Title: Fidelity
Series: General xover universe, but may be useful to have read 'Hubris'
and 'Fortuity' first
Author: akire
Email: akire@mailcity.com
Status: C/U
Category: Crossover: Highlander/SG:SG1 and other
Spoilers: umm, got a basic grasp of the Highlander universe?  Fine.  Oh
yeah, we're a Clan Denial fanfic.  Stargate – general understanding of
the series at least up The Curse is assumed
Disclaimers:  D/P and Gekko really DO own them.  If you don't recognize
it, its probably mine.  If it's silly or crazy, definitely is mine.
But if anyone sends the lawyers after me, I'm sending out the boys with
swords ;)  Oh yeah, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
If you recognize a specific fanfic creation, it belongs to its author
(when this series is finished, I may tally them up). 
Rating: PG, prob.  Hey, I'm not offended by much, if it should be rated
higher, tell me! 
Content Warning: purists beware.  Language may offend some readers. 
Summary:  Danya learns of Reia's secret.  Is their millennia-spanning
friendship at an end? 

On with the show!


"So are congratulations in order?"  Janet lounged against the doorjamb
for a moment before coming completely into Daniel's office.  Closing
the door behind her, she nodded a greeting to Jack who was already

Daniel didn't even look up from the photographs he was analysing.  "Is
this Annoy Daniel day?"

"I'm not annoying, I'm keeping you company!"

Daniel smirked and jotted a note on his pad.  "Same thing, Jack."

Jack just grinned.  "So, whatcha do to earn some congrats this time,

Janet smiled at her friends. "You've made the top five for another
year, Daniel."

Jack lifted his chin slightly.  "Top five of..?"  He waved his hands
around as if to say 'explanation, please?'

She waved a printout in her hand.  "Every year the Watcher's in field
and research weigh in with their bets for who would win the Game if it
were fought out tomorrow."

Daniel shook his head.  "If you guys are really that bored, I'm sure we
could think up something else for you to do."  His tone was mildly
amused.  He had been aware of the betting pool for years now, it no
longer bothered him.

Jack was intrigued.  "You have a pool running? So, who's on the victory
list this year?"

Janet held out the printout as if were a scroll and she a royal herald.
"We have a few new faces in this year's total.  In position number one,
we have..."

"Methos," Daniel said blandly.

Janet dropped the printout.  "Do you mind?"


"Ahem.  As I was saying, number one since he was made more than a myth,
is Methos!"

"That sounds like a tongue-twister Janet."

"You should meet him one day, Jack.  I think you two would get along
well.  You both like beer and twisting people's minds."  Daniel kept
his eyes firmly on the photographs so Jack couldn't see his grin.

"Moving right along," the Colonel replied easily.

Janet smirked.  "Your old buddy has cleaned you out for another year,
Danya.  Reia has claimed number two again."

"No surprises there.  She lives in Paris, it keeps you fit."

"Why?" Jack asked, his curiosity piqued.

Daniel grabbed another photo before answering.  "Highest ratio of
Immortals to mortals of any place in the world.  I swear, some days it
was like ever third person you passed Buzzed.  Every night of the year
there's a light show..."

"Ahh, got it."

Daniel smirked and restacked his photographs.  "Like I said, it keeps
you fit.  Who was third?"  His face went carefully neutral.  "Was it

Janet didn't see the blank mask Daniel was wearing.  "Oh no, didn't you
hear?  MacLeod claimed his head a while ago.  Speaking of the Scot,
that little maneuver moved him..."

"Hang on!"  Janet had Daniel's full attention.  "Kronos got topped?
Why wasn't I told?"

Janet finally heard the dangerous note in his voice.  "I wasn't aware
he was important to you..."

Daniel was on his feet.  "Not important....NOT important..."  He shook his
head, his hands describing an arc in the air as he tried to find the
words to express.  "Come on."

"Come where?"  Janet was struggling to keep up with the conversation.
"Danya?"  Jack was on his feet, already moving to follow.

Daniel wrenched open the door.  "You are going to access the Chronicles
and tell me everything you lot know about Kronos."


Janet was shaking her head.  "I can't believe I'm doing this."

"Ahh, who's going to discipline you for it?  Joe?"  Daniel's snort was
short and explosive.

Jack had slotted himself against the back wall, keeping silent as he
watched his two friends hover over the computer.  "Umm, will someone
tell me what is going on?  Who is Kronos?"

"Bad guy."  Janet said shortly as she tried to keep her password secret
with Daniel hovering over her shoulder.

"Very bad guy," Daniel agreed.  He looked Jack straight in the eye.
"So bad I've spent a lot of my life waiting for the opportunity to take
his head."

Jack kept his cool.  "Revenge, Daniel?" He asked in a neutral voice.

"Oh yeah," Daniel sighed.  "Mac has got some explaining to do when next
we meet."

Any further conversation was cut off as Kronos' file appeared on
screen.  The speakers whispered into life.

**Chronicle:  Kronos.  Current status:  Deceased.  Head taken by:
MACLEOD, Duncan.   Fourteen thousand, one hundred and twelve confirmed
Immortal kills.**   Jack whistled slightly at the latter.

"And that's just confirmed Immortal.  He actually preferred killing
mortals.   By the thousands."  As he spoke, Janet clicked through his
kill map and brought up his statistics page.  "Here we go, Kronos.
Scourge of Europe, Asia and everything in between.  Weapon of Choice:
Serrated edge broadsword," she grimaced slightly as the thumbnail
picture came up.  "Age: at least 3,900...  Teacher:  Reia..  Psych
Profile: Absolute madman..."

