by Erique

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the concept of immortality; they belong to Rysher: Panzer/Davis. I won't make any money from this, and I do it because I can't help myself.

Warning: This will eventually contain adult material, more specifically, homoerotic elements of the DM/M variety. If you are too young to read it, of if it offends your sensibilities, go away now. You have been warned.

This story is also unfinished. It may get finished sooner if I get some feedback. (Wasn't that subtle?)

Many thanks to Mel, my beta. All remaining mistakes are my own.

Rating: NC17 for m/m suggestions and violence. Pairing: DM/M. This is slash.

Timeline: Two weeks following Revelation 6:8

Notes: I'm a h/c slut. That means there is an excess of hurt (Methos) and comfort (Duncan) ist this story, plus gratuitous cuddling. Also, the idea for the plot (yes, there is plot here!) probably isn't original, but then, originality nowadays is a myth.

It was an effort to put one foot in front of the other. He could hear his own gasping breaths, could feel his legs trembling from the exertion, and he concentrated on the sensations. It was vital to keep aware of himself. Periodically, he bit his tongue and lips, grounding himself to keep from slipping away.

People passed him, but he did not notice them or their stares. Fortunately, he knew the way without thinking, so he could concentrate completely on walking.

A sharp honking momentarily jarred his concentration, and he became aware of a man shouting at him in French, but he ignored him. He had to keep moving. There was very little time before his exhausted body would fail him, and he had to be there by then. The alternative was collapse in the street, then probably some French hospital, drugs, maybe a mental asylum. Unthinkable.

*I am Admetos*, he thought in a language that was older than the Minoan culture, older than the pyramids. The thought blurred, frayed, and he bit his lip until he tasted blood.

Dimly, he could hear the cursed laughter in his mind.

Joe didn't normally look up from his guitar every time the bar door opened. He usually was too engrossed in his music to even notice, and besides, on good days a bar door opening was hardly noteworthy. But today was very slow; in fact, he was his only customer, playing for his personal enjoyment, and so the entrance of a newcomer was interesting enough to capture his attention. Then there was the way the door opened - slowly, hesitantly, almost fearfully.

But when Joe got a glimpse at his visitor, he realized that fear was not the reason for the unusual entrance.

"Methos!" Putting his guitar aside, Joe levered himself to his feet.

It was obvious that sheer willpower was the only thing keeping the old Immortal on his feet. He looked like death warmed over. Joe cringed inwardly. In view of recent developments, that comparison was more than a little too apt.

Stumbling with exhaustion, Methos made his way towards the Watcher like a marionette. Sweat and dirt stained his face; his clothes were wrinkled and in disarray, as if he'd been sleeping in them for days. *Well*, Joe calculated mentally, *Bordeaux happened two weeks ago, didn't it?* And no one had seen the Old Man since, not Joe, and not MacLeod, either.

In spite of their arrangement to tell his watcher everything he needed to know, Mac had been unusually tight-lipped about what had happened during the Horsemen fiasco. From what little he did say, Joe gathered that he and Methos were not exactly on friendly terms anymore. Worse than that, the Watcher realized. *The Old Man came here, to me, not to MacLeod. Methos always used to come to Mac.* That was sufficient to tell him how badly things had deteriorated between the two Immortals.

"Joe...?" Almost a whisper, as if speaking aloud would cost what remained of his strength. "Can I stay here?" Death on a Horse, looking like a lost boy. A sick, lost boy.

It tore at the old soldier's heart to see and hear a man in such a state. Joe had never condemned Methos for his past, not even when MacLeod had tried to make him. Everyone had skeletons in their closets, and Methos probably a few more than most. It was simple statistics. No, he did not condemn him, but it had come as quite a surprise to him anyway to find that Adam Pierson, harmless grad student and beer drinker, had been one of the worst marauders in history. From now on, whenever Joe looked at Methos, there would be that between them. Never again would he take anything the Old Man said or did at face value. Their relationship, too, had changed, even as Methos' and MacLeod's friendship was quite possibly dead.

Yet it never even crossed his mind to turn Methos away. "Sure, Old Man", he said gently. "Come on. You're dead on your feet." Taking the ancient Immortal's elbow, he led him towards his back room.

It was late, but not overly so, when the phone rang. MacLeod picked it up warily, expecting another disaster, another friend in trouble. "Yes?"

He listened for a moment, his expression darkening. "He can look out for himself, Joe", he said then, angrily. "He's been doing it for 5000 years, for God's sake. And he certainly doesn't need my help!"

