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[community profile] three_weeks_for_dw

I am pleased to make a public comment about this fest, after learning of it via the illustrious [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith. Welcome to any new folks from LJ, as well as to others discovering Dreamwidth. This is a fine, easy to use site for fandoms; I've enjoyed the Snowflake Challenge and though I've not the time to do Three Weeks, it looks worthwhile.

In other news, The 2017 Golden Yoda Awards Ceremony over on The Force.net also is running until Monday, a big hooha event filled with excellent Star Wars fics, camaraderie and skits tailored to the fics. Woohoo! Come visit for Good Timez that include funny gifs.

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Title: Adventures In Babysitting

Author: pronker

Era: Directly after the run of the TV show.

Summary: Marlene joins the commando team. Fluff ensues.

A/N Third entry in a loosely constructed trilogy consisting of "Sunny Days Sweeping The Clouds Away" followed by "Trial And Error." Skilene.

IOIOIOIOIO

Through the morning murmur of Kowalski's ongoing lab experiments, Marlene could almost make out the lyrics that Rico blared to Momma Duck's latest batch of ducklings. Her imagination supplied the full version. Little Paul and Sarah swayed to the rhythm in the endearing way that babies moved to music.

Now I'm back in the ring to take another swing

'Cause the walls were shaking

The earth was quaking

My mind was aching

And we were making it and you

Shook me all night long ---


Rico leaned over the playpen and crooned, or rather croaked, to the two children. Marlene thought how far he had come from his allergy to mushy love statements and smiled before speaking in a stage whisper. The littles were so young that they didn't talk yet. She hoped their understanding was limited, too. Some invention of Kowalski's burbled on a high shelf of his lab; it must be dangerous because he'd placed it far out of little feathered creatures' reach. Marlene had in mind a more subtle danger, however.

"Rico!"

"Wha?"

"That's not the sort of lullaby to sing to babies, really it isn't, I mean they don't understand the words well not the way you sing them anyway but I do get the song. They might absorb the meaning oh I don't know much about babies --- "

Rico flung a strong flipper about Marlene's shoulders. "Wrytoomuch."

"Hey, since Private ducked out of babysitting they're your responsibility so if you want them to --- never mind. I guess you're right. Well, um, they're nodding off so I'll sketch the beginning of the surprise for Momma Duck." She leaned into his side. "Jefe Grande, set up my easel, huh?"

He astounded her by pecking her cheek before disengaging. "Yah." Her easel was new and untried, like she was in this plural relationship on the team she was beginning to think of as hers.

The splintered old easel made a campfire when she and Skipper hammered out their plans for the future one night as they roasted marshmeowmeows; namely, that she would join the penguin commando group on an as needed basis. He made it formal. He produced a pearl the color of a blushing peach to give to her, actually taking a knee to present it. "My pebble, Marlene." She'd felt faint as she took it, murmuring that she had nothing to give in return. "I'm sure you'll come up with something," he'd said softly and the words felt like a promise from the Labyrinthine Mollusk Herself.

Marlene swam back to the present as she felt Rico's gaze upon her. "Heh. Woolgathering, sorry. I'll get to work now." She framed the portrait in her artist's eye, arranging them all by height. It would be sweet to paint Skipper and Private helping Sarah to stand with one of her tiny wings in each of their flippers. To the left she would pose Kowalski and Rico with Paul in similar position. She took extra time to figure out how she would fit herself in. Between the two pairs? Cliché. Behind them, standing on a stool, as if she were their marionetteer? Maybe. She'd leave that for future inspiration. Momma Duck was busy teaching her older brood to fly, so the penguins had care of the infants for two whole days.

"'Kay, Rico, do that turn the mind off thing you do so well and freeze. Yeah, like that." Rico's eyes blanked scarily, but she was used to it.

She sketched the basic layout, ovals and circles forming penguin shapes of the penguins not in the lab. Rico she filled in more thoroughly and the babies' cuteness was easy; she condensed her usual broad strokes into more precise ones for their small faces and features. Paul and Sarah could both use a smile enhancement. Hmm, how to get them to smile when they woke up and she could begin work fine-tuning their tiny expressions?

She poked Rico when she was finished and he turned his mind back on. Marlene could nearly hear the vroom of his little gray cells at peak acceleration once more. She anticipated a simple day of sketching and playing with ducklings while leaving most of the work to penguins who had, you know, promised their mother to take on the awesome responsibility of caregiving.

