RP: Spineless

[[Reserved currently for Gladstone and Lilly and this stupid curse.]]

Not a day and potentially not even a minute depending on your perspective after being drowned in a sea of climate change warriors (ironically), Negaduck had squeezed out of his self-imposed community service to find the gander gone. 

Curse his rotten luck.

In fact, curse this curse. At this rate, he would actually get through the list of forty thousand, five hundred and one personal apologies only added to by Ariana and his darling daughter, even-

Huh. Well now. That could work.

The doorchime at the bookshop rang.

    • Lilly Teal
      Lilly Teal

      Lilly looked up with a welcoming smile.

      And then, when she saw who it actually was, it fell, to be replaced with a look that could almost be called wary. What had he ever done to her to cause such a reac- you know what, don't answer that. She watched him carefully, as if expecting him to pull out a chainsaw, another Negaduck costume, or all of the Fearsome Five from under his cape like a very unwelcome magician.

      "I don't hear any sirens," she said carefully. So you're not here to hide. Possibly. He didn't seem covered in the marks of battle, and wasn't carrying any stolen goods as far as she could see. How... normal. How odd.

      In the slightly awkward silence, she cleared her throat. "Do you, um, want your coffee?"

      Past experience pointed to yes, but nothing about this entry was exactly usual, so it was worth just being sure.

      • Negaduck
        Negaduck

        "I want one thing."

        Not breaking his intense gaze into her eyes, Negaduck withdrew a machete and stalked towards her. 

        Dropping, at only the last moment, to one knee. 

        "To offer my sincerest regrets for the foul treatment you have suffered by my hand." The blade presented flat across both palms for her taking. "And to allow you to avenge your righteous wrath upon me personally, so my unworthy soul might be sated."

        That's it, feel the emotion. Let the magic do its work. It'll be worth it, just wait and see. 

        • Lilly Teal
          Lilly Teal

          Wait.

          This... this really wasn't how the interaction was supposed to go.

          "Av...enge? What?" she said in genuine confusion, coming out from behind the counter. "I'm not... I don't want to take any righteous wrath out on you. But. Um. Oh please stand up, I'm not going to do anything of the sort."

          Hesitating a little, in case he was going to lop her hands off the minute she reached for it, she very, very gingerly took the machete and laid it on the counter instead. "There. But thank you. For apologising, I mean, that's very good of you," she added much more optimistically. "Er. Are you feeling alright?"

          Because you're apologising.

          "... are you sure your unworthy soul can't be sated with a cup of coffee? I've got that really unnecessarily strong and bitter stuff you like."

          • Negaduck
            Negaduck

            Relieved, or at least what would have passed for relief had he thought for a moment she might have actually done it, the supposedly ex-crook stood.

            "That would be heavenly."

            Dropping once more, this time into a sweeping bow with a dramatic flourish of his cape as he went.

            "Although not half as heavenly as a moment in your presence."

            Catching her gaze along with her palm with a roguish grin, not pushing the point too heavily however. It was the sort of flirtatious fun one might employ on a friend, not a fawningness. 

            She was taken, and he was a drake of honour. Apparently. 

            • Lilly Teal
              Lilly Teal

              "Uhhh..."

              Blink blink. The world does not make sense. But this is... nice?

              She let out a little laugh, disbelieving and confused as he took her hand. The roguish grin wasn't unattractive, but far more importantly, it was an infinitely preferable expression to his usual ones of malicious delight or raging annoyance.

              "What's gotten into you today? Did you have a particularly nice morning?" she asked, pulling away as she stepped back around the counter to the coffee pot. "Whatever it is, I like it. Sit down, I'll get you your coffee."

              The bag was still mostly full, he being the only one who actually liked it in large amounts, and liked it black. Setting it to heat, she set out a cup and came back around again, waving him towards the chairs.

              "Anywhere you like."

              • Negaduck
                Negaduck

                Anywhere? What luxury. And check out this adorable decor. How was it possible for anyone to be in a bad mood in this place?

