AN- Well here is the next chapter, I hope you all enjoy! I hope that it's alright as I'm getting my mock exam results soon, so obviously I'm stressing a little!

HTFan- Oh God... now I have to make sure that this story meets your high expectations... I do hope it does. Anyway, there will be a lot of Giggles in this chapter.

StariChanx- Well more is on the way!

Chapter 2

Flaky knew that she was staring, but she couldn't look away.

One hand in her lap, the other on the arm of the chair, the girl looked back out of pink eyes. She was dressed in a pink dressing gown, her medium length pink hair slightly curled. There was a fading bruise on one cheek, and a dark scab running through her eyebrow and up to her hairline. The part of her neck that Flaky could see had a thin red line on it that looked painful. But even trapped in a wheelchair and unable to move, she was the brightest thing in the room.

"Giggles this is Flaky Quills," Mrs. Joy said, striding into the room and over to the wheelchair. "She's come to read to you. That'll be nice, won't it?"

Her voice had changed. she was talking in a false, bright, singsong tone that grated on Flaky's nerves, as if Giggles were a three year old.

Standing behind the wheelchair now, Mrs. Joy guested to Flaky. "Come say hello."

Flaky moved further into the room and stopped a couple of feet from the wheelchair. "Hi Giggles," she said with a smile. "Your mum told me that you like to read. I've never read like this before, so I hope I'm okay at it. Anyway, what do you like...?" Flaky stopped, blushing. Hadn't Mrs. Joy said that Giggles couldn't talk? Or didn't talk? Flaky felt incredibly stupid for starting off with a question.

Flaky glanced at Mrs. Joy. "Don't worry about it, just keep talking. Get acquainted."

Taking a breath, Flaky smiled at Giggles again. "Well I'm seventeen," she said. "And I'm new in town. My mum and dad are wanting to open an office here. They are currently on holiday hiking, they'll be back some time tomorrow."

Flaky stopped. Had Giggles' eyes changed? Widened? Or darkened? Was she bored already?

Mrs. Joy cleared her throat. "Why don't you find a book?" she suggested. Her voice was losing its brightness- she was certainly bored.

"Right. Good idea." Flaky walked over to a wall of books and started scanning the titles. Then she saw a row of leather-bound classics. Their titles were stamped in gold on the books spines. One of the books was Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.

"Hey!" she said, pulling it out. "I read this last year. Well, I had to read it. For school. But I really liked it."

Giggles' eyes moved over the gold-stamped words on the book Flaky held up.

"Quite a coincidence," Mrs. Joy said. "Giggles was reading that book shortly before her accident."

"Really?" Flaky looked at Giggles. "Did you like it?"

Giggles raised her gaze to Flaky's face.

"I don't remember her saying anything about it." Mrs. Joy looked at her watch again. Just as she did, the door opened and Mr. Joy walked in.

Giggles glance shifted to her father's face. Flaky thought her eyes changed again, as if a shadow moved across them... a plea of some kind.

"Hey, honey." Mr. Joy walked over to the wheelchair and dropped a kiss onto his daughter's head. Then he turned. "Are you just about finished? I've got a plane to catch and we need to go over some things."

"Mrs. Joy, why don't I go ahead and start reading while you're with Mr. Joy?" Flaky said quickly. It would be easier to do it alone anyway.

"Yes, that's a good idea," Mrs. Joy said, "you get started and I'll be back in a few minutes."

Mr. Joy kissed Giggles' head again. "See you in a couple of days honey," he said. Then he strode out the door with Mrs. Joy behind him.

When the door shut, Flaky held the book in front of Giggles again. "You sure this is okay?" she asked. Flaky didn't expect an answer, but thought that she should ask anyway.

Flaky grabbed a stool and dragged it to the wheelchair. The chair was angled so that Giggles could look out the tall windows at the back of the room. The black and white cat was back on the wall, Flaky noticed. She pulled the stool in front of the chair and sat, her back to the windows. A dark red ribbon was sewn into the binding as a bookmark. Flaky assumed this was where Giggles had been before the accident. She opened the book to the ribbon and scanned the page. "Oh, this is where Jane saves Mr. Rochester from being burned in his bed." She flipped back a couple of pages. "Right, first she hears somebody outside her door in the middle of the night." Flaky looked up. "I'll start here."

Giggles kept staring straight ahead.

Flaky cleared her throat and took a breath.

I tried again to sleep; but my heart beat anxiously: my inward tranquility was broken. The clock, far down the hall, struck two. Just then, it seemed my chamber door was touched; as if fingers had swept the panels in a groping way along the dark gallery outside. I said 'who is there?' Nothing answered. I was chilled with fear.

Flaky paused and looked up from the book. Giggles' eyes had narrowed, as if she were listening closely. Flaky hoped it was that, and not that Giggles was getting sleepy already. She went on reading.

All at once, I remembered that it might be Pilot: who, when the kitchen-door chanced to be left open, not unfrequently found his way up to the freshold of Mr. Rochester's chamber.

Flaky paused again. "Pilot's the dog," she said. "Just in case you forgot." She started to read again, then shifted around on the stool. "Sorry," she said. "I can't seem to get comfortable." As she settled down, she realised what she must have sounded like. She couldn't get comfortable? But she felt she understood what Giggles must be feeling. Trapped. She felt trapped herself. In Happy Tree Town.

Flustered and embarrassed, Flaky picked up the book. Just read, she told herself.

After a few more lines. Flaky stopped worrying about how she sounded, or whether she was reading too fast, or not fast enough. It was an exciting part of the book, and she got caught up in the way she had when she'd first read it.

I was surprised at the circumstance: but still more was I amazed to perceive the air quite dim, as if filled with smoke; and while looking to the right hand and left, I became further aware of a strong smell of burning.

Flaky thought she heard Giggles breathe in sharply. But when she looked up quickly, Giggles was still. She went on reading about Jane Eyre seeing the smoke coming from Mr. Rochester's room; running in to find his bed burning; dousing it with water from his pitcher and bowl. A drenched Rochester finally wakes up yelling about a flood.

'In the name of all the elves in Christendom, is that Jane Eyre?' he demanded. 'What have you done with me, witch, sorceress? Who is in the room besides you? Have you plotted to drown me?'

'I'll fetch you a candle, sir; and, in Heaven's name, get up. Somebody has plotted something: you cannot too soon find out who and what it is.'

Flaky stopped. A movement had caught her eye. Somewhere during the last two or three lines, Giggles had lifted the hand that was resting on the wheelchair; lifted it and brought it down on the padded arm.

Giggles' eyes were still narrowed. Behind the thick lashes, Flaky could see that they were glittering.

Flaky almost said 'I thought you were paralysed.' But she caught herself in time. She hardly knew anything about paralysis, and Mrs. Joy hadn't told her any details. But Giggles couldn't be totally paralysed. Obviously Giggles could move a little.

Flaky couldn't imagine being like this, with some stranger staring at her. I'm staring at her, she realised with a blush.

Ducking her head, Flaky found her place again.

'I'll fetch you a candle, sir; and, in Heaven's name, get up. Somebody has plotted something: you cannot too soon find out who and what it is.'

Taking a breath, Flaky started to go on. But Giggles stopped her again, with the same movement of her hand- lifting it slightly from the wrist, then dropping it on the arm of the wheelchair.

"I'm... I'm sorry," Flaky said. "Are you getting tired?"

Giggles remained still.

"I'm not sure what to do," Flaky said, miserably. She thought she ought to so something. She marked her place with the red ribbon and closed the book. She gazed at Giggles, and ached for help.

"Water," a voice said.