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From the City of St. Canard

Chapter Text

A delicious aroma unlike any other wafted through the air of the Mallard household. Propelled by the air conditioning, it floated daintily up the stairs and into the room of a certain sleeping duck. 

His loud snores threatened to blow the scent away, but it was determined to captivate its target.

Despite the snoozing mallard, the mysterious air began to tickle at his beak. An eye slid open, darting around for any suspicious persons. This action was temporary, as soon he found himself not in control. His mind drunk in the lovely aroma and as it intoxicated him into yet another dream-like state, he let out a content sigh and began to float, quite literally, out of bed, searching for the source of that lovely aroma.

His door was opened all by itself and the captivated mallard floated gently out of his room and down the stairs. The alluring aroma directed the dozing duck down past the living room and through the revolving kitchen door where a larger duck was tending to the source of the scent that had our hero victim.

As the cloud of bliss that carried the duck finally reached its destination, the larger duck took notice, having been stirred by the opening of the kitchen doors.

“Morning, DW,” Launchpad said, happy to greet his best friend with a smile and a fresh pot of coffee. Drake Mallard, freed from his stupor by his pilot’s voice, opened his eyes, shook the spell from his head, and took stock of his situation.

Only to quickly realize he was 4 feet off the ground and came crashing back to Earth with a yelp.

“Morning, Launchpad…” Drake mumbled as Launchpad held out a mug for his friend to take, “Oh, that magical brown bean…”

Chapter Text

When Drake and Gosalyn walked into the kitchen of the Goof household, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Two tables were standing proud in the center of the room, groaning under the weight of plates and plates of every snack food imaginable. There were 6 different kinds of chips with dip, 3 huge containers of potato salad, 4 cakes decorated to the nines, a mountain of chicken wings, 9 2-liter bottles of soda, and many other treats, sweet and savory.

When Max said his dad put out quite a spread for Super Bowl Sunday, he certainly wasn’t just yammering.

At that moment, the back door swung open and in bounded Goofy, carrying a platter piled with hamburgers and hot dogs. Max followed in and was the first to acknowledge his girlfriend and her awestruck father.

“Hey Gosalyn! Glad you made it!” Max said as Goofy plopped the platter onto the table.

Drake was drawn out of his stupor as Goofy pulled him into a handshake. “Ahyuck, how ya doin’, Drake-a-roo?”

“That’s a lot of food for a small group,” Drake said with a nervous chuckle.

“Believe me, dad and I could put one o’ these tables down easy,” Max said, placing bags of hamburger buns on the table.

Drake’s jaw hit the floor with an audible “thunk”, and all in the room laughed heartily.

Chapter Text

A cool breeze sliced through the thick summer air as the moon lit the St. Canard cityscape. The darkened sky brought with it cooler temperatures to relieve the city of the blazing weather, if only for a short while. 

Darkwing Duck was on the prowl once again, positioned precariously on the edge of a building’s roof. He stretched out his limbs, feeling the joints loosen and pop with satisfaction. Ready to go, he stepped away from the edge and pulled out his quackPod. The shuffle fuction was a few taps on the screen away and as he stowed the quackPod in his jacket pocket, a particular favorite of his began to play in his headphones. The powerful electronic drums created a swinging groove that was magic in Darkwing’s ears. 

He backed up a few steps and readied himself. At the exact moment the song’s full instrumentation kicked in, he pushed off the ground and started his run. He ran to the building’s edge once again and leaped off it, the next building over clear in his sights. He liked to get some air right off the bat. It made a bold statement, and Darkwing Duck was the boldest. He tucked into a ball to help his flight, and also to facilitate the roll on the ground when the next bulding’s roof came up to meet him. As he recovered from the roll and resumed his jog, he smiled. 

“I’m getting better at that,” he said to himself, “I’ll have to thank Gosalyn.” 

His spirited daughter was the reason he took up this new form of exercise. She herself had learned it after seeing some movies that featured it prominently. After convincing her dad to give it a try, it had become a shared pastime, despite his slower progress on the flashier stuff.

Whether it was due to age or clumsiness, Darkwing wouldn’t tell you.

But out here, in the light night air on the roofs of the city he loved, he found himself full of energy that left him on top of this game. 

He let out a cry of attack as he vaulted over an A/C unit, the icy breeze shaking his jacket slightly. He landed, and immediately front flipped over the next A/C unit in front of him. The concrete of the roof tickled his webbed feet slightly with each step as he ran to the upcoming edge and leaped into the air once again, kicking passionately in a heroic pose. He grasped the rail of a stairwell on the next building over and pulled himself up with a grunt. Spying the roofline, he climbed on top of the railing and hopped up and over the edge. 

By now his song had come to the dance break leaving him alone with the groove. He found himself overtaken by the beat and began to moonwalk. If only someone could see him now, they’d be swooning in two shakes of a tailfeather. He was a slave to the rhythm, his feet weaving themselves through dancesteps, and he savored every moment. He eased into robotting and improvised his own little scat to the beat. 

This would’ve continued into the final chorus, but at that moment, an explosion shook the roof, knocking Darkwing off his feet. It took him a beat to regain his senses, and as he shook his head, he bounced up and turned around to see what exactly had thrown him off his groove. The local GameWorld was right across the street, engulfed in flames. 

No doubt, Quackerjack was on the prowl as well. 

Smirking, he yanked out his quackPod and quickly put that rocking song on again. His little rooftop run was merely a warm-up. 

Now it was time for the real workout to begin.

Chapter Text

The door to the clinic was flown wide and a duck whizzed inside, coming to crash against the wall below the front counter.

"Call us when you're done," a girl's voice called out with doting sarcasm, and the two figures on the outside responsible for the duck's less-than-grand entrance made their hasty exit. The duck shook the hurt away from his head and picked himself up from the floor, straightening his clothes in a huff.

The duck was Drake Mallard. And he had been dragged kicking and screaming for a physical by his daughter, Gosalyn, and his faithful companion, Launchpad McQuack.

He sighed and turned his attention to the lady at the desk. She was trying to hide a smile, having seen the ridiculous way he was tossed inside like a bag of mulch. She wasn't doing the best job of it, though, and this goofy look on her face only served to fuel Drake's manageable, but growing anxiety.

"Appointment for Drake Mallard," Drake said, exasperation evident in his voice.

The lady gave a nervous chuckle and began typing at her keyboard. "Sorry, sir," she replied, "I didn't mean to offend."

"Oh, don't worry about it," Drake said, then grumbled to himself, "You're not the one who was dragged in here against his will…"

He turned away from the front desk and took a seat as far away from the other patrons as possible. I'm going to have a long talk with that daughter of mine when I'm done here, he thought. His leg bounced up and down, and butterflies were starting to flutter in his stomach. Drake didn't know why he felt this way. He'd always known he didn't like doctors, but he didn't expect to be this uneasy. Looking around at a coughing dog in one corner and a noisy toddler in another did not help matters.

"Darkwing Duck wouldn't show these signs of weakness to a mere servant of society," Drake grumbled to himself.

