"Where on Earth is Lauren Ridgemount?"
Story Written by Freedom Fighter
So this is actually my third fanfic involving 'Stoked' characters and the second that takes place in the 'Stoked' universe, but this is the first that does not crossover with any other shows. Sort of...
This requires a little background, so if you really just want get to the story, skip down a few paragraphs to the continuity notes.
The idea of writing a story starring Lo came about after I fell in love with her (not in the literal way, FYI) while I was writing "Fresh from Canada." I just thought there's so much I can do with her, a character who got kicked out of the penthouse by her mogul father so she could learn that everything in life won't be handed to you on a silver platter... and as a result, having to experience 'life on the other side.' But you know, it's tough to break away from being pampered all of her life.
Case in point, this story, which makes her long for her old life more than ever.
Meanwhile, in thinking of a story idea, I suddenly remembered that there was a 'Kim Possible' one I had a few years back that never got off of the ground (in other words, never made it to the writing stage). It was essentially a team-up/crossover with 'James Bond.' That's as far as it got, I think, because I couldn't think of an actual plot to put them in... and this was also around the time KP was ending for the second and final time, and my interest in the show was already waning.
So this story is basically me putting Lo in the place of Kim Possible, only now with an actual plot to make the story a reality. Oh, and replacing Bond himself with a facsimile British spy. One, because I wanted an exclusive 'Stoked' universe story, and two, so I wouldn't completely be bound to the typical Bond-isms... not that this story won't have any at all.
There's one other element to this story that revolves around the rest of the 'Stoked' cast... but I can't reveal it, for it ruins the first chapter's cliffhanger. Just read through to find out what it is.
In terms of continuity, this takes place:
- At some undefined point of time between Episodes 25 & 26.
- So based on that point, this takes place after "I Want That Surfing Lesson," though you don't need to have read that to enjoy this.
- Separate from my reality series fic, "Fresh from Canada." The events of it, including a certain relationship involving Lo, aren't canon.
Disclaimer: The characters of 'Stoked' belong to Fresh TV, Inc., Teletoon, and Cartoon Network.
Chapter One - Pick Up the Package (09.15.10)
"Have a great day!"
Emma, standing in front of the hostess desk in the DR, waved goodbye as another group of satisfied diners departed after a fulfilling lunch. She then went back behind it and started to rearrange menus.
The next time she looked up, she was staring Lo in the face.
"Eek!" screamed Emma, jumping back in fright.
"Emma!" Lo shouted, oblivious to the fact that she had just scared her friend. "I desperately need your help!"
"With what?" the waitress asked, regaining her composure.
"What do you mean 'with what?' Just LOOK at me!"
Emma stepped out from behind the desk to get a good look. Lo's hair was a mess, she had wrinkles under her eyes, toilet water was dripping from the fingers on her right hand, the nail on her left middle finger was chipped, and there were assorted stains all over her maid uniform.
"I know," Emma rolled her eyes after completing her analysis. "Guests are total slobs. Fin tells me that all the time."
"You call these people guests?" Lo shouted, enraged. "I've seen things that no human in their right mind should leave behind!"
Emma winced the moment her brain tried to form a mental image of the things Lo suggested.
"I shouldn't even be cleaning up after these... these... OOH! I can't even think of a word to describe them!"
"Lo..." Emma interjected, trying to calm her friend down.
"I should be spending my summer catching rays, checking out hotties, surfing the waves, and living it up in the penthouse! But instead, I'm inside on a beautiful day, doing grunt work that should only be done by slaves and no-talent nobodies!"
"I'm sorry, Emma... no, wait, I'm not sorry! I've been working my tail off for weeks, and Daddy still hasn't allowed me to go back up to the penthouse! Haven't I shown enough responsibility? I've been a waitress, a brat-sitter, and now... THIS! I'm a maid. A maid!"
Emma started dancing around, as she had suddenly been hit by the call of nature.
"Are you paying attention to me?" questioned Lo as she saw Emma hopping about.
"Have... to... go..."
"Oh," Lo crossed her arms over her chest, "so you don't want to listen to me anymore?"
"Of... course... not..."
"Then why are you..."
"I'm not!" Emma tried to reassure her, before a feeling washed over her that she couldn't wait any longer. "Gotta-go-watch-the-desk-for-me!"
Emma didn't wait for a 'yes' or 'no,' as she took off, bolting out of the DR and for the lobby restroom.
"Wait a..." Lo raised a hand in protest, before realizing it was too late.
