If there was one thing that Robbie knew, it was that Valentine's Day was not about being big and glamorous. Big gifts and obscene amounts of chocolates could be acceptable, but past experiences had told him otherwise. It was the subtle things that counted, like what his partner liked and the ways just to cheer up their day. Those were what made his own grin the brightest, he knew.
Yet despite this, his partner in crime seemed to think otherwise. They’d left sometime in the night, leaving Robbie’s home a mess of plans, gift ideas, empty dishes, discarded clothes, and so much more. Robbie stood in his living room Valentine’s Day morning, sighing heavily. There was work to be done.
Work just didn’t want to be done, evidently.
Not even forty-five minutes later did Robbie find himself sitting in his chair, arms folded, a conflicted mess. Glanni had pushed so hard for him to ask his crush out for Valentine’s Day, but of course the cat-suited criminal had left without even a warning, leaving Robbie with no wingman or moral support. Truly he wanted to ask his crush out too, since when was the last time he’d had the guts to do something so precious? But here he was, all alone, in his mess of a home with reluctance to go through with Glanni’s big plans.
“Pull it together, Rotten,” he grumbled to himself. An anxious headache was beginning to creep at his temples. “If you stop worrying and just… do something, then maybe it won’t be as bad as you keep telling yourself it will be…” The notion was hard to believe, but with almost another hour or self persuasion Robbie strutted out into the world, prepared to do Valentine's Day in a way that was more him.
“Come on, Sportacus! You can do it, you’re a hero after all! And heroes aren’t afraid of anything!” Trixie shouted, waving around the clipboard that Stingy had made.
“Trixie,” Sportacus sighed, “while that may be true, heroes do get nervous, which I admit I am. Please give Stingy back his clipboard, also.”
With a huff the board was handed back over, and Stingy snatched it with a relieved exhale. He flipped through the few papers he had clipped, reading quickly on the schedule he and Pixel had made.
Looking up he said, “Sportacus, if you start getting your gifts together now, you’ll be able to ask him in about approximately three hours. Being nervous is not on my list.”
Ziggy pulled at Sportacus’ pant leg, his big blue eyes wide. “Oh, oh, Sportacus! If you need some candy ideas, then I have a whole bag of taffy you can give him! Robbie loves taffy and chocolate too, huh?”
Sportacus rubbed at his neck while he sucked in a breath through his teeth. “I don’t want to take your candy, Ziggy.”
“Ziggy is right though,” Pixel said matter-of-factly. “One of the most suitable gifts for Robbie would be candy. I’d say he’d eat anything, but he does have some high standards. Stephanie and I can get some highly rated taffy delivered in a few hours, actually!”
“Yeah!” Stephanie cheered, “Just leave the candy to Pixel and I. Ziggy can help too, since he knows all the good flavors. Trixie and Stingy, you two help Sportacus get a nice change of clothes and keep us on time. Good luck team!”
“Guys, wait-” Sportacus called, only sighing as his protests were fruitless. It was a bad idea to confess that he did have a pretty bad crush on Robbie Rotten, seeing as the kids were dead set on getting him to ask the villain out. The trio raced away to order candy, leaving him to groan into the chilly February air.
“Come on Sportacus, lets go get you a nice suit to change into,” Stingy said. He grabbed Sportacus’ hand and helped Trixie drag him along, ignoring the grown man’s protests.
It was going to be a long Valentine’s Day afternoon.
With a furious shake, Robbie emptied the last of the shopping bag’s contents into his orange chair. There were apples and oranges, even a stray potato to the mix. Landing haphazardly on it’s back was a bear plushie with a superhero cape stitched across it’s shoulders. The card that came with it read “You’re my hero, valentine! Have a high flying Valentine's Day!” As soon as he’d seen it Robbie knew it was a gift made for Sportacus, who’d probably melt at the cute innocence of the gift.
Robbie ran a hand through his hair, effectively messing his pompadour. That was alright, however, because he needed to shower and get dressed anyways. Not only had he made a stealthy trip down to the grocery store, but he’d readied his Valentine’s Day surprise. The physical exertion of putting it together meant he smelled of sweat and anxiety, and only a hot shower could cure that.
“Okay so flowers here, sportscandy here, apple roses here- he better like those or so help me- and bear here… wait what time is it?” Robbie looked up from his quick gift organization to gawk at the clock.
