Finding what was Never Lost

Disclaimer: We don't own Methos, Duncan or the various other Immortal/Mortals running around in this story. They belong to R:P/D even though we think we'd take better care of them all. We'd even learn to share Duncan and Methos... This story is rated NC-17 for SEX of the male/male varitey. So if you don't like/can't handle that stuff or under 18 GO AWAY this story is not for you.


Part One

"We're through."

He'd never realized exactly what they'd meant, words said in the heat of anger. After the whole Horsemen fiasco was over, Duncan had regretted the words but by then it was too late. Methos's trust and faith in him had been shaken to the core.

The double Quickening had left them closer then ever mentally. But emotionally they'd never been further apart. They'd never been able to regain the relationship they'd once shared. He'd tried, but Methos was still jumpy, he wouldn't let Duncan get close enough. They'd spent the night together a few times but by morning the old man was always long gone, not like before when they would wake up curled together, rise just long enough to collect mugs of coffee before retreating back beneath the covers. Now a year later they still couldn't seem to connect. Methos was sitting on the couch tapping away on his laptop completely ignoring his one time lover's gaze.

"What are you up to now?" Duncan asked curiously.

"Does it really matter to you? Or are you planning on giving me some lecture about how I'm only going to get you killed in the end?"

"I've never told you that."

"Always a time to start...you've given me every other lecture you could think of." Methos sighed, putting the laptop to the side for a second. "The *Methos, I have honor* lecture, the *Methos, stay out of my life lecture*, why not add another one to the list?"

'How about the *Why don't you love me anymore lecture?*' Duncan thought, but protested all the same. "I don't lecture that much."

"Whatever you say MacLeod." Methos pulled the laptop back on to his knees. 'What was the point really? The man would never change even the slightest bit.' He thought, then sighed. That wasn't really fair, he wanted Mac to accept him... all of him, past and present. It wasn't fair for him to want that and not be willing to accept everything about Duncan... even the lectures and brooding.

Brooding. A glance in the other Immortals direction told him that was exactly what the Scot was doing. 'Oh Duncan.' He thought staring blankly at the screen. Idly tapping a single key, he let a smile cross his features when he realized he was starting to brood too.

"What?"

"Nothing...it just dawned on me that I'm picking up your bad habits."

"What bad habits."

"I'm brooding."

"I don't brood."

"Yes you do."

"No I don't."

"Do to."

"I do not."

"Then what were you just doing?"

"Thinking."

"Uh huh. Thinking?"

"Isn't that what I said?"

"And just how would that be different from brooding?"

"I don't know. And why are we having this conversation anyway?"

"Oh...I thought it was a nice change from absolute silence. But if you'd like, I could always get back to my work and we could sit here and ignore each other again. "

"We haven't been ignoring each other... just a bit busy."

"For the last *year*?!?"

"And just what do you mean by that?"

"Nothing, never mind. It's obvious we can't have a *normal* conversation anymore without a confrontation. And I've had just about all I can take of that." Methos said snapping the laptop shut. "I'll just be going then."

He'd made it halfway to the elevator when Duncan's soft voice stopped him. "Don't go please." "I think I have to MacLeod." He said carefully continuing across the room. Duncan watched as he went. 'Why?' His mind asked. 'Why can't we fix this? We can save the world together, but can't save ourselves.'

***** *****

Methos stalked out of the building, only briefly noticing he still had the damned laptop in his hands and nothing else. 'Yet another brilliant move from the Old guy...' Methos chastised himself, as he opened the door to his rental car and tossed it inside. So now he was limited to the options of going back inside and looking like an idiot when he collected the rest of his stuff, also ruining a great exit in the process. Or, there was always driving around the city until he was sure Duncan wouldn't be up in the loft and then get all his stuff. Get real drunk sounded like a good option three though. Screw his stuff...it wasn't like he couldn't go out and get all new stuff anyway. It was nice not being a perpetually poor Grad student anymore. 'Of course, if you *were* Adam Pierson, you wouldn't have this problem now, would you?' No, a lowly grad student like Pierson never would have met up with the likes of Duncan MacLeod. He would have just lived out a rather plain and boring lifetime probably in libraries a great deal. Libraries were wonderful places completely removed from real life. Rather like the Internet. Probably why he was so fond of both. But he was letting his mind wander from the original point. Adam never would have met Duncan. Never would have fallen head over heals in love with him. Never would have been utterly crushed by the man. And *he* would have had some perfectly sane sensible life for the last year or so. 'You're being ridiculous old man.' He chided himself. 'You are unfortunately not that lowly grad student. You are Methos, the world's oldest man. And you are tied up with Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod quite probably until the end of it all.' "And I'm standing in the middle of the street having a more intelligent conversation with my fucking car than with the man himself. Why is that?" Methos shouted out, not really expecting an answer but still the same, hoping that MacLeod was listening outside his window. It was time for a change of scenery; he'd been here in Seacouver with MacLeod for too long. Climbing into the car he checked the glove compartment, his little emergency stash of stuff, including a passport, was still tucked inside. It was time to go find enlightenment...somewhere far away from Duncan MacLeod.