"MacLeod, I wouldn't ask you if I didn't think it was vital! I can't interfere if an Immortal finds him here; I'm a Watcher! At least come on over and check if he's far enough away from the street, or if an Immortal could still sense him. That's all I ask!"

The Highlander exhaled sharply. "All right, Joe. I'm on my way."

Joe met him at the door. "I'm warning you, Mac", he said without preamble. "He came to me for shelter, and now he's under my protection. If you want to come at him because of what happened three thousand years ago, you'll have to wait until he leaves here. I'll call a priest to consecrate the place if I have to."

"Joe", MacLeod interrupted him. "I didn't come here to harm him in any way. You called me, remember?"

"Yeah, sorry." The watcher threw him a questioning glance. "Well?"

MacLeod did not pretend to misunderstand the question. The sense of Immortal Presence was faint, but there. "Yes, I can feel him."

Joe grimaced, running a hand over his beard. "Well, that probably means I'll have to stand guard, Watcher Oaths be damned. Thanks for telling me, MacLeod. That'll be all. You can go back to bed now and have a nice, restful sleep -"

"Why are you being so hostile, Joe? You act as though you think I'm after his head!"

"Sorry", Joe said again. He took a deep breath. "This whole thing really threw me, is all. I mean, Methos, Kronos, Cassandra, the Four Horsemen, you acting like you hated the sight of him... and I've never seen him in such a state before, either."

"What state?"

"Exhaustion. Complete, utter exhaustion." Joe did not miss the expression of worry in the Highlander's eyes, quickly masked. "Almost as if he'd been going without sleep, food or drink for weeks." He opened the door to the bar room. "I'm going inside. I don't want to leave him for too long. Come inside if you're coming."

Accepting the less than graceful invitation, MacLeod followed the Watcher to the back room.

It was obvious that Joe had taken some pains to make Methos comfortable. The narrow bed had been piled with blankets and pillows, and, buried beneath them, motionless except for intermittent shivers, lay the world's oldest man.

"I tried to get him to eat something, at least to drink something, but he just collapsed on the bed. I couldn't even get his pants off."

MacLeod frowned. Something was strange, although he couldn't quite put his finger on it. Some undercurrent in the atmosphere, some dark threat. He looked around, but there was nothing. Shaking his head, he turned to Methos.

Despite his resolve to stay angry with the Old Man, MacLeod couldn't help a bit of concern creeping in. Another Immortal was close enough to take his head, and Methos did not even stir. His face was waxy pale; he looked more unconscious than asleep.

"What happened to him, Joe?" the Highlander found himself asking. "Did he tell you anything?"

"Nope. Just came in, asked if he could stay here, and collapsed." He scratched his head. "I'm out of my depth here. It doesn't look like he'll recover soon, and since you could still sense him from the street...."

He interrupted himself as Methos frowned, his head falling from side to side. A fine sheen of sweat appeared on his face, and his breathing quickened noticeably. Joe limped to his side. "He's sensing you." He stroked the Ancient's hair, trying to calm him down. "Shh, it's only MacLeod. He won't harm you. I won't let him. Easy, easy."

Eyes darting back and forth under closed eyelids, Methos obviously fought to come awake, but his exhausted state wouldn't let him, and the effort visibly drained him even more. He started to moan, panting in labored breaths. "Dammit, MacLeod," Joe hissed, "either get over it and help me with him or get the hell out of his sensing range! He'll kill himself if he keeps that up."

MacLeod stubbornly remained where he was, reminding himself that the man on the bed had committed every crime known to mankind, not just once, but again and again for almost a millennium. And what was worse, Methos had deceived him by making him think he was a pacifist scholar who rather repaired to a bar than fight.

*He's killed thousands, ten thousands of mortals*, he thought as Joe spoke to Methos in soothing tones, *he raped them and burned their villages, he planned the Horsemen's raids from start to finish, he enslaved hundreds and used them without a second's remorse. And he did not tell me, making me think he was harmless!*

"MacLeod!" Joe growled angrily. His ministrations were useless, and it looked like Methos was agitating himself into using up the last of his strength. His moaning grew breathless and weaker by the second, even though Joe had all but taken him in his arms to calm him down. "Get here or get out!"

MacLeod shook his head at himself. This was not the time for sulking. He could still tan the Old Man's hide for him when he was better.

