Innocence in the Dark

AUTHOR:  Caffre
RATING: R, for just a bit of violence
TITLE: Innocence in the Dark
Notes:  This was written a while ago, but I don't think there are any real 
spoilers in it. The Centre meets Highlander. Jarod is a Pretender, a man who 
has had his natural intelligence trained to the point where he can *become* 
anything he wants to be with a minimal of effort.   Highlander is Immortals 
who only die when they get their head cut off.  Right, I've given you the 
basics. I'm going to assume you know the rest seeing as you've had the good 
taste to decide to read these in the first place. You've guessed it, no-one 
in this story belongs to me. I just like writing about them.  No harm is 
intended.  If it had of been I could have done a lot worse.  Major thanks to 
my Betas, Jayesh and Ray-Claire for inspiration and grammar checks.  Any 
mistakes in this are all my own work and without my Betas there'd be a hell 
of a lot more.  Thanks guys.

Innocence In The Dark

He pushed open the doors to Joes, the heat from the place hitting him square 
in the face, the opposite of the cold blizzard like conditions outside.  He 
crossed the short distance to the bar, pulling off his gloves and rubbing 
his hands together to generate a little bit of heat in them.  He reluctantly 
threw his gloves on the bar.  He hated being cold.

"Hot toddy Joe."

Joe raised his eyebrows at his friend's request, beer being the standard 
response he usually got from his 'oldest' customer.  He reached over to the 
whiskey bottle, pouring a generous shot into a glass before disappearing 
into the back to heat it up.

He returned not very long afterwards, Methos staring fixedly at the counter 
in anticipation of the drink his friend was bringing him, barely noticing 
the door opening again letting the cold and snow blow in.

Taking a moment to cradle the hot glass in his slender hands, Methos downed 
the reviving liquid in one long steady draught.  He shivered slightly in 
pleasure as the heat and whiskey battled with the cold he was feeling.

"Oh, but that felt good."  He looked longfully at the now empty container, 
before slowly raising his earthen eyes back towards Joe.

Joe laughed.  "You sir, are a cad."

Methos raised his glass in a silent toast to Joe's declaration, before 
handing it back to him for a refill.

Just then Methos felt the presence of a pre-immortal behind him.  He saw no 
point in turning, as he knew he was in no danger.  Instead he allowed 
whomever it was to stand beside him at the bar.

He saw the man who had inadvertently grabbed his attention out of the corner 
of his eye.  He still had flakes of snow on his dark coat, letting Methos 
know he was the one who had come in only moments before.  He turned and 
smiled at the man beside him.  Better to make friends with him now he 
thought to himself, rather than waiting until he was an immortal with a 
sword.  He smiled at the stranger.

"Joe, another hot toddy for my friend here."
Joe smiled as he went to prepare another.

"Adam." Methos kept the introduction simple.

The other man gave him an oddly innocent smile.

"I'm Jarod."

Joe handed him the drink over the bar.  "Here you go Jarod."

Jarod accepted the drink, cupping it in the same manner that Methos had done 

"You have to drink it in one go Jarod."  He saw Joes dubious look at his 
friends suggestion.
"Well, that's always been my opinion."   Adam turned back to Jarod.   "Of 
the first one at least."

Jarod lifted the glass to his lips, amusement playing about his eyes.  He 
lifted the glass to his lips, hesitating slightly until he looked into 
Adam's eyes.  He drank it down in one go.

Then he began coughing and spluttering.

"Easy does it Jarod.  I take it you don't usually drink whiskey?"

A grin tried to push its way past the distaste of the drink, and it took him 
a moment to finally find his voice again.  "No.  Actually this is my first 
taste of it.  And I really have to say, I don't like it much."

Methos laughed.  "Doesn't matter if you like it or not.  It's the sensation 
that flows through you after you've had some that's important."

Jarod's eyes widened as he realised what 'Adam' had meant.  Warmth was 
spreading through him like a fire.  He smiled at the sensation, a slight 
hint of red beginning to form on his cheeks.  "Now that I like."  He turned 
to Joe.  "Another drink for my friend here please, and I'll have a..."   He 
paused as he thought about what he would like.  "I'll have a cranberry juice 

The rest of the night Methos spent talking to Jarod.  He soon came to 
appreciate the understated intelligence combined with a gentle personality 
that was this man.  He found it hard to imagine him one day carrying a 
sword.  Still, he of all people knew what time was capable of.

"So Jarod, tell me a little about yourself?"

Jarod looked over his drink to the dark man across from him.  His whole life 
had been spent as a Pretender, he knew things about people, things people 
wouldn't normally tell you.  He could see that this man had both been the 
victim and cause of great pain.  It was in his eyes mostly.  It held the 
wisdom that usually only came through years and years of living.  Of living 
a lie and of living life.  He had seen the same looks on the faces of people 
who had been held in concentration camps, prisoners of war. It was a look of 
regret that came with age.  Seeing that he couldn't have been any older than 
him, he figured that this man must have seen and done a lot in his short 

Jarod decided to be honest with him.  He didn't see the harm.  Not many 
people would believe such a casual remark.

"Well, basically, I'm on the run from a secret organisation.  I know too 
much and they want me back.  You?"

