Blaze just couldn't sleep.
No matter how much he tossed and turned, Blaze's concern for his parents did a great job of keeping him awake.
Blaze figured, since he was awake, he might as well make sure the boat hadn't drifted off course.
Blaze reversed off his sleeping bag and tiptoed past his friends.
Darington was laying on his left side. Like Blaze, there was a retainer in his mouth. The star-spangled stuntman was cuddling a teddy bear that had just as many, if not more, stars than it's owner.
Blaze couldn't help but inwardly giggle. Darington looked a bit silly with his tongue sticking out and drool all over his chin.
Starla looked so peaceful when she slept. Blaze couldn't fathom how it was possible for someone to look so beautiful all the time.
Blaze shook his head in an effort to clear it.
Just as Blaze was about to leave, he was startled by loud snoring.
Zeg was laying on his sleeping bag with his mouth hanging open. There was a puddle of drool big enough to swim in, and the dinosaur was snoring at a volume that could wake the dead.
How his friends were able to sleep through this was beyond Blaze's reach.
Blaze took a cautious step...
Oh no! Blaze had forgotten all about those creaky floorboards!
Zeg stirred for a moment, then rolled over.
Blaze sighed in relief, and left the cabin.
Blaze drove onto the deck, expecting solitude.
But this was not to be.
Stripes was hanging onto the mast using his tiger claws and steering with his tail.
"Hey, Blaze. Couldn't sleep?" Stripes greeted.
"No, I'm worried about my parents." Blaze lisped.
"Awww, I'm sorry, Blaze. We'll find them, I promise." Stripes reassured, hugging Blaze.
"Thanks, Stripes. I just can't help but worry about them. I mean, who knows what they could be going through right now?" Blaze vented, eyes beginning to water.
"Hey, Hey, Blaze, it's gonna be ok." Stripes consoled, cupping his face in his tires.
Blaze wiped his tears, feeling much better. He was about to fall asleep when he felt a raindrop.
"Stripes? The news didn't say anything about rain, did it?" Blaze asked.
"No, Blaze. Why do you-"
A thunderclap cut Stripes' question short.
"We need to wake the others NOW." Blaze said.
Stripes nodded, and the trucks hurried down to the bedroom.
Blaze gently nudged Darington.
"Darington, wake up, a storm's brewing." Blaze informed.
Darington opened one eye, then the other.
"Oh, man, you and Stripes won't believe the dream I just-wait, what was that about a storm?!" Darington lisped, panicking.
"Don't panic, Darington. We'll get through this storm. We just have to stay calm." Blaze consoled.
"Thanks, Blaze." Darington thanked. ["Man, Blaze's optimism is just what we need right now."] Darington thought as he drove over to AJ.
"AJ, wake up. Blaze says there's a storm coming." Darington informed, gently nudging him.
"Thanks for warning me. I'll help you wake the others." AJ thanked.
AJ woke Gabby and explained the situation to her.
"Oh, no! I hope we don't sink!" Gabby panicked.
"Don't worry, Gabby, we'll be fine." Stripes reassured.
"Thanks, Stripes." Gabby thanked.
Gabby walked over to Starla and gently nudged her.
"Starla, a storm's coming, you need to wake up." Gabby informed.
Starla slowly woke up.
"Don't worry, y'all, we'll get through this." Starla reassured.
"How are we gonna wake Zeg up? He sleeps through EVERYTHING." Darington asked.
"How about we tickle him?" AJ suggested.
"That could work." Blaze agreed.
AJ slowly approached Zeg and tickled him all over.
"Zeg, wake up, coochie coochie coo, there's a storm outside!" AJ informed.
However, Zeg was still sleeping.
"Okay, tickling didn't work. What else could we try?" Blaze wondered.
Everyone tried to think, but Zeg's snoring was too much of a distraction.
That, and the boat was swaying so much from the storm that they were struggling to stay on their wheels and feet.
Stripes used his tiger claws to anchor himself.
AJ picked Gabby up and jumped into Blaze.
Darington grabbed the mast, and Starla grabbed him with her tow cable.
