And Then There Were Two

There's a river of love that runs through all times
There's a river of tears that flows through our eyes
We fight through the night for freedom as it fades
Into a jail where we fail everytime we make a break
But there's a river of love that flows through all times

-River of Love, Leslie Phillips
Draganus paced back and forth as he did every night, without fail. It was time to think of his next plan to rid himself of his worst enemies.

What was he doing wrong? There had to be an easy way that he had been missing. Up-front confrontation didn’t work, and it had been done to death. Poison, spying, capture, everything had been done before.

Take a step back. His father's voice echoed in his mind. When you are out of plans, step back from the situation and study your enemies habits.

OK, fine. They fought him, hung out in the Pond, did photo shoots, played hockey...

They played hockey.

And they played it with their hearts and souls too. Not prepared for any attacks then...

Draganus threw his head back and laughed. The sound shot threw the Raptor, echoing and dying.


Wildwing smiled as he watched Jadestar’s half time performance. The kid just got better and better. ***

Tanya was the nearest to the Chameleon’s side, and she fell without a sound. Duke went next, then Grin. Mallory screamed, and tried to escape, but she was the next victim. Wildwing cried out as he was hit, and he fell. Nosedive had hit the deck by now. The Chameleon was about to put some extra shots in for good measure, when he saw people look at him and point. He immediately waved good-bye, and disappeared with a sparkle.


Nosedive sprung up and stood dumbfounded. He immediately started checking for pulses, tears flowing when he realized there were none. Jadestar skated out, and stood staring in shock as the ice turned a shade of pink. The fans were silent as a young girls screams mixed with her brothers sobs filled the air and shattered it.


Nosedive and Jadestar were still crying when they hoisted the ducks onto the beds in the sick bay. They ran all the scanners looking for signs of life, but so far there were none.

There was suddenly a faint blip from Wildwing’s bed, and they rushed over.

“Wildwing! Wing! Wing!” they yelled. The duck grunted and they propped him up.

“No...time,” he gasped. “Don’t..give up.” He glanced to the other beds, and the flat machines. He seemed to shrink back, but he made an effort. “Mask..Nosedives. Fight...Draganus...till the end.”

Jadestar grabbed her older brother's arm. “Wildwing, don’t leave us! You can’t! I’m scared, you can’t go!”

He looked at them both, his pain and feelings both reflected at once in the eyes they knew and trusted. “I both...more than....anything.”

His eyes rolled back, and he slumped on the bed, eyes half open.

The twins stood silently for about an hour, surveying the scene with cool detachment. Then Nosedive quietly closed all the ducks eyes, and lead his sister out of the room.


The twins basically did nothing the next two weeks. Jadestar sat in front of the TV all day, and Nosedive skated around on the ice. Draganus was quiet, too busy with the Raptor to worry about the two remaining teenagers.

Surprisingly, Phil hadn’t kicked them out yet. He gave them a month to get themselves together, after that they had to leave.

They were both watching TV listlessly one night, when Nosedive turned to his sister.

“Star, we can’t go on like this.”

“I know.” She didn’t take her eyes off the TV.

“No, really. Look, we have to get on out feet, and find somewhere to stay for a start. Then we have to find a way to get some money.”

Jadestar turned watch him. His face was covered with a look of concentration, and she smiled for the first time in ages. She slid over and lent against him, and he absent mindedly put his arm around her.

“What are we gonna do Dive?” she asked quietly.

He leant back against the coach. “First, we need jobs. I can still play hockey, and you can still skate. We can both fight better than most people, and we’re both good with guns. We’re fit. We don’t like taking orders much. We can both act, sort of.”

Jadestar frowned. “If you ask me, sounds like we’re cut out to be vigilantes.”

“I know, but we trash so much stuff that way, and we can’t pay for it now. We have equipment, but nowhere to store it. And there aren’t very many of us.”

She slipped her hand in his and squeezed it. “Hey, we’re still the Mighty Ducks, right? And Phil really only needs the top of this place, maybe if we do photo shoots for free he’ll let us stay. We may not play hockey, or cheer for it anymore, but we’re still celebrities. As for money, well, if you play for the new Anaheim team, and I cheerlead for money, I think there might be enough for food and that. Besides, with less ducks, less stuff will probably be broken.”

Nosedive sat in thought for awhile. He stood up and pulled the mask out of his pocket. He morphed into his battle gear, and Jadestar copied. He put on the mask and looked to her. She gave him the thumbs up.

“Lookin’ good man.”

“Let’p>He felt Mallory’s hand on his back. “Ready to roll Wildwing?”

“You bet. OK Ducks, let’s get out there and do what we do best.” Wildwing gave a small pep talk.

