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Ties
Author: Caffre

Title: Ties That Bind

E-mail address: caffre19@hotmail.com

Rating: R

Keywords: A historical adventure set in the late 10th Century

Character listing: M OC

Short teaser/summary: Two immortals meet in unusual circumstances and discover they have some things in common.

Note: Something you should know before you read this story. The place names I've used are real and if you search a map, you just might find them. I decided not to use the old names for these places as, basically I wasn't sure of a couple of them and wanted a *bit* of continuity. Nendrum does exist and is considered one of the most important 2nd class monastic sites in Northern Ireland, and it's also a really beautiful place. My own character also has real routes in the past, well at least the name does anyway, and apart from that she's my own invention. *Major* thanks have to go to Robert and Torhild for their invaluable beta-ing. It would have been a lot worse if not for you guys.


The sounds of children laughing seemed to fill the air, mingling with the clatter of metal against metal and the smoke rising up from the blacksmith's workshop as he worked at his forge.

Brother Paul looked around the small monastic grounds where he had given up his life to God and smiled. The simple pleasures of this earthly world meant more to him than the life of idolatry and sloth he had grown up in under his fathers care all those years ago.

He sat, his knees in the dirt, tending to his Brothers' graves, waiting for the call to service. He looked up at the carefully carved headstone, the only possession Brother Patrick or any of them could be allowed to possess. "Rest easy now Patrick old friend." He wiped away a wisp of moss that he hadn't noticed before, pulling back fingers brushed with dirt and green. "You know I'll always tend to you. What else will they let an old man do?"

Realising he had to stand, he let out a disgruntled groan, reaching out once again for his friend's newly carved headstone.

"Here Brother, let me help you."

A strong, forceful hand gripped him by the arm, another one gently coming about his waist to help him stand.

"Dear, dear Bran." Tired old eyes looked straight into younger blue ones. "What would this old man do without you?"

Bran laughed. "Probably a lot better if truth be told."

Brother Paul chuckled softly, his laughter that of a much younger man. "Please. Don't think the Bishop doesn't know that you bring me wine at night to help me over to sleep. I confessed it as an indulgence a long time ago. I think he even approves a little."

Bran, once he was sure the old man was secure on his feet let go of his arm. He crossed his arms, a slightly serious, yet mocking look on his face. "Maybe it is I who should be wary of you then. Leading me astray."

They both walked the short distance to the small church, Bran only accompanying his friend inside to ensure he got there without falling down. "Now now Bran, the only path I'll try to lead you on is the one true path of righteousness' and of God." Old, hopeful eyes turned in the solemn light to the man beside him. "Are you sure I cannot tempt you to accompany me later tonight at a service?"

Bran guided the old monk to a seat, the light filtering through the windows marking a shining path down the small nave. "Every time you ask, yet you know the answer, so why do you continue to ask?"

The monk gave him a sad, almost wry smile. "As sinful as it is, I fear I love you like you were my own son Bran. The will of God I think will call me home before winter and I must confess that I would like to know that someday, we will meet again in His glorious heaven."

Bran almost didn't know what to say to that. He'd loved and had been loved by many in his life, but only one person had ever loved him like a son, and even that had been such a long time ago now. He tried to hide the feeling of warmth it gave him, but the old man knew him better than he would have liked.

He took the aging monk's hand, giving it a tender squeeze. "Alright. I'll come to service tonight. Right now, I have to attend to my work down by the lough. This new watermill will bring many benefits to this monastery."

"So it will young Bran, so it will." The elderly man looked behind him as he saw other monks coming in from the grounds, for their private service. Only later tonight would the people who had settled around their church and on their grounds be allowed to attend mass. Right now, it was time for those who God had especially chosen to give their thanks.

"I'll see you later Brother."

"Go in peace Bran."


It was getting close to dusk, red, orange and pink bleeding across the horizon, the light only just beginning to dull when the shrill sharp tones of a bell rang out across the small island.

Glancing up from his work, Bran could see nothing amiss, and he knew it wasn't yet time for mass, as the nights where growing dark early and it was always dark nowadays when the bell rang for it.

A small boy came running down the path to him. "Bran! Bran! Come quick! Raiders are coming up the lough!"

He almost couldn't believe it. "Raiders?"

