Adventures in Nephewsitting

It had just been another uneventful day at Second Story Books for the lovely bookseller. There had been a few customers who had wandered in out of the rain and two had even bought something! But currently it was quiet, and there were still too many hours between now and closing to fathom.  No sooner had the thought crossed her mind then her phone buzzed, and then buzzed again, then once more. All from the same sender. 

Gladstone: I NEED YOUR HELP.

Gladstone: R U @ THE STORE? 

Gladstone: IM SRSLY IN OVRMY HEAD CAN I COME BY? PLS?

Well that’s not ominous at all.

    • Lilly Teal
      Lilly Teal

      Gladstone Gander, in over his head? It's more likely than you think.

      Lilly looked over the messages with mild alarm, but consoled herself with the fact that he seemed capable of A: texting and B: coming over. So maybe things hadn't escalated yet.

      Whatever 'things' were.

      Sending a quick 'yes of course' in reply, she looked around the place, and finally opted to put the first aid kit on the counter within easy reach. Did he need a place to hide out? Was he hurt? Being chased?

      ... he might need coffee let's make him some coffee too...

      • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
        Negaduck's Biggest Stan

        About twenty minutes later the true horror of his situation would make itself known.

        The rain was pounding down on the city with a vengeance and lightning crashed as the front door was wildly flung open. A creature in soaking wet red poncho bounded into the store.

        “IT’S A BOOK STORE!” it proclaimed exitedly and was about to take off when a hand grabbed the hood and pulled it back.

        Hold on-“

        Another beast, this one in a blue slicker, waltzed in.

        “Ooh, nice digs, they have any books on the Spear of Selene he-ack!“ he was also grabbed before he got too far.

        “-Don’t-“

        “A book store? UGGGGH.” announced the final goblin, this one decked out in green, before he dramatically fell to the floor.

        “Raincoats off.” Gladstone was trying to sound calm, but the dark circles under his eyes spoke volumes. The two children who were still standing shed their dripping coats and hung them up quickly, the one on the floor remained there unmoving. “Now go, but don’t-“ They sprinted off before he finished. “-break anything.” He frowned at the child at his feet, then how he was partially blocking the door, then reaching a decision pushed him out of the way with a foot.

        This seemed good enough, at least he wasn’t going to get stepped on should anyone else come in. Gladstone lifted his eyes to see Lilly and he rolled them slightly at the situation with a grim shaking of his head before he shook out his umbrella, left it at the door and came to see her at the counter.  He leaned on it heavily giving her a tired smile.

        “Hello beautiful, sorry about this I just... didn’t know what else to do with them.”  There was a loud thud and fit of angry whispering from the stacks and he rubbed his eyes tiredly. “My nephews.” Was all he offered as explanation.

        • Lilly Teal
          Lilly Teal

          Aaah.

          She had spent the whole episode in slightly startled silence, but his smile got a smile out of her all the same.

          "They seem... energetic." The child on the floor was given a quick glance. "Two of them. Oh Gladstone, you look exhausted..."

          Right on cue, and how lucky, the coffee pot finished its work, and she poured him out a steaming cup. "Here, this will warm you up." And I can give you hugs if you like too. Nothing like hugs to warm a person up!

          ... actually speaking of warming up... she raised her voice slightly to address the floor. "Dear, would you like something to drink? Hot chocolate for the three of you?"

          • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
            Negaduck's Biggest Stan

            “I’m jumping from jet lag to jet lag these days.” Gladstone was usually more capable of handling the boys solo, he’d just point them in a direction and let them loose. The boys loved it, Donald nearly imprisoned them so he wouldn’t have to worry about them getting underfoot or hurt but not so with Uncle Gladstone.  But with his life being the fever pitch of insanity it was these days he was feeling very unprepared for all of this.  “I totally forgot I was supposed to watch them today until my cousin dropped them off.” His eyes lit up at the sight of the coffee and he took it from her as if it was the most precious gift he’d ever received. “You’re an angel. Wings and harp and halo and all.”

