Author's Note: I know, it's been forever. In my defense, I thought I had lost 90% of this chapter forever and I had been pretty upset about it. I hate rewriting things since I feel like it never turns out right the second time around. I had finally resigned myself to the inevitable rewrite when I discovered this chapter wasn't as lost as I thought it was. Yay! So after I got back my LazyTown inspiration, I finished this off and here you go!
I also want to thank everyone that reviewed and to that one lone fave that guilted me into finishing this. I won't say when the next update is, but I hope you guys like this chapter. I guess I should warn you that the story will be slow going. The last half of this chapter was inspired by the reviewer who asked if there will be friendship. Of course there will be friendship! But it will be slow going.
Chapter Three: Are We Friends?
The opposite Stephanie turned her thoughts away from tomorrow's adventures and instead thought of all the names she knew, which were few. She frowned a little since she didn't want another kid's name. She wanted her own. She recalled that Stephanie had said that Robbie was like her dad.
Should her name be similar to his?
She looked thoughtful at that and the name 'Roberta' floated into her mind. She stifled a giggle at the more feminine version of Robbie's name and mentally shook her head. No, not that one.
She liked purple and her hair was going to be purple.
..Was that even a name?
She paused, thinking, but decided that even if it was, it wasn't for her.
Wasn't she ever going to think of a name?!
The opposite Stephanie stared around herself for inspiration, but all she saw was Robbie's gadgets scattered around. She sort of wished that he could have some windows. She couldn't even see any birds or animals.
Then she grinned as a name came to her.
It was perfect!
She almost gave a happy little squeal but covered her mouth in time to stop it, remembering that Robbie hated noisy children.
She couldn't help the giggle that slipped out though. She couldn't help it, she was so happy! She was going to have a look all her own and now she had her very own name!
"Quiet over there!" Robbie groused as he mixed up hair dye. "You are supposed to be resting!"
"Sorry," the opposite Stephanie said, not sounding sorry at all. "But I thought of a name for myself! A really good one," she added proudly.
"Let me guess.." Robbie said in a bored tone, not managing to hold back an eye roll. "Violet."
The opposite Stephanie gaped at him. How did he know that was one of the first names she thought of?
Noticing that she looked like a gaping fish, Robbie smirked.
"You did say that you liked purple, it was not hard to figure out. So now you are Violet? Not a very original name, little girl." Robbie said, still smirking a bit.
Snapping out of her daze, the opposite Stephanie shook her head.
"No, it wasn't the right one," she said, her voice growing softer as she averted her gaze to her lap. She twisted her fingers together nervously, her smile gone after Robbie had said the name was unoriginal. What if he thought this one was too?
Pretending not to notice that he had somehow managed to hurt the opposite Stephanie's feelings, Robbie gave an impatient huff.
"Well?!" he demanded. "Out with it!"
"Robin," the opposite Stephanie said, her voice softer than ever. "I.. I wanted my name to be like yours."
When the silence stretched on, she continued to babble.
"I know it's dumb and unoriginal, but I really like it."
Robbie stopped staring at.. Robin in surprise. He'd never ever admit it, but for a moment he'd been touched. He hurriedly turned back to finishing up the hair dye.
"It's a good name," he said gruffly, "for a.. little girl like you."
He had been about to say 'for a doll like you,' but hastily stopped himself, not wanting to hurt her feelings further.
He shook his head at that. He was getting soft! Look at him, sewing, mixing up hair dye! And now that she was going purple, he had even more sewing to do, to give her an outfit that would match her hair.
He was brought out of his musings, however, by a hopeful voice.
"You really think so?" Robin asked with a small smile.
"Yes, yes!" Robbie said impatiently. "Didn't I just say that? Now follow me to the bathroom and I'll dye your hair."
"I can't walk, remember?" Robin reminded him. "My ankle is still hurt."
"Oh for the love of..!" Robbie exclaimed, all out of patience. "Your ankle is fine! I just fixed it!"
