Roots of Revenge
In the weeks that passed she had been in the newspapers and even interviewed on T.V. There was a wave of couples of all ages, species, and nationalities from all over coming to in hopes to bring the tragic little girl home as a daughter. At first she would meet with them, try to carry on a conversation as best she could, but she would always end up in tears. And lately she had simply refused to see them at all. They had already started to reconstruct the top of the building and clean up the damage the explosion had caused. She could see it from her window, and she would solemnly watch it daily. There was a city wide effort to return it all to normal, which was no small task. There were nearly a hundred trees crammed around the building's base, some destroyed in the blast others just stood there. It had taken a while but they had gotten the surviving trees back to the park where they were replanted. But in the area that she was hoping they would, they found nothing. There were no signs of her Grandfather, Bulba, Bushroot, Hammerhead, or Darkwing. She had over heard people saying that anyone who was on that roof would have been incinerated, no one survived. No one apart from her, and the bastard who killed her Grandfather. It seemed like every time she would try to sleep she would see her Grandfather dying and the horrible cackle in her ears. She spent today staring out the window refusing to see any hopeful parents. She knew it was rude but she didn't care. She had seen Launchpad though. He had come the day after the incident to look into adopting her, but his background check had preventing him from even being considered. She had tried to find out why but was flatly denied an answer. She had met a couple celebrities, some rich people came to try and coddle her, J. Gander Hooter had paid her a short visit, and even Gizmoduck had tried to cheer her up. The entire time he was with her Drake's words haunted her and she found herself sobbing before too long.
She felt empty. She had been asked to talk about herself and her feelings so often by so many she began to hate herself, she just wanted to be alone. The sun was high this afternoon, and lately Mrs. Cavanaugh had picked and choosed when she would ask her if she wanted to see the teeming perspective parents. If one good thing had come of this it was that she noticed that a good number of those who had come to see her took other children with them. She watched as they would leave on interviews, check ups, and then finally leave for good. They all passed beneath her window, smiling brightly and talking vapidly. In the past few minutes a pretty young duck with curly red hair and her proper looking husband, an older plump canine woman, a stiff man in a scraggily looking dress coat and hat, and an animated mouse family had all entered the orphanage. They were here for her no doubt. She glanced around her room. The pink dress she had worn that night lay folded under her pillow, she would pull it out at night and let the smells fill her senses. The scent of her Grandfather's cologne and a faint smell of smoke had all but faded in recent nights. She hadn't been sleeping well…. And she feared the tears she had cried into the soft fabric had eradicated the smells. There was a knock at the door and Mrs. Cavanaugh opened it a crack.
"Gosalyn dear. There are some more here to see you. Won't you please come out and at least thank them for their concern?" Her voice was sweet and gentle. It was quite strange to hear her this way she usually was screaming herself hoarse over one of her more elaborate pranks.
With a sigh Gosalyn, nodded and followed her down stairs. All the people she had seen come in were all in attendance. She eyed the bright smiles of the women she knew wanted nothing more than to love her and be her "new" mother. Mrs. Cavanaugh placed a hand on Gosalyn's shoulder lovingly.
"I don't feel much like talking today." She started and the "mother's" eyes become dewy with tears. "Thank you all for coming though. Maybe you could see some of the other children."
She thanked them again and sulked back up the stairs. She heard some hushed voices and a couple sobs before she closed her door. Hours passed and she began to see the people leaving. Some noticed her and sadly waved, while others bickered and argued fiercely backed to their cars. The older dog staggered out at around three thirty. Her stomach was so empty it was hurting and making thunderous grumbles. In hopes of sneaking off to the kitchen she slowly opened the door. To her surprise she heard Mrs. Cavanaugh using the tone she was all too familiar with, speaking very loud and angry. She snuck a little closer to the stairs to better listen in.
"Sir I have told you already and so has she! She is not interested in seeing anyone today. Perhaps if you come back tomorrow…"
"I understand that. But letting her sit in that room alone is not good for her either! Would you please just tell her I'm still here?" Said a scratchy voice rough with the sound of laryngitis.
"The girl has been through more than you and I will ever know. I really appreciate your concern and persistence in your condition but, I still will not ask her to do something she doesn't want to!"
It had to be the man in the dress coat. He was the only one she hadn't seen leaving. What did she mean by "in your condition"? And why was he so set on seeing just her that he'd stay here all day? He cleared his throat loudly and her heart stopped when she though she heard a familiar tone in the voice distorted in sickness.
"Fine. But would you please tell her that I was here today? And let her know I'll be back everyday if she wants to continue being difficult?"
"Of course, Mr. Mallard."
Gosalyn practically fell down the stairs she ran so fast. She hadn't just heard it, did Mrs. Cavanaugh just say what she thought she did?
"What did you say happened to you again?" Came Mrs. Cavanaugh's suspicious voice.
"I was in a car accident. Other guy's fault, I'm lucky to be alive. I would have come sooner but, you know I had to heal a bit."
She stumbled into the room and both heads turned to her. Mrs. Cavanaugh stared at her like she was a ghost. She had to blink a few times to tell herself she really saw him that he was really here. Drake, his right arm in a sling and a few new scars on his face, blinked back.
"Gosalyn this is Mr. Drake Mallard. He claims you have met before?" The matron eyed him with the same uncertain glance she gave the troublesome children in her care.
In a frenzy of tears and laughter she threw herself on him. A bit stunned he caught her mid-leap, she felt his body flinch and knew he must still be in a great deal of pain.