Daniel latched on her arm.  "Hang on.  Who did you say the teacher

Janet blinked.  "Reia.  Though there is a footnote..." she clicked and
brought it up.  "Which says she has tried to kill Kronos on multiple
dates over the years, and was part of the group which sealed him in on
Holy Ground..." Janet trailed off slowly, her eyes on her charge.

"Daniel?"  Jack's voice was gently inquiring.  "Is that the same Reia

"...lied to me."  Daniel's face was impassive and his voice was soft, but
his hands had curled into tight fists.

"Ah," Jack said shortly.  "This is not good?"

Daniel stood still, simmering quietly as his mind ran in tumultuous
loops.  "Jack, let the General know I'm going to need some personal
time."  He was already heading for the door.

"Wait!  Where are you going?"  Jack followed to the door and called
across the Infirmary at Daniel's rapidly departing back.  "Daniel!"  He
span to face the petite doctor.  "Janet?  Where is he going?"

She shrugged, her eyes glued on the screen.  "My guess would be Paris."
Her fingers flew across the keyboard.  "I'm going to alert the Paris
base that he may be incoming, see if I can convince them to get a
Watcher assigned to the pair of them."

Jack came around to take Daniel's place at her shoulder.  "Why can't
you just call this Reia's Watcher, get them to tell us if he shows

Janet's lips pursed into a thin line.  "Reia doesn't have a Watcher,

"Why not?  I thought you guys were uber-spies?  Eyes everywhere and all

In response, Janet called up Reia's file.  Unlike the other files, this
one had no audio introduction.  Instead, it defaulted straight to a
page with a bright red border.  Jack began to read the short text

"Janet, who the hell is this woman," he snapped angrily, his concern
for his friend growing.  "She's too dangerous to Watch, she trained
this Kronos guy who pissed Daniel off enough to merit a lifetime
grudge...and Daniel is just going to knock on her door?"

"Jack," she began soothingly, trying to calm the older man down.
"They've been friends for millennia..." she trailed off.

"And Daniel is currently heading over there feeling like she betrayed
and lied to him."

Janet turned back to her computer.  "Maybe its Rei we should be
warning," she said with a snort, but her joke fell flat.  Fingers
flying, she sent off a memo to the Parisian office.  "I've just sent a
heads-up and a request for a status report.  Even though she doesn't
have a Watcher herself, she has enough interaction with others for us
to keep reasonable tabs on her."

Jack headed for the door.  


"What?" Was the snarled response, one hand on the doorknob.

"Don't go down there thinking you can talk him out of it.  Let him cool
off first, get Daniel back in gear.  Danya is not always the nicest
person, especially when he's angry."  Janet was blushing slightly from
embarrassment, annoyed with herself for feeling as if she were
betraying a confidence.

Jack's hand slid off the doorknob.  "Explain."


Three floors down, Danya was going through the motions of sealing off
his lab until his return.  Mentally, his thoughts were with Reia.  His
older friend, whilst never making public her personal opinion, had
always managed to convey the feeling that she had her own reasons for
wanting Kronos dead.  Was that all a lie?

He snorted to himself as he grabbed his things and shoved them roughly
into a bag, ignoring the tingling sensation on his knuckles as his
hands healed.  Kronos was an expert liar and manipulator as well.  He
obviously learnt his skill at the knee of a master.

Casting his gaze around the room to make sure he hadn't missed anything
important, he snatched up his gear and headed for the door, ignoring
the dents in the wall as he passed.  He wasn't sure where he was
heading – Paris, to talk to Reia?  Could they just talk?  He shook his
head and paused, one hand on the doorknob.  Did he have anything to say
to her yet?  Apart, maybe, from 'why?'  Or 'There Can Be Only One'?
That unbidden thought unsettled him more than he was prepared to admit
at this stage.

But he couldn't just sit under the mountain and brood.  As he thought,
a second option presented itself.  Yanking open the door with more
force than was strictly necessary, he headed down the corridor for the
surface elevator.  He needed more information and he knew just where to
get it.


It was after dark by the time he hit the streets of Seacouver.  It had
been raining as his plane had landed, but the wind had blown the clouds
away, so the moonlight glistened off the wet city.  Pulling his coat
tighter against the freshening breeze, he felt his sword rub
reassuringly against his back.  He hadn't realise how much comfort he
drew from that sensation until now.  

Turning the final corner, he caught sight of the neon-lit sign out
front of his destination.  Smiling grimly, he pushed down the street
and let himself into the warm haven that was Joe's bar.  As he pushed
through the inner doors, he caught the scent of three Immortal's.  His
summation was borne out as he caught sight of Richie, Mac and Methos
down the far end of the bar, watching like hawks as he entered.
Nodding a silent greeting, he hung his coat on a hook, kicked his bag
underneath it and moved down to claim a stool next to Adam.

"Someone get this man a beer," Adam said with a tiny smirk as he
scanned Daniel's face.  Daniel didn't speak until a beer was duly
delivered.  Taking a long draught, he sighed.  

"Guys, I've come looking for information.  I'm tired, lagged and pissed
off, so no run-round, okay?"

Mac nodded slowly, his dark eyes broadcasting concern at his elder's
uncharacteristic blunt behaviour.  "Why don't we take this somewhere a
little more private, then?"

Nodding, he allowed Richie to lead them to a dimly lit booth at the
back of the bar.  Sitting next to Mac with one leg out in the aisle,
Danya began without preamble.  "Tell me how you topped Kronos."

Mac blinked as Methos dropped his gaze to the scarred tabletop.  "Why
do ya wanne know about that?"

