Title: Moving Pictures
Series: general crossover universe
Author: akire
Email: akire@mailcity.com
Status: C/U
Category: Crossover: Highland/The Sentinel/Stargate SG1/Relic
Hunter/Tomb Raider, plus misc others
Spoilers: umm, got a basic grasp of the Highlander universe?  Fine.  Oh
yeah, we're a Clan Denial fanfic.  In The Sentinel, we pick up after
TSbBS.  Stargate, after The Curse at least.  RH and TR, we're ripping
characters, not plots.  Honest! 
Disclaimers:  D/P, Pet Fly, MGM/Gekko, whoever owns RH and whoever owns
TR really DO own them.  If you don't recognize it, its probably mine.
If it's silly or crazy, definitely is mine.  But if anyone sends the
lawyers after me, I'm sending out the boys with swords ;)  Oh yeah, and
imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  If you recognize a
specific fanfic creation, it belongs to its author (when this series is
finished, I may tally them up)
Rating: PG, prob.  Hey, I'm not offended by much, if it should be rated
higher, tell me! 
Content Warning: purists beware.  Language may offend some readers. m/m
relationship 
Summary: Immortality is in the media, of course Hollywood is going to
have a go.  The Immies pay their $8 to go assess the results.  But it's
not the film but the fans who are the real attraction
Dedication:  To the guys in the 'Films to Support, Films to Avoid for
2002' panel at Borderlands 2001, cos that's when I had the idea.  Does
that mean I can appropriate blame again??? 
Author's Note:  This story started out in one direction and then was
hijacked by the Muses and taken in another.  I take even less
responsibility for this one then I do for the rest. 
Author's Note #2:  No prizes guessing which movie I took the
personality test idea from.  If one more person sends me that URL, I'm
screaming!

That's long enough. On with the show!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Richie held up two small squares of light card with a wicked grin.

"Oh please don't tell me you didn't!"  

If anything, the smile cranked up another notch.  "Yep.  One of the
guys at the dojo had a whole stack of 'em."

"You don't actually expect me to go, do you?  Ask the sheep-scarer or
someone other than me."

Richie waggled the two tickets under Methos' substantial nose.  "Mac
already grabbed a pair himself.  And I know Joe's got his, too.  Face
it, Old Timer, you're coming with, you're eating popcorn..."

"...And choking on it when I see what Hollyweird has done to our lives."

Richie had walked over to fix the two tickets onto the fridge door with
a magnet.  Pulling out two beers while he was there, he returned to
where Methos had somehow managed to sprawl on a kitchen stool.  "You're
just pissed because it means you lost that bet with Rei.  Why the hell
did you bet against them producing an Immortal-based flick
again?  Now you have to cook her dinner the next time she's over."

"You really had to add insult to injury, didn't you?"

  ~~##~~

Reia thought this was worth the long-distance call on a mobile.
Besides, Blaer was probably the only person who'd truly get it.  In-
jokes were a special thing, to be handle with care, and to be released
with all the discretion of a nuclear warhead.

Hoping that her mental calculation about time zones was accurate, she
dialed the international number from memory.  Three rings later, a now-
familiar voice answered.  "Yes?"

"Good morning to you too, Jim.  How fares your day thus far."  She used
her court voice, hoping the tones would convey through the various
bounces required to send her voice from Paris to Cascade in the States.

There was a long pause at the other end.  "Reia," he finally said at
last in a cautious, measured tone. But beneath the static, Rei was sure
she heard the faintest trace of fond humour.

What could she say.  She grew on people.  "The one and only."

"Thank God for that."

"You've been hanging round my boy too long, Jim.  Speaking of which, is
he there?"

"Yes, and staring intently at me.  He must know you like to phone me up
and talk dirty."

"Only with conference calls, sweetie."

She heard a guffaw of laughter as he passed over the phone.  "Hey
teach."

"Hey darling.  Guess where I am."

"In a dominatrix's lair?"

"What is it with you two and sex?  You really should start getting out
more.  Or is that the problem?  Not enough time together alone."

She swore she could hear Blaer blush down the line.  "Thanks,
Rei.  I think you've just given Jim a heart attack with that little
mental image."

"One of my many skills.  Anyway, I'm standing across the street from
the Lumiere." 

Another pause.  "And you rang me up to tell me this because...?"

"They're putting up the posters."

Blair almost cackled.  "You're kidding me.  What do they look like?
No, Jim, it's okay, listen to this."

