Webby and the Boys
I don’t ship them. I want to make that clear, right now, that I don’t ship Webby with any of the boys.
In fact, if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I do ship her and Gosalyn. Which is the cutest thing ever. Fight me.
But I’m not talking about that, right now.
What I do want to talk about is Webby and the boys.
Webby’s only family is her grandmother. Her entire life has been spent inside a huge house, mostly alone, mostly entertaining herself while Mrs. Beakley attended to the various needs of Scrooge McDuck and his manor. And so she’s incredibly used to being alone. Being alone is what she’s best at.
Which is sad. To say the least.
It won’t be long, then, before the boys start to see that. Before they start to realize that she’s been alone long enough for it to become a habit. A chore. Another fixture of her personality. They’re her friends. And she’s theirs.
Actually… she’s not their friend, is she? They mull over it on their bunk beds one night. Scrooge was being crotchety, so Donald had moved them all out back to the house boat. Had tucked them into their bunk beds (sheets newly washed) after a dinner he’d scrambled together, and they’d been sitting on Dewey’s bed, quietly whispering to one another while Donald snores reached them from his own room, across the little floating pool boat.
“She’s our friend. We should help her.”
“She’s not our friend,” Louie said.
“What’re you talking about?”
Louie pointed towards Dewey. “She’s like you to me.”
“I’m your friend.”
“No. You’re my brother. There’s a difference.”
“So, she’s like my brother. Only a girl.”
Huey tilted his head and squinted his eyes and furled his lip. “There’s a word for that, you know.” He pat the bed. “A sister.”
“Sure.” said Louie, scrambling off the bunk towards his own. “Whatever you wanna call it.”
They call it that. But only to themselves. They’re not sure how Webby would react to hearing them claiming her with a title they’d made up. It felt wrong. A little like roping her into something they weren’t sure she’d like. An adventure she hadn’t approved.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t try to tinker. If only a little.
So they talk to their Uncle. Who, for his faults, had always been loving and caring and the best at knowing what to do. And he nods and agrees. They pile into their car and go to the Bed BirdBath and Beyond store a mile away.
Their cupboards are already stocked with plates. Blue ones, red ones, green ones, and white ones. So they pick out some pink ones. And a pink placemat. And a cup.
There’s a spare bed, above Louie (who offers up the space he’d been using to store video games and the occasional candy bar) and find a set of pink sheets and a duvet and hull them into the cart with the rest of the stuff. The toothbrush and the molting comb.
Donald had extra money from his side job being an accidental henchman, so they pay for it all. Plus an extra few video games. A reward, he tells them. For generosity.
Then it’s back into the car, and back to the boat, and back to the room, where they pull sheet corners round mattresses and drop toothbrushes besides the old ones, and stack the plates onto the pile in the kitchen.
When Webby does arrive the next time, for a sleepover that they’d been bothering her about all week, she’ll arrive in a place she recognizes but doesn’t. She’ll arrive home.
Her own bed. Her own cup. Her own space in the closet they’d made room for.
The boys and Donald act like nothing is different. But it is. And it isn’t.
She eats with them at her own seat. She’ll sleep on her own bed. And when they veg out on cereal the next morning, cartoons blaring, she’ll have her own spot on the couch that they’d moved all the comic books away from to make for her.
She integrates, slowly, her life into theirs. Donald makes room in the car. The boys make room in their dresser. Mrs. Beakley sees her half as much, but she’s fine with that. The commutes to school are easier, anyway, when she doesn’t have to search out Scrooge’s hired drivers. When she can just watch her grandchild be corralled into the car by Donald, who makes sure every one of them is buckled, hands out power bars, and fusses the entire way.
Donald drivers her crazy, sometimes, and they tell her off the side that it’s her initiation. When Donald tell her to wear her socks in the house to avoid splinters or glares at her down his beak when she breaks his favorite vase or forces her to wear the horrible life jackets.
“You’re one of his now,” they tell her, and she bites her lip to hide a squeal of delight. “Welcome to the family!”
She becomes one of them.
Webby is so much more than a friend. She’s a sister. They see it. Donald sees it. She… she’ll see it. Eventually.