Chapter 8: Secrets Reveled
Duke stood in the dark, looking at his son as he was sleeping in his crib. He blew out a joyful sigh as he looked at the small form not even a foot away. He knew he was taking a risk being in here but he didn't care at all, he wanted to see his son one more time. He gently stroked the top of the infant's head before leaning in and kissing him softly. He jumped a bit when the lights turned on, turning towards the doorway he found Angelia, who didn't seem to be happy. "What did I tell you?" She stated, crossing her arms.
"I know what you said," He responded, turning to her. "But I had to see my son one last time."
She sighed as she walked next to him, "Just please leave, you're lucky I didn't call cops when I notice you."
"But yet you didn't," Duke responded as he looked back at Dusk. "A sign that you still care for me."
"Duke please I don't want a thief to be around my son."
"Why? I already told you that I would leave them so I could stay with the both of you."
She shook her head, "I already told you. It wouldn't matter, I don't want to take any risks that may come from who you're associated with."
"Nothing is going to happen, I know it," He pleaded.
"I just can't take that chance," She responded as she shook her head again. She turned and walked back to the door. "Please just go before I have you arrested."
He didn't say anything else as he looked at his son once again for a few seconds. He took one last good look at him before sighing and then moving towards the window. He stopped just before he reached for his saber and held it in his hand. He looked at it before putting it on the stand next to him, "Please, at least give this to him when he's older." He said without looking at her. Without hearing a response he climbed out of the window and went on his way.
Duke slowly started to wake up as he opened his eye and looked around his environment. As his vision cleared he then remembered that he was back at the Pond, in his room. Planting his hands on the mattress he pushed himself up to sitting position, wincing as he did, since his body was still in pain from last night. Once he was comfortable against the headboard he sighed in relief as the pain settled down. He then looked down at himself. His upper body was bare, except for the many bandages that were wrapped around his torso and arms. Some of the pain was still there but most of it turned into soreness overnight. Feeling it brought back the memories of what happened last night.
After Dragaunus escaped he couldn't remember what happened after. One moment he was crying over the loss of his son, and the next thing he found himself on the Migrator heading back to the Pond. Everyone asked what happened, once he was back in the right mind, and he sadly told them what Dragaunus did. Silence was among them once they heard that Dusk sacrificed himself for his father, and everyone gave him their sympathy. Duke kept to himself until they all got back to the Pond, he didn't really want to talk to anyone at that moment. After they got back he was helped to the med bay, which then Tanya looked him over. Thankfully nothing was broken, fractured or sprained, but he would be in pain and sore for a while. Tanya then wrapped him in bandages and instructed him that he would have to stay in bed for a few days, and no moving around on his own until he was fully recovered.
When the question of what were they going to do about the cops looking for him, Wildwing told him that they would take care of it. It didn't really ease everything fully but it was enough for him to sleep it out for the rest of the night.
His peace was broken as Dusk sacrifice kept replaying over and over in Duke's mind, like a broken movie projector. A lone tear slid down his face as he kept seeing his son disappear right before his eye…into dimensional limbo. It all fully sank in as his son was gone and there was no chance he could get him back. His body shook as he wiped the tear away, his physical pain would heal but his emotional pain would be forever scared. And it was all because of one person, Dragaunus. He was brought out of his thoughts as his door opened and in walked Wildwing. Duke watched as he moved to the side of his bed, "Morning."
"Morning," He responded with a small wave. "What time is it?"
"Past ten in the morning, I decided to cancel practice since I thought we needed a break," He explained, slightly hinting to his wounds. "How are you feeling?"
"Very sore, I can't really move around that much without feeling it."
"Well you were banded up badly last night; I don't know how you could even more in the state you were in."
"Pure adrenaline, it blocks out the pain for a while." Duke responded as he started to stretch his body.
Wildwing then sat down on the bed as he tried to form the next thing he was going to ask. "How…how are about…you know what?"
