Character: Nick (and Methos, and Joe!)
Prompt: Nick – Amanda's Chronicle (Don't know who posted the prompt!)
Summary: It's been three weeks since Nick's first death...
Nick's eyes burst open, air rushing into his lungs as a ceiling swum precariously into view. His first sensation was that of fear as he realised he was on a couch rather than the riverbank he'd expected and he stood unsteadily, lurching slightly as he tried to get his bearings. The wax polished floorboards were warm under his bare feet and a quick look around the room located his sneakers resting upside down on a radiator, alongside his socks.
He shivered in his damp clothes as he scanned the rest of the room. How the hell had he got here? He noticed a framed photograph on the wall and warily approached it, relaxing as he recognised one of the figures in the frame. It was a colour photo of Joe Dawson, with an arm thrown around a young girl with short mousy hair and bright eyes. There was a vague family resemblance – his daughter, perhaps? He tested the socks on the radiator and grimaced. Still not dry.
“Joe?” he called out tentatively, as he padded out of the sitting room and into the hallway. There was no answer. The door across the hallway was slightly ajar and Nick pushed it open, fumbling for the light switch as he entered. It seemed he had found Joe's study...
It was strange the picture one can build of a person and, from the little time he had spent with Joe, with his take no prisoners attitude and handiness with a gun, he had definitely not formed the impression Amanda's Watcher friend was 'bookish'. Yet, here he was, surrounded by shelf upon shelf of what looked like antique tomes. A large workmanlike desk took over the bulk of the remaining space, covered in sheaves of papers and paperback notebooks.
Not able to resist, he neared the table and picked up a notebook, frowning as he leafed through it. DM. 07.00. Left apart. 07.30. Arrived at Dojo. 10.00. Masterclass. 13.30. Lunch with M. They read like the notes from a stakeout – and that's exactly what they were, Nick thought ruefully, except the targets were Immortals instead of perps.
Or maybe a bit of both. With the exception of Amanda, he was hard pressed to think of an Immortal who didn't belong behind bars. Wait, scratch that, he guessed Amanda made that list too.
His mind shied away from the contradiction that was Amanda Montrose, his erstwhile lover/killer/saviour. It had been three weeks since his first death, and he still couldn't see a way of forgiving her...and he really did want to.
He tossed the notebook back onto the desk, dislodging a mess of foolscap pages that slid off the edge and onto the floor. Cursing, he bent down to gather them up and then eyed the desk, trying to remember their exact placement A warm brown leather tome caught his eye, one he hadn't spotted before, which probably meant it had been covered with the papers in his hand. His eyes focused on the engraved lettering on the cover.
850 – 853, Anno Domini
Watched by Melucine
A modern translation by Helena Abercrombie, 1917
It was in his hands before he had even made a conscious decision to pick it up. The papers, already forgotten about, were thrown haphazardly back on the table. He leafed through the pages, his mouth drying as he read the first few lines.
The lady Rebecca has taken the newborn under her wing. If she can hone an Immortal capable of forsight and intelligence out of this rough edged street beggar, then I am a Pictish Scot! The impudent girl speaks only the local dialect, with a smattering of French, and no Latin or Greek. She is uncouth, with no manners, and a greedy gimlet eye. She barely knows how to use a knife at table, never mind a sword in combat. I give her a year at the outmost. This guttersnipe is not worth the Lady's time.
Something squeezed in Nick's chest, something akin to anger at Melucine's tone and empathy for a girl he'd never meet, buried as she was under a thousand years of immortality. He'd already known who Rebecca was, of course. To know Amanda was to know Rebecca. She was such an integral part of who she was and who she aspired to be, that it was almost impossible to believe Rebecca was dead. Amanda kept her memory alive and vibrant with every breath she drew.
That kind of loyalty and love was something to be in awe of.
A low shiver ran up his spine, and Nick stiffened, the Chronicle slipping from his fingers. He reached for his gun and belatedly realised it wasn't there. Joe had relieved him of more than his shoes. He dashed across the corridor, his eyes flashing across the room as he tried to put a lid on the fear bubbling inside him. The presense, instead of easing off, was getting stronger and more persistent. He remembered Amanda mentioning that the stronger the buzz, the older the Immortal. The Immortal he'd 'met' on the banks of the Seine earlier had been weaker than Amanda. This presence was stronger – a lot stronger.
He spotted his jacket, strewn over the back of a chair, and felt for the inside pocket where he'd stashed his Glock. His hand came up empty. Damn it.
“Looking for this?”
He spun on his feet, and took a step back as he realised the other Immortal had entered the room and he hadn't even noticed. Pale and dark haired, with a runner's build and sharp features, he stood there nonchalantly, with his Glock dangling limply from his little finger. Nick watched, bemused, as he spun the gun and caught it, before placing it gently on the coffee table.
