Disclaimer: Disney owns all their characters, all the originals belong to me. However I do not have permission to use Disney's property so I am doing this for writing practice, fun and feedback only so please review generously.
This story starts right about when Commitment Commencement chapters 11 & 12 are happening and continues from there. The Party in the Park holds little appeal for Quackerjack so he is doing his own thing, especially since Negaduck has promised dire consequences to anyone who interferes with his plot. Also this story does imply some adult situations but it's nothing graphic and all between consenting adults.
This fan fiction follows the continuity of my plots. I doubt you have to read the others to follow this one, but I DO hope that this is a good read and that anyone who starts with this one will be interested in reading the others. Also just to be clear, my timeline happens beginning in February of 2008 but the characters are the same as they were on the cartoon. Gosalyn is now 10 since her birthday happened in Hexes & Vexes, Honker is 10 since his birthday happened in the cartoon while Drake/Darkwing is 25, Launchpad is 30 and Morgana is 26. Most if not all of the episodes have already happened but I am updating the technology and the worldview some to fit the times. Thank you your friend Irual.
It was after sunrise and the Old Haunt would be quieting down for the day soon anyway so it was about time to go to ground. Quackerjack was very disturbed, even for him. He was trying to shake off his depression and, though he would never admit it; fear. He had been living with these feelings for the past few weeks trying to recover from having been possessed and enslaved by a dark adept back in mid May, and while he WAS better than he had been, he was nowhere near his old maniacal, plaything oriented self.
One thing the experience had done for him was to remind him that there WERE actually more things in life than just destroying Wiffleboy and the modern electronics that had contributed to his toy companies demise. Honestly though he wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, what with the uncomfortable emotions he was having to deal with.
Leaving the Old Haunt behind, he drove his ducky car deeper into the bad side of town. Since his vehicle was shaped like a giant rubber ducky, people recognized it and swiftly got out of its way. Now usually Quackerjack considered this reaction to be a design bonus but he was uncharacteristically out of sorts and spoiling for a fight so having all those potential victims running off before he could unleash his weapon-like toys on them just made him grumpier. Keeping his goal firmly in mind, he managed to ignore his impulse to chase the rough gang that dodged away down an alley and pulled up to a nondescript building that looked abandoned and partially demolished.
Hopping out of the vehicle he absently set the alarm with his key fob and the answering 'Honk' from the ducky-mobile as the alarm set did draw an absent smile from the duck but this lightening of his mood swiftly passed. Stomping inside he didn't bother to try and turn on any lights, this particular place was very nearly falling down already and having been abandoned long before Quackerjack had taken residence meant there weren't any working utilities.
Quackerjack had made a few improvements to the building to make it more useful to him though. He had destroyed the interior upper floors and cleared most of the resulting rubble. There was some faint daylight coming in from the grimy windows in the walls and the various holes that time and small explosions had made in the walls so he could find his way easily enough and the lack of amenities meant that even street people tended to leave this dangerous derelict building alone. This added to the value of this place for Quackerjack. Having to chase off squatters WOULD have been useful as a way to work off some frustration but he didn't want to waste time on petty annoyances. The real reason he had come here though was tucked with surprising care under what was left of the main stairway that had gone up into the building.
This protected alcove was where he had hidden a very special stash of loot; even though he trusted the gang members of the Fearsome Five most of the time he had never confided to any of them about this…this was personal. Quackerjack knew perfectly well what the others in the gang thought of his work and his obsession, but Michael had more than one reason for this little toy box of treasures.
Wiping his hands on his jester outfit and carefully opening the battered toy box that was revealed when he moved a decrepit set of paint covered tarps; he dodged several sets of his wind up teeth that leaped out at him and swiftly grabbed his clown doll and switched off the attack function before it could hit him with it's axe. Absently he patted the teeth that were bouncing around like puppies and muttered "good boys" before scattering a few dental hygiene biscuits on the floor for them and reaching inside the box.
