A Lost boy somehow gets even more lost.

It began as a normal morning in the endless forest of the Hedge, which is to say, it lasted about 9 hours because Danny kept walking continuously, with only short breaks to rest his legs and drink some water.

Patterns are hard to find in the Hedge. Or maybe they're too easy to find, deceptively easy, and then they disappear like a rug pulled out from underneath at the worst moment.

Still, one pattern that holds up relatively well is that most things don't stop traveling at the crack of morning. Which means one of Danny's basic survival strategies in this weird world a step between infinite others is that, if he finds a safe place to sleep, he leaves it as soon as the sky starts to lighten, so as not to get caught dozing if someone else arrives, and so he can keep moving between places while most other things and people are asleep.

He was having a bit of bad luck finding some food today, which isn't the huge problem it might be in a normal forest. The fruit here doesn't seem to ever rot (unless it rots within a minute of being picked, or as soon as it turns night/morning, or if it gets touched by any water, or...) and even a handful of nuts or berries seems to fill his stomach and keep him energized for "days" at a time. And if all else fails, he has his bow and can find some animal to hunt, though that's more obviously dangerous. It's hard to spot any birds through the misty treeline, and even the not-obviously-magical animals here are rarely defenseless.

He wasn't even particularly hungry when the day began, but he's learned over the years of having a really stretched out eating cycle to be extra sensitive to the differences between "full" and "no longer full" and "not really hungry" and "okay maybe I could eat" and he tries to get a head start on foraging around then before it gets to "I'm actually rather peckish," or worse, "food would sure be great about now," let alone the actually bad, "I notice I'm hungry."

When he was a kid, his mom once told him they should never shop while hungry because then they'd buy too many things they don't need. A similar principle applies in the Hedge, where you really want the luxury of saying no to some of the things you come across. Not because they wouldn't taste good, but because they might taste too good, and then you're stuck in a clearing eating rainbow flowers forever, or biting a carrot that reverses your gravity to send you screaming into the sky, only barely able to hold onto the deceptively normal looking root.

That had happened his first ~week here, and had been something of a learning experience.

So he pushed his way through stinging hedges and thorny bushes for hours on end, searching for a snack he could save for later, then, failing to find that, a snack he could eat now, and then, failing to find that, a meal he could eat soon, and then, failing to find that...

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At last, sweet success!

Leafdew, as he calls them. A whole garden of the stuff, which means something wicked this way comes, and he needs to drink his fill quickly before the gardener, or if he's unlucky, the gardener's guard animals, or if he's doubly unlucky, the gardener's owner, shows up...

Lick, lick, lick. Mmm. Tastes like honeydew, and sends shivers of energy up and down his spine.

He licks the lowest leaf a few times, then moves on to the next tree, not wanting to take too noticeable an amount from any one plant. It's a little hard to stop each time, which is the main downside of leafdew.

That and he'll be super amped up for the rest of the day or night, which is far from the worst side effect but can get annoying if he would otherwise want to sleep. He's licked enough now to go back to "okay maybe I could eat," which means he's faced with a choice of whether he should trade-off more calories for more zip  and zow, which sounds good now that he considers it, after all he covered a lot of distance today and was lucky enough not to find any monsters so he deserves a few more licks, right?


What was that noise?


Oh shit, someone's moving through the garden, he held still too long and all the little stops along the way added up and it has officially stopped being early morning and become just regular morning.

Shit shit shit, but he's grinning as he runs, because he feels like he can run forever, he feels like he can run right off the planet, or whatever this weird world is, he feels like he could just jump right into the trees as he bursts through the stinging hedges surrounding the garden and leaps-


off a cliff, there was an actual cliff there what the 


The ground is obscured by the ever present mist, and he pinwheels arms and legs by instinct, then stops as his bow starts to slide off his shoulder. He turns wildly in mid-air, looking for something to grab onto... the cliffwall isn't too far, trees growing out of it... if he could just reach out and snag a particularly long branch...


The mist gets mistier and mistier. It is cold and wet and by the time he tumbles out of the cloud he's soaking wet.

He's floating. The tumbling was entirely momentum, and he's losing it, against the air in which he's floating.

There are - stars? Weirdly big stars? And... moons? Weirdly close moons, like, he can make out trees and rivers and stuff on the closest one over there?


Ok what the shit in ~4-6(?) years he's been in the Hedge there are weird days and there are weird days and this one just turned really weird and it's still just morning (sort of) why are there stars did he just pass through all the clouds, falling up instead of down and now he's in space?! He didn't know the Hedge had a space!

Oh, quick check, is he getting oxygen with all his gasping still terrified breaths?


Can he tell? (Yes, though.)


He's not passing out, and his lungs don't seem to be burning or anything, which is good enough for now.

Also, he's pretty cold from being soaked, but not, like, freezing or anything?

So... probably not space.

So he can... maybe... just relax, for a moment, and...


It's pretty.


It's really pretty.

His breathing levels out, eventually. His pulse is still quicker than normal, but that's from the leafdew.

He drifts for a bit, if he can, and just... lets himself relax and be happy he's not dead, and look at pretty things.

