Author's Note: Curious about the history behind this chapter? To understand what is going on, you need to read the prequel to this, "Discovered Truths", first.

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"What do you think you're doing?" Duncan could see exactly what he was doing and they both knew it.

But Richie decided he might as well go ahead and state the obvious. "Moving this box upstairs."

"Don't even think about it." The Immortal warned.

But Richie was tired of giving in. Tired of sitting around all day. Tired of being treated as if he was going to break any minute. "Come on, Mac."

"No, Rich." The Immortal interrupted. "I've told you before, no lifting."

"It's been weeks. I feel fine." The teen tried to reason with him.

However, that logic was having no effect on him. "Good. But you're still not doing any lifting yet. It's way too soon."

"They're my ribs, Mac. Don't you think I know what they can handle?" Richie argued stubbornly.

Duncan's reply was simple. "No."

But he didn't want to be too overbearing. Richie was obviously getting very antsy sitting around all day. He wasn't totally unsympathetic, even though he didn't want the teen to know that. "How often is it that I want you not to do any work? Better take advantage of it while you can."

"Fine." The teen tried another tactic. "Would you carry it up for me?" He would at least get to unload it. That was better than nothing.

But Duncan wasn't fooled. "Sure. I'll unpack it for you, too."

Seeing the boy's growing frustration, he decided it was time to soften his tactics a bit. Walking over to put an arm over his shoulder, he gently suggested another way to keep the teen busy. "Why don't you go see if Tessa needs any help?"

"Great, computer work." Richie was not impressed with the suggestion.

Duncan knew that would be the case before he even suggested it, though. He already had an alternate suggestion in mind. "You could go lay down for a while, if you like."

"Fine, I'll go help Tess." The teen started past the Immortal quickly, hoping to escape before he once again ended up confined to his bed.

"Slow down." Duncan warned. He smiled as the retreating figure slowed his exit to a snail-like pace.