What Was Hidden
'God I hate college'. Methos thought looking at the pedagogue in the front of
the lecture hall. He recognized it as a necessary evil, but it still drove him insane to listen to a pompous overbearing man station himself in front of him and presume to lecture him on history when he had bloody well been there. Still that's what he's paid to do after all. Methos glanced at the girl beside him who was practically drooling. It must have some serious perks too.
" Mr. Adamson. Pierce Adamson."
" Dr. Jones?" annoyed at being caught daydreaming Methos decided to play innocent.
" Well, I was just saying that there are three types of finds at a dig. Care to tell me what they are?"
'I'm going to be mean'.. "Actually there are four types. The fourth is commonly unknown so I'm not very surprised it escaped your notice."
" And those would be?"
"Cultural, petrified organism, anthropological , and last, and certainly least, fossilized cultural item."
Jones glanced at the door and seemed to be irritated for a moment. "Really?. I'll see you this after Mr. Adamson."
" Certainly, Dr. Jones" 'Impertinent child. Gods I hate professors. Absolutely the height of boorishness'.
"And now class, on to the importance of keeping a find untampered with ...."
The girl beside him was batting her eyes. Probably had been the whole time. Methos fought the urge to laugh. He wouldn't be in as moment. Dr. Jones wasn't the least bit frightening to him, but to college student Pierce Adamson today's outburst had been way out of character. Not to act cowed this afternoon would be even more so. Damn professors!
'Why or why did I agree to teach this particular class? The girls in the class were embarrassing and he hated to act like the jackass that as herecalled all professors were required by university policy to be. Indiana swore softly. Marcus had told him to pick a student from the class to take to a dig in Africa. He said that it would be the first one to stand up to him, provided Henry didn't tell anyone. It didn't seem likely at the time. He could have brushed it off or simply *forgotten* all about it if Henry hadn't been standing at the damn door. Now he was stuck taking a kid into the field. At least Adamson didn't seem like one of those empty headed simpletons that occupied the majority of the class. Seems being the operative word.
There was a knock on the door.
"Mr. Adamson. How are you this afternoon?"
Schooling himself into the properly apprehensive facial expression, Methos walked into the room.
That man was so bloody arrogant.
"Um, well, what did you want me for. I am sorry for acting so rude in class, but..."
"No, your not" Jones interrupted.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Don't. You weren't acting like one of those vapid children who you attend class with, and I'd appreciate if you didn't start now."
Methos tried to look shocked, keeping the amused expression at hearing his own sentiments echoed back from Jones off his face. "I'm damn well stick with you now." Jones finished in a mutter. He ran his hand along his well shaved jaw, being used to it being covered with stubble.
"How are you stuck with me now?" Methos didn't completely drop his Pierce Adamson persona, but he did relax it leaning against the door frame and noticed Jones immediate and unknowing approval.
"Do you know who Marcus Brody is?"
"The curator of the museum, right?"
"Yeah, he said to pick on of my student to take with me on a dig in Africa next week. I told him it would be the first one who stood up to me, in any way, shape or form. Who would have known right? Then, this afternoon, wouldn't you have known it, damn Henry walked by in just enough time to hear one of my students disagree with me. Guess who?"
"Fucked you plans right up, didn't I?" Methos asked not feeling a bit guilty. He sat down in a chair across the desk from Jones, noting his slight smile at 'Pierce Adamson' profanity.
"Where in Africa is the dig?"
"Near Tiremt, Egypt. It's between Farafra and Asyut. It was some aristocrat's palace. A sandstorm covered it up. According to the men already there it was about 100 BC."
It was 97 BC.
It was a beautiful place. The Romans governed then, but despite of the government Egypt and her people were beautiful. And his home was beautiful, just the sort of relaxation that he needed. And he wanted to see it again. It was time.
"I'm in. When do I have to be ready?"
"We're leaving in four days." Dr. Jones answered surprised at how interested Adamson looked.
"I'll see you in four days then."
Four Days Later
"Hey, Adamson. Over here. You ready?"
