All the members of the treehouse were in deep sleep

Thanks to Natasha, who gave me great ideas which I could use and helped me with the story when I had no ideas anymore. Thanks Natasha.

And again: Sorry for the bad spelling and grammar errors. I'll do my best and I check as much as I can.

Shattered hopes

by Tessa

All the members of the treehouse were in deep sleep. It had been a long day since everyone had been really busy. Veronica, Malone and Challenger were exploring the East Side of the Plateau. Looking for a way home. Unfortunately they hadn't much luck. Not even the East Side had a possible way out of the Plateau.

Roxton, Summerlee and Marguerite were the lucky ones to clean the treehouse this time. They had divided the tasks among each other. Summerlee would take care of his greenhouse and Challenger's lab, Roxton would clean the bedrooms and Marguerite would do the living room and the kitchen. All of them were able to get to work. At least Roxton and Summerlee were. Marguerite didn't have a chance to do her part of the job, while a little baby kept crying all the time. And now in the middle of the night, the baby awakened Marguerite. With a deep sigh she stood up. Hoping Roxton wouldn't be awakened by the baby's cry. Since they had returned from the Amazon-village with Aimée, Roxton and Marguerite shared one room. Trying to be a family, which didn't always worked.

"Shhh. What is wrong? Is our little princess a bit hungry? Well, come here then." Marguerite took the baby in her arms and settled herself in a chair to feed the little girl. But the baby didn't want to be fed and continued crying.

"Aimée, what is wrong? You've cried the whole day. Can't you please stop crying?" Marguerite tried to be as quiet as she could, so she wouldn't wake Roxton. But she wasn't quiet enough, Roxton awakened.

"What is the matter? Doesn't she want to be fed?" Roxton asked Marguerite.

"No, and she won't stop crying. John, she has cried the whole day."

"I think it's nothing serious, maybe she has some cramps. Come to bed."

"And put Aimée in her own bed again?! I don't think so. She'll wake up the whole Plateau."

"You can lay her between us." Marguerite walked to the bed and stepped into it. Roxton took Aimée from her and he laid the little girl between them. Finally she stopped crying and fell asleep. Marguerite looked concerned at her little girl and then to Roxton.

"I really don't have a good feeling about this John," she said soft. "This is going on for two days now, what if there's something wrong with her?"

"She'll be fine Marguerite. Babies cry all the time."

"Well yes, but most babies stop when you have changed diapers, or when you fed them. But she keeps going on."

"She's quiet now. Let's try to get some sleep." Soon the treehouse was all quiet again.


The next morning, Challenger said at breakfast that he wanted to explore the East Side one last time. Summerlee insisted on coming along. He wanted to find some herbs which could been used as a medicine for infections or fever. There wasn't much left.

"I'll come to. Maybe I get able to shoot some animal and can we use it for dinner." Roxton said.

"Excellent. Does anyone disagree of this motion?" They all looked at Marguerite.

"Why are you all looking at me?! I can't go anywhere! I'm stuck here in this awful place, since I am the one who has to feed a little baby! He's not able to do it!" She smirked, pointing at Roxton.

"Well, I'd love to release you from your duty your highness, but like you said, I'm not able to do it."

"Okay, everything's settled then. We will leave in half an hour." Challenger said.

Half an hour later, the tree men left the treehouse to explore the East Side one last time. They have walked for almost three hours when they decided to return. They had done what they wanted to do. There was no way from the Plateau. Summerlee also had found his herbs. He had enough for at least half a year, if things were going the normal way.

"All we have to find is some animal to shoot for dinner." Roxton said. All of a sudden he stood still.

"John, what is it?" Summerlee asked.

"Shhh." Roxton looked around and suddenly a raptor jumped out of the bushes. And short after the first one, a second one jumped right in front of them. The three men started running with about seven raptors following them.


"Oh no, not again!" Marguerite stood up to look why Aimée cried this time. When she arrived and took a look on Aimée, Marguerite paled. Aimée was covered with perspiration. Marguerite put her hand on the little girl's forehead: It was extremely hot. Quickly she took Aimée out of her cradle and took her back with her to the living room where Veronica was preparing dinner for that evening.

