The Tweenage Rugrats In: "The Future Takes Five"

By Dwayne Anderson & Birch Griesse

Today was July 4th. Tonight, fireworks would be seen in the sky throughout the country.

The Rugrats whom we all know were really excited for, would be another carnival.

Each of them knew that earlier, they had gone to another carnival. During that time, a gypsy woman showed them their futures in ten years. Yet, they also wanted to know what would happen in the times between their futures and their presents (not the kind wrapped up in paper and ribbons!).

At the carnival, would be clowns, gypsys, ringmasters, animal handlers, and tons of cotton candy!

Tonight, the kids would all be going to the carnival. It was all they could think of or concentrate on.

"Chuckie!" called a voice.

Chuckie was suddenly pulled out of his own fantasy.

"Uh, yes dad?"

"Did you finish mowing the lawn?"

"Yes dad."

"Still thinking of the carnival?"


"You and your friends must be really excited."

"We certainly are."

"But no more dreaming now. You have chores to do."

"Yes sir" said Chuckie as he went into the living room to help his sister finish the dusting.

Chazz said to his wife Kira, "our kids certainly are really looking forward to that carnival."

"They should be" said Kira, "they had fun at the last one. At the last carnival, they paid a gypsy woman to show them their futures, although the kids never told us what's in store in the future."

"I guess that's something we'll have to let them keep to themselves."

Later that day, after supper time, the Rugrats got together and headed off towards the carnival. They could hear the music of the Merry-Go-Round in the distance.

"The first Friday of the summer, it doesn't get any better than this" said Tommy. "Going to a carnival is one of the best things a kid can do in his life!"

"I'm gonna eat all the cotton candy I can afford!" said Phil. "And save some for later."

"I'm gonna get a balloon animal from the clown" said Chuckie. It had been years since he overcame his fear of clowns.

Later, the kids were enjoying themselves at the carnival. Just like last time, they had a fun time. They ate cotton candy and candy apples, threw darts at balloons, tossed balls at targets to make a man fall in the water, got balloon animals from the clowns, and even went to the petting zoo. They looked at all the baby animals.

As they were trying to decide what to do next, Susie said, "hey look! There's a fortune teller!"

A sign near a nearby tent read, "See what's in Store in your future! Only $5!"

"Another future predicting gypsy?" asked Lil. "We already know what's in store for our future!"

"She predicted that I would become a world famous comedian" said Dil. "Hey guys! Knock Knock!"

"Who's there?" asked his friends.


"Ya Who?"

"Are we having fun or what?" (rimshot)

The kids laughed.

"I shall be putting my knowledge of science to good use in the future" said Tommy. "I'm gonna be a Nobel prize winning scientist."

"I'm gonna be president!" said Chuckie.

"My future didn't show much" said Phil. "It just had me proposing to Lindsay."

"Hey, look what it also says here!" said Susie. "We'll be able to see what's in store for us in the next five years!"

"No wonder it's half price" said Kimi.

"Let's go try it out!" said Tommy. The kids agreed and entered the tent.

"Welcome back!" said the gypsy woman. "You've all seen what will happen in ten years. Now see what will happen in five years! Have a seat."

The kids sat around the table.

"I can sense that you all have a powerful friendship between you all" said the gypsy. "You'll all be a part of each other's lives for the rest of your lives! So you can all pay together."

Everyone handed the gypsy five dollars each.

The gypsy uncovered a crystal ball.

"Now see what the future has in store for you!" said the gypsy.

An image began to take shape.

The Rugrats sat on the bus taking them home from Calvin N. Hobbes High School ("Home Of The Tigers"), where they are students. Their new bus driver was not Grandpa Lou (who since retired), it was a woman, just someone they didn't know.

Kimi had her hair curled (just a little wave) with shiny pink hair clips. She wore a pink shirt with violet Capri's. She would be getting glasses the very next day.

Lil had long brown hair in pigtails that went down below her shoulders. She had on a white shirt with pink slacks. She also had a green bracelet. She and Phil had celebrated their sixteenth birthday six months ago.