Adam smiled at that.  He could appreciate the man wanting to keep a few 
secrets.  He had more than a few of his own he didn't want to get out.  
Still, he opted for just a little bit of the truth this time.  He reckoned 
that this way, if anything should happen to Jarod, and lets face it, he 
thought to himself, everyone dies eventually, he would remember this 
conversation, and hopefully realise that he had been giving him a guiding 

"I'm an immortal.  I woke up from my first death and discovered I couldn't 
be killed, unless someone chopped off my head.  You know.  The usual."

Both men took a sip from their drinks, each displaying a serious expression. 
  Which lasted all of two seconds before they burst into laughter, each 
thinking the other was joking.

Methos liked this man.  He had a child like innocence that he found 
appealing.  He himself had lost any chance at such innocence a very long 
time ago.  To find an adult with it in this day and age was a rarity.

"Say Jarod, this place is closing up soon.  Come on back to my place.  I've 
got an extra room."

He saw Jarod's expression at this.  Not one concerned about his virtue, but 
rather one that implied that he didn't want to put his new friend out.  
Methos found it heart-warming that this man hadn't even thought that he 
might want to get him into bed.  Not that he did of course.  At least not 
right now.  "Honestly, you wouldn't be putting me out.  I'd like the 

Jarod saw the genuine look on Adams face and decided that he would.  After 
all, it would provide him with a safe place where he could get some sleep.  
Parker and her sweepers had been closing in on him recently.  He had only 
come into this bar because he thought someone had been following him.  
"Alright, I will.  Thank you"

"Great.  You don't have work in the morning do you?"

Jarod was puzzled by this question.  "No.  Why?"

"Well, I was thinking that we could rent a couple of videos, grab a 
takeaway.  Have a bit of a lads night in."

Jarod could just imagine what this meant, and smiled at the thought that 
someone he'd only met tonight would what to do that with him.
"I'd love that.  I've never had a ... 'lads night in' before. Should be 


They were walking down the street, the snow having stopped for a moment, 
giving the street a clean feel to it.

"I love the snow."  Jarod looked back at his footprints, and then began 
hopping. "Look, people will think a man with one leg came down this way."

Methos laughed.  "I don't think so Jarod.  People will either think a crazed 
adult did it, or some kid who got their hands on their dads shoes."

Methos watched as Jarod blushed slightly.

"Sorry.  It's just...  Well, this is only the second time I've ever seen 
snow.  What about you?"

"What about me?"

"Do you like snow?"

Methos thought about the seriously inappropriate number of times that he had 
died in the snow, even for someone of his age.  He honestly believed that 
Jack Frost personally didn't like him and had some kind of vendetta against 
him.  Still, seeing Jarod's enthusiasm, he didn't want to put a dampener on 

"Lets just say it hasn't done anything to me this year.  In fact...."

The approaching squeal of tyres rushing towards them both startled them.  A 
black sedan pulled up beside them on the kerb, sliding in the slush that was 
on the road.  Doors opened everywhere at once.


Jarod was frozen for a moment as he realised who it was.

Parker and a sweeper team came out of the car, a feral grin on her face.  

He started to run down the street.

Methos however was speechless; he couldn't stop from looking at Parker.

"Get him!"  She spared a moment to glare at Methos.

"What the hell are you looking at?"


Parkers face dropped as she stared at the stranger who had spoken her 
mother's name.  That was, until she heard the gunshot.

She gaze flew down the street.

Jarod was lying at the side of the road, one or two people heading over to 
see if he was all right.

Methos watched as her face lost its colour, almost matching the snow on the 
ground.   "Jarod?"  She whispered his name, and then she ran.  Methos 
followed her.


She pushed the sweepers out of her way, falling in the snow beside Jarod.  
His blood was staining the snow, creating dark shapes that she didn't even 
want to guess at.  She gently touched his face.
"Jarod?"  Fear gripped her.  He couldn't die.   She felt for a pulse, a 
breath of hope expelled from her lungs when she found one.  Weak, but there. 
  "Jarod wake up.  You can't die Jarod.  Please don't die?"

Jarod fought against the growing darkness to open his eyes.

"Don't speak Jarod, save your strength."

He smiled at her.  "I'm tired.  I'm sick of the running.  I guess I...don't 
need to run... anymore."

Parker could feel the tears running down her face.  "Jarod don't do this to 
me.  Please, just hang on."

A spasm of pain coursed through him, causing him to grip her hand tight.  He 
could feel himself panic at the fear of what he knew had to be coming.   
"I'm scared."

She could feel the life draining out of him.  She used her other hand to cup 
his cheek.  There was no warmth there anymore.   "You don't need to be 
afraid Jarod.  Not anymore.  You're going home now."  She could feel her 
heart breaking.  All the moments of honesty she had wanted to have with him, 
gone now forever.

He struggled to keep his eyes open.  "I'm going home?"

"Yes sweetheart.  You're going home."  Her next words where almost a 
whisper.  "I love you Jarod."  She brushed at his hair, trying to have one 
last moment of tenderness with him.

"Home."  He was silent for a breath.  "I love you too."

With those words said, he died in her arms.

Suddenly she felt hands grab at her.

"Miss Parker, we have to go."  Sam felt his heart go heavy at the sight in 
front of him.  He had never really thought himself close to this woman.  
Every one he knew was afraid of her.  But he knew her better than she 
thought he did.  He knew what she had lost when Jarod had died in the snow.  
The sound of sirens grew closer and closer.

