The Forgotten (MA)

((OOC: As of right now this is reserved for Piper/ Jade and Jacob. If anyone else wants in, message me. Keep in mind that at times this will be MA themed, and I think I will have it marked so that people can avoid it if they choose.))

---

It started small.... barely noticeable at first. 

A homeless person was missing. 

Okay, so perhaps they were vagrant and had simply moved on? It wasn't unheard of. Easily dismissed and not taken as a top priority. Then a few more happened... And then several more. 

Before long, it was not just the homeless that were coming up missing. Piper was sitting on her futon, pouring over a college course selection book, highlighter balancing precariously on the end of her bill as she scanned her choices. Her thoughts, admittedly, were not on the weak and vulnerable of St. Canard. Rather, on which classes she would start at St. Canard University. 

She was just about to draw a neon mark over "Biochemistry" when the news report blaring from her TV caught her ear. 

Reporter: "Good afternoon folks, Guy Everyman here with a special bulletin from St. Canard P.D. Officials would like to ask the general public to keep on the look out for one Prissy Puffington, of St. Canard's upper north side. She went missing around 2 PM last night, and her parents are offering a fifty thousand dollar reward for anyone who can offer a tip to lead to her safe return." A picture of a small Puffin in what was clearly a designer dress flashed across screen. " She is 20 years old, stands three foot, four inches and has black and white feathering. If you have seen her, or know her location, please contact the number below."

The screen flashed back to the reporter. "Miss Puffington's disappearance is one of several that have been sweeping the city in the past few months, and with the growing number of reports, rumors of a trafficking ring have began to circulate. St. Canard P.D. has not confirmed this, but urgently reminds everyone to be aware of their surroundings. Now back to your regularly sch--"

Remote in hand, Piper turned off her television. She'd heard rumors of some goings on, but to be frank... she'd kept a low profile. Malicia's work kept her busy, and because it was such a lucrative venue, she did not wish to risk exposure through her more petty pass times. 

But this one bugged her. Perhaps because she was the same age as the girl who had gone missing. After a few silent moments, lost in though... she stood up and pulled out her cell phone. Her finger hovered for a moment... wondering if this was something she could really turn to Jacob about. In her mind, she knew what she was planning to do... and he had asked that she keep him in the loop about anything she was attempting. 

She bit her lip. Piper had no idea if this would work or not. If nothing more, she could discuss it with someone who had a lot more experience than her. Pressing her contact, she quickly texted Jacob, not wanting to bother him if he wasn't free. 

"I am plotting."

    • Quiverwing Duck
      Quiverwing Duck

      Drake just ... did it. He knew how, because he remembered doing all of that when he was a duckling. Back then he had to stand on a step-stool to reach anything, but at least he was a little taller now. Tip-toes generally sufficed, these days.

      A corner of his mind was essentially freaking out, as if he'd come back to his home to find a closed door was now inexplicably unlocked and slightly ajar. The rest felt a wave of contentment, and something else that was difficult for him to identify. Safety, possibly, although he hadn't felt that in so long it was hard to tell.

      He had been smiling slightly and unconsciously, and then ended up standing there staring out at nothing when his attention slipped away from the sizzling bacon.

      Very quietly, he said, "I have memories of doing this with you, when I was a kid."

      • DarkwingPsycho
        DarkwingPsycho

        Jacob flipped the pancakes again, then glanced at Drake.  He knew he hadn't meant him but he also knew what he had meant.  Apparently it had been a routine in his household, too, to make breakfast with his father.

        Before he made another trio, the elder mallard paused in his cooking long enough to reach an arm around Drake and grip his shoulder firmly, giving him a gentle shake.  "My boy, you are welcome to make pancakes over here with me anytime you like."  Which really just meant, you are welcome at my home anytime you like.

        • Quiverwing Duck
          Quiverwing Duck

          Typically, Drake tended to tense if someone tried to hug him, even in the most casual manner. That did not happen this time, although he still looked a little surprised and uncertain when Jacob put an arm around his shoulders.

          "Thank you, sir," Drake said, managing to grin slightly, although the expression faltered. His shoulders lifted very slightly when his head dropped a fraction, and he slid his hand over his eyes to cover them. Faintly, he quavered, "I really missed you."

