit and
History from what I can gather. He was only grazed and
claims to know nothing. Just one of those cases of being
in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"I.... see." MacLeod said slowly, his eyes telling Doyle
that he didn't believe a word spoken. His answer was a
small smile in return before Doyle sipped his tea again in
unvoiced challenge. Not liking this, MacLeod glanced away.
What the hell had the Immortal told this agent?!?
disturbing, but looking back at Doyle he had the strong
feeling that Doyle knew a little too much for comfort and
was now baiting him. That was a dangerous attitude,
especially with McKellen in the area.
"Oie," Bodie said as he glanced between his partner and the
Scot. He had the distinct impression he was missing
something vital here. "I think you've drunk enough tea
sunshine otherwise your brain will get water logged." Bode
quipped, standing and dragging his partner up with him.
"If you will excuse us," he said politely to MacLeod.
"Mr. MacLeod," Doyle said as he easily slipped free of
Bodie's grasp and turned back to the Scot. "What are your
plans for the rest of the day?"
"I have a parcel being delivered later this afternoon, but
apart from that I intend to stay in."
"Then we will accompany you upstairs for your own
"Unnecessary." MacLeod said hastily covering his frown.
"But as I promised George I would co-operate."
Bodie gave a forced smile, not liking the way MacLeod said
'George' before he gripped Doyle's shoulder hard and nodded
to MacLeod. "We'll just be out here."
Watching them go, MacLeod speculated on what Doyle had
said. It had been a deliberate statement of fact. Adam
Taylor. The Connolly Wing, room 82. What was Doyle
playing at? It was almost a set up, yet....
frowned. He remembered McKellen shooting Taylor in the
chest. It should have been fatal, and McKellen had called
Taylor - Loxley, so....
Baffled, MacLeod picked up his
wineglass and savored the flavor, wondering if it was
possible to lose his watchdogs and seek out Taylor himself.
For there were a few answers he craved.
Spinning Doyle around once they were back in the foyer,
Bodie totally ignored the gesture the receptionist gave him
to be quiet when he hissed at his partner. No one shushed
"Doyle what the hell are you pulling now?!?"
"Will you keep it down-"
Opening his mouth Bodie closed it and glared at the doorman
who was approaching them. The man stopped dead in his
tracks under Bodie's glare, coloring slightly before
hastily backing away. Turning his demanding scowl on his
unfazed partner, Bodie tried to reign in his temper. "If
you ever leave me alone with that moron again, I swear,
Ray, I'll not be responsible for my actions!"
"And here I thought you had more self-control," Doyle
quipped with amusement, seeing MacLeod call for the cheque.
"He's playing us for fools!"
"Maybe!" Bodie exploded and then released a loud sigh as
he counted to ten slowly. "He knows what the hell is going
on and he knows that we know that he knows!!"
Blinking at Bodie, Doyle didn't try to hide his amusement.
"I think Anderson is right, you've lost it mate."
"Listen," Doyle admonished, understanding how volatile
Bodie's temper could be. Only he knew it was from
frustration at being stuck on a case that was going nowhere
fast. "I'm sure MacLeod will make a mistake-"
"What about Egyptian Boy?"
Raising a brow, Doyle sighed. So Bodie had been talking
to Murphy again. Figured.
"He didn't know anything."
"Bloody typical!" Bodie growled as he leveled his gaze on
his partner. "I don't like the feel of this, one bit.
More is going on here than Cowley is telling us. And I
want to know what Kilt Boy told the old man in the office
"And pigs will fly," Doyle answered. "Listen mate, this is
not the first time Cowley has kept us in the dark-"
"Do you think he's struck a deal?"
"What?" Doyle questioned. "Diplomatic immunity for
"Or bait?" Bodie hissed as he leaned closer to his
partner, invading his personal space without pausing.
"With the emphasis on us being the 'bait'."
Blinking at Bodie in startlement, Doyle didn't have time to
comment as his partner squeezed his arm indicating
"I'll just go upstairs," MacLeod offered on his way past,
giving them both a tight smile.
"We'll accompany you." Bodie said, not giving MacLeod a
chance to object as he went to the lift and stabbed the up
button viciously before turning to giving the Scot a
charming smile. "If that's all right with you." He added
in false politeness.
"Fine," MacLeod grated out, but silently cursed first
McKellen for involving the police in an Immortal matter and
secondly Cowley for being so bloody stubborn minded.
Half an hour later MacLeod was still sitting staring at the
papers on the desk. What he was seeing however was not the
morning news but rather a young looking face, superimposed
over the image of a long lean figure sprawled on the
. Try as he might he could not budge the images
from his head and with the images, came the soft baritone
that had captured his attention so excitingly. It just
added to the list of contradictions in the man's behavior
towards both himself and McKellen and MacLeod had a very
compelling reason to be intrigued, if not downright curious
about this Adam Taylor. He simply had to find him again,
he had so many questions that required answers. Who are
Being the most persistent, the most compelling,
followed swiftly by - Loxley?
