Sportacus had never been this exhausted in his entire life. Usually, he could keep himself going for hours on end due to Sportscandy offerings from the children and his natural high energy, but today was an exception. He found himself trudging through the cobblestone streets, his head lowered and his shoulders slumped; his back was hurting tremendously and he was tired beyond all means.
He reached the town square where all the children were playing and made his way towards a nearby bench, sitting down and resting his entire body from a long week of work and heroic tasks. The children, noticing that their ever-so-active superhero was sitting still for the first time in his life, came over with confused expressions plastered on their faces. This was NOT the Sportacus they knew.
“Are you doing alright, Sportacus?” Stephanie was the first to speak, her voice mature, unlike the others who still spoke faster than a racecar and were hard to comprehend.
“I..I’ve been better..I’ll tell you the truth.” Sportacus took a deep breath and felt his bones crack upon that sudden movement. “I need more sleep..I need to rest.”
Upon hearing this the children backed away a bit, and Stephanie came back a few moments later with a warm blanket and a pillow. She positioned Sportacus in a sleeping position on the bench and covered him with the necessities before smiling and hugging him. The children all went inside in order to allow Sportacus to sleep, and he was extremely thankful for it.
He found sleep easy to obtain as he immediately dozed off, unaware that another person was watching him from a nearby bush. Robbie Rotten fist pumped into the air as he noticed the hero doze off, a grimy smile forming on his face. It had never been THIS easy to catch Sportacus, for he was always moving..but this was his chance!
Of course…he wouldn’t hurt him. No..no..he wasn’t that cruel. All he really wanted to do was take Sportacus back to his lair and keep him hostage so the children would finally listen to him. Without their precious hero, they would have no choice but to listen to Robbie’s daily rants about laziness and follow his rules.
Robbie lept from his hiding place with glee, sneaking over to Sportacus and lifting him ever so slightly onto his shoulder as he headed back to his chute, climbing down and putting Sportacus on his orange chair for comfort. A dastardly grin formed on his face as he thought of all the rules he could make in Lazytown..all the fun and games that would be ruined and the quiet, lovely silence that it would bring-
He suddenly noticed how tired Sportacus looked. His face had much more frown lines than usual, and his eyes suddenly had darker bags that Robbie had never noticed before. There were bruises on his arms from failed flip attempts and the man looked utterly exhausted. He had never seen Sportacus so vulnerable…so tired..so..lazy.
No. You have to be the villain. You have to keep him hostage…not help him out with the children..that’s..that’s a stupid t..though…t
Robbie growled as he looked at the extra Sportacus disguise he had stashed in one of his costume tubes, his eyebrows furrowing as he rubbed his chin. The hero HAD saved him once..or tons of times. He was always nice to him..maybe he should be helped out.
I’m a villain. He reminded himself as he pulled the Sportacus costume onto his tall, skinny frame, sighing in disgust. But, I’m a villain with standards. He helped me countless times..time for me to help him.
He climbed up the chute and headed towards the group of kids in the middle of town, wincing as he noticed they were playing a game of soccer, and knowing that he would have to join in the fun because now he would be seen as the titular hero. A growl escaped his throat, but he subdued the rest deep in his chest, knowing he was doing this for a reason. Not because he was nice..no no no..but because he was a villain..and-
He didn’t really have any reasoning for this.
Immediately the kids spotted him, and bright grins spread across their innocent, young faces. Of course, Stephanie recognized Robbie in the stupid rip-off costume, but she kept the secret from the children, enjoying the fact that Robbie was even out of his lair and was nice enough to try to pass off as Sportacus to help the hero out. She stepped out in front of the group of kids and handed the soccer ball to SportaRobbie (HA SEE WHAT I DID THERE-ahem), a sly grin forming on her face.
“Want to play? We are kinda uneven, so if you join the team we will have enough players to actually play the game.”
Robbie looked at the soccer ball and was instantly reminisced of his own childhood, in which he was always picked last for every game and usually excluded from his peers’ shenanigans altogether. That was the main reason he was so lazy..he was never given the chance by his peers to show his self-worth.
They had determined it for him.
Now, he was the one being picked first for the game. He was the one whom they ended their own game to include. It took everything in him NOT to cry in front of these brats, who waited patiently for him to make a decision. He reached towards the ball, placing it into his own two hands, and Stephanie patted him on the back.
He was surprised on how much fun soccer really was. Moving around and sweating wasn’t really that big of a deal when you were having so much fun and enjoying yourself..and it didn’t even feel like a chore as he had first thought. He found himself scoring more goals than the children and received high fives from everyone every score he made, a bright smile on his face and warmth in his heart. When he finally helped his team, which consisted of Stephanie and Trixie, win the game, everyone was immensely proud of him and treated him like royalty.
All of the recognition he had craved for years.