"Drake Mallard?" a nurse called out, and Drake yelped in surprise.

Who was he kidding? Of course Darkwing would. And had.

As he waddled slowly toward the waiting nurse, he recalled how nervous he'd been when visiting psychiatrist team Doctors Heebie and Jeebie. Their aura was of pure malice. They didn't care for their patient. They just wanted to see him squirm as they did what they willed to the lab rat in their chair. Granted, those two kooks were actually Quackerjack and Megavolt in disguise, but it didn't change the fact that doctors, and their domination complexes had a way of bringing cold fear to Drake, a duck who always desired absolute control. Bringing this memory up from his recesses only served to amplify his anxiety, and despite his attempts to look normal, the nurse couldn't help but notice his shirt darkening at the armpits.

"Is everything okay, sir?" she asked politely. Drake, startled, whipped his head around so quickly that the nurse jumped back, worried that she'd need to add "whiplash" to his symptom list.

His worry spilled over in the nervous chuckles he gave upon seeing the nurse's reaction. "Uhhhh, just p-peachy," he said, "fine, yes…" He scratched the back off his head and looked down, embarrassed, for a moment. He glanced to his right and, seeing the solace of an exam room, dove inside and shut the door. All the nurse could do was shake her head. This guy is a nut, she thought, and left to fetch the doctor.

Drake rode home in a taxi after his appointment. He hoped to avoid having to talk about the doctor's visit this way. Plus, not having to pay for potential property damage due to Launchpad's erratic driving was always a good thing. However, when he walked through the front door to see Launchpad and Gosalyn jogging enthusiastically to him, he realized his cab ride was only delaying the inevitable.

"So, how'd it go?" Gosalyn asked slyly.

Perhaps as revenge for his "grand entrance" into the clinic, Drake decided to play the ambiguous card. "Good," he said, and immediately retreated to his room.

"Daaaaad!" Gosalyn called after him, but her irritation was duly ignored.

He flopped on his bed and smiled. He wouldn't be admitting it, but he actually enjoyed himself. For once, the doc has a calming air about him, and after noting his nervousness, kept the random poking and prodding to a minimum. They even had some great conversations about Darkwing Duck; it turns out the doc was a huge fan.

"Well, perhaps you'll meet him, someday…" Drake mused, happy that for the first time in his life, he had a doctor that was a keeper.

Chapter Text

Drake and Launchpad were seated at the fluffy living room couch, sipping on coffee and watching the hot new woodworking show, “Morning Wood with Jack the Carpenter”.

Launchpad was dressed in an outfit he’d been breaking in lately, which consisted of heavy-duty cargo pants and boots, and a cozy, leather aviator jacket over a simple, green T-shirt. Drake was in his usual attire of his tackiest green sweater vest over a “salmon”-colored button-up shirt.

…and no pants?

Launchpad wasn’t sure why he only noticed it now. He was around Drake practically 24/7, whether as the pilot and sidekick of the daring Darkwing Duck, or as the co-guardian of Gosalyn, Drake’s adopted bundle-of-joy. He’d even moved into Drake’s room just a few weeks ago, their blossoming romantic relationship turning into something serious. He could’ve noticed Drake’s lack of regular bottom-covering at any one of those times, but for some strange collision of stars or other supernatural reason, it stuck out to Launchpad this morning like…

…well, like someone being the only one in the room without pants.

Was there a big reason behind this? Did a big event in Drake’s life spearhead his decision to remove the covering from his feathered legs? It couldn’t have been a simple thought, could it?

Before he could stop himself, the question pushed its way out of Launchpad’s beak. “DW, how come you don’t wear pants?”

To say Drake was caught off-guard with Launchpad’s inquiry would be an understatement. He was sipping at his mug when Launchpad’s question poked at his ear, and he promptly began choking on his gulp. He coughed and hacked it away from his lungs and it burned his throat as it was shoved down his esophagus to safety.

Launchpad was shocked. He didn’t mean for any of that to happen, and as he patted Drake’s back to ease his coughing, the regret he felt turned his face a bright red. “I-I’m sorry, DW,” he stammered, “I don’t k-know how that came out.”

Once Drake regained control of his breathing, he chuckled to offset his own embarrassment. “You only now noticed, huh?” he said with a side of sarcasm.

“Well, I mean…”

 “I’m joking, ya big lug,” he said with a shake of his head, before his stuttering pilot could continue.

Launchpad sighed as his face slowly came back to its white color. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”

The room was silent again for a few moments after that small incident. Launchpad continued sipping his coffee and staring at the TV. Drake crossed his legs and turned his gaze to Launchpad. That sweet pilot he shared a bed with was such a lovable oaf sometimes. Drake sighed and wondered if he deserved him, that innocent soul currently marveling at Jake the Carpenter’s work-in-progress poker table. Even if he didn’t deserve LP, he was thankful he had him anyway.

And you know, he did ask a valid question.

“I was always more comfortable without pants,” he began, “but Mommy insisted. Probably didn’t want to give kids another reason to laugh after the molting fiasco. Although remembering the reactions when Darkwing Duck debuted at the prom, I wonder why I never got rid of the cursed things sooner.”

“Well, it’s a big lifestyle change,” Launchpad chimed in.

“Not all that much,” Drake retorted, “I mean, certainly not too big for Herb Muddlefoot.” He said his neighbor’s name with a healthy dose of disgust. “It’s a stupid thing, really.”

“I don’t care. I like it.”

Drake smiled, and even blushed a little bit at his boyfriend’s simple compliment. Launchpad’s grin grew as well, and he scooted closer to his hero, wrapping his arms around Drake. The two sighed contentedly and nuzzled into each other’s company. Pants or no pants, these two were happy.

Chapter Text

At first glance, the house that stood at 537 Avian Way was as plain and nondescript as any other on the street. It had a station wagon in a driveway, it had a flower garden under the front window, and it had a beautiful interior that would make any family want to move in immediately.

That is, once Drake Mallard, Mr. Clean-and-Tidy, had his way with it.

He was hosting the monthly Single Dad’s Club meeting today, and heaven forbid his guests were to walk into a disheveled mess of a house. That’s why since the crack of dawn… well, actually since his 10:00 arousal, he, Gosalyn, and Launchpad had been working nonstop preparing the house for their noon arrival. And there was so much to do. Dishes to clean, tables to wipe down, furniture to dust, food to prepare.

Certain children’s bedrooms to declutter.

That had been the hardest part. If gallivanting around the city every night as Darkwing Duck was hard work, convincing Gosalyn to clean her room was impossible work. You might as well tell a fish to get out of the water and walk. It won’t because it can’t. But Drake wouldn’t give up. He was her father, and darn it, she would get her room clean, or the ground-ening would be more than nigh.

Launchpad heard the back and forth arguing from the living room, and grimaced at its ugliness. He slinked off to the kitchen, hoping to find solace from their fight in the potato salad he was making. It was Herb Muddlefoot’s famous recipe, but he wouldn’t dare tell Drake that. Drake couldn’t stand the Muddlefoots, the thorns in his side from the house next door.

