#nega gosalyn Tumblr posts

  • hyperpsychomaniac
    08.05.2021 - 1 day ago

    Who Says You Can't Go Home - Chapter 7

    Darkwing Duck (90s series) fanfiction

    Sequel to my recent fanfic The Other Side of Me

    Summary: Down on his luck, the Negaverse Launchpad crashes at Launchpad’s parents looking for help. Launchpad, who has avoided visiting his family since he started working with Darkwing, returns in a panic to ensure his double isn’t causing trouble. And then it gets awkward.

    Chapter 1

    ***

    Launchpad pulled up outside his derelict little shack. He left the Gator’s headlights on. The horizon was stained pink, but the colour was draining fast. “Negaduck, I’m here! I’ve got your answer… you bastard.”

    “About time. I was getting bored.” Negaduck stood just around the corner of the shack, with his motorbike. The door to the shack was open; he’d been passing time checking out what was inside. Suddenly, Launchpad didn’t feel comfortable about his decision to stash flammable material on the McQuack’s property. “So, old buddy, what’s it going to be?” Negaduck reached into the holster on his motorbike and pulled out his chainsaw. He patted its side. “The old girl is primed and ready to go. She’s been itching for a little action.”

    That damned chainsaw. He should have grabbed a better weapon from the McQuack’s hanger but it would only have made Loopey suspicious. Okay. The chainsaw. That was the dangerous part. Negaduck… Negaduck was smaller than him. Always had been. It was only because he’d been scared of what Negaduck was capable of that he’d let him rough him up, right?

    “Tell me, old pal. Is she going to get to hack up Darkwing Duck? Or are you going to force me to cause some property damage, and maybe carve up any unfortunates foolish enough to get in my way?”

    Launchpad slowly, carefully, lifted the crowbar from the Gator’s tray and tapped it on his open palm. “I’ve had to put up with Darkwing Duck whining and snapping at me for hurting his little brat all day. Let me smash in his skull. He’ll be much easy for you to carve up with a head injury.”

    Negaduck’s teeth glinted in the Gator’s headlights. He threw his head back and laughed. “Launchpad, you’re back! Oh, to think I was happy to be rid of you. I forgot how much I missed watching you rage out on my lesser enemies. Sure, take a swing at Darkwing Duck. As long as you let me finish him off.” He turned his back to Launchpad and hefted his chainsaw back into its holster.

    The terrible thing, Launchpad thought, as he swung the crowbar at the back of Negaduck’s head, was that those times running around their Saint Canard, causing havoc, even though some of the things they’d done now made him sick to the stomach, they’d actually enjoyed hanging out together.

    The crowbar slammed into the side of Negaduck’s motorcycle. Negaduck darted back up and circled him. Crap. Launchpad put himself between Negaduck and the chainsaw. But, crap. He’d lost his advantage.

    Just out of range, Negaduck chuckled. “You son of a bitch. You actually tried to trick me. That’s… so stupid.”

    Launchpad gulped deep breaths, for the first time in months trying to coax out the rage, instead of crush it into silence. “I’m not… I’m not afraid of you anymore!” He yelled, and swung the crowbar.

    Again, Negaduck swiftly dodged the attack. “Oh, you’re not scared? Please. You know me too well, you’ve seen me do too much. You know exactly what there is to fear. But if this is the way you want it - then come on! Fight me, you stupid lug!”

    Launchpad swung wildly and the crowbar slammed into the dirt where Negaduck had stood a second before. “I’m not going to let you hurt the McQuacks!” Even against Negaduck, even with his not quite family at stake, it wasn’t as easy to let loose his darker side as it once had been. He needed it now! But all he wanted was to land a decent hit so this would be over.

    Negaduck’s brows lowered. “You’re going to pay for this. And its going to hurt, buddy.”

    Launchpad gathered everything he had inside him, and let it loose with a roar. The crowbar swung within inches of Negaduck’s chest, and tore right through the very corner of the shack. Launchpad stumbled under the momentum. Then Negaduck was on his back, hands around his neck, fingers digging into his throat. Launchpad swiped the crowbar behind him, but it clattered to the ground as he reached the limit of his reach. He grabbed Negaduck’s hands, trying to get his big fingers around Negaduck’s.

    Negaduck’s warm breath huffed in his ear as his vision blackened. “Oh, yeah. I know just how to make this hurt.”

    ***

    Launchpad gasped as something bit into his throat. It all but constricted his airway; he couldn’t breathe.

    “Stand up properly, you idiot.”

    In his dazed state, on instinct, Launchpad did as his boss instructed. The pressure on his throat lessened to a painful tightness and he gulped in a lungful of air. Launchpad opened one eye. The kerosene lamp he’d strung up was lit, throwing the dingy interior of his shack in shifting shadows. Dust drifted down from the ceiling and the roof creaked as he shifted his weight. His hands were bound tightly behind his back. A rope reached up above his head, taut, and tied off around the single support beam. Launchpad didn’t need to see where the other end was to know it was looped in a noose around his neck. He squeezed his eyes shut. “Aw, shit.”

    “You remember this, don’t you? You actually came up with this one. Even though you screwed it up the first time. Hah. Do you remember? You strung this guy up by the neck; made him stand on a crate. Told him you’d let him swing if he didn’t give you the information you wanted, then left him to stew. Well, he stewed alright. And he decided he’d make sure he never gave up that information, and here the guy torturing had given him such any easy way out. You came back and he had choked. And I walked in on you laughing because the idiot killed himself.” Negaduck shook his head. “Can’t believe I got angry with you over that. I may not have got the information I needed, but this… it needed a bit of work, but actually a rare flash of brilliance. Really stops them from squirming when you get around to carving them up, huh?”

    Launchpad gulped. “What are you going to do to me?” There was plenty in this shack Negaduck could use. Plus the crowbar, Negaduck’s chainsaw, and even the battery in the Gator… and Negaduck was a lot more creative than he was. But as he started to sweat, Launchpad felt some of the tension leave him. Whatever Negaduck did to him, it wouldn’t be quick. Which meant he wouldn’t be taking that chainsaw over to the McQuacks. Gosalyn would eventually crack and tell her dad what was going on. It may not do him much good, but it would certainly give Darkwing the chance to protect everyone else.

    In the light of the kerosene lamp, Negaduck grinned. “Oh no, old buddy. I don’t think something like that is going to work with you anymore, even though I always did go easy on you. No, you’ve gone too soft. And if there was one thing my good for nothing daughter taught me, it was the best way to hurt someone soft, is to hurt someone they care about.”

    No. Launchpad felt a lump rise to his throat, pushing against the course rope, and tears filled his eyes. “Negaduck, you can do whatever you want to me, I won’t stop you, but leave the McQuack’s out of this.”

    Negaduck snorted. “I’ve always been able to do whatever I wanted to you, and I certainly didn’t need your permission. Oh, what happened to you, old pal? You were the most frustrating, stupid minion, but damn, were you useful. And fun. What happened to the guy who’d cackle at smashing kneecaps with me?”

    “I don’t want to be that guy anymore.” The tears spilled over Launchpad’s cheeks. He couldn’t hold them in, or wipe them away, and he’d never, ever, let Negaduck see him break down before.

    “Oh, please. You were trying to smash my skull in moments before. And you would’ve enjoyed it. I get it, you had a nice little fantasy going on over here, but now its over. What did you do, tell them how mean I was to you? I bet you left out how much you enjoyed stringing people up like this and burning everything they loved. You’ve done a lot worse than I’ve ever done to you.”

    “I’m not that guy anymore! I don’t want to be! If Launchpad and his ridiculously understanding family can, can just be so damn caring, then, then I can…”

    “What you’re going to do is get that whole family killed. You crossed me, Launchpad. So now? I’m not just going after whoever gets in my way. I’m going to hunt those ducks down and hack them to pieces. It doesn’t matter what you choose to be, this is on you.”

    “Negaduck don’t, I’ll do anything.”

    “Oh, no. I gave you that chance already and you swung a crowbar at my head. You think I’m going to cut you down so you can do it again? No, buddy. I’m giving you a different choice. Believe it or not, I can still use you. Once all this silly happy family stuff is taken care of, maybe you’ll see things differently.” Negaduck booted over another crate, then stepped up on it to reach Launchpad’s height.

    “Please don’t hurt them.” Launchpad choked over as sob as, almost gently, Negaduck brushed the tears from his cheek.

    Negaduck tapped the crate beneath Launchpad’s with a foot, and not only made the crate creak but the whole shack too. “This things pretty flimsy. So don’t shuffle around too much. Or… do. You can sit here all night and have a good think about what I’m doing over in that house. If it gets too much, well, I’ve given you enough rope. But I’ll come back for you when I’m done, take you back home. Might still have to teach you a lesson or two before I can trust you again, but I’m sure we can work something out.”

    Negaduck scooped up one of the containers of petrol. He shook his head, a grin splitting his face. “Oh, buddy. Just… hang in there.” He cackled as the door slammed behind him.

    Moments later, a whoosh of flame when up outside. Negaduck’s motorcycle started up and tore away. Outside, the flames grew brighter, then the unfortunate Gator let out a bang and the whole shack shook. The kerosene lamp swung, dropped to the floor and smashed, then went out. The shack settled. The only light was the dying flames licking outside.

    “No, no, no…” Launchpad stared up at the dark roof of the shack. The crate beneath him creaked, and he forced himself to still every bit energy in him that just want to lash out and tear everything apart. Negaduck was going to hurt the McQuacks. He couldn’t help. If he moved; he’d kill himself. So instead, Launchpad stood rigid with eyes squeezed tightly shut as tears streamed down his face.

    ***

    “Drake Mallard is the king of board games! What’ve you got? Some strategy ought to properly showcase my talents.”

    Birdie smirked as she dug through the cupboard and added another box to the stack in Drake’s arms.

    “Of course, Gosalyn is the queen, so…” Drake winced. “Maybe she won’t be on top of her game tonight.”

    Birdie fished out a roll of duct tape, frowned, and then put it on top of Drake’s pile. The stuff was everywhere in the McQuack’s house - the perfect repair material. Many of the board game boxes had their edges patched up with it. “I thought the whole idea was to keep her up a little longer? Not take advantage of the fact she took a bump to the head.”

    “I’m not…” Drake rolled his eyes. “She’s nine. It’s embarrassing, alright?” He frowned at the topmost box. “Snakes and ladders?

    “We’ve got Monopoly.”

    “Not exactly the kind of strategy I was thinking of.”

    “We mostly had games Launchpad could keep up with. Which, surprisingly, and I guess after working for Mr McDuck, seems to include Monopoly.”

    Birdie wondered how Ripcord was going out there, talking to Launchpad. At least this time she knew his reluctance to communicate with his son had been a combination of Launchpad not being old enough, then leaving home, then… life just getting in the way. It’d be hard on her husband, but she knew he could work through it. Ripcord was nowhere near the dark place he’d been when he’d gone into his spiral working out how his plane’s engine had failed.

    All those years ago, hauling him away from his maintenance manuals and strapping him into that plane had been a last ditch effort to save their marriage and get him to reconnect with his kids. Birdie had felt terrible. She could feel her husband trembling when she’d strapped Launchpad into his lap, felt him trying to catch her eye, and she’d focused on her son because if she’d actually seen Ripcord silently questioning why she was doing this to him, she couldn’t have gone through with it. Going up in a plane with Launchpad was something he couldn’t, at that point in time, physically do by himself. It was every bloody thing else he’d been carrying on with she’d needed to stop. And doing this to him would either snap him out of it or cause him to completely break. She’d just kept telling herself that he, deep down inside, wanted her help. If he hadn’t, there would’ve been no way she could have physically dragged him out there.

    Surprisingly, it had worked. Ripcord had been white as a sheet when she helped him out of the plane, but then he’d sat down and played with Launchpad as he’d gone on and on without a breath about how much fun it had been. When he’d asked if his dad would come up with them again, Ripcord had said yes. And that night, when she and Ripcord lay in each others arms for the first time in months, he’d apologised to her, and promised he’d do better. And he had.

    But Launchpad wouldn’t let his father blame himself. Birdie just didn’t know how the knowledge would hurt him, how he would react, or if it was even the best option to tell him. They’d never figured out if the crash and subsequent month in hospital had done any permanent damage. As far as Birdie was concerned, it didn’t matter. But Launchpad was an adult now, he had a right to know, and to figure out what that all meant for himself. She just hoped the knowledge wouldn’t confuse him, or cause him to question himself too much. She just wanted them to come back, so she could talk to her son, Ripcord too, and make sure they were all right.

    But for now, board games would be a welcome distraction. Along with the other thing she had on her mind. She was certain now that Drake and Launchpad were not romantically involved with each other. Which left Birdie with only one other theory as to what her son and Drake Mallard were up to, and why they’d been so secretive.

    The other Launchpad had told them their son worked for Darkwing Duck. Heck, Ripcord was probably talking to him about that as well. They were both going to have a heavy night. And that led to Birdie’s second theory. What if Launchpad wasn’t only helping Drake with his daughter and upkeep of his house? Now, if Drake was secretly Darkwing Duck… Launchpad was so involved with the family, it made sense. Besides, Drake was about the right stature too.

    Drake peered around his stack of boxes. “Do you have cards?”

    “Oh! Yes!” Birdie pulled out four packs and slammed them on top of the stack.

    “Okay, you do. That’s a lot of cards.”

    “I’ve got the perfect game; it needs more than one pack. But, so you like strategy? I guess a man like yourself likes to keep an active mind?”

    “Yep yep yep, got to keep on top of my game.”

    “What is it you do for work again?”

    “Er…” Drake hid behind the stack of board games. “These are getting pretty heavy. I’ll take them to the living room before I drop something.”

    Birdie was fairly certain he was blushing. Rip would have her head for teasing him like this. “Come on. With Loopey back from the hanger, four people will make this game the perfect amount of hectic.”

    ***

    Drake honestly quite liked Birdie. She’d been helpful with Gos, and she understood how he could be equally parts concerned over and frustrated with taking care of his daughter. He’d been stuck watching both her and her childish cartoons, and it was good to have another adult to talk to. The Negaverse Launchpad didn’t count. He’d seemed on edge, and just wanted to hang around Gosalyn. Birdie had convinced him it was just because he felt bad. Stranger still, Gosalyn suddenly seemed to like him, and that meant Drake hadn’t had to entertain her for the whole day. It had been amusing watching Gosalyn bully the burlier version of Launchpad into getting her snacks. Until he’d caught on she was taking advantage of him. So the next time she’d asked him for something, he’d quietly gone and got a positively gigantic bowl of chips, then sat next to her and eaten the entire thing. So, not exactly like his Launchpad.

    Birdie was easy to talk to. Most of the time. But then there were her random, absolutely unexpected and awkward questions she’d suddenly, out of the blue, ask him. He’d caught on she was doing it, but heck, he could not see them coming.

    But cards were safe; it made it easier to avoid those questions. The Negaverse Launchpad had wandered off, which was possibly good, because Drake wasn’t sure how aggressive he’d get if he got competitive. And the card game Birdie quickly taught them was just a little bit violent.

    The game was like solitaire, except everyone played onto the same stacks of cards in the middle of the table and everyone had their own, complete, deck of cards. Which meant you had to fight to get your cards onto the table before someone beat you to it. Birdie and Loopey had practically slapped each others hands on more than one occasion in their rush to beat the other to play the same card. Once you emptied your pile you yelled “Hell!”, apparently the louder the better, which usually resulted in everyone else pelting their remaining cards at you. And that made it extra fun when you had to sort out four separate decks for the next round.

    Gosalyn should have loved it. Drake fully expected her to ‘accidentally’ slap him. But she kept climbing up on the couch and looking out the window. At least she wasn’t drowsy, or he would’ve started to worry about the bump she’d taken. But still.

    “Gos, you’ve got like three cards you can play,” he tried.

    Loopey slammed a card down onto the table.

    “Make that two.”

    Gosalyn played only one of the two cards, then shuffled slowly through the deck in her hands. Something was going on. Drake needed to talk to his daughter. But ‘hell’ was not the most conducive card game for having a proper conversation.

    “Hell!” shouted Birdie, in accompaniment to her last card slamming down.

    “Damn!” Loopey flung her remaining hand into the mess. She slumped back into the couch, arms folded, and huffed.

    The sky outside lit up, and not quite a second later the bang of an explosion hit the house. The windows shook and rattled. Gosalyn leapt up on the couch. “Oh, no, Launchpad.” Drake was certain she did not mean his sidekick.

    Birdie stood up. “Oh, no. What’s he gone and done?”

    “What the heck was that?” said Loopey.

    “Launchpad… not your brother… I knew we shouldn’t let him play with all that flammable stuff. But he needed to vent, I thought he knew what he was doing…”

    Drake shot to his feet. “You’re telling me he has explosives out there? Gosalyn was out there with him. You told me he was safe!”

