Disclaimers: Don't own, don't sue. Please review.

Dream a Dream of Days Gone By

"Richie, get down from there," Duncan laughed, looking up at the youth who was climbing yet higher on the ladder he had set up in the store.

"I can almost reach," he insisted, stretching as much as he could, trying to reach the dust bunny village that had taken up residence in the recessed ceiling.

"Be careful," Duncan warned. "If you can't reach, you can't reach."

"Yeah, yeah." Richie grumbled good-naturedly.

Duncan smiled and rolled his eyes before retreating into the office. Richie bit his bottom lip and stretched a little more. Maybe he could reach if he put one foot on the catwalk. He shifted his weight slightly and reached his foot toward the catwalk. The change of weight combined with the shift of where the weight was placed made the ladder totter dangerously. Unfortunately, Richie's position prevented him from being able to catch himself when, in slow motion, the ladder tipped over.

In the office, Duncan heard a yelp, followed by a crash, scream, and a heavy thud. Duncan dropped the files he was holding and raced into the store. Richie was lying unmoving on the floor, his head resting on the fallen ladder.

"Richie!" he nearly screamed, kneeling next to him.

"What happened?" Tessa asked curiously coming in from her workshop.

"Call an ambulance!"

"What happened?"

"Richie fell."

"What?!" She rounded the display case and gasped at the sight before her. "How high up was he?"

"I don't know; he was reaching for the ceiling."

Tessa ran for the office and snatched up the cordless phone. She came up behind Duncan and relayed messages from the operator. "Don't move him. check his pulse. how's his color?"

Ten minutes later the paramedics arrived. They carefully moved the ladder from beneath Richie after stabilizing his neck. Then they placed him on a backboard and then secured him to a stretcher. Finally they wheeled him to the ambulance. Tessa got in with them and Duncan followed in the car.

They waited for almost two hours as the doctors ordered a CAT scan and a battery of tests.

"Mr. MacLeod?" a doctor asked, coming into the waiting room. Duncan and Tessa stood up and met him half way across the room.

"How is he?" Duncan asked quickly.

"He's stable," the doctor told them. "He's in his room."

"Is he awake?"

"Not yet. He took a pretty hard knock to the head. He has a couple stitches; the wound is very minor compared to what happened. There is no evidence of any brain trauma, so all we can do is wait for him to wake up."

"Can we see him?" Tessa asked anxiously.

"Of course." The doctor turned and led them down the hall. "We have him set up in a private room. We're not sure how long until he wakes up but we have him set up with an IV drip to keep him hydrated and it has some nutrients to keep him up to snuff. Here we are." He opened a room door. "He's not going to be very interesting for a while yet, but if you want, I don't see why you can't stay as long as you like."

"Thank you," Tessa said.

"You seem like the type that refuses to leave. If he wakes up, press the nurse call button. Someone will be in to check on him every ninety minutes." With that the doctor left them with a very quiet, very unconscience Richie lying unmoving in the hospital bed.

Tessa immediately went to the chair closest to the bed and sat down, taking Richie's slack hand in her own. "Richie, wake up," she told him quietly brushing some hair out of his face. "It's time to wake up."

Duncan pulled up a chair on the other side of the bed and took the boy's other hand. "Come on, tough-guy," he urged wondering why they were whispering.

"He looks so helpless," Tessa commented.

"He'll be fine. The doctor said there was no major damage. All he has to do is wake up and he'll be home in no time," Duncan assured her.

"It's a miracle he's not hurt worse than he is." She continued stroking his hair.

"He's a survivor; he'll be good as new in no time."

No time was much longer than Duncan expected. Three days later there was no change. The doctor's couldn't find anything wrong other than Richie just refused to wake up. Tessa and Duncan took turns going home and staying by the boy's side the entire time. For some reason on the third night Tessa couldn't bring herself to leave so they decided to both stay.

Half way through the night something woke Tessa. She opened her eyes and looked into a pair of bright blue ones staring at her.