Angelica had her hair in a single ponytail coming from the top of her head. She was wearing a long sleeved shirt. All but the sleeves was purple. The sleeves were red and made of a very thin and loose material. She had a blue skirt with strings of green beads hanging from the bottom. She also had green and blue earrings (she was one of the most popular girls in school).

Susie had her fluffy dark brown hair down, she wore a yellow, button up blouse. Along with that she had on a purple jean-skirt that went just above her knees. She also had on a red, yellow, and purple choker, a lavender anklet, and three bracelets: red, yellow, and violet.

Susie was even more popular than Angelica, even though she didn't try to be. She was just a nice, 'everybody's best friend kind of girl, and everyone liked her. Angelica was only popular because she looked cool and hung out with other popular girls, and had a boyfriend who was popular. Angelica and Susie were supposed to be in college but they had late birthdays, so they were stuck in high school. Susie was happy to be able to spend another year near her parents, but Angelica couldn't wait to get away from them. Neither Angelica nor Susie lived with their parents. They shared an apartment with each other and a few other friends.

Tommy had gotten his drivers license exactly three weeks ago. Since he didn't have his own car yet, he drove Angelica's (her parents made her let him). He kept his hair the same. He wore a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

Chuckie had just gotten his retainer out the day before. He now had also worn contact lenses since he was fourteen. He wore a simple blue t-shirt (yes, with a planet on the front) and green shorts. His hairstyle is similar to his father's, except that his father's hair is now gray.

Phil had short messy hair that looked like it hadn't been combed in years. He also looked and smelled like he hadn't taken a bath in weeks. He had on a green t-shirt and long blue pants that went just below his knees. Neither he nor Lil owned a car, though their birthday had passed several months ago.

Dil had gotten a new haircut the summer before and had liked it so much he said he would never change it. His hair was no longer curly, in fact, he hardly had any hair at all. He wore a yellow T-shirt with a orange line going around the middle.

"I can't wait for my birthday Tomorrow!" Tommy exclaimed.

"Yeah, it's going to be, the best birthday ever!" Kimi agreed.

"Sorry, I can't make it," Angelica said.

"I hope I get that radical jeep I been wanting!" Tommy said, "The one with the four wheel drive and the convertible top!"

"I doubt you will, man," Phil told him.

"Yeah, Phil and I never got that cute little slug-bug we'd been wanting so bad for our Sweet Sixteen." Lil added.

"Well," Tommy pointed out, "I'm not you."

"He's got a point, you know," Phil said.

The next day, all of the Rugrats except Angelica arrived at Tommy's house for his birthday. Tommy's cake depicted a drivers license with his picture on it. Instead of sixteen candles, Tommy had two candles shaped like a 1 and a 6, to save room on his small cake. Tommy cut the first slice of cake for himself, after blowing out the candles and wishing that his parents would give him the car he was wanting for he birthday.

Then, as was a custom on the sixteenth birthday in the Pickles family, Tommy cut everyone else a slice too, including his parents. After cake, it was time to open presents. Tommy got a used computer for his room from Phil. From Lil he got a cool new hat. A Walkman was a present from Dil. He got a pair of designer sunglasses from Susie. Chuckie gave him some DVDs. And from his parents he received --- a brand new car! Though it wasn't exactly "brand new" -- this was an ivory-colored, 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis. The car didn't actually scream out "cool", but it didn't matter to Tommy; all he wants is a car -- any car.

"Oh, I can't thank you enough!" Tommy cried.

"Just once will be fine," Didi said, smiling.

The next day, at the Finsters' house, it was time for Kimi to get her glasses.

"Mom?" Kimi pleaded, "May I please have contacts?"

"No, Kimi," Kira said, "Contacts are too expensive."

"But Chuckie has contacts!" Kimi protested, "And he got them when he was fourteen! I'm sixteen!"

Kira said, "Your brother saved up his own money to buy those! So unless you are willing to pay for them yourself, you are getting glasses!"

"I'm willing, but I'm not sure if I have enough money. Let me count it," Kimi said.

She pulled her purse over to her and began piling coins and Billys out onto the car seat. Then she started counting them.

"Is twenty dollars enough?" Kimi asked her mother.

"I'm afraid not," Kira replied.

"Well, you can't play tackle football with glasses!" Kimi pointed out.

