DarkWing Duck Fanfiction: Orphan Fraud - 6. Reunion
A/N: Sorries about the long hiatus. Writing this chapter was long and hard and unfortunately, things are going to get harder. This year was just so crazy!
Hope you enjoy! R/R!
“You’ve got to be kidding me…” Darkwing flipped the pages in his hands over and over again, making sure he didn’t miss anything. “This is it?”
Griffin raised her hands in defeat. “The guy’s cleaner than a whistle. There isn’t so much of a parking ticket.”
“Now that’s just impossible! I have at least fourtee-” Suddenly remembering whom he was talking to, Darkwing coughed and squeaked out, “…Four in the past two years.”
Griffin clucked her tongue. “Uh-uh. Now what I’ve shown you here is all the official documents and legal records. But,” She handed him a few pieces of yellow and pink papers. “These are the names of the other children Aves had shown interest in.”
Ash Wilson. Age: 7. Both parents perished in fire at age of three months.
Claire Grayson. Age 10: Mother died from liver disease. Father unknown.
Jerry Heimer. Age 6. Father in asylum. Mother unknown.
Chris Poole. Age 6. Parents give up child as soon as they found out Chris is deaf.
Griffin was kind enough to supply pictures of the children. All four of them were cute as a button. As he stared at Chris Poole, a cute little brown haired kid with crooked teeth, Darkwing could not believe his parents gave him up because he was deaf. What kind of stupid reason is that?
“The odd thing was,” Griffin broke into his thoughts. “Aves showed the most interest in Chris Poole. For the longest time, Chris’s caretaker thought Aves was going to adopt him. There wasn’t any real official talk about adoption papers…”
Darkwing waited to hear the unsaid ‘But.’
“For some odd reason- just when we were going to demand Aves to either seriously consider adopting Chris or keep his distance- Aves lost all interest in Chris.”
“Any idea why?”
Griffin shrugged her shoulders. “None. Then three months later, out of the blue, he adopted Gosalyn.”
Darkwing gawked at her. “And you just let him- even after all that BS he pulled with that kid?”
Griffin had the courtesy to look disgusted with herself, still, she defended her reasons. “Every potential parent has their biases. They reject kids for the dumbest of reasons. Too fat, too short, too dark-“
-Too light, too tall. Think of a reason a person doesn’t want a kid and I’ve heard them. Darkwing swallows the truth of Launchpad’s words with great difficulty.
“It’s impossible to get around these biases. So we try to do the best than we can. Unless we have some probable reason to believe the parent is dangerous, by law, we are to give these children to the parents who want them.”
Disgusted, Darkwing threw the pages down on Griffin’s desk. He sighed. Yes, Aves behavior was queer, but according to Griffin, everyone acts queer when selecting out a child. Even after two weeks of research, he had yet to find anything remotely suspicious of Aves. “We’re missing something…” He muttered into his fist. “Something we’re not seeing.”
And as if a light bulb suddenly lit up over his head, he had an idea.
“When are you planning a home visit?” He asked the confused social worker.
It was impossible to overlook Aves Tower. It sat directly in the middle of the city and it was larger than any of the buildings surrounding it. Yet Darkwing could not believe that after all the years he’s spent here, he had never really took a good look at it.
It was overwhelming.
Griffin stood next to him, that stoic cold look he knew so well plastered over her face. Even though this visit was not aimed at him, he still felt nervous standing next to her. She is one woman he definitely did not wish to cross with.
Before entering the large ominous building, Darkwing readjusted the spirit-gum beard on his face. The beard was hot- despite it they were well into Fall now- and itchy and all he wanted to do was rip the stupid thing off.
He couldn’t. Unless he wanted Griffin to know his secret identity. He trusted the woman with many things, but he didn’t know if he can trust her with that.
They strutted up into the building. Darkwing kept his silence as the female social worker flashed her golden badge at the receptionist. Within seconds a private elevator opened to them. Aves’ home was on the top floor.
“I’ll distract Aves as long as I can,” Griffin told him as the elevator slowly made its way up to the top. “But Gosalyn is officially Aves’ child now. That means he has privacy rights and I cannot- we cannot overstep them or else I could be fired or the services sued.”
