Beginning Five

They were deep in conversation when the sense of ~Presence~ hit the three Immortals. Duncan MacLeod and Richie Ryan both looked up and at the door, Adam Pierson ignored the feeling, trusting the other two to watch his back. He'd spent too many years as a Watcher to blow his cover now. He rolled his mug between his hands, reasoning that the incoming Immortal won't know how many Immortals were presence, only the very old had that talent. He amused himself by evaluating the approaching Immortal's Quickening, another talent possessed by the very old.

He sat bolt upright, eyes wide and swore in a long-forgotten language. The others looked at him in surprise.

"Adam? What. . .?"

Adam closed his eyes and shook his head hard to clear it then sighed. He signaled for the waitress and ordered a pitcher of beer, plus another mug then relaxed back into his chair, ignoring the others' questions which, he knew, would be answered soon enough.

MacLeod and Richie both looked toward the door again but Adam continued to stare into his mug. He didn't need to look up to mark her progress; he could feel her getting closer and closer, her Quickening meeting and merging with his own. He found himself hoping fervently that it wasn't visible to the naked eye, in some instances it had been. A rustle of cloth. She was slipping off her coat and draping it over the back of the empty chair next to him. The chair was pulled out, the new mug filled and then she was slumping over the glass in a position that he knew would be identical to his own.

The others at the table were unnaturally quiet and Adam suspected they were gaping in astonishment at the picture they made. He stole a glance around the table. Yep, he'd been right. Finally he looked out of the corner of his eyes at her. She was returning the favor, looking back from the corner of her eye.

"Adam." She greeted him pleasantly.

"Eve." His greeting was just as pleasant. "Staying long?"

"Don't know yet. How long 'fore I get on your nerves?"

"Hmmmmm. . .ten minutes, I'd say."

"Be a record then." She refilled her mug. "A couple of weeks, maybe? You survive that?"

"Do I have a choice?" He slid his empty mug toward her and she refilled it.

"Not really."

"What are you doing here, Eve?"

"Canít I just visit?" She looked around the table. "Do any of them speak?"

"Usually at the most inopportune times. Hungry?"


Adam waved a waitress over and ordered a large steak, very rare and some fries.

"I donít eat fries."

"I do. Iíll eat them. So youíre just visiting?"

"Hmmmmm, maybe."

"And maybe not?"

"You said it, not me."

"I hate it when you do that."

She stuck her tongue out at him and Richie giggled, a sound that faded at a sharp look from the old man. The young Immortal scrunched down in an attempt to escape his gaze and concentrated on his beer.

"Introductions, brother dear." Eve encouraged.

"Brother. . .?" Joe and MacLeod said together but Adam ignored them.

"Duncan MacLeod, Joe Dawson, Richie Ryan."

"I thought he was dead." Eve pointed toward Richie.

"Long story. Iíll explain later. This is my sister, Eve Pierson."

Joe cleared his throat. "Ahhh, Adam. I didnít know you had a sister."

"Long story." Adam mumbled, then glanced up as the waitress reappeared. The woman set the steak into front of Eve and the plate of fries near Adam. He smiled and reached for the ketchup.

"Hmmmm, still bleeding. Yummy." Eve dug in.

"Nauseating, isnít she?" Adam mumbled around a handful of fries.

"Itís gets worse." Eve said brightly. "I thought maybe I could crash on your couch, Adam."

"Havenít got a place yet. Iím crashing on MacLeodís couch."

"Oh?" Eve looked at Adam thoughtfully and the eldest Immortal flushed. MacLeod looked at Adam then at Eve, his eyes widening.

"You sent the portrait!í He blurted out and then flushed himself as Adam straightened, fastening astonished eyes on him.

"Portrait? What. . .? Eve, you didnít!"

"What? I sent him a subtle hint. Thatís more then youíve apparently done." The woman returned to her steak though she watched both men covertly from the corner of her eye.

Adam stared at her then at MacLeod. Abruptly he rose, snatched his coat up and almost ran from the bar. Eve looked after him with a frown then turned to MacLeod. The Highlander jumped suddenly with a yelp, grabbing for his shin.

"Hey. . !"

"Donít "hey" me! Go!"

MacLeod blinked then got to his feet, snatching up his own coat and following the ancient Immortal.

Joe watched this exchange with amusement, suspecting what was going on. From the look on Richieís face, he hadnít quite figured it out yet.

"Well," Joe grinned. "Youíre obviously the worldís first Immortal yenta."

"Mazoltov." The woman raised her beer mug up in a salute. "Iím just hoping it works."

"Wait a minute." Richie blinked rapidly, frowning. "Are you trying to set Adam and Mac up?"

"What do you think?"

Richie laughed. "I think youíre nuts! Macís as straight as they come."

Eve eyed him with a faint smile. "You are very young, arenít you?" was all she said.

Richie stared at her then flushed as Joe laughed.


MacLeod caught up with Adam not far from the bar, falling in beside him.

"Why didnít you tell me?" He asked.

"Tell you what?"

"That youíre interested in me."

Adam muttered a curse and kicked at the sidewalk. "I donít make it a habit to hit on my straight friends."

"And you are so certain Iím straight?"

Adam paused, leaning back against a wall. "Oh, come on, MacLeod. Iíve read your chronicles, MacLeod. Never a mention of an affair with a man. Youíre so damn het it hurts." The last sentence was muttered.

MacLeod sighed. "Methos. . ." He paused. "Most of my affairs have been with women but I have had affairs with men as well. Considering the times Iíve lived in, itís never been wise to advertise it."

"But not often." Adam said.