          • DarkwingPsycho
            DarkwingPsycho

            Jacob could feel Drake's slight movements underneath his arm, and he watched his face without expression, his own generally breezy smile fading.  He knew this wasn't his son.  But he could very well have been, they had so much in common with one another.  Jacob did feel an inexplicable paternal draw to him.

            He wasn't a hugger.  At least not with anyone male and who was not a child.  But without saying anything, Jacob used the arm he already had around Drake to pull him against him in a strong embrace, patting him on the back a couple of times in the comforting way only a parent could.

            "I know," was all he could rumble with the same voice Drake's real father had possessed.  "I know."

            It didn't last long, but it was enough.  Jacob let him go and clapped him on the back one more time in a reassuring way before nodding to the bacon.  "Don't burn it, now."

            • Piper/ Jade
              Piper/ Jade

              Before he got too far he'd hear her exclaim, "how did I even manage to button this like this?!" It was half alarmed, half amused.

              She would eventually make her way to the kitchen as well, squinting and blocking her eyes from the sunlight. She still looked ragged, and had tried to wash her face to feel better.

              It hadn't worked. It had, in fact, made her sick. The result had actually made her overall feel slightly better,

              Piper did succeed in combing her hair... using Jacobs comb... which he would discover later on. She didn't bother seeking out her boots, she just walked around barefoot. Like she owned the place.

              "Coffee." She said hoarsely. Then, noticing Drake she added, "good morning."perfectly polite.

              Then she fell into a chair and put her head down.

              • Quiverwing Duck
                Quiverwing Duck

                Drake had a couple of decades of practice when it came to not crying, and it was still a near thing, especially once Jacob really hugged him. Drake really was not a hugger either, other than for his children. The surprising thing, at least to Drake, was that this one actually helped.

                He felt as if he had his balance back again. When the older Mallard released him, Drake was not teary-eyed, although he was not exactly dry-eyed either. It just made him look a little sheepish when he smiled. He was at least able to pull himself together enough to deal with the bacon before it could burn, and by the time that was done, he seemed to be okay again.

                "Good morning, Miss Lee," Drake replied, polite as well, but also giving her a grin. "How do you take your coffee?"

                • DarkwingPsycho
                  DarkwingPsycho

                  Jacob smirked at Piper's entrance.  "Black," he answered for her.  "I'll get it."  While the third and final portion of pancakes were cooking, he went to the fresh coffee Drake had made and poured a cup for her.  He set it down in front of her, patted her head, then went to flip for the final time.

                  "Drake?  Silverware, drawer right of the dishwasher."

                  Jacob put the third serving on the third plate.  He put one helping in front of Piper whenever she was ready for food, then put down both his and Drake's plates at the table.

                  • Piper/ Jade
                    Piper/ Jade

                    She took the cup, “thank you.” Piper looked down at the hot liquid and slowly started to sip it. She closed her eyes, trying not to wince at the noise.

                    Resting her forehead in her hand, she looked down at her drink, then sat up when her plate was put in front of her. She had expected her stomach to turn, but it didn’t. “‘thank you.” She said again, softly. Glancing up at Jacob, she looked like she wanted to ask something, but thought the better of it. 

                    Instead, she gave a little crooked grin. “Did you show him the statue in the garden?”

                    • Quiverwing Duck
                      Quiverwing Duck

                      After locating the silverware per Jacob's directions, Drake brought a handful of it over to the table to put out three settings. Butter knife, teaspoon, and... two forks, short tines and long tines. More of a lunch or dinner setting than breakfast, but he'd just had some old memories stirred up and this is what came of it.

                      Once he had coffee for himself, which apparently he also took black, he sat down and arched a brow. "I haven't even seen the garden, this is my first time here, Miss Lee," he explained, still smiling.

                      • DarkwingPsycho
                        DarkwingPsycho

                        Jacob said nothing about the two forks, he simply picked one up to use it.  "Thank you."

                        At Piper's comment, he flashed a mischievous grin.  "I haven't given him the tour yet, but you can bet that will be on it."  Something came to him, then, and he furrowed his brow a little.  "In fact...I don't think I've given you the tour yet, either."

