A Mother for Christmas

Entry for SmashKing24's Christmas challenge.

"What a great idea, Olimar. Getting the kids to write to Santa was a cute idea."

The tiny space explorer nodded and looked up at who was speaking. "My own son and daughter would do this all the time at home. It always brought a smile to my wife and I's faces when we read their letters. This year, I didn't want it to be different. Thank you for helping me out, Princess Zelda."

"Oh it's no problem at all," Zelda chirped.

The Hylian princess and the space explorer were currently looking over some papers, each of them in a different hand. A few days earlier, Olimar had announced that it was December and that the kids should be thinking about letters to Santa Claus. Nana, Popo, Toon Link, Ness and Lucas had each complied and Zelda was curious to see what each of the kids (particularly, her little 'brother') had written. So she joined Olimar in reading the letters to Santa.

"Listen to this. I've been a good girl all year. Can I get a new brother? Nana!" Zelda giggled.

"All I want for Christmas this year is for Peach to realize my true feelings for her so I can finally become Mushroom King...huh?" Olimar squinted at the letter. "This wasn't written by one of the kids."

"Here, let me see," Zelda said. Olimar handed her the letter and she read it and snorted. "That Bowser...always a kid at heart..."

"Heh," Olimar chuckled. "There's way more than five letters here, Zelda. Looks like some of the teenagers and adults got into the spirit as well."

Zelda's smile turned upside down into a frown. "Should we really be reading them, then, Olimar? Some of them may be too personal."

"It was in the pile, Princess. And I'm sure these older folk know that Santa's only imaginary. I'm willing to bet an onion or two that they decided to write to help make it more fun for the kids," Olimar replied. He picked up another one and read over it. "Santa, please, just this once...could you get Samus and me under the mistletoe? I want to prove I'm a solid enough man for her heart. Solid? Sounds like Snake."

"I always knew he liked her..." Zelda commented. She read another one. "Dude in red and white, I'm only asking for one thing this year. Get me a restraining order on Amy! That HAS to be Sonic..." she suddenly laughed. "Now I remember. He tells Red, Pit and myself about her all the time. Mostly complaining..."

"Ah, youth," Olimar said. He licked his lips and grimaced. "I'm rather thirsty, so I'm going to help myself to some hot chocolate in the kitchen before it's all gone. Would you like any, Zelda?"

"Yes, please," Zelda said. Olimar smiled and left the den. Zelda noticed another letter - one that looked carefully written, almost painstakingly - that she hadn't looked at yet. Curiously, she picked it up and began to read.

"Dear Santa..." she whispered. "It's been almost two years since my brother and my mom died and I never stopped missing them. My dad and I are all by ourselves now and it's even worse because I'm here and not at home in the Nowhere Islands. Everyone here is nice and they all act like they really like me, but...it doesn't feel like a family.

"Ness is a great friend, someone who reminds me a lot of Claus in a way. I want to ask him if we could be brothers but I was worried that he thought it would be too weird. Nana, Popo and Toon Link are always hanging around us as well and they're all really good friends. The truth is...I'm kind of getting a crush on Nana. She's so nice, strong, sweet, even a bit pretty. Even if I can't tell her how I feel, I'm glad to just be around her."

At this point in the letter, Zelda wondered if she should stop. This letter was going beyond personal, but she was too curious to just put it down.

"Everyone's really friendly. I guess that's why they call this sort of thing a 'circle of friends.' I still wish it was more like a family...which reminds me. I know what I want to ask for. I know Dad loved Mom so much that it reaches her beyond the grave and he'll never get married again, but Santa...can you get me a mother for Christmas? She doesn't have to marry Dad or anything. She just has to be nice and caring, like any mom. She has to hug me and make me feel better when I'm sad and make good omlettes and put a band aid on my scrapes and tuck me in at night. You know...all those things that moms do.

"Well that's everything, Santa. I better go. Me, Toon Link, Ness, Popo and Nana are going sledding and then Peach is going to make some Christmas cookies. I hope she leaves enough for you on Christmas Eve.

