Title: Hurt

Author: Shellie

Category: Scott/Shelby

Disclaimer: None of the Higher Ground characters belong to me. (sniff, sniff) Please mommy, I only want one!

Summary: Shelby gets hurt during a hike, but doesn't tell anyone. She thinks that no one will care. Of course we all know that's not true.

Rating: hmm K, I guess.

It was so hot. Shelby thought that they would never stop walking. It had been Peter's idea to go on a hike and he had forced her into going.

She looked over at Scott. He was covered in sweat, but somehow still managed to look sexy.

It had been almost a week since their stupid fight. She couldn't even remember what it was about.

"Okay everyone, we're here. Set up your tents and then we'll start a campfire," Peter said.

Shelby quickly put up her tent and went for a walk. She had to think.

The truth was that she missed Scott, but it was like he didn't even care about her anymore. Soon he would probably start calling her a skank or whore again. She didn't know if she could handle it if he did.

She had been walking for a few minutes when she decided to head back.

She was almost back, when the ground moved from under her and before she knew it, she was at the bottom of the hill.

Shelby felt like she had been hit by a truck. She slowly got up, leaning against a tree. Her whole body ached. She had to get back to her tent. Her knee was throbbing. She limped back to the campsite and snuck into her tent. She began to see what injuries she had sustained.

Her knee was badly bruised, her arms and legs were covered with cuts and bruises, her forehead had a cut which was bleeding profusely with bruising just starting to appear around it and her stomach was just about killing her. She slowly lifted up her top to see that her ribs were bruised and there were small scratches bleeding a little bit, but amongst them, there was a big cut.

She got a towel from her pack and held it against her stomach to stop it from bleeding. She then got out another towel and her water bottle, put some water on the towel and started to clean up the blood on her forehead.

She was in so much pain she could hardly move.

After getting out her first aid kit, she bandaged up her knee and ribs and put a small gauze pad over her forehead. She then arranged her hair so that it covered it.

Taking some painkillers, Shelby got into her sleeping bag.

"Shelby!" She heard Peter call out. "It's time for group."

"I've got a headache," she called out weakly. "I'm just gonna go to sleep."

She listened as Peter yelled, "Okay" and left.

She didn't want to tell him what happened. He didn't really like her that much and he would probably think that she was overreacting. And she couldn't tell Scott. He probably wouldn't care. He wouldn't even talk to her.

She slowly closed her eyes and fell asleep.

"Well guys, Shelby says she has a headache, so it'll just be us."

Scott was worried. It wasn't like Shelby to just go to bed with a headache. Usually she would come out and complain about it. It must be bad then. He had really missed her since their fight. He had wanted to talk to her, but wasn't sure how to say sorry to her.

"Okay everyone. Lets do it. I'll start off. I feel relaxed," said Peter.

He passed to 'sharing stick' to Kat.

"I feel tired."

(To David)

"I feel stupid."

(To Ezra)

"I feel bored."

(To Juliette)

"I feel wonderful."

(To Auggie)

"I feel exhausted."

(To Daisy)

"I feel peachy," she said rolling her eyes.

(To Scott)

"I feel worried."

Peter nodded. "Now why we feel that way. I feel relaxed because I'm out here in the wilderness."

(Kat)

"I feel tired because I've been walking all day."

(David)

"I feel stupid doing this activity."

(Ezra)

"I'm the same as David. I feel bored doing this stupid exercise."

Peter gave him a look and Ezra slouched back.

(Juliette)

"I feel wonderful because things are finally looking up for me."

(Auggie)

"I feel exhausted because I've been walking a lot and I just want to go to bed."

(Daisy)

"I feel peachy because why wouldn't I? Here in the middle of nowhere," she said sarcastically.

(Scott)

"I feel worried because I feel as though something isn't right with someone I care about."

After a few moments of silence, Peter stood up and said "Okay, that was good. You can all now go to bed. Remember, we're leaving early tomorrow so sleep well cliffhangers."

