Disclaimer: All characters are copyright 1990/1991 Walt Disney Company and are being used without premission. The writer of this fanfic has made sure that no money was made in the creation of this fanfic and that all material is used with the upmost affection and respect to the Walt Disney Company and the Tale Spin Team.
"Is everything okay?" she asked peeking in the doorway.
"Yeah. Come in. Miranda woke up. She must be hungry or something. I still haven't gotten the baby thing down yet" he said rocking back and forth patting his daughter on the back gently. Molly walked over to the crib and smiled at the sight of Antony sleeping.
"He's so innocent" she all the sudden said. "Unlike me."
"What do you mean by that?" Kit said placing Miranda back in the crib.
"O, nothing. It's just…I've done a lotta bad things. I'm not innocent anymore."
"Is there something you're not telling me?"
"No. Just forget all that I said. I'm just rambling."
"Upset about Karnage, huh?"
Molly shroked Antony's back and looked on. Her heart sank from Kit's question. She wanted to tell him so bad, but she didn't want to get anyone else involved.
"Yeah, a little. It's strange how you hate a certain someone for so long. But you cry when they die. I don't get it."
"Well, Karnage shared a lotta of his personal life with you. You kinda got to know him. I guess. I can't believe I'm saying this, but you two kinda probably became friends."
"Friends? Ha! Okay. Okay. Maybe without me realizing it. But he has a obsessive crush on me. I don't know where that would of lead. He never showed any signs of affection for Guinna. But he said he loved her."
"He didn't love her, though."
"In his frame of mind, obsession was love. Just like he loved gold and stuff. He'd latch on to anything that showed sympathy for him."
"Well, I'm thankful he's gone forever and he can never hurt us anymore."
Kit walked back to the rocking chair and sat down.
"How've you been coping with your break up with Shawn?"
"I'm all right with it. I thought we were going to be together forever. I thought he was my soul mate. We were together for two years. I thought I knew him, inside and out. But it turned out he was a jerk. Too impatience to wait till we finished college. The hardest part was was when I said if you truly love me, you'll wait. And I didn't hear a sound. He walked off and left me there. I felt like a fiddle that had been played for fun and not taken seriously."
"That guy was a huge jerk. Molly, he doesn't deserve you."
"That's what mom said. I wanted so much to have a relationship like your and Guinna. I wanted to have kids like yours. I wanted it all."
"Someday you'll get married to the person you're suppose to be with. And someday you'll have kids that you'll love as much as mind."
"When? Or how will I know that that guy is the guy who is right for me?"
"You're seventeen. You have you're whole life to find that person."
"I guess you're right, Kit. I just got to be patianct. Unlike Shawn."
"That's my girl" Kit said wrapping his arm around her waist.
* * *
Molly's mind was racked after trying to come up with a plan to go find Karnage. She came downstairs with bags under her eyes. Everyone else , even Baloo, had gotten up before her. She walked in the kitchen. Everyone was sitting around the new eight-seater table. Molly poured her milk into her cereal and sat down across from her mom. She tried gaining courage.
"Mom, there is this psychology retreat kinda thing going on in Winger City. I was wondering if I could go."
"How much does it cost?"
"O, not much at all. U'n'U pays for it if you pre-register and I pre-registered. So, all you have to pay for is my food and stuff."
"How long is it for?"
"I think two weeks or so. It starts in two days."
"That's soon, Molly. Would you be able to make it?"
"Of course, I would. I really want to go."
"I guess we can afford it."
"Baloo, has a shipment to Winger City tomorrow" Guinna said holding one of the babies. Kit was feeding the other.
"That works out perfect. I'll get packing."
Molly throw her bowl in the sink and ran upstairs to pack. She didn't know what she would do when she got there. Karnage couldn't be too far away from there.
* * *
Baloo dropped her off at the Winger City airfield. He offered to escort her to the retreat, but Molly declined knowing go and well that there was no retreat. She walked around the city with her backpack on her back and a newspaper clipping of Karnage in her hand. She showed the clipping to people asking if they had seen him, but no one had. The day was wearing down and she was getting tired. Finally she had some success. An old man pointed her in the direction of a clinic. She headed over to the clinic.
~ I better find him her or I'm gonna be angry. Wait. I'm already angry. ~
Molly walked up to the back street clinic. She turned in a 360% circle to watch her back. But as she was turning a second time, she ran into something. She fell and the person had dropped their books on the ground.
"O, my goodness. I'm sorry" she said not looking up at the person. She picked up the books.
"Here let me help you up" the person said.
Molly lifted her head to see a younger looking Karnage , minus the accent, holding his hand out for her. She reluctantly took it and he lifted her to her feet.
"Thank you. Here…here's your books."
"Thanks. You okay? I didn't get hurt or anything? Any cuts or bruises?"
"No, I'm not hurt."
She stared at him. Stunned at what she saw. The wolf noticed she was staring and got tired of it knowing the routine introduction he always has to give.
"Yes. Yes. I am Delancy Karnage. The son of the feared pirate Don Karnage."
"You're his son! He never told me he had a son."
"Wait. You know him?"
"On good and bad terms, yes."
"This is so weird. What's your name?"
"Good to meet you Molly" he said shaking her hand. "To be honest with you, my real last name is Lancastor. I just like the sound of Del Karnage instead of Del Lancastor."
"So, how is Karnage your father?"
"Before I get into detail. You hungry?"
He lead her to the street and they started walking to a small restaurant nearby.
"So, how do you know him?"
"Me and Karnage have a long history together. First, he kidnapped me when I was five. Then, he made me think my mother was dead. He kidnapped my sister. He helded me hostage for a second. I became his councilor in jail. I got to know him. Blah, blah, blah. Now, I'm that he's escaped from prison, I have to find him. I can't let him go back to his old ways and get killed in the process."
"Whoa! Talk about history. I feel sorry 'cause I don't have much to say. Only, he's my biological father and that's all. I never met him before."
"Do you get a lot of people who mistake you for him?"
"O, ya. Too many. Tourist think I'm gonna hurt them and stuff. The police here know me so I've never been arrested. I just hate having to explain everytime."
"Hey, Del, I know we just met, but would you help me find Karnage? I know it's a lot to ask, but…"
"I'd love to help you. I always wanted to meet him. And I have nothing to do till September."
"What's in September?"
"College. I start my second year of medical school."
"Wow. I start college in September too. I'm majoring in psychopathology."
"That is so cool."
"Yeah. So, how'd you get into medicine?"
"My mom is a nurse and my dad…step-dad is a doctor."
"Was that their clinic?"
"Yes. My dad wanted to treat people who couldn't afford treatment."
"Your parents must be very giving."
"They are. You would of assumed I'd grow up a spoiled brat. But I didn't. I want to help people as much as my parents do."
"Are you sure Karnage is your biological father?"
"Yes. My mom says that he is and don't you see the resemblance?"
"Yeah. You look exactly like him."
"What about your family?"
"My family. Ya possessive you want me to tell you about them? No, just kidding." Molly pulled out an envelope from her backpack pocket and took out the pictures inside. "This is me and my mom. She use to be a high class business woman, but my sister took her job. And that's my mom's boyfriend, O'Mally. That is my sister, Guinna, and my brother, Kit, and my two new niece and nephew, Miranda and Antony. Guinna runs Higher for Hire. That's our business. And Kit is the cargo pilot."
"Wow! You've got a lot of family."
"I'm not done yet. This is Baloo, Kit's father and kind of my surrogate dad. He been a cargo pilot for a very long time. And this is Wildcat, our mechanic. He's been a really good friend to me eventhough he's lost a few of his marbles. That's just the way he is."
"Who's this?" Del asked seeing there was one more picture in the envelope.
"O, him. That's my ex-boyfriend, Shawn. He dumped me a few weeks ago on graduate night because he wanted to get married right away. I told him to wait, but he didn't want to. So, the creep he was and is, dumped me. And I thought he really loved me."
"That's hard to get dumped by someone. I've experienced that a couple times."
"How many times?"
"One. Well, that's the girlfriend I ever had."
"She dumped you?"
"She liked bad guys better. She said I was too genteel for her liking."
"Genteel? Did she say it like that?"
"Yeah kind of. She tried letting me down easy. But I got over it. I mostly pay attention to my studying, but now that I'm twenty, I'm ready to take a break for the summer."
"Me too." It was getting dark outside. Molly checked her watch. "Dang. It's getting late. I don't got much time to try and find Karnage. Do you think we can leave tonight?"
"Where do you think he could be?"
"I know he's probably not in Usland. He said he wanted to change his life. Too many people would know he was in Usland."
"Tell me how he escaped from prison?"
"He faked his death."
"He must be pretty good at scaming."
"Pretty good. He's a genius at it."
"I know a way we can get out of Usland territory."
"Hitch a ride on a plane that's heading out."
"That's what I was thinking."
* * *
The two went to Del's apartment a few blokes away.
"Where do you get the money to pay for this apartment and your college fee?" Molly asked walking into the small area which was Del's house. It was a pretty fancy place with embellished decor. "O, I see. Your parents must be rich."
"I wouldn't say rich. I'd say well off." Del walked into his room leaving Molly gazing at the living room.
"Well off! Geez! My family must be poor then." Del laughed. She picked up a frame with a photo of his parents. His mother looked very sophisticated. "How in the world did someone like your mom meet Karnage?"
"He was robbing my grandparent's mansion and she fell in love with him. My mom stayed with his gang till she had me. That's when he kicked her out of the pirates. I guess he didn't want me around."
"Did he love your mom?"
"No. She hardly saw him when she was living with him. I guess when I was born, the pleasures of the flesh ended and he got tired of her. Dang! Talk about a creep. I'm glad I wasn't raised around all that pirate stuff."
"Good thing you weren't. You might of turned out like him."
~ Either Karnage didn't want him around or he didn't want to wreck Del's life. ~
"That reminds me." Del picked up his phone and dialed a number. "Hello. James. This is Delancy. Is one of my parents there?…They're not. Where'd they go?…Dexter's. They didn't tell me that…Well, I don't have time to wait for them. Could you give them a message?…Thanks. It is I'm going out of town for a week or so. I'll be fine. Thanks again, James. Tell them I love them. Bye." Del hung up the phone.