Methos tapped his rucksack. "Yep. I'm ready. You, Dr. Jones?" Privately Methos was amazed at how different Jones looked. Gone was the suit and in its place were rough brown pants and a white shirt. On his head was a brown fendora. He looked less like a snooty professor and more like what Methos referred to as a 'normal person'. For his part he was dressed in jeans and the type of sweater that fishermen wore, loose and warm. Odd as the outfit made him look he simply shrugged to himself and excused it as being comfortable. He looked around the nearly empty airplane hanger.
"That one over there," Jones gestured. "It's my friend's. He's lending it to me."
"You can fly, right?"
"Not really. Just if you can't I'd feel safer with my life in my hands, instead of yours. I can fly, Dr. Jones ."
"So can I. Incidentally we're going to be working together for a while, so call me Indy or Indiana."
Methos controlled a smile at the outlandish nickname only with force. "Call me Pierce, then."
"Okay, then. All aboard."
"Isn't that for trains?"
"Get on the plane, Pierce."
"Absolutely, sir." Methos threw his bag on board, following with his body immediately afterwards. "I'd rather get in the plane though." Seeing Indy looking the controls he asked. "You're sure you can fly this thing?"
Taking off Indy replied. "Fly, yes. Land...no so great."
"That had better be a joke."
"Relax. Enjoy the flight." Indy said with an evil grin.
The flight was absolutely uneventful. In fact it was so bloody boring Methos went to sleep some where over the Atlantic. His last waking thought was 'Good thing it wasn't a boat.'
They stopped to refuel in France. As they climbed out of the plane Indiana asked " Have you ever been to France before, Pierce?"
'Since before it was France, child'. "Yes, when I was younger."
"How old are you? I mean don't ask or talk like the other young scholars at the university. I figure we need to know each other."
"I'm older than I look. How old are you?"
"Older than I look"
They walked in silence to the small cafe'.
"Do --- you ----speak---English?" Jones asked storekeeper with careful enunciation.
Methos started laughing and turned to Jones. "Do---you---speak ---French?" He mocked. Before Jones could do more than look at him, he continued " What do you want?"
Jones told him and he ordered in French dialect perfect to the region, though Jones knew only it was French. They took their meal and some food to eat on the plane back to the hanger.
"Well, I'm glad your not acting like a scared little English man anymore."
"You asked for it. And I'm an inch taller than you"
"Why did you ask like that?"
"I could. If I don't people get neurotic around me."
They were back on the plane by this time.
"We should be at the dig site in another six hours." Indiana informed 'Pierce'.
"Oh, joy," Methos replied sarcastically.
It was dark by the time that the tents were up and dinner was eaten. Cold beans Methos thought disgustedly. "I take it that cooking is numbered with French as among your non-skills," he said to the chef of the evenings repast.
"You don't have to eat."
"Probably not, but then I'd get cranky."
Indiana looked at the man lounging in a position he would have thought impossible if he hadn't seen it with his own eyes with amazement. "Maybe you're missing the point of this exercise. I'm supposed to be teaching you."
"Good luck." Methos smiled and walked into his tent.
Jones looked after the man who seemed to be one thing before turning into another entirely. He swore quietly and went into his own tent.
They rose at dawn, by virtue of Indiana throwing cold water onto 'Pierce' when he repeatedly refused to wake.
"We have to be at the dig in half an hour"
"I hate you." Methos informed the teacher with dignity. Or as much dignity as one can have while sopping wet sitting in blue blankets.
Indiana simply sat down on the dusty ground and laughed until the pillow hit his face. Methos stepped over the still chuckling man."Let's go. It's so damn important."
"Fine, fine, let's go."
It turned out the man who had been signaling to Jones so enthusiastically the day before and whom Jones had almost entirely blown off was the archeologist who had discovered the site. He had Jones in because he was a month from retirement. He simply had to inform Jones in of the condition of the site and he was going home.
"It seems to be the home of a Roman citizen who settled here. Maybe an elderly man who needed to'get away from it all.' It's in good shape. Not disturbed. Lots of bodies, perfectly mummified. The distribution of sex is almost even with the bodies found so far, and there have been only seven though we are sure that less than a fifth of the estate has been uncovered and of that only the second floor." Peter Forley babbled.
"The second floor?" Jones questioned.
