So I've decided to give writing a one-shot a go. But, as usual with me, it's so long it could easily be split up into 5 or 6 chapters.
This story will mostly follow Dru and Edith, something that I feel no-one has explored properly yet. I feel like they have very similar personalities, so I thought that putting them together could uncover some pretty cool storylines.
I was planning to get this one up last weekend, but I decided to push it back a while and give it a lot of extra effort. I kinda feel like I rush stories sometimes, so giving it the time it deserves might result in higher quality writing. Fingers-crossed.
Anyway, enough yammering, let's go!
Despicable Me: Edith's Sick Day
Night covered the Gru household, the moon's light shining weakly upon the black bricks. A light breeze floated through the gardens and a cold chill could be felt in the air. Everything, both inside and outside, was peaceful and tranquil.
Well, not for everyone.
Edith was awoken by a strange sound, disturbing her peaceful sleep. It was like a strong rumble coming from nearby. She wasn't sure what it was, so she opened her eyes and sat up to investigate. There was nothing. The room was completely empty, apart from her and her two sisters. Judging on how they were still fast asleep, they must not have heard the rumble.
Edith shrugged and laid back down, closing her eyes and attempting to fall back into the abyss of sleep. However, a small pain in the pit of her stomach, that was now becoming evident, wouldn't let her. She shuffled around, attempting to find a comfortable spot, while the sting in her tummy got worse.
She opened her eyes and sat up again, this time to see what time it was. She squinted to read what the clock displayed, the small shine of the moonlight helping her to identify that it was 5:20am. She huffed quietly in exasperation, before laying down and trying her hardest to fall back to sleep. But unfortunately, to no avail.
That strange sound happened again, but this time, she discovered it's source. It was her stomach. The sound wasn't a very nice sounding one, and it was accompanied by an uncomfortable tremor. The pain was gradually getting even worse, to the point where she was rolling around and quietly moaning in discomfort.
It was at this moment where she realized, something definitely wasn't right.
She attempted to leap out of bed, but only managed a small hop, while holding onto her stomach in the hopes of the pain disappearing. She considered heading to the bathroom, but instead opted to go to her parent's bedroom.
She knew they would be there for her...
Gru was quietly snoring as he was lost in a peaceful dream. It was an especially nice one, where him and his whole family went to the beach and had the time of their lives, frolicking in the sea and building sand castles. It wasn't a bad idea to act out the dream in real life...
That's when he felt someone lightly tap his shoulder. His mind awoke instantly, but he kept his eyes closed. He knew what he was about to see when he opened them.
Around three or four times a month, Agnes would have a bad nightmare and come to Gru and Lucy for comfort. He was always willing to provide that comfort, but he didn't exactly enjoy having to wake up and see his youngest daughter in quite a tearful state.
He moaned a little in annoyance before proceeding to open his eyes. He was quite surprised to see the figure of Edith standing in front of him, holding onto her stomach and peering up at him dejectedly.
"Edith?" He whispered, sitting up to get a better view of her. "What's de matter?"
"Don't feel good..." She moaned, closing her eyes as the pain got wilder. "My tummy hurts..."
"Oh..." He replied, rubbing his head. He was waiting for this day. Even though it had been almost a year since he'd adopted them, he never once had to deal with illnesses. He lulled himself into a false sense of security, beginning to believe that maybe he would never have to. But by the way that Edith was grasping onto her tummy in pain, and by the way that her face resembled that of a ghost's, he knew what was about to happen. "Come on. Let's get yoo to de bathroom."
He quickly shuffled his way out of bed to stand beside his middle-child, before ushering her out of the room. At this point, Lucy woke up and peered over at them tiredly.
"What's going on?" She whispered.
"I theenk Edith ees seeck." He replied, looking back to her while he attempted to get Edith out of the room as quick as possible. "Don't get up. I got dis."
He left through the bedroom door before Lucy could respond, so she shrugged and allowed herself to fall back to sleep. Or, she tried to, but her mobile phone on the bedside table began vibrating and she was forced to answer it.
"Hello?" She spoke quietly, rubbing her eyes and feeling the overwhelming urge to scoff in frustration.
"Miss. Wilde, it's head office." A professional man stated on the other end. "We have a problem."
"Ugh...how many times do I have to tell you?" She replied, frowning as if the man on the other end could see her. "It's Mrs. Gru now!"
"Yes, yes. Whatever." He replied. "We need you and Gru involved on a mission. It's urgent!"
"Now?" Lucy questioned. She looked over at the alarm clock before scolding the man further. "Don't you see how early it is?"
"Were you not listening when I said 'urgent'?" He replied sternly. Lucy was in no mood to deal with aggressive responses. "I respect that you have family commitments, so I can give you an hour to get ready. But you need to get here."
"Ugh...can't you just get another agent?" Lucy replied fiercely. Her sharp tone resembled that of a dagger.
"No." The man stated promptly. "We need every agent we can get right now. If you do not arrive within the hour, you will be forced to face severe consequences."
"Fine, fine." She responded hurriedly, just wanting to get out of the conversation. "See you soon."
She hung up the phone and held the bridge of her nose in pure frustration. This wasn't good timing, especially if Edith really is sick like Gru said she was. She huffed before slinking out of bed and getting herself dressed, dreading having to tell her husband the bad news.
The next ten minutes weren't very fun for both Gru and Edith. Thankfully, they got to the toilet before she puked, but that only made it easier to clean. For Edith, the experience was still just as horrible.
After feeling certain that the puking had stopped, she sat beside the toilet and looked down at the floor. There was a horrible taste in her mouth, and even though the pain in her stomach had lessened, she still felt absolutely awful.
"How are yoo feeling?" Gru asked, trying his hardest to talk evenly, but the worry in his mind forcing his voice to quiver.
"Not good." Edith replied, shaking her head but keeping it down.
"Hmph...great!" Gru huffed sarcastically, rubbing his eyes. All he could think about was the burning need for sleep in his head, battling with him as he tried to stay coherent.
Edith looked up at her father and broke into a small smile. For a few seconds, she couldn't help but feel fortunate to have him there.
The last time she was sick was when she was at the orphanage. Miss Hattie obviously couldn't have cared less, so Margo was forced to look after her. Even though her big sister did a good job of it, Edith really needed a loving parent who could care for her and make her feel better. And now, she had one who did.
Her eyes flickered sluggishly under the searing light in the room, making them sting. She put her arm in front of her face to block the source of the light, before the door creaked open, attracting both their attentions.
"Hey, sweetie," Lucy said as she inched her head through the doorway, immediately saddened by the sight of her daughter in such discomfort. "Feeling any better?"
"Nope." Edith replied quietly, struggling to get back on her feet. Her eyes were only half-open, and the part of them that were visible, looked red and listless.
"Oh..." Lucy responded sadly. She wanted to hug Edith more than ever, but she knew that catching the illness right now would make this situation a lot worse.
"I told yoo to stay een bed, honey." Gru said, sharing his attention between his wife and sick daughter. "Yoo get some sleep, I'll stay here and look after her."
"That's where we have a problem." Lucy said, opening the door completely to present her fully dressed figure. "We're needed on an AVL mission. We have to leave in an hour."
"What!?" Edith exclaimed weakly, grabbing onto Gru's leg with all of her strength in an attempt to trap him. "Don't go..."
"Ugh...I can't Lucy." Gru replied, peering down at his daughter with a saddened expression. "I can't just leave her on her own, especially when she's seeck."
"You don't have much of a choice." Lucy stated, shrugging her shoulders. She felt just as guilty as her husband did with leaving her when she was ill, but there were no other options. "It's the AVL. You know what'll happen if we don't go."
Gru huffed before massaging his temple in exasperation. This was a bad predicament. He couldn't leave his daughter when she was sick, but he also couldn't defy the wishes of the AVL head office. If he did, he would be relieved of his duties and forced to face an even bigger problem.
Finding a new job...
"Well, who could look after her?" He asked, feeling Edith's imprisoning grip get tighter. "I doubt Dr. Nefario weel, seence he'll be afraid of getteng seeck. I don't want de minions to do eet, because dey won't look after her properly. I'm not ringeeng my mother, because I'm een no mood to deal weeth her condescending tone. Dere are no other options!"
"Well...what about Dru?" Lucy asked, looking away in thought and then returning her gaze to Gru after getting the idea. "He's responsible enough, and if I know him correctly, he won't dare refuse us after seeing his niece in this kind of state."
"Oh, well, um...I dunno." Gru replied, wincing a little at the idea. Gru knew that Dru wouldn't let anything happen, and he would probably do a good job of looking after her, but something still bugged him about leaving him alone with the girls. It was like being forced to leave a young boy in charge, and Gru definitely didn't want that.
"Gru, it's either that or you lose your job." Lucy said bluntly, getting a little more stern. Gru huffed before submitting defeat.
"Fine den." He said angrily. "Go wake heem up, while I sort Edith out."
Lucy nodded rather solemnly, disappearing into the hallway and making her way to Dru's bedroom in the lab. Gru sighed sadly before kneeling down and making eye contact with a saddened Edith, who unwillingly let go of his leg.
"I'm sorry, sweetie." He said softly, hoping his tone would perk her up. "But I really don't have much of a choice."
Edith put her head down lower, wanting to argue with his decision, before grimacing as the discomfort returned and took control. She held her stomach tightly as she quickly turned around and puked into the toilet again.
"Stupeed AVL..." Gru muttered under his breath.
Dru was slowly crawling along the side of a large building, with help from the sticky mode on his suit, until he reached what he was looking for. The open window. He quietly creaked it open further until he could fit his whole body through, before stepping inside the dimly lit interior. He scanned the room with his gaze, analyzing his surroundings, until his eyes laid upon the target.
The Doowit Diamond.
He sprinted across the hard floor, his eyes fixed on his prize, until the sound of other feet behind him became apparent. He turned his head as he ran, confused when he couldn't pinpoint the source of the sound. He quickly shook away his thoughts and concentrated on the diamond.
