A/N: This is one of my longest and most insane one-shots yet. I apologize ahead of time.
"This is, probably, one of the stupidest ideas you've ever had."
"Why?" Adam grinned over at his girlfriend, smiling at the scowl on her face. "I thought you liked hiking."
"No, that's just your oversized ego putting words in my mouth again."
"You said you liked hiking."
"I said that when we first met, and it was only because I wanted to fuck you."
Adam stopped walking and frowned. "Really?"
"Yes. Really." Mack placed her hands on the small of her back. "Fuck, it hurts already. Are we almost there?"
"I don't know." Adam turned away. "Hey, asshole! Do you have the map?"
"What map?" Matt stopped near them, panting slightly. "I don't have any map."
"We don't have a map?" MacKenzie covered her eyes. "Well, we're going to die."
"No, no, we have a map." Adam whistled. "Mike! Where are you?"
The bushes behind MacKenzie began to rustle; Mike broke through them with a yell that echoed over the mountains. "What?" he asked.
MacKenzie turned around and slapped him. "You fucking scared me!"
"Oh! Oh, wait!" Mike lifted the portable camera up. "Do that again. It was perfect."
"Why do you have a video camera?"
"Because we're going to videotape this." Ali stepped up beside him. "It'll be fun!"
"Fun? This is your idea of fun?" Mack put her hand in front of the lens. "Take that fucking thing away or I'll break it into your eye."
Mike pouted, turning to Matt. "Act scared."
He shrugged, pointing it at Adam. "Where's the map?"
Adam blinked at him. "I asked you if you had it."
"Well, I don't."
MacKenzie groaned and fell onto the log beside her.
Mike started jumping. "Oh! Oh! This is just like that movie!"
"The one with the camera."
Matt scrubbed a hand over his face. "You know, it's bad enough Ali talks like that, but do you have to start?"
"Start?" Mike kissed Ali's cheek, turning the camera toward them with a grin on his face. "This is me and my lovely girlfriend."
"Do we really need to be doing this right now?" Matt stepped toward them. "Mike, turn off the camera."
"No." He hopped away.
"Mike, turn off the camera."
"Mike, I swear to God I'll haul your ass over – "
Matt stopped moving toward Mike, turning to MacKenzie. "What?"
MacKenzie straightened. "Britt. Where's Britt?"
Matt looked behind him. "Britt?"
"Yes, Britt." She stood up. "Where is she?"
Matt's eyes were wide as he did a full circle, practically tripping over his feet as he started retracing his steps. "Britt!"
"Oh, my God." Mack looked at Adam. "She's lost!"
"No, she can't be." Adam took a step toward her, putting his hand on the back of her neck as he looked at Matt. "When did you last see her?"
"She was right behind me!" Matt ran to the brush behind them. "Britt!"
Ali frowned. "What's going on?"
Matt pushed through MacKenzie and Adam, hopping down the rocks to the path they'd just taken. "Brittany! Goddamn it. Britt!"
"Matt, take it easy – "
"I'll tell you to fucking take it easy when she goes missing." Matt jerked his arm away from an approaching Adam. His eyes were shaking as he looked at everyone. "I have to find her. I have to."
"Matt, calm down." Adam pushed his hair back, sighing. "Look, I'll go with you."
"Baby, don't worry." He handed her his stuff, running her hair back slightly. "I don't want him to get lost, too."
"So you'll both get lost?"
"Baby – "
"Look, it's getting dark," Ali put in. "Maybe we should just camp here and like... wait for her. She might've gotten side-tracked."
Adam looked at her, frowning. "But – "
Everyone turned to Matt.
"What if she's hurt?" He gripped at his hair. "Fuck! I need to go. I need to go find her."
"Matt – "
"Don't touch me!" He looked at them, his mouth trembling. "Just... everyone fuck off. Seriously."
MacKenzie grabbed Adam's arm when he took a step toward Matt's retreating back. "Just let him go. He's gonna be a wreck if we try to keep him here."
"But – "
"I don't want you to get lost."
Adam sighed. "All right, all right. We'll camp out here."
