A Wish and an Arrow

((OOC: RP reserved for Harmonizer and Quiverwing Quack.))

Harmonizer sat on the rooftop of a building, glumly watching the city from above. Why had her warden been so insistent that she go out to watch the city and fight crime? She'd just mess up again... 

And besides, she did not deserve this chance. She misjudged so many people. She did not deserve to be a hero again... 

An alarm sounded. The bank from across the street had been broken in. She started to get up, then hesitated. 

Why bother? Someone could take care of it. And she did not feel very comfortable being seen as Harmonizer right now. 

She had to laugh at the irony. She used to be so uncomfortable as her civilian alter-ego. Now... all she wanted to do was change back into Anastasia Octave and pretend this never happened. 

But... it didn't feel right. What if people got hurt and no one was there to stop it? She couldn't pretend that never happened. 

Five minutes. She'd wait five minutes. If no one came by, she'd jump into action. 

Okay okay. What about three? 

    • Quiverwing Duck
      Quiverwing Duck

      Within two minutes, however, someone did come by.

       

      A figure swooped in on a swingline, headed right for the bank. At the apex of his swing, he released his grip and tucked into a backflip, green cape flying upwards to expose a quiver full of arrows strapped to his back. By the time he had drawn and nocked an arrow on his longbow, the masked drake was upright again and rapidly  falling forward and down in a momentum borne arc, straight for one of the tall windows high on the facade of the building.


      The arrow he loosed had an odd head on it, one that rapidly expanded before it hit the window. When it struck, the glass broke in a rough, jagged-edged circle, the shards getting engulfed by the blob like arrow-tip rather than being allowed to fall free. A moment later, the caped vigilante shot through that hole feet-first, two more arrows nocked and ready.

      • Harmonizer
        Harmonizer

        There you go. 

        Harmonizer turned to leave, but paused again. 

        Who was that guy? She had never seen him before. Though, something about him was familiar... 

        The curiosity was too strong. She soon found herself following the masked mallard, and once she was at the scene of crime, she hid by a window to watch. 

        Was that- 

        "Darkwing??" 

        Quackerjack looked like a child caught stealing cookies from the top shelf, in the process of looting more money from the vaults with the aid of his toys. A skipping rope had several bank clerks and security guards tied up securely. 

        "Oh, hey, nice threads!" he went on, grinning brightly. "Is this Costume Day? Why did no one tell me? I had the perfect outfit!" he whined. 

        • Quiverwing Duck
          Quiverwing Duck

          There was something distinctive  and familiar about the beak on that drake, but the costume was entirely wrong, not to mention the complete absence of a gas gun. While the caped vigilante did not seem angry, his brow was set in a stony scowl and he seemed disinclined to banter.


          Rather than giving a verbal response, he released both arrows he had readied with the twang of a bowstring. One was aimed floorwards at the pilfering playthings, the canister at its head bursting with a green substance akin to a sticky glue-trap.


          The other arrow's spherical head popped open as it sailed right towards Quackerjack, weighted lines exploding outwards with the ultimate goal of swinging around the pestiferous plundering prankster to try and tangle him up.


          Despite the colorful Robin Hood costume, it seemed this masked mallard lacked any sense of playfulness.

          • Harmonizer
            Harmonizer

            "Hey, no fair!!" Quackerjack whined some more, both him and his toys quickly trapped. "You always let me play first!" 

            If he could reach for those clacking teeth while 'Darkwing' started monologuing... 

            Wait. THERE WAS NO MONOLOGUE.

            HELP. 

            Harmonizer was quick to notice the strange behaviour too. But if this wasn't Darkwing... who was this duck? 

            She'd been pressing against the glass too hard without realising it. There was a groan as the old lock started to give way. She jumped back and gasped, starting to back away. 

            • Quiverwing Duck
              Quiverwing Duck

              When the masked mallard finally spoke to Quackerjack, his voice was soft and serious. "I'd rather not hurt you." The even tone still implied an unspoken yet clear, But if I need to, I will.


              With a fresh arrow ready to fire at the harlequin, the drake lightly jumped up onto a document-writing island, green cape billowing out around him. He was making his way towards the hostages, with his priority to free them and get them out of harm's way as soon as possible.


