Chapter Fifty-Six: Domestic Disputes
"You're joking right?" Sunny gasped.
"You mean the March Hill Crusaders are back?!" Sam yelped.
"And they're trying to take over the Council?" Daniel looked concerned.
"And REVOLVER and MARION saved your necks?!" TJ couldn't believe it.
Chuckles and Giggles had returned to the hideout at the tip, and were instantly swamped by the Knights of the Last Order (minus Webster, who was still snotty with them).
"This is bad." Tammy sat back, thinking hard.
"You think? You wouldn't believe what they have. They have the Mystic Eight Gun and the Dragon Scale Scythe, which are like the nastier versions of the Lucky Seven and the Lions Claw." Chuckles pulled off his bandanas, becoming Charlie Begly again.
"The whatta?" Petunia asked.
"I didn't get it either." Belle shrugged off her Backpack. "Charlie knows more than me."
"I found out when I was in Awesomica that the Lucky Seven and the Lions Claw had cousins." Charlie went on to explain. "I ran into the guys who had the slightly inferior versions if you will – the Palatable Six Gun and the Stingrays Tail Whip. I guess that means there's more of those weapons out there."
"Hmmm…" Belle began to think. "I think I might have read about something like that in one of my history books."
"Are we going to hear about it all day every day for the next month?" Charlie asked dryly.
Luckily for him, Belle is too short to strangle him. Unfortunately, she could still kick his shins.
The March Hill Crusaders were back with a vengence. Over the next month they raided every bank in the city, attacked the school, robbed each of the shopping centres and antagonised the Death Valley Mobsters at every opportunity. Between the crimes and the gang-war, Chuckles, Giggles and the Noble Knights of the Last Order found themselves exceptionally busy.
"This is insane. I seriously don't know who I am some days!" Belle complained to her father. "Yesterday we helped the Crusaders stop the Mobsters from stealing some valuable paintings that were being transported through town, but the day before we were helped by the Mobsters to stop the Crusaders from killing the City Counsellors!"
"Be grateful none of the other crime families have come back." Peter said dryly. "I'm as confused as you are."
"At least there's no chance of them teaming up together, there's a LOT of bad blood between them; Master Revolver hates Crusader Mark with a passion, and Mobster Marion isn't that fond of Crusader Roger. I haven't even started with how much trouble Demon and Ruby are causing." Belle was slumped back on the couch next to her father, who was also exhausted.
"The return of the Crusaders has seen a spike in my work." Peter groaned. "I haven't had this much work since before the Mob and the DVG merged."
"Hey, you're just prosecuting, I'm prosecuting AND protecting the city!" Belle poked her father in the ribs.
"Well I'm prosecuting AND taking care of your scrawny arse!" Peter tickled her back, and the pair laughed.
Just then, Maddy walked in with Tate. She looked upset and Tate looked ropeable.
"Is Lara around?" Maddy asked.
"What happened?" Peter asked as Belle went to hug her friend.
"Webster happened. We had a fight. A really big one." Maddy began to cry. Belle sighed.
"Was it about you-know-who again?" She asked.
Maddy nodded. "He refuses to hear even the slightest bad thing about her, and if I try to talk about us he shuts down."
"This is getting beyond a joke." Peter shot up the stairs to get his wife, while Belle tried to comfort Maddy and the young Tate, who was still too young to understand what was going on, and what her namesake had done.
"Hey Tate, you wanna come and see my new scooter?" Ozzie came flying back down the stairs. Belle could have hugged him.
"Sure." Tate ran off after her older friend.
"I have the best little brother in the world." Belle grinned at Maddy, who smiled back.
"I have two older sisters and three younger brothers. They drive me insane." She tried to laugh. Soon Lara was downstairs and the three were digging into a bowl of ice cream together.
"THRUST! PARRY! THRUST! PARRY!" Yelled Daniel.
"I really don't think this is how swordfighting works." Sunny watched as TJ and Sam thrusted and parried respectively at the tip.
"I KNOW this isn't how swordfighting works!" Webster rolled his eyes. "You ever see Charlie restorting to this sort of tomfoolerly?"
"You are SERIOUSLY starting to get on my nerves." Petunia scowled.
"I honestly don't know how you guys aren't dead yet. Your weapons and armour are seriously flimsy and outdated, you have ZERO training and you don't take it seriously at all!" Webster groaned.
"We learned on the job. Best sort of training there is!" Tammy fired.
"We DO take it seriously, we just know how to have a laugh at ourselves!" TJ snapped.
"And our weapons have served us well thus far, why mess with the classics?" Sunny finished.
"No wonder Belle gets exasperated with you lot." Webster shook his head.
"At least she has a sense of humour." TJ frowned.
"Why do you even bother with us if you think we're so inferior?" Daniel threw himself up to his full height, which rivaled Charlie. "There's nothing forcing you to join us, you could easily do what Izzy and Lizzy did and form your own crime-fighting group."
"Because I thought you guys knew what you were doing! Instead, you're constantly getting your backsides handed to you requiring Belle and Charlie to come flying in to the rescue!" Webster groaned.
"Not entirely true, there's been plenty of occassions when we've jumped in to save their skins!" Daniel told him. "And we're the ones who kept this city safe while they were on hiatus!"
"And you did a brilliant job at that." Webster muttered.
"What's going on here?" They jumped at a voice coming from behind a pile of rubbish.
"Just this idiot being…well…an idiot." Daniel scowled at Webster, who sneered back as Belle and Charlie joined the fray.
"I wouldn't push your luck, Maddy told us what you said to her – telling her she's not your best friend and never will be was a low blow." Charlie frowned at Webster. "You seriously suck as a boyfriend."
"And this all because I won't marry her?!" Webster bit back, his face beginning to colour with rage.
"NO, because you're an absolute prick to her! How come you keep bringing up Tate? Didn't Pleasantville University get destroyed because YOU chose Maddy over Tate?!" Belle immediately launched into an offensive (well, the Masters Code does stipulate that a Masters shouldn't hold back). "Surely you would think that you loved Maddy enough that you wouldn't need to bring Tate up again every five seconds!"
Webster let out a low growl. They didn't understand. Tate had been more than just his friend, she had been…
"You don't know anything, so quit acting like you do. You're all still just kids." Webster turned on his heel and made to leave. Belle made to go after him, when her phone rang.
"You're joking right?" She said as Bill politely informed her that there was ANOTHER gang war going on over Lake Pleasant. "We'll be there as soon as we can. Got ya. Love you too!"
"Another turf war?" Sunny groaned as Belle hung up the phone. "Why don't we just leave them at it?"
"We try to, unfortunately they tend to pick battlegrounds where there's a wealth of civilians around for them to kill and injure." Belle shrugged off her rucksack and pulled out her Giggles attire. "Are you going to join us or are you sulking?" She scowled at Webster.
"I'm coming." Webster scowled back, getting his Sir Hedgehog gear out of his bag.
"Well, it's nice to know that we'll have team unity on our side." Charlie joked as he clipped on the Arm Scythes.
"Why is it when ever there's a turf war I seem to get caught dead in the middle of it?!" Peter Masters whined as a battle raged in the streets around him. He, Lara and Maddy were hidden under a market stall near the shores of Lake Pleasant.
"Chuckles and Giggles should be here soon." Lara said hopefully.
Maddy looked down. If Chuckles and Giggles were coming, then it meant the Knights of the Last Order would be with them.
Webster would be with them.