As he turned his head back to look at it, he was startled to see the figure of Lucy standing in his way, her arms crossed and her face overcome by a frown. Before he painfully crashed into her, he came to a halt and gave her a questioning gaze.
Without warning, she approached him quickly and began screaming his name, making Dru wince in discomfort. At first, it seemed distant and dull, but after a few seconds, it became a lot more vivid.
"Dru! Dru! Dru!"
Dru jerked awake and shook his head in shock. He flung his gaze around his bedroom, the small shine from the doorway lighting the room sufficiently, before slowing making out the person standing over him.
"Wha...what de..." He stuttered, rubbing his tired eyes. "Lucy?"
"Hey..." She muttered awkwardly, giving him an uncomfortable smile. "Sorry to wake you up."
Dru quickly turned his head to look at the digital clock on the wall. It read '5:31am'. His expression morphed into confusion, before turning to face the redhead with bewildered worry.
"What's goeeng on?" He spoke, his eyes remaining only half-open. "Ees everytheeng okay?"
As usual, Dru began to assume the worst. Whenever somebody would do or say something unusual, he would immediately begin panicking and squealing in worry. Lucy found Dru's over-reaction cute, and she couldn't hold back a very small chuckle before responding.
"Not exactly." She replied. "Edith's not feeling too good. Do you think you could look after her for the day? The AVL need me and Gru on a mission."
"Oh, well, uh..." He stuttered apprehensively, as he moved to sit on the edge of his bed. "What do yoo mean by 'not feeling too good'? Has she got a cold, or...?"
"I wish..." Lucy replied, seeming saddened by her own sentence. Of course, she would never wish an illness upon her own daughter, but if she was forced to choose between a cold and vomiting, she knew which one she'd pick. "Let's just say, she's been throwing up for the past ten minutes."
"Oh." He said sorrowfully. He could picture what Edith must've looked like right now, and even though it saddened him, he found it absolutely disgusting. "Uh, well...Lucy...I don't mind babyseetteeng, but I don't know eef I can handle pukeeng. Can't yoo just geeve de AVL a raincheck?"
"Not if we wanna keep our jobs." She stated clearly. "Please, Dru! We need someone to take care of her, and right now, you're the only person who can do it."
Dru turned away awkwardly, wincing as he imagined what his day would entail if he accepted, before reluctantly turning to face her again and hiding his disgust.
"I would love to!" He boomed happily, before realizing that he sounded way too excited for such a situation, and transitioning his tone awkwardly. "Well, uh, maybe not 'love' to, but...yoo get what I mean."
Lucy snickered at his response, sensing how worried he was of saying the wrong thing, before gleefully replying.
"Great!" She cheered, jumping into the air and waking up several minions around her. "Let's get you some coffee."
Dru sighed after Lucy left the room. He loved spending time with any of his family, and he would never turn down the chance to spend a whole day with Edith, but not if she was going to spend most of that day throwing up. That's when he frowned and began chastising himself.
'Don't be selfeesh Dru!' He thought as he marched out of his bedroom. 'Your niece needs yoo!'
Edith was laying down on the crocodile sofa, snuggling into the seat and blinking rapidly to deal with the tiredness in her eyes. A soft white blanket had been laid upon her sleepy figure, adding to the comfort and warmth that was slowly enveloping her mind. The only thing keeping her awake, was the barely coherent conversation going on between the two figures in front of her.
Gru was peering down at the nine-year-old in concern, holding a notepad and pen in his hands as he analyzed the situation. Dr. Nefario was rubbing his chin in contemplation, sporting a mini gas mask to protect himself from the contagious virus within the room.
"So, what do yoo theenk ees wrong weeth her?" Gru asked, not removing his eyes from his fatigued daughter.
"Well, to be certain, I'd need to do a few tests." Nefario replied. "If I could just get a sample of her blood, then-"
"No!" Gru snapped, startling Nefario with the volume of his voice. "Yoo're not sampleeng blood from my leetle gurl!"
"Okay, okay, it was just a suggestion." He replied, putting his arms up in surrender. He quickly turned to look at Edith, investigating her condition, before looking back at Gru and continuing. "Based on what I'm seeing here, I can hazard a guess and say she has Viral Gastroenteritis, most likely caused by the Norovirus."
"Dat sounds bad." Gru replied apprehensively, slowly returning his uneasy gaze to Edith, who looked back at him with both a fearful and tired expression.
"No, not really." Nefario said with a nonchalant shrug. "To put it simply, it's an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Or even simpler, it's the stomach flu. It's very common with young children...and elderly folk."
He spoke the end of that sentence with a concerned tone, taking a small, apprehensive step away from the sick girl as he did so.
"Just great..." Gru replied, shaking his head in annoyance. "What are de symptoms?"
"What, you're saying you've never had a stomach bug before?" Nefario replied, unsure as to why he was even here. Surely Gru could tell that she had a stomach bug, so why was he being forced to complete an unnecessary diagnosis at 5:45am?
"Well, obviously I have!" Gru replied, rolling his eyes. "But dis ees just to make sure dat she doesn't get any worse."
"Okay, then..." He replied, still confused as to what he meant. "Let's see, uh...she's gonna have headaches, abdomen pain, muscle aches, joint aches, profuse sweating and possibly a fever. But the main ones are gonna be the trips to the bathroom, both to vomit and to-"
"Yes, yes, I get eet." Gru replied as he grimaced in disgust, knowing full well what the next symptom was going to be. Overall, he loved being a father, but there were a few aspects that he absolutely despised. Dealing with those last two symptoms were included on that list.
"Well, you asked." Nefario replied, shrugging and chuckling a little. Edith didn't see the funny side, however, as the news of all those symptoms frightened her already afraid mind. Gru wrote everything down on the notepad and continued with another question.
"Can yoo get reed of eet?"
"Of course I can, but not right now." He replied. "I should be able to develop a medicine by this evening."
"Dat long!?" Gru replied angrily, lifting his head up from the notepad. "Can't yoo get eet feenished earlier?"
"Unfortunately not." Nefario stated bluntly. "For it to be successful, it will require time. You could try some of that store-bought medicine, but that swill will take a few days to take effect. If you wait until this evening, I can develop a fast acting one."
"Ugh...fine." Gru said, letting out a sigh of exasperation, before putting the pen to paper again. "Anytheeng else I should know?"
"Just make sure that she drinks plenty of liquids, water preferably. No fruit juices or fizzy drinks!" He stated, looking at the blonde to make sure she understood that last piece of information. Edith groaned with frustration before sticking her tongue out at him. Nefario ignored her rude response and continued. "If she feels hungry, only allow her to consume small amounts of food, not too much! Wait until her stomach becomes strong enough before giving her full meals. Don't let her get too active, such as running or jumping around, and make sure she gets plenty of rest. But most importantly, DON'T give her any aspirin!"
Gru almost jumped out of his skin as Nefario shouted that last sentence. The severe tone of his voice befuddled him.
"Why's dat den?"
"The clue's in the name 'Viral Gastroenteritis'," Nefario began, as Gru continued to take more notes. "Taking aspirin when you have a viral disease can cause Reyes syndrome, which is life-threatening. It may be rare, but it's still very possible!"
Gru found those words to be extremely frightening, especially when he was leaving Dru in charge, so he underlined the note 'No aspirin' several times. After ensuring that his notes were both complete and very detailed, he put the notepad down to his side and turned towards his best friend.
"Thank yoo, doctor." He said, giving him a thanking smile. Nefario nodded and turned to leave the room, before Gru continued with one last request. "One more theeng, do yoo theenk yoo could geeve Margo and Agnes a ride to and from school? I won't be able to do eet because of de mission and Dru weel be busy weeth Edith, so..."
"Ugh...yeah, fine." Nefario replied, rolling his eyes. "Now, if you'll excuse me."
Dr. Nefario left the room promptly to get far away from Edith and the contagious bug in her stomach. She watched him leave before slowly moving her gaze to peer at her father.
"When are you getting back?" She asked, trying to talk properly but only managing a whisper. Her timid voice pulled at Gru's heartstrings. He really didn't want to leave her side, not when she's in this sort of condition.
"I'm not sure," He replied solemnly. "But I promeese yoo dat I weel back before eet get's dark."
"Okay..." Edith murmured, her face dropping sadly. Her words may have told a different story, but deep down, she didn't believe a word of his promise. Whenever he went out on an urgent mission, he would always come back late, without fail. She knew this time wasn't going to be any different, no matter how much she hoped it would be.
"Now, yoo get some rest." Gru said, leaning in for a kiss but quickly jerking backward at the last second. The last thing he needed right now was to catch the sickness. Edith anticipated the kiss, but was both surprised and hurt as he jumped away from her. "Uh...eef yoo need anytheeng, just geeve Dru a shout. Understand?"
"Mm-hmm." She murmured, nodding her head and closing her eyes as she sunk further into the seat. Gru looked down at her sorrowfully and felt the guilt develop to almost unbearable levels.
"I'll see yoo later, okay." He spoke sadly as he made his way out of the room.
"See you later..." Edith muttered quietly with a weak sigh, keeping her eyes closed and allowing the fatigue to take control of her mind. Gru sighed before turning off the living room light and disappearing into the hallway.
This mission had better be SUPER urgent...
"And on de day dat I was planneeng my beeg heist!" Dru spoke, frustration evident in his voice. "Now when am I gonna have de chance to do eet!?"
"Meh...it doesn't matter." Lucy said, shrugging and giving him a playful smile. "We would've kicked your butt anyway."
"Pfft...as eef!" He responded, returning the playful smile. "Yoo would never have seen eet comeeng!"
The two of them laughed happily, before moving their gazes over to the figure of Gru, who was strolling into the kitchen. He was looking down at the ground with an expression of guilt as he walked.
"How's she feeling?" Lucy asked, talking while she began filling her thermos with coffee.
"Steel bad." Gru replied. "Eet doesn't look like she's getteeng any better..."
