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Not Meant to Be

Celeste Tealwing had always been alone. Even before Lord Negaduck had burned down the orphanage, even among orphans, she had stood out as ...unusual. Like some invisible force pushed everyone and everything around her away.  This had made her sad as a child, but now, at fourteen, she just accepted it, like the strange flare up occurrences that happened whenever she was happy or upset.

As long as she  could remember she had always been alone. Now that the Negaverse as clean and happy, she felt more out of place than ever. It was almost worse. I mean, who wanted to see a scruffy homeless teenager digging through the trash , reminding them of what the city USED to be when they were all trying so hard to forget Negaduck, forget the way the world used to be and convince themselves everything was sunshine, rainbows, Gummi bears and unicorns? It kinda made her want to hurl. So rather than conform, she wandered the streets of Negaverse St. canard. Now, even with the Friendly Four controlling the city, with it cleaned up  and flowers just now starting to fade in the winter of her fourteenth year, she strangely felt more alone and unwelcome than ever. 

 

She he kicked a faded plastic cup into a gutter , crossing the street. Then her senses flared as she smelled something sweet and sugary, something fresh from the oven. She noticed that the Sugar and Spide and Everything Nice Bakery had been reopened and the baker was sitting a fresh tray of donuts hot from the oven out on a window seal to cool. Her stomach rumbled and before she could consider the consequences , she darted across the street and grabbed a donut, ignoring the burn of its hot dough as she dug her fingers in. She stuffed it between her teeth and spun on her heels, running as the indignant cry of the baker sent a shock of adrenaline through her and she darted back across the road....right in front of the cab of an oncoming semi truck.

    • Celeste O Emberwing
      Celeste O Emberwing

      She considered this for a long moment.”if she’s happy...I don’t want to upset her or make her life more complicated. I seem to complicate things..a lot. I guess that’s part of being some sort of reality divergence right? But she was never really happy with Negaduck... I wouldn’t want to make her unhappy again..she deserves to be loved and feel safe and wanted.”

       

      She HAD once been useful to the Lord and Master of the Negaverse though, hadn’t she? She had always tried very hard to make herself useful, keeping the neighbors from burning down the house or individuals like Launchpad from vandalizing it in ways Negaduck didn’t care for, as he wasn’t the one wrecking havoc or was trying to focus on planning this scheme or that. And she had done the mundane work for him, ironing his capes, having his hats reblocked, fixing meals for him since she had been about 12 years old. Simple things like grooming guard dogs, organizing artillary, polishing weapons. That had to count for something, right? Maybe she could do those things for him whoever he was now? After all...”who else would want me?” She murmured half to herself.

      • Harmonizer
        Harmonizer

        Death wanted to point out the chance of that child getting upset with Celeste was low, as she was a very nice person, and she had nothing to do with Negaduck, but he kept quiet. He may know everything, but he did not know everything. A harsh lesson he had to learn. 

        He frowned and started to pet her again when she sounded dejected. She was very nice. He could think of many people who'd want her. 

        "Alright. We shall head there. But first, let us make you..." Death cleared his throat. "Presentable." 

        Maybe if she looked nicer, she would gain more favour. It was what mortals always did. 

        Right? 

        He took her by her shoulders gently and started escorting her to the bathroom. Why he even had a bathroom was odd. He certainly didn't need to go. It was almost as dark as his study, but greyer than black. And oddly bright despite there being no visible lighting source. "The towel is new. And I will have clothes ready when you finish. And I hope you like myrrh; it is the only soap I have." 

        He turned to leave, then paused and turned back, tilting his head to the side. "Err. Step back a bit when you turn on the hot water, then adjust it." It occurred to him he wasn't sure how much heat a human could handle. It sometimes killed them but for some odd reason they could consume it without dying and they even visited these strange rooms that poured steam for fun. So there was obviously a limit. 

        While she was busy, he headed towards a bedroom he didn't use, and opened up a wardrobe. Now this one he did use, but it would give any fashion adviser a heart attack. It was just a row of hooded robes, ranging from black to dark black. 

