Tomb Raider:

The Adventures of Lara Croft

Book 1-Curse of the Scorpion

Chapter 39- How You Open A Door…

"NO!".

Suddenly Lara pushed herself off from the wall, leaping forward to tackle Alex to the ground… seconds before a wave of arrows rushed passed them overhead. With a heavy sigh, her tense muscles slowly relaxed as she rested her forehead on Alex's chest. The sound of stone arrow points hitting rock echoing in their ears.

With an arched brow, Alex lay stunned for a moment. His mind not yet registering what could have just happened had he been done here on his own. Staring across at the opposite wall in shock… though that state didn't last for long…

"Well, that's one way to disarm a trap.". He smirked, shifting his gaze in search of hers. He didn't get it.

Rolling her eyes, Lara got to her feet and dusted herself off before speaking again. "Get up before I let the next one get you…". She offered, not quite explain further into her comment. Stretching her arms over her head, she then proceeded back towards the active and NOW disarmed door mechanism.

Alex, an adventurous grin plastered across his face, just shrugged off her comment and followed suit. Dusting himself off, he watched her as she headed back to the puzzle of a door and then suddenly realized… "Wait! There's ANOTHER one?!".

No answer.

"Lara?...".

Still no answer.

"Lara?!". Chasing after her, Alex quickly decided that it was probably best not to touch anything else related to the door mechanism… at least not THIS particular one anyways.

Yet, what Alex didn't see was the playful smirk on Lara face as she had walked off. Her eyes had done a quick once-over of the area and was confident that their were no other traps for Alex to accidentally set off… but, she wasn't about to tell him that. She liked having him on his toes, it was good practice for him.

Looking around, walking cautiously yet at a swift pace, Alex quickly joined Lara's side as stared at one of the now-movable stone gears with a curious smile on her face.

"Lara?". Alex questioned, cocking his head to the side to look at the gear she seemed so taken by.

Looking at him, she slowly took a few steps back…

He was quick to follow suit. "What?...".

She grinned.

Arching his brow, Alex looked from Lara to the rock structure door and then back at her again. He sighed with a defeated half-smile on his face. "You've solved it haven't you?". Certain that he didn't really need an answer to that question.

What Alex now saw, was what Lara had already seen the precise moment Alex had lit the braziers… right before he triggered a hidden trap. Now HOW he managed to do such a thing with the trigger being so out of his path line until then… well that, Lara couldn't quite fathom. Yet, he always did seem to find those hidden traps… and she always did seem to find a way to save him at a moment's notice. Perhaps that was what made them such a perfect team. For exploration at least.

Now concerning relationships, friend or otherwise, well… that was a whole other story riddled with puzzles, traps and confusions. However, this was neither the time nor place to get into THAT particular puzzle now was it?

As for the relationship between the lit braziers and the structure, well that was soon to be explained. The mirrored parts of the braziers, all conveniently positioned to be aiming towards the rock, emitted a stream of light towards specific spots on the wall. Spots, which Lara was quick to notice, that pointed to the now moveable stone gears.

Lighting the braziers made the gears active, the very braziers that Alex had thought to light. Yet, Lara wasn't about to mention that out loud… he had a big enough ego as it was.

"Oh… well isn't that convenient.". Alex smiled curiously, mind now illuminated. His eyes fixing their gaze to Lara, who was already back on the rock wall and slowly shifting the stone gears into place and then just as she finished sliding the last gear to the right…

Click!

Click!

Click!

...

Silence…

…and then…

… a very soft…

Click.

As the gears began to turn individually until they met up in the middle of the rock structure and turned as one. Rotating in unison until the final soft clicking together of stone gears echoed softly throughout the cavernous surroundings.

Thud!

Whoooosh!

A sudden swift sound before the counter weights on both sides of the structure suddenly dropped, further down than they could see, and a loud grinding screech deafened their ears as the door began to open. Rising upwards into the rock as sand, accumulated over time, slowly poured down from the ceiling.

Standing in front of the now opened path before them, Lara stood with a smirk on her face. "And THAT'S how you open a door…".

Shaking his head Alex tried to keep an unimpressed composure, but he couldn't hide the cocky smile that was quickly spreading across his face. "Hey, I coulda figured it out.". He stated matter-of-factly.

"Of course.". Lara offered in a tone that was a little too neutral to be of any satisfaction.

"WOULD… would have.". Alex clarified, mentally kicking himself for having taken so long to correct himself. She wasn't even paying attention to him anymore… again… and she… wait where was…

"Come along Alex…". Lara called, already wandering off ahead of him through the now opened doorway.

"Coming!". He called back, rolling his eyes at his own thoughts. *Of course… where else would she be but already way ahead of me and…*. His thoughts were, however, soon interrupted by her beckoning voice.

"Grab a torch will you?". Her words lingered innocently as she disappeared into the darkness of what awaited them.

*Aven*

Just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all the new favorites and follows! It really makes my day when I get notices saying I have new viewers as well as seeing that people still read and want to read my stories =^-^= It makes it all the more fun to write something I love! 3 And a very special thank you to those who continue to follow my stories *glomps you all!*