Lo grumbled as she took Emma's place behind the hostess desk. She leaned forward and rested her chin on the palms of her hands. But then she quickly retracted when she felt the remnants of the toilet water on her right fingertips tap against her cheeks.
"Ack, gross!" she stuck her tongue out in disgust.
She attempted to wipe her hand clean by using her soiled apron, but thought better of it as she saw a small roll of paper towels on the shelf below the desktop, and grabbed that instead.
She took the time to delicately dry off her fingers, one at a time, using exactly one whole sheet of paper towel per cuticle, until she was sure that they were completely clean. She tossed what remained of the roll aside and then spotted a small bottle of hand sanitizer out of the corner of her eye.
She grabbed the sanitizer bottle and squeezed out a healthy portion of gel and started rubbing it all over her hands. Again, once confident it had been spread evenly, she then worked it into her skin a finger at a time.
"Icky icky icky icky..." she mumbled under her breath, trying to deeply scrub away the germs.
Lo continued to sanitize her fingers, not hearing the sound of someone trying to get her attention.
More sanitizing, more ignoring.
"Ahem," the male voice said, coughing, "excuse me?"
Finally hearing the third time, yet upset about interrupted, Lo stopped what she was doing and looked up to angrily answer.
But her rage was sedated when she took a gander at the face the voice belonged to.
The first thing Lo noticed were the well-chiseled features of his face. His eyes were just the right distance apart. His nose was big and strong, but not too big to be unsightly. His lips were pressed together to form a smile, one that Lo couldn't take her eyes off of, but she had to just to take stock of the rest of him.
She saw his broad, manly shoulders, which she wished were bare so that she could reach out and touch them with her own two hands. But she didn't mind them being covered up by the tuxedo he was wearing, which fit him really well and showed off his toned figure. As well as signify that he was a snappy dresser. To top it all off, she spotted and admired the Rolex on his left wrist, his freshly shined black dress shoes, his suavely-combed black hair, and the pair of pants that hugged his pelvis tightly.
"Marry me!" Lo blurted out.
"I mean," she redirected, "welcome to the DR! Seating for how many?"
Lo fumbled for a menu, and it fell out of her hand and towards the floor. The young man caught it before it hit the ground, giving Lo a brief view of his backside. He then stood back up and grinned as he held the menu in his left hand, and Lo quickly wiped the sly grin off of her face before he could see it.
Though not quick enough, apparently, as a smirk formed on the young man's face.
"Just one, but... I wouldn't mind having some company..."
Lo blushed as the guy flirted openly with her.
"But first, where are my manners?" the man said. "My name's Ford. Jack Ford."
"I'm Lo. It's short for Lauren."
"Ah... so you're the daughter of the famed Ridgemount family I've heard so much about. And I must say... you're much prettier in person."
Lo giggled at the compliment.
"You look like you've had a rough day. Maybe we should continue this conversation after we've been seated."
"Go right on ahead," Lo said, pointing to a nearby clean table. "I just want to freshen up a bit."
Jack nodded. Once he started walking towards a table and had his back turned to her, Lo bolted out of the DR and headed for the restroom. Halfway there, she came across Emma, on her way back. Without missing a step, Lo grabbed Emma by the arm and pulled her in the opposite direction.
"What the... Lo!"
Lo pushed Emma into the ladies' lobby restroom, then followed her in and locked the door behind her.
"So what's so urgent that you had to..."
"I saw a cute guy!" Lo cut her off.
"Hello! You see cute guys pretty much every weekend."
"This is different! I think this one's the one!"
Emma sighed as Lo turned to the mirror and started combing her hair with her hands.
"Haven't you said that before, only for him to either dump you or you dump him before the end of the day?"
"This one's different!"
A minute later, Emma and Lo were back in the DR, squeezing both of their bodies behind the opposite side of the hostess' desk. They were peering around it, into the dining area, where they saw Jack sitting patiently at a table, waiting to be served.
"He's different because he's wearing a tuxedo?"
"It's not just the tux," Lo responded. "It's the entire package! A-grade hottie, from head to toe!"
"I dunno," Emma hesitated to agree, "something doesn't seem right about him."
"He does look a few years older than I'd prefer, but I actually think that's a plus."
"That's actually not what I was thinking..."
Emma stopped when she noticed Lo had already left her side and was already approaching the table. Seeing her coming, Jack got up out of his seat.
Jack walked over to the opposite seat and pulled it out.
"Oh... thank you!"