Robin looked down at her foot, which was still wrapped up in a purple ace bandage.
"But it still hurts," she told him.
"Fine!" Robbie said with a scowl.
Dolls were definitely more trouble than they were worth, he thought to himself as he stomped over to his orange chair and proceeded to try and juggle the hair dye and little girl in his arms.
Sometime later, Robin's hair had been dyed and had air dried. She smiled happily as she looked at her reflection in a small hand mirror that Robbie had given her. The purple was a bright purple (but not too bright), giving the impression that Stephanie had been painted with a purple brush. Once Robbie had made the outfit he promised her, she would give that impression more than ever.
Robin smiled more as she studied the effect of the bright purple against her darker purple headband.
Today was the best day ever, she decided.
Well.. almost, she thought with a glance at her bandaged foot.
She was soon distracted from her thoughts, however, by a strange feeling. She paused, thinking it over, before remembering that she hadn't eaten all day and had been doing a lot of exercise.
"Robbie?" Robin called from her reclaimed spot on the fuzzy orange chair as she set the hand mirror down on her lap.
"What?!" an annoyed Robbie called back from his more uncomfortable spot at a stool by one of his work tables. He had cleared off the table and had several purple fabrics laid out, and had been busy trying to make a purple outfit in one night. He set aside the scissors he held and glared over at Robin.
Little girls - no, dolls - were so needy! Were all children this annoying? He couldn't recall Stephanie bothering Sportakook this much. Then again, the blue elf would probably enjoy it. Robbie made a face as he pictured Sportacus giving one of his trademark grins.
"I'm hungry," Robin declared as Robbie realized it was getting to be more towards dinner time.
He looked down at his own stomach and realized he was hungry too.
"Then it is time for cake!" Robbie declared decisively and went to clear off another of his tables for baking. He had an Oven-tron 3000 that looked like a microwave attached to a giant boiler but churned out huge slices of delicious cake faster than traditional baking. He realized suddenly that he would need twice the normal ingredients for two slices.
Robbie paused at that and shot a suspicious look at Robin.
"You are capable of eating?"
Robin looked almost offended at the question.
"Of course I am!" she exclaimed loudly, forgetting for a moment that Robbie didn't like noisy kids. "It recharges my battery a little."
Robbie looked startled at that since while the battery was super-sized, it wasn't rechargeable. He had ordered a pack of them one night when he was watching the Villains' Shopping Network (he loved that channel) and remembered that they were not advertised as rechargeable.
The mad scientist part of himself was very curious as to how Robin would convert the food into energy to recharge a non-rechargeable battery, but then his stomach rumbled again and he decided he was too lazy to look into this further. If food recharged her, so be it. If sweets and cake worked, all the better!
So with renewed vigor, Robbie set about making two very big slices of cake, covered in purple icing.
The next day, Robin was outside near the sports field, sitting sideways on a bench with a big purple pillow propped up behind her, her legs spread out along the bench with her 'hurt' foot still wrapped up in the ace bandage and now propped up on another purple pillow.
She had a large book in her lap and was reading quietly about the history of Lazy Town. Robbie had of course 'borrowed' it and never returned it. He had claimed that the Mayor had loaned him the book, but Robbie had never mentioned when he had first borrowed the book and had made no mention of when he was planning on giving it back.
She was enjoying the quiet and the occasional purrs of the stray kitten that was lounging lazily at the top of the bench by her when Stephanie and her friends noisily ran onto the sports field.
"It's Stephanie Two!" Ziggy pointed out happily.
Distracted from trying to think up a new game to play, Stephanie looked at the opposite Stephanie curiously. Her hair was now a bright purple instead of Stephanie's pink, and while her outfit looked the same, it was all in various shades of purple now. It reminded her more of Robbie Rotten than anything, and she wasn't sure she liked it. The only thing that had stayed the same was her dark purple headband.
The kids all ran over by the bench, and Robin closed the big book as they approached.
