Clues and Reviews

Fenton really needed this. The mallard sat on a park bench massaging his forehead lightly with his fingertips as he waited.  The last month had been, to put it lightly, rough. He'd been through a devastating break up, thrown himself completely into his work to distract himself, been kidnapped by a crazy fan that left him with an astronomical repair bill for the suit, and now... His eyes opened to stare blankly ahead. Well he didn't even know what to think about what was currently on his mind.  

So he'd made the decision to reach out to a friend, take the day by the horns and just have a nice, low key day to remind himself that not everything was complicated.  He'd received his usual GizmoFlash Newsletter email about the third annual St. Canard  fan run Gizmoduck Scavenger Hunt and... after his last encounter with his fan base he figured it would be a nice pallet cleanser.  And then of course when he'd give his monthly interview with the fan club presidents he'd be able to give some honest praise and feedback about the whole experience.  Which would be nice, they had worked very hard on it after all.  Best to not let one bad apple ruin the whole orchard right? 

Also his last bout of 'catching up' with the sorceress had been too chaotic to even get through the 'hello's so he was looking forward to some quality time with her.  Although he felt a bit like a sneak asking her to do this with him, he knew she respected his heroic counterpart, it made for a nice ego boost but... also a little... embarrassing. Oh well there was no helping it now. He looked at the smashed up screen on his cellphone, it was almost their scheduled meet up time.    Hopefully she'd have no trouble finding him.

    • DarkwingPsycho
      DarkwingPsycho

      Suddenly there were hands over his eyes.  A soft, musical voice giggled from behind him and said in a sing-song voice, "Guess who...!"

      The giggle turned into a heartfelt laugh and the hands moved away.  "No, Fenton, it's me!"  Ariana moved around to the front of the bench, smiling broadly.  She was so glad he had asked her to do this with him today.  Between the emotional rollercoaster of being out with Drake and then getting kidnapped, she needed something that was light-hearted and free from drama.  And she had so wanted to make it up to Fenton for their lunch at the cheese palace being hijacked.

      "You haven't been here long, have you?"  She looked slightly anxious, hoping she hadn't kept him.

      • GizmoDuck
        GizmoDuck

        His posture went rigid as a pair of hands covered his eyes but relaxed upon hearing her voice. Phew.  Guess who.

        “Hmmm Princess Lollipoppington of the Court of Ice Cream Castle?”  he replied and snapped his fingers when she appeared with a smile. “Ah, so close! Hello Ariana, you’re looking well, no I haven’t been here long.  Got here a little early anyway so you’re right on time!” He stood up and patted her arm lightly. “It’s so good to see you.  Thanks for coming out to do this with me today, I don’t know about you but life has been pretty crazy lately and not exactly a good crazy either.  How have you been?  Still seeing that Drake fellow?”

        • DarkwingPsycho
          DarkwingPsycho

          She had wanted to hug him, but when he patted her arm she decided he probably wouldn't like that so she didn't.  "For me, too," she nodded.  "Thank you for inviting me, it sounds like a lot of fun!  By the way, what's a...'scavenger hunt'?"

          At his inquiry her face flushed and she looked suddenly shy.  "Yes..."

          • GizmoDuck
            GizmoDuck

            "A scavenger hunt is when you're given a list of things to find but you're not allowed to buy or steal them, the first person to hand in all the items wins! This one, in particular, was set up by the Gizmoduck fanclub so there's probably going to be some neat stuff for the first few people to find everything.  There's a booth set up a few blocks from here where we can sign up as a team.  So start thinking up team names!"

            He brightened up at her 'Yes'.

            "Oh good! I like him! I hope you two haven't had as much trouble as you did at the cheese palace.  That was a bit of a hassle.  I'm happy for you, you deserve some nice things to happen to you." He started to lead the way to the registration booth while still maintaining a close enough distance to speak with her. "He seems like a very capable guy, what does he do? Professionally I mean?"

            • DarkwingPsycho
              DarkwingPsycho

              "Oh, no, nothing like that..." she said slowly.  "Although on Valentine's Day our date was interrupted by a sorceress who took me to Wonderland, and he...came and got me."  There were a lot more emotional hiccups between them than any outside chaos could create, but now that it was spring, things had been looking up for her and her caped beau.

              She smiled and ducked her head at Fenton's statement that she deserved nice things to happen to her.  She didn't necessarily believe that herself, but she was grateful for her friend's goodwill.  "Thank you..."

