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Taking the Fall
By Razoth RedFire

Chapter 1

Robbie chuckled to himself, moving quickly towards the inner mechanics of the airship. There would be no mistakes this time. I’ll get that blue sports pixie this time, but I have to hurry! That rampaging lawnmower will only keep the fool busy for so long…

The willowy man bent over the open panel, dexterously wiring a small black box into the now-open control panel. Glancing around nervously, he bit his lip in concentration as he began making the last few adjustments to his handiwork. With this, that Sportakook won’t be able to speed around like he usually does. He’ll never be able to reach people in time to save them from trouble! He’ll have to retire and leave Lazytown out of shame! Failed super hero! Hah, I can see it now…

Robbie closed his eyes in pleasure at the thought, a sly smile gracing his pointed features as he indulged momentarily in the daydream. That one, split-second moment when it all went wrong. As he relished the scene playing through his mind, he unconsciously leaned back, jostling some of the wiring. A snap of cables unplugging and electric crackling ended his reverie abruptly as the airship began to shudder and list to one side.

Robbie began to panic, hurriedly adjusting and prodding the wiring and pilot controls to no avail. Gritting his teeth in frustration, another quake from the airship sent him tumbling to the ground, groping for a handhold. Thin fingers began searching along the floor for the catch to open the poled platform, searching for escape. Robbie’s eyes were drawn inexorably to the blobs of shape and color beginning to rush up to meet the aircraft. Finally, his fingers located the trigger. He crawled over to catch hold of the lowering bar when another jolt shook the dirigible, sending him flying down the hole and off the platform into open space. There were a few confusing seconds of light and motion. Someone was screaming his name. Then the world dissolve into pain as his fall came to a stop in a series of rolling blows, depositing him unceremoniously in the dirt. His whole body seemed to be filled with liquid fire as a shape rushed to his side, towering over him. Whatever it said was drowned out by his own pained moans before Robbie’s eyes rolled back and he was enveloped in the blessed, numb darkness.

Sportacus had run as fast as his legs could carry him, tailing after his falling ship, but even as speedy as the hero was he had been unable to catch the purple streak that had been thrown overboard before its crash into the billboard. A look of uncharacteristic shock was plastered on his face as he dropped to the ground, examining the broken figure sprawled out on the ground before him. “Robbie!” he called again, and slitted gray eyes gazed up at him uncomprehendingly before rolling back in a faint.
Footsteps rang out behind the superhero as the rest of the town came to view the accident. Sportacus rose to his feet as the kids and the mayor ran into view. “Guys! Can you get some help as quick as you can? Robbie’s been badly hurt…”

“Oh my God…what happened? He’s not dead, is he?” Stephanie paled as she took in the odd angle of some of Robbie’s limbs, one hand fluttering up to her mouth. The mayor was oddly quiet for once, setting his mouth in a grim line before rushing off.

“I think he’ll be ok, Stephanie, as long as we get him some help. Don’t you have a doctor here in town?”

“N-no. We’ve always just gone to the clinic in the next town over. I mean…we’ve never had anyone this seriously hurt before.” Stephanie tentatively stretched a hand towards Robbie’s limp form before being stopped gently but firmly by Sportacus’s hand.

“We shouldn’t move him if we don’t have to. He could get more hurt.” Sportacus frowned thoughtfully, shifting his weight from one foot to another. His finally lifted his gaze to rest on Pixel. “Pixel, I’m not sure how much you know about airplanes, but could you come with me to look at my ship? We may end up needing it. Stephanie, could you watch Robbie for me?” As soon as Stephanie mutely nodded her consent, Sportacus picked up Pixel and dashed away towards the crash site. Not a minute was to be wasted.

Trixie and Ziggy arrived at the airship a little over an hour later, bearing news from the Mayor. Doctors from the neighboring village had agreed to help in any way they could, but there was the small problem of reuniting them with their patient. From the mayor’s description, Robbie was too seriously injured to be moved by a bumpy, jerky automobile. At the same time, the doctors would be highly limited in what they could do for him away from the hospital and most of their equipment. Sportacus nodded, taking it all in stride. He’s seen broken bones many times before, if not nearly as serious.

Sportacus turned back to his work on the control panel where Pixel was still slaving away, helping him to try to repair the damage. “Man, Robbie sure did a number on this thing. A lot of the circuits have been totally fried,” the technophile mused, tentatively rewiring connections. “Luckily, most of the stuff isn’t really needed in good weather if you know what you’re doing, especially in a ship that never really lands.”
“So, you can make it work soon?”

“Work, yes, but it’ll be slow, awkward, and a lot of the…non-essentials won’t be working. It shouldn’t be too much longer, especially with the hull relatively undamaged by the crash.”

Sportacus gave a crinkle-eyed smile. “Thank you, Pixel. You’re a true friend. I’ll be right back, ok? I have to go talk to the mayor.” With that, he cartwheeled over to Trixie and Ziggy. Jumping out of the ship and sliding down the now-decimated billboard, they raced back towards town.

A short time later, Sportacus was pedaling slowly towards the hospital, taking care not to steer into rough air currents and jostle his fragile charge any more than he had to. Pixel had finished fixing up the airship controls to the best of his ability while he and the townsfolk had formed a crude airlift stretcher, delicately lifting Robbie into it and securing him as best they could. Sportacus had insisted on getting him to the hospital as quickly as possible, and the dirigible seemed to be the best way to move him while causing as little further trauma as possible. Sweat broke out on his brow as he navigated to the best of his ability. Minutes seemed to stretch into eternity before they finally arrived at the hospital in Vigorville. The ship slowly descended to hover close to the pavement, and Sportacus somersaulted off the ramp, ghosting along behind the doctors as they unhooked the suspended litter and rushed their patient into the Emergency Room. The short athlete was stopped abruptly when an equally petite nurse shoved herself in front of the doors, blocking his path.

“I’m sorry, sir, but you aren’t allowed in the Trauma Room.”

“But…I have to go! What if something happens to him?” Sportacus gestured worriedly, trying to peer around her to where the doctors were carting Robbie away.

The nurse’s expression softened a little and she took on a knowing look. “Don’t you worry, sir. The doctors will take good care of him. They’ll do whatever they can for him, and then we’ll let you go visit.” She gently grasped his arm and steered him into a seat by the doors. “Would you like me to get you something?”

Sportacus squirmed restlessly in his chair. “Er…some water maybe? I just don’t know what I should be doing. You say I should wait, but I feel like I should be helping somehow!”

The pretty blond nurse nodded, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. “Most people feel that way when a loved one comes in here, especially when they’re badly hurt. Some just sit around in shock, but some need things to occupy their mind while they wait. If you’re agreeable, we can find something for you to do while the doctors work.” She smiled warmly. “Wait right here and I’ll be back, alright?”

Sportacus nodded numbly as she strode off, no longer really listening. Loved one?

