Disclaimer: Darkwing Duck and all related characters belong to Disney.
As he walked to the middle of town, Bushroot found himself creating as much havoc as he possibly could. All with the intention of luring Darkwing Duck straight to him. There were trees blocking roads, giant Venus Flytraps climbing up and into buildings, and vines wrapping around billboards and knocking over lampposts. As he watched one go down, he momentarily wondered how Megavolt would react to that, even though it was only for a brief moment. His main concerns were elsewhere.
Under normal circumstances, Bushroot would have made every possible attempt to not get Darkwing's attention. Any crime committed in his greenhouse would be scientifically motivated, or in a worse case scenario, ordered by Negaduck. And Bushroot would normally have no qualms with helping a villain get away from a scene of a crime. However, he thought bitterly, these were not normal circumstances.
While his plants brought chaos to the streets of St. Canard, his thoughts were back at his greenhouse. He'd returned with some fresh new fertilizer for Spike and his plants that he'd "borrowed" from the local gardening store. Spike wasn't the only one he found inside.
Bushroot caught himself before he delved too much into his thoughts, he was already in a bad mood because of what happened, he wasn't really in any mood to make it worse. In his anger, he ordered a tree to knock down a building, only somewhat satisfied as he watched it crumble. His goal wasn't destruction, and he was doing the city a favor. That building was slated for demolition later on during the week anyway, or so he'd read in the newspaper. No, he just needed something to occupy his thoughts until…
"I am the terror that flaps in the night!"
Perfect timing. Bushroot calmly walked towards the cloud of blue smoke in the middle of the street and waited patiently.
"I am the thunderstorm that floods your vegetable garden!"
Crossing his arms in front of his chest, Bushroot watched the cloud slowly begin to dissipate. When it was gone, there stood the Might Masked Mallard himself, completely unaware of what had transpired a few minutes ago.
"I am Darkwing Duck!"
Darkwing aimed his gas gun menacingly at Bushroot. Instead of attacking, as he normally would have, Bushroot ordered the plants to stop. Slowly, Bushroot's plants shrunk back to their original sizes and retreated. The signs and lampposts that were knocked down were put back in place, and the vines that had wrapped themselves around buildings unwound.
Darkwing stood there with a baffled look on his face. "What's the matter, Bushroot? I show up you call off the troops? No choking me with vines? No smashing me into the ground with a fir tree? No attack of poison ivy?"
Deliberately ignoring Darkwing's questions, Bushroot looked at the digital clock glowing from the convention center. It read 10:05. 'It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your children are?' Bushroot could practically hear The Liquidator say in a taunting manner.
"Where is your fan club, Darkwing?" Bushroot asked offhandedly.
"Excuse me?" Darkwing looked like he was beginning to get annoyed.
"I'm used to you showing up with your mini army. It's usually the tall guy, your sidekick. Oh yes, and that girl. The one with red hair? Doesn't she tend to follow you around? Where is she?"
Darkwing was taken aback. He wasn't expecting that question. Bushroot's curiosity had him slightly worried. His eyes narrowed in suspicion as he watched Bushroot take a few steps in his direction. He raised his gas gun again, pointing it more directly as Bushroot. When he offered Bushroot no information, he spoke again.
"It's amazing how quickly we lose track of people when we're otherwise occupied," Bushroot said. At the mention of the girl, Darkwing's entire demeanor darkened. If it weren't for the purple suit, Bushroot would have sworn his entire greenhouse that he was looking right at Negaduck.
"What did you do?" Darkwing growled.
"I did nothing," he said defensively. He wasn't expecting Darkwing to sound like Negaduck, too.
"Then why bring her up?"
Something about the way he'd said that caused a reaction from Darkwing. He jumped and grabbed Bushroot's arms. "I am only going to ask you one more time. WHAT did you do?"
He pulled his arms from Darkwing's vice like grip, winching when they were finally free. Stealing a sad glance towards the dimly lit greenhouse, Bushroot sighed before turning to Darkwing. "I had to play hero."
He motioned for Darkwing to follow him. Reluctantly, Darkwing followed, his own curiosity piqued.
"You know, I never really understood why you would go around helping people the way you do. But after getting home today, I think I do now."
"Bushroot, what are you talking about?" Darkwing asked. An uncomfortable feeling was beginning to grow in the pit of his stomach as the two stopped at the greenhouse. Without saying anything, Bushroot summoned a large tree. It approached quickly, and Darkwing temporarily feared he was going to become very good friends with the concrete sidewalk he was standing on. He gasped loudly when he noticed the tree's branches held three young boys.
"Despite what it looks like, they aren't dead," Bushroot assured the hero. "They're unconscious. I figured you would prefer them that way. I found them here when I got here earlier. There was someone else with them, though."
"I take it they got away?" Darkwing said sardonically.
Looking upset again, Bushroot shook his head. "She didn't get away. After what they did, I don't think she could have gotten away if she tried."
