The One With the Immortal Guy
Natasha Duncan-Drake

Disclaimer: The only original character in this piece is the bad guy.
All the others belong to their repective TV show and no money is being
made from this publication. It's here for fun and I hope you enjoy it.

This fiction is set sometime after seaon 2 Highlander and season 2
Friends. It was written quite a while ago, but it is only now on the
web because it was in a fanzine called Richie Forever 2. I'm pretty
sure that putting on the web now will have no effect an the sales of
the fanzine so I'm adding it to my story collection.

Ta ta,


The One With The Immortal Guy

Three pairs of eyes tracked the blond young man as he walked through
the door of the Central Perk, and took in every detail as he sat down
at the counter and ordered. Then the gazes all converged on each other
and Rachel raised her eyebrows at Monica.

“That is, isn’t it?” she said quietly.

“Maybe he didn’t see us,” Ross suggested hopefully as he saw the look
on his sister’s face.

The expression on Monica’s face was vacantly stunned.

<< He ignored me, he looked straight at me and he *ignored* me! >>

The thoughts tracked through her head registering anger and disbelief
in her expression, alternately.

“He looked right through me,” she said in a voice that couldn’t decide
what volume to use.

“I’m sure he was just thinking of something else at the time,” Ross
tried again, sometimes it took work to bolster Monica’s confidence.
“You know, when your mind’s on something else you just don’t see what’s
in front of your face.”

Both women looked dubious. The palaeontologist’s sister was doing her
best to look like a woman scorned, but the little glances of anguish
didn’t do much for the image. With a hard stare from their male
companion, Rachel chose to exercise her vocal chords.

“Sure, that’s it,” she said brightly, looking over to where the subject
of the conversation was reading a magazine. “Why don’t you go over and
say hi, Mon?”

There was indecision written all over the dark haired chef and she just
sat still, biting her lip. 

<< What if he ignored me deliberately, what if he never wants to talk
to me ever again, what if he’s discovered ... well anything? >>

“I’ll go with you,” Rachel finally offered, and tried an encouraging

When the inept waitress stood up and pulled Monica to her feet as well,
there was not a lot of choice left. The two friends half walked, half
crept around the sofa, like a pair of nervous school girls.

“What do I say?” Monica whispered hoarsely.

“Try, hello,” was the return suggestion as the two just stopped.

They stood there, just behind him, in total silence for a little over
thirty seconds, and then he finally noticed them.

<< There are two *stunning* women staring at me.  >>

Richie was having trouble believing his own thoughts. Slowly the
magazine lowered and his eyes came up, his expression was lightly
surprised and a little unsure.

<< Play it cool, Ryan. >> 

A half smile played across his lips and his eyebrows rose at the sight
of the pair.

“Can I help you?” he asked as they remained frozen. << *Please* can I
help you. >>

The enquiry kick started Monica’s brain, but it didn’t guarantee
coherent thought. The handsome, friendly face in front of her virtually
guaranteed it’s absence, as it was.

“Ethan?” she said hopefully. << What ever possessed me to let him go?
>> Monica’s thoughts were beginning to run away with her. << Those
eyes, that mouth... Oh, that mouth. >>

His eyebrows rose a little more and the smile widened.

<< I wish. >> Lack of the imperative to pursue the opposite sex had
never been one of Richie’s problems.

“I think you have me confused with someone else,” he said lightly. <<
Man, I wish you didn’t. >> “Not that I mind at all.” << Not in the
slightest. >>

The darker haired one of the pair began to turn a gentle pink and she
tried to splutter out an apology. << He’s someone else. Ha! I’m going
to die. >> Rachel, however, got there first.

“Oh, thank god,” she said cheerfully, “there’s nothing worse than being
ignored by an old boyfriend.”

<< Rachel, I don’t believe you said that. >>

The focus of their attention found that amusing.

<< He laughed, he thinks I’m an idiot. Those *eyes*. >>

He seemed a little stumped by all the notice that was being taken of
him, but he really couldn’t complain. It wasn’t everyday he had two
beautiful women hanging on his every word.

<< Say something, Ryan, say something. >> “Well I’m flattered,” he said
as Monica reached the cherry red stage. “Richie Ryan.” << Name, that
was good Rich, but not good enough. If you don’t come up with something
soon, they’re going to go away. >>

He stuck out his hand and Rachel shook it politely, her companion did
not seem to be able to decide what to do.

“Hi,” the young woman said, “I’m Rachel and this is Monica. Sorry for
interrupting your read.”

<< Your *read*. >> Monica’s mind was screaming at her, what she
actually did on the outside was smile. << Sure, Rach. Sorry we’re
standing here like a couple of lemons. Sorry we invaded your afternoon.

“No problem,” Richie replied with a smile that threatened to blow his
companions’ minds, “it wasn’t a great article anyway. Can I buy either
of you two ladies anything.” << You blew it, too forward. >>

He looked at the expressions on the two women’s faces and prayed. Charm
was not something anyone would ever accuse young Mr Ryan of having in
anything less than bountiful quantities.

“Oh, that’s so sweet,” Rachel gushed, much to Monica’s chagrin: << I’m
going to kill you when we get home. >> If looks could have atomised
things, Rachel would have been dust. “But we already have some drinks,
thanks. Why don’t you come over and join us?” she continued, oblivious.

At that point the waitress’ friend’s thoughts just stopped, dead. The
look on her companion’s face spoke of panic, but the dark haired chef
couldn’t do anything about the situation as Richie accepted. The three
moved back towards the couch and Monica finally re-found her voice.

“This is my brother, Ross,” she introduced, her hostess side coming out
in well trained obedience. “Ross this is Richie.”

The two men smiled at each other and shook hands.

“So who’s this guy that looks like me?” it seemed like a valid topic of
conversation so the Immortal launched in. <<  That was such a dumb
question. >>

“Oh, he’s just some guy Monica dated a while back,” Rachel did not seem
to realise what her openness was doing to her friend.

<< You are not my friend, you never were. Die, die, die. >> Monica’s
brain was on overtime.

“You know it’s remarkable, you look exactly like him, from the hair
right down to the tip of your nose,” Rachel really didn’t know when to

<< Eyes, mouth. >> One track barely described her friend.

Richie did have the decency to blush at her bluntness, even as he

“So what brings you to our neck of the woods?” The male member of the
trio leapt in as the image of Rachel revealing their deepest secrets
bounced into his head.

<< Thank you, Ross. >>

“I’m here to meet someone,” the blue eyed individual replied calmly. <<
I’m going to chop his head off and writhe in agony as his life-force
passes to me, but you don’t need to know that. >> His face remained
totally placid. << Settle down, Richie, it’s a nice afternoon. >>

The others saw him relax, and her brother’s intervention had the same
effect on Monica.

“Business, or pleasure?” she asked brightly and couldn’t stop herself
hoping it was business.

“Oh, definitely, business,” the other replied, “but the guy didn’t show
for our appointment so I came in here.” << But I’ll get him next time.

The well bred hostess side of Monica was surfacing and small talk was
her speciality.

“So what do you do, exactly?” she enquired.

Their guest sat back in his chair, easing into the situation nicely.
The way Monica’s eyes kept eyeing him up and down had not escaped him,
although she didn’t seem to realise she was doing it, and he was
beginning to think his stay in New York might not be so bad.

“I manage a dojo,” he told them smoothly and secretly smiled at the way
the women’s eyes lit up. << Ryan, you lucked out. >>

This was turning out better and better all the time. 


