Disclaimer: All of Disney's characters belong to them and not to me…even though I would take SUCH good care of them really! So anyways I am receiving no money for my stories, only feedback and the satisfaction of getting these plots out of my head at long last so please review if you are so inclined and enjoy, your friend Irual
Lucidia sighed fondly as she surveyed her brother's sleeping form. He should be fine now especially since Clyde had evidently decided to leash in Monoculo's more…melodramatic tendencies for a bit. The large avian had just left to finish his own dinner and had already agreed to check on Monoculo later today.
After the drama in the kitchen level a few days ago, Morgana and her little group had settled fairly quietly into the routine of the castle, more or less. And as they had settled in Monoculo had become more and more tense until last night. Morgana had finally sat down and really talked with him and they had agreed to forgive each other which was definitely a step in the right direction for both of them. Of course, what Monoculo didn't know was that Drake; not Lucidia had been instrumental in convincing Morgana to give her father, as well as the old Monster who looked after the clan; her forgiveness for his idiocy back in Second month.
Lucidia had to admit that that young male was full of surprises…he had grasped the distinctions between the two roles Monoculo played in Morgana's life and had actually displayed a fine grasp of the subtleties for both of them as he had coaxed her to his way of thinking. And even though the normal-born duck had understandable doubts and fears about the clan Drake was still open-minded enough to keep on with his lessons in Monster Realm etiquette and history as well as learning about the role that would be expected of him by the clan once he and Morgana were officially bonded.
All by itself, that had won him quite a bit of support from the more neutral members of the clan but it was his unmistakable devotion to his loved ones that had silenced the rest of his critics in the family. He was by no means comfortable with the Monster-ish parts of the castle or Morgana's culture but that hadn't stopped him from leaping head first into the castle's activities especially when Gosalyn or Honker had been involved in the activity.
Gosalyn was bold, daring and enthused as long as her Daddy or Morgana was close by and it was during one of her swimming lessons in the moat with Sigmund that Monoculo had tipped his hand and initiated a sort of cease fire between Drake and Monoculo. Gosalyn had been happily swimming with Honker while Drake had been trying to avoid being used as a swim toy for the baby leviathan and Sigmund's eagerly swishing tail had caused a large amount of water to surge and slosh sweeping the ducklings into the currents in the middle of the moat.
Gosalyn had reacted well and she and Honker had moved with the currents and called for help as they were tumbled in the water, Sigmund had realized that something was wrong and turned with Drake in his mouth to go to the children but before Drake could do more than wiggle out of Sigmund's hold and dive for the ducklings while the leviathan calmed the currents and begin trying to swim them to safety; Monoculo had used a levitation spell to pull them all back to shore. Drake's gratitude at this had been as uncomfortable as it had been sincere and that had only been the beginning of the surprises the Normals had given the clan.
Of course the fact that Drake and Gosalyn had turned a senior council member and master craft-mage into an obsessed fashion designer and clothier was actually pretty surprising all on its own. But even though Mintaka had put on a convincing show of irritation at the way those two in particular were hard on their clothes; he hadn't fooled Lucidia or the Kindred. The rest of the clan certainly suspected something more than Mintaka showed them, but out of respect and the understanding that teasing the craft-mage was bound to result in embarrassment if he decided to get his revenge through his hobbies everyone else was at least going along with his act for now.
And Lucidia had to admit the amusement factor involved this whole situation had made dealing with her mate's absent-minded and preoccupied need to design and make clothes for them worthwhile. Drake, Launchpad, and Morgana hadn't been too keen on playing dress up or in being dress dummies for Mintaka but they hadn't really dared to object. Gosalyn and Honker on the other hand had been surprisingly tolerant of this activity which had been something of a shock for Drake until he had discovered that Gosalyn had agreed to behave in an exemplary fashion in exchange for crime fighting accessories and the overhauling of their costumes. Drake had spluttered for quite a while after finding this out; and from Kaa and Raa's reactions Lucidia was under the impression that Drake was actually a bit envious of his daughter's negotiating prowess.
What he didn't know was, Mintaka had already decided to look over their other clothes and the meddlesome busybody in him had been itching for an excuse to butt right in and put his own improvements on their clothes especially their crime fighting costumes since he was fascinated by the fact that they assumed different identities to do so. Kaa and Grimm were in fact already placing bets as to how far Drake would accommodate the craft mage once they returned to St. Canard. And Mossie, very privately had confessed that she was under the impression that Grimm was not so secretly delighted by the idea of leaping out of the shadows and pouncing on evil-doers with his chosen once Drake and Morgana were formally bonded.