"Just," he began in a slightly sharper voice than he intended.  Getting
a handle on his emotions, he repeated in a calmer voice.  "Just tell
me.  Please."

Still confused, but not mistaking the importance Danya placed on this
information, Mac quickly sketched out the details of the events leading
up to Kronos' final battle.

"You shared the Quickening?" The question wasn't directed so much to
Mac as to Methos, who had stayed strangely silent throughout the

"Yes.  It's rare but not unheard of."  Methos finally looked up.  "As I
suspect you already know."  

"Do you also know why Kronos' head was so important to me?"

Methos nodded, his gaze steady.  "I remember."

Foothills of the Pyrenees, circa 1000BC

Danya tore his way through the groundcover, no longer feeling the
brambles tear and rip his skin.  He was getting closer, he could feel
it.  It had been nearly three days since his teacher had sent him off
in one direction whilst Iodros fled in another, those bastards in hot

They were on horseback, which made them easier to trail, but his own
mount had collapsed, exhausted, nearly a day ago.  Still he persisted,
images of his beloved teacher facing those four barbarians dancing in
his mind.

His body driven beyond the edges of exhaustion, his mind numb with the
stresses of continuous fear, the sound almost didn't register on his
consciousness at first.  The clang of sword on sword.


Suppressing the urge to run to Iodros' side, he forced himself to move
silently to the crest of the hill he was climbing.  The other side was
a long, shallow decline, and his position allowed him his first clear
view of his old teacher in three days.

Iodros was exhausted, his clothes bloody and torn.  Still the ancient
man was on his feet, attacking and defending with all his considerable
skill.  His opponent was the scar-faced nightmare of entire
communities– Kronos, the destroyer.  Surrounding the fighting pair in a
rough triangle were Kronos' henchmen.  A huge man with an axe and a
scrawny, malicious man with his sword already drawn had their backs to
him.  On the far side of the battle, facing him but with eyes only on
his cohort, was a third man, tall and fit.  His sword was still
sheathed, and he watched the swordplay unfolding before him with
intelligent eyes.

Was he Kronos' mentor?  His guide in torture and destruction?

Danya's thoughts were wrenched back as he heard the sound of a head
dropping from its body.  Iodros' lifeless eyes seemed to be staring
straight at him, accusing and unforgiving.  

Danya's heart shattered into a million pieces, but his scream was
drowned out by the thunderous fury as Iodros' ancient Quickening was
released.  As the storm subsided, Danya lay flat on the ground, his
choking sobs catching in his throat.  His eyes were drawn to Kronos,
who rose and shook himself.  He wore a self-satisfied grin, cruelly
pleased by his ill-deserved victory.  Looking down on the corpse, he
spat on the lifeless body before stalking away to mount his horse that
was tied a short distance away.  Iodros' own horse was claimed by the
axe-wielding man, as the malicious one kicked Iodros' lifeless body
before also turning away.  

Danya felt his rage growing, but he was still frozen in place.  Kronos
kicked his mount into a canter, his two partner's riding behind him.
The forth man, the tall one, also mounted his horse.  Danya almost
gasped as tall man looked straight up at him.  Their eyes met for a
moment, the tall man's face subtly betraying his understanding as to
who this observer was.  Danya held his breath, waiting for thin man to
shout out, to gallop up the hill and hunt him down.  Instead, thin man
nodded once, gently as if he understood, then he wheeled his own horse
around and took off after his companions.

Danya waited until they crested the far hill and vanished from sight.
Slowly, his bones shaking with grief and exhaustion, he eased himself
down the hill to claim his teacher's body for burial.


"I think I'll turn in early tonight.  There are blankets and stuff in
the hall closet when you want them. Goodnight."  Not waiting for a
reply, Richie ambled off down the corridor towards their bedroom.

Methos watched his young lover leave, silently thanking him for his
insight.  He then turned his attentions back to their houseguest.
Danya had already done the quick prowl around the room, noting exits
and access ways, and was now standing like a statue in front of the
window overlooking the street below.  His back radiated tension, pain
and a kind of grief that could never truly be dealt with.  Methos was
suddenly grateful that he had no real memories of his own teacher – he
had no distant father-figure to grieve over.

But Danya always felt his hurts deeply, even if he managed an outwards
semblance of competent calm.  This news of Kronos' death had dug out
pains long ago buried, certainly, but Methos wondered if that was truly
the cause of his guests' sudden appearance.   Ducking into the kitchen,
he fetched two beers, wondering if they would be strong enough to
loosen Danya's tongue.

"Tell me, Methos," Danya said suddenly.  "Did you know who taught

Methos shook his head as he handed Danya the beverage.  "We never spoke
about things like that."

"It was Reia."

Methos nearly choked on his mouthful.  "Reia?  Our friend Reia?"

Danya's expression was stony as he pondered the condensation on the
bottle.  "That's what the Watcher report says."

Methos shrugged.  "Watcher reports have been wrong before.  Watcher's
making guesses or assumptions, and report them as gospel truths.  It

"You've got to admit it's a possibility."

Methos took a sip as he considered in.  "Yes, I suppose it is.  But I'd
want more proof first."

Daniel ran his finger around the lip of the bottle.  "They could both
be coolly calm and absolutely ruthless," he mused out loud.

At that Methos shook his head.  "Reia can be ruthless as a point of
necessity.  Same as you and me.  But Kronos took pleasure in it.  He
enjoyed it, got off on it.  No way those two would ever be in the same

"I never had the pleasure of facing Kronos, but you've sparred with
both of them – any similarities in style?"

