A/N: …Hi. So I have absolutely no excuse for not updating except for laziness, writers block, and Halloween… Oh wait that's three excuses. Anywho, thanks for your patience. Once I got my rain in gear I really enjoyed writing this chapter, so I hope you enjoy reading it! Yep, yep, yep DWD is not mine and yada yada yada don't sue me yada yada yada. Have fun!
Darkwing beat a hasty retreat, muttering curses. He was extremely angry at how his evening was going. Not only had he wasted a full hour of time just milling around a bunch of his arch enemies, but he also had to endure Herb on top of it all. His bumbling neighbor had made the situation extra hard to work with. After all, any of the villains could have easily used the fat mallard as a bargaining chip if Darkwing had gotten too feisty; forgetting the fact, of course, that the hero had now left the nuisance alone with the villains again. Not to mention, Herb had been especially... himself that night. What hero could work under that kind of torture? He would have liked to seen Gizmoduck, his metal crime-fighting rival from Duckberg, last as long as an hour with those five.
He sighed, frustrated, I'm never going to be able to tell LP about what happened. I guess I'll have to lie- Erm I mean, give a slightly different perspective of the story to him. He nodded and continued to the manhole cover where he had agreed to meet his sidekick. Once he was there, however, he froze in place. The manhole was surrounded by cops. The boys (and girls) in blue were everywhere; making notes, peering into the manhole, pushing some very shady looking men into the back of their cars, simply everywhere.
Now slightly concerned for his friend, Darkwing pushed past two uniformed ducks, who looked like it was their first day on the job, and looked around for his sidekick. He soon saw the tall muscular duck talking to some female police dog. "Launchpad!"
The sidekick turned at the sound of his name and waved cheerfully at Darkwing, beckoning him over. "Hey DW!"
"Hey LP... uh, what's this all about?"
"Well you'll never believe this, but I just helped stop an elusive mob boss and his gang. Apparently these guys were being really slippery and the police couldn't find their hideout. So, while I was looking for that energy surge in the sewers I found," he gestured to the scowling men in the backs of the police cars, "these guys. And the rest is history."
"And what good luck it was that he did," said the female canine beside him. She shook Launchpad's hand, "Thank you for your help Mr. McQuack, we appreciate your dedication to the city."
Darkwing gritted his teeth and clenched his fists at the woman's words, so I patrol the city, work myself to death, sustain heavy injuries and never get any thanks. But suddenly my sidekick goes and busts a mob by accident, and suddenly he's a public hero?
Launchpad noticed the complete meltdown that his friend was about to go into, almost seeing steam come out of the enraged mallard's ears, and quickly waved off the woman's praise, "Aw it was nothing, really. I just got lucky when I stumbled in on them. I really didn't do anything at all."
"In any case thank you," she said as she walked away.
Darkwing, who was still frozen in place by his anger, was snapped out of his dark brooding by the sound of his sidekick's voice.
"Anyway DW I didn't find any super villains in the sewers. How'd you fare?"
The masked mallard's anger deflated and his demeanor became slightly sheepish, "Uh, well I found them..."
"Were they up to anything?"
"Nope, no, not a thing, at least, nothing illegal." he shrugged, "I'm sure if they were planning anything they quickly canceled it knowing that Darkwing Duck was on to them!"
"I'll bet," Launchpad agreed.
Darkwing glanced at his sidekick sharply, looking for any trace of sarcasm, but there was none. There never was. He felt a slight pang of shame at his jealousy earlier, but quickly shook it off like always. "Yep yep yep," he grunted as he swung himself onto the seat of The Ratcatcher, "C'mon LP let's go back and report to Director Hooter ASAP!
"Hey Bushy-Buddy, you got a wrench anywhere?"
Bushroot smiled weakly and shook his head in the negative at the duck across the room, "Nope, sorry Herb." The large door-to-door salesman shrugged and turned back to his fix-it project. In truth, the botanist did own a wrench, but he wasn't about to give it to Herb, who still hadn't figured out that the T.V. had only been unplugged. Of course, it probably wouldn't turn on even if it was plugged in now, thanks to him. He rolled his eyes, that fat duck was the thickest person he had ever met in his life.
