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A Fangirl's Playground
Fic: And The Stars of Heaven Shall Fall 
Combeferre
Title: And The Stars Of Heaven Shall Fall
Fandom: Highlander/Bible crossover
Characters: Methos, Jesus
Rating: PG-13, for violence and character death
Wordcount: 1096
Summary: “To the best of my extensive knowledge, we are the only two left.”

Notes: Many thanks to sentientcitizen for betaing. Although the fic IS all her fault to begin with.... See, I was writing a different fic, and then she had to go and mention the Eschaton in conjunction with the Gathering. Um. So I guess this could be called the third in a trilogy, coming after my Narrow Is The Way Which Leadeth Unto Life and sentientcitizen’s There Shall Come Up Briers And Thorns. Somehow I doubt there’s anywhere else for us to go after this, so it shouldn’t turn into a quartet. *knocks on wood* (ETA: This trilogy now has a title! It is called "John 21:25".)
The title is from Mark 13, which is sometimes referred to as “the little apocalypse”.




It’s the end of the world as we know it
and I feel fine...


Methos is humming. It’s a song he hasn’t thought about in decades -- a century -- longer -- a cheerful, bouncy song, at odds with its lyrics. He doesn’t think about the lyrics.

He thinks about what he’s doing instead: walking carefully, one foot in front of the other, oh so slowly inching his way across the cracking bridge. If another earthquake comes -- or if he just steps too firmly -- it will crumble to pieces, and he doesn’t care for the thought of dying over and over again at the bottom of a flooded river.

It isn’t only immortals that have been dying since the Gathering began.

This was nowhere in the lore, the instructions passed down from immortal to immortal throughout history. Immortals tell of the prize, of the glory, of what happens at the end of the Gathering. They have never talked of what comes before, save speculation. It’s the end of the world, and the world seems determined to go up in flames.

Halfway across the bridge Methos stops. He can feel it, the presence of another immortal, sizzling its way down his brainstem. Peering forward, he can see a figure standing at the end of the bridge, waiting for him. Methos can’t turn back; the forest behind him is blazing too brightly for that. He cannot avoid the confrontation.

So he begins to move forward again, his careful motions unaltered by the knowledge of what’s waiting at the end. If the other immortal is impatient, that’s not his problem. He keeps humming, watching his feet as he walks.

Time passes in a blur, all the moments he has spent on the bridge as one. He reaches the end; he stops; he looks up.

It’s Yeshua.

Or Josh, really, but Methos would much rather think of him as Yeshua. From what little he knows of Josh, he isn’t the sort of man Methos wants to meet at the end of the world.

“Methos,” Yeshua says, standing with sword in hand. “I’ve been looking for you.”

“Hello, Ye- Josh,” Methos says, smiling grimly. “I’m thrilled to see you too, to be sure. Mind letting me by? Places to go, people to see...”

Yeshua ignores this. “I’ve been keeping track,” he says instead. “I’ve been planning for a long time. To the best of my extensive knowledge, we are the only two left.” He raises his sword.

“Josh,” Methos sighs, ignoring the pain that ripples through his chest at the knowledge that Duncan must be dead. He hopes Yeshua wasn’t the one to kill him. Well. Josh, really, because Yeshua never would have. “Haven’t given up your daft scheme, I notice.”

A scowl blooms on Josh’s face. “I’m doing what I have to,” he says. “Now draw your sword.”

“Must I? And here I was hoping to share a companionable drink with you.”

“Right, because that was such a cozy chat we had last time. Now draw your sword.”

Josh stabs forward with his blade, and when Methos steps back to evade it he nearly falls into the river. Okay, right. Deadliness on all sides; time to comply. He draws his sword.

As the blades meet for the first time, Methos says, “Your theory about the Game rather surprised me. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. And I think your theory is wrong.” He presses forward, trying to gain distance from river gorge, and Josh dances away easily.

Good. Methos uses the space to get himself as far away from the edge as possible. He still doesn’t want to drown -- although it is looking more palatable now, compared with beheading.

In moments Josh is once more up close and personal, and Methos brings his sword up again and again to defend himself, moving backwards all the while.

