Disclaimer: (boring recitation mode on) I own nothing in the Highlander universe. I have no money for which to sue. To do such would just waste your time. (boring recitation mode off)
“Where have you been?” she asked furiously. He’d barely gotten in the door when the accusations started. Just like always.
“I was working,” he replied, none-too-convincingly, as he shed his coat and hung it on the rack by the door.
That was it. She’d had it. “Working?” her blue eyes flashed dangerously. “You’re a God-dammed historian, Adam! What the hell is so pressing that an historian has to work until eight o’clock at night?”
He let out an exasperated sigh. This was a very old fight. “Anna…” he began, but she would have none of it.
“Don’t take that tone with me. You can’t just dismiss me. This has been going on for six months, and I have the right to know the truth about what you’re doing when you don’t come home for hours.” Her normally soft voice was as hard as steel.
He turned his back to her as he made his way down the hall to the bedroom, intent on removing his boots, mumbling, “I’m tired and not in the mood for this tonight.”
“Oh, well, that’s just too damned bad…” She angrily grabbed ahold of his arm and spun him to face her. Their faces were mere inches apart as she unleashed her outrage. “Come on, who is she? Someone you work with? Or maybe just someone you ran into in a bar?”
His brow furrowed as her accusations flew. “What?” he replied incredulously. “I’m not cheating on you. We’ve just got some high-priority research going on…”
She let out an annoyed sigh and shook her head, sending her chestnut curls cascading down her shoulders. “Right. That’s why your friend MacLeod is always covering for you. Dawson, too. You should really get better liars for friends.”
He tried again, “Anna…”
“No, that’s it. You want to fuck someone else? You want to stay out all night without calling? Well, you can do that just fine with me gone.”
That’s when he noticed the suitcase in the corner by the door. ‘So this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision.’ She’d begun to move towards the door, and he moved to intercept her. Taking her hands, he steered them both to the couch, making sure she sat when he did. “Okay, you want to know what’s going on?” He continued when she nodded, “Here’s the truth…” He told her about Immortals, his own immortality, the Game, the challenges, everything.
She stood, furious once again. “That’s the best story you could come up with? Do I have ‘stupid’ tattooed across my forehead?” She grabbed her suitcase as she walked out the door. As it slammed shut he heard her last comment, “You are such an ass.”
And she was gone. He hadn’t gotten a chance to prove that what he told her was true. She’d stormed out too quickly for his usual dagger to the hand trick.
That was two hours before. Now, Methos was sitting on the couch with a bottle of vodka in one hand and a Smith & Wesson in the other. Music blared out of the stereo, probably annoying the tenants of the neighboring apartments, but he didn’t really care. The music was more of a background element anyway.
He just wanted to forget. First, he’d gone through all the beer in the fridge. Then, he’d raided the liquor cabinet. He was down to his last bottle, and although his vision was blurred and he was fairly sure that standing was no longer an option, the pain still lingered.
‘How many times?’ he wondered to himself. ‘How many chances, how many lives, will I lose before I can’t take it anymore?’ He cursed his lifestyle that always ended in solitude.
He looked down at the cold metal in his hand and smiled a joyless smile. He always wondered if one time it wouldn’t work. ‘Maybe this time I won’t wake up again.’ That thought often terrified him. Other times, he hoped he wouldn’t come back. This time was one of the latter.
Placing the barrel in his mouth, Methos giggled with a somewhat maniacal edge. Then came the thought, ‘Silencers are such a wonderful invention.’ Then came blackness.
Anna had calmed down considerably in the time it had taken her to find a suitable hotel to stay in for the night, realize she’d left her wallet at the apartment, and work up the courage to go back and get it. ‘It’s ten-thirty, maybe he’s gone to bed.’ She really didn’t feel like listening to another round of the bull that Adam was so good at spouting.
As she made her way down the hall, she could hear the angry music of the Sex Pistols emanating from the apartment. ‘I didn’t even know Adam listened to punk…’ she mused. Opening the door, the music grew in volume, and she took in the scene before her.
He was slumped on the couch, and the coffee table held a plethora of different alcohol bottles. “Drank yourself into a stupor, huh?” she said softly. “Got some wonderful coping skills…” Sighing and shaking her head, she crossed over to the stereo and collected her wallet that sat upon it. “At least it saves me from having to deal with y…” she trailed off as she turned to face him.
For the first time she noticed the gun in his limp hand. Looking at the wall behind him, she encountered an impressive amount of blood and gray matter. Then she screamed.
Rushing to him, Anna lifted Adam’s head from the back of the couch, only to find that a good portion of the back of his skull was missing. “Oh god, oh god…” her mantra continued as she checked for a pulse that was decidedly not there.
Slumping down onto the couch next to him, eyes wide and tears streaming down her face, she lost the ability to form coherent thoughts. As her bloodied hand slid down from Adam’s shoulder, it contacted cool metal upon reaching the couch. Taking it from his lifeless hand, she merely sat contemplating the object for a long time.
It wasn’t until she heard a shuddering gasp next to her that she came to some semblance of her senses and dropped the gun. As the previously dead Adam began to stir, Anna began to shake and her eyes grew even wider, fear coursing through her body.
Turning his head, Adam reached out toward her, but she quickly moved beyond his grasp until her back was against the arm of the sofa. He softly called her name and attempted it again, but his results were no better the second time. She scurried away from him, landing unceremoniously on the floor.
He then decided to try talking without approaching her. “Anna? Hey, sweetheart, it’s okay…”
He trailed off as she began to mumble. “No, no…not okay…dead, you were dead…”
Adam rose from the couch and moved to kneel where she sat on the floor, trying once again to comfort her, but to no avail. The second his hand touched her arm, all hell broke loose. She began slapping and clawing at any part of him she could reach as she scrambled backwards until she managed to trap herself in a corner, all the while screaming at him to leave her alone.
Sighing heavily, he ran a hand through his hair which was now soaked in congealed and half-dried blood. Maybe the time it would take him to get himself cleaned up would be enough for Anna to calm down.
Two days later, the apartment was back in order, but things were far from fine. Although she had finally settled down enough that night for Methos to get her showered and changed into clean clothes, Anna was still not rational. In fact, she had stopped speaking and was behaving very much like a trapped wild animal.
Methos had finally resolved himself to what had to be done. The call had been made a little over an hour before, and he was getting her ready to go. The hospital’s psychiatric ward was expecting them this afternoon and was well prepared to accommodate the young woman suffering from an emotional and mental breakdown.
As he ushered the silent Anna out the door and closed it behind them, Methos double-checked all the details of his plan in his head: the story for the hospital, the essential survival items shoved into the duffle bag in his trunk, the plane ticket… ‘After all,’ he thought mirthlessly, ‘Sumatra is nice this time of year.’