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Disclaimer: Not mine, borrowed without permission, and not used to make any money.

Duncan/Methos Rated NC-17 for detailed description of consensual sex between two men. (I know, you were hoping for sheep. Sorry... ;)

Many, many thanks to my wonderful beta readers, Ellen and Trudy! If this story is good, it is in great part due to their efforts; if it's bad, it's all my fault.

This is my first attempt at Highlander fiction, and comments (negative as well as positive) would be greatly appreciated, although I should warn that I may not have time to respond. (This was supposed to be a one-shot PWP, but it has turned into a series, so I need the time to finish it!)

-- the lady of shalott

Orchestral Maneuvers Series Part One: Overture

As the Metropolitan Opera orchestra began to play, Duncan MacLeod leaned back in his seat, prepared to enjoy the evening to the fullest. The slender dark-haired man seated beside him glanced over, fingers tapping on the arm of his seat. "I still can't believe you made me take you to this," Methos muttered. He frowned down at the dark red upholstery that prevented the tapping from generating any satisfying noise.

"You lost the fight fair and square, Methos, so stop complaining," Duncan responded absently, eyes on the stage. "Now be quiet and listen. This is Mozart! The best of opera in one of the best opera houses in the world." He gestured around at the opulent interior of the theater. "Try and enjoy this, man!"

"What's to enjoy? A group of well-trained cats yowling to the accompaniment of someone scratching their nails down a chalkboard?" Methos complained.

Mac looked offended. "Great opera is perhaps the most sublime form of art, Methos."

Methos gave him a skeptical look.

"I mean it! It's powerful, it catches you up, sweeps you along to the story's high point, then leaves you drained at the end. It's very cathartic," he said seriously.

"You make it sound almost *sexual*, MacLeod."

Mac considered the remark. "Well, it *is* just about the next best thing to great sex."

Methos choked with laughter. "In the immortal words of Alfred E. Neuman, 'If opera is entertainment, then falling off a roof is transportation.'" He shook his head and added, "Your sex life must really suck."

Duncan retorted, "My sex life is just *fine*, thank you."

"Not if you're ranking it on a par with _The Magic Flute_."

"You have such low tastes, Methos, you know that?"

A brief smirk quirked the elder Immortal's lips. "MacLeod, if you want to argue that preferring sex to opera indicates poor taste, you really need to get out more."

"Oh, I think *you* just need to broaden your horizons, old man."

Methos smiled slyly, and glanced at the Highlander out of the corner of his eyes. "Oh, I suspect my... horizons... are quite a bit wider than yours," he insinuated.

"Right" said Mac, patronizingly. "You're a regular man about town, and that's why you're at the opera with *me*."

"No, I'm at the opera with *you* because of your impoverished sex life!" Methos retorted.

Duncan shook his head, unable to believe he was having this conversation at the opera. <Only with Methos...> "Look, old man, you may have a few thousand years on me, but there are only so many things to try, and I've had *plenty* of opportunities over four centuries to try them." He eyed Methos as the other man smirked in silent but nevertheless obvious disagreement. A faint thread of speculative curiosity tugged at him, provoking him to a challenge. "All right then, let's see you come up with something really significant that I can't match."

"All right, MacLeod. Let's see..." He paused deliberately, mouth twitching slightly with the effort at keeping back a sly grin. <This could liven things up a little,> he thought. "So, what's the longest you've held on before reaching orgasm?"

Duncan grinned, sure he was on solid ground here. Amanda had been vocally impressed with him on that occasion, and he was almost positive that *she* could match Methos's experience in this arena. "Constant stimulation?" he asked. Answered with a nod, he said with a touch of smugness, "Oh... an hour and a half. Long enough for you, old man?"

"Not bad," Methos agreed blandly. "For someone who compares sex to *opera*."

"_Not_ _bad_?" <This means war.> Duncan's eyes narrowed. "So let's see you beat it."

Methos tapped his lips with a finger, musing. "Let's see... that time in Rome... we started late morning on the Ides... so that would make it..." he glanced over at Duncan with amusement glittering dark in his eyes, "two." He paused for a moment for effect, and added, "Days, that is."

"You're a bloody damned liar!" Duncan snapped.

"Shhh!" came a hiss from the neighboring box.

Duncan leaned towards Methos and whispered more quietly, "I don't believe you for a second. No one could possibly last that long."

Methos deliberately leered at him. "Live and learn, Highlander." He leaned back in his seat, crossing his legs. "We did have some... assistance," he admitted, "but mostly it's a matter of self control -- and a good partner. Ahhh... Julius really did have the most incredibly talented mouth." He smiled a little dreamily, rubbing a finger over his lips as he indulged in the memory.

