A Hero?

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BILL & TED characters are trademarks of Nelson 1991 Inc. The motion picture BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE & © 1989 Nelson Films Inc. All Rights Reserved. The motion picture BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY © 1991 Orion Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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?Bye babes!? Ted yelled.

He and Bill had just thrown their fianc?es a graduation party.  They started walking back to their trashed apartment.

?That was a most excellent party.? Bill commented as he pushed open the door.  The two then proceeded to clean up the apartment.

?When did Rufus say the concert in the future was?? Ted asked.

?I dunno, dude.  He just said he?d come get us.? Bill sighed wistfully.  ?I can?t wait ?till we get married.?

?Me neither.?  Ted balled up one of the streamers and launched it through the basketball hoop.  ?Score!?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The concert hall was a buzz of activity.  And why shouldn?t it be?  It wasn?t everyday the Two Great Ones themselves decided to give a concert.

?Should be ready later tonight.? a teenage worker called down to Rufus from on top of a ladder.

?Thanks, dude.? Rufus yelled back.  Glancing at his watch, he decided he had enough time to go home and see his kids before they left for school.

Rufus walked absently down the halls he?d walked more times than he cared to count.  He stepped out into the sunshine and stopped, just enjoying the day.  Within minutes his apartment materialized in the crisp autumn air.  As he drew nearer, the air turned cold against his skin.  He ran up to the smashed in door.  Just as he feared, the inside had been ransacked.  The light of the single untouched lamp shone on the dining room table.  Slowly, Rufus crunched through the debris.  On the table lay this note:

If you want to
see your family
alive again,
get rid of Bill
and Ted.

Rufus closed his eyes and sank, anguished, to his knees.  ?What do I do?? he sobbed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

?Damnit Jim, I?m a doctor.?

Bill and Ted sat on their dilapidated old couch, watching reruns of Star Trek on cable.  Then, a loud knock on the door roused them from their TV induced stupor.

?Who is it?? Bill yelled, not really wanting to get up.  Ted, however, didn?t have any problems.  He jumped up and bounded over to the door.

?Hey Rufus!? he exclaimed.  ?Is it time for the concert already??  Rufus just nodded, his face a blank mask beneath his sunglasses.  Bill noticed the somber nature in which their friend stood.

?What?s the matter, dude?  You look like your goldfish just died, or something heinous like that.?  Rufus?s shoulders slumped and Bill thought he saw a tear fall from behind the dark glasses.

After downing a can of Pepsi, Rufus told them what happened in the future, leaving out the part about the note.

?Bogus!? Bill stated.  ?Well, what?re you gonna do, dude??

?I need your help.  I have an idea about how to get them back.?

Bill looked at Ted, then back to Rufus.  ?What do you want us to do??

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The booth flowed smoothly through the Circuits of Time.  All three occupants stood silently, gazing broodingly out the glass.  Rufus gazed between his sullen friends and decided to say something.

?You won?t be in any danger.  Just stay near the booth and you?ll be fine.?  Bill nodded numbly; Ted didn?t appear to have heard him.  Rufus wondered to himself, for the hundredth time, if he had made the right decision: leave his friends, then go rescue his family.  Once they were safe, go back for Bill and Ted.  The boys had eagerly agreed to this, but now, as the time came, it felt like betrayal.

Suddenly the tense silence was broken by a loud metal screech.  Rufus looked up to see another, older booth slam down on top of them.  Luckily, Rufus had the presence of mind to grab a handhold of the back of Ted?s belt.

?WHOA!!!!?  Both Bill and Ted yelled, falling against the door.  With a loud screech-pop, the door wrenched off the booth, sending Bill flying out into the Circuits.

?Bill!!!!? Ted yelled out in anguish.  Bill was still screaming his head off as he disappeared down an offshoot tunnel.

Rufus pulled Ted back in the booth and wrestled the door shut.  He heard a loud thunk and turned to see Ted curled in the corner, sobbing.  Rufus knelt down in front of him and put a comforting hand on his quivering shoulders.

?Is? is there? anything we can do, Rufus?? Ted asked, his eyes silently pleading Rufus to make Bill come back.

?No.? Rufus said reluctantly.  ?Not until we get back.?  Hearing the strain in his voice, Ted looked up.

?What about your family?? Ted forced himself to stop crying.  It wouldn?t help Bill in the least. Rufus sadly shook his head.

?I couldn?t have done it anyway.  Let?s just get back and find a way to help him.?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Bill?s heart-stopping fall came to an abrupt stop when he splashed heavily into a large lake.  He broke the surface gasping and shivering.  The water sure was cold.  When he crawled wearily onto the shore, he collapsed and fell into a tortured sleep.

