Author Note: Hey, this is my first fanfiction ever. I'm just getting the hang of everything so any advice is appreciated.
I love Meet the Robinsons and this has been playing in the back of my mind for a while.
Thanks to a few good friends of mine I've finally decided to upload it. I hope you enjoy!
EDIT: Tried fixing some things, school has me so busy!
Rain pelted the heavy glass windows. As he stared out across the vast city, he noted that it sounded a little too much like the rain sticks he'd played with as a child. Of course, though, he'd been the one to take it apart, much to the disappointment of the other children of 6th Street. Only to find that it was just a hollow pole filled with plastic beads. When tilted this way or that, it gave the ridiculously realistic sound of a torrential downpour.
It was a chilly rain, the kind that seeped into your bones, which was odd for the end of May. He tapped the desk with a pen and ran a hand through blond hair. Blue eyes scanned the paper in front of him, the day had not been a productive one. Aside from the fact that he had not accomplished anything he was in an exceedingly good mood. A group of students from Wilkes University had toured the labs today and would begin an internship within the next months before classes started again in the fall. They seemed to be a promising group and he looked forward to working with each of them. Interns always had fun, new and interesting ideas. All they needed was a nudge in the right direction and what might have started as a small idea, could launch them into a rather high end position within Robinson Industries.
Lightning illuminated his desk momentarily, a crack of thunder followed, jolting him out of his trance. He stood, studying his own fine handwriting as he did so, and stretched. There was bustling activity in the halls despite the weather, and the atmosphere was very animated. The artificial lights overhead gave an eerie contrast to the darkness the storm created outside. He noticed Jake Conner through the windows of his personal lab, the right hand man of Robinson Industries so to speak, and made a mental note of speaking with him in private later about certain activities that had caught his attention.
Conner was sometimes what could only be described as 'overly paranoid.' This also happened to be one of the reasons he trusted the man with everything involving his company. The only problem being that Jake was always under the impression that Robinson Industries' largest rivals were always devising plans to undermine the company and cause them to go bankrupt. His loyalty was unquestionable, they had known each other since college, despite the seven year age difference, and Jake had been with RI from the very beginning. He had even helped Robinson with the architectural designs of their main offices.
What concerned him, though, was the irate phone call he'd received from a certain Anthony Hughes, the head of the popular US Robotics Corporation. He had spent twenty minutes listening to the man accuse him of spying, and claimed that he had seen one of Robinson's employees hanging around the USR buildings. Cornelius didn't lose his temper much, but it had become very hard to hold himself in check while dealing with the man on the other end of the phone. First, Robinson Industries was number one in sales. Second, he had a code of ethics he followed and expected all of his employees to follow as well. He had explained rather bluntly to the man these two points and had hung up on him before receiving an answer. It was good RI no longer did business with USR. They had created their own microchips years ago, which he was suddenly very thankful for.
He made his way to the office's snack room, thinking the conversation over internally. If someone from RI had in fact been seen around USR, it could only be Conner. He wasn't exactly sure why Conner would be outside a rival's main office, though, and that's what bothered him. It was because of this that he needed to speak to Jake. The longer it was left unsettled the more he would over analyze and eventually begin to fret over it. He would catch him on his way out this evening and explain his concerns.
Realizing his thoughts were dragging down his good mood, he turned back to the matter at hand, food. He stood in front of the vending machine, contemplating the different snack bars and bags of chips, and was about to put his change in the machine when a familiar color scheme caught his eye from the counter to his right.
A fundraiser box with the ever popular Chargeball symbol sat propped against the wall. Energy bars endorsed by the AYCA, or the American Youth Chargeball Association, used a margin of their profits to fund young players with trips to tournaments and provided couches with the proper equipment to keep players safe and fitted with the latest gear. He smiled and put his money into the lid, allowing the electronic box to open so he could make his selection. Grabbing one of the few remaining bars he turned back to the hallway and headed for the auditorium. There were always gadgets being proposed there, and he figured that since his current project hadn't gotten off paper yet, he could spend the rest of the day screening what his employees had conjured up.
Upon entering, though, he was surprised at just how few people there were in the auditorium.