              She walked slightly behind the accountant, admiring the new green growth that had started to peek out of the winter-ravaged foliage.  "Oh, um, h-he's a private investigator.  He's very good....very smart..."  Very agile, very flexible, very handsome...very fit.

              "I'm very glad you're still in town, Fenton, I'm sorry we didn't get to talk more before."

              • GizmoDuck
                GizmoDuck

                "Ah well that can sometimes happen." He said lightly in regard to the events of Valentine's Day.  Can it Fenton? Can it really?  Well he wasn't one for knowing what "normal" was these days.  "Glad he was able you see you through it! But with a private investigator on the case I'm sure you weren't too surprised when he sleuthed his way to your side!"

                He shrugged at her apology.

                "It's alright, I'm actually going to be in town for a while.  Working out of a satellite office for Mr. McDuck right now, I just needed a change of scenery and there's so much to do in this city! Uh.. work wise and just... everyday wise. Did you know they have a Domino display that spans three city blocks? They DO NOT like it when you accidentally knock them over let me tell you."

                With the speed of a stampeding sloth something clicked in his mind and he stopped walking abruptly.

                "Uh... would this sorceress... go by the name Mother Goose? By any chance?" It fit her theme for sure.  And Ariana would make a perfect Alice he had to agree. 

                 

                 

                • DarkwingPsycho
                  DarkwingPsycho

                  "What's a...'domino display'?" she asked curiously.

                  She was thrown off momentarily by his question and almost ran right into him.  "Actually...yes, it was," she answered, her brow knitting a little.  "Do you know her?"

                  • GizmoDuck
                    GizmoDuck

                    "Oh I-" may have been mildly sexually assaulted by her.  But not me of course. Did 'Fenton' know her. "-I think Gizmoduck may have mentioned her." Was he blushing? Interesting response. "She sounds... like she can get...very friendly.  She actually took you into Wonderland? I... didn't know she could do that. I thought it was more like..." he considered for a moment. "... setting Peter Rabbit loose in the local co-op. Or... pigs building brick houses in front of the 12 items or less lane at the grocery store."  Heinous crimes to be sure.

                    The goose's amorous gaze flitted across his mind's eye and he cleared his throat slightly going significantly pinker. 

                    "Are you friends with her?  She's a... well technically she's a villain but-" I think i can reach her. "-she doesn't seem all that bad. F-from what I've heard."

                     

                    Breaking bones and robbery were pretty bad.  But when delivered with such pep? Who couldn't help but be disarmed? 

                    • DarkwingPsycho
                      DarkwingPsycho

                      Ariana smiled brightly.  "She was very friendly!  Well, once she decided she didn't want to kill me."  This was said as easily as if they had been discussing the latest episode of All My Ducklings.  "I think it was actually in the book!  Because when we left, we had to go through the end of the story...it was kind of a rush."

                      She listened curiously to his ideas about what Mother Goose could do and giggled.  "I don't know!  I don't really know her very well.  Drake said she was a criminal, too, but I thought she was nice..."  She was just upset and confused.  Ariana couldn't begrudge her that.  

                      "I can introduce you, if you'd like.  I'm sure she'd be glad to meet you!"

                      • GizmoDuck
                        GizmoDuck

                        "I don't think she would be..." He hadn't meant to say it aloud and blanched slightly when he realized it. "I just uh... I mean I'm not anyone special.  Why should she want to meet me? Besides, I'm very busy... if I make too many friends I won't have time to spend with you right?" Ugh, pathetic. He let his shoulders sag slightly.But wait... "Hold the abacus... did you say she wanted to KILL you?" He stared at her flabbergasted. "Why?"

                        • DarkwingPsycho
                          DarkwingPsycho

                          Ariana looked confused, then saddened by her friend's statements, although she did smile faintly at his attempt to lighten them up.  "But Fenton...you're a really wonderful person.  Even if you can't see that, I know that I can.  And she will, too, if she's as thoughtful as I hope she is."

                          When he backtracked in shock, she paused and blinked slowly.  "W-well...there was...a little misunderstanding, I guess.  About, um...Quiverwing."

                          It seemed like she would leave it there, but when she continued her tone was a little more careful.  "H-he...um..."  A blush.  "Gave me a daisy on Valentine's Day, and...I guess she saw it, and felt...jealous.  She really liked him then."

