Disclaimer: Richie, Duncan, Tessa, Connor, and one of the Mary's belong to someone else. The Mary that isn't Duncan's mom is mine along with her siblings also named Duncan and Connor.

Author's Note: This is a little something I wrote awhile ago and came back across. I thought: What the hell? I'll put it up. So here it is.

Part One

Paula Abdul blared from the speakers of the small stereo in the corner of the gym. I looked around at the screaming kids. I realized that I would rather be facing off with one of Mac's immortal enemies then here. I could handle two or three kids without going crazy, but there were thirty in this one room and it was up to me and some person I'd never met before to keep them under control. 'Agh, well,' I thought, 'community services is better than juvie.'

I looked for somebody who could be my age. By the stereo sat a brown haired girl looking though the CD collection, and brushing off a couple of young girls who were very intent on doing something to her hair. I assumed that was the stranger I was going to be stuck with all day, so I walked over and stood beside her.

"Hey." I said. She didn't look up.

"You think they have a list of all the CDs they got in here?" she asked.

"Turning the pages getting to hard for you?" I asked dryly, already deciding wasn't going to like her.

"Nope, I just don't have this one." She held up an Ace of Base CD and smiled. I had to admit she had a nice smile.and big brown eyes. So maybe I wouldn't hate being with her. "Let me guess." She said studying my face. "You don't want to be here either." I nodded. "So what'd they get you for?" she asked patting the floor next to her for me to sit.

"Attempted vandalization, which I didn't do." I answered "You?"

"Grand theft chili dog, which I did do." She smiled again. Maybe being with her wouldn't be so bad. "So what did you not attempt to vandalize?"

"A car." She looked me up a down with those eyes. I had never really been taken with brown eyes before, I liked green, but I was really starting to like brown. Big brown eyes were nice. Her big brown eyes to be exact.

"Care to elaborate?" She had a really nice smile.

"I got in a fight and got shoved into the car." I explained. "Its alarm went off, and lucky for me there was a cop near by who nabbed me for it. And seeing as I am who I am, there wasn't anybody who was going to believe me. I went through the process and here I am." I left out the part about me loosing horribly and having my nose broken. Those were minor details that didn't need to be told. I looked at her. She was still smiling. I was really starting to like her. "And you?" I prompted "Grand theft chili dog was it?"

"Drive by dinning. Well, run by actually. I had been pretty good about staying out of trouble for awhile, but I can't back down from a dare so." She was cute when she blushed.

"So now you're stuck here with thirty screaming kids and me." I finished for her.

"I wouldn't say I'm stuck with you. The kids, yes. But not you." She assured me. I knew it! She liked me. "I would have to fight homicidal urges if you weren't here."

"Richie Ryan at your service." I introduced myself extending my hand.

"Mary MacLeod." I tried not to laugh. "What?" she asked.

"Any relation to Duncan MacLeod?" I smirked.

"He's my brother. You know him?"

"Um, the Duncan MacLeod I know doesn't have a sister." I answered, slightly confused.

"The one I know would deny his sister. Thirteen, brown hair, brown eyes, extremely annoying?" I laughed; relieved to know that I wasn't hitting on Mac's much younger sister.

"Brown hair, brown eyes, extremely annoying, and 35-ish, I think."

"Wow, for a second things were getting a little weird."

"You have no idea." I drawled. She laughed.

I really liked her. I wonder what Mac would say if I brought one of his descendants home for dinner? It might be worth the inevitable embarrassment just to see his reaction. I looked at my watch, 11:30. Almost lunch time, and I was starving. I reached in my pocket and pulled out a Three Musketeers bar.

"Want half?" I offered unwrapping it. She crinkled her nose.

"No thanks, I don't like that weird filling stuff. I'm more of a Snickers girl."

"Oh. Well hang on." I started searching my pockets. "I know I got one in here somewhere." I mumbled. "Aha! I found it." I offered her my Snickers. "I told you I had one." I added flashing her my most charming smile. She blushed and accepted the candy bar.