But the boy was gone again, running back up to the enclosure wall and no doubt to his family.

Bran felt the old chill settle in his bones at this, the possibility of having to once again to draw his sword against a fellow man annoying him a little. Every one knew about the raiders, the Norse that had pestered and torn and rampaged throughout the coasts of Ireland. Yet, somehow the small monastery of Nendrum had managed to remain unscathed.

He let his tools lie where he'd been working, knowing the tide would wash them away and he'd have to make more, but it didn't matter.

He ran up through the enclosures, knowing now that what the child had said must be true, for men were carrying the gold from the church into the Cloicthech/bell-tower. He grabbed hold of the course woollen sleeve of a passing monk. "Where's Brother Paul?"

The monk had a panicked look on his face and couldn't help but cross himself. "He's already inside the tower. Do you think they'll attack us? Maybe they won't. We're only a small church after all!"

Bran had no time for this. He pushed the frightened young monk away. "Have faith Brother. That's what your good at, right?"

Any reply was lost as he neared the tower, the bellows and shouts of people afraid only adding to the desperate edge of panic that was rapidly swallowing down any common sense these people had. The rumours of the Norse, of their pagan gods and sacrifices and heathen ways only added to their terror.

The entrance to the cloicthech was several feet above the ground, with the only means of access by a wooden ladder, which would be pulled up once all the valuables where safely inside.

"Brother Paul!" He shouted, hoping the old man would hear him.

"Brother Paul!"

The old monk looked down from the entrance, in his hands a small, plain golden chalice used for communion. A relic the monks of Nendrum thought to have been blessed by Saint Patrick himself when, it was believed, he had passed through the small nearby town of Comber so many years ago. "Oh, Bran! Bran! Go! Hide yourself. The Norsemen are heathens who will surely kill you if you don't run away!"

All around him people where running, their only possessions in their arms, slowing them down as they fled. It had been his plan all along to run if they were attacked, but for his affection for the old man. Placing him in the tower just proved to him that the Bishop was a stupid, incompetent man.

When he'd arrived at the small monastic site of Nendrum, he'd gone straight to the Bishop and had told him that his bell-tower was the worst place they could run and hide to. The Bishop however, with his smug and overbearing sense of righteousness and pride was more concerned that his monastery's wealth should have a method of displaying itself and had refused to listen.

As far as Bran was concerned, it was an advert to any raiders coming up the lough, showing the small monastery's wealth and prosperity. How could any raider not see it and know that this place had some wealth? And how easy would it be to set alight the wooden door and structure inside and watch it burn from the inside to the ground. Easy pickings for any man who had no thought to the human life that would perish inside.

"Paul! Come down from there!"

Already the ladder was being pulled up into the tower.

"It's too late! It's too late! We're all of us in God's hands now!"

Already yell's could be heard as the invaders screamed out their warning as they breached the enclosure walls from the opposite side. Having little other option, Bran drew his weapon, the wooden door that would provide easy kindling shutting loud behind him.

Bran would have ran himself, but for the several men that where running towards him. Realising he had little other option, he stood his ground, knowing that if he ran, he'd have his friends death on his conscious. He felt very little need to add to that great weight he already carried.

Two of the raider's ran into the church, while another came at him, his weapon drawn screaming in his native language a savage warning of death and destruction.

Bran decided that it would confuse him, even if only momentarily, if he ran at him, and as he did so, he gave out a yell that matched their own in fierceness, somehow hoping that Brother Paul would hear it and perhaps wonder a little about the source of that hatred and rage he carried around deep within himself.

Cold metal clashed against metal but pretty soon the skill Bran had, was being matched by an enthusiastic bloodlust.

"What kind of Gaelic dog are you! Die already!"

It was spoken in his native tongue, but Bran understood easily. "This 'dog' is hard to kill Norse!"

The surprise the attacker felt at this revelation, that a native of this island could speak his language was short lived. Bran's blade sliced through the leather on his chest, and just as quickly had been ran through his Viking attacker.

He pulled his blade out swiftly, the dull grunt the man gave lost in the shouts and screams as other people were attacked, those who had foolishly stayed close to defend their livelihoods and the Brothers.

Just as he was getting ready to turn and face any other attacker, the siren call of another immortal poured through him.

