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23 December 2007 @ 07:08 pm
Highlander Secret Santa Fic  
The authors have been revealed over at hlh_shortcutsso I'm posting the one I authored here, apologies to my flist who signed up and have already read it. Also, would like to add - HA! nobody guessed it was me!


Title: Journey to Abydos
Author:  idontlikegravyaka Ask me no questions and I'll tell ye no lies.
Written for: Theodora aka phyrry
Characters/Pairings: Methos/Alexa
Rating: PG
Author's Notes: The title isn’t in reference to Stargate, the Ancient Egyptians believed it was ideal to make a pilgrimage to the important religious site of Abydos before they died, but if they couldn’t in life they would in death through the model boats in their tombs.
Summary: Set after Timeless and through Methuselah's Gift. Methos and Alexa spend their final few weeks together. In the course of reliving the past, he thinks of a way to give them a future. But when it all goes wrong, can he say goodbye?
Disclaimer: Methos and Alexa aren’t mine, they belong to Davis/Panzer, I’m just borrowing them, no harm intended.

Journey to Abydos

Alexa nestled into Methos and murmured softly in contentment. He smiled and began to gently stroke her hair. She lay back and closed her eyes.

“Describe it to me, Adam,” she said.

“It’s sunset, and the sun is just sinking between the pyramids at Giza. The light makes the stone of the pyramids and the water of the Nile look like they’re on fire. There are feluccas sailing up and down the river; the boatmen call out greetings to each other as they pass by, and some of them sing. The sand is warm to the touch from the heat of the day, but it will get cold quickly,” Methos said. Alexa shivered and huddled closer to him. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer still. He rested his head on hers and lay there in silence for a moment until Alexa stirred.

“Please Adam, don’t stop.”

“We take a Nile cruise upriver towards Luxor on one of those grand old paddle steamers that were built in the thirties. It’s beautiful, like a floating palace, chandeliers hanging in the salon, and the maids fold the towels into the shapes of animals. In the morning, we take tea and crumpets under the canopy on the top deck and spend the day watching the riverbank as we sail up the Nile,” Methos continued, describing Egypt as he remembered her from his last visit there over fifty years earlier. He knew he was romanticising it, but he also knew with grim certainty that Alexa would never see it.

Now she was lying in a hospital bed in Geneva. He had the best doctors and nurses money could buy tending to her every need. But in the end, all they could do was make her comfortable. He was a doctor, had been one for centuries, but in all that time he had learned nothing that could save the woman he loved.

Five millennia of existence and what did it amount to now? What had he learned, what did he know that could extend Alexa’s precious life for even one minute? He loathed feeling so impotent. Under normal circumstances, if things became uncomfortable or difficult he simply moved on. But there was no way he could walk away from her now. For the first time in an age, he was truly, utterly in love and he was losing her too soon.

Now I remember why I don’t make a habit of opening my heart to mortals, he thought,. because it always ends with my heart getting broken. And that takes too long to heal. He chuckled softly, and berated himself, Ye gods, she’s got me thinking in clichés now, there’s no hope for me.

At that moment, he felt all of his five thousand years. He felt old, to his very bones; old and tired like Methuselah.

The idea went through him like a Quickening, causing his heart to beat faster. Was it possible? He remembered rumours from a few years ago; Luther had believed Rebecca’s crystal was the fabled stone of Methuselah. If it were true, if the legends were true…

It wouldn’t take him long to check the Chronicles. He was sure that the Watchers had kept the stone somewhere, and once he found where, it would be easy to steal it. Then he would only need to retrieve Amanda’s piece, and he was sure that wouldn’t be difficult with a bit of help from MacLeod.

He looked down at the still form of Alexa and realised she had fallen asleep. His excitement was halted as he gazed at her face. Could he really leave her here alone? If this didn’t work, he’d be losing precious time with her, time they’d never have back. But if it worked, they’d have all the time they needed, all the time she needed to do everything she’d ever dreamed of.

He had to do something; he couldn’t just stay here and watch her die. If it really was the Methuselah stone, he was willing to sacrifice anything to save her.

