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30 December 2009 @ 06:55 pm
Highlander/Blackadder 1/1  
So, this is the Highlander Sekret Santa fic I wrote for the lovely silvercobwebs for hlh_shortcuts this year, enjoy!

Rating: PG-13 for minor swearing.
Author's Notes: Crossover with Blackadder Goes Forth. Thanks to aeron_lanart for the excellent beta.
Disclaimer: Highlander does not belong to me, nor do any of the characters. Blackadder also does not belong to me, or he’d be doing unspeakable things involving a pineapple. I’m just playing in their sandbox to bring Holiday cheer to someone I care about.

Postcards From the Trenches

*-*

Captain Matthew Thomas sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose as he read the latest reports from the front. There had been heavy casualties in that day’s fighting all for a few inches of gained ground and it was a senseless waste.

The old tactics no longer worked in this age of trench warfare, but nobody was willing to listen to the opinion of a young Captain fresh from Oxford, even a Captain that had been especially selected by Strategic Division for his unprecedented grasp of tactics. His understanding of strategy was due to the fact that Captain Thomas was the current alias of Methos.

But he could hardly march up to his CO, General Melchett, and demand to be listened to because he was really five thousand years old and had commanded more armies than the General had had hot dinners. So, he filed his reports and gave his opinion when asked, all of which were promptly ignored, but otherwise he kept his mouth shut and his head down.

Methos had volunteered to the British Army; not because this was the War to End All Wars, he’d been around long enough to know that wasn’t true. It wasn’t because it was a just or noble cause; Methos certainly didn’t believe in those. No, it was a simple matter of self-preservation. Conscription was in full force, and he knew that if he didn’t volunteer then he’d be conscripted and probably end up at the front. At least this way he had a certain amount of influence on events and had found himself a nice safe post at HQ.

“Blackadder!” Melchett’s booming yell resonated out from his office and roused Methos from his musings. He looked up from the reports to watch the poor bugger in question enter the lion’s den. Methos had met Blackadder once or twice before, and recognised a kindred spirit – if Methos knew nothing else about the man, he knew he was a survivor.

Methos finished compiling the information he needed to pass on to the General and then marched over to Melchett’s office. He paused to knock before entering.

“I’ve brought the daily reports, General,” he said as he closed the door behind him. Blackadder was stood to attention in front of Melchett’s desk. Methos noted that the General’s weasel of an adjutant was also in the room.

“Excellent! Well, don’t leave us all in suspense, man, carry on!” barked the General.

“We lost two thousand men yesterday, sir. But we managed to gain three and a half inches this week,” Methos said with barely concealed sarcasm. Fortunately it went over Melchett’s head; the General let out a strange sound like a sheep bleating before saying,

“That’s the spirit! We’ll have the Bosh beaten by Christmas with that kind of attitude. Darling, I want you to send orders to the front – they’re to go over the top again at 0600 tomorrow.”

“Of course, General,” replied Captain Darling. The General returned to reading whatever was on his desk for a few moments before he looked up, almost surprised to see the three of them still there.

“Well? What are you standing there for, men? Get on with you, dismissed!”

Methos and Blackadder marched out of the office and Methos closed the doors behind him.

“That old fool is losing it,” Blackadder muttered, mostly to himself as they walked away.

“Maybe, but he’s still the one giving the orders around here,” Methos reminded him.

“But we’re the ones on the pointy end of the bullets. I’d like to see him last one day in the trenches,” Blackadder replied. Methos nodded and offered Blackadder a cigarette before taking one and lighting up.

“It’s always been the same. The Generals relax in their office, or their tent, and watch over the proceedings from afar. It’s the poor sods at the front whose blood stains the fields, but it’s the Generals that get the medals at the end of the day,” Methos said.

“They can keep their bloody medals, I just want to get home in one piece,” Blackadder replied. Methos smiled.

“Well said, Captain. I hope you do.”

*-*


“Well a hoo and a hay and a bally toot, toot, sir! Captain, I’m in love,” George declared as he entered the dugout, his beaming smile broad enough and bright enough to induce a headache in any sane man.

“Excuse me, I seem to have vomited in the back of my throat,” Blackadder muttered. “And pray tell, what infested, pestilent and no doubt sore-ridden example of French womanhood has hoodwinked you today? And how much did you have to pay her?” he added, louder.

