DarkWing Duck Fanfiction: Orphan Fraud - 4. Realization
They were to meet on
the roof. The orphanage was too small to hold so many children and
many of the older ones had to find other imaginable places to sleep.
The bathtub was big enough to hold two kids, the kitchen table
accommodated six, the class room can hold fourteen and, on nicer
nights, the vegetable garden can comfortably hold five. So many
children in so many places risked Darkwing being spotted. The roof
was the best place to be.
He got there fifteen
minutes early. Gosalyn was already there waiting for him.
“Bout time you got
here,” Gosalyn grumbled. “I could feel myself aging.”
Darkwing didn’t speak
at first. He didn’t know how to say this. His eyes went to the
ground, almost in shame of what he was about to say. “Gos-“
“I brought everything
I think I need,” Gosalyn interrupted him. She took off her yellow
backpack and opened it. Digging around inside, she talked
thoughtlessly. “I got most of my clothes, my shoes, my favorite
“The marbles I won
from Danny, my hair bands, my math book…why the hell did I bring
grasped her by the shoulders. “Listen to me…I-I’m not bringing
you with me.”
It took a second or two
for what Darkwing said to dawn on Gosalyn. Darkwing could see her
face slowly shift from a soft surprised look to a sudden, confused
horror. She gave a half hearted smile, trying to play it off as a
joke. “Ha, ha. Very funny, Dad.”
“No, no, it’s not a
joke. What I’ve learned in the past few days showed me that I can’t
be a father. I can’t be your father.”
The grin disappeared
from her face. Her eyes welled up with tears and she tried
desperately to hold them back. “Why? Was it something I said or
“No honey,” He
pulled her into a hug. He could feel her grabbing hold of his
costume, her whole body shaking. “My life is too complicated to
give you a normal home. A normal life.”
“I don’t want
normal!” She screamed against him. “I don’t need normal!”
“I can’t be there
for you, Gos,” Darkwing knew nothing he said would make her
understand. She will understand one day, many years from now. And
she would hate him for it. “How many times did I miss dinner? How
many times did I have to leave you alone in house for days? I can’t
be there for you always Gos. You deserve more.
“I’m so sorry,”
He kept saying to her, wishing he could take it all back. “If I was
only there that night. If only I was there instead of Launchpad-“
Gosalyn suddenly shoved
herself away from Darkwing. “Don’t you dare!” She spat
violently at him. “Don’t you dare blame this on Launchpad. What
happened was an accident.”
Darkwing smiled weakly.
Glad to know that nothing, not even this tragic event in her life,
will subdue her strong nature. He did not have the heart to tell her
he had already dismissed Launchpad.
He did not reach out to
touch her again. Instead, he stood up to leave. “Goodbye Gosalyn. I
wish you happiness.”
“Just go,” She said
to him. “It’s what you’re good at.”
He wanted to hug her,
give her one last kiss goodbye. That, however, would be too cruel.
Resisting that urge, he jumped over the ledge of the orphanage roof
without a glance back.
How did things get to
be like this? How did it happen? Drake thought the hardest thing to
do as a father would be to take Gosalyn to get her first training
bra. Her first date. Trying to find her an apartment. Never once, did
he think he would have to give her up.
He would give up
everything else, just to be with her.
A week later, Drake
sold his house.
Once he had filled the
hidden tunnels with cement and rock, he placed up a ‘For Sale’
sign. The house itself was ruined, but the support beams and
untouched plumbing made the house ideal for buyers who wanted a
‘fixer-upper.’ The large yard and perfect family location made
the deal extra sweet and the house sold within days. Drake wanted
nothing to do with the house any longer. He didn’t want to know how
many people fought for it, how much they bargained for it, or who
bought it. The money will be sent into his account and that was that.
He moved into an
apartment not far from headquarters. He was one of many unmarried men
in that complex. Most of his neighbors did nothing but drink all day
and most of the women spent their time inside. Drake found this
animosity to be quite an advantage. He could sneak out and in without
anybody noticing or caring.
