A/N Set in Makna Forest, before getting to Alcamoth. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: Xenoblade is not mine in any way.


Sharla's short, sharp screech woke Shulk up with a start.

"Huh?" he said sleepily.

Makna Forest floor was not the most comfortable place to sleep, but fatigue had forced them to set up camp. The six of them- Shulk, Riki, Reyn, Sharla, Dunban and Melia- had agreed one of them would stay awake as a guard while the others slept. Shulk sleepily deduced Sharla had probably just finished her watch and was trying to wake Reyn up to take his turn.

"I'll be alright in a minute," he heard Reyn say.

"You're white as a sheet and you're shaking. Even though it's boiling out here. Come off it Reyn, you can't fool me," Sharla said.

"Reyn eat bad mushroom," Riki piped up, and now Shulk was definitely awake.

"Reyn?" he said, sitting up.

"It's nothing, go back to sleep," Reyn said. Shulk squinted- he could just about make out Reyn with the light from their campfire. He looked very pale.

"Reyn's sick," said Sharla, in a voice that was high on scorn, low on sympathy.

"What mushroom Reyn eat?"demanded Riki.

"It was the same as all the others we were eating!" he said defensively.

"You idiot, Reyn! This wouldn't have happened if you had asked Riki or Melia to check it for you." Sharla said fiercely.

"But it looked exactly the same as the others. And I was hungry. A guy's got to eat," Reyn protested.

"Pink and dotty?" asked Riki.

"That's the one. We were eating them just fine earlier."

"Big dots, safe. Small dots, poisonous," Riki explained.

"That's just... stupid," Reyn spluttered.

"Reyn stupid one here!" Riki shot back.

"Do we need to get an antidote, Riki?" Shulk interrupted.

Riki listed some ingredients, but Shulk barely heard him. He could feel his eyes closing. He was so tired...

"O.K. I should be able to go and get them," he was vaguely aware of Sharla talking.

"I'll come with you," said Reyn weakly.

"No, stay here. You need to rest," said Sharla in a gentler tone of voice than before. "Honestly, Reyn, you're such an idiot," she sighed.

"I am trying not to be an idiot."

Sharla was about to say something sarcastic, but then she caught Reyn's utterly downcast expression.

"Well, you might be an idiot, but you're our idiot. Don't try to change yourself too much- we like you the way you are. Just don't kill yourself, OK?"

"Wasn't planning on it."

Shulk felt himself being shaken vigorously.

"Wakey wakey, Shulk!" sing songed Reyn.

"I thought you were sick from poisonous mushrooms, or did I dream that?" Shulk muttered, sitting up.

"Nope, that was real. But I'm all better now, thanks to Sharla!"

"I think it would be best if we let her sleep a little longer," Melia announced. Shulk marvelled at how both she and Dunban had slept right through all the commotion.

Sharla herself looked like she'd collapsed in a heap and fallen asleep the minute her head hit the ground.

"Today Riki give lessons on mushrooms," announced Riki.

Shulk sighed. He supposed the mile long list of items requested by the Nopon Villagers would have to wait.