"Not often." MacLeod agreed, stepping closer to the other. "But then, itís not often I meet a man Iíd be willing to start a relationship with."

Adam stared at him, his eyes shifting color from green to gold and back again, a sequence of events that fascinated MacLeod.

"Youíre bloody serious, arenít you?" Adam said.

MacLeod leaned forward to catch Adamís mouth with his own, kissing him hard. Adamís lips parted in surprise and MacLeod took advantage, exploring the otherís mouth skillfully with his tongue. When they finally parted, Adam was panting, his face flushed and eyes bright.

"Oh, yes, youíre definitely serious." He murmured then took a deep breath, obviously trying to calm himself. "Why didnít you ever say anything?"

MacLeod hesitated. "I have Kronosí Quickening, remember?"

Adam went white then flushed deeply. Pushing away from the wall, he started back toward the bar. "And his memories as well. I always wondered what you thought of them."

"I guess I thought that after what he did to you, you wouldnít be interested in a relationship with a man. . .what?"

Adam had started laughing softly. "Weíre a pair and half, both of us, assuming what the other may think. What happened with Kronos happened three thousand years ago. Iíve had time to recover."

"Actually, I was thinking more of what happened three years ago." MacLeod shot a swift look at his friendís suddenly expressionless face.

"That wasnít rape, MacLeod."

"You didnít want to be there and you didnít want him. Even he knew that."

"Hmmmm, yes. But it was my choice. Of course, the other choice was to lose my head. And he would have taken it, have no doubt of that. He would have anyway, once you were dead. He knew me way too well. Knew what I really wanted." He stole a look at MacLeod and smiled slightly when he realized the other man was watching him.

MacLeod smiled in return. "So we start over then? Clean slate? No assumptions about the other?"

"No assumptions." Adam agreed.

They walked in silence for a long moment. As the bar came back in sight, MacLeod spoke up.

"So now what?"

"Hmmmm." Adam smiled. "Well, you can begin by courting me."


"Yeah. Yíknow, dinner, dancing, a movie." He caught the look on MacLeodís face and his smile faded. "Oh, I see. Itís one thing to bed me, quite another to take me out into public as a date. My mistake."

"Youíre doing it again." MacLeod growled. "Youíre assuming."

"Am I?"

"Actually I was trying to think of where to go. For dinner. Tomorrow night."

Adam stopped, his head down, hearing the truth in MacLeodís words and knowing that he meant what he said. Hiding a smile, he scuffed at the sidewalk with his toe.

"Oh, I donít know. Letís see, am I busy tomorrow night. . ?"



"Say "yes" or Iíll bring Eve into it."

Adamís head shot up, eyes wide. "Oh, no! Not that! Okay, okay! Tomorrow night. How about that new French place?"

"I know it. Iíll call once we get inside and make reservations."

Adamís smile deepened as they stepped back into the bar. "Letís see. . .yíknow, I am fond of ro. . .oh, hell!" Adam bolted forward and MacLeod paused, looking to what had alarmed the old man, grinning at the sight of Eve obviously regaling Joe and Richie with a tale. He shook his head and went to the pay phones.

Adam skid to a halt next to the table. "Eve! What are you telling them?"

Eve gave him an innocent look. "Who, me? So, do I get the couch after all?"

Adam flushed deeply as he dropped back into the chair. "No, you donít."

"Too much noise? I remember you could be quite voca. . ."


"You can sleep on my couch, Eve." Joe offered with a grin, not wanting a murder committed in his bar.

"Thanks, Joe. And I can tell you some tales of Adam."

Adam groaned and covered his face with his hands. "I never should have let you know where I was. Ever."

Eve snorted. "Like I couldnít find you if I wanted to. Welcome back, MacLeod."

"Eve." The Highlander eyed her and then Adam with a frown. "Whatís up?"

"Oh, nothing. Eveís just threatening to write a tell-all book with Joe." Adam glared at the woman.

"Who, me? Never!" She shoved the now-empty plate away and said something in what sounded like ancient Greek. Adam replied in the same language and, for a few minutes, the two spoke back and forth until Adam finally relaxed with a smile.

"All right, thatís settled." He leaned back, stretching his long legs out.

"Whatís settled?" Richie was looking more and more confused by the moment and Joe found himself feeling sorry for the young Immortal. Adam was bad enough but it was increasingly obvious that Eve was just like her brother. Richie looked from one person to the other, finally settling on his tutor with an uneasy smile. "Mac, Joe thinks Eve is setting you and Adam up."

"She is." MacLeod grinned at Adam, who smiled back.

Richieís smile cracked slightly. "Thatís stupid. I mean, youíre not gay."

"Heís awful young for an Immortal, donít you think?" Eve said to Adam and the latter grinned. Richie flushed at their obvious amusement.

"Most Immortals over the age of one hundred tend to be bi-sexual." Adam said. "Life would be really boring if you limited yourself."

"I never doubted youíd sleep with anything that walked." Richie snapped and Adamís smile faded. Richie found himself shrinking back under the ancient Immortalís hard gaze, a gaze echoed in the woman sitting next to him. And in the man sitting next to him.

"I learned a very long time ago," Adam said quietly. "that whatís on the outside doesnít matter. Itís what on the inside."

"Kayla." Eve said and Adam nodded. He saw Joeís questioning look and smiled faintly, a faraway look in his eyes.

"My 23rd wife. To be blunt, she was the ugliest woman Iíd ever seen in all my life." He glanced at MacLeod. "Sheís the first wife I had after I left the Horsemen."

"Why did you marry her then?" Richie asked.

Adam and Eve looked at each other. "A very long story. Maybe Iíll tell it to you sometime.

end beginning five

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