AN: Written for Amy who helped me plot and encouraged the idea! She also titled it!

AN2: Unbetaed, reader beware.


Tessa smiled to herself as she heard Richie protesting with all his might as Duncan helped him dress in the next room.

"Mac..." the teen whined.

"You're going," Duncan said, buttoning up Richie's dress shirt.

"I think I have a fever..."

"No you don't." He put the tie around Richie's neck. "A little culture isn't going to kill you."

"But this tie will, not so tight, Mac." Richie pushed Duncan's hands away and yanked at the knot at his throat.

"I could use this to gag you," Duncan threatened, tightening it again.

"I think dinner's sitting a little heavy...."

"You haven't had dinner yet."

"I have a headache."

"No, you don't."

"I think I pulled a muscle."

"You'll be sitting all night away."

Richie sighed. "So...I guess you wouldn't buy malaria?"


"What about...."


"What if I promise to belch really loud right before the curtain goes up?" he asked hopefully.

"Then I'd stand you up so everyone could see the immature child who did it," Tessa said from the doorway. "Then I'd make you sit down and watch the play."

"But, Tess... it's a musical!" he whined.

"We have just enough time to stop for dinner before the play," she said, ignoring his protests.

Richie looked pleadingly at Duncan, who took his arm and led him out of the room. Richie groaned and trailed behind out to the car. They stopped at a nice, small, Italian restaurant for dinner. A slight, almost unnoticeable smile played across Richie's lips as his ravioli was placed in front of him, the marinara sauce sloshing as the plate moved. It gave him an idea. A last ditch effort to get out of going to that stupid musical.

Duncan looked at him across the table, noticing the almost unnoticeable smile. "Don't even think about it, Rich. There's plenty of time to take you home to get changed."

"But it's a musical...."

"I know it's a musical, and I know you're going to sit through it. I also happen to think you'll like it."

"That's what you always say, and you have yet to be right."


Richie lingered over dinner as long as he could. Duncan had to practically drag him away from the table and to the car. When they got to the theater, Duncan was about to hand Richie his ticket, until he thought better of it. Richie would just "loose" it. Finally the doors were opened and Richie was trapped in his seat between Duncan and Tessa. As the lights started to dim, he reached into his pocket for his secret weapon: headphones and his Game Boy.

"No." Duncan took it out of his hands before he could switch it on.


The overture started and Duncan silenced him with a look before the lights went out completely. Richie folded his arms and slouched back in his seat. No sooner had the first number started than Richie was sitting up straight, eyes wide, and a sloppy grin on his face. The dancing women caught his teenage, hormone-ruled eyes. Tessa was pretty sure Richie had never seen so much female flesh in one place without having to hide and worry about being caught peeping. She looked at Duncan, over Richie's head and smiled at him. His prediction had come true, Richie liked the show.

A few numbers later, Duncan handed Richie his handkerchief to wipe the drool off his chin. Richie looked away from the dancers on stage long enough to smile at Duncan. At intermission Richie wasn't very talkative except to ask how much longer until the play started up again.

"Maybe we should stop wiping drool and just blindfold him," Tessa suggested. "It would be easier and he wouldn't dehydrate so quickly."


"Relax, Rich, she's just teasing you. But, maybe you should drink some water before we go back in." Duncan gave him some money to go buy a drink.

Richie met a few other teenage boys who had been drug to the play in line and they chatted excitedly about their favorite parts, namely the women and the dancing. When they man on the loudspeaker announced that intermission was nearly over they all rushed back to their seats.

"So, you like it?" Duncan asked sitting next to Tessa now that they were sure Richie wasn't going to try to make a break for it.

"What's not to like?"

After the curtain went down Richie had Duncan search his pockets for a pen so he could go wait for autographs.

Tessa snuggled into Duncan as they stood outside the theater waiting for Richie to get his signatures.

"I think he liked it," she said.

"You think he liked it? I think he needs a change of underwear."

"Duncan!" she laughed and slapped his shoulder. "That's disgusting!"

"At the very least, I'm willing to bet we'll get him to come to another play."

"I think he may be disappointed. This is a one of a kind production."

It took him two hours, but Richie got all of his autographs and trotted happily to the car with Duncan and Tessa.

"I suppose we should get that framed," Tessa said, looking at Richie as he stared at his play bill. "You won't want it to get ruined."

"What about the cast pictures?"

"You should have gotten a show program," Duncan told him. "Then you would have pictures from the show."

"Aw man... why didn't I think of that?"

"You were too busy drooling."

Richie rode the rest of the way home in quiet, looking at the autographs on his playbill. Maybe musicals weren't so bad after all... at least Chicago wasn't...