"You don't need to be playing tackle football," Kira said.

As they neared the office were they would be purchasing Kimi's glasses, they saw a sign in the window at a Lenscrafters next door. It read, "All contacts half price! Limited Time Only!"

Kira and Kimi entered the building. They checked the price of the contacts. It was cheaper than glasses! So Kimi got her wish --- and a pair of contacts.

That night, at the Pickles' house, Tommy talked with his parents.

"Mom, Dad," said Tommy at the dinner table, "Now that I'm sixteen and I have my new car, I want to take a road trip."

"Oh, that sounds like fun!" said Didi.

"No," Tommy explained, "Just me and my friends!"

"What about me?" Dil asked hopefully.

"You, too," said Tommy, "But only if you promise to take me on the road trip you take you turn sixteen!"

"Agreed," Dil promised.

"Wait!" Didi said,"You are sixteen and you are expecting me to allow you to drive off on some long trip with no one older than seventeen?"

"Yep," Tommy informed her.

"No!" said Didi firmly, "It's not safe!"

"Awe, Deed, come on! It's a Pickles family tradition! When I was sixteen, I got a car and went on a road trip with my friends, and when Pop was sixteen he went a road trip with his friends! This tradition has been around since cars were invented, and nothing ever went wrong!"

"How many Pickles traditions are there that involve ones sixteenth birthday?" Didi asked.

"Well, getting him the car and the road trip traditions kind of go together, you see..."

"Well," Didi said thoughtfully, "Tommy, I guess you've earned yourself a road trip!"

"Yes!" Tommy cried.

The next day, Tommy called his friends over to his house for and emergency meeting. When he explained about the road trip, they became interested.

"Alright, we're going to drive from our town, down to the Grand Canyon," Tommy showed them their rout on a map.

"Isn't that the long road?" Dil asked.

"That's the scenic road," Tommy answered.

"Oh!" said Dil.

"So, do think that will be a good trip?" Tommy asked his friends opinion.

"Well, it seems so short, " Lil pointed out, "Aren't road trips supposed to be long, or something?"

Phil said, "It is our first road trip. I think short is good for starters Tommy I think you road trip sounds cool!"

"So it's settled! We're going to the Grand Canyon! Now we need to get together all of our money to pay for gas, food, and motels."

"I have a friend who owns a motel along the way," said Kimi, pointing to a spot on the map, "He probably give us a discount."

"Good," said Tommy.

That night, everyone packed. Chuckie was sure to pack his Wawa, and Kimi stuffed her Superthing into her suitcase. Angelica and Susie secretly brought their Cynthia Dolls. Tommy and Dil packed their Reptar Dolls. Phil and Lil made absolutely sure they packed their secret stash of Gummy Worms, in case they got hungry.

The next day, the Rugrats (including Angelica and Susie) gathered up their money and their food, and squeezed into Tommy's car. Phil was bringing Lindsey --- his girlfriend since he was 11 --- along. Lindsey was wearing a white sleeveless shirt and a pink mini skirt. She wore her long blonde hair down and it went below her hips. She also had on Peach Pink lipstick, Peach Pink fingernail polish, Peach Pink eyeshadow, and Peach Pink blush along with a hot pink choker, bracelet, ring, and anklet.

"I guess she likes pink," said Susie.

"You think?" Tommy asked sarcastically.

Then they were off. They drove for several hours. Then it was 8:00 pm.

"I think we should find a place to stay for the night," said Chuckie.

"Good idea," Kimi agreed, "But my friend's motel isn't for another fifteen hours or so."

"That place looks good," Tommy suggested, pointing to a scrappy little motel, "Good and cheap."

"I think I'd rather sleep in the car," Angelica groaned.

"Angelica, look," said Susie said, pointing to a sign next to the motel. Angelica looked at the sign. It read: Big fashion show tomorrow. Anyone who stays in the Armada Inn will be admitted free!

"Can we please go to the fashion show tomorrow, Tommy?" Angelica pleaded.

"I guess we might as well," Tommy sighed.

"Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Angelica cried, "Oh, and I don't mind staying in the Armada Inn anymore."

