A/N: This first set of four One Shots take place during the Christmas after "Safe and Sound".
Climbing out of the car, Drake tightened the scarf around his neck. Not like it would do much against the gently falling snow; he really should have worn a jacket, as Launchpad had suggested.
But he wouldn't admit it. Especially not to Launchpad. Drake Mallard (AKA Darkwing Duck AKA The Masked Mallard AKA The Hero St. Canard Needs, Not The One It Deserves) would be taking that to his grave. Along with Grandma Lulu's sugar cookie recipe.
Reaching back into his still-warm car, Drake slung grocery bags over his shoulders and piled packages in his arms. Having no hands free, he nudged the car door closed with a foot. Precariously balancing his gifts, Drake slowly made his way across the driveway, praying there wasn't any ice underfoot. He was about halfway to the front door when he realized his keys were somewhere in one of the grocery bags.
Because of course they were.
Fumbling with his brightly wrapped boxes, he tried to swing the bags around, hoping the momentum would bring them forward enough for his freed hand to grab ahold and dig through. The new snow settled on top of his purchases and on his beak as Drake muttered a curse under his breath. His arm contorted in a shape that would impress any circus performer and his fingers stretched out to their fullest extent as the grocery bags swung around towards his front. His packages were perched between his arm and his chest as he tried not to lose his grip on them and he reached….
Sighing, his breath leaving in a puff against the cold air, Drake weighed his options.
He could set his presents down. But they'd need to be re-wrapped later with the snow soaking into the paper and bows.
He could walk up to the front door and ring the doorbell. Wait for someone to answer. But that meant someone had to be home and Drake wasn't sure anyone was.
He could go back to the car and put the presents back inside. Make two trips like a normal person. Not load up his arms to dangerous levels just to make one trip. But Drake always lived a little dangerously. If he didn't, he couldn't call himself the Terror that Flaps in the Night. Couldn't claim to be the car that took the last parking spot at the Christmas-decorated mall. Couldn't dream of being Darkwing--
The front door swung open and a voice said, "None of those are big enough for a hippopotamus."
Drake sighed, but didn't have it in him to be frustrated at his daughter. Even if she had interrupted yet another flawless heroic introduction.
He stopped struggling for the keys and brought his freed arm back around to support the gifts. Walking to the porch, he nodded his thanks to Gosalyn as he passed through the doorway.
Launchpad, who had been wrestling with their fresh pine tree in the living room, stopped his battle once he saw Drake. "Let me help ya with those, DW."
"Thanks, LP." Drake handed the presents over with a sigh of relief, sliding the grocery bags to his now-available hands. "Nice to know someone is embracing the Christmas spirit of good will to men instead of worrying that they won't get…." He turned back to look at his daughter. "Did you say a hippopotamus?"
Gosalyn shrugged. "I heard about it in a song. You know I'll never get one for myself."
"And you know I'm never going to get you one, anyway," Drake said, shaking his head.
"Where would we keep a hippopotamus?" Launchpad asked, going back to his toppled Christmas tree now that Drake's purchases sat on the floor beside the TV. Thank goodness for department store wrapping; Drake didn't want to imagine the headache of smuggling all of those past Gosalyn. The extra expense was worth it.
"In the garage. The song explains it all," Gosalyn said, going over to Launchpad to help steady the pine.
Drake shook his head, walking through to the kitchen. Sorting through the groceries, he put everything away before coming back to the living room where Launchpad and Gosalyn were still talking about the hypothetical hippopotamus. Try saying that five times fast.
"He'd be a vegetarian," Gosalyn said. "We wouldn't have to cook him anything."
Drake unwound the scarf from around his neck, dropping it onto the couch as he joined his family.
Seeing Drake had come back, Launchpad grinned at him. "Whaddya think of the tree, DW?"
Studying the towering pine, Drake said, "I think it's big."
"Christmas trees should always be big," Launchpad said.
Gosalyn nodded her agreement. "Besides, it'll be good practice for my--"
"Don't you dare say hippopotamus." Drake eyed her and she scoffed in return.
"It was the only good one left at the lot," Launchpad said, admiring the tree. "Their next shipment isn't coming until the end of the week. Gos and I got there just in time to buy this one."
"I don't know if the star will fit on top," Drake said, circling around the full pine that was already filling the room with its fresh scent.
"Oh, so what?" Gosalyn said, coming up to stand beside her father. She took his hand as she said, "Christmas is the time of year to go big or go home."
Drake smiled at his girl, sweeping her bangs from her eyes. "I'm not going to buy you a hippo, Gos."
Gosalyn rolled her eyes. "Oh, come on!"
Launchpad grinned. "I'm gonna get the lights."
"I'll get the ornaments," Drake offered.
"I'll stay here. Make sure the tree doesn't fall…."
"Oh, no," Drake said, taking Gosalyn by the shoulders and steering her from the room. And the unopened gifts. "You go find the stockings and other decorations."
"You're no fun," she groused, following Launchpad to the basement where their storage room was.
"Someone has to save Christmas from your shenanigans," Drake said.
Gosalyn just sighed dramatically as she walked down the stairs.
Drake smiled and shook his head before descending into the basement.
This was his favorite time of year. Everything just felt… right. Complete. Especially at home with his family.
"You know," Gosalyn's voice floated up to him, "I think there's enough room down here for…"
"No hippo, Gosalyn," Drake said.