AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story takes place during the episode Chivalry.
Duncan MacLeod sat back and let himself relax, finally alone for the first time that day.
He rested his snifter of brandy on the arm of the chair and leaned his head against the
leather back and closed his eyes, his dark hair framing his face and spilling onto his
shoulders. Unbidden, thoughts of the day's events entered his mind, and rather than stop
them, he allowed them their freedom, hoping that by doing so, they would pass away as they
Kristin. He had known that it was inevitable that they would cross paths again. Her
business was too high profile and he was not exactly a recluse himself, but he had hoped,
somehow, to avoid it. The Old Man was right. She probably would keep coming back until she
killed him. Or he killed her. He shook his head and sipped at the brandy. Methos just
didn't understand. He knew he couldn't kill Kristin. She was unbalanced and dangerous, but
she had been ... well ... what had she been? Lover? Definitely. She could do things to a
man that no one else he had ever met could even imagine. Teacher? Maybe. She had showed
him the advantages of being a gentleman, but at the same time had tried to make him into
something he wasn't. He knew he had never loved her. He had cared for her, and in a
strange way, still did, but he had never loved her. How could he explain that to the Old
Methos. An enigma on two legs. He'd known him how long? Less than a year? What was it
about the man that made him so comfortable with him and at the same time question his
every move? How did he know about his past with Kristin? They'd never discussed it. And
why did he feel he needed to bring the news in person? 6000 miles to tell him when a phone
call would have done just as well. And the swords. What was that game with the swords this
afternoon? There was more to it than just the words and actions. Something in the
undercurrents. What was it that Tessa had always said about swords and phallic symbols?
Tessa. The thought of her brought a tear to his eye, as it often did when he was alone. He
let it roll down his cheek, unashamed. What had brought her to mind? Swords. That was it.
She had insisted that there was more to the carrying of swords than self defense. She had
always said it with a twinkle in her eye, but he suspected that she had felt there was a
truth behind it somewhere. God, he still missed her so much. He wiped a hand across his
face and sipped the brandy again.
Swords. And Methos. The two seemed inseparable in his mind. The simple request to admire
the katana. Seemed harmless enough. He trusted Methos. Then the blade at his throat, the
fear, the helplessness, the anger at being fooled. And the self righteous lecture from the
Old Man. And something else. A look, a feeling he couldn't identify. He'd controlled his
anger and dumped Methos on his bum, and that had felt good. So he'd played Methos' game,
taking a sword from the wall and besting his elder. And even as the Old Man knelt before
him with a sword at his neck, he did not concede. As he had stood holding the sword
against the long neck, he had felt a rush of control, power, and something else.
Excitement? Close, but not quite what it was. And the look on Methos' face. He still
hadn't deciphered it, but it had struck a chord deep inside him. He had almost captured
what it was when Richie walked in, breaking the almost hypnotic spell of the moment.
Richie. Boy and man. Hormones raging, Kristin casting her spell over him. Too old to be
told what to do. Too young to understand what Kristin really was. The boy meant so much to
him. A last link to Tessa and the time they had shared. He was growing up, testing his
independence. He was sure he was making many mistakes with Richie. They seemed to be
constantly at odds with each other lately. It made him miss Tessa all the more. She had
always had a way of understanding Richie. Somehow, he'd manage to work it out with the
boy. With the young man. Maybe that was part of the problem. He needed to start to see
Richie as the man he was becoming. And why wouldn't Methos let him tell Richie his real
name? What kept the Old Man from trusting anyone?
Methos again. What had been going on that afternoon? He concentrated on the two moments
that confused him, one with his own sword at his throat by Methos' hand and one with the
sword in his hands at Methos' throat. What was the look in the old eyes? What was the
feeling that pulled at his gut? He played the scene over and over in his mind, looking for
a clue, and finally found it. The hazel eyes that had locked with his own had held an
offer and a question. The offer he recognized and knew that was what had caused the
reaction in his gut and perhaps a little lower than that. The question was one he had held
in his own mind since his first meeting with the oldest living immortal. He still didn't
know the answer to that one. He wasn't sure he ever would, but maybe he'd give it a little
He finished his brandy and sat quietly a little longer, letting the last of the thoughts
go on their way. When his mind had cleared, he rose from the chair and went to bed.
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