I'll step a few years into the future (two or three, maybe, I dunno). Anywho, the Chicks are older, now.
On a warm, summer morning, Gracie sat on the edge of the ice floe, paddling her feet in the clear, green-blue water of the Penguins' pool. She sighed, as she kicked her feet in the water. Cleo peeked out of the fish bowl, with Cam right behind her.
"You alright?" Cleo called, as she waddled up to her younger friend.
"Perfectly fine," Gracie smiled, speaking in her sweet baby voice. Cleo sat down next to her, also dipping her feet in the water. Cam stayed away from the edge.
"Come join us, Cammy!" Gracie pleaded. Cam sighed.
"I'd like to, but…" she faked a cough. "I think I'm coming down with something. Best I don't get wet." Gracie gave her an odd look, and Cleo whispered in her ear.
"She's still scared of water."
"Oh, that's no problem," Gracie stood, and pulled on Cam's flipper.
"Come on; I'll help you."
"Help me with what?"
"Not being scared, of course." Cam stood, but instead of going with Gracie, she turned, and went back inside.
"I'm perfectly not scared. I'm just… cold. Brrr… it's chilly."
"Oh, don't be an idiot!" Cleo snapped. "It's a perfectly warm day!"
"Well, maybe I'm just not in the mood for a swim!" Cam shouted, lifting the fish bowl, and beginning to climb down.
"If that's the case, then you're never in the mood!" Cleo shouted back, but Cam just dropped the bowl, which crashed loudly.
Cam stormed into the HQ, looking as angry as a bull when his horns have been cut off (of course, I don't know how angry a bull would look with his horns cut off, but I'd expect he'd be pretty angry).
Private looked up from the crash of the bowl, and saw her stomping about.
"What's got you so grumpy-looking?" he asked.
"Just that irritating Cleo, and pesky little Grace," Cam snapped. Skipper rolled his eyes; his daughter could have a temper at times, especially when she was confronted about her fear of water.
"Well, maybe you should just tell them that whatever they were doing was bothering you," Private reasoned (as one would expect, he resented having his daughter being called 'pesky', or his friend's daughter being called 'irritable', but he wasn't going to press the issue).
"HA! Like that would make a difference…"
"Just try it next time," Private suggested, and went back to whatever he had been doing previously.
"Thank you, Private," Skipper said. "I never would have chosen such wise words."
"No trouble, Skippah," Private smiled.
Despite the fact Private's talk with Cam was helpful, Cam still sulked around for most of the day. If it was just Cam and Gracie talking about her water fear, she would have cheered up by lunchtime, but that wasn't the case. The real problem was her brother; older by two minutes, less mature by two years. He had told her the previous night that he felt he had a small, tiny, hardly noticeable crush on Cleo, and this irritated Cam more than moulting down-feathers. Mostly because when they were a little younger, they had promised that twins stick together, no matter what. Cam felt that he wasn't keeping to his vow, in having a crush on a girl, which, in turn, made her think she was loosing him as a twin, which was her biggest fears… okay, second biggest.
Meanwhile, Cleo and Gracie still stood on the island. They had heard Cam snapping to whoever the poor victim was below, but they couldn't make out what she said. Cleo sighed.
"Well, she'll be a danger to us all for about an hour longer," she said.
"I hate it when she gets into these moods," Gracie groaned. "She's so loud, and she gives me a headache. OW! I feel one coming on just thinking about it."
"Maybe a snow cone run would help?" Cleo suggested. Gracie smiled, and then frowned.
"Who's going to dare go down and tell daddy, or someone where we're going?"
"We'll just tell Marlene; she'd be the first they go to when they notice our absence. Come on." She took Gracie's flipper, and they went to Marlene's.
About fifteen minutes later, Ace and Rusty, who had been watching Shirtless Ninja Action Theatre for most of the morning, had their ears blocked, and the sound turned all the way up, and still couldn't block out Cam's screaming. She was complaining about how loud the TV had been, and then how they did nothing but sit in front of it, like great lumps of boneless skin, and never got out for exercise, or anything. And when Skipper tried to quiet her down, she only kicked him in the shin, and screamed some more. Just now, though, Ace noticed something.
"DAD!" Ace yelled over the noise. "WHERE ARE CLEO AND GRACIE?"
Skipper slapped Cam hard on the cheek to shut her up, after hearing Ace say 'Dad'. Cam stopped screaming right away (she had always been a little intimidated by her father).
"What was that, Ace?" Skipper asked. Everyone took their flippers off their ear-holes.
"I said 'Where are Gracie and Cleo?'"
"I don't know," Skipper said, looking under the table where Gracie usually hid when Cam had a temper.
"Probably staying away," Kowalski put in. "Wisely, too…" Cam glared at him.
"I'll go see if Marlene's seen them," Private said, getting up.
"Alright," Skipper agreed. "Rico, go with him."
"Yus, 'Kippar!" Rico saluted, and followed Private out of the HQ.
"Ace, Rusty, you two stay here, while Kowalski and I check Ringtail's habitat. I wanna make sure they don't go there… ever…"
"Aye-aye, Skipper!" Rusty saluted, like his dad, and Ace stood at attention.
"Good boys," Skipper grinned, and followed Kowalski out.
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