Title: Nightmares and Dreamscapes- Chapter 23/23
Summary: There is no such thing as magic...right? However, when Robbie starts noticing something strange about Sportacus and unusual things start occurring in Lazytown, that belief just might have to be changed.
Author's Notes: OMG THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You guys are so very awesome and I love all of you! (And sorry about totally lying about that M rating. This story didn't want to follow the plot I had planned.) Thanks for the awesom ride! THE END.
Robbie Rotten walked back into Lazytown two hours after the hospital taxi dropped him off at his home. The children were playing ball in the courtyard and they slowed to a stop when they saw him stroll over, eyeing them with his usual disdain.
Stephanie dropped the basketball she held and ran over to him, throwing her arms around his middle in an unsuspected hug. The other children watched this in bewilderment, but then slowly walked over to see the newly restored town "villain".
Stephanie squeezed him tightly and looked up at him with a large grin. "I'm really glad you're back, Robbie!"
Robbie twitched uncomfortably and tried to subtly pry her arms from around him. When that didn't work, he gave a sigh and relented. "That's nice, Pinkie. Now can you let me go?"
She pouted up at him but let go anyway, taking a step back. "Are you feeling better?" she asked, rocking on the balls of her feet.
Robbie sniffed and stared down at her. Strange, that these loud little monsters could be so sickeningly nice. "I guess." He waited a moment, looked away from her. "Where's Sportaflop at?" Yeah, that was subtle.
Stephanie peered up at him with wide brown eyes. "I haven't seen him in a while, Robbie." Then her eyes narrowed as she started to scrutinize him. "You're not trying to get rid of him, are you?"
Robbie puffed out his chest and sneered down at her. "Not that it's any of your business, Pinkie, but no, I'm not." No, he wasn't. He should have been with all thoughts he had, but…
But there was that moment his mind—his emotion—his Love, the thing had claimed—had pulled him over and whispered in his ear…and there was that moment in the hospital with Sportacus clutching his hand like a lifeline and pressing his mouth, warm and soft and gentle, against his hand…
But that wasn't the point.
Stephanie frowned at him. "Then why are you looking for him Robbie?"
Turning on his heel, Robbie threw over his shoulder, "None of your business, Pinkie!"
Sportacus stepped out of the forest and tilted his face up to the fading sunlight of the sunset. Rubbing the emblazoned crystal on his chest, he could feel the wash of bright magic flow through him. The sudden press of rotting magic against him made him flinch. Ah, yes, there was that.
He gave a narrow-eyed glance at the svartàlfar statue. That was past him now. Robbie was safe. Feeling the reassurance of that like the beat of renewed magic, he continued on his way down the path into Lazytown.
Almost automatically, he started heading towards the courtyard. It was only when he was halfway there that he realized how late it actually was and that the children would be in bed. Even so, he continued walking, reveling in the silvery press of magic and the last heat of the sun. However, when he got to the courtyard, he stopped.
Sitting on one of the benches surrounding the courtyard was Robbie Rotten, whole and healthy as if he had never been stuck in his own mind. Sportacus didn't even realize he was running until he was there, standing by Robbie's side. Then, once he was there, he didn't know what to do. Oh, how he wanted to pull Robbie close and hold him tightly and kiss him…but that was not his to do.
Almost hesitantly he sat down. "Robbie? Are…are you doing okay?"
Robbie gave him a sidelong glance, emotion hidden by the fan of dark eyelashes. "I'm just fine, Sportakook." Then he paused, tapped his fingers along the top of the bench. "And you? You were the one that had to gallivant in my mind."
"I'm okay." Now Sportacus stopped. He had words crowding behind his teeth, but he didn't know how Robbie would react… "Robbie, when I was in there, I saw some, um, memories. What exactly…happened?"
Robbie gave him a long look. Then he rolled his head so he was staring at the darkening sky. "My mother was Lily Rotten, my father was Robert Valor. She was a scientist who gave up her job to get married. He was a teacher who taught physical education." Here Robbie's mouth went down in a frown. "He was always trying to get me to be active. But mamma…" And his voice went soft in fond remembrance. "Mamma started a bakery and would keep me there all the time."
He went quiet. Then, softly, but sadly, "She died. And then papa did also soon after. I was a teenager already so I just sold the bakery and the house so I could take care of myself. There was no way I was going to end up in a foster home." Then he looked back over to Sportacus, eyes dark. "That it, Sportaflop?"
Sportacus dipped his head in a slight nod and said quietly, "I'm sorry." He wanted to just wrap the man up in hug, but he could guess how well that would go over. Resisting the urge, Sportacus stood, pressing his hands against his thighs. He wanted to simply reach out and…No. "Thank you, Robbie."
He stood there for another moment, wishing he could just kiss away the frown and place happiness in the grey eyes. Then he gave Robbie a small smile and turned away.
Robbie watched as Sportacus turned away. How many times had he watched Sportacus walk away like this?
(Surrounded by lush forest, Love stepped forward. It was strange to see himself smile like that. From a distance with the strange white-clad him, Sportacus watched.)
He hated watching Sportacus walk away like this. Had he always? Yes.
(Love leaned forward. He smelled like apples and baked goods, just like the bakery his mamma owned once had.)
He didn't want Sportacus to walk away like that.
(Love's whisper was warm against his ear. "Admit it to him. Your heart will be safe, as will his. Remember this and do not worry.")
"Wait," Robbie called, standing up quickly and reaching forward to grasp Sportacus's elbow.
Sportacus turned back to him, blue eyes wide. "Yes, Robbie?"
Robbie stepped close, looking down at the elf. Emotions were emotions, that was all, but…but he could do something about it. For an uncertain moment, Robbie hesitated and almost turned away. But then he recalled the press of a soft mouth against his knuckles and the lone tear that had traced its way down Sportacus's cheek.
He steeled himself with a deep breath and then bent down to brush his mouth over Sportacus's. There was a moment where Sportacus froze and Robbie's stomach clenched into a slick knot of worry and shame, but then Sportacus reached up with one hand and cupped his cheek. The soft mouth moved, became pliant beneath his own. The other hand slid along his shoulder and then curled around his neck, pulling him even closer.
For a moment, Robbie was weightless and free and happy.
With obvious reluctance (lips coming back to touch lips, hands drawing away only to draw figures along his skin), Sportacus pulled back. His eyes were bright bright blue. "Robbie?" he asked carefully.
Robbie had to pull the words from deep. "I—god—I love you, you silly elf. I have and will and all those times I ever tried to run you out of town was because I was—"
Sportacus pressed his mouth to Robbie's. When he pulled back, Robbie was quiet. The elf offered up a small smile. "We have a lot to time to talk Robbie." When Robbie's expression went uncertain, Sportacus quietly said, "Do not worry, Robbie. I love you as you do me."
Robbie's heart slowed in its frantic thumping. Carefully, he drew Sportacus's hand down and twined his fingers with the broad ones of the elf.
Sportacus's smile was ridiculously happy as he pressed a quick kiss to Robbie's cheek. "Come, love. We'll talk."
Robbie couldn't stop his shy grin as Sportacus tugged him away.