Title: Exiled from the Magical Kingdom
Summary: Flynn Rider is conspicuously absent from Disney World and there's a guy in Downtown Disney who seems to know why if his blonde, hooded companion would just let him explain.
Disclaimer: I stole them. I'm just not as good at theft as Flynn.
Author's Note: Inspired by my Little Elizabeth.
Exiled from the Magical Kingdom
(Or a Fake Reputation Is All a Man Has)
1. The Setup
The head of the animatronic t-rex descends from the ceiling with a roar. It's tan with huge plastic teeth and she loves it. It's why they end up here at least once a month, and he pretends to hate it every time. As the head comes what is supposed to be dangerously close to their table, she's set off with a squeal of delight and then she raises her hands curled like claws and lets loose a fearsome roar: her best dinosaur imitation, and he's seen it three times tonight already.
"Blondie," he says, tugging on the hood of her oversized black Jack Skellington hoodie, "you're about to wiggle right out of your disguise in your boundless enthusiasm. Try to rein it in a bit." There is still a large spill of plaited blonde hair tumbling out of the neck of the zipped up hoodie, but that hoodie and his Star Tours baseball cap are the only thing preventing them from being booted from the T-Rex Café. And he really wants a burger to go with his overpriced beer.
"I forgot. I think I'm tipsy," she says, chewing on the straw stuck in her Discovery Blast.
He doesn't bother to tell her that her second Discovery Blast in the big plastic bone cup, just like the first, is completely non-alcoholic. The $4.99 it's going to cost him per sugary drink is more than worth it. Even if she stubbornly refuses to let them dine and dash after figuring out what that entails. Because, she's awfully cute when she thinks she's had too much to drink.
And more open to suggestion.
He chuckles to himself and pops a half eaten mozzarella stick in his mouth. He attempts to offer her one, pushing the platter her way, but she scrunches up her nose and shakes her head. She's too focused on getting her hands on the big bowl she's ordered of French onion soup, which she'll probably slurp, to eat anything else. He shrugs, because that just means there's more for him, and he washes down the fried, greasy mouthful with a swallow of cold beer.
She's occupied making faces at the t-rex, trying to tempt him back down again, when he overhears the newly seated table behind them complaining quite loudly about their day in the Magical Kingdom. It's more than he can resist when he hears his name.
Rocking back precariously, he grabs hold of the chair closest to theirs, occupied by a man who might have a couple of years on him, but whose real problem is that he could use a better haircut. The Mickey t-shirt isn't doing him any favors either.
"That's not how it happened."
Interrupting people in a pub could be a really bad idea, but everyone always seemed to be perennially chipper here—the happiest place on Earth—so his uninvited disruption was greeted with a confused smile instead of anger.
"Yeah, I know the people involved."
"You work in the park?"
"I used to," he says with a smile.
This statement is followed by a poke in his ribs, which he brushes off with one hand and a raised brow. She's scowling at him from underneath her hoodie, as if to say—who's tipsy now? He's not supposed to tell anyone, but it's really hard not to speak up when these good people are so obviously disappointed by his unacceptable absence.
"So, what happened?"
He strokes his chin, turns to contemplate his almost drained beer, and turns back to the table of people, who are—understandably—on the edge of their chairs, in complete rapture at the prospect of his revealing this deep secret. Or maybe they're just blown away by how stupendously handsome he is.
"I tell you what. You buy me a beer and I'll tell you."
The one guy looks dubious and he can tell from the exchange of looks around the table that he's about to lose them. There is, however, one girl at the table who looks like she'd be willing to buy him five beers to hear his story, but Blondie's here, so he can't use the smolder. She'd ruin it by laughing.
His chair rocks back flat and he fumbles for his wallet. "You've had a disappointing day. His removal is a big loss to the park. Let me make it up to you," he says as he splays out six passes he had tucked in his wallet. She brings them home constantly and it's not like he can use them.
And just like that he's got their attention again.
"Hey, thanks, buddy."
One of them is already standing up to get him that beer.
"Widmer Hefeweizen," he says, turning the bottle around to display the label. "Thanks." If he plays this right, they'll get a free meal out of it too. "They're three-day passes," he adds, as the shocked man flips them over and nods to himself.
"You really know why Flynn's not there anymore?" the eager girl asks. "No one would tell us."
"No, you're never going to get the straight dope in the park," he says with a wink. "I'm not technically supposed to tell anyone," he says, lowering his voice to enhance the drama. He winces, almost ruining the effect, when she kicks him in the shin under the table.
"I think I can guess what happened," the guy with the tickets in hand smirked. "She's just the type that would have caused trouble with him," he says, jerking his thumb towards Miss Eager, "spoiling it for everybody else."
He spares a smile for her. It's the least he can do for a fan.
"You think you can guess, huh?" He thumbs the rim of his cap. "You think if I told you the rumors and the truth of what happened, you could tell the difference?" He does enjoy a chance to spin a story. He likes a captive, captivated audience, and their waitress hasn't even come to take anything but their drink orders. If he really wows them with his storytelling skills and they leave feeling they've gotten the inside scoop, that free dinner will be in the bag. No running required.
That's just the kind of gamble he doesn't mind taking.