                          She brightened.  "Although I'm sure she'll really like you once she meets you!"

                          • GizmoDuck
                            GizmoDuck

                            Fenton blushed deeply at her appraisal of his personality.  He supposed that she believed it, and the fact that she didn’t know he was Gizmoduck did a lot to boost his confidence. But, no one knew better than he did how differently people treated him in his alternate identities.  Everyone loves meeting a superhero, not many people are thrilled to meet accountants.  Well… Ariana seemed equally pleased whenever he saw her.  So… there was that. 

                            “Well thank you that’s kind of you to say. I guess.. I’ve been kind of down on myself lately. I don’t know if you remember, uh… Gandra… I may have mentioned her?”  Most likely a million times and he had lots and lots of pictures of her to show to unsuspecting parties. “She, well she broke up with me. So, I’m kinda-“ he made a circular motion near his temple. “-messed up over it.  So… just ignore me if I get too… yeeeeeesh.”

                            “Hold the phone.” His own insecurities were swept aside as he practically lit up with excitement. “You saw Quiverwing –“ he almost said again. Which he, as Fenton, would probably not know they’d met at all.  But at the Beagle Bus fiasco, Quiverwing had been very adamant about rescuing her.  “-isn’t he cool?  He seems really great from what Gizmoduck tells me.  He really likes him.  But-“ he frowned slightly. “…didn’t you say that you were with Drake on Valentine’s Day? And it’s no wonder Mother Goose likes him.  He’s a very dashing hero.  Had his picture printed in Heroes Monthly and everything.“ 

                            Guess he wasn’t that special after all.  Maybe she just flirts with all the heroes who catch her in the act. Ah well… he was supposed to be reforming her not romancing her.  Yes. Well, that cleared that up.  Right?

                            • DarkwingPsycho
                              DarkwingPsycho

                              "Oh Fenton...I'm so sorry..."  He had always seemed very enthusiastic about Gandra, doted on her in fact, and while she hadn't been on the receiving end of much of his photo-thrusting and she's-the-greatest stories, it had been pretty obvious to her how much he had loved her.  She had caught herself wishing more than once while listening to him that someone would love her that much.  Although she never knew the extent of his admirations and how overwhelming they could be for poor Gandra.

                              She put her hand on her friend's shoulder.  "I would never ignore you, Fenton...well, not on purpose."  Guilt crept over her again about the cheese palace.  She felt like she had ignored him then, but it wasn't intentional.  She had been...preoccupied.  "Just let me know if there's anything I can do..."

                              His expression suddenly changed and they started walking again, and she was glad he had seemed to snap himself out of his momentary funk.  She didn't like seeing such a sweet person so incredibly forlorn.  Her face reddened, though, at his conclusion.  "He is...really cool," she agreed, smiling like a giddy schoolgirl.  "I was with Drake on Valentine's Day, but...but before that I was walking through town and Quiverwing...he stopped me on the sidewalk to give me that flower."  Her expression seemed faraway for a moment, until the mention of the magazine.  One photo of Quiverwing in particular came to mind, and she was practically crimson from scalp to clavicle.  "Yes...I saw...very dashing..."

                              They walked a few more steps, then Ariana said curiously, "Fenton...how did you meet Gizmoduck?"

                              • GizmoDuck
                                GizmoDuck

                                "I'm sure I'll-" he trailed off, what was the point in saying 'I'll be fine' if you didn't believe it. "..thanks. I'll be sure to let you know if I think of anything."

                                "Well, you're a lucky lady.  Getting attention from two very upstanding guys like that.  I hope you're not too torn on which one you like more? Love triangles can be tricky to navigate... even with a sextant." A few excited teens decked out in licensed Gizmo gear ran past them giggling excitedly. "Guess that means we're getting close." When her last question hit him he seemed to consider for a moment. "He and I started to work for Mr. McDuck around the same time. Met on the job, went through a rough first few weeks together working at McDuck Enterprises but... we both made it.  He uh... he wasn't always so good at this hero stuff you know? In the beginning, he made quite a mess of things.  We have that in common I guess.  But I think we've done pretty well for ourselves.  I mean-" the signup booth came into sight.... as did the massive line of people who were waiting to reach it. "-well clearly he's doing better than I am." 

                                Fenton beamed around at the crowd.

