Oh My God! As I type this, my fingers feel like they're vibrating. Do you know why? Because this is it… this is where the final piece of the 'Adventure Continues' trilogy takes form. And this is what you guys will be seeing from me as what will hopefully be my best work yet! This is Part 3, this is a story of secrets, a story of love, a story of surprise, heartache, suspense, reunion, and above all… irony. I welcome one and all to the Big Kahuna. It is… 'Irony in the Apple'!
A/N: I do not own Bolt or any of its characters. All characters, besides the ones I've already created, are the property of Disney and its subsidiaries.
All the President's Dogs
When we last saw the family and friends of Bolt, they were all dispersing and starting their own lives, whether they were with new mates, new families, or new careers. And then there were some that were just starting over. A perfect example of that would be Bolt, the White American Shepherd we all know and love, and his mate, Mittens, a black tuxedo cat with white patches on all four of her feet. Their kids had moved on and moved out; Nova started a new life with her mate, Trigger, alongside GGE, that same company dedicated to genetic enhancement in animals. Even with the new lifestyle, the two of them do their best to stay in touch with Bolt and Mittens, and are also still living with the man who saved Trigger's life, Allen. Seth, the tabby that had been given to the dog and cat to raise as their own child, also has his own life about 20 miles away from them with his real mother.
And then there's 'The Phantom Five'! Well…. four now! The mellow loss of Carson has had no effect on any members of the group. Eli and Beverly still live in Bakersfield; their kids are still 'The California Canines'; Preston and Simone live in Northern California, in a small city called Redding, with their new owners.
Kurt and GGE are growing as a very successful business, with the help of Nova, Trigger, Allen, and 'The California Canines'.
Well…. that was one year ago. And the ENTIRE group (save for 'The California Canines') is now attending Penny's high school graduation. Everyone; and I mean EVERYONE is there. Actually… not everyone. Bolt and Mittens are sitting in the far bleachers of the auditorium with Catherine, Seth, Kurt and the rest of the gang conversing back and forth as they wait for Penny and the rest of her class to enter the giant stadium.
"Whoa! I can't believe this many people come to a ceremony about a bunch of kids leaving a building and never plan on coming back." Mittens said as she looked around the room.
"I know right." Bolt said looking around as well. His mind seemed to be somewhere else, and Mittens honestly didn't blame him due to who wasn't there with them. The black cat brushed against his shoulder and closed her eyes.
"Mittens." Bolt said leaning his head downwards and resting it on top of hers.
"I wish he was here to see this." Mittens said sighing a little.
"Me too, baby." Bolt said back. The missing person they speak of?... Rhino! About a month earlier, Rhino passed away. Unfortunately, the average normal life span of a hamster is about 3 years, and Rhino managed to surpass that by more than 9 months. He lived a full and happy life, but at some point, it had to come. Some people believe that the best way to die is in their sleep; for others, it's living for the moment, like skydiving. As for Rhino, his death was as memorable as his life: be-awesome. The small hamster, knowing his last day was upon him, asked Bolt to place him in his ball, and take him to a remote part of the mountain ranges near their home, and leave him there. Whatever happened up there will forever remain a mystery! But it doesn't matter. He was with them in spirit.
"Are you guys okay?" Eli asked from the seat behind them.
"Yeah, we're okay. Just thinking about 'you know who'." Bolt said with a small smile on his face. Eli smiled back, feeling their pain.
"I miss him too." Eli said
"We all do." Beverly said from the seat right next to Eli. Alongside her were Preston, Simone, Nova, Trigger, Kurt, and Seth, who was sitting in Kurt's lap. It wasn't the same not having Rhino there to see the spectacle with them; however, this wasn't a day to mourn; it was one to celebrate.
"He's here, though." Eli said still smiling. Bolt and Mittens looked back and mirrored the same smile.
"Honey, are you sure we should've left the kids back in Redding?" Preston asked Simone getting a little worried.
"I'm sure. We'll be back tonight anyway, and they live at the rest home now. The staff will take care of them. Have a little faith, sweetheart!" Simone answered as she nuzzled Preston's neck.
'Let me guess; first time away from the kids?" Eli asked
"Is it that obvious?" Preston asked
"Preston, they're 7 months old. I think they can take care of themselves." Beverly said pleading with Preston to calm down a little.
"Can I help it if I worry?" Preston asked again, coming back at them with his own argument.
"Spoken like a true parent." Eli said with a wide smile, to which Preston just rolled his eyes at and looked away. Since Simone had given birth, Preston had been so afraid of becoming a parent. And even though he'd done a fantastic job in raising them alongside Simone, his paternal instinct was still constantly going off. All 5 of them had the choice of becoming adopted, but decided to stick together as siblings and work with the elderly at their local senior center. It was a line of work that consisted of just being good company to people who needed it, and even that seemed to be too much of responsibility to Preston. It was just a typical case of a father trying to keep his kids from growing up.