        Picking out the lightest one, he laid it out on the table and scrutinised it intently. What did girls like to wear? 

        Oh, and she would probably need supplements. He remembered how hungry she was. Time to call on an old friend... 

        • Celeste O Emberwing
          Celeste O Emberwing

          She blinked but smiled brightly as she glanced around the bathroom, taking it in. It was not bright, but it was clean, and it had been a very long time since she’d been in a nice clean bathroom with a nice clean shower. She gave him a sudden quick hug,”Thank you!”

           

          the water was scalding when when she turned it on, and she quickly adjusted it. It was a little temperamental. One way was freezing, one way  was hot enough to peel off feathers, but finally she got it just right and set about scrubbing her hair and. Feathers clean to their natural auburn color and soft warm tan.  She didn’t really know what Myrrh was but it smelled nice, and she thought it might have something to do with Christmas. After  washing she. Toweled off and fluffed her feathers up, then. Wrapped herself in the thick gray towel.

          • Harmonizer
            Harmonizer

            She would be greeted by the smell of hot food on the stove when she emerged from the bathroom, along with a lacy black dress with a loose bodice and a hood, laid neatly over a chair by the bathroom door. It was obviously meant for her. There was also a note from Death to find him in the kitchen. Two chairs were set out in the dining area, with plates, cutlery and napkins. 

            Death was in there, talking to someone. 

            "...said I was supposed to brown them." 

            "Ah said to lightly toast the potatoes, not burn them! Ugh, give me that. Why are you even cookin'?" 

            "We are adding them into the stew anyway, it is not like she would notice- oh, hello, Celeste." 

            Death waved innocently at the girl, noticing her arrival. "You look wonderful. Is it to your liking?" 

            He was wearing a fuzzy pink apron over his black reaper robes that read, in big yellow print, TO DIE FOR. At first, it seemed like there was no one else with him, then something black resting on the pot handle fluttered over to inspect Celeste. A raven, quite big for his type, with soft, intelligent black eyes and velvety black feathers. 

            "Howdy!" he said cheerfully, holding out a talon to shake. "The name's Steven, and ah'm your chef for lunch today. Uh... we are. At least, ah think. So sit yourself down, the grub's comin' right up!" 

            Soon, a large loaf of bread, sliced neatly, was brought out onto the dining table, along with the pot of chicken stew. It all looked and smelt really good. Steven ladled out the stew for them both, gave Celeste a bit more ("Goodness, child, ah've seen fatter skeletons!"), and had his own share on a bowl on his perch on the table that Death set out for him. 

            • Celeste O Emberwing
              Celeste O Emberwing

              She blinked as she entered the kitchen, self consciously smoothing the fine skirt of the black dress, then her eyes widened in surprise as the raven spoke . “Oh...hello...um..thank you!”

              she sat quietly, watching him work, then endeavored to use only her best manners and eat slowly and carefully as she savored the meal prepared for them. She looked at Death nervously,”Um...don’t..you eat, sir?”

               

               

              • Harmonizer
                Harmonizer

                Death looked up from a scroll and shrugged. "I do not require sustenance, but I do eat, sometimes, for enjoyment. Not now. I am currently deciding our journey." 

                "You must forgive the master. A monkey would have more manners," Steven remarked to Celeste. 

                Death frowned at Steven, then glanced at the paper again. Maybe if they went to Negaduck after he finished a successful robbery, he might be in a better mood. Or maybe if they brought something nice- but, knowing Negaduck, he'd keep the item and boot Celeste out. Of course, there was also mind control- no, that was not an option. What if he had her show up at the right time when Negaduck was in trouble, rescuing him? Surely he would be gra- well, he would be pleased. Hopefully pleased enough to care for her again.  

                And if he still rejected her, what then? She did not seem to want to see Gosalyn. And he still had no idea how anyone else would react to her. An anomaly in a different dimension. And St Canardians were rabid. Hmm... what about the Posiverse? Or the Noiverse, or the Wandverse, or that odd pirate dimension. He circled a few of the dimensions listed with his quill pen and looked thoughtful again. There were a few already crossed out, two looking suspiciously like 'Hellverse' and 'Darkwarriorverse'. 

