A Valentine’s Surprise
By Rachel Helvey Gloess

Authors Note: No, this isn't my usual genre, so bear with me. This little fic is in response to one of the January captions on Indy’s site. AQD Robert asked me to write a story for the caption, and I just thought of this while I was waking up this morning. Sorry, Robert, I didn’t get to include your characters due to trying to get this done this morning for V-Day, but I’m dedicating it to you for your idea. I hope all of you enjoy!

Gadget stretched and yawned as the first rays of winter sunlight filtered through her window. A tempting aroma met her nostrils and she inhaled deeply. “Strawberry pancakes?” she murmured. She sat up, pushing her blonde hair out of her eyes. Sure enough, a tray was placed next to her bed with a stack of strawberry pancakes, complete with strawberry syrup. Still questioning, but famished, she dug in to the breakfast feast. Between bites, she wondered who had left this treat for her. “Maybe Monty,” she thought aloud. “He knows how much I crave strawberries.”

When she was finished, she crept out of her room, hoping to see her secret breakfast-maker. No one seemed to be up yet, even Chip. She shrugged and passed by the giant wall calendar. “Hmmm,” she whispered. “It appears that I forgot today was Valentine’s Day. Could it be one of the chipmunks?” Scratching her head, she hurried off to the shower.

She couldn’t believe her eyes as she entered the bathroom. The room smelt of fresh roses and hyacinths, and a warm bubble bath was already drawn. Gadget hesitated. Could this be a trick? She smelled the water, and determined by a quick pH test that it was only H2O and soap. “Could it be Zipper? He knows that I love roses and hyacinths.” She sank into the soothing bath, silently thanking her mystery admirer.

After her soak, Gadget pulled on her trusty coveralls and headed out to the workshop to do some repairs. As she passed by a shelf, she stopped and did a double take. “My sprocket collection!” she gasped. As she took it off the shelf, she marveled. Each sprocket had been meticulously polished and shined. She held one up to the light and it glistened. “Golly, someone’s really trying this morning.” Her mind went into gear. Could it be Chip? He knew how much she treasured those sprockets. She carefully placed her beloved collection back on the shelf. She made her way to find her toolbox. Again, another surprise awaited her. “Chocolate-covered coffee beans?” She took the package out of the toolbox into her paws. “I thought only Dale knew that I liked these.” She nipped the end off of one, chewing thoughtfully.

A soft buzzing sound caught her attention. “Zipper?” she called. No answer. The buzzing sound continued, until it got louder. Surely Zipper wasn’t making that noise—no! It was the Rangerwing! Gadget mentally slapped herself for the mistake. This Valentine’s Day nonsense was getting out of control. She hurried out to the landing strip, her breath making fog in the crisp air. Sure enough, the Rangerwing had been started, but no one was around. She inspected her creation thoroughly, finding only a slip of paper in the floorboard. She read it carefully.

“Gadget,” read the paper. “Get your coat and fly down to the fountain for your next Valentine’s Day surprise.”

Gadget bit her lip in indecision. Was this some sort of prank? Or a trap laid by Fat Cat or Rat Capone? She thought about waking the boys, but decided against it. Whoever had set everything up could have hurt her many times over this morning. She steeled her nerves and collected her coat from the workshop.

Landing at the base of the fountain, she found a card. She opened it slowly, unsure of what was next.

“Gadget,” read the card. “Please climb up the nearest oak tree to find your secret admirer.”

Gadget glanced around, and found the oak tree in question. Making sure the Rangerwing was out of sight to human eyes, she scampered up the tree. Finding a knot hole, she carefully entered. As her eyes were trying to adjust to the light, someone leaped and grabbed her. Gadget screamed, but her scream was cut off by lights flaring.


Gadget looked around in awe. All of the boys now stood in front of her, grinning. “So, luv,” began Monty. “Did ya like our gifts we left ya?”

“Oh, Monty!” Gadget enveloped him in a giant hug. “This was great!”

“Aww, t’werent’ nuthin’.” Monty rubbed the back of his neck and stared at the ceiling, a little embarrassed. “The mates here helped too, ya know.”

Gadget ran and embraced all three of her other friends. “Thanks, guys! I couldn’t figure out which one of you was leaving all of the great things!”

The boys blushed. After Gadget released her grip, Zipper couldn’t help but speak/buzz. “We just wanted you to know how special you are to all of us!”

Gadget giggled and kissed each and everyone of them on the cheek—even Monty. “Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!”


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