             

            There was movement from the green blob as it was addressed and a suspicious eye glanced between Gladstone and Lilly before he propped himself on his elbows.

             

            “What percentage cocoa are we talking here? Milk chocolate? Dark chocolate? Marshmallows? Water or Milk? What’s the mix to liquid ratio?”

             

            Gladstone sent the boy a sidelong glance. Not a scolding one, or even a warning just as if he was expecting this.

             

            “Louie, this is Ms. Lilly. Ms. Lilly, Louie.” The coffee seemed to brighten his spirits, or maybe it was the company? Who knew.  But for good measure he took her hand in his lightly, brushing his thumb along her knuckles. “He’ll be trying to sell you your own books in about ten minutes." he winked at her before turning back to the boy."Lilly’s got the good stuff greenbean, but you’re going to have to stop doing your impression of a bear skin rug first.”

             

            Louie considered this and extracted himself from the puddle that had formed around him. To his credit he did hang up his coat before he wandered over. The kid had a knowing, smug little smirk on his face as he neared and looked up at Lilly with interest.

             

            “Pleasure to meet you.” He said sweetly, smoothly. “Uncle Gladstone I don’t think Huey and Dewey heard  about the hot chocolate and… oh “ He lifted a hand to his ear as if catching a bit of conversation.”-sounds like they’re playing with something expensive.”

             

            Gladstone eyed the child before another thump and more angry whispering issued from the shelves, he gave Lilly a nervous look before setting down his coffee.

             

            “I’ll go check.” He started off toward the source of the sound.

             

            “So…” Louie put his hands in the pockets of his hoodie lifting his eyebrows at her. “Ms. Lilly, or should I call you ‘Aunt Lilly’? What’s the scoop, are you and my Uncle a ‘thing’? Is he being nice to you? He can be kind of a jerk. I can give him a talking to if you want.”

            • Lilly Teal
              Lilly Teal

              Aunt...

              She felt her cheeks heat up at the question, though his offer to give him a talking to made her giggle a little all the same. What a grown up young man.

              "Its nice to meet you, Louie. And he's nice to me," she assured him warmly. "As for... um," being a 'thing'.

              She glanced in the direction he had gone, before bringing herself back to reality ad taking out the chocolate things.

              "I don't really know what we are. You'll have to ask him."

              I haven't, I'm a bit worried about the answer.

              "Mini mashmallows alright?"

              • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                Typical guy.” Said the boy with an exasperated eye roll.  “Mini marshmallows are the best mallows thanks.” He confirmed before he busied himself nosing around in the products around the counter. “I’ll talk to him, don’t you worry- I’ve got great people skills.” He turned to where the gander had disappeared and cupped his hands to his mouth. “Uncle Gladstone! WHY AREN’T YOU LOCKING THIS DOW-

                Huey arrived just in time to clap a hand over his brother’s mouth.  He had dashed out of the aisle first with a stack of books clutched to his chest.  

                “What are you doing? Don’t scare her away with a threat like that-she’s got books!” He smiled brightly up at Lilly. “Hi I’m Huey and I love your store and these books are fantastic and did you see that this one has an imperfection on the bottom of page two hundred and seventeen that means it was printed on the last run of the letter press, the type face had worn out so much that the letters are a little unclear toward the bottom and in the Junior Woodchuck's Guidebook I read that means-“

                “Breathe.” Dewey shook his head as his brother hyperventilated slightly. “And hellooo~” he flashed Lilly a charming smile. “Dewey.” He put a hand to his chest lightly and motioned to her. “Enchanted to meet you Ms. Lilly, thank you for keeping an eye on Uncle Gladstone for us he does tend to-“

                “Okay okay...” Gladstone herded the triplets toward some open seats. “Enough about me, she’s sick of hearing about me already, go sit down for a second give her some room.”