What Rico did next amazed her.

Zipping from a blank expression to hyper alert commando focus, he homed in on her without saying a word. He leaned into her neck, sniffed hard and then tilted his head back with beak open. With his tongue slapping against the roof of his mouth, he made sounds that reminded her of the sump pump that Handyman Gus installed when her habitat flooded.

"Er, Rico, what are you doing?"

He did not reply, and the sump pump slurped at high speed. She grew uncomfortable.

Her curiosity got the better of her when he waved her closer. "C'mere." Now he slithered his beak into her right pit and she darted back when she felt a long lick.

"Stop! I don't like touching like this, penguin! Quit it!" She pushed him off.

His gaze refocused. "Sowwy." He looked concerned. "Yukay, 'Eenie?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Why did you taste me?" Marlene blotted away his spit from her pit. "Ew."

"Sumfinzweird."

She sniffed. "Well, you're weird, too, and you smell bad sometimes, but you don't hear me mentioning it."

What he asked next dropped a bomb into her lap. "Pregs?"

"What? No! How is that even possible!"

His lifted brow said it all. "kaffKipppaaaaahkaff --- "

" --- is a penguin. Honestly, Rico." She burst out laughing. "Really! Can it be that you don't know how impossible it is --- "

Rico indicated the two snoozing babies wordlessly.

"Sure, I'll keep quiet," she whispered, "but gosh, what gives?"

He shrugged as confusion rumpled his face. "Dunno. Yutastefny."

It had to be this next thing that he sensed, it had to be it. "Not that it's your business, but I'm coming into heat. This stays between you and me, okay? I'll tell Skipper if he needs to know." She looked at him sideways. "Do you realize what that signals, Rico?"

"Hrny."

"Ha! The opposite, actually, because it hurts sometimes why am I telling you this?" She shook her head. "Just forget about it. It's only ten days, three if I get lucky."

He grinned.

"I don't mean lucky that way! Look, there are no other otters in Central Park Zoo so I can't become pregnant, the zoo never loaned me out for a breeding program or brought in a male otter --- I wonder why?" She fluttered her lashes because the grin deserved a comeback. "Aren't I pretty enough?"

Fat tears formed in Rico's eyes. He rolled her into a protective hug that had her gasping.

She broke out of it. "I'm kidding, you goofball! I have loads of green memories, working backwards from Skipper to everyone who's none of your business, m'friend." She patted his broad belly. "Aw, I'm all right. You know, maybe there are otters in Central Park." She frowned. "I've never thought about it. I've never scented any, though." She'd likely remain childless; she hadn't always been okay with that, but she was now. The solid relationship she had with Skipper helped immensely.

Sarah picked that moment to rouse and bop Paul's beak. He squalled and dotted her eye. The noises arising from the playpen took Rico's attention and Marlene's, too, as they each held a baby to soothe away tiny duckling owwies. Cuddling Paul, Marlene thought that babies were more interesting than she'd considered before two landed intimately into her life. There was the moro reflex, the rooting reflex, the walking reflex ... She mused herself into a reverie as she bobbled Paul up and down.

Skipper's and her baby would be an otguin, a furry black and white stub-tailed shape sporting penguin feet and flippers, but with an otter face. He or she would be the apple of her or his parents' eyes. She squeezed small Paul's yellow fluffy fuzz fondly and he farted. "Let wind be free for there shall be --- oh, skip it. Did you pick up that habit from Rico, Paul sweety?"

Rico huffed as he put Sarah on his shoulder to rub her back and jiggle her. "Nope. Kwoskii."

"Heeee, right! He farts, you burp, Private boushes and Skipper --- what does he do that they could pick up?"

Rico finished comforting. Sarah toddled around the playpen once again and Marlene placed Paul at the opposite corner. She gave him a fish plushie and Sarah a plushie that resembled a partially eaten ear of corn, but on closer inspection proved a mockup of Kowalski's abacus. Paul gnawed the fish plushie and then slapped Sarah with it. It was soft as an otter's winter fur and didn't hurt. "Oh. That's what they're picking up from him."

"Yah."

Kowalski held the lab door open while Skipper poked his head around it. "Hey, artiste, how's it going?"

"Wedun." Rico exited the lab at Kowalski's wave. Skipper approached his ladylove.

"You look cute today, Marlene."

"So do you, honey."

"Yeah, um, well, mirrors don't lie. I look exceptional." He caressed her shoulder. "Wanna fool around?"

