For the following months, most likely until December, I will be unable to get on the computer. My sister will be staying here, and she doesn't let me use it, so I'll only be able to write late at night, around two in the morning, when she's asleep. Therefore, veeeeery slow updates from now on. I am sorry, but there's nothing I can do.
As for this chapter's thanks... definitely to Nayru Goddes of Wisdom, because she's been pretty enthusiastic about this thing!
I can assure you that late-arival OCs will be added in the next chapter, with a small mention on this one. Please confirm if you have already sent me a character, otherwise I will not add it.
Like a Twisted Fairytale.
Chapter four: Brawlers.
A wave of adreline swept through the fighters' bodies, breaking the calmness quickly. Moved by instinct, the first thing the four did was move to the center of the battlefield and take offensive stances. They came to an halt, in the process of examining the unknown enemies.
"Choose." Daniel whispered, trying to make his words impossible to hear and the movement of his lips invisible for the opposite team.
Jimbo smirked. "Link. I'll kick that pretty boy's ass." Daniel gave a surprised look, with both eyebrows raised, which Jimbo answered with a 'just joking' smile.
And the battle raged on.
With great speed, the red-clad man with the cape swung his sword forward in a simple slash directed at the gerudo king. However, the Red Blade met a hard surface, that surrounded his opponents body as a bubble and shrank as a second passed. He withdrew the blade and received a hit of Ganondorf's elbow, sending him back a few steps.
The opponent was smirking.
Denying the possibility of appearing as weak, or the smallest chance of losing the battle, Daniel ran fearlessly and jumped on the platform situated at the left of the stage. Ganondorf jumped at the opposite one, at the right side. Daniel jumped to the higher platform; Ganondorf prepared his warlock punch. As he descended to the right platform, the sorcerer's attack was released.
And was countered succesfully.
Sent back by his own power, the gerudo king held on stubbornly to the small arena's edge, while Daniel got down from the platform and dashed towards his position. He pulled himself up quickly, with a small jump, and landed in the blink of an eye while his foot seemed engulfed in dark purple smoke -Wizard's Foot, one of his best aerial techniques-, right where the hylian had been a second ago: he had rolled backwards and out of danger. It didn't even take the dark-skinned man one second to stand up again, but there still was a moment of exposure; weakness. Taking advantage of that situation Daniel grabbed him by the neck of his outfit, threw him up (not without great effort; such weight), jumped as well, and finished with a downwards sword swipe.
The screens showed each one the same fight, but from a different angle, and focusing a different fighter. Staring back and forth to the different images, the newest smashers occasionally contained their breath, but never stayed without speaking.
"Now, that's what I call a recovery," Yara commented.
"That, my friend, is called kicking ass," Matt retorted, gazing over the cornerian's shoulder.
"I'd rather call it saving our jobs," Layla chimed in.
The three nodded in agreement, knowing expressions upon their faces. "Bless them for that," Shira added, turning to the screens on the right side, "Now how's the other guy doing?"
"Not that good," Arianna pointed worriedly, concentrating on the flashing images, "How do you call that?" She asked, as the screen showed a tired Link shoving an even more tired Jimbo face-first in the floor
Felix shook his head, "That's called kissing the ground hello."
Bad choice Jimbo, very bad choice. The teenager mentally scolded himself, trying to stand up quickly. He regained his balance and looked at Link, who was giving him a triumphant grin betweens heavy breathing. "Is that..." pant, "...all?" The hylian panted again.
"Shut up, will you?" Jimbo increased the distance, standing on the edge while his opponent stood on the higher platform on the center. He held his sword as tight as possible with the little strength he had left, and looked up into the darkness that surrounded the fountain.
Curious, Link raised an eyebrow but stood where he was, deciding that conserving stamina would be best, but what was that guy doing, seeming so deep in thought?
Said guy only blinked, still gazing at the nonexistent ceiling.
The blonde hylian was becoming irritated, "Pay attention to the fight," he advised, taking out his bow.
"Again, shut up! I'm trying to think here you elf!" Jimbo spat, but still didn't move, gaining a glare. A clearly visible vein was now on the so-called elf's temple as he released the arrow and withdrew his bow.