                • Celeste O Emberwing
                  Celeste O Emberwing

                  OOC: apologizes, we’ve had a run of strep throat in the household. It’s been nuts.

                   

                  ”It’s very good,” she assured Steven, eating as carefully as she could so as not to spill on the dress or the tablecloth. She wanted very much to make a good impression on both of them for being so nice to her. “Normally we only got whatever was donated at the orphanage..it was stale sometimes, but not bad. Then the orphanage burned down and I went to live with Lord Negaduck. He liked to eat well. I figured out how to cook a few things he liked and he let me and Gosalyn have whatever he didn’t eat...but that was a while ago now. The neighbors there were always trying to invite us over to their horrible barbecues but they cooked absolutely gross things, and it was always burnt...” she paused as if she realized she’d been talking too much then looked down quickly.

                   

                   

                  • Harmonizer
                    Harmonizer

                    ((OOC: It's okay! Hope y'all better now!)) 

                    Steven lifted a wing and gently patted Celeste on the head. "Well, from now on, the master will make sure the only food you'll be eating is good food made with love and care." And then he started scrutinizing the stew. Death didn't burn the chicken too much, did he? 

                    "Celeste. Do you like fluffy bunnies?" Death suddenly looked up without warning. It would be followed by a series of other questions. Did she like magic? Would she prefer being constantly at sea? Did she like really really bright clashing colours? Or did she prefer faded-to-black-and-white with lots of hats and trenchcoats? Would she prefer something far more... normal? 

                    "This is only for research purposes, to ensure your transition into the Normalverse goes as smoothly as possible," he would answer innocently when asked, quickly tucking away the scroll. "Not because I want some backup dimensions to fall back into if something goes wrong, of course. You will be fine, I assure you." 

                    Funny thing, assurance coming from Death himself. 

                    The only question now was if the worlds would accept Celeste or not. It felt very much like a surgery process. If Celeste was found incompatible, she could be very badly hurt. Both physically and emotionally. Which he hoped would not happen. Hopefully she'd be alright with the first one they visited. 

                    "Have you finished your lunch? Very good. Get ready. Steven," he gestured, stretching out a bony arm. The raven obediently fluttered over, resting on his elbow. 

                    Soon, a wind picked up, and they were on a clean deserted street. It was a nice, chilly night, with fresh air. It was almost identical to a street in the Negaverse. 

                    Just then, an alarm sounded. Someone was in the jewellery store, but he'd been really careful. Then, out of nowhere, rabid dogs immediately started barking and cornering the thief. And then several police cars pulled around the corner, sirens blaring. And then the SWAT team popped up behind them. Then the ground under the jewellery store started rumbling and sinking down. WHAT WAS GOING ON. 

                    Death was nowhere to be found. A raven, however, was resting on a powerline, looking as un-Steven as he can be. Caw caw? Tweetie tweet? I'm just a bird~ 

                    • Celeste O Emberwing
                      Celeste O Emberwing

                      “Bunnies?” She tilted her head,”they’re not..my favorite animal. I’m more of a wolf or shark kinda person, but bunnies are nice enough. I like predators a bit more, and I’ve always found ravens to be especially clever and charming,” she added with a smile, stroking the sleek shiny black feathers on Steven’s neck then jumped up when he indicated he was ready to go.

                       

                      She blinked in confusion, finding herself alone in the street. The alarm made her flinch and she ducked her head instinctively, looking around as her heart hammered in her chest, making it difficult to breath evenly. A lump lodged in her throat having found herself alone again. She didn’t know why it should bother her so much, she was usually alone, but for some reason, having let her guard down, this time being unexpectedly alone once more stung far worse than the chilly wind.

                       

                      ”Hello???”

                      • Negaduck
                        Negaduck

                        Careful? Oh he had been careful alright. Careful to ensure all available units had crowded around in a tight semi circle in front of the corner shop before the lights cut and red smoke flooded into the night.

