Cade finished typing his brief message, hoping it wouldn’t disappoint too many people. Eddie kept telling him that there were people out there who read his entries like gospel, and Cade didn’t want to completely ruin their day by telling them the real reason for his future absence. Granted, people who believed him when he said aliens were coming to take over Earth, and yowza, they looked just like us, probably wouldn’t have a hard time accepting his reasons, but he didn’t want to take the chance, and he wasn’t even sure if he was right. It was just a hunch he had , one that was tenuous at best, but he felt he had to keep this one a secret. Eddie told him that the Gua might be monitoring his updates, and after careful consideration the two of them decided to keep this one a secret. Let people think he was on vacation. Cade doubted he’d get any rest at all on this trip to Washington; that is, if he was right.
Methos hadn’t been sleeping well recently. He didn’t know whether it was the cold Tahoe air, or the loneliness that was once again setting in ever since MacCleod left, but he was damned if it was going to bother him any further.
Christ, it was like dying every night, only not as messy.
There was definitely something nagging him, only he couldn’t figure out what it was. Over the course of several beers one night he came to the conclusion that he needed to get outside, despite the damn chill, and move around. Much as centuries of habit cried out for him to cocoon and imbibe more of said beer, something in him kept hinting at an outdoor excursion, some kind of outing other than going to fetch more food and yes, beer.
Perhaps meeting some locals might cheer him up. He hadn’t played against a decent poker player in some time, and this close to Reno, who know what kind of fun might turn up.
Cade was halfway through a particularly good pale ale when he decided to start talking to the barkeep in earnest. He’d made it all the way down from Calgary to Seacouver in one night, and felt that some kind of human contact outside of paying the gas pump guy was necessary if he was going to keep his sanity.
“Slow night, eh?” he ventured.
“Can’t complain,” was the reply.
“Seems like the kind of place that’d get a lot of regulars.”
“Yeah, well, you caught me on a bad night. Y’shoulda been here a little while ago, the whole gang would’ve been here, big party…” he trailed off and looked away.
Cade noticed the gleam in the man’s eyes. “Something wrong?”
“Isn’t that supposed to be my line?” retorted the bartender good-naturedly.
“Hey, just trying to help.” Cade grinned. “I’m Adam. And you are..?”
“Joe. Of Joe’s Café.”
Cade blushed. “Looks like I’m really observant today,” he said sheepishly as he studied Joe. His silvering hair had a slight wave to it, and the bright eyes seemed to twinkle with inner merriment that belied his apparent age. He seemed to be a solid, sturdy man.
Joe took it in stride. “It’s ok. Sure looks like you’ve had a long day.”
“You could say that. Sometimes it helps to be an insomniac addicted to Vivarin,” quipped Cade.
Joe put on an understanding face. “I know how you feel… Adam.”
The pause was enough to alert Cade to the fact something was wrong. “So, what’s been bothering you?” he pressed.
With the kind of pensive puppy-dog look that begs for help, Joe replied, “Nuthin’.”
Cade raised an eyebrow.
“Does it have to do with how all your favorite regulars aren’t here?” he hazarded.
Joe’s eyes went from inspecting a glass he was polishing to Cade’s. “Why do you say that?”
“Well, you seem… pensive, and it makes sense. They were your friends, I take it.”
Joe studied Cade a bit longer, then went back to the glass. “Yeah, they were.” After a beat, he added, “The best a man could have. Wanted to kill them sometimes,” and to this he added a rueful snort, “ but yeah, I miss them.”
Cade sipped his beer. “They must’ve been pretty special. What were they like? Where are they now that they can’t come and visit?” He worried he might be getting too personal, but it wasn’t as if he’d ever see this guy again. No lasting impressions to worry about.
Practically a study in still life, Joe froze while he thought. Then he seemed to deflate. “Oh hell, why not,” he muttered.
I can't take it anymore, thought Methos. I've got Stupid Scotsman on the brain, and I've lost two games of poker out of fifteen. God help me, that hasn't happened since. . . since never. I'm too damn preoccupied.
He sprawled on his king-size bed. Fuck it. Now I'm going to be really stupid and decide to trek to the Mighty Northern State of Washington and its Serene Hamlet City of Seacouver, all to check on some idiot Boy Scout because of a vague hunch, and because he tolerates my presence.
Fuck it. You're getting too sentimental, Old Man.
Maybe he's got beer...
Back to writing page