Disclaimer: Mario and related characters are property of Nintendo, and therefore does not belong to me in any way.
Author's Note: I'm back with another fic! Set after Super Paper Mario (I seem to be writing too much of that game), this fic is rather... dark and um... it's hard to explain. I'm definitely not the first person who's done something like this. I got inspired after reading some Japanese fics. Contains just a little bit of slashiness between Mr. L, Dimentio, and Luigi.
Dimentio loves Luigi. I swear he does. (SHOT)
Luigi was dreaming.
He normally didn't remember his dreams, of course, with them being so uneventful. Nothing new or exciting ever happened in his dreams, and besides he wasn't one to believe that those unconscious images held meaning. Tonight, however, felt different; he kept fidgeting and frowning in his sleep, looking very uneasy indeed.
In his dreams, he was standing in a completely dark space. He had no idea where it was, and wasn't too eager to find out either. The place was quiet and calm, soothing even, but there was a hint of tension in the air that he detested. There was nothing around him, nothing below nor above him - Luigi kept asking himself why he was so frightened, why he was so uneasy, but no answers came. The place was just too silent, and he hated the eerie atmosphere.
"Ahahaha." A soft voice laughed in his ear, and Luigi flinched. A pair of ice-cold hands grasped his shoulders. "Welcome back to Dimension D."
Luigi froze. He knew that voice. He had felt those cold hands before. And he now knew where he was - but the relevation was nowhere near calming. He forced himself to turn around and look back at the owner of the voice, a grim smile twisting his features.
"Yes, me... I'm still your Dimentio." The magical jester bowed low, his mindless smile widening as he looked at Luigi. "Long time no see, wouldn't you agree?"
"Yes." Luigi nodded. "A half-year since we last met. Long enough for you?"
"Very. How have you been, then?"
"Oh, I've been perfectly fine." Dimentio seemed to raise his eyebrow just a fraction at this statement. "We've gone back to our normal lives. Mario is still saving the Mushroom Kingdom, the Princess is still very much herself... and all the usual things."
The jester lost his smile and pouted, looking sulky. "You didn't miss me? That's hardly cheerful news..."
"I don't remember promising that anything I say would be." Luigi replied coolly, crossing his arms. "So is it good down in the Underwhere?"
Dimentio smiled once more and laughed, his voice as soft and rich as it had been six months ago. "It's quiet, my dear Luigi... it's as quiet as an alarm-clock without batteries down there. There is almost nothing - just rocks, endless silence, and the occasional pathetic sniffles of someone who's just had their game over. Very cheerful to listen to."
"I should say."
"But why would you ask me for news in the Underwhere? You already know what it's like." Dimentio drifted alongside him, still smiling. "I sent you there once, remember? You were there yourself." He trailed a finger down the other's cheek. "In fact... I think the Underwhere wouldn't be as boring if we were together down there. You were always good fun, Luigi. A tad impertinent, obsessed with machines and completely uncaring for others... but you were fun. Yes, I do wish you were down there with me, as selfish as I may sound..."
"So you wish for my game to end?"
Luigi turned to look at Dimentio, no fear in his eyes. "But I escaped from the Underwhere. You cannot now. Besides, why bring out all that is past? It's been a half a year, Dimentio. You and me do not have to exchange insults nor threats of death to each other."
"Precisely my point, Luigi." The jester smiled wide, clicking his fingers and making some sparks appear. "We need not try to kill each other anymore. But if you think you can forget me that easily and let bygones be bygones... that's where you're wrong, dreadfully wrong."
This remark had hit a weak spot. Luigi inhaled sharply, and his shoulders stiffened for just a second - more than enough time for Dimentio to notice. "And may I ask you why not?"
"Simple." The jester drifted behind him, putting his ice-cold arms around his neck (much to the other's discomfort) so that he could whisper in his ear. "Because the Chaos Heart is still alive within you. Yes, you stopped it. But you didn't exactly destroy it, did you?" He placed a hand over Luigi's heart, and as if on cue, the younger Mario brother felt a sharp pain pierce his chest. He winced, knowing what the jester was implying and hating it at the same time.
"As long as the Chaos Heart is functional, Luigi... I can go on." Dimentio whispered, his voice still quieter. "You're the bearer of the Heart... as long as your game goes on, my game can continue..."