They’d been chatting for about half an hour and just about all the
information that could be gleaned from idle conversation had been
exhausted. Monica had settled right down after she’d found out Richie’s
age and Rachel seemed quite happy to let her friend play for the young
man’s attention. Ross put his oar in every now and then, but he was
more a clinical observer than a participant. It was as the topic of the
discourse moved on to basketball that Richie’s head shot up. 

<< What the? >> and his eyes pinned down Chandler as he walked through
the door. 

The data processor stood in the doorway just staring for a while and
then he walked towards his friends. The smile on his face was half
genuine and half forced. << This is *bad*. >>

“So who’s *your* new friend?” he asked, his stare never leaving the
stranger’s face.

“Richie Ryan,” the Immortal introduced himself and climbed to his feet.
<< And who the hell are you? >>

The two were eyeing each other like a pair of circling lions, and it
was difficult to miss. The moment might have gone on a lot longer had
Phoebe not also chosen that time to walk in. She wandered through the
portal, came to a dead halt as she saw the two men and put her hand to
her head.

“Ooh, bad vibes,” she commented loudly.

<< *Bad* vibes! >> Richie could see the hostility.

She then proceeded to stand directly in Chandler’s eye line. << Not
*now*, Phoebs. >>

“Is this a man thing or can we all join in?” she asked with the most
inane smile on her face.

Meanwhile, the others were all trying to work out why their friend had
taken an instant dislike to their new one. You could almost cut the
atmosphere with a knife.

“Did we miss something?” Ross inquired as he tried to distract Chandler
from the very hard stare he was giving Richie.

<< Only that your buddy is Immortal and he habitually cuts people’s
heads off. >> Richie was more than a little disappointed.

“Waiting for somebody, are we?” the data processor said, totally
ignoring the fact that his companion had spoken.

“Not you,” the blond individual replied, << But I could make an
exception. >> “but I do have a job to do in town. You might want to be
looking out for a big guy with a face like the back end of a bus. He
has a tendency to stab people in the back whilst they’re trying to
conclude their business.”

<< Subtlety not your strong point then, kid. >>

“I’ll take that under advisement,” Chandler replied evenly.

By now the rest of the party were extremely confused. One minute there
had been a lively, friendly conversation going on, and the next there
was a Mexican stand-off.

“Maybe I should be going,” Richie said, finally breaking eye contact
with the older man. << Various parts of my anatomy will hate me
forever, I hope you realise that. >>

“That might be wise,” the normally personable man agreed blandly. << I
won’t be happy until you’re out of state. >>

It was not to be, however, because unfortunately for both of them,
Monica had seen red. If she didn’t fancy Richie something rotten, she
may have paid attention the signs Chandler was sending out, but she had
her own plans in mind.

“Nonsense,” she said and stood up, winding her arm into her new
friend’s, “Richie’s a stranger in town, we can’t just let him sit here
and waste away.”

<< I think I’m in trouble. >> It may have been an understatement on the
part of Richie’s brain.

The glare she sent Chandler could have killed, and much to the blond
Immortal’s surprise the man appeared to wither slightly. If he’d been
able to, the younger individual might have run, but Monica’s grip was
like a vice. The data processor opened his mouth, raised a hand and
then broke off, he couldn’t think of what to say. He then narrowed his
eyes at Richie and decided on something.

“May I have *just* a moment of your time?” he requested with a fake
smile and indicated the men’s room.

Richie’s gaze went from the woman on his arm, to Chandler, to the door
and then to the men’s room. What choice did he have. << I can think of
better ideas. >>

“We’ll be right back,” he said with slightly more lightness than he

The two vacated the area, leaving everyone but Phoebe looking as if
they’d been struck dumb. The blonde, young woman had sat down, and
didn’t seem to be in the least bit bothered by the whole thing.

“I don’t understand why they have to fight all the time,” she said, as
if it were the most useless piece of information.

Suddenly she was the centre of attention.


The men’s room door slammed shut just after Chandler walked through it.

“Okay,” he said quickly, “cards on the table, are you a head hunting
sort of guy?”

Richie never had a chance to answer.

They were interrupted by the sound of a toilet being hurriedly flushed.
The rotund man who darted out of the cubical made a dash for the door,
giving them both very strange looks.

“I’ve got to remember to check the room *before* I start these kinds of
conversations,” Chandler commented, more to himself than to his

<< Good call. >> Richie’s mind commented.

The other Immortal gave a quick glance around, just in case and tried
to start the discourse again.

“I’m in town after one Immortal,” he said honestly. “His name’s Garland
Baker and he came looking for a friend of mine and found me instead.”

Chandler finally took a moment to look at this rival Immortal and
consider the situation. He was of course counting on the fact that a
Quickening in a men’s room would be very public and very messy, he
wasn’t armed at the moment. There was nothing to stop Richie from
taking his head, but then again, exploding toilets would not be

Then the data processors brain finally caught up with the information.

“Garland Baker,” he said slowly, “I’ve heard of him. That’s big game
you’re after. I know several people who’d like to see him amputated at
the neck.” << Me, for a start, but I’m not about to tell you that. >>

“You and me both,” was how Richie replied, and they almost seemed to
have come to an arrangement, “if Duncan hadn’t been in Paris, there
would have been one less MacLeod. For once being shorter than him was
an advantage.” << Damn, I don’t believe I let that slip. >>

His companion’s eyes became a little wider. << Oh, god, he’s heard of
Mac. >>

“You *know* Duncan MacLeod?” he asked slowly.

<< Hedge, Ryan, Hedge >> But his mouth wasn’t playing ball. “Yeah,” the
blond Immortal replied, he hadn’t expected the name to mean anything to
Chandler. “He taught me everything I know.” << Brilliant , Rich, you’re
a genius. >>

At that point his companion actually smiled.

“Well that puts a different light on the whole subject,” he said, and
much to Richie’s surprise patted him on his arm. “Know his kinsman

Thought drew to a shuddering halt.

“We’ve met,” the younger man replied, unsure of where this conversation
was going, “I’m staying at his place while I’m in town. He’s off
somewhere at the moment, looking for a some sword or other.”

It was difficult to get a handle on Chandler’s mood, it had just
changed so suddenly. This had to be one of the weirdest Immortals he’d
ever met.

<< This guy must have seen *way* too much of the sixties, >> the
younger man told himself.


The two reappeared from the bathroom a few minutes later, and suddenly
they were the centre of attention once more. Since the conversation
between the group of friends stopped as soon as they emerged, it was
obviously about them both. The fat man in the corner was still giving
them strange looks as well.

“My mistake,” Chandler said brightly as they wandered back over, “I
mistook Richie for someone else.” There was no telling what that
sentence did to the thought of the rotund man in the corner, but the
data processors own were running free. << I still don’t trust him, but
since there’s nothing I can do about it, I’ll just have to live with
it. >>

Monica was giving him a hard stare.

“Then why did you ask who he was?” Rachel often missed the big picture,
but never the little things.

“Oh, *you* know,” the data processor returned, screwing up his face in
a very Chandler expression, “guy stuff.”

<< For guy, insert Immortal and you’ll get a clearer picture. >> Richie
was not saying anything at this point. << It’s a fear for life sort of
thing, and I *really* wish I *wasn’t* here. >>

Suddenly this conversation didn’t matter, Monica had decided that they
were leaving.

“Oh well, that’s all right then,” she said icily, for Chandler’s
benefit, “but you must let us make up for the Neanderthal behaviour,
Richie. We’re going back to my and Rachel’s apartment, why don’t you
come along?”

