My Brother, My Keeper

By Asher Tye

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters associated with Darkwing Duck. To my knowledge, they're still the property of the Disney Corporation… unless they traded the character rights for a new sports caster. :lol: I'm making no money off this story, its being distributed for amusement free of charge.

Author's Note: Just a little plot bunny that wiggled its way onto my shoulder and wouldn't stop nibbling my ear. I figure for all the flak Tank gets both in the show and in fanfics he deserves something of a pet the dog moment.

"Ah, Mom, I got things to do," Tank Muddlefoot bellowed, stamping his foot on the ground in frustration.

"Oh Tank dear, it won't take that long," his mother Binkie said patiently as she ladled some hot broth from a pot into a bowl that was itself sitting on a serving tray. Laying a plate of crackers next to the bowl, along with a glass of orange juice, the canary turned back to her oldest. "Besides it would be a big help to Mommy if her big boy did this." So saying Binkie held out the tray, a hopeful smile on her face as she stared at Tank. The teen gosling stubbornly turned up his nose at the food, arms crossed over his ample chest as he refused to take the tray. For a brief moment it seemed this would end in a stalemate, until a cross look fell upon Binkie's normally gentle face. "Tank, you're not going out until you do this," she said sternly. Huffing in exasperation, the young Muddlefoot finally took the tray, grumbling as he did so.

"Cutting into my time like I got nothin' to do," he complained loudly. "I don't remember the little mutant having to do this when I had the flu." Binkie rolled her eyes, wishing her eldest child had just a little less spirit. Careful not to let the contents of the bowl or cup spill, the red haired gosling waddled up the stairs to the second story of the house and walked over to the closed door belonging to his younger brother. Balancing the tray on his hand carefully, Tank opened the door, coughing a little as he was hit in the face by a cloud of steam.

Inside Honker's room was dark, damp, and just a little bit stuffy, much to his older brother's consternation. His nostrils flaring, Tank stepped into the room, holding the tray steady as he approached his baby brother's bed. Honker lay there, tucked securely under the covers as he shivered a bit. On the floor a humidifier whirred busily, a cloud of mist rising out of its tube-shaped top, helping to ease the stuffiness of the young gosling's nose. Even with this, a sort of honking snore was rising past the boy's beak as he slept.

'God, even asleep you're annoying,' the irritated Tank thought as he looked down at his younger sibling. As he set the tray of food down on Honker's nightstand, the teen noticed a fly buzzing around Honker's head, landing occasionally on the small gander's face. Having essentially been drugged to sleep by their well-meaning mother, the best defense against this harassment Honker could muster was to twitch a bit, causing the fly to take off and land on another part of his face.

Tank's eyes narrowed as he reached out a meaty hand, taking advantage of the bug's bogged down wings to grab it before crushing the insect in his fist. Wiping the smooshed remains off on his sweater, Tank then reached out a hand to his brother's shoulder, giving Honker a good shake to rouse him.

"Come on twerp, time to get up," he groused as Honker coughed and sputtered back to consciousness. Small eyes blinked in the dim light as the gosling fought to some semblance of wakefulness.

"T-Tank?" he asked in a voice that sounded much stuffier than normal.

"No, it's Gosalyn," the older boy said snottily. Even at the sound of Tank's normally throaty voice, it took a moment for Honker's senses to register who he was talking to. Sensing that this was taking too long, Tank decided to expedite matters by switching on the nightstand's lamp.

"Gah Ah!" Honker half croaked, half coughed, trying to cover his face from the invasive light. "Tank, leabe be alone! I'b thick," he complained miserably.

"Tough beans, Honker, Mom sent me up here to feed you," came the rather unsympathetic response as Honker was given his glasses. "Now come on, 'cause I got video games I wanna play." So saying the large gosling began to manhandle his younger brother into something of a sitting position, bracing his smaller body against a few pillows as he did so. The downy, yellow feathers of the smaller boy were damp, and he felt clammy underneath as he shivered a bit. Once Honker appeared to be in a stabilized position, Tank's attention turned back to the tray he'd brought up. Honker too looked at the food, his stomach gurgling a little at the memory of the last meal he'd had deciding to make an impromptu second showing.

"Mmm-mmm," he groaned a bit, wrinkling his beak, something that was not lost on Tank as he put the tray in Honker's lap. The teen gander snorted in response as he grabbed some of the crackers.

"You gonna be a wuss, or do you want some crumbled crackers in your broth?" he asked in that mocking tone that never failed to get under Honker's skin. Despite how he felt, Honker still managed to glare at his older brother. Tank smiled. Though he preferred to rely on physical force to get his brother to do what he wanted, a small part of Tank relished those times when he could actually outsmart the brainy gosling. That sickness tended to rob poor Honker of some of his I.Q. didn't dull the victory at all.

'Besides,' he mused as he crumbled the saltines into the dark broth, 'something solid in his guts'll make him feel better.'

"Eat," he said as he set the tray with the broth in Honker's lap. Gripping the spoon tightly, the sick gosling lifted it shakily to his beak, determined not to spill a drop as he did so. Over and over he ladled the soup into his mouth, enjoying the taste of his mother's cooking, especially as it replaced the nasty taste that had lingered in his mouth since he'd gone to sleep. Every so often Tank interrupted Honker to make him drink a gulp of orange juice, holding the cup for him so his little brother didn't accidentally make a mess. With Tank's luck, their mother would no doubt blame him if Honker's sheets got wet.

Soon the bowl emptied and the medication began to make Honker drowsy again. Quickly Tank removed the tray, putting it back on the nightstand before helping his little brother slide back down onto the bed. The older gosling pulled the younger's glasses from his face as the yellow gander turned onto his side, eyes drooping as they slowly closed. As Honker once more drifted off to sleep, Tank collected the now empty tray and prepared to leave. Before he turned off the light, however, the red headed gander looked down at his shivering brother. With an annoyed but quiet growl, he reached out to take hold of the bed sheet, pulling them up over Honker and wrapping the boy up in the warm comforter. Satisfied his task was complete; Tank shut off the lamp and walked to the door, the sound of a honking snore coming to his ears.

"Trust a nerd like you to catch the flu during Spring Break," Tank muttered, shaking his head as he closed the door to Honker's room.

The End.