                "Perfection as always, Miss Teal."

                In the short time they'd known each other had he ever used her name properly? How rude, glad that could be corrected. 

                As he took in the surrounds with a renewed appreciation, however, something else drifted to his attention. 

                "What is that.." How to people describe non loathesome things again. "Delightful smell?"

                Not as delightful as the blackest, brimstoney brews to ever blight a bookshop, but still distractingly delectable. 

                • Lilly Teal
                  Lilly Teal

                  Awwwww you flatterer.

                  She certainly did look flattered, more so when he complimented the compliments just kept rolling in, and perked up considerably, her smile bright.

                  "I've just made some apple turnovers. Fresh out of the oven. Um. It's a bit of a new recipe so they don't look very neat-" getting the little pockets to stay shut without slowly leaking their contents was a fiddly business and definitely not one she had mastered yet- "But they still taste good! Would you like one?"

                  An apple turnover and a hideously strong cup of coffee didn't sound like... an ideal combination. It was entirely possible he couldn't taste anything for half an hour after drinking coffee the way he seemed to prefer it, but she plated the pastry and cupped the coffee with good will as she brought the pair over to him.

                  "... don't turn it around, this one opened up all down the back, let's just pretend it looks nice."

                  • Negaduck
                    Negaduck

                    He stared at the - what did she call it, a takeover? - too uncertain to move. Actual food. Not stolen from an paraplegic's bake sale or eaten for dramatic effect, but an honest-to-goodness homecooked meal. 

                    Couldn't hurt to try though. It's not like it could be more nourishing than evil. And Lilly of all people would never have the nerve to try to poison him, right?

                    Ahahahahahaaa.

                    With far more hesitation than he chomped down on anything else, Negaduck took a bite.

                    "Nnnglll aghh oh gods what-"

                    Was he dying? Disgusted? Some combination of the two?

                    "-is this this is amazing!"

                    Forget the fork he lifted up the bowl and gobbled up the rest, complete with various slurping and an aaah of satisfaction. 

                    "I'd say that was angel cake because it was so heavenly but even angel cake has got nothing on that!" When made from fresh angels, the glitter did tend to spoil his appetite. "You know, that's made me feel better. Less in the grumps. Like something has been sated."

                    A thought hit him, which he played up to look quite literal. "Do you mean, all this time, I was merely 'hangry'?"

                    Laughing, and not with the derision that concept deserved but with whooping relief, he scooped Lilly up under the armpits and twirled her around. 

                    "Sweet songbird of serenity, you've cured me!"

                    Of being him? That was possible, sure. 

                    • Gladstone Gander
                      Gladstone Gander

                      As far as scenes to walk in on went, the sight of a lady held aloft and mid swirl by a ...'gentleman' was perfectly acceptable in romance movies or a certain kind of television program that catered to those who wished for white knights or at least bad boys with a heart of gold (and well maintained upper body strength).  But when that someone being held aloft like a magic sword at castle Greyskull was your girlfriend and the wielder was not only not oneself but oneself's most disliked acquaintance that's when things got a little... tricky.  Gladstone had merely opened the door to the bookstore before he froze. 

                      He blinked. Leaned back outside checked the name of the store, the color of the sky, the date on the closest newspaper, felt out his pulse, and then very scientifically pinched himself. Despite all hints to suggest otherwise he was simultaneously: at the right store, not dead, not in another dimension or divergent timeline, and not asleep. None of this cheered him. But he did burst back through the door like the mascot jug of a of sugary red chemical drink mix , somehow managing to maintain a vague semblance of keeping his "kool". Well he was smiling anyway. That's what it's called when you show all your teeth at once right? So 'smiling' the gander approached the duo, eyes falling on the blade on the counter, fingers twitching at the sight of it, before he just leaned against the nearest armchair and watched with narrowing eyes.

