Methos said the word and liked it. It summed up the dinner that wasn't cooking on the stove, the faculty meeting that had gone on forever because someone wanted to make a scene over the fact that the basketball team got an excused absence for a tournament and the track team didn't, the traffic accident that caused him to spill his McDonald's coffee all over his shirt, and the alarm clock that didn't go off on time. Fuck. A damn fine word that covered all the sins of his day. Next time he scampered off to Tibet, he'd try using it in a chant.
After tossing out the gray-tinged roast, which should have been simmering in a crockpot all day but hadn't because of a power glitch, he grabbed a six-pack of beer from the refrigerator, flung himself into his favorite chair, and sulked.
At six o-clock on the dot, he felt Presence and heard a knock at his door. He picked up his sixth bottle.
"Come in, MacLeod."
Duncan looked around the apartment hesitantly, one hand wrapped around a bottle of wine. "Um, did I get the date wrong?"
Methos slid further down into his chair. "Yes, in all ways."
Duncan took off his coat, then carefully picked up a stack of books and moved them from a chair before sitting down. "No dinner?"
"I do something wrong?"
Methos rolled his eyes. "Why is it always 'me, me, me' with you?"
Duncan set the wine on the floor. "You did something wrong?"
"Got up this morning."
"Ah, bad day."
"Day, week, year, decade, century, mil--"
Duncan rolled his eyes. "I think I get the picture, Methos."
Methos sighed. "I think this whole date thing was a bad idea anyway."
Duncan nodded. " I agree."
Methos drained his beer. "Of course you do. Where are my flowers?"
Duncan fidgeted. "Well, there was this woman--"
"You gave my flowers to a woman!"
"It wasn't like that," Duncan scrambled to explain. "She was being mugged, so I hit the mugger with the flowers to make him let her go, and--"
"Because all you had were my flowers and not some wickedly sharp sword, right? And I thought you were some big romantic. Bah!"
Duncan rubbed at a non-existent spot on his pants leg. "I thought I'd have time to get more, butů"
"I picked up my slacks from the cleaners. I was in such a rush to get dressed, I didn't notice until I put them on--and saw my ankles."
"It's not funny. They were my favorite pair."
Duncan tried to look angry, but failed. With a good-natured chuckle, he indicated the bottle beside Methos. "Any left?"
"No. Which is why we're giving up this date nonsense and heading to Joe's."
Duncan smiled. "Sounds like a plan."
Joe had watched them all evening from the stage, where he was filling in for a sick guitarist. Finally, the band finished its last set, and he made his way to their table.
"So, why did the date get moved here, guys?" he asked, knowing that Methos was supposed to have cooked for Duncan.
They both burst out laughing, an occurrence that had happened often that evening, Joe noted as he waited for the punch line.
"We didn't have a date, Joe," Duncan began.
"Actually, we did," Methos interrupted. "It just happened to be the worst date ever! Everything that could go wrong, did. Shrunken pants--"
"An improperly set alarm clock--"
"Flower assaults--or When Good Flowers Go Bad--"
Duncan glared at Methos. "Rare--blood rare--pot roast--"
"Stop," Joe yelled before Methos could retaliate. "So, you canceled your date?"
"Yes. It was a mutual decision," Duncan said.
"Can't fight the universe, Joe," Methos said. "I guess it's just not ready for the Mac and Methos Show."
Joe nodded. "And so then you decided to come here?"
"Yes. No place like Joe's to drown your sorrows in," Methos replied happily.
"Together?" Joe inquired.
"Methos had gone through a six-pack by the time I got to his place. Couldn't let him drive in his condition," Duncan said reasonably.
"And so you came to my bar, had dinner, drinks, and enjoyed a sorta decent band?"
"An excellent band, Joe. You should sit in more often," Duncan complimented. Then he frowned. "Why are you having such a difficult time with this?"
Joe shrugged. "Where's the 'no date' part of the evening?"
Joe eyed them with pity. Immortal 20/20 eyesight...and both of them blind as bats. "The last time I had a date as bad as this one, hell, I asked her to marry me."
He grinned at the twin, shocked looks. "No fools like real old ones," he muttered, as he stood to go see how the stock behind the bar was doing. "Don't forget to send me an invitation to the 'canceled' commitment ceremony, you hear?"
He wasn't surprised he didn't get an answer. It appeared it was going to take them a while to assimilate the knowledge that they had indeed gone out on a date, and maybe that knowledge would lead to, say, certain after-date activities. Then, finally, maybe they would get it, and he'd get his winnings from Amanda.
"Bobby, send a bottle of champagne over to Table Six--on the house," Joe called as he picked up a towel to wipe down the bar.
"Celebration or something?" Bobby asked.
"Or something," Joe concluded knowledgeably, grinning as he did the familiar task. With those two, it was always going to be something.