"Ladies and Gentlemen! I present to you the graduating class of 2012!" said the announcer as all 340 students, including Penny, walked along the aisles of chairs to find their seats. Bolt and Mittens watched on as Penny appeared near the end of the line.
"There she is!" Preston said pointing his paw towards the end of the auditorium, where Penny was entering her row. Catherine pulled out her camera as quickly as she could, started snapping photos, one after another.
"Uh, you have all the time in the world to take pictures today." Preston said watching her intently.
"You only graduate high school once." Catherine said as she continued to snap pictures of her daughter all the way to her designated seat, while Preston just shook his head with a small smile on his face.
"How long is this gonna last?" Seth asked
"As long as it has to." Bolt said not taking his eyes off of Penny.
"Wow. You're a real help!" Seth said back a little quieter. Bolt looked back at his son, and gave him a glare. Even though he was grown up, he could still be a pain sometimes.
"Smartass!" Bolt mumbled under his breath.
"I heard that!" Seth said in an annoyed tone.
"You were supposed to." Bolt said with the exact same tone as he looked back at his feline boy. The graduation ceremony didn't take that long at all; mainly consisting of the valedictorian's speech, the principal getting up and saying a few words, and the crossing of graduates. When Penny's name was called, her family let out their group of whistles, barks, howls, and one long shout from her boyfriend, Michael, who was sitting in the very front row.
"Would all of the graduates please move their tassels to the left side of their caps?" asked the principal, signaling that their high school careers were officially over.
"My sincerest congratulations go out to you…The Class of 2012!" shouted the principal once more, and in an instant, all the graduates threw their caps into the air, and the silly string went flying. Along with the students, the entire stadium erupted in a fury of cheers and shouts; it was everything you'd expect at a graduation. Within seconds, the class dispersed and went on to find their families. Eventually, Penny found her mom and the rest of her 'posse', and once again, the pictures went flashing.
"Okay, give me a second to fix my hair, Mom!" Penny said trying to rearrange her hair.
"Oh, you're fine, honey!"
"Yeah. Listen to your mother." Michael said as he walked up behind her and pulled her into a hug and a kiss, which she gladly returned. Suddenly, there was a flash of light in their faces, causing them to break their kiss and look over at the source of the flash. They saw Catherine putting her camera down after just taking a picture of them kissing.
"That's a keeper!" Catherine said smiling as she looked at Penny, who by now was blushing wildly. The graduation party went by about as quickly as the graduation ceremony, and before everyone knew it, it was 7:30, and time to wrap things up. All in all, Penny received about $400 in graduation money, along with a brand new camera and a mini-fridge for when she goes off to college. The last one to leave was Kurt, besides Trigger and Nova, who were asked to stay the night.
"Well, I suppose I'd better get going. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow." Kurt said standing up.
"What's going on?" Nova asked.
"I have a conference to be at in Las Vegas tomorrow at 2:00pm. I officially have a board of directors to manage, so I have a lot on my plate." Kurt explained
"Hehe. Las Vegas! Good times, ehh Mittens?" Bolt asked playfully as he looked over at her.
"You're really lucky I didn't slap you across the face for leaving, Wags!" Mittens said trying not to smile; however, it wasn't exactly working. They were memories that needed to last.
"Oh, yeah! I heard about that little adventure you two took coming back to Los Angeles." Trigger said jumping in.
"You know? How?" Bolt asked. Trigger simply motioned his head to the side towards Nova, who was just smiling.
"How did YOU know?" Bolt asked again changing who he was speaking to.
"Well, you told me a lot of it. But it was Rhino who filled me in on just about every single little detail." Nova answered. Bolt and Mittens kept forgetting about the possible stories that Rhino had probably told her before he passed on. It was almost enough to make Mittens want to cry, but she held it in.
"Well, I'll see you all later." Kurt said walking out the front door.
"Bye, Kurt!" Penny said from the couch.
"Oh! I almost forgot!" Kurt said stepping back inside, and handing Penny a card.
"Awww. You didn't have to." Penny said taking the card from his hand.
"What? You just expected me to come without a gift? I don't think so!" Kurt said jokingly. Penny smiled and got up from her seat to give him a hug.
"Thank you, sweetheart!"
"Thank YOU!" Penny said. Kurt left soon afterwards, and the rest of the group went back to talking, save for Mittens, who COULDN'T talk due to a lack of genetic work. The chat went on for another hour and a half, with subjects like where Penny would attend college, whether or not she would come home for Thanksgiving, how often she would come home period, and what she was gonna spend her graduation money on. Well, her school of choice has been The University of California in Berkeley for the last year, and she WAS coming home for the holidays. As for the money…
"A tattoo?" Catherine asked in shock.
"Not a huge one. It's gonna be a lightning bolt on my ankle." Penny said trying to calm her mother down.
"I wonder where that came from." Bolt said sarcastically, with Mittens elbowing his side.
"Could you at least give it some more thought?" Catherine pleaded
"Okay, okay! If something else comes up that I want more, I'll get THAT instead." Penny said trying to find middle ground.
