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And Hades Followed Him

by C.M. Decarnin

Part 2

Duncan, in black thought, lay on his side to watch the door where Methos had disappeared. He too could use a wash, he had wiped up as best he could with Kleenex and a dirty towel from the hamper, where he'd deposited the bottom sheet. But he knew it could not bode well that so immediately after their first intimacy Methos had needed a closed door between them. It had been a day, really, of Methos avoiding his eyes, not seeing him, yet, Duncan knew, excruciatingly aware of his presence, and his judgment. That his opinion mattered so much as to rob the Oldest of words, to flood the color across his face in ebbs and tides, to leave him, more than once, in close to clinical shock, was frightening to understand and witness. The Methos he had held in so much awe, to look to MacLeod as arbiter of his worth -- and no less rending, for the man he had been sickened and soul-shamed at, to land him squarely with the weighing of his deeds, to force him to think of himself loved, still, by one he must believe had been a monster. The revelation, in Methos's unseeing face, of the holy name of Duncan's own blind hell, had swept his last emotional pilings from under him. Anger had been his only spar to cling to. Then Methos had begun his tale.

How could he not have known... For the fine, and quiveringly sensitive, essence that was Methos to have been twisted to what Kronos was, he should have known a cataclysm had to have come first. For that matter, Kronos himself -- he shied from that thought. But it was only common sense, not rocket science, that as the twig was bent... And Methos had been not only bent, but broken. Could anyone else, Immortal or mortal, in the whole bloodsoaked history of the world ever have suffered such torment? To have been deliberately subjected to perhaps some thousand terrible deaths, with who knew what torture, his personhood and humanity uncaringly obliterated --

Utterly beyond human ability to imagine, but mirrored in the results unleashed upon two continents. And in the soul of the man he loved.

The strange frailness he had always sensed in the oldest Immortal now so grimly accounted for.

The fear, that he'd unconsciously labelled cowardice.

The gruesome practicality of his decisions.

Unfathomable still, though, the source of his love for a stubborn Scot and an oaf of a Highlander -- someone who could take Methos's yet-unconfessed affection and plow into it like a berserk bulldozer. MacLeod was appalled at what he had done. He had no illusions -- he knew that what he'd responded to was an even more out-of-control Methos, a frenzied sexual demand the like of which he'd never seen. But to have answered that lust with such dense rut was outside his own experience of himself.

And far from what he had envisioned. The tender kisses, lingering caresses, sweet coaxing; his own lips and tongue touching cock for the first time, his sex slicked so he wouldn't have to break the gentle mood if Methos wanted that. He'd thought Methos likely would be tremulous, timid of unveiling his desire for the macho Highlander.

So much for his intuitive grasp on the situation.

It was done and couldn't be retrieved.

At last the door of the bathroom opened and Methos reappeared, wrapped in his Roman sheet. MacLeod sat up half-way. "Methos..."

The beautiful long jade-gold eyes met his, and he felt penetrated by perception and centuries of comprehension. Methos smiled a small but wonderful smile, full of loving kindness and just a trace of imp. Guilt and embarrassment melted away.

"Oh Methos. I am truly sorry."

"I'm not," Methos answered frankly.

"I've never done anything like that in my life. I don't know what came over me."

The Oldest stood looking down at him. "A man would have to be a fool to take that as anything but a compliment."

MacLeod felt blushes rising to his cheeks. He didn't know where to look.

Methos sat on the bed and reached to stroke his hand over Duncan's hair. "You don't always have to be the one in control." Duncan looked down and back up, uncomprehending. "You don't always have to be the one taking care, responsible for anyone and everyone around you." The words and gentle tone made Duncan's eyes sting. His shoulders relaxed. He suddenly felt young, and as if he were looking up into the face of a much older man. Though only the literal truth, it gave him a strange and somewhat thrilling feeling. Methos leaned closer. "And I'll tell you something else." He dragged his mouth through Duncan's hair and murmurred directly in his ear. "I liked it."

Duncan shivered and jumped, as if his ear had suddenly become his foremost erogenous zone, and his cock stood up alertly. "How do ye do that?" he blurted amazedly. Methos broke into delighted laughter and almost fell off the bed.

"The look on your face! It's priceless! If only I had a camera. Oh wait, I do!" Methos was out of the bed with the speed of a cheetah but MacLeod beat him to the safety of the bathroom and slammed and locked the door.