"O. A butler. Wow! Your parents must really be well off. Are ya sure you'll be able to handle this search? We might get in some rough situations. I can't be responsible for your well being."
"Nonsense, Molly. I always wanted to do something daring."
"Daring wouldn't be the word for this. More like survival."
"Why are you doing this if it puts your life in danger?"
"I have a responsibility in keeping Karnage out of trouble. I'm the only one who can get through to him. I'm the only one he'll listen to."
"I'd feel responsible too. But is it worth it?"
"What do you think? You're going with me."
* * *
Rebecca and O'Mally walked along the winding streets of Cape Suzette. O'Mally had promised to stick around instead of touring with Scatcat and the band. He loved his job, but he loved something even more. Like always they went out for dinner and maybe a movie. They called it their usual routine.
"So, now where are we going?" Rebecca asked.
"I told you'll see when we get there, Reebecca."
They walked up to an old brick building that had a blinking sign.
"Thomas, this is the place you're bring me?" Rebecca said putting her hand on her hip.
"Yeah, baby. This is it. But the better parts inside."
O'Mally opened the door for Rebecca and they walked in.
O'Mally ran off down the hall and into another room. He was gone for a minute then reappeared.
"You can come in, Reebecca."
"Thomas, what in the world is going on" she said walking into the room. It was dark and only one spotlight was shining on the entrance. A light all the sudden came on. O'Mally was standing with microphone in hand and Scatcat's band was behind him.
"What is this?" Rebecca asked, alittle shocked, with a jolted smile.
"This, Ms. Reebecca Cunningham, is…" He signed to band and they started playing. Rebecca watched in awe as O'Mally sang a love song to her. After they finished, Rebecca ran up to O'Mally and embraced him.
"Thomas, that was beautiful."
"Thanks, Beck, but it's not over." He reached in his pocket and pulled out a ring. "Reebecca, I've known you for sometime now. And I was stupid when I chose my career over you. And when I lost ya, I felt like I'd lost a part of me. Now, I'm not making the mistake a second time. So, Reebecca, will ya please be my wife."
Rebecca didn't know what to say. She stood there with tears flowing and mind racing for a decision. Only once before had shefelt this way about someone. She didn't want to loose that feeling again.
"Yes, Thomas, I want to be your wife."
"Ya mean it?"
O'Mally jumped up and picked up Rebecca.
"Baby, your never gonna regret this."
He slipped the ring on her finger.
* * *
They went to the airfield at midnight. They found a plane heading for Barlow. They hide in the cargo hold. When ever theyhad to get off one plane, they'd ask anyone around if they have saw Karnage. One freelancer told them he saw him in Bago-Shiloh. They transferred from plane to plane till they finally came up to someone who would take them straight to their destination.
Molly was asleep in the seat behind the pilot who had offered. Del was staring out of the window at the sea till he saw land.
"Is that the place?" he asked the scruffy old dog flying.
"Sure is. I was born there but don't like to go back much anymore."
"Don't like the way things are going. The way the government is handling things. Why are you two want to go there so bad?"
"We're searching for my father. He disappeared a few days ago."
"You think he went there?"
"That's what Molly thinks."
The pilot was coming in for a landing right about then. Del turned and taped Molly's shoulder.
"Hey, Molly. We're here."
"Huh, we are" she said sleepily.
* * *
It was raining in New Fedora has Kit unloaded the cargo. He was already soaked and getting wetter when he finished unloading. He ran into a pilot's bar near the airfield. He took off his drenched coat and sat down at the bar.
"What will it be, mac?" the bartender asked.
"Do you have a soda?"
"I only serve beer."
"Well, I don't drink."
"What would you expect from a bar? I got coffee in the back."
"That'll be fine."
A man wearing a brown trenchcoat sipping a glass glanced over at Kit. He keep looking in Kit's way till Kit noticed.
"Do you have a problem, sir?"
"No, no. I don't. I was just wondering. Are you Kit Cloudkicker?"
"Yeah, why? Do you know me?"
"Actually, I do." The leopard skutted next to Kit. "Colin Norris." He put out his paw to shake. Kit stared at him strange then shock his hand.
"How do you know me?"
"Well, I never met you before, but I knew Sabrina."
"My mom. How?"
"We worked together for the Usland Intelligence Agency."
"My mom never worked at no intelligence agency. She was like a freelancer. An accivice."
"Who do you think employed her. In that girl's short three years she worked for it, she uncovered twenty conspiracies."
"I don't get it."
Ya see, we paid her to find conspiracies. I want to offer you the same job ya mom had."
"Look, I'm still don't understand. I was told my mom was a free activice."
"She wasn't. Kit, I gotta go. Here's my card. Call me if your interested."
The leopard gave Kit a business card. He looked at it then looked up to see that the man was gone.
* * *
Molly and Del started their search for Karnage. The city was huge and they scawlered ever section. They got a lead from a homeless man that saw Karnage always going in and out of a bar on the corner.
"Is this it?" Molly asked grimacing at the sight of the run down area.
"That old guy said the Corner bar and that's what the sign says."
"Well, go in." Molly was getting nervous. A bull dog with a vulgar expression stomped out the bar.
"Molly stay close to me."
"Don't worry, I'm not leaving your side. Especially in this place."
Del walked in with Molly right behind him holding on to his shoulder. The crowd inside didn't look too friendly with mostly big overpowering men sitting at the tables drinking. Some glanced up at the two kids as they walked up to the bar.
"Whatcha want?" the bartender asked them.
"Uh…we need your help sir."
"I don't help no one but myself. So, you either buy a drink kid or you and ya girlfriend get out."
"Sir, please" Molly said. "Have you ever seen this man?" She showed him the picture.
"Yeah. That's my new renter. He rents the room above this bar."
"Can we go up and talk to him?"
"His business isn't mine. Go up."
"Thank you, sir."
The two went up the stairs. At the end, was a door. Molly knocked. Karnage opened the door with an astonished expression.
"Molly, how did you find me?"
"Karnage, your too easy to track. May we come in?"
"Come." Karnage finally saw Del. They stared each other down for a moment. "Molly, who is your young who looks like amazing me?"
"It's like looking into a mirror" Del said. "Man, I do look like you."
"Who are you? Molly, what is going on?"
"You don't recognize me. You don't remember kicking my mom out when she had me. You don't remember that. I'm Delancy Karnage, your son."
"My son. I" Finally Karnage remembered. It all came back to him. "Would someone explain this little reunion to me."
"Karnage, you know I wouldn't let you off the hook. I've been searching for you and I accidentally met up with Del. He wanted to meet you so he came along with me. And his real last name isn't Karnage. It's Lancastor."
"Are you really my son?"
"Yes, sir. I am. Do you remember my mom?"
"Yees. She was Ursula."
"Yeah. I'm surprised you remembered."
Molly turned to Del. "Del, don't cause any trouble. We didn't come here for that."
"And what did you kids come here for? I told you not to come after me, Molly."
"I know I wasn't suppose to come after you, but I was afraid you might have a relapse."
"Molly, my dear, I am doing fine."
"You're only been out of jail for a few days. How can you get your life on track in a few days?"
"I got a job and a place to live."
"Where are you working?"
"I work as the night bartender."
"You're working as the bartender! Do you drink too?"
"No of course not. I make de drink. I do not drink them."
"How 'bout after your shift is up?"
"Okay. Just checking. Maybe you are doing good."
"Put down your bags and sit."
Molly and Del set down their backpacks and sat on the couch that wasn't in good shape. It was torn and faded with springs hanging out the bottom.
"Sorry for the mess. I usually like my quarters clean, but I have only been here a few days."
* * *
Rebecca and O'Mally agreed to not tell anyone about their engagement till Molly came back, but Rebecca couldn't hold it in for long. Baloo had noticed a big difference in her that night when she came home. He wondered what happen to make her so up beat. He found her feeding the babies that morning.
"Where'd Kit and Guinna go to?" he said picking up one of the babies.
"They left early on a delivery. We get the twins for the day."
"Say, Becky, what made you so happy last night? You haven't acted like that in a long time?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you came in late and you were just…I can't explain it."
Baloo picked up a bottle of the nightstand.
"Has Miranda been feed yet?"
"No, you can feed her." Rebecca set the bottle she was holding down and burped Antony on her shoulder. "So, you want to know why I was so happy last night?"
"I'll tell you, but promise to keep it a secret till Molly gets back."
"Sure. Whatever. I will."
Rebecca held up her hand. A small diamond ring was on her finger.
"Is that what I think it is?"
"Yes. An engagement ring."
"O'Mally asked you to…"
"Yes. To marry him" she said enthusiastically.
"That's great, Becky. Let me be the first to congratulate you and O'Mally" he said giving her a loose hug. Antony started crying.
"O, Antony, what's wrong baby?" Rebecca held the baby up.
"He probably misses his mommy."
"No. It's something else."
* * *
Molly watched as the united father and son sat across from each other timidly. No one was speaking and Molly was getting fed up with the situation.
"So, Karnage, can we stay for a few days?"
"If you want to. How long can you two stay?"
"Only a few days. My mom thinks I'm at a retreat."
"Molly, you lied to your mom?"
"Yeah. If I told her I was going to search for you, she wouldn't of let me out the house for a year."
"What are you going to do here?"
"Observe you. See if you can handle the real world without having a relapse." Molly turned to Del who was sitting next to her. "Del, you can leave if you want. You don't have to stay."
"No, Molly, I want to stay. You might not be safe with him."
"Excuse you, boy. Molly is perfecatly fine with me."
"Mr. Karnage, I am not a boy. I'm twenty year old man. And I have a name and that's Del or Delancy. So, please, don't call me boy again."
"I can see yawl two are going to get along swell" Molly said cynically sitting back on the couch and crossing her arms.
* * *
The confrontation with the man in the bar ate at Kit's mind. It had only been two days. Kit sat in the cockpit of his plane, Blue Heaven, staring at the business card. Guinna walked in with a wry face.
