M/M Sharpe/Highlander Sharpe/Methos
[MA] Mature Adults only. Contains violence, strong language and sex scenes.
Continues on from Temples and Temptations.
For Sarah and Regine, my travel guides and hosts.
Ó Feb 1998 - Oct 1999 Paris, England, Sydney.
Somewhere over the Atlantic, the present…
Sharpe moved again restlessly in the cramped chair.
"Be still," Methos hissed in his ear.
Under the cover of darkness, and thin airline blankets, hidden under the flickering light of the inflight movie and the background roar of the engines, Methos’ hand snaked out and touched Richard, very gently and very firmly, stilling him instantly.
He felt Sharpe tense and hold his breath as his hand carefully released zipper and buckle, sliding in between cloth to feel the damp musky heat. He felt Richard’s pulse in his hand as he explored the territory slowly, cupping his soft balls in his hand, first one, then the other, tracing the delicate lines of skin, carding through the thick blonde hair, then running his hand along soft, silky velvet.
He felt Richard’s breath stop, and liquid like oil seeped onto his fingers. He stroked, easing the oiliness down the silken shaft, fingers gliding over the sensitive skin. He stroked faster, trying to match the rapid beat of Richard’s heart, before a soft gasp near his ear marked the sudden gush of warm liquid spilling over his fingers.
An airline napkin dabbed over the worst of it, sliding over the cool, smooth skin of Richard’s stomach, before patting him softly and refastening his trousers.
He pulled up the blankets and kissed Richard softly on the cheek, Richard’s eyes already closed, falling into contented drowsiness. The blonde head slipped to the side slightly, to rest against the moulded window, exposing the curve of his throat and still Adam’s Apple. Such an unconscious and openly trusting gesture.
Methos settled in his own chair and watched Richard fall into sleep, beautiful throat exposed and vulnerable. The implicit trust deep within Richard, to fall asleep like a child like that, made sentiment swell up in Methos, and he gave into it. He pressed Richard’s hand to his lips and softly kissed two of the knuckles before letting the hand rest by his side again.
Richard was his friend, his lover, his student, and now, damn him, he couldn’t deny the protectiveness and responsibility he felt towards Richard. It was a feeling like kinship, of family. So many loved ones he’d lost, he’d become jaded and careless. Now, so few were left he suddenly knew again how life was so precious. To be protected, nurtured, held onto, fought for. Richard was his son, his brother, and Methos made a silent, unspoken oath of fielty, loyalty and protection.
He had wanted to push Richard away, seeing what had happened to MacLeod’s protege. But remembering al the friends and lovers lost so quickly, so many these last few years, he was determined not to lose his favourite.
Damn Macleod for reminding him of his responsibility to the young immortal he’d picked up in India two hundred years ago.
And damn Sharpe for making him care. The little thief had stolen his heart. It had only taken Methos this long to realise it was missing, and in the same instant where to find it, tucked up in Richard’s arms.
Paris, the present…
The Tower glowed dimly in the mist. Their breath mingled with the soft dewy cloud that bathed the city, visible for a moment in the pale pink light, then gone. They drew close, as much for warmth as companionship. Almost alone, bar a few die hard tourists, their hands touched under the cover of darkness. Methos drew Sharpe away from the lights, into the darkest corner, and softly brushed his lips with a cool kiss. He opened his eyes and found Sharpe watching him. The voices faded as the tourists wandered to the other side of the Arc. Sharpe leant forward and initiated a kiss with Methos, nuzzling cold lips over cold nose and cheeks.
Methos’ fingers drew slow, tiny circles over Sharpe’s wrist. The kiss was sweet. Methos loved the taste of Sharpe, the feel of his lips, his skin. It was comforting and new, all at the same time.
The voices grew louder and they drew apart, leaning on the metal spikes that guarded the edge, watching the lights below. The mist swirled around the edges of Paris, adding a magical allure to an already extraordinary city. Methos was glad he’d brought Sharpe here, to the city of lovers, to renew their friendship. His hand brushed Sharpe’s as he stared down at the darting traffic. Sharpe was entranced by the city lights, and Methos indulged it. Anything to delay another trip around the Arc in Parisian traffic, with Sharpe at the wheel. Sharpe drove through the streets of Paris like he was still at war with the French, and Methos had feared for his immortal life.
