Author's Note: Of course a huge thank you goes to Magnus Scheving for his wonderful creation. No copyright infringement intended this is just something that's been swimming about in my head for a while now after reading some of the fantastic fanfics already out there and binge-watching the original 2 seasons of the show. This is the first fanfic I have written in a long time, so enjoy!
Welcome (Back) to Lazy Town
Stephanie had taken a window seat on the second train of her trip; she was heading back to Lazy Town and was finally nearing her destination. It had taken some time, but she'd finally grown out of her all-pink phase. She was wearing skinny blue jeans with white sneakers, a white tank, and a blush pink cardigan. The only thing that was still super vibrant pink was her hair, although now instead of being a short bob, it tapered just a little over her shoulders. Subconsciously she twirled a few front strands around her finger as she began to flick through one of the first diaries she'd taken with her when she'd first arrived in Lazy Town.
Diary Entry #2
Dear Diary: There's always a way! It was Sportacular Spectacle Day today, and Sportacus was meant to perform an awesome – I mean, Spectacular! – soccer stunt. Only, Robbie Rotten happened. He seems to enjoy ruining our fun, just like he tried doing the first day I got here. He tricked Sportacus into wearing a different pair of boots, that were remotely controlled by him! He couldn't stand still or do anything without his feet going wild and causing him to lose balance. It was horrible to see him flailing around like a fish out of water. I suggested he try walking on his hands, and oh wow, he was amazing! I have no idea how he can do that for so long… Must be like a superpower.
Little smirks every so often snuck across her lips as she read, easily able to mentally re-live everything she'd written even though she'd only been 10 or so at the start. It didn't seem like all that long ago, and yet it really had been just over a whole decade since she'd first stepped foot in her Uncle's house.
Diary Entry #23
Dear Diary: I was scared today. Not for myself, but for Sportacus. Robbie went a little too far this time, and set up a horrible machine that was able to zap memories right out of your head; I hate to give him credit, though, but he was smart enough to set it up in an obstacle course that Sportacus would never have been able to resist. I probably would have run through it too, if it had been me. But in the end, as always, things worked out, and Robbie inadvertently caused Sportacus' memory to return by capturing us in a cage, which of course set off the crystal, and it jogged his memory. Hopefully, Robbie will lay low for a while after this stunt.
A sad ghost of a smile slipped across Stephanie's features as she flicked through the pages. Every school holidays she'd returned to spend time with her Uncle and her friends, and it was something she always looked forward to. She loved how quaint the town was; everyone knew everyone and it was a safe and encouraging environment, the kids were allowed to venture about as they liked because they never caused any real trouble, and, well, Sportacus was always around to lend a hand. The sad smile turned into a sheepish one and she had to glance out of the train window and away from the page she'd turned to.
Diary Entry #36
Dear Diary: I'm not sure how I feel about today… Of course, Robbie was up to his old tricks, but this one was… Well, I didn't mind it. In fact, some of his inventions are quite genius, and it makes me wonder why he doesn't do something more productive, but I suppose I don't know enough about him, really. Anyway, he uh… Made a machine that reverted Sportacus back to a kid. A kid close to my age, I'd guess. He was a pretty cute kid, too, I won't lie. Of course, we all helped figure out what happen and he was able to get back to his usual self before the machine could self-destruct, but… I wish it had been destroyed before he could. Is that horrible of me? I just…
The last sentence and a half were scribbled out. Stephanie closed the old pink diary with a quiet sigh and took another look out of the window just as the grey clouds overhead opened up. Raindrops pelted the train as it sped through the countryside, and whilst there was a time when a rainy day would have made her sad, a content smile spread across her face as she pulled her cardigan around her comfortably. There was probably still another 30 minutes of her train ride left, so she turned her attention back to the diary in her lap, opening it again.
Diary Entry #41
Dear Diary: Trixie, Ziggy, and I were practising tightrope walking this morning. Trixie made it look so easy, and then Ziggy tried and really freaked out. I don't blame him. It wasn't that high, true, but there is still that nagging fear of falling. I couldn't bring myself to admit that I was scared too, so I lied instead. I felt bad for doing that to my friends but Trixie can really harp on sometimes when she gets into her teasing moods and I really didn't want to deal with that. Anyway, we agreed we should set up a Circus! We should have known it was too good to be true when that Ring Master showed up out of nowhere, and in the end, of course, it turned out to be Robbie Rotten; his disguises are getting better, though, I must admit. He should really get into acting instead of messing with us all the time. It was only thanks to Sportacus being such a quick thinker that we were all able to walk out of that tent in one piece. I did really enjoy the idea of a circus though… Hmm. Might have to look into that when I go back home.