“How else am I supposed to do it?” Josh says as he advances. “People are idiots! Even now, in the midst of disaster, all they do is lie, cheat, steal, kill. They don’t help each other, they only help their own miserable selves. Humans.” He laughs scornfully, and strikes. The swords clang together once, twice, three times. “They’ll never become better on their own. But I will have the power to make them better. ‘And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory,’” he says, as Methos jumps up onto a rock to evade a blow. Josh follows. “It’s been foretold. Who am I to argue with what people said I said?” He grins, strikes out again.

“That’s just stupid,” Methos pants, as he parries the blow. “What does the prize give us, anyways? Power, yes, but that much power? Human nature can’t be changed so easily. It’s intrinsic. And if you could change it, they wouldn’t be human anymore: they’d have about as much free will as a cardboard cutout, and as much dimension.”

“Good thing you won’t win, then. You wouldn’t use the power in the way it’s meant to be used. You wouldn’t help people. God, it’s like the old days all over again. All you care about is other immortals, and the people don’t matter. You’re always trying to convince me to run away.”

Methos wants to deny, but, breath caught in his throat, he feels the sting of truth in Josh’s words. He’s never been good at caring about people who -- well, who didn’t matter to him personally. It’s a failing of his.

“Your plan won’t help things anyways,” Methos says, bringing his sword neatly around Josh’s block. Josh ducks away, but not quickly enough, and a bright trail of blood begins to run down Josh’s arm.

“It will help,” Josh says, quietly, forcefully, and in his tone Methos can hear echoes of Yeshua, of the stubborn, idealistic bastard he’d rearranged his life for, thousands of years ago.

He wishes this were Yeshua in front of him.

“You’re a fool,” Methos says, “and I’m glad I won’t be around to see the mess you make of everything if you win.”

Josh only snarls at him, the expression on his face one that Methos is glad he never saw on Yeshua, and steps up the pace of the fight. Apparently he’d been holding back.

Methos loses himself in the rhythm of the fight, with no more attention to spare for conversation. Josh’s swordwork is impeccable. Attack, parry, attack, parry, and then Methos stumbles. His attention is broken for only a moment, but it’s enough, and Josh knocks the sword out of Methos’ hand.

Disarmed and out of options, he kneels in front of Josh, opens his mouth to plead one final time.

The sword descends.
Comments 
26th-Jul-2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Well, you already know that I love this to death. *grins*
26th-Jul-2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
*dances* Thank you! I'm always happy to hear it again!
27th-Jul-2010 08:23 am (UTC)
Oh yes! Thank you!Well, not for killing off Methos, but for giving me the sequel I wished for.
And for making this whole series awesome and heartbreaking.
Both of you.

Edited at 2010-07-27 08:23 am (UTC)
27th-Jul-2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! It was a pleasure to write, and I'm so glad you've enjoyed the series.

Although I'm mad at myself for killing Methos too.... :D
27th-Jul-2010 08:35 am (UTC)
I had to leave this for a while before I could say anything.

It's beautifully written. But I have to think of it as an AU. Because if I don't...?

Yeah.

Renee
27th-Jul-2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad to hear the story was so effective.

I, too, think of it as an AU though. The first two stories in the series? Are part of my personal canon. But this -- NO NO NO. I generally read happy-ending stories only, and yet here I go writing deathfic....
27th-Jul-2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
I have absolutely no problem with other Immortals dying. But Methos? Just can't go there. Even though I have, on occasion, for the sake of the art of the story.

Renee

27th-Jul-2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
I don't like killing anybody off. I wibbled enough when writing the line about Duncan being probably dead, and I don't like Duncan even half so much as Methos! But as you say, alas, sometimes the art of the story requires things we don't like.
27th-Jul-2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
I do believe that in all the Highlander stories I've written, I only had Duncan whacked once. But he deserved it.

One of these days I'll have to type it up and post it...

