... That He Doesn't Help
Stephanie was standing stalk still, eyes wide as Robbie Rotten loomed over her. Snow falling out of his hair and off the back of his coat in clumps.
His hand had just moved from - rather harshly - brushing snow off of Stephanie's own shoulders, and his face was the picture of near murderous or at least, that was what it looked like to Stephanie.
She had never in all her life, seen Robbie Rotten look that angry.
That's when, Robbie Rotten, town's hater of all things good and fun, bundled in a poofy snow-jacket and swathed in a now-soaking scarf started to yell.
She had never heard him be so angry before.
Certainly, the villain had been angry many, many, times before. Stephanie and the others had seen him in all variations of angry, annoyed, disgusted and frustrated at all kinds of silly things. Things like: healthy food, 'sports-candy', playing games, exercise, Sportacus, and all sorts of normal healthy activities.
But this; this was not just funnily perturbed, this was furious.
"Of all the stupid idiotic things to do!" he announced, red-faced and one arm gesticulating wildly.
The other kids were there too, gaping at the scene before them. They really hadn't stopped gaping since the whole incident started.
"It was so completely moronic -" the villain continued.
Stingy's mouth was hanging open, Ziggy had long-since dropped the snow-lollipop he was making, and Pixel was just gaping in shock, not even moving to record the whole incident he was so surprised.
"- I- I- I can't believe," Robbie, could not even seem to form words correctly, one arm wrapped around his waist, and the other still whipping around the air as he bent lower to shout. "I can not believe you thought that was even remotely intelligent." He ended off, giving Stephanie such a look of disappointment that she cringed backward.
"I didn't mean -"
"You didn't mean?" He repeated in outrage. "You didn't think," he prodded her head.
"Hey! Stop yelling at her you meanie!" Ziggy was the first to get back his voice.
Robbie whirled, pointing at Ziggy with a finger. "Shut it, you. You're not any better." His attention turned back to Stephanie, and his free hand grabbed her shoulder, and he turned her around a couple of times as if examining her.
Thankfully that movement was not very harsh at all.
"You are lucky you weren't hurt!" Robbie continued, his hand still on her shoulder, and bent so close they were nearly nose-to-nose. "If I was not lurking around the corner, minding my own business, no-one could have caught you!"
"But Sportacus would have-," Ziggy tried to start, but the sour glare from Robbie was more than enough to shut him up quickly.
Robbie continued his rant, letting go of Stephanie, "I heard you all. Talking about how you could do something dangerous because you knew that Sportacus was going to come to your rescue." He sneered heavily. "Because you know that Sportacus would never let you hit the ground!"
"We didn't say that!"
"No buts! It. Is. No. Excuse!" he stomped one of his feet, but made a flinch of regret. Before Stephanie could say anything, he just continued on his tirade, "Sportacus is not some sort of- of- of," he wheeled his hand that was not around his middle. "-of... safety net!"
Stephanie cringed, her stomach twist with guilt.
The others just looked angry at Robbie.
Thankfully, in the moment it took for Robbie to catch his breath - his face was still red, and his hand was nearly-white knuckled - Sportacus came flipping onto the scene.
He was out of breath. "I thought I heard my crystal going off but it stopped -" his voice halted at the scene before him. "What has happened?"
Robbie did not even notice the arrival of the other, because he was looming over Stephanie again. "If you were not so lucky to have me there, you could be the one with a sprained arm, or- or- or- something far more important could be broken!" His finger waggled close to her nose. "You could have been so seriously injured." He stomped his feet again, wincing.
"I- I-" Stephanie looked from Robbie to Sportacus.
"Robbie!" this caught the villains attention, "What has happened here?" Sportacus said again, louder and more concerned.
Robbie's demeanor made a sharp shift. He stiffened, then straightened, and glowered over at the sports hero, his lip curling into a sneer.
The other children immediately jumped into their form of explanations before either Stephanie or Robbie could explain.
"Robbie started yelling at Stephanie!"
"It's no fair!"
"It's not her fault!"
"He said you couldn't save her!"
"He shouldn't yell at her like that!"
"It wasn't that big of a deal!"
"He's trying to make her cry!"
"Why is he here anyway?"
"He just wants to ruin our fun!"
Robbie's position straightened more, and his sneer became more set. A strange pallor settled into his face. Stephanie looked up at him, then to the other kids, then finally to Sportacus who looked more confused and concerned by what the kids were shouting over each-other. All calling foul-play dealt by Robbie on their dear friend.
"Whoa- whoa! Everyone-"
"Well." Robbie's voice cut through the commotion like a hot knife through butter. "Now that Sportakook is here. I will be leaving."