Taking his life into his own hands, he grabbed her, Jarod falling slightly 
back onto the snow.  He bundled her non-protesting form back into the sedan.

Parker felt the car drive away, her gaze falling once more on the strange 
man standing with his hands in his pockets, who was watching her in return.  
The one who had called her by her mother's name.  She didn't see him walk 
slowly over to Jarod's side.  She didn't care right now.  She fought the 
tears that where threatening to come.  How was she supposed to tell Sydney 


Methos watched as the paramedics worked on Jarod.  He offered up a silent 
prayer to the hundreds of different Gods he had prayed to in his life.  
There was still a chance that his mortal life wasn't over yet, that the crew 
could revive him naturally.


The female paramedic sighed, shaking her head in the negative.  "He's gone." 
  She clenched her eyes shut for the briefest of seconds before turning to 
face the crowd about her.

"Did anyone see what happened?"

Methos knew it was time for a spot of acting.  "I...we where going home when, just shot him and ran off."  He affected a look of stunned 
panic, the same look that can be seen in the eyes of a rabbit as the car 
heads towards it.

"He's dead?"

The woman stood up, and came over to Methos.  "Do you ...know, this man?"

Methos let out a sob, clutching at her for support.  "He's my boyfriend."  
He turned tear filled eyes towards the woman.  "He's the only family I've 

She patted his shoulder, not comfortable with the close contact, a gesture 
of comfort for a stranger.

"Can I go with him?"

The paramedic looked at back at the body, before turning back to the man 
with pain and fear etched all over his face.

"Sure you can."


Methos had spent the entire trip on the ambulance praying that Jarod 
wouldn't wake up.  He seriously doubted that these people would accept a 
miracle.   He sighed, remembering the good old days, when a resurrection in 
the wrong place wasn't the same big deal as it was now.


They had taken down all the false details Methos had given him.  Apparently 
Jarod hadn't been carrying any i.d. with him when he had been shot.  He had 
given the police the slip and was know waiting for the presence of an 
immortal to wash over him as he sat in the morgue.


His lungs suddenly demanded air before he could even think, his chest 
hurting, almost as if he had been underwater to long, his lungs demanding to 
be refilled.  His eyes suddenly registered that it was dark, his skin 
telling him next that it was cold.  He reached out a hand, a chilled 
metallic surface inches from his face.

Jarod started to panic.  Parker had been chasing him.  Had the Centre caught 
him?  Was this some kind of twisted punishment for running away?  He was 
about to start thumping on the cold surface above him when a small door 
opened at his feet, the light making him blink slightly.

"Welcome back."

Methos pulled on the tray Jarod was lying on, bringing him out of his icy 

Jarod suddenly realised where he was.  It wasn't so much the fact that it 
was a morgue that scared him; it was the fact that he was naked and lying in 
one of its booths.  Just like a dead person.

"Well, that's because you were."

Jarod eyed this man he had met only hours ago.  He couldn't read minds, 
could he?

Methos gave him a sympathetic smile.  "No, I don't read minds, but I have a 
little bit of experience on what you're going through.  Here."

Methos reached over to a nearby chair, lifting up a handful of clothes.  
"Its mostly your stuff, apart from the shirt.  I even managed to get you 
your wallet back."

He handed Jarod the wallet, watching as his hands reached inside it, pulling 
out a picture of a redhead. He'd seen the same picture when he had been 
going through his things. He decided to ask him about her later.

"You can't be seen around here, and I've got a couple of questions for you."

Jarod hopped down from the tray, his feet hitting hard against the slightly 
warmer surface of the floor.  He felt a bit dizzy, but Adam gave him a 
steadying hand.   He set the clothes down, lifting up just his trousers, and 
began to dress, his head buzzing with too many conflicting thoughts all at 
once.   "What kind of questions?"

Methos looked as the young man before him got dressed.  He knew that the 
woman he had seen tonight couldn't have been her.  She wasn't immortal for 
one thing, but she had looked as young now as when he had first seen her.

"Well, the sort that gives me the answer as to why Catherine Parker is after 
you?  That kind really."


Miss Parker sat in her office, a cup of coffee long gone cold in front of 
her. When she had told Sydney the news he had collapsed.  He was currently 
under sedation in the infirmary.  He was all right, but the news had hit him 
really hard. She could easily imagine how he would feel once he woke up.  
All the things that should have been said, all the things that they could 
have done for him, but hadn't.  She thought back to their childhood 
together. The image of the boy wasn't hard for her to conjure in her mind.  
She smiled briefly, remembering their first kiss.  Then came other memories 
of him.  The sounds of crying coming from his room when he'd been 
reprimanded for speaking his mind, for his determination not to give up on 
finding his parents.  The cold stark image of him lying in the snow forcing 
its way past her defences.   She could so easily imagine how Sydney would 
feel when he woke up, for she knew she was feeling the exact same things.  
Guilt and regret.  She would miss this life of torment and chase, even 
though she was always the most vocal in her determinations to catch him.  
She thought about the few people who would feel anything at his passing.  
Raines would be pleased, she thought grimly.  It would hit Sydney the 
hardest.  She was enough of a bitch to be able to hide her own feelings on 
his death to herself.    It was only the ones with a soul that would admit 
to feeling anything, who would feel any kind of loss or pain at his passing.

