A/N: Wow! I'm sure taking my time in updating… sorries… I'm not sure why I made the alt-Marguerite evil… it kinda just wormed its way into the fic… ;) and I'll warn you now… ned and veronica were waving their arms wildly for attention.. and once I let them speak up for a second they kinda tossed everyone else off the stage and ran with it… man, they have a life of their own! :) I promise I'll try to throw in a bit more m/r laters…

And I'm sure that you'll agree…(or most of you) that "Trapped" was by far one of the BEST episodes I've ever seen! I could watch it over and over and over again and not get sick of it…! It was so sweet! Tho, I gotta admit I was half expecting marguerite to ruin the moment by saying that she didn't love him back or something… but she didn't… YAY! :) and challenger was just plain hilarious…. "you must be my wives!" LOL! Veronica and Finn's reaction were way too funny… I LOVED THAT EPISODE!

Thank you becca for taping the ep for me! YOU ROCK! :D

Whew. Alright.. I'll get on with the fic… (oh yah… ignore typos, grammar errors and all sorts of other atrocities to the English language… hee hee… I can't even member if I'm using that word correctly! My English teachers would prolly be crying their eyes out….)

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As they were riding towards the campsite, Marguerite couldn't help but take in her surroundings. She was sure she didn't recognize this part of the plateau. Maybe she was in a shifting alternate plane. With the plateau, Marguerite knew that almost anything was possible. Edward was riding along side her. He turned to see the Lady who was looking a little more than confused and in deep thought.

"Milady, I hope you don't mind my asking, but why were you in these parts of the woods? You are several days away from the castle. I'm surprised that the 'king' didn't send an army of guards to accompany you."

"Edward…" She started hesitantly. Marguerite was having trouble figuring out where she was and feeling unsure of how to respond to Edward. Could she trust him like she trusted Malone and the other explorers?

"What is the matter?" He said with genuine concern.

She shook her head as if she was having an internal struggle on whether to confide in him or not.

"You can trust me, milady. I promise."

"Can we stop for a while?"

"Sure. Let me go ahead and talk to Veronica." Marguerite nodded and Edward sped up to catch up with VERONICA.

"Why, if it isn't Sir Edward. The Lady finally gave you permission to leave her presence? By the way, I was being sarcastic."

"Veronica, why can't you be civilized about this? She has done nothing wrong. Why must you be so…"

"So… what?!" She exclaimed as she threw her hands in the air and gave him an icy glare.

"Forget it. Forget I said anything. Look, we're going to stop for a while. We'll catch up with you guys later."

VERONICA'S face dropped slightly but before Edward could notice, she had put up an indifferent face. "Fine. I'm not stopping you. You're entitled to do ANYTHING you want, Edward Malone. What you do isn't any concern of mine." She kicked her heals against the horse and galloped away, leaving Edward to stare at her retreating form with his mouth hanging wide open in shock.

The others rode past him not really wanting to get themselves involved.

"Malone, don't you mind Veronica." George Challenger called behind him to Edward. "She's just in one of her moods. It'll pass. Besides, if I was younger, I wouldn't mind a little privacy with the beautiful lady either."

"Huh? What? Wait a minute. You don't actually think that … It's not even like that. I just…" He stuttered.

"Whatever you say, Malone. Just don't do anything I wouldn't do." He wiggled his eyebrows and chuckled. Before Edward could even begin to reply, Challenger had already sped away.

"Is everything alright, Ma…, Edward?" Marguerite asked as she came up beside him.

"Oh, everything is fine, milady. How about you? How are you doing? I'm sure this doesn't compare to your usual mode of transportation."

"Actually, I'm quite accustomed to riding horses."

He pointed off in the distance, "Um. Why don't we stop by that stream?"

"Lead the way. And by the way, call me Marguerite." She smiled.

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Roxton didn't understand why his head was throbbing in pain. He moaned slightly and raised his hand towards the back of his head. *Oh, that smarts.* He inhaled deeply and suddenly felt the urge to throw up. He cringed his face and slowly an image of Challenger hovering above him with some small liquid-filled vile appeared.

"Look. He's coming to." Veronica called out to Malone who was in the kitchen boiling some water.

