Drabbles! Drabbles! Drabbles!
Drabbles for Highlander100
Challenge #5: Reunion
It didn't happen the way Duncan had imagined it, so many times.
He imagined feeling Methos's presence before he saw him -- quick, intense, electric. He imagined Methos walking through the door, nonchalant, offhand, and smiling a little.
Duncan would make an old joke. Have a beer. Mi casa es su casa.
He hadn't counted on the body's memory. An ache reawakened, the skin's hunger, the salt taste under his tongue.
Methos stood in the doorway, smiling just a little. Hesitating, unsure.
Duncan's throat tightened. No words came, but his eyes must have spoken.
For Methos was in his arms.
Amanda stood outside Joe's. She smoothed her skirt, patted her hair and snapped open her compact to check her face one last time. She sighed. All useless. Duncan would look straight into her eyes. She could trick him, and had, often enough. But she could never fool him.
He looked up as she walked in, and smiled so brightly that she -- almost -- felt guilty.
"Duncan, how are you, I need help," Duncan mimicked her as she kissed him quickly.
"Why should I help you?" she countered, making a face. But they both knew.
Because he loved her. He always had.
Duncan watched Amanda walk into Joe's like she owned the place -- and the world, and him. Beautiful as always, needing his help as usual.
He grinned like a loon, thinking of a stumbling dancing girl with "special skills," a ruthless gambler, daring thief, and sometime whore. But never cheap.
The unspoken vows between them sparkled in her eyes. For wilder, for braver, in danger and in joy.
He would dance with her on the Eiffel Tower, he would take up his sword and risk all for her.
Because he loved it.
And because she loved him. She always had.
Challenge #6: Kimmies
Before I Was Mad
I remember a woman's hands, gentler than any I have known for five thousand years.
I remember brothers, four hands together.
I remember a tribe, wandering and trading goods for goods.
Hard work. Laughter. Feasts at holy-days.
I remember darkness, and a woman's hand clutching me.
Brothers dead, hands bound behind them.
The rest of us, a ragged tribe of slaves.
Death came, and left me behind...
I remember grey numberless days, then a blinding dawn, the exultation of vengeance --
Of Death --
Not mine but at my hand. And the hands of my brothers.
We ride again.
The Missing Scene
"Methos!" Cassandra struggled as Kronos dragged her across the Horsemen's camp.
"Methos will not help you," Kronos snarled. He pushed her roughly inside his tent, and kicked her towards a nest of carpets. Cassandra bit back a whimper and pulled herself up. Kronos yanked her head back by her hair and leered, his mad face with its terrifying mask close to hers.
"You *will* please me," he whispered. She flinched away.
"But first," he breathed, forcing a jar of foul smelling ungent and a filthy rag in her hands, "You will help me get rid of this damn face paint."
Note: Mog Decarnin & I had a conversation right after I'd seen the Horsemen episodes for the first time (back in, er, February) and I mentioned the small but annoying detail that Kronos had lost his face paint in the tent scene with Cassandra. When,exactly, between dragging her across the camp, torturing her ("please don't hurt me anymore," she says) and the time we see them, did it come off? Was there a missing "cold creme" scene? Did he wash it off by himself, or did she help?
We also toyed with the line, "Maybe I'll give you to Caspian afterwards. You're really a dab hand at getting this gunk off." *g*
Challenge #7 Crossovers:
Don't Tell Me
(HL/Buffy The Vampire Slayer.)
Xander, feeling shy, played with Methos' fingers.
"What do you see in me, anyway? I mean you're old enough to be my--
Methos smiled and raised an eyebrow.
"Distant ancestor. Right. So. Um. This immortal business. Besides the living since the beginning of time, whacking heads and taking quickenings, there's nothing-- else? No demonic powers or vamplike bad habits? You're not an evil god or a Big Bad Something like one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse-- right?"
Methos's smile deepened.
"Oh no. Oh god. Don't give me that look."
"The 'funny you should say that' look."
Rules of the Game
(HL/Star Trek: Next Generation and/or Voyager.)
"I see you're still at large."
Methos drew his sword. The man had appeared out of nowhere.
The stranger looked around. "The place has changed in
Methos laughed shortly. "Yes."
"I didn't think you'd remember me."
"I didn't, until now."
"Methos?" Duncan called. Methos froze.
The other's eyes glinted. "Well, well." He smiled. "I was always a sucker for romance. And this game is getting boring. Let's tweak the rules, shall we?" He raised a finger. "There can be only two."
Methos glared, loathing and gratitude in his eyes.