                        "Welcome," boomed the voice from all directions. "To tonight's Nega awards! With your magnificent presenter, me, Negaduck, who is a total-"

                        A blast, and the walls of the building fell outwards like a rotten Fabergé egg, neatly crushing them all.

                        "-knock out."

                        Stepping forward, Negaduck made a point of crushing the highest ranking under the layers of debris, bouncing only slightly to elicit any further groans of pain. Delicious.

                        "Huh. Looks like I'm the winner. I'd like to thank my amazing fanclub-" It was literally a club with a fan attachment. "Except it's useless and belongs here, in the trash."

                        Addressing his audience, which was.. "Yeah, you know it's true."

                        Leaving his police-based platform with a squeak, the felon and his sack full of loot turned for the horizon. 

                        "Bye bye, boneheads. I'm off to the after party, comprising solely of myself and a million bucks worth of bling."

                        Scott. Free. Or at least he thought he was.

                        • Celeste O Emberwing
                          Celeste O Emberwing

                          At the sound of the rabid police dogs straining at their leads , the wailing sirens, and the SWAT team thundering over their bullhorns for the perpetrator to come out with his hands held where they could see them drove Celeste into action. She had been a criminal accomplice and sympathizer hated by the law too long to do otherwise, and besides all the cops in the Negaverse she was used to were heartless killers worse then the criminals and nastier than most robbers by ten times.

                          Fortunely the criminal seemed to have the incident well him hand, if somewhat of a flare for the dramatic. She hadn’t gotten a clear view of him or been able to hear him well over the combined mix of sirens and other  SWAT team related sounds, but it was pretty hard to mis the full sized Sherman tank aimed right at him...literally... inches from his beak. Or the slender  red haired female fox with a detectives badge who had made a point of standing next to the colorful red, yellow, and black motorcycle which had been so well batted and tied down it would take hours to cut all the restraints and get it rolling again. The vixen aimed her drawn gun steadily at the criminal, not  so much as blinking, backed by at least ten overspecial police force units, the so called Super Villain Squad, a group specially designated to deal with people like The Fearsome Five.

                          ” Cute, but I’m afraid the celebrations a bit premature, Negs. The good news is, you get the runner up consolation prize...an all expense paid trip to the Maximum Security Super Villain Prison, meals included. If you drop the loot  and your weaponry, I may even be able to negotiate some spa time...of course by Spa, I mean sweating it out in the kitchen, doing dirty dishes...” she smirked confidently.

                           

                          Celeste thought fast. Can’t take out a tank on my own....

                           

                          can an create a minor distraction though....

                          She spotted a small pile of explosives dropped behind the motorcycle and scrambled over to them. People not noticing her due to her not being meant to exist was working well in her favor this time. She skirted the tank and special forces and got to the explosives pile, fidgeting with the trigger mechanism, then driving for cover as it went off and drew all attention to behind the team and away from Negaduck.

                          • Negaduck
                            Negaduck

                            What a convenient distraction.

                            Convenient enough to allow Negaduck to get away. Not on his own bike, no, but in the tank, courtesy of the driver he had so roughly deposited onto the sidewalk.

                            Trundling down the street in the armoured vehicle, he had time to throw one last shard of wit over his shoulder.

                            Oh, that wasn't wit. That was a raspberry. 

                            In any case, hah. Who's premature now.

                            • Celeste O Emberwing
                              Celeste O Emberwing

                              The special forces scrambled to go after the criminal as Celeste, trying to  save her own tail feathers, hid inside the motorcycle. Just when she was about to make a break for it someone hooked a tow truck up to it and hauled it away towards the police impound. Rotten luck. Darn it all, today was not her day for get aways. But fortunately the swat team was wary enough of the motorcycle being booby trapped to not want to search it right away, and besides, they were busy chasing down Negaduck who was blowing up a good portion of the city in his newly acquired tank until it ran out of ammo.

