A/N: A little background: Methos helped Duncan with Ahriman and Richie didn't die. The watchers had an outside influence acting on them, so a lot of the stuff with the tribunal never happened. Poor Adam Pierson was killed in the crossfire by a Hunter (the immortal hunting kind) a short time after Ahriman. Duncan kindly offered to mentor the 'new' immortal and apologized profusely for not warning the poor Watcher that he was a pre-immortal.
The rest should be pretty clear in the story.

I have two and a half chapters written at this point, and am just editing, so stay tuned.

The oldest man alive was not having a great day. Methos sat in his signature slouch, complete with his feet on a table and a beer in hand. He was, however, not as relaxed as he appeared. His eyes were tracking the agitated pacing form in front of him; Methos' fellow immortal, and current companion, was practically throwing a fit. Sometimes, Methos mused, I forget how young Richie is.

Just then, the redhead completed his cycle of the room and came to a stop in front of his mentor. "C'mon, old man! You're telling me you're gonna go visit a Bat-cave of supernatural lore, and I'm not invited?" Richie snorted in disbelief, "Even though I'm your demon-hunting padawan?" He turned and stormed halfway across the room and back, still gesturing wildly, "I'm not going to go screaming the truth to the world all of a sudden, Adam! You know how much this means to me! I practically begged you after you helped Mac with Ahriman—"

"Yes, Richie, I am perfectly aware of your conviction," Methos sighed and rubbed the bridge of his (considerable) nose, "Nothing has changed, besides the fact that I think you're ready for this. You will get to see the Men of Letter's bunker, but I need you to run interference with Amy and Mike first."

That had its desired effect. The young immortal stopped dead and stared at Methos, "I thought we trusted them—especially Amy—since the Tribunal's reform."

"Not with this."

"Really?" Richie's face had transformed into one of curiosity, "Why not?"

"The Watchers have never gotten along with the Men of Letters. I do not want to risk a confrontation. Not to mention, I'd rather not scar them more than we already have. We've pulled them into far too many hunts for my liking."


Methos smirked at his companion. Very eloquent, Richie. "I trust you can find a… suitable activity to occupy both of our dear Watchers? I only need an hour to disappear."

Richie gave him a wary look, "But not that certain kind of disappearing, right?"

Methos gave him a dry chuckle, "Four years hunting at my side, and still you do not trust me. I must be rubbing off on you after all." Richie gave him his best glare. Methos smirk widened, "I'll give you a call once I get there. Once I know it's clear, I'll lead you right to me. Fair?"

"Fine," Rich heaved a dramatic sigh, before brightening theatrically, "Well, I suppose I'm off to a bar to question two Watchers in a very unprofessional manner about MacLeod and Joe. Maybe I'll hear something on dear old Bobby!"

"Yes," Methos grinned back, "Please check up on that idiot. Make sure he's not hell bent on stampeding halfway across the country to get to his boys anymore. The last thing we need is a pair pissed of hunters on top of potential Men of Letters."

"Knowing us, though…."

"Yes. Our luck does seem rather abysmal lately, doesn't it?"

"Hey Sammy! How does pie sound?"

Sam, whose nose was firmly buried in a book about vampires, was vaguely aware of someone talking to him. However, he could barely be bothered to figure out what they (presumably Dean) wanted. This book, much like every other book Sam had discovered in the Men of Letter's bunker, was absolutely fascinating. This particular book spoke of species of vampires, and how the most common type was the one the brothers were familiar with, but that there were many more. Many more that Sam would have been useless against before he discovered this book. That seemed to be a trend throughout his research spree. An hour after they had started investigating the bunker, Sam had realized he was out of his depth. Laughably so. For the past two days, ever since that realization, he had been steadily devouring the library, trying to catch up. Not that Dean understood the urgency.

"Earth to Sammy!" Dean's voice broke through once again, much closer this time.

Sam turned his head, but didn't manage to tear his eyes from the book, "Yeah, Dean?"

"I'm headin' into town, gonna pick up some groceries. You want anything?"

"Uh, no thanks Dean," Sam turned back to the book.

Dean snorted, "You and your books, Sam. You and your books." He turned on his heels, and called over his shoulder, "Be back in a bit!"

Finally untangling himself from his paragraph, Sam looked up and smiled fondly after his brother as he disappeared up the stairs and out into the world. No matter what else was dropped on their plates— the apocalypse, demon galore, asshole angels, even time traveling grandparents—at least they had each other. Everyone else was dead, even Bobby, but they had each other. For now.

Richie paused, still chuckling to himself, and checked his watch. Good; Methos should be long gone. Across the table, one of his two companions leaned forward, eyebrows crinkled, a frown forming on her petite face, "Rich, are you quite sure Adam is ok? He was supposed to be here a while ago, wasn't he?"

Shit. Richie looked up at his Watcher and attempted his best smile, knowing it was futile. Amy would see through it just like her father.

Beside her, their other companion put down his beer and leaned forward as well. "You two aren't on a hunt right now are you? Because if Adam is in danger…"

"No! No, Mike, he's fine."

Amy's eyes narrowed, "Where is he?"

"Uh… nowhere?"

Mike snorted, "Richie, for spending all your time with an immortal who's unnaturally slippery for his age, you are terrible at lying. You'd think Adam –or, hell, Amanda— would have rubbed off on you by now. Adam may be a natural, but you are not."

Amy met Richie's eyes and smirked. (Richie clearly saw both meanings behind it: 'ha! He got you on that one!' and 'aw man, he's so clueless, isn't he?') "Where's Adam, Richie? Or do I need to call up my father?"