                Louie gave her a wink as he was lead and the other two threw themselves into the chairs babbling excitedly at their uncle about their finds in the stacks. He nodded for a moment before he held up his hands and backed away.

                “Great. Great, I’m going to help Ms. Lilly just... keep up the energy, love it!” He leaned on the counter again, his back to the boys. “...don’t love it. I’m sorry. They’re just excited, it’s a small price to pay for being the ‘cool’ Uncle I guess. Thanks for... well... everything. Sorry I’ve been kind of AWOL since Cairo... been busy. How are you? Did you miss me?” He smiled at her impishly, his eyes held on her affectionately. 

                • Lilly Teal
                  Lilly Teal

                  Biting her lip to keep from laughing too loudly at everything that had just happened at the same time, up to and including Gladstone's little tap-dance of 'love it/don't love it', had seemed like a very good idea at the time, but it was getting painful, and her cheeks were starting to hurt as her lips twitched.

                  So it was with a modicum of mischief that her eyes twinkled at Gladstone and his impish smile, before looking up at the ceiling and tapping her lips theatrically with a finger. "I'm well. But you've been gone? Come to think of it, I did think things were a little quiet around here."

                  She couldn't keep it up of course, no matter how purposefully badly acted it was, and she looked back at him with a bright smile as she set up the tray in preparation for the milk to boil so she could pour out three steaming mugs. "Of course I missed you." Silly. Silly man with your silly questions. "The question is did you miss me?"

                  The preferred answer is yes, but I will accept any dramatic embellishments you want to add.

                  • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                    Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                    His smile grew wider and wider at the teasing and he scooped up his half finished coffee to keep any other impulses at bay.  There were children present after all.

                    “Did I miss you? Hmmm-“ He lifted his eyebrows at her as he took a drawn out drink from his mug.  It… really was a very long sip. Painfully long.  Eventually he relented. “I did. Very much. So much so that I brought you three new part timers so that you can take the rest of the day off and we can sneak away together for a romantic little afternoon picnic.” Lightning flashed again as thunder rumbled loudly.  “…or maybe just a catch a movie. Or take a nap… or do a puzzle... watch paint dry. Whatever you want really.”

                    The triplets had gone into a huddle with Louie whispering feverishly to his brothers. Huey and Dewey kept shooting glances at Lilly and Gladstone’s back. It didn’t take a guidebook to know what they were probably talking about.  A notebook appeared out of Huey’s backpack and they cleared a little portion of the table as they all leaned over it scribbling away madly at the pages.  Gladstone was oblivious to all of this, his full attention was on her, but Lilly had only a partially obstructed view of the scheming that was going on. The obstruction chimed in again.

                    “I wouldn’t be opposed to a nap or five.  I’ve got the boys for the rest of the day, maybe even tomorrow if Don gets held up. He’s ‘adventuring’-” he rolled his eyes as if it wasn’t something that had happened to him on an almost daily basis. “-with some buddies of his south of the border. They usually get tied up in something dramatic so who knows. Got any ideas for tiring out kids? Or better yet… got any benadryl hidden back there?  Pop a few in those hot chocolates and we’re good to go.” He winked. Completely joking. Probably.

                    • Lilly Teal
                      Lilly Teal

                      Gladstone Gander, we are not going to drug your nephews.

                      Nor, given all the thuds I just heard back there, should we really be leaving them alone in the shop. Perhaps your luck is working in my favour, since it's too rainy and cold and to out.

                      "Well they look very busy amongst themselves, I'm sure they won't be a bother. You," she added, putting a hand on his cheek, "should go take a nap first, and then let's see how you feel. There's the sofa in the corner if you like."

                      You know, the one you were sitting in the first time we met when you flustered me. That's one way a warm a person up.

                      The mixture was at an excellent temperature now, and she served out three generous cups with a sprinkle of mini marshmallows before lifting up the tray, her curiosity piqued by all the whispering.