"I really am more of a money girl." She said slyly.

"Too bad, all I've got is about five bucks, and you're not getting it."

"It was worth a try." She shrugged.

"Can't blame you for trying." I added.

"Tell that to the cops." She snorted.

"You too, huh?"

"Oh, yeah. My mom keeps threatening to kick me out if I get into trouble again. I think she's starting to get serious. But this dumb cop keeps picking on me. Last time he said if I 'so much as jaywalked' he'd throw my butt in juvie until he could come up with a more permanent solution."

"Powell, right?" I asked. She nodded. "Man, he's been on my case for years. He's all talk. Don't worry about him." I leaned back against the wall.

"I'm mostly worried about Duncan. If I go away.well not that I'm the most important thing in his life, or the one person keeping him from becoming a punk.I just don't want him to end up like Connor." She stopped talking and looked at the floor allowing her hair to hide her face. I wanted to reach out and push her hair back and tell her something reassuring, but I didn't. I had accidentally stumbled upon something private and painful. I sat next to her quietly and watched the kids play basketball.

"Okay!" Mary yelled suddenly making making me jump. "Everybody upstairs for food!" The boys ran for the door, and the girls slowly followed. I looked at my watch; we had been sitting there in silence for almost an hour. Mary turned off the stereo and started to leave. "You coming?" She asked.

"Yeah, I'll be there in a minute."

I pretended to tie my shoe. She shrugged and started off down the hall. She had a nice walk. I especially liked the way her hair swished from side to side, it was almost hypnotizing. She rounded a corner and I blinked suddenly realizing that I had no idea where I was supposed to be going. I got up and jogged to catch up with her.

I found where all the food was, by following the ear splitting noise produced by seventy kids. There was a women standing in the middle of the crowded room clapping her hands and saying something that looked like 'Now children.' I couldn't help but laugh to myself. My knowledge of children was limited, but I knew that wasn't going to work. I pushed my way through the sea of kids towards the women.

"Need some help?" I offered.

"Yes, please." She replied, looking slightly exasperated.

"Get up here." I told her pulling out a chair. I cupped my hands around my mouth. "HEY! SHUT UP!" The kids quieted and the women started giving instructions as to how the meal was going to work. I looked around and spotted Mary sitting at a table with five other people our age.

"Hey." I greeted pulling up a chair and sitting next to Mary.

"Hey, Ryan. How's the nose?" A boy asked.

"Ha ha. Very funny Jake." I mumbled.

"You guys know each other?" Mary asked around a mouthful of pizza.

"Oh, yeah. He's the reason I'm here." I explained grabbing a slice from the box in the middle of the table.

"What does that have to do with your nose?" A blonde girl asked me.

"Long story." I answered hoping to avoid embarrassing myself in front of Mary.

"Aw, come on, Ryan, its not like nobody else has ever broken their nose. Or had it broken, in your case." Jake said smiling at me.

"Oh, what happened?" The blonde girl asked.

"Amber, leave him alone." Mary warned.

"Sorry, geeze." The girl went back to her pizza.

"Fine, Mary, let's talk about you. Gotten your father angry lately?" Jake asked nonchalantly. I looked at Mary as the table got very quiet. All color had drained from her face.

"Jake, if you value your penis, you'll shut the hell up." She finally said.

"Oh, come on. There's got to be a reason you have your hair down." He challenged. "Hiding the bruises?"

"Jake, I'm serious." She warned.

"I like it down." I said not quite sure who I would have to pull off of who if they got into a fight.

"Thank you, Richie." Mary said curtly.

"Me too." Piped up a boy from the other side of Mary, straitening a little in his chair.

"Yeah, you look more like a girl." Said another girl. "I mean.that didn't come out right." She stammered as Jake began to laugh. "You look more feminine." She corrected herself.

"That's not saying much." Jake snorted.

