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Shades and Shadows

By Lyria Wollich - 2000

Shades & Shadows PT2 Shades & Shadows PT3 Shades & Shadows PT4


Duncan MacLeod awoke suddenly as a familiar voice called out "Hey come on you two! Rise and shine."
Richie?… Duncan thought out loud to himself. A second or two later he dismissed the thought. Must have been the last of a dream…
A half-heartedly thrown pillow bounced off the small circular port windows of the barge.
     "Go away, Richie!" a voice beside him cried out sleepily. A shock hit Duncan's system. The delicately fluid voice, tinged with a French accent could only have come from one person. Duncan sat straight up in bed and braced himself with his fists against the firm mattress. Fear mixed with longing and confusion shot through him. He carefully turned his head towards the other side of the bed only to catch the sight of delicately strewn blond locks half hidden by the sheets un-decoriously tossed over her head. Tessa?…..
     Duncan was fighting to breathe. He quickly sprang out of bed and stared at what to him was a ghost, a remnant of his past that was dead and buried.

     "Mac?" Tessa called out, as he turned to face him, the sheets still covering most of her.
Reeling, Duncan staggered towards the door, he needed air, something…he felt a familiar rush of emotions hit him - another immortal "Richie?" He managed to choke out.
     "Hey Mac." Richie's boyant voice rang back through the closed door. "Let me in would ya?" Duncan saw the lever jog as Richie toggled the barge door. Duncan popped the lock and in seconds Richie Ryan's smiling face popped in.      "Are you guys getting ready yet?"
     Getting ready? For what? Shaken, MacLeod tried to gain his composure, though his normally tanned face was white. "Not yet." He said trying to smile.
     "Are you ok Mac?" Richie asked, noticing Mac's unhealthy pallor. "You look like you've seen a ghost."
     "You could say that." Duncan replied under his breath.
     "What is it, Duncan?" Tessa asked, rising. Her voice tinged with real worry.
     "It's nothing." He said mildly, grinning. "Really." He began moving slowly towards the bathroom door. He needed time to think. "I'll be ok, just a little something I ate last night."
    "Yeah, sure, right." Richie shot back sarcastically. His eyes betrayed the fact he didn't believe a word of it. But Richie also new better than to push.


Duncan closed the bathroom door behind him and turning on the tap, splashed ice cold water onto his face. He looked up at the mirror and saw his own dark features staring back at him. A dream…..
He could hear their voices coming through the door. His mind drifted to better times, happier times, the three of them, together.

"Mac, are you alright in there." Duncan's mind snapped back to the present.
     "Yeah, I'll be right out."
     "Come on Mac were going to be late for the show." Tessa's voice pleaded. An art show, well that explained where they were going. He needed some time to figure things out.
     "Come on Mac." Tessa called out impatiently.
     "Why don't you two go on without me." MacLeod called to them through the closed door. "I'll meet you there."
     "Are you ok?" Tessa asked, tugging on the Bathroom door. "Mac, let me in."
     "Tessa, you and Richie go to the Art Show and I'll meet you there."
     "But why.."
     "Tessa." Duncan's voice turned low and commanding.
     "Alright, but don't be too late, you'll miss the unveiling of the sculpture."
     "I wouldn't miss it for the world." Duncan replied softly, his emotions creeping in to his words. Not to let on that he didn't know where the show would be held he queried Richie.
     "So where do you want to meet?"
     "We'll meet you at the Fountaine Blu in lets say a half hour."
     "Sounds great Richie, I'll see you both there."
     "Mac, are you sure you're all right." Tessa asked again, panic rising in her voice.
     Duncan opened the door, stuck his head out and smiled. "I'll be fine. Now get out of here before you're late. No immortal ever died from a stomach ache."
     Tessa smiled warmly. "You're right, I'm sorry. I just worry about you." She leaned over and gave him a gentle kiss.
Mac's head reeled as her lips touched his. They were real and warm and….