"Nooooo, unless you mean sketch." An ache began low in her belly to signal her condition of reproductive ripeness. If Skipper had taken the flehmen position like Rico did, he would have swallowed her scent like the finest Beluga caviar. As it was, he looked taken aback, but only for a moment.

"Okay. It would have had to be quick, anyway. We've got a full mission schedule today, and I was hoping you could cover for us in the babysitting sitch, what say?"

The peach of a pearl formed a tie with him and all the team, really. "Sure. What's up?"

"Kowalski needs to fix his first fixing of the zoo clock, Rico is itching to scope out Gus' excavating the main fountain, Private wants to pet the bunnies in the Petting Zoo and I am determined to face them head on in do-or-die combat drills."

"Combat with bunnies?"

"You didn't see what they did to us once, Marlene. We were pwned. Never again, not on my watch! Learn from your enemies, babe."

Her brow crept upward. "I don't have any --- "

"Sure you do! Anyone who's lived as long as you have has enemies. That's a given."

She sighed. "Same planet, different worlds, I guess. All right, Skipper, mission away. I could use downtime, anyhoo."

"Why so? You're usually gung ho to come along." He didn't appear worried, only curious, thank goodness.

"Let's just say it's my time of the year."

"I don't get y--- oh. You mean that." He looked at her like she was a fragile ice sculpture, melting if he so much as breathed hard on it. "Out of my jurisdiction and out of my league, Marlene. Tell me what you need. I'll get it for you, no matter what."

She did melt, but deep inside. "Awwww, honey. I don't need anything. It's just the Labyrinthine Mollusk's way of doing things to make otters make more otters. I'm fine."

He couldn't seem to look her in the eye. "Er, how do you handle ... everything?"

"You mean blood, Skipper?"

A wordless nod in the direction of the lab's door, which he might sprint for any moment now. She could tell he was cringing where it didn't show.

"I swim a lot. You may have noticed."

"Oh. Yeah. That'd work. Um, onward, Marlene, I will belay calling on your expertise when that sitch is on the calendar. Just let me know the times."

She wanted to lighten this moment up before he squirmed away. "It's not contagious, Skipper. I've been doing this a long while."

"I can imagine, but it's okay, Marlene. You take it easy today, you hear? We'll dash in at noon for smiling and waving and to bring you some cotton candy for lunch. We'll wrap our missions up by chow this evening and then you can split for home."

She just had to tease because messing with him was such fun. "So you're not spending the night at my place even though it's Saturday?"

"No, got things to do here at HQ." His eyes popped open wide with inspiration. "Can't leave these adorable moppets alone."

"With three others to watch them?"

"We'll take shifts overnight. The more penguins, the fewer hours in each shift. Yeah, that's it."

"I see. Uh huh."

He rubbed the back of his neck. "It's just that I'd never thought about dealing with this thing about you because birds don't --- uh. You know what I mean."

"Yes. I do."

"You mad?" Before they got together-together, he'd never have asked this. Her heart switched from melting to pinging like the sonar did on their sub when it homed in on a school of anchovies.

"Nope." She considered a moment. "I'd never thought about what this would indicate to you. You believe I can't perform on any mission you'd assign me at these times." She crossed her paws tightly over her white bib of fur and contemplated the lab door as if she were going to bolt for it.

He wasn't becoming angry, yet she caught the whiff of challenged authority. "You are so wrong, Marlene. I'm afraid that I'd think of you first and put the mission and the team last. I'd put you ahead of the mission. If that makes you think I'm mean, I can't help it."

He was serious. He was actually serious. Ah me, another pile of spraint to step over, as her mom would say. She ought to resist blurting what was on her mind, but her growing bellyache made her fractious. "For a tough guy, Skipper, you sure have a lot of fears."

"You never know the meaning of the word fear until you lead a team." Ooh, he'd been working on such a response because that sounded rehearsed.

Her heart pinged more, nevertheless. "I guess I never will know it, then. Let's table this discussion because you need to go and these babies need tending." Paul and Sarah played quietly. "Or they must, at some point today."

Okay, now he was at the door where he'd been hankering to be. "Bye!"

"Bye, Mr. Touchy-Feely. Be careful kung fuing those bunnies. Ouch, that was a dirty look!"

The door slammed louder than usual.

IOIOIOIOIO

The End.

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pronker: (Default)
Title:  Trial And Error

Author: pronker

Era: Sometime after the return from Åland in Watermelon Snow.

