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"The Duck Knight in Duckburg" excerpt

#3
Here is another excerpt from DKID. Drake and Donald have already met, a mystery has been set into play, and half a dozen other things are going on behind the scenes.

((Please note: although most of Donald's references are from the cartoons and comics, many of Drake's stories do not reference a particular episode. The list of sources is provided on Fanfiction.net.))

That's all for now. Enjoy!

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Previously, the Mallards celebrated Gosalyn's birthday with an impromptu party at McDuck Manor. Scrooge, Daisy, and the Vanderquacks have gone off to take care of some things on their schedules, leaving Donald, the triplets, and the Mallards alone at the house. Gosalyn is slowly forming a friendship with the teens and is currently playing a game with them.


Gosalyn teamed up with Louie. Huey bragged that he and "Dew" would trounce them but Gosalyn was in full competitor mode. Huey wouldn't be bragging for long.
 
While the kids played, Launchpad dosed. Soon his snores were overpowering the sounds of the game. Donald and Drake covered their ears. The kids pulled their MP3 players out to cover the noise. Drake rolled his eyes and noticed Donald doing the same. They stared at each other and grinned.
 
"This is kinda ridiculous, isn't it?" Donald asked.
 
Drake scowled until he realized Donald meant it was silly to sit there when there were plenty of other rooms they could vacate to.
"Shall we...?" he asked, gesturing to the hall.
 
"Way ahead of ya..." Donald hurried out. Drake followed. "So," Donald said, although it sounded like he'd said "Zoh." "Where are we goin'?"
 
"I don't know. It's your uncle's house. Where would he want (or should I say, not want) us to walk around?" Drake replied, glancing back to make sure Gos would be alright. She hadn't even noticed he'd left.
 
"Well..." Donald muttered thoughtfully as they paced the first floor.
 
They could still hear Launchpad in the dining room and the den. Donald glanced at the kitchen and gestured to it. It had a small table and benches to sit at and Drake shrugged.
 
Launchpad was still audible, but at least the noise level was tolerable and they were close enough to hear the kids. Both ducks settled down across from each other.
 
Donald twiddled his fingers and let his gaze wander around the kitchen.
 
Drake realized he was doing the same thing and spread his hands out on the table. After a few moments of agonizing silence, Drake finally broke it.
"I've got to ask...Did you have laryngitis as a kid...?"
 
"Huh?" Donald looked at him blankly.
 
"You know...throat problems. Scratchy voice and all that...?"
 
"No...I don't think zoh..." Donald said thoughtfully, his voice dropping to a low rumble that was barely understandable. "Why do you ask...?"
 
"Oh, no reason... Just curious..." Drake shrugged awkwardly. "So...Donald...other than chauffeuring your family around and being an upstanding uncle...what do you do?"
 
"Well, I was in da navy for a couple of years," Donald smiled proudly. "And before that, I was a big-time actor. Part time, anyways..." he chuckled.
 
Drake cringed again but forced himself to smile politely.
"Really? What have you played in?" he asked with genuine interest.
 
"Oh, this and that..." Donald said vaguely, his pitch again dropping to a low rumble. "Traveling company ads...parenting clips on how not to raise your kids...singing caballeros..."
 
Drake smirked at that. Donald...singing? He smothered a laugh and listened to rest of Donald's loooong résumé.
 
"Mouseketeers, clock cleaners, musical theater, educational films, war films, family films... A little bit of everything." Donald finally concluded. He smiled and looked across at Drake. "How 'bout you?"
 
"Me?" Drake tugged on his collar. It always took him by surprise when someone asked him what he did for a living. "I'm kind of a neighborhood handyman, plus a freelance journalist and security consultant.  Mostly I'm a full-time parent." He added the last part proudly.
 
"You don't say..." Donald looked interested. "I'm a full-time parent, too! And boy, is it hard work!"
 
"You're telling me!" Drake chuckled and jabbed his thumb over his shoulder. "Believe it or not, that little 'angel' back there is a real handful. Next to her, criminals look tame."
 
"Ah, phooey!" Donald waved his hand dismissively.
 
"It's true!" Drake stated. "My introduction to her was a punch in the gut and questions about everything I did or said..."
 
"That's nothin'," Donald interrupted. He leaned across the table with smug smile, eager to prove that his kids were far more difficult to handle. "When I first met da boys, they rode into my house on tricycles and played croquet! They broke all my lamps and vases and trashed the place in seconds!"
 
