Title: Depth of Field
Author: *kee
Email: starkee@another.com
Webpage: http://dae.slashcity.net/~starkee
Category: WIP,
Pairing: Angel/Methos, and Gunn/Wes, eventually.
Spoilers: Angel up through the ep where they get fired and everything for Highlander: the series
Summary: First part of a planned series, in which Methos stumbles onto Angel Investigations, sans Angel.
Rating: G, for now

Disclaimer: okay, so they don't belong to me except in my rich fantasy life where i ride around on a pony and live in a castle. Besides, i already owe the government enough money to have a really nice car or a small house, honestly would it really be worth it to sue me?

Notes: okay, so i orginally posted the first part of this story only to methos slash and angel cross over slash becasue while wes and gunn were in it, i didn't think at the time they were going to have a thing. Wes let me know i'd been mistaken when i went to write the second part, so i'm posting both to this list. now, i don't normally post stories in parts, but i really, really like this and figure that if i post i might be more inclined to get this done faster. that's the plan anyway. thanks to sherry who beta'd the first part and zz who did a great job on the second part. more to come eventually.


Methos carefully set up his tripod and settled his camera gently in its proper place. He looked through the small window at the breathtaking scene before him, adjusting the focus and positioning to capture the beauty of the view. Straightening from his stoop, Methos took a step back to survey the setting before him. Many wouldn't see the inherent grace of the empty, pre-dawn streets of LA, but then, most hadn't lived as long as he had. Satisfied with his choice, he gently depressed the button to allow the camera to begin its long exposure.

Taking a deep breath, Methos looked through the camera again, taking care not to move the sensitive piece of equipment while it was processing. Yes, it would turn out nicely. The faint light of the almost morning would highlight the texture of the cracked sidewalks and the dilapidated building.

He enjoyed his new life as a photographer. It was low profile enough that he didn't have to worry about the random and occasional head hunting immortal, but his photos were popular enough that he no longer needed to live as Adam Pierson had. His new persona could afford some of the nicer things in life and had a much better reason for carrying large cases with him everywhere. It also gave him the excuse to wander pretty much wherever he wanted under the guise of looking for the perfect shot. He started to feel jumpy if he stayed in one place too long these days.

The sound of a footfall behind him caught his attention and Methos turned. If someone stepped in front of the camera or moved the tripod now, the shot would be lost and the lighting would change too much for him to get it back this morning. "Could you find another way, please?" he asked politely.

A young woman with short black hair looked past him down the empty street. "Why?"

Methos stepped aside revealing his tripod. "I'm trying to make this shot. If you could?" He gestured around to the next street. "Or if you really need to go this way, I'll be done in about," he checked his watch. "Another five minutes or so."

Approaching him, the young woman looked curiously through his lens. "I do need to go this way, but I guess I can wait. I work down at the end of the street."

Methos turned and looked, he'd thought this section of the city wasn't in use. "Interesting area." She didn't look like the type of person who would be working in this kind of area either. But then again, appearances could be deceiving.

The young woman shrugged. "It was cheap. I'm Cordelia."

"Cavan." Methos nodded. The name no longer felt odd on his tongue and he could easily fall into Cavan Greyman's persona now.

Cordelia looked at him for a moment, her gaze shifting between the camera and him a few times before a smile lit her face. "Cavan Greyman? I love your work. You're taking pictures of LA? Is there going to be a showing here? I didn't hear anything. Have you considered photographing people, because I do a little modeling on the side you know."

"Who doesn't in this town?" Methos said lightly, smiling at the enthusiastic young woman. "I prefer not to work with living subjects at this point, but I'll keep your offer in mind. However," he added at her disappointed look. "I would love to see where you work, the inside. It would make an interesting companion piece to this shot."

"Wow, our agency in Cavan Greyman's next show. How exciting!"

Methos checked the camera, it would turn out nicely. He couldn't have asked for better lighting. "How many people are in your agency?" It was one of the reasons he'd chosen to be a scenery and landscape photographer. He wanted to spend some time away from people. After MacLeod had walked away from everything, from him three years ago now he'd had no reason not to start again. While he still kept in contact with Joe, he owned the mortal that much at least, he'd dropped nearly all other associations from his life as Adam Pierson. And as Methos.

"Oh, there are just two others, Wesley and Gunn. They'll be in later."

"Not much of an agency." The camera clicked off and Methos began breaking down the equipment.

