[personal profile] psifi872
Glanni slouched against one of the pillars that decorated the town hall. He made sure no one was watching, then gave a great stretch, bending his back in a strong arch. Ípróttálfurrin and the children were in the center of the town square, playing and exercising. Currently, the blasted elf was teaching the children how to throw a snowball.

"Oh, of all the..." Glanni mumbled, then stomped over the them, glaring. "HEY! What are you even doing?!"

Ípróttálfurrin tossed a snowball at Glanni, who reared back. Fortunately, Ípróttálfurrin hadn't thrown hard at all, because Glanni was hit square in the chest. The children giggled, earning a sharp glare and a frown from the criminal.

"You're supposed to catch it, Glanni!" Ziggy offered. "Like this!"

Ziggy held his hands in the proper position for catching a baseball and the other children copied him.

"I don't want to catch it!" Glanni scolded.

"How about I teach you how to throw one?" Ípróttálfurrin offered.

"NO!"

"Why did you come over, if you don't want to play?" Stephanie asked, confused.

"To tell the elf how stupid he is!" Glanni said disdainfully. "You've been having snowball fights for weeks now and he keeps re-teaching you how to throw! I mean, why?! You don't seem to be that bad at it."

"I'm teaching them baseball throws," Ípróttálfurrin corrected.

"Ípróttálfurrin can pack a snowball so it weighs just as much as a real baseball!" Trixie boasted.

"You should still only need to learn that once!"

"There are different types of throws, Glanni," Ípróttálfurrin scolded. "Saturday, I taught them how to throw slow balls. Today we are learning curve balls. Now! It is your turn!"

"No, no, no, no, no!" Glanni whined, backing away, his hands held up defensively.

"It's fun, Glanni!" Ziggy assured him.

Glanni paused. No words of disgust seemed strong enough. The disgust increased, when the area was filled with barking. Spinning around, Glanni saw five icelandic sheepdog pups, running towards him and the children. Glanni glared, bewildered, as the children laughed, each trying to get the pups' attention. Unfortunately, the pups ignored the children, heading straight for Glanni and Ípróttálfurrin.

"NO!" Glanni meowed, jumping straight into Ípróttálfurrin's arms and clinging tight to his neck.

"Glanni," Ípróttálfurrin said sternly. "Get down."

"What?!" Glanni shouted, staring in horror as the pups milled around Ípróttálfurrin's legs. "You're the hero! Aren't you supposed to save people? Or doesn't that include me?"

"Of course that includes you," Ípróttálfurrin assured him. "I promise to save you...when and if you are ever in danger."

"Don't you dare put me down!" Glanni said, furious. "You can't just feed me to those things!"

"Glanni, they're puppies," Trixie scolded, picking one up and receiving puppy kisses across her nose, making her giggle. "They're harmless!"

"They are NOT! They are DOGS, you absurd girl!" Glanni declared, shivering.

"Children, pick them up. Glanni, you shouldn't fear them, just because they are dogs. Dogs can be wonderful creatures," Ípróttálfurrin said.

One of the puppies, with mottled white and brown fur, dodged the children and came back to Ípróttálfurrin, wagging its tail. The puppy looked up at Glanni and gave a friendly bark. Glanni cringed, clinging tightly to Ípróttálfurrin's shoulders.

"Glanni, the puppy wants to be friends," Ípróttálfurrin explained.

"It's a trick," Glanni said, darkly, refusing to look at the puppy.

Ziggy gently picked the puppy up, stroking his ears and getting licks on his face. Ziggy laughed. Glanni turned and blew a raspberry at the boy. Losing patience, Ípróttálfurrin dropped Glanni onto the ground.

"You're setting a bad example for the children," Ípróttálfurrin said, a bit of anger in his voice, as Glanni, grumbling, picked himself up out of the snow, brushing the clinging moisture from his catsuit. "Now. The puppies are being held. They won't harm you. SO! Try to pet one."

