AN: HOLY CRAP! When was the last time I've written? I have to pick up the slack if I want to write Partners In Time. Better get moving! Remember:
"Bon and I come here often when we need an escape. This isn't the only place either. We sneak off to a lot of places near the castle," explains Peanut as he leads the group through the woods. "We know the whole woods top to bottom so we can help you guys get the remaining fruits."
Peako was now cuddling a happy Bon. Peanut then turns towards them as he stops. "So the queen needs this Chucola Reserve right? You know me and Bon have dreams of becoming knights, right? We'll help if you put in a good word for us from the queen."
Mario and Luigi exchange looks before Mario replies, "Why put in a good word? If you come and help us you will get to meet the queen first hand."
Peanut thinks about this, and then nods. "Deal! Let's go get that reserve. So what fruits do you have?"
Mario looks at the fruit in Luigi's hand. "Red"
Peanut froze and looks at the fruit. "That's it? Well it's a good thing I ran into you. I know where the other two are."
Mario and Luigi look at each other and smile. Maybe things are looking up.
"We have to do what?" asks Mario.
Peanut points at the high bushes that looked more like walls. "Get past these in thirty seconds and the next fruit is yours. You go through here." Here Peanut points at a hole too small for anyone other than Bon to crawl through. "And hit the button to open that gate." Peanut then thumbs over to a gate not too far. "Luigi enters the gate and hits that button and a so on. It goes back and forth and there is a time on how fast you do it. Do it quick enough and Luigi will get to the fruit and we could move on to the next plant."
Mario and Luigi looks at Peanut before Mario finally asks, "Why won't you and Bon do it? Bon is at least small enough to fit through that hole."
Peanut points out, "That old tree that sent you after these fruits will know if you did not get them on your own. It is better to do it yourselves to avoid conflict."
Luigi points out, "Well at least we are not running in blindly."
"True, that is what usually happens to us. Let's get this over with."
Luigi pulls out his hammer and hits Mario with it. Mario shrinks down to half his usual size. Mario turns to Luigi.
"Okay Luigi! You wait at the gate. The moment it opens, rush towards the button. We have to hurry so be prepared for the next gate to open."
Luigi nods as Mario rushes into the hole.
Peanut and Bon both walk happily as the Mario Bros and Peako follow along behind, with Mario carrying both the purple and red fruit. The white fruit was all that was left to find. Peanut leads them into a cave. Inside they could see many ledges against the walls leading higher and higher. Peanut points to the highest cliff, "There it is. The white fruit is up there."
Mario looks at Peanut suspiciously. "How do you know all this?"
Peanut grins, "Bon and I have tried this whole 'get the three fruits' thing before, but we always failed at getting the white fruit."
Mario blinks at this bit of info. "Why is that?"
"Are you kidding? Look at the height! Look at the ledges! Bon and I do not have the jumping capabilities, even when working together."
Mario and Luigi exchange smug glances. Mario and Luigi took off. Using their jumping prowess, they work their way up the cavern. Peako, Peanut, and Bon watch on as the Mario Bros make their way to the top where the final fruit sits. Mario and Luigi use the jumping techniques they had gained back in Stardust Fields to scale the walls faster than just jumping alone. Finally they reach the top. Mario rushes forth and plucks the fruit off the vine. They finally have gained all three fruits.
"You have managed to find all three fruits!" exclaimed Chuckleroot with excitement. "I am impressed."
The old tree suddenly grew teary-eyed as he gazes at the three fruits for the first time in a long time. "Very well. You may pass. Very well. Go."
Chuckleroot moves forward to allow the group through. He sits down and heads back to sleep. As the group steps forward to pass a loud voice is heard.
"Yes! Ohhhh YES! The path is clear!"
The group turns to see Popple and Rookie behind them. Where did they come from? Rookie was doing some sort of victory dance. Popple started to gloat. "We couldn't get past here, see? Hiding here and waiting for a couple of schmoes was brilliant! All right Rookie! Let's not waste anymore time! WE'RE GOLDEN, SEE?"
And just like that they were off. Peako just 'bout threw a fit. "How dare they? We did all the work and they ran ahead of us! That's Cheating! I hate cheaters! Let's hurry and get to the reserve first!"
Peakos takes off, follows close behind. They run past the cluster of trees to the cave entrance.