Work certainly got
easier. He didn’t have to worry about coming home at a certain time
or care if he came home smelling of sweat and blood. He was a
bachelor again. He didn’t have to care about anybody else but
He hated every minute
Not much would change
in the next four months. As Summer slowly shifted to Fall, the leaves
changed color, animals went into hibernation and people began wearing
thicker clothing. Criminals react to the weather too; nobody wants to
rob a bank on a cold day.
It didn’t mean Drake
pushed Gosalyn out of his mind forever. In the beginning, he thought
about her often, mostly in a guilt ridden attitude. He would spend
quite number of hours each day going over in his head the fire, the
trial, and the moment on the rooftop. He would often make himself
sick, having horrible headaches or becoming unable to eat. The weeks
that followed, he began to function for a few hours without something
suddenly reminding him of his daughter. At night though, when he had
nothing to keep his mind off, he held a small photo of hers and
stared at it for long endless periods.
Miss Griffin still came
by about once every three weeks, picking up letters or Gosalyn’s
bank statements. Drake gave the mail over without a fight or
In the middle of the
second month, without prompt or push, he would notice himself doing
odd things. Sometimes he would be in a clothing store and find
himself in the little girl section, looking over new shirts or shoes.
One time, he actually bought a blue blouse, walked out the store and
painfully remembered. He returned the blouse, muttering an off-handed
apology to the person who just ranged it up for him. “Wrong size,”
was his excuse. Other times, it would be shoes. Other times, it would
be possible Christmas presents. On the anniversary of the third
month, he came home with a music glass box. He decided instead of
returning it, he thought he could give it to Miss Griffin, hoping she
in turn, would give to Gosalyn anonymous. When he tried to wrap it in
a pretty purple wrapping, the box fell to the floor and shattered
into a million pieces. He cried for thirty minutes after that.
Halloween was only a
few days away and Drake made the mistake of buying a large bag of
candy. His ‘neighborhood’ had only maybe half a dozen kids to
speak of. He couldn’t return it because he already opened the bag
and had a few small pieces of chocolate.
As the devilish day
came closer, people out in the street were already wearing their
costumes. Some wore simple costumes, like eye masks and head dresses.
Other wore full blown costumes: Scarlett O’Hara dresses, Geisha
outfits, zombie costumes with artificial rotting flesh and blood.
These freaks would spend the whole day in-character, acting out
everyday situations much to the annoyance of everyone. This gave
Darkwing the freedom to walk out in open public without somebody
And to his horror,
found out a local store started selling “Darkwing Duck” costumes
Unfortunately, even on
this special day, Darkwing worked overtime. Halloween had the power
to attract the weirdos and the freaks from all corners of the city.
Darkwing spent most of the night stopping adolescent idiots from
egging houses, graffiti, or harassing the younger kids for their
candy. A few drunken party goers vandalized local shops and
pranksters left flaming brown bags on people’s front step.
All misdemeanors. It
kept Darkwing miserably busy. He would argue that the police could
handle most of these fools, but he was afraid some drunk might throw
a Molotov cocktail into a house full of people or some teenager might
want to reenact an urban legend. By the time he got back to
headquarters Halloween was over for three hours.
He took off his sweat
filled hat and threw it in some random corner. He unbuttoned his
jacket but didn’t bother to take it off. He flopped down on his
pink kitchen chairs, moaning into his arms as he let his whole body
relax. He was content to fall asleep in that awkward position.
His nostrils picked up
the scent of coffee. He grudgingly picked up his head and saw a fresh
pot brewing on the counter.
It was Launchpad.
He looked like hell. He
lost a considerable amount of weight and his hunch back did not help.
There were dark bags underneath his eyes and he seemed to be very
tired. He held a small sad smile on his face that didn’t reach his
The memories of that
fiery night came back to Drake. Could he forgive Launchpad? If it
wasn’t for him, Gosalyn would still be here. Their lives wouldn’t
have been turned upside down. Could he welcome him back? Could he
Drake smiled. He found,
he already has.
Was it because of Gos’
scolding or because Drake did truly forgive him? Either way, it
didn’t manner. He was glad to see Launchpad. He was glad to see his
He invited him to sit
down. Poured a cup of coffee. They made small talk.