"Veronica!" Veronica looked up. She had never heard so much concern in Marguerite's voice and she wondered what was wrong.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Aimée, she is burning up!" Hearing this Veronica raised up from her chair and took the baby out of Marguerite's arms. She examined the little girl, who kept crying.

"Marguerite, bring a bowl of water. We have to try to lower her fever." Marguerite did what the younger woman asked and within a minute she was back with a bowl of cool water. Veronica gave the baby back to Marguerite, took a towel and plunged it into the bowl. Then she laid it on the baby's forehead. Malone was in his room when he saw Marguerite running with a bowl of water in her hands. He walked towards the living room and asked what was wrong. When he heard that Aimée was burning up with a fever he concerned asked what he could do to help.

"Nothing for the moment." Veronica said.


The three men got themselves into safety. "Where the hell did all those raptors came from?" Summerlee gasped.

"I would like to know the same. I would like to know the same." Roxton said.

"Well, I think it's better we go back to the treehouse. It's almost dinner time."

"Good idea George." Summerlee replied. "We're not far away from it. My guess: half an hour."

Half an hour later the elevator moved. Veronica and Malone quickly walked towards the men. "Arthur, have you found those herbs?" Veronica asked softly.

"Yes, my dear, but why?"

Veronica looked at Roxton, then at Malone and then finally at Marguerite, who was sitting in a chair with Aimée in her arms. Malone squeezed her softly to let her say it.

"It's Aimée, she is got a really high temperature." Roxton paled and quickly walked to the chair where Marguerite was sitting in. The others also came and Summerlee took over Aimée to examine her. Veronica followed him and told him what she had done to try to lower the baby's temperature.

Challenger and Malone went to the lab. There was nothing they could do there, but they wanted to give Marguerite and Roxton a moment alone. Roxton looked at Marguerite. Her face was covered with tears. His heart shattered seeing his love like this. He lowered himself down and took her in his arms. Marguerite started to cry. All her fear came out in long sobs. Roxton stroke her hair and whispered loving words to her.

"Shhh, don't cry, Aimée will be all right. It's just the flu. Marguerite, look at me. She'll be fine."

Marguerite looked up at Roxton with tear-filled eyes. "I truly hope so, Roxton. I really don't know what to do when she dies."

"She won't die, Marguerite. She won't die." Roxton continued softly.


After a week Aimée's fever didn't get any lower. The other members haven't seen Marguerite like this before. It wasn't unusual that she didn't pay much attention to what the others said, but somehow it was different this time. The whole day she was close to Aimée, never let her out of her sight. She even skipped meals. She looked terrible, she wasn't like the old Marguerite, she was far away from that. After dinner, which Marguerite had skipped again, everyone went to their rooms except from Veronica and Malone. They went to the balcony.

"I have never seen Marguerite like this before." Veronica said soft.

"Aimée surely has changed her live, not to mention Roxton's. He truly loves both of them. He isn't the risky adventurer anymore." Malone replied.

"I just wish we could do something for them. I hate feeling so helpless." All of a sudden there was a noise. Malone and Veronica looked at each other.

"Veronica, was I hearing what I thought I was hearing?" Malone said.

"That can't be possible. Raptors never have came so close to the treehouse." Veronica looked over the balcony and she saw seven raptors, waiting for one of them to come down.

"Roxton!" Veronica yelled. Roxton came quickly. "Roxton, how is it possible that there are seven raptors down here waiting for their meal?"

"What?! I can't believe they tracked us down."

"Well, for now we can't do anything. Let's go to bed." The three of them walked inside and went to bed.


Roxton walked to his and Marguerite's bedroom. When he entered it, he saw Marguerite sitting in a chair next to Aimée's cradle. When he stood besides her, he picked her up and led her to the bed. Of course she was struggling, he had expected it.

"Marguerite, you have to get a good night sleep."

"But Aimée ... "

"I will stay awake and when there's any change I will wake you."