“I understand,” Darkwing muttered, still fingering his beard.
“And stop playing with that! You’re giving me the creeps!”
Immediately Darkwing’s hand went limp as the doors to the elevator opened. He took in a deep breath of air as he saw his new surroundings.
It was absolutely beautiful. The palace of Versailles had nothing on this place. Darkwing could only imagine how much one lamp in here was worth-
He frowned. When he bought a new couch for the living room, Gosalyn made it her mission to see how many summersaults she could make off of it. None of this furniture even looked like it hasn’t even been sat on. So why- why had not Gos taken full advantage of that?
That was when Launchpad’s evil twin appeared.
“Miss Griffin!’ The tall lumbering man said with a grin. Griffin shook hands with him, her own dwarfed by his. “This is my assistant, Richard,” Griffin introduced Darkwing. “He’ll be helping me today.”
“Of course!” Darwking was surprised Aves was not at all perturbed by his presence. “The more the merrier!”
“Where’s Gosalyn?” Griffin asked, getting straight to the point.
“She’s upstairs. She’s getting dressed.”
Darkwing looked up towards the stairs. In a few moments, he knew Gosalyn was going to come barreling out of that hallway at top speeds, her hair up in pigtails and her feet stomping loudly. Darkwing knew she was going to jump onto that banister, slide down at top speeds before jumping off and attempt to do a summersault at the end.
Darkwing could picture it so clearly in his mind. He was surprised how easily the image came to him. He resisted the little smirk that twitched on the corners of his beak.
It never happened. At the top of the stairs, a small slow moving shadow appeared. Followed closely behind was the owner, a young girl in a fluffy pink dress.
Darkwing took in a hiss of air as he looked at her. She didn’t look like…her. It was more than just the pink dress- oh no, Drake on more than one occasional forced her in such formal wear. It was expression she wore on her face, it was her body language. She wasn’t scowling, stomping her feet or muttering soft swear words. No…Gosalyn was smiling politely.
When she got to the stairs, instead of jumping upon the banister with glee, she delicately placed her hand on the banister, lifted her dress to prevent her feet from tangling in them and began to decent with soft steps.
Darkwing was downright horrified. This was NOT Gosalyn.
Gosalyn walked up next to Aves with careful grace, curling her small hand into Aves’s large hand. “Hello Miss Griffin,” She said with such politeness it made Darkwing gag.
When he eyes turned towards Darkwing, he felt himself stiffen. He knew she recognized him. She did not smile, smirk, or offer any sense of affection towards him. “Hello,” She said to him with the same stiff politeness.
“Well now…” Aves drew them into the study. “Shall we have some tea?”
The study, like the rest of the house, was more grand than Darkwing could ever imagined. He wasn’t sure if he could call it a study- Aves should rename it ‘The Library of Congress.’
They sat down. Gosalyn, instead of throwing herself into the chair then scrambling across the table to grab the cookies available, she calmly sat herself down and made no move towards the confections. Darkwing was downright stunned.
Griffin took out her little notebook and went straight to work. “So tell me Gosalyn, how is your schoolwork going along?”
“Wonderfully,” The girl spoke for the very first time. “The tutors father hired are very informant and I am learning a lot.”
It took everything Darkwing had not to gape. Wonderfully? Tutors? Informant? It was a downright battlefield every night for Drake to teach Gosalyn a little math. He had to practically tie her to a chair just to keep her still for an hour.
“Are you eating right? Not too many treats, mmhhm?”
Aves laughed. “Oh no, Gosalyn eats all her vegetables. I’m surprised too; I thought I was going have to fight her tooth and nail with every meal.”
Darkwing could feel himself flush. He had to fight tooth and nail for Gosalyn to finish her vegetables. Heck, just even for her to finish her milk was a battle by itself.
He didn’t like this one bit. Although throughout the whole conversation there was nothing that indicated foul play, the way Gosalyn acted so… passive was not right. It was as if the sun suddenly became the color purple and pennies fell out of the sky. To see Gosalyn in a dress should have tipped the natural laws of nature itself. The girl didn’t even take a second cookie when offered.