There was something about the way she said it that made it impossible
to refuse. It was more difficult to say no to, than the Godfather.

“Sure,” the younger Immortal said brightly, and forced a smile, << So
long as your friend doesn’t come at me with a carving knife I’d love
to. >> “that sounds like fun.” << About as much fun as being run
through with a rusty sabre if this tension keeps up, but I’m game. >>

There was no further discussion, nobody argued with Monica.


Richie was impressed by his new companions residence and he wandered
across the room appreciatively.

“Nice place you have here,” he said cheerfully, trying to figure out
how he could take his coat off without someone offering to take it for

He could just see it now: 

*** “Let me hang that up for you,” ... Any of the myriad of people that
seemed to gather in this place.

“No that’s fine.” ... himself.

“It’s no trouble,” ... The awkward shuffle as he tried to fold the
garment so no one would notice what it carried. ... A couple of seconds
when there was no reaction, and then :

“There’s a sword in your coat.” ***

It would not be a pretty sight. In the end he went for the sling it
over the back of a chair manoeuvre. << Just nobody sit on it, please.
>> Paranoia was a difficult thing to control. If he’d know Monica
better he probably would have chosen a different course of action, and
little did he know he had approximately five minutes before she could
bare it sitting there no longer.

<< Coats on the coat hook, cushions on the chairs. >> Monica just
couldn’t help it.

Chandler was still getting the cold shoulder, even after the sudden
change of heart he appeared to have had. Monica was not going to
forgive him lightly, for putting her new friend in such an
uncomfortable few minutes, and he was going to pay for every second.
Since he was relatively happy with Richie’s presence, he decided to
take the hint.

“Well since everything’s unfolding *so* well,” he said lightly, “I’ll
be going. If you need me I’ll be *right* next door.” << Don’t blame me
if he turns out to be a mad axe murderer. The likely hood of which is
much bigger than you think. >>

He smiled blandly at Monica, who just glared back.

“Tea or coffee?” the black haired woman asked as her other friend left.
<< We just came from a coffee shop, Mon, what are you doing? >>

“No thanks, I’m fine,” the Immortal replied with a smile that could
have killed a dozen prom queens. << Just warn me if you have any other
friends who are going to appear out of the woodwork. >>

The door swung open.

“Hey, guys, what’s got Chandler so pissed?” Joey chose the moment to

He drew up short as he spotted Richie and it was possible to see the
thoughts meander across his face. There was the surprise, the
connection and then the beginning of a question. His arm came up in a
vague pointing gesture and his mouth half opened.

“Not Ethan,” the Immortal put in quickly with a smile. << He definitely
must have made an impression. >>

He could see this was going to be a common theme.

“Thank god,” the actor said with a sudden grin, “I thought Monica was
backsliding there, for a while.”

The woman in question was beginning to shake. << I’m going to line you
all up and shoot every last one of you. Or maybe I should make that
torture to death. >> She needn’t have worried, but then again, telling
Monica not to worry was like asking a priest not to pray. Richie
decided to come to the rescue with a neutral comment.

“Nice view,” he said and inched towards the window. << Buildings, well
they’re good buildings anyway. >>

The company gradually divided into two groups as Monica wandered over
to comment on the view and the others gravitated towards the kitchen to
have a private word.

“So who is this guy?” Joey asked in a whisper that Richie heard, but

“Name’s Richie, he manages a dojo some place up north,” Rachel replied
in an equally unsubtle whisper.

“Monica has the hots for him, huh?” subtlety was not one of the actor’s
strong points.

Both Ross and Rachel glared at him, but Phoebe missed the gist of the
conversation as usual.

“Yeah,” she said brightly, and way too loudly,” and he’s not

Now, even if he’d didn’t have sensitive hearing, Richie couldn’t have
pretended not to hear that. << Seventeen, what’s this about seventeen.
No way I look that young, is there? >> His eyebrows shot up at the
inference and Monica went a deep shade of pink. It was a good colour
for her, but the way she just wanted to curl up and die was not great
for her heart.

“There was a small misunderstanding with Ethan,” she tried to cover her
embarrassment unsuccessfully, “um, he was a little younger than he
first told me.” << I slept with a guy who was still at school, oh god,
I can *never* admit that. >>

The Immortal tried to look sympathetic, but was having trouble not
seeing the funny side. << Oops. >> He would have had a problem not
actually laughing if it hadn’t been for the fact that something out the
window caught his eye. There was the glint of sunlight on metal and
then the glass in front of him gained two holes in rapid succession. He
felt his body jerk twice and then looked down stupidly to see two
growing patched of red on his nice white shirt.

There was a scream trying to come out of Monica’s mouth, but it seemed
to be stuck just behind her tonsils.

“Ouch,” Richie said in a surprised little voice, and promptly fell

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” Rachel had a little vocabulary
problem. “he’s been ... been ... *shot*!”

Monica knelt down beside her fallen guest and waved her hands in his
general direction as if it would do some good. She was somewhat
incoherent. << Blood, there’s blood everywhere. It’s going to stain the
carpet. >> There was something very practical about Monica’s brain no
matter what it had to deal with.

“I’ll call the emergency services,” Ross said as every one else seemed
to just stand there in shock.

“No!” Richie managed the instruction in a small strangled voice.

This could be difficult to explain, but no way he was ending up in the

“Chandler,” he said breathlessly as he lay on the floor trying to
figure out if he was dying, “go get Chandler.” << He’s going to hate me
forever, but explaining a dead guy with a sword will make him hate me
more. >>

It was a very strange request, but since no one was particularly used
to having a man shot in the living room, Rachel fled for the door.
Phoebe passed Monica a drying cloth and she set about trying to prevent
her new friend bleeding to death.


Chandler was sitting in his living room, totally oblivious to anything
that was going on when the door burst in to reveal a panicking Rachel.

“Windows ... glass ... blood,” she tried to get a sentence out, but
wasn’t having much luck. “The, the, ... bullets ... cute guy ... shot.”

“Do I get any clues, or is this the bonus round?” the data processor
had gleaned very little information from the waitress’ montage and his
humour was sarcastic as usual.

This did not go down very well with Rachel, who used her anger to
actually find a voice. She stepped forward, grabbed Chandler by the
collar and hauled him into a standing position.

“He’s been shot,” she managed one word at a time. “Someone shot him
through the window.”

“Who?” it was a fair guess, but the young looking man wanted to make

“Richie!” it was almost a yell.

All coherence left Rachel again as panic reasserted itself. Her ability
to deal with any situations such as crises had been surgically removed
at birth.

“Okay, Rach,” Chandler said, thinking very fast and taking charge of
the situation, “you stay here. Don’t *do* anything, and I’ll handle

She nodded mutely and he made a dash for the door.


Next door was chaos. Everyone was either hovering in a state of total
confusion, or trying to prevent their guest from expiring where he lay.
Since Richie seemed to have placed his faith in Chandler, when the man
in question came through the door the panic flooded minds of his
companions centred squarely on him. 

<< This could be tricky. >> That did not quite describe the situation.

The other Immortal walked over to where his comrade was lying and
looked down. The scenarios playing through his head were not pretty and
they did nothing to improve his mood. To put it mildly, Chandler Bing
was annoyed.

“Are you *dying*?” he asked bluntly, much to the shock of all his
companions. << You may have just blown ten years of my life, I hope
you’re pleased with yourself. >>

The way the room was going in and out of focus and spots were dancing
before his eyes gave Richie a clue as to the answer to that question.

“That would be a fair guess,” he said from behind gritted teeth. << And
I’m sorry I really am, but you’re going to have to clear up the mess.