                        He slid his hand over hers and gave it a little squeeze, Drake's presence not seeming to bother him in the least.  "We'll fix that after breakfast if you're up for it, hm?"

                        • Piper/ Jade
                          Piper/ Jade

                          Damn grin... but she’d done it. She’d flirted first.

                          Drake’s presence might not have bothered Jacob, but Piper pulled her hand back, feigning picking up her fork. “With some sunglasses, I will be fine.” To be fair, they always had some kind of purpose when they came to Jacob’s home, and it was never really that often.

                          To keep from giving anything away, she started to poke at her pancakes. She didn’t really eat, she just prodded. “So, I hate to talk shop at breakfast... but should be start planning for round two?”

                          • Quiverwing Duck
                            Quiverwing Duck

                            It was possible that Drake did not see the little hand squeeze, because he did not react to it. Also, he was distracted because he was having some trouble getting that memory door closed once more. Kind of didn't want to close it, though. Eating those pancakes was acting like a doorstop for it in any case.

                            "Is this statue completely scandalous?" He asked Jacob. "Or, I suppose. I'll just have to wait and see for myself."

                            Pausing with his fork poised over his plate, Drake lightly cleared his throat and said, "Miss Lee, I did want to apologize to you about how that went. I'm sorry. It's my fault that you didn't get captured." Said aloud, that came across as a pretty strange sentiment.

                            • DarkwingPsycho
                              DarkwingPsycho

                              Jacob smirked at Drake and gave a sidelong glance at Piper.  "You could say that..."

                              He took a bite of pancakes and then bacon.  "Let's talk about it afterward.  I think we're all still waking up..."  He downed a mouthful of coffee.

                              "Do you want more Tylenol?" he asked the brunette.

                              • Piper/ Jade
                                Piper/ Jade

                                She was eyeing Drake... why was he so apologetic about it?

                                ”Yeah.” Her eyes lowered back to her coffee. She sat back, holding the mug in her hands. “‘another dose wouldn’t hurt.” She sipped her coffee, it had cooled enough to finally be drinkable. She was willing to let it drop since she just wasn’t feeling the best.

                                What she wanted was a nice hot bath, and a soft bed. She knew all she had to do was say the word and she’d get it, but she was content to wait until she got home. There would be work to do before she could have that. Taking a test bite, she chewed for a moment, wondering how they would do this again.

                                They knew her face. 

                                She frowned. She’d messed it up. 

                                Shaking her head from her thoughts, she tore into her bacon.

                                • Quiverwing Duck
                                  Quiverwing Duck

                                  "Of course, sir," Drake said to Jacob, with regards to discussing the situation later. He still looked at Piper for a moment, his expression less readable now, although there was a hint of worry.

                                  He fell quiet then, although he was having a better time with sorting out his thoughts and feelings, now. It helped to have one thing to focus on, and in this case, it was guilt for screwing up Piper's plan.

                                  • DarkwingPsycho
                                    DarkwingPsycho

                                    When she said she would like more, Jacob got up to retrieve some.  It didn't take him long, and he set a couple of pills in front of her.

                                    "The property is mostly prevented from being seen overhead by active camouflage," Jacob said with a touch of pride in his tone.  "The road to is blocked by a gate, and most people don't bother wondering what's past the 'private property' sign.  It isn't on any map, I don't receive mail here, there are no blueprints or records of it anywhere, although yes - my utilities do come from the city.  I just...fiddled with the accounts a bit."

                                    • Piper/ Jade
                                      Piper/ Jade

                                      She scooped the pills up and took them, using her coffee to wash them down. Leaning back, she listened to Jacob for a moment.

                                      He was giving away a lot of information all of a sudden. Why?

                                      Rubbing her eye, she finished her coffee and stood up to get some more. “how’d you manage the maplessness? With technology today, it’s nearly impossible to not be found. Especially with satellites everywhere.” her feet padded softly on the floor as she made her way to the coffee pot. She only asked because she’d heard of some countries doing it... 

                                      • Quiverwing Duck
                                        Quiverwing Duck

                                        Drake arched a brow when Jacob mentioned the little work-around for his utilities. "Ah... for power and such?" He thought about his stupidly cold warehouse headquarters. It might be nice to not steal electricity. Then he might feel less guilty about heating the place. "I may need to ask your advice on that later, if you wouldn't mind, sir."