"Hey, Kicker. I saw you land, but you didn't come inside. I was getting a little worried" she said sitting down on the arm rest next to him.
"I was thinking about that job offer I got the other day in New Fedora. That guy didn't…he knew who I was. He knew my mom.How did he know me if he last saw me when I was only two. Are those people watching me without me knowing?"
"I have no clue."
"And what about the job offer. Exposing government conspiracies. I thought my mom was like a hero, y'know. She was an activist that wanted to help people. But now I find out she was hired to do that and she was paid to do that. Now, that guy wants me to do that job."
"Do you want that job?"
"No, of course, not. That job put my mom's life in a lot of danger. And y'know that invisible plane was apart of a conspiracy. And they killed her and my father for that. And your parents were put in a dangerous situation too."
"It's your decision. If you want to be a cargo pilot for the rest of your life."
"What about you? Do you want to be a secretary for the rest of your life?"
"Kit, I'm not a secretary. I'm a boss of a cargo business. And a wife, a mother, a full time everything. I don't need anymore to do."
* * *
So far, so good. Molly wrote in her observation notebook. Karnage was doing good at his normal life. She was surprised he was doing so well. Him and Del were getting along alittle at a time. As for his apartment, it needed work. Molly and Del went out to buy groceries at the marketplace.
The marketplace was very busy with Bago people speaking in their native language running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
"I wonder what these people are saying?" Molly asked placing a bag of carrots in her basket.
"I know what they're saying. I speak Bago."
"Really! You know Bago."
"Yeah. My mom made me take lessons to learn it. I hated learning it. It's a really hard language."
"I always wanted to learn another language."
"No you don't. Trust me on that on."
They walked around to the bread table.
"Tell me more about your family."
"You want to know more about my family. Why?"
"Where the heck do I start? There's so much to say about them."
"How did that big bear in the picture become your surrogate dad?"
"Ya see, I was five when my mom bought Higher for Hire, our cargo business, and Baloo was the previous owner. But he was the, I think, owner of the Sea Duck. That's his plane…"
As Molly rambled on about the large bear, a white cat down the aisle overheard her talking. She knew the name Baloo and thecargo business idea sounded familiar. She hurried out the store.
Molly and Del walked out the marketplace with only a bag of groceries in hand. They walked down the sidewalk when a white limo pulled up beside them. A short raccoon stepped out the drivers seat and opened the passenger door.
"Madame, will you and your gentleman friend come with me please."
"Why? What did we do?"
"Nothing. I a sure you this is strictly business."
Molly looked at Del. He struggled.
"Think we should get in?"
"He said it's strictly business. So…"
"You're no help" Molly said climbing into the limo.
"I'm take your bag , sir" the raccoon said.
"Okay. Here." Del handed him the groceries. The raccoon walked back to the drivers side and drove off.
"So, uh…what's your name?" Molly asked leaning against the first front seat.
"My name is Frederick."
"Mines Molly and this is my friend Del. Where are you taking us?"
"I cannot tell you."
"Why are you taking us to this place you can't tell us about?"
"You will be informed about everything when you arrive."
Molly grimaced and sat back on the seat. Del looked over at her.
"Is this your first time in a limo?"
"I bet it's not your first time."
"Sad to say it's not. But I've never been in one this small."
Molly laughed. "Never been in one this small" she mocked.
Molly's jaw dropped as they pulled up to a gigantic white mansion with a beautiful staircase leading up to cathedral size wooden doors. The limo stopped and Fredrick stepped out and opened the door for them. Del hopped out then stuck out his hand for Molly. She willing excepted it and Del pulled her out the limo.
"I will make sure your groceries will not spoil" Fredrick said closing the door. "Follow me."
He led them up the stairs. Molly stared around with amazement. She held on to Del when the stairs got steep so she could look around at the gardens hanging from the window planters. Fredrick led them into the spectacular parlor.
Fredrick walked off into another room. Molly stepped up a little looking around at the colorful tile floor and the marble tables with one sculpture sitting on each table.
"Have you ever seen such a more beautiful place?" Molly asked turning to Del, mouth agape. "Well, isn't this a beautiful place?"
"Yes. Very. Reminds me of my grandfather's mansion" he replied hands in his pocket.
"Del stop mocking me." She pushed him on the shoulder.
"I'm not mocking you. This looks like my grandfather's mansion. What about you? You mocking me in the limo."
"I thought it was funny. You never been in one that small."
Fredrick came back in.
"Madame, follow me, please."
Molly walked behind him. Del behind her. Frederick stopped.
"Madame Plano only wants to speak with the lady. Please wait outside."
"Sure. No problem" Del said walking back out to the front.
Molly walked into a study with book shelves as tall as the eye could see. Fredrick close the french doors. Molly stood there watching a white cat in green silk suit smoking a cigarette. The lady puffed a few more smokes then turned to face Molly. She put out the cigarette on the sea coral desk. She pulled out the large chair behind the desk.
"Sit" the lady gestured.
Molly sat in the small airchair across from her.
"Let me introduce myself. I am Madame Plano or what I like to be called , my original name, Arianna Tybalt. Who are you?"
"I'm Molly Cunningham. Can I ask why I'm here?"
"Sorry. I was hoping Fredrick would of explained. But A source heard you speak of a Baloo in the grocery store. Please detail this Baloo to me please."
"Would it help if I just showed you a picture of him?"
"You have a photograph? Yes, yes. Show me."
Molly pulled out the envelope then the picture of Baloo and handed it to the white cat. Arianna Tybalt sat back with a stunned expression. She touch her upper lip then put down the picture.
"It's him" she whispered. "It's him. Molly, how are you related to Baloo?"
"He's my friend and kind a my surrogate father. I've knew him since I was five. He took to me right away and me the same with him."
"Please, tell me more about him."
Molly sat there talking about Baloo for over an hour. She had Arianna's attention the whole time. Arianna soaked in every detail Molly told her. She told her that Baloo was a father and grandpa and his death and coming _back_ to life.
"I wish I could see him. Only for a moment."
"You can. Come back with me to Cape Suzette. He'd be very surprised to see you."
"No. I cannot. So, he never married?"
"Nope. Sometimes I kind a hoped him and my mom would get together, because I wanted him to be my dad so much and Kit my brother. But nothing every happened. That's all right. My mom's boyfriend, O'Mally is a good guy. Why can't you come with me?"
"I can't leave Bago-Shiloh."
"The contract I signed when I married my husband says I can't leave my country."
"But you said he's been dead for three years. He'll never know you left."
"Eventhough he's dead, he still watches me beyond the grave."
"I have no idea what your talking about."
"Berg was so controlling over me, he hired spies to watch my every move. Even after he died. No matter what, he'll always be in control of me."
"You can't ditch the spies? Y'know, try to escape."
"Tried and failed."
"What would they do to you if you did really escape?"
"By strict orders from Berg, they have the right to kill me."
"That is definitely unfair. This guy must of been obsessed over you if he was so controlling and didn't want anyone else to have you."
"He was. He was. I knew if I would marry Baloo, Berg would kill him. I couldn't let that happen. I'm a worthless spark of life. I do not know why I still live. I should die."
"Hey, Mrs. Tybalt, don't say that" Molly said comforting Arianna.
Just then, the doors burst open. The two women suddenly turned to see Del. Fredrick ran in behind him out of breath.
"Molly, are you okay?"
"Yes, I was just talking to Mrs. Tybalt."
"See! I told you!" Fredrick snarled.
* * *
Molly and Del left Arianna Tybalt's mansion after a few hours of conversation and dinner. Frederick drove them back to Karnage's apartment over the Corner bar. With groceries in hand, they walked into the apartment to find Karnage sitting on his couch tensely shaking.
"Karnage, what happen?" Molly said sitting down next to him.
He rotated to face Molly with a blank expression on his face.
"This now ruins my plan to live the boring normal life of everyday people. I cannot believe this happened."
"What? What happened?" Del asked anxiously.
"Bago-Nova has invaded Bago-Shiloh. Another war has started right here. Right now."
Midnight was rolling around. Molly couldn't sleep. She paced around the small living room in her night shirt and pants murmuring to herself. Del heard her up and got up to see what she was doing. He walked in to see her distraught. She looked up at him and grimaced. Del walked over to the couch and sat down to watch Molly begin pacing again.
"Molly, you're gonna walk yourself straight into the ground" he remarked getting her attention.
"I can't stop. I'm on the edge of my nerve right now, Del." She stopped pacing. "What…what if we can't get out of this country? What happens to us then?"
"We'll be fine. We're not going to get stuck in this country. Not if my parents can help it."
"How am I going to tell my mom?"
"Easy! Call her up and say 'mom, I'm sorry, but I lied you and now I'm in a war zone'."
"Del, you're not helping!" She throw a pillow at him.
"Sorry! Just trying to lighten the situation up a bit."
"Please, don't make jokes right now." Molly started pacing again. She all the sudden stopped and turned to Del with a tear forming in her eye. "I'm scared, Del."
"Come here." He gestured her to sit beside him. She curled up beside Del and closed her eyes. "It's going to be okay. You'll see. I will protect you." He put his arms around her and held her till she fell asleep.
* * *
Kit had flown to New Fedora still curious about the job the strange man had offered him in the bar a couple of days ago. He walked up to the office building near the coast. It didn't look like your normal place of work. The building wasn't fancy and inside people were in tiny cubicles cramped up. People were scurrying through files and talking on the phone. Some were shouting at each other and others were slumped quietly over their desk. Kit walked to the last office down the hall where he met up with Colin Norris.
"Hello, Kit. Or do you like to be called Krisopher or maybe Mr. Cloudkicker" Norris said.
"No, Everyone calls me Kit. That's the only name I go by."
"Good. Why don't we step into my office."
Kit followed Norris into the some what bigger office. He gestured for Kit to sit in the chair in front of his desk. Kit got a strange feeling about the guy. He didn't trust him for some reason. Norris was jittery like he was nervous about talking to him. Maybe because he was sober now. He was totally different in the bar. Norris went behind his desk and sat in his chair.
