by Sealie


In the beginning….


‘In the beginning god, or God, created Adam. Now that’s a joke if I ever heard one. And Methos – Methuselah. The man has to have a sense of humour, but damn it’s on the sharp side of sarcastic.’

Duncan’s eyes narrowed. Methos was watching the latest Matrix movie with concentration warranted for Homer’s Odysseus. Duncan slouched back in his movie chair nursing a cardboard beaker of luke warm, watered down cola. This sort of adventure flick was not his cup of tea – his life was an adventure.


Methos flicked his hand out in the universal sign ‘shut up’. Duncan subsided; the ancient immortal was enjoying this? He was going senile in his old age.




Methos sauntered along at his side, his hands plunged deep in his pockets.

“What do you see in that stuff?”

Methos glanced at him sideway through long lashes. Duncan knew that expression: I know something that you don’t know. It was one that he was very familiar with.

“It’s a game; isn’t it.” Methos pulled his hands free and waved expansively. “Their world is ephemeral. An image jacked into their minds.  And here and now we’re bombarded with images, and news and information censored every which way but loose.”

Duncan shook his head, taking a moment to follow the leap in conversation.  “Not all news is censored.”

“Please, trust no one.”

“That’s from another television program, isn’t it?”

“Highlander, even you’re not this naïve. Do you honestly believe that we’re not manipulated from sunrise to sunset, sunset to sunrise?”

Duncan considered before he spoke. The old guy was in fine fettle; it was best to tread lightly.  “I think that you can be, but if you choose not to be, you can’t be manipulated.”

The ancient immortal grinned; Duncan felt like he had just been patted on the head like a good little doggy.

“So what did you think of the film?” he asked changing the subject.

“I think that it’s a good job we don’t fight like that.”

“But think--” Methos grinned avariciously, “--you can chop their heads off so easily when they’re prancing about in slow motion.”

There wasn’t really any answer to that.




Methos followed him home. They never finished off Methos’ place. Although Duncan knew where he was staying -- or more accurately he knew of two of Methos’ dwellings in the area.


Methos shook his head and prowled around the loft. Ignoring him, Duncan cracked open one of the beers and handed it over. Methos took a languid slurp and then held it between his first two fingers and swung it as he continued wandering around the room.

“You want to talk about it?” Duncan asked finally.

“About what?” He stopped by the window and peered out into uptown Seacouver.

“Did the movie bother you?”

“What movie?”

Duncan said slowly, “The one that we just went to see?”

“No. I preferred the first one.”


“Because it was new, exiting, first beginnings -- the second part is just a continuation… endurance,” Methos said in a moment, Mac realised, of perfect honesty. Methos’ green-brown eyes slide sideways and were veiled behind long lashes. He huffed, a wry, depreciative huff. 

“Endurance?” Mac echoed.

“Yeah, there were no surprises. We know the plot, we know the way that it will turn out. I think I need to watch a Danish movie: no happy endings. I saw a good one about a bunch of convicts on an outward bound course. They killed their warden and then each other.”  

Okay, he’s in a strangely reflective mood,’ Mac realised.

“Beginnings are infinitely more preferable,” Methos mused almost to himself.

How many, new beginnings, first beginnings -- wasn’t that an oxymoron or something? -- has he experienced?’ Mac wondered. Methos sounded tired and disillusioned. As long as he had known the man, he hadn’t heard that degree of dejection in the ancient immortal’s voice.

“What about endings?” Macleod heard himself ask.

“Endings are an entirely different kettle of fish,” Methos answered. “There are always regrets.” Abruptly, he turned on his heel. “Thanks for the beer.”

Before Mac could blink the ancient immortal had left the building.




Duncan didn’t see Methos for weeks. But he was present in each and every thought and action. Duncan wondered on it; Methos often wandered off for months or years at a time, but this time he couldn’t stop thinking about that last visit.

The Highlander stopped by his apartment a couple of times, and missed a long weekend when he had to go down to Seattle to help a friend with a stalking problem without checking on him. And then before he knew it he hadn’t seen Methos for three months.




On the off chance, Duncan stopped by one fine August evening. He knew Methos was in; there was no immortal equivalent of letting the answer machine pick up the call when you wanted to pretend you’re not in. The call of Methos’ quickening tickled his bones like nails on a black board. There was no chorus of chuckles only awfulness.

“Methos, I know you’re in there.”

“Announce it to the whole bloody world, Macleod.” Methos flung open the door. “You’re as bad as Amanda.”

“Who do you think told me how to get in?”

“I’m changing my name.” Methos span away and flounced back into his apartment. Duncan took the open door as an invitation and entered. The apartment was upscale; more than poor Adam Pierson could afford. Adam must have inherited some money from the maiden aunt who had been at death’s door for the last few years. Duncan grinned at Methos’ careful machinations. He had been whining about his poor accommodations for years -- and mooching happily off Duncan -- for as long as he had known him. But he had mused on using a fantasy aunt’s nest egg to treat himself to some new digs when she died.

Duncan carefully closed the door and threw the five paranoid locks. The Highlander followed Methos’ buzz to his sitting room, an airy place with a state of the art entertainment system by the fire place and the walls were shelved from floor to ceiling. Stacks of books stood like adoring sycophants. The centre of the room was dominated by a lazy-boy covered in purple velvet. There was no other chair.

This wasn’t a sitting room it was a sanctum sanctorum.

Methos flopped onto his throne.

“To what do I owe this pleasure, Macleod?”

“No reason. Thought I’d drop by. You fancy going out for something to eat?” Duncan saw the table beside the lazy-boy. “What’s that?”

Methos looked him sideways. “What do you think it is?”

