Author's Note:

Second story for the penguins everyone! R&R!

It was a regular, quiet Friday night in New York's Central Park Zoo. Every animal alike was asleep in their beds whether they were a lemur, penguin or a chimpanzee. But unfortunately for a certain otter, she wasn't sleeping soundly that night.

Her paws slammed down against the concrete as she ran, but no matter how far she managed to travel, she always ended up going in circles. Her panting was loud in her ears as well as her frantic heartbeat, for that was all she could hear.

Suddenly the pavement slipped from beneath her and she was falling into a dark abyss. She let out a petrified scream but soon it was blocked as her stomach rose to her throat but it wasn't her stomach… it was water!

She gasped but only more water flooded her deep inside. It filled her lungs, blocking air from entering her screaming body. The cold enveloped her, swallowing her whole.

She tried to scream again, but she failed to get any noise out no matter how hard she pushed her voice to its limits.

Suddenly, someone filled her thoughts, a certain someone that had sworn on their life that they had taken down a polar bear in the frozen icecaps of Alaska, even though there were no penguins in Alaska. He was the one that could rescue her, for she admired him more than anyone in her life.

"Skipper!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. She then let out a full-blown scream without bothering to say anything more.

She looked around her Central Park Zoo room. Her eyes rested on the blanket that was contorted around her like a python. She growled and kicked it off onto the floor, for it was the thing to blame for the water in her dream.

She began to smooth down her fur after her heartbeat finally slowed down but stopped when she heard a splash of water from outside. Closely following the sound, a black and white ball-like figure rocketed through her window.

She screamed again, for it scared the crud out of her. She watched as it folded out into a fighting stance. It was Skipper!

"Marlene! Enough with the screaming already! Do you want to wake up the…" but he stopped short at the sight of her terrified expression. "At ease, Marlene! Are you… uh, okay?"

"Yea… oh yeah! It was just a little… nightmare." She hugged her knees close to her chest, remembering the feeling of the water in her dream. When she was younger she had almost drowned at her old habitat in the zoo she had been at before she was shipped to New York.

She shuddered at the memory. It had been so scary at the time, and is still haunted her…

"Hm, a little 'night fright'?" he asked with a smirk, going by Private's term.

"Yeah…" she shivered again at the cold chill that danced playfully up and down her spine.

"Hey, come on now! It was just a little scare, it's no big deal." Skipper walked up to her and thumped her on the back, perhaps a little harder than he meant to since she flinched. "Unless… how bad was it?" He cocked an eyebrow at her.

"I was running and then suddenly I fell and I was… drowning." She swallowed thickly.

"Drowning? What kind of an otter drowns?" Skipper laughed, but then ceased at the death glare she gave him.

"For your information I almost drowned at my old zoo. It was probably the scariest thing that's ever happened to me…" A tear slid down her cheek at the memory.

Skipper's eyes widened at the sight of the little stream sliding down her white-furred cheek. A guilty look crossed his face as he looked down at the floor, his flippers hung loosely at his sides.

He looked back up at her to see her looking to the left of her room, her eyes far away. He swallowed. He wasn't the one to get affectionate and sympathetic but… this time there was an exception. "Hey, come on now." He walked up to her and sat next to her, his flipper over her shoulders in a hug.

She let out a choked sob and buried her face in his chest.

Skipper froze at her unexpected gesture. That was not like her at all… maybe he didn't know her as well as he thought he did. After all, he'd never seen her cry before so… they didn't know each other at all once he thought about it.

"My nightmare was… so real. It was almost worse than the real thing. You should have seen my mom's face when they pulled me out of the water. I… I thought I'd never breathe again."

Skipper began stroking her. "Shhh… its okay, everything's alright. It was just a dream," he cooed her softly, trying to be as comforting as his very few soft spots would allow.

"But it seemed so real. That's the scary part about it." She took in a deep breath to let out a sigh but it immediately hitched in her throat when Skipper's scent flooded her nose. It was simply… breathtaking, but not in the bad way. She suddenly felt dizzy by the rather sweet aroma.

It was a very unexpected smell coming from a penguin that ate fish his entire life. It was like the smell in the air right before it rained with a small hint of… was that rose?

She couldn't help but lean closer to the source of the smell but then she remembered who she was leaning towards. She opened her eyes to see him leaning away with a look of shock and confusion on his face, like she had grown a second head… or two.

"What on Earth are you doing, Marlene?" He cocked an eyebrow at her, giving her a strange look.

"Yeah… yea I'm fine!" She looked down and saw her paws were beginning to quiver. She flipped them palm side up and over again.

"But I didn't ask if you were okay, I asked what you were doing," he pointed out, his eyebrows now raised at her in surprise.

