"Mac."

"Ye."

Samus Aran sat across Little Mac at the cafeteria. The bounty hunter, who wore her blue training clothes, seemed unfazed by Mac's hunger, which was emphasized by how quickly he ate his burgers.

"Do you have free time tomorrow?"

At her question, Mac initially fell silent out of confusion. He then asked, "Why?"

Crossing her arms, Samus responded as honestly as she could. "I have nothing to do, and I figured that you still don't know much about the Hub."

That was true. Mac focused mostly on training and resting in the mansion. He jogged outside every day, yes, but that was not something he did to get used to his surroundings.

And coming from Samus, the question itself sounded fishy.

"Did I do something wrong?"

Samus shook her head. "I feel like all I did was scare you, so meeting each other in a more settled situation would help us to get along."

Yes, you did point an arm cannon at me, Mac thought, quickly agreeing that he still only saw Samus as a "scary person" rather than a cool bounty hunter.

He gave her a quick nod.

Her gaze on him softening, she let out a quiet sigh.

Everyone always welcomed new contestants of the Smash Brothers tournaments, but Little Mac in particular went through quite a lot for someone who had no knowledge in almost everything bad that happened in the multiverse's core. He encountered the Swarm, stopped a robbery, and faced Master Hand in his most unstable form yet.

The Subspace Emissary occurred when most of the contestants fit snugly into the roster. The Swarm's sudden appearance occurred almost as soon as he arrived. It was strange how he did not whine or rage about the things that were thrown on him.

And his humanity reminded her of simpler days. That certainly was one of the few things that brought out odd emotions from her.

Getting along with him could perhaps get her over it.

"So," she asked, her professional tone fading steadily as she relaxed, "do you agree with my suggestion?"

He nodded again.

"Then it's settled."

Standing up from the table, Samus began walking away from the table, only to stop and turn to him.

"Meet me outside of the mansion at eleven," she told him before leaving.

She did not see it, but Mac nodded again.


The next day began with Little Mac showering.

And Ike being tortured by the mysteries of technology.

"AGH!" Ike screamed in rage as he accidentally dropped his new phone yet again. "I HATE these things!"

A few days ago, Marth recommended him to try using a "phone." Phones were useful when it came to communicating at far ranges, though they only seemed to work on Master Hand's handcrafted world. Ike figured it would be great if he could ask Mac where they would be eating every day.

So he bought a smartphone.

And he hated every single second of it.

Well, perhaps not every second. The Nintendo logo making cute noises was amusing at first, but touching the flat device's screen and pinching it drove Ike insane. He was a mercenary, not some dude who specialized in poking at things.

Marth made it look so easy, and Olimar practically used it every day. It was natural for Ike to be confused.

Mac walked out of the bathroom with a towel over his hip, fresh out of the shower. Taking a milk bottle out of the fridge, he glanced at Ike, who glared at the lonely phone sitting on the ground.

"…What're you doing?"

Looking up from the phone for a brief second, Ike glanced at Mac before turning back to the accursed device. "I'm trying to use a phone."

"Huh."

Walking over, Mac wondered why Ike looked so infuriated-

Ah.

It was a smartphone.

"Did you use this before?" Ike asked, ruffling his own hair out of frustration. "I'm trying to add Marth's 'phone number' in here, which can let me contact him at very far distances, regardless of whether he be on Smashville or Town & City."

Mac crossed his arms, staring at the device.

Some time passed, the two of them simply watching the lonely device on the ground.

His silence said it all.

Neither of them knew how to use it.

Walking past Ike and plucking his own phone off the coffee table in the living room, Mac showed his phone to Ike.

"Mine looks like this," he said.

Ike blinked at the outdated phone's structure. "Oh, I know what that is," he said. "It's called a… a slip phone."

"Flip phone."

"Flip phone, that's right."

Mac waggled the flip phone a bit as he pointed at it. "You press buttons instead of touching the screen."

At his simple explanation, Ike seemed to understand the difference between a flip phone and a smartphone.

"So, a flip phone is like a calculator, and a smartphone is like pressing paper with paint on your hands?"

"…Pretty much."

Lightly smacking a fist against an open palm, Ike's eyes practically sparkled at his newfound clairvoyance. "IT ALL MAKES SENSE!"

"Ye."

Suddenly, the smartphone started making freaky noises as it vibrated on the ground. Both Mac and Ike jumped as they stared at the phone letting out happy chimes.

Ike tensed up as the look of a battle-hardened veteran facing a new threat washed over his once peaceful expression.

"What the-? It's moving!"

Mac, too, equipped the face of a veteran boxing champion as he unconsciously raised his hands into a boxing stance.

The two of them stared at the phone. There was a phone number at the top of the screen, along with two differently colored circles beneath what appeared to be a blank silhouette.

It could be anybody, especially since Ike hadn't registered anyone on the phone yet.

Mac's eyes widened as he pointed at the green circle.

"Press the green button!" He yelled.

Ike roared as raised his hand, throwing it down at the phone with the force of a thousand suns crashing down on a moon. At the last moment, he halted his momentum and touched the green button.