The comments had not
escaped him and the implications of that name were
something he just had to discover.
Then there was the little matter of how much the other
Immortal had told agent Doyle. MacLeod knew damn well that
Doyle was suspicious of his motives. Just the lack of
practical evidence and British etiquette was keeping Doyle
from asking the blunt questions he saw in the other man's
frank stare. This was not a complication he liked.
Mortals knowing about Immortals.... but what could he do?
Sighing, MacLeod stared at the newspaper before him,
wordlessly admitting that he was getting tired of the Game
and he was sick of being alone. This whole mess with
McKellen was bringing it home to him sharply, and the
little visit from Amanda hadn't helped either. Not that
he hadn't enjoy the experience
, he told himself with a
grin. The memory of the wild sex they had enjoyed still
very fresh in his mind, it was just that she most of all
seemed to remind him of what he was missing in a stable
relationship. One could only lie to oneself for so long
before the truth became too obvious to hide from any
Making a face, MacLeod tried to shelve his gloomy
mood, wondering why thoughts of Adam Taylor merged with his
memories of Amanda. That's what comes from brooding,
snide voice spoke up from his subconscious which for
reasons Duncan refused to even think about sounded
suspiciously like the silky baritone of a certain English
male Immortal.... Noh!! That did it!
MacLeod decided angrily. Allowing
his warped subconscious to continue to play games with him
was getting him nowhere. He would find this damn Adam
Taylor - if that was his real name - and satisfy his
curiosity and be done with it!
Although MacLeod disliked
breaking his promise to Cowley he had to know. This was
an Immortal problem and had little to do with CI5, or even
McKellen for that matter.
But he had to know if McKellen
was at the University yesterday by accident, or if the
bastard had followed him, or if McKellen was hunting
Taylor. However, he was not going to learn anything
relevant by sitting in this small study with his two guard-
dogs prowling around in his hotel suite! He'd lose them
. No easy task when they were sitting
practically outside his door. Nor when they were so well
trained and suspicious of his movements. His own fault he
supposed for disappearing on them at the auction.
Cursing softly to himself, MacLeod concentrated on coming
up with a plan, his gaze wandering unseeing out the window,
when his eyes finally focused on the fire escape. Yes,
that was it. So simple. He'd go down the fire escape.
But first to deal with Bodie and Doyle.
It had been a
while since they had checked up on his continued presence
in his private suite so he would have to give them the
impression that he intended to be there for the rest of the
morning and afternoon. Happy now that he had a plan of
action, he stood and left his large bedroom. Two heads
swiveled in his direction from where the agents were seated
on the couch absently watching the television.
"Afternoon gentlemen," MacLeod greeted them politely,
receiving a nod from Doyle and a suspicious scowl from
Bodie. He felt Bodie's hard, blue-eyed glare follow his
every move and tried not to react as he went into the small
kitchen area and raided the fridge. He poured himself a
whisky, idly glancing over the complimentary fruit basket,
selecting a couple of pieces before turning back to his two
silent companions. Both were watching him with varying
degrees of interest. "Help yourselves." MacLeod offered
as he gestured to the food and drink before making his way
back into his private retreat. "I have a ton of work to
"Thanks," Doyle muttered, fiddling with the remote control.
Closing the door behind him, MacLeod tried not to grin,
listening to the noises in the room outside before putting
his few items down untouched. He knew he wouldn't have
long before they came looking for him, and prayed his
actions didn't get either man in too much strife with
Cowley. He guessed Bodie didn't like him much and grinned,
knowing that the curly-haired agent's professional attitude
would keep Bodie silent. Still, it was a curious
partnership. Fascinating how two men with such vastly
differing backgrounds could work together so efficiently.
He almost envied them their closeness.
Dismissing that thought, MacLeod pulled on his coat and
felt the comforting weight of his hidden sword within the
layers. Walking over to the window he winced at the squeak
it made as he forced it slowly open. Pausing he listened
carefully, but could hear no increased activity outside his
bedroom door, and carefully stepped out onto the fire
escape. Pushing the window closed, he hurriedly made his
way to the narrow roadway below.
Reaching the bottom MacLeod hesitated, scanning the area
for the other agents that he was sure were on watch outside
the hotel, if not for his benefit then to spot the
potential arrival of McKellen. It took him a few minutes
to spot them, and he grinned to himself. Cowley's men were
good, but not as experienced as he was, and he studied the
two men in the parked Cortina at the end of the road.
Crouching down low MacLeod slipped around the back of the
hotel, finding the goods entrance, then cursed when he
spotted another car parked near the outside gates. Another
two men and he cast around for a new plan. Nothing for it
but simple bluff....