He allowed himself to fall down onto the seat beside Dru, projecting a tired and frustrated huff as he did so.
"Well, it's only been half-an-hour." Lucy responded as she looked down at her digital watch. "It's gonna take much longer than that before she get's any better."
"Where ees she?" Dru asked, his voice transitioning to a tone of worry.
"She's asleep on de couch." Gru replied, before slamming the notepad down in front of his brother. The villain blinked for a second in surprise, shooting Gru a shocked expression. "Now, when yoo're looking after her, use dese notes dat I have written to make sure dat she get's better. Follow everytheeng I've put down. Don't do de opposite!"
Dru picked up the notes and narrowed his eyes as he read the wording on the paper. Every symptom of the stomach flu had been written down upon on it, including a pointless and detailed explanation of what the stomach flu actually was.
Who cares if it's an 'inflammation of the stomach and intestines'? Dru didn't find it helpful or interesting, instead, he just found it disgusting.
A few other bits of seemingly random tidbits had been scribbled down as well, and he could feel himself getting more and more insulted as he read further.
"Gru, I don't need dis." Dru stated. He threw the notepad back down on the table, displaying the offense he was taking to heart. Did he not trust him? "I'm not stupeed! I've had stomach bugs myself before, so I don't theenk I need to be explained each and every symptom, especially een dis much detail."
"Dat may be so," Gru began. "But we don't know for sure dat eet ees a stomach bug. Eef she begeens to deesplay any other symptoms dat aren't written down dere, den reeng my mobile."
"Hmm...got eet." Dru replied, turning his gaze away angrily. His ferocious nagging and fussing was beginning to play on his nerves. Gru watched him with confusion, not expecting his aggressive response, before continuing his demands.
"Also, no matter how much she's een pain, don't geeve her any aspirin!" Gru informed, talking sternly so his brother would understand the seriousness of that sentence. "Eef yoo do, den she's goeeng to get a lot worse!"
"Yes, yes, I can read." He replied sassily, rolling his eyes and flaunting an expression of ire in his direction. "Anytheeng else?"
"Can yoo cook?"
"Hmm...yeah, kinda." Dru replied, shrugging his shoulders. "I'm no chef, but I can probably make sometheeng dat's reasonably edible. Why?"
"Margo and Agnes weel be awake soon, and I'm not gonna be here to make dem any breakfast." Gru spoke sadly. Abandoning his daughters seemed to be the running theme. "Do yoo theenk yoo could sort dem out?"
"Of course!" Dru replied, his beaming smile returning. "I'm sure dey'll be no trouble."
"Also, don't let dem near Edith!" Gru exclaimed. His voice was as demanding as it was irritating. "De last theeng we need ees for all three of dem to get seeck!"
And with that, Dru's anger returned. He was being treated like a teenage child, who was having their first experience with babysitting, and he found it insulting. He was an adult! Why couldn't Gru see that?
He racked his mind, searching for an equally irritating retort, before having his train of thought interrupted by Lucy.
"Thank you for this, Dru." She said softly, dipping her head slightly to display her gratitude. She could see the grievance in Dru's face, so she did her best to calm him down. "I know getting up this early and being forced to deal with puke must be a little infuriating, so we appreciate it."
"Anytime." Dru replied cheerfully, giving her a large smile, before winking and speaking jokingly. "Just try not to make eet a weekly theeng."
"Sure." Lucy said after chuckling. She proceeded to grab her coat and handbag before making her way out of the kitchen, Gru following shortly behind. "See you later then."
"Bye!" Dru exclaimed, giving the couple an energetic wave. He slouched in his seat and rubbed his eyes, his frustration returning as he noticed Gru perking his head around the doorway.
"Remember, reeng me eef dere are any problems!"
"Yes, yes, I know!" He yelled fiercely, getting more and more offended by his obvious lack of trust. "Everytheeng weel be fine! Just go!"
Gru was slightly taken aback again by his unexpected aggression, before proceeding to leave the room for good. Dru let out a deep sigh as he held the bridge of his nose in frustration.
'I'll show heem...' He thought to himself. 'I'm gonna be de best uncle ever!'
Margo awoke to the small shine of the morning sun glimmering through the window. The room was completely silent, electing a sense of peacefulness to drown her thoughts. She smiled warmly as she rubbed her eyes, admiring the very timid rays of light that were slowly traveling across the room, before placing on her glasses and gazing over at her sisters.
Agnes was still stone-cold asleep, clutching onto her unicorn and laying with her mouth agape. She looked unbearably cute. Being forced to wake her up for school was going to be an arduous task, purely based on her adorableness.
Edith, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen. Her blanket was crumpled up at the foot of the bed as if someone had thrown it in a state of panic. She furrowed her brow in confusion, before slipping out of bed and lightly shaking her youngest sibling's sleeping form.
"Agnes..." She sang quietly. "Wake up..."
Agnes blinked timidly as she emerged from her peaceful sleep. She slowly opened her eyes before peering up at her older sister, giving her a strangely strong and welcoming smile as a greeting.
"Hey, Margo." She spoke casually. By the amount of energy in her voice, it was as if she'd been awake for hours.
"Hey." Margo replied cheerfully. "Sleep well?"
"Yep!" Agnes proclaimed, nodding her head rapidly and excitedly leaping down to the floor. She took a few steps, before coming to an abrupt halt after noticing that Edith was missing. She glared at the empty bomb bed in confusion, searching her young mind for an explanation.
There was no way that Edith had gotten up earlier than her. She was a known despiser of early wake-ups, and being forced to get up at 7:15 for school was hard enough for her already.
"Where's Edith?" Agnes inquired, shifting her questioning gaze to her older sister.
"I was about to ask you the same thing." Margo replied, shrugging her shoulders. Agnes glanced back at the bed, attempting to find the answer to the burning question, before a pleasant smell penetrated the air.
Food. The one thing that was guaranteed to pull Agnes out of her thoughts, no matter how far she was lost in them.
She smiled excitedly before dashing out of the room at pace. Margo was a little startled by her sudden burst of energy, before chuckling and slowly following on behind, investigating every sound and sight in search for her missing sister.
As Agnes raced into the kitchen, she was a little taken aback to see Dru standing behind the counter, his eyes locked onto the waffle iron in deep concentration. Agnes's endearing presence pulled him back into reality and he greeted her with a large smile.
"Hello, Agnes!" He welcomed cheerily. "Bet yoo're wondereeng where your daddy ees, huh?"
"Uh...yeah." Agnes replied, her expression built up of both confusion and that usual picture of glee. "Where is he?"
"He's on a mission," Dru stated, glancing back at the waffle iron to ensure that it was cooking properly. "So de best uncle een de world ees een charge dis morneeng!"
"Oh." Agnes said, looking to the ground for a second. She took in the situation, before looking back at her uncle fearfully. "You can make a waffle, right?"
Dru chuckled internally at the state of pure dread in her eyes. She took waffles deadly serious, and he couldn't help but find it a little amusing.
"Of course I can!" He spoke, grinning hugely at the small girl. "Remember, eet's me we're talkeeng about! I can do everytheeng!"
He gave her a playful wink, electing her to giggle and move over to the table energetically. After sitting down, she moved her eyes across the room, searching for any sign of her older sister. After noticing not a single trace of her, she turned to Dru and questioned him.
"Where's Edith?" She inquired. Dru gave the waffle iron another apprehensive glare before responding.
"She's asleep in de liveeng room." He replied loudly. "She's seeck, so don't go een dere. We don't want you catcheeng eet, do we?"
Dru gave her another beaming smile, which Agnes returned, before Margo emerged through the kitchen doorway. Her already bewildered expression filled with more confusion as her eyes laid upon Dru.
"Oh." She stated in surprise, furrowing her brow at him. "Where's dad?"
"Ugh...I have to explain again!?" Dru replied with a small smirk, using an obviously fake exasperated tone. "Dey've gone on a mission. And before yoo ask, Edith's seeck."
After Dru finished speaking, the waffle iron dinged to signal the waffle's completion. He very carefully plucked it out and placed it onto a plate, where he investigated every millimeter of it.
"Edith's sick?" Margo questioned worriedly, walking over and taking up the spot next to Agnes. "How sick?"
"Gru said she's got a stomach bug." Dru replied. He decided that he didn't need to warn Margo about getting too close, because he knew she was very smart for her age, so she would figure it out on her own. "She's been throweeng up all morneeng."
"Is she gonna be okay?" Agnes asked fearfully, not shifting her hungry gaze away from the waffle on the counter. Dru was still analyzing it, ensuring that it had been cooked properly.
"She'll be fine." He replied, nodding his head reassuringly. "All she needs ees a beet of lookeeng after."
"And...you're gonna look after her?" Margo asked, dipping her head as she spoke. Just like her father, she was a little apprehensive about leaving Dru in charge, and she didn't hide it in her voice. Dru picked up on her worried tone and found himself getting insulted again. But because he didn't want to start a rift with his own niece, he placed on a fake smile and responded.
"Of course!" He stated, before ever so slightly lowering his voice. "Ees dere a problem?"
"Oh! Uh...no." Margo replied, realizing that she must've caused offense. "It's just...have you ever looked after a sick kid before?"
"No..." Dru said, seeming slightly saddened as he turned away for a second. "But dere's always a furst time for everytheeng!"
"I guess..." Margo responded. By the way that she looked down to the table with a tinge of worry, it was clear that she wasn't convinced. Dru ignored her tone and returned his investigating gaze to the waffle. It looked and smelled cooked, so he was pretty convinced that it was ready. He picked it up and energetically pranced to the table, placing it down in front of a wildly excited Agnes.
She immediately began devouring it, with Dru staring on in anticipation. He anxiously awaited the verdict, before she smiled and put her thumbs up.
"It's good." She mumbled with her mouth full. Dru smirked as he stood up straight and held his head high, nodding proudly.