There was a table beside the chair which was at a level perfect to balance a beer on but in this case, Duncan could see ceramics, objet d’ arts littered before him like defeated chess pieces. Methos hadn’t moved the tray; so that they were laid out for the Highlander’s inspection. Duncan couldn’t let him down.

Centre stage stood a pottery beaker. It was roughly made with geometric patterns embedded in the clay before it was fired. It seemed to be solidly constructed.

“Is this what I think it is?” Duncan didn’t want to touch it; not knowing how fragile it might be.

“I don’t know, what do you think it is?”

“A ‘Beaker’ pot.”

“Hmm, very good.”

Duncan resisted the temptation to sigh; once again Methos was being uncommonly morose rather than trickster-teasing. Duncan preferred the latter.

“Is it yours?” Silence met the question, Duncan supposed it was too vague; it was in Methos’ house – of course it was his. “Wow.” A genuine pot from the Beaker People. “Where did you get it from?”

Methos retreated into a far corner and crossed his arms over his narrow chest.

“A trader.”

“A trader?” Duncan echoed, drawing a fingertip down the side of the ancient vessel.

“Yeah, strange guy. I’d never seen his like before. Taller than my extended family. The family was small, dark and swarthy. His hair was brown - shot with grey. It was straight like mine. His skin was the same as ours: weathered. But his clothes were unbelievable. I know now that they were woven on a loom.”

“How long have you had it?” Duncan asked slowly.

“Four thousand years give or take a century or two or three.”

“What?” Duncan froze, he perhaps held Methos’ oldest possession.

“Please,” Methos drawled, in a heartbeat he was across the room and had snatched the beaker -- gently -- from Duncan’s hands. “I’d been around the block a few times before I traded for this piece of shit.”

His hands moved over the pottery lovingly.

“I suppose that you were five hundred years old when you got that pot?” Duncan asked, doing the maths, then it occurred to him: “That’s older than I am now.”

“Give the man a cigar,” Methos said snidely.

Imagine being on the Earth when the Beaker People roamed. Imagine being on the Earth when Stonehenge was raised. Imagine being on the Earth when you didn’t know if the sun would rise tomorrow.’

Methos waited patiently for Duncan to finish his ruminations on the amazement that was Methos the Ancient Immortal. Duncan smiled slightly. Methos put the pot back on the table. And Duncan thought to look at the other items. There was an obsidian mirror. Older than time, a hand-sized stone had been split in two and the edges of the half spheres had been polished to a reflective black glass surface. They were old -- out of Uruk and Mesopotamia thousands of years ago.

Duncan belatedly realised that these archaeological fragments were Methos’ oldest possessions.

Then Duncan saw it. Tiny, honed to perfection. A true tribute to the craftsmen of the Neolithic. An arrow head.

Duncan touched it with his little finger. “Did you make this?” There was a hole bored into the shaft edge to thread a cord, so that it could be worn around the neck.

Methos plucked it from the table with long fingers. “No. My father did.”

Duncan started. “I though that you didn’t remember before you took your first head.” 

“Oh?” Methos flopped back onto his chair. “I lied.”


“Kidding.” Methos’ hazel eyes filled with amused cynicism.

“So where did you get it from? It’s obviously important to you. All this stuff is. Where did the arrow head come from?”

 “It was on a thong around my neck, when I took my first quickening.”

“It’s the same age as you?”

“Or older.”

“You could carbon-date it.”

“Even if I could carbon date flint what would that prove? I could have found it lying in a stream when it had been lost for hundreds of years.”

Oh. There wasn’t really an answer to that. “Aren’t you interested?”

“In my age?”


Methos flicked the arrowhead, juggling it over his fingers. As the sharp edge nicked his skin, quickening lightning flashed in the cuts. “No.”

It wasn’t accurate to say that Methos was lying, but it wasn’t the whole truth, but Duncan wasn’t entirely sure that Methos knew that where truth met lie. Age was a weight in the Game, a weight that bowed many and broke most. Being the oldest was a mark of distinction that was aspired to, but, rationally, was unlikely to achieved. The power of that mark was coveted. Duncan thought that Methos had to be interested in his age. If you wanted to see him glower, you just had to muse, a loud, if there were any immortals older that Methos the Immortal.

“I guess you’re five thousand and five. I have known you for a few years.”

Methos smirked.

“How long have you been five thousand years old?” Duncan asked.

“For one year,” Methos said puckishly.

Duncan grinned. “Methos the Immortal, five thousand, four hundred and twenty eight years, doesn’t have the same ring, does it?”

“I’m sure that you could put it to music: five thousand, four hundred and twenty eight years on the wall…” he said singsong.

“You didn’t answer the question.” Duncan interrupted the warbling, he was becoming quite practised at pursuing Methos; the trick was to not allow the ancient immortal to distract you from your goal.

“There was no calendar, Macleod. Five thousand is and always has been an estimate.”

“Which brings me back to my original question: How long have you been five thousand years old?”

Methos’ eyes meandered up to the right, and he muttered under his breath as he counted on his fingers. “Getting on… about…. Uhm… must be… about… one thousand years.”

“You’re six thousand years old? Six thousand?”

Duncan stared at a person who was truly important in his life in ways that he found hard to put my finger on. In the beginning, he had wanted him to fill the hole left by Darius’ death, but Methos refused to play. Methos danced to his own complicated rhythm. He was an annoying, competent, unpredictable, intelligent bastard of the first order.

Methos’ arrowhead continued to dance frenetically over his fingers; he was as frustrated as Duncan had ever seen him. “Since I started counting. It’s not really important,” he said exasperated.

Now Duncan knew why he was in such a bad mood, no one had remembered.

“Happy Birthday, Methos.”




“Everything comes to those who wait,” Methos said reflectively, a thousand years later.