Donald: (reading from paper) "Dear readers, I'm sure you're all wondering what's happened to me. First, I'm so sorry about the massive delay. I've had several family medical emergencies. Thankfully, everyone's alright but sadly, it just kind of snowballed from there. Even though my reasons were valid, I'm afraid I still might've broken my promise to not put this fic on a long hiatus without informing you all. So as punishment, I've banished myself for at least three chapters. Kudos for reviewers for last chapter go out to my as-always-amazing friend Phoenix Ride and newcomer, LonerGirl1012. Pete, you're older and a bit more mature so you're in charge while I'm gone but if you two don't behave, then I'll leave Phoenix Ride in charge! So be good! Smooch smooch. Winkyface."

Pete: "Winkyface?"

Donald: Yeah, you know… ;)

Pete: Oh…Hey wait a minute…Aggie'll be gone for three whole chapters?!

Donald: Yeah…I guess, but…HEY! (crosses arms) Why do you get to be in charge?! I'm her favorite and this fic's about me!

Pete: (smirks) Well, I'm older and more mature and technically, dis fic's about us.

Donald: Well…Well…I refuse to be babysat like some child!

Pete: (sing song-y) You gots ta listen ~ to me or you'll ~ get in trouble! ~

Donald: Grrrr…fine! (mumbles) What do ya want me to do?

Pete: Hmmm…Well…hmmm…Oh, I know! (evil grin) You gotta let me win in Kingdom Hearts, see?

Donald: WHAT?! First of all…I HATE that game with the passion of 1,000 fairy suns!

Pete: O_O …Wait a minute…(tries to keep from laughing) "1,000 'fairy' suns?!" Didja mean "fiery?" HAHAHA! XD

Donald: Sh-shut up! You know what I meant!

Pete: Well, too bad! We're playing! (sets up game)

Donald: (mutters) Not if I can help it. (cuts wire while Pete's not looking)

Pete: Ok, now we can…HEY! Who cut the wire?! (glares at Donald)

Donald: 0 :) (sits and folds hands innocently with pretend angel wings and halo)

Pete: -_- Ain't no here buyin' dat, Quackers!


Chapter 12: The Time In Between

At first, Pete was sure Donald would take off or get furious again the moment he saw Mickey who just smiled nervously, smart enough not to provoke his friend any further. But surprisingly, the duck just sighed and got in the passenger's seat up front without a fuss. Pete, Goofy and Mickey just exchanged surprised glances but all got in.

Pete mostly drove them in silence for a while with Donald just unemotionally staring out the window. But after a couple of minutes of this, Mickey thought it best to break the silence and explain to Donald what they discovered so far.

The duck sat in stunned silence for a minute, just absorbing all the new information.

"So…that's what was in the WWII wing…the experimental vials? And you say that Madame XX and Shyster might be in on this, too?" he asked softly.

Mickey nodded.

"I see," he said, unemotionally. Goofy and Mickey exchanged worried glances at their best friend's uncharacteristic lack of anger.

Just as Goofy opened his mouth to say something, Pete's cell phone started ringing from the cupholder on the dashboard.

"Oh, that must be Peg! (1) Here, Goof! Could ya be a pal and answer it for me? I'm kinda busy drivin' here!" he said and tossed the phone back to Goofy.

"Hiya, Pegster! Petey's drivin' so…" Goofy started before he was cut off by a voice he didn't recognize.

"Huh? Whos's 'Pegster' and who's dis?!" said a gruff voice that the Goof knew was definitely not Peg!

"Um…it's Goofy. Who're you?" he asked, a bit nervously.

"None o' your beeswax! Ain't dis the boss' number?!"

Goofy checked the phone number and asked, "Hey Petey…who's the 'Bagle Boys?'''

Both Donald's and Pete's eyes widened as Pete almost slammed on the brakes, but instead had the good sense to pull over.

"Gimme dat, you ninny!" Pete snarled as he reached back and yanked the phone away from Goofy.

"What's the idea callin' me and whatnot?!" he yelled into the phone.

There was a short pause and Pete heard a various murmuring voices.

"Uh…sorry, Pete but uh…ain't Donald wit ya?" a Beagle Boy (2) asked, timidly.

Pete hesitated for a second before hissing, "So what if he is? You're supposed ta be leavin' 'im alone, see?!"

Another pause and mumbled voices in the background. The big cat rolled his eyes. The Beagle Boy's probably talkin' ta his bruddahs.