There were some grumbles, but everyone went off in their own different direction, toward their tent.

As Shelby woke up, pain throbbed all over her body. She knew that she would have to get up now if she wanted to get ready and pack up their tent before they left. She was going to be very slow.

Carefully, she got up, changed her bandages and got dressed.

As she was taking down her tent, she saw Scott walking towards her. He saw that she was having some trouble and wanted to help. Shelby watched as he approached her.

"Do you need some help?" he asked.

She nodded, keeping her head down. She and Scott packed up the tent quickly.

Scott noticed that she was more quiet than usual and was beginning to really worry. He could hardly see her face as she had her hair covering it. Something was definitely not right. He began to feel guilty. Could it have been because of their fight?

"Okay, is everyone packed up? It's time to leave."

Scott rolled his eyes. Peter was just too excited about hiking.

He looked over at Shelby and saw that she was having trouble with her pack. He noticed she was holding her stomach. Maybe she had hurt herself.

'No,' he thought to himself. 'If she was hurt, she would have told somebody.'

"Do you need help?" he asked as he picked up her pack.

She nodded and allowed Scott to help her. He heard her whisper a soft

"Thank you."

He was about to say something when Peter began leading them deeper into the forest.

Out of nowhere, Peter suddenly stopped. Shelby was secretly glad. Her knee and ribs were so sore. Everyone else was annoyed. Peter noticed all the angry faces and quickly explained.

"Okay guys, we're splitting up. Juliette, your with Auggie. Daisy's with Kat, David's with Ezra and Scott's with Shelby. There will be no funny business. I will be checking on you. No sex, no drugs, no breaking the rules. Okay?"

Peter gave them all maps and instructions and then let them go off in different directions.

When Scott and Shelby reached their campsite, they put up their tents and Scott began to start his dinner.

"Shelby?" he called out. "Are you going to start cooking now?"

Her head poked out of her tent, her hair still covering her face.

"No, I'm not really hungry."

With that, she went back inside her tent and zipped it up.

Scott was eating his food when Peter came to check up on them.

"Hey Scott, where's Shelby?" he asked, looking around.

"She's in her tent. She wasn't hungry. I think she's sick."

Peter frowned.

"Okay, well if she gets bad, you know where I'll be. For now, behave. I have to go check on Juliette and Auggie. I'll see you tomorrow."

Then he left.

Scott finished eating and cleaned up. Then he went over to Shelby's tent.

"Shelby?" he called out.

He heard moving and then heard her say

"Yes?"

He unzipped her tent and got in. She was sitting, but still in her sleeping bag. He sat down across from her.

After a few seconds of silence, Scott finally said "Look, Shelby, I'm really sorry about our fight. It was so stupid. I don't even remember what it was about."

Shelby smiled.

"Neither do I," she replied.

"Does this mean you forgive me?"

She looked at him and said, "Only if you forgive me."

That made Scott grin. He went to brush the hair out of her face, but she pulled back. Scott frowned.

"What? What is it?"

Shelby looked away. Now that they were back together, she was going to have to tell him anyway or he would find out. She slowly brushed back her hair and Scott was confused to see a gauze pad on her forehead. He gently took it off and was shocked to see the cut and bruise that was there. It looked really bad.

"What happened?" he asked quietly.

"I fell," she whispered.

Scott almost didn't hear her.

"How?"

"I was walking and the next thing I knew, I was at the bottom of a hill among rocks and in a lot of pain," she said.

"So you didn't just hurt your head?" he said, worried.

She shook her head.

"Please," he asked. "Let me see."

Shelby showed him her knee, her arms and legs and finally, her ribs. She heard Scott gasp. She had to close her eyes. She didn't want to see the look on his face. She felt Scott's hand on her cheek and then his lips on hers. She kissed him back as they laid down. Scott looked down at her.

"Are you sure?" he asked.

She nodded. They continued to kiss. He was worried that he would hurt her, but saw the look in her eyes and couldn't stop. He would just have to be careful.