She grinned and turned back to study the newly-hung posters across the
road.  "Well, lots of swords, as you can imagine.  Bunch of famous
Hollywood 'it' kids with barely a brain cell to share between them..."

"You can tell that just by looking at the poster?"

"Joys of contextualization.  The background has lots of those morphed
little scenes, presumably from the movie, of underfed, underage girls
in a variety of outfits...geez, how old do they think the corset is?"
She squinted, trying to get more detail.  "All the historical stuff
looks European, too.  Anglo-centric to the last, gotta give them
consistency."

"Aww," Blair pouted down the line.  "Damn.  I had $20 in the Bullpen
pool that they'd go East for a bit and put some Hong Kong action star
in it. Gotta have those fancy high kicks  HUWAH!"

She laughed again.  "Who knows, maybe it's a cameo.  So, are you going
to see it."

He laughed again.  "Yeah.  I'll justify it as research."

"You can justify shit like this?"

  ~~##~~

"I can't believe we flew all the way to England for a movie."
Nigel griped as he trailed after Sydney.

"Are you kidding me, this is so cool," Claudia replied excitedly as she
looked around the huge crowds of Heathrow airport.

"Not just a movie.  The exhibition at the Museum just happened to..."

"Be opening the day after the movie's London premiere," Nigel finished
dryly.  "You just didn't want to wait the extra month for the
Australian opening.  You can't deny it Syd, so don't even try."

Sydney tried for another tack.  "Don't tell me you're not the least bit
curious to see what it says."

Claudia chimed in again.  "I know, I looked it up on the web.  It's
about..."

A set of hands descended to clamp down on her mouth.  "NO!"  

"Muwat?!"

Nigel shook his head sadly as he picked up his bag again.  "Does the
concept of 'spoiler space' mean nothing to you, Claudia?  I don't know,
the younger generation, no sense of patience for the greater
enjoyment..."

Claudia turned to Sydney, a possible ally.  "Shall you call him an old
fogey or shall I?"

"Neither of us will.  Don't forget who's the eldest of us all."

"Oh, yeah, right.  Sorry."

Sydney shook her head and finally spotted the exit she had been looking
for.  "Come on, Lara's waiting for us."

Claudia pulled her trolley after her as she skipped along the
concourse.  "Let's go to the mooooovvvviiiiiiiiieeeeeeessss."

 ~~##~~

 "Got enough popcorn there?" Daniel drawled.

"Need enough to throw at the screen, I know you two."

Jack handed over the last of the super-sized buckets and began to
stroll down towards the correct cinema.  He'd hate to have to sit
behind Teal'c, but the guy sure knew how to cut through the crowds.  He
left it to Sam to try and explain the cultural significance of eating
popcorn at the cinemas.  Between him and Daniel, Janet began munching.

"Leave some for the movie."

"Leaving some is not going to be the problem here."  She made a
face at Jack and stuffed another handful into her mouth.  "Keeping this
one in his seat at the historical inaccuracies is."

"Hey!"

"Don't try and deny it, Daniel.  Remember who sat next to you during
The Mummy Returns.  Now I know why Carter refused to come with.  I'm
surprised the managers here are even allowing you to go see any
film based on historical events anymore."

Daniel grumbled into his popcorn.  "I wasn't that bad."

"No.  I was being kind."  He leant down to whisper conspiratorially
with Janet.  "It was much, much worse.  In the end, I had to tell the
people sitting behind us that he was autistic, a historical savant.  I
think they bought it."

Daniel applied Jack's suggestion and pelted him with a handful of
popcorn.

"Not me Daniel, the movie.  Focus on the movie."  The quintet filed
into the rows, middle middle middle, their preferred spot.  "And what
say we play a drinking game."

"Drinking game?"

"Okay, popcorn eating game.  You have to scarf some down for every
event on screen that you've done."

"This is Hollywood," he replied scathingly as he took his seat between
Sam and Janet.  "To do what they're doing, you'd need your own CGI lab
and a blank cheque signed by God to pull it off."

  ~~##~~

The rest of the cinema patron's filed out, leaving a small group behind
sitting towards the back.

"Well, that was..."

"Interesting," Joe said tactfully.

"I was angling more for 'absolute work of fiction on par with the
Brother's Grimm,' but 'interesting' works too."  Methos tried, with
only marginal success, to sprawl in the tiny cinema seats.  "I feel
like writing them a letter."

Richie snorted and dusted a few stray kernels of popcorn off his lap.
"Cut straight to the chase, Old Timer, and offer to write the sequel."

