It was him.
With his larger than life brown eyes and floppy dark hair. A lock had fallen onto his forehead, which was a shame because Gosalyn knew that he’d spent at least twenty minutes earlier that morning trying to style it back for work.
Not that she’d actually been there to see it. But she could so easily envision his morning routine and she felt safe with the estimate.
“I’m sorry, Mr. McDuck,” the secretary stammered, her perfectly manicured nails clicking together as she wrung her hands. “This girl just walked in, didn’t even stop by the desk or listen when I--”
“Thank you, Kendra,” Scrooge said, raising a hand to stop her tirade. “It’s quite all right.” He turned his eyes to Gosalyn. “What is it you need, lass?”
Scrooge had gotten used to Gosalyn doing what she wanted rather than what was expected. From running Quackwerks to moving a branch of his company to St. Canard and inviting the Mallards to celebrate Christmas with him and his family every year, the old Scottish duck had spent a considerable amount of time around Launchpad, Darkwing, and Gosalyn. She’d even be tempted to say that Scrooge liked her.
Even if she had just walked in on his meeting. Maybe a presentation. Something important that warranted business men and women sitting around the conference table, a pie chart projected onto the screen in the front of the room. With him standing at the head of the table.
She would break rules, be rude, and a thousand more things just to have this moment.
Tearing her gaze from his adorable hair and those shining cognac eyes, Gosalyn glanced at Launchpad, who was sitting beside Scrooge at the other end of the table. “I’m back in town. And it’s Tuesday.”
Launchpad smiled and said, “What do you think about Italian?”
“A text message couldn’t have taken care of this?” huffed the secretary -- Kendra -- sweeping her flat-ironed straight locks behind her shoulder.
Gosalyn shrugged. “I was in the neighborhood.”
“And it is Tuesday,” Launchpad added.
Scrooge nodded, a knowing smile on his beak. Evidently, Launchpad had explained the significance of Tuesdays to his (sometimes) employer.
“Still,” Kendra ground out.
“Besides,” Gosalyn said, turning back to him, “you never know who you’re going to run into.” Unable to keep the smile from her beak, she said, “Hi.”
“Hi,” he responded, his voice cracking into a high squeaky register. He cleared his throat, his cheeks coloring, and tried again.
“Hi.” It was as squeaky as before and Gosalyn honest-to-God giggled. She would have been embarrassed about the girlish sound, but it was him, so all she felt was a warmth in her chest.
Resigned, he shook his head, hair flopping even further into his eyes. Holding out a hand, he said, “Max Goof. I’m Mr. McDuck’s new market research analyst.”
Taking his hand, Gosalyn’s whole arm tingled with the sensation as she responded, “Gosalyn Mallard. Drake’s daughter and a friend of Launchpad.”
Max smiled at her gently, eyes softening as he studied her. Gosalyn wondered if it would be weird to reach up and sweep the impossible hair from his face. She knew she couldn’t sink her fingers into the thick locks like she really wanted to, but surely just tucking them back in place was fine, right?
Realizing she hadn’t released his hand, Gosalyn let go and hooked her thumbs through the front belt loops of her jeans. “Have you seen the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s?”
Max’s face fell, the spark disappearing from his eyes as he swept his hair off his face. Seems like she missed her chance.
“Uh, no,” Max said. “I haven’t.”
Gosalyn grinned. “Would you wanna get coffee sometime and find out what else we have in common?”
Eyes sparkling again, Max smiled, revealing his buck teeth. “I thought I was the only one who hadn’t seen that movie!”
Gosalyn nodded. “I mean, I’ve always meant to watch it--”
“--I just get so busy! But I have heard of that scene with Audrey standing in front of Tiffany’s.”
“Everyone talks about that shot. And what’s the deal with the cat?”
“Well, we wouldn’t know, would we?” Max said, chuckling. Gosalyn laughed along with him, still reeling over the fact that he was here. She had wondered, of course, and had started to think….
Scrooge McDuck cleared his throat saying, “If you two exchange numbers, you can find out what other movies you haven’t seen. Off of company time.”
Max fumbled around his jacket pockets, snapping back into professionalism. “Yes, of course, Mr. McDuck.”
Gosalyn glanced over to send an apologetic look, but Scrooge didn’t seem upset. More amused. The other business associates were smiling covertly at one another. Huey looked a bit shocked but Louie gave her a reassuring thumbs up and Dewey winked at her. Launchpad was grinning so wide that she felt heat rising in her cheeks as she took Max’s phone from his hands.
After saving her information, Gosalyn handed the device back to Max. He half-smiled down at her -- God, she loved how tall he was -- and said, “I’ll text you.”
“I hope so,” she replied before nodding to Scrooge and Launchpad.
Kendra motioned towards the door to the conference room. “Right this way, Miss.--”
Gosalyn rolled her eyes as she strode out of the room. “I can show myself out, thanks.”
Strolling down the hall of McDuck Enterprises -- the St. Canard branch -- Gosalyn couldn’t contain her good mood. She smiled at strangers as she thought of Max wearing that 3-piece suit to work with his ridiculous hair flopping everywhere. And she’d really come to appreciate suits of all kinds -- especially the 3-piece -- after spending time at--
“Gosalyn!” a voice interrupted her thoughts. Looking up, Gosalyn saw Huey jogging towards her. Only then did she realize that she was standing in the elevator lobby and she hadn’t even pushed the button to call the elevator to her floor.
Growling at herself, she turned to face Huey. “If you hope I’m gonna get coffee with you, you’re more delusional than I thought.”
“Nah. I mean,” Huey said, shrugging, “I wouldn’t ever say no to getting coffee with you, but I saw how well you and Max got along. I’m not gonna try to split you two up.”
Crossing her arms, she cocked an eyebrow at Huey. “Well?” she demanded.
“I just wanted to know…. What’s your secret? How were you-- It was so smooth between you guys. How do you do that?”
Gosalyn didn’t tell Huey the real reason. That she’d met Max before. Or many different versions of him. In other dimensions. That she’d fallen in love with Max Goof a hundred times in thousand different universes.
Instead, she shrugged. “Sometimes people just click.”
“Not that well,” Huey countered.
“Then you haven’t met the right person yet, Hugh. Now,” she pressed the button for the elevator, “as much as I’d love to stay and talk about my dating prowess, it is Tuesday and I have to get to the store. So, if there’s nothing else…?” Right on cue, the elevator arrived, the ding punctuating the end of her sentence. Stepping inside, Gosalyn turned to look at Huey and flashed him a smile.
He grinned right back. “How long were you standing here before calling the elevator?”
Gosalyn opened her beak, but nothing came out.
Huey laughed as the elevator doors started to close. “You’ve got it bad, Gos.”
The elevator doors well and truly shut now, Gosalyn just glowered at her disfigured reflection before she selected the ground floor.
Like she needed Huey Duck to tell her that.