AN: This is for Aimless and Mary. Mary wants more baby Richie stories and Aimless wanted a Halloween baby Richie story. So here it is. Please r&r!

MON PETIT FACTEUR

Richie sat at the kitchen table staring at Tessa who was hard at work.

"What?" she asked looking up from her sewing machine.

"Nobody's done this for me in a long time," Richie admitted. "Usually we just went to the store."

"Store bought? Everyone would look the same."

"There are a lot of choices out there."

"This way you will be completely original," she assured him.

"I still can't believe you're doing this."

"I've always wanted to sew a Halloween costume for my children. Why take this away from me?"

"I'm not your kid," he pointed out reasonably.

"Close enough."

Richie smiled. "I like the color," he said after a minute, fingering the material as it was fed out of the machine.

"It will look very good on you, non?"

"It looks just like it's out of the movie."

"The movie," she repeated rolling her eyes. "I got this from a history book."

"Well, it's not my fault you didn't watch the movie. I have it."

"Some of us like books, Richie," she teased. "Some of us can read."

"I can read!" Richie defended with a grin.

"I've never seen you."

"What is that a brail computer? I have to read that stupid thing all the time to fix whatever Mac does to it."

"You never read books."

"They're boring."

"You could read this." She held up the costume.

"I've seen the movie; I know what happens," he smiled.

She rolled her eyes. "Stand up and let me see if I got this right." Richie stood and let her fasten the tunic around his shoulders. Duncan walked in just as she stepped back to look at her work. "What do you think?" she asked.

"I think we need to do something about his jeans. And the t-shirt has to go."

"I have that done; it's in that box." She gestured to a garment box sitting on the counter.

Duncan opened it and pulled out the shirt. It was off white with baggy sleeves and a suede string lacing up the collar. "Wow, you do good work," he said.

"Tessa, that's awesome!" Richie grinned at her.

"Mac will get your hat, I'll make the pants and we'll make a Musketeer out of you, yet."

"Didn't Mac promise me something other than a hat?" Richie asked with a sly grin.

"How could I forget with you reminding me every time I see you?" Duncan teased. "It's all in the office. Go look." Richie raced off to see it.

"You spoil him," Tessa accused wagging her finger at him.

"I'm not the one making the costume. I just bought a few things."

"A sword?"

"It's not a sword, it's a fencing foil. He couldn't hurt anyone with it if he tried."

"As far as he is concerned it's a sword. Next he's going to ask you for lessons."

"Maybe some day I will teach him."

"Duncan MacLeod, you will teach that boy to use a sword over my dead body! He'll start wanting to take on immortals! He'll kill himself!"

"I promise I won't teach him until he is ready for the responsibility."

"Tada!" Richie announced coming back into the kitchen. The black hat with the fluffy white feather on his head and the foil strung through a belt loop. "What do you think?"

"I think the king is well guarded," Duncan told him straightening the hat.

"I think I need to finish the rest so we can see you in full costume."

"What about boots?" Richie asked.

"She made the costume, I got you the hat and foil, you get the boots," Duncan told him.

"Fair enough, where?"

"Go to the costume shop on Madison. Tell Mr. Mathews what you're looking for, he'll help you."

"Cool!" Richie turned to leave.

"Ahah!" Duncan grabbed him by the arm. "You don't need to show him, just tell him," he said taking the hat off Richie's head. Richie blushed as Tessa removed the tunic. Then Duncan, very pointedly, took the foil.

. . . . . .

The day before the party Tessa had Richie put on his full costumes so she would have time to make any adjustments that may be needed.

"You look perfect," she said walking around him. "Does it all feel okay?"

"Feels fine. just awkward but I'm guessing that's because I'm not used to tights."

"They're leggings, spandex."

"They're tight."

"They're supposed to be."

"Then it's great."

"Go show Duncan."

Richie trotted down the stairs and through the office. He stopped quickly and tried to disappear without being seen.

"Richie!" He wasn't fast enough. Duncan had spotted him as did Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins. "Perfect, I was just telling them about your costume. Come out here and show them." With a tight smile Richie went out into the store. "Looks great doesn't it?"

"Aren't you a little old for trick or treating, sonny?" Mr. Jenkins asked. Mr. Jenkins called everyone sonny including Duncan, which made Richie laugh.

"It's for a costume party," Richie explained. "Tessa made it for me."

"She did a wonderful job," Mrs. Jenkins told him. Mrs. Jenkins had adopted Richie as one of her grandchildren. She brought him cookies every couple of weeks and tipped him handsomely every time he did anything for her. She had once given him five dollars for opening the door. "I was quite the seamstress in my day, too."

