Methos really was just passing through Cardiff. But he's stumbled onto something else. Crossover with Torchwood.
Methos turned to face another of the snarling creatures. He’d put down one of them after it had tried to attack him, but that had called four more of them to his position, and they had him surrounded. Movement behind him made him raise his sword over his head and make an overhand sweep behind him. From the mewling, he’d at least wounded that one. It only served to make the others even angrier. And the things were smart. He hadn’t expected that.
He hadn’t expected to find any predators at all in a Cardiff sewer of course, but even if he had, semi-sentient humanoids wouldn’t have been on the list. Talk about jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
He kept twisting around, trying to keep as many of the things in view as possible, and his sword between himself and all of them. From the splashing sounds in the distance, the situation was about to get worse. If any more creatures came, he’d be food for sure. The fact that they most likely couldn’t actually separate his head and his body and so probably wouldn’t kill him permanently was no consolation at the moment.
The creature behind Methos pounced. Just as Methos had twisted around to put the sword point-first into its midsection, so did the one he’d wounded. It went right for his jugular. Methos threw his head back, hoping to head butt the attacker, but that just served to thrust its teeth further in his neck. He tore at his sword, throwing off the badly hurt but still moving body of the other creature, and then battered the one hanging on to his neck. He didn’t have long before he’d black out from bloodloss. He had to get free and out of here.
Someone chose that moment to come to the rescue. Several someones, in fact. Three men emerged from the tunnel Methos had previously heard the splashing from, and engaged the creatures with something that might possibly have been pepper spray. It stung like it, at least. It had an even worse effect on the creature biting into his neck. With a roar, the thing let go and attacked the man handling the spray.
Methos didn’t need any more invitation than that. He took off running. These guys seemed better equipped to handle the things than he was, and he didn’t need any questions about miraculously healing wounds either.
He ran past two women both aiming guns, and he vaguely heard one of them shouting at him to stop as he ran past, but he didn’t even slow down. They didn’t follow.
As he climbed up into the street, Methos felt the presence of another Immortal. Probably the one who’d driven him into the sewers in the first place. He wasn’t going to fall for that again. In fact, the only reason he’d fallen for it this time was because he didn’t know modern day Cardiff well enough to avoid dead end alleys.
He shrugged out of his torn and bloodied coat and went to find a more populated spot.
A shower and a fresh set of clothes later, Methos installed himself at the bar in his hotel, cursing once again the misfortune that brought and kept him here. And there was no getting around it at this time of night either. The only way to get alternative transport out of here now was to steal it, and that would be counterproductive. He’d have to wait until at least the morning before he could rent or buy a car to replace the one broken down two miles outside of town.
“So, do you come here often? ” a man asked. From the fact that a fresh glass of beer was put down in front of him, Methos guessed the question was addressed to him. He looked up into blue eyes and a wide grin under dark brown hair.
The man took the scrutiny without embarrassment. “Yeah, it’s corny,” he shrugged. “It works as an opener.” He set down his own glass, which appeared to contain water, and perched on the barstool next to Methos’. “Although I’m guessing the answer is ‘no’.”
Methos briefly toyed with the idea of pretending to be Welsh (which wouldn’t be entirely inaccurate, just very outdated), but then he realized why the other man looked vaguely familiar. He was one of the timely rescuers from earlier this evening. Coincidence? Or had he been tracked down?
He kept his face neutral as he responded. “And why is that?"
The grin on the other man’s face faded, mostly. He twitched his head in the direction of the door. “I don’t think you could pull a stunt like the one back there all that often.”
“You might be surprised.”
The grin came back. “Oh, there’s very little that surprises me.” He took a sip of his drink, then gave Methos a level look. “Though I must admit to being curious about why a historian would be waving a sword around in a Cardiff sewer.”
Methos tried to cover his own surprise at the implication that the man had looked into his identity. “Says the man apparently waiting around those same sewers until someone decides to tangle with … whatever those things were?”
“Weevils. And we weren’t hanging around. We noticed when you killed the first one. That’s when we came running.”
