AN: Set in a somewhat cannon first season where Mac joins Tessa and Richie on their flight to Paris after "Band of Brothers"

"Richie, get down..." Duncan sighed pulling on the back of the eighteen-year- old child's jacket.

"I'm just lookin'," Richie mumbled sliding back off the counter. He had leaned as far over the ticket counter as he could as the airline attendant put their bags on the conveyer belt. "I wanted to see where they were going."

"They're going to the plane. And there's nothing to see."

"Like I knew that."

"Here," Duncan handed Richie his jacket. "Take this to Tessa."

"Why would she want your jacket?"

"Take it." He turned back to the attendant.

"Man..." Richie turned and walked to where Tessa was standing near the metal detectors.

"What's this?" she asked.

"Mac's subtle way of telling me to get lost," he answered, watching other passengers go through security.

Tessa smiled at him. "He's still a little stressed. It's not you."

"I know," he shrugged it off. "I don't blame him. I'd be driving me nuts too."

"You're just a little curious."

"Tess, I've had cats tell me I'm too curious."

"You're excited, that's all."

"You know," he said after a minute. "I bet I'm the only one here that's never been on a plane before."

"You've really never been on a plane?"

"Nope... my third grade class took a tour here... but I bet it's all changed since then."

"Here we go." Duncan came over with the boarding passes. "We have about forty five minutes until they start boarding. Why don't we get something to eat?"

"Alright," Tessa agreed and the pair set off through security with Richie behind them.

They sat at a small table at an airport café. Tessa with a fruit parfait, Duncan a bagel and Richie picking at a chocolate chip muffin.

"You okay, Rich?" Duncan asked.

"Yeah, just not hungry. Nerves, probably."

"Try to eat something," Tessa said. "Do you want some toast instead... or some eggs?"

"Naw, this is fine." He took a bite that sparked his appetite. He finished his muffin and juice and waited for Tessa to hand over what she wasn't going to eat. He was starting to loose hope she would have left overs when Duncan handed him his credit card.


He had polished off his second muffin and was sipping some hot chocolate when they got up to browse the bookshop in their way to the gate. Duncan bought a book and added the magazine, puzzle book, bag of chips and Snickers bars that Richie got in line with.

"Feeling better, I take it?" he asked with a grin.

"I think so."

"This is your 'I think I feel better' snack for the plane?"

Richie shrugged and looked in the bag he was holding. "They have sodas on the plane, right?"

"You must feel better."

"So the Eiffel Tower is in Paris, right?"


"And the Moulin Rouge?"


"And the gate way thingy?"

"Arch d'Triumph?"

"Yeah. And Notre Dame?"

"Notre Dame," he corrected Richie's pronunciation.

"What's the diff?"

"One's a cathedral and one's home to the Fighting Irish."

Their plane was announced to be boarding first class passengers when they arrived at the gate. "That's us," Duncan said handing Richie his boarding pass. "There's the seat number."

"I can see that," he said as he took the ticket before walking with a certain air of arrogance to the flight attendant. "Score, window seat!" he cheered under his breath flopping down in the overstuffed gray leather seat. He was staring out the small window watching a luggage truck drive by.

"You can sit with him." Richie heard Tessa say to Duncan. "I'm just going to go to sleep. I hate flying. He'll want someone to talk to."

"You're no fun, Tess," Richie whined with a grin.

"You are excited enough for the both of us," she told him, taking the seat behind him.

"C'mon, Tess," he complained turning to kneel on his seat to face her. "Don't stick me with Mac. He's gonna use the time to lecture me on French history or something."

"No, I won't," Duncan assured him. "But I decide that you need to know at least some French if we're going to stay in France... Tourne autours et assois-toi."


"Tourne autours et assois-toi," Duncan repeated.

Richie looked to Tessa for help. "Turn around and sit down."

"Night, Tess." Richie turned around and sat down.

"Bonne nuit, petit."