                      "Hot chocolate coming! Clear a space please."

                      • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                        Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                        When her hand touched his face  he leaned into it slightly. He was very tired. And the boys did seem wrapped up in whatever it was they were doing they probably wouldn’t get into TOO much trouble if he just crashed for a few minutes right? Hopefully.

                        “You’re sure?”  But she was already on her way, as he watched her he noticed how warm he felt.  Not in any particular part of him just… all over. He rubbed at an eye with the heel of his hand as he moved toward the offered sofa. “Boys, behave yourselves. I just need to… not be awake for a few minutes. Don’t harass Ms. Lilly and don’t talk her into any of your harebrained schemes. She’s only allowed to go on adventures with me. I offically call dibs.” He fired a finger gun at the group of them, the boys nodding innocently, before he collapsed on the couch, stretching out and draping an arm over his eyes.

                        The triplets cleared a space for the tray and six eyes were suddenly on her with keen interest.

                        “Ms. Lilly you should join us.” Dewey motioned to a fourth chair around their little circle.  “We have some questions we’d like to ask you.”

                        Did he win you in some kind of shady underground bet? “ Huey whispered to her urgently. “Are you being held against your will because you were a prize in a twisted game of chance?”

                        • Lilly Teal
                          Lilly Teal

                          Aw, they seemed so nice, so pleasant, these boys. Smiling, she set down the tray and nodded happily. Of course I will join you!

                          The questions hit her halfway between nodding in thanks and actually sitting down, and she froze in a half-sitting position, her face nothing but complete confusion.

                          "I...'m sorry?" she asked, blinking at Huey's concerned face a few times. "What are you talking about? No I'm not being held against my will."

                          So... so you're staying with him willingly?

                          "And no he didn't win me in a shady underground bet, honey." That's... that's some active imagination you've got going there. "I'm sure he doesn't make shady underground bets." Or participate in twisted games of chance.

                          I... think.

                          • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                            Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                            Huey tapped his pencil against his bill as she answered.

                            “Follow up question: are you under some kind of spell that makes it so you have to deny you were won in a twisted game of-“

                            “Give it a rest. Under a spell, don’t be silly...” Dewey snatched the pencil and scratched off the first question. “Okay, next question, this one’s mine,” he smiled at her with his actual boyish charm. “Are you a witch in any capacity that has a) enchanted him b) enslaved him c) teamed up with him to destroy life as we know it or d) tricked him into thinking you’re in love with him so that you can use him to steal Uncle Scrooge’s number one dime?”

                            And yet being under a spell herself was silly? All three boys waited for her reply.

                            What an interesting family. Nuts. But interesting.

                            • Lilly Teal
                              Lilly Teal

                              Definitely interesting. And yet not so completely strange, given the adventures she'd seen Gladstone get into. And participated in herself. A witch cozying up to him was not so off the beaten path.

                              ... why would anyone want to steal a dime? What kind of dime is a 'number one dime' anyway?

                              Sensing they weren't joking and seemed genuinely concerned, she shook her head. "No to all four questions."

                              Although... darlings, how would you confirm that? Are you just going to trust my saying no?

                              "Has... has anything happened like that with your uncle before?" There had to be SOME basis to the questions, right? Or was it just a very strange and specific version of the standard background check?

                              • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                                Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                                Dewey shrugged lightly.

                                “A bit. A witch did trick him into falling in love with her so that she could use him a while ago.”

                                “And he was enslaved by a luck vampire for awhile until we came to save him.”

                                “Oh and remember that one time Magica put a spell on him so his luck would get her past Uncle Scrooge’s new security system?”

                                So yes.

                                Louie took the notebook from Dewey and piped up with his own question.

                                “What’s your net worth?”