Mike put the camera down. "That stuff was pure gold!"
MacKenzie grimaced at him. "You were taping it, you asshole?"
"Yeah! We're gonna make a fortune on this shit!"
"Mind if I sit here?"
MacKenzie looked up from the fire she was staring into and frowned at Adam. He offered her a small smile, playing with the bottle in his hands.
She wiped her nose with the blanket she was wrapped up in, nodding.
He sat clumsily, tossing his arm around her. "You okay?"
Her eyes glazed in the fire. "Matt's been gone for so long."
"He's okay." He took a sip, holding it out.
She shook her head. "He's not okay. Neither is Britt."
"You don't know that."
"Adam, we're in the middle of nowhere."
He sighed, staring at the flames. "Well, Matt's from around here. I'm sure he knows his way around."
"In the middle of the woods?"
"I wouldn't be surprised." He shook her playfully. "Come on, baby, lighten up."
MacKenzie looked away. "I'm scared, Adam."
He let out a gentle breath, pressing his face to her cheek. "You don't have to be. I'm right here. Okay? If anything happens, it has to go through me to even touch you."
"Adam – "
"Just take a deep breath." He pulled her against his side. "Close your eyes."
MacKenzie snuggled in closer. "I hope they come back soon."
"Me too," he murmured. He sighed again.
"Dude." Ali plopped down across from them, barely reaching the top of the flames. "Why the fuck don't we have marshmallows?"
"I know!" Mike stumbled out of the tent set up a couple of feet away from them, crunching something with a disgusted look on his face. "Oh, no, Matt made sure to pack plenty of healthy shit."
"That was me, actually." Adam smiled. "Matt wanted marshmallows, too."
"Well, why the fuck didn't you listen to him?" Ali fixed the hood on her head, smoothing her hair. "He was right for once in his life."
"I'm sorry. Roast some granola."
Mike grimaced at the wrapper in his hands, tossing it in the fire. His eyes danced as he watched it burn. "Cool."
"Michael." Ali leaned toward him. "I'm bored."
"Me too, babe." Mike looked at Adam. "Know any ghost stories?"
Adam turned his head away from MacKenzie, who seemed to be dozing on his chest, and coughed into his fist. "Uh, no. I mean, I don't know if it's the right time to tell ghost stories."
Ali's eyes lit up. "You're afraid, aren't you?"
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are!"
"No, I'm – "
"Wait, wait!" Mike scrambled to his feet, breaking through the tent flaps quickly.
He came back and sat down, holding up the camera. "Okay, keep going."
Adam rolled his eyes. "Dude, put that fucking thing away."
"That's what she said," Mike said mechanically.
Ali grinned at Adam. "Ba dun tish."
He rolled his eyes. "Fucking ridiculous."
"Okay, big shot. If you're not scared, can I tell one?"
"Go right ahead. You won't remember what you're talking about halfway through, so it doesn't even matter."
"Oh, yeah? Get ready, fatso." Ali cracked her knuckles. "Okay, so one time there was this girl. Her name was... Rachel. And when Rachel was very young, her father dragged her out to their summer cabin in the woods and chopped her into pieces."
"But when her father went home, he noticed there were finger marks smeared all through the dust on his windshield."
"Yeah. So, he went into the house like nothing was wrong, but when he went to sleep that night, he heard a tapping at the window. So, when he went to open it..."
"It was his daughter?"
"No, it was a wood pecker. Ha!" Ali motioned playing the drums. "Ba dun tish! The End."
Adam ran a hand down his face. "That was probably the stupidest – "
"Wait!" Mike cocked his ear. "Did you hear that?"
Adam shook his head. "I'm not playing this fucking game right now – "
"No, no!" Mike paused. "There! Did you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Adam held his breath. Softly, very softly, he heard the sounds of leaves crunching. His heart jumped into his throat, but he swallowed it back down. "It's... probably just Matt coming back."
Ali leaned a little closer to Mike. "Michael, if it was a ghost, you'd sacrifice yourself for me, right?"
Mike pulled her closer. "Of course, babe."