Marguerite tried to resist, but she couldn't stifle a yawn. "Well, maybe you're right for once." Roxton smiled and tucked her in. He said at her side till she was a sleep and then moved to a chair, in deep thoughts. «Why did I tell Marguerite that Aimée will be fine? She has this high fever for a week, we run out of herbs and Summerlee can't get out there to find new ones, 'cause those damn raptors won't leave. I really don't know what to do if Aimée dies. It will break Marguerite's heart and mine. Please God, let Aimée live.»

All of a sudden a crying Aimée brought Roxton back. He quickly stood up and took Aimée. Marguerite, awakened by Aimée's crying, looked up and saw Roxton walking in the room, with Aimée on his arm. She stepped out of bed, put on her dressing gown. Roxton turned around and saw Marguerite standing in the middle of the room with a smile on her face. «It's a long time ago she smiled like this. I love her smiling.» He thought.

"How is she, John?"

Roxton put a hand on Aimée's forehead. "I think her fever is getting lower." Marguerite put also her hand on the little girl's forehead. It was indeed less warm than when she went to sleep. Marguerite walked back to the bed. Roxton followed her and gave Aimée to her. He laid himself down on the bed and turned on one side so he could see Marguerite and the baby. Aimée soon was asleep again, as for Roxton and Marguerite.


The next morning Marguerite was the first one to wake up. She quickly walked to Aimée and looked at her little girl. It was as if she looked better, like the fever was getting lower.

"How is she?" Roxton had silently become standing behind Marguerite.

"I think her fever got lower." Marguerite said softly.

"What do you think about a little walk? I think some fresh air would be good for her. And those raptors are gone."

"I don't know Roxton. What if..." Marguerite couldn't complete her sentence for Roxton lowered his lips to hers and kissed her gently, whispering nothing will happen and that they would be back within an hour. Finally Marguerite gave in and when everyone was awake and had finished breakfast, they took a walk. Marguerite carried Aimée carefully, afraid to hurt the little girl.

"Have a nice time you guys!" Veronica said. The others were only too happy that Aimée was getting better.

"I hope Aimée will be all right soon. If this is lasting any longer we have to persons to take care of. Marguerite surely lost weight those last weeks." Summerlee said paternal.

"Let's hope it, Summerlee, let's hope it." Challenger responded.


After half an hour Veronica heard the elevator again. She walked towards the moving object to welcome Marguerite and Roxton, but when the elevator was up she backed off for it was neither Marguerite nor Roxton who stepped out of the elevator. The man who had stepped out suddenly smashed everything around him and he opened all the jars. Like he was looking for something. And when he finally opened the last jar, which held all the herbs, he took the herbs and took off. Veronica couldn't move and when Malone came in she burst into tears. The strange man scared the hell out of her. Malone quickly walked towards Veronica, yelling for Challenger and Summerlee to come.

At the same moment the elevator moved again, this time Roxton and Marguerite walked in.

"Summerlee, the herbs. Aimée ... " Marguerite was getting hysterical. Roxton tried to calm her but it had no effect.

"Summerlee, could you prepare a medicine for Aimée? Her fever came back." He said softly.

"Sure ..."

"No." All of a sudden Veronica's voice came out of nowhere.

"What do you mean by no!" Marguerite yelled.

"The herbs. Someone took them."

"What?" Everyone looked at Veronica. And from Veronica to the mess in the living room. Malone was the first one to speak.

"You mean, the one who made this mess took the herbs?"


"Then I'm going to find the herbs we need!" Roxton said determined.

Malone grabbed Roxton by his arm. "You can't go alone, I'll come with you. Wait a second."

Malone went to his room to get his rifle. Within half an hour he and Roxton went on their way. Summerlee had told them precisely which herbs were needed for Aimée's fever and where they probably could find them. But on the places Summerlee had said the herbs would be, there was not much. Enough for letting Aimée live for a while, but not to cure her and let her fever go away. All of a sudden a raptor jumped out of the bushes and stood before Roxton and Malone. They walked backwards slowly but then another raptor jumped out of the bushes behind the men. Suddenly the men had to deal with seven raptors. They started running, but soon a raptor stood before Malone, ready to eat his meal. Malone stumbled and the raptor took his change, only too late. Roxton shot the animal before it could attack Malone.

