Location: Anaheim Pond, Anaheim, California, Earth, 2 years after arrival
Kintarae silently slips into the Anaheim Pond, undetected. Thought for sure this place would have better security. She adjusts the pack on her back and moves silently through the bleachers, heading for the locker rooms.
Once there, she quickly methodically begins to search the locker rooms. As a last resort, she knocks lightly on the pucks against one wall and is rewarded when one sounds hollow. She runs her fingers over it and is delighted to find a small almost undetectable edge. She uses her nail to pry it open.
A frown crosses her beautiful face when she sees a series of buttons. No matter. This is exactly why I carry powder with me. She sets her pack on the ground and pulls out a small bottle. She pours a small bit of powder into her hand and blows it onto the buttons. Now to guess which is the sequence. After several moments of pondering she just pushes the buttons bearing fingerprints outlined in the powder from right to left.
My guesses must be getting better, she thinks, smiling, when an elevator door opens. She shoulders her pack and steps into the elevator.
It descends into the hidden base of the Mighty Ducks.
The Ducks turn and look at the elevator curiously. All except Nosedive are present, so they put a hand to their weapons, ready to fire if necessary. The doors open and out steps...
"Kintarae?!" exclaims Wildwing and Duke in unison.
She grins. "You guys need better security...It was a piece of cake to get in here."
Duke stares at his little sister who has grown into a woman of remarkable beauty, though she looks even more deadly than she used to. Her movement reveals her increased grace and strength. He amusedly notes that she still wears the suit that she wore the last time he saw her.
She looks at him. "What? No hug for your long lost little sister?"
Duke hurries over to her and scoops her up in a bear hug. Then he puts her down and demands, "How the HELL did you get here?! I left you on Puckworld!"
"Let's just say I called in a few favors some mystics owed me," she says.
Then she spots Wildwing and her face loses its happiness and becomes still, but hopeful. "Is Nosedive here?"
"Someone mind explaining to the rest of us who SHE is?" asks Mallory.
"Tanya, Grin, Mal. This is my little sister, Kintarae," says Duke.
Kintarae tugs on his arm anxiously. "Bro, is Dive here?" She seems desperate to know.
Her question is answered when Nosedive himself, now older and fully matured, walks in. He freezes and her heart leaps to her throat. In a very low tone she simply says, "Nosedive..."
I was right...he did turn into a heartbreaker...
Nosedive stares at her in shock. How many long nights had dreamt of her by his side again?
Please...don't let this just be a dream...let this be real. His eyes trail down over her face pausing at her eyes. How many times had he lost himself in those dark yellow eyes?
His eyes continue down to her slim deft hands. He notes the small silver ring on her finger. How often had she entangled those hands in his hair as they shared a sweet kiss? He remembers how strong her arms were as they twined about his waist or neck. I'll be good forever...just don't let this be a dream...
"Princess?" he asks. His tone is begging. Begging her to be real.
She smiles at his name for her and remembers the night he gave it to her, saying she was a beautiful as a princess..."Yeah...it's me. Same old Kin."
He seems frozen as she walks towards him, stopping within easy reach. She gently strokes his cheek. He reaches up and captures her hand, pressing it against his cheek. Then he pulls her to him roughly and kisses her with all the love and longing he had built up over the years. She returns it with equal passion. Her arms wind around his neck and her fingers tangle in his hair as they did so long ago. His arms, stronger than she remembered, crushes her against him.
The others watch open mouthed as Nosedive kisses this strange female. The kiss is full of the love and longing that had been stored up over the years they have been separated. Only Duke and Wildwing had known that he had a girlfriend. The others never thought that Nosedive could have been serious enough to have a girlfriend.
Wildwing coughs politely and they break the kiss only to enter a tight embrace. "What took ya so long, princess?" whispers Nosedive.
"Sorry. I got here as soon as I could. I can't tell you how much I've missed you..." she whispers back, tears sliding down her cheeks. At last we are together again...
Ignoring everyone else and their possible questions, Nosedive guides her out of the room. Kintarae's head rests on his shoulder and she leans against him as if she were suddenly too tired to stand on her own.
Duke looks at Wildwing. Wildwing returns his gaze. Duke shrugs and they turn to the task of explaining things as best they can.
Location: Nosedive's room
Time: Just after her arrival
Nosedive guides her into his room. "Just drop your pack anywhere." he says.
She gratefully complies then flops down on his bed. He smiles and sits down next to her. "How did you get here?"
"While Dragaunus was in control, he was having mystics killed...I saved an entire group of them, got them set up someplace safe and provided their needs. Two days ago I went to see them. I asked them to repay the favor they owed me by sending me to the city, town, world, whatever that you or my brother were -are- on." She grinned at him. "I had just enough time to pack my stuff and get back to them when they opened the gateway."
"So we can go home?" he asks hopefully.
She looks down. "One way trip. They only were able to hold the portal open long enough to get me through. I'm sorry Nosedive."
He pulls her up into a hug. "S'okay. We'll get home eventually."
The two lovers talk late into the night. Finally Kintarae yawns. "Sorry love...but I'm bushed...it's early in the morning on Puckworld."
He looks embarrassed. "Sorry...I'll go let Duke know you're sleepin' in here." He leaves the room.
Kin smiles fondly at the door then quickly gets dressed in a long, loose t-shirt. She wipes off the three painted stripes and braids her chestnut colored hair. Then climbs under the covers just as Dive returns.
She watches as he strips off his armor, shirt and shoes. She notes admiringly that his body is toned and strong but not overly muscular. All in all a totally gorgeous bod he's got now. Whoops...down girl! There's time enough for that later.
"Where are you going to sleep?" she asks.
He grins and runs towards her.
