Well, what do you know? I actually had one last drop of Smash Mind left in me!
Thinking over everything I've done with the series so far, I realized there was one thing I still hadn't written: an AU. I'd seen various versions of the "Five Things That Never Happened" story in different categories, but never in Smash Bros. I'm here to change that.
This is the way the story works: I take the established Smash Mind timeline and make five small changes to it. Each chapter will have its own "thing" that was changed, culminating in the last chapter where the last (and biggest) change is revealed, along with the new ending.
As a result, this story will be only five chapters long. I apologize for that, but it is the last drop of Smash Mind left in me.
NOTE: If you're unfamiliar with the previous Smash Minds, you can view the "original" timeline in the last chapter of Smash Mind: Prologues. It's not necessary, but it'll help you understand the story a bit better.
On with the fic!
Smash Mind: Five Things
"I'm sorry, Mario," Link murmured, raising his sword high. "I wish this didn't have to happen. But I can't become a trophy again – I just can't."
The plumber was sprawled on the ground before the Hylian, panting heavily. "I understand," Mario said quietly. "Better one survives than neither of us."
"NO!" Peach shrieked hysterically from the stands, restrained by Zelda. "Mario! Mario, no!"
Link turned toward the cry, his face white. "Zelda – and Peach?" he whispered hoarsely. "No, no, no! I can't do this in front of them, I –"
"Just do it!" Mario yelled, his face contorting. "End this, Link!"
Link closed his eyes, bringing his sword down.
There was a flash of golden light, and Mario's cold trophy clattered to the ground.
"GAME!" the announcer declared in his big, booming voice.
"NOOOOOOO!!" Peach howled, finally breaking free of Zelda and dropping into the stadium. She hurried over to Mario, cradling his trophy in her arms and sobbing miserably.
Zelda teleported to her friend's side, attempt to comfort the brokenhearted girl.
Link tentatively approached the crying princess. "Peach," he said awkwardly. "I'm so sorry about all of this –"
"Shut up!" Peach hissed, tears running down her face. "It's your fault he's dead!"
"Me?" Link exclaimed, taking an involuntary step back. "I didn't place that curse on him, the Hands did! It's their fault that we're turned into lifeless trophies when we lose a fight!"
"The Hands didn't make him lose!" Peach spat. "Mario didn't even want to fight, but you pressured him into it! This is on you!"
"Peach," Zelda said worriedly, "Peach, I know you're grieving, but you shouldn't blame Link-"
"I didn't want to kill him!" Link shouted angrily, interrupting Zelda. "I had no choice! If we disobey the Hands, they kill us anyway!"
"Coward," Peach seethed.
"What?!" Link and Zelda yelled at the same time.
"You heard me," Peach snarled. "The Hands are nothing but talk, and you fear their every move! They sit back and watch as we kill each other!"
"But I-" Link protested.
"Accept it, Link," Peach said, shoulders trembling in rage and grief. "You, and only you are responsible for this! You killed Mario!"
She dissolved into tears once more, hunched over Mario's trophy. Zelda pulled her into a sympathetic hug.
Filled with conflicting emotions, Link turned on his heel and walked out of the stadium.
He never once looked back.
In this universe, the Hands decided to be on a constant rotation of new Smashers. As a result, whenever a Smasher is defeated, they remain a trophy forever. It is, to all intents and purposes, death for them.
Sorry if I made Link too OOC. Being of an honest nature, Link doesn't want to admit that he's killed someone who didn't deserve it. He's too scared of being trapped in a living death as a trophy, a horrifying fate, to refuse to fight completely.
Was Link OOC? A nagging voice in the back of my head says yes.