Chapter 10: A New Job

After a somewhat disjointed practice, particularly on Wildwing’s part, the Ducks went their separate ways. Wildwing was trying not to seem too eager to get back to Agnus, but was finding it a difficult thing to do.
It was only him and Nosedive in the elevator when they made their way back to their underground headquarters. When the doors opened, Nosedive didn’t move.
“Go for it, Bro,” he said with a smile.
“Huh?” Wildwing asked.
“Come on. You’ve been itching to get back to Aggie ever since you spoke to Phil. I’m giving you permission to race off. Now go!”
Wildwing couldn’t help but smile at his little brother and ruffled his hair.
“Thanks, baby bro,” he said before racing out of the elevator for the infirmary.
Nosedive couldn’t help but smile and shake his head at his older brother before exiting the elevator himself and making his way through to the kitchen. Practice always gave him a major case of the munchies.

Wildwing skidded into the infirmary to find Agnus sitting up in her bed.
“Hey,” she said with a smile.
“Hey,” he replied, also with a smile as he walked up to her.
“Everything okay?”
“Of course. Now,” Wildwing sat down on the edge of the bed, “What is it that you wanted to talk to me about?”
“Well… are you sure everything’s okay? You look… harassed about something.”
“I’ll let you have your say and then I’ll have mine.”
“O-kay.”
“So?”
Agnus thought for a moment how best to ask her question while Wildwing waited patiently.
“What did Uncle Phil mean when he said that you had been sitting at my bedside?” she asked at last.
“You didn’t ask him this?” Wildwing asked.
“No. We got onto other topics and it sort of went out of my head. Besides… I wanted it straight for the duck’s beak, so to speak.”
Wildwing couldn’t help but smile amusedly as he averted his eyes from Agnus’.
“So?” she pressed.
Wildwing sighed before continuing, “I sat by your bedside throughout the night and for some part of the morning before being ousted by Tanya and Duke to go have breakfast and to get some real sleep. I felt responsible for what happened to you and… I guess I just wanted to be near to you should you need me.”
It was Agnus’ turn to smile, but she wasn’t amused. She was impressed and somewhat touched by the lead duck’s reply.
“Thank you,” she said.
“It wasn’t a problem,” Wildwing replied with a smile.
Agnus just smiled back at him.
“Is… that all?” Wildwing asked, his questions eating away at him.
“Yeah. What’s on your mind, Wildwing?” Agnus asked.
“Phil told me that you had been relieved from your position as janitor.”
“Yeah.”
“And… you’re not concerned about finding other work?”
Agnus looked a bit surprised.
“Uncle Phil didn’t tell you?” she asked.
“He said you’d explain. He was in a rush to get to his office,” Wildwing replied.
“That’s just like Uncle Phil.”
“True, but, please, the explanation.”
“Right. Uncle Phil relieved me of janitor work, but has had me sign a contract to be his personal assistant.”
Wildwing just looked at Agnus, while the info sunk in.
“His… personal… assistant?” he asked with a smile beginning to tug at the corners of his beak.
“Yeah. He reckons I know enough about you Ducks and hockey in general to be a reasonably helpful assistant to him,” Agnus replied with a smile.
“That’s great! So you’ll be staying on at the Pond then.”
“Pretty much, unless you guys would like me to leave. I’m sure I could find…”
“No! No, we don’t want you to leave,” Wildwing said, interrupting Agnus and taking her hand in both of his.
“Good. ‘Cause, to be honest,… I’ve grown quite fond of you Ducks. Despite someone’s probing.”
Wildwing smiled and tightened his grip on Agnus’ hands.
“And we’ve grown fond of you too, Aggie,” he said.
“Thanks, Wing.”
The pair just smiled at each other.