Stephanie soon pulled him aside away from the other kids after his big win, a huge grin on her face and a knowing look in her eyes. “Robbie..this is the first time you’ve done something for others..rather than yourself. And look how much fun it was!”
Robbie cringed at the fact that his disguise had been found out, but he knew Stephanie was smarter than the rest of the children and the oldest. Pinky was right, however, and that was what stabbed him in the stomach the most. Him? Play games with the children? In the past, he would have knocked that idea away as a funny joke..but now..it sounded like a splendid idea.
“I..it was f..fun. I’ll admit it..” He sighed and looked anywhere but the girl’s eyes, trying to get out of this confrontation.
“Robbie..you don’t have to hide in your lair anymore. Come play with us more! Come outside more and enjoy the sun! I..Isn’t it lonely in there?” Stephanie took the man’s hands and looked up at him. “We enjoy your company..your our friend too!”
At this Robbie found himself tearing up, and he couldn’t take it anymore. He dashed to his lab and opened the chute, sliding down with no restraint and landing on the cold hard floor of his lair, not noticing that Sportacus was standing right above him with a sly grin on his face.
“Oh what do you want..Sportaloser..just leave me alone, okay?”
Sportacus chuckled and helped the man up, trying to hide the grin from his face but failing.
“How about we trade places more? It’s making you a touchy feely person..you need that interaction with the children!”
Robbie growled, angry that Sportacus knew what he had done for him, and he stomped his foot. “Because I am the villain..and I only did that once. What they were saying was a lie..they could never be friends with the villain..all I do is trick and deceive and-”
Sportacus cut him off swiftly. “You didn’t deceive them, Robbie. You helped me. They needed someone to play with and you took the responsibility. Whether you like it or not, Robbie..you aren’t necessarily the evilest of all villains. You have a soft spot for the children.”
Robbie grunted and stepped past Sportacus back to the chute at this realization, the costume still on his body and he looked at Sportacus with a menacing look, even though it was totally fake.
“Mondays and Wednesdays, I get the children, okay? You can do whatever sporty crap you wanna do on the other days. Leave those days free for ME.”
And with that, Robbie was off outside, running to the children with child-like glee and joining in their game of jump rope.
AH BUT OVER PROTECTIVE BIG BROTHER MODE PERCY WHEN HIS LITTLE SISTER HAS HER FIRST BOYFRIEND
Ava is 16 when she announces that she has a boyfriend.
Percy demands to know everything about him, and she rolls her eyes as she answers almost every one of his questions. His name is Liam, and he goes to school with her and he’s on the basketball team and please could they not embarrass her when he comes over for dinner tomorrow night?
Percy makes no promises.
He tries to be polite to the kid, for Ava’s sake. He smiles wide and shakes his hand and doesn’t mention that he could kill him in a second if he ever hurts his little sister.
He asks about basketball and whether he plays any other sports. Liam plays soccer, just for fun, but he doesn’t skateboard, which is a disappointment. He asks Percy if he plays any sports and Percy says, “I fence” which makes Annabeth snicker behind her hand.
Annabeth nudges his leg with hers under the table during dinner, nodding pointedly to where the young couple sit across from them. They’re both grinning stupidly, which undoubtedly means they’re holding hands under the table.
Sally’s food is still delicious, of course, but Percy’s too focused on Liam to really give it the attention it deserves.
When he walks in on the two of them leaning awfully close together on the couch while a soft pop ballad plays over the stereo, he clears his throat and puts on his most intimidating expression, glowering at the poor kid. Ava goes bright red.
Annabeth is more understanding. She likes Liam, because he’s interested in engineering and so they have a small sample of common ground to cover. He seems genuinely interested about her job as an architect. When he asks her if he’d know any of the buildings she’s designed, Percy says, “The Empire State Building.” She shoots him a look and clarifies, “Renovations.”
Percy softens when Liam looks suitably impressed.
Annabeth corners Percy in the hallway, splaying her hands on his chest. “What do you think?” “I don’t like it.” He pouts. “You don’t like him, or you don’t like Ava dating?” “The second one.” “We were that age when we started going out.” “I know, that’s why I’m worried.” Annabeth frowns. “Why does that worry you?” “I was lucky,” Percy clarifies. “How many people start dating the love of their life at 16? What if he breaks her heart?” “We deal with it if it happens,” Annabeth says reasonably. He sighs and runs his hand down his face. “I could show him Riptide. You know, just to get the point across.” “Nice pun, but all he’d see is a pen, or a baseball bat or something mundane.” Percy pulls Riptide from his pocket and uncaps it, the blade glinting in the dim light. “Baseball bat could still work.”
A gasp from the end of the hall makes them tense. Annabeth immediately steps in front of Percy and he quickly puts the cap back on Riptide, shoving the pen into his pocket. Ava is glaring at him, but Liam looks positively stunned. He points at Percy and asks, “Why do you have a sword? And did you just put it in your pocket?” They all turn to gape at him, Ava included. “Oh, gods.”