              The creak caused him to pause, however,  head turning to assess whether there was an incoming threat. When his gaze locked onto Harmonizer, he released the arrow, the head of it billowing out into a net.

              • Harmonizer
                Harmonizer

                Quackerjack froze for a moment, as if recalling a bad memory. He obediently lay still. For the moment. 

                Harmonizer rolled quickly to dodge the net, but her foot got tangled in it. 

                "I, err, I don't mean any harm!" she protested, hoping to pull herself free and get away before he reached her. "I'll just get out of your way!" 

                "Is that Harmonizer?" 

                "Didn't she help Negaduck with several crimes?" 

                The hostages started whispering among themselves. Then one of them called to Quiverwing. 

                "Hey, whoever you are, that girl is trouble! Be careful!" 

                Quackerjack meanwhile started reaching for his clacking teeth again. Almoooost... 

                • Quiverwing Duck
                  Quiverwing Duck

                  Quiverwing Duck eyed Harmonizer for a long moment, but made no further move to attack her. Suddenly, his head turned and his arm whipped out to point straight at Quackerjack as he growled, "I have a great capacity for mercy, but do not test me."

                  This was a drake who got really intense when irritated.


                  Back, then, to his primary goal of freeing hostages. In response to their warnings, he quietly muttered, "Rumors." From the tone he used, he paid little heed to hearsay. Even so, his head turned a little from side to side as he worked to untie the victims, keeping tabs on Quackerjack and Harmonizer.

                  • Harmonizer
                    Harmonizer

                    "Nice! I'm nice!! Staying still!" Quackerjack squeaked. Guess there was no getting out of this. Oh well. He missed his little cell anyway. 

                    And, oh dear, his beak is starting to itch... 

                    Where were good ol' fashioned handcuffs?

                    Harmonizer, meanwhile, managed to untangle herself. She then tried to make a run for it. This had been a bad idea. Why did she go investigate? 

                    • Quiverwing Duck
                      Quiverwing Duck

                      Quiverwing Duck briefly squeezed his eyes shut and puffed out a quick, sharp exhale through his nose. Knock it down a notch, Drake. For cryin' out loud.

                      When he spoke once more, it was directed to Harmonizer, and his tone was far gentler than it had been during the entire encounter. "Kid, don't run. You're not in trouble. I'd like a chance to apologize, please."


                      Having untied the hostages, the masked mallard  walked over to the entangled Quackerjack and quietly said, "Thank you for complying with my request." He tilted his head to one side as he added, "I knew someone like you, once. Reformed from crime, did pretty well. Just a thought."

                      • Harmonizer
                        Harmonizer

                        Harmonizer paused and hesitated. Apologise? For what? 

                        She still was curious to learn more about this caped crusader. So she stayed around the rooftops, waiting for him to come up. Hopefully she could defend herself if he tried anything... 

                        Quackerjack looked surprised at Quiverwing's next words as the freed hostages left the building or helped contact the authorities. He didn't seem so mean or scary anymore. 

                        "Hmph. No one's ever cared about my ideas! They just wanna play those stupid video games. Why should I reform? Besides, this is a fun party. Hey, can you scratch my beak for me?" 

                        • Quiverwing Duck
                          Quiverwing Duck

                          Quiverwing glanced again at the departing Harmonizer, and then he did a quick sweep around the immediate area, to recover arrow shafts that popped free from their payloads.


                          Quackerjack's request ended up stopping the masked drake in his tracks and he looked genuinely bemused, brows arched high. "You... want me to--" Before he was able to request clarification, the sound of approaching sirens got louder, making him flinch and lose that almost normal facial expression. Quiverwing's visage resumed its grim and flat look as he exhaled a quiet hiss, sweeping his green cape up around himself like a vampire warding off sunlight.


                          "Good luck," Quiverwing bade the bound jester as he took a few running steps towards the bank entrance. Rather than exiting through the front door, he leapt and did a forward flip, feet hitting the adjacent wall and allowing him to bounce higher against the front wall in a series of improbable looking parkour moves.


                          Up where he had broken the hole in the window, Quiverwing moved to dive through it, and when he did so he suddenly vanished in a cloud of dark purple smoke--much darker than Darkwing's signature blue.


