Thank You-A Dinosaur Train Fanfic

The Dinosaur Train was zooming down the track like always. Passengers were sitting in their seats in the passenger car either watching the scenery go by or having conversations amongst themselves. In the dining car, some were having their orders taken and others were busy eating and enjoying their meals.

And then it happened. A loud roaring sound erupted through the air and the vibrations shook everything. Mr. Conductor was just walking down the aisle of the passenger car when he heard this and his eyes widened. He had recognized that roar. He had been familiar with it ever since its owner had been employed on the Dinosaur Train years ago. It was Laura Giganotosaurus' roar and it could only have meant one thing: Something had fallen or ended up on the tracks, blocking the train's way. And the train had to stop, right now!

"Stop the train! Stop the train!" Mr. Conductor had shouted as loud as he could when he opened the passenger car door. The engineer troodon heard this and Laura's roar so he pulled on the brake. The train slowed down and within seconds it had stopped.

Looking ahead, Mr. Conductor saw what was blocking the way. The train tracks were surrounded by rocky walls on both sides and lying up ahead on the tracks was a pile of rocks. A rockslide must've occurred here recently, Mr. Conductor reasoned. He got out to examine it and heard the sound of giant footsteps thundering behind him. He looked behind and then up to see Laura.

"Thanks, Laura. I don't know what we'd do without you."

"Don't mention it. And don't worry, I'll have this all cleared out in no time." The official lookout for the Dinosaur Train said. Laura got right to work as she started picking up rocks and placing them to the side away from the tracks. Any rock that was too big for the giganotosaurus to carry was pushed off of the tracks by her using her massive head. Within several minutes the track was cleared and the passengers were cheering. Smiling satisfactorily at a job well done, Laura walked back to the observation car and jumped aboard. Mr. Conductor got back onto the passenger car and called for the train to move again, which it did in no time.

The train reached the next few destinations before coming to a roundhouse, where Laura got out and used her great strength to turn the train around in another direction. They went to several more stops, turned around again in another roundhouse, stopped in the middle of the tracks so Laura could move a large tree off of it, and then resumed its way back to Troodon Town. There at the town's roundhouse, Laura turned the train around again for the seventh time that day. A whistle blew and everyone knew that it was break time and time for the train to load up on supplies.

Laura started walking out of the roundhouse and encountered a few train crew and roundhouse members on the way, who said hi to her and congratulated her on a job well done. She raised her hand up as a way of saying hi back and nodded while saying, "You're very welcome." She walked out of and around the roundhouse to the other side. She looked around, making sure that she was alone. Then she sat down on a large and flat rock, closed her eyes and sighed a bit, and started rubbing the back of her neck and top of her shoulders. Mr. Conductor was walking by the roundhouse and turned to the left. That was when he noticed Laura, noticed her rubbing her sore body. He stood in the roundhouse's shadow cast by the early afternoon sun, unnoticed by the giganotosaurus.

He thought about all the roundhouse train turning and track obstruction moving she had done today and for the past few weeks. He couldn't help feeling bad about the pain she was suffering from because of all that work. Being the official lookout and muscle for the Dinosaur Train can often be very demanding, and leaving you feeling exhausted and worn out by the end of the work day or week.

Mr. Conductor thought about all the things Laura had done and wondered how many times she had helped the Dinosaur Train out, especially out of trouble. More times than he could count, that's for sure. When was the last time Laura had time off longer than a whole day? Mr. Conductor had, but he didn't have the same kind of hard work as Laura had to do. And he also wondered: Had anyone working aboard the train or in Dinosaur Train Industries ever given her a thank you or token of appreciation to match how much she has done for the train?

That was when an idea appeared in Mr. Conductor's mind, two ideas actually. He took one last look at Laura before heading off to implement the first idea. When he arrived several minutes later, he saw that the female giganotosaurus was still there, rubbing her sore muscles. He came over to her. "Hi, Laura. How are you doing?"

She saw him and offered him her usual characteristic smile. "Oh, a little sore. But nothing I'm not used to."