Methos turned casually to Sharpe, hand teasing over hip and thigh before sliding into his pocket.
"What’s your game?" grinned Sharpe, hopeful as he felt Methos’ long fingered hand rummaging in his jeans pocket.
Methos smiled, finding what he was after, deftly extracting the keys, but leaving his hand resting upon Sharpe’s waist. He could feel his warmth through the layers of material.
"How about I drive," Methos suggested softly.
"Me, or the car?" Sharpe asked, wicked lights in his eyes.
"Both. But the car first. I’d like to enjoy you in one piece."
Sharpe’s smile changed to an expression of mild annoyance, realising his driving skills were being maligned. He already suffered Methos’ unspoken but obvious distaste over Sharpe’s choice of vehicle, a battered old blue Deuche with a carelessly tossed baguette scattering crumbs over the backseat.
Sensitive to the delicate footing their renewed friendship still occupied, Sharpe gave in and let the insults slide, this time. The city lights must be getting to him. He wanted nothing so much as to take Methos right now, right here, atop Napoleon’s grand edifice, under the soft watery glow of the lights of Paris. He wanted to carve Methos’ name into the stone with all the other battlefields he’d fought upon. He glanced down at the cars that circled the Arc like angry ants.
"Alright," he agreed, allowing Methos the keys. As beautiful as it was here, he wanted Methos back in the hotel’s sheets, scratching his name on his skin. He shivered, and Methos touched his hand gently.
A short while later…
"Oh no, he says, give me the keys, I know how to drive around Paris much better than you do. I'll show you how it's done properly…"
Methos pressed backwards in the driving seat with a groan barely repressed between clenched teeth, his arms taunt.
"Will you just shut up," he seethed. He banged his fist on the steering wheel angrily and then hissed in pain. "It's all your fault. You and your shitbox of a car. It's not a real car, anyway. It's a toy on wheels."
"It was a car," Sharpe muttered. "My car." But what did a few thousand francs of twisted metal count between friends.
Methos pressed back in the seat again, face tight with pain. "I'm going to bleed to death," he complained.
"Yeah," Sharpe agreed, surveying his friend's injuries with a professional eye. "But it won't last."
Methos bit back the pain as he tried to move his leg again. It was a mess. He was a mess. "Don't let them…don't let them…anything permanent," he whispered, and passed out. That was a small mercy at least. For Sharpe, not Methos. Poor Sharpe, who had endured an endless stream of abuse since Methos had seen fit to try and match Sharpe's wild cornering of the Deuche on two wheels, only to miss stays and skid into the wall of heavy iron railings that now held him trapped and impaled. Serves the bastard right, Sharpe thought bitterly. Better driver my arse.
Sharpe leant forward to check Methos' pulse, and continue with rudimentary first aid, just enough to make it look like he'd made an effort, his face already lit by the lights of the ambulance and Gendarmerie. Another fine mess, he thought with frustration, squinting under the strobing flashes.
"Methos," he shook him back to consciousness. "They're here."
Methos rested his head against the steering wheel, eyes screwed shut while strangers fussed above him.
"That leg’s got to come off," advised the paramedic.
"No," Sharpe said, in a voice that left no room for argument. "Just cut him out of it. All of him."
"He could die."
"He’d rather die than lose his leg."
"If that’s what he wants..."
"That’s what he wants. Get him out."
Sharpe stayed close, watching like a hawk, squeezing Methos’ shoulder hard as the sparks flew, metal groaning as it tore into metal.
The ambulance rocked violently from side to side. Sharpe tried to brace himself against the side.
Methos arrested on the way, from blood loss, internal injuries and shock, as he had predicted. They struggled over him, but without success. They switched the siren off and coasted down to a more sensible speed.
Several minutes later Methos startled the paramedics by surging back to life with a gasp, suddenly conscious at pulling at the tubes and equipment that covered him, so much so they had to hold him down. Sharpe braced himself, knowing he would have to act before these trained observers noticed Methos' wounds had stopped bleeding.