"MacLeo-od," he wheedled. Mac found a washcloth. What was the man doing? It sounded as if he were rubbing himself across the outside of the closed door. Forgetting anything fancy, MacLeod stood at the sink and soaped his armpits and groin. "MacLeod, don't use any of that Vaseline. I'm counting my fat grams."

As the meaning hit him, he gasped and his erection bobbed gamely despite the rinsewater. He made a couple of blots with the towel and feeling suddenly shy, wrapped it around himself.

He might as well not have bothered. As soon as he opened the door, relieved to find no ancient paparazzo snapping his picture, Methos, naked, leaned up against him, dispensed with the towel, and slithered to his knees. At the warm wet of Methos's mouth enveloping his throbbing hard-on, MacLeod simply came, with sighing and soft gasps and moans, Methos following as he flowed down the door-jamb, to sit a moment with his hands pressing Methos's head so his throat took the end of Mac's cock and swallowed along it, and then Duncan lay back flat to the floor, shuddering with sweetness and ecstasy till it ended.

Finally Methos took his mouth and hand off the sensitized soft flesh and crept up to lean on Mac's chest. "Why MacLeod," he breathed. "I never knew you were so easy. You're just not going to be able to resist anything I do to you, now are you?"

MacLeod gazed at him tenderly. "Noo. I am not."

Despite his bonelessly relaxed state, as he looked into his lover's beautiful eyes he was almost overcome again with the strangeness and awe of what was happening. This astounding man loved him. The long bones arranged in a sort of delicate awkwardness, the unlikely wedge shapes of head, nose and face that came together in such brilliant and original success, the hyperexpressiveness of every facial muscle and body posture, exquisite feet, breathtaking long multiply-knuckly hands -- that heartbreaking sweet mouth that uttered such bitter wisdom, and those eyes, amber and ocean, long, almost rectangular, clear with deep liquid knowledge, innocent as the day they were born. Infusing it all, Methos, the spirit of antiquity, new as the morning, strange as the satellites of distant suns. The man who loved him. The thought sent a thrill through every nerve. He reached forth his hand to touch his beloved, to taste on sensitive fingertips the reality of skin over muscle, trailing ghostly tentative across the left pectoral --

Methos convulsed back with a yelp of hysterical laughter, but met his eyes in a look of such hapless dread that Duncan vowed then and there never to take advantage of his lover's skittish ticklishness. He firmed his touch, and Methos's look of helpless gratitude rewarded him.

So much to learn. So much, he thought sadly, to try to forget. How had this happened, what fathomless mystery, that he had come to love, been formed to love, this one who had embodied anathema to all Duncan MacLeod had ever been. This one who had then grown and changed and flowered into this shining irreproducible wonder. Methos began to blush slowly under his loving gaze. He remembered the first time he had ever seen him, the open, spread-kneed sprawl -- the memory, now, sent a shiver through him -- the utter lack of reserve or resistance, Methos naming his name and giving him to drink like some ancient lord, in the first seconds of knowing him. And he remembered when he had first known Methos loved him -- the splash of paint he'd impulsively dabbed on the ancient's nose in a moment of quick affection, and the immediate shining sweetness of the look on Methos's face. Duncan had been loved in his life, more than enough to know that look for what it was. But he had caught back his own reflexively answering smile, at thought of this lover's gender. In future, lessen tih yer heart, ye daft Heilan' lown.

But as the sexual heat gradually left his body, he found himself once again facing the unwonted violence of his response to Methos. Was it because Methos was a man? Some remnant of a fighter's instinct? His lust had been to dominate, to possess. To subjugate. It wasn't much like what he'd ever felt in a Challenge. It did have a disturbing resemblance to feelings during the time of the Dark Quickening, yet there was a difference. He'd felt critically attuned to Methos's body, his every response, and when he had felt the sobs beneath him he had not for a moment thought they were a plea for him to stop, nor any kind of protest at the pain he knew he must be causing. Methos now was looking at him as if Duncan had given him Valentines, sweets, and flowers instead of half ripping his anus apart. It was not a comforting awareness. If anyone had done that to me, they'd be dead right now. But Methos showed no signs of thirsting for his blood. On the contrary....

Methos leaned down and kissed him. His tongue touched softly on Duncan's, his hand slipped around the back of Duncan's neck, and at the additional feel of Methos's breath against his mouth, Duncan erected.

On second thought, maybe Methos was determined to kill him after all....