And despite the fact that they were going to be quite intimately involved with Morgana and her little family for longer than Lucidia and her familiars had anticipated, and most likely they were going to have to establish themselves in the St. Canard area; she couldn't really muster any resentment or regret about it, although she was going to put her foot down if the males tried to disregard common sense and safety in their tom foolery. After all, even without crime fighting, accidents happened and the last thing anyone wanted was for something drastic to happen to any of their loved ones and besides, it was going to be interesting living out among the Normals no matter what happened.
Lucidia had to shake her head at that thought, Mintaka in particular was very eager for this; particularly since he had agreed to live with Lucidia full time again and they were planning on trying for another pregnancy. At that thought, Lucidia's feathers fluffed and her skin flushed with anticipation and all three of her familiars snickered.
The master craft-mage on the other hand was full of different contemplations at the moment…. Teasing Drake by acting as though Gosalyn's ideas and improvements to her other clothes was something 'extra' that had been decided on was proving to be far more fun than Mintaka could resist. And as an added bonus, it gave him leverage to get them all to hold still and behave while he got the fittings and such done. And given how active they were and how much fate and destiny seemed to love picking on them, it was likely wise to get as much done as possible while they were relatively safe here at the castle.
Mintaka was in fact highly excited by the challenge they represented and hadn't had this much fun in years…he was even working on the clothes for the wedding ceremony in November although he was still keeping those a secret until he was ready to begin the final fittings. Not being suicidal or stupid though, he had consulted with Lucidia about the general shapes and fabrics Morgana would likely chose so that she wouldn't be uncomfortable with his preliminary work.
He had actually planned on revealing his ideas to Morgana during this visit to the castle but Drake and Gosalyn had pretty much decimated their good clothes. Replacing those and repairing Launchpad's, Honker's and Morgana's outfits so they would be properly dressed for the bonding they were to attend this Saturday had taken most of the last three days so he wasn't going to hold his breath about getting back around to his extra little hobby's anytime before Morgana and the others left for Duckburg again.
Monoculo stirred slightly in his sleep and Geier moved to snuggle next to his chosen as Lucidia tucked a clean, warm comforter around Monoculo and his familiar before leaving a warm potion under the tea cozy beside the bed. It was high time she stopped woolgathering and got Mintaka settled…he needed rest and they weren't scheduled to leave Castle Macabre for over a week. Technically they could stay even after Drake and the others went home on the 25th but…until the formal ceremony Lucidia and Mintaka had agreed to stick close to the children at least until they were settled into their bond and living in the same household.
Besides, they needed to look around the area and decide where they wanted to establish themselves, Morgana had already shyly asked about merging her manor house with Drake's once their honeymoon was organized. And after looking into the energy cost and processes, Lucidia and Mintaka had decided to do the same thing.
They were going to have to purchase a Normal house and then add one of their Monster residences to it, but the process would work the same way no matter how they blended things, and although Lucidia had doubts about just how controlled the results were going to be, she privately admitted that she was looking forward to this…almost as much as Envy and Spite. Kaa and Raa chuckled again and sent several naughty images to their mistress; she on the other hand ignored them and continued on her way down the hall towards Mintaka's work room fully on her dignity so as not to blush in case she saw anyone in the hallway.
Mossie chuckled out loud at that, but since she was waiting just outside the room Mintaka had turned into a work room her amusement didn't disturb Monoculo or Geier. Instead Grimm perked up his ears and announced to Mintaka, 'Lucidia is pleased and she is headed this way. If you want to keep her that way I'd stop trying to fix that seam and be ready to go with her.'
Rolling luxuriously and relaxing into his thick, plush rug that was covering a truly huge stuffed sack that was serving as a very comfy resting spot; Grimm snickered at the instant of panic from his chosen. If what Mintaka had been doing had really been too intricate to pause, or if he had been engaged in any of the spell aspects then Grimm would have run interference for his mage, but this way he got to enjoy things which was even better. The mischief-maker in him was still snickering as Mintaka jumped up and tucked the formal dress he had been working on behind a screen and rushed himself and Grimm to the door.
This particular surprise was something he was determined to hide until it was finished, as far as he knew Lucidia didn't suspect a thing and he wanted to keep it that way. Grimm grumbled a bit just for show as he and Mintaka stepped with more haste than dignity into the hall just as Lucidia showed up.
Negaduck sighed as he glared at his reflection in the mirror over the sink. He hated having to practice his Negaduck side, it felt weird having to try and act angry and violent now instead of just being able to let loose with his anger. But he had a handle on what he wanted to show Drake tonight and if the do-gooder threw him off balance emotionally then Dirk was afraid that he would lose focus and they couldn't waste anymore time. Negaduck and Darkwing were going to face off tonight and hopefully at some point in the confrontation Darkwing was going to get a clue that was obvious enough to trigger his investigative and busy-boding tendencies. Dirk faintly wished he could be a bit more direct with Drake, but…at least for now that just wasn't practical for either of them. Once the situation in the criminal side of St. Canard stabilized, and Drake was safely married and he had time to show Drake that he wasn't going to harm their family; maybe that would change; for now though this was going to have to do.
