Highlander: Who Wants to Live Forever?
by elle nora'
Some days later, having reclaimed and buried Abigail's body in one of the Protestant cemeteries of Paris, a still mourning Duncan MacLeod sat slumped dejectedly in a chair in the cell at St. Julien Le Pauvre while Darius watched him intently.
"You must move on, my friend, and you must accept what you have done. Let her spirit be a part of you and guide you always."
"How can I?"
"Right now my words would mean little to you. But in some far off time they may. You must learn to control your emotions and not let them control you... or the game and the search for the prize may one day pull you into a darkness of spirit that will forever claim you. Let Abigail's gentle nature and forgiving heart guide your hand and your choices."
Duncan looked at him blearily. "Is happiness and normality something we can never have? Everyone I love... everyone whose lives I touch seems to die."
"All living beings die Duncan. That is the way of it... even our way. The question you should be asking... is how you will live the time you have? What difference will you try to make in the lives of those around you? How will they remember you when you are gone?"
Duncan nodded. "But it all seems so hopeless sometimes."
"Yes..." Darius leaned forward to clasp the Highlander's arm, "Abigail said much the same. I tell you what I told her. We cannot change the world all at once... only one soul... one life at a time. Her sacrifice may have saved Denis... only time will tell."
Duncan looked up and stared into Darius' eyes.
Darius smiled, "She would not want you to grieve, Duncan. She would want you to live. Find the best that life has to offer... look for joy, unselfish love, sacrifice, and nobility of action... That which we seek... we find. If we look only for darkness, depravity, and death... that will be our reward. But... if we seek the light... then one day... we may find it."
Darius rose and rearranged a stack of books, carefully moving them aside. From behind them he carefully pulled a small covered cask from its hiding place and dipped a tin cup into it. "Here, my friend, drink this," he said sadly.
"What is it... another strange-tasting tea?"
"It's mead," the priest said simply, but a small smile crept onto his face. "I brew it for special occasions... but I think you need something stronger than tea at the moment."
Duncan sat up a little straighter and curiously grasped the cup. Taking a sip he nodded. "Tis quite good... How did you?"
"Oh... I've learned many things in my long life. Many of my students teach me as much as I teach them. One taught me about mead...." He leaned forward with a wink. "It's brewed from fermented honey."
A few hours later... the atmosphere lightened... and Duncan, a little more willing to embrace life once more... Darius bid him "Bonsoir, mon ami," and watched him leave. Once he was alone... Darius sat thoughtfully at his desk... gazing at the single candle that dispelled the darkness of his cell. He carefully dipped the quill into the ink and hesitated for a moment over the sheets of vellum on which he often wrote his sermons... but it was not a sermon he would write this night. Carefully he began to write... and smiled warmly as he did so... "Eleanor, ma cher..." One soul at a time... one day at a time... one word at a time... forever.
This short story grew out of a writing exercise called the "Three Word Story" where I and some other writers were each adding three words to a narrative while attempting to create a story that actually made sense. I created the character of Abigail Martin... and then asked the others, once we had finished the section involving her... if they would mind if I wrote a real story using her... and her impact upon Duncan MacLeod and Darius. This story is set in the same universe as my original fan character Eleanor, but in a time she was not in Paris. For the events which involved her shortly before this story... and the reasons for Darius' apparent unhappiness I direct the reader to the long short story "Please Remember Me."
As always... I don't own Highlander or any canon characters... wish I did. For purposes of placement... this story occurs shortly before the flashback sequence in the first season episode, Saving Grace, involving Grace Chandel and Carlo Sendaro. Duncan appeared hesitant to interfere with Grace's leaving with Sendaro. I saw pain and confusion in his eyes as if something had recently happened to him that kept him from doing more than warning Sendaro at that time. This episode may shed light on Duncan's apparent willingness to allow Grace to make her own decision and leave with Sendaro. Once other flashbacks in later seasons showed him far more beligerent and judgemental before that episode, I wondered what had happened to make his actions in Saving Grace so hesitant.
I look forward to comments.
(Comments can be sent to elle nora' at the email link on her Fanfiction.net page.)