Legend Chapter 2

Veronica watched Ned for a moment. The abrupt change in his energy level had her concerned. She checked to make sure he wasn't sleeping before she picked up a stick and lit one end. She wouldn't be able to hold it long, but it would be just long enough to go into the crevice he had crawled into.

Carefully, she squeezed into the opening with the torch in front of her. She saw the source of the white powder. There were large white pods, some of which were smashed open. Veronica reached a hand out in front of her when she saw a low hanging rock jutting out. When she touched it her hand came away with a spot of sticky red.

"Ned, you and your poor head," she muttered. She suddenly felt a sneeze and tried to cover her nose with her hand.

She hurried out of the opening and back to Ned's side. His face was looking somewhat flushed and she put a hand to his forehead.

"Ned, open your eyes," she said as she shook his shoulder.

"Wha…what?" he mumble as his eyes slowly opened.

"You need to get this stuff off of you," she said glancing outside. "Come on, the rain's stopped. We'll head back to the stream and get you cleaned up."

Ned blinked at her as if he hadn't heard her. "Just let me rest," he complained.

"Come on," she persisted and she helped him to his feet. He pulled away from her but as she led him toward the entrance, the rain started again. For a moment, Veronica was disappointed but then a smile came to her. "Looks like you're going to get a shower instead."

He was leaning on her somewhat as she led him out into the rain. Slowly the white spores were washed off of the journalist. But he still felt flushed and he followed Veronica back inside. He shook his head as he sat back down.

"I'm sorry for spoiling things today," he said as she quickly rebuilt the fire.

"It wasn't your fault," she said as she helped him out of his wet vest and shirt. "Now we just have to get you dry again."

Despite a shiver, he smiled at her. "You're wet, too, you know."

"I'll dry sooner than you will," she teased him back.

He leaned back against the wall of the shelter, his eyes slowly shutting again. "I'm just closing my eyes for a few minutes."

"You shouldn't go to sleep," she warned him again, brushing his cheek. "Especially since you hit your head and I have no idea what those spores you breathed are."

"Did you breathe in any of it?" he asked opening his eyes.

"Not as much as you. And I didn't hit my head."

"Will you stop reminding me about my head?" he suddenly snapped. "Just let me rest a little and as soon as the rain stops maybe we should head back."

"Are you tired of my company?"

"Never. I just need a few minutes, okay?"

Veronica sighed as he closed his eyes again and leaned back against the stone. He didn't seem to mind the coolness and she saw his skin was a little flushed. She was starting to feel a little warm herself.

"Just a few minutes," she said aloud. She added a few more pieces of wood to the fire then leaned back with her eyes closed.

Veronica awoke with a start. She hadn't intended to fall asleep and shook her head to clear it. The warmth she'd been feeling had passed and she took a moment to stretch before glancing over to Ned. He wasn't anywhere. His pack, gun and shirt were where they had been left. The fire had gone out, leaving just a faint hint of smoke in the air.

"Ned?" she called out getting to her feet. She looked to the entrance to see the rain had stopped. The sun was finallyl shining. "Ned? Malone, where are you?"

She hurried to the entrance but she couldn't see him. The blonde girl was berating herself for having fallen asleep. She made certain the fire was truly out, gathered his belongings to herself, and headed toward the entrance of the shelter. The bright sunlight was almost blinding as she emerged. She tried to shield her eyes and as her eyes adjusted finally, she couldn't believe what she was seeing. This was not the Plateau. This was a small city.

(I will have more posted as soon as I can. More mysteries will come and possibly some answers. If you read, please leave a review.)