Two Thieves and One Heart

Part 2: Lovers’ Quarrel

Mallory and Wildwing sat on one of the sofas inside the Mighty Ducks’ base beneath The Pond. The newscasters spoke in dreary tones as they read aloud the latest crime reports for the area.

“In local news,” the female announcer continued, “an arch enemy of Anaheim’s beloved Mighty Ducks, the visiting alien hockey players, has escaped from his prison near Fredonia. Authorities believe he might pose a threat to Duke L’Orange, the gray feathered team member whose heroics ultimately led to Falcone’s capture. In short folks, now is not a good time to be a duck.”

“Could these newscasters get any cornier?” Mallory grumbled.

“We’d better find Duke and warn him.”

“Yo man, he went out on a case with Tanya.” Nosedive stated walking into the room.

“What?!” Mallory and Wing gasped.

“Dive!” Wildwing scolded his younger brother, “How could you just let them run off alone like that? What about Dragonaus?!”

“Hey man chill,” Dive said calmly, “Duke and Tanya can handle old lizard lips on their own. You know how those Saurian guys are. We come around, exchange a few shots, and they teleport back to their ship. Sheesh man, get with the program!”

Mallory slapped her forehead, “Nosedive, lay off the cheesy cartoon shows for a while. This is real life. And in the real world, people get hurt. You should’ve never let those two go off to fight crime alone.”

“Yeah right,” Dive laughed heading back out of the room, “like I could’ve stopped em.”

Groaning Mallory shifted into battle mode, “We’d better go find em Wildwing.”

“We’ll save ya the trouble sweetheart,” Duke came through the entrance with Tanya at his side. “Now what’s this I hear about Falcone breaking out?”

“Just that.” Wildwing answered, “He’s loose. And probably out to pay you back for imprisoning him.”

“Hey, he imprisoned himself when he double-crossed our home planet!” Duke snapped, “The guy never was any good. And it wasn’t MY idea to let him in the gang.”

“Right,” Mallory remarked sarcastically, “well I guess the leader really wouldn’t have that much say in who was in their mob now would they?”

Duke narrowed his eye at her, “You’d be surprised.”

Placing a hand on his shoulder Tanya expressed her concern, “Duke, Falcone nearly killed you last time back in that clock tower. What’s the point in giving him another shot? Maybe you should lay low for a while?”

“Ya tellin’ me to turn chicken angel?” Duke seemed surprised, “I expected this from them but you? Don’t tell me you don’t understand the obligations I got to keep tabs on my members…even the lousy backstabbing ones.”

Sighing Tanya slid her hand off his shoulder, “Fine, do what--ya know--you’ve gotta do.”

Oh so now it’s a guilt trip?! Duke could stand getting the third degree from Mallory, or even Wing, but when Tanya gave him those puppy dog eyes…“Look, I’ll promise to be careful if you let me handle this my way Tawny. I can’t let him run loose. There’s no tellin’ what that creep’d do to get to me.”

“So you’re saying you wanna do this one solo?” Tanya summarized, “No problem. I know the loner deal. Have fun being a hero L’Orange.”

Duke’s jaw dropped as he watched her walk out, head held high and no trace of concern for him. Beautiful, I’ve really done it now. She even called me L’Orange insteada Duke.

A smug grin lined Mallory’s beak. She wasn’t fond of thieves, this was true. But Tanya was her best friend before the whole thievery thing came into light, and her reasons for getting into larceny had---in Mal’s opinion---been far nobler than Dukes. And nothing brightened her day more than seeing Tanya put Duke in his place. Honestly, sometimes it was like he thought himself to be above the team. What were teammates for if not to strategize together? The Mighty Ducks looked out for each other both on AND off the ice. At least now Duke would get taken down a notch or two off his mob boss high horse.

“Oh I just know you’re lovin’ this!” he spat to Mallory and darted out after Tanya.

“Are Grin and I the only members of this team that don’t delight in torturing the others?” Wildwing grunted heading back to the sofa.

“Some members deserve it.” Mallory insisted sitting next to him.

“Don’t start that again.” Wing eyed her. The issue of Duke’s past was not one that the team needed to face again.


An avian in a black tank top, matching pants, and red cape entered the old haunt where Dragonaus’ thugs had pilfered his hidden treasure.

“NO!” Falcone cried in utter rage. “That’s twice that second rate schemer has usurped me from my rightful title as greatest thief of all!”

He’d have to get craftier now. Breaking out of prison had been a synch, once the authorities had felt comfortable enough to lower the guard around his cell. But this heist, it was going to require skill, even more than the ones where he’d stolen the world’s biggest jewels upon his first trip to Earth. But things would be different this time, oh yes, instead of working under the pretence of helping Dragonaus he’d be on his own. Just the way he liked it.

“Once I have that statue and the power it holds,” he plotted aloud, “I’ll have all I require to claim my rightful place among thieves, and then, I’ll humiliate and destroy Duke L’Orange.”


It was three in the morning when another ‘visitor’ arrived on Earth. His calculations were a bit off, but then again, math had never really been his best subject. This particular individual, specialized in street smarts.

“Darn Iflix, he said it’d take me right inside their hideout.” glancing over at the building behind him Racco decided the best way to enter The Pond would be through the ventilation ducts.

