Notes: A story in the Bloodties series, set in the Star Trek future/time line, but no ST characters, just the 'Mirror, Mirror' concept.
Characters: Methos, Duncan MacLeod, MirrorMethos, Kronos, Silas, Lucien LaCroix, Original Characters
Summary: When Methos' past becomes part of the present, the consequences could be deadly for those close to him.
If you're new to the series, you can find an overview here.
I Remember You Not Fondly - Part Five
Methos' fingers brushed across her face and Triona fought back the almost overwhelming instinct to pull away. Trying to distract him, she said, “Please, I swear I’m not a threat to you.”
It seemed to work, though not quite how she’d anticipated. He began to laugh as if she’d said the funniest thing in the world. He got back to his feet, still laughing. Looking down at her, he replied, “No, you most certainly are not. But thank you for reassuring me regardless!” He seemed to find the concept endlessly amusing and continued to chuckle softly to himself.
She pressed on, “Just let me figure out what brought you here.” Another fear was now uppermost in her thoughts: the impending dawn. Triona was desperate to keep the knowledge of her inability to be in the sun from him. It was her one true terror, being left in the sun to burn. It had happened once before, an incident that still gave her nightmares centuries later. “The computer on my ship can help me figure out the readings the tricorder took when the device activated.”
“So you’re a rocket scientist too,” he commented. “So is she, your double. Though she’s as mad as a hatter most of the time. You aren’t mad, are you?” He still seemed to find the situation amusing and a ghost of a smile settled on his lips.
“No, I’m not. Though if I were, I probably wouldn’t notice, would I?” She kept her voice level.
Now he was smiling. “You do have a point.” Pulling a knife from the top of his boot, he dropped to one knee in front of her, cutting the ropes that bound her feet. “I’ve often wondered what she would have been like if she hadn’t been subjected to the tender mercies of MacLeod and his witch for ten years. I suppose now I know.” He was watching her again as he idly ran the knifepoint up between her breasts to rest at the hollow of her throat.
“I’m not her,” she whispered.
It was like trying to balance on the point of the knife that pressed into her flesh. He wasn’t her Methos; she couldn’t allow herself to assume anything when it came to trying to judge how he’d react to any given situation. And yet, it was nearly impossible not to use what she knew of her own Methos to gauge the reactions of this mirror version.
“No, and I’m not him, and yet…” he didn’t finish his thought, instead, sheathing the knife back in his boot and lifting her to her feet. This time, he held her up until the feeling came back to her legs and she could walk. “After you,” he told her, motioning that she should lead.
Preceding the sunrise, she did just that, Methos following her silently up the path.
They reached Kronos’ camp as the sun rose. Even at this early hour, there was activity, with people scurrying to and fro from the various tents. Then the presence of another Immortal sounded its discordant mental alarm and Methos looked farther into the camp to see yet another familiar figure making its way to them.
“There you are!” the hearty booming voice of Silas declared. “I was about to come looking for you.” Like Kronos and Triona, Silas was identical, expect for cosmetic differences, to the one that had existed in his own reality. In this case, he sported a goatee and mustache and seemed to have a fondness for silk, if the scarlet sash tied around his waist was any indication. “It went well?”
“There was an unexpected complication, brother. It would appear that it was some sort of quantum device that shifts people between alternate realities,” Kronos replied
Silas looked confused. “Do you know how you see yourself in a mirror?” Triona patiently explained. “Well, imagine that reflection is another you on the other side of the glass, and you could somehow switch places. That’s what the device did to Methos.”
Methos marveled at the change in her. When she was speaking to Silas, it was like something of his own Triona peeking out. She was gentle and warm and the anger was gone. “And Triona is going to figure out how to switch us back,” Methos told Silas confidently. A confidence he was trying hard to convince himself of.
Silas peered at Methos for a few moments, nodding to himself. Then he looked back down at Triona, who seemed like a child next to his massive girth. “Of course she will! You are the smart one, little sister. Don’t I always tell you that?”
“Yes, you do,” she replied, smiling up at him, placing her left palm against his chest.
“You should listen to me more often then.” He gently patted her on the head, like she was a kitten. “And when our Methos is back, he will apologize to you,” he declared.
That made Triona laugh outright, and she touched Silas’ cheek affectionately. “Whatever you say, brother.”
