Disclaimer:All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I don´t own Buffy the vampire Slayer or Highlander those are the property of their respective owners.
Summary: (YAHF) The changes made during Halloween remain permanent for the Scoobies, and now they suddenly find themselves in the middle of an Immortal Prophecy. Linked to the rise of a couple that should change the rules of The Game, will Xander, Cordy and the remaining Scoobies accept their new destinies, or will the world be destroyed due to their inability to get along?
Crossover: For now it's Highlander and Buffy, but if people are interested in the story and want me to continue, I have one or two crossovers that I might add in.
Challenge: This is in answer to my own Challenge(7935). I'm hoping this story will inspire authors who are better than I am to answer the challenge themselves. Feel free to use anything and everything you want in this story for your own. All I ask is you let me know about your fic, so I can read it too! I'm not sure how far I will take this story, but I do have a few chapters already mapped out.
Ship:Cordy/Xander; Angel/Buffy; Giles/Jenny; Duncan/Amanda....everyone else is unknown at this time.
-I took inspiration for the Prophecy from Razial's Altered View
Man and woman, Immortal twined;
Their love shall echo through magic and time.
Friends they will make, for the gathering storm;
The Game they shall break, through their anger and scorn.
The thief, the highlander, the joker and the seer;
Their cause shall make even Death a believer.
The Watcher shall guide them, the re-souled one will be their guard;
The Slayer will stand beside them, and the Witch shall mend their heart.
The battle will begin, with Immortals on either side;
Half for the Dark and Half for the Light.
The swords they will clash and sound like thunder;
If the Lovers shall fall, the land will be torn asunder.
For the world to survive, the two must be one;
Protector of Man, let your will be done.
Ethan’s Costume Shop, Sunnydale
Thursday October 30th, 1997
Xander Harris walked into the new Halloween costume store, with a thousand-watt smile plastered on his face. Normally, he would have been pissed at Snyder corralling him and his friends into taking little kids trick or treating tomorrow night, but thanks to a bet he made earlier in the week? Well, not only would he get to pick everyone’s costumes for the big night, it would all be paid by the one and only Cordelia Chase. ‘Sometimes, it’s good to be me. And oh dear God, I hope I didn’t just jinx the hell out of myself for thinking that...nah. Typical Hellmouthiness or otherwise around here, Giles himself said nothing ever happens on Halloween!’
“Good afternoon, young man,” Xander heard someone with a British accent say, as he ventured towards the main counter of the store. “My name is Ethan, and welcome to my establishment. How can I help you today?”
Xander flashed the middle-aged guy his patented lopsided grin, and pulled out the credit card Cordelia had (very reluctantly) given him. “I’m going to need a few costumes for Halloween, Ethan, and fortunately – money’s not an issue,” he replied smugly. 'Oooh, I always wanted to say that. And thank you, oh proud and mighty Queen C! That’ll teach you to bet that I couldn’t hang upside down while drinking a soda...'
“Ah, I see,” Ethan answered with a smile of his own. “Well, I have quite a number of costumes on hand. Are you looking for something general, or do you have something particular already in mind?”
“Oh, yeah. Yep, I definitely have something particular in mind,” Xander replied happily.
As he walked into the back room of his store, Ethan dumped the items in his hands onto a table and quickly separated them to fit the costumes Xander had created. When he was finished, he once again admired the young man’s ingenuity.
‘Bloody hell.’ While in the Chaos mage’s opinion most Americans lacked any form of imagination, this particular lad had actually surprised him. Not only were these costumes unique, the background that was associated with each of them, would easily double the chaos he planned for tomorrow night’s activities.
But then, as he looked down at the different outfits, Ethan suddenly realized the dilemma he was facing. It usually took some time for his magic to settle into an artifact, it was part and parcel for cursing the costumes in such a way. And with the boy’s friends already en route to pick them up, Ethan knew he didn’t have time to work on each costume separately. Shrugging his shoulders, Ethan simply hoped for the best, closed his eyes and called forth the chaos magic that would be required to give these costumes life once the invocation to Janus was made.
One by one the outfits began to glow in response to the spell he was incanting, but given the sheer number of items he was dealing with, Ethan decided to draw even more upon the energy from his magical core. By the time the last costume was complete, the Englishman could literally feel the sweat pouring down his face, and he knew he had exhausted all of his magical reserves. ‘Cor blimey, haven’t done anything like that in ages! Hope it’s worth it, as I’m feeling right knackered after all this!’
While his magical abilities so depleted, that meant Ethan would be unable to enspell any more costumes or items – but fortunately, he still had until this time tomorrow to replenish his magic, just in time to unleash the chaos he intended for the night’s ‘festivities’. And he still had plenty of costumes that were already cursed to sell to the unsuspecting gits who walked through his shop’s doors.
As he began to box each of the costumes separately, Ethan couldn’t stop the grin from appearing on his face. ‘Ah, Ripper, can’t wait to see how you like my handiwork. Plus Janus will truly be pleased with the chaos that will reign on All Hallow’s Eve!’
Three hours later
Xander waited patiently in the empty shop for the rest of his people to arrive. Thanks to some clever help from the shop-owner, he’d been able to get everything he’d planned for everyone’s costumes. He knew his friends (and Cordelia) would all be curious as to what he’d picked out for them, and he wanted to regale them with the backstory he created for each of their costumes.
Suddenly the front door opened, the bell jingling softly – and Xander watched as Buffy, Willow and Cordelia reluctantly walked into the store.
“Ah, welcome, ladies,” he greeted the female trio. “So! Are you ready to be amazed and astonished, by the Halloween costumes I’ve picked out for you?”
Xander easily ignored the glares all three girls sent his way, and reached out for the first box that rested on the table beside him, quickly handing it to the petite Slayer. With the store owner busy with something or other in the back room, Harris wanted to get the background thing done before he returned.
When he saw his best friend’s eyes light up at the costume, he knew he had made the right decision.
“Oh my God, Xander!!” Buffy cried out ecstatically. “This – this is exactly what I wanted to wear! How did you know...”
“A lady never asks, and a gentleman never tells,” Xander said with a big smirk, as he made an exaggerated bow before the Chosen One. Then he got serious and said, “Look, Buff, I know you wanted something real lady-like to impress Angel; but honestly? I just don’t see you as one of those airheaded ladies from back in the day. I figure if you really want to wear this dress, I’d have to tweak the background to fit your character.”
As soon as he saw the confused expression appear on the young Slayer’s face, Xander handed her a plastic sword, a gold cross and a wooden stake. Deliberately using language straight out of Pride and Prejudice (or at least the Xander Harris version of it), he said, “On the morrow, young madam, thou shalt be Lady Buffy, noble and heir to the Duchy of Buffonia. A brilliant student in Chemistry, Languages and sword fighting, from birth thou were trained to become to become a spy and an assassin for the royal family. Luckily, before thou couldst enter a career in espionage, ye were Chosen for thy true calling...a Vampire Slayer.”
Buffy rolled her eyes at the intricate background her best male friend had created for her, only vaguely listening. The Slayer didn’t care what kind of hokum Xander came up with in terms of a fictional history, she was just thrilled that she would be able to wear the frilly red dress he’d purchased in order to impress Angel. With evil taking the night off for Halloween, she had convinced her pseudo-boyfriend to help her watch over the kids tonight, and now she would have the perfect outfit to drive him crazy.
Despite his dislike for the ensouled vampire (and boy, was that too mild a term!), Xander was pleased to see the sunny smile that appeared on Buffy’s lips. Truth be told, after the lap-dance debacle that occurred at the beginning of the year, Xander had pretty much buried any romantic feelings he had for the petite blonde in front of him, and give them last rites in the privacy of his mind. Well, actually, he had pretty much given up on ‘them’ after he had asked her out to the Spring Fling Dance six months ago, and the Buffster had said ‘no’ without hesitation; but being humiliated in public at the Bronze that night – humiliated so badly that Cordelia of all people had felt sorry for him – well, that had killed off any realistic expectations that the Chosen One would succumb to the good ol’ Harris charm, and they’d get their happily-ever-after.
