A/N: Good things come to those who wait. At least that's what I'm told. Never tried it myself. I hope you enjoy, thanks for the kindly lovin'. If Mac's accent is crap, don't tell me. I actually had fun writing it. Cheers.
Mac watches as his companion taps the bartop with a single perfectly manicured nail, wordlessly ordering a refill for her whiskey. The bartender complies with a smile and a wink and she doesn’t seem to mind.
Mac does. He scowls and takes another sip of his own tumbler, looking at her gloomily.
“What’s wrong?” she asks, noticing his maudlin expression.
“You’re flirting with the barkeep,” he says as if that explains everything. And it would. If they were on a date or a couple or married. Which they are not. They are two adults out for a drink or fifteen. She can flirt with whoever she wants. Really.
“Yes,” she confirms, voice bland. As if he’s a rather observant toddler.
He empties his glass, spins it between the fingers of one hand and hunches down into himself. “How long have we known each other?” he demands, not looking at her.
She sighs, shakes her head hard enough to send long hair flying. It’s criminally unfashionable, the way she wears her hair. Yet all gazes seem to be drawn to it. “Goodness, tell me you’re not a nostalgic drunk. Those are the worst.”
Especially among their kind, where nostalgia can span anything from a decade to a millennium, that goes unsaid. He huffs and scoffs and gets another refill before turning accusing eyes on her.
“Seventy years, that’s how long we’ve known each other. You an’ me and you and – “ he draws circles in the air with one digit, trailing off as his Scottish brogue becomes thicker with ever word. “Long time, that.”
She nods, waiting, patiently and not half as drunk as he is. “An’ all this time,” he continues after another sip, “All this time – “
“You haven’t slept with me once. I’ve tried, ye ken? Flirtin’ with you every chance. Been a good lad around you, real nice. But ye dun’t see me at all. It’s like you’re married
.” The ‘r’ rolls wickedly off his tongue and he feels heavy and a bit angry
She blinks, surprised. Maybe the first real reaction to his drunk confessions. “I am.”
“What?” Four hundred years of fighting reflexes is the only thing that keeps him on his chair as the question explodes out of his mouth and half the patrons turn to him, wondering if he’s quite alright, thanks a lot.
She smiles tightly, using one small hand to push him back into his seat properly. It looks like she’s patting him on the shoulder, yes, but she’s really turning him around in the chair, moving him like he weighs nothing more than a feather. How does she do it? He has no idea. It’s another of the things he doesn’t know about her and probably never will.
Still he follows the wordless order in that commanding touch and turns back to the bar, wrapping long fingers around his empty glass, glowering at the barkeep’s back.
“I thought,” he says after careful consideration, “I heard ye say you’re married.”
“I did.” She taps the bar again, holding up two fingers this time and receiving her order quicker than anyone else in the room. Oh, someone’s sweet on the lass. She keeps one glass for herself, slides the other in his direction and downs the whiskey like it’s water. He is a Scot and drinks like a fish but she’s something else, matching him drink for drink and never so much as tipsy.
“D’ye ever get drunk?” he finds himself wondering out loud and then fixes his gaze on his glass to avoid looking at her.
She shrugs and leans back, one arm slung over the back of her chair. “I used to.” Her nose wrinkles cutely as she tries to remember something and probably – as usual – fails. “I think.”
“Where’s that husband of yours then?” He sounds nasty even to his own ears, disbelieving and spiteful. He’s drunk and he wants her and suddenly she is married
. There’s a bitter taste in his mouth.
“Greece, last time I heard of him. Headed for Troy.”
“Playin’ tourist then?”
Another shrug, another glass and she gulps it down in total disregard of money, disbelieving looks and taste. “Haunting the ruins of the places we once knew.”
Her mood is like a pendulum, to and fro, up and down and he can never predict where it will go next, can never prepare himself for those shifts from flippant to serious, to joking, to old, so old. She was there? She saw Troy? He looks at her over his glass, looks and sees her in a white dress of Egyptian cotton, sees her wearing gold bracelets and heavy necklaces. Sees the look in her eyes and knows that yes, she was there.
Apparently, so was her bloody husband. Meaning…. Well, he’s currently not sure what that means but he is
sure it doesn’t bode well for his planned seduction.
“I hate ye,” he suddenly says, unable to keep the thought inside, unwilling perhaps. She never talks, never shares, never gives him anything at all, not even scraps. He’s not ashamed to admit that he’s not used to being treated like furniture.
She laughs, head thrown back, mouth open, sweet and seductive as always. Heads turn again and she ignores them in favour of looking at him with a certain… fondness. Acknowledging his words without being hurt by them. How many times has she heard them? How many times has she been cursed and damned, how many times have people spat on her, hated her, despised her? How many times has she smiled and shrugged and walked away?
How many times has she ignored the words and stayed?
“So ye’ve turned me down all those years because you’re married.”
“I think,” she decides, “It’s time we got you home. You’re drunk and rambling and while you might not remember tomorrow, I will.”
“No.” He doesn’t want to move. Really. The world is sort of out of kilter and he likes it here. With her. Talking. Getting her to open up just the tiniest bit. Truth and booze. They work so well together.
“Yes. Now move or I’ll make you, thick headed Scot.”
He stands but it’s just to get her to stop bugging him and he lets her hook her arm into his, holding him up more than apparent to the untrained eye. The barkeep gives her a look, silently asking if she needs help with the drunk oaf at her side. He snarls at the man and lets her pulls him to the door.
“I’m movin’,” he declares, somewhat unnecessarily, “And ye’re bloody married.”
“This is getting repetitious,” she complains, a cute pout on her face. And then they are outside and the cold night air hits him in the face like a slap and he feels at least three of his drinks scurrying out of his system as the world becomes sharper again.
He groans. Pulls at her arm. Gets her to stop.
“Do you love your husband?” he demands, accent already fading as reality returns. He knew there was a reason he didn’t want to leave the pub.
She nods, accepting that they will have this conversation, whether she wants to or not.
“Do you love him?” He repeats the question because he has to be very, very sure.
“I have for longer than I remember.” Fact. Nothing more.
He tries not to flinch as he looks up at the stars and says, “Never stood a chance, did I?”
She laughs suddenly, loud and honest and he jerks his head down to look at her in puzzlement. “We’ve been together for thousands of years, Mac. Do you really think we’ve both been faithful all this time?”
She grabs his arm suddenly, having let go of it before, and tugs him close. “Frankly?”
He nods. “You fuck everything that moves and I like you too much to be a notch on your bedpost. Be kinda sad, doncha think?”
She clicks her tongue, grinning up at him. Her words, as they sometimes do, sound too free, too strange to be of this century. Yet at the same time, too crass to be of any past age. He wonders where she learned English.
But he also wonders where she got the idea from that all he wants from her after all these years, is another notch on whatever bed he is currently calling his own. Instead of asking he relaxes into the remainder of his chemical high and wraps an arm around her, suddenly and heartily.
“Ah, lass,” he tells her, laying on it thick, “Haven’t I told ye that I love ye? No point in hangin’ around with ye fer so long if I didn’t.”
He makes big eyes at her, leering just a bit, preening and then huffing as she laughs and makes to shove him away. Instead of letting go he leans on her more heavily. Hard enough, in fact, to make anyone stagger.
Anyone but her and strangely, he’s come to expect it. Just like he expects her to pop out of nowhere, to always know things, to drop famous names of history like they mean nothing. Like he expects her to never get drunk and always win a fight and never let him kiss her.
So it’s kind of a surprise when she pulls out from under his arm, leaves him to stumble, balance lost, and then stretches up to press her lips to his as soon as he has regained his feet.
But he’s certainly not complaining.