Carefully he lifted out a zoetrope and one of his sets of magic lantern slides, the viewer for the pictures was still in the box but he wasn't here for these items today. A fairly large padded box came out next and if anyone had chanced on Quackerjack at that moment, the tender expression on his face would have definitely thrown them for a loop. Of course anyone who had the misfortune of disturbing Quackerjack with his secrets most likely wouldn't have time to be that amazed, they would be too busy running for their life but that was a moot point since he was quite alone in the dilapidated building.
Returning the antique entertainment devices to the toy box and their protective more modern toy guards; Quackerjack tucked the box under his arm and drove away towards the river. West of the slums and the teeming criminal activity of the Old Haunt and it's neighborhood there were several streets of shops and buildings with functions that weren't obvious unless you already had some knowledge of the area.
After driving along one of these streets for a few blocks, there appeared a large, well kept building that took up nearly a city block all on its own. From the street nothing distinguished it from the rest of the city or the neighborhood other than its well kept façade of plain brick and the fact that there was only one visible opening in the wall facing the street on this side. There was a raised multilevel parking garage next door where he left his ducky mobile in the care of the attendants who clearly were used to the unusual vehicle and made no comments.
It was towards the doorway inset into the wall that Quackerjack went ignoring the fact the door was closed. With an uncharacteristic respect Quackerjack set his precious box down and flipped over the red velvet ropes that crisscrossed in front of the solid black door in the brick wall facing the street. Pulling on the ends of his jester hat causing the bells to jingle faintly Quackerjack picked up his package and lifted a hand to pound on the door, but it swung open before his hand could touch it.
Confidently Quackerjack strode into the room beyond the door as if he owned the place only to be stopped short by two identical black bears, wearing their usual custom tailored Parisian suits. The dark grey color of the suits fabric contrasted well with the sky blue shirts and steel grey ties that completed their day look but what actually brought Quackerjack to a halt was the pistol being held to the head of the Quackypatch doll in front of him.
Quackerjack HAD started to ignore this, after all it wasn't one of HIS, but this wasn't one of those horrible mass made ones either. In fact, it was a red haired, green eyed, duck billed, girl doll and aside from her collector's status hair and eyes, she was wearing an original Xavier designer playsuit! Sudden recognition struck Quackerjack as he realized he DID know this doll and he relaxed in as non-threatening a way as he could. If Lewis and Clark wanted too they could make his life even more miserable than Negaduck and that was saying something!
Lewis and Clark weren't stupid, they needed to assess Quackerjack and make certain what rules he was going to follow. Lady Velvet had guests nearly all the time and it was their responsibility to ensure that everyone within her walls played well together and with someone like Quackerjack it was ALWAYS smart to make sure.
Quackerjack for his part was a little offended at this treatment until Lewis spoke to him while pulling him roughly further into the hall and trapping him in an alcove by the door. Lewis growled, "Alright Quackerjack, here's how we play this game…. You answer us truthfully and no one gets hurt."
His brother Clark continued to menace the doll as he added, "Otherwise it will get messy." and Quackerjack actually paled as the bear tucked the gun back into the holster set for a cross draw and pulled out a black permanent marker and started to deface the doll's jumper.
Carefully setting his box down Quackerjack offered, "Let's not be hasty fellows, I can play nice. Lady Velvet won't be in the mood to play if something happens to her Tabitha.
He began divesting himself of some of his more lethal toys and hurriedly placed them within the alcove before looking back at the doll in Clark's grip. The marker had paused in its mission to deface the doll and Clark was waiting impassively as the collection of twisted and modified playthings from Quackerjack's costume grew into a truly disturbing mess the alcove.
After putting a set of nesting dolls on top of the pile, Quackerjack looked sideways at Lewis and said. "I don't dare leave all my toys here they will get lonesome; but I promise to obey Lady Velvet and not play with anyone else here unless she says I can. But all the rules are subject to change if Negaduck shows up."
Clark's eyes narrowed but Quackerjack added a bit desperately, "I can't help it fellows, Negaduck makes the rules not me but he knows Lady Velvet too and you KNOW he won't come here unless he's willing to play nice…well as nice as he can anyway."
