A/N: Just so you know, for anyone who hasn't played the game before, if anyone on either team gets tackled while they're not in possession of the ball, the team that the attacked player is on gets an item to use during the match. Just wanted to clear that up, since I use that element in this chapter, and will be using it in the future. Anyway, read on and I hope you enjoy.
Chapter 4: "Battle in the Vice"
Junior's team consisting of a Hammer Bro, a Boo, a Dry Bones, and a Kritter goalie all passed a regulation ball between each other, practicing strategies to keep their morale and energy high in anticipation of the upcoming match. However, Junior decided not to participate, choosing to sit on a bench in a corner of the locker room, glaring at Daisy with furrowed brows as she spoke to Peach excitedly about being in the first match of the season.
Bowser Jr. watched the two women, slumping his shell back against the wall as he rested one arm on a bent leg while letting the other hang off the side of the bench. Daisy seemed to know he was watching her, and she would occasionally taunt him by giving him cocky smirks whenever Peach looked away. Every overly confident glance only served to flare Junior's angry spirit even more.
After a while, Yoshi wandered over nearby Junior, visiting his locker to put away his cleats in exchange for his regular pair of leather boots. As he closed the locker, he noticed Junior's spiteful look and decided to find out what was wrong. He moved over next to Bowser Jr. and took a seat, attracting the young Koopa's attention.
"What do you want?" Junior spat, resting his head against the locker to his right as he stared at Yoshi disdainfully.
"Yoshi?" Yoshi asked, making Bowser Jr. scoff.
"Psh, like you care," he scoffed directing his gaze back at Daisy.
"Yoshi," Yoshi said, sounding slightly concerned for him.
"Don't try to pretend we're friends here 'buddy'," Junior responded, glancing back at Yoshi. "I don't need you crowding me, so mind your own business."
Yoshi grumbled slightly as he hopped off the bench, looking more defeated than annoyed as Junior shut him out completely. Junior didn't care that he may have hurt Yoshi's feelings and soon went back to staring down Daisy, who he found was staring right back at him now, having ended her conversation with her friend. Her eyes were half-closed as she wore her smirk, appearing to condescend Junior without even speaking to him.
If anything, Junior felt like the victim here. Daisy was the one who shot the ball at the back of his head, and now she was acting as if he was no threat to her whatsoever. It was infuriating how demeaning the entire act was. Especially considering that Junior himself was the one who usually demeaned people in the first place. Having it happen to him was unbearable.
"See you on the field," Daisy mouthed, giving a thumbs up as she kept her look. She slowly turned the sign on its side and continued to invert it until it was upside down. "Loser."
Daisy snickered as she put the hand on her hip and walked away haughtily. Steam literally flew from Bowser Jr.'s ears as he pounded the locker next to him with a fist, denting it rather harshly. He scowled and brought the hand back to himself, folding his arms.
"She's gonna get it..." he grumbled with an evil tone. "Nobody messes with me..."
Before long, it was game time. Daisy and Bowser Jr. assembled their teams to prepare to head out into field, standing on opposite sides of the field just inside the large arches allowing them to head out. At Daisy's side stood Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, and Diddy Kong, all wishing her and her teammates good luck out on the field. On Junior's side was his father, attempting to psyche him up in preparation to head out and annihilate Daisy. Yoshi happened to appear on Junior's side too, giving his well wishes for his first match. However, Bowser Jr. saw Yoshi doing the same for Daisy just moments ago, so he simply disregarded the kind thought.
"Alright Junior, make Papa proud," Bowser encouraged as he patted his son on the back of the shell, the announcer, who was floating on a Lakitu cloud, having just called out Junior's name, indicating it was time to head out into the field.
Bowser Jr. and his team were met with mostly "Boo"s as they ran out into the field. The Boo and the Dry Bones didn't seem to mind, but the Hammer Bro could be seen sweating nervously.
"I knew trying out for this team wasn't the greatest idea..." he muttered with a sigh.
