The first little while post Endgame was a busy time in Forumland. The Rysher forum crashed horribly, either from overuse, or simply from being on autopilot for too long; we were all forced to move to the Orphan's of Rysher page, set up for emergencies by Flounder (thanks!). Posting was sporadic and rapidly becoming confrontational: "the movie was great" vs. "the movie was aweful"; "I loved it" vs "I hated it"; and nitpickers coming out of the woodwork. We were in desperate need of a distraction.

Leah to the rescue, with a new Challenge in hand! Write a scene that takes place after the last scene of Endgame; a denouement, a hint of the next movie, whatever you wished. No limitations as to characters, locations, or ideas. It was our chance to make a great movie a little bit better.

The story continues straight from the Connor's grave scene, and for those who regretfully haven't seen Endgame, it does contain SPOILERS...

"Aftermath": A Movie MWC

Duncan stood alone, saying one final goodbye to the closest thing he had ever had to family. He felt it was his duty to bring his kinsman home, so that Connor and Heather would at last have their forever. The Watchers had tried to take his body with the others, but after one look at the victorious Highlander, they backed down immediately. The way Mac had been, fresh off Kell and still not quite entirely himself, he could be very persuasive. So much had happened so quickly, and yet it always seemed to end the same: with another grave, more friends lost, victory at a terrible price.

He felt the warning: who would dare intrude on this private moment? He didn’t turn around, though he gripped his sword hilt tighter. His voice was calm, but dangerous; "Not here; not now."

A familiar voice whispered softly, "Not even me?" He spun around quickly, not daring to believe—

Amanda? She was back; she was here; she was real. His heart tightened and his spirit soared. Just as suddenly he thought of Kate, and his hopes fell crashing back to earth. In over three centuries he had never been able to tell Amanda the truth. Every time they came too close, he had always pushed her away. The poor sweet rogue probably thought it was all her fault. He didn’t deserve her love.

Amanda read the struggle in his eloquent eyes; saw in him a kind of fragile vulnerability kept hidden for too long. She reached out to him, gently; "You loved me with all my faults, did you really think I wouldn’t do the same for you?" He tried to turn away from her, she followed; "Why didn’t you tell me about Kate?"

Challenge flared briefly in his dark eyes, "Who sent you: Methos, Daw—" she silenced his protests with a single delicate finger. "Shh, that doesn’t matter now. What matters is that I know, and I understand." She thought for a moment of Nick; his feverish, pain-filled eyes, the gun in her hands; and afterwards… "I understand better than you could imagine. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we even make the same ones."

His voice was barely audible; "She hated me. For centuries, she hated me." She held him gently, and part of him noticed that she, too, had changed. There was no seduction in her touch, no sense that there was something in it for her.

"Shh dear. I know she can’t forgive you, but I can." The noble MacLeod sighed into her embrace; something deep inside him cracked. There, in front of his homeland and his kin, he let it all go. He released all of his pride, his guilt, his doubts and fears. He let go of Connor, Kate, and even Kell. He put aside the Sanctuary and everything it implied. He let it all flow out of him until he felt empty inside; and into that emptiness flowed a love that was truly undying, a love he had pushed aside too many times. In the aftermath of all his pain and loss, he had found what his was looking for… Redemption.

I was one of the many fans who devoutly hoped to see the Lady Amanda in Endgame. Fortunately, as a writer, I could do something about my disappointment. It was obvious to me that after losing Connor and failing to redeem Faith, Duncan was in sore need of some spiritual healing. At the same time, the connection between what Duncan had done to Kate and how Amanda had "saved" Nick struck me as very significant. Who better to help him through this dark time than someone who knew exactly was he was going through? They would heal each other, together.
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