"Well…youse guys were talkin' about Merlock, right? Back at the club? He's the bad guy, right? He wants ta turn Donald into dat uh…Duck of Doom thing," came the response.

"Yeah. So what?! What're you yahoos gettin' at?!" Pete was getting impatient.

"The ting is, Boss…well…Do ya know a Vulnus Vendor?" asked one of the Beagle Boys.

"Who? Vulnus Vendor? Neva heard of the guy! So why don't you guys hit the bricks and-"

"Hold on, Pete! Don't hang up on 'em yet! I know…or um, rather the Duck Avenger knows Vulnus Vendor. He's a mad scientist supervillain. Why are they askin' about him?" Donald asked.

"Donald's friend, the Duck Avenger (3), knows the guy. Donald says he's a 'mad scientist supervillain.' Why do ya wanna know?" Pete asked, now starting to sound concerned.

There was yet another pause, but this time there was no murmuring or whispering. Just ominous silence.

"Cuz Merlock wants us ta bust the guy outta the Duckburg jail in four days!" came the solemn reply.

Everyone froze…until Donald spoke up again, "We're not gonna get two weeks of rest, are we?"

"Sorry, Ducky," Pete whispered as he shook his head and then asked, "Who's dis Vulnus Vendor guy anyway? I'm guessin' he's bad news?"

Donald took a deep breath and responded in the most serious tone Pete ever heard him use, "Let's just say…that if the Duck Avenger was ever the type of guy ta kill someone…Vendor would be the guy he'd do in." (4)

Everyone sat there, stunned. Pete's eyes widened. He only met the Duck Avenger a few times. But he remembered starting out as enemies; Pete with his attachable mechanical arms being on the super-villain team called the Sinister 7 and the Duck Avenger aligned with his fellow Ultraheroes (5), which included Mickey Mouse and Super Goof. (6) But they had briefly teamed up to take on the rampaging Ultramachine, Eega Beeva. Evil Eega Beeva was bad…but the Duck of Doom's far worse!

Afterwards though, he was recruited as an adversary to help the heroes train more (7) and he had gotten to know the Duck Avenger better and despite their difference the two had almost become friends. There was something comfortable, almost familiar about the Duck Avenger: the way he looked, the way he joked, the way he moved, even the way he fought. He couldn't quite put his finger on it yet, but he could've sworn the hero reminded him of someone. And he felt a bond…even a certain protectiveness for the Avenger that he couldn't quite explain.

And although he remembered that the Duck Avenger could be quite dangerous and dark when he had to be (After all, it wasn't for nothing he was called an "avenger."), he couldn't remember ever hearing or reading anything about the the hero actually killing or murdering anyone, criminal or not! So whatever this Vulnus Vendor did, it had to be something quite terrible indeed to incur the usually righteous duck's terrifying wrath!

"So…uh, what do we do, Boss?" The question startled Pete out of his shock and he was about to growl obscenities at the numbskulls when Donald beckoned for him to hand the cell phone over to him and he hesitantly did so.

"167-671? (8) Is that you?" Donald asked. There was a pause.

"Oh…Donald? Uh, the name's Bigtime now. We don't like going by our placard numbahs no more," the voice responded.

The duck just rolled his eyes and replied, "Well, whatever. Bigtime then…Look, just make sure Merlock doesn't know that we're on to him, ok? Right now all we got on our side is the element of surprise. Don't say anythin' to Merlock about your chat with us and I'll make sure that the Duck Avenger will be there in four days, ok?"

There was a startled pause before Bigtime answered, "Eh…sure ting then, Donald! We'll see yer Avenger friend in four days. And well…feel bettah! (9) Bye!" And with that, he hung up.

Donald looked surprised for a second, but then he sighed and handed the cell phone back to Pete.

"Aw, geez! Now I gotta let everyone know that we only got about one week at most to prepare and not two like we thought!" Mickey groaned, holding his head in his hands.

"Gawrsh," Goofy whispered, worried about how the events were playing out already.

So they sat in heavy silence, each thinking about all the possible deadly outcomes of their upcoming adventure as Pete started to drive again.

After another few minutes of driving, Pete finally pulled into his driveway.

"Well, Pete…I guess we'll see you and Donald tomorrow," Mickey said stretching out a bit.

"We should have breakfast together 'fore me and Mickey go to Duckburg!" Goofy piped up, cheerfully.

