Disclaimer: This story takes place after my fan fiction called Commitment Commencement. It starts immediately after that one and I DO have a word of warning for all readers, this plot does deal with child abuse and sexual predators.
I am NOT an expert by any means and I am not judging anything but if you are under the age of sixteen or whatever age you should be to comfortably read about this sort of content then please DO NOT read this. If you e mail me I can give you a synopsis of the plot so you can follow the continuity of my storyline.
My e mail is irual Comcast. net without the spaces or send me a private message through this website. If all goes as planned this will be the most graphic chapter and the rest of the story will be intense in different ways. I will also be putting a brief summary of the plot of this story at the beginning of each subsequent chapter so people can skip the parts they don't want to read and still read the rest.
Also, I will NOT be mentioning graphic sexual details; but the subject IS a touchy one so I thought an extra warning to be appropriate. The idea for this plot was inspired by my good friend and beta Opus-J and I thank him for his feedback and contributions. Please read and review and let me know if you have suggestions on how best to rate this or if I exceed the T+ rating and I'll move this to the M section or change it some other way. Thank you, your friend Irual.
Drake Mallard was not a patient duck, not when it came to dancing to someone else's tune anyway. He knew they owed old Scrooge McDuck; at least enough to be courteous and even more importantly Launchpad loved and missed the people here in Duckburg. He also knew that being the richest duck in the world meant that there were a lot of demands on Scrooge's time, but enough was enough. After all, he DID have an entire city to protect and waiting around had never been one of the things Drake Mallard or Darkwing did well.
The Mallard's had been invited to spend a couple of days here at Scrooge's estate after they had all returned home from the joint campout for the troop of Jr. Woodchucks from St. Canard and the troop from Duckburg and honestly Drake hadn't seen any reason to object. Gosalyn and Honker had run afoul of a vicious patch of poison-oak and had spent nearly a week bathed in a home brewed remedy that Morgana Macabre had made.
This treatment had resulted in their recovery from the resulting rash taking only about half the time it ordinarily would have and this had peeked Gyro Gearloose's interest considerably. He had asked Morgana if she minded letting him analyze a sample of the potion and Webbigail had seized the chance to beg them all to come for a short visit.
Webbigail Vanderquack had really taken a shine to Gosalyn and had begged shamelessly for the chance to be with the girl duckling from St. Canard where as she put it, 'In a place where we don't have to fight off the plants'.
Knowing this, and since old McDuck had not so subtly hinted that he wanted to talk privately to both Darkwing and Drake Mallard at the fundraiser last Thursday…. Drake had agreed to stay here at Mr. McDuck's home for the weekend after the fundraiser but Drake had to admit that the vast estate was more than a little intimidating, and as badly as he hated to admit it so was Scrooge McDuck.
Granted, most of the intimidation was unintentional. Scrooge had been very genuine and welcoming when they'd arrived and he had seemed truly upset when he'd left….That was still no excuse for leaving so abruptly, Drake thought as he rallied his temper and tried to be reasonable.
At breakfast Scrooge had acted as though he wanted to talk right away, until Duckworth had given him his mail and messages. Then the billionaire had rushed from the room only saying that he wanted to get together with Drake later this afternoon and to make themselves at home here on the estate until he called for Drake. According to Launchpad, Scrooge spent almost every waking moment dealing with his various interests around the globe but his excuse of having to attend an unexpected video conference wasn't sitting too well with his now uneasy house guest.
The extremely wealthy duck had been at the fundraiser dinner for the St. Canard orphanage Thursday night and had been very forthright in his support of both the cause the funds were being raised for and Darkwing's becoming a much more positive publicly known figure. That, combined with the unanticipated enthusiasm Darkwing had had to deal with at the party in the park; had really thrown Drake off his usual cool, calm, deductive thought patterns.
Drake WAS glad he had managed to get into his much more comfortable Darkwing mode for a few hours and get in some of the research he had wanted to in order to try and figure out who was behind changing his public image and reputation. Unfortunately though his research hadn't been very productive as far as figuring out what was really happening. Admittedly this didn't seem to be a BAD thing, not so far anyway; but since nether he nor S.H.U.S.H. had been behind it Drake felt his concerns were entirely justified. Unfortunately, Darkwing hadn't made a lot of progress in solving that mystery, but at least the Drake Mallard side of his life was going well for a change.
