An “Imitation” MWC
The Holy Ground Highlander Forum Midweek Challenge
Archivist’s Note: The stories and vignettes offered here from various Forumlanders have not been edited or changed other than having a spell-check performed and being reformatted for this website.
The Challenge by FOM
Second-String Blues by Leslie Fish
Behind the Mask by Robin
Old Friends and New by FOM
A Day in the Store by Robin
Just an idea. In Leah's absence and in honor of her and SBO's BDay, an IMMI MWC featuring
Posted By: FOM, not wishing to be pushy, a suggestion <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thursday, 24 October 2002, at 1:38 p.m.
one or two of your favorite HL immortals and a Forumlander.
Now this can only VERGE on being 'bad'.
Try to use humor and metaphor and even tongue in cheek type stuff!*G*
No insults...only if meant in the nicest possible way!!!*BG*
This is only a suggestion...mainly because I have a scene with one of our more famous Forumlanders and a delicious she-male type Immortal...hmmmmmm
what say ye? *:o}}
MWC: Second String Blues
Posted By: Leslie Fish <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, 25 October 2002, at 7:23 a.m.
MacLeod pushed open the door and strolled into the welcome atmosphere of Joe's Le Blues Bar , feeling almost at once the edge of Methos' distinctive aura. A quick glance around the main room showed the familiar lanky form huddled unobtrusively at a table in a shadowed corner. MacLeod strolled that way, smiling as he noted that Methos was seated in a position where he could watch all the doors and reach the nearest of them quickly. Methos saw him coming, and greeted him with a barely-noticeable smile and wave. MacLeod reached the table, pulled out a chair for himself and looked toward the bar to catch Joe's eye.
That was when the song began. There was a lone singer on the stage, under a single mellow spotlight: a black-haired woman playing guitar. The instant she started to sing, MacLeod recognized her voice.
"Listen and I'll tell ya how it's done..."
MacLeod all but spun in his chair, staring. Yes, that was a 12-string guitar all right, and yes, that was Lisa Carp playing it.
"If you want a woman, learn from one."
"Someone you know?" Methos asked quietly, reaching for his inevitable beer.
"Don't presume this is all for your fun."
"Yes," MacLeod admitted. "Lisa Carp."
"These are not the ways to get laid."
While the rest of the audience snickered, and Methos raised a questioning eyebrow, MacLeod tried to explain.
"She saw me take a Quickening. I wound up telling her about the immortals, and she went straight to the other guy's Watcher to volunteer."
Methos stared at him, beer halted halfway to his mouth. "So she knows...?"
"First: don't ignore that measuring tape,"
"And she knows me."
"And chow down 'til you lose your shape,"
"Has she spotted you?" Methos set down his beer.
"'Cause nobody beds with Moby Grape."
"I don't know."
"This is not the way to get laid."
This time the audience howled. MacLeod glanced around him again, and saw Joe making his way toward the table carrying a tray that held two glasses and three beer bottles.
"Well, Joe has, anyway," Methos grinned.
"Don't play the Cool Sophisticate to prove how smart you are."
MacLeod couldn't help flicking a smirk at Methos.
"Telling all your kinky fantasies will not -- get you -- very far."
As the audience roared, Joe came up to the table and set his burden down. MacLeod pulled out a chair for him, and Joe dropped gratefully into it. Methos snagged one of the bottles.
"Don't skip washing; do it well."
"She's something else, isn't she?" Joe smiled, looking toward the stage.
"Don't let laundry go to hell."
Something else, all right," MacLeod agreed, taking a bottle and glass for himself.
"Don't think women like the smell."
The guitar twanged an expressive note.
"This is not the way to get laid."
"The crowd loves her," Joe noted, over the audience's howls of laughter -- most of it female. "And she's really good with that 12-string. There aren't that many good 12-string players, more's the pity."
"And when some babe comes into view..."
"I think maybe they're intimidated by the legend of Leadbelly."
"Don't let hormones think for you,"
"Not her, though."
"Or start by saying: 'Hi. Let's screw.'"
Screeches of knowing feminine laughter rolled out of the crowd.
"This is not the way to get laid."
"Are all her songs this, er, raunchy?" Methos enquired.
"No," MacLeod and Joe said simultaneously -- then stopped and looked at each other. "Uh, I've met her before, Joe," MacLeod admitted.
"Yeah. She told me," Joe grinned back.
"Don't pour your whole life story out on every handy ear."
"In fact, she insisted on joining my team."
"Let's get real; your life's a bore, or else you -- wouldn't -- still be here."
Half the women in the audience shouted back: "You'd be in bed!"
"How long has she been playing here?" MacLeod asked.
"Three days now, and she already has a following -- and a popular song."
"Don't be gross when you begin,"
"It's been just a couple months since I met her," MacLeod pondered. "I thought she'd still be at the academy."
"Or tell plump girls you like 'em thin,"
"She already had some, uh, remarkable qualifications..." Joe shrugged.
"Or brag of where your tongue has been."
That line made Methos spew his mouthful of beer. The rest of the audience laughed so loudly that nobody could hear the chorus line.
"I'll bet she wrote that one," MacLeod murmured.
