This little tale was mostly written on ICQ by Lori and me. All credit and blame proudly accepted by both of us<g>. Any resemblance to Highlander or its characters is by sheer luck.
Rating: Yeah, well, I guess we'd have to say PG. And mention that there are references to men liking men, but only a few times, and nothing comes of it.
by Ashlyn and Lori
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there lived a Manipulating Bastard whose name was Methos, but then again, he was Manipulative, so it could have been something else. We'll just call him MB for short.
The first couple thousand years of his life are a secret, since we haven't made up any good stories for him and the people who made him up wouldn't tell us. Then, one fine day, he met Kronos and Caspian and Silas, some Murdering Bastards who Raped and Pillaged for a living. He liked their style and their snazzy outfits, so he stayed with them for a while.
Before too very long, he became weary of Raping and Pillaging, and retired to the Mediterranean (or so he would have us believe). While he rested up and ate and drank and vomited, he decided to start work on the Great Manipulation, the biggest and best Manipulation of all time, a Manipulation that would go down in all history as the Very Best One.
While he planned it, he consulted with Oracles for help and guidance in his plan, for what was the point of a Great Manipulation if one doesn't have someone to Manipulate. The Oracles were very helpful and told him some wonderful things about his future. The best thing they said was that he'd meet a Doe-Eyed Scot in the future. And that the Doe-Eyed Scot (who we will call DES, for short) would be great fun and kind of pretty and such a sport to Manipulate. Of course, he wasn't best pleased with the Oracle for saying that it wouldn't happen until 1995.
So he called the Oracle some Choice Names and it condemned him to wear over-large sweaters for two years after meeting said DES (the unquenchable thirst for beer was already there). Patiently, he bided his time, making the plans and setting the stage for the Great Manipulation. He knew Kronos had to be involved and that Bitch Cassandra as well, and slowly, the Plan came together. The toughest part was making sure that the DES met the Bitch when he was young so he could have wet dreams about her for a Long, Long Time, but since he did know the DES was a Scot, he took the chance that having the Bitch live in Scotland would do the trick.
For many centuries, the plan perked along, and to keep from being bored and also to keep from having to fight too much and get his sword dirty, the MB invented the Watchers to keep track of all his fellow immortals and to give him a place to hide out when he wanted to.
This strategy worked really well, and he was sure he'd found out who the DES was by reading the Watcher reports. The only bad thing in the reports was that the DES seemed to be irrevocably heterosexual. This did not sit well with the MB, since he thought the DES was really hot and, being the greatest MB of all time, he picked out some folks from the DES' chronicle to use as Tests for him. He also tried to meet up with the DES before 1995, but the Oracle was strong, and it was not to be.
The first Test was a man called Kalas. The MB made sure that this Evil Guy was hunting for him so that the DES would feel protective (and maybe just a bit lustful). The stage was set for the fateful day, 6th of March, 1995. And lo and behold, it came to pass as the Oracle had predicted, the DES appeared at his door, guessed who he was and drank his beer. The MB was thrilled, but sad at the same time, because he surely wished the DES wasn't so darned heterosexual. It would have been fun to have a few rolls in the hay during his Great Manipulation, but the lust thing just didn't seem to be happening.
Even without the lust thing, the DES seemed to be passing the Tests, so the MB went on with his Great Manipulation. He looked and looked, high and low, and finally found an immortal who was quite gullible and thought it would be cool to play at being the oldest of them all. Strangely, he had a kind of cat-like face, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, the MB talked and talked to this gullible immortal, schooling him in the Crock he was to dispense to the world, then sent him on his way. Once the Fake MB was out of earshot, the Real MB called up Kronos on his cell phone (got to keep up with technology, you know) and told him where start following him.
So, the Fake MB went out preaching (and this was the MB's biggest joke) Peace and an End to all the Fighting when, actually, the fighting was just beginning. Why else had he gone to all the time and trouble to instill that stupid phrase "There can be only one" if it wasn't to get all the immortals to kill each other off while he hid out? He was proud of that strategy, for since the DES had come on the scene, there was one less immortal each week.
Meanwhile, the MB tried his utmost to be Manipulative, but the DES held on stubbornly to his heterosexual ways even when the MB coaxed Kristin back into town on the pretext of taking the annoying protege's head (the one above his shoulders). This would be the second Great Test for the DES, to see if the MB could convince the DES that the Monster Kristin deserved to be killed. After all, she had done some Pretty Bad Things to the DES' friends in the past, and the DES was prone to Judgement. The one thing the MB hadn't counted on was the DES' annoying trait of mercy. Someone was going to pay for not noting that strongly enough in those chronicles... Now that he was mad enough to kill, the MB had to whack someone, and it sure wouldn't be the DES, since he was still trying to get in his pants, so he cut off Kristin's head. What the hell? *He'd* never slept with her.
