Drake understood what Canard had said in his letter. Everybody had forgotten about the incident and now tried to make friends with the Drake Freewind hidden inside the physical shell. He had many friends now but he still preferred to be alone or with Mallory. School had become fun for him and now he felt that he was appreciated. He and Mal were just chatting at the cafeteria.
"So. How does it feel to be respected here at school?" Mal asked her friend.
"It's okay." Drake answered, taking a bite out of his pizza.
"It's okay because I still feel much better at the club."
"Oh. So that's it."
"What? You didn't think I was going to answer that it's not as great as being alone with you." Drake smirked.
"Drake!" She gave him an angry look. Drake could see that she was turning bright red but he wasn't going to be able to enjoy it for long. Because the three ducks who he had gotten a fight with last time came in with three more of their friends, three *BIG* friends.
"Hey freak." Joe, the boy who took Drake's locket, called out.
"What do you want Joe?" Drake asked standing from his seat.
"I want a rematch with you."
"Then you've got a problem. Cause I don't want to fight."
"No, it's you who has the problem. If you don't fight me and my friends," The young duck pointed behind Drake where another duck had a switch-blade at Mal's neck. Mal sharply inhaled as she felt the blade touch her.
"You wouldn't." Drake turned his gaze back to Joe.
"Oh yes, I would." His eyes glinted with a vengeful light. "If you don't fight the six of us, your little red-haired friend will get it." He smiled evilly.
Drake glanced to Mal who looked so helpless. Can't let her get hurt. "Okay. When and where do you want it?"
"Here of course, cause I wouldn't dare let go of my *hostage* with the knowledge that you might back out on us." The six boys surrounded Drake and each gave him murderous looks. The biggest boy, who was about 7 feet charged Drake first.
Outwit your opponent. Avoid using brute strength. Dodge his attack and catch him when he is vulnerable, then strike. Drake remembered the words of his Jiu Jitsu sensei.
Drake dodged his opponent and turned quickly, sending a kick to the boy's spine. "Next! Acuna!" Joe shouted and the next duck charged, tackling Drake to the ground for a moment, for the young off-worlder kicked him off and got back on his feet and sent a hard punch to the boy's stomach. The Avian writhed in pain and crawled away.
"I'll handle this Joe." A duck Drake knew as Carlos attacked him with a combination of punches, which, he easily evaded. Drake sent a blow of his own to the boy's stomach, disabling the third of Joe's group.
"You two! Get him! He can't handle all three of us at once!"
Wrong, I could take five of you at once. Drake thought and gave one duck a turning side-kick to the ribs. While he punched the other in the chest, knocking the wind out of him.
The boy who had held Mal was dumbfounded at the scene unfolding itself before him, causing his concentration to deteriorate, thus giving Mal a chance to throw him over her shoulder.
"Hah!" Mal smirked, brushing the dust off her hands. She turned back to watch Drake. He sure doesn't need my help. She thought smugly as Drake sent Joe sprawling on the floor... his beak chipped on one side.
"WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?!"
The student body suddenly split up into two sides and backed up, revealing a tired, but standing Drake Freewind with a rather dishevelled Mallory coming to his side and seven teenaged ducks wincing in pain on the tiled floor.
"Kindly explain your conduct Mr. Freewind." It was Ms. Vanfeather, the school's disciplinarian... and she did not look happy.
"He started it!" Mal and Drake turned sharply in Joe's direction. The duck glared dagger looks at the two.
"Wait a sec here!" Drake protested, he suddenly grabbed Mal's wrist and pulled her close to him, putting an arm over her shoulder. "*He* endangered MY girlfriend!"
A hush fell over the crowd for a few seconds when whispers suddenly arose from several students.
"SILENCE!" Ms. Vanfeather turned sharp looks at the students. She glanced back to Drake who had a sheepish look across his face, and a very crimson Mallory.