Mr. Conductor felt that she was lying, but it was understandable why she was doing so. In addition to be kind-hearted and helpful, Laura always wanted to give the impression that she wouldn't let you worry or let you down often. It was something she strived to do in addition to be being a hard-worker dedicated to her job. Mr. Conductor cleared his throat. "Say Laura, how would you like a whole week off starting this afternoon?"

Laura's eyes widened. She looked at him as if what he had just suggested was an unreasonable thing to ask of her. "A whole week off from the train? I couldn't! Who would be the lookout while I was gone?"

"We can arrange a replacement to cover until you come back; we have a list of back-ups in case anything happens to the lookout. And don't worry, it's not permanent. We could never replace someone as kind and nice to work with as you, Laura. Plus, I've asked higher ups and they say that it's okay for you to take time off. It can be arranged."

Laura looked up at the sky, as if for a sign that she should take Mr. Conductor up on his suggestion. "I don't know…"

"Please, I think you deserve it, for all that you do for the train."

Laura saw the look on Mr. Conductor's face, which was an imploring look. She closed her eyes, sighed, and looked at him again. "Alright, I'll take the next week off. Perhaps tomorrow I'll go visit my family back in Giganotosaurus Junction. It feels like forever since I've last seen them."

"Good idea, you can be back the night before you're due to come back for work."

Laura nodded and then smiled at him. "Thank you, Mr. Conductor."

"No problem." He left her and headed into the Troodon Town train station. There he typed up a note and used a copying machine to make copies of the note, each of which he placed in a crew member or roundhouse member's mailbox. The note read:

Please report to Meeting Room B at 8 A.M. tomorrow morning to discuss an important matter.


Mr. Conductor.

The Troodon Town train station was not like other train stations throughout the Mesozoic. It looked much grander than the others and even had features that other train stations did not. It had a large office for the station master which he used to cut out tickets and hand them to customers who wanted to board any of the trains, offices for other employees, apartments on the second and third floors where some employees lived, and meeting rooms on the first floor in the building, opposite the one which housed the station master's office, to hold important meetings in. One of them had been reserved by Mr. Conductor himself, Meeting Room B, shortly after he had talked to Laura and shortly before he had typed up the notes. The next morning, he waited in this room for the crew members of the train and the members of the roundhouse to show up. And they all did by the time the clock in the meeting room read 7:57AM. All of them took their seats around a long table in the middle of the wooden panel wall room. When the clock struck eight, Mr. Conductor began the meeting promptly by clearing his throat. "I bet you're all wondering why I've written for you to gather here this morning."

The workers all nodded and stating that they were indeed wondering why. Mr. Conductor resumed. "You've all known Laura Giganotosaurus for a long time, right?" The workers nodded and a few spoke up.

"Yes, she was working here when I first started." A crew member said.

"What a delight she is to work with, so friendly it'd be hard not to act friendly back towards her." Said another.

"She's such a big help on the train." A roundhouse employee said cheerfully.

"Yeah, and not just with being a lookout and muscle for the train. She once found my lost wallet in the corner of the observation car. She searched all over Troodon Town, not willing to give up until she had returned my wallet back to me. I was so happy when she did." A troodon waiter said.

"Yes," Mr. Conductor said. "She does so much for us and the train. So I've been thinking yesterday, how about we all throw a big thank you party for Laura. To show her how much we appreciate her and her good deeds. We can hold the party in the Troodon Town roundhouse."

The workers all smiled and that that was an excellent idea.

"And that's what we're going to use this meeting for, to decide how we're going to make this party happen. Any suggestions?"

One worker raised his hand; it was the chef who was in charge of food service aboard the train. "How about we bake a cake? A cake made with Laura's favorite food, meat?"

Mr. Conductor snapped his fingers. "That's excellent! You think you and your kitchen staff can manage it?" He asked. The chef smiled. "Consider it done. My staff and I would be very happy to do this for Laura."

A crew member spoke up, his name was Max. He was a waiter and an artist. "We can make banners celebrating Laura's deeds or things she likes to do? One could be of her being the lookout, another could be of her observing a bird while drawing it, another could be of her pushing the train, and another could be of her turning around the train in the roundhouse? Maybe even one of her being friendly to other creatures?"