"We're growing." Cordelia straitened her shoulders defensively. "Besides, we recently had a bit of a setback. One of our partners decided to...leave."

Looking over his shoulder at the girl, Methos noticed the hesitation with which she spoke. There was quite a bit more going on than she was telling. "What is it exactly that you do?

"We help the helpless."


Angel held the blade balanced in his hand, letting the weight of the metal blend with his hand and feeling it meld with the movements of his arm. He swung the weapon through a series of short, controlled moves as he practiced against an invisible opponent. He was getting better, better than he had ever been. But it wasn't enough.

It was quiet in the hotel now. Now that he'd sent the others away. They couldn't be here for what was going to happen. They were a distraction and would end up hurt in the end. That couldn't happen, so he'd sent them away.

He felt distanced inside, almost empty, but full at the same item. It was as though in letting the small part of himself out that he'd kept caged for all these years he'd thrown himself off and he was having trouble adjusting. It felt good on one level to have this freedom, to let the bad in the world take care of itself. He'd liked knowing Darla and Dru would kill the Wolfram and Hart associates.

A small part of him had also liked setting them both on fire.

It was hard to reconcile those feelings, hard not to feel guilt and remorse. But he didn't have room for those things now. Not with what was coming. He would have to be prepared and he could allow himself the distraction of feelings. Good or bad.


The room was perfect. A beautiful blend of lights and shadow, a mixing of new and old. He'd agreed to come to the office because he'd not wanted to disappoint Cordelia; it seemed he could still be suckered into things by a pretty face. But it'd turned out far better than he'd expected. The place would actually make a wonderful addition to the shot of the street outside.

"Are you sure you don't want to add the human element to the shot?" Cordelia asked as she perched on the edge of her small desk. The other two members of the agency had finally come in and both tried to hush.

He favored the enthusiastic young woman with a smile. "I might make an exception. You've been very patient with my work." He'd kept them tied up-- not literally of course, he'd outgrown that phase centuries ago-- for the better part of two hours. Even though the office seemed a little showy, he knew he was keeping them from their work.

"It's no problem really. The publicity we could receive from this might help to keep us going for a little while longer." Wesley leaned back in his chair, obviously relieved that he hadn't taken offense at Cordelia's persistence.

"So what exactly happened to your other partner?" He'd heard almost everything else they'd had to say about their agency other than what it was they did exactly and what had happened to their fourth partner.

A sudden stillness overtook the room and Methos casually continued setting up shots pretending not to notice the exchange of glances and the uncomfortable atmosphere. Clicking another shot, Methos assumed an absent-minded expression and turned back to the group. "Oh, I'm sorry. That was very rude of me, wasn't it? Forget I asked." He waved them all to stand up. "Gather together over there by the desk. Cordelia, you stay were you are. Wesley, stand to her left, yes there. Gunn," he paused and considered the young man with his striking eyes. "I think I'd like you on one knee in front of the two of them." He looked at the picture the trio made and smiled. "Now Wesley, put your hand on his shoulder." He liked the picture the two of them made together, maybe they'd let him do a few shots of them together.

And then maybe he could remember that he didn't do people and he would likely be on the other side of the country if not the world next week. Honestly. He was trying not to get involved in things for a while.

He snapped the first shot and thought it might be good to capture a few more when a look of pain twisted Cordelia's face and the two men were at her side, supporting her in an instant. It looked as though this was something they expected and had dealt with on more than one occasion.

"Cordelia?" Wesley held her arms and helped to settle her onto a chair. Gunn looked over his shoulder at Methos as though the young man didn't want him to witness what was going on.

"Does she need assistance, should I call someone?" Methos pulled out his cell phone. He didn't actually use it that much, but it kept up appearances and there were some really great games available on it.

"No, no, she's prone to severe-" Wesley looked to Gunn for assistance, "-headaches. We've dealt with them before. I'm sure she just needs some rest perhaps we could continue this another time."

Methos curbed his initial instinct to find out what was happening. It really wasn't his concern, it shouldn't matter that these people were hiding something and lying to him. It wasn't as though he were entirely truthful either. "If you're sure I can't help." Methos began packing up his things knowing the others wanted him out as quickly as possible. "I'll call you about the pictures."

"No," Cordelia called sharply, stopping him.

"I'm sorry?" His question was echoed by the other two men, both sounded far more surprised than he was.