Yours Truly, Lucas."

Zelda sat in silence after reading Lucas's letter. She, much like everyone else in the house, didn't know much about Lucas or his past, so this came as a huge shock to her. She had no idea Lucas was suffering in silence from wanting his family back. Now all he wanted for Christmas was a mother.

Zelda knew that she, Peach and Ike were in charge of Christmas shopping. She was hoping these letters would give her an idea of what to look for when they went to the mall. How they were going to find a restraining order for Sonic and a way for Peach to realize Bowser's feelings were honest was already tough enough. Zelda figured new running shoes would be enough for Sonic and a decent cologne ladies found irresistible would satisfy the Koopa King.

"I'm back, Zelda." Olimar walked back in with two mugs of steamy hot chocolate. The princess accepted hers gratefully and took a much needed sip. "Whose letter is that?"

Without a word, Zelda handed the letter to Olimar for him to read himself. She drank her hot chocolate slowly and watched Olimar's eyes pour over every word on the page. His expression went from puzzled to stunned and finally to a look of sadness.

"So that's why the poor boy is always quiet...he's had such a terrible past."

"Olimar, you're one of the oldest Smashers here...I don't think a simple toy or a video game will make him happy this Christmas. What he's asking for is something you can't buy at a store. What do you think can be done?" Zelda asked.

"Unfortunately, I'm stumped. I've never seen a situation like this at all in my life. I know how to give a person a material gift, but the only people I know how to give a family to are my own family," Olimar replied unhappily.

"If only someone would be willing to pretend for Lucas's sake..." Zelda mused. "Even if it's only for Christmas, if someone could be willing to be a motherly figure to Lucas, I'm sure it would make him so happy."

And then Zelda got an idea.

A very clever and good idea.

The princess of Hyrule got a wonderful, clever and good idea.

"Olimar, I think I know what to do!"

&-&-&-&

"So let me see if I can get this straight..." Pit scratched his head. "You want us to pretend to be a family on Christmas? To treat everyone, even our worst enemies, with good spirits and better intentions?"

"That's right," Zelda said.

"One word, Zellie...WHY?!" Red almost yelled. "I can't even look at Ganondorf or Falco without wanting to command Charizard to toast them both! And you want me to be NICE to them?!"

"Same goes for me and everyone who hates me just because I'm fast," Sonic grumbled. "Especially Captain Featherbrain."

"If I HAVE to be nice to Wario and Marth, Zelda, I'd have to be high, drunk, half asleep and get a name change the next day," Pit added.

Zelda glared at all three of them. Some 'Gruesome Foursome' they turned out to be. Zelda, Pit, Red and Sonic were all best friends and always hanging out together in their free time. They understood one another, even though they all came from different worlds. Or so Zelda thought...

"Shut up! Don't you guys get it?" Zelda's patience finally ran out. "Don't ANY of you celebrate Christmas back at home?"

Pit shook his head no but both Sonic and Red nodded.

"Christmas is a time of year when enemies become family and we put aside hard feelings to be happy for once. We are in a tournament, but that doesn't stop us from being friends. You don't hate me because I had defeated you in our last match, do you, Red?" Zelda asked, looking at the trainer.

Red paused and shook his head.

"You don't hate me because I washed your shoes and shrank them by accident that kept you out of one match, do you, Sonic?" Zelda focused her attention on the blue hedgehog. Sonic also shook his head.

"You don't hate me because I had taken your bow instead of mine for one of my matches and I broke the string, do you, Pit?" Now she was looking at the angel guard from Heaven. Pit shook his head.

"But Zelda, it's different. You're our friend. They aren't," he said.

"What's stopping you, Pit? You too, Red and Sonic," Zelda added. They just stared at her, no words coming out of their mouth. Red's forehead was scrunched up in thought, Sonic twiddled his fingers and Pit scratched his head again. Zelda sighed and decided to explain her real motivations. She took Lucas's letter out from her pocket and read it to them, watching their expressions change like Olimar's had.

