It was quiet in Lazytown.
The sun hung idly overhead, not so much as a breeze coming through to rustle the tree branches. The birds were all lulled to sleep in the midday summer haze, leaving the air still and blessedly silent. It was a perfect day to lie down and do nothing, a perfect day to nap and stay in doors and it seemed like the entire town had taken that idea on board.
It was perfectly lazy in lazyto-
Hold on, that didn't seem right.
Robbie stilled. Hands clenching his blanket tight as he waited for the illusion of calmness to pass. Waited for the thud of too many children's feet rushing around over his head, for the sound of laughter too early in the day, for the annoyance to begin anew. He waited, eyes flicking back and forth as he scanned the cavernous ceiling above him, just waiting for the moment it all started up again.
Violently Robbie threw himself into motion. Vaulting out of his orange comfort chair and out onto the hard metal of the lair floor. For a man so consistently exhausted and aching in every conceivable way – he could be quite spritely when the need presented itself. And often when it did not.
He was suspicious of the silence. Didn't trust the moment of quiet anymore than he trusted Sportaflop to keep his nose out of his business.
Determined to see exactly what was going on above his own head, Robbie clambered up onto the second landing and called down the periscope. It was a good day and the device narrowly missed knocking him on the head this time. Tomorrow he might not be quite so lucky.
Peering through the device, squinting out of habit, Robbie began looking around for any sign of those brats. Not in the park, well that was something at least. The school was shut up for the weekend, no luck there. Each of the children's houses were empty as well. They weren't by the mayor's office either. Where on earth were those blasted children?
For a second Robbie worried that they might have decided to skip town again. But no. He was quick to reassure himself, they'd promised to at least leave a note if they were going out of town again. Those do gooders were all about keeping promises and all that nonsense, he had nothing to worry about.
Not that he was worried of course.
Just about to give up and assume that they'd all finally dropped from eating too much sportscandy, Robbie was about ready to haul himself up there and take a look for himself when he finally spotted one of them.
"It's the pink one!" Robbie exclaimed, the periscope sliding closer to the child. Stephanie wasn't terribly active, much to Robbie's sincere relief, but he couldn't quite tell what she was doing.
The young girl was laid out flat on the warmed cement of the road. There were no cars in Lazytown to worry about except for Stingy's and he was slow enough a driver to avoid. Not to mention he usually made quite the show of dragging that little car of his through town. Stephanie wouldn't be taken by surprise if he came puttering along.
It took some maneuvering and Robbie very nearly fell off the steps to the platform in his efforts to get the periscope into position, but eventually eh could make out the pen in the girl's hand. It hovered uncertainly above a presently blank piece of paper. Writing? Well it was not the worst activity he'd ever found one of the children doing. It was certainly one of the quietest. Not the worst by far.
And yet Robbie still found himself hesitant to accept that was all she was doing. It felt too easy.
Idly kicking her feet up and down, Stephanie continued thinking about what she was going to write, wholly unaware of the ridiculous periscope eyes on her.
She was having some trouble with this one. Writing a letter certainly hadn't sounded difficult at the time and she'd written her fair share of letters to Sportacus's airship, but this wasn't turning out to be very easy at all. The intent was there but the words just weren't coming to her.
Frustrated Stephanie let her gaze slip upward. She thought about sending for help. Sportacus had never failed to come down when asked, even when there wasn't, strictly speaking, any trouble. He also always seemed able to offer assistance; Stephanie doubted there was anything that Sportacus couldn't do.
Helping her write a letter was hardly a stretch.
Still Stephanie hesitated. Partly because she didn't want to bother Sportacus with something so mundane, and partly because it didn't seem like anyone else was having trouble with this. Stephanie was new to this little exchange of theirs, but surely the other kids hadn't struggled this much.
Speak of the devil…devils.
Stephanie glanced up as the sound of four separate sets of feet came pounding down the path towards her, and much to Stephanie's dismay, each child held a sealed envelope.