So the Rugrats spent that night at the Armada Inn. The next morning, they drove to where the fashion show was. While they were in line for tickets, a woman poked her head out of the stars door.

"Hey, you kids," she said, "Come here!" The Rugrats walked over to the woman.

"What is it?" asked Susie.

"Well," said the woman, "My model left and ran off with my plans and that was my only copy! I need a model and something for her to wear! Quick!" Then the woman saw Susie's outfit.

"That is perfect!" she exclaimed, "How did you ever come up with such a nice looking outfit?"

"Just some clothes I had," Susie answered.

"We'll, to tell you the truth, that's better than some of the things I designed," she said to Susie, "But I still need a model!"

"I'll do it," Angelica offered. The woman looked Angelica over.

"You'll be perfect!" she said, "Just the beauty needed to be a model!"

"Thank you," said Angelica sweetly.

"Oh, by the way, my name's Diana Grimsby," said the woman.

"THE Diana Grimsby!?" cried Angelica.

"Yep," Diana replied.

Then she gave Susie something to wear while Angelica borrowed her clothes for the fashion show. When it was Angelica's turn, she strutted down the isle and stopped at the end she people could take her picture. Then she strutted back.

After the show, Diana had a talk with Angelica and Susie.

"What are your names?" she asked.

"Angelica," said Angelica.

"Susie," said Susie.

"Well," said Diana, "Angelica and Susie, thanks to you, I didn't make a fool of myself at the fashion show! Angelica, you were the perfect model to display the perfect fashion! Here's fifty dollars for your trouble. Thanks again."

So the Rugrats left, and drove for several hours. It was late by the time they reached Kimi's friend's motel. Kimi and the rest of the Rugrats entered the motel. Kimi saw her friend at the counter. Her friends followed her to the counter.

"Hey, Kimi," Billy said.

"Hi Billy, Kimi replied, "We need a room."

"Ok, so there's eight of you? I suppose I could give you a discount. That would be $200 for all of you. It would normally be $250," said Billy.

The Rugrats counted their money. They had exactly $300 all together. They gave Billy $200 from what they had. Billy gave them a room.

"Hey, Lindsey," said Phil when the Rugrats were all settled in their room, "The motel got a pool. Whacha say we go for a little swim?"

"Ok, Phil," Lindsey replied. She had a pink bikini (surprise, surprise) and Phil had blue trunks. The rest of the Rugrats stayed in the

Tommy was resting on one of the room's king sized beds. He looked over at the clock. It was 10:30. What was taking Phil and Lindsey so long? The pool closed at 10:00.

Just then, Lindsey and Phil entered the room.

"Where have you been?" Tommy asked.

"Well, we went swimming, but then the pool had to close, so we had to get out. Then we walked around some, and we saw this museum, that's free for kids tomorrow!" Lindsey answered.

"So, we wanna go to that museum tomorrow, man," Phil said.

"That sounds like fun!" Lil exclaimed.

So the next day, the Rugrats went to the museum.

"Look!" Kimi cried, "In that room is the biggest display of the largest jewels ever! There's the biggest ruby, the biggest emerald, the biggest diamond..."

"I thought the Hope Diamond was the biggest, and I thought it was somewhere else," Chuckie said.

"Chuckie, that was two years ago! They since found a bigger one!" Lil corrected him.

Just then a man who was standing nearby grabbed the diamond and jumped straight out the window. Kimi, without thinking, jumped down after him.

Fortunately the museum only had one story. Kimi ran after the man and tackled him. But the man was strong. He threw Kimi off his back and ran out of sight. But as he did so, he dropped a piece of paper he'd been carrying. Tommy caught the paper. The museums security rushed outside at that time. Tommy stopped them and showed them the paper. All it had on it was this: "5x3 NWST".

The police didn't know what to make of it. No one could figure out what it meant.

"I've got a list of all of the fingerprints recorded and who they belong to, but need something to uncover this mans fingerprints with.

"Wait here!" Tommy called as he went to his car and grabbed the science kit his Grandpa Lou had given him for his birthday. He gave it to the police officer.

"In here is some stuff that will allow you to see finger prints," Tommy told her. The police officer uncovered the fingerprints and matched them to a face.