                                 

                                • Lilly Teal
                                  Lilly Teal

                                  "My what? What does that have to with anything?" Her confusion hadn't abated at all, in fact it was getting worse and worse with each question. "I mean..."

                                  Don't play along, Lilly. Literally nobody is forcing you to answer these questions.

                                  "I'm not trying to profit from your uncle's luck, if that's what you're implying." Poor girl who latches onto him to get money and gifts, is that what the suggestion is?

                                  I'd be offended if it didn't seem likely for a person to do.

                                  She looked over at the gander asleep on the sofa with a sympathetic expression. The poor thing. It's not even your fault you're lucky.

                                  "Look, are you sure you boys don't just want to drink some hot chocolate?"

                                  And then... I don't know, read? Play tag? Fight with each other? Whatever it is that young, energetic boys do?

                                  • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                                    Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                                    The scrutinizing looks the boys gave her seemed to dissolve as she looked toward Gladstone. Curiously they physically shifted themselves to look at him with her. It was quite the image: Out cold. Snoring lightly. Draped on the couch looking like a sloth on a branch...but a handsome one at least.

                                     Dewey lifted an eyebrow at the soft, caring expression on her face as she looked at his uncle before he shrugged. Him?  Really?

                                    “Good enough for me.” He scooped up a cup and dove right in.

                                    “Yeah, same.” Huey followed suit but fished out a few marshmallows to eat first before taking a sip. “This is really good thanks.”

                                    “I like you.” Louie offered as he managed to spill some hot chocolate on himself before he even lifted the mug. He didn’t seem to care. “You’re nice.”

                                    “And pretty.”

                                    “And smart”

                                    “And have good taste in books.”

                                    “And in guys with cool nephews.”

                                    “That too.”

                                    “Do you have anything you want to ask us?” Huey offered brightly.  

                                    • Lilly Teal
                                      Lilly Teal

                                      "Awww..." When a child compliments you unprompted, you know it's true, because they have no reason to lie to you, and it made her redden with pure pleasure as she smiled, hand on her heart.

                                      Such sweethearts!

                                      "Oh! I can ask you questions as well? I'd like that," she responded, just as brightly. "Now... I believe I know your names." You introduced yourselves to me in the middle of so much else that was happening. "Huey, Dewey and Louie, yes? But tell me more about yourselves. What... hm. What kind of stories do you like? Or do any of you play sports of any kind? My cousins used to play an awful lot of rugby."

                                      • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                                        Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                                        "We're not really allowed to play sports-"

                                        "I was on the football team!" Huey chimed in.

                                        "You were the waterboy." Louie corrected him. "And Uncle Donald made you wear all the protective gear anyway." He gave Lilly a pained look. "He's a touch over protective." 

                                        "More like a full on punch then a 'touch' I'd say." Said Dewey sourly. "He just finally started letting us out of his sight for ten minutes without ankle monitors and checking in every two seconds. What are we? Babies?"

                                        "We're not that bad. We only blew up the houseboat twice.  But anyway, yeah we tried sports but he would start fights with the other parents-"

                                        "-and coaches-"

                                        "-and kids-"

                                        "-goal posts-"

                                        "-soccer balls-"

                                        "-the bleachers-"

                                        "Let's just go on the record as saying sports were a bit too much for Uncle Donald and his 'anxiety', which is what we like to call his temper." Air quotes and all. "So we mostly just live to sneak out and see what kind of trouble we can get into."

                                        "Or go on adventures with Uncle Scrooge." Dewey chimed in happily. "We've been doing a lot of that lately, it's pretty much the greatest."

                                        "I like all kinds of stories!" Huey replied eager to get to the question that really interested in him. "I like Fantasy, science fiction, non fiction, field guides, classic literature-oh! Uncle Gladstone got me The Red Badge of Courage for Christmas! Did you help him pick that out? I loved it!"

                                         

                                        • Lilly Teal
                                          Lilly Teal

                                          She couldn't stop smiling, half at their complaints and half at their enthusiasm, especially Huey's.