It felt like floating, of a sort. Floating or sinking into heavy liquid, watching shapes, lights, ideas drift by without seeing clearly, without being able to move. His muscles may not have been able to move and his head may have been filled with fog, but a slow aching still seeped through to his mind. He would have moaned if he could have gotten his vocal cords to work. Disjointed sounds were floating to his ears, but his brain could make no sense of anything. His incoherent thoughts drifted as forms moved busily around him, opening one eye to shine a light blinding light in, causing cool air to rush over his skin, and above all making damnable noise. He fought to remember what had happened, what was happening, but he got only flashes of rushing wind and blue. Blue sky, blue cloth. Blue eyes. Then one of the annoying, prodding shapes triggered a spike of fire and the world went dark once more.

Chapter 2

Sportacus had just finished delivering dinner to a patient when the same nurse (Lisa, her name tag had said) flagged him down. “The doctors are ready to see you now. They’ll be able to answer any questions you have, and then you’ll be allowed to visit, alright?”

He followed Lisa, twisting and turning in the white, sterile maze until they reached a small group of doctors conferring amongst themselves. They turned at their approach, and Sportacus’s heart sank as every last one of them assumed a sympathetic expression.

He followed Lisa, twisting and turning in the white, sterile maze until they reached a small group of doctors conferring amongst themselves. They turned at their approach, and Sportacus’s heart sank as every last one of them assumed a sympathetic expression.

“Robbie, he’s alright isn’t he? He’s going to be ok?” Sportacus worriedly asked.

One of the doctors, a kindly bald man rather reminiscent of the mayor, stepped forward. “Chances are good that he will recover, yes. However, he is seriously injured. His right leg was broken in two places and quite a few of his ribs are broken as well. He has fractures on his left arm and shin. He sustained serious head trauma, and unfortunately we don’t know the extent or what the symptoms will be. It’s different for every case. He also has some internal bleeding, and we’ve done all we can for that. He will need care for quite some time, both in the hospital and once he is released.” At that, the doctor peered over his glasses at Sportacus intently. “We can discuss the specifics of his care once you are ready. Until then, you may stay in the room with him if you agree not to disturb him in any way. Otherwise, we can offer you a guest room here on the 3rd floor. Lisa informed us you would most likely want to remain close by, yes?”

Sportacus nodded, his throat closing up and leaving him speechless. As the doctors got paged away he followed Lisa through the doorway before coming to stand before an almost unrecognizable figure. Even paler than normal, Robbie’s normal purple ensemble had been replaced with baggy white hospital garb, making him look even more slender than normal. Almost hidden beneath the wrappings, tubes, and other medical paraphernalia, Robbie’s face was relaxed and peaceful. Sportacus couldn’t ever recall seeing him look like that before. He looks so much younger, he thought as he took a seat beside the bed. Almost…pretty?

Sportacus shook his head and glanced mournfully around the room. Staying still and quiet like the nurses wanted wasn’t going to be fun or easy, but he would have to do it. He was who he was, and he never let anyone down that needed him.

Hours and quite a few warnings later, Sportacus was frenziedly doing a string of calisthenics as quietly as possible. It just wasn’t possible to just do nothing! He couldn’t see how other people did it. He was on his 5th set of sit-ups when a muffled sound came from the bed. Springing to his feet, he flipped himself to the side of the hospital cot in time to see Robbie’s gray eye slowly open, a pained and confused expression gracing his sharp features. His eyes drifted over to the man leaning over him and confused light in his eyes only increased.

“What…where am I?…who’re you? Some kinda…blue pixie?”

Sportacus blinked in surprise. “Robbie? You’re in the hospital. You got hurt pretty badly. You don’t remember?”

“No, not really. Little bits and pieces, but…that explains this, I guess.” He feebly touched the bindings around his head before dropping the arm back with a sigh. He settled down a little further under the covers, glancing back up at his visitor and giving a dreamy little smile.

Sportacus stared. He would have poked the man to ensure this was indeed Robbie if he wasn’t certain that would only hurt him more. …why is he blushing? He looks happy. That’s good! Sportacus settled on this explanation and returned the shy smile warmly, much to the patient's obvious delight. “Well, I can tell you anything you need to know. You fell off my airship in Lazytown, so we’ll have to take care of you for a little while. Do you remember Lazytown? …Robbie?”

Robbie started out of his daydream, creasing his brow in thought. “Yes, vaguely. Lots of annoying, loud kids. Lots of boring, stupid adults, and…It’s all a little hazy.”

“The doctors told me it might be because you hit your head so hard. But don’t worry! They told me it goes away after awhile.” Sportacus cheerfully grinned, almost bouncing back and forth on the balls of his feet while Robbie stared with that odd expression again. “You’ll probably have to stay here for a little while, then we can figure out what to do when they let you go.”

Robbie blinked, his expression becoming more lucid as his location finally sunk in. “Stay? Here? That’s impossible! Who knows what sort of healthy things they’re going to do to me, make me do! Not to mention the food!” He gagged involuntarily at the thought. No nutritionist was going to get his sterilized paws on him, that’s for sure!

“But Robbie, being in a hospital can’t be that horrible! They only want to make you better. Besides, I hear their food is very good for you.” Robbie’s face contorted into a panicked expression and one of the little machines filling the corners of the room began to beep in warning. Eying the tiny flashing lights, Sportacus shifted uncomfortably. They’re going to come yelling at me again. I can’t leave the hospital yet, though!

Turning his attention back to Robbie, he shushed all his complaints by laying a hand gently on his unwrapped arm. “Robbie, I don’t think it will be as bad as you think, but…what do you want me to do? You need help to get better.”

“Since you seem to know so much, why don’t you help me?” Robbie spat in return, red-faced and glaring. “I want to get out as soon as possible from this…hospital.” He shuddered, then looked Sportacus directly in the eye. “I don’t remember who you are, but if you’re really interested in helping, you’ll help me get out of here.”

Sportacus blanched a little at the request, but he couldn’t seem to draw his gaze away from Robbie’s frank stare. Finally, he sighed and nodded his agreement. “No promises, but I will try to talk to the doctor. Just try to rest and get better, won’t you…?”

But his companion, satisfied by the response, had already sunk back into unconsciousness.

“What?!? You want us to what?!?” Doctor Dynamic shouted, unable to believe his ears. “Do you not understand how critical his condition is? He needs proper medical care if he is to have a chance of full recovery!”

“I understand, doctor. However, Robbie was very unhappy the thought of having to stay here for so long, and all those little machines started going crazy when he was upset,” Sportacus reasoned. “That’s a bad thing, isn’t it? Don’t patients have to feel calm and safe to get better? I don’t think he’ll get better if he’s so unhappy. Can’t you tell me what needs to be done for him? I could probably take care of him, and then I could get back to helping people in Lazytown. I don’t know how they’re getting along without me!”

The heated argument continued, both sides scoring points before Doctor Dynamic sighed and buckled to Sportacus’s sheer tenacity. “Fine! Fine! Just know that he’s your responsibility from now on. Lisa will give you all the specifics for his care. Now just…go!…and no flipping on hospital grounds!”