Muscovy was waiting in the living room, checking her weapons and tools before setting off on her assignment. Because of the protections built into her necklace, that were to safeguard her and his other loved ones; Negaduck had decided to trust her with the next part of his plan to get closer to Drake. She was going to have to acquire the vial of poison he wanted to have Bushroot analyze and figure out a counter agent for from Darkwing's lair while the hero's were busy since that one was the only sample that Dirk had been able to uncover anywhere within the city limits.
All the ones S.H.U.S.H. had gotten a hold of had disappeared along with quite a few of their support personnel and neither Dirk nor Negaduck had the time or energy to track down every lead that might find them. It had certainly proven to be frustrating though, no other government or private agency had records of the vials now that the pipeline for them seemed to have dried up.
Satisfied with his expression as he mustered annoyance and irritation to cover his nerves, Negaduck checked his own weapons and tools before stepping out into the living room. His eyes warmed a little as he looked at Muscovy with approval, she was calm, professional and clearly eager as she glanced up and stood at a sort of parade rest for his okay to leave. She was fit and healthy again and it was all he could do to keep his mind on business until he felt the Spell Chains they wore reacting and settled his feathers taking his eyes off the sight of her tail.
Becoming all business he said in a brisk tone, "You know what your objective is and you remember your toxic protocols right?"
At her affirmative nod he continued, "Quackerjack has been too quiet lately, watch out for anything unusual just in case he's on one of his 'crime' sprees and once you have the stuff…take it to the research greenhouse and tell Bushroot what I said. He won't give you any trouble once you give him the pass code."
She nodded and to his surprise and delight she molded herself against him and purred, "I'll have everything taken care of and be waiting for your signal if you need backup."
Casting her eyes downward slightly so she wouldn't appear to be questioning his leadership she added, "Be careful and remember…Drake and Darkwing aren't our only adversaries out there."
Grinning as his hormones kicked in Negaduck chuckled cruelly as he pressed his lips against her beak and crushed her against him to add, "No they aren't, but they are the most fun. If you don't hear from me by the time the moon sets then make your way back here and we'll compare…notes among other things."
Blushing a little in spite of herself at the warmth of his tone and the look in his eyes before Negaduck replaced Dirk in his eyes and released her, Muscovy nodded and moved quietly to the elevator to go to the underground area where Negaduck kept his motorcycle. He had spent a lot of time working out his frustrations over the past few weeks building a custom motorcycle for her that matched both her working clothes and the Troublemaker and as much as she preferred to ride astride her Mallard's bike and keep an eye out for his enemies; this was the night her transport was making it's debut.
Carefully closing the upper hatch to the tower behind her, Muscovy crept toward her black, red and yellow motorcycle feeling as though she was moving in a bucket of syrup. This had definitely been more of a challenge than she had thought, but she had achieved not just Negaduck's objective but one of her goals tonight as well. Her necklace was still tingling but she was actually feeling much better after her recent confrontation…even though it had been completely out of the blue. Finding out that the enigmatic crime fighter Darkwing Duck had his crime fighting lair in the towers of the Audubon Bay bridge had been quite a surprise, but that was nothing compared to the shock she had gotten once she had ridden up the suspension cable and arrived at the top of the tower.
After using her spider rig to drop on a line down into the tower Muscovy had taken careful note of the high tech gadgets and other paraphernalia around the lair. The entire area was only dimly lit since Darkwing and his sidekick were out, hopefully encountering Negaduck; but Muscovy was careful to check for heat signatures and other telltales just in case someone else was around.
She had disengaged the outer alarms and timed her exit properly and now that her bypass was back in her pocket the only physical evidence of her break-in was possibly a scratch on the edge of the motorcycle hatch where the bypass had been attached. Negaduck's instructions had been specific and she had been careful to follow them to the letter, avoiding the grid of laser sensors and the other electronics to get directly to the small safe that Negaduck had seen his twin put the vial he wanted into.
After using her ear-bug and lock picks to open the old fashioned combination lock and bypassing the voice code and the secondary security on the safe she had swiftly tucked the vial into the rubber gloves she had been wearing and then into the sealed container Negaduck had given her before taking off her re-breather and adjusting her night vision goggles to show her the way past the lasers and back out the hatch.