"I guess…if Donald feels up to it," Pete replied, scratching the back of his head.

"You guys are goin' to Duckburg?" Donald asked.

"Yeah…we're gonna see if Professor Ludwig can invent an antidote for the experimental vials," Mickey explained while Goofy nodded.

Donald flinched a bit and looked away. He didn't want to tell them that he didn't think an antidote would do any good since he remembered that the Nazis had already used them on him once before and the chemicals had already been in his system.

"O-ok then. But you might wanna ask Gyro Gearloose to help ya, too. He's another genius…and like Ludwig…hehe…He can be just as kooky," Donald responded, chuckling a bit as he thought of his old friend who had actually created much of the Duck Avenger's inventions and gadgets before he met his new AI friend, One. (10)

"Well, fellers…We''ll see ya tomorrow! Bye Donald! Bye Petey!" Goofy said, biting back a yawn and waving as he turned towards his house.

Mickey lingered for a moment longer, sheepishly met Donald's eyes before rubbing the back of his head and weakly waving.

Donald just half-waved back before promptly looking away. Then, Mickey just nodded sadly in understanding and hurried to catch up to Goofy.

"Well, dat's dat then. Come on, Quackers, let's get some shut eye," Pete said, turning to go inside his house. Donald nodded and followed him in.

Once inside, Pete showed the little duck where the guest bathroom and bedroom were and gave him a towel and some new pajamas that had been too small for PJ.

While Donald was showering, Pete changed into his pajamas and thought it would be a good time to call Peg and inform her of their visitor.

"PETE! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT TIME IT IS?!" came a frightening booming voice from the other end. Pete gulped and braced himself.

"Y-yes, Sugar Plum. S-sorry, Pancake! It's just…I wanted to be a good hubby and tell ya dat…a friend is staying over the house for a few days," Pete did his best to explain.

"Wha- A friend? What other friends besides Goofy do you have? It better not be one of those villain types you hang around with" Peg said, thankfully sounding calmer but Pete could tell she was still skeptical.

"Now, Cinnamon Roll, I'm hurt dat you'd think dat! Why it's been 84 whole hours since I've done anything bad or sneaky…But anyway, dat's not the point! You know Donald Duck…Right, sweetie?" he asked in his most innocent-sounding voice.

There was a long pause and then…., "SQUEEEEEE! DONALD DUCK'S AT MY HOUSE! HOW EXCITING! I'VE SEEN ALL HIS CARTOONS! SQUEEEE!" She went on and on about thrilling it would be to have one of the most famous figures from their Disney company to stay with them.

Pete held his cell at arm's length away from him until his wife calmed down a bit.

"But Pete, I thought you two hated each other! Didn't you make his life miserable on a regular basis?" she asked, still not quite fully believing her husband's story since she knew that he lied to her many times before.

"Well…yeah…But I told 'im I was sorry. And well, you know dat we spent lotsa time together after dat dumb pre-school show we worked on. We got lots in common, Peg!" Pete said, trying his best to fight off the familiar creeping guilt.

"Well…ok. I believe you. BUT I SWEAR IF YOU'RE PULLIN' MY LEG, PETE AND GETTIN' MY HOPES UP, OR IF I FIND OUT YOU'VE BEEN MEAN TO HIM AGAIN, I'LL HAND YOU OVER TO CRUELLA DE VIL AS HER NEW FUR COAT! WE CLEAR?!" she snapped.

Pete gulped and shakingly answered, "Y-yes, ma'am!"

"Ok. Well, it's getting late so…Kiss kiss! Goodnight, sweetie! Love you! Miss you! Kiss kiss! Bye!" sang his wife, now all sweet and airy.

"Good night, Snooky Wooky!" the big cat sing-songed back before hanging up.

"Whew, glad dat's over," he muttered to himself.

Then, he noticed that his friend had finished showering and was now in his pajamas, waiting cautiously by the door.

"Is…is your wife mad that I'm staying here? I heard yelling. I…I could leave if ya want-" the duck was about to sadly head out the door when Pete leapt up and grabbed his arms.

"No! No…Ducky. She loves ya and she's seen all your cartoons! She was yellin' at me. I've been sneaky in the past and I used ta lie to her so…she don't exactly trust me. But I only gots myself ta blame," he explained somewhat sadly.

Donald thought about this a bit before smiling and responding, "But at least you're willing to make a change now, Pete. And that's a big first step!"

