::BW returns to the stage for one last presentation. He appears more at ease this time, and his speech is a lot closer to normal pace::


BW: Since 1989 and 1990 we've always asked the question who would Gadget choose as a love interest. Would it be Chip or Dale? Well with the development of new Rescue Ranger Characters like, say, Foxglove who has a huge fancy in her heart for Dale, I believe the answer is easy.


Especially when you leave it in the hands of the some best writers in the history of the Rescue Ranger Fandom, and for the past year or two or three or even four, they’ve been honored and rewarded with the highest honor any Ranger fan can get, the GA Award for Best Romance. And this year is no exception, so without further ado, here are the nominees for Best Romance of 2004:


“Heart of Hearts”, Rachel Helvey Gloess

“A Romance for the Romantics”, Rachel Helvey Gloess


::BW waits as a stagehand brings him the envelope::

BW: I wonder who’s going to win this one…


::The audience laughs, and he opens it::

BW: Well, guess what? It’s Rachel for “A Romance for the Romantics”!


::Rachel, with her blond hair upswept and wearing a strapless black evening gown, hurries up on stage to the podium::


Rachel (breathless):  Wow!  You like me, you really . . .  oh, never mind, strike that—wrong speech.  You know, I don’t care if my stories were the only ones nominated for this category.  Romance was mainly the reason I started writing Ranger fan fiction, so this is really a tremendous honor.  I know there have been mixed opinions on the “pairing” of our favorite do-gooders . . .


::Rachel pauses as there is some quiet murmuring from the audience::


Rachel (continuing): However, I am grateful that all of the “antis” have been able to put aside their differences when it came to nominating and voting for this category.  I would also like to thank all of the “pros” out there, and I really appreciate the continued support for my literary take on the romance between Chip and Gadget.


::She waves to Obi-Wan Maplewood, Jeff Wikstrom, and others::


Rachel: Well, I’m going to try to get out of here before they start the music, so I just want to thank all of you for reading my works over the past . . . golly and a half, has it been almost seven years???  Anyway, I’d like to unofficially dedicate this award to our long-absent Natasha Kashefipour, with whom I was one of a pair of Chipphiles.  She was always eager to “beta test” my Chip/Gadget fiction, and was a long-standing pro.


::Rachel wipes a tear from her eye::


Rachel (holding the statuette high):  Here’s to you, Natasha. 


::Rachel waves to the audience once more to applause, then returns to her seat. BW, relieved that his time at the podium’s done, heads for the snack trays in the green room::