Rottytops rested on her couch, periodically looking back at her web. She was still waiting for information regarding the kid an hour after she had brought him back, and nothing was coming up. The zombie sighed and looked over at the boy. He was still asleep, curled up in a tiny ball as his little body rose and fell with snores. She chuckled. "Cute little guy..." She said to herself.
She didn't think it was possible for a child to be as cute as he is. If she were anyone else she would have tried to eat him then and there. Good thing she had plenty of coffee this morning. Plus, attacking kids just wasn't in her nature.
Not to mention she'd never hear the end of it from Shantae. She just hoped her brothers didn't get any ideas.
Looking back to her web, she saw her spider arriving through the door and back on its perch. She made her way to the small arachnid and gave it a short tap, and thus started reading the messages it picked up.
'Hm... The guy up North hasn't heard anything... My gal over by the lake hasn't either... Bessy heard of a child disappearing, but it's a girl there... The ladies over at-'
"Agh, damn bug..." She muttered as her spider closed in on it's accidental prey.
Rolling her eyes, Rottytops stood and made her way back over to the sleeping child. She took a seat next to him, resting her head in her hands. Reclining, she looked over at him before deciding to ruffle his messy dark hair. She pulled away after a moment, then grimaced when she saw lice covering her hand. She shook them off, and her spider immediately came to eat.
Letting the spider go about its business, she turned her attention back to the child. He was so cute as he slept, but he was also... so small. Not to mention he looked like he hadn't had a decent meal in weeks. There was also the light bruising on his arms. She hoped it was from escaping the wolves. His oversized shirt wasn't doing her worries any favors either. Where was this kid from? More importantly, why was he in the forest in the first place?
She fidgeted in her seat as she stared at the oversized shirt. It appeared to be stained with some kind of red substance...She shook her head and looked away. It was probably just spaghetti sauce or something. Still...She looked back at him with a raised brow. She found herself growing curious...And so, carefully, so as not to wake him, she snuck a quick peek beneath the boy's shirt.
She tenderly pulled the adittedly large collar of the shirt downward, and immediately wished she hadn't. She didn't care what the reason was, no child should be THAT thin. Scars could also be seen on his fragile looking chest, almost see-through even. Just what the hell happened to this child?
She shook her head and pulled the shirt back down. She crossed her arms and stared at him sympathetically. 'This kid needs some food...' She thought. 'Man...If only I was stocked up...' She sighed before gently picking him up. 'Well, I was thinking of visiting Shantae in Scuttle Town anyway...'
Writing a quick note to her brothers and leaving it on the table for them to see, Rottytops hoisted the boy up so his head rested on her shoulder. She needed to not only get this kid fed but she also needed to get him to a doctor. She needed to know just how bad this kid might have had it.
She looked to the boy just in time to see him strirring, his eyes fluttering open.
She smirked as he looked up at her groggily. "Hey squirt." She greeted calmly. "Have a good little nap there?" She gave him a toothy grin and ruffled his messy hair.
Harry blinked tiredly as he stared at the green haired woman, before it all came back at once. All traces of tirednes vanished as his eyes widened, memories of the wolves and being saved from them coming back.
"It's you..." Rottytops couldn't help but smile at the cute look of awe he had.
"That's right." She giggled her reply. "Who else would I be?" Her eyes widened a bit as she remembered something important. "Speaking of, my name's Rottytops. What about you little guy? What's your name?"
The boy looked down. "You don't wanna know my name..." He said gloomily. Rottytops raised her brow.
"I absolutely DO wanna know your name!" She said with a grin. "C'moooon, don't hold out on me. Tell me. Come on, kiddo." She prodded gently.
"H-Harry..." The little boy squeaked.
Rottytops let out another giggle and voiced her thoughts. "Aw, that's cute. It fits 'cause of your messy hair." She ruffled his hair with a thankfully lice-free hand, also to try and get rid of any that might have gotten in last time.
Harry blushed and looked away, not knowing what to do about the compliment. "It's not cute..." he mumbled. Rottytops was able to hear and frowned.
"Hey," she spoke up. "Why would ya go saying something like that?"
"They keep saying it's filthy and co- co-comon..." He said, unsure how to pronounce the word 'common'. Rottytops frowned, not liking where this was going.
"...Is there...something you wanna talk about, kiddo?" She asked, concern evident in her tone. Harry looked confused. "Like, maybe there's...some people who aren't treating you too good...?"
If Harry was confused before, he was now. "What do you mean?" He asked meekly. Because of how he was raised, he didn't believe he was being treated wrongly. His guardians made him believe that he deserved what was coming to him.