“I’m touched you care.” Methos couldn’t keep the sarcasm out of his voice. Nor did he particularly try. Gratitude only stretched so far, and he was already beyond it.
His interrogator (because it increasingly felt like it, however friendly it was being done) acted as if he hadn’t noticed the sarcasm. “It’s our job. Someone upsets the Weevils down in the sewers, they come up here to make even more trouble. Besides, they’ve got as much right to be left alone as anyone.” He grinned again. “And I notice we’ve strayed from the subject of you carrying a sword, too.”
Methos shrugged. “It was worth a try,” he said matter-of-factly. “I also notice we haven’t strayed in the direction of names, either.”
“Good point.” The man nodded, then extended his hand. “Captain Jack Harkness, pleased to meet you, Mr. Pierson.” When Methos didn’t take the hand, Harkness continued, “So why?”
Harkness snorted. “Don’t start.”
Methos smiled encouragingly. “Exactly.” He downed what was left of his beer, then pointedly ignored the one Harkness had put in front of him and ordered another. “I’m not going to start talking about it.”
Harkness’ eyebrows made their way to his hairline. He raised his hands, seemingly conceding the point. “Okay,” he said, “You want to carry a sword around, that’s none of my business. Take it up with the police.” Then the lighthearted tone that had appeared in his voice vanished again, his hands dropped to his knees, and he directed a glare at Methos. “But when you start to use that sword to kill Weevils, you make it my business.”
Methos raised an eyebrow. “I was attacked. ” He sat up a little straighter from his habitual slouch. “If someone attacks me, I defend myself.”
Harkness nodded. It didn’t look like he believed a word of what he heard. “Because you take a walk in the sewers for your health,” he suggested.
“I was trying to avoid trouble. Little did I know.” Methos finished his second beer and put some money on the counter. “And I don’t feel like continuing this conversation. Goodbye.”
Harkness caught him before he was out of the room, blocking his exit. “Okay, let’s try this again. I won’t make accusations, you don’t assume I’m trying to pin something on you. I just want to know why.”
Methos pretended he hadn’t heard that question and pushed past Harkness. He’d had enough to deal with already, and now it looked like he’d have to change hotels, too, if he’d been tracked here by whatever group Harkness represented. It couldn’t be anything official from the way Harkness had referred to the police, but then it had to be an organization with some resources, because although his name could have been gleaned from the hotel register somehow, his occupation couldn’t. They had access to at least his ‘official’ records.
He stopped short when he heard the follow-up to Harkness’ question. “You don’t start slaughtering Weevils for weeks on end unless you have some sort of a grudge.”
Maybe they weren’t as good at tracking as they seemed to be, then. Incompetence reigned again, it appeared. He turned around, prepared to offer at least that much in his defense; the one answer gratitude did earn the man. “I only arrived in town this evening. If you’re connected enough that you can get my information, you should be able to track that, too.”
He walked into the lobby and out through the revolving door. As soon as he was out, Methos started running, randomly turning corners until he’d reassured himself that Harkness wasn’t following him. He could phone the hotel later when he’d found another and have his luggage (not much, he travelled light anyway) transferred.
He was about two streets away from the next hotel on his list of choices when he sensed the presence of another Immortal. Fantastic. Just what he needed. He looked around. Nobody was visible in the street . There wasn’t even light behind most windows. Of course, sensible people would be asleep this time of night.
Oh well, he was tired of running for the evening, anyway. “ I know you’re there. Show yourself,” he called out.
The other Immortal stepped out of the darkness of a side-alley. He was a little shorter than Methos and carried himself like a fighter. His footsteps didn’t leave a sound.
“Congratulations,” he said when he had gotten closer. “I hadn’t expected you to survive those little predators.” He stepped into the light of the streetlamp Methos had positioned himself under, revealing a huge grin. “Of course that means I’ll have to deal with you myself, but that’s no hardship. I lose an alibi, get a Quickening. Pretty good trade.”
“Famous last words.”