Mac raised his eyebrow.  "They're gonna make a sequel to that rubbish?"

Richie rose to his feet and wiped buttery fingers on the seat of his
jeans.  "Haven't you noticed, Mac.  Anything that doesn't cost them
more to make than they recoup at the box office, they make a sequel
of."

Amanda nodded as she stood with elegant grace.  "Hollywood cash cows.
How 'bout it Richie.  You write it, I'll star in it and Joe can count
our money."

"Right now, all I want to count is the number of shot glasses I need to
down to forget that piece of shit."  Leaning on his cane he levered
himself out of his own seat.  "Back to the bar?"

Methos began edging along the rows to the exit.  "Stupid question."

The crowd was pretty thin back at the bar, not surprising given the
miserable weather for the week-night.  Shaking off coats and brushing
off the last of the rain, the large group headed for 'their' corner of
the bar, where Joe immediately began racking them up.

"You were serious, weren't you?"

Joe just grunted.  

Swapping looks with each other, the crew waited in silence for the
barman to finish his work.  As one, they slammed back the first line of
shots.  Everyone seemed reluctant to look anyone else in the eye.

Finally Richie broke the awkward silence. "I wonder who else has seen
it?"

  ~~##~~

Sydney swept out of the theatre, her lips pursed in a thin, hard line. 
Beside her, Lara matched pace, her face set like a stone mask.
Trailing behind the two women, Nigel and Claudia swapped nervous
glances.  The foursome pushed their way down through the lobby crowds
and out onto the cold and blustery evening.  Lara's manservant pulled
up to the curb seconds later, and they piled into the back of the large
vehicle.

If anything, the silence was even more deafening in the enclosed space.
Nigel's gaze flicked between the three women as the tension grew.
Finally, he found himself speaking just to try and break the tension.
"I kind of liked the opening monologue bit," he offered with all the
confidence of a man facing a starving lion.

Two pairs of eyes swiveled to pin him to the seat with a glare.
Claudia, bless her, tried to run with the conversational ball Nigel had
just tossed up.  "Yeah, that was interesting.  How did it go?"  She
paused, her petite forehead creasing slightly.

Lara spoke as she turned her eyes back to the windows, and the
streetscape passing by outside.  "We are the seeds of legend.  But our
true origins are unknown.  We simply are."

Claudia nodded, her hair flying slightly.  "Yeah, that's it."

Lara's full mouth quirked up.  "Not exactly poetic, though, is it?"

Sydney joined in.  "And it went downhill fast from there."

Nobody had a retort for that.

Finally, Nigel shrugged.  "Well, it will run for a few more weeks, go
to video and then get lost in the midnight rerun schedule.  I mean," he
added.  "It's only a movie, after all."

  ~~##~~

This time it was Blair's turn to punch in the overseas number,
chortling as he waited for the connection to be made.

"Bonjour, Sibyl Designs."

"Bonjour, mademoiselle."

"Blair!"  Her voice was rich and warm as she identified her caller.
"How the devil are you?"

"Fine, fine.  Listen, I've just sent you an email, but I wanted to call
you anyway."

He could hear movement at the other end, and could easily imagine her
walking around her Parisian studio, cordless phone clamped to her ear. 
"This sounds dangerous."

"Just weird.  Tell me, do you know what fan fiction is?"

"Umm, fiction written by fans?"  She guessed.  "But the question is,
why do I want to know what fan fiction is?"

"Because I've just found an archive full of stories based on the
Immortal movie."  He grinned to himself as her cackling laugh cracked
down the phone line.  "You should read some of these!  I swear, it's
hilarious."

"Good hilarious or bad?  And please tell me you've sent me the
address."

Blair nodded, even though she could not see him.  "Check your email.
And some of them are pretty good stories, actually.  Nothing like the
real thing, but not bad on their own merits."

"Some are good...what about the rest."

It was her turn to listen to Blair chuckling. "Read them and weep.
I've given my recommendations in the email."

Rei was already at the keyboard, clicking into her mail and watching
her messages download.  "Excellent," she chuckled.  "This I've got to
see."

"Watch out," Blair warned with a grin.  "They're very addictive."

She smirked into the receiver.  "Of course they are, Blair," she
replied in her most patronizing tone.

"Don't say I didn't warn you.  I've gotta go, but let me know what you
think."

"Okay, babe.  Talk to you soon."

"Will do.  Ciao!"

Without looking, Rei thumbed off her phone and jammed it in next to her
keyboard.  She had already opened Blair's email and was scrolling
through the list of URLs.  A small smile crept across her features as
she clicked on the first link. 