The Liquidator was pacing- or to be more correct gliding- back and forth a little ways away from the table that the plant mutant was sitting at. Every now and again Bushroot would see him come up with a plan, rush over to Herb, talk animatedly, have Herb decimate the plan, and come back to his pacing. Other than the Liquidator's activities and Herb's occasional question, the greenhouse was silent. This was because the two loudest members of the Fearsome Five were gone. Yes, gone. Quackerjack had, naturally, gotten bored with waiting around and, dragging his electrical partner in crime with him, had left. The demented jester had assured the Liquidator that he was positive of the canine's failure and therefore didn't want to wait around while said dog... well... failed. Megavolt had no qualms with leaving, as he wanted to get back to his luminaries, but made sure to warn the Liquidator that both he and Quackerjack would want the assurance of Bushroot before they would believe that the watery dog had succeeded to get rid of the annoyance, if he claimed to do so.
The plant manager sighed, he was glad for the peace. Things had been hectic and stressful around his home all day. And to think, all of it started with one huge door-to-door salesman and a wish for someone to talk to. Of course, he thought, I can't count on this peace to last.
Just as he was going to continue with the calculations that he had been working on, he heard Liquidator, who was standing over Herb, say. "Seven out of eight firemen suggest that you shouldn't have those two wires next to each other- Oh! I'm sorry! Polls are closed, there's the fire."
Bushroot shrugged, though he was deathly afraid of it, he knew the Liquidator could handle a tiny fire. So he wasn't going to wor-
"Fire? Fire. FIRE!" Herb shouted, completely panicking and rushing towards the door. He only paused to stuff all of his wares into his large bag, and then booked for the outside as fast as his chubby legs could take him.
"Um... Licky? Did you get it?"
"Sh! Inquiring minds want to know, has he gone?"
"Yep I think so. He was out of here in two seconds. Good jo-"
"Don't worry Bushy-buddy I'm comin' back for ya!" Herb boomed and rushed back into the greenhouse like a SWAT trainee. He ran to the table that Bushroot was sitting at, picked the plant-duck up easily, tucked him under a large arm, and left by crashing unnecessarily through a window. The Liquidator was frozen in place, for a moment completely dumbfounded. Then the canine started to laugh at Herb's show of "heroics" and doused the small fire easily with a wave of his arm.
Outside, Herb was still running. "Herb? HERB! You can stop now!" Bushroot shouted at the duck, annoyed. But still, he was touched that Herb had "come back" for him, even after he had gotten his Quackerware out. No one he could think of, maybe besides the Liquidator, would ever do something that that for him. I guess Herb isn't so bad after all. He mused, though his previous annoyance came back quickly when Herb threw him on the ground and tried to administer CPR. "Ah! Herb, No! I'm fine, I really don't even use my lungs! Back off!" he directed a couple of vines to lift the duck away from him and stood up, looking around.
They were only about halfway down the hill, even after Herb had run full speed, so at least it would not be a problem to get back. He glanced at Herb, who was still lifted about a foot off the ground by his plants, the large duck had his goofy smile back on and was wheezing from his run, "So you oka- okay Bushy-Bud- Buddy?"
"Right as rain," he chuckled at the ridiculous picture of the large panting duck. He told the vines to let him down, which they did gladly, and walked up to him, "Are you okay?"
"Oh yeah, just fine. You think Mr. Liquinator got out?"
"Well, seeing as he is made of water, I think he probably took care of the problem instead."
"You're pro'bly right. Let's go make sure!" Herb then cheerfully began the task of climbing the hill.
Giving in to the inevitable, Bushroot shrugged and followed his nuisance.
Gosalyn was bored out of her mind. There was nothing to do. She changed the channel on the T.V. and flipped over onto her stomach. Her best friend, Honker, sat next to her on the blue couch reading a quantum physics book. She turned to him with a yawn. "Hey Honk, I'm bored."
The young genius looked up from the book and at his best- if not only- friend, "Well Gosalyn I told you not to aim the baseball, hockey puck, football, soccer ball, basketball, croquet ball, tennis ball, and volley ball at that old man's house. He confiscated them all, and he's going to tell your dad about the holes."