    “He doesn’t have explosives.” Birdie gulped. “That we know of…”

    Gosalyn grabbed Drake’s hand. “Dad, you can go check on him, right?”

    Drake looked into his daughter’s wide eyes. This wasn’t just the Negaverse Launchpad’s pyromaniac streak acting up. Something else was going on, and Gosalyn knew what it was. “Oh yeah. I can check on him.”

    “You’ll be alright out there? I mean, you do this sort of thing a lot, right?” Birdie asked.

    Drake eyes narrowed. “Do you really think now is a good time?”

    Birdie raised her hands. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Can you just check he’s okay?”

    Gosalyn rushed out of the living room ahead of him. When he got to the front door, she was nowhere to be seen. She came rushing from the spare bedroom and shoved his Darkwing costume into his arms.

    “Gos!” Drake grabbed the bundle and hugged it to his chest. “Don’t let Birdie see this. Wait… why do you want me to go as Darkwing? What were you two doing out there?”

    Gosalyn dragged him out the front door and grasped his hands. “Dad, Negaduck’s here. He followed us from Saint Canard. We saw him when we went out to Launchpad’s ugly old shack.”

    “Negaduck… wait, what did… jerkface have to say to him?”

    “His name’s not jerkface! Launchpad thought I was unconscious the whole time they were talking. He wanted Negaduck to leave, and he was really, really scared. Negaduck threatened to hurt the McQuacks, and Launchpad went out there tonight to stop him, and he didn’t want anyone to find out, and he made me promise…”

    “Okay, okay, I get it. He’s not a bad guy.”

    “He’s just trying to protect the McQuacks because they’ve actually been nice to him. Unlike Negaduck. He was horrible to him, Dad. Even when he was supposed to be his sidekick. What if he’s hurt him?”

    Drake whipped his cape about his shoulders and pulled Darkwing’s hat onto his head. “Don’t worry; I’ll find him. You go back inside with Loopey and Birdie.”

    Gosalyn scowled.

    “I don’t have the Ratchatcher. I’ll move faster without you, and get to help Launchpad quicker.”

    “Okay, fine. I’ll make sure Loopey and Birdie are safe.”

    Drake sighed. “That’s my girl.”

    He headed for the faint glow of the fire on the horizon. Oh yeah, he was really missing the Ratcatcher. The frustration of having to walk, along with the thought of Negaduck being here, causing trouble, made Darkwing grit his teeth. He’d come all the way out here for Launchpad, because his sidekick really, really needed to see his family. Negaduck had no right to be here, threatening them, and Darkwing wouldn’t let him anywhere near them.

    Despite now having to come to the rescue he couldn’t work up any anger at the Negaverse Launchpad. He could understand trying to hide Negaduck’s presence from the McQuacks. They shouldn’t have to deal with this sort of stuff. And he’d managed to convince Gosalyn he was alright. That certainly counted for something. Taking on Negaduck himself was still immensely stupid. If he didn’t want to scare the McQuacks he could’ve at least come to Darkwing for help. But then, Launchpad had taken on his double by himself too. Stupidly heroic, but mostly just plain stupid.

    Twin lights lit up the road ahead and the roar of an engine grumbled towards him. Darkwing stopped and shaded his eyes. It was just so dark out here and the headlights were blinding. In the city, there was always plenty of ambient light to see by. Man, he was really out of his element.

    And then the lights were upon him.

    “Oh. Crap.” Darkwing dove to the side as the motorcycle roared past. He could feel the rush of air as it passed within inches of him, and whipped up his cape and wrapped it around him. It rolled him up and tossed him aside.

    Darkwing fought with his cape. It’d done him right up in a bundle. “Darkwing Duck will not be defeated… by… his own… cape!” Darkwing fell out of the mess and face-planted into the dirt. “Ow.” He lay there for a moment. Partly to let his head stop spinning, partly out of embarrassment.

    Negaduck. The motorcycle was heading straight for Loopey and Birdie. And Gosalyn. Darkwing hauled himself to his feet. His head still spun. And in the darkness, he suddenly wasn’t sure which direction the house was.

    #negaduck is seriously ticking me off abusive bastard #darkwing duck#darkwing#dwd#dwd91#darkwing fanfiction #darkwing duck fanfiction #negaduck#negalaunchpad#nega launchpad#drake mallard#gosalyn mallard
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  • iwrotethisformysonjake
    02.05.2021 - 1 week ago

    Bonkers meets Jim Starling

    Bonkers: I get ya buddy, my show got cancelled for some stupid Bucky Beaver show. What loser got you booted?

    Jim: well, let me think, that's right, YOU!

    Bonkers:....so you don't wannabe friends?

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  • bitofthisandthat
    30.04.2021 - 1 week ago
    #Hey Nony Nonny #asks#💣NEGADUCK 💣 #HEADCANON || NEGADUCK #CHAOS CONTAINED IN PINK & LACE || Nega! Gosalyn
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  • rip-in-pieces-my-last-braincell
    21.04.2021 - 2 weeks ago

    What she said: "I have four Darkwings to take care of me!"

    What I heard: "I have four dads to take care of me!"

    #darkwing duck#gosalyn mallard#nega gosalyn #the friendly four #am I wrong? no
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  • bitofthisandthat
    17.04.2021 - 3 weeks ago

    In many ways I'm the burden that divides us from the light                 In many ways you're the HALO that keeps my spirit  a l i v e.

    Temptation; Play the good or evil part With me....you evoke the d a r k               E  r  a  s  e   the free will and...watch me heal.

    #In Flames Lyrics #The Chosen Pessimist #PICKLES || IC #NEGADUCK || IC #HEADCANON || NEGADUCK #HEADCANON || NEGA! GOSALYN #{ See what I mean; it looks more like how he views/feels about his daughter but doesn't say to  a n y o n e } #{ AS ALWAYS. Anders lyrics = Pickles 100% }
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  • hyperpsychomaniac
    16.04.2021 - 3 weeks ago

    Who Says You Can't Go Home - Chapter 4

    Darkwing Duck (90s series) fanfiction

    Sequel to my recent fanfic The Other Side of Me

    Summary: Down on his luck, the Negaverse Launchpad crashes at Launchpad’s parents looking for help. Launchpad, who has avoided visiting his family since he started working with Darkwing, returns in a panic to ensure his double isn’t causing trouble. And then it gets awkward.

    Chapter 1

    ***

    “Are we there yet? I thought you said this was supposed to be fun?”

    Launchpad shook his head and grinned. “Nearly there, kiddo.” The whining should have been bugging him. But he was surprised she’d actually come. This one was much more of a troublemaker than his Gosalyn had been. Not that she hadn’t upset her adoptive father on more than one occasion, but that had always been innocently. She’d been such an odd child.

    “Are you listening to me?”

    “No.”

    “Launchpad doesn’t ignore me.”

    “I’m not your Launchpad.” The Negaverse Launchpad took one last drag on his cigarette, then stomped it out under his boot and carefully kicked dirt over it. “Look, we’re here.”

    They’d come upon a derelict little shack. Behind it ran an old creek bed, all but dry in the arid weather.

    Gosalyn frowned. “I’m still not impressed.”

    “Man, you’re a tough little nut, aren’t you?” Launchpad booted open the rusty door, and the whole hovel rattled and shook. A single, not-quite-upright support column propped up a support beam that ran across the centre of the roof. The column visibly swayed, dust rained down from the rotting ceiling and the old kerosene lamp he’d hung up bounced around, but the shack stood firm. One day he was going to send the whole thing crashing down, and that was exactly the reason Launchpad kept booting the door in so hard. Inside was littered with fuel cans, butane canisters, a couple lengths of PVC pipe, crates of bottles and cans, some old course rope, and, of course, potatoes.

    Gosalyn raised an eyebrow. “Where’s the gun? This is just a pile of trash.”

    Launchpad winced. The terrible thing was she was right. He really missed his rocket launcher. He scooped up the PVC pipe and tossed it to her. “Well, you’re going to learn how to make a gun from a pile of trash. Grab the other half. I’ll get the potatoes.”

    Gosalyn looked at him like he’d grown another head. But he definitely had her hooked. She grabbed the other length of pipe, and carried them both outside.

    Launchpad gulped at the lump in his throat. Oh man. He was getting attached way too fast. Hanging out with Gosalyn had roused that faint feeling of guilt down inside. He’d have liked to have thought he’d gotten between his Gosalyn and Negaduck once or twice, that he’d protected her. But the truth was, despite all his faults, Negaduck would never dream of physically hurting his daughter. He had other ways of keeping her in line. Launchpad had never stood between them; he’d never had the guts. He’d just been the guy who was usually around when Negaduck got so fed up with his daughter he felt like hurting someone. At least now his Gosalyn was being looked after way better then he’d ever been capable of in Negaduck’s house. She was better off without him.

    Launchpad huffed and hefted up the crate of potatoes. “Bastard.” He booted one of the butane canisters and sent it spinning out the door.

    “Hey!”

    “Pick it up. We need it.”

    Outside, Gosalyn was trying to assemble the bits of PVC pipe, her tongue stuck out in concentration.

    “Here.” Launchpad set up the pipe to form the canon, resting it on its makeshift tripod so it pointed out and over the dry creek bed. Across the other side he’d previously set up crates, bottles and cans. And, most importantly, nothing that he’d get in trouble for hurling a potato clean through.

    Gosalyn was picking up on the general idea. She rifled through the crate of potatoes, picked a good sized one, and rolled it down the tube. Then she scowled. “How’s a bit of plastic supposed to fire a potato?”

    Launchpad picked up the tin of butane and spun it around so Gosalyn could see the ‘caution: flammable’ warning on its side. “We’re going to set this. On fire.”

    “You’ve really got a theme, don’t you?”

    Launchpad filled the tube with gas, and sat himself behind the pipe to line her up and make sure the recoil didn’t send the whole thing spinning off. That had been pretty funny the first time he’d fired it, and Gosalyn probably would get a kick out of the whole contraption knocking him on his ass. But he wasn’t going to risk it with the child of the superhero who probably still didn’t trust him around. Satisfied everything was set up as safe as a potato gun could be, her lit her up.

    The potato shot out of the tube with a pop, sailed through the air and splattered some hundred yards across the other side of the creek.

    Gosalyn’s jaw dropped. “Keen gear.”

    Launchpad loaded and fired off a half dozen more. Truth was the thing was impossible to aim, and he rarely had to go out to set up new targets. Still, he somehow managed to send a potato splintering through an old crate he’d set up. He broke down laughing, which really confused Gosalyn. He’d spent far too long scratching a likeness of Negaduck into that crate, but you couldn’t actually see it from this distance.

    “Okay, you weirdo. If you’re going to sit there and giggle, I think that means its my turn.”

    “Alright, alright. Let me get you set up. This things got a fair bit of kick. Wait…” The sound of an engine cut into the desert air. It sounded like a motorbike. Launchpad’s eyes narrowed and his fists tensed at his sides.

    “Is that a motorbike? What, what is it?”

    “Probably that damn kid.” Launchpad drew in a breath, and fought down the part of himself that still wanted to deal with any annoyance with as much force as possible. He’d kept it at bay last time, even if Mrs McQuack hadn’t been entirely happy when he’d told her what happened. “I caught him riding on the McQuack’s property a few weeks ago. When I told him to clear off, he back-chatted me. So I fired a potato in his general direction. I think he got the message.”

    Now, he was going to have to find some other way to deal with the situation. Mrs McQuack had told him off, despite the fact he’d made it clear he hadn’t actually fired the potato straight at the brat. She hadn’t made him do anything dumb like go apologise, but she’d told him not to fire projectiles at or near people again. Especially kids. “At least, I thought he got the message.” Launchpad shielded his eyes as he searched for the machine. It was familiar, but now he wasn’t sure it was that same kid’s bike.

    “Fill her up. Check. Aim. Light her up!”

    Launchpad didn’t realise what Gosalyn was doing until the PVC pipe let out a decidedly louder than normal pop. The slam of an impact and splintering wood followed a split second later.

    Launchpad spun around. “Shit!”

    The PVC pipe bounced and rattled along the ground then rolled to rest. Gosalyn slumped against the side of the shack where she’d been thrown, one of the brittle boards cracked and splintered behind her head.

    “No, no, no…” Launchpad skidded to his knees beside her and gently shook her shoulders. “Kiddo?”

    The motorbike rattled up behind him and the engine shuddered off. Even a bratty kid would help. And if he didn’t, he could donate his bike to getting Gosalyn back to the house as quick as possible.

    “Oh. Wow. Nice job. She’s been here, what, three hours? I can’t believe I used to let you babysit. In fact, I can’t believe you’re still alive.”

    Launchpad’s chest tightened; he couldn’t breathe. His vision grew fuzzy around the edges. All he could focus on was his trembling hands and how they engulfed Gosalyn’s tiny shoulders. Gosalyn. Launchpad finally managed to suck in a gasp of air, and the oxygen cleared his head. He couldn’t let him hurt this Gosalyn. Launchpad gathered every ounce of his strength and turned to face the voice from his past.

    “You ran away from me too, didn’t you?” Negaduck. He was right. There. His yellow and black motorcycle behind him, and Launchpad wondered how he’d ever mistaken its sound for a dirt bike. “So much for loyalty.”

    “What are you doing here?” Launchpad’s voice grated and caught in his throat.

    “I tailed that idiot Darkwing Duck. Figured I could have a little fun out here.” Negaduck’s beak split into a wide grin. “But this is a surprise. Where’ve you been, buddy?”

    “I was never your buddy. You have to leave. Now.” His voice sounded weak, pathetic. Even to his own ears.

    Negaduck laughed. “Oh, someone definitely ran away, didn’t they?” The cackle cut off just as quickly, then Negaduck was right on top of him, grabbing him by the collar, pressing his beak against his. “You don’t tell me what to do!”

    Launchpad stumbled back under the unexpected weight and his heart-rate rocketed. He shoved Negaduck off and threw up his guard. “Don’t touch me!”

    Negaduck raised his hands and took a step back, chuckling. “Someone’s developed a backbone.”

    “You can’t. Be here. You’re whole deal is Saint Canard, and Darkwing Duck, and… you can’t mess with the McQuacks. They’re good people. They don’t live in a place like Saint Canard. They can’t deal with all this superhero and villain stuff.”

    “The McQuacks, huh?” Negaduck stroked his beak, completely ignoring the fact Launchpad was squared up like he wanted to fight. “Oh, you idiot, what have you been doing? Playing happy little families? This isn’t your world, you know.”

    “Never stopped you from trying to take it over.”

    Negaduck flung his arms wide. “That’s because I’m ambitious. But now, there’s an idea. Messing with a cute innocent country family whilst Darkwing Duck tries to protect them? Could be fun.”

    “Negaduck, don’t.”

    “Come on, Launchpad. You know it will be. I know I usually left you in charge of the home front. But, seeing as you’re here, why don’t we both have a little fun?”

    “You have got to be kidding me.”

    Negaduck waggled his eyebrows. “I’ll let you fly my aeroplane.”

    The faintest hint of a thrill rose in Launchpad’s chest. He was actually letting him… And then, slowly, he lowered his fists. “I… I can’t believe I let you take that away from me. I’ve got plenty of aeroplanes I can fly now. And the people who own them don’t tease me with them, and make me feel like I have to earn every last little shred of respect!”

    “Been behaving yourself, have you? Got them fooled? Please. What do you think they’ll think about this?” He pointed a finger at Gosalyn. “Or this?” And jabbed his thumb back into his own chest. “As soon as they see who you really are they won’t be so forgiving.”

    “Darkwing’s here.”

    “Yeah, and you just knocked out his daughter. Listen up, Launchpad. I’m giving you a choice. As soon as your little surrogate family realises I’m here, they’re going to start asking questions. They’re going to think you called me, or at least that taking you in was what brought this tragedy down upon them…”

    “You leave them alone.”

    “Maybe I will. I’d rather cause my havoc at night anyway, so I’ll give you until sunset. Then, you’re going to come back to this sad little shack and you’re going to tell me you’re ready to help me take down Darkwing Duck. In return, I’ll let these good, kind people get away with simply the scare of me slaughtering a superhero in their back garden. Or, you oppose me, or tell Darkwing I’m here, and if that happens…” Negaduck cackled. “I’ll burn this whole place to the ground, along with any soul unfortunate enough to get in my way!”

    Launchpad’s fists shook at his sides. Grab him now. Tie him up. Beat him to a pulp. He’s half your size! All those thoughts bounced around in his head. But he didn’t move. “Negaduck, please don’t.”