Unfortunately, Negaduck's briefing had been quite specific and Muscovy hadn't dared to look around much or touch anything else, but his Intel on his brother's hideout had neglected to mention the inscribed gold circle on the floor just to the side of the area under the motorcycle access hatch. Dirk had shown her images in the compact to prepare her for this caper as well as drawing her rough sketches to guide her and she had known that this area usually housed Darkwing's motorcycle The Ratcatcher as well as the jet plane that sat silently in the dim light of the moon with it's wings folded in their upright position to save space.
She had stepped around and over the lasers on her way back to the hatch she had used to break in and once she had reattached the spider line she had thought that she was home free. But she had swung to the left a little to avoid the wingtip of the plane as the wench had hoisted her up and one of the extra metal clips like the one that she had used to close the containment bag that now held the vial Negaduck wanted had fallen onto the bill shaped fuselage of the Thunderquack and bounced into the circle inscribed on the floor that until now had remained unnoticed and inert.
This had had an immediate reaction since the circle had suddenly lit up like something out of a Hollywoodland movie script and the hatch in the top of the tower had swung shut stopping the line from retracting and pulling her the rest of the way out. Then almost before Muscovy could adjust her goggles to allow her to see past the glare of the light now emanating from the floor, a tall, menacing figure in a dark cloak that obscured her face but not her curvaceous feminine figure had stepped regally out of the circle. And after picking up the metal clip from its place in the glowing circle this mystery person had stood staring at the intruder she had apprehended for nearly a minute before speaking to her prisoner.
Earlier that evening Morgana had arrived at 537 Avian Way to stay with Gosalyn and Honker while Launchpad and Dark went out to reacquaint themselves with the city and see what had been going on while they had all been busy with Fenton and Gandra's wedding in Duckburg and at Castle Macabre for the last two weeks. Technically, Darkwing and Launchpad were still on medical leave along with the rest of the Justice Ducks but Morgana had recognized the signs of impatience in Dark and knew it would be pointless to try and stop him from at least getting a little scouting in tonight.
Morgana smiled fondly as she watched her Dark scurry around the house excitedly after dinner while Gosalyn and her Kin pouted. He had tried, he really had; and having to unravel the proof that Scrooge McDuck had needed to clear his name of the smuggling charges he had been facing had occupied her darling Honey Whumpus somewhat.
But he really needed the activity and excitement of having the city to protect to keep his energy levels up and his mind engaged and being sidelined for nearly six weeks had been hard on him in more ways than one. Once they were bonded it would be much easier to ensure his physical health kept up with his energy output but…until then; his need to be daring and face danger was going to keep draining him. Squeek was still cuddling on his neck until Drake shrugged into his jacket and carefully but absently placed Squeek on Gosalyn's head as she stood glaring dramatically at her Dad.
Despite Gosalyn's best efforts however, Drake had been firm in his refusal to allow Quiverwing and Bolt to accompany them until after October 1st. Gosalyn wasn't one to give up easily and she had been quite vocal in her objections to this idea. Cleo and Feri clearly wanted to help their chosen, but after Launchpad had tripped over Cleo; Morgana had gotten Archie to overrule them and they were currently pouting on the stair rail.
Gosalyn said as logically as possible, "but DAD! You and Launchpad are supposed to be on medical leave until then too and you are going out."
Ignoring his offspring and her Kin as he absently patted Honker's head feathers and moved to kiss Morgana before seating himself in the spinning chair beside the waiting Launchpad, the now fully costumed Darkwing glared at Gosalyn to answer her in an irritated tone saying. "Yes Gosalyn, we are going out and YOU are staying here and finishing your Math and English assignments and that's final!"
Morgana had moved to defuse the tension between Gosalyn and her father by returning Dark's kiss and then putting a gentle, warning hand on Gosalyn's shoulder to say, "Be careful Dark darling, I'm sure that Gosalyn understands how important keeping up with her Normal studies is. We'll be waiting for you when you return and I'll be eager to hear of your adventures my dark hero of the night."
Darkwing's chest puffed out proudly in response to her sultry tone and smiled at his little family before saying excitedly, "Don't worry Morgana, none of the criminal element will dare try and best the Mighty Masked Mallard tonight. Come on LP let's get Dangerous!"
In response Launchpad said, "Right-o DW" and punched the head of the statue of Basil the Great Mouse Detective that activated the spinning chairs and they disappeared in a blurred whirl. Unhappily Gosalyn had stomped off to her room grumbling about the unfairness of it all while Honker had gratefully settled down to finish another of his college course papers.
The young male duckling was glad that Gos had been overruled tonight. He was hoping to stay a bit ahead of his assignments since he knew that Gos was going to need some prodding to keep her mind on her homework and getting her back in the habit of actually doing her assignments was a great idea as far as he was concerned.
