angelikitten: Happy Ness (on a bike) (Happy - HappiNess)
Madamsir Sammieface ([personal profile] angelikitten) wrote in [community profile] angelikittentreats2016-08-23 11:29 pm

Escargo Express [EarthBound: Tracy & Ness]

Title: Escargo Express
Fandom: EarthBound
Cast: Tracy, Ness
Rating: G
Summary: When her big bro goes off to save the world, Tracy does what she can to help.



They don't need the money, not really, and there are plenty of other things she could be doing with her time instead. But her brother has just gone off to save the world, and there isn't exactly much she can do to help him - so when she sees the advert in yesterday's Onett Times left open on the dining table, she doesn't think twice.

"You go for it honey!" her mom says when she asks permission, voice full of enthusiasm even while she's cleaning the windows. It's not until later that Tracy realizes that her mom didn't seem even slightly surprised by the question, and she gives her a hug as they cook that night's steak together.

-

Getting the job is easier than she expects, and the job itself isn't much harder. The delivery guys are all lovely, and they always share the latest gossip with her when they return from their travels. One of them is telling her about the reduced gang activity in town, when the phone rings.

"Hello! This is Escargo Express..." she starts, but then she hears something familiar on the other end of the line. "Oh, is that you, Ness?"

"Yeah, it's me. Hi." he says, and she can hear the smile in his voice.

"Big Bro!" she shouts excitedly, as it hits her just how much she's missed him.

-

"You couldn't do me a favor, could you Tracy?"

She spins around on her chair once before answering. "Maybe." she teases.

"It's just... well, I bought this egg from this guy, and it kinda... hatched."

She hears something that sounds like a "cheep!", and it's all she can do not to laugh.

"And I can't really keep a chick in my backpack..."

"I'll send one of the guys over to pick it up." she says, and hangs up quickly before dissolving into laughter.

-

"Where did you even get a bike?"

"Twoson." he replies offhandedly, and Tracy feels like she should have known better than to expect more of an answer than that.

"So why are you sending it to us?" she asks, confused. "I'd have thought it would have been a useful thing to have."

"It was." he says, hesitating. "But we've only got the one, and now there are two of us..."

"You made a new friend? That's great! What's his name?"

"... Paula."

Oh, Tracy realizes, a grin forming on her face. That's why he's so flustered. "Is she pretty?"

"I..." Ness starts, before making a choking sound.

"Awww!" she exclaims, enjoying herself immensely. Even though she can't see him, she just knows that he's blushing. "Can I talk to her?"

"No!" he all but shouts. He pauses and then, quieter but still a little flustered, he continues. "She's not around at the moment anyway."

She hears another voice, a slightly exasperated girl's voice, in the background saying "I'm right here, Ness."

Tracy giggles, then takes a deep breath before shouting "Hi Paula!"

A giggle, sounds of a scuffle, and then she hears an answering shout of "Hi Tracy!" from a Paula who clearly didn't win the fight for the phone. Tracy giggles in response.

"Bye Tracy." Ness says quickly, slightly out of breath, before hanging up.

-

Paula, according to the delivery guys, is very pretty. She also, according to the first things they store for the pair following Paula's rescue, fond of teddy bears, unless Ness has gained a new-found appreciation for them in the time he's been away. But when Tracy goes to put the bear in storage, she notices something: a little rip, just underneath the bear's arm. Instead of putting it away, she takes it to her desk, and looks at it closely. The edges of the hole look different from the wear and tear of her own toys, and some of the fur on the bear's leg is slightly singed.

The next day she brings in a needle and some thread, and sets to work fixing the bear in between phone calls. She's just giving it one final look-over when Ness calls, wanting it delivered.

She doesn't take the needle and leftover thread home at the end of the day. Instead, she leaves them in the desk drawer, just in case.

-

"Have I told you recently how much I love your delivery company?" Ness asks her before she can even finish her greeting, leaving Tracy a little wrong-footed.

"What do you want?" she asks, suspicious.

"Nothing!" he says, a little too quickly. "By the way, some folks in Twoson could do with a reminder that you exist."

Confused, she tries to come up with a response, but instead all she comes out with is "Huh?"

Ness sighs. "It's just that a friend of mine there, Apple Kid, he tried using Mach Pizza to send something to me."

"I bet that went well." she groans.

He laughs dryly. "Yeah, really well. I only ended up getting it because I was lucky. It was only something we needed to save the whole of Threed, no big deal."

She laughs. "So Threed is safe now?"

"Yeah, everything's fine now. Jeff - our new friend, he's traveling with us now - knew exactly what to do with Apple Kid's invention, so it worked out okay."

"Jeff... Jeff..." she repeats, trying to remember where she's heard that name recently. "Oh yeah! Dad said something about trying to call you to see how you were doing, but instead he ended up talking to someone called Jeff."

Some talking in the background, and then "Yeah, Jeff says that was him. How weird is that?"

Tracy nods, before remembering that her brother can't see her.