He shook his head.  "They were both excellent fighters, but if you're
asking me if they had some common, special trick?  Not that I know of. 
But if," he stressed.  "If they were student and teacher, they both had
thousands of years apart to develop their skills, evolve their style." 
He conceded as he took another drink.  "Besides, Reia helped me and the
others lock him away on Holy Ground.  Why would she do that if she was
his teacher?"

"Why would you do it if you were his Brother?"  Danya retaliated hotly.

Methos closed his eyes.

"Sorry," Danya said with a sigh, rubbing his forehead tiredly.  "That
was uncalled for.  It's just...oh, I don't know!"  Moving with nervous
energy, he left his position by the window and collapsed on the couch.

"You're tired, confused and you don't know what's truth and what
isn't," Methos told him.  Dumping his empty bottle on the counter, he
headed down the passage and returned with a stack of bedding in his
arms.  "The couch is surprisingly comfortable.  Try and get some rest,
and we'll talk again tomorrow."

Nodding agreement, Danya bid his host goodnight and made up his bed.
His sleep was troubled by nightmares of Kronos taking Iodros'
head...nightmares which morphed into Reia coming after his friends, one
by one killing them, wearing the same self-satisfied smile he had seen
on Kronos all those years ago.  Standing over Jack's headless body,
grinning, as she held aloft a bloody sword...

After finally falling into a dreamless and exhausted sleep sometime
around 3AM, Danya woke late to the smell of fresh coffee and the sound
of a keyboard clacking.  Stumbling off to the bathroom, he came back
into the kitchen tucking a fresh shirt into his jeans.  Richie was
folding up his laptop and unplugging it from the phone line as Danya
walked around to sit at the table.  He smiled self-consciously at his

"Thanks for letting me crash here," he told his hosts as he accepted a
steaming mug.

"No problem man," Richie said as he rose to dump the laptop back in the
living room.  He came back into the kitchen to grab his keys.  "I've
gotta get to work, but I'll see you guys tonight, right?"

"Should do," Methos agreed as he leaned in to kiss his lover goodbye.
Neither of the ancient men said anything until after Richie slammed the
front door closed behind him.

"We got a message from Janet via Joe.  You leave Colorado in a hurry or

Danya groaned and rubbed his temples.  "I guess I did leave in a bit of
a rush," he conceded.

"I'll say.  Janet put the Paris office on alert for your arrival.  Joe
said she flipped when she learnt that you were here.  Guess she doesn't
know you as well as she thought she did."  Methos stirred his coffee
and wondered why he was getting involved in the affairs of others
again.  "What are you going to do now?"

"I don't know.  I honestly don't know.  Last night I was just...mad," he
said lamely.  "So angry.  Reia and I....she knew how much I hated Kronos,
and why.  So why didn't she tell me the truth?"


Danya snorted.  "She's fear-less!"

Methos took Danya's empty mug.  "Only a fool has no fear.  That's
something she told me once, and I don't think she's wrong.  Fear of
this..." he waved at Danya.  "Your reaction, my reaction, the
repercussions of such news.  There is a lot of bad feeling out there,
even after all this time."  He thought of Cassandra, case in point.

"I suppose..." he said softly.  Neither man spoke for a long moment, both
lost in their thoughts.  The silence was shattered by the mental tone
of an approaching Buzz.

Methos smiled.  "It's probably Richie.  He must have forgotten
something."  But instead of keys in the lock, they heard a knock at the

Both men had their swords draw before the echoes had died.  Nodding his
readiness, Danya moved to stand behind the door, out of range of any
bullets that might be fired, whilst Methos cautiously cracked open the
door, sword out of sight but ready.

Danya didn't miss the stiffening of Methos' shoulders, though his voice
was calm.  "Hello, Reia."

Danya lowered his sword and moved back as his oldest friend stepped
into the flat.  Her eyes tracked across the room before settling on
Danya's face.  "I understand you and I have something we need to talk
about?" She murmured without preamble

He nodded, but did not sheath his weapon.  "Kronos."

A shadow crossed her dark eyes.  "I see."  She nodded towards his
sword.  "We are off Holy Ground, if you'd care to use that."  Danya
blinked; this was not what he was expecting.  But before he could
answer, Methos waded into the fray.

"No way, no how, not here," he said vehemently.  "Take it outside, go
for a walk, chat a while before we get to that."

Slowly, and with extravagant care, Danya returned his blade to its
home.  Grabbing his coat off the back of the couch, he walked into the
hall without waiting to see if she followed.

They walked silently, side by side, through the cold and blustery
streets of Seacouver.  Reia seemed content to wait for him to start
talking.  She always managed to be impossibly patient when necessary.
He was in no hurry to begin either, not while his own thoughts were

"You lied to me." He stated quietly.  It was not the way he had wanted
to begin this conversation, but they words had been spoken seemingly of
their own volition.

She nodded at the rebuke.  "Yes," she stated simply.  "In this I did.
I had to."

"Why?"  The false calm was starting to crack under the intensity of his
feelings.  His voice conveyed his hurt and disbelief and anger at what
he had learnt.

"I could see no other choice.  Despite sometime reckless acts to the
contrary, I in fact very much want to live, to keep living, quietly and
with as little fuss as possible.  What do you think would happen to me
if it became common knowledge that Kronos' teacher still lived?  So
many people wanted to top him, but couldn't – I would make an
acceptable alternative target for their anger."

"Others, yes, I understand that!" He interrupted.  "But why me?  I
thought we had developed some sense of trust over the years."