He smiled a little as he glanced at the engagement ring on his finger, for once Morgana wasn't upset with him, Launchpad was having a great time hobnobbing with Gyro and Gosalyn was having a blast playing with all the wonderful toys and other delights Scrooge had around. Admittedly, she was at least as much a threat to Scrooge's antiques and collections as any other natural disaster, but so far she hadn't broken anything and she'd been running around with the triplets and Webbigail for at least two hours now.
Smiling fondly at the thought of Gosalyn and wanting to check on her, Drake went out onto the balcony and watched his little darling as she challenged Huey to a race across the long side of the pool. Dewy and Louie had already been soundly trounced and since little Webby was the judge she was all for another race.
Drake felt a familiar swell of pride as Gosalyn managed to tie Huey even though this was her third race in just a few minutes, but his over protective father side was starting to get a little worried that she might be overdoing it. Before he could call down to the children though and get Gosalyn and the others to take a break; Webbigail's grandma Mrs. Beakley, who also acted as a kind of combination nanny and housekeeper for the triplets beat him to it.
Drake had to admire her technique, Mrs. Beakley didn't bother to let the children get started with any of their usual mischief. Instead she ushered them into the kitchen after wrapping them all in towels; with the promise of an early lunch and some of her homemade pound cake which was due to come out of the oven any minute and at that even Gosalyn stopped trying to protest about leaving the pool.
Watching how well Mrs. Beakley shepherded her charges made Drake a twinge envious of her skill before his more practical side kicked in. After all, he had only been a parent for just over a year and Gos was an active sturdy ten year old not a toddler so it was only natural that he still had a few insecurities.
Making a mental note to try and observe Mrs. Beakley's techniques and hopefully take some notes before they left if he could; Drake turned to go inside. He mentally chided himself as he realized that he'd been lax since he'd come here as far as paying attention to the staff. Drake had to catch himself to keep his reactions ordinary as he encountered Duckworth standing just inside the doors leading inside the bedroom he'd been offered for the weekend.
The usually unflappable butler's eyes were kindly in spite of the cautious tone in his voice as he stepped back slightly and offered, "Mr. Scrooge was quite insistent Mr. Mallard, I have arranged a coffee tray for you and Mrs. Beakley has prepared a light luncheon to be served in the small dining room. Mr. Scrooge sends his apologies, but this meeting is quite urgent and completely unexpected…."
Without saying anything about his frustration at being put off Drake forced himself to relax and smile at Duckworth. It wasn't the butler's fault and it wouldn't be right to take his frustrations out on someone who was just doing his job. "Thank you Duckworth, listen…we don't want to be any trouble for you and Mrs. Beakley. I know Gos is a handful…."
Duckworth actually looked slightly offended at this and Drake verbally slithered to a confused halt as the butler quietly informed him, "The comfort and well being of Mr. McDuck's guests is MY business sir and I assure you the young lady is no more trouble than the triplets."
Drake apologized uncomfortably, "I didn't mean to upset you Duckworth, we aren't used to all this and I don't want Gosalyn to take unfair advantage of you and Mrs. Beakley…."
Duckworth's smile turned suspiciously warmer than before as he answered, "It's quite alright Mr. Mallard. A person has to get up pretty early in the morning to pull the wool over Mrs. Beakley's eyes and I must admit, in confidence you understand; that I have come to enjoy the challenge involved in working around spirited young people."
Duckworth saw that this reassurance wasn't having quite the effect he had hoped and continued, "The triplets have been in residence here for almost two tears now so any antics they get up to with your charming daughter will be handled with all due haste and care for her wellbeing. I can assure you sir; we take her care as seriously as we do that of the other children."
Drake sighed and gave up trying to warn Duckworth, besides if he was lucky; Gosalyn would be so busy playing outside with Huey, Dewy, Louie and Webbigail that Mr. McDuck's indoor antiques would survive this visit without his having to indenture himself to pay for anything. Deciding it would be best to play the gracious guest until he found out what Scrooge really wanted, Drake went downstairs with Duckworth. Moreover, a fresh pot of coffee was NEVER a bad thing.
He felt a slight twinge of uneasiness but shook it off as part of his irritation at having to wait around in this museum of a house.
Back in St. Canard, Herb Muddlefoot answered his front door and broke into a HUGE smile as he greeted his visitor. "Francis! How are ya, you old squab you?" He demanded good-naturedly.