"You make no sense to me." Luigi said, but a shadow of doubt had begun to appear on his face. "So what is it that you want?" Dimentio smiled, but did not answer. He began to drift around in the air, seemingly having lost interest in the whole subject, humming softly to himself and making confetti showers from thin air. The younger Mario brother watched, wary; the jester was the most unpredictable person that he'd ever met, and there was no knowing what he would do next.
"Oops." A whole bunch of confetti landed on Luigi's hat with a light thump, and Dimentio laughed. "Ahahahaha... my mistake."
"Very funny." Luigi replied, irritated, as he shook off the confetti. "What is it that you want from me anyway? Come on, tell me, I'm sure it'll be just as stupid as your metaphors..."
"Ahahaha... resorting to petty insults now, are we? I think rather..." The jester twirled his fingers, now looking thoughtful. "...I think that you should see this first. I alone cannot win you over. I hope this convinces you, Luigi..."
The younger Mario brother backed away a step, now feeling very uneasy. "What... convince me? What are you talking about?"
"I hope you still recognize this particular person..." Dimentio ignored Luigi's frantic question, and merely clicked his fingers; instantly he began to change shape, first fading into a dark shapeless form and then morphing into something - someone - as if he were made of liquid. The sight was oddly unnerving, disgusting almost - Luigi watched, feeling sick to the stomach, waves of sudden nausea overcoming him. He didn't understand why he was so frightened of Dimentio's metamorphosis - but he wasn't going to have it any longer.
"Stop!" Luigi cried out. "Stop it! Stop it, Dimentio!"
"Sensitive soul, eh?" A deeper, lower voice chuckled from the darkness, sending chills down the younger Mario brother's spine. This wasn't Dimentio; it was something sinister, something more dangerous, and Luigi didn't know what to do. "My, my... I would have thought you'd have improved in the last year... obviously not."
"Show yourself." Luigi stammered, managing to sound calm even though he was shaking.
"As you wish." And then the figure was standing in front of him, managing to stare him down even thought they were the exact same height - the younger Mario brother gasped and backed away a step or so, frightened.
"You... but..." He stuttered. "But... how can you be here? You're... you're not supposed to be a separate entity!"
"Oh, but I'm not." The figure replied calmly, his eyes glinting. "I cannot exist if you aren't here. Don't tell me you've forgotten your dear Mr. L, have you?"
Luigi did not answer this question. How could he possibly forget? Mr. L was part of him after all, the part of him that had never surfaced before and had been taken advantage of. After that fateful battle with Super Dimentio, Luigi had been made aware of what he had been like when he had been his demonic self - and it certainly hadn't been the most cheerful moment of his life. He'd been secretly ashamed of himself since then; surely being taken advantage of so quickly was a sign of weakness from his part?
"You're... you're not real." The younger Mario brother mumbled, feeling weak at the knees. "You're... supposed to be me... how..."
Mr. L smiled darkly, his narrow blue eyes gleaming like a shark. "Oh, but I am real. I can never be gone, Luigi. And unlike you... I accepted Dimentio within myself. So think of me as a mixture of you and Dimentio." He laughed. "That idiotic assistant of the Count only managed to bring me to the surface, you see... Dimentio developed me into something more, something fully alive. We're two seperate entities, let us leave it at that."
Luigi was trembling. Although he knew that Mr. L was really a darker version of himself and nothing more, he was terrified. Since when had his other side gained a seperate consciousness? Since when had Dimentio latched onto him, taking over his mind? The other stood quite still, enjoying the sight of Luigi trembling, a wrench in one hand and the other in his pockets.
"How... how long have you been like this?"
A shadow of weariness seemed to cross the other's face, and he dropped the wrench (which dissolved into nothing) on the ground, drawing a hand over his face and sighing. "Longer... much, much longer than you realize. There really are no boundaries between you, me and Dimentio at this point. I accepted Dimentio straight after we were defeated by those petty heroes..." Mr. L let out a short laugh. "...so that we could both stay within you. It wasn't a complete life, but we at least were alive..."
"You're a liar." Luigi spat venomously, sudden anger overcoming his fear. "You're nothing but another trick of the eye. Why should I trust you or Dimentio to tell the truth?"
