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A-Hole in One

Teed Off. Now there was a business name Negaduck could get behind. Not that he would normally get behind somewhere as frustratingly funtastic as a mini golf establishment except perhaps to coat the club handles with sticky putty. 

This time, however, he was on his best behaviour. The formerly violent criminal collected Ariana as agreed, explained the rules, coached her in the finer technique of hitting things with sticks, and was then waiting patiently on the side for her to take her turn. 

"Remember to square your shoulders, Ari. And relax. You've got this."

The neat thing was it was an easier place to relax than during the day when it was full of screaming school kids and troublemaking teens. After dark it was lit up, a glow in the dark golf course. A magical spot for a date. 

Not date. Friendly game between friends. 

Nice or not, it was a game of a different type Negaduck planned to win. 

    • DarkwingPsycho
      DarkwingPsycho

      Ariana still had some reservations, but even so she welcomed the distraction and the chance to learn something Normal that she had been curious about.  She listened with interest as Negaduck explained the game and gave advice about stance and technique.  A brief smile crossed her face as he encouraged her, and she did as he said.

      Once she gently hit the ball, it rolled only part of the way to the hole and she flushed, feeling embarrassed.

      • Negaduck
        Negaduck

        "Hey, that's not too bad."

        Nothing you'd write to Annika Sörenstam about either, but then who did.

        "Here. Choke up on the club," Making surprisingly gentle adjustments to her grip and posture as he directed, because she could be forgiven for misunderstanding the meaning of 'choke' coming from him. "And follow through."

        Come on, it was an easy hole. Give her a win. And maybe a sudden electrical storm to put him out of his misery.

        • DarkwingPsycho
          DarkwingPsycho

          She felt a little uncomfortable as he drew physically near again, and unintentionally thought of Drake.  The "follow through" was hesitant but enough to take the ball the rest of the way and...in.  She blinked.  "I did it."

          Her blonde head turned to look at Negaduck with some appreciation.  "I did it!"

          • Negaduck
            Negaduck

            "That's super. See what happens when you believe in yourself, never give up, eterca."

            Stepping up to the tee, having done the gentlemanly thing by going second - he hated being second - Negaduck swung what had to be the only kind of club he was not enthused about swinging.

            Except, feigning a stumble at the last second, he knocked his pastel pink ball clear off course.

            "Oh dear, my fingers slipped. Excuse me, honeypie."

            Pushing through the ridiculous palm frond and plastic flamingo surrounds to get to a clearing and, more importantly, get a chance to vent.

            "This stupid, stupid curse!"

            It wouldn't even let him punch a hole in the back of the prop windmill!

            "I thought I could turn this whole mandatory chivility shtick to my advantage, but the only thing turning is my stomach!"

            Faking good wasn't new to him by any stretch, but keeping it up for so long was. He would've had her eating out the palm of his maniacal hand had he only been able to slip in a little nastiness!

            "If I have to stay chipper and cheerful for one more minute I'm going to-"

            • DarkwingPsycho
              DarkwingPsycho

              "Honeypie" was too close to "honeybee," Drake's affectionate petname for her, and it took her a second to shake off the pang of heartache.  She busied herself with helping him find his golf ball.

              "Here it is!" she chirped, unknowingly interrupting his tirade.  She was standing just on the other side of the windmill with the pink sphere in her tiny fingers.  "You can try again if you want to, I won't tell."  She smiled at him and held out the ball.

              • Negaduck
                Negaduck

                In panic, he froze. Exactly how much of that had she heard?

                Not much, if anything, going by the gentle jibe.

                Smoothing out his costume, Negaduck forced himself to smooth out his attitude- aka strap a semi serene smile on his bill - and wandered back over.

                You can do this. Don't think of it as mandatory manners, think of it as manipulation. You'll have her eating out of the palm of your hand again and Quiverdork will have to suck it.

