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Before They Met Their Final Destination...

Chapter 1:

The bell rang just as Alex leapt into his desk for English class. heard the noise and turned around from the black board.

"What was all that about Alex?" She questioned, staring at him.

"Um, nothing," he replied.

"Yeah well if you're gonna be late at least have an excuse for Christ's sake," she replied turning back to the board. A few people sniggered.

"I, er, my locker wouldn't um, open, yeah, and I couldn't remember the combination, so er, I had to figure it out okay?" Alex attempted to explain his absence.

"Oh Sure Alex, we believe you," told him as she turned to face the front. She stood, as if she was ready to give a speech. She was the kind of teacher who treated her class like equals, she had a laugh, but also she knew how teenagers worked and could be quite sarcastic when she wanted, as in at that moment.

Alex glanced around the class as he removed his english books from his rucksack.

His friend Tod, sat in the desk next to him. Tod was a weird kinda guy, a bit geeky, but still okay. He had been friends with Alex since they were little kids, playing water fights with a yellow water pistol. (which Alex still had on his desk)

"Now class," she began. "As you all know, it's our French trip next week, we do this every year for the seniors, it's to practice your French you've learned and generally get to know the French culture. Now, we have booked the flight now, and I want you all to listen very carefully."

stepped forward, as the class listened.

"We're on voleƩ Airflight 180, right, and it takes off at 9:25pm. That means, that we want you to be here at school before 5pm, which when the coach will be leaving, okay?"

It was lunchtime. Alex and Tod entered the cafeteria and made for a table in the corner.

"So, what d'ya think, you looking forward to the trip?" Tod asked him as they got out their lunches.

"I suppose so," Alex replied.

"I love French, it's one of my favourite lessons, and d'ya know what the best thing is?" Tod asked.

"No, what?" Alex said as if he couldn't be bothered to join in.

"Two words. Christa and Blake."

"You still on about them?"

"Since when have I been 'going on about them?'" Tod questioned, looking straight at Alex.

"Oh, I dunno, since first grade."

"Oh come on man," Tod started. "Don't tell me you don't fancy them too."

"They're okay, but I wouldn't spend my whole life thinking about them," Alex pointed out. "Look, if you like them so much, why can't you just go over there and ask one of them out?" He glanced towards the two girls, who were sitting on a table across the other side of the hall.

"Hey, anyone sitting here?" Billy Hitchcock suddenly asked interrupting the conversation.

"No," Alex replied.

Billy sat down. "I hate French, and I don't wanna go on this dumb trip," he exclaimed messing about with his red baseball cap which was on backwards.

"Why not?" Tod asked him.

"Cos it sucks. What use is French when we already talk english?"

"He's got a point there," Alex admitted.

"And I hate planes too," Billy told them.

"Oh, not me, I love going on planes," Tod argued. "It's so cool, going up above the clouds, you know, all that crap. What about you Alex?" He turned towards his friend.

"Alex?"

Alex raised his head. "What?"

"Do you like planes or what?"

"Does it really matter what I say?" Alex replied stubbornly. For some reason he felt uneasy about the whole plane thing.

"Well, no, but, oh fine then be like that!" Tod said annoyed.

"Be like what?"

But they didn't get any further. They all looked up, because they knew that someone was standing right by their table, and they also knew who that person was, and they weren't here for a friendly chat.

"Piss off Carter," Tod told him, standing up for himself and his mates.

"Oh yeah? And why should I?" Carter replied defiantly. He towered above them, smirking all over his face, knowing he was tougher than the three of them put together.

Billy looked down and chickened out. He was a right baby at times, especially when it came to facing Carter.

Alex and Tod on the other hand stared straight at him, acting like they weren't afraid.

"Oh stop being such a dick Carter, haven't you got anything better to do than piss us off?" Alex asked.

Carter folded his arms. "I heard you talking about this stupid trip we're having to France. Might be good, but if I find out I have got to sit next to one of you dickheads, you're dead."

"Oh, like we're really scared."

"Get lost you Pecker-Head."

Carter gritted his teeth, and his fists clenched by his sides.

"Carter!"

It was Terry. She was on the other side of the hall.

"It's funny," Tod remarked unwisely. "I thought you and that bitch were joined at the hip."

All of a sudden Carter lost control.

"Don't you EVER call Terry a bitch!" He yelled lunging for Tod. He punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. Pretty soon the two of them were rolling around on the floor, kicking and punching and generally trying to beat crap out of each other. Alex leapt up off his seat and intervened.

"Hey hey hey! Guys, break it up," he attempted to control the situation, which only resulted in a kick in the balls from Carter. Doubled up in agony, Alex fell to the ground. Billy however, decided now was the time to peg it and, gathering up his things ran away from the table as fast as he could.

Tod managed to get hold of Carter, and somehow threw him across the hall. Carter went flying into a stack of chairs and hit the ground. Terry came rushing over, just as Carter was about to get up again. He had a bust lip and a cut on his forehead. He lay on the cafeteria floor breathing heavily, absolutely livid by the fact that Tod had overpowered him. But that was the thing, NOBODY overpowered Carter Horton in a fight. NOT EVER. It was just the way it was.

Terry fussed around him, asking him if he was okay and everything. By the table, Alex, still limping slightly from the very painful kick which only boys could empathise with, came over to Tod, who was out of breath and still very angry. He had a black eye and was holding his right hand.

"Are you okay dude?"

"Yeah, it's just my hand, I'm fine, just bruised," Tod assured him.

"You sure? You should go get it checked out."

"Oh yeah," Tod replied. "What do I say when the school nurse asks how it happened, 'oh yeah I was just having a fight in the cafeteria, it's nothing'. If anyone finds out about this I probably won't be allowed on the trip."

He looked up to see Christa and Blake staring at him. Christa gave him a look of disgust, while Blake on the other hand seemed to be, almost admiring him.

"She digs me," Tod said catching her eye.

"Yeah yeah whatever," Alex said, not really taking any notice.

Chapter 2:

10 minutes later Tod, Carter, Terry and Alex were in the principals office.

"Now, you say Carter, that Tod started it?" the principal questioned.

"Yeah, he called Terry a bitch, so I hit him," Carter said as calm as anything. He sat in his chair arrogantly, obviously thinking he was ace.

"Tod, is this true?"

Tod was looking down, with none of Carter's confidence in this kind of situation. Carter had obviously been to see the principal more this term than Tod had in his life.

"Well, er, kinda, I mean, sort of...yeah. It's true."

"But Carter was piss- I mean annoying us before Tod made the comment," Alex interrupted.

" , you will get your turn to speak," the principal said sternly, looking straight at Alex.

"Now Carter, Tod says you kicked Alex in the," he struggled, trying to find a polite way to say it, but failed. "Well, he says you kicked Alex, so-"

"Did I kick him in the balls?" Carter repeated adding in what the principal couldn't say. "Yeah I kicked him the balls, cocky son of a bitch."

"Now Carter, there's really no need for-"

"Yeah there is, Tod had no right to say what he said about Terry, okay?"

Carter was growing more defiant and insolent by the second.

"Right , I think we've heard enough of your side of the story now," the Principal replied ignoring Carter's comments.

"Now Alex," he continued turning to him. "Tell us what you saw."

"Er, well, it's kinda hard to explain but, Tod, he was," Alex rubbed the back of his neck, finding it difficult to drop his friend in it. Tod shot him a pleading glance, but Alex also knew he couldn't lie, not when, even though he hadn't said it, it was obvious that Tod had done something.

Finally, after a long pause, he gave up and decided to skip straight to the next part. All eyes were on him.

"Well," he began clearing his throat. "All I can remember is that suddenly, Tod said something which I didn't quite hear, then Carter suddenly punched him, then they were fighting. I tried to break it up but then I got kicked in the...well that's all I can remember."

The principal leaned back.

"Well, I think it's pretty obvious to me that you two boys," he looked straight at Carter and Tod. "Have been breaking the school rule by fighting, and I think that the best thing, is to give you each a months detention, starting from when you get back from France and-"

"What, you mean we aren't being banned from the trip?" Tod interrupted.

"That can be arranged if you want Tod," he replied. "But for now I think detention is sufficient."

Carter glared at Tod, but Tod seemed quite relieved. At least he was still going.

"Right, you can all go now, I've had enough of the lot of you," the principal announced waving his arm, signalling them to leave.

Quickly, the four of them left the office.

"Thanks dude," Tod said gratefully as they walked down the corridor.

"For what? You still got detention."

