A/N: Here's Chapter 2! Now, although I'll be using quite a few "Quack Pack" references, the ages of Donald's nephews are the same as in the House of Mouse universe, maybe a little younger. Again, if anyone has any questions about references or any suggestions about certain scenes or relationships (that includes Donald) they'd like to see, just let me know! And the disclaimer still holds.
Chapter 2: A Dark Presence
Donald just stared at Hades and blinked a few times. "Problem? What kinda problem? With me?" he asked, confused. Hades nodded.
"Something with the future, I think," he replied. Pete frowned.
"You think?' What's that supposed to mean? Why're you scarin' the duck if you just 'think' somethin's wrong?" Pete cried, indignantly. Hades just frowned back at Pete.
"Hey pal, I don't read the future. They do," he responded pointing over at the Fates before continuing, "And here's the gist, they think something bad's gonna happen and that you might know something about it, ok? So, let's just go over there so they can tell you what they know." With that, he a grabbed a still dumbfounded Donald by the hand and led him over to the table where the Fates where seated at. Pete shook his head, but followed anyway. The rest of the House of Mouse staff and guests started to crowd around the Fates, waiting to hear what they had to say.
"Well, I gotta say, I'm pretty curious with this all has to do with the duck," Mortimer said, smirking. Mickey glared at him.
"Quiet, Mortimer! This is serious stuff!" he cried indignantly. On hearing Mickey's voice, Donald suddenly remembered what he was supposed to tell Mickey. So, while they were still walking, he abruptly turned away from Hades, who stumbled a bit by the surprising movement.
"Mickey! You should know...some strange woman snuck into the...the wing you told me to clean and she might've taken something from one of those boxes. So, we'll probably need to see an inventory list to see if anything's missing," he explained. Mickey's eyes slowly widened in horror.
"What? How could you let that happen? Don't you realize how dangerous it would be if someone got their hands on WWII weaponry? How could you be so irresponsible? And why didn't you tell me sooner? Thanks to you, it might already be too late!" Mickey cried, glaring and pointing an accusatory finger at the duck, who looked truly hurt. Everyone gasped at the harsh words. Daisy, Goofy, Minnie, and Pluto eyed Mickey disapprovingly. Gus, who had come out of the kitchen for once to hear what the Fates had to say, frowned at Mickey for accusing his cousin. The Quack Street Boys abruptly stopped playing and were out right glaring at the mouse. Pete narrowed his eyes.
"Now wait just a darn minute, mouse! Who do you think you are blaming the duck? He wasn't even supposed to BE cleaning the dumb wing! Doesn't he own half this club too? You have more than a dozen walking brooms! Why the HELL does he have to clean ANYTHING? And why were those boxes even there? Didn't the company promise us that they would be destroyed? Those ain't props, Mick! Those are real, lethal weapons! They never should've been there in the first place! And why the hell didn't you tell your best friend about them? And you got the nerve to blame him? You're a real piece of work, you know that mouse?" Pete snarled at him. Everyone's mouths hung open in shock. Mickey just blinked at first, then frowned. Since when does Pete defend Donald?
"Oh, I see. So, you corrupted Donald to try to sabotage the show again, huh? And since when were you two all 'buddy-buddy?'' he said, hands on hips. Pete looked taken a back for a second and then opened his mouth to say something, but Donald stalked over and stood in between Pete and Mickey.
"First, don't blame this on Pete! While you all were here having fun and enjoying the show, he came looking for me and actually offered to help! It's a real shame when our 'enemy' proves to be a better friend than my so-called best friend! And FYI, we've been hanging out since that stupid pre-school show! He likes fishing, boats, and cars! You and me never do anything together outside of work! And yet I drive here all the way from freaking Duckburg to help you run this joint! But, I never get any credit or thanks! All you ever do is criticize and humiliate me!" Donald fumed, fists balled. Mickey just glared back at him.
The Fates looked at each other with their eyeless sockets while Hades looked at his new watch, frowning. Oy! How long are these two gonna go at it? We have a universe to save! Then again, it's been centuries since these "lovely gals" had their...uh...eye checked. Maybe they're wrong. And if not, would that really be so bad? I mean, if the universe gets destroyed, I'd be the head honcho of more people than Zeus! Hmmm...I like the sound of that! Then again...I'm not one to be too overcrowded. And they'd be like the guests that never leave the party. That and I'm pretty sure they won't use the coasters. That settles it then. I go for saving the universe. Time to get these two to see the bigger picture!