"This is Ed Harrison. He is a very dangerous man," the police officer told them.

Then they went back to trying to decode the letter. Tommy tried all of the codes in the decoding book that came with his science kit. None of them worked. Suddenly Tommy thought of something!

"Wait!" he said, "Now, what does NW stand for on a compass?"

"Northwest!" someone said.

"Yes! And what does St. stand for?" he asked.

"Street?" someone guessed.

"Yes!" Tommy answered, "It's something Northwest Street!" Tommy looked at the paper a bit longer.

"Now 5x3 is 15, right? So then it must be 15 Northwest Street!"

"But there is no 15 Northwest Street!" Somebody told him.

"Well, then it has to be 555 Northwest Street! Three fives!" Tommy concluded.

"To 555 Northwest Street!" One of the police officers cried. Kimi, Tommy, and the rest of the Rugrats followed the officers to 555 Northwest Street.

When they got there, they began searching the house. Tommy retrieved the diamond. Kimi went to the backyard where she saw Ed Harrison with the diamond. Lil saw her and tried to scream for help, but she couldn't make a noise ad she was scared stiff.

When Ed saw Kimi, he lunged at her. Kimi jumped out of the way, and Ed hit the wall of the house instead. Kimi and Ed continued until Kimi was finally able to jump on Ed's back and use what she had learned about pressure points in karate. When the police came, Kimi was exhausted and Ed was unconscious. They had no idea what had happened. Lil was the only one who had seen the whole thing.

Soon reporters arrived. Since Kimi was to exhausted to speak, and Ed was unconscious, they asked Lil to explain what had happened. Lil explained with great detail, trying not to use like, totally, or you know to much. When she finished, a woman with puffy, long, brown hair and a bright red powersuit (currently a reporter for a Phoenix TV station, but would become Lil's boss when she became a CNN news reporter in five years) congratulated her:

"Lil," she said, "You have what it takes to be a reporter!" Well after everything had been cleared up and the Rugrats were about ready to leave again, Kimi and Tommy were each given a medal.

As they drove, Tommy said to his friends, "Well, guys, even if I go on one million other road trips, I don't think any of them will be as exciting as this one has been so far!"

Hours later, as Tommy continued to drive himself and his friends towards the next city, the car suddenly began to sputter. Then, it stopped.

Tommy checked the fuel guage. It was empty.

"Oh great!" he said. "The car just ran out of gas! We're stranded! And we're thirty minutes away from Phoenix! And worst of all, we'll have to sleep here for the night!"

"Don't worry about a thing" said Lindsay, "I have a cordless phone!"

"That's great Lindsay" said Phil. "Call someone!"

Lindsay dialed someone whom she knew would help. She dialed the police.

"Hello. We're stranded out in the country, our car is out of gas, and we need help!"

"We'll send someone right over! Just tell us where you are."

Lindsay told the officer where they were.

Thirty minutes later, a police car drove up. A police officer came out of the car. He was dressed in a blue uniform with sunglasses.

"This will just take a second kids" he said. "I need to attach this cable to your car so I can haul you to Phoenix."

"Thanks officer" said Tommy.

"Can I ride in the car with you?" asked Kimi.

"You certainly can" said the officer.

Kimi climbed into the car with the police officer while her friends stayed in the car. Soon, they were beginning to be towed towards Phoenix.

"Thanks for calling someone to help us Lindsay" said Chuckie.

"You're welcome" said Lindsay.

"I think you deserve something" said Phil.

The next thing Tommy, Chuckie, Lil, Dil, Angelica, and Susie knew, Phil and Lindsay began to kiss.

"Don't mind us" said Chuckie. "If I was home right now, I'd be kissing Samantha right now!"

"How about me and Timmy?" said Lil.

"Don't forget me with Tonya" said Tommy.

"Andy and me!" said Angelica.

"And you can't forget me with Tiffany!" said Dil. Tiffany was the new girl in his class. She was also Tonya's younger sister.

"That's another reason why we were late last night" said Phil. "Me and Lindsay were kissing alot, both in and out of the pool."

"We also must not forget Kimi and Ken" said Lil.