                                "Gosh this sure is something, isn't it? Look at all these people! Ah!" He grabbed her arm lightly and pointed out a person in a stylish black hoodie with the Gizmoduck emblem repeated over and over in silver. "That's brand new! Super exclusive! There were only fifty made and they sold out in seconds!" He didn't even have one.  "Goodness, I didn't expect to see this many fans.  It's nice that they care so much.  Um..." He released her arm timidly and fixed her with a curious glance as he walked them to the back of the line. "...why do you like Gizmoduck so much Ariana?"

                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                  She wanted to tell Fenton that she wasn't actually talking about two different guys, because she didn't want him to think she was...one of those girls.  She wasn't stringing along two men for her affections, she really just...wanted the one guy...

                                  "You've got a lot of good things going for you, too, Fenton," she said sweetly, trying to cheer him up.  "And I'm sure they'll only get better."

                                  She looked in the direction he pointed, impressed with both his excitement and his knowledge.  She was a fan of Gizmoduck, but not...quite like this.  Looking around, she wondered briefly if Quiverwing's fans were like these...he had mentioned he had some, after all.

                                  "Of course they care...Gizmoduck is a wonderful hero," she said.  "I like him because he...he was so kind and understanding when he could have been different.  It was...the same day Mr. McDuck fired me - you remember...you were there.

                                  "I tracked the dime I accidentally gave to the Beagle Boys, and I guess he did, too...to Magica DeSpell's.  He could have assumed I was in league with her or with the Beagle Boys like Mr. McDuck did, but he seemed to...automatically know that I wasn't trying to do wrong.  He wanted me to explain things and try and get my job back, but I just wanted to leave...I never forgot his kindness."

                                  There was a distinct lack of mentioning his gadgets, his heroic voice, his chiseled jaw...the usual things that fans fawned over when speaking about their love of the hero.

                                  • GizmoDuck
                                    GizmoDuck

                                    "I still think you could have explained things, then we'd be work buddies on top of everything else. Slaving away under the same corporate umbrella but I understand why you did what you did. Sorry, your impression of Mr. McDuck was...er... less than spectacular. He's a bit of a sourpuss but once he warms up to you, which can take a while, he's a pretty great guy. I can't think of a better boss that I've ever had anyway.  But anyhoo... I'm glad you think Gizmoduck is kind-"

                                    "-Uhhh yeah duh. He's kinda THE BEST!" interjected a long-limbed crane in line ahead of them he was the elitist wearing the hoodie and was looking down at the two of them literally and figuratively. "What are you two casuals or something? What are your handles in the chat?  Because if you're not in the chat I ain't got time for that."

                                    "...I... don't understand any of the words you just said but my name is Fenton and this is my friend Ariana-"

                                    "Yeah the 'Gizmoduck is kind' chick.  Hey let me tell you what really makes Gizmoduck cool, it's the suit lady! The suit! You know he's got an AK-47 in there. I saw photos online taken from a security camera over on Cedar street in Duckburg, totally legit."

                                    "Oh I don't think he has-"

                                    "Well I know he does so... checkmate bro.  So who do you think he is?  There's this crazy theory going around that he's Tom Lockjaw in a fake bill but I'm not buying it.  A few people still seem to think he's Launchpad McQuack but... I dunno the jaw's all wrong.  You got any theories?"

                                    "Uh..." Unsure how to answer he just shrugged. That Tom Lockjaw one was strange.  He enjoyed the diagrams and timelines some members of the fan community had mocked up though.  They were very dedicated... "-got any ideas Ari?"

                                     

                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                      She had been going to comment on her "impression" of Mr. McDuck, but the smug fan before them interrupted.  She didn't understand a lot of his slang, either.  Handles?  The chat?

                                      Ariana hesitated when the stork said it was the suit that made Gizmoduck great, then felt annoyed that he kept interrupting Fenton and acting better than them.  The identity theory, though, momentarily distracted her from those thoughts.

                                      "Oh, I've...I've never thought about who wears the suit," she said honestly.  "Except maybe to thank him in person."  She didn't know a "Launchpad" but assumed he was some kind of Normal celebrity.

                                      "I don't think it really matters who he is...I'm just glad he's around."

                                      • GizmoDuck
                                        GizmoDuck

                                        "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Of course, it matters who he is.  What if he's some lunatic? Like mentally unstable and just waiting to snap!"