Junior didn't seem to hear anything though, as his focus was deadset on Daisy, who was already at the center of the field with her own team, smirking as she heard the "Boo"s and witnessed Junior make his way towards her.
Bowser Jr. stopped several feet away from her. He immediately began to stomp angrily in place as he let out a series of incredibly anticlimactic growls, followed by a puff of smoke erupting from his mouth that was meant to be an intimidating breath of fire. Daisy couldn't help but burst out in laughter as she witnessed this.
"That was so cute!" she called out as she bent over and grabbed her stomach, her laughter overtaking her. After a short while, she was able to contain herself, reducing the laughter to mere giggles. "Poor little guy, trying to be all big and bad like your daddy?"
"Shut up!" was all Junior could shout back in response over all the noise surrounding them, as most of the crowd, Daisy's entire team, the Boo and Kritter on his own team, and even the announcer were caught up in laughter at his pathetic display. Junior's right eye twitched as his cheeks flushed a furious red. He'd never felt so embarrassed and insulted in his life.
"Now now, calm down everyone," the announcer's projected voice called out over the stadium, though he was still having trouble getting over his fit of chuckles. "We must get the first match of the League started! So give your support to our battling teams, sit back, and enjoy the grand finale of the inauguration ceremony!
"Princess Daisy! Bowser Jr.! Good luck to the both of you and to your teams! Now please, everyone assume your positions!"
Following orders, the Kritters on both teams occupied their goalie boxes; Daisy's Kritter being on the left, Junior's on the right. In the defensive positions near the goalie boxes were Daisy's Koopa and Junior's Dry Bones, the offensive positions containing Daisy's Boo on the north side and Birdo on the south side, Junior's Boo on the north side and Hammer Bro on the south, all standing exactly halfway between the central line where the ball rested and their goalkeeper's boxes. Both Daisy and Bowser Jr. stood exactly twenty feet from the ball and the announcer began to float high up into the air. The opposing captains got ready to make their dash for the ball as the entire stadium fell silent.
The announcer, viewing from high in the air, lifted a whistle hanging from his neck to his lips and simply held it there for several seconds, making sure everyone was ready to start. Once it was evident both sides were prepared to begin, he blew into the whistle, sounding it all over the stadium in one shrill squeak, and both captain's immediately began their dash for the ball.
Thanks to her speed, Daisy got to it first, but initiated a slide tackle as she brought the ball into her possession, tripping up Junior who was running his hardest to get to the ball first. The young Koopa fell flat on his face as Daisy simply dribbled the ball a ways forward before she was met by the Dry Bones. It came in for a big hit right away, but Daisy masterfully spun out of the way, keeping possession of the ball and making herself wide open, for the Boo was already on the opposite side of the field and the Hammer Bro, despite running as fast as he could, was simply moving too slow to catch up to her.
Now Daisy headed straight for Junior's Kritter, who was guarding at the very boundary of his box. As Daisy persisted her oncoming run, Kritter decided to take a gamble and step out to tackle her. It proved to be a mistake however, for Daisy suddenly gave a small spin in place as Kritter lunged forward to take her down. He was only met with air, for Daisy completely disappeared and reappeared merely inches behind him. She quickly shot the ball into the wide open net, scoring the first goal of the game within mere seconds.
"Haha, whoo!" she shouted happily in celebration, pumping a fist into the air as the crowd erupted in cheers for her while she ran back to her own side of the field. Junior was utterly dumbfounded as he witness this however, his jaw dropping almost to the ground.
"Oh come on!" he muttered angrily as he approached Kritter. "What are you doing!? Let that happen again and you'll have to deal with my dad!"
Kritter suddenly gained a fearful look in his eye as he shook his head, apparently thinking about Bowser bearing down on him in his anger. Junior stepped into the goal and grabbed the ball angrily, muttering to himself as he headed back to the center of the field.