Lo giggled again as she took a seat. Jack then gently pushed her in, and then went to take his own seat across the table from her.
"My parents always told me to treat a lovely lady with respect," Jack said, explaining his actions.
"Your 'rents taught you well."
"So tell me more about yourself, Lauren. Like... why is someone like you toiling about like a common housekeeper?"
"How did you know I was a maid?"
"If I had to guess," Jack smirked as he eyed Lo's uniform, "the garish uniform would be a good starting point..."
"You noticed how horrible it is too, huh?"
Lo winced. She knew that voice. One she dreaded hearing. More than her father. More than Bummer. In fact, more than both of them combined, and then some. The person who yelled her name could only belong to one wench.
"Are you slacking off again?" Kelly said as she came to the table and leaned forward to glare directly into her eyes. "Does your supervisor know about this? Or your dad? Maybe I should call them both!"
"Don't you have anything better to do than nag me?" Lo shot back.
Emma, seeing Kelly and Lo getting confrontational, ran over from the hostess' stand to intervene.
"I'm sorry for the wait," Emma apologized, stopping Kelly from answering Lo's question. "Can I take your order?"
Emma flashed a cheesy smile Kelly's way, and that was just enough for the head waitress to decide to give up antagonizing Lo... for now. Kelly walked away, off to find something to do 'other than nag,' and Emma breathed a sigh of relief.
Emma coughed, cutting off Lo. But it was too late, as Kelly turned her head around, apparently not happy with Lo's mumblings. Kelly marched back over.
"What was that?"
"Nothing," Lo meekly replied, slinking down in her seat.
"That's what I thought."
Kelly left again, and this time Lo was smart enough to not open her mouth to say anything.
"Quite the witch, isn't she?" commented Jack.
"You should see her when she's in a bad mood," Lo said in response.
"Two of your finest and freshest lobsters," Jack said to Emma, handing her the one menu he had. "And I mean the best... spare no expense!"
"Yes, sir!" Emma nodded, taking the menu.
Emma started heading for the kitchen, but not before whispering something in her friend's ear.
"I want to know everything!"
"Full dish, promise!"
Once Emma was gone, Jack and Lo were left alone to chat.
"So... where were we?"
That night, at the groms' quarters...
"So he's been to Paris, Madrid, Sydney, L.A., and Rio, all in the past month!"
Lo was retelling the details of her lunch with Jack to Emma, Fin, Reef, and Broseph as they all sat at their dining room table.
"Dude gets around," commented Broseph.
"He must be loaded!" concluded Reef. "Must come from a rich family."
"Nope," Lo shot his theory down. "He's just part of a multi-million dollar business that has him pitching new products around the globe on a daily basis."
"Must get a lot of perks, if you know what I mean."
"This guy's cute and all," Emma cut in, "but are you sure you're into him?"
"I'm with Alberta," piped in Fin. "A long-distance relationship with a man, in his early 20s, whom you just met a couple hours ago?"
"Fin just doesn't believe in dream guys," Reef argued against Fin, cutting Emma off in the process. "As if some guy would take one look at Droopy over here and fall in love at first sight."
"Says the guy who gets rejected by an average of five dream girls a day," retorted Fin.
"Ha ha," Reef rolled his eyes.
"Jack's a great guy!" Lo stood up for her new man. "In fact, we're so in love that he's actually asked me out on a date tomorrow night! I can't wait!"
"Okay," Fin said to her, "just try not to move too quickly. The guy may be trying to pull a fast one on you."
"I'm an expert on relationships," Lo reassured Fin and everyone else. "There's no way he's going to take advantage of me."
The next afternoon, in the staff locker room after another busy day...
"He's doing WHAT?"
Fin and Emma looked dumbfounded about what Lo had just told them that they had to ask her to repeat it to make sure they had heard her right.
"He's taking me to New York for dinner!"
"New York?" Fin looked at Lo. "As in, on the other side of the continent? And... tonight?"
Lo nodded happily.
"He's got a private jet sitting at the airport. We're leaving right after I get a few things from my room!"
With that, Lo bolted out of room.
"You might be on to something," Fin told Emma.
"See? Something about this guy's definitely off!"
"I think we'd better stop this. You go stop Lo, and I'll try to find this guy."
"I'm sorry, Fin," Johnny said as he entered Jack's name into the computer again, "but there's no one by that name registered as a guest."
"How can that be? Hmmm... he must be using an alias."
"An alias? What's going on?"