"Thanks, Quackers! I needed ta hear dat. Now let's get ya into bed, ok? Ya had a long day," Pete said softly, ushering the duck into the guest bedroom.

"Well, G'night, Ducky! See ya in the mornin'…or later if ya wanna sleep in!" Pete chuckled and was about to head out the door when he felt a little tug on the back of shirt.

So he turned around and found Donald still holding the back of his shirt and looking up at him with big pleading eyes. Pete could guess what he wanted…and why.

"Ya want me ta stay wit ya?" he asked.

Donald let go of his shirt, hid his hands behind his back and slowly nodded.

"Heh, ok, ok. Make some room then." the big cat said lightly.

The young drake practically beamed and scurried over to the bed and got under the covers. Then, he scooted over so Pete could lie down next to him.

If given the choice, they would usually choose to sleep near each other. (11) This was usually because Pete knew about Donald's night terrors and was really the only one who could help him and that Donald would feel agitated and vulnerable his first night in a strange place.

For Donald's part, he felt safe and comfortable enough with Pete, not that he needed any physical protection since he had long since grown tough enough to handle himself, but because he didn't feel quite emotionally and mentally stable enough to deal with all the bittersweet memories, regrets and nightmares that the night usually brought. And there was something familiar and comforting about Pete that helped keep those thoughts at bay.

So Pete laid down next to him and put one arm under the duck's head and used the other to gently rub his back to try to get him to sleep.

"Hey Pete?" Donald began.

"Yeah, Ducky?" came the half-tired reply.

"Your arm still makes the worst pillow! (12) Hehehe!" the drake laughed, poking the arm that Pete put under his head.

"I'll give ya a pillow! Come 'ere, ya little half-pint!" Pete grabbed his pillow and playfully began flinging it at the poor duck's head!

"Oh yeah? Take this and this and that, ya big palooka!" Donald grabbed his own pillow and returned fire!

Soon, they both were flinging pillows left and right, running around, ducking and dodging and laughing.

"Good thing dese are cotton pillows and not feather ones! 'Cuz den I'd hafta pluck yer feathers ta replace 'em!" Pete chuckled.

"You could try…" Donald smirked, biting back a yawn.

"Ok, Ducky. Time for bed. For real dis time!" Pete said, picking up the little duck and putting him back in the bed and under the covers.

"You started it!" the drake laughed, but then he wrapped both arms and legs around Pete's arm (thankfully, the one that hadn't been grazed by the bullet!) and nuzzled it. Soon, the exhausted little guy was fast asleep in that position!

Pete froze.

In the past, Pete used to hate it when Donald did this to him, not so much because of the behavior itself, but rather because of how it used to make him feel. It had been long before the big cat had any family let alone any real friends. And then along came this little duck…not much older than a child and even despite the initial hostility and even at times abuse he's shown him, he still did very nearly take him in as his own at times. He knew that Donald was an orphan and after he ran away from his Grandma Duck's farm, he lived out on the streets for a while. But Pete had shown the duck how to work for food (13), gave him one of his first jobs as a riveter (14), even taught him English and French (15), went on the duck's first treasure hunt (16), and even very nearly adopted him! (17) He also did his best to look after him during WWII and had thus for better or worse, played a very big part in Donald's life. (18) So for all intents and purposes, their relationship wasn't just big brother/little brother, but almost bordering on parent/child at times. He had been an authority figure throughout the duck's life and there had been times when he nearly spanked Donald when he misbehaved.

So when the duck would sometimes wrap himself around one of Pete's limbs, the big cat hated to be reminded that he played a parental role to someone else…much in the same way Donald himself initially used to resent babysitting Mickey's nephews Morty and Ferdie and more permanently, raising his own triplet nephews.

But now?

Pete glanced down at the duck wrapped around his arm and smiled. He again rubbed the duck's back with his other arm and just listened to his soft breathing. It was times like these that he was reminded for all Donald's rage, toughness and fighting skill…he was still so young.

The Disney company had given them special slow-aging formula so although Pete, Donald and the rest of their fellow actors were technically decades old…they were still trapped in the same body and age they were in when they first given the formula. Thus, while Pete was around forty-five years old, Donald was only about twenty-five…if that. Pete swore the duck often acted more like a teenager! But he of all people knew that Donald was at least eighteen in order to have been legally drafted for WWII.

