AN: I know, I know this took forever. Sorry about that. School and exams and malfunctioning computers got in my way.

Will waited for the sky to lighten from the black of night to the murky grey of predawn before leaving his temporary home. While the storm had been violently loud, he had managed to catch a few hours sleep here and there. Despite the dampness of both his clothing and his surroundings he was back to his usual cheery mood. Well, as cheery as could be, lost in the woods.

He knew that when he had left Halt's cabin the morning before, the sun had been to his back. It made sense then that he should walk with the sun to his front now. Hopeful that, if he wandered too far and would miss Halts cabin, he hadn't walked far enough to miss Redmont entirely. As he walked he took into account the wildlife, or more accurately the lack thereof.

"Must have been scared off by the storm." Again he spoke out loud as a substitute for human company. He continued his musing as he walked in what he desperately hoped was the right direction

The sun had neared its peak and Will had yet to recognize the area. His stomach turned at the idea of having to spend another night in the forest. Deep inside he knew that it wasn't staying outside that bothered him and neither was it the lack of food, although his rumbling stomach would disagree. No, what was bugging him the most was being alone. He knew that as a Ranger he would always be alone, even in a crowd. The life of a Ranger was a lonely one. But he had grown up in the Ward at Castle Redmont with constant companionship, whether he had wanted it at the moment or not. His first night as an apprentice had been his first night sleeping in a room by himself and he had found it unnerving.

Needless to say he was not looking forward to another night in the woods. His stomach growled loudly again and he imagined that if there had been any wildlife in the area they would have been scared off. He wouldn't mind a nice hot meal either, even if it was Halt's cooking

He let out a whoop when, after pushing through a particularly dense section of wood he suddenly found himself ankle deep in water. His reason for excitement being that there was only one river flowing through Redmont. It also passed no more than a league from the cabin. In fact he bathed in it every week. Halt would always say that wasn't nearly enough, but that was beside the point. In this one moment of discovery he went from being lost, alone and quite a bit scared, not to mention hungry, to literally being on the road home. With a spring in his sodden step and a smile on his face he headed for Halts cabin, for home.