To the Tune of an Electric Lullaby Part Four

DISCLAIMER: Fun with lawyers! Yeah that doesn't sound right. Anyway 
Megavolt, Bushroot, Quackerjack, Darkwing and Dean Tightbill are 
Disney's. Aero is Ang D. Mandy is Mandy's. John is John's. Lily, 
Maggie and Forrest are Tracey Pierce's. All other character's are 
mine.

THANKS: To Ang, Mandy, John and Tracey for letting me use their 
characters and in some cases listening to me rant about complete 
nonsense. And yes I give thanks to J.J. Thompson for having the 
decency to be dead so I don't feel so weird using his name.
****
It was strange.

The Keeper is ill.

The Heir is still confined.

Her heartbeat sounds with the watch.

They would remove the watch but fear stops them.

We are glad.

But the Keeper sleeps.

*********
The waiting room of the hospital was considerably less peaceful. 
Mandy shouted demanding to know where Ricia was. She looked ready to 
strangle somebody as Quackerjack tried to calm her down. Mandy 
fumed. "I will not calm down! I want to know..."

A voice interrupted her. "We're all worried Mandy." Mandy looked up 
to see Lily Bushroot holding a sniffling Forrest in her arms. 
"Ricia's tough, she'll be alright." Her husband walked over and put 
an arm around her shoulder. "I'm sure she will be." He frowned as he 
noticed who was in the waiting room. "You? Who invited you?"

Dean Tightbill sneered. "Well if it isn't Reggie Bushroot, King of 
Vegetables and Defender of Salads. For your information I was the 
one who called 911 to aid the young Fedora."

Bushroot was perplexed. "Why?"

Dean Tightbill looked smug but then slowly frowned as it occured to 
him that he had no idea.

Maggie tugged on her mother's skirt. "Mommy? When can we see Aunt 
Ricia?"

Lily looked down. "I don't know sweetie. The doctor's are busy."

"But I want to see her!"

"I know you do but try to be patient." She looked over at Mandy and 
was about to give her the same advice when a panicked Aero ran in 
dragging a frazzled Darkwing behind her. "Where is she? Is she 
okay?"

Mandy handed her a cup of coffee. "It's going to be a long wait."

*******
It's not time.

The center can not fall.

The Order must survive.

Must survive.

Too young.

The Heir is too young.

The Keeper must be told.

Call the one who came before.
*****
Megavolt stared at the wall trying to convince himself it had been a 
weird dream. Talk of Guardians and protecting the Heir and honoring 
the Order. It made his head spin. What had he gotten himself into 
marrying the Keeper of Time? He'd have to have a long talk with 
Ricia when she got home. Where was she anyway? He noticed some 
messages on the answering machine. Figuring she called he pressed 
the play button. Mandy's voice spoke and Megavolt ran out the door 
before he heard beyond the words Saint Canard Memorial.
*****

It was indeed very strange.

A creature so ultimately fragile set as the keeper of order. Of 
harmony. Of time itself.

A dying creature.

A creature who held within her, all hope for a future. A hope small 
but powerful and growing stronger.

The Heir was ready.

The Keeper was not.
*****

Ricia was used to finding herself in weird places where little made 
sense. Being a Keeper seemed to call for it.

"That hospital gown is not very becoming."

Ricia whirled around to face the new arrival. "Chronos!" She 
intinctively bowed slightly. "What is this about? What are you up 
to?"

Chronos looked hurt. "Me? This is not my fault. You're the one who 
has to be female. Keepers don't carry their children. At least not 
until you."

"I'm special. So what."

"Do you know where you are?"

"Here...being harrassed by you."

"Wrong! You are There and you are in a hospital."

"Why? Oh no...the baby!"

"The Heir is fine. Better then fine actually. You however are a 
mess. You'd still be sprawled on the floor of that delightful little 
clock shop if not for that old boss of yours. Tightwad isn't it?"

"Tightbill" Though Ricia thought Chronos' was more accurate. The 
thought of owing her life to Dean Tightbill made her ill. She shook 
her head. "Okay fine, but I'll going to be okay right? I mean we 
can't have a Keeper who's a new born! They couldn't handle the..." 
Ricia felt a wave of dizziness strike her and she sat down on what 
she assumed was the ground. She put her head in her hands and moaned.

Chronos reached down and helped her to her feet. "My girl, you are 
unique. This has never happened in all the history of the Order. 
But...the child most be born this night."

Ricia shook her head. "It doesn't work that way Chronos!"

The last thing Ricia saw was Chronos' glaring face. "Make it work 
that way Fedora."

tick....tick...tick tick tick
*****

It was strange.

What was normal was deeply fixed in the bizarre...but the bizarre 
were so horribly normal.

A watch that kept track of a Keeper's life but would ultimately mean 
diaster.

But the Order would survive.

The Keeper would survive.

We don't want her...not yet.

Call the Keeper's Guardian. He will obey.
*****

Ian Featherton was horrified by all that was going on. He had been 
so happy when he found out about Ricia's pregnancy. At last his 
greatest worries could be put behind him and Ricia could stop 
suffering. At least that's what he thought until Ricia had suddenly 
collapsed. He hadn't needed Ricia's friend to tell him. He knew.

