The sun was indeed up much earlier than Becca would have preferred, but it didn't seem to bother Jon. In fact, she lay there and allowed herself to watch him sleep for quite a while before certain physical necessities made it unavoidable that she leave the car. Becca wanted to take care of this without disturbing him, but as soon as she began extricating herself from his grip—he was still holding onto her hand tightly—he started awake and looked around confusedly.
"Wha—what time is it?" Then he woke up fully, looked around the car and at her, and said, "Ohhh."
Becca shrugged apologetically. "No—it wasn't a dream. I'm still here."
Jon arched an eyebrow but said nothing, then looked out the window. "Well . . . um, at least it's not raining anymore."
She did not know what to say to this statement of obvious fact, so she settled for murmuring, "Mmm." There was, for a moment, an awkward silence between them. Finally she said, "Erm, I'll be right back, okay?"
Jon looked at her, puzzled for a moment, and then comprehension dawned. "Oh, yeah. Um . . . me, too. I mean, I'll be . . . over there, you know . . . right back, yeah."
Becca nodded quickly and exited the car as fast as she could, making for the riverbank on the side of the house farthest from where the car was parked. She did not look to see where he was headed—tempted though she was for a second.
She was washing her hands and face off in the river, staring absently at eddies and currents as they swirled past her, when it occurred to her: they should follow the river. The road that had brought them here was small, narrow, and deserted at the best of times, and this was now the weekend. But a river . . . villages and small towns were always founded on rivers, and maybe they would come upon some houses—and people—quicker if they followed its winding path. It was worth a try, and she thought suddenly that it was what her dad might have done.
She hurried back to tell Jon of her brainwave, and found him ferreting around in the backseat. He must have heard her approaching; he pulled his head out and said, "Time for a bit of breakfast!"
There was a huge, easy grin on his face, and Becca guessed that he had gotten over his initial shock at waking up to find himself still stranded and was once again up for making the best of it.
"I was looking for the empty beer bottles. Going to wash them out in the river and bring back some water for us. It's not ale, or even Coke, but we'll have to make do." He paused, and then asked, "That water will be okay to drink, won't it?"
She smiled at him. "Yes, I had a wee sip, and it's not bad. Just take care you don't get any moss in the bottles, okay?" He looked at her threateningly, and she smirked at him. "I'll sort through the rest of our provisions while you do that, and then I'll tell you about my brilliant idea."
“Brilliant idea?” Jon looked at her, intrigued, but she waved a hand at him and disappeared into the car herself. He stood and watched her for a moment, then hurried off towards the river. He was back with two full bottles of water before she had finished dragging everything out of the car.
"What idea?" he demanded as he sank to his knees and started rooting through the box of food with her. Becca spread out the sleeping bag on the ground, giving them a slightly more comfortable space to sit while they ate.
As they searched and found some fruit that was still edible, a hunk of sponge cake, and some bread and cheese, she explained about following the river to the nearest town, sure he would see the logic in it immediately. But to Becca's great surprise, Jon was frowning when she finished her explanation. He swallowed a mouthful of sponge cake, had a long pull at the bottle of water, and after a moment’s thought, he sighed.
"Do you think that's best?" he said tentatively. "I mean, I'm no outdoorsman, obviously, but we could walk just as long by the river as taking the road before we came to anything. And there'd be a chance of meeting a car on the road, wouldn't there?"
Becca was a bit nettled that he was second-guessing her—and immediately embarrassed to realize she had clearly not expected him to have an opinion. Why, she was not really sure, but she hadn't. Just because he was A, famous, and B, new to camping and the like, did that automatically mean he didn't have a brain? No, but. . . .
Becca took a deep breath and a second or two to wrestle down her feelings of annoyance and discomfort before speaking. He did have a point, after all . . . even if she didn't want him to. And after hours of talking to him last night, Becca was quite certain that, whatever other qualities she admired in him, Jon was also in possession of a fine brain.
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