"I'm sure you were," Duncan agreed. "With those hands you could probably have sewn a dress fit for a princess."

"Oh, how you do tease an old woman," she smiled swatting at the air.

"Well, I'd probably better go get out of this before I ruin it," Richie said. "M'lady," he took off his hat and with a sweeping bow kissed Mrs. Jenkins' hand.

"You are too cute," she cooed at him patting his cheek. "You deliver this painting and I'll be sure to have some muffins ready for you when you get there."

"Will do. Bye." With that he disappeared into the office.

"Duncan, that boy is sick," Mrs. Jenkins said.

"I'm sure he's fine," he assured her. "You can tell when he's sick because he makes a big show of proving he's not."

"He's feverish."

"It's a heavy costume."

"Duncan MacLeod I have had eight children and fourteen grandchildren; I know children, and I know that boy. He is sick," she insisted.

"I'll send Tessa after him," he promised.

"You'd better. If he shows up about to faint on my doorstep, I'm keeping him with me until he is well."

"We'll check on him."

"If that sweet child."

"Now, Martha." Mr. Jenkins interrupted. "Let Duncan here deal with his boy. Tessa will know what to do if anything is wrong."

"I'll check on him as soon as I close up," Duncan promised.

"Then we'll just get out of your way, sonny," Mr. Jenkins said taking his wife by the arm. "No rush on the delivery. Whenever that boy is feeling better you send him over."

"I will, Mr. Jenkins."

After locking up Duncan went upstairs to find the thermometer and Richie. He knocked on his closed door.

"Come in!" Richie called.

"Hey Rich, can you do me a favor?"

"Depends on what it is."

"Let me take your temperature."

"What?"

"Let me take your temperature."

"Why?"

"Mrs. Jenkins thinks your sick and I promised her I would check."

"Mac, I'm fine."

"Just humor me."

Rolling his eyes Riche took the thermometer and tucked it under his tongue. "Hahi?" he asked around the device.

"Bring it to me when you're done."

*Forty-Five Seconds later*

"98.9, looks good to me," Duncan shrugged reading the digital numbers.

"Isn't it supposed to be 98.6?" Tessa asked putting her hand on Richie's forehead.

"I've always had a higher temperature ask the orphanage nurse," he insisted.

"He's just full of hot air," Duncan said. "He's fine."

"I'm hungry," Richie added. "When's dinner?"

. . . . . .

Richie looked at his clock, 2:56 am. 'Why am I up?' he wondered. Then he realized. His stomach hurt. It was all crampy. He lay there for a few minutes trying to decide how to fix the problem, but since he didn't know what had caused it he was at a loss. A particularly bad tasting belch told him he had gas. So he got up and went to the bathroom to fix the problem. He sat down and let out a juicy fart that would have made any fourth grade boy proud.

"UGGH!" Richie moaned at the smell, covering his nose and mouth. he could even taste it. Unfortunately he hadn't had the foresight to turn on the fan when he went into the bathroom so his only option was to wait it out. So he sat wondering what one had to take to fix diarrhea. "God, it won't stop," he mumbled. Then he felt a horrible feeling. acid bile creeping up his throat. He tried to swallow but it just kept coming. He couldn't throw up into the toilet; he was sitting on it. Finally he leaned to his left over the tub and let it all out. After a few chucks his eyes started to water from the smell and the pain it was all causing.

"Richie?" Duncan's voice asked turning on the bathroom light. 'Great,' Richie thought as he heaved out more of dinner. 'Now I'm naked, running at both ends, and blind.'

"What's wrong?" Tessa's voice asked.

"I'm fine," Richie rushed out between heaves.

"No you're not," she told him.

"Peachy," he insisted once the bile settled back into his stomach.

"Peachy?" Duncan repeated.

"Why'd you have to say that?" Richie groaned as it all started over again.

"You said it first."

"Duncan," Tessa scolded. "Get a cup of water and a can of Ginger Ale. and a cold washcloth." She stayed by Richie until his stomach was empty. "Feel better?" she asked.

"Can I have a towel or something?"

"Of course," she took one off the towel rack.

"Thanks," he mumbled, draping it over his lap. His boxers were around his ankles, but he didn't want to go through all the trouble of pulling them up if he'd just have to take them off again. "So that's what a chili reano looks like the second time around," he said thoughtfully looking in the bathtub. They had had Mexican for dinner.

"Apparently. If you were feeling bad, why did you eat so much spicy food?" she asked felling for a temperature. "I could have made you soup."

"I didn't fell bad, honest."