"Guardian?"

"Yes Master?"

"You will protect the Keeper."

"I can't save her from everything! She's ill. She sleeps."

"She will awaken. The one who came before has explained."

"She's awake?"

"She will. She must present the Heir."

Ian was startled. "But, in her weakened state..."

"She will survive. We don't require her with us. Not yet. It is time."

Ian knew when the Masters had made up their minds. He gave his 
response automatically. "Time is everythng."

******
Ricia woke with a start. She looked around trying to remember 
everything that happened. She shuddered and brought a hand to her 
stomach. The door swung open and in burst her friends.

Megavolt dashed to her side and hugged her gently and if afraid she 
would break. "Ricia, I told you not to work yourself too hard. Are 
you alright?"

Ricia smiled and closed her eyes appreciating this tender moment. 
"I'm fine...sort of. Honey, the Masters want me to have the child 
now."

Lily frowned. "The Masters?"

Ricia ruffled Forrest's hair causing him to giggle. She looked up. 
"It's complicated Lily, let's just say I take my orders from them. 
Anyway it's not a good idea to refuse a direct order."

Aero frowned. "But is it safe for the child? If you get a C-Section, 
could the child be in danger."

John, who had learned late about Ricia's predictament looked 
worried. "Ricia, will you be in danger?"

Ricia shook her head. "The Masters wouldn't order me to die. The 
Order can't survive without a Keeper. No I'm sure I'll be safe." She 
reached for Megavolt's hand. "But I won't do anything if you don't 
want me to."

Megavolt blinked several times. "Ricia I...."

"Don't make him think too much. Wouldn't want to destroy that one 
lonely brain cell."

Ricia glared at the new arrival but stopped when she saw who it was. 
"Dean Tightbill. You saved my life and my child's life."

Tightbill frowned. "Everyone makes mistakes."

Ricia looked sad. "Thank you."

He paled slightly and looked ill. "You're welcome. I have to leave."

Bushroot looked up. "Oh really. Gosh too bad."

Tightbill glared at the plant duck before walking out.

Megavolt kissed his wife's hand. "I believe you Ricia. I hope we 
aren't wrong."

Ian walked into the room. "It is time."

Ricia smiled. "And time is everything." She frowned. "You know 
what's going on?"

Ian nodded. "It'll be alright, my girl. I'll see to it that no harm 
befalls either you or the precious child."

Mandy went over to the bed and hugged Ricia. "I know you'll be 
okay....just...make sure you are."

Ricia laughed. "I'll do my best. You'll be baby-sitting you know. 
It'll be good practice for you."

Quackerjack blushed at that. Mandy smiled. "Thanks Rish."

Ian frowned. "This is all very lovely and touching but we can't 
waste time. Where's the doctor?"

The doctor chose that moment to walk in. "Right here. What did you 
need?"

Ricia took a deep breath and started explaining.
*****

It is strange.

The Keeper holds a Keeper.

He will be with the watch soon.

Not soon to them.

But to us.

Quite soon.

A child, so small.

Very strange.
*****

"Meet your son, Thompson Jakob Sputterspark."

Megavolt was speechless. He looked at the child. Thompson was the 
same species as him...or looked it anyway. He did, however have his 
mother's deep purple coloring. On his head a small amount of brown 
hair stuck out in several directions and when he opened his eyes one 
could see one blue and one green eye.

The woman in the room cooed at the child while the men slapped 
Megavolt on the back in congratulations.

Mandy grinned. "Oh Ricia, he's adorable! You're so lucky."

Maggie tried to push her way past all the adults. "I want to see!"

Bushroot picked up Maggie and Lily picked up Forrest to give them a 
better look.

Maggie gasped. "Oh he's so small!" Forrest just watched curiously.

Ricia stroked the child's face softly. "Hello my darling. You'll 
learn who all these people are soon."

Darkwing walked over. "Hello, Thompson, I am Darkwing Duck!"

Thompson yawned elicting laughter from everyone but Darkwing.

Aero shook her head. "I don't think he's impressed."

Darkwing scowled. "Just like his father."

Megavolt smiled. "Father, I'm a father."

Quackerjack looked at Mandy in mock sadness. "And he just realized 
that. Sad really."

Ricia smiled but then saw John staying to the side. "John? Don't you 
want to meet Thompson."

John grinned. "I didn't want to interrupt anybody."

Ricia laughed. "Of course. Ever the audience member. C'mon let 
Thompson see his Uncle John."

John's smile widened at that and he walked over.

Ian bent down to whisper in Ricia's ear. "You've done well Keeper. 
He'll make a great Keeper...like his mother." A flash of sadness hit 
his eyes but was quickly replaced with the usual sparkle. "Be happy 
Ricia, your worries are over." 

Ricia looked at him and smiled. "Thank you Ian. Thank you for 
everything."

He just nodded and stepped back.

Ricia handed Thompson to Megavolt to hold and sat back watching the 
others. She listened to the sound of the watch. Somehow it didn't 
seem as loud.

The End.

Once again comments,flames and parenting tips can be sent to
masterfedora@hotmail.com

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