A loud snap reverberated throughout the area and Mike screamed, practically pushing Ali into the fire as he dove straight into the tent.
Adam held back a laugh. "Noble man you have there."
"Shut up, Zeus, at least he's not fat."
"It's the beard."
Adam rolled his eyes.
Ali's face froze. "What was that?"
Adam swallowed hard. "It was nothing."
"No, it was definitely something." Ali's chest started heaving as another sound came closer, directly behind Adam. "Mike..." She looked at the tent. "Mike."
He poked his head between the flaps. "I'm not coming out."
"Then let me in."
"What?" Adam demanded, glaring as Ali slid into the tent quietly.
She frowned at him. "Just get in the tent, dude."
"Yeah." Mike's head came up beside Ali's, camera pressed to his eye. "This is getting good."
Adam gave him the finger. "You're scared shitless and you know it."
"Oh, I admit it."
"You're such a – "
Adam's eyes widened. "Wha... What was that?"
Ali disappeared. "I don't know!"
Mike scanned the dark forest.
"Fuck this!" he shouted, and snapped the flaps shut.
Adam willed his heart to slow. It was all just normal, forest noises. Nothing to worry about. He slowly ran his hand over MacKenzie's shoulder. "Baby, wake up."
Mack groaned slightly and shifted, looking up at him blearily. "What's going on?"
"Let's go to bed."
Mack froze. "What was that?"
"Nothing. Let's get in the tent."
"Our tent isn't set up yet!"
"We'll sleep in Mike and Ali's, it's fine." He was practically tearing her arm up to get her off the ground. He jumped when he heard a loud crash. "Fuck! Get up!"
"Adam, what's going on?" she screamed.
"Shh!" Adam flipped her around so her back was pressed against his chest, his hand over her mouth. "Don't scream."
"What's going on?" she asked behind his palm, eyes frightened.
Adam stared into the pitch black trees, putting his arm down slowly. "I don't know, baby."
He shushed her softly, nudging her toward the tent. "Come on, go to – "
MacKenzie let out a ear piercing scream, so loud that a few birds flew out of the trees beside them. Adam latched onto her and covered her mouth again.
"Don't – move."
Mack pointed, whimpering behind his hand.
Adam swallowed the lump in his throat and looked over toward the forest's darkness, feeling his heart jump erratically. Slowly, a furry head poked out of the brush, its black nose sniffing the air around them.
"What is it?" she whispered.
"I'm not sure yet." He blinked. "I can't tell."
Out of the corner of his eye, Adam saw Mike's hands slide the camera out of the tent opening surreptitiously, pointing it in the general direction of where they were.
She pointed. "It's... it's..."
Adam looked over, his heart leaving his throat, dropping all the way to the pit of his stomach. A massive, black bear lumbered out of the woods, grunting slightly, slapping his huge paws against the wet ground as he headed toward the fire.
MacKenzie started screaming behind Adam's hand.
"Shut up!" he hissed. He kept her as still as he could, even though his arms were shaking. "Just stay still. He won't bother us."
The bear meandered over to the box of granola bars Mike had left sitting out, nosing his way into them with a curious look on his face.
"You need to listen to me very carefully," Adam whispered in MacKenzie's ear. "Can you do that for me?"
She nodded frantically.
"Good. If he does anything sudden, stands up, looks like he's going to attack us, I want you to forget about me and either go into the tent or run for it. Got it?"
"Adam – "
"No. I promised you, remember? It has to go through me before it even touches you. I won't let you get hurt."
"Adam," she whimpered.
"Promise me." His eyes pleaded. "Please."
MacKenzie nodded, swallowing hard. "Okay."
The bear looked up suddenly, crunching on one of the wrappers that was sticking out, and directly at Adam. He licked his chops and cocked his head.
"He's looking at us," Mack whispered hysterically.
"I know. Just remember what I said." He kissed her temple. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
The bear grunted and wandered over to them, sniffing at Adam's knees. He hoped they weren't shaking as hard as he thought they were.
Mike's head popped out slightly. His eyes widened. "Adam!"
Adam bared his teeth and waved his hand. "Shut up!"