"You're all right, Malone?"

"Yeah, thanks."

"Here, take the herbs and go back to the treehouse. I will distract those raptors and I will search for more herbs."

"Roxton ... "

"Come on Malone! Go!"

Malone doubted for a moment. He shouldn't leave Roxton alone with six raptors following him. But when he looked at Roxton his doubts disappeared. Quickly he went on his way back to the treehouse, leaving Roxton alone in the jungle followed by six raptors.


Challenger heard the elevator coming. Quickly he, Summerlee and Veronica went to see whom it was. Marguerite sat in a chair with Aimée in her arms. When the elevator was up, Malone came out. He had scratches on his face and his shirt was torn up. Veronica rushed over him for help.

"Malone what happened?" she asked.

"We ran into some raptors."

Suddenly Marguerite's voice came out of nowhere. "Where is Roxton?"

"We hadn't enough herbs to get the fever down. He said I had to go back to the treehouse with the herbs we had and he would continue the search and he would distract the raptors so I could go back."

Marguerite, still holding Aimée, paled. Summerlee quickly took over Aimée. Just in time for Marguerite fainted. All the things that were happening became too much for her. Malone and Veronica carried her to her room and laid her on her bed. Veronica took a wet towel an laid it on her face. Marguerite awakened.

"You're all right Marguerite?" Veronica asked concerned.

"What happened?"

"You fainted." Malone said.

"Roxton ... " Marguerite looked frightened from Veronica to Malone and back. Veronica nodded a no and Marguerite felt the tears coming up in her eyes. Veronica and Malone left her room to give her some privacy.

"I hope Roxton is coming back." Malone said. "If he doesn't she not only loose him, but Aimée will also not survive the fever. It will break her heart."

"I really hope Roxton will return safely. I do hope so." Veronica responded.


Meanwhile Marguerite was thinking about how much her life has changed. She was thankful to God that Roxton had come into her life. Not to mention she also got a daughter. Roxton's daughter. If someone had told her two years ago she would fall in love and get a baby, she would have laughed about it. «My God, what if they both not going to make it? I can't live without them. Please God, please, let John come back to me and, please, let Aimée live. I don't know what to do if I don't have them around me anymore.»

The sound of the elevator brought Marguerite back. She quickly stood up from the bed to see who came in. When she saw Roxton she jumped around his neck and covered him with kisses. Roxton gently pulled her away to give the herbs he found to Summerlee. Summerlee immediately went to his greenhouse to prepare a medicine for Aimée and he gave it to the little girl and put her in her cradle. Then he went back to the living room.

"She's asleep now." He said to the parents. "And I think that is a good thing which we all have to do." Everyone agreed and went to their rooms

Marguerite looked at him with a thankful smile and went also to her room to take a look on Aimée. Roxton immediately followed and both watched loving at their sleeping daughter. Marguerite turned around to face Roxton. "You look terrible, John."

"Why doesn't this remark surprise me?" He said with a grin.

"I have no idea, my Lord." Marguerite placed her hands on Roxton's face and kissed him with a lot of passion. "You are the most wonderful man I have ever met, John. I will love you forever and I will always be there for you and for Aimée."

"Shhh, don't speak anymore." Roxton kissed Marguerite and led her to the bed. He never broke the kiss when he was removing his clothes as well as Marguerite's. All of a sudden Aimée's crying interrupted them. Roxton and Marguerite looked at each other with concern in their eyes. Marguerite stood up and put on her dressing gown. Then she walked to Aimée, took the little girl in her arms and walked back to the bed.

"It isn't time to change diapers. Maybe she wants to be fed." Roxton suggested. Marguerite was still looking concerned, but she also has to admit that it was feeding time for the little girl.

"Is our little princess a bit hungry?" Marguerite said and she started to feed the little girl. Aimée eagerly started to drink. Roxton and Marguerite looked at each other and both were thinking the same thing: Aimée was going to be all right.

The end