"No need to thank me," said Q, and vanished.
A Horseman Meets the Other Four (Briefly)
Kronos stood up. The air still shimmered and sparked from the quickening and he could hear someone sobbing in the darkness, though the hopeless sound seemed to be moving farther and farther away. He looked down at the body sprawled on the cement. It was his... and his head... He flung himself down and frantically tried to pull the head back toward the severed neck but his hands passed through it. A long, thin blue line arced through the night and attached him -- the him standing over the body -- to the thing on the ground. "No… no…" He jerked to his feet, enraged.
"MacLeod!" He screamed.
Kronos spun around. A tall figure enveloped in a long, black robe sat on an impossibly white horse and grinned down at him. Well, there isn't much else a face that's all skull can do but grin, but it seemed to be grinning on top of that.
Three more horseman cantered slowly into view, though not quite solidly into view.
"Who are you?" Kronos tried to put a sneer into it, but he could hear his voice faltering even as the bloody scene behind him faded away, leaving nothing but grey mist, himself, and...
Death raised his scythe. A blue light flickered deep in one of the bone-empty eye sockets.
I AM THE END OF TIME.
(Two (slightly connected) crossovers with Smallville)
Lex mentally powered up his game face. "We haven't met. You are?"
"Amanda." She offered her hand.
He resisted the temptation to kiss it. The noisy party faded into mere background props.
"A friend of my father's?"
"A friend of a friend... of a friend."
"Hm, yes." She smiled over her glass. Mischief, and something more calculating glinted in her eyes.
"Excuse me," she made a little face. "Powder room." She touched his arm in passing and he felt as if he'd been touched all over.
Amanda sashayed down the hallway. She had a date with a locked room.
"How do you know about me?" Clark's heart was pounding.
"I have-- inquisitive friends. But don't worry," Methos smiled. "I'll trade you secret for secret."
"A secret as bad as mine?"
Clark hadn't believed his story until Methos pulled out a gun-- and invited Clark to shoot him. Clark didn't, he couldn't, but Methos had impatiently put his hands over Clark's and pressed the trigger.
Right through the heart. But then-- he--
"Why are you so interested in me?"
Methos smiled a little sadly. "Because you're the first truly unique person to cross my path in 5,000 years."
Challenge #8: Intersections
Kenny smirked at the older man's back but switched on a bright, helpful expression as he turned around.
"Feed for the goats." Silas picked up a dented scoop. "About this much."
Silas grunted and lumbered along the pens, handling the animals affectionately as he passed. Sentimental old fool, Kenny thought.
Silas left him to work. Kenny lost a staring contest with a goat, and kicked it.
A battle-axe whistled past his ear and chunked into the wall.
"Don't kick the goats." Silas filled the doorway. "Makes 'em mad."
Kenny watched him leave, recalculating. Then he smiled. He could wait.
Challenge #10: Reality TV
There Can Be Only One Fab Five
(HL/Queer Eye for the Straight Guy)
Amanda: "I just hope you can spruce him up a little. He's getting to be such a stick in the mud."
Thom: "Who are you again?"
Duncan: "He's staying here. Temporarily."
Thom: "Ah. And where--
Duncan and Methos: "On the couch!"
Kyan: "The ponytail has got to go. Flattering, but out of date."
Jai: (Riffling CDs) "Opera, opera, opera… a lot of opera here."
Ted: "For dinner, we could…" (opens refrigerator) "start with beer."
Carson (draped between Duncan and Methos): "Are you *sure* you're straight?"
Duncan and Methos: "Yes!"
Carson: "Then I suggest you ditch the matching sweaters."
(HL/Pirates of the Caribbean)
Methos cringed, his face pushed down hard into the splintered wood. His whole body felt like old rusted-out iron, heavy as an anchor. If he moved, pain blinded him. If he breathed, his stomach heaved, and his mouth filled with acid and blood. The torture had gone on for-- hours? Days? Forever.
A heavy boot thudded into his side and rolled him over. Screaming filled his ears. Him? He squinted up into beady, black, maddened eyes. No. A monkey. Howling in his face.
"Get up, ye useless landlubber! Work to be done!"
Methos groaned. Seasick. God, he hated boats.
Challenge 12: Letters from the Dead
I am sorry, so terribly sorry, that I must leave you. Leave -- the word you could barely speak that night, though softer than the other word, and less final.
You are grieving. I would not have it any differently, since grief only follows love. I only wish you did not have so long to grieve. I know you; four hundred years from now you will still remember me, and still mourn, though you will have loved others, and mourn for them as well.
