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We have a total of 23 episodes, and they're all available if you follow the HFS link.

 

 
 

Richie Ryan's School Days

Part 3


Scene 1 3

"Look I haven't seen anything."

"The security in this place wouldn't stop an incompetent burglar but ..."

"The only danger is from the inside ... nothing could get here without us noticing."

"We can't hang around much longer."

"I'm really getting annoyed with this uniform."

"The reward justifies the means."

"And 30% of ... "

"We'll give it another week."

The eavesdropper heard his quarry move from their meeting place on the scrub ground. Two weeks he had been waiting for something like this. Two weeks to get at the upstart Yank, and this was better than he could have guessed. Yet it wasn't quite enough, he needed just a little more, and as his subjects moved so did he. Smythe walked back to the school with a smile on his face.


Scene 1 4

"You know Richie is coping with this far better than I thought he would," MacLeod commented as he and Methos walked towards the teachers' lounge. "I thought he'd object to staying much longer, but he actually seems to be enjoying himself."

Methos raised his eyebrows and just grinned.

"Well have you seen how many girls are going all doe eyed over him?" he countered.

Duncan grinned back.

"I suppose that could be a factor," he admitted cheerfully, "but talking of admirers, how's Miss Demon? Been practising your French have you?"

"You know that's really none of your business," Methos returned, absolutely no emotion written on his face whatsoever.

MacLeod really didn't know if he'd hit a nerve or not, so he decided to try and find out.

"Oh come on," he said, a mischievous glint his eye, "it's the whole school's business. 'Would you like another cup of tea, Adam?'" Duncan impression of a female voice really was terrible. The deep Highlander tones really did not lend themselves to the task. "She's been all but drooling over you since the moment she clapped eyes on you, and there's a predatory glint in her eye."

Methos' eyebrows looked as if they were going to reach his hairline.

"And there I thought she was just being nice to the new teachers," he said with mock innocence. "But look who's talking. I may be lusted after by the French mistress, but at least I don't have half the school's female population following me around. Do you know how many girls have taken up self-defence in the last two weeks?"

Duncan's cheeks coloured slightly. It wasn't that the attention did his ego any harm, but teenage girls weren't the most subtle of creatures.

"You should hear what Richie picked up in the senior common room," the older Immortal commented.

Of course as soon as he'd dangled the carrot he shut up, which was really frustrating for the Highlander. MacLeod managed to resist for all of five seconds.

"Okay," he said exasperatedly, "what did he hear?"

"Oh, nothing really," Methos replied with a very annoying smile.

"How would you like a trim you won't forget?" the Scotsman asked.

The substitute maths teacher just laughed.

"You really don't want to know," he replied and walked off.

Of course what Methos would never tell his companion was that he didn't actually know what the senior common room had been saying, because Richie had been tormenting him in exactly the same manner.


Scene 1 5

Richie headed back towards the common room where he had left James, and then his most favourite person in all the world stepped out from one of the deserted class rooms.

[Smythe, when will you learn that it's better for your peace of mind if you stay out of my way?]

"I'm onto you," the boy said acidly, "I know what you and your partners in crime are up to."

[But no one invited Amanda on this trip.]

"What are you talking about this time, Smythe?" Richie asked pointedly.

"I've been watching you, Dawson," the head boy spat back, "and you finally slipped up."

The Immortal was in no mood for the jumped up little Hitler, and he had to bite his tongue before he told him so.

"I saw you meet with Mr MacLeod and Mr Pierson, and I heard you planning a robbery," Smythe played his trump card.

[If I was who you think I am, is this really the brightest thing to be doing.]

Richie took a deep breath before he even attempted to form a reply.

"Look, you cretinous," [That really is a good word I've added to my vocabulary.] , "misinformed tattletale," he was on a roll now. "I have no idea how you got the impression that I, or anyone I associate with has any intention of robbing this school. Yes I know MacLeod and Pierson, but we have no intention of making off with any of the treasures this school may contain. I have absolutely no intention of telling you why I am here, but feel free to bring it up with the head master. I'm sure he'll tell you to mind your own business as well."

Before he floored the annoying teenager Richie stalked off to where he had intended to go.