"Oh Danya," she sighed, sounding old and so very tired.  "I didn't know
if I could find the words to make you understand..." She trailed off
hopelessly.  "I looked at you and I saw a hate that surpassed even
mine, and a skill that may have been equal to the task.  But I
couldn't..." She faded off, and refused to meet his eyes.  "I came to the
realisation that, even though he broke the teacher-student covenant, I
could not.  I couldn't kill him myself, I could only contain him,
convince others to do my dirty work..." she stamped her foot suddenly,
her own frustrations bubbling to the surface.  "Not taking your head
was the best decision I had made in a thousand years, Danya.  Your
friendship..." she sighed and bowed her head, unable to express how
important it had been to her.  "I would be either dead or insane by now
without it."

Danya reached out to take her hand. "Same here," he said with a wry
grin.  "But I thought that would make it easier to tell me, not
harder."  He tightened his grip slightly.  "Please, I'm trying to

"Shame," she said quietly.  "I was ashamed of what I had done.  I
couldn't...I couldn't bear it if you turned away."  She finally looked
up, her eyes shining bright with unshed tears.  "When I felt I was
loosing it, you would be there. You were always there when I needed a
friend.  Some years you were my only friend – even if you were on the
other side of the world, I knew I could count on that.  How could I
admit to anything which might mean loosing you.  How could I risk
having you hate me, like you hated him?"

Danya's anger was draining away, replaced by concern.  He had never
seen Reia so vulnerable before, her emotions laid bare before him.  It
was beginning to unsettle him slightly – he had always thought her the
strong one, never considering that she thought it the other way round. 
Reia continued talking, babbling slightly, as if she would loose the
courage to continue any moment now.  "I could see that not all my
lessons weren't taking, that something was wrong from the beginning,
but I continued to teach him, confident that it would just click for
him.  I was so confident in myself that I never considered that he was
playing me, using me to learn what he needed before discarding me.  He
knew he couldn't kill me when he was done: he was an excellent
swordsman, but at that stage I was still better.  And he was never a
very creative thinker, so he just slew my mortal friends and left.  I
looked and looked for him, but I never did decide what I would do if I
actually found him.  I was so out of my depth I was drowning, yet at
the time I didn't even realise I was wet."

Danya stroked her shoulder gently, relieved that she did not pull away
from his touch.  Something Janet said to him yesterday morning – 'has
it really only been a day?' – replayed in his memory.  "But you helped
Methos?  In Greece.  When you locked him away under Holy Ground?"

She nodded and gently stepped backwards, out of his easy reach.  Her
arms were crossed tightly across her chest, her eyes downcast.  "Methos
wanted to kill him, he was beginning to see through Kronos' games, but
he couldn't do it either.  He knew, as I did, that even a moment's
hesitation would be lethal.  So we tried a different plan.  I mixed the
poison and found the well, Methos gave him the drink and locked him
away on Holy Ground.  And there he stayed for centuries."  She
shrugged.  "Out of sight, out of mind.  I never told Methos exactly why
I was helping him, and he never asked.  We both had our secret reasons,
our private hates which we locked down that damn well too."  She hugged
herself tighter.

"Why didn't you ask me for help?  I would have had no reservations, I
wouldn't have hesitated.  That deal we made?  I thought it went
both ways."  The anger was returning, mutely slightly but still
fierce in its intensity.  "I wanted to kill him, I had no ties to hold
me back."

She wandered away a few paces, eyes still on the ground at her feet.
"But I wasn't certain you would be good enough to win in such a

Indignation flared in Danya's belly.  "Why couldn't you have let me be
the judge of that?"

She spun to face him, her own eyes blazing.  "When it comes to Kronos,
you are hardly the poster child for rational decision making!  I...I
couldn't risk loosing you to him too."  She seemed almost embarrassed
to admit the truth.  "You would have let a centuries old hatred cloud
your judgement, Danya.  In a normal fight, you are the consummate
swordsman – clean, efficient, unemotional.  But Kronos would have
goaded you into making some rash mistake, would have turned your own
passions against you."  She strode across the small space separating
them, crowding him, her face in his.  "Admit it!  Admit that if you
knew the truth your rage would have overwhelmed you, your judgement,
our friendship, everything.  And then either you or I would be dead –
or more likely both!  And Kronos would have roamed free, unchallenged
and unchecked.  With all your power and knowledge flowing through his

Her own fury spent, she stepped backwards.   She re-crossed her arms as
she seemed to deflate slightly, folding in on herself.  "So instead we
chained him, hid him away, and tried to move on."  She looked up
through her own fringe.  "In case you haven't noticed, it's kind of a
pattern for Methos and I – we tend to leave our messes for others to
deal with."  She smiled sourly.  "We're not as honest with ourselves as
we should be."  Out of words, she walked a few paces ahead of where
Danya stood, pausing in front of a winter flower.

The silence extended between them, taunt with uncertainty.  Danya
scuffed his toe in the gravel of the path, unable or unwilling to speak
– he was not sure which.

"There isn't anyone around," Reia said suddenly.


"There isn't anyone near," she repeated without turning.  "If you want
to take my head.  I won't fight you."  She canted her head so Danya
could see her profile.  "I trust you to cut clean," she whispered,
echoing words from millennia ago.

"Reia..." he began, moving to stand behind her.

"Because if you don't, someone will," she continued with relentless
practicality.  "The secrets out now, and word has a way of getting
around, you know that.  And if it comes down to it, I'd rather you have
my Quickening than anyone else..."  As she spoke, Danya strode forward to
stand at her back, wrapping his arms around her and made soothing
noises.  She snorted with macabre humour, muscles tense under his
hands.  "At least this way you can finally move into number two on the
Watcher list."

"Keep it, I've grown fond of being in your shadow," he murmured gently.
"And you've forgotten something."

