An explosion, then fire all around. Running what seemed like miles, but the shadows were always there. Reptilian figures in the darkness. A bright flash of metal and the sound of a sword falling. Then intense pain; he gripped his right shoulder, the arm gone at the joint.
Lucus sat straight up in bed, panting. Reaching out, he touched the cybernetic connection plate on which his cybernetic arm sat. Sighing, he looked over at the clock. 3am. Great.
He got up and walked over to the bathroom for a shower. Once done, he put on some pants and went back over to the holder for his arm. After attaching the arm to the matching plate on his shoulder, he slipped on a shirt and headed out the door.
He made his way to the kitchen, which had been expanded slightly to hold the growing number of ducks that were arriving on earth. Going to the coffee pot, he found that it already had freshly made coffee in it.
Odd, he thought, but shrugged it off. As he fixed himself a cup, he heard someone coming down the hall, their slippers hitting the floor. He moved over by the table.
Tanya walked in, wearing a long purple robe and her blonde hair down around her shoulders. Yawning, she grabbed a cup and started to pour herself a some coffee, when she heard a voice.
She gave a small squeak of fright, nearly dropping the cup. Looking over at the table, she exclaimed, "Oh, hey! Lucus, you scared me!"
Lucus just shrugged. With his dark chocolate-brown feathers and the dark outfits that he favoured, it was easy to melt into the shadows. “You seem to be up early," he said.
Tanya sat down at the table across from him. "Yeah, well, I wanted to finish up a project." She then noted her state of dress and pulled slightly on her robe, to keep it closed.
Lucus thought as he sipped his coffee. He hadn't been here long, but he had learned that Tanya had been the one who built Drake-One and most of their gear. "So what are you working on?"
Tanya smiled as though she didn't believe Lucus to be able to understand. "Oh, I thought I'd just make a few improvements to the Duckcycles."
He quirked a brow and stood up. "Really? I think I'll go take a look." With that, he started walking out of the kitchen and over to Tanya's workshop.
"Now, wait just a minute--,“ Tanya coughed and went after him. “Hey! I'm talking to you!"
Lucus smirked to himself. He had figured that Tanya didn't know about his background, and judging by her reaction, he was right.
Once at the workshop, he began looking over one of the Duckcycle's engines and its weapons layout. Soon, he discovered a problem. "Tanya, your recoil system is set too low to handle explosive pucks."
Tanya blinked. This was a first. None of the other ducks knew mechanics even half as well as she did. Walking over, she stood next to him and looked. "Hey! You're right. How could I have screwed that up?"
Lucus smiled. "It's okay. I mess up on basic calibrations too sometimes." He reached over to the power unit. "Looks like the regulator circuit could use some tweaking. You might want to use a Type Four alpha regulator instead of this Type Six."
Tanya just stared at him. Lucus was actually speaking technical jargon the same way she did. Whenever she spoke in layman's terms around the other ducks, they would tell her to say it again in English.
They started to work on the Duckcycle together and before they knew it, it was eight o'clock in the morning. Finally, Lucus stood up from where he was working underneath the Duckcycle. "Well, that should be about it."
Tanya nodded in agreement. "Uh yeah, looks like a job well--" Slipping on a loose wrench, she fell into Lucus, knocking him down as well. They fell heavily onto the floor, Tanya landing on top of Lucus. For a long moment, they just stared at each other, shocked, their beaks practically touching.
Tanya quickly got up, saying, “Um...I think I hear Nosedive. Better make sure he's not breaking anything...“ She left the room.
Lucus sat up and looked around. There was no one there. He shook his head. "Okay...That was interesting." He got up and started walking back to the kitchen, trying to get the feel of Tanya's body against his out of his mind.
Breakfast should be ready by now, he thought.
As time passed, Lucus continued with his new duties, using his talents to help out with the Ducks' technical problems. While this freed up time for Tanya, she seemed more distracted, as was he.
One afternoon, Mallory was walking by the lab when she saw Tanya sitting and staring at the control panel. Sneaking over, she saw that Tanya was watching Lucus on the monitor as he was leaning over to repair a hard-to-reach component in the Migrator.
"Nice rear," she commented.
Tanya nodded absentmindedly, then suddenly blinked and turned it off.
