SPOILERS: Seasons three, five, six, and eight I think.
ARCHIVE: Just let me know where.
DISCLAIMER: Donít own characters. No money made. Donít sue.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: In an attempt to give myself a catch phrase of sorts from now on Iím going to keep one continuous event in all stories that have the character in them. If you read this one, and some of my others (excluding Past Tense, Present Tense, Future Tense) you might be able to figure out the link. Anyway let me assure my fans (however few there are) that I know what Iím doing with this story, and Iím aware of everything I write. (or is it type?)
SUMMARY: A little girl gets lost.
The little girl looked around the streets of the unfamiliar city. She had never been to Chicago before. She was only four-years-old, and it was terrifying out on these dark streets. She and her mother had walked to the store, when suddenly she looked up and saw no one around. She was lost in an unfamiliar city. She stared down at her feet, and a small glimmer of silver caught her attention. She bent over, and picked up a small round object. She studied the object carefully looking at every bump and curve. There was a face on one side of it. Suddenly her mouth curved into a smile; It was a dime! That would keep her for a while wouldn't it? Suddenly the fear entered her body again. The smile left her face, and a strange expression moved into her face. She had only felt this feeling a few times before. Once when her sister had been threatening to hit her. They had gotten into a fight that day, and her sister had overreacted. Of course they had remained good friends, but what else could they do? They were sisters, and they loved each other.
But the feeling was amplified by one thousand now, a new sensation of fear that she had never known before filled her. The fear of this little girl was evident to the few strangers that passed by. It was dark now, and no one saw her. Except for the last toddler that had passed by with his dad. She had found residence in a deserted doghouse in the front yard of a house. It was early in summer, which was fortunate for the little girl. It wasn't the fairly warm nights she experienced in her hometown, but it wasn't cold. However, even though it was a warm night the little girl felt no warmth. She was cold, and couldn't keep from shivering. She hugged her teddy bear closely, and let the warmth of the night try to sooth her. She lay huddled in the corner of the doghouse shivering slightly. Tears began to fall down her cheeks. She let them slide down her cheeks. She let them fall onto her teddy bear.
"Don't worry Ariel." The little girl comforted her teddy bear. The soft golden-blue eyes of the bear glittered happily in the night.
"I have to be strong for ariel." The little girl thought smiling at the teddy bear.
She moved the arm of the bear so that it wiped the tears from her cheeks. She caressed the cheek of the teddy bear, and found strength through it. The soft light brown fur of the teddy bear shined through the night. The little girl carried the teddy bear, Ariel, everywhere she went. The little girl found a small rag in one corner, and a blanket in the other corner of the doghouse. She placed the teddy bear on the floor of the doghouse next to her, and covered her with the rag. When she was sure Ariel was asleep she herself lay down and covered with the blanket. Now she let the tears fall freely with no fear of scaring Ariel. She lay propped up on one elbow, and starred at the teddy bear. Quickly she dried the tears so as not to wake the bear, and slowly crawled out of the doghouse.
It was a wonderful and warm night, but a shiver ran down the girl's spine. Now she freely allowed herself to cry. She lay sprawled out on the sidewalk starring at the stars. The twinkling of the stars calmed the little girl. The stars seemed like billions of lit candles to the little girl, and she was filled with warmth. As she lay looking at the stars she was sent into another world without fear. She was only brought back to the real world, in which she was lost from her parents, by the flutter of a piece of paper. The little girl sat up quickly at the sound fearing it was something bad. But she realized that it was only a piece of paper, and slowly, unwillingly stood to retrieve it. Suddenly the piece of paper lifted into the air, and the little girl reached up and snatched it.
A smile spread across her face as she realized she had caught it. She uncrumpled the paper. It hadn't originally been crumpled, but as she had reached to grab it from the air it had crumpled in her hand. Slowly she turned the paper over and read as much as she could.
"List. Eggs. Milk. Bread. Juice. Fish. Sauce. Cheese." She managed to read.
Suddenly a look of shock struck her face. This was the shopping list she and her mother had used. She rubbed the paper against her cheek comforted by the faint smell of her mother that lingered on it. Tears again filled her eyes. But these were not tears of fear or anger. They were tears of missing her family. She was the bravest of all her friends and siblings, and now more than ever she needed to be strong and brave. She puffed out her chest as if trying to be tough, and she did, for the instant she was like that, look tough and brave. The sensation of feeling brave was short lived however, and soon she found herself frightened. Terrified actually, but the girl preferred the term frightened. She looked frantically at her surroundings. She heard nothing but the sounds of distant cars and a dog barking off in the distance. The little girl heard a silent plop, and realized she was crying again. She huddled the blanket around her more tightly, and for a minute allowed the tears to fall. But then she decided to go back inside the doghouse.