What else does he see, besides the rivers-trees-stuff moon that's... probably not where he came from?

He looks around a bit more. Nothing bigger or closer than that moon, which means...

He doesn't know what it means. Maybe his Hedge is that moon?

Do any of the other moons look... less foresty? If he consults his deepest desires right now, not being surrounded by trees is... nice. At least 1/3 of why he's misty eyed while staring around at all the not-forest prettiness, looking to see what else catches his attention.


There are more moons! They are also surprisingly green and blue for moons but look pretty alive. That one has a desert though.


Hmm. Deserts are about as unforesty as you could get, but also not traditionally fun places to be, and now that the terror, shock, and serenity have all had their turns, he's starting to feel his old wariness returning.

He's not out of danger just because he's not falling off a cliff. In the Hedge ignorance is the enemy, and he's feeling pretty ignorant right about now. In a way, he's in more danger right now, floating calmly through not-space, than he's been in in years.

Others have told him that there are different parts to the Hedge than the one he was caught in. Parts where time didn't work the way he got used to, parts where it was all swampy or snowy instead of lush and green.

Whatever the rules are to this particular part, he'll have to learn them before he does anything too risky. Assuming he did come from the closest moon... assuming it's a tiny representation of his corner of the hedge, maybe? He should stick to what he knows, and experiment later.

Thus resolved, he tentatively starts to try and swim toward the moon, realizing only after his deliberation that he's not really sure if he even has a choice. Is the moon getting any closer?


Swimming... does not really work, or at least doesn't work enough that he can tell by indicators like the moon looking any closer. It can tire him out, though!


Aw geez.


Okay, not panicking yet. This is fine. He's actually quite cold, now that he has more spare mental space to take stock, but he's not injured and not hungry so he has time to figure things out.

Quick inventory check. Did his lucky rocks survive the fall without falling rising out of his pockets?

Wait shit, did any of his arrows? Their tips were stuck through the end of his sheathe for just such situations, but he hasn't tested their stuckness against freefall.


That's between him and his mysterious portal. The interlunar void sure didn't steal his stuff.


Okay, it seems most of his rocks made it through. He'll check which ones later.

Only one of his arrows was lost, leaving him with five. Not a lot, but he won't get far if he doesn't experiment.

He pulls his bow off his arm, then twists and tugs an arrow to pull it free from the leather quiver around his waist. He aims at the nearby moon... then twists around to shoot behind him.

He used to read a lot, back when he had books to read. And a lot of that reading included science stuff, though physics wasn't a big chunk. Still, if this works to move him closer to the moon, he would have no idea if it's because it should, or because things are weird here.

He takes a deep breath, nocks, and releases.


This might work, according to physics, but while he is closer to this moon than he has ever been to any moon before, it's not easy to tell if he's getting closer.

Oh, hey, coming out of the cloudbank over there is a... wooden... space... sailboat?


Part of him is wondering how it's moving. Another part is wishing he had his arrow back. Not that it would matter if some fae lord is captaining that thing, he's utterly screwed if that's the case, but if it's just some random Lost or Other...

One hand falls to ths dagger at his waist. Unlike his arrows, it wasn't made from harvested Hedgesstuff. It's from his world, a stainless steel 4 inch full tang forest knife that he saved up for a full year to get, and only was allowed to because he'd joined the Scouts. It's accumulated some knicks and chips over the years, but its sheathe has a pockef for its whetstone, and he keeps it sharp.

He knows if he has to use it, even against some minor fae, he's probably still done for. But it makes him feel braver, holding it and watching to see if the boat is coming for him or not.


The sailboat doesn't notice him right away. It drifts, crew climbing around in the rigging to point its sails this way and that with astonishing nimbleness, toward the moon with the desert he was eyeing.

When it does notice him, there's a bit of a shout, unless he's imagining it, and they shoot a rope in his direction.


Well. He probably doesn't accomplish anything by not taking it, if they mean him harm.

He puts his bow back over his shoulder, then waits for the rope to reach him and grabs tight when it gets close, heart hammering in his throat and eyes sharp for some sign of who or what the crew are.


They miss but not by much and apparently know how to wiggle a rope so it will go where they want. Once he has a hold of the rope they will start gently rolling it in.

They're humans, in a variety of colors but all pretty similar shapes: long-limbed athletes. They're lashed to their boat to avoid floating away. There are windows, but they're too small for anything very large to go missing through and many of them are shut, though a few open to see what's going on with the rescue.


This is almost certainly some fae plot.

He hasn't seen this many humans in one place since he entered the Hedge.

The idea that they're just... here, so brazenly doing this, just... doesn't really register as possible, and he's torn between guarded skepticism and gawking at the novelty of them. Not just their presence and numbers, but also their clothes... He's been wearing a navy buttonless button up shirt he was able to barter for a ~year ago, and a pair of khakis that were buried in a pile of pants and shorts and bathing suits he randomly stumbled on a few months back.

Whereas they're wearing...


Linen pants, all dipdyed in the same gradient of indigo-to-ecru, and some of them have fingerless leather gloves, and a range of shirt styles from "no" to "buttondown blouse worn open, tits semi-out" to "belted tunic".

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