"Is that The History of Lazy Town?" Pixel asked in disbelief. "That book's been missing for months!*"
Robin shrugged unconcernedly, and Stephanie frowned at that.
"That book belongs to my Uncle," she told Robin. "You should give it back."
Robin matched Stephanie's frown with a scowl of her own. The kids looked back and forth between them as if it were a tennis match.
"Robbie gave it to me," Robin said grumpily at Stephanie and then directed her scowl at Ziggy. "And my name isn't Stephanie Two! It's Robin!"
"Robin?" Ziggy said, his curiosity overtaking the fact that it looked like Stephanie was scowling at him, which always made him sad. He hated seeing that look on Stephanie Two's face. "Was that your name all along?"
"I named myself," Robin said shortly to him. "And Robbie helped me with a look all my own. I didn't want to look like Stephanie anymore."
"Ooh," Ziggy said as he eyed Stephanie Two, er.. Robin. "Hey, your nickname can be Robbie too!" he said with a grin.
Robin didn't look particularly happy about that realization.
"My name is Robin." she said, giving Ziggy a look.
"Well, Robin," Stephanie continued stubbornly, "you should have Robbie give back that book when you go home."
"I'll make sure to do that," Robin said sarcastically. She was starting to understand why Robbie didn't particularly care for noisy children.
"Good!" Stephanie said with a smile, refusing to notice the sarcasm.
"Weren't we going to play a game?" Trixie complained when it seemed that the not-a-fight was over with.
Stephanie glanced at Robin's hurt ankle. She wouldn't be able to do much of anything and it would feel mean to exclude her. Stephanie remembered the other day when Robbie had told her that Robin didn't have any friends, and suddenly felt bad for being so confrontational about the book. Just because Robbie had made Robin, doesn't mean that Robin would be just like him! Besides, Stephanie knew that Robbie was a pretty nice guy after all.
"We should find something we can all do," Stephanie declared firmly with a glance at Robin.
"Oh!" Pixel said excitedly. "We can go inside and play video games! I just got a new soccer game!"
Stingy smirked at Pixel.
"That game is MINE!" he said smugly.
Pixel scratched his head and decided that Stingy was declaring himself the winner and not the owner of the game.
"You guys want to come over?" he asked everyone.
Robin sighed and opened the book back up. She should have known that the kids would just go off and have fun without her.
"What are you doing?" Stephanie asked Robin.
"Reading," Robin said shortly. "It's not like I can do anything else."
"But.. Pixel wants us to come over and play his video games."
Stephanie continued, looking confused.
Robin looked up from her book, her expression mirroring Stephanie's unintentionally.
Pixel nodded enthusiastically.
"Yeah! You can be on my team," he said to Robin. "It can be the best match ever! Stephanie vs. Stephanie!"
"I call Stephanie's team!" Ziggy said as he hopped up and down.
Robin carefully swung her legs down off the bench and winced when she moved her ankle. She frowned down at the purple ace bandage. No matter what Robbie said about her ankle being better, it still hurt.
"But I can't walk," she reminded them. "I can't go over to Pixel's."
"Aww," Ziggy complained.
"This pillow is MINE!" Stingy said as he stole one of Robin's purple pillows.
"H-hey!" Robin exclaimed as Stingy put the pillow in his car. The purple clashed horribly with the yellow car.
"Stingyyy," Stephanie said with a sigh. "You can't just take other people's things! And I know how to get you to Pixel's," she added to Robin.
Robin thought about it and then winced.
"I don't want to be carried by - " she started.
" - Sportacus!" Stephanie interrupted. "He can get you to Pixel's in no time!"
"I don't have to go," Robin said as she looked uncomfortably down at her hands, which were in her lap. She had set the enormous book aside when she swung her legs down off the bench. She wasn't quite sure what to think of Sportacus. She knew Robbie didn't like Sportacus, and Robin felt awkward accepting any help from him. Robbie was so nice to her and accepting any help from Sportacus felt like some sort of betrayal.
