[personal profile] psifi872
Sportacus flipped his way down the streets of LazyTown. The children were in school, so he had some free time on his hands. The empty streets were a bit lonely, with all the people going about their daily tasks. Still, it was a good time to get some practice in and LazyTown was becoming more and more beautiful, now that all the citizens were taking better care of her. There were flowers in window sills and everything was shiny and clean. Flipping through the shopping district, because even heroes like to window shop, Sportacus saw Robbie Rotten, sitting alone on a bench.

"Good morning, Robbie!" Sportacus called out, as he ran by.

Robbie didn't answer, but Sportacus was used to that. Robbie was usually too busy scheming or sleeping to respond to greetings. A few yards later, Sportacus realized that today, though, something had been different. Surely he hadn't really seen that? Flipping back again, Sportacus stopped a few feet away from Robbie and stared. He had seen that.

Robbie was cradling a tiny baby in a blanket in his arms, a warm smile looking out of place on his face. Sportacus watched, as Robbie leaned forward and blew a soft raspberry against the baby's cheek. The baby laughed, waving it's hands, happily. Robbie laughed, too, gently bouncing the tiny child.

"Robbie?" Sportacus said, moving a bit closer. "You have a baby?!"

Robbie looked up in surprise, then looked from Sportacus to the baby, back, and again, his nose twitching in confusion.

"In...my arms, yes?" Robbie agreed, hesitantly, before shaking his head decisively. "It's not my baby, Sportaloon! This is Tricky's little sister."

"Oh, yes!" Sportacus agreed, sitting next to Robbie on his bench. "Little Jenny!"

"Sure, whatever," Robbie agreed indifferently, before turning his attention back to the child. "Is that your name, little one? Huh? Just look at you. Janie, Jeannie, Jenny, you're too young to care, anyways. Look at that tiny little nose, wrinkling all up! Is that a smile? Are you practicing smiling? Yes, that's a good girl."

Sportacus sat stunned. Robbie with a baby was just strange. Sportacus had thought Robbie held all children in contempt, but evidently not. He watched the self-proclaimed town villain tickling the baby under her chin, drawing out squeaky little laughs and cooing playfully.

"I found that tickle spot!" Robbie crowed, softly, chuckling. "Are you trying to get me, waving those little hands around? Look at those fingers. They're so tiny! What can you grip with those?"

The baby managed to latch her hand around one of Robbie's fingers, as he waved them at her. Sportacus laughed.

"Well, she caught something!"

Robbie spared Sportacus a brief glance, shrugging.

"Okay, you got me...or you got my finger. Yay. What are you going to do? Slobber all over it? Go ahead, then," Robbie offered, as the baby did just that. "Yuck-o, kid. That can't taste good. I hope I got all the grease off."

"Um, Robbie? I do have to ask. Why do you have Trixie's little sister?"

"If you must know, Sportaflop, her mother is shopping and the shops are a bit too cold. The kid's apparently been fighting a cold. Those nasty little sniffles have been bothering the little lady, yes," Robbie crooned.

"And, she left her baby with you?" Sportacus asked, skeptically, with only a hint of apology for it.

"What? Are you jealous?" Robbie asked derisively, then rolled his eyes. "Fine. You can hold her."

Sportacus scooted an inch or two away, ending up on the far end of the bench.

"Ah, no! No, thank you, Robbie. If Mrs. Troubleby asked you to watch her, then that's fine."

Robbie's smile turned predatory.

"Why, Sportacus! Don't you like babies?"

"I think babies are wonderful!" Sportacus said, defensively.

"Well, come here, then. If you get your way, you'll be teaching her baseball someday!"

"Robbie, no. I-I need to be free, if my crystal goes off."

"Uh huh. Admit it! You're afraid of babies!" Robbie gloated.

Sportacus glared, then sighed in defeat, nodding.

"All right, yes. I am. They're so small and soft!"

"Okay. So?" Robbie asked impatiently. "You're fine with small children. She's not that much smaller than Candy Boy."

"Ziggy," Sportacus corrected sternly. "The thing is, though...Ziggy can talk. If I squeeze a bit too hard, he can tell me."

"Well, that's what you get for being a muscle-bound Sportajock. Seriously, though, if you're going to be a hero, then you better know how to help and handle babies. What are you going to do? Send someone else in, if one gets in trouble?"

Sportacus gave a sigh, shaking his head.

"You're right."

"Of course. Now, come on. Come here," Robbie coaxed, patting the bench right next to his own leg.

"What are you getting out of this?" Sportacus asked, obeying.

