Chapter Twenty-Nine: Leave It To Me!

“Are you serious? I didn't realise
Pete knew what women were!” Bill looked mock-shocked at the news.
“And LARA? They hated each others guts in school!”

“Quiet you.” Joe frowned at his
youngest son. “We should be happy for Peter, he's been alone for
so long now.”
“Why didn't he tell us?” Belle
asked, sitting at the table. The moment she'd figured out what was
going on with her father, she'd flown back to the tip, gotten changed
and then bolted home.
“Could be that things aren't quite
serious yet.” Bill shrugged. He turned to the pot of spaghetti
sauce he was making. “Don't sweat it kiddo, he'll tell us when
he's good and ready.”
“Yes Uncle Bill.” Belle sighed.
She was about to reach for her textbook when a warning look from her
grand-father stopped her.
“I'm going to go and play with Meow.
At least SHE doesn't judge me!” Belle huffed off. Joe chuckled
and leaned back in his armchair.
He absentmindedly rubbed his face. A
scar across his eye, from that stupid go-cart race. A scar on his
cheek, from the war. A scar on his lips, hidden by his beard, from a
fight with Tim after the war. He thought over his life, all the
twists and turns. He thought of when Peter first came home with
Belle, begging to be allowed to move back in. He thought of the
awful court case against her maternal grand-parents after the news of
her mothers death reached them. He thought of her now.
She had her heart in the right place at
least, he thought. At least she was trying. Unlike him. Even in
the war he'd been a coward, hiding behind the Code, trying not to get
involved in anything. It wasn't his business, he'd tried to
rationalise with himself, he was only there to look out for the two
men he called brothers. He'd been just as bad when he'd gotten home,
pretending that the crime problem in Pleasantville didn't effect him
or his family.
It was a lie, it HAD affected them.
Peter, Bill and Jessie had all grown up scared. None of them had
been allowed to spend time with friends after school, none of them
had been allowed on sleepovers or to have friends over. It had
killed Jessie, scarred Bill and steeled Peter.
'You're a coward.' Joe thought to
himself. He closed his eyes and leaned back into the chair. 'But
I'm cool with that.'
Belle stomped upstairs and into her
room. She opened the window and was about to jump out when she
remembered the tree no longer existed. There was just a rotten stump
where it used to be.
She rested her head on the window sill
and sighed. Charlie was out on a date with Sunny, so playing with
him was out. Meow was fast asleep on her bed, so that plan was a
bust too.
She thought back to a time when the
tree was still standing. She and Charlie had used it as a refuge
against the Jones siblings. She wondered what Daryl was up to, she
hadn't seen him since he left school.
Suddenly her watch began to flash blue.
Charlie and Sunny were in trouble!
“Put the money down and get out of
it.” Chuckles glowered at Mobster Marion. “And while you're at it
I'll have my sword back.”
“Naw, is the little loser feeling a
bit lost without having someone elses weapon to hide behind?”
Mobster Marion sneered back.
The Death Valley Mobsters had struck
again, this time at the biggest bank in the city. Master Revolver
was directing Mobsters who had looted huge amounts of money and
valuables towards the big trucks that were parked outside.
“We're almost done here.” Master
Revolver grinned. He swung the Lucky Seven Gun around his finger,
looking very pleased with himself.
Sir Lionheart, Sir Hyper and Sir Dark
were trying to impede the loading of the trucks, but it wasn't
working very well. Sir Hyper had nearly had his head removed twice
already and Sir Dark was sporting a new cut on his arm.
“You'll need to see Lady Luck about
that, get out of here, we'll handle this.” Sir Lionheart threw
another rock at the head of a Mobster, missing.
“You guys can't do this alone.” Sir
Dark protested.
“Give this up you two!” Lady
Courage cried from behind Chuckles.
“Aww, does Chuck-Up have a new
girlfriend? Where's that floaty little friend of yours?” Master
Revolver laughed. A flash of red hit him in the arm. He screamed in
pain as his arm was rendered immobile.
“I'm up here doofus.”
Chuckles and Lady Courage spun around.
Ruby Giggles was floating behind them, looking pleased with herself.
Master Revolver ripped the Ruby Shard out of his arm and flung it to
the ground where it shattered and disappeared. His arm still stung
with numbness and he glared at Ruby Giggles.
“You. What the hell have you done to
me?!” He roared angrily.
“Only what you deserve.” Ruby
Giggles replied. In her hand five more Ruby Shards appeared, and she
flung them with deadly accuracy at the other Mobsters, making all of
them drop in pain as arms and legs were struck.
She prepared to have another go at
Master Revolver, but the Ruby Shard was blocked by Mobster Marion and
the Lions Claw Blade.
“Let's get out of here.” Mobster
Marion called off the attack.
“I don't think so. You're staying
here until the police come to arrest you.” Ruby Giggles glared.
She flew at Mobster Marion with the tips of her fingers alight with
the Ruby Power and swiped at her foe. Marion jumped back but was too
slow to avoid a nasty cut on her cheek. Immediately the side of her
face started to sag.
“You little weasel!” Master
Revolver ran to Mobster Marions aid. Ruby Giggles grinned beneath
the mask.
Chuckles looked up at his best friend.
Now would have been the perfect time for her to swoop in and steal
back the Lions Claw Blade and the Lucky Seven Gun, but she wasn't
“Uh, Giggles? Wanna go and get our
weapons back?” Chuckles asked.
“You can go get the Lions Claw back
if you want, I don't need the Lucky Seven anymore.” Ruby Giggles
smirked. Chuckles shrugged and ran back to get his beloved sword
“HEY!” He jumped back as Mobster
Marion swung at him. “A little help here Giggles?”
“The police are here now, we'd better
check out. See you losers later!” Ruby Giggles flew off, leaving
Chuckles fuming.
“Why didn't you help me get my sword
back?!” Charlie yelled.
“Will you chill out? It's not like
you need it. I've just proved that I can beat the lot of them
without your help.” Belle brushed him off.
They were sitting at the tip waiting
for Thomas to come and pick them up. Charlie was still furious over
the lack of support coming from Belle.
“That's not the point! You know how
much that sword means to me!” Charlie cried. “I thought we had
each others backs!”
“We DO. Didn't I just save your
bacon?” Belle rolled her eyes.
“Charlie, it's okay, we can always
get it back later.” Sunny tried to comfort her boyfriend. He
shoved her off.
“You're supposed to be my best
friend.” Charlie said coldly.
“What's that supposed to mean?”
Belle frowned.
The honking of a horn broke up the
argument. The eight friends filed dejectedly into the two cars
driven by Thomas and Petunias father.
Things were changing.

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