by Henry Wyckoff
A Highlander/Sentinel Crossover
September 1998

Chapter 2

Methos opened his eyes, groaning. "Anyone get the license plate?"

It was the guy from the car who answered him. "Very funny . . . " he read the name once more from the French driver's license. "Adam Pierson. Even funnier, you sound English, not French. You don't look French either."

Struggling up, he grimaced, "That's close enough. I just happen to have French citizenship."

"Hmm . . . you don't appear to be a member of the French Legionnaires."

Methos chuckled at that. What the Italian didn't know . . . "It appears that I'm still in one piece, so I guess I have you to thank for it. The last thing I seem to recall is being rudely shoved out of a window."

"According to the news, it was well over a hundred and fifty feet. If my car had been anywhere else, you would be landing on the pavement, but I have a feeling that it wouldn't make much of a difference, would it?" It was obvious that the man suspected something about Methos' nature, but wanted to get something in words from his guest.

He nodded, "Only a difference in time and publicity. Everyone knows it happened, but nobody knows it was me." He held out his hand, "Thanks again."

John shook it, "John di'Anno."

Methos smiled grandly, "A pillar of the community. I knew it!" He took a deep breath, "I am truly grateful for you help, and to pay you back properly, I think I'll be leaving now. No unwanted attention in your direction, you understand."

A brief nod, "Perfectly, but I can't quite let you leave yet." His smile became vicious, "You see, your death and resurrection before our very eyes has renewed my wife's belief in Catholicism, and if I'm going to be forced to attend mass on a regular basis, I think you should be forced to sample my wife's cooking."

* * *

Jim entered Captain Banks' office, still not sure whether this guy really thought of himself as 'Banks' or 'Robinson', as the Watcher had told Jim and Blair a few days back. This whole concept of immortality and the Game was something totally alien, and he still wasn't sure if someone was going to pinch him, and he'd wake up.

However, there were a few things this 'immortality' bit could explain, especially when it concerned this quirky case starting at the hotel.

"Captain?" Jim poked his head in.

Banks was admiring his most recent acquisition of cigars. "Yes?"

Jim closed the door, sitting down. "We have ourselves another one of . . . those cases."

His eyebrows raised, "What kind of case?"

"Something involving Adam Pierson, an axe-wielding maniac wearing a trenchcoat who happened to push Pierson out the window, a Watcher, and the limo of John di'Anno -- which happened to speed away like a spooked horse once the body of Pierson fell into it." As everything sank into Banks' head, Jim added the final touch, "That Watcher was going to push Pierson out of the window to see if he really was like you, but it looks like this lunatic got to him first."

Banks head fell in his face. "This is just wonderful. Di'Anno isn't one of us, I can tell you that much, but the guy's as paranoid as a spook. I won't envy Pierson, that's for sure!"

* * *

"This is truly wonderful!" Pierson helped himself to an extra portion of the stuffed bits of pasta. "I'd truly thought the art of cooking goat was lost to the world!"

Alana smiled, "Oh, I wouldn't bet on that, not when there are so many old goats in the world."

John, though he'd been born in Italy, had been raised in New York City and San Francisco. His palate was used to pizzas, hamburgers, and spaghetti. To him, goat meat was only a step below mutton, which left this really bad taste in his mouth. If it wasn't for the fact that his wife really had cooked this, and she was sitting next to him at the table, he'd have made some crack about the cooking. "It's incredible . . . a few hours ago, I would have sworn you were a bit on the thin side, but you're filling out."

Pierson nodded, "It's my defense mechanism for going through Sicily. I think all the world's anorexia problems would be solved by offering free vacations there. They'd all be overwhelmed by the mothers and grandmothers there; 'You look very thin. Eat, if you know what's good for you!'" The last was in Italian.

John, who spoke Italian as a first language, laughed. "You haven't met my aunts yet."

"Is that a threat?"

This time they both laughed.

Their jovial dinner was interrupted when a man entered the room. "I'm very sorry to interrupt you, Don, but I think your guest would like to know this."

That got John's attention. "What happened?"

