In the Highest Room of the Tallest Tower

(Takes place after Death Becomes Him)

'Second Story Books'. SECOND STORY BOOKS? The woman on the sidewalk scoffed and rolled her eyes, and when she felt like that wasn't enough she let out a bark of condescending laughter that drew several stares. What a silly name! (she actually thought it was very clever but she wanted to dislike it so she leaned into the distaste all the same) A foolish name cooked up by a foolish girl no doubt! The petite duckette  fixed the scarf tied around her head and slid on her big sunglasses. Disguise in place she pushed back her shoulders lifted her chin and paraded right into the shop.  It was empty HAH. Of course it was! But...oh... oh no maybe it wasn't! Those were voices, she scrambled around to hide in the comfort of a tall backed chair (and it WAS comfortable... what a nice NO it was a terribly inferior chair!).  She sunk into the cushions trying to make herself as small as possible all the while trying to peek around the upholstery to catch a glimpse of this probably very annoying girl.

"-I'll let you get to it then, even though I know you'd much rather gaze longingly at me than finish your inventory counts. See you later, maybe we can attempt to go to that new Italian place later? La Torre? Think about it." 

OH WAND ROT. WHAT WAS HE DOING HERE?! She shrunk down into the chair as Gladstone sauntered past towards the door, blowing a kiss to the other half of his conversation, and pausing at the curled up figure on the chair.  She tried to shield her face and he tilted his head curiously, and pointed at her.

"Lillypad dear, you have a customer." He informed the store at large. "She doesn't bite, don't worry-" He confided to the nervous looking woman. "Not even when you ask her to..." He winked and he was given such a dark look in return that his feet started back into motion just to be away from it.  "...well, bye."

With the sound of a tinkling bell the goose had flown the coop and that just left her and...

    • Lilly Teal
      Lilly Teal

      "Hello!" As Magica was looking at the door, the bright voice chirped from the opposite side, far too close to the chair. How did she even get here so fast without being heard?!

      Lilly beamed, though whether that happy air offset the creepiness of how suddenly she'd appeared or just added to it was up to personal opinion. She didn't seem at all suspicious of the fact that the customer was less customer and more clothing, or that she were burrowed so firmly into the chair that if Gladstone hadn't pointed her out she might have gone completely unnoticed.

      It was those kinds of observational skills that made it so easy for supervillains to roam around in a trenchcoat and glasses.

      "Welcome to Second Story Books! Normally I'd ask if you're here to browse or eat first but I think you've made your decision. Do you see anything you'd like? The cheescake is fresh."

      Well we try to make sure everything is fresh but you know.

      "Or some tea or coffee to start, maybe?"

      • Gladstone Gander
        Gladstone Gander

        Fresh hm? Well your boyfriend certainly is.

        Magica stared at her over the top of the sunglasses that had slowly started sliding down her bill after she'd whipped her head around to look at the far too close girl. She recoiled into the farthest side of the chair, pressing herself flat against it, the eyewear slipping lower and lower as the woman spoke until they drifted off the end of her bill and just swung under her chin like a pendulum as the witch tried to work out what she was seeing.

        What was that thing she was doing with her face? Was that a smile or a solar flare wrapped in a cuddly blanket filled with bubbles and rainbows and kittens?  And what was that thing she was doing with her voice? What right did she have to sound so... so... friendly?? And nice and British and... helpful. Also how did she get her hair so shiny? Magica's hand drifted to her headscarf, thinking about all the frayed and split ends in her own black hair. Black hair... that snapped her back to her true reason for coming here.  The hand fell and the shock shifted to an almost unsettling serene smile. 

        "Oh hunny aren'cha jus' th' sweetest!" She drawled and nearly rolled her eyes at herself.  Sweet enough to rot anyone's teeth out in ten seconds she'd bet.  "An' you know ah'm jus' famished!" The calm act froze completely as her stomach grumbled.  ...actually she was.  When was the last time she'd eaten? After she'd gotten the sanguine rose she  just got so caught up in... she blinked and did her impression of Lilly's smile.  If the darling book clerk had known that this was this strange woman's aim she might have taken offense to the dopey slightly cross eyed grin she gave her. "Cheesecake you say? ah'd love a slice. As fer a drink..." -bite down that evil laugh bite down that evil laaaaaugh- she produced a single tea sachet from  her bag. "Ah actually came in ta let cha sample some of mah homebrewed tea.  Ah'm tryin' ta get a business goin' an' thought ah'd drop in on the locals. Give 'em a taste of what ah can do. Mwhaha..ha.. cough. Tickle in my throat. Excuse me."