Duncan hadn't seen Richie pay as much attention to anything as he was to the flight attendant's speech on what to do in case of an emergency. He had to stop the teen from trying to take off his seat cushion to see if it really could be used as a flotation device. Richie stared out the window as the plane started to taxi down the runway and eventually take off. Ten minutes after the captain announced that they had reached their cruising altitude and they expected clear skies for the duration of the flight, Richie started to fidget.

"What's wrong?" Duncan asked.

"This is it? I mean... it's kinda..."

"Dull?" he supplied.

"Well, yeah."

"There's an in flight movie."

"What is it?"

Duncan looked through the airline magazine. "Sleepless in Seattle."

"Aw man!" Richie groaned. "I hate that movie!"

"Sorry, partner. But I think I bought you enough to keep you occupied." He nodded at the shopping bag safely stowed under the seat in front of him.

Richie was flipping though his puzzle book looking for one that looked interesting when a flight attendant came by with the drink cart.

"What would you like?" she asked.

Richie glanced at Duncan. "Don't worry, it's free."

" you have Pepsi?"

"Of course." She filled a little cup with ice and poured a forth of a can of soda into it. She handed Richie the cup and the can along with a napkin and little bag of honey roasted peanuts. Duncan took his coffee and automatically handed his peanuts to Richie who gave him a quirky grin in thanks.

"Free cokes? That's cool."

"Try to drink some water, too. You need to keep yourself hydrated."

Richie rolled his eyes and went back to his crossword puzzle. When he finished that, he flipped through the pages and ended on a page with an odd grid on it.

"What is that?" Duncan asked looking at the odd L-shaped grid on the page.

"This? Oh, it's a logic puzzle."

"What do you do?"

"They give you clues..." he pointed at the list of nine clues at the top of the page. "And you use this to keep track of what they tell you so you can figure out the puzzle. In this case, who lives where and where they were born."

"How does it work?"

"Like this... Clue one: Michael grew up on the West Coast and now lives across country," he read. "So you put an 'X' where he can't have grown up under the cities not on the West Coast. And then you go to this are to 'X' out where he can't live now because they are not on the East Coast." He 'X'ed the little boxes. "And since Boston is the only East Coast City in the puzzle he must live there. And that means no one else can. Get it?"

"I think so..."

They worked through the rest of the puzzle together. "Fun, aren't they?"

"Once you get the hang of them."

"Wanna do another?"


"Here, you find one. I have to go to the bathroom." Richie unbelted himself and crawled over Duncan and made his way up the aisle to the bathroom.

Duncan flipped through the book of crosswords, word finds, word scrambles, anagrams and logic puzzles. He was deciding between two logic puzzles when Richie came back.

"Hope everything came out alright."

"Aren't you funny," Richie mumbled.

"Anything wrong?"

"I'm fine. Did you find one?"

"Which do you think?" Duncan showed him the two he had found.

"This one," Richie decided picking one.

Five trips to the bathroom and three puzzles later Richie decided he didn't want to do anymore.

"Are you sure you're feeling alright?" Duncan asked.

"My stomach is just giving me problems. I bet it's nothing."

"The altitude may be confusing your system," he said turning on the air and angling the blower at Richie. "Why don't you close your eyes and I'll get you some water." Richie complied and Duncan went to find a flight attendant to get some water for him. "Are you dizzy at all?" he asked handing Richie the drink, as the teen shook his head. "Small sips." He put his hand on the back of Richie's neck. His skin was a bit clammy and warm, but that could have been because of altitude sickness.

"Mac," Richie whispered. "I don' feel so good."

"You don't looks so good either."

Richie turned his head and opened his eyes to look at the immortal. "I think I'm gonna barf."

"Are you serious?" Duncan asked getting up.


Duncan helped the now pale and shaky teen up and started him toward the bathroom.

"Can I help you?" an attendant asked.

"He's going to be sick."

"This way, sir." She led the two to a stainless steal counter and sink. "I'll get him some water," she said, turning around just in time to miss seeing Richie began to empty his stomach.

"I bet you feel a lot better after this," Duncan said softly rubbing Richie's back as he vomited into the small sink.

Richie choked out a laugh. "Thanks."