I looked at Mary, who was staring at the pizza box. I had to admit she had great self-control. I would have been all over Jake by now, and she was just sitting there ignoring him. Granted she looked like she could snap at any moment, but she was still under control. Maybe it was a MacLeod thing. The rest of the meal went quietly. After we were done Mary and I went back to the gym.

"You play?" she asked tossing me a basketball.

"Yeah." I answered, not quite sure where this was going.

"You any good?"

"I'm okay, I guess." I shrugged.

"Good." She grinned. "Okay, I need five volunteers!" she yelled. The kids looked at her with blank faces. "Let me rephrase that: Me and him against five of you. Any takers?" A couple of the boys stepped forward and took the challenge.

. . . . . .

"And for the third time in a row, we've been creamed." I panted as the ball got stolen away from me.

"Aw, come on, Ryan," Mary grinned slapping me on the back. "at least try to keep up. You're the reason we keep losing."

"Me? What about those free throws?" I challenged.

"Are you blaming me?"

"I don't see anybody else on my team."

"Okay Richie Ryan, you're on." She put her hands on her hips.

"What?" I asked, once again not quite sure where she was going with this.

"If you are under the age of sixteen move it. The big kids have a wager to settle."

"Wager?" I repeated.

"Yeah, the way I see it I need two things right now, a hair band and dinner. I'll play you for either." She explained. I ran my fingers through my hair.

"Dinner it is."

Part Two

"So, you got a job?" I asked stealing a few of her french fries.

"Hey!" She tried to grab them back.

"I'm paying." I laughed slapping her hand away. "But if you don't answer my question."

"No job." She answered quickly.


"Don't make me laugh, I GED'd my butt out of there as soon as I could pass the test."

"How old are you?"

"Almost 18."

"Got a boyfriend?"



She wrinkled her nose "Ew, no."

"Where's Duncan?"

"How should I know, I'm not his nanny."

"Who's Connor?"

"My brother." She paused a moment. "Very subtle approach, but I saw it coming a mile away." She said picking up her hamburger and taking a bite.

"I just wanted to know what got you so upset." I said quietly, uncomfortable with the change of mood I had brought.

"Well," she started "long story short: he wanted some quick cash, resorted to some pretty low means, and ended up caught in the middle of a gang war." She concentrated on her plate and refused to look up at me. I was slightly taken aback. I don't know what answer I had been fishing for, but that wasn't it.

"Sorry, um, I guess that's really none of my business. I'm just nosey." I apologized.

"Don't worry about it, Richie. I brought him up." We sat quietly for a minute. "You got a job?" She asked.

"Mmmmm." I chewed on a mouthful of burger and put my finger up.

"Oh, manors." She smiled. "I was hoping to catch you." I swallowed.

"You got to have them in my line of work." I said taking another bite.

"You care to explain?"

"You're gonna laugh."

"How do you know what makes me laugh?" she asked.

"Everybody else does."

"I'm not everybody else."

"Sure you are."

"Richie, just tell me." She groaned rolling her eyes.

"Fine. I'll tell you if."

"If what?"

"If you come see me tomorrow, say around five o'clock?"

"Five o'clock where?"

"MacLeod and Noel Antiques." I answered.

"How'd you land that gig?" She asked with a smirk.

"Long story. So is it a deal?" I asked. She cocked her head to one side and looked at me thoughtfully before turning her attention back to her food. I looked down feeling my cheeks burn. I had read too much into our day. I thought we had been flirting, almost shamelessly on my part, but she didn't seem too excited about a second date. If she counted this as the first date.

"Did you know your ears turned red when you get embarrassed?" I looked up at her. She was smiling. "Turn about's fair play you know."

"Turn about?" She did have a way of confusing me.

"You held out on me with something as stupid as 'MacLeod and Noel Antiques'. So I'm holding out on you." She grinned wickedly.

"So.that's a 'yes'?" I ventured.

"Yeah, it's a 'yes'."

. . . . . .

"Mac, you can take care of the rest of this by yourself, right?" I asked hopefully.

