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Highlander Holiday ShortCuts
Happy Holidays, jinxed_wood! 
15th-Dec-2007 02:26 pm
my second highlander icon/serious one
Title: As in Olden Days
Author: beeej, aka I'll Never Tell. Until I Do Tell. :)
Written for: jinxed_wood
Characters/Pairings: Duncan, Methos, Amanda, Joe
Rating: G
Summary: 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.”

Duncan snorted.

“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!”

15th-Dec-2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
Nicely done. Warm and sweet. Now I'm hungry. Mmmm, biscuits.
15th-Dec-2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
What a nice little gathering :)

(though a bit sad that it's taken this long for Amanda to have a "family" Christmas)
16th-Dec-2007 12:43 pm (UTC)
I wonder if she's telling the truth there, though...
15th-Dec-2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
The reasons I liked this story (and also the reason I chose to start the fest with it--I knew as soon as I received it and read it), was that it really beings home this sense of when you first arrive and get ready for a dinner with friends, maybe family. I always like that part about gatherings (ha ha not that one), when every os getting there and sharing light talk and someone may still be putting the finishing touches on dinner and the house smells wonderful. That's to me, family, home, comfort, and that has pretty much been the embodiment of Highlander fandom for a long time.

Also, this story proves to me more and more that we have an ingrained understanding or fandom conversation with each other about these characters. This conversation is light, but it carries weight. Methos's talk about his wife and the honey cakes doesn't reference his other 68 wives, but we think about that. Duncan is making lamb stew. Joe brings biscuits. Every little thing is a reminder of these characters without having to over explain it, because we *know* them.

Just, a really sweet little story.
16th-Dec-2007 03:29 am (UTC)
I have to agree with this 100 %. I love the feeling of family between these characters. And how much we do share in our feelings for these characters. Well said. And what a lovely story. So much was said inbetween the lines of the dialogue and it touched on the feelings the characters had for one another.
15th-Dec-2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
That was really lovely!
15th-Dec-2007 08:48 pm (UTC)

Oh, this is absolutely lovely! Thank you, whoever you are!
15th-Dec-2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
Perfect holiday gathering for "our" family. Well done!
15th-Dec-2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
This is lovely - warm and fuzzy and perfect for the holidays!
15th-Dec-2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
Well done, this was great. And a good choice to start - it's put me right in the holiday mood! Hooray! And I concur heartily with amand_r's comment. :)
15th-Dec-2007 10:33 pm (UTC) - Holiday Spirit!
“You are forgiven for the lack of beer. But only this once, and only because I have the Christmas spirit.”

I think that was my favorite line. *g*

Lovely story -- so full of the gentle warmth that Highlander embodies, and also with hints of the sad and cold that always seems to be beneath. A marvelous mixture. Come in from the cold, lonely Immortal, there's warm food and good friends inside. Beautiful concept.
15th-Dec-2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is adorable, and made me feel all warm and snuggly and Christmas spirit-y. I love the thought of the four of them having this evening together, complete with family bickering. The symbolism and nuance of what each of them brings is perfect, too.

“No, I did. I won it in a poker game. Unfortunately, I also lost it in a poker game. Easy come, easy go.”

And this is such a perfect Amanda line, it made me grin like you wouldn't believe. *loves*
15th-Dec-2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
Lovely, warm feels-just-like-home piece. Loved getting a small piece of them with the lamb soup and Duncan's mother, biscuits and Joe's mother, Methos' honey cake and . . . his mother-in-law (LOL) and Amanda and her easy come, easy go vineyard and that this foursome feels close enough to call each other family.

No matter how long I go between visits to my Highlander muses, I always like to think that these folks have each other and take joy in that.
16th-Dec-2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Oh, that was so nice. Amanda's last comment made my eye mist over. Family - it has a lovely ring to it and it is the way I want to think of this fandom.
Thank you!
16th-Dec-2007 12:26 am (UTC)
What a great way to start things off!

I love that it was Amanda's idea and not Duncan's as one might automatically assume. Having that sense of family is really important to her, even though she might not always admit it.
16th-Dec-2007 12:47 pm (UTC)
Very true. We also saw that in her decision to revenge Rebecca.
16th-Dec-2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, and in her relationship with Kenny as well.
16th-Dec-2007 03:42 am (UTC)
It's great to see the Immortals and Joe at peace with themselves and each other, in a peaceful and warm port protected from the storms. Perfect springboard for the holidays!
16th-Dec-2007 05:32 am (UTC)
This was a sweet Christmas treat!
16th-Dec-2007 08:04 am (UTC)
Awww, wonderful family gathering! lovely. :D
16th-Dec-2007 08:09 am (UTC)
Lovely -- sweet but not gooey, and with a clear sense of each character.

I particularly like that Amanda is the one with the bittersweet past here, and actively choosing to make good memories with her 'family'.

Wonderful start to the stories!
16th-Dec-2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
This is just lovely and quite comforting in a lot of ways. I think we as Highlander readers feel like part of this "family", and bask in their mutual love.
17th-Dec-2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
Lovely and sweet. Really enjoyed them having a family moment
22nd-Dec-2007 01:40 am (UTC)
This was an adorable little story. :)
22nd-Dec-2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
This was lovely and so warm and perfect to start the swap off with. And it also made me vaguely hungry.
23rd-Dec-2007 03:03 am (UTC)
Yesh...I'm finally getting a couple minutes to at least START reading some of these...I think they're going to last me through the New Year! This was a lovely story. Agree with everyone else, I love that it was Amanda who wanted to share things that would bring up happy memories from the past. Wonderful idea.
24th-Dec-2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
Awww. I like it. And I can just picture Methos' face when he finds there is no beer in Mac's fridge. *g*
5th-Jan-2008 03:55 am (UTC)
Beeej, this is so Highlander perfect. The warmth and love the characters show for each other
Duncan, Joe, and Amanda all raised their eyebrows in unison.
Loved that line. Loved lots of the lines.
“You are forgiven for the lack of beer. But only this once, and only because I have the Christmas spirit.”
Duncan snorted.

You made me smile. I felt like part of the family. Lovely lovely job!
18th-Apr-2011 07:59 am (UTC)
Awww, this is so sweet and lovely. I adore their little family so much. ♥
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