The door to her office opened, the squeaking of Raines' oxygen tank hadn't 
even made an impression on her as it had approached.

"You didn't knock."

Her tone was flat and lifeless.  Her father had met her outside, 
congratulating her on her return from Seacover, the last words she had 
wanted to hear.

Raines turned a baleful eye on her.

"I don't care about the niceties of life Miss Parker.  They get you 
no-where." As he paused to draw in a lungful of oxygen, Parker somehow found 
the energy to wish he'd choke on it.  Slowly and painfully.

"There appears to be a problem."

She reached into her desk, pulling out a silver cigarette case.  Her hands 
gripped the bulky lighter, a present from her father as she lit up.  She 
blew the smoke out in his direction.  It was only a token gesture, as he was 
standing on the other side of the room, but it made her feel a little 


He came a little closer to the desk.  "Your failure to bring the body back 
resulted in a second sweeper team having to be sent in."  He paused for a 
brief moment.  "The body is missing."

Her anger had set in when he had practically accused her of being 
incompetent, so his exact words didn't hit her straight away.

"That's so typical of you isn't it?  Jarod's dead and all you can think 

She turned a cold gaze on him.  "What do you mean, the body's missing?"

Raines knew he had her full attention now.

"At first I thought that it might be some elaborate ploy of Jarod's to fake 
his own death with the help of you Miss Parker."  He noted her raised 
eyebrow at the suggestion, but carried on.  "But it was one of my men who 
shot him, and he is completely loyal to me and the Centre.  Plus, the 
paramedics and several other witnesses report him dead.  I've even seen the 
prelim autopsy photographs of his bullet wound."

Raines gripped the handle to his portable life support tighter in his hand.  
Even in death Jarod seemed to be able to elude him somehow.
"He is dead Miss Parker.  Of that I am sure of.  What I want to know is, who 
took his body?"

Parker turned her gaze away from Raines, his presence in the room 
momentarily forgotten.

There was only one suspect as far as she was concerned.  The man who had 
called her by her mother's name.  She forced herself to turn back to the man 
in front of her.  Bringing Jarod's body back to the Centre would have been 
the last thing he would have wished for.  She felt no need or compunction to 
betray the probable wishes of an old friend now that he was dead.  Nor did 
she want to get this stranger into trouble by bringing him to the attention 
of the Centre.

"I'll see what I can do."

Her silence was her dismissal of him, her mind trying to push back the 
thought that Jarod was dead so that she could figure out how the tall slight 
man could possibly know her mother.


Methos pulled up in front of the dojo, seeing the light on.  It was late, 
but that meant nothing to MacLeod.

"Will you answer a couple of questions now?  Please?"

Jarod looked over to Adam.  The only reason he was here right now was 
because he knew he should be dead.  Given the chance to think about it, he 
had remembered it all.  Running down the street, the bullet ripping through 
his body from behind.  Parker giving him comfort when he had been.... He 
shook his head.

"I can't have been dead!  Its just not possible!"

Methos got out of the car, Jarod following suit.

"Listen Jarod, I told you that I'd explain everything when we get to my 
friends place. But trust me.  You did die.  I guarantee it."

Jarod still couldn't believe it.   "No.  I've been a Doctor.  I know what 
the human body is capable of, and coming back from the dead so long 
after....  The dead do not just...rise back up!"

Methos locked the car.  Jarod had been pestering him all the way back from 
the hospital.  He just wouldn't stop.  He had tried to be patient with him, 
had tried to be understanding of his predicament, but his patience had 
finally been worn through.  He had had enough.  It was time that Jarod 
learned the realities of his new life.

Methos and Jarod headed to the doors of MacLeod's Dojo, when Methos shook 
his head.  "Damn!"

Jarod looked at him.  "What is it?"

Methos reached a hand into his long coat, to Jarod's surprise pulling out a 
long sword.  He handed it to Jarod.  "Here, take this on in for me, will 
you?  I have to get something out of the car."

Jarod watched as Methos went back to the car.  He gazed at the sword for a 
moment, puzzled more than slightly as to why he had been carrying such an 
obviously expensive piece of weaponry before heading through the doors.


MacLeod was halfway through a kata when he felt it, the unmistakable 
presence of an immortal coming his way.  He stopped what he was doing, his 
eyes falling onto his sword sitting on one of the benches.  He smiled at his 
suspicious nature.  No doubt it was just a friend.

His smile faltered as the young man with a rather green look on his face 
came through the door, sword in hand.

Duncan reached for his.  "I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod."

Jarod shook his head, an unfamiliar sensation having gripped him only 
moments ago.  His hold on Adams sword got tighter as he struggled to 
comprehend the man in front of him.


Jarod looked at him, the buzzing in his head suddenly gone.  "Well what?"

"Who are you man?"

Jarod suddenly realised that this man was a potential threat, his posture 
one of defence.  "My names Jarod."

MacLeod looked puzzled for a second.  What did this man want from him?  He 
didn't know him, nor did he seem that keen for a fight.  It was then that he 
realised something, something he should have noticed from the moment he had 
walked in through the door.  He was carrying Methos's sword!

MacLeod couldn't help himself; a few short paces had him across the floor 
and in front of Jarod.

Before Jarod could say or do anything, MacLeod had his blade across his 
stomach.  A slow line appeared, a tear in his shirt showing the blood.

