by Laura Mason
A remix of "Five Things Methos Didn't Invent" by Helens78, written for Remix Redux III.
R-rated D/M slash. Many thanks to Tarsh and Shirebound for their beta services on this.
He'd never doubted that he'd truly found Methos, the oldest immortal. Sometimes that confidence surprised him, but he'd never questioned it. Not while Kalas was chasing Methos' power; not when Methos broke the rules of the Game by involving the police; not even later when Christine Salzer and other Watchers were dying and he was being given another dose of the incredibly cynical wisdom of the ages: "Civilizations rise and fall, MacLeod."
It was annoying, but it made sense that someone who'd lived thousands of years and seen so much change would be exactly like Methos. Perhaps what was really annoying Duncan was how quickly he'd fallen for the old guy, but he'd always been a sucker for someone who could make him laugh.
Two days after Kalas' death Amanda was gone, leaving him satiated and smiling. Dawson, who was flying back to the States the next morning, came for dinner at the barge with Methos in tow. Duncan poured them drinks and set out appetizers, and as he added herbs to the fish poaching on his stove he eavesdropped on their conversation, resumed mid-topic from their ride over.
"What happened to 'I'm just a guy, Joe?' Now you're trying to tell me that you designed and built the first bridge. Ever."
"As far as I know, yes. It's not like anyone had circled the globe at that time and could tell me, you know. Still, I'd wandered through a good deal of the civilized world by then."
Dawson snorted. "Next you'll claim to have thought up the wheel. I don't believe it. You're just not that old, Methos! There were advanced civilizations with fleets of ships--"
"Exactly. They built boats to cross bodies of water, and if there was no natural ford they stayed on their side and called it 'the will of the gods' that set their borders. No one thought about connecting up the two sides until that day when I built the first bridge." Methos took a sip of his whiskey and smiled, while Dawson sputtered some more. "I'm not claiming to be some kind of genius, you know. It was just a lucky accident that when my boat sank in the middle of the channel, I was angry enough to order the mast broken. Terribly bad luck, if you believed the sailors, but I didn't see what could be worse luck than being stuck between two hostile territories with no way out except drowning. So I hacked at the base of the mast, and they obeyed me and pushed until it fell."
"And how does this get us to a bridge?"
"The mast nearly reached the shore. By then I'd cooled off a bit and I realized we could get our cargo off if we built a walkway on top of the mast." He stretched forward to grab a handful of olives, then sank back in his chair. "We were halfway to the shore when the tribesmen attacked. So we went back on the boat and decided to head to the opposite shore instead. There was no convenient mast, but -- as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. We pulled apart half the ship and put together a makeshift walkway from the planks."
Dawson looked skeptical but interested despite himself. "So you took your cargo off to that side?"
"No, the tribe on that shore was even more bloody hostile. We were attacked from both sides, lost our cargo, and my men were slaughtered. Well, they were expecting doom, since I'd offended the spirit of the boat, so they didn't fight very well. I was driven overboard and wound up drowning after all. I hate dying that way." He seemed to have fallen into a reverie, and Dawson looked like he was going to explode.
Duncan asked, "So -- a bridge?"
"When the two tribes met up on our boat, both fighting intruders, they became allies. The truce begun that day continued because they added on to the ruin of my boat and began to have regular trade between their lands." Methos kept talking, but Duncan stopped listening, not really believing anything he'd just heard. Dawson's face was twisted in a half-eager, half-doubting expression, and Methos was smiling as if he immensely enjoyed the mortal's uncertainty.
They were quite obviously at ease with one another, and Duncan reminded himself that they'd known each other for years before he'd come to Paris and uncovered Adam Pierson's secret. Still, it seemed odd when Duncan remembered how respectful Dawson had been when he'd first spoken to MacLeod, Watcher to subject. And he knew Dawson had been awed at the thought of Pierson being Methos, but somehow Methos was turning that emotion on its head with his odd combination of aw-shucks attitude and ridiculous historical anecdotes. He'd moved Dawson from amazed Watcher to the skeptical bickering of an old married couple enjoying themselves while arguing.
They were speaking loudly enough to include Duncan, but despite the occasional remarks tossed his way he wasn't part of their relationship. Of course, Duncan was developing his own relationship with both men. Still, he was ... almost ... jealous.
Duncan managed to forget about it when he announced dinner and the conversation turned to more general topics. But later, after several bottles of wine and some heavily spiked coffee, the two of them started up again.
Dawson accepted a refill from Duncan and said, "Coffee's good, Mac."
"Yeah," Methos breathed. "Great invention if I do say so myself."
Duncan nearly spit coffee all over his lap, and Dawson set down his cup to turn toward Methos. "You-- Not again. I'm not going to swallow this. There's no way you were the first person to pick a coffee bean and wonder what would happen if you threw it in the fire."
Methos was the picture of affronted innocence. "Did I say that I was?"