"Yeah, but I mean, thanks for standing up for me, you know, by not saying what I actually did."

They turned the corner. George, Tod's older brother, was leaning against the lockers.

"Hey," he called.

"Hey George," Tod replied, as they got closer.

"I heard you guys had to go see the principal."

"Yeah, so?" Tod tried to act cool about the whole thing.

"So what d'ya get? Detention?" George asked. Alex couldn't really understand why he was so bothered, but what would George know anyway? He was one of the biggest swots in the school.

"Yeah, 1 month," Tod answered, trying to change the subject. "Anyway, what are you doing here? You never wait for me anymore."

"Woah, let's get something straight Tod, I am NOT waiting for you okay?" George replied in a shocked voice.

"Well what the hell are you doing by my locker then?"

"Haven't you ever noticed that a Blake Dreyers locker is next to yours?" George questioned smarmily.

"No way man! You're going out with her?" Tod cried angrily.

"Yeah, we're going to the movies, I said I'd wait for her here."

"You dick! How could you? You know I like her!"

"And I like her too okay? She just happened to say yes to me," George answered, a smug expression on his face, obviously enjoying the pain on Tods face.

"Yeah, so run along little bro, she's gonna be here any second now."

"I hate you," Tod snarled, feeling a fight coming on again.

Just then, Blake appeared.

"Hey George, Alex," She paused, seeing Tod's pained expression.

"...Tod."

"Hey," Tod replied trying to make out it was no big deal, when if fact it was, probably the biggest deal of his life.

"So, you ready now?" George asked her, leaning against the lockers trying to act so cool.

"Yeah, sure, let's go," Blake agreed, as they started to walk. She turned around.

"See ya later Alex, Tod." She looked at Tod and smiled at him. Then they were gone, along the corridor and out of the door.

"You can't win em all Tod," Alex attempted to console his best mate. "And anyway, what about Christa?"

"Christa?" Tod repeated. "She hates me. I just know it, but Blake, well she's different. She smiled at me Alex, she really smiled at me."

"And your point is?"

"I dunno. Let's just go home, I've had enough of the dumb school for one day."

Soon, they were walking along the path, near Tod's house.

"So I guess George won't be back for a while then," Alex commented.

"No."

"You still angry at him?"

"Well duh? He is just such a dick sometimes, he's only a year older than me but he thinks he's so much bigger than me, you know?"

"Not really, I'm an only child remember?" Alex reminded him.

They turned the corner, Tod's house was up in the distance, at the end of the block. Alex on the other hand, had to walk in the other direction.

"Okay, well I guess I'll see you tomorrow then," Tod said, as he walked off.

"I guess."

Chapter 3:

The next morning, Alex came downstairs for breakfast. His Mum and Dad were already sitting at the table. As they saw him come to the bottom of the stairs, his Dad put down his coffee.

"So Alex, looking forward to your trip?"

"Yeah," Alex replied sleepily, and unenthusiastically.

"Oh, you sound really excited," his mum commented sarcastically.

"I am."

He pulled the chair out and sat down, reaching for the cereal.

"How are you for a suitcase?"

"I haven't got one." Alex was speaking in short sentences like he just couldn't be bothered to talk.

"Well," said trying to keep up the conversation. "You can borrow mine if you like, how's that sound?"

Alex looked up, playing about with the spoon in his cornflakes like he wasn't hungry.

"I'm ecstatic."

"Yeah well, you better get going, you're gonna be late," warned.

Without a word, Alex got up, leaving all his cereal. He picked up his bag and walked out of the door.

"Hey Alex!" It was Tod, standing at the school gates. "What's up with you dude? It's almost nine."

"Overslept," Alex replied. "Hate school, hate lessons, wish we never had to come to this prison every day, the usual."

They walked up the path, past the car park. Carter's car had just pulled into a space. He got out, slamming the front door behind him. As he did so, he noticed Tod and Alex.

"Pecker head," he mouthed at Tod.

"Oh give it a rest Carter," Alex called back.

Carter just shook his head, and turned away putting his keys in his pocket.

"I don't know why they're even letting that dickhead on the trip," Tod thought aloud.

"I heard his parents sold like, 10 times the amount of raffle tickets to raise the money to go to France, just to get rid of him for a few days," Alex explained. "Where's George?"

"Oh, he came back around 10, saying a load of crap I didn't really wanna listen to, then went to bed. I haven't seen him this morning."

"So d'ya think he'll be going out with Blake again?"

"I hope not."

The two of them walked through the doors and into school. They got to French class just as the bell rang. Alex and Tod went through the door and sat down in their places. Carter was behind them, wearing his high-school jacket like the big show-off that he was. He shook his head angrily as the two of them sat down.

, the French teacher, turned around smiling.

"Bonjour la Classe," he greeted them.

There was a slight murmur round the room, but nobody specifically returned the greeting.

"Right then," continued suddenly speaking in English.

"If I can just have your projects then we'll get on with sorting out this trip."

"Oh shit, I've forgot it," Tod muttered as he remembered he'd left it at home.

"Oh man, you're really not gonna be allowed on the trip if he finds out about this," Alex told him. "That whole project was like, all our research for the trip, it's vitally important he sees it before we go!"

"And we don't have French now till after the trip," Tod finished.

"Thankyou Terry, now Carter, may I have your project please?"

Carter handed the teacher a file. Great. Even Carter had got his work, like the smarmy jerk that he was.

"Clear, thankyou, Billy, that's great Billy Weldone," commented as he moved along the row.

"Now Tod, have you got your project to give me?"

Tod didn't say a word.

"Tod, take this," Alex whispered, passing him his own work under the table. For a second, Tod looked at Alex, wondering what he should do, then slowly handed it over.

"Thanks, now Alex please."

"I haven't got it."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm sorry , I forgot my work okay? I'll give it to you tomorrow," Alex persuaded.

The teacher sighed. "For God's sake Alex, you better get it to me tomorrow or there'll be hell to pay, and this is the last time you're getting away with this okay?"

Alex breathed a sigh of relief. His plan had worked.

As the teacher moved to the front of the class, Tod leaned over.

"Why the hell did you stick up for me like that?"

"Hey, we're mates aren't we? And you still wanna go to France right?"

"Yeah."

"Right, well let's get this of the way shall we?" announced, facing the class again.

"In Paris, you will be in set groups, okay? You will need to plan out some research on Paris, and each group will be given a set subject. You will need to do some work before we go to France, so I wanna see you working all right? Cos when we actually get there you have to use your research to do the activities."

Everyone groaned. How boring and sad was this?

"Right, well here are the groups," he cleared his throat and picked up a piece of paper on the desk.

"Jenny, Chris, Steven, Lorna, Dickie, Rachel and Gavin, you're one group, Blake, Trent, Robbie, Lyndsay, Christa and Sean, you're group number two, and Carter, Terry, Alex, Tod, Billy and Clear you're group three."

All at once, everybody moaned and started kicking up a fuss.

"Why do I have to be in a group with all the pecker-heads?" Carter shouted out.

" , You will be put in the group I tell you to be in okay?

"Just our luck," Alex whispered. "We have to be in the jerks group."

Tod sighed and looked straight down at the table.

There was one person who didn't comment on what group she was in. Clear Rivers. She sat at the back, minding her own business.

"Hey Tod, Alex, I get to be in your group," Billy said happily.

"Woah! Ace! I get to be in your group," Tod mocked throwing his arms up.

"All right, calm down, calm down. This is a team effort, something which the members of the football team will know all about," announced looking knowingly at Carter.

"You can get together any time to discuss this project, but It must be ready for the trip."

Chapter 4:

After school, Tod and Alex saw Carter standing by his locker.

"So?" they asked, approaching him.

"So what?"

"So when are we gonna get some work done for this sucky project?"

"Who gives a shit?" Carter replied defiantly, as he worked out his combination. The locker opened with a jerk.

"Well, unless you really wanna fail French this year, I suggest you summon up the effort," Alex pointed out. Carter stuffed some books in his locker, then slammed it shut, in a way that showed exactly how he was feeling.

"Well what's new?" He was being difficult on purpose now. "Look, you dicks figure something out, then maybe I'll think about it."

"Carter," Alex begun. "This is meant to be a team effort."

"Right," Carter agreed, pointing to the badge on his jacket. "Something which I 'know all about'. Now get out of here before Terry comes."

"I was thinking, my house around 7," Tod suggested.

"Oh wow, I'm so excited," Carter mocked.

"You got a better idea?"

"I knew we should never have let Carter talk us into meeting us here," Alex said regrettingly as he and Tod trudged up the hill to the drive-in.