This had gone from the realms of unusual to the completely bizarre.

“We have to get him to a hospital,” Monica had rediscovered her need to
control things.

“No!” both Immortals were definitely agreed on one thing.

“That would be a very *bad* idea,” Chandler informed everybody. <<
Explaining how the hell he was shot is going to open a whole can of
worms that I do not want to go into. >>

Richie groaned as Monica forgot what she was doing for a moment and
pushed the wrong place on his torso. The other Immortal was way down on

“Oh, if you’re going to die, why don’t you get on and do it!” it was
one of those times he really wished he’d thought before opening his
mouth. << Verbal flood alert. >>

Everyone was looking at him as if he’d just shot Richie himself.

“Thanks so much for the sympathy,” the prone Immortal responded quietly
<< It means *so* much to me. >> “I don’t think you have long to wait.”

That was an understatement, he’d only just managed to get the line out
when death caught up with him. One second he was staring up at Monica,
the next he was limp in her arms. She just sat there, stunned.

No-one had noticed that Rachel had made her way back into the room.

“Oh, he’s dead isn’t he?” she said in a very small voice. “They’ll be
too late.”

It took a moment for Chandler to cotton on to that thread of

“Who’ll be *too* late?” he asked very slowly, turning his gaze back to

“The paramedics and the police,” she said heart brokenly.

The Immortal’s face was turning black with all the storm clouds it was

“Which part of my instructions didn’t you understand?” he asked
pointedly. “Was it the ‘don’t’, the ‘do’ or the ‘anything’, that
slipped past you?” << It wasn’t a difficult thing to ask, not
complicated or even requiring *thought*! >>

The young woman looked as if she was going to burst into hysterical

“Leave her alone, Chandler,” Ross came leaping to her rescue. “The
guy’s dead, what else were we supposed to do?”

“*Nothing*,” the Immortal was adamant, “that’s all you had to do.
Listen very carefully when I say, very, *very*, VERY, bad things will
happen if the police or any one else find *him* here. There is no time
to explain now, but we are going to tidy this place up and when the
cops get here we are going to pretend like nothing has happened.”

He looked from startled face to startled face, one by one.

“Do you all understand?” this was a face of Chandler no-one had seen

“But he’s like, um, dead,” Phoebe pointed out with an innocent stare.

It earned her a very hard glance in reply.

“Drop the act, Phoebs,” the Immortal said pointedly, “I’ve seen the
tattoo. Those little shorts you borrowed off Monica don’t hide it so
well. Interesting place to put it by the way.”

“Thanks,” she said brightly and smiled, “it was my idea.”

The entirety of the rest of the room had lost the conversation a little
way back. The behaviour of both their friends was bordering on the
completely crazy.

“We have to hide him,” Chandler took everyone’s shattered wills in an
iron like grasp.

“How about the bathroom?” now her Watcher identity was no longer a
secret, Phoebe had no problem lending a few suggestions.

A nod was all she received as an acknowledgement, and the conscious
Immortal gently pulled Monica from where she was still kneeling.

“Joey, take his shoulders,” the data processor instructed forcefully.

At first the actor hesitated.

“But this is, like, a felony, right?” he said anxiously.

“Not if they don’t find out about it,” Chandler was in no mood to
discuss the matter. << Time is t minus five minutes and counting. >>

The brusque manner was not working, however, so he changed tack.

“Look,” he said evenly << Deep breaths, Chandler, you can do it. >>, “I
promise I will explain everything, but after we have dealt with the
emergency services.”

With a little more coaxing, Joey finally picked up Richie’s shoulders
and the two men dumped him in the bath tub. Chandler shut the door with
a sigh of relief. It was then, however, that he noticed obstacle number
two: Monica had picked up Richie’s coat. Shortly thereafter she
produced the rapier from beneath it.

“That is *not* a carving knife,” Rachel was on the verge of hysterics

“Phoebe, hide it,” there was no time for idle discussion.

The police were renown for their prompt arrival, if you didn’t need
them in a hurry. Time eventually ran out a minute or so later, when
there was a firm knock on the door.

“This is the police, please open the door,” came the instructions from

Chandler reached the portal first, and glanced at everyone just to make
sure they weren’t about to loose it. With a huge smile on his face he
opened the entrance and parted his arms as if greeting visitors.

“Hi, come in, come in,” he said cheerfully. “You must be Diane and
Clive, great outfits.”

He turned and grinned at everyone else.

“Everybody, Diane and Clive are finally here,” he told them all to
almost no reaction.

Only Phoebe caught on, or at least tried to.

“Hi,” she said winsomely, “it’s so nice to meet you. Can I get you

The two officers were looking slightly confused. << Thank you god, if
they fall for this I’ll never sin again. Well at least I’ll try not to,
you’ll give me the odd head here and their won’t you? >>

“We’re here to investigate the report of a murder,” the female partner
in the police team tried firmly.

“Of course you are,” Chandler said brightly, “but no-one’s found the
body yet. Have a drink first and them we’ll get the game going

The cops were beginning to realise that something wasn’t right here.

“Would you mind explaining exactly what’s going on here, sir?” the male
side of the partnership enquired slowly.

The Immortal should have been awarded an OSCAR for his performance. His
face slowly went from happy through slightly unsure to worried.

“You are Diane and Clive aren’t you?” he asked tentatively.

“No, sir, we are not,” the woman replied. “I am Officer Kallan and this
is Officer Pern.”

If shock had been an art form, Chandler would have taken the world by

“Oh dear,” Phoebe played her part as only Phoebe could.

“Ah, we’re having a party,” her co-star continued slowly. “You know a
murder mystery party. Someone didn’t actually call the police did

It was at that moment the paramedics chose to arrive.

“Oh, no, I think there’s been a huge mistake,” Chandler was doing

“Then why, may I ask,” Officer Pern enquired as his partner explained
the situation to the new arrivals, “do your friends look so

That was a tricky question. << Think dammit, think. >>

“They’re playing parts,” he offered hopefully.

“And the blood on the carpet?” things were beginning to look a little
sticky for the group.

“A clue,” the Immortal was not used to coming up with cover stories
quite so quickly.

The police man wandered over and looked down at the stain and then up
at the window.

“And this is for realism is it, sir?” the officer enquired.

“Oh yes,” Chandler replied with his best poker face, “this is Professor
Plum, Miss Scarlet and Colonel Mustard. They being in the dinning room,
next to the window broken by the revolver, the glass would *have* to be
on the inside.”

Monica looked like she couldn’t take much more.

“Yes, sir, well we received a call from a Miss Rachel Green, that
wouldn’t be any of you would it?” the officer continued dismissively.

Rachel gave a worried smile and waved her hand.

“But she’s been here all evening,” Chandler stepped in rapidly. “We’ve
been having some problems with an ex-roommate, this may be just a sick

“Is this true, ma’am?” this was one suspicious cop.

All the waitress could manage was a mute nod of the head. If she spoke
it was possible she’d just tell everything.

It didn’t stop there either. The two officers were not pleased at all
and the questions began to rack up. Chandler was beginning to think he
may not be able to talk his way out of this one.

“Maybe we should take a bit more of a look around,” Kallan suggested as
they prodded the window for the tenth time.

The sword under Monica’s bed and the body in the tub would not make a
great find. There was only one person who was not shocked into complete
silence when the bathroom door opened and Richie walked out.

“Look,” he said pointedly, “is someone going to find the body or am I
going to be lying in there all night?”