Scene 1 6

Richie was glad to see that James and Lucy were getting along so well, but he was having more trouble avoiding Caroline than he cared to admit. She was a lovely girl, had a bright personality, lovely smile, and was one of the hottest things on two legs within the school gate. That, however, did not change the fact that she was five years younger than her current prey, and said prey really liked his anatomy the way it was set up, and wouldn't like to see it after his real girl friend got through with it if she ever found out he'd even glanced at Caroline. The Immortal was in the middle of running away yet again, when he found he'd been trapped in a pincer move.

Lucy and James had met up one way, Richie had headed off to a discrete, hidden distance, and that was when Caroline walked up behind him.

"Hi Richie," she greeted brightly, "been stiffed by the happy couple again?"

"You could say that," the Immortal replied and smiled. It wasn't his best, women fall at my feet smile, but he couldn't help the effect it had on Caroline.

[Please go away. You really don't want anything to do with me. I kill people, there's a sword under my bed. Okay so I only use it when I have to, but...Oh geeze!]

She reached out and put her hand on his arm.

"I could keep you company," she said with an innocent bat of her eye lids.

[If you're a načve little good girl, I'm the Easter Bunny.]

"Actually I'm supposed to go and help Mr MacLeod clean out the games store room in five minutes," Richie tried to get away, and Mac was the only person he could think of who might be able to help. Going to Methos was just not an option, the ancient Immortal would just delight in making the situation stickier.

"Oh," Caroline said, "but I just saw Mr MacLeod get in his car and head for town."

[Damn, blast ...]

"That's funny," Richie did a beautiful impression of surprised, so much so that Caroline's expression said she believed him, "he must have forgotten. Lucky for me I suppose, I can think of better things to do than rearranging dusty old gym mats." [But not right now.]

The girl beamed at him, taking the comment as a compliment, even though Richie was still trying to get away.

"I heard you're pretty hot with a pencil," Caroline launched into her major play. "You could draw me if you like."

The crunch, she'd finally done it, now Richie was actually going to have to tell her that this could go no further.

"Caroline," he said as gently as he could, "you are incredibly beautiful, I would love to draw you ... but I can't lead you on. I'm already attached. I have a girlfriend where I came from, and we're not splitting up."

The girl looked crest fallen, and slowly the expression changed into one of admiration.

"Oh, that's so romantic," she said, "and you're so sweet. You've been avoiding me all this time just so you didn't have to break my heart."

Before he could resist she gave him a peck on the cheek.

"You're honour's safe with me," she said resolutely. "Now why don't you tell me all about this lucky girl."

[Women!]


Scene 1 7

Okay, life was good, and this Tuesday afternoon was devoid of anything to do thanks to the Spring Staff v sixth form pupils hockey match. The whole school would be out on the field to watch a mixture of the senior girls and boys hockey teams take on a motley crew from the staff room. Everything was fine until Monday afternoon when there was a phone call to the games office, and suddenly the girls team were playing away the next afternoon. That left some members of the boy's team, a rapidly gathered reserve of their class mates and one space on the team for the match. Richie knew he was in trouble as soon as the five sixthformers approached him and James in the common room Monday evening.

"Either of you play hockey," was the first question.

[Why do I think you're not going to be happy if we just say no.]

"Can't," James spoke up first, "absolutely no co-ordination for that sort of thing. Tried it once and took out two windows before they stopped me."

[Thanks, pal. No don't look at me like that Julia.]

It was one thing to be an outsider and just watch things going on, it was another to have actually made friends with people and then try and just watch.

"How about you, Richie?" the girl asked. "We'll be into the reserves' reserves if you say no."

She was using feminine charm, and even if she was only eighteen she was good at it.

"For the honour of the sixth form?" she pushed a little more.

"I've only ever played ice hockey," was the nearest thing to no that Richie could manage.

"That's better than the rest," Paul, her companion said cheerfully. "We need a left wing and you'll be perfect. You can't get it wrong."

{Wanna bet, Pauly?]


Scene 1 8

So far so good, he hadn't had to touch the ball too much, and he hadn't come up against Mac who was playing on the other team. These were both very good things. It was half time already, there were no major injuries, and the sixthformers were winning--just. They were about to go back onto the pitch when the Highlander walked up behind him.