                "Thank you, precious." Taking the ball, but pausing for a moment for place his hand over hers, heartfelt as could be without actually having a heart. "Not for the second shot here, of course, but for your company, for the second shot at being your friend. Why, for keeping open my door homewards even after all the terrible things I've done."

                Not that he had had a chance to use the portal since returning from Malicia's void, but it was certainly reassuring to know that it was there, once he got this stupid spell lifted anyway. 

                • DarkwingPsycho
                  DarkwingPsycho

                  The way his fingers lingered over hers gave her a chill, and she wasn't certain if it was the good kind or the bad kind.  Either way, she wasp't prepared for it.  Slowly she wiggled her fingers away from his with an apologetic expression.

                  "Oh...it's not open," she said, glancing furtively around them.  "After what happened, I closed it for good...once we got Gosalyn back..."  She trailed off.  It hurt to remember that sweet cherub face.  "It's staying closed, too.  I'm not...I shouldn't have dabbled in portal creation, anyway."

                  • Negaduck
                    Negaduck

                    The smile remained frozen across his face, but it didn't reach his eyes. It was as if he didn't dare budge for risk of snapping, which meant he had to talk through his teeth.

                    "Heh heh - what."

                    Not that he had any difficulty hearing, despite the damage constant engine noise should have done to his hearing. No, his bent out of shape brain could not process what she was saying.

                    "Do you mean I am stranded here."

                    Still smiling. Still forced. Where had those pressure cooker noises come from.

                     

                    • DarkwingPsycho
                      DarkwingPsycho

                      She winced despite the plastered-on smile.  "I'm sorry.  But after that entire thing in the Negaverse and...and then Quiverwing...it's probably for the best.  This city isn't so bad, and they...seemed to be doing all right in the other St. Canard."  Without your horrible influence.  "You're repairing your reputation here anyway, so..."

                      She shifted her weight, unsure of what else to say.  "So you can make a good life here, if you keep trying.  I can help you if...if you want.  Just...no more portals."

                      • Negaduck
                        Negaduck

                        This was the moment when Negaduck, plan or no plan, would snap.

                        Except he couldn't, because of that cursed curse.

                        "That sounds-" Like the stupidest, ill conceived, illogical, irreverent, unjust- "Fair. So fair. And as everyone knows, as of right now, fair is what Negaduck values the most."

                        Ahahahahaaaaa. Kill me.

                        "Anyway thanks for the game beautiful, here let me call you a cab, not safe this time of night you know, look after yourself."

                        Bundling as he babbled Ariana towards the exit, not sure if he could get rid of her before his brain just went ahead and imploded of its own accord.

                        • DarkwingPsycho
                          DarkwingPsycho

                          She smiled at his response, feeling relieved that he hadn't blown a gasket as she anticipated.  Maybe...maybe he really was different.  Who would have ever thought?

                          Blinking as she was practically shoved toward the exit, she glanced over her shoulder.  "B-but...we only played two holes!  Are you sure you don't want to finish the game?  Was it something I said?"

                          • Negaduck
                            Negaduck

                            Normally hailing a taxi would be difficult as one of the city's most feared criminals would be near impossible - not helped by the dreadful reputation supervillains had for tipping - but being the guy who was handing out free puppies hours before did help. 

                            "Does anyone ever need more than two holes? No of course not, you were exquisite as always my dear, I just really have got to go before I-"

                            Ariana helped aka hurled into the cab, no sooner than the doors were locked than he was finally about to let it all out.

                            "-Collapse."

                            Stay calm. Stay calm. So it's one lousy portal. Big deal. Never stopped you before. There were far bigger annoyances than some measly logistics of interdimensional travel. 

                            • DarkwingPsycho
                              DarkwingPsycho

                              The double entendre was lost on her and she was easily swept (tossed) into the taxi.  "B-but!" she tried again, putting both hands on the glass.  "Negaduck!  Negaduck, are you all right?"  Her earnest, worried face could be seen through the back windows as the cab drove off.