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29 May 2008 @ 12:25 am
This is How it's Done on Discworld - A Highlander Crossover  
This is part two of Death Takes a Holiday, part one of which can be read here. Big thanks to my flist for their comments. :)

Disclaimer: Discworld belongs to the genius that is Terry Pratchett (long may he continue to write) and Highlander belongs to Davis/Panzer. I am but a humble worm who loves the Deaths.

This is How it's Done on Discworld
 
 
The house of Death was nearly silent, but for the constant hissing of falling sand in the innumerable lifetimers[1] and the immense hallway was in darkness, except for a small pool of light that spilled out from the open study door.
 
Inside the study was a desk and sitting at that single desk was Death or, as he was currently known, Methos. He was bent over an ancient tome, pouring through every detail contained on its cracked parchment pages.
 
Albert shuffled into view carrying a large silver tray, but Methos didn’t notice his arrival.
 
“I brung you a nice cold beer, sir,” Albert said, and placed a frosty glass on the table. Methos looked up from the book he was reading.
 
“Hmm? Oh, thanks Albert. This is fascinating stuff. Have you ever read any of it?” he asked, waving at a large stack of books he had placed on the floor. Albert shook his head.
 
“The Master’s books? Never!” Albert replied.
 
“Good reading. Mostly philosophical stuff that isn’t really my cup of tea, but I’ve recently changed my views on one or two fundamental concepts about the universe and it’s all really intriguing,” Methos said, distracted, his mind already focussed back on the book in front of him. Albert coughed.
 
“Er, not to be a worry-wort or anything sir, but, don’t you think you should be getting out there?” Albert said. Methos looked at him. “Well, it’s just the Duty, it doesn’t stop, someone has to do it. The Death of Rats has been minding things, temporarily like, but he can’t cope for long, he’s verdegris challenged,” Albert explained.
 
“I think you meant vertically,” Methos corrected automatically, then processed what Albert had said. “Hang on, there’s a Death of Rats?” he asked sceptically.
 
“Yes,” Albert replied, as though it were the most normal thing in the universe[2].
 
“O-kaay then,” said Methos. “Well, it looks like I’m not leaving here any time soon, so what do I have to do?”
 
“Didn’t the Master say?”
 
“Nope, he said: ALBERT KNOWS EVERYTHING, HE WILL HELP YOU. Methos said, then shuddered. “That Voice still freaks me out.”
 
“You’re not the only one. Right, well, um, the Master usually collects a few lifetimers that are about to run out, and then he goes collecting,” Albert explained, feebly.
 
“And how does he know which ones to take? There must be millions.”
 
“And billions,” Albert helpfully supplied.
 
“So, how does he know?”
 
“I don’t know. I guess he just knows,” said Albert with a shrug.
 
“Fantastic,” Methos said.
 
“That’s the spirit, I’m sure you’ll do admirably, sir,” Albert said with a grin, completely missing the sarcasm in Methos’ voice. “Susan managed when she…er, um…”Albert swallowed his words, realising he’d said too much.
 
“Susan? Who the hell is Susan?” demanded Methos. “And more to the point, if she’s done it before, why isn’t she here now?!”
 
“It’s…complicated. But she’s currently unavailable,” Albert said quickly. “Look, there’s no time, you have to perform the Duty. If there’s no Death…well we’ve been there before and it’s not pretty.”
 
“Wait a minute! Death happens, doesn’t it? It’s a natural part of the ebb and flow of life. It doesn’t require any bloody great skeleton with a scythe to go round collecting spirits. I mean, he can’t be everywhere at once.” Methos said, a lot less confident than he sounded.
 
“Well, yes and no. See the Master is an an-thro-po-morphic per-son-ifi-cation…yeah, anthropomorphic personification, of your actual concept of death. Now, for most worlds, like your own, death ticks by quite merrily without the need for Death. But there are certain places, like the Discworld, where he needs to put in regular appearances. Grease the wheels of the machinery as it were,” Albert explained.
 
“The Discworld?” Methos asked, one eyebrow raised.
 
“Oh yes, the Disc is where I’m from. Big flat disc; rests on the backs of four elephants who are standing on the shell of the great turtle A’Tuin,” said Albert. Methos snorted with laughter, but stopped at the earnest look on Albert’s face.
 
“You’re kidding, right? Such a place couldn’t exist. Even in an infinite universe…”
 
“Multiverse,” Albert corrected.
 
“Multiverse? Okay, but even so, it’s against all the laws of nature, of gravity, of thermodynamics…”
 
Thaumodynamics,” Albert put in. Methos looked confused. “It’s the study of magic, from the thaum, the smallest unit of magic. That’s all wizarding business; don’t know much about it meself. ‘Cept what I read in Archancellor Weatherwax’s A Very Long Hypothesis on the Future of L Space.”
 