As they neared the gates, they could see Billy and Clear were already there, standing waiting.

"Hey," Billy called out as they approached.

"Where are Carter and Terry?"

"They haven't showed up yet," Clear replied, speaking for the first time.

Suddenly, the black car appeared by the gate.

Alex leaned in towards the window.

"What exactly was the point in meeting us all here?"

"Hey, relax," Carter reassured him. "A movie will make us all feel better, right Terry?"

"Right."

"Now get in and let's roll," Carter said quickly.

"You what?" Alex asked, not sure he'd heard right.

"Excuse me, sir," Carter mocked. "But is this or is this not a drive-in movie theatre? That means you have to drive in, so get in the fucking car and let's go."

"Fine then," Alex replied pissily.

He opened the door and they all piled in.

"Hey Carter, when do we get to study?" Billy asked eagerly as they drove into a space. Carter looked at Billy through the rear view mirror.

"Gee, I dunno Billy, hey why don't you take all these sodding books, and do some research, while I watch the movie? That sound good to you?"

"Hey," Billy said slowly, finally catching on.

"Carter, we are meant to be studying for this dumb project, just what exactly are you doing?" Clear demanded.

"Shhh," Carter replied. "Can't you see I'm trying to watch this?"

Tod exchanged a knowing glance with Alex. As usual, Carter had led them into another one of his traps.

"Hey, Billy, go get me some popcorn will you? Oh yeah, and a hot dog, and two cokes." Carter announced passing Billy some cash.

"Er, excuse me Carter but can't you bloody go yourself?" Tod pointed out.

"Er, excuse me, But can't Billy fight his own battles?"

"It's okay Tod," Billy replied passively. "I'll be back in a second."

He got out of the car and started walking to the cafe.

"Why do you have to take advantage like that?" Alex questioned him.

"Why should I have to move? I got you all here in the first place. You all owe me BIG TIME," Carter replied smugly.

"No, Carter," Alex said angrily. "You said we were going to study, you never said anything about watching this pointless film, with it's crap plot and-"

Alex was now watching the screen. Carter gave an appreciative smirk and turned back to the front.

"I mean, what is the point in even watching this, it's the saddest film I have ever..."

His voice trailed off. Alex stared intently at the movie.

"Alex?" Tod asked, confused.

"Shhh! Can't you see I'm enjoying this?" Alex replied sharply.

"Oh fuck this, I'm going home," Tod announced suddenly, reaching for the door handle.

"Where the fuck do you think you're going?" Carter spun round, suddenly menacing.

"Don't think I'm afraid of you Horton, I beat you once, I can beat you again!"

"Why don't you step outside and say that?" Carter challenged, getting ready to punch.

"Okay then I will,"

"Guys, guys, stop this!" Clear cried, interrupting their heated conversation.

"This isn't getting us anywhere."

"Carter?" Terry spoke out of the blue.

"What?"

"They're right you know, maybe we should go somewhere else, and get this work done, it is important."

Carter thought for a minute. Terry put her hand on his shoulder. He turned to face her, a sudden smirk spreading over his face.

"Okay then, we'll go for a little drive somewhere if that's what you want."

Tod was suddenly uneased by the tone of his voice, but Terry just smiled.

'Love is Blind' Tod thought blankly.

Carter started up the ignition.

"Hey, hey, what the hell is going on?" Alex blurted out, the sound of the engine turning his attention away from the movie.

"We're going for a drive Browning."

Carter pushed his foot down on the accelerator, the car lurched forward. He turned the steering wheel and started driving off, just as Billy re-appeared carrying the popcorn, coke and hot dogs.

"Hey, wait for me!" He yelled, over the roar of the engine. He started running, the popcorn and the coke spilling everywhere.

He got to the door just as the car reached the gates.

"Would it hurt you to wait for me next time?" he asked, panting.

"Oh just get in and shut up."

Chapter 5:

Pretty soon they were driving along the dark road.

"This might sound like a pretty stupid question," Tod asked cockily. "But where the fuck are we going?"

"Well," Carter replied, catching his eye in the rear-view mirror. "This might sound like a pretty stupid answer, but I don't know."

Tod threw himself back into his seat in despair.

"Carter, where are we?" Clear questioned, looking around in the darkness.

"Somewhere."

"Well where the hell is that?"

"I don't recognise this place at all," Alex commented, noticing they were now driving on a small road through the woods.

"It's nothing, in a second we'll be back on the highway," Carter said quickly, afraid to admit he didn't know where they were either.

They drove a little further. Just then, Carter caught a glimpse on the dashboard.

"Oh shit," he breathed.

"What now?!"

"Nothing, it's nothing."

Carter stared at the dial. The needle was on the red. And this could only mean one thing. Alex leaned forward, and saw what Carter had seen.

"Oh Jesus fucking Christ Carter!" he yelled throwing his arms up in the air.

"What?!" Clear shrieked angrily. "Will someone please tell me what is going on here?"

But they didn't need to, as at that moment she got her answer. The black car slowly came to a halt in the middle of the road.

"What the hell are you doing Carter?" Tod cried indignantly from the back seat.

"Why has the car stopped?"

"There's no gas left," Alex said plainly.

There was a deathly silence, as they all realised what this meant.

"Right," Tod began, the only one who didn't seem too shocked. "So you're telling me, that you made us all come out here, drive along in the pitch black into the middle of no-where, then you go and run out of gas? What is up with you Carter?"

"Hey, don't you DARE tell me this is all my fault!" Carter yelled, jerking his head to face Tod.

"Well who's fucking fault is it then?"

"I don't know! But I have had enough of you and your smart-arse Ideas! So get the fuck out of my car, and don't even think about getting in again until I fucking say so!" By now Carter was practically insane with rage. It took all his willpower to stop himself from hitting him.

Slowly, Tod, pulled the handle, and got out. He raised his eyebrows to Carter and gave him a cocky smirk, like he didn't care. He stood by the side of the road and rubbed his hands together smugly.

"You ass-kissing son of a bitch!"

Carter couldn't take it anymore. He tore off his seat belt and grabbed for the handle. Terry tried to restrain him but even she knew better when Carter was like this.

He leapt out of the car and lunged for Tod, knocking him to the ground.

Alex got out of the car. Carter had got Tod on the floor and was punching him furiously.

Then, all at once, Tod found the strength to overpower him, and pushed him away. Alex took the opportunity and rushed to Tod. He grabbed him by the shoulders, but Tod was way past being calmed down. He tried to shove Alex away, not noticing they were right on the edge of an embankment.

Alex stumbled on the edge, losing control. He reached out frantically for something to stop him from falling, and in the heat of the moment grabbed Tod's sleeve. Tod, taken aback by the sudden force, fell backwards, and all Carter could do was watch as the two of them went over the edge and down the muddy slope.

There was a slamming of doors, and Clear, followed by Billy and Terry rushed onto the scene.

"Oh my God, where are they?" Clear shrieked looking over the edge.

Carter stood, silent. He leaned forward, to try and get a better view, but all he could see was darkness.

"Where are they!?"

"Shhhh, Clear calm down," Billy said slowly, walking over to her. Terry looked shocked. She looked at Carter. He looked at her. Then he disappeared.

Chapter 6:

Carter Horton opened his eyes. It was light, and he could see where he was. He could feel a pain in his right leg, but he couldn't remember a thing. He looked around. He was at the bottom of what looked like a cliff.

He rubbed his face with his hands, trying to recall any memory of what happened the previous night.

"Where am I?" he said aloud. His words echoed off the sides of the cliff.

He slowly attempted to get to his feet, and breathed a sigh of relief when he realised he could stand up. There was blood on his jeans, where the rocks had cut into him, and his head felt light and dizzy as he tried to regain his balance, but apart from that, he was okay.

He looked up. The top of the cliff was about 6 feet above his head.

"Hello!?" Carter called hoping someone would hear him.

"Hello!"

"Carter?" A voice called back hopefully.

"Yeah, it's me," he cried. "I'm at the bottom of the cliff. I'm okay."

Terry looked over the edge. She looked tired and had dark circles under her eyes.

"Oh my God, Carter! It's you!"

"Yeah, well forgive me for spoiling the moment but can you actually do something instead of saying 'it's you' all the time. You're getting on my nerves," Carter replied irritably.

"Carter, you don't have to be like that!" Terry said back, her feelings slightly hurt by his tone. "I'll go and get Billy and Clear so we can get you out."