Chapter 3

The first thing he noticed was the bed. The mattress was much softer, the blankets not so scratchy. Robbie gave a sigh of relief and tried to turn over onto his side, only to feel a stab of pain shoot through him and firm pressure keeping him locked in place. Opening his eyes, he blinked at the bright whiteness above him. Not at home, then. Why do I hurt so much? This isn’t the hospital…Grimacing with the pain lancing through him with each breath, he raised his head slightly to get a look around. He seemed to be strapped securely to a small white bed in a room that seemed oddly familiar…

Oh no. No, no, no. That elf has gone and kidnapped me! Robbie’s eye widened in panic and he struggled to break free from his bindings before sinking back into the bed with a gasp. Whatever Sportakook had done to him, he wasn’t going to be able to get out of it anytime soon. Giving his good arm another irritable jerk, Robbie glared at nothing in particular and tried to remember how he’d arrived in his present situation.

I was up here trying to sabotage this flying monstrosity. I remember…falling…and something about a hospital. If it were physically possible to move any less at that point, Robbie would have stilled at the resurgence of his memories. I didn’t. Someone please tell me I didn’t act like a smitten fool in front of Sportakook. Robbie snarled silently to himself before a thought occurred. Wait a minute. Even if that did happen, since when would that idiot be observant enough to notice? He wouldn’t even know what it meant if he did! Besides, it was probably all the medicine talking anyways.

Satisfied with this reasoning, the villain opened his eyes once more to figure out an escape plan when a sound made his heart speed up. Isn’t that the sound of the entrance panel? More noises followed, and with a soft whoosh of moving air the hero himself appeared, leaning over the bedside with a cheerful smile.

“Ah, Robbie! You’re finally awake! I was beginning to get worried that the doctors were right,” Sportacus beamed as he sat down on the mattress beside him, much to Robbie’s chagrin. “How are you feeling?”

“Horrible, thanks to you! What did you do to me? Untie me at once!” Robbie’s mortification only increased when Sportacus leaned over further and pinned him effortlessly with his arms in an attempt to stop his thrashing. “What are you doing? Get off!”

“Robbie, calm down. You were hurt really bad, and the doctors would only let me take you out of the hospital if I agreed to take care of you and make you stay still. You can’t move too much or they said the bones won’t set right! Besides, it hurts to move when they’re broken.”

“Tell me something I don’t know!” Robbie hissed, his face contorting in pain as his chest burned in protest.

Sportacus’s face softened. “Oh…the pain medicine. I forgot. Hold on one moment!” The air was filled with soft swishing as Sportacus rolled and bounced off to some compartment and back again, returning with a handful of little bottles and a brightly colored canteen.

Robbie eyed the containers dubiously. “I don’t like the look of that stuff. Doctors never prescribe anything except things I usually find revolting.”

Sportacus crossed his arms stubbornly. “Well, you have to take these. You’ll hurt all the time otherwise, and we can’t have that, can we?” Sitting back down on the small wall-bed, Sportacus gave the bottles a little shake as his eyes crinkled in amusement. Taking the bottles and carefully reading the instructions scrawled on each, he counted off the recommended number of small white tablet before untying a few of the cord and sliding one hand behind Robbie’s head, lifting him gently into a sitting position.

“You have got to be kidding me!” Robbie spluttered, flushing and trying to pull away before clutching at his ribs and sinking back into the support once more. A resigned look slid across his features briefly before he settled on giving Sportacus a half-hearted glare. “Fine. I’ll take the stupid pills. It looks like I’m stuck here for the moment…but you try anything and you’ll regret it, Sportakook!”

Sportacus only chuckled and held out the handful of pills. Fuming, Robbie popped the offending tablets into his mouth and accepted the canteen from the blue hero, making a huge fuss through it all. Sportacus’s smile never wavered and, after he had lowered Robbie back to the mattress and secured the ties, he leaned over and gave him a surprisingly tender kiss on his forehead.

Robbie stared at him in shock for a few moments. “W-what was that for?” he whispered, forgetting to be outraged.

Sportacus bounced back to his feet. “The kids were telling me that their parents do that when they’re sick to help them feel better. I’m not sure how it works, really, but I thought it was worth a try.” He was cut off abruptly when his crystal began blinking. “Oh, someone’s in trouble! I have to go. Get some sleep Robbie, and try not to get into any trouble while I’m gone!”

With that, Sportacus scurried down the ladder and was gone. Robbie stared sullenly at the portal before closing his eyes with a disgusted snort. Stupid elf. He’s even more naïve than I took him for, it seems. The memory of Sportacus’s lips brushing his forehead filled his head without warning, replaying itself despite his attempts to banish the scene from his mind. What do I care? I don’t care. Not in the slightest. Not about that, and not about that…thing. I just have to play along with that sports fanatic’s little game until he decides to let me go.

As the medicine began to set in, Robbie drifted further towards slumber. His mind pleasantly fogged, he no longer cared when his mind again returned to the scene that had played itself out only moments ago. A delicate blush traced his cheeks as the drugs did their work, and the last thing he felt was a ghostly pressure upon his brow before he surrendered to his body’s exhaustion.

Chapter 4

Hours later, as the sun was making it’s slow descent beneath the horizon, Sportacus bid goodnight to all the kids and headed for home. Scaling the ladder effortlessly, he climbed through the open hatch to be met by a pair of furious gray eyes.

“Where were you? I woke up over an hour ago! Even I can only sleep so much, you know.” Robbie frowned. “Where’s your TV, by the way?”

“What, a TV? I don’t have one of those,” Sportacus calmly replied. “What would I use it for?”

Robbie stared at Sportacus like he’d suddenly sprouted an extra head. “What would you use it for? What do you have for brains, that toe-foo stuff? You’d watch it, of course!”

“But Robbie, I don’t really have time for that stuff! Besides, to watch something like that you would need to sit still. Sitting is hard to do.” Sportacus strode over to the bedside as Robbie continued to glare irritably.

“Sitting still is not hard. I don’t see how you can’t manage it,” he sniffed contemptuously. “At any rate, what else am I going to do when you’re keeping me tied up like this all day? Even I get bored sleeping all day.”

Sportacus paused and considered this. Truthfully, he had no idea what one did when you got sick. Other than the occasional accident with sugar, he had never been sick in his life. Puzzled, he looked back at Robbie. “I don’t know. What do you normally do?”

“Sleep, watch movies, play video games, read, write…anything that involves sitting still,” Robbie smirked.

“Well, I don’t have a TV, but I bet I could find you books and paper! Then you could have something to do while I’m gone. Would that make you feel better?” Sportacus smiled.

“Sportadolt, you aren’t getting it. I have everything I need at my place. It’d take you no more than ten minutes to grab everything.” He frowned suddenly. “Wait, scratch that. I’m not sure even TV would be worth you messing around in my house.”

“I won’t mess around, I promise!” Sportacus squatted down, bringing himself to eye-level with his guest. “If it would make you happy, just tell me what you want and I’ll bring it. I told the doctors I’d take care of you, and I will!”

“Alright already! Jeez…” Robbie muttered. “I’ll make a list, okay? I want your word that you’ll just get the stuff and leave. No poking your nose where it doesn’t belong, and absolutely no touching anything near the workbench! That stuff’s fragile enough without a clueless oaf tinkering with it.”

“Sounds great! Let me know when your list is ready, and I’ll go get your stuff as soon as I can,” Sportacus said, gesturing with both arms for emphasis.