"It'd be nice if you would finish the job you started." He said leaving the small storage room to retrieve another box. I hated it when he tried to guilt trip me. I hated it more when it worked. I turned and met Mac in the doorway. I moved to take the box he was holding from him, but he didn't let go.

"I got it." I said. He looked at me critically, then smiled.

"What's her name?" He asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"Huh?" I responded intelligently.

"You've got a girl coming, don't you?"

"If I say yes, can I stop?" I asked. He smiled.

"What's her name?"


"She pretty?" He asked. I thought for a moment.

"She's cute." I shrugged.

"Then you'd better hurry and finish up." He let go of the box and I struggled not to drop it as I turned to put it with the others.

I finished at exactly 4:53. That left me seven minutes to shower and change. Hopefully she would be a little late. But knowing my luck, she'd be right on time. I rushed through a very cold shower (for some reason the water refused to warm occurrence for which I blame Mac, I'm sure he thought he was being clever), and finished getting ready just as I heard somebody enter the store below the apartment.

"Mary?" I called down.

"Yeah?" She called back.

"Come on up!" I looked at myself in the mirror and met her at the top of the stairs. "Hey." I greeted. "Prefect timing. I just got out of the shower."

"So I see. Do you live here?" She asked looking at the apartment behind me.

"Oh, yeah." I stepped aside. "Come on in."

"This place yours?" She asked looking at some of Mac's books.

"No, I just live here with Mac and Tessa." I explained.

"I assume they are MacLeod and Noel?"

"That would be correct." Mac said suddenly appearing at my shoulder. I had hoped they had left, but they were both right there wanting to meet the girl I brought home. I had a sinking feeling they had plotted something and hoped they weren't planning on sticking around for the whole night.

"Mac, Tessa, this is Mary." I introduced them. "This is the Duncan MacLeod I was telling you about." I added for Mary.

"Oh." She said, looking him up and down

"What did you tell her about me?" Mac asked.

"We just swapped stories, he told some and I told some." Mary answered.

"And who did you tell stories about?" Mac asked, trying his best to be charming.

"My Duncan MacLeod."

His eyes narrowed. "Your Duncan MacLeod?"

A mischievous light flickered in Mary's eyes when she realized I hadn't explained to them what we had found out. "My little brother."

"So that would make you."

"Mary MacLeod." She finished. Mac shot me a look and I just smiled. That was the moment I had been waiting for. I looked at Tessa; she was trying her best not to laugh. "Did I miss something?" Mary asked noticing the nonverbal exchange between everyone else.

"Mary was my mother's name." Mac said.

"Huh. I guess my parents weren't the only ones into family history." Mary said thoughtfully.

"Family history?" Mac repeated.

"Yeah, you know. Mary" she put her hand on her chest, "chieftain's wife, mother of Duncan," she gestured toward him "who came back from the dead after dying in battle." She explained.

"I've never heard that story." Mac lied, a small note of surprise in his voice.

"Oh, it's pretty stupid, but I loved it when I was little." She blushed.

"We were about to go out to dinner, why don't you two join us and you can tell us the story." Tessa offered.

Part Three

Mac took us to some steak place for dinner. I barely tasted my food as I listened to Mary tell us about his life. We all acted shocked in the right places, but Mac seemed genuinely surprised by some of the details she threw in.

"And the chieftain rode off, leaving the man he had raised as his own son. Nobody knows what ever became of Duncan. Some say he met up with a fellow clansmen, Connor who also came back from the dead, and they're both still alive today." She finished.

"Wow." I said. "That wasn't as lame as you made it out to be. You're a great story teller." I rambled stupidly.

"My mom's family were bards to the kings of Ireland back in the day. I guess it's genetic." She said blushing lightly at compliment.

"Who told you that story?" Mac asked.

"My mom heard it from my dad's dad when she was pregnant with my older brother Connor. And she went on a 'family name' kick with all the kids."

"Who's Connor?" Mac asked with a grin.

"I assume you're not talking about my brother so, he's a MacLeod from a long time ago who came back from the dead."