"No! Dive don’t-" He executes a flying leap that lands him beside her on the bed, causing it to bounce. She oofs as she gets bounced. "Creep."
He simply grins and kisses her briefly and once again she has to force herself to be calm. Then he climbs under the covers and pulls her close. She happily snuggles against him. The lights go out and they drift into a restful sleep.
Location: Nosedive's room
Time: Next morning.
The two are startled awake when Duke shouts, "NOSEDIVE, THIS TIME YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR!"
Nosedive eeps when he sees Duke advancing towards them, his saber activated. Nosedive scrambles off the bed as Kintarae acts quickly. She scoops a smoke bomb out of her pack and hurls it at Duke's feet.
"Nosedive! GO!" She yells. Nosedive doesn't pause to think, but races out of the room. Duke immediately gives chase.
Kintarae climbs out of bed and gets her grappling hook and her saber, mumbling all the while about nosy, annoying, over-protective brothers who never knock. She follows the two.
The other ducks decide not to ask what's going on when they see the look on her face.
She finds her brother in the Rec room, slashing at Dive, who is frantically dodging. She stalks up behind Duke, activates her saber and thwacks him on the back of the head with it. He yelps and turns to glare at her.
Nosedive takes this opportunity to take refuge behind Wildwing and Grin who are standing in the door way.
When Duke starts to give chase, Kintarae throws a loops of cord from her grappling hook under his feet and yanks, kicking the back of his knees at the same time. Once her brother is on the floor, she secures his legs and sits on his back.
"OOF! Kin, get off me!" he commands.
"Sorry big brother...Not this time." she says. "We need to have a little talk." She shifts until her weight effectively pins him to the floor.
She looks over at Nosedive who is explaining things to Wildwing. She raises an eyebrow when she sees Wildwing's face darken.
"NOW KINTARAE!" Duke's bellow is that of the Leader of the Brotherhood of the Blade and Kintarae has to force herself not to obey instantly.
"No." Her voice is equally authoritative, if not as loud. "Not until you promise to calm down and listen to me."
He doesn't respond but tries instead to struggle out form underneath her. She snickers. "Sorry big bro, but I learned how to wrestle pretty well while I was away." She looks up at Nosedive, who had cautiously walked over to her. He grins down at her.
"You have this habit of rescuing me." he says, watching Duke try to struggle out from under his sister.
"I've noticed that," she replies taking his hand and rubbing her cheek against it. Nosedive smiles fondly and caresses her cheek lovingly. Mallory exchanges surprised looks with the others. "Do you have a problem with that?"
"Nope...Saved me more than once...Why should I complain?" He grins at her, then yelps as Duke grabs his ankle.
"Get her off of me," growls Duke.
Nosedive frees his ankle and steps back. "Are you going to stop trying to kill me?" he asks, sitting down on the couch.
"All right, all right...I won't kill him. Yet." says Duke.
Kintarae looks at Nosedive who shrugs. "Good enough." She unbinds her brother's feet and gets off of his back. She nimbly skips out of his way as he swings at her. She coils her cord and joins Nosedive on couch. He immediately puts a possessive arm around her and looks at Duke, almost as if challenging him.
Duke growls and looks at the others. "Out." His tone voice brooks no rebellion. All leave, except for Wildwing, who walks over and takes a seat perpendicular to Kintarae and Nosedive's.
Duke's voice is a forced calm as he says, "Dive what were you doing in bed with her?"
"Sleeping," answers Nosedive.
The look on Duke's face indicates he has taken that another way.
Kintarae sighs. "Nothing happened, Duke. First of all, I was way too tired."
"Second, we would have been interrupted and I really would be dead," says Nosedive, grinning. Duke glares at Dive.
"Why were you even in the same bed?" asks Wildwing.
Kintarae and Nosedive look at each other, then their elder brothers, and shrug.
Duke slaps a hand to his forehead as Wildwing shakes his head and rolls his eyes heavenward. "Look, no more sleeping together you two."
"Or better yet, stay away from my little sister after sunset," says Duke.
"That's a no go, Duke." Says Nosedive.
Kintarae nods. "Look. Get used to sharing me with Dive, ‘cause I love him and I am not about to let you split us up."
She stands up. From the look on her face, Wildwing guesses that this was destined to happen. Nosedive looks at her, surprised. "This is not debatable, Duke L'Orange. I am a grown woman now and I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself! I am not your tag along, baby sister anymore. I am my own person and I will live my own life no matter what you or anyone else thinks. Loving Nosedive or anyone else is my own business not yours!"
She takes a deep breath and calms down. In an icy tone, she says, "Now if you will excuse me, I am going to get ready for the day." She stalks out of the room.
Nosedive looks at Duke. "Is that a normal?"
Duke nods, looking exhausted. "Yep. I better go talk to her." He leaves.
Moments later they hear Kintarae yell, "Go away! I don't want to talk to you!" The sound of a slamming door follows moments later.
Wildwing looks at Nosedive who is looking at the door. "Remind me not annoy her," Nosedive says.
Wildwing asks, "Dive, were you aware she was a thief?"
"Yeah...she told me after we had been dating for two months," he answers. He looks at Wildwing. "Do you have a problem with us dating?"
"I wish you had chosen someone who wasn't a wanted criminal, but otherwise, not really," replies Wildwing, marvelling at the maturity that Dive is displaying. Maybe all it took to get him to grow up was the return of his girlfriend.
Nosedive grins at his brother. "She's not wanted...at least, not here on Earth. And most people outside of the Brotherhood don't even know she exists."
Wildwing smiles. His smile fades as Nosedive's face becomes somber.
"What would you say if I told you that I want to ask Kin to marry me?"
To be continued...