"So, did you come for the job?" he asked putting his elbows on the desk.
"No, actually, I came to find out a little bit more about this job and how in the world did my mom get this job."
"You want to know?"
"Yes. Right now."
"Her father, Beau Golden, was the famous thief of those days. Sabrina would assist him sometimes and learn his ways. But good-hearted Sabrina turned Beau Golden in when she realized her father was doing wrong. When she turned twenty-one, we recruited her. Since she was such a good sneak, she didn't even have to go through training."
"But she wanted to do this job, right?"
"Okay, so, tell me about this job."
"There's not much to say about this job. Everybody here keeps to themselves. We're always working hard on a conspiracy that needs to be exposed."
"How does this work?"
"Well, since we work for a certain government group, we get full access to the secret files. When we find a wrong that the government did, we bring it to the publics attention. Like we publish it in the newspaper or we confront the government officials by starting a riot like Sabrina was so good at."
"I don't get it. If you work for the government then why do you bring out these things the government has done wrong?"
"It's simple. We are hired by a certain area of the officials. They get us to rat the other officials out."
"All this is like one big tattle tell game."
"That's correct. We tattle and tell. But I won't lie to you Kit. This job is dangerous. We're not safe anywhere. That's why we have to be trained to face anything that's thrown at us. We do have agents that are hunted and killed. Sabrina was one of the unfortunte ones."
"But, my parents were killed over blueprints of an invisible plane my father invited."
"You don't even know the half of it. A certain group of officials were going to sell the blueprints to Francisco Torra so he could use the plane for defense in the second great war that he know was about to happen soon. With unfortunate consequences, Sabrina exposed the whole thing. That's when your parents stole the blueprints and ran."
"That's the truth?"
"All of it. So, do you want the job?"
"After telling me that, you think I want to put me and my wife and kids' lives in danger."
"If anything happens to you, your family will be insured. They will inherit two million dollars if you have a sudden dimize."
"Has it always been like that?"
"Yes. Ever since this group was started at the beginning of the century."
"Why didn't I receive any money when my mom died?"
"Well, since both of your parents were killed and you do not any living relatives we know of, the government inherited the money."
"And I was sent to an orphanage and lived my first eleven years in heck. This job is a curse. I'm not about to let my kids' lives turn out like mine." Kit stood up and grabbed his jacket off the back of the chair. "You can keep the job. Good day, Mr. Norris."
Kit walked out of the office irritated.
"You'll regret refusing this job, Kit. You'll never amount to anything being a lowly cargo pilot for the rest of your life!" Norris shouted as Kit left.
* * *
The phone of Higher for Hire was set back on it's receiver. Guinna raised her head to see Kit landing his plane, Blue Heaven. He stormed in and slammed the door behind.
"How'd it go?"
Kit glanced at her and grimaced.
"That good, huh?" she said sarcastically.
Kit's frown didn't change. He trekked up the stairs with Guinna behind him. He removed his jacket and throw it on their bed. Frustrated, he plopped down.
"What happen?" No answer. "I'm gonna get it out of you sometime or another."
"The never ending tragedy of my parents came back to haunt me today. Again!"
"Uh-oh, what did you find out this time?"
Guinna sat behind Kit and lovingly placed her arms around his neck.
"Well, I found out everyone who works at that place has a price on their head. If I were to take that job, I'd possibly would get killed for exposing the government's mistakes."
"What did you find out about your parents?"
"I found out my mom was the one who exposed that the government was going to sell the blueprints to Torra. That's one reason why they wanted her died."
"Whoa. More and more information on your parents just keeps rolling in."
"And everyone has a different story." Kit looked over at the crib realizing the babies weren't there. "Where's the twins?"
"Our parents took the them to the park. _Again_!"
"Geez…Baloo and Rebecca are spending more time with our kids then we are."
"Well, they won't be back for a while and you don't have to leave for another delivery till five. That means we got time to ourselves."
"All right. Sounds good to me."
Kit turned to Guinna and they embraced passionately , touching lips. They started to lay on their bed when they heard the phone ring. Guinna backed off discouraged.
"O, man! Business calls" she said getting up.
"Literally" Kit remarked rolling on his stomach.
"Kicker, you stay right there and don't go anywhere. I'll be one second."
He watched his wife run down the stairs shouting 'I'm coming!' to the phone.
~ Of course, anything to make my day worst . What next? ~
"We're home!" he heard Rebecca shout from the office.
"Spoke too late." Kit dug his face into his pillow and started thinking again of the conversation he had with Colin Norris.
* * *
"Molly, you have to call your mom."
"I can't. It's too hard."
"Molly! Call her!" Del said picking up the pay phone. Molly took it from him unwillingly and put a dime in the machine. She dialed the number and waited.
"Higher for Hire, how may we help you?" Rebecca answered.
"Mom, it's me."
"Molly, how's the retreat?"
"Well, I have to tell you something and you're not gonna be too happy about it."
"Mom, there was no retreat. I'm in Bago-Shiloh."
"Molly Elizabeth Cunningham! You better have a good explanation for this. Don't you know there is a war starting there?"
"Yes, I know. But I didn't when I got here. Ya see, Karnage isn't dead. He faked his death and wrote me a letter telling me he did."
"Yeah. I had to find him and I did."
"Your with that…that. Are you all right? He hasn't hurt you or anything?"
"No, mom. I'm okay."
"Give me the phone" Del said taking the phone from Molly. "Ms. Cunningham."
"Who is this?"
"My name is Del Lancastor. I've accompanied your daughter through out this whole search. I a sure you that Molly is safe with me. Karnage hasn't done anything to her."
"You sound like an honest man. Please get my daughter back to me."
"Yes, ma'am. I will. We're trying to find a way out of the country and get back into Usland territory."
Molly grabbed the phone again. "Mom, please don't tell the police about Karnage. He's been on good behavior so far."
"I won't make any promises. No telling what Kit will do when he hears about this."
"Mom, please don't tell Kit or anyone else. I don't want them to worry."
"You should of thought about that before you went off on your little quest."
A twinge came over Molly from her mother's commit. Now, she felt really bad. "Mom, we gotta go. I love you."
"I love you too. Be careful."
Molly hung up the phone. She had hurt her mom big time and guilt was setting in. She let out a small sob. Del put his arms around her.
"It's okay, Molly."
"I hurt her, Del. How could I do that? What was I thinking? How _selfish_ can I get?"
"Molly, look at me" Del said pulling her away. He wiped a tear off her cheek with his sleeve. "Molly Cunningham, you're a caring, wonderful person who'll do anything for a friend. You're not selfish. How can you be when you want to help hardened criminals who most people would want to lock away forever and throw away the key."
"What kind of councilor am I when I can't even help myself make decisions?"
"You don't know everything. You need to realize you can make mistakes. You're not perfect."
"I know that, it's just…I put your life in danger too."
"Hey, I chose to come. Don't blame yourself for my actions."
"How the heck are you such a noble person?"
"I don't think of myself as noble, but for some reason everyone says those things about me."
"And they all tell the truth."
* * *
That afternoon, the two sat around Karnage's apartment playing cards. Molly looked over the cards she was holding. Del's blank expression didn't help her with the decision to make her move or not. She opened her mouth, but paused deciding what to do.
"Ya got any sevens?"
"No. Go fish."
Molly picked a single card off the stack frustrated. This was their eighth game and she hadn't won one yet. Del gazed at her with a telltale grin that meant he was about to win another game.
"Got any queens?"
A disappointed sigh come from Molly as she handed over her card. Del took it then laid down both his cards on the floor.
"No kidding. That's the eighth time you've got to say that."
"Wanna play again? I'll let you win this time."
Molly try to stand, but fell back to the floor.
"My foot's asleep."
"Wake it up" Del said standing up himself.
"How do you wake up a foot?"
"Here." He offered his hands and pulled her up to her feet. Molly wobbled a little, but Del helped her keep her balance.
"I'm always here to help."
Molly and Del heard shouting coming from the bar downstairs. They walked over to the stairs and looked down.
"Unhanded me, you hoodlums!" a familiar voice shouted from the bar.
"That sounds like Frederick" Molly said looking up at Del. She ran down to the bar with Del behind. They saw the little raccoon struggling to hold his own with two big dogs trying to throw him out the bar.
"Hey! What are you doing to him?" Molly yelled walking up to them.
"We are throwing this bumbling idiot out of my bar" Karnage said coming up next to Molly.
"I told these blockheads that I have come here to give you a message." Frederick jerked his arm out of the gripe of one of the dogs.
"And I told you, you annoying little flea, that you cannot see Molly."
"All right! That's enough name calling! How immature can you two get? Karnage don't decide who can see me or not. That's your controlling behavior coming out again. Now, go back to serving and Frederick, follow me."
Molly walked to the stairs with Frederick sticking out his tongue at Karnage as they pasted him. Even though Frederick seemed proper, he was very much immature and childlike. He couldn't of been much older then Del and had only been Madame Tybalt's servant for a couple of years. Karnage stared up at them more irritated than ever has they went to his home. Del was leaning against the railing laughing at the scene that had unfolded. He followed Frederick into the house as they close the door.
* * *
Rebecca called everyone to the kitchen for a family meeting. She was the only one who knew Molly was in the middle of a war zone. One at a time, they showed up and sat at the table.
"Rebecca, what'd you have to talk about to us?" Kit asked holding Miranda.
"What I have to say will make all of you angry. Especially you, Kit. So, no one start shouting or anything, because I've already done enough of that and it wouldn't help the situation."
"Go head and tell us already, Becky" Baloo asked eating a bag of chips.
"Okay." She slowly stood up. "As all of you have heard, a war has broken out in the Bago countries. Well, I received a call from Molly yesterday. She told me she was in Bago-Shiloh."
"What is she doing there?!" Baloo yelled dropping his bag.
"It seems she lied to me. There was no retreat. She received a letter from the thought to be dead Don Karnage."
"Karnage isn't dead!" Kit hollered almost dropping his daughter. "How the heck can that be!!"