Distracted, he looked for it's source, but he couldn't see anyone he could associate with it.

It was at this moment that something hard hit him on the back of the head, causing the world to darken even before he could feel himself hit the earth.


He awoke to the gentle swaying motion of water combined with the presence of another immortal nearby. He tried to move, but soon found his hands where bound together with iron cuffs and chains. Fear shot through him at the thought that some Viking immortal held him captive.

The boat he was on belonged to the Vikings that had attacked the monastery, and he was their prisoner. He turned to look for the face of the other immortal, surprised to see a slender blonde haired woman, even more dishevelled than himself tied to a hook to his left. She smiled ruefully at him. "I hope your not looking for a challenge friend. I'm a little tied up at the moment."

He couldn't help but laugh at that. "I'm just a little busy myself." She grinned at him, and he felt a little relieved that she wasn't interested in fighting him. Plus, it meant that he was safe, at least for the moment. If the immortal had been a Viking he would surely have been scheduled for an untimely end.

"You where living at the monastery?"

He nodded, wincing a little at the pain still in his head.

The woman's expression darkened, heralding what he knew could only be bad news. "They burnt the tower to the ground. It was only supposed to be a raid to gain a few more slaves, but...they love Christian gold. They'll love anything that shines bright, and has a value."

Bran nodded silently. So Brother Paul was dead then, as well as any others who had taken refuge there. He wondered briefly who would tend to his friends grave. "Did they capture many?"

"No. No one apart from you. They must have been distracted by the gold. And then there was my escape."

Bran realised then that must have been the moment he'd felt the other immortal, just as he'd killed his attacker. "I'm guessing they caught you then?"

Another laugh and Bran couldn't help but smile. The woman in front of him seemed remarkably calm about her situation.

"Yes, they caught me. I'd been travelling to Ireland when my boat ran into a storm. They 'rescued' me and now we're both on our way somewhere else to be slaves."

He never answered her. He was realising that this now was the end to his life in Ireland. He'd already stayed much longer than he'd planned, but the life he'd found there for himself had been one of the most peaceful and enjoyable he'd had for a long time. He had almost grown used to having a settled life somewhere, and Ireland had been so very green compared to many of the other places he's been in his lifetime.

His thoughts where interrupted by the woman secured beside him. "I suppose I'd better introduce myself, after all, I think we're to be travelling companions for a while. I'm Andrasta of the Iceni."

He could have lied to her, told her some name that would mean nothing to her, but suddenly he felt too alone in the world for that. No-one who had known him by his true name was alive any longer. Well, at least no mortal and probably very few immortals if any. It had been too long since he'd used it. Coming to a decision based more on instinct than anything else, he spoke.

"I'm Methos."


Andrasta stared at him through the dark, the torches lighting the ship as they travelled through the twilight, marking her new companions face in an oddly ghostly way. The ship they where on was out of the Strangford Lough and now heading across the relatively short stretch of water between Ireland and Scotland. "Methos? Hmmm, I like it. Nice to meet you Methos."

She presented him with a calm, if tired, smile, hoping that he didn't realise that she knew more about him now with that single word than if she'd spent a full day listening to him talk of his history.

"I take it then you've never heard of me?"

Her stomach growled in response and she offered him a sheepish grin. "No. Sorry. You wouldn't happen to have any food on you? These bastards haven't fed me since yesterday."

"No, sorry I haven't."

"Damn."

They remained quiet after that, neither one sure what was running through the others' mind.


"Andrasta?"

"Hmmm?"

"Andrasta?"

He shook his head in frustration at her. "That woman would sleep through the second coming! Andrasta! Wake up!" He prodded her with the tip of his boot. "How the hell can you sleep in that position?"

She opened one eye lazily to look at him. "I can sleep in this position quite well, if someone would just keep their feet to themselves!"

He watched her blink and yawn in the morning light, forcing him to yawn in return, earning him her first smile of the day. "Well, sorry to disturb you, but I think wherever we're supposed to be going? We've arrived."

They'd been travelling for some days now, and had been untied on the promise that they wouldn't try to escape. So far they'd spent their days tidying up and looking after the crew. Andrasta had had to fight off one or two groping hands, but the captain seemed to feel she would be worth more unharmed, so had ordered his men to leave her alone. The only other time that they had been tied had been during another raid on an island just off the north coast of Scotland.