"I knew eet! I'm de best!" He proclaimed, making Agnes giggle. After a few seconds of taking in the accomplishment, he turned his attention to the older girl. "So, what do yoo want to eat Margo?"
"I usually have cereal." She replied, giving him an expectant look.
She knew that Dru would move over to the kitchen counter and begin fixing her a bowl of cereal, just like Gru tried to do every morning. She hated it when anyone tried to make her breakfast, as she was mature enough to do it on her own. Sometimes, Gru would make her cereal before she got downstairs, and that infuriated her.
"Cereal?" Dru responded, still holding that proud grin. "Well, I'm sure a beeg gurl like yourself can make dat, right?"
Margo shot him a surprised expression. Dru didn't care about her evergrowing independence, unlike her father, who she knew hated it. She gave him a beaming smile as she got up and moved over to the kitchen cupboard, where she filled one of the clean bowls with cereal and milk.
The next fifteen minutes in the kitchen were far from silent. Dru conversed happily with his two nieces, trying his hardest to show how much of a cool uncle he was.
Without the menacing presence of Edith, the gleeful energy of Lucy and the welcoming attitude of Gru, you would think that the table would be void of vigor. But Dru seemed to be carrying bucket loads of that in his voice.
Margo and Agnes enjoyed that morning more than any other, even without Gru and Lucy...
"Can I at least just kiss her goodbye?" Agnes asked cutely, as Dru reluctantly ushered the two girls out of the front door.
"Sorry, Agnes, but yoo might get seeck." He replied softly, feeling immediately guilty for refusing her. Agnes pulled a saddened expression, making Dru panic slightly. "I'll geeve her a kiss for yoo, okay?"
"Okay!" Agnes replied as her beaming smile returned, seeming satisfied with that deal. Dru gave her a warm grin as Dr. Nefario appeared behind him.
"Let's just get this over with..." He spoke with exasperation, huffing as he joined the two girls in strolling down the front steps towards the tank parked on the drive. Dru chuckled before remembering a question that he had been burning to ask.
"Oh wait! Nerfroid!?" Dru exclaimed, making Dr. Nefario wince slightly at the sound of his high-pitched squeal. "I've been meaning to ask yoo! Do yoo want to assist me on my next villain heist? I know yoo've been a leetle frustrated seence Gru joined de AVL, so dis might be de perfect chance to-"
"Sorry, Dru." Nerfario replied curtly, turning to face the blonde haired man quickly to interrupt him. "Dealing with two kids is enough. I don't want to have to deal with another."
Dru instantly took offense to his response and he frowned in a sulk. Margo, who sensed the sudden increase in tension, ran back up the steps and hugged Dru tightly.
"Bye Uncle Dru." She said cheerily, making his smile return. "Love you."
"Love yoo too." He replied warmly, before giving the two girls a wave goodbye and disappearing back into the house.
As he wandered back down the hallway, his gaze was almost immediately caught by the living room door. His face dropped in sadness, imagining the state that his niece must be in, before walking up and very lightly pushing it open, peaking his head through the doorway to get a view of the room.
Edith was out cold and quietly snoring on the sofa. As usual, she had stirred in her sleep and ended up in an uncomfortable position, pushing the white blanket off in the process. Even though she looked adorable, the lack of colour in her face and her profuse shivering sent sparks of sadness through Dru's heart.
He quietly strolled over and lifted the blanket to cover her again. Her shivering slowly eased as she snuggled up under the warmth of the covers. Dru touchingly smiled before giving her a little peck on the cheek.
"Dat's from Agnes." He whispered gently, before quietly leaving the room.
Edith woke up in a large amount of discomfort. Her forehead was burning hot and her head stung sharply, but more importantly, that pain in the pit of her stomach had returned. She shuffled around on the sofa, getting frustrated with the variety of different pains she was feeling, before sitting up and searching the room with her gaze.
Her eyes settled upon the TV remote, which had been left on the seat of the rhino chair. She slowly got up from her seat, trudged over to the remote and switched the TV on. Some boring documentary about mountains and lakes came on, but she didn't care. All she cared about was letting her thoughts drift away, in the hopes that she would forget all about the stomach ache.
She sat back down in her spot on the crocodile sofa and watched profusely. The camera panned across a multitude of landscapes, all of which contained different mountains and lakes, as the narrator used a dictionary of long and confusing words. It was so numbingly boring, that she was actually beginning to feel worse as it continued.
She scoffed before grabbing the remote and flicking through the list of different channels. More and more yawn-inducing content appeared, until finally, some cool cartoon about robots with explosive guns came on. Her full attention was almost immediately drawn.
The robots were involved in some space war with an evil android overlord, who was trying to enslave them all into doing his bidding. At the moment, a robot duo was locked in a vicious battle with a giant mutant space worm on some green planet with pools of foul slime. Missiles and lasers went flying across the screen, as the worm wriggled around and approached the group.
After ten seconds of explosions and cool stuff, the worm had managed to reach the duo unharmed. He sent a variety of powerful slams with its tail, threatening to tear the robots apart with one strong swing.
"Cool." Edith muttered with a timid wisp, as the on-screen robots began panicking.
The duo managed to pull off a set of evasive acrobatic maneuvers to avoid the worm's dangerous slams. One of them messed up one of the dodges and sprawled painfully across the floor, leaving him vulnerable to a fatal attack.
The worm approached him threateningly, but was stopped in his tracks as the other robot came out of seemingly nowhere and sent a powerful explosive that instantly killed it. The two robots looked at each other, grinning in victory.
"You okay, son?" One of them asked, revealing that the two were related.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks, dad." The other replied. The dad nodded his head before speaking a line that pulled Edith back into reality.
"You know I'll always be there when you need me."
She was reminded of the whole morning thus far, which immediately made the stomach pain return. While she had been engrossed by the cartoon, the pain seemed to have settled, up until she was brought back into her thoughts. She grabbed her tummy and hoped hard that the pain would fade, but it didn't.
Right now, she felt terrible, and all she needed to make her feel better was her dad. She needed him to come and comfort her with a cuddle. In fact, all she needed was for him to come and sit beside her. But...
...he wasn't there when she needed him.
She sighed in sadness before grabbing the nearest sofa pillow and hugging it tightly with her free arm. She felt incredibly lonely, and hoped that the pillow would provide some sort of solace.
As if he sensed her loneliness, Dru popped his head through the door and gave her a fearful gaze, expecting to see her still fast asleep. After seeing Edith weakly return his gaze, he smiled warmly and spoke softly.
"Hey." He said. "Heard yoo weren't feeleeng too good."
Edith shook her head slowly, wincing as the sting of her headache caused her pain. Dru dropped his head in upset empathy before continuing.
"Want some company?" He asked loudly, attempting to lift her spirits with a warm smile. Instead of nodding and risking the pain of a headache, she smiled and responded with a feeble whisper, bound to pull the strings of even a heart made of stone.
Dru found himself slightly tensing up in discomfort by the sound of her weak voice. She looked like she was in constant pain, and that created feelings of concentrated anger in his mind. He was very protective of his family, just like his brother, and he promised himself that he would fight against anything that could cause any of them harm.
The knowledge that he could do very little to combat Edith's illness frustrated him. All he wanted to do was go face-to-face with the virus causing her all this agony, and beat it to a pulp. But after remembering that that was impossible, he figured that the best thing he could do was stay beside her, making sure he was there if anything happened.
He energetically jogged over to the seat beside her and settled down, his gaze immediately drawn by the cartoon on-screen.
"Oh, I've seen dis!" He exclaimed, smiling as he pointed at the TV. "De final battle is so awesome!"
"Well, don't ruin it for me." Edith whispered, grinning playfully at her uncle. Dru giggled as he turned, before dropping his expression in sadness as his gaze met her's. She was grasping onto a pillow very tightly, slightly deforming its shape. She was holding it very close to her chest, indicating to Dru what she needed.
"Want a cuddle?" He asked softly, sitting back and getting himself comfortable. Edith turned to face him in confusion, before pulling a questioning face.
"Aren't you afraid of getting sick?"
Dru was very afraid of getting sick, but the want to prove himself as a good uncle overpowered his worries. He shook away any doubtful thoughts and beamed with a cheerful response.
"Seeck? No!" He replied, before softening his tone again. "I just want yoo to feel better."
That response made a warm smile spread across Edith's face. This whole morning had been awful so far, and she knew that the rest of the day wasn't going to be much better, but having someone there with her on the sofa made everything seem a little less rubbish.
She threw the pillow away and crawled over to snuggle into her uncle's side, holding onto him like he was a very big teddy bear. Dru put a comforting arm around her, getting even more upset as he felt the unhealthy heat being projected from her body. They both returned their gazes to the screen, where the final battle was about to start.
The robot duo approached a huge grey castle. They were rapidly rotating their gazes around the scene in search of their target. The father robot shot a piercing missile at the castle door, smashing it into pieces.
They strutted into the main hall, weapons held high in the air, preparing to come face-to-face with the android overlord. The throne at the end of the room was empty, sending a spark of worry through their circuits.
Suddenly, the android in question flew down from somewhere high in the air to land behind them. The robot duo spun around to meet his evil expression as the tension in the room spiked to extreme levels.
"Finally, you're here." The android spoke darkly. "You took your time."
"Give it up!" The younger robot replied, aiming his weapon at the overlord's head. "You can't win!"
He chuckled menacingly before curling his expression into the evilest smile the duo had ever seen.
"You guys are funny." He said humorously. "It's a pity you have to die."
And without warning, the android slammed the father robot across the room, hurtling him painfully into the wall. He broke into an eruption of threatening laughter, before turning to face his next opponent. The younger robot prepared himself, biting back the pounding fear.
"This is SO awesome!" Edith exclaimed, the brittleness of her voice making it barely audible.
"I told yoo, deedn't I." Dru replied, speaking over a small chuckle. "Now shush, eet get's better."