"There's some rope in the boot, get it out and I can climb up it!" Carter suggested from at the bottom of the embankment.

There was the sound of footsteps, then Billy, Clear and Terry's faces re-appeared with the rope.

They threw it down, and Carter started to haul himself up. In a few minutes, he was out.

"Oh Carter, are you all right?" Terry cried throwing herself at him. Carter was taken aback and tried to return the hug, but it just didn't feel right.

Embarrassed, he prised himself away from her.

"Geez Terry, I'm fine," he said.

"Where are Alex and Tod?" Clear asked.

Carter shrugged.

"Didn't you see them, at all?" Billy added.

"No, I didn't. Now can we stop with the twenty questions please?"

"Right, well we still don't know where we are, there's no gas left in your car, Tod and Alex have disappeared off the face of the earth, and you need to go to the hospital," Terry analysed the situation.

"I do NOT need to go to the hospital okay?!" Carter replied, feeling a short stabbing pain in the back of his head. Suddenly, the world started spinning and he reached out for something to grab onto.

Terry rushed over, putting her arm around him.

"Oh my god Carter, what is wrong with you?" she asked, concerned about him.

"Nothing is wrong with me! I just felt a little dizzy that's all," Carter replied indignantly.

"Concussion," Clear said plainly. "You've obviously got concussion Carter. It can be very serious sometimes."

"Look, can you all stop worrying about me please? I am FINE. F-I-N-E, do you understand me?" Carter spelled out, even though his head was throbbing and he could barely stand up.

"Just sit down, take it easy, please," Terry pleaded. Carter wished she would stop hanging around him so much. He brushed her arm away and sat down on the floor.

"Now, Alex and Tod is the next problem, where the hell have those two dickheads got to?"

"I was kinda hoping you could answer that," Billy replied.

"Well, I can only suggest that you go down the embankment and look for them, they might still be unconscious or something," Carter explained.

"Right, well we'll go and you can sit in the car and wait for us," Terry suggested. "You sure you're all right baby?"

"Yeah."

Chapter 7:

Carter stumbled towards his car, pulling at the handle until the door finally opened. He slumped into the seat and leaned back.

Something was different. Something had happened to him since the fall, and he didn't know what yet, but he was gonna break this one.

He reached for the dial and turned on the radio. John Denver's Rocky Mountain High was playing.

He was just closing his eyes when,

"Hello!" A loud and cheery voice cried out. Carter jumped and his eyes flickered open. It was Tod.

"Tod?" Carter said, not sure whether what he was seeing was real.

"Yeah, it's me. I fell down a cliff and nearly died, but I'm great! Couldn't be happier. So, what's up with you then, why are you sitting there being a boring git eh? Come on, get out and let's have some fun!"

"Excuse me Tod," Carter begun wearily. "But I thought we were meant to hate each other."

"Oh, that old thing," Tod said brushing all the fighting incidents aside.

"That was yesterday. Today's a fresh start, so whad'ya say old buddy?"

"Are you sure you're all right Tod? You're acting kinda weird."

"Weird? Weird? What's that? I don't know anything about 'weird'." Tod said, ironically in a weird way.

"...right," Carter replied slowly. "Well, I don't really feel like getting out of the car right now, you see unlike you I don't take falling off the cliff as being my most treasured life experience."

He looked at Tod, who was still grinning back all over his face. "So why don't you get in the car and calm yourself down."

Tod sighed, but reluctantly opened the back door and got in.

"Where's Alex then?" Carter asked.

"Dead in a ditch somewhere," Tod replied in a very calm voice.

Carter's eyes opened wide.

"Really?"

"Gotcha!" Tod cried out screaming with laughter. Carter gritted his teeth, feeling the headache get worse.

"No, he told me to go off and he'd catch up. I think he broke his arm, he seemed kinda pissed off with me."

"I wonder why," Carter sighed knowingly.

Just at that moment, Terry, Clear and Billy re-appeared with Alex. Alex looked tired drained of energy.

"Tod?" Billy asked in disbelief.

"Hi guys, it's me!" Tod yelled running over to them.

"He's gone crazy," Carter shouted over to them, circling one finger round his ear.

"Well, now it's light, we can see where we are," Clear explained. "There's gotta be a gas station around here somewhere. I'll go, with Terry and Billy. You three can stay here."

She pointed to Carter, Tod and Alex. Alex slid into the back with Tod, silently.

"Hey Alex, you all right?" Carter asked.

Alex nodded. "I'll live."

"Right, so who's up for 'I spy'?" Tod cried out suddenly. Carter and Alex flinched at the sound of his voice.

"I'll go first, um, I spy with me little eye, something beginning with T!"

There was a silence, as neither Carter nor Alex saw the point in playing the sad game.

"Come on! You're meant to guess something!" Tod yelled in a high-pitched annoying tone.

"Tree," Carter said with no enthusiasm.

"Correct!" Tod screamed out.

"Look, Tod, will you shut the fuck up for one second?!" Alex yelled suddenly.

That wiped the smile off Tod's face. He looked hurt and sat back against the upholstery.

"You know, me and Carter, don't exactly feel like playing stupid fucking kids games when we don't feel too good okay? And it's all right for you, cos you feel all happy and cheery and you don't give a damn about how we're feeling! Just get it into your thick head, we don't want to talk, we don't want to play, we don't want to do anything! Oh yeah, and just for the record, I went out with Christa last week and she said she hated your guts!" Alex had completely lost it.

There was an awkward silence. Tod looked very hurt by what Alex had just said.

Carter looked at Tod, and couldn't help but feel slightly sorry for him. Tod looked kinda cute...

"Woah, where the hell did that come from?" Carter thought. "It's gotta be the concussion, it's just gotta be."

Slightly scared by the weird thought, Carter decided the best thing to do was to go to sleep.

"When I wake up," he thought. "Everything will be back to normal."

When he opened his eyes again, he still felt tired, but the pain had subsided in his head a bit. He glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard.

9:23am, the screen read.

He glanced behind him. Alex and Tod were asleep. The other three weren't back yet.

Helplessly, he glanced back to the clock.

"Where the hell are they?" he whispered to himself.

TOD, the digital display read. Carter stared. 'What the?' he breathed, inching back away from the screen.

'YOU LOVE TOD'. The message was mocking him, if it could talk it would be laughing it's head off.

"Nooooooooooooo! Carter screamed, reaching for a can of anti-freeze.

'YOU AND TOD, SITTING IN A TREE', the message gloated.

Carter brought the heavy can of anti-freeze down onto the clock hard, smashing in the display. He didn't stop until it was completely mangled.

"I am NOT gay!" Carter screamed at the top of his voice.

"Carter?" It was Tod. Carter hoped to god he wasn't still in a happy-go-lucky mood.

"Carter, are you all right?" He asked calmly.

It seemed he was back to normal. 'Thank god', Carter thought.

"Yeah, I think so."

Well what else could he say when he had just seen his digital clock telling him he was in love with Tod?

"Why is the clock smashed?"

"Um, er, gee, I dunno. How did that happen?" Carter asked, pretending to be shocked.

Tod didn't look convinced.

"Well, whether you do or not," Tod hesitated. "Why did you just shout that you weren't gay?"

Carter scratched the back of his neck.

"Er, well, that's easy to explain," he began. "I was having a nightmare."

Tod was about to ask, what about, but decided he'd rather not.

"Yes well, anyway, where are the guys?" Tod asked.

"The guys?" Carter asked, as if he was losing his memory as well as his mind. "Oh yeah, the guys. I don't know, but it seems they've been gone quite a while, leaving just me and you and Alex, alone together, in my car, in the woods, just three guys alone in the woods together..." Carter suddenly realised what he was implying and stopped. "What the hell is wrong with me?" he thought.

"Well," Tod said clearing his throat, trying to get away from the fact that they were three guys alone together in the woods.

"I think that we should find some kind of a phone box or something, try and get help, you know."

"Yesssss," Carter replied hanging on his every word. "That sounds good."

Tod was beginning to feel very uneasy about being a guy alone in the woods with Carter at that moment.

"You know what, I'll go alone, I think I need the fresh air," Tod

announced pulling at the door handle. Carter spun around in his seat.

"No, no, you can't just go on your own!"

"Er, yes I can."

"But haven't you ever heard of safety in numbers?"

"Yes, I have," Tod replied. "But if I'm completely honest with you Carter, and I will be, I think that you, are, not well, okay? And I don't think that you should come with me." He opened the door and got out.

"No Tod please! Don't leave me alone! I need you here!"