The next day, the Ducks were in the kitchen each getting their own breakfasts when…
“Okay. I need some honest opinions,” Agnus said, walking in, Tanya had released her from the infirmary the previous evening, “Does this look ridiculous or what?”
The Ducks looked and were surprised to find their usually very casually house mate in a very smart grey and green outfit.
“Wow,” was all Duke, Wildwing and Nosedive could come up with.
“Imaginative, aren’t they?” Mallory asked with a slightly amused smile.
“Hey!” the three retorted.
“Let me guess,” Mallory continued, “Phil picked it out?”
“Is it that obvious?” Agnus asked, cringing.
“Pretty much.”
“He was being conservative with the skirt though,” Duke said, checking out the length of the skirt which ended just at the end of Aggie’s knees.
“Glad to hear,” Agnus said.
“I… see you’ve changed footwear,” Wildwing said, noticing the lack of inline-skates on Agnus’ feet.
“Heh. Yeah. Inline skates don’t exactly scream ‘professional’ now, do they?”
Wildwing just shrugged.
“So, does it get the green light? Or should I just tell Uncle Phil I’ll be working in my overalls no matter how sloppy they look?” Agnus asked.
“Eh, I’d say green light, Ags,” Mallory replied with a smile.
Definitely green light,” Duke replied still checking her out.
Agnus narrowed her eyes at Duke, but still wasn’t able to stop herself from smiling at him before turning her attention to Nosedive and Wildwing.
“Wing, Dive, Grin, Tanya… green light?” she asked.
“Green light,” the three fellas replied.
“Or red if ya wanna stick with the hockey thing,” Tanya said.
Agnus just chuckled at the quip.
“Thanks. Well, I best be off. Uncle Phil wants to give me a quick rundown on who’s who and the like before we go to our first meeting,” Agnus said, turning to leave.
“Oh! Hey! Aggie! Make sure we don’t get set-up with any ridiculous photo shoots! Please!” Tanya called after her.
“I’ll try my best, Tanya.”
Once Agnus was out of earshot, the Ducks turned back to each other.
“This may be the best idea Phil’s ever had,” Tanya said.
“No doubt. Bye-bye stupid stunts,” Mallory added.
“Yeah. Perhaps now our dignity will stay intact that much longer,” Duke said before turning back to his coffee and magazine.

About midday, the burglar alarm at one of the city’s toy stores was going crazy.
“Alright. We got it,” Siege said, as he, Chameleon and Wraith walked out the back entrance of the store. Their arms were full of cans of silly string.
“You guys sure the boss is… okay in the head?” Chameleon asked, looking at the cans in his arms.
“Of course he is… I think.”
At that moment a squeal of tyres brought the Saurians’ attention to the fact that the Ducks had arrived.
“Hold it right there, you Saurian sleezeballs,” Wildwing growled, as he and the other Ducks raced around the corner of the alley and towards the Saurians.
“As you wish,” Chameleon replied, holding down the button on his teleporter.
With that the three Saurians disappeared in a puff of sparkly green teleporter dust.
“This is getting monotonous,” Wildwing said, not at all happy that the Saurians had escaped yet again.
“What on earth could they have wanted in a toy store?” Nosedive asked.
Duke walked up to the back door of the toy store and spotted a can on the floor where the Saurians had been standing moments before.
“Unless I’m mistaken,” Duke started, picking up the can, “They were after… silly string.”
“Silly string?!” the others asked in unison.
“Okay. Pause and rewind! What in the world could old Lizard-Lips want with silly string and… cosmetics?” Nosedive asked.
“Eh, maybe he’s throwing the worlds weirdest slumber party,” Duke said, tossing the can of string up in the air and catching it again.
“Not quite his style, Duke. Tanya, could you run analyses on the products stolen by Draguanus and cross reference them to see if anything matches up?” Wildwing asked.
“Sure. I’ll get on it as soon as we get back to the Pond,” Tanya replied.
“Good. Let’s head home, team, nothing more for us to do here.”
With that the Ducks turned and began to head back to the Migrator.

