BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

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Death By Any Other Name - Part 3
Saturday, March 27, 2004

Firefly/Highlander X-over


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 3219    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Neroli mentioned that she hadn't seen much of the later Highlander episodes and I realized that I was taking it for granted that most were familiar with most of the show. I've done my best to work it in at points (may end up revising it to a different point later on, but want to keep things moving), but if you are still confused or just interested, here's a link that has many of the important character espisodes summarized/transcribed and details the histories of the characters. http://www.geocities.com/gisele_highlander_fan/methos/episodes/ Spoilers for the H:TS episodes Comes A Horseman and after.

Not beta-ed. Feedback welcome.

Summary of Part 1 & 2: Except for Kaylee, Inara, and Book, the crew knows that Charles Pierce is Methos. Methos is on Serenity as a passenger to the frontier so he can change identities.

Part 3 Chinese Glossary Shide- yes Tianna, gu zao de – God this can't get any worse.

-- Mal stood at the bottom of the ramp steps watching his unexpectedly complicated passenger perform with his sword. He'd already had to chase Kaylee away from cat walk three times this morning. He'd been fooling himself when he thought that the novelty would wear off for his mechanic after he gave permission for Methos to perform his workouts. Mal wasn't sure if he should be happy or not that his boy-crazy crew member was distracted from her pursuit of the young doctor. The only thing about the situation that reassured him was that he had noticed how distinctly uncomfortable her excessive cheerfulness made the immortal – especially since it had been directed full force at him after she first witnessed him with his shirt off. Of course, Mal also figured any man who'd been around this 'verse for five thousand years would know better than to exercise shirtless around women when they were confined in close quarters.

"Just wanted to let you know we're a day off from Boros right now. Anytime you want to wave your contact, just head to the bridge," Mal called out when it appeared that the other man was decreasing the intensity of his exercise.

Methos paused his movement as he quickly glanced around the cargo bay area. Once he was sure they were alone, he walked over to Mal. "I hadn't gotten a chance to thank you for not telling everyone."

Mal just nodded. "Don't blame you for wanting to keep it to yourself. Book and Inara aren't crew and can't see that Kaylee needs to know seeing as you're leaving in a short while." Methos lowered his sword and walked over to where its scabbard was laying on a crate with his shirt. "Although, as calm as River has been what with your meditation, you might oughta teach Simon some of your mojo before you leave," Mal said as he turned to leave the cargo bay.

"I don't know, Captain. To hear Kaylee tell it, you're the one who gets in all the duels on the ship."

--

"The Captain said I could make a wave from here," Methos said to Wash as he entered the bridge.

Slightly startled, Wash turned in his seat. "Uhh, yeah, the cortex screen is right over here." Methos approached the screen and began to enter a number. "So, you can come back from the dead and all huh?" Methos just rolled his eyes and nodded, still focused on the screen. "So could I see you heal or something sometime?" Wash asked curious.

"Sure, but then I'd have to rip your head off to replenish my life force," Methos replied completely deadpan.

Wash paled. "I think I hear Zoe calling me," he said as he hurried down the stairs off of the bridge.

Mal made a tsk-ing sound from the back of the bridge. "I'd 'preciate it if you could make an attempt to not spook the crew."

Methos slumped his shoulders. "I thought you said I could make a wave." Mal nodded. "I assumed that meant in private."

"Before the other night, sure. But it's kinda odd, I'm eager to ensure I don't experience any more surprises as a result of our business together."

Methos glared at him. "Fine, just stay out of the camera range okay?" After Mal had moved enough that he wasn't visible, Methos punched the button to connect him to the address he'd entered. A woman in a maid's uniform answered the call. "Is Mandy around Nita?"

"One second, senor." The maid left the screen and was soon replaced by a graceful, slender woman with short chestnut hair.

"Pierce, good of you to finally contact me."

"Sorry Mandy, couldn't be helped. We arrive tomorrow, when can we meet?"

The woman on the screen made a face. "If you had contacted me earlier, I might have been able to save you some travel time. I won't be able to take the items after all."