The younger robot pummeled his foe with a barrage of missiles, each one missing as the android swerved to dodge them. He made his way up to him, before launching a swift and powerful kick that almost smashed the robot into pieces of steel and solder.
He flew across the floor painfully, small sparks of electricity beaming from his body, the very wiring that made him operate very close to its breaking point. The android approached his painful state dangerously, eyeing him up with his malicious intentions.
"I'll give you one last chance!" The overlord boomed. "Be enslaved, or die!"
"I'd rather die..." The young robot replied, another large spark of electricity bursting out of his arm.
"Very well then." The overlord replied evilly, before charging an incredibly strong attack. "That can easily be arranged."
The robot closed his eyes, awaiting his death, until out of nowhere, another robot sent a fiery laser into the android's chest, setting him on fire.
"No!" The overlord screeched as his circuits began to fry under the intense heat. "Not like this!"
"No-one hurts my family..." The other robot muttered, as he heroically strolled through the smashed doorway. He holstered his rocket launcher into the air, aiming it at his target, before blowing the android into oblivion. The young robot looked up at his hero, expecting it to be his father, but to his surprise, he saw his...
"Uncle?" He muttered weakly.
"Yes." The uncle robot proclaimed valiantly, before kneeling down and helping him up to his feet. "Are you okay?"
"Just about." He replied, dusting himself down. He surveyed the scene, relieved to watch his father slowly but safely get to his metallic feet, before looking back at his uncle and grinning gratefully. "Thank you!"
"No need to thank me." The uncle replied. "I couldn't call myself your family if I wasn't there when you needed me."
Dru clicked back into reality as this line of dialogue was spoken, his attention being immediately drawn away from the cartoon. He looked away from the screen and contemplated that ending. The message it conveyed was very true.
He smiled proudly as he internally complemented himself for what he was doing for Edith. When she was ill and lonely, Dru had been there to provide her with company and hugs. The same thing couldn't be said for Gru...
Dru peered down at Edith, who had fallen asleep into his side, and couldn't keep back his touching smile. She looked absolutely adorable, even though her face was still a faint shade of grey and her hand was still firmly grasped onto her stomach. There was no other place, Dru thought to himself, that he would rather be than sat on this sofa, cuddling up with his sleepy niece.
Dru very carefully stretched over and grabbed the white blanket, before laying it over her while she slept beside him. He then grabbed the remote, switched the TV off, and laid back in a warm embrace.
Within a minute, he was also stone-cold asleep.
Dru shook his head as his surroundings transitioned from a blurred image to a vivid environment. The second everything around him became clearer, he knew exactly where he was. He shifted his gaze around the room, searching profusely for Lucy and her judgemental frown. But she was nowhere to be seen. That only meant one thing...
...the Doowit Diamond was there for the taking.
He quietly pranced along the metal floor, hyperventilating as he got closer to his target, until another man became visible in the corner of his eye. He stood adjacent to the diamond, standing dangerously as he awaited his cue. Dru came to a grinding halt a meter away from the diamond's perch, allowing himself to analyze the figure more closely.
This wasn't just an ordinary man. He wore a coat the colour of coal with a hood that obscured his entire face. A dark cloud settled around his feet as he held his hands behind his back, facing his target with a malicious stance. He looked like some sort of demon. Soon, a small entity timidly strolled into view to stand beside him, sending a spark of pure fright through Dru's heart.
It was Edith.
She didn't look like herself. Her face was drenched in a colour of depressing grey, her pink sweater and hat were torn in places, her fists were clenched as if she were holding back tears of pure fear and her eyes looked empty of hope and happiness.
Dru shook his head and rubbed his eyes, hoping that what he was seeing wasn't true. But the awful truth was, this was actually happening. He turned to face the figure in black and sent him a fiery glare, ready to tear the man to pieces. The hood still hid his face, but Dru could sense that he was sending him an evil grin.
"What's goeeng on!?" Dru screamed, taking a dangerous step towards the man.
"Simple really." He mumbled darkly, possessing a voice that resembled that of thunder. "Allow me to take the diamond for myself, or you can say goodbye to your precious little niece!"
Dru tensed up and clenched his fists, wanting to cry in desperation. It wasn't like it was a difficult choice, as that diamond was nowhere near as important as his family, but those words caused him severe anguish as he imagined Edith being taken away forever...
"Okay! Take eet!" Dru yelped in panic. "Just don't hurt her."
"Very well." The man replied, before slowly making his way to the diamond. Dru ran over to Edith and gave her a large hug, but she didn't acknowledge him. She just stared forward with a traumatized glare, her memory forever plagued by this experience.
After getting close enough, the man reached out to grab the diamond from it's perch, before a pair of arms came from above and lifted it into the sky. Dru and the man looked up in surprise, attempting to identify the figure who stole it.
"Gru!?" Dru screeched, sending his brother an expression of shock as the rope tied to his feet allowed him to ascend.
"Yoo're an eediot, Dru!" Gru replied, frowning at him angrily. "Yoo had de choice of Edith, or de diamond dat breengs yoo endless riches, and yoo peeck Edith!? How pathetic!"
Gru continued to ascend until he reached a window placed high on the wall, before disappearing through it with a disgusting cackle. The man growled in anger as he turned to face Dru and Edith, his hands holding vicious flames, sure to cause its target plenty of pain.
"Answer me a question, Dru." He mumbled aggressively. "What was our deal?"
"Please..." Dru replied weakly, standing in front of Edith in an attempt to shield her.
"If I remember correctly..." He replied with even more ire, beginning to shake violently. "It was 'I get the diamond, you get your niece'. Is that correct?"
"Look...I...just..." Dru stuttered, only fractions away from breaking down in pleading tears.
"I don't have the diamond!" The man yelled, aiming the fire in his hands toward the two frightened figures in front of him. "So you don't get your niece!"
"NO!" Dru yelped, before a violent shake made everything go black.
Dru awoke abruptly as Edith sprung violently from the couch, sending the white blanket into the air. She clamped both hands over her mouth as she sprinted out of the room at an extreme pace. Dru stuttered in surprise as he sat up and shook his head wildly.
After realizing what was going on, he sighed deeply and looked over at the clock above the fireplace. It read '11:49PM'. They had been asleep for hours! Dru leaped up from the couch and ran after Edith, knowing exactly where she was heading.
Dru emerged into the bathroom and immediately turned his head away in disgust after seeing what was going on inside. Edith was throwing up again, her body shaking while she stood in front of the toilet as if she were freezing cold.
"Well dat's just lovely, eesn't eet." Dru stated, shuddering as he shut his eyes in abhorrence. He tried his hardest to delete that disgusting memory, before a small whimper pulled him back into reality. He slowly inched his eyes open as he reluctantly peered over at Edith.
She was now kneeling down in front of the toilet, quietly sobbing as if she was trying her hardest to not let Dru hear her. Just like in the dream, a spark of pure fright went thundering through his heart and he rubbed his eyes in shock. Edith was crying? Dru had never seen her cry before. He didn't even realize she could.
At first, he was unsure of what to do, but after a second, he jogged over to stand beside the toilet and kneeled down to see her dejected face.
"What's de matter? Why are yoo crying?" He asked lightly, trying his hardest to hide the fear in his voice, but to no avail. Edith's voice trembled for a few seconds, before she finally released her words.
"I'm scared..." She mumbled, keeping her head down and her eyes firmly shut, tear trails visibly drawn down her cheeks. "I want daddy..."
Dru was taken aback by her words. Edith was a very tough, no-nonsense, tomboy who would never cry and openly show her fears in front of people. So why was she sitting here and doing just that? That's when he remembered. She may be a tough and no-nonsense little girl, but at the end of the day...
...she was still a little girl.
Dru choked back a few tears himself and racked his mind for comforting words. How could he respond to that? He didn't have a single fatherly bone in his body, so how was he going to try and perk her back up?
She wanted Gru, but he knew there was no way she was getting him, not yet anyway. He had chosen to go out on a mission with the AVL, so god knows where he could be. Dru focused his thoughts for a moment on the word 'chosen'...
After a few seconds of silence, Dru panicked and did the first thing that popped into his head. He put a hand on her shoulder and talked with possibly the softest voice he had ever spoken with.
"Hey, hey. Don't worry." He said, making Edith lift her head slightly. "Yoo're gonna be fine. I'm here."
Edith turned her head fully to meet his gaze and smiled. Those words comforted her more than the biggest cuddle in the world ever could. The tears came to an abrupt halt and the fear in her eyes disappeared completely, the want for Gru fading along with it. She weakly jumped into his chest with a tight hug, startling Dru for a second.
He looked down at her trembling body and couldn't hold back his beaming smile. She went from tearfully scared to warmly happy in almost an instant, all because of him! He wrapped his arms around her back in return and held her in a touching hug. In that moment, he had never felt more proud of himself.
Maybe he did have a fatherly bone in his body after all...
Edith sat by the kitchen table, focusing her full attention on drawing in her colouring book. She was trying her hardest to ignore the rampant pain across her whole body, but it was proving difficult. As she did so, Dru came trudging into the kitchen, looking both bored and fatigued.
After Edith's latest trip to the bathroom, her onesie got a little stained and Dru was forced to use the washing machine to clean it. He hated housework. It was numbingly tedious and didn't provide any reward or sense of accomplishment. Thankfully, Gru had purchased spare pink onesies as a backup, so she could still sit back and relax in her pajamas.
Edith, being so fixated on the colouring book, didn't see Dru enter the kitchen. That was, until he came up from behind and spoke in her ear.
"What are yoo doeeng dere?" He asked, making her jump out of her skin.
"Woah!" She yelped, relaxing after seeing her uncle's giddy face. "Oh. Don't do that!"
"Oh! Uh...sorry. Wasn't on purpose." He replied, chuckling a little and giving her a joking grin. "What are yoo draweeng?"
"Oh, just what would happen if all the purple minions were let loose around town." Edith replied, grinning at her uncle as he peered down at the drawing. Dru couldn't make out much of what she'd drawn, but by the profuse use of the colour red, he could tell there was a lot of blood.