Lewis nodded, the masked duck in question WAS a loose cannon, but he understood how to work in the underground and he was unlikely to ruin his contacts here without a much better reason than Quackerjack. This being the case, he and Clark traded glances before allowing Quackerjack to continue on into the compound owned and operated by St. Canard's highest ranked female criminal figure, Lady Velvet. Clark DID give Quackerjack's mystery package a leery look, but the costumed duck refused to let him peek.
In fact he was surprisingly dignified as he sniffed and said, "Get your own toys, this is strictly PERSONAL."
The warning gleam in Quackerjack's eyes would have made any lesser person step away from the duck, but Clark simply shrugged and said. "We won't look, but if you are giving it to Lady Velvet it has to pass inspection from Hardnose."
Heaving a put upon sigh, Quackerjack flounced over to a different alcove before pouting, "FINE then Spoilsports! But I get to give the box to Lady Velvet. NOT anyone else!"
Lewis nodded reassuringly as he slid the box through a small opening in the wall before agreeing, "Sure Quackerjack, we know you are one of Lady Velvet's special customers. We are only following orders here."
With an irritated sneer Quackerjack waited with ill grace until his box was returned to him. After carefully inspecting the contents, by peeking secretively under the lid; he hurried away in the direction of Lady Velvet's private salon.
Lewis sighed and made sure that security was informed about their 'guest' while Clark swiftly contacted Lady Velvet before they turned their attention back to the door. First though, they put up a barrier to ensure that no one accidentally messed with Quackerjack's toys. Neither of the bears doubted that the toymaker could call them to him if he chose, but at least this way, anyone stupid enough to actually touch something of Quackerjack's would be doing so at their own risk.
Moving with an eager stride Quackerjack went down a side passage and came out one of the doors into the inner courtyard that was surrounded by the brick façade that encompassed the entire building. Already happier, he scarcely noticed the well kept garden with it's large sculpted fountain or the restaurant dining area that was being prepped on the western side of the complex. Employees were setting the tables with tablecloths and place setting's of fine china and crystal stemware while the podium beside the entrance was put into place.
Hustling across the open pathway with his jester hat jingling he didn't even try to play any tricks on the female duck cleaning the fountain or the landscaping crew raking the plant beds. All the employee's noticed him though and were careful to stay out of his way and not object in any way even if he disturbed their work as he hustled to the back of the courtyard and ran up a set of stairs to a distinctively painted red door.
Suddenly nervous, Quackerjack pulled anxiously on his bells before straightening up to knock politely on the door. The deceptively sturdy, arch shaped panel swung open a few seconds later to reveal a beautiful lady duck in a short red dress. Her bright, golden blond hair was already in a simple Chignon that had sexy tendrils of hair escaping that draped over her shoulder and her medium blue eyes smiled at the colorfully dressed duck on her doorstep.
Her voice was gentle but there was a core of steel to it as she said, "Hello Michael." and stepped aside to give Quackerjack the space to step into her private rooms.
Quackerjack was uncharacteristically nervous and stuttered a little as he replied shyly, "I…I, I missed you Danielle."
Inside, was a cozy sitting room that had comfortable, plush chairs around an intimate little table and there were shelves of board games, puzzles and old fashioned toys set up around the area in easy reach. Across the room was a couch and a low coffee table already set with drinks and a tray of breakfast breads as well as a picnic style basket on the floor beside the sofa.
Silently Quackerjack placed his precious box beside the door and took a single step into the room as the criminal mastermind behind most of St. Canard's information traffic allowed the heavy door to swing shut. She gave him a stern look and went to the couch. Seating herself she waited with the hint of a mysterious smile on her delicate bill while Quackerjack shuffled uneasily after her.
He waited for a second and realized that her expression probably meant he should grovel. He went back to get his box and shyly offered it to her saying, "I saved the first of these from a junk dealer and I've been finding more for the last six months. I restored the smaller ones for you but the tiger is original."
Coyly Lady Velvet allowed him to really see her smile in anticipation of a gift, but it being Quackerjack she WAS cautious enough to ask, "That's very thoughtful of you Quackerjack??"
Michael's bill frowned slightly and he admitted, "Actually this is from ME Michael. I left most of Quackerjack with Lewis and Clark, unless you NEED him?"