Irritated, Frank reminded Herb AGAIN, "It's Frank or Franklin now, remember?"
Herb grabbed his older brother in a huge bear hug and without giving him a chance to object further dragged him off the front stoop yelling for the family. "Binkums, Boys your Uncle Francis, I mean Frank is here!"
Binkie swept into the room in her usual blue dress and pearls to smile graciously at Herb's brother and said, "Why hello Franklin. It's just lovely to see you again dear."
Giving Herb a rough embrace to cover his reaction, Frank Muddlefoot drank in the sight of Binkie as she came forward to offer him a gracious hug. Franklin had to be careful, he didn't want to arouse any suspicion in Herb, not that the trusting idiot had a clue of course. But he couldn't resist holding Binkie close for a moment before she called again for the boys.
Both boys came downstairs obedient to their mother's call, but Frank noticed their reluctance and inwardly he frowned. That kind of resistance would have to be crushed before he left. From the looks of Herb, he hadn't been taking care of himself, and it most likely wouldn't take much to trigger an unfortunate physical reaction in the butterball. Thinking this reminded him of his plan and he turned to the front door to gather his luggage and several bags.
Turning to the family he offered Herb a box and several bags to Honker and Francis Jr.. before turning to Binkie with a smile. Speaking warmly he said, "Now I know you didn't expect anything, but this IS a special occasion and I just couldn't resist getting you all a few things. Besides, I have been in France for the past six weeks on a photo shoot and it just made sense to go right to the source so to speak."
Setting his suitcase aside, Frank unzipped the garment bag he had carried and offered it to Binkie standing back to watch them open their gifts. Herb opened the gaily wrapped box in his hands and chuckled warmly saying, "why thank ya brother mine, you know how much I enjoy grilling. These here mitts will come in mighty handy, and lookie here boys; I have me a brand new set of BBQ tools and an apron too! This calls for a celebratory BBQ! And Lookie here! Some of those fancy what you call 'um"?
Forcing himself to laugh heartily Frank suggested, "Marinates?"
Herb nodded eagerly and agreed, "Yep! That's the word Frank." Pleased that he'd remembered to call his brother by the name he preferred, Herb smiled again and saw that his brother had turned his attention away from the BBQ accessories and was looking eagerly at something beside the stairs.
Turning Herb saw that Binkie had removed a lovely new dress from the garment bag. It was a little lighter blue than the dress she was wearing, and cut more like an evening gown than a house dress, there was also a pair of fashionable pumps and a clutch purse in the bag. Binkie looked a little stunned, especially since all these were clearly designer label clothes and she started to object to such extravagant and expensive gifts.
Binkie stuttered, "Franklin, this is very generous but…I don't…."
Franklin smiled and interrupted, "Actually, there is a little more to my surprise. Just you hold on a second now…."
Turning back to Herb he handed his brother an envelope. Surprised, Herb handed the BBQ ensemble and tools back to Franklin and opened the envelope. Inside were reservations at the Astoria Hotel for an overnight stay in a suite for tomorrow as well as lunch and dinner reservations.
Franklin smiled and said, "It IS your 20th anniversary tomorrow after all Herb and since I haven't been able to spend much time with all of you for the last couple of years, I figured that giving you and Binkie the chance to enjoy yourselves was the least I could do. And I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with my nephew's."
Both boys paled at this, but Frank kept Binkie and Herb's attention focused on him as he enthused. "This is a great chance for us to get reacquainted." So nether of them noticed their children's reactions.
Frank smiled warmly and looked beyond Binkie to Honker and young Franklin who were standing frozen as they took in the scene between the adults, their own packages forgotten. He added in a falsely concerned tone, "Don't you boys like your presents?"
Herb and Binkie looked over to their sons in surprise at the tone of Frank's voice and Binkie knelt to look anxiously into Honker's eyes, "What's wrong Honker dear?"
Honker almost begged his mother to stay home but the warning expression in his Uncle's eyes silenced him. Stuttering unhappily he managed to make up an excuse, "It's just that I didn't expect this…."
Honker held up the package and showed his mother the gift in the box. It was a compact electronic reader designed to be a portable way to read electronic books and articles.
Even more nervous now Honker managed to stutter shyly as he stared at the reader in his hands, "Thank you Uncle Frank. It's really more than I expected."
Herb had come over to clap Tank on the shoulder and he gave an appreciative whistle at the sight of Honker's gift and asked, "What about you Tank?"