"What's that?"

"We're oooooolllllllldddddddd," he crooned.  "Most of these young one's
don't even know who Kronos was."

She shook her head.  "He's the boogey monster, the terrible Immortal
that teacher's use to scare their students," she retorted.  "He's left
a legacy that is going to reverberate through time, mark my words."

He shrugged, knowing she could feel the movement.  "We'll cross that
bridge if we come to it."

She twisted slightly in his embrace.  "What's this 'we' business,

"Hey, in my book, nearly three thousand years of friendship counts for
something, Toto."

She settled deeper into his arms. "There still is a friendship?" She
asked in a quiet, nervous voice.

"With one proviso."

"Wait, I'm bracing myself," she retorted with heavy sarcasm.

"Any more deep dark secrets, please tell me them now.  I don't think my
office door, walls and desk could take a repeat performance of what I
did to them when I found this out.  If I were mortal I'd be dead of a
heart attack by now." 

She chuckled, a gesture he felt through her back.  "Hmm, let me
think...no, you know about that..."  She began ticking them off on her
fingers.  "No, that's kinky, not secretive...and you helped me with
that...nope, I think Kronos was my sole deep and dark."

He squeezed her tight.  "I'm holding you to that."  Releasing his
embrace, the pair turned to continue their walk, side by side.  

The silence stretched on for nearly a minute before Reia spoke again,
all levity erased from her voice.  "I fucked up big time, didn't I?"

"At least he's gone now."

"I don't mean Kronos."

Danya pursed his lips slightly.  

"Danya?"  Touching his hand, the pair stopped again.  "For what its
worth, I truly am sorry I lied to you."

He sighed heavily.  "I know you are.  I think I even understand why.
It's..." he looked down at his hands, gently clenched in fists.  "I guess
I was just..."

"Pissed?" She suggested with a light tone.

He grinned at her.  "Yeah.  Shock to the system.  But when you came to
the flat, I think I evened out a bit."

Her brow was creased in confusion.  "How so?  I thought I was entering
the lion's den, about to have my head part company from my shoulders
and all that."

Daniel smiled more broadly this time.  "Yeah.  When you offered my
head, I realised I couldn't take it, not like that.  Probably not ever,
so if the Game ever came down to us two, I'd have to wave the white

"Game drawn on account of stalemate," she said with a wicked twinkle in
her eye.  Daniel paused, then nodded his understanding of what that
statement implied.

"So what I'm trying to say if that, yes, I'm still very, very
annoyed.  But I'll get over it."


He nodded slowly.  "I guess I've got to get over that gap between
intellectually knowing something and emotionally feeling it."

"Come to Paris."

"What?"  He looked at her, startled.

"Come to Paris.  We'll laze around the house drinking decently aged
wines, eating delicious food, talking about every subject under the
sun, and see what happens."  She shrugged, as if surprised at herself
for suggesting it.  "It will be like old times."

"I can't go to Paris," he told her slowly.  As she nodded her
disappointed understanding, a second idea occurred to him.  "Come to

She looked up, a slow smile creeping over her face.  "Lounge around
your place?  Hey, if you're cooking, it's a deal!"

He laughed.  "Reia, you are over four millennia old.  Please don't tell
me that in all that time you still have not learnt how to cook?"

She play-acted being affronted.  "Hey, I can cook great...over an open

He laughed.  "I think my landlord would object to us digging out a
firepit in the living room.  So yeah, I'll cook, we'll drink whatever
the local bottle shop has that is drinkable, we'll talk, and I won't
get fired for dropping all my projects and taking off to Paris."

She nodded.  "I can handle that."  She looped her arm in his.  "Come
on, Kemosabe.  Let's go reassure the old guy that we haven't come to

As they walked off, Daniel could be overheard asking his companion.
"Since when did you get into pop-culture, anyway?"


Jack stalked across the Infirmary, nurses scattering before him.  Janet
watched his progress from behind the windows of her office, the phone
glued to her ear.  Jack stormed into her domain without knocking, but
subsided slightly when Janet waved him into a chair in front of her
desk.  He leaned forward in his seat, ready to spring into action at a
moment's notice.

"Yeah, thanks for that Joe.  Okay, you too.  Bye."  Gently, she
returned the hand piece to its cradle, ignoring Jack's stare.

"What?  Come on, Janet.  Challenge?  Please, Janet..."  The petite doctor
heard the note of worry, of panic, and rushed to reassure him.

"No Challenge, relax.  Quite the opposite, in fact."

"Janet," Jack warned.  After bullshitting Hammond – a task he did
not enjoy – Jack had been lurking around the mountain, focussing
on nothing except the horror stories his fertile imagination kept
creating for him.  The state of Daniel's office did little to reassure
Jack as to the current state of his friend's peace of mind.  Janet had
banished the Colonel from her domain after the first hour, promising to
let him know as soon as she heard anything.  He had spent most of the
last twenty four hours haunting the mess, scaring the SFs and moving
with nervous energy around his on-base quarters.  Janet's curt summons
had him racing through the mountain at top speed.  His need to know had
reached boiling point and the enforced inaction was killing him.

"He went to Seacouver, straight to the horse's mouth."  **Or the
Horseman's mouth,** she thought to herself.  Jack didn't need to know
at this junction that another of Danya's old friends had a less than
salubrious past.  "Saw MacLeod, got the full story from him.  Crashed
at a friend's place..."

"And?"  Jack leaned even more forward, a feat Janet thought against the
laws of physics.

"And met up with Reia."

"DAMN IT!" Jack exploded upwards in a fury of released energy.

