Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

X2/HL: Unbound. Rated R.

Expand Messages
  • teland@teland.com
    Unbound by Te August 6, 2003 Disclaimers: Not mine. So *very* not mine. Spoilers: X2. Crossover with Highlander. Summary: Out of the water. Ratings Note: R.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2003
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Unbound
      by Te
      August 6, 2003

      Disclaimers: Not mine. So *very* not mine.

      Spoilers: X2. Crossover with Highlander.

      Summary: Out of the water.

      Ratings Note: R.

      Author's Note: I've been working on this idea for a
      while. Well, actually, it's the combination of two
      ideas. Because, well, it takes more than water
      sometimes.

      Acknowledgments: Happy birthday, House Draven!
      Hope you like! Thanks go to Deb for audiencing.

      *

      The first thing Methos is aware of is weight, but he
      suspects this is his subconscious mind trying to protect
      him from the knowledge that he's under several million
      gallons of water, i.e., the recently drowned.

      He holds his breath and pushes at the weight holding
      him down, but too much time has passed between
      reviving and motion, and he dies with his hands around
      the neck of a... body?

      *

      The first thing Methos is aware of is weight, and what
      feels to be a cramp of epic proportions. Why couldn't
      he have died in a *good* position?

      The next thing he's aware of is water, a lot of water,
      and a tiny bright speck above him that must be sky.

      He holds his breath and struggles, but too much time
      has passed between reviving and motion and he bloody
      well hates fucking deja vu.

      *

      The first thing Methos is aware of is weight, and he's not
      entirely sure why that pisses him off, but he goes with it,
      kicking out from under and... floating.

      Water. Drowning. Fucking fuck and *fuck*.

      He swims hard for the surface and thinks he has a real
      chance, until he jerks up short. There's a body hanging off
      his leg, only it's much, much heavier than any body should
      be, and there's long, black hair in a tangled knot around his
      leg and the body shifts and he looks into blank, silvery eyes
      for an appropriately creepy moment.

      And then the lips start moving.

      "Help me," she says, bubbles rising to the surface, far
      beyond where he can go.

      He shrugs, apologetically.

      *

      The first thing Methos is aware of is a generalized sense
      of "the *hell*?" But he's cold, and he's wet, and he's mostly
      upright and can see the sky. A long, long way away. He
      swims for it, kicking, and seizes up short and
      *remembers*.

      Because she's staring up at him, beautiful and very clearly
      inhuman and just as clearly alive by some random and
      terrifying twist of fate. He looks up desperately, sighs,
      and swims down to free the woman's arms from some
      chunk of former machinery. He dies gasping, long hair
      trailing over his cheek.

      *

      The first thing Methos is aware of is cold, bone-cracking
      cold of the sort that kills brain cells and makes one wish
      for anything, even death, even pain, so long as the cold
      *stops*.

      He opens his eyes, lashes crackling with ice, and looks up
      into the same beautiful face from before. The crash and
      creak of nearly-frozen water barely catches his attention.
      He *knows* her.

      "Yuriko."

      The woman nods, and eyes him curiously. "I didn't know
      whether you would wake up again. I figured it was worth
      waiting."

      He smiles, the cold making his teeth hurt. "I appreciate the
      thought. Er... I take it the... base is gone?" And there's
      something there...

      Another nod. "And so is Stryker. His body is too frozen to
      have been picked at by the wolves. They tried anyway." She
      cracks her knuckles and there's a flash of metal, claws
      extending far beyond the length of her fingers. "I don't think
      he died slow enough."

      Stryker. Stryker. He knew that name, too. Old man, false
      smiles, labs oh fuck labs and... pain. Just a pinch to his neck.
      Over and over.

      "You haven't remembered everything yet."

      He blinks, staring at the woman. There's ice in her hair, and
      her eyes are... strangely *shiny*. Like they'd been replaced
      with ball bearings. "I... no."

      "You were with him when he brought me in."

      And that was... that was *years* ago. He'd been... he
      remembers stepping off a plane, remembers a vague plan
      about the Library of Congress and the pleasures of free
      time, remembers... soldiers. Time passing. Names he'd
      never chosen and his belly seizes up hard. Hand on his
      shoulder, turning him over on to his side, the crunch of snow,
      and he vomits water and bile.

      When he can breathe again he looks up and the woman is
      smiling humorlessly Even her teeth are metallic. "You
      remember enough."

      And there are a million questions in his mind, each stupider
      than the last. Each saying more, too much more about
      himself than he feels comfortable with right now. He tries
      a small one. "Weren't you... less metal-intensive before?"

      She narrows her eyes and looks down at herself. There's a
      rip in her uniform just to the left of her navel, and her
      claws scratch and scream together against the sound of the
      wind. When she looks up again, her eyes are blank. "An
      accident. Perhaps... perhaps a necessary accident, but not
      one I'm likely to forgive, just the same." She cocks her
      head. "And you? What sort of mutant are you?"