"Kit calm down before Miranda gets hurt. Now, yes, Karnage faked his death and escaped. He wrote a letter to Molly telling her what he did and she went on a weird goose chase to find him. She ended up in Bago-Shiloh."
"Why was she looking for that thing anyway?" Guinna exclaimed.
"I don't know. She didn't tell me over the phone."
"I have to go get her" Kit said handing the baby over to Rebecca.
"Kit, you can't go there. You'd be shot down the moment your plane enters their airspace."
"How is she going to get out of there, then?"
"I don't know anything right now."
"Is she with Karnage?"
"Yes and she's accompanied by a young man named Del something. I can't remember his last name. But I talked to him on the phone too. He promised me he'd keep Molly safe."
"Let's just pray she is."
* * *
Molly sat on the couch while Frederick hesitated to sit in the old dusty armchair. He looked at it in disgusted, but sat anyway. Being a butler, he was use to everything being clean.
"Want anything to drink?" Molly asked Frederick.
"No thank you. I am only here to give you the message Madame sent me here to give you."
"Hey, Freddy. How you and Mrs. Tybalt been?" Del asked sitting beside Molly on the couch.
"Not good, sir. Madame has been inform by her source that Bago-Nova troops will be invading the city in the next twenty four. She has sent me to gather as many unfortunate people as I could to go to the train station to be transported to her country mansion. She especially wanted me to tell you this because of your connection with her."
"The troops will be invading that soon?"
"I'm afraid so. I don't want to be around when they do. All these poor people being captured or shot or even killed. No telling how many lives will be lost."
"They'd shot innocent people?" Del asked in shock.
"Yes, sir. This is a war not a game. Innocent people will be killed for no reason. Bago-Shiloh does not have a big army to protect the people. They have to fend for themselves and hopefully they will flee to the Usland embassy. Madame's mansion isn't too far away from the embassy. She wants you to go there so you can go back to your home."
"Thanks for informing us, Freddy" Del said.
"When does the train to Mrs. Tybalt's mansion leave?"
"Midnight. You have to be there or be stuck in this city. I'd suggest you get there early."
* * *
It had turned dark over the city. The argument from the small apartment over the Corner Bar could be heard a mile away.
"You're coming with us no matter what!" Molly shouted at Karnage throwing her night shirt into her backpack.
"I am not leaving to go back the place that put me in the jail. I cannot go back to that" Karnage protested folding his arms.
"If you don't came with us, you'll be imprisoned or killed by the Nova troops. I worked too hard to help you! I'm not letting my _somewhat_ first success story go down in flames. You're coming with us even if I have to drag you there!"
"I can't go with you."
Molly turned to Del who was being entertained by the two's argument.
"Del, help me" she begged.
He walked over to them. Karnage turned away arms still folded.
"You know you can't stay here. You'll be killed and then what…"
"Then what, what?"
"Then I won't get to know you better, dad."
Karnage's pout turned into astonishment. Hearing someone call him dad sounded very strange to him, but it was the greatest sound he had every heard. He turned to them.
"What did you call me?" he asked wanting to hear the word again.
"Dad. I just called you dad. Why? You are my father, right? Me resembling you is not a weird consequent."
"You already have a father."
"Yes, I do, but you're my father too. There's nothing written that says I can't have too father. I mean, when I was a kid, I always thought you were a legend my mom made up, because I keep asking why don't I look like my dad. You were never real to until I saw an old photograph of you my mom had. But if you don't want me to call you that, I won't."
"No! I don't mind. Not a bit."
"It's great that you two are getting along now. But guys , we gotta leave like soon or we'll miss our ticket outta this sitting duck town" Molly said happy to know the father and son didn't hate each other like when they first met.
* * *
The train station was only five blocks from bar. It was ten o'clock when the trio left for the station. The streets were filled with utter chaos. People were scurrying around like hyperactive mice with personal possessions in hand. Most were leaving the city after hearing the rumor of an invasion. The people who had been informed of Madame Tybalt's invitation to hide out in her country mansion on seven hundred acres, were heading toward the train station or were already there. The three were only one block from the station when the roaring of a strange sounding engine caught Karnage's ear. He stopped then peered up to the black sky.
"Karnage, what's wrong?" Molly said stopping.
"Shhh" he said discreetly.
Molly and Del looked up to the sky to see what Karnage was staring at, but all they saw was darkness. All the sudden, the roaring became louder and closer.
"What is that noise?"
"I think it's our cue to run to the train station as fast as we can."
That's when something fell from the sky three hundred feet away from them. It was a bomb.
"The troops are already here" Del shouted.
"Get down!" Karnage knocked the two kids to the ground. The bomb exploded. Horror broke out. When they looked up, a brick building had been destroyed and debris was falling from the sky. People screaming. The invasion had begun.
"We have to get to the station now or else we'll never make" Molly shouted jumping up.
"If the station is still there."
They started running to the station when another bomb dropped close to them. The blast knocked them off their feet. They all went flying to the ground. Molly raised her head a minute after the blast. What she saw was a horrid scene. Del had been hit by shrapnel in the arm. He was sitting up holding his arm scooting next to a car and was loosing blood quick. Molly ran to him.
"Omygosh, Del, what…how can…" Molly tried getting words out, but she was too overwhelmed by seeing his blood flowing out.
"Molly, get my bag. It's over there" he said so composed.
She grabbed his bag that had been thrown a couple of feet away. She ran back to Del's side and slid down next to him.
"Get out my iodine and bandages! I'll have to get the shrapnel out later."
Molly dug frantically in his bag for the iodine and bandages. She found iodine and handed it to him. He opened it and cleaned the wound. Bombs were still dropping around them. Luckily, the bombers were heading away from them.
"What else can I do?" she asked finally getting words out.
"Give me the bandage."
She gave him the bandage and his rolled it around his wound then tore it.
"Get the tape out the pocket in the front."
Molly got the tape out the pocket. And gave it to him.
She held the bandage in place while Del rapped the tape around it. He finished and tore it with his teeth. They sat for a second in silence, but Karnage broke the silence.
"My son, are you hurt?" he said running up to Del.
"I'm okay. It's only a flesh wound."
"How can you say it was a flesh wound?" Molly shouted hysterical. "There was blood everywhere."
"I'm okay" Del said standing. "Now, let's get to the station. I can from here that it's still standing."
They began running again to the station. They had almost reached the depoe when Del saw a cheetah crying over her husband's body. Del ran over to her and kneeled down beside the body. He stared at the mangled body wide eyed and frightened of what he saw.
"Please, help my husband. Please!" the woman cried.
Del looked up at her seeing the tears and sadness on her face. He composed himself then checked the man's pulse. Nothing.
"Mam, I'm sorry, but he's died. Half his chest is gone and there's no pulse."
The bombers were coming back around. Molly ran up to Del.
"We have to get on that train now."
"Mam, were you and your husband getting on the 12:00 train?"
"You better come with me. It's leaving soon."
"No! I do not want to leave Ben."
"You have to or you'll die too."
"I don't care!"
"Del, come on!" he heard from a distance.
He couldn't save the died man, but he could save his wife. The only way was by force though. Del stood up grabbing the crying woman by the waist.
"No!" she screamed as he dragged her to the train. The whistle had just blown and the train was starting to move. Molly was in the doorway of one of the passenger cars. He ran to it and placed the woman on board then he jumped on board himself closing the door behind him. Del fell to the ground in exhaustion.
A hour later, he found himself lying on a bed in a passenger room. Molly was sitting on the floor next to the bed. Del turned his head to see her staring at him.
"Hi. Your awake. I didn't know what to do after collapsed. I got scared for a while" she told him.
"Where am we?" he said sitting up at the sight of an unfamiliar surroundings.
"We're on the train that's taking us to Mrs. Tybalt's mansion. Don't you remember you saving that lady's life but you couldn't save her husband's."
Del's memory came back to him. The memory he wanted to forget. He wondered why he black out after getting onto the train. He came to a conclusion that he may of lost too much blood from his arm being hit. He sat there for minutes lost in deep thought about what had happen a short while ago.
"Del…Del, are you all right? If you're not I'll go find a doctor on board to help you" she said fixing to leave. He grabbed her arm suddenly.
"Molly, don't go. I'm fine. I probably just couldn't handle all that stuff that went on in the street."
She sat down next to him looking at her friend with concern.
"Are you positive that's why you collapsed?"
"Yes. I'm fine." He felt a twist in his stomach. He knew he wasn't telling the truth. Maybe psychically he was okay, but mental stress was getting to him. Del let out a big sigh. "I just…I just…couldn't do it. I couldn't save him." A tear fell from his eye. "I wanted to help that poor man, but he was already died. I couldn't do anything, but watch his wife scream for someone to save him. I almost lost it out there. I almost broke down. For a moment I didn't feel anything. I finally composed myself to tell that lady her husband was died. I mean she should of know. Half his chest was gone for goodness sakes! I never in my whole life of being around emergency rooms and my parent's clinic seen such an awful sight. You probably think I'm being foolish?"
"Don't say that, Del. Let it out. You need to. Cry as much as you want. I'm here for you" she said handing him a tissue.
"Thank you." He wiped his eyes. "Thank you for understanding."
"That's why I'm here."
Molly embraced Del who was still crying a little. Molly had been the best friend he had ever had in his entire life. She didn't care how rich he was or who he looked like. He didn't want to tell her the truth about his first and only girlfriend. It was hard enough telling a lie about her much less the truth. Even though they had only talked about their past loves the first day they met, he wasn't about to tell the embarrassing truth about what _happened_.
"How is that lady doing?"
"She's okay for now. After you got her on the train, she cried hysterically for the next hour. Karnage stayed with her to comfort her and stuff. Gee, that sounds weird. Karnage comforting someone. But it's good he's doing that and nothing immoral."
"Yeah, that is good."
Del felt blood from his wound seeping out. That bandage was bloody and needed to be changed.
"Molly, could you give me a hand with my dressings. It definitely needs a changing."
"Sure I'll help. There's nothing else to do around here. I have to admit for the past two and half weeks, you've been my favorite person to be around."
