Poe1911: Thanks so much! Yeah, I know what you mean about Gary's lashing out and I'm sorry if it wasn't all that great, but I figured "why not?" After all; we all get frustrated every now and then and when we do, sometimes we say stupid things. Anyway, thanks again!
snipsa: I really appreciate your review! And about Gary's lashing out; I hope it wasn't too out of character. I try my best to keep the characters "in character", but, (unfortunately!) sometimes it just not that easy! Anyway, thanks so much and I'll try to keep Gary the Gary Hobson that we all know and love!
A/N Here's chapter 6!
6. Moving On
Gary panted for breath as he neared closer to the car pulled over on the side of the bridge. He could now make it out as a taxi cab and suspicions flooded his mind. He didn't want to jump to conclusions, but he thought he had a good idea of who had his daughter.
Arianna bit her lip. She was afraid… but she wouldn't let the cabbie know that. She wouldn't give him the pleasure of knowing how he was frightening her. She was then suddenly aware that the man was tying her hands behind her with some rope. It was with dread that she suddenly realized that unless a miracle occurred and her father had found the Paper, she probably wouldn't ever see him again.
"Alright," The cabbie said just loud enough for Arianna to hear above the roar of traffic, "You better say your prayers, kid! 'Cause it's time to take a swim!"
And with those words, he hoisted the girl up into the air. And just as he was about to throw her over the edge, he felt a piece of steel being pushed against his back.
"Drop her and you'll be floating down there in that water," A voice said, "I mean it."
The cabbie gulped. This wasn't what he had planned. It wasn't what he had planned at all. At first, he was just going to throw the kid in anyway, but then he thought better of it. Reluctantly, he sat the girl down.
At the same time, Arianna was overcome with relief. As soon as her kidnapper sat her down, she turned to see who her rescuer was. And, of course, it was none other than… her father! Overjoyed, she leaped into his arms. Gary held his only daughter tightly. He had been so worried and he had to admit, there was a time when he thought he was going to fail. All of a sudden, he realized something that made his heart stop; when he looked up, his daughter's kidnapper was gone along with his taxi.
By the time father and daughter got back to the Tanner's house, the kids were home from school. Stephanie wanted to know what had happened to Arianna and, "where have you been?"
Gary and Arianna finally convinced everyone that Arianna had just gone outside and had gotten lost. That seemed to satisfy everybody's curiosity. Gary had explained to Arianna on the way to the house that he didn't want to worry the Tanner's about the dangerous cabbie. They thought he was crazy enough as it was.
And that night at supper, Gary announced that they would be leaving the following morning. He had completed what business he had in San Francisco and it was time for him and Arianna to move on. Immediately, a frown came across Stephanie's face. Arianna, who had known this news was coming, caught on quickly.
"Don't worry, Steph," Arianna grinned, "We can still write each other, can't we? I mean, that's what the post office is for, right?"
Stephanie managed to put a smile on her face, "Right, Arianna, we'll keep in touch."
Gary sighed with relief. At least that had gone over smoothly.
Later that evening, Arianna was in 'Gary's room', bidding her father good night. And just as she was heading for the door, Gary stopped her.
"Um, Arianna," He said, "Can I talk with you a minute?"
"Sure, daddy," Arianna said, a bit confused. She came and sat down on the bed beside her father, "What is it?"
"I want to talk to you about this morning," Gary started apprehensively; "I was way out of line. I shouldn't have accused you of stealing the Paper, Ari. It was wrong of me."
"It's okay, daddy," Arianna told him quietly.
"Well, no it's not okay," Gary disagreed, shaking his head, "I was wrong. And I know that you would never take the Paper, Arianna; especially without telling me; at least not without good reason. Do you think you could forgive me, honey?"
Arianna smiled and wrapped her arms around Gary's neck, "I already did. I love you, daddy." She whispered in his ear.
Moved by his daughter innocence and willingness to forgive, Gary wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his lap. "I love you, too, Ari," He whispered back, "I love you, too."