Renee
18th-Sep-2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
the whole series is great
can't say i agree with everything, but that's not the point, 'cause fanfiction is about choices...
it's a very touchy subject - events that occured or not occured in Judea rughly 2 thousands years ago. People usually don't go there...
so BIG THANKS for at least doing that. And for great fic too.
18th-Sep-2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed it despite disagreeing with parts of it. And yeah, it is a subject people don't often address, which is too bad, because it is fascinating. I would love to read a thousand people's different fannish interpretations of biblical events!

(This actually wasn't the only direction I thought of going with the story, only the one I thought would be the most interesting and enjoyable to write, and I don't necessarily agree with everything in it myself!)
18th-Sep-2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
hm-m
i agree, i too would love to see such stories...
"Big" literature sometimes touches that subject, so they prefer Old Tastment to New One. I think.
but all i ever come across was just a few stories from 19/20 century, and most of them were russian anyway. And that german novel from the middle of the 20 century about Joseph and his brothers. I wonder if something like that exist in english-speaking culture.

Personaly, i think people are to afraid to write about it because it's too close to blasphemy or whatever. Shame really.
18th-Sep-2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
ersonaly, i think people are to afraid to write about it because it's too close to blasphemy or whatever. Shame really.

Yeah, exactly.

I believe most of the published literature that deals with biblical stories in any kind of in-depth way are written from people who view the bible as literally true, so there's little in the way of engagement with the text, only expansion. Which can be enjoyable to read, but doesn't quite do what I want.

There are a few very good books in English, though. There's one, for example, called The Red Tent, which is about Dinah, the one named sister of Joseph et al.
18th-Sep-2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
thanks, i'll try to find it :)

believe most of the published literature that deals with biblical stories in any kind of in-depth way are written from people who view the bible as literally true, so there's little in the way of engagement with the text, only expansion.

at least it's better than ignoring it , like a blind spot
(thinking about SG1/SGA/SGU here)

BTW: i'll friend you, OK?
18th-Sep-2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
at least it's better than ignoring it

True! So much TV just assumes that religion isn't important to any of the characters....

Feel free to friend me! I don't guarantee I'll be doing a lot of talking about religion-related stuff, but hopefully I'm interesting on occasion!
23rd-Oct-2010 04:18 am (UTC) - ONE SHOT!
It's a TINY, TINY ONE-SHOT; not a series!

I don't know why your readers call it a series..



Anyway, why did you feel the need to off or have Methos lose? I mean, I hope it's not due to that other character being protrayal as GOD/Jesus, if so, that's a lame ass reason for Methos to lose and honestly, I don't really CARE if your depiction of that OC as God or whatever becuz I don't give a damn about religion of any kind or whatever in that area but to just have Methos LOSE to a GOD; just doesn't SIT right with me!


So, in the end, I didn't enjoy this TINY PIECE of work..I don't see the point!


God vs nature of immortality etc..Lame!


Nothing personal.


Sincerely,
23rd-Oct-2010 05:24 am (UTC) - Re: ONE SHOT!
Thank you for giving me your honest opinion about my fic, but I don't appreciate the antagonistic tone you took. Saying "nothing personal" does not keep your earlier sentiments from sounding pretty personal.

I made my decisions as to the events of the fic based on what I felt would work best narratively, not for any religious reason. And although you might be interested in questions of the nature of God versus the nature of immortality, I find it quite interesting -- I find religion in general to be fascinating -- hence why I chose to explore it in this fic. If you do not enjoy that, it is your prerogative, but that doesn't give you the right to say that my interests are not valid ("lame").

I am happy to get constructive criticism, but a response like this where you have nothing constructive to say, only complaints that my interests do not line up with yours, is not appreciated. Please do not leave me a comment again unless you are willing to be polite.

Thank you.
20th-Feb-2012 02:52 am (UTC)
Занятный блог
15th-Jun-2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I liked this series for the sudden and abrupt ending. Didn't feel very satisfying... So they argue and fight, and Josh wins, and that's it? No final speech and we don't see if Josh suddenly regrets his decision or anything. :/

Also, I imagined Josh/Yeshua as being portrayed by Willem Dafoe.
15th-Jun-2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
*pardon me, except for the sudden ending.
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