She crouched down on the ground, and began to crawl slowly toward the doghouse. Silent tears running down her cheek and making invisible puddles on the floor as she crawled closer to her destination. She lay huddled in the corner of the doghouse next to her teddy bear, and sobbed. She kept sobbing silently so as not to wake Noel, and soon she had cried herself to sleep.
Small rays of sunlight crept through the small doorway of the doghouse signaling the arrival of dawn. The little girl awoke to find tears in her eyes. She found herself holding her teddy bear tightly in her arms. She was confused by her surroundings, but suddenly remembered the night before. She set her teddy bear on the ground softly, and stretched with a yawn. She crawled through the opening in the wall that served as the door. As she stood out in the rays of sunshine it was her first actual chance to see her surroundings. She saw a store down the street. Maybe she and her mom should have gone to that one instead. For mid morning the place seemed unusually deserted to the girl. Only a few people were walking around, and most of the cars she saw were down at the other end of the street.
The little girl walked down the street a little watching the birds and looking at the people. No one seemed to notice her however. She walked back to the doghouse and sat against its walls. Suddenly she was overwhelmed with dizziness, and clutched her head softly. Everything was spinning from the trees to the flight patterns of the birds. People and children walked past her, and didn't even stop to help her. She felt close to vomiting and lay down till the sensation passed. Slowly she stood up so as not to evoke the dizziness of nausea. But suddenly a wave of dizziness returned. She stabilized herself against the doghouse, but the dizziness did not leave. Suddenly she fell limp to the floor unconscious.
The girl's hair swayed in the breeze, as she lay unable to help herself. The slightly curly hair bobbed up and down sticking slightly to stale tears that had dried on the girls face. It was warmer in the afternoon than it had been the night before. Blinking in the sudden light of coming to the little girl sat up. A woman sat next to her with a cheerful smile on her face. The girl still felt dizzy, and every time she attempted to sit up she fell limp against the ground again. She just starred suspiciously at the woman next to her.
"I'm Dr. Lewis." The woman replied to the unspoken words. "Are you ok?"
The girl nodded.
"What's your name?" Susan asked.
The girl didn't respond. Whether it was because of fear or sickness that she didn't respond Susan didn't know.
"Where are your parents?" Susan asked the girl.
Mustering all the strength she could, the girl handed Dr. Lewis the shopping list from the night before. Susan looked at the paper for a minute.
"Are they shopping?" Susan asked.
The girl just starred at her. She was too weak to answer. The girl found that even on the ground she was susceptible to the powers of dizziness. She fell unconscious again momentarily. Susan sat there listening to the girl's pulse. After two minutes the girl came to.
"I need to take you to a hospital." Susan explained.
The girl was too weak to respond, all she could do was watch as Dr. Lewis lifted her to a sitting position. Suddenly the nausea returned to the weak and vulnerable girl. She vomited unable to stop herself.
"It's ok." Susan assured the girl.
The girl watched as Dr. Lewis gathered her and Noel in her arms.
"I found your teddy bear in the doghouse." Susan explained knowing that the girl was probably wondering how Susan had gotten it.
Susan having had practice with sick children knew just how to hold the girl to keep her from feeling nauseated or dizzy. The little girl liked the woman, and she was not afraid of being helpless around her. Susan smiled at the girl, with an understanding gaze. She wondered if maybe this child was lost. It wasn't common that you found a child that was sitting against a doghouse with their doll inside it. Or could the girl have been deserted? Susan wasn't completely sure what was wrong with the girl, but she was glad she had found her. The girl reached an arm up and for an instant placed it on Susan's shoulder before it slumped down again through weakness.
"It's a good sign that you're gaining some strength." Susan assured the girl.
"I'm thirsty." The girl stated hoarsely barely managing the words.
"Well when we get to the hospital, and I take a look at you then you'll get all the water and food you can stand, and then some!" Susan said sarcastically.
It was evident that the girl found this funny, and had attempted to laugh and smile. It worried Susan that the girl was this weak, but seemed to have been very active just before she collapsed. Susan had been watching her for several minutes worried, and the last straw had been when she had collapsed unconscious. Susan mustered the most encouraging smile she could, and the girl had almost smiled back.