"I'm sure she did," Methos coughed, wiping off his chin.
"Don't assume they love your bod,"
"She did," Joe replied. "She plays all her own stuff, no covers."
"Or that your dick is a holy rod,"
Methos muttered something about "uncovered", and made up for his lost mouthful of beer.
"Or that your feelings are the Word of God."
This time, all the snickers from the audience were female.
"This is not the way to get laid."
"Her previous songs were radically different," Methos commented. "A grim love-song..."
"That was 'Nothing To Lose'," Joe recalled, "And I don't think it's just about ordinary love gone bad."
"No-one's gonna fill your bed just because you're you."
"Ouch," MacLeod muttered.
"Nobody cares what you think or feel, unless you give them reason to."
The audience was quieter, thinking that over, as Lisa swung into the instrumental break.
"And unusual woman," Methos noted. "And she's Duncan's co-Watcher now?"
"Right." Joe gave MacLeod a half-embarrassed look. "She's a lot more mobile than I am. Expect to see her trotting around after you a lot."
"Your personal groupie," Methos smirked.
"'Cause if you talk and act like a dirty schmoe,"
"More of a friend," MacLeod caught himself bristling, and wondered why he felt obliged to defend her in front of Methos.
"Look and smell like a buffalo,"
"Interesting friends you collect, Duncan." Methos took another mouthful of beer.
"Then even the whores are gonna say no."
"Look who's talking," MacLeod chuckled.
"This is not the way to get laid."
"Well better a friendly Watcher than..." Methos looked to Joe, and shrugged. Joe smiled ruefully.
"Grow up, baby, and don't say 'maybe',"
"Yeah." MacLeod took a healthy swig of his beer.
"Or else you'll never get laid."
The thunderous applause that followed the closing chords made conversation impossible for a long moment. The three friends at the corner table contented themselves with absorbing the beer, and MacLeod finally noticed that the brand was Red Wolf. He wondered how Joe had managed to get the stuff in Paris.
"Just a short break, folks," Lisa announced, unslinging her guitar. "Have a drink, a sandwich or a potty-break, and I'll be right back." She set the guitar in its nearby case, picked up a half-filled glass near her foot, got up and trotted off the stage.
"She saw me all right," MacLeod noted, "And she's coming here."
Methos started to shove back his chair, then paused, giving a pained look to his unfinished beer and the fresh bottle.
"Oh, stay put," MacLeod sighed. "You may as well meet her now as later."
"I think too many people know me already," Methos muttered, but he pulled his chair back to the table and reached for his glass. "She also sang one about it being 'That Kind of a Day'," he grumbled. "Is the lady psychic, or what?"
"I'm not sure," MacLeod admitted, remembering the great Arizona fire. "I saw her sing up the wind, once."
The other two froze and stared at him. MacLeod squirmed inwardly, wondering if he'd have to tell the whole story right now. The decision was postponed as Lisa came up to the table.
"Hey, Joe," she greeted her supposed employer, then turned a beaming smile on MacLeod. "Hey, Duncan! Good to see you again."
"And you, too." MacLeod caught himself returning her smile. "So they didn't keep you long in Geneva?"
"Nope." Lisa slid, catlike, into the remaining chair. "I aced the placement test, and they didn't have that much left to teach me."
Joe shook his head in appreciation.
Lisa peered at the third man at the table, and her smile returned. "Damn!" she marveled. "Adam Pierson, no less! Hello, legend." She stuck out a hand.
Methos took it briefly, rolling his eyes at Joe. "God," he muttered, "How wild a reputation do I have at the academy?"
"It's not that bad, really." Lisa reached for her drink and made half of it vanish. "Just that you were a good researcher, and one day something happened to let you know you were an immortal..." She paused, raising an eyebrow at him.
"I was hit by a truck," Methos invented. "When I woke up beside the road with my clothes shredded but my skin intact, I knew what it meant."
MacLeod and Joe looked at each other, then hastily buried their faces in their beers.
"Ah..." Lisa nodded sympathetically. "And of course you didn't want to announce that fact to the whole world."
"Hardly," Methos smiled. "I'm sure you can understand my predicament."
"Well, you eventually confessed and quit," Lisa grinned, "And there was great consternation -- not the least over your sending in regular reports on yourself. Terribly embarrassing to the old club."
MacLeod was hard put not to laugh out loud. He hadn't heard that part of the story.
"You'd think we'd have guessed," Joe put in, "That after all these centuries it had to happen, sooner or later."
"There was some talk," Lisa reflected, "Of hiring you back as a bird-dog."
"A...what?" Methos looked slightly pole-axed.
Joe caught it, and snickered.
"They'd like you to help sniff out undiscovered immortals," Lisa explained. "After all, you can sense them, and we can't. And you really were a damned good researcher, you know."
Studying the expressions that flickered, fast and subtle as hydrogen flames, over Methos' face, Duncan guessed that he was seriously tempted.
"I...I'll have to think it over," Methos murmured, playing his Adam Pierson persona to the hilt. "It sounds rather dangerous."
"So is life," Lisa shrugged. "Meanwhile, since it's really not The Proper Thing to have you Watching yourself, how about taking me on?"