He moved over to the bed, Joe moving aside to give him room. Sitting down at the edge of the bed, Duncan felt Methos' face, noticing the clammy skin, the matted hair.

Joe watched as MacLeod began moving his hands soothingly over the Old Man's back, stroking in long, slow motions. As soon as the two Immortals touched, Methos had calmed noticeably. *Interesting*, he thought.

For a while, MacLeod continued his ministrations. When Methos was once again motionless, the Highlander looked up. There was a new resolve in his expression. "First of all, we're going to get him out of his clothes and into a bathtub. I'll take care of that. You go heat up some soup."

Joe smiled, relieved. "Yessir." With a mock salute, the Watcher made his way to the kitchen.

MacLeod pulled aside the mound of blankets, revealing the shivering body underneath. For a moment, he simply stared. "God, Methos.... What have you done to yourself?"

Methos was emaciated. His normally baggy clothing now hung from a frame which was little more than skin and bones, and MacLeod thought he could see the man's ribs even through the sweater Methos wore. His sharp cheekbones now were even more pronounced. Blue shadows under his eyes, the pallor of his skin and his obvious weight loss did not exactly add up to a picture of living health. Exposed to the cool room temperature, his shivering increased, but still he did not wake.

Gently, Mac replaced the covers, tucking them in carefully around the Ancient's neck. It took a moment for the shivers to subside. "Shh," Mac whispered. "It's okay. It's okay. Relax. You'll be all right."

His anger at the former Horseman had gone. If this was what Bordeaux had done to Methos, then he was punished enough.

The Highlander busied himself filling Joe's tub while he pondered what might have happened to the ancient Immortal. He knew, of course, that the Old Man's show of having no conscience was just that - a show. Yet he did not suppose that, after more than 2000 years, even something as terrible as the reappearance of the Four Horsemen would disturb Methos' peace of mind sufficiently to reduce him to such a state. *Besides, he was fine when we talked in the cemetery*, MacLeod remembered. *A bit exhausted maybe, but looking like he was in full control of himself. So what the hell happened?*

Leaving the tub to fill, he returned to Joe's narrow bed and its sleeping occupant. *Sorry, Old Man, but you'll thank me for this later.* Gently, he pulled aside the blankets and began peeling off the dirty clothes. *Whew. High time. The street bum look doesn't do anything for you, Methos...* And even now, the Ancient shivered violently but did not wake.

"You look like a three day old corpse", Duncan muttered as he worked to get Methos out of his jeans, a task made easier by the Ancient's recent weight loss. Then he wrapped the shivering body into one of the blankets to carry him like a child to Joe's bathroom and ease the still sleeping Immortal into the warm water.

Joe poked his head inside. "Need a hand?"

Just then, MacLeod had realized that he, literally, needed another pair of hands to keep Methos' head above the water while he washed him, and between the two of them, Watcher and Immortal managed to get Methos clean and warm and back under the covers. And all the time, the Old Man had not stirred.

"Well", Joe said just as MacLeod was about to speak. "Now there's nothing to do but wait. He's bound to wake up sooner or later."

The Highlander nodded. "Joe... Is there anything in the chronicles to suggest what might be wrong with him?"

"I'll go check. I'm sure I never came across anything like it, but it's possible someone added some new information that I know nothing about." The Watcher fixed MacLeod with a steely glance. "I'll need some information from you, too, though, buddy. Starting with, what exactly happened in the submarine base?"

MacLeod sighed. He had known they would get around to that sooner or later. *It's a minor miracle Joe did not try to interrogate me before.* "We fought", he said succinctly. "I fought Kronos, he, Silas. We both beheaded our respective opponents at the same time, almost to the second."

"Yeah." Dawson nodded. He already knew that much. "And?"

"And then, something... strange... happened." MacLeod's gaze wandered over to the sleeping Methos. "I don't know. For a moment, Methos and I were... connected somehow. For a crazy second I was sure I was receiving his quickening, not Kronos'." He fell silent, remembering his mindless horror at the thought that Silas might have killed Methos. Shaking it off, he forced his mind back on track. "But Kronos was in there somewhere, also. His energy felt muted somehow, not as strong as I would have expected from someone over three thousand years old." His words slowed as he relived the memory, still staring at the unmoving occupant of Joe's bed.

Joe was careful not to disturb him. Immortal memory usually was crystal clear. For MacLeod to recall anything in less than photographic detail was unheard of. Yet now, he seemed to struggle to recapture the memories.