This looked like fun.

  ~~##~~

"Stories?  Based on that crap movie?"

Methos nodded, one finger idly tracing condensation up and down the
side of his beer glass.  "That's what I said.  They're call 'fanfic.'"

Joe shook his head slowly.  "Man, some people have too much time on
their hand!  You mean they publish them and everything?"  The bluesman
was obviously having a tough time getting his mind around the concept.

Methos nodded as he drank.  "Yeah, on the web.  There's quite a few
stories out there.  I read a few...apart from one which I don't think had
one correctly spelt word in it, they weren't that bad."  He laughed
slightly.  "Actually, I think they were better than the movie they were
based on.  At least these people have a grasp of concepts such as
narrative structure, consistent characterization and internal logic."

"That wouldn't be hard!"  Joe chuckled to himself, tossing the idea
around in his mind as he wiped down the bar.  "Has Richie seen them?"

Methos' smile took on a slight twist.  "Where do you think he is now?
He's fascinated by them!"  The slightly harsh note in the old man's
voice let Joe know loud and clear what Methos' opinion of this
development was.  "Every other minute, he'd be yelling out what
somebody had written, or done with a character or something.  Enough to
drive a man to drink."

Joe wisely did not reply to that remark. But before Methos could start
up on the rant again, the outer doors to the bar banged open.  Joe did
not miss the slight stiffening of the spine that let him know that
Methos had detected a Buzz.  

The inner doors swung open to admit Richie Ryan into the bar, a solid
black bag tucked under one arm.  He hailed the only two men in the bar.
"Getting in some before hours drinking, I see?"

Methos hunched himself over his glass.  "Drinking to forget that
rubbish you were reading."

The redhead's smile broadened.  "Well, get a refill because I've got
something to show you."

Methos just groaned, but Joe watched on with interest as Richie pulled
out his laptop and booted it up.  "Methos was just telling me about
this stuff."

"Yeah," Richie enthused as he tapped at a few keys.  "Its really
interesting stuff.  But that's not what I wanted to show you."  With a
broad grin, he turned the unit to face Joe.

"What am I looking at?"

"The email address."

Joe peered at the appropriate field.  He then looked again at the body
of text.  "Please tell me you're joking?"

"Nope.  She wants feedback too."

Methos was watching this exchange as if he were at a tennis match.
"What are you guys talking about."

Joe and Richie swapped a look.  "Reia's had a go at writing her own
fanfic."

Methos groaned and buried his face in his crossed arms.  He could hear
the irregular click-click as Joe scrolled down, reading the page.  A
long, drawn-out sigh signaled that he had reached the end.

"How do I write feedback to that?"

Methos smirked into his arm at Joe's answer.  "Very, very carefully,
kid."

  ~~##~~

In a loft apartment in Cascade, Blair was also reading the story.  As
the ~fin~ scrolled into view, he absently chewed on the soft pad of his
thumb.

That...sucked.  It was right up there  or down there, as the case may be
 with those dreadful ones he had first stumbled across.  Paging back
up to the top of the document, he found the passage describing the main
protagonist.  Tall, redhaired, lived in Paris, an old Immortal who knew
it all and thought, wisecracked and ran rings around the characters she
had stolen from the movie.

With a wicked grin, Blair opened his bookmarks and copied across a few
choice URL's.  

  ~~##~~

Rei double-checked the URL just to make sure it wasn't an error.  The
Mary-Sue Home Page?  Who or what was a Mary-Sue? An Essay on Self-
Insertionism in Fanfic?  That sounded vaguely obscene, so she started
reading that one first.

An hour later she paused to fetch herself a glass of red wine.  Well,
yes, her main character was based on her, kind of.  But don't they
always say 'write what you know'?  Well, what she knew was what it was
like to be an old woman in a young body fighting her way across the
centuries.  But these pages made Mary-Sue's sound...crass.

There was one link she had left until last.  The Mary-Sue litmus test. 
Taking a fortifying breath, she opened the page and fetched a scrap of
paper.  Tallying up her score, she sighed in defeat.  She had scored
the absolute maximum score.