"Where did you get it?"  MacLeod was practically shouting at the top of his 

Just at that moment, both of them could feel the signature of another 
immortal flood over them.  MacLeod took an abrupt step back from Jarod, 
Jarod feeling slightly less sick than he did before, not recognising what it 

"Well, well, well. MacLeod.  I didn't know you cared."

MacLeod just stood there, looking from the man named Jarod clutching at his 
stomach, to Methos, leaning against the doorframe with a casual smug look on 
his face.


Methos cringed slightly at that, MacLeod realising his blunder.  He gave an 
embarrassed shrug.

"Well, I thought he'd killed you.  What do you expect?"

MacLeod reached a hand to the man on the floor.  "Sorry about that.  Can I 
get you a clean t-shirt or something?"  He smiled at Jarod, who still had 
his hand to his stomach.  "Believe it or not, I keep a supply for just this 
type of occasion."

Jarod looked at the blood on his hand, not believing the cavalier attitude 
both of these men where exhibiting at his being injured in a sword fight.  
"Actually, I'd prefer an ambulance!"  He was getting angry with both these 
men.  His nerves were in tatters after the previous events tonight.  All he 
wanted was answers and yet he was running around with people who liked to 
indulge in blood sports.  He threw the sword Adam; no he thought to himself, 
no, the one Methos, whoever the hell he was, had given him only moments ago, 
down onto the floor.

Duncan looked slightly apologetic.  He had been the victim of one or two of 
his friend's attempts at scheming.  But he was slightly puzzled by 
something.  "Why would you need an ambulance?"

"Why!  Because...."  Jarod looked down at his stomach. In his anger, he 
hadn't noticed that the pain had gone.  His hands explored the area where 
the wound had once been.  His feelings concerning mad men with swords 
forgotten, his own insatiable curiosity getting the better of him.

He looked up at Duncan in shock.  "It's gone...  It... healed all by 

Duncan turned angry eyes to Methos, who for once had the good grace to look 
slightly abashed.  "You sent a new immortal into me with your sword?  Just 
what where you hoping I'd do Methos?  Kill him for you?"

MacLeod grabbed Jarod by the sleeve of his coat, pulling him towards the 
elevator, Methos started, following after the pair of them.

"He learned a valuable lesson here tonight MacLeod."  Methos stopped short 
as MacLeod pulled the metal grill shut on the elevator, keeping him out.

"Hey, what about me?"

MacLeod smiled at him through the grill of the elevator, the expression on 
his face however not really replacing the look of anger in his eyes.  "You 
can walk."


By the time Methos had sulked down to MacLeod's living room, Jarod had 
already changed out of his ripped shirt into one offered by MacLeod.  He had 
a glass of whiskey in his hand, as of yet untouched, MacLeod nowhere to be 
seen, although his presence could still be felt.

Jarod was swirling the amber liquid around the glass.  Methos shrugged out 
of his coat, throwing it onto a near-by chair.  He went over to the fridge 
pulling out a beer.

"Damn."  He cursed quietly, Jarod hearing him none-the-less.  He came over 
into the living room area, finally hearing the sounds of the shower coming 
from the bathroom.  He sat down in a soft chair across from Jarod.  Finally 
he looked him in the eye.  "Listen.  I'm sorry.  I thought you'd learn the 
truth about yourself a bit better if you where...thrown into the deep end 

Jarod could barely keep the laughter from his voice.  "That's not what 
Duncan said."

Methos threw the bathroom door a suspicious glance, before turning back to 
Jarod.  "Why?  What did he say?"

This time he did laugh.  "He said for a 5000 yr old immortal you where still 
just a big kid."

Methos felt stunned.  He could understand how MacLeod could give away his 
name by accident, but Jarod knew nothing else.  The situation had been 
salvageable up until he had heard that the dumb Scot had given away his true 

He turned a suspicious eye on Jarod.  "You don't really believe that, do 

Jarod sighed, as much as he was a Pretender, he wasn't much of a liar.  
"Sorry, but I do.  I was brought up to be very...observant."

Jarod reached over and set his drink down on the coffee table untouched.  
"He told me it all on the ride down.  That I was immortal.  That I could 
only die if someone took my head."

"Did he tell you anything else?"

Jarod leaned back into his seat.  "Like what?"

"That we are foundlings.  That we don't have parents as such.  No immortal 
knows who his birth parents are. Did he tell you the fact that we can sense 
another of our kind approach.  Like an early warning system I suppose."

Jarod hadn't really heard a lot after Methos had mentioned that bit about 
immortals not having parents.  "Are you sure?"

Methos watched as Jarod pulled out his wallet, searching for something.  
"This is my mother."
  Methos accepted the picture of the red headed woman, at last knowing the 
significance of her presence in his new friends wallet.  He handed it back.  
"I'm sorry Jarod."  He sighed, not really wanting to tell him his next piece 
of bad news.  It was this that sometimes hit an immortal the hardest.  He 
handed the picture back to Jarod.

"She's not your real mother Jarod."  He hesitated for a moment.  "You should 
also know.  We can't have children either.  Every immortal is sterile."  He 
gave a small ironic laugh.  "I guess somebody somewhere doesn't think it's a 
good idea for an immortal to procreate.  Knowing myself as I do, I guess I 
can see their point."

