Born to Be Wildwing

Mallory discovers Wildwing's long hidden secret.

"So what's everybody doing today?" Missie asked cheerfully as she sat down
at the kitchen table, coffee cup in hand.
Tanya shrugged. "I was thinking about testing out a new theory I had."
Grin looked over his coffee cup. "I was thinking of thinking."
Mallory rolled her eyes. "I'm shopping. Definently shopping."
Wildwing interrupted the conversation. "Nope. Practise. All of you."
The team sighed, and put down their coffee cups as they headed to the locker
room. Missie put on her best pensive look. "Com'n Wildwing, do I need to?"
Wildwing put on a stern look. "Especially you. If you're going to be a backup
player for us, you need to learn how to work with the other team members."
Missie sulked, then, grumbling, stalked off to the locker room.
Mallory stood behind Wildwing's chair, and began to massage Wildwing's
taut neck muscles. "Wildwing, she's just a child. Do you need to be so harsh on her?"
Wildwing sighed. "Mallory, she's over 15 centuries year old."
Mallory leaned her chin on the top of his head. "Wildwing, she's 16. She may
not be 16 at age, but at heart, and at mind, she's 16. Besides, why are you so uptight? Did
you have a militant father like mine? Teaching you how to be severe with everybody?"
Wildwing's neck muscles tightened again, and Mallory was surprised. "I
wouldn't know."
"You wouldn't know? You never met him?"
"Not that I remember."
"What about your mother then? Was she the militant one?"
"I don't remember her either."
"You don't?" Mallory said, surprised. "Sheesh, Wildwing, you were at least 6
when Nosedive was born, weren't you? You mean to say that you have no memories
before that?"
Wildwing shook his head. "I was 7. And no, I have no memories of them. My
first memories were in the orphanage."
"The what?" Mallory gasped.
"The orphanage. Nosedive and I were put there when we were kids. It was
horrible. They barely fed us. So much for Utopia, huh?"
"They starved you?!" Mallory cried.
"Shh!" Wildwing hissed. "They didn't starve us, per say, but we never got fed
enough. Ever wonder why Nosedive's a small kid? He was malnutritioned. We all were.
We had it better than others though."
"Oh? Did you get fed better?"
Wildwing paused. "No. I fought for food."
"You what?!? Now you're going to tell me you lied and stole for food too!"
Wildwing sighed heavily. "No. I didn't do that until we got older. I was 7
when we arrived at the orphanage, I was big for my age, and was almost separated from
Nosedive. I started screaming though, so they let us stay together. There was kids older
than me there, but they were smaller. They fed us twice a day-a slice of dry bread in the
morning, a bowl of thin soup in the evening. I began to fight the other kids for food. I
didn't want their broth-I wanted the bread. Really, I suppose it wasn't fair to the other
kids, but as far as I was concerned, I had to keep Nosedive alive and healthy. By the time
we left the orphanage, the kids had a system worked out. Every time they got their bread,
they'd rip off a piece of their bread crusts and give it to me. I only wanted the crusts."
"You wanted the crusts? At the age when most people are passing them
"The crusts were more substantial than the rest of the bread. The human
mothers have the right idea, telling kids to eat there crusts, because there was people
starving elsewhere. Not that it wouldn't've helped any of us.
"We were there for two years. We were then sent to a foster home. I thought
that would be so much better for us, but it was worse, if anything. We were fed once a
day, and there were 12 of us crammed into a little tiny room. The 'foster-parents' only
wanted us for the tax rebate. Actually, he did. His wife was terrified of him, and didn't
dare defy him. I had to fight for food there, too. Things got better for me and Nosedive, I
managed to get us food. Then they went on vacation, and conveniently 'forgot' the kids."
Mallory gasped. "You're kidding!"
Wildwing just shook his head. "That's where the stealing food came in. I
snuck around the house, taking food. Even after they came back, I kept doing it. We
needed food, and they didn't give us enough. They never noticed."
"How long were you there?" Mallory asked, her voice soft.
"Three years. We were transferred then, and the new place was much better,
but it was a stay between, and we didn't stay long. The next place we went to was even
worse, though. Nosedive was five, I was 12. I was absolutely sick of it, and so we ran
away. It was a stupid idea, Nosedive was too young, and I didn't know anything about
living on the streets. I knew how to fight, and move quietly, almost become invisible. I
was so thin, it was probably pretty easy."
He chucked lightly, but it was half-heartedly. It wasn't a laughing matter.
"We survived, though. I stole, pawned the things I stole, then lied to the store
owners. Told them I needed it 'for my mother'. We had better clothes by this point, I stole
them off a clothesline. They didn't fit us terrifically, but with food, we soon grew into
them. We found an abandoned warehouse, which we took the middle room of and made it
more comfortable. We took old mattresses someone had thrown out, and with old
blankets and pillows, we soon had a reasonably comfortable home. I stole what we
needed, or cheated people out of things."
"And I always thought you were an educated, upstanding citizen." Mallory
joked, but it was weak.
Wildwing smiled slightly. "Actually, we were only on the streets until I was
18. We moved in with the Colads then. They saw us on the street somewhere, I think I
asked him for change. They offered a house, school, clothes, food. I think by that point
we had ourselves pretty well established, Nosedive was 15, I'd taught him to fight, to
steal. He wasn't as good as it as I had became, but he was learning. I wanted him to get
schooling, though. I wanted him to have a chance at life. The best chance he could. They
offered it. I jumped on it. They were good to us-we were schooled, given every chance
we could possibly have. They found out what our last name was for us, but our first
names and our history they couldn't access. We'd have to ourselves, when we came of
age. So we went by the names that we'd been called by ever since we arrived at the
orphanage. We never found anything out. The Saurians attacked before I got a chance. I
still wonder, sometimes. I wonder what would have happened if I had've had parents all
my life. I certainly wouldn't have had to lie, steal and fight for food. Maybe I would have
been a 'educated, upstanding citizen'. I certainly try."
There was silence for a moment, then Mallory hugged Wildwing tightly from
behind. "Why don't you go to your quarters for awhile, Wildwing. I'll handle the practise.
You sound tired. Get some rest."
Wildwing rose slightly, then turned to look at the redhead. "You'll be all
Mallory smiled, and lightly kissed him on the cheek. "I'll be fine. Just go rest,
all right?"
He started towards the door, then paused, turned, and looked at Mallory, as if
searching for the right words.
"Don't worry," Mallory said quickly. "You're secrets safe with me. My beak is
He smiled, then crossed the distance between them in two strides. Swooping
her up in a hug, he kissed her, then turned to go to his quarters.
"Who would've thought, Wildwing, " Mallory whispered softly to herself as
she headed for the locker room, steeling herself for the inevitable anger of the team.
"Who would've thought."


Wildwing paused as he headed down the hall to his quarters, then looked at
the door that led to the upstairs of the Pond, and even higher to the roof. He took a deep
breathe, then ascended the steep stairs. He emerged onto the roof of the Pond, and stood
silently in the wind. Nobody saw him, but then, probably nobody was looking for a duck
standing up there.
He settled himself onto a ledge, and realised that he could see the attraction
that Missie saw in sitting up here, alone in the silence. He stared into the sky, wishing he
could see Puckworld. His mind began to wander to the past, to the life he'd had before
this. He felt better, telling Mallory. He was lost in thought, wondering, what if...

***Disclaimer: I don't own the Mighty Ducks. Disney does. I just own Missie and the Guardians. Please do not use without permission.

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