That's definitely going to have to change. He thought a little cynically to himself. Scheduling times and appointments would have to go back into affect it looked like, which was to bad, he had enjoyed the informal atmosphere of the place.
He walked towards the front of the auditorium, spotting Jake he sat next to him and listened only partially to the brown haired woman at the front of the room. Jake had been having family problems, his father was currently in the hospital, the prognosis not looking good. To put it plainly Jake was taking the fact very hard, the stress causing him to behave oddly as of late. Cornelius had told him repeatedly to take as much time as he needed. Every morning, though, he would see Jake's office door open with the lights on and music playing. He rubbed the bridge of his nose, debating how to start. "What do you know about USR?"
Obviously his friend had been expecting the question, without looking at Robinson he responded. "Enough for me not to trust them."
Cornelius sighed in frustration. "Really Jake. Think of the advancements we could be making here if you put as much energy into Robinson Industries as you do keeping tabs on our competition..."
Jake looked to his superior in all seriousness, ignoring his comment. "There's this girl, I've seen her around here. I'm sure she works for USR though."
Cornelius stared at him, unblinking. He pulled his glasses off and cleaned them on his shirt. "Everyone has to come through security Jake, the guards know everyone here."
"I know that Cornelius, I just like to be careful."
Robinson gave him a look of you're not fooling me and added, "Yeah well, be careful hanging around in places eh?"
"Sure thing Robinson. Oh when's Wilbur's next game?"
Cornelius looked at him skeptically, partially for the change of subject, and partially because of what the subject was. He wanted Conner to realize the subject would not be dropped quickly. He followed the course of the conversation anyway. "I thought you hated Chargeball?"
Jake shrugged his shoulders in a non committing manner. "Not every day your Godson is entered into the playoffs of a national championship."
Cornelius smiled, Wilbur hadn't stopped talking about playoffs since he'd found out his team had been accepted. "June 2nd, it's a Saturday, two o'clock."
"I'll be there."
He waited in the hover car, practice had been held in the glass enclosed gymnasium due to the rain that day. He could see the kids fairly well through the walls of the court and watched as Wilbur fixed his glove, waiting for the kid on the other end of the court to give his ready signal. Wilbur was one of the best on the team, but it wasn't something anyone ever played on. The boy knew he was good and that was that. Sure he was a cocky little cuss when he wanted to be, but when it came to his Chargeball team Wilbur never made a show of himself. He thanked the coach after a compliment and went back to playing. Cornelius was proud of his son for these reasons more than any ability his son had.
Practice was let out and he opened the rear door so his son could throw his duffel bag and equipment in the back. He watched as Wilbur climbed into the passenger seat and smiled. How'd practice go? You alright? That kid gave you a run for your money." He started the hover car as Wilbur gained his breath.
"Coach had me practice with Varsity today, those guys are amazing." He waved to the kid he'd just sparred with and turned back to his dad as they pulled into traffic. Cornelius spoke while checking his mirrors. "Varsity huh? Congratulations!"
Wilbur let out a puff of air, "Congratulations! Did you see that kid? He killed me."
"Coach is challenging you Wilbur, you should be proud he thinks you're ready for varsity team."
"Oh I'm not complaining!" Wilbur slumped in his seat and threw his feet on the dash of the car. "Just exhausted."
Cornelius nodded slightly. "I see. How was school?"
Wilbur made a face at that, answering boredly, "The usual, but we had a double science period today to get ready for SSA testing."
"Learn anything new?"
Wilbur spoke again without looking away from the window. "No, that doesn't mean I'll remember any of it though."
Cornelius smiled, "I'm sure you'll do fine. You probably should study a little more than you do, though." Wilbur shrugged his shoulders, studying was at the bottom of his list of things to do and he barely ever looked at his notes. He was a procrastinator, there were far too many other things he could be doing. He definitely did not want to sit in his room looking over compounds or geometric diagrams.
