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 Twenty
Triona looked at herself in the mirror of the cabin that was permanently set aside for her here on the Scotia, the flagship of the Imladrin Planetary Union. ‘Like death warmed over’ was the most charitable thing she could say for herself.
She’d released herself from sickbay, the doctor on duty no match for Triona in full ‘haughty defense minister ‘ mode. It was nonsense, trying to keep her there when it was obvious the bulk of the drugs in her system were gone. For god’s sake, she’d survived a brutal vampire attack when she’d still been mortal. What was this in comparison? Fussing. She hated fussing.
Picking up the dress on the chair next to her, Triona pulled the silky black material over her head. The heavy folds fell down to her ankles as she straightened the pronounced batwing collar across her shoulders. Staring into space, she smoothed the fabric over her ribs and down her thighs; not allowing herself to dwell on the fact that Methos hadn’t come near her since he’d first left her in sickbay hours before. It was what you knew would happen, her little voice hissed.
But before she could dwell on that realization, there was that almost imperceptible shift in the air, and when she next looked into the mirror, LaCroix stood behind her, capturing her eyes in their reflections. He ran one finger down her throat, and she closed her eyes, shivering at the touch.
Then, whirling to face him, she tilted her chin defiantly. “I looked at my scans. I’m fine!” she declared, preempting whatever he might have said.
“Indeed?” Just that one word, but fraught with layers of meaning.
“I hate sickbay! And if Methos couldn’t be bothered to check in on me, then I can’t see any reason why I should stay!” Even to her own ears, Triona sounded like a petulant five-year-old. But she didn’t care. And anyway, if LaCroix could put up with centuries of Nick pouting, he could deal with her this once.
Something of her thought must have reached him, because he smiled down at her indulgently. “Whatever pleases you, child,” he said softly, stroking the back of her neck with a comforting hand.
Leaning into the touch, she fought back a wave of despair. Despite her words, Methos not being there had cut deep. It only confirmed her darkest fears, that what had happened at the hands of his mirror self would leave him unable to look at her without thinking of him.
“Methos fears for you.” LaCroix’s voice floated around her, once again reading her thoughts. “Give him a little time, ma petite. A little time to deal with everything that has happened; that he blames himself for.”
Nodding silently, she reached up, skimming his face with cool fingertips. “I’m… I’ll try,” she finally said; her voice so quiet it could barely be heard.
LaCroix gently grasped her wrist, pressing her knuckles against his lips, and she trembled at the feel of his fangs against her flesh. Turning her hand, he drew her arm up, the razor points of his canines leaving a thin trail of blood along the delicate flesh of her inner wrist.
Triona fell against him with a shuddering breath as the ancient vampire licked away the droplets of blood as delicately as a hummingbird sipping nectar. It would be so easy to let him drink deeper, to throw her head back, the vulnerable line of her throat welcoming him to take her life’s blood. But she wasn’t ready for that intimacy yet. She couldn’t bear for him to witness her shame, to see in her blood the degradation and pain; not yet, it was too soon.
His lips kissed away her tears, drawing her down to the sofa. “It is enough for now,” he assured her softly.
“Soon, it will all go back to as it was,” she told him. “We’ll go home and everything will be all right.” Triona looked up at him, her eyes begging him to agree.
LaCroix sighed, placing a hand against her cheek. “I wish I could tell you that would be so, my love. Haven’t I always told you that part of being immortal means knowing when to move on? To leave one life behind and make a new one over the horizon. That time has come, finally, for you.” He stopped her protest. “You know it is true, Triona. What has transpired here has only hastened that day. It has been approaching for some time, well you know.”
Dropping her eyes, she shook her head in denial. “There’s so much to do.”
“And it will be done – but not by you,” he replied firmly. “If you go back now, to this current life, it will almost certainly destroy what you hold most dear. I know you and Methos so well, ma petite précieuse. I know that you will use your duties and what is expected of you, as a barrier, and he’ll let you out of guilt and concern. If you love Methos, if you love what you have together, you will walk away. Go with him and start a new life. Do this for me, child, if not for yourself.”
Choking back tears, Triona buried her face in her hands. In her heart, she knew LaCroix was right. What had their trip to the artifact’s planet been but an attempt to reconnect with Methos? Something that had meant so much to her that she had ignored every shred of common sense she’d ever had; that had led to everything that followed.
Methos sat in the observation lounge, staring at the dark expanse of space before him. Once MacLeod had been assured that he wouldn’t do anything stupid, he’d left Methos alone here to gather his thoughts before facing his wife once more. He didn’t even have a clear idea of how long he’d been here, lost in memories and regret. Absently he noted the sound of a door opening and closing, but paid it little mind. Then, someone was sitting next to him on the sofa. He would have ignored even that, but a small though strong hand gripped his arm.