Roxton struggled to sit up. "Easy there, old boy." Challenger helped Roxton up. "Ned, how's the water? Is the pot of tea ready?"

"Sure thing. Boy Roxton, that sure was some knockout."

"Yeah. What happened?" Veronica went into the kitchen to help Malone.

Roxton rubbed his head again and tried to remember the events that led to him being clobbered in the head. "I'm not exactly sure." His memory was still a little fuzzy.

Malone laughed nervously as he poured the tea. "How come I have a feeling it had to do with an argument between you and Marguerite?"

"One in which YOU were fast becoming a part of…" Her voice was on edge as she waved an accusing finger in his face.

He blushed at the memory. Being the observant reporter that he was, he remembered every single detail of the 'incident'.

"LOOK AT YOU! You even have a stupid goofy grin on your face!" She grabbed the cup of tea from his hands and stormed to Roxton and Challenger. "HERE!" She shoved the cup in Roxton's face and marched to her room.

They both stared at the completely baffled Malone. Finally, Roxton broke the silence and spoke up, "I suggest you go and talk to her, Neddy boy."

He nodded.

"Veronica? Can I come in?" He asked quietly, not wanting to upset her even more.

She was sitting on her bed with her back facing him. "Veronica, please. I just want to talk, alright?"

He took her silence as a good thing. At least she wasn't hurling things at him or screaming at him to 'get lost'. He sat beside her and turned his attention to his hands that were neatly folded in his lap.

"Look, I just want to apologize. I mean, Marguerite was acting strange and everything and I didn't realize what was happening till…"

Veronica still didn't acknowledge him. "I should've stopped her advances. I should've done more. I'm sorry, Veronica. If only I did something to stop her. I would never want to hurt you, even if it wasn't intentional."

"Who says you hurt me?" She mumbled.

"Veronica…" He placed a hand on her shoulder. Veronica closed her eyes and sighed wearily.

"We're not even like that. Why should you kissing her bother me?"

"Please, will you look at me?" She shook her head.

Malone sighed in frustration. *I can't spend the whole night talking to her back!* Gathering up all his courage he moved to sit in front of her and prepared himself for what he was planning to say. "Veronica, you don't know how much you mean to me. The thought that I did something to cause you any grief cuts me to the core of my being." She turned her head away as tears started to form.

He was not going to give up. Tracing a hand along her cheek he tilted her head to look him in the eye.

"I know you think of me as your friend. Maybe even a best friend. But… but I can't lie anymore to you or to myself. I think I've fallen in love with you, Veronica. No. Scratch that. I know I'm in love with you. I knew it from the minute I first laid eyes on you when you saved my life for the first time. You mean so much more to me than I can even begin to understand. I'd give up all my chances to get off this plateau if it means that we can be together."

By now, Veronica was sobbing. Malone gathered her in his arms and then gently brushed her tears away. As she looked in his eyes, she saw the truth of the words he had spoken. He looked at her with so much love in his eyes that it scared her. She pulled away from his embrace. "Ned…" He looked at her in anticipation. "I can't do this. Please go. I want to be alone."

Malone braved a weak smile and nodded. He got up and started to walk out of her room. But before he walked out he stalled. He wanted to turn around and say something, do something, anything. But she had made it clear that she didn't feel the same way. Defeated, he dragged his feet to his room. He had a lot to think about.

Veronica heard him stop before he reached the doorway. Every bone in her body cried out for her to grab him and tell him she felt the same way too. That she loved him so much that it hurt. But fear had stopped her. Fear that she didn't know what to do next. Fear that he would eventually leave her. Fear that they would ruin their friendship. But most of all she feared that it would work out perfectly and she would never want to leave his side, even if that meant leaving the plateau without her parents. And she had given into her fear. As soon as she heard him leave she, flopped herself against her bed and cried into her pillow, hoping that it would muffle her strangled sobs.

TBC…

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kays… I've noticed that most of my chapters are fillers…. Is it possible to have a story where most of the fic is filler with little plot?! :) anywho…. I love to hear what you have to say! So you see that purply button down there? Click on it and review!

Yah that one down there

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