"Holy shit!" Mike disappeared, then came back holding an apple. "Hold on, I'm gonna distract it!"
"No, don't worry." Mike swallowed hard when the bear looked at him curious. "I'm just gonna throw the apple into the woods so he'll follow it."
"Mike – "
"Hi, bear. Wow, you're... really big... " Mike held up the apple. "Do you like apples?"
One of the bear's ears lifted slightly.
"Yeah, you do. You like apples. Go get the apple! Go get it!" Mike tossed the apple into the air, but it went a few feet too shot, and bopped the bear straight on the nose.
The bear roared loudly and lashed back, standing up on its hind legs defensively.
Adam hurled Mack behind him. "Run!"
"I can't, Adam!"
"Get the fuck out of here!" He held his hand back. "I don't want you to get hurt!"
"I don't want you – "
"MacKenzie!" Adam shoved her. "Go!"
The bear was still roaring, his paws up as he faced the sky with his glistening teeth.
Mike held open the tent slightly. "Mack! In here!"
MacKenzie looked at Adam, eyes shaking.
"Will you go?" Adam pushed. "Go!"
Mack let out a tiny sob as Mike ushered her into the tent. He turned back to Adam, an apologetic smile on his face. "My bad, man."
Adam clenched his fist. "If I don't die, I'm going to rip your head off and feed it to this thing."
Mike lifted the camera. "You'll die a hero, man."
Adam looked up at the bear that was a good foot taller than he was. The bear was growling angrily. "Calm down, bear. We... mean you no harm."
The bear stopped growling, making an inquisitive noise.
Adam was nodding, holding up his hands. "We come in peace."
The bear licked its mouth, stepping forward slightly.
Adam cringed. "We won't hurt you. I promise."
The bear cocked his head.
"Take everything. Seriously."
He growled slightly.
"We're nice people. Don't hurt us."
The bear slowly leaned forward, then lifted its paw, batting Adam's face lightly. He turned and fell back onto all fours, going back into the woods.
Adam stood there, frozen.
Mike's mouth was practically on the ground. "Dude. You just talked a bear down!"
Ali stuck her head out. "What?"
"He just talked a bear down! Like it understood him!" Mike shook the camera. "I have it all on tape!"
MacKenzie pushed through them and hurled herself at Adam, gripping at his face, pulling his hair, touching his chest. "Adam! Adam, are you all right?"
His eyes quickly averted to hers, then back to their original, glazed state.
Her face fell. "Adam?"
He blinked, his pupils rolling back before he thumped to the ground.
MacKenzie screamed. "Adam!"
Mike was already scrambling out, camera taping. "This is the best night ever!"
"Oh, my God!"
Everyone turned to the woods, blinking when Britt and Matt stepped out, holding hands.
Britt's eyes were wide. "What happened to Adam?"
"We just... There was a bear! And it... Adam talked it down! Like it was... like it was people!"
Matt blinked. "That was very intelligent, Mike."
"He, and I..." He shook the camera, making a disgruntled noise.
Ali came out, tugging at her hood. "Adam talked him down because the bear confused him as one of his own."
Britt started laughing. "A distant cousin, I presume."
"I guess." Ali came over and kicked his side. "Hey, asshole. Wake up."
Adam slowly started rolling his head, his eyes shifting underneath the closed lids. "MacKenzie?"
Mack dropped to her knees. "Oh, God. Baby, I'm here. Are you okay?"
"Did I... Am I dreaming?"
"No. We're still in the woods."
"Oh." Adam sat up slowly, looking at everyone. "What happened?"
"You communicated with a bear," Ali said bluntly.
Adam frowned, rubbing the back of his head. "Oh."
MacKenzie started pulling him up. "Come on, baby. Let's get to bed."
"Okay." He let Mack shuffle him inside, but he nearly tore the tent down when he heard a noise. "What was that?"
MacKenzie cocked her ear.
She shrugged, sending Ali a slight smile when she climbed in as well. "Probably just an owl."
Ali grinned. "Or Ric Flair."
A/N: Probably my best work yet. Review.