“Stop slouching,” Stephanie hisses, hiding the look on her face behind the fall of long blonde hair not pulled back in the braid put in by the Disney makeup artists for her role as Rapunzel. “You don’t want the park manager to write you up for not putting on a good show do you?”
Jason doesn’t get to answer because another group of little children and their parents/chaperones/whatever are fast approaching and if there’s one thing that Jason has figured out since starting work at Disney six months previous, it’s that you get written up a lot faster if someone sees you complaining where the guests (not customers) can see you. He reaches up to run his fingers through his dyed brown hair but then lets his hand fall to his side when he sees the nasty look that Stephanie is quick to direct his way.
“Okay, okay,” Jason says as he raises his hands up in front of his body and backs up a step until the heels of his boots hit the concrete wall behind them. “I’ll be good. Just… don’t give me that look again.”
Stephanie smiles, brilliantly. “What look,” she asks before the group comes closer and she sweeps her purple silk dress back so that she can curtsy without falling. When she stands back up and beams at the group of little children that are milling around her, there’s nothing aside from genuine pleasure in her bright blue eyes.
“Good morning, guys,” Stephanie chirps at the group of little girls (and two blushing boys) that surround her almost instantly. “Are you guys ready to have an adventure?” She claps her hands together and starts the scripted spiel that Disney made her learn their first week partnered up with more cheer than Jason could muster if he had to play her part.
Jason gets to hang back and tell bad jokes to the little boys that aren’t comfortable fawning over a princess just yet. Honestly, it’s his favorite part of the job. He feels a tug on his pant leg about a minute into his own set of jokes and when he glances down, he sees a little red head and a freckled face.
“Mister Rider,” the boy says as he peers up at Jason’s face with a wide smile on his face that shows off a gap in his front teeth. “Mister Rider!”
When Jason kneels down so that he can smile at the little boy, he isn’t expecting the hug that nearly sends them both falling down. The kid’s arms are wrapped tightly around his neck and it’s cute enough that Jason doesn’t even worry too much about how many points he’ll get on his record if Selina sees the hug.
The boy makes a happy sound and then steps back so that he isn’t hugging Jason anymore. He’s blushing bright red. “Mister Rider,” he says again as he scuffs his worn sneakers over the ground, “My name’s Colin. I’m an orphan too and when I grow up, I want to be just like you!”