Author's Note: This has been a few weeks coming, ever since the awesomeness of the constant NML chats began. I'm not sure how far I will take this – at the very least, now you are all aware that TARK is free again – so… yeah. Review it if you'd like. Woot.

Disclaimer: The character of TARK is an adaptation of the distribution center worker in Disney's 1992 live action musical, Newsies. He has been a running joke within the fandom for over nearly five years now. Anyone one else in this story will either be a Newsies character or an NML listee. Neither of which do I own.

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What do you do when, after four years of being stored away in a sock drawer,
you wake up to realize that you've been given a second chance at wreaking havoc?
That's right! You laugh. Evilly.

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Oops he did it again...

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It all began with a sock drawer.

A less than exciting start to a story but it was true nonetheless. It really did all begin with a sock drawer.

Well, I guess if you really wanted to get technical, you can go back a bit farther than that – creation and all that nonsense – but, for the purposes of this story, everything began with a sock drawer.

There wasn't anything altogether that impressive about this sock drawer. It was wooden and, quite predictably, held a vast collection of socks. Ankle socks, argyles, knee-highs, slipper socks, socks that had no twin, socks that had a hole in the big toe… there was even a pair of socks that meowed when you pressed a button on the cuff. See? Just plain old, ordinary socks.

Oh, I almost forgot. This ordinary sock drawer held one other thing… a boy. Can't forget about him, can we?

Now, this boy was anything but ordinary. Oh, he was the average size and shape. He had two eyes (green), two ears (big), a nose (that smelled) and a mouth (that never stopped moving). He did wear clothes of the late nineteenth century style and a cap that kept his flaming red hair safely hidden out of sight – but those were merely fashion choices. Odd maybe, but did that really make him extraordinary?

Yes.

In fact, it was probably that red hair of his that made him so very extraordinary. That or the fact that he was a notorious prankster who just so happened to possess magic powers. Either or… you can take your pick on that one.

There was only one thing in the world that was powerful enough to negate his awesome havoc wreaking abilities: the everyday, not-extraordinary sock drawer. Which was exactly why he was currently resting in the back, using a particularly fluffy, puff-ball covered sock as a pillow.

Why this sock drawer was strong enough to contain his wickedness no one knows. Oh, I'm sure that the mystic secrets were once known – how else would he have been trapped inside of it in the first place – but, as years passed, the lore was forgotten.

TARK was forgotten.

It's a pity, too. TARK – or The Annoying Red-headed Kid… he'll respond to both, or Froggy (should you wish to call him that) – used to be infamous. Loved and loathed at the same time, he was a legend. No… more than a legend. A myth. And a pretty dang good one at that.

And now? Now he was trapped inside a sock drawer.

But not for long.

It had been four long years since TARK had found himself once again trapped inside of that dang gum sock drawer. He had tried his hardest, right after he had first been tricked into climbing into the drawer, to fight against the wood but the only thing that happened was that his powers came back an zapped him. It took 3 months for his eyebrows to grow back after that.

When he realized that his own might was not sufficient, he tried to plead through the wood. The girl who had trapped him this time – because, unfortunately for TARK, this was not the first sock drawer he had become acquainted with… even if the socks smelled much better this time around – was some bozo named Jessica (or Stress… or even Bob. She'll answer to more names than TARK will).

She was a tricky one. Though she seemed like she would be easy to bend to his will at first, it turned out she was smarter than she looked. In order to keep him safely within the sock drawer she just stopped wearing socks altogether (even though she did get horrible shoe bites because of it).

After awhile, TARK pretended to give up. He thought, evilly, mind you, that if he lured the girl into a false sense of security, she would let up and accidentally let him out. There was only one flaw in his plan – not too long after he decided to pretend to give up, he fell asleep.

He slept for four years.

In time, Jessica – we'll call her Stress… makes her sound more Newsie-ish – Stress forgot all about the evil, annoying redhead that she kept trapped in her sock drawer. She started to wear socks again, and even left the drawer open on it's own at times.

But TARK never escaped. He was still napping.

Until the dawning of 2007. There was an upsurge of activity in the Newsies fandom and, as the energy let off by that fandom is what feeds TARK and entices him to wreak havoc, TARK began to sniffle in his sleep. He even turned over once and yawned.

TARK was waking up.

Then the NML chats began. People began to talk about him and, even though he was sleeping, he felt the pull. Girls were interested in him – loving him, loathing him, fearing him – once again.

The buzz became so strong that, at the height of this new wave of frenzy, one of his green eyes opened. Then the other.

TARK was awake.

It was not that much longer before Stress decided that her toes were cold and she needed to grab a pair of socks to warm them up. TARK lay in wait, knowing that as soon as she approached the drawer, he'd be free.

He was right.

Stress yanked on the faux golden handle, pulling the sock drawer out. She was just reaching her hand in for the Meow-ing sock when there was a powerful burst of energy exploding out of the drawer. The force was so strong that it send her reeling backwards. She landed on her rump in the middle of her bedroom.

The twister that was TARK paused for only a moment to cackle maliciously down at the shell-shocked girl.

"Mwahahahahahaha!!"

And then he was gone. In a mixture of red and plaid, TARK was gone.

Stress looked at the mess that was her sock drawer and gulped. "Oops, he did it again..."