A Fragile Investment
Chapter One : A Dark and Stormy Night
Author Notes: Hello everyone! Well, my younger self would have never saw me writing a Scrooge McDuck fanfiction, but nonetheless here is one anyway haha. I am quite a fan of the comic books, so this story is going to be using the comic book canon (mostly Barks and Rosa's canon anyway; there is so many canons for it and different LAYERS of canon it makes your head spin). However, I thought that this would be an interesting "what-if" to write about and so let's see how that will turn out.
Well, I have to admit, before chapter ramblings are not my strong point, so let's get on with the story shall we? Enjoy!
It was a dark and story night.
Scrooge snorted at the thought as he watched the raindrops pelt down from the darkening gloom of the sky. That is the thinking of a medicine writer of sorts, their thinking so cliche and dull that it was no surprise that their story reflects it. If one refuses to think outside the box and look for the easy way out, then they will fall into failure like the common man. Scrooge believed he was no common man. He was determined to be smarter than the smarties and insisted that being anything less will not cut it to attain his goals, no matter what it was.
And attained his goals he did. Over his lifetime, he had acquired three cubic acres of money, starting out with nothing but the love of his father to make him a simple shoe shine kit, and determination to chase his dreams across vast oceans and the frontiers of the Earth. With that alone, he now had a pool of liquid assets larger than some of Mother Nature's liquid pools of water. Alas, it was not easy to do so; he had to give up many things along the way. His compassion for others seemed to have been pushed into a deep corner of his mind, and the simple pleasures of life has been stripped away from his heart.
One of those things being his family. He frowned deeper at the window. Feh, who needs family? He thought darkly. Money doesn't betray you, or judge you, or ... be ashamed of you.
He pushed the thought away, and felt rather ashamed of himself. Successful people don't spend their days staring out the window, thinking about silly thoughts that don't matter. He slowly walked over and sat back into his chair and started to do his paperwork. And they certainly don't even think of such pointless cliches, he thought, a small joke to which he allowed himself.
What Scrooge didn't realize however is that saying become overused for a reason. Dark and stormy nights are a free tickets to when tales begin.
He was just finished signing a factory form when there was a ring on the doorbell and was slightly jolted from his seat, wincing at the back pain that caused him. He started to assume that the mechanism had rusted out it has been neglected for so long, and he was quite confused at why his burglar alarms were not working. Oh how he wished he had a decent security system that didn't break down and was 100% efficient. He tried to make himself believe that it could, just maybe, be a business man presenting a money making chance. No, Scrooge did not believe in miracles, but he was not a great advocate of kicking potential opportunities in the face either.
However, with a simple glance at his pocket watch made it clear that it wasn't the case. It was 7:30, way past any business hours of any company he knew, and he certainly didn't expect anyone. It must be another beggar that refused to do his own work, he thought darkly. As far as he was concerned, these people would not be satisfied until they took all his money like savage vultures ripping off the flesh of a deceased animal.
He sighed and he pushed out his chair and jumped to the floor. He started to grumble as he grabbed his case and proceeded to the door. Choice words would be given to the company of his anti-trespasser systems that are now wasting him valuable time to deal with something stupid and preventable like girl guide cookies or something. He wasn't paying them pennies of a dollar to have faulty equipment, that's for sure.
At first when he opened the door his old eyes as nothing but night and rain, but as he adjusted to the darkening gloom of the outdoors,it was then clear that there was something more then simply the elements.
No, the plot device of this dark and stormy night of not of a ghost or something silly. It was that of a girl.
Though to be fair, it took Scrooge a moment or two to even figure out if it was a girl. She was dressed in dark clothing and was wearing a baggy hoody covering most of her face. Only a yellow beak protruded out as she looked down. The coat which he had was long, covering most features that a fellow duck would have except for two bare yellow feet sticking out. What was most interesting what not of herself, but rather, what she was holding. It was a large white orb which truth be told didn't look that valuable, regardless she did her best to cover it up as if she showed too much to the outside world everyone would come out of the bushes and take it from her. However, for whatever reason, that white object sparked a hint of fear in his heart.