"Hey!" Mallory laughed. "So this is what has you so distracted!"
Tanya blushed hotly. "Um yeah, well...."
The redhead pulled a chair over and sat down. "Want to talk about it?"
Tanya glanced at the monitor. "I don't know...you know. I just can't seem to get him out of my mind."
"The techno geek is in love with another techno geek?"
Tanya shot her a look, but didn't reply.
Mallory grinned back. "So...when did it start?"
Tanya sighed. "When we where working on the Duckcycles. I sort of tripped...and fell on top of him."
Before Mallory could start teasing, there a knock on the door. Calista stood there, smiling. "Hey...what's up?"
Mallory turned on the monitor. "Tanya's in love!"
The other female walked over to look. "With Lucus? Are you serious?"
Tanya turned bright red and quickly turned the screen off.
Calista turned to Mallory. "Have they hooked up yet?"
Mallory shook her head.
Calista went to close the door. "Well, we're just going to have to fix that, now won't we?"
Lucus growled, annoyed. He was making mistakes that he hadn't made since high school. He leaned back over the Migrator's engine just as someone came up and slapped his back.
Startled, Lucus jumped, hitting his head on the hood of the Migrator. Rubbing his head, he turned to see Duke standing there, twirling a wrench around his index finger
"Nosedive and I are thinking about heading over to the mall for a bit. Want to come?"
Lucus grabbed the wrench. "I have work to do, Duke."
Nosedive walked up, holding a circuit board. "Oh come on, man!" He placed the board on the tip of his beak and tried to balance it. "You're working too hard! You've got to relax!"
Lucus gasped as he saw the young blonde playing with the fragile circuit board. "Nosedive!"
Nosedive jumped, dropping the board. It hit the floor with a sickening crack.
With a snarl, Lucus lunged at the younger duck. But before he could hit Nosedive with the wrench, Duke grabbed him.
"Hey, calm down!" Duke gripped Lucus' shoulders. "What's with you?"
Lucus stopped struggling. “You're right," he finally said. “I do need to relax."
At the mall, Lucus sipped at the iced coffee he had bought while walking down the strip with Duke and Nosedive. Nosedive was happily drooling over the various females he spied, waving at several. So was Duke, but he was at least being a lot more subtle about it. Lucus, for the most part, was ignoring everybody and not really paying attention to what was going on around him.
Finally, Duke gave him a nudge. "What's up with you today?" he asked, exasperated. "You were so edgy this morning you couldn't even handle basic engine repairs, you nearly killed Wildwing's little brother-which is never a good idea, I might add- and now you're not even watching where you're walking. You've been bumping into things the entire time we've been here."
Lucus shrugged off Duke's concerns. "It's nothing. I'm fine."
Before Duke could reply, Nosedive suddenly grabbed Lucus and yanked him over to a shop window. "Hey, check it out! The Play-Box is out!"
Lucus glanced at the game system. "What's the big deal? Drake One can do the same thing."
"But it's so cool! Cool with extra cheese on it!"
Lucus slowly backed away from him until he was standing beside Duke. "Is he always this...excitable?" he asked.
Duke chuckled. "Pretty much. Just don't get him started with comics or video games, okay?"
Lucus nodded. "No problem."
After wresting Nosedive from the game store, the trio continued on their way until they came up to the fountain area, where an artificial skating arena sat next to it. Lucus stopped to gaze at the rink. "I can see why you like it here," he said softly. "It looks a lot like DuCaine Park...before."
Duke watched him from the corner of his eye. "Have you been there?"
"No." Lucus shook his head. "I've seen pictures though."
"Lucus." Duke regarded him carefully. "What's on your mind?"
With a sigh, Lucus leaned against a hand rail. "Not what. Who."
Duke stared at him in confusion until Nosedive blurted out, "You've got the hots for someone back at the Pond? Cool, who? Mallory...Calista?"
Lucus took a sip of his coffee. "Tanya," he replied smoothly.
The two other males just stared at him. "Tanya?"
At the other end of the mall, Mallory was scanning the dress racks. "Tanya, you need something...something..." She suddenly grabbed a shoulder baring, dark violet dress. "Here, try this."
Tanya just stared at it until Calista shoved her back in to the changing room. "Come on, Tanya! If you want to get his attention, you have to look the part."