A burly Norse came down the galley towards them, a rope in his hands instead of chains. He was looking after them because he spoke Latin, something neither immortal had decided to question, considering just how strange this whole situation was to begin with.

He tied them quickly, making sure they where secure by tying them tight and to each other.

"Where do you think we are?"

Andrasta shook her head. "I can't say the landscape looks all that familiar, but it does look like the coast of east England."

"You sure about that are you?"

"As sure as someone from the east coast of England can be, yes."

"You know, I'll miss your sense of humour. It's kept me going these long days and nights."

"Really Methos?" She smiled at him, somehow combining sweetness and sarcasm in a single smile. "I didn't know you cared."

Just as she said those words he realised that he did care. For all their time together, he had come to know her better than he had any other immortal in a very long time. She was witty, intelligent and just as sarcastic as him. She had a sense of humour that was unusual for someone about to become a slave.

"Yes, well, don't get used to it." She glanced over at him, a sharp look in her otherwise sleepy still appearance. They where silent for a short while as the ship manoeuvred up the river Humber that ran into the sea and that would let them travel as close as possible to York as possible before they had to gain another means of transport up to the river Ouse.

They watched in silence as the Vikings harboured the ship. Unlike the other times they had stopped to wait out the night or a storm, they where close to human activity, the smoke of a village seen rising up over the small hill near to the shore.

The blonde haired immortal, her hair scraggy leaned colder to Methos and whispered. "Maybe they're going to go off on another raid?"

She waited for his reply, but instead he remained quite, looking at her. "What? Don't you think it could be another raid then?"

Methos sighed. "I'd really like to see what you look like cleaned up. I mean, the dirt on your face is pretty, in it's own, nave kind of way, but your hair like that..."

She tried to keep the smile from tugging on the corner of her mouth, but it was a losing battle. "What are you saying Methos? That I reek and could do with a good scrub?"

He returned the smile she was trying to hide, showing he hadn't meant any kind of offence with his words. "No. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm not exactly as fresh as I'd like to be myself. I just think you're beautiful. And that's with the dirt and the grime and the smell. I was just trying to imagine what you must look like bathed and dressed in the finest Byzantium silk. And no, it isn't a raid. They aren't taking their weapons ashore yet."

Leaning forward, she placed a kiss on the tip of his nose. "You say the sweetest things." All of a sudden she grew serious. "Did you mean what you said?"

"About you or the Vikings?"

She could feel herself blush a little. "About me."

The 4000-year-old immortal looked down at his tied hands, cursing the damned Norse for keeping him from touching her just when he was comfortable with his feelings about her.

"I want nothing more than to just touch you. To brush away that lock of hair from your eyes. To get to know you better."

He realised from her expression that he must have said something wrong. "What?"

She leaned back against he wooden bulk of the ship. "I don't think you'd want to know me, if you knew the kind of person I used to be." Dark green eyes looked over to him, and he saw the potential for tears there, threatening to spill over.

"Trust me, everyone has done something they'd like to wipe from their past." He grinned trying to lighten the suddenly sombre mood. All around him, the Norse where unloading the ship, while in the distance men where coming from over the hill with horses.

"I know. And I know that the past is the past, and that people change. I do, really I do. But sometimes..."

He nodded. Whatever she'd done, it couldn't have been as bad as his time with the Horsemen, and before that, with Kronos.

"Sometimes, you just feel it."

That earned a nod from her. "Intensely."

Before they could continue with their conversation, their Norse guard was hauling them to their feet and telling them to get off the boat.


They'd been separated once they'd been taken off the ship, and it was getting dark now, the glow of a distant fire visible through a crack in the wooded door, almost mocking her with its dancing flame. Andrasta had taken a bad spill as she'd been forced to jump out with her hands bound behind her. She'd gotten soaked and had what she suspected had been a broken wrist. Now she was shivering in a horse stall, tied to a hook in the wall. Apparently her earlier attempt at escape hadn't been forgotten after all.

She'd just been about to confess to Methos that she knew who and what he was, when the Vikings had interrupted them. Methos had been able to tell her before they'd been separated that they where indeed heading for the town of York, having overheard the guards talking.