Nothing happened.

"Nothing's… happening," Ike whispered. "But is it me, or is the phone vibrating even more-"

"It's probably because you're touching it now."

"Oh."

The two remained still as the phone continued to vibrate. In their shared silence, Ike moved his finger on the screen.

Suddenly, the ringing stopped.

Did I receive it?! Ike paled as he finally picked the phone off the ground. Remembering how Marth used it, he raised it by his ear.

No noise was to be heard.

"Dammit… I was too late," Ike muttered.

"You're holding it wrong."

"…Huh? Oh."

Flipping the phone around, Ike asked, "Hello?"

"Oh, there we go."

"Is that you Marth?"

"Yes. Sorry, I didn't think about how you'd approach something as foreign as a phone, so I was just wondering if we should meet up and let me help you."

"That would be very appreciated. Where should we meet?"

"The balcony."

"Why the balcony?"

"Because Robin, Lucina, and Chrom can't find and torture me there."

"…Oh."

With Ike finding a solution to his cluelessness around smartphones, Mac drank the milk before putting the empty bottle at the kitchen. Glancing at the time, Little Mac realized he had some time before he needed to meet Samus.

Sneaking in some time for training wasn't a bad idea. Central City, the city which was literally in the center of the Iwata Hub, seemed to be a big and complexly structured place. There was a high chance Samus would bring him there, so a good exercise could have him prepared.


Outside of the mansion, Samus waited patiently.

She made sure to come out earlier than the original meeting time to conserve time. She made sure her clothes did not make her look dumb. She made sure that everything would go according to plan.

A perfectly normal day out with someone she needed to get along with.

A soft-orange cashmere coat with blue denim pants made her look like someone who would never hop into a power suit. She knew and heard a lot about fashion in-between her travels, and especially so in the Smash Brothers universe.

It wouldn't kill to know some fashion, after all.

At the sound of a door opening, Samus turned and found Little Mac walking out. He wore a… grey jumpsuit.

He originally thought about wearing the suit Lucina got for him, but he decided to come out with his least flashiest clothes.

Of course, it did nothing to stop Samus' amusement from his choice of clothing.

"…I just came out," Samus spoke, starting her day off with a white lie. "Do you need anything else with you?"

"Nope."

And the two began walking.

They walked in a unified silence. Before, they jogged and walked at their own pace when they were around each other. But today wasn't a normal day- they thought about spending the day together, mostly due to Samus' hopes in making up for the Fountain of Dreams incident.

Putting her hands in her coat's pockets, Samus took a deep breath as she glanced at the blue skies. It was almost time for lunch, yet she felt more nervous than hungry.

She had to show him her own human side. That way, he wouldn't always think about staying away from her.

At this point, most people kicked off interactions with a good start for conversations. Simple things were the best for such topics, such as "How's your day?" and the like.

Yet, the words didn't leave her mouth easily.

The untalkative Mac beat her to the punch with speaking first.

"I'm hungry."

"…"

They continued to walk. Realizing her own hunger, Samus asked Mac, "Do you have a place in mind?"

"No."

"I know of a good place, then. It's… relaxing, so to speak."

"Ye."

With that, they decided to eat first.


"…"

"…"

Lunch was pretty quiet.

"…"

"…"

So was shopping for clothes.

"…"

"…"

And so was just walking together down the city.

Needless to say, Mac and Samus quickly realized that they both sucked at hanging out with people. Neither of them knew what to do next.

Sitting at a bench nearby a water fountain in the shape of Crazy Hand, Mac took a bite out of a chocolate bar he bought during their time at the mall. Samus, on the other hand, simply stared at the ground out of pure boredom.

"Wanna go to the arcade?" Mac asked, breaking the ice.

"Sure."

For some reason, Samus felt like Mac was leading most of where the two went. It all would have been fine if they just talked more.

Heading over to a local arcade center, some of the people there recognized Samus and Mac, though the two were quick to brush past them. Among the people who hung out at the arcade were Ganondorf and Falco.

"I HATE this crap!" Ganondorf roared as he threw his Super Scope controller at the ground. Fortunately, Falco prevented the Scope from breaking apart by catching it at the last second. Chuckling at the low score Ganondorf got in the rail shooter they played, Falco shrugged smugly.

"Well, whaddya know? Every King of Evil loses in energy ball tennis, so I didn't expect much."

Staring daggers at Falco, Ganondorf grit his teeth as he lifted a clenched fist, only to sigh and do nothing instead. "Screw it," the Gerudo muttered before pointing at a fighting game cabinet. "Let's go back to that one. You seemed to get destroyed by all of my hard reads, after all!"

Gulping, Falco looked around in an extremely quick attempt to find something that could let him ignore Ganondorf. He quickly found something odd.

Little Mac and Samus walking with each other in an arcade of all places.

Grinning, Falco waved at the two as he called across the loud arcade, "Hey, you two!"

Both the dark-haired boxer and the blonde bounty hunter turned to him like mice caught red-handed.

