Title: Hunted

Author: Sarge

E-Mail: Shalimarfox2@aol.com

Rating: PG-13/R(not sure yet)

Content Warning: The mentioning of rape.

Summary: Brennan and Shalimar go on a peaceful walk in the woods…yeah, uh huh, when pigs fly or when Eckhart becomes good.

Status: Work in progress

Disclaimer: They're not mine.(Dangit!!)

Author's Notes: After having the ever so evil "Brain Block"(what I like to call writer's block) for about a month and a half, I have come up with this. I really hope you all like it. PLEASE REVIEW!!! Good or bad.

   "I can't believe I allowed you to talk me into this, Shal," Brennan huffed as he followed his blonde companion down a trail in the middle of a thick forest.

   "Oh, come on, Brennan. You've got to admit that this is great. I mean, it's just you and nature. Nothing else," Shalimar said cheerfully and whirled around with her arms open wide.

   "Actually, I find it quite annoying," Brennan replied as he blindly swatted at an offending mosquito. "Remember, you have those feral genes that make you love the outdoors. Me, I would be more content to curl up with a book and just relax."

   "I think I would still love being outdoors even if I weren't feral," she said with a small smile as she began to walk backwards so she could face Brennan as they talked.

   "Besides, if you hadn't of come with me, you and I would be stuck at Sanctuary doing work for Adam. He would have never let me go on my own…Which I think is lame because I can easily take care of myself."

    Just as the words were out of her mouth, she stepped on a patch of ground that wasn't inclined to carry her wait. She immediately fell through and plummeted several feet until she came to a very abrupt stop. She laid there in shock for a moment before deciding to move. She sat up and tested each of her limbs. When she got to her right ankle, she let out a small yelp as pain shot up her leg. It was just then that she heard Brennan calling her name from up above.

   "Shalimar, are you ok?" he asked in concern.

   Shalimar looked up to see that she had fallen a good 15-20 feet. "Yeah," she replied weakly as she sent Brennan a small smile.

   "And I thought you said you could take care of yourself," he quipped. "Well anyway, did you bring the rope because we have to get you out of there," he said.

   Shalimar gave him a strange look. "Brennan, I'm feral," she began. "I can run up walls. This little pit is going to stop me."

   "Yeah, I guess you're right. Just be careful."

   "Yes Dad," Shalimar replied as she slowly stood up and gingerly tested her ankle. As soon as she put it to the ground, pain shot back up her leg.

    "Shal, are you sure you're ok?" Brennan asked when her saw her wince.

   "Yeah, I think I just twisted my ankle. It's nothing to worry about," she answered as she wiped her damp, sticky hands on her pants. 'Wait a minute,' Shalimar thought to herself. 'Damp and sticky? Why are my hands damp and sticky?' It was just then that she recognized an all too familiar smell. She made her eyes go feral as she looked around the pit. It was just as she expected...It was blood. Taking off her backpack, she opened it and began looking for a flashlight. Not finding one, she called up to Brennan.

   "Hey Brennan? Did you remember to bring a flashlight?"

   "Yeah, why?" he replied.

   "Just throw it down to me so I can show you something," she told him.

   "Ok," he said as he pulled the flashlight from his backpack and threw it down to Shalimar.

   She turned it on and shined it on the ground.

   "Is that what I think it is?" Brennan asked as he looked down at where Shalimar was shining the light.

   "Yup," she replied. "It's blood and it's everywhere."

   "Including all over you," Brennan said with a grimace.

   Shalimar looked down at her clothes to see that she was covered in the blood. Immediately feeling uneasy, she took her jacket off and dropped it. Then she made a fruitless attempt to wipe the rest off of her other clothing.

   "Maybe it's bait for an animal or something," Brennan suggested.

   "No, I don't think so," Shalimar answered as she shook her head. "It's not even animal blood."

   "What do you mean?"

   "It's human. I can smell the difference," she replied as she knelt down as examined the ground. "The dirt is loose. Something's been buried under here," she said as she began to dig, but then suddenly she stopped.

   "What do you see?" Brennan asked from above.

   Shalimar backed away slightly as she said, "It's a woman and…" she swallowed hard, "she's dead."

   "Dead?" he questioned, immediately feeling a sense of unease.

   "Yeah, she's umm…been murdered. Her throat's been slit," Shalimar said, her voice quivering slightly.

   Just then, Brennan heard a twig snap and faint voices coming towards them.

   "Shalimar, get out of there," he ordered.

   Shalimar didn't even look at him, she was still staring at the dead woman.

   "Shalimar!! Get out! Someone's coming," he said urgently.

   That caught her attention. She snapped her head up in Brennan's direction and after seeing the almost desperate look on his face, she dropped the flashlight and slowly stood up. Crouching down low, she launched herself toward the top of the pit and grabbed onto the edge. Usually she would have made it up and out in one leap, but with her injured ankle, it made it a little harder. Brennan grabbed her by her wrists and pulled her out. Just as he helped her stand up, a gun went off and the bullet hit the tree next to them.