"But we're both part of you, Luigi. Stop pretending, because you're not very good at it." Mr. L whispered, his oddly fluid body entwining around Luigi's, his hands lightly caressing the other's cheek. He smiled, listening to Luigi wince and protest. "You missed me, I know you did. You loved your share of power; you loved being able to throw your pathetic brother around, and you loved being the henchman of the Count..."
"Blumiere wasn't evil!" Luigi protested angrily, struggling to free himself from the deathly embrace. "He wasn't acting on his own selfish intentions, unlike Dimentio! He was only driven mad like that because Timpani disappeared..."
"Doesn't change the fact that he did all the things that he did, does it now?" Mr. L laughed harshly. "You're so naive... but perhaps that's why you're the ideal host for the Chaos Heart. Such innocence and such power... Ah, yes. You're perfectly suited for the Chaos Heart, with such fertile consciousness and just a hint of a grudge against your brother."
"Shut up!" Luigi shouted. "You talk nonsense! I don't bear a grudge to Mario... I love him, he's my brother!"
Mr. L only chuckled at this outburst. "See my point? You're denying yourself. You were always sick of standing in his shadow, you know that. Call me your dark side, Luigi, but in reality you're no better than I am." His fingers brushed Luigi's lips. "Face it. We're both evil, we're both twisted... we all deserve to have our games over. That means you, Luigi, even Dimentio, even I... yes, we all deserve to rot in the Underwhere for ever. So why not resign yourself to your fate?"
"What... what do you mean?"
The man let out a short laugh, tightening his hold around Luigi. "Perhaps I have not made myself very clear. Let me rephrase it for you." He bent down, his lips brushing the shell of the younger Mario brother's ear, his voice changing into Dimentio's.
"End your own game, Luigi. Shun the others. End your game, and then we can be together, free from this crazy little world."
Luigi said nothing, but closed his eyes in despair, trembling.
"Yes." The other man whispered, a small smile gracing his lips. He entwined himself around Luigi further, so that he was directly looking at the younger Mario brother; his fingers lightly caressed his hair, gently, lovingly almost, provoking a small whimper from him. "You're very beautiful, Luigi... my, my, you would stand out wonderfully in the bleakness of the Underwhere. You would be... the cherry on the top of the cake, should I say? If you come down to the depths of hell with us, that is." Mr. L clicked his fingers (like the way Dimentio did), making his wrench appear again in his hand, and he pressed the heavy object into Luigi's hand.
"Go on." He whispered seductively, his lips close to the other's, the demure smile still curving his lips. "Or would you prefer a bit of poison? Or a rope? It doesn't matter, in Dimension D you cannot feel pain..."
"No!" Luigi yelled, his eyes suddenly wide and frantic, and he began struggling to free himself. "Shut up! Leave me alone! Get away from me! I can't yield... I won't yield!" A faint green glow began to surround his hands, emitting sharp little bursts of static. Mr. L was pushed away from Luigi in the wild, animal-like struggle; the wrench was dropped and again dissolved into nothingness. The masked man looked up, looking shocked and thrown off balance for the very first time.
"...No...?" He whispered, staring blankly up at Luigi. "...No? You would not join us?"
"Never." The younger Mario brother hissed, his body in a defensive pose, electricity still crackling in his hands. "Get out. Get out of my mind. Don't come back." He turned and strode away from the man, eager to get away as far of possible.
"Think again, Luigi." Mr. L warned, getting up. In an instant he was back in front of Luigi, stopping him dead in his tracks. "As long as we exist within you, there aren't going to be any more savepoints in your game. You'll always be wandering in the same place, never going anywhere. See where you are now." He gestured around Luigi. "You're housekeeping and staying at home most of the time while your pathetic brother saves the world. Nothing too new there, and nothing's going to change that. But look what happened when you joined us... your powers were pushed to the extreme..." Luigi closed his eyes, biting his lip, not wanting to hear any more. Mr. L's expression darkened, and his hands gripped the younger Mario brother's shoulder sharply, his breath tickling his ear. "And we were honourable, worthy of respect! No, Luigi, you're mad to stay here. There are no savepoints in the overworld for you. Come to us... join us again."
"Go to hell."