Tank wordlessly held up his present it was four tickets to a concert and backstage passes for one of the new alternative bands that were now touring the United States. This particular band had been sold out for weeks and both Binkie and Herb were really impressed. There was also one of the bands shirts emblazoned with their newest album cover and a signed poster for Tank's room. Franklin frowned at the mention of his nephew's insulting nickname but he decided to leave that issue for later, he needed to make sure Binkie and Herb went out for his plan to work.
Seeing his Uncle's face galvanized Tank into speaking and he managed, "Thank you Uncle Frank. The guys will be so impressed! The Crushing Gourds are only the hottest alternative band around."
Smiling Frank started to reply but Herb overruled this by pulling his brother bodily towards the backyard patio. Determined to try out the new BBQ marinates and accessories. Speaking proudly Herb informed Frank, "Binkums has made plenty of food to see you and the boys through while we are out Frank. But you really didn't need to go to all this trouble."
Swiftly Frank interrupted, "It's no trouble Herb. I get travel packages in my line of work all the time."
Both boys had disappeared during this exchange and Binkie had gone to put the outfit in her closet so the two brothers were alone for now. This being the case, Frank indulged in his favorite fantasy and imagined having Binkie and his nephews all to himself.
Herb noticed the self satisfied expression on Frank's face as he bustled around readying the grill and putting the new marinates on some of the sweet chili burgers Binkie had mixed up. Smiling Herb offered, "It's good to be with your family isn't it?"
Frank caught himself and replied naturally enough, "Yes indeed Herb. I have been looking forward to this homecoming for quite a while."
Frank sat quietly in the chair on the patio and contemplated the special little vial of powder he had filched from the shipment he'd documented in Cape Suzette. Using this should be just the ticket to set the final part of his plan in motion. Forcing himself to relax he decided to play it cool.
Tomorrow would be time enough to ensure the boys remembered exactly what he expected of them and break down that strange defiance he had sensed. Evidently he had been away much too long, but it wouldn't take long to correct that mistake. The only bad thing was that Binkie was going to have to wait until after his brother was taken care of…but patience WAS a virtue and he'd been patient for twenty years; a few more days or even weeks would make no real difference.
Drake was standing quietly looking out the balcony doors of Scrooge's upstairs library while he waited for the billionaire to come in. They had just come from attending worship services here in Duckburg with Gyro and Scrooge's household. Scrooge had sent the children with Launchpad and Mrs. Beakley to play in the park so they could have some uninterrupted time to talk.
A feeling of uneasiness had been growing on Drake all day but he put it down to the mysterious troubles Scrooge had hinted at but not really said much about until now. Drake knew this kind of unknown mystery was just the sort of thing that set his crime fighting instincts off and the different setting of Duckburg hadn't really affected that.
Taking his cell phone out of his pocket Drake decided to call Morgana and make sure nothing was bothering her while Scrooge got himself organized. Duckworth had come in with a coffee tray and snacks and he refused to leave until he had seen to their comforts.
Scrooge on the other hand was used to working around Duckworth's duties but he clearly didn't want to say anything until they were alone so this was a good time to check in since Scrooge was still getting settled at his desk. Turning away from the room and looking out the window of Scrooge's study he waited while the phone rang.
Morgana Macabre was puttering around in her pantry organizing her potion ingredients and trying to ignore a vague feeling of discontent when a strange tinkling melody penetrated her concentration. Turning in surprise she glanced up as Eek fluttered close and chirped excitedly at her. Dangling from his claws was the black and purple cell phone Dark had given her back in May.
Delighted, she made sure to calm herself before flipping up the cover and speaking into the receiver. She and Dark had been practicing but she still had to be careful not to let her emotions flood over into electronic things. Normal technology was remarkably fragile in some ways but learning to adapt to it was vital since she lived here in the Normal part of the world.
Speaking gently she cooed, "Hello…Dark DARLING! I am glad to hear from you. How are you feeling?"
Drake instantly got a dazed look on his face as Morgana's voice reached him but he replied, "I wanted to check in with you Morg. Gos is fine, she, the triplets and Webbigail are already busy and LP is eating his way through Mrs. Beakley's recipes."
Both of them braced themselves slightly as their Spell Chains reacted to their conversation and fed from their emotions. Eek was currently hanging from the top shelf in the pantry and he hummed with satisfaction as he saw that Morgana's Chain was completely awake and her passive defenses were fully powered up.