<Julius?> Duncan thought, glancing at Methos with a startled expression. He mentally kicked himself and turned his attention back to the stage. <The man *is* five thousand years old. He's probably done most varieties of mammal, much less men.>

Catching the look, Methos half-turned in his seat, quirking an eyebrow. "What's the matter?" He mentally chuckled, knowing perfectly well what Duncan's problem was. <He's so cute when he's being provincial.>

"Nothing." Duncan stared at the stage, unable to keep a faint blush from dusting his cheekbones.

"Why, MacLeod, you're acting as though you've never been with a man."

"Well, maybe that's because I haven't," Duncan muttered.

"Oh." Methos was quiet... dangerously quiet, Duncan realized with faint alarm as he met the other man's deceptively innocent hazel eyes. "I didn't mean to bring up a sore point. You really are very attractive. I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason why no man's ever made a pass at you--ulp!"

Duncan made a grab for the older man, who ducked down, covering his mouth to muffle what sounded suspiciously like giggling. "That's not funny!"

"Oh, I don't know. It was pretty funny from this end," Methos grinned.

Duncan crossed his arms over his chest and turned his attention back to the stage. "As I recall, *I* was the one supposed to be having a good time here," he grumbled.

"Hmm... that *was* the condition of the bet, wasn't it?"

"Yes, it *was*! Do you suppose you could get on with meeting it?"

"All right, MacLeod. If you insist."

"I do!" A brief pause, then, "What are you doing?"

"You wanted to have a good time, didn't you?"

"Stop that!" Duncan grabbed at the slender hands that were busily unfastening his sleek black trousers.

With a soft tap, the box door opened, and Duncan froze. "Sir," the voice of an usher quietly issued into the box, "I must ask you to please keep quiet in here. You are disturbing the other patrons."

"Of... of course," Duncan answered weakly over his shoulder, trying to inconspicuously restrain Methos as the other man kept working at his clothes. The quiet thripp of his zipper opening testified to his lack of success. "I'm sorry." As the door closed once again, he shook Methos by the shoulders. "Methos, if you get us thrown out of the Met, I'm going to kill you!" he whispered fiercely, his gut muscles hard with tension as those skillful hands tugged at the waistband of his briefs.

But the other Immortal simply looked up at him with amused deviltry in his eyes and touched a finger to his lips in a shushing gesture. "Then you'd better concentrate on being quiet, hadn't you?" Methos whispered back. Duncan stared at him in mingled outrage and arousal as a gleaming knife suddenly appeared in the other man's hand. "Now, hold still..."

Duncan's eyes widened nervously as the knife headed towards his underwear. "Ah, Methos..." He pressed back in the chair. "This isn't my idea of a good time!" A pale finger insinuated itself along his thigh, warm against his skin, and lifted the elastic band. The blade sliced through the fabric easily, staying well away from his flesh. Repeating the action on the other leg, Methos pulled the neatly-cut panel of fabric loose with a grin that Duncan decided was nothing short of evil. His fingers clenched on the arms of his seat as he warred with the sudden tempting impulse to let Methos take this where he would.

Enjoying the uncharacteristic uncertainty on the Highlander's face, Methos leaned forward and nuzzled at the dark cock with his nose, teasing the sensitive skin with a quick lick or two, then promptly engulfed the organ without further preamble, unable to wait any longer for a taste of the silken, sweet hardness of the Highlander's body.

Duncan quivered in shock as Methos took him into his mouth, the warm, moist depths welcoming him in with a gentle suction. He gasped a little as a wandering tongue slid over the tip of his cock, pushing lightly at the foreskin in brief, teasing strokes. His lips formed the older man's name, but no sound broke through as his hands transferred their grip to Methos's shoulders.

Smiling around the hardening shaft, Methos practiced one of the tricks he'd picked up over the centuries, relaxing his throat muscles and guiding the cock along the roof of his mouth, easing it in until he'd taken in the full length of it. Duncan's eyes half-closed as he moaned slowly, struggling to make the groan that wanted to come out loud whisper out almost inaudibly. Methos shuddered heavily as he felt more than heard Duncan's reaction, his own body growing rapidly harder.

The ancient Immortal started tracing intricate patterns on the base of the cock with his tongue, rocking back and forth a little as he accustomed himself to the depth of the penetration, savoring the musky taste of Duncan's flesh. The Highlander's hips were beginning to move as his arousal grew, involuntarily thrusting forward into the heat of the older man's mouth. Methos opened his lips and exhaled carefully, letting his breath tickle the sensitive skin around the base of the cock. Duncan rewarded him with a shudder that quivered the length of the Highlander's long body.