Eagerly opening the box and shaking her head No, Danielle said, "Most of the city is occupied with that Party in the Park and I have already dispatched my teams for the day so I think this is a good time for me to have a play date."
At these magic words Michael's eyes lit up with what would ordinarily be the obsessive zeal that spelled disaster for some unfortunate part of St. Canard. But in this case it was Michael Bell who seated himself eagerly on the sofa as the special present he brought for her was revealed.
Danielle cooed, "Oh how SWEET! Michael I LOVE them!"
The grimy case was soon emptied as one by one a small collection of antique tin toys was lined up on the coffee table. They were all circus type toys and the pièce de résistance was the eight inch long tiger bobble-head toy that swiped a paw menacingly at its imaginary audience as its head wobbled on its spring. There were also several clowns on balls and one on a unicycle holding a hoop as well as a pair of 'dancing bears' and a seal in a ruffled collar playing a horn.
Of course unlike modern toys, these didn't contain electronics or gimmicks, and their movements were jerky being spring powered. What made them special was the spark of imagination and the skill in their design and craftsmanship that was still evident in them even after all this time.
Gazing at them admiringly for a moment Lady Velvet went to her desk and typed something into her terminal before shutting the lid on her desk. Turning back to the garishly dressed duck on her sofa she offered, "I have JUST the place to display those Michael. They are WONDERFUL! Thank you, you are one of the few people who understands just how special real playthings like these are."
Her eyes lit with a familiar gleam as she winked and bent to kiss him. Keeping him pressed against the couch she whispered, "It's been far too long since I've had some playtime and you are one of my favorite playmates."
Michael squirmed slightly making room to pull her down onto the sofa as he returned her embrace and asked with more than a hint of lust in his voice, "What do I have to do to move up on your list of favorites?"
Sometime later Michael was contentedly pulling apart a muffin and feeding both of them the pieces while Danielle caressed his shock of red hair. She was wearing his jester hat and its bells jingled quietly in time to her strokes as she hummed to him.
After they finished the muffin, Danielle offered, "Come on over to the table and we'll play a different game for a bit."
He promptly bounced to his feet and offered her a hand up. While she straightened her dress and pulled her hair back into a semblance of its former elegance; he tried to reclaim his headgear but coquettishly she refused to give it back. Instead she went to the shelf and pulled down one of the board games there while the bells on the jester hat jingled enticingly.
She set up the table, making sure to give him plenty of chances to enjoy the view as she bent over the game board and stretched to reach various things like the game pieces and the cards. Settling herself comfortably in the padded chair beside the shelves of toys she gestured to the chair opposite hers and said with a smile, "Now then, I think that in order for you to earn your hat back, we should play for it. If you win you can choose any piece of clothing I have on for yourself and if I win I do the same."
Delighted to see that this was the childhood classic 'Candy lane' and as usual Velvet was making the game even more fun than the manufacturer had envisioned he grinned and added, "How about we add a few side bet's to our little wager? For every red card I get to steal a kiss."
Swiftly agreeing to their house rules and adding other delightful consequences for the other colors on the board Danielle and Michael were soon engaged in an adult version of the game that ended up taking them several hours to complete.
Wistfully Michael admitted, "I'd like to play more often Danielle."
Giving him a last kiss and ushering him into the bathtub she said, "We both have our responsibilities Michael but I always enjoy our fun. You get cleaned up and I'll bring you your clean costume from my closet. I even had the cleaning staff use bubblegum scented fabric softener just for you."
Looking more than a little wistful herself she offered, "You know you are always welcome here and I'll make time for you always."
Sighing he went to the bubble bath she had drawn for him and suddenly a broad smile flitted over his beak as he rescued a regular, cute, rubber ducky from it's fog of bubbles.
She grinned as she heard the telltale 'quack' noise of the ducky being squeezed and turned with an impish smile to flick one of the towels at his tail feathers.
She offered as she shut the door behind her, "Play with the ducky while you get cleaned up Michael and if you insist on improving it take it with you alright? I really DO have to go down to lunch and hear the preliminary reports from my people. If you'd rather stay here and prune up under your feathers instead of having lunch with me in the restaurant…."