She shivered in the cold, still wet from her fall in the river. She could also feel the other immortal presence nearby, so she knew he was still close to her.

She must have fallen asleep when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Blinking in exhausted confusion, she thought at first that it was Methos, but instead she found herself looking up into the face of one of the Vikings that had been on board the ship with her. The main focus of her troubles before the captain's intervention.

He ran a hand down her hair, and she tried to pull away from him. She couldn't get far however, chained as she was and her struggles earned her a smile from him.

"Get away from me you Norse bastard!"

He backhanded her across the face at that, and told her in stilted Latin to keep quiet or he'd break her neck. After that he ran a hand down her face and neck, feeling her breasts through the damp cloth that covered her.

He was muttering something in his own language as he brought his other hand into play, cupping and kneading her breasts harder and harder as he grew more excited.

He let one of his hands go of her, using it to tug at his trousers he was wearing, trying to free the erection that even she could see in the moonlight that was coming through the small window above her.

Yet, even now she didn't panic. She'd learnt a long time ago the hard way that panic got you nowhere. She was smarter if not physically stronger than the man who was about to rape her. She just had to wait for her moment.

Her moment didn't come however. Before she had a chance to react, to develop any kind of further plan, blood splattered over her as the man on top of her had his throat slit and fell heavily on top of her.

"Methos?"

"Ssshhhh!"

"Thank the gods that you came. He was going to..."

Methos reached out a hand, grabbing the dead weight that lay on top of her, and hefting it roughly to one side. On the other side of the stall, the horses could smell the fresh blood in the air and where starting to panic.

"I know. I saw him making his way over." He searched through the dead man's clothes, finding a key and some coins. He used the key, relief running through him when he found it worked on her chains.

"We have to get out of here. The horses are going to attract attention soon. Probably best if we've nowhere near here when they find him." He didn't mention the other man he'd had to kill. He had his and what he assumed was Andrasta's sword back. Methos hadn't liked the odds of meeting another immortal without something to defend himself with.

Andrasta stood shakily to her feet, smiling slightly as he handed her sword back to her. She'd only had a small meal today, and she was tired and still wet. Still, she had enough energy to kick the corpse on the ground and smile.

Methos said nothing as he watched her, just held out his hand. One strong firm grasp took another, both making their way to the door in silence. Once sure that the way was clear, they bolted from their cover, leaving the spooked horses behind knowing that they'd take some down to calm down. Even as they cleared the village outskirts they could hear the horses getting louder in their distress over the death in their stall. Soon they were away from the small Viking outpost, running through the woods in the moonlight.


The dawn when it came was a welcome sight. Meaning that their cold trek through the forest would at least be made easier with the welcome addition of light and the possibility that it might be a warm day.

Methos had offered to rest several times for Andrasta's sake, but she had refused, wanting to put as much distance between themselves and their would-be hunters as possible.

Still, with the coming of the light a sense of ease descended upon the pair. It was as if the light was a sign that their troubles where over.

"Things always look better in the morning, don't you find?"

She rolled her eyes at him. "Depends on your point of view I suppose." She watched as he sat down on a convenient rock, patting it, inviting her it sit beside him.

They were quiet for a moment, until the sound of one stomach growling was joined by another in quick succession. Andrasta was the first to laugh.

"Oh, what I wouldn't give for a bath, a warm bed and a good meal."

Methos nodded, taking hold of his boot and pulling it off to exam his foot. "Look at that? Blisters! You really can't beat a good pair of shoes."

In front of his eyes however, the sores on his feet, given a chance, began to heal.

"I swear, I'll never..." Andrasta cut him off.

"Ssshhh!"

"What?"

To emphasize her point, she glared at him, making him keep quiet. Realising that she was serious, he stopped talking, and very soon, both could hear the sound of voices echoing through the woods.

"Where do you think it's coming from?" She whispered.

He took her hand. "Don't know. Behind here, quick!"

Jumping down off the boulder, they hid directly behind it, where some brush had grown up against it, providing an excellent hiding place, if a little cramped. Andrasta almost yelped when a thorn stuck into her arm.

The voices where louder now, and from their position they could just about make out a path coursing it's way through the forest diverting to their left just before it came to the large stone. Methos raised his eyebrows in question at her, but before she had time to ponder just what he meant, two figures came into view.