"SIT DOWN!" Janet roared in a voice that subdued battle-happy Marines. 

"Janet, that woman...you showed me the file..." Jack spluttered, still

"And I'm starting to regret that," Janet snarled.  "Listen, nothing
happened.  They went for a walk, they went back to the flat, they
grabbed Dany- Daniel's stuff and they hopped the next flight."

Jack was in full planning mode.  "What flight?"

Janet looked at her desk.  "Domestic.  They're headed back here."

Jack's voice had cooled to crystal hardness.  "He's looking for a home
court advantage?"

Janet snorted.  "Anywhere can be a homecourt advantage, Jack.  If they
were going to fight, one would be dead and the other would be Hunted by
now.  No, they're sorting it out like the adults they are," she fixed
the Colonel with a glare as she spoke.  "And you're not going to
interrupt them."

"Of course not," Jack snarled, his manner less than reassuring.  "I'm
just going to go over there and make sure they do it properly."

"Like hell you are," she retorted hotly.  "You are not going anywhere
near them till tomorrow morning."  Jack opened his mouth to argue, but
Janet cut him off. "No buts!  You're not going anywhere near them till
tomorrow – end of story.  And to make sure you do, you're coming home
with me tonight."  Janet played her trump card.  "Cassie's been asking
after you."

Jack sagged into his chair, eyeing Janet with a grudging respect.
"First thing, before breakfast even."

She smiled.  "I wouldn't imagine it any other way."


The insistent ringing of the doorbell eventually penetrated Danya's
consciousness.  Cracking an eyelid cautiously, he opened his eyes fully
when he realised that the sunlight wasn't going to cause his head to
explode.  Ignoring the ringing for a moment, he paused to take stock of
his situation.  At least they made it to the bed, if not much further. 
He had toppled, fully clothed, on top of the covers.  Reia was curled
up near the foot of the bed, clutching a pillow tightly, one arm thrown
across Danya's shin.  She had done slightly better, having managed to
get both boots and jeans off before collapsing.   The smell of alcohol
and Chinese food permeated the apartment.

Craning his neck, he looked at the clock on his bedside table.  Ten
past six in what he assumed to be the morning.

The doorbell rang again, followed by an insistent knock.  Trying hard
not to wake his old friend, he eased his legs free and half-rolled down
to ground level.  He came eye-to-eye with a bright orange traffic cone.
His brow furrowed for a moment, confused, before he pushed to his feet
and stumbled across his apartment.  Yanking open the door without
looking, he very nearly ducked as Jack pulled out of knocking on the
door again at the last moment.

"Jack," Danya said blearily, still not fully processing what was going
on around him.  "What's up?  There a mission I missed or something?"

Jack rocked on his toes as he thrust his hand back into his jacket
pocket.  "Just thought I'd see how you are, now you're back and all."
With typical O'Neill style, Jack pushed past Danya and swaggered into
the apartment proper, eyes sweeping the destruction that was the living
room.  "Had a big night, didya?"

Danya stumbled after his uninvited guest.  He blinked at what he saw –
several half-filled Chinese cartons scattered across every flat
surface, jostling for space with nearly a dozen empty wine bottles.

No wonder his mouth tasted like he'd eaten a hiking sock.

Any further commentary was broken off by an incoherent grumble from the
direction of his bedroom.  Trying and failing to push her mused and
tangled hair back off her face, Reia stumbled down from his bedroom.
Raising a hand, she grunted once in what Danya interpreted was a
salutation, she stumbled off towards the bathroom, shirttails barely
covering her underwear.  Danya smirked.  Who knew the old bird would
favour hot pink knickers.

"Daniel?"  Jack's voice brought Danya sharply back to the present.
"Was that who I think it was?"

"Who do you think it was," Danya asked tiredly as he flopped down to
lay, sprawled, along his sofa.


"Remind me to refresh Janet's memory as to her oath of secrecy, will

"Daniel!" The voice was total 'pissed off Colonel.'  "Are you insane?
Don't you know who that is?"

"Yeah," he yawned as he pulled a cushion from under his hips.  "My

"She's dangerous," Jack hissed, memories of that woman's file still too
fresh in his mind.

Danya swung upright suddenly, on his feet with an elacrity that belied
his previous sleepy state.  "What do you know," he snarled.

"I know enough, Daniel..."

"You know nothing.  Read all the files you like, Jack, but don't
ever pretend to know."

"I know you," Jack replied evenly, not liking the look in Daniel's

"You know..?" He spluttered incredulously.  "Jack, what you 'know'
about me barely scratches the surface."  He raised an arm to point to
where the woman had vanished.  "She knows me, Jack.  She knows
things about me that I will never tell another living soul."  Through
the rapidly clearing hangover, he remembered what she had told him in
the garden in Seacouver.  "Hell, she knows me better than I know
myself."  The accusing finger swung around to plant itself squarely in
the middle of Jack's chest.  "Don't claim to suddenly understand us, to
know things about her, about what she might be capable of.  I've known
her all my life Jack.  You and I have barely know one another a
decade."  As suddenly as it arrived, the anger fled, and Danya
collapsed face first back onto the sofa.  Muffled by the cushions, he
could be heard to snigger "know! Ha!"

Jack was about to pull Daniel up, by his shirt if he had to, and argue
this out, but his actions was halted by the reemergence of Daniel's
houseguest from the back of the apartment.  Jack looked up, locking
eyes with the women who, if Janet's records could be believed, was
capable of things that defied even his jaded worldview. The woman who
had lied to his best friend.  That, somehow, seemed the worst crime of

"Hi," Jack said icily.