The rest of the ride was spent in companionable silence. Cornelius glanced to where his son sat lounging in the passenger seat. Wilbur wasn't usually one to sit still, he was always fidgeting with something. If physically confined in one spot he'd twirl the cord to his head phones, pick at the straps of his backpack or mess with anything he happened to find close at hand. In the car this posed as a very large problem, everything belonged to and was used by Cornelius, who was very particular about anything concerning his work. Clip boards and notebooks were kept in the trunk when he knew his hover car would be used to taxi his son to and from school, the Chargeball courts, or to a friend's house. His son's current state of lethargy spoke more than Wilbur himself did concerning how much he had done at school and practice that day. Chargeball practices started right after school was let out, and normally, were finished at about four o'clock. With the new prospect of a National Championship, though, practices were being held until five. Wilbur had been at the school for over ten hours that day, and Cornelius could see it on the boy's face.
He floated the hover car into it's spot in the garage and shut off the engine. The comfortable silence had somehow changed, though he couldn't quite place his finger on it. Turning to Wilbur to ask if something was wrong, he smiled when he realized the boy had fallen asleep. He almost didn't want to wake him, it looked like a rather comfortable position. His feet propped on the dashboard, hands folded over his stomach and head tilted towards the window, breathing evenly and looking all together very content. Ruefully, Cornelius leaned across the car and tapped the boy's shoulder. When Wilbur didn't stir he tried shaking him awake, smiling warmly when groggy brown eyes looked to him in confusion. He exited the car and helped the still dazed thirteen year old grab his things from the back seat. Taking the travel tubes to Wilbur's room they deposited his gear and school books onto a desk. Cornelius took a quick look around.
"Really Will, how is a room this big always a mess?"
The side effects of sleep had begun to wear off, thanks to the travel tubes, and he watched his son stare blankly at the clutter surrounding them. Wilbur finally shrugged as they exited, "That's an excellent question." Cornelius rolled his eyes, leading the way down the hall to the kitchen. Wilbur continued undeterred, "Takes a special talent I guess."
"That it does."
The duo passed the dinning room without a glance. Dinner was always held at five thirty, and knowing that practices would begin to last longer, Franny kept their plates in the kitchen. Cornelius shut off the warming trays as they grabbed silverware, and took a seat at the kitchen bar. By now most of the family was scattered throughout the house, back to whatever crazy projects they were working on. Franny walked gracefully through, Frankie sitting idly on her shoulder, and sat across from them. She gave a knowing look in Wilbur's direction, who was suddenly very interested in what was on his plate. She smiled sweetly to her husband.
"The funniest thing happened today, Cornelius." Her husband was known to be an observant man, but momentarily he was completely oblivious to the glances she was sending in their son's direction.
"Oh? What did you do today?"
She leaned forward and allowed Frankie onto the counter, who sauntered in front of Wilbur and crossed his arms. Wilbur had stopped eating and stared at the singing frog in silence, eyes betraying the calm composure his posture tried to emulate. Franny continued speaking with her husband. "Well, I was wondering if you could take a look at Frankie, he couldn't get a single note out all day."
Cornelius looked to the frog in question, finally noticing the glare that the amphibian was directing at his son. The situation suddenly clicked, his intellect finally taking over. He rested his chin on his hand as he and his wife both looked at their son in mock confusion.
"That's awful. What do you think could have happened Wilbur?"
The teenager smiled awkwardly before shooting an accusing glance at the lead singer of Franny's band. His mother grinned and moved down the counter, taking her son's hands in hers she smiled sweetly, "Is there something you would like to tell me?"
Her son smiled forcefully, looking back at her with convincing innocence. Cornelius couldn't believe his acting ability, and wondered if Wilbur would someday make it his profession. He certainly could if he wanted to.
"I don't know what you're talking about mom, last time I saw Frankie was yesterday."
The singing frog stomped his foot and jumped back to Franny's shoulder. He sat self-righteously with his arms crossed, one long leg over the other as he looked at the hapless teenager smugly. Franny's smile began to disappear, "Wilbur?"
He looked at her questioningly. "Yeah?"
"What happened to Frankie?"
He glanced sidelong at his dad, who waited expectantly, giving no sign of assistance. Wilbur sighed, "I had some chloroseptic that dad asked me to get from the lab, he was in the garage. I stopped in the kitchen to get a glass of water, and set it on the counter when you asked me to help with the groceries. After you'd left I asked Frankie what the gang had practiced."
His father cut him off, coming to his own conclusion, "He didn't answer did he?" Wilbur shook his head, "No."