“Yeah, win!” Nosedive punched the air and grabbed his hockey stick! “Look out number 18, Nosedive is ready to fight!”

Duke grabbed his stick and spun it in the air like he did with his saber. “You got it kid.”

“Can I ask you something Grin?” Tanya questioned.


“Is there some kind of thing against winning all the time? Like, you lose just cause someone else needs a turn?”

Grin pondered this, the others waiting impatiently. Jadestar skated over, panting.

“Look, I’ve done my routine twice, get out there already!” she puffed, collapsing on a seat.

Wildwing patted Grin on the back. “Think about that later Grin. Right now, we have some hockey to play!”


The 2nd half started. The Ducks were stunned to find that the puck was always in the other teams hands.

“I don’t get it,” Mallory yelled to Duke. “Their coach must have given them one heck of a pep talk.”

Wildwing signaled the coach, and the team gathered around him. “OK, strategy plan guys.”


High above in the stands, the Chameleon (disguised as a fan) fingered the gun inside his jacket. He smiled, and glanced arous get out there and kick some butt.”

“I’m with ya. All the way, bro.”


The two drove the Migrator out of the Pond, and started searching the city. Nosedive was quiet, looking stonily out of the windscreen. Jadestar looked around her.

“It sure is empty in here.”

He grunted, and she continued.

“You’ll be a good leader, you know. I mean, look at us! We’re doing this pretty well so far.”



“Shut up.”

Jadestar was hurt, and turned away. The feel of the Mask reminded Nosedive constantly of the former owner of the object. They drove on in silence, accusing silence.


They didn’t find anything, and they went home to bed. Even though there were enough rooms for Jadestar to have her own, they still shared one. Nosedive couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t stop thinking about the ducks who had died. Wildwing, Duke, Mallory, Tanya and Grin. They’d been together for what seemed like forever, and in five seconds they’d been ripped apart.

The horror of that night was something he’d never forget, the pure, heart wrenching fear as his family fell to the ground before him.

He punched his pillow and rolled onto his stomach. It should have been you, His little inside enemy whispered. Why should you survive when they die? They were better than you, you were just a tag-along. You should have been killed, not them.

Nosedive rolled into a ball, clutching at the pain that erupted. It’s your fault. If you’d been on the other side of the ice, they might have all lived. You killed them by not being there. Do you really think you can make it without them? You can’t. No team, no leader, no way.

Nosedive panted, his thoughts gripping him and scaring him. He moaned.

Jadestar sat up, and listened to her brother. His breathing got faster and faster, and he was groaning. She walked over too him, and knelt down so that her face was level with his.

“Dive,” she tried to get his attention. “Dive, can you hear me?” She stroked his hair.

“ was my fault.” he said slowly through clenched teeth.

Jadestar spoke calmly, even though her stomach twisted. “Dive, look at me.” He looked up. “How could it be your fault?” she whispered.

“I should have been there. On the other side. I should have been the one shot, not them. They’re worth so much more than me, and I, and I...” He fought the tears as hard as he could. Enough crying, he told himself.

“Nosedive, you were all worth exactly the same. If it had been Mallory and Wildwing, or Duke and Grin, or any two that had survived, they would have been in the same situation as us! They weren’t better than you. How could think that? Each life is precious beyond measure, but they’re all worth the same thing. And I love you more than anything or anyone in the entire cosmos, other universes and dimensions included.”

“Oh Star, you know I feel the same. But it isn’t enough. Love won’t conquer Draganus, love won’t get us back to Puckworld, love won’t bring back Wildwing, Duke, Mallory, Tanya, Grin, Mum or Dad. Don’t you ever break, thinking of all the people that you did love, but still couldn’t save? Love hasn’t done me too many favors so far Jadestar.”

Jadestar stood up, eyes flashing. “How can you say that? They have a saying down here ‘Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.’. That means that without having love we have lost more than if we’d had love, but then lost it. Besides, you never know Dive, maybe love will get us back home. Wildwing told us to fight to the end. It’s my eternal love for him that’s making me forfill that promise. And with that promise completed, we are that much closer to home. Go to sleep, tomorrow we have to find out where we live.” She bent down and kissed him on the cheek. He roughly pulled her back down so that he could do the same. She hopped back into bed, and closed her eyes.

Nosedive relaxed, too tired for anything else. He slept, and when Jadestar could hear his even breathing, she cried all the tears that Nosedive’s words had brought forth. They were on their own. Permanently.

Story Copyright Rachel Baker '98. Jadestar Copyright Rachel Baker '98. All other characters Copyright Disney, and used without permission.