"Hey, you two! CUT IT OUT! Now normally yes, I'd love to see you two kill each other so I could prepare your permanent rooms in my lovely abode...But, even I wouldn't have enough space for all the people we're expecting if we don't deal with this teeny problem RIGHT NOW! NOW SIT, DUCK!" Hades raged with his fiery hair bright red and pointing to a chair across from the Fates.
Mickey and Donald blinked nervously at the god's outburst. And Donald immediately sat in the chair. The Fates smiled at the duck with a toothless grin.
"Now let's have a little look see, Donald, and then maybe we can-" began Atropos, before a strange phenomenon cut her off. Their eye which was supposed to turn green when peering into the past, present, or future, started shaking violently and exuded a strange, blackish purple aura. Everyone gasped and took several steps back.
"Wha-what's happening?" cried Hades, cowering a little behind Lachesis who frowned at him using her as a shield. Well, I've never seen THIS happen before! What the Tartarus could it mean? Clotho stared in awe for a second before sadly shaking her head.
"For once in all our many eons...we don't know," she replied.
Then, the eye shook even more violently and rose in gradually rose in the air sizzling with power before suddenly darting towards Donald and striking him with a bolt of its dark energy. The duck was forcefully thrown back and lay motionless. Choruses of "Donald!" and "Oh no!" filled the room. Daisy, Gus, the nephews, Pete, Goofy, Minnie, and Pluto all ran towards the fallen duck. Mickey hesitated a little as tears threatened to fall. To think that just a few moments ago, he had said such terrible things to him. To his best friend. Things he didn't even mean! Donald. I'm so sorry, pal. Please hold on. Soon, he started running to his best friend on the floor. Everyone else was already huddling around the little white drake. Just as Mickey reached Donald...
"Hehehe. Why hello everyone," boomed what was perhaps the most sinister voice anyone, even the villains had ever heard. Everyone frightfully gazed around the room, trying to figure out where that evil voice had come from.
"Look! It's coming from the eye!" Aladdin cried, shielding his eyes from its raw power. Everyone else followed suit and tried to shield their eyes. The fact that no one recognized the voice, terrified them all the more. There wasn't much they could determine from it except, of course, that whoever it could be sounded masculine, very evil, and very, very powerful.
"Wh-wh-who is that? Wh-who's th-there? Sh-show yourself!" was Mickey's failed attempt at exerting his authority and trying to sound brave.
"Oh Mickey. You really were so amusing. I almost miss you," it scoffed. The mouse was completely taken aback. Everyone gasped again and started trembling at its chilling power.
"Wh-what do you mean 'were'? Wh-why are y-you doing this?" Mickey asked, still scared out of his mind.
"Hahaha! You know, it's almost like a bad riddle. You know me quite well without ever having met me," the voice teased. Apparently, it enjoyed toying with them.
"You're a big bully!" cried Louie, shaking a fist at the dark floating eye.
"Yeah! Why'd ya do this to our Unca Donald?" asked Huey as he and his brothers held their fallen uncle close.
A pause. Then, everyone experienced another inexplicable occurrence. Every single person in that room could feel the voice's emotions. It permeated through them like a light fog, pulsing with a strange mixture of sadness, barely restrained anger, but most of all...regret?
But the nephews were experiencing this a whole degree further. They could feel an odd presence hovering around them, regarding them carefully as if trying to remember something. It felt certainly evil and yet...hauntingly familiar and almost comforting. This time, the voice was softer than a whisper, almost too soft, but the words could just be barely made out. "My dear boys..."
The nephews froze, eyes wide. They looked at their uncle, thinking that maybe he muttered those words, but he was still out cold. They shook their heads. No. That couldn't be what we heard. It was so soft that maybe we projected what we wanted to hear. Yeah, that must be it. But most amazing of all, they actually felt this invisible entity smile! They felt it in their own hearts and gasped at the impossibility of it all. Now it was quite a small, subdued smile and it lasted no longer than the blink of an eye or an exhale of breath. Nevertheless, for a moment, it was there. Then, for the briefest of seconds, they felt the presence rest gingerly on their uncle. And all too soon, it cruelly passed. It was like a harsh wind snuffing out a warm, inviting fire. The boys choked out a sob at the hard, abrupt change in mood.
"Don't worry about him. He'll be alright," it answered emotionlessly.
"But...then why did you do it?" Daisy asked, tears streaming down her lovely face. She felt a sharp pang and quickly realized that the voice was once again manipulating her emotions. She felt it approach her, still and calm. She closed her eyes. It was almost caressing her face now. Then, just before it made any contact, it withdrew. Daisy's eyes flew open. What? No! Wha-what just happened? That feeling was so...so...perfect. After that cruel wave of emotion, Daisy was almost sobbing by now.