“Fine, I’ll do that.” Robbie tilted his head away slightly, breaking the eye contact. “Now, if you don’t mind, untie me. I need to go.”

Sportacus blinked in confusion. “Go? Go where? It’s late and besides, you aren’t supposed to leave the airship until your bones have healed more.”

Robbie reddened, still refusing to meet his caretaker’s gaze. “Go. To the bathroom, idiot. You do have one on board, don’t you?”

“…oooooh. Why didn’t you just say so?”

“I did just say so!”

Sportacus’s hands moved deftly, releasing the ties one by one before he gingerly reached over and lifted his slender patient out from under the coverlet. Robbie’s vehement protestations halted when he realized what he was wearing.

“…Sportakook. Tell me I’m not wearing what I think I am.”

“Why? What’s wrong? Sure, my clothes are a little short on you, but I can pick up some of yours tomorrow with the other stuff. It’s not that bad.”

Robbie just buried his face in his one good hand and moaned with the humiliation of it all.

I have never been so outraged in my life, Robbie thought bitterly. He didn’t even ask for my opinion. Noooo. Just stripped me down and stuck me in his stupid sports gear. He sighed, pushing the resulting pain from his side away just as firmly as he stomped down on the fluttering feeling in his chest as he was cradled close.

Sportacus activated a wall sensor and a large white panel slid out in response, revealing a small walled space containing a toilet, sink, and shower stall, all blindingly white. He knelt inside, carefully setting Robbie down on his one good leg and steadying him. The villain tried to push him away, barely avoiding crashing to the floor before Sportacus caught him again.

“Do you mind?!?” Robbie asked sharply, finally regaining his balance and leaning against the wall with his good arm.

“Mind what?”

“…Turn around. I can do this by myself, and I do not want you watching.”

“If you say so, Robbie.” Sportacus looked doubtful, but he complied and turned to face the doorway.

Minutes passed as Robbie fumbled at the unfamiliar clothing without success, barely avoiding landing on his face a goodly number of times. He sighed in exasperation. Why does it even matter anymore at this point? He’s already had to see what you look like from his little dress-up session. Humiliating as it is, there’s no way around the fact that this isn’t working by yourself. Without any options, Robbie lowered his head in defeat.


“Yes, Robbie?” he replied, unmoving.

“…your stupid outfit is impossible to undo with one arm. I…need…just get over here and help already. And keep your eyes closed!”

Sportacus smiled, nodding, and turned on his heel. Even lack of sight did nothing to hinder him.

I swear, if he ever tells anyone about this, I’ll…I’ll…bury him in sugar.

After more objections on Robbie’s part and some awkward shuffling, they were finally free of the confined space. Robbie’s slender form once again cradled in his arms, Sportacus lowered him onto the bed before glancing up at the clock.

It’s almost 8:08! Time for…oh.

Yawning, Robbie noticed Sportacus’s odd expression and quirked an eyebrow. “What is it, Sportakook? Didn’t meet your absurd-number-of-stunts quota for the day?”

“Oh, er…no. It’s nothing.” Tucking Robbie back under the covers, he wandered over to the padded pilot’s seat. He considered it for a moment before shouting “Lights!” and climbing into the chair. Stretching out as best he could, he peered around the headrest for once last glimpse of his irritable guest. “Good night, Robbie.”

Not really expecting a reply, he almost missed the quiet whisper that emanated moments later.

“Good night, Sportacus.”

A fond sort of warmth spread through his chest. Imagine that! I think Robbie has a better heart than he shows. Closing his eyes, he tried his best to sleep with his new arrangements.

Four and a half hours later, Sportacus was still tossing and turning, unable to sleep. Even as tired as he was from a day hard work rescuing and exercising, the pilot’s seat just wasn’t built for long periods of use. Truth be told, he’d always found any kind of sitting uncomfortable. Trying to sleep while in that position was impossible. Sighing, he shifted in his seat again, stretching aching muscles.

“…It’s been hours. What’s wrong with you? Are you like…some kind of monster that never sleeps?”

“I’m sorry, Robbie. I didn’t mean to keep you up…” Stifling another yawn, Sportacus leaned sideways to peer at the bed through the gloom.

“…you really didn’t think this through, did you? Just charged into things headfirst out of sheer impulse.” A sound of rustling sheets came from the other side of the room. After a considerably long pause, he heard a muttered, “I’m gonna regret this.”

“…what’s that, Robbie?”

Shortacus. Don’t push your luck. Get over here before I change my mind.”

Curious, Sportacus rose and padded across the room towards the lengthy shadow of the wall-bed. He could barely see a thing despite the starlight twinkling through the front windowpane. Another sigh, tinged with annoyance, floated to his ears.

“If you’re careful and keep your hands to yourself, we can both fit on here.”

“Robbie, are you alright? You’re being awfully nice about thi-“

“Just-get-on-the-stupid-bed. Jeez…”

Removing the ties from the frame, Sportacus softly moved Robbie over. As soon as he settled on his side of the tiny cot, however, he had to quickly reach out and catch Robbie’s arm, preventing him falling. This was so not a good idea, Robbie grumbled in his head as he was pulled back, only to start as he felt sudden warmth at his side and a gentle hand slip around his waist. Is he…?

“Can’t have you falling off in the middle…of…th’night…” Sportacus mumbled into his shoulder, trailing off as he finally drifted into sleep. Robbie slowly forced himself to relax. Ridiculous as it was, the warm pressure at his side was oddly comforting, as was the hand protectively encircling his waist. Lulled to sleep by the soft, rhythmic breathing, Robbie dreamt. When Sportacus woke the next morning and quietly disentangled himself from the embrace, he was pleasantly surprised to find a faint smile haunting the corners of Robbie’s mouth.

Chapter 5

Robbie sighed in contentment, burrowing further under the covers in a phantom embrace. Turning slightly, there was a strange sensation of falling before crashing painfully to the floor. Well, not quite. Tears stinging at the corners of his eyes, he opened them only to stare into two apologetic, sky blue orbs.

“Sorry, Robbie. I forgot about the ties.” Delicately lifting him off of his chest and into his arms, Sportacus slid off the skateboard and slowly stood. He looked down worriedly at Robbie, feeling horribly guilty at his oversight. The slight man was shaking slightly, tears streaming uncontrollably down his cheeks and he bit back a whimper from the pain. “I…I’m sorry!”

Flustered, Sportacus set Robbie back on the bed before flipping over to a wall compartment and digging through the store medicine bottles. With the tablets in hands a summoned glass of water, he rushed back to the bedside. “Robbie…? I have you pills for the pain, but I’m going to have to move you again, ok?”

Scooting up to the head of the bed, Sportacus tentatively lifted Robbie up until he sat upright, leaning against his shoulder. Threading an arm under Robbie’s shoulder, he offered up the small mound of painkillers. After a long moment the shivers of pain subsided, and Robbie accepted the offering in silence. Resting his chin on the much taller man’s shoulder, Sportacus murmured, “I really am sorry, Robbie. I’ll do my best not to forget again.” Shifting Robbie’s weight to the wall behind him, Sportacus rose, cheerful once again. “I know! I’ll bet you’re hungry. What do you want for breakfast? Some toast and juice, maybe?”

