The Woof, The Bad, and the Lovely. Or How Malicia got her Book Deal.

Rebarka Sterling, most glamorous creature under three feet tall sat at her normal table at the trendiest restaurant in St. Canard.  It was so hip, so chic they didn't even bother putting the name on the place.  If you needed to ask where it was? Then you weren't cool enough to get in.  Or you didn't know anyone in the know enough to get in.  Rebarka knew about it immediately.  And as she leaned back in the sparkling vinyl chair lapping at her mojito she wondered if her guest would be able to find the place despite the step by step instructions.

 

Who was she kidding? A fabulously beautiful and talented girl like Malicia Macawber would have no trouble at all getting in.  She just hoped the fiery redhead showed up soon, she needed appetizers like yesssssssssssssterdayyyyyyy.

    • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
      Queen Malicia of St. Canard

      In perfect theatrical timing, the doors to the restaurant flew open and in she strolled, her radiance near impossible to ignore. Possibly because she had enchanted a soft glow to follow her around, highlighting her best features (trick statement! ALL her features were best features) but that was well beside the point.

      She was looking particularly fashionable today in the latest and greatest Transylvanian fashion, flown in directly from one of the finest boo-tiques in the world: A sweeping black satin gown with a flared collar embroidered with gold trim. It was truly unique and really brought out the gold hue in her pupils, and was certainly not something she purchased simply because she felt a sudden need to compete with a certain vampire in town. 

      Spotting Rebarka, she smiled coolly before halting a waiter to order several drinks. Chop-chop, can't be leaving me thirsty now.

      Finally she drifted across the room to greet the reporter, seating herself across from her at the table. She swept a strand of fiery red hair behind her non-existent ear and crossed her legs primly.  

      "Rebarka, darling, such a pleasure to meet you in person." She crooned sweetly. "I am such a big fan of your magazine. It is just so important that this city stay on the up and up about the most pressing news, you know? I am just thrilled that you wanted to meet me with me!" There were the drinks, right on schedule. An entire tray's worth of assorted cocktails which Malicia quickly got started on.

       

      • Rebarka Sterling
        Rebarka Sterling

        Rebarka blinked at her from behind her swanvorski studded cat-eye glasses.

        "Oh."

        She patted the table with her paws.

        "Muy."

        Pitter pat.

        "GAWD." 

        She fanned herself with a little giggle.

        "Dar-LING! Even more sensational in person!  I knew you were the real deal but personalize my Pradbaaa bags if you aren't divine!" She pawsed as he was about to take another taste of her drink. "Or do we prefer devilish? Take your pick or keep it a flirty mix of both I don't care all I know is... you have exceptional taste. And not only in publications.  Malicia dear I have gotten SO much fan mail about your list you have no idea.  My readers are demanding to know more about you and are practically begging for your table scraps. Which I'm sure they can't afford." Giggle giggle. She wiggled in her seat happily. "Malicia sweetheart you just have to tell me all about yourself! But first of all, what is this your wearing?  I'm sure the designer would drop dead just to come back to life to see you in again with fresh eyes."

        She leaned in to whisper to her conspiratorially.

        "Your bewbs,in. that. dress.  Are going to cause a baby boom.  Mark my words. In nine months from today? There's gunna be a new generation of bed wetters because of you. I'll call it 'VA-VA-VOOM = BABY BOOM.' Whaddya think? Catchy right?" 

        • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
          Queen Malicia of St. Canard

          Malicia was not even remotely surprised by the excessive praise. It was all true of course, and therefore the only natural reaction one would expect from anyone caught up in her magnificent presence. Instead she leaned back in her seat and sipped her drink, nodding in agreement with each and every statement. 

          "Naturally, I expect anyone who reads your publication would know a queen when they see one." She placed one well-manicured hand to her chest. "I am more than happy to give them more, for who am I to deny the people what they want?" 

          Then a sweeping motion toward herself. "Ah, yes, the dress... just one of many from my vast, personal collection. The designer is none other than Vera Fang, she's rather famous back home. Her best work truly has come from her undead years, I must say. This is a one of a kind piece, personally tailored for me. You'll find no other like it here or the Underworld." 