"Got it!" Jimbo grinned and looked back at the arena, breaking in a run to the other side and barely avoiding Link's arrow.
He went over to Daniel, who stood near a slowly-recovering Ganondorf. "I have a plan. Go over to Link. Stay behind him, don't do anything else. Don't interrupt him if he charges an arrow, okay?" He whispered quickly, as Link charged towards them. Daniel nodded, and side-stepped to dodge the other hylian's sword swipe, while Jimbo sprinted off to where Ganondorf was.
As soon as the gerudo king was back on his feet and ready to continue, he found himself held strongly from the collar of his attire. With the enemy holding him from behind, he soon found struggling to be futile and prepared for a critical hit on his damaged state. "You're my human shield, Ganon," hissed Jimbo.
"Brat!" the dark-skinned man spat, then yelled to Link, "Hey elf-boy, get this brat off my back!"
"Stop with the elf thing!" he quickly readied an arrow, having thrown Daniel behind, and turned to his team-mate.
Jimbo smiled like a Cheshire cat, "Fire that arrow, and my shield Ganny here gets KO'ed."
At the situation, Link made a gesture to let go of the arrow and let it drop, but was interrupted by Daniel's voice, as he had already recovered. "But if you don't fire it, the moment you let go of that bow I will smash you out of here."
"That's one heck of a good chance they have there," Presea stated, finally seeming confident about their victory.
"I don't quite get it..." Isaac muttered, scratching the back of his neck, "Care to enlighten me?"
Several others also turned to hear the explanation, as Presea pointed to the main screen, which showed Jimbo holding Ganondorf as shield, Link aiming his bow directly at the gerudo's chest, and Daniel standing behind Link with his sword ready for a good smash attack. "You heard them. As I see it Link has two options: first, he can let go of the arrow. That way he'll save Ganon, since they all are past the 300 percent damage area and one single arrow would send him out. But in that case Daniel would knock him out, leaving it up to Ganon to win the fight."
"And his second option?" Isaac questioned again.
"Fire away." Mallie completed.
"But he'll sacrifice his team-mate."
Isaac's eyebrow rose, and Mallie continued the explanation. "Remember that Link and Ganondorf don't get along too well. They have a long story of rivalry with Zelda in the middle, so Link won't be too pleased with sacrificing himself and leaving victory up to him, as is his first option. Therefore, it's almost certain that he will pick option two, fire the arrow knocking out Ganondorf, and try to win on his own."
"But..." Lilly rested her chin on her right clawed hand, and her right elbow on her left hand in a thoughtful pose, "That won't be too clever of him. I mean, there's a possibility that as soon as he fires the arrow and Ganondorf is out of the arena, Daniel will take the chance to smash him anyway."
"Still, I don't think he'll do that," Matt cut in, "He'd take the stupid option and try to do things on his own rather than trusting Ganon to win. I believe we have the upper hand for now." He concluded.
"But something still bothers me..." although everyone else seemed convinced, Shadow was rather sceptical. "What if Link and Ganon have a plan of their own? Something about that gerudo seems... fake. As if he's got something up his sleeve."
Yes, they did ponder on his words, but very few showed understanding faces. Akiha, on the other hand, was the most aware of the possible problem. "I know what you mean," she said, "It's the way he's acting; too submissive. If we struggled long enough he would have gotten free, but he just stays there, almost... almost as if..."
Link's face was perfectly straight, and cold as a winter morning. He wore his battle expression, and his thinking mood. He didn't seem to be intimidated in the least by red team's trap, or perhaps too shocked to react.
However, not two seconds after the voices died, he released a friendly, warm-sounding chuckle.
"As if what?" Chris asked, becoming a bit nervous as she kept half of her attention on the screen.
"Well... maybe it's just a habit of mine to question everything, but... I'm almost certain that Ganondorf..." And Akiha's voice trailed off.
Both Jimbo and Daniel glanced at the hylian and evaluated the possibility of his inner insanity having surfaced, but discarded it as a simple act of denial. When the chuckles begun to shut, Link released his arrow with ease, and it flew in a straight line towards Ganondorf's chest.
And in the blink of an eye, the gerudo king was out of view and the arrow was colliding into Jimbo's chest, knocking him out.