He settled the ball down in front of him and stood over it, for it was now in his possession since Daisy just scored a point. As he readied himself, the whistle blew once more, and Junior immediately passed the ball over to his Boo before running forward himself. His Hammer Bro proceeded to advance as well while the Boo withdrew toward the the Dry Bones, being chased by Daisy's Boo as well as Daisy herself.
In an attempt to help its teammate out of the tight situation, the Dry Bones roughly tackled Daisy, sending her straight into the surrounding electrical fence. A number of members in the audience winced as Daisy let out a shrill shriek, the electricity coursing through her body as a green shell faintly appeared to float down and absorb itself into her. She fell to the ground limply, unable to move for the time being while Junior's Boo out-floated hers.
However, it wasn't long at all before Daisy's Boo shot out the large, newly-granted green shell, aimed directly at the opposing Boo. Unfortunately for it, its attempted pass wasn't quick enough, and the ball was left completely unguarded as Junior's Boo was flattened into the ground. Seeing the opportunity, Birdo swooped in and scooped the ball into her nozzle, appearing to charge up for a powerful shot towards Junior's goalie. His Dry Bones ran over to try and take down Birdo before she could make her move, but Daisy's Boo promptly tackled him out of the way, granting Junior's team a banana to utilize, but also leaving Birdo a wide open shot.
Soon, a giant egg, roughly double the size of Birdo herself, shot forth, flying straight for the readied Kritter. However, he didn't even have a chance of blocking the shot, as the egg simply mowed him down and continued into the net before shattering into pieces to reveal the ball.
Now Daisy's team was ahead two to nothing, and Junior couldn't be more furious about it. He let out an aggravated growl as he ran over to Daisy's goalpost and kicked it with all his might in an attempt to let out his anger. However, the idea immediately proved not to be his brightest and he soon hopped on one foot while holding the other, having crushed his big toe.
Daisy's Kritter, as well as a good amount of the crowd, couldn't help but laugh as Junior wobbled his way back to the center of the field. Not only was he losing by two points barely half a minute into the game, but he wasn't failing at making a fool of himself in the process. With a grumble as he looked around at everyone laughing at him, including, of course, Daisy, Junior caught the ball once Kritter tossed it over to him from the goalie box. He knelt down to set it on the grass in front of him when something caught his eye.
Junior looked over to his right where his father was observing the match from underneath the arch. Bowser was signaling to his son, making jumping motions and opening his mouth wide as if screaming. Little did he know that just feet behind him, Wario and Waluigi were silently miming the movements, having a good time mocking the Koopa King without his notice. Junior knew what his father was trying to say though, and soon, a small smirk came across his lips.
"You're gonna regret messing with me," Junior commented confidently to Daisy, despite the fact that some of the audience was still laughing at him. Daisy raised an eyebrow, but kept her smirk. She chose not to respond however, mostly due to the fact that she couldn't, since the whistle blared once more, prompting Junior to turn and call out "MS!" to his teammates.
The two letters apparently served as some kind of signal, for Junior's team suddenly grouped in front of him as he moved back behind them, forming a kind of wall as if to protect him. Daisy and her team didn't seem to know how to react to this strategy, for Junior was largely an offensive type of player and seeing something like this from him was something of a surprise. However, the odd strategy didn't deter Birdo from trying to break through with her sheer tackling power. However, she was countered by Junior's Dry Bones, who was able to use the same amount of power in return, thus causing them both to recoil in pain for a moment and granting both teams a new item: a mushroom for Junior and three bananas for Daisy.
Observing the formation, Daisy instructed her Boo and her Koopa to advance around both edges of the small wall, pulling away Junior's Boo and his Hammer Bro, leaving only the Dry Bones to guard him from the front. However, she soon discovered that, after barely passing the midfield line, Bowser Jr. simply stopped while the Dry Bones and Birdo duked it out once again, granted Daisy's team a set of three red shells now, but nothing to Junior's team. He appeared to be charging up for a powerful kick and Daisy knew what he was up to right away.