Cordelia seemed to have come out on the other side of her attack and was sitting under her own control. "You can't leave. It was about you." She looked at Wesley and Gunn. "We need to tell him, I think this is really important."

Wesley rubbed a hand across his mouth. "Are you certain that's wise?"

"Would some one like to tell me what's going on please?" Maybe he really didn't want to know after all.

"You can't go because you're in trouble. Or you will be." Gunn stepped aside and offered him a chair. "You might want to sit for this."

Cordelia was shaking her head and Methos felt like he'd just walked in on something that might have been better left alone. "No, he's not. Not really. This one wasn't a vision. It was different, like, like a personal message from The Powers That Be."

Methos took the seat that was offered, sitting heavily. "What do they want this time?"


"So, let me make sure I've got this. You," Methos pointed to Wesley, "Are an ex-Watcher from the Slayer division, you-" then Cordelia, "-are an aspiring actress with prophetic visions of the future from The Powers That Be and," he paused looking at Gunn. "What's your role in this again?"

"I'm the local help."

With a sigh, Methos leaned back in his chair. All he'd wanted was a little peace, a little quiet. He didn't see why it was so much to ask. Well, all right, maybe the whole atoning for past trespasses thing made it a little much, but this. How many times did they expect him to come running to their beck and call. It wasn't as though they'd ever lowered themselves to speak with him in person.

"Didn't I just go through this with MacLeod?" he asked the group even though he knew they had no clue what he was talking about. "End of the world, apocalypse, destruction, death, evil reigning for ever and ever. How many times do we have to go through this before everyone figures out it isn't going to end that way. Not with a bang but a whimper."

Wesley glanced at the other two and looked back at Methos in confusion. "I'm sorry..."

Holding up a hand Methos leaned forward. "So your friend, Angel," he paused over the name. How pretentious. "Where can I find him, since apparently I've been selected to help train him for the oncoming battle of evil?"

"That's part of the problem. He doesn't want any help, that's why he left. He's not very sociable lately."

Cordelia snorted. "Yeah, Angel and personable are about as far apart as you can get. He's been extra special broody lately."

Methos let his head drop into his hands. That was absolutely the last thing he needed, a tall, brooding, insufferable... "He's not Scottish is he?"

The three exchanged glances.

"Um, no. Irish actually." Wesley looked as though he were about to ask if Methos was feeling all right.

"Perfect." He stood. "Could I have the address please?" There was no use postponing things. Maybe he would be able to take care of things quickly and be on his way again. And spend the next hundred years living on top of a pole in the middle of the desert so he wouldn't get these kinds of messages anymore.


Methos stood in front of the large hotel gazing up at the overwhelming structure and wondering what it was that possessed people to live in places that large. Space was all well and good, but it also meant the possibility of having unwanted visitors.

Imagining the man would more than likely not answer the door from what he'd heard of him already Methos tried the front door and found it locked. He pulled a set of lock picks from his pocket and surreptitiously when to work on the door. Within moments he had the door opened and was inside the spacious old hotel.

It was more or less as he expected from what he'd seen of the outside and heard of Angel's tastes. Open spaces, dark rich furniture that had seen better days, it all made up an interesting picture of his new student. He'd be very very surprised if he didn't have to actually fight the other man to convince him he needed the help. This was why he'd given up teaching. So often the ones being taught didn't pay attention.

And then they got themselves killed, usually rather messily with lots of lighting and explosions. There was really only so much of that one could take before knowing not to do it again. Maybe it would be different with a mortal. He could hope.

When there was no sign of his soon-to-be-charge at his entrance, Methos wandered around the large open space of the entryway, scuffing his feet, knocking his knuckles on random bits of highly polished wood and generally making other sorts of 'there's someone here' sounds. After several moments, the man had still not appeared. It did not bode well for the beginning of their training. When one was going up against the forces of evil, one really should be more alert.

The hotel looked very large, even from an optimistic perspective, it would take him far too long to search out every room. That was if the man was even here. The others had assured him that Angel didn't go out during the day, but didn't necessarily mean anything.

Crossing the room to the large check-in desk, Methos lifted himself up onto the smooth surface and sat with his legs crossed. He picked up the small ring for service bell and grinned. There was a reason they had chosen that particular design to catch people's attention. It was horrifically annoying.

He began tapping the small bell. Repeatedly. Maybe this could be fun.

Several minutes later, Methos heard the sound of movement from above and turned toward the staircase to see a young man descending with a sword in hand. Overall it was a good start, though the protection of the weapon would do him little good if there had been a true intruder. He set the bell aside and watched Angel come closer.

