Highlander

Richie Ryan and the Holy Grail

Chapter IV - Old Enemies, New Problems

Rated: PG-13 for Immortal Violence, Profanity, and Mature Situations

Summary: While Mac is away, Richie will play! Richie is in charge of the barge but when he gets involved with a beautiful girl, the immortal Arthur, and his age old quest for the Cup of Christ, will Rich bite off more than he can chew?

Disclaimer: I do not own Highlander® or any characters. They are registered Trade Mark™ of George Widen and Davis/Panzer and Rysher. Nor do I own Arthur Penndragon. This story was written strictly out of the fact I enjoy writing and I enjoy watching Highlander®. I am making no money off of this, only reviews.

Storyline, Plot, Jacquelyn Perault© and Aardwolf Ironsmith©, are all my property. Do not steal.

Well, here's Chapter Four.

----

Arthur attacked quickly with his broad sword, but the five thousand year old man was able to block the attack with easy, well as easy as a half-asleep, half-drunken immortal can.

Richie watched in mute horror as his good idea of going to Methos suddenly turned into a horrible expression of fright. He watched as the regal King and the oldest man in the world battled throughout the living room in the middle of the night. The clang of metal and the swinging of swords was all too common to Richie, but never before, (with the exception of Mac's Dark Quickening) had Richie ever seen too friends right like this.


Two friends of his, anyway.

Richie hadn't known Arthur long, but he was sort of dating his daughter, and he thought the ancient King was a good man. Some of Arthur's quirks were annoying, but then again some of Mac's quirks were annoying too.

As for Methos, well Richie didn't know him all that personally, but then again Methos didn't give away his life's secrets very easily. Still, Richie would have hated it if the five thousand year old man lost his head.


He had watched Mac kill people who had once been his friends on many occasions. He just never realized how painful it was to watch, until now.

Richie did the only sane thing he could think of: He threw himself between their swords. The Ivanhoe and Excalibur clashed into either of Richie's shoulders, and the youngest immortal in the room gave a very distinctive cry of pain as blood appeared on the now-torn jean jacket he had changed into earlier at the mansion after Mordred had ruined Mac's dinner jacket he had been wearing.


Methos stepped backward and Arthur looked mortified. Both of them looked down at Richie with eyes that clearly said only one word: Move.

"Hey, Conner, a little help please?"

Conner shook his head. "You can't interfere in a challenge."

Richie swore very loudly as he felt himself growing weak from the blood loss. He knew he'd wake up, but at the same time he knew by the time he did, there may be a head on the floor and lightning in the air.

"Come on man!"

With a sigh Conner retrieved his katana and lifted it into his hands. He then stepped between Methos and Arthur and looked at both of them; his eyes too said only one word: No. Then Conner turned to Richie and impaled the Katana into the boy's chest. It was obvious he hadn't expected that but he was dead before he could ask any questions.


When Richie's eyes next opened he found Methos standing in a corner, still in his boxers, still brandishing his Ivanhoe, and still drinking a beer. Turning to his right he found Arthur standing with the broad sword still in his hand, waiting for Conner to give the okay to fight again.

Conner himself still stood in the middle with his Katana out and ready.

"What the hell was that?" Richie complained.

"It's quicker and less painful than bleeding to death." The Scottish warrior simply said.

Richie then turned to both Methos and Arthur in turn, but then turned back to Methos.

"It never ceases to amaze me how many enemies you have." Richie said, regaining his usual sarcastic tone.


"Five thousand years of practice." Methos said simply. To that Arthur quirked a brow but Methos simply shrugged it off. He never did mind telling people who he was when he was sure they were about to lose their head.

"Well?" Richie said turning to them both in turn once again. "What happened?"

"He stole my wife." Arthur said simply.

Richie sighed and nodded. He could see Methos doing that.

"Fifteen hundred years Arthur. And it wasn't my fault anyway, she came on to me."

Arthur narrowed his eyes. "Bloody hell it wasn't. She was Queen!"

Methos shrugged. "She was attractive."

Arthur's grip tightened on his sword but Conner cleared his throat. Normally the former King would have ignored Conner's interference, but Richie was a good lad, and Richie had been there to help him with Mordred, and for that Arthur owed the boy a life debt, and one that he intended to pay back.

"What happened now?" Richie asked as he stretched out his shoulders, as if making sure they had healed.


Arthur sighed. "You ever hear of Sir Lancelot?"

Richie nodded, and then all at once he realized what the British King was trying to say. Flabbergasted, Richie turned to Methos. "Him?"

Methos looked offended. "So I'm good enough to be Death on a Horse but not good enough to be Lancelot?"

