AN: I've been doing so much serious I had to take a break and go lighthearted. Yes, Master and Finding Time will both be updated soon. P.S. this is very PWP?

Disclaimers: I don't own Highlander and the excerpts are from Peter and Windy by J.M. Barrie. The entire story can be found at

A POX UPON YOU

"Ugh, this always happens!" Tessa huffed coming into the kitchen while Richie was eating his breakfast.

"Wahapun?" he asked around a mouthful of Kix and milk.

"I'm too old for this!"

"Fowah?"

"Pimples!"

Richie swallowed. "That's it? I can take care of that for you. Just give me a sec." He stood up to put his bowl in the sink.

"That's very kind of you, but unless you can make it go away instantly it won't do me any good."

"Not instantly, but it will be long gone before your date this afternoon."

"It's not a date! I'm just meeting an old friend for lunch."

"Whatever you say, Tess. Come with me." They went into Richie's room and he disappeared into his bathroom to reappear a minute later with an arm full of bottles. "Okay." He dumped them all onto his unmade bed. "What are we dealing with here?"

"A pimple."

"What kind? An I-ate-something-and-broke-out-zit, a stress-zit, an oily- spot-zit, or an I-have-no-idea-why-this-thing-is-on-my-face-zit?"

"Um. stress, I suppose."

"Then I have you covered." He handed her a bottle. "Wash your face with this, twice, warm water. Then put this on it." He handed her a bottle of some kind of cream. "Then rub it with a washcloth that's been soaked in hot water. Then rub this in." He handed her yet another bottle. "It will be gone before ten."

"What?"

"Just trust me. It'll be gone before ten. I promise."

True to his word at nine thirty there was no trace of the once blemish.

"Richie, you are a miracle worker!" Tessa smiled giving him a hug.

"I'm just experienced in that department," he said with a self-conscious smile.

"I've never seen you with a pimple," Tessa frowned, thinking back.

"Exactly. I nuke 'em before anyone can see 'em." He glanced at his watch. "Okay, I'm off to Angie's."

"I thought you were meeting her at the carnival today?" The city was holding its annual winter festival that day.

"I was, but Andy, her youngest brother, got chicken pox. So I volunteered to baby-sit so the rest of the family could go."

"That's very nice of you. But don't you want to go?"

"I'll live," he assured her. "There's always next year. Have fun on your date!" he called as he left.

"It's not a date!"

. . . . . .

"You were out late," Duncan commented as Richie shuffled into the kitchen the next morning.

"Chicken Pox means your sick, right?" Richie asked.

Duncan smiled. "Usually."

"Andy was faking," the teen decided plopping into his chair.

"Why do you say that?" Tessa asked.

"The kid totally wore me out. He wanted to play games all night, ate two boxes of macaroni and cheese, wouldn't go to bed; he was a normal six-year- old. He had to have been faking."

"You still look a little worn out."

"I still feel a little worn out," he admitted. "But some food and I'll be fine."

"I'll make you some eggs and toast."

"Thanks, Tess. So how was your date?" he asked.

"It was not a date. But Michael and I had fun. We had lunch then went to the museum."

"Exciting. How was the auction, Mac? Get anything cool?"

"I found some very nice pieces. And had one stolen right out from under me. Lost the bid by two hundred dollars."

"Wow, that close, huh?"

"You sound very interested."

"Oh, I am," Richie assured him, nodding his head resolutely.

"Good, because I need you to help me clean the varnish off a painting I got and then re-stain a chest."

"Sounds like fun, Mac. I'll get right on that. Unless I can find something better to do."

"I was thinking, since it's almost Christmas and this isn't really in your job description, I'd pay you double."

Richie's face lit up and he looked at Duncan over the scrambled eggs and toast Tessa had put in front of him. "Really? So we're talking fourteen dollars an hour?"

"Actually, fifteen. You get seven fifty usually."

"Alright! Now we're talking."

After Richie finished his breakfast, Duncan showed him how to clean the varnish off the painting without stripping off the paint and told him to find him when he was ready to tackle the chest. It took Richie until lunch to finish the painting and until dinner to get the chest done. So he got eighteen dollars an hour for the last two hours, since they were overtime and Duncan long ago promised him time and a half if it took him until after the store closed to finish a project. Richie made over a hundred dollars that day.

At dinner, he was quiet and didn't eat much. He swore up and down he was just tired and would be fine after some sleep.

"Well, it's a good thing tomorrow is Sunday; you can sleep in that way," Duncan told him.

"You never let me sleep in," Richie pointed out. "You're always getting me up at eight thirty if I'm not already."