"Yes, we have uncover two sets of stairs down, so we are fairly certain that there is a lower floor. The dust storm must have been horrendous to cover such an amount."
"It was" 'Pierce' said quietly. " Oh, it was." Forley didn't hear him. Jones did.
I love this country. Beautiful landscape, beautiful architecture. He looked at his wife. Beautiful women. He'd been married 39 times before, but Armecha was special. She was beautiful, but his wives had been beautiful before. She was intelligent, but his wives had been astute previously. She was kind, but again so had others. She was all this, and moreover he trusted her more than any other woman he had met. He had told her what he was, something he had never told any of his other wives. And she still loved him.
She wasn't afraid of him, she didn't think he was a god, she accepted him as he was. Something that was rare enough in the 3 thousand years he had walked the earth. He had even told her about Kronos and the horsemen. She had held him as he cried.
He looked over at his wife and wept inside at the fact she was going to die.
Until that day though, may it be a hundred years in the future, and he hoped it was, she came from a long lived family, he would stay by her side. For the first time his wife was a full partner. He trusted her more than any other being on the planet. Including himself.
She had made him promise to remember her. They had been lying in bed. She had held him close and made him swear that no matter how long he was on the world that he would remember her. He had laughed, kissed her nose and said that he would always remember her young and beautiful no matter how old and wrinkly she got.
"Wrinkly! Old! Why you!" She started to tickle his ribs, which spouted a tickle war that soon turned into something else.
* * * * * * *
And she died here. Oh, Armecha. I still remember you. I promised.
Jones was looking at him strangely, and for an instant Methos was afraid he had talked out loud. Instead Jones merely said " Are you ill, Pierce? You looked green for a moment. You aren't uncomfortable around bodies are you?"
"No," Methos retorted. "But I'm most comfortable around young female ones. You won't know anything about that of course."
" No, I can't say I thought that you could get laid at all."
Mr. Forley looked shocked for an instant than began to laugh. Jones began to apologize effusively.
"I'm sorry, sir.." At this Methos nit his lip at the thought of Jones calling anyone sir, let alone hearing him do it.
"No, No." Mr. Forley interrupted "It's quite all right. Boys will be boys, after all."
"I'm his teac.." Realizing that proclaiming to be 'Pierce's' teacher would not do his credibility any good having just been insulting the 'boy', Jones topped himself. "I'm sorry all the same, sir." He glances that 'Pierce' as the young man made a peculiar snuffling noise.
"No, problem, no problem. Now, to see the site itself. Are you ready?"
The site was in perfect condition, an archeologist's dream. Jonescouldn't control a little yelp of joy, though he kept the rest of his joy private, knowing Adamson would enjoy nothing more than ammunition with which to taunt him unbearably. And Jones had no where near enough information with which to do the same.
Pierce on the other hand, didn't seem as excited. In fact, he seemed...sad? Why would he be sad at such a gem. He had been a little odd earlier, and then he was normal. Or as normal as Pierce ever gets. He thought maliciously.
Methos watched the play of feelings across Jones's face. He could read this man so well. He fancied that he could hide his emotions, but they were an open book to Methos. But then again, most people's are. He thought smugly.
He tuned back in to the conversation in time to hear Forley say" and she will be working with you. She's a genius really."
"Who is?" Jones asked. Apparently he hadn't been listening either.
"I am." A voice claimed coming up beside Jones.
"Armecha." Methos breathed. But, no.. she wasn't his lost love. Her skin was lighter. Her hair was brown instead of raven black. And unless his eyes deceived him ( hey five thousand years some thing has to go. He joked to himself) he saw a spray of freckles across her nose.
"I'm Anna Lucas." She introduced herself offering her hand. She didn't seem to have heard his whisper. Forley was old, he probably couldn't have heard it. But someone did. And that someone gave him a Look, before shaking the tiny woman's hand and introducing himself.
"And this is Pierce Adamson."
She smiled with the right side of her mouth. " Nice to meet you. Grandmother wants to meet the you both before George and she leave. She has tea ready."
It was then that Methos noticed the girls accent. It wasn't exactly English, American or Egyptian, but a combination of the three. Jones had noticed it too, and before Methos. He's not getting over the way she looks! That sounded bad even in his own mind so he amended it to Well, he's not getting over her startling resemblance to someone else.