He turned on a dime.
"Wait Robbie-" Sportacus called, but the look he got from Robbie over his shoulder had been so acrid that the rest of the sentence trailed off quietly, "what... happened..."
With that, and no further looking back, Robbie stalked off; albeit stiffly however, and perhaps with a bit of an unsettled wobble. He disappeared from view.
A silence fell over the group, and Stephanie felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Stephanie? Can you please tell me what happened? I have never, ever, seen Robbie Rotten act that way before."
Stephanie fidgeted, still watching the spot where Robbie had disappeared from, before looking at Sportacus' sincere expression of worry.
"Robbie Rotten was being a huge bit meanie. That's what happened!" Ziggy cried, and he got a chorus of, "Yeah!" and "That's right!" from the other kids.
Sportacus held up a hand. "I do not think that is all of the story. I need to hear from Stephanie what has happened. What really happened. Since Robbie seems to have... gone home." Sportacus frowned for a moment but then smiled, squeezing Stephanie's shoulder slightly. "Come on, lets sit down."
He guided her - and all of them - to a nearby bench. He swept the snow off of it so that he and Stephanie could sit down.
Stephanie continued to fiddle with her hands. Not feeling at all like something wrong had been done to her, rather like she had done something wrong herself. Of course she did not want to be yelled at - by Robbie Rotten no less - as he friends were adamant in feeling was the real problem... But...
She felt she had done something really wrong, and the idea of telling Sportacus was making her stomach twist again.
"Stephanie," Sportacus started, leaning a little so he could look at her face. "It is important that you tell me what happened."
"It seems to me like something rather serious happened, and I need to know what." He pointed at his chest. "My crystal did not go off by mistake, did it?"
She shook her head.
"It went off because Robbie was being so rotten to Stephanie!"
"You saw how he was yelling at her!"
"He even poked her head!"
Stephanie spoke over that last comment. "Not hard!"
"He still yelled at her!"
"Okay. Okay." Sportacus had both hands up. "Please. I need to hear from Stephanie. This is very important."
She nodded, taking a breath. "I think you might get mad at me."
"Why do you think that?" Sportacus asked carefully after a moment.
"Because- because I think I did something very stupid." She wasn't looking at Sportacus' face, so she couldn't be sure of what his reaction to that statement was. She didn't hear a response though, and after a second, she followed it up with a, "Please don't get mad."
Sportacus was silent for another moment before she felt a comforting squeeze on her shoulder. "I might get mad."
"- But - that does not mean I will hate you, okay? I might be mad, or even disappointed, but that will not make me dislike you. I think I would be even more disappointed if you did not tell me."
She supposed that made some sense. She deliberated for only a moment, her hands still twisting in her lap, and decided it was best to just get it over with. She would rather Sportacus being a little disappointed than more disappointed.
"I got on the roof," she half blurted.
"- You got on the -"
"But it's not her fault that Robbie-" Ziggy interrupted, angrily.
Sportacus put up his hand again.
Stephanie could hear the frustration in his voice. "I think, kids, I should just speak with Stephanie."
The kids, clearly afraid that Stephanie was going to be in some sort of major trouble were about to put up a loud protest.
Sportacus spoke first. "I am glad to see you are all so willing to protect Stephanie. But right now, she needs to tell me what happened. I will speak to all of you later." His voice was kind, but it was a dismissal. He added though, in a more friendly and normal tone, "Why don't you go inside and get some nice hot coco? I promise, Stephanie will not be in big trouble."
The others grumbled and groaned, knowing they couldn't push the issue any further with the sports hero.
"Aw... alright. Stephanie can join us for hot coco later?"
"Of course," Sportacus smiled.
That seemed enough, and with slight grumbles of complaint, the others followed Sportacus' request and went inside to leave the two of them alone.
Once Sportacus was sure they were alone, the sports hero focused his attention back to Stephanie.
"Okay. Please tell me again, you went on the roof?"
Stephanie nodded, not really finding herself able to look up at Sportacus, even though they no longer had an audience. She heard that tone of worry.
"Stephanie, why did you think that was a good idea? I know there was fresh snow, but it has been so icy, you could have fallen, you could have been very badly injured. Even if it was a bright sunny day in the middle of the summer, the roof is no place to play."
Stephanie winced again but the hand around her shoulder reassured her that Sportacus was still being kind, still listening.
The hand was still reassuring, promising he wasn't hating her for any of this. "What if you fell?"
This was the hard part. She felt tears well up in the corners of her eyes and she was so focused on the stripes of her pink snow pants that she was not sure she could even look into those sincere worried blue eyes of her friend.
