Author's Note: Ummmm... I'm not sure where this fanfic came from, and I'm not really sure where it's going. I kinda just feel like I've got to get it out of my system.

I love the SportaSteph pairing. I admit it. I consider Sportacus to be a pretty ageless character, so the perceived age difference just doesn't bother me in the least. Mostly because I think Sportacus will be the same age when Stephanie is 20 as he was when she was 8.

Disclaimer: It's not mine. Magnus Scheving is brilliant and possibly one of the best looking men alive. That's all.

So anyway, yeah. On with the fic.


Mayor Meanswell and Sportacus and all of the children of Lazytown were at the train station to see Stephanie off. She was going back home for the school year like she always did. Stephanie was sticking most of her torso out the window and waving.

"I'll see you guys next year!" She shouted just as the train was starting up. "G'bye Uncle Milford! G'bye Pixel, Stingy, Trixie, Ziggy! Bye Sportacus! I love you!" Stephanie shouted over the engine. She tucked herself back inside as the train started moving, afraid of her head being knocked off.

Everyone waved enthusiastically at her, shouting farewells.

"It's always so sad to see her go." Sportacus said with a sigh as he put his hands down.

"You miss her a lot when she's gone, don't you Sportacus?" Mayor Meanswell asked sympathetically. Sportacus smiled sheepishly.

This, of course, wasn't the first time they'd seen her off. She'd been staying the summer in Lazytown for almost 5 years now. But Sportacus still found remorse in it. He remembered the pain of seeing her off the first time. No one had told him that Stephanie was only a temporary fixture in the town that first summer, just that she was staying with the Mayor because he was her uncle. He still remembered finding out about it.

~*~*~[Flashback]~*~*~

As Sportacus was going about his daily exercise routine he spotted Stephanie sitting on a bench and looking upset. He quickly flipped over to her and landed on the park bench next to her, causing her to jump a little and smile up at him sadly.

"Hi Sportacus." Stephanie said slowly.

"Stephanie, what's wrong?" Sportacus asked, putting an arm behind her on the bench.

"Nothing really... It's just that I have to go back home soon and I don't want to. I love Lazytown, I wish my parents would let me stay." Stephanie explained.

"Parents?" Sportacus asked without thinking. This was the first he'd heard of this. She didn't live with her uncle all the time?

Stephanie looked at him in confusion.

"Yeah. I just came to Lazytown for the summer because they went on a cruise or something... You didn't know?" She asked. Sportacus shook his head.

"No one ever told me." He answered.

"I'm sorry Sportacus," Her voice was full of remorse. "I guess it just never came up."

"No, it's alright. It's just a bit of a surprise." Sportacus said, recovering quickly.

"Lazytown won't be that same without you Stephanie." He said. "But you should go home. Surely you have friends back home that you miss. And your parents, you miss them at least a little don't you?" Sportacus reasoned. Stephanie's face brightened a little.

"I guess that's true." Stephanie answered. She sat up happily. "I know! If I just think about how much I want to see my parents it won't seem so bad to have to leave Lazytown. That's a great idea. Thanks Sportacus!" Stephanie hugged Sportacus around the neck enthusiastically before dashing off.

"You're welcome!" Sportacus shouted after her, which she acknowledged with a wave. Sportacus sighed.

And although he'd have to deny it for months to come, Sportacus sat moping on that park bench so long that Ziggy stumbled upon him that afternoon. Together they commiserated about how they would miss Stephanie over the colder months and how they should really cheer up since it wasn't really the end of the world when a friend has to go away. It just felt like it.

~*~*~[End Flashback]~*~*~

There was no denying that Sportacus and Stephanie shared a bond that Sportacus just didn't have with the rest of the people in town. Of course Sportacus would never have shirked his duties just because Stephanie was away. But if he was slightly less enthusiastic in his back flips and high jumps... Well, the children didn't much notice and the adults kept their mouths shut.

So when Sportacus perked up when Mayor Meanswell sent him a letter saying that Stephanie was coming back the following summer no one was really surprised at Sportacus's suddenly elevated attitude. It was pretty apparent that that was just going to be the nature of things in Lazytown from then on. Luckily enough for all involved Stephanie hadn't missed a single summer.

