Thursday, January 19, 2017
TLR CHAPTER 102
Written by Snarks & Rosemarie
Jake and Duke’s Vacation Part 2
The next day heading for Hollywood Studios, Jake and Duke walked around the park, looking around, going on interesting looking rides, and just basically enjoying their time together.
As they walked they saw a blocked off area with what looked like huge leaves poking up above the eight-foot-tall fence.
"Wonder what this is?" Jake said. Glancing around to see if anyone had noticed them he walked to the edge of the fence and looked inside. The sign said, 'Honey I Shrunk the Kids', and inside were huge trees, leaves that dwarfed even Duke, which was saying a lot. He glanced around again and looked up at a bored looking Duke.
"Hey," he half whispered, "come with me."
"In here," Jake continued to whisper. "We'll have to be quick about it though, before someone sees us."
Duke looked at Jake as though he'd lost his mind. "It's blocked off for a reason, Jake. We really shouldn't."
"Which is even more reason why we should." Jake grinned impishly.
"If this had been my idea you'd have said no," Duke pouted.
"Do you want to go in there with me?" Jake asked, a twinkle in his eyes.
"Well, yeah, but..."
"No buts about it. Come on, let's get in there before someone sees us!" Jake said, taking Duke by the hand and pulling him through an opening in the barricade.
Once inside, Duke gasped in wonder. "It's huge... it's... why would they be takin' this down?" he asked as he looked around at the 30 foot tall blades of grass.
"They're making room for another attraction apparently," Jake answered, looking around in awe. "But I agree with you, I don't know why they'd want to get rid of it. It's... amazing!"
Duke laughed delightedly. All of his life he'd been the tallest person he knew, and he stuck out like a sore thumb in a crowd. In this place, everything was taller than him, and he felt little for the first time he could remember in his life. He craned his neck, trying to see over or around things, unsuccessfully. He grinned as he and Jake began their impromptu tour.
Jake and Duke both laughed at the way their feet seemed to almost sink into the spongy ground cover, and Jake got a good laugh when they rounded a corner and Duke came face to... face... with a huge dog's nose. Duke gasped out loud, the sound bordering on a shriek.
Jake had a moment more to process what had happened and laughed out loud as he petted the nose. "Good dog," he said.
"Hey!" Duke said indignantly.
Jake stood up on tiptoe, pulling Duke the rest of the way down so that he could kiss the full, pouty lips. Duke kissed him back but was still scowling when the kiss ended.
"Aww, come on Duke, if it had been me you know you'd have been laughing your backside off," Jake said, grinning.
"I have one thing to say about that," Duke said, still scowling.
"And what would that be?" Jake replied with a fond smile.
"Tag! You're it!" Duke shouted, tapping Jake on the shoulder and proceeding to run at top speed around the park.
"I'll give you 'it'!" Jake yelled as he took off in pursuit.
"You can't catch me!" came Duke's voice from somewhere up ahead.
Jake slowed down, took off his flip flops and tucked them into the waistband of his shorts so that Duke couldn't hear his footsteps and followed stealthily. He found a slide that looked like a huge canister of film and managed to get himself inside, far enough in to remain unseen, but with a good view of the outside for when Duke came back to look for him.
It didn't take long. Duke, not hearing Jake in pursuit, frowned in disappointment and backtracked. Before he knew it, Jake had tackled him from behind and the two of them landed on the spongy ground. Jake rolled away quickly and stood up, grinning. "Gotcha!"
"You won't catch me off guard this time," Duke challenged him with a wide smile. He turned and ran again, this time using basic training techniques, hiding quietly behind a blade of grass and waiting for his quarry to come into view or make a noise. He decided to be very careful of the many giant anthills and mazes that dotted the playground where Jake might be able to squeeze into to hide as he'd done with the film canister.
The next thing he knew, Jake had tackled him from behind again. "Gotcha, brat!" he said as they landed on the ground again.
