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Robbie wasn't sure where he'd gone wrong in his life to invoke the wrath of all the shrubbery in the world, but it was obvious to him that at some point, mistakes had been made. The trees of Lazytown in particular seemed to be holding a fierce grudge against him; it was the only explanation for why their branches always seemed to break at precisely the wrong time: when Robbie was sitting on them.

Lying on his back in the dirt, Robbie had time to contemplate the broken branch and the traitorous nature of the local flora. Even the ground seemed harder than normal, really, he should register a complaint--


The shout of his own name practically in his ear interrupted that line of thinking. Sportacus skidded to a stop on his knees next to him so quickly that a cloud of dust rose around them. Robbie squinted as his view of the tree branch was replaced with a head and a blue hat, Sportacus already babbling.

"That was a bad fall, hold still!"

With the blue idiot over him, Robbie couldn't even sit up, not that he could have managed it anyway, not with two strong hands suddenly on his shoulders, pinning him down.

"I'm fine," Robbie rasped out, because blast it all, he was, "Just got the wind knocked out of me."

He was promptly ignored, hands moving over him just this side of frantic and Robbie was starting to doubt his own body. His head didn't hurt and there didn’t seem to be any bones poking out that he was unaware of--

"I'm fine!" he repeated, louder, trying and failing to escape.

"You're fine," Sportacus muttered. He still didn't let Robbie get up, gentle fingers moving along the length of his legs and arms, rubbing testingly at the back of his skull, turning his head back and forth.

"Yes! I. Am. Fine!" Robbie snapped and he started to slap those intrusive hands away, paused when he saw they were shaking. He was shaking, Sportacus was shaking, a visible tremor in his hands where they hovered above Robbie, not touching anymore but clearly not by choice.

"I'm so sorry," Sportacus said thickly. Robbie blinked up at him, disbelieving. His eyes were damp with unshed tears, that ridiculous mustache quivering. "I let you down, I'm sorry. I should have caught you."

"You should have…caught me…" Robbie repeated dumbly. Sportacus seemed to take it as an accusation rather than a statement of blank surprise; he ducked his head as though he'd been scolded, but not before Robbie caught sight of a single tear falling from his lashes.

"I'm sorry," he repeated, in that thick, clotted voice. "I won't let you down again, I swear."

Every part of him seemed to be drooping; sagging to the ground like gravity had suddenly increased its pull on him. It was somehow deeply unsettling to see him like this, some nameless discomfort that settled heavily into Robbie's chest that had nothing to do with his fall.

"How were you supposed to catch me, you fool," Robbie managed to inject as much scorn as he could into it, a significant amount considering that he was still flat on his back on the ground. "You were halfway across the town! You couldn't have caught me if you'd been able to teleport."

That brought Sportacus's head back up and Robbie caught his breath. Only one silvery line of wetness on his face but his eyes were reddened, like the tears had retreated only to the edge. Something hopeful was rising in his expression, though, wary but wanting to believe.

Sportacus swallowed hard, wetting his lips before he tried, uncertainly, "I could have been faster—"

Robbie snorted in disdain, "You could not have been faster. Superman couldn't have caught me and he's a real superhero. You're just above average."

"Only slightly," Sportacus said. His grin was a little teary but at least it was there.

"Mostly above average," Robbie corrected. He grimaced as he finally sat up, pressing his hands into the small of his back. "Either way, I'm fine, but would you let me get up, now? The ground has rocks in it."

He didn't have time to regret his mistake; the words were barely out of his mouth when Robbie was scooped up into strong arms and being carried rather more roughly than he preferred to the nearest bench.

As rescues went, Robbie would give this one a four and a half. He didn’t offer up any protests, not even when Sportacus gingerly pushed up the back of his shirt to examine Robbie's newest crop of bruises. Obviously the fool needed to save someone and Robbie was reluctantly willing to play the victim if needs be. At least until the trees turned their wrath on someone else.

He sat on the bench and let Sportacus exclaim over him, fussing and scolding, even rubbing some sort of flowery smelling ointment into a particularly colorful mark on Robbie's side. Robbie allowed it all, with nothing more than a smattering of impatient sighs and some ticklish squirming when that touch skirted over his ribs. At one point, he honestly thought he felt something pressed into his hair, like a fond touch or…or a kiss.

He put it down to his incipient concussion and ignored it. It was easier to sit here in silence and let Sportacus do what he needed to do. Their little world continued on around them while Robbie just sat on a bench in the park and allowed himself to be saved.