"I beg your pardon?" Methos' stunned look was totally unrehearsed.
"I mean, since I'm only the second-string biographer for Duncan, and you two pal around a lot, why not let me be your Boswell, too?"
MacLeod and Joe struggled to suppress snickers at the sight of Methos' mouth opening and closing with no sound coming out.
"That's a first!" Joe couldn't help saying.
"Not really," Lisa glanced at him. "Reading between the lines on ancient Watcher history, it's pretty clear that in ancient times a lot of immortals were worshipped as gods -- and we were their priesthood. Priests don't hide from their gods; quite the contrary, if anything. I get the distinct impression that the ancient gods were rather tickled with the idea of priestly secretaries trotting around after them, dutifully recording all their deeds and sayings for posterity. Great for the ego, that sort of thing."
The light was too dim to be certain, but MacLeod could have sworn that he saw Methos blush.
"So it's not as if we're setting a precedent, or anything," Lisa finished. "Just let me hang around with you and take notes -- when I'm not here, singing, that is. Speaking of which..." Lisa glanced at her wristwatch. "I have to get back on stage. Stay and listen, won't you?"
She took the remains of her drink with her as she got up from the table and strolled back toward the stage. The audience, seeing her coming, began to clap in anticipation.
"It wouldn't be the first time," Methos mumbled, reaching for his beer.
"She's not bad company," MacLeod smiled.
The noise died down as Lisa resumed her seat on the lone barstool, pulled her guitar into position and strummed some opening chords.
"She's a lot of fun, in fact," Joe considered, "And a damned good musician."
MacLeod noticed that the chords were falling into a Latin beat instead of Blues, and shot a questioning glance at Joe. "Yeah," Joe replied, "Every song she does is different."
"Very different," Methos muttered in his beer.
At that point Lisa started in on the words.
"Carmen Miranda's ghost is haunting Space Station Three..."
The crowd whooped, but not too noisily; everyone wanted to hear the words.
"Half the crew has seen her, plus the Portmaster and me."
"She's fascinating," MacLeod admitted. "Where does she get all these weird ideas?"
"And if you think we've had too much of Cooky's home-made rum,"
Joe couldn't help saying: "It must be the company she keeps."
"Just tell me where those basket-hats of fruit keep coming from."
"You know," Methos considered, watching her, "Hanging around with her just might be fun."
"Score another for Lisa," Joe chuckled, raising his glass.
MacLeod could think of nothing better than to raise his, too.
IMMI MWC: Behind the Mask
Posted By: Robin <Catnature@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, 24 October 2002, at 3:47 p.m.
I wrote this in March 2001:
“Behind the mask…” is playing on the TV. Methos feels the Buzz and looks towards the door, and then there is a knock. Methos gets up with a curse and goes to the door, looking first through the peephole, he opens it. “Come in MacLeod.” he says opening the door wide.
Duncan MacLeod enters and Methos closes the door and at the TV. “Am I interrupting?” Duncan asks.
“No. It’s in commercial. This is one of my favorite shows.” Methos says obviously detracted, then he shakes hid head. “What can I do for you MacLeod?”
“I was just in the neighborhood.”
“Okay. Grab a beer and sit down.” Methos returned to sprawl on the couch.
Duncan helps himself to a beer and watches his friend with amusement. “What are we watching?”
“The Queen of Swords.”
Duncan glances at the screen and is shocked at what he sees.
Methos glances over and starts to laugh. “That’s Dr. Helm.”
“Yes. I know.”
Duncan reaches for his swords.
“Easy Duncan. Please don’t kill my TV. That’s Colonel Montoya.”
Duncan relaxes, “How long have you been watching
“Since the beginning.” Methos admits, “It’s not
historically accurate, but it is fun.”
Duncan spends the next hour watching both his friend and “The Queen of Swords”.
The ending credits roll and Methos clinks off the VCR just after the fireworks.
“You record it also.” Duncan comments with a raised eyebrow.
“I have to be able to rewatch it or I can never keep up with the discussions
on the Forum.” Methos
“What Forum?” Methos gives Duncan a you’re kidding look. “The Queen of Swords Forum.” He goes to his computer and clicks the bookmark. “Fireworks apparently has decided not to do a second season. So the fans have a letter writing campaign going on."
Duncan looks at the computer table. “You write fan
letters to a production company?” Duncan starts to
laugh shaking his head.
“Hey, it worked for Star Trek, besides Robin is very persuasive.” Methos smiles.
“Robin? Who is Robin?” Duncan looks confused.
“She is sort of the cheerleader of the Save The Queen of Swords Campaign. She says she is just a fan. She may be a little crazy, tilling at windmills.” Methos muses.
Duncan reads over Methos’ shoulder. After awhile he asks, “Do you think they have a chance?”
“You never know until we try.” Methos answers handing Duncan a pen and paper.
IMMI MWC: Old Friends and New
Posted By: FOM, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tuesday, 29 October 2002, at 10:40 a.m.