"Didn't the guys tell you about this older guy Lo met yesterday?"
"Yeah, but why do you think..."
"For their first official date, he wants to fly her to New York. In his private jet. Like, now!"
"Wait!" Fin suddenly realized. "Did anyone check out unexpectedly in the past few hours?"
"There was this one guy not too long ago..."
Johnny pulled up the departure list as fast as he could.
"A-ha! 509. Now that I think of it, he did resemble the guy Reef told me about. He was listed under the name... James Bond?"
Fin looked at Johnny in disbelief.
"Really? You didn't think that name was fake?"
"A real person could have that name! It's just a coincidence!"
Rosie suddenly walked up and handed a cell phone to Johnny. It was in a small plastic bag with '509' written on it in marker.
"This is why I hate businessmen," she commented. "They're so forgettable."
As Rosie walked away, Fin snatched the bag from Johnny and started to open it.
"You can't do that!" objected Johnny. "Tampering with guests' belongings is...
"A fire-able offense, I know!" Fin shouted, knowing she was risking her job as she took the phone out of the bag. "Look!"
Fin showed Johnny the phone's display screen, which had the words '1 new message.' Fin accessed the message, and she read it aloud.
"'Splendid work, oh-six-seven. Three-two-one will be waiting for you and the package upon arrival.'"
"The package?" Johnny thought out loud. "You don't think..."
"Lo! I'll call Kahuna to arrange a ride to the airport..."
"And I'll phone the tower. Maybe we can stop their jet from taking off."
A short time later, The Kahuna was driving the Whale Bus towards the only airport on Sunset Island. Fin, Johnny, Emma, Reef, and Broseph were all aboard, hoping to save their friend before it was too late.
"Any luck?" Fin asked, seeing Emma on her phone.
"No!" she replied as Johnny looked over her shoulder. "I've tried calling her five times, and she's not answering!"
"This is bad," Johnny said aloud.
"If you knew he was bad news," Reef said to Emma, "then why didn't you speak up?"
"I tried, but no one listened to me!"
"Airport, ho!" Kahuna interrupted, pointing out the windshield.
The groms searched the airport terminal for any signs of Jack or Lo, but their efforts were in vain.
"I swear I called ahead and told them to keep an eye out," Johnny told them.
"Then they should be here somewhere!" reasoned Emma.
The Kahuna, having walked off to talk to the airport's flight marshal, returned to the group.
"Dudes, they held all flights, but they haven't seen anyone matching the descriptions of the gromette or her high-flying date."
"That doesn't make any sense!" Fin exclaimed.
Emma tried to call Lo's cell yet again. A few seconds later, she heard her phone ringing. In fact, they all could hear it ringing.
"Uh..." Fin looked at Emma, "I'll take it that you're NOT on speaker?"
Emma shook her head. The Kahuna walked towards the terminal entrance, following the sound. The others followed as he led them outside. Just a few feet outside the door, the ringing got louder and louder, reaching its peak as they came upon a trash can. Reef and Fin pulled the lid off and Broseph reached in.
A second later, Broseph pulled out Lo's purple phone, which at that moment stopped ringing as it redirected Emma's call to voicemail.
"Oh no!" Emma shouted with a sense of dread.
The group then looked up, hearing the sound of a small plane flying overhead. They don't know where it had come from, other than it wasn't from the airport itself. They saw it was climbing higher and higher as it headed away from the island and them, flying eastward.
"Dude," Broseph suddenly spoke up. "I think we just got wooled."
"Wooled?" Emma asked, unfamiliar with the word.
"He means bamboozled," Fin told her.
Emma nodded, and the group just stood there silently, all contemplating what to do next.
"So..." Johnny said after a few seconds, "who wants to tell her father that his only daughter just got kidnapped, and we couldn't do a thing to stop it?"
The group shared a collective gulp.
"My thoughts exactly."
To be continued...
And so a 'Stoked' character begins her own world tour... though she doesn't quite know that yet.
I apologize if I kinda rushed into Lo falling in love with Jack at such a hastened pace, but I was determined to set up the story and already have the pair leaving Sunset Island by chapter's end. You may have also noticed I downplayed the spy angle. I just didn't think that was something that had to be obvious at the start. Especially since Lo's not gonna know that for the first chapter, at least.
The next question, of course, is now that they couldn't stop Lo from being 'kidnapped,' what will the rest of the group do? And how will Lo react when she learns her new boyfriend was attracted to her for reasons other than love at first sight?
Stay tuned to find out!