Author: Athea (
Series: Highlander, Song Cycle one
Copyright: Song-Can't help lovin' that man is from the musical Showboat. Music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Used lovingly by me.
Can't help lovin' that man

Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod sat slumped in a dark corner of a dark booth at Joe's Bar with a bottle of scotch and a single glass in front of him on the ebony oak table. He was drinking too slowly to get drunk since his body kept metabolizing the liquor and sobering him up. He didn't like drinking alone but Joe was accompanying his new singer on the guitar and had deserted him. Richie was off on the race circuit and Methos ...

With a twinge, Duncan realized that that was the problem. Methos was away, chasing one of his journals and he'd left a gaping hole in Duncan's life. It hadn't been too bad the first few days but now ...

Duncan sighed and poured another drink, savoring the stinging bite of the scotch. It reminded him of the Old Man, tart and tasty. His tongue darted out to catch a drop that had started down the side of the glass, rolling it over his taste buds. Smiling sadly, he realized he wanted to do that to the satin skin of his lover.

"And here she is with a medley of Broadway favorites -- Mona Masery. Please give her your warmest welcome." Joe's voice came over the loudspeaker and Duncan looked up in time to see a petite woman with red hair step into the smoky spotlight and acknowledge the polite applause with a bow.

"Thanks, Joe." Her husky alto sent a brief shiver up MacLeod's spine. "These songs were the songs I grew up with. In every movie theater in America, you could have heard these songs nightly." Her rich chuckle tickled the audience into a hum of anticipation. "But these are my versions of the classics. So sit back and enjoy."

Joe rifted an opening chord and Mona began her first song.

"Oh, listen sister,
I love my mister man
And I can't tell you
Why there is no reason
Why I should love that man
It must be something
That the angels have planned."

Duncan let his head fall back against the high back and closed his eyes, letting the rich full tones wash over him. Oh, yes, that was exactly how he felt. Loving Methos was stupid ...
                                                             and dangerous ...
                                                                      and as inevitable as the Game.

"Fish gotta swim
Birds gotta fly
I gotta love one man till I die
Can't help lovin' that man of mine."

Beyond reason and sense, his life was entwined with the oldest immortal in every aspect of their lives. Even their quickenings had begun to merge into one. He knew Methos' presence when all others were just a buzz of energy. When they touched, the electricity arced between them like sparks from a forge. And when they made love, they melded into a seamless whole. Possessor and possessed.

"Tell me he's lazy
Tell me he's slow
Tell me I'm crazy
Maybe I know
Can't help lovin' that man of mine."

Duncan's lips curved up, the vision of Methos sprawled bonelessly on the sofa filling his mind. Flirting gazes that glowed green and gold. Long, slender fingers that undressed him gently and teasingly. Slow kisses that nibbled up and down his torso, driving him crazy with desire before sucking him to an earth-shattering climax of noisy passion.

"When he goes away
That's a rainy day
And when he comes back
That day is fine
The sun will shine."

Duncan grimaced. Methos had been so excited when he got the letter from the old bookseller in London. He'd started packing immediately, humming a few bars of Bach with a real flair of good humor. He'd checked his passport and kissed Duncan absentmindedly goodbye at the door. In less than an hour, the barge had been dark and silent. All the life was gone, along with the joy.

"He can come home
As late as can be
Home without him
Ain't no home to me
Can't help lovin' that man of mine
Can't help lovin' that man of mine."

The last note hung in the air like a bird soaring on a thermal. Duncan found he had tears in his eyes. Sending up a quick plea to his childhood deity, he clapped along with the rest of the appreciative crowd. Just let him come home in one piece. Bring the joy back into our home.

And as if in answer to his prayer, a familiar quickening tingled down his spine. Looking quickly towards the door, he spotted the lean shape of his lover headed for the bar. Feasting his eyes on the beloved body, he watched him lean on the counter and laugh with Mike while he waited for his beer. He was only wearing a sweater and jeans, his black leather jacket hanging open in front. Duncan took a deep breath and let it out slowly while he willed his awakening body to patience.

Turning, Methos leaned up against the bar with one foot behind him on the railing, deliberately striking a provocative pose for Duncan. His eyes searched the dark corners of the bar for the buzz that his lover knew he was giving off. MacLeod moved forward and raised his glass, their gazes locking on their targets like a laser sight. Methos reached back and got his two bottles of beer, his eyes never leaving Duncan's before beginning the sinuous walk that would bring them together.

Can't help lovin' that man of mine, echoed in Duncan's mind and he wondered if he'd ever have the nerve to tell Methos how much that song reminded him of his lover.

"Is this seat taken?" The mellow tones washed over him like a blessing.

Duncan smiled in relief. "It is now."

The end for now