Taking his hair out of its customary
ponytail MacLeod messed the long lengths up, taking care to
let it fall over his face. Hunching his shoulders he
picked up a discarded box and pretended to carry it out of
the loading bay. It obscured his face and he just hoped
neither man pulled him up. To their credit he noted that
they did not dismiss him out of hand, eyeballing him until
he was almost out of sight before looking away. Still he
was leaving, not entering....
and that was the main
Walking around the corner and out of sight, he straightened
up and retied his hair, discarded the box before looking
for a taxi to take him to Oxford University.
The taxi pulled up to the gates of the main campus, where
the auction had been held the previous day. Doyle had told
him in his round about way what he had guessed. Adam
Taylor was posing as a student, the Oxford sweatshirt,
jeans and sneakers were hardly proper attire for a member
of the Faculty, but Doyle's comments had cemented that
fact. The Connolly Wing. Room 82. How helpful.
Finding the old wing, MacLeod eyed the narrow corridors of
the dormitories and pondered again why Taylor was at
Oxford. Very few Immortals that he knew actually bothered
to study so diligently at a University, relying on age and
experience to get them through life. Or money. It was a
curious trait and added another level of intrigue to this
Checking the door numbers, MacLeod slowly made his way down
the corridors, noting possible exits and weaknesses in the
old structure while he searched for a feel of presence.
There it was
, just on the edge of his perception and he
let it wash over him, advancing slowly on his prey, growing
in confidence as the surge of Immortal presence gained in
strength. What would Taylor do?
Would he come out and challenge, or flee out a window?
Measuring his steps, MacLeod let his feelings guide him
until he found room 82 and then he stopped in front of the
old wooden door, shrugging his shoulders and absently
feeling for his sword hilt. It was a comfort and he raised
his hand to knock firmly. The sound echoed down the wide
corridor and MacLeod absently took in the carved paneling
and threadbare carpets. What he was expecting he didn't
know, but the last thing he would have guessed was for the
door to swing open under his hand and he braced himself for
a trap, staring into the interior of the room. First thing
he noted was that it looked homely. Well lived in and warm
to the senses. Resting his fingers on the hilt of his
sword, he determinedly took a step inside, letting his eyes
sweep around the room until they rested on its single
occupant. Adam Taylor.
Again it was like a physical blow to his mind and body.
Taylor's lack of resistance, lack of concern and lack of
surprise troubled him deeply and MacLeod met the wide hazel
eyes not missing the sparkle of amusement in their enticing
depths. Dammit! Taylor had been expecting him! Had
Doyle set him up? Noh
, and he shook his head minutely.
At least not intentionally
and MacLeod let his eyes
narrow as he considered this new aspect. Perhaps Taylor
had manipulated Doyle to set him up...?
MacLeod stepped further into the room with a little more
confidence. Shutting the door, his gaze drank in the
slender male noting how Taylor got up off the floor in a
fluid, graceful motion to stretch, revealing just a glimpse
of pale flesh above his jeans before the other Immortal
grinned at him teasingly. It was a blatant challenge but
not of the normal variety and MacLeod felt his jaw drop.
"Taylor." MacLeod found himself saying while he hastily
revised all his opinions. The man was a tease
, and he
found his breathing had accelerated while he unsuccessfully
tried to glare at this seductive being. Mystified even
more when Taylor then presented him with his back, MacLeod
sucked in a breath finding his eyes darting down the full
length of the presented body before he found those wicked
eyes watching him, laughing at him knowingly. MacLeod
blushed and tried to look annoyed.
"Me casa es sue casa." Methos muttered, offering the other
man a beer, holding it out to him as he let a small grin
play over his mouth. My, but MacLeod looked good,
thought hotly, feeling his heartbeat sped up. Fuck....
category five and heartache approaching, fast if he didn't
slam the breaks on immediately
Translating the words in his mind, MacLeod blinked, a
little dazed as he accepted the beer. French?
not what he had expected and he found that he was breathing
erratically, reassessing this Immortal a third time.
Currently he was faced with vulnerability, innocence with
just a touch of imp. Yet he had a strong feeling these
traits were a clever deception. A veil of mystery designed
to lull him. Goddammit, but how he wanted to go with this
first impression, and suddenly his time spent with Amanda
and his other casual affairs vanished from his mind.
Taylor seemed to answer the deep yearning inside his soul
with a single look from those changeable eyes. Like the
other man had set off a liquid fire raging in his blood
that touched him in a way he needed, filling the void that
had been beckoning him. He felt immensely strong both
physically and mentally when bathed in that gold-green
stare - and the scary part was that they hadn't even
touched yet. But they would
, MacLeod was positive of
that certainty. Abruptly he could imagine himself being
allowed to fulfill his heritage, being allowed to
protect.... to be allowed to be himself and totally relax
with another of his kind. To learn, to teach, to
practice weaponry with an equal. No secrets, schemes, or
hiding from the police as Amanda did continuously. Just
"MacLeod?" Methos asked watching how the other just stared
at him in a consuming intensity, and he frowned
"Doyle told me were to find you." MacLeod said the first
thing that came into his mind. Strangely he felt no
restrictions around Taylor. No pretense. Was that an
illusion too? Or was it real? Please, let it be real.