As the other man neared, Methos felt his entire body go still. Not again. It wasn't fair. Tall, dark, well all right pale, and brooding. It wasn't fair. Fate was such a bitch. He had just gone through this. He didn't need this, not now. Couldn't he at least have put a shirt on?

"What are you doing here?"

He even had a nice voice. "I think a more apt question would be how you think you're protected in this building when there are lots of people out in the world who want you very dead." Methos didn't move from his relaxed position from atop the desk as the man neared though he was ready to jump down and pull his own sword if it came to that.

"I can take care of myself." His dark eyes flashed in warning and he shifted his grip on the sword.

With a sigh, Methos jumped down from the desk. "Yes, well apparently there are those out there who think you're ill prepared to face what's coming. I've been sent to even the odds. Do you want to accept my help or do we need to go through all the macho posturing first?" He drew his own sword slowly, certain he would have need of it.

Angel lunged forward with his own sword which Methos blocked easily.

"Of course. Wouldn't want to do things the easy way." The young one began his attack in earnest, not taking the time to feel him out as an opponent but attacking with a desire to end things quickly. It wasn't a bad technique exactly, it had certainly been born from a need to work with a pared down style but against one who had been trained as Methos had. He didn't actually have much of a chance. Five thousand years of experience will do that for a person.

Angel was lying on back with Methos' sword tip at his throat. "Do you accept now that you might, just possibly, need help?"

The other man stared at him definitely. Gods, the man exuded power and sexuality like the air...he wasn't breathing. Methos took an involuntary step back allowing his sword to drop. So not a mortal at all, but a vampire. It made sense, sort of with the ex-Watcher, or maybe not really.

Pushing himself to his feet with ultimate grace, Angel stalked toward him. Methos met his gaze steadily, even though he had never been particularly fond of vampires in general. There had been a few he liked, but on the whole they were rather unimaginative and pretentious. He supposed it wasn't all that surprising that Angel turned out to be one after all.

"No one mentioned you're a vampire. Funny how you got the whole saving the world gig. I imagine that sort of puts a bit of a knot in your style." Methos refused to give ground as the man neared. He wasn't dangerous exactly, but he was unsettling on many, many levels.

"It's a long story involving gypsy curses and a soul."

"Yeah, well gypsy curses aren't really all they're cracked up-"

Angel leaned in as Methos spoke until his nose was just brushing Methos' neck. For a moment, Methos thought he was going to be bitten but instead the other man drew in a deep deliberate breath.

"I would appreciate you not sniffing me." He finally stepped back. This had to be one of the most interesting meetings he'd had in centuries.

Angel took an involuntary half-step forward before he visibly stopped himself. He had the decency to look somewhat apologetic. "You're one of the old ones. I can smell it."


Angel shook his head slightly, trying to clear the intoxicating scent of age and power from his nose. The blood running through the veins of the man standing before him called to him, tempted him in a way that he had not felt in so long. His eyes slid along the pale, arched neck to rest at the faintly visible pulse, throbbing in time with a heart that had been beating for hundreds of years.

Clenching his fists tightly, Angel forced his eyes up to the strangely multicolored eyes of the intruder. "Who are you?"

The man tilted his head to one side, a whisper of a grin settling onto his lips. "You can call me Cavan. I've been sent to help you."

"That's not your true name." It didn't sit well on the man before him, not as he appeared now. It rang falsely in his ears and he hungered in a way he didn't know was possible to hear his true name.

Cavan blinked at him slowly. "True names are earned, gifts given after years of friendship. Not tokens to be thrown at curious children."

Angel's mouth tightened and he took another step forward before he realized what he was doing. He couldn't seem to control himself around the old one. He had the scent of long- forgotten deserts and punishing heat, of death and blood and regret. It called to Angel, spoke to him on a level he almost didn't recognize.

"Who sent you?" He had to mentally shake himself to focus; it was difficult to think around the old one, more so than he cared to admit even to himself.

Eyes that could not seem to settle on a single color pinned him coolly. "Your old friends and mine, The Powers That Be. Something, apparently, is coming and you are about to play a key role in it." He sounded almost bored, and the slightest bit amused.

"You don't seem concerned. I'm sure I can face it on my own." Angel stepped back and motioned to the door. "I'm sure you can let yourself out." He was hoping, desperately, that the other man wouldn't leave; if anyone could be safe around him, it would be one of the old ones.