Do you remember Big John’s experience with Liz Gracen a few years ago at a con when she called him up on stage and hugged him and if memory serves, also gave him a kiss! I know what a thrill it is to meet someone you’ve been a fan of for so long, and adore as only a true fan can. This was the inspiration for my idea of writing a Forumlander into a scene with the immortals of your choice. I wrote it several years ago, while in a toxic working situation, finding fun and solace on the Forum. Not surprisingly, Real Life intervened and I never got the little scene posted. Now, James Joyce, I’m not, and it’s a bit toward the end…just had to set a little of the storyline for you.
Rating: PG for Language
To set the scene: The time is about a year and a half after Tessa’s death, and of course, Darius is gone, too. Duncan is living in Paris again, visited by an old immortal friend, Gerard, an ancient one who stands 6’7” and in his cowboy boots closer to 7 feet. He has lived in Texas off and on for the last 100 years, is wealthy in oil and cattle, is a medical doctor in ‘this’ life, a surgeon, and a really, really old friend-turned enemy of Methos. Place: St. Joseph’s Church (Darius’ parish) Gerard and Methos have already faced off, verbally, after carrying a grudge against each other for a couple thousand years. Both were surprised to find the other present. This has just taken place, while Duncan’s America friend Meredith (an opera singer) is sleeping in Darius’ room. Methos wrote about Meredith in the MWC I posted a couple of weeks ago, now posted at www.ellenharris.net/FOM/FethosMansion.html.
Note: I was a tad confused with canon timeline when I wrote this so please just go with it. I think it's workable.*g*…
Duncan and Gerard sat in the small back room, engrossed for an hour in their discussion of the vital information Methos had secretly secured from the Watcher Organization. Duncan still had questions pressing in on him. “We need a strategy. We need a plan. We need- -“
“—To kill the bast**d behind all this,” Gerard finished for him. Duncan looked at him in silence. Gerard raised his eyebrows and Duncan nodded his agreement reluctantly. “What is it MacLeod-boy? Sumpn’s eatin’ at you.”
“It’s just…I know a Watcher. He’s ‘mine’ actually. That is, he’s assigned to me. He’s …I can’t believe he would condone this.”
Gerard was incredulous. “You’re friends with one of these sons of bitches?”
“No, no. That’s what I’m saying. I can’t believe Dawson would actually be a part of this madness. He knows us- - me, I mean, and well…a few other immortals…uh, one or maybe… two…” Duncan faltered under Gerard’s piercing gaze. “I haven’t known him long, but I don’t think he’d go along with this insane plan for our extinction.”
Gerard lowered his brows and looked hard at Duncan. “Well, where is he now? Why hasn’t he talked to you? I assume he’s your other ‘contact’ in the organization?”
Duncan nodded silently, then answered, “I don’t know where he is right now. Maybe in Paris, since I’m here.” Duncan rubbed his temples. The lack of sleep was weighing on him. His thoughts whirled. Had he been wrong about Dawson after all? Was he himself not a better judge of character than to assume the man was sincere, only to be so completely fooled?
The two friends sat in silence, the fire crackling and popping. Suddenly, Gerard spoke very quietly, “Where’s Methos?”
Duncan felt himself go tense and the back of his neck prickled. “He was headed toward Darius’ room to sit with Meredith for awhile.”
Gerard’s translucent blue eyes pierced Duncan. Duncan returned his gaze steadily. They rose simultaneously and went quickly down the hall, only to find the door to Darius’ room standing open, and Meredith and Methos gone.
Gerard’s voice was deadly as the words came on his breath. “Son of a bitch.”
* * * * * *
In the Jimmy, Methos picked up his cell phone, called the Charles V Hotel and informed them that Ms. Meredith diAngelos would be arriving in thirty minutes to take up residence in her reserved suite. The concierge replied that all was ready and waiting for Madame and as always, the Charles V would be honored by her presence and at her service with the greatest of pleasure. Methos rang off, then called the Ritz Carlton and verified her suite reservation. Again, the assurance came that Mme. diAngelos’ suite was certainly ready for her. Methos told the man to expect them in one hour.
He rang a third number. The answering machine came on. At the beep, he said, “Pick up, there’s a dear. Please be a sweetie and pick up. It’s Methos and we’ve…I’ve got a real emergency.”
Her voice came sharply into his ear, “It damn well better be at this hour of the morning.” Then, “How are you, darling? What do you need?” After Methos’ brief explanation and request, she agreed with reluctance, wary of getting involved, but too intrigued to refuse. She said he “definitely owed her one” and rang off.
Methos directed the Jimmy off road into a shadowed area and transferred sleeping Meredith into the back storage area of his vehicle. He arranged his empty luggage to hide her presence, then paused a moment. He caressed her cheek, pale in the shadows, bent and kissed her softly. “Sleep well, my love, and dream good luck for us.”
He knew exactly where he would take her.
* * * * *
Gerard cursed fluently and heatedly in at least three languages while Duncan put out the fire in the hearth and gathered the papers Methos had brought. Like a whirlwind Gerard stormed out the back door of the church and threw himself into the passenger side of his big silver Mercedes. Duncan locked the church quickly and slid behind the driver’s wheel.
“All right, MacLeod. Where do you think he’s taken her?”
