A/N: Thanks to reviewers:

MidnightMoon16

DoH-Endstufe

WhiteFire56

TaylorAndEllie

shana elmsford

DAMN!!! Two and a half months?! I suck!!! So does writer's block and school.

So, I busted my ass to finish this today because: IT'S MY ONE-YEAR FF/NET ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!! Yay! I apologize for any un-epicness and the short length of it.

Hope you enjoy it a little!


Tournament Chapter Seven:

Day Six: Before The Darkness

by mrtysh


Roy stirred in the warm, comforting bed. Was it morning already?

He had found it difficult to get to sleep the previous night, for no apparent reason. Perhaps it was the fact that Link and Zelda would be arriving back, or Marth and Samus and the quarreling... Or maybe it was just the upcoming battles. Who knows who he would be paired up against?

He glanced at the digital clock on his bedside table. The green numbers indignantly glared seven fifteen at him. Screw this, I'm going back to sleep, Roy thought, huffing. He would surely wake up again in an hour or two.

Snores blared.

-

"...Wake up. Zelda... Zelda?"

Zelda stirred and allowed a soft moan to escape her lips. That voice; it purred so softly and wrapped itself like a cocoon around her sensitive eardrum... An equally soft hand cautiously caressed her left forearm.

She focused her gaze on the owner of said hand. Link's dazzlingly spectacular cerulean eyes gazed into hers. "'Morning..." She yawned gently, sitting up.

Link was already dressed; shoes on, gear ready. Perhaps they wished to leave before midday. He leaned forward to place a sweet, drawn out kiss onto her naturally moist lips. "Shall we prepare to leave now?"

Zelda nodded and hopped out of bed with a new lift to her step. She had a mansion full of optimism to return home to, not to mention a princely being right beside her.

Link took her hand and led her outside to be greeted by a warm, securing sunlit glow. Malon could be seen tending to some of the horses near the stables. Looking up from a small black foal, she waved cheerily and trotted over to meet them.

"You two getting ready to leave so soon?" Malon faked a hurt pout.

"We don't want to, but the tournament is resuming tomorrow..." Link sighed and gave Malon a friendly hug. "Thank you so much, Malon. We'll make sure to visit again soon; keep in touch!" Link nodded with his genuinely sincere smile and jogged off to retrieve Epona and leave Zelda alone with her friend.

"Malon, I can't thank you enough... Your advice really came in handy!" Zelda winked and Malon cracked a smile that split her face in two. She tackled the princess with a hug that she couldn't forget in a million years.

"You better come back to see me, Zellie."

"You know it!" Zelda saw Link walking over with Epona and quickly took her cue to mount. One last wave, and they were heading back to the mansion.

-

She awoke with the gentle touch of a kiss to her hair. Let me go back to sleep, you dumbass! She would have yelled to anyone but Marth. Perhaps it was time to awaken anyway.

"Marth, that tickles..." Samus whispered playfully as Marth's moist tongue grazed her cheek. He must have realized she had awoken, or he had a death wish.

As if to say, 'Of course it does...' Marth chuckled and attacked her stomach, hands roaming free. Endless laughter escaped from Samus as she attempted to tickle him in return; he appeared to have no tickle spots.

Finally he relented and she could breathe again. She'd find that tickle spot, one way or another! For now, she settled with climbing on top of him and planting a firm kiss to his eager lips. Feisty.

Samus smiled inwardly, reminding herself that she would never get tired of his caresses and touches and care. She could stay with him all day long and love him every minute of it. Perhaps that was what made it so difficult to pull away and state firmly that they had other matters to take care of... Like meeting Link and Zelda when they returned shortly.

"Do I ever tell you how much I love you, Samus?" Marth's beautiful pools of blue filled her with elation.

"Well, who's counting, baby?" Samus smirked and he chuckled. "We really should go to the entrance hall, you know?"

"I guess we should... Well, I'll go get dressed then," Marth pecked her cheek and stood out of bed, stretching.

Samus yawned in reply and stood also. "I'll go get dressed in my room. Meet you in the entrance hall, okay?"

"Got it!" Marth called as she slid out the door. He sighed. He'd never get tired of her either...

-

Why must she suffer pain so early in the morning? The pounding feeling would not cease from mere relaxing...

Peach groaned and sat up in the warm bed. Her head ached severely, and it was no sinus headache. Had she slept badly? Did she need more sleep? Was it something she ate? Perhaps she had been subconsciously thinking about what she had said to Samus yesterday.

As the thoughts ran through her head, she noticed the late time of nine fifty-three. Alas, it was a Sunday, so most of the fighters would still be asleep. With that thought, Peach collapsed against the pillows and tried to fall into a healing slumber.