Disclaimer:  I make no profit from this fanfiction set in Dreamworks' Penguins of Madagascar franchise, using its characters and settings.

Summary: Ars longa, vita brevis.

A/N Extrapolated from various eps in which Marlene's cave shows art supplies and various canvases standing against its wall.

IOIOIOIOIO

"If Namath can do it, so can I!"  Skipper reclined on his side on Marlene's bed, stretched his legs coyly and propped up his head on a beguiling flipper.  

"Namath?  He's from, like, ice ages ago!  How old are you, Skipper?"

He winked at her and her heart skipped a beat.  "Need to know, Marlene."

"Yeah whatever keep your secrets."  She rolled her eyes.  "Pretend Kowalski's freeze ray zapped you when I get done posing you, mmmkay?"

Marlene adjusted his top knee to cross his other one to touch the bed's surface.  He winked again and she flushed as she aimed a cuff at his earhole, quickly enough for him not to dodge her blow.  She discarded the pillow and ruffled her blanket artfully around him to suggest movements from the recent past, blushing even more.  She tilted his head up.  She was satisfied with the pose.

Skipper was not.  "Does the model ever give suggestions?  This one has a doozy."

She crossed her eyes before narrowing them.  "Okay, yeah, I'll use it but only if I like it.  That's why I'm the master and you're the --- "

"Padawan?"  he said solemnly.

Marlene blew a raspberry.  "Go on, you silly!  Hurry up!  I'm losing the north light here."

"Slip me one of those pansies."  He pointed to her vase, which was out of his reach.

"Huh?"

"From your bouquet, Marlene.  That's the right name for the purple flower, am I right?"

"Pblbpbpbl, Kowalski must have told you."  She passed him one.  

He adjusted it upright in front of himself at the natural crease between legs and torso.  She could tell he was barely holding back the chortles by the way his shoulders shook.  He looked up at her with doe eyes.  "Purple on black and white, outstanding, don't you think?"  He waggled the posy.

She took two steps back to frame the pose between her paws à la Renoir.  She shifted from portrait to landscape and back again.  She covered one eye.  "Needs something."

"Aw, come on!  It's perfect!"  

She realized that it was a daunting thing for a commander to share or give up command, but she was positive he'd like her addition to his suggestion.  She selected two more pansies from her vase, opened his grip on the original flower and pressed the three stems together before closing his grip again.  "You could do with more coverage.  Hold still while I adjust your, your --- "

"Stance?"

"Uh, I was going to say accoutrements but okay, stance will do.  Only you're not standing."  She placed his flipper closer to his body and stiffened the pansy stems.  "We'll need to get this sketch done quickly before the flowers wilt."

"Mine won't dare wilt.  And what's a cootermon?  Is that some artist lingo like easel and Ben-Day?"

"Never you mind.  Hold that position and look pleasant.  No, not like that."

"This?"

"Something else."

"This?"

"Better, but with less determination.  Think of coming home to a nice warm lair or visiting a nice warm Kitka."  

He lowered his eyes and looked unsettled.  She had the impression that he wanted to open up about the Kitka situation but instead he said,  "Okay, um, Marlene.  Operation: Poser is a go."

"I didn't agree to that name."  She hustled her easel in place and made broad circles with her pencil.  She squinted harder at him after one minute had passed.  "Breathe, Skipper, it's okay to breathe."

"Lying about isn't my thing.  I at least look at picture magazines when I goldbrick around the HQ."

She had heard of models needing conversation to stay focused and multi-tasked for all she was worth.  "Oh yeah?  What do you guys subscribe to?"  She outlined boxes, circles and spirals and now the body was done.  The facial expression would be more of a challenge.

"Ground-To-Air Missiles Quarterly, Tanks Unlimited, Superior Strategies complete with pie charts, stuff like that.  Now and then Penguins Illustrated."  He paused.  "The annual beach bunny issue falls apart three days after it's delivered."

The blanket's ripples gave her fits.  "Mmmhmmm."  She could only imagine how difficult drawing would be if animals wore clothes.  The shading she could fill in later.  Skipper was showing signs of restlessness.  Oh well, vigor was only one of the things she liked about him.  Hmm, vigor ...  "Aw dang."

"What is it?"

"A change up in the pose, sorry, my friend."  She erased the bottom third of the body.  "I had a brainstorm."

"Marlene, I've got things to do this morning --- "

"Okay!  Two more minutes then you can split!"  She scrubbed furiously at the sketchpad with the eraser.  "Shoot, I dropped my rubber.  Toss it back, would you?"  