"Stephanie, Stephanie!" Ziggy cried excitedly, waving his poorly taped up letter as he approached the older girl. "Have you got your letter written, huh? Huh?"
Smiling tightly Stephanie tried not to let it show how badly she'd done. She knew it was wrong of her to pretend but Stephanie didn't want the other children to think she'd failed at something. But the blank letter under her hands was rather telling.
"My letter is clearly the best." Stingy asserted with a stiff nod. "My pen-pal will be the happiest."
"No way." Trixie huffed, holding her own letter tight to her chest. Even from this distance Stephanie could see how poor Trixie's penmanship way. "You wrote all about yourself."
While the children began to chatter about what they'd all written into their letters, Stephanie felt her heart growing heavier with every word. Pixel, not having said anything yet took notice and cautiously approached her.
"Having trouble?" Stephanie felt the urge to protest well up in her. Felt the reflexive need to assure Pixel that everything was fine. But after the initial impulse simmered down, Stephanie once again looked crestfallen.
"It's okay to ask for help sometimes when you're in trouble." She reminded herself sullenly and showed the blank page to Pixel. "And I am having a little trouble."
There was no reason to be surprised when immediately her friends attempted to help. There was a bit of teasing from Trixie but each of the children began to offer up suggestions. What would a pen-pal like to hear? How to start? What was too much, what was too little? Before long she had more suggestions than she knew what to do with and half of them were completely unusable due to them being tailored specifically to the other children's likes and dislikes.
Not a single one of the children saw the periscope popping up over the other side of a nearby wall, or the way it narrowed in on the letters. Underground Robbie was baffled, they were writing letters? There was something there to get frustrated over but honestly given their usual activities being so much rowdier.
"Bah! How hard can it be?" Robbie remarked to himself, whipping away from the periscope, scowling back at it and by extension the children. "I could write a great letter- no! The best letter!" Chuckling to himself Robbie marched away from the viewing area to search for something to write on.
He dug through piles of abandoned trinkets and gadgets, none of which made good pens. What he eventually came across was a bundle of unused purple papers, left blank thankfully, and an old pen. Inside it the ink capsule had exploded, coating the once clear plastic in black gunge. But when he scribbled against his palm some ink came out and so Robbie shrugged and decided it would have to do.
Satisfied Robbie took himself back to his favourite spot on the couch, settled in and set the pen to paper…then nothing.
"Hm. How about—no, no." Robbie tried again but the words weren't coming. What did people write in letters? Robbie hadn't written one is such a long time… "Well maybe…argh!"
Throwing his hands up, paper and all, Robbie let out a furious huff and began to sulk. "How can anyone be expected to use letters anymore? It's the modern age!" While he ranted off excuses, up above the children's voices began to once again catch his attention. Specifically one word.
Robbie leapt right back out of his chair and flew back to the periscope. Sure enough those brats were hustling towards the launcher, no doubt to shoot off a message to that flipping buffoon. Robbie could only watch as they stuffed the request inside and set it hurtling up into the sky.
Grimacing, Robbie begrudgingly head upwards. If Sportaloser was going to come down then Robbie had best be up there. Not to hear whatever ridiculous advice he might offer the children of course. That would be ridiculous. He was simply going up for a better vantage point.
That was the story he told himself every single rung out of the lair.
Up on Sportacus's airship, the day had been just as quiet as Robbie's. But rather than finding the silence a suspicious relief the slightly above average hero had found it to be more monotonous. He'd spent time laying out a healthy assortment of sportscandy for every important meal of the day, cleaning and arranging the few of his belongings that had managed to leave their proper places, and of course going through a few standard exercises.
It kept him limbered up and ready should trouble break out, but today hadn't seen one kitten trapped in a tree or hazardous placement of a skateboard. Leaving Sportacus to his own devices.
When the computer announced that he had mail, Sportacus couldn't have been more thrilled. Cautiously optimistic, but thrilled none the less. "I've got mail!" He was not surprised to see it was from the children and judging by the smooth writing it was from Stephanie. They didn't say it was urgent but it seemed purposefully vague. Hoping this was a good thing Sportacus called for the door and made his way down to the town.
