Weather or Not

(Disclaimer: Obviously I don't own LazyTown. I wish I did, but I don't, so don't get me involved in any legal matters.)

It was another beautiful day in LazyTown. The sun was shining, the birds were singing… And Robbie Rotten was yet again cooking up an evil scheme to get rid of Sportacus and make LazyTown lazy once more.

"I don't get it," Robbie muttered around a particularly large mouthful of cake. He peered into his periscope and frowned as he watched Stephanie skip rope down the street. "Why do they want to play outside? There's so many good, lazy things to do inside they shouldn't even think about being out there. "

He set his enormous slice of cake down so he could count off reasons on his fingers why playing outside was so horrible. "It's too bright, too cheery, the birds are annoying, it wastes time better spent on lying around doing nothing, it's tiring playing all those silly games, it's dangerous—not that I would mind much if one of those brats got hurt, Sportacus wants them to play outside and anything he does is wrong…" He smiled. "Seven," he announced after re-counting his extended fingers, "and any one of them alone is a good enough reason to stay inside."

He returned to his cake. "There must be some way I can stop them! All of my other plans have failed, but something will eventually work. It has to!"

Robbie paced the floor, trying to produce even the smallest of ideas. After several minutes of getting nowhere, he sighed heavily and looked back into his periscope.

Stephanie had now met up with the other children and they were on their way to the basketball court.

"I'm glad it's such a beautiful day!" Stephanie exclaimed, throwing her head back to gaze at the endless blue sky.

"Perfect for playing basketball," Pixel agreed, bouncing the ball he held to demonstrate.

"I don't even want to think about what it'd be like if it weren't sunny out," Trixie said.

Robbie pulled away from the periscope, taping his chin with his fork. "So that is it," he mused to himself. "Sunshine? What would happen if it were cloudy?" He grinned. "Or better yet, raining!"

His cake forgotten, he began to rummage around his house, trying to find anything that would aid him in this new idea.

"Pass it here!" Ziggy called, waving his hands furiously.

"No," Stingy answered, clutching the ball to his chest. "It's mine."

"Stingy," Stephanie said, clearly exasperated by his constant greediness. "We can't play if you don't let someone else have a chance to throw the ball!"

"Yeah!" Trixie agreed and lunged for Stingy.

There was a small scuffle which ended in a victory for Trixie. Stingy brushed himself off and stuck his nose in the air.

"Oh well," he said. "I didn't like that ball anyway. Not enough air in it."

Trixie threw the basketball to Ziggy, who was still waving. He caught it and shot it at the hoop. The ball circled around the rim a few times, then dropped through.

While Ziggy exulted in his success, Pixel went to retrieve the ball. It had rolled a few feet away before stopping in front of Sportacus, who had come down from his airship to see how LazyTown was doing.

"Oh, hey Sportacus," Pixel said.

"Hi, Pixel," Sportacus replied as he bent down to pick up the ball. "Having fun?"

"Yes!" Pixel answered with a smile. "You want to play?"

Sportacus dribbled the ball a few times before shooting it through the hoop. "I'd love to."

Pixel and Sportacus returned to the others. After Sportacus was warmly greeted by Trixie, Stephanie, Ziggy, and Stingy, they began to play basketball.

Robbie was poking around his closet when he heard the laughter of playing children. He groaned. "Sportacreep must have joined them," he mumbled.

He began to search faster now, determined to find something before nightfall. He was standing on his tiptoes, trying to see over a shelf when the whole thing toppled down on top of him.

"Ow," he moaned and pushed the shelf off of his chest.

He stood up and was about to give up when the box that had been sitting on the shelf caught his eye.

"'Automatic Weather-Making Machine'," he read.

His eyes lit up. "Perfect!"

Inside, nestled amongst the Styrofoam peanuts, sat a large, rectangular object. On it were two knobs. The first knob had different pictures of weather on it and the second one had settings for how much of the weather you wanted.

Robbie also found the instruction manual, which he tossed over his shoulder. "How hard can it be to operate something with just two dials?" he muttered.

