Chapter Eleven

Goodbye Too Soon

Darkwing Tower was empty when he arrived. He had told them he'd meet them back at the house but he still couldn't shake what had happened. He had known him. The fall must have un-lodged the memory, but it was real, he had known Quackerjack. They were... cell mates. He began to strip the tattered costume from his bruised and wounded body. The asylum that he had been trapped in night after night in his nightmares, it was real. Somewhere out there, this place still stood, a place he had been a prisoner of. Was he once as mad as Quackerjack? Or had the fiend's condition only worsened after his release? No matter how he looked at it, at that age they were suitable enough in demeanor to be cooped up together. But why was the room mate in his dreams different? His head ached. Quackerjack had known. Quackerjack knew who he was, and who knows what else he might have known.

The skewered face from his past haunted him. He pulled the fabric from his blood caked wounds. Was he regretting what had happened? If he had kept Quackerjack alive would he be able to unlock his past? Somehow, he knew, it wouldn't have happened but his mind was spiraling downward in despair and confusion. He pulled on some clean street clothes and gingerly began to remove the cloth from his knuckles. The thought of what he had almost done made him feel sick, the broken skin and dry blood sneered up at him. How would he have felt if he did beat him to death? Would the memory have come anyway? He looked out over the bay, in the darkness he could see past the suburbs and could make out the dim haze that was Duckburg. He would have done it, he would have killed him in such a savage, barbaric way if she hadn't stopped him. What was he going to do now? Should he tell them what he saw? Tell Launchpad, Gosalyn, and Morgana that he had been institutionalized? How would he even be able to start? His head hurt, he'd put all this out of his mind for tonight. He had won a hard fought battle and he needed to be with his... family.

When he set foot in the house Launchpad and Gosalyn welcomed him anxiously. The house was repaired, and her magic still hung in the air. She, on the other hand, wasn't there. It hurt to hear that she had left shortly after they had restored the house. Morgana had parted rather hurriedly for the circus before they could even properly thank her. Gosalyn would not let him dwell on this too long however as she started to regale him with dramatic exaggerations of his fighting technique. She told the tall tale to Launchpad as if it was as credible as a news report. According to her he had leapt fourteen feet in the air and dodged bullets in slow motion, not to mention pulled off a brilliant swan dive as he jumped to her rescue. Her energetic story telling quickly tired her out and they concluded the time had come to get some sleep. Launchpad gave him a friendly slap on the back, that hurt a lot more than Drake let on, and happily left for his apartment across town. The Mallards were alone in their house, the rooms dark and quiet. Gosalyn had been tucked in and he had retired to his own room. He stared at his bedroom ceiling lying restlessly in bed. His thoughts were keeping him awake while his body was fighting for sleep. He heard the door creek open and could just make out a pig tailed silhouette peek through the crack.

"What's up Gos?"

"Can I... Sleep with you tonight?" She asked her voice thick with embarrassment.

"Sure, just as long as you don't punch me again."

She scrambled under the covers and he watched her green eyes stare at him.

"You all right kiddo? Well..." He added thoughtfully, " as all right as you can be, I suppose?"

"Do you remember what you're parents died of?" She asked quickly.

She swallowed hard, she hadn't meant to say it, not blurt it out like that anyway. His cold eyes stayed unblinking on her and she felt that she had crossed the line. Her fear eased when he sighed and turned his eyes back to the ceiling.

"I'm not sure, I can't really remember... but I think they were killed."

"Do you know who did it?" She asked breathlessly, he sighed again.

"No. Why? Did Quackerjack tell you something?"

"..." She didn't want to tell him all the horrible things she had heard. "No." She lied. " He just mentioned they were killed." There was a deep scowl on Drake's face. He really didn't know, she could see it in his eyes. She was sorry she had brought it up, dark thoughts were clouding his head and she didn't want him to be any sadder than he already was. She decided to talk to him about something which they never spoke of before. "You probably already know this but, my dad was killed too."

His eyes returned to her, the comforting face of her adopted father had replaced the one of tortured Darkwing Duck. She had never talked to him about her parents, and he had never imposed on her to tell him. She was grateful to him for that, it was still painful to think about them, but she had to tell him it was only right.

"He used to come to the city a lot on business. He worked for a big jewelry chain owned by some rich guy, I don't remember his name... he had a top hat and little glasses..."

"Scrooge Mc Duck?" Drake interceded helpfully.

"Yeah, my dad didn't meet him or anything, he just was in charge of finding new stores to sell the jewelry. He told me once that St. Canard was the best city in the world, that there were so many different people, so many fantastic places that you could never see it all. He would come back late a lot but one night he just never came back. It was a few days until they found him without his briefcase in an alley..."