                                        He was wondering about the map issue as well. "Do you have some kind of data override to help conceal this place from imaging satellites?"

                                        • DarkwingPsycho
                                          DarkwingPsycho

                                          Jacob shrugged at Piper's question.  "The camouflage does it's job.  From the air, it looks like another patch of forest."  Then to Drake, "I wouldn't mind at all!  And I have people who handle that kind of thing for me.  Loyal people.  We'll leave it at that."

                                          He stood up.  "So!  Who's ready for a tour?"

                                          • Piper/ Jade
                                            Piper/ Jade

                                            Piper had just finished pouring a fresh cup of coffee. She put the pot back on the warmer and yawned gently as she returned to the table. She didn’t bother sitting back down. “‘I am ready if you are.” She said to Drake. “‘But I am bringing my coffee.” Like anyone was going to stop her.

                                            Her gaze drifted to Jacob for a second before she reached over to take the last bit of bacon off her own plate. Then she paused to look at Drake... “you know...” it was said very innocently, “You two have the same jawline.”

                                            • Quiverwing Duck
                                              Quiverwing Duck

                                              Drake stood up, and found he had an urge to take his plate over to the sink. He was picking it up when Piper made that comment. Arching a brow at her, he gave her a little smirk and said, in a reproachful tone, "Miss Lee, we can't help being handsome." Then he picked up the other plates to whisk them all to the sink.

                                              "I'm ready," he said, after wiping off his hands.

                                              • DarkwingPsycho
                                                DarkwingPsycho

                                                Jacob was going to respond to the comment about the jawline, but Drake beat him to it.  And it was a good line, too.  He smirked

                                                "Thank you, Drake," he said, noticing what the other man was doing.  He took a moment to rummage around in a nearby drawer, then retrieved a pair of sunglasses.

                                                "Here you are."  He handed them to Piper.  "We can start outside, since Piper mentioned that statue.  Follow me."

                                                He slid back the sliding glass door that led out to an impressive deck, and from there was an expansive garden that faded nicely back into the mountain forest.  Littered throughout the garden were statues.

                                                "Those are the roses, the gardenias, the orchids..."  They moved through the lovely, fragrant space until they reached a curve in the foliage at the center of which was a rather odd looking golden statue of a vulture, his top hat askew on his head and a look of shock on his face.  "Ah, here he is.  One Phineas Sharpe.  The best one of the bunch if you ask me."

                                                • Piper/ Jade
                                                  Piper/ Jade

                                                  She snorted. Great. Outnumbered. “‘humble too, I see.” But it was all in good fun.

                                                  Grateful, she took the sunglasses from Jacob and thanked him before slipping them on and heading outside with them. 

                                                  She followed behind since she had seen the statue anyway. While they continued on, she stopped by the gardenias. Piper remained in sight as she reached down to gently sniff at the flowers. She gave a small smile, even though they weren’t the long stemmed ones that Jacob off and on spoiled her with, she still loved the bloom. 

                                                  Yes, a gold Phineas was also wonderful, especially considering the circumstances behind that particular ornament. However, simple flowers always won her over. Sipping her coffe, she moved along, inspecting each flower in a gentle and loving manner. After some time, she abandoned her haven and walked to catch up with the two guys.

                                                  • Quiverwing Duck
                                                    Quiverwing Duck

                                                    All Piper got in response to her 'humble' comment was a grin from Drake.

                                                    While he was not a person who could function well when out in nature, a cultivated garden was perfectly fine. He could appreciate laid out paths and flowers, and tame shrubs and trees. When they arrived at the golden statue, Drake stopped in his tracks and looked it up and down several times.

                                                    Drake took a step back, one hand cupping his chin, the other propping his elbow. Finally, he looked over to Jacob, both of his brows arched so high that they were almost completely concealed by his slightly unruly hair feathers. "Is... that actually Phineas Sharpe?"

                                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                                      Jacob grinned in his impish way.  "You bet your combat boots it is!  He had a Midas gun, of sorts, and Piper and I and a couple of others took him out with his own weapon.  He makes a nice garden ornament, wouldn't you say?"