Chapter 2

Roxane had brought Dustfinger's body somewhere and buried it. She hadn't told anyone where Dustfinger's grave was yet, but Meggie knew sooner or later she'd tell someone. And as soon as she did the news would travel like plague. Farid had done everything he could to convince Roxane otherwise, but seeing as she loated him more then anything else in her world, she wasn't about to give in to him. Fraid was frantic as he watched her leave, and although Meggie desperately wanted to soothe him, she didn't know what to say. Besides, whenever she tried soothing him, she usually made it worse. So she simply kept her voice to herself. Farid still hated Roxane with every fiber of his being - he didn't even try to hide it. Meggie couldn't help but smile when the two of them exchanged glances. The hate between them was so strong she somehow found it funny. She couldn't explain it.

The seven of them - Mo, Farid, Fenoglio, Resa, Orpheus, Fenoglio and Meggie herself - had walked back to Ombra. The journey hadn't taken long - a mere three days. And since Orpheus was so keen on seeing everything there was to the Wayless Wood, they were stalled longer. Farid had tried to get them all to move faster, but Orpheus wouldn't hear of it. He was going to see as much as he wanted or he wouldn't bring Dustfinger back. With an angry grunt, Farid had succumed and stopped trying to get everyone to go faster. He hadn't said why he wanted to get to Ombra as soon as possible, but Meggie knew. He wanted to get there before Roxane so he could follow her and find the location of Dustfinger's grave. He probably would've been able to do so if it had not been for Orpheus. Even the old man Fenoglio had no problem keeping up with everyone else. He was very capeable for an old man.

The seven of them had found a place to live. Fenoglio had gone back to Minerva, and everyone else stuck together on edge of the Wayless Wood. They stayed with the strolling players - with the Black Prince. Meggie could see Farid didn't like being with such a big group of people, but what else could they do? Besides, there were safety in numbers. But Farid hadn't seemed to take this into consideration. He preferred being with one or two other people - when he had been just with Dustfinger and Meggie herself, and she knew that. She preferred not to have such a big group of people as well, but there was really nothing they could do. Where else could they go, anyway?

Farid and Meggie had gone off on a walk, and had found a medium-sized stream. The water was cool and refreshing against the hot summer heat, but neither of them went in. They only sat down on its bank and stuck their feet into it, watching as it rushed by their feet. Meggie lloked over to Farid and studied him for a moment. His dark hair was wet with perspiration, as was his forhead. He wasn't sweating too much, but just right. He wraped his arms around his knees, set his head on his arms, and stared into the water. Meggie herself was supporting her body with her hands, like on the beach. She was leaning back, depending on the streangth of her arms to hold her up.

Why did Meggie see Farid as a different person now? Was it because he was supposed to be dead and Dustfinger was still supposed to be alive, or was it only because they were together now? So many thoughts like this were running through her head, she didn't know exactly what to think. Did she really love Farid, or did he do all the work? After all, he had kissed her first - and every time they had kissed. She never kissed him back, so did that really mean she loved him? There were so many questions running through her head it began to swim.

Suddenly, Meggie remembered Elinor and Darius on Earth. What were they thinking, and how long had it been? Meggie hadn't been keeping track of time, so all the days just seemed to mold into one another. And also, did time go by differently here? Meggie couldn't be sure, seeing as this story was supposed to take place in some sort of Middle Ages, so they had no real technology like Earth. She vaguley wondered if Elinor was steeming mad with her, Resa, and Mo by now, for leaving her there on Earth.

Meggie found she was thinking more deeply then she wanted, for when Farid said something she didn't hear him. She did the second time, however. "Why are you so silent?" He asked her. "And why are you staring at me?"

Meggie blinked, gently shook her head to clear her thoughts. She answered him with another question. "Do you see me differently, Farid?"

Farid studied her for a moment, as if to be sure she had asked what he thought she did. Then he fell silent for a moment before answering her. "What do you mean?"

"Well, Dustfinger brought you back from the dead, and it seems as if you never died, but Dustfinger did." - Here Farid flinched at the memories - "And for some reason you seem like a different person when I look at you."

Farid was silent for a moment, thinking over her words. He shook his head. "No, you don't seem different to me."