“Magic?” Methos said and shook his head. He was beginning to get a very large headache. “Albert, you and I are going to have to have a very long talk when I get back. But, in order to save myself from an even larger headache than the one developing, let’s go find some lifetimers. Lead on MacDuff!” he instructed. Albert just looked confused. JUST GO, Methos said, making himself shudder again.
 
The house of Death wasn’t just immense; it had been built by a being that hadn’t quite got the hang of perspective[3]. Walls seemed to be both quite close and several miles away at once, but Methos noticed that Albert had developed some sort of coping mechanism that allowed him to perceive each room as being an average shape and size. To Methos, the study was so huge that he couldn’t see the walls from the desk, but Albert walked from the rug to the door in one step. Methos found that he could do the same as long as he focussed on Albert or the place he wanted to go to.
 
He followed Albert into the Hall of Lifetimers and stopped in his tracks. He had yet to visit this room, and he was astounded by the rows upon rows of giant hourglasses marking out the passing seconds of lives all over the universe.
 
Multiverse, Methos thought and shook his head, I thought that there was nothing left to surprise me, but I haven’t even scratched the surface. He looked at a few of the closest hourglasses. He picked one up, which was about half full (or half empty, depending on your perspective). Etched on the glass Methos read the name Ponder Stibbons. He placed it back on the shelf and looked around.
 
“They’re over there,” said Albert, pointing.
 
“What?” asked Methos.
 
“The Immortal lifetimers. Got their own section.”
 
“I don’t want to see it!” Methos said, although he had to admit he was curious. But the very idea that Immortals, that he, had a finite amount of time, that idea dropped a very large ball of ice into the pit of his stomach. “Knowing how long you’ve got takes all the fun out of it,” he added.
 
“Not for me, carry it everywhere I go. Only got a few moments left if I go back.”
 
“You mean you aren’t coming with me?”
 
“Can’t, sorry. Don’t worry though, you’ll be fine,” Albert said reassuringly. Methos was doubtful. “Why don’t you try something simple? Summon the scythe; you just have to snap your fingers.”
 
Still sceptical, Methos stretched out a hand and snapped his fingers. The scythe appeared in his hand, the blade glittering blue and humming. Methos stared at it. After a few moments, Albert coughed.
 
“Now, maybe a lifetimer?” he suggested. Methos looked up, but he wasn’t looking at Albert, more through him. As if in a trance, he moved forward, he ran a hand along the shelves as he went, searching for the right lifetimer. In the deepest part of his pupils, pinpricks of blue light flickered for the briefest of moments. He walked on and down the rows until he stopped at an hourglass that had barely any sand left at all.
 
THIS ONE, Methos said. Albert nodded his approval.
 
“Yes, a wizard, very right and proper. Just one more thing though?” Albert said. Methos tilted his head, quizzically. “Perhaps a change of clothes?”
 
Methos looked down and realised he was still wearing the pyjamas he had been in when Death had kidnapped him. He concentrated, and his clothes changed. His pyjamas became a black suit, with black shirt and tie, and a long black leather coat. With a nod of approval, he turned and headed out to the stables, leaving Albert alone.
 
“A hooded cloak is more traditional,” Albert muttered. There was a scurrying noise behind him.
 
SQUEAK? asked the Death of Rats. Albert shrugged his shoulders.
 
“Breaking in a new one is always difficult. But the Master seems to think he can do the Duty,” Albert said.
 
SQUEAK.
 
“It was never fair for her to do it. Trying to be mortal and immortal at the same time, it would only lead to trouble. At least this one’s completely immortal,” Albert reasoned.
 
SQUEAK, SQUEAK.
 
“I hope so, or we’re all in trouble,” Albert said. The Death of Rats nodded in agreement.
 
 
 


[1] This would have been unbearable for any human ear, except that Death had thoughtfully installed sound-proofing. After about six months of Albert shouting “What?” after every question.

[2] The most normal thing in the universe was a small, white teapot belonging to Mr Arthur Bostrangle of Little Thropping in Sussex. It was so normal in fact, that it created an enormous drain on the normality of the area, making Little Thropping the most bizarre place on the planet until the entire village was swallowed by a tortoise on March 17th 1963.

[3] Death also seemed to have trouble with plumbing, something Methos had discovered in his first few hours in the house. For the sake of everyone, Albert allowed Methos to make use of his bathroom, which had fixtures that had been brought from Ankh Morpork.


Now continues in Part 3.
 