    Negaduck threw a leg over his motorcycle and started her up. “Think about it, old pal. It really would be fun causing chaos with you again.” Then he gunned the engine, skidded around so the bike threw up a wave of dirt, and tore away.

    As soon as the motorcycle disappeared over the nearest rise, Launchpad’s knees buckled. His back slammed into the old shack besides Gosalyn and he put his face in his hands. “Aw, kid. What am I supposed to do?” He fished the packet of cigarettes out of his jacket pocket, and fumbled to push out a single one so he could grab hold of it. The simple task was almost impossible.

    Gosalyn shot to her feet. “I knew I needed to keep an eye on you!”

    “Shit!” The packet jumped from Launchpad’s hands and cigarettes scattered everywhere. “Damn it, kid. I thought you’d really hurt yourself.”

    Gosalyn put her hands on her hips. “Don’t play games with me. I saw you talking to Negaduck! You’re still working for him, aren’t you?”

    Launchpad’s heart plummeted. “No! I didn’t even know he was here, I swear.”

    “A likely… story…” Gosalyn blinked a couple of times, then sat down heavily.

    “Aw, man, you’re not okay, are you?” Launchpad reached out for her.

    Gosalyn swiped a hand in front of her face. “Back off, buster.”

    He could’ve scooped her up and there would be nothing she could do about it, but Launchpad paused in his advance. “You hit you’re head. I just want to check you’re okay.” He reached out for her again, slowly, and she lowered her hand. He felt her head. There was no blood, but he thought he could feel a decent sized bump.

    Gosalyn tolerated it for a second, then slapped at his hand. “Ow, stop.”

    “How many fingers am I holding up?”

    “Two.” She frowned up at him. “Your hands are shaking.”

    Launchpad swallowed hard. “I’m not working for Negaduck. Please believe me. He was just… there. He said if I didn’t help him he’d hurt the McQuacks. What am I supposed to do?” Suddenly, nothing seemed as important as this kid believing him. He didn’t know what else to say to convince her.

    “I must’ve really hit my head… okay. He must’ve followed us from Saint Canard. Maybe we should tell Dad.”

    “No! We can’t. If I tell Darkwing, Negaduck’s going to hurt the McQuacks. I have to deal with this myself. And if the McQuacks find out…” If he lost their trust, he didn’t know he could take it. No wonder this world’s Launchpad had been so angry with him when he arrived. It didn’t matter that he’d changed. He’d dragged trouble right along with him. Launchpad hung his head. “I shouldn’t have come here.”

    Gosalyn leaned over and swiped her knuckles into his arm. It was a terrible punch, and he was sure she could’ve done better had she not been semi out of it. “Come on. Where would you be if you hadn’t crashed in their front yard?”

    Not causing trouble for innocent families for sure. Launchpad stood to his feet and held out a hand. “Can you get up?”

    Gosalyn pushed herself to shaky feet and grabbed onto his arm.

    “Right, I’d better carry you.”

    “You are not carrying me like a baby.”

    “I’m not letting you walk.”

    “Hang on. Crouch down.”

    Launchpad did as she instructed. Gosalyn managed to make a little jump, and hook her arms around his neck. Launchpad hefted her up in a piggy back, making sure he had his arms under her in case she passed out again and lost her grip. He started heading back to the house. “You’re not going to tell your Dad about Negaduck, right?”

    “Okay fine. But you have to do something for me first.”

    Despite his apprehension, Launchpad rolled his eyes. This kid was something else. “I’m not letting you play with the potato gun again. But, go on, anything else. What do you want?”

    “I know Negaduck’s not a nice guy. But you’re terrified of him. What did he do to you? Launchpad told me about him making you burn your planes, but, you know, what else?”

    Launchpad’s guts tightened. “Aw, man, kid. You don’t pull any punches do you?”

    “If someone scared my Launchpad that bad… well, that’s why I was so mad at you.”

    “Okay, okay…” There was plenty to choose from. Some he certainly wouldn’t share with a kid. But neither did Launchpad want to downplay her question by choosing something like Negaduck getting way too competitive about playing punchies, which had never really bothered him at all. And then he thought about his own Gosalyn. “It wasn’t just me he was a jerk to…”

    ***

    “Come on, Negaduck. Are you sure you’re not going a bit overboard?”

    “Stop whining,” Negaduck grumbled as he balanced on Launchpad’s shoulders so he could tie his minion’s wrists to the branch above. The dying tree in Negaduck’s backyard couldn’t take his weight, so they’d just settled for stringing him up to it with his feet still on the ground. “You’re the idiot who let her keep talking about getting a pink pinata for her birthday. Honestly, I leave you two alone for five minutes…”

    “You beat a pinata with a stick! I thought you wanted her to find something violent to enjoy? Sounds like violence to me.”

    “She wants a pink pony pinata because its supposed to have candy inside. Urgh. I don’t want any daughter of mine getting candy for her birthday. By this age, I expect her to ask me for a butterfly knife or something.” Negaduck finished his knot, then leapt back to the ground. “If she wants to hit something with a stick the only thing she should enjoy getting out of it is blood and teeth.” He scooped up the rolled up bit of cardboard that had come with the pinata Gosalyn thought she was getting, and thumped Launchpad heavily on the chest with it.

    Launchpad grinned. “Heh. Yeah. That’s always fun. I’m glad she won’t be knocking anything out with that flimsy piece of trash though. But we’ve got to start her somewhere, right?”

    “Oh, yeah of course.” Negaduck dug amongst the smashed paper mache they’d already destroyed in the corner of the yard, and came up with a handful of colourful candy, and a pink ribbon. “Now, hold still.”

    “I don’t want that thing in my hair… wha…”

    Negaduck rammed the candy, wrappers and all, into Launchpad’s beak, then trussed it up with the pink ribbon. “That’s much better.” He grinned, patted Launchpad on his bulging check, then screamed: “Gosalyn! Get your butt out here. It’s pinata time!”

    Gosalyn stumbled out of the house in her pink party dress, blindfolded. She grinned madly as she swayed across the yard like a drunk man. “Dad! Can I at least see the pinata first?”

    “What? And break the pinata rules?” Negaduck winked at Launchpad. Then he hurled the rolled up piece of cardboard over the Muddlefoot’s fence. “Won’t be needing this!” He reached into the pile of paper mache and pulled out an aluminium baseball bat.

    Launchpad shuffled back. “Nefadufck…” he mumbled around the plastic mixed with sickly sweet goop in his mouth.

    “Stay where you are, Launchpad!” Negaduck barked.

    Launchpad jerked to a halt at the order.

    “What?” said Gosalyn. “What’s he doing?”

    “Being pushy. You know how he likes smashing thing. But you’re the party girl; so you get to go first.” Negaduck shoved the bat into Gosalyn’s hands and adjusted her grip. He pointed her to face Launchpad.

    Gosalyn tapped the bat on Launchpad’s hip.

    “Higher, sweetheart. If you want it to spill, you need to hit it right in the guts.” Negaduck leaned forward, hand on his daughter’s shoulder, a wicked grin splitting his beak.

    Gosalyn adjusted her grip. All the practice Launchpad had with her in the back yard was paying off; her swing was perfect. The bat slammed up under his ribs. Launchpad dropped. The flimsy bough broke under his weight and snapped in half on impact across his back. Launchpad doubled over as bile leapt up his throat and mixed with the gunk in his mouth. He spluttered and gagged and couldn’t get air, and then the flimsy pink ribbon popped and the whole mess spilled out on the browning lawn.

    Gosalyn ripped her blindfold off. No way she could’ve been fooled that impact had been with paper mache. The bat clattered to the ground at her side.

    “Gosalyn… I’m… kay…” Launchpad said, then sagged back down with a wheeze.

    Gosalyn’s eyes filled with tears. “Launchpad, I’m sorry.” She bolted back into the house.

    Negaduck cackled. “Happy birthday, sweetheart!”

    Launchpad spat, then pushed himself to his knees, a hand still to his belly.

    Negaduck grabbed him by the collar. “Next time, I expect you to talk her out of this kind of garbage before I have to get involved. I can find someone much bigger than a little girl to take a swing at you.” He hauled him to his feet and flung him towards the house. “Now go ask her if she wants cake!”

    ***

    He’d carried Gosalyn almost all the way back to the house now. Launchpad gulped and adjusted his grip underneath her. Between Darkwing Duck and the McQuacks, he really didn’t know how this would pan out.

    “You can put me down now.”

    Launchpad let her slip off his back. She grabbed him around the waist and hugged him tight.

    “Hey… what?”

    “I’m sorry, Launchpad. I knew Negaduck was a jerkface, but… I won’t tell my Dad. And I’ll help you take care of Negaduck.”

    “Heh.” Launchpad prised her off him. “Let’s just make sure you’re okay first.”

    ***

    Drake had paced the porch for the last half hour. His only consolation, despite Birdie’s assurances that the Negaverse Launchpad was harmless, was that it was highly unlikely he had kidnapped his daughter. Gosalyn would have taken off with him simply because she knew her father wouldn’t like it.

    Finally, he saw her coming down the front path, Launchpad’s double trailing almost right behind her. Drake cleared the front steps and rushed to meet his daughter. “Gosalyn, don’t go running off like that!”

    He knew something was wrong when Gosalyn looked up at him, not ready for an argument, but with relief. And then she slumped into his arms. Drake clamped her tight to her chest. His gaze snapped up to the Negaverse Launchpad, and the only thing that stopped him from slamming a fist into his face was supporting his daughter. “What did you do?” he hissed.

    “Dad, it’s okay,” said Gosalyn, though she still clung to him. “It’s not his fault. I was being stupid and I fell over.”

    Launchpad shuffled a boot through the dirt. “She hit her head. I’m sorry. I thought I was watching her.” The subdued moment was just so… Launchpad, that it gave Drake pause. His buddy’s double actually felt bad about this. So he should, but still.

    Leaning on the porch railing beside his wife, Ripcord went rigid. “Wait, she hit her head?” He paled several shades. “I’ll… doctor…” He bolted back inside so quickly the door slammed into the wall and the front windows rattled.

    Birdie winced. “Rip! It’s okay, she’s conscious…” She hung her head in resignation. “Great. We’re going to have the entirety of the town’s medical staff here in ten minutes. I thought we were past this.”

    Drake scooped Gosalyn up, despite her half-hearted protestations, threw a glare at Launchpad’s double, and followed Birdie inside. His heart still thudded in his chest, but it was steadily slowing. He wasn’t sure how mad he was supposed to be at the Negaverse Launchpad. I mean, he’d be mad at Launchpad if he’d let something like this happen, but he wouldn’t hold it against him. He wasn’t surprised Gosalyn had gone and down something dumb. It wasn’t the first time.

    “Yes, send them now!” Ripcord growled into the phone.

    Birdie, put a hand on his arm. “Ripcord, calm down. Here…” She took the phone off him. “Yes, she’s conscious. But if you could send one of the doctors over that’d be great.” She hung up, then turned back to her husband and grasped his hands. “Are you alright?”

    “Better safe than sorry,” Ripcord grumbled.

    Launchpad pushed past them, not making eye contact with anyone, and went into the kitchen.

    Drake took Gosalyn into the living room, put her down onto the sofa and rearranged the cushions around her.

    “Dad, I’m fine.”

    “Yeah, yeah, I’m sure you are. Although, its not the first time you’ve given yourself a concussion.” He squeezed her shoulder. “That head of yours is nearly as hard as Launchpad’s. You’ll be fine.”

    “My son does not have a hard head,” said Ripcord. “And neither does your daughter! You don’t know what happened to her; it could be serious. How can you be so blase about your own child…”

    Drake saw red. He whirled and stabbed a finger into Ripcord’s chest. “I think I know whether my daughter needs medical attention or not, thank you very much!”

    Although Drake had intended to give him a good prod in the chest, he found himself pointing just above the man’s belly button. Ripcord glared down at him, and then his shoulders sagged. “I’m sorry. I was just trying to help.”

    Drake lowered his hand. “I… yeah, I know. Thanks for, you know, being so on the ball and calling the doctor. Sorry, I overreacted.”

    Ripcord smiled tightly. “Hey, its fine, I get it. I have kids too, remember?” He turned to Birdie. “How long ago did we call?”

    “Speaking of kids,” said Birdie. “I heard one of our planes come back over. Launchpad might be back in the hanger. You should go talk to him. He’ll be in a better mood after taking a plane out.”

    “Yeah, but…”

    Birdie patted his arm.“Not your kid. We’ll handle it. You know you’ll just get underfoot.”

    “Probably,” Ripcord huffed. He glanced one last time at Gosalyn, then headed out the front door.

    Launchpad came back from the kitchen with a glass of water and took it to Gosalyn. Drake snatched it off him, then handed it over to her.

    “Dad, really?”

    “I don’t know what you two were up to,” he said, voice low. “But you are not going out together unsupervised again!”

    ***

    Chapter 5

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  • hyperpsychomaniac
    10.04.2021 - 4 weeks ago

    Who Says You Can't Go Home - Chapter 3

    Darkwing Duck (90s series) fanfiction

    Sequel to my recent fanfic The Other Side of Me

    Summary: Down on his luck, the Negaverse Launchpad crashes at Launchpad’s parents looking for help. Launchpad, who has avoided visiting his family since he started working with Darkwing, returns in a panic to ensure his double isn’t causing trouble. And then it gets awkward.

    Chapter 1

    ***

    Launchpad left the Gator outside and stormed into the hanger. “Why am I always so stupid?!” Forget the planes. He just wanted to find something to throw.

    Until he stepped inside. He’d forgotten how pristine his parents’ hanger was. Unlike the dilapidated hanger he’d been able to afford in Saint Canard, this was tidy and immaculate. Every plane was clean and painted. Every tool had its place, outlined in white paint on the numerous tool boards, so there could be no excuse to not put them back where they belonged.

    The nostalgia hit him like a slap in the chest. This was where his love for aeroplanes had started, and grown. And it was impossible to separate those feelings from memories of his family, being here with him, and sharing every triumph and crash along the way. He’d missed this place. He wished he’d come back sooner. Launchpad gulped at the lump in his throat. “Yeah,” he said hoarsely. “Why am I always so stupid?”

    The only clutter was on the work bench in one corner, which had a half pulled apart piece of equipment on it. And beside the work bench, his father’s desk. It had been there for as long as Launchpad could remember. The diagrams and spreadsheets and post its stuck above it would inevitable change, and accumulate, but they were all along the same theme. Ripcord tracked every scrap of maintenance information to do with every plane in the hanger, at least until his wife told him to get rid of all that useless paper and he’d cut it back down to a more reasonable level. There was certainly a degree of organisation to it, be it something only his father could really follow. But, seriously, talk about overkill.

    Launchpad picked up the maintenance drawings left out on the very top of the pile. Despite his annoyance at his father’s over-complication of what should be a simple task, this was the easiest way to see which plane Mom and Dad were currently working on.

    “Okay, I get you’re ticked at Mom and Dad. But if you screw around with Dad’s paperwork he is really going to lose it.”

    Launchpad dropped the paper back in its spot. “I wasn’t going to.” He turned to face his sister and flung a hand out at the wall behind him. “I can’t believe he’s still doing this.”

    “I told him last time I visited I could help him computerise it,” said Loopey. “But I think he likes it all out where he can see it.”

    “That’s not what I meant. They’ve barely got a dozen planes. How much time does he waste with this?”

    Loopey raised an eyebrow. “Not everyone runs their planes to failure.”

    Launchpad snorted. “I do not run my planes to failure. I run them until they crash. Then I have to repair it all anyway. That seems to keep on top of it.”

    Loopey shrugged, then rubbed her arm. “Listen, I didn’t know Mom and Dad lied to get you here. I’m sorry.”

    Launchpad leaned back against the desk. “Its not that they lied. It’s just… I was worried! But they’re not bothered by the other LP at all. I think Mom may have scared him into behaving himself. They don’t need me to keep him in line. And I just… I wasn’t ready for this. I came out in a rush. If he wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have even come!”

    “You think, maybe, that’s why they weren’t honest? I know the last few times I’ve visited, they missed you. Especially Dad.”

    He wanted to say it was complicated. That they’d end up asking too many questions, and he just wasn’t smart enough to make up something which wouldn’t put DW in a spot. “Yeah, well, looks like Dad’s got a replacement now, so.”

    “Oh, Launchpad. Really?”

    “Yeah, I know. I’m being childish. But I didn’t want to disappoint Dad and I knew he’d be upset that I haven’t seen him, or hardly spoken to him. I knew it was going to be awkward. But then he was there with the other Launchpad he just seemed… fine… and I wanted to be able to talk to him like that, but there’s all this… stuff… we’d have to go through first. I was going to come back at some stage. It’s just… hard. And now everything’s blown up. What am I supposed to do?”