She cut and pasted the score and details into an email.
Blair, Richie, thanks for your comments. As you can see from this little snippet, I'm a doomed Mary-Suer, forever cursed to lurk the dark spaces of the fandom. This fanfic stuff is harder than it looks! love, MS ;)
~~##~~ Richie laughed as he read the email and accompanying snippet. "What's so funny, Brat?" "Rei. She took the criticism far better than I thought she would." He leaned back as his lover came to read the message over his shoulder. "Do I want to know what a Mary Sue is?" Richie smiled. "Probably not, love. It's a fanfic term." Methos just shook his head. "The strange thing is, I remember her being a half-decent story teller. This fanfic stuff should have been a piece of cake. I mean, the characters and all that are right there. All the hard stuff is already done." Richie shrugged. "Well, she did say it was harder than it looks." Methos rolled his eyes. "Obviously." He leaned down to kiss his partner. "But I've got to get going if I don't want to be late for my lecture." Another kiss, a hasty goodbye, and he was gone. Richie lent back and stretched in his chair. It was his rostered day off today. His original plan involved some videos, maybe a trip to the dojo. But Reia had just opened up a new possibility. With a grin, he opened up a blank document. The next time he looked up at the clock, it was lunch time. He shook his head in amazement. Where had the time gone? But he had written twelve pages of story, and it didn't seem too awful to him. He'd work on it for another half hour, then he'd go and do something else... It was edging in on two o'clock in the afternoon by the time he finished the story. The story seemed pretty good, even if he did say so himself. But the test was in getting someone else to read and comment. His first thought was to Methos, but he dismissed that idea. The old man had made it quite clear that he didn't find fanfic anywhere near as interesting as Richie did. Maybe Reia? But it sounded like she was still struggling with her own story. His fingers hovered over the keys for a second, then called up another email address. Blair had supplied all those URLs, he seemed to know a bit about this stuff. Maybe he wouldn't mind reading this story too. ~~##~~ For the second time in as many days, Blair reached the end of a fanfic. However, unlike Rei's, this story was pretty good. He recognized elements of his friends in the various characters, but these were well- mixed with original characteristics as well. There were a few changes that he could suggest, mainly technical details, ways to tighten up the writing. But over all... A speculative gleam entered Blair's eyes. Where was the address of the archive again? Richie's story could certainly hold its own there... ~~##~~ Being boss had its perks, but working all weekend then doing overtime on Monday off was not one of them. Somehow, all the bills and urgent mail came unerringly on the one day off he took, and it took him three just to catch up again. Richie sloped in through the door of the apartment, tossing his jacket onto a peg and tucking his door into the discreet stand behind the door. Grabbing a beer from the fridge, he crashed on the couch. Toeing his boots off, he put his feet up on the coffee table and just flopped for a while. Methos wasn't due home till late, a faculty meeting of some sort, and he really didn't have the energy to cook for one. Richie picked up the remote control and clicked through the channels. A cop show held his interest for a minute, but that soon ended. Flicking the set off in disgust, he tossed the remote onto the side table. It bounced off his battered second-hand laptop. With a shrug, he hauled it onto his lap. It was all plugged in, so he connected to the Net to check his mail.
##Messages to download: 54##
Richie blinked. "What the hell..?" A busy day would see him download twenty messages, tops. The connection was good, he couldn't read the subject lines as they flashed past. Finally, the tinny speakers emitted their trademark chime, and the 'You've Got Mail' sign flashed onto the screen. With nervous anticipation, he began to read his mail. As the minutes ticked by, the smile on his face grew wider and wider. Lethargy fled as a warm feeling spread from his belly. Feedback? People were sending him feedback about his story? They liked it! The smile turned into a kilowatt grin as he clicked through message after message. They all liked it the messages were full of praise and positive commentary. He slid the computer off his lap and did a little victory dance around the room. They liked it! They really liked it! The Immortal shriek rang out in his mind seconds before the key scraped into the lock. Methos let himself in to their apartment just in time to get an armful of excited Brat. His briefcase hit the floor with a dull thump. Not that he was complaining about being kissed senseless or anything. He'd just like to get completely across the threshold before they gave their neighbours a real show. Finally their need for oxygen separated them. "Good afternoon to you too." Richie just smiled up at him, a dopey look on his face. "Hi. How was your day?" The pair padded across the room without releasing the other from their embrace. "Obviously not as good as yours." A faint flush crept across Richie's cheeks as he disengaged himself and led the way into the kitchen. "Yeah," he said quietly, seeming to Methos' eye to be both embarrassed and excited all at once. "Care to