"I thought he might."
"I could have been McKellen." MacLeod started, just now
realizing how stupidly Taylor had left himself open to
attack. Was he as young as he looked or was that an
"He could have come in and shot yew again
then taken yewr head!" For some reason Taylor's openness
angered him, for now all he could picture was the other's
"Wow!" Methos held up a hand and speculated were that
sudden anger had sprung from. It was like dealing with
Jekell and Hyde.
"Yew should not have assumed-"
"MacLeod!" Methos broke in, swiveling around and bringing
his sword up to the Scot's throat in one swift move.
Startled by the almost magical appearance of the
broadsword, MacLeod contemplated vaguely where Taylor had
pulled it from. His denims were too obscenely tight to
"I am not unarmed. It was a calculated risk." Methos
said, meeting the searching brown eyes and feeling their
irresistible pull. His loins tightened and he let a hard
edge enter his tone. "I have no quarrel with you."
"Aye." MacLeod breathed as he raised a hand and gently
pushed the Ivanhoe away. A beautifully crafted weapon,
13th or 14th century by design, but he found his eyes were
traitorously drawn back to the Immortal behind the blade.
He felt like he had known Taylor for years, but in reality
he knew nothing about him. "Adam Taylor," MacLeod let the
name roll off his tongue, tasting it in an intimate way.
Methos shivered and took a step back lowering his sword.
Was it just the sexy Scottish accent or the way MacLeod
emphasized each syllable that rendered him so defenseless?
And what would it sound like if MacLeod uttered his real
"Is that your real name?"
"It will do for now." Methos muttered startled, not
believing that he had not given MacLeod a sarcastic retort.
"You are in danger."
Drawing in a breath, Methos forgot what he was going to say
as his heart did another little leap in his chest at the
idea that MacLeod had come all this way just to warn him.
A genuine boy scout. Hell, he used to eat boy scouts for
"McKellen knows you are here."
"Why was he chasing you?" Methos countered, hoping to
divert the topic. He glanced around to see if his window
was open. It was. So why did it feel so hot and stuffy
in the room suddenly?
"Old family dispute." MacLeod said and shrugged. "Which
reminds me, what did you tell that CI5 agent?"
Taking another step back, Methos put his sword down and
collapsed on the bed again as he tried to frown at his
visitor. But it was so hard to stay detached especially
when MacLeod's aura swamped everything. The Scot was a
powerhouse of vibrant energy and it bombarded his senses in
such an erotic way.
"What?" Methos asked, sucking in a breath and watching the
Highlander step closer. Such beauty and strength.
Magnificent. In a different time - a different world - he
would take such a man and...
"What did you tell Doyle?"
"Nothing that he hadn't already guessed."
"What!" MacLeod said aghast as he drank in the open,
artful sprawl before him. Shoving his hands in his
pockets, MacLeod concentrated on meeting the wide eyes
seeing how they darkened to a dangerous brightness. "You
told him about Immortals?"
"Fuck," Methos muttered under his breath as he felt
Nefertiri jump up on the bed and settle possessively in his
lap. It was a welcome distraction.
"What did you want me to do, since I died in his arms while
you ran off playing hero!" Methos cut back. "If you were
so worried, you could have stayed to make sure he never
found out!" There, chew on that a while!
decided, watching fascinated how MacLeod's expression went
from shock to guilt in a few swift seconds. It was
"You are right." MacLeod whispered as he moved closer and
sat on a chair. Slowly he let his eyes move down to take
in the cat stretched across Taylor's lap. Her silky black
fur doing nothing to hide the appeal of the body she
lounged over. What was it about Taylor that made him feel
so giddy and hot suddenly?
"Look, what is done is done, and I doubt Doyle will do
anything for he has no proof." Methos offered, surprised
that the Highlander had taken his accusations so hard. The
man was a seductive mix of passionate conflicting emotions,
and he wondered what the Scot would taste like. If only
he could force this into category two
, but he doubted the
vibrant Scot inspired anything but category five in all his
too dangerous for him to get
involved with. It would be best to pack up and leave.
Vanish until this entire mess settled down.
"And McKellen?" MacLeod asked, more worried now that the
evil Immortal would come after this seemingly defenseless
"What about him?" Methos asked mystified.
"What if he comes back for you?" MacLeod asked,
remembering what else had been intriguing him. "He called
you Loxley. What did he mean by that?"
...Continued in Part 2...