Later that evening, just before dinner, Agnus returned to the Pond looking pretty weary. She was just about to go into her room when…
“Aggie,” Wildwing said, walking up to her.
“Oh. Hey, Wing,” she replied with a smile.
“How was your first day at work?”
“Okay, I suppose.” Agnus pressed the button to open her room’s doors and then walked in.
“Just okay?”
Aggie couldn’t help but smile to herself, she somewhat adored Wildwing’s concern for her.
“It was busy, Wildwing. That’s all,” she replied, turning to face him.
Wildwing just nodded understandingly.
“Where’re the others?” Agnus asked, sitting down to take off her high heels.
“Kitchen last time I checked. Nosedive and Grin are trying a ‘tag team’ chef thing,” Wildwing replied.
Aggie just looked up at the lead duck, not entirely sure what to make of the news.
“Grin should be able to keep Dive on the right line,” Wildwing said reassuringly.
“If not, I’ve just memorised my uncle’s whole list of fast food phone numbers. I can find you the best of anything the city has to offer.”
“Why on earth did you do that?”
“We got stuck in traffic and I got bored.”
Wildwing just smiled amusedly while raising an eyebrow disbelievingly at Agnus.
“Weird, I know,” Agnus replied, setting her high heels aside.
“No. Not ‘weird’, just… unique,” Wildwing said with a kind smile.
Agnus looked at him slightly surprised by the response, but, at the same time, enchanted. She couldn’t help but smile and shake her head before getting up from her chair.
“I guess you’ll want to get changed,” Wildwing said.
“Yeah. Comfortable these are not,” Agnus replied, gesturing down at her ‘work’ clothes.
Wildwing just nodded and turned to take his leave, but stopped at the door.
“I’ll meet you in the kitchen,” he said over his shoulder.
“Sure,” Agnus replied with a smile.
Wildwing smiled and nodded back before stepping out and closing the door behind him.

It wasn’t much later that Agnus joined the Ducks in the kitchen.
“Ahh, our favourite PA,” Duke said with a smile, catching sight of Aggie as she walked in.
“Your favourite because you’re hoping I got you guys out of some ridiculous PR stuff?” Aggie asked, coming to a stop next to Wildwing.
“Pretty much. Yeah.”
Agnus chuckled and shook her head before saying, “At least you’re honest.”
“So?” Mallory asked.
“So?” Aggie asked back.
“While we saved the day what did you save us from, girly-firl?” Nosedive asked, while chopping some vegetables.
“Ah well…,” Agnus started a little hesitantly, “You guys will be glad to know that I kept Uncle Phil from signing you up for another candy add.”
“Let me guess. Chocolate,” Duke said.
“No, I believe this was to be some liquid kind of sweet. Needless to say I don’t think feathers and sticky go together too well.”
“Ha! You’re telling me,” Mallory replied, remembering the vat of chocolate incident they had a while back.
“So, curl-tailed that one for ya as well as some crazy stunt Uncle was cooking up,” Agnus said.
“Thank you. Last time he had a stunt set up for us it ended badly,” Tanya said.
“What happened?”
“Nosedive and Duke wound up in the infirmary. Turned out that the ramp we were meant to go down wasn’t as sound as Phil was lead to believe,” Wildwing replied.
Agnus cringed before looking at the two mentioned Ducks.
“You guys are gonna have ta tell me everything Uncle Phil’s done to you that hasn’t worked out. Health risks are not something we’re keen on taking, particularly with the new season coming up. You lot are going to have to be in top condition and that means minimal sick leave. So please, for mine and Uncle Phil’s sanity, try not to get too banged up when you’re out averting disaster at all hours of the day and night.”
“You have our word,” Wildwing said with a smile.
“Thank you,” Agnus replied, smiling back at him.
“Anything else you were able to steer your dear old uncle away from?” Duke asked.
Agnus looked at Duke for a moment, not sure how best to broach this particular thing with the Ducks.
“Aggie?” Wildwing asked, noticing her change in demeanour.
“Uh… I wasn’t able to keep Uncle Phil from everything I’m afraid, guys,” Agnus replied, feeling a bit nervous.
The Ducks just starred at her, this didn’t bode well.
“Like what?” Grin asked, gently pushing the dish he and Nosedive had made into the oven.
“Uh… eh, look. I tried my best, but Uncle Phil pulled the old ‘little children’ card on me.”
“Carry on,” Duke said, getting suspicious.
Agnus took a deep breath in and let it out quickly before continuing, “He’s arranged for you guys to be celebrity co-hosts of a children’s birthday party.”
The Ducks just stared at her in disbelief.
“Which,” Agnus continued, “Is going to be held here. At the Pond.”
The Ducks stared at her for a few moments more before…
“Phil’s lost his mind,” Duke said, turning to face the counter instead of Aggie.
“Oh, come on, Duke. It might not be that bad,” Wildwing said, standing up and putting a hand onto Agnus’ shoulder.
“Ya seen what kids are like of late, Wildwing?” Duke asked.
“Yeah, but there are some nice ones amongst the rowdy crowd. Besides, we’re only co-hosting. I’m guessing the children’s parents are going to be the main hosts.”
“I guess so. I don’t know all the details. All I know is the time, date, place and the fact that I’m expected to bake,” Agnus replied.
“Bake?” Mallory asked.
“Yep.”
“What exactly? Maybe I can help,” Nosedive said with a smile.
“Thanks, Dive, but I think I can handle it. You’ll be needed topside to help with decorating.”
“Decorating?!” the Ducks asked in unison.
“Yeah. We’re expected to decorate the rink and what not for the party. The new janitor’s in charge of cleaning up though.”
“Aren’t you glad you’re a PA now?” Mallory asked with a smile.
“Oh yes,” Agnus replied with a nod.
“And ya couldn’t of gotten us outta dis one too?” Duke asked.
“Hey, I already steered ya clear of two major problems. Give me a break. It’s my first day on the job.”
“So?”
Aggie just narrowed her eyes at the ex-thief, but couldn’t help smiling at him knowing that he was just joking with her.
Wildwing chuckled at the pair, putting both his hands onto Agnus’ shoulders.
“You’ve done well, Ags,” he said, “And don’t feel bad about being pulled in with that ‘little children’ thing of Phil’s. He’s gotten me to agree to things like that too.”
Agnus just looked back at Wildwing, rather surprised by the news.
“Seriously? Uncle Phil’s pulled the ‘little children’ card on you?” she asked.
“Oh yes,” Duke replied.
Agnus just nodded before saying, “Uncle Phil knows how to make low blows.”
The Ducks chuckled at the comment.
“You can say that again,” Tanya said.
At that moment the oven-timer ‘tinged’.
“Dinner’s ready,” Nosedive said, slipping on a pair of oven mitts and heading over to the oven.
The other Ducks and Agnus waited almost anxiously, wondering if this would indeed be dinner or if they had another half-hour to forty minutes wait for a delivery guy to arrive.

