Methos hung up the phone after talking to Jasmine. She was one of the teachers at the university where MacLeod taught a couple of classes. She confirmed that he never showed up that day for his classes and he didn't call in. Methos was really beginning to worry now. Mac was challenged last night and had to meet the guy at 6:00 AM this morning. Mac usually came home after a challenge and then they worked off the excess energy. Methos pulled a beer out of the fridge and drained it. He put the bottle down and picked up the phone. When he started to dial, he realized he still had the beer cap in his hand. After standing there and staring at it for about a minute, he then flipped it behind the fridge and dialed the phone.
“Joe's, Mike speaking.”
“Mike is Joe there?” asked Methos.
“Yes, just minutes.”
He could here Mike holler for Joe. Methos tapped his foot while waiting for Joe to pick up the phone.
“This is Joe. What can I do for you?”
“This is Methos. Did you go to the scene with Duncan this morning?”
Joe answered, “No, he said he would call me and let me know what happened. What's wrong? Isn't Mac there?”
Methos replied, “No he's not here. He didn't go to his classes today and no one has seen him. I've looked all over town for him and can't find a trace of him anywhere.”
“Let me call headquarters and I'll get back to you. Are you at the loft?”
Methos answered, “Yeah and I'll stay here till I hear from you.”
After hanging up, Joe called and talked to Peter Vanderbilt. He had given the district supervisor position to him. He felt that he couldn't do the job properly and follow Duncan. After he finished talking to Peter, he called Methos.
“You better have me some answers,” Methos stated.
“I don't have the answers you want. No one saw the fight this morning. There is no way of knowing who won. Henry Herron’s water was found dead about 2 hours ago. The funny thing about it is he was drained of all his blood. I've never seen anything or heard of anything like it.”
When Methos heard what Joe said, he turned pale. He couldn't answer Joe right away.
“Methos, are you okay? Methos answer me. Are you still there?” Joe was beginning to panic because he was sure Methos had an idea of what was going on and he didn't think it was good.
Finally Methos answered Joe, “I've heard of it before. About 2000 years ago, I met a vampire. And before you say anything, yes they exist. Where was Jon's body found? Was any other body besides the Watcher's found at the scene? Or was Jon's body somewhere else? Before you ask, Jon and I were good friends. We went through the academy together. He wanted the field and for obvious reasons, I wanted research.”
“I didn't realize you knew him. I'm sorry Methos. I know how hard it is to lose friends,” Joe said.
Methos asked, “Joe do you want to go to the warehouse where the fight was and have a look around?”
“I would like very much to go with you Methos. I would also like to hear about the vampire you met. I'm sure it's a good story,” Joe said.
“Yeah, I'll tell you about it. I'll pick you up in about 30 minutes. If what I think is happening, we don't dare to go any place alone.”
After hanging up the phone, Methos went around the loft gathering up some things he thought they would need.
When he was ready, he left to pick up Joe. He wanted to make sure they were away from the warehouse and inside before dark.
He stopped in front of Joe's and went inside. “You ready to go, Joe? I want to have you back before dark.”
Joe grabbed his jacket and said, “Let's go.”
After they got in the car, Joe turned to Methos and said, “Okay, out with it. Why are you in such a rush? Even if vampires exist, you won't die. What's the story about the vampire you met 2000 years ago?”
I'm in a hurry because vampires are real and the story is very simple. A vampire killed my 32nd wife. I walked in on him and he wasn't afraid of me. I pulled my sword and was going to kill him when he vanished right before my eyes. I don't know if they could vanish or if they were so fast he was able to leave without me seeing him. I don't want you out after dark since you would die if he got a hold of you.”
Methos pulled up outside the warehouse and just sat there for a while. He was afraid to go in and find evidence that Mac was dead. He looked at Joe and it looked like he had the same fears. Slowly they both got out of the car. Methos led the way through the doors. They both stood inside the doors until their eyes adjusted to the dark.
Both Joe and Methos stood there looking around the area as if they were afraid of what they would find.
“There's been a quickening here recently. You can still smell the after affects,” said Joe.
Methos took a deep breath, “Okay now we have to figure out who won. I'll go this way and you go that way.”
Slowly they both walked around the outer edges of the open space. They both worked their way towards the center that way.