Don't mark this day in your heart, Duncan. Remember me always on my birthday.
Challenge13 : Highlander: The Musical
Methos Meets the Mikado
"Methos, if you're absolutely resolved to die, don't spoil yourself by committing suicide, but be beheaded handsomely at the hands of the Public Executioner!"
"Where's the advantage?"
"Listen! The star of grand public ceremonial-- a procession-- bands-- dead-march-- bells tolling-- then rejoicings and fireworks. You won't see them, but they'll be great!"
"But-- to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock, awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block! Really, Ko-Ko, I'd rather put my neck to MacLeod's sword."
Highlander Horror, er, Picture Show
I know this is wrong, very wrong, and I'm probably darned and going to heck for writing this, but I -- I couldn't help it. *g* I feel like I should give a point to every character here, because they're all so ill-used, but since I have only one (*coff*), my point goes to Duncan. (Er, my word-counter counts hyphenated words as one. So I'm counting "antici --pation" as one word. Heh.)
Duncan stepped from the lift, resplendent in 5-inch spangled platform shoes.
Joe, cringing and smirking, took his cape.
"The Marster's guests are waiting in antici--
--pation for your latest-- project."
Methos was led in. Duncan smiled.
"I don't think he's all that hot," Richie said. "His-- nose is too big."
"I didn't make him for you!"
The loft exploded with music and dancers. "Not the 'Time Warp,' again," Duncan groaned.
Amanda skittered by on high-heeled taps, tripped and sprawled on the floor.
Duncan sighed. It was just a guy. Did they always have to make such a production out of it?
What the Dickens?
(From the musical Oliver!)
Caspian: Methos, you're coming with me.
Methos: You're sure Kronos won't mind?
Consider yourself at home!
Consider yourself one of the family.
We've taken to you strong.
It's clear we'll get along!
Kronos: Or else!
If it should chance to be
Some harder days
Empty larder days
Always a chance we'll meet
Somebody-- to kill
And foot the bill
Then drinks are on the house!
Consider yourself well in!
Consider yourself part of the furniture.
There isn't a lot to spare--
Who cares? Whatever we've got we share!
Kronos: Or else!
Challenge 14: Love
(This one was inspired by a Marc Chagall exhibit I went to recently. The flying couple was everywhere in his paintings, sometimes just as very small figures in the background. They were amazing.)
Methos walked up behind Duncan, who stood engrossed in a painting. It was wild and rich and colorful, joyous and abstract. A painting of lovers, embracing, flying over the rooftops.
Duncan moved to the next painting. Methos trailed beside him. A different scene. The same couple, flying.
"Bella," Methos said."His wife. She his model, his inspiration. She died in 1944." He paused. "Chagall died in 1985."
Duncan stared at a small watercolor. The couple appeared, in just a few brief brush strokes.
"More than forty years," he said softly.
They stood silently, thinking of lovers, and of loneliness. And flying.
Love & Pop Culture in the 1970s
(There are three drabbles here, each one about a different pop cultural object from the seventies. If you can guess them all, I'm sorry. I'm trying to scrub them out of my brain too.)
"Why are you reading that awful book?" Methos squinted at the title.
"Catching up on American popular culture."
"You're several decades too late. No one reads that book anymore. Even the movie's been forgotten by everyone but a few diehard film buffs."
"Mm," Duncan turned a page.
"She dies at the end."
"They never make it to Paris."
"Shut up, Methos. Before I do something I'll be sorry for later."
"Love means never having to say you're sorry," Methos caroled
Duncan turned another page. "I didn't say I'd apologize."
"Oh well, then. I'll just shut up. Enjoy your book."
Duncan, grinning, set a small ivory-colored figurine on the bar next to Methos's beer.
Methos recoiled from it in horror.
"What the-- what is it?"
"It's how I feel about you," Duncan flung his arms wide open and widened his eyes winsomely.
"Gah! It's horrible! Stop doing that!
Joe moved over and picked up the figurine. "Haven't seen one of these in years. Should I ask why the damn thing's on my bar?"
"He's on a pop culture kick," Methos grumbled.
"It's a gift, Methos. If you loved me, you'd take it."
"Sorry Mac. I don't love you that much."
Duncan came whistling into the loft.
Methos took a beer from the fridge. "You're in a good mood."
Duncan looked at something on his finger and smiled. Then he put his hands behind his back.
"I've got a present for you," he said.
"Give me your hand."
Methos eyed him suspiciously, but held out his hand.