Duncan struggled to recover his balance as pleasure surged through his veins with narcotic power, inviting unconditional surrender. In a dim rational corner of his mind, MacLeod knew that it would be the work of moments to push his slighter friend away, zip up his trousers and put a stop to this disturbing situation. He lifted his hands towards the dark head nestled between his thighs.

Methos sighed in delight as Duncan's hands settled on his head and tangled in his hair, fingers stroking automatically over the scalp as the calloused palms cupped his head and kept it close against MacLeod's groin. Mentally, he thanked all the gods that he'd lost the spar that had brought them to New York and to this longed-for moment. <Now to make it so good he won't be able to walk away,> he privately exulted, <or preferably so good he won't be able to walk at all...>

Duncan leaned back in his chair, hips slowly beginning to rock back and forth as the pleasure intensified. He slid forward a little so he could let his head fall back against the plush red velvet of the seat back, panting heavily as he neared the edge. Methos looked up, eyes coming aflame at the picture he presented -- the long, dark hair loose and flowing around the chiseled features, lips parted and moist, eyes half-closed in visual surrender, the sweet symphony of dusky skin against the vibrant scarlet of the seats. Smiling, Methos pulled back a little, settling himself more comfortably as his thigh muscles began to protest at the crouching position he'd been in. Duncan moaned in protest as the luscious warmth of the caressing mouth was removed from him, his cock jumping visibly in distress as the relatively cool air hit the sensitive skin.

"Not to fear, love," Methos whispered softly, "you'll have all the pleasure you can bear before I'm through." Duncan's eyes came open for a moment, dilated to lust-mazed black obsidian, his expression one of mingled desire and confusion. With a soft, seductive smile, Methos reached out and gripped the stiffness of the Highlander's organ in his fist, pumping gently in an irresistable rhythm. Duncan's hips came off the seat in a counterpoint, following the delicious pressure of the squeezing hand.

Methos reached forward and took advantage of the greater access that Duncan's thrusts offered, cupping the other man's heavy, full sac with his free hand, squeezing very gently and carefully, running the ball of his thumb over the soft ridge of flesh down the center, rolling the firm orbs within around his palm. Duncan's head flung from side to side amidst short, gasping breaths, swallowed moans. Alert for signs of impending climax, Methos stilled the movement of his hands as he felt MacLeod's body tense, simply holding him for several moments until the crisis passed.

"M..m..ethos..." Duncan breathed chokily, pulled back from the precipice. <Oh god, if he leaves me this way, I'll...> His fears were dissolved as the warm lips once again descended on him, embracing the head of his cock with a gentle suckling sensation. "Ohhh..." he sighed in barely-audible satisfaction, unable to repress the response. He pushed forward, trying to get more of his shaft taken into that sweet warmth, but Methos pulled back teasingly, withholding his mouth. Duncan made a soft sound of protest, lifting his head as he heard a faint chuckle in answer.

Dark brown eyes met sparkling green-gold ones as Methos purred, "We're going to double your record, MacLeod."

"R.. record?"

"One and a half hours, you said. We have three hours left to go of this. You're going to come when the final curtain falls. Not before." He smiled.

"I.. I.." the Highlander stammered helplessly in the face of that sensual, wicked smile, his arousal growing even more if possible as he let his head fall back once more, staring at the chandelier suspended above the main floor. <I'm going to die,> he thought incoherently as Methos began working on him some more, with unsatisfying but exquisitely tormenting light touches of lips and fingers.

* * *

Duncan stared at the stage with a glazed expression, willing the final aria to end, his entire body caught on a pinnacle of sensation so sharp he couldn't give a name to it, either pleasure or pain. Methos hadn't flagged in his attentions even once throughout the entire opera, even during the intermission, yet he seemed to be able to tell exactly when Duncan was near to coming. Every time the old man pulled back, Duncan's arousal ratcheted up another notch, leaving the Highlander weak and trembling with the aching need for release. Mozart had never seemed so interminable before. Now, finally, the promised moment was almost here, and he shuddered with desperate eagerness, straining forward towards the tender, delicate mouth that still caressed his sensitized flesh.

Methos heard the music approaching climax and shuddered in anticipation himself. Oh gods, this was going to be so good -- to see Duncan coming, to taste the hot saltiness of his release, to know him so intimately at last, as he'd longed to for so long. Neglected, his own arousal strained against the silk of his boxers, begging for stimulation other than mental. He twisted his hips a little, thrusting against the soft fabric, but kept his focus on the tautly-held body in front of him. <Later,> he promised himself. <We have all the time in the world... and a lovely hotel room to go back to.>

He backed off for the last time, looked up and met those beautiful chocolate-brown eyes, smiled at Duncan with warm tenderness now. "Almost there," he whispered in promise, shivering at the look on Duncan's face. He moved forward a little, tugging Duncan's hips forward until his buttocks were barely resting on the edge of the seat. He eased the pants further open, tugged the shredded remnants of the briefs out. Gripping the arms of his seat, Duncan moaned and squirmed as the soft cotton was dragged over his buttocks and between his thighs to leave him exposed. Methos dropped soft kisses up each of the Highlander's inner thighs in turn, tongue darting out for quick licking touches ever so often.