"Haha, yes...dat's...um...eempressive." He stuttered, smirking in humorous confusion before pointing to a glass placed beside the book. "Have yoo been dreenkeeng your water?"
"Oh." She replied, glancing at the full glass and shrugging. "I forgot."
"Well, please do." Dru instructed, as he stood up straight and put on a slightly more authoritative tone. "Eef yoo don't, den yoo won't get any better. And make sure dat yoo only take small seeps! Eef yoo down eet all at once, yoo'll make yourself seeck again."
"Ugh...okay!" Edith replied, rolling her eyes before sipping the water slightly. Dru chuckled as he watched her exasperated response, before bringing back his usual gleeful tone.
"Anyways, I'm starved!" He proclaimed excitedly. Just like a child, the notion of food made him as giddy as a goat. "Do yoo want sometheeng to eat?"
"Oh well, uh...yeah but..." Edith replied, twisting her face in confusion. "Won't I just throw it all back up again?"
Dru grimaced slightly at her choice of words, which made Edith giggle, before answering her question.
"I'm sure yoo'll be fine eef yoo just have some soup." He reassured, as he moved over to the top cupboard in the kitchen. He opened it up and began fishing through its contents. "Let's see...uh...vegetable soup?"
"Uch...do you really think that I eat vegetables?" Edith replied, grimacing in disgust at such a suggestion.
"Good point." He replied. "What about...beef soup?"
"Beef burger soup?" She inquired, inching forward in her seat slightly.
"Uh...no." He responded. "I'm not sure eef dat exists."
"Aww..." She sulked, slumping back into her seat. "Then no."
"Well...um...how about cheecken soup?" He asked, getting worried as the selection was becoming less varied. Edith gasped in delight before questioning further.
"Chicken noodle soup?"
"Uh...well, dis one ees just cheecken. But dere might be a noodle one een here somewhere." Dru replied, putting the chicken soup back and rummaging further into the cupboard to find the soup in question. "Ah! Here we are! Cheecken noodle soup!"
"Yes!" Edith cheered, weakly punching the air, before smiling and speaking cutely. "That one, please."
"Yoo got eet!" Dru replied, shooting her a wink as he pranced over to the stove with the can of soup in hand. He grabbed the nearest clean saucepan and set it on top of the hob, before pouring the contents of the can into it. After setting it to boil, he grabbed a wooden spoon and began stirring.
"Yoo know, I've never tried dis before." Dru said, glancing over at Edith as she watched the pan in pure excitement. "What ees eet like?"
"Amazing!" Edith replied, her voice slightly hindered as she shouted. "It's definitely the best soup."
"Hmm...really?" Dru said, the delicious smell of the soup invading his senses. "I theenk I'll have a beet myself den."
"Hey! I called that one! Get your own!" Edith exclaimed, crossing her arms angrily. She narrowed her eyes at her uncle, who laughed and responded with teasing joy.
"Yoo won't be able to eat all of dis anyway," He said, motioning at the saucepan. "Yoo'll only be seeck again."
"Oh yeah!?" Edith boomed. "I bet you I could eat every last bit of it AND keep it all down!"
"Sorry, but dat bet eesn't happening." Dru replied, shrugging and laughing again.
"Because I'm hungry." He stated, continuing to speak through the laughter. "Sorry Edith, but we're gonna have to share."
Edith scowled in frustration before motioning her hands towards the cupboard.
"Can't you just have some of that vegetable soup or something?"
"Edith..." Dru replied, chuckling and giving her a playful frown. "Do yoo really theenk dat I eat vegetables?"
"Wow!" Dru proclaimed after slurping up the last bit of soup. "Dat was delicious!"
"Told you..." Edith mumbled. Her bowl was still half full, displaying just how much she was struggling to eat. Dru peered over at her bowl, giggling before teasing her.
"Yoo...uh...haveeng some problems?"
"No!" Edith replied quickly, her weak voice quivering as she immediately defended herself. "I'm just...taking my time."
"Hmm...yeah, sure." Dru replied with a snicker. "I told yoo dat yoo wouldn't be able to eat de whole can."
"How do you know!?" She snapped. "You wouldn't let me try!"
"Well...eef yoo're struggleeng to eat half a can," Dru replied, his grin growing as he continued. "Den dere ees no way yoo could've eaten de whole theeng."
"Just...shut up!" Edith barked before putting her head down and trying her hardest to choke down the soup. Dru chuckled before questioning her.
"Anyways, when yoo finally feenish, what do yoo fancy doeeng?"
Edith looked away for a few seconds in contemplation, before quickly returning her gaze as an idea popped in her head.
"Ooo! Have you ever had a tea party?"
"Tea party? Yoo mean like, eating fairy cakes and seeping tea and acting posh and stuff?" Dru inquired, prompting Edith to nod her head in confirmation. Dru scrunched his face up in repulsion before continuing. "Sounds pretty gurly."
"You'd be surprised." Edith replied after slurping another spoonful of soup. "Dad used to think the same, but now he loves it."
"Hmm...why not?" Dru said with a casual shrug. "Could be fun."
"Yes!" Edith blurted, leaping into the air. As she lifted her fist in celebration, her muscles began to ache with the sudden movement and the pain forced her back down on her seat with a wince.
"Hey, hey. Take eet easy." Dru informed, gesturing for her to calm down. "Don't jump around when your seeck, eet'll only make yoo worse."
"Right." Edith replied, still twisting her face in pain as her muscles heaved. She peered back down at her bowl of soup, feeling intimidated by the seemingly large amount that remained, before looking back up at her uncle and complaining. "You know, I don't like being sick."
Dru scanned Edith's pale face and tired eyes, remembering back to when she was puking and sobbing in front of the toilet, before putting a hand on her shoulder and responding with an empathic tone.
"Yeah...I don't like yoo being seeck, either."
"So, uh...what do I do now?" Dru inquired, moving his gaze around at the three teddy bears that had been placed on the mat, small empty teacups perched in front of each one.
"We put our cups together and then make the 'clink' sound with our mouths." Edith replied, peering up at her uncle with a cute smile.
"Oh right, uh..okay." Dru spoke, moving his teacup over to meet Edith's.
"And now we drink!" Edith announced, before taking a large fake sip from the empty teacup. Dru followed, hiding the confusion in his mind that threatened to burst out at any second. For a hardcore tomboy, Edith's love for the colour pink and enjoyment of girly tea parties was certainly unusual.
"Now what?" He asked.
"Well, now we just...uh...chat, I guess." Edith replied, shrugging her shoulders.
"Oh! I'm good at dat!" Dru exclaimed happily. "What do yoo want to chat about?"
"I dunno." She responded, looking around the room in thought. After a second of silence, Edith spun her gaze back to her uncle as a subject topic appeared in her mind. "What do you think dad is doing right now?"
"Oh, well. Eet could be a number of theengs." Dru replied. "He could be fighteeng some evil villain, he could be searcheeng for a stolen treasure, he could be rescueeng a keednapped hostage. Eet's too hard to guess."
"Cool." Edith muttered, nodding her head in satisfaction. She beamed brightly as she imagined her dad involved in a multitude of awesome activities, before dropping her expression as she continued the conversation. "Uncle Dru? Can I ask you something?"
"Of course!" He exclaimed, sending her a large smile.
"Does dad love his job?" She inquired. Dru's mind filled up with confusion, but he decided to keep it hidden behind his grin.
"Probably." He said with a small shrug. "Eet ees a pretty cool job. Why do yoo ask?"
Edith began to squirm in her spot uncomfortably before speaking with an uneasy tone.
"Do you think that...daddy loves his job more than he loves me?"
Dru's expression changed faster than it had ever done before. Within an instant, he transitioned from happiness to fearful confusion. Why would she ask that? By the way she whimpered 'daddy', he could tell that merely asking must've hurt her a lot. For a few seconds, Dru remained silent as his mind went blank, but eventually, his thoughts regathered.
"Of course not!" He stated loudly. "Why? Do yoo theenk dat?"
"Uh...I'm not sure." Edith replied, lowering her head further. "I know I'm really annoying, and his job sounds pretty cool, so...I guess I understand why he chose it over staying with me."
For the first time since meeting Edith, Dru was stumped on how to respond. Was this the same girl he was just speaking to a few seconds ago? He really couldn't tell anymore...
He shook his head in bewilderment, trying his hardest to uncover any words that would immediately comfort her, but there were just too many thoughts spinning in his head. Why did she think she was annoying? Where did she get all these assumptions from? How could she ever ask such a question? It was all unclear. Well, all except for one thing...
...this was all Gru's fault.
Dru clenched his fists in rage, before he calmed himself down and continued to rack his mind. He needed to find a response soon, because he knew that the longer that he remained silent, the longer Edith's feelings would remain hurt. As he did before, the panic set in and he did the first thing that popped into his head.
"Edith...yoo're not annoyeeng, and don't yoo dare theenk otherwise." He spoke softly, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Your dad's job may be cool, and he may love doeeng eet a lot, but dat een no way means he loves eet more dan yoo."
"Hmm...okay." Edith replied with a sad sigh. It was entirely obvious that she wasn't convinced. Dru had run out of ideas. He had very little experience with emotional conversations, and the main factor that got him through the last one was luck. He dropped his head in a deeply saddened guilt, knowing that he had failed, before figuring that this was an issue only Gru could resolve.
Now, Dru had to deal with the next problem. The escape route. How was he going to steer the conversation to a more light-hearted one? He really had no clue. The notion of awkward silence scared him, since a good uncle would never fall into an awkward silence with their own niece. He couldn't let that happen!
As he searched his brain for suitable conversation topics, Edith lifted her head and looked at him with a helpless expression of fear. Dru reluctantly met her gaze, and at first, was confused by the evident worry drawn upon her face.