"Well he didn't have to be such a grouch about it, sheesh. Anyway, how about we go wait for my dad at the Tower? I bet he'll have a great story to tell when he gets back. Maybe he will have had an epic duel with a zombie, or stopped an alien invasion, c'mon let's go!" She hopped onto one of the large chairs and motioned for Honker to join her.
"No thanks Gosalyn. You know I don't like to ride those chairs, no offense to your dad. Besides, I need to be getting home."
"Aw, okay. See ya Honk!" Gosalyn waved and punched the top of the Basil statue, making the chairs spin. Due to the motion, she was flung into the pipe that led to the Tower.
When the young girl came to a stop in the identical replica of the chair she started in, she hopped up and looked for her dad. He hadn't shown up yet. She sighed and walked around, trying to find something to do. She settled with using one of her father's office chairs as a makeshift skateboard.
Just as she was about to attempt a kick-flip off the Thunderquack, the Ratcatcher pulled into the Tower. "Hey Dad! Hey Launchpad!" she shouted while she hopped off of the chair.
Darkwing climbed off of the motorbike and looked at his daughter sternly as he put up his helmet, "Gosalyn? Where's Honker? Why are you here anyway? I thought we had an understanding about the Tower young lady!"
"Honk had to go home, and come on Dad, lighten up! I was bored." Gosalyn saw that her reasoning wasn't working and switched tactics, "And aren't you glad to see me? Your only and adoring daughter, who was alone with no supervision, and only wanted to see her dad after he had a case?"
Drake rolled his eyes, "Uh-huh, yeah. Good to see you too kiddo, but we are still going to have a talk about this at home. I know your sweet talk too well."
"Bummer. Anyway, what took you? Some great bad guy stuff?"
"No there wasn't anything going on, Launchpad just wanted to stop at Hamburger Hippo before we came home."
Launchpad, who had just finished his fifth hamburger, climbed out of the motorcycle, shrugged, and smiled at Gosalyn, "Sorry Gos, but when a man's gotta eat, a man's gotta eat!"
"Yeah sure whatever Launchpad. So Dad you gonna call Director Hooter or what?"
"Yes I am. LP can you take Gos back home?"
"WHAT! No way Dad, I've already had to miss out on one cool secret agent thing, I don't want to miss another!"
"Nope, nope, nope young lady. This is top secret stuff. Just anyone can't hear what goes on between the Director and his top agents."
"Well that's good then, I can listen because you're not a top agent!"
Launchpad stepped in before an argument started, "Why don't you let her DW. After all, as you said, we really don't have anything to report anyway."
"Weeeell, fine, but you have to stay out of sight with Launchpad. Okay?"
"Keen gear! Fine with me. Thanks Dad!" When she and Launchpad were behind the Ratcatcher, where they could see without being seen, she added, "Thanks Launchpad, this is mondo cool!"
"No problem Gos. Okay be quiet, your Dad is contacting Hooter now."
Gosalyn watched as the screen went fuzzy for a moment. Then a moment more. And yet another moment more. "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon." Darkwing muttered as he banged the keyboard with a fist.
Suddenly, a woman appeared on the large computer, "J. gander Hooter's office who is contacting please?"
"More like who are you! What are you doing in J. Gander's office?" Darkwing asked, pointing an accusatory finger at the woman.
"My job sir." Gosalyn could tell that the poor woman just barely stopped herself from rolling her eyes at the inflamed crime fighter. Instead, she cleared up the misunderstanding, "I am Cairina Quack, Director Hooter's secretary."
"Oh! A-hem, sorry about that."
"It is understandable, Mr.?"
"Darkwing, Darkwing Duck."
"Ah yes Mr. Darkwing. What do you need?"
"Well I wanted to give my report to J. Gander. Is he there?"
"No, and I am not to give his whereabouts to anyone-"
"What? That's preposterous! I the caped crime fighter go out of my way to check out a disturbance for him and then he goes and-"
"Mr. Darkwing," Gosalyn saw the woman's professionalism break down a little as she allowed herself an eye roll, "you did not let me finish. He said I am not to give his whereabouts to anyone except you."
"Yes, 'oh' is right. Now, you can leave a message with me, which I strongly advise, or I can patch you through to his home, which I do not think you should do."