Hearing that question made Duke's body freeze on the spot. His fist clenched as his body started to shake a bit. Series of emotions we building up in him, begging to be released but he did his best to control them. "I just…I just can't believe he was taken from me…again…just as I was getting through to him." Wildwing could see all the anger, and sadness he was expressing. "He started listening to me and he found out the truth…but what for? Only to lose him again!" Duke then slammed his fist on the table on the side of the bed.
Wildwing flinched a bit as he saw this, he couldn't really blame him. He too knows what it feels like to lose someone in the same manner. He waited for a bit and spoke once he saw that Duke was calm, "I know what it feels like, though it may not be on the same scale as you. Just know you aren't alone."
Duke looked down as he took in his leader's words, he was right they both lost someone to dimensional limbo. Wildwing's best friend Canard, and now his son, Dusk. He looked up as he felt a hand on his shoulder; Wildwing wasn't wearing the mask; a sign that his words weren't just words but a promise. "We'll get him back; we'll do everything in our power to do so."
He could only nod at the response, "I know we will, but the next time we see Dragaunus, I can't be held responsible for what I do," He explained while have a determined look.
Wildwing saw the look and knew where it was going, so he changed the subject. "Well there is some good news that came out of this."
"What?" He asked, curious of what he had to say.
"I spoke with Klegghorn earlier," Started as he smiled. "We managed to get you off the hook for everything."
That made his eye widen as he heard that, really surprised that something like that had happened. "H-How?"
"We found all the jewels your son stolen before we left. Then early on we handed them over to Klegghorn and explained to him what happened, and thankfully he believed us. I guess seeing Dragaunus himself started making believe in everything we tell him."
Duke sighed in relief, he was glad to know that he didn't have to worry about the cops anymore. But yet that truly didn't make him feel any better. They both looked at the doorway as it opened and in came Mallory. They watched as she moved to the other side of the bed. "How are you feeling?" She asked.
Right now anger would have been filled inside Duke, but there was no need for that since he knew she realized she was wrong from the beginning about him. Still he let it go, "I'm hanging in there."
She looked a little uneasy at the response, plus it seemed like there was something else she wanted to say. He gave time to compose what she wanted to say. "Look Duke I want to say that I'm really sorry for the way I've been treating you these past couple of days. I know it couldn't have been easy to deal with."
Duke looked at her face as she apologized, and he could really feel the sincerity in her voice. He smiled as he shook his head, "It's already sweetheart, it's all water under the bridge."
"Are you sure? I mean-"
"It's alright, I'm used to it. Just do me one favor and believe me the next time when I say I didn't do it, ok?"
She just chuckled at his statement as she smiled, this was a good sign that he was truly over it, "Alright I will."
A Few Days Later
It took nearly a week for Duke to fully heal; he was cleared by Tanya and was able to return to his regular, everyday activities. This was a big relief on his part, since it meant that he didn't have to stay in bed anymore. Even after all the events that happened he still went out and didn't return till late at night. One day he left a little after six and had two people following him. "I still say we shouldn't have done this," Wildwing voiced as he followed behind Mallory.
"We'll aren't you curious on what he has been doing?" She responded while keeping Duke in sight.
"Well yeah but-"
"Then this is the only way right now," She interrupted as they kept trailing.
They kept following him for twenty minutes and still didn't find anything out. They were about to give up until they saw Duke walk up to a small group of kids. They all seemed to be preteens, thirteen or fourteen to be precise. They both watched as Duke started talking to them, but they were out of range to hear him. They then turned and walked into the alley next to them, now they both were curious as what was going on. Once again they both followed them down the alleyway, also being careful to not be noticed. When they got to the end they both found Duke and the kids on a basketball court, with hockey gear? They all saw as Duke held the hockey stick in his hands as they could hear what he was saying to them.
"…Today we're going to be working on your goal making, but this time Greg is going to be blocking the pucks."
One of the kids then spoke up, "Are you sure I'm ready for that?" Asked the one that Duke named Greg.
Duke looked over at him and nodded, "Yes, you've been progressing well now so I know you can handle it."