The holes and blood all over his shirt were very evident, as was his
apparent good health. Most faces went completely white, but luckily for
them, the two police officers were more interested in the new player.
The paramedics decided now was a good time to leave, but the cops were
a little bit more annoyed.

“Good evening, sir,” Kallan said icily, “you must be the victim.”

Immortals really had to be given some credit, if they’d gone into show
business lots of actors would have been out of work.

“That’s me,” Richie replied lightly, << Yep, it’s definitely me. >>.
“Is there a problem?”

“Didn’t you notice anything going on out here?” Pern stepped in to back
up his partner.

Richie tried to look remorseful.

“I sort of dozed off,” he said penitently, “but anyway I was under
strict instructions not to move no matter what I heard. Did I miss
something, have I ruined the party?”

“We’re *not*, Clive and Diane,” Kallan was adamant on this point.

Richie’s portrayal of a supplicant wrong doer was a classic.

“Oops,” he said and glanced at Chandler.

Now the other Immortal had known when his compatriot completed his
phoenix impression, but he was still a little surprised to see him in
the ‘living’ room. He did, however, cover quickly.

“Look,” he breezed in cheerfully, “this has been one *big*, horrible,
mistake.” << Ever letting you anywhere near my friends was a *big*,
horrible mistake. >> His glare was focused directly on Richie. “Can’t
we just forget about it, maybe, please, huh, huh?”

He gave his cutest smile, and when Richie tried the same thing, Officer
Kallan didn’t have a chance. There wasn’t a lot of defence against two
killer expressions and Pern knew he’d be writing this one up as a
unfathomable hoax the moment his partner smiled.

“Just make sure it doesn’t happen again,” the woman said and was
rewarded by another glimpse of heaven.


The moment the two police officers had been ushered out of the door and
down the stairs, Chandler turned on Richie.

“Damn fine mess you made of that one,” he started as he meant to go on.
<< How the hell am I supposed to explain this one? >>

There wasn’t much the other Immortal could say about that, but it
hadn’t exactly been his fault.

“Well I’m *sorry*,” he said, << This wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
>> “but I didn’t exactly plan this. I never thought Baker would try
anything with people around. I didn’t believe even he would stoop that

“We’re talking about the guy who strings cheese wire across bridal
paths,” Chandler was beginning to think his companion may be a little
naive. << Okay so shooting you through a window *wasn’t* the first
thing I’d have thought of either, but I’m not letting you off this
hook. >> “What’s the idea walking around looking like an extra from
night of the living dead?”

Now rational thought when provoked was one of Richie’s less abundant

“So you’d rather of been dragged off down the station for conspiracy to
murder would you?” he shot back defensively. “What was I supposed to
do? There is no window in there and I was going to have to come out
eventually. I thought that if my appearance got you out of some crap
you might actually appreciate it a little more.”

“If you’d never turned up,” the older Immortal was also angry, “I
wouldn’t have been in any crap in the first place!”

They seemed oblivious to the rest of the room.

“Excuse me, guys,” Phoebe tried quietly.

There was no reaction as the pair glared at each other furiously.

“*Yo*, guys,” the shout got their attention.

The emotion drained out of both faces as they turned to see the rest of
the room. Casper had more colour in his cheeks than most of Chandler’s
friends. Richie facing her and therefore displaying the large red
patches on his shirt was too much for Monica. One second she was
vertical, the next there was a new rug ornament. Everyone else was
routed to the spot so Phoebe went to her companion’s rescue.


When Monica came round, the world seemed to be a much better place.
Chandler was patting her hand anxiously and she smiled up at him as she
opened her eyes.

“You’ll never believe the dream I was having,” she said quite happily.
“There was this guy and he was shot in my living room. Isn’t that

She watched her carer’s eyes track right, and she couldn’t do anything
but follow. Her gaze fixed on Richie and a pitiful little whimper
escaped her mouth.

“Oh god,” she said, “it was real.”

The Immortal was stood in her kitchen area looking very sheepish and
more than a little worse for wear. Quite suddenly Monica’s face

“Explain, Chandler, *now*,” she commanded loudly.

It was the older Immortal’s turn to go a whiter shade of pale. He
didn’t seem to know where to start and since Richie knew how difficult
these things could be, he decided to lend a hand.

“I’m Immortal,” he said bluntly and all eyes turned to him. << Oh what
the hell. >> “we’re both Immortal, but before we get into the long
explanations, does someone have a shirt or something I can borrow? This
one’s a little sticky.”

Chandler sent Joey for some alternative clothing, and everyone else
stood around eyeing the two unusual individuals as if they’d bite. All
the women in the room did a little more eyeing when Richie striped off
his top and cleaned the remains of the blood away in the sink, but that
was only to be expected. After he slipped on the T-shirt Joey brought,
Chandler indicated that they should all sit down.

“You got as far as Immortality,” Ross said sceptically.

Now they’d had time to think, certain things seemed very unreal.

<< Well you started this, >> Chandler stared hard at his Immortal
companion, << you can kick off. >>

“Bottom line,” Richie began, taking the hint << Don’t blame me if I
screw it up. >> , “we’re very hard to kill. We don’t die, we don't age,
we fight one another (when we have to), and in the end, there can be
only one.”

“If you don’t die, how can there eventually be only one?” even Joey
caught onto that loophole.

It did seem to be rather a contradiction in terms.

“We chop each other’s heads off,” Chandler was being brutally honest.

That gave Richie a good indication of how much he actually trusted his

“Don’t ask us where we come from,” he put in evenly, “because we don’t
know. We have no parents and we don’t get a clue of what we’re in for
until we die for the first time.” << Life can be a *real* bitch. >>

“So how old *are* you really?” Rachel leapt in with a hard stare turned
on Richie.

She was taking nothing at face value anymore, this person looked
nineteen, said he was twenty two, and how could she tell what was the
truth? The look on Monica’s face said she had been about to ask
something similar of Chandler, but she held her peace.

“Everything I told you was true,” Richie promised faithfully, “all I
did was leave out some bits.” << Okay I admit they were *big* bits. >>

After that admission, all gazes turned to the other Immortal and he
began to squirm.

“And how about you?” Monica took over the questioning. “If you don’t
have parents, what was all that with your mother last year?”

That was a good question and it was going to take some explaining. <<
You may have a point there. >> Chandler’s mind tried to pull together
some coherent thoughts.

“Okay,” he said eventually with a little shrug, “so biologically she’s
not my mother. She’s another Immortal, but she did raise me *and* she
has been embarrassing me since I was a teenager.”

“You didn’t answer the first question,” it was difficult to slip
anything past the Inquisitor.

“Thyuorm hukjrf n frhty two,” Chandler seemed reluctant to give his

“I couldn’t hear you,” Monica said pointedly.

“Three hundred and fifty two,” the Immortal finally said loudly.

Everyone gasped, except Richie who wasn’t going to mention that he knew
people older than that.

“But we went to college together,” Ross said plaintively.

Chandler looked remorseful.

“You’d be amazed what a different hair cut and a suit can do to change
your age,” he said in what was supposed to be a bright cheerful voice.

“And the Thanksgiving thing?” Rachel asked, trying desperately to prod
a hole in this impossibility.

There was a possibility that Chandler was going to run away at that

“Well, I suppose you could say that it wasn’t really a divorce, more of
a burn Mom at the stake for being a witch type thing with Dad as one of
the lynch mob, and Thanksgiving was more of a new trend than a
tradition,” he began slowly, “but I *was* six and I haven’t been able
to look at a pumpkin pie since.”