"Mandy, we all made a deal. It's your turn now!"

"Don't get all righteous on me old man! It doesn't suit you." Pausing, the brunette composed herself. "We also agreed to avoid the chronicles too. I've picked up some new shadows these past few days and its giving me the wiggins."

Methos cursed loudly. "Are you certain?" The woman nodded. "And you've slipped so much that you can't lose 'em Mandy?"

"Do you think I'm stupid? I do that and they will get twice as interested."

"Manda!" Methos groaned.

"Okay, fine. I'll try to meet your ship, but I'm not saying I will take anything with me okay?"

"Fine, fine. I'll see you tomorrow." Mandy smiled at him before the screen went black.

"Problems?" Mal asked from where he leaned against the lockers.

"Shìde."

"Elaboration wouldn't be out of place here you know."

Methos dropped into the vacant pilot's seat. "You heard it all, what do you need me to elaborate on now?"

Mal walked towards him slowly. "You know Pierce, I'm getting mighty sick of your secrets causing problems and it looks like whatever just happened might be dumping some problems my way. So I'll ask you again, care to elaborate on this new set of problems?" he asked coldly as he crossed his arms and glared at the immortal.

"Boy, there are some things that you are just better off not knowing. Know when to let your elders handle problems that are out of your league. I'll be sure to let you know when your expertise can help with a problem," Methos replied in a cutting tone as he stood.

Red-faced, Mal closed the distance that separated them and got into the immortal's face. "If I can't help, I'll leave you to it. But I will know what the problem is if you intend to leave my boat on Boros, dong ma? That is, unless you don't plan on getting back on."

Methos met Mal's stare and held it while he considered his options. If Amanda was nervous, then most likely some type of surveillance was underway. The only question was by whom? Deciding, he deflated his stance and held up his hands in surrender. "Fine! You can't just let anything be can you?" Mal just waited without answering. "Look, I don't know exactly what's going on okay? Mandy is an old friend and she tends to get nervous. It could just be that someone is interested in the architecture of her house and its nothing."

"Or it could be something more?" Mal prompted. "And by old, I assume you mean she's . . ."

"Tianna, gu zao de! What do you want from me Reynolds? A list of every immortal I know to still exist? That is one sure way for me to need my sword."

"Fine, but it is possible that the trouble stems from what you are?"

"Or it could just be that Mandy is a well known fence for archeological artifacts from Earth That Was and the feds think that something is about to be exchanged."

"Can't say I much care for either of the options here Methos. How 'bout we just skip this planet and find another fence elsewhere."

Methos shook his head. "It's not an option. The amount of items and their ages, I can only hand these off to a few people without attracting undue notice. Besides, I'm not interested in selling them. I'm interested in leaving them in good hands."

Mal took a step back in confusion. "What, Wait a minute. If you aren't fencing the stuff then why'd we go through all that hand-waving back on Bellaraphon?"

"Captain, those items aren't documented."

"Then I'm seeing less and less of a reason not to take the lot of it to another fence."

Methos looked at the ceiling in frustration and let out a string of curses in dead languages. "Look, Mal, those items in those crates down there are the few things that my friends and I felt that we wanted to have when we left Earth. Dong ma? They are not being sold to anyone."

"Seems we're back to square one as to who your friend's shadows are then?"

"When we land, I'll talk to her. If something happens, you have my permission to fly off to Bora Bora for all I care."

Mal stared at Methos confused. "We're going to Boros, not Bora Bora. Where is that anyway?"

Methos just shook his head and left the bridge. Mortals. The more they knew the more of a nuisance they became.

--

Mal met with Zoe, Jayne and Wash later in the bridge. After shutting the door to the corridor he summarized the situation for them. "If this shipment or his friend is going to draw that much attention, then maybe we should just not land on Boros, sir," Zoe suggested.