"Thank you… Well, did you ever open the card from Kurt?" Catherine asked trying to change the subject.
"No, but I might as well." Penny said reaching for the card on the coffee table. Trigger and Nova watched as she tore the edges of the envelope to reveal a shiny card. After reading the congratulatory cover, Penny opened it up to find a note, which she began reading out loud to everyone in the room.
Over the last 2 years that I've gotten to know you and Bolt, I've learned a lot about what it really takes to be a hero. When Bolt saved me, I kept wondering where his courage came from, and that's what made me want to meet you. That kind of inner courage and strength is something that very few people, especially as you as you, ever obtain, and you should be very proud of yourself. As you move on to the next chapter in your life, that heroic character should continue to be recognized; moreover, I recently sent in a letter of recommendation to the dean of UCB. I explained all of the reasons in which you should be recognized as a model student, and he agreed 100%. So, if you can keep your grades at a certain level, he will extend a full-ride scholarship, covering tuition, room and board, and books. My recommendations go a long way! I wish you the best of luck on your journey.
"Oh my God! Are you serious?" Penny asked out loud. Trigger and Nova's jaws were on the floor, while Bolt and Mittens were left wondering what all these words meant.
"What's going on?" Bolt asked his daughter.
"Penny just got a full scholarship."
"What does that mean?"
"It means she won't have to pay for college. It's already taken care of." Nova explained to her father. Bolt just nodded his head once and looked back at Penny.
"Wow! Penny, this is amazing!" Catherine said jumping out of her seat.
"I know! Now, I can get the tattoo and have money to spare." Penny said jumping just as high, with her mother just staring at her.
"I'm kidding." Penny said jokingly.
"What was that?"
Bolt and Mittens just laughed silently, while the rest of the family just enjoyed the moment. It wasn't that Penny didn't have money to spare, due to her former acting career. She had money saved up, but now, she could have a little fun with it.
"So, what's a tattoo?" Nova asked Bolt.
"Something you'll never get." Bolt said sternly.
"Honey, she's an animal." Mittens said moving the front half of her body in front of Bolt's leg, partially trying to hold him back. However, he came to his senses and backed down. It was a dad thing.
"Right, sorry." Bolt said settling back down.
"Seriously, what's a tattoo?" Nova asked again; this time towards Trigger.
"I'll tell you later." Trigger said trying to hold back a laugh. Nova just rolled her eyes, and placed her head down on her paw. Seconds later, Trigger laid his head on the back of her neck, causing her to smile. Bolt looked at the happy look on Nova's face, and smiled in response.
(Two Days Later)
It was about 9:00am, and Bolt was resting on the front porch, while Mittens continued to sleep inside. Penny was still asleep as well, wanting to catch a few extra hours in the morning now that school was over. The shepherd really had no plans for the day, except to just rest and relax. All of a sudden, the phone rang from inside the house. Within two rings, Catherine answered the phone and talked for a few minutes. Overcome with curiosity, Bolt walked through the pet door at the front of the house and walked into the kitchen.
"Okay, I'll let them know….Bye, Kurt!" Catherine said hanging up the phone and turning around.
"Oh, Bolt! I was just coming to find you." Catherine said reaching down to turn on his collar so that he could talk to her. Even though he could use the collar freely, he tried to make it a habit not to use it too much. He still wanted to have some sense of normality; however, Catherine seemed pretty desperate to speak to him.
"What's up?" Bolt asked
"That was Kurt on the phone. He's sending a limousine here to pick you and Mittens up." Catherine answered.
"I don't know. All he said was that it would be here in an hour, but he sounded pretty shook up." Catherine continued to explain. Bolt looked to the side and watched Mittens sleeping, wondering how he was gonna tell her, or HOW. He had no idea what was going on, and explaining it to Mittens was gonna be hard. The white dog walked towards their bed and nudged Mittens' side, trying to wake her up.
"Ngghh… What?" Mittens said turning in the bed.
"Mittens, wake up!" Bolt said softly. The black feline opened her eyes slowly, and got up to stretch.
"Is it really that important?" Mittens asker her mate, a little annoyed.
"I really hope so." Bolt answered; his facial expression showing signs of worry. Mittens could read that like a book, waking her up completely.
"What's wrong?" Mittens asked intently.
"I don't know. Kurt's sending us a limo in an hour."
"To go where?"
"Again, I don't know. But we really don't have a choice. We HAVE to go!"
"Ugh… Will these missions ever stop?"
"Hey! At least this time, they're giving us some notice." Bolt said referring to the very first night he was kidnapped. Mittens had to give him that one, but she and Bolt didn't want to be a part of GGE.
"They must really need us." Mittens said
"I guess we'll find out."
**End of Chapter**
This story is just getting off the ground, and I will definitely be one that'll have you glued to your screens waiting for chapter after chapter. I don't usually have this big of an ego, so it won't last. Anyway, I hope to hook a few new readers and reviewers, and I think you guys will like what I've got in store. I guess we'll find out, won't we?