Wildwing and Mallory were stunned at what they were seeing, Duke was coaching these kids on how to play hockey. This really blew them away as they couldn't believe he was doing something like this. "Can you believe it?" Mallory asked, just to be sure.
"Yes I am," Wildwing responded. "Since when has he been doing this?"
"About a couple of weeks ago," They jumped as they heard Duke's voice right next to them.
"Duke…uh…" Mallory started, not sure what to say next.
Duke just smiled, "It's alright, you guys were bound to find out. Beside I knew you two were following me even before we left the Pond." He turned as he looked at the kids as he monitored they practice.
Wildwing and Mallory joined in as they watched them. They were good for their ages but there were things they could improve on. "Duke how did this happen?" Mallory asked.
He answered, knowing that was the first thing that was going to be asked. "I was out one day and I found them trying to practice, and as I watch them play. I immediately notice that they weren't really good. I walked up to them and when they saw me they thought they were dreaming. They kept saying that they couldn't believe that one of the Mighty Ducks was here with them. I asked them what they were doing and they were happy to tell me," He explained as he looked at his two companions, "Their school is having hockey tryouts soon and they all wanted to be on the same team together. It was really hard to give them the news of what I saw of them."
"How did they take it?" Wildwing asked.
"They took it bad," He responded, looking back at them. "Then their hopes sparked once I told them that I was willing to coach them."
"So you've been out teaching these kids all along?" Mallory asked.
He nodded, "Yeah."
"But yet why do you always come back late?"
"They usually like to end their practice around nine, but I tend to wander around for a few hours before coming back. Just thinking to myself…mostly how I never got to…*Sigh* Teach Dusk how to play."
They both seemed to understand where he was coming from. Back on Puckworld parents who taught their offspring the game of hockey was a moment that seemed sacred to everyone. It was understandable to them, but then decided to change the topic, so they wouldn't make Duke depressed. "Anyone promising?" Wildwing asked.
"Yes, Adam right over there," He responded, pointing to one of the kids who made a goal. "He was the only experienced one out of all of them, probably the best one."
"Anyone you having trouble with?"
"Greg, the goalie. He does his best but there's so much that I know."
"Maybe I could give him so pointers," Wildwing offered with a smile.
"You'd really do that?"
"Thanks," He thankfully responded as they went back to looking at the kids play. "It was knife."
They both looked at him in confusion as to why he said something like that. "Come again?" Mallory asked.
"My wrist," He clarified as he pulled up his right sleeve to show the bandaged wrist. "I left them a lone for a couple of minutes and when I came back I found a couple of muggers. They wanted everything they had but I didn't let that happen. One of them had a knife, I surprised them and they managed to slice my wrist. But in the end I drove them off."
"How come you never told us any of this?"
He sighed before speaking, "There are things I just like keeping secret. Personal things."
They both then understood what he was saying and didn't say much more. "Alright come together!" Duke yelled as he walked towards them. All the kids formed into a semi-circle as Duke addressed them. "It seems like two of my friends came by and decided to help out." He then motioned to Mallory and Wildwing.
Their faces lit up as they saw the two walk over to them, "My god it's Wildwing and Mallory!" The kid named Adam said. The rest of them then started happily chatting among themselves.
"Hi everyone," Wildwing said to them.
"It's nice to meet you all," Mallory went next.
Duke smiled as he continued, "Greg Wildwing here has agreed to give you some pointers." The look he received was as if he won something big. "While Mallory and I help the rest of you out." They all still couldn't believe this was happing and with renewed energy they waited for instructions and were soon getting back to work. After a few hours of instructions and coaching they were finished for the day. The three of them saw the kids off and then made their way back to the Pond. All were happy that they helped them. As he walked Duke started thinking to himself. "Dusk…I will get you back. I'll try everything in my power to make things right.' He was sure of himself. He would get his son back, and that was a promise.
A/N: Hope you like. I didn't really know how to end this so i hope it was good. It's sad to see this end, but i assure you that i have another one planned. And I can promise you that it will be up soon.