*And you mine* he thought glancing up at Molly while she got out a new dressings from his bag.
The train traveled over rivers and around mountains which took a long time to travel on. It had been three days since the three had literally jumped onto the train. People especially with children were going stir crazy in the cramped space of the train. Most of the people had living compartments that had bunk beds with a small couch across from them. The three shared the small compartment. Del had moved from the bottom to the top bunk where he spent most of his time resting from his injury after removing the shrapnel.
"Hey. How are you feeling?" Molly asked walking into the compartment. Del was sitting on the couch, his chin resting on his hand, staring out the window at all the exotic scenery.
"I'm okay. Just been bored out of my mind. And what have you been doing?"
"I've been just talking with people. Trying to comfort them and stuff like that. Y'know, the usual" she said plopping next to him.
"And what's my estranged father doing?"
"He's teaching some little kids how to gambling."
Del laughed. "O, yeah. That'll really do them a lot of good right now."
"Well, if you think of it in a different way, it gives the kids a chance to do something and not bother their parents."
"True." Del moved his view from the window to Molly noticing something around her neck that he'd never seen before. "Hey. What's this?" It was a golden chain with blue crystal pendent hanging off of it. He picked it up and twisted it round his fingers.
"Stop!" she said pushing him away. "You'll break the chain."
"Where'd this come from?"
"This" she pointed to it sharply. "use to be my dad's necklace. Before he left on another one of his perfect picture jobs in a warring country, he left this to me. I hardly ever wear it outside of my shirt. I don't want anyone to steal it or anything. It musta slipped out today." She stuck the necklace back in her shirt.
"Where'd your dad get it? It looks kinda expensive and old."
"He found it Egyptiana. He said it may of belonged to a pharaoh or just a regular person who lost it. Either way, he said, it was special. Must of been special to the person who lost it, because they chose it. So, it had to be something special to them. Or it could of belonged to a pharaoh who had to many jewels and didn't care if he lost it or not. My dad always thought forward like that. Thinking of every scenario that it could of came from. That was basically the only thing I remember about him. But it's one of my most treasured memories."
"How old were you when your dad died?"
"Four. Can you imagine losing your father at four years old?"
"No I can't. I never lost a parent before. I actually have more then two parents now."
"You were lucky, Del. But I was lucky too. I had my mom and Baloo. But when they were gone, I had O'Mally who use to keep me for a couple of weeks during the summer and visit a lot. My sister was a blessing at that time, but she didn't really do the parenting at that time. It was my brother, Kit, who did all the punishing, and talking and he was the parent those years. They were good years though."
"Geez…you have so much history and I have hardly any? I makes me feel like I've done nothing with my life. But so much has happen to you in your seventeen years. This excursion we're on here is the first real thing that has happen to me in my twenty years of life."
"What are you talking about Del? You said you've been in emergency rooms and you've watched surgeries and stuff. You've been through a lot too."
"That stuff is nothing. I'm surprised I've gotten this far with the sheltered life I had."
* * *
Everyone was asleep when nighttime came around. Even though there were lights in the train, they were dim and hurt peoples eyes. It had been a few hours after the sun went down that Molly was awaken by a sound near her ear. She sat up suddenly looking around in the dark.
"Del. Wake up. I think someone's in here" Molly said quietly knocking on the bottom of the top bunk. Del stirred a little, but didn't wake up.
In the dark, Molly saw a short figure hurrying to the door. That's when she felt something missing.
"Del! Someone has my necklace!" she shouted waking him and Karnage, who was sleeping soundly on the couch. The figure slam the door open, and in an instant the two men were up chasing the figure down the narrow hallway. They cornered the figure in an empty then turned on the light to see it was a young boy cat about twelve. He had Molly's necklace clinched in his palm. Karnage advanced fixing to tear into the boy when Del stopped him.
"I'll handle this" he said in his serious voice closing the door with a few complains from Karnage that he ignored. Del walked up to him. The boy was hovering near the window looking around for an escape.
"Don't worry kid. I'm not gonna do anything to you unlike my father out there. My name's Del. What's yours?"
"Jake" the boy replied hesitantly.
"Well, Jake, could you answer a question for me?" The boy nodded. "Why did you steal my friend's necklace?"
"I need it to get food when I get to Plano Valley. I need money to get the food and this looked like it was worth something" he said holding up the necklace.
"I tell you what. I'll make a deal with you. I'll trade you my ring for my friend's necklace. My ring is worth a bundle. The bad thing that'll come from you not taking my deal is that my friend will have a lot of heartache. Now, what do you say?"
The boy thought for a moment without saying a word. Then finally he handed over the necklace and Del handed him his ring.
"Thank you" Jake said enthusatly.
"No, thank you, kid. Now, remember not to go showing that ring off to anyone before you pawn it. It's worth a bunch and lots of people would want to steal it."
"I'll do that."
Del left the kid in the compartment alone. Molly and Karnage was waiting outside with a small crowd of people who had been disturbed by the ruckus.
"Don't bother that kid" Del told his father as he walked past him. "And Dad" he said turning back to Karnage. "Could you stay out here for a few minutes" Without any reply from Karnage, Del grasped Molly's wrist and went back to their compartment. He closed the door behind them.
"Del, did you get my necklace?"
"Yes, I did."
He unfolded his hand to reveal the blue pendent. She looked up into his eyes with a smile.
"Anything for you."
He tenderly placed it back around her neck.
"So, did the kid give a fight?"
"No, actually I made a deal with him. He said he stole your necklace for money to get food. I felt sorry for the kid so I traded my ring for your necklace."
"You what? You gave that boy your graduation ring! You didn't have to do that!"
"It's okay. He needs it more than me. Besides, it doesn't matter if I loose my ring. I have plenty of rings. But you're dad's necklace is irreplaceable."
Molly touched Del's cheek lightly. "Del, you are true gentlemen. Thank you." She kissed him on his other cheek. He became paralyzed and stood motionless until Molly told him to let Karnage back in.
* * *
The train pulled up to the station in Plano Valley after days of traveling along the mountain sides of Bago-Shiloh. Everyone piled out and went their separete ways. Some going to shelters, others to relitives , and some going to Madame Tybalt's mansion. Molly, Del, and Karnage found themselves at her doorstep of Madame Tybalt's mansion a few hours later. Frederick was overjoyed to see them except for Karnage, who he still had a quarrel with. They had heard of the bombing of the capital city and were worried about all the civilians of the city. Madame Tybalt came down the long spiral staircase to greeted them. It didn't take long to settle down in the gigantic mansion. Many different people were there, but that didn't stop Molly and Del from exploring the grounds. It was a beautiful setting with gardens everywhere and many varitity of fountains. One tall, lofty fountain caught Molly's eye and she had to go and walk on it.
"You watch out. You might fall in" Del warned.
Molly just continued to prance around on it like she was five again.
"I'm not going to fall in, Del. Why don't you come up here with me."
"No" he said folding his arms leaning against the side of the fountain.
Molly walked over to him and grabbed his arm.
"Come on, Del. Don't be such a baby."
Del let himself be pulled up onto the fountain edge by her. He climbed up with Molly and stood up trying to hold his balance. It wasn't a thin edge, but he didn't feel like falling into the water. They'd have to go all the way back to the mansion which was a long distance away.
"See, it's better up here. You can see a lot more up here anyway."
Del wasn't very interested in looking at the elegant gardens that surrounded them. He just wanted to glanced at Molly who was taking in every bit of the area.
"I love this place. I wish we could stay here forever."
She wedgled past Del, but lost her balance. Del caught her by the hand pulling her back up to him as she held on to his shoulder.
"That why I didn't want to get on."
"Okay, I see your point, but I almost fell in not you. It's good thing you did get on. I'd be soaked right now."
Del didn't hear her. He was caught in the moment. She had her hands on his shoulders. He could feel a shudder go down his spine. It was now or never. He placed his hand on her cheek, bent down, and kissed her. He pulled away after a few moments to see a shocked expression on Molly's face. A scary thought raced through his mind. Had he made a mistake?
"Del!" Molly finally said. "What was that for?"
"I was thanking you" he said knowing that he was half lying.
"Thanking me for what?"
"For making this the best three weeks even though we had a lot of bad things happen to us."
"Well, your welcome" she said jumping off the fountain.
"Where are you going?"
"Back to the house or should I say mansion. Are you coming?"
"Yeah. I'm coming."
* * *
It was past nine o'clock when Del walked into the bedroom he was sharing with his father. After he caught up with Molly, they hiked around for a while without speaking to each other then parted ways at the entrance of the back yard. He sat on the bed in the left corner of the room, because Karnage had claimed the one next to the window. Del jerked off his button down grayish-brown shirt, and throw it onto a their in the corner.
"What did that shirt do to you?" he heard Karnage's voice in back of him _trying_ to made a quirk. Del turned his face to see Karnage sitting on the other bed.
"How long have you been there?"
"Long enough to see your irate entrance. Then throwing your clothes very hard over there. Is something troubling you, son?"
"Yes, there is. I was so stupid tonight."
"Does this story involve a certain bearess?"
"Yes, it does."
"I knew this was coming so. What happen?" he said walking toward Del.
"Well, I kissed her and I think I scared her off. I mean what was I thinking kissing her when we've only known each other for three weeks. I'm such an idiot." He buried his face in his hands.
"I do not think one kiss is going to ruin what you have as friends. But you have eyes for Molly?"
"If your meaning I like her, yes. But that's the problem. I don't just like her."
"What? Did you have a first sight at love thing?"
"Love at first sight, and…well…I'm not sure. It just sorta happened, but I know I have more then just like feelings for her."
"Son, I say, do what you think is best. You want her. Go after her. If you're not sure then…do what you want. Molly has a mind of her own. No telling what she is thinking at this moment."
* * *
The week at Madame Tybalt's mansion went by quickly. It was time to for the trio to head to the Usland embacy near by after they knew for sure that it had been captured yet. They once again resumbed their journey following close to the main road.
They had stopped to rest when they knew they were only a several yards from the embacy. Karnage went over to the river while Molly and Del sat on the side of the road throwing rocks.
