If Launchpad had thought bake sales and booster clubs would be a thing of the past just because Gosalyn was finishing high school, he would have been wrong.
“Hey, college hockey teams need money, too,” Gosalyn rationalizes with the carefree shrug of a senior, a few finals away from her last summer vacation before going off to college.
“Explain again why we’re contributing to a fundraiser for a team you aren’t even on yet?” Launchpad asks, more by habit now than thinking the answer will change. It's not like he would deny Gosalyn pretty much anything (and they both knew it), but the debate helped develop Gosalyn’s persuasive skills and made him feel a little less like he was spoiling her rotten.
“Gotta make a good first impression!” Gosalyn chirps, taking the hot sauce away from the brownie ingredients he’s mixing up and casually dumping it in the trash.
“Hey, that’s the secret ingredient in my favorite recipe,” Launchpad protests, throwing the rest of the supplies together into the mixer bowl. “It gives it that extra little kick.”
“Too much kick,” Gosalyn tells him, grinning. “Not enough digestion.”
“You want to make these yourself?” He pokes her in the side with the mixing spoon more to hear her laugh than any real intention of stopping. “Besides, having an elite scoring winger who’s already been courted by both the American and Canadian women’s hockey leagues should be impression enough.”
“I haven’t scored any goals for them yet,” Gosalyn says, popping one of the chocolate chips that got away from him into her mouth and jumping up on the counter and swinging her legs. “And I want to earn their respect, not just expect it because I was on the first line of a state championship team while staying on the honor roll and fighting crime in my free time.”
“Hmm,” he responds, squinting at the buttons on the mixer, trying to remember which one he was supposed to start with and which one he was really, really not supposed to start with.
“Please help me.” Gosalyn poked him in the side back with the webbing of her foot, making her eyes big and vulnerable and pleading when he looked up. “Launchdad.”
Lauchpad can know he's getting played and that he's still no match for it every time. He’s just not even close to being able to saying no to Launchdad.
He presses the wrong button apparently because the mixer churns like it’s possessed, shaking across the counter and splattering brownie mix over the top of the bowl. Launchpad tackles it before it can vibrate straight off the counter while Gosalyn grabs the plug.
They’re both covering with batter, Gosalyn giggling and trying to pick it off his break and Launchpad chuckling and fussing with her Kessel jersey so it doesn’t stain.
“Oh, alright. Let's make some tarts, too,” he concedes with fake reluctance once they’re cleaned up. “But you’ve got to make dinner tomorrow night.”
“Yes!” Gosalyn cheers and hops off the counter to get what they’d need from the pantry.
Launchpad watches her go fondly, too aware that soon she won’t be living at home anymore and it will be a quiet and lonely adjustment.
“I’m home!” Darkwing calls from the entryway and greets Launchpad with a kiss when he finds him in the kitchen.
“Welcome home, DW,” Launchpad echoes sloppily, still helpless with how in love he is after all these years. He tucks Darkwing against him and reminds himself that it won’t be so lonely. Or, even if it is, they’ll be lonely together? Something like that.
“Everything okay?” Darkwing asks into his sweater before pulling away to look up at him.
“Yeah, just,” Launchpad shrugged. “Thinking, I guess.”
Darkwing raised an eyebrow and cupped the back of Launchpad’s neck and he immediately closed his eyes, feeling more grounded, more sure. “Feeling the empty nest a little again?”
“Yeah,” Launchpad breathes out. “Little bit.”
“Hmm,” Darkwing says and keeps him steady until Launchpad is ready to pull away.
“Oh, gross,” Gosalyn teases when she comes back, her arms full of way more supplies than the baked goods Launchpad has already agreed to will make. “You look like an old married couple.”
“We are an old married couple,” Darkwing answers, arching an eyebrow and pulling her into the hug once she’s dropped her load off on the kitchen island. “Hey, there, kiddo.”
“Hi, Dad.” She rolls her eyes and pulls away. “I keep telling you that I’m not a kiddo anymore though.”
“I know,” Darkwing tells her proudly. “You’re a biochemical engineering and criminal justice double major to be.”
“I’m going to go study before you start gushing all over me.”
“Okay,” he allows, letting her go with a kiss to the forehead that she scrunches up her face over before running up the stairs.
They share a look when they hear her door slam and the all too familiar tones of the strange music kids these days starts up. Launchpad will probably miss the music too.
“So much for studying,” Darkwing says under his breath. “So, how was your day?”
“Oh, nothing out of the ordinary,” Launchpad tells him, letting Darkwing lead them to the living room for the couch and some pre-dinner cuddling. “I did some maintenance on the Thunderquack, I planted a few rows of peas in the garden, sent out the party invitations for Gosalyn’s graduation party, started building that new engine that Mr. McDuck commissioned, went to the last PTA meeting of the year, and ran down a purse snatcher. You?”
Darkwing chuckles, finding a stripe of brownie mix he’d missed in his feathers , “that’s all, eh? I just filed tax extensions for a bunch of procrastinators who don’t understand why they have to pay taxes at all.”
“Yup. Oh, and I foiled Dr. Bushroot’s plans for a poison ivy infestation in all the local parks, so children would stop destroying the grass.”
“You could have called me in for that, DW,” Launchpad tells him, unnecessarily. They know they have each others’ backs.
Darkwing shrugs. “It was a quick one. Bushroots starting to slow down in his old age.”
“He’s not the only one,” Launchpad reminds him, smoothing back the spots on Darkwing’s head where he’s started to prematurely molt. “We’re not getting any younger and Huey, Duey, and Louie have been ready to solo missions for a while.”
“I know, I know,” Darkwing says, reluctantly. “I’m getting to be less of the terror that flaps in the night and more the geezer who eats the last Tapioca pudding in the nursing home.”
Launchpad laughs, “You’re not there yet, DW, but it will be good for you and the city if the boys to help out more, too.”
Darkwing sighs and looks up at him. “It doesn’t bother you that your favorite caped crusader is slowing down and won’t be as exciting anymore?”
“Hey,” Launchpad tells him, tucking Darkwing under his chin. “What could be more exciting than living with a CPA?”