It was as if Methos were drunk with love, and he was having a bit of a contact high himself. But he felt reluctant. Living with Amanda again had only barely begun to accustom him to the unrestraint possible in Immortal sex, after so many years with Tessa and his time with Anne, and many other mortal women before them. Amanda had sometimes even been impatient with his gentleness in bed. Yet he had no sooner touched Methos than he was assaulting him, violently, without thought, a thing he had never done in his life before. He had found smears of blood on his cock afterward. And at Methos's kissing now he felt the same urges rising up, to take, to hurt, to dominate and subdue -- to bring him off by force, as if he were just an extension of MacLeod's own lust, and as if he could be brought to orgasm by the mere fact of being fucked. The first time, MacLeod had been possessed before he knew what was happening. But now he could recognize what was overtaking him. He caught Methos's roving hands and gently pushed him back.

Sitting up, he put his back against the doorjamb and pulled Methos to him gently. Kneeling, Methos looked down at him as he softly stroked up the backs of the smooth long thighs, then over the two sweet rounds and down, out along the adorable creases beneath them, and down the backs of the thighs again. Methos had started to breathe unevenly and his eyes had closed. Duncan ran his fingers between the thighs, in back, subtly urging, and pressed Methos's knee with his leg. Methos put his hands on Duncan's shoulders and shifted so he was kneeling, a little awkwardly wide, outside Duncan's legs as Duncan took advantage of the spreading of his thighs to stroke his fingers up the insides almost to his sex. Methos's body was racked forward, with an uncontrollable moaning gasp. He plastered himself to Duncan, and lowered onto his thick erection, physically begging to be entered. Gently Duncan denied him. Touching Methos's soft bunt he had realized he scarcely knew this beautiful body. He would learn it and make love to it, not simply attack it. He would collect all the secrets of Methos's warm flesh, till he could command any response he desired, and Methos would love him as he had loved no other. Holding the Oldest in his arms, he settled him sitting, legs over Duncan's as Duncan raised his knees, sex organs squashed tight against his own. Methos could not get a very good hold on him, but Duncan supported him with one strong arm round his back, leaning him backward a moment to get his other hand between them, so he could fondle the tips of both their cocks at once. Methos arched back helplessly, already writhing from arousal, and Duncan had to catch him quickly or he would have fallen.

"Stop that!" he said sharply. But Methos couldn't. The words and tone only seemed to arch him further, and he tried to press his crotch harder into Duncan's.

Duncan could no longer hold him. Angrily he shoved him aside and got up, dragging Methos by one wrist. There was a silk robe hanging on the back of the bathroom door. He whipped the silken tie from its beltloops and knotted one end tightly around Methos's captive wrist, and shoved him against the other doorjamb. Methos stared up at him, looking bewildered and scared. He slipped the silk belt through the door crack, over the top hinge, caught it and tied Methos's other wrist, high, so that he had to kneel, arms drawn up hard over his head. He pushed him so that he faced more into the hall, and knelt in front of him on the carpet.

"I'll teach you to disobey." He leaned in and deliberately took Methos's lower lip between his teeth and bit down, hard, harder, till Methos cried out -- but did not try to pull away. Duncan released him. Blood ran down Methos's chin. "Look at me." Full of shame and desire the jade and gold eyes were slowly raised. Duncan then licked the blood from his own lips and saw Methos begin to tremble. He leaned in slowly, taking the flinching mouth, possessing its inner softness with the thickness of his tongue, holding there with only the smallest motions of his tongue until, helplessly, Methos arched his hips again toward him, pleading. He sat back, leaving Methos to gasp.

"Is this what you want?" With open fingers MacLeod lightly stroked up the underside of his own erection, looking in Methos's eyes. Methos looked down at the proferred cock, and pulled forward against his silken bonds, his mouth half opened.

"Want to suck on it?" Duncan stroked himself again, then put his hands on Methos's naked waist, to feel the trembling and the involuntary surge of the muscles toward him. "Or would you rather have it up your rear? I bet it feels six inches wide when it's up there, doesn't it.... I bet you can feel it all the way up here." Duncan's thumb tips touched Methos's navel, and Methos convulsed. He pressed one thumb in.

"Please --" Methos tried to reach Duncan's face with his mouth, but couldn't, tried to reach Duncan's hands with his cock, tried to push forward but Duncan held him in his iron grip at the waist.

"Hold still!" he commanded sharply.

He sat back and looked at Methos's erection. "That looks sore," he murmurred, and stroked the air an inch away from it. Methos arched and succeeded in touching his fingers for an instant. Duncan hauled back and slapped his face. He stared hotly at Methos's shamed, averted countenance, the red mark of his blow glowing on the white cheek. "Look at me," he said softly.