From inside the greenhouse, Spike came out slowly, a rust colored piece of cloth in his mouth, which he gave to Darkwing. Darkwing examined the cloth carefully. Bushroot just stood there. For a few moments, neither said anything. Then Darkwing suddenly clutched the cloth tightly in his hand, looking ahead at nothing, fear and recognition on his face.
Bushroot pointed a leafy hand to the boys in the tree. "They happened. I don't know much about what happened, but I do know they broke into my greenhouse, and she is very lucky I showed up when I did. Things were starting to look pretty bad when I show up. Another minute or two…"
Darkwing held up the hand not clutching the fabric. "Please. Stop." That was when Bushroot saw it. Darkwing's hand was shaking a lot. And he didn't know whether it was in anger or in fear. Turning to the boys in the tree, Darkwing sent them a glare that would have made Negaduck quiver in fear.
"Don't worry about them right now. They aren't going anywhere. Your daughter needs you more anyway, Darkwing." Bushroot's words snapped Darkwing out of his livid trance. "Spike, you know where she is. Take Darkwing to her."
Spike nudged the vigilante inside. He decided to wait outside. He'd done all he could for the time being. Not to mention he wanted to give Darkwing time to speak with his daughter.
A gentle breeze made the leaves on all the trees rustle. Knowing Darkwing's girl was safe and with her father made some of Bushroot's anger dissipate, but looking at the boys hanging there he almost wanted to seek some form for retribution. He thought about what he'd walked in on.
The girl, who Bushroot knew from experience was not a prissy pansy at all, nor was she a pushover. The tallest member of the group of three, an odd looking cat, was holding her arms behind her back. Despite that, she was fighting and kicking as much as she could, even though her movements seemed more sluggish than was considered normal. The one who appeared to be the leader of the group, a short but muscular duck, was holding a knife. Every time she kicked him, he nicked her. It seemed the harder she kicked, the deeper the cut. The third boy, a chubby dog, just stood back laughing.
The last kick she managed to land made Shorty drop the knife as he doubled over. Stretch retaliated by taking one arm and wrapping it around her neck, choking her. Chubby grabbed the discarded knife, brandishing it in her face. He lifted his arm. For the first time since he'd walked in, Bushroot saw the girl looked scared.
Bushroot had had enough. He ordered a vine to grab Chubby and the knife, along with Stretch. The vines pulled them away from the girl, who collapsed to her knees, gasping for breathe now that her throat was free. The two boys struggled to get free, but the vines holding them knocked their heads together, effectively rendering them unconscious.
Shorty was almost outside and free, but his looking back caused him to run into a table. The glass beakers clanged on the table, alerting Bushroot to his location. A tree branch grabbed him around the waist, pulling him towards his two friends. Not sure what else to do with him, Bushroot had the branch knock him out as well.
Coming out from where he was ordering the plants, Bushroot made his way to the girl. She was rubbing her neck and wincing. Seeing her close up, he could see she was bleeding quite a lot. Grabbing an old lab coat he had hanging from the back of a chair, he began ripping it into smaller pieces to tend to her wounds.
"Thank you," she said unsteadily.
Darkwing came out of the greenhouse, the girl in his arms, looking slightly better. The far away look on Darkwing's face seemed to suggest that his two sides, the father and the superhero, were at odds with one another as to how to proceed. Finally, he cleared his throat. "Bushroot, I…Thank you…for contacting me so quickly." Bushroot nodded. "Keep an eye on those clowns until I get back, would you?"
"Darkwing…" the girl said in a wary voice.
"Yes, I want to take her to a doctor…"
"Darkwing, I'm fine. I don't need a doctor…"
"I would feel much better if you did see…"
The girl- Gosalyn, sighed, but nodded in defeat. "Ok, Dad."
Pleased with his victory, Darkwing flashed Gosalyn a smile. Bushroot had to stifle a chuckle at the duo, not used to dealing with Darkwing's parental side.
"Um, right. So… Bushroot…" Darkwing said, remembering he was standing before one of his arch enemies, and he was fighting with his daughter.
"Your secret is safe with me. I won't use this against you in the future."
Darkwing was taken aback. "Oh. Uh…that wasn't what I was going to ask. Not that I am ungrateful or anything, quite the contrary actually. But…why?"
"Why did I help?" Darkwing nodded. "The only reason the people of this city call me a super villain is because I have super powers. Yes, I use them to commit crimes, that is where the villain part fits in," Bushroot quickly added when Darkwing was about to interrupt, "But even then, there are some crimes I wouldn't commit, with or without super powers. And one of them is walking away from someone who really needed help."
"That's good to know," Darkwing said. He started to make his way back to his motorcycle that he left a few feet away from the greenhouse. As he walked by Bushroot, he looked at the plant-duck mutant. There was a look of respect that Bushroot hadn't seen Darkwing give him before. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." It wasn't just meant for Darkwing, it was meant for Gosalyn, too. He stood there, watching Darkwing and Gosalyn leave. Under normal circumstances, he might have been a super villain, mutant plant-duck, but for the night, as cliché and cheesy as it might have been, he was also a hero.