Longer Days Pass
Laughter filled the room as all three occupants of the room watched the television. Two of the occupants were not nearly as jubilant and excited as the third occupant was, seeing as how they were not jumping up and down on the coffee table that sat in front of the couch.
Gosalyn Mallard, fourteen years old, watched with pride and arrogance as the news caster spoke of how Quiverwing Quack, her alter superhero ego, had stopped the bank robbers from stealing all the money from the St. Canard bank.
"Yeah! Oh, that sure is a great shot of me they got as I'm standing on top of the robbers!" she was saying, bursting with self pride.
Drake Mallard looked up at her, his arms crossed as he slouched on the couch. He should have been used to this by now, seeing as how its been a year or two since she first started fighting crimes mainly by herself. It was rare for Darkwing and Quiverwing Quack to work together these days, it seemed. It pained Drake for it to be that way, but after all the tiffs and fights they'd had in the past about it, it seemed for the best.
Gosalyn shouted her delight once more, bouncing up and down on the table again.
"Gosalyn!" hissed Drake. "Get down from the table before you break your neck!"
Gosalyn turned around, her infamous jersey still on, and snickered at her father. "Yeah, dad, like being on this table is what is going to kill me. After all the times I've jumped rooftops and such, this'll kill me!" She turned back to the television.
Drake's frown deepened at her words as he slouched even more, turning away and hiding his beak and face into the large arm of Launchpad McQuack, who sat beside him, his eyes on the TV. Drake re-emerged a few moments later, looking more sullen than ever.
Launchpad looked down at his closest friend and smiled. "Cheer up, DW, at least she's doing well" he said softly, trying to be supportive.
Drake nodded slightly, not feeling entirely better.
The news caster finally began a new topic, much to Drake's utter relief, and Gosalyn finally came back down to the floor. "They just keep gettin' better, don't they Launchpad?"
Her friend smiled at her. "You got that right! And I wanna know, who IS the guy under the Hamburger Hippo suit?" Drake slowly looked up at his love, a confused look on his face. Gosalyn was giving him the same expression.
Drake shook his head and was about to get up when the phone rang. "If that's Morgana, I'm not here!" called out Drake as Gosalyn ran to get the phone. Launchpad gave him several pats on the back as Drake scooted to the edge of the couch. A moment later Gosalyn brought the phone over to her dad, who looked up at her cautiously before taking the phone from her.
He pressed the earpiece up to his ear. "Hello, Drake speaking." He immediately winced and tapped his webbed foot down on the floor. "Hi, Morgana…." He shot a devil's glare at Gosalyn, who simply looked back at him. Launchpad was suddenly up and standing beside Drake, his arm around the shorter duck's shoulders. Drake however took no notice of this, for he was too busy talking on the phone.
He chuckled nervously, pulling at the collar of his shirt. "Listen, Morg"
Both of the other occupants could hear shouting at the other end, making Drake wince and frown sadly. "Sorry, I did promise you that. But, Morg, I-I didn't see it coming either. Look, we've had this conversation many times. I didn't mean for it to happen, it just did!"
Launchpad held him closer, lowering his head. The larger duck knew very well that it was because of him that Drake and Morgana were no longer together. He just hadn't been able to keep his big beak shut. He never should have told Drake about his feelings for him. It now made Drake miserable since he couldn't even talk to his ex without being heartbroken.
Drake pushed Launchpad's arm aside, starting to pace around the couch. Gosalyn meanwhile was just watching her dad with complete boredom, her arms crossed over her chest. To say that she hadn't been pleased when her dad broke up with Morgana would have been very incorrect. She hadn't taken the news well, and she still didn't.
She held nothing against Launchpad. He was like her older brother, but she loved Morgana and her magic to death and had really been looking forward to having her as part of the family.
Drake's voice suddenly filled with emotion, giving a little squeak. "No, Morg, it doesn't have to be that way. We can still be friends….Right?"
Drake took the phone from his ear and looked at it, crestfallen. He then took the phone and threw it against the wall. It crashed with a loud bang. Launchpad was surprised it didn't break.
Drake turned on Gosalyn, glaring at her. "I told you that if it was Morgana, to say I'm not here!"
Gosalyn stood her ground, not afraid of her father's temper and far used to it. Her arms were still crossed. "Yeah, I heard you, but in case you haven't noticed, I don't care. If she cares enough to call then she obviously wants to talk to you. Maybe she wanted to start things up again."
Drake groaned, putting his head in his hands. "Gos….I told you, that can never happen. Not anymore."
"Oh, that's right….You're with Launchpad now" she spat at him.