                          A few seconds later there was a similar puff of purple smoke on the rooftop across the street from the bank. While it was not a requirement for Quiverwing Duck to appear in an obfuscating cloud, some habits were hard to break.

                          • Harmonizer
                            Harmonizer

                            Quackerjack grumbled a little. "Thaaaannnkks," he rolled his eyes. Well at least they'd free him before dumping him in his cell. 

                            Right? 

                            Meanwhile, Harmonizer had waited around in the shadows for Quiverwing to appear. 

                            "You're... not Darkweeng, are you?" she asked curiously, looking him over. He spoke and even breathed on the same frequency as the local hero, as far as her ears could tell. Yet something was different... 

                            Yes the clothes did tip her off but Darkwing was known for wearing flashy outfits. 

                            "What do you want?" 

                            • Quiverwing Duck
                              Quiverwing Duck

                              "Correct. I am not," Quiverwing confirmed, as he slung his longbow on his back. With a lift of his plumed hat, he bowed to Harmonizer, a gesture in line with the kind of fanciful costume he had on. "I am Quiverwing Duck."


                              Straightening up, he casually held his hat in his left hand, as he explained, "You did nothing wrong. I wanted to apologize for firing at you, also wanted to make sure you weren't hurt. So." The archer hesitated, silent for an awkward interval before he adds, "I'm sorry."

                              • Harmonizer
                                Harmonizer

                                Harmonizer brightened and returned the bow with one of her own. "I'm Harmonizer. Enchanté."

                                She looked away awkwardly. He really came to apologise? She wasn't used to that. 

                                "Eet'alright. And I wouldn't say I did nothing wrong..." she said, her foot lifting to rub on her anklet subconsciously. "I did do some bad things for a while. I 'urt a lot of people." 

                                "So what are you doing een St Canard?" 

                                • Quiverwing Duck
                                  Quiverwing Duck

                                  "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Harmonizer." This would be the point where most people would smile, although Quiverwing Duck did not do so. He was not scowling at all, however, which might be the best he could manage.


                                  His glance flitted downwards at her fidgety gesture, noting the anklet, but not lingering there. The drake's gaze returned to her face. "You caused no harm tonight. I'd give you the benefit of the doubt."


                                  Harmonizer's question caused Quiverwing Duck to glance around, as if he were only then noticing where he was. "I... ended up here, unintentionally. I thought, with nothing else to do, why not fight crime?"

                                  • Harmonizer
                                    Harmonizer

                                    Harmonizer did not mind. If you didn't feel up to smiling, then why bother? The neutral expression... suited him, oddly. Funny, she never thought she'd see a Darkwing lookalike look that way. She'd, well, she'd only seen one, but they were both very animated. 

                                    She looked grateful. "Eet's complicated. But thanks. I 'ope to change for ze better." 

                                    If Negaduck didn't interfere or blackmail her again, anyway. 

                                    She chuckled. "Good point. Eet's always fun to fight crime anywhere you go." 

                                    Or it was, anyway, until she got into trouble for it. 

                                    "Do you want to walk? With me?" she asked. "I'm allowed out tonight." 

                                    She wanted to learn more about this duck. Him sharing the same name and weaponry with a certain young heroine did not escape her notice. And there was something about him... 

                                    • Quiverwing Duck
                                      Quiverwing Duck

                                      "Changing for the better is something we should all hope for," Quiverwing Duck quietly agreed, and while he was still unsmiling, he briefly looked a little wistful.


                                      His expression then became perplexed when Harmonizer suggested walking, as if the drake had never contemplated doing something as normal as a stroll. "Uh..." He dropped into silence again for an awkwardly long moment, blinking rapidly, brows arching up and then furrowing.


                                      "Yes," Quiverwing finally said, putting his hat back onto his head at an appropriately jaunty angle. "And thank you for asking."

                                      • Harmonizer
                                        Harmonizer

                                        "Why? Does no one ever ask?" she grinned, turning on her heel. Then she paused and looked back. "Err, did you want to walk on ze sidewalk eenstead?" 

                                        Like... you know, what normal people do? She wasn't all for it, but if it would make her... acquaintance friend? comfortable, she'd do it. 