"You're awake," she whispered shifting in her seat to stroke his cheek. He seemed confused by the touch but didn't refuse it. "Duncan," she said a little louder. "Wake up."

For the first time, Richie noticed the man sitting on his other side. He had been too busy staring at the beautiful woman holding his hand to look anywhere else. The man moaned and stretched and then suddenly seemed to perk up at the site of the conscious teen.

"You're awake," he said gratefully, sitting up a little straighter.

"Why does everyone keep saying that?" Richie asked turning his attention back to Tessa and giving her a charming grin.

Before anyone could answer a nurse quietly snuck into the room. "He's awake," she realized suddenly.

"There you go again," Richie complained, still smiling at Tessa.

"I'll get the doctor," the nurse said scurrying out of the room.

"Hey, can I ask you guys a question?" Richie asked suddenly.

"Sure, tough guy, what is it?" Duncan asked.

Richie took a deep breath. "Who are you?"

"What?" Duncan asked flatly.

"Who are you?"

"Is this your idea of joke?" Duncan demanded.

"Duncan, he's serious," Tessa said, looking into the unrecognizing eyes looking back at her.

"My name is Tessa; this is Duncan."

"Oh, okay," Richie seemed entirely pleased with the answer and didn't question anything else.

"What's your name?" Tessa asked.

Richie opened his mouth to answer but stopped and closed it again. He furrowed his brow and thought hard but couldn't come up with the answer. "There are a lot of names up here," he said running his fingers through his hair. "But I don't know which one's mine."

"Do you know where you are. besides the hospital?" Duncan asked.

"Um. no?"

"What state?"


"Do you know what day it is?"

"Tuesday," Richie answered promptly.

"Friday," Duncan corrected.

"Damn, thought I had one."

"Had one what?" the doctor asked coming into the room. "I see you're awake. Any pain?"

"My head hurts a little," Richie admitted.

"We can fix that. Any double vision? Blurry vision? Dizziness?"

"Good, nope, nope, and nope," Richie answered.

"Any problems at all?"

"He can't remember anything!" Duncan blurted out before Richie had a chance to answer.

The doctor nodded. "Not entirely uncommon. He did go down pretty hard."

"Is there anything we can do?" Tessa asked.

"Well, baring any complications, I don't see why he can't go home tonight." The doctor started checking Richie's vitals. "We'll run some tests of course, but I doubt anything will come up. Familiar surroundings usually help. Sometimes a place or object will trigger memories to come back and sometimes they come back on their own. We'll just have to see. I strongly doubt this is permanent."

"So we can take him home?" Tessa asked.

"I live with you guys?" Richie asked with a slight grin, looking Tessa up and down.

"Yes," Duncan answered, giving him a look that told him he saw him checking Tessa out.

"Cool." Richie shrugged noncommittally and looked back at the doctor.

"Can we just tell him? Would that help?" Duncan asked, trying to hide an amused smile as the teen shrank from his stare.

"If he asks questions. Don't give him his life history, but tell him what he asks." The doctor made some notes on Richie's chart. "I'll go get you something for your headache and be right back."

"So, what do you want to know?" Tessa asked.

"Tessa," Richie said looking at her before turning his gaze to the immortal. "Duncan."

He nodded. "That's right."

"So what's my name?"

"Richie," Duncan answered. "Ryan."

"Richie Ryan," Richie repeated. "How very alliterated."

Duncan smiled. This could prove to be interesting.

Six hours later, Duncan was signing Richie's release forms. "Let's get you home, shall we?" he asked walking along side the orderly that was pushing Richie's wheel chair.

"Where's that?" Richie asked.

"You'll see."

The ride home was almost silent as Richie anxiously looked at the scenery every now and then. However, he'd ask random questions as they drove.

"What kind of food do I like?" he asked, as they passed one of his favorite pizza parlors.

"Food," Duncan answered and Tessa giggled.

"Huh?" Richie asked from the backseat, not getting the joke.

"You eat almost anything," Duncan clarified. "You very rarely refuse to eat something."

"Oh. Do I have a job?" He looked at the men in suits standing outside a department store on a cigarette break.

