Title: Maternal Instincts
Author: akire
Email: akire@mailcity.com
Status: Complete/Unbetaed
Category: Crossover: Highlander/Voyager (AU), plus misc others
Spoilers: umm, got a basic grasp of the Highlander universe?  Fine.  Oh
yeah, we're a Clan Denial fanfic.  This Voyager is an AU one, but there
may still be spoilers for various bits and pieces across the seven
seasons.  Spoilers also for parts of Sarah Mac's "Seeds" series. 
 Disclaimers:  D/P and Paramount 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) The
concept of The Mothering came from Sarah Mac's "Seeds" series.  Muchos
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. m/m
relationship taking pride of place on the mantelpiece. 
Summary: They've finally got Methos, Reia and the baby in the same
room.  Now, some introductions...
Dedication:  To the Scrolls list, for siccing me onto Sarah Mac's stuff
in the first place

That's long enough. On with the show!


Reia pushed the holodoc away impatiently.  She was fine, nothing was
physically wrong with.

Mentally and emotionally, however, things were going to hell in a

Sitting on the edge of the biobed Richie and the Doc had helped her to,
she couldn't help but stare at the tiny life Methos cradled so gently
in his arms.  A tiny fist rose out of the blankets and clumsily tried
to grasp Methos' large nose.  The oldest man chuckled and lifted his
face out of reach, his eyes never leaving the precious bundle he had
rescued from the nest Reia had made for him in the jungle.  Richie was
standing next to his lover, and gently reached out to touch the child's
delicate forehead, stroking and soothing the babe.

Not even really aware she was doing so, Reia pushed herself to her feet
and made her way one step at a time until she was standing directly in
front of the pair.  Unexpectedly huge blue eyes blinked at her from a
child's soft, pale face.  Even as she watched, she saw sleep steal
across the impossibly tiny features and the eyes closed.

She raised her head to meet the darker blue eyes of her oldest (in
every sense of the word) friend.  "Say hello to your son, Reia."

Her son...her son...her son.  The words reverberated
around her mind and she felt the prickly sting of tears forming behind
her eyes.  "No...no...NO!"  Shaking her head in denial and fear, she
turned and fled from sickbay.

It didn't take them long to find her, but she expected that.  There was
really no hiding place on Voyager.  As she expected, it was Methos who
came striding over the sands of the beach scenario she had loaded into
the holodeck.  It was the first program in her selection, a recreation
of a rocky and remote Sicilian beach she had been fond of around 600
BC.  The Buzz made her aware she had company, but she did not move or
turn from the rock she had perched herself on.

Methos leaned against her perch, and for a moment, over the simulated
smell of the surf, she caught a hint of his soap, sweat, the jungle and
the unique scent of a baby.  She closed her eyes and sighed.

"You think me a foolish coward."

She did not have to open her eyes to see the gentle smile that was no
doubt playing across his features.  "I think you're someone who's had a
very large surprise on top of a very stressful past couple of days."

She opened her eyes and turned to look at him.  "You could have just
left.  Had Harry beam you into the shuttle."

"And leave you alone?  No."

"Whatever happened to the selfish, guilt-free Methos I used to know?"

The smile was larger now.  "He fell in love with a Brat."

She sighed again as the facts of her reality reasserted themselves.
"Oh fuck, old man, what about Richie? He's probably waiting outside to
take my head."

Methos laughed.  "He's too busy being thrilled to bits to be an uncle. 
Why are you acting like this is some great catastrophe?"

Reia slid off her rock and stood nose to nose with Methos.  "I'm not
cut out to be a mother!" She snarled.  "I never had one, I don't know
how to be one!  That kid doesn't deserve this!"  She turned to stalk
off down the beach, but Methos grabbed her arm and yanked her back
towards him.

"You'll learn how.  You're a great teacher, remember people like Blaer,
and all the others you have taught, who have survived where others far
older and more powerful have failed.  Know also, you're not alone in
this.  The boy is my child too, and Richie's.  Even Harry is cooing
over him like a doting uncle.  Plus there is everyone else on Voyager. 
Neelix is already organising baby things, and Sam Wildman came by with
some stuff Naomi's outgrown."  His grip on her forearms grew tighter.
"You're NOT alone.  You've adapted before, learnt and grown and
survived and thrived.  Do so now.  What are you afraid of?"

Reia refused to look him in the eye.  The tears were threatening to
become sobs, and she bit down hard on her lip to try and stem the flow.

"Reia.  Tell me now."  His voice was low and commanding.  "What are you
afraid of?"

The first dry sob wracked her body.  "I'm afraid...I'm afraid to love
him, only to see him loose his head in our stupid Game."  Images of
those blue eyes lifeless as the head rolled away from a body filled her
mind as Methos drew her close and hugged her tight.  What she had felt
for that child in the instant their eyes had met had terrified her even
as it lifted her.

