e·piph·a·ny: a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
The robotic drone of his airship's AI managed to reach his ears in spite of the pillow clutched around his head.
"One thirty-six a.m."
Sportacus groaned as he sat up, tossing the now-disfigured pillow at his feet in frustration. Like every other night of his entire life, he'd gone to bed at 8:08 on the dot. Unlike every other night however, he was still wide awake. Rubbing his eyes blearily, he looked around. Cards from the Sports Spinner littered the floor, testimonies to his desperate attempts to tire himself out. An empty cup sat forlornly on the bench, the warm milk it formerly contained not having done a thing to induce sleep. Ridiculously, he'd even checked the sports locker for Robbie's Noisy Ball. He was surprised he could remember that far back, and so clearly. It must've been close to ten years ago.
It wasn't his body that was keeping him awake, he finally decided. It was his mind.
Leaning his head back against the coolness of the wall, the still slightly-above-average hero tried to still the whirlwind of thoughts and feelings rocketing around inside his head. For no particular reason, he found himself reliving more of the most tiring days of his life. It was almost as though his currently-overactive brain was trying to get him to sleep by just thinking about it. But no, that wasn't it. Frowning, he saw himself thinking about Stephanie, the little pink-clad girl who had tried everything to wake him up during those few days; to help him when he was at his weakest. She truly was his best friend back then. But now…
He sat up abruptly. But now what? He still thought of her as his best friend, he always had.
He rubbed his temples; the whirlwind had now become a hurricane.
When she was eighteen, she had taken the plunge and gone to America for a year to study at a famous dance school. He had been happy for her, and after their parting embrace had left her with a neatly-wrapped stack of the paper he wrote letters with. She'd gasped with delight, and promised to write to him every week. She had kept to that promise; a little blue plane sailed through the doorway every Sunday morning and he wrote back within the hour. But he had been loath to see her go.
When she was nineteen, she had come back. His hidden fears and worries for her were washed away; she had kept true to herself and had grown into an intelligent, independent young woman. On the night of her return, she had confided in him about a boy she met while at the dance school, a boy who wanted her to go back to be with him. Looking into her eyes, he had seen the confusion and conflict churning inside her and had held her hands between his own comfortingly. He'd told her to follow her heart, like she did when Robbie disguised himself as him. Stephanie had looked down at their clasped hands before smiling her thanks at him. She never went back. But he had been seething with jealousy when he listened to her.
And now she was twenty, and she had opened LazyTown's first dance school twenty-six hours ago. LazyTown had grown with her, and no more than four hundred people were there to witness it. Never one for speeches, she instead opted for a flawless rendition of the classic Le cygnet ballet solo, a captivating spectacle that left everyone awestruck. Watching her proudly, the Mayor had whispered to him about how beautiful he thought Stephanie had become. Managing to tear his eyes from her as she glided across the stage, Sportacus had merely smiled and agreed. But his heart had thumped loudly as he congratulated her warmly afterwards, feeling shy for the first time as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
But now he knew it was because he loved her.
Sportacus blinked as he returned to the present. He had always loved her.
Yawning, Sportacus felt as though a large weight had been lifted from his chest. Settling back under the covers and fluffing up his pillow, he wanted to know how much sleep he could get before the sun rose.
"One thirty-seven a.m."