The Elvis Minutes #12: Deliverance





May this tenderness cling
When the fire of Spring
Is a memory
May you still be my own
When a hundred years have flown
But if it can't be
Give this moment to me
While our dream is bright
Put your sweet arms around me
And love me tonight.

The moon is full. I should've known that without having to see it. Keeping up with the phases of the moon was a habit left over from a childhood in the Highlands. But I didn't know the moon was full tonight until it rose in the sky. Mocking me. The familiar knowledge is lost to me.

I am lost to me.

"Stop here."

Methos shakes his head and keeps driving.

"Please, Methos."

"I need to get back to Alexa."

I know I'm being selfish. I know that he cares for her, that she's dying and doesn't have much time left. But from what little I know of her, I don't think she'd begrudge me one night with Methos. One night in my right mind. There's been so much wrong in so short a time. I--killed--Sean. I might as well as raped that captain's wife. I would have killed Richie if Joe hadn't shot me. I could have killed--the most precious person in my world, my miracle, my Methos.

"Damn, MacLeod, you're shaking like a leaf." The car swings into a U-turn and we're back at the inn. "I'll get us a room."

I nod, too miserable to speak. I don't deserve to be alive, yet here I am because of the faith my friends had in me. How can I repay that? How can I atone for all the suffering I caused? How can I live, knowing what's inside of me, what I'm capable of…

"Watch your head."

I blink, the words sounding familiar. Then I realize Methos is helping me out of the car. When had he returned? "I'm tired," I say mostly to myself.

"I know. A hot shower and a good night's sleep will do you good. We weren't going to make Paris tonight, anyway."

I apologize as he lets us into the room. It's small, but clean. One bed. Perfect. "I'm sorry I'm keeping you from her."

He shrugs. "When I left I knew it might take several days."

Suddenly, I was angry. "It wouldn't have taken that long if you'd just got some of your Watcher buddies to kill me! Why did you put yourself at such a risk? Do you know how insane I was?"

"You weren't insane," he says calmly, tossing the keys on the dresser. "You were overwhelmed with darkness, the darkness in us all."

"I heard voices."

"Perhaps. Or perhaps you just heard yourself."

The Sean Burns in me would probably appreciate a dissection of my psyche. I, Duncan MacLeod, don't want to hear any of it. "Dibs on the first shower."

The water's hot, maybe too hot, but it doesn't give me any warmth. It was so cold in that darkness. Maybe there had been fire in my eyes, but it hadn't produced heat.

"You could have at least saved me some hot water."

Methos' hand is reaching inside, turning off the tap. A towel wraps around me and I'm gently guided out of the shower stall. I want to protest, to say that I'm not a child, but his hand is warm around mine, warm like a light, like a sun. I hold the hand to my chest and feel the heat sink inside.

"You're in shock. Perfectly natural."

He may be wise. He may be my savior. But he talks too much.

"I need you," I say softly.

There is a flash of something in his eyes, and belatedly I realize that the trauma of this day, of all these days, is not mine alone. He reaches up and strokes my face. "You have me."

Come morning, I am warm again, steady in my course, wary of what is within me, but certain of who is in control. Sean Burns has settled. Father's sword is once again a mere cherished heirloom. The battle in the strange grotto is but a memory. I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. I'm sure of it. I have penance to pay for my deeds, but I'm certain of my eventual salvation.

As Rachel MacLeod throws her arms around me and Methos drives away, I falter a little because deep inside I know where my strength lies--not in the man I used to be nor in the man I'm certain to become, but in the man he believes I am. He has faith in me…in the being he forged from the ashes of a dark quickening, in the construction he tenderly loved into being in a tiny room at a random roadside inn, in the Duncan MacLeod who is weak enough to cry in his lover's arms under a full moon and strong enough to let him go with the dawn.

And if anyone sees the tears I cry during the day, I'll just say the sun got in my eyes.

Love me tonight
Let me feel your lips on mine
And though I pray
Forever and a day I'll be
Possessing you
I'll confess to you
If I knew that our love would be gone
With the stars in the dawn's grey light
I'd still hold you close and whisper
Love me tonight

Love Me Tonight ~ Words & music: Don Robertson

The End

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