Mr. L's expression hardened, and he stood back from Luigi, arms crossed.
"We're not convincing you, it seems." He stated flatly, but there was fury - pure, unbound fury - in his undertones. "You are just a stubborn fool, Luigi. You'll regret this. No matter what you do, you cannot escape us. We're a part of you. We are you. And we will take you with us down in hell."
"And how would you achieve that?" Luigi shot back. "I will not end my own game, no matter what you say. You've lost."
"Oh, but we haven't yet. We can always end it for you." Mr. L laughed harshly, and clicked his fingers like the way Dimentio did. Instantly Luigi was trapped within transparent walls; he could see his doppelganger outside, grinning sadistically at his misfortune, but he could not escape. "You may remember when Dimentio took you to a different dimension. It didn't hurt that much, did it?"
"No." Luigi cried out, again terrified, his fists pounding on the walls. "No! Let me out!"
"Foolish bastard." The other man merely pressed himself close to the wall, his face directly opposite Luigi's. "There's no escape for you now, you know that. But don't worry. Once you join us we'll look after you." He laughed, his harsh voice mingling with Dimentio's rich tones, and then the younger Mario brother could do nothing but stare.
"And now, ladies and gentlemen," Mr. L exclaimed, addressing the blank void around him with Dimentio's voice, nothing but pure insanity in his eyes. "The show's over! But as a final act, I shall now administer the coup de grâce to our volunteer, Luigi Mario; thank you, and good night!"
The last thing Luigi saw was Mr. L's fingers, which were poised to click once more - and seal his doom.
Luigi awoke with a loud cry, eyes darting around in the darkness frantically; but he was alone, totally alone in the silent dark bedroom. The alarm-clock read 3:18 am, and the sky was still dark and gloomy. But Luigi was awake now, he had no intention of going back to sleep; and he slumped in his bed, confused and frightened.
It was the first real nightmare that he would never forget.
But had it all been a dream? It must have been, for he was in his bedroom and not anywhere else Mr. L might have sent him. But the unpleasant dream clung to his thoughts; he kept on looking down at his fingers, unable to forget the lingering image of the wrench being pressed onto his hand, of Dimentio and Mr. L. So were they all within him now? Was he possessed all this time, and never knew it?
Nonsense, his sensible, logical mind scolded. Mr. L was gone. Dimentio was safely dead. There was no way that they were still within him. He was untarnished, he was himself, and no more nightmares would haunt him.
Oh, you liar. The other part of his mind whispered wickedly. You little liar, you.
Luigi shook his head and looked at the adjacent wall. Pictures of various people hung from it, some portraits, some photos; but whenever he glanced at one, the one next to it seemed to gaze at him with the cruel mocking sneer of the jester. Shaking his head, he turned his head to look at the mirror. That alone showed him true; when he gazed at the mirror, his own frightened and nervous face stared back at him. Perhaps he should take a good, hard look at himself; yes, it would calm him, he decided. It would calm him to see that he was there, that he was whole and unpossessed and he was entirely himself. It would help him forget the dream. Luigi thought that he could still feel Mr. L - Dimentio's hands on his body, the unwanted caresses and soft, seductively venomous words; and he got up, walking shakily over to his mirror and peering inside.
But when he looked hard into the mirror, the reflection staring back at him was not his own.
Mr. L stood within the cold glass surface, staring into Luigi's eyes, mimicking the bewildered and terrified expression on his face. But slowly, as Luigi watched in horror, his eyes narrowed behind the black eye-mask he wore, and his lips twisted into an insane grin; as if on cue the younger Mario brother felt a sharp stab in his heart, and fell on his knees, gasping. The Chaos Heart was truly alive now, he was host to it and whatever nightmares it held for him... for ever.
"Deny us all you want, Luigi." Mr. L hissed softly, in Dimentio's voice, reaching out for the younger Mario brother. "But it will change nothing. You are mine."
That must be the weirdest thing I've ever written.
And it contains cliched elements such as 'so-and-so meets nemesis in dreams'... I like this one, but I don't think it's the best. 'L-Mode' is still the best Mario fic I've ever written, I think.
(But Dimentio and Luigi... I mean... they just click together x.x)
I would like reviews and critique for this one. Did you like it? Did you hate it? Please let me know!