"Do you?" Tod asked. "I don't think you do. Alex is here, and he needs you to keep an eye on him."

"I'd rather keep an eye on you." The words slipped out of Carter's mouth before he could stop himself. Inside his head he was screaming.

'Ahhhhhhhhhh!' he thought wildly. 'Don't you know how gay that sounded? Quick, say something to clear it all up!' his brain told him. He opened his mouth.

"Tod?"

"Yes," Tod replied, feeling very impatient.

'Say it!" His brain practically yelled at him.

"Er, I er, didn't mean that to sound gay or anything," Carter blurted out.

"Sure you didn't," Tod replied smarmily slamming the door. Carter could only watch as he walked off down the road. Frustrated and confused, Carter banged his fists on the dashboard.

Chapter 8:

"Carter?"

Alex was all Carter needed right now, angry at him and angry at himself, Carter turned around to face him.

"What now Mr. 'I can't be left alone in the woods invalid'?"

"Excuse me? Am I missing something?" Alex replied sleepily.

"No, sorry," Carter softened. "It's just me being a dickhead as usual. You wouldn't understand."

Alex raised his eyebrows as he sat up straight in his seat, stretching his legs in the process.

"You wanna bet?"

Carter decided to ignore the smart-arse comment for now. After all, he had more important things on his mind. He turned back to the front and looked out of the window. The road seemed to stretch on forever, and if he looked carefully, he could just see Tod in the distance. Obviously there was no phone box for miles either. There was still absolutely no sign of Billy, Clear or Terry, and if he was honest Carter was quite thankful. He wasn't sure he could face Terry, his long-term girlfriend right now, not when he was feeling the strange way that he was.

"Alex?" Carter begun suddenly. "Have you ever thought that I was acting a bit, weird?"

"Weird how?" Alex replied calmly, obviously not expecting the sort of comment which was to come.

"Weird as in, gay."

"Where did you get a stupid idea like that?" Alex answered, thoughts racing through his mind.

"I know, I know, but I was just wondering, cos I wouldn't want people to be thinking that about me, you know."

"Right, well as far as I'm concerned, you're not gay. I don't know about anyone else, but that thought has never crossed my mind. Dickhead, yes, Gay, no."

Carter smiled. "Well good...cos I'm not," he added quickly.

Alex leaned back against the seats. He looked out of the window, feeling exhausted. He still had a headache.

Carter felt quite pleased now. At least, people didn't think he was gay, well, not for now anyway. But he was scared, that as soon as Tod came back, his mouth would start running away with him again.

"Look Alex, I'm kinda tired. I think I'm gonna go to sleep for a while, you know?"

Alex nodded faintly.

'Like I give a damn,' he thought to himself. It was only a matter of minutes before Carter had dropped off.

Carter woke up when somebody started knocking on the window.

"Bloody hell Carter wake up!" a familiar voice hissed. Before he had even opened his eyes, Carter knew who this was. Slowly, he unlocked the door.

Tod opened it.

"Carter, I didn't find anything, there's nothing!" he said anxiously.

"Nothing at all?"

"No. There's no phone boxes, no houses, no gas stations, no nothing. And still no sign of the others."

"Well what should we do then?" Carter replied, speaking carefully to make sure he didn't say anything gay again.

"Oh, I give up," Tod sighed getting into the back of the car next to Alex, who was now asleep again. "What's the use of walking around trying to find something when you know it isn't there?"

"You don't know there's nothing there," Carter replied with caution.

"You reckon?"

"Nah," Carter admitted looking through the glove compartment. "I was just lying. Besides, I have a better way to make us feel better."

He brought his hands out of the glove compartment. He was holding some beer.

"What do you say Tod old mate? A little drink to raise our spirits?"

Tod looked unsure. "I dunno Carter, I don't usually drink," he said slowly.

"Oh yeah, and I don't usually fall off cliffs and turn gay, but there you go," Carter said cheerfully, not realising he'd just made another comment. He handed a beer to Tod. Tod gave Carter a worried glance, but took it anyway.

"Thanks."

"I hope those guys never come back," Carter said letting the gay side of him take over his big mouth. "I'm really having fun sitting here with you."

Tod looked at him. "Carter, all we're doing is sitting here drinking, where's the fun in that?"

"I'll find some somewhere," Carter replied smarmily. "Hey, d'ya know what would be really cool?"

Tod looked up slowly. "No," he replied, not really sure where all this was leading to.

"If we got out of the car and went to climb trees," Carter answered, grinning at Tod.

"Carter, we're 17 years old. We do NOT climb trees for fun," Tod replied, the responsible one as usual.

"Oh yeah? And why do you have to be all the time? Live life on the edge Tod. We could get out of this car and a lorry could plough into my car and kill Alex, but then at least we could say 'I was seconds from death, I lived life to the max'. Cool eh?"

"No," Tod said. Carter has really cracked up now, he thought. It's only a matter of time before he goes really crazy.

"You won't be saying that when you've got a few of these inside you," Carter laughed holding up his bottle.

"Well, I still don't think it's a good idea but-."

He didn't have time to answer, as before he had the chance Carter grabbed him by the hand. They ran off amongst the trees.

"Now, there's an easy one to climb," Carter announced after they'd gone a few minutes into the woods. They were standing in front of a huge fir tree. It had a long narrow trunk, with great branches for foot-holes on the way up. Right near the top were the leaves.

"I dare you to go up there and bring back a pine-cone," he challenged Tod.

"What? Right up there? No way dude."

"Chicken!" Carter mocked, taking a drink of his beer.

Tod started to get angry then. He was not a chicken. And he was going to prove it.

"Okay then, I will. Hold this," he answered bravely shoving his bottle at Carter.

"Woah, go Tod!" Carter encouraged as Tod rolled back his sleeves, ready to climb.

Chapter 9:

Billy sat down in the dust.

"Oh this is just great!" he moaned. "You can't remember which way it is to get back to the car?"

Clear gave him a pissed off look. "Hey, Billy, It wasn't up to me to remember was it?"

"Well It wasn't up to me either," Billy replied looking down at the ground, his head in his hands. The sun was quite high in the sky now, and it looked like it was gonna be a hot day.

"So what do we do now?" Terry asked, as she couldn't be bothered to think of a solution herself.

"Well, how about we just sit here and wait for our deaths? That sound like a good idea?" Billy said sarcastically, raising his head to face her for a second.

"Don't be such a freak Billy."

"Yeah Billy, you're a real jerk."

"Oh thanks. Nice to know who your friends are isn't it?"

"Hang on a second," Clear said holding her hands out. "We never said we were your friends okay?"

Billy felt sad then. He was stuck in the middle of the woods on a boiling hot day, alone with two girls. Normally any guys dream come true, but not for Billy now that they'd basically just told him they didn't like him.

"Billy," Clear begun feeling slightly guilty about what she'd just said.

"We didn't mean it like that okay?"

"Yeah, you're all right."

Billy, sensing that was the best he was gonna get out of them, decided to be satisfied with the answer he'd got.

"Right."

"Hey, what's that?" Terry announced suddenly, pointing at something in the distance. They all looked.

"What's what?"

"That!"

"It looks like some kind of.." Clear's voice trailed off, as she realised. It was a car, coming towards them along the track. Immediately, the three of them leapt into the road, waving wildly.

"Stop!"

As the car drew nearer, it slowed down. The window wound down. The driver was a man, about 40 years old. He smiled as they crowded around the window.

"What do you want?" The man asked, but he didn't seem annoyed with them.

"Well, the thing is, our car broke down a couple of miles back and er-."

"Oh, trouble with your car is it? I can fix that," the man interrupted Clear. She sighed.

"No, it's just run out of gas, but we were wondering if you might possibly-."

"You want me to give you a ride to a gas station? Sure thing kids, hop in, there's one only a couple of miles down this very road."

Clear was starting to get irritated by his interruptions before she'd even finished what she was saying.

"No, you see that's not the whole thing. We've got these other three guys back with the car, and it's kinda a long story but, they're hurt, and we wanted to know if there's any doctors or anything round here maybe?"

The man shook his head. "Sorry kid, there ain't a hospital or anything like that round here for up to 50 miles. If you've got injured people back at your car you better call 911."

Clear threw her arms up in frustration. Billy stepped forward to have a go at getting through to the man.

"I think, what my friend means," he started, smiling at Clear as he said the word 'friend'. "Is that we just need to know how we can contact somebody who can help these guys."

The man raised his eyebrows, as if he was finally getting the message.

"That and you want a lift to the gas station?"