"Seeing you squirm. What else? Now, hold your arm in an el, close to your chest. I'll let you know, if you're doing anything wrong."

Sportacus rolled his eyes, both amused and annoyed.

"What if I..."

"It's not that hard, Sportadork! Just support her head and her butt and don't let go."

Sportacus placed his arm into position. He couldn't help tensing, when Robbie placed Jenny in the crook of his arm. Robbie smirked, shaking his head and adjusting Sportacus' arm and hand.

"There. See? Now just place your other hand over her or around her side."

"Robbie," Sportacus said, not sure he had the baby held securely, but afraid to tighten his grip.

"I'm right here. Come on, relax. I won't let you drop her. You can hold her a bit tighter than that! She's not an egg."

"She's fragile!"

"She's also resilient and flexible. Besides, there's this thing called crying. If you really do squeeze a bit too tight, she can protest."

"But, then she'll be hurt!" Sportacus protested, alarmed.

"No, she'll be mad and fussy, but she'll complain long before she's injured."

Robbie scooted closer, until his side was pressed up against Sportacus, leaning in to the child. Sportacus blushed, as the other man's warmth penetrated into his side. He hoped Robbie mistook the reaction for frustration or annoyance. It didn't help, when Robbie wiggled around, finding a comfortable position that let him see the baby, too.

"See? You're doing it. She's happy enough. Now, try actually smiling and talking to her."

"Uh, okay!" Sportacus agreed, a new determination in his voice. "Hello, Jenny! I'm Sportacus."

Robbie stared at him, incredulous, shaking his head.

"I hope you're not waiting for her to reply."

"I know she can't talk yet," Sportacus said, dryly. "I didn't say I didn't know anything about babies!"

"Okay! So, quit trying to have a one-sided conversation with her and just let her get used to the sound of your voice."

"Why do you know so much about babies?"

"My little brother is five years younger than me," Robbie said, flatly. "Now, talk to her, not me."

Sportacus thought that was a rather strange demand, from someone who had almost squirmed his way into Sportacus' lap. He didn't protest, though. As he turned his attention back to Jenny, she gave a long yawn. Sportacus grinned.

"Naps are very important for small children..."

"DON'T LECTURE HER, SPORTACLOWN!" Robbie objected, a growl entering his voice.

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry!" Sportacus said, laughing. "You said to let her get used to my voice."

"I didn't mean like that," Robbie groaned, letting his head fall. It almost landed on Sportacus' shoulder, but Robbie caught himself at the last minute and tilted his head to the back of the bench.

"I don't know what to say!"

"Tell her she's adorable. Hum a lullaby. Anything that doesn't require her to talk back and isn't part of your hero agenda."

"Lullaby? I can do that!"

Robbie rolled his eyes, but sat back up, when Sportacus began softly humming, then singing. He was surprised at how good the elf's voice was. He was less surprised at how gentle and kind Sportacus sounded. As the soft song filled the air, Robbie found himself yawning and, again, having to concentrate to keep from curling up on Sportacus. Once Jenny was asleep, Sportacus stopped and turned back to his sleepy nemesis.

"Why do you need so much sleep? A good night's sleep should leave you full of energy for the day!"

Robbie arched an eyebrow at him.

"How wonderful for those who get a good night's sleep," he retorted, then looked away shiftily.

Sportacus frowned at Robbie's inadvertent confession.

"Why don't you sleep at night?"

"I'm cursed," Robbie said with blunt sarcasm, earning another eye roll from Sportacus.

"So, how did you end up baby-sitting? It doesn't seem like something you would enjoy."

"I've baby-sat almost every kid in this town, at one time or another. Usually, I just end up watching them, when their moms are shopping."

"But, you don't like kids."

"No, I don't like noise," Robbie corrected. "I like kids a lot, when they're being good and quiet and not waking me up from naps."

"Babies can be pretty loud."

"Sure. Babies, though, usually, usually quit making a lot of noise, if you give them what they want or need. Keep them clean and dry, well-fed, and warm and voila! You have a happy, quiet child!"

"But, if they make noise, play, and have fun, then they're brats," Sportacus said, unable to hide his disapproval.


"And, you don't like me, because I encourage them to have fun and be healthy."

"I would argue that being healthy and having fun are exactly opposite things," Robbie said, amused.

"They aren't!"

"Nevertheless, I had the life I wanted, before you came."

Grimacing, Sportacus nodded, looking away from Robbie, at the shops across the street. Robbie studied him, then continued in a softer tone.