"I've given thought to that. However, Methos or Pierce, or whatever the hell you want to call him, seems to think that only a select few people are worthy of this delivery. So we're going to play it his way with a little extra padding for comfort. Jayne, you and Zoe will follow Pierce and his friend if they leave the boat. Discretely follow, dong ma? Wash, I want you to monitor all the official channels and any others you can hack into. One word about the ship, antiquities, or our passenger and we leave that rock as soon as Zoe and Jayne are back on board."

--

The next morning found an impatient immortal pacing the cargo bay. He'd finally convinced the doctor that it would be best to sedate his sister. The way she'd reacted to him, well, he didn't know what the presence of two immortals would result in. The last thing he wanted was to find out that the poor girl had followed him off the ship or something.

Mal just watched Methos pace as he leaned against the cargo bay door controls. Zoe and Jayne had left almost immediately after they had touched down in order to be ready to follow Methos and the mysterious Mandy. "Seems she's late, that kind of thing happen often?"

Methos glared at the Captain. "She's a woman. It's her prerogative. You don't have to baby-sit me while I wait. You can feel free to go do your captain-y duties."

Mal just smiled. At that point, a tall, slender blonde appeared at the bottom of the cargo bay ramp. She was attended by frumpy, chubby woman who wore a veil. Both entered the cargo bay and the blonde signaled to Mal that he could close the doors. Methos walked forward and began to speak quietly with the blonde.

Nodding, he turned to Mal. "Is there an airlock that lets out towards the ground, Captain? It would be best if we could leave unobserved."

Mal nodded and led the way. "Aren't you gonna introduce us Charlie?"

Methos replied as he opened the airlock and lowered the veiled woman to the ground. "You and Sara have plenty of time to get acquainted Captain. Ta ta."

The blonde smiled at Mal. "Refreshments would be great, Captain," she said, making it clear to Mal she wouldn't be leaving his side for the foreseeable future. Mal cursed to himself as he led her to the kitchen. Hopefully Jayne and Zoe would be able to anticipate Methos's move without him being able to tell them.

--

Jayne spoke into his mike. "You were right Zoe, they went out the lower airlock. I'm following down the street now."

A few yards in front of him, Methos and the veiled woman walked quickly. "Anyone following us?" the woman asked.

Methos spotted Jayne easily, but no one else seem intent on the couple. "No one I didn't expect. Any in particular destination in mind?"

The woman smiled beneath her veil. "Not that I plan on telling you, Chuck," she taunted.

"It's Charles, not Chuck or Charley."

"Calm down, it's not good for you to be upset at your age. Besides, it's been so long since you've had a name that can be shortened."

He put his arm over her shoulder as he moved to avoid several people on the busy street outside the dockyards. "Yeah, well I never imagined you'd take the name Amanda again so soon either."

"Have you heard from Duncan lately?"

"No, he managed to disappear during the war. He sent a message indicating he was safe, but well, you know our Scotsman. Gods forbid he ask for help in dealing with something."

"I'm still glad you were able to locate him after he'd been taken. I never got to ask afterward, did you manage to destroy the data?"

"Honestly, I don't know. I think so, but it's possible that they had a system containing the data that wasn't connected to the cortex. I wasn't exactly eager to run around the corporation headquarters looking for it."

"Here we are," she said pushing him towards the entrance of a large mosque. Inside, after removing their shoes, she pulled him down a hallway. "I managed to get a friend to clear and office for us. Should give us time to talk and be reasonably free of listening devices."

"Ever the optimist, still holding out hope that there is somewhere that the Alliance doesn't poke its nose, darling?"

Once inside the room, Amanda pulled off her veil. Methos found it odd to see her admittedly graceful and beautiful features attached to a body that she had made to seem obviously older and unattractive. He frowned as he remembered a time in which she had never had to do more than change her hair color. He honestly thought he'd never long for the turmoil that he'd experienced when Mac and Joe had discovered his past like he had for the last fifty years.

"So Mac still doesn't know about Cassandra, I guess?"