"And then... then Kronos' quickening somehow crossed over to Methos. I swear, Joe, I saw it spiralling over to him, like a great glowing coiling snake. It disappeared into Methos. He... fell to his knees, sobbing." His troubled eyes found the Watcher's. "Do you think that's possible? Can a quickening decide to invade another Immortal and not the one who won the challenge?"

Joe shook his head, rubbing his ear. "Never heard of anything even remotely like it. You tell me. But if that's true, then it can very well be the reason for his condition. An invasion. A conscious decision made by a thinking entity."

MacLeod forced a wry smile. "You make it sound like something from the X-Files."

"And you've been watching too much television with the Old Man", Joe shot back before he could stop himself. Those days were over, maybe for good.

A short, awkward silence ensued.

"Yeah, well, I'll go check the chronicles." Levering himself to his feet, Joe decided to let the Highlander brood in private.

Methos opened his eyes and immediately knew he was dreaming.

After five thousand years, he had learned to recognize his dreams and to flow with them. Monsters, dead lovers, fallen enemies - he knew they could not harm him, so he talked to them or ignored them. Nightmares were something that happened to him only very rarely.

But now, the knowledge that he was dreaming did not help.

He had tried to avoid sleeping for as long as was physically possible. Sleeping meant letting down his guard and leaving his mind defenseless. Then, at last, he had grown so tired he could not think straight anymore. His last clear memory was of Joe's concerned face, so he must have fallen asleep at the Watcher's place. That was a comfort.

Gathering his wits, he faced his dream.

Kronos stood before him with that arrogant posture of his. "This fight is not over, traitor! You tried to best me two thousand years ago, you killed Silas and engineered Caspian's and my death, but you will not beat me! Running to your friends will avail you nothing, you damn coward. I'm too strong for you. Here, even your precious Highlander can't help you!"

"We'll see", Methos said more calmly than he felt.

Already, a large portion of his mind had succumbed to Kronos. While he could still think, move and feel, his memories had begun to disintegrate and become superimposed with those of his dead brother. His subconscious - a bottomless well even to him - was fast becoming terra incognita. Meditations and constant concentration helped, but the toll on his strength was enormous, and he was by now incapable of functioning in everyday life. Even asleep, Hunger gnawed at him, making him realize that, once again, he had forgotten to eat. But he could not afford to let go of his concentration long enough to make even minor plans like shopping for cooking ingredients or finding the phone number of a delivery service, and with his last food reserves depleted, just grabbing something to put in his mouth was no longer possible.

*I must find something to eat, and fast*, he thought in a language older even than Kronos, a language his dead brother did not yet understand, though it was only a matter of time. *If I don't, I'll starve, and who knows who'll come back - me or my beloved brother.*

"What are you thinking, traitor?" Kronos sneered. "Making plans? Trying to get rid of me? I'm here to stay! You can't exorcize me, can't cut me out like a boil, and you can't kill me! I'm already dead! And I'll get my revenge, you worthless son of a bitch! Soon, I'll have control of your body, and then you'll be the one who's dead!"

"We'll see", Methos said again. He had picked up the signature of another immortal. *The Highlander*, he thought, again in that long-dead language. *He's here. He'll either kill me or help me. Kronos doesn't feel him; my senses still belong to me. I've got to wake up.*

There were numerous ways to wake up out of a dream, and Methos knew them all. Trying to take a deep breath was one, staring at a fixed point of the dream world another. He went through all the tricks, trying not to panic when nothing worked.

"Ha!" Kronos shouted, just as Methos felt another part of his identity slip away. "Give up, traitor!"

Hastily, Methos re-established his concentration on who and what he was, even as he felt despair begin to creep in. *Can't even wake up when I want to anymore. Maybe if the Highlander takes my head it'll be for the best...*

Suddenly, Kronos gave a sharp scream of rage. Sensing a lessening of the mental pressure his former brother was putting on his mind, Methos grabbed and clawed at the recently relinquished mind territory, feeling more whole by the second. It seemed he was infused with new strength, like someone was supporting him, aiding him in this invisible struggle.

But the brief skirmish had cost him. He felt his mind begin to shut down as he slipped into deeper sleep. Yet something had changed, and his heart soared with new hope.

The Highlander looked up as Joe came into the darkened room. "Well? Find anything?"