“I've taken the liberty of relieving it of its ammo,” the Immortal said lightly as he slumped into an armchair. “I find a stomach full of lead tends to put a serious cramp in my day. Pierson is the name, and you are Nick Wolf.”
Nick's eyes narrowed. “What the hell is this?”
The Immortal smirked. “Consider this an intervention of sorts,” he said. “I'm afraid your trick with the gun will only get you so far.”
“I only shoot them. I don't take their heads,” Nick said flatly.
A fine distinction, but one with a few inbuilt flaws,” Pierson said. “Namely, the fact that pride is a terrible thing, and you might have been better off if you had taken their heads. You now have three Immortals looking for payback, and one them wasn't even after you in the first place. He was just in the neighbourhood, buying some breakfast!”
Nick flushed, he had a funny feeling he knew which Immortal Pierson was talking about, he did seem strangely surprised when he'd shot him. “How do you know all this,” he muttered. “Have you been following me?”
“Kid, you're standing in the middle of a Watcher's livingroom,” Pierson said dryly. “Do the math.”
Nick felt the tension in his shoulders ease. “You're a friend of Dawson's,” he said.
The Immortal's lips twitched. “Nice to see the brain has eventually decided to kick in,” he drawled.
“He called you,” Nick surmised.
“Right again,” Pierson said. “Do you know why?”
“If he thinks I'm just going to kiss and make up with Amanda-”
He burst out laughing. “Oh, kid, you really are wet behind the ears, aren't you?” He got to his feet. “I think we're going to need Scotch for this conversation.” He made a beeline for the sideboard, and produced a bottle and two glasses from its depths. Pierson didn't just know Joe, they spent time together. He relaxed a little bit more.
“Sit down, “ he said, as he placed the glasses on the coffee table, beside the Glock, and began to pour. Reluctantly, Nick sat and accepted the glass held out to him. The scotch was old and mellow, and way above any pay packet he'd ever had. He let the amber liquid roll over his tongue.
There was a long appreciative silence as they sipped, and then Pierson cleared his throat. “Lets try this again. You need a teacher. Normally, in a situation like this, Amanda would have stepped into the breach but, as you and she are not talking at the moment, the honour, it seems, falls to me.”
Nick gave him a long look. “Why do I get the funny feeling that somewhere in a back room, lots were drawn.”
He was rewarded with a narrow smile. “Amanda is an old friend of mine. I don't have many friends,” he said. “So I'm going to show you how to stick the pointy end of a sword into someone and how to take a head.”
“And what if I don't want to learn?” Nick said grimly.
Pierson's face smoothed over into a startling opaqueness. “You don't strike me as the suicidal type,” he said. He slid a card onto the table as he got to his feet. Nick picked it up. On it was the address of a Dojo.
“Tomorrow, 7am, if you're not there, I won't come looking for you.” He headed for the door.
“Wait,” Nick called after him. “My ammo?”
Pierson glanced back at him and smirked. “Just stay away from any dark alleys or quiet streets and you should be fine,” he said. “Consider it a life lesson.” He shut the door quietly behind him.
Nick waited another few minutes before he collected his socks and sneakers from the radiator and pulled them on.
It was time to leave.
The apartment was empty when Joe arrived home and he eyed the empty glasses and the Glock on the table as he pulled out his cellphone.
“Well?” he asked, as Methos answered.
“Outcome undetermined,” Methos said. “We'll know tomorrow.”
“Amanda is very fond of him, old man,” Joe reminded him as he made his way into his study.
“Yes, he's definitely her type,” Methos drawled. “Don Quixote, on a white charger.”
“Be nice,” Joe murmured as his eyes fell onto his desk. “Wait...what the...Methos!”
“Why do I get the distinct feeling I'm about to be scolded?”
“Did you take Amanda's chronicle from my desk?”
“Don't be ridiculous – I'd have at least waited until you'd finished with it.”
“Oh yeah, real funny,” Joe said flatly. “I'm laughing on the inside, really.”
Methos sighed. “Joe, think about it, who has been in you flat today with a vested interest in Amanda...?”
Joe blinked. “You think he did?”
“No, Joe, I know he did - love, it makes thieves out of the best of us.”
Rolling his eyes, Joe hung up. It was time to call Amy and tell her she was now watching for two...
With a twinge of guilt, Nick opened the chronicle and began to read, his finger underlining the words as he read. Amanda, so young and wild, and emphatically impetuous leapt out of the page at him.
He missed her so much.
Slowly, he closed the book and placed it on the bed stand. He had an early appointment in the morning.
He turned out the light.
ETA: Sorry, guys, due to mass anon spamming in the comments of this entry, I've disabled comments in this entry for the time being.