"Well yeah," Billy replied, past caring whether he sounded rude or not.

"Well, to be honest I don't think you'll have any luck with the doctor thing, but If I drive you to the gas station and you get some gas, at least you'll be able to start to find your way back yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Well, get in then, I ain't got time to waste," The man replied as the three of them piled into the back.

Tod and Carter sat on a rock, laughing and wearing pine cones on their heads. Empty beer bottles were scattered on the ground. They started singing 'row, row, row your boat' drunkenly.

"Carter?" Tod asked, taking a sip of what must have been the 7th bottle.

"What?"

"What d'ya wanna do now?"

"Well," Carter begun, his voice slurring slightly. "We've sang, we've danced, we've climbed trees, we've made hats out of pine cones, we've tried on the girls clothes..."

"Hang on a minute," Tod interrupted, the beer sloshing around in his hand. "We have not tried on the girls clothes."

"Well that's what we're gonna do then."

"Eh? We came out here to do that thing you know, what you do with a pencil and work, you know when you have to work something out for that building we go to every day?" Tod replied drunkenly.

"Study?"

"Yeah, study, that's it. We came here to study, so what makes you think that they brought any clothes with them?"

Carter smirked. "Now if there's one thing I've learnt about girls," He said. "And I have, then the one thing they can't live without is clothes. They take clothes everywhere dude."

Tod looked confused. "Why?"

Carter felt like saying shut up, at least that's what his mind was telling him to say anyway. He didn't know whether it was the drink talking or what, but instead he said,

"I don't know Tod, but the only way to find out is to go back to the car, open up the boot and try on the clothes, then," Carter paused, swaying slightly on the rock as he took another drink. "Then maybe magical powers will take us over and we'll think like girls and then we'll know why they need to take clothes with them."

To anyone sober listening, that would have sounded like complete and utter crap, but to Tod, it made sense in a drunken way. He nodded, and attempted to get to his feet. He slipped in the mud, and Carter had to quickly grab him to stop him from falling and smacking his head right onto the hard stone. But being drunk, Tod didn't seem to realise this and just burst out laughing.

They started walking back up the embankment.

"Right," Carter announced, rubbing his hands together when they got back to the car. "Let's go."

He walked over to the boot and opened it up. Inside, there was a bag of clothes.

"Ah-ha!" Carter exclaimed happily. It was Terry's stuff she's left ages ago. "It's party time!"

Chapter 10: End Of Part One and Summary Of The First Nine Chapters:

Basically, the story so far is that Carter, Terry, Tod, Alex, Clear and Billy have been set a project for their trip to France. (Which we all already know they never actually get to)

Of Course, Carter being Carter, tricks them into going to the drive In Movie instead of studying. Eventually, after almost leaving Billy behind, Terry persuades him to go and he takes them all for what he calls, 'a little drive'. Unfortunately, this turns into a nightmare, as they get lost and then to top it off the car runs out of gas (Petrol to us English people) and so in conclusion they are stranded in the woods. Now Tod wouldn't be Tod if he wasn't a cocky little git, so he has a go at Carter which somehow, and don't ask how, results in Tod, Alex and Carter falling off a cliff. This turns Tod into a walking hyperactive nightmare for a while, but eventually he calms down. Alex just becomes moody, and here's the best part, Carter turns into a real gayo. Yeah, you heard me right. This becomes apparent after he thinks Tod is 'cute' and then sees the digital clock telling him that he loves Tod, which then results in him smashing the clock with a can of anti-freeze. Cool or what? But it gets better. Billy, Clear and Terry then disappear for a while, as they go to look for a gas station or any form of help. This leaves Tod, Alex and Carter alone in the car. Alex goes to sleep, leaving Tod alone with the now gay Carter. Anyway, Carter makes a few 'dodgy' comments and Tod, scared of being a 'guy alone in the woods' with him decides to go and look for a phonebox. Then Alex wakes up, and Carter takes this as an opportunity to ask him if he's ever thought he acted gay. Nice move. Then they both go back to sleep. Carter wakes up to Tod banging on the window. He couldn't find anything, so he gets in a stress and gives up. Carter decides to get them both drunk. He persuades Tod to go and climb trees with him in the forest, and so off they go. Once there, Carter challenges Tod to go up a tree and get a pine-cone, which Tod successfully completes. Meanwhile, Billy, Clear and Terry have now got themselves lost somehow. They are about to give up when a car comes along and decides after a lot of misunderstanding to drive them to the nearest gas station.

Back in the woods, the now both very drunk Carter and Tod are wearing pine cones on their heads and deciding what to do next to pass the time. Carter suggests trying on the girls clothes, and after a long drunken discussion they go up to the car and find Terry's things, with the line, "It's party time."

What can I say? The plot so far works pretty well. I am therefore an undiscovered genius. I can't wait to write part two, I've got to admit I've never written about two drunken guys trying on girls clothes before, but hey, I'll give it my best shot. Look out for the next part soon, it's taken less than a week to do this much can I just say, partly because I am just so dedicated to anything FD related, and partly because I am just devoted to my work, and never give up. Sure, at times I thought the plot was going nowhere, but reading the summary it's quite good, all I need to do now is find something else funny to happen. Oh yeah, and one more thing, why has Carter become the main subject of the story? Poor old so-called hero Alex has so far been left sleeping all the time. How fun, I mean I would have thought he could have found something more interesting to do than that, even if he did fall off a cliff and break his arm.

Anyway, part two is coming soon so be ready for more quality entertainment.

See ya.

Part 2: Triangles, Trauma and Trousers

Chapter 11:

He delved into the bag, retrieving a pair of white peddle pushers and a pink top.

"Cool," he commented holding them up in the air. He put them back and dived back into the bag of goodies, messing up all the neatly folded clothes in the process. "What should I wear to the ball Todina?" He asked in a silly high-pitched voice. He pulled out a short blue skirt and a stripy top this time.

Tod put his thumbs up. "That is soooo you Cartrina," he said, playing along with the game.

"You think so?" Carter replied, striking a pose, obviously taking the piss out of Terry.

"Oh yeah, but what about me?" Tod sighed sadly as he sauntered over to the bag. He picked it up and tipped its contents out onto the road. There must have been at least ten different outfits to choose from. "I haven't got a thing to wear..."

They both burst into fits of laughter.

The Car slowed down beside a building. 'Gary's Gas', the sign read. The back door opened and out got Billy, followed by Clear and Terry.

"Well, thanks for the ride," Clear said gratefully as they walked up to the door.

"You can have a lift back if you want," the man offered kindly, leaning out of his window. "It's no trouble."

Clear shook her head. "No, It's okay, we'll be all right."

"Okay then, if you're sure..." The man replied, as he put his head back inside the car. In a second he had driven off, out of sight.

"Thank God we got rid of him," Terry exclaimed as they pushed open the door.

"Got rid of who?" A voice interrupted their conversation. Startled, they looked up to see a scratty looking man standing behind a counter. Clear cleared her throat, deciding not to give him an answer.

"Oh, hi," she started. "You Gary?"

"Yeah. What do you kids want? I'm all out of those finger bikes. I know you kids go crazy for finger bikes. Yesterday, I had about what must have been twenty kids crowding round my counter saying 'I want my finger bike, have you got any finger bikes, can I have a finger bike?'-"

"No, we can assure you we do not want finger bikes," Clear interrupted, a smile never crossing her sensible face. "I think it's a lot more serious than that."

Behind her, Billy and Terry were struggling to contain the laughter.

"What is it then?" Gary asked them.

"We need gas," Clear announced, once again the leader of the group.

"You don't say," Gary mocked.

"Well, can we have some? Or do we have to wait for you to make another smart-arse comment?" Clear said pissily losing her cool.

"You don't have to be like that," Gary sighed. Clear could see him muttering something along the lines of 'Youth of Today', and clenched her fists in frustration. "Where's your car?"

"Oh, it's not with us, you see, it kinda broke down and-"

"Oh I'm sorry kids. Finger bike crazed youngsters I can handle, but not broken down cars. You'll need a mechanic for that."

Clear forced a smile, and leaned on the counter. "Oh, that's okay, because we don't need a mechanic," she said in a sweet voice. "But we could sure use a can of gas to take back to the car with us."

Gary returned the smile and bent down to fetch something from under the counter. He brought out a yellow container. He lifted it up and placed it on the counter.

"That'll be $10.95 please," he said unenthusiastically.

Clear dug into the pockets of her brown suede jacket to retrieve the money. She sighed, slightly annoyed by the fact that she was paying for something which Carter should have bought. 'But that was Carter for you' Clear thought as she passed the notes over.