"Oh, I'm not doing anything… I was just fazed out, that's all." She turned away from the male penguin awkwardly. What on Earth was wrong with her?! She couldn't like, like him! Could she? Her eyes widened, but that's not the first time that possibility had crossed her mind.

"Marlene, are you okay? Should I be… worried about you?" she heard him ask with a weird hint of tone in his voice.

"No, no, but… could you do me a favor?" she asked as she turned back towards him.

"Um, sure. Anything. Hit me with your best shot."

"Lean closer…" she whispered.

Skipper felt a chill go through his body. Lean closer? What did she intend to do? "Hey, no funny business!" He saw her nod and he leaned the same time she did. He was so close that he could see the green in her brown eyes… and every single little hair on her face.

He swallowed as her own personal scent began to waft toward him. Hoover Dam that smelled good! It was like being in a field of Lilac bushes. He must have leaned too far for his beak had made contact with her lips. He attempted to pull away but something wasn't allowing him to do so, like Marlene had put an invisible force on him...

All she knew was that she was in heaven when it finally happened. She lifted up her paws and stroked the sides of Skipper's face and down to his shoulders until she wrapped her arms around his neck.

She heard Skipper make a noise between a grunt and a moan deep in his throat. She thought he was going to pull back and yell at her but instead he leaned closer. She gasped slightly as her head made contact with her pillow, putting her directly underneath him.

Suddenly his hard lips disappeared. She frowned in complaint that he had pulled away. She opened her eyes to see his face right in hers, the tip of his beak just brushing her nose.

His eyes widened as he stared down at the otter… underneath him? Whoa, that wasn't right! A look of shock crossed his face and stayed there as he jumped off of her. Oh, no… what had he done? He had let something as stupid as hormones get in the way! He swallowed at the sight of her. She seemed… willing! God knows he had been willing. He blinked as he realized that.

"Wh-what's wrong, Skipper?" she asked him with a frown and a slight stutter.

"You, you're what's wrong with me." He walked forward and sat on her bed. "I think I love you Marlene." He hung his head, finally accepting defeat.

Her eyes widened comically at what he had said and at the weird feeling in her stomach. It wasn't nervousness…

"I feel it too." He placed his flippers on his stomach and winced at the unfamiliar feeling. He watched her as she looked down to see she had been clutching her stomach unconsciously.

"Oh wow… oh wow." She looked down at the floor and back up to see him giving her a look of sympathy. "What's with the look?" She lifted herself up on her elbows.

"You don't know what you're getting into." He gave her a look of mischief.

"Yes I do, if I didn't why would I be doing this?" she shot back with a cocked eyebrow.

He grinned slyly at her. "Touché, my lower mammal friend." An awkward silence passed between the two before Marlene finally spoke up.

"Say, Skippy, doesn't Rico snore? Like, a lot?"

"Yes, sometimes it sounds as loud as his explosions. Why are you asking?" He gave her a look of wonder but also one that completely understood what she was playing at.

"Why… why don't you, uh, sleep with me tonight?" she asked awkwardly.

"You're… serious?"

"Of course! You'll keep away the nightmares." She smiled at him again.

Skipper eyed her for a moment. "I don't know, Marlene… the boys will start wondering."

"So?" She gave him a look of hurt, asking him if he was embarrassed of her.

"Well, they'll start asking questions and then I'll get stumped because I'm not good with Twenty Questions and then…" he trailed off at the pleading puppy dog pout on her face. "Oh, okay, but just one night! And don't you dare snore… I don't want a chain saw in my ear the entire night."

She grinned and scooted over for him. Wow, Skipper actually agreed with her? There must be a blue moon coming soon. But then again, why wouldn't he want to spend a night with her after almost eating her lips off? But then again, again... this was Skipper she had been kissing... the one that immune to affection. Maybe she could crack his shell...

He laid down next to her and let out a sigh as she wrapped her arms around his feathered torso. "This is insane."

She giggled but didn't bother to reply as she buried her face in the nape of his neck.

Skipper smiled at the nuzzle. He turned around in her arms to face her. He watched her tiredly as she opened her beautiful eyes. He nuzzled the side of her neck and her face with his beak, making a loving growling sound that penguins create in their throat to show affection. "Love you, Marlene."

"I love you too, Skipper," she replied as she felt him consume her in his flippers gently for the night. She smiled as she fell asleep in his loving hold, finally content that she had gotten what she was looking for, even though it had been right under her nose the whole time.

Author's Note:

Sorry if I scarred you for life with this story. You'll never be able to look at the TV Show the same again! Give me some love and review! Let me know if this is a keeper or if it belongs in the computer's recycle bin! I want to hear your thoughts, flames or not! Also, point out some spelling and grammar errors if you can... i need to brush up on my grammar, sadly... xP