Disclaimer: Mallory, Duke, Dive and Wing are copy right Disney. Firesky, J.D. , and Blade are © Xlade. Please don't use them with out my permission, or I'll sic Robyn on ya. ;)
Mallory watched as her younger sister bounced around the room. Silly kid, that energy could be put to better use, like figuring out how to get them home. This hotel had better have insurance.
Firesky stopped in front of her sister " hey sis, wassup"
" Trying to ignore the rubber ball with red hair bouncing around the room, that's wassup." Mallory grumbled.
Fire immediately calmed down. " Sorry. I guess that mocha wasn't such a good idea."
" You shoulda gotten a hot chocolate."
Fire shrugged " Yea whatever, I'm gonna go ta the pool with Dive and Kit, wanna come?"
" No thanks." Mallory flopped backwards on the bed " Dive'll try an' drown me."
Fire shrugged again and walked out of the room " Your loss."
Mallory waited till she was sure her overactive sister was gone for good, then got up and stretched. What would J.D. be saying right now if he were alive? Would he be joking, or would he be serious. Mal shook her head " Three and a half years is too long. I'm starting to forget. Damn you J.D. Why did you stay behind?"
Canard had given him the chance to come with the team, but John Deere had refused, saying that he would help Skygem. He and Canard had been close friends in the time they knew each other's, and John felt that the least he could to repay his so called debts was to watch after Sky. Lucky kid. She got her person back. Mallory was never gonna have that opportunity. There was always the possibility of Wing. That was until Sabe had shown up. But Mal never thought she and Wing would work out in a relationship anyway.
Beyond friends that was. Duke had made a couple passes at her, before Kit showed up, but Mallory never was interested. More like it hurt her to think of how John would've reacted. Mallory sighed and slipped out the door, down the stairs, and into the lounge. She grabbed a donut and some coffee. Good grief, she was getting to be like Fire, going for coffee at an energy lapse.
" Anything wrong?"
Mallory jumped " good grief Duke! Don't DO that."
The gray drake smiled apologetically " Sorry. But you were standing there staring of into space, and nearly spilling your coffee."
" Oh, thanks. I was just thinking about how good it'll be to get back to Puckworld."
" You ain't the only one sweetheart." He mumbled, looking at his saber. Abruptly he shook himself and straightened. " See ya 'round."
Mallory watched him walk off, and sighed, " He probably hadn't left more than his gang behind.***
Duke sat down on his bed. What a wonderful day THIS was turning out ta be. Maybe he shouldn'ta gone to the Pit last night. Duke'd woken up with a hangover to end all hangovers. Then, Dive had wanted him to go to the pool. Yea right. So he'd hung around. Only to be reminded about Nartia by Mallory. Heaven to Drake, when would they get off the stupid planet!
Mallory looked around. The air stank of fish. " Of course." She muttered " That's almost all these people do around here is fish."
She walked on, ignoring the stares of the humans around her. One tall kid called " Hey babe."
Mallory ignored him. No use getting worked up about some stupid kid calling her babe. The smell of fudge was coming from somewhere up ahead. Mallory entered a shop called the Alaska Spice Co. Behind a glass window was a variety of different fudges. Mal bought a chocolate/walnut and headed out onto the street again.
She turned right and headed for the ocean. There was a bike path down there, and it was bound to be less crowded than this street. Tourist towns, ugh. The multimillion-dollar research place didn't help the crowds either. The chill wind whipped Mal's hair as she walked along the bike path, ignoring the skateboarders, and bikers, and just every one in general. Especially the yappy dogs. UP ahead Mallory could see a small, white, Japanese style pagoda. There was no one in it, so she quickened her steps and entered.
Why why why did things hafta go this way? She asked herself, staring out at the choppy waters of the bay. Why couldn't he have come? Douy. She answered the question almost immediately Cause with him around, I wouldn'ta done my best, worrying half the time about if he was ok. Same for him.
" Yo sis!"
Mallory turned and saw Firesky jogging towards her, hair dripping. She sighed. The last things she needed was Firesky's exuberance. The younger drakeress slowed down " Doan worry Mal, I worked off all my energy at the pool."
" That's good." Mallory allowed herself a slight smile as her sister plopped herself down on the bench.
" Thinking of J.D.?" the younger asked, as if she didn't have the power to find out on her own.
" I miss him Fire."
" So do I. You and him were the only reason I think I stayed at the Estate so long."
" Fire." Mallory hesitated " Do you know if he's alive."
Firesky stared at a passing tourist boat till it entered the harbor, then sighed " Mal. All I can say is that he's not quite alive. But definitely not dead."