With a mental sigh, Xander figured that while he still loved Buffy as a friend and a member of his chosen family, and admired her as his personal hero, a part of him didn’t want to help further the burgeoning relationship between the Slayer and the animated corpse. He still found it incomprehensible how Buffy could have fallen for a guy like that; still, with the weight of the world on Buffy’s shoulders, he refused to intentionally do anything to ruin the night for one of his best friends. His reverie was broken when he heard Willow excitedly ask, “What about me? What costume did you pick out for me?”
Xander grinned at the adorable expression on the redhead's face, and he handed her the appropriate box. He watched as she pulled out an outfit that looked like the female version of the one worn by Indiana Jones, complete with the hat, and then he smiled at Willow’s confused look. ‘Don’t ever change, Willow…’
“Xander, you want me to dress up as Indiana Jones?” Miss Rosenberg looked at her old crush weirdly.
“You won’t be going as Indy, Wills,” he replied knowingly. “Tomorrow night you’ll be Abigail Belmont, the great-granddaughter of the famous demon hunter, Trevor Belmont. As the last heir to the Belmont name, you fight the forces of evil with a holy cross that can be thrown like a boomerang, and a magical whip that can injure any creature of the night. Like all the other members of your family, my dear Abigail, you’ve been trained to fight with a variety of weapons – but unlike them, you also use magic to aid in your fight against the forces of darkness!”
The redhead smiled in delight at hearing her costume persona’s backstory. And when Xander handed her a plastic sword, a large replica of a cross, and a coiled whip, Willow couldn’t keep her excitement from slurring her words as he began to babble at pure hyper-speed.
“Breathe, Willow,” Harris advised her kindly, congratulating himself after Willow gave him a big hug on a job well done.
Once he saw his oldest and bestest friend finally calm down, Xander turned his attention to the final person in the room. He knew Cordelia hated losing the bet to him, and he could tell by the stormy look in her eyes that she expected him to make her wear something horrible and embarrassing. Doubtless, she was expecting him to have picked out something that made her look like a complete slut, or a hooker...
If he was being honest with himself, Xander had to admit that had been his original intention, if only to give him an eyeful of that incredible body that housed such a bitchy interior. But when he’d seen the outfit he picked out for her, he just knew she would look incredible in it, and what’s more – the slut/hooker factor wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately his relationship with Sunnydale’s Queen Bitch still drove him to somehow needle her for losing the bet; and since he couldn’t do it with the costume he wanted her to wear, he’d come up with the perfect way to do it with the costume persona’s background.
Xander handed the last box to the brunette bombshell, and watched as she reluctantly opened it. The moment the thousand-watt smile involuntarily appeared on her beautiful face, Harris knew he had once again done right.
Cordelia ran her fingers across the black leather outfit; damn, she was surprised the dweeb had picked out something this nice for her. The costume was formed by a black leather corset, matching leather pants and a leather duster that would hang down to her knees. All in all it was a costume that would look amazing on her, and not at all the slutty, embarrassing outfit she’d been mentally preparing herself to wear. She arched an eyebrow in surprise, when she saw Xander hand her a belt that held a toy gun and a plastic sword that looked very much like a katana.
“Not bad, loser. So, spill; what’s my background?” Miss Chase demanded imperiously.
“Ah, I’m so glad you asked. You, Cordelia, you will be an Immortal.”
“An Immortal?” Cordelia didn’t get the reference.
