Chapter Twenty-Six: From Bad…

Belle was elbow-deep in legal history. Even though she was only a part-time uni student, she still had assignments that needed to be done.

Due to the destruction of the University, Belle had to do all of her courses now online. While it meant she could do school full-time again, it was still a disappointment. Belle had loved being a uni student.
She could hear Woof yelping outside as Meow chased him. She figured one day she'd teach that cat to leave the poor dog alone. It was embarrassing really.
“Hey Belle! We're heading off to the movies, you wanna come with us?” Charlie poked his head in the window.
“I can't. I have an assignment due.” Belle replied.
“The Legal History one that you have a month to finish?” Charlie looked at her quizzically.
Belle sighed.
“Who else is going?” She asked, preparing to close her books.
Charlie hesitated. Belle immediately turned back to her books.
“If it's just you and Sunny then I'm not going.” She said flatly.
“It's not!” Charlie protested. “Actually, it's just me.”
“DEFINITELY not going.” Belle picked up her pen.
“We used to go to the movies together all the time Belle! Why not now?” Charlie begged.
“You have a girlfriend for that sort of thing.” Belle fired.
“Sunny doesn't have a problem with it!” Charlie snapped back. “You're the only one acting like this.”
“I don't feel comfortable with it, why is that such an issue?!” Belle turned around.
“Because we used to be inseparable. Don't you remember?” Charlie begged.
“Yeah, I remember. But you have someone else now.” Belle turned back to her books. “Go to the movies with Sunny. If everyone else is going then I'll come.”
“Go away Charlie, I'm busy.” Belle brushed him off. Charlie sighed. He climbed back across the shaky tree to his own bedroom and slammed the window shut.
Belle sighed too. On one hand, heading out to the movies with Charlie and everything being like it used to be sounded great…but things weren't the way they used to be. Plus, if she got this assignment done early enough, she could apply for an extra credit assignment, making getting into the University her father had studied at in Brisvegas a whole lot easier.
It had been a few months since Tate died. Webster and Maddy had headed back to Brisvegas to continue studying – Maddy was now pregnant too, which Webster was thrilled about. It seemed the impending baby took the edge off his pain of losing Tate.
Soon after, Bill came up with some snacks for Belle.
“Thanks Uncle Bill.” Belle dug into the yummy cream puffs.
“No problem.” Bill sat down on the bed. “You know, your father and Thomas had a HUGE fight just before we left for Brisvegas.”
“Really?” Belle perked up.
“Yeah. Your Dad was pretty jealous that Thomas had gotten School Captaincy, especially as your Dad was top of the class.” Bill remembered. “They needled each other all year, before finally they had a huge dust-up in the school yard. It didn't help that Thomas was a right royal prat about the whole thing.”
“He was?” Belle asked, curious.
“Your Dad thought he'd try and help out, try and pretend he wasn't jealous. Thomas let the power get to his head a bit and passed on a few of Petes ideas as his own. They were both in the wrong.” Bill laughed. “They made up a few years later when you were born though – Thomas flew down to Brisvegas almost the moment he heard you were in hospital, bringing a lot of Charlies old baby clothes and stuff. The night they found out that you were going to be okay, they went out drinking and made up.”
Belle smiled.
“The fact is, you can't just throw 500 years away over petty jealousy. Sooner or later you two will make it up.” Bill looked out of the window. Sure enough, Thomas and Peter were sitting down drinking a beer together.
“Yup. The moment they found out the secret of the Clause, they were inseparable again.” Bill laughed.
“The secret of the Clause?” Belle asked.
“Anyway, how's your studying going?” Bill quickly changed the subject.
“Okay…” Belle figured she wasn't going to get any more out of Bill.
“You're just like your father.” Bill chuckled. He ruffled her hair and let her continue her work. “He'll be late home too by the way – he's got a meeting to go to.”
“He's had a few of those.” Belle commented as Bill left.
“Kidnapping and extortion,” Mobster Marion said as she sat in her expensive limo with Master Revolver a few nights later. “Are two of my families staples. It's how we've kept a firm hold of the City Council for so long.”
“I still don't see how brute force wouldn't be at least as effective.” Master Revolver argued. “The Death Valley Gang was easily as powerful as the Mob, and we didn't resort to such wastes of time.”
“You were only able to keep your foothold because of our hard work!” Mobster Marion fired back.