" What's that supposed ta mean?"
" I can't say." Firesky's face took on a closed expression. " I broke the Rules just to make him safe. Your asking me to break them again." She stood. " I gotta get back to the hotel."
Mallory caught her sister's arm " You never minded breaking the rules before."
Fire looked down at her older sister " This is the Talento Law we're talking. NOT PUckworldian rules." She shook Mallory's hand off her arm and disappeared.
Mallory glared at the place where her sister had been standing " One of these days, I gonna make her tell me the rules she lives by."***
Firesky looked sadly down on the green face of the sleeping drake. J.D. was surviving timesleep well, but he was already frail when she put him into it. He needed to be awakened, but the time wasn't right. The redhead picked up the end of his long blond braid and set it back on the timesleep bed.
"I'll have her back for ya soon." She whispered, before turning and leaving the room.***
Inside his head, the green duck halfway heard Firesky. In his mind, he smiled, knowing that soon he'd be back where he belonged.***
" And where have you been?"
Firesky turned at the sound of Wildwing's voice " Other. Why. Any particular reason?"
" Just making sure you weren't planning some prank."
Firesky smiled at him " Whatever put that idea into your head?"
" Just make sure you don't do anything weird." The drake warned before turning away. Fire chuckled to herself." Weird? Weird is in my blood. Along with killing, stealing, destroying, good grief. I'm not a very nice person am I?" she laughed to herself again and headed for her room, feeling like a piece of...
Mallory looked up from a magazine " You certainly look cheerful." She muttered.
Firesky rolled her eyes " Funny. Look, I'm sorry about earlier, but honestly, if I tell you what happened to J.D., The Crow'll put me in detention for a decade.
" Well that shouldn't bother you. Aren't you the greatest thief on Puckworld? Not to mention the most dangerous?" Mallory snapped.
Her sister's eye's narrowed. " I may be younger than you Mal, but by heck, if I hadn't become the most dangerous thief on Puckworld, I'd be dead."
" I thought that's what you wanted. To die. To get out of everyone's way." Mallory barbed the comment.
" I did die. Firesky McMallard died that day she stole The Book. Robyn Quicksilver and Firesky Whitewing were born."
" You're living a lie."
" I do what I must to survive Mallory. I live by the Talento Law and my own rules."
" So every other rule there is open game? You can break every rule you want?"
" I didn't say that."
" Yes, Fire, you did."
" I don't break my own rules, I don't break Talento Law. I didn't ask for the rank of Blue Talent. But I'm gonna do my best to do a good job."
" Doesn't seem like your trying to hard. Breaking every rule you come across, going your own way. Tell me ten times you've actually listened to what Wing has asked you to do."
" Three years is a long time to remember ten simple little things like that."
" See what I mean?"
" You have no idea what you're taking about!" Fire hissed as she headed for the door.
" Then clue me in sometime." Mallory spat back, and then winced as the door slammed shut. " Darn girl."
" Whoa whoa whoa!" Duke yelled as Fire nearly ran into him. She glanced at him, then stalked up the corridor. The gray drake hurried to catch up with her "Fire what's wrong?"
" Besides the fact that - oh never mind."
Duke caught her arm " Sweetheart. What. Is. Wrong?"
" I ain't your sweetheart."
" Fine, take it as a habit."
"Mallory wants an old friend back. I can't do that. So she started talking about me breaking every rule I can."
" Eh. You do tend to bend them." He managed a rueful grin.
" I shoulda been born into The Brotherhood, that's where I shoulda been."
Duke caught his young friend's other arm so she was forced to face him. "You lis'n ta me girl. Grow'n up in da Brotherhood woulda taught ya nutt'n. You learned more at the Estate, more than you coulda ever learned in da Brotherhood. No matter how bad that place was, never ever say you wish you would been raised as a thief."
Firesky looked taken aback, then nodded "Ok. I see your point. But she's right. I have no regard for rules."
" That's cause you're a thief at heart kid."
" I ain't a kid anymore. I'm twenny three." She growled.
" An' doan I wish I was your age again." Duke smiled at her before walking away. Firesky stared after him, then disappeared.
The redhead stared around the small room, sighing "Wunnerful. I have the opportunity to have my own palace, and here I am in a crummy little apartment."
The Blue Disk flashed. Fire glared briefly at it " OK, OK, I'll let ya out." She muttered as she picked the thing up and tossed it across the room. Blade landed and shook herself. "Gee, thanks for that bit of cheerfulness."
Fire rolled her eyes " Your worse than my sister."
The tigress flopped onto her side " I am, am I?