Xander smirked, who knew that examining one of Giles’s Council books could be such a treasure trove of information? “A living breathing human being that can heal from any injury, and you can even come back from the dead - your only true death is by decapitation. You were born roughly seven thousand years ago, and at the age of sixteen you became a Seer. Your powers, while weak, were still strong enough to give you brief flashes of the future, and that in turn led to your eventual death at the hands of people you once called your family and friends. Since your First Death, you have traveled the world living life as you pleased, and learning everything that your heart desired. But after thousands of years of just living for material gain and pleasure, you yearned for a reason to give your immortality some meaning, and you found it while rescuing a young child from becoming a vampire’s next meal. The look of gratitude upon his face when you saved him, filled your heart with joy, and from that day you chose to protect mankind against the forces of darkness that ruled the night!”
Xander barely kept the smug smile off his face, when he saw the surprised looks coming from the three girls in the costume shop. He knew they were all stunned by the background he created for Cordelia, and he was just waiting to drop the other shoe.
“That’s – not too horrible, I guess,” the cheerleader said uncertainly, staring at her old childhood nemesis. ‘And geez, what the hell brought this on? I woulda bet any money that he’d force me to dress up as a Playmate, or something to fulfill his sick perverted fantasies! What, have I actually misjudged the guy? Oh, hell, no, that’s ridiculous!’
When he saw Cordy begin to make her way out of the store, Xander called out, “Hey, Cor?”
Once the brunette turned around, he tossed her a plastic gold ring and said, “Don’t forget the final piece of your costume.”
“What the hell is this, dweeb?”
Xander grinned as he replied, “That, Cordelia, is your wedding ring. Oh, sorry, did I forget to mention that part? Tomorrow night you’ll be Cordelia Harris, devoted and loving wife of your Immortal demon-hunting husband...namely, me!”
Cordelia’s eye went wide with sudden volcanic fury. ‘I shoulda known, hell, I did know! I just knew he’d try to pull something like this!’ “As if, loser! In what universe would I ever marry a worthless piece of crap like you? Screw this, I won’t do it!”
Xander gave thanks that the costume store was empty as he shook his index finger slowly in the air and replied, “Ah-ah-ah, Cor. Now, what would your Cordettes and the rest of the school think, after they hear me telling everyone that you welshed out of our bet like this? Seriously, do you really want everyone to believe that Cordelia Chase doesn’t keep her word?”
Cordelia growled softly, she knew that the damned dorkhead had just pulled the rug out from under her. Damn it all to hell, but she was stuck doing what he wanted. No matter how angry she was, she refused to let anyone think a Chase – her, no less – would ever renege on a bet. “All right. Fine, I’ll wear the costume, and even the damn ring. And enjoy your little fun while you can, loser, 'cause that bet is the only way someone like me would ever consider marrying a useless asshole like you!”
The moment Cordelia left the store and slammed the door behind her, Xander couldn’t stop himself from laughing uncontrollably. His mirth would have continued far longer than it did, but his joy was interrupted when he heard Buffy ask, “Uh, Xand, what exactly was that about? I thought you were going to pick out something ridiculous for her to wear?”
Xander managed to wipe the tears from his face, before he answered, “That was the original plan, Buff, sure. But when I saw that outfit, I knew it would look great on her. I may despise Sunnydale High’s resident bitch, but hey – red blooded American teenager here, and like Jesse always said, she is one smokin’ hot babe. I figured this way I could get some nice eye candy for tonight, and still get to embarrass Queen C with the background I created for her! I mean, Cordy being Mrs. Alexander Harris? She’ll never live that one down…”
Unnoticed in the background, Willow wasn’t sure if she should be hurt that her Xander was going to pretend to be married to the girl she hated most in the school; even if she could see his logic on how it would embarrass her old nemesis. Once she was certain Xander didn’t actually have feelings for the rich bitch, Willow carefully schooled the regret from her face, and concentrated on the unique background her best friend had come up with.
“So where did you get the idea for an Immortal demon hunter, Xander? I don’t recall any your favorite TV shows or video games, having a character like that.”