                               

                              OOC: but maybe when he’d come break into police impound to retrieve his bike...I hope??? Lol

                              • Negaduck
                                Negaduck

                                It was a few days of armour fueled fun later - when Darkwing Dunce finally caught up to him, bah - that Negaduck made a reappearance, this time at the impound lot.

                                "Stupid anti-tank banana."

                                Growling guard dogs soon cowered in his presence as sheer grumpiness powered him to rip a fence pole straight out of the ground.

                                "Thought I'd given them the slip but nooo..."

                                The pole dropped onto a nearby car, he made his way over to where his motorcycle was always parked when they managed to nab it in one piece. Because people were creatures of habit. Because police were stupid.

                                "Next time I'll be the one giving the surprise!"

                                Ripping off the protective tarp, looking forward to getting back on the road to crime.

                                • Celeste O Emberwing
                                  Celeste O Emberwing

                                  Celeste, who had been napping in the seat,  the remains of a package of fig numbat bars. Clenched in one fist, curtesy if Steven’s kind  effort to keep her from starving while she waited with the bike, rather than attempt to escape, having recognized it as Negaduck’s bike by now and hoping he would be grateful for her watching over it, snorted awake, hands flailing, as she blinked rapidly, “ I can explain, it belongs to someone I know...OH! Lord Negaduck,” She stammered, squinting at him, then rubbing her eyes, “ I was waiting for you. I wanted to make sure no one scratched your motorcycle or tried to sell it off in the police auctions or something...”

                                  • Negaduck
                                    Negaduck

                                    A child. That was a surprise. And not a welcome one.

                                    "I don't know who you are, brat." Looming with a rumble like gathering thunder, that was not a good sign. "But I do know you've got crumbs in my seat..."

                                    Definitely not a good sign. Sure, she had been doing him a kindness. There would be no arguing logic with him, though.

                                    Everyone knew that Negaduck hated kindness.

                                    • Celeste O Emberwing
                                      Celeste O Emberwing

                                      “Oh...” and it clicked suddenly in her head. He didn’t know her, didn’t remember her. She was just a thing of wisps of smoke, no more substantial in reality or memory than a discarded can you kicked on the street. Hopelessness welled up in her heart. He wouldn’t want her. No one would. He didn’t remember any of the time they had spent together, and he was the closest thing to any form of father she’d ever known. 

                                       

                                      She scrambled out out of the vehicle, careful not to scrap it or leave any crumbs in it,” I mean...I...set off the explosives...that distracted the police. I just...yeah, I thought...I don’t know...I’ve always admired your work and all. And I hate cops so...you know...” she looked down , cringing. Bringing up Gosalyn at this point likely wouldn’t help. 

                                      • Negaduck
                                        Negaduck

                                        "Wow, we have so much in common!" Placing a hand on her shoulder, he leaned forward to confide, "You know what else I hate?"

                                        A real bonding moment! Maybe they could find a connection after all.

                                        "Kids."

                                        Oh.

                                        Swinging onto the bike, he gunned the engine.

                                        "Toodles, twerp!"

                                        Assuming, perhaps wrongly, that would be enough to keep her mitts away from him next time, he tore away, leaving a trail of thick smog and one lost little girl.

                                        • Harmonizer
                                          Harmonizer

                                          Maybe so, but driving away from a poor, helpless child would be easy enough. 

                                          Except suddenly, the motorbike stopped. It wasn't like the engine stalled or anything; it stuck to the ground, which quite possibly launched him through the air and into a telephone post. 

                                          A black raven, perched on the topmost wire, cawed almost as if he was laughing rudely. He then gave Celeste a wink and swooped down, smacked Negaduck on the head and flew off. 

                                          • Celeste O Emberwing
                                            Celeste O Emberwing

                                            She blinked, staring in shock, feeling frustrated  and hurt and unwanted and suddenly her temper flared as she yelled after him,” Yeah welll...your jackets gaudy and you look like a burnt hotdog cover in mustard and ketchup!” She picked up a rock and threw it as he drove off, not expecting his motorcycle to stall out....or the rock to go...that far that it dinged off and cracked a taillight. Oops.

