Hello all! First off, I hearby disclaim ownership of the stuff I write about. Second off, I want to apologize for taking so long with updates. Another one is coming soon, I promise! Until I have that finished, however, here's a little teaser ficlet for you. Just something I had on my mind...
I might write more on this encounter after I'm finished with the "huh, Buffy?" story arc.
p.s. If you're new to this series, start at the beginning!
--Cairo, mid 700s
There was something sinful in the way she moved.
Despite the veils and heavy cloth, she was fluid and ephemeral. Every drape of fabric swirled around her like poetry. His were not the only eyes that followed the woman’s progress. At least three other men were fondling her with their eyes.
He would like to think that his own gaze was more respectful, but it honestly mattered little to him. Despite the beard and the diligent public prayers, he was no Muslim. Methos had no God, because no God would have him.
But when in Rome, as the saying went…
The woman paused at a stall, and for the first time Methos noticed that she was not chaperoned. Didn’t she know better? Although she was small, she moved like a woman grown.
She ran her concealed hands over the folds of fabric at the stall, and Methos edged closer. He was tempted to offer his assistance, but knew quite well that such a flagrant breech of propriety could well land them both in trouble.
The woman glanced in his direction, and his breath caught in his throat. Her eyes were green and her eyebrows were the color of spun gold against skin the color of milk. The effect was startling. A veil was modestly pinned across the bridge of her nose, a shield against his prying eyes.
There was something familiar about those eyes and that very unusual hair. Her grace, too, recalled a vision of sand and sun and flashing swords.
“Tanit,” he said, voice colored by surprise.
The woman stared a moment before dropping her head in a show of modesty that would have fooled Methos if he hadn’t seen the glint of iron in her eyes. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a young man appeared at her elbow.
“Mother,” he said, and the woman turned.
And then she was gone, leaving behind the pungent aroma of fresh cinnamon and the memory of an ancient goddess, a warrior queen who had bested Death.
Blue lightning crackled over his clenched fists, healing where his nails had sliced open his palms.
“Who was that man?” Abdul asked as he pulled the door shut. “He should not have spoken to you.”
Eshe shrugged as she unpinned her veil. It fluttered away, carried by her outward breath.
“That was Death,” she said.
Abdul shook his head, uncomprehending.
“Methos. He rode this desert many years ago. Death, he called himself.”
“He called you Tanit,” said Abdul, setting his mother’s purchases down on the low table.
“Once upon a time,” said Eshe, “He loved Tanit. Almost as much as he hated her.”
“You?” asked Abdul.
Eshe smiled. “They called me Tanit,” she mused, lost in memory, “many years ago. Dido, I was. Queen. But a night of fire changed that. Tanit, I became. Goddess. I protected them.”
“From Death?” Abdul was rewarded with his mother’s approving nod.
“We fought in the desert, his brothers and I. I might have joined them if the world wasn’t already changing around us. I might have stayed a Goddess.”
“But you didn’t,” said Abdul.
“No,” agreed Eshe. She seemed smaller than usual. “I left this desert to wander with Emrys. I never intended to return.”
For those who don't know, Tanit is a goddess associated with Carthage. Some scholars also tie her closely to Queen Dido, claiming that the people of Carthage essentially turned Dido into a protector goddess. In this story, of course, that's exactly what happened - Eshe (Buffy) was Dido and then Tanit (and is currently going by Eshe again).