Robbie turned a pale shade of green. “Toast? Juice? What’re you trying to do, poison me next?”

“But Robbie, everyone should eat a healthy breakfast!”

“…don’t say that word.”

Sportacus blinked. “What word?”

“The H word! You know…”

“H…happy? Help? Healt-“

“THAT’S THE ONE! Don’t say that around me, you got that? And don’t feed me that stuff, either. Preservatives are in food for good reason. They help you live longer.”

Sportacus frowned, scanning his larder-board. “You mean you won’t eat anything hea-…that word you don’t like? I don’t know. That can’t be good for you, Robbie. I don’t think I have any food that you’d like. You sure you wouldn’t like some Sports Candy?”

A gagging sound came from the bed in reply. “No thanks. You were already going to go get my stuff today, anyways. I’ll just have to add food to the list.” Robbie gave him a pointed look that Sportacus returned, uncomprehending. “The list, Sportakook! I can’t make one if you don’t give me anything to make one with!”

Sportacus smiled when he realized what Robbie was asking for, in his own brusque manner. Somersaulting across the room, he rounded up a few sheets of paper and a pen before flipping back and handing them to Robbie, who snatched them away grumpily. Scribbling quickly, within a few minutes he handed his instructions back to the hero.

“Just get what’s on there and don’t touch anything else! It’s bad enough that I have to let you into my house in the first place. Everything should be where I’ve listed it, so there’s no need for you to go poking your nose where I shouldn’t be.”

Glancing over the paper, Sportacus nodded in assent, tucking the list into his belt before skipping over to the portal and starting down the ladder. “Be back soon, Robbie! I’ll make you breakfast when I get back!”

Robbie only snorted in response.

Only minutes later, Sportacus stood in the last place he’d ever thought he’d be invited. It was much bigger than he expected. For a minute, all he could do was walk around, gawking like a tourist.

“This place is huge! And so messy!” He reached one bracer-bedecked hand to touch a random contraption, giving a start when it whistled back at him. That’s right! Robbie told me not to touch anything… Fishing the piece of paper out of his belt, Sportacus began the scavenger hunt. He had no idea what half the things on the list were for, but he collected everything as promised. After many trips up and down the ladder, a rather intimidating pile stood stacked next to the billboard. Without even breaking a sweat, Sportacus picked up as much as he could carry and started trudging back towards the airship.

Wow. It’s MY lucky day! Stingy thought, stopping his car suddenly. Who knew that someone would be nice enough to leave a pile of wonderful stuff out for him? Looking around, Stingy spotted the white rope ladder leading up to Sportacus’s zeppelin. Ooooh. So Sportacus left this stuff here! Well, I’m sure he won’t mind me taking a few things. Rummaging around, he stopped when he spotted a small book bound in handsome, dark purple leather. No sooner had he picked it up than he heard a sound above him. Uh oh, he’s coming back! Throwing the tome on the seat beside him, Stingy sped off for home.

Cheerfully munching on a bowl of Choco-Frosties, Robbie ignored Sportacus’s lectures on good nutrition and sent him back down the ladder to haul up the rest of his stuff. Despite of the happenings earlier that morning, he was feeling surprisingly happy. It must be those pain pills, he thought vaguely, swallowing another mouthful of refined sugar. They must be pretty strong. I can barely even feel my ribs anymore! Distracted by Sportacus’s reappearance, he grinned as the silly blue elf deposited his TV near the bedside. Silly? Since when has he been silly?

Sportacus noticed his Robbie’s whole-hearted smile and did a double take, simply disbelieving his eyes. Striding over, he leaned down to get a closer look at the cereal. “Wow! Maybe that stuff really is better for you that I thought!” Still bent over, he turned his head and smiled up at Robbie. “I’m glad something’s made you so happy.” Straightening, he flipped back to the ladder and descended for another load, oblivious to the deep blush spreading on Robbie’s face.

Stingy ran to his room, slamming the door in his excitement. Alright, let’s look at my new book! Opening the cover, he flipped through the first few pages, reading snippets of text inscribed within.

Today, I tried a new baking recipe using ingredients similar to the last cake…

Sewing project didn’t go so well today. It looks like I’m going to have to resew the zipper all the way around! And plastic is such a pain to work with…

I just stumbled across a new TV series and, I have to say, I think Farscape is the best show ever. And the main hero <3…

Stingy rolled his eyes. This sounded like one of the girls’ writing! What was Sportacus doing with their stuff? Turning more pages, he tried reading some more to see if it got any better. This is weird. Someone’s a really good drawer, but why are there so many pictures of guys?

For a brief moment, I thought today might be my lucky day, but no. A really cute guy moved into town. Normally this would be a cause for rejoicing, but even since he got here the local kids have been nothing but trouble. I’m certain he has something to do with it! I’ll have to see if I can’t talk him out of whatever he’s doing…

What is wrong with me? That sports freak couldn’t be more aggravating. The kids are still being noisy, and everyone fawns on this guy like he’s some sort of…superhero. I keep telling myself I have to find a way to send him packing, but it never really works out. What I can’t figure out is why I seem to find him more and more attractive even when he annoys me to the point I can’t think straight. Once I get rid of him, it’ll go away.

Stingy’s eyebrows shot up. Is this who I think this is? Flipping to the next page, Stingy took one look, flinched, then quickly slammed the cover shut. Doodles of machinery and outfits were all very well, but drawings of Sportacus sans clothing were not something he wanted to see. I’d better…go give this back to Sportacus, because this is SO NOT MINE.

Chapter 6

Sportacus had finally finished hauling up the last of the stuff. Dusting his hands off, he began obediently unpacking under Robbie’s direction. Robbie ran a finger down the list, double checking everything.

“TV, check. Movie chest, check. Real PJs, check.” Muttering to himself, Robbie was really only paying half a mind to his inventory; truth be told, he’d had Sportacus needlessly rearrange a few things just so he could enjoy the view.

“Is this good, Robbie?”

“Just a little more to the left,” Robbie grinned as Sportacus turned his back again. This was too easy. Flipping to the other side of the list and counting down, he froze at the last entry. “Hey, Sportadork…where’d you put the purple-bound book I asked you to get?”

Sportacus pivoted on one heel, moving from one stack to another in the now-messy corner of the airship. “I…don’t know. I remember getting it. Why would you hide a book up in an air vent anyways, Robbie?”

“N-never you mind!” he spluttered, craning his neck in a vain attempt to spot the tome. “Are you sure you d-didn’t drop it on the way? It’s really, really important.”

“I don’t think so, but you never know. Accidents do happen. Would it make you feel better if I went and checked?”

“YES!” Robbie all but shouted. “I mean, yes. It would make me feel much better.”

“Alright.” Striding back towards the hatchway, Sportacus was stopped before he’d even descended one rung.

“Wait! Wait!” Robbie called out just before the familiar blue hat ducked out of sight. “You remember what I told you, right? Whatever you do, don’t look inside it. You promise?”

