"Hi ho my wonderful colleagues!" Joy sings merrily as she walks into the main room the next morning after getting herself a cup of coffee. Despite spending the previous night doing Dream Duty, the cheerful yellow Emotion didn't seem even a tiny bit tired as she greeted her fellow Emotions with as much exuberance as always.
Now she paused in the center of the control room and closing her eyes, took a deep breath as a serene smile spread across her face. "It's a beautiful morning! I can almost smell that spring is in the air!"
She opened her eyes and noticed that Disgust was staring at her with as much enthusiasm as if she had just announced that they should all have broccoli for breakfast today! The green Emotion was tapping her foot irritably on the floor and her arms were crossed as she regarded her yellow companion with undisguised petulance scrawled all over her pretty face.
Joy didn't seem fazed in the slightest and she simply beamed even more in response, stating, "Now, now Disgust. Wipe that frown off your face! You don't want to map that lovely face with wrinkles do you?"
Disgust rolled her eyes in exasperation and retorted, "Give me a break Joy! Look at them!"
She pointed a finger accusingly at Anger and Sadness, who were sitting in the corner by the window and chatting away happily as they relived their little moonlight walk through Imagination Land last night. The two Emotions had their arms wrapped fondly around one another and were staring deeply into each other's eyes.
Sadness whispered something to Anger that none of the others could hear and the stout red Emotion let out a hearty laugh which was definitely not like the Anger they all knew. Then he leaned forward and gave Sadness a tender peck on the cheek, causing the blue Emotion to blush shyly. She responded by rubbing his back affectionately and leaning her head against Anger's broad shoulder.
Sadness sighed dreamily and commented, "Oh Darling, remember last night when we were walking through Cloud Town in Imagination Land and you gave me that envelope and told me not to open it until the morning?"
She looked up at him with those irresistible puppy-dog eyes of hers and pleaded, "Can I please open it now? All this anticipation is making me sweat and I don't want to smell like a six month old bouquet!"
Anger chuckled softly and replied, "Kiddo, you always smell like the freshest, most fragrant rose to me!"
He gently squeezed her arm and joked, "Even after you've just eaten onion rings, your kiss still tastes as sweet as a cherry pie!"
Disgust clapped her hands in an exaggerated manner and remarked dryly, "Now that's amore!"
"Oh come on Disgust!" Joy prompted her green friend encouragingly. "They're adorable!"
Disgust huffed indignantly and scoffed, "Oh please! There should be a sign of warning on the door saying, Contagious Area…Dripping with love and affection! Enter at your own risk!"
Joy went silent for a second as she thought about Disgust's statement. Then a mischievous smile crept across her face and she replied, "Hey speaking of contagious, I think it might be rubbing off on you a little Disgust…I saw that look you were giving Fear when he walked in here this morning!"
Fear had been silently sipping his coffee over by the console and as soon as he heard Joy's remark, he felt the coffee going down the wrong way and he began chocking and spluttering from shock!
Disgust glared in disbelief at Joy and shot back matter-of-factly, "And I think Joy dear, you need to get your eyes checked! Maybe you should go and ask Sadness if you can borrow her glasses!"
A look of revelation appeared on the green Emotion's face and she shuddered before adding quickly, "On second thoughts don't! Because lately Sadness' glasses are always getting fogged up from being in such close proximity to Lover Boy's face over there…"
She gestured distastefully at Anger and cautioned, "It would be like looking through a pink haze!"
Joy just laughed dismissively and urged, "Now, now! Let's just all be happy and allow them to have their moment…after all today is Valentine's Day!"
Over by the window, Anger's face lit up with excitement and he whispered to Sadness, "Hey Kiddo, feel free to open my letter anytime you're ready!"
Then he added with a hint of apprehension in his voice, "Remember how I told you about my passion for poetry a few nights ago? Well I wanted you to know how much you really mean to me…so I wrote a little something special for you!"
The red Emotion began twiddling his thumbs and averted his gaze to the floor coyly as Sadness let out a giggle of excitement and opened the envelope eagerly.
"I hope you like it…" Anger mumbled more to himself than to her as she began reading the poem and a genuine smile of gratitude appeared on her face.
"Anger is red,
Sadness is blue,
You are so sad and I am so bad,
If you put your hand in mine,
I know we will be fine,
You won't be sad and I won't be bad,
Love will claim us.
You'll be my girl and I'll be your man,
Be my Valentine and together we will show them that love is in the air,
Love you Kiddo,
Your Big Red."