**** **** **** ****

Duncan watched out the window as Methos finally climbed in to his car and drove away. 'No. That wasn't supposed to happen.' His brain shrieked. He'd been sure that Methos would come back, all of his stuff was still here. He couldn't get far without that... could he?

Slowly he turned away surveying the rest of the loft. Methos took his coat... and with it, his sword. Technically he didn't really need to come back.

But he would, he'd have to. And then Duncan would make sure that he didn't leave until they had a conversation, a real one. And just maybe, they could fix whatever had happened between them and could go back to the way things were, *before* everything. Or at the very least, Methos would still be around...

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Methos walked along the ramp of 747 he'd just flown to Paris on. He still didn't have anything with him save his laptop, jacket and sword. He'd figured a French shopping spree would do a little to cheer him up. Spending money when you knew there was no way you could run out could be quite enjoyable.

Duncan did it all the time. But then he did come close to running out every so often. Or so it would appear. "Stop it stop it stop it." He whispered softly drawing glances from passerbys. He had to stop thinking about Duncan.

Of course, he needed a place to stay as well. He'd given up his flat in Paris a long time ago.... Whenever he'd needed a place to stay lately he'd gone to the barge. But... since he was out here in Paris with the purpose of avoiding Duncan MacLeod, and everything to do with the man, the barge wasn't really the best option. Actually flying to Paris probably hadn't been the smartest idea either.

"It was the first flight off the continent..." Methos told himself, ignoring the taunting little voice in his head that was telling him exactly why he ended up here in Paris. "It was the first flight of the continent, I have stuff stored here, I like it here... Why shouldn't I be here?" 'Because Paris is one of *his* places.' He answered himself silently sighing heavily. Maybe Amanda would be here. Last he'd heard she was in the States, but she wasn't exactly known for staying in one place for long. And if she wasn't there, he could just break into her place anyway. It's not like she wouldn't do the same to him...

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Amanda sat up blearily, trying to figure out what woke her up. Presence... of course. Just what she needed in the middle of the night.

"Hey Amanda! Amanda! A...man...da!!! I know you're in there..."

Amanda sighed, recognizing the voice almost instantly. She debated turning over and just ignoring him but when the knocking and yelling got even louder, she finally got out of bed, grabbing her sword as well.

"You know, you'd better have one really, really, *really*, good reason for being here in the middle of the night." Amanda opened the door, holding him back with the point of the sword at his neck.

"I need a place to stay." He shrugged, easing away from the sharp point, then around her into the room.

"There are hotels in Paris."

"But you can be such a charming hostess Amanda." Methos grinned slightly. "Besides, I seem to recall that *someone* owes me a favor."

"Fine! You can have the couch and if you wake me up in the morning, you're a dead man!"

"You know me, never up before noon without a really good reason."

"Good." She snapped stalking back to her bedroom and pulling the covers back over her head.


Part Two

As it turned out, he was up before noon...but only because Amanda pushed him off the couch.

"Okay Methos, I don't know why this didn't occur to me last night, but why the hell aren't you staying at the barge?"

"I didn't think I'd be welcome."

"What are you talking about?" Amanda asked, sitting down on the couch. "Why wouldn't you be welcome?"

"Because I walked out on Duncan yesterday and I don't figure he'd want me invading his other home...whether he's there or not. Alright?" Methos gave her a look that plainly said he didn't want to continue this conversation. "Can I have the couch back now?"

"No, not until you tell me everything." Amanda glared at the man sprawled on her floor, then sighed. "What happened?"

"Nothing really. I was working on my computer, which started some argument about who knows what really, which brought up the issue that Duncan's been avoiding me for the past...eternity, which got us both upset and then I walked out. Alright?" Methos sighed. "Look, if I really have to do this, can I at least have something to drink?"

"No way. I give you one drink and you'll be drunk before I know it and I'll never get the story out of you then." She declared. "You can have all the drinks you want after you tell me."

"What can I tell you? Things just didn't work between us anymore. They haven't in a long time. In fact, I'm surprised that this took as long to happen as it did."

"Why don't you work? And how long has it been like this?"

"I don't know and a long time."

"How long?"

"Since Kronos."

"But I thought everything was better between you two after that whole Keane thing." Amanda looked puzzled. "Why aren't you at your apartment anyway?"

"If I still *had* my apartment, do you think I'd be here, rehashing my life story to you?" Methos asked sarcastically. "And it wasn't that everything was better after the whole Keane affair, it was the fact that you were around that made it seem better."