"I don't understand it either, Mac." The concerned voice of Joe Dawson, his friend and member of the watchers came over the phone line. "Tessa and Richie are supposed to be dead. You know that as well as I do."
     "Don't you think that I don't know that, Joe. I held Tessa's body in my arms, I watched as my sword took Richie's head."
     "Dammit, this just doesn't make any sense. And you say they were just there in the morning."
     "Yeah, it was like waking up into a dream."
     "Are you sure it isn't that girl Horton doctored up to look like Tessa? What was her name Lisa…?"


….Duncan couldn't believe his eyes. He knew he had seen her at the Graveyard when he had gone to see Tessa. Now here she was walking past him on a crowded Paris street. Long legs sporting thigh high leather boots and a black mini - skirt she was the spitting image of Tessa Noel.
     "Excuse me."
     "What do you want?" she asked, irritated. The hauntingly familiar face and voice stirring all of Duncan's emotions.
     "Have we met before?" He asked, trying to find something in her face, in her eyes.
     "No I don't think so."
     "Well would it work if I told you looked like someone I know." ….
     Duncan's mind flashed again and he was at the Graveyard once again…
      "So how does it feel Duncan MacLeod, to loose her twice." The grinning face of James Horton mocking him.
Not again…

"But this time's different, Joe. It's not just Tessa, Richie is an immortal. I can feel him, remember."
     "I don't know what to tell you but, I'll have a few people look into this and see what I can find out. I'll fly out to Paris in the morning. By the way, Methos is in Paris, I'll have him come see you. He might know something I don't."
     "Thanks, Joe."
     "Yeah, and Mac…" Joe said pausing.
     "Yeah, Joe."
     "Watch your back, ok."
     "Thanks, I will."

Duncan rushed to the Fountain and his heart jumped when he didn't see Tessa or Richie. Had it all been a dream? He stood by the towering fountain watching the blue water cascade into the basin from two lion heads.
     "There you are." Tessa called out. Duncan started.
     "Boy, you sure are jumpy today." Richie observed dryly. "I'm headed for the Drink tent. Anyone care for some wine, champagne?"
     "That sounds great Richie, thanks." Duncan said, glad to have a moment alone with Tessa.
     "A white wine for me." Tessa said, turning to Mac. "Champagne?"
     "Yes, great." He replied smiling.
     "That's a white wine and a champagne, got it. Be right back." Richie said turning for the tent.
     "Take your time." Duncan called after him.

Turning to Tessa, he looked into her eyes, searching.
     "Mac, what is it?"
     "I don't know Tess, I just feel strange somehow. Does anything seem different to you?"
     "Different how?" She asked, unsure of what he was asking her.
     "Something that seems out of place, I don't know - anything."
     "I don't know what you're talking about Duncan. If you're asking me if anything is strange, tell me what isn't strange in my life with you. I've learned to expect surprises." Tessa smiled.
     "Yeah, I guess you have." He replied, hugging her.
     "You still haven't told me what's wrong." She pursued, pushing away from him slightly. "You have been acting strange all morning."
      "Tessa have you ever gone to bed believing that one thing is true, just to wake up in to morning to find out that everything has changed?"
      "I don't know if I understand what you're talking about, but if you mean have I ever had to change in what I believe, it happened the day I shot you and you were still alive. The day you told me you were immortal. That changed everything for me."

     Duncan thought about what she had said, and realized what a shock that had been for her. She must of felt much like he did now, her whole world turned upside down.

"Tessa, have I told you that I love you?"
"Not enough." She said playfully. "Come on, lets go and see the sculpture."

A few hours later, they returned to the barge. Tessa was preparing one of Mac's favorite dishes. Duncan sat back and looked at her and Richie who was setting up the board for another game of chess. He suddenly realized that he was happy - truly happy - for the first time in as long as he could remember. Suddenly the familiar rush struck. Duncan tensed, looked up and around and Tessa picked up on it immediately.
      "It's ok Tessa, stay here." Duncan assured her. Richie's shoulders dropped a bit as he relaxed the tension in them. "Just stay here. I'll be right back." He said pointing his finger at the young Immortal.
     "Mac.." Richie started. Duncan glared back at him.
     "Stay here."