"All done?" Duncan asked coming back into the small, stinky, now brown, bathroom with what Dr. Tessa had prescribed. Richie nodded taking the cup of water to rinse his mouth with. He sat for a second, cheeks bulging like a chipmunk, before spitting the water into the tub.

"Okay, clean up and then brush your teeth," Tessa told him taking Duncan out of the bathroom with her.

A few minutes after the toilet flushed and the running water stopped Richie emerged on shaky legs. He went straight to his bed and crawled in. He didn't protest, complain, or even roll his eyes when Tessa tucked him in and started wiping his face with the cold washcloth. Duncan thought about cracking a joke that Richie must really be sick if he was allowing all the attention but thought better of it when he caught a glimpse of the boy's pale, pouty face.

"Drink this," Tessa said putting the can of Ginger Ale to his lips. Richie didn't even try to take the can from her, just drank while she tilted it. "Duncan, clean up the bathroom, will you?" she asked sweetly.

"Sure," Duncan agreed with a forced smile before he left the room to get some disinfectant.

"Do you think you can get back to sleep?"

"I'll be fine," Richie mumbled.

"That didn't sound very convincing." Tessa said handing him a couple pills.

"I'm just not very tired right now," Richie said after he swallowed them. "Go on back to bed; I'll just watch TV or something."

"That wasn't very convincing, either. Do you want me to stay with you?"

"And do what tell stories?" Richie asked. "Go on to bed."

"No, I want to hear this story."

"Story of what?"

"Um. how about the last time you had a homemade costume?" she suggested.

"I was really little," Richie told her. "I don't remember."

"Surely you remember what you wore."

******** October 31, 1978 Seacouver, Washington. 1125 Miller Place, Apartment 3B, Richie's room********

"Time to wake up, baby," Emily Ryan said softly, rubbing the sleeping child's back. "Richie, time to wake up."

The little boy rolled over and opened his eyes. "Is it Halloween, yet?"

"Not yet, but almost," she told him with a smile.

"How much longer?"

"After dinner."

"Is it dinner?"

"Not yet, but almost."

"How much longer?"

"Very soon," she promised picking him up.

"Can we have dinner now?" the four year old asked hopefully.

"But you just got up from your nap."

"I don't mind, Mommy."

"Why don't you finish your letters, and I will make sure everything is ready for Halloween. How does that sound?"

"I have to potty."

"Okay," she laughed, putting him down. "I'll get everything out to work on your letters."

"Okay, Mommy!" The little boy took off down the short hallway.

Emily smiled and went into the kitchen. She opened a bottom cabinet, Richie's cabinet, and took out his crayons, envelopes, paper and stickers. A couple seconds after she was done Richie came into the kitchen, still in his Sesame Street pajamas.

"Did you wash your hands?" she asked.

"Yes, I did, Mommy."

"Okay, where do you want to work?"

"TV."

"Okay." Emily settled Richie at the coffee table with his project and put in one of his favorite videos. She went into the kitchen and finished decorating the cookies she had started while Richie was taking his nap.

Half an hour later there was a knock on the apartment door. With a big smile, Richie got up and ran to the door.

"Ask who it is!" Emily reminded him as she followed. It was Mr. Parker, the mailman.

"Hi, Mr. Parker!" Richie greeted enthusiastically. "We got mail?"

"Yes, you did," Mr. Parker said handing it to him.

"Can I come?" Richie asked as he handed Emily the mail. Emily gave Mr. Parker a nod.

"Have you been good today?"

"Yes."

"Then, yes you may." He took Richie by the hand.

"Be good," Emily told him as he went with Mr. Parker to deliver the mail to the tenets. That was Richie's daily reward for being good. Mr. Parker was an older man with a big heart and a soft spot for Richie. He would take Richie to every apartment and give him the mail to deliver. Richie was Emily's Little Mailman. When Richie returned he had a big grin on his face.

"Is it dinner yet?" he asked.

"Almost. Finish your letters."

Richie once again set to his task. Twenty minutes later he announced that he was done. Emily went over to praise his work. He had made Halloween cards with a pumpkin, ghost, or witch on the front and 'Hapy Halawin!' written inside. Each card had its own envelope that had his name in the return address, 'You' as the delivery address, and a Halloween sticker as a stamp.

"These are very good," she told him. "I can see you worked very hard on each one."

"Thank you," Richie replied. Emily had been teaching him manners.

"You're welcome." She gave him a hug and a kiss. "Can you do Mommy a favor?"

"Okay."

"Put your cards in your bag and put your colors away while I make dinner. And do you know what's after dinner?"