-

Roy yawned. Okay, so three hours was what it took... The clock read ten-fifteen. He wondered why Peach hadn't woken him, or Marth. Well, scratch off Marth, he was 'occupied' with something, but Peach was an early riser. Maybe she was just getting some extra rest?

Nevertheless, he hopped out of bed and trotted off to relieve himself briefly, all the while pondering whether he should check on Peach. It wouldn't hurt anything to make sure; be the kind of boyfriend every girl dreams of.

After dressing in a flame-red tunic with trousers to match and tugging on those begrudged boots, Roy definitely decided to head for Peach's room to check up on her.

-

"Hey, Marth, could you go get Roy so we'll be in the entrance hall in time to greet Zelda and Link?" Samus asked, scanning Marth's clothing choice of a forest green tunic and trousers to match. She'd confuse him with Link now!

"Oh, sure. We probably still have a half hour, Samus."

"Oh well, at least we'll be ready."

Marth sighed and walked up to Roy's room. It startled him to find a note saying 'Out' on the door in Roy's distinctive, scrawled handwriting. Perhaps he was visiting Peach... But he usually did that earlier in the day! Come to think of it, Marth hadn't seen either of them all day. Why did people around here always have trouble finding each other?

Marth shook his head and went back to Samus in the entrance hall. "Roy wasn't in his room. The only thing I could think of was that he went to visit Peach..." He shrugged.

Samus groaned. "I swear... Maybe this was what it was like for Roy and Peach yesterday, finding me? I'll go to Peach's."

There was no note on the door to her room, so Samus knocked quietly. A few seconds later, the door opened to reveal not Peach, but a sullen, distressed Roy.

"What's wrong?" Samus asked.

"Morning, Samus. I don't know what's wrong. I decided to come check on Peach this morning and she's been asleep ever since. In her sleep, she's very distressed. I think something is bothering her and she really should be in the infirmary." Roy whispered and it surprised Samus; the care he had for his lover.

"Well, we'll tell Link and Zelda all this; we're waiting for them to get back. Tell Peach when she wakes up she needs to go to the infirmary!"

"I'll do, Samus. Thank you for coming to check on her, too. I'll catch up with you guys later," Roy nodded and quietly retreated behind the door again.

Samus could only hope Peach was okay as she walked back to Marth and repeated what Roy had told her.

"At least she's under Roy's close watch and the doctors here are great. I hope she'll be okay..." Marth encased Samus in the comforting warmth of his gentle embrace. She nuzzled her face in his chest, never wanting him to let go.

After a few calm minutes, they heard the large door creak open, revealing Link and Zelda, hand in hand.

"Hey, you're back!" Samus called, rushing to greet them. "How was your trip?"

"We had a great time seeing everyone again and we promised to visit more often. But, of course, we missed you guys and wondered what we were missing out on around here." Zelda gave Samus a friendly hug.

"We missed you guys, too. Nothing really happened while you were gone... Except the fact that Marth and I are together?" She smiled and took his hand again.

"Link and I are together as of last night! You go, Samus!" Zelda paused for a minute before pondering aloud, "Where are Peach and Roy?"

Samus, for the second time, repeated what Roy told her about Peach and added her opinion also.

"I think she'll be okay. Peach is strong, just like the two of us. She should probably go to the infirmary, though..." The best thing to do was to remain optimistic about the situation!

Samus nodded. "Well, Marth and I will leave you two alone and we'll see you at dinner!" Marth finished talking to Link and followed her to his room.

-

"Peach?" Roy noticed her sitting up out of bed, rubbing her eyes.

"Roy? What are you doing here?" Peach still had that headache, and it seemed worse now. She couldn't open her eyes.

"I've been here since eleven o'clock because it didn't seem like you to still be asleep. What's wrong?" Roy stood up from the small chair and sat on her bed, taking her hand lovingly.

"I don't know what's wrong. I was fine yesterday... I have a terrible headache and it isn't going away."

"Peach, you need to be in the infirmary, let me take you there."

She didn't argue and let him lift her out of the bed and carry her bridal-style out of the room. Albeit a little unusual, she definitely didn't feel up to getting there herself.

Peach felt as if she could lose consciousness in his arms, so she managed to utter, "I love you," before the darkness.

-

"Roy, you really should eat something! We need our energy to fight tomorrow," Marth suggested.

"I know, man, but... I can't stop worrying about Peach. The doctors said she would be fine, but she can't fight! How is that fine?!" Roy looked like he was going to break down and start sobbing.

Link lay a caring hand on his back. "I know you care deeply for her and you worry about her. But, for her sake and your own, you have to see the bright side of everything. Keep your chin up; she'll get better with your support, Roy."

"Yeah, I guess you're right, Link. I'll do that."

The fighters ate calmly and slowly, waiting for Master Hand to announce the next days' battles. They were as ready as they could be.