Duke stood up once again with a feral grin and shot off at full speed, not following any particular path, and just enjoying the game. He came to a stop at what looked like a huge spider's web with climbing ropes. He tested the ropes to see if they would support his weight, and grinned when he found it sturdy. He climbed the web and partially hid behind another gigantic blade of grass, sure that his vantage point would prevent Jake from finding or tackling him again, and that he would see Jake coming from any direction. His patience paid off as he saw Jake stealthily sliding around blades of grass, peeking into ant hills and pulling back quickly in case Duke had somehow managed to wriggle inside and wait for his prey to pass by.
The last thing Jake expected was an attack from above. Duke jumped down, and wrapping his muscular arms around Jake to prevent him from getting hurt, landed to the side and pulled Jake up on top of him, panting with exertion and laughing at the same time.
"You are one sneaky brat, you know that, don't you?" Jake said when he finally got his breath back to speak clearly because he'd been laughing so hard.
Duke grinned widely and pulled Jake down into a hug and kiss that made Jake wish they were back at their hotel room.
They were interrupted by a voice yelling, "Hey! Who's in here? This area is restricted! It’s under renovation! You're not supposed to be in here! Come out where I can see you!"
Jake and Duke looked at each other and stifled laughter. They got up quickly and quietly and hid behind some grass until they could hear the security guard approaching.
"Who's in here?" the man yelled again. "I know you're here, I could hear you! Come out!"
The two men drew back behind the grass, trying to keep their laughter and breathing quiet. They waited until the guard had passed them and they ran as quietly as they could in the opposite direction, keeping eyes and ears open for any more security guards that may have been there.
They could hear the guard yelling in the distance and knew that they were almost safe but continued to be as quiet as they could. Seeing another opening in the barricade, they went through it and bolted. They zig zagged through the maze of buildings, holding hands and laughing as they ran. Their antics earned them some odd looks from other park patrons but they didn't see any more security guards chasing them. They slowed down, looking left and right, until Jake took Duke by the hand and pulled him through a large wooden archway.
"Where are we?" Duke whispered.
"Somewhere we don't have to whisper anymore." Jake laughed as he put his flip flops back on. "Come on, I saw the sign outside and I think this could be a lot of fun."
"I’m already havin' fun." Duke laughed, as he looked around. His eyes widened and he grinned even more widely.
"Yep! Just the place for us to hide out for a while until the heat is off."
The two men walked further in and looked at the show times that were posted. Jake looked at his watch and grinned. "Our timing is perfect. The next show starts in just about forty-five minutes. In the meantime, we can check out the souvenir shop. I hope they sell the hat he wears. I've always wanted one."
"Me too!" Duke said excitedly, trying to pull Jake along in an effort to get to the shop as quickly as possible.
"Whoa, slow down, Hon." Jake laughed, tugging Duke back toward him. "We have plenty of time to look around before the show." He looked at the sky. "The weather looks like it's going to hold too. This is going to be a lot of fun. So, let's go... slowly," he stressed with a smile at his excited lover.
"Kay, Jake," Duke replied with a sheepish grin.
Inside the shop, it was all Jake could do to contain his boy's excitement, and he watched with extreme fondness as Duke stopped at each new item and exclaimed over it. "Hey, can we buy a whip?" he asked.
"Absolutely not," Jake laughed.
They ended up buying quite a few things, including Indiana Jones tee shirts, which they put on immediately, and hats. They bought several more items for their friends and finally went to see the show.
Once inside the covered area where the visitors would be watching from, a man came out and said, "This is the point in the show where we ask for volunteers from the audience to act as extras, because what kind of movie would it be without extras, right?"
The crowd cheered then quieted down as the man continued. "We'd like anyone interested to raise their hands and stand up so we can see you."
Duke shot a look at Jake who smiled and nodded. Duke let out a cheer of his own and pumped his fist before standing up.