"Your ... rubber?"

"The eraser, Mr. Bad Pun.  See it bounced by the bed oh never mind I'll get it --- "

"Don't get your tail in a twist, Ms. Otter."  He moved from her meticulous posing and she groaned.  After a moment's fishing by the bed, he tossed the eraser to her.  She replaced it on her easel's tray.  

"Before you settle, here's a better pose.  Just relax and let me position you."

"That tickles!"

"Sorry sorry, now recline again on your left side.  Flipper under head, yeah like that.  Left leg crooked slightly, no a little more.  Now angle the right leg up like this" --- she slid a paw behind the knee --- "my goodness, you're ticklish!  I'm barely touching you!  Relax the right foot --- what's the matter with your pinkie claw?  It's shiny and new ---"

"I got hurt on Åland blah blah can we just get on with it?"

"Oh!  That must have pained you!"

"I barely felt it.  I was busy fighting a sasquatch.  Come on, let's do this thing and I'll get out of your fur."  He softened.  "Not that I'm unwelcome, I know.  Stop the pity party, okay?  I hate that.  The toe's all healed up, see?"  He wiggled it.  

"Did the sasquatch tear into you that bad?  Where was your team?"

"Yeah, Private was the only one with me that battle.  Come on now, I don't have all day."  The mood in her cave soured.

She assessed him.  He was uncomfortable talking about Åland.  A story would need to be told ... but not today.  "Gotcha.  Moving right along, Skipper, I'm ready to work."

"Finally."

She stifled her comeback as she shifted into artiste mode.  Now the pose was perfect and she sketched the open legs' apex garnished by the pansies and then the relaxed posture, saving the face for last.  A few defining touches about the beak and she declared the first sketch complete.  "All done.  Te ves grandioso.  Thanks. "

"Okay, uh huh, sure.  I'm not even going to charge you."

"Haw.  Haw.  Let me make tea --- "

"I'm a coffee penguin, you know that."

"Whatevs.  Vamoose, then.  Catch you later, alligator."

"After while, crocodile."  Action mode restored, he waddled to her drainage grate and disappeared down it.  

Marlene whooshed out a breath.  "Girl, you will never learn all the penguins' secrets no matter how long you live.  Get used to it."  She sat on her bed to critique the sketch.  "Hmm, not bad.  A Caillebotte I am not, but not bad."

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The End.

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pronker: (Default)
Title:  Sunny Days Sweeping The Clouds Away

Author:  pronker

Timeframe: Someplace during the TV series.

Disclaimer:  I make no profit from this fanfiction set in Dreamworks' Penguins of Madagascar franchise.  They own the characters, setting and all other appurtenances thereto.

Summary:  Skipper and Marlene decide to try dating.

IOIOIOIOIO

St. Peter tossed his keys from one flipper to the other.  He appraised the penguin before him, one of dozens who would stand in the same place today.  This one's life story hadn't been the most unusual, but it came close.

"--- and so that's how I got here.  I didn't think it would happen this soon.  The others need me."  Skipper took a deep breath, quite surprised that he was still feeling the urge to breathe.  What was going on, anyhow?  Why didn't he feel cold or hot but still the same as when he was alive this morning, when New York City opened its eyes to a humid morning with chances of thundershowers?  Last night Gil Force had predicted a sunny and clear August day, no less.  He strained to see Manfredi and Johnson in the milling crowd of penguins through the fence, but there were no familiar faces to greet him, darnit.  He wanted to curse more satisfyingly.  He thought better of it, given the circumstances.  There was no sense in browning off a superior officer.

"Skipper, your time has come.  Say goodbye to all that you leave behind and follow me."  The holy saint juggled his keys with a mutter.  "This one's for the Potoroo Paradise, this is the one for Guppy Gloryland, oh here it is --- the Endless Iceberg."  He didn't look back to see if he were being followed as the lock opened and he stepped through the towering gates of gold scrollwork.  A few penguins looked up from their unknowable pursuits and nodded.  He nodded back as he waved the newest arrival onward like an aircraft marshaler using batons.  Skipper thought it ironic that a flightless bird signaled another flightless bird in such a manner.

The team commander bowed his head to the inevitable.  He peered down through the cloud cover below his feet to a very particular spot on a very particular habitat in Central Park Zoo.  There she was.  His heart heard her words without effort.