"That Ganondorf is faking it," Shadow completed. "Jimbo did grab him, but he was able to free himself whenever he wants. All along."
"You ducked in the very last second... well done." Link congratulated Ganon, who in return permitted his eternal scowl to soften a bit. It went unnoticed, however, as Link instantly used his Spin Attack to hit the shocked Daniel.
"GAME! THE WINNER IS... GREEN TEAM!"
"That's what I thought." Akiha stared at the screen for a bit, and then back at her companions. "So... does this mean... we... lost? We failed?"
The group was speechless.
"This is not good," Shira was, to say the least, quite angered, "What are we gonna do, turn back and return home? Now? Not possible..."
With that, and the screens going black, they awaited for Master Hand to enter the room any second and make it official. He had clearly stated that if they failed this test they would be sent home immediately, and they did loose...
"Hell yeah! Loophole!" Felix threw his fist into the air.
Hy raised an eyebrow, and broke the thoughtful silence he had kept. "Um, what?"
"There's a minor loophole, so we might still have a chance! Okay, just might, but still."
"Yeah, I heard," Hy rubbed his temple. "Just say it already!"
"Okay, okay... gee. First off, remember what the hand said: if we pass this test we're in, right?" The not-quite-smashers-yet nodded, almost simultaneously, urging him to go on. "But I never heard him say Dan and Jimbo strictly had to win the match. That's my loophole. Do you really think they won't let us in because we couldn't beat the two most famous and strong smashers? Think about it; who has won the most recent tournaments?"
"Ganondorf won last year," Presea informed, "And Link won the year before that."
"To put it simply," Felix continued. "The other smashers weren't able to defeat them, so why should we? Specially since our condition makes Master Hand expect little from us."
"I get it. But then..." Hy's head snapped up when realization came to him. "We should've taken this literally! As he said, these guys were just testing us!"
The yoshi nodded in approval, "Uh-huh, that's what I think. Gotta love those loopholes."
"In any case," Yara grinned, "If we appeal to Felix's logic, Master Hand will have to evaluate us for the performance in battle and not the results... then again, we're in no position to demand, but I'd face the scary guy rather than go home."
There was a soft humming coming from the machine, there was a sour air among them, and there was Chris' voice as she poked Felix's shoulder. "...do yoshis have lawyers? You sure sound like one."
"Uh, no, but... hey, here they are!"
There was still a soft humming, and there was an even sadder atmosphere. Oh, and there was a shade of self-disappointment and apologetic eyes, all in awkward silence. There was a brief exchange of looks between the red team, and then Daniel stepped forward. "I'm sorry... we-"
"Don't be." Arianna cut him short. "It's fine, there's still a chance."
"What do you mean there's still a chance?" Jimbo retorted, astonished and hopeful as all of them.
There was a general sigh. The humming had stopped. "Long story. Loophole on our terms. To make it short, we think it wasn't necessary that you win, since you were just being tested." The medic fiddled with a strand of her black hair as she talked.
As the two exhausted teens nodded, the door opened fully, hitting the wall loudly, and there floated their possible temporary host. Master Hand advanced to them with an ominous aura, intended and sure to make them shudder; the hand was in charge, and he liked it when everyone was conscious of that.
He stopped in the middle of the room, on his glory and sadistic satisfaction as he saw the nervous -scared- faces. They could hear him chuckling on a deep, menacing voice. "You have lost..."
Shadow swallowed hard and decided to speak for them, as they had apparently lost the ability to speak. "But have we failed?"
The chuckles didn't show any sign of subsiding, but they did change to a more pleasurable tone. "That's a good question... perhaps we have some sharp new fighters this year. What do you assume?"
Matt grew annoyed; they weren't being given any direct answers. "I assume that losing the battle and failing the test are two completely different things. Is that right?" he said. If they didn't get in, better to get this over with quickly.
"Yes, you are, but whether or not the development in the match was good enough is still uncertain."
"Ugh..." Layla could feel her eyebrow twitching, "We'll have to wait or you going to tell us?"
"That is up to me." He answered, slow and calm, with the smallest hint of anger.
Layla was about to begin saying a colourful set of words she had for the hand, but decided against it as she saw Ganon and Link appear in the platform after another display of that blinding light. Hopefully, the testers would give the verdict- although it seemed they were waiting for a death sentence. The two approached Master Hand, and stood still by his side.