The Watcher dropped onto a chair with a deep sigh. "Nope. Nada. Either two pairs of Immortals fighting at the same time is extremely rare, or it was not recorded. There's no mention of a 'coiling quickening', or even of an Immortal suffering such a state of exhaustion afterwards. Hell, I need more information. Maybe what's wrong with him has nothing to do with Bordeaux at all." Groaning, he tried to stretch the kinks out of his shoulders. "How is he, anyway?"

"Still sound asleep. Hasn't moved." Mac shook his head as if trying to clear it. "Joe, something is not right here. I can't tell you what exactly, it's just a feeling." He frowned. "It's almost as if what I'm seeing is not what's there. I know it doesn't make sense."

Joe learned forward. "Go on."

"It's like I'm eating, say, a steak while getting a strong scent of ice cream at the same time. Or looking at a closed window while feeling a strong draught. My senses tell me two different things."

"Which senses?"

The Highlander gestured helplessly. "I've been trying to find out. It has to do with Methos, though. I can see him, and yet..."

"Smell? Sound?"

"No." MacLeod colored a bit. "Checked it. It's all as it's supposed to be."

Joe suppressed a grin at the thought of MacLeod sniffing at Methos like a dog, but then was interrupted by a slapping noise.

"Of course! His presence feels different!"

"Wait a minute. I thought all Immortals felt the same."

MacLeod frowned again. "That's true, basically. His presence is different, though. Stronger, deeper somehow, like the tone of a really deep pipe organ. Then there's many layers of... impressions, like voices. With time, I've gotten used to it, but when I first felt it, it almost set my teeth on edge. Now, though, something has changed. It's like I'm feeling someone else, not Methos."

They looked at each other.

"Kronos", they said almost simultaneously.

"But you took his head", Joe said. "How could he possibly end up in Methos?"

"I have no idea, Joe. But he was three thousand years old. He's bound to have known a few tricks."

The Watcher shook his head. "Methos is even older. Besides, when he came here, he was dead on his feet, but he was still Methos."

"But it all makes sense, Joe! Kronos somehow passed over to him, and he wasn't assimilated. That's why I hardly felt his personality. Oh, I got plenty of his power, but there were hardly any impressions of Kronos. It all passed over to Methos. And now they're locked in combat within his mind." MacLeod paused, replaying his own words. "God, it sounds insane. Like something straight out of some science fiction novel."

"Yeah, Methos would love it."

They looked at the Immortal in question lying still and ghostly pale on Joe's old bed. Somehow, it did not look like the Old Man liked it all that much.

He was warmer when he became conscious of himself once more. The pain in his back, caused by cold-cramped muscles, was gone. The relief was such that he almost gave in to temptation and relaxed.

But before he could go with the impulse, his instinct for danger reasserted itself and he bit the inside of his cheek. *Battle zone*, he thought. *No rest until it's over. Think of who you are, remember your identity.*

"Aren't you tired of this game, traitor?" That hated voice again.

His insides cramped painfully. Hunger, thirst, a living thing clawing and biting in his gut. He kept silent, concentrating. *Think of who you are, remember your identity.* He thought it in Ancient Sumerian, where the words rhymed, and he repeated it like a mantra.

"What use is this fight, traitor? You know I'll win. You can't do a thing. Eventually, you'll starve to death, and I'll take you over while you're dead, or I'll take you over while you're conscious. Either way, soon you'll be nothing more than a fading memory."

*Think of who you are, remember your identity.*

He groaned. Was it his imagination, or did he really smell food? Was it real or part of the dream? *Wake up, wake up*, he thought desperately. *Find out what is real. Maybe I'm already delirious...*

"Soup's ready."

Mac looked up from where he was stroking Methos' drying hair, snatched his hand away and looked embarrassed. "Great, uh... let it cool a bit, will you, Joe? He can't eat it hot."

Shaking his head at the Highlander' inability to admit his affection for his friend, Joe limped closer. "There's blood on his lip", he noticed, startled.

"Yeah. He keeps biting himself in his sleep. Damn!" The Highlander hit his own thigh with his fist. "If only I could do something!"

Joe smiled ruefully. This was a battle MacLeod could not join, and all the Highlander's instincts were chomping at the bit to help, to protect. *The poor guy must be really frustrated*, he thought.

Still looking sideways at Joe, MacLeod fidgeted and made as if to rise from Methos' side.

"Stop that, MacLeod", Joe said, getting angry now. "He's your friend, okay? I know it, and so do you. And, hell, even he knows it! Don't you see how much he's quieted since you've come?"

The Watcher was right.