He had enough sense to take the machine outside before turning it on. Rainclouds inside would have been a very bad idea. He also took along an umbrella, a raincoat and galoshes,just incase the weather changed instantly.

Once outside, he quickly put on both raincoat and boots, then turned the first dial to what looked like a picture of a storm cloud and the second knob to the first degree.

Nothing happened. The machine didn't even look like it was on. Robbie examined it more closely, but never found an on-off switch.

"That's odd," he muttered.

He waited another five minutes, and still nothing happened.

"Piece of junk," he said and kicked the box.

The machine spluttered and a puff of smoke came out. It floated into the air and slowly began to expand.

"Maybe it does work," Robbie said, watching the cloud grow larger and larger by the second.

He opened his umbrella and set off to find the kids. He wanted to see their expressions when they saw what was coming.

Stephanie was about to shoot the ball when she caught sight of Robbie Rotten. "What is he wearing?" she blurted out before she could stop herself.

This got the everyone else's attention and they turned to look at Robbie.

"What?" he asked once he was sure they'd be able to hear him. "Haven't you ever seen an umbrella before?"

"Well, yes," Stephanie said. "But you don't need it. It's beautiful outside! There's not a cloud in the…"

She stopped, looking past Robbie at the light gray clouds that were swiftly forming.

"What's that?" Trixie asked.

Robbie looked over his shoulder. "Oh, those? They're just rainclouds. I think you'd better get inside before it starts to rain."

"Clouds don't always mean rain," Pixel informed him. "They'll probably just pass by without dumping any water on us."

Sportacus looked a little doubtful. "I should probably go back into the airship, just incase there really is a storm. I'll have to anchor it to the ground so it doesn't get blown away by the wind and rain."

Robbie watched with satisfaction as Sportacus back-flipped away.

"Come on, guys," Stephanie urged. "We can still play right now."

Robbie's grin, fell. "I told you to get inside," he growled.

"But it hasn't started raining yet," Ziggy protested.

"Besides, it looks like it will just be a small shower. If it does start to rain, we can stand under a tree and wait for it to pass," Stephanie concluded.

"What if it starts to rain really hard?" Robbie asked, remembering the knob that changed the intensity of the weather. "Or it's a thunderstorm? You shouldn't stand under a tree when there's lightning outside."

"Then we'll go inside," Trixie said.

Robbie grinned, and walked off.

"I wonder what he's so happy about?" Stingy asked as he took the ball from Stephanie and went up to the hoop to shoot it.

Robbie returned a few minutes later, looking smug. "The clouds look darker now," he said nonchalantly, nodding toward the brewing storm.

Again, the children paused to examine the sky, which was progressively growing darker as the clouds approached.

Stephanie bit her lip, trying to decide what the best course of action was. "Um, let's just see what happens," she finally decided.

Thunder rumbled in the distance and for an instance, lightning sparked.

"I don't really like lightning," Ziggy said, edging closer to Stephanie.

"Maybe we should go inside," Pixel said.

"That's an excellent idea," Robbie said, smiling.

Stephanie sighed and reluctantly nodded. "Okay. Let's go over to my house and wait out the storm."

Robbie watched them retreat, then chuckled. "Finally! So far so good. With my machine, I can make it rain forever! And maybe Sportacus will blow away with his airship and never come back! This is perfect."

He started home, determined to spend the rest of the afternoon in as many lazy ways as he could.

The rain began soon after the kids had safely reached Stephanie's house. It started off as a light drizzle, but rapidly progressed to a downpour. Lightning lit the sky every few minutes and thunder echoed loudly, sounding like a cannon everytime it rumbled.

Stephanie gazed out the window and watched the rain make trails down the glass. She glanced over her shoulder at her friends and watched them do… nothing. Pixel and Stingy were trying to build a tower out of dominos. Trixie was tossing a ball up and down. Ziggy was curled up in a corner, shuddering each time the thunder sounded.