                                          "I didn't, that was all his own doing. It really is a wonderful book, I'm so glad you liked it. Let me see if I can find more you boys would like."

                                          She had a stack of things she still had to sort through, so it was the work of a moment to fetch the stack and put them in her lap to go through rather than disappear off into the shelves.

                                          Just call out when you see something you like. Ah... softly, so we con't wake up Gladstone. And you all live with your uncle? So do I."

                                          Uncles, am I right? They can be pretty great. And it sounds like you kids have nothing but uncles.

                                          "You kids have a lot of enthusiasm, don't you? How did you manage to blow up a houseboat?" I'm genuinely asking.

                                          • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                                            Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                                            "We lived with Uncle Donald for like ever-" Huey shifted in closer to her leaning over the arm of his chair to get a closer look at the covers before the other two. Although they didn't seem to look like they were about to fight him for whatever book caught his eye. "-he raised us after mom died."

                                            "Vanished." Said Dewey firmly.

                                            "Right, well whatever happened." He said diplomatically. "He and Uncle Scrooge had a falling out but we all live at his Manor now.  And you wanna talk about crazy stuff-" He made a dismissive hand motion. "Uncle Scrooge has got the motherload of-OO-" he excitedly patted a 3-d book about the Earth she held. " -Can I see this one?"

                                            "Houseboats are easy to blow up." Louie pulled out his phone and started playing a game slouching into the cushions. "Most things are easy to blow up."

                                            "With enough gasoline and neglecting to turn off the motor for about 24 hours." Dewey nodded in agreement watching as his brother started requesting every other book. "Huey... chill.  And Uncle Donald needed a lot help when we first hatched and apparently Uncle Gladstone chipped in a lot. Not that Uncle Donald tells us that..."

                                            "Uncle Gladstone tells us almost every time he sees us." Louie confirmed not looking up from his game. "He's pretty okay with kids...mostly." He slid his eyes to Lilly. "Do you have any kids Ms. Lilly, or want any?"

                                             

                                            My what a totally innocent question.

                                             

                                            • Lilly Teal
                                              Lilly Teal

                                              Indeed, such a completely innocent question that came organically from the conversation. Actually, it had come organically from the conversation, and was indeed quite innocent. At least the first part was innocent enough. And the second was probably idle curiosity.

                                              There was a nice combination of Lilly's lack of suspicion and being distracted with Huey's enthusiasm that was working in favour of the question's innocence. She laughed, taking out the earth book and handing it to the excited young duck.

                                              "One at a time, but you can see as many as you like. But please, move the hot chocolate away from the edge of the table so you don't know it over onto the book, hm?"

                                              That's a good boy. So sweet. All of them were good boys.

                                              "I don't have any children, no" she added with the warm smile of a a born mother. "But yes, some day I would want some of my own. They probably wouldn't be as... exciting as you three, but I'd love children."

                                              • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                                                Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                                                “What’s your uncle like?” Dewey asked curiously.  “Any brothers or sisters?”

                                                Huey dutifully followed orders, becoming deeply immersed  in his reading. Louie blinked at his phone as it started buzzing. Speaking of Uncles.  He answered the call and kicked his feet up on the table reclining lavishly.

                                                “Hello Uncle Donald, how was your-“ a loud voice started rattling off incoherent babble. Louie held the phone away from his ear and sent Lilly a bored stare. He waved his hand at the phone in akin to the world’s most unenthusiastic Vanna White.  “-Yes we’re fine.  Yup we ate breakfast and- no I- well he-right now? We’re with a lady we just met and he’s sleeping.”

                                                Nice.

                                                Oh no wait. If the voice was loud before it was almost as if the duck was in the room with them at the volume he shouted.

                                                “You want me to wake him up? I dunno he looks pretty tired.  We’re fin-No we’re not kidnap- she’s a very nice-I think she and Uncle Gladstone are-“ silence. Louie blinked at the blank phone. “He hung up.”