Sharpe moved quickly, smacking one paramedic hard in the face, pushing forward and nudging the tip of his gun against the driver’s cheek.
"Pull over," he instructed coldly.
Glancing sideways, but obeying, the ambulance driver slid the vehicle over to the side of the road and slowed.
Sharpe smacked the gun across the back of the driver’s skull and yanked the keys free, tossing them through the window. Then, in a moment of sudden remorse, slipped a 50 franc note into the guy’s pocket, as he was only doing his job.
Sharpe kicked the door open and, helping Methos up from the stretcher, stumbled out clumsily into the cold night air. Methos gritted his teeth and leant heavily on him. He was still bleeding badly, flesh ragged.
Methos stumped along the road, feeling very undignified, forced to lean upon Sharpe, every step a red sheet of agony. He'd survived worse, put up with worse, but he'd not been looking to add to his litany of unhappy experiences. Especially as ruminating on just the top one hundred could occupy him for several hours.
Richard reached into his back pack and pulled out his mobile.
"What are you doing?" Methos asked, annoyed as the movement had put him painfully out of step with Sharpe.
"Reporting my car stolen. It was registered in my name and I’d rather not answer awkward questions about you walking away from the crash."
Methos shrugged, hobbled a few more steps, then: "What else have you got in that bag?" He’d seen Sharpe pull out a gun, a phone, chocolate, water and a fully stocked first aid kit so far.
Sharpe slung his pack out of reach of the grasping hand. "My stuff," he insisted. He was prepared to help Methos hobble along the road, but not to have him rummaging through his pack.
Methos only carried sunglasses, a small armament, cash of various denominations and a variety of ID documents. Sharpe had that, and more, being a well prepared boy. It was second nature to him now. And even though he should be used to superiors inspecting his belongings, he wasn't prepared to let Methos paw through and confiscate his private things. Or at least, not let Methos do it while he was looking.
Sharpe was silently fretting now. Everytime, he had to start from the bottom and work his way up. It didn't take long these days, Sharpe was quite the professional killer, but he hated to lose what he had gained. And Methos had just added yet another complication to his life. He let his breath out slowly. Those gitanes he had buried in the bottom of his pack for emergencies were starting to call to him. That and a good swift belt of rum. He glanced sidelong at Methos, wondering if the alcohol would shut him up or make him even more abusive. Methos was never at his best when he was wet, cold, hungry or unhappy, and Methos could be a very nasty drunk on occasions.
Best to suffer in stoic silence; Sharpe decided on his plan of action. Just keep walking and ignore the constant mutters from the friend leaning heavily upon him, cursing his frugality, his choice of transport, his driving abilities, his general character…only his parentage wasn't commented upon. Methos was the one person who would never, could never, cast aspersions upon Sharpe's birth.
Every twenty paces or so, Methos' walking got easier. Sharpe was amazed and envious of Methos' powers of healing. The luxury of extreme age. No wonder Methos was so distant and autocratic at times. He really was closer to godhood than humanity.
"How much farther?" Methos bitched again.
Sharpe squinted down the road and saw a tiny hotel. Obviously family run. Half a dozen rooms at most. That would do. Private. Discrete. Cash only.
Sharpe left Methos propped against the wall, coat covering his bloody jeans, while he tried to coax a free room out of the pretty young girl at the desk. Methos listened with his eyes closed, too tired to care, slowly realising he had never really heard Sharpe speak soft, fluent French before. He was then alerted to the realisation that Sharpe was flirting with the girl. He made himself wake up and turned to watch him, the green eyed monster surging up to glare out of his eyes for a moment.
Sharpe grinned at the girl, thanked her and returned dangling a key in triumph.
Sharpe lay sprawled on the large, somewhat old fashioned bed, clothes slightly awry, quietly smoking that long promised gitane. His eyes closed in animal pleasure, luxuriating in the relief of peace, quiet and a soft bed under him. As if called, his peace was shattered not five seconds later by an almost desperate banging on the door.
