Something They Do

Wildwing sighed as he watched the TV. Nosedive was AWOL. Again.

It was hard, he knew. There was virtually no way they were ever going to get home. Leaving everything behind like that would obviously hurt. But he hadn’t known it’d hurt that much.

His brother wasn’t the same. He’d been fine for the first month, slightly distant for the second, short tempered for the third. But now he was simply disobedient for the sake of it. Nosedive disregarded everything that Wildwing, or Duke, or Tanya, or any of them said. He struck out for no reason, seeming to blame the others for the whole mess. The lack of togetherness between the teen and the rest of the team had probably been one of the reasons they’d lost a few games recently.

Wildwing wondered if there could have been away to destroy Dragaunus without destroying all he loved too. In hindsight, he couldn’t think of anything else he could have done.

"He’s gone?" a quiet voice from behind Wildwing asked. Wildwing nodded without turning around. "No ideas?" the voice continued. Wildwing held up the abandoned com.

Tanya nodded, and left.


The current leader of Canard’s strike team muttered under his breath as the phone ra him. He watched with surprise when he saw that next to him, Mallory had as much apprehension as he did, though she looked a little bleary-eyed as well. He made a mental note to ask about it later, and they went into the room they were ushered to.

Nosedive was there, in the bed. The white surrounding him seemed to cling to the boy, and he looked pale and small. Drips went in and out of his arms. Tanya looked at the monitor, and saw that they were rapidly forcing fluid into him.

Wildwing grabbed a chair, and sat close to Nosedive’s head. No one had said a word. Grin took the remaining chair, and the other three borrowed chairs from other rooms.

They sat and waited for around half an hour. The sun started pouring through the window. Dust particles glittered in the new shaft of light. The beam fell on the end of the bed, and on Mallory’s back. She relaxed slightly in the warmth, and closed her eyes. To the others surprise, she fell asleep in her chair. Duke and Tanya exchanged glances, but didn’t wake her.

"Dive?" Wildwing’s sudden call brought attention back on the brothers. The younger groaned a little.

"Wha…" he croaked painfully. He didn’t open his eyes.

Wildwing knelt next to him. "Hey, Dive, we’re here. You’re in the hospital."

"Huh?" Nosedive was startled enough to force his eyes open. He blinked as his pupils adjusted, and tried to focus. He looked around himself blearily, and his head fell back on the pillow. "Damn."

"Damn is right! What were you thinking, Nosedive? You know better than that!" Wildwing was getting angry, and he stood up.

Nosedive tried to speak, but his throat was too dry. "Water." he scraped. Duke carefully gave him a little, and he smiled gratefully. Duke forced a smile back.

The patient lay back for a moment, before forcing himself up. The Ducks rushed to his aid, and he managed to sit against the bed head. He spied Mallory. "Was e marra wi her?" He cleared his throat painfully, and tried again. "What’s the matter with her?"

Grin shrugged. "Nothing."

"Never mind about Mallory. What on Puckworld possessed you?!"

Duke read the board at the bottom of the bed. "Ecstasy?" He raised an eyebrow.

"OK Nosedive, I want answers, and I want them now." Wildwing said in a gruff, straight voice.

Nosedive’s face hardened, and he kept his eyes fixed on a point on the ceiling, not saying anything.

Duke folded his arms. "Look, Dive, if you explain, maybe we can help you."

"I don’t need any help." the blond barked.

"Drugs are illegal for a reason, you know. Like, they can hurt you. As you’ve found out." Tanya commented.

"Yeah, but they help you forget." Nosedive half muttered, half whispered.

There was an uncomfortable silence. Wildwing cleared his throat.

"Sorry about losing my temper just then, but you really scared us! I was worried about you even before Klegghorn phoned!"

Nosedive looked at his brother with confusion. "Klegghorn? Huh?"

"They did a bust, and found you in the corner." Duke informed.

"Where’s Thrash and Mookie?" Nosedive wanted to know.

Tanya leaned closer. "They were with you?"

"Yeah, it was a party. They weren’t pushing anything though." said Nosedive quickly. "They didn’t even know that I was trying it."

There was a small thud from the end of the bed, and they turned to find Mallory on the floor. Grin bent down, and shook her gently.

"Mallory? Mallory?" She didn’t respond.

Tanya pushed her way other. "She’s out cold!" she said with surprise.

"It never rains but it pours, huh?" Duke mumbled as they lifted Mallory onto the bed next to Nosedive’s.

"Did she hit her head or anything on the way in?" Tanya asked Duke, and he shook his head. "Oh. I thought it could have been delayed shock." Tanya ummed and erred for a minute. "I think we better get her blood tested."

The other patient heaved a guilty sigh of relief, pleased to be out of the lime light. Wildwing heard him, and turned around.

"Don’t think you’re off the hook that easily." he warned. Nosedive scowled briefly, then his face crumbled.

"I just wanted to be somewhere else for awhile…It wasn’t meant to end like this…" he sobbed. Wildwing comforted him. The others said a few words to him, and he fell asleep quickly.


The answer to Mallory’s collapse came before the blood test returned when Mallory woke up.

"Hey Mal. You feeling OK?" Duke asked her, looking concerned. She tried to go back to sleep, but the grey duck shook her.

"Ah, Duke…" she slurred.

Duke was puzzled at her voice. "Mallory, are you drunk?"


"Then what’s the matter with you?!"


"Since when do you use sedatives?" Duke was honestly shocked, Mallory was a sound sleeper.

"Just tryin’…only had one….Hey, where’s Dive?"

