Cliffhanger

"If you don't come back, I'll be cross…."

"I'll be cross…"

Cody's eyes fly open as the freezing muddy water rushing over body, jolting her awake. She can still hear that voice echoing through her head. Looking up at the grey sky, she quints against the flood of rain. Every part of her is cold and she's almost tempted to grow a fur coat that would make Chewbacca jealous. Something waterproof and warm.

«Where am I?»

Her eyes dart around, there's a leg next to her. Following the leg, her eyes come to the knee and she winces, swollen and almost double in size. "Dee? Is that you? Where are we?" She tries to turn but the tangle of … What are they tangled in? There's a thick ropey substance keeping them in the air, mixed with what seems like tree branches, maybe roots? She turns her head slowly and the sight that meets her eyes causes her to quickly turn back and take a deep breath. "Don't… don't move… I'm… I'm going to… J-just don't move…"

For the second time in two weeks, Cody is dangling from a precarious height. This time her company is alive.

—-

Cold. So cold.

And where's that pain coming from? You're not supposed to feel pain in a dream! Half awake, she reaches for the blanket, but can't find one. So sluggish, she decides it's not worth it to leave the comfort of sleep and try to find it. Then, she hears her name.

Reluctantly, she opens her eyes, only to snap into reality. The cold is the rushing water, and the pain… "Jesus CHRIST" she mutters through clenched teeth. She can't help the involuntary shudder, fingernails digging into whatever the hell she's hanging from. It hurts, dammit! Saying a few additional colourful words, Dee manages to turn her gaze to Cody. "No idea. Guessin' we ended up … uh." She looks for the place they fell, but can't seem to locate it. "…Somewhere." Breathing deeply and trying to keep herself still, she tries to reconnect with Bagheera. There are other creatures in the area, of course, but the black jaguar is gone.

"Can you get us down?" she asks. The colour of her eyes almost matches the colour of her lips at the moment. The water is so cold, it's making her turn blue. It goes without saying that Dee would rather be anywhere other than here. "I can't find Bagheera. I don't know if he… I don't know if… I don't know."

—-

Cody frowns when she sees the state that Dee's in, blue lips is never a good sign, she needs to get warmed up and in a hurry. "You're cold… Here, don't freak out. Just let me help, then we're going to get out of here.

Placing a hand on Dee's leg, the woman begins to sprout a fine coat of body hair that would likely make Bagheera jealous. The outer coat is thick and wiry, enough to make her somewhat water resistant; the undercoat is fine and soft, to provide warmth. "That should do it and… don't worry, I can take it off again." She's planning on growing some herself, but first there's a matter of getting out of this mess.

"You know… I think up is a shorter ride. I can climb up and then pull you." As Cody feels around the mess of roots and vines, she manages to sit up and actually take a look at their surroundings. She's moving quite carefully as to not jostle them or the roots they're in. Digging in her pocket, she fishes out one of the last of her power bar supply and begins to munch on it, wrapper and all.

—-

Don't freak out. Good thing to say, or else Dee probably would freak out. As it is, she sucks in a breath as the hair growth starts as if she's going to yell, then holds it through the whole itchy process.

"Y—yeah, that wasn't weird at all," she says, more to convince herself, as she stares briefly at her arms. Admittedly, she is a lot warmer. Better to think about that later, though. Sometime other than when they're about to fall to their deaths, where they will be buried in mud for a thousand years, at which point some scientist will unearth them and declare their fossilised remains as a fight to the death between an unlucky human and Bigfoot.

Dee looks up again. Shorter climb, but just as dangerous. "I don't think I'm gonna be much 'elp. I can prolly stand on the knee, but I don't think it's gonna be any use for climbing. Sorry."

While there are a couple snakes in the area, she's not sure asking a boa constrictor to wrap around them and pull them up is such an awesome plan. It might just decide that they're lunch instead of refugees, and that would not end well at all.

—-

As she munches on the power bar, the soldier's hair begins to grow… and grow… and climb until it reaches the top of the cliff and winds its way around a tree. Cody's got her eyes closed, she's concentrating hard, "I can feel bark, this time I'm sure I'm attached to a tree."

She's shivering, and cold… Who knows how long they've been in there or even if Mark and the rest had missed them yet. There's no shouting through the trees, so Cody's best guestimation is that no one's noticed them missing. "Okay, I'm going to climb up, when I give you the signal, tie yourself up in the .. uhm… rope.. and I'll pull you up."

Then gripping the hair with both hands, she begins the slow scale back up the cliff.

—-

Either that, or the others are so far away that they can't hear anyone yelling anymore. Or, when Dee passed out, Bashir and Bagheera realised suddenly that they were starving. That in mind, Dee tries to reach out to either of the Jaguar's again, this time pushing her ability as far as she can make it go. As Cody climbs the cliff, Dee screams in her mind for their big cat companions.

The response is such a jumble of sounds that Dee isn't even sure if she's hearing the reply she wants. Though she can't shut the noise out completely, she tries to narrow it down to the two voices that are most familiar to them on this journey - or even Yossarian, who was sleeping peacefully with Jo last time Dee saw him. There are just too many creatures around for such a broad use of her power.

