Chapter 4: Moving House

It wasn’t long before Dive, Grin and Agnus were in the Migrator and on their way to Agnus’ rented room.
“As you can see we’ve taken the liberty of picking up some boxes,” Nosedive said, pointing back over his shoulder with his thumb at some boxes in the back.
“Thank you,” Agnus, who was in the passenger seat next to Nosedive, replied.
“And we’ve brought along plenty of duct tape,” Grin said with a smile.
Agnus looked a bit confused, while Nosedive looked like he was trying to hold in a chuckle.
“Don’t you mean box tape, Grin?” Agnus asked, turning around in her seat to see the larger duck.
“No. Duct tape,” he replied. He also looked like he was about to laugh.
“They didn’t have any box tape when we were sent to fetch some so we went for the next best thing,” Nosedive explained.
“Duct tape?” Agnus asked.
“Well, it sounds like it’s got a name you can trust.”
Agnus couldn’t help but chuckle.
Nosedive and Grin looked at her a little surprised, but delighted at the same time.
“You guys have a sense of humour,” she said, still chuckling a little bit.
“Glad to see you think so,” Nosedive said with a smile.
Just then they came to a red stop light and an awkward silence ensued.
“So,” Agnus started, much to Grin and Nosedive’s relief, “Who built this… vehicle?”
“Tanya,” Nosedive replied.
“Tanya? As in Tanya Vanderflock? Your guys’ Tanya?”
“Yeah.”
“Wow. Impressive.”
“You… like cars?” Grin asked cautiously.
“Yeah. Sorta, I guess. I was working on a motorcycle back home before I came back to Anaheim. It… was more scrap than bike, but you know,” Agnus replied.
“Sounds like you and Tanya have something in common. When you get a chance maybe you could talk to her about stuff like that,” Nosedive said.
Agnus just nodded in agreement, but then she got an idea.
“While we’re on the subject of your teammates, boys, how’s about giving me a quick overview of them? Just so I know who’s who,” Agnus said.
“Um. Okay, sure. Well, there’s Wildwing. My bro and our leader. Very nice guy.”
“Then there’s Duke,” Grin said.
“Our local swordsman, gentleman and ex-jewel thief.”
“Jewel thief?!” Agnus asked in surprise.
“Yeah. Don’t hold it against him though,” Nosedive said, just as the light changed to green.
“He has put his thieving days behind him,” Grin added.
“Glad to hear it. I just… would never have pegged him as a… thief,” Agnus said, still shocked by this newest piece of info.
“Best on Puckworld too,” Nosedive said.
Agnus just nodded understandingly.
“Alright, where were we?” Nosedive said, trying to remember where they were up to in team members. “Tanya,” Grin replied.
“Oh right. Then there’s Tanya. Our resident brain and techno-whiz. She’s responsible for all things electronic. From the vehicles and computers to setting the clock on the VCR.”
“I’m definitely going to have to have a word with her,” Agnus said.
Nosedive chuckled slightly before continuing, “Next up is Mallory.”
“Do not get in her way on a bad day,” Grin said.
“Firecracker, huh?” Agnus asked.
“More like TNT,” Nosedive replied.
“I’ll steer clear when she looks like she’s in a bad mood.”
“Smart kid. Alright. Who’s next?”
“Well, there’s just you and Grin left. Grin, how about you tell me about Nosedive and then, Nosedive, you can tell me about Grin.”
“Okay,” Grin replied.
“Sure. Go for it, Grinster,” Nosedive said.
“Nosedive, as you can see, is quite the enthusiastic member of our team. He’s not tied down to being like everyone else. He’s happy as he is,” Grin said to Agnus.
Nosedive was smiling from ear to ear as he listened to what Grin had to say about him.
“Yes. I can see that,” Agnus replied with a smile.
“He may get on everyone’s nerves because of his individuality, but… we are all still very fond of him. Even if certain members don’t show it too often.”
Nosedive sniffed slightly.
“You okay, Dive?” Agnus asked, noticing the younger duck’s misty eyes.
“Yeah. It’s just… you know what it’s like when people talk about you like that,” he replied before sniffing again.
Agnus couldn’t help but smile at him.
“Guess I’ve gotta tell you about Grin now,” he said.
“Yep,” Agnus replied.
“Well, let’s see. He’s the biggest guy we’ve got, a great friend, kills at chess; just ask Mallory, has a heart of gold and isn’t too shabby whipping up a storm in the kitchen.”
Grin just smiled at Nosedive.
Agnus nodded a ‘thank you’ to Nosedive and then turned her attention to the road ahead of them.
“Well, here we are,” Nosedive said, turning into the parking lot in front of a very shabby looking building.
“Yeah,” Agnus replied, looking up at the apartment building she had been calling home for the past while.