"Answer?" Master Hand asked.
For a while, silence. They nodded.
There was no humming, no speaking, no more than a variety of gazes upon the hylian and the gerudo. And Link gave the crowd an unreadable look, "We say… hell yeah..." he breathed out.
"Good," Master Hand directed his words to the newest smashers, "Princess Peach is waiting for you at the stairs. She will lead you to the living room, so you can wait for your bedrooms to be prepared and for your roommates to be announced. After seeing them, proceed to the dining room. Welcome to the Smash Mansion."
...And the Hero of Time was soon cursing his sensitive ears.
The yells, the laughter, and -oh, dear goddesses- the ownage resounding on Link's ears died soon, but left a strange buzzing inside his head. He still had to wonder if those people understood half of what they said, since he himself hadn't been able to decipher all of it, but he was sure of one thing: 'ownage' was a cool-sounding word, period. He would have to add it on his small vocabulary, once he discovered the meaning.
"They're... loud. And annoying. This year is going to be a brawl." Ganondorf muttered.
Master Hand's thumb twitched lightly, "If the media doesn't care, neither do I."
"Master Hand, isn't it about time for a season name change?" Link asked, "The last two years, when we got some new fighters, you named the new season 'Melee'. I think it would be good to have a little change now."
"Hmm...it's reasonable. Any suggestions?"
"Brawl." the gerudo king repeated absent-mindedly.
Link smiled, "I like it. What do you say, Master Hand?"
"Sounds good. So Brawl it is."
The volume of their cheering voices had lowered greatly when they reached the staircase, but it was still enough to give Peach a migraine. She greeted with a polite smile, "So you're the new ones. Please follow me."
At the exact moment when she was turning around to start walking up the steps, Yara's voice stopped her, "You know, you look... different. Somehow."
The princess sighed, and pointed to her head, "It's the crown. Makes a big difference for something so little!" She laughed whole-heartedly, and resumed her path, leading them up the stairs.
Their environment changed dramatically as they ascended to the second floor. The lower plant was almost completely empty, and quite simpler than some might have expected, but those common concrete walls seemed to become marble as they kept going up. The stairs led to a dim hallway, and the hallway to a grand living room, magnificently decorated with comfortable-looking couches and chairs, along finely-crafted furniture, a small table on the center, and a fireplace. A giant TV screen, some scattered dice and cards, and one great piece of furniture, closed but with wires sticking out; probably full of game consoles, DVD players and such. Across that room, which gave a sense of hospitality, was another door and two corridors.
"I... feel like I'll get lost in here one of these days..." Isaac commented, scratching the back of his head.
"Ditto," several agreed.
"Don't worry, it happened to me once, too. But it isn't so big," Peach proceeded across the room, and pointed to the corridor on the right, "This way to the girls' rooms, and here on the left to the boys' rooms. This door," she motioned to the one in the center, "Takes you to the dinning room. Wait here, I'll be back in a moment to assign the rooms." The princess turned around and went down the stairs gain, leaving the others free to enjoy the place.
Presea went directly to the giant TV, and the piece of furniture under it, "Let's see here..." she turned the key that was already inside the lock, and threw the miniature doors open. Inside was, tangled up in wires, a DVD, VHS player and some hand-held simple consoles: Tetris and Pac-man, she presumed. She dug further and found several different board games, such as Monopoly and Chinese checkers, and even Twister. She threw each one out for the others to see.
"Wow, look at this!" Presea exclaimed, holding high an opened cardboard box. Inside was a plastic mat, folded, with four arrows pointing up, down, right and left respectively.
"DDR?" Chris took a step forward and snatched the mat from the girl's hands, then unfolded it.
Hy took it, repeating Chris' previous action. "Yup. Dance Dance Revolution, home edition. Looks like these guys are a little extravagant, just look at all the stuff they have here!"
"Yes, I sort of noticed. With the hand guy and all." Arianna said.
"Exactly." Shadow's brows furrowed as he pointed to the door on the back to empathize his next phrase. "Besides, who the hell puts a dinning room on the second floor?"
"Uh-huh..." Hy handed the plastic set back to Presea, "We'll have to try it later."
