Now we start dealing with the fallout, and along the way I get to reintroduce you to several of my favourite original characters. I hope you enjoy this part of the story!
Rating: R for violence & non-consensual sex.
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 Eighteen
The group had transported up to the Scotia just before the dawn; Triona not wanting to set foot in the Alqualondë again. In the brightly-lit transporter room, Methos was finally able to get a good look at his wife, and what he saw shocked him. Even though he'd tried to prepare himself for what he would find when he made it back home, the reality of it hit him hard. It was as if she were collapsing in on herself, her posture huddled and defeated. There was an unhealthy pallor to her skin, and with her hair pulled back so tightly, her dark eyes dominated her face, flat and exhausted, the pupils dilated.
Without thinking, he reached for her. Frightened by the sudden movement, Triona fell back against LaCroix. But when she realized what she'd done, she started to cry. "I'm sorry," she said over and over. Then she was leaning into his chest, sobbing as if she would never stop.
"It's okay," Methos whispered, putting his arms around her. "It's going to be okay." He could feel her distress through their blood bond, and that, added to her physical reaction, twisted at his heart.
"I didn't mean to--"
"Shhhh.... It doesn't matter." He stroked her back soothingly.
"I don't... I can't..." She took a shuddering breath. "The drugs..." Her voice faded away and she pressed closer to Methos.
Methos looked at LaCroix and Duncan, the question obvious in his eyes. The vampire explained in cool and measured tones. But anyone who knew him would know that beneath the coolness was extreme concern and tightly controlled rage.
This time, Methos placed gentle hands at either side of Triona's face, giving her time to take in his touch, before lifting her face to look into her eyes. "Have you been seen by a doctor yet?"
"No." She shook her head. "I just wanted you home. It's not like the drugs won't wear off eventually."
"While that's true," he caressed her cheeks with his thumbs, "it would make me feel better if a doctor took a look at you. Give you something to clear the drugs from your system. Okay?"
"Okay,” she agreed with barely any emotion. “But can’t you do it?"
"Are you sure--" he began, sounding uncertain.
"Yes, please." She reached up, pressing her lips against his, before pulling away and dropping her eyes. "Please, Methos. I don't... I don't want strangers touching me."
Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, all he said was, "Right, then let's get you to sickbay."
Methos examined the results displayed on the monitor above the medical scanning bed Triona lay on. The drug that lingered in her bloodstream was insidious, not to mention breathtaking in all its malevolent brilliance. Definitely something that would bear further study in the future. Then he turned his attention to the second set of results that were scrolling up onto the adjacent monitor. Very carefully keeping his expression neutral, he allowed no sign of the sick despair he felt to show. The only visible sign of his distress was an almost imperceptible tightening of his eyes.
Medical science of the twenty-fourth century could scan a patient down to the micro-cellular level, and at that level, the injuries of an immortal could be traced via the residual remnants of the energy released when they healed for months after the injury occurred. Triona's scan results were a brutal and heartbreaking map of what she had suffered during her captivity.
Jotting down instructions on a datapad, he handed it to the nurse standing next to him who had a similarly neutral expression on her face. He took a breath, then said in a light tone, "You're very dehydrated, love, so Daria here is going to see that you get some fluids, plus something to help clear the drugs out of your system. It should speed up the process by several hours."
"Uh huh," she replied, managing a tired smile. Reaching for his hand, she squeezed it. "Don't worry about me, everything's going to be okay now."
He returned the smile. "Of course it is." Kissing her cheek, he said, "I'm going to go fill Lucien in. Will you be all right by yourself for a bit?"
"I'll be fine," she assured him.
"I'll be back soon," he promised.
Methos entered the waiting room where LaCroix, Duncan, and Jacob Tanimura waited. As the door closed, he whirled, slamming his fist into the bulkhead with an inarticulate growl of rage. Squeezing his eyes shut, he could visualize all too well the web of injures on the scan into reality. LaCroix’s cool hand came to rest on his shoulder, saying nothing, sharing Methos’ grief.
Duncan now stood at his side, gripping Methos’ upper arm. “She’s going to be fine, Methos. Triona’s strong and she’s surrounded by love.”