"Why? What are you talking about Methos?"

It was really too early to be having this discussion. Especially since Amanda seemed determined to wring every single detail from him. "Let's recall Amanda, who ended up with Duncan that night?"

"Ummm..." Amanda bit her lip, then recovered defensively. "I didn't know about you guys then."

"Duncan sure did. He still chose you."

"He was upset Methos."

"He didn't trust me to *not* kill him while he slept."

"But he..."

"He what Amanda?"

"He said you never spent the night."

"He was discussing our sex lives with YOU?"

"Methos, who else would he turn to for advice on his sex life. He just wanted to know how to get you to stay."

"He didn't *want* me to stay. He didn't trust me." Methos raised a hand to stall her response. "No, really he didn't. He would have nightmares whenever I was in the bed with him."

"We all have nightmares Methos, it doesn't mean anything." Amanda pointed out. "He had one the night I went to find you."

"Super, that makes me feel a whole lot better." Methos muttered sarcastically. "You aren't there when he wakes up in a panic."

"No...but from what I heard from Duncan, you aren't either most of the time." Amanda sighed, dropping her head to the back of the couch. "After five thousand years, you'd think you would have gotten some sense."

"I did, I left." Methos said decisively. "The most sensible thing I've done since I've met the man...irritating infant that he is."

"Methos, you love him right?" He clenched his jaw. "Methos?"

"Of course I do."

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why do you love him?"

"Because he's Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. Because he's..."

"Duncan?"

"Yeah...I guess so."

"And I know Duncan loves you...because you're Methos. So what's the problem then?" Amanda smiled widely as if she had just figured out the solution to world peace.

"The problem is, Dear one, I'm here, sitting on your hard, cold floor at a god-forbidden hour in the morning and he's in Seacouver right now." Methos sighed. "And that's how we have been for the past year or so."

"You haven't been here for the past year..."

"Figuratively. I might as well have been here for all the good it's done spending it with Duncan."

"I'm touched." Amanda muttered. "What you guys need to do is talk..."

"Really? I hadn't figured that one out. But after having one-sided conversations for a year, it's starting to get a little tedious."

"You shouldn't just give up..."

"Amanda, there's no point so long as he can't trust me. I can't stand waking up to him screaming my name in terror anymore."

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Richie Ryan groaned and rolled over. What the hell had woken him up at.... 2@#$%A? Oh there is was again, the phone was ringing. Grabbing the receiver he brought it up to his ear.

"WHAT?!?!"

"Hello Richard."

"What the HELL do you want Amanda, it's two in the fucking morning." He snarled as he recognized the voice.

"I'm so glad to hear your voice too my dear." Came the sarcastic reply. "But I need your help."

"Someone better be dying Amanda."

"Might be... You see I have Methos here in Paris."

"When did those two got to Paris I saw them a few days ago."

"That just it Richard. They aren't here, Methos is. Duncan's there, they had a little disagreement."

"And so what exactly do I have to do with this?"

"I need your help making this better for them."

"My help? You want me to talk to Duncan? After he's had a fight with the love of his life?" Richie groaned. "No way Amanda."

"Why not?"

"Because it's Duncan.... and he'll be depressed and brooding and I don't know what to tell him."

"Hey... you've got the easy job. I've got to deal with Methos who's going to be so drunk by tomorrow morning that he's not going to be able to see straight." Amanda shouted the last part, obviously intending it for someone *other* than Richie. Richie could hear a muffled swear from the background, in Ancient Greek no less, before Amanda came back on again. "Come on Richard...please?"

"Amanda, we're not the ones who're supposed to be meddling in Duncan's life, that's his job for the rest of us. Remember?" Richie sighed, knowing he was going to lose this argument. "And just what am I supposed to tell him anyway?"

"That Methos loves him. And you have to convince him to come here."

"Why?"

"I always thought I could make a good marriage counselor."

"No way Amanda."

"They won't talk without a little prodding in the right direction. Just think, we could finally pay back Duncan a little for all the times he's helped us."

"I know I'm going to regret this in the morning...but fine, I'll help. I'll let you know when we get to Paris."

"Oh, thank you Richard. I owe you one."

"Big one `Manda."

"Don't push your luck..."

Richie hung up the phone with a sigh, dropping back down to the bed and flinging his arms over his eyes. What a headache. And just why the heck did he let himself get dragged into these kinds of schemes anyway?

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Amanda hung up the phone and turned back to the rest of the room. Richard had better hurry, she thought, looking at Methos who was halfway through his third bottle. She wasn't even sure what this one was. The last two had been Scotch until the old man had declared it reminded him of Duncan too much. She hadn't known there were liquor shops that would deliver to the door. But he had. At least three of them had come already and he'd called several others.


