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Let's Play at Reading Fanfiction

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Kaeloo dashed to her room, pulled a board game off of her shelf, and skipped towards the living room. It didn’t matter that she’d just come back home, or that she’d spent the whole morning running errands (first at an appointment with her therapist and then picking up groceries for the week) - her boundless enthusiasm and energetic nature allowed her to effortlessly switch from one task to the next without having to take a break, and she was all hyped up to play. She hadn’t seen her friends since breakfast that morning, but she was fairly certain that they’d still be at home, since none of them had any other plans that she knew of. Kaeloo herself had plans, of course - she had planned an exciting new game for them to try today, and she was certain that everyone would enjoy themselves while playing it. Sure, it wouldn’t turn out the way it was supposed to, and they’d probably end up doing everything wrong, and Mr. Cat would hurt Quack Quack, and “the other one” would hurt Mr. Cat… but the important part was that they’d all be spending time together, and that thought made joy and warmth bubble up inside her.

“Hello buddies!” she exclaimed, entering the living room. She was quite pleased to see that, as she had expected, the other three were all there. Mr. Cat was engrossed in a book, Quack Quack was texting Eugly on his phone, and Stumpy was lounging on the couch looking at something on his laptop. Perfect. Of course, just because she had an activity in mind didn’t mean she didn’t want to know about what was going on in her friends’ lives.

“What are you doing, Stumpy?”

Ironically, even though Kaeloo was extroverted, friendly, and loved nothing more than interacting with other people, one of her many shortcomings was that she lacked social skills. Therefore, she didn’t think anything was wrong with walking up behind him to get a peek at his laptop screen. Fortunately for her, he didn’t really seem to mind.

“I’m reading Mr. Coolskin fanfics!” the squirrel replied, not bothering to look away from his device.

“Fanfics? What’s a fanfic?” she asked, intrigued.

“It’s short for fanfiction, which is when people write their own stories based on characters or events from fictional media like books, movies, or cartoons,” Mr. Cat explained.

“Cartoons? But… we’re cartoons! Are there fanfics of us?” inquired the frog, her curiosity piqued.

“Well, yeah, but trust me, Kaeloo… you don’t want to look at those,” Stumpy shuddered. He opened his mouth to elaborate on the exact reasons why, but his phone went off at that exact moment. He pulled the phone out of hammerspace, read the notification, and rolled his eyes, letting out a disgusted sigh.

“My mom says I have to go babysit my sisters so she can sit around doing nothing as usual. See you guys later!” Stumpy stormed off in the direction of his family’s house, muttering something under his breath. Too bad he didn’t live at the main four’s house full time like the others.

“Wait, Stumpy! You don’t have sisters!” Kaeloo cried out, but the squirrel was already out of earshot. Kaeloo sighed, but reverted back to smiling almost instantly.

“Well, I guess it’s just the three of us today!”

“Quack,” said Quack Quack. This meant that the store was having a sale on yogurt that afternoon and the discount didn’t apply for online deliveries, so he had to leave now to go there before the other shoppers bought his precious dairy products.

As Quack Quack rushed off into the distance, carrying a baseball bat to ensure his victory, a morose expression formed on Kaeloo’s face. The game she had in mind would need at least three players, and now the only people available were herself and Mr. Cat. The bunny twins were on vacation somewhere and Olaf had requested everyone to not disturb him that week so he could have some peace and quiet to work on whatever crazy world domination scheme he was cooking up, so inviting them was out of the question. Then again, Kaeloo rarely ever got the chance to spend one-on-one time with Mr. Cat in person - most of their private conversations were held over text, and while she enjoyed these conversations, it would be nice if they did other things besides just talking to each other and occasionally sending memes.

Now that she thought about it, it would probably be a lot of fun for them to do something together if they wanted to. Sometimes it felt nice to just spend time doing a fun activity in the company of a loved one instead of just talking to them all the time. There were so many fun things to do in life, like doing jigsaw puzzles or drinking hot chocolate or watching a movie, and doing those things with someone you love only made them better, because you were able to share that experience with them. Of course, all of these particular options were off the table since Stumpy had lost several pieces of every jigsaw puzzle they owned, it was summer so nobody would want to drink hot chocolate, and Kaeloo and Mr. Cat had very different ideas of what made a good movie, but it didn’t really matter; they were in Smileyland, a world of infinite possibilities. Of course there would be some activity or another they could do together… Suddenly, a lightbulb went on over Kaeloo’s head. She knew exactly what they could do. The frog turned to Mr. Cat and a huge grin started to creep onto her face as she inched closer to him. She got closer and closer until he could literally feel her breathing. He turned to look at her and jumped back for a second, seeing the face she was making, but almost instantly regained his composure.

“Something tells me something stupid is going to happen,” he snarked.

“Let’s Play at Reading Fanfiction!” announced Bernard, as a cheery rendition of the show’s opening theme played in the background.