Sharpe dragged himself off the bed to answer the door, It wasn’t the Gendarmes, as he’d feared, but the girl with a small tray of tea making things and toiletries, as he’d sweetly requested. He let her inside to place it on the old scarred table, following her eyes from the double bed to the trail of bloody clothes to the sound of the shower running.
"Shut the door, Richard, there’s a draft," came the arch voice from the toilet.
The girl blushed and backed out of the room very quickly.
Sharpe threw open the shower curtain.
"Did you have to do that?"
"Yes." Methos made a move to grab Richard’s shirt, but Sharpe darted out of reach.
"No you don’t. This is the only half decent outfit between us, unless you don’t want me to go shopping tomorrow," he warned, reminding Methos of his need for unbloodied clothes.
Methos, for the now, didn't care.
Methos teased a long finger down Sharpe’s ribs, making the skin flutter.
"Speak French to me," he murmured.
Sharpe’s whole body went rigid.
"No," he refused, and rolled over, away from Methos.
"No?" Methos asked, then, reading the tense attitude of Sharpe’s back, let it drop. Sharpe had flirted in French with that girl, Methos had liked it. He wanted it, but he couldn’t make Sharpe do it.
Sharpe felt his jaw clench tight so hard it might break. He could do anything, but not that. French belonged to Lucille, , to flirting with Amanda, to teasing Jo. The loss coiled up inside him, a living thing twisting in his insides.
Richard had been so flirtatious with the proprietor, and Methos had craved the same light and cheeky banter, but now when he’d asked, Richard’s eyes had turned dead and cold. And Methos knew he’d trampled over one of the unspoken barriers between them.
Richard had teased Lucille in French, learning the language, and had teased Josette the same out of habit. But he would not whisper playfully in French to Methos. Not now. Not ever. Methos could tie him down and hold him, take him and burn his name into his skin, but there were parts of Richard that would never be open or offered to him. Parts of himself, his life Richard managed to lock away. Like now, as he rolled over, his back cold and stiff to Methos.
Richard was a notorious flirt with women, and sometimes men, yet of late, he had been sullen, and Methos wondered if Richard had taken any other lovers, aside from the girl, in recent years. It seemed to him not, at least, no one who mattered. Even the girl would have been a triviality, had not Methos, lashing out, made her a martyr. And now Richard would never forget her. Sometimes he was as cold and dead as she was, inside. He would let Methos take what he wanted, but no more was offered, and the playful, cheeky boy seemed gone, forever.
Methos’ hand covered his shoulder. "I’m sorry, I’ve said the wrong thing."
He was actually afraid, afraid that Sharpe would remember the last time he was in Paris, afraid he had destroyed everything that was between them, again.
"Richard, I’m sorry," he pleaded.
Sharpe rolled over at last in answer to the insistent tugging, but his face was hard, his eyes burning.
"You!" he accused viciously. "You don’t know how to be sorry. Bloody ruthless bastard. Killing a young girl, just because she was inconvenient. You don’t remember what it’s like to be sorry!" Sharpe’s whole face was a snarl. "You’ve grown hard to survive, but you’ve become a jealous, hateful, dangerous bastard, and I’ve finally seen what Amanda warned me about."
Methos sat back, driven back by the force of Sharpe’s sudden anger, his words stinging. Instead of rising to the bait, he felt the wounds cut deep. He was curled up, in a protective defence, almost looking vulnerable, and that stopped Sharpe as quickly as he’d started.
"You’re wrong," Methos said quietly. "I do feel, and I am sorry. It is true that I cut myself off from everything and everyone. But I’ve started to live again, and I feel, don’t you deny me that, Richard. I feel."
Sharpe sat, at a loss, expecting the raging punishment his words would bring. Instead, here was Methos, quiet and pale and upset, and it scared him even more.
"You’re the one who’s always charging after something, on some personal crusade, like a knight without a master, treating life like it’s some sort of game. I admired your fire, Richard, your ambition."
"You wanted to become my master, yer used me, yer bastard." Richard growled, never liking rebukes, no matter how softly delivered.
"Your teacher," Methos amended. "You need someone, Richard. You need some direction, some discipline. You were practically feral when you fell in the army. A wild, lawless little bastard thief. They beat you and beat you and you still refused to submit. I admired that, in a way. And then you had a direction, you wanted to become a good soldier, then an officer. Then you wanted peace. Then you got bored. But what now, Richard? What will you do now?"
