I will own Rugrats one day! Seeing as Nickelodeon clearly doesn't appreciate them anymore…
"Morning, sunshine," Tommy chuckled as Phil came into view, leaning to the side in a painful looking way, a large number of suitcases slung over his back.
"Yeah, okay," Phil huffed, dropping the bags at the top of Tommy's driveway and falling on top of them.
"Phil," his twin sister shouted as she closed the door to the van and waved goodbye to their mom, "be careful with those!"
She bounced up the driveway and smacked him in the arm with her tiny purse.
"See, the fact that that didn't hurt at all shows me that you don't have enough to carry," Phil muttered angrily.
"Thank you, dear brother," she said sweetly, hopping up on the back of Tommy's car where he was already sitting, "Hey, you ready for…uh…wait a minute. Where are we going?"
"Vegas," Tommy grinned.
"No way!" Phil exclaimed.
"Yeah," Tommy said, "my mom said we went there a long time ago when we were little, and she thought we should go again. It's gonna be like a 'for old time's sake' thing."
Phil got up from his spot on top of Lil's six suitcases, "We're going to Vegas? With your PARENTS?"
"Oh, that is lame," Lil nodded in agreement.
"At least we're going somewhere cool, though," Tommy nudged Lil in the arm, "and I bet we can sneak away at some point."
"We can?" Lil asked, her heart beating rapidly at the thought.
"Yeah, we can all go to a club or something," Tommy shrugged.
'Oh, all of us,' Lil thought, a little disappointed.
"How are we gonna get into a club?" Phil laughed.
"I think we can!" Tommy jumped up off the car triumphantly, "I don't see why not! We'll find a way. It's vacation. It'll be like an adventure."
"Oh, no, what's going to be an adventure?" Chuckie asked, putting down two suitcases next to the pile.
"See, look at what a good brother Chuckie is being, carrying his sister's suitcase without complaining," Lil pointed out.
"Yeah, her one suitcase," Phil retorted, "You brought six!"
"I brought five!" Lil shouted back.
"Oh, okay then, silly me!" Phil yelled even louder.
"Yeah, Phil, be a good brother," Kimi tousled Phil's hair as she bounced over to Lil and they both began giggling at something unknown to the boys, as usual.
"Susie's here!" Phil exclaimed with excitement. He knew she would be the one girl who wouldn't tease him or make fun of him or injure him on this trip.
"With Angelica," Tommy said flatly as his cousin hopped out of the passenger seat of Susie's car that had just pulled up on the curb.
Chuckie's throat ran dry. He flopped down on the pile of suitcases with Phil, hoping he would somehow blend in and go unnoticed. Lil looked away awkwardly, avoiding eye contact at all costs. After her encounter with Angelica at the party, there was no way she would understand the secret that Lil was hiding. Although, a best friend probably wouldn't understand either. Kimi twirled the blue streak of her dark, black hair around her finger, popping her gum and tapping her foot in an attempt to look casual. Tommy just sat there, not really sure what to expect, but he certainly wasn't afraid of his own flesh and blood.
"Hi, kids!" Susie exclaimed after a solid 10 seconds of awkward silence, causing them all to jump, "are you ready for a weekend of nonstop fun?"
They all nodded seriously.
'Be nice, be nice, be nice, be nice,' Angelica repeated over and over in her head as she pulled her bright pink suitcases from Susie's car. She began dragging them toward where the kids were standing, and saw all their faces. Tommy looked indifferent, Phil looked sick, Lil looked uncomfortable, Kimi looked confused, and Chuckie looked terrified.
"Oh, get over it, I don't bite," Angelica snapped, throwing her stuff down next to them.
"Oh, good, everyone's here!" Stu exclaimed as her burst through the front door, fanny pack and visor in place and ready for takeoff.
"We're not going to Disneyland, Uncle Stu," Angelica laughed.
"Oh, my niece," he ignored her comment completely as he leaped over to her and gave her a big squeeze, "it's so great to have you with us again."
"I know," Angelica smiled sweetly.
"Angelica!" Didi squealed, running over to her and grabbing her face in her hands, "oh look at you! You look so beautiful."
"Thank you, Aunt Didi," Angelica glanced sideways at Chuckie to see if this had gotten his attention at all. He had called her beautiful just a few nights before, and it was all she could think about since then.
"Oh it's so wonderful to have all you kids together again," Didi beamed, clasping her hands together, "We're all going to have so much fun!"
The kids groaned a chorus of "yeah" and "sure" and other undistinguished noises, except Susie, of course, who shouted "we sure are!".
"We're all loaded up!" Stu rubbed his hands together in excitement, "How about I take the boys with me and Didi, you can drive the girls?"
"Shotgun!" Dil shouted, as he climbed down the rope extended from his second floor bedroom window "Aw, man, so close!"
"What?" Phil asked Tommy.
"Who knows?" Tommy replied.
