New: Twentieth Century Boy
Author: ZorroRojo - firstname.lastname@example.org
Series: X-Over Voyager/X-Files/Highlander
Disclaimer: yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah - not mine.
Summary: I don't want to give one.
Warnings: Non-Graphic Slash - Cussing - a little violence (not
anything worse than what you see on American TV.
The shrill ringing of the bedside phone woke Duncan MacLeod out of a sound sleep. He pushed a grumbling Methos off of him and rolled over to reach for it.
The voice coming through the receiver surprised him so much he almost dropped the phone. "Warren?"
"Who is it?" Methos murmured, still half asleep.
Mac covered the mouthpiece with his hand and whispered, "Cochrane."
"At this hour?"
"Shh..." Mac hissed, "there's something wrong. Go ahead Warren, what's wrong?"
"Mac, I need your help. He's disappeared."
"Who?" Dread sank into Mac's bones at the panic in his old friend's voice.
"A young one who has been staying with me," Warren managed through a cracked voice.
"You have a student?" Mac asked, incredulous. Why the hell would Warren take on a student? Mac vowed he would never take another after he killed Richie. Warren was possibly the only other person who could understand how he felt. To hear he had taken on a student and that that student disappeared had him feeling things he didn't want to feel; remembering things he believed best laid to rest.
"No. Well, not really."
"Warren, what happened? How long has he been missing?"
"Mac, I don't know what happened. He's been gone a week. Can you come?"
"Of course. Where?" Mac knew he had to put his own demons aside and concentrate on helping his friend.
As Mac got the directions he remarked, "That's a little off the beaten path isn't it?"
"Yeah, Mac, it is. I needed somewhere to get away."
"I'll be there tomorrow," Mac assured.
"Thanks Mac. I can't... I'm afraid..."
"I know Warren. Believe me, I know."
Mac replaced the phone and swung his feet to the floor, searching the room for his pants and making arrangements in his head.
"Killed another student, has he?" Methos asked, his tone flippant and his voice heavy with sleep.
"No Methos! He hasn't. And the boy who disappeared isn't his student," Mac shot back, a little angry but mostly wounded.
Methos yawned, "So you're going to run off to help?"
"He's a good friend, Methos. I know what he's been through." Mac continued to gather belongings, avoiding looking at Methos just yet.
"Where is he?" Methos asked.
"Texas-Mexico border. Do you want to come?" Mac finally turned when he felt his emotional equilibrium returning.
"To the desert in August? What do you think?" Methos replied sarcastically, albeit with a quirk in his grin as well as to one eyebrow.
"I thought you liked the heat," Mac volleyed back, gradually growing calmer with the familiar banter with his lover.
"Heat yes, my flesh cooking off my bones, no. When are you leaving?"
"As soon as I can. He's falling apart."
"I'll make travel arrangements while you pack." Methos rose from the sheets and slipped on a pair of sweats.
MacLeod stared at Methos, grateful he understood. "Thanks Methos."
"So he thinks he might have killed him then?" Methos asked casually.
"Yes, but he's wrong," Mac insisted, though he was surprised that the remark didn't set his emotions roiling again.
"Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod to the rescue. Call me if you can't live without me," Methos drawled as he reached for the phone.
"You know I can't live without you, you old sot." Mac lightened his tone, as much for his own benefit as Methos. "The boy probably went on a bender and is holed up across the border somewhere. I'll only be a few days." Making the promise and intending to keep it helped Mac to focus.
"Watch your head." Methos' tone was deadly serious.
"As always, old man."
Dusk was just starting to fall when Chakotay tapped his comm badge, "Tom?" he called.
"Yeah?" the Lt. answered right away.
"Where are you?"
"About a kilometer from the Flyer. We might have a problem," Tom informed the Commander calmly, keeping the concern in his voice to a minimum.
"We *do* have a problem," Chakotay replied, his own voice betraying more emotion than Tom's.
"What is it?"