The man on stage was picking various people and Duke hoped that he would be one of the ones chosen. The man on stage saw Duke and his eyes went wide. "Just the man we were looking for! Come on down!" he said, pointing to Duke and gesturing him onto the stage with the other volunteers who all looked up at him with something like awe before clapping and making room for him on stage.
They were brought in to the back where they were given hooded robes and turbans to wear so that they would look like natives of the area. The man then instructed them on what they would be expected to do.
"Act scared!" he shouted and grinned as the volunteers did their best to imitate his actions.
The small crowd complied, earning them shouts of approval from the leader.
He led them through a few more responses before leading them back out onto the stage where the show began in earnest. Duke found it very easy to react to the things going on around him. As a trained Marine, he was made for action and had no problem fitting right in despite his size, and the fact that the robe he'd been given was hardly more than a long shirt on him.
The action swirled around him and he had no trouble dodging out of the way and trying to find an out of the way place while the actors with their scimitars were waving them about and attacking 'Indie' and 'Marion'. It was all he could do to restrain himself from getting into the action and taking out a few of the bad guys but then he remembered it was all an act. He wished he could do more than react to the goings on, but the longer the show went on the more into it he got. His stealth and sinewy movements made him a natural and at the end it seemed as though he got more applause than the actors. He grinned and blushed as he heard Jake in the audience cheering him on.
After the first act, the crew removed the stage and began to replace it with the next one, readying everyone for the second act. The announcer pulled Duke forward and challenged him to a stage fight. Duke looked dubiously at the much smaller man. He knew that size wasn't an indicator of strength but this man was slightly out of shape and even in a mock fight Duke was worried he'd hurt the man.
"Oh, don't worry," the announcer said with a grin, "I'm not the one you'll be fighting," he said, turning Duke around so that he could come face to forehead with his opponent. The 'opponent' took one look at Duke and ran, causing the entire audience to laugh.
"Well," the announcer said with a grin, "I guess we'll have to find two folks more evenly matched. Thank you so much sir, for being such a good sport. Everyone give this gentleman a big hand," he said, gesturing toward Duke, who blushed happily before rejoining the other volunteers.
"Now, here to entertain you all is our stunt expert Susan!"
Onto the stage came a young, petite blonde woman with a pony tail. She looked so sweet and demure that people had mixed reactions to her, some gasped, some laughed. She took it in stride and smiled at the audience.
"Now, I'd like to ask one of our other volunteers to join me..." she looked up at Duke and grinned,” Someone a little more my size," she joked.
She made a show of examining all of the extras and picked a slight man, just a little shorter than she was even with his turban on.
"Now sir, I'm going to ask you to help me show these folks how stunt folks do it. Are you ready?"
The man looked uncertain but nodded. Before he knew what had hit him she punched in him the gut and he doubled over.
"Oh my God! I'm sorry!" the woman cried, looking chagrined, "I didn't mean to connect. I only meant to do... this!" she continued, aiming another punch at the man's jaw. He reeled backward, holding onto his face with a grimace of pain.
"Oh! Oh! I'm so sorry! Did I connect again? Really, I'll get this right. Are you alright?"
The man grimace turned into a game smile and he nodded weakly.
"Now, this is an example of an uppercut to the jaw, are you ready sir?"
The man nodded again, visibly trembling.
The woman wound up and with an audible thud, connected with the man's jaw again. The man went stiff as a board, landed on his back, rolled onto his head where he stayed stiff and upright for a few seconds before falling and landing on his stomach, his face pressed into the stage.
Gasps and laughter filled the air as the man jumped up and he and Susan took a bow.
"And that concludes our demonstration for today! Thank you, ladies, and gentlemen, thank you to our intrepid volunteers, and of course, thanks to Susan and John for that exceptional demonstration. Goodbye for now, folks!"
The audience got to their feet and applauded as the volunteers took off their costumes and walked back to their friends and family.