“Three possible places I can think of. The Ritz, the Charles V, or his own apartment.”
“Damn it, which one?”
Duncan shook his head. “I’d guess his place, but can’t really say.”
“If that’s where you’d guess then let’s try the hotels. He’d want to throw us off the trail.”
Again, Duncan shook his head. “Honestly, Gerard…”
Muttering something unintelligible to Duncan, Gerard then snapped, “Just pick one and go.”
Duncan remembered Methos saying that Meredith liked the Charles V. He grabbed his cell phone and dialed the hotel, asking for Ms. diAngelos suite. The concierge apologized that he could not connect Monsieur because Ms. diAngelos had not yet arrived. He assured m’sieur that he expected her at any time. Perhaps m’sieur would like to call again in say, thirty minutes; he would be most happy to connect him then.
Duncan flipped the phone shut, saying, “She’s expected anytime within the next thirty minutes.”
“Time’s a wastin’,” Gerard said shortly.
* * * * *
They arrived in record time. Duncan tipped the valet, requesting that the car be kept close but out of sight. The two men entered the nearly empty lobby of the famous hotel. It was beautifully appointed and at first glance, one did not notice that the plush gold velvet sofas were beginning to show wear, nor that the ornate, hand-carved moulding that bordered the ceiling and walls needed new gilt. The crystal chandeliers sparkled exquisitely, the valets were crisply uniformed and appropriately polite. Meredith had said she liked the hotel because it offered the ambiance of a fine old establishment with old-moneyed patronage and management, the kind that belonged to a time not so terribly long ago, but nearly forgotten by most hotels in the present rush to ‘progress’.
The concierge glanced up and blinked in surprise at the two men standing before him. Proud of his ability to judge character, he began in one quick glance to make his assessment. He saw not one but two strikingly handsome men. The giant, clearly in remarkable physical condition, had incredibly broad shoulders and a massive chest, and impeccable taste as well, Andre noted silently. The suit was a gorgeous shade of azure with gray pin stripe, Armani without doubt, and exquisitely tailored. Andre felt a shiver of awe run through him when his quick eye caught the bulge of enormous biceps through the immaculate suit jacket. The man’s hair, worn loose and waving to his shoulders, was unlike any Andre had ever seen. The various shades of brown mingled and made lighter by the sun, perhaps on the Cote d’Azur, glimmered iridescent gold in the chandelier light, almost like - -the thought struck like a dart - - a halo. The face- - ah! The face was deeply tanned, and such a forehead, broad and unlined, and the brows- -formidable! The cheekbones were remarkable and the eyes…Andre’s glance met the light blue eyes, again quite unlike any he had seen, and found them astonishingly mesmerizing. He felt unnerved by them, as if they could see straight into his soul. His glance dropped quickly to the massive chest, then to the narrow waist, to which were attached to very long, very straight legs.
He blinked three times rapidly and looked at the second gentleman. Not as tall, no; still he was at least six feet. Dark hair caught back in a sleek pony tail, brown, intelligent, very intense eyes, and again, the cheekbones! And such skin! Mon Dieu! Equally handsome, he wore jeans, a pullover sweater (expensive, though understatedly so, Andre noted with satisfaction) and a black leather jacket. The jaw line was set and he moved fluidly and quickly. Not a man to contend with, not at all!
The effect caused Andre’s mouth to drop open. He could not help himself. He felt goose flesh all over his body, while the flesh of his scalp crawled. They were completely masculine and utterly, unbelievably beautiful. In all of his mostly non-religious life, he had never seen two such men. A sudden flash of memory: his grandmother taking him to church- -he must have been all of six years old. In the foyer he had stood, awestruck, looking up at the larger-than-life magnificently dramatic statue. It was the Archangel Michael, his grandmere had murmured in hushed tones.
Andre blinked again, gulped, and gripped the edge of the desk to keep from crossing himself. There was no other conclusion to be drawn. These were not mere men at all. They were…they had to be…angels.
Duncan said more insistently, “Monsieur!” and repeated his inquiry about Mme. Di Angelos.
“Ah, yes,” Andre’s voice cracked as he stuttered a bit. “Madame has not arrived yet but should be here at any moment. If the gentlemen would care to wait… perhaps in the restaurant, for early breakfast? Unfortunately the bar is closed.” The words tumbled over themselves.
Gerard moved away from the desk and sat where he could easily see the elevators and back entrance halls and Duncan had full view of the outside entrance to the lobby. The minutes passed far too slowly for Gerard, who was having difficulty restraining himself. He checked his watch every other minute, while Methos’ words, spat out through gritted teeth in those moments at St. Joseph’s, echoed in his mind. Ten minutes passed. Fifteen. At twenty minutes, Gerard crossed to Duncan and said, “Let’s check this out. Somethin’ ain’t right. Feels like we been skunked.”
Duncan approached the desk; however, before he could ask, Andre rushed to assure him that he had indeed received a call confirming the lady’s arrival. Duncan discreetly offered him several franc notes, which to Duncan’s surprise, Andre vehemently refused, quickly turning the message book around and saying, “It was from a M. Darius Milhaud.” As he continued talking, something about traffic, car trouble, Duncan only half listened. Gerard looked over his shoulder.
