Barriers & Cookies
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Barriers & Cookies Fiction

It had been an eventful and exhausting day for all.

Veronica and Finn returned to the jungle girl's room for more "girl talk". Roxton, after burying Lieutenant's Drummond's body, was in his own room restoring the treehouse inhabitants weapons to their proper places, and Marguerite was clearing away the iridium and a few other household supplies that had been misplaced and broken while the mad Drummond was engaged in his unstable mission.

In the kitchen, George Challenger leaned over the flat pan with the odd, brown-black circular objects on it. "What are these?" he wondered and took a sniff. The professor recognized the distinct odor of a burned food substance, "Ah." He identified her calling card and straightened, his eyes immediately looking to the approaching Marguerite.

"Cookies." she said with a satisfied smile, seeing where his attention had been directed. "I experimented this morning while everyone was out and think they turned out rather well. Try one, George."

Challenger, half afraid, picked up one of the strange disks and stared at it. Marguerite, hearing the approach of another, turned away and the scientist, never a man to ignore an opportunity, banged the cookie against the side of the kitchen's cutting board.
Hard as a rock. His suspicions were confirmed.

Marguerite swiveled back to him as Roxton came up behind her, "Well George, what do you say?" she asked, assuming he had eaten one of her creations.

"You know, Marguerite, these treats deserve to be savored." Never a good liar, Challenger cleared his throat gently. "I'm going down to my lab and I'll take a few with me to enjoy as I work." He slipped a couple cookies into his coat pocket, to analyze under his microscope, and quickly exited the kitchen.

"Oh, ye of little faith." Marguerite, not fooled, called: "I made these for Roxton anyway." Her peeved expression turned back into a smile as she lifted the pan in front of the tall man by her side, "Try one, John."

Lord Roxton, ever a man to put up good front, gently ran his bottom lip through nervously chattering teeth. His right eye twitched ever so slightly. "You made these for me?" he questioned, tentatively reaching for a cookie. The texture seemed very ... different ... and that terrified him. "Why?" Roxton asked with a double meaning and tried hard not to look repelled.

"An apology." Marguerite admitted, averting her eyes. "This morning." she added, "I know you were making an effort to get closer, John. I'm sorry I ruined it with my unwillingness to talk about my past ... again." The last part of Marguerite's regret was said in a whisper.

Despite his reservations Roxton appreciated her effort. Miss Krux was an amazing woman with a very colorful past. "Slowly but surely we're going to learn new things about each other, Marguerite." Roxton had the cookie pressed against his lower lip then pulled it away to continue, "Today was a good start, you Black Widow you." He smiled when her eyes met his own and she beamed, almost shyly, both feeling a few more of those barriers between them falling away.

She watched him. Waiting.

He knew what she wanted. It was inevitable. What was a gentleman, especially one who didn't want to ruin the mood, to do? Deliberately, Roxton brought the cookie to his lips again and opened his mouth. Carefully, he bit down and chewed slowly.

"Well?" she asked, hopeful.

It was dry and tasted like the biscuits he'd given to his father's hunting dogs when he and William were children. "Delicious." Roxton forced a smile.

Marguerite turned away, pleased. She took the cookies from their pan, placing them proudly onto a decorative plate. Yes, the barriers were coming down, she thought. And one day, Marguerite reflected, she would tell Lord Roxton the truth about Avebury and how an eight year old girl watched as a boy rode by on his pony, calling: "Fly, Mr. Robinson, fly!" and how she giggled while hiding near the standing stones. Even at that tender age, the girl thought the boy terribly handsome. So like a Knight of the Round Table or like ... "Parsifal." Marguerite whispered.

"Did you say something?" Behind her, Roxton brought up a dipper from their fresh water bucket and quickly drank as much as possible before Marguerite turned to look at him again.

"Nothing." she replied, then: "What's for dinner tonight?" she asked.

"Fruit and nuts, I'm afraid."

"No luck hunting today?"

"I'll do better tomorrow." Roxton replied, his voice growing low and slightly seductive. "Maybe you can come with me as my good luck charm." Roxton waited for Marguerite's reply, which he expected to be a refusal. She hated coming with him on hunting trips.

Marguerite spoke with a near purr, "Why not? We just don't get away alone together enough, John." With an alluring smile Marguerite turned with her plate and walked from the kitchen to offer Veronica and Finn a treat. "I'll pack some cookies for our trip." she offered as a parting promise.

Happily dazed, Roxton's eyes followed her tempting form as Marguerite purposely swayed her hips for his benefit. When she moved out of eye shot, Roxton straightened slightly but he still smiled, "I really have to compliment that woman's cooking more often." he murmured.

April 2002