"Now do you see? I'm trying to make his Christmas wish come true by giving him a temporary family. Even if it's only for a day, I'm sure it will make him VERY happy," Zelda used a lot of emphasis for effect. "Come on...you three are my best friends. I need your help with this!"

Sonic, already a guy all for justice at heart in the first place, was the first to agree. Red nodded as well.

"He's a good kid. Saved our butts majorly back when the Subspace almost took over. If it's for him, I guess I can handle it."

Pit, being the most stubborn of the four, wasn't budging and Zelda suspected it would take a lot for him to change his mind. Zelda put on her sugary sweet face and pouted at the angel. "Please, Pit? Just for one day? Pleeeeeeease?"

"Alright alright!" Pit yelled out, more annoyed than agreeable. Zelda squealed and hugged all three of them.

"This will make an excellent Christmas! Thanks boys!"

"It had better be worth it," all three of them responded at once.

&-&-&-&

Christmas morning had rolled in and the bottom of the tree was stuffed with presents all around. The stereo was blasting with a Christmas CD and everyone was slowly waking up to the music and the scent of pancakes, coffee and hot chocolate. Peach and Zelda were already in the kitchen, mixing the batter and singing "Must Be Santa" from the CD.

"IT'S CHRISTMAS!!" a loud yell came from upstairs.

"SHADDUP AND LEMME SLEEP!"

"No way! Get up, Sonic!"

Zelda laughed and looked at Peach. "I THINK that Red and Sonic are awake..."

"What was your first clue?" Peach retorted with a grin.

"Couldn't have been the yelling."

"Morning, ladies. Is that pancakes I smell?" a voice came from behind them. The princesses turned around and saw Ike walk into the kitchen. He grabbed a mug and poured himself a cup of coffee.

"Hey, how about some morning sugar before the strong stuff?" Peach asked sweetly. Ike smirked and gave Peach a long kiss. Zelda pulled the mistletoe out and stuck it on their heads.

"Is that necessary?" Ike asked.

"Of course it is!" Zelda replied. "It's Christmas!"

"Ignore it, Ike," Peach smiled. "Pancakes are ready."

"Pancakes?" another male voice entered the kitchen. This time it was Luigi who came in with Snake following him. The mercenary saw the mistletoe and immediately got an idea.

"Hey, Peach, Ike? Can I borrow that thing?" he asked. Ike shrugged and tossed the small flower to Snake. "Thanks."

"What do you want it for?" Ike asked.

"That's a secret." Snake left the kitchen. Ike and Peach looked at each other questioningly but Zelda hid a smile, remembering his letter to Santa.

As the scent of pancakes got stronger, more people came downstairs. When the youngest smashers hit the last step, they immediately cheered at the sight of the presents under the tree. Master Hand floated in sleepily, followed by Crazy Hand. The older hand sibling grabbed his morning joe (in a mug that said I'd rather be playing 8-bit) and said, "Might as well get to the presents. They're not going to settle down until they see what's under the wrapping."

"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!"

"Ah shaddup," Ganondorf muttered. Toon Link threw some syrup on the evil king and ran to the living room with Ness, Nana and Popo. Lucas followed a bit more slowly. The older smashers went to the tree as well and Master Hand asked Link and Marth to pass presents around to everyone. Marth found some presents for the ice climbers and Ness and Link gave Toon Link a Wii game-shaped present. He reached for a much smaller box that had Lucas's name on it, but Zelda saw this and stopped him.

"Link, do me a favour and save that one for last," she whispered. Link raised an eyebrow and Zelda added, "Please, just trust me on this one. Save that one for last."

"Any reason?" Link asked.

"It would spoil the surprise if I told you," was Zelda's answer. Link grabbed another one with Lucas's name on it and handed it to him.

"Sorry to keep you waiting, little buddy."

"I-It's okay," Lucas said.

"Alright, ready? LET'S-A GO!" Mario yelled. The kids tore right into their presents and a chorus of whoops and cheers erupted.

"Woohoo, Pokemon Platinum!!" Popo yelled.