MacLeod frowned unhappily, torn between wanting to help and maintaining what he thought was manly behavior. Then he realized how ridiculous his was being, even as his hand gravitated back towards Methos without his volition.

Joe shook his head. *Damn stubborn Scot.* "Wake him up, Mac. He needs to eat before he falls apart."

It was easier said than done. But finally, after much gentle prodding and calling of his name, Methos opened his eyes and managed to focus.

Immediately, Mac propped him up against his body to get him into a sitting position. When the spoon appeared in front of his face, Methos grabbed it, but his hand trembled so badly that Mac had to feed him.

*It's strange*, Mac mused as he carefully put the spoon into Methos' mouth, the Ancient unable to do anything but lie in the Highlander's arms and let himself be fed. *It feels good. I like helping him. Oh, I'd like more for him to be able to do it himself, of course, but I... I don't mind doing it.*

And Joe, watching him, wondered if Mac was aware of the expression of quiet contentment on his face.

An hour later, Methos was asleep again. He had eaten mechanically, not acknowledging anyone or anything around him except for a short moment when he met MacLeod's eyes before closing his own.

"What do you think is going on in there?" Joe wondered. "A battle? With what? Whoever dreams up the sharpest sword wins?"

For a long moment, the Highlander didn't answer. Once he had convinced himself that physically taking action was impossible, he had settled for taking the unaccustomed of outside observer. And this whole situation was so - X-Files - that he had given up even trying to think of a solution.

No fighting, no thinking - that left feeling. Going with his instincts. And once he listened, he could practically hear his instincts yelling at him to just stay here, be close to Methos, and help him by not leaving him alone.

Well, that was just what he was going to do, then.

"I wish I knew, Joe", he said at last. "But I think it has to do with... mental strength. Similar to what happens every time we take a quickening. Usually it's over even before the fireworks end. Short, sharp and painful."

Joe listened carefully. This had to be the first time he had gotten MacLeod to talk about the subject, which, among Watchers, was a matter of heated debate with no hope of ever being solved as long as they didn't *talk* to their assignments.

"But now, the battle just goes on and on. It must be hell on him. He's lost a lot of ground, from the looks of it. God!" Mac closed his eyes, frowning fiercely. His hands kept wandering towards Methos' shoulders, patting them absently, then moving away again. "The worst thing is, Joe, that there's nothing I can do! If only I had known sooner, I swear I never would have let things come this far."

*Uh oh*, Joe thought. *One Highland Guild Trip, shaken and stirred, coming up.* "There was no way you could have known, Mac. I doubt Methos was even in Paris during the first week -"

"I was angry at him", MacLeod interrupted him darkly. "I wanted nothing to do with him. I was so busy feeling betrayed that I didn't even check on him. This whole mess is my fault." One hand was back at Methos's shoulder, this time detouring towards his face and settling against the Ancient's hair, thumb gently stroking a sharp cheekbone.

Joe kept silent, Watching. *It's almost like a compulsion*, he realized. *Something definitely is happening here. And I'm guessing I'm in the way...*

MacLeod hardly noticed Joe getting to his feet and quietly leaving the room.

Kronos was looking unhappy.

Well, he was trying for bravado, but Methos knew him well enough after all this time to recognize the signs. It probably had to do with the fact that he, Methos, was feeling decidedly un-beleaguered and un-threatened. If anything, he was feeling quite upper-handy.

*It must be the soup*, he decided, not bothering anymore with proto-Sumerian. *Always knew chicken soup was good for you.* "Problems, Brother?" he enquired.

"I will smother you!" Kronos fumed. "I am stronger, tougher, better than you! It is only a matter of time, and you will succumb!"

"I heard that before", Methos answered the dream image. "And you're not stronger. You don't even have a body to be strong in. You're just a bunch of disembodied thoughts and memories. Sooner or later, you'll disintegrate."

"Lies! I've already conquered more than half of your mind. It is merely a matter of time before I *become* you! Give up, traitor!"

"'Resistance is futile', yeah, yeah, I know. We shall see, Brother."

Although it was far too early to claim victory, Methos definitely felt stronger almost by the minute. He also felt MacLeod's presence and physical proximity. *Well, well, the Highlander is almost on top of me. Who'd have thought he had it in him?*

"MacLeod!" Kronos roared.

And then he made a spirited attempt to take over Methos' memories of the noble Scot, which coincidentally, literally, raised Death.

To be continued...

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This page updated on 24-09-2001