Shaking his head, shoulders slumped, tears slid down Methos’ face. Duncan put his arm around Methos’ shoulders, drawing him closer, his own eyes becoming bright with tears. “We’ll get her through this,” he whispered. “We’ll get both of you through this, Methos.”
The oppressive blanket of emotion that lay over the room was suffocating.
“I can’t go back in there yet,” Methos finally admitted.
“I’ll go sit with her for awhile,” Jacob offered.
“Thank you,” LaCroix said with gratitude.
Taking one last look at the tableau before him, Jacob squared his shoulders, leaving the three men to their grief.
Jacob Tanimura had been a United States Marine serving in Afghanistan when he’d met his first death in 2008. A piece of shrapnel from an IED had pierced the back of his head, killing him instantly. But when he’d revived, Jacob had had no idea he’d died; he thought he’d only been knocked out, and had made his way back to his unit. Several weeks later, he’d met Connor MacLeod, who had been working for an NGO, on a Kabul street. That was when Jacob had found out what he was, and in the process had gained a teacher and a friend. A few years later, he’d met Triona for the first time, and the two had shared an instant rapport. They were of a similar age, and background, both grappling with what it meant to be immortal. Over the centuries, they’d become close friends and eventually, family.
He took the hand she extended, sitting on the stool next to her bed. “I thought I’d keep you company for a while,” he said with a smile.
“Methos—“ she began.
“He’ll back soon,” he reassured her. Jacob knew that Methos needed time to deal with what had happened to Triona. He could imagine all to well what he’d be feeling if it had been his own wife who had suffered what his friend had. This was bad enough. If it had been Arianna… Jacob shook that thought off.
She nodded, squeezing his hand. “Thank you, Jacob. Thank you for understanding my message and coming for me.”
Jacob currently served as Triona’s military attaché in her position as Imladrin Defense Minister. When Stephanie had given him Triona’s message about moving her meeting with the Romulan legate, alarm bells had gone off. “I knew you’d seen Trayvan only a few weeks ago and had nothing formally scheduled.”
“You understanding was my one and only hope,” she whispered. Then she said, quite unexpectedly, “I’m sorry, Jacob. This was all my fault.”
He looked at her sharply. “What do you mean?”
“You wanted me to take a security detail, and I refused.” Turning her head away, she whispered, “I just wanted to spend some time alone with Methos, just be two normal people.” Her voice was full of self-recrimination. “I never thought… How could I have been so stupid?”
“I won’t let you blame yourself for this. It is not your fault!”
“No, it’s not! If anyone’s to blame, it’s me. I failed you. I should have gone over your head, gone to Methos or LaCroix, but I let sentiment get in the way of my duty!”
Triona shook her head. “It isn’t your job to protect me from my own stupidity!”
Whatever he might have said in response was interrupted by a new arrival. “Even being in sickbay doesn’t stop the two of you from arguing,” a smoky female voice said wryly. Arianna Arnisen put a gentle hand on her husband’s shoulder. “I would have been here sooner,” she explained, “but I got held up on the bridge.”
“An admiral’s work is never done,” Triona observed with a genuine smile for her kinswoman.
“How true.” Jacob smiled at his wife fondly.
She dropped a kiss on the top of his head before turning her attention to Triona. “Lucien will be here soon,” Arianna assured her. “Jacob and I will stay with you till he gets here.”
Arianna Arnisen, besides being Fleet Admiral for the Imladrin Planetary Union, was a member of Triona’s family -- a ‘great-granddaughter’ of Lucien LaCroix. She and Jacob had married not long after the founding of the Imladrin colony in 2163, one of a number of Vampire/Immortal pairings that had formed during and after WWIII.
“Thank you. I feel… anxious without them here. I don’t want to be alone yet,” she admitted.
“We’ll stay as long as you need us,” Jacob promised her.
“We will,” Arianna agreed. Leaning into her husband, she stroked his cheek with one hand, while covering Triona’s hand with the other. “How are you feeling, Trie?” she asked with concern.
She sighed, the sound a mixture of grief and relief, before saying, “Grateful; so very grateful for all of you. The love of my family has been a light that he could never extinguish.”