Soon, they were walking back along the side of the road. Billy was carrying the gas, not because Clear wasn't strong enough but because he had offered. He liked Clear. A lot. But he was afraid to tell her. He turned to her and smiled.

'Billy's kinda cute,' Clear thought as she smiled back. She didn't know why she was thinking this, but she was. It was just over the last couple of days she had noticed that, maybe, maybe he wasn't as much of a geek as she first thought. And so what if he was kinda goofy? She had decided she liked that quality. They carried on walking. The car couldn't be that far away now...

"Da da daaaaaaaaa!" Tod yelled out of tune as he appeared from behind the car. He was wearing a long strapless green dress. Carter clapped as he took a drink of another beer.

"Look at me, I'm a beauty queen," Tod squeaked. By now his voice was slurring badly, and as he attempted to walk forward in Terry's black platforms he couldn't keep a straight line. The bottom of the dress caught under his feet, sending him flying. Quick as a flash, Carter leapt forward and grabbed him, just in time.

Tod smirked, hiccuping.

Carter smiled back. "Yeah Todina. I think we can safely say you won that round." Carter's voice was slurring too now. I think It would be fair to say that the two of them were absolutely pis- I mean very drunk indeed. Carter, or should I say Cartrina, was wearing a tight pink blouse with a short black leather skirt.

"Ooooh!" he squealed suddenly, grabbing Tod by the arms. "I have a really good idea."

Tod hiccuped again, swaying from side to side. "What?"

"It's...PROM NIGHT!" Carter yelled at the top of his voice. "So get on your prom dress baby and let's go!"

Tod tucked his elbow in his side and waved his fingers. "Oh you." He imitated a girlish giggle.

"Carter!?" Terry screamed, half shocked, half confused. "Oh MY GOD! What are you doing, wearing MY clothes?"

Carter leapt a mile away from Tod, the smile instantly wiped off his face. He looked up to see Terry, Billy and Clear staring at him intently, as if demanding an explanation.

"Come on then! What the hell is going on?" Terry was angry now. She marched past Carter and snatched the clothes off the floor. Carter opened his mouth and held a finger up as if he was going to start explaining. He didn't. His mouth opened and closed like a goldfish, but nothing came out. Terry narrowed her eyes as she stuffed the clothes back into the bag. For the first time, she took a good look at him. In her clothes. And she felt absolutely disgusted.

"Are you...feeling okay baby?"

Carter stared at her. He was so drunk it took him a few seconds for his brain to process what she had just said.

"I er, was just wearing your clothes," he announced. Terry gave him a filthy look.

"I can see that," she replied, hands on hips. Behind her, Tod stood giggling sheepishly.

"Ugh! And what is that, that freak doing in my best dress?!" Terry cried, noticing Tod for the first time.

"Stand back old buddy," Tod said brushing Carter aside. "I'll field this one."

Carter stared at him, wondering what on earth he was going to come out with.

"You see, me and Carter fell into a river down in the forest and-."

"A river?"

"Yeah, a river and we were leaning right over to get my, er, my er..." Tod struggled.

"Kite?" Carter attempted to help.

"Yeah, my kite, cos we were flying my kite and er-."

"You brought a kite with you?" Terry asked, not believing a word of their ridiculous story.

"Yeah, you can't go wrong with a kite," Carter interrupted.

"Yeah, so anyway, we dropped my kite in the river so that's why we haven't got it anymore," Tod announced, thinking himself clever for covering his tracks.

"Just skip to the part where you got my clothes on will you?" Terry demanded. "I'm absolutely dying to know how that happened."

"Oh, that's the easy part, cos um, er we fell in the river and our clothes got wet," Tod completed his voice slurring considerably.

"And I cleverly remembered that you had some clothes in my boot, so we took off our wet clothes and changed into some of yours," Carter finished it off.

"So," Terry asked deliberately deciding to wind the guys up. "Where are your wet clothes now?"

Carter screwed up his face, trying to come up with something reasonably believable, but Tod leapt in before he had a chance.

"We threw them down the cliff."

Billy and Clear shot a knowing glance at each other and smirked. They stood silently, watching the whole episode take place before their very eyes.

"Why?" Terry questioned slowly.

"Because ants got in them and they were about to get in the car so we had to throw them far, far away over the hills." Tod scratched the back of his neck, not able to look Terry in the eye as he told this obvious lie.

Carter gave Tod a worried glance, not sure what Tod was about to say next.

"Oh they were killer ants, like this big," Tod explained holding his hands about a metre away from each other to demonstrate size. "They could have got us for sure."

"Ah-ha," Terry answered, enjoying the conversation herself now. "So you're saying, you had to throw your clothes down the cliffs because metre long ants had infested them. Yeah right."

Billy could take it no more. He suddenly burst into fits of laughter.

"That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard!" He cried, holding his stomach, his eyes watering.

Tod shut his mouth now. Although he was blind drunk, he could see that this had gone far enough.

Terry came closer to Carter. She looked as if she was about to say something, but instead she stepped back.

"Carter? You've been drinking," she stated, catching the smell of alcohol on his breath. All eyes switched to Carter's face. He hiccuped.

"No...I haven't," he replied sounding completely and utterly drunk.

Terry bit her lip. "Yes you have Carter. Now what was it this time? Vodka, Brandy? JD?"

"Beer actually," the words slipped out of his big mouth before he could stop himself.

"Ouch," Tod exclaimed from behind them. "You're in trouble now dude."

Carter turned to him and forced a smile which made Tod feel very uneasy.

"You promised me no more alcohol Carter!" Terry replied angrily, staring straight at him. She sounded very hurt as she spoke. "You promised me you wouldn't do this to me!"

There was an awkward silence. Nobody spoke, and all Carter could do was stare down at his feet, which he began to shuffle in the dusty road.

"Geez Terry I'm sorry."

"Well sorry isn't good enough," Terry answered sounding more like his mum than his girlfriend. "How did you get this one past me then? And how many have you had? You're absolutely pissed!"

Tod rolled his eyes, getting fidgety. He yawned.

"Does anyone mind if I go and sit in the car now? I'm getting kind of tired," he said in his usual croaky voice. "I might as well get the hangover over with."

Nobody answered, so he just walked over and opened the door himself.

Billy and Clear felt out of place standing there beside them.

"Look, Terry," Clear announced. "We'll leave you two alone for a while, to sort things out."

Terry nodded, and Clear took Billy by the hand, leading him to the car.

Chapter 12:

"Carter, we are gonna have to seriously consider where this relationship is heading," Terry explained, standing at least a metre from her drunken boyfriend.

"It's heading nowhere Terry. We both know that, so why don't we just stop going out here and now. Finished. Over. The end of the line sweetie. You're dumped."

Terry gasped in shock. "Carter? Surely you can't mean that."

He shrugged and for the first time was able to look her in the eye.

"You're drunk. You don't know what you're saying," she continued, feeling a lump beginning to grow in the back of her throat. "Carter, we have been going out for over two years now. Are you just gonna stand there absolutely pissed out of your head and tell me that you don't wanna be with me anymore?"

"Yeah," Carter begun, thinking at the time that he was making the right decision. "That's what I'm telling you."

Terry's face seemed to crumple in pain. Carter immediately felt sorry for her, but it was too late now. Full of guilt, he tried to touch her arm, but she jumped back as if she had just had an electric shock.

"Just leave me alone."

Before Carter could stop her, Terry had marched off down the road. He wondered where she could be going. There was no point in calling her back now. He knew Terry, and once she was in a mood nothing could snap her out of it. He could hear her crying as she disappeared in the distance.

"God Alex, all you've done is sleep the whole time we've been stuck here," Billy remarked when Alex opened his eyes. He yawned.

"Why? Has anything interesting happened while I've been asleep?" Alex replied doubtfully. Immediately, Clear and Billy shot a glance at each other knowingly. If only he knew. Clear looked across to Tod, who was sitting in the passenger seat. He looked at her pleadingly, as if begging her not to tell Alex, his best mate of about fourteen years that he had just been caught wearing his worst enemies, girlfriend's clothes.

"No, not really," she sighed. Alex looked out of the window. He could see Carter, but not Terry.

"Hey, where the hell's Terry?" he asked. At that moment Carter turned to them from outside. Then he sat down on the ground, staring into space.

"Geez, what's up with him now?" Alex said unkindly. He rolled his eyes.

"Maybe someone should go and find out what happened between him and Terry," Clear suggested. Immediately, all eyes were on Tod, who put up his hands in defence.