"Gos, I'm sorry."

She shook her head.

"My mom was so upset she shut down completely. She just didn't care about anything anymore, she couldn't take care of herself and so Grandpa had her moved to a hospital. He brought me to live with him until she got better but she died not too long after."

There was a silence then she felt his hand ruffle her hair gently.

"Gosalyn..."

"Drake I don't want to loose anyone else... please promise you'll be more careful" She took a firm grip on his hand and stared him down. He gave her a small smile.

"...I promise."

The chill of the late October morning stung him as he stood sadly taking in the sight before him. He had slept uneasily and had awoken early. Morgana had not left any word on when she'd come back, and he wanted to see her. He dropped the drowsy Gosalyn off with the obnoxiously pleasant Muddlefoots and had made his way to the city park where the circus was being held. He stood there now, all the vendor booths and smaller tents had been boxed away. There was a caravan of large trucks being loaded with the dwindling remains of what had been a circus in full swing only a few days ago. Each truck was emblazoned with colorful advertisements for the circus. He trudged along the deserted paths toward the few remaining tents. There were so few left standing and burly movers were transporting large crates to the trucks in battalions. The black tent stood lonely and foreboding ahead of him. He could see the marvels carrying their crates to a moving truck of their own. He looked on for a while, debating on whether he should just leave and not look back. That was what she had wanted... wasn't it? But what about him? He was weak and hurt, he knew he had to see her again, even if it was for the last time.

He managed to get inside the tent with out drawing any attention to himself. The bare open area was almost unrecognizable as the place he had remembered. She was on the far end of the tent using her magic to stack large crates onto a hand cart. He knew she had felt him come in, but she didn't respond in the slightest. She was wearing a thick sweater and a pair of worn blue jeans, and as usual was beautiful. She carried on with her business, it was clear he would have to approach her. Solemnly he neared her and he caught the eye of the marvels quickly. Arnie watched him uncertainly as the little rat put his hand on the heavily stacked hand cart. Drake stopped a few feet behind her and she still ignored him.

"That's all that will fit Arnie, better get it unloaded into the truck quick. There are still a bunch more that need to go out." She said undistracted.

He didn't know what was worse, the pain of his anguished body or her arctic cold shoulder. Arnie silently turned his attention to the cart and pushed it away like it weighed no more than a feather. Drake couldn't contain himself any longer.

" So that's it huh? You were just going to leave without a word?" He felt numb.

She turned to him in a false surprise and smiled emptily.

"Oh! Drake you should be resting" She said happily. He stared coldly at her, the smile faded slightly. "Where's Gosalyn?" The jovial tone in her voice was like a knife being twisted in his guts.

"..." He couldn't understand why she was acting like this. "She's not here."

"No? Well that's too bad, she's always such a riot." She said pleasantly.

"Stop it." He couldn't stand it.

"Stop what?" She blinked at him.

"That!" He snapped. He felt as if her attitude had frozen him. "The act! Everything!"

"Drake, I can't stop. We have to be on the road in two hours and we're all ready behind schedule! Come now Drake... the circus always has to leave, so that when it comes back it will be new and exciting again." She spoke as if she were addressing a three year old. His anger rose and his heart threatened to break.

"Morgana!" He spat her name out like venom and the smile vanished from her face. It was quiet, he could see her thinking. A battle raged between losing his temper and having an emotional breakdown. Why was she doing this? All of a sudden he felt a coldness rush off of her. The warm ease she usually held for him was now a glacial wall. This wasn't real, he told himself, she had to be masking it.

"Oh... Drake..." She said her face falling into pity. "You didn't think 'we' were serious did you?" She spoke but she might as well have stabbed him in the eye with a red hot poker. "Did you think we were a couple? Oh I'm sorry, I'm so stupid. You see, I just wanted some company... that's all. It gets so lonely being on the road..."

"Don't you try to feed me that bullshit Morgana!" He fumed. She was lying. She had to be. This wasn't right.

"Drake, I never meant to hurt you..." she took a step back as if she was afraid he was going to throttle her.

Something was wrong, this whole thing was wrong! She was hiding something from him. She started on some empty, rehearsed speech about how if she had known he'd have grown so attached she would have never picked him. That being an adult he should understand that blah blah blah... He tuned out the words, there was an odd feeling nagging him. He recognized it after a moment. She was afraid of him. The chill rolled off of her and hit him cruelly. He was going to find out why she was so scared of him. Without warning he grabbed her hand. A gust of wind shot out from around them and the warmth returned. She was staring at him, speechless.