“Uh, yeah – well, I kinda got the idea from one of the Watcher diaries Giles has in his private office,” he replied sheepishly, not knowing that Willow and Buffy had done the exact same thing earlier today. “See, one of the books mentions a Slayer that saw a man fighting several vampires. Before she could get to him, he was killed by one of them. She thought the guy was dead, but by the time she took care of the remaining vamps, the body had disappeared. Anyway, she informed her Watcher about what happened, and the old British dude questioned the villagers about the mysterious stranger. Several of them mentioned that the man couldn’t die. They said the stranger appeared outta nowhere one day, and killed a demon that had been terrorizing the village. Everyone thought for sure he’d died, after the battle was over; but then tiny lightning bolts spread across all his wounds, and he simply got up afterwards good as new. That’s where the whole Immortal thing came from, the story that the Watcher dude recorded for posterity. Still, apparently, he eventually figured the villagers were just being superstitious, and both he and his Slayer decided the dead guy must have been a demon or something, instead.”
“You know you’re not supposed to touch the Watcher diaries without Giles being present, Xander!” Willow scolded her best friend lightly. “After you spilled fruit punch on one of his personal journals that time, Giles doesn’t trust you with any of his important books anymore!”
“Hey, the fruit juice thing was not my fault! If Buffy hadn’t snuck up behind me and scared me, I would never have dropped the juice box on the table. It’s totally not my fault...”
Buffy rolled her eyes at her friend’s mock outrage, and replied, “Well it’s not my fault either, Xander. I still say I never snuck up behind you. All I did was walk into the library and say hi. In case you didn’t notice, that’s not a sneaky action on my part.”
When her Xander-shaped friend just mock-glared at her, Buffy knew she was completely wasting her time. They had debated this topic on numerous occasions, and the Xan-man was never willing to concede that she was right and he was wrong. She was about to grab her costume and head to her house with Willow, when Buffy suddenly realized that Xander picked out a costume for one more person; and yet, there was no extra box in sight.
“Ahhh, Xander...what did you get for Angel?” Buffy asked cautiously, quickly regretting the fact that she had let herself be talked into this guy get a Halloween costume for her undead honey.
“Oh, don’t worry, Buff; I picked out something good for Lord of the Brood. I may not get along with the guy, but Halloween is a night for fun, and I wouldn’t ruin it for you intentionally by deliberately embarrassing Captain Forehead in public.”
Buffy forced herself not to growl at Xander’s nickname for her boyfriend, but despite his lack of approval for her beau, she took comfort in knowing her friend wouldn’t try to ruin the night for her on purpose. Now that she was sure Angel would have a real costume for tonight, she couldn’t help but be curious as to what her best male friend had chosen for her ageless boyfriend.
“So...who or what’s he going to be?” she asked curiously.
“Now, now, now, Buffy – you know I can’t spoil the surprise for you,” Xander replied with a smirk. “I promise you, I didn’t get anything to make him look like an idiot; in fact, I bought him something that’ll go with the demon hunter theme I picked out for the rest of us. Happy?”
Buffy reluctantly nodded her head in agreement and said, “Yeah. Okay, fine. I trust you, Xander. But if you’re lying to me? You’ll regret it!”
Friday October 31st, 1997
Not long after sundown, Ethan looked up at the clock, patiently waiting for the proper moment to arrive. When he first decided to make Janus this chaos offering, he’d quickly realized that it would take far more magic than he had on his own to empower the spell. After a decade of researching, he finally found a way to charge the magicks from an active Hellmouth. For a hundred years, the mystical energy around Sunnydale's Hellmouth had gathered untouched, and in a few short seconds, he would tap into that vast reservoir to power the spell that would create tonight’s chaos.
It surely was better than asking his patron deity to empower the spell, anyway; the old gods were often capricious, and that was a best case scenario. Piss one of them off, and you’d end up paying with your life at best – your soul, at worst.
When the alarm clock on the table finally went off, Ethan turned his attention towards the bust of Janus that was in front of him, and prepared to make his offering to the god of Chaos. Once he was ready, Ethan closed his eyes, and began speaking in Latin: “Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe noctem pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita.”
As the spell took form, Ethan could feel the power drain from his magical core and his screams of pain suddenly echoed throughout the back room of the costume store. The pain Rayne felt was even worse than he’d imagined, and he feared if it continued any longer it would cost him his life. Thankfully, Janus accepted his offering and suddenly his body stopped throbbing from the pain.