Duncan walked out onto the deck of the Barge, sword in hand, blade flipped behind his elbow. A long, lanky man in a dark trench coat stood waiting for him near the rail. "Long time no see, MacLeod." a smooth British voice greeted him.
     "Yeah, it has been a while, hasn't it. So what brings you to Paris?"
     "Oh you know how it is MacLeod, one has to keep moving."
     "So did you talk to Joe?"
     "Yes, I did."
     "I won't lie to you MacLeod, I've seen this type of thing before, but there is no saying what the consequences of it will be."
     "What are you talking about Methos?"
     "Well if I'm right, they are here because that night at the mansion never happened. They never died. They never knew what life was like without you there. To them this day is just an extension of what was. Richie became an immortal, but we have no idea when it happened or how."
     "Are you saying that that is really them? That they're alive." Duncan said, choking back tears forming in his eyes.
     "That's exactly what I'm telling you MacLeod. But I'm not sure why. If I'm right and their reality is the true way of it now. In a few day's no one else will remember it being any other way."
     "Methos, I don't think I understand."
     "Understand this Highlander, a force beyond our comprehension has changed history. Our history. I'm not sure even of how much has changed. But soon we could be living in a totally different world. We have to talk to them, listen to what they remember. It's probably much different than our own memories."
     "But how.."
     "There are certain mysteries even I cannot explain, Highlander. Let's go inside, then we'll head back to my flat. I have a book there that might help us."
     Duncan reached for the door. Methos reached out and put his hand on Duncan's shoulder and Mac turned to face him. "Just one thing, MacLeod. If this is what I think it might be, things are going to get really complicated."

Methos followed Duncan into the front room. Richie stood up.
    "Richie, Tessa, this is…" before he was able to finish his sentence, Tessa wiped her hands off with a white towel and tossing it down, she berated Mac giving him an accusing glance. "Methos. Mac why didn't you tell me he was back?"
     "Well I…"
     Methos glanced at Duncan and then just grinned. Tessa came and gave him a hug. "So good to see you again. Did you bring Amanda with you?"
     "Amanda!?" both men cried out simultaneously.
     "Oh, I'm sorry." She said uncomfortably, "I just assumed you were still together."
Mac began to giggle and Methos looked vaguely uncomfortable.
     "Yeah, Methos, where's Amanda?" Duncan shot at his friend, being a smart-ass.

"Well, to be honest, I'm not quite sure, but…you know Amanda."
     "Yeah, well…"
     "And you remember Richie?" Duncan said quickly, trying to divert attention from the subject.
     "Yeah, sure." Richie said holding out his hand.
     "How's it been?" Methos asked.
     "Well other than getting shot the other day, it's been pretty good."
     "Shot! When were you shot?" Duncan blurted out.
     "Yeah, Mac, Don't you remember, you were there when those punks tried to gun us down."
     Duncan gave Richie a blank look and suddenly felt a sharp pain in his side where Methos had shoved an elbow.
"Oh, yeah, right…sorry."
      "That's ok. Mac, are you sure you're ok?"
      "Never been better," Duncan lied smoothly with a smile.
      "Well dinner's almost ready, will you be staying with us, Methos?"
      "Don't mind if I do." Methos replied, taking a seat at the table. "I can't wait for you to catch me up on what I've missed…."

After dinner, Methos and Mac excused themselves and headed for Methos' flat.
     "It's amazing." Methos commented. "So much that has happened is not so different from what I remember, and then some of it.. well,"
      "Yeah like the part about you and Amanda. I never thought she was your type."
     Methos laughed. "Well, I never thought much about it before, but you have to admit, she's a hard girl to say no to."
     Duncan nodded. "How well I know."