"You done?"

Richie straightened up. "I'm not sure."

"Here." The attendant handed Richie some water.

"Feeling better?" Duncan asked him.

"Not really."

"Think you're going to be sick again?"

"I'm not sure."

"Then sit right here." The attendant sat Richie in a seat bolted to the wall. "I'll clean this up. And if you feel ill again, you'll be that much closer."

"I can clean this up," Duncan told the flight attendant.

"I have it covered. This happens more than you think. You just take care of your son."

Duncan didn't bother to correct the woman and turned his attention to Richie.

"I'm sorry, Mac."

"Don't worry about it, tough guy. The Stewardess just told me this happens all the time. It's nothing new for them."

"It is for me."

"I know you're embarrassed, but it's really okay."

"This sucks."

"You look like hell."

"Thanks...uh-oh." Richie stood back up. "Here we go again."

They repeated the process. Richie stood heaving up his muffins and peanuts while Duncan rubbed his back and talked to him.

"I think I'm done now," Richie said hoarsely.

"You sure?"

"Yeah... you think they have any Ginger Ale?"

"I bet they do. Why don't we get you back to the seats and I'll get you some."

"I don't need a new shadow, Mac."

"Fine, you walk by yourself, then." Duncan backed away to give Richie space to move. Richie took a few steps then began to sway a bit. "I told you," he admonished gently, taking Richie by the elbow.

"Show off."

Luckily for Richie's ego, none of the businessmen that made up the rest of the first class seating seemed to notice nor care what was going on with him. Once Duncan was sure Richie was settled in, he went for some Ginger Ale. He came back with that, a pillow and a blanket.

"Drink it slowly and see if you can hold it down."

Richie sipped until he decided he was done, then settled down to try and get some sleep. Duncan debated giving the boy one of Tessa's sleeping pills and decided to see if he could make it through the flight without it. The last thing he needed was an unconscious teen vomiting in his sleep or soiling his pants, since he continually had to go to the bathroom and Duncan suspected it was because of diarrhea... not that Richie would admit to it.

After the in-flight dinner was served (something claiming to be chicken), Duncan decided to try and get some sleep himself.

"If you need anything wake me up, got it?" he told the miserable, pouting, fidgeting teen. Richie nodded in response. Duncan closed his eyes and didn't wake up until the captain announced they were approaching the airport in Paris.

Richie was curled up in a ball in his seat asleep. As much as he wanted to let him sleep, Duncan leaned over and shook him gently. "Time to wake up." Richie groaned and tried to roll over. "Sorry, partner, time to wake up. We're here."

"Here?" Richie mumbled.

"Yup. Look out your window and see Paris."

"How are we feeling?" the attendant asked coming by. "We have time for another drink if you'd like."

"Some water, please," Duncan asked before turning his attention back to Richie. "Come on, Rich. You need to sit up, now." He didn't move. "I'm going to wake up Tessa, you be up when I get back here."

Tessa was awake in a few minutes and when Duncan returned to his seat Richie was sitting up, but still pale and slightly green. "Maybe you'll fell better once we're on the ground again."

Richie was completely awake by the time the plane landed, but his stomach wasn't very happy with the new change of altitude.

"Never again," he groaned as people started to get up gather their things.

"Are you going to live in Europe from here on out?"

"I can learn French."

"Is he alright?" Tessa asked, reaching around the seat to put her hand on his cheek.

"He'll be fine," Duncan assured her.

"He's a little warm."

"I think he just got air sick."

"Did he get ill?"

Duncan smiled. "A few times."

"La pauvre. We'll get you in bed until you feel better."

"Can we find a bathroom first?" Richie asked.

. . . . . .

"A barge? Duncan, really," Tessa laughed.

"I's cool," Richie approved shivering slightly from the cold.

"Well, at least Richie likes it," Duncan said paying the taxi driver. "Merci."

"When you said you already had a home arranged... I wasn't expecting this."

"I seem to remember someone telling me how she envied people who lived like this."

"I know I said that... I just never expected you..."

"To remember?" he asked pulling her to him.