“Not at all, Captain! Her name is Amanda. She is the very vision of loveliness, and is a simple peasant girl, trying to help her struggling family in desperate times. She sold me this jolly fine bottle of Scotch for a very reasonable sum!” George replied and held aloft the bottle in question. Blackadder eyed it greedily.

“Ah, yes, well,” he said, standing up. “It is an offence for officers of His Majesty’s Army to buy black market goods, Lieutenant. As such, I shall have to confiscate this whisky for your own good. Now, hand it over,” he added and held out his hand.

“But, sir,” George protested with a pout.

“Don’t make me court martial you, George.”

George pouted even further and plonked the bottle into Blackadder’s waiting hand. Blackadder then curled his arm around it protectively and smiled.

“That’ll be all, George. Dismissed.”

George saluted and then left in a manner completely unfitting an officer, which could only be described as a flounce.

Once certain that the coast was clear, Blackadder grabbed his mug and poured himself a generous slug of the illicit booze.

“Well, shame to let it go to waste,” he said to himself and drank some. He put the cup down and examined the bottle. “Then again, 1902 wasn’t a very good year for rats’ piss.”

At that moment, Private Baldrick entered the dugout, a telegram clutched in his grubby little hand.

“Telegram from HQ, sir,” he said, thrusting the paper under Blackadder’s nose.

“So I see. So, what’s the senile old git got in store for us today?” Blackadder replied as he took the paper from Baldrick and read it. “Hmm. Baldrick, send George in would you? Oh, and Baldrick?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Happy Birthday,” Blackadder replied and gave Baldrick the bottle of ‘scotch’. Baldrick looked up at Blackadder, tears making his beady little eyes glisten.

“Thank you, sir. And it isn’t even my birthday!” he said, his voice tinged with emotion. He sniffed and wiped his nose with a grubby sleeve. “I don’t know how to thank you; nobody’s ever shown me such kindness before.”

“Just go and get George,” Blackadder replied. Baldrick nodded and left. “Idiot,” Blackadder added.

A few minutes later, George reappeared.

“I say, was that my Scotch I saw Baldrick with?” George asked with uncharacteristic keen observation.

“I ordered him to destroy it,” Blackadder replied. “Now, I have in my hand a telegram from HQ. You have been personally selected by General Melchett to go to headquarters and retrieve an important set of dispatches. You are then to return here, without delay, is that understood?”

“Perfectly,” George replied and nodded for emphasis. He looked like an excited puppy. Blackadder sighed.

“I have absolutely no idea why General Melchett entrusted you with this detail. Actually, I do, it’s the old boy network again, isn’t it? Well, I can only hope that one of two things occurs; one, you drop the orders somewhere along the line or two, you get shot. Good luck, George,” Blackadder replied. George saluted him, which Blackadder returned, and then grabbed his pistol and set off.

It was nearing dark when George returned, looking very sorry for himself.

“What happened?” Blackadder asked with a resigned sigh, expecting the worst.

“Oh, sir, I’ve made a dashed fool of meself. Stupid old George strikes again! I thought it wouldn’t hurt to stop off and see that gal I told you about, the local peasant? And we were having a jolly nice time of it too, she gave me some funny tasting apple juice she called calvados or something and next thing I know, I’m lying all alone in a haystack and both the girl and the pouch are gone!” George explained frantically and then sat down despondently on the edge of a bunk.

“Oh, George, what are we going to do with you?” Blackadder said with a smile. It couldn’t have worked out better for him; he knew that the pouch contained their orders for the next big push.

“Don’t worry, sir, I have a cunning plan,” Baldrick said conspiratorially.

“Really, Baldrick?”

“Well, no, not as such. But I will have very shortly, don’t you worry, sir,” Baldrick replied with a confident grin.

“Baldrick, you couldn’t find a cunning plan with both hands, a torch and a map with clear directions to Little Cunning in the borough of Cunnington in the county of Cunningshire,” Blackadder snapped. “Now, shut up.”

*-*

Several Hours Earlier

When Amanda saw the young English officer coming toward her, her heart sank. She had felt sure that he was an easy mark who had fallen for all her flattery. But she assumed he was now coming back to complain about the ‘whisky’ she had sold him earlier.