"I'm ducking out of this half," the older Immortal said, and smiled as if he was just making small talk before the next part of the match, "I've just seen a car drive up to the front of the school and it's not one we usually see around here."

"I'll keep an eye on James," Richie assured him.

The moment he said it his companion turned into the injured party. The Highlander did a superb job of suddenly finding that he'd over taxed a muscle in the back of his leg. He did so well in fact that at least three female members of staff offered to walk him back to the main buildings. He declined gracefully. Richie was grinning as he walked back onto the pitch.

A little bit of running, two shots on goal and a lot of cheering later he found out that Mac had been right to suspect the car. He was standing there, trying to stay out of the match as much as possible when he felt the presence of another Immortal. The major problem was the fact that he was on the opposite side of the field to the spectators. His eyes immediately found James, and a second later found the long haired, young looking man who seemed ill at ease. There was a suspicious looking bulge in the man's coat pocket, and Richie was almost sure the Immortal was carrying a gun. He needed to get to James before the stranger, but there was no way to do so without attracting unwanted attention too soon.

"Over here," he suddenly yelled at one of the other forwards in the pitch.

The ragged looking individual, having taken the last shot on goal was only too happy to pass the ball to her team mate. For the first time in the match Richie actually received the ball without wishing he hadn't. He fixed the other Immortal with his eyes, stopped the ball dead and prepared. The spanner in the works was Mr Gipson the biology teacher charging straight for him.

"You do not want to be standing there," Richie said very firmly as the member of staff went to tackle, and something in his eyes must have really rammed home his point because the man moved.

[I hope you know what you're doing, Ryan.]

There was one chance, and one chance only. He lined up, drew his stick back and then hit the ball with everything he had. It sailed through the air very gracefully, and there was only one person near the field not watching it. The Immortal drew his hand out of his pocket holding a gun and a bright orange hockey ball sent the weapon flying in completely the wrong direction.

"James, run!" Richie yelled at the top of his lungs and pointed towards the science buildings only a hundred yards or so away.

When Richie started to move, so did his charge.


Scene 1 9

It wasn't too difficult to spot that the Richie that half dragged him round the science block and the Richie who had chatted endlessly about motorcycles were not quite the same person. James had seen the gun, although many hadn't, and he wanted to know what was going on.

"Okay," he said as they turned the corner and drew them both to a stop, "what the hell was that all about?"

When Richie turned to face his charge he knew they weren't going any further without some explanation.

"First, I'm not seventeen, second I'm here to protect you," the Immortal explained. "Your mother saw some things in Switzerland and you were both moved here to keep you out of harm's way. That man with the gun was trying to kidnap you. I'm here to stop him, as are MacLeod and Pierson. I would love to give you the full explanation, but that guy isn't going to stay where he was long."

As if on cue the other Immortal came charging round the corner, and the moment he was out of sight of the crowds he drew his sword.

"Oh shit," was all James could find to say.

"Go," Richie instructed very rapidly, "Mac's in the main building. Find him and stay with him."

"What about you?" James asked, much to his credit, even if it was stupid hanging around.

"I'll deal with our friend here," Richie told him confidently. "Don't worry about me, I've done this before."

As James ran, the Immortals faced each other, one with a sword, and one with a ... well a hockey stick--at least it was a large hunk of wood. Clubs were useful in their own way.

"Let me pass," the strange Immortal said pointedly, "this is nothing to do with you."

[Oh, please, do I look like I'm here to sample the food?]

"No dice, kimosabe," Richie replied.

Metal sliced straight towards him, and he ducked. He was sure the hockey stick could take on flesh, but how it would do against a blade was another matter entirely. This was not a duel, it wasn't going to be won with anything but the dirtiest tactics. Richie went straight for his adversaries groin, and hit home immediately. The look of surprise on the Immortal's face was only second to the expression of pain that followed it.

"Well it wasn't as if you were ever going to father children," Richie comented as the man folded up.

At that moment, Smythe, Caroline and three other sixthformers rounded the corner.

"Oh my god," was the first comment.

The Richie that stared at the head boy was in no way trying to look like a seventeen year old school pupil, and it must have showed. Several pairs of eyes were very round, including Caroline's.

"Why exactly are you here?" the head boy finally seemed to have cottoned on that something more important than his ego was going on.

"Bodyguard," was all Richie said.