Meggie sighed, looked into her own reflection in the stream. She didn't look like the same girl she had seen the last time she looked in one of Elinor's mirrors. Had it been that long that she had changed so much she barely recognised herself anymore? Or was it simply because she hadn't seen her own reflection that long? Meggie studied her reflection a little longer. Her hair was matted and messy and she had dirt all over her face. How could she go this long without people telling her something? Meggie started using her fingers to comb through her hair and using the water of the stream to wach her face. She looked as though she had gotten out of bed and rolled around in the dirt! Didn't people think poorly of her looking that way? And why on earth hadn't Farid said anything?!!

Beside her, she heard Farid give a small chuckle at her reaction to the way she looked. "Women and their appearences..."

Meggie looked over to him, astonished. "Farid! Why didn't you tell me I looked so bad?"

Farid shrugged. "You didn't ask."

Meggie playfully punched his arm. "I look like a friggin' hobo!"

"You don't look like a hobo," he replied gently, helping her. "I think you're always beautiful." To this she blushed, looked away. Farid gently went through her hair, sorting out the knots and cutting out the mats. "Where I came from," He began, "everyone looked like this, so I didn't think you'd hate it. So I didn't say anything." Meggie now understood him.

"But why didn't anyone else say anything?"

"Who has the time or money look after their appearence? All they're worried about is living another day. This isn't Earth, Meggie." Meggie fell silent. It felt odd when Farid called her by her name, why she didn't know. It was like when she called Mo Dad. It was just one of those things she wasn't used to.

Meggie engoyed the thought of Farid going through her hair, fixing it to look better. She watched their reflections in the stream, but she was more looking at Farid. He looked very nice...Did he really love her? The question came back to her like a boomerang. She couldn't get her mind off it. The question kept eating at her, and she needed to answer it. It was her way of things, a rather bad habbit. After a long moment of just thinking and watching Farid go through her hair, Meggie burst out, "Farid, do you love me?"

At first, Farid didn't know what to say. Why not? Meggie asked herself. There's nothing wrong with that question, right? For a moment he was silent, still going through her hair, then replied, "Why are you asking?"

"Just wondering," She looked at him through the reflection.

"Of course I love you. I would never have kissed you if I didn't love you." What he said was true, and Meggie hadn't thought of it. She nodded gentley, wondering why she hadn't thought of that before. He had saved her from danger - probably danger that could've brought death - and he put her on the top of his priorities.

Meggie began cleaning off her face and saw just how dirty it really was. She frowned and scrubbed her face as hard as she could - she hated it looking as if she hadn't washed it in years. After a while, she started seeing her actual self beneath all the dirt and grime. She started to look more and more familiar again until she was her old self again. Then it couldn't have been more then a year ago when Dustfinger had died.

She hated thinking about it, Dustfinger's death. He had sacrificed himself for Farid, yes, but that was probably why she looked at him so differently now. Because Dustfinger would never give his life for anyone but Farid, maybe not even Roxane. For someone like Dustfinger to do that was a huge blessing, but Farid seemed not to care about this. All he cared about was bringing Dustfinger back, avenging him. But was it possible? Oh, of course it was. All they had to do was get Orpheus to write a small script where Dustfinger somehow comes back to live, and then either he, Meggie, or Mo could read from it and bring Dustfinger back. But could they actually bring back the dead? Fenoglio hadn't been able to do it himself. But, then again, he hadn't really tried. But even with the ability to read beings from books, the idea seemed impossible. But Meggie shared none of this with Farid. He'd only get angry.

Farid stopped and looked at Meggie in the stream. "You're truly beautiful." He whispered in her ear, smiling. She smiled back, pushed the hair behind her ear on her right side. Having someone she wasn't related to tell her she was beautiful was an odd new experiance, but she liked it. It gave her a good feeling of being wanted, not just wanting. And although she enjoyed Farid telling her she was beautiful, she still found herself blushing when he did. But either way, she couldn't help but love it.

Meggie sat upright, Farid adjusted with her. She wrapped her arms around his neck, he bent down and kissed her cheek. The two of them giggled, thinking over their still young relationship. She liked Farid's company and could tell he liked hers as well. It was as though they were meant for each other, as though Mo had known all along to read him out of the Tales of a Thousand and One Nights. She felt right with Farid, as if he was all she needed in life. She was complete with him.

Meggie sighed, moved her arms from around Farid's neck. He backed off as well, went back to sitting beside her. All fell silent between the two of them for a long time.


A/n

I know that's a sudden end but I couldn't think of anything else, and it's late and I have to go to bed for school. (Damn school!) Well, I need opinions and feedback here, so please do review!