Later that evening, after a surprisingly delicious dinner, most of the Ducks had gone out for the evening. Dive, Duke, Grin and Mallory had gone to some party that Thrash and Mookie knew of and Tanya had gone to visit her doctor friend. So, again, Wildwing was left on his own. He walked quietly around the Pond, his footsteps echoing through the empty passageways. Just then he heard a noise coming from the rink. He picked up his pace and peaked around the corner leading to the stands. He let out a quiet gasp and smiled when he saw what was making the noise. Aggie was out on the ice. A pair of spare skates from the locker room was on her feet as she skated around in one small section of the ice. Wildwing came out from behind the wall and leant against it. His smile broadening as he watched her ‘performance’. Even though the skates looked a bit big for her, Agnus managed to make her movements look almost effortless. It took all of Wildwing’s self-control to keep himself from going down to her. This was a step in the right direction and he didn’t want to hinder any progression by letting her know that he knew about her ice skating again. Just then, Wildwing heard voices. In particular, those of his fellow Ducks returning from their evening excursions. He quickly glanced down at Agnus and saw that she had stopped skating and was apparently listening. He ducked behind the wall as quickly as he could and, after a few moments, chanced a look back around the corner. Agnus had vanished from the rink.
“Hey bro,” Nosedive said, pulling Wildwing from his ‘spying’.
“Hey,” he replied, turning to face his team.
“What you lookin’ at?”
“Nothing really. I was just taking a walk around the Pond.”
The others looked at each other. None of them quite believing their leader’s reply. “How was your party?” Wildwing asked.
“Great!” Nosedive replied, apparently completely forgetting about Wildwing’s unconvincing reply.
“It was okay,” Duke replied.
“You’re just saying that because no one agreed to dance with you… Old man,” Mallory said with a cheeky smile, as she began to lead the way back to the Ducks’ HQ.
Duke just narrowed his eyes and wrinkled his beak at the spunky young female duck.
Wildwing just smiled before looking over to Tanya and asking, “And how was Dr. Huggerman, Tanya?”
“Very well, thanks. I think he’s starting to trust humanity again. Slowly though,” Tanya replied.
Wildwing just nodded.
That’s not the only thing that’s slowly on the mend, he thought, recalling what he had seen moments ago.
Now the question was how much longer until Aggie came out with why she didn’t like hockey. Wildwing let out a sigh and resigned to the fact that only time would truly tell.

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