He made soothing noises, much as he had done for the child, until the
sobs eased.  "We take the same risk with every student we teach.  I
took it when I dared to love another of our kind."  He knew that Reia
had never taken an Immortal partner, and now he began to feel he
understood why.  "But wouldn't it be worse to abandon him now?
Shouldn't we teach him how to live, to grow stronger, to fight another

Reia leaned back and rubbed her eyes.  "You and your damned motto," she
hiccuped.  They stood there for a long minute, thinking about what had
happened to them, how radically their lives were about to change.
Finally, Reia stepped back.  "I'm ready," she said with a self-
conscious half smile.  "Well, as ready as I'll ever be."

Methos took her hand and led her back towards the Infirmary, leaving
the Sicilian waves to crash on an empty shore.


"By all the Gods of Egypt, old timer, how did you acquire so much
stuff?"  Reia smiled to take the sting out of her words as she shifted
baby Joseph to her other hip.  "You two arrived on Voyager with your
swords and a layer of grime.  Now look at it all!"

"Luck and skill."  Grunting, he passed the last box to Richie in the
other room.  "That's everything.  I think it'll all fit."  Wiping his
forehead on the back of his sleeve, he flopped backwards and sprawled
over the couch.  "I hate moving.  Why couldn't we have just done an
internal transport."

Richie reemerged from the other room in time to hear the last comment. 
"Where's the fun in that?"   Richie flopped with practised ease into
the tiny space left on the couch.  "Here, pass me my favourite boy."
He reached out to take baby Joseph from Reia.

Methos smirked.  "I thought I was your favourite boy?"

Richie leaned over to kiss his lover on the lips even as he resettled
the child on his lap.  "No, you're my favourite big boy."

Reia threw her hands up and groaned.  "I don't think I needed to hear
that." Satisfied that her son was in good hands with his two 'papas,'
Reia went to check on how her student was faring in the move.  It had
taken less than an hour to convince Janeway and Chakotay that the five
Immortals now on Voyager really needed some dedicated space.  A quick
reshuffle of a few bunking assignments saw five quarters next to each
other become available.  Harry had done most of the work from there on,
co-opting his friends in engineering to donate time and expertise to
convert the five into a linked series of living and working quarters.
Today they were moving into their new accommodations; three bedrooms
with Joseph's nursery attached, all linked by common living space.  One
largish area had been stripped back and converted into an area large
enough for basic sword practise –they would continue to use their
holodeck time for heavy sparring, but this space gave them a quiet area
to get in the daily drills they needed to do.  Reia, Methos and even
Richie had all lived in places where a single room was bigger than the
entirety of their combined quarters, but what it lacked in space was
made up by being well-designed and comfortable.

Passing the dark nursery, which all four adults had automatically
organised first, she moved on to the open door to the bedroom Harry had
staked out as his own.  All the bedrooms were on the hull-side, giving
them  views of the starfield.  It was certainly a step up from the tiny
porthole she had had in her previous berth.

"How you doing?" She asked as she leant on the doorframe.  Harry looked
up from the crate of clothes, padds and musical instruments he was

"I never realised I had so much stuff!"

"Join the club.  Now, really," she asked as she crossed the threshold
and perched on the edge of his bed.  "How are you doing?"

Harry realised he wasn't going to escape easily.  "I'm doing okay.
Head still spinning a bit, having to work to keep up with reality, but
I'm feeling okay."  He nodded.  "Joys of student-teacher relations,

She smirked.  "I warned you that I would put my boots over parts of
your psyche you never even knew you had," she responded glibly.
"There's something I've been meaning to say, Harry."

"This sounds important," he retorted chirpily.

"It is, so hush up and let Teach speak."  He bowed his head, trying to
be suitably subdued, but his smile gave him away.  Shaking her head,
she 'ahemed' slightly.  "As I was trying to tell you without sounding
completely sappy, Harry, is that whilst Joe is our child, you are still
my student.  You still have my full attention, and I will keep my
promise to teach you everything you need to know."

Harry pushed himself up and scrambled over to sit clutching his
Teacher's knees.  "I know that, Reia.  You still have my confidence.  I
know you'll give me your best, even if I am now your son's uncle."  He
smiled, but the expression faded as he looked up at his Teacher.
"You're still worried, aren't you?"

Her expression was incredulous.  "Fuck yeah!"

Impulsively, Harry rose and gathered his Teacher in a friendly hug.
She felt slim and fragile under his hands, and Harry was reminded that
it was only her presence and authority which made her seem huge and
unbreakable.  "You're gonna be a great mama," he told her firmly.  "I
believe in you."

She smiled, eyes bright.  "And at least he's got two fathers, an uncle
and a ship full of fairy godparents to take up the slack, hey?"

He mimicked her precisely.  "Fuck yeah!"

"Incorrigible!"  She whapped him playfully on the shoulder, but their
roughhousing was cut short by a cry from the main area.

"I believe that's your cue," Harry told his Teacher.

"Insolent too.  Get back to your unpacking," she ordered cheerfully as
she headed out to see to her son.  "We've skipped too many training
sessions these past few weeks.  We've got to start catching up!"

She laughed and went to claim her son from his fathers, Harry's groan
echoing in her wake.