Just then, they heard a gun cock.
"Stand" demanded a harsh voice.
Without looking back, Molly and Del stood slowly.
"Turn" the voice demanded again.
The two turned slowly to face the voice. It was a Bago-Nova soldier with a gun pointed at them. A rustle in the bushes made the soldier look away for a second. Del took the opertunity to pull a pistol that Karnage gave him after the bomber out of his belt side. But the soldier saw his action, and fired his gun. Molly saw that the soldier pull the triger and pushed Del out the way of the incoming bullet. The incident was over in a matter of seconds. Del scrambled to her side.
The soldier was fixing to fire at Del, but fell to the ground from a bullet to the back. Karnage had shot him too late. He ran pasted the soldier who was bleeding all over the dirt road, but Molly was worse off. Del already begun to examine the wound.
Del didn't answer. He was franticly tried to stop the bleeding from Molly's chest.
"We need to get her to a hospital now! She's been shot near the heart. I think a vein near her heart has been hit. That's why she bleeding so heavily. Where's my bag?"
He glanced around to see it next to him.
"Here. Hold this on her wound."
Karnage bent down to hold the cloth on the wound. Del searched through his bag and found what he was looking for. A surgical needle and thread.
"Take it off."
With the removel of the cloth that was now soaked with blood, Del began meatball surgery sewing the vein that was hit closed. After he was done, they carried her gently to the embacy.
* * *
Del and Karnage got Molly to the closest hospital in Est Salvora out of the war zone. They waited in silence in the waiting room near the surgical wing. They had tried to hijack a plane, but the pilot politely offered to fly them to Est Salvora. Karnage was still embarrassed about trying to hijack the plane. But he was starting to shake the embarrassment and began thinking of Del. For some reason, the gold and treasure didn't matter now. Was he changing? He didn't know himself anymore. Then he thought of Molly and what she had told him in prison. You become your father keep echoing in his mind. Atleast Del wasn't like his father, Karnage had thought. All Del could think about was Molly. He know how serious her injury was. He wanted to help her more then ever, but he couldn't do anything. It was too hard for him. The knots in his stomach tightened when he thought he might loose her. They both looked up at the same time when they heard the door of the surgical wing open. The doctor was walking toward them. Del stood up and walked up to him.
"How's she doing, doctor?" he asked anxiously.
"Ms. Cunningham's surgery was a success, Mr…"
"Lancastor. The surgery went good?"
"Are you the one who sewed up her artery?"
"You did a good job. It saved her life. I repaired her artery and she is doing fine."
"Can I go see her? I'm the closest thing to a relative right now."
"Yes, you can see her. Ms. Cunningham is in room 212 on the fourth floor."
"Could you tell my father the good news? He's sitting right down there."
"Of course, Mr. Lancastor."
"Thank you." Del started walking to the elevator.
"O, Mr. Lancastor, how did you know how to do repair the vein?"
* * *
Karnage was able to go into Molly's room. He peeked into her room. Molly was still unconscience and Del had fallen asleep in the chair next to her bed. His son had become someone he always wanted to be. He was proud of Del, but he was ashamed of himself. He just couldn't shake that feeling that he could of done better, but greed got in the way. Del had become the person he wanted to be deep inside. Karnage couldn't admit that though. Maybe Del would be better off away from him. He glanced at his son and the girl he now cared for one last time. Then left.
* * *
Molly opened her eyes. She was disoriented and looked around. She saw Del asleep in the chair by her bed.
"Del" she said in a faint voice. She tried sitting up, but couldn't move. "Del."
Del raised his head to see Molly's flushed eyes staring back at him. "Molly, your awake." He gave her a loose hug. "How do you feel?"
"Awful. Where are we?"
"We're at West Wing Medical Center in Est Salvora. You made it through five hours of surgery. The doctor had to repair a leaking artery."
"How'd we make it past the border?"
"That's a funny story. Karnage tried to hijack a military plane, but they said they'd fly us back into Usland territory, because we were Usland citizens."
"He tried hijack a plane?" Molly gave out a weak laugh. "Did you call my mom?"
"Yes. She is on her way with your surrogate dad."
"Can't wait till she gets here" Molly said sarcastically. She noticed Del was looking at her in a different way. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"The goofy way you're looking at me. Do I look that bad?"
"You don't look bad. You look great. I was just wondering if you're up for a small conversation. I should of asked you this the night we stayed at Mrs. Tybalt's mansion. But I was too scared. Ya see, I have a problem."
"What's your problem?"
"I have a problem with what happen on the fountain. That wasn't only a thank you kiss. It really meant something else. But…I think you took it the wrong way."
"Del, that kiss freaked me out."
"Why? How?" Del was getting confused now. Maybe it was a bad idea for him to bring that subject up.
"I didn't know what to make of it. I just got circled out of a relationship. I wasn't expecting anyone as great as you to like me."
"Molly, I don't just like you. When I thought I was going to loose you, I was panicked. I couldn't loose you. To admit the truth, I love you."
"You're kidding, right?"
"No, I'm not. I want to prove to you that I do. I'm not in love with you or I think I love you or I've fallen in love with you. Those words _in_ and _think_ and _fallen_ don't mean anything. Their not real. I _love_ you, Molly Cunningham. And I'll wait for you. As long as it takes. I'd wait forever for you."
"You're telling the truth. 'Cause… because you don't lie. I'm dreaming, right?"
"Nope. You want me to pinch you to make sure?"
"No. I'll take your word for it."
The room went silent for a minute. Molly glanced down. Del's words repeated in her mind. She didn't know what to do now. She wanted to admit that she loved him. She didn't want to loose Del either. But, he said he'd wait forever for her. And Del Lancastor was a man of his word unlike his father.
"He disappeared after you came out of surgery. He's been gone for two days now."
"I've been unconscience for two days and mom hasn't made it here yet?!"
"Please forgive me, but I didn't call her till this morning. I didn't want her to worry anymore then she is."
"Del, if you knew my mom, you'd know she worries her head off over the smallest thing."
"Sorry. I'm so sorry."
"It's okay. Without me around, she probably would of jumped down your throat blaming you for everything. So, maybe, it's better that I'm awake."
"I hate to ask this, but where does this leave us?"
"You want the truth?"
"I love having you has a friend. I'm afraid if we're anything more, I'll loose your friendship."
"How are you going to loose my friendship? Just because I kiss you sometimes or hold your hand doesn't mean we're not friends. The best relationships are the ones with friendship. To me, that's the only one that last."
"I hate you, because you're always right. But, I love you too."
Molly gave him a groggy grin and cupped Del's cheek. He pressed her hand closer to his cheek then kissed it.
"Mom's gonna freak when she hears about us."
* * *
Molly had fallen asleep and Del went out in the waiting room to wait for Rebecca and Baloo to arrive. He still wondered where his father went, but he couldn't go after him again. Molly was more important. He sat in the hard wooden chair in a deep thought of everything that had happen in the last three weeks. Just then, he heard shouted from down the hall. He looked up to see a small, petite bear and a tall, large bear coming down toward him.
~ That must be Molly's mom. She doesn't look too happy. ~
Del stood up when they got closer.
"Ms. Cunningham. I'm Del Lancastor, Molly's friend" he said putting his hand out to shake. Rebecca stared at him. Frightened in a way.
"You're the boy who was accompanying my daughter?"
"Yes, ma'am. Please don't be intimidated by my appearance. I know what you're thinking. But please don't be frightened. I'll explain everything later. Molly is the most important thing right now. She's in that room. 212."
Del pointed down a few doors.
"You're right. Molly is the most important thing right now, but I can't wait to hear her explanation for this."
Rebecca walked off to her daughter's room. Baloo stayed behind to let Rebecca have some alone time with Molly.
"So, you must be Baloo? Molly told me a whole lot about you and the entire Higher for Hire family."
"I know this is probably not my business. But, are you related to Don Karnage in anyway?"
"For one thing, it is your business, because you're apart of Molly's family. And yes. Don Karnage is my biological father. But I never met him till three weeks ago. I was raised by my mom and step-dad, Howard and Ursula Lancastor. I was raised to have the utmost respect for everyone. So, if you're thinking that I'm like Karnage, please don't. I'm not like him at all."
"You sound honest, kid. So, I believe you, but I don't know if Becky would."
"Well, Ms. Cunningham is entitled to her opinion, sir."
"Whoa, kid. Just call me Baloo."
"Sorry. We didn't have a proper introduction her. I'm Del Lancastor. It's short for Delancy."
"I'm Baloo." They shock hands. "How's Molly?"
"She's all right. She finally woke up. A little while ago, me and her had a lengthy conversation. Her voice was low, but she wasn't all that sluggish. She wasn't out of it either."
"What happened? You didn't go in ta detail over the phone."
"Me and Molly encountered a Bago-Nova soldier. I was pulling out my gun and the soldier saw me doing that and he shot at me. Molly pushed me out the way and she was struck in the chest. The bullet nicked a vein and I had to do meatball surgery on her."
"Yeah. It's when you don't have any of the right equipment and… it's a patchup surgery before the real surgery. I sewed up the leaking vein and we got her here. Where she went through five hours of surgery."
"How'd ya know how to sew up a vein?"
"My dad is a doctor and I'm studying to be one myself."
"That's a good profession. How old are ya?"
Baloo stood there looking down nervously.
"Am I making you nervous, sir?"
"No, kid. And I told ya you don't have to call me sir."
"Sorry I do make you nervous. I can't help who I look like. But I have a lot of people who mistake me for him."
"Where is o'Karnie anyway?"
"He stayed till after Molly got out of surgery. While I was sleeping in the chair next to Molly's bed waiting for her to wake up, he left and I haven't seen him since."
"No tellin' where he's at now. Was he beenin' his old obnoxious self?"
"Actually, he was sort a agreeable. I can't see him killing people or anything like that, but I know he's changed since Molly helped him. But what do I know. I've only known him for three weeks. You've known him a lot longer."
"Yep, no tellin' where he's at now."