When he realized the spell was now working, Ethan felt a smirk appear on his lips and he whispered to himself, “Let the chaos begin.”
Sunnydale High School, Sunnydale
A few moments earlier
Adam Pierson, the Immortal once known as Death and a member of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, reluctantly made his way through the halls of the high school. Like most Immortals, he hated spending any time on a Hellmouth; but he needed to pick up a gift for his enemy turned friend, the Immortal Seer Cassandra.
Normally he would never have gone to such lengths to procure a gift for anyone, not even that Boy Scout, MacLeod; but Cassandra was…special to him. In the days when the Horsemen had ravaged at least two continents, it was because of Cassandra that he’d pulled himself out from the darkness he’d been immersed in for centuries.
Having been an Immortal for a thousand years, Adam had realized what she was the moment he laid eyes upon her. The pre-Immortal’s beauty had called out to him, and he’d instantly known he would do anything to take possession of her. Since he was there for her First Death, he knew no one had told her what she was, and he took advantage of that knowledge and used it to pervert her mind. He’d convinced Cassandra that as her Master, her immortal life was now dependent on him, and that he would kill her as many times as it took to tame her.
Well, no one could ever accuse him of being a nice guy during the Bronze Age, but things could always have been worse for the woman. As a whole, Immortals had been a rough and brutal lot back then. Rape and domestic violence were common occurrences, and at least Cassandra had been spared that much.
For close to a century Adam had kept Cassandra as his personal slave and concubine, and almost without meaning to, taught her what it meant to be an Immortal. Over time she became more of a student than a possession to him, and he grew to care about Cassandra more than he’d ever cared about anyone or anything else in his life, even his Horseman brothers. A part of him even believed that she’d felt the same way; after all, in those days there had been no such thing as Women’s Lib, and Cassandra had eventually imprinted on him as being her man.
Unfortunately, Adam’s feelings for her had begun to cause friction with his brethren, because they hated how that he treated her as a…a person. Eventually he was confronted by his brother Kronos, and told that his actions regarding the Immortal woman were unacceptable for a Horseman. To prove that Cassandra had not weakened him, Kronos demanded that he share the woman with the rest of them. Knowing what a negative response would mean for both him and Cassandra, when Kronos came to take the woman he loved to his bed, Methos – as he had then been known – had offered no argument.
Alas, but while the beautiful Seer had agreed to become Methos’ bedmate, she utterly refused to do the same for Kronos and the other Horsemen. Her screams and pleas to Methos had fallen on deaf ears, as the ‘End of Time’ had dragged her kicking and screaming into his tent. Still, perhaps unsurprisingly, after Kronos had raped her – Cassandra had used a nearby dagger to stab him in the heart, and escaped from his tent.
That night Methos had had a chance to stop her, but he’d chosen to let her go instead. His…feelings for Cassandra had made him realize how little he truly cared for the men he called brothers, and the oldest Immortal could no longer tolerate the Seer remaining bound as a slave to him, or any of the other three members of the group; Kronos, Silas and Caspian. That night was the beginning of the end for his time as a Horseman.
Once Cassandra was gone from his life, Methos had begun to grow sick of the atrocities he committed as a Horseman. Her departure had made him reconsider his life over the past thousand years, and he slowly grew to despise and regret the mistakes he had made. When Methos had finally realized he could no longer continue to ravage the land with his brethren, he’d escaped into the night and spent centuries trying to earn redemption. Unfortunately he wasn’t always successful, and he still made plenty of mistakes, but he was a far cry from the man that was once known as Death.
For two millennia, Adam – Methos was a name he preferred not using for obvious reasons, legendary that it was – had tried to atone for his incalculable sins, and he’d searched the world for the beautiful Seer that gave him a reason to care about people again. It wasn’t until roughly eighteen months ago, that he’d finally found her. Or rather, she’d found him. In Paris. Along with a certain Boy Scout...
