HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGY IN THE WINDOW?

A/N: This is my second story on the Loonatics but the first was a crossover with the SWAT Kats ( my usual genre). This little plot bunny came to me this morning and I just had to put it down. It just a quick one-shot. Hope you like it.

"Hey Slam, have you noticed anything strange about Ace lately?" Duck asked his friend while they were doing a session in the danger room.

"Blddgrgh (no...what do you mean?)," Slam grunted as he hefted a car and sent it into their enemy's face.

"Oh come on, you mean you haven't noticed how mopy he's gotten?" Duck said, mildly exasperated, sending a Power Orb at a flying whatsis.

"Bddrghledgrurdbbg (not really, he's just being Ace)."

Duck snorted in annoyance, quacked away to be slammed by a huge robot and sent flying across the space to hit the observation window before sliding to the floor.

"Pay attention, Duck! This may be a training session but you should treat it as real!" Ace snapped, standing over the prostate Duck who had almost fallen on him.

"Sure...sure...keep your shirt on," Duck slurred, his head ringing still as he staggered to his feet. "Geez! Irritable are we?"

"Come on Ducky, he's right you know, now get in there and hustle," Lexi scolded him then vaulted away.

Grumbling under his breath, Duck shelved his concern and got busy. An hour later the session ended and they all went to get some lunch. Duck eyed his leader sourly as Ace chewed him out for ten minutes about his performance then stalked off without lunch to his quarters.

Since no one else seemed concerned about what was bothering Ace, Duck felt it was his duty to watch their leader.

For the next few days, he shadowed Ace wherever he went. One place in particular, Ace hung out for some twenty minutes before moving on and seemed really sad when he did.

"I'm telling you. Ace wants a puppy!" Duck told the others when Ace wasn't around.

"Ah, come on Duck, Ace doesn't want a pet. You know like I do that we're not around enough to properly take care of one. And Ace was the one that told us that, remember?" Lexi scoffed at him.

"Belekeksdkjfe! (He made me give that kitty I found a home just last week)," Slam reminded him.

"Yeah...yeah...I know...but I think he really wants a puppy. He stares at them for a long time then sighs and mopes once he leaves the store window. I'm certain he wants one," Duck said stubbornly.

Rev eyed Duck for a minute before exploding with, "Ace might want a dog but you know we can't have one so there's not much reason to mope about it...I think you're just reading into things as you always do. Ace probably enjoys looking at the puppies as Slam likes kittens so..."

"Easy Rev, we get the point," Tech told the bird to cut him off. "Duck, whatever is troubling Ace, it's his own business. If he wants to talk about it, he will." With that bit of wisdom, Tech left for his lab.

The rest just shook their head at Duck and drifted off on their own pursuits. Fuming, Duck was determined to find out what was bugging Ace.

Later that day, he was about to corner Ace, when he spotted his leader entering his quarters holding a fluffy something. Gaping, he was certain it was a shaggy dog. More determined than ever to get to the bottom of this mystery. He waited until his leader left then slipped into his room.

To his surprise, he saw nothing out of the ordinary until he looked into the bathroom and saw two dishes on the floor. One was filled with water, the other was empty.

'Ah hah! I knew it!' Hurrying out of Ace's quarters before he was spotted, he hurried to find the others by quacking to the main living area.

He found Rev, Lexi, and Slam watching TV and eating popcorn.

"Hey, I found proof that Ace has a dog," Duck said triumphantly.

"Really and what is your evidence," Lexi sighed, crossing her arms and staring at Duck with annoyance.

"I saw him carry a shaggy puppy into his quarters and when I peeked in there was a water dish and food bowl on the floor," Duck said smugly.

Lexi blinked in surprise but before she could say anything their alarm sounded. The mystery concerning Ace was set aside and the group tore away to their war room.

Zadavia was waiting for them as they stood around her holographic image.

"Loonatics! Ophiuchus Sam is trying to steal the Orphan Diamond for some kind of plan he's hatching. He hasn't gotten it yet as it is guarded strongly but they won't hold out much longer. Get going to the Diamond Exchange."