"HA! Never. If you want to trust those furry pirahnas, you go ahead!" Glanni huffed, turning and stalking away, his back straight and head held high.

Ípróttálfurrin watched him go, sighing slightly. It was too early to give up. There had to be more than a lust for money and sugar in the man. Ípróttálfurrin could and would be patient. It wasn't his strong suit, no, but he would do it.

Chapter One:

Mayor Milford Meanswell trudged through the snow on the sidewalk, reminding himself to get sweepers out tomorrow to clear paths in town. The snow was persistent and the air was icy and sharp. Shivering, Milford pulled his scarf tighter around his neck. Fortunately, his neat and warm home was only a couple of blocks from the Town Hall. It wasn't the most pleasant walk, on a dark, winter's evening. Still, it gave him some exercise. A hot cup of tea would set him right, soon enough. That welcome thought was interrupted by a harsh, hacking sound, coming from across the street. Turning, Milford saw Glanni Glaepur, sitting on a bench and coughing painfully.

"Glaepur?" Milford questioned. "What are you doing out in the cold?"

Glanni lifted his head, frowning petulantly.

"I"m trying to get rid of a lung. I've decided I don't need two!"

"You should go home and stay warm!"

"Yes, thank you! I'll do just that," Glanni agreed with exaggerated cheer, before hissing, "Oh wait! No, I won't because some idiot rented my rooms out to someone else!"

The small fit of anger exhausted Glanni and he collapsed back onto the bench, huffing.

"Yes, George complained that you were behind on your rent," Milford remembered, feeling an unwanted twinge of sympathy for the young man. "He wanted Obtuse to evict you, but then you left."

"I was gone two days," Glanni pouted. "I have the money ready now! Why couldn't he wait?"

"Well, you'll just have to stay somewhere else," Milford advised, earning a contemptuous glare.

"I've tried! No one wants to rent to me. They act like they think I'll sneak out without paying."

"Well, that's what you did to George."

"I HAVE THE MONEY IN MY POCKETS!" Glanni shouted, then groaned as his lungs rebelled, going into another coughing fit. He took a couple of long, shallow breaths, then continued, "Go away and let me die in peace."

Milford bit his lips, looking down at the town's most persistent criminal. Glanni was always pale, but not so sheet white. Milford didn't like the bright, red spots that sat on Glanni's cheeks or the shivers that wracked his thin frame. Sighing, Milford made a beckoning motion with his hand.

"Come. I'll give you a room to sleep in."

"I'd rather die, than just let you lead me into a cell."

"I'm not taking you to jail!" Milford scolded, though trying to keep his tone gentle. "I'll let you stay at my house for a night or two, until you find somewhere else."

Glanni responded with petulance, crossing his arms and shaking his head.

"I don't need help. I'll be fine. I've survived worse."

"Don't be ridiculous. You're ill and it's freezing out here!"

"I am not," Glanni said, shortly, crossing his arms and looking away. "Anyways, I'm too tired to walk right now. I'm going to rest a bit, before finding a place to sleep."

"Mayor! Are you all right? My crystal guided me here," Ípróttálfurrin announced, doing a flip and landing right next to Glanni.

"YEEEP!"

Glanni pulled away from Ípróttálfurrin hard, falling off of the bench and into the snow. Shaking his head, Ípróttálfurrin grabbed Glanni by the shoulders and picked him up, placing him back on the bench. Glanni growled angrily at him, sneering.

"Why did you flinch? You knew it was me and I would not harm you!" Ípróttálfurrin said, cheekily.

"Because you're loud, Sportacow!"

"Ípróttálfurrin, I need you to help us. Glaepur isn't well and I need you to help me get him to my house."

"Oh, no, no, no!" Glanni squeaked. "You keep the muscle bound tornado away from me!"

"Are you sure you want him in your house, Mayor? I could..."

"No! It's too cold for him to be in a balloon or outside and he isn't under arrest. No. My house is the best option. You can always stop by and keep an eye on him."

"No, he can't, because I'm not going!"