Sadness finished reading and looked at Anger with tears of love in her eyes. "Oh Anger! That was so beautiful! It makes me want to cry…"
Anger shifted uncomfortably next to her. "I'm sorry Kid! I didn't mean to make you sad…"
Sadness gave him a look of surprise and nudged him playfully in the ribs with her elbow. "No you Big Red Brickhead! These are tears of happiness not tears of misery!"
"Ohhh…" Anger breathed a sigh of relief. Then he looked questioningly into her eyes and ventured, "So you like it then?"
Sadness nodded eagerly and gave him an appreciative kiss on the lips. The top of Anger's head began to sizzle like a barbeque grill as he cherished the moment.
When Sadness pulled away, she had a shy smile on her face and she told him, "I actually tried to write a poem for you as well because I know how much you adore poetry…but mine is not nearly as good as yours!"
Anger smiled back fondly at her and replied, "You did Kiddo? I can't wait to see it!" He rubbed his hands together in anticipation and Sadness smiled at his enthusiasm.
"Okay Darling! Wait right here, while I go get it for you…" The blue Emotion got up from the floor and hurried excitedly to her bedroom to retrieve Anger's poem.
Joy watched the scene happily and clapped her hands out of sheer delight. "That's what I'm talking about!"
Disgust shook her head in defeat and muttered, "Oh, I give up!"
Fear just shrugged indifferently and went back to drinking his coffee as Joy skipped lightly over to the console and began pressing some buttons.
"While we all wait for Sadness to return, let's see what Riley is getting up to…"
She pushed a final button and the monitor that showed the Emotions the world through Riley's eyes came on. Their girl was apparently sitting up in bed with her laptop on her knees, talking to her best friend from Minnesota, Meg via Skype.
The four Emotions gathered around the monitor and watched the conversation unfolding through the screen.
On the laptop, Meg's face suddenly lit up with excitement as she appeared to focus on something off to Riley's right and they all heard her exclaim, "Oh my gosh! Is that Queen Carola I see over there?!"
Riley looked down at the stripy gray cat plush that was laying on the bed beside her and she laughed in acknowledgment.
"It sure is! Say hello to Her Meowness!"
Riley went on to explain to Meg how she came upon the treasured toy from her childhood. "The other day I was feeling a little down, so I decided to look through my nostalgic box and I found Carola. She's been on my bed ever since!"
Meg smiled and replied, "I remember when we were like five and how you used to take Carola with you just about everywhere!"
Riley shrugged. "Well my parents wouldn't let me have a real cat, so I used to pretend that Carola was real instead! She was like a special friend to me…"
Suddenly Riley's eyes went wide as she remembered something else she dug up from her past the other night…
"Speaking of special friends…I also found some old photos of you, me and our Australian friend Shane! Then the strangest thing happened! I checked my Skype the next day and I received a request from him asking me to add him to my contacts!"
Meg let out a little squeal of delight and said, "Hey I remember Shane! He was that tall, red-haired boy that started hanging out with us at school. He was kind of shy but sweet and fun to be around once we became friends!"
Riley nodded in agreement and uttered in wonder, "It almost feels supernatural or something…I really don't know what to think! One minute I'm looking at his picture then out of the blue he asks me to add him to my Skype! What do you think Meg? Should I accept his request?"
Meg gave her a look that seemed to say 'are you kidding?' Then she nodded encouragingly and replied, "Of course Riley! You should definitely accept him! Shane was so cool remember?"
Then Meg got a sly glint in her eye and she began lecturing Riley like a teacher talking to a class of misbehaving children: "Don't forget that Australian actors are so hot in Hollywood right now! Those breath-taking Hemsworth Brothers are on every girls' wish list!"
Inside Headquarters Disgust nodded in agreement. "Amen to that Meg! They are definitely on my wish list!"
Sadness had returned to rejoin the others a few moments ago and she overheard the last part of Meg and Riley's conversation. Now from the back of the room she shared her own thoughts on the subject:
"Actually, I think Hugh Jackman is pretty nice…"
Everyone turned and looked nervously at Anger as they could have sworn that they almost heard his jaw hit the ground in response to this statement!
Disgust gave Sadness a sympathetic look and chided, "Well Sadness, it looks like you just made Mr. Red feel Les Miserables!"