At first, Cassandra had refused to believe he had changed and had continued to hate Adam for his actions, so long ago. Over time and through mutual friends, though, he’d been able to show her that he was different, a new man to the one she’d known, and they’d been able to forge a tentative friendship with one another.
Still, despite the friendly relationship they now shared, Adam knew Cassandra would never again feel for him what he felt for her. His sins against her – willingly letting Kronos rape her, and keeping her as a slave girl for nearly a century – went too deep to truly forgive; but after three thousand years of trying to live a good life, Adam knew that sometimes friendship was enough in a relationship.
It was because of that friendship that the Oldest Man now found himself standing on top of an active Hellmouth. A few weeks ago, he’d learned Cassandra was searching for a rare book on prophecy. Since that conversation, Adam had searched far and wide to gift her the book on her birthday, but all the inquiries he’d made through his usual contacts had failed. In a final act of desperation, Adam had called upon his friend Rupert Giles, formerly of the British Museum – and he’d beenvery surprised when the man had said he had a spare copy that he would be willing to part with.
Since Methos was already in LA meeting with a rare book dealer, he’d taken this opportunity to drive up north to Sunnydale and pick up the book in person. While the trip meant having to deal with the nauseating feelings that came from an Immortal being on a Hellmouth, on the bright side he would be able to catch up with the young man he’d met years ago in a pub in England.
Methos smiled, as he recalled his first meeting with the troubled youth calling himself ‘Ripper’. A brief altercation with a wanker named Ethan Rayne had caused Methos to decide to teach the annoying arse some manners. Luckily Rupert had intervened on his friend's behalf, and the two men began to settle their differences over a glass of Guinness. As the drinks grew in number, Ethan had eventually passed out while Rupert became free with stories that he would never have shared if he was sober.
It was during that night that Methos first learned of another group that called themselves Watchers. After five thousand years of existence, Methos was well versed in the group that followed the Immortals and kept detailed records of their kills and actions. What the heck, he’d even joined the group for a while as ‘Adam Pierson’, figuring that hiding in plain sight was the safest option once he’d learned of that rogue faction calling themselves the Hunters.
Still, he’d been surprised as all heck to hear that the Watchers’ society had an offshoot, a Council that dealt primarily with the supernatural, and that it was centered around a young girl that fought against vampires and demons.
Over the past five thousand years, Methos had had numerous interactions with the demonic world, but he had never come across a Slayer before. Oh, of course he’d heard the rumors, but he’d always thought they were just tall tales vampires and demons used to scare one another. That night during 1975, he’d been stunned to learn that the young girl really existed, and that she was capable of fighting demons at their level all on her own.
Truth be told, after Ripper had explained to him what a Slayer really was, Methos had been truly fascinated by the tale, and tried to learn everything his new friend was willing to share about the topic.
Eventually the young Giles drank more than he was capable of holding, and had ended up passing out drunk right at the bar. Since he’d enjoyed the man’s company, Methos had taken him back to his flat, and let him sleep off the binge on his sofa. By the time morning had arrived, Giles had woken from his slumber and recalled everything he had shared the night before. To ease the young man of his not-inconsiderable concerns, Methos had decided to share with him his own secret of being an Immortal.
Something he’d normally never do, granted, but after two centuries of silence and a lot of alcohol, he’d made a snap decision to trust a mortal again – and Methos had never regretted it.
As the years passed he’d kept in touch with the Watcher, and he was proud of the man the young Ripper had turned into. It took many years and several heartaches, but the young mage had grown into a wise and caring individual. When Methos had learned his friend was going to be assigned to guide his own Slayer, he’d never once doubted that the girl would be looked after as more than just a tool for the Council. He knew his friend would love and take care of the girl, as if she were his own.
As he saw the double doors to the school library rapidly approaching, Methos was pulled from his daydreaming, and he quickly entered the library. As soon as he walked in, the old man saw his old friend sitting at one of the large tables, quietly reading through an ancient tome. While his friend had certainly aged since the last time he had seen him, Methos was glad time had been good to the Englishman.