Methos's eyelashes glittered with tears, but his eyes were still half-lidded with lust.

"You're disobedient. But I'm generous. I'll let you watch."

Duncan stretched his legs out on either side of Methos and lay back, one arm under his head, the other hand stroking his cock. "I can just imagine what your tongue would feel like licking away at it along here... and up the side here... on top like this. I can imagine what it would feel like to push you down and take you -- push you face-down into that bed over there, and put this all hot in between those cute little round cheeks and then whether you wanted it or not straight into you hard as a truncheon, and let you scream and cry, or maybe put my hand over your mouth to shut you up. Maybe you wouldn't be able to breathe, but at least I wouldn't have to listen to you caterwaul -- Or maybe I'd take hold of your cock. Look. See what I'd be doing to it?"

He hand was big and hot and tight around his erection. It wasn't what he really wanted. He wanted to be in Methos, sunk deep in the heat of his body, stroking through the satin flesh, feeling the kick of muscles struggling under his weight, the lungs gasping; hearing the sounds Methos made, feeling every response to his rigidity and force, every stretch of anguish, every clench of anticipation. But something had prevented him -- he could not now remember what. He could still punish Methos for it.

But Methos's eyes were closed, and his expression had gone distant. MacLeod found himself losing interest. He had just come twice in pretty rapid succession, what did he think he was doing? His eyes travelled up Methos's arms to the too-tight knots and the way he was strung up. A chill washed through him. What was he doing? Methos looked removed, like a Buddha in a very strange meditation position. His erection had started to relax, as Duncan's own had, he found. He sat up, and with hesitant fingers reached to the knots at Methos's wrists. Both had pulled tight, but he patiently worked the left one loose. Methos never spoke or opened his eyes as the tie released and his hands fell. Duncan took the right wrist onto his thigh and managed to get that knot undone also. The hand was darkened and bluish, weals at the wrist angry red. He stroked it gently while it healed itself.

His mind was in turmoil. He was remembering what he had just done, in sequences like recalling aspects of a dream. This was far, far different from merely being carried away by sex. Or was it? No, he realized, it had been an extension of his earlier behavior. Just much, much worse, or about to be; and much more recognizable. One thing at least was clear, and urgent. He got up, found his clothes, and dressed quickly. He came back and went on one knee. He hated to leave Methos like this, not knowing what was the matter with him, but it looked peaceful rather than dangerous, and Methos was a survivor. The crucial thing was to put distance between them before he did god knew what.

He put his arms lightly, diffidently around his still immobile lover. "Methos. I'm sorry." There was no response. "It's the Dark Quickening. It's come back. I have to go."

He left him and hurried toward the living room.


It was quietly spoken but he wheeled instantly. Methos had not moved. Had he imagined...? Then he spoke again, what sounded like the faintest smile in his voice.

"I'll call you."

Duncan waited, disconcerted at the classic post-date line issuing from the lips of an Immortal who appeared deep in samadhi. After what he had done --

But Methos was again still and silent. He must get away. He could feel a returning yen to embrace Methos. Swiftly he caught up his greatcoat from the chair in the living room, and let himself out.

Evening was coming on. Methos had picked an apartment within walking distance of the dojo, and Duncan had left the T-Bird at home. The air was cold. An autumnal mist was falling. He walked silently, not looking at anyone, and when he reached the park, turned in at a sidepath. After a few steps he paused. He should get back, tell Joe -- tell Joe what? That he had had some of the best sex in his life fucking Methos like an animal, fucking him till he bled, tying him up and hitting him? Or tell him he was in love? He sank down heavily on a park bench and put his head in his hands.

The park was quiet around him, the cold mist and the dusk shepherding people home, to warm lights in the windows, family, fellowship. He could be as alone as he liked here, hidden from traffic by enormous drooping boughs of the Norway spruces at the entrance. No one to question him, no one to despise him or to judge him.

Methos.... Those eyes, wide as a baby's, whether with fear, or surprise, or love. How in god's name had he stayed like that, what was the secret of that very essence of life itself that rose like a sparkling fountain in him, shining in his most world-weary pronouncements, his simplest acts, his least vainglorious retreats? And how had that wonder of clarity come to be directed upon him, in his darkness and clouds and haze? Alexa, he could understand, for she was another such clear child of light, and Methos had recognized her immediately. What she might have become... if she had lived, even been Immortal through the Methuselah stone. But she was only a beginner, and a year... no, it wasn't even time enough to get acquainted. Though time enough and more to be in love. Maybe Methos was just unbearably lonely, and had turned his heart toward the nearest one he had. How incredibly sad, that after such unimaginable spans of years, all he had near him to love was Duncan MacLeod.