"Perfect, Max. You and some other artists can get to making those banners right away!" Mr. Conductor said. Max and the other crew members who were also artists all nodded.

"How about we hold a special bird flying show for Laura? The birds participating could be ones she's drawn in her sketchbook? Maybe we could set off fireworks afterwards, ones that when they burst up in the sky, pictures of Laura can be seen?" Said Trey Troodon, a crew member.

Mr. Conductor beamed. "Great! Let's find some birds who'll participate and a fireworks specialist!"

"And don't forget about music and dancing. We gotta have that at the party." Said an employee at the end of the table.

"Say, now that I think about it, let's make it a surprise party too! Laura can be brought to the roundhouse and we can surprise her there!" Mr. Conductor cried.

Everyone cheered and then one worker spoke up. "Sounds like we have the party all thought out, except for one thing that I see: when are we going to throw the party?"

"Well, I arranged for Laura to have the week off. She's going to go visit her family today and spend her time off with them. We'll throw the party for her after she comes back. I could keep her away from the roundhouse by hanging out with her in other parts of Troodon Town. Then when it gets dark, I'll take her back to the roundhouse and we can start the party."

"But who will be in charge of setting things up while you're away with Laura?" One worker asked.

Mr. Conductor opened his mouth to speak, but a different voice answered for him.

"I will! Bwaaahhhh!"

"Yipes!" Mr. Conductor jumped and spun around to see his mother, Mrs. Conductor, standing in the doorway behind him. He hadn't even heard her open the door. "Mother, must you always surprise me like that?"

"Oh, I'm so sorry, son. I just can't help it. I was just walking by and heard you all talking about a party for Laura. Well, if you'd like, I'd love to be charge of setting things up. If anyone knows a lot about surprise, it's me."

"Well, okay mother you can help. I think that covers everything, any other suggestions?" All the workers shook their heads. "Then let's get right to work on making preparations. Meeting adjourned!" Mr. Conductor said.

Later the train was on its way to Giganotosaurus Junction. Laura was in her usual squatting position in the observation car, looking at the passing scenery. She heard the door open and looked down to see Mr. Conductor. "How you doing, Laura?"

"Oh, just fine. I must admit however, that it feels weird for me to be riding the observation car when I'm not on duty."

"Being on the train as a passenger only when you're used to working on it can feel strange, but it's nice riding without any tasks to worry about."

"Yes, it sure is nice to just ride and relax." Laura looked around the observation car. "I sure am going to miss this train while I'm away."

"Don't worry; you'll be seeing it again in no time. And your fellow co-workers will be right here awaiting your wonderful and sweet return."

Laura smiled kindly down at him. "Thank you, Mr. Conductor."

"You're welcome." Mr. Conductor heard his watch chiming and took it out of his pocket. He looked at it and then up at Laura. He smiled. "It's time."

Laura nodded at him and Mr. Conductor called out for all of the train to hear. "Giganotosaurus Junction Station! Giganotosaurus Junction Station, next stop!"

The train came to a halt in front of the station and there, waiting on the platform, were Laura's parents and siblings. They all looked happy to see her. And she looked happy to see them. She hopped out of the train and embraced every single one of them.

"Come on, Laura. We've got a nest made up just for you." Her father said.

"You can tell us about your travels, and show us any drawings of birds and/or other creatures you've made." Her mother said.

"I've got those drawings all here." Laura said patting her big travel bag.

Her family members nodded and all headed off for the nesting grounds. Laura was about to follow them when she heard her name being called. She turned to see all her co-workers gathered onto the platform in front of the train, smiling and waving at her. "Good-bye Laura! Have a great time at home! We look forward to seeing you again real soon!"

Laura was very touched by this. She smiled and waved her hand in farewell. "Thank you all so much. Adios, see you all soon!" And with that, she turned and followed her family.

The train workers watched her until she disappeared in the distance. They couldn't help feeling a little sad now that she was gone. After a moment, Mr. Conductor was the first to break the silence. "Come on, everyone. It's time to get the train moving again. And to begin making preparations for Laura's party."

Everyone looked at him and nodded. They all got on board and the train headed off.