          To Rebarka's final comment she leaned in with a smile. "My hair isn't the only part of me that is au naturel I might add." 

           

          • Rebarka Sterling
            Rebarka Sterling

            "Oh ho ho~! Well I'm sure the world weeps with jealousy, I know I do." She dramatically dabbed the corners of her eyes with a napkin despite them being completely dry.

            "So!" Rebarka beamed. "What other story ideas do you have for me?"

            "Hello ladies I'm Jimothy and I'll be your-"

            "We'll have one of everything."

            "Uh. Pardon-"

            "You heard me. Shoo shoo. There's a good boy." she sent a playful little chomp after him as he scurried away. "Hope you don't mind me ordering for us. Whatever we don't eat we can just knock on the ground so! Tell me what's going on that in brilliant beautiful mind of yours.  You've got a story lined up for me already I can smell it." She tapped her nose.  "Can't fool this newshound's snoot no matter how petite it is." 

            • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
              Queen Malicia of St. Canard

              "Oh my, where do I even start?" She tapped her bill. "As the newest up-and-coming supervillain, I've been networking and rubbing elbows with all of St. Canard's elite, villains and heroes alike. In fact..." She leaned over the table, her bill parting to reveal that fanged smile.

              "I recently ended my romantic affair with none other than Darkwing Duck. And let me tell you, Rebarka darling, the stories I have about that masked miscreant..." She fanned herself. 

              "But I must say, that Quiverwing Duck? He is the hottest item in this town. We're seeing each other now."  In the sense that they had, in fact, looked at each other from afar, but details schmeetails. 

              "Really, I can't seem to keep any of these masked mallards off of me! They all want a taste, and who can blame them? That kiss list was mostly first hand experience, after all..." 

              • Rebarka Sterling
                Rebarka Sterling

                "Who indeed! You are a catch and a half.  But we already know those hero types are all about slappin' the cuffs on the bad girls don't we?  Do you mind if I take a few notes?"
                 

                She didn't wait for an answer and put a tablet on the table a gaudy pink and crystal covered stylus blazed across the screen.

                "Now you touched on your touchiness with these caped casanovas in your kiss list but are you telling me now that Quiverwing has got you all a quiver? He DOES get around, doesn't he? There's a babe in the slammer who says she's going to bust out and return the smacker he gave her to land her hosiery in the hoosegow."  She eyed Malicia curiously. "Not that she holds a flame to you. She's more Baby Janey.  Her sister though? Put you and Boom Boom side by side the city might burst into sinful ash. Hm. Maybe I should arrange for a fashion show for the two of you. But anyway, spill everything about Quiverwing. The readers demand it. That tame little piece on him in Heroes Monthly was such a tease. And I think we both know that boy scout act only extends so far. Also on the topic of masked mallards, my sources say Old Negaduck is on again with Magica Despell... can you imagine?" 

                • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                  Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                  All Quivergossip was put aside at that final statement. She guffawed dramatically and burst out laughing so loudly that several patrons made a dive beneath their tables for protection. 

                  "Magica Despell??? That dried-up oily-haired hag with eye-bags so saggy she could tuck that Number One Dime inside them? Oh, Rebarka... fire those sources into the sun!" She paused only to drain her next drink in a single gulp.

                  "Negaduck, oh that scoundrel... he is infatuated with me, you have no idea! He stalks me at every turn, constantly trying to gain my affection. He once showed up at my bedroom window to serenade me in the middle of the night, did you know that? And speaking of Quiverwing getting around... let me tell you those two ended up curled up together on the floor of my home, after a passionate tussle." She gasped. "Oh, but I've said too much haven't I? Surely you'll keep that last part off the record, won't you? Of course you will." Winkwink.

                  "Negaduck is... more sensitive than he lets on I must say. He's opened himself to me, bared his entire soul even. He so desperately seeks my approval." She sighed sadly. "But he's not really my type. Not to mention he has a few... issues in the bedroom. Nothing a man should truly be ashamed of, I heard it happens to all drakes at one point or another." She frowned sympathetically and gave her head a shake. "Poor, poor Negaduck..."

