Fic: A Lifetime

Sunday, August 12th, 2012 11:30 am
bearshorty: (Default)
[personal profile] bearshorty
Title: A Lifetime
Author: bearshorty
Challenge answered: 20 years: The Immortal View
Characters/Pairings: Richie, Michelle, Joe, Duncan, Amanda, Methos.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2,146
Summary: Twenty years can be a whole life or just a moment. Six characters reflect, sometimes reluctantly.
Notes: This story isn’t betaed so forgive any typos. I take prompts too literally sometimes and I apologize for that. Thank you to the organizers of this fest for making us remember all these wonderful characters and to reflect on this show.


Richie only had twenty years. He was nineteen when he died for the first time. And then he got less than four years more, which he often spent fighting for his life before he died for the final time at the hand of a man he thought of as family. And since he could not remember anything before he was three, he figured he got twenty years overall.

Richie was surprised he even got these years. He always hoped for a longer life and he had to be resilient from a young age but, growing up how he grew up, he always thought that he would be killed young. By the cops or when he was stealing. He never had big dreams for himself, at least not until Duncan and Tessa took him in. It was only then that he began to hope for something more.

Dying and waking up as an Immortal did not lead to any angst or dilemmas. Richie always went along with circumstances thrown at him. He did start to think of the future in the much longer terms but as much as he dreamed of spaceships and travel and new lives, he still really lived as if he didn’t die at nineteen. He didn’t really believe he wouldn’t get old. He still could not imagine outliving everyone he knew in his old neighborhood. Richie only had twenty years and it was more and much more interesting than he ever dreamed for himself as a child.


Michelle was getting impatient as she typed another email response into her iPhone. She looked up at the clock in the dingy little office and shook her head in frustration. Then she typed furiously another email to her attorney. She needed to wrap up the sale of her quite profitable business, get the money and then transfer it all to her new account and hopefully do so in the next seven days. It all depended on her finally getting the paperwork for her new identity. Which hopefully would happen soon. In the next ten minutes, perhaps. Jack, the guy that Amanda recommended, was, of course, taking his sweet time. Michelle looked at the clock again and continued to distract herself with her phone. Jack was already half an hour late and she valued her time.

She deliberately took a deep breath and tried to relax. Jack was reliable and came highly recommended. He could put together an excellent new identity with passports, birth certificates and even school grades. And he also threw in a few emergency passports with other names in case a quick escape was needed. It was just the first time Michelle had to get the new identity all by herself. Shortly after she came to stay with Amanda eighteen years ago, soon after her First Death, it was Amanda who took care of it all. But this time was her decision and the first time Michelle would really think through her own choices.

Sometimes she could not believe how fast the last eighteen years had gone. She was an Immortal now for half of her life, she build a successful business, learned how to fight and even took two heads. She was thirty-six years old and had a life she always wanted and now she had to start all over again. But, of course, it was inevitable and Amanda urged her six month ago to think through her exit strategy that involved more than the emergency passport in her desk.

It was a blessing and a curse that Michelle first died when she was eighteen. She still looked like that awkward teenager and when women her age were coloring their hair blond or brown or red, she started to deliberately put some gray in and to put on more make-up to look older. But she knew she could not keep it up. Twenty years seems to be the limit at staying at one place anyway, especially for one like her who died young, and she already spent fifteen years in New York.

Michelle decided on Eastern Europe this time. She would have to be eighteen again and try school, perhaps. A new profession. It was certainly exciting in a way.

The door at the end of the waiting room squeaked open. Michelle looked up as a middle aged, balding men poked his head through and called her in. She put the phone in her pocket and went in to go over the details to her next twenty years. If she could do it once, she could do it again and, hopefully, for centuries to come. She did wish for a moment that the new life did not involve so much paperwork.

Joe Dawson

His back hurt again. Getting old certainly was a bitch. “That’s what happens when you hang out with Immortals who don’t change and forget that you are now twenty years older,” thought Joe, as he put his guitar down after he and his guys were done with the set. He slowly walked over to the bar, leaning a little more on his cane than usual. He didn’t know how much longer he would be able to play, though, and he didn’t want to admit that he might have to stop. His hands hurt too. Damn arthritis. It was at times like these when he envied his friends who never got sick or had to deal with old joints.

He got his beer from Tom, who was minding the bar tonight, and looked over at the stage where a new band was setting up. Tomorrow, all his friends will be here for his birthday and he looked forward to seeing them all, even Methos, who will probably spend the night making jokes about how young Joe was. Another birthday gone. He will be turning sixty-two. Not too old but with the war and all that time he spent chasing Immortals and all gray hairs Duncan put on his head, he felt older than he should. Time just went too fast, he thought sometimes. One day, he looked in the mirror and was in his early forties, working in a bookstore, meeting his Immortal and getting embroiled in that world and almost getting a bullet in his head from his friends for it, and the next day, here he was, in a bar with a shot back.

Still, he could probably get another twenty years if he was lucky.

Duncan Macleod

As the last tendril of the Quickening settled down, Duncan got up carefully and rolled his shoulders. It was late and the area was a little quiet but he knew he needed to leave quickly in case anyone called the police.

“Welcome back to Seacouver,” he muttered and started walking as briskly as he could while hiding his katana. He was not back in the city for twenty four hours and he already had a challenge.

He hadn’t had a challenge in three years which cemented again in his mind that moving from here permanently was the right thing to do. He was only back for Joe but maybe next year he’ll give Joe tickets to a less violent locale as the birthday destination.

The last few years had been quiet and Duncan was finally able to get his equilibrium back. He didn’t deliberately leave the Game but it seemed to find him less as well. He realized that it has been twenty years since his last break from the Game when Slan Quince and Connor pulled him back in.