“Well Mr. Aves, I believe I asked all the needed questions,” Griffin shut her notebook and stood. “Now it’s time for me to tour the premises. Gosalyn, please stay here with Richard while I go with your father.”
Darkwing flinched at the word ‘father’ but was grateful to the woman. She was giving him a chance to be alone with his daughter. Before she left the room, Griffin threw Darkwing a deep glare while mouthing the words, Don’t muck this up.
Actually she said something completely different, but he let his interpretation be ‘muck.’
“Would you like to see the gardens?” Gosalyn asked him with that overly politeness.
He resisted twisting his face in distaste. “Sure.”
He followed her silently. She led him outside to the roof of the illustrious building where bushes of roses, mounds of tulips, dozens of daffodils and a hedge maze were erected all around them. Darkwing was trying to think of innocent questions to ask Gosalyn when she suddenly turned around to face him.
“What do you think you’re doing here?” She hissed.
Darkwing sighed. She could always look through his disguises. “Gos-“
“Don’t call me that!” She spat. “You lost all right to call me that!”
She was angry. Of course she was angry. She had every right to be angry. “What do you want?”
Darkwing has never seen her so angry at him before. It unnerved him. “I wanted to make sure you were okay.”
“I’m great! I’m fine! It’s not everyday I get adopted then recanted as if I was a dog-“
“And then adopted again only to find out I’m being stalked!” She glared at him.
He frowned. “Sorry. Stupid question.”
She placed her hands on her hips, taking a pose Darkwing so often see her take. It was familiar and he missed it. The dress ruined it though. “What do you want? What are you here for?”
Darkwing sighed. She wouldn’t take anything less than the truth. “I’m investigating Aves.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Why?”
“I have reason to believe he might be dangerous. There’s evidence of foul play and I think he’s involved with the burning of our house.”
Gosalyn stared at him, her beak in a deep frown. When she spoke, she sounded like she was on the verge of tears. “Haven’t you done enough? Wasn’t it bad enough I lost my home, my name in less than a month? Wasn’t it bad enough that I was told- yet again- I wasn’t wanted? That I was nothing more than a pet project?”
“You were never-!”
“Now- now Dad,” She spat. “I have a chance to be happy. To be with a father who actually WANTS me. And I am going to do whatever it takes to keep things that way, even if it means I have to wear these stupid dresses or eat my stupid vegetables. Do you even have any hard evidence that my father is the one to blame for the fire?”
It was like a stab to the heart. “No.”
She turned her back on him. “Leave. I don’t ever want to see your face again.”
Darkwing wanted to cry, he wanted to scoop Gosalyn up in his arms and tell her everything’s going to be all right- that she can be whoever she wants to be.
But he did none of those things. Was it the truth? She was right; he didn’t have any real evidence that Aves was to blame for the fire or even if he was remotely involved. All he had was some shakey evidence and a gut feeling.
Before he turned to leave, Darkwing eyed Gosalyn’s pink froo-froo dress. Not even he dared dress the girl in that thing. It was girly beyond girly. And this is how he felt, he wondered how she felt.
Sometimes gut feelings were all he had.
“You know…” He started, throwing the words casually over his shoulder. “I apparently have a new arch enemy.”
He waited for a response. There was none.
“He wore a bright red kung fu outfit…”
Gosalyn shifted her weight.
“He carried weapons like ninja throwing stars and swords.”
Another shift weight.
“And I admit he was a good fighter. But take away his glasses and he’s blind as a bat.”
A strange sound came from the girl. Almost like a whimper.
“He is only a little taller than you. He calls himself, ‘Ying-Yang, the master of all chi’.”
That broke the dam. Gosalyn slapped her hands over her beak as a loud snort burst through. Her face turned red and unable to hold it in anymore, she lost all composure.
“HOO HA HA HA! THE MASTER OF ALL…HA HA HA HA! WHAT AN IDIOT! THAT’S GOTTA BE THE DUMBEST THING I’VE EVER…BWA HA HA HA HA!”