The DES failing this Great Test of the Manipulation left the MB most sad. Oh well, he decided, can't give up on a Great Manipulation because of one little set back, so he let things go on. The next Test was for the MB to pretend to be all cutesy and fall in love with a waitress. Naturally, being the MB he was, he picked one who was dying so he wouldn't have to pretend to be all lovey-dovey for too very long especially since he wasn't an *ac-tor*, darling.
When the waitress was about to kick the bucket, the MB put another facet of the Great Manipulation into play, pretending he cared about her enough to almost lose his head by going after a crystal that was reputed to have healing powers, even though he knew it was actually one of the first ever plastic icicles that were made to hang on Yule logs and the new-fangled Christmas Trees.
But it was good enough to convince the DES, and they even hung around the grave together after the waitress bought the big one. The next part of the Great Manipulation wouldn't start for almost a year, but the MB figured he'd hang around and see if he could be cute enough to get into the DES's pants. After all, the waitress wasn't much fun, she was too out of it most of the time. And meds had their time and place, but...*really*. Well, he hung around for a year, dropped innuendo, but never got to drop trou.
Miffed, the MB figured he must *really* be losing his touch and he split for a time - ostensibly to check out the quality of yak butter in Tibet, but really to let Kronos know where he'd be and when his turn was coming up on that game show, and to check and make sure the Fake MB was following his part in the game plan.
All was in order, so the MB made one last attempt at the DES' trou by sleeping in his bed, but even that didn't work. On the appointed day, the Big Bad Kronos showed up and played his part enthusiastically. A bit too enthusiastically, the MB sometimes thought, but it sure did convince the DES of his part in the whole scheme.
Even that bitch Cassandra showed up on time. And while the MB did feel bad about taking Silas' head (again, the one above the shoulders...no supporting canon for the other...although *some* people seem to feel the need to extrapolate), Silas had never been the sharpest knife in the drawer and there was that thing about "there can be only one"...who knew it'd be so handy?
And the bestest part of the plan was that the MB had set the whole thing up so the DES could kill Big Bad Kronos for him, which had been the object of the whole thing all along. Now he wanted to live happily ever after with the DES, but forgot to notice that there were parts of the Great Manipulation that kind of annoyed the DES, most especially that bit about the Raping and Pillaging, so he wasn't being all that friendly to the MB.
And it was annoying, but since the MB figured the final goal of his Great Manipulation had been pulled off with nary a hitch except that damn streak of heterosexuality that the DES kept exhibiting, he could set up another Manipulation. After all, he had plenty of time.
So he did his best on the fly to set up another Manipulation. He decided the DES might like him better if he could kill another of the MB's old lovers, so he arranged for Byron to do a concert in town and make the DES all mad at him. It worked, of course, and Byron got whacked, but the DES had a long memory for Bad Stuff and still stayed straight.
There just really had to be a way to get around that disgusting...het thing, but how...how? He spent many nights in a bar drinking with the grizzled old watcher (GOW) that he'd Manipulated into thinking the MB was his friend (not to mention covering his bar bill) and then, watching a fuzzy TV channel with shows that were dubbed in Lithuanian, he had his inspiration as a Lithuanian Jimmy Stewart talked to a Lithuanian Clarence!
So, he worked and worked and found a guy who was pissed at the DES and brought him to town and made sure that the DES got all confused by what was going on, and while the DES was a little dead, the MB hypnotized him and made him believe a wonderful story of how everyone needed him, especially the MB, who would never have turned away from Raping and Pillaging had it not been for him. When the DES got less dead, he remembered it all and decided he could be friends with the MB again.
Which was good, because that Twin Peaks French midget reject had really been getting on the MB's nerves, even though he'd been told by the folks at Plot Devices R Us how necessary the little creep was to his plans.
So the midget got fired, the MB got the DES and they all lived happily ever after, but not on that stupid boat, because the MB hated water. He worked a very small Manipulation and managed to convince the DES that living on Bora Bora (but not too close to the water) would be the best thing for all of them.
The DES agreed and even consented to wearing a sarong on occasion, never dreaming that it was all a Great Manipulation by the MB. And the MB, when the DES wasn't around, did happy dances as thanks to the gods in the fields of Extrapolation and Subtext which now stretched endlessly before him.
Until the movie.
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