Drake crossed his arms stubbornly. "Hmph, that's nothing. Gosalyn's trashed the whole house numerous times. I've had to patch the roof, rewire the appliances, redo the plumbing, replace the furniture and the shrubs by the front door, and pay for more broken windows than I can count.  I also have to grout the kitchen and bathroom twice a month and I can't even count the number of times I've had to reposition the satellite or the number of booby traps I've walked into that were set for monsters..." Drake groaned to himself.  "I guess that’s how I’ve developed my skills as a handyman.  Who knows where that kid comes up with some of her 'ideas'..."
 
"Booby traps, huh? Haha...reminds me of a time da boys made a vow they’d never take a bath again."
 
"Gosalyn would be proud..." Drake commented sourly to no one in particular.
 
"They hid from me and set a trap that was rigged to make me fall in da tub. I even tried to bribe them with candy, but those disappeared before I even found da boys. But I showed them..." Donald chuckled and grinned wickedly. "After giving our St. Bernard, Bolivar, a bath, I locked him in a closet. I asked the boys to let him out and he shook suds all over them! Hahahahaha! Hahahahaha!" Donald bent over double laughing at the image of his dripping nephews smelling like a wet dog.
 
Drake covered his ears in the brief time that his mirthful companion's attention was diverted.
 
When Donald finished wiping his eyes, Drake leaned back in storyteller mode.
"Eh, eh eh...Reminds me of the time Gosalyn herself went on strike against soap. She tried to fool me into thinking she had showered by using flower-scented room spray for hairspray. Phew!" he waved his hand at the memory. "The teachers sent her home from school with a note demanding I address her aromatic appeal, or lack thereof." He smirked fondly. "I had the bath all set, like you, and she led me on a chase around the house. Every time I tried to tackle her, she slipped free. I even went so far as to try and bribe her, but that child has a built-in aversion to soap so strong, she wouldn't even take five bucks for a bath. If she hadn't gotten slimed by vegetable goo later on, I might have never gotten her clean! And when it comes to cleaning her room, she'd rather come up with fancy backdrops to trick me or hire someone else to do the job for her."
 
"Yep...Sounds like da boys" Donald smirked. "They've had numerous little jobs over the years since I first started looking after ’em. Once when they were at the park, they saw a faulty water fountain squirting people in da face and soaking their clothes. Instead of warning everyone not to use the fountain, the boys sold them towels to make a profit."
He chuckled again and Drake grimaced. Donald continued. "They must have learned that from their uncle Scrooge..."
 
Drake clasped his beak and leaned on his elbows. "So I'd have guessed," he replied.
 
"Probably the best years they've ever had, traveling around the world on treasure hunts with him. Of course, they didn't always get along..."
 
"Who does...?" Drake commented wryly.
 
"If Uncle Scrooge hadn't been my last resort, I would have sent them to someone else and hired a babysitter. The boys were monsters with strangers. They chased off everyone who applied to be their babysitters with tricks and gags. Ha haha. At least Mrs. Beakley knew how to handle them. Too bad I can't say the same about their teachers... They still make spit balls and pass notes in class. I keep telling the school to put them in separate classes, but nobody listens to me!"
 
"Sounds familiar..." Drake muttered around his hands, still leaning on the table.
 
"I have Daisy go over their homework every night. They're smart, but they don't focus on their schoolwork..."
 
"Precisely!" Drake raised a finger and sat upright. "It's one thing to have street smarts, but school is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cover every subject there is to think about! If Gos could just focus her energy on one thing..."
 
Donald wasn't really listening. "And that's not even counting da day to day stuff. Feeding three boys three or five times a day is like peeling potatoes for da navy! And cleaning house is a constant battle..."
 
"Tell me about it..." Drake nodded in agreement.
 
"The boys leave their laundry laying everywhere, and everything else too! I once found a half-eaten sandwich under the sofa cushion that was green with fuzzy orange specks!"
 
"Right, right!" Drake agreed. "Not to mention cleaning up after playing outside...Yech! It's like living in a pig sty! Muddy sneakers, cleats, grass-stained clothes, hockey sticks, helmets, pads, bats, and balls scattered haphazardly all over the floor. Not to mention dirty fingerprints and lawn clippings everywhere. And her room is like a breeding ground for dust bunnies!"
 
"Yep. Constant work," Donald nodded, leaning on his elbows. "And that's when they're behaving."
 