Squeek crooned from his place in the sling around her torso. He had entered the mindscape to check on Drake and little Gosalyn while Morgana was distracted. All three familiars had been anxious ever since sunup and Squeek was taking no chances. Looking along his tie to Drake he saw that like Morgana's Spell Chain, Drake's was awake but since he was Normal-born none of the potential defenses showed until they were needed.
Little Gosalyn was also safe and from the looks of her aura, having a wonderful time which was a BIG relief. Her bracelet sparked and flashed but Squeek thought this was just because she was so young and full of spirit undimmed by her past hurts. Being reunited with her sire had done wonders for them both, but Drake's spirit still showed the damages from his past far more than any of them liked.
All three of Morgana's Kin still felt the tug of need from the duckling, and they had even debated taking her on again but…. She really needed her own familiar, divided they wouldn't be nearly as effective and she was far too adventuresome to risk teaching without a Kin.
Besides she deserved far better than feeling as though she was some kind of extra instead of being specially attached to her own Kin. Archie had gone to the oracle pool once Morgana had become engrossed in her organizing. He had been taken by a vision of Sekhmet briefly last night, and the oracle pool was a secure way to contact any Kin….
Honker Muddlefoot huddled miserably in his closet, tears running unnoticed past his beak. Without his glasses everything was just a blur, but unfortunately; not seeing clearly didn't help him as he struggled to ignore the sounds coming from his bedroom.
Harsh banging on the closet door made him jump in fear and wince as his tender hurts objected to his reaction. The pitiful olive drab remains of his shirt dangled from his shoulders as he struggled to stop an almost silent whimper from escaping his bill.
His bruises were coloring through his feathers but he couldn't afford to make his uncle angrier than he was. Tank's muffled shrieks gave testimony to how hair trigger Uncle Frank's temper was. It had been almost two years since he had been forced to deal with this and he'd forced himself to 'forget' just how bad it was.
Honker couldn't really remember what it had been like not to stutter and to act with confidence not unless he was helping the Mallard's. Over the last few months he had dared to dream that having the Mallard's next door would prevent his Uncle from staging another one of his hobby sessions but….
The voice that came through the door was harsh with barely controlled anger as his Uncle Frank spoke to him, "Honker, if you aren't downstairs and ready to pose in the next ten minutes I'll come get you and MAKE you ready UNDERSTAND me you sniveling little weakling!"
Deep inside, Honker's brain unfroze as the courage and self confidence he had learned in the last year with the help of his beloved surrogate family Drake, Gosalyn and Launchpad spawned a desperate plan to escape and find help.
Strangling his guilt over abandoning Tank to the consequences, his self hate at his weakness and fury at being used again; Honker managed to force his voice to work as the closet door opened to show him his brother dangling from his uncle's grip. Tears leaked from Tank's eyes as he sniffed miserably. His shirt was gone and his plumage was too thin to hide the blossoming bruises across his chest.
Frank Muddlefoot started to say something else but Honker went to his knees and begged piteously whispering, "I…please…."
Tank's expression changed and his courage came to the forefront as he started, "Honker…Don't."
Frank choked Tank forcing him to silence. Dropping the older boy unceremoniously beside him, the older man looked Honker over. Taking in the trembling duckling in the closet his expression turned ugly and possessive. The undersized duckling looked even younger than his ten years, submissive and totally broken.
Honker flinched in spite of himself as Frank's hands began roaming again, but Tank's clumsy scrambling as he came to and tried to get out the door distracted the man. He caught Tank by his ankle and grabbed for the leather strap hanging on the doorknob.
Frank called over his shoulder as he dragged Tank down the hall to the sounds of the strap hitting flesh, "Ten minutes Honker, If I have to come back up here I'll use some of my special props for our photo shoot…Tank here has already earned a special session."
Honker paled and nearly fainted but he managed to hold on to consciousness. Scrabbling frenziedly through the remnants of his and Tank's clothes he searched for and finally found the broken remnants of his cell phone. Despair threatened to swallow him entirely, but then he found the slender chance to help them he had prayed for.
Determinedly ignoring what was left of his bed; he borrowed inspiration from his best friend Gosalyn and knotted the sheets around the end of his bed frame. Climbing out the window nearly made him faint all over again as he accidentally hit his sore bottom on the windowsill.