The moment his feet landed on the ground, Sportacus bounced. It was a reflex he hadn't grown out of and without thinking much of it Sportacus flipped up onto his hands while calling out. "What seems to be the trouble?"
Stephanie and the kids never seemed to adjust to his sudden appearances and even upside down he could see perfectly the moment they realised it was him and their faces lit up. In response Sportacus smiled back. The kid's happiness was infectious and it seemed that none of them were in any immediate danger.
Of course had they really been in danger the crystal would have been going off long before the letter reached him.
"You're going to need your hands for this." Trixie pointed out and it genuinely took Sportacus a moment to figure out what she meant.
"Oh! Right." Sheepishly looking at his hands still planted above his head on the ground, Sportacus gave another simple flip and landed back up on his feet. "So what are we doing?"
Honestly had the children just called him down to play Sportacus wouldn't have protested it. Sometimes it surprised him how much the kids just wanted him to join in their festivities, and admittedly it was also rather heart-warming. But he was a hero first, so usually the job came long before playing games.
"We're writing our pen-pals letters." Stingy told him only for Ziggy to break in and add.
"But Stephanie hasn't written anything yet!"
Looking over at Stephaine, Sportacus could see her beginning to clamp up. Embarrassed and feeling a little guilty for having made such a big deal about it, there was every chance she would abandon this new idea just to avoid the situation.
"I think that's a great idea! Making friends in other places is a wonderful thing to do." He encouraged quickly. "Even if it's a little difficult at first, you'll get the hang of it. Come on, we'll help you figure out what to say first. Starting a conversation is the hardest part."
Now Sportacus was sure he'd said the right thing because Stephanie's smile made a nervous return and her eyes began to shine with all the possibilities. Really he hadn't been sending letters himself in years and all those he had sent came extremely easy to him because most were, for lack of a better term, work related.
He meant what he'd said, getting into contract with people outside of Lazytown opened up all sorts of opportunities for the kids.
"If it helps." He began, only slightly less enthusiastic. "I'll write a letter as well. Then we can all send one."
This got the children positively buzzing with excitement and Stephanie's timid smile had once again turned into a full blown beaming grin. That alone was enough to convince Sportacus to get the old writing equipment back out.
Although, while he was always more than happy to help them, Sportacus knew this was going to be one of the more difficult ones. If only because it required he not move around as much. Still he was sure he could manage…at least for a little while. For the kids.
Sportacus and the kids settled down outside on the grass, deeming it too nice a day to do this indoors, and began to chat about their letters. It also allowed Sportacus to keep moving in small ways, a few push-ups or sit-ups were not deemed too distracting from their activities.
Besides Stephanie the others all seemed to know exactly what they wanted to say but Sportacus had to break in once or twice to remind them to ask questions to their friends receiving the letters, or offer up a little bit more to work off. Stingy could get too bogged down in things about himself, Pixel too excited about the newest technology to allow for someone else's hobbies, and Trixie had the strangest habit of acting like she didn't want to be writing the letter at all when it was obvious she was very excited. Stephaine put that behaviour down to a pride problem.
Ziggy was perhaps the most well suited to writing letters, showing ample interest in the receivers life and offering up enough of his own to be genuine. Sportacus turned to Ziggy most often when searching for ideas for Stephanie's letter.
In the end they'd managed to work out a few basic things to say. Hello being the most important, moving on to a little description of how they felt about sending the letter before talking a little about themselves and Lazytown. Little, being the difficult part for some of the children. Then finally asking about the other child and their life in…
"Hey," Sportacus spoke up, breaking away from his push-ups for a moment to ask what he should have asked a while ago. "where exactly are we sending these letters anyway?"
According to Pixel they'd been in contact with these pen-pal friends of theirs for some time now. But Stephaine was new in town and it hadn't even crossed their minds until earlier that week in school when their answering letters came back and Stephaine was left without one. Sportacus hadn't heard of it either, but he supposed it was a fairly personal thing for most of them.