Methos had come to him even from Alexa's side, to save him from the Dark Quickening, and now....

Duncan turned his face up to the cool mist. The wooded hill behind him was quiet, with the damp, dark soughing ease of the outdoors at night. The street lamps had come on, in glowing bolls of hazy light, the sky was wrapped in fog. And he was sitting here, free of anger, unable to find in himself any special leaning toward rapine or plunder.

From the pocket of his greatcoat his cell phone buzzed like a little hornet.

He considered silencing it.

He flicked it open.

"Highlander." Before he could even speak the voice was in his ear, caressing through his feelings like wind through leaves. "You'll have figured out by now it's not the Dark Quickening."

"Methos." He was cradling the phone in both hands. His eyes closed.

"I just wanted to be sure you weren't packing any bags. Planning any sea voyages."

"Methos." He kissed the phone. "Methos."

"Oh, lord." There was a pause. "Listen, Duncan, I don't think we should meet for a while."

"I'll be at Joe's."

MacLeod clicked the phone shut. It hurt to cut himself off from Methos. But if he listened to what the ancient had to say over the phone, Methos would have no reason to be in the same room with him. It was a risk. It would be a desperate risk, now, every time he separated from the oldest Immortal, with his independence, unpredictable reasoning, and penchant for disappearances. Once gone, he had the world to vanish into, matchless experience -- and no Watcher. He would be gone forever. The tenuousness of his link to MacLeod was terrifying. Only love. And what did love mean to Methos? Already he was backing away.

Who could blame him?

Duncan laid his forehead against the closed phone. He had to understand what was happening to him, or he could easily lose Methos after a scant hour of love. But the very image of the lanky figure, duffle and backpack over his shoulder, standing in line at the airport check-in desk derailed his thoughts into blank panic. He had lost every lover he had ever had, and now with the one who at least had a chance of being forever, he looked like setting a record for ephemerality.

What had possessed him?

It had to be the Quickening from Kronos. Methos had not even hinted at details, but how else could anyone imagine Kronos coming at sex? And Methos had been his lover. No. No that didn't come close to describing it.

Methos had lain in Kronos's arms for a thousand years.

He couldn't even begin to imagine what that meant. Given the circumstances, you could hardly claim it stemmed from a positive attitude toward commitment. But afterward, so he'd once said, Methos had married. Sixty-eight times. He'd wondered if Methos had simply invented this marital history on the spot, having since witnessed the attacks of adolescent shyness that characterized the Immortal's approach to women. On the other hand, in the times and geographical locales that had made up most of Methos's life, marriage was simply the only means of access to a woman, so it could make sense. And lives were so much shorter then. Even assuming he hadn't simply married on whims and then abandoned them, and even leaving out of the account the horrific first two thousand years, Methos had had ample centuries for that much serial devotion. It was just hard to reconcile with the Methos he knew. But then... so was everything else he'd ever managed to learn about the Oldest's past. (On the same stage as the Rolling Stones...? Doing what?)

Duncan had never been married even once.

Yet he had implicit trust in his own capacity for deep commitment. Even in this, his first romantic love of a man. It felt exactly the same as every true passion in his past... except....

Except for the sex.

He slipped the phone back into his pocket, looking out into the peaceful mist. If Methos had any part of the explanation surely he would meet with him at least once more. At Joe's, in public, where he would be safe. Safe from me.


MacLeod looked up. Joe was leaning his hands on the bar, looking at him. He must have missed something. Joe's stare softened.

"We're closing, MacLeod. Look, do you want to come in the office and talk? You've been like a zombie all night. I know it's not the booze, 'cause you've been sitting guard over that same shot for the past two hours."

"No. No. I'm just distracted." He felt a blush rising in his cheeks, but in the dark bar Joe wouldn't notice. He didn't think he could ever face telling Joe what had happened today, and now it looked like he would never even have to hint at it. Time after time, as the evening passed, he had thought he'd felt a touch of Methos's Presence, been sure the door would open -- but it never did, at least not to admit a tall Immortal with his hands in his overcoat pockets, hair that managed to be unruly at a length of two inches, and a crinkly smile.... Was this illusion of nearness all he had left of Methos now?