"Come on, Skipper, don't do this --- "

"Marlene!"  Skipper called.  "What on earth are you up to?"

As if she hadn't heard him, she continued this remarkable thing.  She squashed his belly to make a fountain of water spurt.  She crossed his flippers in his trademark pose and pushed on them --- wait, was that his body down there and not up here with all that made him him?  This was too eerie for words.

"Skipper!  Don't!"  Now she undid his flippers and recrossed them over his chest and pushed harder.  More water geysered upwards.  She paused and he heard her sob.

It had to be said.  "I've got to go, sister.  I lost the battle.  Don't cry."

The otter pressed her paws to the sides of her head and then clasped them together as she fell across his body.  How strange that he couldn't feel her weight.  Whatever she whispered next was out of Skipper's hearing.  He chanced a look over at St. Peter and the rest of the penguins.  They shimmered until all he could make out clearly was the saint's halo.  Where it once glowed steadily, it began to pulse as if confused.  For Pete's sake, who would know about these supernatural issues more than a citizen of the realm itself?  Somebody's team needed organizing and he was just the penguin to do it.

A voice as profound as St. Patrick's Cathedral bells on Easter morn now sounded out of sorts.  "Oh, for the love of --- "  St. Peter passed back through to the other side of the gates to double check his ledger.  To Skipper, the holy penguin appeared at a loss.  He squinted at his ledger and then at the arrival before him twice.  He shrugged as he pierced his fellow bird to the core with a look of judgment ethereal and true.

Oh.  He wasn't meant for the Endless Iceberg.  What had he done that was so heinous?  He'd lived a manly macho life.  He'd paid his dues.  He'd led his team through thick and thin.  How was that wrong?  What would happen to him now?

Skipper gave all this attention to Marlene, since the Endless Iceberg didn't want him.  He'd have these last precious sights of her to bide him for eternity whatever his final destination.  What was she --- it looked like --- 

"I won't let you or a stupid lightning strike ruin our day.  Here comes our first kiss, ready or not, muy fuerte."  She placed her paws around his beak to shape it the tiniest bit open.  She dipped her mouth over his and blew hard.  He could see that the rubbery little pads on her paws sealed the intimate connection so that air could pass full force into his lungs.  She fumbled in the beginning and he counted the respirations silently, too awestruck to say them out loud.

Suddenly she had the rhythm right and she kept on going, good on her.  Where there had been no feeling now was pain and as he doubled over, he felt himself falling.  A strong flipper supported him and he looked up into St. Peter's face.

The saint winked.  "Not yet.  And next time, Skipper, no showing off for Marlene.  You didn't need the reverse four and a half somersault pike during a thunderstorm to impress her.  That was asking for trouble."

"Will ... you ... let ... me go ... please?"  

"As you wish.  Watch out for lightning strikes on the way down."  Another wink as the last thing Skipper saw was St. Peter waving both flippers circularly like Mr. Miyagi's wax on, wax off gestures.  "You didn't see anything."

The support vanished but then he didn't need it any longer.  Christopher Cross' Sailing flitted through his thoughts as his reality shaded from supernatural to natural.  He landed hard.

"--- urk hack hack wheeze --- "
 Damn, but he had a sore throat.  He wouldn't be able to thank Marlene properly for some time.  They gasped together in the muggy aftermath of a brief but violent weather event.  It ought to be easy to get through the rest of their date after this.

"What!  Were!  You!  Thinking!" screeched Marlene eventually.

It seemed too much effort to sit up.  Skipper rubbed his throat and shrugged.  He mimed like Rico would as he rolled to one side and supported his head with crooked flipper while adopting a nonchalant expression.  He sketched a zigzag in the air.

"A lightning bolt hit near you and knocked you out in the middle of your dive, yes, I was there, remember?  Not what, I can see I've confused your little fried pea brain, but why?  Why, Skipper?  Object in air during thunderstorm, bad idea, much?  I may not have Kowalski's brain but I've got common sense!"  She looked cute as she groomed away water with short, angry motions.  She gave one last run through over her head before scowling at him.  "This is the worst date ever."

Skipper looked sad.

"Aw.  Don't be like that.  There is one way it could have been worse."  She shivered and Skipper pulled her close.  Her fur was dry now and he nuzzled his beak into her soft flank as she sat above him.  The zoo's masterful planning ensured that moisture seeped away quickly through any habitat's drainage system and as the sun peeked through after some minutes, Gil Force's prediction came true.

IOIOIOIOIO

The End.

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