She just smirked at him like he was a bug, and rattled off a stream of
what sounded like gibberish.

Daniel raised an arm awkwardly and waved it around, never lifting his
face.  "Yeah, its fine, its just Jack."

Another short staticco of gibberish.

"Yeah, thanks.  In the cupboard, should be right in front of your

She sailed out of the room, not deigning to even acknowledge O'Neill's
continued existence.

A noise from knee high caught Jack's attention, and he realised he was
staring at the doorway.  "Oh, Jack, that was Reia, by the way." The
tone was now entirely conversational, the angry tension faded.  "The
woman you seem intent of labeling a freak or a menace to society, or

A fit of high pitched laughed echoed out from the kitchen, drowned out
moments later by the squeal of the coffee grinder.

Jack hunkered down to be level with the lump on the couch.  "You know,"
he said casually.  "From the state of your office, I would have thought
that you would have spent the last 36 hours hunting down and fighting
the women who lied to you, not..." he swiveled at the waist to take in
the detrius scattered across the room.  "Not scarfing down Chinese
takeout and drinking your way through every winery in the country."  He
turned to look down at the back of Daniel's hair.  "Interesting coping
mechanism for betrayal."

"Got you to thank for it," came the mumbled reply.  "You let me get a
lot of practise."

Jack tried not to wince.  "Okay, I deserved that.  But what about her? 
Daniel, she lied to you.  When you left the mountain, you left a hole
in the side of your bookcase, a fist-sized dent in the filing cabinet,
swept out like Cyclone Daniel, and instilled the fear of Jackson in all
the SF's on guard duty.  What gives?"

Daniel sighed silently and shifted his head so he was basically facing
Jack.  "Why are you here, Jack?"  He sounded tired in a way that meant
more than just a simple lack of sleep.

Jack ran his fingers through his greying hair.  "Is it so strange for
you to think we were worried about you?  We've been through too much
for me to loose you to some three thousand year old grudge, damn it!"
Jack's voice was low and furious.  "You might think that your
friendship makes you safe around her, but she's not!  She's dangerous!"

Daniel's eyes flashed.  "Dangerous Jack?  You've known her a grand
total of..." he craned his neck to read off the clock on the wall.
"Eight minutes, give or take.  You think you know her?"

Jack shook his head sharply.  "The Watcher's consider her too dangerous
to keep tabs on.  They think she's wild, unpredictable.  Dangerous," he
repeated for emphasis.

"You saw her file," he asked in a neutral voice.  "Read the sordid
details, did you Jack?"  Jack flinched slightly at the sarcastic razor
edge that slipped into Daniel's tone, the slight sneer on the old mans

"I saw enough," came the fierce retort.  "Right there in big red
letters so even idiots like me can understand.  Warning, danger Will
Robinson.  I know the truth, Daniel."

Daniel pushed himself into a sitting position, then fully upright, arms
crossed in defiance.  Jack stepped backwards until his calves bumped up
against the coffee table, transfixed on Daniel's face, his eyes blazing
with emotions Jack never dreamt he'd see directed at him from those
blue orbs.  "You.  Know.  Nothing."

Jack stood his ground.  "I know about friendship."

The sneer became more pronounced, the sarcasm biting.  "Really Jack.
Is our friendship solid enough for you?  Makes you an expert on honest
and open communication, does it?  Do you really think you are that easy
to trust without reserve or doubt?  At least I understand her

"Oh, convinced you she was innocent, did she?"

"No," Daniel replied with softly spoken dignity.  "She confessed she
was guilty. But like I said Jack, she knows me better than I know
myself.  She's known me all my life.  She lied to me because I wasn't
ready for the truth."  With that, Daniel moved to push past Jack,
clearly heading towards the kitchen.  

Jack span and grabbed Daniel's elbow.  "Daniel!"

"Enough, Jack!" he cried out.  "Who do you think you are, to come in
here and make judgement on my life – on her life?  Do you know me that
well?  There is more to both of us than what is typed up in a Watcher's
file.  You can't read a summary of four thousand years of living and
pretend to understand."

"Then help me!" Jack growled with a little shake on the arm he still
held.  "I want to understand, but everything I've found..." he trailed
off, words failing him.

"Scares you, Jack?"  Daniel pulled his arm free.  "Who are you to judge
her? Me?  All of us?"

Jack's face iced over.  "I'm not judging."  Daniel's expression spoke
eloquently what he thought of that statement.  Jack pressed on.  "Damn
it, Daniel, what do you want from me?  I'm trying to help!"

"Help? Fine, then Jack."  Daniel shook his head slightly.  "Then go."


"Go Jack, just...just GO!"  With that, Daniel slipped Jack's grip on his
arm and pushed him towards the door.  "Don't think that just because
we're friends you can stomp into any part of my life, uninvited.  This
is for me and her to sort out, not you and me.  I'll see you at work
tomorrow, Jack." The hands on the Colonel became firmer, more

"Daniel..?"  Jack tried to twist, to face Daniel.  One look at the
other's expression had Jack heading out.  "Okay, I'll go.  But we are
going to talk about this."

"Fine Jack," Daniel's voice was distant, dismissive.  "Goodbye."

Jack turned, opening the door as he did.  "Tomorrow!"  He would have
added more, but movement over Daniel's shoulder caught his attention.
Reia had slunk out of the kitchen and was leaning against the wall
where Jack could see her.  When she was sure he was watching, she
raised one hand and wiggled her fingers, a little smile on her face,
her eyes twinkling.  Then Daniel shut the door in his face.

Jack studied the woodgrain inches from his noise. "Tomorrow."