After a few seconds of charging up, Junior kicked the ball straight up into the air with all his might, causing it to fly at a rapid pace. He now bent down, appearing to focus all of his strength into his legs. Seeing that she wouldn't get to him in time to tackle him and interrupt the move, Daisy sacrificed the three red shells, which flew out for the Dry Bones, the Hammer Bro, and Bowser Jr. himself.
However, as the ground beneath him began to shake with all of the gathered energy contained in the soles of his feet, Junior suddenly shot up, making his gravity-defying leap just in time to let the red shell pass harmlessly by, re-aiming itself at his previously safe Boo nearby.
Everyone in the stadium, including all the players, seemed to stop and look up at the young Koopa with awe as he rocketed toward the launched ball, even bypassing the announcer, who was almost high enough in the air to be considered outside of the stadium. Daisy silently muttered to herself disdainfully as she could only watch helplessly, waiting for Junior to finish his move.
The entire sky seemed to turn a dark green as Junior extended his stubby limbs as far as he could. His hands emitted a matching green glow as his head seemed to expand slightly. Before anyone knew what was going on though, Junior let out a scream loud enough to make every single person present cover their ears in pain. The noise was so powerful that sound waves escaped the small Koopa's frame, propelling the metallic orb forward as it cracked and split into six different balls, all flying directly at Daisy's goalie.
Kritter tried his best to recover from the shock of the deafening sound and prepared himself for the oncoming barrage, clapping together his gloved hands in anticipation.
"You got this Kritter!" Daisy shouted over in an attempt to encourage him to block as many of the orbs as he could. The goalie gave a quick nod before letting out a battle cry, indicating he was ready.
A dive to the left, and a ball shattered to pieces as it collided with his extended glove. A hop back to the center of the net and the second disappeared as well, being successfully blocked. A jumping swipe followed by a slide to the right stopped the next two balls while a kick at a lower one shattered the fifth. With the final ball in his sights, Kritter simply placed a hand forward and slow it down to a stop, curling his arm as he rested the final projectile underneath his armpit. The crowd went into an uproar and Daisy whooped and hollered in excitement as Kritter extended both arms upward victoriously, carrying the ball in one hand.
"Kritter!!" he shouted out. "Haha!"
Before long, the entire audience began to chant Kritter's name as Junior came down for his landing, glaring at the goalie incredulously.
"How the heck did he block all six of them!?" he exclaimed angrily, stamping his foot into the ground repeatedly in his frustration.
Bowser Jr.'s team obviously didn't expect Kritter to block all six shots either, for they were still staring at him in awe as he threw the ball out to Daisy, who passed it over to Boo near the center line immediately. Immediately after receiving it, Boo lobbed the ball over to Koopa who stood just beyond the center. He already jumped to receive the ball, made his landing, and began charging up a shot before anyone realized the ball had made its way over to him.
Junior's entire team immediately ran over to him in a panicked attempt to relieve him of the ball, Dry Bones even using the mushroom to grant him an extra boost of speed. However, none of them made it in time, allowing him to kick the ball with incredible power. It curved dramatically as it approached Junior's Kritter, who could hardly see the ball past all the commotion of the team running to get to the Koopa. Because of this, he hadn't enough time to predict its path and missed the flying ball completely as it swerved around him and crashed into the net beyond, scoring a third point for Daisy's team only a minute and a half into the game. And by now, Junior was throwing a tirade.
"I can't believe this! You're all completely useless! Why do I have to deal with such a crappy team!? GRRRR!!" Just feet away from the childishly angry display, Koopa was running back to his side of the stadium, waving to the audience as fans cheered him on for scoring the goal.
Junior's Hammer Bro watched on as Daisy's Koopa was greeting with smiles and high fives upon returning to his team. He sighed once he looked back at his own captain, raging on about how he was the only one with any skill on the team. It was apparent that the rest of the game wouldn't be easy, and that after the match was done, things weren't going to be pretty.
"Princess Daisy shuts Bowser Jr. out with a 6-0 win! Great start for the leader of our friendly neighbors, but results bring dark clouds to the son of the dreaded Koopa King!"