After Darkwing and Launchpad had left Morgana had a moment's compassion for her disappointed little girl who was clearly feeling the pinch of wounded pride and more than a little fear at the thought of her father's fighting criminals without her and offered, "Gosalyn dear, finish your mathematics and writing assignments and come on into the kitchen…I have a surprise for you. Honker, you and Fenrick come down with Gosalyn."
Smiling to herself as she heard them both say, "Keen Gear! And Yes Morgana" she went into the kitchen to whip up a batch of shrinking potion. Gosalyn was sure to like becoming tiny and Eek was sure to keep the duration short enough to keep them out of too much mischief.
A couple of hours later Morgana had just gotten her charges settled down for a nap after they had worked off their excitement at being shrunk to the size of about two inches tall when Archie, Eek and Squeek had alerted her to a disturbance at the lair. Checking in her compact she saw that the wards had activated and trapped a female masked duck that was dangling from a rope in the middle of the air above the shielding circle she had finished empowering with Lucidia and Mintaka's help the night before last.
Morgana's Spell Chain tingled and her eyes widened as Eek observed, 'she is wearing a piece of Dirk's Spell Chain Morgana.'
Quietly Squeek added, 'She is his chosen mate, and there is purpose to her actions and…no malice.'
Archie promptly scuttled over to his mistress as Eek and Squeek fluttered over with a floor length, dark purple, hooded cloak the same color as Darkwing's cape and fastened it around her throat while Archie adjusted the hood to conceal and protect her face.Morgana sighed, Dark was going to have an absolute fit when he heard about this, but since it was her magical wards that had caught the intruder, it was her responsibility to see to this situation until Dark came home.
Arriving in the ward and surveying the female in the dramatic and revealing outfit for a moment, Morgana readied her physical defenses and lowered the hood of her cloak so that this female could see her face as she stepped out of the circle. Muscovy paled as the glowing light faded to the same level as the moonlight coming in from outside and she felt something wrap itself invisibly around her limbs keeping her from using her weapons as she recognized her captor.
Muscovy knew she was in trouble, Morgana Macabre was nobodies fool and at least as protective of her loved ones as Darkwing was and she had been caught red-handed as it were so Morgana's words surprised her uninvited guest. Calmly Morgana gestured and her two bat shaped familiars landed quietly on Muscovy and began pulling and prodding at the neckline of her costume ignoring Muscovy's protests and ineffectual wiggling until they exposed her necklace to the moonlight and then returned to their mistress.
Morgana moved the collar of her dress and exposed her own neck adornment before saying, "I think we need to talk…apparently we have a lot in common. I am Drake's as you are Dirk's, what are you doing here?"
Darkwing Duck was BACK! Speeding along on the Ratcatcher with a cool breeze coursing through his feathers and making his cape billow out behind him Drake couldn't resist the huge grin on his beak that threatened to split his face in two as he regaled Launchpad with comments.
Tolerantly Launchpad let DW's monolog roll off him as they continued on through downtown St. Canard and approached the warehouse district by the docks. They had actually apprehended a mugger and broken up a street fight between the Nine's and the Seven's earlier in the evening. And Darkwing was beside himself with pride over the fact that the gangs had scattered rather than face him when he had driven dramatically into the middle of their groups and leaped onto the apparent leaders, felling them with his patented Double Flip, Boom Boom, Web Kick.
They had just left the patrol car behind that had come in response to the ruckus when to Darkwing's surprise, his cell phone went off and the tune wasn't any that he remembered programming into it either. As Cowboy Casanova sounded loudly from inside his jacket Launchpad sat up straight and looked alarmed as the motorcycle continued down a dock with no one driving since Darkwing had slowed to almost an idle and was currently trying to get his cell phone out of his jacket without regard for the fact that he really needed to steer.
Grabbing helpfully at the handlebars to keep them from going too close to the edge of the pier Launchpad listened as Darkwing finally got his phone out and pressed the answer key saying, "Negaduck, how did you did you program this tune into my phone? I had you listed under something else and…."
Negaduck's laughter was unmistakable and remarkably cheerful as he answered, "Drake sometimes I am glad you're such a namby-pamby do-gooder even though it would be downright embarrassing if anyone found out were are related let alone identical twins. I'm afraid you wouldn't last long at all on the criminal side of things with the way you get so easily distracted. I'm still listed the other way too, I didn't want to mess with the setting's S.H.U.S.H. knows about after all, but…. If it wasn't for the fact that you're a hero and all you might not last anyway."