      He remembers the plan in more detail now, how Adam
      was going to write one last paper before disappearing off
      the face of the earth, or at least the face of human
      technology. Brave new world, with such people in it.
      Right. He can be this. "Nothing spectacular. Just... hard to
      kill."

      A suspicious look. "You were dead when I dragged you
      out of the water. I checked."

      He thinks about telling her something about stress and
      human error, but she seems like exactly the sort of person
      who, if he pissed her off, would be ready, willing, and able
      to keep *trying* to kill him until she beheaded him,
      Stryker's little potion or no. He shrugs, instead. "Hard to
      *keep* me dead."

      She smiles at him, and it's more than a little bit of relief.
      Stands up out of her crouch and shakes the worst of the
      ice out of her hair. "There's a village a few miles west of
      here. Can you walk?"

      "Absolutely."

      *

      His rumpled military uniform and her far less... identifiable
      uniform attract looks, as does the way they both drip all
      over the floor of the small, disreputable diner, but
      somehow both their wallets had managed to survive
      watery Armageddon, and money is still money, no matter
      how damp.

      She frowns at her mug. "This coffee is terrible."

      "Warm, though."

      "Mm. Point. Your accent is different."

      "I..." Stryker, close enough that Methos could smell the
      far better grade of coffee on his breath. Talk American or
      I can't use you! He closes his eyes for a moment and
      represses a shudder as best he can. "The other... was
      *his*."

      Slow nod. "It never sounded right for you," is all she
      says, and then their food arrives in great, greasy,
      steaming hot quantities, and they say nothing for a long
      time.

      The potatoes alone threaten to renew long dead faith in
      a higher power, and Yuriko is eating precisely like a
      woman who's been trapped at the bottom of a lake
      for... for however long it's been.

      He suspects he's making no better showing for manners.

      The waitress, bless her, immediately brings them both
      seconds, and by his fifth cup of coffee he feels something
      like human again, if by no means ready to engage in
      introspection.

      There's something in him that's screaming for *home*,
      and while it's been a long time since he's been naive
      enough to think that such voices could ever be wholly
      stilled, he doesn't want to touch it. Doesn't want to
      *hear* it until he's... safe.

      He smiles to himself and gets a curious look from Yuriko.
      Toasts her with his mug. He's probably safe as houses
      unless he ticks the woman off. Or someone comes after
      them with a needle.

      Fuck.

      He pushes his plate away and makes an abortive move
      to check his watch. There's water standing beneath the
      face. He strips it off and drops it in his plate.

      Thinks about heading south, about stores hidden here and
      there with new identities just itching to be used to get
      *away*.

      Tahiti. New Zealand. Brazil. Someplace warm. "Well, it's
      been about as pleasant as it can be --"

      She taps the watch with one long, but still-human-looking
      metal-grey nail. "I know who did this to us."

      It freezes him where he sits. "Stryker's dead," he says, too
      loud, and has to force himself not to look around. "You
      said --"

      "There are others. Other bases. Other *scientists*." The
      last comes out in a hiss, and he can hear the creak of
      metal beneath her skin. When she'd sat down, the booth
      had creaked as if she were far, far larger than she is.

      "I don't see --"

      "They're going to keep doing it, you know. Keep *taking*
      us. Using us against each other."

      'Us,' indeed. He thinks of Duncan, blind and benign, or
      perhaps charmingly warlike as he finds another evil
      Immortal to relieve of his head. "*We* are free."

      Her smile is sharp. Predatory. "For how long, Sergeant
      *Lamb*? I can use a man who's hard to kill. Or who
      won't *stay* killed."

      "I daresay you're better equipped for this than I --"

      "Does your neck hurt?"

      His fork hits the table with a clatter, and he realizes he'd
      been tapping it restlessly, twirling it like a toy. He
      imagines it buried in Stryker's eye. He imagines... they'd
      taken his *sword* --

      "What's your real name, soldier-boy?"

      He doesn't say the first thing that comes to his mind, but
      he feels it, just the same. His palm itches for a hilt.
      He had been... it had been *years*. "Adam," he says, at
      last.

      She nods like she knows what he's not saying, eyes
      slitted and the precise grey of quicksilver. "Come with me,
      Adam."

      He licks the edges of his teeth. "I have no great desire to
      be some... mutant crusader. I'm no politician."

      A smile, and Methos wants to know who she'd been,
      before all of this. She feels like everything he'd tried not
      to be. She smells like vengeance. "No. But I think we'll
      have fun anyway, won't we?"

      "I need a sword," he says before he can think, but she
      just grins a little wider and slices the watch-face open
      with her fingernail.

      "That can be arranged."

      Cold lake-water mingles with the grease on his plate. He
      licks at his teeth again, hard enough to taste blood. Yuriko
      peels a few soaked bills out of her wallet and slips the
      thing back into her hidden pocket, the rip at her belly
      gapping open to show nothing but smooth, clean flesh.

      The voice at the back of his head is screaming about
      something entirely different, but it feels good to reach
      across the table and clasp forearms with the woman.

      It feels good to be free.

      End.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.