"Little Immortals"

Summary:Richie has a 'little' accident. Can Duncan cope raising a seven year old Immortal...especially one as reckless, impulsive, and smart-assed as Richard H. Ryan?

Methos has a 'little' mishap and Connor is enlisted to help out with him. Can he handle a sarcastic, rude, and generally bratty 5,000 teenager?

Author's Note: This takes place any time after season 3.


Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. I just wrote this story for fun.

Chapter 1: A 'Little' Accident

A loud knocking awoke Duncan MacLeod from the deep sleep he'd been in.

It was a dark and stormy night, the weather outside was abysmal, so why would anyone get their ass out in it?

"I'm coming, I'm coming!" he shouted to whoever was pounding at the door to his loft.

Stumbling out of bed, naked as was his custom these days, he quickly pulled on the jeans he'd discarded earlier and made his way to the door.

Opening it, he found himself face to face with Joe Dawson. He frowned.

"Joe?" he asked, confused. "It's raining cats-n-dogs out and it's two in the morning! What the hell is it!?"

His Watcher merely sighed, leaning on his cane. "Believe me, Mac," he told him, "if this hadn't been so damn important I wouldn't be here."

Mac nodded, knowing that was true. He sighed. "Well then, what's so damn important?" he asked, rubbing his tired eyes.

"We've got a situation," Joe stated, shaking his head. "A big one..."

"Okay," Mac said, even more puzzled. "A situation involving...?"

"Methos and Richie," Joes stated, firmly.

Mac sighed. Of course it would involve one of/both of those two. "What's happened?" he asked, wearily.

Did he even want to know?

They were both still alive, weren't they?

The thought of Richie...

No, he wouldn't think like that; at least, not until Joe confirmed it or not.

"See for yourself," Joe said, and stepped aside to reveal to kids standing behind him.

One was a gangly fifteen year old with dark brown hair and eyes...and a familiar looking face!

The other was a cherubic seven year old with reddish-blonde curls...and an even more familiar looking face!

"Richie!" MacLeod gasped, and then looked at the teenager beside the seven year old. "Methos?"

Neither boy looked at him, merely nodded in affirmation that they were who he thought they were.

MacLeod looked back at Joe. "I think we'd better go inside," the Watcher told him.

The four hundred Immortal Highlander nodded, still dumb-struck by what he was seeing.

Stepping aside, he watched as the two boys—whom he had known yesterday as a 5,000 year old and a 21 year old—made their way past him and into his loft.

Joe followed, patting him on the shoulder, and then strolled to sit on the sofa along with the boys.

MacLeod sighed, and closed the door. Taking a deep breath, he made his way over to them.

"All right," he asked, "what the HELL happened!?"

The little boy he was sure was Richie winced at his raised voice, but he continued to stare at the floor...as did the teenager.

Mac looked at Joe, who sighed. "As far as we can tell," he said, "one of the Cronus crystals was involved."

"Okay," MacLeod said, "but that still doesn't explain how..."

"It's my fault, all right!" the little boy, Richie, exclaimed tearfully. "I'm the one that found the stupid thing!"

"What do you mean you found it?" MacLeod asked, raising an eyebrow at his...uh...student.

"Yesterday," Richie told him, "I was runnin' that errand for you, Mac, and I saw this weird lookin' crystal in a window. I thought it was cool, so I asked the guy what he'd give me for it. He said it'd been there awhile, and he was more than ready to get rid of it, so I said twenty bucks and he said all right. I was gonna show it to you, but..."

He shrugged. "I forgot..."

"Okay, Rich," MacLeod soothed, seeing that the boy was highly upset. Who wouldn't be, after all?

He looked at the now much younger Methos. "Where do you come into the equation?" he asked the oldest living Immortal, curious.

The sullen looking teen snorted. "I was at Joe's tonight when the kid came in," he said, his tone sarcastic, "thought I'd go over and cheer the kid up a bit—he looked a tad down, ya know."

MacLeod turned concerned eyes upon the other boy. "About what?" he asked, frowning.

Richie sighed. "Me and Maggie broke up," he admitted, sadly. "I was gonna give her the crystal..."

MacLeod sighed. Of course, this would involve a girl somehow...with Richie, it was always about a girl.

"What then?" he asked, curious. He was now looking between the two youths questioningly.