    Loopey put an arm around his shoulders. “Come on, lets take the planes out. You need to clear your head. By the time we get back, Dad’ll have calmed down too. I think you two just need to sit down and talk, you know. It’ll be fine. He’s just a big softie who hoards maintenance manuals. It won’t be as bad as you think, I promise.”

    Launchpad smiled faintly. “Yeah, maybe. Lets do that. For so long I’ve just been flying the…” Thunderquack. He cut himself off with a gulp.

    Loopey chewed her lip. “Whatever you’re doing right now, Mom and Dad are going to be proud of you.”

    Yeah. If only he could tell them.

    “Come on. You pick first. Hint: make sure its something small and manoeuvrable. There’s a place I really want to show you.”

    ***

    “If its trouble you’re looking for, I’ve got a few ideas.”

    Gosalyn whirled around at the familiar voice, fists bunched.

    The Negaverse Launchpad leaned on the porch railing behind her, twirling an unlit cigarette in his fingers. She hadn’t even heard him approach. “I mean, I kind of owe you one. That was getting awkward. I’ll help Gosalyn find the snacks was a perfect excuse to get out of there.”

    “You don’t fool me one bit.”

    “You don’t like me very much, do you?”

    “You beat up Launchpad!” Gosalyn jabbed a finger back at the house. “I bet you didn’t tell his parents THAT, did you?”

    The cigarette slowed in its dance about his fingers, and Launchpad looked down at his boots. “I did, actually. Brought Mrs McQuack to tears. And the look on Mr McQuack’s face… I thought he was going to punch me. And I would’ve let him. But, of course, he didn’t. At least I know where Launchpad got his good heart from. I don’t know what would’ve happened to me these last few months if it weren’t for these guys.”

    “What you did was still wrong. And mean.”

    “I know. But Launchpad and me, we’ve already talked about this. I apologised, and he accepted it. At least, I thought he had.” Launchpad pulled out his lighter, paused, then headed off the porch and down the front path. He looked back over his shoulder. “Well, are you coming? Mrs McQuack will kill me if I light up right outside the house.”

    Gosalyn chewed her lip. Awkward adult conversation, or the seedy guy her Dad definitely would not want her hanging out with alone? There was really no contest. She leapt down the front steps and jogged to catch up with him.

    Launchpad grinned at her.

    “Don’t look so smug. I said I’d be watching you. I can’t watch you if I just let you wander off, now can I?”

    The Negaverse Launchpad shrugged. He lit up as they walked, then pointed to a churned up section of dirt just beyond the greener gardens surrounding the house. “That was where I landed when I crashed here.”

    “I bet you don’t crash as good as Launchpad.”

    “I thought I did a pretty good job for my first time. And with a snapped arm.”

    Gosalyn immediately stared at his arm.

    Launchpad flexed his hand with a slight wince. “It’s getting there.”

    “How’d you snap your arm in an aeroplane?

    “Genius that I am, I thought it’d be fun to hang out with air pirates. I figured they’d be a little nicer over in your dimension. They were, sort of. Unfortunately, thanks to your Launchpad, I think I’m developing a conscience. They were nicer, at least until you call them on their crap and tell them you’re leaving.”

    “And they broke your arm…?”

    “No. I broke it punching my way out of a poorly constructed jail cell so I could steal my aeroplane back.”

    “Ow?”

    “Yeah.” Launchpad sucked on his cigarette. Smoke wafted from his nostrils as he spoke. “But I’ll be damned if I let anybody else bully me into staying somewhere I don’t want to be.”

    Gosalyn kicked at a stone along the dirt track. Launchpad had explained to her, back when he’d come back home after setting up his double with his own plane, why he’d done something nice for the guy who’d beat him up so bad it’d left him sobbing on their living room sofa. But she wanted to hear it straight from the source. “Launchpad said Negaduck wasn’t very nice to you.”

    Launchpad looked away. “No, he wasn’t.”

    “So what did…”

    “Did you want to get into some trouble or not?”

    Gosalyn scowled at him, then folded his arms. Fine, he could change the subject. She didn’t have to make it easy for him though. “I don’t know. You are still Launchpad, sort of. I don’t think you’d be game to get into my kind of trouble.”

    Launchpad snorted smoke, and laughed. “Seriously, kiddo?”

    “Launchpad won’t even play baseball in the house with me.”

    “I ain’t your Launchpad.”

    “Oh yeah? You wouldn’t even smoke outside the McQuack’s house because you’re scared you’re going to get in trouble with Launchpad’s Mom. So what have you got to offer?”

    “There’s an art to getting into trouble that I’m only now starting to understand since I left the Negaverse. Over there, you can cause as much chaos as you want. Especially if you work for…” He swallowed, then covered it with a cough. “Well, over here, there’s an art. I’m not scared of the McQuacks. They’ve just been really nice to me and I don’t want to upset them by setting things on fire in their front garden. But that doesn’t mean I can’t set things on fire.” He winked. “They just can’t find out.”

    “Hmm. I think you just don’t want them to yell at you.”

    Launchpad shrugged. “That too.”

    “So, we’re going to set something on fire?”

    Launchpad rubbed at his beak, then snapped his fingers. “No. I think you’d like the potato gun.”

    “There’s a gun for shooting potatoes? What did the potatoes do?”

    “Not for shooting potatoes. For shooting potatoes. AT things. And because if I brought an actual rocket launcher onto their property I would definitely get kicked out.”

    Gosalyn’s eyes widened. “Keen gear.”

    ***

    As the two planes - one red, one pink - climbed into the air, Launchpad felt the lead in his stomach start to dissolve. The wind whipped through his feathers and blew his scarf back. It was cold and clean and it tore away at the last shreds of exhaustion better than any cup of coffee could. This was what he’d been missing in the Thunderquack.

    Loopey’s bright pink plane pulled ahead of him. She waggled her wings, then tapped the side of her head.

    Launchpad adjusted his headset.

    “… still testing,” his sister’s voice came through the radio. “Hey, you big doofus. Loopey is the best.”

    “Yes, I can hear you now. Squirt.”

    Loopey snorted. “Seriously. I am not twelve anymore.”

    “Gee, I don’t know…”

    “I’m assuming you’re feeling better? You seem to have your sense of humour back.”

    Launchpad settled into level flight. “Yeah. Thanks for this. I really needed it.”

    “Good. Now, try to keep up.” Loopey dropped her plane down to skim the desert floor and accelerated.

    Launchpad fell in behind her. His sister flew deliberately; she definitely had a place in mind. He followed her silently for a few moments, thinking. Where the heck had he not flown around his parents’ place? Sure, he’d left long before his little sister had been old enough that they could go out flying together, by themselves. Some new obstacle was not just going to grow out of the desert floor. Unless… “Loopey?”

    “Yeah?”

    “Where are you taking me?”

    “The canyon.”

    It was the only place he could think of. But hearing Loopey actually say it still made Launchpad baulk. “Woah. Wait. The canyon?”

    Loopey laughed. “Oh wow. Serious deja vu, big brother. You say that just like Dad used to.”

    “Um, yeah. When he told us never to go fly there.”

    “Yeah. When we were kids. We’re not kids anymore.”

    Launchpad frowned. His sister had a point. “What was the reason he didn’t like it again?”

    “He never said. Look, its a tight canyon. If you behave like an idiot, or you’re fifteen and don’t really know what you’re doing, you’re going to get in trouble. I’m not surprised he didn’t want his teen-aged kids flying through there and getting hurt. But we’re both adults now. We’ve got thousands of hours under the belt between us. We know what we’re doing. I’ve been dozens of times. You know, when I actually come to visit our parents. And… maybe once… when I was a teenager…”

    Launchpad snorted. “Loopey!”

    “Don’t you dare tell Dad that last bit!”

    “Heh. I’m glad we’re on our channel.”

    “He was just worried about us getting hurt. You know what he’s like. Trust me, it’s fine.”

    “So, they know you go there now?”

    “No, are you kidding?”

    Launchpad laughed. “Okay, yeah. I think if I go to the scary forbidden canyon behind Dad’s back I can probably just about manage to talk to him when I get back without acting like a three year old. Get the rebellion out of my system. Thanks, Loopey. You really are the best.”

    “And don’t you forget it. Okay. There it is. Two o'clock.”

    A sheer cliff rose out of the desert surface. Loopey banked towards the crack she’d indicated and Launchpad followed, tight on her tail.

    “It varies in height. But deep enough for two planes, so skilled pilots such as ourselves should be able to pass. It you decide you need to bail, check what’s up there first, or you’ll clip your wing on a branch or a rock or something growing over the edge. There’s a few narrow bits. But if you just concentrate, and stay on the line, you’ll be fine.”

    The desert sped past beneath them; the crack raced towards them. “Got it.”

    “Oh yeah,” his sister said as she lined her plane up with the entrance. “It’s a race.” She darted into the gap.

    “Hey! Little sneak!” Launchpad didn’t bother sending the message through the radio. He grinned and barreled in behind his sister.

    A pink tail darted around the first bend. Launchpad floored it, and concentrated on eating up the distance. She’d gained a slight lead. And her flying had gotten better since he’d last seen her. Her plane swayed along with the undulations of the canyon, perfectly in rhythm. She’d definitely done this before.

    But the canyon walls were no tighter, comparatively speaking, to threading the Thunderquack through the skyscrapers of Saint Canard. Launchpad did that every second night. If he didn’t need to cover for DW, he could’ve told his sister that. Launchpad shook off the thought. He kept on her tail, cutting the corners tighter and tighter.

    He saw his chance, he dipped the plane down, wheels just clearing the rocks below, and swooped underneath her, taking the lead. “Hah! You’re going to have to do better than that if you want to beat the great Launchpad Mc…”

    Loopey shot clear over his head, did a complete sideways roll, rocked left and right, then angled her plane at the last minute to clear the next bend.

    “Show off!” Launchpad drew in a breath and focused. He’d underestimated his little sister. But, like most people, he doubted she had as much experience crashing as he did. And experience crashing meant he had experience getting close to a crash without freaking out.

    She knew the bends, but she was not getting anywhere near as close to those rocks as Launchpad knew he could. He caught up quickly. The canyon decreased in depth. Loopey was keeping down low, so he pulled up above her. His wings were about a foot or two from the top of the canyon. If he had to bail, he’d lose the race on a technicality. But the position meant he could also keep his sister from pulling any fancy moves on him.

    “Launchpad, pull up! I’ve got to clear that…”

    Now that was just low. There was plenty of room to… Launchpad saw the rock jutting out of the canyon wall, down at his sister’s level. In the position he’d forced her into, it’d cleave off half her wing.

    Launchpad yanked up on the control yoke, at the exact moment his sister slammed her upper wing into his wheels. He shot out and over the edge of the canyon. Below him came the scrape of tortured metal and pulverised rock billowed up into the air. “Loopey!”

    Launchpad banked his plane around, bleeding off speed as quickly as he could. He still shot back over the canyon far too fast. A flash of pink caught his eye, bouncing along the canyon floor, but disappeared again just as quickly.

    Launchpad scrambled for his headset. “Loopey, Loopey! Come in. Are you okay?” Then he yanked his finger off the send button, leaving the channel open, and forced himself to wait.

    The siblings’ channel, the one they’d used ever since their parents had given them their first two-way radio set, and they’d called each other from either end of the house, was filled with nothing but static.

    “No, no, no…” Launchpad banked around again and landed the plane. He trundled right up to the canyon’s edge and leapt out, heart hammering in his chest. He cupped his hands to his beak. “Loopey!”

    He caught sight of her plane below. The dents of his wheels were in her upper wing. The very edge of her wing had been sheared clean off. The canyon wall wasn’t that steep. He could climb down. Launchpad alternated between sliding and grabbing for handholds. His shoulder slammed into the dirt behind him in his rush and he skidded the last few feet down.

    He was on his feet in an instant and ran for Loopey’s plane. “Loopey!”

    Loopey leaned heavily against the side of her plane, hugging herself and drawing in steadying breaths.

    Launchpad barrelled into her. “Loopey, I’m so so sorry.”

    Loopey threw her arms around his neck. “The hell were you doing, Launchpad? I was telling you to pull up.”

    “I know,” Launchpad sniffed, face buried against her hair. “I thought you were messing with me so I’d lose.”

    “Not with something like that.”

    “I know.”

    Loopey pushed him gently back. Launchpad cupped a hand to her cheek and wiped away a stray tear from her feathers. “Please don’t cry.”

    “Pft.” Loopey waved his hand away. “I just scared the crap out of myself. Besides, you are too you big dummy.”

    Launchpad rubbed at his eyes, then turned his attention to Loopey’s plane. “Well, you managed to land in a canyon. That’s… impressive.”

    “I cleared most of that rock after I had to ram you out of my way. Still clipped the wing though. That tends to slow you down pretty quick.”

    “You’re not going to be able to fly that back, you know. Even if we fix it, we can’t take off in here.”

    Both of the siblings turned to each other and winced.

    Loopey snapped her fingers. “The jeep. It’ll be able to tow it out. And we can bring the parts to fix the wing. Just need some sealant and we can bolt or rivet that loose strut back down.”

    “We can climb back out of the canyon. I’ll fly you back. We might just be able to get it back before Mom and Dad find out.” Dad. Launchpad groaned. “I think I need to sit down.”

    “Woah, hang on.” They both sat in the shade under Loopey’s wing. She put an arm around his shoulder. “You okay?”

    “I don’t know what’s scarier. The thought of facing Dad, or nearly killing my little sister.”

    “Hey, this was not all your fault. This was super dumb. I should’ve at least taken you though the canyon to scout it out before we tried racing each other. That bit of rock I nearly ran into… it wasn’t even there last time. Something must’ve shifted.”

    They sat under the wing for a few minutes more. Launchpad felt his heart starting to still. Well, turned out crashing was a whole lot scarier when someone you cared about was doing it. Who knew? They still had to get that plane back without letting their parents know what they’d done. It still set him on edge. But… it was better than the alternative.

    “Hey, Launchpad?” Loopey said eventually.

    “Yeah?”

    “You know that awkward moment when you realise your parents were right?”

    Launchpad groaned and put his face in his hands.

    ***

    Chapter 4

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  • hyperpsychomaniac
    06.04.2021 - 1 mont ago

    Who Says You Can't Go Home - Chapter 2

    Darkwing Duck (90s series) fanfiction

    Sequel to my recent fanfic The Other Side of Me

    Summary: Down on his luck, the Negaverse Launchpad crashes at Launchpad’s parents looking for help. Launchpad, who has avoided visiting his family since he started working with Darkwing, returns in a panic to ensure his double isn’t causing trouble. And then it gets awkward.

    Read Chapter 1 first

    ***

    Doing nothing but sitting in the roadside diner, situated on the road leading up to his hometown, made Launchpad want to squirm. Someone was going to come in and recognise him. There was no one here he wanted to talk to – apart from his parents. To top it all off they were wasting time. The Thunderquack was parked a few miles away, out in the desert, where it wouldn’t be found. It was close enough they could call it if needed. Drake had driven the sedan the rest of the way in. After Launchpad had tried to rouse him from sleep. And after Drake had said he wasn’t moving until the sun came up.

    Then Drake had insisted they stop for breakfast. “If we tear in there,” he’d said. “Your parents are going to wonder how we drove here so quickly. Just relax. A couple of hours won’t make a difference. I need coffee; my sleep schedule is way out.”

    Not that coffee had been a bad idea. On his third cup, Launchpad was finally starting to feel the effects. He’d managed to grab a nap whilst he waited for DW to wake up and then again as he’d driven into town, but the caffeine, now that was really doing the job. Being a bit more awake didn’t make him any less apprehensive about waiting though.

    “Launchpad, you haven’t touched your breakfast,” said Gosalyn. “It weirds me out when you don’t eat your food.”

    Launchpad prodded a short fat sausage around his plate half-heartedly.

    “Yeah, I think you need to level out the caffeine, buddy.”

    “Huh?”

    Drake pointed to Launchpad’s leg, which bounced up and down under the table.

    Gosalyn snorted. “Yeah, better eat something before the diner thinks a T-Rex is coming. Rar.”

    Launchpad forced his leg to still. Why did this whole thing make him so nervous? But he couldn’t even explain what he was doing with his life over the phone. In person? He wasn’t sure whether he’d rather his parents realised he was hiding something or thought him a failure and a deadbeat. He’d wanted to come visit. And that was the worst part. He’d wanted to, but still hadn’t made the effort. They made it difficult, and DW made it difficult, and he’d wanted to find some way to make it work but it had always been impossible to broach the subject. Either with DW, or his parents. Now, he was here and he wasn’t ready. But still, helping his parents with whatever trouble the Negaverse Launchpad had caused was plenty good enough reason to put up with all the stress. He could deal.