Duncan slipped a ring on Methos's finger. Methos looked down at the large oval stone, rapidly turning blue.
"Happy, romantic, or in love," Duncan said happily, pulling Methos close.
"You have completely lost your mind," Methos said when they came up for air.
Challenge #15 Rain
A Dark and Stormy Night, Revisited
"It was a dark and stormy night," Methos recited, "and the rain fell in torrents-- except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets..."
He paused at the window. Under the streetlight below, a man struggled with a tattered umbrella. "Parenthesis, for it is in," he smiled, "Seacouver, that our scene lies, end parenthesis." The umbrella lay abandoned in the gutter.
"...Rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."
Duncan looked up from his book. "Hitting the Victorian potboilers again?"
"I hate rain," Methos grumbled as they splashed through the downpour. Duncan stopped suddenly and Methos bumped into him.
Methos stopped in his tracks. Ahead, above two tall buildings that formed an urban canyon, the sun pierced through the clouds. Light blazed down -- silver on one side of the street, gold on the other -- illuminating, it seemed, every raindrop as it fell. Methos felt as if he could hold out his hands and fill his pockets with gold and silver.
"Good show," he said. "It's worth it, sometimes."
Duncan nodded. They stood close together, and watched the rainlight.
Challenge 17: Your Song
That's My Weakness Now
Methos trudged behind Duncan, singing under his breath, changing the words to an old song. It was cold out here, and wet, and most of all, outdoors.
Duncan loved it. Methos didn't. But--
"He's got big brown eyes, I never cared for big brown eyes, but he's got big brown eyes, and that's my weakness now." Duncan liked to-- Methos smirked-- bill and coo, and he certainly liked a long goodnight. Did he like a boop-boop-a-doop or a butt'n dutt'n da-da-da? He'd have to ask.
Methos looked up at the cabin. He smiled. "Does it have a vestibule?"
Okay, I admit many people might not know this song. But it really is fun to change the words to suit your own "weakness"! The words to both the Cliff Edwards and the Helen Kane versions are here.
Challenge 21 (#4: Colours)
(I tried to do this one when the colours challenge came around, but never did get it quite to my satisfaction. I'm still not satisfied with it, but that's probably because the idea needs more than a drabble ...)
A Deeper Blue
Methos rolled the tiny jar in his palm. Why was he doing this? For remembrance? An offering?
He dipped a finger in the silky paste. Cheap stuff, these days. Then, it would have been rare beyond price.
He slashed thick paint across one cheek. No need for a mirror. I can do this with my eyes closed. He imagined them together, then, squinting into a polished surface, painting a brother's face. Then the masks. Masks upon masks. Revealing Death.
A different hand. White paint across his nose.
Different. The whole world was different.
The jar fell to the floor.
Like a Ton of Bricks
Her name was Susan, and the first time they met she clobbered him with a two-by-four and broke his nose.
"Oh! I'm sorry!" The board clattered to the floor, landing on his foot. "Oh my gosh -- let me --"
"Don't. Boove." Methos held his bleeding nose. "Susan, I don't think construction work is for you."
"No," she admitted, looking downcast. "Probably
She was the clumsiest person he'd ever known. For forty years he marked their anniversary with his nose bandaged -- not always just for the symbolism.
As for her, she was delighted to find an indestructible husband.
Challenge #57 - Genderbend
Lady or Tiger?
Joe filled two glasses, nodding towards Methos
and Amanda, sitting deep in conversation. "Those two are up to something."
Duncan nodded, frowning at the way Amanda sprawled in her chair. Yesterday he'd caught her flipping a beer bottle cap behind the fridge. She'd met his ironic look with wide-eyed innocence, shrugging her shoulders in a way that was familiar-- but not on her. And he was almost certain Methos had lifted some of his charge cards.
Methos smiled and blew a kiss in his direction. Duncan choked on his scotch. Who had been been in his bed last night?
Challenge #58: Halloween
Methos edged through the crowd of witches, vampires, and foppish pirates. Where the hell was MacLeod? He blundered into a Spongebob Squarepants and hastily retreated to a quieter corner.
"Nice costume." A young man in a plaid flannel shirt grinned at Methos's jeans and floppy sweater. "What are you supposed to be?"
"A 5000-year-old immortal disguised as an academic." Methos grabbed a drink from a passing tray. "And you?"
"An alien with super-powers. This is my Kansas farmboy costume."
With a mischievous look, the young man suddenly -- wasn't there.
Methos leaned against the wall and smiled.
-That's all, folks!-