"Oh!" Trxie was the one that answered. "It goes over to our…um what was it called…our sister school." She explained, taking a moment to remember the terminology.
Sportacus stopped moving.
"Sister school?" He repeated. That made sense but usually that meant it would be in their sister town as well. But certainly they didn't mean—
"Yeah, over in Busy City!" Ziggy exclaimed and Sportacus's smile dimmed just slightly.
It was such a small reaction that he was sure the children didn't notice it, but to Sportacus feeling a mood drop of any kind was rather startling.
"Who are you going to send your letter to, Sportacus?" Ziggy continued, startling the hero for a moment.
Making good on his word Sportacus had written a letter along with the other children. It was an entirely inoffensive thing and he'd made it more as an example as opposed to an actual letter he planned on sending but knowing now that these were headed for Busy City…
"Well I think I'll just hold onto it for a little while." He announced, much to the children's surprise and eventual protest. "I haven't got a pen pal set up, maybe I'll ask the mayor next time around."
It was a flimsy excuse and one that bordered on being a fib. The kids didn't look sold on it either. It was a genuine relief when his crystal came to life, beeping shrilly and demanding his attention.
"Someone's in trouble!" And if that didn't sound like an exclamation of relief… "Sorry kids I got to go."
Sportacus couldn't flip out of there fast enough.
The trouble, as it turns out, was Robbie. Hardly shocking considering most of the residents of Lazytown had been with Sportacus only moments ago. Still when he found himself approaching a very stuck looking Robbie only a short distance from where he and the children had been writing, Sportacus couldn't help but be a little surprised.
Robbie hadn't been up to anything in particular that day. Sportacus hadn't seen any unexplained new people appearing in Lazytown, as they so often did whenever Robbie had a scheme going. Nothing was going array and besides that small lapse in comfort back with the children, everything had been going smoothly.
And yet there Robbie was, stuck up on a high branch with what looked like binoculars clutched tightly to his chest. Spying was it?
"Robbie." Sportacus called from under the tree, smiling brightly even as the man in question scowled down at him. Robbie quickly regretted taking the effort to glare because it also reminded him of just how high up he was and he was once again clinging to the tree trunk for dear life. "You really must stop climbing trees, Robbie."
"Go away!" Robbie shouted, trying to shoo Sportacus. "I don't need your help." Then the branch Robbie was on bounced and the man let out a shrill scream, curling up against the base of the tree. Help was exactly what he needed.
"Just get me down!" Robbie snarled, shaking like a leaf.
"You got yourself up there." Sportacus reminded him, hoping that maybe this time Robbie would realise that all he had to do was jump down. He really wasn't up that high. He didn't mean for the words to sound snide but Robbie clearly took them that way.
"You elves…" Robbie was muttering furiously to himself and Sportacus patiently waited for the man to be done with his ravings.
"I'll catch you." He offered, arms held out. Robbie looked at him like he was a snake, just waiting for his chance to bite. But he'd already been caught and saved and carried so many times by Sportacus, he ought to have been used to it by now. "Come on Robbie. I promise I'll catch you."
Again there was that look. Robbie staring down at him like he was something foul but as the moments stretched on, it seemed Robbie was gradually leaning towards trusting Sportacus. Which might not have been a first in itself, but it would be the first time he actually consciousnessly chose to trust the hero.
Which is why of course the branch chose that precise moment to snap.
Robbie screamed, the branch gave away and Sportacus vaulted up and off of a nearby wall to leap up and catch the mess of limbs that was Robbie before he could meet painfully with the ground.
It was instinctual by now that the villain would wind himself up in Sportacus's arms, curling into his chest like a terrified child. It was the only way Sportacus could actually hold Robbie, the man being so much taller than he was. With Robbie once again safely nestled in his arms and once again on solid ground, Sportacus could breathe a sigh of relief and the crystal cooled down in its frame.
"You're on the ground now Robbie." Sportacus informed the villain simply, seeing as Robbie still seemed to think he was in danger.
Robbie whipped his head up, looked at the ground, looked at the tree, looked at Sportacus… "I knew that."