"I picked up this," Smythe said almost reverently and pulled the gun out of his pocket.

There was almost a respect for the boy beginning to form in Richie's mind, he wasn't a complete asshole after all. Smythe, however, wasn't his main concern, James and Nicole were still in danger. Joe had mentioned that David Cole was rarely alone, in fact he had an Immortal friend he considered a brother. The man in agony on the floor looked very much like the photograph of that friend.

"Anyone know how to use that?" he asked rapidly and all the pupils looked at the gun.

"I do," Smythe said finally, "my father has taken me to the gun club before."

"Then point it at him and if he regains nerve function any time soon shoot him in the leg," Richie said rapidly. "I have to find James, he could still be in big trouble."

Surprisingly Smythe didn't even hesitate, he just held the gun at the ready. Richie picked up the fallen sword, turned and ran, even as Caroline looked at the head boy with adoration in her eyes.


Scene 2 0

The look on James face when he met Methos heading towards the playing field said that everything was not great. When he blurted out the story about the gun, the hockey ball, and Richie, the old man knew the game was up.

"Richie said to find Mr MacLeod and stay with him," James repeated his friend's instructions.

"That's probably the first good idea he's had in a while," Methos returned quickly, "I'll help you find him."

The person most qualified to go up against David Cole was the Highlander, after all that had been the main game plan from the beginning. Methos had never been on for head on confrontations, and so he went with what they'd discussed. Finding Duncan would be a lot easier for him than it would be for James.

They were moving rapidly through main building towards the great hall when Methos felt the familiar tingling run up his spine. He pulled them to a stop straight away and looked around him.

"Highlander is that you?" he asked loudly.

"Not last time I looked," a voice said from just ahead of them, and a man stepped out from a doorway.

He looked to be in his mid twenties, with short brown hair and a penetrating stare. He also didn't appear very happy.

"I don't know who you are, and I don't care," Cole said coldly, "I just want to boy."

"Well I'm sort of a friend of a friend," Methos replied calmly, "and it just wouldn't be right to welch on a promise."

Before the other man could react the ancient Immortal pushed James down a side corridor and they both ran. There was soon the sound of three pairs of shoes on wood echoing around the school. Methos had never been so pleased to feel the presence of another Immortal as when the pair came up on the main hall from another direction and charged in. Standing in the middle of the room, sword by his side was Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod, ready to do battle.

"Right behind us," Methos said and propelled James towards the other side of the hall.

The plan was, they would just keep going and regroup later, but the youth they were all trying to protect was having none of it. As David Cole crashed through the doors into the hall, James stopped running and turned to see what was going on. Methos knew stubborn determination when he saw it and he gave into the inevitable fact that James would shortly know there were people in the world who didn't live by ordinary rules.

"You have to be the Highlander," Cole said as he realised there was someone between him and his quarry.

"Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod," the Scotsman returned cordially, "shall we get on with this?"

Cole was not arguing, and with a shrug of his shoulders dropped the coat he was wearing and pulled out his own sword.

"If we have to," he replied.

They circled each other slowly as their audience watched.

"Was it you who paid this child's mother to spy on me?" the angry Immortal asked. "Is this all your doing?"

"No," MacLeod said in a very even tone, "I'm just here to make sure you don't get to the boy. You're acting on a misunderstanding, and that can be very nasty for certain people."

Swords clashed as Cole took the opportunity to attack.

"I know treachery when I see it," the aggressor said as they broke apart again, "I've been betrayed before."

"I know," the Highlander said calmly, "in fact I know a great deal about you. Your name is David Cole, your companion for the last two hundred and thirty years has been William Deter. You live together, but contrary to popular opinion you are not lovers, merely brothers in arms. You've been married twice in the last century and a half, but not in the last twenty years. You trust no one outside your household, and you are especially wary of spies because you were handed over to a court by a priest that lived in your household. The court tortured you and burnt you for Satanism."

Metal clashed again as the amount MacLeod knew angered his opponent even more.

"How the hell do you know that?" he demanded as they pressed towards each other, blade to blade.

"Because I'm friends with the people who were watching you," the Highlander returned, "and who've been watching you for most of your life. They've been watching me too, and every other of our kind they know about."