Jake greeted Duke with hugs and pats on the back, grinning the whole time with pride in his boy.
At Duke's urging, they ate lunch at the Sci Fi Dine in Theater Restaurant. By the time they finished they decided to take the bus back to their hotel. They relaxed in the Jacuzzi and then went back to their room and crawled into bed where Duke showed his appreciation for all that Jake was doing for him.
The next morning Jake led Duke to the entrance of their hotel where they picked up a rental car at the door.
"What're we doin'?" Duke asked, surprised.
"We... are going to drive to the Universal Studios and have some fun there," Jake announced.
"But we haven't finished everything here yet," Duke protested, more out of surprise than anger.
"Don't worry, Dove. We're coming back. We have to watch the fireworks on our last night here, don't we?"
Duke gave Jake a little smile. "Yeah, we do. Alright, Jake. Let's go."
They arrived there in record time since they'd started out early and found a parking space not too far away from the park.
They were given a park map and Duke looked at it, confused. ..."Jake, there's so much to do and see...I have no clue where to start. It all looks so excitin'!"
"Looks like all the fun rides are off to the west of here, at the Island of Adventure. Want to start out there and work our way around?" Jake suggested.
Duke nodded. "All right, it sounds like a good idea."
The first ride they came to was the Incredible Hulk Coaster. Jake pulled Duke to a halt so that they could watch the ride currently in progress. He smiled and asked, "So, what do you think? Ready for some crazy roller coasters?"
Duke grinned as he watched the roller coaster. "Yeah, this sounds like me." He grinned at Jake.
Unlike most of the other passengers, Jake and Duke found themselves laughing hilariously at each turn and twist, and they were still laughing when the ride finally came to a halt. "Oh man!" Jake crowed, "I can't wait til the next one. How about you?"
Duke's grey eyes were shining. "Me neither Jake, the rides here are spectacular!"
They went on the Storm Force Accelatron next which was kind of a high speed Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and then paused at Doctor Doom's Fear Fall. Jake looked at Duke with a challenge in his eyes.
Duke grinned. "You up for it old man?" he challenged in return, grinning mischievously.
"I'll show ya old, little boy!" Jake smiled, "First one to scream buys lunch. Deal?"
Duke with a wide grin said, "You're on old man."
They got in line, which was thankfully short at that time, and found seats next to each other. The restraints were fastened and the ride went up and up and up until it paused for several moments at the very top, giving the guys a great view of the park, before dropping suddenly.
Duke gasped audibly as he was let go. "Whooopppiieee!" he cried in excitement.
That sound coming from such a big man cracked Jake up and he burst out laughing again, hanging on tight to the padded restraints as the ride, just before it would hit the ground, bounced up and down and began its ascent again. He took Duke's hand in his and kissed his lover's fingers before the ride released once again and plummeted downward.
"Let's do it again! That was amazin'!"
The two men got off the ride and raced around toward the entrance again, where a small line was beginning to form. Once again, they took seats next to each other.
"WhooooooooHooooooo!" Jake yelled.
Duke laughed hard at Jake's hollering. "You have to buy lunch!"'
"Oh, no you don't, kiddo!" Jake laughed, "I said the first one who screamed, that was absolutely not a scream."
Once Duke got his breath back he grinned. "Then we split it."
"Deal!" Jake laughed again. "Water ride or Spiderman next?" he asked, looking at the map and showing Duke where the rides were.
"Spiderman, then water ride."
Spiderman was a thrilling 3-D ride that had the two men dodging in their seats and laughing uproariously as each character jumped out at them.
Duke grinned from ear to ear and as they got off he said to Jake, "I've never had so much fun in my life. Dean would love comin' here."
"We should try to make plans for next year, Dove, what do you think?" Jake asked, putting an arm around Duke's waist and leading him toward Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.
Duke's grey eyes sparkled. "Yeah, that would be great!"