    The bell above the diner’s door dinged. Launchpad cringed down in his seat just in case it was someone who might recognise him.

    A young woman entered. She was decked out all in bright pink, inclusive of her armoured motorcycle jacket. She removed a hot pink helmet and shook out her hair, then looked inside the helmet, sniffed, and made a face. “Bleh. I hate long rides.”

    Launchpad shot to his feet. “Loopey!”

    His little sister, not so little anymore, turned at the sound of his voice. “Ee! Launchpad!” She pelted across the diner. They met in the middle of the floor and Loopey threw her arms around her brother’s neck. “Mom and Dad didn’t tell me you were coming too.”

    “Short notice,” Launchpad mumbled into her hair. Even with the definite smell of motorcycle helmet he caught the scent of her cherry blossom shampoo. He’d always thought of it as what pink should smell like. He squeezed her tight for good measure then set her back down on the floor. “Wait, coming too? Mom and Dad invited you? Now?” Surely, they didn’t want his kid sister’s help with some weirdo from another dimension.

    “Yeah, they’ve been bugging me to come visit for the last month of two. But you never seem to come when they invite us so I just assumed…” She shrugged. Then slapped him on the shoulder. “But this is going to be so much fun! We can go out flying together. There’s this real neat place I can bet you haven’t flown yet and I’ve got to show it to you.”

    Gosalyn stepped around Launchpad’s hip and looked Loopey up and down with a frown. “Launchpad, is this your girlfriend?”

    Loopey grinned. “Ew. No. This stinky weirdo? I’m his sister, Loopey.”

    Gosalyn’s face brightened. “He is stinky, isn’t he?” She stuck out a hand. “I’m Gosalyn Mallard. Pleased to meet you.”

    “This is Drake, my housemate,” Launchpad said, as DW wandered over to the join them. Better make things clear before Loopey got any ideas into her head like his mother seemed to.

    “You didn’t tell me you had a sister.”

    “You’ve never asked me about my sister.”

    “LP, how can I ask you about someone I don’t know exists?” Drake cut himself off with a huff. “It’s nice to meet you.”

    “Likewise. I’m going to grab a bagel and a coffee then head to Mom and Dad’s. If you don’t mind waiting we can arrive together. I think they’d like that. And, you know, if you want some extra backup. Though I see you made sure to bring some.” Loopey winked.

    Well, he had already resigned himself to waiting, what was another few minutes? Launchpad retrieved his coffee then trailed Loopey up to the counter. He waited while she ordered her breakfast then reached out and brushed her sleeve. “Hey, did Mom and Dad tell you they had someone visiting?”

    “Yeah, they said it was someone you knew. But they didn’t give me much details beyond that.” Loopey studied his face for a moment. “Okay, big bro. You going to tell me what’s going on? We’ve got a guy visiting whose name is also Launchpad, which is weird, especially because there aren’t too many families who give their kids aviation themed names. And you look like you’re a thousand feet up and just remembered you forgot to fill the fuel tank. What, is he like your evil twin or something?”

    Launchpad pushed his nearly empty coffee cup around the counter. His hand trembled against the white ceramic. Which was totally from the excess caffeine on an empty stomach. “Not quite. More like my severely messed up and slightly dangerous twin.”

    “Mom and Dad never said we had another brother.”

    “Not like that. It’s like, well, the entire universe has a twin. It’s complicated, and I’ll try and explain it to you, or maybe get Drake to. He’s better at it.” And smart enough to make it sound plausible whilst leaving out all the Darkwing stuff. “But I came back because I was worried about Mom and Dad. I just want to make sure he isn’t causing them any trouble.”

    Loopey put an arm around his shoulder. “Well then. You’ll definitely want me for back up, huh?”

    ***

    Launchpad let Drake drive again. He was still tired and he could feel his hands trembling. Stupid caffeine. The grass and gardens greened as they pulled up outside his parents’ house, to that little circle of garden that everyone who lived on a large property out here had decided was an acceptable radius to maintain. The house itself was low-set, with a big wrap around porch. It was a strange mix of nostalgia and pure dread that sat in the bottom of Launchpad’s gut.

    Beside them, Loopey’s motorcycle rumbled to a stop. Gosalyn stared longingly at the machine. “Would’ve been funner on a motorcycle.” She was pouting because Drake hadn’t let her ride with Loopey. Which apparently she should’ve been allowed because she rode a far more powerful bike all the time. Drake had pointed out that was with her own helmet and Loopey had only brought one.

    With any luck, the Negaverse Launchpad would just need a good talking to and DW wouldn’t need to get involved at all. Launchpad drew in a breath, steadied his hands, and got out of the car.

    The front door slammed and their mother came barrelling off the front porch. “Launchpad! Loopey! You’re both here!”

    “Mom!” Loopey saved him from the embarrassment of the first hug. She pelted past him and threw her arms around Birdie McQuack.

    “Hey, sweetheart. Launchpad…” Still clinging to Loopey, Birdie reached out a hand towards her son.

    Launchpad felt a smile tug at his lips. “Hi, Mom.” He wrapped his arms right around the both of them. Then introduced her to Drake and Gosalyn.

    “You are both welcome here anytime. Any friend of my son,” Birdie said with a knowing wink, “is like a son to me.”

    Launchpad flushed. “Mom.” He had to forget the awkwardness. There were other things to deal with. “Where’s the other Launchpad? What’s he gone and done? If you need me to talk to him, or move him on out of here just let me know and…”

    Birdie put her hands on her hips. “Now, Launchpad. That poor man needs help. Not to be tossed out in the cold. I think he’s still dealing with a lot of things. He seems to be getting better this last month of so, but…”

    “Wait, last month? How long has he been here? I… I thought…”

    Birdie bit her lip and, suddenly, she didn’t seem to want to look her son in the eye. “Um, well… it’s probably been about… two months now?”

    “Mom! I thought… well, so he was okay, and then he’s done something just now like…”

    Birdie shook her head. “I told your father this was a bad idea. No, he hasn’t done anything. Well, just minor things. Like mess with my rosebushes. I don’t know what got into his head but I gave him a firm talking to and he seemed to get the message.”

    Launchpad’s fists tightened. “You said on the phone he was making you uncomfortable. If he hasn’t actually done anything why’d you call me out here?” Not that he didn’t want to grab the other Launchpad by the collar and demand to know what he’d been thinking. But he’d been worried! He’d been stressed the whole flight here.

    “You know, I really do think he could use your help again. He couldn’t stop talking about what you did for him back in Saint Canard. I feel like your father and I have done all we can for him. But that’s only part of the reason we wanted you here. The other, well, it was mostly your father’s idea…” She trailed off and lowered her gaze.

    “Mom,” prompted Loopey. “I thought you told me you just wanted us all back here to spend some time together and all you had to do was convince Launchpad and…”

    The gears ground and grated into place in Launchpad’s head. Far too slowly. How could he be such an idiot? “Convince Launchpad,” he said, coldly. “You mean by lying to him and telling him you were worried his potentially dangerous double might do something to hurt you?”

    Drake put a hand on his arm. “Okay, LP,” he said, voice low, and a cheesy fake grin on his face like he was trying to convince everyone else that it was, in fact, definitely still okay. “We’ve been here like five minutes. Cool down. Give your parents a chance to explain, and maybe, you know, maybe it won’t be as bad as you think.”

    Launchpad fists unclenched a little and he forced himself to breathe. His mother opened her mouth to say something, but then the growl of an engine cut into the morning air. It wasn’t a plane. A heavily laden down Gator buggy - twin seater, offroad with rollover bar - struggled over the crest of the small hill leading up to the house. The struggling engine let up as it made its way down the gentle slope towards them and grumbled to a halt.

    “Okay, buddy, if we both go for the seatbelt at the same time we are never going to get out of this thing.”

    “Hang on, Mr McQuack. I’ll get yours first.”

    Ripcord McQuack and the Negaverse Launchpad were both crammed into the Gator. It was designed for two people but they were clearly pushing it to its load limit. Launchpad stuffed his fingers down between their legs to find the seatbelt release.

    “Ow!” Ripcord just about rolled out of the driver’s seat. He rubbed at the side of his leg. “If you insist on wearing those things could you at least file the blasted spikes down?”

    Launchpad’s double pushed the studded bracelet around his wrist self consciously. “Sorry.”

    Launchpad swallowed and his hand went to his beak. Gosalyn had patched him up good and those wicked looking spikes hadn’t left any permanent marks. But it was hard to forget the sting when they'd torn into his beak, wrapped around his double’s fist.

    Ripcord smiled faintly. “Come on. I’m just kidding, son.”

    Son? Launchpad felt his fists tightening again.

    The other Launchpad caught sight of him and grinned. “Hey, if it isn’t my better half! Didn’t think I’d get to see you again.” He undid his seatbelt and swung out of the Gator. The whole machine rocked.

    “Yeah. Me neither.”

    Ripcord stopped just short of Launchpad and flexed his hands down by his sides, like he wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. He forced a smile. “Hey, son.”

    Launchpad swallowed. All he had to do was open his arms; that’s all his father was waiting for. Ripcord wouldn’t barrel into a hug if it wasn’t something his kids wanted. All he was waiting for was an invitation. Launchpad kept his hands stubbornly at his sides. “Hi, Dad.”

    The faint smile faded. “It’s good to see you again. How long has it been?”

    Yeah, try and make him feel bad. “You two seem to be getting on really well. Which is great, but Mom kind of gave me the impression you were worried he was going to cause trouble.”

    The Negaverse Launchpad held up his hands. “Hey, woah. I told you guys, I know I’m a bit rough around the edges, but if I do anything you don’t like all you’ve gotta do is tell me.”

    “It’s okay, sweetheart,” said Birdie. “You haven’t done anything.”

    Ripcord locked his gaze with Launchpad’s. “Well, we had to do something to get our son to actually come visit us once in the next decade.”

    Birdie put a hand to her face. “Rip, no.”

    Ripcord jerked at the sound of his wife’s voice, and then flushed.

    “I knew it! I came because I thought you guys needed my help. Now I find out its just Dad trying to trick me!”

    Drake winced. “LP…”

    His father wouldn’t quite look at him. “I wasn’t trying to trick you, it’s just… well what was I supposed to do? And seriously, how fast did you drive here? Your mother called you yesterday. So apparently it isn’t that difficult to get your butt out here.”

    “Because I was worried! I can’t believe this!” Launchpad stomped past his father.

    The Negaverse Launchpad raised up his hands. “Hey, listen, I never meant to cause any trouble. I just needed somewhere to go, and…”

    He’d been heading for the Gator. But Launchpad stopped and glared at his double. “Why are you even here,” he growled, voice low.

    “You told me not to go back to Saint Canard! I needed help, I couldn’t think of anyplace else to go.”

    Launchpad stabbed a finger into his chest, hard, and didn’t really care that the jab brought a very dangerous look to his double’s eyes. Yeah, go on. Get violent in front of his family. But it stayed just that, a look. “Stay away from family. You’ve got your own, don’t you? Maybe go back to them.” Then he hoisted himself into the Gator, started her up, and tore back over the hill, towards his family’s hanger. He needed to clear his head. And there was only one surefire way to do that.

    ***

    “Dad, this is super awkward,” Gosalyn whispered.

    Her father flushed. “Gosalyn, shush!”

    Everyone ignored her anyway. Loopey made the first move. She went over to her father and put her arms around him. “Hey, daddy.”

    At least, as far as she could get around his broad torso anyway. Ripcord broke into a smile, one that was not forced like the one he’d given Launchpad, and engulfed his daughter in his arms. “You’re trying to be cute to make me feel better, aren’t you?”

    “Totally.”

    It was probably the right thing to do. The poor guy definitely looked like he needed the hug. Gosalyn wasn’t sure what had gotten into Launchpad. Sure this was awkward, but he was kind of being a jerk to his father. She fought with her dad her all the time. But if she hadn’t seen him in ages she’d at least give him a hug and be happy about it.

    Loopey turned to the Negaverse Launchpad. “I’m still not real sure what’s going on here. But I’d… I’d like to talk to you. I just think I need to go talk down my actual brother first.”

    Launchpad smiled faintly. “Yeah, I’d like that.”

    “Well,” said Birdie, “Lets go inside and we’ll get your something to eat.” She gestured for them all to follow her. Ripcord trailed inside behind her. He still looked down in the dumps.

    The Negaverse Launchpad fell into step beside her father. “Um listen… ah… Drake. I’m real sorry about, you know, trying to light you on fire. We’re going to have to spend time together here anyway so… we don’t have to be friends. But I’m not your enemy is all I’m saying.”

    Drake scowled up at him. “Well, I guess you’ve managed to behave yourself here for the last few months. As long as you don’t do anything that requires a certain dashing superhero get himself involved, I’m willing to give you a chance.”

    Gosalyn huffed. Her father may have been fooled but she was not so easy to trick. She shouldered past the Negaverse Launchpad, which kind of hit him in the back of the knee, and just resulted in spinning her around. She recovered, and fixed a glare on Launchpad’s startled double. “I’ve got my eye on you,” she hissed, and then turned and ran into the house.

    “She doesn’t like me, does she?” she just caught Launchpad saying as the screen door slammed behind her.

    Well, he wasn’t so dumb now was he?

    The next half an hour was… weird to say the least. First Birdie showed them pictures of Launchpad as a kid. Which was about the only interesting part. Gosalyn grabbed the pictures off her and shuffled through them. Baby Launchpad was so cute, and chubby, and falling over in nearly every photo she imagined that, at that age, when he crashed out of something, he’d bounced. “Dad, where are your baby photos?”

    “In a box. Which I burnt. Then sunk.”

    Ripcord was pretty quiet but every couple of minutes he’d fidget, get up, and ask something like: “I’m going to the kitchen, does anyone want another cup of tea. Or a snack?” Then go and push a few things around in there, even through no one actually wanted anything. Then he’d come and sit back down and stare forlornly at the centre of the table.

    Birdie and her Dad seemed to be having a fairly normal, if boring, adult conversation. At least until Birdie asked: “So, do you and Launchpad have any plans for the future?”

    “Er…” her father absentmindedly stirred the tea he’d finally let Ripcord get for him after he’d asked for the third time. “Pardon?”

    Ripcord put a hand to his face. “Birdie,” he said, voice low. “For the last time they’re not a couple.”

    Drake turned pink. “Wait… what?”

    Gosalyn shot to her feet. “Mr McQuack, I think I will have that snack after all.”

    “Sure, kiddo. You want me to come and…”

    “No, I can get it.” Gosalyn ran into the kitchen. Her shoulders slumped and she let out a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness.” She made her way out the kitchen door and onto the porch. She breathed deep the desert air. It was a little dry, but better than awkward adult conversations. She rubbed her hands together. “Now, what trouble can I get into around here?”

    ***

    Chapter 3

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  • bitofthisandthat
    03.04.2021 - 1 mont ago
    #Hey Nony Nonny #asks #🎀 NEGA! GOSALYN 🎀 #HEADCANON || NEGA! GOSALYN #{ Careful Nonny make Gos cry & a chainsaw is in your future XD }
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  • artcl05
    01.04.2021 - 1 mont ago

    I did not have a clear idea to draw Negaduck, after finding out about the Negaverse, I wanted to draw a separate drawing of these three but I decided on this drawing.

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  • hyperpsychomaniac
    28.03.2021 - 1 mont ago

    Who Says You Can't Go Home - Chapter 1

    Darkwing Duck (90s series) fanfiction

    Sequel to my recent fanfic The Other Side of Me

    Summary: Down on his luck, the Negaverse Launchpad crashes at Launchpad’s parents looking for help. Launchpad, who has avoided visiting his family since he started working with Darkwing, returns in a panic to ensure his double isn’t causing trouble. And then it gets awkward.

    ***

    The landing gear snapped off on impact. The aeroplane skidded across the wet earth, its momentum fast eaten by the mud that sucked at its belly, and lurched to rest. Launchpad pushed himself upright in the cockpit, weight on one arm, the other clutched tightly across his chest. He got a leg over the cockpit, then tumbled out and over the crumpled wing and slammed into the mud.

    “Gawd damn it!” Launchpad sucked in a breath as pain shot through his arm. He’d broken bones before. But he was soaked through and exhausted. He could not stop trembling in the cold.

    His remaining energy was draining fast, but he forced himself to raise his head. In the house barely fifty feet away, a light flickered on. Its residents could not have missed the fated flight of the aeroplane right above their very heads, nor the subsequent crash. Launchpad could only hope they were the same as those in his world had been. That in this world, they were still here. That they would even care. He dragged himself upright, still cradling his arm, and stumbled towards the front porch.

    The front door opened, and a broad-shouldered man stepped out into the night. He held a shot gun, but it swung lazily down by his side. “Hey, what’s going on! Are you alright out there?”

