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Everything Changes

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There we so many things he had planned. Breakthroughs, leads, award ceremonies. A convention here and there, maybe. He didn’t know, maybe. Maybe...

But she changed all of it. Everything, every day was going to be focused on his daughter, who swept her way into his life in an instant with no regard for his carefully arranged plans. Who he was before didn’t matter, so long as she had everything she needed. Every project, homework, every new hockey stick and skates. His messy bachelor life wasn’t suitable for a child, or himself for that matter.

Everything changes. Her last name, his (their) address, the sad old futon he’d been using long since his college years were over. The little three-bedroom house that held their crazy, whirlwind life as they transitioned from foster to adoption and finally to family. He loved Gosalyn more than...well, more than himself, really. He swore to himself that he would always remember that he was no longer just Drake Mallard, the struggling actor, but Drake Mallard. A father, a superhero- her superhero.  

Her demeanor changes. Maybe not by much, but he can tell a comfortable child from an uncomfortable one. Her wonderfully green eyes used to be so..vacant, so distant. But as he watches her through the dining room window, he sees just how bright that green can be, how vibrant and full of energy. 

He wishes he could have some of that energy, sometimes. 

Drake turns from the window as a timer sets off in the kitchen, just in time to see smoke just start to creep from the oven. He rushes to grab an oven mitt, coughing into his shoulder as he pulls a decently toasted frozen pizza out onto the counter. He waves a dishcloth above the smoke to keep the alarm from going off, again. He didn’t need to explain to the firemen why they were getting called to his house for the third time that week. 

As he grabs plates and cups, he hears the front door bang open and the stomping of two pairs of feet make their way into the house. He doesn’t turn as they enter, arms wrapping around him from behind as Gosalyn appears beside him to take a deep inhale of cheesy heaven. 

“Pizza again? I’d think you were spoiling me if I didn’t know better.” She commented with a mischievous smirk up at him. 

“Thank god you know better.” He answers, grinning knowingly as a low chuckle comes from the man behind him.

Launchpad grabs a plate handed to him, going to sit at the kitchen table as Gosalyn hops in place until she’s handed her own plate, “I don’t think she does, D.” He joins in the teasing, sharing a small smile with the shorter man as he joins them at the table.

Drake snickers and then smacks the sneaking hand away from his pile of pepperonis he’s making, causing Gosalyn to whine and huff as she goes back to eating her own slices. He shares a knowing smile with Launchpad, who gives it right back.

“Gos, sweety, we need to talk to you.” He says after a pause, watching as those green eyes find his and brows furrow. She swallows her mouthful of pizza, arms lowering to her sides.

“If this is about Honker saying your Halloween costume was tacky, I told him it was a joke.” She quipped, looking between them.

Drake scoffed as LP held back a laugh, “No, this isn’t about that. He said it was tacky?” He asked, frowning in thought before shaking his head, nodding for Launchpad to continue.

The burlier man cleared his throat, clearly nervous before smiling at Gosalyn, “We were just wondering about your name.”

Drake watches as his daughter gets that look, the one where she’s thinking long and hard about how crazy they must be as she asks, “My name? What’s wrong with my name?”

“It’s not finished.” Launchpad smiles, looking to Drake for reassurance as he takes his hand, “Don’t you think?”

She looks between them again, the beginning of an annoyed frown working its way upon her features, “You guys are being weird. What are you talking about?”

He looks at Launchpad, a giddy laugh bubbling out of him before he can help it and leaning into his side, as the bigger of the two watches him fondly. 

“Okay, seriously, someone tell me what’s going on!” Gosalyn protests, “What’s this even about?”

Launchpad reaches for her hand, which she easily takes- the sight makes Drake’s already full heart swell just a little more as he reaches for the other one, feeling the small and calloused hand grip at his own with the strength of a duck twice her age.

“Gos, what if we changed your last name? To Mallard-McQuack.” Launchpad asks hesitantly, smiling at her and rubbing his thumb over the back of her hand. Drake watches as those bright eyes shift from confused, to knowing, to happiness and then downright giddy. She squeals, bounding out of her seat and around the table to hug them both, laughing in that frantic way she had during her adoption signing.

“Yes! Absolutely, duh! Are you guys serious?!” She pulls back to look between them, “You’re finally getting married for real? Who proposed? Who has the ring? OH- can I be the ring bearer? Or flower girl? Or BOTH?!” 

Launchpad’s shaking his head and chuckling, hand going to muss up her hair, “Slow down, kiddo! Take a breather. I got a video of the whole thing we can watch later.” He winked, nudging her.

Drake leaned to kiss her forehead, “And you can be the ring bearer, flower girl, AND the one to walk me down the aisle. How’s that?”

She nods enthusiastically, grinning and pulling them both into another hug, “Perfect. Now both my dads are my for-real-on-paper dads.” 

Drake and LP lock eyes over her head, both getting slightly teary-eyed and joining hands around hugging their daughter. Then Gosalyn’s stomach growls, and they all break apart laughing. She goes back to her seat, smirking as she manages to snag a few of Drake’s pepperonis.

Y’know what?” She speaks through her grinning mouthful as her fathers join hands again on the table, “Changing my last name is gonna be awesome.”