"I mean..." Rottytops swallowed, having a bad feeling where this was going. "I mean did people ever... hit you, or something like that?"
Harry nodded. "Uh-huh...They had to...I was too freaky...I wasn't supposed to be a freak, but I was...So they beat me up to teach me how freaky I am..."
Rottytops had stopped cold midway through Harry's explanation. What would make him think something like that? Why was he thinking that in the first place? How could anyone-
She cut off her train of thought. Whoever this kid had stayed with was asking to be torn to pieces just by what she had heard. There was no way in Hell the damage she saw and heard was going unjustified.
She made a mental note to take to Shantae the next time Harry was asleep.
Putting a lid on her anger, she continued walking to her destination, trying to console Harry as she went on her way.
In the seaside port of Scuttle Town, the town's half-genie hero, Shantae, was sitting on the rooftop of her Uncle Mimic's house, watching over the sea. A part of it was because she wanted to relax. Another part was because she was watching out for any activity from her nemesis Risky Boots.
"Hey there!" A familiar voice sounded from down below. Blinking, she looked down and smiled when she saw her friend...But her smile became a surprised frown when she saw what Rottytops was carrying. "...So I uh...need your help..."
Shantae stood up and made her way to the edge of the roof closer to Rottytops. Jumping down, she gracefully landed next to her zombified friend, her long purple hair flowing with her movements. She smiled again at her friend. "It's been a while, Rottytops." She greeted before turning a blank gaze to the child in the zombie's arms. "Who's this?"
Now it was Rottytops' turn to smile as she gestured to the boy she was holding. "This Harry." She said candily. "I found this little guy lost in the woods and, well..." Her expression fell as she trailed off, and the half-genie seemed to get the message.
"We'll talk more inside." She said, before turning to Harry with a smile. "It's nice to meet you Harry." She spoke softly. "My name is Shantae."
The boy just hid his face in Rottytops' chest and whimpered. Shantae giggled. "Aww, he's so cute." She cooed with a closed-eyed smile.
"Yeah, he's a sweet little pipsqueak." Rottytops agreed.
"And he can actually stand how smelly you are." Shantae teased. Rottytops pouted and stuck out her tongue.
Zombie and genie later ajourned to inside the house to continue there conversation. After a brief introduction between Harry and Shantae's adoptive uncle, who later moved to the kitchen to make some snacks, Shantae and her undead friend themselves in the living room.
"Alright." Shantae began, "you said that there was something you needed help with?"
Rottytops nodded. "Yeah, uh...I need..." She grumbled something under her breath.
"Sorry, repeat that?" Rottytops grumbled again. "Didn't catch that..."
Shantae blinked. And blinked again. She even tried to clean out her ear with her pinky for good measure before looking to her zombie friend again, who was just staring at her expectantly.
"Um." Shantae finally managed before pausing. "What brought this on?" She was genuinely curious as to why the green girl in front of her suddenly decided she wanted to be a mom. At least, that was the impression she was getting.
Rottytops suddenly began to grow upset as she tightened her hold on the boy. "Cause...Welll" She looked down. "I can't leave the little guy." She admitted. "I...I kinda got attached...And...I think he did too..."
Raising an inquisitive brow, Shantae got the feeling that she wasn't getting the full story. After a short, mental debate, she decided not to pry. She could always get her answers later.
She let out a sigh before adressing the, apparently, undead mother to be. "Well, if that's what you want. But I highly doubt that I'm someone you should come to for parenting advise." She stated.
Through all of this, Harry was looking back and forth between the two women, having no idea what was going on.
Rottytops looked down at him and patted his head. "So you have no idea how I'd go about looking after the little guy?" She asked, running her fingers through his hair. Shantae shrugged.
"I...guess the best thing to do is just...be there for him." She replied. "I know you can do it, though, Rotty."
"Heh...Thanks, Shantae...Oh yeah, there was another reason I came...I uh...don't really have anything for the little guy to eat..."
The half-genie simply smiled in exasperation and shook her head. "Good thing Uncle Mimic's in the kitchen then."
As if on cue, a white bearded man in a green coat came out with snacks as more talk about how Rottytops can take care of Harry. As Mimic joined in on the conversation, none of them noticed a black figure at the window spying on them.
Its captain had assigned it with a mission to spy on the genie girl and report back when it discovered any new developements. When it saw the zombie talk to the genie girl about a young boy she found and her wanting to take care of him, it pondered whether or not it would be news worthy. Making its decision, it quicky jot down a note and attatched it to the leg of a pigeon it had with it.
As the bird flew off, the figure went back to spy duty as it saw the big man move into the kitchen again, possibly to make dinner.
It didn't know it, but things were about to get interesting.