"What happened to him?"

"Before you mean?"

"Yeah, like how did he die. Do you know that story?"

"Sure." She said with a twinkle in her eye.

I leaned on the table and looked at her. She was loving the attention. I shifted my gaze to Mac. He gave me a smug grin, he thought I had put Mary up to this. And he was trying to prove it by asking her about Connor. I smiled back. Just because I didn't know anything about Connor, didn't mean she didn't.

"He's a lot older than Duncan." She started and went into a new story. Mac's eyes flashed from me to Mary and back. I shrugged and turned my attention to Mary.

Each story she had led to more questions, which led to more stories. By the time desert came I had learned more about Mac then I had in the almost year I had been living with him. By the end of the meal she had all three of us wrapped around her little finger.

As we walked out to the car I brushed my hand against hers, and saw her smile out of the corner of my eye. I gently cupped my hand around hers. My heart pounded for a few very long seconds, until she laced her fingers with mine. I couldn't believe that not twenty-four hours ago I had been debating whether or not I hated her, and now I couldn't get enough of her. I loved everything about her: the way her eyes sparked every time Mac would ask her a question, they way her nose crinkled when she got to the dramatic part in her stories, the way her hands gestured when she talked. the way she put her head on my shoulder while we walked. I let go of her hand and put my arm around her shoulders.

"What do you say we ditch them and go somewhere else?" I asked.


"See ya, Mac." I called as we turned toward the street. If he said anything, I didn't hear it.

Part Four

"I didn't mean to dominate the dinner conversation." Mary said snuggling against me on the park bench.

"Don't worry about it. You were very interesting." I rested my cheek on her head. "Nothing to worse then a boring date."

"Sometimes I just don't know when to shut up." She rambled into my chest.

"Don't worry, I'll kick you or something." I assured her. We sat quietly for a minute.

"Are you ticklish?" she asked. I shook my head. "Good. Do you mind?" She asked sliding her arms under my jacket and around my waist.

"Are you cold? Here hang on." I moved to take off my jacket.

"I'm okay if you're okay." She said softly snuggling closer.

"Yeah, I'm fine."

I'm pretty sure I blushed, but it was dark and she couldn't see my face so I didn't care. And I was fine. I was more then fine. I was perfect. For the first time in a long time I was glad I lived in this cold and rainy city. The fates really seemed to be working for me: I had met a cute girl while finishing my community service, she liked me, Mac fell right into my brilliant plot to freak him out, Mary added to it with her stories, Mac and Tessa liked Mary, Mary liked them, and it was cold. I could get used to this.

I looked down at her; she was looking up at me. Our eyes locked. She slowly sat up never moving her eyes from mine. A shy grin spread across my face and she returned it. I leaned in and kissed her. I could smell and taste her strawberry Chap Stick. I reached up and ran my fingers through her hair, down her back, and let my hand rest on her hip. She wrapped one arm around my neck and pulled me closer trapping my hand in her's and both between us.

"Are you working tomorrow?" She asked quickly as we broke for air, before leaning back in.

"Mmm." I murmured against her lips, telling her I was.

"Mph." She pouted tracing my jaw line with her fingers and pinching my ear lobe. Nobody had ever done that before, but I liked it.

"Five." I said.

"Mmm." She grinned and ran her fingers slowly up and down the back of my ear. A shiver ran down my spine. She let go of my hand, wrapped both arms around my neck, and pulled me in for a final strong kiss. I pulled her to me and stood up. She followed me up but refused to let go of the kiss. I didn't want to, but slowly we let go of each other.

"Five?" She asked.

"Five." I affirmed dreamily.

"I'll see you then." She turned with a grin, and slowly sauntered away.

"Bye, Mary!" I called after her.

"Bye, Richie!" She called back with a wave.

As I watched her walk away I smiled and licked my lips, they tasted like strawberries.

Okay, so that's the story. Thanks for your time, and please waist a couple more seconds of your life on my story and leave a review!