"Nonsense!" Stephanie declared. "I'll go send Sportacus a letter and be right back!"
With that, she ran off toward her Uncle's house to get some paper and a pen. After Stephanie ran off, the other kids looked at what was formerly Stephanie Two curiously.
"So Lavender, how did you come to be with Robbie anyway?" Trixie asked. Sometimes when she was annoyed with Stephanie, she called Stephanie Pinky, but she couldn't call Robin Pinky since Robin was no longer pink.
Robin frowned at Trixie.
"My name is Robin," she emphasized. "And Robbie made me."
Pixel's eyes lit up when he heard that. He had suspected it all along, but he was especially curious about Robin's inner workings. He wouldn't mind taking a look at her circuitry but knew that she might not like that. As his gaze fell on her ankle that was wrapped up, his curiosity got the better of him.
"If Robbie made you, how can your ankle be hurt?" he asked her curiously.
Robin turned her gaze on Pixel, her frown still in place. Her frown deepened as she considered his question. Robbie always said she wasn't real and was just a doll. She remembered how Robbie kept insisting that he had fixed her ankle but had wrapped it up anyway, stating that he did so only because he knew it would take her a few days to accept that her ankle was healed.
"..I don't know," she finally said as her frown slipped away as her eyes turned downcast. "I landed on it wrong the other day and it really hurt. Robbie wrapped it up for me after he said he fixed it."
"If it's fixed then you should be able to walk!" Trixie exclaimed exasperatedly.
"That's what Robbie said," Robin said quietly. "But it still hurts and it'll take a few days before it's completely better."
Pixel cocked his head as he continued to look at Robin.
"You're not a real person, right? You must be some type of android to look so life-like. So how can you feel pain?"
Robin flinched at the insensitive question and turned her stormy gaze to Pixel.
"I am real!" she shouted at Pixel.
"Real annoying," Stingy muttered in the background where he was seated in his car, looking ridiculous with the purple pillow positioned behind his back that clashed horribly with all the yellow.
"You're just a robot," Trixie said dismissively. "That's what an android is, right? A machine!"
"Guys," Ziggy said sadly, "You're hurting Robbie Two's feelings!"
"Oh yeah?" Trixie said, ignoring Ziggy, "Then get up and walk around. If you can walk, then you're just a machine."
Glaring angrily at Trixie, Robin went to stand.
"Oh!" she exclaimed as she put pressure on her hurt ankle. It seemed to turn on her and she started to fall.
Before she could fall over, however, a strong pair of arms caught her.
"What's all this?" Sportacus asked kindly as he scooped the opposite Stephanie up into his arms. "I was told you couldn't walk."
Stephanie had wandered back at around the same time Sportacus had come and was looking at Robin and the other kids curiously.
Robin, for her part, was looking particularly upset and wouldn't look at anyone. She rubbed the back of her hand across her eyes and sniffled.
"Pixel and Trixie were saying Robbie Two isn't a real person and that she's just a robot!" Ziggy tattled. "It really hurt her feelings!"
Sportacus sent a disapproving look to Pixel and Trixie but then caught what Ziggy had called the opposite Stephanie.
"Robbie Two?" he asked in confusion.
"It's R-Robin," Robin said in a wobbly voice. "And I am real.. I'm.. I'm.."
Her shoulders slumped and to the kids' surprise she buried her face in her hands and started to cry.
Sportacus gently patted Robin's head with one hand while he frowned at Pixel and Trixie.
"This is why you must think about your words," he told the two children. "I know the saying is 'Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.' But the truth is, words do hurt. It doesn't matter how Robbie Tw - er.. Robin came to be here. What matters is that she is here now. She is just like you and me and now you've hurt her feelings."
Pixel looked especially guilty at that since he was the one who started everything. He didn't mean to be insensitive, he was just curious! He supposed if he wanted to know more about the technical aspects of Robin, he'd have to actually ask Robbie himself. Since Robbie was sort of mean, he decided he didn't need to know that badly.