That had definitely been a crazy experience, but one that would always stick with her, as it had led her to take up gymnastics. But also because it was Sportacus' words to Ziggy – and Ziggy's later rephrasing of them – that had really struck her that day. 'You don't have to be brave all at once. Just be brave one little step at a time.' Honestly, it was probably the best advice she'd ever had, even to this day. It had got her through so many obstacles in life, and she was forever grateful. Especially recently.
Despite having had such an easy start at life, with all the support and encouragement she could ever hope for, the start to her young adult life was definitely showing signs of being a bit of a rollercoaster. Whilst she had graduated with top marks in school, and had even won a variety of awards for dancing and gymnastics, she always longed for the quiet and relaxed life Lazy Town offered.
Whilst she had been out of town at a Gymnastic meet and contest, an earthquake had devastated her hometown. Many buildings had been totalled, and every day there were reports of more deaths. Due to the damages to the city, Stephanie had been unable to return home, but what really got her in a tizzy was the fact neither of her parents nor any neighbours, were answering her calls. She tried everything she could to get back home. Eventually, one of the older ladies that lived on the street behind her parents' place gave her a call. Stephanie could tell immediately by her tone of voice that the news she was about to share was the worst.
He parents had been trying to rescue the family that lived across the street - a young couple with twin 6-year-old girls whom Stephanie had babysat a few times – who had become trapped in the rubble. Apparently, the four of them got out safely, with a few scratches and minimal breaks, but… Her parents…
Snapped from her daze from the feeling of the train's brakes being applied, Stephanie sat up in her seat and looked out the window across the aisle with a grin on her lips. Grabbing her backpack and swinging it over her shoulder, she got up and headed to the door, hand eagerly ready to open it once the train had come to a complete stop.
Only one person knew she was coming, although that person was terrible at keeping even the smallest bland secret, so she wasn't surprised at all when beside her Uncle, holding an umbrella, was Ziggy. Without a word she dashed off the train and ran for them, almost tripping in excitement into her Uncle's waiting arms as he and Ziggy called her name out in unison.
"Oh Stephanie, it is so good to see you again my dear."
"Hi Uncle Milford, hi Ziggy! It's good to be back." She murmured against him as she gave a bit of a squeeze with her hug. She'd always loved his hugs. They were big, warm, and made her feel like there was nothing wrong in the world.
She stepped back and gave Ziggy a smile and a hug as well; he'd grown so much since the last they'd seen each other that they were more or less the same height now. He still looked like himself though, despite the growth spurt and the more casual clothing and the blond hair now tied back in a ponytail.
"We missed you so much, Stephanie! The Mayor… It's not his fault… I nagged him to tell me! I could see he was trying not to tell anyone something and I kinda hoped it had something to do with you."
"It's OK Ziggy," Stephanie gave a quiet laugh at his apology as she saw her Uncle give one of his nervous chuckles, "I didn't expect it to stay a secret for long."
"I'm… I'm sorry, Stephanie. We all are. If there's anything we can do – or not do – just say, okay?" His tone turned more serious as he handed Milford the umbrella so he could hold her hands and then locked eyes with her; it almost seemed like his baby blues were staring right into her soul. For the first time since she'd left everything behind her, Stephanie felt her emotions catch in her throat.
"T-thanks, Ziggy… I appreciate it." She gave him a reassuring smile and squeezed his hands in thanks before taking a step back and looking at her Uncle as he cleared his throat.
"Let's go get you inside where it's warm and dry, and get you some lunch." At the mention of lunch, Ziggy's eyes widened and a huge excited grin spread across his face. He still loved his food, that was clear. With an awkward laugh as she swallowed the uncomfortable lump in her throat, Stephanie nodded and the pair followed her Uncle back into his house, where the smell of freshly baking pastries filled the kitchen and made her stomach growl loudly.
Wait, who was that?! Was that… No, couldn't have been… But maybe?
Robbie adjusted his periscope as the sound of a train rattling into the station had disturbed his research, and focused it just in time to catch sight of a wet mop of pink hair dashing past.
"No… Nooo no no no…."
He squinted carefully but was unable to catch sight of her face, but that hair! And… He turned the periscope to see what or who was in the direction she was headed, and immediately his stomach churned. The Mayor and the blond-haired candy lover were standing with open arms and called out her name. Robbie felt the blood drain from his face and he groaned.