And under that sadness the perturbation of wondering how Methos could be so sure about the Dark Quickening, what he had wanted to tell him. He had sat and compared as many details as he could call up, and there were indeed great differences between the all-engulfing... pettiness of that evil, and the purposeful if strangely fluctuating sexual dominance that he experienced with Methos. He hadn't given a damn about dominating Dominique Davis in Le Havre, his only interest had been revenge on her husband. And with Methos today the thought of taking his Quickening had not so much as occurred to him, whereas under the Dark Quickening's sway that greed was all he had felt in another Immortal's presence. He supposed there could be more than one style of Dark Quickening... but when the lightning had risen at Kronos's submarine base the level of foreign awareness, the barrage of individual memories, the heightened senses, the shattering pain and pleasure, the return of self -- all had been normal, despite the astonishing doubling that had connected him as well to Silas and Methos. There was no Darkness in it.

It was neither the old Darkness nor a new one. But how could Methos know that?


Joe was beside him. He quickly slid off the bar stool. "I was just leaving." Behind him as he left he could feel, if not see, Joe shaking his head.

The cold hit him, and then the teasing ghost of Presence he had felt all evening solidified, and at the other end of the parking lot he saw the dark, lean form, propped on the far fender of the T-Bird, hands deep in the pockets of his trenchcoat. He didn't look around, though the buzz must have touched him also.

MacLeod walked to him quietly, thankful yet cautious. The streetlight illuminated his face.

"Why didn't you come in?"

Methos tucked his chin down into his collar, and glanced at MacLeod from the corners of his eyes. "Why didn't you come out?"

"I kept thinking I sensed you, but when you never came in I thought I must be imagining it. You can feel me from that far?"

Methos's fists in the trenchcoat pockets moved together, drawing his arms over like a barrier in front of his entire torso. Duncan had never seen the characteristic gesture in quite that way before, but tonight the meaning was like crystal.

"I haven't told Joe anything," he said to change the subject. Was that it? Could Methos have stayed out here just to avoid what Joe might say? Then, "You know if we go on with this you'll be seen by a Watcher sooner or later."

Methos nodded.

"Will you tell me what you know? Do you know what's happening to me?"

"I'm freezing out here MacLeod. Let's drive."

Duncan looked around, confused. The only other car in the parking lot was Joe's. "You want a ride home?"

"Your place is closer."

MacLeod's heart thudded.

Methos walked around to the passenger side and waited patiently. Unable to take his eyes off him, MacLeod unlocked the car, slid behind the wheel and leaned over to unlock the passenger door. His coat held tight around him, Methos got in. Still feeling as if the moment might somehow break, MacLeod started the car. Would Methos trust him again? His need just to talk, to be with the old one, was intense. Could he trust himself?

He took them up the back stairs. The loft was chilly and he turned the heat on high. In the light now he could see a blue tinge to Methos's lips. He must have been standing in the cold for hours. MacLeod put the kettle on, whirred some decaf French roast in the coffee grinder. Methos stood on the other side of the breakfast counter, strangely quiet. He still hadn't taken off his coat when MacLeod brought him his coffee. Almost as if he were unsure of his welcome.

MacLeod abruptly set both cups down on the counter. As gently and unthreateningly as he knew how, he took Methos's face in his warm hands, and kissed his lips.

"Can you stay a while?" he asked, his voice almost breaking.

Letting go a breath he might have been holding forever, Methos laid his forehead against Mac. MacLeod pushed the trenchcoat gently back off his shoulders; always a bit too big, it dropped easily away down his arms to the floor with a faint clank of relinquished weaponry. MacLeod gently folded him close. He just stood holding him until he felt a fading of the cold in the clothing and chilled flesh against him. He wanted to kiss and to warm him, inwardly, to some measure of the oneness they had felt -- at least he thought they had -- that afternoon. But if he started he was sure there would quickly be no stopping point, and Methos would end up again under his dark spell, seemingly hypnotized by MacLeod's lust and his own desire into bearing unprotestingly whatever Mac inflicted upon him. He could think of a few things he'd like to inflict right now.

He jerked back and far away, leaving Methos with empty arms raised, looking bereft. He also looked, to Duncan's dismay, deeply shamed, standing alone over the huddle of his protective trenchcoat, his cheeks coloring deeply, arms returning to his sides awkwardly, eyes not knowing where to turn.

"Methos, if I touch you now I'll hurt you again. Please believe me, I want nothing more than to hold you and love you, but I can't trust myself."

The Oldest looked, if anything, even more humiliated. He hung his head, and turned his back to MacLeod. Was he ashamed because he had revelled in Mac's touch, however rough -- allowed the indignity because, at least, it was intimacy?