"You said you were too tired to walk and it's too cold for you to stay out here!" Milford persisted.

"I'll take him there, but we can't make him stay," Ípróttálfurrin warned.

"Yes, yes, that will do. I'll go ahead and start making some hot tea," Milford agreed, rushing off, more quickly than Glanni would have thought possible.

"Can you walk?" Ípróttálfurrin asked, when Milford was out of sight, hoping to spare Glanni a bit of embarrassment.

"I can, but I won't," Glanni said, crossing his arms over his chest in a sulk.

"Very well."

Despite Glanni's squirming, Ípróttálfurrin lifted him easily, in a bridal-style hold.

"You're warmer than you should be," Ípróttálfurrin said, irritation turning to concern.

"You're stupider than you should be," Glanni snarled weakly, his brows lowered menacingly over his eyes.

Ípróttálfurrin almost laughed, starting to walk.

"I think the Mayor is right. You need to stay inside."

"This is all George's fault."

"You could take responsibility. Landlords need to be paid, so they can pay their own bills."

"Yes, thank you, I know how that works."

"Oh? You've had a job before?" Ípróttálfurrin asked, wondering what Glanni had done in the past, but Glanni stared at him in horror.

"Certainly not! Who would hire me? And, why would I let them??"

"Honest work is good for you!"

"That's reason enough to avoid it," Glanni muttered, as Ípróttálfurrin reached Milford's house, his strong legs covering the distance swiftly.

"That's a terrible attitude," Ípróttálfurrin said, severely. "Now, you behave for the Mayor. I'll be checking to be sure that you do."

"You can't threaten me. Bringing me here is practically kidnapping!"

"It wasn't a threat," Ípróttálfurrin soothed, knocking on the door.

It opened almost immediately, showing Milford still wearing his coat.

"Ah, I just put on the kettle. For now, can you put him on the couch in the living room?"

"I can walk!"

"Yes, but will you go where you're supposed to?" Ípróttálfurrin asked, skeptically, stepping inside.

Glanni started to make a rude comment, but stopped, as the warmth of the house wrapped around him like a blanket. He'd been so cold! His shivering eased almost immediately and he gave an involuntary sigh. It was hard not to relax too much and risk easing into Ípróttálfurrin's arms. Glanni couldn't do it. He couldn't force himself back outside.

"Yes," he sighed. "I'll stay."

"That's sensible," Ípróttálfurrin praised.

"Don't call me that!" Glanni protested, coughing. "Keep your goody-good adjectives to yourself."

Ípróttálfurrin guided Glanni into the living room. He settled himself down onto the sofa, laying back against one of the arms. Ípróttálfurrin grabbed the blanket from the back of the couch, draping it over Glanni, who glared.

"I"m not a child."

"No, but you are ill and need to get warm, quickly."

"Why all the concern? Who made you my caretaker?"

"The mayor is concerned for you and rightfully so. That cough of yours is worrisome."

"I'm not worried," Glanni muttered, pulling the blanket closer, beginning to shiver again.

"You have a fever."

"That's why we love you. You're so cheerful!"

"The water is almost boiling," Milford announced, coming into the room. "Are you comfortable, Glaepur?"

"Well, mostly, except for a certain muscle head looming over me."

"How long have you been coughing?" Ípróttálfurrin asked.

"A week," Glanni said, carelessly.

"I'll get a thermometer. The water should be ready for the tea, by then."

A few minutes later, Milford returned with a tray, containing a large tea cup, filled with steaming water and a tea bag. A small bowl of sugar sat next to it. Glanni eyed the sugar with delight. He was less happy, when Milford held the thermometer out to him. Glanni shook his head.

"Come on! We need to know how bad your fever is," Milford coaxed.

"You just brought me here to torture me," Glanni scoffed, but he placed the thermometer in his mouth, sealing his lips around it and grimacing.

Milford waited the required minutes, then took out the thermometer and tsked in dismay.

"Almost a hundred and four! You're worse than I thought."