"I always heard." Conner spoke up. "That Lancelot was the greatest Knight in England; he would fight for any woman's honor."

Methos nodded. "Well I don't know about honor, but I certainty fought for a something only a woman could give me."

Richie sighed. Yeah, when put in those perspectives, he could imagine Methos as Lancelot. And then it came back to him the fact that Arthur's wife in the stories had run off with Lancelot. With a sigh he wondered what the odds were of this.

He figured they were somewhere between the odds of people coming back from the dead unless they loose their head, and the lottery.

Richard had to think fast, but luckily for him, and as it would later go to show lucky for Methos and Arthur as well, Richie had years of practice in thinking quick. But when you're caught sneaking out of your foster home, or caught in the middle of jacking a car, you had to think fast.

And then an idea came to him. He didn't like the idea, but when thinking fast one didn't have many choices.


"Hey, Methos?" Richie asked quietly. "Remember when Mac went for my head?"

Methos nodded, he remembered the Dark Quickening of Duncan MacLeod all too well. Mainly because Richie wasn't the only one who had come close to loosing his head. Honestly if it wasn't for Ian MacLeod's Claymore and his own ancient intuition, Methos would be dead.

"Look, Arthur. I know you don't know this story, but Duncan once tried to kill me. I hated him so bad after that. And it hurt to hate Mac, you know? Because he was, no is the closest thing I'll have to a father even if I live to be his age. Well in the end I forgave Mac after a while. It wasn't even two years before I trusted him with my life fully again."

Richie paused and reflected, had it really taken that long? "Anyway, it took me a handful of months to forgive Mac for trying to kill me. It's been centuries since you and Methos fought, can't you guys at least try to get along for now?"

Arthur and Methos, while both touched by the story in their own way, were clearly not interested in preaching about forgiveness.


"Well if not that, look, Methos, Arthur's got a daughter man. And Arthur, Methos has a --" Richie paused. As the pause dragged on it took some more quick thinking. "Methos is engaged!"

Methos nearly choked on his beer from behind the lad as those words were spoken. He wondered what Richie was playing at.

Richie, however, thought it was a very good idea. "Yeah, yeah. Methos is engaged to . . ." there was a pause as he tried to think of a name. "To . . . Amanda, yeah, Amanda. She's his old girlfriend from a couple centuries."

Methos said nothing as Richie announced that he was "engaged" to Duncan's oldest of flings.


There was a pause, and then at last Arthur spoke. "As much as it would please me to have his head. I won't take it."

"You couldn't." Methos added, but Richie flashed him an angry look and he returned to his beer instead.

"Richard, you saved me in the mansion. For that, I'll spare his life." Arthur spoke those words with some pain. "If he agrees to help us."

Methos had completely forgotten why Richie and the rest had been here until those words were spoken. "Hell I will."

Richie turned around with an upset expression and said through gritted teeth. "Think about Amanda."

Ryan knew that Methos had a sarcastic comment on the tip of his tongue about that, but he also knew Methos enjoyed keeping his head even more than he enjoyed, well, anything, and after a small pause the oldest immortal spoke: "Yes, how could I forget my fiancé."

A buzz and footsteps signaled another arrival, and Ector appeared at the doorway. "Is everything alright milo-- Lancelot." He suddenly gasped as his eyes fell on the new face in the group.

"You're looking well Ector, still fat and happy I see." Methos said, of course in the sixth century that was a compliment, though whether it was meant to be sarcasm or polite, Ector did not know.


"Everything is fine Ector." Arthur said quietly. "We were just on our way down."

Methos sighed and looked at Richie. He'd go along with this for now. He really had no choice.

"How can I help?"

----

Mordred was in a bad mood. He had Arthur in his grasp after six hundred years of tracking him since their last meeting in Ireland. And what happened? Some punk kid ruined it. After six hundred years of waiting to take the head of Arthur Penndragon, he failed.

Now Mordred and his camouflage jacketed friend were on their way to find Arthur. Of course, there were ways to find him. The car, for one. Arthur's car was still sitting outside his house, and most of the other immortals had taken taxies, but the red Ferrari that had been outside when Mordred had arrived was gone.


Of course, after the police left the scene, Mordred and his partner had come back, just in the slim chance they could get something to lead them to Arthur's new location. Apparently Arthur had stayed in the house after the police had come and gone for a few minutes before they left somewhere.

The black Mercedes stopped off at a car dealership, the same car dealership that Richard Ryan had visited earlier in the day when he first met Jacquelyn and became involved in the Grail Quest. Already Mordred had been to four other car lots, and he had no clue that what he was seeking was now in his grasp.

The immortal in the black silk shirt made his way to the office just as a sleepy salesman was closing for the night.