Trixie, for her part, rubbed a hand behind her head awkwardly.
"Sorry, Lavender," Trixie said sounding genuinely sorry for teasing Robin. "I didn't mean anything by it."
"Yeah," Pixel echoed, looking upset and ashamed of how he was acting. "I really didn't mean to hurt your feelings. You can still come over and play games with the rest of us. You can be Player 1 if you want."
Stephanie looked at Pixel in surprise, since Pixel always insisted on being the first player. He loved getting to control when the game started and pushing the button to read any text that came up.
Robin sniffled as she pulled her hands away and went to wipe her eyes. She was surprised when a blue and white handkerchief was handed to her by a smiling Sportacus. She reluctantly took it and wiped her tears away, before blowing her nose. She tucked the handkerchief into one of her pockets since Sportacus told her to keep it.
She looked at the other kids' anxious and remorseful faces and turned her head away from them as she crossed her arms.
"D-dolls don't play video games," she said stiffly, the wobble in her voice betraying her feelings on the subject.
"Aww," Ziggy said in disappointment. He really wanted a Stephanie vs. Stephanie game. It would've been amazing!
"Of course they do," Stephanie said as she walked over more by the others. "And you're not a doll," she added on as she shot Pixel and Trixie a look of her own.
The two looked awkwardly at the ground and decided not to comment on it.
Robin shook her head obstinately.
"I don't want to play with them," she said saying them with as much venom as she could muster.
Before anyone else could comment, Sportacus spoke up.
"I think Robin needs some time by herself to calm down," Sportacus said kindly to the other kids. "Why don't you go play your games and you all can play together later, okay?"
Stephanie sighed sadly as she looked over at what used to be her twin. She thought they were all finally going to be friends, but it looked like it would take some more work to get Robin to trust them.
"Come on," Stephanie said a little dejectedly to the other kids.
With one last glance at Robin, they all trudged off to Pixel's. Stingy drove in his little car, nobody noticing that he still had Robin's purple pillow.
When the others were gone, Sportacus gently set Robin back down on the bench. The kitten, which had yet to move from where it had been relaxing mewed as his friend returned. Sportacus moved The History of LazyTown aside with a curious glance at it, but decided not to comment on the missing book's sudden reappearance. Once the book was out of the way, he took a seat next to Robin on the bench.
"Robin, you have to understand that sometimes kids say things they don't mean," Sportacus started, but Robin interrupted him.
"They said I wasn't a real person," she said softly as she looked down at her hands which she had placed in her lap. "That I was a.. a.. robot."
Sportacus winced at how cruel that sounded. While technically true, he knew that Robin must not see herself as that way. To her, she was a person like anyone else and to hear someone say otherwise must have upset her immensely.
"I know that you are very real," Sportacus said with a smile as he patted Robin's shoulder gently. "And the kids didn't mean to upset you. But actions speak louder than words.. Think about what the kids were doing before they said those things. They wanted you to play with them and be their friend. They said they were sorry, so now it is up to you to decide if you want to be their friend and forgive them."
Robin twisted her fingers together as she thought about it. She supposed what Pixel and Trixie said might not have bothered her so much if Robbie hadn't said the same things to her. She hated it when he said she wasn't a real person, and he had been pretty grumpy about her hurt ankle. He even removed her battery to fix it! But.. then she thought about all the nice things he'd done for her lately too. He helped dye her hair and made her all those clothes. And even though he grumbled about her ankle all the time, he also bandaged it and carried her out to this bench so she could get some fresh air.
Robin glanced at Sportacus, unsure of how to answer him. She felt a tiny bit like she was betraying Robbie just by talking to Sportacus and she knew Robbie would be upset to see 'Sportakook' as he called him to be there with her.
"I don't have friends," she finally said, looking away from Sportacus.