Dawson's eyes swung to Duncan, who shrugged, then back to Methos. "You implied--"
"I just said it was a great invention. Really, Joe. I wasn't everywhere. I'm only one man, even if I have been around for a while."
Dawson settled back in his chair and picked up his cup, Duncan hid his smile by looking down, and both of them spit coffee a moment later when Methos continued, "I'm just the first person to have spiked coffee with whiskey." He ignored the coughing and mopping at the upholstery to continue reminiscing. "Very damp and cold in Ireland, and most orders of monks really don't do enough about bodily comforts. Especially during Lent."
Dawson looked up from the ruin of his sweater to give him a disgruntled look. "You were in a monastery?"
"Holy ground is an immortal's best friend."
"Still -- I find it hard to believe that any religious order accepted you."
"I can behave when necessary," Methos protested. Duncan choked off a laugh, but that sound was enough to draw those sharp eyes to him. "Surely MacLeod here spent time cloistered, didn't you?"
"Yes, several times," Duncan agreed, trying to look penitent though he couldn't stop smiling.
"Now that's more astonishing than anything I've done, isn't it? Duncan MacLeod, immortality's gift to women everywhere, the great lover himself, living with no sex!"
Methos smirked, Dawson laughed, and Duncan calmly replied, "No women, maybe. But hardly no sex," with a smirk of his own. He enjoyed the way Dawson choked again, and how Methos' eyes widened a bit before he dropped them. But Methos' mouth was turned up in a very self-satisfied smile, and for a moment Duncan wondered if he'd been deliberately led into making that revelation.
No, he was giving Methos too much credit. Methos wasn't like Amanda, who'd known him for years and could unerringly push his buttons. No matter how old he was, Methos couldn't constantly be orchestrating everything around him.
The conversation turned again, to Watcher records and Watchers in monastic orders. Despite the coffee he'd had, it wasn't more than half an hour later that Dawson began to nod off in his armchair.
"Joe." Dawson started though Methos' voice was gentle. "You want me to run you home?"
"No, you stay. I've got to be up early to finish packing. I'll cab it alone."
They both walked him to the taxi stand to say goodnight and goodbye, but after Dawson's cab pulled away Methos was silent, his hands stuffed in his coat pockets and his shoulders hunched forward as he stared across the bridge.
Duncan knew Methos would be making some excuse to leave in a minute, so he said the first thing that popped into his head. "How about a game of chess?"
Methos turned to face him but didn't speak, though his head was cocked to the side questioningly.
"I know you must play -- you weren't just admiring the carving on my set."
That brought back the enigmatic, cat-digesting-canary smile before Methos said, "Sure. Lead the way."
It wasn't wise to keep drinking, not if Duncan's goal was to win this game, or to learn more about Methos' thought processes. But Duncan wasn't terribly concerned about any of that tonight. Methos was a challenging opponent, and some other time they might have a serious, week-long game. But tonight Duncan just wanted to have fun.
Their conversation during the game ranged from current movies to Druids and back again, and Duncan finally began to feel he was seeing more than Adam. He had to admit, such glimpses of Methos' true nature were just as exciting to him as they were to Dawson.
It was very late when Methos finally said "Checkmate." Duncan stretched in his chair before thanking him for the game, then he rose to make a fresh pot of coffee while Methos re-set the board.
"When did you learn to play?" he called from the galley. "You've got some unorthodox moves--"
"Learn to play? MacLeod, you wound me. Surely after listening to me and Joe tonight, you've already figured out that I invented this game, along with saddling the first horse, cultivating the first potato, flushing the first toilet, and deciding on blue for the color of the sky."
Duncan laughed. "Older than God, eh? I used to think that about Darius, actually. Did you know him?" He walked back into the room but didn't sit down, just leaned where he could keep an eye on the coffee maker and still enjoy the way Methos sprawled, limbs akimbo, all over his furniture. "He's the one who taught me chess strategy, though I'd learned the game before we met. No one plays like an ex-general, but then most of us who've lived longer than a hundred years have plenty of battle experience to draw on."
Methos stretched but didn't address the topic. "Well. Charming as it is to listen to the story of your life, MacLeod, I'd better get home." He rose and looked around the room as if he'd misplaced his coat and sword.
"It's late. Stay here."
"Am I being propositioned?" Again, the tiny smile and cock of the head that made Duncan want to kiss him -- or smack him.
"Do you want to be? I'm told the sofa is comfortable, Methos, and you're welcome to sleep there if your virtue feels threatened."
Methos was next to him, and Duncan managed not to shiver at the feeling of his body heat so close alongside him. "What if I do want to be propositioned? I've seen you with Amanda, I know you don't mind mixing sex and friendship."
"No, I don't mind at all." Duncan turned and met the lips moving toward him, and let himself relax into being held by strong arms as the kiss continued, soft and sweet despite the scrape of stubble.
It had been a long time since he'd let someone else take the lead, and suddenly he was fiercely glad Methos was ready to take this step. It would have been too easy for them to dismiss the flirting and innuendo as a joke, particularly tonight, and squelch the possibility forever.