"I... uhm, meant... my girl. FRIEND." He accented the 'friend' part. "She's my best friend ma'am... they pulled a switch-blade on her. I couldn't stand by and watch."
Silence. Deafening silence.
"To the Principal's office." She pointed a finger in the direction of the hallway. "ALL NINE OF YOU!"
"Let me get this straight," Principal Mason McMallard turned his gaze sharply at Joe and his companions. "You *endangered* MY daughter?!" the seven winced.
Mal smiled and whispered smugly to Drake, "this case is in the bag."
"Shuddup!" Drake whispered back sharply. Mal covered her mouth as not to laugh.
"Joel Blackwing," Mason started, "I specifically told you that no weapons, such as the one presented by Ms. Vanfeather are allowed within school premises. And yet, you call your cousin, Harold Reafeather, who has been expelled from this school to bring *this*." He held up the silver switch-blade in his hand. "And why is it, may I ask, that you must continuously attack Mr. Freewind?"
Joe rolled his eyes.
"I am not taking sides here Mr. Blackwing, but you have brought this down on your own self. I have no choice but to call up your parents and inform them about this incident. I am letting you off with simply a warning." Mason looked up and frowned. "Will there be any more complaints and incidents such as the one here-mentioned, I will be forced to call the dean and ask for your expulsion. Am I understood?"
"All of you out. Drake, I want a word with you."
Drake and Mal glanced at each other.
"He's gonna get it where it hurts." The redhead heard Joe mutter as he left the room.
"Take a seat."
"Stop calling me sir."
"Drake. You are in my office alone with me so you can call me the way usually do."
"Which way, sir? Drake smirked.
"You are deliberately doing that, aren't you?"
Mason picked up the switch-blade and eyed it lovingly.
"Sorry, sir?" Drake tumbled backwards.
Mason opened the switch-blade and glanced at Drake who immediately ran to the corner. "I'm sorry uncle!"
"Good boy." Mason leaned back and hid the switch-blade in his drawer.
Mason opened the drawer quickly. "WHY!!!???!!!"
Drake covered his head.
"Enough soldier." Mason smiled. "Seriously Drake, how has your stay here been so far?"
"I won't tell you honestly, I'll tell you *whole-heartedly*... it sucks!"
Mason cocked an eyebrow at the young boy before him.
"Don't you have back-up generators around here somewhere?! This is a rich school... a VERY rich school."
Mason shook his head and leaned forward, "I apologize about the blackout, why are you so steamed about it though?"
"You really wanna know why?"
"No." Mason smiled dryly.
"I'll tell you anyway." Drake placed his hands on the table top and gave his headmaster a long, hard look. "First of all... it interrupts the fact that I was supposed to read my e-mail... but thanks to that beautiful daughter of yours, I was able to, at the very least."
"Well... two of them anyway... had to wait 'til morning to read the other one."
"So... I see... you've taken an interest in Mallory then?"
"You're changing the subject."
"Don't you like this new one?"
"It's okay." Drake shrugged.
Mason cocked an eyebrow again. "Let us continue then. What kind of interest do you have on my daughter Drake?"
"Unc! I have class y'know! Can I go now?"
"Just one more thing."
Mason laid out a brand new black wallet for the boy to take. "It's from your father and mother... I also added about a hundred-fifty more credits inside the wallet to what they've sent. I've informed the guard that you and Mallory might go out tonight. Take her someplace special Drake. Dismissed." And Mason spun his chair around, leaving the off-worlder gawking at the money inside the wallet.
"Yes sir!" He saluted and left.
"You forgot the wallet."
"Oh." Drake winced, "sorry."***
How am I going to ask her? What am I going to say? Drake thought as he stared at Mallory. The redhead looked up and turned crimson when she realized he was staring at her.
"Uhhh... Drake? Why are you looking at me like that?" Mal asked and Drake just looked down and started blushing.
Drake then looked up at her and opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came. What's wrong with me? Drake thought.
What's wrong with him? Mal cocked an eyebrow then returned to her paper.