A door swung open forcefully upstairs, and the loud noise caused Launchpad’s grip on the salt to slip. He tried to wrestle the container back under control as it bounced around his swiping hands, but it plopped, open end first, into the bowl of potato salad. Launchpad quickly grabbed the salt container and yanked it out, salt cascading all over the counter as he righted the container swift as a cat. He wouldn’t deny it was a textbook-quality crash, but it could have happened anywhere other than the masterpiece he’d been slaving over.

The kitchen doors were kicked open practically off their hinges, and Drake stomped in, grumbling incoherently. Launchpad may not have been the straightest-flying plane in the hangar, but he could read people remarkably well, and it was obvious to him how stressed and frustrated Drake was. The feathers on his head were disheveled. Sweat shone through his shirt in all the right (or in this case wrong) places. His right eye was slightly bloodshot. At least Launchpad thought it was. It was twitching too much for him to get a clear view.

And the weirdest part? This was the third time he hosted a meeting of the Single Dad’s Club. Even with the experience of hosting their hangouts twice before, it still put him on edge like nothing else he ever faced as St. Canard’s flapping terror.

Launchpad could understand. Drake felt a lot of pressure being a host, something that was still a new experience in his previously solitary life. All Drake wanted was to have his guests walk into a clean house, a welcoming space, to give them some assurance that he had everything under control. Because that’s what Drake liked. A hero was always in control. But right now, Drake looked like no hero, so Launchpad took it upon himself to help his buddy regain his control.

As he sheepishly scraped the molehill of salt off his potato salad, being careful not to draw Drake’s attention to it, he broke the ice. “Uhhh, how’s it going in Gos’s room, DW?”

Drake plopped himself at the dining table and let out a scowl that was caked in his frustration. “I don’t get it, Launchpad. I don’t get what’s so difficult about keeping her room tidy! I never had that trouble when I was a kid!”

Launchpad disposed of the salt mound down the sink and started to stir in the salt that remained. “Well, it’s her own environment, DW. She’s gotta have a reason for keeping her room like that.”

“Yeah, like killing my last nerves,” Drake spat back, and slumped over the table.

“You never know, maybe she’ll surprise you,” Launchpad assured his friend. Drake suddenly began to laugh manically, all his stress being channeled into the giggles he now found himself unable to stop. Anyone else might’ve been offended, but Launchpad took this in stride. He knew his friend didn’t mean any real harm.

As his giggles slowed, Drake managed to choke out, “Are we talking about the same daughter of mine?”

Launchpad walked over to Drake and patted him on his shoulder. “You’re doing a good job, DW. They’re gonna have a great time.” Launchpad’s kind encouragement brought a smile to Drake’s beak, and he managed to take a deep breath in and out.

“Thanks, LP,” Drake mumbled.

“You just gotta refocus yourself, DW. After all, what’s a little housecleaning compared to the awesome threats you come up against?”

Drake’s face lit up a bit. “You’re right. I can do this!” He hopped up onto his chair with newfound confidence. “I face down venomous villains every day! This party of pals is a mere pittance!” Straightening his clothes, he bounced out of the kitchen with much more pep than he entered with. Launchpad smiled, pride surging through him for helping his best friend.

His eyes turned back to the potato salad, and he marched over to it and stuck his finger in the cold mass, ready to taste it for seasoning. As his finger entered his mouth, the saltiness erupted from the smooth mixture, and Launchpad was suddenly sputtering furiously, trying to remove that horrible travesty from his mouth. The salt disappeared from his taste buds, and Launchpad blushed as he realized that his blunder earlier had rendered the potato salad a total wash.

A solution formed in his mind after a pause, and he jogged to the telephone by the kitchen window to put it into action. He would fix this right up and no one would be the wiser.

“Binkie, it’s Launchpad. Could you spare some potato salad?”

 Drake and Gosalyn talked things out calmly, and with some compromises, the two were able to transform her room into a space much more habitable than before. With that chore out of the way, the Mallard residence was ready to host the Single Dad’s Club. Drake sat in the living room looking much more put together now, having showered and changed his shirt. He was excited to see his compatriots again, and he hummed to himself to enhance his happy mood.

The doorbell rang, alerting everyone to the arrival of their guests. As Drake opened the door, all his previous anxieties melted away when he laid eyes on his guests. Donald Duck and Goofy stood in the porch, spirits high, Donald with his identical triplet nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and Goofy, with his spirited son, Max.

“Howdy-doo, Drake-aroo. Ahyuck!” Goofy greeted.

“How ya doin’?” Donald waved at Drake.

“Just peachy,” Drake responded, and he ushered the group inside. The kids instantly ran upstairs to their host for the day, Gosalyn, while the adults were led into the kitchen where food was waiting.

Chapter Text

The moon casts a soothing glow across the St.Canard cityscape. It draws the humble citizen to a state of calm and peace like nothing else can. It calls out to you and says in its trance, “Come to bed. Tomorrow is another day.”

So why on earth is this humble hero hanging out at a Hamburger Hippo at this hour?

These thoughts bounced wearily in Darkwing Duck’s head as he slumped into a stool at the counter of Launchpad McQuack’s favorite fast-food joint. The night was waning fast and a tough patrol had left Darkwing running on fumes, but Launchpad had begged him for a midnight snack to appease his growling stomach. And when Launchpad gave you the puppy dog eyes, you listened.

The lanky fry cook looked up from his phone to see Launchpad stepping up to his register. He brushed his shaggy hair back under his cap and stretched his neck as he prepared to take the pilot’s order. Darkwing rested his beak on his hand and sighed. You’re not the only one here against your will, tonight… he thought.

“Welcome to Hamburger Hippo, home of the classic Hippo Burger. How may I help you?” the cook droned.

“I’ll have two Cheese Food Product burgers with fries, one Hippo Shake, and an apple-flavored Pie Substitute,” Launchpad said with much more enthusiasm than this worker could ever muster. Launchpad then turned to the purple-clad protector of the public. “How about you, DW?”

“My blanky, Launchpad,” Darkwing grumbled, and fell against the counter with a resounding thud.

“Uhhhh, how about a small Coo-Coo Cola for my buddy?” Launchpad said around an awkward chuckle.

“That’ll be $18.64,” the employee sighed, and Launchpad pulled a credit card out of his pocket. After the transaction was complete, the worker slunk to the griddle to carry out his first order in 2 and a half hours while Launchpad took a seat next to Darkwing.

“I don’t know what you see in this place, LP,” Darkwing began as he picked his head up, “there are a thousand better burgers in St. Canard alone.”

“Mom and Pop brought us here a lot. They’d always celebrate end of tour at Hamburger Hippo.”

“Oh yes, your family are the Flying McQuacks, correct?” Darkwing said.

“Righty-o! They always say the Flying McQuacks bring the audience to their feet!” Launchpad said with pride.