“Yes, but…Robbie, I don’t understand. Is this book dangerous or something?”

“…you might say that, yeah.”

Sportacus’s eyes widened. “I’d better get going, then! Someone might open it by accident!” And with that he raced down the ladder, leaving Robbie behind to twist the covers and worry. I should have never asked him to bring it in the first place. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Stingy cruised along the streets back towards where the dirigible had last been seen. The small purple volume beside him seemed like it was burning a hole in the seat. Intently scanning the sky above him, he almost ran over Stephanie before she ducked out of the way with a surprised squeak. Calling back his apologies, he rounded a corner and found exactly who he was looking for.

Sportacus was pacing up and down the street, peering behind trees and under the mailbox, obviously searching for something. Stingy quietly got out of his car, clasping the book behind him. “Hey, Sportacus! What’re you doing?”

The blue hero paused a moment, waving cheerfully. “Hi Stingy! Have you seen a small, purple book? I think I might have dropped it somewhere around here…”

Stingy rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “I might have…wait, let me think…” He revealed the small journal, holding it up for Sportacus to see. “Would it be this one? I found it earlier and picked it up because it looked like one of my books.”

“I think that’s it! Thank you, Stingy!” Sportacus started to playfully toss the book from hand to hand before he remembered Robbie’s warning. He looked down at Stingy worriedly. “Oh, Stingy? You didn’t happen to open the book, did you?”

“Yes, I did. I wish I hadn’t.”

“B-but…are you alright? Robbie told me that, no matter what, I shouldn’t look in it. It sounds kinda dangerous.”

Stingy gave Sportacus an odd look. “Wait, Robbie Rotten sent you looking for this?”

“Yes. He had me bring a bunch of his stuff up to the airship. The doctors said he shouldn’t move around a lot, and he was getting pretty bored. Though, I’m not sure how doing anything while sitting isn’t boring…”

Stingy just stared. “He’s staying on my…I mean, your airship?” At Sportacus’s nod, Stingy said, “I think you’d better look in that book. I didn’t like it, but I think it might be important for you to see what-“

Sportacus clapped a hand on Stingy’s shoulder, stopping him. “I appreciate the thought, but I can’t look in it. I promised Robbie I wouldn’t.” Stingy started to protest again, but Sportacus couldn’t be persuaded.

“I’m sure it’ll be all right. Thanks again, Stingy!” With that, Sportacus vaulted over a wall and was gone.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl as Robbie waited for Sportacus to return. He has to find it before somebody else does! He has to! …but what if he looks in it? He promised he wouldn’t, but he’s such a kid sometimes. Dangle a “Don’t Touch” sign in front of a kid and they just have to touch it. He stiffened at the sound of the air hatch opening. Moments later, Sportacus clambered up onto the floor, book in hand and I triumphant smile on his face. Robbie heaved a sigh of relief.

“Well, that’s a lucky break. Where’d you find it?”

“I didn’t, really. Stingy said he had found it earlier. He had even opened the book and looked through it, and he was ok! He said it wasn’t really dangerous, but that I should look in it too, cause he thought it’d be important and…Robbie?”

Robbie had turned an alarming shade of white as he spoke, shrinking backwards when Sportacus crossed the room to find out what was wrong. Cold ice filled his spine. Oh gods, he knows! I have to do something!

“I don’t know what you saw in there, but it really wasn’t what it probably seemed like. It wasn’t. There’s a lot of stuff about you, but, I mean…it isn’t like that! And those drawings were accidents. Complete accidents. I mean, I was drawing someone else! It just happened to turn out looking like you! It’s not that I like you or anything…cause I don’t! And who are you to be looking at someone’s private thoughts, anyways? I thought you’d promised not to, and then that stupid kid goes and tells you everything! It’s not like I can help it or anything…”

“Robbie, what are you talking about? I never looked in the book. I promised.”

Robbie turned shocked eyes up to meet his, speechless. “…oh.” All coherent thoughts melted away into dread. All he could do was watch helplessly as Sportacus sat down beside him, a questioning look in his blue eyes. He couldn’t tear his gaze away, feeling a bit like a mouse before a cat.

Sportacus stared back in silence for a moment, sensing Robbie’s distress. Offering up what seemed to be the source of all the trouble, he set the slender journal in Robbie’s unmoving hands, covering Robbie’s hands with his. They stayed that say for a few silent moments before Sportacus rose, moving to the equipment rack and selecting a few things. Robbie continued to stare as the blue-clad man selected an apple from the larder panel and started to eat, oblivious.

“You’re…not kicking me out, then?”

Sportacus smiled cheerfully back at Robbie. “Why would I do that?”

Robbie simply had no reply. There’s no possible way that went completely over his head, stupid sports elf or no. There’s just no way. He looked down finally, running finger over slightly worn purple leather. Maybe it isn’t entirely a lost cause.

Stingy was quieter than normal that afternoon at Pixel’s house, and the other kids noticed. He didn’t argue Ziggy down for taking “his” controller. Neither did he make his usual good-humored complaints when Stephanie beat him 3 times in a row at Space Invader Z. When it was Pixel and Ziggy’s turn at the controllers, Stephanie pulled Stingy aside.

“Stingy, are you ok? You’re not getting sick, are you?”

“Nah, I’m just feeling…weird, is all.”

“Weird? Did something happen?” Stephanie slid down to sit on the floor, patting the spot beside her for Stingy to take a seat.

In a hushed voice, Stingy told her about everything that had happened that morning. The little purple book, with its mind-scalding contents. The encounter with Sportacus. When he finished, Stephanie was left with a stunned expression on her face.

“Wait, hold on a minute. Robbie isn’t in the hospital anymore?”

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!” Stingy whispered. “Sportacus told me he’s staying in the airship with him.”

“But what if he tries something? I mean…he’s Robbie Rotten, right? He’s always trying to get rid of Sportacus…” She paused, considering this. “But that’s so weird. You said his diary sounded like he had a crush or something.”

Stingy nodded. “I told Sportacus he should probably read it, but he said he had promised not to, and then he went away before I could tell him. Do you think we should?”

“Talk to him, you mean? Yeah. He should know about this, and we should make sure nothing bad happens to him. Friends look out for each other.”

With that, Stephanie stood and walked over to the couch where Ziggy and Pixel were still playing. “I gotta go do something, guys! I’ll catch you later, ok?” She was already out the door before their goodbyes filled her ears.

Chapter 7

It didn’t take much time at all to track down Sportacus. In a place like Lazytown there were only so many places to look, after all. Stephanie finally spotted her bright blue friend near his favorite training spot, the apple tree. Racing over, she sat on the wall beside him as he busily practiced his pushups.

“Hi Sportacus! Is it ok if I practice with you?”

“Sure Stephanie! Just a second, I’m almost finished!” Wrapping up the last of his set, Sportacus vaulted off of the wall, holding out a hand to help Stephanie down. Her heart sped up a pace when he flashed her a fond smile. He stuck his hands on his hips. “Should we do some warm-ups first?”

“Sure!” Stephanie agreed, depositing her satchel on the wall and taking a place beside him. I should probably just ask him. He’s Sportacus, and we’re really good friends! We should be able to tell each other anything! Clearing her throat as they launched into the calisthenics, she asked, “Sportacus, is it true that Robbie’s staying in the airship with you?”

