It was one of those nights where he couldn't sleep. Whether it was because of anxiety or heavy thoughts, Meta Knight couldn't tell. Regardless, he felt it wise for him to take a walk, at the very least.
The masked warrior quietly stepped out of his room. He walked down the hall towards one of the rear exits on the first floor. He opened the door and gently closed it behind him, maintaining the sleepy silence of the mansion.
The air around him would have felt like a blistering chill had it not for his cape cloaked around him. Looking around, he first noticed what seemed like thousands of stars that dotted across the cloudless, navy blue sky. It was a sight that made him feel longing; he remembered having wonderful views of the night sky like this back in Dream Land.
The back yard of the Smash mansion was a large tract of land that ended at a cliff that stretched far and wide. He caught sight of a figure near the cliff at a good distance away from him. His feet involuntarily took him closer to them. At a few feet away, the figure revealed itself to be a young woman with long blonde hair. She wore a shimmering turquoise gown that glowed against the darkness, and atop her head was what appeared to be a silver crown that was encrusted with large jewels. In her hands was a simple wand with a gold star on its tip.
A small, glowing creature hovered beside her. It was vaguely in the shape of a star, and its only facial feature were beady black eyes. In front of them was what looked like a telescope. She and the star-shaped creature were unfamiliar presences here, allowing him the safe assumption that she and her companion were perhaps new fighters.
The crunching of grass beneath his feet revealed his presence to the woman, causing her to face him in a quick twirl. Her nail-painted hands balled against her chest in surprise. The creature beside her squealed.
The masked warrior stopped his steps. He had a better view of her from this distance. A large bang swept over her right eye, but he could see that its color was a glimmering aqua.
After a long stretch of silence, it was he who broke it, "I did not mean to disturb you."
The woman shook her head and her gaze on him softened. "You have done no such thing. Please, do not worry. Have you come here see the stars?"
Her voice was gentle. As he gathered in her features more, he noticed that her appearance had several parallels to Princess Peach. They shared similar crowns, hair, facial features, and makeup. Though the Mushroom Kingdom princess did not evoke a reserved and calm aura the way that this woman did.
He stopped reflecting on these details and answered her question in earnest, "I have come on my own accord. It is unusual to see anyone awake at this hour."
"I see," she nodded. "I've been doing this ever since I got here. Watching the stars is the only way for my nerves to ease… If you'd like, you may join me."
She gestured towards the telescope next to her. "Here. You can look through this."
Meta Knight shook his head. Looking through the lens would be a challenge with his mask in the way. And he simply refused to take it off in any situation; he would even sleep with it on. "I must decline. I am fine seeing them like this."
"I understand. …Oh!"
The woman gasped suddenly. She shook her head before leveling her eyes on his. "My apologies, sir. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rosalina. I come from the same universe as Mario and Princess Peach. I watch over the cosmos with my Luma children. Like this little one, here." She gestured to her small companion, who made another small, squealing noise.
He nodded. "I am Meta Knight. I hail from Dream Land, the same world that Kirby and King Dedede reside."
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Sir Meta Knight." Rosalina directed a short bow to him. "And… you said that you came from Dreamland? I actually know of that place."
This surprised him. "You do?"
"Yes, I have passed by that planet before in my Observatory ship. Twice, as a matter of fact."
He wasn't sure what to make of this information. He never recalled seeing a ship pass by his home planet; though he could give exception if the ship itself was too small to see. He also may have not been present to see it on both occasions. His suspicions were probably irrational, but what Rosalina said was hard for him to grasp because it brought about a rather unbelievable possibility about the nature of this tournament.
"If what you say is true, then we live in the same universe."
Her smile grew deeper by his statement. "Yes. Amazing, isn't it? Perhaps this tournament unites us more than we realize."
She shifted the topic, after her words hung in the air with no response from him. "Sir Meta Knight… To tell you the truth, I have heard quite a bit about you after I first arrived here."
His eyes widened by this information under his mask. There was discussion of him even before he was re-invited to this tournament? "Truly? Who spoke of me?"
"Ah, there were a few mentions of you here and there. Things like 'Will Meta Knight return again?' Or, 'he was really strong in the last tournament.' Oh, and, 'I hope he doesn't beat me!'"
Being prideful, Meta Knight felt satisfied by his supposed reputation around the Smashers. Rosalina continued. "But I wasn't too sure who you really were until Peach one day clarified to me that you were in fact the winner of the last Smash Tournament. That's quite amazing. Congratulations."
He replied with a curt 'thank you' when her mention sparked a memory in his mind. He remembered the final round vividly. Snake was definitely a worthy adversary. The match against him was up there to being among the most difficult battles Meta Knight ever participated in, despite all his years of living. However, winning the gold trophy was a bitter moment for the masked warrior. He remembered Master Hand handing it to him, making an off-hand mention that he was "shockingly overpowered", implying that the scales weighed too much in his favor for his victory to be truly deserved. Meta Knight resented such statements from him and believed his stellar performance was solely due to his hard work and dedication to the sword.
