Author's Note: So I don't know exactly why, but recently I've fallen for these two dorks. Why do I always go for the incredibly minor characters? :p But yeah, the idea for this fic came to me while I was thinking about them and it wouldn't leave me alone. I wrote the first few lines in a fit of late-night madness and it went from there, and here we are now. I know I'm almost certainly the only person that cares about King of Ooo and Toronto (I'm pretty certain I'm the only Toronto fan out there, at least), but I hope you enjoy this fic, anyway. :)
(Also, shout-out to my mum for helping me through a brief bout of writer's block while I was writing this, by suggesting a later scene in the fic. You're awesome. c:)
"Streets of Gold"
an Adventure Time fanfic by Carrehz (aka Sailor Nibaru, Carrie Clawz, Mew, etc)
It wasn't like he wanted to be a thief. He couldn't help being poor, after all.
Yes, the decision was truly out of his hands - or paws, as it were. If he wanted to survive, he needed to get money somehow... and if he happened to be really good at picking pockets, well, he might as well make use of that talent, right? No point letting it go to waste.
Or that was his excuse, anyway.
True, he was poor - and homeless, too. But the simple fact was, the young Shiba Inu enjoyed stealing - the risk of being caught, the thrill of getting away with it, but most of all, he just liked money. Or anything else valuable, really; he wasn't exactly picky.
He'd almost gotten caught a few times, but the other thing Toronto - for that was his name - was particularly talented at was talking his way out of trouble. And if that didn't work, well, it wasn't terribly hard for him to escape somehow - one advantage to being short was that it made it much easier to squeeze through small spaces.
He didn't have any friends, or anyone at all, really, but he didn't mind much. He could take care of himself, after all - he didn't need other people.
Even if he did get lonely sometimes.
He'd slipped up and been caught with someone else's wallet in his hands. The wallet owner was an older man - from the Candy Kingdom, by the looks of him - and he had a tight hold on Toronto's wrist, preventing him from running away. Thinking quickly, he started to stammer, shaking slightly as he spoke.
"Please, don't hurt me! I-I-I didn't want to steal, I swear! It's just-" He burst into tears suddenly, hiding as much of his face as he could in his free hand. "I-it's just.. y-you see, my mom died recently and I've got to look after my little sister b-by myself now, a-and I promised her I'd try and get some food t-today, but I don't have any money and it's just so hard now that Mom's gone, and.."
A crowd was forming now, muttering and shaking their heads sympathetically - just what he'd been hoping for.
"...a-and I didn't know what else to do, so I t-thought maybe if I.."
"Poor little guy."
"Someone should help him!"
"Here, kid, take this. It's not much, but it'll help."
Toronto stopped crying abruptly as someone nearby handed him a bank note. He stared at it for a second before remembering he still had an act to keep up; he coughed and quickly started sniffling again. "T-thank you.. That means so much-"
A few other people rushed in to give him some money, too - one or two of them glaring at the candy person still holding onto him, as if he was somehow in the wrong. He coughed slightly and stepped back quickly, letting go of Toronto in the process.
"W-well, just don't do it again, alright?"
"I won't, I promise!"
He rushed away a minute or two afterwards, thanking the crowd for their help and assuring them that his "sister" would also be grateful. The Shiba Inu rounded a corner and then dashed down a nearby alleyway, checking that no one was around before inspecting his takings. A few dollars and an apple; not too bad, all things considered.
"That was a nice performance back there, kid."
Toronto started, nearly dropping his things. "Wha- who's there?" he said, turning around to face the stranger. Standing at the mouth of the alleyway was a pale yellow man with darker yellow, short, curly hair; he was taller than Toronto, but then, most people were. His clothes were tattered and unremarkable, for the most part; really, he just looked like another petty thief. The only thing that really stood out was the crown he wore, carefully polished and shining - a sharp contrast to the rest of his appearance.
The stranger continued talking as he walked down the alleyway. "Why, that crowd really fell for your sob story! I'm impressed. Tell me, what's your name?" he asked, stopping in front of Toronto.
"Who's asking?" The stranger looked interesting, certainly, but that was no reason to drop his guard.
"Oh, how silly of me not to introduce myself! Why, I'm the one true King of Ooo," he said, gesturing to himself as he spoke. "So, what's your name, kid?"