“Well, yes. He didn’t want to stay in the hospital with the doctors, and to get him out I had to promise to take care of him. They didn’t want him moving around very much, and his house isn’t a very healthy place to get better.” His smile softened a little, taking on a sorrowful tinge. “Besides, it is sort of my fault he got hurt. I couldn’t save him in time.”

Finishing their stretches, they started to run laps around the tree. “It wasn’t your fault, Sportacus! He was just doing more stuff to try to get you to leave town! If anything, it’s his own fault. You shouldn’t feel bad and have to take care of him all by yourself! We could probably find a place for him in town and take turns helping out, don’t you think?”

Stopping in front of the wall once more, the two started jumping rope. “I’m not just taking care of him because I feel bad, Stephanie. I promised the doctors I would, and I will.” He paused as he did an extremely complicated trick Stephanie’s eyes couldn’t even follow. “It’s kind of fun, too. I’ve never really taken care of anyone before, and I think Robbie’s never really had a friend before, either. Maybe if we can become friends he won’t be so unhappy and hide in his house all the time.”

Stephanie nearly tripped over her rope. It’s fun? It’s great Sportacus wants to help and be a good friend, but I don’t think he really understands… “What makes you think he wants to be friends? I thought he didn’t like you at all!”

Dropping their ropes, they began practicing their sit-ups. “I don’t think he’s as bad as he pretends to be, Stephanie. He hasn’t been mean or anything. He’s kinda grumpy sometimes, but he’s been nicer than usual! He still calls me names, but I can tell he doesn’t really mean it. He even let me sleep on the bed when I couldn’t sleep in the chair.”

Stephanie frowned. “Sportacus, Stingy told me something else too. You know how sometimes adults like some people more than other people? That they start to like kissing and hugging and holding hands a lot?” Sportacus nodded, and they rose to begin doing wall vaults. “Well, Stingy told me he read Robbie’s diary. He said that Robbie seems to like you more than anybody else. I don’t know how much sense that makes, but Stingy said that’s what he read. Do you think…?”

Sportacus stood on top of the wall, barely breaking a sweat. “Stephanie, are you worried about me?” When he saw her anxious brown eyes, he patted her on the shoulder reassuringly. “You’re a good friend, Stephanie, but don’t worry about me. I’m perfectly safe. Besides, I think if he felt that way, he would tell me when he was ready.” Starting to walk over to the tree, Stephanie fretfully trailed along behind him.

“…Sportacus? Are you really ok if he does like you like that? I mean…do you ever like people like that?”

Jumping up and snatching apples for the two of them, he tossed one to Stephanie before biting into one himself, chewing thoughtfully. “Me? I like everyone.”

Stephanie sighed, ignoring the tightening feeling in her stomach. I don’t think I’m going to get a straight answer out of him. Well, I don’t care. He told me not to worry about him, but I want to make sure he’s safe. Maybe…

“Sportacus, you said you think Robbie doesn’t have any friends. Do you think he gets lonely up there by himself? Maybe I could go visit. That way I could help out and you’d still be keeping your promise!”

Sportacus beamed, sending a warm rush through her. “That’s a wonderful idea, Stephanie! Do you think you can climb the ladder all by yourself?”

“Yeah, I think so. Well, I gotta go. Thanks Sportacus!” Waving goodbye, Stephanie ran home to plan. I’ve never been in the airship before, she thought. I wonder what it’s like inside? I always thought I’d get to see it with Sportacus, not Robbie Rotten! Kicking a little bit dejectedly at the dirt, she cheered up once she remembered her purpose for going. I’ve got to make sure he’s not going to hurt Sportacus! I don’t care how much time it takes. I’m going to protect him, just like he’s protected us all this time. Walking to her room, she sat on her bed and began to think.

        Later that afternoon, Robbie had decided to continue writing in the journal that had caused so much trouble. He was going to have to take Sportacus’s word that he wouldn’t read it, but he seemed honorable enough. As thick as a brick wall, more like it. Stupid elf. How am I supposed to know what he’s thinking when he doesn’t even act like a normal person? Painstakingly writing in one hand, he froze when he heard the ladder portal opening. He barely managed to tuck the book out of sight before the last person he ever expected popped up through the opening in the floor.

        “Hi Robbie!” Stephanie smiled, dropping her backpack on the floor. “Are you feeling any better?”

        “Not really. Did Sportakook let you up here?” What is she doing here, anyways?

        “I talked it over with him this afternoon, and he thought it’d be a great idea if I came to visit. We thought you might get lonely staying here all day by yourself.” Robbie’s eyebrow twitched in irritation as she began wandering around, examining the airship and poking through his stuff. “Wow. Is all of this stuff yours?”

        “Yes, and don’t touch that!” Robbie snapped. She’s already giving me a headache. Brat. I can’t believe Shortacus would send h-…wait, yes I can. He gave Stephanie his best discouraging glare as she made her way around the room. When she finally stopped at the bedside, her eyes slid past him to the bed itself, taking on a glazed look. He could practically see the wheels in her head turning. Oh great. He probably let slip about that, too.

        Taking a seat on the floor, Stephanie stared up at him with a serious expression. Such a look on such a young face was unusually unnerving. After a moment, she asked, “Robbie, can I ask something?”

        “I don’t see any way of stopping you.”

        “You’d never really hurt Sportacus, would you?”

        Robbie blinked in surprise. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

        “Well, you’re always trying to get him to leave Lazytown, and now you’re basically left alone all day in his house! You could start all kinds of trouble.” She looked down, clasping her hands in her lap. “…and Stingy told me about the diary.”
The scowl fading from his face, Robbie sighed. “How much did he tell you?”

        “Just…that he had looked through it and…he said it sounded kinda like how Uncle sounds when he’s talking about Bessie.” She gazed up at him questioningly, but he blushed slightly and looked away. “If you don’t want to talk about, we don’t have to. Sportacus didn’t really tell me anything. I just…I don’t want to see him hurt. Whether you mean to or not.” She held her hand out, saying, “Sportacus thinks we can be friends. If you promise to be good, I’m willing to give it a try.”

        Robbie stared at the offered hand before reluctantly grasping it. “Fine.” I don’t really want to be around this kid any more than necessary, but she’s in good with Sportakook…

        “Great!” Stephanie smiled, cheery once again. “So, what do you want to do? I brought snacks, some playing cards, some board games… or if you want we could watch a movie if you have some…”

        What did I get myself into?

        Robbie was forced to admit later, albeit grudgingly, that the afternoon had been enjoyable. Noisy, but enjoyable. Stephanie had turned out to be a mean card shark, and Robbie had entertained her with a few simple tricks using slight of hand. When Sportacus finally returned that evening, the two of them were curled up around a bowl of popcorn watching a movie. Stephanie ran over to give her friend a hug, and when Sportacus smiled warmly at Robbie over her shoulder he felt his heart skip a beat.

        Maybe tolerating a little annoyance and noise now and again wasn’t as bad as he thought.