He climbed carefully down the sheets ignoring the stains and smells and made it to the ground. He was almost out of time and without his glasses terribly farsighted but with this he could save them both. Clutching the spare key to the Mallard's house he ran next door and fumbled with the doorknob to the backdoor.
Recklessly he groped with the lock as Frank's voice raised in fury came from his open bedroom window. Honker managed to open the door, but not before he heard Frank hiss in a barely audible voice, "That won't help you, you ungrateful brat, GET back here."
Ignoring this, Honker slammed the backdoor shut behind him and pressed his thumb onto the keypad to reactivate the alarm system and braced himself panting against the kitchen door. His heart nearly stopped as he heard the angry footsteps on the patio and knew that Frank was on the other side of the door.
Dredging up energy as his body produced a huge surge of adrenaline, Honker dashed for the living room. He knew the Mallard's were gone to Duckburg for the weekend and weren't supposed to be back until tomorrow, but he still had a tiny shred of hope to cling to.
Ignoring the sweat and filth that covered his tatty feathers Honker scrambled painfully into one of the secret spinning chairs and punched the head of the statue to send himself to Darkwing tower. If his uncle DID try and break in, the alarm would lock down the chair mechanism as it went off and he could use the communications equipment at the lair to beg for help.
He KNEW he was going to be in trouble, he wasn't supposed to tell, but surely Mr. Mallard would help him. Darkwing was a hero, he helped people almost every night and those terrible thing's that Frank had promised would happen if he told HAD to be lies.
Honker's last coherent thought as the chairs activated and the house alarm siren sounded to the spine chilling accompaniment of a splintered door lock was, Darkwing would save Tank too all he had to do was get Darkwing and they wouldn't have to do this anymore.
Honker shuddered in terror as he fell out of the chair onto the floor of Darkwing Tower. Crawling on his hands and knees he waited nearly comatose with terror and shock praying to anyone that might hear that Mr. Mallard's paranoid security would protect him. His Uncle would be unable to find him, and that Tank would survive until help came.
Frank had commented earlier that Tank was getting too mature to be really attractive and that he'd have to make himself useful by making sure Honker kept the secret of their photo sessions but that was before Honker had made a break for the only safe haven he knew. Tank was in BIG trouble but little did Honker realize that he was in as much danger as Tank, admittedly for different reasons.
He trembled on the cold concrete as his thin, damaged coat of feathers failed to keep him warm. Without clothes he was at the mercy of fate as he lost his battle to crawl to the nearby console and get to a phone. The steady flash of the alarm light that would warn Darkwing of a breach in the security at the house was the last thing he saw as he lost the battle to remain conscious.
Between here and there was the plane that Sekhmet had long used as a safe haven for her litters. Currently she was tending a lucky number as she had seven offspring. Several of them had been showing the distinctive signs of growing independent and two of them had definite inclinations toward disobedience that was almost deliberate, and yet the former Egyptian goddess knew it wasn't…not really.
Soon she would face separation from three of her children, but that was the way of things. She lashed her long leonine tail and yawned showing off her impressive white fangs, pink tongue and deep red gums before stretching her tawny length fore and aft.
The foxy male kit in particular had been showing signs of agitation on and off for days but after his little trip with Grimm, he had seemed to settle down again although he had been relentless in his questions about Normals and why they weren't usually bond-mates. Sekhmet had finally explained to the entire litter that being Normal was not something bad or wrong, in fact most Mage born and Monster kind were descended from Normal stock and could and should breed back into Normal lines to help them survive.
Normals usually were not Sensitive enough to SEE or interact with the other planes or energies and that usually meant that soul kin who bonded with them tended to wait until Normals joined the spirit realm after dying to befriend those souls directly; either that or the Normal decided they were psychic and became some sort of mystic or charlatan. If the soul kin joined a soul after death, it usually meant the person was reborn into a Mage born or Monster line so that the person and their kin could experience a mortal life together, but sometimes that didn't happen either.
Sometimes a soul kin would bond to a soul who needed them even if they weren't versed in the ways of power or powerful and when that happened usually the spirit and the mortal soul were changed forever. This explanation had had the welcome side effect of quieting all the litter and Sekhmet had gotten some much needed rest but now it looked as though her son had gone off on his own.