"Hey Mal..." the boy started, she glanced up and he clamped his mouth shut.
"Uhm... I just got my allowance... with add-ons here and there on my credits and I was wondering if..."
"What's your favorite fast food or whatever restaurant?"
"Wanna go out?" He turned beet red and his eyes widened. Mallory shook her head and started laughing softly.
Oh man... I'm meat... for the dogs.
Oh man! He is so... Mallory broke into girlish laughter and suddenly hugged him. "Gladly Drake. What time?" She asked and stood, pulling his arm.
"Uhm... 7:00? 8:00?"
"How about seven-thirty? I have something to do with dad until six and I need half an hour to prepare."
"That's fine with me!" He grinned goofily.
Mal laughed, "so where are we going?"
Drake raised a finger and his jaw dropped. "Uhm... how about a movie then dinner at... uhm, uh, I, uhm...."
"You pick the movie. I'll handle the restaurant." She winked and waved as she walked away.
"She's so beautiful." Drake said to himself and went to class.***
"So I pick up Mal at seven-thirty. We watch the movie starting at eight, then head out of the theater at nine. We have dinner at some restau..." His voice trailed as Mal burst into his room, wearing... a deep blue midriff, covered by a denim jacket and a pair of jeans and boots.
"Okay, I'm ready, let's go!"
"Whaddaya mean I'm early?!"
"It's... just... seven... ten!" He gave her a look of confusion.
She smirked, "okay, here's the 411. It's either your clock's busted or mine is set waaaay too early." She placed her hands on her hips and raised an eyebrow. Drake glanced to the watch on his wrist and felt his ears get hot. "Sorry." Geez, I have got to get new batteries!***
"C'mon, Drake! The movie's about to start."
"Coming! Here." Drake paid for the popcorn and drinks and the two hurried into the theater. "You got great seats."
"Only the best for the two of us."
"Idiot." Mal smiled, smacking him playfully on the shoulder as the movie started.
The movie was actually really good... but well, only one was really watching. While Mal watched the movie, Drake was watching her.
I can't believe what's happening. I asked Mal on a date, she said yes, and now we're here, sitting beside each other and watching a movie.
Drake didn't care about the movie. He just wanted to look at Mal. Mal glanced in Drake's direction but wasn't at all shocked to see him staring at her. He's hopeless. If he really likes me that much, why doesn't he just put his hand around me. But if he did that, that wouldn't be him. But... if it's going to make this date a night to remember... Mal smiled and put Drake's arm over her shoulder.
"Mal!" He said surprised.
"Drake." She just smiled and looked at him. Her look had silenced him. He couldn't do anything. She was in authority.
"Relax, Drake. We're on a date so why don't we make the best of it." Drake just smiled sheepishly and went back to watching the movie.
Then it hit him. She wasn't in control. No one was in authority right now. Both of them were just there to be happy. If he didn't stop being so uptight, he would wreck their date.
Mal felt his hand relax. She smiled.
The rest of the night passed quickly. They ate at a fancy restaurant where Mason always took Mal and the two had a wonderful time. It was late and the two were walking back to the school.
"So how was your night?" Drake asked as they walked.
"It's still not over."
"What do you mean?"
"We still haven't reached the school. Meaning we're still on our date."
"Oh. So what else do you want to do?"
"That's a silly question to ask."
"Why do you say that?"
"Cause it's late and all the stores are closed."
"It's not that late." Drake pointed to an open ice cream store.
"I guess I lost that bet."
"What flavor do you want?" Drake asked her as he pulled out his wallet.
"Okay. Two Vanilla Sundaes please."
"Why'd you get Vanilla? Cause I got it?"
"No. Because I like Vanilla."
"That'll be five credits." The duck gave them their ice cream cones and Drake paid him. The two stopped at a fountain to eat their sundaes.
"All that's missing to make this night the best that it can be is a song."
"The song won't be missing for long." Drake smiled and looked into Mal's eyes.