        It works better if you don't SAY cough Magica.

        • Lilly Teal
          Lilly Teal

          Listen there is a long and storied tradition of saying cough to cover up even worse spoken sound effects.

          ... it's not a tradition that has been traditionally successful mind you.

          "What a lovely idea! Ah..." Lilly's friendly smile faltered apologetically as she turned to fetch the nice lady a slice of the cheesecake. "I'm sorry but I don't really... like tea. But my neighbors can't get enough of it. Maybe after you've eaten a little," you do sound so VERY hungry, "you can share it with them? I'm sure they'd love it. And St. Canard is surprisingly good for small businesses. I'm sure if they enjoy your tea you'll have a following in no time at all."

          Helpful, and yet not helpful at all, considering YOU are supposed to be drinking this tea. She set the cheescake slice on the little table next to where Magica was ensconced, and gave her another smile. "I'll just be sorting through some books over here. if you need anything, just tell me."

          • Gladstone Gander
            Gladstone Gander

            Doesn't drink... tea?

            Magica stared at the fragrant little mesh bag in her hand as it dangled like the world's most disappointing lure.

            She narrowed her eyes at the girl's back as she fetched the cheesecake. Of all the stupid things to be picky about! Didn't she KNOW how carefully she'd dried that rose petal?! You think that grew on tea leaves? And she'd even gotten lavender and honey in there to mask the smell but she was too FANCY for tea was she? And her an Englishwoman! 

            Magica was alight with silent outrage but her stomach was very vocal in its appreciation of the rations. Hello, food my old friend! Let me gurgle out a greeting song at the sight of you! The witch felt weak at the smell of the thing and managed a sneer of a smile in return. She'd rather die than eat this girl's food... but it did... look... really... and... was that a strawberry... on top? Well, she'd eat it! But she wouldn't enjoy it! No! She needed to keep her strength up for what she had in store for this smiling brat! Yes... yes...she'd eat this cheesecake and then... oh but my was it fluffy and... Magica swallowed the first mouthful with her eyes closed. This was...

            "AH HAVE TA' GO! SORRY TA BITE N' RUN BUT... uh... important tea business needs ta be done!" She blurted out and started to dash towards the door but stopped and took another mouthful of cheesecake, it was so good it made her furious, then ran out the door.  

            The door would barely have time to settle back in its frame when there was a bit of animated cussing and series of poofs from outside and it swung open again.  This time a woman with blonde hair and a frilly pink dress sauntered in.

            "Excuse me Ms. I'm with GoodGreets the complimentary compliments company where kind people give gifts to kind people! And I have a delivery here for you of the most wonderful rose liquor!" She produced a fancy ornate bottle and practically shoved it at Lilly. "I am DYING to know what it tastes like, I'm not leaving until you try it, you lucky girl! OH is that cheesecake? Don't mind if I do-" The blonde shoveled two more spoonfuls of cake into her mouth and Magica tried not to notice the creamy texture and perfect tart and sweet combination of flavors.  No... she was watching this girl like a hawk. Why was this cheesecake so good?!

             

            DRINK THE DANG ROSE PETAL.

            • Lilly Teal
              Lilly Teal

              No doubt making the liquor from the rose petal had been just as fiddly a process as drying it for conversion into 'tea'. But unfortunately for Magica...

              "Oh!" Lilly clasped her hands brightly at the woman, and it was only slightly tinged with concern as she began eating the leftovers of the last customer. "That's so kind! Ah... would you like me to bring you some more food? I have some quiche, I can cut you a slice of that?"

              You look like you need it!

              "Goodness, how lovely, a present for me," she went on, taking the bottle with a smile. "I'm not very fond of drinking I'm afraid," so much for your curiosity, "but how about I keep it behind the counter here! I can offer a complimentary drink to customers. A way to gift the gift forward."

              Wasn't that a NICE idea?

              • Gladstone Gander
                Gladstone Gander

                NO it was NOT  a nice idea! Well yes it was, but NOT AT ALL WHAT SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO! 

                "My dear it's very rude to not drink the things that people bring you." Said the woman who had helped herself to a complete stranger's food and let the spoon clatter to an empty plate. "If you're NOT going to drink it yourself then-" She swiped the bottle back from Lilly. "Maybe you don't DESERVE it!" 

                You awful picky woman. How dare you try to pay forward her potions! 

                "Clearly you're a crass young lady who needs to be brought down a few pegs!" Yes, yes that was it... she backed towards the door. "The next time someone comes in offering you free drinks you had better think twice about declining-" she backed out into the street, reopening the door after a second to call back in. "-because then you'll just look ungrateful!" 