One was a giant of a man, dressed in simple clothing, carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows on his back and what looked like a young deer over one shoulder.

The other was a young boy, perhaps 7 or 8 carrying a brace of rabbits.

Methos turned to Andrasta. Whoever they where they would undoubtedly have food and both of them where starving. Besides, they could offer to pay for it with the money they had stolen.

Stepping cautiously from there hiding place, both the strangers on the path looked slightly shocked at their sudden appearance. The man looked ready to drop his prize and reach for an arrow.

Methos raised up a hand. "Please, we mean you no harm. We were attacked by raider's and we've ended up lost in the woods. We just need some directions and a little food."

Andrasta spoke up. "Please? We're very hungry, and we can pay you for your trouble?"

She fished out the small bag of silver coins. They were from Dublin, but there value would easily be recognised.

The man appeared to consider it, before he let out a gruff laugh. "Those bloody Norse are always causing trouble for us. Come with me, and I'll see that your fed and put on the right path again for your journey."

Andrasta smiled, turning to Methos who answered her with a grin of his own. Walking up to the two, they introduced themselves as Bran and Mary.

The hunter tossed Methos his bow and quiver. "Here, you can carry this. Don't worry, it's not too far to home." He started walking again, the two immortals lagging behind.


The little community where they found themselves was of the simplest variety. The huts where basically made from a row of sticks placed in the ground and then weaved through to form a wall. Support struts on each side and one on the centre on the inside held up the roof.

They had been made welcome and had been fed a simple meal of bread and salted meat, but to the pair of them, it was one of the best meals they had ate in a long time simply because it had satisfied a hunger that neither of them had felt in a while.

They had spent the day in the small village, resting and talking and had been given the loan of a hut belonging to another man and woman who where away to the funeral of her mother. So, as they sat in their small hut, the fire flickering it's warming light against the walls, Andrasta decided that she had to tell him her secret. Mainly because even she could see where they where both heading and she needed to let him know.

"Methos?"

The other immortal poked at the fire with a stick, sending fire whisps floating up into the hut before they died.

"Hmmm?"

She tried to look up at him. "Remember when I told you, that I hadn't been such a nice person in the past?"

That got his attention, as she knew it would. "You don't have to tell me any..."

"You need to know this. It...it has to do a bit with you."

"With me?"

She turned a worried look to him. "Yes, with you."

*FLASHBACK 0001BC*

The young woman could feel the grip on her arms tighten as they dragged her to the sacred grove. "Please! No! I've done nothing wrong!"

The women holding her ignored her pleas for help. Soon she was tied to a tree, the ground at her feet stained black with the blood of her tribes' prisoners and enemies.

She had been chosen for sacrifice when the Mistress of the Grove had told her leaders that she had seen that her death would ensure victory for them when they next raided their enemies' territory.

A stranger, a Roman by the name of Maximus had shown an interest in her form the moment he had arrived in their encampment. He had spotted her when they had passed through, and had returned a few days later. His dark good looks where only marred by the scar on his face and what she had sensed was darkness hidden just below the surface.

She thought him attractive, but didn't want to marry him. He was too worldly for her, he seemed smarter than he let others see, and she had noticed a cruel edge to him. Still, it was a good match as far as her father was concerned and she went by his wishes.

"Maximus!" She called out, hoping that he would hear her and come rescue her. Surely he loved her enough if he wanted to marry her to rescue her from this fate? After all, Andrasta wasn't his goddess; he didn't have to worry about what she thought.

"Quiet child! This is a sacred place!"

Hetta tried to halt the tears but she couldn't. She felt terrified.

"Please! Don't kill me, please!"

The old woman lifted the age-old dagger from the blood soaked stone. She ran her hands over the bones and bits of cloth tied to and nailed to the trees around her.

Ignoring her screams she gently pressed the blade into her chest and pulled it down. It took Hetta a long time to die, and when she did, she was alone.


A gasp of breath and a pain she had never felt before shot through her, forcing her to arch against the tree she was still tied to. Confusion held her in its grip, so she didn't notice the figure in front of her and she didn't notice the sacred blade glint in the moonlight.

"Hetta? Hetta!"

