A/N: Originally posted on AO3 on May 21 2019
This is a character study for the Luigi parts in Super Paper Mario. There is a dash of Luigi/Daisy here, just in case that isn't your cup of tea.

It started with Luigi following his big bro's lead of walking off into another adventure, but taking a different path and finding some place where he didn't know the roads by heart. The days and nights that passed on, grass that turned to dirt and to gravel, to the slippery sands of a beach, the moon visiting this time and cooling the grains.

It was mindless walking, the kind of mindless where Luigi was absolutely certain that it was himself and himself alone, the crunch of the sand underfoot and the thud-thud-thud of his heart beat until it began pounding against his ears and he had to sit down because spots began swimming in his vision and besides that if Luigi went any further he would've walked in the ocean.

It was going down another road, an internal and equally painful one.

It was trying to forcefully pretend that everything was okay, that nothing had changed, and Luigi could go back someday when this was over but for now it was better to be somewhere that wasn't familiar.

It was pretend that – an outside force – hadn't gotten into his head and wiped his mind clean, blindly, obediently following orders to incinerate the world.

All of Luigi's thoughts, secrets, memories that he kept close to his heart and golden, memories that brought tears, laughter, anger, fear, memoires that were an imprint of a daily life, a childhood, an adulthood. All of it shaken violently out of his head and crammed back in so tight that it was disorientating.

And the aftermath, What did I do? What happened, what happened, what happened, and the hollowness of horror when it all messily fit together. The memory was laying down all that fear again and Luigi curled in on himself.

It wrapped Luigi's heart strings around his ribs, tied too tight to undo, and yanked hard with every thought. The world had almost burned up. He was tied up by mental puppet strings and forced along a foolish dance of destruction. In the fleeting mundane his simplest, almost insulting easy to follow, wish surfaced up with every yank.

"I don't ever wanna fight my bro again," would it truly have been too much to ask for fate or destiny or whatever was pulling him along to listen? And then, bitterly, since when did any of them ever listen?

In the sea of horror and bitterness there was a pinch of a thought, enough to make him open his eyes. There was some beginning of calm as the thought made itself louder.

Luigi could ask Peach about this, someone who knew what this meant, and he remembered asking if she was okay, before he got a first-hand experience of knowing. She had put herself to peace with it, hearing the inhabitants of the world encouraging his big bro to fight on, gaining her own power for just a moment, knowing that everything was going to be okay, and maybe she could help him put these feelings to peace, too.

The newfound, simple option of just talking became a wave, a slow wash over the poisoned thoughts.

And then, Luigi smiled softly at the thought of Daisy. She would listen and say nothing, just reach out and hug him tight. It was something that he could picture easily, a gesture that made him feel safely tethered to the ground and her silent I'm here.

A thought said, soothingly, that no matter what Luigi was always gonna be loved by his big bro, and it was as clear as day when that horrible fight was over.
When Luigi was free he wanted to be small again, when the only fears were inconsequential, and he didn't reflect on it then but what never changed was that his big bro protected him. And just a few seconds afterward he was hugged tightly by his big bro, "I love you," it was a fact that Luigi had known as far back as he could remember, "I love you, too, big bro."

Wasn't it just a weight off his heart, to put it in perspective and know that there were people that loved him? That there would be days of swimming through the shadows, desperate for the surface, but he could be pulled upward, upward until the break of needed air rushed through his lungs?

It was enough to make Luigi stand, lightness and calm in his body, enough to make him walk, run, in the opposite direction. It took many twists and turns but he would find his way home.