"I'm worse than everyone thinks," Glanni boasted, taking a lump of sugar and chewing on it with pleasure.

"That's for your tea and you should limit yourself," Ípróttálfurrin advised.

"I'd tell you what you should do with yourself, but I think it would confuse you."

"Glaepur!" Milford scolded. "We're only trying to help you."

"Lecturing me isn't helping. I just want my tea and to rest."

"All right," Milford agreed, turning on a lamp that sat on the table next to the sofa. "I'll turn the overhead lights out and you can sleep, when you're ready."

Ípróttálfurrin followed Milford out of the room, leaving Glanni in silence.

"I'll come back in the morning and check on things."

"I know this may be foolish, but I couldn't just leave him out there."

"You have a good heart, Mayor! Just...be careful."

"Could you do me one more favor? With a fever that high, he really needs to see a doctor. Dr. Haley will be on his way home about now."

"I'll bring him here," Ípróttálfurrin agreed.

"Thank you. I better go check on him."


Chapter Two

Sportacus knocked on the hatch above Robbie's lair, then stood waiting, his hands on his hips and a nervous smile twitching the corners of his lips. After a few, long moments, the hatch raised and Robbie climbed out, frowning.

"What are you doing, banging on my hatch?" Robbie demanded, suspiciously.

"I need to speak with you," Sportacus said. "Do you have a few minutes?"

"I have them, but why should I give them to you?" Robbie said, looking more confused than anything. "I'm not helping with your health agenda, Sportakook."

"No, no, this has nothing to do with Lazy Town," Sportacus assured him. "Though, I do wish you would listen to some health advice. You would feel so much better!"

"Whatever. Are you going to explain yourself or should I start guessing?"

Sportacus rolled his eyes, smiling.

"I need you to teach me how to be a villain."

Robbie made a huge show of sticking his fingers in his ears and wiggling them around.

"Come again? You want what?!"

"I need you to teach me how to be a villain!" Sportacus insisted.

"Why should I...why would you..." Robbie stammered, genuinely surprised. "I'M the villain in Lazy Town! What am I supposed to do, if you take up villainy? Become the hero? BLECH!"

"Robbie, calm down," Sportacus said, chuckling and shaking his head. "I don't want to become an actual villain. I just need to blend in with the criminal element in Mayhem Town for a few days."

"Blend in?" Robbie asked, intrigued. "You mean...you'll be in disguise?"

"Um. Well, yes, I suppose I will need to make some changes to my appearance," Sportacus agreed, dubiously.

"Reeaallly," Robbie said, then seemed to reconsider. "Oh, come on! What do you really know about villains? What's the main characteristic of a good villain? Tell me that!"

"Um. Creativity?"

"Creativity?? That's your best guess?" Robbie said, his teeth clenching in annoyance.

"Well, it's such a big part of what you do!" Sportacus protested. "You're always making disguises, with complete personalities, baking cakes, and inventing amazing things."

Robbie stopped, thinking that over. He couldn't help being a bit flattered. He cleared his throat.

"Yes, well, that's because I'm a genius, as well as a villain. Not all villains are so fortunate!" Robbie proclaimed, smugly, then shrugged. "Okay, fine. You need the help and I need a good laugh. Come on down."

"Thank you, Robbie!"

Sportacus followed Robbie down into the lair, taking everything in. He gave an amused grin at the fluffy, orange chair and side table. He peered curiously at the lab, where a green liquid bubbled in a beaker. Taking a few steps further in and made note of the clothing in glass tubes. Unfortunately, the disguises displayed were all ones he had seen before. Robbie cleared his throat again, more forcefully, this time.

"IF you're done gawking! Now, there is more to villainy than meanness and ruthless determination. A villain has to have a goal, even if it's just getting money, while avoiding work. What type of villain are you going to be? A criminal or a mastermind? Someone independent?"

"Uhm. Is there anything in between?" Sportacus asked, uncertain. "I will probably need to speak with both and it'd help, if I could expect to be listened to, at least a little bit."

