"Are you sure this is what you want?" Duncan asked as he and Richie sat down to dinner at Richie's apartment.

"Yeah, Mac," Richie assured him, putting garlic bread on the table. "You know I don't like big parties."

"Okay," Duncan agreed. "It's your birthday. Though, you could have at least let me host dinner."

"My birthday," Richie shrugged. "It's no fun cooking for one, so I don't get to do it much anyway…"

"I could have bought the groceries."

"I wanted to."

"You should have let me do something."

"The food's gonna get cold if you keep babbling," Richie warned him, taking a bite of his own manicotti.

"It's not right," Duncan said, serving himself salad.

"You said I got to pick what we did tonight. This is what I wanted to do."

"Not right doing all this work on your own birthday."

"Mac!" Richie tried to sound stern, but he laughed despite himself.

"I'm just saying," he offered innocently.

"Okay, you've said it. You've established that despite saying it was my decision, you really wanted to call the shots," Richie smirked at him.


"Good. Now, I did not slave all day over a stove and oven for you to complain that it's cold. So eat."

"Yes, ma'am."

They ate in companionable silence, except for Duncan's occasional chastising of Richie for making his own birthday dinner.

"You didn't make your own cake, did you?" he suddenly asked.

"No… I didn't want one."

"No cake?"

"Mac, I'm not three. I don't have to have cake and ice cream."

"You make me have cake and ice cream."

"Cause it's funny. It's not funny when I do it," Richie explained simply, eying the pasta still on Duncan's plate. "You gonna finish that?"

"Yes," Duncan replied with a laugh. "This is why I should have made dinner. I don't underestimate the capacity of your stomach."

"Haha," Richie droned, taking the last of the garlic bread.

"Why don't I take you out for cake?" he offered.

"Okay, after dinner."

Duncan laughed, looking at the nearly empty table. "It is after dinner."

"So you aren't gonna finish your manicotti?"

Duncan laughed. "Take it."

Duncan took Richie to his favorite restaurant for his favorite dessert.

"Two coffees and two apple dumplings," he ordered when their waiter approached.

"Didn't even crack a menu, must be regulars," the young man smiled before going to turn in the order.

"So… happy birthday," Duncan said, putting a gift bag on the table.

"Mac, you helped me pay off the repairs on my bike; I told you not to get me anything."

"I know. And honestly, I wasn't going to. But I saw this and I decided you should have it." He pushed the bag across the small table.

With a curious grin, Richie reached into the bag. "It's a book…" he said suspiciously as he pulled it out. "Ryan." He read the fancy gold leaf script on the leather cover of the large volume.

"It's a history of the clan," Duncan explained. "As much as you like to look through my clan history, I thought you'd like it." Richie didn't answer, just stared down at the volume. "I just thought everyone should have a chance to know where they come from… if you don't like it, you can tell me."

"It's not that I don't like it," Richie assured him. "You're right, I do love reading them…It's just…well, I guess I never really thought of myself like that, you know?"

"No, I don't."

"You, you're really a MacLeod. Those books are your history. I'm just named after Jack and Emily."

"You're as much a Ryan as I am a MacLeod," Duncan assured him. "I'm just named after Ian and Mary."

Richie paused. "I guess I never thought of it like that." His lips quirked into a grin and he looked down at the book again, this time opening it. Duncan watched him peruse the pages until their dessert came. Richie carefully replaced the book in its bag. "Don't wanna get it dirty."

They ate their dumplings and sipped at their coffee before heading back to Richie's apartment for a Ghostbusters marathon per Richie's request. They played the movies, but Richie spent most of the evening reading up on the history of the Ryan Clan, only glancing up for his favorite parts.

Richie awoke the next morning with the book laying open on his chest and a bit of drool on his chin. He could feel the presence of another immortal in the small apartment and heard movement in the kitchen.

"Mac?" he asked a bit groggily.

"Breakfast?" the elder immortal offered.

"I think I got some cereal or something around here," Richie mumbled, stretching and getting off the couch. "You stay the night?"

"Used your room, hope you don't mind."

"Not like I was using it. Why do I smell real food?"

"I went to the store while you were asleep."

With a self conscious grin, Richie opened a formerly bare cabinet that was now stocked with many of his favorite foods.

"Have I ever mentioned how much I love it when you do that?" he asked, peeking in the now full refrigerator. "Aw, you got me beer," he added lovingly. "And pizza," he added looking in the freezer. "I love you, too, Mac."

Duncan chuckled as he blotted the bacon. "Anyone ever tell you how strange you are?"

"Ever consider that you may be the strange one?" Richie shot back setting the table.

"I'm four hundred. Of course I'm strange."

"See? I'm just twenty, I'm normal."

"You're immortal, you're strange."

"Less strange than you."

"I could take all this food back," Duncan threatened.

"MacLeod giveth and MacLeod takeith away."

Duncan laughed and put the platter of French Toast on the table. "Exactly. You better remember that."

"Mmm," Richie inhaled deeply. "MacLeod cookith."

Duncan smiled and shook his head. "Strange." He sat down and served himself before Richie took all the food. "I'm meeting a friend for dinner tonight."


"Would you like to join us?"

Richie studied Duncan. "What kind of friend?"

"One that would be beneficial for you to meet."

"An in-case-you-need-help-and-I'm-not-around friend?"


Richie shrugged. "Whatever, don't have anything better to do."

"Good. Meet me at the loft tonight at seven. We have reservations for seven forty, so don't be late."

"You just assumed I was going to go?"

"You? Give up free food?" Duncan asked. "Besides, you said it yourself, you don't have anything better to do."

"But you didn't know that."

"I just asked."

Richie shook his head. "Whatever."

"What?" Duncan asked with a smile.


"What? Are you complaining that I'm taking you out for a nice steak dinner tonight? You want to sit here and eat frozen pizza instead? You can if you want. Save me a good thirty dollars."

"I never said that," Richie protested with a laugh.

"Sure you did," Duncan teased.

Richie grinned and shook his head. "Whatever. I'll be there at seven."