Duncan spoke, puzzled “From Darius Milhaud…as in…the composer?” The concierge shrugged. It was all he could do. No more words would come.
Gerard said, “Darius….” His voice hardened. “What’s that supposed to be, some kind of clue? The little…” and he began to mutter again in that language Duncan didn’t recognize, but the meaning was clear enough. He gripped Gerard’s arm and together they walked away from the desk. Gerard commanded, “Call the Ritz,” and walked out the door.
Speaking into his cell phone to the night manager at the Ritz, Duncan heard the man assure him that Madame had arrived only moments before. He himself had registered her personally. Duncan slipped the phone into his pocket and walked outside. The valet was getting out of the car and Gerard climbed in. Once again, Duncan slid behind the steering wheel, and said, “Just arrived at the Ritz. He pressed his booted foot to the accelerator and the powerful Mercedes shot down the avenue.
* * * * * *
Behind the desk, M. Balzac assured the formidable gentlemen that Madame had arrived, not even thirty minutes ago, but she did not wish to be disturbed as she had been flying all night and was exhausted. Duncan thanked him, explaining that they were very old friends who wanted to surprise Madame. Pressing franc notes into the manager’s hand, Duncan assured him Madame simply adored such surprises. The suite number and electronic key card were quickly forthcoming.
As the lift rose, Duncan glanced at his friend and dared to say, “Try to stay calm, Gerard.”
* * * * *
* * * * *
They found the suite and Duncan inserted the key card. They practically lunged into the room shoulder to shoulder, Gerard determined to find Methos and Meredith, Duncan determined to forestall any further confrontation. They both stopped short, stunned at the scene before them.
There on the plush red velvet sofa, wearing an elegant black lace negligee, the décolletage cut dangerously low to show off her more than generous bosom, was a beautiful slender raven-haired woman. She was lounging with champagne glass in hand; long slim legs stretched out in front of her. With a quirked eyebrow, she smiled coyly and crossed her ankles. Her brightly polished red toenails peeked out from feather covered black mules. Duncan’s friend, Amanda Darieux, gave them a sidelong glance, radiating her potent sex appeal, and waved cheerily. “Hello, darlings! What took you so long?”
Gerard glared at Duncan who quickly moved toward Amanda and bent to sit on the coffee table in front of her, but she waved him off. “Tut, tut, tut! No darling, not on the coffee table. You’ll break the cute little thing. Not that I would mind since it’s only Louis Treize, or Seize or…“ her hand fluttered, “but it’s not mine and the Ritz might object rather - -”
“SILENCE!” Gerard nearly roared.
Amanda blinked and gazed open-mouthed at Gerard who said sternly, “MacLeod?”
With wide eyes, Amanda looked coyly at Gerard. Then, exposing nearly all of her very long, very slim legs, she sat up. “Well, well! What have we here? Another immortal! And a giant one at that!” She brazenly looked him up and down, then leaned forward and stood, slowly, sensuously, and sashayed herself up to Gerard. She allowed her bosom to brush his chest, plucked at a shirt button and said, “Don’t tell me. Let me guess. You’re certainly tall enough, but…” she looked him over again, “no, I don’t think you play for the NBA. It’s too…”she made a face and wrinkled her nose, “too sweaty.” Boldly Amanda ran her hand lightly down Gerard’s arm, murmuring, “Oh my, what big muscles you have!” She took one of his large hands in hers. “Hm. Strong, but very clean. Ooh! Manicured nails! It’s obvious you don’t work construction, but, um…” she leaned into him purposefully and gave him a little pouty look, pursing her luscious red lips, “whatever do you do for fun, a big man like yourself, hmm? Do you ever play in the…dirt?” She wrinkled her nose again, batted her eyelashes and gave him her best ‘come hither’ smile.
Gerard’s jaw muscles were clenched and his tan had turned a deep red. Duncan quickly grabbed Amanda and practically threw her down on the couch, warning, “I wouldn’t press my luck, Amanda.”
"Now, see what you've done, Duncan! Made me spill my champagne!" She brushed ineffectually at her negligee, sounding a bit cross. "Tsk, tsk! Hmph!" Then a bit petulantly, "Well don't just stand there, Duncan. Introduce us! I didn't think there was a really old immortal I hadn't met, though there are plenty I've met that I didn't like, only they weren't anywhere nearly so old, but I still- -"
"Duncan, Duncan, please. There's no need to yell."
"Then shut up and listen!" Duncan shot back.
Unruffled, but with reproach, Amanda responded, "All right, darling, I'm listening! For goodness' sakes, you'd think - -oh my, how rude of me! Champagne, anyone?" Amanda lifted her glass. "John?"
A slender young man wearing a butler's elegant dress uniform stepped forward. He held a crisp linen napkin wrapped expertly around the bottle as he poured Dom Perignon into Amanda's glass. "Thank you sweetly, John. Oh! How could I forget my manners? This is, " she smiled a dazzling smile at the young man, "my new butler, John." John gave a brief dignified bow and smiled slightly.