“Wh- four thirty?! The sun will set soon if I don’t get a move on!” Robbie knew his tendency to accidentally take hour long showers, and if the sun set around six he’d only have a limited amount of time before Sportacus would head up to his airship for the night.
With haste Robbie hustled to the bathroom, grabbing all his essentials from under the sink and starting the steaming water. He’d shower for hopefully less than thirty minutes and be ready for his nerve wracking date proposal before Sportacus disappeared for the evening.
The collar was suffocating, but Sportacus could endure it for at least a few hours. Much to Stingy’s pleasure, he and Trixie has found a suit for their hero to wear. It was a dark navy blue, just dark enough that it accented his eyes. The incredibly light blue button up he wore under it could almost be mistaken for white in the wrong lights, and they’d somehow managed to get his hat off. The breeze felt wrong on his ears, but his wavy hair seemed to cover most of it.
Stephanie, Pixel, and Ziggy kept true to their words. By the time the other two children began to push him through town square they ran up, a bag of the world’s most famous taffy in one pair of hands and a heart full of pure chocolate delights in another.
“Here! Go knock him dead, Sportacus! He’ll probably be surprised by the fashion change,” Stephanie laughed. Pixel and Ziggy agreed he looked stunning, which brought a blush to Sportacus’ cheeks.
“I, uh, well- you think so?”
“Of course,” Stingy scoffed, “you’re wearing clothes made by my family tailor, after all. He’ll be in awe at your beauty.” The child exaggerated the word, a proud smile stretching his lips. Sportacus laughed and nodded his head in nervous agreement.
“So here’s the taffy, oh! And here’s the chocolate, it smells sooo good! Robbie’ll love them!” Ziggy rushed forward to push the taffy bag into Sportacus’ hands. Pixel offered up the chocolates, and Stephanie walked forwards with her hands behind her back.
“While we were shopping I discovered this little guy, and, well, we just knew Robbie would love him. Here,” Stephanie pulled out a little cow plushie with dark purple patches, just the epitome of adorable. Sportacus gasped, gently cradling the doll between the sweets.
“Robbie loves cows…”
“Heck yeah he does!” Trixie said, giving a push to Sportacus’ back. “But now you need to go! He’s probably getting ready for bed or something, knowing him.”
Sportacus nodded, determination etched into his furrowed brows. With a shaky, deep breath he started towards the bunker, ignoring the fact that Robbie might reject him. They were polar opposites, hero and villain, but Sportacus knew that that didn’t have to define their relationship. His brother had a boyfriend, a criminal at that, and they somehow make it work. If he could do it then so could Sportacus, if Robbie would have him, that is.
As if he were projecting the doubts and conflicts swirling in his head, Stephanie ran up from behind and gave his arm a squeeze. “Don’t worry Sportacus, he’ll love them.”
“I hope so Stephanie…”
Oh God he was late, jeez he was late!
Robbie fastened the tie around his neck, his grip shaky from the adrenaline rushing through his system. One last look in his cracked mirror had him giving a smile, a smoulder that made even his own heart pound a bit. Which might not have been the best thing, actually, with the pounding of his nerves. The shower should have helped those at first but it seemed that after stepping out they’d tenfold. All the doubts swirling in his head tormented him, making his last-minute check a little rough.
Bear? … Check.
Apple roses? Check!
Crushing nerves and anxiety about the thought of his half a year crush rejecting him due to their complicated past as hero and villain? Oh, double check.
Perhaps the only solace to his nerves was the remote canon detonator that weighed familiarly in his pocket. Robbie patted it down and took a deep breath, knowing that his ultimate proposal could only possibly fail. With a cool head and lines rehearsed from all afternoon stuck in his head, he climbed up the chute as best he could and attempted to try and be on time.
In the middle of February, the sun normally set around six. Despite his bedtime being eight o’ eight, Sportacus tended to go up at early, claiming it was easiest if the kids were in before dark. At fifteen minutes to six Robbie emerged from his bunker and began to hike it towards Lazytown, the beaten and slightly icy road the only obstacle in his path.
There was a particular sharp bend that tended to obscure what laid behind it, purely because of the hill that it sat upon and the shrubbery sitting at it’s corner. Robbie panted, chest heaving and muscles burning as he turned the bend.
