Disclaimers: The second I don't do this is the second I get sued. Highlander and what not belong to the Highlander people and so on and so forth. I also don't own, Tiger Beat, Bop, or Teen magazines. And in case you're keeping track you can add E! Entertainment Television, MTV, Ninja Turtles, the states of Washington and Texas, the country of Scotland, any professional musicians I may mention or interview, and the Grammy awards to the list-'o-things-I-don't-own-and-am-just-using-to-write-a-story-for-the- entertainment-of-others.

Author's note: This is the last story in my little AU that I've been working on. ('Hidden Secrets', 'Rule Number One', and 'The Dangers of Holy Ground' all lead up to this, in that order. I suggest you read those first.) I kept getting all these ideas for scenes that I wanted to do, but I couldn't come up with an actual plot to take place before 1998. . . so in this story we jump all the way from 1993 to 1998 in the life of my favorite pre-immortal Richie Ryan. But don't worry, this is told along with a series of flashbacks so you won't miss out on any details, all will be revealed. This way I get to use the idea I've been leading up to this whole time, and use all the little scenes I kept coming up with. Well, I'm done rambling so here we go.


. . . . . .

*June 30, 1998, 7:30 PM Seacouver Stadium, Seacouver, Washington*

"Richie! Richie! Richie!" the crowd chanted. The lights dimmed and the arena filled with screams of anticipation. Without warning, sparks shot up from the foot of the stage and from behind the light, seemingly out of nowhere, a lone man appeared on stage.

"What's up Seacouver?!" he yelled. The audience screamed and applauded in response. "I thought so! Man, it's great to be home." The audience quieted a little. "I missed Seacouver." The screams erupted again. "Never thought I'd say that." He was grinning from ear to ear. "I actually missed the rain. I spent the last two weeks in Texas, no rain. Very confusing. I'm kind of glad that I'm done with this tour. I don't want to leave!"

Richie Ryan looked out over the crowd. This was his last concert, not just for this tour, but forever. Little did his fans know he was scheduled to die in a week. 'Well, die publicly,' he thought. He had already died, four months ago. And that was why he had to stop doing what he loved. The life of a Grammy-winning pop star was not the life for a new immortal. So, July 9, 1998 was to be the last the world would hear from Richie Ryan.

He had fought long and hard with Duncan and spent many sleepless nights on the phone with Rylan. He didn't want to quit, he had worked too hard and too long to get where he was to just die and drop out of sight. But his options were limited and the arrangements were made: Next Thursday he was going to die in a boating accident just around the cove from Andrew's Beach.

"Okay, well you guys aren't here to listen to me ramble, you're here to listen to me do my thing aren't you?" More screaming. "That's what I thought! I also thought, in honor of being home. . .I'd start with a little something I used to do to pass the time and make a little extra money in Highcliff Park." He waited for the screaming to stop. "Who knows, you might have heard me there. You might have even paid for dinner that night. Here we go!" He cupped his hands around the microphone and held it against his mouth. "Prepare yourself, it's the human beatbox. Frrh ticky ticky ticky. . ." Richie broke into the beatbox routine he had been doing for over nine years.

. . . . . .

Duncan watched from the wings as Richie bounded across the stage.

"I wish you well,

I wish you love,

I wish myself all of the above!"

Duncan could barely hear the end of the song over the audience. He couldn't help but feel guilty for what he was forcing Richie to do, but it was the only solution for the time being. As he listened to Richie tease the audience he remembered the frantic phone call he had gotten.

*February 19, 1998*

Duncan answered his cell phone. "Hello?"


"Hey, Rich, how are you doing?" Duncan asked.

"I'm panicking here." Richie's voice squeaked.

"What's wrong?"

"Mac, I died," he whispered.


"I think, I'm immortal."

"Where are you? I'll come meet you."

"We're flying to New York in an hour. We should land around eleven tonight."

"I'll leave as soon as I can."

"Hey. . .Mac?"

"Yes, Richie?"

"Did you know?" There was a pause. "Mac?"

"Yes, I knew. . .the whole time," he answered softly.

"I thought so. I'll see you in New York."

. . . . . .

Author's note: Those three lines of lyrics came from the song "I Wish You Well" from the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack. And if you want to hear Richie's beatbox, all you need is "Justine [Timberlake]'s Human Beatbox" from the NSYNC HBO Special. It's really good.