Instead, Duncan let himself be pushed into the wall, let strength that matched his own and a surprising passion arouse him so quickly he felt like a randy youngster. That made him remember Methos intoning "the passions of youth," and their kiss ended in an undignified giggle.
"Hey, no fair making the old guy think he's lost his touch," Methos joked, his thigh pressing into the part of Duncan that was still rock-hard and dead serious about sex.
"I love you," Duncan replied, still laughing from sheer happiness and relief that Methos truly wasn't offended.
"Of course you do," he replied, steering Duncan toward the bed. "I invented that, too, you know," Methos managed to whisper in his ear while quite handily stripping them both naked.
The combination of laughter and incredibly hot, messy sex was so much fun Methos stayed at the barge three more days, most of their time spent aroused or exhausted. The time between those two states was given to variations of fucking: hard and fast, slow and sleepy, tender and loving, even inventive and silly. Duncan was sorry to see Methos head back to his own flat, but a week later when Deborah's bracelet turned up for sale he flew to Scotland without even making a phone call.
It was amazingly comfortable to wake up being held by Methos again. Though it had only happened a few times before this morning, it was all familiar: the strength of him, the sharp angles and lush curves, even his scent. Duncan luxuriated in the feeling a moment longer before extricating himself. Methos mumbled something but remained asleep through Duncan's yoga routine and shower, only stirring when coffee brewed and the bacon began to sizzle.
Duncan nodded and slid eggs into the oven while Methos stumbled to the shower, and smiled a few minutes later when he emerged damply bundled into a borrowed-without-asking robe.
By the time they'd finished sharing food and the newspaper, Methos was finally awake enough to speak. "So. I take it Richie won't be coming around until I'm gone. Are you meeting him to work on your house today?"
"No, I'm seeing a friend later this afternoon. She's in town for a concert -- Claudia Jardine, have you heard of her?"
"No. Violin?" Methos rose, topped off his coffee mug, and wound his way through the loft and back to the bed.
"I'm out of touch with the culture here, haven't lived in the States since the early 50's." He sat down, and after a sip of coffee the mug was left on the night stand while he sank back against the pillows.
"Really?" Duncan followed his path, feeling a bit like he was stalking prey.
"Yeah. Long time, but I was a little too visible in that life. It kind of snuck up on me, how hard it was getting to avoid leaving a trail of photographs and fingerprints. I've made safer choices since then."
Duncan couldn't help himself. "So, what was this high-profile job of yours?" He couldn't resist the question, nor climbing onto the bed on all fours, suspended over Methos.
"I didn't let it get 'high profile,' MacLeod. I'm not stupid."
"No, just dead sexy," he agreed, kissing him as his hands worked their way under the robe and Methos' annoyed eyes glazed over, sex-stupefied. "So?"
"I was part of the team that developed Enovid." Duncan looked blank. "The first oral contraceptive? You must have heard of contraceptives."
"You-- But immortals don't have children."
"Nor do we need physicians, but I've been a doctor in many lifetimes. Surely you've lost enough friends to childbearing even in your brief existence?"
"Okay. You helped develop the birth control pill. Another invention of yours?"
"Well, no, it wasn't my idea or anything. I'm pretty limited in organic chemistry now, and even then my knowledge was only average. But I was a researcher, and the project might never have been funded if Carl hadn't sent me to sweet-talk old Maggie."
"Well, now it makes sense," Duncan said with a laugh. "The truth is that the immortal Methos isn't an inventor, he's just an ancient gigolo." Duncan rolled, pulling Methos atop him with a delighted smile.
"Hey, I've been an inventor." A few kisses later, he said, "I've worked around lots of inventors, anyway." One glorious mutual hand job later, Methos sighed, "There are lots of things I didn't invent, you know."
"No, I don't know. Tell me." But Methos was falling asleep, poor old guy. No stamina. Duncan, already plotting round two, elbowed Methos' ribs sharply. "Don't think too hard about this..."
"I'm not," came the instant, somewhat drowsy protest, and after quick journeys through the history of cultivated crops, cellular phone technology, mathematics, and astrology, Duncan found himself on the receiving end of one of those looks that made his cock iron-hard while Methos stretched seductively.
"Oh, no you don't. You're not getting out of your last something the legendary Methos didn't invent by bribing me with sex--"
"But that's two things," Methos pointed out, already halfway to Duncan's cock. "Bribery. And sex."
"God," Duncan groaned as that sweet, warm mouth closed over him. "Do you ever stop?"
His groan was louder when Methos actually pulled away and whispered in his ear, "Do you want me to?"
"Then shut up and let me," Methos breathed, descending once more between the legs eagerly spread for him, "bribe you ... with sex."
Not knowing if any of it was true or just more of Methos' ever-amusing tall tales didn't matter. What was important, what was rapidly becoming necessary to existence, was having a lover and friend who made his heart overflow with joy and his body explode with pleasure.
Duncan relaxed and let Methos lead the way to ecstasy again.
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