"Don't call me 'kid'! The name's Toronto," he snapped. Why do people keep calling me that?! I mean, I'm probably the same age as him.
"Alright then, Toronto," the man said, putting particular emphasis on his name, "What would you say if I offered you a partnership with me?"
Toronto blinked; he hadn't expected that. No one had ever asked him anything like that before; mostly people just told him to get out of their way and such.
"...What kind of partnership?" he asked eventually.
"Well, you're a good liar, aren't'cha? I need someone like that to work beside me. You could be my, ah.. my attorney!"
"How can I do that? Don't you need to go to law school, or whatever?"
The king laughed. "Not if you're good at acting! You just need to get some official-looking papers and those suckers'll believe anything."
"You're not really a king, are you." It was a statement, not a question. There was simply no way an actual member of royalty would approach someone like Toronto - he knew that. Besides, whatever he claimed, the stranger still looked like a fellow pickpocket, just one that happened to have somehow got his hands on a fancy crown.
"If I was, do you think I'd be hanging around a one-horse town like this?" He leaned on the wall next to them, a slight smirk on his face. "Look, if I'm gonna pull this scam off right, I need backup. Someone to.. take care of any trouble before it gets out of hand, if you catch my drift. And you seem like just the right person for the job! I mean, the way you fooled that crowd back there.." He gestured with his hands a lot; Toronto couldn't stop watching them. "So, what d'you say?"
"Well, what's in it for me?" He took a bite of the apple he was holding, watching the king's face carefully. No point working with him if I'm not gonna get anything out of it. Even if he does look pretty cool.
"You'd be doing a service to me, of course! What could be better than that?"
Toronto simply glared in response.
"..Er, and you'd get a small share of my profits. When I- we've raised enough cash to get me some proper clothes, that is. Anyway, you could come live with me! My place is just a hole in the wall, but it's better than nothing. You don't have anywhere else to go, right?"
Well, that was true. Besides, it wasn't as if he really had anything to lose by agreeing to work with him. It might be fun to do something more specific than just picking pockets whenever the opportunity arose.
And he still thought the king seemed quite impressive, considering.
"Alright, I'll do it. Er, I mean, it'd be nice to have a roof over my head.." he added hastily, not wanting to seem too eager.
The king laughed again, sounding delighted. "Excellent! C'mon, ki- Toronto, I'll show you where I live."
They started walking together, Toronto walking slightly faster than usual to keep up with the other man. "Say, can I have that apple?"
"What? No way, it's mine." He held the fruit away from the king, glaring at him slightly.
"Okay, okay, no need to be snappy with me."
"Oh, I didn't mean to-"
"D'you need any help carrying that money?"
Toronto looked up again, suspicious. "Are you always like this?"
Another laugh. "I might be."
"Well, here we are."
It was a shack, obviously abandoned long ago; one window was boarded up, the other one smashed, several stray shards of glass still clinging to the frame. The door was hanging off the hinges, and there was graffiti covering most of the walls.
Well, it's better than sleeping on the streets, right?
Toronto followed King of Ooo into the shack, looking around curiously. The wallpaper was peeling off and the floors were just plain boards, some of them missing. There wasn't really anything in the room.. just a box, half-hidden by an old coat lying on top of it.
"Gotta find a better place to hide that thing.." King of Ooo muttered to himself. "Anyway! You can sleep in the corner, I guess." He yawned and stretched slightly, then kicked the box away and lay down on the ground, pulling the coat over himself. "'Night."
"..Don't you have anything for me to sleep under?"
"No, you'll just have to make do for now. Anyway, you've got fur, you'll be alright."
Toronto sighed irritably. "Fine." He wandered over to the corner and curled up into a ball, as usual. "'Night."
A few minutes passed in silence, the Shiba Inu tossing and turning. The floor was hard and uncomfortable, but he was used to that; it was the cold that was annoying him.
Another minute or so passed before he decided he wasn't going to put up with it any more.
He crept over to the king and quietly lay down next to him, reaching to pull the coat over himself - before he was pushed away.
"Go away," King of Ooo mumbled, glaring at him sleepily.
"No! I get cold too, ya know. I'm sleeping here."