                Thunk.

                The bookstore was silent for a moment after the door closed before there was another POOF from outside and the door was slammed open a third time... by...

                "Hewwo nice wady!" A girl scout skipped in with a thermos and some completely innocent looking cookies. "I am but an innocewnt child wooking for someone to shawr some hot chocowate and Gwandma Chunky Wunky secwet wecipe cookies wif." Said the suspiciously tall child as she shoved the thermos at Lilly. "Pwease  dwink some, it's my own special mixture, now go on! Age befowr beauty!" She flipped a black pigtail with... you know probably like... an innocent smile... nope it was a sneer. 

                Drink it you fool.

                • Lilly Teal
                  Lilly Teal

                  R-rude? Crass? Ungrateful?

                  Words hurt, Magica.

                  Lilly had watched the lady back out in dismay. Of course she didn't want to come off as rude or ungrateful! But at the same time...

                  She was wrestling with the dilemma of how she was supposed to accept the next free drink offered to her if it was coffee, which she didn't like, as if this was a genuine concern. As if somebody was just going to waltz in for the third time today and offer her a free drink for absolutely no reas-

                  She blinked at the girl scout. And then a smile of absolute relief blossomed across her face.

                  "How kind! I love hot chocolate!" she said happily, pleased that the issue hadn't even come to pass. She would like nothing better than to share hot chocolate and cookies with this girl scout who had been passing the store completely at random and had decided to just drop in on a whim.

                  Taking the thermos, she selected two cups from the kitchen, and two plates, and came back to pour out a share for each of them. The cookies were arranged neatly and fairly on the two plates. No doubt Magica felt like tearing her hair out with impatience as the woman seemed in absolutely no hurry to drink.

                  She lifted the cup to her lips, and blew on the liquid.

                  "Gosh, it is hot."

                  An agonizingly slow sip, and she brightened up still further.

                  "What a unique flavour. I've never had anything quite li-"

                  Was she supposed to be saying something? She couldn't quite remember. Lilly slowly set down her cup, looking dazedly off into space, standing quietly behind the counter.

                  • Gladstone Gander
                    Gladstone Gander

                    The girl scout had leaned in closer... and closer... and closer as the cup neared Lilly' mouth until. 

                    HA-HA! 

                    Magica leaped to her feet, the 'disguise' dispersing in a cloud smelling faintly of forced female domestication and baked goods. And laughed wildly.

                    "You simple minded fool!" She cackled. "You thought you could out wit Magica DeSpell did you?!" Well Lilly couldn't answer but Magica was never one to pass up a good gloating. "Well now who's laughing?" to demonstrate her point she laughed again. "Now princess, let's see if we can't get you somewhere more fitting!" 

                    She pulled out her wand aimed it at a window and it burst open, a broomstick sailing in to hover just beside it's mistress. 

                    "Come along now dearie, there's a tower with your name on it." She swished her wand, and Lilly obediently walked over and perched on the broom, Magica taking a spot behind her, and frowning as she tried to reach around the girl to get a handle on the broomstick. "Ugh, this will never do change places with me." she whapped Lilly on the back and in short order (or is that height order?) was barreling into the sky on the broom, Lilly behind her holding onto her waist.  

                    When the girl would regain her senses she would be in a medium sized round room laying in a pile of straw.  There was one window, no glass to speak of, and a concerning view of the staggering height of the tower she was at the tippy top of and he forest that spread out in all directions as her only view.

                    There was a dark little hum of a laugh behind her, as Magica in her natural state posed with a hand on her hip and a haughty grin on her bill as she watched the girl.

                    "Welcome home sweet Lilly. I do hope you're happy with your new accommodations?"

                    • Lilly Teal
                      Lilly Teal

                      Well no, she wasn't. She hadn't even gotten to eat a cookie.

                      At first, she wasn't at all sure what had happened to her. Blinking slowly, she brought a hand up to her forehead and stared up at the ceiling with the little frown of someone's awoken in a place completely different from where they remember sleeping.

                      For that matter, she couldn't even remember sleeping.

                      "My... new..." she mumbled in confusion, pushing herself up on her hands very inelegantly as the straw sank wherever she put her weight. "I'm... so sorry, what's happening? Where are we?"

                      Both very valid questions. She seemed to have been too busy coming out of her daze to notice the dark laughter and the gloating expression, which was a shame, because Magica had no doubt been waiting to use both.

                      • Gladstone Gander
                        Gladstone Gander

                        Magica lifted her chin proudly.  Yes yes cower in fear it is I Magica DeSp-did she just say sorry??