"Just sleep until you wake up tomorrow," Tessa told him. "It will help you get over whatever it is that has you so lethargic."

"What's lethargic?"

"Tired, slow, sleepy," Duncan told him.

"Oh."

"You might be getting a cold or the flu," Tessa commented putting a hand on his cheek. "You feel a little warm, but it could be nothing."

"I bet I'm fine tomorrow."

"I'm sure you will be."

"Hey, I'm not so hungry. You mind if I just go to bed?"

"Bed? It's not even seven."

"I'm just tired."

"Are you sure you're okay?" Duncan asked. It had been a long times since he had been around a sick mortal, much less a sick mortal teenager.

"Yeah, I'll be fine." Richie got up from the table leaving his chicken and backed potato barely touched.

"I'll check on him later," Tessa said as she threw Richie's possibly contaminated food away.

After dinner was cleaned up, Tessa set to work making her mother's famous cure-all chicken soup. She had Duncan cut the veggies and serve as official taste-tester. Once the concoction had reached perfection, she left it to simmer and went to check on Richie.

"How are you feeling?" she asked looking at the teen who was half asleep watching a video on his recently purchased VCR/TV combo.

"Okay. I think I figured out what's wrong with me, though."

"Really?"

"I think I got into something I'm allergic to. I'm kinda breaking out."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. So once whatever this is, is out of my system, you'll have your cheap labor back in top condition."

"Cheap labor? Eighteen dollars an hour is cheap?"

"Mac's the one making monetary promises. I didn't ask for anything."

"No, you didn't. Why don't you try to get some sleep?"

"I was almost asleep then this lady came in a distracted me for the hypnotic TV signals."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I'll leave you to. what is this?" she looked at the obviously fake rabbit attacking men on the screen.

"Monty Python."

"Well, I leave you to drift into dream world with your mindless violence."

"Yea violence," Richie mumbled settling into his pillows again.

Tessa smiled. "Good night, Richie."

"Night, Tess."

Just before they went to bed, Tessa and Duncan went in to check on Richie one more time. He was dead to the world and his TV was still going. Duncan turned on the lights to figure out what buttons to push to turn the somewhat intimidating contraption off. Tessa pushed the sleeping boy into a better position. He had been bent in the middle of the bed to get a good view of the screen, so she straightened him into a normal position. He didn't react at all except to snuggle further under his blanket.

"He has a fever," she whispered.

"Let him sleep. We'll diagnose him tomorrow when he wakes up."

Richie was still asleep by the time Duncan and Tessa were starting to think about making lunch. Tessa went in to wake him up and ask if he wanted any. She came back into the kitchen with a huge smile on her face.

"What did he say?" Duncan asked.

"Nothing. But you know how he thought he was allergic to something because he was breaking out?"

Duncan paused. "Oh no."

"Oh, yes. He's covered."

"He was just over there two days ago. How did he get it so fast?"

"He was over there earlier this week helping them get the tree into their apartment."

Duncan smiled and shook his head. "We should call the doctor."

They called one of Duncan's friends who recommended a pediatrician, who agreed to come over and look at him. For two hours, Duncan and Tessa tried unsuccessfully to wake Richie up. They could get him awake enough to tell them to go away, but he always went straight to sleep right after.

When the doctor got there they didn't even bother to try to wake him up. They all trooped into his room and stood over him. The doctor examined his spots and checked his temperature, which was 101.3 and climbing.

"How old is he?" the doctor asked when they all went into the living room.

"Eighteen."

"And he got it from a friend?"

"Her little brother," Tessa clarified.

"Okay. You have to keep a close eye on him. There are some possible complications because of his age." He went onto explain all possible outcomes. "Keep up with his temperature. If it gets to 102.5 I'd suggest either you give him an ice bath here or take him to the hospital for one. If it gets to 103, get him to the hospital. Other than that, give him plenty of liquids and let him sleep. When he wakes up, get him to eat something. Nothing too fancy, just chicken soup, crackers, dry toast. Once he gets his appetite back, he can have whatever he wants."

"How long is this going to last?"

"Two and a half weeks at the most. And as always, no scratching."

"That will be easy to prevent," Duncan mumbled.

"I usually recommend to parents to allow them one sore to scratch. That way if they scar there will only be one. But, Calamine lotion should keep him from wanting to scratch. I'm also going to prescribe him a histamine blocker as well as an antibiotic to keep off any sort of infection. But, as long as he keeps clean and doesn't scratch there shouldn't be any real problems."

"Thank you, doctor," Duncan said taking the prescription slips.

Richie slept the rest of the day. Duncan gave up and forced the boy awake enough to explain what was going on and get him to swallow the pills and finish off a glass of Gatorade before drifting off to sleep again.