Darkwing plopped his beak back on the counter. “Probably so they can jump out of the way,” he mumbled to himself. If LP’s flying skills were anything like his family’s, it was a wonder they still did sold-out shows across the country.

A small cup was slid down the counter and tapped Darkwing’s beak. His cat-like reflexes took over him and he jumped suddenly, flying off the stool and right to the pavement below. This was bound to be the highlight of the cook’s evening if his hearty laughter was any indication. Darkwing bounced up, red in the face. Launchpad could barely hold back a grin of his own as he held the glorious hot mess that was his “midnight snack”. Darkwing quickly grabbed Launchpad’s scarf and dragged him to the Ratcatcher. The sooner he was home and away from this humiliation, the better.

Chapter Text

Drake Mallard grunted and slumped against his couch, growling deep in his throat. One of the most grueling challenges he ever faced was staring him right in the face and laughing at the poor duck.

“Aw, Whiffle got walloped. 1 life to go,” came out of the TV, mocking Drake and his best efforts toward victory.

He always knew beating Whiffle Boy DX on Super Hard difficulty would be a trial. The countless testimonies he researched from online forums made that quite clear. But he certainly didn’t foresee himself losing a night of sleep over it. He had been chipping away at this battle for 4 hours now. Gosalyn and Launchpad had long since gone to bed, growing bored with Drake’s countless futile attempts.

It didn’t matter. He was on a roll with this run, the experiences from his many Game Overs serving only to hone his skills and bring him to the place that mattered most: the final boss.

He pulled on the feathers on his head, the shooting pain distracting him from the stress that bubbled deep in his stomach. His eyes were bloodshot, and he gnashed his teeth in a way that would make any dentist cry. Doggone it, this simple video game would not get the best of him! He had his method down for beating the final boss. The strategies he mastered had gotten him so close, so many times. But this time, this had to be the one. If he dropped the ball once more, and lost his last life, he would have to, once again, start his adventure all the way from the beginning.

Drake jumped up on his couch. “Laugh at me now, you preposterous program, but Darkwing Duck WILL. LAUGH. LAST!” he shouted defiantly at his TV, bouncing on the couch to emphasize his last words. He hopped back into a sitting position and steeled his focus. The game had finished loading and it was time to win.

“You’ll never win, Whiffle Boy!” said the Big Daddy Weasel Bot, tauting Drake as it had many times before with its mechanical voice. But this time would be different. This time he had an ace up his sleeve.

Drake pushed his Control Stick forward and to the left, moving Whiffle Boy to the upper quadrant of the map. Big Daddy Weasel Bot fired his missiles but they were easily dodged by a triple jump combo. It was a mere distraction, as Drake had his eye on a special power-up hidden in the pile of crates he was running towards. The gadget that would turn the tide of this trial. The Whiffler 8000. With it, he could deal twice the damage of his current weapon, the Disc of Chaos. He would surely take down the robot with the 8000 in his mitts and hopefully soon enough to avoid the dreaded Ground Pound attack that had claimed so many of Whiffle Boy’s lives.

Beads of sweat dripped down Drake’s face as more missiles were fired in his direction. They homed in on the hero he controlled, and he found himself involuntarily announcing his moves as he executed the slide button combo.

“Slide left! Right! JUMP!” he exclaimed, and as Whiffle Boy jumped in the air to dodge the last missile, he fired the Disc of Chaos at the crate pile. The gun he so desperately needed appeared in a flash of light and splinters. “Yes! Come to papa!” he said as he rushed to claim his prize. As Whiffle Boy collected the Whiffler 8000, Drake saw the Weasel Bot crouching low. Light built up around him, growing into a massive aura. Then, in a flash covering the entire screen, the Big Daddy Weasel Bot was gone.

Drake’s pupils shrunk in fear, and his feathers jumped on end.

This was it. The Ground Pound. An attack that would devastate the map with a powerful shock wave, leaving the perfect floor in pieces.

Drake’s thoughts increased speed as he contemplated how to dodge. Many a scenario ran through his mind, some that had worked once or twice, and many others that were disastrous, leaving Whiffle Boy with little, or even no health. Each option screamed at him, each louder than the last, until he was thoroughly overwhelmed. All of this took place in the second that had elapsed since Weasel Bot had left the map. His head began to vibrate faster and as he saw Weasel Bot drop out of the sky and crush the ground into oblivion, Drake yelped in terror and his reflexes chose his move for him. The button combo he used triggered a jetpack Whiffle Boy had equipped. Whiffle Boy blasted into the air just as the shock assaulted the map then dissipated just as quickly.

Drake sighed. Whiffle Boy had escaped unscathed.

But he couldn’t rest on his laurels now. The weak spot of the robot was exposed. It was time to end this.

Drake took aim at the big red target on the robot’s underside, narrowed his eyes to face his enemy, and fired.

The boss’s health bar decreased rapidly as Drake’s thumb furiously tapped the fire button. He had to finish it now, who knows what could’ve been next should Weasel Bot survive. Drake’s thumb burned with his effort, but the adrenaline masked the pain and served to heighten Drake’s euphoria as the bot’s health grew smaller. And smaller.

Until it was gone.

The Big Daddy Weasel Bot spewed fire from its underside as its systems began to fail. Drake had done it. The battle was over, and he had finally emerged victorious. His seething frown dropped open in shock, then curled upward into a wide grin as the weight of his accomplishment brought itself down on Drake. The Big Daddy Weasel Bot was obliterated in a huge explosion and Drake vaulted into the air in celebration.

“YAHOO!” he yelled, pumping his fists in the air, “Another foe stands defeated at the hand of the mighty Whiffle Boy!”

“Finally! Does that mean you’re gonna keep quiet?” came a voice from the stairs. Drake whipped his head in that direction to view his daughter, Gosalyn, who looked none too pleased.

Drake blushed. “Sorry, sweetie,” was all he could really say.

“I’ve created a monster,” Gosalyn grumbled quietly as she trudged back up the stairs. When she was gone, Drake whipped out his phone and snapped a selfie of the momentous occasion as the final cutscene played out. His Instapic followers would be so jealous!

Chapter Text

There were many things in life that Drake Mallard promised he would never become. He swore to never be a greaser after the the ordeal with the King. He swore to never be like the contemptable Ham String and Preena Lott.

Well, he swore to be as successful and popular as them, but not all the baggage that came with it.

But if there was one thing that he swore every day to go against, the one thing that was the opposite of everything he wanted his life to become, it was the typical boring suburbanite.

These thoughts began swimming in Drake’s mind as they had on many an occasion as he sat in a lawn chair drinking a Coo-Coo Cola in the Muddlefoots’ backyard. They were enjoying the warm summer day with a cookout, and the Mallards had been cordially invited to attend. Drake would say he had been dragged, but Launchpad knew he was doing it for Gosalyn. The Muddlefoots’ youngest son, Honker, was Gosalyn’s best friend, so any chance they had to hang out was a great day for the both of them. He watched them run around the yard, playing Cops and Robbers with Honker’s older brother, Tank, who undoubtedly volunteered to be the robber.