Sadness covered her mouth with her hands guiltily and rushed over to the crestfallen Anger, grabbing his arm desperately and pleading, "Oh Darling! I didn't mean it that way! He and his wife have been married for so many years and it just made me think about how much I want to spend the rest of my life with you!"
Fear snorted in bemusement and said flatly, "Hey Mr. Red is not as innocent as you think! I saw him ogling J-Lo the other day when Riley was watching that music video and boy was he drooling!"
Out of the corner of his eye, Fear caught Joy giving him the "Be quiet" gesture as she urged in a hushed voice "B.P! Watch yourself!"
This made Fear feel annoyed and he stubbornly placed his hands on his hips and pouted, "You know, I am beginning to get sick of this! Why is everyone calling me British Petrol lately?!"
Disgust smacked her forehead in disbelief and corrected, "Duh numbskull! She meant Beanpole, oh Simple One!"
Fear's axon drooped in embarrassment and he turned a few shades lighter as he mumbled, "Oh…right…"
Before the Emotions could get into any further discussions on the topic, they were all interrupted by Riley yelling excitedly, "Yes! Yes I think I will do it!"
"That's the spirit! You go girl!" Meg encouraged her from the computer screen.
Joy cheered and fist-pumped the air. "Fair Dinkum Riley!"
The other Emotions all gave her a puzzled look and Disgust muttered, "Um, Joy? What was that about?"
Joy laughed light-heartedly and explained, "I think that's Australian slang for 'that's what I'm talking about?' I'm not a hundred percent sure…" she admitted with a shrug.
"…But I remember that Shane used to say it a lot, so it must be good!"
Now they heard Riley saying, "How are things with you Meg? Did you finally meet your British cool cat or royalty?"
Meg chuckled nervously and replied, "It's not anything like that Riley! After all, Prince Harry is already taken!"
Suddenly Meg went beetroot-red as she confessed, "But I actually did meet someone nice at school…"
Riley couldn't contain her excitement (partially thanks to Joy leaning absent-mindedly on a lever) and she chanted, "Oh do I know him?! Do I know him?! Tell me Meg! What's his name?!"
Meg smiled shyly and started to say, "Well his name is Justin Bonest-…" before catching herself and responding secretively, "You know what? Let's just call him J.B why don't we?"
Riley let out a sigh of resignation. "Okay then. J.B it is my girl…but if I'm thinking of the same Justin here, I gotta admit he's hot!"
Meg seemed to turn two shades redder before saying sheepishly, "I have to go now Riley! It was nice catching up with you and don't forget to accept Shane's request!"
Then she looked at the stuffed cat beside Riley and waved enthusiastically. "Bye your Meowness!"
While the others were still concentrating on Riley, Sadness took Anger by the hand and led him back to their corner by the window.
She looked shyly into his deep amber-colored eyes and offered him a folded piece of paper, saying in a whisper, "Here's my own little piece of poetry just for you Anger…like I said it's nowhere near as good as the one you gave me but I tried my best. I hope you enjoy it!"
Anger took the piece of paper from her with hands that were trembling from anticipation, then giving her a warm smile, he unfolded the paper and started reading in a quiet voice so the others wouldn't hear:
I am yours,
You are mine,
Bells are ringing and birds are singing,
Songs of love,
I will cry you a puddle,
If you give me a cuddle,
It is a special time to be loved by my Valentine."
Anger finished reading and wiped a tear from his eye as Sadness looked up at him expectantly.
"So what did you think? Was it okay?" She ventured timidly.
Anger gave a little laugh of bewilderment and gazed longingly at the blue Emotion with tear-filled eyes before stating, "Was it okay? Kid that was the most beautiful piece of poetry I've ever read in my life!"
"Really?" Sadness asked hopefully.
Anger nodded and jabbed a thumb at his chest whilst stating, "You know it takes something special to move this stubborn, hot-headed Emotion to tears! I'm not exactly the most sensitive of Emotions…in fact I usually have only one default setting, and that's to be a loud-mouthed angry grouch that often acts without thinking about the consequences my actions have on those around me!"
He placed a hand over his heart and told her with complete sincerity, "What you wrote really tugged at my heartstrings Kiddo! You mean the world to me and I want you to know that I'd do anything to make you happy!"
Sadness felt a sob escape from her throat as she threw her arms around the red Emotion and they held each other in a loving embrace.
"I love you so much Anger…" she whispered in between sobs.
"I love you too Sadness…I always have…" Anger replied as he held her tight.