There must be something we can do! she thought.

"This one's mine," Stingy declared and grabbed one of the dominos at the bottom of the tower.

"No!" Pixel cried, but it was too late. The whole thing came tumbling to the ground.

Stephanie sighed and got off her bed to help pick up the fallen dominos.

"Can anyone think of anything else we can do?" Trixie asked.

"We could play video games at my house," Pixel suggested.

"I think that as long as it's raining cats and dogs outside, we're stuck here," Stephanie said with another glance out the window.

Ziggy sat up. "Sportacus could think of something," he said.

"Yes, but he's in his airship. I think it's more important that he keeps it from blowing away."

"Could your uncle give us something to do?" Trixie asked, looking imploringly at Stephanie. "Anything's better than just sitting here."

Stephanie shrugged and threw the last domino into the container. "Maybe. Let's go see."

The mayor was in the kitchen, preparing a tray of vegetables. He looked up when the children trouped in. "Oh, hello," he said. "I was just about to bring a snack to you."

"Thanks, uncle," Stephanie said, giving him a hug. "Um, do you have any ideas about what we could do? We're really bored now that we can't play outside."

Mayor Meanswell paused in his slicing of a carrot. "I'm not really sure. I think I used to have an old ping-pong table, but I'm pretty sure I gave it away. I wasn't using it." He resumed cutting up the veggie. "There are a lot of board games in the closet. You could always play one of those."

Stephanie sighed. She'd been hoping to do something active. But they were rather limited to activity inside the house.

She led her friends to the closet her uncle had been talking about and opened the door. Sure enough, there were a lot of games. "What do you guys want to play?"

"Clue?" Ziggy suggested.

Stephanie reached up and pulled Clue out from underneath Connect Four. "I guess we can try this."

They sat down in the living room and began to set up the board. While Stephanie prepared the cards, the others chose their markers.

"I'll be blue," Ziggy said.

"Yellow," Pixel said.

"No, I'm yellow," Stingy stated and took the yellow marker before Pixel could take it.

Pixel shrugged and took green instead.

"Red," Trixie announced.

"I guess I'll be white," Stephanie said after she had passed out the cards and placed one of each category into the envelope.

They began to play. It was obvious from the start that none of them really cared much about the game. They were, after all, only playing it for lack of anything else to do.

Ten minutes went by and they were still just as bored as they had been before the game started.

"I think it was Mr. Green, in the ballroom, with the wrench," Pixel said with a yawn.

"Pixel!" Trixie cried as she pulled the card with the wrench on it from her hand. "I've already shown this to you twice!"

"Oh, yeah," Pixel said, not bothering to make a mark on his paper.

"I finished the vegetables," Mayor Meanswell said, coming into the room holding the tray. "And your friend Sportacus is here."

That grabbed everyone's interest. Sportacus entered, dripping wet but grinning. The mayor set down the tray and left.

"Hi, Sportacus!" Ziggy said, excitedly. "Do you have anything for us to do?"

Sportacus nodded and slid off his backpack. After digging around in it, he came up with a box.

"Not another board game," Trixie groaned.

"This isn't just any board game. I call it my bored game."

"Because it's boring?" Stingy asked.

Sportacus laughed. "No, because it's something to do when you're bored."

"All board games are supposed to be something to do when you're bored," Pixel said. "And as you can see," he waved a hand at Clue, "it's not working."

Sportacus pushed the game out of the way with his foot. "This game is different. You'll see in a minute. But first, we'll have to move the furniture."

The children watched with mixed expressions as Sportacus pushed the coffee table and a few chairs to the wall, leaving a large space in the center of the room.

"It's very simple," he told them as he sat down.

He took of the lid of the game and spread out the board. The spaces on it wove around from one long side to the other. Each space had a picture drawn on it of a person doing a different activity. Some were dancing, others were doing some form of exercise.

"You try to get from start to finish," Sportacus explained. "Roll the dice to see how many spaces you move. Then, whatever activity is represented on the space you land on, you have to do."