   "Uh..I think that's our cue to run," Brennan said quickly, ducking as another bullet flew over their head.

   "I don't think I can run," Shalimar admitted as she indicated to her injured ankle.

   "Well, you know what? I'll help you," he replied as he wrapped his arm around her waist and then the two took off. After a little bit of running, they seemed to have lost the people who were shooting at them.

   "Brennan," Shalimar panted. "I have to stop for a second. My ankle's killing me."

   Brennan stopped and looked around to see if they were being followed. Seeing nothing, he gently helped Shalimar sit down. It was then that he finally got a good look at her. She had a pained expression written across her face, she was sweating profusely, and she was covered in blood. Ignoring all this, he turned his attention back to her ankle and said, "Let me take a look at it."

   Shalimar merely nodded as she attempted to stifle a yelp as Brennan slipped off her hiking boot, although she failed miserably.

   "Sorry," Brennan mumbled as he examined her ankle. "Well, it looks like a bad sprain."

   "Joy," Shalimar muttered as she let out a sigh.

   Brennan pulled the first aid kit out of his backpack, saying, "I guess we'll have to remember to thank Adam for making us take this when we get home." Then he pulled out the medical tape and wrapped her ankle the best he could.

   "If we get home," he heard Shalimar say under her breath.

   He looked up at her and placed his hand over hers. "We will get home," he said as he gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

   Shalimar gave him a small smile. "Yeah, but if I hadn't insisted that we leave our comlinks behind so Adam couldn't bug us, we would already be back at Sanctuary," she stated as her smile faded.

   "Don't worry about it. Sooner or later, Adam will figure out that we're missing and he'll come look for us," he assured her.

   "Yeah, well it better be sooner because our little friends are getting close. I can hear them," Shalimar said as she looked in the direction they had just come from.

   "Well, then we better get a move on it," Brennan stated as he put Shalimar's boot back on and then helped her stand. Picking up the backpack and then wrapping his arm around her waist once more, they took off again.

***

   "Dammit, I told you, Will. I told you to burry her deep!" the man yelled at his companion as they followed the tracks of the two people they were chasing.

   "I did burry her deep. I put her in a 20 foot hole, for God's sake and I wasn't exactly expecting two lost hikers falling in," Will, the other man, replied.

   "Well, she didn't look very buried to me!...And how exactly did you dig a hole that deep anyway?"

   "I was going to fill the hole, or most of the hole, in. I just didn't have time because you called me back to help clean out the cabin where we killed her…And I found the hole. It was probably an animal trap, but it didn't look like it had been used in a long time."

   "So, let me get this straight. You put the body in a hole that was already there? You're such an idiot! If you don't want a body found, you put in a place where no one will look, but in the bottom of a hole that someone else dug? That's just stupid!"

   Will looked confused. "Why?" he asked.

   "Because whoever dug that hole in the first place might have come back and found the body. Then there's a chance we might get caught. The smart thing would have been to burry her somewhere else where nobody goes. That way there is a very small chance that anyone would have found her."

   "Oh."

   "Now putting that aside, the next stupid thing that you did was shoot at them. They didn't even know we were there. We could have just taken off and the cops would never have caught us, but no, you got trigger happy!"

   "Sorry Slade! I thought they had spotted us," Will said as he threw his hands up in mock surrender. "But think of it this way. The blonde was a babe and she was hurt. So, after we kill her boyfriend, we can have fun with her."

   A nefarious smile lit up Slade's face as he replied, "Yeah, I guess you're right, but since you were stupid enough not to get rid of our last 'toy' correctly and because you shot at the two hikers even though you didn't need to, I get first go with the blonde."

   Will glared at Slade for a second before nodding. "Fine, but we need to catch them first."

***

   "Do you have any idea where we are?" Brennan asked.

   Shalimar looked around the area and shook her head. "No, not really. I've never been around this area. I usually stay on the trail whenever I come out here, but then again, I'm usually not being chased by gun-wielding murders."

   "Very true. Do you come out here often?"

   "I used to come out here a lot with my dad when I was a kid. I've also brought Adam and Jesse out here a couple of time. That is, of course, when we actually had time off."

   "I know what you mean. I never thought that being a super hero would be so time consuming," Brennan said.

   "A super hero?" Shalimar asked with a smile.

   Brennan seemed to blush slightly. "Yeah, that's how I like to think of our job. We're out there saving new mutants from the deadly clutches of the evil Eckhart and the GSA. We're super heroes."

   Shalimar laughed. "Are you sure that it's poetry you're always reading and not comic books?"

   Brennan smiled slightly as he shrugged. "I know it sounds lame."

   "No, I think it's cute, Brennan," Shalimar stated with another grin.

   "You do?"

   "Yeah. Although, I wouldn't exactly say that we're 'super' heroes. Maybe just heroes, but not 'super'."

   "Why? I mean we do what super heroes do. We use our powers to protect the weak," Brennan said.

   "You've thought about this a lot, haven't you?" Shalimar asked as another smile lit up her face.

   "Strangely enough, yeah."