Launchpad looked offended. "Hey, Gos, its not our fault. That's just the way it goes!"
Gosalyn didn't reply. She knew she was stepping out of line. Not only was she criticizing her dad and his tastes, but now she was offending Launchpad. She held nothing against the pilot, but she knew that if it wasn't for him, Morgana and his dad would still be together.
Drake had, by this point, calmed down slightly and was now looking down at the floor, looking sullen again. "Good job, today, kiddo. I'm proud" he motioned toward the TV with his hand, lazily. He was trying to change the subject. He walked passed her, patting her on the back once or twice.
Gosalyn beamed at the very little praise that she got. Every little bit from her dad was comforting. She took what she could get.
"Alright, who's hungry?" called out Launchpad, raising his arms in question. "I'll cook us something nice before we go to bed, eh?"
Gosalyn nodded. "Yeah, I'll have a bite to eat. How about you dad?" she glanced over at her dad, who had started going up the stairs. "Or are you boycotting Launchpad's food now just like you did Morgana's?" There was a tinge of anger in her voice.
Drake stopped walking and looked over to glance at down at her. "No, I'm not boycotting his food. I'll have some" he turned around and started coming back down the stairs.
"Wow. Now there's a shocker. His cooking is kind hazardous too dad, no offence, Launchpad. You're not going to starve yourself like you did with her?" she went up to Launchpad, who was at the sink getting some dishes ready. She knew he'd been listening. She elbowed him gently in the side. "He obviously doesn't like you as much as he did Morgana. Otherwise he'd be starving himself like he did for Morgana!" Launchpad remained silent.
Drake turned red with anger at this. "That's enough out of you, little missy! You better watch that mouth of yours or there won't be any Quiverwing this weekend! You may work by yourself these days, but that doesn't mean I can't keep you home at night either!"
"Please! You couldn't keep me here when you were Darkwing and you won't be able to keep me here while I'm Quiverwing." scoffed Gosalyn, shrugging off his threat. He looked down at her, still glaring. She was a lot taller than she used to be, but he was still taller. She now came up to his beak.
"Then you had better than cool it" he fought back weakly. There was a sudden, sharp pain in his chest that made him stop speaking. He pressed his right hand against the sore spot, gasping very quietly.
"Dad?" asked Gosalyn.
"DW?" came the concerned voice of Launchpad, who had sensed trouble and turned around. Launchpad placed his arms around Drake as though he was giving him a side hug, but Drake gently pushed him off.
"I'm fine" he insisted. He rubbed a bit more at the sore spot as the pain vanished. Launchpad patted him on the back.
"Must be old age. Maybe you should sit down, dad. Yelling at me will do that to you" snided Gosalyn.
Drake glared at her again. "Go to bed!"
"What! It's not even ten o'clock yet!" whined Gosalyn, surprised and indignant.
"I said go to bed" hissed Drake, his voice suddenly as deep and harsh as Negaduck's.
It caught both Launchpad and Gosalyn by surprise. They stared at him as Drake stared down at the floor, his arms now crossed. Gosalyn stepped back and went off to the stairs, knowing that this was one time she'd better listen. Her dad never used that tone of voice. She must have really pissed him off.
"DW…?" spoke Launchpad quietly after she left. Drake turned towards the sink, putting his hands into the sink and grabbing a clean dish. "DW?"
"I'm alright, LP" he spoke after a few minutes of silence. He set the dish down on the counter and without warning, turned towards Launchpad and hugged him. "She just…makes me so angry sometimes…" he began. Launchpad returned the hug, listening. "She just really knows how to push my buttons, it seems."
"You sounded like Negaduck for a moment there" Launchpad chipped in, holding Drake close.
"I did?" pondered Drake, looking up at Launchpad's face. He looked back down. "Sorry. I didn't realize that…"
"Well, you two are the same person, just from different universes, right?" thought Launchpad hard. He never did learn all the little details about the Negaverse fiasco. It made his head spin just thinking about it.
Drake sighed. "She's still really upset about this whole thing. Frankly, I figured she would have been thrilled at the idea of you and me. But, she was really attached to Morgana and I guess it just didn't settle with her right." They broke apart and Drake watched as Launchpad got some pots and pans together. He stopped him by placing a hand over his and said, "Don't bother. I'm not hungry."
Launchpad smiled. "You might not be, but I am!" he laughed.
Drake smiled. "You're always hungry" he pointed out, giving Launchpad's stomach a pat.
Launchpad couldn't deny that one. "Pretty much."
Drake smiled widely, but it then vanished back into a depressing frown. "You see? You make me laugh and smile. You always have. Even when you annoyed me to death with your antics-"
"Is that a compliment?" Launchpad broke in, placing a pan on the stove and getting a hamburger out. Drake smiled again. He knew he was just teasing.