Since he turned four hundred, his life seemed to get more hectic. He killed more Immortals in that decade, after he was pulled back into the Game, than usual in the short period. He couldn’t remember a more intense decade. His memories were more vivid and there were more of them since so much had happened. Tessa and Richie and Joe and Methos – so many important people came and went from his life – that despite the stress and horror of those years, they were seared in his imagination.

After Connor’s death, his life calmed down spectacularly, days blended together much more. He still met people but they were more acquaintances and only a couple would remain important enough to remember in another twenty years or a century.

Duncan slowed down his steps as he reached a more crowded street and decided to go for a drink first before heading to his hotel. He really looked forward to seeing his friends tomorrow – they were certainly the best part of the last twenty years and he would not trade them for a peaceful existence.


Amanda was happy to escape to the bar to pick up more drinks for the table. She really was not a fan of philosophical discussions. Usually she would try to distract Duncan but everyone at the table actually seemed to want to dwell on the value of time or whatever and it was just not her thing. Besides, she preferred happy and mischievous Duncan to the angsty one. It was probably the fault of the Quickening Duncan took just before he came in and ran into all of them, all coming in to Joe’s a night earlier than expected. At least Methos was not taking the conversation as seriously.

While she waited for the drinks and flirted with the bartender, she checked her phone to see an email from Michelle. The girl was getting her new identity today and needed a little friendly ear. As Amanda typed back the tips on how to get the best deal out of Jack, her favorite forger, she thought that Michelle would probably like the discussion going on just like Joe and Duncan. And it was most likely because they were all youngsters. Twenty years was just twenty years; after a thousand years she didn’t look at the calendar often, especially because when she grew up the days were not measured so strictly. They went by seasons and by harvest days and the time was circular. It is not like she didn’t value time – almost twelve hundred years was a long time and yet not enough – but twenty years could be a time between meetings with her friends.

Tom, the bartender, put the drinks on the tray and her phone beeped at the same time. Amanda was not surprised to see a text from Methos, in Middle English, no less, telling her to hurry up since he needed more beer for the conversation. She turned and winked at him and picked up the tray to head back to the table. Maybe she needs all the tricks to get the boys to talk about something more fun.


Methos was typing up a tweet when Duncan’s hand grabbed the phone out of his hands.

“Hey, I was typing,” he said, trying to reach for it to get it back.

Duncan put Methos’ phone into his own pocket while pushing Methos’ hands down with his left hand. “What is the rule?” Duncan said, raising his eyebrow.

Methos leaned back in his chair and pretended to sulk, “No tweeting, texting, emailing or going to Tumblr or other social media while hanging out with other people. But this was important.”

Duncan continued to look at him while Joe smiled in his beer.

“Fine. It can wait. But the world will be deprived about my insightful comment about the passage of time,” Methos said.

By then Amanda rejoined the table and Methos took a colorful drink of the tray she brought.

“Are we still on this subject?” she said, pouting. “Can’t we just agree that twenty years is not that long a time and talk about other things, like traveling and a fabulous jewel heist in Dublin, which was very masterful.”

“To some of us, those who are mortal, twenty years are a quarter of a life,” said Joe under his breath.

Methos said, “You’re right, Amanda. Let’s talk about something more fun like the mess the Dublin job created, the several times you were killed and how Duncan had to fly in on a short notice to bail you out. And twenty years or thirty years or ten or a year is all the same, anyway. You still have to live it day by day. It passes the same as it did thousands of years ago.”

Duncan said, “So even after five thousand years, you don’t feel like the years are just going faster? It feels that way to me.”

“You get over it,” said Methos. “It doesn’t matter. Time is just time, it passes. You live it. Twenty years or twenty hundred years. And as a great, and, of course, my favorite, character in the ‘Sandman’ comics once said – and I’m paraphrasing – we all get what everyone gets, a lifetime. It makes no difference. Now, Joe, what do you want for your birthday?”

The End.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-13 04:31 am (UTC)
devohoneybee: (methos)
From: [personal profile] devohoneybee
Awwww, that's adorable. I like how it starts out all separately and then comes together at Joe's Place, where it should. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-13 05:38 am (UTC)
varina8: (Default)
From: [personal profile] varina8
Love how this moves from youngest to oldest, yet as Methos observes, they all get the same thing — a lifetime.

As an aside, I've always thought Methos would have a Twitter feed.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-13 04:57 pm (UTC)
bettina: (methos)
From: [personal profile] bettina
Awww, this was lovely! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-13 09:20 pm (UTC)
rhi: Methos smiling, sword over shoulder. "Not afraid to run away from danger." (Methos run away)
From: [personal profile] rhi
::smiling:: Oh, yeah, love the varying takes on the 20 years! And Joe, and Joe's, and Sandman quotes -- whee! (Of course Death is his favorite. Why am I not surprised?)

Thank you for this!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-14 10:20 pm (UTC)
lferion: (HL_Methos-Adam)
From: [personal profile] lferion
I love the different threads, the different points of view, all coming together, with Joe as the pivot. Very well done.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-15 01:21 am (UTC)
gigglingkat: Pull up a chair, the beer's on me (mood: Heart Chair)
From: [personal profile] gigglingkat
Joooooooooooooe! This was just a lovely way of tying them together!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-04 05:30 pm (UTC)
tryfanstone: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tryfanstone
Oh, but this structure is lovely - I really like the way you've threaded all these images and thoughts together: the piece moves so easily from one viewpoint to another, spiralling in to that last, lovely comment of Methos'. It seems to summarise fic and series and characters altogether - bravo! An absolutely smashing read!


bearshorty: (Default)

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