"To arrange it," she answered with a kiss.

"Hey, Mac?"

"Yes, Richie?" they pulled apart.

"Is there a bathroom on this thing?"

. . . . . .

With their conversation topic tucked away in the bathroom, Duncan and Tessa tried to decide what to do about Richie.

"I'm starting to think he's really sick," Duncan sighed.

"We should put him to bed," Tessa said.

"You think he can sleep it off?"

"I certainly don't think he can walk it off."

"So just how to you suggest we get him to agree with being confined to his bed?"

"We don't give him a choice."

. . . . . .

"I'm not tired," Richie protested as Duncan looked through his suitcase for his pajamas.

"We know you're not," Tessa told him. "But you are sick."

"I'm okay, now."

"You have a fever," Duncan pointed out.

"And you got ill on the plane," Tessa added.

"You weren't feeling well at the airport."

"You weren't feeling well the night before."

"But I'm not sick," he insisted.

"Constant trips to the bathroom," Duncan continued. "You may not be tired, but you are sick." He handed over the plaid flannel pants. "Change or I'll do it for you."

Richie changed and got into bed. When Duncan came in with a glass of water to tell him Tessa had gone to the store, Richie was sitting up doing a word search. Half an hour later when he came in with a Sprite and crackers, Richie was staring out the porthole.

"Where's that go?" Richie asked pointing to the steps built into the wall.

"See that trap door?" he pointed to the trap door in the ceiling. Richie nodded. "That goes to the bridge, but if you think you're going to sneak out just remember we can hear everything that goes on, on deck."

"'s really different here."

"You're going to fit right in."

Richie nodded and stared out the porthole.

"Are you feeling better?" Duncan asked.

"Same...I'm telling you, Mac, I'm fine,"

"And I'm telling you, you're lying."

Twenty minutes and a trip to the bathroom later, the crackers were untouched, the Sprite just sipped at, and Richie was lying down.

"Ready to admit it now?" Duncan asked.

"No," Richie pouted.

"It may be cute now, but one of these days your stubbornness is going to get you killed," he straightened the covers. "Try to get some sleep."

"I can't," Richie pushed the covers away.

"What hurts?"

"...muhstmich..." he mumbled picking at a scab on his arm.

"Ohh.. does ickle Wishie have a tummy ache?" Duncan teased.

"Mac, I'm serious; it really hurts."

"Well, at least you're admitting it now."

"Hold that thought." He crawled out of bed and disappeared out of the room.

Duncan found Tessa unpacking in their bedroom area.

"He admitted what's wrong," he said looking through the bookshelf, glad he had the movers put some of the things away.


"It's his stomach. I just hope it's nothing serious." He found his medical reference book.

"Maybe he ate something that didn't agree with him? Though, I suppose it's been too long for it to still be affecting him."

"Unless it's food poisoning," Duncan thought out loud as he came across it in the book. "But you and I are okay."

"Something tells me we haven't eaten everything he has."

He smiled. "True."

Richie emerged from the bathroom a little paler and shakier than he had gone in.

"Bed," Tessa ordered, moving to heard him into this room. "Lay down."

"My gut is killing me," he groaned.

"I'll rub your back." He flopped onto his stomach and hugged his pillow. "You'll feel better soon," she told him, sitting on the edge of his bed. "It will pass."


She gently rubbed his back and held up a one ended conversation. He would mumble or grunt periodically, but mostly he just lay quiet.

"How is he?" Duncan whispered, sticking his head in the door.

Tessa leaned over and looked at Richie's face. "Asleep." She stood, tucked him in, and joined Duncan on the couch. "What a way to ruin his first trip."

"He's eighteen, he'll bounce back and be getting into all kinds of trouble and getting lost and meeting girls and making you wish he was sick in bed."

"Speaking of bed; I'm tired."

"I'll go to bed, but I don't want to sleep," Duncan said standing up and helping Tessa to her feet.

"Really?" She kissed him. "What do you propose we do?"

"I have a few ideas..."

"Really? Am I involved in this at all?"

