Disclaimor: I don't own Highlander and I'm not making money.
AN: Just a little snippet about the quartz crystal Richie wore in the first few episodes. I especially remember from 'Bad Day In Building A'. So if you don't know what I'm talking about check out that episode. On with the story.
"Looking for something?" Mac asked leaning against the door frame of Richie's room.
Richie's room was completely disheveled. Drawers were hanging open, clothes were flung everywhere, and Richie was currently tearing apart his bed.
"My crystal," Richie said not missing a beat. "I can't find my crystal."
"The one you're always wearing with the red string?" Mac asked taking down a shirt that had been hanging on the mirror.
Richie nodded. "I can't find it anywhere."
"I was wondering about that. You're never with out it." Mac picked up the clothes that littered the floor. "When was the last time you saw it."
"I don't remember," The frantic teenager replied. "I know I had it after we got home from dinner yesterday, but after that who knows." He threw his comforter on the floor.
"All right," Mac said putting the clothes in Richie's hamper. "So we know it's somewhere in the shop." He walked over to Richie's TV stand searching for any sign of the crystal in question.
"Maybe, maybe not," Richie said pulling the clothes out of the hamper. "A customer could have picked it up and taken it, or I could have lost it while I was running errands."
"You know I just put those clothes in there," Mac said.
"Sorry," Richie mumbled sheepishly replacing the clothes into the hamper.
"I doubt a customer coming into an antique shop would just walk out with a crystal," Mac said continuing his search. "If they were going to steal anything I think it would be something more valuable."
"Okay," Richie conceded. "But if I lost it while I was out it's gone forever."
"Why is this crystal so important to you anyways," Mac asked.
Richie didn't reply.
"Care to answer the question."
Mac crossed his arms over his chest and stared at Richie.
Richie sighed. "It's got…sentimental value all right."
"We've got time."
"Okay so it's not a long story, but I don't want to talk about it all right?" Richie snapped.
Mac held up his hands in defeat. "All right tough guy have it your way. I'm going to ask Tessa if she's seen it."
Mac left the room and went down to Tessa's workshop. The French woman was welding one of her sculptures. Mac smiled as he admired Tessa's physique. The sweat glistened off her skin making her look all that much more beautiful.
"And what are you staring at?" Tessa asked turning off the blow torch. She removed her goggles and smiled at the Highlander.
Duncan walked behind Tessa and wrapped his arms around her. "How can any man not stare at a woman so beautiful?" He leaned down and kissed her passionately.
When the unlocked lips Tessa asked, "Did you send Richie to pick up the sword you ordered?"
Mac released her and she turned to face him. "No something else came up," He said.
"Is anything wrong?" She asked crossing her arms over her chest.
"Richie lost his crystal," Duncan told her.
"The one he wears all the time?" Tessa asked.
"One in the same," Mac replied. "He's upstairs turning his room into a pig pen trying to find it."
"Well before he went crazy looking, he should have asked me if I've found it," Tessa said smirking.
Mac raised an eyebrow. "I take it you've seen it than?"
Tessa walked over to her work bench and picked up the quartz crystal. She dangled it in front of Duncan.
"Where did you find it?" Mac asked walking over to her.
"One of the customers gave it to me about twenty minutes ago," Tessa said. "They found it on the floor and turned it in."
"Richie will be relieved," Mac said taking it from her.
"Do you think we should make him sweat?" Tessa asked with a playful smile on her face.
Mac shook his head. "No, this is important to him. I don't know why, but it is."
Tessa frowned. "He's that upset?"
"Yeah, you'd think he'd lost his girlfriend by the way he's acting," Mac said.
"Well than you'd better go and give it back to him," She said. "I've got to get back to work on my sculpture."
Mac kissed her on the cheek and walked out of Tessa's workshop.
The Highlander found Richie tearing apart the cushions on the living room couch. He leaned against the door frame watching the teenager dig into the sofa. He had told Tessa he wouldn't make Richie sweat, but Mac couldn't help it. A moment or two more won't hurt.
"Where is it," Richie asked the room as if it would answer him back.
"Right here," Mac said dangling the crystal so that Richie could see.
"You found it," Richie said running over and taking it from him. "Thanks Mac."
"I didn't find it," The Highlander replied. "Tessa did."
"She's an angel," Richie exclaimed.
Richie retied the knot on the string and slipped the necklace over his head. He felt a weight lift off his chest as the crystal fell back to its home.
"Care to tell me why it's so important to you?" Mac asked.
Richie's smile faded. He walked over to the couch. After replacing the pillows he sat down. Mac sat next to him.
For a few minutes the two men sat in silence. Duncan didn't want to pressure Richie, so he let the teenager take the time he needed.
"If you don't want to tell me Richie, you don't have to," Mac finally said.
Richie held the crystal tight in his hand. He needed the reassurance that it was there. "Emily gave it to me," He said. "I know that she wasn't my real mother, but she seemed to truly care about me before she died you know."
"Just because you weren't related by blood doesn't mean she wasn't your mother," Duncan told him.
Richie nodded. "I know."
"Do you remember Emily giving it to you?" Mac asked.
"Sort of," Richie shrugged. "I only see fragments."
"What do you remember?"
"It was like a birthday present or something," Richie said.
Richie thought back on his memory trying to piece it together.
"Happy Birthday Richie," Emily said handing him a small box wrapped in blue paper.
Little Richie smiled excitedly as he tore the paper off the box. He pulled out the crystal on its red string. His smile instantly turned to a frown. He had been hoping for a teenage mutant ninja turtle. "What is it?"
"It's a quartz crystal," Emily said taking the crystal from its box. "It will help you in the future, Richie. It will help you deal with your past." She placed it around his neck.
"Sometimes in life things happen when we're little that we have no control over," Emily said sitting next to him. "This crystal is like magic. It helps you to understand and move past those things."
"Okay," Little Richie replied not quite understanding.
"Keep it with you always, Richie," Emily said putting an arm around him. "It will help you more than you know."
"I don't know why I remember that," Richie said. "It's not like the candy shop. Nothing tragic happened."
"Emily was helping you more than you know," Mac said.
"What do you mean?"
"Quartz crystals are believed to help recall forgotten memories," The Highlander explained. "As well as help someone deal with an abusive or neglected childhood. It helps people to heal."
"But if Emily had stayed alive I wouldn't have had the same past I do now," Richie said.
Mac nodded. "That's true, but you also don't know how long you were with Emily or what happened before you were with her."
Richie sighed heavily. "You know the one person who actually wanted me when I was little was the only person to die. I don't understand it."
Mac put a hand on the back of Richie's neck. "I know it's not fair tough guy, but in a way, by giving you that crystal, Emily has been helping you out all these years."
Richie looked at the crystal lying in his hands and smiled. "Yeah I guess she has been."
"Now just be more careful with it," Mac said smiling.
Richie nodded. "Oh believe me I will."