"Why later?" Daniel asked as the mat was once again put into the box and discarded.
Hy simply pointed to the Mushroom Princess behind them, who had been standing in the place for a minute now. "I see you're making yourselves at home," she smiled broadly, "It's okay! Now... I'm sorry, the rooms assignments had to be delayed for a little while. I don't know why, but Master Hand should be done after dinner. Which, by the way, will be served in about half an hour... no need to worry about being punctual."
The door slammed shut rather loudly.
"For some reason, she seemed a bit hurried... or kind of nervous." Akiha flopped down on the couch, closing her eyes and putting a hand on her forehead tiredly. "Okay... I have the feeling something bad is going to happen."
Jimbo sat next to her, and rolled his eyes. "Oh, really?"
"Yeah, really!" Akiha shot back, with the same hint of sarcasm.
"Heeeeeeeey..." Layla poked both's shoulders, talking in a mock-whiny voice. "I wanna try the DDR..."
Din grabbed Layla by the collar of her blue oriental-styled outfit, pulling her down on the couch to a half-sitting, half contortionist-like position. "Don't you ever get tired?" She sighed, "Do you have some turn off switch or something?"
"Well... I had a lot of sugar before- hey, Shira's got a muffin! Gimme a bit!"
The human-koopa pouted, holding the muffin protectively. "But it's all the teeth-destroying thing I could save from the wreck!"
"Come on, just a bit..." Layla did the biggest, more watery eyes she could, making her lower lip quiver as much as humanly possible.
"You... you really like sugar, eh." Lilly managed, her eyes slightly widened as she saw the other girl's eyes watering more and more.
Daniel patted her on the head, "Brilliant observation, milady."
The office was too silent, considering the number of people inside, yet it became too loud the moment Master Hand spoke; his voice would always have that ominous, resounding effect on the room. "How much?"
Roy shuddered, fearing for his eardrums. "One hour, I hope."
"Um, yes, Pichu heard them on the phone but, you know, he couldn't quite communicate, and that's what he deduced."
"Wasn't someone else available to answer? Someone who could speak!"
"Yes, sir." The red-haired swordsman looked around the extravagant group, making a small hand motion to Mewtwo. The pokémon nodded, and took one floating step towards the massive hand.
One could say the gloved one was staring him down to submission, but they couldn't be really sure. Every smasher, however, knew Master Hand didn't like in the least Mewtwo's air of superiority, and in return, the cat-like creature did not like his boss' attitude and menacing habits, not to mention his respect-through-fear policy. Though, and that was for sure, even the psychic pokémon knew when he should keep his mouth shut and obey. Grudgingly, of course.
"The little one heard a female voice," he made a light hand motion towards the smaller electric pokémon. "It was around twenty ten minutes ago, while the testing match was being held. As you know, none of the mansion's phones were working correctly because of a little accident on the living room," he discretely gazed at Popo, "so communication was held for no more than fifteen or twenty seconds."
"Do you have any information on how they got the phone number?"
Mewtwo closed his eyes and did a low sound, clearing his throat, "With all due respect, Master Hand, the number was printed on every instruction booklet, and those were given publicly for the potential candidates."
"If the call was a sick joke from some fan with too much free time…" A loud growl, and light shake came from the hand, as everyone could feel the room shaking with his anger. "The schedule is being slowed down. I will not allow this for much long. If they don't arrive in half an hour, they will be disqualified. Now tell me, what did that person say?"
"Pichu picked up the phone on accident; his foot was tangled with the wire, but he managed to hear a female saying she had some more people with her, and they were on their way. She mentioned her name, and indicated she would be made responsible… Nayru, I believe it was."
"Fine… that's enough. Go away, all of you."
The smashers hurried out like mice, vainly trying to keep silence in their escaping frenzy.
Once alone, Master Hand smashed the desk, sending paperwork flying everywhere. "Damn late arrivals!"
If you have a character for me to add on the next chapter, please send it now. If you already sent it, please confirm. Otherwise it will not be added.
Next chapter: "Hey kid, careful. You'll stab the couch."... "If you were a fangirl... I would already know, right?"
Thank you all for sticking with this story! It's much appreciatted! Remember, new OCs next chapter.