Part Three

Richie sighed as he looked up at the loft, still out of the range for Duncan to sense him. He still hadn't thought of what to say when he actually got up there either. Briefly he had been tempted to call Joe and ask him for advise but he had figured that wouldn't be fair to the other man. Amanda *had* called him in the first place.

If only she could have been a *little* more helpful in what to tell Duncan. Richie was pretty sure he didn't wasn't to take advice from someone almost four hundred years his junior. Walking in to the building Richie sighed once again, finally deciding to just get it over with...if only so he could tell Amanda he tried and go on with the rest of his life with a relatively clear conscience.

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Duncan looked up when he felt the buzz and heard the elevator start up. Was it Methos? He reached out along the connection they'd found they shared after the double Quickening but never really explored. No it wasn't Methos. That only left one person it could be. The elevator had been locked, and Richie was the only immortal other then Methos who had a key. Even Amanda had to break in when she visited.

He ignored the young man as he entered the loft. "You got a death wish or something Mac?" The young man asked, unusually serious.

"I knew it was you." Duncan shrugged, turning every so slightly, enough for Richie to get a clear look at him.

"Mac, you're a mess." He stated calmly as he took in the dark circles under Duncan's eyes and the exhausted look to the man.

"Richie...I'm really not in the mood to talk, as you've probably noticed."

"Yeah, well tough." Richie walked to the fridge, looking inside for something to eat. "I'm starved, have you had anything to eat yet?"

"Richie..." Duncan sighed, dropping his head back down to the counter again. "Now is really not the time..."

"Like I said before...tough." Richie dropped two bowls onto the counter and poured some cereal into both. "If I had to get up at two in the morning because of you, you can at least listen to what I have to say."

"Huh?"

"I got a call at 2 AM this morning from Amanda...who seems to have taken in a stray Methos in Paris."

Duncan was suddenly looking anywhere but at the blond man who was pushing breakfast at him.

"In the mood to talk yet?"

"N..." Duncan started.

"TOO BAD!" Richie interrupted. "Sit down, eat your breakfast. We're going to talk Mac."

"What? You and Amanda are ganging up on us...is that what this is?"

Well...that was a full sentence at least. Not exactly a *friendly* sentiment, but at least he was talking. "No, Amanda has taken it upon herself to try and save the world. She just dragged me into her little scheme."

Duncan pushed his makeshift breakfast away and grabbed the phone off the hook, handing it to Richie. "Speed dial 3, call her back and tell her I don't need or want her help."

"No offense Mac, but yes you do." Richie glanced at the forgotten breakfast, then finally decided it wasn't worth it. "And since she's dealing with a slightly drunk Immortal in Paris, I guess it's up to me."

"Why are you two even bothering? Obviously we don't want to be together or we'd be in the same place instead of opposite sides of the globe."

"We bother because we want to see you happy. You obviously aren't happy when the old man is on the opposite side of the planet...and neither is he. Hence, you two must want to be together." Richie surmised. "Isn't lying against your personal code of honor?"

"I wouldn't be lying if it weren't for him..."

"Why? Because you're ashamed of what you two had? Or because you love him so much you'll break your code of honor for him?"

"I...what's it matter? He doesn't love me...he doesn't even trust me."

"You don't know that Mac."

"If you love someone, do you at least spend the night with them?"

"Yeah...I suppose." Richie said carefully, not sure exactly where this was leading.

"Methos didn't stay. After the Horsemen, anytime we were together, he would be long gone by morning. In fact, I usually wouldn't see him for a week after that."

Richie groaned to himself, wondering why Amanda neglected to tell him this little fact. This whole plan of hers was tricky enough as it was...and now he had just dug himself into a hole. Just wonderful. Leaving Duncan to stare into his bowl of cereal, Richie picked up the phone and walked to the elevator. "I'll be right back Mac...eat something while I'm gone, alright?"

*** *** *** *** *** ***

"Hello?"

"`Manda, we've got problems."

"What? Why? Where's MacLeod."

"Hopefully he's eaten and is in the shower now. I didn't lose him."

"Then what's the problem?"

"Why didn't you tell me that Methos runs off in the middle of the night? What are you expecting me to do here...be a mind reader?"

"I didn't think you needed to know."

"You didn't think it was important? Duncan is convinced that Methos doesn't love him...and he's mad...and I don't know how the hell I'm supposed to get him anywhere near Paris now."

"Be persuasive."

"Oh...that helps."

"Richard...sometimes you seem so bright."

"Thank you."

"Now is *not* one of those times."

"AMANDA!"

"Alright, alright. You know Methos loves Mac."

"Yeah, sure. You can see it every time he looks at him."

"Don't tell me, tell him."

"But Amanda..."

"Gotta go Richard. Methos is trying to order more liquor on my credit card. Use your own money you old drunk." She yelled and the phone went dead.

"Wonderful." Richie muttered, looking at the receiver with disgust.


On to parts 4-6