"No way," he declared shaking his head. "I'm drunk remember. I'll probably only say a load of crap that'll hurt his feelings."

Nobody else seemed to be making a move, so Alex slowly reached for the door handle.

"Fine then, I'll go."

He got out, slamming the door shut behind him. Carter looked up suddenly as he heard the noise.

"Hey," Alex begun, feeling slightly awkward.

"Hey." Carter's voice was slurring and croaky all at the same time. he sounded as if he was about to cry.

"What's up then?" Alex asked, as he sat down beside him.

"I'm not sure really."

"Well, do you wanna talk to me about it?" Alex asked, sounding like a social worker. He looked at Carter's pained expression and for the first time in his life, almost felt sorry for him. He could barely believe that this was the same guy who had thrown him in the sandbox in kindergarten.

Carter shrugged. Alex sighed, deciding that he was not exactly the most sympathetic person in the world when it came to solving other people's problems.

"You can talk to me Carter, if you want," Alex attempted to make his voice sound caring, but it didn't sound right. How could he stand here and be nice to the person who'd made his life at Mt. Abraham high school a living hell since his first day?

"What's there to say?" Carter answered dismissively. It was obvious he didn't really want to talk about it. "I, er, I er just broke up with Terry."

"No way man," Alex suddenly realised that he had almost said this happily. He cleared his throat. "I mean I'm, er, very sorry."

Carter turned his head to face him. He didn't speak. It was as if he couldn't say anything, or if he tried to he'd suddenly burst into tears. Alex began to feel very awkward. He started to get up.

"I don't know why I said it," Carter spoke softly almost to himself. Alex stopped.

"Said what?"

Once again Carter shrugged. "I told her that she was, er..I told her that she was dumped. Then she walked off."

Alex sighed. So once again it was all down to Carter. Always his fault. He was about to decide that he didn't want to have anything more to do with him when he stopped. He looked at Carter's face, and he could see that he was truly sorry.

"Oh man, it'll be all right," Alex tried to offer some words of comfort, trying to rid himself of any negative emotions he was feeling towards the guy. Carter looked down at the ground.

"Do you think I should go after her?"

"No, she'll come back soon. You just need to give her time Carter. She'll know you didn't mean it. I mean, you were drunk and-."

"And I still am," Carter finished. He suddenly realised that he had totally ruined his 'hard' image and felt angry with himself. "Why you being so nice to me anyway?" The words came out sharply. Alex stared at him for a moment.

"Because I, well...I don't know really. Maybe it's because nobody else would."

Carter looked up, wondering whether Alex actually meant that and whether anybody actually did like him anymore. He always knew that not many people liked him, but he didn't care because he had Terry. But now.. Well it was different now.

"Really?"

Alex glanced back to the car, where the faces of Clear and Billy were pressed up against the window, watching him. As soon as they saw him, they turned away. Alex wondered where Tod had got to, but there was no time to think about that right now. He began to shake his head. He couldn't tell Carter the truth.

"No." He couldn't find the words to express why exactly he had come over to him. Maybe it was out of pity, but he couldn't really say that to him could he?

"Are you okay now?"

"Yeah," Carter lied, scared he was going to start crying in front of the person he'd scared the hell out of for the past four years. "So I guess your job as a counsellor is over. You can piss off back to the car now if you want, where your friends are waiting. I suppose I'd better stay here on my own, cos I haven't got any friends now. I haven't got anyone anymore."

Carter's face had turned away from Alex, but he knew he had outstayed his welcome, and that Carter just wanted to be alone. He walked silently back over to the car. This trip had changed them all, in some way or another.

Writers Note springs to mind here: One word: 'Awwwwwww!' How sweet, Carter's really upset. I just want to apologise to anyone who just read that and didn't like the fact that it wasn't particularly funny. (Well, It wasn't intended to make you burst out laughing anyway.) But I was not in a particularly happy mood when I wrote it. I have bought the Final Destination DVD and the alternate ending is really really sad. (Not in the funny way, I mean 'sad' sad, as in unhappy?) Anyway, basically Carter's crying at the end when he's standing by the memorial, and it's just so sweet...I know Rosie thinks he's ugly, but she is sooooo wrong. Anyway. That's the reason this chapter has been very sentimental. So I'm gonna shut my mouth now and carry on doing what I do best...my story. See you in about 7 chapters?

Chapter 13:

Terry wiped the tears from her eyes as she walked along the side of the dusty track. Her mascara had run down her face and she looked a total wreck. She wanted to go home, she wanted to get some fresh clothes on, have a bath and go to bed. She wanted something to eat and she wanted this whole thing to stop here and now. But most of all she wanted Carter. She didn't know why, but there was nothing in the world that could stop her loving him. She started crying again, silent tears running down her cheeks.

Another writers note: Calling all comedy book fans...I'M SORRY! But as you can see I have a talent for pulling at the heartstrings too...well, maybe not.

She felt angry with him for doing the stuff that he did. He did a lot of stuff that upset her. He shouted at her, he sometimes said horrible things to her, but deep down she knew that he didn't mean it. He was often drunk. She had become used to it. But never before had he told her they were finished, whether he was drunk or not. This time he did mean it. She dried her eyes. Crying was pointless anyway. What good did letting water spill out of your eyes ever do for anyone? Nothing. It just made your throat hurt and your eyes sting. Terry didn't cry that much. She had learned to put up with Carter over the past couple of years. But it was over now.

She had come to a turning. And there was no point carrying on walking anyway. Her feet ached and she was exhausted. She just wanted to get out of here...

"Are you all right Terry?" It was Tod. How he had found her she didn't know, but she didn't really want him around. Embarrassed, she wiped her eyes with her hands, turning her back on him.

"What are you doing here?" She replied, not answering his question.

"I wanted to make sure you were okay." Tod was still drunk. She knew that because his voice was still slurring slightly. She suddenly didn't care about what she looked like and turned to face him. He had dark circles under his eyes too. Being lost in the woods sure changed people. 'At least that's one thing we have in common,' she thought to herself. Terry didn't even seem to remember that only a matter of minutes ago this was the same guy who had been dancing around wearing her best dress. They shared something, and that was all that mattered.

Writers note number 3: I think I'm gonna be sick. This is turning into way too much of a love story. I don't do love stories okay? At least, that's what I thought. Now I'm not so sure, cos I'm pretty good at it really aren't I? Note to self, don't watch the deleted scenes of Final Destination before sitting down to write this, and PLEASE STOP doing these writer's notes. I know I am spoiling this story by doing this, but I just want people to know that the comedy will return, It's just that we're in the 'triangles and trauma' section of part 2 at the moment.

Tod smiled faintly.

"Thanks."

"Oh, it's nothing. I'm really sorry," Tod apologised, assuming that the fact that Terry and Carter had split up was all because of him.

"It's not your fault," Terry replied quickly. "I know you don't usually do this stuff."

Tod scratched the back of his neck wondering whether she actually knew some of the stuff he'd got up to in the past. According to Terry he was just a goody-goody who never did anything wrong.

"It was Carter's beer wasn't it?"

Tod stared for a moment, but decided the best thing to do was to tell the truth. He began to nod slowly.

"I knew it!" Terry snapped back. "He told me he wouldn't drink anymore. He promised me, and that's what makes me so angry!"

"Hey, hey," Tod reassured her, taking one step closer. "Calm down. We all do something wrong from time to time."

She looked up at him. "Even you?"

Tod rolled his eyes. She really did think he was a real goody-two-shoes now.

"Yeah," he said, sounding almost proud. "Even me."

"But he told me he wouldn't drink anymore, and all the time he had a secret stash in his car."

Her expression changed then. She clenched her fists by her sides. "You know what, fuck Carter. I don't need him. I don't need him doing this to me, tearing me apart like this."

"Oh, Terry..." Tod attempted to say something worthwhile but he couldn't. "It was my fault for going along with it. I should have made him stop. I shouldn't have let him do it."

"Tod, will you stop blaming yourself? I know it was all Carter. It always is. Who got us all stuck out here in the first place?"

Tod thought for a second. She had a point there. He decided not to answer.

"Whose fault was it that you and Alex fell off a cliff, whose-."

"I shouldn't have said what I said Terry," Tod answered her, raising his voice. She looked him straight in the eye.

"You don't have to keep making excuses for him all the time Tod," she told him sharply. "I don't know why you even bothered coming after me, it's not like we were friends or anything."

"I came after you, because," Tod paused. "Because I care about you."