"Woohoo!" Daisy cried out jubilantly upon entering the locker room with her team after the game came to a close. "Great job you guys; we totally dominated out there!"
All of the team members traded high fives as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Diddy, Donkey Kong, and all of their teams approached, clapping their hands with smiles on their faces. Diddy and Donkey Kong let out cries indicating how happy they were for Daisy while Luigi and Peach stepped forward a bit.
"You all did fantastic out there," Peach complimented.
"You did great Daisy," Luigi commented at the same time. Koopa, Kritter, and Boo all blushed at Peach's statement while Daisy stepped forward and accepted a hug from Luigi.
"Thanks Sweetie," she said happily as her sweaty and smelly body made Luigi cringe slightly at the touch. For a second he regretted inviting her into the embrace, but she soon separated herself from him, apparently just realizing how drenched she was from all the activity underneath the blaring stadium lights.
"Ugh, I need a shower bad," she mentioned, making Luigi refrain from nodding as he silently agreed with her. Completely out of nowhere, Waluigi's lanky leg extended and planted itself right next to Daisy, pulling his body behind it immediately. He smirked as Daisy and Luigi glanced over at him.
"I could use a shower too, hehe," Waluigi said, raising at eyebrow suggestively at Daisy. Luigi went to say something in return, but Daisy quickly handled the situation with a swift and subtle punch to Waluigi's gut, making him double over instantly.
"Not on your life sport," Daisy commented, refusing to let Waluigi bring down her joyous mood. The blow seemed to completely wind Waluigi, for he fell over on the ground as Daisy and her team walked by him, headed for the showers. The other captains and their teams removed themselves from the site as well, leaving Waluigi to groan quietly to himself. Before long though, Wario came by, chuckling.
"Loser," he muttered as he walked by nonchalantly. Waluigi would have replied, but after ten seconds, he still couldn't breathe. Daisy really packed quite a punch.
At the same time, on the other side of the stadium, Junior was busy chewing out his team for their poor performance while he refused to take any part of the blame for himself. Several times he tried breathing fire on his subordinates, but even his rage couldn't conjure the flames he wanted. Instead, he settled for using his father as a threat, saying that he would fry them all once he returned from checking the tournament schedule.
Junior's team was quaking with fear as Bowser approached, appearing to contemplate something along the way. A wicked smile crossed the Koopa Prince's lips as he was certain his father would deal with his team for him, but, surprisingly, he simply ordered them to leave him and his son alone.
"Get out of my sight," Bowser commanded as he walked up to Junior. None of the four team members thought twice, running off as quickly as they could. Bowser Jr. then looked up at his father, his mouth slightly agape.
"Why didn't you fry them Papa?" he asked with something of a whiny voice. Bowser shook his head solemnly and sat down on a nearby bench, prompting his son to take a seat next to him.
"The next match is between Peach and Diddy Kong," Bowser said, making Junior shrug.
"I have a plan Junior," Bowser imparted, turning to his son as he spoke. "But first, we have to get on Diddy's good side."
"Why?" Junior asked, scratching the back of his head. "What does it matter if some stupid monkey likes us?"
"Trust me Junior," Bowser said. "If you want to get back at Daisy for beating you tonight, you have to make friends with Diddy. I'll explain after you get him to trust you."
Bowser Jr.'s wicked smirk returned to his lips once again. He had no idea what his father was going on about, but if the end result would let him have his revenge against Daisy, he would do whatever his dad said.
"Okay Dad," Junior responded with a chuckle. "I'll do it."
"Good," Bowser said, ruffling his son's hair playfully and smiling as well. "Now, there's a dinner for the team captains at the Starbeans Cafe tonight. When we get there, just focus on making friends with Diddy and try to get him to come outside with you. We'll talk behind the building once you do."
Junior gave a mischievous snicker as he and his father stood from the bench. The pair began to exit the stadium together, and little did Junior know that his father actually had a much grander scheme in mind than simply helping his son get revenge.