                  • Rebarka Sterling
                    Rebarka Sterling

                    Somehow Rebarka didn't even need to look at what she was writing,  there was just a blur of glittering movement as her eyes stayed on the demoness's face.  

                    "Ah so it must be he's got a taste for the old black magic, and I do mean OLD, after sampling the mystical Malicia.  Pity.  He did seem a virile violent type but they can fool you. So this serenade?  More of a power ballad? Were there tears?  And please do go on about this sordid affair of hero vs villain vs rampant libido! Negadroop had his go at Quiverwing you say? I thought they were a tad too hot for each other for just the surface vigilante schtick. Annnnd what about that cousin of yours hmmm? She seems to get around a bit herself.  I had a witness report come in just the other day that placed her at a leper luncheonette begging for hand outs." 

                    • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                      Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                      "It was a rather powerful drum solo, I must say it was impressive for someone who spends most of his time on his knees." Another coy smile. 

                      "Oh but yes... the dripping tension between Quiverwing and Negaduck. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy we live in a time where hero-slash-villain love is more accepted by society! But they're not limiting themselves, given they've also directed their attention my way. And Quiverwing... with the kisses he gives, I can vouch he is one experienced mallard. He truly earned his top spot on the Kiss List."

                      Rebarka's next question had brought a scowl to her face. "Ugh. Morgana. Yes she was always... like that. Back in our school days she was rampant with questionable behaviour. Stealing boyfriends... and girlfriends, left and right. And let's just say her name on the honor role was earned with wand-waving of a different variety." She clicked her tongue disapprovingly. "I tried to tell her, she should do things the honest way. But Morgana is so stubborn and set in her ways... but what can you do,  right?" 

                      • Rebarka Sterling
                        Rebarka Sterling

                        "Equal opportunity deplorables hm? Well that adds some credence to the claims of Negaduck down to luck with a certain other member of your infamous kiss list.  And let me just say that those fellows you fingered certainly seem to enjoy spreading their saliva around.  So. Darkwing? Slobberer? French like a snake? I need those juicy details, because that, as you say, wayward cousin of yours might be slipping back up that slope. Perhaps we can set her on the right path with an inspirational piece about how certain boys are better eye candy than sugar daddies.  Is THAT how she runs that restaurant of hers? Goodness gracious. That is... awful." Well Barky no one believes you when you giggle the word 'awful' like that.

                         

                        "Oh what else can you tell me dear? I am still relatively new to this city and have such little one on one time with the people I hear so much about. Clearly I need to dig up more on Negaduck he's such a sad little sap. What other gossip do you know? Don't hold out on me pleaaaase."

                        • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                          Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                          "Well I can tell you he was the one who made that anonymous donation to the Hippity Hoppity Hare Shelter after that tragic fire. He has such a soft spot for the little creatures... oh! Have you heard his origin story? It's... quite something, really. Not what I expected at all and yet not the least bit surprising." All drinks finished and plenty more set in front of her, she was ready to share her epic tale.

                          "Okay, so you know how St. Canard has that yearly Dionysus Festival? With all the drinking and debauchery that happens in the streets? Well, it's a known fact that in order to reduce all the mess they had created a designated vomitorium for the queasy party-goers. It was just this... one area where everyone upchucked in a hole they dug. Disgusting, I know, but hear me out. So a few years back, the festival took place the weekend of a rather rough heat wave, and all the vomit started to curdle and gave rise to bacterial life. Negaduck rose forth from the regurgitation like a particularly chunky Phoenix! I honestly couldn't believe it, but I see no reason why Negaduck would lie. Also, it explains his odor." 

                          She paused then. "My I've worked up quite an appetite with all this talking, oh, are you going to eat that?" She reached over to pluck a cocktail weenie. 

                          • Rebarka Sterling
                            Rebarka Sterling

                            "He is so kind-hearted! What WILL this do to his reputation I wonder? Perhaps he'll finally embrace his heroic tendencies."

                             

                            The origin story was taken in with stoic calm.  The stylus never stopping.