At two in the morning there was a piercing scream from Richie's bathroom. Duncan's feet didn't touch the floor until he was in Richie's room. Tessa was right behind him.

"What's wrong?"

"Spots!" Richie answered coming out of the bathroom.

"Did you see yourself in the mirror?" Tessa asked.

"Are they all over?" Richie asked in a panic holding out his arms for inspection.

"Richie, do you remember the conversation we had last night?" Duncan asked him.

"Last thing I remember was telling Tessa I broke out last night."

"That was two nights ago. You slept all through yesterday. You slept through the doctor coming to look at you. You slept through a long line of fire trucks going by with their sirens going right past your window, you slept through your movie, you slept through everything."

"What did we talk about last night then?"

"Richie, you have chicken pox," Tessa explained.

"Chicken pox?"

"Yes, chicken pox."

"Okay, I can live with that. I thought there was something wrong with my." he cut off. "Okay. So I'm just pokadotted for a few days. I can live with that."

"Good, so why don't you go back to bed and get some sleep," Duncan started to steer him toward his bed.

"Actually, there's a reason I got up." He twisted out of Duncan's grip and went back into the bathroom.

Duncan smiled. "What a way to find out you have chicken pox."

"What?"

"He has to go to the bathroom."

"And?"

"He's a boy. His only consumption in the last twenty four hours was liquid."

Tessa cracked a smile. "No wonder he was panicked."

"I may be in another room, but I can still hear you!" Richie called from behind the closed door. "Stop talking about me!"

"Sorry; good night, Richie!" Duncan called.

"I want to take your temperature before you go back to bed!" Tessa told him.

Richie emerged a minute later to find Tessa with the thermometer in one hand and a glass of Gatorade in the other. He opened his mouth to say something and was cut off but the thin tube being shoved in his mouth. She ordered him to bed and tucked him in tightly.

"Now the doctor said that you have to drink plenty of fluids and to take your medicine," she said taking the thermometer when it beeped.

"Andy didn't have any medicine."

"It's different because you're older. Are you itchy?"

"Very," he said scratching behind his ear.

"Stop that!" she ordered. "If you'd like, Duncan bought some Calamine lotion when he went to the store."

"Where did you put it?"

"It's on your dresser."

"Angie's mom puts it in the refrigerator."

"Would you like me to do that?"

"Yeah."

"As long as you promise not to scratch tonight."

"Okay."

"But I do want you to drink this first."

"I like the blue kind," Richie said taking the glass from her.

"Blue kind of what?"

"Gatorade. I like this kind okay, but I like the blue kind the best."

"Then we'll get you the blue kind tomorrow."

"Okay."

"And lots of ice."

"In the drink?"

"Yeah. Angie's mom puts in lots of ice so it gets really cold."

"Lots of ice in the blue Gatorade. And the Calamine lotion in the refrigerator."

"Right."

"Anything else?"

"Club crackers."

"Okay."

"Angie's mom puts cream cheese on them."

"Okay."

"The strawberry flavored kind."

Tessa smiled broadly. "Have you been sick at Angie's house before?"

"Yeah. I got the flu while I was living with them."

"You lived with Angie?"

"Yeah, in fifth grade. It was a surprise. Her mom found out I was almost at my two year limit with the people I was with so they registered to be my foster parents for two years."

"That was very nice of them."

"Yeah."

"So what else did Angie's mom do for you?"

"She rented movies, and read me stories. but I'm a little old for that, and she gave me lots of ice cream."

"Okay, we'll take care of all of that tomorrow. But now, you need some sleep."

"Okay." He finished off his drink.

"And no scratching."

"I know." He settled down and closed his eyes. Tessa tucked him in and he was asleep before she was out of the room.

"How is he?" Duncan asked as Tessa crawled into bed with him.

"Spoiled," she said with a laugh. "Apparently he got the flu while he was living with Angie's family and her mother spoiled him rotten."

"Oh no."

"Every other sentence started with 'Angie's mom does.' then whatever it is he wants me to do."

Duncan chuckled. "This should be interesting. I've never been around a kid with chicken pox before."

"Did you never have it?"

"I'd never heard of it until about a hundred years ago. Is it bad?"

"It itches and sometimes hurts. It's not fun. But he should be okay."

The next morning, Richie didn't get up until almost noon. And when he got up Tessa had all he had requested waiting for him. Lunch was blue Gatorade with lots of ice and chicken soup; dessert was applesauce. By the time he was done eating, Richie was ready to go back to bed. Tessa gave him his medicine as she tucked him into bed. Dinner was a repeat of lunch. Richie started Caddy Shack afterwards, but fell asleep not too far into it.