She put on her most coquettish smile, pulled her blouse a little lower and carefully arranged herself into an alluring pose on the wall she was currently sitting on. She racked her brains for his name – George something or other, and prepared herself for whatever was to come. But then George did something she didn’t expect; he waved and smiled at her.

Completely thrown, Amanda waved back.

“Amanda, my dearest,” George greeted once he was in earshot.

“Lieutenant George,” Amanda purred, her French accent thicker than it had been in centuries. “To what do I owe such an unexpected pleasure?”

“Oh, well, I was just passing, you know? Thought I’d grab the chance to see my favourite girl,” he said with a grin and suggestive waggle of his eyebrows. He was bouncing and swaying so much as he spoke that Amanda found herself getting seasick.

“Oh, Lieutenant George, you flatter me! But I know you Tommys, you have a girl in every village. Tomorrow, you will have forgotten me,” Amanda said with a pout. She slipped from the wall and gave him a playful slap on the arm.

“Not so, my dearest! In fact, I’m on a very important mission, right now at this very moment, but the prospect of seeing you again was too good to pass up. I’m probably risking court martial as we speak,” George replied and patted a large leather dispatch pouch he was carrying.

Amanda eyed the pouch greedily. The last such pouch she had encountered had enabled her to top up her rainy day jewels. Who knew what precious cargo might be in this one. And a girl had to survive. She flung herself into George’s arms, startling him.

“Oh, Lieutenant George, you are so brave! Forgive me, for I have wronged you. I insist I make amends!”

With that, she grabbed George by the hand and started to lead him toward a nearby barn.

“Oh, now hang on! Isn’t this a bit sudden? We’ve only just met,” George protested as she took him inside. “I’m not that kind of boy!” he added, his voice going an octave higher as Amanda pushed him and he toppled down onto the hay.

“Oh, you are worried about my honour, sweet boy! But it is not necessary,” Amanda replied as she lay down beside him and caressed his cheek.

“It isn’t?” George asked, shocked. Amanda shook her head and then reached down under her skirts and produced a hip flask from her suspender.

“A little drink, to keep out the cold?” she asked. George took the proffered flask and sniffed.

“What is it?”

“It’s Calvados. It’s made from apples,” she replied. “It’s good for you.”

“Well, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what? Tallyho!” he replied and took a big long swig.

Before long, the flask was empty and George was gently snoring. Quietly, Amanda slipped the pouch from George’s grasp and slipped from the barn. He’d have a raging headache and would probably get in all sorts of trouble, but Amanda would be long gone by then.

*-*

It was a cold, wet, miserable day in the trench, although there hadn’t been any fighting, so that was something to be thankful for. But the torrential rain was pounding on the tin covering the entrance to Blackadder’s little dugout and a waterfall was cascading into the trench and sending rivulets of freezing, muddy water to pool in the lowest corner of the dugout. If the rain didn’t stop soon they’d need to join the navy.

Three days they had been stuck indoors. Three days of talking to George and Baldrick. Three days of playing cards with a deck that only had one ace in it. And now there was a decidedly unpleasant smell.

Obviously, Blackadder immediately assumed it must be Baldrick and banished him from the dugout, but that didn’t banish the odour. Next he searched for any dead rodents that perhaps met a grisly end in the puddle or at the hands of last night’s dinner. It was only after he found nothing that he finally realised the smell was emanating from George’s boot.

“George, either you’ve got a large amount of excrement in your sock, or you’ve got Trench Foot,” Blackadder commented.

“Really?” George asked, examining his foot as if he’d never seen it before. “Lummy.”

Blackadder sighed and sent Baldrick to fetch a medic, who duly arrived three hours later.

“Oh great, a bloody Frog,” Blackadder groaned as he took in the pale blue uniform of the medic.

“Scot, actually. Name’s MacLeod.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” Blackadder asked, one eyebrow raised.

“There were a lot of casualties in Ypres today; I’m the only person available.”

“Oh well, I suppose you’d better come in then, the patient’s over there.”

“That would be me,” George replied with a little wave. He smiled one of those smiles that only upper class twits are capable of that is both reassuring and condescending in equal measure.

MacLeod moved George to a cot before kneeling in the mud and carefully removing George’s boots and socks. Blackadder wrinkled his nose in disgust.