                            "...well. That raises quite a few questions. Was he formed from the vile bile or plopped in the puke by someone?  I like your take.  Quite the messy mythos. He confessed this to you himself, did he?  Was this before or after he proposed to you on a moonlit beach?"

                            • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                              Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                              "After." She confirmed. "He really opened up to me then, although he was crushed when I rejected his advances. This duckubus is just too hot to take off the market, what a disservice that would be to the world!" Perish the thought.

                              "Although... speaking of relationships. You had asked me about Darkwing, yes? Well." She leaned in conspiratorially, hand covering one side of her face. "We weren't dating terribly long but he and I got to know each other quite well... did you know he was a still a virgin? My, what a clumsy thing he was! It felt like I had a suckerfish attached to my face, he had no idea what he was doing. That's why he has such a flare for the dramatic I think, always trying to compensate for all the other areas he is severely lacking in. I broke up with him after I caught him pants-down with Gizmoduck. Now we all know what that little trap-door on the back of that metal suit is for!" Unable to suppress her mirth she tittered at the very discussion. How scandalous!

                              • Negaduck
                                Negaduck

                                Dramatic entrances must have been the special of the day, for that very second the front door was kicked in. 

                                "I hear someone is spilling their guts."

                                Fashionable fops dived for cover, sequined scoodies and gadget shoes flying to clear a path for the villain who would undoubtably clear it for them should even the smallest tray of deconstructed toast got between him and the mutt named Malicia.

                                Negaduck stood over the two, greatly assisted by virtue of them being seated, impending doom seeping over the immediate area like so much congealed vomit as, fingertips on the table, he leaned forward to confide,

                                "How lucky I could drop by to assist."

                                Slam, down came a fist on the surface so hard it set the multitude of drained dishware jumping.

                                "For the hundredth time, it's lactose, not lack-toes," roared rage set entirely on the demoness. "And that's not how you churn cream!"

                                Yeeeah it's not like he stormed in without having heard any of the conversation only to provide rather than refute fodder. That'd have been stupid.  

                                 

                                • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                  Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                  As Negaduck thumped and grumped, Malicia leaned back in her chair and watched him lazily. She stifled a yawn as she waited for him to finish. 

                                  Then, without bothering to even address him, she turned back to Rebarka with a disappointed frown. "See what I mean? Very sensitive stalker. You'll have to excuse the crankiness, he's overdue for his nap today." 

                                  • Rebarka Sterling
                                    Rebarka Sterling

                                    Rebarka was about to comment on a pantless mallard being caught with his pants down when a pantless mallard put his fist down. She looked at the hand then the drake it belonged to. She lifted her eyebrows and then nodded in agreement with Malicia.

                                    "Negaduck how nice of you to join us.  My dear friend Malicia was JUST telling me all about you.  Why don't you have a seat?" She pointed to a nearby table where the couple seated there slid onto the floor in terror. "I'm sure you could steal one from over there. hehehehe. Where ARE my manners I'm Rebarka Sterling, you're impressed I'm sure.  I'm also sure you have some delightful tales all your own." She made a quick note on her tablet. "...how's Magica?"

                                    • Negaduck
                                      Negaduck

                                      The wild-eyed stare directed Malicia's way surely would've snapped into a full blown pre-nap tantrum if not for the terrific timing of that question. Back on track, like so many damsel-tying moustache-twirling miscreants.  

                                      "You think that I, Negaduck, the greatest and most important mastermind in this whole city and or universe give a single hoot about your scandals and made up little lists?"

                                      He wouldn't be stealing anything for the moment, because he was too busy pounding the table. Again.

                                      "Which is why I, Negaduck, am here to challenge that pontifical prancer Quiverwing Duck to a man-off!" That.. could have been better entitled. "Let's see who the biggest drake really is once and for all."

                                      Darkwing could get in on that too, maybe? But who actually cared about him?

                                      • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                        Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                        Mal could only gesture wildly at him as if to say, See?? Does this not validate everything I've told you?