The girl looked up and he saw two blue eyes staring up at him. For whatever reason, girls around the area likes to put on enough make-up to put cakefaces to shame. Unfortunately because of the rain or for other reasons, the mascara of her eyes were running down slightly. However it was her expression that got him.
"Are you Scrooge McDuck?" She asked, her voice sounding rather harsh. Not seemingly on purpose though, rather force of habit.
"And what if I am? I am not handing handouts to anyone, especially not to people like you." He said, his voice sounding rather harsh. This time, it really was on purpose. Her eyes narrowed. And managed to get her thoughts on the matter in before he slammed the door in her face.
"I'm not here for your stupid money, you old geezer, though I would admit that would be fucking awesome. What I need is your damn help, you dumbass."
Her voice sounded much more natural this way. Scrooge eyes went wide for a second. Ever since his awful reunion with his family many years ago, no one has ever said any ill to his face, never mind calling out flat a dumbass. No, everyone treats him with fake smiles. After all, everyone knows that calling a millionaire such things will not get you money when he dies.
Still guts or not guts, this girl still needed to go.
"I can't help you, and certainly not until you learn yourself some ma-" She thrusted the white orb onto him looking exasperated and... was that an afraid look too?
"Here. Take it." She said ignoring him and cutting him off. Scrooge looked down to have a closer look. He wasn't an expert at this type of thing, but if he didn't know better he would think that ...
"Is that... what I think it is?" He asked despite himself. It's not every day that a weird woman shows up at your door with an unborn child.
"An egg? An accident? Yeah." She said, still holding it out. Scrooge snorted, lifting his nose in the air slightly and folding his arms.
"And what do you think this is, an orphanage? I am not here to take care of your problems that you got yourself into. Take care of it yourself." Scrooge, deciding and was all that was needed to be said in this convention, and determined that the next best choice of action would be to slam the door. As he did so, he pointedly did not look at her face. That would only give her hope and thus not leave him alone. He turned around after successfully closing said door in her face, and proceeded to walk away. He had better things to think about then promiscuous women.
"But it is your damn sister's grandchild!" A voice said through the door.
He stopped in his tracks and thought his heart would stop. While he was determined to stay away from his family at least for the time being, it was still rather shocking to find out that your sister is a grandmother. Especially her. Never in his life would he imagine Hortense as your stereotypical grandmother, knitting by the fire and waiting for the cookies to be ready. No, the thought of it is almost too blasphemous to even think about.
He went back over and opened the door slightly to have another look at her. It was impossible to tell just by looks, for it has been needless to say a long time since she saw anyone of his family, and she was mostly covered by that dark coat. At least she seemed to be of the same species...
Though in reality, that doesn't make no never mind.
"You think that you can just yell stories like a jackal and think that I'll accept that deadweight spawn of yours just like that? I have half a mind to throw you out on the streets myself if my back wasn't so sore today, you cinaving hussie! A story like that an idiot can make up."
"You named that horse of yours after my ma. Also she told me she once went after a whole army with just a broom long ago."
"...That sounds like Hortense all right." He sighed. He struggled to remember the one time he saw his kin. Was it her or the other one that needed a personal kick in the ass? Well it goes without saying that it sounds like both of them do, but which one more urgently?
"And... who are you?" Scrooge asked slightly fixing his glasses.
"Della. Della Duck." The girl replied.
"Oh right, now I remember. Hortense married that hot aired imbecile didn't she? Well what a good pair THAT turned out to be. A girl that can't even deal with her own problems. What a generation of misfits." He sneered.
"Look you old coot, I tried everyone else."
"Hmph I doubt it. This is just a scheme for my money. Well, don't worry you have it soon enough when I'm rotting in the ground.. Give it to my "damn sister's" then."
"I can't. She's already is rottin' in the ground." Her voice wavered slightly but her eyes were glinting in the dark. She was her mother's child all right. "She managed to beat you in somethin'."
She then started to mutter, and he didn't quite get everything except something about sticks, farther and sooner. He wasn't really paying attention though because the truth be told her death hit him like a wave. He always assumed that he would die first. She may have been a nasty piece of work, but she still was his baby sister, a baby sister that he swore all those years ago that he would help provide for. A slight piece of guilt started to emerge in his cold heart.