Michael scrambled to get in the tub and only had to be reminded twice more before he was climbing into his clean costume and restocking it with his emergency supplies. Lewis and Clark had most of his more obvious playthings, but he was too experienced a criminal to have left everything in the weapons check. After all if something happened he didn't want to be caught unprepared. Even when people agreed on the rules; they didn't always play by them and other than the others in the Fearsome Five, there weren't many people Michael or Quackerjack trusted. It Was true that The Velvet Rope was neutral territory, and Lady Velvet had the clout to enforce her will here in her bailiwick BUT…there was no sense taking unnecessary chances.
Hurrying out to the other room he smiled as he saw that Lady Velvet's staff had not only cleaned up their game and the leftovers. They had also installed a custom display with a vintage circus poster and several OLD paper dioramas of circus acts and culture that set off the tin toys beautifully. He paused to admire the restored paint and lovingly rubbed tin of the clowns he had refurbished and to notice that someone had even fashioned three wooden rings for the toys to perform in as well as replicating a tent-like atmosphere with canvas and what looked like an elephant's headdress emblazoned with the slogan 'greatest show on the planet.'
Hurrying down the stairs he felt better than he had in weeks! HE was the one who had saved those toys and brought them to a new and better home. He adjusted his costume and went to the restaurant area where Lady Velvet was waiting. She had cleaned up and was once again her usual elegant self in an off the shoulder dress of a different, slightly more cranberry shade of red than the one he had so enjoyed getting her out of.
Cart-wheeling his way past the podium and the wait staff he landed precisely in an oversized chair beside the oversized table where Lady Velvet was currently reading a report. Almost absently she nodded to herself and then turned her attention entirely to her guest.
Quackerjack WAS one of her favorites but he was notoriously volatile and his attention span was about what you'd expect of an impatient child. That being the case, it was in her best interests to make sure he was content. Even with the Party in the Park event there would be other guests to accommodate and business to see to. From about mid afternoon until the wee hours of the morning were her peak hours and an unoccupied or discontented Quackerjack was a recipe for disaster that she wanted to avoid. He HAD been Michael for most of the afternoon but now that he was in public and in costume he had his reputation to uphold.
The head waiter brought out the special divided plastic dishes and lidded cups and curly straws that Quackerjack favored when he was in a playful mood and offered him the menu. It was written in oversized letters, in crayon and in a rainbow of colors but the fare was every bit as five star and adult as the regular one. One of the reasons that the Velvet Rope was so successful was that Lady Velvet understood how to personalize experiences for her guests and made sure her staff followed through with every detail. After the lunched on a large T bone steak with baked potato and all the trimmings she waited to see what he wanted to do next. Usually he left fairly quickly after one of their play dates but he had been very subdued and quiet and Danielle was worried.
Quietly she offered, "I have to take care of some business but you are welcome to stay for the evening if you like. I should be done before dawn and a handsome escort like you doesn't come around every day."
He absently toyed with the remainder of his desert before looking deeply into her eyes and saying with his usual charismatic and slightly creepy laugh, "HA! It wouldn't be as much fun if I did Lady. But…I'd be honored to play with you tonight. I'll even make sure my panda wears his bowtie and that all my toys are wearing their formal clothes."
With that he dashed off to make his preparations while the waiters all relaxed visibly at his departure.
Steelbeak was FINALLY feeling like his usual self again. He had spent the last couple of months in S.H.U.S.H. custody after running afoul of a deranged Dark Adept back in May. His burns had been healed with the help of a strange female bear the thought of whom STILL made his feathers fluff and now he was back to his old handsome self and ready to reclaim his place in St. Canard's criminal underworld.
Once again he carefully checked his appearance and self consciously straightened his tie before checking his hand guns and brass knuckles. He had healed without even a scar or discolored feather to show for his months of pain but he was far from comfortable with what had happened even now. But, F.O.W.L. high command knew he was physically healed at last and had contacted him last week about his upcoming transfer to the ultra security super prison and so he had made good on his escape before being inconveniently incarcerated within it's very specialized walls.