Duncan thought for a minute. "It would be a little more fun for me if you'd be willing to participate."

"Oh, it would?"

"I suppose I could take care of it myself... but I'd rather not have to."

"Well, I guess I could help you with that..."

"You guess?"

"I guess."

They awkwardly walked to the bed still hugging and teasing each other. The started kissing and fell back onto the mattress. Tessa giggled as Duncan blazed a trail of kisses down her neck, unbuttoning her blouse as he made his way down to her chest.

"I love you," he mumbled between kisses. "But this shirt has entirely too many buttons."

Tessa leaned into his chest as he reached around to unhook her bra.

"AGH!" A yell broke their passion.

"Richie?" Duncan called. "Are you alright?"

"Go check on him," Tessa urged.

"Don't you move." He walked across the barge and opened the door to Richie's room. "You okay in here?"

Richie was crunched into a little ball with his head crammed into the pillow and his butt sticking up in the air.

"Richie, what's wrong."

"It hurts!"

"What hurts?"

"My gut! Make it stop!!"

"Call an ambulance," Duncan called to Tessa. "Okay, Richie. We need to get you dressed, okay?" He picked up the teen's jeans off the chair. "Lay down."

"I can't!"

"I'll do all the work, all you have to do is lay down."

"I can't move!"

"Why not?"

"It hurts too much!"

"They're on their way," Tessa said entering the room.

Duncan nodded that he heard. "Okay, keep your pajamas on. But you need to get on your shoes." He gestured for Tessa to hand him Richie's sneakers. "Let me at your feet."

By the time they had wrestled Richie into shoes and a coat, they could hear sirens in the distance.

"That's the ambulance, Rich. We need to get outside. Can you walk?"

Richie nodded a couple times and let Duncan and Tessa help him up and support him as he stumbled his way out to the sidewalk. The ambulance pulled up and the paramedics jumped out. Richie was enveloped in a cloud of French as the paramedics and Duncan and Tessa discussed the situation. In the blink of an eye, he was helped onto and strapped down to a stretcher. Duncan got into the ambulance with Richie and Tessa followed in the car.

The paramedics asked Duncan questions about Richie's condition and began prodding Richie's abdomen.

"Ouch! Make them stop!"

"Where does it hurt, Rich?" Duncan asked.

"My stomach," he panted.

Duncan translated. "All over?"

"Yeah. Hands off!"

One of the paramedics asked something. "Does anywhere hurt more than the other places?

"Where he poked me!"

"Before that."

"Mac, I just want it to stop," he whined. "Can't they drug me?"

"We're almost there. Just answer the question. Do you have a sharp pain anywhere?"

"My gut."

"Where?" Richie didn't answer. "Above or below your belly button?"


"Left or right?"


Duncan and the paramedics talked. "Okay, Rich. We're almost to the hospital. They're going to take you to get ready for surgery."


"Do you know what appendicitis is?"


"So you know that it's completely routine and there's no risk in the surgery."


"There's no reason to be worried. So just calm down."

"It hurts."

"I know, partner. But you'll be fine."

The ambulance stopped. "Mac..."

"I'll see you before you go in, okay. Just let them do their job!" Duncan called as the paramedics whisked Richie away.

"Mac!" Tessa jogged up to him. "How is Richie?"

"They think it's appendicitis. He's getting checked by a doctor and then surgery."

A nurse approached them with insurance forms that they split up so they could fill them out faster. No sooner had they turned the forms in than an orderly told them they could see Richie before he went in. They followed them to a curtained off cube where Richie lay hooked up to an IV and significantly calmer.

"Rich? You awake?"

"I think so..." Richie answered, turning his heavy eyes toward them. "I got my drugs," he informed them.

"So we noticed," Tessa said, smoothing back his hair.

"Are you gonna stay?"

"Do you want us to?"

"Uh-huh. They all speak French."

Duncan smiled. "Rich, I don't think we'll have to translate while you're under the knife."


A nurse came in. "Nous sommes prêts pour lui, maintenant," he said.