Darkwing was grinning. “He almost decapitated me but as soon as I got hold of his glasses, he went down on all fours trying to find them.”
This only made Gosalyn laugh harder. She clutched her stomach, tears streaming down her face. Darkwing then went into great detail about how Ying Yang said ‘please’ asking for his glasses back. Glasses which he still has in his possession.
“No more!” Gosalyn begged. “No more…my stomach hurts…”
Darkwing merely grinned as Gosalyn composed herself, wiping away the tears on her face. When she looked up at him, she was smiling. “I haven’t laughed like that in a long time.”
“I’ve missed hearing it.”
She nodded then looked to her fidgeting hands. “I miss this. This feels normal to me. Not…not this,” She slapped her dress.
“Oh Gosalyn,” Darkwing went down on his knees. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that all of this happened. I thought I was doing the right thing. But,” He then cupped her chin, raising her head to look at him. “Then I realized being with you is the right thing. Despite what the courts say.”
She trembled, then suddenly threw herself at him. “I miss you dad. I’ve missed you so much!”
Darkwing returned the hug with the same ferocity. “I miss you too Gos. More than you know.”
When they pulled apart, Gosalyn wiped at her face. “Gee, thanks for getting me all blubbery. As if I didn’t want to be any more girly.”
“Yeah, I think that dress brings the point across just fine.”
She groaned. “Whose bright idea was to make this dress? This isn’t a dress, it’s a tutu with frills.”
Darkwing laughed. Gods it felt good.
“So uh…” Gosalyn looked around. “Are you really here investigating Fath- I mean, Mr. Aves?”
Darkwing nodded. “I don’t have any evidence pointing to Aves, but his actions as of late are…questionable. Tell me Gos, has he done anything suspicious or odd lately?”
“Not really. I mean,” She shrugged. “He’s nice. He says hello and makes sure that the maids clean my room and such…”
“That’s it. He doesn’t hug, he doesn’t tuck me in, the other day I accidentally broke a dish. And did you know what he did? Nothing. He didn’t yell, he didn’t look angry or concerned or even asked if I was all right. He just told one of the butlers to clean it up. He doesn’t bother me…but it feels like…I don’t know. He’s not like you. I don’t feel rejected but I don’t feel…”
She nodded. “Yeah. I feel like I’m a guest in his house, not his daughter.”
Darkwing wasn’t sure how to take that. Griffin told him Aves was practically spending all of his time selecting out a child. Now that he has one, why wasn’t he treating her with all the love and affection a father should? When Darkwing first brought Gosalyn home, he was so nervous about the little things. If she was warm enough, if she was cool enough, if had enough to eat…
Why was this man keeping his distance?
“I don’t know,” Gosalyn sighed, tugging disdainfully at her bow pigtails. “I think maybe he’s just nervous about running for mayor-“
“Running for mayor,” She said again. “I overheard him talk on the phone with one of his clients. He plans to run for mayor next year.”
Darkwing frowned. Griffin hadn’t told him Aves was running for office. She should have told him!
Unless… unless she didn’t know. But why wouldn’t she?
“What? What is it?” Gosalyn eagerly moved in closer. Darkwing had to laugh. Even now, his superhero status still impressed her through and through. No matter how old she got, she will still find him fascinating.
“Look, Gosalyn, I need you to listen to me very closely. At the moment, I don’t believe Aves is a threat to you. But that doesn’t mean I trust him. I don’t. Something is up and I think this goes beyond anything I’ve encountered before. I need you to look out for his suspicious behavior, keep your distance and don’t hesitate to call Miss Griffin if you feel in any way you’re in danger.”
Gosalyn made a face. “Griffin? I don’t like her-“
“I know. She’s a jerk, but she can be trusted. She has your best interests at heart. Promise me you’ll call.”
“I promise,” She grinned up at him. “So…uh…I like the ‘stache. Makes you look…uglier than before.”
He smirked back at her. “I like the dress. Remind me to buy you more after all of this is done.”
She chuckled. “If I can live with you after all of this is done, you can buy me any damn dress you want.”
A/N: Does anybody have an idea what’s going on? Take a guess!
Read and review peeps!