“You got lucky.” He pointed at Methos. “Don’t think I didn’t notice Captain Persistent and his team step in there. If they’d have been there two minutes later they’d have found your body and I could’ve moved on cleanly.” He swept his hand in the general direction of the docks, not so far away here. “Shall we? There’s an empty warehouse I think we can use.”
“I’ll pass, if you don’t mind.”
“Oh, come on, don’t be a spoilsport,” his challenger said, and produced a gun from inside his long coat. “I’m trying to follow the rules here, but I’m not averse to doing things the easy way, if that’s what you want.” He took a silencer from one of his coat pockets and screwed it on. “And yes, you may take that as a threat.” He kept the pistol close to his body, but aimed straight at Methos.
That was the end of Methos’ choices. He weighed his chances. His challenger was overconfident, that much was obvious, and that would yield weaknesses to exploit. Then again, he had also just proven himself willing to ignore the rules of engagement, and that made him dangerous. Best just to come quietly.
They were a few streets further along when Methos said, “I’m Adam Pierson, by the way. Do I get to know who I’ll be fighting?”
He was shushed and pushed into yet another convenient shadow. “Captain Persistent is at it again,” his captor whispered in his ear, pointing at a rooftop silhouetted by the streetlights of the road behind it. The ledge wasn’t quite as regular as might be expected from a modern building. “Credit where credit’s due, he’s a decent tracker.” The man sounded almost amused. “But he’d never have found me if you hadn’t called me out. He was probably following you.”
The man aimed his gun and pulled the trigger twice. The muted reports were hardly louder than the crack and the ‘oof’ that resulted from the body of the man following them hitting the ground. He was still moving. Methos’ captor took them both to the body. It was Harkness, and he was still alive. A third bullet put an end to that too.
“My name’s Michael Craddock, for all the use you’ll get out of it.” Craddock said. Then he gestured with the pistol at Harkness. “Pick him up. We’ll dump him in the Bay when we get to the docks.”
Methos pulled one of Harkness’ arms over his shoulders and carried him, fireman-style, to the waterside. Halfway there he thought he felt the man start breathing, but surely that was just an illusion. He hadn’t even sensed a twinge from the man. He was dead, permanently.
Now that Harkness was dead anyway, Methos didn’t feel any particular qualms about dumping him into Cardiff Bay. From his brief acquaintance with the man, he hadn’t particularly liked him. Granted, that was mostly because Harkness had been trying to push the blame for what were probably Craddock’s actions onto him, but also because in that conversation, he really did live up to Craddock’s nickname for him, too. Methos just hoped his team didn’t share too many of those skills, or this could get nasty. That was the main nuisance about the whole situation.
The warehouse Craddock had referred to was right by the waterside. It looked to have been abandoned for quite a while already. Long enough for Craddock to take it over for his own use, at least. Once inside, the place stank of death. Dead Weevils?
Craddock threw a light switch and waited by the door until Methos had walked into the middle of the largest room. Then he discarded his gun and drew his sword. It was a broadsword like Methos’, though of a later design. It looked like he was indeed serious about doing this technically by the rules. Methos could play that game. Although it pained him that he hadn’t been able to choose his own ground, there were worse locations. He drew his own sword and prepared for the inevitable.
Craddock was blindingly fast, but his style tended to broad strokes, with most of his defense focused on directing strikes away from his own body. And his attacks mostly consisted of body blows, very effective when fighting Weevils, no doubt, but not quite as suitable when facing someone also holding a sword. Methos kept his blade close and focused on getting not getting hit for the time being. Craddock was bound to slow down and leave an opening at some point.
As the fight wore on, it seemed that Methos was wrong about Craddock slowing down. If anything, he sped up as his frustration grew. But he did get sloppier, and Methos began to press his attacks. Then he hooked Craddock’s guard under his own, and with a sharp tug disarmed him.
It was over.
The Quickening was short, but intense enough to knock Methos out for some unknown amount of time. When he came to, he was looking straight into the barrel of an old-fashioned revolver.
Which was being aimed at him by Jack Harkness.
“I guess we have a lot to talk about, don’t we?”