"I thank you for your concern citizen, but I would prefer to give J. Gander the message personally."
"Might I say again that you would be better to leave the message with me."
"Nope. Gander. Now."
"Very well, one moment please. Have a nice day."
Gosalyn snickered at the secretary's relieved face that was visible for the two seconds that it took for her to press a button. The female duck seemed glad that she did not have to deal with the masked mallard anymore. The computer's screen was fuzzy again; Darkwing drummed his fingers against the keyboard impatiently.
When Hooter finally came on the screen it was only his head instead of the usual head and shoulders shot. Gosalyn thought there was something off about the director of S.H.U.S.H, but decided to keep quiet. "Who is it?" he asked in a distracted tone, looking off screen.
"Um, yes J. Gander? It's Darkwing."
That got the director's attention. His head snapped over to look at the masked duck in front of him. Face reddening, Hooter stammered, "O-oh Hello Darkwing! You're back already? G-good."
Gosalyn looked at the adult next to her, "Hey Launchpad, is Director Hooter acting weird? Maybe he's been turned into a zombie!" Launchpad just hushed her so she turned back to the conversation between Darkwing and Hooter. Her dad was spouting something about "checking out the perimeter" and then "finding nothing of alarm in the area" and so Hooter "has nothing to worry about" of course that was natural as the director had "Darkwing Duck the deducing devastator of delinquents" on his side.
Gosalyn rolled her eyes and turned her attention to the recipient of the speech. There was no arguing about it, the old owl was acting strange. Using her vast experience with all things undead, the gosling tried to diagnose J. Gander's problem. Not a zombie bite, he was too coherent. Not vampire, the sun on his end was hitting him in full. Werewolf? No, werewolf bites only make you more irritable. Perhaps an alien mind brainwashing? Yeah that was it! She was just about to share this theory with Launchpad when she realized something, "Launchpad, is the director wearing a shirt?"
At about the same time his daughter realized it, Darkwing did as well, "Uh... J? Are you wearing a shirt?"
"What! Oh of course I'm w-wearing a shirt," he laughed nervously, "why would you say something like that?"
Why would J. lie about what he was, or wasn't, wearing? Darkwing pondered, Let's see, he is flustered, embarrassed, secretive, he was with Dr. Bellum earlier today, went home early, and now he's not wearing a shirt... The caped crusader's eyes widened as he put two and two together, ...oh.
"Well J. Gander that is my report. I think I should be going. You know, never a minutes rest and all that... uh… if you have nothing else to say?"
"No, nothing Darkwing. Thank you, good-bye." the screen turned off instantly.
"Ew DAD! He wasn't wearing a shirt! Old guy body! Gross!" Gosalyn fake gagged as she and Launchpad came out from behind the motorbike.
"Gosalyn, don't insult Director Hooter, or his erm... body," he exchanged a glance with Launchpad and saw that his sidekick had come to the same conclusion he had, "It's time to get back home. You go first Gos. LP and I will come after."
"Kay Dad, see ya on the flip side!" she bolted to the chairs and was soon spun out of sight.
Hero looked at sidekick, unsure of what to say. Finally, Launchpad smiled and said it for him, "How about we never talk about what just happened back there again."
"Ever," Darkwing agreed. He stretched and yawned, it had been a weird day. He looked at his sidekick shrewdly, "Can I trust you and Gos to not blow up the kitchen while I take a nap?"
"Sure DW, I'm getting hungry. So we'll be extra careful not to ruin the food."
"You're crazy LP, you know that? You just ate five hamburgers."
His side kick shrugged as they walked over to the chairs. Just when they had sat down, Launchpad hopped up again, "One sec DW. I just remembered something!" Darkwing watched in curiosity as the large duck ran over to the sidecar and pulled something out of one of one of the compartments. When Launchpad turned around Darkwing saw none other than the Wonder Box he had been forced to purchase in the duck's large hands. "LP where did you get that?"
"This? Well you see, some of those mob members tried to run. Naturally, I helped by chasing one of those goons. After I had tackled one of them, I found this little baby just lying on the ground. Come to think of it, we were about halfway up the hill to Bushroot's greenhouse. You must've been still up there then. Heh, weird. It never occurred to me at the time." He shrugged his muscled shoulders, "I thought it could be useful, it seems durable enough to last a while."