                        The sorceress blinked and wondered if perhaps her captive hadn't seen her properly so took a step forward and regained her superior air, hand on hip, smirk on lips. And tried again. 

                        "You silly little girl you fell right into my trap, and now you're doomed to stay in this-" She waved her hands expansively to the room around them, torches bursting into flame around her as she cackled. "-the highest room of the tallest tower for the rest of your miserable life." Now watch this, she threw her head back with an impressive swish of her hair and cackled a blood-chilling cackle before placing a hand to her collarbone to reign herself in. "Didn't your mother ever tell you not to accept drinks from strangers? You could end up in a world of trouble.  Or did you really think that you could outsmart ME?"

                        Okay here we go! The best part.  Magica rubbed her hands together as she ambled menacingly around the room... gloating.

                        "Me? Magica DeSpell. The most prolific sorceress to ever grace this world? Oh ho ho, not likely! Look around and soak in your fate! These walls that will be all you know for the remainder of your miserable days! Stuck up here withering to ash while I roam the globe! Taking what I please! Living out in the open air! Not, as it turns out, having straw all tangled in my hair, really darling you're looking a terrible mess." She motioned to her with a cruel smile. "Maybe the next time I visit I'll bring you a brush.  It might come in handy if you decide to Rapunzel your way out of this. But-" Magica peeked out the window theatrically. "-you have quite a lot of hair to grow if you want to make it anywhere near the ground."

                         

                        Gloating full stop, maniacally laughter cranked up to the max. Pause for effect and to see the no doubt terrified awe on this little girl's face. 

                        • Lilly Teal
                          Lilly Teal

                          Maybe not terrified awe. But she was certainly worried, which counted? So worried, in fact, that it gave her the energy to get to her feet, staring at the sorceress in concern.

                          "W-wait. I can't stay here, my uncle will be so worried if I'm not home before it's dark!"

                          What's the matter, are you going to turn into a pumpkin? She oddly didn't seem to be upset about being a mess, or being called as such. It was as if the straw in her hair wasn't a priority.

                          "What trap? What are you talking about?"

                          Two reasons for kidnapping. A personal grudge, a chance encounter, or leverage. Alright, three reasons. She didn't seem like she wanted Darryl for anything, so that crossed out leverage. And she didn't sound as if this had been a 'she was nearby so I picked her up' situation. It had been planned. It was being gloated over, as if this was some personal triumph. A payback of some kind? Some villains did tend to hold grudges, but she couldn't remember this woman's face at all. So she was decently sure she hadn't done anything to her. Not on purpose, anyway.

                          "I don't... remember upsetting you, miss, but if I have I really am sorry about it," she said gently. "Why am I being locked up in here? If it's something I've done, I'll fix it if I can."

                          Good grief will you stop trying to reason with villains?

                          • Gladstone Gander
                            Gladstone Gander

                            Magica's smug grin was firmly in place as the girl panicked and as she continued to speak it drooped at the edges like an ice cream cone in a tanning bed. 

                             

                            "STOP-" She huffed as she stormed over to Lilly and started swatting her lightly with her hand. "-TRYING TO APOLOGIZE TO ME!" Whap whap whap.  Get it together. The sorceress inhaled deeply through her nostrils, slicked down her hair and tried to regain her calm exterior.  It was a thin disguise. "Your uncle's feelings about your location in the nocturnal hours means nothing to me. As well as your..." she pulled a disgusted face, rolling her eyes and using air quotes. "'reasoning'.  Surely you-" She hesitated something finally chipping away at all the gloating, a fine line of insecurity sending a hairline fracture through the sorceresses demeanor. "-you must have heard of me? Magica DeSpell? Most powerful witch in the world? Feared by millions? Queen of darkness?" 

                            • Lilly Teal
                              Lilly Teal

                              Why does nobody accept my attempts to be reasonable?

                              Lilly raised her hands, but aside from a few objecting squeaks, as quickly as the swatting started, it ended as Magica's self-doubt got the better of her.

                              And judging from the lack of awed reaction, the confused knot in the brow, it was clear that this stupid girl had not heard of the Queen of Darkness feared by millions. She was obviously not one of those millions. But perhaps she soon would be?

                              "I...'m sor-" wait no, no apologising, she raised her hands a little higher as if expecting to be whapped again. "I don't. Um. Nice to meet you? I'm... well you already know my name somehow. Listen... I think there's been some misunderstanding here?"

                              • Gladstone Gander
                                Gladstone Gander

                                Magica stared at her. 

                                No.

                                Gaped.

                                H-how was this possible? She hadn't even heard of...

                                Had never trembled in fear once?

                                'Nice to meet-'?

                                The witch put a hand to her forehead and turned away from her completely disappointing captive to walk away in shock. This wasn't happening. Her ego couldn't take it.  Th-this had to be- she looked over her shoulder at Lilly, narrowing her eyes at her then turning away again-this had to be a trick. That's it.  Yes. Yes.  That was it.

                                Magica tossed her hair once more, straightening up again well if she wanted to play dumb she could spell it out for her. She hopped onto her broom, not to fly off but to have somewhere to sit as she pried the truth out of this infuriating woman.

                                "'A misunderstanding'" She smiled a cold smile. "Oh my dear, no. No there hasn't been any misunderstanding. You're Lillian Teal. Forgive me if I don't include all your titles, if you don't recognize mine I won't bore myself with yours.  It recently came to my attention that you've been distracting one of my most valuable gophers and I just can't allow that to happen. You see a conjurer of my stature cannot lower herself to the level of the common magician by buying my ingredients in bulk at the local Wiccamart. Not to mention the really rare components can take ages to find... unless-" her smile turned up wickedly at the edges, let's see you connect these dots you silly little creature. "-you have some luck on your side."

                                She leaned on the broom handle slightly peering at the girl interested to see the horrible realization crash over her. But just to be sure...

                                "Never hurts to have a goose to lay some golden eggs in your corner either... but, you probably know all about that... don't you? 'Lillypad'?"

                                • Lilly Teal
                                  Lilly Teal

                                  Lilly's eyes would have widened gratifyingly (from Magica's point of view, anyway) at the use of her nickname, and the mention of a lucky golden goose.

                                  Gladstone?

                                  I'm... distracting him from helping you?

                                  "Is he... does he act as your assistant or something? Wait, why are you KEEPING me here? If I'm keeping him too busy to help you you could have just asked me to-" She gave a gasp of realisation, more dramatically than she meant to. "Unless he doesn't want to help you. Are you making him do something evil?!" She was supposed to be feared by millions, after all. "Oooooh if you're trying to bully or trick him I'll... I'll-"

                                  Come to think of it, what could she do, except look adorably angry and stamp her foot? Which she did, of course, because you had to do whatever you could.

                                  "You leave him alone, miss!"

                                  • Gladstone Gander
                                    Gladstone Gander

                                    Ah, Magica sighed happily as the world righted itself again. There we are. 

                                    Eyes twinkling with gleeful malice she chuckled wickedly at the precious display. SO much better. Look at how huffy she was. 

                                    "Oh ho ho~ there we go. Leave him alone? And why would I do that? Why would I do that at all when I can-" Poof. Lilly was sitting on the broom, an evil little smile playing on her lips, which probably would have been a very unnerving sight for the real Lilly who was firmly on the ground. "-be his wonderful sweetheart? He'll be falling over himself to give me-" she fluttered her eye lashes as Lilly's own voice spilled out of the witch's mouth. "-whatever I ask him to.  Really girl," Blue eyes twinkled with glee. "-what won't he do for you I wonder? Hmmm..." she kicked her feet gazing with wide eyed innocence around the tower. "Oh Gladstone~" she trilled clasping her hands under her chin. "-I've always wanted the Fire Topaz of the Ancient Gungalung tribe. If you really loved me you'd get it for me." Here she shifted her posture, putting a hand on her hip and putting on a smarmy smile, doing a Lilly's voice impression of Gladstone. "'aw shucks sugar lumps, you know I'll get that for you. Just sit tight.'" Back to hands clasped under her chin in Lillynese "Oh darling! You make me so happy I don't know how to repay you! But what I really need now is a pearl from Poseidon's crown." Lillystone "'uh... I just got home can I at least take a nap?'" "No! I won't love you anymore if you don't do it right now!" "Oh horrors! Yes of course dearest!" "And then be a dear and bring me your Uncle Scrooge's dime, his most precious possession so that I may finally be the unstoppable force I was mean to be!" "Uh Lillypad are you-" "SILENCE FOOL! DO AS I BID YOU!"

                                    She let out a happy little sigh, flipping the long black hair over her shoulder dreamily.

                                    "Doesn't that sound nice?" Magica's voice was back, but she held onto Lilly's form as she peered at her. "Well not for you, of course, you'll be wasting away here as I send your precious little boyfriend to all corners of the world and back. Just because I can." She let out a little hum of laughter. "Does that qualify as leaving him alone?"