Methos watched as Jarod tried to assimilate all the information that he had 
been given.  He knew the basics of everything that he needed to know.  The 
training would come later. Now he needed a few of his own questions 
answered.  "Jarod, how do you know Catherine Parker?"

Jarod's attention suddenly became focused.  What Methos had told him sort of 
explained his inability to find out the truth about his birth parents.  
Apparently they just didn't exist.  He gazed longfully at the picture of the 
woman he had thought of his mother for so long.  Whoever she was, she had 
been the one who had cared about him enough to call him son.  She would 
always be his mother, no matter what.
"How do you know about Catherine parker?" asked Jarod, suspicion fuelled 
eyes staring at Methos.

"I saw her earlier tonight.  She was the one chasing you wasn't she?"

Jarod shook his head.  Somehow he had not only stumbled upon the greatest 
secret in his life, his immortality, he had found himself a link to the one 
person from the Centre who had cared enough to try and help him escape as a 
child.  The only one he had found with a soul.  "That wasn't Catherine, it 
was her daughter.  Catherine was murdered a long time ago."

He saw the colour drain out of Methos's face.  From somewhere from behind he 
could hear MacLeod coming out of the bathroom.

"Methos, look I'm sorry I spilled your secret....  Methos?  What's wrong?"

Methos just shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs from his memory.  He 
turned his gaze from MacLeod to Jarod.

"You know about the Centre don't you?"  Suddenly it hit him.  "It was you.   
You were the child."

Jarod could see the light of discovery dawn in his friends face, not sure 
what it meant for him now that Methos had mentioned some kind of knowledge 
of the Centre.

Duncan drew closer, hearing the last part of the conversation.  "Methos?  
What's going on?  What's the Centre?"

Methos felt his grip on his bottle of beer tighten, not really sure how what 
he was about to say would affect the new immortal in front of him.  

"Whatever you know, you have to tell me Methos.  These people murdered 
Catherine and have held me a prisoner for most of my life."  He kept his 
impatience from his voice, not really knowing how.

Duncan watched the two men, wondering just what he had missed.





"Are you sure about this?"

'David' reached for his coffee, it had sat untouched for at least ten 
minutes as he had listened to her plan over and over again.  "Catherine, 
it'll be fine.  I promise."  He looked into her dark eyes, wondering again 
why she stayed with a husband she obviously couldn't possibly love.

"David, you don't know what these people are like, they're dangerous."

He set his cup down hard onto the table.  "Of course I don't know what 
they're like.  You won't tell me."  It was an old argument between them, one 
that he couldn't help but bring out every once in a while.  He hated seeing 
her like this.

He reached over the table, wrapping his hands over hers.  "Look, whatever it 
is you want me to take for you to France, I will."  He saw her glance around 
her, almost as if she was afraid someone was watching.

"I just wish..."

She sighed.  "You know that's not possible.  Those days are over."  Her eyes 
misted slightly.  "They were over for me so very long ago."

David tried to ignore the sadness in her voice, knowing that an argument now 
would only drive her away.  "I'll meet you at Hyshem Bridge.  You can give 
me this thing, and then I'll never see you again."

The moment he said it, he realised how harsh he had been.  He squeezed her 
hands.  "It'll be fine.  I promise."


David, aka Methos, had met Catherine Parker quite by accident in the park 
close by to the University she had been attending.  She'd been sitting on 
the grass eating her lunch while reading a book.  Being who he was, he had 
introduced himself and a friendship had soon blossomed. But that was all it 
had ever been, a friendship.  She just hadn't been interested in him in that 
way, and he soon came to view her as one of his dearest friends rather than 
a possible romantic partner.

He'd been hiding out in the States at the time, an immortal by the name of 
Lucas Mecosta having challenged him back in Europe.  It had taken 15 years, 
but someone had eventually caught up with Lucas.  He'd run into Catherine 
again at a local coffee shop in Delaware and, as they had chatted about what 
they had done with their lives since leaving University, he had told her of 
his plans to live in France.

He had been shocked by her appearance when he had met her again.  Gone was 
the energy that had flowed through her, infecting everyone she had come into 
contact with, the vitality that had been her gift in life.  Instead she 
seemed constantly tired, almost battle weary.   He had asked her what the 
matter was, and she, thinking of others before herself, had refused to 
burden him with the full strength of her worries. Over several meetings, she 
had finally opened up a little to him.  Her husband was one of her main 
concerns.  Well, one that she was willing to talk about anyway.   She had 
told him of the kind, caring man he had once been and how that now he was 
consumed by his work, that nothing else mattered anymore.  When he had asked 
what he had done for a living she had refused to tell him. All he needed to 
know was that he had become associated with some very unscrupulous people 
and their values where slowly becoming his own.  She had eventually asked 
him for his help to get something they valued out of the country.  She had 
told him that they had stolen it from its rightful owner, and that she 
wanted to make sure it could be returned.

He had agreed without even thinking.  For some reason he couldn't see 
himself ever willingly disappointing her.  He doubted he could live with 
himself if he didn't try.


The bridge was deserted when he got there, a bright full moon illuminating 
everything for miles around.  He got out of the car and lit himself a 
cigarette, more to pass the time than anything else.
He turned at the slow approach of a car, its lights at half strength.

It was Catherine.

She parked her car and got out.