As Shelby woke up, she rolled over to come face-to-face with Scott. He grinned.

"Hey."

She smiled and said "Hey. How long have you been watching me?"

Scott shrugged.

"About ten minutes."

He looked down at his watch.

"Damn it. I better get back to my tent before Peter gets here."

Shelby nodded.

Before Scott could leave, Shelby stopped him.

"Please, don't say anything to Peter about me hurting myself. I just don't want him to know."

Scott frowned.

"But they look pretty bad."

"I'll be fine," she said.

Scott nodded.

"Okay, I won't say a word."

"Thank you."

Scott went back to his tent, put some other clothes on and walked out to see Peter talking to Shelby, who had also gotten dressed and had her hair down, half covering her face.

"Hey Peter," Scott said.

"Morning Scott. I was just telling Shelby that we're gonna get packed up and walk some more today."

Scott's thoughts stopped. What about Shelby? Could she walk any further with her injuries?

"Uh, Peter," Scott said. "I don't know if that's a good idea. I mean, Shelby wasn't feeling too good last night."

"I'm sure she'll be fine. Won't you Shel?"

Shelby silently nodded.

"Okay then, you two get packed up and we'll all meet at the clearing where we split up in two hours."

With that, Peter left.

As Shelby was packing up, Scott watched her. He could tell that she was in a lot of pain. Shelby could tell he was staring her. She turned around and faced him.

"What?" she asked him.

He sighed.

"I wish you would just tell Peter. I'm really worried about you."

She smiled.

"Thank you. It means a lot to me to know you care, but don't worry. I'll be fine. I was hurt yesterday, and I did okay. Today won't be any different."

Shelby went back to packing.

Two hours later Scott and Shelby were standing with everyone in the clearing. Scott could tell that Shelby was hurting and was debating whether to tell Peter or not. He didn't want to betray her trust, but he wanted to help her, and Peter would know what to do.

They began to make their way back, and Shelby was beginning to lag behind. Scott was walking slowly to walk with her, and keep an eye on her. She stumbled and Scott reached out to catch her.

"Shel, I really think we should tell Peter. We're almost back, and he can get a doctor to take a look at you."

Shelby closed her eyes to stop her head from spinning. Scott was right.

"Scott, I think… I think you might be right. I…"

Shelby didn't finish the sentence, she went slack in Scott's arms. Scott began to panic.

"Shelby? Shelby, wake up! Peter!"

Scott gently lay her down on the ground while calling for Peter. Peter came running over and knelt next to Scott.

"What happened?" he asked, worried.

"She collapsed. Yesterday she fell and hurt herself, and didn't tell anyone. She needs a doctor."

Gently picking her up, Peter carried her with the rest of the Cliffhangers hurrying behind him, concerned about Shelby.

The first thing Shelby was aware of was of a hand running through her hair. Slowly opening her eyes, she was greeted with the sight of Scott leaning over her bed, a big smile on his face.

"You're awake! Thank God. How are you feeling?"

Shelby couldn't help but smile back.

"Tired. A little sore."

Scott sat down on the chair next to the bed, and held her hand in both of his.

"Peter can't believe you walked all that way hurt, especially with your knee."

"Is he mad?"

Scott shook his head.

"Nah. Just surprised that you didn't tell him you were hurt. The Doctor said that you would be fine in a few days. Lots of rest."

Unable to suppress a yawn, Shelby covered her mouth with her free hand.

"Why don't you try and get more sleep? Peter will be coming by soon to check on you," Scott suggested.

"Will you stay with me?"

Shelby didn't want to sound too desperate, but she didn't want to be alone, and she trusted Scott more than she had ever trusted anyone.

Scott grinned.

"I'm not going anywhere."

Knowing that Scott wasn't going to leave her, Shelby closed her eyes, and quickly drifted off to sleep.

Scott watched her as she slept, and wondered how he got so lucky to have Shelby in his life. But one thing was for sure. He was going to make sure that he never lost her.

THE END