Warning: Little Al swears once or twice. Cuz he's a naughty little child. ^^
Al laughed in your face, and said childishly, even for him, “You’re such a girl!”
“Am not!” you protested, getting frustrated with your good friend.
He instantly retaliated, “Are too!”
“No, I’m not!” you hollered. “Bet I can climb to the top of this tree before you can!”
Al laughed again, even harder, “I’d never lose to a little girl!”
“Oh, yeah?! Bring it!” you said, hands on your hips.
Al grinned, showing his smile lacking more than a few baby teeth due to his constant fighting. Some with Matt, and some of course with you. But there were many more competitions than fights, as you were always trying to prove to the insolent child that girls were just as good as guys when they put their mind to it.
So he ran for the tree, giving himself a rather unfair head start. “You’re on, _____!”
“Hey!” you called out at his cheating maneuver, scrambling for the tree. It had low branches, so you were both scaling it quite quickly, but it was also very tall, calling the attention of an attentive, worry prone parent inside.
Oliver ran outside saying hurriedly, “Kids! What on Earth are you doing!?”
“Racing!” Al yelled, as you gritted your teeth, bark biting into your bare palms harshly as you went as fast as possible.
Huffing loudly, Oliver yelled, “Get back down here right now! It’s not safe!”
“But I’m winning!” you yelled, touching the top of the tree and laughing victoriously.
Al said under his breath, “Dammit...” But your victory was short lived as the branch you were standing on suddenly gave way underneath you and you had to cling to the top of the tree like a fire pole to not come crashing back to the hard ground. Letting out a yelp, you alerted Al to your predicament. “_____? You okay?” he said cautiously, coming nearer to you and the top.
“Al, stop!” you warned. “The branches are too thin, and you’re heavier than me...”
As the two of you dealt with issues in the tree, Oliver had retrieved help. “Francis! Get them down!”
“They’ll be fine.” Francis said in a bored tone, turning to leave again.
Oliver was near hysterics, “No! They’re certainly not fine, they’re high enough that they might die!”
“They’ve climbed that tree before.” Francis informed him.
Shocked, Oliver fumed, “You let them?!”
“I didn’t stop them, if that’s what you mean.” Francis said, picking at his fingernails out of boredom.
“How could you!” Oliver yelled. “Make up for it now by getting them back down here!”
Francis stared at Oliver blankly, “They’re safer up there with each other than they would be if I started breaking branches trying to follow them.”
While you could hear Oliver’s frantic shouts, you were more concerned with getting home in one, not mangled piece. Al said, “Can you get down?”
“Um... No.” you said, not releasing your lifeline.
Al moved a little closer, until he was steadily in between two fairly sturdy branches right below you. “_____, I need you to open your eyes.” You did so, noticing as you looked down on him, just how far up you were. You weren’t afraid of the height, but the force the ground might apply to any appendage it pleased.
Al smiled at you reassuringly, though, saying, “I’m right here, and I need you to let go.”
“What?! Are you cra-”
He cut you off quickly, “I’m going to catch you, okay?”
“But...” you looked down again.
The branch you were clinging to started to creak dangerously loud, and you saw for the first time in your entire life a flash of fear in Al’s red eyes. Al yelled, “Hurry!” So you let yourself drop down, and swore that you kept falling for over an hour.
Then you heard a voice. It didn’t sound like an angel, or anything remotely like it, so you opened your eyes. Al was grinning down at you, while you rested absolutely safely in his arms. He started to narrate in an overly dramatic, deep voice, “And then the villain caught the damsel in distress, bringing her back down to safety!”
“But villains don’t do that!” you objected.
He only smiled wider, “Should I drop you then?”
“No!” you shouted, wrapping your arms around his neck like a vice.
He rubbed your back a little saying calmly, “I was joking. I’m not going to let you fall, ever, okay?”
“O-Okay.” you said quietly, rather reluctant once again to release your lifeline, even though this time it was Al.
Al asked you, “Can you make it back down on your own?”
Tearing your eyes away from his neck, you looked down, and immediately regretted it. “N-No...” you said, your voice wavering slightly.
“It’s alright.” he said calmly. “Just get on my back.”
You moved around awkwardly until you were riding his back, piggyback style, and he told you, “Hold on tight.”
He didn’t have to tell you twice. Clinging to him tightly, you buried your face in his back as he made his way down and out of the tree.
Once you reached the bottom, Oliver bombarded you two with a gigantic hug, making you feel silly and able to laugh at the whole incident. He broke back and tried to chastise you, “You two directly disobeyed me, and you are in such big trouble-” but he broke off, hugging you again. “Oh! I’m just so glad you’re safe!”
When he finally released you, Al stared at you, smirking, “You were scared.”
“I was not!” you yelled, instantly defensive.
Al laughed, “You so were! I had to carry you back down the whole way!”
Oliver looked at you guys smiling, “Oh, you two. _____, shouldn’t you reward the little hero?” For once, Oliver was actually really proud of his valiant little kid. He had saved you!
“First off, damsels in distress are supposed to kiss the hero on the cheek,” you explained, while Al beside you make gagging motions, making you giggle, “which is gross, and Al isn’t the hero. He’s the villain; he always is. That’s how it works.”
Al butt in then, “And besides! Why would I want a kiss?! Girls are gross!”
“Shut up! I’m not gross, you are!” you hollered.
Al stuck his tongue out at you, retaliating with, “So? Being gross is cool!”
“Is not!” you yelled.
Smirking he yelled, “At least I’m not a prissy girl!”
“Being a girl is fine!” you screamed, once again at your breaking point. “I climbed the tree faster anyway!”
Al was suddenly mad, “W-Well, that was only because you had a head start!”
“You had the head start!” you shouted.
Al called out, “I bet I can run to your house faster than you!”
Oliver yelled after you down the street, “Al! Be back by supper! And don’t you two love birds get into any more trouble!”
Al didn’t acknowledge the first part, and only made more fake retching noises as he raced you back to your home.
Your little heroic villain.