                                    • Lilly Teal
                                      Lilly Teal

                                      "Oh! You awful, rude person."

                                      ... yeah. Really tear her down, Lilly. Let her... have it?

                                      "Why would you do that? That's terrible!"

                                      Just because she can, weren't you listening?

                                      She moved closer to the broom, defensively angry on Gladstone's behalf, but not exactly glaring. There was a deep undercurrent of worry in her eyes as she thought of him being run ragged to make 'her' happy.

                                      "He won't do it," she said with more confidence than she felt. "He knows I wouldn't ask for any of those things."

                                      And I definitely wouldn't ask him to rob his relatives, what kind of girlfriend DOES that and it doesn't look strange? But as firm in her belief he would know better as she was, she wouldn't want him to go through the experience of thinking he had to choose between her and his family even a little.

                                      "... please don't?" she tried. "I'm sure... dime aside, if you really need those things for... something that won't hurt his family or other people, he would help you if you asked. He's really very kind, you know."

                                      • Gladstone Gander
                                        Gladstone Gander

                                        "Hmmm..." She grinned, laying down on the length of the broom to smile at Lilly with her own face. "Yes, he can be kind can't he? Especially when his eyes are wide and soulful and desperate for love and validation? So cute, so useful, so pliable, so... stupid." 

                                        She sighed wistfully, holding out her hand to admire Lilly's slender fingers. 

                                        "Well that's how he was when he was madly in love with me anyway." She glanced at the girl from under dark eyelashes. "The pitiful little fool, was eating right out of my hand.  He would have done anything for me... he'll do it again. We were younger then, this was long before he met a little mouse like you." Poof. Magica was back in her own form, grinning at her captive, finally feeling like she was accomplishing something here. "And if he doesn't? Well his little Lillypad will break his heart, smash it into a thousand little golden pieces. So alone," she pouted trying not to smile. "So broken.  So... easy to control. All I'd need to do would be smile at him and he'd come running into my arms. Maybe I'd release you then.  After all it'd be useless to keep you here if he hated you.  Oh, come to think of it.  Have any male friends he's jealous of? Preferably handsome? If I'm going to put on a show for our dear Gladstone I'd rather enjoy myself then be caught in the act with some bucked tooth backwater Romeo." She tapped her chin with a bright smile. "You know I like the sound of this plan.  Maybe I'll just crush the gander's heart into a fine powder, make sure everyone knows how unfaithful Lillian Teal is.  Oohh. How scandalous."

                                        • Lilly Teal
                                          Lilly Teal

                                          Any... what?

                                          "No! And I wouldn't tell you even if there were!" It was probably a rhetorical question on Magica's part, but she felt like she needed to object all the same. In fact, she objected to all of it, every single sentence. How COULD this woman? How could she be so... so... hard hearted? So nasty? Horrible. Terrible. So... Lilly struggled for more words to call the sorceress in her head and only managed to come up with mean. But she was. She was so mean.

                                          "He won't believe you," she said again, much more loyally, this time putting a hand on her broom, two high points of red anger marking her cheeks. "He knows I love him, I wouldn't do that to him. And anyway, you have no right to do that to him. What has he done to you?"

                                          Is this some weird thing because you were together and you're not anymore?

                                          He was... madly in love with her. B-but that ended because he found out what a terrible person she was, right? Not because... he was liable to go after whoever offered him more comfort at the time. He wouldn't run back to Magica if... Magica made him think she...

                                          He wouldn't. But that was beside the point, she wouldn't be able to make him think that! Gladstone knew better! He'd figure out something was wrong.

                                          Besides, it wasn't as if she HAD any incredibly handsome male friends that Gladstone could be made jealous of that would make this scenario a possibility.

                                          But more than that-

                                          "But I won't let you try. I'll... I'll hold onto your broom if I have to so you can't leave."

                                          • Gladstone Gander
                                            Gladstone Gander

                                            The witch was practically squirming with delight. This was more like it! Yes yes let the hate flow through you! Hehehe! She eyed the girl's hand on her broom and leaned forward slightly to pat her on the head with enough condescension to level a small village. 

                                            "Of course he won't. " She cooed as if talking to an upset child. "And you're being so brave, look at how smart you are. Holding on to my broom what a flawless plan." She gripped the broom stick herself and the mount started slowly rising.  Up and up stretching Lilly's arm overhead. "You can cling on if you have to." Magica offered pleasantly. "I mean since this was your big plan and all. Oh, and I guess the silver lining here is you won't have to worry about breaking curfew! I'll be sure let your Uncle know just how much his sweet little niece loves him... hmmm hmm hmm mm mwha... mwhahaha... MWAHAHAHAHAAHAH!"  Mania snuffing out as swiftly as it started she looked down at the girl now close to danging beneath her. "Anyone else you want me to turn against you? Favorite grandmother? Kindly mail man? Kickable pets?" 