    A smaller woman stepped out beside him. She squinted into the darkness, then gasped faintly. She squeezed her husband’s shoulder. “Rip…”

    He left the gun right there on the porch and rushed over. His wife beat him there. She reached up and grasped Launchpad’s shoulders, looked into his eyes. “Sweetheart, what have you done to yourself?”

    Launchpad saw the realisation dawn on her face even as he shook his head. “I’m not your son. But I know him. He’s a friend of mine, and… I’m sorry. I didn’t know where else to go.” His knees buckled. The man who was not his father lunged forward. Launchpad felt his arms around him, taking his weight, as he sunk to the ground and the world blackened.

    ***

    “Launchpad!” Gosalyn’s voice carried into the kitchen. “Your Mom is on the phone!”

    Launchpad dropped his spoon into his cereal with a splash, put his face into his hands, and groaned loudly.

    Across the other side of the kitchen table, Drake scoffed. “Seriously, LP? This is getting ridiculous. Go and talk to your mother.”

    “She called like last week!” Launchpad shot back, face still in his hands.

    “Last week? More like three weeks ago.” Drake pointed out. “You know, I didn’t always get on with my parents either. But if I had the chance to talk to them again…”

    “The whole DW thing doesn’t exactly make it easy.” He’d tried to explain it to Drake before.

    “Launchpad!”

    Looked like he wouldn’t get the chance to now either. Launchpad pushed his cereal away with a huff and headed out to the phone. It could be worse. It could be his father. Gosalyn eagerly held out the receiver. The second Launchpad took it she bolted for the kitchen. “Hi, Mom.”

    “Sweetheart! I’m so glad I got you.”

    Launchpad smiled faintly. Despite the frustration talking to his parents always seemed to cause him, it was good to hear her voice again. With any luck, he’d get this over with before Drake got apprehensive about whatever secrets he thought his sidekick was giving away. His mother could be awkward, and with DW trying to listen in half the time, however justifiable his reasons, it only made the whole thing worse.

    “Gosalyn, no!” Drake’s voice came from the kitchen. “You are not eating chocolate for breakfast!”

    “But it’s cereal. Why do we even have it if we can’t eat it for breakfast?”

    “Launchpad bought it. Put it back!”

    Well, at least Gosalyn was distracting him. He might get to have a private conversation for once.

    On the other end of the line, his mother chuckled. “Is that your boyfriend and his daughter?”

    Launchpad flushed. “Mom! I told you; he’s my housemate. I’m just helping him out with his kid, and…” Numerous other activities DW would literally kill him for if he told his family about. “Stuff.”

    “Okay,” said his mother, though she sounded thoroughly unconvinced. “How’s your job flying going? Was it private or commercial again?” She was fishing. Because, obviously, he’d told her nothing about the Thunderquack.

    “Private,” he said tersely.

    Back when he’d been working for Mr McDee, even though they hadn’t spoken often on the phone, when his mother called, she would always ask him about the planes. Working for a billionaire? Not a problem. They didn’t give a damn who you told about their assets. There were always new planes, and Launchpad had been unable to stop himself spilling everything. How high they were rated to fly, how far, the engine, make and model… And then his mother could tell him, right off the bat, every detail of the history of that engine, not missing, of course, any women who’d been involved in its manufacture.

    Not for the first time, all Launchpad wanted to do was scream into the phone: “Mom, I designed and built a plane. It’s called the Thunderquack. It’s got complex electronics and everything. And it didn’t even matter that half my teachers to told me I had to be smart to make something like that!

    “Was there a reason you called?” Launchpad forced himself to say instead.

    There was a pause. Launchpad felt the energy drain from the conversation like fuel from a punctured tank. “I wanted to talk to you about you coming to visit.”

    Launchpad stiffened. “I told you and Dad, I’m pretty busy.”

    “I know, Launchpad. And I didn’t intend to bug you again so soon.”

    Launchpad sagged back against the wall and closed his eyes. “You’re not bugging me, Mom.”

    “It’s just that circumstances have changed. A friend of yours came to visit. I think he might need your help. And, well, he’s a little rough around the edges. Your father and I would be far more comfortable if you were here as well.”

    Launchpad frowned. “A friend? Who?”

    His mother paused for a long moment. “Well, that’s one of the things that’s making us a little uncomfortable. He tried to explain it to us, but… Launchpad, it’s… Launchpad.”

    ***

    “I told him to stay away from Saint Canard!” Launchpad pelted a jacket across the room to join the steadily building pile of clothes atop the duffle bag that lay open on his bed. “You don’t think he would’ve realised I meant other places with people I care about too?”

    Drake stood in Launchpad’s doorway, out of the firing line of various items of clothing. “He is you, LP. He may have missed that nuance. How many scarves do you need anyway?”

    Launchpad held off hurling what was either the fourth or fifth scarf across the room, and fixed Drake with a glare.

    It didn’t deter Drake in the slightest. “You chose to let him go. Behind my back. You knew you had to take responsibility for that choice.”

    “Why do you think I’m packing?” Launchpad yanked on his duffle bag until the pile of clothes jostled inside. He wrestled with the zip. “I know he’s not going to hurt them on purpose or anything. But, you’re right, he’s my responsibility. I should be dealing with him, not my parents. I’m not surprised he’s done something to make them uncomfortable.”

    “He makes me uncomfortable. He set you entire hanger alight, LP. I get he has issues. But, yeah, a rough as guts clone of their son rocking up on their doorstep? Your poor parents.”

    “Come on. I feel bad enough already.” The zip finally cooperated.

    “So, I guess we’d better finish packing and get on the road before he causes your family any trouble.”

    “We?”

    Drake’s gaze lowered to Launchpad’s bedroom floor. “I didn’t have your back last time he was here. If you want back up, either facing your parents or your double, Gos and I are more than happy to tag along.”

    Launchpad swallowed. “Yeah. I’d like that.”

    “How long will it take to drive to your parents?”

    “Too long. I thought we could take the Thunderquack. It’d be quicker. And it might be a good idea to have it on hand.”

    It wasn’t like Launchpad hadn’t seen it coming. Drake’s eyes widened, and his paranoia ratcheted up a couple notches. “No way, LP! How are you going to explain arriving at your folks’ place in the Thunderquack? Without giving away Darkwing’s secret identity.”

    Launchpad rolled his eyes. “Look, if we have to arrive in the car, I’ve got an idea. Though I’m not sure your car insurance company would like it very much.”

    ***

    Negaduck surveyed the dark streets of Saint Canard. He rubbed his hands together with glee. “Now what havoc can I cause in this peaceful city tonight? Burn down an orphanage? Nah. Oh, an old folks’ home? Hmm.” He sat on the edge of the building’s roof and pondered.

    He was in no rush. Ever since Gosalyn had left home he’d had no reason to return at any given time. She had no idea how good she’d had it; how many exceptions he’d made for her. Why did he think he lumped all her punishments on Launchpad? She was his daughter after all. His. And she had no right to leave him. At least now he didn’t have to worry he’d return home to find she’d tried to make him something pretty. He didn’t know where she’d even picked up ideas like that. Now, he was unencumbered. His own man again. Free from his ungrateful daughter.

    And that idiot Launchpad. Negaduck’s lip curled up in a sneer. He’d been useless at keeping his daughter in line in his absence, and useless at digging up her whereabouts when she’d run away. It hadn’t mattered how much ‘incentive’ Negaduck had given him. He’d failed to find her. And still come crawling back, half dead with exhaustion. At least he took Negaduck’s orders seriously, if too literally. ‘Don’t rest until you find her!’ had turned out hilariously. But after he’d failed, Negaduck should never have let him back in the house. In his daughter’s absence, the other man’s presence had been nothing but a nuisance. Taunting and overworking him hadn’t made it any more bearable. Oh yeah. It had been a stroke of genius getting rid of him in the barely functioning portal.

    But what would occupy him tonight? The thought of tormenting his deceased minion had made him nostalgic. Negaduck needed to mess with somebody. And not just any random Saint Canardian.

    A glint of light weaving among the buildings caught his eye. The Thunderquack. It headed out towards the bay, Duckberg, and then further inland. Swinging beneath its belly was a very strange cargo.

    “Now where would that dingus do-gooder Darkwing Dark be carting an entire car?” Not some fancy over-the-top superhero gadget laden vehicle either, but a regular blue sedan.

    Negaduck rubbed at his beak, and considered his own life in suburbia, back in the Negaverse. He would never drive something so lame, but Darkwing’s alter ego just might. He had never considered harassing Darkwing Duck in his normal life. More than often, it was Darkwing messing with him and spoiling his fun. Negaduck had no reason to seek him out more than necessary.

    Negaduck chuckled. “This may be just what I need to get back on top of my game. Guess it’s time for a ROAD TRIP!” He threw his head back and cackled into the night air.

    ***

    Chapter 2

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  • bitofthisandthat
    20.03.2021 - 1 mont ago
    #Hey Nony Nonny #asks #🎀 NEGA! GOSALYN 🎀 #HEADCANON || NEGA! GOSALYN #{ She mostly just wants to meet herself because she wants a sister lbr XD }
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  • alex-virlenzon
    17.03.2021 - 1 mont ago

    just two sketches with a charming person 🥺

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  • hyperpsychomaniac
    14.03.2021 - 1 mont ago

    The Other Side of Me - Chapter 6

    Darkwing Duck Fanfiction (90s Series)

    The Negaverse Launchpad arrives in Saint Canard and announces his intention to take down Darkwing Duck in preparation for Negaduck’s arrival. Darkwing refuses to take the threat seriously, so Launchpad decides to take on his stronger, crazier, and downright dangerous counterpart himself.

    Read Chapter 1 first.

    ***

    Flames flared up on the aeroplane next to the Thunderquack. The petrol-soaked canvas went up in an instant.

    “DW!” Launchpad hurled himself onto the nose of the Thunderquack. He gasped as his vision briefly blurred. He pushed through the pain and pulled himself up onto the plane.

    Darkwing strained against the duct tape. “Hurry, LP. And I thought I hated Herb’s BBQs.”

    Launchpad dropped to his knees and desperately tore at the tape. “I’m sorry, DW. I thought he wouldn’t do it.”

    “Not your fault, but, again, we’ll talk about it later… ow! Don’t tear it off like that its stuck to my feathers!”

    “I’m worried about more than your feathers, buddy.” Launchpad pulled off another wad, concentrating on the bits that held DW to the Thunderquack. The tape was super gunky, the stuff he used to strap down entire parts when he didn’t have the right sized bolts on hand. It didn’t come off easily, even from metal.

    Launchpad yanked off another wad, teeth gritted. He shouldn’t have trusted the other Launchpad. What made him think a few kind words could change him? He’d seen nothing in the other man but his own face. That didn’t make him the same. He’d been ridiculously naïve and now his best friend was going to pay for it. He threw the wad into the encroaching flames, then looked up to the loft. “What the hell is wrong with you? You didn’t have to do this!”

    The Negaverse Launchpad made no reply. Instead he stood frozen, hands hanging limply by his sides. His chest heaved, and he stared wide eyed at the burning planes.

    “LP!”

    Flames flared on the Thunderquack’s wing and crawled quickly up the slew of petrol that covered it. It would take a fair bit of heat before they started eating into the metal. But all they had to do was make it to Darkwing.

    “Just rip it off!” Darkwing said. His voice rose in pitch. “Feather’s grow back. Where are you going?”

    Launchpad slid down over the cockpit, back onto the nose, and popped open the canopy. He started the Thunderquack up and floored it. She rammed her way through the other planes like oversized skittles and punched through the hanger’s double doors.

    Launchpad skidded across the wet asphalt and brought them to a halt. Flames still licked at the wing’s edge. They had also left a trail behind the Thunderquack, where burning petrol had slid off the wing under the rapid acceleration. They quickly died out as they consumed the small amount of fuel and encountered nothing else bar puddles of water.

    “I’ll save you, Dad!” A stream of water gushed past the cockpit and put out the flames on the wing. And completely soaked Darkwing.

    “Gosalyn!”

    Gosalyn turned off the fire hose and smiled up sweetly at her father. “Better being wet than on fire, right?”

    “I’ll show you fire…”

    Launchpad leapt down from the cockpit and grunted as he hit the pavement. “Thanks, kiddo. How long is that hose?”

    “It won’t reach the hanger. I already tried.”

    “Forget the planes, LP. You don’t even use them. We’ve got more pressing concerns, like getting me off this stupid plane.”

    “Not the planes…” Launchpad gritted his teeth. He’d been bitten too many times by his Negaverse cousin already. But that broken look on his face as he’d stared out at the burning planes…

    “That sociopath is long gone. Who’d hang around a burning hanger?”

    Stuff it. He wasn’t sure anymore what the other Launchpad would or wouldn’t do. But that didn’t matter. “I can’t leave him.” Launchpad jogged back towards the hanger.

    “LP! Gos, get me out of this stuff. Ow, watch the feathers!”

    The clouds let loose with a roar just as Launchpad made it inside. At least the fire wouldn’t spread now. But that wouldn’t do the planes inside much good. Two of the timber and canvas planes had already gone up in smoke. Three others were lit by flames that slowly but steadily consumed their wings. Fire licked around one of the hanger’s support beams, feeding steadily on the old crates crammed up around its base. He really should’ve kept this place tidier.

    “Launchpad! Where are you?” His double stood where Launchpad had last seen him, at the banister, staring out at the burning planes. “Launchpad!”

    He didn’t budge.

    “Damn it.” Launchpad climbed the ladder. The air was far too warm. And the flames eating through the nearest planes were licking at the loft’s underside. At least that hadn’t been drenched in petrol. He grabbed the Negaverse Launchpad by the shirt sleeve. “Buddy, we have to go!”

    The touch broke his double’s stupor. He flinched and whirled to face Launchpad. But he didn’t fight. His shoulders heaved, and this close to him Launchpad saw the tears running down his beak. “I… I didn’t… mean to… we have to put them out!”

    “It’s okay. These aren’t your planes.”

    “One is. You promised!”

    “That was kind of assuming you didn’t try to burn my friend to a crisp!”

    “Is he okay?”

    “Yeah, I got him out.”

    The Negaverse Launchpad gulped and wiped a hand across his beak. “Good. I… I just needed Negaduck to… I had to do something right. But it doesn’t matter what I do. Does it?”

    Launchpad squeezed his shoulder. “Forget about Negaduck. Right now, we’ve got to get you out of here.”

    His double swiped his hand away. “Why do you care? I beat the crap out of you. I tried to kill your friend. I’ve destroyed most of your planes.” He hung his head and started to cry again. “Why do you keep trying to help me?”

    “Someone has to.” Launchpad paused, then gently put his hands on the other Launchpad’s shoulders. This time, he wasn’t pushed away. “Or, I could just be an idiot. But we’ve got to get out of here before…”

    Flames exploded through the floor of the loft behind them. The boards beneath their feet collapsed.

    Launchpad coughed and gasped as the world stopped spinning and came back into focus, a world of nothing but flames burning around him and pain pounding in his chest.

    “Come on, you pussy, get up!”

    Tears stung Launchpad’s eyes as he was hauled to his feet. “I hate. That stupid. Loft.”

    The Negaverse Launchpad hefted an arm around his back and took some of his weight. “At least I didn’t throw you out of it this time. Come on. If you were on your feet after the beating I gave you, you can get out of here.”

    He was helping him. Launchpad straightened up as his head cleared and stared at his counterpart.

    Launchpad wiped a hand across his beak and sniffed. “What are you staring at? You want to get out of here alive or not?”

    “Yeah, but the doors…” They both turned towards the hanger’s double doors. An impenetrable wall of flames barred their way.

    “I’m sorry,” the Negaverse Launchpad said softly, barely audible over the crackling of the flames.

    “Apology accepted. Wait…” Through the flames, Launchpad saw a familiar silhouette. “DW!”

    Darkwing raised his gas gun towards them.

    His double tensed; Launchpad moved himself in front of him. “DW, don’t shoot him. You don’t understand…”

    The canister shot out of the gun with a pop and sailed through the wall of flames, spinning and flinging white foam. The flames in front of them smothered and died out.

    “’Don’t shoot him.’ It’s a CO2 canister! I’m saving your idiots’ asses. Now stop it with the deep and meaningful and lets got out of here.”

    The Negaverse Launchpad grabbed his arm. Launchpad grunted and let him pull him out. DW waiting until they were past him. Then he loaded a grappling hook into the gas gun and launched it into the ceiling. It caught on a beam already weakened by the fire. He tugged and the roof gave in. The rain poured in and steadily began to extinguish the flames.

    ***

    As soon as they were clear of the hanger the Negaverse Launchpad sunk down onto the wet curbing and stared forlornly at the smouldering hanger. Launchpad sat beside him. He needed to catch his breath. But he also wanted to make sure his counterpart was okay.