"David!  Oh thank God.  I thought that because I was late...."

He took hold of her arm, surprised at how much she was shaking.  "I would 
never let you down."  He gently placed a finger under her chin, directing 
her gaze to his.  "Don't you know that yet?"

She smiled, a little less nervous, but still worried.

"Well, where is it?"

She turned to her car.  "It's in the back."

He thought he caught a look of guilt on her face.

She walked over to the car, opening the back door.  "Out you come Jarod."

Methos watched in amazement as a young boy of about 9 got out of the car.  
However, what surprised him more was the fact that this child was destined 
to become an immortal, the feelings unmistakable.

He grabbed Catherine by the arm, pulling her slightly away from the boy.

Catherine saw the worried look on his face at this stranger's treatment of 
his friend.   "It's alright Jarod, you stay there.  I'll be right back.

She turned an angry gaze to Methos.  "Don't tell me.  You suddenly can't 
help me anymore?  Is that it?"

Methos shook his head, equally angry.  "You could have told me Catherine.  I 
would have been better prepared.  Instead you show me a child and expect me 
to what?  Be happy?  How am I supposed to help him?"
He knew the child would have no natural parents, but he had to ask.
"What about his family?  Where do they come into it?"

She sighed.  "He was taken from his family David, almost four years ago.  
The people I'm involved with, and I use the term people loosely here, want 
him for nothing more as a tool.  He's a genius David.  He's going to be one 
of the smartest people on the planet one day.  All they want is to lock him 
away from the world and use that."

She turned round to look at the boy, Jarod absorbed in looking at the moon.  
"He hasn't been outside in four years David.  He's been through test after 
test and simulation after simulation.  If he's not doing something for them, 
he's locked in his room."  She turned again to look at Methos, hope mingling 
with the fear at the potential of his rejection.

He couldn't refuse her.  "Alright.  I'll get him to France."  He grinned.  

Catherine was just about to make a reply when the sounds of cars approaching 
filled the night air.  Before they could do anything, they where surrounded, 
doors opening and men filing out.  One grabbed a screaming Jarod and bundled 
him into the back of a truck.  Another grabbed Methos by the arms, pinning 
them behind his back.

A dark haired man came up to Catherine, standing in front of her.  He drew 
his hand back and slapped her hard across the face, knocking her to the 

At this, Methos tried to struggle free to help her, but the grip on his arms 
just tightened.

The man spoke, a cold uncaring quality to his voice.  "You've disappointed 
me Catherine.  How am I supposed to trust you now?"
He turned to one of the men still beside him, the rest having returned to 
their vehicles.

"I need to know you can be trusted Catherine.  I'm sorry, but he knows too 
much."  He nodded to the men holding Methos, who pushed him down onto the 
ground, onto his knees.

"Nooo!  You can't do this!  He doesn't know anything!"  She turned desperate 
eyes from her husband to Methos, not knowing what she could do to win him 
his life.

"Please! Don't do this!"

"I'm not the one who has done this Catherine.  You are."

Methos spoke up, the treatment of Catherine making him defiant.
"You bastard!  Catherine, he's the one that's done this, not you."

A guard kicked him, knocking him onto his side.  Catherine tried to go to 
his aid, but was hauled back to her feet by her hair.

"He knows about me, about Jarod and about you."  He turned a cold glare onto 
her.  "And God knows what else."

He turned to the guard."Shoot him."

Methos turned his eyes to Catherine, tears streaming down her face.
"This was never your fault.  Remember that."

The last thing he thought he heard was her scream.


Duncan looked between the two men sitting in front of him.  "Did you ever 
see her again?"

Methos leaned his elbows on his knees, not really wanting to look at Jarod.

"I...couldn't."  He looked over to Duncan, knowing that he would understand. 
  Or hoping he would.

"These people killed me in public.  How could I explain that to her?"

He finally turned to Jarod, forcing himself to look him in the eye.
"What would they have done to me if they had've found me alive?"

Jarod wiped a tear away from his face.  "They would have locked you up and 
ripped you apart to try and learn what kept you coming back."

"If its any consolation Jarod, I hired a private investigator to try and 
find you both, but when nothing came of it..."

Jarod stood up.  "Its ok.  The Centre has a way of...keeping its secrets in 
the dark"

He turned and walked over to the escalator, getting in and shutting the 


Duncan found him in the Dojo, sitting on one of the benches.  "So what are 
you going to do now?"

Jarod stretched his legs out in front of himself, wiping his hand over his 
face.  "I don't blame him you know.  He's been living with the rules of 
immortality for a very long time.  I understand why he couldn't get involved 
himself.  I just wish..."

Duncan sat down beside him."You wish things had of been different?"

Jarod nodded.

Duncan opened the long black box he had brought up with him.  "Here, this is 
for you."

Inside was one of the most beautiful swords Jarod had ever seen.  The pommel 
was golden with a red centre, a red and black band intertwining in front of 
gold down the grip to the hilt, the quillion with swollen ends, an intricate 
pattern swirling near the hilt on the blade.  "This is..." He looked at 
Duncan; he didn't know what to say.

"It has to become part of your life now Jarod.  You can't go anywhere 
without it."

He placed a hand around Jarod's shoulders.  "You still need to learn how to 
use it, it could take a while."  He stood up, going over to the wall, 
lifting a sword from its rest that he kept up mainly for display purposes, 
occasionally to keep his head.