"You're kind of like the kids, in that way. I don't so much dislike you, just...the effect you have on my life. I want some peace and quiet and I'll never get that with you around."

"It's peaceful, sometimes."

"Sportacus. I went to the moon to get away from the noise," Robbie reminded him. "And it followed me."

"That...they didn't mean to," Sportacus said, sighing.

"That doesn't make it any less irritating."

Robbie gently shifted Jenny from Sportacus' arms to his own, cradling her close. The men were silent for a few moments. Sportacus began doing stretches, reaching down to touch his toes. Robbie watched him, head tilted.

"What does it matter?"


"Whether I like you or not...what does it matter?"

Sportacus froze for a brief second, before continuing his stretches.

"I want you to like me."

"Yes, but why?"

Sportacus looked up in surprise, a puzzled frown wrinkling his brow.

"I like you."

"Heroes aren't supposed to like villains."

Sportacus laughed, shaking his head.

"Villains aren't supposed to follow rules," he countered, grinning.

"Fair point," Robbie conceded, chuckling.

"I really do want to be your friend, Robbie."

"Yes, well. That's part of the problem."


"You have, more than once, offered to be my friend. You have, however, never asked me to be your friend."

"I don't understand what you mean. I want us to be friends!"

"No, no. Those things are not the same. Asking for my friendship or for us to be friends suggests mutual benefit. Offering your friendship implies you're doing me a favor or want to give me something I can't get myself."

"What?! Robbie, I didn't mean that at all!" Sportacus protested, horrified.


"No! How does your mind even come up with such things?"

"I'm a genius."

Sportacus huffed in annoyance, staring at Robbie in wonder.

"That doesn't make it seem like a lot of fun!"

"Well. Everything has its downside. On the other hand, I come up with excellent schemes, am a brilliant inventor, and can disguise myself as practically anyone or anything."

"Yes, you can," Sportacus agreed, chuckling helplessly.

"No more talking, for now," Robbie ordered, staring down the street.

Sportacus followed his gaze and saw Mrs. Troubleby coming down the street, pushing a stroller, with some groceries tucked in the back. She stopped at the bench, staring down in surprise.

"Well, hello, Sportacus," she said.

"Hello, Mrs. Troubleby. Robbie was just introducing me to Jenny."

"Oh, that's nice of him," she said, ignoring Robbie's grimace. Mrs. Troubleby reached into a bag and pulled out a large, chocolate cake, with crushed Oreos over vanilla frosting from the local bakery. She set it down on the small bit of space between Robbie and the edge of the bench. "Here you are, Robbie. Thank you for watching Jenny for me."

"You're welcome," Robbie said, handing Jenny back over, with a bit of reluctance.

"Oh, there's my good girl," Mrs. Troubleby said, giving her a brief cuddle, before strapping her into the stroller. "Have a good day, you two."

"Uh huh," Robbie said, disinterested.

"Good-bye!" Sportacus replied at the same time, cheerfully.

Robbie gave a sigh of contentment, lifting the cake onto his lap and eyeing it greedily.

"Are you always paid in cake?"

"Or cookies or cupcakes. Surely, you agree it's polite to make some small gesture of thanks?"

"Of course. Can we talk again now?"

"I have cake. You have about ten seconds to come up with something good."

"Can we please be friends? To each other?"

"Hm. Are you going to expect me to eat sportscandy, stay awake all the time, and play sports?"

"No! I can't promise to never give advice, but you're an adult. You make your own decisions."

"Right! And, now, I decide I'm going to eat cake. We can be friends later, whatever that involves."

"Are you going to eat all of that?"

Robbie gently booped Sportacus' nose.

"You're just jealous that you can't have any."

"I'm really not," Sportacus assured him, dryly.

"Well, you should be!" Robbie insisted, then looked a bit sad. "A life with no cake. That's tragic. I might have to invent a cake that won't give you meltdowns."

"I certainly would appreciate that more than sugar apples."

"I've eaten those. They're delicious."

"I...didn't actually want to know that."

"Too late, now. And, your ten seconds is up," Robbie announced, standing up with his cake tucked under his arm. "See you later, Sporty."

"Bye, Robbie," Sportacus replied, smiling.

Leaping up, Sportacus threw himself into a series of joy-fueled flips. Robbie had agreed to be friends! A wonderful warmth filled his chest, bubbling up to his throat and becoming laughter. He paused, considering. If Robbie was going to make a special cake for him, maybe Sportacus could find a way to help Robbie nap, without making the kids lazy! Most importantly, now that they were friends, Sportacus could start trying to win Robbie's love.

This should be fun.



June 2017

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