The week went by as weeks naturally do, and Laura's absence could be felt greatly over the course of that week. It felt strange and a little sad to go through the observation car, whether it was going to the caboose for a tea break or back to the passenger car to resume work, without seeing Laura there. No Laura to say hello to, no Laura to chat with, no Laura whose friendly nature and lovely voice and smile was enough to brighten your day. All the troodons working on the train missed Laura deeply, including Mr. Conductor, but they reminded themselves that she would return soon. And in the meantime, they had work to do other than their usual train duties.

Trey Troodon had made himself a list of all the birds he could remember Laura drawing in her sketchbook and showing to him. If the train had stopped at a station where one of the birds Laura drew was there, Trey would be given enough time to find them, tell them about the party they were going to throw, and ask if they would like to be a part of the flying show they hoped to do. By the end of the first day of Laura's week off, Trey was very surprised that every single bird he had asked had said yes to be a part of a flying show. But when he thought about it, it made sense. The birds Laura had met and drew had come to like her a lot. Of course they would be happy to do something nice for the female giganotosaurus who had made such lovely drawings of them.

Elliott Enantiornithine, Arlene Archaeopteryx, and Peng Protopteryx were just a few names among the thirty-some birds who had agreed to participate. They all boarded the train to Troodon Town, where they would stay until the day after the party and be provided places to stay in the meantime. There in Troodon Town, in a nearby valley hidden from the public, all the birds would practice for the flying show under the supervision of Trey's cousin Sidney, who's had experience training birds for flying shows. Early each morning and late each afternoon, the birds practiced flying tricks in the air. By the end of day five of Laura's absence, the birds had gotten every trick down. And they would continue practicing, so that they'd stay sharp and ready for the show.

Max and a few crew members were in charge of making banners for the party in their spare time. At the end of four days' time, they had painted banners of Laura doing her job, drawing a bird, and her being nice to fellow creatures. After the banners had dried and they were satisfied with their work, they had the banner's folded up and placed inside a box that would go in a part of the roundhouse where it wouldn't get in the way and be stored until the day of the party came.

Fireworks and a specialist were quickly obtained the first day. The fireworks were special made so that when they went off, pictures of Laura would be seen in the night sky. After some samples were tested one night and the train members seeing them nodded in satisfaction, the fireworks too were stored safely away in the roundhouse.

Musical entertainment was also obtained so the last thing to prepare was the cake, which wasn't done until the day before Laura was to be picked up from home. The chef and his kitchen staff got right to work and a while later, the cake was ready. It was decorated with green frosting with a bird feather design on the borders of the cake, each feather a different color. "Perfect." Mr. Conductor said. "Let's keep in the fridge until it's time for the party." It was done and Mr. Conductor smiled. Everything was ready to go. All that was missing was Laura herself.

The day Laura was to return had arrived. All the train workers were so excited about picking her up and throwing the party that they were easily distracted and made several mistakes while doing their tasks. A waiter had made it to a table in the dining car before realizing that he had forgotten his note pad to take down orders while another waiter had gotten a carnivore and herbivore's meals mixed up. Even Mr. Conductor made mistakes like not punching stacks of tickets all the way through and momentarily forgot to say "Time Tunnel!" when the train was heading towards one. But as they got closer to Giganotosaurus Junction, they were able to focus a little more.

The train arrived at the station in no time and standing there on the platform was Laura herself. The workers came out to greet her and she did the same. "It's so nice to be back, I've missed you all and the train so much." She hopped on board and the train got moving. Sometime later it arrived back in Troodon Town in late afternoon. It would not be making any more runs today because it would be going through some maintenance inspections, so all the workers aboard the train had the rest of the day off. Everyone got off and when Mr. Conductor saw Laura, he ran out to her.

"Say Laura?"

"Yes, Mr. Conductor?"

"Would you like to spend the whole afternoon with me? We could walk around Troodon Town together and enjoy the sights, what do you say?"