"You work for us," Tessa told him. "We run an antique store."

"That doesn't sound very exciting," Richie commented.

"With you there everything is exciting."

"So. I live with you and work for you."


"Are you my parents?"

Tessa nearly choked on nothing and Duncan almost missed the stoplight. "Um. no," Duncan finally answered. "Just good friends."

"Did you know my parents?"

"Um. no."

Richie frowned into the rearview mirror. "Hum. weird," he muttered.

"Here we are!" Tessa announced as they pulled into the alley behind the store.

"We live here?"


"Hum. okay." Richie slid out of the car before Tessa could move the seat for him to get out through the door.

"How are you feeling?" Duncan asked as he led him into Tessa workshop.

"I'm okay," he shrugged pausing in front of one of Tessa sculptures. "This doesn't look very antiquie," he said.

"That's because it's not even finished yet," Tessa told him. "I'm an artist."

"You did that?" She nodded. "Cool."

"Are you hungry?" Duncan asked, taking Richie up the stares to the loft.

"Yeah. Hospital food sucks."

"I have an idea!" Tessa rushed ahead of them into the kitchen and reached into the drawer of takeout menus. She grabbed a handful and put them on the table. "These are your favorite restaurants," she explained. "Why don't you look through those and pick one out. We'll order out for dinner."

"Okay," Richie said distractedly, as his eyes danced around the loft.

"Why don't you do this first," Duncan suggested guiding Richie to the chair in front of the menus. "Tessa can show you around while I go get dinner."

"Okay." Richie reluctantly sat and looked through the papers. After a couple minutes he decided on Italian. He told Duncan what he wanted and Duncan assured him that he liked it before taking Tessa's order as well.

"So you've seen the kitchen," Tessa started taking both of Richie's hands and pulling him up as soon as Duncan left. "This is the living room," she guided him into the room. "You like to sit in here and watch TV with the volume turned way up just to annoy Duncan."

Richie smiled. "How thoughtful of me."

"This is our room," Tessa continued the tour.

"Our room?" Richie choked out looking at the romantically decorated master bedroom.

Tessa smiled and blushed. "Not yours and mine," she corrected. "Mine and Duncan's. You don't come in here often," she told him. "I'm sure you'll remember why soon enough." She blushed again.

"And this. is your room." She opened the door to the dirty laundry littered room. Richie stepped in and looked around.

"I'm not a very neat person, am I?"

"No, but its part of your charm. You like to listen to your radio with the volume way up to annoy Duncan. And you always lock your door when you do it and pretend to not hear him when he yells at you."

"Do I not like him?" Richie asked.

"Oh, no. You like him. You just like to annoy him as well, that's all."

"Oh. Okay."

For the next twenty minutes, Richie wondered around the apartment and store periodically asking Tessa questions. Nothing triggered a memory.

"I hope this isn't as hopeless as it feels," Richie mumbled as they sat down to dinner.

"I'm sure you'll remember everything soon," Duncan assured him. "How are you feeling?"

"My head hurts again," Richie admitted. "And I'm getting kinda tired," he added.

Duncan and Tessa glanced at each other. It was strange having a Richie that admitted when he was hurt or tired without being pushed into saying it. "How about after dinner, you go to bed?" Tessa offered. "Maybe some sleep will help."

"And I got your prescription filled," Duncan added. "So we can solve both problems."

"Thanks," Richie said with a tired smile before turning his attention back to his tortilini fromagi.

An hour after Richie had gone to bed Duncan and Tessa gave in as well.

"I hope this doesn't last long," Tessa sighed as she settled into Duncan's arms.

"The doctor said it probably isn't permanent. He'll be fine. This is Richie we're talking about. He's too stubborn to not remember."

Tessa laughed lightly and gave Duncan a kiss before closing her eyes and giving into sleep. Duncan spent a few minutes wondering what this experience might reveal about Richie and his life before he met Tessa and himself. Duncan fell asleep with no idea what his simple thought 'Maybe we'll find out about his childhood' had triggered in his imagination.