"W-when did she die?" Scrooge asked, trying to be only slightly interested, but apparently failing miserably.
"Oh...a few years ago." The girl said
"Well how about what-ever his name is?"
"Died too." She replied, already figuring out the logical order of things. Another ripple of shock went trough him.
"Well isn't there anybody on your side of the family you can pass off your responsibility too, other than me? " Scrooge asked exasperated. The cold was starting to get to him a little bit. It was more embarrassing then painful though. Oh if the King of the Klondike could see him now, he would weep.
"Some of my family is having a family trip for the year to see the world. Donald is in the navy, and my cousin... well for whatever reason I can never find the lucky bastard! That boy would be useful.."
"Why am I not surprised..." Scrooge muttered to himself. "Very well then, what about Matilda?" Surely his other sister is alive and well?
"I dunno." Della said as if that was the answer to everything. "Anyway, as you can see there is no one else, so here, Uncle Scrooge."
The title for him sounded incredibly foreign to him. He hasn't heard anyone called Uncle in fifty years. For a moment it pushed back memories of when he was younger into his mind. Della apparently saw the opportunity and pushed the egg forcibly into his hands. It was done so forcibly that it brought Scrooge back into the present and was afraid that if he didn't grab it, she would drop it right on his feet. She then turned away and started to walk down the walkway before he could hand it back to her. Something as fragile as an egg is not something that one wants to throw around.
"H-hey, you! What am I suppose to do with a thing like this?" Scrooge yelled after her.
"Do whatever you like with it. Drop it on the ground for all I care." She simply responded. Scrooge had half a mind to go running after her and forcing her to take what was rightfully her's. A small part of him wanted to smash it like her suggestion. However something stopped him. He could not say what this was and he barely was aware of it at the time, but he could not make the egg leave his hands. He felt like a deer in the headlights to the entire situation, and he felt as if he was in a haze. Before he was even fully aware of what was going on, he found himself closing the door with the egg still in his hand.
From behind the door, Della soon disappeared into the dark gloom of this dark and stormy night. At the end of Scrooge's property she looked up and smiled against the rain. She knew full well that she would not be fit to be a proper mother, one her child would be proud of... or at least not at this moment of time. She hoped that one day she could have a try at this whole mother business, but now was not the time. From the stories that she was told to her when she was a small duckling, as impossible as it may seem, Scrooge is not all what he appeared to be... or at least that is what her mother said she hoped was still the case. While it may be silly to her even, Della decided to give him a shot. She always considered herself a fantastic better.
Besides, she has been taught that after every storm a rainbow comes after.
Author Notes: And that is my first chapter! So, I hoped that I kept everyone in character, even though this chapter mainly focused on Scrooge only. As stupid as it may sound. I have quite a respect for him, so I wanted to get him right. Whether I succeeded or not, you guys decide haha. Though I have to admit, getting him to accept something as uncharacteristic like an egg was a challenge (any idea how much children cost!?) but I hope I pulled it off. Just as a note: I am going by Don Rosa's timeline, thus, this would take place at about 1940 or so. That would make Huey, Duey and Louie about 7 years old in Barks "Christmas in Bear Mountain". It'll have to do c: The important part of the time line is that it is in between that time frame of Scrooge loses contact with his family and then getting reunited with him. He was probably quite the cranky old goat; probably at the height of his cranky-o-meter. In this, I still have him with all his businesses and all that. I found it rather odd that he stops all his businesses in the last chapter in the "Life and Times" but seems to pick everything put again like nothing happened.
About Della: I noticed that sometimes she is portrayed as a terrible person, which would be logical seeing that she left her children with her brother once and disappeared into the abyss. However, I wanted to show a more...less terrible person side of her, but it seems here like she still was pretty irresponsible. She kind of fits into that mold automatically, doesn't she? Oh well, screw it I tried.
About the name... well, to tell you the truth, I didn't think of one until after the chapter. It was a case of "Oh shit, I need a name for this!" And so this came around to being. Hopefully I like it later...
Anyway, I'm rambling so anyway, I hope you like this chapter! I do have the next chapter started but to tell you the truth, I took quite a while to write this one, so I don't know when I'll get the next chapter finished. My bad.