Laura smiled. "Why I would love to accompany you through town. It'd be so nice to walk around and talk with one of my closest friends." Mr. Conductor smiled and held out his hand for her. Laura nodded and took his hand. Mr. Conductor saw the other train workers heading into the roundhouse with Mrs. Conductor leading them. She looked back at her son and winked. He winked back and just then a crew member had come up to him and handed him a small walkie-talkie. '"We'll let you know when everything is ready." He whispered to Mr. Conductor and he nodded at the worker. He said good afternoon to Mr. Conductor and Laura before heading off into the roundhouse.

"What was that about?" Laura asked. "Oh, nothing you need to worry about, Laura. Shall we head off?"

Laura looked at him and then she happily nodded. "Alright then, let's go." She said. Laura and Mr. Conductor then headed off into town.

Mr. Conductor and Laura spent the whole afternoon walking around Troodon Town and saw almost all that it had to offer. They looked at a beautiful fountain in the center of a shopping plaza. The fountain had a statue of a lovely female troodon with her head tilted up and water pouring out through her mouth, over her open palms, and into the pool surrounding her. The two friends then looked at all the shops lining around the plaza. There were stores that sold clothes like hats and t-shirts saying: I just flew into Troodon Town and boy are my arms tired! There were stores that sold toys like a miniature version of the Dinosaur Train and a wooden track for the train to move on. And there were also stores that sold books. There Mr. Conductor bought a bird watching guide book and gave it to Laura.

"For you, my dear friend."

"Oh, Mr. Conductor, You shouldn't have, but thank you." Laura said.

"Oh, consider it a gift for all that you do." The Conductor said.

They walked further on, seeing creatures gathered in small groups, talking about the weather, what they thought about the latest tech and train releases from Dinosaur Train Industries, and of course, the latest gossip. Soon, evening came about and the sun went down. The sky blackened as the two made it to the top of the hill.

"Let's stop and rest a while here." Mr. Conductor said. "Yes, let's do." Laura agreed and they both sat down on rocks just the right size for both of them. From where they were positioned, they could see all of Troodon Town except for the roundhouse. Lights were on all over town, casting the surrounding areas in pools of light. Each streetlight was helping to brighten up the whole town.

"Such a lovely view, nothing beats it." Mr. Conductor said staring at the lights.

Laura nodded and stared at the sight below too. She placed her hands over her heart. "It's all so beautiful. I remember the first night I spent here as an official Dinosaur Train employee. I was to spend the night in the observation car inside the roundhouse, but I was feeling very alone and homesick. I missed my family very much." Laura switched her sight to the Conductor, who looked up at her. She smiled. "But fortunately for me, a special friend I had made just that day offered to spend the night with me. He stayed in the passenger car while I stayed in the observation car. He was such great company, and I had no trouble falling asleep. Soon, I was able to sleep there on my own. And now that I'm sitting beside him, I'd like him to know how grateful I was for his friendship that night, just as I am tonight."

Mr. Conductor could feel his face flushing red as he looked away and rubbed the back of his neck. "Oh, it was nothing. That friend was very glad to have helped you in any way." Laura nodded and looked back at the town and its night-time lights. "Of course, I'm also glad to have other friends who I work with aboard the train as well." Mr. Conductor looked up and saw Laura sigh happily. "Trey Troodon is one of the funniest creatures I have ever met. He knows the best jokes and always makes me laugh, even when I'm feeling very sad. Max, an artist like me, he and I both love talking about art so much. Often he gives me tips on what to try out and what supplies to get. His critiques have helped me improve as an artist so much. And Trey's cousin Sidney tells me the most interesting facts about birds, so many I never knew."

Laura went on about the rest of the train employees like how good she got along with them in different ways and how happy each one of them made her feel. And sitting while listening to her, Mr. Conductor was surprised. He knew how much Laura had meant to him and the rest of the train workers, but never had he or had they known how much they all had meant to her, each one in a different and unique way. Mr. Conductor listened to Laura until she had finished and sighed once more. "I'm so lucky to be working with all of you; I couldn't imagine getting along with a better crew."

Mr. Conductor could feel something vibrating in one of his pockets. He remembered that it was the walkie-talkie, which he had set to vibrate while he was walking through town with Laura. He stood up and spoke to her. "Please excuse me, official Dinosaur Train business, won't take more than a couple minutes."