Drake never thought his life would ever take this direction. He had taken every path himself to avoid it. Throughout high school, he made huge promises to his parents to change the world. He dreamt big and strove through his actions to not be just another duck. He wanted to be THE duck. And that didn’t mean going to college and getting a job. That meant traveling overseas, training and learning from the greatest so he could become the superhero everyone loved. A hero that plastered headlines, that had movies made about him, that everyone knew the name of. His parents tried to talk him down, but he brushed them off, dismissing them with the claim that they didn’t understand. They were just cogs in the machine who were content with their 9-5 jobs and their white picket fences. Where was the excitement in that?

As he sat surrounded by the same white picket fences and the smell of roasting weenies, Drake now understood the excitement his parents had as suburbanites. It all came from the family they had. Drake supplied his family’s excitement with his wild ambitions, odd hobbies, and boundless imagination. Gosalyn, in turn, turned Drake’s simple domestic life into anything but, with her infinite energy, sharp mind, and boundless imagination. He would probably still be alone in the Audubon Bay Bridge, fighting small time burglars and chasing headlines had she not crashed into his life. didn’t want to admit it, but that was real drudgery and real stagnation, and would’ve been exactly what he was fighting against.

Gosalyn and Launchpad, his loving family, had injected his life with new excitement, and made the suburban life worth having. Teenage Drake would absolutely be cringing. But for this beautiful detour in his plan, he was forever grateful.

“Gee, life is grand, eh, Drakester?” laughed Herb Muddlefoot, slapping Drake on the back so hard it knocked him out of his chair. Drake grumbled and picked himself and his now spilled Cola can up from the ground. He dusted himself off and laid eyes on his oafish neighbor, who wore the same dopey grin he always had on. Drake turned back toward the fence and saw Gosalyn and Tank aggressively wrestling while Honker looked on, quite scared.

Drake turned back to Herb and patted him on the shoulder. “You know what, Herb?” Drake said, “Yes. Yes, it is.”

Chapter Text

“AAAAACHOOOO!” Drake Mallard sneezed for what felt like the 12,000 th time. He pulled his two blanket closer to his chin and slumped on the couch, sinking into the cushions as far as he could muster. His sinuses were clogged, his throat was grungy and grimy, and his head throbbed with the heat of his fever.

Yep, this was certainly one monster cold he was suffering with. He’d have to thank Isis Vanderchill when she got out of the St. Canard Penitentiary for the Criminally Crafty.

Launchpad took his eyes off the TV and gave Drake a concerned look. “Are you doing alright, DW?”

“I don’t know, LP. Between my head wanting to explode, my makeshift cocoon here, and the fact that I sound like Negaduck (the fiend…), how do you think I feel?” he spat at his friend without even realizing how vile he sounded.

“I guess not that good,” Launchpad muttered, then promptly scooted closer to the armrest.

Drake immediately realized his sarcastic nature had gotten the better of him and he sighed. “I’m sorry, Launchpad. It’s not your fault. I’m just not in the best of moods tonight.” As he said this, he grabbed a tissue from the side table and proceeded to blow his beak very loudly. He was not feeling good, a fact that every neighbor of his was now aware of. And this rerun of Pelican’s Island was not helping matters.

Seriously, how on earth did it last TWELVE seasons?

Drake eased himself off the couch and stretched. “I’m going to take some cold medicine and go to bed.”

A red flag went off in Launchpad’s brain when he heard “cold medicine”. “A-are you sure that’s a good idea, DW? I know you’re not feeling good, but you know what it does to you.”

“I don’t care what it does to me,” he snorted as he waddled out of the living room, “I’m so stuffed up I can’t even breathe. A…AAAAACHOOOO!” As he reached the stairs, the force of the sneeze sent him flying backwards and into a table of vases. As the table clattered to the floor, the two colorful vases tumbled off and hit Drake on the head before meeting the floor with a loud crash. He jumped up and grumbled all the way to the second floor of the house. Launchpad watched him ascend in a huff and shook his head as he returned his view to the TV.

Drake pushed open the bathroom door, which was already open a crack, and immediately went to the medicine cabinet to grab the nighttime cold medicine. He fished out two caplets from the box and popped them in his mouth without thinking. He sniffed hard, trying to clear his passages but to no avail. This intense sniff however caused him to sneeze, and the caplets escaped his mouth with the rushing air and mucus. He saw them bounce off the sink bottom and straight up in the air. He tried to reach for them in midair, but his fingers missed them with each swipe, and the green pills dropped once again into the sink, and rolled their way down the drain.

Great. Just great.

With another sniff and an exasperated sigh, Drake grabbed two more pills from the box. He filled a cup of water at the sink and dropped the pills into the half-full cup. They floated like buoys and were transferred into Drake’s body as he gulped the entire cupful down. Not bothering to put the box of cold medicine back where he found it, he exited the bathroom and trudged next door to his bedroom, the whole experience making him more tired. He didn’t even bother to change out of his signature pink button-up shirt and checkered green sweater vest. He simply slithered into his bed and snuggled under the covers as deep as he could go.

As he lay there, he began to ponder the medicine dissolving in his stomach and what Launchpad had said earlier. All he knew about the medicine’s effect on him was what Launchpad had told him the next day the last time he had a cold. Apparently, he had done some unusual things.

He and Launchpad had debated the merits of putting meat before cheese on sandwiches, he drove to see a man about their air conditioner while being so delirious, he could be DUI, and he even went to the Muddlefoots, willingly, and invited himself over for dinner when he realized all meals to that point had been absentmindedly skipped. Of course none of this was remembered the next day when he awoke on the Muddlefoots’ couch.

He had inferred it had something to do with the way the cough suppressant affected his brain. Despite this, he meant it when he said he didn’t care. He was frustrated at how congested he was left after his last adventure, and any relief from his feverish, disgusting state was worth any side effects that would come upon him. Drake coughed a thoroughly wet cough, rolled over onto his side and began to think about the clear nose and regained energy he’d have in the morning. The sunset outside bathed his room in a faint orange glow as he let sleep overtake him.

When he awoke, the midday sun lit up his room and Launchpad was sitting beside his bed. He sniffed the air through his now clear nasal passages and looked at his phone. His eyes bugged out when he noticed it was Thursday. It should have been Wednesday.

Drake looked at his pilot with dismay on his face. “It happened again, didn’t it?” he squeaked.

“It sure did!” Launchpad smiled.

Drake slapped his forehead, feeling his headache returning. “Hoo boy…”

He couldn’t WAIT to hear about this.

Chapter Text

With the drop of a needle, Drake was transported back to an era. An era full of the nastiest foes Darkwing Duck had ever faced. An era where Gosalyn Mallard found a family. An era of bright neon colors, thundering beats, and all-around radicalness.

An era where Powerline was on top of the world.

The broken-in speakers of the living room stereo pumped the beginning of that smash-hit single throughout the room, and Drake let his consciousness go, to be driven by the funk.