tell me what happened?" "You'll think its stupid." Despite the enthusiastic greeting, Richie now seemed unable to look his lover in the face. Methos was slightly worried now. In two long strides he caught up to Richie and looped his long arms around the younger man's waist. "Why would I do anything like that to you, love?" He asked seriously. Richie turned around to rest a hand on Methos' chest. "Okay, okay. But," he added sternly, waggling a finger in the old man's face. "If you laugh, I swear to god you'll be sleeping on the couch for a week." Methos nodded his acceptance of those terms. "So, what happened to you today?" Richie took a deep breath. "I got feedback." Methos couldn't make the connections. "Feedback for..?" Richie's long fingers picked at the weave of Methos' shirt. "My story. My fanfic." Methos tilted his head slightly. "Fanfic. That stuff you and Rei and Blair seem hooked on?" Richie nodded, his fingers pressing into the shirt, splaying out across his chest. "Yeah. Remember that email she sent, said it was harder than it looks. Well, I..." Methos' smile broadened. "Couldn't resist a challenge?" He felt the body in his arms shrug. "Pretty much." "Well?" "Well what?" "Do I get to read it? I have to say, Brat," he added as he gently pushed his partner towards the living room. "I'm insulted you didn't let me read it as soon as it was done." Richie's entire body was radiating his embarrassment. "I...I didn't know if it was any good. And I know you don't like..." "But you wrote this," Methos cut in. "And I want to read it. So gimme!" Richie found the file and handed over the machine. "I'd like your opinion too. And be honest!" Methos grinned over the edge of the screen. "Always." ~~##~~ The note was short and cryptic:
"I was trying to forget when C. made me do this. Had to share. Love, me."
If Sydney was trying to engage his curiosity, she had succeeded. He had finally convinced his friends in Paris and Cascade to stop sending him those fanfic things, but as far as he knew, Syd wouldn't send him something unless it was really special. Jack was walking down the concrete corridors when he heard Daniel's shriek of laughter echo down the passage. Swapping a blank look with an SF coming the other way, Jack strode down the corridor to the appropriate door. He rapped once on the door frame to announce himself. "Daniel? You okay? What happened, did those scribbles you found on 649 turn out to be historical porn or something?" Daniel was laughing so hard he was almost crying. "Jack! Come here! You've got to have a go at this!" Shoving his hands into his pockets, Jack sauntered as best he could across the cluttered office and bent down to peer at the computer screen. He cocked an eyebrow in an unconscious impression of Teal'c. "Immortal Personality Test?" Daniel had stopped giggling, but he was still grinning broadly. "You do the test, and they tell you what character from that movie you are most like. Go on Jack! I've already sent it to Sam and Teal'c and Janet. You've GOT to have a go! Here, question one..." Shaking his head, Jack answered the questions. Some people obviously had too much time on their hands. ~~##~~ Richie was nervously circling the living room floor, watching Methos like a hawk as he sat on the couch, reading and savoring the story. Behind the carefully neutral expression, Methos was grinning. Who knew the kid had such talent? This was excellent, well worth the stack of fanmail he had glimpsed in the other window. Of course, Methos wasn't going to tell Richie that until he had milked this moment for all it was worth. Richie was actually rubbing his hands together, he was getting so anxious. Taking pity, Methos let his smile shine. "That was amazing! Amanda was right, if they do a sequel you should be writing it!" The disbelief was clear in the younger man's eyes. He would accept the praise of strangers without demure, but he wasn't going to let his lover stroke his ego without a fight. "You're just saying that because you think I'll make you sleep on the couch otherwise." Methos shut the laptop, put it on the table and reached out to snag an unresisting Richie. "No, seriously. That is really, really good. You've got a talent there, no doubt. Maybe you should write more, polish your skills." Richie still wasn't fully buying it. "Its just fanfic. You said so yourself, other people have done all the hard work." Methos shook his head and once again cursed all the people in Richie's past that had made the kid so defensive. "Richie, you've got a stack of original characters here, and the plot is very cool." He thought he saw a flicker of a smile flash across Richie's face. "Besides, you may have taken the concept from the movie, but they took the concept from us." At this Richie did grin, and Methos took advantage of the moment to pull Richie down onto his lap. "So there. I think you should write more. I'd love to read them." This time the expressive flicker was one of doubt. "Well..." he said uncertainly. "I did have this idea for a sequel..." The sentence faded off. "Ahh, but its not that good." Methos retrieved the laptop. "How will you know till you write it down?" Richie took his computer, then looked up to flash his lover a wicked smile. "Have I told you I love you today?" Methos returned the smile. "You just did. Now, write! I want to know what happens next!" Grinning, he left his chortling partner to type as he went to find something for dinner. Perhaps that damned movie wasn't so dreadful after all. ~fin~