"It wasn't your fault, Methos. You know it has to be something to do with this Quickening. Please tell me what you know. Tell me what's wrong with me. No matter how bad it is, that's the first step toward fixing it." There was silence. "Please, Methos."

Finally a short laugh. "Oh MacLeod." Methos raised his head and drew a deep breath. "You always ask for so little." The Highlander heard the pain, the bitter whimsey; love, resistance and despair. His lover's voice held no mysteries for him any longer, save for the one great Mystery that was his lover. Yet though he heard every nuance in the beloved tones, he could divine no cause for them. Methos turned to face him, and his expression was more open and vulnerable than MacLeod had ever seen it. "Couldn't you just -- accept it, MacLeod?"

"Accept it?" MacLeod echoed.

Before he could react further Methos had stepped forward and moved him against the wall with the full length of his lean, hard body, and MacLeod felt him press cock to cock, capturing him with fingers sunk into his long hair and rubbing his mouth, open, across MacLeod's. His hands slid down to Duncan's ass, as his body rocked into him.

"This," he whispered. "Accept this, accept how good it feels, how much you like it." He slowed his movements, gazing into MacLeod's eyes. MacLeod felt his genitals pulse, his blood tingle and intentions alter. He reached for Methos, fingers gentle. He stroked the arms under the oversize sweater. Methos's spine stretched, his whole body shivering in to him. This wasn't what MacLeod had planned, but....

"This is what you want? Right now?"

Methos closed his eyes. "This is what I've wanted since the day I was born." His arms went around Mac's neck. "Love me MacLeod." The movement of Methos against him was like a dance to the music of his blood. "Love me."

He nuzzled Methos's neck, and breathed, "I do love you." With a single movement he scooped Methos up and carried him to his bed. It was somehow important that it was his bed, that he could bring Methos to it, have him there; stripped of everything of his own, and subject to Duncan. He laid Methos in his bed and with trembling hands pulled the big sweater up over his head, then felt Methos's hands catching at his belt buckle. He flung every piece of clothing he removed from his prize far from them. He did not allow himself to be undressed other than to free his thick cock for its work. He was not the one who was to be gazed upon, and used. He dropped a couple of pillows in the middle of the bed. He kept lubricant in a drawer, ever since he had learned it could sometimes make women more comfortable. He dropped the big tube onto Methos's flat belly.

The slickness being spread on by the long, strong fingers brought arousal to readiness. He brushed the hands aside, catching one arm to toss Methos over onto his stomach on the pillows, shoved apart his thighs and got between them. He gripped and parted the tensed cheeks, let his hard rod find its own target, and bucked it in, throwing his weight down onto Methos's raised hips. The muscular struggle that erupted under him added to the hot delight of the tight sheath gripping his full length, rippling extra sensation over and around the pulsating joy in his cock as he started sliding it out and in in ecstasy. Hard, fast, exquisite, the easy fuck peaked, and waves of shuddering bliss washed through him as he pinned Methos like a beautiful fluttering butterfly on this point of rapture. He decided even as he spilled his heat into him he wanted more, his great strength scarcely taxed. He lay atop him, resting, long organ still within, the faint efforts to move beneath him already rekindling lustful responses. And when Methos felt how he was hardening again inside him, he gave a little sob of sound that completed the full erection. Duncan turned Methos on his side, maintaining possession with hard pressure, and laid his big hand on Methos's lower belly. He could feel himself in outline through the lean muscle. He moved his hand up and down on his shadow cock, engorgement increasing as Methos moaned and gasped. His prey too had an erection, but Duncan ignored it, fascinated with the tactile proof of his conquest. He pressed his hand down harder and his cock thrilled to the transmitted sensation, magnified as Methos groaned and squirmed.

He rolled so that Methos sprawled half on top of him, grasping the jutting long cock to control him. A pure unclassifiable vocalization answered his grip and Methos arched again and again into his hand. Duncan gave him no help. It would be easier to command his participation with the convenient handle; he released it and returned to stimulating himself. When Methos desperately clutched at his own organ, he slapped the hand away hard enough to show he meant it, catching the cock a glancing blow as well, causing Methos to go silent and clenched with pain. He wanted nothing to interfere with his own rhythms. He savored the pain-tightened muscles until they relaxed. He discovered that by trailing his fingertips just above the groin he set off a reflex that sent ripples through the musculature of the whole area, and eventually even caused the softness clasping his encased rigidity to flex and convulse on him. He thrust in bliss. Methos was angelic to move in, and he enjoyed the extra effort of the upward lifts, setting off frissons of tension and release among his own largest muscles, sensation running clear to his toes. He pressed back against the bed, then his arms clamped around Methos ferally as rut truly took him. His breath came in deep "huh... huh... huh..." sounds as he drove savagely into the immobilized Immortal's body, gripping the taut cock at the last moment to induce writhing and sound and frantic hip movement for his hot-spurting climax. As he came he thrust hard and crushed his fist bruisingly into Methos's abdomen to rub along his shooting cock inside. Methos tried seriously to escape and Duncan rolled him again onto his belly on the pillows to finish his last few drives. It was exquisite. His fist, trapped beneath their combined weight, made the perfect increase for the declining sensation, and made Methos cry under him.