                                            • Lilly Teal
                                              Lilly Teal

                                              She did her best, she really did, but the broom slipped out of her grip as it rose just that bit higher, and she glared up at the other woman as she tried, unsuccessfully, to reach her again.

                                              "Don't you dare kick my pet! Come" hop "back" hop "HERE!"

                                              A final jump allowed her fingers to close around the broom again, but it meant she was suddenly in the air, hanging from one hand. Add to that the fact that the sudden unbalanced weight on the broom made it dip for an alarming second, and she slid right off again, this time ending up seated painfully on the floor and looking increasingly frustrated.

                                              "Ooooooh. Just stop it! Why do you want to turn more people against me?!"

                                              Again, honey, because she can. And, annoyingly, there was nothing Lilly could do but watch her float overhead, out of reach, ready to speed away and ruin her life.

                                              "Please," she tried one more time. "Just let me go home."

                                               

                                              • Gladstone Gander
                                                Gladstone Gander

                                                "Oh well since you said 'please' by all means.  The exit's right there-" She waved to the tower window with a happy little hum of a laugh. "-watch the first step it's a bit steep."

                                                MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA.

                                                Ahem.

                                                "Now, there'd be no real fun if you couldn't see the horrors I'm unleashing on your social and romantic life so-" she dug out her wand and with a quick incantation a small mirror appeared on the wall. "-whenever I feel like you should appreciate my brilliant deceptions, hmmm maybe how disappointed your Uncle will be when you crash his car, or the look of betrayal on your pooch's face when he gets locked out in a rainstorm, and... hmm oh yes the look of complete heart break on the goose's face when he catches you red handed with another man. You know. The good stuff.-it will turn on so that you can watch in the comfort of your haystack." She flipped her hair over her shoulder. "And I suppose you should have some means to feed yourself." Magica acknowledged begrudgingly, and with another wave of the wand and incantation a small stove, sink and cabinet of food and ingredients of all types and temperatures appeared. "Do make more of that cheesecake." She volunteered with a smile. "It was certainly worth all the politeness I had to suffer through.  Any other heated little protests you'd like to shoot my way? You are so cute when you're mad."

                                                • Lilly Teal
                                                  Lilly Teal

                                                  There was no heated protest.

                                                  Instead, a dish from the cabinet went whizzing at Magica heatedly, hoping to startle or unseat her from the broom. Unfortunately (for one of them), it didn't hit the mark, instead smashing into the opposite wall in a burst of porcelain. But the shards never reached the ground. Almost as soon as it was broken, the dish reappeared in the cabinet alongside the others, fully formed and pristine. Presumably this was so that Magica wouldn't have to deal with replacing anything if it was broken by accident.

                                                  Convenient.

                                                  "Make your own cheesecake!" Lilly declared rebelliously, punctuating her statement by throwing the exact same dish again. Whether it was her own 'cute' anger making it harder, or Magica's skilled dodging, or simply that dishes were hard to aim, it missed the mark again, and she let out a frustrated exhale. The fight suddenly went out of her legs, and she slid down the wall to sit, glaring a hole in the floor. There was nothing, nothing she could do, and under the anger, if she let it through, was only worry and misery. So she'd try to stay angry as long as she could.

                                                  "Just go away!"

                                                  • Gladstone Gander
                                                    Gladstone Gander

                                                    WOAH.

                                                    Dodging dishes and getting very annoyed indeed at how rambunctious this suddenly RUDE girl was the witch countered in the only way a mature woman of her stature and standing would.

                                                    "FINE I WILL!" She zipped out the window and for a moment that seemed to be it.  Until she poked her head back inside and continued angrily. "ENJOY WATCHING ME RUIN YOUR LIFE!" 

                                                    There.  

                                                    Perfect.

                                                    Then Lilly was truly, and completely alone.

                                                    A few hours later, the mirror would flicker on.  An image of Lilly dressed to the nines, all glamour and glitter...lots of glitter actually, was draped on a familiar gander's arm.  There was no sound, just images of smiling faces, of an intimate dinner at a classy restaurant, hands held on the tabletop.  Happy. Very happy.  The disguised witch seemed to be enjoying herself immensely, and the goose... yes. Yes he was smiling. Looking happy. Happy for those in passing but... but she'd know better. No one had seen the up close and personal happiness that one on one Lilly time brought Gladstone Gander and so it would be heartening to see his forehead wrinkle in confusion occasionally, how he'd look around occasionally as if suspecting the building to collapse around them.  Look at your man Lilly, look at him trying to figure out what's going on.  All on his own.