"I wonder what she's doing now?" asked Chuckie.

Meanwhile, in the police car, Kimi was telling the officer about their road trip and how she had captured a jewel thief.

"You're quite a fighter Kimi" he said. "I remember dealing with several jewel thieves where I work. Three of them tried to steal the Iqualuit diamond five and a half years ago."

"I know" said Kimi. "I helped stop them. My friend Robin also helped me. Who knew those men were his former partners?"

"Your parents must be worried about you and your friends right now" said the officer.

"Yes" said Kimi. "We're gonna tell them all about our adventure! I'm also going to tell Robin!"

"It is a good idea to talk to friends about stuff" said the officer.

"I can't wait to tell Robin that I got a medal!" said Kimi.

"He already knows Kimi" said the officer as he smiled and took off his sunglasses.

"Robin?!" cried Kimi. "You're a police officer now?"

"Of course Kimi" said Robin. "It's been three years since I finished high school. Alot has happened in the last five years. First my graduation, then my marriage to Dorothy, who was my girlfriend in my teens and here in this town, and finally, there was my acceptance into the police academy when me and Dorothy moved here. In fact, Phoenix was my old hometown!"

Kimi was amazed.

"By the way Kimi, since you've helped catch several thieves already, you could have a career in work with the authorities."

Just then, Robin's phone rang. He picked it up. After speaking with his boss for a minute, he hung up.

"Kimi, guess what? The chief of the FBI has retired and he has selected me to replace him! I'm getting promoted!"

"That's great Robin" said Kimi.

Finally, the teenagers arrived at a gas station. They climbed out of the car. Tommy refilled the gas tank.

"Thanks for the ride Robin" said Kimi as she climbed out of the car. "I think we can make it the rest of the way now that we have fuel."

"You are welcome!" said Robin as he unhooked Tommy's car from his car. He climbed back into his car and drove back to headquarters.

"Wow!" said Kimi, "Robin's now chief of the FBI!"

"That officer was your friend?" asked Chuckie.

"Of course!" said Kimi. "But what are we waiting for? Let's go rent us a room for the night!

After Tommy refilled the gas tank, the teenagers got back into the car and drove through the streets towards the nearest motel.

As they got out of the car, a man dressed like a hobo came up to them.

"Excuse me kids, but can you help out a poor soul who's down on his luck?"

"Why certainly sir" said Susie, "we always like to extend a helping hand to those in need."

"Hey Susie!" said Angelica, "tell the guy to beat it! Why on Earth would we want to help him?"

The man smiled. "I have a gun" he said. "Hand over your watches, jewelry, and money!"

With a gun drawn, the man proceeded to rob the teenagers. He took Angelica's credit card, Susie's necklace, Lil's bracelet, Chuckie's watch, and all their money. Then he hopped into the car and drove away.

"So long suckers!" he said. "The gun wasn't even loaded!"

The car vanished in the distance.

"Oh great!" said Angelica.

"You can say that again" said Susie. "Now what do we do?"

"We can't stay at a motel without money" said Tommy. "And without a car and possessions, we're stuck here in the city!"

"And with my cellphone in the car" said Lindsay, "we can't call for help!"

"I guess we'll just have to walk to the police" said Chuckie.

"But Robin never told me where they are!" said Kimi.

Just then, a red convertable drove up next to the teenagers. A young woman poked her head out the window. She had black hair down to her shoulders, blue eyes, and she was wearing a red dress and red shoes.

"Kids, something wrong?" she asked.

"D'uh!" said Angelica. "We've just been robbed! He took everything! Our car, our jewelry, our money, my credit card, and now we're stuck in the city!"

"And we're not far away from the Grand Canyon either" said Phil.

"And we can't call the police because we don't have a phone!" said Kimi.

"You're Kimi aren't you?" asked the woman. "My name is Dorothy. I believe you know my husband Robin."

"You're Dorothy?!" asked Kimi. "Robin's wife?!"

"Why yes" said the woman. "Here, get in kids. I'll drive you to the police station where you can make a report."

The kids gratefully climbed into the car. Dorothy drove them to the police.

A few minutes later, they arrived at the police station.

"Honey" called Dorothy, "your friend and her friends got robbed!"