    The fire department had arrived and started to put out the remaining flames. Launchpad watched them work at it and swallowed hard. It really was a waste. The Negaverse Launchpad had been right. Ever since he’d taken up with Darkwing Duck, he hadn’t been back here. He’d abandoned his planes. But they’d still been here. Now, any chance to return to them was gone. In minutes, half of them were destroyed. The rest may not even be repairable. Like he even had the time. The thought brought a distant ache to his chest.

    Darkwing glared down at the Negaverse Launchpad, arms folded. “Well, I hope you’re happy.”

    “DW,” Launchpad said softly, “I don’t think you’re helping.”

    The glare softened. “Well, I’m sorry, alright? But he duct taped me to a plane, then tried to burn me.” He yanked at a wad of duct tape still stuck to his feathers and balled it up in his hand. It stuck to his fingers. He tried to flick it off. “I think I’m entitled to say something.”

    The Negaverse Launchpad stirred. “I’m sorry.”

    “Of course you are.” Darkwing jabbed a finger at the hanger. The duct tape still clung to his hand. “Now you’ve got zero planes…”

    “Not that. I have no beef with you. I was doing this for Negaduck. But I promised myself, after he made me burn my hanger, that I’d never let him force me to do something like that again. But he’s not even here. What the hell is wrong with me?”

    Launchpad put a hand on his shoulder. His counterpart flinched. “Look, it doesn’t matter. As long as you don’t do something like that again, then we’ll be able to help you. Right, DW?”

    Darkwing’s shoulders slumped. “Aw, LP… look, I get you want to help him, but…”

    “Help him? I’ll punch him in the face!” Gosalyn stormed up to them as she rolled up her sleeves.

    Darkwing’s eyes widened and he grabbed his daughter by the collar. “Gosalyn, no! Stay away from him.”

    “Dad!”

    The Negaverse Launchpad’s head lifted at the sound of her voice. A smile touched his beak, and he chuckled faintly. “Hey, kid. I haven’t seen you in ages. Only you’re not my Gosalyn, are you? You look a bit more rough and ready.”

    Gosalyn’s swinging fists slowed. She yanked her collar from her father’s grip and glared between the two Launchpads. Then she groaned theatrically, and her shoulders slumped. “No. Why do you have to look just like Launchpad? Urgh, I can’t hit you. You’re like, exactly the same, just scruffier and your hair is cooler.”

    Launchpad frowned. “Hey.”

    “Sorry, Launchpad. You actually look pretty scruffy at the moment too.”

    Launchpad closed his eyes briefly. “Yeah. Thanks, kiddo.”

    Gosalyn turned her attention to the Negaverse Launchpad and shook a fist in his face. “If you ever beat up Launchpad again, you’ll have to answer to me. Got it, buster?”

    The Negaverse Launchpad sat back, hands raised in surrender, but couldn’t quite hide a faint smirk. “Got it.”

    Darkwing dragged her back. “Alright, miss. Why don’t you go see if the firefighters will let you play with their fire engine?”

    “Wait, there’s a fire engine?” Gosalyn spun on her heel and rushed back over to the firefighters.

    The Negaverse Launchpad watched Gosalyn’s retreating back. He no longer stared mournfully at the hanger. “Woah. She’s a lot feistier than…”

    Darkwing stabbed a finger at him. “You stay away from her!”

    “DW, I don’t think he’s going to do anything.”

    Darkwing lowered his hand, the tension draining from his shoulders, but the scowl remained on his beak. “Look LP,” he said, his voice strained but carefully measured, “He’s a criminal. He’s caused enough trouble. He smashed a plane through a building; he lit up your hanger. He tried to light me up too. That’s arson. And I’m a crime fighter. A promise to behave himself isn’t going to be enough. I’m turning him in. I’m sorry.”

    Launchpad shot to his feet. “But, DW! He won’t get to fly if he’s in jail.”

    “LP, that’s kind of the point of jail. You know, you do the wrong thing, you don’t get to play with your toys? I shouldn’t have to explain this to you.”

    The Negaverse Launchpad looked up at Darkwing and swallowed hard. “Will Negaduck know I’m there?”

    Darkwing frowned, confusion creasing his features at the plea. “Well, I’m not planning to tell him.”

    The fire engine let out a long, drawn out honk. Then a stream of staccato honks like someone was punching the horn. One of the firefighters yelled something.

    Darkwing’s head wrenched around as his parenting radar cranked up to maximum. “Gosalyn! Get out of the fire engine! You can’t just… hang on, it’s fine, I’ll get her down.” He stomped over to the firefighters.

    The Negaverse Launchpad fists bunched up at his sides. They shook. “I can’t get boxed up in a cell, man. If Negaduck ever finds out I’m there… what am I supposed to do… I… please, I’ll do anything.”

    DW was over at the fire engine, yelling up at his daughter. He’d be there for a couple more minutes at least; Gosalyn wouldn’t give it up without having a decent screaming match with her father first. Launchpad’s gaze hardened and he whirled back to face his double. “How about you stop working for Negaduck? And no more setting things on fire; no more beating the crap out of people for no good reason.”

    “I’m not even sure who I am anymore. But I know I will never work for Negaduck again.” He gulped, and tears filled his eyes. “I want to fly again.”

    Launchpad glanced one last time at DW. Then he grabbed his double’s shirt sleeve and hauled him to his feet. “I’m trusting you mean that, okay? Come on.” He pushed him ahead of him, towards the Thunderquack. Launchpad climbed into the pilot’s seat.

    His double slipped into the passenger seat. “What are we doing?”

    “Don’t think I’m giving you this plane. We need it. But we’ll work something out. Right now, let’s just get you out of here so the heat can die down a bit.”

    Launchpad started up the Thunderquack and lifted her quickly into the air. He stared resolutely ahead and forced himself to ignore the figure of Darkwing Duck below, waving his arms and shouting he couldn’t hear what as he flew away.

    ***

    2 weeks later

    “Are you sure this scrapheap will fly?”

    “Only one way to find out.” Launchpad patted the biplane they had cobbled together from any and every bit of salvageable material retrieved from the half-burnt hanger. It gleamed in the light of the setting sun. Amazing what a good coat of paint could to.

    The Negaverse Launchpad glared at the plane like he was considering fighting it. Of course, he had seen firsthand what they’d done to get it airworthy. A lick of paint wasn’t going to fool him. “What if it crashes?”

    Launchpad rolled his eyes. “Seriously? All your pussy talk and you’re still scared of crashing? If you crash, you fix it. Come on, it’ll be fine.”

    His double slowly moved his gaze onto him. “I still don’t get why you’re doing this.” That piercing, almost angry, look was back, different than when they’d first sneaked back into the hanger. That first week, as they’d worked together to get the most intact plane remaining airworthy, his double had kept looking over his shoulder like he’d expected Darkwing Duck, or the cops, to rock up at Launchpad’s call. Or Negaduck. Maybe it had been the nights they’d stayed up late in the firelight, talking. And Launchpad had opened up and told him some of the things Negaduck had made him do. He still didn’t seem to understand why Launchpad was helping him. But rather than reducing him to tears, it now just seemed to confuse, and perhaps mildly irritate him.

    Launchpad had become more comfortable with his double too. That acidic glare no longer made him feel he had to put up his guard lest he get smacked around the head. He put his hands on his hips and looked over the plane. Cobbled together or not, they really had done a good job. He’d flown worse. She would fly. “Yeah, well, there were a few times I asked myself the same thing.” He nodded towards the plane. “Go on.”

    The dirty look on the Negaverse Launchpad’s face flitted away, replaced by a grin. He climbed into the cockpit. “If this thing really goes… I’d better get out of here, yeah?”

    “Yeah.” They’d already discussed it. Once the plane was good to go, then Launchpad would have to be as well. But it only hit Launchpad at that moment his double would be gone in minutes. They’d spent the last two weeks together. His double seemed to have his edge back. But there had been moments when Launchpad was glad he hadn’t left him alone or shunted him off to prison. “I’m sorry. It’s not that I don’t trust you, but…”

    Launchpad laughed. “But you don’t trust me. Don’t worry, I get it. I’ll stay away from Saint Canard. Even if I muck up, Darkwing Duck won’t know. But I’ll try. Besides, I don’t want to be anywhere near here if Negaduck does turn up. Its fine. And… thanks. For everything.” His beak flushed and he focused on starting up the plane. The propellor spluttered and caught. The plane crept up to speed, trundling down the strip of dirty beach at the edge of Audubon Bay that became visible at low tide.

    Launchpad shielded his eyes from the glare of the setting sun and winced as his counterpart got closer and closer to the rocks at the end of the beach. Almost upon them, the wheels bounced and skipped a couple times, then the biplane climbed into the air. His counterpart looped back around. The sound of a long, drawn out whoop carried to Launchpad on the evening air. Launchpad couldn’t help but grin.

    “Later, loser!” The biplane tore past and climbed into the darkening sky.

    Launchpad watched the plane dwindle, and the visibility lights he’d insisted they put on finally light up. She was flying well. Now, all he had to hope for was that his double would keep his word and behave himself. Truth be told, Launchpad was less worried about that now than when he’d first run away from Darkwing Duck in the Thunderquack.

    Launchpad gulped. He’d sneakily returned the plane to Darkwing Tower early one morning, along with a note to DW. He’d kept it short. Just enough to let his friend know he was okay, the Negaverse Launchpad hadn’t kidnapped him against his will, and he’d return once he’d got everything sorted out.

    Now came the hard part.

    ***

    He didn’t really need to knock on his own front door. But Launchpad did anyway. Then felt silly. He pushed the door open and stuck his head into Drake’s entrance hall. “Um, DW? You home? Hello?”

    Upstairs, something crashed. “Laaaaauuunnncchpaaad…” Gosalyn’s voice carried all the way through the house, rising in volume as she neared. She barrelled down the stairs, tripped, and crashed down the last three. Launchpad winced and moved to pick her up. But she was on her feet before he’d taken a step. She threw her arms around his legs. “You’re back.”

    “Hey, kiddo.” Launchpad knelt and hugged her around the shoulders.

    “Where have you been? Dad’s been worried sick.”

    Drake emerged from the living room. He rubbed at bleary eyes. “I was wondering how long it’d take you to show your face again.”

    Gosalyn put her hands on her hips. “Yeah, Launchpad, you got to tell us where you are.”

    “Gos, can you let me talk to Launchpad for a second?”

    “Dad! He’s been here like two minutes. I haven’t even…”

    “Gos!”

    “Urgh, fine.” Gosalyn cupped a hand to her beak, towards Launchpad, and mouthed: “Good luck.” With plenty enough volume for Drake to hear anyway. She turned and rushed back upstairs.

    Drake folded his arms and regarded Launchpad for a long moment. “He’s gone. Isn’t he?”

    Launchpad rubbed at his arm. “Ah, yeah. Listen, DW, I’m real sorry. I know I should’ve talked to you. But I couldn’t let him get all couped up, it would’ve been too easy for Negaduck to find him if he wanted, and, well, you said you were going to turn him in. He’s long gone from Saint Canard anyway. He won’t be back.”

    “Long gone, huh? You mean where Darkwing Duck can’t get at him?”

    “I think he really has changed.” Launchpad shrugged. Drake still glared at him. Launchpad hung his head. “But I get you’re upset. If you want to look for another sidekick you can trust better, I’ll understand.”

    “LP, there’s no need to be so dramatic.”

    “It seems to work for you.”

    “Is he really clear of Saint Canard?”

    “Yeah. He promised he won’t come back. I still don’t know exactly what he’s going to do out there. I don’t think he does either. But I trust him not to come back.”

    Drake nodded slowly. “Alright then. Well, I guess outside Saint Canard is technically outside Darkwing Duck’s jurisdiction anyway. Besides, where am I supposed to find another sidekick who’ll do my groceries and pick up Gosalyn from school? Um, you couldn’t make some more soup or something? There’s hardly anything in the fridge.”

    Launchpad felt a faint grin creep back onto his face. Soup he could do. Soup would make up for anything he’d done wrong. “Of course.”

    “LP…” Drake put a hand on his arm as he stepped past. “I’m really not that mad. You did what you thought was right; you helped Launchpad even though I’m not sure he deserved it. That’s why I want you as my sidekick.”

    Launchpad gulped. “I, um, thanks, DW.”

    Drake patted his arm, then hit him a bit harder. “Next time tell me what you’re doing! You’ve been gone for two weeks! I know I didn’t listen to you the first time. And I’m sorry. But just talk to me, okay?”

    “Okay. If you’ll actually listen, then deal.”

    Drake smiled faintly. “You’ve got a deal, buddy.”

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  • bitofthisandthat
    06.03.2021 - 2 monts ago
    #Hey Nony Nonny #asks #TRUTH serum! #💣NEGADUCK 💣 #HEADCANON || NEGADUCK #CHAOS CONTAINED IN PINK & LACE || Nega! Gosalyn
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  • bitofthisandthat
    06.03.2021 - 2 monts ago
    #Hey Nony Nonny #asks #TRUTH serum! #🎀 NEGA! GOSALYN 🎀 #HEADCANON || NEGA! GOSALYN #{ Ahhh even in the Negaverse; there's still a few similarities between Prime and Nega }
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  • hyperpsychomaniac
    02.03.2021 - 2 monts ago

    The Other Side of Me - Chapter 5

    Darkwing Duck Fanfiction (90s Series)

    The Negaverse Launchpad arrives in Saint Canard and announces his intention to take down Darkwing Duck in preparation for Negaduck’s arrival. Darkwing refuses to take the threat seriously, so Launchpad decides to take on his stronger, crazier, and downright dangerous counterpart himself.

    Read Chapter 1 first.

    ***

    Launchpad woke to the faint sound of drizzle outside. Morning light, hazy and subdued as it forced its way through the cloud layer above, seeped around the edges of the living room curtains. Launchpad carefully sat up, but the movement still made him draw in a quick breath. He pushed his fingers through the feathers on his chest and gingerly felt each of his ribs. None were broken. But it felt like the other Launchpad had managed to ram his boot into each and every one.

    There were clean clothes on the coffee table and Launchpad pulled them on, thankful his jacket zipped up and he didn’t have to try get it over his head. Then he headed for the bathroom. He washed his face carefully, working around the plaster Gosalyn had stuck over his beak. He slowed as he finished then looked at his battered face staring back at him in the mirror. His shoulders slumped.

    “Launchpad, what the heck were you thinking? Idiot.” His double wasn’t him. He was meaner, crazier. Stronger. He couldn’t be talked out of betraying Negaduck. But Launchpad had sold out the location of Darkwing Tower in a heartbeat.

    Launchpad straightened. “Oh no, DW.” He rushed out of the bathroom. He’d heard action in the kitchen. He threw open the kitchen door and it flung back into the wall behind it with a sharp whack.

    Gosalyn stood on a stool in front of the stove, her face screwed up in concentration as she fought to stir a pot of porridge.

    “Gosalyn, where’s your dad?”

    “Launchpad!” Gosalyn knocked the edge of the pot and left it wobbling precariously for a split second as she leapt off the stool. She rushed over and threw her arms around Launchpad’s middle.

    Launchpad grunted, but returned the hug on instinct. “Gos, your dad…”

    “It’s okay. He got the message. He came back.”

    “Is he…”

    “Now, sit down! I’m making you breakfast.” Gosalyn rushed back to the pot of porridge and turned down the heat just in time to stop it boiling over.

    Launchpad felt some of the tension leave his shoulders. Drake was home; he’d have a chance to talk to him. They’d be able to fix this. He’d probably get mad. Darkwing Tower would be compromised, but at least he was safe. Launchpad put a hand to his head and wandered over to the fridge. He paused, then opened the freezer instead and pulled out a bag of frozen peas.

    “Launchpad! This is breakfast porridge. Not soup. You can’t put peas in here. Besides, you’re not the one cooking. Sit down!”

    “It’s not for the soup… porridge…” Launchpad slumped into a chair at the kitchen table and pressed the bag to his swollen eye. The cold stung but it was a welcome distraction from the ache he felt practically everywhere else.

    Gosalyn finished the porridge and put the pot on the table, along with a couple of bowls and some spoons.

    “Thanks, Gos. But I’m not sure I can stomach food right now.”

    “Well, that’s a first. You want some orange juice?”

    Launchpad nodded. The juice she brought him tasted like citrus, and copper mixed with antiseptic. Launchpad hiccupped as it hit the back of his throat. He groaned and shifted the bag of peas onto his beak. He shouldn’t have to worry about juice hurting him. It wasn’t fair.

    “Aw, Launchpad.”

    “I’m okay.” Everything was going to taste weird until he got all the gunk out of his throat anyway, so he may as well push his way through the juice.