Then he whispered softly into her ear, "Hey how's about we go down to Dream Productions tonight? I think they are showing a late screening of the movie 'Grease' and I was wondering if you'd like to go and see it with me…"
"I'd absolutely love to Darling!" Sadness replied as she laid her head against Anger's chest and listened to the steady beating of his heart.
That night, Joy could definitely feel the love in the air! The yellow Emotion did a happy dance around Headquarters while singing out, "I love it! I love it! I love it! Love is everywhere!"
She stopped in the middle of the room and started listing off her fingers:
"First Sadness and Anger…
Then Meg and J.B…
It looks like Riley and Shane…
And I even saw Riley's Dad showing the beautiful bracelet he got for her Mom for Valentine's Day!"
Disgust looked at her yellow companion with a bored expression on her face and yawned loudly.
"Whatever you say Joy…" She commented flatly.
Then she got a dreamy twinkle in her emerald eyes and smiled smugly to herself.
"I'm feeling really tired. I think I'll go and put on a facial mask…then I'm off to bed to dream about myself and those stunning Hemsworth Brothers gate-crashing some high-end Hollywood party!"
With that, she turned lightly on her heel and sauntered off towards her bedroom.
Joy shrugged to herself dismissively and skipped up to Fear, who was over by the console preparing himself for a long night of Dream duty – one of his least favorite tasks to perform for Riley.
Just as the purple Emotion was settling down on his chair with a cup of tea in his hands, he felt a small tap on his shoulder.
Turning around Fear was surprised to see Joy grinning maniacally at him.
"Hey Mr. British Prince! Mind if I join you on Dream Duty tonight? I'm not feeling quite sleepy…"
Fear had leisurely begun to sip his tea, and upon hearing Joy's request, he found himself nearly choking for the second time that day! In fact the shock caused him to spray a stream of tea from his mouth like an erupting volcano, which only narrowly missed ending up all over Joy's dress thanks to her quick reactions!
As he stared at her wide-eyed in disbelief, a curious thought crossed his mind:
Did anyone write a manual called "How to Figure out Girls?!"
Two hours later, there was an unmistakable sense of harmony and love in the air as the balmy spring night wore on.
Everyone seemed to be lost in their own little romantic fantasy as Valentine's Day drew to a close…
Riley was sleeping peacefully, a serene expression on her face summing up the mood inside Headquarters. (Either that, or maybe she was dreaming about Shane…?)
Disgust was definitely dreaming about her new favorite movie stars…although whether they were gate-crashing a lavish party in Hollywood like she'd hoped, we'll never know!
Over at the console, Joy was chattering away with even more enthusiasm than usual, occasionally throwing in an excited laugh whilst giving Fear a friendly poke in the ribs…
For his part, Fear decided that he had one too many near misses with death today, and he chose to put away his tea if he planned on surviving this night! In a way he was grateful for the distraction to an otherwise long and boring night of Dream Duty, but he couldn't understand Joy's unexpected interest in him all of a sudden…which naturally made him a little nervous.
Still, Fear had to admit that he secretly found the attention kind of nice, even if he wasn't about to let Joy know that!
As for Anger and Sadness…?
The two lovers had found a secluded area of Dream Productions. And it was here away from prying eyes that the red and blue Emotions were dancing away to the song "You're The One That I Want" while the movie 'Grease' played on a big screen overhead.
Anger was busy busting out his best Travolta moves while Sadness had his necktie wrapped around her wrist and was slowly pulling him towards her with her eyes closed and lips puckered up for a kiss…
The two Emotions had finally got their fairytale ending…they lived happily ever after!
There you go folks! I really hoped you all enjoyed reading this little Emotional love story as much as I enjoyed writing it!
(Yes sadly this is the end of the story…I wish the fairytale never has to end for our little red and blue friends, but I feel like I've covered everything I can in these four chapters and I can't see what else I could mention without repeating things. Like I said this was really fun to write but as they say: all good things must come to an end…)
Like I did in the previous chapter, some of you may have recognized your names hidden within this chapter…I said I would include those that I couldn't incorporate into the previous chapter in my future chapters and I hope you didn't mind me using your names here :)
I want to thank everyone who read and reviewed this story one more time! A special thank you to Orangebird124, this story was requested by you and I hope you enjoyed what I managed to put together!
Since I had such a great time doing this request, I just want to say that if anyone has any requests for "Inside Out" stories that you may want me to write, feel free to share your suggestions with me! I will welcome any of your ideas and who knows? Maybe I will choose your idea for my next story!