Gerard cut in, "Great Jehosaphat, woman! Can't you keep quiet for even one moment?"
The young butler quickly hid the disapproving expression that crossed his face. He remained near Amanda, behind the low sofa, ready to step to her aid. She inhaled to reply to Gerard, only to find Duncan suddenly sitting by her, his hand over her mouth. "Amanda, where are Methos and Meredith? It's imperative that we know. Methos has taken Meredith and- -" Duncan cast about in his thoughts, "we think they're walking into a trap."
Amanda looked at him as if he were mad, then mumbled against his hand, shrugged and glared at him. Duncan said, "All right, but when I take my hand away, you'd better tell us what we need to know. " She half-nodded and Duncan removed his hand.
"Duncan! How rude! I can't believe you- -" he made as if to cover her mouth again. She stopped him. "All right. All right!" Her hand fluttered about her bosom. "My, my! Such intensity! John...?"
The handsome young butler leaned forward, offering her a tray of hors d'oeuvres. Amanda smiled dazzlingly at him again. "Thank you ever so much, John. Such a dear," she murmured, popping a cube of cheese into her mouth. She chewed it thoroughly, swallowed, sipped her champagne, then glanced at Duncan. His face looked like a thundercloud. She feigned surprise, "What...? Oh, right, darling, Methos..."
She began innocently, "All I know is, Methos called and asked if I'd like to give up what he called my 'wicked habits,' and I suppose he was referring to the ones that are occasionally just a teensy-eensy-weensy little bit...um, illegal," she rushed over that word, "which of course I assured him I had already done centuries ago, given them up, I mean, and, well," she caught sight of Gerard's face and her facade faltered a bit, so she looked at Duncan, "well, um, as he put it, switch careers! He offered me the job of, can you feature this? 'Opera Singer for a Night,' and I thought, Hm, a night at the Ritz, all expenses paid, and as long as I didn't really have to sing opera, you know, I could dress up, bring my new sweet butler John and...well, yes, sounded like it could be some fun to me. So I changed my leotards for furs and ta-da," she smiled broadly and waggled her shoulders purposely, causing her bosom to jiggle and bounce gloriously, "here I am!"
Duncan asked incredulously, "That's it?"
"Well, sure," Amanda warmed to her story. "He told me to tell the desk clerk I was Mme. diAngelos," Amanda crossed her legs, demurely covering them with the sheer negligee, "and of course, with my furs, dark glasses and turban, they couldn't tell if I was Mata Hari, or whoever, and I really do look like her, you know, Mata Hari, I mean and...and...will you tell your extra tall friend there to quit goring me with those death rays from his icy-blue eyes. Oooooo, " she pretended to shiver, jiggling her bosom again, "it's practically Arctic in here." She sipped more champagne, this time for a bit of courage.
Gerard finally broke the heavy silence and his low, resonant voice sent a genuine shiver down Amanda's spine and over her scalp. "MacLeod, tell your Mata Hari opera singin' friend there she'd best sing out where Methos is taking Meredith, or else her budding new career will be cut short by her head bein' permanently separated from her body."
Unnoticed by the others, John the butler set the hors d'oeuvres tray down noiselessly and prepared himself mentally, expecting any moment to draw his deadly Katana from beneath his tuxedo jacket (tails, of course) in order to defend Miss Amanda's honor.
Duncan said softly, "Amanda."
At last, she dropped the vamp act and said, "Oh, all right," as
she set her glass on the coffee table. "No need to go all violent on
me." She actually frowned at Gerard.
"Duncan, I don't know. Honestly. Methos didn't tell me anything. He didn't even tell me he had Ms...um, Meredith with him." She widened her brown eyes at him, lying as sincerely as she possibly could. "That's the truth, Duncan. He must have known you'd find me, so he didn't really tell me anything. He knew I would have to tell you." She put both hands on his arms and looked directly into his eyes. "You have to believe me. It's the truth. I really don't know. Not a clue." She shrugged, then touched his cheek and added, "I'm sorry."
Duncan looked a long moment into her eyes, then nodded at last. He said briefly, "Don’t leave town. I'll talk to you soon. It's important."
Without a word, the giant turned and stalked out of the room. Duncan rose to follow, and as he left, Amanda's eyes followed him, wide and questioning.
* * * * * *
Duncan and Gerard stood outside the door for a moment. Duncan asked, "Want to try his place?"
"Might 's well," came the short reply, "but I've got a real clear feeling it'll be a waste of time." Gerard shook his head.
"We'll try anyway." Duncan walked ahead.
* * * * * *
After the door closed, Amanda took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly as she turned to look at John. Rolling her eyes, she pressed slim fingers over her forehead, which glowed with a thin film of perspiration. "Damn," she said, "not your ideal audience for an opening night, are they? Gave me a hell of a headache."
John produced a fresh soft handkerchief from his pocket and murmured, "There, there, Miss Amanda, " as he tenderly pressed it to her brow. "I thought you were wonderful!" She inhaled deeply again and sighed. John asked softly, "Would you like me to massage your temples...Amanda?"