He changed the subject. "I have not seen you here before until now. Are you a newcomer?"
"Yes. It is an honor, being here," she replied with a nod. However, her normally composed aura seemed to grow a bit unsettled. Her fingers nervously fidgeted with her wand, making it spin.
"I must be frank, Sir Meta Knight. I am afraid. Being here, in a fighting tournament… It is something I have never done before."
"It is a feeling not unique to you. Most people here have not fought in tournaments before either."
"Ah, yes," she replied abashedly. "What you say is true."
Her gaze on him broke away, absently staring at her wand still spinning under the control of her uneasy fingers. "It's just… I had never fought anyone before. The thought of causing pain brings me great guilt. And while there are times where I come to terms with it and accept my responsibility, I suddenly remember… There are children among us. Children that I must f-fight…"
She could barely utter out the last word as her voice became wistful. The Luma beside her made a barely audible noise as it sparkled next to her, a concerned expression on its visage. She freed one of her hands from her wand to stroke the creature's face tenderly.
The warrior felt himself verging into an uncomfortable situation as his grip on his cape tightened. Not just because he was not much for delivering quality consolation, but also because it made his heart wilt to see her so sorrowful.
Before he could contemplate on what to say next, her voice came out in a sighing breath, "I-I am terribly sorry. What I said was most unbecoming. This is not the kind of mindset to have in a place like this... But I just can't shake off this feeling no matter what I do. I cross the line at harming children. I don't think I can give a fair fight if I have to turn my wand against them."
He had a similar mindset when he fought in the third tournament. He remembered his first preliminary match with Ness, a young boy who seemed out of place to be in an arena. His hasty doubts on Ness' abilities were proven wrong in an embarrassing fashion, when his fearsome psychic abilities knocked Meta Knight into submission. There were many other similar-aged contenders whose harmless appearances heavily belied their power. Meta Knight soon learned his lesson and practiced to not discriminate anyone based on looks or gender. He would maintain distance and assume that everyone was an equal threat in Smash.
However, his code of honor was unshakable. Meta Knight was chivalrous to a fault, and he would not leave this aspiring woman without some form of advice. "The children you speak of are not invited to dangerous places such as this for no reason. They are at the top of their craft and their power matches everyone here. Some of them may even triumph the strength of those you may consider daunting, such as the Koopa King." If Meta Knight recalled correctly, Bowser was affiliated with Rosalina's world. "In the past, I have thought similarly as you. However, that line of thinking led me to many losses."
The mother of the cosmos looked at him silently, absorbing his words. He continued.
"Here in this tournament, everyone is dangerous. Underestimating the people here will inevitably lead you to defeat. This tournament is full of strange individuals who endlessly surprise me. I suggest that you to to look after yourself in the battlefield, and not for others."
His advice came off a bit more brusquely than he intended, but his message was clear. Rosalina stood there, unblinking and in deep thought. After a minute of unraveling her thoughts, a deep sigh left her lips as her shoulders fell. Her smile returned.
"Sir Meta Knight," she began, and he could see her eye starting to twinkle with relief. "Your words ring true. Now is not the time or place to fret over the safety of people that I am about to fight. Surely they know what will be coming to them. And in the mean time, I will train myself to be the best fighter I can be."
The Luma bounced happily, orbiting around its caretaker. It seemed now that the tension dissolved and replaced with serenity that matched the peaceful nature around them.
"Good," Meta Knight said, unable to stop the small smile behind his mask.
"I hope that in the future we can have a match together, Sir Meta Knight. Perhaps my powers will surprise you, too." It was a surprisingly playful comment coming from her. A soft chuckle left him.
Bright, flickering lights suddenly overwhelm his vision. Looking to the sky, he could see a bright trail above. Rosalina was the first to react. "Oh! Did you see that? A meteor!"
Just as she spoke, the streak of light faded away. "I am going to make a wish. I suggest that you make one too, Sir Meta Knight. For good luck on our battles ahead."
This was the happiest he's ever seen her so far. Her eyes seemed to sparkle when they had their sight on the stars. Beside her, Meta Knight complied to her suggestion, conjuring a wish in his mind.
I wish... that after this tournament's end, we will cross paths once more.
UMM don't be giving me that look. Meta's going to be confirmed. no questions asked. I know it, you know it. He's practically Sakurai's baby
BUT ANYWAY wow. I guess I just dumped a fic after like two years... srry. But yeah I kind of typed this up in a period of like a week. I did the best proof-reading on my own the best i could but then it's like the more I look at it the more i don't want to publish it all together because im so embarassed...
So yeah, I hope I made them in-character as possible. i feel these two would get along well because of their quiet personalities, the fact that they have space-y setting in their homelands... also they have ships that they engineered themselves (idk about meta knight to be honest i could be wrong). I have so many headcannons when it comes to smash, it's crazy. but yeah um ok wow i'll shut up now.
thanks for reading!