Duncan MacLeod and Richie Ryan sat at the bar at Joe's, listening to the band
and checking out the crowd. It was near closing, so the crowd had thinned
out a bit, but the band was still going strong.
Richie glanced over at the front door in time to see it open. The man that
walked in was around Duncan's height with a good build and features that were
"off" just enough to keep him from being a pretty boy. He was dressed all in
black leather, his long dark hair hung loose around his shoulders, and dark
glasses hid his eyes.
The newcomer walked up to the bar and slammed his fist down on the hard wood.
"Hey, old man, how about a beer?" he snapped.
Joe Dawson snorted. "How about you ask me that again in a more civil tone?"
he shot back.
The stranger's thin upper lip curled back in a sneer. "You got a problem
with my attitude, old man?"
Joe nodded. "Yeah, I do. But I have an even bigger problem with your face."
"Then why don't you come do something about it," the younger man taunted.
Richie and Duncan exchanged a worried glance. This guy was obviously going
to be trouble. They started to move towards him, but Joe held out his hand.
"Don't worry about it, fellas," Joe said. "I can handle this punk." He
moved from behind the bar and went to confront the arrogant young man.
Duncan tensed, preparing for a fight. But instead of attacking each other,
the two men embraced.
Richie raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Well," he said, "I'm lost."
Joe put his arm around the young man's shoulders and brought him over to the
two immortals. "Kiddo, this is Richie Ryan and Duncan MacLeod. I've known
Mikey here since he was a month old. His dad and I went to high school
Duncan watched the younger man closely, an odd look on his face.
The younger man shoved his sunglasses up on top of his head as he rolled his
deep blue eyes. "Joe, I haven't been Mikey since I was ten," he said. "What
do I have to do to get you to call me Michael?"
Richie's eyes grew wide as recognition set in. "Holy. . . You're Michael
Michael grinned. "You a fan?" he asked.
Richie nodded. "Your CD hasn't left my stereo since it came out," he
answered. "I only wish I could have gotten tickets to your concert, but they
sold out right as I got to the window."
"Oh, you poor guy," Michael replied. "Don't worry about a thing, Richie.
I'll set you up with front row seats, backstage passes, the works."
Richie was impressed. "Thanks, Michael, but you don't have to do that."
Michael shrugged. "I know, but I've always wanted to play the 'bigshot'."
Joe laughed. "Did I teach this boy right or what?" he teased. "Although I'd
love to know where exactly I went wrong and drove you into rock and roll
instead of the blues."
Michael took his sunglasses off and slipped them into his pocket. "Hey, I
can still play the blues."
"Prove it," Joe shot back. "You know where the stage is."
"Only if you join me, old man," Michael challenged.
"You're on," Joe said. "Excuse us, gentlemen." He shifted his grip on his
cane and they headed off to the stage.
Duncan turned back to his beer. "Michael seems nice," he said.
Richie nodded. "You, uh, you think Joe knows?"
Duncan shook his head. "How could he?"
Richie took a sip of his beer. "Think we should tell him?"
Duncan finished his beer. "Not a chance." He put his glass back down and
then turned to face the stage.