"Yaaaaaaaaaaay, I got the newest Harry Potter!" Nana cheered.

"Sweet, Rabbids Go Home!! Boot up the Wii, Popo!" Toon Link yelled.

"Hold your horses, Toonie," Zelda laughed. She watched Lucas open his present and smiled when his eyes lit up at the new DS game: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

More presents were passed around. Bowser grinned at his new fancy cologne and dabbed a bit on him right away. Peach was thrilled about her beautiful new white dress with gold trim on it. Red grinned happily at his new mp3 player (his previous one got busted when Samus did laundry and he forgot to check his pockets before throwing his jeans in). Pit was whooping over his new collection of CDs that included all his favourite bands (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold, Rush, just to name a few...). Sonic rolled his eyes when he pulled out a new pair of shoes until he saw a note attached to it. It read, For fast getaway purposes, release the smoke from the heels to blind your pursuers!

"THIS will help me get rid of Amy," he said.

Zelda's present list was modest, but her three best friends each pitched in for her. Red had caught her a Growlithe from Kanto (he always knew dogs were her favourite) and both Pit and Sonic got her a book on archery. The princess couldn't have been happier with her presents, especially when her new friend licked her face and barked.

"What are you going to call him?" Pit asked.

"Sirius, after the big dog star," Zelda replied, hugging her Growlithe.

Eventually the present pile started to go down and the wrapping paper mess began to build up. Fox and Falco got a garbage bag and started throwing away all the trash that towered over the younger smasher's heads.

"Aw, there's no more presents!" Popo called.

"I didn't even get my new brother..." Nana pouted. Popo looked at her in alarm and Nana glared at him. "I haven't forgot what you did to my hammer, you limey!"

"That was an accident!"

"Ahem...not all presents are opened. And some just can't be opened," Snake said. He cleared his throat again and said, "Samus, could you come over here for a sec?"

"This isn't another attempt to be a stud, is it, David?" the huntress asked, getting up from where she sat and walking over to the mercenary.

"Nah. This is real," Snake said. He glanced up, nodded to himself and then took Samus right into his arms, pressing his lips to hers. A chorus of "Eeeeeewwwwww!!" echoed from the kids right at that moment and Peach squealed silently.

"Well it's about time he did something," Link said. Captain Falcon snorted. Ike shook his head and glanced down.

"Hey, there's still a present left...it's for Lucas."

(Right at this moment, Zelda chose to put her Growlithe back in his pokeball and slip away.)

"Really?" Lucas asked. He eyed his pile of presents, which already contained a lot of video games and other various things he had wanted. What was left for him?

"Here. Open it," Link said, handing the blond boy the last tiny box. Lucas took his time pulling off the gold ribbon and taking off the paper. Underneath the paper was a small white box. He pulled off the lid and saw...

...a folded piece of paper.

"Ha! What kind of present is that?" Ganondorf laughed. Bowser, Wolf, Wario and King DeDeDe joined in. Lucas felt his lower lip tremble and he knew he was going to cry.

"Hey, shut up!" Pit snapped. "Lucas, open it. See what it says."

Lucas nodded and unfolded the paper. In an elegant hand, the paper read, "Lucas, I'm sorry that I couldn't get you a mother this year. But I did find someone who would be a substitute. If you go up to your room, you'll find a mother there. She's promised that she will do her best to be your mother and make you happy when you aren't. Sincerely, Santa."

Lucas's eyes widened. "So Santa really did read..."

"What?" Ness asked.

Lucas didn't answer him. He stuffed the paper in his pocket and ran upstairs. Ness glanced at Popo, Toon Link and Nana and just shrugged. "Hey, he left his presents here!"

"Leave them," Olimar instructed. "Come on, young'uns, it's breakfast time." He ushered the kids and the small smashers to the dining room. The other smashers followed suit, but Link was left wondering one thing...

"What was that all about? And where did Zelda go?"

&-&-&-&

Lucas shared a room with Ness up on the third floor of the house. His side of the room was usually neat and clean, so his mother substitute might be proud of him for keeping up with his chore of tidiness. Hinawa always was proud of him when he remembered to put his toys away without being told.