The music was almost done, and Methos brought an index finger to his own lips and took it in, licking and suckling until it was slick with saliva. He reached forward with his other hand and cupped Duncan's balls as he took the head of the shaft in his mouth, squeezing rhythmically with both lips and hand in a rapidly increasing tempo. As Duncan began to thrust with wild abandon, Methos slipped his wet finger between the muscled thighs, pressing it to the tight, puckered opening between Duncan's tensed buttocks, rubbing the slick pad of the finger against the clenched muscle and carefully stroking the exquisitely sensitive perineum with his thumb. Duncan jerked forward involuntarily at the touch, literally impaling himself on the fingertip. Methos pressed the entry, sliding the wet length into Duncan quickly, intent on finding that perfect spot.

Duncan's eyes widened at the penetration, his hips lifting upwards and away from the pressure, driving into the hot, slick warmth of the mouth surrounding his cock. And then Methos was moving the finger around inside him, a liquifying pleasure searing up his spine from a point somewhere in his groin. One clenched fist flew to his mouth, and Duncan bit into his own skin almost ferociously to stifle the groan that wanted to burst out. Methos looked up at him, freed his mouth for a moment to smile again, and then said softly, "It's time, Duncan."

And as the applause crashed through the vaulted hall, Duncan collapsed against his seat and let go, writhing helplessly as Methos suckled him deeply once again, taking him in even as his hand invaded him so intimately, his body exploding in deep, heavy spurts that seemed to go on forever. Methos langorously swallowed, the motion of his throat muscles setting off another wave of orgasmic release. Duncan keened softly in helpless delight, bucking wildly back and forth, struggling to maximize both pleasures at once as his body overloaded on sensation.

Finally, Duncan was completely drained and limp, his whole body trembling ever so slightly. Methos took his mouth away at last and leaned against MacLeod, resting his forehead against one brawny thigh, his panting breaths warm against the soft dark fuzz of hair. He swallowed again, licking his lips as he caught his breath and recovered. Duncan stirred a little, pulling himself further back into the seat and looking down at Methos with a shellshocked expression, eyes widening with a strangled gasp as Methos withdrew his finger slowly.

Looking up at him, Methos melted inside, feeling his own arousal quiver. He surged forward and up to capture the full lips, bruised with bitemarks where MacLeod had clenched his teeth in particularly sharp moments of delayed gratification. His tongue slid in, caressed the silken depths of the sweet mouth, tangled with Duncan's tongue briefly as he pulled away, sucking on the bottom lip for a long moment before finally separating.

Duncan blinked up at him and wondered idly why the chandeliers were weaving back and forth so erratically. His body seemed languidly heavy, pinned into the soft velvet by its own weight. Movement was definitely out of the question, he decided, savoring the warmth coiling through him.

As Duncan continued to stare at him, Methos quirked a little grin at him and reached down, pulling up the crumpled pants and tugging Duncan up into a standing position so he could zip them back up over the bare flesh. MacLeod wobbled slightly, then reached blindly for the seat back and shook his head vigorously to clear it, a semblance of coherence slowly reforming.

Methos hid a smile and casually picked up his coat, slipping it on. He glanced at the remains of Duncan's briefs. For a moment, he was tempted to leave them there to titillate the staff but decided he'd rather have the souvenir. Tucking them into his pocket under cover of picking up Duncan's coat, he tossed the other man his trench. "Here, Mac."

Duncan stared at the inoffensive garment briefly, then looked at Methos. "Methos..." he stopped, lacking the faintest idea what to say.

"We'd better get back to the hotel. I don't know about you, but I'm quite tired," Methos said as he pulled on his gloves jauntily, acting as if nothing particularly out of the ordinary had happened.

Duncan trailed after him as the older immortal strolled into the crowds making their way out of the theater, feeling dazed as Methos chatted casually about opera and classical music. <I know I didn't just imagine that whole thing,> he hazily thought as they emerged onto the street and climbed into one of the waiting cabs.

As they emerged on opposite sides outside the Plaza Hotel, Methos looked at him over the roof of the car. MacLeod paused and looked back inquiringly. "Well, MacLeod, I do hope that you now properly appreciate the difference between opera and great sex." Duncan stared at him as the other immortal added, "Of course, if not, we could always go back tomorrow."