                                        "How dare you say that in front of me!" shrieked a girl in line beside them and shoved the stork. "Gizmoduck is the purest cinnamon roll that has ever-"

                                        "I think he's actually a woman, think about it would any guy go out of his way to-" chimed in another fan.

                                        A heated debate had sprouted up around them.  It seemed Ariana was alone in her feeling that his identity was unimportant. Fenton felt each guess like a slap in the face.  This was no way for his fans to be acting! What had gotten into the people in this city?" 

                                        "Everyone just-" A plush Gizmoduck sailed over his head to bounce off the stork's face, Fenton snatched it mid-fall and chucked it back to its owner with a disapproving finger wag. "-Hey now! Everyone calm down!  What would Gizmoduck think if he could see you all squabbling like this?"

                                        "Why don't we ask him!" 

                                        There was a cheer that rang up from the crowd as a familiar boxy silhouette rolled into view. Fenton blinked.  Then blinked again.

                                        "Greetings Gizmobuddies!" Proclaimed the hero as his fans swarmed him. "I just wanted to come out and thank you all for your support!"

                                        "What..." 

                                        "I'm so touched to see so many of my lovely lady fans out here today, hello girls."

                                        "...what..."

                                        "I also want to tell you that if you're feeling thirsty that there's nothing better than a nice 2-liter bottle of Pupsi!"

                                        "Don't endorse the competition!" Fenton gripped his hair in dismay he stared at the... admittedly very good impersonator then looked at Ariana. "...let's go say hi."

                                         

                                        • DarkwingPsycho
                                          DarkwingPsycho

                                          The arguing was making Ariana feel uncomfortable, and she wished - like Fenton - that they could stop squabbling and at least coexist.  She sort of shrank into herself, hoping to would blow over, until she heard the hero's familiar voice.

                                          "Oh!" she said, looking up with interest.  "I didn't realize he would actually be here!  Yes...let's go say hi!"

                                          They had to wait their turn to speak with the robotic duck, but finally they could approach him.  Apparently photo ops were $100 and an autograph was $75.  Huh.

                                          • GizmoDuck
                                            GizmoDuck

                                            As someone walked by with an autograph Fenton snatched it out of their hands and narrowed his eyes at it.

                                            Add FORGERY to the list of offenses. Irritably he returned the photo to the stunned fan.

                                            "Hold onto that... you might want to get a refund." 

                                            It was now their turn, somehow this... this... FIEND had folding tables with tablecloths and a collection of 8x10's and some knock off merchandise in addition to two women to handle the transactions and smile welcomingly to the patrons. 

                                            "Hello would you like to get a photo with Gizmodu-"

                                            "HIYA GIZ." Fenton was smiling.  Right? That's what it meant when you showed so much of your teeth?  The 'hero' looked away from the giggling girls who were blushing furiously after their photo op... Fenton had seen where the suit's hands had fallen... albeit only momentarily because it was too much to process all at once. 

                                            "Hello there little guy!" GizfauxDuck didn't seem to notice the murderous glint in the mallard's eye as his gaze was fixated on the more enticing of the duo... well more specifically the duo attached to the more interesting chest that had presented itself.  Could the visor hide the trajectory of his gaze? Perhaps to the layman, but Fenton was anything but.  His face turned crimson but not in a blush this time, he was moments away from whistling like a tea kettle with steam pouring out his ears. "Hello~ Ms. Anything you'd like me to sign for you?" The impostor grinned at Ariana as he leaned in smoothly. "Anything at all?"

                                            "Oh DEAR could it BE you don't REMEMBER us?!" Fenton fumed as he slid in front of Ariana to shield whatever of her he could from view.  The lecherous.... lying... lousy... 

                                            "So sorry friend! I can't possibly remember everyone I meet." The answer was suave, dismissive, and people around them laughed.

                                            "Oh good choice of words because you see that's the thing 'Gizmoduck'  we are friends. All three of us. Why don't you see if you can recall this young lady's name... or even mine. We have spent SO MUCH time together after all."

                                            One of the booth girls tugged on the hero's arm and whispered to him, eyeing Fenton warily.

                                            "Oh-OH! Yes of course, Mr. Crackshell! How silly of me, I didn't recognize you, visor is smudged you know how it goes! How goes things around the Money Bin?  Ah and then yes, yes of course this must be your bewitching other half Ms. Gandra Dee. So nice to see you."