The feline sighed and with a finger, lightly stroked the feathers on the top of the duck's head. The touch caused Donald to nuzzle Pete's arm again.

Hehehe…How cute! Now feeling tired himself, Pete yawned and fell asleep…with his head resting on the duck's shoulder.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next day, Pete was the first one to open his eyes. He looked down at his friend, still grabbing his arm and fast asleep and smiled, debating about whether or not he should wake him up yet. But deciding he wanted to make the most of his time with Donald before the rest of his family came over, Pete gently tapped him between the eyes with a finger.

"Wakey wakey, Ducky!" Pete chirped happily. Donald stirred and opened his eyes.

"Hm? Oh. G'morning, Pete. Oops. Hehehe. Sorry about that," Donald said, realizing he'd been grabbing Pete's arm this whole time and let go. But the cat just shrugged.

"Dat's ok! Wanna eat sumthin'?" he asked.

"Sure!" Donald replied.

After they got changed into their day clothes and had already finished their large breakfast, Pete said, "I gotta stop by my used car dealership and fix some stuff…Ya don't mind do ya?"

"You have a used car dealership?! That's awesome! Can I help?" Donald asked.

"Well sure!" and with that Pete escorted Donald to his car and they drove on.

Some time later, they finally reached Pete's used car and RV dealership. Donald looked around in wonder. There were dozens of cars in the parking lot and a giant replica of Pete's head to welcome visitors.

"Wow…Not bad, Pete!" Donald cried excitedly while Pete puffed out his chest in pride.

"Oh and you even got RVs! Cool!" Donald continued, rushing over to see the latest model and running his hands over its sparkling, glazed finish.

"Wait…Ya like RVs? Since when?" Pete asked, arching an eyebrow.

"Since recently. (19) These are so modern and have all the latest gadgets! Does yours have an electric guitar and speakers?" the duck asked.

"Yup! Does yours have a bowling alley and pool?" Pete asked, slyly.

"Nope! But does yours have motocross?" Donald replied, with the same smirk.

Pete just laughed and patted him on the back, saying, "Well, I'm impressed!"

Soon, a big burly dog-nosed customer walked in, looking extremely angry.

"Pete, ya crook! This hunk of junk ya sold me barely made it my house without breaking down into a bucket o' bolts!" The big customer then kicked the falling apart car to demonstrate its uselessness.

Then, marched right up to Pete, the customer being at least a foot taller and two feet wider than him, continued threateningly, "I want my money back! Or do ya wanna end up like that four-wheeled trash can over there?!"

Pete cringed and stuttered, "Ah well…I…uh," until Donald got in between them.

"Wait a minute! I can fix your car!" the duck said. The huge customer just blinked down at the little duck.

"Ya hiring kids now?!" the guy asked, glaring at Pete.

Donald crossed his arms angrily.

"I ain't no kid! I'm a grown up, too! And I can fix your car!"

"What on earth did he say?!" the guy asked, now scratching his head in confusion.

Donald just sighed, rolled up his sleeves and walked over to the customer's car, inspecting it.

"Ah…I think I see the problem. Pete, you should offer the guy a cup of coffee and tell 'im his car'll be ready in a half hour," Donald said, popping open the hood and fixing the engine.

Pete blinked for a minute in awe at the duck's work ethic before regaining his composure and nervously saying, "Uh…he says dat your car'll be ready in half an hour. And uh…do ya want some coffee or sumthin?'"

The customer eyed Pete suspiciously for a moment longer and replied, "A half hour, ya say? Well, I guess a cup of coffee wouldn't hurt…But if he can't fix it, then I swear you'll be the one in for a world of hurt! Capische?"

The cat nodded vigorously before heading over to his office to bring the big dog a cup of coffee while Donald continued to work quickly and efficiently on the car, pulling wires and twisting bolts.

Pete returned with a steaming mug in his hand and he and the customer watched Donald work.

"So…who's the little guy?" the bigger guy asked, taking the mug from Pete.

"He's a friend," the cat responded.

"He looks like he knows what he's doin,'" the customer said.

"Yeah…" Pete was only half listening to his client. Instead he was paying more attention to what Donald was doing…The way the duck moved, the way he wasn't afraid of literally getting his hands dirty and his intense look of concentration and determination. Hmm…Donald's seems ta be pretty good at dis. He's kind of amazin.'