Suddenly all the air left his lungs and the cold ground sent a short flare of pain up his spine. The bag of sportcandy escaped his grasp and landed safely in a half melted snow bank while Robbie blinked in confusion.
Across from him, Sportacus sat in a familiar position. The two of them blinked at one another, blushes rising to their cheeks once they realized who they’d run into.
“Robbie! Ah- I’m so sorry-”
The two of them stuttered into silence, tongues bitten in their nervous haste. Sportacus noticed the bag Robbie’d dropped and reached to pick it up. His breath caught once he realized what was in it, wide blue eyes looking up to grey ones as he stood up.
“Um… H-here’s your bag back. Uh- oh! H-Happy Valentine’s Day, Robbie. I- uh- well, I thought that since, um, it’s Valentine’s Day and all, I’d, uh, get you something. Here! Oh wait, your arms…” Sportacus couldn’t help but laugh, noticing that both their arms were full.
Robbie blinked at the elf before him, a blush spreading across his cheeks. Sportacus actually got him gifts? And gosh, did he look good, such beautiful rare blond hair out for the world to see. His suit didn’t look half bad, and Robbie couldn’t help but admire the way it fitted his body. But if Sportacus had gotten him gifts then perhaps he wouldn’t be rejected. He could actually ask him them, couldn’t he???
“Yes?” The hero chuckled, the subtle blush too cute for his own good. Robbie coughed to gather his focus, back straightening as he stood to his full height.
“It seems we’ve both gotten each other something this year, which is… fortunate, because, uh, I… I have to admit that I’ve… been wanting to be something more than…. frenemies for a while now. I, Robbie Rotten, uh, would like to take you out… on a date- if you want, of course! Uh, it doesn’t have to be tonight if that doesn’t work, but-”
“You want to take me on a date?”
“I-” Gosh, those pretty blue eyes just went vivid with excitement. Whatever nervousness that’d stilled Sportacus’ movements vanished as he bounced on his heels, lip bitten as he tried not to smile too large.
“If… you’re free tonight, then I’d love to go out, Robbie…. Haha, the kids actually helped me all afternoon just so I could ask you the same thing!”
“I can see that,” Robbie murmured with no malice. He could see the little pip squeaks watching from just down the road, all excited and pointing and giggling. His gaze refocused on Sportacus, who was shifting the items in his arms to try and figure out the best way to trade gifts.
It took a few moments but eventually they got it. Sportacus practically gushed his love for the apple roses and the sportscandy, the superhero bear tucked close to his chest. He smelled the flowers and rambled on how beautiful they were and how touched he was that Robbie bought them. Robbie, to his credit, was just as flustered, but was effectively silenced by the wonderful taffy, chocolate, and the most adorable cow plushie that he’d ever seen.
“I… Thank you,” Robbie laughed, surprised at how fluidly the words came off his tongue. Sportacus grinned, ambling over to gently place a kiss to the corner of his mouth. They both blushed with smiles and testing glances, wondering where the boundary for their new relationship lied.
“Oh!” Robbie gasped, “I almost forgot!” Everything shifted into one arm as he patted down his pockets to find the remote canon detonator. As soon as it was found he held it up with a successful cry, holding it high into the air as he pressed the button.
A bright streak flew high into the sky, visible from all over the countryside and throughout the town. It flew a few hundred feet, the couple watching it in awe. They followed the trail until it disappeared. Now for long however, as fireworks of hearts, apples, and cakes lit up the sky.
“Oh my God, Robbie!” Sportacus laughed, watching as the canon just seemed to fire off firework after firework. It seemed Robbie had set up more than one, creating for the most magical proposal he’d ever been given.
“Do you like it?” The villain asked. Despite his good luck so far anxiety had his voice wobbling. Sportacus looked up at him, a comforting smile gracing his thin lips.
“I love them. I… I think I love you, too…”
As the darkness of the night finally set in, and the fireworks continuously lit up the sky, Robbie pushed forward and slotted his lips against Sportacus’. The kiss was hardly anything but graceful, but the two of them laughed and kissed and kissed and laughed. Any doubts about their feelings for each other were left in the dusk of evening as they went onto a night full of love, exploration, and their new relationship.