The man faced Methos, "The Cascade police department is officially investigating your . . . death at the hotel. Detective Jim Ellison has been assigned to the case, but both he and Captain Banks are keeping a lid on what they know."

Methos nodded, "They're all right. They're convinced I'm a lawyer."

The man looked even more concerned, "Some of our own men also spotted a snooper. Ellison caught on to him too, but didn't take him in. We don't know who this man is, but we figured that you might know."

"That's what I was afraid of. Did he look like a mob hitman with long hair and a beard? He has an axe with him too."

"Nobody looking like that would be stupid enough to show his face around the hotel. The snoop looked like your average travelling businessman, except for the tattoo on his wrist. We couldn't get close enough to see what it was."

That did it. "That's what I was really afraid of." He shook his head, "It looks like I'm going to have to appear to leave town, in a loud enough way to keep everyone off your back."

Alana would have none of it, "Don't you even think of walking out the door. Do you think this is the first time we've sheltered running men?"

"I'm not quite your average running man."

Pierson's need for secrecy, in the light of his apparent invincibility, seemed strange to John, but he didn't question it. "That's not important. The important thing is that you must have landed on our laps for a reason, and it would be most impolite to throw you to the wolves the moment you get here." Before Methos could protest, he told the messenger, "I want you to spread the word; one grand to the guy who brings me some solid information about the snoop, and ten to the guy who can sneak him in -- hurt is okay, but I need him alive. If the cops steer clear, leave them alone, but keep your ears out."

Methos sighed, "You don't have to spend your money. I might not know that one in particular, but he's a Watcher." He shook his head, "It's a long story."

The Don smiled, "I like long stories. It gives me a excuse to bring out the wine and cigars!"

Methos didn't doubt the friendliness of John and Alana, but millennia of secrecy really got in the way of his talkativeness. He was also practical, which explained why he was here to begin with. In a long life, you know that there are very appropriate times to sing like a bird, especially when you know your audience is no stranger to intrigue, violence, and secrecy. "The Vikings had a saying. If you want to keep a secret, tell nobody. If you want to share a secret, tell one other. If you tell two, the whole world knows."

John nodded, "Then you'll have my audience alone."

With very visible reluctance, Alana left with the messenger. Inside, Methos cringed, because after his long life, he recognized 'that' look. He had to get out of here . . . fast!

* * *

Latro was feeling as if someone was waving their hands in his peripheral vision, and it was starting to get annoying. He was pretty sure it was one man, and he wasn't all that good at it. The tail acted like the taxi that chased the car in the movies -- obvious and persistent, which could be a very dangerous combination for the tail.

He stopped by a newsstand, pretending to be interested in the plane crash near Vancouver. Through the sides of his eyes, he saw his watcher get closer and closer. Latro shook his head and walked on.

Turning a corner, he waited. When his follower made a blind, tight turn, he got a big surprise.

Latro escorted his uninvited guest down the alleyway, between two dumpsters. The man had had the wind knocked out of him, so he wouldn't be saying much for the moment. The lead ball rifle that was now pointed at the man would ensure that he wouldn't be screaming or yelling when he regained that ability.

"Why are you following me?" was all that Latro asked, and he waited patiently for the man to speak.

"What are you talking about? I was just minding my own business!" A rifle butt slammed into his knee, and he sank to the ground.

"I don't like liars," Latro whispered. "Cut the shit and tell me the truth, if you enjoy your life with fully functional limbs."

"Come on, man! I -- " He shut up as Latro pointed his rifle at a nearby brick. It shattered into bits.

"I have enough time to escape the heat. You can't escape a bullet."

"I'm your Watcher!" the man whimpered. "I just got assigned. We saw you back at the hotel last night."

"What do you watch?"

"You. All the immortals we encounter. We chronicle your lives from a distance for the sake of future generations."

Latro nodded, "That's harmless, but keep in mind, I'm a humble man. You understand?"

"Yes!" the man stammered.

"Now, I also don't like mysteries. Who are you?"


"Paulo . . . ?"

"Paulo Scalli."

"All right, Mr. Scalli, see that it's only the future generations who know about me. I'd also remember that if I can't see you, you're not there -- and I can't get annoyed at what isn't there."

"I understand."

* * * *

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