"Hey! I was talkin' to ya! Stop zonin' out!" snapped the customer, waving a hand in front of Pete's face who blinked, jostled from his thoughts.

"I…uh…Sorry 'bout dat," Pete said, sheepishly.

"Why were ya starin' at your friend like that anyway?" the guy asked, arching an eyebrow.

Pete froze and stammered, "I…uh…I wasn't starin.' I just-"

"Done!" Donald cried, not having heard any of the conversation. He shut the hood of the car and wiped his greasy hands on a cloth.

He turned to the customer and said, "The engine just needed a little tune up! That's all. It should work fine now."

"Huh?!" the customer said, scratching his head.

Donald frowned and tensed in anger, but then he slightly changed his voice, "I said the engine just needed a tune up! It should work fine now!"

So the guy got in the car, started it up and drove it several times around Pete's parking lot. Then, he stopped right beside Donald and Pete and lowered the window saying, "Hahaha! Well, I guess the duck saved your neck this time, Pete! Thanks for fixin' up my car, duck! See ya around!" And with that, he drove off leaving both of them in the discharged black smoke.

After a few seconds of coughing, Pete turned to Donald and asked, "Wow…Dat was pretty good! Where'd ya learn all dat fancy car stuff?"

Donald gave a small laugh before answering, "Doncha remember, Pete? Me, Mickey and Goofy used ta work in a car service station. (20) We even worked on your car! And I work on my own car, my 313 all the time since its parts are kinda old and I sometimes can't afford to take it to the shop all the time."

"Oh. Dat's right! Wow…ya sure remember your stuff! Huh, Ducky?" Pete said chuckling.

Donald nodded and smiled, but then shook his head and said, "Ya know, Pete…Ya really shouldn't try to swindle your customers like that."

"Yeah. I know, I know…I gotta try not to be so sneaky from now on. Don't wanna lose my business and all. But, uh…thanks. Ya really saved the day back dere…and my neck!" Pete said, rubbing the back of his head.

"Aw, don't mention it! Hey…what time is it?" Donald asked.

Pete checked his watch and his eyes widened.

"Oh no! Peg and the kids'll be at the house in a couple minutes! She'll kill me if I'm late! Let's go, Quackers!" he cried, yanking the poor duck by the arm.

"B-but, Pete! I'm dirty now! I can't meet your family like this!" Donald said, half-panicked as he pulled his arm back and gestured to his now greasy and stained sailor shirt.

Pete quickly looked him up and down.

"You're right! Here! Take a shower in dere and I'll clean your shirt!" the cat said, nearly yanking the duck into an RV.

"O-ok," Donald responded as Pete practically shoved him into the bathroom. He took off his shirt and sailor hat and gave them to Pete through a crack in the door.

Pete grabbed them and started to wash them in the sink as the duck showered. He quickly glanced a clock. Oh no! Peg's gonna kill me! But…but she can't hurt me too bad if I have a guest, r-right?

After a few minutes, all the stains and spots had been washed out and put them over a radiator to dry. With nothing else to do except wait for Donald, Pete allowed himself to think about his younger friend. Gotta admit dat he really saved my skin back dere. I know dat he and his friends worked on cars before but I never really watched him work. He looked intense and…cool. Heh…

Just then, Donald cracked open the bathroom door and asked, "Um…I'm done. A-are my clothes ready yet?"

Pete took them off the radiator and felt them. They were still a little damp, but for the most part dry.

"I think so. Are they ok?" he asked, handing them over to Donald who opened the door a little more, enough to stick out his torso and grabbed them.

"Yeah, they're fine! I'm a duck, remember? Water doesn't bother me so much. 'Sides, I think they'll dry off even more pretty soon!"

The big cat's eyes widened at the sight. He and Donald had seen each other shirtless, even naked in the past, having sometimes showered together in the army. But that was back when Pete had still regarded Donald as a child. Now, he was noticing that the duck had put on a more significant amount of muscle than what he remembered. The duck's body was well built and toned. (21)

"Ready!" Donald piped, finally dressed and ready and giving a pretend salute.

This snapped Pete of his semi-trance and he grabbed the duck's wrist to lead him back to his car.

"Dat's great, Ducky! Now let's hit the bricks!"

When they finally reached Pete's house, they breathed a sigh of relief as Pete noticed that Peg wasn't home yet.

"Whew! We made it by a duck's tail feather!" Pete cheered, pumping a fist in the air.