"Too bad we can't take all of the residents on a vacation here... wonder if James would ever close the resort for a couple of weeks so that everyone can have as much fun as we are," Jake said distractedly, knowing that there was no way James would ever do such a thing.
"Ok! Water ride, Duke! Prepare to get wet!"
The other man grinned as they headed for the water ride. "Never know...maybe James himself would like a lot of fun and I'm not sure Disney World would survive all the residents especially Gary and his partners."
"I think Gary and Mike would have a blast... Chuckles on the other hand... not so sure." Jake laughed.
Duke chuckled as he heard Jake refer to Charles as Chuckles. "You never know. He may loosen up a bit if he gets scared enough."
"Now that I'd love to see," Jake replied, craning his neck slightly to see how much longer the line was to the water ride. "I'd love to see him on the free fall."
Duke grinned. "It should be the first thing we put him on."
"You're evil. I love it," Jake said with a wide smile as he hugged his lover for all he was worth. "Ready for the Ripsaw Falls? Gonna get nice and wet again if we can manage to get a front seat."
Duke grinned and hugged Jake back. "You bet," he replied with gusto.
After they finished the flume ride they raced to the Jurassic River Adventure where Jake actually had to hold back a shout of surprise a couple of times as dinosaurs popped up and out at them and ended up laughing as some of the people around them screamed unabashedly. He looked at Duke and the two of them ended up laughing again.
Duke found himself laughing at the dinosaurs instead of being scared by them.
Next up was the Harry Potter section of the park. Jake had read all the books and seen the movies but Duke, while he'd seen a couple of the movies with some of the other guys, wasn't sure he wanted to stick around. It took a little convincing on Jake's part but finally Duke agreed to go on some of the rides there. They were both pleasantly surprised to find that the rides were exciting and thoroughly enjoyable. Afterward they walked along Diagon Alley, laughing and exclaiming over the various item that were for sale there. They stopped at Fortesque's Ice Cream Shop and even browsed the Magical Menagerie. Duke especially had fun at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes joke shop and bought a few items to prank his friends with.
Jake warned him that he'd better not try to use any on him or he wouldn't be sitting comfortably for a day or so. At first Duke seemed a little let down until he saw the undeniable twinkle in Jake's eyes that told him that he wasn't being entirely serious.
They then bought tickets on the Hogwarts Express to get to the Hogwarts castle and followed Harry into an amazing adventure which left them both happy and a little dizzy.
Once they'd seen all there was to see and do, they went into the other part of the park where Duke looked at the map and grinned ear to ear as he pointed out what had him so excited. Jake grinned and took Duke by the hand and the two of them ran straight toward the Men in Black Alien Attack.
Duke was a standout once again, not missing a shot and achieving high score for the day, which the attendant admitted would be hard to beat.
Duke grinned as he was proclaimed top shot of the day. He hugged Jake and asked, "Where to next?"
They looked at the map again and Duke shook his head in consternation. "There's a lot of kid stuff between here and where I want to go." He wrinkled his nose. "There's even a Simpsons roller coaster. You don't mind if we skip that, do you?" he asked hopefully.
Jake laughed. "Nope don't mind at all. We'll just put on our sunglasses to cut down on the glare and head... where to?"
"Really?" Duke said, relieved.
"Hey, you finally agreed to go to Hogwarts with me, the least I can do is skip the Simpsons ride, and honestly, I've never cared for Barney," Jake said with a theatrical shudder.
Several crazy rides later, the two of them were beginning to wear out. They'd had a lot of fun even though one of the rides hadn't lived up to either of their expectations, and then topped it off with a show from the Blue Man Group, which had the two of them on their feet applauding loudly at the end with the rest of the audience. The performance had been fantastic and like nothing Duke had ever seen before.
"Ready to go home, Dove?" Jake asked softly.
Duke said, “Let’s eat somewhere before we leave.”
They walked along the line of restaurants and chose the NBC Sports Grill and Brew.