“I got a job as a
parking attendant,” Launchpad was explaining what he had been doing
with himself these past four months. “Pay wasn’t well, but I made
sighed into his cup. The conversation was cheap and boring. Both of
them knew what they really wanted to discuss. Out of respect for each
other, they continued on with the small talk for a few minutes
There was a quiet
pause. Both of them waited for the other to break the silence.
Launchpad spoke first.
“So what happened?”
It took two more cups
of coffee for Drake to explain the full situation. What happened
after Launchpad left, why he did it, when he did it, what happened
afterward. Launchpad stayed quiet during the conversation, only
muttering the occasional grunt or “Mhhm.”
“Did I do the right
thing, Launchpad? I think I did, but something…” He didn’t
finish the sentence. He didn’t know how to express his feelings.
“That’s something I
cannot answer, D,” Drake noted Launchpad called him by his old
nickname. Up until now, he called him ‘Drake.’ “It sounds like
you did the right thing. It makes sense. But growing up as an orphan
isn’t an easy thing. I know…because I am an orphan.”
Drake placed down his
mug. His eyes widen. “You’re an orphan? I never knew.”
“I don’t tell many
people,” Launchpad said with a sad smile. “My real parents were
killed in a car accident when I was eight. Because I was big for my
age, a lot of people though I was fifteen. That is a big problem for
Drake frowned. “I
don’t see how looking a little older should be a problem.”
“When you think about
it, it’s perfectly logical, despite how crude and mean it is.”
Drake would have just stayed quiet and listened, but this applied to
“People don’t want
used goods,” He went on to explain, with a rather sore look
on his face. “If the kid is too fat, too short, too skinny, too
dark, too light, too tall; think of a reason a person doesn’t want
a kid, and I’ve heard it. The major deciding factor is age.
“If the orphan is a
baby, they have the largest chance of being adopted. But as soon as
the kid is over ten years old, you might as well give up on the kid.”
“Who does? I think
it’s because adults don’t want a kid whose personality is already
set. They want to shape ’em into a smaller version of themselves.”
The conversation went
from the kitchen table, to the hanger, and finally outside. The cold
November air weakened their coffee and chilled them to the bone. At
this point, both had nothing else to say.
“So where do we go
Drake poured the
remains of his cold coffee over the edge of his headquarters, into
the churning bay far below. “Do what we have always done. Protect
the city. Stop criminals,” He shrugged. “The usual.”
“D’, I need to say
this,” Lauchpad suddenly said.
“I don’t need to
begged. “I’ve been thinking about that night every day. And I
always asked myself, why did I leave the oven on? Why didn’t I
check on the pizza?”
Drake wished he shut
up. He knew all Launchpad wanted was to get this off his chest, but
Drake feared if he started spewing out reasons why Gosalyn was lost
that night, Drake would blame him all over again.
“If I had only kept
an eye out, or rechecked how much gas was coming through, or kept my
mouth shut in court-“
said caught Drake’s attention. “Wait. What did you say?”
“I said if I had only
wore my lucky underwear that day-“
“Not that! You said
something about gas!”
“Oh. We’re outside
so I thought it would be okay to let one rip-“
“I’m talking about
turned red. “I was told the reason the house caught fire was
because I left the gas in the oven too high.”
Drake’s eyes went
wide. His mouth dropped. For a moment he couldn’t speak. He was too
stunned by this sudden realization.
“D?” Launchpad said
cautiously. “You okay?”
Drake snapped out of
his shock. Buttoned up his coat and went back inside for his hat.
“D?” Launchpad said
again. “What’s up?”
Darkwing dusted off his
hat and repositioned it on his head. With dark eyes, he said, “You
said the fire started because of the gas oven. There’s only one
problem with that. We didn’t have a gas oven.”
A/N: Um, yeah. This
chapter was really hard to write. There was stuff I thought was
strong, some stuff I thought was weak. I might rewrite it, but I know
I’m just lying to myself at this point.
Just like how I’m
always saying I’ll exercise or study. Ha!
Anyhoo, small chapter
coming up next. Hope you liked this one. If not, then tell me how I
can improve! I mean it. (But be gentle! I bruise easily.)