"Keep being a soldier, it’s all I know."
Methos sighed softly. "It doesn’t have to be. You could be so much more."
"Like you?" Richard sneered. "Stuck away with books, forgetting what life is about."
Methos’ eyes hardened.
"Don’t you dare tell me I don’t know life. I’ve lived five thousand years of it. I wanted to share with you what I’d learnt, to keep you alive, but if you don’t want it..." he turned away abruptly.
It was Sharpe’s turn to tug at the shoulder turned away from him.
"Tell me what? Why do you want me to survive? Why am I so special?"
Methos rolled onto his back, smiling up at Sharpe. He reached up, sliding his fingers through the short blonde hair.
"Because you are special," he soothed. "I need you alive, for purely selfish reasons. I need you with me, Richard Sharpe."
The green eyes hardened to ice again. "To carry your bags. To fight your battles. To warm your bed. Yes, Sir, no Sir, three bags full, Sir." Sharpe thumped down in the bed again, his back to Methos.
This wasn't going at all well. He was so bloody touchy. Methos let his breath out slowly. Couldn't he just get over it. Why did they have to have the same fight over and over again, picking at the same wound, never letting it heal? He'd thought they were over this. He'd thought Sharpe was happy now.
Lying there in the bed, staring at the ceiling, Methos realised to his regret that Sharpe would never seduce him out of love again. In fear and loneliness, yes, even habit, but never again with that childish unconditional affection that had so charmed him. And Methos, for all his years and hardships, grew pale from the loss. And he knew who to blame.
"Don't be cruel, Richard," Methos admonished softly. He laid his hand gently on the tense shoulder, and kissed a point between the shoulder blades. He licked and sucked the skin and kissed it again, kissing the straight spine all the way down. He cupped the hard buttocks, squeezed them, parted them, and kissed Sharpe there.
Sharpe made a guttural sound, rolling on to his stomach, offering his arse, at least, to Methos, who settled between his thighs and made him shake and cry out, just with is tongue. Sharpe pushed his hips up, and Methos pressed into him, and they were together, in flesh at least, clinging together in sweat and semen, thrusting and rutting.
Sharpe was lying on his back, with Methos above him, his stomach still rising and falling with fast breathes. He reached up to brush a long strand of jet black hair that had fallen forward. Then he ran his hand forward over the scalp.
"Kronos was your lover, wasn't he." Richard touched on a dangerous topic, but smiled, lying there on his back, exposed and defenceless. He trusted Methos that much at least. "Was it always like this, you and Kronos, fighting and fucking?"
Methos smiled a secret smile, not looking at Sharpe, focusing instead on watching his hand run up the wiry thigh that was pressed against him.
"No, not like this. This is what it's like for Richard and Methos. Always fighting and fucking," he grinned, mimicking Sharpe quite wickedly.
Sharpe thrust his hips up under Methos, being cheeky.
"Dick and Methos. I don't even know your real name. Methos is just something the Watchers tagged you with. Tell me your real name." He wriggled again for emphasis, promising Methos a reward for his disclosure.
Methos shook his head sadly. "I can't."
The smile vanished.
"Can't or won't."
"Can't." Methos insisted. " A name is given to you by your people. I don't know - can't remember who my people are. "
"Don't be." He touched that strong and handsome face fondly. "You're my people now. You can call me whatever you like, " he paused, on the brink of a joke. "But don't call me late for breakfast."
Sharpe grinned and pushed his hips up again.
"Is that all you think about?" Methos asked impatiently.
Sharpe grinned and thrust his hips forward again.
Methos pretended not to be moved by the sex that was on offer, but was doing a very bad show of it.
"Do you love me?" Richard asked the question again, real need naked in his eyes. The need to belong, to be loved, the spur that drove him.
"Yes," Methos gave him the answer he wanted to hear.
It was enough for Sharpe, who reached up to Methos with hungry kisses.
And I would love you all the day. Every night would kiss and play,
If with me you'd fondly stray. Over the hills and far away.