Master Hand scuttled around at the head of the room, fumbling with a piece of paper. "Good evening, fighters! I presume your weekend of rest was indeed revitalizing. Now, I shall announce tomorrow's battles beginning at nine o'clock: Captain Falcon versus Marth, R.O.B. versus Lucario, Falco versus Sonic, and Zelda versus Snake. Good luck to all of you, and get some good rest tonight!"

Whispering commenced. Marth wasn't too worried, as long as he kept his game up and maintained his agility, he could win the fight. He worried a little for Zelda against Snake, but she was a strong fighter to say the least.

"Well, good luck everybody! See you tomorrow," Roy grinned and stood from the chair, waving.

Samus whispered something into Marth's ear and he nodded tersely. Link took Zelda's hand and they walked away muttering sweet nothings to each other.

-

Link placed a chaste, tender kiss on Zelda's lips. "You'll do great, Zel. See you tomorrow..." He waved goodnight and trotted up to his room.

"Aw." Unbeknownst to Zelda, Samus had followed her and had witnessed the mini-display. "We're all like one big love pyramid. You and Link, Roy and Peach, and Marth and me... In less than one week, too!" she chuckled.

Zelda nodded and followed Samus up to their room. "It seems you and Marth are very comfy, am I correct?"

"You are correct. In fact, I'm only going to shower and change clothes; I'll go spend the night with Marth. That's... how comfy we are."

Zelda offered no judgment. At least they were not hindered by anything and felt free to live out their love for each other and seize the opportunities.

Indifferent to the silence, Samus shrugged and grabbed her change of nightclothes and headed for the shower.

A yawn escaped the princess's lips with no restraint. She definitely needed her rest if she were to fight Snake tomorrow's. She had some solid competition there and she'd have a tough time winning it if she were this exhausted. Zelda slid out of her dress and into the cozy, familiar nightclothes; easing into the perfect bed and making her place in the covers.

At that time, Samus had finished showering and exited the bathroom wearing an orange tank top and lime green pajama pants. Her long blonde tresses were pulled up into a lazy bun that framed her angular face suitably. "'Night, Zel. See you tomorrow!" Samus called, leaving the room.

"Bye, Samus," Zelda yawned and closed her eyes, falling asleep almost instantly.

-

Samus knocked quietly on Marth's door and waited like any normal night.

It was only when thirty seconds passed that she decided to just open the door herself and walk right in, surely Marth wouldn't mind.

She found him standing in front of his mirror, his shirtless back to her and a comb in his hand. He whipped at his already perfect hair with the comb, forcing every little hair to stay in place; if they didn't they would suffer the consequences. Samus pitied them.

Next thing she knew, Marth set down the comb and stretched his arms, flexing absently. Only when he decided to 'test his chest muscles' did Samus burst out into an uncontrollable fit of giggles.

Marth turned a little too quickly and tripped over his own two feet, landing ass-first on the ground; only causing Samus to laugh more! "H-How long have you been there, Samus?"

Samus giggled again, helping him to his feet. "Long enough to know you are more entertaining than usual today."

"..." Marth stuttered around with various letters of the alphabet and 'invented' a few in the process. He was silenced as Samus locked their lips firmly. She could feel his cheeks heat up rapidly; usually it was him that would start their kissing. Nevertheless, he accepted the treatment quite willingly.

Samus pulled back about a half centimeter and whispered, "This is for good luck tomorrow..." attacking his lips passionately again.

"Thank you... I needed that," he chuckled and added, "I like your hair like that."

"I'll wear it like this more often, then. Let's go to bed for the night, Marth," Samus suggested, finding her way to said piece of furniture and huddling under the covers.

Marth nodded and followed suit, kissing her forehead. "Goodnight, Samus."

-

Roy lay under the thin white covers of his small bed, shrouded with worrisome thoughts; not that it helped listening to Link's heavy snores. No matter what reassurance he was offered, he couldn't seem to take his mind off Peach. He felt so sorry for her; not being able to fight and left only to the hands of the Goddesses above to stay alive...

Perhaps it wasn't so drastic, he just felt that way. Maybe that's what it takes to find out how much you love your significant other; the chance of them leaving you forever. Roy shuddered violently at the thought.

Sighing in frustration, he trudged into the bathroom and splashed a little water on his pale face, hoping to feel refreshed enough to sleep. True, he didn't have a fight tomorrow, but he still needed some rest...

Roy snuggled into the covers once more. He instinctively knew that this would be one long night.


A/N: That's... it! Sorry for it being a SUPER short chapter! I just... Couldn't dig up enough inspiration for it and writer's block... Yeah. I think things will pick up once I can weave in the fluffy goodness around the fights and make a soft-knitted blanket of good story! xD

I hope you liked it anyway! I tried to make it somewhat interesting.

ALSO, I made a somewhat discreet pun towards the end. Tell me what you think it is! ;)

Please Review!!!!

love mrtysh