                                            Fenton felt like the wind was knocked out of him. Insult to injury... and perjury.... and forgery.... and mimicry. His shoulders sagged as the anger mixed with anguish.  Why was this happening? Couldn't he just have... one nice day? Just one? 

                                            And no one could tell this guy was a phony? ...just point him in the direction of the nearest hole.  He'd gladly climb in it and start shoveling the dirt on himself.

                                            • DarkwingPsycho
                                              DarkwingPsycho

                                              Ariana was oblivious to whatever Fenton had noticed and how he was reacting to Gizmoduck.  She was also oblivious to where the "hero" was looking, not really scrutinizing the visor.  She blushed and smiled shyly, even turning her hips a little from side to side.  She was going to respond when Fenton did so heatedly.

                                              Ariana blinked at how irritated Fenton sounded.  She had thought Gizmoduck was simply teasing, why was he so upset?  She peered around her friend cautiously.  The celebrity didn't sound as though he were joking any longer, and if he was, it wasn't very nice.  Briefly she felt relieved when he seemed to remember Fenton, but when he called her Gandra, her face flushed.  It was strange.  Gizmoduck had seemed to recognize her both during the bus incident with the Beagles and at the cheese palace...now he didn't remember her at all?  Not only that, Ariana could never hope to look as lovely as Gandra Dee.

                                              Her brow furrowed, but she also looked a little sad.  She wasn't really worth remembering, but she had hoped they were friends.  "N-no, I'm...Ariana...McCawber..."  She added hopefully, "From Duckburg...?"

                                              She shifted her weight a little nervously, aware that they were holding up the line.  "We last saw each other at the cheese palace downtown..?"

                                              • GizmoDuck
                                                GizmoDuck

                                                The sad little tone in Ariana's voice behind him stabbed him in the heart with an ice pick. His own self pity was shelved as he whirled around to take her by  the arms. 

                                                "This guy isn't Gizmoduck." He said firmly. "He's a liar! A swindler! A cheat!"

                                                "Oh?" 

                                                "'OH' YES." Fenton snapped at the cur. "Gizmoduck would never charge his fans for an autograph or... or... behave in such a shameful way and... he'd never forget his friends least of all Ms. McCawber!"

                                                "You're calling me a liar Mr. Crackshell? That's not a very friendly thing to do." Gizfauxduck leaned on the table to loom over the furious little pipsqueak. 

                                                "I call 'em like I see 'em." He narrowed his eyes at the visor and slowly, like a cat with a vendetta and zero hecks to give, pushed a stack of glossies off the table into a puddle.

                                                "That was very rude." The 'hero's pleasantness was very strained.

                                                "How about we waive the fee for you two!" Interjected one of the smiling women. "Friends discount!"

                                                "Oh no-let's hear what Mr. Crackshell has to say for himself.  You say I'm not the real Gizmoduck, then prove it-" he prodded Fenton in the chest and a ripple of doubt shifted through the collected fans. 

                                                "I think you're doing a fine job of that on your own!" Fenton pushed the hand aside. 

                                                "GIZMODUCK! IT IS TIME TO FACE YOUR GREATEST FOE!" A figure jumped up onto the roof a nearby car. "I AM LOOM DOOM! THE WEAVING WASTREL! I WILL LEAVE YOU IN STITCHES!" The scrawny canine, covered in home knit costume complete with cape,  flourished some oversized crochet hooks and with lightening speed constructed a cable knit net in pleasant blues and greens and threw it over the closest set of bystanders and started pulling them in.  

                                                The impostor wheeled around and was visibly shaken. 

                                                "Uh-let them go! I'll uh... only warn you once!" 

                                                "WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU. PROJECT MAN! PRO-JECT!"

                                                "I-I SAID! LET THEM GO...uh... FIEND?"

                                                Fenton rolled his eyes. 

                                                "St. Canard I'm tellin' ya," he sighed and turned his attention to the crowd. "Run." 

                                                "And miss this fight? Not on your life!"

                                                "...Ariana." He looked at her for a long moment before he slowly started backing away. "I am so-SO-sorry I... just realized I left the oven on and-" He sprinted away without a backwards glance.

                                                 

                                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                                  Ariana blinked and blushed at Fenton's grip and fervent tone.  "Wha-a liar...?" she repeated uncertainly.  The way Fenton suddenly whirled and said the real Gizmoduck would never forget her made the blush spread.  She felt a tremendous amount of warmth for her friend in that moment.