His laughter faded to nothing as Negaduck continued solemnly, "Speaking of being easily distracted hero, meet me at the top of the main water tower on the eastern side of the harbor and don't be late! I have my reputation to uphold after all and you won't like what I will have to do to enhance my position on the public enemy list if I'm not fighting with St. Canard's shadowy protector. You have twenty minutes Dip-wing. And be sure your loopy sidekick stays with your motorcycle or I'll scrap it understand?"
His exuberant mood now gone, Darkwing revved up the Ratcatcher and sped off to the water tower muttering to himself about kill-joy brothers as his Spell Chain tingled unhelpfully.
Looking worriedly at his best friend, Launchpad waited his chance and as they came upon the water tower he asked, "What do you want me to do DW?"
Looking grim Darkwing answered as they pulled over and he parked the motorcycle near Negaduck's and gestured to the ladder leading up the tower, "For now we'll play things his way…I'll see what he wants and then we'll make plans. You had better stay alert though LP, and stay down. I don't trust him when he's Negaduck. He's still dangerous even when he's trying to be my brother; and as Negaduck, he won't hesitate to do what he thinks he has to and I don't want to take any chances with him or you."
There was a slow clapping noise following this statement as Negaduck moved into the light from the streetlamp mounted beside the ladder leading up to the top of the water tower.
He applauded for a few more claps before saying in a sarcastic tone, "Very good Dip-wing! I am impressed."
As Darkwing spun around to face his adversary and pulled out his gas gun, Launchpad saw Negaduck pull a menacing looking weapon from inside his yellow jacket and point it directly at them. Unlike his usual handguns or chainsaws, this was a lot more sci-fi looking because even though the handgrip was a standard looking piece, the muzzle of the thing was actually wider than a gun barrel would be. And it had several levers and switches that wouldn't ordinarily be found on a gun, as well as the fact that it made a high pitched whine as a laser site pinpointed the center of Darkwing's chest.
Ignoring Launchpad for the moment, Negaduck gestured slightly with his weapon and said, "Unless you want me to demonstrate my new play toy on your sidekick, put your gas gun away, put your hands up and get over here. I want you ahead of me when we go up the ladder…there's a great view of the waterfront from up there."
Taking a deep breath and looking carefully at Dirk/Negaduck Darkwing nodded and said sarcastically, "Why Negsy, I didn't know you were a romantic…. I can't wait to check out this view of yours; I've been wanting to take Morgana somewhere quiet and secluded for some private time."
Stifling a grin and firmly fixing a scowl in it's place Negaduck gestured with his weapon as Darkwing calmly tucked his gas gun back into the depths of his costume. Keeping his hands raised, Darkwing moved to the ladder and started upwards.
Just as he got to the top Negaduck spoke again saying, "Don't try anything clever Darkwing…just step off the ladder and give me room to come up or I'll fire on your buddy down there just to spite you."
Sensing his twin's tension Darkwing decided to play it cool and stepped back as Negaduck stepped onto the roof. As soon as both mallards were on the top of the water tower, Negaduck sprang into action by spinning around and firing his strange weapon at his twin who leaped out of the way and dove to try and wrestle the grip from Negaduck. The gun-like thing had fired a bright ray of light that sent out a distinctive flash that blinded Darkwing but the yellow jacket clad mallard had been expecting this and closed his eyes to preserve his night vision.
Chuckling as he avoided Darkwing's flailing around, Negaduck flipped a switch in the side of the handle before firing at his heroic twin at point blank range. Even so, Darkwing actually avoided most of the sticky spray that now coated one side of his purple jacket and danced aside as he tried to trip Negs. Unfortunately for them both Negaduck was getting a bit overconfident and the sleeve and side of Darkwing's jacket that was covered in the sticky adhesive wound its way around Negaduck and glued them together in a panting tangle as they struggled teetering at the edge of the top of the water tower.
As they strained to pull themselves apart from each other, they only succeeded in getting more and more stuck together and neither duck realized that they were getting closer and closer to the edge of the roof since they were spinning and struggling while trying to keep each other's hands in view. True to his credo of 'every hero needs a sidekick' Launchpad had seen the flash from the weapon a few seconds earlier and climbed up to help Darkwing; just in case of course…not that he wanted DW or Negaduck to think he was less than confident in his soul brother or anything…. As it turned out, it was a very good thing for them both that he did since he arrived just in time to grab the struggling mallard's by the backs of their jackets and haul them away from a nasty fall.
At first Launchpad wondered what had happened to tangle the fiercely wiggling avians together especially since they weren't using their usual Quack Fu or even hurling insults at each other. But before he could ask, and just as he pulled them towards the center of the roof and relative safety, Darkwing's gas gun went off and both brothers gasped trying to hold their breath as the sleeping gas cartridge loaded in the top of the cue of the ammo dispenser discharged. Working together out of necessity, the two mallards stumbled out of the small cloud of gas and fell gasping for air near the center of the roof.