"Sounds simple," Stephanie said.

Again, they chose markers, sticking to the same colors as before. Sportacus took the black one.

"We'll roll the dice to see who goes first."

Ziggy rolled a ten, which was higher than the other numbers. He rolled them again, this time getting a total of six. He moved his blue marker. The sixth space had a picture of jumping-jacks.

"So how many jumping-jacks do I do?" he asked as he stood up.

"Usually it's whatever number you rolled," Sportacus answered.

"Okay."

Ziggy completed the jumping-jacks, practically falling over on the last one. However, he seemed satisfied with himself when he sat back down.

It was Stingy's turn. He rolled a nine and landed on a picture where the person was touching their toes.

"A few of these things you don't have to do a certain number of," Sportacus told him.

Stingy bent down and touched his index fingers to his feet.

"Can you go farther?" Sportacus challenged him.

Stingy tried and was able to get the tips of his other fingers on his toes.

"Good job!" Sportacus said.

As the game progressed, the activities became more complex. The kids never once complained. They were happy to get up and move around.

Soon, everyone was doing whatever activity someone's marker landed on.

The mayor stood at the doorway and watched Stephanie lead the others in a dance she had made up to complete her activity. He smiled. "What a fun looking game," he said to himself and took up the tray that had held the vegetables.

It was empty now.

Robbie had been enjoying his afternoon, eating cake and channel surfing. He'd even gotten used to the thunder now.

But around four o'clock, he heard something he never thought he'd have to listen to again. Beneath the sounds of rain fall and the occasional crash of thunder, there was laughter.

At first he refused to believe it. Surely it was just his imagination. Maybe those kids really had driven him insane. However, he finally decided he wasn't mad and there really were children having fun somewhere.

He reluctantly rose and stalked over to his periscope. The rain was too heavy for him to see through, though. His curiosity got the best of him and he slipped into his galoshes and raincoat and opened his umbrella.

Once outside, he sloshed his way to the mayor's house. Peeking into the window, he saw that Sportacus had joined them. They appeared to be playing some sort of game. A game which required activity.

He grimaced. How could they still be moving around? His weather-making plan had been fool-proof. Yet there they were, jumping around the room and laughing.

Robbie sighed. Maybe it was impossible for him to get them to be lazy. He walked slowly back to the entrance to his house and paused long enough to set the machine to sunshine. No sense in keeping it on rain if it wasn't going to stop them from playing.

Stingy was the first to notice the drastic change in the weather, as he was the only one facing the windows.

"Look!" he shouted, pointing at the cloudless sky.

"I didn't even notice it had stopped raining I was having so much fun!" Stephanie exclaimed.

"Yeah," Trixie agreed. "Thanks for bringing that game over, Sportacus."

Sportacus smiled. "You're welcome. I have another game, now that it's stopped raining."

"What!" the kids cried in unison.

"Jumping in puddles!"

Less than a minute later, they were all outside, splashing around and giggling.

"Maybe rain isn't so bad," Pixel said as he leaped into a puddle.

"It will certainly make our vegetables grown," Stephanie agreed.

Sportacus soon left them, needing to make sure his airship, which he had tied to a tree, was still in working condition.

The children stayed outside until the sky went from blue to gold, and finally to a dark blue and the stars began to appear. Only then did they stop playing in the rain puddles and said their goodbyes.

"Tomorrow, we'll go see how much our vegetables grew," Ziggy said and the others decided that was an excellent idea.

"Even with the rain," Stephanie said to herself as she walked back to her uncle's house, "this has been one of the best days ever!"

Robbie, however, had a different opinion of the day.

"This has been the worst," he muttered, curled up on his chair. "Not only did my plan fail, but I've discovered why having an underground home probably wasn't the best idea."

He glowered at the floor, which was covered with water. "The ground absorbs water after it rains!"

Just as he said this, more water began to drip, coming from a small hole directly above him. Grumbling, he opened his umbrella and held it over his head.

He would never try to tamper with Mother Nature again…