                                                    But he never was smart enough to figure things out solo. 


                                                    Dinner had been... well.... it had been... Calm. Calm and... nice? They'd actually eaten. Appetizers. Entrees. DESSERT. She'd had two glasses of wine. This was... he needed back up.  It was an odd occurrence that  Gladstone would bring Lilly to the Coatl on her night off.  But that's where they were.  She was on his arm, sparkling and lovely but... ugh. What? What exactly?

                                                    "Darling will you get me a drink? These shoes are a bit too high for me-" Lilly cooed into his ear, placing a kiss on his cheek theatrically, as if to underline their romance to the world at large. 

                                                    "Uh...yeah of course. The usual?" Think think think.  "....gin and tonic?"

                                                    "Oh yes please, you do spoil me." she brushed her fingers through his hair lightly with a... well a very unLillylike smile.

                                                    He smiled at her regardless, pulling out a chair for her at one of the high topped tables near the bar but NOT at the bar because... no because he needed someone else to be at the-his eyes skimmed the bar and as he walked away he clasped his hands in silent prayer, mouthing 'thank you' to the universe. 

                                                    Gladstone almost leaped over the counter to grab Oz's sleeve.

                                                    "HI." He nearly shouted. "I think I'm losing it." ...nice intro? "Lilly and I just had dinner. The whole thing. THE. WHOLE.  THING. No one shot at us.  No one kidnapped her.  No one tried to kill us or or turn us into.... ferrets? Has that happened yet? I don't think that one's-Look look look-" he waved his friend closer to whisper to him in a horrified whisper. "...she wants a drink. Gin and Tonic?! Gin and TOnIC?!" He shot a panicked look over his shoulder at the shimmering Lilly admiring her reflection in a hand compact. "Gin and... tonic." He looked back at the quetzal helplessly. "Talk to her? Please? Tell me if it's just because I'm not used to things being... normal.  But..." he grimaced and glanced back at her again, she was watching them... a cold hint of suspicion in her eyes and he smiled brightly and waved. Waved, oh no we're not talking about you at all.  Out of the corner of his mouth he mumbled to Oz. "...I don't think that's Lilly."

                                                    • Lilly Teal
                                                      Lilly Teal

                                                      As Gladstone had looked around, seeming confused, Lilly watched with her hands over her mouth as one might watch a thrilling movie, willing him to understand what was happening and not just assume she was acting strange. Gladstoooooooone. Please just- ah! Good good good! Oz would know!

                                                      Oz's welcoming smile froze in confusion as he was pulled both physically and metaphorically into the latest of the messes this couple seemed to keep getting into. The information washed over him and he sighed slightly, leaning his chin on his hand as he listened.

                                                      "You aren't used to things being normal, and it's a crying shame. But that's still suspicious. Drinking? She doesn't drink." The most you could say about her was that she sipped.

                                                      And that cold suspicion when Gladstone waved at her... Oz kept up the pretense of lounging on the bar in a bored manner, not even looking at the duckette, but he let out a little 'hmmm'.

                                                      "You've got a point there. Alright, I'll go say hello to her. You," he added, tapping the bar top, "can stay right here waiting for your drinks."

                                                      He suddenly seemed to 'see' her, following Gladstone's eyeline and brightening up as he waved as well. Standing up to his full height and running a hand through his hair, the handsome quetzal swept over to the table and draped himself across the opposite chair as if it had been waiting for him.

                                                      "Hey there beautiful," he said with a little smirk, taking her hands with absolutely no permission to invade her personal space, as was usual for him, and holding them out to the sides a little so he could admire her. "You've gone all out today, what are you doing to me? I'm going to lose business because people're so busy staring at you they'll forget to order."

                                                    Related blogs

                                                    Fiction, Lust and Pixie Dust

                                                    Fiction, Lust and Pixie Dust

                                                    Second star on the right and straight on 'til...
                                                    Adventures in Nephewsitting

                                                    Adventures in Nephewsitting

                                                    Gladstone finds himself out numbered and lucky...
                                                    I Left my Heart in Hamunaptra

                                                    I Left my Heart in Hamunaptra

                                                    When tasked with an international errand,...
                                                    Dungeons and Deities

                                                    Dungeons and Deities

                                                    Why do things go so haywire when Gladstone and...