"Yeah! We made it by…Hey!" Donald playfully growled, semi-glaring at the cat for the tiny jab at his species.

But Pete just smirked and grabbed the duck, giving him a noogie with Donald laughing and fending him off by pulling one of his ears.

Just then the door opened. Both Pete and Donald froze and turned their heads in that direction.

"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! I missed ya so much! And so did Chainsaw! Didn't ya, girl? So didja miss me too? Didja?!" cried a little hyperactive girl with red pigtails and a missing tooth holding a small dog as she ran into Pete's arms.

"Pistolkins! My baby!" Pete cried as he hugged her tightly.

"H-hello, sir," said PJ as he came in carrying groceries.

"How ya doin,' my boy?" Pete laughed as he clapped his son on the back as he made his way to the kitchen to set the groceries down.

"Sugar Donut! Oh, I missed you so much! Give Mommy a kiss! Oh! (smooch smooch) (kiss kiss) Oh!" cried a very shapely and beautiful female dog, wrapping her arms around Pete, hugging him tightly and kissing him.

"Honey Lump! Oh! I missed you, too! Oh! (smooch smooch) (kiss kiss) Oh!" the big cat returned the hug and started smooching his wife.

Donald just watched the entire scene with a bit of apprehension, though he was happy for Pete that he managed to have a family who obviously appreciated and loved him.

Finally, they all turned to the little duck.

Pete slapped a hand over his head in exasperation.

"Now where are my manners?! Honey…kids…ya know who dis is, doncha? Or do I really gotta introduce him all formal-like?" he said, smirking in the duck's direction, knowing that even kids living in caves half the world away knew who this little guy was.

"H-hello. I'm Donald Duck. Pleased to meet you, ma'am," he said a bit nervous at first before growing more confident and sticking out his arm like he learned a gentleman should.

The family just stared at him for a another minute or two before…

"SQUEEEEE! DONALD DUCK IN MY HOUSE! SQUEEEE! HOW EXCITING!" the poor duck was suddenly hugged tightly by Pete's wife as she swung him around like a puppy.

"Oh, are you really, really, really Donald Duck? I have all your cartoons! Why do ya have webbed feet? Why do ya always lose your temper? Why…?" the little girl bombarded him with questions as Peg continued to gush and swing him around.

"Uh, Dad? Aren't ya gonna, you know…help him?" PJ asked, stuffing his hands in his pocket, nervously glancing at the scene.

"Sure will…In a minute or four!" Pete said, waving a dismissive hand and smirking at the scene.

Donald just glared at him throughout Peg's swinging him and Pete could almost read the duck's mind. What on earth did you get me into, Pete?!

Pete just laughed. Wait and see, Ducky.


Pete: Ok…So dat's over! Now let's see here…Oh yeah…Aggie said she'll try to update one last chapter 'fore she goes on a month long trip to Spain from April 25th to June 10th. But she can't make no promises, see?!

Donald: (sitting in a corner of the room) Peeeeete! This is ridiculous! I don't wanna stay in time out!

Pete: No one told ya to cut the wire of my video game, Quackers! Dis is goin' on your permanent record!

Donald: GASP! Not my permanent record! Oh have mercy! Woe is me! Whatever shall I do- Yeah, I don't care. (sticks out his tongue at Pete)

Pete: (shrugs) Okie dokie then. Let's ask Phoenix Ride for ideas of Author's Notes for next chapter!

Donald: Not Phoenix Ride! NOOOOO! She knows all my secrets!

Pete: Ok, Phoenix Ride! Feel free ta leave us some ideas on how ta punish our little feathered devil here! See ya next time everyone!

Donald: That's it! Pete! I'm going to KILL you!

Pete: (gulps) Now, now…No killin' the host!

Donald: (growling)

Pete: Uh…I'm just gonna…HELP! (runs off with Donald chasing him)

Donald: Get back here, you!


References

1) Peg is Pete's wife in the Disney Afternoon series, "Goof Troop."

2) The Beagle Boys are a family of thieves that are always seeking to break into Scrooge's money bin. They're originally debuted in the Carl Barks comic "The Terror of the Beagle Boys," WDC #134 (1951) and also featured in the Disney Afternoon series, "Ducktales."