Rolling his eyes with an amused smile, Sportacus allowed Robbie to wiggle his way out of his arms. Robbie made a big show of huffing and straightening out his vest before stalking off without another word. Sportacus watched him go, thinking that he looked rather flustered.
It did trouble Sportacus sometimes, knowing how poorly Robbie looked after himself. The children had himself and the other adults to keep an eye on them, but Robbie was supposed to be taking care of himself and he didn't seem to be all that good at it. Of course, offering to help Robbie would likely result in the man being insulted by the insinuation that he was a child.
Sportacus still did not know what it was Robbie had been up to in the first place that got him into that tree. But it was getting late into the evening and Robbie didn't tend to kick up too much grief at night, so perhaps today just wasn't going to be one of the villain's days.
He didn't return to the children that day, not wanting to risk anymore questions about the letters. Instead he kept an eye on them form afar and only returned to the airship once it started to near night time. The kids got their letters all handed over to the mayor who would go about sending them on to the principal of the school they were in contact with.
Although Sportacus did genuinely believe what they were doing was a good thing, he hadn't realised that it would be Busy City or they they'd want him to send one too.
Feeling a little guilty for having so obviously bailed on the children, Sportacus found himself looking down at the mock-up letter he'd written. It was so friendly and open, nothing like the letters he'd previously sent to Busy City. He couldn't tell the children that he'd already written there, that he already knew someone to write to.
That he didn't want to write to them.
As a result the mock up letter he'd written got placed away inside one of the compartments around the airship. It felt wrong to throw it out after having spent time making it with the kids, but there was nothing else to do with it. Maybe in a few years he'd open up the compartment again and be reminded of the day, it would make a nice little memento of his time with the kids.
Which meant that he could forget all talk of Busy City. His crystal wouldn't glow for a place so far away unless there was really big trouble and even then, Sportacus was confident he was not the hero to deal with it. Busy City fell out of his district, which had been perfectly fine with him for years now. Lazytown was constantly in need of help after all, he was not lacking people to save or things to do.
He hadn't had to think about or travel to Busy City for years now and Sportacus had no intentions of changing that. He was perfectly happy here with the kids.
Satisfied with that Sportacus prepared for an early night. Just like every other night, eight past eight on the dot.
"So they want to write to silly little love letters to brats over in Busy City, do they?" Robbie huffed, pacing the length of the lair once or twice.
He should have been satisfied that he'd had a whole day without the noise of the children pestering him, ignoring the little misadventure he'd had, and yet he just couldn't. He felt far too apprehensive about the whole thing. He'd been living with this ridiculousness for too long, now he couldn't accept even the smallest sliver of respite from it all.
How bad could it possibly be? Writing letters was a wonderfully quiet task and it had even managed to keep Sportacus, mostly, still when he came down to help them. Robbie chose not to think about the ensuing scene that played out when Sportacus found him in the tree. At the end of the day, if it kept the little noisemaker's distracted then Robbie was all for the activity.
Still, it was Busy City they were writing to.
Which meant that his spying would actually be of use, Robbie knew someone to write to in that dreadful place. Always moving, never sleeping – that city was a lost cause that Robbie would rather never set foot in again. A fool's errand to try and make that place lazy, that's what it was. He'd much rather stay here in Lazytown, even with Sportaflop constantly making a joke of the town's name.
But despite knowing someone to write to in that city, Robbie didn't feel much like doing so.
"Why would I send that pompous buffoon anything?" He crowed aloud, as if saying the words louder would somehow chase off the implication that he was bitter after not having heard from the other man in such a bleedingly long time. It wasn't as though Robbie had been waiting for some sort of contact from him for years now. Not at all.
He wasn't bitter.
Maybe just a tinsey, tiny bit.
The thought had lodged itself so deeply into Robbie's head that even once he fell back into his comfort chair, there wasn't a hope of getting to sleep. He knew this feeling, his mind turning too fast, too constantly – chasing away any chance of sleeping that night. He waited, eyes screwed shut as if he could force himself to clock out for a few hours.