"Sorry sir, come back tomorrow." The salesman said as Mordred and the camouflaged man approached him.

"We just need some information." Mordred said with all politeness.

"Well I'll be happy to give it to you, tomorrow." The salesman said, not polite at all.

"Let me handle this." The man in the camouflage jacket grabbed his machete from his belt with one hand and grabbed the salesman's neck with the other. Bringing the machete down the man's body, its owner let the blade rest on the salesman's crotch.


"Tell us what we want or you go home a woman."

With a frightened squeal the salesman began to cower and Mordred simply rolled his eyes.


"Honestly Aardwolf, but you be so melodramatic about everything?"

Aardwolf, as the man in the camouflage jacket was called, just laughed and pressed the machete down harder into the man. "Did you sell a red Ferrari today?"

"Y-yeah." The man whimpered between tears of fear.

"To who?" Mordred asked.

"A g-g-girl. A girl and some kid."

Aardwolf pressed the knife deeper into the man's groin. "Names."

"Receipt." The man cried. "Let me check the receipt."

Aardwolf raised his machete and allowed the man to unlock the doors of the office and walk back inside. Once there he and Mordred watched as the man checked over a few receipts.


"Jacquelyn Perault." The man read his voice still full of fear.

And as he did, Mordred smirked broadly. He knew Arthur was now using the last name of Perault, and therefore he had been right, the girl was his.


Aardwolf, however, was more interested in the security camera above the desk.

"Hey." He said turning around. "Let me see the camera."

Fifteen minutes later, after Aardwolf and Mordred had skipped around the security camera's images, they found what they needed. A segment of film showing Richie and Jacquelyn purchasing the car.

"That's the boy." Mordred said the second he saw Richie Ryan's face. "That's the arrogant boy who stopped me."

"Yeah." Aardwolf nodded, he also recognized Richie as the person who had stabbed him through the chest with the katana out in the yard. "Well I think it's time we make a report to the police."

Mordred raised an eyebrow in curiosity, but his partner merely laughed.

"I think the police will be very interested in learning this is the person responsible for the bombing on the Perault Estate earlier today."

----

Hours passed, and the immortals had scattered for the night. It would be much safer, in Arthur's opinion, if they split into groups for the night, and retired to separate hotels. Robin and Morris had departed for a sleazy motel in the bad neighborhood of town, mainly to see if Mordred and his partner could be lying low. Remus and Ector had vanished down to the classiest hotel in town, also looking to see if Mordred was living it up.

Conner had stayed with Methos, who was using his watcher connections to try to locate their enemies. And finally Richie had taken Arthur and Jackie back to the barge. They weren't looking for their enemies; instead they were planning the next move.

Or really, Arthur was planning the next move, while Richie and Jackie were lying out on the deck of the barge, looking up at the dark silhouette of the sky.

"Thank you Richie." She said quietly as she planted a kiss on his cheek.


"You're quite welcome." Richie smiled back. "For what?"

"For saving my father from Mordred."

Richie shrugged. "Personally I was more worried about Methos."

Jackie raised a brow. "Your friend?"

Richie nodded. "I had no clue Methos was your dad's enemy. Should'a guessed, the man has a thousand enemies."

"You're a good problem solver." Jackie said as she leaned her head into Richie's shoulder. Richie just began to laugh. "Did I say something funny?"

"Naw, it's just." Richie smirked once more. "That's the first time I've ever solver this many problems. Usually I create them and Mac has to bail me out."

Jackie nodded. "You've spoken a lot of this Mac; he's a good friend, no?"

"The best." Richie said quietly. "He's helped me a lot. Gave me a home and a job, and taught me how to survive."

Jackie sighed. "It must be hard to be an immortal."

Richie nodded and closed his eyes. "It is."

"Richie?"


"Yeah?"

"How did it happen?"

Richie closed his eyes. He could still see the day he first became what he was as clear as a bell in his mind. He could smell the gunpowder and hear the sound of Tessa's death. He could see and hear more now than he did when it really happened. He still remembered every detail of that night so vividly that it scared him down to his very bone marrow.

And he still missed Tessa.

"I was shot." He said at length.

Jackie said nothing, but he could tell there was something on her mind.

What it was, he never got a chance to ask, because at that moment police sirens were heard in the distance.


Police who were on their way to the barge to arrest Richie Ryan, suspected terrorist.

----------------------

And that, as they say, is that.

Hmm. Well I hope you all love the cliffhanger, and if you do you'll really love this.


Richie, Jackie, Arthur, Methos and Conner will all NOT be in Chapter Five.

But don't fear, because Mac, Amanda and Cory Raines will be.