CHAPTER 1

(A/N : I know chapters are a bit short, but this is my first fanfiction. So please give me room to improve. Thanks)

"Don't you look cheery!"

Ned looked up from the pastry dough he was rolling out to find Chuck giving him a concerned look.

"You have black rings under you eyes, you know. You didn't sleep well last night?"

"Well, just tossing and turning." She didn't need to know about the weird dream he had. "Nothing to worry about."

The doorbell rang.

"Oh, customer outside. Back soon." With a toss of her red curls she had exited the kitchen.

Ned let out a sigh and placed the back of his hand on his forehead. No, he definitely wasn't burning up. It was just such a vivid dream that he had last night. He could still smell the perfume that his mother had been wearing…

His thoughts were broken when Chuck burst into the kitchen.

"Are you really all right, Ned?"

"Why… why would you say that?"

"Ummm…"

Ned looked down at the unbaked pastry in front of him and blinked at the sight of moldy, grey berries right in the middle of the dough.

Sighing, he just dumped the whole thing into the dustbin.

"You're not running a fever are you? I've never seen you double touch the fruit."

"Well, there's always a first."

"Oh, now you're being sarcastic?"

Ned looked up at Chuck, who had her arms folded her in front of her, looking a little angry at the last statement he had made.

"I'm sorry, I think I just didn't get enough sleep."

Just then Emerson Cod burst into the kitchen.

"Ned, I've got a new case for you."

"Not right now, Emerson," Ned told him – he still hadn't finished apologizing to Chuck.

"This can't wait, Piemaker," Emerson replied. He looked around.

"Oh great, Deadgirl's here too."

"Oh come on, Pooh bear." Chuck smiled that sweet smile that made Ned swoon and Emerson want to vomit.

"Fine then," Emerson said.

"Ned, it's about your father."