Instead, the man nodded at him seriously. "As you wish." He turned his back on Angel very purposefully and flicked a small white card from his hand. It floated in the air for a moment before landing disdainfully at Angel's feet.


"Someone could have mentioned he was a vampire." Methos scanned the innocent faces of the Angel Investigations crew. He felt somewhat more collected after the drive back to the small office. The meeting with Angel had been disturbing and exhilarating at the same time. He knew the pull between them was dangerous and would lead to nothing but pain for them both. But it might be fun in the meantime, if he could get the vampire to trust him, or at least accept him.

Gunn jerked his chin at him. "How'd you find out?"

"The whole not-breathing thing tends to give away the game." He raised his eyebrows at the group, waiting. Some warning would have been nice; he'd long ceased enjoying walking into situations without full knowledge of what to expect.

"It didn't come up." Cordelia looked at the two men who nodded their agreement. "Besides, we thought it would take you a lot longer to figure it out."

"Yet," Wesley frowned at him over his glasses, "You don't seem particularly upset by the fact."

Methos shrugged and sprawled out in the nearest chair, tilting his head to the ceiling. "It's a weird world." In fact, he'd actually had more than his fair share of run-ins with vampires on occasion. Some of them he'd even gotten along with rather well, though on the whole he tried to avoid them if he could. They had an odd fascination with Immortal blood and could happily drain him several times over to sate themselves. It was not something he particularly enjoyed.

"So, what's the game plan?"

Looking up at Gunn, Methos shook his head. "The next move is all his. I left my card; he has to call. I've tried helping people before who don't want it, and I can tell you it doesn't really work all that well. He has to come to me. The offer's been made."

"How do you know he'll come? He doesn't want help." He doesn't want our help. It hung in the air between the three others like a physical thing.

"Oh, he'll call. He won't want to, and he'll fight with himself over it for a good while, but he will. He won't be able to help himself."

Wesley leaned forward. "Why?"

"Because I have something he can't resist." When he didn't elaborate, the others exchanged glances and Methos decided it was well past time to turn the attention away from himself. "So, now I think would be a good time for you to tell me exactly what happened to cause this breach between you." Information was key and the more he had of it, the better he would be able to handle Angel.


What a mess.

Methos sighed. It couldn't have been a more convoluted plot if it had been a soap opera. Of course, most soaps these days didn't deal with vampires and demons, but still. "Are you sure that's all?"

"I think that's about it. Unless you think we should get into the Buffy thing, which is a whole other drama." Cordelia looked to Wesley who turned considering eyes on the ceiling.

"Buffy? What is this? Where do you people get your names, out of a bubble gum machine?"

Cordelia made a face somewhere between outrage and disgust. "Hey, like you have a lot of room to talk, Cavan. Wasn't he a Gummi Bear?"

Methos paused for a moment, frowning thoughtfully. "No, the Gummi Bears all had bizarre Gummi names, not a Cavan among them."

"I saw all the episodes, Cavan was so one of them."

"Then I suggest maybe you should watch them when you aren't five so you could remember. The Gummi bears included a Zummi, Grammi, Cubbi, Sonni, Tummi, Gruffi and the oddly named Gusto along with his bird Arty. Now, the kid they played with, his name was Cavin, but none of the bears had that name."


Gunn snorted. "I'd think you'd have better things to do with you time than watch kiddie shows."

"It was quality programming," he shrugged.

Wesley cleared his throat. "I think we're getting a little far afield here. What are you going to do about Angel?"

Letting his eyes drift over the pale Brit, Methos considered for a moment what he wanted to share. While individually the members of the group might have left something to be desired, together they were a powerful team, even if they didn't as yet recognize it themselves. Wesley provided them with focus though he was still getting used to his role as leader. He'd have to be careful. It was bad enough the other man had been a Watcher, even if it was for the Slayer; he was still aware of Immortals. It would only be so long before he took their earlier conversation and began wondering how exactly it was that mild- mannered photographer Cavan Greyman knew about them.

He was prepared for the eventuality of his Immortality coming up--he doubted they would make it through whatever was coming without him being hurt somehow--but it was something he would like to avoid as long as possible. Particularly considering the way the cards had fallen after his dismissal from the Watchers. Sometimes he hated the Information Age.