Chapter 8

The warm, fuzzy feelings didn’t last long after Stephanie bided them goodbye and headed down ladder towards home. Sportacus began busily making dinner, moving around way more than Robbie thought necessary for simple sandwiches. Finally he finished, walking over to the bed and handing Robbie a plate. Robbie eyed the sandwich with suspicion but hunger won over his distrust. After one bite he pulled a face, tossing the barely touched sandwich back onto the platter.

“Ugh! What did you put in that thing?”

Sportacus looked completely mystified at the reaction. “It shouldn’t taste that bad. It’s lettuce and fruit leather! It’s really good for you.” He happily devoured the rest of his sandwich while Robbie looked on, his lip curled in disgust. “I can make you something else, if you want.”

“Don’t you have anything that isn’t stomach-churningly healthy?”

“Hey, you said it! I thought you didn’t want to hear that word.”

I don’t! “ Robbie seethed, handing the plate back to him. Sportacus took it and began munching on the unfinished sandwich absentmindedly, walking over to the larder-board once more.

“Let’s see…I’ve got all kinds of fruits and vegetables, lots of different nuts, milk, water, eggs, wheat pasta and bread, some no-sugar-added peanut butter…”

What? You don’t have anything remotely edible!”

“Sure it is, Robbie! I think if you tried something, you’d like it.” Sportacus rubbed his chin, pondering. “…what about pasta and tomato sauce? Would you try that?”

Grumbling, Robbie grudgingly agreed to try it. Steam was soon emanating from the wall-stove, and the pleasant smell of Italian spices filled the airship. Pretty quickly Sportacus returned to the bed, bowl of noodles in hand. Robbie steeled himself for a moment, then closed his eyes and took a bite of the tomato-based concoction.

Sportacus leaned forward, waiting for a reaction. “How is it?”

Robbie reflexively swallowed, coughing for a moment. “It’s not the best, but it’s certainly better than what you tried to pass off as a sandwich.” He was simply too hungry to persist in being finicky, so despite his complaints he cleaned bowl out, much to Sportacus’s delight.

“See? It’s not so bad to eat healthy.”

“…don’t say that. It’s terrible. It’s almost torture, like starving someone to death.”

Sportacus just grinned. “I think you’re making it out to be worse than it really is, Robbie.” Putting the dishes in the cleaning panel, he snapped his fingers. “I have a great idea! Stephanie told me once that when she was sick, she always felt better after getting clean.”

“…absolutely not.”

“You have to get clean sometime! It’s good for you, and it might help you feel better.”

“Look, I’ve already had enough trouble just going to the bathroom. I can’t even stand on my own for more than a minute. A shower is not happening.”

“I don’t mind helping. Robbie…? Are you alright?” Sportacus asked. Robbie had turned a shade of red so deep it was almost purple, staring a Sportacus with his mouth open in shock. “What’s wrong?”

After a few soundless attempts, Robbie finally managed to speak again. “E-everything, that’s what. You cannot seriously be offering what I think you are.”

“What’s so bad about taking a shower?”

With another person? That’s the kind of thing only couples do. Really, really close couples.” At Sportacus’s confused expression, Robbie added, “As in dating, kissing, sleeping together couples.”

“But Stephanie told me that her parents used to help her wash when she was sick. Besides, we are sleeping together.”

Robbie just hid his face in one palm, trying to think of a simple way of explaining it. “Not like that, idiot. Sleeping sleeping together, as in sex. Just…forget about it, alright?”

Sportacus shook his head stubbornly, crossing over to the bedside. “I really do think it would make you feel better. Even if it doesn’t help get rid of the sickness, it should make you smell better and feel more comfortable.”

Robbie turned to offer a sharp reply but was cut off when a pair of arms slipped under him, raising him off of the bed. “…what do you think you’re doing? Put me back down!”

Chuckling, Sportacus tapped the floor switch and carried his protesting charge into expanded bathroom. Setting him down outside the tiled stall, he steadied Robbie and tried to get him to calm down.

“What part of ‘No’ don’t you understand?”

“Robbie, I think you’re making a bigger deal out of this than it is. No one’s going to see you, and it would make me feel better to know we did everything we could think of to help you get better. Is there any way you’ll try it? Since you don’t want to do this, we could do something else another time that you do want to do…”

Robbie’s mind spun with the possibilities. “…anything I want?”

“Anything you want, I promise.”

Robbie smirked before he could stop himself. He really is like an innocent. “Alright, I agree. But you have to swear you’ll never tell anyone about this, deal?”

“Deal! That was quick. Did you already decide what you want to do?”

“Yeah, but you don’t get to find out now. I’ll tell you later.”

As soon as Sportacus started helping him undress, the smirk quickly vanished without a trace, replaced with a nervous half-smile. Sportacus frowned in concentration, carefully peeling the blue and white shirt off over the bandages. Robbie shivered as the cool air hit his skin, looking more and more uncertain by the minute. Sportacus paused for an instant, looking up and giving a reassuring smile.

“Relax, Robbie. It’s ok.” Bending down, he began working on easing dark blue pants over the leg cast while Robbie leaned against the cool white tile, becoming more flustered by the minute. Finally freeing Robbie’s legs of the clinging material Sportacus stood, twining one arm in support around Robbie’s slender waist as he started the water. Nodding to himself after testing the temperature, he helped Robbie step into the stall. “Just one second. I’ll be back.”

Robbie rested his forehead against the tile, letting the water from the showerhead stream down his back. This was probably a stupid decision. Not that he would have stopped bothering me about it, health nut that he is…but I’m not as naively detached about things as he seems to be. That promise just might be worth it, though…

        There was a rustling sound behind him and the sound of the Plexiglas panel sliding shut. One hand settled on his shoulder in support while the other began firmly scrubbing his back and neck. Robbie turned his head to ask something, but the words remained stuck in his throat. Sportacus continued humming in what he thought was a soothing fashion and began working on Robbie’s neck and shoulders, seemingly oblivious to his friend’s open stare. Somewhere is in the jumble of disjointed thoughts pouring into Robbie’s mind, something
My WIP slash fiction piece. SportaRobbie slash. Uncut version can be found at the Lazytown fanfiction LJ community.
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drawinFANACTIC Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2010  Student General Artist
loves this!!!!!! i want to read more!!!! great job.
23jojO23 Featured By Owner May 16, 2009
this is amazing!
weres the rest of it i must read it pease!! link me up lol
jocund-slumber Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
OMG... this makes me tear up it's so lovely... :cry:
hannahgregory Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2008  Student Digital Artist
ive only read the first paragraphs and i glanced at teh scroll bar!
holy flying watermelons! tis long!
and its past midnight and i reeeely want to read this..but its too long for i shall return in 10 hours! when i have slept enogh to fully enjoy this amazing peice of a fangirls dream....d.jaCia,kc,ivpchakr\

faved for safe keeping
zoldor Featured By Owner May 19, 2007
Awesoooome. =D
Kamikalo Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2007
I read it on FF too! It's a great one! 8D
Lucifay Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2007
I read it on, and *ohmygosh*, u a god :prey:
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Submitted on
May 2, 2006
File Size
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Mature Content


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