"You accent. Where is it from?" Jones questioned.
"I spent half my childhood in England, the other half in America. My
teenage years were spent here, and I went to under grad in America and grad in England." She informed them as they walked to an extravagant tent.
They walked in to a tent that appeared to have all the amenities of a home.
A beautiful older woman stood at their arrival. Immediately upon their entrance her eyebrows drew together and she uttered, " Dr. Adams? Benjamin Adams?"
Methos' first thought? "Oh shit"
His second was much more benign, especially because he hadn't said the first aloud and Amec.....Anna was introducing Jones and him to the aged woman.
"Grandma this is Dr. Jones and this is Pierce Adamson."
"Yes, of course. You, young man," she pointed at Methos, " look just like a doctor I knew. I was just a child, so of course you couldn't be him. But dear God, you look like Doctor Adams. He was a wonderful man. Very kind eyes. You have them too." Methos looked at her dark hair and twinkling eyes and remembered a little girl who peered around corners when ever was in her house. That was over sixty years ago, though, so he couldn't claim remembrance. Oh, Mary was a wonderful child though. Her mother was beautiful as well he could remember. She was a sweet little girl though, and had promised as much as he could see lingering in her face. She was beautiful as child, gorgeous as a grown woman, and lovely as an old one. " Thank you. Maybe he was related in some way." He said instead.
She smiled " Maybe." She clapped her hands together. "Tea." They sat down to tea. Jones looked thoroughly confused which gave Methos great amusement.
He saw Anna whisper something in his ear and presses down a pang of jealousy, reminding himself that this was not Armecha. Armecha was dead. He was here where they had enjoyed such joy in life and love. And he intended to make the most of it.
Tea was over by eight. Where has the day gone? Jones wondered. But then again Jones wondered a great many things. Why Forley and Anna's grandmother were going to England for their honeymoon, why Pierce knew exactly what Forley was talking about when he mentioned old digs, why he had looked like he did remember the new Mrs. Forley, and most of all who was he really. Jones was not a stupid man, dense occasionally, but stupid was not one of his skills. Pierce looked like he was 30 tops, and when he smiled he looked like an over grown 12 year old.. But he seemed to know things intimately that occurred long before he could even have been thought of. Before his parents were born even! I'll find out Jones inquiring mind swore to himself. I'll find out.
This time it was Methos who woke Jones 'Indiana' he thought sardonically to himself. 'What a stupid name. I wouldn't name a dog that'. He thought as he threw a bucket of water on to the peacefully slumbering man.
As Jones spluttered in the morning light Methos pulled the blankets off the drenched fellow.
"Rise and shine, darling" Methos said in a falsetto voice, showing no sign at first that he noticed Jones withering stare. Finally he said "Damn, Jones, if looks could kill.... wait yours already can with no effort on your part.
"Hardy harhar." Jones deadpanned.
"Come on, let's go. We have stuff to do. Up and at 'em." Methos was eager to get to the dig site.
"I don't wear ..a lot of clothes when I think I'm safe from madmen with water buckets, like I stupidly thought last night. Obviously, that didn't occur to you when you soaked my blankets." Methos raised an eyebrow at Jones' calm tirade. Seeing it Jones smiled. " Well, I guess I shouldn't talk."
Methos smiled. Those who knew him really well would be aware that this was a *wait for it* smile. Those who knew him very well were few and limited however. And Jones was not among them "Well, you know what they say about those you live in glass house, don't you?"
"They shouldn't throw stones? " Jones asked, suspecting now that something was coming.
"No, they should wear underwear." Methos said calmly. He took one look at Jones' face and walked off. Jones heard him laughing when he was out of sight.
It was dark when Methos found Armecha's barrette .
It was their wedding night. He had had the barrette made weeks in advance. But the sheer joy of putting it into her shinning hair had been unimaginable. She had worn it as often as she could, about once a month. Her beautiful hair........ Gone now. Forever.
Methos closed his eyes against the memory. Maybe this was a bad idea after all. No, he couldn't leave now. He had to do what he hadn't been able to before, put his wife to rest. The dust had covered the whole estate. It was all he could do to pull himself out of the ruble, and even then he died nine times, choking to death. Choking is not a good way to die. " but is there a good way to die?" He asked aloud.
