“Tuckered Out”
November 1, 2014


Marlene yawned. “Thanks for taking me to that Enrique Guitaro concert, guys,” she کہا to the penguins as they drove her home. “It went a lot better than last time. And going backstage? That was”—she yawned again as if she hadn’t slept in days—“really awesome,” she finished.

Skipper chuckled from his place to the right of her. “I don’t think staying up all the way to one in the morning is a good idea for you.”

Marlene shook her head. “No, no, I’m awake.” She fought off another yawn and rubbed her eyes. “Tack as a sharp.”

Skipper chuckled again and exchanged a look with Private, who was on the other side of Marlene.

“Might want to go a little faster, Rico,” Skipper requested.

Rico nodded. “Checkadoodle!” he کہا as he stepped a little harder on the gas.

A few منٹ later, Kowalski looked in the rear-view mirror and smiled.

“Aw, she’s asleep,” he said.

Skipper looked at Marlene, whose head had rolled back on the headrest with her eyes closed. Skipper smiled.

“Yep. I’d bet nothing will wake her up till at least noon,” Skipper said. Then Rico took a hard left and Marlene’s head landed on his shoulder. Skipper glanced at his team, who hadn’t noticed yet.

He slowly pulled his flipper free and attempted to position her back to the center of the seat, but Marlene wrapped her arm around his stomach and snuggled her head into his chest with a tired moan, catching Private’s attention.

He smiled and held back a snigger. “Well,” he said, looking at Marlene, and then at the back of the driver’s نشست in front of him, “I didn’t know آپ were so snuggable.”

Skipper rolled his eyes and decided to let it go, resting his flipper on Marlene’s shoulders. “If anyone hears about this, آپ are so going on probation,” he said, although they knew he didn’t really mean it.

Kowalski snickered. “Getting comfy, I see,” he teased.

Skipper kicked his seat. “Shut up, she’s trying to sleep,” he whispered harshly, holding back a smile.

Nobody کہا anything for the rest of the ride back to the zoo. They stopped سے طرف کی Marlene’s habitat, and Skipper carried her to her بستر and covered her up. She barely stirred the entire time.

Looking back to be sure he was alone, Skipper leaned in and whispered, “Sweet dreams, Marlene,” in her ear, to which Marlene curled into herself as if to say, “Just try and stop me.”

Skipper smiled and went back out to the car, where his men waited for him with ridiculous smiles on their faces. He pretended not to notice and got back in the car.

“She all tucked in?” Private asked with half a snigger.

Skipper smiled. “For lack of better words, yes. Let’s get to HQ and get some shut-eye.”