How did Santa manage to find a substitute mother for him? Even Lucas thought the whole idea was crazy and unrealistic. You can't just make a mother in a toy factory or using magic. Maybe Santa has a different kind of magic?

Lucas reached his shared room and took a deep breath. "Okay...don't be scared...my wish came true...right?" He shakily put his hand on the doorknob and turned it.

"Hello, Lucas."

"Ah?" Lucas looked inside. True to the promise on the note, someone was sitting on his side of the room. He opened the door wider and took a closer look.

"Come on inside. It's your room, right? Don't be nervous."

"O-Okay..." Now Lucas was walking into his room. The dim light and the drawn curtains made it hard to see who it was, which made him nervous anyway. "Are you my substitute mother?"

"Yes, I am. Santa wanted me to tell you that making you a real mother was something he just couldn't do, so he asked if I could look after you like a mother would." Whose voice was that? He had heard it before...

The figure opened her arms up and Lucas went right in. He hugged his new mother tightly and felt secure when her arms wrapped around him and started to stroke his hair. It was comforting and warm...a feeling he hadn't had since his real mother died.

His wish really had come true.

The little boy shifted himself so he could look up at the face of his new mother. She reached back and pulled the curtains aside, allowing the light to hit her face. Lucas's eyes widened.

"Zelda? You're my substitute mother?"

Zelda nodded and smiled. "Is that alright?"

"Um...it doesn't feel weird to you? I mean...y-you're seventeen..."

"That doesn't matter. It doesn't bother me in the least," Zelda said softly. "Does it bother you, Lucas?"

Lucas thought about this and shook his head. "You're so nice and I know you're a caring person." He happily settled in Zelda's arms again. "I feel so warm now."

Zelda smiled. Seeing this side of Lucas - a less timid and more open side - was the best present she could ask for. She allowed him to hug her for a little while longer and said, "How about we get some breakfast?"

"Any omlettes?" Lucas asked.

"Not today. Today we have pancakes shaped like snowmen and Santa. But I'll make you an omlette tomorrow. How's that sound?"

Lucas perked up. "Good!" With a grin, he leapt out of Zelda's arms and went for the door. Zelda quickly followed and they went back downstairs together. Loud chatter came up from the dining room and, to both Lucas and Zelda's surprise, everyone looked like they were in good spirits. Even enemies were chatting with the people they usually showed a strong disliking for. Zelda noted that Falcon and Sonic's bitter relationship appeared to soften to rivals and watched them discuss different speeds of cars and athletes. Lucas was shocked to see Marth and Pit comparing kingdoms without any arguments. For once, the smashers really appeared to be what they should have been all along: a family.

Lucas got himself some pancakes and took a seat next to Nana. The young girl smiled at him and made his heart flutter.

"Merry Christmas, Lucas!"

"Yeah, merry Christmas, Nana!" Lucas replied.

"I wasn't able to get anything for you...so I hope this will do." Nana reached over and gave a hug to Lucas. His eyes widened and he blushed.

This was definitely the best Christmas ever.

&-&-&-&

Blaaaaaaaaaaarg, cheesy ending. I know.

For a long time now I've played with the idea of Lucas and Zelda having a unique bond. Zelda just seems like the maternal type and Lucas is starved for a mother. Plus they're two of my favourite characters (and Zellie is my top favourite Nintendo princess), so this was immensely fun to write. Thank you so much, SmashKing24, for letting me join in at the last minute! As soon as I had seen this contest, I knew exactly what idea I had wanted to use.

I took a look at the other entries, so I know that a few of them also involve another character gaining a family out of the smashers. I would like to say this right now: I'm not taking that idea and just using a different character. Like I mentioned earlier, I've had this idea in my head for a very long time, but I never knew how to make it work, until now.

Reviews are adored, criticism is welcome, flames are ignored.

-Moonlit Assassin

PS: Not to toot my own horn, but today is also my birthday. (: