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25 May 2009 @ 05:41 pm
Birthday Fic!  
A very Happy Birthday to aeron_lanart, you are a wonderful person who deserves every happiness, doubly so on your birthday. *big hugs* I hope puppy is dry now and hasn’t caught a cold.

So, the request was for Giles and Richie, possibly with the ‘white horse’, so this is what my brain came up with, hope you enjoy it. (Totally unbeta’d btw, sorry) :)

It’s ostensibly part of Death Takes a Holiday, but doesn’t affect the main story of that at all.

Rites of Passage

Giles looked up from his desk and nearly dropped his tea in surprise. Methos had appeared from nowhere in front of him, dressed all in black.

“Thank the gods I’ve found you. Listen, I’ve no time to explain, but you’ve got to look up a ritual called the Rite of…” Methos couldn’t finish his sentence as he disappeared as suddenly as he appeared.

Giles placed his teacup on his desk, took of his glasses and began to polish them.

“Well that was new,” he muttered as he replaced his glasses. He thought for a moment and then picked up the telephone and dialled. “Hello, Joseph? It’s Rupert Giles. I was just wondering if you know where Methos is?”

Nobody had seen or heard from the Old Man for a couple of months, not Joe, not even Duncan. This by itself wasn’t particularly unusual but, after his visitation, Giles was a little concerned. Could Methos have been killed? Rupert didn’t think that likely, and that wouldn’t explain the apparition. He felt it was important to find Methos, and quickly, and to do so he would need help.

Joe was swamped with Council business, and Duncan was currently stuck in Australia, trying to convince a new student to leave his old life behind[i]. That left Richie Ryan to come to London to help Rupert in finding Methos.

Over the next few days, Amanda and Nick went to Methos’ Paris apartment but they found nothing; he clearly hadn’t been there for some time, and Joe sent Watchers to check all his other known homes; but no trace could be found of him. His New York apartment had the utilities turned on, beer in the fridge, and the bed looked slept in, but the building manager hadn’t seen Adam Pierson in some time.

Having thoroughly exhausted all possible natural avenues of investigation, Rupert began supernatural lines of enquiry, although he was limited in his resources because of the need for secrecy. Xander was certainly out of the question; not only was he visiting Buffy, but he might discover Methos’ true identity and that was a discussion Giles was not ready to have. He was grateful for the presence of Richie; he was able to help go through the thousands of ritual texts in the Watcher library.

They were on their fourth day of trawling the texts for whatever Rite Methos wanted them to find when Richie slammed shut the tome he was reading, making Rupert jump.

“This is hopeless, Rupert. There are millions of Rites, none of which seem to have anything to do with Methos or Immortals. We could be here forever!” Richie bemoaned, waving his arms at the mountains of books and scrolls.

Giles surveyed the library, and he was forced to concede that Richie had a point. Whatever the Old Man had got himself into, he was on his own for now.

“You’re right, Richie. I think all we can do is hope that Methos manages to make contact by his own means again,” Giles agreed. “I’m sorry, you’ve been a great help and I’ve been wasting your time.”

“Don’t sweat it, Rupert. After all, time’s what we’ve got plenty of, right?” Richie replied with a broad grin and slapped Giles on the shoulder.


Ridcully was sitting down to breakfast, alone as usual in the Great Hall. The other wizards all seemed to have convinced themselves that the day began around noon, despite the Archchancellor’s best efforts to prove otherwise.

He was deeply engrossed in his muesli, trying to decipher which bits were wheat flakes, which were rolled oats and which were what he suspected to be sawdust. He was so engrossed in his task that he failed to notice he was joined at the table by a man dressed completely in black.

For a man of Ridcully’s prominence, a visit from a man in black meant only one thing[ii]. The only people in Ankh Morpork who dressed in black and moved as silently as cats were members of the Assassins Guild[iii]. If the new arrival were a member of the Guild, it would have been worrying for Ridcully - although not for very long. Fortunately, it wasn’t an assassin.

A polite cough roused Ridcully from his cereal musings and he looked up, surprised.

“Hello. Um, I’m not due a visit. Am I?” he asked warily.

“No,” Methos replied. “This is personal. I need your help to send me home.”

“Ah, the other chap didn’t work out then?”

“No,” Methos replied flatly.

Ridcully sensed there was more, but he wasn’t going to annoy Death, even a temporary one. He thought over the conversation so far and realised something.

“But if you leave, there’ll be no Death. If there’s no Death, then there’s no death. We’ve been there before, and it wasn’t pretty,” Ridcully protested with a shudder. The walking dead had become a real nuisance during Death’s last ‘holiday’ and an even bigger cleanup when he returned[iv].

“I really don’t care,” Methos replied. SEND ME HOME.

“That tone of Voice doesn’t work on me, you know,” Ridcully pointed out. Methos grunted in frustration.

“Look, you pointed-hatted buggers have to be good for something, so if you don’t help me then, so help me, I’ll start swinging,” he replied, eyes narrowing.

“But you’re Death! You can’t go around killing people!”

“Watch me,” replied Methos.

“What about the cosmic order? If you throw that out of balance, you’ll never get home.”

Methos considered this for a moment and then nodded.

“But you’d be surprised what you can live through,” he answered. “And I’m feeling quite inventive.”


Ridcully led Methos down to the basements of the Unseen University, and to a room that had a handwritten sign on the door that read: Department of Inadvisably Applied Magic. Hex Room, No Admittance to Unauthorised Students.

Methos gulped. Inadvisably Applied Magic? That didn’t sound like it was going to be helpful.

“Oh, don’t worry,” Ridcully said warmly, as if reading Methos’ thoughts. “It’s not really inadvisable. And they haven’t blown anyone up in weeks.”

Before Methos could protest, he was pushed through the door and into a room that contained a large and complex looking machine.

“This is Hex, our Thinking Engine,” Ridcully explained, his tone making it clear he found the idea a little distasteful. “And this is Ponder Stibbons, Head of Inadvisably Applied Magic, and Keeper of Hex.” Ridcully introduced the young wizard who was approaching them.

“Hello,” Ponder greeted them with enthusiasm. “This isn’t a very good time, Archchancellor, we’re about to install a new protocol.”

“It will have to wait, there’s a more pressing matter that needs your…particular talents,” Ridcully told him. “This chap will explain,” he added and, before either Ponder or Methos could argue, he left them.

“Look, I really am sorry, but we need to install the new FTB protocol, we already uninstalled the old one so all we’re currently getting is an error message,” Ponder explained, handing Methos a piece of paper which read +++Mine! Waah!+++, and then heading back towards Hex. “If you could maybe come back tomorrow?”

THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, Methos replied. Ponder stopped and stared at him.

“Oh, I see. Well, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to install the new FTB, just bear with me,” Ponder said, and then chuckled at some joke Methos didn’t get.

Methos watched with mild curiosity as the wizards went about their work. From what he could see, Hex was something like a computer, but all the parts were organic, and clearly only worked because of magic. The most obvious example was the aforementioned FTB, which Methos now discovered stood for Fluffy Teddy Bear.

“We tried an FTC protocol and an FTP[v], but neither functioned as well as the FTB,” Ponder explained as he inserted the Bear into its rightful place on Hex. “There we go, good as new. Now, what exactly can I do for you? Sir?” Ponder added as an afterthought.

“I want to go home, I don’t belong on this world,” Methos said. “I’ve tried everything else, I thought magic might help.”

“Hmm, I see. Well, we’ll just enter the data into Hex, initialise the RBL and see what he comes up with, shall we?” Ponder said and positively bounced toward Hex. He typed furiously on a wooden keyboard and then pulled a lever.

A Really Big Lever Methos realised with a sinking feeling. Ye gods, I’m dealing with Rain Man.

There were a few moments of furious activity, with ants running up and down tubes, wheels turning and, disturbingly, axes dropping, before a bell dinged and out popped a piece of paper much like the one Ponder had given Methos. This one read:

+++Rite of Ashkente+++
+++Error Pan Dimensional String Shortage+++
+++Error Need More Cheese+++

Ponder sighed, before grabbing a wheel of cheese and placing it in a slot in Hex, then he punched a few more keys and waited until another piece of paper appeared. He read it quickly and smiled.

“Of course! Well done, Hex.”


A few hours later, Methos was standing inside a large chalk drawing that somehow held him in place. He wasn’t comfortable about being basically imprisoned, but if it got him home, he’d do it.

Wires led away from the seal to a large wooden contraption that Ponder had constructed following plans designed by Hex. Methos was more than a little perturbed about being their guinea pig, but he was out of options and it would only work on Death anyway.

“Basically, what we’re doing is reversing the summoning Rite of Ashkente,” Ponder explained. “Instead of summoning Death from a place, we’re summoning you to a person. It won’t last very long, but you’ll be able to communicate with your world. Perhaps you know a wizard who can perform the Rite? That should take you home.”

Methos was about to sarcastically comment that there was no magic on Earth, when Rwpyrt’s name popped into his head.

“Actually, I think there is someone,” he answered. Ponder beamed.

“You see, while you’re fulfilling the role, the Rite would only summon you. Once you’re gone we’ll be able to summon the old Death and everything will go back to normal. It’s quite an ingenious idea actually; if it works I shall write a book.”

“What do you mean, if it works?” Methos demanded.

“Oh don’t worry, you can’t be harmed, but this isn’t precise. You must focus on who you want to be summoned to, but even then I can’t guarantee where you’ll end up,” Ponder explained.

“I understand,” Methos replied. He thought for a moment about Rwpyrt’s defining qualities, and fixed on one to focus upon.

He nodded to Ponder, who flicked a switch. The world glowed white, then black, then a colour Methos couldn’t identify[vi] and he then found himself in a large white room that seemed very clinical and somehow futuristic. He turned, and found himself staring at what could only be a robot. Standing about four feet tall, the robot had a large, round head and it was clearly looking at Methos.

“Another visitor. Marvellous,” the robot said sarcastically. “Brain the size of a planet, and I’m nothing more than a glorified air steward. And does anybody care? Of course not,” it muttered as it ambled away, completely ignoring Methos.

“Um,” said a small voice behind Methos.

Methos turned and saw an average looking man stood in front of him, dressed in pyjamas and a dressing gown. After the shock of seeing a robot, Methos latched on to this familiar sight immediately.

“Where am I?” he asked.

“Space. Not sure where exactly, you’d have to ask the captain,” replied the man, who was English. He impressively managed to lace the word captain with enough invective to make it sound like ‘jellybrain’.

Methos took this in quite calmly; after all, he’d just spent months on a planet that was as flat as a pancake and where magic existed. Spaceships suddenly didn’t seem so far-fetched.

“Um,” repeated the man. “This might sound a bit odd, but you don’t have any tea on you, do you?”

Methos was about to answer, but the world changed colour again and Methos found himself back at the Unseen University.

“Well that was about as much use as a rubber sword,” Methos commented. “I don’t know where that was, but it wasn’t where I wanted to go.”

“I told you, you need to focus completely and utterly on the person you want to see, or it won’t work. Are you ready to try again?” Ponder replied.

“Just get on with it,” Methos snapped. Ponder nodded, and flicked a switch. The world changed colours again, and when his surroundings came into focus again, Methos was standing in Rupert’s office, and Rupert was sat opposite him, staring in surprise. “Thank the gods I’ve found you. Listen, I’ve no time to explain, but you’ve got to look up a ritual called the Rite of…”

The world changed colours again, and Methos returned to Discworld.

“…Ashkente,” he finished lamely. “That wasn’t enough time. I was in the other place much longer. What happened?”

“The energies are probably dissipating,” Ponder replied. “Give me more time, I’ll adjust the thaumic regulators, recalculate. It’s all a simple matter of nine dimensional manipulation of E-space. Shouldn’t take more than…oh, eight hours?”

“Fine. Break the seal then, I don’t want to wait here,” Methos replied curtly. Ponder nodded and rubbed out the chalk line with his toe. I’LL BE BACK Methos added and faded from view.


Once Giles and Richie realised how futile their search was, they retired to Giles’ office. Giles made tea, which Richie took without protest and, deciding they needed a treat, Rupert rummaged out a packet of ginger nuts from a drawer.

“So, how long have you known the old man?” Richie asked with a mouthful of biscuit.

Rupert took a moment to dunk his own biscuit, debating how much to tell the young Immortal. He wasn’t in the habit of trusting strangers, but he was a friend of Joe and MacLeod, and Methos had trusted him enough to reveal his true age[vii].

“He was my first teacher, a little under four thousand years ago,” Rupert replied.

“Seriously? Wow,” Richie replied. “And you’ve been friends all that time?”

A smile tugged at the corner of Rupert’s lips.

“Not exactly friends, but we are amicable,” Giles answered.

“You probably know him better than anyone, so you know he never gives a straight answer. What was he like then?” Richie probed. Giles chuckled and shook his head.

“I’m sorry, Richie. If Methos hasn’t told you about those days, it’s not my place to tell tales out of school.”

Richie sat regarding him for a moment, giving him a puppy-dog look that Rupert suspected usually worked on most people. But most people hadn’t received the puppy-dog treatment from Buffy and Willow. He remained silent until Richie shrugged and took a drink of his tea.

“Okay, fair enough, Rupert. But can I ask you one thing?”

“You can ask, but I might not answer.”

“Is it true about Byron and the goat?” Richie asked, his honest curiosity clear on his eager young face. Giles burst out laughing, and was joined a moment later by Richie.

“I’m glad to see you’re enjoying yourselves while I’m in Immortal danger,” Methos commented, causing them both to start in surprise. They both stood and Richie turned to find that Methos had appeared in the office again.

“Methos! Thank heavens you’re alright,” Giles said.

“Are you seriously in danger?” Richie asked.

“Well, not exactly,” Methos admitted. “But my sanity is!”

“Where in Hades have you been?” Giles asked.

“No time to explain that, I might get yanked back any second. You need to look up the Rite of Ashkente, it’s a ritual to summon Death. And then you need to perform it,” Methos explained quickly.

“You want us to summon Death?” Richie said with one eyebrow raised.

“No, I want you to summon me! Look, Death kidnapped me and told me I had to do his job, and now I’m stuck in some ridiculous alternate dimension…” and with that, Methos disappeared again.

Richie stood staring at the spot Methos had just been occupying, dumbstruck.

“Well, now we know what we’re looking for,” Giles commented, polishing his glasses.

“Wha…I mean, you believe him? About being Death and being stuck in another dimension?” Richie stuttered, pointing to the spot on the floor in lieu of Methos.

“Trust me, Richie, that’s not the strangest thing I’ve ever heard[viii],” Giles replied.


Several days of exhaustive research later, Rupert and Richie discovered that there was no Rite of Ashkente, at least not on our world. But Rupert did find a spell to summon Death, so he drew the proper sigils and seals, gathered the herbs and, with Richie’s help, began the incantation.

“I feel ridiculous,” Richie muttered. “We’ve been chanting this nonsense for hours, how much longer will it take?”

“It’s not nonsense, it’s Aramaic. And it will take as long as it takes. Methos has to cross realities to get here; it’s bound to take some time. Have patience, youngling,” Rupert replied with a grin, which was swiftly followed by a groan as he realised he had just quoted Star Wars. He was spending far too much time around Andrew and Xander.

“Whatever you say, Obi-Wan. I just hope it works soon, my arms are getting tired,” Richie replied, dropping the bowl he was holding a fraction, to demonstrate, before raising it above his head again and resuming his chanting.

Eventually, after what felt like an interminable amount of time to Richie, a ghostly shape began to form within the chalk seal. Richie paused in his chanting for a second, until Giles prompted him to continue by prodding him. The figure continued to coalesce until, finally, Methos stood before them.

“About bloody time! Hurry, break the seal before I’m sent back again,” Methos said once he was solid.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Methos. Breaking the seal would simply break the spell and return you to wherever you came from,” Rupert explained. Neither he nor Richie had ever seen Methos look as crestfallen as he did at that moment.

“Then how do I get out of this, Rwpyrt?”

“I’m afraid only Death can set you free. I did some reading, and it seems that you are bound to Death, in servitude to him until he sees fit to release you,” Rupert replied with no small amount of amusement in his tone.

“You might as well sit back and enjoy the ride, Old Man. Looks like you’re stuck there, at least for now,” Richie pointed out, his grin a mile wide.

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”

“Yep,” came the reply, the grin reaching Cheshire Cat proportions.

Deep in the pupils of Methos’ eyes, two blue pinpricks glowed for a moment. Richie was suddenly glad that Methos was trapped in the seal, as a scythe appeared in his hand and he swung at the air in frustration.


Richie and Rupert were startled by the Voice, and Methos was pleased to see that Richie visibly blanched, although Rupert recovered quickly.

“So, you’re really Death?” he asked, amusement quirking his lips.

“Yes, and it’s a nightmare. It’s an actual job; I have to go out collecting souls! And I hate how it makes me feel,” Methos admitted.

Rupert nodded sympathetically. He had some knowledge of what power felt like, of how it could make you feel less than human and more than human at the same time. But he couldn’t begin to imagine what the power of Death felt like.

“Well, I’m sorry, but you’re stuck there, at least for now. Would you like me to summon you occasionally? Just to keep in touch?” Rupert asked.

“I don’t need your pity calls, Rwpyrt,” Methos answered, his momentary weakness gone and his shield of sarcasm fully back in place. “Besides, time moves differently there. I’ll be gone a century or so, but for you it will be barely a year. If there’s nothing you can do, you may as well send me back.”

Rupert nodded and made to break the seal, but Richie held out a hand to stop him.

“Just one thing, before you go, Old Man,” Richie said.

“What is it, Brat?”

“Promise you’ll tell us all about it when you get back?” he asked, an expectant look on his face.

Methos laughed at the earnest look on Richie’s face; he could never find it in his heart to deny the kid, it was too much like kicking a puppy.

“I’ll tell you what, kid. You buy the beers, and you’ve got yourself a deal.”

[i] Of course, only Duncan MacLeod could manage to find a student on his first and only trip to Australia.
[ii] And it wasn’t the delivery of a box of chocolates. Unless they were laced with arsenic.
[iii] Or Vampires, but they usually targeted vestal virgins rather than wizards.
[iv] Fortunately, the smell wasn’t much of a problem in Ankh Morpork. A body has to be really ripe before it will out-stink the River Ankh.
[v] Fluffy Toy Cat and Fluffy Toy Penguin.
[vi] This was octarine, the colour of magic.
[vii] A subject that caused Rupert no end of bewilderment and amusement. Methos had survived for millennia by not trusting anyone, by carefully crafting the myth of Methos and yet he had revealed his identity to no less than four people. One of whom was not only mortal but a Watcher too.
[viii] Which was true. Unfortunately, relating it here would make the universe implode, so it will have to remain a secret.
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on May 25th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to seeing Methos tell Richie about being Death.

But, I don't want to be a pie,: richie smileidontlikegravy on May 26th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Black Rook: cutiegrachonok on May 25th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
Marvellous!!! :)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: painty methosidontlikegravy on May 26th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And thank you for the inspiration - your Ashkente video gave me the idea. :)
Black Rook: Susan_SMgrachonok on May 26th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
Wow:) you are very welcome:)
*patiently waiting for Susan chapter*:)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: deathidontlikegravy on June 12th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
I swear it is coming! *glowers at uncooperative muse*
fractured_sunfractured_sun on May 25th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
LOL, poor Methos trapped on the discworld :-)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Death & Deathidontlikegravy on May 26th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Well, I had to find a way to make Methos stop trying to run and start doing the job! :)
The other Weird Al: Discworld - death of ratsaeron_lanart on May 26th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
You already know I love it, but I thought I'd tell you again - I love it!!! The footnotes in particular always add something to these fics. Thank you for a smashing birthday pressie.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on June 4th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)
You are most welcome my luvver, it was my pleasure :)
Jennifer/Gail: HL_Methos_deathlferion on May 26th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC)
This just gets better and better!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: deathidontlikegravy on June 4th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)

Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Death & Deathidontlikegravy on June 4th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
Exactly LOL.

It would only make the universe implode if I put it down in print, not the actual hearing of it. That wouldn't make sense. *grin*

Thanks for commenting. :)
Kelinci Hutan: Methos laughkelincihutan on June 8th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
I am always late to this party. :(

Anyway, this is another awesome fic. I can't wait to read the next installment. You really are quite good at this.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on June 12th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)

Thank you very much. And it's always better to come late to a party, the first hour or so usually sucks. ;-)
All the Colours of the Me: i have a silly hatrainbow on June 29th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
Eeeee! Giles as an immortal! ::explodes with glee::
But, I don't want to be a pie,: rogidontlikegravy on July 12th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)

Sorry for the belated reply, I'm winning the epic fail award at the moment. Anyhoo, glad you enjoyed it, and if I can possibly tempt you, there is an entire series of Immortal Giles fics right here. ;-)
jolinar_rosha: hallowed are the Orijolinar_rosha on January 8th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
Methos... in DEATH's place?! And Ridcully... and Richie... and, and, MARVIN!

>incoherent puddle of glee
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Death & Deathidontlikegravy on January 8th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
Have you not read the rest of this series?

*passes a bucket and mop* Thank you! :D