Outside, Gosalyn, Launchpad, and Max Goof were sipping on Coo-Coo Cola while Max’s dad, Goofy, grilled hamburgers. All four heard the booming bass through the walls and turned in the sound’s direction.

“Gee, what’s going on in there?” Goofy asked, itching his head under his toque.

“Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound like getting burger buns,” added Max.

Gosalyn, however, knew exactly what was going on inside, and she shook her head. “Funny thing. Dad found his old Powerline records in the attic today,” she looked into the kitchen window, “Guess he found the perfect moment to try ‘em out.”

“Man, I remember Powerline,” Max said, beginning to wax nostalgic, “He was all the rage when I was in school.”

“And boy, did Maxie love him, ahyuck!” Goofy chimed in, “He even danced on stage with the feller!”

Gosalyn grin was wide and open. “No way, really?” She couldn’t believe it.

Max scratched the back of his head in embarrassment. “Heh...yeah. It’s a long story.”

Suddenly, a burst of singing pulled everyone’s attention toward the house. Every jaw in the backyard dropped when they realized who it was.

“Stand out! Above the crowd!

Even if I gotta shout out loud!”

The walls did a good job of muffling the sound, but the quality of the voice was undoubtedly Drake’s. He was singing along to Powerline, and doing a good job of it too.

Max stood up from his lawn chair and jogged to the back door. “I gotta see this.”

“I didn’t know DW could sing like that…” Launchpad breathed.

Gosalyn looked as everyone entered the house. She chuckled and followed after. “Watch the patties, will ya, LP?”

The group made their way through the kitchen and into the front hall of the Mallard house. Max peered into the living room, keeping mostly out of sight.

“Good gravy,” he mumbled. Drake was getting down something fierce. The moves were suave, sensual, and daring. Even at his age, he executed each of Powerline’s best moves perfectly. All while singing along to every word.

Max’s grin stretched from ear to ear, and he turned to Gosalyn. “Your dad’s slaying in there,” he whispered, “He must be a big fan.”

“Yeah,” Gosalyn said, “only has every album.”

“Check this out, baby,” Max winked at Gosalyn, before standing at his full height and stepping into the living room.

The song had just entered the bridge and Drake exited a spin into a signature Powerline pose when he caught sight of Max standing in the archway, hand on a hip, and a smile on his face. Drake yelped and fell backwards onto the floor. His face was immediately awash with red. Max couldn’t help but laugh as Drake scrambled to his feet.

“How long have you been there?!” Drake flustered.

“Only a minute, Mr. Mallard. You’re killin’ it!”

Drake’s blush grew minuscule as he processed Max’s compliment. “Uh...r-really?”

“Yeah, the master knows what he’s talking about,” said Max confidently. Max knew Drake’s ego wouldn’t take this lying down.

“Alright, ‘Mr. Dance Master’. Let’s see how you cut a rug.” Drake took the bait hook, line, and sinker.

“Dig this,” said Max as the final chorus kicked in. He backed up a couple steps then proceeded to bust quite a move. Drake watched carefully, entranced by the way the music made him dance. It was poetry in motion.

As he spun and struck a pose, he pointed at Drake, metaphorically passing the baton to him. “Don’t forget, this is a guy who actually danced with Powerline.”

Drake’s eyes popped out of his head and his jaw slammed into the floor.

“Ahyuck, aren’t they just the coolest?” Goofy whispered, dancing in place himself watching Max swing Drake around as the next song began.

Gosalyn rolled her eyes. “There’ll be no livin’ with either of ‘em now,” she sighed. Gosalyn continued to watch them groove to the music of that magical time. A time when she found a permanent family. A time where she found the love of her life.

A time when Powerline ruled it all.

Chapter Text

Electronic eyes stared intensely at biological eyes. Each strained to gain some inkling of a clue from the other as to the strategy they currently employed.

Darkwing Duck narrowed his eyes with suspicion at the artificial intelligence he was currently facing in chess. The queen on the chess board of justice was behind currently, with all but his king and a bishop in the hands of One, the envy of all computer technology.

Despite his odds, he was not giving an inch, determined as ever to somehow pull out a victory for duck-kind.

But One played absolutely flawlessly, adapting his chess program on the fly to every move Darkwing made. He could predict entire games in seconds with his powerful processors, and he clearly had the upper hand in this game, matching the mind of his creator, eccentric Everett Ducklair.

It was Darkwing’s turn at that moment, and he was in a precarious position. One’s knight had his king trapped and in check. Darkwing wracked his brain over scenario after scenario, all of which seemed to end in his failure. He gulped as anxiety began to scratch at his stomach.

“Admitting defeat, DW?” One asked slyly.

Darkwing gave the virtual head in front of him a curt look. “No! Just...thinking!”

He focused back to the holographic chess board in front of him. One was in his head, though he would rather keel over than let the AI know of it. All potential moves resulted in his capture by the knight, and his brow began to sweat as the realization of his defeat draped itself over Darkwing.

Then, it hit him. One move. One safe square. One point of solace away from the knight. It was his best chance, so Darkwing snatched it up. He picked up the king and plopped it down one space to his right.

“What have you got to say about that, One?” he boasted, crossing his arms and sending a smug look One’s way.

“Just this,” replied the AI, “Checkmate.”

Darkwing’s jaw hit the floor as the computer displayed not one, not two, but three pieces that could capture his king at that square. Darkwing was so focused on the knight, that he had been blind to other pieces nearby.

Darkwing groaned and slumped against One’s globe dramatically. “Defeat dawns this day on the daring duck of mystery…”

The chess board vanished from sight and One gave Darkwing an encouraging gaze. “Better luck next time, hero,” he said.

“Alright, hand it over,” came a voice from behind.

Darkwing turned around to see Duckburg’s protector of peace and his best friend, the Duck Avenger, standing there with a smile, and his arm outstretched.

Darkwing sighed, pulled out his wallet, and placed a $20 bill into Duck Avenger’s gloved hand.

“Let that be a lesson, Darkwing. Never make bets with computers.”

One winked in Darkwing’s direction, and the hero rolled his eyes in response. His Quackintosh in Darkwing Tower would’ve let him win…

Chapter Text

A cool breeze sailed down the sidewalks of St. Canard, and tickled the feet of two ducks walking along its path. St. Canard’s stalwart sentinel of safety, Darkwing Duck was chatting away with one of his many alternate selves, the daring Quiverwing Duck.

The auspicious archer was not in his universe at the moment, dropping by St. Canard Prime to help Darkwing Duck with a messy S.H.U.S.H. caper. The job was completed efficiently and thoroughly, and they were making their way to the universe portal back at S.H.U.S.H. HQ, chewing the fat along the way.

“So how popular are you back where you come from?” asked Darkwing.

“Oh, you know. A few people see me in the papers,” said Quiverwing, deliberately underplaying his notoriety, while stretching his toned arms to the sky.

He caught Darkwing admiring them in his sharp peripheral vision. Darkwing glanced away quickly, trying not to make it obvious he was staring.