"Okay, Rich, you're off." Duncan and Tessa stepped aside so the nurse could get around the gurney.

"Knife?" Richie repeated as he was rolled away.

"He's nervous," Tessa observed.

"He's drugged. He probably doesn't even know what he's saying."

Since Richie wouldn't be out of recovery until very early the next morning and there was pretty much no risk in the surgery, they decided to go home and get some sleep. When they arrived for visiting hours, Richie was still asleep. They talked with the nurse on duty who told them that they had gotten out the organ before it ruptured and Richie was perfectly fine. They would be able to take him home in two days.

"Two days?" Richie whined when he was told over something they called breakfast.

"Two days," Tessa affirmed.

"You mean to tell me that my first two days in France...Paris, no less will be spent in a hospital bed?"

"Then a week on the couch or in your room on the barge," Duncan added.

"A week? That's not fair!"

Duncan smiled. "Fair has nothing to do with it. You just got out of surgery. What did you expect? To go bungee jumping today?"

"You have to give yourself time to heal," Tessa told him. "You'll have plenty of time to explore France afterward."

"But the new goes away," he pouted. "It's not as cool if you've been somewhere for a week."

"I think you'll survive," Duncan teased ruffling his hair. "Now eat."

"If someone would give me some real food, I would. Have you ever had hospital food?"

Duncan smiled. "Sorry, I haven't."

"Well, I have," Tessa spoke up. "But unfortunately you're on a diet right now, Richie. We can't bring you anything."

"You mean I hafta eat this?"

"Well, we can always have them put in a tube."

"No thanks." He shoveled a sporkful of mush into his mouth

. . . . . .

The first day Richie was home from the hospital, it was fairly easy to keep him in bed. He was still tired and sore and didn't want to move if it wasn't absolutely necessary. By the second day, he begged to go out on the couch so he wasn't locked in his cell. The third day, he deemed himself well and 'perfectly fine, I swear'.

"Sit," Duncan ordered when he found Richie trying to see how many laps he could make around the living room when the immortal wasn't watching.

"I'm bored!"

"You're recovering from surgery."


"Perfectly fine," Duncan interrupted. "I know. But the doctor said to keep still as much as possible while you heal."

Fixing his face in a pout, Richie sat back down on the couch.

"I don't need it. And I'm not tired," Richie insisted later that night as Tessa tried to give him his medicine.

"You have to take it until it's gone," she told him sternly. "And you need your rest."

"That's all I ever do! I lay on the couch or I lay in bed. It's only 10:20!"

"Take the medicine." She offered him the pill and a glass of water again.

"I don't need it any more. I'm not sick."

"The doctor said..."


"Richie, pouting and whining and acting like a baby are not going to help you. And your cranky attitude is enough to prove you need some sleep."

Duncan walked in and Richie turned a hopeful face to him.

"Don't even think about it," Tessa warned. "He'll say the same thing."

With a certain air of arrogant defeat, Richie took the pill and retreated to his room.

Duncan walked over to Tessa. "He is getting on my last nerve," she told him quietly in French.

"Mine, too," he agreed. "We just have to remember it's not his fault."

"I know it isn't. But sometimes I can't help but want to slap him when he starts being stubborn."

Duncan cracked a smile. "You're not going to actually hit him are you?"

"No. But if there's any sort of complication and we can't let him out of here by Tuesday, I'm going to need some medication myself!"

. . . . . .

"What are you doing?" Duncan demanded as Richie opened the door to the barge the next afternoon.

"I wanna go out!" he whined. "I've been in Paris for almost a week and all I've seen is a hospital room and the inside of the barge."

"Just a couple more days, Rich. You're not supposed to move around too much."

"Mac, I'm going crazy!" He started bouncing on the balls of his feet.

"Touch your toes," Tessa said approaching the pair.


"If you can touch your toes without hurting yourself, you can go up top for two hours."

"Really?" Richie slowly started for his toes. Before he reached his knees his hissed and stood back up. "No fair," he groaned and sulked back to the couch.

Duncan looked at Tessa. "You knew he'd never make it."