"For right now the best we can do is wait. I give him a couple days, three at most before he tries to find me. If it takes longer than that, I'll go pay him another visit." And maybe make something of an offer to the vampire with a soul. It wasn't something he particularly wanted to do--bleeding was, oddly enough, not a favorite hobby of his--but then sometimes one didn't get to choose.

"So that's it? We jut sit around and wait?" Gunn crossed his arms over his chest and raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Don't sound like much of a plan, you ask me."

Methos sighed. Young people were so impatient. "Some things just can't be rushed. Apparently we have a little time to play with, or we'd be getting more urgent messages from our dear, dear friends. As it is, this is the best course of action. If things change we can deal with it as it comes." He looked at the young man who shrugged his approval before turning to Wesley. "In the mean time, I'll need access to all the reference materials you've collected as well as the name of a place I can stay until the world isn't ending anymore."

Wes nodded and gestured to the bookshelf leaning against the wall. "Most of what we have is there, though there are a few more specialized volumes in the back." He frowned, looking both apologetic and upset at the same time. "We used to have more, but Angel..."

The hurt in the other man's tone was tangible and he could feel its echo in varying degrees within the other two in the room. Methos nodded his understanding, but tried not to let himself be pulled into the fold of their close-knit circle. The three of them fairly leaked dependance upon one another and neediness. It wasn't what he was looking for. He'd become a photographer in the first place to avoid creating relationships like this. He traveled, stayed in one place long enough to get some nice shots, and moved on. The Fates had an odd sense of humor sometimes.

"Um, guys?"

The three of them turned their heads to Cordelia, the slight waver in her voice enough to distract. Methos was across the room in a moment, his reflexes faster than either of the other two and caught her as she fell. He watched as her eyes grew distant and she flung her hands before her in an attempt to ward off whatever it was she was seeing.

"Oh God. Down, uh somewhere on the water. This thing, he's killing her. It looks like, like fire, but green and it's coming from his hands."

"What does it look like, Cordelia?"

Methos glanced at Wes, whose voice was taut, intense and his attention was focused entirely on Cordelia. Definitely a leader.

"I don't," she shook her head. "He's really tall and all thin, like boney thin. And, ew, I think he's covered in some kind of slime." Methos could feel her relax gradually under his hands and she finally opened her eyes to look at them. "We have to hurry, I think I know where it was, but we don't have much time."

Wes was shaking his head even as he stood and began collecting books. "We still don't know exactly what it was, or how to defeat it--"

"It's a Myar demon. They look like what Cordelia described and hunt primarily women. You can kill them by cutting them in half at the waist or submerging them in freshwater under a full moon." Methos stood, disregarding the looks he was gathering. "We should hurry. Once they feed, they go to ground for three weeks and come back about half again as big and twice as nasty."

"How -- It doesn't matter." He crossed the room and began handing out weapons; a battle- axe went to Gunn, Cordelia was given a sword and Wes pulled out a sword for himself. He looked to Methos.   "Do you know how to--"

Methos held open his coat to reveal his own sword and nodded to the door. "Let's go."

They drove as quickly through the streets of LA as they could manage with the late afternoon traffic. Methos thought he might have managed more speed, but kept his comments to himself. Gunn was a decent driver for his age; he simply didn't have the advantage of practice with automobiles since they'd first been invented. He and Wes were crouched down in the back of the truck and were watching for any signs of their opponent.

He saw Cordelia point to an isolated area near a retention pond and heard screaming as Gunn cut the engine. Without thought, Methos vaulted over the side of the truck and was running into the fray before the others could gather themselves together. Distantly, he thought it might have been somewhat stupid to try and face the demon on his own without the backup that wanted to help him, but his instincts took over. He'd faced a Myar before, several centuries past, and had lost a family to it, not exactly something one forgets.

Thrusting himself between the demon and the young girl it was about to eat, Methos held the demon back with his sword and shouted over his shoulder to the others. "Get her out!" He then had to turn his full attention to the demon as it swung its double-pointed mallet at him. Distantly he could almost see himself fighting with a demon nearly twice his size and covered in some weird goo. It was laughable that after five thousand years he would still throw himself into these kinds of situations without thought. Apparently he'd gotten away from MacLeod too late if he was jumping in to save damsels in distress or whatever the modern equivalent was.