"Weelll, you could be a right hand man type, the henchman who gives orders to the ordinary criminal types, but...that's very risky. Usually, they've earned quite a bit of trust, to get in those positions."

"Oh. Yes, of course."

"On the other hand, I am myself a famous villain, worldwide. If I went, too, you could pose as my henchman. My little brother hires the Glaumbær gang, sometimes. They wouldn't question me."

Sportacus looked startled, then suspicious. Robbie just grinned.

"I appreciate any help you give me, but...why would you do that? This sounds like you setting up a trap."

"Are you kidding me? I told you I want to be amused. Frankly, I can't think of anything funnier than you stumbling around trying not to be a cheerful, helpful, flip-flopping elf! I mean, you do realize that you can't get caught helping people, during this?"

Sportacus sighed, nodding reluctantly.

"Yes, you're right. I have to pretend to...not care," he said, finishing in a distressed whisper.

"Watching you NOT HELPING will be reward enough!" Robbie said, chuckling. "Watching you do anything VILLAINOUS...oh, that will be soooo much fun...for ME!"

"I'll have to be sure not to leave any evidence behind," Sportacus said, dryly, knowing full well that Robbie could and probably would try to get him thrown in prison.

"That's always a good idea," Robbie agreed blithely.

"Okay, so no helping people. What else do I need to know? Can I still exercise? I don't want to become stiff or lose my energy."

"Sadly, yes, you can exercise, just not so MUCH! I don't think you could stop yourself. If you're going to do this successfully, you have to be somewhat comfortable in your role."

"So, what else?"

"Well, first of all, we have to do something about your clothes. NO henchman of mine is going to dress like a gym teacher! Come here."

Sportacus followed Robbie over to his glass tubes. Robbie pressed a few buttons on the console next to them and all of the outfits were sucked away. New ones rose from the bottom. The new outfits were all suits in various shades of black and purple, from different decades.

"Too gloomy. Too roomy," Robbie said, of one with very wide shoulders. "Too groomy. Ahh, just right!"

Robbie looked in approval at a suit done entirely in the deepest black, save for the purple pinstripes that ran up and down the pants and jacket. Sportacus winced a bit, but nodded.

"That looks like something a villain would wear. It's so dark!"

"Thank you! I designed it myself. Stand there and pull that lever!"

Sportacus went to the console and pulled hard on the requested lever. He felt something grab him and spin him around. When it was over, he was dressed in the suit and his own clothes, including his hat, were in the tube. Robbie came over frowning, critically.

"Not bad, not bad. Your hair is a mess!" Robbie scolded. "Hat hair, yuck!"

Sportacus squirmed, as Robbie ran his fingers across his scalp, pulling Sportacus' blond locks into order. Finally, Robbie stepped back, with a decisive nod.

"Much better! I can't believe you're actually blond! You'll need to shower and wear some mousse, but I don't think the kids would recognize you. And...ooooh, so you really ARE an elf!"

"You already knew that. I think I need a hat to go with this. An elf henchman might be a bit suspicious!"

Robbie studied Sportacus intently for a moment, then nodded with a sigh.

"Yeah. No decent hairdo is going to hide those ears. Drat. All right, all right, I'll dig one up. When do we need to leave?"

"Tomorrow morning, um, rather early, I'm afraid."

"Fine, fine, be here around, say, one."

"Robbie, I mean, actually early. How about nine?"

"NINE?! Are you insane? That's practically the middle of the night!"

"No, it really isn't," Sportacus said, annoyed.

"It is for villain types!" Robbie declared, folding his arms. "The people you want to talk with aren't going to keep your early bird hours, Sportadork."

"All right, all right. How about we meet halfway and say eleven?"

"Eleven-thirty?" Robbie countered, almost pleading.

Sportacus closed his eyes and took a calming breath, then nodded, shrugging.

"All right, Robbie. But, be ready to leave, as soon as I get here!"

'Yes, yes, of course!" Robbie promised, smirking.


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