"Halloween!"

"That's right, so put everything away." Richie hurried to get everything done. "Pick out a green or an orange, and please get Mommy and apple," Emily told him when he was done. He went the refrigerator and opened the vegetable drawer. He looked at the broccoli, beans, apples, carrots and oranges. He got an apple for Emily (the shiniest one) and decided on carrots for himself. He took them over to Emily who put them on their plates next to their hotdogs. Together they sat at the table. "Will you say grace?" she asked.

Richie clasped his hands together and closed his eyes. "God is great; God is good, let us thank him for this food. Amen. Happy Halloween, God," he added at the end of the prayer he had learned in Sunday school. After the dishes were in the sink Richie tugged on Emily's jeans. "Is it Halloween?"

"Yes, it is, time to get dressed."

Richie ran back into his room and had taken off is pajamas by the time Emily got there with his costume. She helped him into his light blue shirt and navy blue pants. Mr. Parker had given Emily one of his old shirts so she could take the patches off and put them on Richie's shirt. He also had a blue hat and a blue messenger bag that had US MAIL painted in big white letters across the front. Emily stepped back and took a look at the boy. Everything fit him perfectly, even if the patches were a little big on a four year old's shirt. Little blonde curls stuck out from under his hat and he had two front teeth missing from his grin.

"Are you ready to go?"

"Ready!"

She took his hand and they went trick or treating. They started on the top floor and worked their way down.

"Emily!" one woman cooed when Richie gave her a card in exchange for candy. "He is too adorable!"

"Oh my!" another woman smiled. "You make a very cute mail man, Richie. Are you going to be a mailman when you grown up?"

"Yes, I am. Just like Mr. Parker."

"I thought you already brought me my mail?" an old man asked when he opened the door to Richie in costume.

"This is a special delivery," Emily told him.

"Oh, well thank you very much," he said slowly starting to close the door.

"Hey!" Richie stopped him.

"Yes?"

"Tick or treat!" he reminded him holding out his hand.

"I thought you were here on official mailman business?" the man questioned.

"I'm not a real mailman," Richie told him.

"What about your fancy uniform?"

"Mommy made it."

"And this letter?"

"I made it, see?" he stood on his tip toes and pointed at the return address.

"Oh, you did. So, this isn't just for me?"

"It's a costume," Richie told him impatiently.

"Then I guess you get some candy," the man said putting two tootsie pops in Richie's hand. "Happy Halloween."

"What do you say?" Emily prompted.

"Thank you and Happy Halloween."

They went to a few more doors until Richie's shoe untied itself. He was running for the next door and tripped and fell flat on his face. He lay there on his stomach for a minute trying to piece together what happened. He looked at the floor and saw blood. and started to wail.

"Oh!" Emily rushed to him and picked him up. "My poor baby! Oh, I know it hurts," she soother bouncing him a little trying to calm him down as she walked to apartment 2G. "Mrs. Jenkins!" she called knocking on the door.

"What is it, dear?" Mrs. Jenkins asked opening the door.

"Can we barrow your bathroom?" One look at the wailing child and Mrs. Jenkins stepped aside.

Richie sat on the counter crying while Emily stopped his bloody nose. She spoke quietly to him the whole time and five minutes later all he was doing was sniffling.

"I think we're done trick or treating," Emily told him picking him up off the counter. He wrapped his arms around her neck and his legs around her waist. "Are you sleepy?" she asked.

"It's dirty," Richie pouted.

"What's dirty, baby?"

"My shirt."

Emily smiled. "Mommy will fix it. Tell Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins thank you."

"Thank you," Richie repeated.

"Richie," Mrs. Jenkins said putting her hand on his back. "I made some special cookies just for you. I put them in your bag."

"Oh, that was very nice of you Mrs. Jenkins," Emily said as Richie put his head on her shoulder. "He'll have them tomorrow for a snack. Thank you."

"You're welcome dear."

"Well, I think it's time for Mommy's little mail man to go to bed. We've had a rough day."

********October 30, 1992. Seacouver, Washington. 5629 Westbrook Ave. Richie's room********

"That's it," Richie finished his story around a yawn.

"Your poor little nose," Tessa commented. "I'm sure you were very cute."

"Thanks," he said sliding further down into the bed.

"Do you remember anything else?"

"About what?" Richie asked, eyes closed.

"Nothing, go to sleep."

"Kay. Can I go to the party tomorrow?"

"Well, see. Goodnight mon petit facteur."

Duncan came out of the bathroom with a bucket full of dirty rags. "Did you just call him a little mailman?"

Tessa smiled. "I'll explain later."