Although Methos had the advantage of millennia of practice as well as greater agility, the demon was far taller and had greater reach as well as strength. Not odds he cared much for, but maybe if the others could join in and--


Methos had to force himself not to look at whoever had called his name, keeping his attention focused on his opponent. He could not afford to lose his concentration with this type of demon. He swung his blade in an attempt block the succession of blows from the Myar, but his footing was weak and he slipped, falling backward and landing on his back. His sword was up to defend himself even as he fell, but it wasn't quite enough.

Sharp, burning pain flared through him, centering on his left shoulder were the demon's mallet had crashed into his body. The broken mass that was now his shoulder pulled his breath from his body and, for a moment, Methos wasn't sure he would be able to cling to consciousness. Only the thought that the others might not be close enough to keep the thing from removing his head allowed him to focus.

As the Myar roared in triumph at his blow, Methos lunged forward, pushing through the pain he knew was only temporary and shoved his sword through the center of the demon with as much force as he could gather. The beast looked at him in surprise, its oddly human eyes meeting his own and Methos was certain it saw its own death reflected there. Shifting his grip on the hilt of his sword, Methos jerked the blade sideways, severing the creature in half before falling back against the ground.

Already he could feel his Quickening trying to heal the damage to his shoulder, though in all honesty he wasn't sure how long it would take to fix. It wasn't simply a matter of a broken bone. Judging from the pain and the weapon, he doubted there was much left recognizable of his shoulder. It was only luck that had kept his arm attached to his body.

"Cavan." Methos could see knees next to him on the ground, mud soaking into a pair of carefully pressed slacks. "Don't try to move, we'll get you help. Don't worry. Gunn, call for an ambulance!"

"Don't. I'll be fine." The words were difficult to speak, but he forced them past his lips, searching out the ex-Watcher's eyes. He was startled to find his vision blurry and dark around the edges and the pain seemed to be spreading; even to draw breath ached. He did not need this; he didn't need to die on top of everything. He hated dying. It couldn't be that bad.

"Yes, yes, you will be fine, just relax." Wes sounded so concerned. "Gunn!"

"Right here, man. I'm trying to get through. The lines' busy."

"Wes. Listen." The darkness in his vision was worse and he could distantly recognize the signs of his impending death. He didn't have much time. "Immortal." He locked his gaze with Wes' and hoped the other man would understand.

"I, what? Are you saying you're--"

The pain in his shoulder kept him from moving his head. Instead of speaking, Methos closed his eyes once in a long blink, hoping the other man would understand it as a nod. When he saw the understanding in Wes' eyes, he closed his own and tried to focus on his breathing. Sometime it helped to store up extra oxygen in his blood before he died. It occasionally made coming back easier.


"Help me get him up." Wes leaned down and grabbed Cavan carefully by his upper body, trying to avoid the ruined area of his shoulder.

Gunn looked at him questioningly, but said nothing, grabbing the unconscious--make that dead--man's legs. "You're explaining everything later, right?"

He nodded and looked to Cordelia who had been dealing with the young woman Cavan saved. "Cordelia, could you please retrieve his sword?" He knew she wouldn't thank him for having to deal with the messy weapon, still somewhat attached to the now deceased demon, but they were out of options and they needed to move quickly. As he and Gunn struggled with the dead weight of the man, who weighed far more than his appearance warranted, Wes was trying to plan. "Do you have a blanket in the truck, something we can wrap him in?"

"Yeah, I keep one behind the seat."

"Good, we'll wrap him in it and put him in the front on the floorboard while Cordelia and I sit in the seat and try and look as though there isn't a dead body in your truck." As plans went, it wasn't the best, but it would have to do.

Gunn paused, eyes narrowing. Despite the circumstances, Wes felt a shiver run along his spine at the younger man's regard. "Not to sound ungrateful, but he ain't gonna bleed all over my truck is he?"

They'd reached the truck and Wes propped the limp body of the Immortal up against the truck, waiting for Gunn to retrieve his blanket. "That depends entirely on the quality of your blanket."

Gunn pulled the blanket out of the truck and helped Wes roll Cavan's still body in it before heaving him onto the floorboard. As Cordelia joined them, they stored Cavan's sword next to him on the floor of the truck and climbed in, arranging themselves to cover him as best they could.

"Let's just hope we don't get pulled over. Don't think I could talk my way out of this one." Gunn jerked the truck into gear and moved off. "That girl, she okay?"

Cordelia nodded. "Yes, she was fine, a little upset, but hi, who wouldn't be. She doesn't live far from here and just went home. Now would someone like to tell me why we have a bleeding guy in the truck and why we didn't call an ambulance? I know it would have been a little hard to explain, but really. He's not," she hesitated. "Dead, is he?"

