Categories > TV > LazyTown
"Remember the last time we went camping?"
Stephanie's laughter was light, but grew louder at Sportacus' grimace. It was seven years since the fateful day a rare summer wind storm nearly tore apart the entire town, not to mention all of her Lazytown friendships ... except for the one she still held dearest.
It was one perfect relationship that wasn't going anywhere.
Now, all this time later, they were back in the woods again, but tonight it was beneath a clear, starlit sky. A warm July breeze wafted through the leaves, rustling them, far different than the whirlwind they'd survived previously.
The campfire was crackling in its stone ring, throwing shadows and firelight over the site. Sportacus had let Stephanie build it, filling her with pride in the silent confidence he had in her. Confidence that he'd helped to build over the years of their relationship, along with other, softer, emotions.
"Let's hope Robbie doesn't feel the urge for the great outdoors," Sportacus said. He handed her the bag of trail mix they'd put together before heading into the woods. "Not too much now," he warned with a smile. "I've marinated some chicken skewers for the campfire grill."
Grinning, Stephanie took a single raisin out from the bag and balanced it delicately on the tip of her tongue. Watched with wonder and some amusement at the heated flush that filled Sportacus' cheeks. She swallowed it with a giggle. "Was that too much?"
The blush deepened. "I ... I have to check on the cooler. Excuse me," he said, quickly jumping to his feet.
Stephanie watched Sportacus as he moved through the campsite with his usual strong grace. At seventeen, she wasn't close to being an innocent little girl anymore. Gone were the days when she would jump into his embrace without hesitation, curl against him whenever she felt sad or alone, sometimes holding his hand for no other reason than he was her Sportacus and she was his Stephanie and the contact felt wonderful, it felt ... right.
But touching him now? It was different. In a good way, at least for her, but lately she noticed how nervous he became when she moved into his personal space, sometimes subtly edging away, thinking perhaps she wouldn't notice.
Guess he doesn't realize there's nothing I don't notice about him, Stephanie thought, hugging her knees to her chest and watching as Sportacus made a show of rearranging their supplies. He'd trimmed his mustache recently, at her joking request, leaving nothing in the way of her admiring the classic planes of his face. Healthy and beautiful, she thought, and as for the rest of him ...
It was her turn to blush then, coughing a little when Sportacus turned around just in time to see her staring at his ... assets.
"Everything all right?" he asked, carrying over their dinner which he'd neatly packed in airtight storage bags -- boneless chicken and pineapple on skewers, her favorite.
"Great. Everything's great," she said cheerfully. "Did you make those for me?"
Teasing, and Sportacus' eyes crinkled with amusement. "Everything I do is for you, Stephanie. Didn't you know that?"
Getting up, she brushed some soil and twigs from her jeans. "Does that mean I get out of heating up the grill?" she laughed, leaning down to kiss him on the top of his head. To kiss his hat more precisely, and Stephanie wondered if she couldn't convince him to ditch that, just while they were alone together, as she had a sudden urge to run her hands through his dark hair.
"Absolutely not, my dearest," he said, handing her the thin steel grill and an oven mitt. "I've already oiled it."
With a sigh, Stephanie put on the mitts and carefully put down a fire ring, to rest the grill on. God, what was wrong with her lately, flirting with her oldest friend like this? She really had to get it together. This is not going to happen ... ever ... she told herself firmly. We are just friends, nothing more. We will never be anything more than friends even ...
"Ow!" she cried, as a flareup from the oiled grill caught her on an exposed part of her arm leaving an angry red burn mark across the flesh. "Damn it," she cursed, in pain and annoyed that the grill had fallen into the ashes.
"Stephanie!" Sportacus was up in a flash. Tenderly, he took her arm between his hands to examine it. "That's not good. Let me get the first-aid kit."
Maybe you should get some first aid for my heart too, Stephanie thought dejectedly. She plopped down on a nearby fallen tree trunk, cradling her injured arm. "I'm such an idiot," she said to no one in particular. "A real idiot."
Kit in hand, Sportacus knelt in front of her. He pulled out a roll of gauze and a tube of ointment, squeezing a bit of the cooling gel onto the pad. "Why do you think you're an idiot? Accidents happen to everyone. Remember when I broke my ankle, just walking down the stairs one day? Here I am, Mr. Gymnastic and I couldn't go down a flight of stairs without cracking a bone."
"I remember," she whispered. "But that's not what makes me an idiot."
And she watched then, as softly, Sportacus pressed the gauze to Stephanie's burn. She couldn't tear her eyes away from the look on his face -- so intent on her, so concerned. Part of her wished she could still get kisses for boo-boos, the other part wished she could sink through the forest floor and never be seen again. And there was still another part, a wilder part only he brought out that wished she could lean over, take his mouth beneath hers and just ...
Kiss him. Yes, kiss him and suddenly there was nothing stopping her, as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him up to her, feasting on his lips, then feeling him hesitate before opening up, his tongue touching ... tasting hers.
So sweet, she thought hazily, trying to take more, as much as he would give. He was still holding back, she could feel it, but if he gave her time ...
But Sportacus didn't seem to want to wait. Disentangling himself from her embrace, he rose clumsily, his entire body trembling. "Stephanie ... my dear ... this ... this isn't right. I'm your friend. You're simply confused. This isn't what you want. You want a young man, your own age."
Stephanie's throat suddenly felt raw, as did her eyes. She had to blink rapidly to keep the tears from spilling over -- the last thing she wanted was for him to see her cry like a baby. "I'm not not confused," she said hoarsely. "I know exactly what I want, I've always know and what I want is you. It's always been you. All right, maybe I didn't know it back then, but I'm not a little girl anymore, Sportacus. I'm a woman. And I have a woman's feelings and all of them? They're for you. There's no one else and there won't be, for as long as I live. I know this and nothing you or anyone else can say will change my mind."
Sportacus rubbed a shaking hand over his face. "You deserve much better," he said weakly. "You're an amazing girl and I only want what's best for you."
"How can anyone be better for me than my best friend?" she replied, reaching out to take one of his hands. It was cold and she rubbed his thumb between her fingers to warm it. "The best friend who's taught me, saved me ... loved me for so long?"
"But not like this. In my mind, you're still my little Stephanie. I would be hurting you if things were ... otherwise between us."
Despairing voice, but Stephanie was undaunted. She rose and took his chin in her free hand, forcing him to look in her eyes. "Do I really look like a little girl to you? Still? You know you can't hurt me. It's impossible. You could never hurt me."
His mouth opened, then closed, without a word spoken. He looked into her eyes for a few moments and then: "You're right." Thickly. "I could never hurt you. I could never deny you anything either -- ever. Do you really want this, my only one?"
"More than life," she said softly, moving up on tiptoe to kiss him again, this time feeling no hesitation in his touch, only a passionate return of what she'd always wanted to give him -- her soul.
God, so good, she thought hazily, her burn forgotten as he scooped her into his arms, not breaking the kiss. There was a tent and sleeping bags, somewhere over there and hopefully they would be put to a better use than they ever had before, an activity that they hopefully would be able to indulge in for a long time to come.
Maybe a lifetime to come, if Stephanie had any say about it.
Comments are always appreciated. I have other fics I'd like to write for this show, but could always use some encouragement.
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