"Alright, guys, sorry but Marvin called shotgun first," Dil shook his head, climbing into the backseat of Stu's van, "I was close though."
"Dil, we can't just make Dad drive us all the way there with no one in the front seat," Tommy scolded, "He's not our own personal limo driver."
"I know, Marvin's sitting in the front," Dil responded casually.
Tommy groaned and crawled in the backseat, followed by Chuckie and Phil.
"Who's Marvin?" Chuckie inquired.
"His imaginary something," Tommy rolled his eyes.
"Your brother is so cool," Phil said sincerely, greeting Marvin with a 'hey man' as he got into the van.
Tommy and Chuckie burst into laughter as the van pulled out of the driveway and began on its journey to Las Vegas.
"So, Phil, how was shopping with your mom?" Tommy grinned.
"What?" Phil's cheeks turned light pink, "how did you guys know about that?"
"Kimi told us," Tommy nudged him.
"Man, I knew she was gonna tell everyone!" Phil crossed his arms.
"Why would you tell Kimi that anyway?" Chuckie asked, his protective big brother voice out in full force, "I wasn't aware that you guys were keeping secrets from the rest of us."
Phil didn't really know how to respond to that, so he made a joke instead, "Well, we're obviously not doing a very good job."
"Hey speaking of secrets," Tommy took advantage of the opportunity to ask about Lil's choice of after-school activities, "What was Lil doing at Ryan's house the other night?"
"I don't know," Phil shrugged carelessly, "She's with a different boy practically every day. How can I be expected to keep up with that?"
"What?" Tommy's voice grew concerned, "You're her brother. You should be looking out for her."
"Yeah, there will be a serious ass-kicking in store for anyone who messes with my little sister," Chuckie agreed.
Phi was suddenly feeling cornered. He hadn't done anything to Kimi, yet he was feeling extremely nervous. He decided to turn this little conversation on Chuckie, "Well, where were you guys on Thursday?"
"What was Thursday?" Tommy asked.
"Yeah," Chuckie said nervously. He remembered Thursday night better than anything he'd experienced in the past year of his life.
"Um, the same night I went shopping with my mom and Lil hung out with Ryan," Phil replied, "I figured we should all share what we did."
"I was at the Java Lava with Chuckie and Kimi," Tommy shrugged.
"Yep," Chuckie nodded.
"Before that," Phil added.
"I was doing homework," Tommy said.
"Me too," Chuckie replied in a high-pitched voice.
"He was at Angelica's," Dil said, laughing, and turning around to face Chuckie, "You forget, I have eyes everywhere."
Tommy and Phil's necks almost snapped as they stared wide-eyed at Chuckie, who slumped down in his seat.
Meanwhile, things in the girls' car were much quieter. Didi was driving happily, bopping along to her oldies that were playing softly on the radio. Susie sat in the front seat with her headphones from her ipod in her ears, mouthing the words to her favorite songs. Kimi and Lil were pressed closely together in the backseat, and Angelica sat next to them, looking out the window.
Lil and Kimi glanced quickly at Angelica and then to the back of Susie's seat. Angelica glared at them, and then back out the window. They had been going on in this manner for the past half hour, and Kimi was growing bored of it.
"So, Angelica, how's private school?" Kimi broke the unbearable silence.
"It's just like normal school," Angelica replied, "only worse."
Kimi nodded, and after a few moments, she continued, "Is it fun being a senior?"
"Not really," Angelica said, "it's actually kind of depressing. It's like one long goodbye."
"What do you mean?" Lil finally chimed in, her voice sounding as though all her hopes and dreams had just been shattered.
Angelica's face softened a little, "It's just, you know when you get into a fight with a friend, and you always make up afterwards? Well, once you're a senior no one bothers apologizing for anything because they figure you're all going your separate ways soon anyway. So it's really like you just lose your friends one by one."
"Wow," Lil sighed, "I hope that doesn't happen to us."
"It won't," Kimi squeezed Lil's hand, "our brothers are best friends. Face it, we're stuck with each other for life."
"What about Tommy?" Lil's voice grew smaller and more concerned, which Angelica picked up on quickly.
"Well, I'm sure he'll stick around too," Kimi giggled.
Angelica narrowed her eyes. Something was going on with Lil and her cousin.
"Hey, speaking of Tommy, my boyfriend Bobby tells me he's a pretty good football player," Angelica said. Lil suddenly lost her breath. Why'd she have to bring Bobby into this conversation? Did she know? Was she trying to get it out of her? Oh, but Tommy was a good football player. Lil's concern about Bobby faded as she thought about Tommy.
"He's great," Lil smiled. 'Yep, something's going on with Lil and Tommy,' Angelica thought.
"I think he only plays to impress his girlfriend," Kimi added.
"My little, dorky cousin has a girlfriend?" Angelica laughed.