                                        • Quiverwing Duck
                                          Quiverwing Duck

                                          "I don't... socialize very often." Quiverwing Duck explained, spreading his hands in a slight shrug. "If I'm in costume, I work alone. If I'm not in costume, I'm ... working a more mundane job."


                                          The drake thought about his statement for a moment, because while it was factual, it did not take his current dimensional situation into account. But, close enough. Stepping after Harmonizer, he says, "I usually stick with rooftops. I assume you do, as well? I mean..." He moved one hand in a gesture to indicate the current rooftop they stood upon.

                                          • Harmonizer
                                            Harmonizer

                                            "You work alone, huh?" Harmonizer looked surprised. "Funny. You look like you could use a sidekick. Or even a partner." 

                                            Not that she was one to talk. She had always worked alone herself, but for different reasons. But she'd slowly learnt to accept people into her life. 

                                            She chuckled and nodded. "Rooftops are ze best. You can see everything from up 'ere! And eet's so easy to keep track of crime around ze city! And so good for exercising!" 

                                            To demonstrate, she took a few steps back, then broke into a run, jumping and flipping unnecessarily as she leapt towards the nearest building, landing gracefully. 

                                            Now this was more like it. 

                                            • Quiverwing Duck
                                              Quiverwing Duck

                                              Quiverwing's brow pinched in a slight frown when Harmonizer mentioned sidekicks. He glanced the other way and mumbled, "I'm not a good partner."


                                              After that, he fell silent, although he continued to walk alongside her, and she might not have noticed the brief flicker of anxiety that crossed his face when she made her leap. The drake relaxed after there was no awful plummet or crash; one less thing for him to worry about.


                                              Quiverwing took a few quick steps before he made his own jump across the gap, a nearly flat dive that ends when his gloved hands make contact with the opposite rooftop's edge, launching him into a handspring. Twisting in the air, so that he faced her when landing on his feet, he said, "I can see you do this often."

                                              • Harmonizer
                                                Harmonizer

                                                Harmonizer beamed. "I do! Well... before stuff 'appened." 

                                                She looked sad again. 

                                                "I don't deserve all zis... kindness," she muttered softly. 

                                                She shook herself out of it and glanced at Quiverwing curiously, his earlier words in her mind. "Why do you zay you're not a good partner? You seem alright to me." 

                                                • Quiverwing Duck
                                                  Quiverwing Duck

                                                  Quiverwing Duck took in a slow breath and then sighed it out. "I..." He lifted and dropped one hand, hesitant. Then, he said, "I had... one. It went... wrong. I just..." The masked drake's shoulders tensed and lifted, then he shook his head. That seemed to be all the explanation that was going to come out of him, at least about that subject.


                                                  Turning, he looked Harmonizer in the eyes and said, "Everyone deserves kindness." His expression was back to that neutral, though still faintly sympathetic look it had earlier. He starts walking, again.

                                                  • Harmonizer
                                                    Harmonizer

                                                    Harmonizer slowly approached him, her arms spread wide, offering a hug if he wanted it. She was quite certain she knew what he was talking about, and he did not have to finish it. 

                                                    "You don't know what I can do. What I've done," she said quietly as they continued walking. "Those people were right. I've robbed several times for Negaduck. I've..." 

                                                    Apparently what she wanted to say next hurt her as well. 

                                                    "Did you know I've been 'elping a criminal reform?" she said finally with a forced grin. "Reginald Bushroot. Familiar?" 

                                                    When it was hard to talk about yourself, talk about your cool friends! 

                                                    • Quiverwing Duck
                                                      Quiverwing Duck

                                                      Quiverwing seemed vaguely baffled when Harmonizer moved in towards him, as if that gesture was the last thing he would expect from anyone, ever.  He allowed the hug, even if it was an incredibly awkward one from his side; he gave her back a couple of hesitant pats, at least.


                                                      From the expression on his face, the entire situation had him bewildered. As he said, he was not used to socializing. When Harmonizer made her admission about some of her criminal actions, he nodded slowly, but does not push her for any details. She didn't push him, after all.


                                                      "Yeah, ol' Reggie," Quiverwing finally spoke again, saying that name with familiarity. "I know him, I--oh." He cleared his throat. "I... know Dr. Bushroot, but on my world. Not here."

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