Chapter 9 (of 9)
The week seemed to end before it began. Or, at least, that's what Willow felt like. She smiled, gathering up her friends with only the slightest bit of early morning sunlight coming in through the window. It was still early. If she left soon she'd be able to make it back to the other side of the lake and then back to where she'd left her rental SUV in time to get back to town and catch a little breakfast at the local diner. She loved that place. It was so rustic and charming.
Much like the cabin.
She only had a couple packs to carry with her on the trip back, the extra water and food she was leaving for Adam.
His name was Methos.
She had heard the legend of Methos before; had read about it in books that Giles had let her peruse once or twice. The oldest living Immortal. Even when 'Adam' had said he was five thousand years old, she had never imagined that he could be one and the same as the mythical Methos.
But he was.
She giggled. One little trip and she'd met the oldest living Immortal on the planet, someone that could very well be the oldest living sentient creature period.
And he was so warm and wise. Everything that she had never dreamed someone in his situation could be. She would miss him, that was for sure.
But the fact remained that she was unsure he would miss her. Maybe a little, like friend to friend. Certainly not in the way she had found herself hoping. She was just a child in his eyes. How could she be anything less?
She thought back to the night before, falling asleep in his arms when they finally crashed after their 'adventure' of the morning. She had seen The Game in play. She had stepped close to the brink of darkness again, but hadnt' fallen over the edge.
And that was something to be happy about, if nothing else.
The note was the last thing she dealt with, creeping silently into his room. Goodbye, it said in simple words, with heart behind them. 'I enjoyed our time together' it said. And 'don't worry - I won't tell'.
Everything she could think that he would need to hear.
And then she left.
The sun was well into the sky by the time Methos opened his eyes to stare at the ceiling. The cabin was quiet, much as it had been the morning before, and he rolled over quickly, already calling for Willow.
That was when he saw the letter.
It was laying on the small desk the room boasted, her curving handwriting patterning an 'A' on the front. That wasn't his name and she knew it; but she thought enough of him not to commit anything else to paper.
It made him smile.
He reached out for it, tearing the smiling sunshine sticker she had used to seal the edge.
This week was more than I could have hoped for. Thank you for allowing me to share of my pain, and partake of yours. Despite what people may say, sharing really does ease the burden of guilt, even if you take some pain back into yourself in return.
Don't worry, I won't tell your secret. Though I might mess with Duncan's head a little, if you don't mind.
I'll be gone by the time you read this. I promised Duncan that I'd stop by and visit some before I caught my plane back home.
I hope you understand.
He frowned, small lines of concentration creasing his forehead. She had left? But he had never gotten her number. Or her address. And he had wanted.
He sighed, reading between the lines. 'Remember me', she said, assuming that he wouldn't do so without being asked. She really had no clue what their time together had meant to him. As much, if not more so, than it had to her, it seemed.
He glanced down at the letter again, searching for a sign, any clue, as to how to reach her again.
A slow smile crossed his lips before he broke into a flurry of frantic movement. He had to hurry if he wanted to get there in time.
"You enjoyed your time at the cabin?"
Willow tossed the keys to Duncan, smiling brightly. "It was just like when I was a kid. Beautiful. Scenic enough to make my heartbreak. Filled with spirits and emotion." She paused, laughing lightly. "Of course, I didn't have Adam with me when I was visiting as a child."
Duncan raised his eyebrows. "Did he do anything. . .say anything . . .do I need to?"
The red head smirked, shaking her head and taking the glass of water that Duncan offered to her. With an impish grin she decided to take a chance, and have a little fun. "For someone his age, he was alot of fun to be around."
"Someone. . .his. . .age?"
She smothered a grin at the look on Duncan's face, nodding. "He really was quite full of information. What was his major again? Ancient history?"
"I'm really not sure." The Scot stammered, looking anywhere but her face. Which was a blessing, considering the smile that kept poking out from beneath her mask of quiet curiosity. "The two of you talked alot?"
"Oh yes," she nodded. "About this and that. Places we've been. Things we've seen. I must say, though - he had me beat. Not like I can say I ever had a chance to meet Caesar."
Duncan's eyes flew to hers, widening with shocked surprise. He leaned over to place his own glass on the coffee table. "He told you?"
Willow laughed. "Not like he could hide it from me. I knew he was different the second I met him. You, too, by the way. And not just because I've known you for almost two decades and you've never gotten any older."
"I have good skin," he mumbled the old excuse as if by rote.
"Sure you do." She smiled and reached out to pat his arm. "He saved my life. I don't think I've told you that yet. Someone came looking for you - decided that the pretty little girl outside doing her morning groundings was the perfect way to lure the great Duncan MacLeod across the water, off of holy ground."
Duncan shot to his feet. "You were attacked?"
"Kidnapped is more like it." She nodded. "But Adam saved me. Which is good for that little creep, because I was about to make with the torture, and that's never a good thing."
"You were. . ." Duncan shook his head. "I think you and I have a lot to talk about."
"No doubt." Willow smiled, just a touch sadly. She missed Methos already. His quiet boyish charm was so different from what she felt from Duncan.
And she missed him just for. . .him. For the way he smiled when he saw her in the mornings. For the way he could listen. The way that he told the stories of his own life, with detail and energy. The way he had held her and let her cry when Taryn was dead.
She missed -him-.
"How is it that you knew about Adam without --" Duncan paused, eyes darting around the room. He seemed to tense up. Behind her the elevator had started rising. "I think I have company."
"Want me to leave?" She offered. Adam had told her that Immortals could sense each other, and she had a good feeling that's what was happening. The loft wouldn't be safe for her if a fight broke out.
"No. Not yet. Just be ready if I say so." He murmured, eyes fixed on the elevator. She turned, watching for herself as, slowly, a head appeared.
And then a face.
One she recognized.
"This thing moves too slowly, MacLeod." The ancient Immortal grumbled, sliding up the door as it finally came to a rumbling halt.
Willow stood without thinking, hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe, he was here to see her. It was a silly wish, of course, considering that Duncan was his friend.
"You left this morning before I woke up."
She blinked at him, nodding slowly. "Goodbyes are easier that way. At least, for me they are."
"And who said anything about goodbyes?" He reached out, brushing her cheek with the back of his hand. "I don't think we've quite finished with each other yet - do you?"
"Is it the age difference?" He joked, and she felt herself smiling despite her shock at seeing him again.
"I didn't think that you wanted to keep in touch." She shrugged finally.
"You're one of the bravest, most interesting women I think I've met in centuries."
"That I can remember." He nodded.
"And he's known for having such a great memory." Duncan sniped with a sharp laugh.
"Stuff it, MacLeod. You don't mind if I steal her away, do you?"
"Well, actually --"
Willow threw a grin over her shoudler at Duncan, giving him a 'what can you do' shrug of her shoulders. "I'll call you sometime."
"No time soon." Methos grinned, tugging her into the elevator and sliding the door shut. He turned to Willow, ignoring the spluttering of the Immortal that was slowly sliding out of view. "You slept in my arms for most of last night. Until I carried you to your bed, in fact. Did you think that meant nothing?"
She opened her mouth and then closed it again, her face heating up. "I didn't want to assume."
"Yes, well. Try assuming next time."
He leaned down, and Willow had a glimpse of dark eyes, ripe with possibilities and emotion, before his lips met hers.
She had to give it to him, though - five thousand years of experience made for some good kissage.
"So, where is it again that you live? The Hellmouth, right?" He murmured, pulling away from the kiss.
"Yeah. Good old Mouth of Hell, California. Sunnydale, to the citizens." She joked.
He nodded, the elevator beginning to stop. "Think you could use one more in the 'good fight'?"
Could they use him?
Could -she- use his company, his compassion and his warmth?
More than he'd ever know.