Robin was hoping that since he was getting promoted, he wouldn't have to do anymore of this work, however, he knew that this would be his last assignment before his new position.

The Rugrats proceeded to describe the man who robbed them.

"He was tall with no hair" said Tommy.

"And I know that he had a gun" said Chuckie.

"He took everything" said Phil.

"My bracelet" said Lil.

"My credit card" said Angelica.

"My car!" said Tommy.

"Our money" said Susie.

"Think you can find him?" asked Kimi.

"We'll do our best" said Robin. "After all, we are the police."

A little later, a few men were brought back. They were lined up against a wall. They each had a number on them.

"Pick out the one who robbed you" said Robin.

The Rugrats looked at each man. Then they recognised one of them.

"Number four" said Kimi.

After the other men were released and the culprit imprisoned, the Rugrats recovered their stuff. Kimi thanked Robin for his help. Maybe in the future she would have a career in work with authority.

The Rugrats climbed into their car and drove to a motel to rent a room for the night.

"Nice job guys" said Tommy. "We got my car and all our stuff back!"

"It pays to work together" said Susie.

"Hey" said Tommy. "I brought a photo album of us along!"

Tommy sat one of the beds as the others crowded around him. He opened the photo album he had taken.

A little later, they were still looking in the album.

"Yeah, Angelica was always cool and calm, except when she didn't get her way!" read Tommy.

The kids laughed, except Angelica.

Tommy turned the page.

"In four years of junior wrestling, Kimi had been brought down only once, and that was by a wet kitchen floor!"

Everyone laughed. Even Kimi laughed at the picture of herself slipping on the kitchen floor at age 15.

"Kimi has fought many times both in and out of the ring and she has never lost a fight, nor has she ever come close. After winning her fourth state championship in a row, Kimi retired to spend more quality time with her friends, even though she still likes to fight. One of her fights even put her in Juvenile Hall."

Tommy turned the page.

"The only time Phil ever got into a fight was with a bully named Clint while he and Lindsay were on their first date. Phil also got his first kiss that night."

"I'll never forget that enchanted evening" Lindsay said dreamily.

They continued to read for the next hour.

"Yeah, those were the good old days" said Kimi. "We're not kids anymore, we're just growing up."

"Yeah" said Chuckie. "Pretty soon, we'll all be adults."

"I'm already old enough to drive" said Tommy.

"Big deal" said Lil. "I'm already old enough to have children."

"That goes for all us girls" said Lindsay.

"So what else?" said Kimi, "I'm already set up to be married. After all, Japanese marriages are arranged you know."

"And I actually modelled some clothing on stage!" said Angelica. "I'm going to be a famous supermodel. Don't forget, I was on television...once."

"And I supplied a new fashion design earlier this week" said Susie.

"To tell you the truth" said Chuckie, "I kind of liked wearing glasses. One day, I should get my glasses back, but a different model."

"And as for me" said Kimi, "I'll only need contacts temporarily. The eye doctor at my last appointment said that I can take my contacts out by next month."

"Hey Kimi, why don't you try changing your hair style?" asked Phil. "Usually, you had pigtails, now you don't have anything."

"Ok" said Kimi. She removed her hair clips and tied a pink ribbon in her hair.

"There, how do I look?" she asked. Kimi's hair was now tied back in a ponytail.

"Fabulous!" said Angelica. "But mine is better."

"Ok guys, let's call it a night" said Tommy. "Tomorrow, we will finally arrive at the Grand Canyon! And then, it's back home to our jobs, our school life, and our parents."

The others yawned and climbed into bed.

The next day, the Rugrats drove the rest of the way to the Grand Canyon. It wasn't a very long drive. On the way they wrote letters to their families and boyfriends / girlfriends. They got there at 3:30 and went straight to siteseeing. Tommy drove them to several popular overlooks. They went along taking pictures and stopping at all kinds of gift shops for a long time. At one gift shop they mailed their letters and postcards. At 5PM, they decided that it was time to find a motel. But Angelica had a better idea.

"Who needs a motel when I have Sara Johnson for a friend? We can spend the night at her house!"

"Who is Sara Johnson?" asked Chuckie.