                                                “Oh... he’s probably on  a plane back right now.” Dewey grimaced. “Why’d you have to-“

                                                A buzzing came from Gladstone’s couch followed by a groan.  Sluggishly the goose pulled a madly buzzing phone from his pocket and put it to his ear.

                                                “What-“ He started groggily but the shock wave of sound that burst from it made him jolt. He pulled the phone away at arms length and after a second of the tinny sounding screaming, disconnected the call. He stayed in the same pose, arm straight up in the air from his prone position and the phone lit up again almost immediately. He accepted the call and as soon as the screaming started he disconnected it again.

                                                All three boys winced as the cycle continued. Eventually Gladstone lowered his arm once there was just angry breathing on the other end of the line.

                                                “I’m sorry, Don what was all that? I couldn’t hear you over all the don’t immediately start shouting at me the second I answer that I was feeling.”  He sat up slowly sending a weary glance at the four of them, he gave them a jaunty little wave.  “Mmm. Yep.  They’re fine. They’re only playing with two chainsaws now, I talked them down from six, they’re really good at sharing-“ He held the phone away from his ear as the screaming started again.

                                                 

                                                • Lilly Teal
                                                  Lilly Teal

                                                  "No brothers or sisters. But I have cousins." As to what my uncle is like! "Uncle Matthew is wonderful. A little over protective sometimes," ahahah, nobody was as over protective as Donald, let's be clear here, "but he loves me very much and he's a very kind man. He has an excellent head for business."

                                                  Speaking of heads, the phone calls seemed to speak volumes about a very hot-headed personality. But given what the children had said, their Uncle Donald did sound like he worried a lot. No wonder he was reacting the way he did, even if the level of it was rather extreme.

                                                  Oh Louie, phrase things better. 'We're with a lady we just met?'

                                                  Gladstone's contribution seemed to make things even worse, and it was definitely on purpose. Catching his eye, she gave a little "Gladstone," trying to communicate with both tone and expression a brief 'why are you doing this to the poor man?'

                                                  • Negaduck's Biggest Stan
                                                    Negaduck's Biggest Stan

                                                    "Cousins, man... we'd sure like some more of those." Said Louie staring at the ceiling innocently. 

                                                     

                                                    Gladstone's eyebrows rose in mock hurt. MOI? he motioned to himself. He's the one who started it. His finger tapped the screaming phone. 

                                                    He relented with a light laugh and tried to calm the volcanic fury that was a Donald scorned. Mostly he just said "Don" fifty times with different inflections to try to get his attention. 

                                                    "He worries." Huey said weakly by way of explanation looking at her through 3-D glasses. 

                                                    "It's his full time job." Said Dewey.

                                                    "It's the only one he can keep." snorted Louie. 

                                                    "Ms. Lilly? What do you like to do?"

                                                     

                                                    "Don. Don? DOn. doN. donALD. Diggity D. Ddog. Donaldo. Dddddddddddddddddddddddon. Don. Donald. Don."

                                                    • Lilly Teal
                                                      Lilly Teal

                                                      Oh Gladstone. She gave a small huffing sigh, that was half despair and half loving amusement. This man.

                                                      "He worries because he cares." That was certain. "My uncle gets just as angry if he feels I might be in trouble."

                                                      You boys may not realise just how lucky you are to have someone apparently willing to move mountains just to protect you. That's a blessing, make no mistake. Even if... it's never going to be the same as parents. The balance between love and protectiveness is a hard one for one person, especially one who's been thrown into the role, to achieve. Probably hard even for single parents with experience.

                                                      The little question caught her attention, and she shook out of her thoughtfulness with another smile. "Me? Well, read. And I love to sing and dance. Theater is so much fun. Nothing very outdoorsy or adventurous, I must sound very boring in comparison!" 

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