                                            • Negaduck
                                              Negaduck

                                              As it happened, Negaduck was not expecting the sudden stop either, and consequently he was thrown over the handlebars and went sliding across the asphalt. On his face.

                                              It would take a little more than a ruptured spleen to stop the supervillain, however, and he staggered back to his feet. Maybe shake a bit of gravel out of his hat.

                                              With nowhere else to go, the resulting rage was directed at the obvious culprit - his bike.

                                              "Lousy piece of juNK-"

                                              That sound being Celeste's stone as it ricocheted off the tail light and right into his skull, and he promptly fell over. Total KO. That's what she was aiming for, right?

                                              In any case, wouldn't have happened if he had been wearing his helmet.

                                              • Celeste O Emberwing
                                                Celeste O Emberwing

                                                OOC:  oops...it always amuses me when Negs wore his helmet on the cartoon, since he doesn’t seem like the type to own one, lol.

                                                 

                                                “ crap, I killed him!!!” Celeste yelled as she sprinted over. She literally half expected Death to pop up and shake his head mournfully at her folly, clicking his tongue and wagging a finger of remonishment before she was hauled off to prison. Did you go to prison with a life sentience for killing a super villain? How did that worK?! Back in the Negaverse, at least half the population would want to give her a medal and a standing ovation. The other half would be pissed she beat them to it and want to knock her off to. Prove their superiority.

                                                 

                                                she checked his pulse, ready to do CPR if need be.

                                                • Negaduck
                                                  Negaduck

                                                  If history was any indication, she would've been laughed out of the police station with a box of donuts as thanks. 

                                                  'Would've' being the key phrase as he still had a pulse. Was breathing too; drooling into the asphalt a little,  but breathing. 

                                                  His left arm had seen better days though. Somehow it had survived the motorcycle fall unscathed only to have cracked at a funny angle when he keeled over. Broken, from the looks of it.

                                                  Just like her chances of ever getting on his good- er, less bad side.

                                                  • Celeste O Emberwing
                                                    Celeste O Emberwing

                                                    She grimaced. She knew she had read somewhere if you got impaled, you didn’t remove the object, but did it work the same way for broken bones, or what that only a broken back or spinal Injury? She was only 14 for crying out loud, she’s never been any where near a medical school, she’d only been to a hospital twice in her whole life!  If it was dislocated, you reset it, right? But  if it was broken...okay well he was gonna kill her anyway so she had to at least try and put the bone back into place. Gingerly, well aware he could at at moment produce a bladed object she firmly but gently. Untwisted his arm from its awkward angle, trying to feel through skin and feathers if the bone was lined up then ripped a piece of her skirt off and tied it securely into place.  

                                                     

                                                    Then, with a great deal of effort, she lodged him back to the motorcycle and pulled him into the sidecar. It took a LONg time and surprisingly no one noticed, and afterwards she felt like her back might be broken. It was fortunate he was rather short and  she was a rather tall, lanky teenager used to hard labor or she never would have pulled it off. 

                                                     

                                                    Also, fortunely, the motorcycle restarted easily, though she had no clue where to take him now, maybe. There was some sort of shady unlicensed doctor in the bad part of town?

                                                    • Negaduck
                                                      Negaduck

                                                      A note taped in perpetually angry scrawl on the dash: 

                                                      34 PLOMA CRES, BROKEN CRUMB INDUSTRIAL PARK

                                                      An address which would not have been investigated by the police, because it also had above it: NOT A HIDEOUT. 

                                                      Should she head that way, buried in the twists and turns of factories there would be one boarded up dump of a disused shed. No mattress, because sleep was for suckers, only a broken TV, stained sofa and heap of other junk.

                                                      A total crack den, in the sense everything had a crack in it.

                                                      The whole atmosphere would've been greatly improved by a gigantic pile of money, except he didn't have that. It had all gone up in smoke, at least partly literally, to fund the stash of illegal weaponry in one corner. A medical kit was somewhere around, half depleted, because proper help was also for suckers.