"But I gave him a chance. And the important thing is he knows he's not ready."


"I know," she shrugged dismissively before putting on her coat. "I'm going to go see if I can't find something that he won't complain about for dinner."

"Good luck." He kissed her cheek.

"You will need the luck... you have to keep him entertained."

. . . . . .

Richie sighed and pushed the roasted potatoes on his plate into a single file line. Duncan and Tessa exchanged a look as he redirected them into a circle, the triangle, then an 'S' shape.

"Let me guess, 'I've been in Paris for a week and all I've seen of it is the barge and a hospital room', right?" Duncan asked.

"You said it, not me."

"That's it, Rich, I can't take this any more."

Richie froze for a split second. "Wa'd I do?"

"I'll tell you what you're going to do... You are going to put on your coat and let Tessa help you with your shoes. And while she's doing that, I'll take this food on deck and we'll have dinner outside."


"If you promise to keep your coat on and if you start to feel odd, you won't tough it out but come straight back inside...AND won't fight us when we try to give you your medicine and tell you to go to bed."


"I'm serious, Richie. You're supposed to stay in bed another two days."

"Then how come you're gonna let me go out?"

"Honestly? I'm tired of hearing you whine. And half an hour of fresh air may do you some good."

"I'm sorry," Richie apologized. "I don't mean to be annoying..."

"You aren't... well, you are... but I'm used to that. I shouldn't have snapped at you. It's not your fault we've all been under house arrest the past five days."

"I think there was an apology in there somewhere, Richie," Tessa smiled.

"There was," Duncan said. "I'm sorry for snapping at you."

"Well, I'm sorry for getting you guys stuck with babysitting duty for a week."

"Richie, it's not your fault," Tessa assured him.

"I'm the one who had to have emergency surgery our first night here."

"Richie, you're eighteen years old. Things like this happen to eighteen year olds."

"You'd better get ready to go out," Duncan said. "Your food will be cold."

"So this is Paris," Richie commented looking around from the deck.

"Part of it."

"Where's the Eiffel Tower?"

"You can't see it from here," Tessa told him.

"But it's always right there in the movies."

"Richie... life isn't always like in the movies."

He shrugged. "I know."

"So, you get your stitches out tomorrow which means you're free," Duncan changed the subject. "What do you want to do?"

"Go anywhere that's not the barge." Tessa and Duncan laughed. "Get some real food."

"I thought you liked chicken and potatoes," Tessa frowned.

"I do... when they have flavor. This diet thing is killing me!"

"Well, where do you want to go on your first night out on the town then?"

"Well, don't laugh. But I've been craving Burger King."

Duncan choked on his water. "You're in Paris and you want what?"

"MacDonald's?" he suggested.





"We'll see," Tessa interrupted.

. . . . . .

"Tout semble normal. Il n'y a aucun gonflement ou la meurtrissure dans son abdomen et les points a sorti bien. Je ne prévois aucune complication. Il peut manger celui qu'il veuille et commencer sur quelques activités normales. Il peut être distillateur raide pendant des jours d'un couple, mais cela devrait partir bientôt," the doctor said as Richie put his shirt back on.

"What did she say?" Richie asked.

"She said if you don't eat your vegetables and go to bed at a decent hour, you're going to get the worse case of acne that no one will be able to cure," Duncan said. "Oh, and she also said to mind your parents... by that she means us."

"She did not. What'd she say, Tess?"

"She said you're fine. Everything healed nicely."


"And you can eat whatever you want."

Richie smiled and bobbed his head. "Good."

"Alright, you ready, partner?" Duncan asked as the doctor left.


"I didn't ask if you were hungry, just if you were ready to go."

"Can't I be both? C'mon, Mac, you promised this morning that if everything went well..."

"Fine let's go to le roi d'hamburger," Duncan sighed putting an arm around Richie.

So, after a week in Paris and only seeing a hospital room and the barge, while being force fed tasteless food... Richie got his Double Whopper with cheese, large fries and a coke, which he ate in front of the Eiffel Tower before finally getting to do some sight seeing.