Gently he kissed her forehead and slipped his arm from under her.

“I’ll be back soon my love, I promise,” he whispered before slipping from the room. He made a few phone calls and then returned to make his farewell. Alexa was awake again, sitting up in bed. She smiled at him and he smiled back before growing serious.

“What’s wrong?” she asked. Methos sat beside the bed and clasped her hand in both of his.

“Nothing. I just…I’m sorry, but I have to go away for a while. Just a few days I hope,” he replied.

“Why?”

“I’ve been called to Paris. I wouldn’t go, but it’s urgent. I promise you, I’ll only be gone as long as I have to, and I’m only a phone call away. Call me as often as you want. If you need me, I’ll be on the first flight back, I swear. I love you,” he said. He brought her hand up to his face and gently kissed it before standing and kissing her fully on the lips. He stroked her cheek, turned and left.

*-*

The short flight back from Paris had seemed like an eternity for Methos. He wasn’t one to dwell on the past, but he couldn’t stop himself from replaying the events on the bridge. Over and over again he watched the Methuselah stone break up and fall into the water.

It couldn’t have happened any other way, he knew that. There was no way that situation was going to end with him sitting on the plane to Geneva with the stone in his luggage. He was grateful to still have his head and that he hadn’t cost Amanda or Duncan theirs. Even so, he couldn’t help wondering how things might have gone differently.

He was immensely glad when the plane finally touched down and he was able to focus on the minutiae of getting from the airport to the hospital.

He faltered in the doorway. Alexa was asleep, unaware that he had returned. He had failed her. She might not know it, but he had, and it tore him apart inside. It would be easier if he walked away.

Easier on whom? a voice inside sneered. Methos put his hand on the door and pushed.

They talked for hours at a time, about everything and nothing. He told her more stories of places he’d travelled to as they lay wrapped in each other’s arms. As her strength began to fail her, and her answers grew fewer and weaker, he held her tight and talked enough for both of them.

When the end came, it surprised him. Death had come into the room softly and quietly while nobody was looking.

He kissed her still-warm lips, a gentle, lingering caress, before enveloping her in his arms. He lay there, holding her, unable to let her go. He didn’t cry, not yet. He had to stay strong for Alexa. Once she was gone from his sight, then he could grieve. He simply whispered in her ear,

“Thank you.”
 
 
 
Ith: Methos - Alexa: Compassionithildyn on December 23rd, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
It was one of my favourite stories in the collection! Tickled I 'know' the writer [g]
But, I don't want to be a pie,: methos 2idontlikegravy on December 23rd, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
*g*

Really? One of your faves? *blush*

I was completely blown away by the feedback I got for this, I'm so happy. :) *happy dance*
Ithithildyn on December 23rd, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
Yeppers :) Yeah, I was very surprised at the comments I got on mine. The anon posting was a good thing, I think. People reading fic they normally wouldn't go near with a ten foot pole if they knew who wrote it [g]
But, I don't want to be a pie,: snowidontlikegravy on December 23rd, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Very true.

Give a man a mask and he'll tell you the truth. Or something like that *g*

I purposely haven't read the list yet, I haven't finished reading them and I don't want to know who wrote what until I've commented for that very reason. :)

Edited at 2007-12-23 07:34 pm (UTC)
Ith: Holiday - Xmas Silver Hollyithildyn on December 23rd, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
Now you have to avoid posts like mine and yours on your f'list!

I've read everything but the D/M stories, and wasn't planning on reading those, so I'm done. Oh, wait, there was one I still have to read, the femslash one. It was rated NC17 and I didn't feel comfortable reading it at work. Will have to make a note to remember to read it!

Edited at 2007-12-23 08:47 pm (UTC)
I will call her George: Duncan  - Profilestrangevisitor7 on December 23rd, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
You know I loved this. It made me cry - Well done!
Jennifer/Gail: Methos_HandLovelferion on December 23rd, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
This was beautiful. It was so interesting reading another Alexa story (with an Egypt element even!) that was very different to my own in flavor. I loved the tenderness and grief in it.