Dr. Batorious (from the speakers): And now, ladies and
gentlemen, here are two guests who have traveled here from far away—all the way
::Accompanied by cheers from the audience, Melissa Mayfield
enters the stage. In her long, strapless black evening gown, the half-Asian
mouse moves so gracefully that she seems to be floating rather than walking.
Her left hand is laid around the elbow of Todd White who walks along with her.
His outfit is as devoid of colors as himself; the only thing he is wearing that
is neither black nor white is his
Melissa: Hello, everyone!
Clarice (somewhere among the audience, singing): Todd and Melissa sittin' in a tree...
Melissa: And hello, Clarice! Don't you [i]dare[/i] write a song with these lines in it.
Clarice (giggling): Of course not. That's Mandy's task.
Melissa: Wha... The same goes for you, Armando, wherever you are! Hear me? So, where was I? Todd, you haven't said anything yet.
Todd: What shall I say, Melissa? I'm not used to all this.
Melissa: C'mon, this isn't the first time you've been on a stage in front of an audience.
Todd (fumbles around at his collar): But it's the first time I'm on a stage without my PDA in front of me. I'm not supposed to talk during The Chipmunk Divine.
Melissa: Clarice? If you and Armando wanna write something, write a singing part or two for Todd! And as for you, Todd, I've got a cure for your nervousness. Close your eyes.
Todd: But if I close my eyes, and I can't see the people anymore, they can still see me! What's...
Melissa (smiles, but threatens to poke his eyes): Just do it!
::Todd closes his eyes and Melissa lays her arms around his neck, pulls him close, and kisses him passionately.
Melissa (lets go of Todd): Wow. Was it as good for you as it was for me?
Todd (befuddled): I'll tell you as soon as I stop hovering in the air.
Melissa: I take it this means yes.
::She turns to the audience and they laugh in appreciative reply::
Melissa: Now, as much as I'd love to go on smooching this here mouse, we've got something else to do. We've got a Golden Acorn Award to give away, the Golden Acorn Award for...
Todd (grins): ...Most Geeked-Out Musical Score.
::The audience begins to murmur and Melissa gives Todd a confused look::
Todd: Sorry, I mean Best Rodent Homebrew Software Used in a Fanfic.
Nimnul (from the audience): Yes!
Todd: Just kidding.
Todd: Of course, it's Best Romance. (smiles at Melissa) Although, shouldn't it rather be Second-Best Romance?
Melissa (smiles back at Todd): Good luck trying to convince Dr. Indy to rename the category. So, which are the pieces of prose either snuggly or heart-wrenching enough to be nominated for this award, Todd?
Todd: The nominees for Best Romance are Diamonds In The Desert by Midnight Man, Chipmunks Keep Falling on my Head by Stainless Steel Rat, and Pensacola Rangers by PensacolaRanger.
Melissa: Nice list of nominees. And hey, our story is in it, too!
Todd: Yes, and two of these three stories weren't even finished in time as I've been told, so there might be something to expect next year. Anyway, there can only be one!
::He takes a Highlander stance with an imaginary sword::
Melissa: Todd, I heard that they had a lot of ties last year, so there can't always only be one.
Todd: And who is it this time?
Melissa: It's Stainless Steel Rat for "Chipmunks Keep Falling on My Head"! Come here, don't be shy!
Todd: Yeah, come and receive your awards from the almond-eyed mouse...
::The rat of stainless steel, partially anyway, comes up onto stage more conventionally this time. He moves up to the podium alongside Midnight::
Stainless: This GA Award is an unexpected honour, but a very welcome one. Thank you everyone who enjoyed my little idea enough to vote for me. Though Lilac Star Print requires a special mention, since it was her question that gave me the initial idea. She asked why in fan fiction, including mine, Chip seems reluctant to express his feelings for Gadget, when in the canon he’s eager to.
In my case it was a sign that Chip had grown up some, but it started me considering other common tropes in Ranger fanfics…
The orchestra start playing ‘Gaston’s Reprise’ from Beauty and the Beast. (Emcee's Note: This is where Gaston and LaFou are in the tavern plotting putting Belle's father in the asylum)
SSR: Her postulate got me to thinking…
Midnight: A dangerous pastime.
SSR: I know!
SSR: But some entrenched old tropes needed sinking
And some new ones put up to show.
Could the fighting be not over Gadget?
Did Dale know Foxglove was in love?
Was Gadget just clueless not unsure or distressed?
I tried to answer the above…
::He takes a deep breath::
If I added a fight, yes…
Some simple insight…
Then Foxglove might…
Then put Gadget in sight…
So I plotted the story,
Removed tropes so hoary,
Resolved the romances without outcomes gory,
The fruits of my labours this outcome has borne…
My own Golden… Acorn….
::The orchestra ends the song, and Stainless Steel Rat bows to the audience's applause::
SSR: Thank you again for all your support.
::He shakes paws with Midnight and takes his award, heading back down into the audience. Todd and Melissa both have their elbows planted on the desk, their heads resting in their hands, smiles on their faces, and their eyes on each other::
::Melissa turns in the direction of Stainless after five full seconds::
Melissa: Oh, sorry, did you say something? I was distracted, sorta.
Todd: Huh? Oh. Me too. Sorta.
Melissa: I say we'd better go on somewhere else. He's already gone.
Todd: Like down there. (motions to the audience)
Melissa: And let the show continue. What'd you say?
Todd: I'm with you wherever you go.
::Melissa hooks onto Todd again who leads her down the stairs in front of the stage::