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Author’s Note: This story takes place sometime in the Madeline universe, but doesn’t necessarily fit into the timeframe of either version, hence I‘m giving it it‘s own little ‘one-shot‘ category. Another story or two might join it here at some point.

Madeline Series One-Shot #1
By Danielle : - )

Author’s Note: This story takes place sometime in the Madeline universe, but doesn’t necessarily fit into the timeframe of either version, hence I‘m giving it it‘s own little ‘one-shot‘ category. Another story or two might join it here at some point.

Disclaimer: The Pretenderdoesn’t belong to me, and I’m not making any money off of it. I’m very happy to say that it does belong 100% to Steve and Craig now, and want to sincerely thank them for bringing it back to us. They are honestly two of my favorite people in the world.


After the awards ceremony, Madeline jogged over to the handsome man waiting for her on the sidelines.

“Hey, Jarod!” she greeted him as he pulled her into an easy hug.

“Great work out there, Madeline!” he told her with his trademark enthusiasm.

“Thanks, but I can’t believe I fell on the uneven bars! I’ve done that release flawlessly countless times! I can’t believe I choked- I never choke!” Madeline was something of a perfectionist and would be beating herself up for that small mistake for a while yet.

“What do you want to do for the rest of the day?” he asked in an attempt to pull her from her self-pity.

Madeline lit up as she remembered what she had come up with, “Have you gone mini-golfing yet?”

Jarod’s eyebrows came together as he thought about that a moment, “I’ve played golf before… I don’t know anything about a small version.”

“Well, it is golf with smaller holes, balls, and clubs, and usually they have cool obstacles you have to work around.”

“Why not just play regular golf?”

“Well, it’s basically for kids, I guess; but people of all ages play it. It’s much more fun than regular golf- I used to go with my parents all the time.” she smiled fondly at the memory.

“I enjoyed playing golf, and this mini golf sounds like even more fun. Is there one nearby?”

“Yeah, there’s one in the next town. And they also have ice cream.”

His eyes lit up like Madeline knew they would at the mention of ice cream, and she knew they were definitely going.

“Let me go get my stuff- I’ll meet you at the hotel in an hour?”

“See you then.”

“God, that friend of yours is so hot!” her teammate, Carrie, said as soon as she entered their section of the vast locker room.

Madeline just smiled as she opened her locker. This was the third competition Jarod had been to- all ones that Miss Parker, Broots, and Debbie hadn’t been able to attend, naturally- and she was used to her friends talking about how good looking Jarod was. Jackie knew the Pretender well enough by now to have no problem when Madeline told her that she’d be staying an additional night with him. She believed Madeline’s little while lies that her guardian knew all about it.

Madeline quickly put on her street clothes over her leotard and slipped her shoes on. When she got back to the hotel, she took a quick shower before putting on her usual minimal makeup and trademark slightly-too-large clothes.

Jarod knocked on the door right on time, like always. She grabbed her purse, directions to the mini golf place, and keycard and followed him out the door. They talked the entire twenty minute ride- Jarod about his latest Pretend and his newest discoveries, and Madeline telling him about her latest adventures with Angelo.

Madeline watched Jarod carefully as they got out of the car once they reached their destination and he got his first look at the mini golf course. She loved seeing his childlike wonder as he came across new things. Every time they were able to hang out, she wanted to be able to introduce him to something new. Last time, it had been cookie dough ice cream.

Jarod’s eyes grew wide as he surveyed the course before them. It was beautifully laid out with numerous man-made waterfalls interspersed with the holes and plenty of colorful obstacles.

“This does look very fun!” he whispered in awe as she led the way to the pro shop/shack where they’d pay and get the necessary equipment. They decided on the full 18 hole course, instead of just nine. Madeline quickly picked a blue golf ball, while Jarod stared at the rainbow assortment before settling on black. His choice wasn’t really a surprise to Madeline, who had never seen him wear anything but black. As they left the shack, he stopped to study the scorecard they’d been given. He quickly read the rules printed on the back of the card while they waited for the people at the first hole to finish up.

“I’ll go first. You have to hit the ball gently- they’re pretty light compared to regular golfballs. The first time I went minigolfing with my dad after he started teaching me to play golf, I hit the ball really hard on the first hole. I had to yell ‘Fore!’ because it ended up on the next hole! The teenage guys there looked at me wicked weird.”

Madeline set her ball in the middle of the green mat and studied the windmill in front of her.

Jarod spoke out loud as he looked at it, too, “You have to hit the ball through the hole in the windmill, timing it just right so you miss the blades! This may be a game for children, but there are many challenging factors you have to consider!”

Madeline hit the ball cleanly through the windmill and into the hole beyond.

