(AN: Hi folks! I'm back with a multi-chaptered story—I did warn you in Sepia Tone that I might write this! (evil laughter commences here)
First of all, I would like to extend huge thanks to all those who left me such nice reviews on Sepia Tone. I was pretty scared to publish it, because I knew it was probably contradictory to the comics—and as it turns out, it was. But you were all really nice in your reviews, liking it despite its flaws. I was very pleasantly surprised by the reception it got from the big Disney Duck fans, and so I just want to thank you all again for that.
I still haven't found out that much about the comics—trust me, Life and Times of Scrooge is on my "want to read" list, but what little money I allow myself to spend I tend to spend it on DVDs. (Is there a support group for people who compulsively buy DVDs? Hee hee.) Besides, I read somewhere that the comics take place around 1940-ish, which leads me to believe that the TV show DuckTales takes place in some sort of alternate reality, as the technology in some of the episodes is far beyond what was around in the forties. Hah, I found a loophole!
This story is a continuation of Sepia Tone, set about seven years afterwards. You don't need to have read ST to understand this one, I think. You should figure it out. ;)
All characters and names and such (so far) belong to Disney, not me. Please don't sue me, I beg of you! Then I can't buy more DVDs! This story is currently rated PG, but the rating might go up in later chapters. Haven't decided yet. (Nor have I decided on a good title. Right now it's just a Journey song that only vaguely reflects the plot. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!)
ENOUGH WITH THE LONG AUTHOR'S NOTE ALREADY! Here's chapter one. Hope you enjoy!)
Funny—he should have been feeling anxious. But he wasn't.
True, so it was going to affect the rest of his life—precisely the reason that a decision such as this caused so much stress for most other people. But she had been right, too. It had been… jeez, more than ten years! In fact, they were close to their eleven year anniversary. "Going out" anniversary, however. Yes, she was right. After all those years, it was only logical to take the next step—marriage.
Donald Duck, having just returned from a very productive shopping trip, pulled out the ring box and peeked a look at the ring again. Oh yes, just look at it sparkle in the light! Donald smiled, imagining how it would look on Daisy's finger. Luckily there had been an engagement ring in her size—and it was a diamond ring too. Not too big, not outrageously expensive, but most certainly not tacky, either. Daisy would have never let him hear the end of it if it had been tacky.
Of course, lately, she had been getting on his case about a lot of things, anyway. Like the whole marriage deal. "Donald Duck!" she had shrieked at him just the previous night, "do you realize how long we've been dating?"
"Well… nearly eleven years now!" Donald had said, quickly figuring the number in his head. "The best eleven years of my life!"
"Well then, what are you waiting for?" Daisy had cried. "Are you just afraid of commitment, or what is it? Do you not want to share a house with me… what?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Marriage, you moron! All this time we've been together, you obviously aren't interested in anyone else, and I'm not either, and yet you haven't asked me to marry you yet!"
"But I'm hardly ever at home—"
"So? Lots of people marry people in the Navy—don't use that as an excuse!"
"Well… well, why haven't you asked me?"
"What? You're the man—you ask!"
"Who says? Lots of girls propose!"
"I know where this is going, Donald—you're just afraid of long-term commitment!"
"But let me tell you, our commitment is already long-term—we might as well be married! Now, I think I've shown more than enough patience with you, but if you don't want to commit, then you can just kiss our relationship good-bye!"
After that ugly confrontation, Donald did some serious soul-searching. He certainly wasn't going to do just anything Daisy told him—he had done that in the past, but often with disastrous consequences. But he had to admit—Daisy was right. Why weren't they married? They had, after all, been with each other for eleven years now. Definitely enough of a trial period—heck, half of the population divorced sooner than that! And Donald really did love her, and it wasn't hard to imagine spending the rest of his life with her. He wanted to.
The only thing that had prevented him from asking her earlier, it seemed, was just that Donald tended to focus most of his attention on the present—here and now. Talking about marriage was something that turned his concentration to something far-off, in the distance, that didn't affect him at that very moment. The NOW affected him far more than the LATER, and thus was usually really the only thing that crossed his mind.