High Command could have arranged for him to 'escape' even that prison with enough planning, but Steelbeak had understood the warning he had been given and escaped from the medical bay before hand so as to please his bosses with his efficiency. He straightened to his full height and snorted through his distinctive proboscis as he ran a polishing cloth over it and reflected that forcing him to escape S.H.U.S.H.'s tender care had most likely been a test to ensure he was still useful as well.
Ignoring the chills that ran down his spine at the thought of what would likely happen to him if he ever failed one such 'test' he went downstairs from the posh residence he had under his civilian name on the thirteenth floor of Canard Tower. His rented limo would be arriving downstairs in just a few minutes to take him to the Velvet Rope for dinner. Hopefully he could renew some of his contacts there as well since he was still woefully out of touch.
As Chanticleer Capon strode gracefully out the door and tipped the doorman while getting into the car, he transformed fully into Steelbeak, top agent of this quadrant for F.O.W.L.; and it was a darned good thing for him that he did. Waiting for him in the limo was one of the family's local operatives; a weasel named Sniffer.
Quietly the information specialist continued to catch Steelbeak upon the local crime scene and the current crop of rumors from the street. Steelbeak had met the weasel in the Tale of the Golden Idol bar yesterday but because of Steelbeak's being sidelined for so long, and because of the fairly radical and unexpected changes in the local scene; it was taking longer than usual for him to catch up.
F.O.W.L. High Command wouldn't tolerate excuses or inefficiency, they never WERE patient after all. But especially after being driven from St. Canard back in May, they were particularly touchy about this area now and it behooved him as the top agent in the area to be prepared.
Arriving at the Velvet Rope he stepped up to the entrance and the black door opened to reveal Lewis and Clark Lady Velvet's chief security experts. They were too professional to say anything directly to the rooster and their search of his person was as through and competent as he remembered, but Clark nodded to him and Lewis slipped him an engraved reservation card for one of the private lounges before turning their attention to back to the door.
Moving with most of his old grace and panache Steelbeak went into the courtyard and nodded to some of the staff as he went towards the back of the compound. He showed the reservation card to the formally dressed pair of guards in front of a set of double doors. Neither guard said anything but one of them opened the left-hand door for him and returned to his station. Meanwhile, his partner quietly directed an expensively dressed and very drunken matron hen towards the restaurant area and her escort who hurried to help her back to the less exclusive part of the courtyard.
As the rooster went into the hallway beyond Steelbeak noticed that the dancers who were entertaining the guests seemed to be particularly tense as the hen returned to the group by the fountain but for the life of him he didn't understand why. Shrugging off the minor mystery he continued on into the depths of the building and after glancing at the card again to be sure; he opened a very solid mahogany door on the right-hand side of the hall and entered the room beyond.
Waiting in the lounge was Lady velvet herself. The lady was impeccably dressed as usual but what brought Steelbeak to a halt was that her elegant coiffure was being gently caressed by none other than Quackerjack dressed in his usual colorful costume with the addition of a brightly colored rainbow tie and vest. The notorious villain was actually being very careful in his attentions so as not to muss her hair too much and Steelbeak almost backed out at the cold glare the duck leveled at the interruption.
Steelbeak froze half way though his bow, as Lady velvet stroked Quackerjack's lower bill and whispered something in his ear. The costumed duck moved reluctantly away from Velvet and giving the rooster another warning glare he stomped past the agent and out into the hall. Smiling at Steelbeak, Velvet gestured to the small table and comfortable chair setting beside the elegant sofa.
Offering him a smile she said, "Agent Steelbeak, I thought it appropriate to welcome you personally since you have been absent for so long. My staff is fully prepared to accommodate you and I wanted to assure you that your membership here is still in good standing in spite of your…shall we say unfortunate difficulties and the company you have kept of late."
Candy Lane is a parody of Candy Land the child's board game and the greatest show on the planet is a tribute to the famous and awesome circus Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey circus. The tin toys I described were actually on an antique show on television and gave me the idea for some really OLD toys that would be of great interest to someone as interested in toys as Quackerjack and Lady Velvet are. I hope this first chapter is interesting and that people want to hear more of these characters and I will try and post more of this story before February. If not then hopefully before Valentines and thanks as always for reading this, your friend Irual