                      "Testing for air resistance Crassanova?" He suddenly recoiled, as if he'd seen something revolting, which was actually a good word for this whole scenario but more specifically. "What are you doing with your face? A-are you smiling? Stop that it's disturbing." His attention snapped to Lilly suspiciously. "...what did you do to him?"

                       

                      • Lilly Teal
                        Lilly Teal

                        As nice as his revelation was, Lilly had been about to point out that she wasn't entirely sure that it was possible to be 'hangry' for as long as all that, but her train of thought was completely driven off the rails when he picked her up. Letting out a startled sound that quickly turned into a laugh.

                        "I'm so happy for you?"

                        That was when Gladstone walked in, and he felt significantly less happy. However, he was smiling, so Lilly saw very little that was suspicious. Tail wagging with happiness as soon as she saw him, she patted Negaduck's shoulders. "Can I come down? Honey hi!"

                        One of the patting hands was reached out for him to hold, but the suspicious glance was met with less welcome. "Oh don't look at me like that, I didn't do anything. I just gave him some food and coffee! Look what a good mood he's in."

                        She beamed, bright and optimistic. Oh yes, everyone was in a good, good mood, Gladstone, wouldn't you agree?

                        • Negaduck
                          Negaduck

                          The lady needn't have worried, for upon the interruption she was lowered with the touching familiarity of friendship, because that's what they were now right, friends? Gladstone scowling suspicion did nothing to remove the smile; if anything it increased it. Funny how that worked.

                          "Have you tried her cooking? It could turn the krampus into a caroller," Adding as a sidenote while he finished the last of that tasty brew, "Unless you don't think it's good enough to have that kind of power, in which case by all means tell her, I'm sure your honesty will be appreciated."

                          Yes, by all means crush her innocent, hopeful little heart. I'd love to watch.

                          "Actually, you're just in time. I was about to offer to properly re-do that reading I had promised." A manner that would probably not involve revving a chainsaw at children but hey, if she asked nicely.. To Lilly he held up a few hardbacks that could be bettered with a baritone. "What say you to a little Don Quixote? Or even The Princess Bride? I could go heavier, what with all the options in the astonishing selection you have here, but it's entirely up to you."

                          It wasn't being nice. It was the worn covers, the carefully placed bookmarks, the special little pile of what were presumably her favourites. It was being observant.

                          • Gladstone Gander
                            Gladstone Gander

                            Horror of horrors. That smile was... so wrong. His hand reached out and took Lilly's pulling her away, slowly and carefully, as if Negaduck was foaming at the mouth. Which realistically might happen... it might have already happened, it could happen every twenty minutes on a constant rotation and it wouldn't have surprised the gander. 

                            "Lillypad, did you make his heart grow three sizes with-" He help up a finger, sniffing the air. Which was unfortunate because Negastank was permeating the surrounding area but there was a hint of... "-apple turnovers? I'd say I was surprised but I'd be lying. They are that good."

                            The fact that he had spent a rather confusingly productive amount of time with this very same visage of villainy being saved from death traps, building cookie stalls, and saving the planet seemed to finally rear it's head as the literature was presented. Gladstone started to think. It was easy to spot by the smoke coming out of his ears. He lifted an eyebrow at the books and well gee if he just didn't light up like the sun itself. Look at all these smiles Lilly. Everyone was SO happy.

                            "Well shucks that's mighty generous of you, a regular  Mister Roargers. Got a cardigan on under that suit? But dear oh dear those books are  long. We wouldn't want you to read yourself into a stupor." And here a chummy slap on the back accented that oh so friendly grin before Gladstone scooped up a few thin books from a very colorful shelf. "And there are some really tough words in those ones. Why not start with something as small and as cheerful as you." Three horrifying options were presented. Each one centered around smiling big eared buck teethed protagonists cuter than should be legal. "I think 'I am a Bunny' might tickle your fickle, Reading Rambo. Should we get comfy? Do you need to do any vocal exercises before story time?"