"Roger, let's jet!" Ace ordered as they ran for their Zoomatrixes.

When they arrived on the scene, Ophiuchus Sam had already managed to grab the diamond and was hightailing atop his robot donkey so they now had to chase him around to retrieve it while Sam shot up the city as he passed, causing havoc and trying to hamstring them.

Duck tried to quack close to Ophiuchus Sam but his damn weird mechanical donkey kicked with its back feet and knocked him into a nearby building. However, Ace finally tagged him when Sam fired a blast at Tech disintegrating him. With Sam in custody and Tech back to himself, they head back to the Diamond Exchange and return the stolen diamond.

Finished, they returned home, met with Zadavia to report their success then headed to their room for showers before dinner.

The subject that had been suspended due to the alert was immediately brought up again at the dinner table by Duck.

"Ace, do you have a..." Duck began to demand.

Again they were interrupted but this time it was the doorbell. Grumbling, Duck waited as Rev raced from the table to answer it. Minutes later, he returned with a stranger in tow.

"Scotty!" Ace shouted with surprised happiness, jumping from his seat and hugging the stranger. "I thought you said you couldn't come?" He asked the Scottish Terrier in the natty suit.

"Och, laddie, things cleared up enough for me ta break away, so here I am," Scotty said, beaming and patting his friend on the back.

"I'm soo glad. I was really bummed when you had to cancel but, hey, now you're here...let me introduce you to my friends and team mates..." Ace said, grinning from ear to ear as he introduced each of the Loonatics.

"Guys, this is a very old friend of mine. We went to school briefly together when he attended Acme U. He works for Scotland Yard," Ace said proudly.

"Wow! Nice to meet some of Ace's friends finally," Lexi said warmly.

"How about you join us for dinner," Ace asked.

"Sure and I loved to. Dinna get much aboard the flight and I'm starving," Scotty said, smiling and taking a seat next to Ace.

The table filled with happy chatter. Ace's friends asked the visitor lots of questions and he in turn asked about what they did. Anecdotes about their times at school were shared and all laughed at some of the things they did.

When dinner was over, Ace took his friend on a tour of their headquarters then ended up in the living room where everyone was watching TV.

"So what did you think of the place," Tech asked Scotty.

"It's amazing, especially the danger room and your lab, Tech. I must say, if we had such cool gadgets we'd be quicker in catching the bad guys," Scotty said honestly.

"I've just got to ask this before there are any more interruptions," Duck said loudly.

Everyone looked at him in puzzled confusion.

"Ace, why do you have a puppy in your room when you clearly told all of us that pets weren't allowed?" Duck demanded.

Ace stared at him in confusion. "What puppy?"

"Oh don't get cute with me, buster. I saw you carrying a shaggy white puppy into your room and there was a bowl of water and food dish on the floor of your room," Duck said firmly.

Gaping, Ace eyed his team mate in annoyance. "You've been spying on me!"

"Yes. Because you've been moping around here for days and then I caught you staring in that pet shop so don't try to squirm out of it."

A broad smile of amusement cut across Ace's face and he began laughing. "You thought...hahahahah...I had a ...hahahahah...puppy...hahhah?"

"What's so funny?" Duck said haughtily, getting a bit angry.

Getting control of his laughter, Ace finally managed to say, "that wasn't a puppy you saw...it was a toy scotty dog that I bought to give to Scotty. It was a gift."

"But...but...what about the food dishes...the pet store...your moodiness..." Duck spluttered.

"First of all I don't appreciate you being in my room, second, the water was to attract and kill those darn silver fish that's invading my room, the other bowl was just one I forgot to put in the kitchen and finally, I was just depressed that my friend had to cancel his visit," Ace explained.

"Ohhh..." Duck could only say.

Everyone roared with laughter at Duck's expense.

Duck blushed and muttered, "anyone can make a mistake."

"Yeah, but with you, it's always the most outlandish mistake," Tech chuckled.

Insulted Duck stormed out of the room. The rest enjoyed a fun evening with their guest.