 
 
Feonixriftfeonixrift on May 28th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
SQUEAK

(it's lovely.)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: death of ratsidontlikegravy on May 28th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
[g]

Thanks, I was worried it was too dialogue heavy. I'm already working on the next part, which should have more narrative though.

Glad you liked :)
The other Weird Al: Discworld - DEATHaeron_lanart on May 29th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
INTERESTING

I adore the footnotes btw, and the whole thing is just lovely.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: death of ratsidontlikegravy on May 29th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Glad you approve. Thank you :)
She-who-enamelslillian13 on May 29th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
SQUEAK.*


*The Death of Rats gives it two appendages up!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: death of ratsidontlikegravy on May 29th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it [g]
herk227herk227 on May 29th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
Oook? (*)





(*) I wonder if Methos will run over Gaspode, that would really make his day wouldn't it- beaing beaten by a dog in Sarcasm.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: librarianidontlikegravy on May 29th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
LOL

That's a great idea, I do have plans for Methos to have a run-in with the Watch at some point, so we shall see...
I will call her George: Happy Methosstrangevisitor7 on May 29th, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)
*Snickers* I don't know Discworld but I still find this hilarious!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: painty methosidontlikegravy on May 29th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's always great to know that a crossover works even for those people who aren't as familiar with one fandom. And I'm always happy to make you smile :)
Kay: Death -- FANCY A CURRY?silvercobwebs on May 29th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
I love love LOVE this.

♥ !

LOVE!

Did I mention how I'm really quite fond of this? : D

And the footnotes? Just perfect. Especially 'the most normal thing in the universe.' - so very Pratchett-ean.

Would you mind if I pimped this out in my LJ at some point soon?
But, I don't want to be a pie,: deathidontlikegravy on May 29th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
Mind? I'd be honoured [bounces], thanks hun, it means so much to me that you like it. :)

So, you loved it then? ;p
Marcus L. Rowlandffutures on May 29th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
oook! Liking it a lot.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: librarianidontlikegravy on May 31st, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you, that means a lot. :)
duskdragonwingduskdragonwing on May 29th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
I really loved this. Methos and Death are 2 of my favourite characters.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: deathidontlikegravy on May 31st, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you, they're two of mine too, so I'm very happy this is being so well received.
Nessa/Kellinessa5 on May 30th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
that was wonderful

I'll look eagerly for more

squeak
:)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: painty methosidontlikegravy on May 31st, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
More is in the works, thanks for your great comment :)
LizMliz_mo on May 30th, 2008 11:43 am (UTC)
Oohh, yes. More of this! Loved every little detail, although I'm only on my fourth Discworld novel (Granny becomes Archchancellor, huh?), I already love DEATH and Methos as Death is just hilarious ;-) Now I'm curious to see who he has to get...
But, I don't want to be a pie,: librarianidontlikegravy on May 31st, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
Granny becomes Archchancellor, huh?

LOL, not quite, Archancellor Weatherwax was a predecessor of Ridcully, no relation to Granny.

The next part is in progress. Thank you for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy it :)
Lurker on the runlita_of_jupiter on May 31st, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
Oh so fun!
i quite loved it!
and how he felt about things!
the idea of perspective and little teapot!
so fun!!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: deathidontlikegravy on June 1st, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm really pleased you enjoyed it :)
Rhi: fourpawdrive by lanninggryphonrhi on June 1st, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
::laughing:: I did wonder why Susan didn't have the job. Can't wait for Methos to meet the Death of Rats... Thank you, this is fun!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: death of ratsidontlikegravy on June 2nd, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
No, thank you, hope you come back for more :)
Sophie: Methossophiedb on June 2nd, 2008 08:24 am (UTC)
OOK! I love that Methos simply settles down with a giant book *g* Is he going to meet the Librarian? I wonder how he'd take to books that are chained for very good reasons XD
But, I don't want to be a pie,: librarianidontlikegravy on June 2nd, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
I'm actually writing Methos and the Librarian a little cracktastic adventure of their own as a birthday pressie for silvercobwebs (ssh, it's a surprise ;0), don't tell her) which will be posted here in a few weeks and be part of this series (sort of). But the Librarian is bound to feature in the series proper sooner or later, it wouldn't be Discworld without him.

tygermama: DW Death of Ratstygermama on January 5th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I missed this first time around!

Poor Methos, finally has a quiet place to curl up with a good book and it's all Work, Work, Work!

the footnotes were love, by the way :)

edited for icon

Edited at 2009-01-05 05:25 pm (UTC)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: deathidontlikegravy on January 5th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
*bounces* Thank you very much!
beatnikspinster on January 19th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
Funny! I'm really enjoying this series.
redpearlredpearl_cao on May 8th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
Love the Albert voice.