"Well, provisionally, yes. It seems there is more going on than even we thought, and there are a few thing Mr. Greyman will need to share with us."

"Ain't it gonna be a little hard for him to share if he's dead?"

Wes shook his head and wondered for a moment if the others found the conversation as odd as he did. It seemed that their lives would never be normal, and the calm way in which they were discussing the dead man on the floor of the truck, who would be coming back to life shortly, was vaguely disturbing. "I think it might be best if we got back to the office first and perhaps allowed Cavan to explain things. I don't know that I would get all the details right. That section of the Watchers wasn't really my thing."

When they finally pulled up in front of the office, Wes was once again relieved that they had chosen a location out of the public eye. It made carrying a body-shaped, blanket- wrapped package inside that much easier. He made sure the door was closed and the blinds drawn tightly before he unwrapped Cavan to check his wound and state of his impending revival.

The other man's shoulder was nearly healed and Wes doubted it would be much longer before he came back to them. And then he would insist on answers.

"Hey, how'd he do that?" Gunn leaned over his shoulder, a hand on his back to keep his balance.

It took Wes a moment to collect himself as his focus narrowed to the warm presence of Gunn's hand on his back and the heat radiating from that spot. He shook himself, telling himself he needed to pay attention and straightened. It was disappointing, though, to lose that connection.

Cavan stirred slightly as Wes stood and drew a deep, sick-sounding breath. He coughed, rolling onto his uninjured side before feeling his shoulder.

"It would seem that our Mr. Greyman is actually an Immortal. Isn't that right?"

Cavan fell back against the floor with a sigh and closed his eyes. "You know, you try to lead a somewhat normal life, one that doesn't involve demons and prophecies of impending apocalypse and what do you get? A Myar demon, a broody vampire with a soul and another death just to mix things up a little." He sat up slowly and glanced at them. "Would you believe I'm just a fast healer?"

"He something evil we should be killing? Cause if he is, we should do it now when he's hurt and not wait till he can swing that sword of his around at us." Gunn had backed up a step to retrieve his axe before coming to stand between Wes and Cavan.

Wes placed a hand on Gunn's shoulder, touched that the other man would try to protect him from unknown danger. He checked the grin he knew wanted to come out on his face and instead shook his head. "Immortals are not evil per se, only very difficult to kill."

"How difficult?" Gunn had not relaxed his stance, though he seemed willing to listen.

"Some of them have been alive for thousands of years." A thought occurred to Wes and he tilted his head in Cavan's direction. "Do you have a Watcher?"

Keeping his eyes trained on Gunn, Cavan rose slowly to his feet, hands held out in a show of deference. Wes could sense the hesitation in the other man as the waited for several moments for Cavan to answer the question. "I imagine I have several at the moment. My last incarnation caused something of a stir and they seem a little unwilling to let me out of their sight."

"Your last incarnation?" Wes wasn't entirely sure he wanted to know the answer to that question.

"I spent the last twelve years or so as Adam Pierson." Cavan rolled his now completely healed shoulder. "Did someone pick up my sword? I've had it for some time and am a little attached to it."

As Cordelia held up the weapon in question, but made no move to return it, Wes was trying to place the name. It was strikingly familiar. "Adam Pierson." He shook his head then stopped. Running his eyes over Cavan very carefully he took another step back. "Adam Pierson, as in the Immortal who infiltrated the Watchers and spent ten years working on his own Chronicle. Methos?" Wes watched as the mild facade fell from the other man's eyes to be replaced by a very different regard. Calculating. Measuring.


He'd heard rumors of the trial after the Immortal Watchers had found Methos pretending to be one of their own. The man they'd known as Adam Pierson had walked in, mild and bookish, but had quickly dropped the persona as the questioning intensified. At one point, he'd stood before them, slamming his fist on the table before him shouting his defiance. The list of crimes he committed over the years was damning and only the non-interference policy and the lack of evidence to support the claim the accusation he'd used the Watchers to hunt had allowed him to keep his head. It had been a close vote though.

"Nice to know news travels."

He also now understood why this man, more so than any other on the planet, would be able to help Angel in the face of an apocalypse. And why The Powers That Be would choose him as a means of their will, he had much to atone for.

As that he'd been, in his own form, an apocalypse more than three thousand years ago.

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