(It all starts with a)



Chapter Ten:

The next day started quite suddenly for Noah when he was hit in the head with one of the newly-carved chunks of wood Duncan had piled up beside him. The delinquent had carved his skull into many wood pieces and was planning on throwing the stack at Noah until the other woke up. Of course, Duncan was greatly displeased when his company woke up after only one hit.

"What are you doing?" Noah demanded, sitting up with a glare as he rubbed his head. He didn't bother looking for whatever Duncan had hit him with. He probably didn't want to know what it was.

Duncan grinned and crawled over to Noah, tipping the other's chin up with a finger. He was about to say something provocative when a loud voice interrupted them from outside.

"HEY DUNCAN!!!" Cody's voice called, "Duncan, hey Duncan!!!!! You in there??????"

Duncan frowned, letting go of Noah and heading over to the zipper of the tent. He pulled it open a bit and stuck his head out, "This isn't the best time. Come back later." Duncan pulled his head back in and was about to zip the flap back up when Cody's hand grabbed hold of his green Mohawk and pulled his head back outside.

"But this is important! It can't wait!" Cody insisted. He didn't want Duncan being alone with Noah; he knew how cute Noah looked when the boy just woke up. Cody knew that if Duncan was left with Noah for a few more minutes, something would go down. Cody could not let that happen.

Duncan was overly annoyed. Noah was extra cute when he was half asleep, and Duncan wanted to enjoy it. And yet he wasn't even looking at the smart teen, the convict had his head outside of the tent. Cody was taking away Duncan's Noah time. Where was the justice in that?

Duncan frowned and growled at Cody, who let go of him quickly, "I don't have anything to say to you," Duncan snapped.

Cody was beginning to feel fear boiling up inside of him. He really was intimidated by Duncan.

Okay, he was completely terrified of the other teen. Cody hated being around the delinquent when he was mad...

But he had to remember his mission. It was all-important, "Well since Geoff is out, I want you to be my new partner!!" Cody exclaimed, putting his hands out for emphasis.

"Thanks for the offer, but no."

"Oh come on! I make a good teammate!" Cody did a thumbs-up.

"I already picked a teammate."

"Then we could be a group of three! Come on, I know there's room in that tent for me!" Cody could fit right in between Duncan and Noah...

"Look, I'm just not interested. Find someone else," Duncan drawled.

Cody frowned. He'd known that it would be difficult, but he had to have a reason to stick around somehow. He had to find some reason he couldn't leave the two alone together.

And yet, he wasn't coming up with anything.

Just as Cody was beginning to panic, a smooth voice rang out behind him.

"Hey Cody! What are you doing?" Courtney.

"Hey, Duncan. Long time no see!" Heather.

Cody visibly relaxed once by Heather's side. They couldn't talk to each other, but just having her there as moral support was good. He could handle that.

"I was just trying to team up with Duncan and Noah," Cody told Courtney.

"Nice! I think we should all team up into one huge team," Courtney said matter-of-factly, "I was a CIT, I would know. The best way to work is have a large team, have some teamwork, and split into groups all with certain jobs fitted to the individuals."

"Ah, well... I don't know..." Cody was doubtful. He was sure the two girls had a plan, but he didn't exactly know where their plan was leading. And he wasn't sure he liked the idea of them having a plan.

Heather was the next to speak, "Duncan, what do you say?"

Duncan frowned at Heather, "No thanks; I don't want to work with you."

Heather sighed, "Well you wouldn't have to work with me. You could work with Courtney or Cody, too."

"Why wouldn't I just work with Noah?"

"Because obviously Noah and I have more in common," Courtney stated, "We're very smart and I think that if we got the clues, we would be able to decode them. Let Noah and I work on figuring out the clues and Duncan can get the objects after we know where to go. Heather can help Duncan. Cody can search for clues. We'll have everyone doing a job; it'll be perfect!"

"Doesn't sound perfect to me," Noah grumbled. He didn't like Courtney very much.

"Courtney, I think you talked to your own team right there," Cody pointed out, "You can't talk to Duncan."

The teens waited in silence, expecting Chris to yell out her disqualification. Noah was silently praying in his mind, hoping that the annoying girl would be gotten rid of.

Chris sighed, "Do you have a three?"

Chef frowned, "You're cheating!" he accused as he slammed his two on the table.

Chris grinned, taking the two and matching his last card, "No, I just rock at Go Fish." He decided not to mention to Chef that he'd asked for a three. The large man just wasn't very good with numbers...

Chef grumbled to himself, then saw on one of the many screens four teens talking, "Hey Chris, they look like they're talking to each other. Should you listen in and disqualify some of them?"

Chris shrugged, "Nah. As long as they think I'm watching, they won't talk to their own teammates. Is it your deal this time or mine?"

"Yours, sir."


"Well I guess he's giving me a break for being UNFAIRLY CHEATED OFF last season," Courtney griped.

"Oh get over it already," Noah groaned as he changed his clothes. He figured that if Duncan's head was outside of the tent, the delinquent wouldn't notice him dressing. It was perfect timing.

"So then we're agreed!" Heather stated happily, clapping her hands together.

"Cody, go clue searching!" Courtney ordered, pointing away from the small clearing Duncan had chosen for his tent.

"Why me? Where are the clues supposed to be?" Cody whined. It was an island; how was he supposed to locate a clue? They could be hidden ANYWHERE.

"We'll all search at first," Heather explained, grabbing Duncan and yanking him out of the tent. She pulled him off into the woods; "We're looking in this direction!" she called back.

Cody sighed, happy that Duncan was gone. Still, he couldn't talk to Noah. Instead, he walked in the opposite direction that Heather went in. He'd start looking for clues in that direction, if only because he didn't want to meet up with Duncan.

Courtney put her hands on her hips, "Okay, Noah! Get your butt out here and let's start searching! We've got a lot of clues to find and all day, so let's get at it!"

Noah was inside the tent, his eyes closed as he stayed curled in his sleeping bag. He hoped that if she thought he was sleeping, Courtney would go without him.

"Get up!" Courtney called once she looked into the tent, seeing Noah asleep.

"Get up I said!" Courtney bellowed, climbing into the tent and grabbing the bottom of Noah's sleeping bag. She tugged the bag and Noah out of the tent with force, pulling the brunette along behind her in the sack as she walked into the woods.

"I guess you'll be able to see clues if they're low to the ground this way," Courtney stated.

Noah was riding along in his sleeping bag, trying not to fall out of it as it slid over logs and rocks and other bumpy things. It was a painful ride, but then again he didn't feel like walking so he decided to deal with it.

"What is your problem, Heather? I don't want to look for clues with you, that's why you're not my partner."

"Just because I'm not your partner doesn't mean we can't look together, Dunkie. Besides, it's only for today. Tomorrow we'll have enough clues to get started on collecting the objects and building whatever it is that we have to." Her voice was laced with a sick, fake innocence. Duncan growled.

"Don't call me 'Dunkie' ever again, and I'll put up with you for only today."

"Sweet. I knew you'd come around." Heather punched him lightly on the shoulder as the delinquent glared off ahead of them. Oh how he hated Heather...

Heather glanced at Duncan every once in a while, deciding when she would make her move. Would it be better to simply kiss him? Or throw herself onto him and try to make out? Or should she find an audience and then kiss him? Or should she find an audience and make it look like he started it? Decisions, decisions.

She liked the audience idea, and having him look at fault worked too. Heather grinned evilly as her eyes bore into Duncan's back. Yes, she'd have her fun. She couldn't wait to break up his little fling with Noah.