"Our car has two flat tires."
"And only one spare," Tom guessed, and Chakotay could swear he heard the smirk in his husband's voice before the younger man added
seriously, "Have you found anything?"
"No. What's the problem on your end?"
"There's two people poking around the flyer. A man and a woman, they don't look like locals." Tom broke the news flatly.
"What do you want me to do?" Tom asked, aiming his binoculars at the pair nosing too close for comfort.
"Keep an eye on them and stay out of sight. If you have to, stun them and move them away from the Flyer. We'll get there as soon as we can," Chakotay promised.
"Has your friend's roommate been found yet?" Chakotay asked, the thought just occurring to him.
"No, I think these two might be part of the search party, but we can't risk them finding the ship."
"No we can't. We're going to have to transport to your location. I'll need safe coordinates," Chakotay told Tom, suddenly feeling very anxious to get out of there and get to him.
"We're in a secure location. Lock on us and transport here."
"Shit. There are flashing lights approaching." The nervousness was much clearer in the Commander's voice than he would have preferred.
"It's the police. Give them your ID and act polite," Tom instructed with calm authority.
"I will. See you as soon as they leave." Chakotay ended the comm link as a burly officer approached the window of the car.
"Step out of the vehicle." The disdain was evident in the policeman's order.
"We are having mechanical difficulties," Tuvok explained placidly from the passenger side.
"Shut up and get out," the policeman snapped.
The two Starfleet officers nodded to each other and stepped out of the car. The officer shined his light in Chakotay's face before asking, "Are you an American citizen?"
"Yes." Chakotay answered, keeping his multitude of questions to himself.
"Face the car, feet apart, hands on the hood."
"Is there a problem?" Chakotay asked the one question that could not be suppressed. He wanted to ask why the hell everyone assumed he was a criminal or drug runner.
"Now." The menace in the policeman's voice brooked no argument. The Commander did as he was told.
Tuvok, on the other side of the vehicle tapped his pocket three times, then two, then one and he immediately felt the tingle of the transport whisking away all of their 24th century technology. They were now out of communication with the rest of their team and stranded, but it couldn't be helped.
"You, come over here. Identification." The officer addressed Tuvok in clipped tones.
"May I ask why you are detaining us?" was his reply, ever neutral in his own tone.
"I ask the questions, boy. Identification." The man repeated the last word emphatically. Tuvok produced the identification card Tom had replicated for him.
An hour, a search of the car, full searches to their bodies, a hundred questions later and the border patrol officer was satisfied they carried no contraband. Satisfied, but still suspicious.
"Where are you going?"
"The park," Chakotay answered. Again.
"This isn't tourist season."
"We're avoiding crowds," Chakotay replied calmly. Again.
"Have you been staying there the past week?"
"Yes," Chakotay kept up with the barrage of questions.
"There have been three disappearances. You know anything about that?" The officer asked for the first time.
"No sir," Chakotay replied, surprised to hear something new from the man.
"You might want to change your plans," the officer replied and began to walk back to his cruiser, apparently finished with them.
"Can you give us a ride to town?" the Commander asked the retreating back.
"No civilians in official vehicles. Unless you want me to arrest you?" the man turned and looked at Chakotay with a cold stare.
"You're going to leave us here?" Chakotay was incredulous.
"Do you have water?"
"There's plenty of traffic on the highway. Someone will pick you up in the morning."
And the officer was gone, leaving the two Commanders staring at his rapidly disappearing vehicle. Chakotay fought back a curse; Tuvok merely lifted one eyebrow in true Vulcan fashion.
"What are they doing?" Gerron asked nervously, looking rapidly from the Lt. to the pair of humans dangerously close to discovering their craft.
"Standing right on top of the Flyer," Tom informed the Bajoran, trying to suppress his own panic.
"Should we divert them?" Gerron asked, trying to be more helpful.
"Wait. They have a call," Tom held Gerron back with a hand on his chest.