Sitting down on a nearby chair, Mallory thought out loud. "What do you see in Tech Boy, anyways? I mean, he likes robots better than he likes people."
"Yeah, so?" replied Tanya. "We have something in common then."
Calista shook her head. "It takes more then that, Tanya. I mean, we have to know if he at least likes you first."
Mallory blinked at something then stood up and poked Calista in the side. "Speak of the devil." She pointed across the store. Duke and Nosedive had managed to drag Lucus into the store to look at some jackets in the men's section. Lucus looked less than thrilled.
Calista got a wicked gleam in her eye. "Wait here," she whispered to Mallory. Sneaking over to the trio, she pulled Duke off to the side, out of sight of Lucus and Nosedive.
With a grin, Duke wrapped his arms around Calista's waist. "Well, hello! What are you doing here?"
Calista smiled back . "Shopping with Mallory and Tanya."
"You've got Tanya in here?"
"She's trying on a dress. What's Lucus doing here?"
"We're trying to get him to relax. Easier said than done." Duke paused. "Wait. Why is Tanya trying on a dress? She's never struck me as the type to wear one."
Calista leaned in closer. "Tanya just happens to have a small crush on Lucus. Mal and I want to help her get his attention."
Duke began to laugh softly. "Oh man..." He grinned down at her. "Cali, trust me. Tanya doesn't need to try to grab his attention. She already has it."
"You mean we went to all this trouble of dragging Tanya down here for nothing?" Calista giggled against his chest.
"Well--" Duke thought for a moment. "I wonder what his reaction would be to her in that dress...How revealing is it?"
"Revealing enough. Duke, what are you thinking?"
Duke winked at her. "I need you to go back to the dressing rooms and make sure she's ready to model, okay? I'll take care of the rest."
Calista punched him lightly. "Duke, sometimes you're as bad as Nosedive." She left.
Duke walked back over to Lucus and took his arm. "Come over here. I have something to show you."
"What now?" Lucus groaned.
Nosedive followed the two of them to where the girls were. As soon as he caught sight of Mallory and Calista both grinning, he pulled out a small digital camera. He always made a point to carry one around just in case he needed to embarrass someone. The two females saw the camera he was holding, and grinned even more.
Calista went over to the changing booth and peeked in. "Cool, you're ready! Come on out and show it off."
Lucus frowned slightly. "Who is she talking--" His voice faded away as Tanya came walking out. Nosedive took a quick picture of the shocked Lucus.
Duke whistled. "That really you, Tanya?"
Tanya blushed a bit and then caught sight of Lucus staring at her, his jaw wide open. Her cheeks went even darker.
Mallory leaned in close to her. "I think he likes your new look."
Tanya ignored her. She looked at Lucus with concern. "Are you, you know, alright?"
"I'm in a dream..." Lucus murmured absently.
Nosedive snickered. "I think we broke him." He took another picture.
The flash of the camera startled Lucus out of his daze. "What?"
"You said you were in a dream," Duke told him, smiling.
Lucus blinked. "Did I?"
Tanya turned to go back into the changing booth, when with a sudden grin, Calista shoved Lucus in after her and quickly shut the door. The others stared at her.
"What did you do that for?" Duke asked.
Calista shrugged and rubbed the back of her head. "Well, they do need to get to know each other better..."
In the dressing room, Lucus quickly turned away from Tanya and closed his eyes. "I think this is their idea of a joke."
"Well, I'm not changing with you in here, so you might as well turn around."
Lucus did so and swallowed. "So...when do you think they are going to let us out?"
Tanya shrugged. "I don't know." She looked away, nervous. "Now what?"
Lucus thought for a moment. He then stepped forward and slid his arms around Tanya's waist.
Tanya's eyes went wide.
Lucus paled. "Um... If I'm doing something wrong..."
Tanya suddenly smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck. "You're not the only one that feels like they're in a dream," she whispered. She kissed him full on the beak.
The door abruptly opened and a camera flash startled them. Turning, the two of them shouted, "Nosedive!"
The next thing that anybody knew, Nosedive was being chased across the mall by Lucus and Tanya with Mallory following close behind. Duke and Calista in the meantime tried to calm the store manager down and pay for the dress.