Disclaimer: I do not own Highlander or any of the characters. I'm not making any money from this.

AN: Remember this is an AU, so the original events of Emily's death have been altered and as of now the episode where Richie was looking for his long lost father is non existent. I hope you enjoy.

Richie glared over the glow of candles at Mac and Tessa as the five servers surrounding the table sang happy birthday to him. He had specifically told them no cakes, no singing, no presents. Richie hadn't even wanted to go out to eat, but the couple had insisted.

Richie could tell they were both trying not to laugh as the servers finished the song. Mac thanked them and they returned to their respective posts.

"Aren't you going to blow out the candles?" Tessa asked smiling.

"Don't you think I'm a little old to have happy birthday sung to me at a restaurant?" Richie asked.

"Not at all," Mac replied. "Tessa did the same thing to me on my three hundred and ninety-eighth birthday."

Richie rolled his eyes and blew out the candles. "You guys really didn't have to go through all this trouble."

"You only turn eighteen once," Tessa said pulling a small box wrapped in blue paper out from underneath the table and handing it to him.

"Okay it's bad enough with the cake and singing, but I told you guys no gifts," Richie whined.

"Sue us," Mac said. "It's your birthday, enjoy it a little."

Richie sighed and opened the box. He removed a silver ID bracelet. His name was engraved on the front. He flipped it over. "Love Mac and Tessa," He read aloud.

Richie smiled sheepishly. "You guys didn't have to do this you know."

"We know," Mac said. "But we wanted to."

"Thanks," Richie said putting the bracelet on.

"There's more," Tessa said. "Lift the cardboard piece."

Richie did as Tessa said. "No way," He exclaimed removing two Queen concert tickets from the box. "How did you guys get these? They've been sold out for weeks!"

Mac laughed at the look of excitement on Richie's face. "It's good when you know people."

"We thought you would enjoy them," Tessa said. "Perhaps you can take Angie."

Richie nodded. "I'll ask her." He replaced the tickets into the box. "Listen you guys, I appreciate this. I mean, no one has ever gotten me anything for my birthday before except for Emily."

"We know," Tessa said taking Richie's hand. "That's why we wanted to do something special for you."

The trio finished their meal at the restaurant and paid the bill. Richie wanted to pay for his portion but Mac wouldn't hear of it. Even now it still felt awkward that they were so nice to him. It was a big change from all the other families he had lived with. When you grow up on your own, it's hard to accept when other people do nice things for you.

"I honestly don't see why you like them," Tessa said getting out of the car. On the way home she had conceded to let Richie play his Queen tape. She thought she would go mad before they reached the loft. "That is not music."

"Just because it's not soft and quiet doesn't mean it's not music," Richie said.

"Music doesn't have to be soft and quiet," Tessa said as they walked to the front door. "But it shouldn't make your head hurt."

Mac stifled a laugh. He loved watching them argue.

"You don't like it because you're too old," Richie said.


"I didn't mean it like that," Richie said quickly. "I just meant that it's not from your generation."

"That better have been what you meant," Tessa said elbowing him playfully.

Mac unlocked the door and walked inside. Seeing an envelope on the floor he picked it up.

"Richie," He called.

"Yeah Mac," The birthday boy asked walking over to him.

The Highlander handed the envelope to the younger man. "It's for you."

Richie took the envelope with a confused look on his face. "Who's it from?"

Mac shrugged. "It doesn't say."

Richie opened the envelope and pulled out a letter. After a minute of reading his face lost color.

"Richie what's wrong?" Tessa asked worriedly.

Richie ignored her and continued reading. He walked to the couch and sat down.

"Tough guy?" Mac asked sitting next to him.

"It's not possible," Richie said looking at the Highlander with wide eyes. "It's just not possible."

Mac gently took the letter from a trembling Richie. Tessa sat on the other side of Richie and put a reassuring arm around his shoulders as Mac read the letter.

Dearest Richie,

I don't know if you remember me. My name is Emily Ryan. The last time we were together you were very small, only five years old. I truly hope our last day together is a not something you remember. It's wasn't pleasant and no child should have to go through such a thing.

Richie, I was your mother for a time. Not your birth mother, but your mother in every other sense of the word. I'm sorry I haven't been there to see you grow up, but I have been keeping tabs on you. I had meant to contact you on so many occasions in the past, but circumstances beyond my control prevented me from doing so.

So now on your eighteenth birthday I'm sending you this letter. I've missed you terribly and I want to see you again. If you remember me or you just want to know who I am, please meet me at the Monster Arcade at one-thirty on Saturday. I'll be waiting and I hope to see you there.



"I don't understand," Mac said after reading it. "Why is it not possible?"

Richie leaned back against the pillows.

"Richie?" Tessa pressed.

The young man sighed heavily. "Emily was murdered."

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