"Tell me about it," Drake smiled. "If there is one thing Gosalyn can't stand, it's being bored. I can't even begin to recount her 'ideas' for home-improvement. Gosalyn's blacked out half of St. Canard twice, all because she decided to rewire the house for a better internet connection. I think her explanation was something along the lines of 'improving the connection speed by shortening the path the energy had to travel.' Hehe. Must have gotten that idea from her friend, Honker. Plus she tried hooking jumper cables to a power company generator so we wouldn’t have to pay any more light bills!  Needless to say, we go to the library now when she needs to research something... Hehe. What a girl... And that is just the tip of the mountain of memories I could mention! One of her favorite Saturday morning pastimes is playing hockey or baseball in the living room, or jumping on a pogo stick on the furniture! That's her way of waking me up if I sleep in too long. That or jumping on my stomach while I'm still in bed. Nice wakeup call, huh?"
 
Drake looked up at Donald, expecting to see him slack jawed with amazement that one little girl could do that much damage. What he saw was a grin.
 
"Oh yeah?" Donald replied. "Well, I haven't finished telling you what the boys did to me when I first met them..."
 
"Oh? Well by all means, continue," Drake smiled with faux politeness. Softly he murmured, "Wait 'till he hears about the incident with the sealing wax, the peanut butter jar, and the VCR..."
 
Donald continued. "While da boys were trashing the place, I looked at a book on parenting and tried following its advice..."
 
"Been there, done that..." Drake rolled his eyes.
 
"It said to play music to calm 'em down. So I played 'Pop goes the Weasel,' on my piano..."
 
"Bet that worked like a charm," Drake muttered sarcastically.
 
"Every time I got to 'pop,' da boys hit me with something and da piano lid slammed on my head!"
 
"Well that explains everything..." Drake smiled wryly. Donald, fortunately, didn't catch his drift. He was too busy recounting his first experience with the boys.
 
"I tried feeding them, but they argued over the turkey and ignored everything I said.  Louie even made a sandwich out of my hand and bit me!" Donald grinned. "I still wonder if that was an accident or intentional...I tried playing on their sympathy and you know what...? They gave me a slice of pie..."
 
"How thoughtful..." Drake commented. "Still got nothing on Gos..." he muttered to himself.
 
"Hot mustard pie!" Donald waved his hand in front of his mouth for emphasis and clutching his throat.
 
Drake grimaced. "Ah yes, the spicy food ploy... Reminds me of the time Gosalyn fed me a chile pepper burger with extra hot sauce. I had a headache for days!"
 
Literally... Drake added to himself as he recalled the reason behind the tainted food. Negaduck had brought a Hamburger Hippo diner to life with a magic amulet and made the hippo swallow them. Gosalyn took advantage of Darkwing's sensitivity to spice and Darkwing's impromptu "exit" from the roof made a hole the others could escape through.  Of course, he couldn't explain the whole story to Donald without revealing his part in it, but he couldn't think of spicy food without recalling that one painful incident. Or a few of Morgana's "culinary delights"... Ugh. Just the thought made him wish he hadn't eaten so much cake.
 
"Yep," Donald nodded. "The boys made everything a challenge. Vacations, school, ice skating, boating...They left me alone in the water to tackle a shark and they pranked me into thinking they were dead; twice!"
 
"Oh!" Drake shuddered, putting a hand over his heart. He couldn't begin to imagine how he'd feel if he thought Gosalyn was dead... He gulped and calmed himself down. "At least Gos never pulled that one on me..." he said with a grateful smile, but the smile quickly faded as he added."But she has almost gotten me killed a few times..."
 
"...They even once tricked me into thinking I was dead!" Donald added, still lost in his own thoughts. He sighed. "They're better now about helping and listening...Uncle Scrooge made a big impact on them. So did becoming Junior Woodchucks. But they still love me and I love them." He sighed and rested his chin on his hand with a dreamy smile. "Ah...kids..."
 
"Yeah..." Drake smiled reminiscently. "They're the greatest challenge we can face and the biggest reward we can receive."
 
"You said it!" Donald grinned. He extended his hand. "Put 'er there, Pal!"
 
Drake shook his hand and smiled. He realized he was having an easier time now understanding Donald's speech.  It wasn't that hard when he spoke slowly. Drake straightened and inclined his head, listening for the kids. He detected the sound of the ping pong ball after a moment, but something else was missing...
 
"I don't hear Launchpad anymore..." he commented quietly. "I'm going to check on the kids."
 
"Right behind you," Donald replied eagerly.
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