Soon Joe hollered, “I found the other guys sword. So it must have been Mac that won. So where is he?” Joe turned to Methos as he was speaking. Methos was standing about 15 feet from him looking at the floor without moving. “Methos, what's wrong?”
Slowly Methos bent over and picked up something. He said, “Here's Mac's sword. So which one won? Oh please Joe. Tell me Mac's out there alive somewhere. I can't lose him now.”
Joe picked up Henry's sword and then walked over to Methos. Neither one said anything as they examined the swords. It looked like both of them had been through a quickening. Usually the only sword that looked like it went through a quickening was the losers. Somehow the sword that beheaded an Immortal didn't look like it had been used in a fight at all. That was something none of the Watchers could figure out. Joe made a mental note to ask Methos about that. Maybe he would have the answer.
Methos had tears slowly making their way down his face. He said to Joe, “According to the evidence, both men lost.” Methos turned his back on Joe and said, “I know he's alive out there somewhere. I'll take you home and then start searching for him.”
Joe said, “I think you should go back to the loft in case he shows up. If he's alive, you know he'll look for you there. I'm making some more phone calls.”
As Joe got out of the vehicle back at the bar, he turned to Methos, “Go back to the loft. As soon as I find out what happened, I'll call you. I'm sure he's okay, Methos.”
Joe thought to himself as he went inside, ‘I sure hope Mac's okay for Methos sake. I don't think the old man would cope with it if Mac was gone.’
Methos slowly drove back to the loft thinking. It was hard to see because he couldn't keep the tears from falling. Back at the loft, he paced around trying to figure out what he was going to do. He got a beer out of the fridge and paced around the loft. After about 5 minutes of pacing, he set the beer down on the counter unopened.
When the phone rang, he grabbed it and said, “Did you hear anything yet, Joe?”
Joe answered, “I called just to make sure you made it home okay. Now try not to worry. I'm sure Mac is okay.” But Joe was beginning to feel that he was gone. “So far I've come up against a blank wall. I'm going to do more research though. If I find anything, I'll call you.”
“Thanks Joe. And if I hear anything, I'll let you know. I love him, Joe. What am I going to do if he's gone for good?” Methos said with a catch in his voice.
After hanging up, he tried to decide what to do. He had cleaned the loft and he wasn't able to concentrate enough to work on his journal. He hadn't felt this lost without someone since his first millennium.
About 2 hours after the sun went down; he felt the signature of an immortal coming up the elevator. It felt like Mac, but for some reason it was a little different. Maybe it was because of the quickening. To be on the safe side, Methos got his sword and stood with it like he was ready for battle. When the gate opened, Mac walked out like he'd been gone only an hour.
“Mac, I was really worried about you. Where have you been all day?” asked Methos.
“I'm sorry it worried you. I died after the battle. I don't know what happened after that. I woke up about an hour ago,” answered Mac.
When Mac held his arms out for Methos, Methos went right to him. After giving him a kiss to welcome him home, Methos realized that something was wrong with Mac. He pulled back and looked at him.
“Mac, what's wrong? You feel so cold,” Methos said as he backed up.
“Nothings wrong with me. I'm just hungry,” answered Mac as he started moving towards Methos.
Methos kept backing up. He had a very bad feeling about this. “I'll go fix you some soup to tide you over till I can order a pizza or Chinese take out.”
That's when Mac let his fangs drop. “I don't need any soup. All I need to curb my hunger is some blood.”
Methos backed up into the wall. He started shaking and asked, “What has happened to you? Who did this to you?”
Methos had no where to go, so he just stood there watching Mac as he came closer and closer. Mac grabbed him and bent his head sideways to be able to get to Methos’ juggler vein easier. Methos started screaming and struggling.
Mac started shaking him. “Methos, wake up. You are having a nightmare.
Methos sat up and scrabbled to the head of the bed. He was as white as the sheets on the bed and really confused.
“Methos, you were having a nightmare,” said Duncan.
“You mean you aren't a vampire?” asked Methos.
“What are you talking about? You know vampires don't exist. Not only that, you know if we die of blood loss, we come back the same as we were before we died.”
Methos collapsed into Mac's arms sobbing and hung on like his life depended on it. Mac had never seen Methos like this. He didn't think he had ever seen anyone as shaken up as Methos was. It sure must have been one horrible nightmare.