Quiverwing smirked at Darkwing. “Like what you see?”

Darkwing had to admit, he did. The bold blue tunic, the snappy hat, those flashy archery skills, and that fit, muscular body. It was a Darkwing Duck at peak performance, and Darkwing Prime was jealous, though he would rather die than confess it.

“Well, I mean,” Darkwing began, searching for the right phrase, “You...look like you’re doing very well.”

“Oh, I’m doing all right, I suppose.” Quiverwing took this opportunity to flex his arm at Darkwing, the bicep bulging with the action.

Darkwing gulped, then turned back to the sidewalk, pulling his hat down to hide his faint blush. “Showoff,” he mumbled.

At that moment, a gust of wind whipped its way around the two heroes. Darkwing likened it to a sea breeze from out past Audubon Bay. Quiverwing, however, was caught off guard when the wind sailed up between his legs and lifted his tunic from its resting place, effectively upskirting him.

Now, like Darkwing, Quiverwing made a personal choice to forgo pants of all kinds when presenting himself to the world. For the most part, it was a very comfortable and freeing experience without any drawbacks. But in this instance, his “Marilyn Pondroe” moment made for an awkward situation, especially since his strapping physique accented a certain area Quiverwing did not want to draw attention to.

Quiverwing gasped and flattened the waving tunic below his belt to a standstill once more. As Darkwing looked over to see what the fuss was, loud whistles sliced through the air, drawing the attention of both heroes.

They looked across the street to see three young ladies staring at the pair. They were giggling at Quiverwing, their blushes visible even from their position. They waved at them with a squeal, and jogged away.

Quiverwing tried to regain his composure by brushing his tunic down and adjusting his quiver’s position on his shoulder. His red face would not subside, though, and a cold sweat broke out all over his body.

He turned to Darkwing and saw the duck attempting to hold back soaring laughter, albeit pitifully.

“Oh, dry up, Mallard!” Quiverwing shouted, and Darkwing took off down the sidewalk, giggling like a schoolboy. Quiverwing gave chase, channeling his mortification into anger. “If you tell a soul, they’ll never find your body!”

Chapter Text

Darkwing Duck stared out the window of his hideout at the gloom spread before him. The splattering of raindrops cast its white noise throughout the city of St. Canard. The resonance of traffic on the Audubon Bay Bridge below him combined with the rain into a dreary droning that settled in Darkwing’s ears.

The thick gray clouds left no color unscathed, reducing them to muted shells of their formerly bright selves. Even Darkwing’s baby blue nightgown was left awash in grey against the early-morning shower, the streaks of dried blood on his face contrasting with the white of his feathers.

There was no victory this day for the terror that flaps in the night. There was only defeat.

That night’s patrol had brought Darkwing face to face with St. Canard’s most notorious thief gang, the Beasts. Darkwing spotted them climbing into an apartment window and took it upon himself to put an end to their crime spree.

No sooner had he begun with his trademarked entrance speech, than the gang was upon him. He fought valiantly but the power in numbers was simply too much for Darkwing, and he was cast out of the window, battered and bruised, to meet up with the sidewalk.

When he came to, the rain had begun to fall and Darkwing, getting wetter and colder by the second, was left to slink back to his hideout atop the Audubon Bay Bridge, a wound on his head contributing to the growing puddles on the concrete.

Upon returning home and removing the soaked costume from his body, the news report came in of the police catching the thieves in the act after the apartment owner called 9-1-1. She was awoken by their fight with Darkwing, and the Beasts’ leader sullied the hero’s name on TV for the fifth time that week.

All these thoughts melded with the somber picture outside to cloud Darkwing’s face in quiet despondency. The rain scurried down the bridge support cables to nowhere as the weary duck sighed.

He always knew there would be days like this as a vigilante crimefighter. But that didn’t make them any easier to deal with. Self-doubt was an enemy as devious as those dirty Beasts bandits, and it had reared its ugly head tonight.

The way he was chucked out of that window like a football, and the public smearing afterward, left him to question why he even bothered. Why give his life to protect the fair citizens when he could be so easily snuffed? Why battle evil when the recognition he deserved would never come? Why be Darkwing Duck when the city didn’t want or need him?

Darkwing trudged up the spiral staircase that led to his bed. His external wound was patched, but his spirit still ached and bled with misery and loneliness. There was nothing to do except sleep this travesty off and try again tomorrow. This was the life he chose when he was a child, and he would live with this choice, even when some days were more of doldrums than delight.

The warmth of his blankets soothed the faint chills that remained, and he closed his eyes, releasing himself to the cleansing sound of the rain.

Chapter Text

It was the perfect start to the perfect morning. The pitter-patter of the water against his feathers, the cleansing steam warming him to the bone, and the hot tunes pumping from the wireless speaker.

Launchpad McQuack was currently enjoying the best shower of his life. He hummed along as he lathered his chest with the milky soap. He was in absolute bliss, and nothing could spoil it.

Until there was a frenzied pounding at the door. Granted, it was first a knocking, but Launchpad didn’t pick up on it due to the volume of the shower radio.

“What?” he called out.

A voice called back to him, but he couldn’t understand what they said.

“Come again?” he said louder.

The muffled voice also raised its volume. “…!”

“You bought a kangaroo? You can show me later, DW! I’m gonna be a while!”

On the other side of the door, Drake Mallard growled in exasperation and desperation, while bouncing from side to side. A gnarly fight with the Liquidator last night had left his bladder in a sorry state this morning and, unfortunately, the only bathroom in his house was currently occupied by his sidekick.

He was having a word with Launchpad about his showering habits later, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

“Dad? What’s with you?”

Drake yelped and came face to face with Gosalyn, who rubbed her eyes.

Drake quickly steeled his nerves and leaned against the wall, crossing his legs just enough to ease himself while still remaining casual-looking. Smooth, Mallard. Smooth. “Um, nothing, sweetie. Just, uh...waiting for the shower.”

Gosalyn eyed him suspiciously. “But didn’t you take a shower yesterday?”

Drake bit his lip and grinned, disregarding the sweat forming on his brow. “Well, you can never be too clean when you’re scuffing sinister saboteur slime from the streets.” He rested his balled fists on his thighs.

Gosalyn shrugged and traipsed past him down the stairs. As soon as she was gone, Drake exhaled and took to resuming his feverish potty dance, hand between his legs. He used the other hand to beat on the bathroom door again. “Launchpad, are you done yet?!” he pleaded.

No answer.

With a groan, Drake waddled slowly to his room, careful not to jostle himself too much. As he sat on his bed, the ache of his need was starting to become too much to bear. He bounced on the springy mattress, willing himself to keep holding it in.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m gonna do it right here if I don’t find a bathroom now! He glanced over his shoulder and stared out the window.

Wait. That’s it! The window!

...admittedly, not his finest brain blast, but bladders couldn’t be choosers.


“Howdy, neighbor!” greeted Herb Muddlefoot, peeking over his fence. “Grand ol’ day we’ve got here, don’tcha think?”