As Falco approached them, he ignored Ganondorf's quiet ramblings as he spoke, "Didn't expect to see you two down here. Feeling competitive?"

Wondering what to say, Mac and Samus turned to each other before looking back at Falco.

Well, it wouldn't kill them to say "Yes" or "No," so why not?

"Yes." "No."

Mac blinked before he turned to Samus again, only to notice her glaring straight at him. Maybe she didn't like playing with others.

"Hey, Mac here says Yes, why not?" Falco asked before letting one of his arms wrap around Mac's shoulder in the manliest way ever. "C'mon, Mac. Let's go kick Ganondorf's hide in that fighting game over there-"

Before Mac was able to respond in any way, he felt something tear him out of Falco's arm. It turned out that Samus grabbed him by his waist and pulled him away.

With an idle look that clearly hid every single emotion she could possibly show to others, Samus told Falco,

"Sorry, but he's with me for the day."

Having stated her thoughts, Samus turned Mac around and pushed him forward, away from Falco and Ganondorf to play something else. Mac, Falco, and Ganondorf had no idea as to what she was thinking, but then again, Samus tended to act rather differently from the others.

Needless to say, Falco leaned over to Ganondorf as he asked excitedly, "You think they're going out? Sure as heck looks like she's being clingy."

Ganondorf, the King of Evil, slowly turned to Falco, who gave him the cheekiest grin ever. And the King of Evil opened his mouth with a blank expression.

"I don't give a crap so let's freakin' FIGHT ALREADY, YOU PLEBEIAN SCUM."

For the rest of the day, Samus challenged Little Mac into every single game in the arcade. It was made clear that Samus was victorious from the battles, considering that Mac won about five to six games while she won about twenty.

Shortly after Samus' winning streak in the arcade, the two departed when Samus told Mac that she had to meet up with someone for an urgent meeting. Of course, he let her go quickly, but spending the day with her let him learn that she was quite human like him. She just showed it less than anybody else.

The thought of playing more games with her didn't sound like a bad idea.


The jingling of bells signified another customer at the Lon Lon Store.

It wasn't hard to find it, really. Lon Lon Ranch's business in the Smash Brothers universe did quite well, and was especially a big hit amongst the residents of Smashville and Town & City. While that did not mean that its business in Hyrule was over, its workload had certainly been divided accordingly.

The Lon Lon Store opened during mornings and afternoons between the Iwata Hub and Smashville. Lon Lon Ranch sat right next to the store.

Malon turned to the entrance, only to find a certain customer she recognized easily. He always wore a jumpsuit whenever he visited the store.

"Ah! You're here again," she said with an open smile. "How are Link and Zelda doing?"

Mac looked up and found her practically beaming at him. It turned out that the Link contending in the Smash Brothers tournaments was from a Hyrule in a timeline further from Malon's. Being the curious girl she was, she frequently talked with Link to hear what Hyrule was like in the future. The things she heard weren't always scary- there was a certain magic to Hyrule that never changed, according to Link.

"Nice," Mac stated, which was exactly what Link described his current life to be.

"Every Link I know of says that," Malon grumbled as she made a funny pout, picking out a milk bottle and setting it at the counter. "Except the Link from my world rarely ever shows up these days… Would you like the usual?"

"Ye."

Normally, the milk was cheap by almost everyone's standards, but to the contestants, Malon sold Lon Lon Milk at an even cheaper price. To some, the milk was outright free, but that was to those she knew very well.

A few coins got Mac a bottle of fresh milk. Truth be told, there was a store closer to the mansion that sold milk. He just found buying things at the Lon Lon Store while talking to Malon to be more relaxing. She was a bright and friendly person.

"You know, you remind me of the Link at our world," Malon commented as Mac took the bottle.

"Ye?"

"Ye!" Malon mimicked him with a cheeky grin. "It's as if Link got more muscular and rode a bicycle instead of Epona, I tell you! I guess some heroes are pretty similar?"

With a confused look, Mac glanced at her. "Hero?"

"Well, you helped people around here, didn't you? Link did tell me some things about you."

He supposed the term "hero" was far-fetched, but not necessarily wrong. A hero helped people around him or her. In Mac's case, he did help Rosalina, stop some aliens from robbing a bank, and went all "Punch-Out" on the Swarm with Ryu.

So, he didn't deny Malon's compliment of him.

"Thanks," he said as he turned to leave the store. On his way, he heard Malon call out to him.

"Mac!"

Turning to Malon, Mac watched her leave the counter as she went over to him with another bottle of milk in hand. She took his free hand and put the bottle snugly in it.

"You should stop by the ranch some time! If you don't mind, I could use some help with calming the Cuccos down. They've been restless these days for some reason."

Ah. The Cuccos. Mac remembered Link getting chased by some in the mansion-

Wait, just how restless were they to chase Link all the way to the mansion in the first place?!

Mother nature always had a way of annihilating people at the weirdest times, it seemed.

With a small nod, Mac responded with a small smile,

"I don't mind."