"I did fall off the roof, she finally managed.
"Stephanie!" She found herself being turned towards the hero, as he scrutinized her from head to foot, one hand on each of her shoulders. He lifted her chin with one hand, leaving the other on her shoulder "That was why my crystal was going off. You fell? Are you hurt? Are you injured?"
She shook her head quickly. "No no! I'm not hurt!"
He searched her face, "Are you sure?"
"I'm sure. I didn't really land on the ground."
"You didn't?" Sportacus asked, his hand dropping from her face. "What happened then?"
"I was on the roof because I was going to fix a light bulb I saw on uncle's lights that had gone out. I went out through the window and I couldn't keep balanced..."
She was looking at Sportacus' face, and his face was deeply creased with worry despite the fact she was sitting before him fully intact and free from harm.
"... I heard a shout just as I fell. I... I landed on Robbie."
She remembered someone calling her name, probably Robbie, probably her friends too, just as she fell. She remembered someone grabbing her, and then the two of them tumbling to the slick icy ground.
Sportacus blinked. "You... landed on... Robbie."
"I think he caught me, actually," Stephanie corrected.
"He caught you."
She just nodded.
She nodded again.
"You are not hurt?"
"No. I... I think Robbie made sure I wasn't?" she wasn't too sure, but Robbie did yank her to her feet and dusted the snow off of her, he even whirled her around as if scrutinizing her. Just like Sportacus had done not a few moments ago; just perhaps not as gently as Sportacus had done.
Sportacus blinked a few times, his hands withdrawing from Stephanie.
"What you did was very very foolish."
"You could have been very hurt." Oh, Sportacus was disappointed, wasn't he?
She bowed her head with a sniff. "I know."
Arms wrapped around her warmly. "I am very happy you are okay."
She hugged the man back with a sniff. She was glad she was okay too, but she did not feel any better.
"Robbie yelled at me," she said, still holding onto Sportacus, her voice watery.
"I heard some of that," Sportacus affirmed, rubbing her back slightly.
"He was really really mad."
There was a hum of agreement, "He was - though was more scared I think," Sportacus replied.
Stephanie pulled away, wiping at her eyes, and Sportacus pulled out a handkerchief emblazoned with a number-ten. She took it, dabbing at her face. "He was scared?"
"I think so. He did not look angry to me. I have seen him angry, it is very different. I think he was scared; even if he did not know it either." Sportacus expression clearly stated that he would have been scared too had his role been reversed with Robbie's.
She frowned. Was that why she felt so guilty? When she had first gotten up, she had been so ready to quickly apologize to Robbie Rotten for being there when she fell, but when she saw his face that's when that feeling of guilt dropped into her stomach like a hot stone.
"I'm really sorry."
Sportacus gently ruffled her hair, "I know," he said, leaning so he was more on her level. "I know it was probably scary to fall, and scary to have Robbie yell at you. Maybe he should not have scolded you quite like that, but I am very glad he was there. I was not fast enough today to catch you."
"I think, you need to go apologize to Robbie, and thank him, of course." He smiled,
She took his hand.
"After all," he continued, "I need to thank him too, for making sure you were okay. But only once you've calmed down."
She dabbed at her face again, sniffling. Sportacus stayed sitting beside her, hand on her back.
She knew that she was going to be in for a large scolding from her uncle, and probably a talk later again from Sportacus about proper safety. She knew for sure that Sportacus was going to talk to her friends about safety too, and probably not letting friends get up into dangerous situations.
At least, Sportacus didn't hate or or anything.
She looked at the crumpled handkerchief in her hands.
She really should do something for Robbie too. Even if he probably hated her guts now. Well, she knew he disliked all the kids, but he wasn't so awful as to just completely hate her now, was he?
She hoped that he was okay after crashing into him like that; because, now that she thought about it, nobody really made sure Robbie was okay. He did go crashing down to the icy ground with her on top of him, and everybody just yelled at him and he just left when Sportacus appeared.
"Sportacus," she started, looking up at him. "I think we should go check-"
Beepbeepbeep Beepbeepbeep Beepbeepbeep
Sportacus' eyes widened. "Someone's in trouble!"
Got all inspired when my childhood show LazyTown became MemeTown again and with the whole GoFundMe for Stefán Karl Stefánsson appeared. (Seriously - go look it up and donate if you're interested)
So I am here to give you all SportaDad, Hero-Not-So-Hero Robbie Rotten, and a lot of hurt/comfort; because I am a big ol' meanie to my favorite characters.
Enjoy! More to Come!