Methos searched inside a large iron bound chest. After a few moments he extracted a large leather bound book.    "This should be it." He said wryly.
     "What is it?" Duncan asked.
     "A diary of sorts." He said, opening the cover.
     "The famous Methos chronicles?"
     "The same." Methos said, paging through.
     "It looks like it was written in ancient Aramaic."
     "In parts, some parts were written in Latin, Greek and German. Ah, here we are." Methos opened the book to the page and set it down a large coffee table between them. "I was in Egypt for a short time during the time of the Roman Empire. I had met this guy name Solophus who was a teacher, philosopher and high priest at the temple of Rah. He had started at one point to talk about something called the Cryphier. According to this ancient text, that even then had no traceable origin; every so many thousands of years, there was an event or series of events in time that became a focal point. I believe one such point was the day that Tessa and Richie died. Solophus believed that these focal points are extremely important and there were only two possible outcomes to each event. One was, what up until today we knew to be true, Tessa and Richie both died that night at the Mansion. The other is the one that you and I woke into today."
      "But what would the difference be to anyone else if Tessa and Richie had stayed alive that night?" Duncan asked his friend, not really knowing if he wanted an answer. He had them back and would not give them up again."
"If you ask me, the only entity that would have that kind of power, would be Ahriman himself. Do you remember how he tempted all of us with the things we most wanted to help kill you. It's a hard thing to give up MacLeod, even for you."

"But what would he have to gain from them being alive? I would think he would want them both dead. He was the one who fooled me into killing Richie in the first place."
     "Ah, but it didn't have the desired effect. You grew stronger through their deaths. He had nothing to hold over your head, nothing to weaken your resolve. Now he has their lives to bargain with."
Duncan thought about this for a moment and realized that Methos was right. As much as he wanted both Tessa and Richie to be alive, he also realized the true danger in what that meant.
      "There is more. Most mortals don't even recognize the change. If they do, it's more like an irritating feeling that something is not quite right, but they can't put their finger on it. But for immortals, the noticeable change might last for a few days, but after that, we will never remember that anything was different than it is now."
     "So I'll forget everything." Duncan said, resigned.
     "Everything that has changed."
     "I can't let that happen Methos. What about Joe? Why does he still remember?"
     "I have a feeling that the watchers are somehow tied to the Immortals, their sense of reality might follow ours."
     "So what are we going to do?" Duncan asked, resigning himself into having to give up Tessa again.
     "What can we do?" Methos said with a sigh, "We'll just have to let this play out."



Joe Dawson made his way to the Barge. It was early morning and his plane had just arrived an hour before. He was tired, and feeling a bit listless. He knew that facing Richie again was going to be hard. He had helped Methos bury him after MacLeod had taken his head. Under his right arm he carried the watcher chronicles which in the last few days didn't seem to be right somehow.
      Mac was on the deck doing his Katas.
     "Hi Joe."
     "Did you have a good flight in?"
     "It was tolerable, I don't really care to fly all that much."
     "I appreciate you coming in Joe."
     Dawson looked at Mac's face and saw pain. "So did Methos find you last night?"
     "Yeah he did."
     Mac proceeded to tell Joe about what they had discovered the night before.
     "This is worse than I thought." Joe said passing Duncan the Watcher's Chronicle. "If you and Methos are right, it makes sense now that some of the entries have been changing. I couldn't put my finger on it, but…"
     "Are you sure Joe?" Duncan asked taking the large tome.
     "Huh? Oh, yeah, sure. Maybe you can tell me what has changed."
Taking the book, Duncan nodded. "Lets go inside."
     "What about…?"
     "Oh, don't worry, Tessa's at an art show and I sent Richie out for some things. We should have a couple of hours before they get back."
     Joe nodded and followed Mac down into the Barge.


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Designed and Maintained by Lyria Wollich - 2001    

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