"You and I need to talk." He pulled her along behind him and brought her outside. He dragged her out of earshot of the tents. They stopped at the edge of a small patch of trees. He was angry, hurt, and brokenhearted. He felt his temper ebb on the verge of complete explosion.

"Just what the hell do you think you're doing?" He scowled.

"I..I've already told you... we're packing..." She started.

"God damn it Morgana!" He flared. "Am I really that worthless to you that you can lie to me right to my face? I'm hurting like hell here and you don't give a damn, is that what you're aiming for?"

"Drake... you don't understand..."

"Of course I don't! How can I understand when you don't talk to me?" His temper boiled over. "You invade my life, steal my heart right out from under me, tell me you love me and then try to leave town without so much as a tip of a hat? What exactly are you doing Morg 'cuz I don't have a damn clue!"

"You think this is easy for me?" A tear slid down her cheek.

"You make it seem that way!" He cried defiantly. "What happened? What did I do to make you so afraid of me?"Her tear filled eyes met his desperate glare.

"Afraid of you?"

"Don't deny it, I can practically smell it on you." He said shortly. She closed her eyes and water leaked through her thick eyelashes.

"I do love you Drake... I just can't stay here, they need me..."

"That's not what I asked you." He calmed himself down. She had become herself again. She kept her eyes closed the tears steadily sliding down her face. He put his arms around her, she let out a quavering sigh as she tried to choke back her tears.

"I've done you a horrible evil, I've opened a floodgate in your mind. One that was meant to stay shut. I didn't mean too, it just happened. I found a part of you that you yourself had never known. Where your darkness and negatrons lie, and yes you scare me. I don't know who you really are or what you did with that negative energy, but I saw something yesterday that shook me..." She said tearfully.

He thought back to vision of the boy that would grow into Quackerjack.

"You saw my memory too?"

"Yes... you were in an asylum. You were the same boy... the same age you had been when I saw your... your parents' deaths."

He stared off over her shoulder into the distance. What was wrong with him? Why did he cause everyone so much pain? Why couldn't his life not careen off into dark places?

"...do you think I killed them?"

"No, not as you are today but... Oh I don't know Drake... what am I supposed to think?" She asked helplessly.

He wanted to say: "Believe in me! I would never do anything like That", but he was unsure himself. How could he tell her what to think when he questioned it himself? This relationship that was so precious to him was crumbling in his hands.

"I wish I could tell you Morgana, but I know as much as you do at this point." He held her close and tried to commit her to memory. Soon she would be gone and all he would have left would be his memories. One way or another she wasn't going to stay, and if he was never to see her again he had one last thing to do. If he didn't he would regret it. She had said it so confidently to him but he had yet to return it.

"I love you Morgana..." He said softly. "No matter what happened in the past or what will happen, I love you."

She trembled slightly and her tears heavily splattered his shoulder. Her arms encircled him, closing out the bitter cold of the world around them.

"Dark, darling I know... I know..."

She couldn't' stay, and he understood why. Without a true blue sorceress the act would fail, but more importantly they were like her family. She couldn't leave them high and dry. She couldn't remain here just as much as he couldn't' go with her. He didn't look forward to how ill he'd feel the next day, but he knew she'd come back even if it wasn't until the next time the circus was in town. She was collecting herself, stifling the tears and rubbing them away. Her hand slid off his back and came around to lay to rest on his chest as she wiped the remaining tears away. The giant blood red jewel sat heavily on her middle finger, he placed his hand over hers gently. He wished he had anticipated being parted from her so quickly, he would have gotten her something. Her big green eyes danced to his hand, confused he followed her gaze and saw light shining out through the gaps in his fingers. Quickly, he retracted his hand and the ruby was gone, a dazzling white crystal shone on her finger.

"You... you imprinted it." She said in hushed excitement.

"Did I? Is that bad?" He asked abashed.

"No..no You've made it stronger, it will be like you are with me where ever I go." She smiled and clasped the ring lovingly.

"Ah... so I've been replaced by a jewel?" He teased.

"Well, at least it can control it's temper and doesn't get into fatal situations." She playfully smiled.

"Oh I see... and I suppose it doesn't own a cape either?"

"No, I'm afraid it doesn't have an ounce of anything dramatic, and I don't know if I've mentioned it but I do love a man of danger."

"Oh is that so?" He smirked. She nodded her dazzling smile making him feel a bit weak in the knees. "Well then... let's get dangerous." He kissed her and the odd tingle ran through him again. The sweetness of this feeling was something that was going to hurt deeply when it was gone.

