Who Wants to Live Forever…Comfortably?
By Leah Rosenthal
Regis Philbin leaned forward in his seat, shaking his head in amazement as the applause from the large audience subsided. "Amazing! Simply amazing. I have to say, Adam, you've been one of our most interesting contestants yet!"
Methos flinched at the man's enthusiastic volume and smiled. "No really, I'm just a guy."
"Just a guy? You're sitting one question short of a MILLION DOLLARS and you're being so modest! Tell me, how did you know all about the Battle of Hastings, the favorite dish in Tibet, the year Byron wrote that poem and where the heck Tuthmoses II had his royal palace?" Philbin sputtered.
"I've been--many things," Methos demurred.
"Well, it's time to see if you're going to be a MILLIONAIRE," Philbin roared to the audience and boom microphone overhead. "Here comes that last question, Adam. You ready?"
Methos smiled confidently. "Let's do it."
"All right, here we go." Philbin glanced at the question and back at Methos. "What is the name of the famous ancient nomadic Medji dish made of an entire camel? Is it: A) Galili; B) Gamoli; C) Gamail or D) Gemmoli?" Philbin grinned expectantly.
Methos smiled, opened his mouth...and froze, stunned.
"Take your time, now. You've got a million bucks riding on this, so to speak." Philbin's smile didn't fade.
Methos churned his 5,000 year old memory in futile horror. If he had ever known, he couldn't remember the answer to the question. A frantic feeling was starting to grow in his gut. "Ahhhh...ummm..."
"I know it's a toughie. Remember, Adam--you've got a lifeline left. Wanna use it?"
The inane suspense music playing around him wasn't helping. No matter how hard he tried, Methos could not recall the correct answer. "Lifeline," he finally relented, nodding.
"O-kay! Adam's gonna dial up his lifeline! We're ringing up his pal now to give him a hand. Let's listen in!"
The sound of ringing came over the loudspeakers. Once. Twice. Three times.
*Goddamn it, pick up the phone!* Methos thought with growing panic.
"Click. Hello, this is Duncan MacLeod. I canna' come to th' phone just now, but if you leave your name and number..."
Methos covered his eyes in despair. He had TOLD Mac to be at the loft this afternoon, just in case. No doubt the idiotic Scot had run low on French bread or something and run down to the corner grocery. He was going to have to take the young Immortal's head when this was over.
Regis and the audience groaned at the sound. "Ooooooh, bad luck, Adam. Under these special circumstances, you get one last back-up number to call and save yourself. Who should we call?"
His mind a frantic whirl, he tried desperately to think of anyone he knew who *might* know the answer to the question. Then, something sparked in the depths of his mind. Slowly, with a sinking sensation, he raised his eyes to meet the anxious, puppy-dog mock-concern of Philbin. "Try 212-596-4201," he croaked out.
Philbin snapped his fingers and the sound of electronic dialing sounded over the loudspeakers. The phone rang three heart-stopping times. Then there was a click. "Hello," said a cool feminine voice.
"Hello, Cassandra," Methos managed to croak out hoarsely. "I need a quick favor from you."
"I know, 'Adam,'" the woman's voice purred. "I've been watching. Is there any reason why you would need my help?"
Philbin raised his eyebrows at the tone. Methos pulled at his collar. "Ummm...Offhand, I can't think of anyone else who would possibly know the answer to the question."
"I know it."
Relief flooded through the ancient Immortal's body like a river. "You do?!"
"I should. I came from a Medji tribe. I was--compelled to prepare the dinner in question often enough." There was the slightest hint of cold pique in that feminine voice.
Methos felt like crying. "Would you tell me what it is?" he entreated in his best Adam Pierson tone.
There was an agonizingly long moment of silence. Finally, Cassandra spoke. "Do you still believe in sharing everything?"
Methos squeezed his eyes shut. "All right," he gritted out. "Twenty percent."
A strangled noise escaped from his throat. "Half," he snarled.
"The answer is 'C'. I'll be calling," the voice said, and there was a click and a dial tone.
"Oooh, she drives a hard bargain," Philbin commented. So is your answer 'C', Adam?"
"'Si," Methos sighed.
"Is that your FINAL answer?!"
"YES THAT'S MY BLOODY FINAL ANSWER!!!!!" Methos roared in a distinctly Bronze-Age tone.
"ADAM PIERSON, YOU'VE JUST WON ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" The studio erupted in a shower of confetti, flashing lights, falling balloons and screaming spectators.
"Or some portion thereof," Methos muttered under his breath.
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