“How is grandmother?” the level voice asked. To anyone but her family, T’Rayla’s question would seem as emotionless as any Vulcan’s would, but Methos could hear the concern.
“You still call her that,” he observed, a slight smile quirking at his lips.
“There is a Vulcan term for our relationship, but I prefer ‘grandmother’. So does she,” the young Vulcan pointed out coolly.
He squeezed her hand. “I know.” Then he answered. “Triona will be fine. The drugs will be out of her system soon.” Methos knew that wasn’t what she’d wanted to know, but he really didn’t have an answer to her real question.
T’Rayla looked up at him with eyes older than her years. “My father once told me that humans can be extremely illogical when it comes to trying to protect those they love.”
“Did he now?”
“Indeed. He said that in attempting to avoid emotionally damaging a loved one, that they inadvertently do exactly that.”
“Your father told you that?” Methos asked wryly.
“Vulcan’s do no lie… grandfather,” she replied tartly.
Methos snorted. “Your grandmother has been a very bad influence on you.”
“I like to think so.”
This time, Methos laughed outright.
T’Rayla tucked one leg up underneath her, looking like the little girl Methos remembered. “When I was a child, I observed that grandmother would smile for no reason. I asked her what she was smiling at, and she told me that she was remembering something that made her happy. When I was older, I asked her what she was remembering.”
“And what did she tell you?”
“Grandmother did not tell me, she showed me. She shared some of her memories with me through a mind meld,” she answered softly. “That was when I knew I was a woman grown, and no longer a child in her eyes.” T’Rayla placed two fingers across Methos’ wrist. “I would share that memory with you, if you would allow it.”
Her dark eyes seemed to capture his, and Methos nodded. He had only ever shared his thoughts, his essence, through his blood with Triona and LaCroix, but something about T’Rayla’s mood seemed to ensnare him. “All right,” he found himself agreeing.
Placing her fingertips against his temples, she looked deep into his eyes. “My mind to your mind,” she whispered in Vulcan….
She was in his arms, laughing so hard she could barely breath. “Don’t you dare dump me in the fountain, Methos! I’ll catch my death!”
“I promise I’ll warm you up,” he said with wicked amusement in his voice. He let his arms drop, and she clutched at his shoulders, screeching. Then he was swinging her around, putting her on her feet. “You didn’t really think I’d drop you in the water, did you?” he asked, looking down at her.
In a corner of his mind, Methos realized he was seeing through Triona’s eyes -- seeing himself through her eyes. It was the first week they’d known each other, just after he’d convinced LaCroix to let him stay on. The week he’d realized he might actually love her.
”You’re a dreadful man!” she exclaimed, breathless, looking up at him with shining eyes.
“I am, I really am,” he agreed, lips twitching.
“And proud of it,” she observed archly.
“Absolutely!” he agreed, all innocence.
“I think I’m going to regret this,” she said, rolling her eyes.
“Never in a million years,” he protested.
He shook his head. “Cross my heart.”
“I think I believe you,” she said softly before reaching up and kissing him.
T’Rayla broke the meld. “She still believes that.”
Methos nodded, eyes bright with unshed tears. “Thank you, granddaughter.”
Strands of her beautiful hair lay all around her, and Methos’ heart broke at the look of despair in her eyes as he entered their cabin. “Triona…” He couldn’t finish. He should have come sooner. T’Rayla had been right.
She held the knife in her hand, halfway through cutting off another hank of her hair as he entered.
“What are you doing, love?” he asked, anguished.
“I don’t want it touching me!” she said, her voice cracking. “Don’t want him touching me,” she whispered. She turned her head away, refusing to look at him. “I know what you see when you look at me.”
“No! No, you don’t.” He sat next to her, gently removing the knife from her hand. “Do you remember what I told you long ago? That you wouldn’t regret me in a million years?”
She looked up at him, startled at the memory. “Yes.”
“Believe that, love, because it’s still true.” Carefully, gently, he cut away what remained of her hair, as tears poured unchecked down her face and his. When it was done, Methos gathered her in his arms, holding her close. “He doesn’t have the power to come between us, not if we don’t allow it.”
Nodding against his chest, she whispered, “Will you take me home?”
“Home to Earth,” she clarified.
‘It’s time. Time to start over, Methos; like we did when everything seemed new and full of promise so long ago.” Finally, she looked into his eyes. “Will you go with me?”
He drew his thumb across her lips. “I will go anywhere you want to, my love. To Earth, or the ends of the universe.”
“And you’ll still love me?”
Methos drew her onto his lap, holding her tight. “For a million years, love, for a million years.”
Coming soon, the sequel, All We Ever Find (well, soon relatively speaking!)