Too dumbfounded for words, Darkwing shrugged and sighed while his friend examined the little pink box happily, and the two followed the young gosling to their home, ready to take a well earned break.
"An' that's when I realized that the darn thing needed batteries!" Herb broke into his obnoxious laughter while Bushroot let out a rather forced chuckle. The two were sitting at one of the tables playing Go Fish, Herb's favorite card game, with the cards that Quackerjack had left behind. The Liquidator was in a puddle resting (Bushroot called it sulking) over next to the formula and had just about given up on getting Herb out. It was Four Fifty-five, and Bushroot had resigned himself to being stuck with the large duck until he chose to leave.
"That's funny Herb. Now it's still your turn."
"Oh okay Bushy-Buddy... Got any sevens?"
"Herb you've asked me that the past three times, and the answer is still no. I don't have any sevens. Go fish."
Herb smiled and took another card from the deck. He was horrible at the game, but for some reason he still enjoyed it. Bushroot was about to ask him for any Jacks that he might have when Herb seemed to remember something, "Hey Bushy-Buddy, do you know what time it is?"
"Research shows that it is five 'till four," came the sullen voice of the Liquidator from the corner.
"Thanks Mr. Liquinator!" the Liquidator growled at that, but Herb did pay any attention to him, "I didn't know it was that late already! I guess time flies when you're having fun 'ey Bushy?"
"Oh yeah it just soars," Bushroot said sarcastically, knowing it would go over the fat mallard's head. However, he realized with awe, he actually had been having fun with Herb, at least for a moment. He heard a rush of water and turned out of his musing to see the Liquidator up and about, a look of intense concentration on his face.
Bushroot turned to what his watery companion was looking at and was shocked to see that Herb was packing up again, he had unpacked after the little fire incident for some reason completely unknown to the two mutants. The fat door-to-door salesman finished putting up his wares and faced the two villains. "Well, it's about time for me ta get goin' home!" he grasped the Liquidator's watery hand as best as he could and gave it a good shake.
Bushroot also put out his own leaf-like appendage and had it pumped up and down painfully as Herb said his good-byes, "Well Bushy-Buddy, taday was very educational. I'm sure you learned plenty of in'tresting things right?"
"Oh yeah, tons. Thanks Herb."
"See? I told'ya that you could use some educational T.V. and comp'ny. Sorry that your T.V. just broke out of tha blue like that though."
"Don't worry about it," Bushroot smiled, feeling a twinge of regret, as the duck picked up his case and walked out the door. Herb really was something. And even though their "friendship" started out rocky, the guy had (forgive the pun) grown on him. Herb was, if you spent enough time around him, a quality duck. Not to mention completely fair with everyone, no matter what they looked like. Bushroot appreciated that quality the most from the annoying, oblivious, bumbling, huge, clumsy duck. He looked out the window and saw that Herb was about a fourth of the way down, and waving back up at the greenhouse. He returned the wave and turned around to where the Liquidator was standing.
"Well, I guess no one wins."
"Ah ah ah! Not necessarily, read all of the recommendations on the prescription before making your final judgement!"
"But- but- but Herb left by himself."
"Ask yourself, 'Who told him the time?', 'Who's turn did he leave on?', 'Who-"
"What are you getting at?"
"Ten out of ten exterminators say that the Liquidator is victorious! Or he is as far as our other competitors know!"
"That won't work. Remember, Megavolt is going to check with me for confirmation," the Liquidator kept staring at him, "Why are you? ...No, no, no. I am not going to lie for you!"
"For this time only, the Liquidator will offer three reasons why it won't be a lie. And wait!" he added when it looked like Bushroot was going to interrupt, "there's more!"
"What is it?"
"The un-be-lievable option of keeping your share after The Liquidator collects his profits! Not only will it allow you to keep up with your greenhouse and all of it's inhabitants like normal, but you will have assisted your favorite watery partner in crime in the process!"
"You're shameless," Bushroot chided the dog, holding back a grin, "but, okay. What are your explanations to put my conscience at ease?"