Darkwing groused, "Great! Just Great! Why is it that every time we are close together something like THIS happens? "
Negaduck was equally irritated and started to retort when his wrist cufflinks hit another toggle on his multipurpose gun and thoroughly drenched the front of both ducks in a dark florescent dye and a second coating of glue. By now they were so stuck that there was going to be no hope of getting loose and keeping their feathers intact unless they used something to wash themselves apart and Negaduck wasn't going to go through all this without getting Drake to see what he wanted him to know; this being the case, he decided on a plan.
Choking on the fumes, all three birds staggered back and Darkwing managed to gasp out. "Launchpad! Get back before you get stuck too."
While Launchpad tried to use his scarf to shield his hands and pull on their jackets in an attempt to use his extra strength to help them free themselves, Dirk Mallard grabbed Drake tightly and demanded, "Never mind the peanut gallery. I'm NOT going through all this without showing you what I need you to see…So shut your beak and come over here!"
Dragging Darkwing back towards the edge of the roof he gave up trying to free his hands from his twin or the butt of his weapon and said, "Alright…I want you to take a good close look at the edge of the waterfront district just past where the Old Haunt is."
Squinting dramatically Darkwing observed, "Well, IF I could get to my binoculars or my clue finder lens then MAYBE I could see. But since Morg is the one with the nocturnal ancestors all I can see is bits of the streets around the lighted windows and the few streetlights that haven't been broken. So what exactly am I supposed to be observing?"
Sighing for patience Negaduck groused, "I know that you knob! Why else do you think I put the halogen lantern in my multi-gun?"
Twisting their hands he pointed the barrel of the multi-gun just above one of the warehouse complexes and waited while tiny figures moved in the shadows around the area. Negaduck flashed his lantern in a short series of bursts and waited before signaling again and a few minutes later, while Darkwing and Launchpad were just making headway in getting DW out of half of his costume jacket Negaduck gestured with their entwined hands saying, "That's what I want you to see, Quick…get out your night vision goggles."
Not waiting for Darkwing to do so, Dirk used his own hands to try and pull the goggles out of Darkwing's jacket and Darkwing nearly fell as he wheezed and giggled as Negaduck ruthlessly rummaged in his jacket.
He gasped, "Stop please! I can't stand it."
And Launchpad reached past them both to place Darkwing's goggles on his best friend's eyes and then he grabbed for Negaduck's wrists. Negaduck almost lost his temper at being manhandled but Darkwing was peering intently down at the street which was what Negaduck had wanted.
Darkwing sounded even more angry than Negaduck usually did as he suddenly he stiffened and growled with outrage saying. "Let him go LP"
Surprised both Negaduck and Launchpad stared at Darkwing who ignored them to bodily drag Negaduck and a now fairly sticky Launchpad toward the center of the water tower and pulled the release valve of the outlet pipe. Both of the shorter ducks felt distinctive tingling from their Spell Chains as the three of them were drenched from head to toe with warm water. But Darkwing was in such a hurry that he didn't even wait for the valve to shut completely before he rushed for the edge of the roof and fired his grappling hook attachment at one of the billboards across the street to swing down to the Ratcatcher.
He and Negaduck fell toward the alleyway and because they were soaking wet, and gravity was very insistent Negaduck was forced to cling embarrassingly to Darkwing as the glue finally gave way. The florescent dye on their clothes shone in the light from the bottom of the billboard and Darkwing's primal shriek did absolutely nothing to put the factor of surprise on the side of the masked ducks either. They plummeted from the rooftop and the grappling hook slid off the metal rail it had hung on but Darkwing didn't care.
He was totally focused on getting to his enemies and stopping them and as long as he was going in the right direction he gave no thoughts to caution or consequences; not until Negaduck pulled Darkwing's hat over his eyes to distract him and swung them onto a convenient ledge before firing his handgun at the gang of criminals Darkwing had been going to leap down on. As the criminals in question realized they were discovered and under attack they reacted to this with all the subtlety of a train wreck in slow motion.
The terrified and angry figure of Dr. Sarah Bellum who had been being manhandled into the back of a closed van took this opportunity to kick her assailants in the shins and run for the other side of the street. Unfortunately she was handicapped in her escape attempt by the fact that her wrists were tied together with plastic restraints and the rather sturdy figure of Hammerhead Hannigan was still keeping a firm grip on her lab coat as he returned Negaduck's fire.