   Shalimar looked up at the sky and sighed. "It's getting dark and Adam won't even know we're missing until tomorrow night. I told him that we would be back sometime around tomorrow afternoon."

   "I think we should stop soon and try to get some rest," Brennan said.

   "I don't know. I mean, I'm all for resting, but what if the people after us don't rest? They'll catch up and that would be bad," Shalimar replied as she glanced around their surroundings.

   "Yes, but what if the time comes that we have to fight them? If we don't rest, we'll be worn out and it will be hard to fight. Not to mention that we don't even know if they're still following us."

   "I'm sure they are. I mean, they started shooting at us for no reason and frankly, I don't think we look like deer. They killed that woman and they know we'll go to the police about it. They aren't going to let us get out of this forest alive," Shalimar stated plainly.

   "You're right, but I still think we should take a break and rest a little. Maybe we can find a cave or something."

   "Well, judging by the direction we're going in, we should arrive a small ridge in a little while. There might me a cave there."

   "How do you know? I thought you said you didn't know where we were," Brennan said as he looked over at her.

   "Well, I've been thinking about it and I pretty sure I know where we are now. You see, the trail goes down a steep hill that curves around a small ridge. If I'm judging our direction and time correctly, we should arrive at the top of the ridge in about a half an hour. If we can climb down that and get to the trail, I can get us home," Shalimar explained with a small smile on her face.

   "That's great!" Brennan replied.

   "Yeah, but we still have to get there."

***

   "Why haven't we found them yet?" Will asked as he frowned.

   "We will. It's just a matter of time now," Slade answered.

   "How do you know? I mean, how do you know that they didn't double back and are now on the trail again, headed to the police?"

   "Because I can read their tracks, you idiot!" Slade retorted angrily. "They're headed toward the ridge. Now, if one of us continues to follow them and the other heads east, then goes around to the bottom of the ridge, we can cut them off."

   "Well, you're better at tracking them so why don't you continue to follow them and I'll head to the bottom of the ridge," Will suggested.

   Slade smiled. "That's exactly what I was thinking."

   "Ok, I'll see you later then," Will said as he turned east and wandered off in that direction.

***

   By the time Shalimar and Brennan got to the top of the ridge, the sun had almost set.

   Brennan looked down over the side of the ridge and frowned. "You know, I wouldn't exactly say that this is a small ridge. A small mountain would be more appropriate," he said as he noticed that it was about a 175 foot drop all the way down.

   Shalimar shrugged. "Mountain, ridge…same thing."

   "Not really," Brennan replied.

   "Well, it doesn't matter now. We still have to climb down it."

   "I think we should wait until first light. The sun is about to set and I really don't want to get stuck half way down when everything goes dark."

   "Yeah, maybe you're right. I remember when I was a kid, I used to look up here from the bottom and see a small cave like structure. It should be around here somewhere," Shalimar said as she looked around the area. Suddenly spotting the rock formation she was talking about a little further along the ridge, she pointed to it, saying, "It's right there."

   "Great," Brennan replied as he and Shalimar walked toward it. Upon arriving they were greeted by a fairly cozy looking cave that was just big enough for the two of them.

    Brennan helped Shalimar sit down and then he sat down as well. By this time, the sun had finally set and the night air was getting very chilly.

   Shalimar shivered as a gently breeze blew into the cave.

   Noticing her shiver along with the fact that she was only wearing a tank top and a pair of thin pants, Brennan asked, "Are you cold?"

   "Yeah, a little bit. I had another jacket in my backpack, but I left it in the bottom of the hole. I guess I should have remembered to grab it before I jumped out," she replied with a sheepish smile.

   Brennan moved closer to her, saying, "Well, I don't have anymore jackets that you can use, but I'm still here."

   Shalimar gave him a curious look before grinning. Then she nodded and allowed Brennan to pull her into his arms. Snuggling in closer, she laid her head on his shoulder and let out a content sigh.

   "So, how's the ankle?" Brennan asked.

   "It's ok. It still hurts a lot, but I'll manage," she replied.

   "I really hope so because it's going to be hard climbing down the ridge with a hurt ankle."

   "I know, but I've still got to do it."

   "Well, I'll help you the best I can," Brennan told Shalimar just as he saw her yawn. Smiling slightly, he said, "But right now, we both need to get some rest."

   Shalimar merely nodded her head in agreement before she closed her eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep.

   Brennan grinned as he watched the blonde in his arms sleep. So many nights he would lay awake longing for her to be there beside him and now, even if it was under extreme circumstances, it felt as if his dream had come true. He wished he could tell her how he felt, but he was afraid she wouldn't feel the same. Letting out a sigh, he too closed his eyes and fell asleep.

***

   "Dammit!" Slade growled. It was too dark and he could hardly see a thing even with a flashlight. Stopping, he sat down and leaned his back up against a tree. He was going to have to wait until first light before he could continue his hunt. He would get them though. He knew he would and when he did, they would be very sorry.

   TO BE CONTINUED

(A/N: I hope you like it so far. PLEASE REVIEW!!!!!)