                                        "Yes, yes, of course Negsy dear, we all know how badly you crave close, personal contact with Quiverwing. That said, if you really want to prove your manliness I do just so happen to have a large barrel of oil nearby." Wait. Why. "So if you two were looking to wrestle..... shirtless.... to prove who is the strongest...." 

                                        • Rebarka Sterling
                                          Rebarka Sterling

                                          Rebarka tilted her head very slowly to one side as Negaduck gave his impassioned... pounding? Then looked around and after not seeing any fluffy feathered caps in the strategically emptying restaurant she looked back at Negaduck.

                                          "...And I suppose I'm the one who is supposed to issue this challenge to this bill measuring contest you've cooked up? Unless you've got him stuffed into your bikini bottoms and you're just waiting for us to look away so you can hiss it down your pants. If that is the case I am very interested to see that." 

                                          She shifted in her chair, the pile of phone books she was perched upon tipping ominously to and fro as she did so and turned her attention back to Malicia.

                                          "He really is very needy, isn't he? All he wants to do is talk about himself all the time. But I do see some promise in the idea.  Not what he said-" She waved her hand dismissively at the churlish challenger. "-But shirtless wrestling you say? My readers will just lap that up."

                                          • Negaduck
                                            Negaduck

                                            "The only thing in my pants is a glorious burning for vindication!"

                                            The exact state of those pants, nor her other points, apparently not worth comment. Obviously yes you are meant to communicate the challenge. What did she expect him to do? Work?

                                            "As for you-" Rounding on Malicia once more. "I know what you're up to. With your depraved, twisted mind and raving fangirl backed agendas."

                                            When it seemed like he should put those bikini centred ideas back in their place, he smiled. Not nicely. Again, obviously. This was Negaduck. "And I don't care."

                                            To the restaurant, nay the world, in general he declared, "I can beat anyone at any type of trial you lay down, oiled or otherwise."

                                            Armed folded, time for a scoff. "That coif wearing coward probably won't even show."

                                            • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                              Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                              "Any trial?" She raised a brow.

                                              "What about... a bunny hugging contest? Who can hug the highest number of those fluffy little creatures? Bonus manly points if you kiss them too. Why, if you were to win such a feat, I would certainly lay myself at your feet and proclaim you the most superior of all mallards in this city."

                                              Back to Rebarka with an understanding nod at her 'needy' comment. "I am sure we can arrange something for the viewers, can't we." 

                                              • Rebarka Sterling
                                                Rebarka Sterling

                                                "Oh goodie goodie!  Oooooo! We can do a poll!  A reader poll to see what the fine people of St. Canard want to see you lose at." She giggled giving Negaduck a friendly pat on the back. That's how people lose hands Barky. "But you can bet I'll set this up for you just as soon as you-"

                                                She reached into her purse and somehow pulled out a massive contract and slammed it down on the table, rattling the silverware. She held out a fluffy pink pen for him.

                                                "Just need you to sign this teensy NDA and waiver and you can bet this will be bigger than the battle of the boybands at Bloodshed Arena." She wiped her eye at the touching memory. "Those silly, choreographed, handsome fools had no idea it was a deathmatch.  So Everybody went All or Nothing, others spilled their Peaches and Cream before Tearing up their Hearts and went Bye Bye Bye, but the ones who Got It (the Right Stuff) made it to the End of the Road. I Swear it was The Hardest Thing to watch, but that's The Story of My Life."

                                                 

                                                • Negaduck
                                                  Negaduck

                                                  Posed mid-penmanship over the paper, because Negaduck never lost even when it came to an aversion to all things pink and fluffy, his gaze slid sloooowly over to Malicia.

                                                  "Slip me what she's on and I'll hug anything you want."

                                                  Signed. Crossbones and all.

                                                  Because there was nothing to say he couldn't embrace their adorable tiny necks with his hands, and nothing on the planet that could bind him to the letter of the law, contract or otherwise.

                                                  The contract thrown back at the Barka in a flurry of fine print, he turned for the door.

                                                  "I'll be inspecting some poles of my own. Laters, taters!"

                                                  What? Those death machines were worse than Swedish furniture for self assembly. If you didn't pay attention you could totally end up with a pole in the wrong hole.