He awoke a few hours later, still shivering.  He figured he?d better start a fire.  Taking a deep breath, he began the arduous task of building a fire out of the sparse underbrush.

?Hurry Ted.? he pleaded quietly, staring up at the star-filled sky.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rufus opened the door quietly, seeing Ted exactly as he had left him: staring blankly at an archival photo of himself and Bill, smiling.  When Rufus?s highly polished shoes clicked on the tile, Ted spun around.  In response to the silent question in Ted?s eyes, Rufus shook his head, slowly, sadly.  Ted?s shoulders slumped and his normally cheerful face darkened.

?Why don?t we go get some hot dogs and Pepsi?? Rufus suggested.  Ted looked like he needed some air.

?Naw.  Thanks anyway, dude.  I?m not hungry.? Rufus looked at him with sympathy.

?I?ll leave you alone, then.?

Ted remained standing until he heard the door click quietly shut.  He then slumped against the wall, leaning his head wearily against it.  What am I gonna do?  Bill?s counting on me, but I?m not the smart one.  Bill is.  How in the world am I gonna save him?  Ted pulled his jacket tighter against his shoulders, and silently, a tear rolled down his cheek, falling on the forgotten picture.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rufus walked over to the computer terminal at his work station.  He sent a note to the person he felt most likely took his family.  Anxiously, he waited.  He stopped in the middle of a pace when Ted walked in, carrying a mug of coffee.

?Here dude.  You look like you need it.? he said, handing the coffee cup to Rufus.  ?Whatcha doing??

?Trying to get my family back.? Rufus sighed, then told Ted exactly what he had written, finishing with ?and we can?t get Bill back until they?re safe and sound.  The kidnappers are monitoring all booth activity and if we go anywhere, they?ll hurt them.?

Ted looked at his worn-out sneakers for a minute.  He jammed his fists in his pockets and whispered, ?Then don?t do anything.  I couldn?t stand you losing anyone, even if it means not getting Bill back- "  His words cut off with a silent sob.

Rufus put a comforting hand on his shoulder and said ?Ya know dude, that?s very heroic.?

Heroic, no.  I just don?t have any other choice.  I mean, what else am I supposed to do?  Let Rufus?s family die?  No way!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ted stood at the back of the room, watching with a depressed smile at the reunion between Rufus and his family.  He got tired of standing (he?d been doing it for hours, anyway) and sat down, his elbows on his knees, head in hands.

?C?mon, dude.  We got someone to find.?  Ted looked up to see Rufus holding his hand toward him.  Ted took it and Rufus helped him to his feet.

?What about your family?? Ted asked, sincerely.

?They?ll be fine.  There?s still someone I care about who?s in trouble.?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Bill woke to the sound of his own hacking cough.  It wouldn?t have been so bad if the damn wind hadn?t kept up.  Every time he managed to light a fire, the wind blew it out.  He sat up, only to be knocked over again in a fit of coughing.  As he laid there, he started crying.  He looked up when he heard an odd sound.  He glanced up and tried to focus his eyes through his tears.  He thought he saw the outline of his best friend.  ?Ted?? he whispered, but hung his head in despair.  It was just another apparition.

Ted ran toward his friend, giving silent thanks they weren?t too late.  Bill whispered his name, then fell face down in the dirt.

?BILL!? Ted yelled.  He fell down next to Bill and slowly rolled him over.  Bill?s breathing became ragged, broke by hacking coughs.  Ted picked him up and carried him back to where Rufus was standing with the booth.  ?He doesn?t look so good.? Ted reported.  ?He passed out just before I got there.?

?Don?t you worry, Ted.  He?ll be just fine.?  The three got in the booth, which disappeared, leaving a smoking square in the carpet of pine needles.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Bill and Ted stood in the grand audience chamber, tuning up their guitars.  After Rufus reviewed their last trip and found out exactly where Bill fell out, it was a simple matter to trace him.  When they?d brought him back, unconscious, the doctor had just said he had suffered from severe exhaustion and malnutrition.  Within a day, he was perfectly fine.  Now, however, now it was time for the grand finale: a performance by the Two Great Ones.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

?Thanks again, guys.? Rufus told Bill and Ted.  The concert had been a HUGE success.  Rufus waved as Bill and Ted returned to their apartment.  As Bill opened the door, he turned to his best friend.

?Ya know, dude.  You?re a hero.? Bill smiled and turned back to the apartment.

Maybe I am a hero after all.