The Flash

Ender rolled his eyes, and had to sigh as he watched Shockwave carefully wait for the exact right moment to filch the chocolate bar. Okay, it was a crowded mall, and, okay, the chances of him being seen were a little higher than he was used to, but for Drake’s sake, he’d been standing there looking at the counter for nearly five minutes! What was he waiting for, Puckworld Day?! And, after all, the shopkeeper WAS a rather elderly woman who could hardly see. She’d already given three people double the correct change just in the few minutes he’d been there. And STILL Sparky stood there.

After tiring of waiting, Ender strode forward, grabbed Shockwave with one hand and the chocolate with the other. He hurriedly stuffed the bar in his pocket and picked up the bags of shopping, still pulling Shockwave along. "I swear," he muttered as they got further along, "Next time I get my own chocolate." He shoved the white plastic bags into Shockwave’s hands, and tore into his sugar hit. He was just about to bite into it when he caught sight of a very familiar face.

Time froze. He couldn’t move, and he didn’t know why. She’d never meant that much to him, surely. Well, not her specifically, but someone who could have been her clone. Except this one was young, and laughing. His mother didn’t do that.

Shockwave blinked, and nudged Ender, who seemed to be staring off into space. He followed his gaze, and saw Mallory on the other end. "Aw, Drake, we gotta go… She might recognise… Ender?" Ender didn’t respond. Shockwave shook his shoulder a little. "Ender? Endy? Endy Bendy?" He tried to tease him out of his state. "C’mon Ender, we gotta go…"

But Ender was a long way off. Mallory was talking and laughing with a man. Only being able to see the man’s back, Ender noted the likeness to Duke. The idea made him sick. Out of the little he knew of his lineage, feather colour showed that Duke was not a part of him. Idly he wondered what had happened to his Mallory… Dead, probably. Duke2 didn’t leave survivors. Canard too, but Canard didn’t mean much to him. Not that he’d thought Mallory had either.

She never loved you, and that’s not her anyway. You need to go, look away, look away… This was scaring him. He wasn’t like this. Ender McMallard did not freeze under pressure, did not care about this sort of thing, did not care at all…

There’d been far too many inner discoveries lately for someone who wasn’t meant to have an inside.

"Ender, please… Any minute now she’s gonna look over Rance’s shoulder, or worse, Rance is gonna turn around… *please*…"

Shockwave’s pleas finally registered, and Ender shook his head. "Sorry… Don’t know what happened. Quick…"

The two scuttled off into the crowd, taking the supplies ‘home’. Mallory didn’t see them go.

Story by Rachel Baker ’99. Adjustments made by Crow. Mallory Copyright Disney, and used without permission. Ender Copyright Crow, and used with permission gained after writing.. Rance Copyright Majik, and used with a semblance of permission. Shockwave Copyright Rachel Baker ’99, and definitely used with permission. ;)