He did get a few sympathetic looks after that explanation, but it
wasn’t enough information.

“But why did someone shoot Richie thought my window?” Monica was
beginning to sound less stable.

It was the blonde young man’s turn to take up the dialogue.

“Another Immortal tried to kill me a week or so ago,” he was trying to
be gentle, but it was difficult. << He strung an exploding wire across
my door to blow my head off, but you don’t need to know that. >>, “I
followed him here.”

He was being eyed edgily.

“Let me get this straight,” Ross said slowly, “your *buisness* in New
York was to kill someone.”

<< Well I wouldn’t have put it quite so bluntly. >> Richie thought to
himself and tried to come up with a better way of saying it. “He would
just have come back for me if I hadn’t trailed him,” the young Immortal
explained, << And if they believe that you’re a lucky son of a bitch,
Ryan. >> “We live by rules, and his ... assassination attempt rates as
a challenge. In Immortal circles if you’re challenged you fight, and I
have no intention of letting him set up another trap.”

“He’s right,” Chandler agreed, much to his friends’ growing horror. “So
you’re telling me that if someone was about to blow you away and you
were holding a gun you wouldn’t use it?” The Immortal was not going to
let them get away with being totally self-righteous.

Joey and Ross looked a little understanding, but Monica and Rachel were
far from comprehending.

“There’s always the police,” Rachel insisted, totally irrationally.

Both Immortals glanced at each other and raised their eyebrows.

“I can see it now,” Chandler started sarcastically. “Yes officer, I’m
actually several hundred years old although I look only about twenty
something, and there’s another person chasing me with a sword because
they want to cut my head off and take my Quickening.”

“Do come this way, sir,” Richie finished off, he was not impressed by
the stupidity of the suggestion either, “the padded cell is right this

The two actually smiled at each other, pleased with their co-operation.
It wasn’t the full content of the conversation that had caught Monica’s
attention, however.

“Quickening,” she began, “what the hell’s a Quickening?”

The blond, curly haired Immortal let his older compatriot have the
floor on this one. << Good luck, Chandler, that’s a doozey. >>

For a moment the data processor just sat there with a vaguely bemused
look on his face, opening his mouth ever few seconds and then closing
it again without imparting any information. He resembled a large,
beached goldfish.

“Well it’s the transference of the power of one Immortal to another,”
he finally decided on a form of address. “We do have a reason for
killing each other, you know, and some of us try to avoid decapitating
everyone we meet. A quickening is like, like the big *O* and wiring
yourself up to the mains at the *same* time.”

He looked to Richie and the younger man nodded in agreement. That was
one way of describing it.

“Wait, wait,” Phoebe said, she’d only been Chandler’s Watcher a few
years and she’d never seen a Quickening, “I don’t get it. What big O?
Do you mean big Oh, as in like Oh, that’s it, or like a really great
doughnut or what?”

There was a look of disbelief on Richie’s face, he’d never met someone
who could miss the point quite so totally.

“No Phoebs,” the other Immortal said patiently, “I mean the big *O*,
you know, the *really* big, as in *is* a capital letter *O*.”

“Oh, you mean orgasm,” the young woman said, really pleased with
herself. “Well why didn’t you say so?”

Chandler did a great impression of Mr Spock, one eyebrow actually tried
to reach his hairline. Monica had taken to watching Richie again, and
the thoughts that ran through her mind were not difficult to see on her
face. All the talk about Quickening seemed to have given her ideas.

“So it’s like the big *Q*, rather than the big *O*,” there was being
happy with oneself and then there was Phoebe.

The outburst did bring all eyes squarely back to her, however.

“And you,” Rachel accused slowly, “how is it you know all about this?”

Richie had missed the earlier conversation about tattoos, but after
that question he had a sneaking suspicion about the answer.

“Oh, I’m a Watcher,” the masseuse responded quite openly, “we watch
Immortals. They’re not supposed to know about us, but looks like I blew
that one. I have this tattoo to prove it as well.”

Without a second thought she hoisted up her skirt and proudly exhibited
the small area of pigmentation below her right buttock. None of the
gentlemen minded the view and there was even a little disappointment
when she sat back down.

“We write down who they do and what they kill,” she told everybody and
then paused.

She looked thoughtful for a minute.

“No,” she decided, “make that, what they do and who they kill.”

<< This woman is crazy. >> Richie was not alone in his conclusion.

“But *why* shoot you if it’s not going to kill you?” Monica was staring
at the blond Immortal again.

At that he had to smile.

“If Chandler hadn’t been here,” he responded much more cheerfully that
before, Phoebe had a way of getting to people, “I’d have ended up in
the morgue. It’s very difficult to protect yourself when you’re naked
and unarmed.”

The way the black haired woman’s eyes lit up as he said ‘naked’ made
Richie wish he’d chosen another way of describing that. It wasn’t that
he wouldn’t have been interested, it was just that he had more
important things to worry about just now.

There were more questions, and the two Immortals did their best to
answer most of them. Some were a little up in the air: like when Joey
managed to enquire if they knew the meaning of life. With the actor
this could have been quite a simple answer, but they chose not to try.
Finally after about an hour it came right down to it.

“I have to go find Baker and finish this,” Richie announced as the
conversation began to dry up. “I’m sorry to have involved all of you,
<< But thanks for keeping my butt out of the fire. >> my sincere
apologies, Chandler, I hope this doesn’t ruin your current persona, and
I really have to leave.” << Or Monica’s going to attack me, either that
or something equally problematic will happen. >>

There was one thing they hadn’t discussed yet.

“Where’s my sword?” he asked calmly.

“Under my bed?” Monica told him quickly, “I’ll show you.”

<< This could be tricky. >> Richie mused silently.

He’d never been in and out of a woman’s bedroom so quickly before.
Normally he wasn’t trying to escape, but the look in the black haired
beauty’s eyes was more than a little predatory. Monica seemed to like
the idea of Immortals, in fact, it brought our a whole new side to her

The goodbyes were very brief and to the point, after which Richie
walked away whilst the going was good.

“We can’t just let him go all by himself,” Monica said after about
three minutes of complete silence.

The Mortals were all looking at each other and the glances that were
being exchanged gave Chandler a really bad feeling.

“Ah, guys,” he began cautiously, “you can’t interfere.”

“Those are your rules, Bing,” Rachel snapped at him, he wasn’t quite
forgiven yet, “not ours.”

“Yeah,” even Ross was in on this madness, “what if that guy Baker
shoots him in the back or something?”

The data processor was now getting really worried. << Talk them out of
it, Chandler. *Now*! >>

“Going after him would be real dangerous,” he tried to appeal to their
self preservation instincts. “He can take care of himself, he’s done
this before,” it didn’t look like the brutal truth would work either.

Even Phoebe just stared at him and she should have known better.

“We’re going,” she said with a forcefulness that surprised everyone. “I
can’t be your Watcher anymore anyway, so I’m going to help for once.”

Defeat was staring Chandler in the face and he knew it. Not one of his
friends was going to see sense, what choice did he have.

“Okay,” he said << Even if I block the door way you’re coming through
me, right? >> , “I’m coming with you. At least I can tell you who not
to go up against. Wait right here, I’ll be back in thirty seconds.”


Two minutes later they were all in the hallway and Chandler appeared
from his apartment carrying a long thin wrapped object.

“Is that a ...?” Rachel began.

“A sword, yes,” the data processor replied. “If Richie looses I might
just need it.”

“So that’s what that is,” Joey commented lightly, he seemed to be
enjoying all this, “and you told me it was a fencing strut.”