Tanya threw herself across her bed, engrossed in a book about medieval sorcery and knights while Duke stood on the other side of her locked door begging for her understanding.

“C’mon angel,” he moaned, “ya know there are just some things that I need ta take care of on my own.”

“Then go take care of them!” she replied hotly, “Just don’t expect me to fuss over you when ya come back with a blade in your back because they were too important for me and the team to get involved with!”

This isn’t goin’ very well. Duke realized, “Look Tanya, I’ll be careful okay? Just don’t get all bent outta shape about me going out lookin’ for Falcone. I’ve done riskier things than this before. Danger’s nothing new to me.”

“I’m no stranger to it myself Duke!”

“Yeah, but I don’t want ’cha gettin’ hurt just cuz some maniac with a sword’s out to slice my feathers!” This was fast turning into their most heated argument.

“I’m not some two bit rookie Duke L’Orange!” Tanya spat, “I know how to handle myself around thieves, I’ve been one for a good portion of my life ya know?!”

“I know.” Duke leaned his head against the door, never mind that it was messing up his ’do.

Groaning she went back to her book. What was it with men? Couldn’t they come off their big macho man trip long enough to admit they could use a little help with stuff? When you’re a member of a team there’s no such thing as a solo fight. In Tanya’s mind, if someone challenged Duke, they took on the WHOLE team. That’s what teammates were for---support, loyalty, and friendship. No way was she going to let him go out there and potentially get himself killed with a clear conscience. Not when he could take the smart way about dealing with this. It was like Grin was always saying, ‘No duck is an iceberg.’

Just a few more seconds…Duke was telling himself as he proceeded to pick Tanya’s lock. This ain’t somethin’ I’m gonna argue with her about from behind a steel door. If we’re gonna fight about it, we’ll at least do it face-to-face.

Tanya’s mutation gave her the sensitive hearing of a feline, thus she heard Duke picking the lock. “I take it you’re not used to being shut out by a girl.” she taunted. “Guess I’m not as big a pushover as you would’ve liked.”

Oh she’s in for it now.

It’s so easy to get under his feathers.

Barging through the door he stormed up to Tanya and towered over her. “Put the book down sweetheart, we’re gonna settle this one now.”

“I’ve already told you Duke.” Tanya stated in a tone that said she couldn’t care less, “If you insist on going out there to get yourself killed, you won’t be doing it with my blessing.”

Taking her by the wrists he pulled her up to him, “Why are you being so difficult about this, eh?”

“Am I supposed to be happy that you don’t want me with you to guard your back against a snake like Falcone?!” she burst out, baring both claws and fangs.

“So now it’s mutant mode huh?” it was dangerous to get Tanya this riled up but she had to understand that he had certain responsibilities to The Brotherhood. Especially when a guy like Falcone went and made the whole mob look bad. “Go ahead then, lash out on me. Then maybe when you’re all done we can discuss this like reasonable adults!”

Jerking away she snatched the book she’d been reading off the bed, “You mean like normal ducks. Well here’s a newsflash Duke, WE’RE NOT NORMAL DUCKS! We’re a notorious jewel thief and a mutant mob leader. People like us will NEVER be normal! Normal people don’t have to worry about crooks like Falcone hunting them down for showing them up in criminal activities. Normal people aren’t mutants and they certainly don’t date them! Normal people don’t claim to be ex-thieves and still lead mobs back on their home planets You may have given up committing crimes Duke L’Orange but you didn’t give up on leading criminals!”

“Hey! Those guys just so happen to be good friends of mine. I’d think you of all people would understand that!” Duke shouted back. The others had probably huddled outside the door by now but he didn’t care, he was settling this and anything else that came up, even if it took til noon to do it!

“I do understand it Duke and you know that.”

“Then why’s it so hard for you to understand why I’ve gotta do this on my own?”

“Why can’t you understand the concept of teammates??”

“Cuz it puts you all at risks that ya really don’t need to be takin.”

“We all knew the risks when we joined up,” Tanya reminded him, “The only thing that gets us in trouble is forgetting why we’re a team. That’s why Nosedive and I nearly suffocated in that museum vault.”

Ya had to go and bring up the Pacific Museum vault. Duke knew where this would lead. It was a touchy subject alright and if Mallory was listening, she probably had an ear to ear grin sayin’ ‘I told ya so!’ plastered on her face. “I was off swapping those jewels Tanya, I had no idea he’d backed you both into a vault.”

“You would’ve if you hadn’t ditched us back at the entrance.” Tanya managed to say despite the lump forming in her throat. No time like the present to get something like this off her chest.

Now what L’Orange? Duke asked himself, You’ve really backed yourself into a corner this time.

“Tanya I-”

“You know what, just spare me your half-cocked heroic ethics Duke.” she was sick of this, the more she thought about the museum and Falcone the more disgusted she got with her boyfriend’s behavior. Tossing the book into the wastebasket she motioned for him to go, “As far as I’m concerned…chivalry’s dead.”


*ARG! Duke blew it! It seems that darn museum incident’s always coming back to haunt him. >_< But don’t worry. I’m a sucker for romance so the pair’s not through yet. ^_~ But it might take a little jealously to make Duke wanna be a fulltime team player. Reviews are appreciated.*


Part 3