"He didn't even realize he had a phone with him until he got that call." Ness continues. "Anyway, I've got to go; there's a cave near the graveyard that we want to check out before it gets dark. Talk to you later!"

She smiles as she puts down the phone, and wonders how much it would cost to put up a few posters in Twoson.

-

Tracy knows that she wouldn't care about some gizmo if one of her friends got kidnapped, but Paula had insisted that it was important that Ness knew where it was if anything happened to her.

That doesn't stop it from being the hardest phone call she's ever had to make.

"Oh yeah, big bro..." she says, unsure of of how to finish the awkward call. "I'm glad that I could help out you and your friends."

Silence, and then, "Thanks Tracy." He sounds like he's been crying, and Tracy wants nothing more than to hug her normally cheerful brother.

"You'll find her. I know you will."

Another pause, then a quiet voice in the background, probably Jeff's: "We can do this Ness. We have to."

Ness sniffs, and if Tracy had to guess, she'd say he was drying his eyes. "You're right." He says softly, and then takes a breath. "You're both right."

She smiles. "I know we are. Now go out there and get her back, okay?"

"We will." Ness replies.

-

"Really sis? Neglected Class?"

Tracy winces slightly, glad her brother can't see her. "It's a new service Ness."

"I had to rescue it from a cave full of monkeys." Ness complains. "In the desert. I had to buy one of them a pizza."

"But you did receive it?" she asks brightly, happy that at least one of the Neglected Class deliveries had worked out.

"Tracy..." he starts, but Tracy jumps in before he can even start.

"He couldn't afford the normal service. He technically couldn't even afford Neglected Class! I would have paid for it myself, but I wasn't in the office, and it was gone by the time I got in..."

"Okay, okay." he interrupts, and then sighs. "Next time Apple Kid wants to send me something, I'll pay the charges, okay?"

"I'll put a note in your file."

-

"Oh come on, let me speak to her! Please?"

Ness laughs. "No way Tracy! We only just got her back, I'm not letting you scare her away."

If he could see her she'd stick her tongue out at him, so she settles for pretending to sulk instead, but only for a second. It's too nice hearing her brother being happy again after all that's happened.

"She's okay, right?" she asks quietly.

"She's fine." He's not laughing anymore, but he still sounds happy. "She's the one who figured out how we're going to get to Summers. Dr Andonuts - I mean, Jeff's dad - is just making some adjustments to the Sky Runner, then we'll be going."

There's a loud metallic clang on the other end of the line, and Tracy is just about to ask what it was when Ness speaks again.

"One thing sis, could you give Mom a hug for me when you get home? I miss her. And you."

She smiles softly as she answers: "Of course bro. We miss you too."

-

The teddy bear that Ness sends in from Summers is better than the others he's sent in the past; the fur is finer, the stitches are smaller, and the stuffing is softer than anything she's ever seen before. The only problem with it is the fact that she can see the stuffing to begin with, mainly because it's spilling out from where the bear's been cut open by who-knows-what. Sighing, she looks through the desk drawer for her needle and thread.

When she sends that bear out to her brother, another one comes in by return - but this one is whole, clean, new. There's even a ribbon around its neck, with a note attached: 'To Tracy, with love' is written in Ness' bold print, along with messages of thanks from Paula and Jeff, and someone else whose name she doesn't recognize.

She keeps the bear on her desk, along with a reminder to ask Ness who Poo is.

-

"Hey sis." he says slowly, and Tracy is surprised by how tired he sounds.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm okay, I just... I need to know everything we've got in storage, just in case we're missing something."

"What's going on Ness?"

"We're going up against Giygas tomorrow. We..." his voice trails off

"You can do it big bro." she says softly.

"Thanks."

"Let's make sure you've got everything you need to do this."

-

"And you're sure you're alright?"

"I'm fine." he says soothingly. "Honest."

"And everyone else?"

"They're all okay, stop worrying."

Tracy tries to relax. "I'm sorry, it's just that I woke up last night and I was worried about you..." She takes a breath to calm herself, and changes the subject. "You called for a reason, right? What do you need?"

"I... I'm not sure. Maybe the bike?"

She frowns. "The bike? I thought you said you were walking Paula home."

"I -"

"Besides," she interrupts, smirking wickedly, "Mom said she'd love it if you brought her over for dinner."

"But -"

"She said she'd make steak." she sing-songs.

"... I'll ask her." he agrees, and Tracy dances a little in her chair in celebration. "But she might want to see her parents first, so..."

Tracy nods, understanding. "Sure."

"Either way, I'll be home tomorrow, okay?"

She smiles so wide it almost hurts. "I'll see you tomorrow! I can't wait." she says, not even trying to keep the excitement out of her voice. "It feels like forever since I last saw you, big bro."

"I've missed you too." He says, and she thinks he's probably smiling as well. "See you tomorrow."

(Click.)

She puts down the phone and wonders exactly how to go about quitting her job. After all, she has far too many things to be doing with her time, now that her brother has saved the world.

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