"Oh, yes, would you, John? It's so sweet of you to offer." Amanda turned and leaned back, nestling her head against the plush velvet sofa back. John removed his white gloves and with the well-manicured second and third fingers of each hand, he began to massage Amanda's temples in a gentle circular motion. "Mmmm," she murmured, "John, dear, that's heavenly." As he continued his gentle ministrations, a soft moan escaped her lips. On an impulse, she reached, grasped his right hand, and turned to press her lips against his palm. She said softly, "Remind me to give you a raise."
John smiled. If things went as he hoped, he would not have to tell her that she already had - - she would find out for herself.
Just a little remembrance for Big John of his lovely con experience! FOM
IMMI MWC: A Day in the Store
Posted By: Robin <Catnature@yahoo.com>
Date: Friday, 25 October 2002, at 3:34 p.m.
"Robin, could you help the lady at the flatware?" Wyn asked "I'm with a customer."
"Sure." Robin smiles and steps down off her stool. She unhooks her cane from her apron and walks towards the front of the store and to the lady. "May I help you."
The lady turns and smiles "Yes. I can't decide which one to get."
Robin thinks that the lady looks a lot like Tracy Scoggins but knows it isn't. "It depends on your personal taste. Which ones do you like?"
The lady picks out several patterns and Robin opens the boxes one at a time handing the lady a fork from each set so her can get the feel.
She makes her choice and Robin carries the boxes up to the counter and the lady continues to shop.
The store is busy, it's a Saturday. Robin is at the register ringing people up and wrapping and bagging their purchases.
"Are these yours also?" a male voice asks.
Robin head pops up. It's Peter, no it's not Peter. She smiles and goes back to ringing.
The lady comes up with her items and Robin rings them. "The total is $257.69."
The man with the lady hands over his credit card and Robin runs it through. The name on the card is "Adam Pierson". Robin smiles and laughs inside.
"It that anything?" Robin asks before hitting the final "Y" button.
"Cass, is that anything?" the man asks his lady.
"Hmm. Yes. I'm just looking."
Robin hits the button and hands the slip to Mr. Pierson to sign. he hands it back and Robin hands him his credit card and receipt.
"Thank you." she says.
"Thank you. Oh do you know of a good place to get something to eat?" Mr. Pierson asks.
Robin offers several places and gets a map to show them. When she stands up again her Watcher Pendant swings into view.
The couple grin at each other and lean over the map on the counter. Quietly he asks "How did you know I wasn't Peter Wingfield?"
Robin grins "Because Peter would have known me on sight?" she looks around quickly then says "Hello Methos."
Robin clocks out and goes upstairs to put away her apron and get her stuff. She is in a hurry today, she has a meeting at Club Jalapeno.
She heads back down stairs and says her goodbyes as she makes her way to the door. A quick stop at her car to drop off her things and then it's the block and half walk to the restaurant.
Club Jalapeno is a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant. The waitress looks up from the bar when Robin walks in but Robin spots the people she is meeting and moves to join them.
Adam Pierson stands and move behind a leather backed chair pulling it out for her. She sits and Adam returns to his seat.
The waitress comes to the table and thanks for drink orders. Robin and Cassandra order iced tea and Adam orders a beer. Robin smiles at that order.
The waitress leaves and they pick up their menus. After talking at what is good. they fold the menus and the waitress is by with their drinks. She takes their orders and leaves again.
Robin glances around the restaurant to make sure no one is listening. They aren't. Robin's mind is alive with questions. Here she is sitting at a table with Methos and Cassandra.
Cassandra breaks the ice. "How did you know that I wasn't Tracy?"
Robin laughs "The same way I knew he wasn't Peter. I have met Tracy."
The couple laughs. "Travel a lot do you?" Methos drawls.
"Something like that. Okay, what is the story? The real story." Robin gets right to business.
Methos thinks for a moment before answering. "Yes. Immortals do exist." he reaches over and takes Cassandra's hand "Cass and I are married." at Robin's smile he continues "We have been married for over 300 years."
"Is the Horsemen story real?" Robin asks.
"Oh yes, to a point." Cassandra says "It's hard to explain."
"What about the Watchers?"
"Oh they are real alright." Methos says "The series had is good points and it's bad. At first it was fun, but who knew it would go six bloody years. Thankfully one of us works at Miramax."
Robin laughs "That explains it then. Make bad movies and people will forget about it."
Cassandra laughs "That was the hope but there is one problem."
Methos growls "You."
Robin is surprised "Me?"
"Yes." Cassandra continues "The fans."
"And the actors." Methos adds. "You and your damn conventions."
"But there are fun." Robin protests.
"Yes but it keeps it going." Cassandra answers.
The food arrives and they start eating. Robin questions them about how the secret leaked out.
"It was a rogue Watcher and his Immortal. The Immortal wasn't much of a fighter and thought if the truth was out there the Game would stop and he would be safe." Cassandra answers.
"And was he?"
"No." Methos says dangerously.
"And the Watcher?"
"The Watcher's council took care of him, but decided to keep the series going. A piece of information here and an idea there." Methos grins.
Robin enjoys her meal and the chance of a lifetime. Talking to Methos and Cassandra. 'Who would believe her?' She smiles at that thought.