Bringing her attention back to their current grim situation, Dee looks up as Cody climbs. "D'you think it'll hold?" Re-situating herself so she's more in a position to tie herself up in the 'rope,' she winces as the roots creak under her. They are eventually going to break. "Gotta admit, this is pretty high up on my 'stuff that scares me shitless' list," she adds conversationally as she looks down - way down - at the impossible fall.

—-

Without Cody's added weight, the mess of roots and vines relaxes for Dee giving her a little bit of relief from imminent death. As the tamer's voice drifts up to her ears, Cody smiles a little to herself and keeps climbing. It isn't until she's actually safely on solid ground that she turns and calls out an answer. "Think of it this way Doc, this is my second time since the crash… I'm a pro."

The hair unwinds itself from around the tree and then drops down and wraps itself around Dee, tying off into something that looks like a harness. Then, Cody runs around the tree a few times to anchor herself and Dee.

It's a long and very strenuous process, but eventually the miniature sasquatch will find herself being hoisted up, arm over arm for a little more than thirty feet. "Okay," Cody grunts as Dee nears the top, "I don't mean this to be rude… but if we're going to be doing this kind of thing regularly.." She grunts again, "You might want to look into a weight loss plan…"

—-

It always seems that when she's in a situation like this, someone has a power that's just perfect to solve the problem. Either that, or people adapt so that their abilities are more fitting for whatever trouble they encounter. Surely Cody never dreamed she'd be using her talent in this way when she first discovered it.

Raising her arms as the harness ties itself around her, Dee smirks. Yeah, this is much better than trying to get a constrictor to help them out. Some tasks just are not suited for animals. And, anything larger than a snake would send them crashing to the ground below.

The whole way up, she breathes slowly, keeping herself as calm as possible under the circumstances. She's still a little chilly, and now she's discovering the fct that wet fur - even if it's keeping quite a bit of the water out - is very uncomfortable. Then? Cody calls her fat. "Hell with that! I'm covered in hair and it's rainin'! O'course I'm 'eavy right now! Y'might want ta look into not dislocating someone's knee when you clumsy yourself right off a cliff!"

SO THERE.

There's a beat as Dee reaches for the cliff and hauls herself the rest of the way up, fur coat dragging through the mud. Then? She laughs. It feels so good to be safe again that she can't help it. "Clumsy yourself off a cliff, aye? That… That was pretty funny. Oi, help me up, would ya? I wanna see if I can walk."

—-

For whatever it's worth, Cody's trying to keep a straight face as Dee laughs at the situation. It's odd, seeing a miniature yeti dressed in survival gear crawling through the mud. Odd being an understatement. It's lucky it's raining, because there are definitely tears of silent laughter rolling down the (now) bald woman's face. They're like polar opposites, Chewbacca and Powder.

"L-let's get.. uhm.. heh… heh heh.." Reach down, she pulls Dee up by the arm and helps her up to a stand. She sobers as soon as the dainty furball is to her feet, or foot because of the injured knee. "We could find you a crutch or something. And, for what it's worth, I'm sorry for dragging you down with me.

—-

Sometimes if you don't find a little humour in your life, you won't survive things like this. As it is, they're spectacularly lucky that those roots were there and just happened to catch them. It's too close a call, but who's Dee to question that kind of luck when it ends with her survival?

Once to her feet, she groans as she tries to step on that knee. Right now, it's not going to hold her weight. "Yeah, just… some sort of stick I can lean on…" she says, looking around, peering out at Cody through a fringe of hair on her face that wasn't there before. Weird as that is, it's certainly keeping her from freezing to death, and she kind of feels bad that Cody spent all her energy on someone else. "Don't feel too bad. Misery loves company. Better to be here together than alone. So, you need to eat to make that… hair thing work? Why don't we find you something first. We're already behind. Maybe if we wait a few more minutes, they'll notice we're missing and start looking." There's a pause, then, "Besides, I don't want to make it back to the party being the only one looking like Bigfoot. So."

—-

Teeth chattering, Cody shakes her head and point in a vague direction which could be back from whence they came. "We need to find that rifle… Then we need to find our way back to the group. I don't want to waste the rest of what I have or the rest of the food on myself. Don't worry… I'll let you shed before we find anyone."

Giving Dee a fairly weary smile, she ducks her back head down and picks her way away from the cliff side and back toward the trail where they first lost sight of the rest of the group. "Hey Dee… you think you could find them with your animals? I mean… listen to what's out there and see if any of them see Mark and the others? I bet they can hear Poco's singing a mile away."

—-

With plenty of trees all over the place, it doesn't take too long for Dee to find a suitable stick she can lean on. It's not the perfect solution, but at least she can walk with it. In her mind, she's already calculating her chances of re-locating Peter Petrelli once they get out of here and back home. Slim, probably. Well, at least if she's at home, she can relax and let her leg heal. For now, she's going to have to push it just a little.

"It's a bit 'ard ta hear," she mutters. That's mostly her fault for screaming for Bashir earlier. She hopes the cat heard her. Closing her eyes again, she waits, tries to filter through the cacaphony to find just one voice. They're quieting down now; some, along the blazed trail the others are now on, speak of the upright apes that passed them by. And then one, faint, causes her to smile.

I'm coming I'm coming I HEARD YOU I'll be right there I'll rescue you I promise I'm coming to get you OH GOD A SNAKE I'm going to save you are you okay?

et cetera.

"Yossarian," she says. "He heard me. He'll lead us back to the others."

—-

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