As in Olden DaysAuthor: beeej
, aka I'll Never Tell. Until I Do Tell. :)Written for: jinxed_woodCharacters/Pairings:
Duncan, Methos, Amanda, JoeRating:
Amanda makes a memory.As in Olden Days
Duncan opened the door to find Amanda smiling brightly and holding a shopping bag emblazoned with the words ‘Vintage Vintner.’ He eyed the bag suspiciously. “What’s that?”
“Merry Christmas to you, too,” she said, breezing past him in a swirl of white fur.
“Amanda, this was your idea, remember? Everyone was supposed to bring a dish to share for dinner. ‘Something that brings up happy memories from our past.’ Isn’t that what you said?”
“Duncan, darling, we both know I’m not much of a cook, right?” Smiling sweetly, she swept off her coat and tossed it over the back of the sofa. “And, well, I have very fond memories of this wine. And we do need something to drink with dinner, right?”
Duncan rolled his eyes and went back to check the pot on the stove that he’d been stirring when he’d heard her knock.
“Oooh, that smells fabulous. What is it?” she asked, slipping her arms around his waist and peering over his shoulder.
“Lamb stew,” he said, picking up a long, wooden spoon and stirring the thick stew. "My mother used to make it.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve changed it a bit over the years. Added some seasoning. But it’s basically the same as I remember.”
There was another knock on the door, and Amanda grabbed the spoon for a quick taste before going to answer it.
“Methos! Joseph! Merry Christmas!” trilled Amanda, kissing both Methos and Joe on the cheek.
“Here, Joe, let me help you with that,” Duncan said, taking a tinfoil-covered pan from Joe.
“Thanks, Mac. Those are my mama’s buttermilk biscuits. Baked ‘em myself.”
Duncan turned to find Methos scowling into the refrigerator.
“Hey. There’s no beer in your fridge.”
“I know. It’s Christmas,” said Duncan.
“What, is there a rule about no beer on Christmas that I’m not aware of?”
“No, but we have wine,” he said as he looked pointedly at Amanda, “and eggnog and a bottle of Glenmorangie. We don’t need beer.”
Methos frowned. “Huh. What’s in the eggnog?” he said, sniffing the frothy mixture on the counter.
“Cognac. The good stuff.”
Methos poured himself a cup of eggnog, sipped it, and narrowed his eyes at Duncan. “You are forgiven for the lack of beer. But only this once, and only because I have the Christmas spirit.”
“Are you questioning my Christmas spirit?” Methos said, eyes wide in mock innocence.
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” murmured Duncan as he started setting the table. “What’d you bring, anyway?”
“Honey cake. Old family recipe.”
Duncan, Joe, and Amanda all raised their eyebrows in unison. “Do tell,” Joe said with a smirk.
Methos settled onto the sofa with his eggnog. “I was married to a girl in Athens. Eighth century, or thereabouts,” he said with a vague wave of his hand.
Amanda was inspecting the honey-soaked cake on the counter. “And she baked you this?”
“Oh, god no,” Methos said. “She couldn’t cook worth a damn. Her mother, now there was a great cook. Used to make it for me every day. I recorded her recipe in my journal. That,” he pointed to the cake resting on the counter, “is a reasonably close modern interpretation.”
Duncan ladled the stew into a large terrine and set it in the middle of the table next to the basket he’d filled with Joe’s biscuits. “Dinner’s ready, people! Let’s eat,” he said, uncorking one of the bottles of wine. “So, Amanda,” he said as he filled a glass for each of them, “what’s so special about this wine?”
“I used to own the vineyard.”
“You’re kidding,” said Joe.
“No, I did. I won it in a poker game. Unfortunately, I also lost it in a poker game. Easy come, easy go.”
Duncan grinned. “And that’s your happy memory?”
“Well,” she said, “I don’t really have any cozy family memories. There wasn’t much to celebrate in the beginning, and even less to celebrate with. Later, I remember a few Yule balls, parties, concerts, but I don’t remember ever having what you would call a family holiday. And, well…you three are the closest thing I have to family, so I thought I’d start making memories this year. Tonight.”
There was silence around the table for a moment. Duncan raised his glass. “To family.”
Amanda, Methos, and Joe followed suite, chorusing, “To family.”
Methos cleared his throught. “Come on, let’s dig in. I’m starving!”