Words came to an end as fury erupted into action in Cole. A hail of blows fell on MacLeod's sword, but he brushed them aside. The man fighting him was a good swordsman, but he was angry and his chronicle showed he was not a great player in the game. He was no match for Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod. When the Highlander saw that his words were not going to stop this battle he put every effort into finishing it with his weapon. They danced around the room for a while, but it really didn't take long. Cole took a backwards step and caught his leg on a chair at the side of the room. His arms flailed, but he couldn't stop himself falling. Very rapidly he found himself sitting in the heavy backed wooden chair, sword on the floor, and MacLeod's sword at his throat.

"Get on with it," Cole said coldly as the Highlander paused.

"I am not you enemy," Duncan said very precisely looking directly into his opponent's eyes. "I don't want to kill you."

Cole looked very confused, the events that were happening didn't fit into his mindset.

"They watch us, Cole," MacLeod tried to explain, "that's all they do. They don't interfere, and they've been watching you for centuries. You're in no danger from them, and this boy and his mother are not a threat. I promised a good friend I would protect them from you, and I also promised that I would do my damnedest not to kill you. They know why you came after them, they understand why you had to do it, and they were hoping that Nicole and James would be long gone before you found them. They didn't want any of this to happen. You've had another Watcher from the moment they realised you'd seen Nicole. All they want is to record what we are for when we're gone."

The look on Cole's face said he was on the verge of believing, but he didn't look totally sure.

"What do I have to do to convince you?" the Highlander asked.

The other Immortal just looked at him, and suddenly Duncan knew what to do. Slowly, so as not to alarm Cole he put his Katana on the next chair, and then he put his hand out to the man he had been fighting only moments before.

"I would like very much to be friends," MacLeod said calmly.

It was at that moment that Richie came trotting through the door in full hockey kit.

"Will?" Cole was suddenly very worried as he saw his best friend's sword.

"Nursing a very sore groin," Richie replied calmly, "but his head is still intact."

That seemed to be the deciding factor and MacLeod found his hand griped by strong fingers.

"I think maybe you should tell me more, Highlander," Cole said and stood up.


Scene 2 1

Considering the fact that James had discovered that the world wasn't quite so simple as he had thought only three days before, he was doing amazingly well. He and Nicole had had a long talk about exactly how Immortals and Watchers fitted into the grand scheme of things, and he was taking it incredibly well. Richie had also done his share of talking as the youth adjusted to the fact that his new friend was in fact twenty three and habitually wielded a sword.

Cole and Deter had been spirited away as if by the under cover agents, but in fact back to their hotel. They seemed to have accepted the existence of Watchers with more relief than anything else. David had been terrified of being followed for years and he finally knew that it was harmless. Against all advice Nicole had actually gone to see the two Immortals, and by all accounts there had been a mutual apology. They were never actually going to be friends, but the danger was over.

Since the need for a new identity was now cancelled there was no need for Nicole and James to rush on to a new place. The local Watcher community was a few people short, James had actually settled into Woodfords, and so the family decided to stay. That meant it was only the Immortals who were leaving.

"So you finally managed to extract yourself from the embrace of Isabelle then," Richie commented as Methos finally appeared from the school building.

The cars were packed and ready to go, they had been waiting for over twenty minutes for the ancient Immortal to appear.

"The poor woman was distraught, the French are an emotional people you know," Methos quipped back. "What was I supposed to do--leave without a proper goodbye? A hero never does that."

"I must write that in my diary," MacLeod commented dryly, "Methos the hero."

"You can't hold me to that," the ancient man responded with a grin, "I never said I agreed with the assessment."

"Are you three quite finished?" Joe asked from where he was standing next to Nicole and James.

"With the old man around," Richie said cheerfully, "not likely."

The three Immortals headed over to the small group.

"Well I guess this is goodbye," James said and stuck out his hand, "thanks for everything."

"Our pleasure," Richie responded and shook the offered limb. "Don't let the food get you down and don't double date with Smythe."

James grinned. The whole group exchanged farewells with just a touch of sadness before climbing into the vehicles.

[Well goodbye Woodfords. I have survived, I am sane, I am never doing this again no matter how long I live.]

"Joe," he said, turning to the Watcher as the man started the car, "if you ever have a crazy idea like this again, make sure I'm on a different continent."

The End


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