Until now.

Flash forward to the end of the school year...

To say Sportacus was happy might've been a bit of an understatement. Sportacus was ecstatic. School had ended yesterday, and to him that meant the official start of summer. No matter what the calenders said. And Sportacus loved summer.

Summer meant good things for Sportacus. The kids would be getting over their end of school lulls any day now and they'd start playing outdoor games, the days were longer and had more opportunity for fun in them, and not the least of all Stephanie would be coming back to Lazytown.

At that thought Sportacus did a few extra high leaps out of pure joy. It would've taken all of the 7 plagues of Egypt raining down on Lazytown to put a damper on his mood. And with that outrageous thought, he rushed off to the Mayor's Office to see when Stephanie's train would be arriving.

"Hello Mayor!" Sportacus said brightly, stepping quickly into the office.

"Hello Sportacus." Mayor Meanswell said in a somewhat resigned tone. Sportacus paused at that.

"Is something wrong?" Sportacus asked.

"It's just that I've got a bit of bad news." His answer came out in a worried voice. "It's good that you stopped by today I suppose. I wanted to let you know first." He added. Sportacus frowned and sat down quickly in the chair opposite the Mayor's.

"What is it?" He asked, his posture just screaming 'full alert mode'.

"It's Stephanie..." The Mayor began. Sportacus shot up.

"Stephanie?" He asked quickly. "Is she alright?"

"Oh no, she's fine Sportacus." The Mayor assured him. "It's just that... Well, she won't be coming to Lazytown this summer."

Sportacus didn't react for a moment. He just stood there with his hands on his hips and a shocked expression on his face.

"Stephanie... won't be here?" He clarified.

"No." The Mayor answered. "Oh, but she did write a letter if you'd like to read it." He dug around on the top of his desk a moment before pulling out some pink stationary. He handed it to Sportacus, who sat down to read it.

Dear Uncle Milford (and all my friends in Lazytown),

I'm sorry, but I won't be able to come visit you this summer. But something has come up. You see, my parents have finally agreed to enroll me in professional dance lessons. I can't think of why they finally changed their minds but I'm so excited I could just burst, I'll be learning all sorts of new things about dance! I had my first lesson just a couple days ago. I was worried that I'd be really behind everyone else, since most serious dancers start very young, but the teacher said I wasn't far behind at all. I guess all that dancing I did with Sportacus really paid off.

I really wanted to come to Lazytown this year too, but Mom said she searched all around the place and couldn't find a single professional level dance studio close enough to Lazytown to make staying with Uncle Milford work.

Even though I'm not there I know you'll all be really happy for me. I finally get to do what I've always wanted to. Wish me luck everyone!

Love,

Stephanie

Sportacus handed the letter back to Mayor Meanswell, looking a little shell shocked.

"It's so odd that my sister changed her mind. Not that she was ever against Stephanie dancing, but she always seemed to want a more conservative career for her. Ah well, I'm glad that Stephanie's getting what she's wanted for such a long time now." Mayor Meanswell commented as he skimmed the letter. He looked at Sportacus with concern.

"Are you going to be alright Sportacus?" He asked. "I know how you always look forward to seeing Stephanie every year."

Sportacus's heart ached. The thought of not seeing Stephanie for another whole year burned inside his chest. He almost didn't hear the Mayor's question, he was so distracted by the terrible thoughts swimming around in his head.

"I'll be fine Mayor." Sportacus said in a lighthearted voice. He shot up out of the chair again, putting his hands on his hips.

"I'm so happy for Stephanie. I know how much she loves to dance. She's doing what she loves and I know she'll be a wonderful dancer. I couldn't ask for more for her." Sportacus insisted with a smile on his face.

And let it not be said that Sportacus didn't truly believe it. But after the excitement of the day and consoling all the kids and trying to make them believe it too... After all of that Sportacus lay in his bed and thought about it again. No, he decided. He really couldn't ask for more for her... Except that... Maybe that should could do all of that just a bit closer to him.

TBC...


Author's Note: Awwww, I feel so bad for Sportacus now. But it'll get better, promise.

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