Nobody dwelt on why the actor may have come to believe that, and
Chandler did not try and explain. As usual Joey was half a thought
behind everyone else, and as they were contemplating murder, he was
still on twenty questions.

“So how come,” he started cheerfully, “if you don’t get ill, you had
flu that time.”

“Good acting,” his friend replied. “You never pulled a sicky?”

He was not in the mood for long explanations.

“How about all those,” he struggled for the right word, “episodes?”

“And just because I’m Immortal I’m not allowed mid life crises?” this
really was getting a little silly.


It finally looked like Baker had come to the conclusion that he was
going to have to fight his young challenger, because when Richie
entered the building from where the shots had originated he found a
trail big enough to lead a blind man. << Well, I suspect you have
something nasty planned for me, but I’m ready for you this time. >>

He finally came to the conclusion that he was supposed to find his
enemy when there was an address scrawled on the wall. He headed off in
the correct direction, totally unaware that there were six people
following him. Four of his friends may not have been experienced at
this sort of thing, but under Chandler’s guidance, with a bit of help
form Phoebe, they turned into quite a good replacement for the Get
Smart team.

The warehouse district seemed like an appropriate place for a battle
and Richie noted the presence of another Immortal the moment he entered
one of the big buildings. It was as the lights came up in a dramatic
flare that the covert operations of his trailers became apparent as
Chandler took that one step too far.

“Get your butt down here, Baker,” he called out, ignoring the other’s
presence for now. << Chandler, I hope that’s you, and if you’ve scared
off this pain in the butt, I’ll have your head. >>.

“Now is that anyway to talk to a friend?” much to Richie’s relief the
other Immortal appeared from behind a huge stack of crates.

He hadn’t noticed the presence of another Immortal, but his opponent
noticed that he was carrying a gun.

“Still not in a sporting mood then?” the younger of the two asked, <<
You’re in deep ca-ca, Ryan. Find a way out, now. >>

“Oh, you’re a little too risky for my taste,” Baker returned and
brought up the barrel, “I thought I’d just make sure.”

Chandler chose a perfect moment to enter, his sword was drawn.

“You can’t hold a gun in a Quickening,” he pointed out as for the first
time the evil Immortal noted his presence. “If you shoot him, I won’t
interfere, of course, but the moment you’re on the floor, you’re all
mine. Fight him like we really should, and this is all none of my

“Why don’t I just shoot you both and get both heads?” Baker had a

<< Brilliant, Bing, you forgot something. >> Chandler wasn’t into guns.

Richie on the other hand had been in situations like this before. They
sort of just happened when you hung out with Duncan MacLeod.

“You could try,” he said cockily. << It would probably work too. >>,
“but there’s one thing you don’t know.”

There was a momentary look of disquiet on Baker’s face and the blond
Immortal took the opportunity to put one hand behind his back and point
at a pile of crates to his left. Chandler didn’t need much of a hint.

“Yo, Bing,” Richie continued chattily, “secret weapon ... *Run*!”

There was one problem with projectile weapons, you couldn’t hit two
targets at the same time, especially if they were moving in opposite
directions. Richie had no problem sprinting and he and Chandler went
for two patches of cover, on opposing sides of the warehouse. It wasn’t
exactly a graceful way to go about a challenge, but then Baker was
being about as sporting as an elephant gun against a hamster. Shots
rang out, but the somewhat scruffy Immortal didn’t manage to hit either
of his opponents.

“You know,” Richie called from behind his wooden barrier, “it would be
so much easier if we just did this the traditional way.” << For you and
me both, pal. >>

He had no idea where they could possibly go from here, but he was
hoping for divine inspiration very shortly. How come things like this
never happened to Mac, every one he went against eventually just pulled
a sword in the time honoured fashion. << Okay so the guy with the
poison had been a little under hand, >> he thought to himself, << and
then there was Brian with the truck. ... Shut up, Ryan, that’s not
important now. >>

Both Chandler and Richie knew that if they put their heads over the
side of their cover they’d get them shot off, but if something didn’t
happen soon Baker was just going to leave.

“Come on, Garland,” the younger of the two tried to appeal to his
enemy’s sense of honour, “let’s finish this man to man.”

“Step into the open and we’ll finish this real quick,” the other
replied coldly. “And then I’ll have time to deal with your pathetic

“Stick and stones,” came from Chandler’s direction.

The Immortals in the room were, however, unaware of one thing: there
were five Mortals on the prowl who’d circled around the back of the
building. Normally they’d have been cowering in terror behind some
large object, but something about seeing a man come back to life had
inspired them.

“Excuse me,” Ross’ voice called from halfway down the building, “but I
heard gun shots. Is everyone all right in here?”

The two sheltering combatants nearly died of heart failure.

“Oh, I see you’re fine,” the palaeontologist said as Baker turned
towards him with the gun, “I’ll just be leaving then.”

“Stay right where you are,” the nasty, armed, piece of work instructed

Baker had done some research on his latest victim since he’d returned
to New York and he knew that Richie was a student of MacLeod. He didn’t
recognise Ross from Adam, since he didn’t take much notice of Mortals,
but he knew that his opponent would care.

“Come out here now, both of you,” he said loudly, “or I’ll shoot the

<< This is *bad*, this is really *really* bad. >> Chandler was having a
head fit.

Both heads appeared over the crates to observe the scene before them
and they were just in time to see a most remarkable rescue attempt.
Monica and Phoebe had crept up behind Baker and as his victims came out
from behind their hiding places the two women each brought down a large
wooden plank on the Immortal’s head. He collapsed ungracefully into a
heap on the floor and Rachel and Joey appeared from a slightly
different direction, also armed with boards. The two conscious
Immortals looked both surprised and very impressed.

“Wow, what a rush,” Phoebs commented with uncharacteristic blood lust.


Thought returned to Baker to find him lying in exactly the same place
into which he had fallen. His first view of the world was a pair of
feet, with a blade hanging just by the legs to which they were

“Welcome back,” Richie said cordially. << You are mine, you over
stuffed pirate. >> “Now we’re going to do this *my* way.”

The gun had been removed and Garland soon caught sight of Joey holding
it. He knew when he was in a corner, and he climbed to his feet,
drawing his sword.

“Oh well,” he said lightly, “you’re a risk, but I never said I couldn’t
beat you.”

“The bacon is *cleared* for landing,” Chandler’s voice just oozed

He and his friends were stood back by the entrance, they had all agreed
this was Richie’s fight.

Baker didn’t believe in hanging around and without another word he
launched himself at his opponent. There was not a problem with this
attitude from Richie’s direction and he was quite happy to deflect the
blow aimed at his shoulder. This evil Immortal had been relying on
tricks too long, he’d lost the edge from his fighting skills and his
adversary flicked under his guard to take a nick out of his hand. <<
Touche away! >> Richie had grown up on cartoons, his brain couldn’t
help it.

Their blades met again with a loud clang of steel and for a second time
the younger Immortal drew blood. << Take that, you cad. >> There were
of course the black and white movies as well.

<< Cawabunga! >> High budget, low intellectual content blockbusters.

<< Flow, Grasshopper. >> Seventies TV series and their remakes.

<< Feel the force within you. >> Science fiction, high budget movies.

<< Haieeee ya! >> Bruce Lee pictures.

<< It may look like an Immortal, it may sound like an Immortal, but
it’s really a pod person from Mars. >> Low budget science fiction.

And finally << There can be only one. >> Duncan MacLeod.

