Freedom

Dragonlots aka Dana Bell

"Duncan, stop the car." Richie rolled down the window and stared at the brick building. It hadn't changed much since he was a young boy. The door and windows bowed out like a bay window and the sign hanging above declared the shop to be 'Curious Goods'. Next door was a hardware store and he swore the same old battered and spray painted phone booth stood there on Druid Street.

Duncan parked the car out front. Both men got out, taking a moment to check the street.

"Not a great part of town," Duncan commented.

"Never was," Richie answered as a part of a paper blew down the sidewalk and into the side alley. "I'd like to see if anyone I knew still works here."

"Sure." Duncan glanced around and followed the younger immortal.

The same tinny bell rang as Richie opened the door. He glanced around noting the dust on some of the shelves, the old antiques displayed stylishly, and the red haired, fashionably dressed woman behind the glass counter.

"I'll be closing in a few minutes. Is there something specific I can help you find?" She gave the two of them a polite smile.

"Micki?" Richie ventured.

Her manner became cautious. "Do I know you?"

"I was a lot younger then. You babysat me when my mom, Jennie, had to go to the hospital with her sister. The sailor came for the lantern and chased us all over the shop after he'd locked us in the vault."

He saw the recognition light her eyes. "Richie?" She looked him up and down. "You've grown up." Her face shadowed. "I'm sorry about your mom."

The young immortal glanced at the ground. He didn't like to remember how she'd died. He'd been in a series of foster homes after that. "Thanks."

"What brings you here?" Her gaze shifted to Duncan who stood behind him. Richie didn't miss her look of interest.

"I was just passing through the neighborhood."

"Who's your friend?"

"I'm Duncan MacLeod," the highlander replied. He took Micki's hand and kissed it. "It's a pleasure to meet you." Am odd look crossed the highlander's proud face.

"Micki Foster."

Richie took another look at her, seeing for the first time a few wrinkles around her eyes and bits of gray in her hair. She'd aged nicely, but he sensed a great deal of loss. "How's Ryan and Jack?"

"Both gone." She wrung her hands together before forcibly putting them down at her sides. "Jack died a few years back in an accident. Ryan," she bit her lip, "let's just say he got a second chance and I envy him."

"So you own the shop alone?" Duncan asked.

"For several years. I used to have another partner. He's gone as well."

It seemed a great shame for a beautiful woman like her to be all alone. A crazy idea surfaced and Richie turned to Duncan. "Doesn't your cousin, Connor, own an antique shop?"

MacLeod nodded. "He does."

"Micki," Richie had a desperate need to repay her for saving his life those many years ago. It would have been hell to have died then, come back, and have to spend decades as a child. "Would you sell Curious Goods to Connor MacLeod if he made a decent offer."

He'd expected Duncan to object. Instead, MacLeod only nodded.

She took a deep breath. He could see the battle on her face. "I don't know."

Duncan pointed to her phone. "Mind if I make a phone call?"

She shrugged. "Go ahead."

While MacLeod called Connor, Richie took Micki aside.

"I haven't seen you in years, Richie. Why are doing this?" she wanted to know.

"I repay my debts."

His teacher held out the phone. "Connor would like to talk to you." As she took it, Duncan added, "You can tell my cousin what's going on here. He'll understand and help."

"How do you,"

He winked. "I've been around."

She hesitated before taking the call. Negotiations didn't last very long and in the end, she sold the shop to Connor MacLeod for much more than it was worth. As she hung up, he saw the first hint of hope on her face.

"Thank you both. I honestly thought," she stopped and didn't finish her sentence.

Richie impulsively hugged her. "Just have a great life." He kissed her cheek. "You deserve it."

Tears glistened in her eyes. "Can I take you two gentlemen out to dinner?"

Duncan shook his head. "Maybe some other time. We need to be going, Richie."

"It was good to see you, Micki. Good luck with your new life."

He left the shop, trailing behind his mentor. Richie glanced back one last time on his childhood, and closed the door to it, and the shop. Once he was back in the car, Duncan started up the engine and pulled away from the curb.

"She's a potential immortal," MacLeod told him.

"Micki's what?" Richie couldn't believe his ears.

"I sensed it when I kissed her hand."

Richie turned in his seat and stared back at the shop as it receded in the background. Vaguely he saw a delicate hand turn the Open sign to Closed.

"That why you called Connor?"

"Yes. And no." The light before them turned red and Duncan braked the car. "You see, Richie, I've run into my fair share of cursed objects. And I know the people who retrieve them."

The light changed to green and MacLeod hit the gas. "With her possibly being a future immortal, she at least she have a chance to live a normal life, before," his friend paused.

"Before what?"

"Before she's killed by someone who doesn't want to give up their object and suddenly realizes she's immortal and has to do it until another of us takes her head."

"You sound like you know someone who already does that."

"I do." Duncan turned the corner and Druid Avenue was now behind them. "Why do you think Connor collects antiques?"

Note: After I saw the Friday the 13th The series episode, 'Bedazzled', which features in it a red haired boy named Richie, I had to write this crossover.