"Okay, take your time. I'm in no rush." Laura looked down at the nightly view while Mr. Conductor walked thorough some bushes until he was certain that Laura would not hear him from this distance. "Yes?" He spoke softly into the walkie-talkie and the voice of a train worker could be heard coming from the other end of the connection. "Everything is all set, over. Bring Laura down to the roundhouse ASAP, over."

"Copy that, over." Mr. Conductor said before ending the call. He put the walkie-talkie back in his pocket and headed back to where Laura was. "Say, how about we head back to town? I'll walk you to the roundhouse."

"Certainly, thanks so much for spending the afternoon and evening with me. I really enjoyed your company."

"Same." Mr. Conductor said. He walked with her back to town.

They were approaching the roundhouse, guided only by the lights from the streetlamps. The roundhouse looked completely dark, so dark it looked and felt very spooky. Mr. Conductor walked beside Laura and noted to himself how everything was so silent. It was as if the entire area were deserted tonight. Laura stopped before the roundhouse and turned to Mr. Conductor. "Again, thank you so much for spending half the day with me. It was very fun."

"You're welcome, I feel the same way."

Laura nodded and tried to look into the roundhouse. "I can't see a thing. It's so weird, usually there's some light on in the roundhouse. Could there be a problem?"

"Oh, I'm sure we'll be fine. Whatever's wrong can be checked on in the morning, let's just get you inside and back in the observation car. I know it's early, but you've got a full work day ahead of you tomorrow."

"Yes, indeed I do. And I look forward to it very much. It'd be so good to be lookout for the train again."

Mr. Conductor nodded and they both walked into the roundhouse. When they were past the entryway and close to where the revolving platform usually was (removed for tonight), bright lights came on and Mrs. Conductor and the other train employees jumped out of all the other entryways. Mr. Conductor was ready to cry out along with them, "Surprise!"

"Oh my goodness!" Laura exclaimed with wide eyes. "What is going on here?"

Mr. Conductor stepped before her. "Why it's a surprise party and thank you party, for you! To thank you for all the good that you do for the Dinosaur Train and your co-workers. We really appreciate you, Laura. You're one of the greatest lookouts, co-workers, and employee that Dinosaur Train Industries and its workers have ever known!"

Laura looked around. Banners hung from the railing on top of the roundhouse, all of them about her. She noticed a long table with food and drink and a cake on top. Another table had a DJ standing behind it with his music equipment. She looked back at her co-workers, the ones who had put all this together, and smiled warmly. Laura looked very touched by this sentiment as she placed her hands over her heart and looked at all of them. When she spoke she spoke so softly, yet loud enough for all of them to hear. "Thank you; thank all of you so much. I never knew just how much appreciated I was by all of you, until tonight. All of this, everything you've done," She said, indicating the party and all the decorations. "It's wonderful, you all are so wonderful. You are not just my co-workers and close friends, you all are like a second family to me."

Everyone smiled at her, including the conductor. "Thanks, Laura. I think we all feel the same way too. So, shall we start the party?" Laura nodded. "Yes, I believe we should."

"Let's boggie!" Mrs. Conductor cried excitedly, causing everyone to laugh. "Oh, Mother." Mr. Conductor chuckled.

And so the party began. The roundhouse was instantly filled with music and everyone started dancing. Mrs. Conductor was moving all over the place by herself before she was seen dancing with her son. All the train employees took turns dancing with Laura while she would spin them around and around. Cake was served fifteen minutes later after it was wheeled away from food storage by the kitchen staff. Laura was the first to cut a slice and eat it. "Hmmm. This is so delicious, thanks to you and your staff for making it."

"It was nothing, anything for such a kind and lovely creature such as yourself, Laura." The chef said taking off his hat and holding in his hands as he smiled up at her.

After everyone was done dancing and eating, they all gathered in the middle of the roundhouse. There Trey and his cousin Sidney stood before the crowd. "Now what is going on?" Laura asked while in her usual squatting position. "Oh, I think you're going to love this, Laura." Mr. Conductor whispered to her.

Trey cleared his throat. "Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have a real treat for you. I have traveled throughout the Mesozoic era looking for birds, but not just any birds, birds that our own beloved Laura Giganotosaurus has drawn during her time as Dinosaur Train Lookout. They have all gathered in Troodon Town for one reason and one reason only: to put on a spectacular flying show for Laura!"