“Will I lose it?” George asked nervously, peering down at the foot in question as MacLeod began to examine it.

Blackadder suddenly found himself conflicted. On the one hand, George losing his foot would mean that Blackadder would be rid of the insipid fool. On the other hand, it meant George would be back in England, convalescing in the lap of luxury while he was trapped in this hellhole. He also briefly wondered if he’d truly miss one of his own feet.

“Will he lose it?” Blackadder echoed; the concern in his voice clear. George of course misinterpreted that concern and clapped Blackadder on the arm.

“Golly, thanks old chap,” he beamed. Blackadder rolled his eyes.

“The good news is that you won’t; it isn’t Trench Foot, just an infected in-grown toenail,” the medic explained. “It’s a simple procedure.”

“You hear that, Blackadder? Excellent news! Don’t you worry, I’ll be match fit again in no time,” George said, positively beaming.

“Oh, goody,” Blackadder replied, voice dripping with sarcasm.

“You will have to go to the field hospital for a day or two. I’m only an ambulance driver, I can’t perform the operation,” MacLeod explained as George put his socks and boots back on.

“A day or two? Doesn’t he need longer to recuperate?”

“Possibly, but we need the beds,” MacLeod answered. He helped George to stand and then guided him to the door.

“So, been in the army long?” George asked amiably as they were leaving.

“Feels like centuries.”


*-*

The cold winter sun set over the battlefield; the orange light intensifying the red that stained the mud and water. Bodies lay where they had fallen, the survivors unable to risk coming back for their fallen comrades in daylight lest they too fall to the enemy’s fire.

Amongst the corpses that littered the field lay Captain Edmund Blackadder, not far from that of his faithful batman, Baldrick. In the still of the evening, one corpse gasped in a lungful of air and sat upright.

For seven centuries, Baldrick had watched over the family of his first master. The gods alone knew why, perhaps he was as stupid as he had always pretended to be. Or perhaps in attaching himself to the Blackadder family he had managed to maintain a tether to his mortal life. Whatever the reasons, there were no more Blackadders for Edmund had died before he could conceive an heir. It was finally time for Baldrick to move on, to reinvent himself. In the growing gloom he stood up and if any who knew him had seen him they would have thought he looked taller. After sparing a sorrowful glance at the last Blackadder, Baldrick turned and walked from the battlefield.
 
 
 
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on December 30th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
I saw the little bit at the top about a Blackadder/Highlander crossover and went \(^_____^)/ before I even started reading...

bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on December 31st, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
No more Blackadders? Waitaminute... what about Blackadder: Back and Forth? Where Baldrick actually managed to build a working time machine and killed off the dinosaurs with his dirty underpants?

And I love how you put little bits with Amanda, Methos and Mac in there. Loved Mac's comment about 'feels like centuries.' And you got Blackadder's sarcastic tone down right.

Also liked how Baldrick was an Immortal. Now who among the characters would have been a watcher? Dahling? Or Bob?
But, I don't want to be a pie,: writingidontlikegravy on January 1st, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
That was a different branch of the family. He'll go back when he realises. ;-p
Ithithildyn on December 31st, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
Only you!!

That was a great idea :)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: inigoidontlikegravy on January 1st, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I think... ;-)
herk227herk227 on December 31st, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
No more Blackadders? That simply can't be not only because of 'Back and Forth' but also because of the 'Blackadder Christmas Carol' where Hagrid shows that Ebeneezer Blackadder's descendants will rule the universe.

Although that might be a side branch of the original line and Baldrick has yet to find them.

So riddle solved :)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: writingidontlikegravy on January 1st, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Ah, well I hadn't seen Back and Forth, and I figured that the events of Christmas Carol might not have been real because, as we all know, they are only shadows of what might be... And exactly, it's a different branch and Balders will go back as soon as he discovers there existence. *grin*
jolinar_rosha: kirk loljolinar_rosha on January 7th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
This was *great*!
jolinar_rosha: kirk loljolinar_rosha on January 7th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
Also, your icon is oh-so-true.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: crossoversidontlikegravy on January 7th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you hon, glad you enjoyed it! This one had a bit of a torturous birth, I think cos I didn't want to let down silvercobwebs, so I'm extra pleased that it works.

It is true isn't it? I can't count how many fandoms I've been sucked into in recent years! It's my new fave icon. :)