He analyzed her a little more closely, attempting to identify the problem from her expression, before noticing just how pale her cheeks were getting. They were bordering a shade of ivory. Before either of them could muster another word, Edith clamped both hands over her mouth and sprinted out of the room again. Her destination being the bathroom...
'Phew...' Dru thought to himself. 'Saved by de puke.'
Dru quietly tip-toed out of the living room, carefully closing the door behind him. As he stepped out into the hallway, Agnes energetically burst through the front door, with Margo and Dr. Nefario slowly following on behind.
"Hey Uncle Dru!" She bellowed, beaming with a blindingly bright smile.
"Shh, shh!" Dru whispered quickly, putting a finger over his lips. "Be quiet. Your seester ees asleep."
Agnes immediately stopped jumping around and began snickering. Dru grinned humorously at the little girl and couldn't help but snicker along with her.
"How was your day?" He asked.
"Look at this unicorn I drew!" Agnes yelped, lifting up a piece of A4 paper with a pink and purple unicorn scribbled onto it. Dru thought it looked more like a cow, but obviously, he would never mention that.
"Woah. Now dat ees eempressive." He said, nodding his head in fake admiration. "Eef yoo show dat to your dad, he might put eet up on de fridge."
Agnes gasped in unbridled delight. Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open in shock.
"No way!" She exclaimed. "Do you really think so?"
Dru smirked and chuckled to himself. Oh, how it easy it was to appease a young girl like Agnes. He wished it was this easy with Edith.
"I know so." He replied warmly, kneeling down and putting a hand on Agnes's shoulder. She squealed in joy, hugging him tightly in excitement, before giving her unicorn drawing another proud stare.
"Is Edith okay?" Margo asked, immediately sending her uncle an expression of worry.
"Uh...I'm not too sure." He said, rubbing the back of his head awkwardly. "Uh, Margo? Do yoo theenk me and yoo could have a leetle private chat?"
"Oh..." She responded apprehensively. "Uh...yeah, sure."
"Good. Can yoo keep an eye on Agnes for me, Nerfroid?" Dru requested aggressively, his tone laced with a demanding anger. Nefario picked up on his ire, and instead of arguing, he nodded his head and ushered Agnes to the kitchen. Once the two had disappeared out of the hallway, he began speaking.
"So...uh...Margo?" He asked skittishly. "Has your dad ever called Edith annoyeeng before?"
"Uh...everytime he get's angry with her, yeah." She replied, furrowing her brow in confusion. "Why?"
"Well, she got really upset earlier and asked me some horrible theengs." He spoke with unease, before questioning her further. "Margo? Yoo know your dad loves yoo, don't yoo?"
"Of course! He tells me every night!" Margo proclaimed. She smiled for a moment, admiring that thought, before probing her uncle again. "What's with all the weird questions? What did she say?"
"Um...she...she seemed to theenk dat your dad loves his job more dan he loves her." He replied. "Yoo don't theenk dat, do yoo?"
"No, no, of course I don't think that." Margo replied, sighing sadly before continuing. "But it doesn't surprise me that Edith does. She's always been like that. She's very judgemental of herself and always takes everything everyone says or does to heart. I think she might be afraid of being abandoned again."
"Oh." Dru replied, dropping his head dejectedly. Edith didn't seem like the kind of person to be self-conscious or have abandonment issues, so it confused him. But then again, Edith didn't seem like the kind of person to cry. But that was proven to be completely incorrect by the events of today. Then he analyzed her words a little more closely, and immediately continued his questions. "Wait...adandoned again?"
"Yeah." Margo stated. "You know, with the whole thing that happened after dad adopted us."
Dru gave his eldest niece a look of complete bewilderment. His heart rate began to elevate slowly as his mind filled with apprehension. He was completely unsure of what she meant, but deep down, he really didn't want to know.
Edith was usually such a happy and funny little girl, who's sarcastic humor and insistence on being cool never ceased to entertain him. The thought of her going through bad situations made him feel sick. The thought of any of them going through bad situations made him feel sick.
Margo looked away from her uncle for a second, hoping he would be the one to break the silence, before turning back and doing it herself.
"You do know what happened after dad adopted us, right?"
"Uh...do I want to know?" He asked, gritting his teeth in fear. Margo sighed, preparing herself to relive this memory, before continuing.
"He gave us back to the orphanage after a while." She spoke. "We were given a taste of a happier life with a dad, but then he just dumped us back into the rubbish life without one. Obviously, he took us back after saving our lives, but I don't think Edith has ever really recovered from it, even though she acts like she has."
Dru was beyond shocked. Gru gave them back! No-one had ever told him that before. He could only imagine how the girls must've felt, and it was crushing him just thinking about it. As his thoughts zoned in on Gru, Dru tensed up and clenched his fists in anger.
How could his own brother do this? Why would he give them back? Did he actually care for them? First, he sends them all back to the orphanage after teasing them with a nice life. And now, he deserts Edith when she is ill and at her most neediest. No wonder she had got so upset earlier. She feels like she's being abandoned again. At this point, he was beyond enraged.
"Thank yoo, Margo." He spoke with a low tone, gritting his teeth in anger. "I theenkyoo'vegeeven me just abouteverytheeng I need..."
"Can I at least have one slice?" Edith asked, staring at the pizza on the kitchen table. She was practically at the point of drooling as the smell dominated her senses.
"For de last time Edith," Dru started, talking authoritatively but still holding a playful grin. "No! Yoo'll make yourself seeck."
Agnes shot her older sister a mocking smile as she ate her pizza, which Edith had to do her best to ignore. The two sisters were seated far opposite the sick girl on the kitchen table, in order to reduce the infection chances as much as possible. Margo attempted to block out the conversation in front of her, as knowing Edith, something will be said that will ruin her appetite.
"Nothing will happen if I have a little bit!" Edith exclaimed, finally shifting her gaze away from the pizza and at her uncle. "I'm probably gonna throw up again either way!"
"That's where you're wrong." Nefario replied, entering the kitchen valiantly. In his hands, he carried a small vial of green liquid, which he lifted high into the air as he walked through the doorway. "I've completed the medicine!"
"Thank god..." Dru mumbled. He jumped from his seat at the table and pranced over to Nefario, who quickly held the medicine away from him.
"Wait, wait." He instructed. "There are a few things you should know about it first."
"Ugh..." Dru huffed as he massaged his frayed nerves. He was being treated like a child again, but instead of getting angry, he shoved it back and kept it locked up ready for Gru. "What?"
"Right then," Nefario began. "Only make her drink half of this vial now, and then make her drink the remainder just before bed. The first half will allow the vomiting to stop and the other symptoms to ease, while the rest of it will ensure that the virus doesn't just immediately return. Don't let her eat anything for an hour after she takes it, in order to allow the medicine to get into her system uninterrupted. Please make sure you follow those instructions. It's important you don't do the opposite!"
"Yes, yes, I understand!" Dru snapped, snatching the vial and strutting away from the doctor aggressively. Nefario blinked in surprise, not expecting his aggression, before promptly leaving the room.
Dru marched to the cupboard and picked out a plastic cup, which he used to pour approximately half of the medicine into. After doing so, he moved over to the table and placed it down in front of Edith, who immediately turned her gaze to peer down at it.
"Dere we are! Dreenk dat and yoo'll get all better!" Dru proclaimed cheerily. Edith grimaced in repulsion as she investigated the liquid inside. It was a dark green, slime-like substance with tiny black fractions floating around inside.
"That looks disgusting!" Agnes mumbled, her voice hindered by the mouthful of pizza.
"Yeah, it does..." Margo said with a fearful tone. "Are you sure it's safe?"
"Nope." Dru replied with a shrug. "But eef Dr. Nerfroid made eet, I'm sure eet weel be fine."
Edith continued to stare apprehensively at the cup. She felt uneasy with the idea of drinking the concoction laid before her. But as that familiar threatening pain returned in her stomach, and as the fatigue plaguing her muscles caused her to stir uncomfortably, she grabbed it with both hands and downed it's contents.
To her surprise, it actually tasted quite nice. It tasted a little like orange juice, with the black fractions acting as the pulp. She nodded her head in satisfaction, savoring the sweetness, before swallowing.
"Not too bad." She stated. "Now can I have some pizza!?"
"Sorry, Edith." Dru stated, chuckling slightly with a kidding laugh. "But no, yoo can't!"
Edith scowled in frustration as she slumped back into her seat with a sulk. She turned her gaze away from her uncle angrily, using harsh adjectives in her mind as she thought about him.
On the plus side, she thought, the pain in both her muscles and stomach seemed to dissipate. The time in which the medicine took to take effect was impressive. Dr. Nefario really was a whiz when it came to serums, potions and antidotes. This example was no exception.
As Dru, Margo and Agnes finished up the pizza, and as Edith calmed down her aggressive sulks, the family got up from the kitchen table and proceeded to make their way out of the room.
As Edith slowly jumped to the floor, she caught a glance of the darkness out of the window and couldn't hold her back her sad sigh. Dru, who had been keeping a close eye out for sad sounds, picked it up and turned to face her, just as the other two girls walked out into the hallway.
"Edith?" Dru inquired, attracting her gaze immediately. "Yoo okay?"
"Oh. Yeah, I'm fine." She said with a shrug. "It's just that...dad promised he would be back before it got dark."
Dru switched his line of sight to look out of the window. As implied, the night sky had stolen all of the light, filling the environment outside with a blinding darkness. He dropped his head in sadness, wanting to say something comforting, but knowing that it just wasn't going to happen.
"Uncle Dru?" Edith inquired, moving across the room to stand just in front of him.
"Thank you for looking after me today." She said, her face curling up into a beaming smile. "I've actually had a lot of fun. Well, apart from all the puking and stuff."
"Anytime." Dru responded, returning her beaming smile. He kneeled down and gave his niece a large hug, hoping to steal away any remaining bad thoughts. "I love yoo, Edith."
"I love you, too." She replied. By the tightness of her grip, it didn't seem like she ever wanted to let go, and Dru could relate. Now that he knew just how close she was to being stuck in a miserable life again, letting her go seemed like a dangerous concept.