" Yes you are. In some ways."
" I'm not even gonna ask."
Firesky sighed and slumped onto a couch. " Blue blue blue, that's all I ever see. Why can't I get a life, and get a holda me?" she whispered in a singsong voice.
Blade looked up " Cause your trying to do that with out a family, that's why. And it's your fault for decorating this place all in blue."
" Family. The only family I have is Mal. And right now, we ain't exactly on good terms."
" Work on making those terms better. And what about the team." It wasn't a question, it was a reminder.
Firesky Dia Whitewing sighed again. " I wasn't even supposed to come on the mission. Canard asked me to join at he last minute."
" But you take care of them, they take care of you. Isn't that right?"
" I guess."
" So in a way, they're kinda your family. Cause isn't that what a family does? Take care of each other?"
Firesky stood up." Your right Blade." She whispered, scratching the tigress under the chin. "I'm being selfish."
Blade watched her mistress walk out the doorway, purring lightly (though it sounded more like a lawn mower on full). " I knew you'd see it my way."***
Mallory flicked the TV off, and lay back on the bed. " This is absolutely ridiculous." She muttered to the ceiling. No answer. "Firesky and I are sisters, and what do we do half the time? Fight, argue, chase each other around over silly pranks, or ignore each other."
Still no answer from the ceiling.
There was a knock on the door. Mal raised herself to her elbows "Who is it?"
" Waddaya want?"
Mallory sighed, " Door's unlocked."
Duke slipped in silently and raised an eyebrow at the dim lights "Looks like my old place."
" Whatever. What're ya here for?"
" Why's Fire running around like she's about to blow the place up?"
"She and I had a little disagreement about the way she lives her life."
" She's Blue Talent."
" So that means she can break every rule she comes across? We were raised better'n that."
" Maybe you were, she wasn't. She was raised to be tough, to fight, not to show her feelings. She raised herself Mallory. You gotta learn to live wit dat fact."
" Shiska raised her to be all those things."
" Wrong Mal-Mal. She had to teach herself to be tough, or she'd never made is far as she did. Sometimes, breaking the rules is a necessity you can't escape, and once you start, you get addicted." Duke walked over to the bed and laid a hand on Mallory's shoulder.
She looked up at him "Is that what happened to you?" she asked softly.
Duke straightened and turned away, a closed look on his face. "In a way."
Mallory touched the back of his arm. " No wonder you an' Fire get along so well."
" Like they say, Birds of a feather "
" But why did she have to choose thieving?"
Duke turned back to her. " Was that the first thing Jon thought of when she disappeared?"
" That's why she turned thief. Because it wasn't expected of them. A thief tries to do the unexpected Mal. And over half the time, we succeed."
"That kid sure has changed from when she was five." Mallory muttered.
" I think there's still some of the sweet five year old kid in there, just gotta go find it."
The door slammed open and Firesky walked in. She looked at Duke, looked at Mal, then said " Ooops. "
Duke chuckled " Thas ok. I was just leaving." He grinned at Mallory, the headed out the door. Firesky watched him go, then turned to Mallory " Dare I ask?"
" Do you need to?"
" Your right." The younger lopped down on the bed. " Look, Mal, about earlier. I'm sorry for blowing up at you."
" Eh, yea. I'm sorry for making you blow up."
" But this thing with the rules. Mal, I'm a thief at heart, prob'ly always will be. Breaking the rules is what a thief does. I never told you al the rules of the Talents, there're too many. But we basically live outside the laws of unmagical ducks. In fact, The Crow, he started the Brotherhood, and look at him now, he runs Other.
" I guess what I'm trying to say, is I don't like breaking most of the rules. I broke a rule of the Talents to help you out. J.D is alive. I just can't tell you where, or how, I'm keeping him."
Mallory sighed. " I understand. I guess I should stop being selfish and be glad he's alive. And that you're alive."
Firesky laid a hand on her sister's shoulder. " I'm the one who's been selfish. You're not he only family I have left, the entire team is. I've been off on this whole kill Shiska deal for so long, I've really never thought about ever putting the pieces of my life together. But I'm gonna try. And no matter how distant I ever seem, I'm always gonna be your sister.'
Mallory sniffed and dug the chain she always wore around her neck from her shirt. Turning the ruby ring in her hands, she took it off the chain and slipped it onto her finger. " That's one helluva big family you have Fire."
Fire smiled and hugged her sister tightly " You guys are all I have."
Mallory grinned and hugged back. " I'm glad he's alive." She whispered.***
Deep in the basement of a run down apartment building, the blond duck with green feathers slept on.