    Gosalyn spooned a huge helping of porridge into her own bowl, but she kept glancing across at Launchpad. He wasn’t sure if she really was that hungry, or if she was doing something to avoid looking at him. He reached out and brushed his knuckles on her sleeve. “Hey, kiddo? Thanks.”

    Gosalyn started scraping down the sides of the pot with far too much gusto. “It’s just juice,” she mumbled. “You bought it.”

    “No, I mean for last night. Thanks for… for sitting up with me.” Launchpad swallowed and dropped his gaze to his orange juice. “I really needed someone. Thanks for just, you know, being there for me.”

    Gosalyn dropped the pot to the table with a clang and threw her arms around Launchpad’s neck. She buried her face against his shoulder. “Launchpad, you really scared me.”

    “I know. I’m sorry.”

    Gosalyn sniffed. “It’s not your fault. But don’t do something like… whatever you went and did again, okay? I know you and Dad had a fight. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. You’re not just our sidekick, you’re part of this family too.”

    Launchpad gulped at the lump in this throat.

    “Aw, Launchpad.”

    Launchpad wiped at his eyes. “I’m fine. It’s just this juice. It tastes really awful.”

    “There’s nothing wrong with the juice. I’m just glad your home safe.”

    “I’m glad your Dad is home safe. When I… aw, it’s doesn’t matter. When do you think he’ll be up? I need to talk to him.”

    “Dad went back out.”

    Launchpad’s stomach dropped. “What? When… where?”

    “To find jerkface! After what he did to you…” Gosalyn pounded a fist on the table. “If I didn’t have to stay here and look after you, I would’ve gone myself and punched him in the face!”

    Launchpad’s chair skittered back from the table. He began to pace. “No… I… we told him he had to come home.” He spun back around. “What did you put in the message?”

    “I put what I said I would. And you agreed. That you were hurt, and he had to come home.”

    “Then why’d you let him go back out?”

    Gosalyn jabbed a finger at him. “Hey! You didn’t exactly give me much information. All you said was that you’d screwed up.”

    Launchpad put a hand to his face.

    “Launchpad,” said Gosalyn, her voice softening. “What happened?”

    “I… I told Launchpad where to find Darkwing Tower.” Saying it out loud made his stomach knot up again. Launchpad kept his hand up, hiding his eyes. He could not bring himself to pull it away and see the look of disappointment that was surely on Gosalyn’s face. “I betrayed DW.”

    A few cruelly long seconds passed, and then Gosalyn finally spoke. “Jerkface beat you up. It’s okay if you were scared and you didn’t know what else to do.”

    Launchpad huffed, and gestured to his face. “This? This is nothing. Launchpad could’ve tossed me around that hanger all night and I wouldn’t have done a thing to put DW in danger. But I… I just didn’t have any choice… I…”

    “Launchpad! Just tell me what happened!”

    “He was going to come here!” Launchpad gulped deep breaths. It made his chest ache. “He was going to come here. He’d almost figured out our house must’ve been in the same place as Negaduck’s.” He shrugged. “So, I told him where Darkwing Tower was. Figured it I made it easy for him he wouldn’t keep thinking about the house.”

    Gosalyn’s jaw dropped. “You tricked him?”

    “Yeah, I guess. Wish I’d been smart enough to think of something that wouldn’t put DW in danger though.”

    “You should’ve told me this last night.”

    “I know.” Launchpad’s shoulders slumped. “I just… I just couldn’t.”

    Gosalyn took his hands. “It’s okay. But Dad sounded like he was going to go looking for jerkface. He may not have even gone to Darkwing Tower yet.”

    “We need to check.” Launchpad grabbed the remaining juice and downed it. He winced. “Man, that’s foul.” Then he headed for the living room. Gosalyn was right on his tail. “Gos, wait, you need to stay here.”

    “Why?!”

    “Because… because you can’t actually beat me in an arm wrestle.”

    Gosalyn glared at him and folded her arms.

    “And I couldn’t beat Launchpad, so, you know.” Launchpad squeezed her shoulder. “You know one day you’ll be big enough to have my back. And your dad’s. We just need to keep you safe until then.”

    “I suppose.”

    “I’ll be careful. I promise.”

    ***

    Darkwing brough the Ratcatcher to a halt inside Darkwing Tower. He dismounted and flung off his helmet, which had done absolutely nothing to keep him dry, and hung his head. He was tired, disheartened, and soggy. And he had accomplished nothing. Maybe it had been too much to hope that he would simply run into the Negaverse Launchpad. It looked like he would have to talk to Launchpad to find out where he had found his doppelganger. And apologise. After what his double, and after what Darkwing’s own inability to have a little trust or at least simply listen to his friend, had done, Darkwing hoped his sidekick was up to both.

    The clatter of a tool brought Darkwing’s head up. “Launchpad?” he asked automatically. He wandered over to the Thunderquack. “Huh. Something must’ve slipped.” He frowned. “That’s weird. I thought this thing got a lot more trashed. LP must’ve fixed most of it before he got the crazy idea to hunt down that lunatic.”

    “One of us fixed it anyway.”

    Darkwing spun around at the familiar voice. His hands balled into fists at his side. And stayed there. It should’ve been easy to lay into the low life who had left Launchpad battered and bruised on Drake’s living room sofa. But the duck that leered back at him was still Launchpad, and Darkwing suddenly found he couldn’t quite bring himself to tear into him. So much for retribution. “You…” Darkwing stabbed a finger at the other Launchpad. “How dare you beat up my sidekick. What did he ever do to you?”

    Launchpad stood with his hands behind his back. The corner of his beak turned up into a grin. “Apart from insult me? You know he tried to give me one of his stupid aeroplanes? That’s not how you win a fight. And I don’t need a bloody aeroplane! If I wanted one, I wouldn’t have burned all of mine, would I? He thought that would get me to betray Negaduck. What a loser.”

    Oh, Launchpad. Of all the crazy things. His sidekick hadn’t gone to fight his double. “He tried to help you? That’s why you beat him up?”

    Launchpad shrugged. “Well, that’s how it started. Then I figured I could get him to talk.” He laughed. It was the same dorky laugh as his Launchpad, and it made Darkwing shudder. “He gave up the location of this place in a heartbeat.”

    “Because,” said Darkwing, his hands shaking, “you beat the crap out of him.”

    “He gave it up because he’s a coward. No backbone, and no follow through. And he thinks I need help?”

    “He thinks I need help,” Darkwing parroted back. “Cut the crap. Launchpad took you on, by himself. Which don’t get me wrong, was super dumb. But it sure doesn’t make him a coward. Meanwhile, you’ve just been running around destroying things, making threats, and beating the crap out of the one person who might have cut you a bit of slack. Launchpad is twice the duck you are!”

    Launchpad’s maniac grin had been slowly draining from his face as Darkwing spoke. “Don’t you get it?” he exploded. “He failed you. He was supposed to have your back and he sold you out.”

    Darkwing shrugged. “Yeah, well, I haven’t really had his back tonight either.”

    “What the hell is wrong with you? Negaduck would never… argh! I don’t need anyone to feel sorry for me, far less me… him. I don’t need anyone’s sympathy!”

    “Fine by me pal.”

    Launchpad drew in deep breaths, steadily bringing the rage which had overtaken him back under control. He glared at Darkwing, and then that grin came back to his face. “You can taunt me all you like. But you know all its gonna accomplish? Once I’ve got McQuack crying in a heap on the floor, cradling your burnt and blackened body in his arms, I’ll just beat him up some more.”

    Darkwing threw himself at the Negaverse Launchpad. Launchpad swung out his arm, the heavy wrench he’d concealed behind his back swinging out in a wide arc. It slammed into Darkwing’s skull. The world went dark.

    ***

    Rain seeped in and left puddles under the high stone windows. Darkwing Tower seemed empty. And quiet. The two ducks Launchpad had expected to see, one he had hoped for, and the other dreaded, were not there. But something else was missing.

    “Where’s the Thunderquack?” said a voice behind him.

    Launchpad yelped and whirled around. Then grunted and put a hand to his chest. Gosalyn blinked up at him. “Aw, Gos,” he said, a little thinly, “I thought I told you to stay home?”

    “I know. But then I realised you said jerkface beat you, and you might be able to beat me, but you can’t beat him, so that means you still need back up. I wasn’t going to fight him though.” She scuffed a shoe across the floor. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you jump. You okay?”

    Launchpad carefully let out the breath he’d been holding and let his chest relax. “Yeah. He’s not here anyway. Neither is DW. And you’re right; the Thunderquack’s gone.”

    Gosalyn wandered over to Launchpad’s toolbox, which sat where he usually parked the Thunderquack. “Are you sure you just didn’t misplace it?”

    “I’m not that absent minded. Not today anyway. It was right here, practically in pieces. Launchpad’s taken it. He’s way too obsessed with planes. Heh. Can’t believe I’d ever say that.”

    “I thought you said he burnt his?”

    “Yeah, because Negaduck made him. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to help him. I figured if I offered him one of my planes, so he’d have something he obviously really cares about again… but then he just flipped.” Launchpad swallowed hard and rubbed at his chest. “I mean, DW can be difficult. But I can’t believe how Negaduck’s treated Launchpad. I was sure if I gave him another option, he’d take it. But I don’t think he could.”

    Gosalyn dug amongst Launchpad’s tools, scattering bolts across the floor. “It still doesn’t excuse what he did to you.”

    Launchpad watched the bolts roll every which way. He didn’t have the energy to complain about the mess Gosalyn was making, or question why. “I know. But, Gos, sometimes people get hurt and then they try and hurt other people and… well, it’s not going to help anyone by hurting him back. He needs help, and it doesn’t look like anyone else is here for him.”

    Gosalyn didn’t reply but instead tipped half his socket set across the floor. Then she came up with a piece of paper in her hands.

    “Maybe he decided he did want an aeroplane, and just took the Thunderquack? Which wasn’t really what I was offering, and DW’s going to be even madder at me. But I guess it’s better than him trying to hurt him.”

    “Launchpad…” Gosalyn shoved the paper into his hands.

    The writing was terrible, but legible. Familiar, but not. “I’m going to burn everything you care about. Come try stop me.”  Launchpad read out.

    “He wants to burn your planes now too? Is that why he took the Thunderquack?”

    Launchpad’s blood ran cold. “DW.”

    “Wait, he’s going to burn Dad?”

    The Ratcatcher had been left behind. Launchpad threw his leg over the bike, wincing, but gritted his teeth and ignored the strain the movement caused.

    Gosalyn leapt into the sidecar.

    “Gos…”

    “I’m coming with you! We have to stop jerkface. And look what happened last time you went after him alone. And it’s Dad…”

    Launchpad didn’t have the time to argue with her. “You stay back, okay? I let anything happened to you and DW will do worse to me than Launchpad did.”

    “Deal.”

    ***

    The rain held up, for now. The Ratcatcher’s tyres sliced through puddles of water. It took every ounce of Launchpad’s willpower to drive slow enough they didn’t risk spinning out on wet corners. He brought them skittering to a halt outside the hanger and dismounted with a grimace. Gosalyn sat up in the sidecar.

    “Gosalyn, no. You really have to stay put this time.”

    “But, Launchpad. Dad!”

    Launchpad gently put his hand on her shoulder until she sat back down. “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure he’s safe.”

    “He’s not the only one I’m worried about. You already know you can’t fight jerkface.”

    “I’m not planning to.”

    “Launchpad, he’s not you!”

    Launchpad faced the hanger and squared his shoulders. “No, he’s not. But you need to stay out here, call for help if we need it. But don’t worry. I’m getting DW out of this.”

    Launchpad cautiously pushed open the hanger’s big double doors. There was the Thunderquack. She was parked inside, up the back. “DW?” It was almost as quiet as Darkwing Tower had been. The rest of his planes were still uncovered but the ones parked out at the edges of the hanger had been moved in closer. They were all crowded up around the Thunderquack, like some kid had lined up his collection of toys for display. “Launchpad?” He sniffed the air. He could smell petrol. More than the faint aroma that was usually left around a hanger. “Oh, man.”

    Something scraped from on top of the Thunderquack. Then: “If you don’t get me off of this right now you…”

    “DW!” Launchpad ran around the planes, to where he’d heard his friend’s voice. There, on top of the Thunderquack, Darkwing was duct taped right above the canopy. And he was not happy about it.

    Darkwing tugged and strained. He wrenched his head around, and his gaze fell on Launchpad. He slumped in his bonds. “Launchpad, you’re okay.”

    “More or less. What are you doing up there?”

    Darkwing rolled his eyes. “LP, I don’t want to be up here. Your buddy jumped me in Darkwing Tower.”

    Launchpad moved to the front of the plane and put his hands up on the nose. Usually it wouldn’t be too much effort for him to climb up. But even stretching that far made his chest ache. He strained for a brief moment, but then grunted and let his arms fall back to his sides. He hung his head. “I know. I… I told Launchpad where it was. I’m sorry.”

    “Aw, LP. This isn’t your fault. I should’ve listened to you about that sociopath; that’s the reason I’m stuck up here. But maybe that’s something we can talk about later? Can you make it up here?”

    “Give me a second.”

    “Oh, come on!” A fist pounded on the fractured railing above. A piece of timber splintered and fell to the floor. “Guess I’m going to have to get this show on the road myself.” The Negaverse Launchpad pulled out a lighter and ignited it with a grin.

    Darkwing gulped. “Um, LP? Just to put this in context: he has completely soaked these planes in petrol.”

    “Launchpad! Don’t.”

    Launchpad let the lighter flick off. “I won’t. Not yet. So, what do you say; you ready for another round? I’ll give you another chance to beat me. I’ll even go bare fisted this time, so it’s fair.”

    Darkwing snorted. “Fair? Are you kidding? He can’t fight you in the condition he’s in. Guess we know who the real coward is.”

    “I’m not a pussy!”

    Launchpad gritted his teeth. “DW, I don’t need to fight him.”

    “Wait, you’re just going to let me burn him?” Launchpad ignited the lighter again. “Wow. And I thought you had no fight when you betrayed him.”

    The words knotted Launchpad’s guts up again. He knew he was being toyed with. The taunts, the beating. But he’d also seen that vulnerable look on his double’s face. The aggression was a defence. He couldn’t let DW get killed. And he wouldn’t, even if he had to fight again, even with how much his body already hurt. But he could see right through this guy, and he wouldn’t back down because of the threats, or because he feared getting beat up again. Launchpad raised his voice: “My offer still stands!”

    The Negaverse Launchpad lowered the lighter; the grin slipped from his face. The lighter flicked itself off. He didn’t seem to notice. “What?”

    “I’ll help you fix up one of these planes. Or if you don’t want that, anything else that will actually help…”

    “You pushed me too far last time! Do it again and all this goes up in flames.”

    Launchpad shook his head. “You won’t burn these planes. Not again.”

    “Again…”

    “Look at them, Launchpad!” Launchpad jabbed a finger at the carefully arranged line up. “You could’ve hacked half of these into a nice pile of kindling. You didn’t. You’ve got them all out on display.”

    The Negaverse Launchpad swallowed hard. Then he laughed, but his voice trembled. “Can you believe this, Darkwing? I beat the crap out of him, and he’s still plying this line. He really is stupid, huh? And this is the guy you’re counting on to not let you fry to a crisp.”

    Darkwing looked his sidekick right in the eye as he replied. “I don’t know, jerkface. I think he might just have your number. I trust him.”

    Something rose up inside Launchpad’s chest at Darkwing’s words, and it almost made him forget the pain in his ribs. He straightened up and squared his shoulders. “What do you say? Come down, and we’ll talk.”

    The Negaverse Launchpad glared at Darkwing. His brow creased, and he shook his head. “What… what the hell is wrong with you? This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. You’re not supposed to… he screwed up. How can you just trust him? He didn’t even have to do anything!”

    Launchpad felt the tension start to leave his shoulders. He’d been right about Launchpad. And Darkwing had his back again. “Launchpad, Negaduck isn’t here. He can’t make you burn these planes. I’m not going to put you in a spot where you have to either. I’m giving you an out, buddy. Just take it!”

    “Don’t you get it? He’s not Darkwing. He won’t just forgive me if I screw up again.” The Negaverse Launchpad flicked on the lighter and dropped it onto the planes below.

    Next chapter

    #darkwing duck#darkwing#launchpad#launchpad mcquack#dwd#dwd91 #darkwing duck 1991 #darkwing duck gosalyn #gosalyn#gosalyn mallard#nega launchpad#negalaunchpad#negaverse#fanfic#fanfiction#darkwing fanfic#darkwing fanfiction #darkwing duck fanfiction #darkwing duck fanfic #i enjoy writing cliffhangers far too much #disney ducks
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