“That was a perfect shot!” his praise was always sincere, and sent a warm glow through the teenager.

“I usually won playing against my parents, and not because they let me win, either- I used to be quite good. Looks like I haven’t lost it!”

“Why would your parents let you win?” Jarod asked in honest confusion.

“Parents often let their young children win when they play games together- I think it helps with the kid’s self esteem or something.”

“That’s very deceptive.” his voice held clear disapproval.

Madeline shrugged, “I think it falls along the lines of small lies you tell for your children’s benefit, like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny…”

Jarod pushed the thoughts aside and set his ball down. He hit it gently through the windmill. It didn’t have quite enough speed and came to a stop about 3 feet from the hole. His second shot landed it, though. He diligently recorded their scores with the small pencil before they moved to the second hole.

Madeline got it in two shots; Jarod, a hole in one. It quickly took on a competitive edge, as both were very skilled at the game. Things never got too serious when the two were together, so they had fun with it- teasing, laughing, and cheering each other on in equal measure. Madeline didn’t care about winning because she was enjoying watching Jarod take pleasure in the game so much. By the second to last hole, they were tied.

Madeline studied the 17th hole, a par 4, carefully- you could hit your ball into one of three pipes that led to the lower level. The hole was down there, situated on a small rise. She leaned over the edge of the railing to see where each pipe came out before deciding on her target. She went back to the starting point and aimed for the left-hand pipe. She was an inch off, causing the ball to bounce off the wall.

“What the--?!” she cried in disbelief.

Jarod hit his neatly through the middle pipe, the black ball coming to rest about 10 feet from the hole. Madeline’s second shot went perfectly through her intended pipe, her ball coming to rest less than five feet from the mound. Jarod took his time lining up his second shot, studying the shape of the rise he needed to conquer in order to sink his shot. He hit the ball with the perfect amount of speed and aim, smoothly sinking the shot. Madeline couldn’t help but return his grin before turning to set her shot up. She took a deep breath to calm her mind and get into the gymnastic-competition mindset.

She stared openmouthed as the blue ball went along the edge of the hole, but then rolled down the opposite side of the mound at the last second. Her next shot went in, leaving Jarod ahead by one.

Their last hole had 2 water hazards they had to get over. Jarod ended up ahead by one again, winning by two. After a congratulatory hug, he went over to collect the balls.

“Where’d they go?” he was looking down into the pipe that served as the last hole.

“That pipe probably goes directly into the shack, so they don’t have to worry about people not returning the balls.”

“Loser buys the ice cream!” he said as they went inside to return their putters. Madeline nodded with a good-natured smile as they followed the signs to the ice cream stand.

Jarod’s mouth dropped at the long list of ice creams offered.

“What are you getting?” he asked.

“Peppermint stick.” she answered readily.

“I have no idea what to try!!” he confessed a moment later.

“They’d probably let you get a couple different flavors if you asked.” she was trying to make it easier on him but actually just made deciding harder.

“What’s Coffee Oreo?”

“Coffee-flavored ice cream with pieces of Oreo cookies mixed in.”

“Ice cream that tastes like coffee? That doesn’t sound very good…” the look on his face as he said that made her laugh.

“It doesn’t taste a lot like coffee- I hate coffee, but coffee ice cream is really good.”

“Well, I do love Oreos, so maybe I’ll try that.”

He spent a few more minutes studying the offerings and asking Madeline for clarifications. Finally he announced, “I’m ready!” and they moved to the end of the short line.

Jarod got a three scoop consisting of Coffee-Oreo, Mint-Oreo, and Strawberry Cheesecake. Madeline grimaced slightly at the unusual combo, but it wasn’t the first time she’d seen him order unusual combinations of food. They settled on a park bench in the shade of a big oak. She enjoyed watching Jarod stare at his ice cream, clearly unable to decide which flavor to try first. Finally, he went for the Coffee-Oreo, grabbing a big chunk of cookie. He closed his eyes, letting it melt in his mouth to fully appreciate the flavor. The joy on his face made her heart feel like it was going to explode, she was so happy for him, and heartbroken at his missed childhood at the same time. He eagerly moved on to the Mint-Oreo, and then the Strawberry Cheesecake, savoring the first taste of each in the same manner. Then he continued to alternate one flavor after the other. Madeline ate her ice cream slowly as well, trying to enjoy it as much as he clearly was.

“I need to come back here again!” Jarod exclaimed as they were finishing their ice cream, “There are so many flavors I still have to try!!”

“Most small towns usually have a local ice cream shop, and they usually have a lot of different flavors, at least around here and New England. Ask the locals where they go for ice cream and they‘ll probably direct you someplace really good.”

They got rid of their empty cups and left to find something fun to do with the rest of their evening together.

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