"Now come on," He spoke, reluctantly breaking the hug. "Let's go watch some TV."
Gru and Lucy trudged their way through the front door, the former sporting a tired, yet vicious, frown. They emerged into the dimly lit hallway, the only source of light being the small shine coming from underneath the living room door.
"Everything seems okay." Lucy proclaimed, scanning the room with her gaze. "Looks like Dru did a good job."
"Eet's too early to make dat conclusion," Gru replied, quietly shutting the front door. "We haven't seen any of de other rooms yet."
The couple made their way down the hallway, stopping as they approached the living room door. As they entered through the doorway, their gazes laid upon the sleepy figure of Edith, who's half-open eyes were locked onto the TV screen, and Dru, who was sitting beside her on the sofa and staring at his brother with a venomous glare. Gru took another glance at Edith before speaking.
"Let me guess..." He began. "Yoo gave her aspirin."
Edith finally released her gaze from the TV to look at her mother and father, who gave her a sheepish grin. She welcomed them with a barely noticeable and uneasy smile, before turning away from them again.
"Do not test me, brother..." Dru muttered dangerously through gritted teeth. His voice sounded obscured as he tried to keep it level, not wanting to scare Edith with an aggressive shout. He pointed a vindictive finger at him as he eyed him up maliciously. "Me, yoo and Edith need to have a lettle chat. Alone."
Gru furrowed his brow for a second before turning to face Lucy with an expression of bewilderment. The redhead mirrored the confusion, before nodding and taking her leave.
"How are yoo feeling?" Gru asked once Lucy had left. Edith shrugged before muttering a quiet reply.
"No thanks to yoo!" Dru yelped, catching his brother off guard. Gru eyed him up for a second, scanning the shade of red in his cheeks. He attempted to identify the reason for this unexpected ire, but couldn't find any clues in his expression.
"Um, yes...well...deed Uncle Dru do a good job of lookeeng after yoo?" He asked. It was a pathetic attempt to ignore his brother's enraged proclamation. Edith turned to face her uncle with a beaming smile, before snuggling into his arm.
"Yeah." She mumbled. "He's pretty cool."
Dru warmly smiled at her touching statement. If Edith ever calls you cool, then you definitely mean something to her. He admired the compliment for a moment, before immediately returning an aggressive glare to his brother.
"So what mission was so eemportant dat yoo had to leave your seeck daugther, den!?"
"De president of an allied country had been keednapped by some former-American soldier turned villain." He responded. "Dey needed us to rescue heem before dey took eet as an act of war."
"Hmph..." Dru huffed, not seeming convinced. "And yoo couldn't get eet done before eet turned dark!?"
"Uh...clearly not." Gru replied skittishly. The promise he had made immediately returned in his memory, and he turned to face Edith with an expression of guilt. She didn't look back at him, instead, she kept her eyes closed and snuggled further into Dru's side. "So...what ees dis leetle chat about den?"
"Oh...notheeng much." Dru replied sarcastically, switching the TV off and lightly standing up from his seat. Edith took this as an indication to let go, as she stared up at the two brothers fearfully. The tension in the room was slowly increasing to uncomfortable levels. "Just about some theengs dat your daughter has told me."
"Oh?" Gru inquired, glancing at the nine-year-old for a moment. "What has she told yoo?"
"Notheeng of much eemportance." Dru replied. He took a threatening step towards his brother, eyeing him up angrily. "Just sometheeng about her own father breakeeng promises, abandoning her, theenkeeng she's annoyeeng and, worst of all, loveeng his job more dan his own daughter!"
Gru's eyes widened in shock as he shared his attention between Edith and Dru. A mixed feeling of guilt and anger bubbled up inside him, feeling saddened by the fact that a few of his claims were true. But loving his job more than his daughter? That was a complete lie!
"What...?" He muttered, shaking his head in slight disbelief. "Dat ees not true!"
"Wheech one?" Dru questioned dangerously. He took another small but fierce step towards Gru. "Yoo've definitely broken some promises. Yoo've definitely abandoned her. Yoo've definitely called her annoyeeng. I theenk dey're all true."
"How dare yoo suggest dat I love my job more dan my own daughter!" Gru yelled, getting in his brother's face. Dru flinched and shrieked in fear before replying.
"Eet wasn't me dat suggested eet." He answered fearfully, gesturing his head to Edith as he cowered slightly. Gru turned to face his middle-child, who was looking down at her feet sadly. By the way her expression was built up, Dru's claim was not a lie.
"Edith?" He asked, moving over to sit beside her. She didn't move her gaze off her feet. "Yoo don't theenk dat, do yoo?"
"I dunno." She replied with a shrug, making Gru's expression transition to one of pure sadness. Was this actually happening? Did his own daughter really think this? He didn't know why she thought this, but it scared him.
"Edith..." Gru spoke softly, putting an arm around her. "I could never love anytheeng more dan I love yoo, Lucy and your seesters. Yoo mean everytheeng to me! Why would yoo ever theenk otherwise?"
"I don't. It's just..." Edith whimpered, small tears forming in her eyes. "I don't know! There's probably just something wrong with me!"
Dru thought back to what Margo had told him. 'She's always been like that. She's very judgemental of herself and always takes everything everyone says or does to heart.' It was starting to make sense.
"Dere ees notheeng wrong weeth yoo!" Dru blurted, also moving to sit beside her. "Edith, please stop putteeng yourself down all de time. Yoo're not annoyeeng! Your dad does love yoo! Yoo're a great person! I don't know why yoo theenk yoo aren't, but eet's just not true!"
"Then..." Edith asked, turning to face Gru again. "Why did you leave me?"
Gru gave a deep sigh before speaking.
"I deedn't want to." He said. "But...sometimes een life, family can't be dere for yoo. Yoo are always told dat dey weel always be nearby to help, but sometimes dey just can't be. Whether dey want to or not. But dat een no way means dey don't love yoo. Why do yoo theenk I was fusseeng around all over de place dis morning? I deedn't need to write all dose notes or get myself worked up so much, but I just wanted to make sure dat yoo would be okay and get better. I've honestly been worried seeck all day. Do yoo wanna know why?"
Edith did nothing but sit and stare profusely at her father as he dipped his head and put his hand on her shoulder.
"Because yoo mean so much to me." He spoke softly. "Yoo're my leetle gurl."
Edith beamed brightly as a few stray tears rolled down her cheeks, before leaping into her dad with a warm embrace. He held her close, absorbing every negative feeling that she still possessed, comforting her with the knowledge that he will forever be her father.
Dru found himself unconsciously joining in as well, holding onto the family members that he loved so much. He felt slightly guilty for getting so angry with Gru, but he just hated seeing Edith so upset. Was there anything he wouldn't do to keep them safe? Nope. Not a thing.
Edith appreciated the bubbling feeling of happiness inside her. She had learned a valuable lesson today that she knew she would never forget, and felt a lot more comfortable with the knowledge.
No matter how much you may dislike yourself, no matter how much you think your just an inconvenience, no matter how many times people judge your negative aspects. Just remember...
...there's always someone out there that loves you.
Gru and Dru quietly closed the door to the girl's bedroom behind them, the latter carrying the empty medicine vial. As they emerged into the hallway, they looked at each other and smiled happily.
"Fancy watcheeng a movie, brother?" Gru asked.
"Don't mind eef I do!" He replied. The two chuckled as they began their trip down the hallway, before a gruff voice sounded from behind them.
"Uh...Dru?" It asked. "Could I have a word?"
The two turned around and were met by the figure of Dr. Nefario, standing in his trademark stance. His hands firmly locked behind his back with that usual unmoving expression.
"Oh. Uh...sure." He said, furrowing his brow slightly. He turned to face his brother and gave him a small smile. "I'll be down een a meenute."
Gru nodded as he shot Nefario a quick questioning glance before heading for the living room. As he made his way towards the stairs, a small pain in the pit of his stomach, that was now becoming evident, caused him to moan in discomfort. He decided just to ignore it, hoping that it would fade...
...but it didn't.
Dru waited until his brother had descended down the stairs before slowly turning to face the doctor with an aggressive, yet apprehensive, expression.
"So...what do yoo want?" He inquired.
"I see you have given her the rest of the medicine." He stated, gesturing towards the empty vial.
"Of course." Dru replied promptly. "Yoo know, I'm not a keed! I may be energetic, and sometimes a leetle childeesh, but dat doesn't mean I'm stupeed! I'm an adult!"
"Well, that's what I wanted to talk to you about." Nefario replied. "Well done on looking after Edith today. She's a tough cookie to handle, I know from experience, so I'd say you did a bang-up job."
"Really?" Dru questioned, his face twisting in confusion as if he had just been slapped.
"Yes." Nefario stated. "I also observed how you talked to Agnes when she showed you that drawing. That fake impressed voice you did was top-notch. You're not as incompetent as you look, y'know."
"Oh. Uh...thanks...I guess." Dru said with uncertainty, unsure whether or not to take that as an insult or a compliment.
"No problem." Nefario responded with a single nod. "So, what were you saying earlier? About that heist?"
"Oh." Dru spoke. "Wait, yoo...yoo wanna work weeth me?"
"Well, as I said, you're not as incompetent as you look," Nefario replied. "So yes, I would be willing to. Now that Gru has stopped with the heists, a new villain partner would be just what I need to get the excitement in my life back."
Dru nodded his head, beaming brightly in excitement, before exclaiming with joy.
"Great!" He yelped, with a small leap into the air. "Have yoo ever heard of de Doowit diamond...?"
And on that note, my first ever one-shot comes to an end. It didn't feel like I was writing a one-shot, based on the length, but yeah, it was!
If you enjoyed it, please consider reviewing. This story has kept me up nights so it would be appreciated.
Also, brownie points to anyone who can guess where the name 'Doowit' diamond comes from.
Thanks for reading, and I'm sure you'll see me again soon with another DM fic.