Methos shook his head as he sat heavily on the couch inside the office. He couldn't be certain of course, but usually the only time he felt Mac receive a quickening had been when they'd lived in the same city. He had dreaded seeing his old friend again since he had killed Cassandra, but at the same time wished he could. Confessing to Mac might result in a punishment that could alleviate his guilt over killing the woman who had pursued him since he'd freed her when he was a member of the Horseman. Mac had never really forgiven him for what he'd done during the centuries of terror he'd reaked during his time with his three blood-brothers; although in time, he'd finally admitted that it had been a different time and that he couldn't judge what the older man had done to survive through the millennia. However, he'd remained fiercely protective of Cassandra since she was a link to his own days of mortality in Scotland. Methos wondered if the younger immortal had ever laughed at the irony that he protected the woman who had used him as a tool to defeat one of her former students from the man who had used him to help kill his own brothers. At least through the years, both had come to appreciate the shared quickening they'd experienced during the fight with Silas and Kronos. Methos was thankful to Mac still for taking Kronos's head, he didn't know what he would have done if he'd had to live with his brother's quickening.

"As always, Cassandra had the worst timing as well. I'd just finished designing a virus that I was going to load into the Watcher's database the next day," he explained.

Amanda smiled sadly at him. "That would have been nice. But between the Alliance's records and the Watchers, it probably wouldn't have made a difference overall." He smiled in acknowledgement of her forgiveness of his failure, but he still railed at night against the way Cassandra had upset his plans. No, he might not have been able to completely decimate the Watcher's program, but if the right people had disappeared after the database had been destroyed, neither Amanda nor Mac would have had to worry about being tagged as an immortal for a while.

Methos shook his head roughly. Now was not the time for memories, there were issues to be dealt with other than old immortal reunions. "So, the shipment," he asked reminding her of their business.

Amanda sighed and sat down on the couch beside him finally. Curling her legs underneath her as she faced him from the other end, she replied, "I just can't risk it right now. If the feds have decided to scrutinize me, it could just be a matter of time before they try a search since they seem to think I'm dumb enough to keep things in my home. And if it's not them, then well,"

"The crates would only cause them to step up their efforts or worse," he finished for her. "Is there anyone who could take them for safekeeping for you?"

"I don't know anyone who I would ask to take that risk after what happened to Duncan."

She was right. They had no right to put a mortal in that kind of peril. "Well, I guess that's that. Hopefully, Captain Reynolds won't mind making a few stops at some asteroids," he said.

Amanda grabbed her veil. After kissing him on the cheek, she said her goodbyes. "Take care of yourself old man. And let me know when your new moon gets terra-formed. I might decide to take up the frontier life with you." Methos watched her leave as he cursed the Alliance, the Watchers, and the technology that forced him to remain separate from his immortal friends now when the Gathering and the Game were over.

--

Mal glanced at the time when his escort, or guard or whatever she was, finally left the ship. "Zoe, Jayne, did you find him?" he asked over the com equipment.

"Affirmative, sir. His contact just left, but we're still waiting for him to leave," Zoe replied. "That's odd."

Mal frowned at the information. "What's going on Zoe?"

"Captain, I dislike being followed," Methos voice said through the intercom. Mal glanced at the ship's computer and saw that the information came from Jayne's headset. "However, I'll forgive your lapse if you'll allow me to borrow your crew for a while."

"Pierce, forget whatever the hell you are thinking, get your ass back to the ship now," Mal ordered.

"I did phrase that as a request didn't I. It wasn't one. We should be back in a few hours, no need to wait up Captain."

Mal cursed the immortal and swore to space him as soon as they were in the black again. The last transmission had come from Zoe's headset. ***

TBC in Part 4

-- Thanks go out to Neroli--I was really stuck on the plot until I started thinking about how to incorporate in some of Methos's history. :) Always good to have someone ask the questions to wake up the muse. At least for the writing, not necessarily for any other work that needs to be done.

COMMENTS

Saturday, March 27, 2004 2:11 PM

NEROLI


Getting more and more interesting by the chapter! Awaiting the next chapter eagerly.

And a link to help fill in the empty spaces in my Highlander history, shiney!


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