When this failed Robbie resorted to counting sheep. An hour passed.
Next he got up to try hot chocolate. Warm milk wasn't an option unless he wanted to gag on it, but hot chocolate was just as passable. Another hour slipped by.
Running out of conventional ideas Robbie tried sleeping in different places all over the lair, even going so far as to try the actual bedroom. It hadn't been out of commission long enough to gather dust but there was a distinct staleness to the air when he pried the door open.
Robbie tried sleeping in a bed, then on his head. No luck, so he moved to the floor and when that made him sore, Robbie propped his feet up against the door. No matter what position he put himself into or how furious his complaints, not a single one was comfortable nor sleep worthy. And a third hour passed.
By the time the fourth hour came creeping in and Robbie was still wide awake with no signs of that changing any time soon, it had already passed over into morning. The particularly early morning hours that felt more like night than they did day. It would be another six of them before the sun even began to peek up over the trees and it was likely that when it did, Robbie would still be awake. Eyes dry, joints stiff and his every imaginable muscle aching.
Then, if the trend continued as it usually did, he'd be awake for the following two days before fatigue finally hit him like a freight train and knocked him out wherever he stood.
It was not shaping up to be his week, and still that thought persisted.
He'd tried not to look at the stationary he'd tossed haphazardly onto the workbench. But every time he tossed and turned, it would be there – staring at him. It was a mockery and his over tired mind suggested that it was intentional. Somehow the children had known about this, somehow they'd planned it. Robbie refused to think otherwise, rationality be damned.
Growling Robbie kicked his blanket off. The mad flailing almost tangling him in it before the blasted thing when flying across the lair floor. Stalking over to the paper Robbie decided that there was only one thing to do about this. He would send a letter and he would pack it full of his frustration and relentless thoughts flying around his head.
Only once it was sent could he sleep. That was his new theory and if the letter turned out to be resentful or harsh – then fine! It was that bastard's own fault for not answering the last one.
The pen scratched away hastily and Robbie nearly wrote the whole thing that way before remembering who was going to read it. Robbie stopped, looked over the near unintelligible chicken scratchings, groaned, and tried again.
Had it been nearly anyone else, he would have left it just like that. But unless he wanted to get a response that simply corrected every single one of his mistakes in penmanship, he had better do it the way they were taught to write.
Replacing Robbie's natural hand was a much smoother motion. The letters curved and flowed smoothly across the page and while Robbie cringed at the fragility and stiffness of the penmanship – he found it was satisfactory. Rusty as he might have been, Robbie hadn't forgotten how to do it properly.
The words were not nearly as delicate as the flow of their writing.
When Robbie was satisfied that the letter was both eloquently made and vicious in its wording, he went about sealing it up. It was only when it came time to address the letter did Robbie pause. He recalled the last three addresses he'd written down for this contact. One of which had – funnily enough – been addressed to the Busy City prison. There was every chance he was back in that same prison cell by now. Which was almost a good enough excuse for his absence, almost.
"If he's moved again…" Robbie snarled under his breath, writing the last known address he had and the last alias he'd caught the villain going by.
It wasn't that he wanted to join in the kid's festivities. That would be absolutely absurd. He just…well he just had to get all the thoughts out of his head and this seemed like an easy way to do it. This was all just a way to finally get some sleep. Nothing more.
Telling himself that all the way across the lair Robbie kept staring at the envelope in his hands, hesitating on posting it.
Small doubts flooded him. Would it get there? What if the address really was wrong or they'd moved again? Worse, what if it did get there.
He imagined it being received and then ignored. The thought was actually a little bit distressing and while Robbie wouldn't admit to it, he didn't want to send a second letter to be ignored.
Curling in on himself slightly, Robbie didn't move for a while. Instead he just held the suddenly fragile seeming letter to his chest. He almost tore it before realising exactly how tightly he was holding it. "It's not important." Robbie told himself quietly. "I hardly care if he gets it or not."