Agnus led the way up to her room.
“No offence, girly girl, but… this place is a dump,” Nosedive said, looking at the walls as they walked along one of the corridors.
“I know, but it was the only thing I could get,” Agnus replied, unlocking the door to her room. The three walked in and Dive and Grin stopped short.
“Wow. When they say ‘a room’ they mean ‘a room’,” Nosedive said, looking around the pokey little place Agnus was calling home at the moment.
“It’s big enough,” Agnus said.
“Barely. So, you decided where Grin and I are going to be moving your stuff to?”
“The Pond, if you don’t mind.”
Nosedive just looked at Agnus for a moment, somewhat surprised by the reply.
“Seriously?” he asked.
“Unless you and the others don’t want me there,” Agnus said.
“No! No, we don’t mind having you around. You’re neighbours with Wing and I. I just thought… you’d want to crash at your uncle’s place, that's all. You know, him being family and all.”
“I love Uncle Phil dearly, Nosedive, but… he can push buttons, as I’m sure you’ve discovered.”
“Gotcha. So, to the Pond?”
Agnus just nodded and then headed into a small adjacent room that supposedly acted as a bedroom with an ‘en suite’.
“You got the tape?” Grin asked Nosedive.
“Oh, yeah,” Nosedive replied, whipping the tape out of his pocket and twirling it around his finger like a cowboy would a gun.
While Agnus collected her stuff from her bedroom and ‘en suite’ she could hear Dive and Grin putting boxes together and, apparently, taping themselves to the boxes.
“Everything okay guys?” she asked.
“Yeah. Everything’s under control,” Nosedive replied, a little uncertainly.
Deciding to help before anything got damaged, duck or otherwise, Agnus stopped packing her bag and went to see what was going on.
When she entered the ‘living room’ she couldn’t help but giggle at the sight before her.
“What have you guys gotten yourselves into?” she asked, still giggling.
“A sticky situation,” Grin replied.
Somehow he and Nosedive had taped boxes to their legs and their arms. He had a box taped to each of his legs, while Nosedive had both arms taped to a single box.
“How…,” Agnus started.
“They looked a bit flimsy so… Grin and I thought we’d strengthen them with a bit of tape,” Nosedive explained, while Agnus picked up the box knife the pair had brought with and began to cut Dive’s arms free.
“Okay. You won’t need too many boxes. I hardly have anything.”
Dive looked around the cramped room. It sure looked like a lot of stuff.
“The furniture’s just big,” Agnus said, finally freeing Nosedive’s arms.
“And that’s why we have Grin here,” Nosedive said cheerfully. Very glad that he didn’t have to pick the heavy stuff up alone.
Agnus couldn’t help but laugh, which brought a smile to both Dive and Grin’s faces.
“You forgot to mention that he was random, Grin,” Agnus said, still chuckling.
“It slipped my mind,” Grin replied, while Agnus set to work cutting him free.
“So, where do you want me to start?” Nosedive asked, looking around the room as if it were a minefield.
“Perhaps you and Grin could start by moving the furniture in here out,” Agnus replied.
“Okay. You free, Grin?”
“Almost,” Grin replied.
At that moment Agnus cut him free.
“Now I am,” he replied.
“Right, let’s get to moving.”
With that the pair set their sights on the armchair that was cowering in the back of the room under a pile of newspapers.
Meanwhile, Agnus set about packing the rest of her stuff in her bedroom.
“Say, Aggie,” Nosedive said, his voice almost drowned out by the sound of papers falling to the ground.
“Yeah?” Agnus asked.
“Ever heard of recycling?”
“Yes and I’ve been meaning to for the past while. If you would like, you could stuff all those papers into one of the boxes you brought with you.”
“You’re not planning on bringing them with are you?”
“No. I’ll drop them off at the nearest recycling depot.”
“Gotcha.”