"Yes. Anyways, even with your annoying antics, you still made me smile and have a good time. But that wasn't how it was with Morgana. I always had to act around her."
"Yeah, I was never Drake. I was always Darkwing. She liked my alter-ego better than she liked me, myself, you know?" Drake sighed. "I can be myself when I'm with you though. I don't have to act, I don't have to so anything. I can just be me. And I love it"
"That's right, DW. You don't have to work to keep me around. Aww, heck, I was as fan of yours before you even knew me!" chuckled Launchpad happily. He flipped the lonely burger that was in the pan. Drake nodded. That much was true.
"Yeah, when I first met you, I wanted to kill you."
"Kill me? Why?"
"Because you were driving me up a wall. You wouldn't stop talking, you kept calling me 'DW', which, at the time, I found very annoying. And all I wanted to do was catch up to that stupid bird that had worked for Taurus Bulba!" explained Drake, leaning against the counter top. "You almost done?" He eyed the hamburger that Launchpad was cooking.
"Yeah, why?" Launchpad flipped the burger again.
"I'm tried of standing"
"Then go sit."
"Not without you" mumbled Drake, crossing his arms and pouting slightly. Launchpad smiled affectionately at him, turning his head away from the stove for a moment. "Anyways….Back then, I thought I could take on the world all by myself. Having a friend or two never even occurred to me. But then I met you and Gosalyn, and you two changed my whole life around" concluded Drake.
"Done!" cried Launchpad triumphantly, referring to his hamburger. He turned off the stove and placed the hamburger in a bun, putting all kinds of strange topping on it before putting the top piece of bread n top. He took a large bite of it and started chewing. Drake looked up at him with a bored expression.
"It's times like this when I wonder about you, LP" he commented, getting a napkin out and handing it to him.
Launchpad found this funny as he wiped his mouth. "You still in pain?"
Drake didn't reply, just gave him a questioned look.
"You know what I mean. Before, when Gosalyn was still down here. You gasped a little and put your hand on your chest. Heartburn?" He took another large bite of his sandwich.
Drake shook his head, "Oh, that!" he scoffed, turning away. "That was…that was nothing" he shrugged it off. He laughed a bit nervously. "It was just a little -a little- you know, random pain. Not even that. Don't worry about it!"
Launchpad didn't seem at all convinced, but he didn't press the matter any further. Drake was about to turn and leave when Launchpad stuffed the rest of his hamburger in his mouth and grabbed Drake, picking the shorter mallard up and off his feet, taking him into the living room and dumping him on the couch.
"What was the meaning of that!" demanded Drake, startled more than angry.
"You said you wanted to sit down, so I put you on the couch" replied Launchpad simply.
Drake nodded, knowing that was true. His feet were killing him for some reason. Launchpad sat down beside him and wrapped his arm behind Drake's shoulders, the shorter mallard leaning towards him. Launchpad flipped the channel. He figured Drake didn't want to watch more headlines about Quiverwing. They sat there for a while, flipping through the channels and enjoying the peace.
A question was building up in Launchpad's throat. "Are you ever going to stop being Darkwing?"
Drake blinked at the question, caught off guard. He looked at Launchpad. "Well, I never really gave it much thought, but you know, eventually I will have to….I guess. Honestly, I don't like thinking about it. Because the thought of life without Darkwing sort of scares me. Why do you ask?"
Launchpad shrugged. "I was actually hoping you would say that. Because I like being your partner in crime. I like being there for you. Sure its dangerous, but that's why I make sure I'm there."
Drake seemed touched by this. He was about to reply when the news came on. They both turned to watch it.
The news caster started speaking. "It appears that the notorious, insane, duo are at it again. Criminals Quackerjack and Megavolt have been hitting every toy store and electronics store throughout the city and it appears they are no where near finished." The camera moved to one of the toy stores the two had hit, which was completely in ruins. It zoomed in on a piece of paper tacked to the half broken front door. "The two criminals have been leaving notes with riddles or jokes on them. Could these be clues to where they'll be hitting next? More at 11." The news changed to a commercial.
Drake gave Launchpad a side smirk and Launchpad beamed back at him. They both knew what that meant.()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()
Author's Note: Well, what did you think? Personally, this isn't what I would usually write, but I have to admit, it was fun. I found this chapter to be a bit fluffy and mushy, but don't worry, it gets much better, I promise! I tried keeping everyone in character and I think I did a decent job. I could have been better. There you go Kaboot! I hope you liked it. There is more coming soon!