"Sara was one of my friends in grade school. She and her family moved here and we've been pen pals ever since. Now she' in college and she has her own jewelry store called The Gem Den. She has a huge house and pool with a rope swing and a diving board in her backyard, and a spa, and a Jacuzzi for a bathtub, and all that kind of stuff. It' way better that any hotel, and it' free!"

"Sounds great!" Tommy said, "So tell me how to get to her house."

Pretty soon they reached Sara' house. Then Angelica rang the doorbell. The door opened and standing before them was a girl in her early twenties. In the room behind her, dark shadows loomed over everything. The teens were all very uneasy. All except Angelica.

"Hey, Sara!" she said cheerfully, "Your hair looks beautiful! I love your dress!"

"Hello, Angelica! I haven't seen you in a long time! What are you and your friends doing out here? Did you move here, too? Are you on vacation? Are..."

"The second one," Angelica cut in, "We're going on a road trip with my cousin Tommy. He just got a car for his sixteenth birthday, so we decided to drive to the Grand Canyon on a road trip. So here we are, and I thought it would be nice to see you again! Do you think we could maybe spend the night with you?"

"Sure thing, Angie! You and your friends come right on in! You can stay here as long as you like! Oh, it' so good to see you again! You have to tell me everything that' happened since I left!"

So Angelica and the rest of the gang entered Sara' house. As they stepped inside, it felt to them as if they had just stepped into a refrigerator. It was freezing in Sara' house! But Angelica didn't seem to notice.

"Um, Sara?" said Kimi, "Would you mind turning the lights on?"

"Oh sorry, I forgot! Just a second!" Sara replied.

She rushed off into the darkness. Soon the room was filled with light. The teens looked around in awe. In the center of the room was a red couch. Against one of the walls was a big-screen TV, with speakers. Opposite the TV, there were four large windows that almost cover the whole wall. In a corner was a comfortable looking armchair. Sitting in one of the chairs was a young man in his mid twenties.

"Who' that?" Lil asked, pointing to the man.

"That' my boyfriend, Dan Wilson," Sara replied.

"Are you married?" asked Angelica.

"No, but I will be this Sunday," Sara replied.

"Oh, we have to leave on Thursday!" Angelica complained, "I wish we could stay!"

"So do I," Susie agreed, "I like weddings!"

"Well, why don't you call your parents and ask if you can stay?" Sara suggested, "I'd love for you to come! Angelica, maybe you could be a bridesmaid! Oh, and..."

"Sara, we still have check with our parents to see if it' OK with them," Tommy reminded her, "Now where' the phone?"

"Right here!" Sara said as she pulled her cell phone out of her pocket.

Tommy took the phone and dialed his parents' phone number.

Didi and Stu were sitting on the couch watching a movie. Suddenly they heard the phone ring.

"I'll get it," said Stu, reaching for the phone. He picked it up and held it to his ear.

"Hello?" he said.

"Hey dad it' my Tommy. I need to talk to you and mom," Tommy told him.

"Sure, just a sec," Stu said, "Deed, Tommy's on the phone. He wants to talk to us."

Didi rushed into the kitchen and picked up the other phone.

"Hello, Tommy!" Didi greeted him, "I can't wait to see you on Sunday! Now what did you want to talk about?"

"That IS what I wanted to talk about," Tommy told them.

"What?" Stu asked.

"We want to stay until Sunday and leave on Monday," Tommy explained.

"But why? Didi asked, "I know that you're having fun, but I want you home by Monday."

"Well, what if I told you it was a little important?" Tommy asked.

"How important?" Stu wanted to know.

So Tommy explained about Sara, Dan and the wedding.

"Well," Didi began. She paused for a moment then continued, "under the circumstances, I suppose you can stay for the wedding!"

"Yes!" Tommy exclaimed, "Bye mom, and thank you so much!"

Then he turned off the phone and gave it back to Sara.

"They said yes, didn't they?" Angelica asked.

"Yep!" Tommy told her.

"All right!" she said.

To Be Continued

What else will happen to the Rugrats in their teen years? Will some of them have jobs? Will they still love Emica? Will Angelica ever be nice? You decide.

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