Her mother's heart beat strong with the need to save him from himself but her experience as a former goddess held her back. Bowing her great head in submission to the creators will she waited humbly for her son to return. If he did and he was changed, then she vowed to still love and guide him. If he was fated not to return then she would remember him with love and honor and be sure the other kits did the same.
Grimm's horrific vision had haunted the space behind her eyelids for days after he had returned the kits to her and crouched trembling at her paws.
In honesty she hadn't blamed him then and didn't now. All children grew and eventually grew up, hers were no different. It had taken her several mating sessions with him afterwards to convince him of the validity of her feelings towards him and the wisdom of his course in showing the kit's a wider world but eventually he had calmed.
Grimm was a fine figure of a cat and a wise, well balanced familiar. Between them they had produced several of this litter and his influence on her state of mind was always positive even as he had suffered his emotional meltdown from his vision.
She calmly kneaded the planar energy beneath her paws and quietly called out to Grimm. If his chosen was safe with his mate then Grimm wouldn't just answer her summons mentally he would come to her physically and right now she needed that physical interaction and so did he. Honesty compelled her to admit that part of her hoped that her son did chose tonight no matter what the outcome.
The sight of the small, naked, yellow feathered duckling lying broken on the asphalt of the suspension bridge after falling to his death had been horrific even before she had tasted Grimm's memories of the child. His bright flashes of spirit had shown that while life had beaten him down it hadn't yet beaten him completely. The vision however said that was changing, particularly if her son, the clever, curious and compassionate little fox spirit didn't find his courage and his bond-mate before it was too late.
Knowing there was nothing else to do just now one way or another, Sekhmet made certain of the safety of the rest of her current litter and then greeted Grim with a warm huff of breath as he arrived. Breathless from his exertions since he had also made his preparations to keep his chosen safe and their responsibilities from interrupting; Grimm was caught off guard by her flash of teeth and rough nipping. All too soon they were carried away by the ancient dance and all thinking was put aside as they followed the steps, which both of them found to be a blessing in more ways than one. The temptation to intervene somehow was too great and the consequences too severe to risk it so distraction was the best they could do.
Delirious from dehydration and exposure, Honker's body struggled to keep him alive. Hypothermia from lying on the cold concrete floor and shock had lowered his core temperature and in pain from his injuries; all Honker wanted was to remain in the bliss of unconsciousness. But in the back of his mind he knew there was something vital he had to do and that subconscious need pushed him towards thought and action in spite of his body's protests.
Crawling mindlessly, Honker moved towards the brightest light he could see even though everything was a dizzy blur and every movement hurt. Mentally he shied away from his hurts and focused on dragging himself to the window which for some reason he had fixated on as the place where the bad things coming for him couldn't get to him.
As Honker moved he didn't notice the gruesome trail he left behind, a mixture of body fluids, broken bits of his plumage and even bits of skin from his damaged palms, skinned feet and knees. Someone else DID know about it though and was racing to the rescue.
The silvery fox kit was following an emotional trail of wreckage similar to the physical one Honker was leaving behind him, as he raced forward and backward trying to decipher the energy signature of his chosen. The scent was unmistakable but it was so weak and flickered dangerously close to going out time after time and this made finding his physical location very difficult. The baby kin refused to let his chosen die alone and broken though and continued onward circling closer and closer to the place in the physical world where his boy was dying.
Okay, now before you all get out the pitchforks and torches and lynch me let me explain. I LOVE the Muddlefoots, their innocent normalcy is an awesome foil for the weirdness that is Drake's life and adventures. But I was asked to write a plot that had 3 components.
1 that it give an explanation as to why a child prodigy like Honker would be so emotionally crippled as to stutter and be so insecure and socially ostracized. 2 that Honker live with the Mallard family for an extended period of time and 3 that I give Honker and by extension his family; a more three dimensional treatment of their characters by having Honker be the main character (or at least one of them).
This is the beginning of that effort and I PROMISE that all will eventually be better for the Muddlefoot's and the rest. REALLY so please refrain from flames of all sorts and be patient. I promise to update this as quickly as I can and to fix as much as I can so that eventually things will be happier for the Muddlefoot's and those who love them.
*Irual now runs and hides typing furiously on the next chapter hoping not to be tarred and feathered*
Also this is minor but, the Crushing Gourds are actually my parody of a real band the Smashing Pumpkins but I am in no way affiliated with them and am referencing them here totally without permission and for no money nor is disrespect intended.