"Well Reginald Bushroot, come on down! Listen to the reasons that The Great Liquidator has come up with! Reason number one is the irrefutable fact that it was on The Liquidator's turn that the annoyance left! Reason number two is that The Liquidator was the one to point out the time to Herb, therefore causing him to leave! Reason number three," Liquidator cast him a sly look before shrinking, widening his eyes, and drooping his ears, "is the fact that The Liquidator is your favorite watery partner in crime, after all."
"GAH! The puppy dog eyes. It should be illegal for dogs to use that. Dogs made out of water especially."
"The polls show that, should there be a law of that caliber, The Liquidator would break it anyway," the H2O infused canine quipped while drooping his ears slightly more.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have a condition."
"I want half of Quackerjack's share as well."
The ex-salesman straightened out of his puppy dog look and smiled his usual, wide business smile, and stuck out a hand, "The Liquidator agrees to those terms! Now, Deal? Or no Deal?"
"Deal," Bushroot said as he grabbed the watery hand, "So, what'll we tell the other two?"
"Leave that to The Liquidator! The Surgeon General suggests that you just nod and smile while The Liquidator explains."
Bushroot nodded and saw the Liquidator off. He sighed and stood there for a moment before gasping, "My experiment!" and rushing off to tend to it, Spike, who had come out now that the commotion was over and the people were gone, at his wooden heels.
Three days later.
"Yeah Drakester it's true! An' did'ya know that World War II, or tha Sec'nd WorldWar, was a global military conflict lastin' from 1939 ta 1945 which involved most of thaworld's nations, such as Quacktopolis, Beakapotamia, and lots more! Tha powers organizedinta two opposing military alliances: the Ducklies and the Duckxis. Did'ya knowthat?"
"No wow, that is interesting," droned Drake for what felt like the hundredth timethat evening. The short duck hadn't seen his bumbling neighbor since The GreenhouseIncident, as he was calling it, and the larger duck was spouting useless information likea Mr. Trivia Buff doll. He sighed, when the truth had come out and Launchpad had convinced him to go pay Herb aquick visit to make sure that he was okay after The Greenhouse Incident, he shouldhave pretended to get the Bubonic plague, or something. He should have known, therewere no quick visits when it came to his neighbors. Any visit to the Muddlefoots was along visit. The doorbell rang and Herb got up with a cheery "I'll get it!". Drake breathed asigh of relief, glad to be rid of Herb for the moment, and turned on the T.V., flipping tothe news.
"...Tom Lockjaw here, and we are still broadcasting news on the Fifth National Bank break-in that happened two hours ago. It is believed to have been orchestrated by the Fearsome Five, but police say that there has been no solid evidence found to support that theory. And now we go to Crazy Quacky O'Beakly with the weather-"
Drake quickly turned off the T.V. and leapt into action. After making some excuse to Binky, he bolted out the back door, ready to catch those crooks for actually doing something this time.
At the front door, Herb was looking at a small sack that had just been dropped at his doorstep. As he bent down to pick it up he realized that there was a note next to it. He took the little piece of paper in one hand and the sack in another and read.
This is for the clients I lost you while you kept me "comp'ny". Don't mention where, or who, you got this from to anyone, not even your wife. If anything, tell them that it was a gift from a very satisfied customer. Have a good summer!
P.S.- I would recommend, for your own sake, that you don't come by the greenhouse all that much. Fraternizing with a villain and all of that, you know.
Herb looked up and down the street, there was no sign of life. He scratched his head and opened the sack. What he saw nearly made his eyes pop out of their sockets. "Hey Drakester!" he turned around, saw that Drake was gone, shrugged, and called to his wife, "Binky! You won't believe this, but we're goin' on a cruise this summer!"
Across the street, one mutant-plant duck smiled at the joyful and surprised cheers that were coming from the house. After slinging his own sack onto a shoulder, he bent down, patted the venus flytrap at his roots, and chuckled, "Come on Spike, the others will be hungry. Let's get home."
A/N: WHOO! So I finally finished. Honestly I had this ending in mind from the beginning, it came out better then I thought it would. I can't wait to hear of what you think of my little story and I would like to thank all of my readers/reviewers! You guys were a huge encouragement when I was writing. So… THANKS and see ya later!