"What are they doing now?"
"Running to their car," Tom told him, not sure if he should be relieved or not.
"Should we follow them?"
"Come on, let's go. Chakotay?... Chakotay... Shit." No response.
"Do you think they were arrested?"
"I don't know; we have to follow those two. The way they're running off, I think they might know something. Chakotay and Tuvok can take care of themselves," Tom assured himself as much as Gerron.
"Do you think they're not human?" the younger man asked, the sudden thought making his eyes grow impossibly wider.
"My tricorder says they are," Tom replied; oddly glad to be able to reassure the Bajoran.
"Good. Or not good. I don't know," Gerron admitted with frustration.
"Hop on, we'll follow their dust trail," Tom told him, knowing only that those two humans couldn't be allowed to know more than they did-- or to tell anyone what they might already know. Just how he could prevent either event without putting them all at further risk remained to be seen.
"Duncan." The relief in Cochrane's voice as he spotted Duncan stepping off the small twin-engine jet was clear, as were the tears shining in his eyes.
"Warren. How have you been keeping yourself?"
"Well, very well. Until this week. Mark's gone. He was guiding a trip and he disappeared when they camped overnight," Warren jumped right into his plight.
"You weren't with him?" Duncan clarified.
"No. I can't lose another one, Mac. This one, he's so different from Andrew. He's smart, capable, and independent. I don't know what
happened to him," Warren insisted, pleading in his voice.
"Have there been any Immortals around?"
"No, Mac, I know what you're thinking. He hasn't lost his head. Two days before he disappeared, there was a storm - it wasn't natural - to rival your Quickening being released. But there's very little
electricity out here and I would have known if he lost his head. Nothing to interfere with the show," Warren explained.
Shit. Mac shook his head. A storm - similar in nature to a large Quickening being released, and Warren in obvious denial of possible Immortal involvement. Mac drew a deep breath; he had to try and make Warren at least consider the possibility that a strange Immortal was in the area and stalking others of his or her kind.
"Warren," Mac began hesitantly, "I know you don't want to hear this, but if you saw something similar to a Quickening, then there may be someone hunting in this area."
Warren tried to interrupt, but Mac waved him to silence. "I know you said you haven't seen anything like that since then. But Warren, Mark could have been taken somewhere far enough away so you couldn't see his Quickening. I don't think that's what happened, but Warren, we need to be prepared and not allow ourselves to be caught unarmed just because it's too hot in this forsaken place, you're calling home these days, to make concealing our swords easy. Just be careful, and be prepared for whatever we find." Duncan slipped a comforting arm around his friend's shoulders. "That's all I'm asking you to do, okay?"
Warren nodded and Duncan released him, adding, "We'll find him, Warren. One way or another, we'll find him." Mac kept his dark thoughts to himself. Warren was close enough to frantic already
without Duncan adding to his distress. And with the news of the so-far unexplained light show, Duncan was more than a little worried that they had company - Immortal company in the area.
"Thanks for coming. It's more than I can expect," Warren said and ducked his head.
"Don't give me that. We've known each other a long time. We're practically brothers. We've fought together, we've bled together and we've died together for Scotland. We'll get through this - together," Mac finished, more worried than ever about his life-long friend. And how he could possibly survive the loss of another young one so soon after Andrew.
"There are two brothers staying at my place who have been helping with the search. They're out searching now," Warren told him, allowing a little hope to wash into his expression.
"Can you contact them?"
"No. I don't have a phone and even if I did, they don't. They'll leave a message for me at the shop."
"No electricity, no phones, what in the world made you decide to live here?" Duncan asked, his distaste plain, though his demeanor was mild.
"You know why. Also, I don't think I could find a place on earth that looked less like Scotland than here. If I can't be there, I want no reminders," Warren replied honestly, pain in his eyes.
"I understand. Let's go find your wayward student," Duncan suggested and inclined his head, indicating it was time to get down to business.
End Part 7