As Arianna looked around the Tanner house for the last time the following day, she felt a pang of sadness. She could still so vividly remember how she had felt when she first encountered this family. She had been nervous, yet excited. What an adventure, she had thought. And she had been right. Some of which, she could have done without.
She noticed her father shaking hands with the adults of the household. And even though he hadn't said so, not even to her, Arianna knew that he too regretted having to leave this family. They were kind, fun, and caring. Arianna had grown to love them and it saddened her to have to leave her new friends. Solemnly, she turned to Stephanie, who was standing beside her.
"You've been a good friend, Stephanie," Arianna told the girl, looking her in the eyes, "And I'll never forget you."
"You've been great, too, Arianna," Stephanie replied, "And even if I never see you again, I'll always remember you. I could never forget you."
Arianna grinned, "Thanks. And I'll write you just as soon as I get home, okay? I promise."
Stephanie just smiled.
The fathers of these girls watched on with a hint of sadness in their own hearts. They both hated the fact that their daughters would most likely not see one another in a long time, if ever again.
At that moment, both girls wrapped their arms around one another and hugged.
"Let's not say 'good-bye', okay?" Stephanie stated, taking a deep breath, "I don't want to. Let's just treat it like you'll be back, you know, in a few hours."
"Alright, then," Arianna nodded. She smiled, waved, and said, "I'll see you later, Steph." And with those words, she quickly turned around; her back to her friend, she was now facing the door where her father stood with their bags at his feet.
"You ready, Ari?" Gary asked his daughter.
Taking a deep breath, Arianna nodded, "I'm ready." She walked over to her father and he put his arm around her. Picking up their bags, he thanked Danny once more, waved to the rest of the family, and then walked out the door.
"You know, Danny, I have to admit," Jesse stated, looking at the closed front door, "You were right; it was kind of nice having them around here."
"It sure was!" Kimmy spoke up. She had come to see the Hobsons off, "Arianna's a nice kid. She should visit again; but only if she brings her dad. Man, is he hot!"
Everyone just rolled there eyes at the girl's remark. They had learned long ago that it wasn't worth commenting on everything Kimmy Gibbler said.
"Yeah, Jesse, it was nice having them here," Danny nodded, "They're real nice people. But don't you guys think that Gary Hobson was kind of strange?"
Kimmy looked confused and insulted; "What? Stranger than me?"
Holding Arianna's hand in one hand and their bags in the other, Gary stepped out the Tanner's front door. Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of light. When the light had passed, Gary rubbed his eyes. Then nearly fell over from shock. He glanced won at his daughter. She looked equally shocked. Where were they? This was certainly not Gerad Street.
Gary and Arianna were stand in the middle of a dirt road. No one was around except for a few little animals that could be heard scampering about here and there.
Arianna swallowed hard, "Daddy, w-where are we?"
"I don't know, honey," He told her, "But I think it's more a matter of when are we? Look."
Arianna looked own at her clothes, where Gary had been staring at. She gasped. She was no longer wearing jeans and a blue shirt. Instead, she was wearing a short dress. It came down to her fingertips and it was faded gingham. Her shoes weren't tennis shoes anymore either. They were a pair of worn, black Mary Janes. She looked back up at her father in complete shock.
"Y-yeah," Gary chuckled nervously, "That's what I thought. Hey, wait a minute!" He suddenly realized that he, too, was sporting a different fashion. His jeans and green plaid shirt were gone. In there place were an older style of jeans, a flannel shirt, and suspenders.
Arianna started laughing. Not at her father's attire, but at his expression. Finally, she said, "What about the paper, daddy?"
"The Pa– Oh!" Quickly, Gary pulled the Paper from his back pocket. This time, he was not so surprised to see that it had changed. He turned the Paper around so that Arianna could read it. It read;
"The Blue Ridge Chronicle"
To Be Continued…
A/N Well, that's it guys; for this story anyway. If you want, I'll continue it with the next sequel. Anyway, Thanks to all you reviewers who encouraged me to continue! You guys are awesome!
All disclaimers apply. You know the drill.