There was no one there to hear him but still Robbie had said it. The words didn't sound any more truthful out loud.
"This is ridiculous!" Robbie announced angrily to himself.
It was like a bandaid in a sense, fast and extremely painful. Robbie forced himself to do it as quickly as he could, jerking open the main slot to a device that was honestly not all that different to the launcher the children used to contact the elf. He didn't fancy going up to use the regular mailbox after all, so this was his solution.
Robbie crammed the envelope inside, slammed the door back shut and shot off the mail in little more than three seconds.
Only after it had shot out of the underground lair and out of his control did the nervousness make a return. When it did, it did so with a vengeance. Robbie felt absolutely no better than he had moments earlier and now he was anxious as well to top it all off.
Out - flipping- standing.
Robbie slumped, hand still lingering on the hatch to the launcher. Now that he'd sent the letter off he had nothing but time to wait and be disappointed when he got no answer. It would be months before the thought fully left his mind again and he'd done it to himself. Beginning his bad mood now that he expected would last until he once again pushed Busy City entirely from his mind, Robbie began to sling back towards his orange couch.
Imagine his surprise when he got mail right that second.
Robbie jumped and screamed as a large box came hurtling down into the middle of the lair. It landed with a heavy thud and Robbie leapt back up onto his chair, back arched and fingers hooked at his stared at the unanticipated arrival.
The box didn't do anything for a few seconds and Robbie's heart gradually returned from to his chest from his throat. He hadn't been expecting that. Cautious, Robbie slowly crept off of the chair and rounded the mysterious box.
As far as an address went it was simply made out to RR, the familiar signature doing little to assure Robbie. He hadn't ordered anything recently and he didn't believe that this could possibly be in response to the letter he'd just sent. But when he looked for a sender, there it was. A near match for his signature,
He couldn't believe it. It didn't make sense. He'd only just pulled the lever to the launcher and even if the letter had arrived as quickly as Robbie's usually did, surely they couldn't have got all this together…what was this, anyway?
It was quite large and not quite was he was used to getting. It wasn't brown with warning labels; instead it was made of a black smooth wood that seemed a touch expensive for any delivery.
Already suspicious, Robbie balked when he saw that there were holes in the box. Not unlike what he'd seen on animal transport containers. The scale of the thing made him suspicious as well. When he'd ordered Robotacus, it had come in a box about this size. Admittedly a little larger, but not by much.
Then the thing moved.
Robbie let out an undignified yelp and toppled backwards. It took a few seconds of mind numbing terror to pass through his system before he realised what he was hearing.
A soft little tapping coming from inside the box. Like someone was tapping a little tune in there. Robbie's heart plummeted, imagining all the horrible things that might have been sent to him. If he opened this thing was he going to regret it? Would he really be sent something that would hurt him?
The tapping certainly did not sound violent, but the fact something was tapping at all was cause enough for alarm. Taking a deep breath, Robbie steeled himself to open it. He'd been sent something and he couldn't just ignore it.
His curiosity was going to get him killed one day, hopefully not this specific day.
It was no easy task trying to remove the lid. It didn't fall open like previous packages had. Instead it too Robbie two heaves and a crowbar to so much as shift the thing. When he did manage to get the lid open a fraction and cram the crowbar into a better position, it took entirely too much strain on his end to pop it the rest of the way off.
The box had been sent to him. Surely it was obvious that he was going to struggle opening the worlds most secure box. Now left irritated, insulted and baffled- Robbie peered back inside of the box and groaned when he saw that the first layer was simply extra protection. Inside was a smaller box with another set of air holes and the addition of padding.
Getting this second lid off was much easier than the first but it did Robbie's blood pressure no favours when he saw what was in that second, much smaller box.
Robbie choked, gaped and desperately rubbed his eyes in the hopes that the tiny human staring up at him from inside the container was not real. Nestled safely under a frankly ridiculous amount of purple and black blankets, surrounded by padding, cushions, what appeared to be one oversized stuffed bear and a grossly oversized purple bow pinned to its chest – was a child.
He was going to murder Glanni for this.