But not anymore. Daisy was right, as right as she'd ever been. Eleven years was long enough. He was thirty-six years old; he was definitely old enough to settle down, maybe start a family… yes, most definitely.
Donald jumped up and yelped—God damn that doorbell! Who could it be? He quickly grabbed the ring before making his way to the door, hiding it in his pocket. If it was Daisy, and she came over to apologize for yelling at him last night, Donald would soothe her, tell her it was alright, and then, as if to prove his forgiveness, pop out the ring and propose! Hollywood couldn't have done it better!
He opened the door—and his jaw dropped. It was a female duck, but it wasn't Daisy.
"God, Donald, you haven't changed a bit." The lady duck grabbed his lower bill and clapped his beak shut. "Stop gaping and let me in!"
"Della?" Donald sputtered out. "You—your sentence can't be over yet! You had fifteen years, and it's only been—"
"Eleven, I know. Good behavior. I'm on parole." Della pushed Donald to the side as only a sister can to her brother and looked around. "Well, your house certainly hasn't changed that much since I last saw it. Nor have you. You know," she said, raising an eyebrow at him, "I wasn't in isolation. I could have had visitors. But I never did. However, I'll just assume that was ignorance on your part—"
"I didn't want to see you!" Donald blurted out.
"Don't you even start to treat me like this!" Della glared at Donald, but her voice mellowed, and she looked at him apologetically. "Really. I told you, I'm on parole—for good behavior. I'm not the duck I was, Donald. I realize now that I was a moron, that I did some really stupid things. I want to make amends; I want to make up for the mistakes I made. Which means seeking out the family that, apparently, pretended that I didn't even exist. Where are my sons?"
"I told you," cried Donald, "I didn't want to see you, and I still don't, and I don't want you to ruin the triplets' lives—"
"I'm their mother!" shrieked Della. "I have a right to see them! Now tell me, where are they? I suppose they're in school right now—"
"I would assume that too," said Donald, shrugging.
"What, you don't know where they are? What kind of guardian are you? And here you are talking about me being a bad influence—"
"I'm not their guardian!" cried Donald. "I only had them for a year!"
There was a pained silence.
"What did you do with them?" Della suddenly shrieked, grabbing a stunned Donald by the collar. "You didn't put them in an orphanage, did you, you irresponsible—"
"For God's sake, I didn't!" choked out Donald. "I couldn't afford to take care of them—I got a promotion—they're with Uncle Scrooge!"
Della dropped Donald. "Oh." She blinked. "Uncle Scrooge? He actually agreed to take them in?"
"He knew he had to," said Donald, rubbing his neck and shooting a fiery glare at Della. "He understands responsibility, unlike you."
"I understand it now," snapped Della. "You just can't get it through your head that I've changed, can you, Don-Don?"
"You're not acting any different," Donald spat out. "And don't call me Don-Don… Dumbella."
"I hate you," growled Della. She picked up her bag, obviously carrying all her possessions in the world, and headed for the door.
"Where do you think you're going?" yelled Donald.
"I'm going to Uncle Scrooge's, duh!" cried Della. "I'm going to see my sons!"
"If you think I was thrilled to see you, Uncle Scrooge will be worse, you know!"
"Whatever, I don't care. He knows I have rights. So do you, otherwise you'd be trying to stop me."
"I'll stop you, watch me!" Donald scrambled to his feet and ran towards his sister, only to face a slammed door.
Cursing under his breath, Donald kicked the leg of a chair. Just when life was looking like it was going up, Della had to come and—He didn't believe her for a second. She said she changed, but she still acted like the same stubborn, whiny, shallow Della he had always known. Donald reached into his pocket, making sure that the ring was still there—he wouldn't have held it above Della to snitch it from him.
Why does she have to ruin everything? Donald thought to himself, making his way to the phone. Uncle Scrooge deserved to be warned that the irritating menace was about to crash his life, too.