A second or two passed in silence, before King of Ooo sighed and turned around, his back to Toronto. "Fine, whatever, do what you want. Just shut up and let me sleep already."
"'Kay." He lay down next to the king again, pulling as much of the coat over himself as he could; it wasn't a particularly big coat, so there wasn't much room for two people to lie under it. He curled up again, and had just started to drop off when he felt the king's elbow dig into his back suddenly.
And it kept happening. King of Ooo kept tossing and turning in his sleep, hitting and kicking Toronto in the process.
"Will you stop that?!" he snapped eventually, clinging onto the jacket to prevent it from being pulled off him.
"Hey, you were the one that insisted on lying here, it's not my fault if you're too close," the king shot back, not sounding quite as sleepy as before. "You could always just sleep in the corner."
"Aren't kings supposed to be generous to their subjects?" Toronto muttered sarcastically; the king chuckled slightly in response.
"Yeah, but you're my attorney, remember?" He sounded almost.. amused?
Toronto paused. "What's the difference?"
"I actually like you, of course. Now come on, go to sleep already."
He stared at the king's back, his eyes wide. He doesn't really mean that. He's just saying it so I'll shut up.
But somehow, no matter how much he told himself that it hadn't meant anything, he still couldn't help but feel touched by the king's words.
"Up and at 'em, Toronto!"
The Shiba Inu stirred, then blinked and looked up. King of Ooo was standing over him, grinning; Toronto jumped, startled.
"What is it? Why're you looking at me like that?"
"We're gonna go and work the crowds today!"
Toronto sat up, rubbing one eye sleepily. "Y'mean we're gonna rob them?"
And another slight laugh. "You have no subtlety. C'mon, get up already!"
Several minutes later, they were walking through the streets of the city together, Toronto stealing glances at the king every so often. What's he planning?
Suddenly, without warning, King of Ooo stopped outside a jewellery shop, so abruptly that Toronto nearly walked into him. "What?"
King of Ooo nodded at the window; inside the shop, an assistant was standing by the window display, holding a tray of rings and other assorted jewellery.
"I'll go and talk to her. You grab the rings while she's distracted."
Without waiting for a reply, he walked into the shop; Toronto rushed after him, eager to help. The king immediately struck up a conversation with the assistant, his voice smooth and refined; Toronto couldn't make out all of what he was saying, but whatever it was, the assistant seemed to be quite charmed; she was certainly giggling a lot. Toronto was just starting to get impatient when she suddenly set the tray down on the counter next to her. "Yes, we have lots of cufflinks! If you'll just follow me, sir.."
She led King of Ooo over to a display the other side of the shop; just what Toronto had been waiting for. He moved out from the table he was hiding behind and reached for the tray, only to grasp thin air.
Why did everything have to be taller than him?!
Sighing, he stood on his tiptoes, his hand still barely brushing the tray. He kept trying, unable to get hold of anything - until he lost his balance and fell back on his heels, sending the tray flying off the counter. It landed with a clatter before he could catch it; thinking quickly, he snatched a handful of jewellery - as much as he could hold - and rushed out of the door, just as the assistant called out, "What's going on over there?"
He shoved the jewellery down his shirt and ran through the streets, eventually stopping in an alleyway. Now what? Why didn't he tell me what to do after grabbing the rings?
The Shiba Inu sat down, leaning against the wall. Do I just sit here and wait until the cops show up, or..
His ears pricked up at the sound. "King of Ooo?" he called back cautiously.
"Toronto? Where- oh, there you are!"
And he was there again, looking... concerned? No, that couldn't be right. "Don't scare me like that, kid."
"Don't call me tha-"
"So, did'ja get anything?" he interrupted, sitting down next to Toronto.
The Shiba Inu smirked slightly, and reached down his shirt. "Oh, nothing much.." He tossed the jewels into King of Ooo's lap, grinning at him. "How'd I do?"
He looked genuinely surprised at first, before smiling back - such a nice smile. "You did great! I knew you were the right guy for this job." He leaned over, putting his arm around Toronto and pulling him close. "You and me, kid, we're gonna be real stars!"
Toronto opened his mouth to protest the continued use of the 'nickname', before closing it again.
It didn't really matter, after all.