The storm finally let up...
Blaze sighed in relief. "Everyone ok?"
"Gabby and I are ok." AJ confirmed.
"Starla and I are ok." Darington confirmed.
"And I'm ok." Stripes confirmed.
A snore from Zeg confirmed he was ok.
"When you said Zeg sleeps through everything, you weren't kidding, Darington." Blaze realized.
"At least one of us will have gotten some sleep tonight." Darington slurred.
"I'm just glad that storm's finally over." AJ said.
Or was it?
The thunder, rain, and crashing waves picked up again.
"Maybe I spoke too soon." AJ blushed.
"If we don't act fast, the boat's gonna capsize!" Blaze panicked.
"Capsize? What that mean?" Zeg asked,
"That means the boat's gonna tip over." Blaze explained.
Zeg gasped. "If boat tip over, then Zeg and friends drown!"
"I don't wanna drown!" Darington wailed, eyes beginning to water.
"Don't worry, Darington, we won't, as long as we have a little faith." Blaze consoled.
Zeg hid under his sleeping bag at the sound of another thunderclap.
"Aww, what's wrong, big fella?" Blaze asked.
"Zeg no like thunder!" Zeg whimpered.
"Awww, poor Zeg." AJ sympathized,
"Don't be scared, Zeg. Your friends are here, it's ok." Blaze comforted.
Lightning struck moments later.
The waves crashed, throwing the boat around as if it was a pillow in the midst of a pillow fight.
Everyone struggled to keep traction as the boat churned and rocked through the angry waters.
Blaze knew he woukd die one day; it was inevitable.
Something else the 25-year old knew for certain was that he would MUCH rather lose a race to Crusher than die like this,
Blaze couldn't handle hearing his friends screaming and panicking.
["Please, King Neptune, have mercy on us! My friends and I are just trying to find my parents!"] Blaze mentally begged, desperately hoping the King of the sea and earthquakes had heard him.
Despite Blaze's fear, he knew his friends were relying on him to keep them safe.
"Everyone, calm down!" Blaze commanded. "launch your tow hooks at me, I'll keep us together!"
"But what if the boat sinks?! Our weight might cause you to...." Stripes worried, on the verge of tears.
"I would rather die than lose any of you." Blaze stated.
"We won't let that happen, Blaze." AJ promised.
Everyone nodded in agreement and packed their things, believing they must at least be approaching Dargon Island by now.
"I'm gonna do onto the deck to see where we are." Blaze offered, after packing his stuff,
"Okay, Blaze." AJ accepted, packing his things.
Blaze drove onto the deck of the ship. He noticed that other than some wet patches, the boat was perfectly intact.
Blaze sighed in relief. ["Thank you, King Neptune."]
Five minutes later, Dragon Island entered the young racer's view.
Blaze drove down to the sleeping area.
"Guys, we're almost here!" Blaze informed.
Everyone cheered, relieved that their maritime ordeal was finally over.
Darington, however, felt as if the boat was still rocking.
"Darington ok?" Zeg asked.
Blaze towed Darington onto the deck and allowed his friend to vomit in the water.
"It's ok, Darington, it's ok." Blaze soothed, rubbing his friends back.
"Hey, Blaze, what's going-Ooh." Stripes realized.
"Yeah. The storm must've made him seasick." Blaze guessed.
"He's not the only one, y'all!" Starla announced, dragging a seasick Zeg to the other side of the deck, the dinosaur quickly using the ocean as a vomit bag.
["My parents are Zeus-knows-where, I just almost died in a storm, and now 2 of my friends are sick! This is JUST GREAT!"] Blaze thought.
"Blaze, what do you think?" AJ asked.
I"m sorry, what was the question?" Blaze asked.
"I was thinking we could take care of Zeg and Darington, then start looking for Phoenix and Ember." AJ suggested.
Blaze wanted to argue, but couldn't. As much as he wanted to find his parents, Blaze knew Zeg and Darington's health was top priority right now.
"Yeah, sounds good." Blaze agreed.
Blaze lowered the anchor as the ship approached Dragon Island.