"I can't think of one. " Jones said wiping his forehead with a bandanna.
"It was a rhetorical question. Need a dictionary?" Methos questioned caustically. He had NOT meant to say that out loud.
"What is your problem. I got reviews on you from all your other teachers, why is it that you acting like an ass around me?"
"You asked for me to act like myself. I am. Wait a moment. You checked up on me?!"
"You think that I won't want to know something about some one I'm bringing half way around the world?"
"How much checking did you do?" Methos asked suddenly fearful for the identity he had laid out for himself. It was the first time he had made new life since the invention of the telephone. He suspected that that little device would royally screw his procedures for new lives. 'Well, it's a good thing there wouldn't be any device better than the telephone to check up on records with'. He consoled himself.
"There wasn't much I could do. You really have to update your university file. I couldn't find anyone who knew Peter or Hannah Adamson. The house you grew up in must have burned down because there isn't one there now. In fact it's like you didn't even exist before you started at the university."
'Thank god for unsuspicious minds' Methos thought, not dreaming that none of this was true. Jones hadn't checked him out before the trip. He had made a few phone calls while Pierce was reading the night before and gleaned more information on this odd man.
Indiana studied the expression of the man before him. A glint flashed into his eyes. "What's that?" he asked gesturing toward the piece of silver in Methos' hand.
"This?" Methos asked curseing himself for not have hidding it better. " Oh, it looks like a hair piece. Probably belong to the lady of the house. By it's deign," he said, holding it to the light and bluffing his heart out "It was a wedding present given from a young groom to a young bride . Older couple s had a different pattern. Blows your old man theory right out of the water, doesn't it?"
"How much of that did you make up, just off the top of your head?"
"None!" Methos lied with absolutey no pangs of conscious. " It's well documented in several scienctific texts including one by Nepoip."
"Nepoip? There's no such person. Pierce, do you want to try the truth this time? Starting with who you really are?"
Methos threw down his shovel. " What the hell are you talking about?"
"You know what I'm talking about." Jones voice quieted. "I saw you cut yourself this morning."
' Damn.' Methos looked at his hand. He hadn't been paying attention, when he had found a particularly interesting piece of pottery. It would be interesting to Jones, at least. It had sat beside his bathing tub. Stupid thing had broken though. The cut was completely gone now, of course as proven when Jones roughly grabbed his wrist and turned his hand to the fading light.
"There's nothing there now. " Jones pointed out the obvious.
"It must have been your imagination." Methos bluffed hoping 'Indiana' hadn't any evidence.
Jones held up a handkerchief in his other hand. A bloody handkerchief. With the initials PA. 'Damn it all.'
"On top of that, you knew that woman. I saw your face. And that hair thing what was that?"
"It was my wife's" Methos whispered.
Jones dropped his hand.
"It was my wife's" Methos continued in a louder voice. "We lived here together before time started going forward.
"Jesus Christ." Jones said in a disgusted voice.
"Nice kid. A trifle the world is black or white, but he was okay and could he drink" Methos said.
"Bull shit" Jones said. "I was hoping for something serious and look the shit I get." Jones walked away.
Methos' mouth dropped open in shock, of all the reactions he'd contemplated total disbelief, especially with the cut and all, never crossed his mind. It was nice though. Except that now Jones thought he was a liar. 'Damn it'
"Jones" Methos started to follow him Jones through the dark. He tripped over a shovel which following a law of motion, he couldn't remember which one, hit him in the face with the opposite end. 'Damn it, this just isn't my night.'
He thought rubbing the even now fading bruise. It was then he felt the buzz that signaled another immortal presence. 'Nope, not my night...'
Methos called into the dark "Who is there?"
After a moment an answer came, in a way. "Show yourself. Come into the light." Methos, of course, made a detour to where he had laid his coat in the midmorning heat. Shrugging it on, he stepped in to the moonlight. A moment later another man did as well. He had black hair, the temples silvered. The man was the same height as Methos, his build was slim. His eyes though were the bluest sapphire.
"Adams." The man said in a disgusted voice.
continued in part 2