As Baker’s head bounced across the concrete in a most disgusting way,
Rachel fainted and much to his delight, Ross caught her. Richie turned
and looked at Chandler, who nodded his respect and then the Quickening

The big *O* and wiring yourself up to the mains didn’t exactly describe
the sensation that ran through Richie’s body. The energy entered every
cell and threatened to tear nuclei from membranes, causing an agony
that could only be understood if experienced. The blond Immortal would
probably have likened it to having various parts of his anatomy
shredded with a mincer. If it had just been that, however, most
Immortals would probably have put it down as a bad lot and gone off to
set up house in the back end of Kansas. Okay, so Richie didn’t have as
much experience as he’d like on the male, female bonding front, but he
had enough to know that a Quickening was as stimulating, if not more
so, than any sexual encounter of which he’d ever been part. He figured
that the pain was put there to stop every Immortal leaping on every one
of their kin just for the muscle twitching, mind blowing, total loss of
motor control, experience. The transfer of power was the best and the
worst thing that ever happened to Richie, and after this one he fell to
the floor, utterly drained and completely ecstatic.

“Shows over, guys,” Chandler commented as those of his companions who
were still standing remained rooted to the spot, gaping.

“I’ll bet that smarts,” Phoebe commented as she watched a shaky Richie
try and climb to his feel.

Monica just flew to his side, the look in her eyes was more frightening
than Baker holding a gun.


The two Immortals sat on Monica’s couch, each with a beer in one hand.
They were alone, since Phoebe and Monica were looking after Rachel in
the other room, and Ross and Joey had decided they needed to have a
talk about Chandler without him being able to hear. As soon as everyone
had gone to their various tasks, an awkward silence had fallen.

“You know, I really am sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused,” Richie
said eventually. << Honest. >> “What are you going to do?”

“They seem to be getting used to the idea,” Chandler replied, staring
into his drink, “I’ll stick around, see how it goes. New York’s a good
spot for Immortals, every one who comes to town is looking for Connor
MacLeod, the rest of us are usually ignored.” << Usually anyway. >>

<< I wonder how much he hates me? >> Richie couldn’t help pondering on
the subject. The two of them wouldn’t fight it out, they’d done the
warrior bonding thing by going up against Baker, and to try and kill
each other just wouldn’t be the Game. It was unlikely they’d ever be
friends either, however, because it was doubtful Chandler could ever
forgive his younger counterpart for being in the wrong place at the
wrong time.

“What are you going to do now?” the data processor enquired, unwilling
to let the conversation end there.

“Go home, I suppose,” the blond Immortal replied, “in a few days
anyway.” << But first I was thinking of making sure Monica has adjusted
to the existence of Immortals. She definitely needs some quality time,
my time. All my attention, for a while at least, if she doesn’t kill me
first, that is. >>

Chandler looked at him as if he knew exactly what was going through his
head. << Good luck, kid, you have *no* idea what you’re letting
yourself in for. >>

“Try not to die in front of any more people I know, okay?” was what he
said out loud.

“No problem,” the younger man said, “I left the cape and tights at home
so I’m not in the mood for super hero stuff. I can’t think of any other
reason I’d end up dying here.”


Rachel was comatosed thanks to the sleeping pill her flatmate had fed
her, Phoebe and Ross had long since left the building and Joey and
Chandler had just returned to their apartment to discuss the ins and
outs of Immortality, again. That just left Richie, who really wasn’t
quite sure where he should be, and Monica who hadn’t lost the predatory
glint from her eyes. 

There were intentions, and then there were actions, neither of the two
people left in the room seemed exactly sure of how to proceed. The chef
had the ‘I want you badly’ expression on her face, and Richie was
sitting there with the ‘I’m not going to argue’ pose to his stance, but
that was as far as either of them had managed.

“So,” Richie said eventually, “nice place you have here.” << Oh my god,
I don’t believe how lame that sounded. >>

There was a moments silence as Monica just looked at him.

“Blow the conversation,” she said finally, totally out of character,
“the bedroom’s this way.” << I don’t care. Tonight you’re *mine*. >>

The move from one room to the next took less than ten seconds and as he
stepped over the threshold, Monica pinned Richie to the wall with a
long, passionate kiss. He warmed to the situation very rapidly. The
strong embrace that enfolded her sent shivers down the black haired
woman’s spine and she had to *really* fight the urge to literally rip
her partner’s clothes off.

<< I don’t believe I’m doing this. >> The small voice of reason in her
brain found just a moment to surface. << I’ve known this man less than
twelve hours. >> He pulled her closer. <<  God, maybe I do. >>

She threw caution to the wind when Richie nuzzled her neck, << Screw
it, I’ll buy Joey a new T-shirt. >> There was a very satisfying tearing


The look on Richie’s face was somewhere between dazed and content. <<
Wow, this woman was serious. >> Monica finally seemed to have worn
herself out, but the Immortal wasn’t counting on it, there had been
lulls in the storm before. He’d very quickly been extremely glad he was
in peak physical condition, the chef’s attentions may have killed a
lesser man. He took the opportunity to glance at the clock as his
companion leant on his shoulder, stroking his chest gently. << Five
hours! >> His mind rebelled at the idea. His body hadn’t but then it
had been rather preoccupied at the time.

“You know, I never knew some of those things were possible,” Monica
said quietly and gazed at him.

<< That’s exactly what I said. >> Richie couldn’t help it, the grin
spread from ear to ear.

The chef took this as a challenge, and discovered a new lease of life.

“Know any more?” she enquired with a wicked smile.


It was five in the morning and Monica was still awake. Her bed
companion was sleeping peacefully next to her, having all but passed
out ten or so minutes previously. The corners of her mouth kept curling
upwards when she watched him just lying there. << He looks so young,
... and handsome ... and ... Monica he’s asleep! >>

She sighed and decided that she wasn’t tired at all. Slowly the
enigmatic half smile on her face metamorphosed into a fully fledged
grin. Very gently she lifted the covers off her dozing partner and took
a moment to survey his naked body.

“Definitely *not* seventeen,” she decided quietly.

Her eyes just watched his deep, even breathing. << Sculptured, strong
muscles ... slim waist ... flat stomach ... large, well formed ...
Monica what are *you* doing? >> She let the sheet fall as she caught
herself. << So perfect ... and he’s never going to grow old. >> The
thought stuck in the chef’s brain and slowly she began to look very
content. Monica was planning her retirement.


Two days and a night out later.

“You know if we hadn’t stayed for that last drink we’d have been able
to get taxis,” Monica said loudly as all seven friends walked down the

“Well at least it’s not raining,” Ross commented with his misplaced

No-one appeared particularly entertained by that thought.

“Whoopee do,” Chandler commented, “we get to be mugged on a *starry*
night.” << If I wasn’t Immortal, I’d be worried. >>

New York was not a great place in which to take a late night stroll,
and it wasn’t long before the data processor found himself proved all
too right. Three youths appeared in front of them and as they turned
there was one behind, all were carrying blades.

“Hand over your money and no-one gets hurt,” the leader of the gang did
not have many original lines.

Chandler and Richie looked at each other and slowly they both smiled.
Much to the younger’s delight they’d discovered over the last couple of
days that they shared very similar minds. When Richie hadn’t been
occupied with Monica, (which wasn’t all that often, since the chef had
discovered an appetite for anything but food) the two had spent a great
deal of time talking. They were both armed tonight, and neither of them
could resist.

“He’s got a knife,” Chandler provided the beginning of the dialogue.

“Nah, that’s not a knife,” Richie returned in perfect time, and reached
under his coat as his companion did the same. “Now this is a knife.”...