"Please...please stop this! Just tell us who you are...please!" she begged. Another pause. But, the accompanying emotions were mercifully more subtle now. A dry, bitter laugh. Then, just a ghost of pity.
"There's no point. You wouldn't believe me if I told you...toots," it said with a hint of sorrow.
Daisy's eyes widened. Wh-what IS this? Only one person ever calls me that. But-but how can that be? Donald's right here, lying on the floor! Ugh! Get your head together, girl! It's a pretty common pet name. Maybe not so much nowadays, but still...Oh, what I wouldn't give to know what's going on!
"Look, pal, enough with the riddle mumbo jumbo and just tell us what you want!" Pete demanded angrily, kneeling next to Donald. Pete felt this strange entity regard him with mixed emotions: contempt, anger, sadness, and even bitter longing. Pete blinked in shock. What the? Why...why am I feeling all this?
"I don't want anything from you. There's nothing you can offer me," it replied coldly. This...this being was somehow emotionally toying with them and gave no reason as to who he was or why he was there.
Pete suddenly felt weary and drained, but this time, he knew it wasn't the stranger's doing. The entire situation, from the thief in the prop room and Mickey and Donald's argument to this, it all finally caught up with the big cat. He was just exhausted. He looked back down at Donald, lying still on the floor beside him. Poor guy! Sheesh, if I think I gots it rough, I could only imaginate what the poor duck's going through! Maybe I deserve this...but he don't!
"Well...whoever you are...do whatever you want to me, but leave the duck alone! What'd he ever do to ya, huh? Doncha think he's had enough?" Pete cried, indignantly. Everyone's eyes widened. This was new. What the heck did they miss between Pete and Donald? Cold shock swept through them. The voice's feelings.
"You-you care about the little duck?" it asked, almost sounding unsure for the first time. Pete hesitated for the briefest second.
"Well...yeah. So what?" he asked, a bit annoyed that the voice basically shined a spotlight on his friendship with Donald. It wasn't that he was ashamed of it or anything. But, it was still very new and delicate. Also, he didn't know how Donald would react to all this attention on them.
"That's what!" the voice laughed lightly for the first time at its little joke for a second before abruptly stopping in silence, almost perplexed at what it just said. Suddenly, everyone felt a huge shift in emotion. Massive confusion. Swirls of warring emotions were surging. Anger, resentment, sorrow, bloodlust on one side and the weaker regret, longing, and even hints of affection on the other all vying for supremacy.
Meanwhile, Pete stared into empty space in complete shock. His mind reeled back to a particular memory. He was a wanted criminal going by the alias of Tiny Tom. Donald was a local policeman or "copper" as he called them then.
"Say! I'm looking for Tiny Tom, the little guy!" Donald demanded loudly and impatiently.
"So what?" he asked rudely, poking the little duck's eye with his own.
"That's what!" the duck snapped and promptly poked Tiny Tom back with his eye.
Pete found himself half-smiling at the memory. Even then, the little guy had "poisenality." Tricking me with dat baby getup! Though he was cute as a tyke...He shook himself free from memory lane and focused back to the situation at hand. He frowned. There's no denying dat this...this thing got almost the same personality as the duck. I wish I knew what was going on...
"You-you're not gonna show yourself then? What-what are ya, chicken?" Mickey was pretty sure his wisecrack was a big mistake, but he risked it because they needed to know who this was and why he was there.
It was a mistake. Intense anger was directed at him and everyone felt the entire club shake and and small parts were crumbling violently. His guests' panicked gasps and screams instantly made Mickey take back what he said. Whoa! Not even the villains can manage this! Whoever this guy is...he's pure power...and pure evil!
"W-wait! Please wait! I'm so sorry! Please stop! Please!" he begged desperately, taking shelter under a table. The others were also leaning on tables, walls, anything to brace themselves or cover their heads.
Gradually, the anger faded into discontent and the quakes stopped. However, many of the guests were still trembling from shock and fear. Mickey crawled out from under the table and shakily stood up, looking warily over at the terrible eye.
"Look...I-I didn't mean to upset you. I'm really sorry. It's just that...if...if you don't want anything from us, then why...why are you doing this? You act as if...you knew us, but all our friends and enemies are already here so...we don't understand. Please...please tell us who you are...please?" Mickey continued pleading, this time in a softer and more subdued tone.