Richie felt his eyes widen despite himself, "No, please don't. Joe doesn't need to know. Give me anyone—even Mac!— over Joe."

Mike chuckled. Amy raised an eyebrow.

"Ok, fine. I have no idea."

Narrowed eyes. More raised eyebrows.

"Well, I don't! Not really." Richie looked from one Watcher to the other and sighed, "He went to some old supernatural library place. Supposedly its owners aren't fond of Watchers and he didn't want to risk anything."

"Is that really all he told you?"

"Besides asking me to distract you two? Yeah. He'll call me once he gets there." For one tense moment, Richie held his breath, eyes shifting between the two Watchers: one young, one experienced; one man, one woman; and both with nerves of steel and an incredible open-mindedness. The Watchers had fought side by side with their assignments multiple times since finding out about the things that go bump in the night. Hunting the supernatural was a far stretch from watching people who can't die run around and chop each other's' heads off, but they had barely freaked out at all after the revelation. Although… Joe had not been happy that his daughter had been pulled into the world of demons and monsters. He was still in denial about it since he'd only found out, along with Mac and Richie, when Ahriman had shown up.

"Well," Amy broke the silence, "I guess there's nothing to it then." She leaned forward again, a feral grin lighting her features, "Did you hear what Amanda tricked Bobby into doing with her?"

"Bobby?" Richie asked in shock, "Stealing something with Amanda? What was Mac's reaction?"

Mike chuckled warmly, "He was aghast that Amanda was corrupting his student… until Bobby reminded him he was a hunter and did illegal things all the time when he was mortal."

Amy beamed, "You should hear Joe describe Duncan's face!"

Methos took a deep breath, listening to the crunch of the gravel road beneath his tires. The world changed around him all the time… Methos was used to it after five thousand years. But Lebanon, the tiny town in Kansas, the geographical center of the US and the nearest piece of civilization to the Men of Letters, was almost frighteningly unchanged. Staring up the rough road at the dirty and battered bunker was even more concerning. Methos knew what happened to his compatriots. All the Men of Letters he used to know were already dead or ancient (in mortal terms) at the time, but the entire organization was wiped out by some demon or another. Methos had been halfway around the world at the time, unaware and useless, but had been irrationally crushed all the same when he found out. Methos was used to loss, used to disaster, but he respected the Men of Letters—maybe even more than the Watchers—and had mourned the loss of the organization. They may have been superior pricks, but at least they did something about the supernatural.

The Watcher's supernatural division (woefully uninformed compared to the Men of Letters) was supposed to just observe. While that may work for immortals… the rest of the unexplainable world didn't function in the same way. The organization had to keep the supernatural division a secret because so many Watchers left to hunt instead when they found out. After all… immortals were generally harmless to the average human. The supernatural did not discriminate. Why should you watch people challenge each other to the death when you can save ordinary mortals from a world they unwittingly live in?

The Men of Letters were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination—they were barely even aware of immortals, after all—but they at least made an effort to send individuals into the field to stop the things that go bump in the night or at least share the information with someone who could. This bunker, here in Kansas, was the central hub for coordinating hunters for the entire country. The loss of their information and guidance was felt dearly amongst the organization's chosen hunters. Once Methos found out about their loss, he hung around the US for a while. He kicked around with a pair of hunters—one of which had just gotten pulled into the life—who were both ex-Watchers. One, Rufus, helped Adam Pierson check out with the Watchers. He was dead now; both of the hunters had died recently. One of the two deaths just wasn't permanent. Bobby was still pissed at Methos for dragging him to Seacouver.

However, now was not the time to think of the surly South Dakota native. Now was the time to enter the rabbit hole, so to speak. For if Lebanon had failed to change… the Men of Letter's bunker was a time capsule. It was all Methos could do to avoid falling headlong into memories of working in this very bunker, of long nights paging through books and penning messages to hunters located halfway across the country. The old factory and perilous steps looked exactly as he had last seen them; not even a blade of grass appeared new.

Bracing himself, Methos exited his car, slamming the door behind him, and evaluated his surroundings. There were no cars sitting by the door, but that didn't mean much. If there were inhabitants, their car may simply reside in the garage. There were two ways to proceed from here. Should he knock, or simply use the copy of the key he had made years prior? If there were surviving Men of Letters, or if someone had discovered a key and the coordinates, he would scare them half to death. However, if he simply knocked, what would he say? What was that saying? "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

Methos approached the door. Oh, he sighed internally, what the hell. The oldest immortal raised his hand and knocked. He waited, then knocked again. After a few more seconds, Methos decided that if there was anyone home, they had sufficient warning.

A few seconds later Methos stepped across the threshold to a brightly lit and clearly inhabited abode. It was nothing like the last time he visited. And it was not just the equipment and newer technology. There were scattered books, notes, pens, and even dirty dishes. Is that a half-eaten sandwich? So much for the assumption that the Men of Letters were no more.

Finding himself at the bottom of the stairs, Methos leaned heavily against the nearby table with a map printed on it, eyeing its current occupant (the sandwich) with trepidation. The next question was painfully obvious: were the inhabitants out or—

"Who the hell are you and how did you get in here?"

Turning slightly, Methos came face to face with the barrel of a gun. The man holding the gun was surprisingly tall (Practically a giant), clad in flannel plaid and jeans, with shoulder-length hair and a very obvious hunter air about him. There is no way this man is a Man of Letters.

The man frowned and took half a step closer, slightly shaking his gun as though to make sure the immortal had seen it. "I said," he repeated, "who are you and how the hell did you get in here?"


A/N: Let me know what you think!