The other's cock was still hard, Duncan noted, Methos apparently having had no release yet at all, and the thought made him laugh a little. He lay resting again, a bit more worn this time but by no means exhausted. The mere thought of going yet again made him rock on the soft pad of Methos's buttocks, and his cock began to unfurl.

"No, Duncan!" Methos pleaded when he realized what was happening. "Please --"

"Don't ever say "no" to me Methos," Duncan warned smilingly. "It can really ruin my good mood." He whispered into Methos's ear, "I'm in a good mood now -- can you feel it?" His voice dropped down. "Does it hurt? Tell me."

"Yes." It was a bare hiss.

"Yes. Yes." He tried a thrust or two. "Does that hurt?" There was a sob under him. "Yes? You're irresistable. You're so soft and hot inside, I could stay in you all night. How does another four or five hours sound? All night fucking you nonstop, sounds like paradise. You know I can. You're not moving though. I like it when you move." He thrust hard, but it indeed seemed Methos made an effort not to respond, as if some pain had become too intense to bear further aggravation. Likely it was that unspent cock. He rocked sideways and back a few times and Methos groaned with the excruciation. He almost felt his interest flag, but a slight jerk as if to get away from him lit the sweet fire instantly, and like a cat that basks in the flex of claws into its small prey, clutching him to stillness, he luxuriated in his hot tenancy of the tender channel, levitated to a place beyond pleasure. Minute after minute he stayed still in him, cocooned in motionless lust.

When at length he did move, it was minutely. The slightest motion brought surges of paralyzing pleasure. The electric nudges stretched him till finally he was strung out full length. Imperceptible arching left his weight only on hands and loins, a shaking through him so small it felt like stillness. Rays of ecstasy illumined his whole body, from the ends of his toes to the top of his head, from cock to fingertips. "Oh Methos. Oh Methos... Methos...."

His arms closed slowly around the man under him, as the cum undulated out of his body slow as syrup. It was as if the sweetness spread with his love-fluid, taking in Methos as well as himself, warming him to the touch, bringing him back to a kind of reality he had lost in Duncan's bed. "I love you Methos."

There was no answer at all.

Carefully Duncan inched back, and finally out of him. He lifted and turned him over.

The pain on his face smacked Duncan like a pail of cold water. He had done nothing that should cause such desperate pain -- had he? Nothing a moment shouldn't heal -- He looked down.


There was one swelling Immortal healing did not register as abnormality.

Duncan reached and softly took the Oldest's angry, engorged cock into his hand.

But stroking of the swollen, over-tight torturously sensitized skin was too painful. Methos gently disengaged Duncan's hand and with a gesture of shielding let him know to stop.

Duncan leaned over him. "You asked me if I could just accept it." He laid his hand gently in the crease of the thigh beside the distended genitals. "The answer is no. This I can't accept, not without knowing why." He looked into the anguished eyes. "Methos, don't be afraid of the truth. I'm a big boy. I can take it. I promise not to run screaming into the night."

Methos looked at him, blinking against tears.

"Okay." It was almost a sigh. "Okay."

"First, what can we do about this?" MacLeod put a slight pressure on the edge of Methos's groin.

Methos opened bitten-shut lips. "I expect it's too late for team sports and pure thoughts. That only leaves cold showers."

Duncan glided to his feet, fastened his pants, and lifted Methos. Methos clutched at him and panted shallowly. But in only a moment he was being lowered into the tub and his hand found the cold-water faucet. Water gushed, he dodged back and gasped, then leaned forward into the saving cold. Duncan watched as he winced, and then gradually relaxed, shoulders dropping, neck hanging, flanks and thighs untensed.

"This is what you were doing in the bathroom this afternoon, isn't it." It wasn't really a question. Methos nodded. Duncan stroked the back of his neck. They waited as the water ran on and on.


End of Part 2

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