“Then how come you were never able to get rid of us?” Master Revolver smirked.
Mobster Marion's eye twitched.
“Look, the point is, we're here to scare the Mayor into acting on our orders. Usually we don't need to resort to this, but due to the emergence of certain brats we don't have a choice.” She snapped.
Master Revolver didn't reply, but wore a satisfied smirk that rankled Mobster Marion.
“Stop here.” She barked at the driver. She limo stopped and she quickly got out. Master Revolver lazily joined her.
She went over to a nearby limo and punched out the driver. Her driver quickly stole the mans clothes as Mobster Marion pulled off the licence plate and swapped it with her own.
“Seriously?” Master Revolver looked amused.
“The Mayor has started taking security measures – not very good ones, but they're there none the less. We're just making sure we don't get caught.” Mobster Marion explained.
“Isn't this how you lost the Lions Claw Blade though?” Master Revolver asked.
“Don't remind me.” Mobster Marion growled. “At least I didn't lose the Lucky Seven Gun while trying to kidnap a bunch of kids!”
Master Revolver growled back. That foolish mess had been his idea, trying to mimic the Mobsters of Misneach, thinking that by expanding their operations they could become the dominant crime syndicate in Pleasantville. It had lost him his father and the family gun.
Never again.
Meanwhile, up above, Lady Courage, Chuckles and Giggles were sitting on the roof of a nearby building.
“The others are hanging around the Mayors house in case we stuff up.” Lady Courage explained. “Hopefully that won't be the case though.”
“This'll be easy. Let's just go in, kick some backside and get outta here. Mum's making meatloaf tonight.” Chuckles grinned.
“Whatever you say.” Giggles deadpanned. Chuckles was rankled, usually she'd rip his plans to shreds.
'I still have the Improbability Clause though. She can't take that off me.' He thought foolishly.
Chuckles bolted out first, followed closely by Lady Courage. Giggles flew overhead.
“And look who we have here.” Master Revolver pointed to Mobster Marion. “Now who'd have thunk it?”
“Luckily for you, I did.” Mobster Marion clicked her fingers.
“Argh!” Chuckles quickly stopped. Fifteen Mobsters had jumped out of the limo, and stood facing the heroes.
“Uh-oh.” Lady Courage looked at the group. “Well?”
Chuckles was frozen. He hadn't thought of what to do if they'd brought back up. He'd just assumed the Improbability Clause would mean it was only the three of them, proving that he had no clue on how the Clause really worked.
“Get them.” Mobster Marion smirked.
“Oh NO!” Giggles fired the Lucky Seven Gun at the feet of a few of the thugs, but it didn't deter them. She could only keep them at bay.
She panicked. Chuckles ALWAYS knew what he was doing, but now he looked like a fish out of water. She hadn't realised how much she relied on his confidence for her to know what to do. She thought of trying to take out the tyres of the limo, but the moment she aimed at them Master Revolver shot at her, making aiming impossible.
“Nice try little brat, but I learnt from the whole truck incident.” Master Revolver smirked.
Lady Courage and Chuckles were in big trouble. Lady Courage was already being contained by five of the Mobsters, while Chuckles was badly bruised and in danger of succumbing to them too.
Giggles swooped down and fired at the Mobsters who had a hold of Lady Courage. They jumped away giving Giggles enough time to grab her friend and deliver her to safety on top of a nearby roof.
“I'm going back for Chuckles, you let the others know what's happened.” Giggles commanded.
“Giggles! Wait! It's not safe!” Lady Courage tried to stop her, but Giggles was gone.
Chuckles was barely holding his own against the horde. Mobster Marion clicked her fingers again and the siege subsided. She slowly walked towards Chuckles, the clicking of her heels contrasting with the silence of the night.
“Now. This is where your life ends, and you stopping annoying the living daylights out of me.” Mobster Marion raised her sword. She brought it down hard, but one of the Arm Scythes stopped her.
She kept pushing, forcing the Arm Scythe back into Chuckles arm. He dropped the Lions Claw Blade in pain, just as Giggles swooped in firing the Lucky Seven Gun. She grabbed Chuckles and made her escape.
“No!” Chuckles cried, trying to reach for his sword. Too late, it was gone.
The last thing Chuckles and Giggles saw was Mobster Marion holding the Lions Claw Blade up to the sky.
“The Improbability Clause…it didn't work?” Chuckles looked dumbfounded as Giggles flew him off into the night.

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