N.B. The Parts
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 smile.
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
<<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
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
"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."
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
"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,
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
"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 stop.
One track barely described her friend.
Richie did have the decency to blush at her bluntness,
even as he laughed.
"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.
and his eyes pinned down Chandler as he walked through
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 isbad.>>
"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.
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
"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
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 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
"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
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
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
"We'll be right back," he said with slightly
more lightness than he felt.
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
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
"I've got to remember to check the room beforeI
start these kinds of conversations," Chandler commented,
more to himself than to his companion.
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 pleasant.
Then the data processors brain finally caught up with
"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 Connor?"
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 seenwaytoo
much of the sixties,>> the younger man told
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,youknow," the data processor returned,
screwing up his face in a very Chandler expression, "guy
<<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
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 him.
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
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
"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 enter.
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 ignored.
"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 seventeen."
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 canneveradmit
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 over.
"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god," Rachel had
a little vocabulary problem. "he's been ... been
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
This could be difficult to explain, but no way he was
ending up in the morgue.
"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
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
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
"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 sure.
"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 this."
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
"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 sympathy.
"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
Everyone was looking at him as if he'd just shot Richie
"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
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
"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
"Who'll betoolate?" he asked very slowly,
turning his gaze back to her.
"The paramedics and the police," she said heart
The Immortal's face was turning black with all the storm
clouds it was gathering.
"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
"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
"Do you all understand?" this was a face of
Chandler no-one had seen before.
"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
At first the actor hesitated.
"But this is, like, a felony, right?" he said
"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
"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 again.
"Phoebe, hide it," there was no time for idle
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
"This is the police, please open the door,"
came the instructions from beyond.
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 anything?"
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 properly."
The cops were beginning to realise that something wasn't
"Would you mind explaining exactly what's going on
here, sir?" the male side of the partnership enquired
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
"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 storm.
"Oh dear," Phoebe played her part as only Phoebe
"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 they?"
It was at that moment the paramedics chose to arrive.
"Oh, no, I think there's been a huge mistake,"
Chandler was doing beautifully.
"Then why, may I ask," Officer Pern enquired
as his partner explained the situation to the new arrivals,
"do your friends look so uncomfortable."
That was a tricky question. <<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
"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 wouldhaveto 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 joke."
"Is this true, ma'am?" this was one suspicious
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
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
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
"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
"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 low."
"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 traits.
"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
"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
"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
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
"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 silly?"
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 changed.
"Explain, Chandler, now," she commanded
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
<<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 friends.
"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
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 age.
"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
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 point.
"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,
Both Immortals glanced at each other and raised their
"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 way."
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
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
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
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,
"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
"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
"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
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
<<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 character.
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
"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
"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
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
"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 business."
"Why don't I just shoot you both and get both heads?"
Baker had a point.
<<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
"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
"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 friend."
"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
"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 coldly.
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 Mortal."
<<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
"Wow, what a rush," Phoebs commented with uncharacteristic
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 thismy
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 sarcasm.
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.
Richie had grown up on cartoons, his brain couldn't help
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.
High budget, low intellectual content blockbusters.
Seventies TV series and their remakes.
<<Feel the force within you.>>
Science fiction, high budget movies.
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 hit.
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
<<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
"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
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
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
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
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
"Definitely not seventeen," she decided
Her eyes just watched his deep, even breathing. <<Sculptured,
strong muscles ... slim waist ... flat stomach ... large,
well formed ... Monica what are youdoing?>>
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 block.
"Well at least it's not raining," Ross commented
with his misplaced optimism.
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." ...