"Of course you do," Sportacus objected firmly. "I am your friend and so is Stephanie. The other kids want to be your friends as well. And what about Robbie? Isn't he your friend?"
Robin furrowed her brow as she thought about it. Was Robbie her friend? She remembered how Stephanie had said that Robbie was like her dad. Could someone be your dad and friend at the same time?
"Robbie made me," Robin replied back just as stubbornly, "It's his job to look after me."
Sportacus looked at Robin curiously at that. She was so determined to think that no one liked her. Stephanie was always so confident and this Stephanie.. Robin seemed to be her opposite in many ways. Could that be why she seemed so insecure? It could also be from the fact she was just made recently. Maybe she doesn't know how to interact with people very well, Sportacus realized. She might not know how to be friends with someone, or even what a friend really was.
Sportacus was also all too aware that Robbie could have very easily abandoned Robin. Instead, Robbie chose to look after her and even helped her get her own identity. Maybe Robbie was more lonely than anyone realized if he was willing to help out Robin and share his home with her.
"Yes, but he can also be your friend," Sportacus gave her shoulder one finally pat in comfort, "Friends look out for one another and do kind things for each other. They spend time together and have fun playing. It looks to me like he's done a great job being your friend."
Robin blinked as she looked down at herself, at her pretty purple clothes. She even had her own purple purse, complete with a purple diary. She thought about the hair dye Robbie had made and all the nice things he'd done for her.
A small smile grew on Robin's face as she thought of it.
Maybe Robbie was her friend after all.
"That's what I like to see!" Sportacus said enthusiastically. "Now, why don't I help you join the kids at Pixel's, hm?"
Normally Sportacus didn't like the kids to play indoors when they could be outside having fun, but he knew that Robin wouldn't be able to do much outside and he was too eager to help her become friends with the other kids to think about it much. He knew that it wouldn't be long before all the kids would be able to play outside together anyway.
"..I.. guess one game couldn't hurt," Robin said hesitantly. Maybe Robbie wouldn't have to know it was Sportacus who helped her there.
"Great!" Sportacus said with a smile as he stood up. He gently scooped Robin up into his arms. "Hang on!"
"Wha - " Robin exclaimed as Sportacus called for the ladder to his airship.
A rope ladder descended from the sky and Sportacus easily jumped, grabbing onto the ladder with one hand while holding Robin in the other.
"I need you to hold on tight and don't let go," Sportacus said to her seriously.
Robin gulped and wrapped her arms tightly around Sportacus' neck. She thought they were going to walk to Pixel's! Little did she know that Sportacus didn't just walk anywhere.
Once Robin had a secure grip, Sportacus let go of her and easily climbed up the rope ladder into his airship. He set her down in a seat at his table and then did a few backflips, landing in the pilot's seat, facing the windshield. He adjusted some levers and then turned the wheel toward Pixel's.
As the airship began to zoom off, Sportacus just knew that all the kids were going to be great friends.
* It took me forever to find out where this book was mentioned in the series. At first I was going to skate over it, but then when I was browsing youtube I found it and was able to update this part in the chapter to properly reflect it. I could have sworn at some point Robbie had mentioned the only book he ever checked out from the library and never returned (originally I was going to have this be The History of LazyTown), but without completely rewatching the entire series, I'd have no hope of finding this. Oh well.
Author's Note: I was recently browsing the LazyTown Wiki and found a very interesting link to the original LazyTown Entertainment site (via the wayback machine) that has the original Origins story on it. This story explains all about how Sportacus 10 came to be and what happened to Sportacus 9 (sort of, it's very vague). It also even tells us what LazyTown was like a generation ago when Sportacus and Robbie were kids! Not to mention Sportacus' original name. I'm not sure what I'll do with this information yet, but I'm planning on working it into the story at some point, probably when I want to have more action going on.
As always, if you guys have any ideas for this fic, feel free to let me know! I love hearing your feedback. I'll try not to have the next update take so long either.