Cornelius ran his hand over his face, now realizing what most likely happened. "Frankie, did you have some of Wilbur's water when he was helping his mother?" The frog nodded, and Cornelius waited for it to click. He wasn't disappointed when the suited amphibian's eyes widened.
"Fran, it looks to me like Frankie drank the chloroseptic instead of Wilbur's water. I did notice that there was slightly less than what I had asked Wilbur for come to think of it. No, no, no don't worry." He smiled at the concerned look on his wife's face, "It only numbed his throat. From the amount that was missing he should be singing again by tomorrow afternoon."
Franny sighed, her hand over her heart, "That's a relief, but why did you need a numbing agent in the garage?" Both his son and wife looked at him expectantly as he answered.
"There's a compound in chloroseptic that could make the time machine's engine run smoother. I'm working on separating it to create a faster running cleaner fuel."
Franny nodded, stood, rounded the counter and kissed her son's cheek. He rolled his eyes and pushed his plate towards the sink.
"If you had known you should have told me, but since you didn't, then I'm sorry. If you do take chemicals out of the lab can you label them for me?" She hugged him and patted his back.
"Sure thing mom." He kissed her cheek quick, said good night to both of them and headed towards his room.
Opening the door he immediately noticed his gear and school things had been put away from where he and his father had left them. He stood staring at the desk for a moment, wondering why anyone would put his things away, and secondly who. He waved it aside, too tired to worry about Chargeball equipment. Halfway up the stairs to his bed, which was incredibly inviting right now, a sudden sound from the closet caught his attention. He froze, nerves tingling with adrenaline, listening for any more movement behind him. The only one to ever be in his room unannounced would be Carl, but as far as he knew the robot was recharging. He pivoted on his heel and faced the direction of the sounds. He'd shut the lights to the lower level off on his way up the steps and strained his eyes to see what could have possibly shifted in the corner closet. The door was open but that was all he could really tell. He rubbed his eyes and spoke quietly to himself as he reached the top level. More in an attempt to calm his own nerves than anything.
"I'm just tired."
It made sense though, testing at school, practice and not enough sleep had really wiped him out. He shut off the lights to the second level of his room, not even bothering to change, he didn't care if he slept in his clothes right now. He didn't even have the energy to get under the covers, just flopped onto his bed and let himself sink. Until a very loud crash resounded from the corner of the lower level.
He jolted upright, his eyes unadjusted to the dark made him wonder if they were actually open or closed. Lifting his hand to his face, he yelped when he poked himself in the eye. Alright definitely open. He turned his head in the direction of the sound and waited. His anxious expression turning into a glare when he recognized a certain figure, illuminated with a projected flashlight.
"Carl it is you! Why are you sneaking around my room?"
The robot looked up instinctively, blinding Wilbur in the process with the flashlight sprouting from his head. "Sorry Little Buddy. I know how tired you've been this week." He made the staircase to the top level in three mechanically graceful steps. "I thought I'd put your stuff away so you wouldn't have to worry about it."
Wilbur quirked an eyebrow and asked, "In the dark?"
"Well, I thought I could use the light and let you sleep."
Wilbur realized his shoes were still on, kicking them off he said, "Thanks, but I think I'll be ok Carl."
The robot looked away haughtily, "Well someone's grouchy aren't they?"
Wilbur sighed, fighting with the covers that refused to cooperate. "I just want sleep Carl! This bed is calling my na- ouch! Would you turn your flashlight off!"
The robot complied, switching his sight programming to their heat sensors. Wilbur was suddenly a bright orange object amidst green and blue.
"Sorry." He turned to descend down the stairs, "I'll wake you up at seven tomorrow morning."
All he received in response was an irritated groan from the bed. Carl never really sighed because he didn't actually breath, but he could roll his eyes at the teenager in the dark without Wilbur ever knowing it. Once he'd made it to the door he paused, using his mechanically heightened sense of hearing. The boy's breathing had already become steady, and if his sensors were functioning correctly Wilbur's heart rate had already slowed to the level of someone in deep sleep. Like the artificial older brother he was, he was careful in shutting the door. Seven o'clock would come way to early for the youngest Robinson.