* * *
Night crepe over the Lancastor mansion. Ursula Lancastor sat patiently in her elegant deep red armchair waiting for the phone to ring. Del hadn't called in two days. She was angry at his actions for wanting to meet his real father. She prayed he never would, but she couldn't keep her son away from his real father forever. Footsteps caught Ursula's ear. She slowly turned to see a silulette by the window.
"Hello, Ursula" she heard a familiar voice say.
She was fixing to scream when Karnage flung his hand over her mouth.
"Please Ursula, do not attempt to scream. There is no reason to act like damsel in distress. You didn't the first time we met. In a fact, you were the one all over me, yes-no?"
He let go of her and backed away in terror.
"What do you want with me, Don?"
"You know" Karnage said walking around the elaborate chamber fiddling with the books on the shelves. "You are very lucky. You're the only one I let call me by my first name."
"Don't trail off the question, Don. What do you want? Did you do something with my son?"
"Our son. Remember? I had a little something to do with his coming in to the world."
"Like I'd forget. Now, what do you want?" She withdrew behind her armchair. Karnage walked to up her in front of the chair.
"If you think I am here for your purposes, you are wrong. I am here to talk about our son"
"Is he safe?"
"He is very safe. Did he not call?"
"Yes, he called me from a hospital. He said he couldn't come home right now. His friend was hurt badly. He said he needed to be with her. That's my Del. Always trying to help."
"That is why I have paid you this visit. You did a good thing leaving me when Del was born."
"Like I had a chose. You had totally forgotten about me and members of your crew were threatening to hurt Del because he never stopped crying. I could see why. I didn't want to be stuck on that over sized bird too."
"I want to thank you for raising him so well. He's turned out to be a good man."
"Unlike you. Jealous?"
"No. Just grateful."
"That's a change. Where the obnoxious, stubborn, wanting to take over the world, I'm so great Don Karnage I thought I once loved?"
"I have changed in the past year. When I was captured and sent to the jail, one of my enemies helped me figure out myself. In the process, I become different person."
"We'll see how different you are" came a voice from the door. A towering lion with a fanciful gray suit stood at the door.
"Howard" Ursula said running to her husband.
"Is this the deranged air pirate captain that gave me my son?"
"I am the great, not deranged, air pirate captain, Don Karnage." Karnage walked up to Howard Lancastor. "Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Lancastor."
"I'm not pleased to met you. I want you to leave this instant."
"I will not leave till I say what I came here to say."
"We don't want to hear what you have to say. Please, leave."
Karnage griped his fist tight as Howard keep shooting him down.
"Del has told me so much about you. He says you were a great father. And I trust my son. But I would believe that you were more civil then this."
"I don't take kindly to criminals that take away my son."
"I'm taking Del away from you and Ursula. He chose to meet me. And I've grown attached to my son. As he has me."
"How do you know he's become attached to you?"
"He's coatzed me out of Bago-Shiloh. He saved my life. He saved my friend's life when she was shot. And I am grateful to him for that."
"That's our Del" Ursula said. "He's always wanted to help everyone and anything."
"I thank you two for raising him so well. I don't want you to feel threatened by me."
"Well, Mr. Karnage, we are threatened by you" Howard said pulling out a check book and started to write in it "That's whyI offer you this."
He handed Karnage a check. His eyes all the sudden became huge at the sight of the amount on the check.
"One million dollars!!!!"
"That is yours. Call it a bribe to stay away from our son _ forever_. I know you'll take it being the thieve you are."
Karnage stood staring at the check. His mind was racing as the thought of having all that money but having a son. He didn't want to give Del up. A twinge ran through his body as he made his decision.
"I cannot take this. I cannot stay away from Del forever."
"Well, then, we have no choice, but to call the state marshal and have you hailed off to the jail you were in."
* * *
Molly woke to see her mom's face staring at her.
"Shhh, honey, you need your rest."
"Mom, I'm okay."
"Your okay! I don't think so young lady. You were almost killed. And you were with Don Karnage and his so-called son. How could you be with those two? I can't believe that thing has a son!"
"That things son saved my life! We owe him. Besides, Del isn't anything like Karnage. He's a good man. He wants to help people. You can't see that. You just met him. I've spent a month with him."
"That's what worried me while you were gone. You were with them. That boy could of…"
"Mom! I don't need your critizme of Del right now. You want me to rest so give me a rest from you critizing me. So, please, stop."
Rebecca sat back in the chair she was sitting in. She didn't realize what she was saying till Molly pointed it out.
"I'm sorry. Your right. I don't know this Del whatever you've been with non-stop for a whole month."
"He's a great guy, mom. I met him less than an hour after Baloo dropped me off. We were together almost every waking moment. I loved being with him even through the bad times of our _adventure_."
"What else what?"
"You can't tell me you spent a month with this young man and nothing happened."
"Through out the whole thing Del was a perfect gentleman like he always is. He did surprise me with a kiss."
"I know you can't tell me you didn't like it. And that you two aren't a…"
"Okay, so, maybe you do know some things. This morning, Del told me he loved me."
"And what did you say?"
"That I love him too. I know in a million years I could never find such a guy who would be honest with me and love me."
"How do you know that Del won't do the same thing that Shawn did to you?"
"Because I can feel it. Del doesn't lie, cheat or anything. Lets just say that he's the complete opposite of Karnage."
Molly started to tell her mom all that happened in the month that she was gone. Rebecca was pretty shocked at the story of all that her daughter went through.
"I didn't realize how bad off you were over there. I wish I could of been there to protect you or something."
"Mom, you couldn't of done anything for me while I was there. You couldn't protected me from a bombing."
"That boy, Del, really did get your father's necklace back?"
"Yes, I told you that. Do you believe that he saved my life?"
"Yes, I do."
"Good. Mom, Del went through a lot too. I mean, his arm was wounded bad too. He'd never been through anything like this before. He's always had a sheltered life. I'm surprised he even made it. But maybe that's because he's Karnage's son."
"So, you really love him?"
Molly looked her mom straight in the eye and said bluntly "Yes."
* * *
Hours had gone by since Baloo and Rebecca had shown up. They were in Molly's room. Del had stayed outside the room. He knew Molly needed to catch up with her mom and surrogate dad. He knew it would be awkward for him to be in there with them. So, he sat in the wooden chair alone. It was quiet in that hospital wing. He sat there with his elbows leaning on his legs, his head bowed to the floor. He was deep in though when he heard footsteps coming toward him. He didn't look up thinking it was only a nurse. But the steps stopped in front of him.
"Are you Del?" he heard.
Del gazed up.
"You must be Kit."
"Molly must of told you about me then?"
"Yes, she told me a whole bunch about her family" Del said standing up. Kit had heard over the phone that Del was Karnage's son. He didn't know how he was going to react to this. But he was calm when he saw Del and didn't feel a grug against him. "Del Lancastor." Del held out his hand. Kit took it, and the two men with only five year age different shock hands "Kit Cloudkicker."
"It's good to meet you. I thought you would of just pasted me up like Molly's mother did. Or you would accuse me of something being the son of your most hated enemy."
"Sorry to disappoint you, Del, but it's not you fault that Karnage is your father. I don't hold anything against you. You saved Molly's life, and that's all that matters to me. I thank you for that."
"Your welcome." Del casted his eyes onto the floor for a moment.
"So, how's she doing?"
"She doing all right. Her wound was severe, but the doctor said she'll be able to leave in a couple more days."
"Where's Molly's sister at?"
"Guinna will be here soon. I was on a cargo run in Barlow when I received the call from Baloo telling me she was in Est Salvora. I flow over her as fast as I could. Guinna will be here soon. She probably had to go rustle up Wildcat and Thomas O'Mally to help her with our twins."
"I can't wait to meet the rest of her family. She loved talking about all of you."
"Well, that's Molly for ya."
* * *
Del opened the heavy wooden door of Molly's hospital room. She glanced up to see who it was. A smile flashed across her face.
"Hey back at ya. How are you feeling?" Del asked walking in.
"I'm feeling nothing right now. The doctor has me on some kind of pain drug or whatever."
"Probably morphine." He sat down in the chair next to her bed grabbing her hand. "I finally get you alone."
"Finally. I've been overwhelmed with my family. It feels strange to be around of them again. I never thought I'd forget how it felt to be around them."
"Yeah, I still haven't seen my parents yet. But I did however see my astranged father."
"Karnage came back. When?"
"A couple hours ago. He went to go see my parents. And you'll never guess what happen?"
"My dad offered him a million dollars to stay away from me forever."
"No! He did! Let me guess, Karnage took it and just came to say bye."
"Nope. He refused the money saying he couldn't stay away from me. I was totally stunned and didn't really believe him until I call my mom. She said it did happen."
"O my gosh! I can't imagine Karnage doing that. Where is he right now?"
"He's outside where your family can't see them, but I have some bad news from my home front."
"What is it?"
"My parents are mad at me. My dad almost made me deaf from shouting over the phone. He's not too happy with me right now. After you get out of here, I'm headin' back home to settle things with them."
"O, man, that means we're going to have to separate."
"What do you mean?"
"That will be the first time in over a month that we haven't been together. I don't know if I could handle that."
"We're not going to be away from each other that long, Molly. I'm coming to Cape Suzette right after the issue with my parents is finished. Like I'd want to be away from you for more then a day. I promise I won't be gone long."
"It's okay. I understand that you have to get things straight with your parents."
"I'm so glad your safe."
"Without you, I wouldn't be here" Molly said leaning over to Del and kissing him for the first time since the night on the fountain.
* * *
Molly was released from the hospital. It was time to go home. Rebecca had called a cab while Del and Baloo helped her down to the first floor. The cab was waiting for them.
"Bye, Del. I love you" a tearful Molly said.
"I love you too." Del gently embraced her. "I'll call you when I get back to Winger City." He wiped a tear from her cheek.
"You better" she said with a kiss.
He helped her into the cab, closed the door, and waved good-bye. From the shadows of the hospital build, Karnage appeared and stepped up to his son.
"Come, son, let's go get your parents back" he said putting his hand on Del's shoulder.
To be continued on next fanfic.....