Faith by Raine Wynd
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Author's Notes:
Disclaimer and Notes: This was written in response to the HLBETA list challenge from Amand-r for religion in fanfic. It's one of the first fanfics I ever wrote.

The red-haired young man stared at the old Catholic church and sighed. Never more would he look at a church or a cemetery the same way again. He'd only been Immortal a few weeks, and already he was seeing everything with new eyes.

Holy Ground.

Some part of him scoffed at the idea still. There was, he decided, a certain irony in that the kid who'd intensely disliked, no, hated, religion, who'd looked at nuns and priests as wardens at the various orphanages he'd lived in, was now a devout believer in the sacredness of some property that a year ago, he wouldn't have looked twice at. Oh, sure, he'd been in foster homes where the word of God or some weirdly named deity was revered, but he'd learned quickly that religion didn't make a dollar's worth of difference as to whether he got to stay or was treated fairly or not. He had the scars to prove it.

Not for the first time, he wondered about Mac's beliefs. Richie admitted he didn't know a lot about history and religion, but logic told him that a lot had happened in four hundred years. He'd never seen Mac attend church services, though Mac did seem to know where every piece of Holy Ground in the city was located. How in the world did MacLeod know what was Holy Ground and what wasn't? It wasn't clear to Richie. There were so many questions left unanswered, so many things Richie wanted to say... but Mac was still in Paris, and Richie was alone.

He sighed tiredly. Tessa was an angel now, or whatever it was that you became after you died.

Richie half-laughed at that thought, trying to bury the tears. He missed Tessa. He couldn't believe she was dead, and yet, he couldn't accept that the only thing she was now was a corpse locked in an airtight casket in the ground. Here he was, alive by some twist of destiny, when he should be as dead as she was. He was grateful, but something nagged at him, made him feel guilty for feeling that way. Instinctively, he knew he'd been given a gift, a second chance, but for what purpose and by whom?

He wasn't sure what to believe, the odd smattering of mostly Christian religions he'd been exposed to leaving him with fragmented images that didn't really make sense. He supposed at the heart of it all was the fact he was supposed to take what someone said or written hundreds of years ago (probably in a drunken stupor, no doubt) on faith.

The thought gave him pause.

Didn't he take what Mac had said on faith? He'd seen Duncan and his – what was the word Mac had used – oh yeah, kinsman, both survive a fall and a drowning. Connor had been shot as well, and yet he and Duncan both weren't zombies. He'd accepted that the Knights of the Round Table and the freaky light show had a reasonable explanation behind them... even though for quite a while after that, he'd secretly thought Mac was crazy. He'd still taken Mac at his word.

Despite that, he'd never in a million years believed that he would be Immortal. Oh sure, he'd felt the shot, knew he'd been hit, but... Even as the silent argument began its all-too-familiar course, Richie knew the truth. He was Immortal now, just like Mac had been for over four hundred years. He knew when Mac entered the vicinity, just like he was sensing another Immortal now. He hadn't a clue how to fight someone armed with a sword when Richie only had a pocketknife. Richie could only hope that the other Immortal would honor the tradition of Holy Ground.

If that was the only religion worth believing in, Richie thought, then I'll be a faithful practitioner. He hurried across the street and into the sanctuary of the church.