A sharp slap on her face grabbed her attention, and she turned fearful eyes to the man in front of her.

"Maximus?"

"No, not Maximus." He used the knife in his hands to cut her loose, and then threw it hard into the corpse of the old hag who had sacrificed Hetta to her Goddess. He reached out a hand to her.

"My name is Kronos, and you are no longer Hetta. Hetta died this day." He lifted her unsteadily to her feet, his fingers griping her chin tight as he forced her to look him straight in the eyes.

She knew she should be dead. The memory of the knife tearing through her was still strong in her mind. She forced herself to speak, her words a stutter as she tried to overcome her fear.

"Who...who am I then?"

A harsh laugh answered her as he let her go, but she stayed on her feet, glancing over to the body lying in the grass.

"You are vengeance against those who would hurt you, you are death to our enemies, suffering to those who do not do as we tell them. You are their Goddess incarnate. After all, no one can kill a God but another God. You are Andrasta, and I am your teacher in this business of death."

She shuddered slightly at his words, but she also felt a small thrill at them. She shouldn't be alive but she was, and her people had willingly let her go to her death. Even her father had stood by and had done nothing to help her. She glanced around her. It was right then that this place, this festering grove in the wilderness that had saw the death of so many should be the place she had been reborn.

She walked the short distance to where he stood. "And I want to learn Kronos."

He turned at her words, a hard cruel smile on his face. Grabbing her, he pulled her to him roughly and they kissed. A brutal kiss like nothing she had ever experienced before. "You'll learn. And they learn."

Lying down on the ground, they made love, surrounded by the stench of death.

*END FLASHBACK*

Methos couldn't believe what he was hearing. He'd heard rumours that Kronos had joined the Roman army around that time, but to discover that the woman sitting before him was his pupil was something he hadn't expected at all.

"What did the pair of you do?" He dreaded to hear the words, didn't want to know the terror and fear that undoubtedly these two had caused.

The fire was near dead, the ambers glowing red in the dark of the hut as full darkness had descended outside.

"We...we used my immortality to convince my tribe that I was their Goddess, insisting upon sacrifice after sacrifice. It's only when the Romans attacked our tribe and attacked Bodica that we where forced to go our separate ways, and by that time I knew exactly what I was and what Kronos had done." She tried to see his expression in the darkness, but it was impossible to tell just how he was feeling. "What you had done...as one of the Horsemen."

Movement across from her, and the ambers scattered before her as he stormed out of the hut they where in.


She found him down by the stream, standing looking off into the distance.

"Methos?"

Nothing.

"Methos? Do you hate me?"

That got his attention. "Hate you?" He turned to look at her. "HATE you? No!" He went up to her, wrapping his long slender arms around her in a tight embrace. "No, no! I couldn't hate you. I've done a lot worse and if I judge you, I have to judge myself, and I've already done that. I decided a long time ago that to try and live with that kind of guilt was wrong. I've got a potential eternity; I don't want to waste it trying to make up for the past constantly. Its just..."

She nodded against him. "It's just him."

"Kronos. I don't think I'll ever be allowed to bury him in the past."

She pulled back a little, tears in her eyes. "I don't think either of us will."

He couldn't help but smile at her, even though she could see the sadness behind it. "Come with me?"

That caught her by surprise. "Come with you?" A teardrop rolled down her face, Methos catching it with a simple wipe of his thumb. "Why? Why would you want me to?"

"Because I think we still need to exorcise a demon or two, and it might be easier with someone who has the same demon."

Andrasta was shaking, but the man in front of her had just offered her something that no-one else could; something in common. Something that tied them together in a way she had never been able to find in anyone before.

She pulled herself together, allowing herself to begin to look forward to the future.

"Well?" Asked Methos, "Want to go somewhere?"

She laughed this time. "Alright, why not?"

Methos took her hand, and Andrasta found herself enjoying his touch. Almost half way back to the small village, she suddenly stopped him. "Where are we going then?"

He started walking again, enjoying her laugh as he pulled her up the path. "I don't know. We'll see when we get there."

The End

- Caffre

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jam-wired. Highlander and its characters are the property of Davis/Panzer Productions, Rysher Entertainment and Gaumont Television. This site is unofficial and should not be viewed by anyone. As of 08.31.03 this site is no longer being updated.