The lift started, taking Jarod's attention before he could even stand.  
Methos arrived and came over to him.  "Well, what are you going to do now?  
The Centre thinks your dead.  You could just leave it at that.  They would 
never know Jarod, you could have the life Catherine would have wanted you to 

Jarod stood, sword in hand, feeling its weight, accustoming himself to 
holding it.  "Your right, I could.  But the Centre has gotten away with so 
much.  Knowing that, knowing that they can get away with what they like 
would eat me up inside."

He saw the look on Methos' face and immediately regretted his choice of 
words.  "No, I'm not having a go at you.  You could never have known just 
what they're capable of.  Even I don't know their limits, but I have to try. 
  I guess my 'immortality' gives me a hell of a lot longer now to try and 
finish them."  He looked at both men.  "What else am I supposed to do?"

Neither of them had an answer to that.


Miss Parker sat with Sydney and Broots in the Tech room.  At the moment they 
where involved in the search for Jarod's body, Miss Parker not feeling any 
inclination what so ever in revealing anything about the man who had called 
her Catherine.  To be honest, it wasn't out of secrecy, for if anything, the 
two men in the room with her where the only people she trusted.  It was more 
to do with apathy.  She just hadn't had the energy to do anything much since 
Jarod's death.  She was sitting at the computer, the screen saver on.  She 
had the feeling neither Broots or Sydney felt good about his either.

Broots sighed.  "Why don't we try..."  His sentence was cut short by the 
phone ringing beside him.  He picked it up.


Parker and Sydney watched as his face turned deathly pale.

Sydney placed a hand on his shoulder.  "What is it?"

Broots didn't reply, he just hit the speaker switch on the phone.

"Hello Sydney, Miss Parker."

Both of them just froze.  They each knew whom it sounded like, but they both 
knew it couldn't be.  Sydney was the first to say it.  "Jarod?  Is that 

An audible sigh could be heard over the speaker.  "Yes Sydney, its me.  I'm 
sorry Sydney.  I'm sorry I haven't contacted you before, but I've 

Miss Parker could feel her anger swelling up within her.  "This is some kind 
of trick.  Who are you?  One of Raines men?"

"No Miss Parker, it's not a trick.  You told me I didn't need to be afraid 
anymore, that I was going home.  You don't know how much of a comfort those 
words where to me.  How much they helped.  I truly thank you for them."

Miss Parker blushed.  It could only be him.  Only Sam had been close enough 
to hear what she had said to him, and he would never have dared to betray 
her in such a way.  Still, it didn't explain why he was talking to her now.  
"You where dead Jarod.  Even you can't pretend that."

"I can't explain that to you, to any of you.  My life has changed now.  The 
Centre is no longer my only concern."

Sydney had been filled first with hope at the sound of Jarod's voice, then 
fear that it couldn't be him.  He had seen Parker's face when he had 
revealed what she had said to him, and it was at that moment that he knew 
that Jarod was alive.  "Jarod," he said, a smile creeping onto his face, 
infecting the tone of his voice.  He suddenly took in Jarod's words, relief 
giving way to the psychiatrist in him.  "What exactly does that mean?"

"It means Sydney that others are after me now, not only you."  He paused for 
a moment, debating as to explain any further.  "There are people out here 
that want me dead, unless I can kill them first.  Not a situation I'm 
looking forward to."

Miss Parker fought with her anger now; she needed to know something, 
something that perhaps only Jarod could tell her.

"Who was that man Jarod?  The one when you where shot?"

The line was silent for a moment.

Jarod pondered as to how much he should tell her about Methos.  He had 
already sworn Jarod to secrecy as to his real identity, and Jarod knew how 
deadly he could be having spent a week with both him and Duncan learning how 
to use a sword.  "This is a warning Miss Parker.  Don't look for him.  
Besides the fact that he was a friend of your mothers he is incredibly 
dangerous.  Leave him alone."

Parker had had enough.  "Listen here Jarod.  I don't like being threatened 
or to be made a fool of.  If you think I was hunting you before, just you 
wait.  I'm going to find you and put a bullet in your heart myself, but not 
before I put one in each of your knees."

A light laugh came over the phone.  "Oh, if only you knew.  Well, you're 
more than willing to try and catch me.  Lets face it; you haven't had much 
luck so far.  Opps, gotta go.  I've got a lesson to get back to and teachers 
calling.   Have a nice day."

Broots hung up the phone, carefully avoiding Miss Parkers gaze.

Parker turned to Sydney.  "What are you smiling at?"

"He's alive Miss Parker.  Aren't you even the tiniest bit happy at the 

Parker lit a cigarette.  "I'm gonna kill him Sydney.  You hear me?  I'm 
gonna kill him."

With those words she stomped out of the office, a trail of smoke following 

Broots turned to Sydney.  "Looks like business as usual huh?"

Sydney laughed.  "Business as usual."


In his office Mr.Raines frowned.  He'd heard everything, a tap having been 
placed on the phones of Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker a very long time ago.

So Jarod was alive, yet he had seen documented evidence that contradicted 
that statement. Plus he didn't like the idea that an associate of 
Catherine's had been running round unmonitored. He lifted his own phone to 
contact Mr.Parker.  It had suddenly become even more vital that Jarod be 

The end