"He’s over there. He was awake for awhile. He’s gonna be fine." Duke moved so Mallory could see, and she gave a wavy smile. "Mal, why did you take a sedative?" He had a strong sense of urgency in his voice. He didn’t like the ideas he was getting about where Nosedive and Mallory were heading.

"Don’t like the dreams…No dreams this way," she mumbled.

"Oh Mally…" Duke wng shrilly. "Please be Dive, please be Dive." Wildwing was sitting waiting for his brother. It was 5am, and Nosedive had never been that late before. He picked up the phone. "Wildwing here."

"It’s Klegghorn."

Wildwing breathed a sigh of disappointment. "What’s the problem, captain?"

"We did a raid on a nightclub tonight. Pulled in some drug dealers."

"What does that have to do with us?"

"Nosedive was there."

"Huh?" Wildwing was honestly baffled.

"He was lying in a corner. Looks like an overdose."

Wildwing’s heart nearly stopped. "Over…overdose? Is he…?"

"He’s at the hospital. He’s still unconscious."

Wildwing almost dropped the phone, his hand was shaking so much. "We’ll be right there."


After taking one look at Wildwing, Duke took the wheel of the Migrator, gently pushing Wildwing into his seat. "I’ll drive."

Duke put his foot down, and they sped off into the rising sun.


"We’re looking for Nosedive Flashblade." Wildwing demanded of the tired-looking desk nurse at the hospital. She pointed down a corridor, and the Ducks headed off in that direction quickly.

Duke shivered as they walked through. He had a strong dislike of hospitals, bad memories of his eyes and beak always came tohispered with near horror, wondering what was happening to his younger team mates.


"OK, team meeting." Wildwing said as all the ducks settled in the Ready Room when Nosedive had been discharged. "Let’s try and talk this out." He looked at the smallest members of the group. "Why don’t you two try and explain things?"

Nosedive sniffed. "Not much to say really." Mallory nodded.

"We just…well…got a little down, that’s all."

Tanya looked at the two with concern. "You should have talked to us."

Nosedive rolled his eyes at Mal. "They’re getting protective…" he whispered. She sniggered quietly, and nudged him gently.

"Don’t act like you don’t enjoy it!" she retorted. Nosedive looked innocent.

Wildwing and Duke sat quietly together. The ‘meeting’ seemed to have turned into something else…at least Nosedive and Mallory seemed a little more relaxed.

Why? It’s not the sort of thing they’d do! Wildwing commiserated to himself. True, Mallory had only taken a sedative…though, like the ecstasy and Nosedive, ducks and drugs of any sort didn’t mix. Their reasons were the real problem. Both trying to shut out what they didn’t like.

Is this sort of thing normal? Wildwing wondered. For Nosedive maybe…teenagers experimented. And if Mallory and her family had been military even before she was born, chances were that she’d never done the normal teenage things before now. Things were more relaxed here than where she’d been before.

Great. One depressed teenager, one depressed girl who thinks she’s a teenager, and six ducks stuck indefinitely in the wrong dimension. Canard, you slacker, you knew this would happen! Wildwing immediately felt guilty. You know I didn’t mean that…and I know you can’t hear me…Add one insane leader to that list.

"Duke, what do I do?" Wildwing asked plaintively. Duke patted his leader’s back as he stood up.

"Do what you always do. Care, and help them." Duke looked around, and sighed. "Help us, Wildwing. We can do this if we stick together. Help us stay a team." Duke started walking off. "Great meetings you organise Wing. Count me in on the next one. Good night all!" He slid the door open and left.

The others gradually drifted off, and Wildwing sat alone, trying to force the answers he needed to keep his team together and optimistic.


The next week was a lot less tension-filled then the previous ones. The forcing of feelings into the open seemed to lighten at least Nosedive, and he was generally more his old self. Wildwing had made it very clear that that was Nosedive’s last rave for a long time, and the teen accepted this with only a token complaining, perhaps a little scared that what was meant to be a ‘safe’ drug had gone so wrong.

Mallory was a tad harder. She’d never shown much anyway, and the others hadn’t even known she’d been having her own problems. She appeared as happy as ever, but now the others were never sure when it was real, and when she wore a mask over he emotions. She’d also had a ‘talk’ with Wildwing, and, the white duck knowing that Mallory followed orders, she’d been ordered to report all depression to Tanya. And no more sedatives, she had to be alert. Mallory had confessed privately that she was ashamed of the whole thing, and Wildwing doubted she’d do it again.


"If you live in the past," Grin commented at breakfast one day. "Then you forget where you’re going. Then you get lost. But if you keep focused on your goal, then you can try and score." He took a big bite of toast. "It’s like hockey." he elaborated.

"Man, everything’s like hockey to you!" Nosedive chuckled. Grin smiled.

"That is because it’s such a symbolic game."

"Thanks for that enlightening little theory Grin. I’ll be sure to come to you next time I need my head examined." Duke said dryly.

"Gee, better make an appointment fast…" Mallory laughed as she ducked Duke’s playful fist.

Wildwing smiled. "Now this is a team. Just getting along and getting by together." He leaned back and sighed contentedly. "This is gonna be a great day."

Phil burst in. "Boobies, babes, come on! We got that photo shoot! Endorsements! Contracts! Get moving!"

"Heh, you were saying Wildwing?" Tanya scraped her plate into the bin.

Wildwing made a face. "Must have gotten my dates wrong."

"Well, nothin’ and nobody’s perfect!" Duke drained the last of his coffee from his cup.

"No matter how much we’d like it to be…" Mallory murmured. Duke gave her a crooked grin.

"That’s life, sweetheart. It’s a blessing in disguise. Enjoy it while it’s around."

Story Copyright Rachel Baker ’98. All characters Copyright Disney, and used without permission.