                                                  She was surprised when the accountant shoved the photos into the mud and started to step forward.  "Fenton..."  A voice rose up, startling her, and she turned slowly with wide eyes.  Well - at least Gizmoduck was here to protect the everyone...

                                                  She looked a little confused at the robo-duck's hesitance.  She'd never seen him afraid before, generally he was selfless and confident.

                                                  Watching Fenton take off, she wondered if she shouldn't go with him.  Leaving ovens on was serious business, and she didn't want him to get hurt.  Her feet were just beginning to move when a lasso of multi-colored pastel yarn caught her around the ankles.  More and more thick string surrounded her until she was in a cocoon. 

                                                  "Ha HA!" Loom Doom cackled, yanking her up so that she was dangling upside-down over the pavement from a thick tree branch.  "Gotcha!"  He pulled out was looked like a drill with a wooden stake taped to the end.  "Face me or she gets a spindle to eye!"

                                                  • GizmoDuck
                                                    GizmoDuck

                                                    The ‘hero’ and his helpers were quickly packing up the table when the stork fanboy marched up and smacked the portraits out of his hands making them flutter to the ground.

                                                    “What are you doing?! This villain is threatening your friend!” He furiously motioned to the upside down Ariana.

                                                    “Ah well I will get to that surely, uh...uh... You have to make sure the uh battleground is uh clear of.. obstructions.”

                                                    “What’s the matter Gizmodank?! Too terrified?! I don’t blame you,” Doom Loom pressed the trigger of the drill a few times making the spindle wobbly unsteadily. “This is pretty serious stuff.”

                                                    “GO SAVE HER! She’s right there!” The stork gestured exasperatedly to Ariana again and the crowd murmured in agreement.

                                                    All eyes were on the faker as sweat dripped down his face. He cleared his throat nervously.

                                                    “Well I don’t appreciate your tone and as a result I refuse to-“

                                                    “Wait really?” Doom Loom lowered his weapon and stared at the hero aghast then at Ariana. “Oh geeze, how does that make you feel? Gizmoduck saves everyone and he won’t even try to save you? And he’s your friend. Yikes. That must make you feel-“

                                                    The yarn that suspended the sorceress was severed suddenly but before she could fall too far she was caught and held in a strong pair of arms.

                                                    “Hello Loom,”. Said Gizmoduck flatly as he shifted Ariana in to one arm so that he could snatch the amateur’s weapon from his grip and crushed it.

                                                    “Uh.... wait. Gizmoduck??” Doom Loom whipped his head back and forth between the mirror images of heroism. “Wait... you, you... remember me?” His stared at the newcomer with his mouth opened slightly.

                                                    “Of course. You crochet bombed the 57th precinct two weeks ago and I told you that you ought to find a better outlet for your nervous energy. Now go unravel those nice people and I’ll let you off the hook. Yes that was a pun.” He shook his head lightly and looked at Ariana. “Hello Ms. MaCawber, i hope you’re not too uncomfortable.”

                                                    He ripped the cocoon from her and placed her on her feet carefully.

                                                    “I worry that you keep getting yourself in these situations to see me, you know of course that you can reach out anytime you like regardless of the peril level? I’d be delighted to hear from you.”

                                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                                      Ariana could feel the blood rushing to her head, and it was very unpleasant.  Still, she waited quietly, knowing she was an inconvenience to the hero.  The villain's words only solidified that.  Gizmoduck couldn't even remember her, why would he bother to -

                                                      Before she could even finish her self-pity, she found herself in armor-plated arms and no longer upside-down.  Blinking, she stared up at the new Gizmoduck in wonder.  Where had he come from?  Wasn't Gizmoduck over...?

                                                      When she was shifted to one arm, a heated blush rose on her petite face.  "Hello..." she smiled back.  She may have been confused and hurt before, but she wasn't now.  She felt that Fenton had been right.  The other Gizmoduck was a phony, and this...this was the real hero.  "I'm just fine."  Her shy smile broadened when he peeled off the yarn restraints, and she might have hugged him if not for another over-the-top voice rising over the crowd.

                                                      "Hey!"  There was a blast on the ground between her and Gizmoduck, throwing her to the ground momentarily.  "Get out of here yarn boy!  This is MY fight!  I'M going to beat Gizmoduck once and for all!  ME - POWDER KEG PEG!!"