Hoof and Mouth lost their own hand weapons as the two ducks began to concentrate their fire. Negaduck's bullets hit the van's tires and Darkwing's sleep gas and sneezing powder cartridges were causing the people in the van no end of difficulty. In desperation Hoof, Mouth and Hammerhead dropped Sarah and abandoned the van to the masked ducks thus fulfilling the adage of he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.
Finally separated from his sticky twin predicament, Darkwing wasted no time in cutting Dr. Bellum free and looking in the van for any more hostages. Launchpad arrived on the Ratcatcher, driving backwards; and by the time Darkwing had tied up the hapless weasel who had been behind the wheel of the van and gotten Launchpad and Sarah straightened out Negaduck had disappeared. Leaving behind only a smudged envelope tucked in Darkwing's jacket that he didn't find until First Agent Grizzlikof arrived with Director Hooter and a full task force to escort Dr. Bellum back to a safe house to be medically cleared and debriefed on this attempted kidnapping and gather evidence from the van and the area.
More than a little confused, Launchpad asked, "I don't get it DW, why would Negaduck want you to rescue Dr. Bellum and since when do Hammerhead and his cronies kidnap top level government scientists?"
Grimly thinking back to the first time he had tangled with that trio Darkwing replied, "they've done it before LP. Professor Waddlemire was a top government scientist, the real question is who are they trying to kidnap people for? And more importantly how can we stop whatever their scheme is before anyone else gets hurt."
Director Hooter said, "Congratulations my boy. No need to be concerned, Saving Dr. Bellum certainly takes priority over apprehending Negaduck. It certainly was fortunate that the two of you happened to be engaged nearby and you were able to swoop in to the rescue. Don't you agree First Agent Grizzlikof?"
Doubtfully Griz started to agree even though he suspected that Darkwing was as confused as they were but Dr. Bellum chose that moment to let out a groan of frustration and pain and Griz moved to offer her his massive forearm to lean on while the EMT's moved in to administer emergency treatment and take her to the Secure hospital. Director Hooter started to say something else to the uncharacteristically mussed and tousled Darkwing but he paused as Darkwing finished reading the note he had taken from the inside of what was left of his costume jacket and mounted the Ratcatcher with Launchpad now settled into his usual place in the sidecar.
Darkwing looked grim and said quietly, "this is just the beginning Director, be careful and watch yourselves…I'll get to the bottom of this a quickly as I can but until we get some more Intel Negaduck's leads are my best bet."
Startled Director Hooter asked, "You'll do what you think best of course, and I certainly can't fault your past results…but starting with Negaduck? Are you sure about this?"
Darkwing grinned and answered, "Negaduck isn't going to let anyone else take over HIS home territory…he wanted me to see this and get involved, the least I can do is oblige him. St. Canard is my home too and even though I have been a bit distracted by everything these past few weeks…it's definitely time to Get Dangerous!"
Shaking his head slightly Director Hooter said, "Very well Darkwing. I'll start the formal investigation paperwork in the morning naming this an official case for you to look into for S.H.U.S.H.. Get some sleep and start tomorrow, I'll expect you to keep us fully informed."
With that the gathered forces of S.H.U.S.H. scattered to do their jobs while Darkwing headed for the tower lair. Between his bedraggled clothes and filthy feathers he needed to get clean before he could hope to do any snooping around and besides, he wanted to check up on Morg and the kids before he had to explain what happened.
I was going to end this plot here and the next one is called 'Through Rose Colored Glass' and features Bushroot and continues the mystery of the criminal underground shakeup and works parts of Velvet Ties and F.O.W.L. into the plotline. I actually adore Drake Mallard and the romance between him, Darkwing and Morgana but this next fic is actually my most Darkwing centric one so far. Although I am open to suggestions and requests and I am debating touching on some of the more personal side of the heroic equation in this plot I am not entirely sure yet where this next plot is going.
A word of warning though, I am not going to work on this one until I get more if not all of Grounding Elmo posted and several chapters of Kings & Pawns finished and posted since those two plots happen during Trials & Tribulations and I want to catch my plotline up to date.
Having said that though I need to know if this is a satisfactory place to end this plot, keeping in mind that 'Through Rose Colored Glass' picks up the plotline from this story and I DO plan on getting to this ASAP. Please PM or E mail me and review if you can since I live for feedback and need to know what you all like and want me to address.
I Do actually have the Wedding sort of plotted and I AM going to get back to the Muddlefoot's too I promise since I have a tentative timeline and several major events already worked out. these will most likely take a total of 14 stories to complete at this time and I am working on Numbers 8 and 9. Which are Grounding Elmo and Kings and Pawns; but unless I get some specific request or someone point's out a way to improve this plot by adding anything more here I believe this one is FINALLY done! Thank you for reading and reviewing, your friend, Irual