Everyone in the crowd began applauding the female giganotosaurus and while looking up, Mr. Conductor could tell that she was both blushing and smiling. Trey turned to Sidney and said, "Cuz, would you care to do the honors?"

"It would be a pleasure, Trey. My fellow birds come out! It's time to do the show, just like how we rehearsed!" Spotlights came on instantly and pointed up at the circular railing surrounding the top of the roundhouse. All the birds in the show could be seen standing on the railing. "Ready?" Sidney called out. "Ready!" all the birds cried out in unison. Their many, different voices all sounding as one. "IT'S SHOWTIME!" Sidney called. All the bird flew off of the railing and moved through the air in formation. They flew close over the audience's heads and back up into the air. They did loop-de-loops, they bobbed up and down, they split up into two groups where one formed a circle and members of the other flew through it one by one. They did all that and other great flying tricks. Everyone in the audience was mesmerized by the performance, even Laura herself. She had never seen a bird flying show or any performance like it, and she was smiling as she watched them all giving it their best. The birds separated, flew back towards each other, and burst up away into the air before returning to the landing, bringing the show to its end. Everyone applauded.

As this was happening, one crew member standing in one of the roundhouse's entryways whispered into a walkie-talkie. The fireworks specialist on the other end accepted the message and got right to lighting the fireworks. They went off as soon as the birds had finished their performance and everyone applauded. The fireworks could be seen shooting up into the air and exploding in the sky. Colors of blue, red, green, yellow, purple, and white could be seen lighting up the night sky. Everyone ohhhed and ahhhed for the next couple minutes. Then, the last of the fireworks could be seen zooming up into the air from far away and bursting in the sky, revealing images of Laura in green light. After the fireworks fizzled out, the applause was much louder this time. The lights for the roundhouse which had been turned off for the show had been turned back on and everyone looked at Laura, who had tears in her eyes. "That was all so beautiful. Thank you all so much."

Her co-workers all spoke up.

"You're welcome, Laura!"

"You've earned it!"

"Thanks for all that you do for us, Laura."

And so the party ended, everything was put away, and the rotating platform was placed back before the train was brought in for the night. The other train employees left the roundhouse one by one. Laura stood by the entrance the employees were leaving from, thanking each and every one of them for the party; she said that she greatly enjoyed it. Laura looked back and saw Mrs. Conductor saying goodnight to her son before heading off. Laura called out her thanks and goodnight to her before Mr. Conductor came over to her. "And of course, Mr. Conductor. The others told me that this party was your idea, so thank you as well." Then Laura did something that Mr. Conductor wasn't expecting. She leaned her head down, closed her eyes, and kissed the top of Mr. Conductor's head. Although it was the top of his hat that she had kissed, Mr. Conductor blushed nonetheless. After she broke away, he smiled shyly, held his hands behind his back, turned his head away with his eyes closed, and brushed his right foot back and forth over the ground. "Oh gosh, it was nothing." He said, pronouncing gosh as garsh.

"Oh no, it was something. It was sweet and very wonderful. Something that I will never forget for as long as I live." Laura said.

"I, and the other workers, just wanted to let you know how much you and all you that you do means to us."

"Message received. Goodnight, Mr. Conductor. I can't wait to be working again with and seeing you tomorrow."

"Yes, same here." Mr. Conductor and Laura smiled at each other before he left for the train station and she for the inside of the roundhouse. Back in the apartment he had on the second floor of the train station, Mr. Conductor was getting ready for bed. He emerged from the bathroom in red pajamas that looked similar to his conductor uniform. He yawned. After all that partying, he was sure that he and everyone else would be having no trouble falling asleep tonight. He walked over to one of his windows and opened it up. He stuck his head out and looked at the roundhouse, where Laura was no doubt sleeping in the observation car of the train. He could hear loud snoring coming from the roundhouse and couldn't help smiling fondly. "Goodnight, Laura.''


A/N Sidney, Trey's cousin, is not Sidney Sinovenator. He is just a troodon.