"I can't believe you're here… I'm so glad you're alive." She buried her face in his coat and breathed in deep the faint smell of smoke. It made her tears come heavier. He gently patted her head.
"Hey, of course I'm alive. I couldn't leave you all alone now could I?"
She looked up into his ice blue eyes and her pain seemed to release it's hold on her heart. She knew her Grandfather was still dead, she would never loose that pain but, having Drake here, knowing he was still here for her. She almost began sobbing. She suddenly regained her senses and her heart gave a leap. She stared at him trying not to get her hopes up.
"What are you doing here?" She said breathlessly.
"Well, how do you like that?" He laughed.
"Gosalyn don't be silly! He wants to adopt you!" Said the reproachful matron.
"That is of course if you want me to. I know I can't replace your parents or your grandfather, but would you give me a shot?" His blue eyes glistened with a fondness and silent smile.
"Yeah right! Like I'd say no!" She shouted.
The arrangements were made, paperwork was filled out, the background check was performed and it was agreed that Drake would go through the adoption process. In the days that followed a home study would be conducted and a case worker would be assigned. Gosalyn couldn't help but feel nervous that they wouldn't let it happen, that they'd find out who he was, what he did. She must have looked nervous because he ruffled her hair and smiled a smile that made her fears disappear. It would happen. He would adopt her, she wouldn't be alone anymore. After the business was wrapped up with a firm request from Gosalyn, Mrs. Cavanaugh allowed them to leave the building and talk on the more private Orphanage grounds. She led him to the plain little playground that was behind the building. She sat on the edge of the small sandbox and pulled him down to sit beside her. He groaned slightly as he settled in.
"How did you survive?" She hissed in an excited whisper.
"I don't know." He shrugged. "I just leapt off the roof and the explosion sent me flying about three blocks. I managed to latch onto a fire escape and pull myself to safety. Someone must have found me, because when I woke up I was in the hospital." He rubbed his eyes wearily.
"Does Launchpad know you're okay?"
"Of course, I met up with him a few nights ago."
"You were beat up pretty bad huh?" Her eyes rested on the sling.
"That's an understatement, shattered a few ribs, punctured a lung, broke my arm, fractured a couple bones, and I have a ton of bruises. But you know what? I'd do it all again in a heart beat." He glanced at her sadly. "I'm sorry Gos, I couldn't help your Grandfather. I didn't…"
She shook her head and put a hand gently on his back.
"You did all you could I know that. There was no way you would have known that he was going to get shot like that… if you had I would have to be afraid of you."
They sat staring off into nothing lost in their own thoughts for a moment. He turned to her with a curious glance.
"I have got to know Gos. How did you know the code to make the Ramrod blow up like that?"
"Well…" she sighed. "…when I lived with Grandpa he would sing me to sleep. Only he was never very good with remembering lullabies. But for every invention he made he would remember the destruct sequence with a little song, he found it easier to remember them that way. He just happened to like to sing the Ramrod one to me. So when he started humming, when he trying to enter the code I knew" She closed her eyes and sadly sang "Yellow, Blue, Red, Blue, Purple too, Blue, Purple, Green and Yellow."
Her song echoed softly off of the orphanage and the surrounding buildings. It slowly faded, devoured by a thoughtful silence. Drake seemed to have quite a lot to think about. She wanted to hear him talk again, it was still too unreal.
"Where will we live? Oh! Are we going to live in the tower?" Her eyes twinkled.
"Nope. I bought a house last week out in the suburbs. It seems pretty nice. The neighbors are a bit … odd though."
She smiled. The grass swayed softly in the breeze, a few leaves scurried across the ground taken with the wind.
"What happened to Bushroot?"
"He got his revenge. I think he's dead, I suppose we would have heard from him all ready if he wasn't."
Drake and Gosalyn sat silently as the breeze swept across the tree tops.
Dr. Rhoda Dendrin stood in the empty office that had once been his. His research had all been stored away in the laboratory archives and his plants taken on by others. It was nothing but a bare room with a few empty filing cabinets. She had thought about him a lot these past few weeks. It still felt like he would walk through the front door and demand to know where all his things were. But she knew better than to believe that. There was a knocking down the hall, she peered out the doorway and saw a delivery man rapping at her office door.
"I'm down here."
The man handed her a rather large parcel and with her signature in hand he bid her good day. There was no return address on the label. Carefully she opened it; a note written on blood red paper with black ink lay on top of a large bag of soil. She lifted up the letter.
Dr. Rhoda Dendrin,
I believe our friend will be right as rain with a few drops and a warm transplant.
"D. G."? She could think of no one she had ever met with those initials. She stared down at the bag and fingered the vile she always carried with her. She knew that there was a part of Reggie in that bag. That didn't bother her. What did was that she already knew where to plant him.
Darkwing Duck and all related characters are © Disney
And there it is! Ah sorry it took me so long to put it up and thanks for sticking with me! I've learned so much through your reveiws and have been inspired greatly by your support. I cannot thank you wonderful people enough! The most I can do is start typing up the next one and hope no one is disappointed. Who knows maybe it won't take me the same obscene amount of time to get it posted. In thanks for your awesome-ness here's a quick teaserfor the second installment,
Drake is struggling with the task of being a father to a disruptive and spirited child. And as if parenting wasn't hard enough a madman in a Jester suit wants to kill him and the strangest thing of all... a beautiful woman with magical powers seems to have taken a "liking" to him, which turns his world, head, and heart upside down. Can he trust the macabre beauty? Can he stop the fiend known only as Quackerjack? Can he get Gosalyn out of suspension? Keep an eye out for The Madman and The Mistress.