"So I was tryin' to cheer the nipper up," Methos continued explaining, "giving him the ole 'there's still plenty of fish in the sea' speech, like an idiot, when he pulled that stupid thing out of his pocket to let me see."

"That's when lightning struck," Joe put in, wincing. "Blew my circuit breaker all to hell, too!"

"It got dark," Richie put in, "except for..."

"The crystal," Methos groaned, "we were both holding it at the time. It started glowing and glowing..."

"And when the lights came back on," Joe told him, "they were like this." He nodded at the boys.

"How do you know it's a Cronus crystal?" Mac asked, puzzled. "Do you still have it?"

Methos snorted. "Of course we still have it, MacLeod," he snarled, sneeringly. "What do you take us for? Idiotic Highlanders!?"

Mac glared at. Okay, he [Methos] had a right to be upset but that was hitting below the belt. He kept his temper in check...but only just.

"All I meant was can I see it?" he asked, holding out his hand. "I've actually seen a Cronus stone before, remember?"

Joe reached into his pocket and brought out the name blackened crystal. Mac took it and examined it.

It did, indeed, look like the crystal Rebecca had worn around her neck for nearly 5 Centuries.

"It certainly looks like one," he said, turning the blackened stone over, "but whatever power it had it's obviously caput now."

Methos snorted. "Ya think?" he asked, rolling his eyes.

Mac started to snap at him, but Richie sniffling got his attention.

The little boy looked at him with those large blue eyes, eyes that even as a twenty one year old; he'd had a hard time resisting.

"We're stuck like this?" he asked, tears welling in his eyes. "Forever?!"

Even though the crystal had apparently made them younger, they both were still in fact Immortal—which would mean that if they did not find a way to fix them, they would indeed remain as they were forever...unless...

No! Mac wouldn't even think of it.

Kneeling down in front of the little boy he already loved like a son, he placed his hands on his shoulders and said, "We'll find a way to fix this, Rich. I promise."

"What if we can't?" the boy asked, tears leaking from his eyes.

MacLeod used his thumbs to wipe them away, as he stared into large blue eyes firmly.

"No matter what, Tough Guy," he told him, gently. "I'll take care of you. Always."

Richie nodded, trusting him. Mac had always taken care of him. He knew he would now, too.

"Well, that's all and well for the nipper," Methos growled, sulking, "but that doesn't do me a rat's ass lot of good..."

Mac rolled his eyes. For the world's oldest Immortal, he sure was acting like a brat right now.

"I'll look after both of you," he promised firmly.

Methos snorted. "I'm quite capable of taking care of myself, MacLeod," he told him. "I was doing it long before you were in nappies and I'll probably still be doing it when you've met your match, so if you'll excuse me..."

He stood up as if to leave. "...I'll just be going home now."

Mac stood up with him, putting a restraining hand on his now much youthful shoulder.

"Be reasonable," he growled, sternly. "It's late and it's pouring. Nobody is going anywhere tonight..."

He looked at Joe. "...you can take the spare room, Methos can crash here on the couch, and Richie can sleep with me."

Richie wrinkled his nose. "I'm not some little kid, Mac...uh...well..." He blushed.

Mac grinned. "It'll only be for tonight, Tough Guy," he promised him. "You don't snore, do ya?"

Richie grinned. "Not as loud as you," he told him, cheekily.

Mac smiled. "Highlanders don't snore, laddie," he told him, teasing. "We simply breathe heavily, that's all."

"Call it whatever you want," Methos sulked, "s'long as it doesn't wake me up."

Mac rolled his eyes. "I'll get you some blankets," he told him. "Rich, go ahead and hop into bed. Joe..."

The Watcher was already up and moving.

"I think I know where the spare room is, Mac," he told him, smirking. "Night!"

After getting Methos bedded down for the night, Mac once more stripped off his jeans and crawled under the covers.

Richie, his cherub-looking face a peaceful countenance, slumbered gently on the other side, obviously exhausted by the night's events.

Of course, who wouldn't be...

He smiled down at him, reaching down to move a stray lock of reddish-blonde curl from his eyes.

"Sleep tight, Tough Guy," he said, smirking. "I think tomorrow is going to be one hell of a day!"

Then, with the rain pouring down by the bucketfuls and the sound of thunder in the distance, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod fell once more into a deep sleep.