“Ripper,” Methos called out in greeting. “How are you, old friend? What say we leave this dusty old library, and make our way to the nearest pub for a proper celebration?”
Giles felt his heart skip a beat at the sudden presence of another person in the library. When he looked up and realized who the man was, he felt a Ripper-like grin suddenly appear across his lips. The new arrival was none other than his Immortal friend, Adam Pierson.
As he took in Adam’s black suit and dark brown long coat, Rupert marveled at how this man still looked exactly like he did the first time they’d met. Intellectually, Giles knew that Adam simply didn’t age; but every time they met after a long gap of months or years, he was always taken aback by the Immortal’s unchanged appearance.
“I’d love to, old man, but I need to wait until my charge has had a chance to check in from the night’s festivities. She, um, she should be back in another hour or so, i-if you’re willing to wait,” Giles said apologetically.
“Actually, I figured you might say something like that, Rupert,” Adam replied, while setting a plastic bag on top of the table. “So I brought something for us to pass the time with.”
The moment the bottles clinked together, Giles rolled his eyes at his friend’s actions. At first he was going to decline the offer, but then he thought otherwise. After all, tonight was a night of celebration; plus it was long past official school hours, and he was experienced enough not to get drunk while on school grounds.
“All right, Adam, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to limit myself to just one while we’re still at my place of employment.”
Methos grinned at his friend’s acceptance and quickly grabbed a bottle of Guinness from the bag. Just as he was passing the drink to Giles, he felt the familiar buzz of an Immortal close by. When the buzz continued to grow in power, Methos felt the throbbing in his head intensify, and he suddenly dropped the beer and fell to his knees from the pain.
When the bottle shattered against the floor, Giles looked at his friend in surprise, and rushed to his aid. “What’s wrong, Adam?”
“I just felt two other Immortals nearby, Rupert, and they're old. Even older than I am.”
“Well, there are lots of those, aren’t there? You’re less than half a century in age, after all, and there must be plenty of Immortals who-”
“Rupert!” Adam cut him off harshly. ‘Should I tell him? Oh, what the hell – enough people know who I am nowadays, there’s no point concealing it anymore.’ He then said, “My name isn’t Adam Pierson, old friend. Or rather, it’s not the name I was born with. My real name is Methos!”
Giles gasped and froze in shock, after he heard his friend’s words. For some years now, he had known of the legendary Horseman known as Death, and just what that Immortal and his brethren had done. “You’re who? You’re, you’re,you’re…him? But, but, I thought he was just legend…the bloody butcher of the ages...”
“There’s plenty of truth to that,” Adam – no, Methos nodded, still trying to regain some self-control. It wasn’t easy, with the Immortal buzz and the Hellmouth still playing havoc with his Immortal senses. He grunted and added, “But I haven’t been Death of the Four Horsemen for over two thousand years, Rupert. That’s not who I am anymore. I hope you’ll believe me when I say that I put all that behind me, a long time ago.”
Giles nodded, slowly. He’s just been thrown quite the curve ball, as the colonials put it, granted – but he had known the Immortal before him for over two decades, and so decided to go with his instincts on this one. “All right. So…you’re truly him? And you’re, what, over five thousand years old?”
“Yes,” Methos nodded, finally getting up off the floor. “I could be older, actually, but before then…my memory isn’t reliable, it all starts to blur together...”
Rupert Giles had, over the past year or so being the Watcher to the Slayer Buffy Summers, learned to become adaptable. So putting aside as best he could the recent shocking revelation, the Watcher forced himself to focus on priorities – and he shuddered to think what a couple of Immortals older than the legendary Methos were doing in Sunnydale. ‘Good heavens...if it’s the other Horsemen...’
“Adam,” Giles finally said, fearfully. He couldn’t use that other name. Not yet. Maybe not ever. “What would an Immortal that old – more than one – be doing here, on a Hellmouth?”
“I don’t know, Rupert, but it can’t be good.”