3) Donald's alter-ego who was originally a vigilante who relies mostly on gadgets and his own strength and courage rather than actual super-powers (think Batman) and took revenge on Donald's "enemies" such as Scrooge and his unbearably lucky cousin, Gladstone. His first appearance was in the Italian comic, "Paperinik, il diabolico vendicatore" ("The Diabolical Duck Avenger") [1969]. But since then, he's appeared in many early classic comics as well as five more recent series (where the Duck Avenger truly becomes more of a super-hero and gained an Artificial Intelligence friend named One who upgraded his weapons and car even further): "Paperinik New Adventures" (1996-2001), "PK2," "Pikappa" (2013-2014), "PK Universe" (2014), and "PKNA: New Era" (2014-present). The Duck Avenger is a BADASS with a capital B!

4) Vulnus Vendor is a mad scientist supervillain and enemy of Duck Avenger from the "Pikappa" series. In Issue #12, "The Long Goodbye," Vendor changes one of Duck Avenger's friends into a monster and ends up getting killed. And at first, the Duck Avenger goes on a rampage of revenge and is ready to KILL Vendor before he's stopped by his other friend, Lyla who suggested that Vendor can transplant their friend's mind into a new robotic body.

5) "Disney's Hero Squad: Ultra Heroes Saga" Comics

6) Super Goof is obviously Goofy's superhero alter ego. He debuted in "The Phantom Blot Meets Super Goof," The Phantom Blot #2 (1965). As such he was the first of the Disney cast to become a superhero. But unlike Paperinik/Duck Avenger, he gets his superpowers (think Superman) from meteorite-infused goobers (peanuts), but these superpowers wear off after a time.

7) Ultraheroes Issue "Botto prima degli esami" (English: "First Day of Exams")

8) The Beagle Boys only go by their prison numbers in the comics (where Donald had the most interactions with them so he would call them by their numbers), whereas in Ducktales, they actually have names.

9) Even though the Beagle Boys were Merlock's henchmen and Donald's antagonists in the "Donald Duck, Going Quackers" Disney Interactive and Ubisoft game, they have a much more "friendly enemy" relationship with Donald (Magica too, but to a lesser extent) in the comics, sometimes even teaming up with him against Scrooge when he's at his greediest. So it's my head canon that the Beagle Boys and Magica that Merlock had as henchmen were just clones. (Pete and Mickey also seem to have this relationship…but only mostly in the Italian comics anyway.)

10) One is Paperinik's/the Duck Avenger's Artificial Intelligence friend and guardian of the Ducklair Tower in both the first "Paperinik New Adventures" and "Pikappa" comics series. But in the "PK2" and "PK New Era" comic series he was temporarily deactivated and a new AI, Omega, had taken his place. I'm still debating about whether to use One, Omega or both in later chapters. We'll see. ;)

11) Pete and Donald are often shown sleeping near each other or even in the same bed. Such episodes included, "The Old Army Game" (1943) where Pete gets in bed with Donald, "Music Store Donald" and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode "Minnie's Pajama Party" both in which they sleep next to each other and in that series, Pete has also borrowed Donald's hammock a few times.

12) Another reference to "The Old Army Game" (1943) where Pete puts an arm under Donald to trick him to admitting the secret that he snuck out of the army base without permission.

13) "Timber" (1941).

14) "The Riveter" (1940).

15) In many French comics, Donald Duck supposedly learns English and Pete is often involved in it. The series is called "Donald Speaks English" with writing by Jean-Paul Jennequin and art by Philippe Larbier. This is also interesting given that in some comics and cartoons (especially "Timber"), Pete is shown to originally be French-Canadian.

16) "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold" (1942) by Carl Barks. His very first duck adventure comic book.

17) "Officer Duck" (1939).

18) It's interesting to note that along with Grandma Duck, Daisy, and Chip and Dale, Pete is introduced in the Disneyland Special "This is Your Life, Donald Duck!" Not Donald's fellow Caballeros nor Uncle Scrooge, nor Mickey and Goofy are introduced as playing as big a role in his life!

19) Mickey Mouse short "Roughin' It" (2016). Donald's state-of-the-art RV looks very similar to Pete's RV in "A Goofy Movie" (1995).

20) "Mickey's Service Station" (1935). Pete has a foreign accent here. Maybe French?

21) According to some sources such as: some comics like "Too Fit to Fit" by Carl Barks (1949), the song "Macho Duck" (1979) and even a Quack Pack episode "Can't Take a Yolk" (1996), Donald is portrayed to be muscular or at the very least physically toned.