A little while later, the ‘apartment’ was cleared.
“Oh. So that’s what colour the carpet was,” Agnus said, looking at the empty floor.
“Yeah. Brown. Just a different shade than the walls and ceiling,” Nosedive replied.
“Thank you guys.”
“Think nothing of it, Aggie,” Grin said with a smile.
“Can we go now?” Nosedive asked.
“Sure,” Agnus replied.
“You do have everything, right?” Grin asked.
“I’ll do a quick check.”
With that Agnus ventured back in to check that she had taken everything that was hers.
“You just had to go say that,” Nosedive said.
“I don’t want her to leave something important behind,” Grin said.
“All sorted, guys. Let’s go,” Agnus said, walking back to them.
“Thank you,” Nosedive said, stepping out into the corridor with Grin to allow Agnus space to shut and lock the door.

On their way back to the Pond, Nosedive noticed that Agnus wasn’t being too uptight.
“You feeling better about this whole move, Ags?” Nosedive asked.
“Sorta. Why?” Agnus asked.
“You’re kinda not being as hostile as you were earlier when Phil originally told you.”
“That’s just me, Dive. I explode, simmer and then I’m cool.”
“That sounds normal,” Grin said.
“Thanks, Grin,” Agnus said with a smile.
Just then Nosedive had a thought. Maybe now would be a good time to ask Agnus about her dislike of hockey. He opened his beak to ask the question, but then stopped. He didn’t want to upset her again.
“Something wrong, Nosedive?” Agnus asked, noticing his thoughtful look.
“Huh?! Oh! No. Nothing. Just… thinking,” he replied with a smile.
Agnus just nodded at him and made a mental note that perhaps she would have to take a little while longer in getting used to Nosedive.

Back at the Pond, the others waited for their new housemate to arrive. Nosedive had contacted them when he and Grin where in the process of moving Agnus’ furniture, or lack there of, into the Migrator.
“So we’re all clear on this. No one mentions anything ‘hockey’ around Agnus. Moving into the hockey stadium’s going to be stressful enough,” Wildwing said.
“We got it the first ten times, Wing. Thanks for refreshing our memories,” Duke said, relaxed as ever if not more so than usual.
“I’m sorry,” Wildwing sighed, “I guess I’m just a little… nervous for her, that's all.”
Duke smiled and shook his head slightly. “You’re too much of a big brother, you know that?"
Wildwing just smiled back at the master swordsman across from him.
Silence once again reigned in the TV area of the base, but Wildwing’s uneasiness was starting to affect the others.
“I suppose someone should contact Phil and let him know that Agnus has chosen to live here,” Mallory said.
“I’ll make the call,” Wildwing said, getting up and heading off to Drake One to make the call.
Once he was out the other three ducks let out a sigh of relief.
“Is it just me or is he taking this way too… seriously?” Tanya asked.
“He’s a big brother, Tanya. It’s in his DNA to be protective over those he considers younger than himself. You saw how he tried to calm Agnus down earlier and how he tried to coax out of her what happened to make her dislike hockey,” Duke said.
“Yeah, so? That’s not protecting.”
“True, but… he feels like he needs to help her. You know, let her know that she has someone to talk to should she need to talk at any point.”
Tanya just nodded in understanding before looking at the door where Wildwing had disappeared moments ago.

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