The next morning, Tessa went to run some errands and decided to drop off Richie's present to Angie while she was out, since Richie wasn't going to be out any time soon.

"Hello, you must be Mrs. Burke," Tessa smiled as the door was opened. "I'm Tessa Noel; I just came by to drop off Richie's present for Angie."'

"Richie. oh! Oh, Tessa, right, Angie loves your apple pie. Come in, it's freezing out there."

"Thank, you." Tessa stepped in.

"Is Richie okay? Usually he delivers presents."

"Actually, I'm afraid Richie's sick."

"Really? Would you like some tea, coffee, hot chocolate?"

"Tea would be lovely, if it's not too much trouble. Yes, I'm afraid your Andy gave Richie the chicken pox."

Mrs. Burke snorted as she tried to smother her laughter. "Are you serious? He's eighteen!"

"And very pathetic when he doesn't feel well. He has a permanent pout on his face. He sounds like he's eight. And he'll let you do anything for him. I know he's suffering, but it's really cute."

The door opened and a chorus of "Hi, Moms!" came from the entryway.

"Angie, come in here, please!" Mrs. Burke called.

"Oh, hi Tessa," Angie greeted coming around the corner.

"Hello, Angie; I brought your present from Richie." She held the brightly wrapped gift out. "He wanted to bring it to you himself, but he's not allowed outside just yet."

"What's wrong with him?"

"He has chicken pox," Mrs. Burke answered handing Tessa her tea. "Sugar's on the table."

"Thank you. But don't spread it around; he'll probably kill me when he finds out you two know."

"So does he still demand blue Gatorade and club crackers with strawberry cream cheese?" Mrs. Burke asked sitting with her own cup of tea.

"Yes. And we have you to thank for it. 'Angie's mom did this; Angie's mom did it like that; Angie's mom, Angie's mom blah blah blah."

"Oh, no. I'm sorry!" she giggled. "He's hard to say no to when he's well, but once he starts pouting and his nose turns red and he gets the whine in his voice I can't help my self. It was impossible."

"You're not alone. I'm out shopping for everything he asks for. Actually, you can help me. I was going to rent him some movies, but I don't know what to get him."

"Get him some books," Angie suggested. "He's always at the library."

"Really? What does he like?"

"Anything with good action scenes."

"Three Musketeers."

"Treasure Island."

"Frankenstein."

"Red Badge of Courage."

"Kidnapped."

Tessa laughed. "I get the picture."

"You know what he really likes?" Angie asked with a wicked grin.

"What?"

"Peter Pan," Mrs. Burke answered with her daughters' same grin.

"Really?" Tessa giggled.

"He reads it to Andy all the time or watches it with him. It's his favorite."

"I'll have to get it."

. . . . . .

"A tractor!"

"Mac!"

"Lima bean!"

"Stop!"

"Helicopter!"

"Get out!"

"A dog!"

"O-U-T OUT!"

"Seriously, don't you see it?"

"The only thing I see is an ASS."

Duncan chuckled. "I'll let that slide because you're sick. A motorcycle! See? Here are the wheels."

"OOOOOOOOOUUUUUTTTTT!"

"Do you want this Calamine or not?" Duncan asked dangling the bottle in front of Richie's face.

"Do I have to sit here and let you play connect the dots all day?"

"It means you have to sit still."

"I'll do it myself."

"But you can't reach."

"Then I'll suffer," Richie growled through clenched teeth.

"I'll tell you what. Why don't you take an oatmeal bath and Tessa can do this when she gets back."

"Ew. I don't eat oatmeal, what makes you think I'll sit in a tub of it?"

"Because it will stop the itching."

Twenty minutes later, Richie was sinking as far as he could into the murky water so the gritty concoction could soothe his little sores.

"How are you doing?" Tessa asked going into the bathroom.

"Agh!" Richie slouched further into the tub. "Get out!"

"Calm down. Have you eaten?"

"I'm still a little.out!"

"Richie, I can't see you."

"It's the principle of the matter! I'm naked under here!"

"And I'm naked under my clothes."

"Tessa!" Richie whined.

"Okay, I'm leaving. But I'll have a snack ready for you when you're ready for it."

Half an hour later, Richie was rinsed and dressed in boxers and a long sleeved T-shirt. Tessa had crackers and cream cheese ready for him as he shuffled into the kitchen. She put the plate of the table next to the glass already there. She sat next to him and stole a cracker.

"Snoopy!" she laughed grabbing his hand as he reached for his glass.

"Not you, too," he groaned pulling his hand away.

