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Fic: February in New Orleans

Challenge: "Writer’s_choice" festive (#139)
Summary: Methos plans to celebrate Mardi Gras.
Pairings: Duncan/Methos
Warnings: Mature for mild language and slash sexual content
Disclaimer: Characters and concepts are the property of Davis/Panzer Productions. No money is changing hands.
Thanks to: My beta readers, mackiedockie and dswdiane.


November 20, 2005

Duncan MacLeod woke in the soft darkness of his own bed, wondering what was wrong. He reached out a hand to find empty sheets and groaned. Methos hadn’t come to bed yet. He rolled out of bed and stretched his neck, then grabbed a robe against the cold and padded into the other room.

The thick, warm rug in front of the crackling fire was surprisingly Methosless--instead, MacLeod found him huddling around the cold light of the desk lamp across the room. ‘Why is Methos sitting at my desk?’ he wondered.

As he approached, Methos held up one long finger, face intent on his task. “Hold on, Mac, I’m almost done.”

MacLeod leaned in over Methos’s shoulders to see what the man was up to. “Methos,” he asked tolerantly, “Why are you forging my name on a check?”

Methos shrugged him off with mock irritation. “Well, you always give generously to all sorts of charities. I certainly don’t want my name on any of those big donor lists. I can pay you back, if you like.”

MacLeod peered more closely at the check. “All right then, why have I been suddenly moved to donate $10,000 to the … NOLA Hurricane Fund?”

Methos tucked the check into an envelope, and then licked and closed it. “Well, if we’re going to talk about this we might as well be warm. I’m getting goose bumps just looking at you.”

Methos led the way, stretching out luxuriantly on the plush carpet by the fire and leaning back on his elbows. MacLeod settled into an armchair where he could watch his lover.

“MacLeod,” Methos began reluctantly, “There are so many wondrous holidays I will never be able to share with you: the Egyptian Feast of the Valley, the Roman Bacchanals, Shabbat in the Great Temple. You, Solstice Child, have never seen a true solstice celebration. The ancient Celts believed that writing was a crutch for the weak-minded unable to memorize, but they held sacred drunken poetry contests that lasted for days!”

His face glowing with enthusiasm, Methos continued, “The holy, the ridiculous, the sensual, we celebrated all the best things about being alive!” With that, Methos stopped. The pleasure slipped from his face. He lay back down on the carpet, an arm crooked over his face, protecting his eyes from the light and Mac’s gaze. The fire crackled.

MacLeod’s forehead creased as he leaned forward in his chair, but he paused when Methos began to speak again.

Methos said quietly, “They were all taken from me, by war, by change, by time.” A moment of silence followed. Methos moved his hands to behind his head. Face neutral, he insisted calmly, “And I’m fine with that. But I wanted to celebrate Mardi Gras with you in New Orleans, MacLeod. We could have gone any year in the past decade, but I thought we had time.”

A tight smile appeared on Methos’s lips as he mocked himself. “Isn’t that ridiculous? I should know better than anyone, time is the enemy. It just took Hurricane Katrina to remind me of it.”

Methos stood up and moved a few feet before sinking to his knees in front of Duncan. He supported his elbows on Mac’s legs and looked him in the face. Methos instructed flatly, “Let this be a lesson to you, MacLeod. Enjoy what you have: a warm fire, a fine meal, a good friend, or a beautiful lover. Because time is a bitch, and she will rip it all away from you.”

MacLeod smiled sadly. He ran a hand through Methos’s hair, down to the nape of his neck, and pulled him in for a kiss. MacLeod made his lips soft and undemanding, offering comfort. But as Methos’s lips parted and he felt a flick of clever tongue, he gasped at the sudden bite of desire. Leaning back against the chair, he grinned.

“Good advice, old man. Bank the fire and come to bed. I’ll enjoy you tonight. And in February we’ll enjoy Mardi Gras together.”

Methos banked the fire and then quickly forged a $5,000 check, this one made out to the Krewe of Amon Ra. He was determined to share Mardi Gras with MacLeod this year. He craved the music, the floats, the costumes and masks; the sacred freedom of a time outside the normal laws. He wanted to see Duncan MacLeod flush with the intoxication of being part of a joyous, frenzied crowd, wearing beads and … Well. If it were a true festival, just the beads. Yes. Nothing but beads. What a glorious avatar of the Sun God Duncan would be.

Inspired by this vision, Methos clicked off the desk lamp and hurried across the darkened room to join his lover.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
adabsolutely
Feb. 23rd, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
I thought we had time
Very nicely written. I especially like:
"...time is a bitch, and she will rip it all away from you."
keerawa
Oct. 9th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
Re: I thought we had time
(3.5 years later...)

Thank you, adabsolutely! Time really is, isn't she? Looking back at this now, it strikes me how open and explicit Methos is with Duncan about what he's doing and why.
eveningblue
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
Loved it! I loved all the ancient holidays that are now gone; is that really true about the Celts?

eveningblue
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
and also...

Oh, and what I really wanted to say was that I like how you've captured that feeling that a person has with a new lover of having missed out on sharing things in the past with him/her. Of course, Methos has a LOT of past! So his wistfulness about it would be even stronger.

But he is not a man of wistfulness, he is a man of action. So he is writing that check!



keerawa
Feb. 25th, 2006 05:05 am (UTC)
Re: and also...
Thank you! I was drawn to the idea of Methos trying to share a bit of his past with MacLeod.

The other festivals are well-documented, but the ancient Celts' sacred drunken poetry contests are speculative. It fits with what I know about them, but noone knows for sure. Since their culture truly believed that oral history and traditions were superior to written, most of our documentation of them comes from the Romans. And the Romans went from hiring Celts as tutors, to denouncing them as ignorant barbarians within a few generations. Not the most reliable source!
eveningblue
Feb. 26th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: and also...

that's interesting; I didn't know that the Celts thought oral traditions were superior. I could see how it would be a lot of fun doing research for writing Highlander fanfic.

ekaterinn
May. 22nd, 2006 03:03 pm (UTC)
This is lovely. I was in LA for Katrina, and it was blow to the heart to see that happening to a city I love.

He craved the music, the floats, the costumes and masks; the sacred freedom of a time outside the normal laws. He wanted to see Duncan MacLeod flush with the intoxication of being part of a joyous, frenzied crowd, wearing beads and … Well. If it were a true festival, just the beads. Yes. Nothing but beads. What a glorious avatar of the Sun God Duncan would be.

Yes, yes, yes - I loved this, and I loved Methos's passion for Mardi Gras. ^_^
keerawa
May. 23rd, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
Thank you, Ekaterinn!

There aren't many festivals like Mardi Gras left in the world. I'm so glad to see New Orleans recovering.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )