|Title:||Making Connections (The Telephony Remix)|
|Author:||Kathryn Andersen kerravonsen|
|Summary:||The telephone can bring people together, even if they're miles apart.|
|Warnings:||this is gen; the original was slash|
|Original story:||Expanded Horizons by Lasha delmar_slashers|
Thanks to teresa_c for beta-reading!
"Hello, this is Duncan Macleod. I can't answer the phone right now, so please leave a message at the beep." BEEP.
"This is Adam. You're going to have to get home some time. I'll call later."
"Have you heard from Amanda recently?" Methos asked. The line from London to Seacouver was fortuitously crackle-free.
"Ah, I see you got an invitation too." Duncan's voice was dry.
"Are you okay with this? I mean, you and her--"
"I love Amanda, but she would have driven me crazy. She knew that, I knew that. Marriage would not have worked for us."
"Did you even ask?"
Methos muttered something almost inaudible, but Duncan heard it.
"I am not a stupid Scot! You know Amanda -- she's not the type to settle down with anyone, not even someone she's known as long as me -- and she's never married a mortal either."
"I know." Duncan sighed.
"And not always for the worse."
There was a smile in Duncan's voice as he said, "I know." He paused. "But it wasn't me that she changed for. Just the fact that Nick was able to pin down Amanda long enough for her to say yes -- well, I wish them well."
"No sour grapes?"
"Nick's a good man. I am very happy for her, truly."
"Well, then I'm happy for Amanda too."
"So, are you coming to the wedding?"
"I wouldn't miss it for the world. Amanda married? And to one of us? Wild horses couldn't keep me away. So, I guess that means I'll see you in six months?"
"Even if I have to get out and push the plane."
"If they let you on the plane, with that swarthy complexion of yours."
"Speak for yourself, Mister Long-Nose."
"I am not catching a plane. Much more ease and comfort on the Eurostar."
"Not afraid of the tunnel collapsing over your head?"
"People have been building tunnels for a lot longer than they've been building heavier-than-air craft."
"Not tunnels under oceans." There was the suspicion of a chuckle from Duncan. "Maybe you should go by boat! That's suitably ancient for you."
"I hate the sea," Methos said.
"What on earth for?"
"Have you ever crossed the Atlantic to Iceland in a glorified rowboat?"
"No. But I got shipwrecked in Japan once," Duncan said. "Nearly lost my head."
"Well, fortunately the guillotine is no longer in vogue in France," Methos said. "Bit late for the monarchy, of course."
"I was wondering, did you go to the funeral?" Duncan asked.
"The Queen Mother," Duncan said, exasperated.
"I hate crowds," Methos said. "Sorry to see her go, but that's what happens. I liked her; she reminded me a bit of Victoria -- same dry sense of humour."
"I thought Queen Victoria was supposed to be 'not amused'," Duncan said.
"That's right, you were in the Colonies at the time," Methos said.
"Weren't you in America as well?"
"Not all the time," Methos said. "The 'we are not amused' thing only happened the once; some fool told a bawdy story to his tablemates at a state dinner, and when the Queen asked him what they were laughing about, he repeated it. And, no, she wasn't amused. Neither were the other ladies present."
"That fool wouldn't happen to be you, would it?"
"Of course not," Methos said. "When I tell bawdy stories to ladies, it's usually a receptive audience of one."
"Sixty-eight," Methos corrected. He abruptly changed the subject. "So, what do you think of Manchester United's chances this year?"
"I'm backing Arsenal; after Liverpool lost to Tottenham, they've got a good chance," Duncan said.
"Come on! United won last year and the year before. Not to mention the Treble before that. They're the top of the table. Of course they'll win."
"Just because Liverpool's doing badly doesn't mean that Arsenal won't pull it off."
"Dream on, gunner-boy," Methos said.
"I've decided to rebuild Connor's New York Apartment."
"Connor's been dead for two years -- why now?"
"Because it's mine now."
"You finagled the lawyers?"
"No, he left it to me. In his will. It's only just been sorted out."
Methos was silent for a moment.
"He didn't leave it to one of his aliases?"
"He changed the will, just before..."
"He really didn't mean to come back, then."
There was silence on the line.
"So, only ten days to go," Methos said at last. "Know any good formal hire places in Paris?"
"You're going to hire a tuxedo?" Duncan protested. "Amanda deserves better than that."
"Buy a tuxedo and then crush it in my suitcase?"
"There are such things as suit-packs," Duncan pointed out.
"They're not much better."
"I'll take you to my tailor," Duncan offered.
"Make a suit in a week? Don't be ridiculous."
"He would consider it a challenge."
"Forget it, Macleod," Methos said. "Amanda knows she's lucky to be getting me into a strangulation suit at all, no need to go further than that."
"A tailored suit is more comfortable," Duncan said.
"I'll pay for it."
"Fine, fine, put me in the hands of your tailor," Methos said. "Things were much simpler with togas. Mind you, they were terrible at keeping out the drafts."
"Aye, like kilts," Duncan said, putting on a broad Scottish accent. "Like kilts..." he repeated softly, and sighed.
"How do you do it?" Duncan asked.
"How do I do what?"
"How do you go on when your loved ones die?"
"Just because Connor was your kinsman doesn't mean that you'll end the same way."
"You nearly did."
"Then maybe I should be asking you that question. What keeps you going?"
"Suicide is a sin."
"Connor didn't commit suicide," Methos pointed out.
"No, he gave up."
"But you don't. You don't ever give up. Why not?"
Duncan sighed. "I don't know. It's just... it's just wrong to give up."
"It's that Scottish stubbornness of yours. You're constitutionally incapable of giving up."
"I thought you hated my Scottish stubbornness?"
"Our virtues are often our vices disguised. Now who was it who said that?"
"I don't know - who?" Duncan asked.
"I think it was Francios de La Rochefoucauld..."
"I suppose he was a great friend of yours?"
"No, I just read his books. Books are the world's greatest invention -- after beer."
"Maybe you should write a book on beer."
"What makes you think I haven't?"
"I said a book, not a scroll," Duncan teased.
"It wouldn't have been taken seriously if it hadn't been a scroll," Methos said. "Martial only got away with codices because he was a satirist. They only really became popular when the Christians stopped being eaten by lions."
"This is Adam's answering machine. Use it." BEEP.
"I hate these machines. It's Duncan. See you tomorrow."
The original story refers to a series of telephone conversations over a period of six months, as something which helped to restore Methos and Duncan's friendship. But it didn't give any details. I thought it would be good to show some of those conversations, since without them, none of the rest of it would have been able to happen, and it highlights their affection for each other (whether that affection be platonic or otherwise).
The quote Methos misquoted was this:
"Our virtues are most often but our vices disguised." -- Francois duc de la Rochefoucauld, French memoirist and philosopher (1613-1680)
I decided that the first conversation took place in April 2002, since that meant that there were interesting things to say about Manchester United. The period of the story is supposed to be "two years after Connor's death", but the dating of "Highlander: Endgame" is ambiguous; it either occurred in 2000 or in 2002, making the original story occur in 2002 or in 2004.
Queen Victoria not amused.