"What?'

"Mac found six of the Seven Wonders of the World on my back today."

"Really?" She got up and pulled up the back of his shirt. "Hum, I only see four."

"There's the Colossus of Rhodes." Duncan came into the kitchen and pointed at a cluster of spots.

"Oh, I see it now!" Tessa exclaimed.

"Stop!" Richie ordered.

"Here, take these, they'll put you out and we'll all be out of our misery."

"Gladly." Richie downed the pills then went back to his snack. When he was done, he went back to his room. He could barely keep his eyes open.

Half an hour later, Tessa went in to check his temperature. When the thin tube hit his lips, Richie jumped and grunted.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."

"I wasn't asleep. You just startled me."

"Open up." She stuck the device under his tongue. "I got you some books if you'd like to read." The thermometer beeped and she looked at it. His temperature had been behaving itself and had never gotten past 102 for the past week and a half.

"I can't keep my eyes open and I can't fall asleep."

"I can read to you."

"I'm too old for that."

"I used to read for my brothers all the time."

"You don't gotta, Tess."

"Just one chapter."

"I'm sure you have other things to do."

"I do voices."

"Well, when you put it like that.."

"I'll go get one."

Tessa left and when she came back Richie and turned on his bedside lamp and scooted over so she could sit next to him on the bed. She tucked the covers around him and sat down.

"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end."

"You've been talking to Angie, haven't you?"

Tessa ignored his interruption. "Of course they lived at 14, and until Wendy came her mother was the chief one. She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there it was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand corner."

"I'm never gonna live this down, you know."

"Shh. The way Mr. Darling won her was this: the many gentlemen who had been boys when she was a girl discovered simultaneously that they loved her, and they all ran to her house to propose to her except Mr. Darling, who took a cab and nipped in first, and so he got her. He got all of her, except the innermost box and the kiss. He never knew about the box, and in time he gave up trying for the kiss. Wendy thought Napoleon could have got it, but I can picture him trying, and then going off in a passion, slamming the door." she trailed off. Richie was resting quietly with his head against her shoulder.

"I'm still listening."

"Mr. Darling used to boast to Wendy that her mother not only loved him but respected him. He was one of those deep ones who know about stocks and shares. Of course no one really knows, but he quite seemed to know, and he often said stocks were up and shares were down in a way that would have made any woman respect him."

Richie fell asleep before the end of the second page, but she finished the chapter anyway. Tessa read to Richie twice a day. By the time they finished Peter and Wendy, they were doing it more for fun that anything else. By the end of the second week, Richie was not only not getting more spots, but they were starting to fade.

"If you keep this up I'd say you can go out by tomorrow night," Tessa commented one morning.

"Are you kidding me? I'm not leaving until these are completely gone!"

"Embarrassed?"

"Deathly so."

"People get sick, there's nothing to get embarrassed about."

"Eighteen year olds don't get the chicken pox. Eight year olds get the chicken pox."

"You know, you heal very quickly. If I didn't know better I'd say you were half immortal," Tessa said changing the subject.

"That would be cool. Then I wouldn't have to worry about dumping my bike, or beefing it when I try tricks on my blades or."

"You aren't immortal, Richie. The last thing I want, is you being more reckless than you are now."

"If I can get the chicken pox, I can break my arm. Even I'm smart enough to know that."

"Know what?" Duncan asked.

"That he can break his arm," Tessa answered.

"Good, I'd hate to have to prove it to him."

"I'd hate for you to have to prove it to me, too," Richie consented scooting away.

"Your fire hydrant's gone!" Duncan exclaimed examining Richie's cheeks.

"I'll mourn the loss."

"Seriously, you're clearing up nicely. You can barely see them. I'd say you can go out tonight if you want."

"No way! Not 'til they're all gone!"

Two days later, Richie was pox free.

"I don't see any spots," Duncan commented, inspecting Richie's face and arms. "And you've been fever free for days."

"So I'm clean?"

"We've been saying that for days," Tessa laughed. "You're the one that's kept yourself in quarantine."

"I just wanna be spot free."

"Well, you are."

"Good. So I can go to the movies with Angie tonight?"

"As long as you dress warmly. You're immune system is still weak," Duncan warned.

"Cool!" Richie got up.

"Wait!" Duncan stopped him.

"What?"

He tired to hide his smile. "You have a spot."

"Funny, Mac."

"I'm serious. Right there." He pointed under Richie's chin.

"No way." His hand went up to explore and sure enough he felt a small bump. "Damn it!" He ran to the nearest mirror. "Oh, thank God," he breathed a sigh of relief. "It's only a zit."