"Oh Drake you've given me something so wonderful... let me heal you in return. I can fix you up better than ever"

"No... I think these wounds should heal themselves..."

"Darling... you can't blame yourself for what happened to Quackerjack..." She put her hand on his cheek.

"I don't want to take the easy way out Morg... I owe him that much I think."

"Then... I want you to have this." She fished her fingers under the collar of her sweater and pulled a gold chain off over her head. She slid it carefully over his and he felt the gold pendant pull it down. It was an intricate crest detailed with a monogram "M".

"It's the Macabre family crest, it's been passed down in my family for decades." She fingered it lightly. "It's very special to me... it reminds me that I still have a family, that I still have a home waiting for me..."

"I can't take this..."

"But... you are my family now," She smiled sweetly. "Where ever you are is my home."

"I don't deserve this Morgana..." He began but she quickly covered his bill with a gentle hand.

"Yes you do and so much more! I wish I could stay with you and make sure you did get everything you do deserve my wonderful Drake Mallard..."

"It's alright, I know why you can't." He smiled half-heartedly.

"I will come back. I promise. If you ever need me, I'll be on my way back to you in a heartbeat." Her eyes sparkled.

"Well, I'll be here waiting for you when you do."

The cold air around them turned peacefully warm as it reached the pair. They shared their last kiss and she started back to the tent. The frost crept slowly back over him with each step that separated them. She made it halfway back when she turned to him, her cheeks rosy.

"Could you say it once more please?" She asked meekly.

A smile flooded his face and he threw his arms open wide as he shouted as loud as he could.

"I love you Morgana Macabre!"

"And I love you Drake Mallard!" She cried in response.

He held the crest in his hand. She had been gone for four hours now and he felt like he would be violently ill. It was a strange crest, adorned with gold little spiders and bats engraved with great accuracy. This life... the path he had chosen was getting more and more complicated as the days went on. He had a taxing job, a spirited daughter, a rather neglected best friend, a magically talented girlfriend, and on top of all that a dynamic nightlife. S.H.U.S.H. was looking more and more appealing by the minute, but some part of him told him to hold off. Told him harder times were ahead. Quackerjack had said that there would be others like him... that it wouldn't be the last time he would be attacked from all sides. Was it just a threat from a madman or a warning from an old friend? He tucked the pendant under his shirt, the cold metal seemed to ease his pain. He glanced around the empty hideout and felt the solitude close in around him. It was a feeling he would have to come to terms with. The afternoon sun hung sleepily in the sky, spreading it's golden light across the bay. He leaned heavily on the window sill. Whatever was going to happen, Darkwing Duck would be there to face it.

The End

Darkwing Duck and all related characters are © Disney.

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Hope it didn't get too mushy for you guys toward the end there but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside writing it. And I know I have been a wicked naughty girl and getting your hopes up but I must tell you that there will be no Megavolt next story (sorry He's in the fourth one though!) I haven't quite finished writing out the third installment yet, I'm near the end but just have to wrap the whole thing up. So I'll try to start posting it as soon as I'm pleased with how it's turned out. It's been quite an undertaking, lots of character's heads I've had to invade, and tons of drama. In hopes of making amends for my sneaky Megavolt teasing I'll tell you that it has a lot to do with Negaduck, and the Liquidator's origin along with a an invasion that I was surprised never happened in the show. So in a sign of my eternal gratitude to you, my awesome readers, here's a little teaser/summary for you.

Bud Flood has come to the conclusion that his wife is having an affair, little does he know that the actions he takes will result in the worst (and last) days of his life.

A month has passed since Morgana has left, and Drake has heard nothing from her. His spirits are dark and bitter. He can't shake the feeling that he's been awake for weeks even though he sleeps every night. His mood isn't lightened when out of the blue the worst thing ever to happen to the crime fighting scene (in his opinion) rolls right into his city. Gizmoduck confronts him and demands his surrender for his heinous crimes against Scrooge McDuck, the only problem is Darkwing has no idea what he's talking about. Angry accusations of his alleged thieving come from a violent Launchpad, Mc Duck sets a hefty reward on his head, and S.H.U.S.H. is working with them to bring him to "justice", then things get really out of hand. Is someone masquerading as him or is it deeper than that? Will Launchpad's anger separate him from Drake and Gosalyn and return him to the family he once had? Where is Morgana and why can't he feel her presence? All the answers lie in one man, but he'd much rather torture Drake than supply any answers. See how it all unfolds in the third in my Darker Darkwing series in

Doubts and Doppelgangers