His neighbor, Drake was inside one of his bushes, looking quite relieved for some reason. When he saw Herb, he stiffened and looked as if he’d seen a ghost. He sighed and replied, “Um, yeah, sure, Herb. Just peachy.”

“Why are ya in your bush like that?”

Drake giggled nervously and ducked inside the plant, popping out again later holding a flower. “You’ve never heard of the Ewbelus Parciniolus bush? They’ve got flowers on the inside! And today happens to be harvest day, so…”

“Gee, that’s nifty, hoo hoo! I bet Binkie would love one o’ those! Thanks for the tip!” With that, Herb waved to his neighbor and dipped out of sight.

Drake tossed the flower aside and proceeded to finish his business, sighing in euphoric relief. Once finished, he pushed out of the bush and returned to the house, brushing leaves off his sweater vest all the way to the back door.

Walking into the foyer, he met up with Launchpad, who wore a towel around his waist. “Hey, DW. So, what did you need me for earlier?”

“Kitchen, now,” Drake demanded dryly.

Launchpad did as he was told, and Drake followed him in. Gosalyn entered the foyer to see her guardians enter the kitchen. She watched them with a curious eye but shrugged and thought nothing of it. Grabbing her backpack, she headed out the door to catch the bus.

Chapter Text

“Good luck to you all, and may the best hero or sidekick win,” said One, nodding across the table to Fenton Crackshell, Donald Duck, Drake Mallard and finally, Launchpad McQuack.

“Hope you’re all ready for me to become $100 richer,” said Drake, puffing his chest out and wiping his knuckles on his sweater vest.

“We’ll see about that, Drake,” sneered Donald.

“I hope I do good, though I’m not the best at this kind of numbers game,” said Launchpad with a shrug.

“Don’t worry, Launchpad,” smiled Fenton. “There’s not much to it. I know you’ll be playing like a pro in no time!”

One’s nimble android fingers quickly dispensed two cards to each duck. They all studied them carefully before setting them beside their 10,000 point chip piles. Fenton was dealer first, and Donald and Drake had already paid their blinds.

“Your call, Mr. McQuack,” said One.

Launchpad tossed in 200 points. “Sure.”

“Me too!” said Fenton, following suit.

Donald looked at his hand once more, before shaking his head and shoving it towards One. “Nah.”

“Come, come, Donny, you’re never going to win like that,” said Drake, tapping two fingers on the table to check.

“The game’s just begun, Drake.”

The flop was dealt to the middle of the table. Five of Hearts, King of Spades, Seven of Clubs.

Fenton looked pleased. Drake was deep in thought. Launchpad just looked puzzled.

“Over to you, Mr, Mallard,” said One.

“Let’s see…” Drake looked at his hand then back at the flop. His eyes narrowed and his fingers tapped on the table edge.

“You okay, Drake-a-roo?” asked Fenton.

Drake seemed to snap out of his stupor. “Huh? Just fine, Fentonino,” he said, moving his hand toward his chips. “In fact, I feel about this fine.” He shoved a pile of chips toward the center.

Fenton gulped.

“2,200 point bet,” said One, having counted the pile with just a glance.

“The purple purveyor of protection makes his move! How will his opponents react?”

Launchpad took a moment to count his chips but decided to call his hero.

Fenton’s shoulders slumped, and he gave his hand to One.

Drake chuckled deviously as Donald shook his head. “You know, LP, it’s perfectly alright if you want to fold.”

“Thanks, DW, but I think I feel pretty good about this,” said Launchpad, putting up his call.

Drake cleared his throat as One made change from the large pile. When he finished, the turn card was revealed to be a Two of Clubs.

“...Check,” said Drake.

“Wha? What’s that mean again?”

“It’s when you don’t bet anything and pass your turn, Launchpad,” Fenton replied.

“Okay, then. I’ll do that.”

One flipped over one more card and placed it with the others. The river was a Five of Diamonds.

Drake gave Launchpad a smug look. “I’ll take it easy on you, LP. How about just 800?”

“I guess that’s not too bad.” Launchpad called.

“Very well. Let’s see your hands, you two.”

With a knowing smile, Drake flipped over his hand. Ten of Spades and Seven of Diamonds. “Yehp yehp yehp,” Drake sighed, stretching. “That pot’s as good as mine.”

Launchpad turned his hand over. Five of Spades and Four of Hearts.

“Launchpad wins with a Three of a Kind!”

Drake looked at his sidekick, eyes wide. It took him a moment to gather his words. “How’d you get that?”

Launchpad shrugged. “Beginner’s luck, I guess.”

Drake was mildly dumbfounded.

Donald started sniggering, failing at keeping it to himself.

“Oh, don’t start, Donald! You folded!”

The game continued on from there. Fenton folded often and always bet conservatively, but seemed to hold his own well. Donald and Drake were the two big betters at the table, either winning big or losing big. Launchpad seemed to always win with amazing hands and nobody could believe it.

Either he was an amazing bluffer, he was winning by accident, or the luck of Donald’s cousin, Gladstone, had it in for everyone else. Or so Donald said.

It was much later in the night. Donald was in the lead, and everyone else was not far behind. The flop was a Six of Hearts, a King of Spades and a Ten of Spades. The room had been silent as everyone stared at those cards.

“Alright,” Drake declared, standing up from his chair. “Time to make the final move.” He wagged his tail and shoved his entire pile of chips into the center. “All in!”

Fenton yelped like he’d seen a ghost. Drake crossed his arms and shot a confident gaze in the accountant’s direction.

Launchpad clapped. “Swell move, DW! I think I’m gonna do that too.” He too shoved his pile into Drake’s, and all watched the chips cascade amongst themselves until the table was a mess.

“Well, how is the great Gizmoduck going to stack up against the odds?” said Drake.

Fenton wiped sweat from his brow and swallowed. “Like this: I’m all in too!”

Drake started to tap his foot. “Um, Donny?”

“Oh boy, I’ve been waiting for this,” said Donald. He also added his pile to the mix.

Thus, the final showdown was set. All revealed their hands. A pair of Aces for Fenton, a Four and Seven of Spades for Donald, a pair of Tens for Drake and a Queen and Jack of Hearts for Launchpad.

One dealt the turn: a Three of Diamonds.

Fenton shielded his eyes. Donald started hopping up and down. Drake whacked the table edge in anticipation. Launchpad twiddled his thumbs.

One looked at each duck, recognizing the tension in the air, then slowly reached for the deck, picked up one card and turned it over.

Ace of Spades.

“WAK!” Donald screeched.

“What in the world?!” Drake exclaimed.

“Great googly moogly!” shouted Fenton.

“...what?” asked Launchpad, confused.

“ROYAL FLUSH?!” all three exclaimed, pointing at Launchpad’s cards.

Now that was a hand Launchpad was familiar with. “Well, whaddaya know? Does that mean I won?”

All the other ducks fainted.

Launchpad looked at One. “Gee, that didn’t answer my question.”

One could only shake his head and simulate a laugh.