There was a long pause as discontent changed into uncertainty mixed with something else...guilt? Everyone waited for the powerful being to say or do something, but there was only silence. Finally, Minnie took a deep breath and bravely stepped forward.
"Please, sir. Please answer us. You must've come here for a reason. We only wanna help. Won't you please tell us who you are? Please?" she begged, with a mixture of awe and humility. There was another long pause as it regarded her with amusement and a tiny flicker of affection. And many of the guests were just beginning to think that it simply refused to speak with them again when they felt it sigh deeply.
"So. You really wanna know who I am, do you?" it asked, mockingly. Everyone nodded and there were murmurs of "Yes" and "Please."
"Fine then. But, I'll only reveal myself to one of you. If I show myself to everyone...Let's just say, it would be too dangerous," it explained. Everyone started getting excited since they would soon be finding out this stranger's identity. Mickey stepped before the eye. But, the voice laughed derisively.
"Oh no you don't, mouse! I will choose who I will reveal myself to. And I choose..." Everyone felt the presence sift through their crowd, going here then there in seconds flat. Finally, it lingered on Pete and he felt it smirk.
"You." Pete barely had enough time to gulp before another powerful blast from the dark and mystical eye struck him hard in the chest, and he too was sent flying. He heard everyone gasp "Pete!" and various footsteps stomp over to him before he blacked out.
Pete groaned as he slowly regained consciousness. He was still lying on the floor, but he quickly learned that he was no longer in the club. He slowly and warily picked himself up. The room he was in now was stony, dark, and deteriorating. He looked around a bit more. This room seemed to be a very large dining hall with a large rectangular table complete with wooden chairs and an old chandelier hanging above it. There were a few swords hanging on the walls but other than this, there were very little decorations. Sheesh! This place gives me the creeps! Kinda reminds me of Dracula's castle or somethin'! I wonder where that...uh...guy with the scary voice went to...
"Right behind you," it said. Pete gasped at the sudden sound but hesitated before turning. Great. Now, he reads minds, too? Geez, is there anything this guy can't do? He turned around then and froze completely. His blood ran cold. And for the first time in a very long time, Pete felt absolutely terrified!
In front of him, stood the most powerful being he had ever seen. Somehow, Pete knew that not Hades or even Chernabog could match him. The duck was almost completely unrecognizable. Not because of the menacing black and green caped costume he was now wearing. Not because he was flaunting massive muscles complete with chiseled 12 pack abs, huge pecs, bulging biceps, and powerful thighs. Not even because his voice was actually intelligible but dark and twisted. But because after recent years of having the duck look at him with baby blue eyes filled with humor, annoyance, and sometimes affection; he was now glaring at him with emerald eyes of contempt, unbridled rage, and pure malice. And Pete had seen Donald look at him like that only once before...back when they had been neighbors and he had made the mistake of playing a trombone late one night...
He was playing the trombone. He didn't see what the big deal was, he was wearing earplugs after all. After one particularly long note, he felt his house shake violently.
"Wow! That note had 'poisenality!" he said, impressed with himself. But as he tried to blow on his trombone a second time, his house shook even harder, and this time he knew it wasn't his trombone. He spit out his music paper that he accidentally swallowed during the quake.
"Earthquake!" he cried out, terrified. But then, he noticed his neighbor Donald laugh at him through the window.
"Earthquake? Heh! That's me!" he said, smugly. And he demonstrated his newfound physical strength by shaking his entire house again. Then, he smirked evilly at Pete and took off his sailor hat revealing what appeared to be two lightning horns! That, combined with the duck's angry red face made Donald truly look like the devil incarnate! Pete could only gulp as the duck began having a little fun...
For the second time that day, Pete shook himself free from a painful (literally) memory and started trembling before the warlike duck who rolled his eyes as if he knew what Pete finished remembering.
"Do-Donald?" he ventured in a small, fearful voice. The duck crossed his arms over his muscular chest and smirked.
"Hello, Pete. Glad you remember me. You wanted to talk so...let's talk."
Phew! Chapter 2 is done! Just finished watching a few of Pete and Donald's cartoons and some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes! Those two are soooo cute together! Squeeee! But ugh! It may be summer but I'm still as busy as ever with chores, applying for summer jobs, studying for the new GRE, preparing to go to Spain in the fall...Where does it end? TELL ME! *coughs* Anyway, I'm hoping to have Chapter 3 up soon! These two are too cute for me to ever put this fic on hiatus, but please read and review to give me more motivation and confidence! Until next time!