Her long sleeve fell back, revealing an arm that was covered in scars. It was like molten cobwebs had been seared into her flesh. Methos pulled his horrified gaze away, but she seemed to sense his regard and quickly dropped her hand from Silas’ face, tugging her sleeve down past her wrist. The harshness settled once more over her face.
“I have work to do,” she said, biting out the words, Silas stroking her damaged arm in reassurance.
“Eat, then work,” Kronos instructed. “Have your slave make you a meal. Which you will eat first, before you start on the scans.”
“Silas will escort you, just to make sure,” Kronos added in a tone that brooked no argument.
“I’m not a child!” she protested nonetheless.
Kronos pulled her against him, kissing her hard. “No, you aren’t, my love. But you will do as I say regardless. I always know what’s best, don’t I?”
Nodding, she relented, smiling a little. “Yes, you always do.” Pulling away, she took the other man’s arm. “Come, Silas, take me to my breakfast.”
The two walked towards the camp arm in arm, Silas telling her about some amazing bat-like creature he’d found in the night.
Kronos watched after them. “A good woman, but a little scattered when it comes to the details of everyday life.”
“What happened to her?”
“To her arm or to her mind?” Kronos laughed at the startled look on Methos’ face. “Oh, no, she’s not entirely sane. But then who of us are?” he asked, slapping Methos on the back companionably.
Kronos walked towards the center of the camp, Methos following beside him. “I suppose you could say the arm and the mind are part of the same story.”
They reached a large tent that Kronos indicated Methos should enter. The interior was opulent and lush, with luxurious accoutrements from a hundred alien cultures. Kronos lived like a king, with all a king’s perquisites. He sank into the pillowed seating area in the center, immediately seen to by several slaves, one who removed his outer garments, and another that washed his hands with warm scented cloths. When they were done seeing to their master, they turned their attention to their master’s guest.
This was a setting they could only have dreamed of in their Horseman days. Methos wondered just what brought Kronos such a lifestyle.
“Not like the old days, hmm?” Kronos asked, seeming to read Methos’ thoughts. A talent that Methos found as disquieting now with this version as he had with his own Kronos centuries before.
“Life has been good to you,” Methos told him with a slight nod of acknowledgment.
“It has indeed. Methos and Triona, despite their mutual antipathy, are an excellent team. War, my friend, has been and always shall be the lucre that makes the universe go round. Those two have created weaponry that has waged more than one war in this galaxy. And along the way has made us kings, and queen, of our own little corner of it.
Methos took a sip of wine from the goblet a slave had handed him. “And just what did you rescue the woman from?” he asked, bringing the subject back to Triona. He took another sip. “Kronos always said the best guard for a man’s back was a woman who was grateful,” he added.
Chuckling, Kronos raised his goblet. “A wise man.” He settled himself more comfortably. “When Triona was fifteen, one of us, a Duncan MacLeod found her. He murdered her family while she watched, then took her for himself. He liked them young, young pre-immortals especially. For more than ten years, he and his woman did as they pleased with her.”
The goblet was drained, and Methos stared down into its empty depths. He held on to his emotions with a steel will. “And then you took his head.”
“Strictly business. Let’s just say there wasn’t room in the market for both of us. I prevailed. And along with his quickening, I took his business interests along with everything that belonged to him. Triona didn’t know what she was going to be, but I sensed her potential.”
“A talent you’ve always had in abundance,” Methos said dryly.
“It’s one of the things I do best!” Kronos agreed. “And my belief in that potential has paid off a thousand-fold!” He threw his arms out expansively taking in the decadent surroundings and perhaps even the galaxy at large.
“And the ill will between her and my mirror image?” Methos asked. He was desperate to discover as much as he could about this other Triona. Desperate for the knowledge that might give him the key to convincing her to send him home to his own wife. Every moment that passed was one more that she spent at the tender mercies of the Methos from this twisted version of reality.
The other man smiled cagily. “Now that would be another story entirely, wouldn’t it? One that can keep. It’s been a long night, especially for you, Methos. The slave will see you to your tent. Eat, rest, and we will meet again for the evening meal.”
Methos choked back the objection that rose to his lips. He knew a dismissal when he heard one, and pressing the matter wouldn’t aid him in his goal. Instead, nodding in acquiescence, he rose. “’Til this evening then.”
Part Seventeen ][ Part Eighteen ][ Part Nineteen ][ Part Twenty