"Yeah, he's dating this cheerleader, Stephanie," Kimi replied.
"But, she's just a freshman, and she really isn't very pretty," Lil pointed out.
"What are you talking about? Stephanie is only the most popular girl in the whole freshman class!" Kimi chirped.
"Well, Chuckie is actually a better football player than Tommy anyway, and his girlfriend isn't even a cheerleader," Lil suddenly grew angry, "So, maybe Tommy is just shallow."
"Wow, even Chuckie has a girlfriend," Angelica said, trying her best to sound casual, but failing miserably, which Susie took notice of. The girls hadn't seen her taking her headphones off at the start of their conversation.
"He broke up with Brittany last week, remember?" Kimi reminded her best friend. Lil's mood was changing even more rapidly than usual. Something was definitely up with her.
Angelica breathed a sigh of relief. She shouldn't even care if Chuckie had a girlfriend or not because she had a boyfriend. And even if she didn't have a boyfriend, Chuckie was free to do whatever he wanted. She didn't care.
"Speaking of Chuckie," Susie suddenly chimed in, "Angelica, have you talked to him lately?"
Angelica laughed nervously, "No, Susie, don't be ridiculous," she glanced over at Kimi and Lil who were staring at her curiously, "Why?"
"I dunno," Susie grinned, "he was asking about you the other day at school. I thought maybe you two had been talking." She turned back around in her seat and smiled, satisfied. She loved Angelica to death, but making her squirm would always be fun.
Kimi eyed Angelica suspiciously. Chuckie had been acting extremely weird ever since they ran into Angelica at that party. I mean, he was always awkward and uncomfortable, but he'd been taking it to new levels recently. Levels she hadn't witnessed since she was 10 years old. Only one girl could bring out that side in Chuckie, and that girl happened to be sitting right next to her, shifting around in her seat, her cheeks turning redder by the second. Oh, did her brother have some explaining to do!
"The boys are pulling over at the rest stop up ahead," Didi interrupted their thoughts, "Do you girls need to stop, too?"
"No!" Lil and Angelica shouted. Each of them had their reasons for wanting to avoid certain boys in the other car.
"Yes!" Susie and Kimi shouted. Both girls needed to talk to Chuckie, for two very different, yet very similar reasons.
"Okay, well I guess that means I'm the deciding vote," Didi giggled happily at her wittiness, "I vote yes! We're stopping!"
"Woah, Mr. Pickles, what are you doing?" Chuckie asked, breathing irregularly.
"I have to use the little boys' room, Chuckie," Stu laughed. He could be so clever.
"What's the matter, Chuckie," Tommy grinned, "You nervous about seeing your new girlfriend?"
"Okay, Angelica is definitely not my girlfriend," Chuckie insisted, "Just because Dil thinks he saw me at her house that does not mean I was there!"
"Well, you sure are being defensive about something that never happened," Tommy pointed out.
"Oh, you wanna play that game?" Chuckie suddenly gained courage, "When are you gonna tell Lil about the fact that you've been in love with her since 6th grade?"
"What!" Phil exclaimed, "Tommy, what did you do to my sister?"
"Oh now you're protective?" Chuckie raised his eyebrows, "Interesting."
"I didn't do anything to Lil," Tommy insisted, "You know I wouldn't! And plus I have a girlfriend that I love, not Lil."
"So my sister's not good enough for you?" Phil was taken aback.
"No, she's a great girl, Phil, I just don't see her like that," Tommy said.
"Yeah right," Chuckie scoffed. Tommy glared at him. How dare he tell Phil about his crush. He'd told Chuckie about that at summer camp between 5th and 6th grade. Plus, that was, like, 5 years ago. He was so over it by now. Right?
The van pulled into the rest stop, followed by the girls in the car behind them. The kids all piled out; some pissed off, some depressed, and all of them uncomfortable. When had their simple lives become so complicated? That damn party, that's when!
Dil, the only one who wasn't directly involved in the drama, decided that the opportunity to share his secret knowledge was presenting itself in a much too perfect moment to let it pass by. He had been hiding in the bushes across the street from Angelica's house that fateful day, setting up his alien communication device for use later that night. That was when he saw Chuckie outside, and then decided to watch for a little while, as it could get interesting. And, oh, did he have some dirt on them now. And what better a time to share it?
Dil skipped up to the group, and stood in the center of them. He went over to Chuckie and put his arm around him, shaking him in a sideways man-hug, "So, Angelica, is my boy Chuckie here a good kisser?" Dil smiled proudly as he watched everyone's mouths drop open one by one.
Well, that's all for now. Sorry, this chapter didn't have any new interesting occurrences. I needed a filler chapter to build the drama and tension between everyone so that the future events would really shake things up. I finally have a vision for this story, but I'm warning you, it's gonna be a long one…I hope everyone's still with me! Review if you wish (it really does help to know what everyone thinks), and keep reading!!