Around eleven, Mario finally pulled himself down the stairs into the kitchen and started pouring himself a bowl of cereal. When he put his bowl in the sink, he heard his parents walk in the front door.
"Good morning, sleepyhead! Did you find your Easter basket?" his dad asked, bending down to hug his son. "We're just about to start hiding the eggs for the hunt, go up and keep your brother busy. And remember, no peeking or the Easter Bunny won't come around anymore." He winked, and Mario flinched as he remembered what he'd said to Luigi earlier that morning. Oops.
"Yeah, sure, Papa." He ran up the stairs and knocked on Luigi's door before they could ask if something was wrong.
Luigi opened the door and promptly tried to close it again. Mario shot his hand out and held it open long enough to get in.
"Hey, bro, did you get anything good in your basket?" he asked softly. Luigi didn't answer. "The Easter Bunny's hiding the eggs. You know how we have to hide while he is."
"You said the Easter Bunny's not real," Luigi shot back.
"I was just..." Mario thought quick. "I was just tired. I didn't mean it, of course he's real. I'm sorry, Luigi." He sat on the edge of his brother's bed and rested his chin in his hand. Luigi put his headphones on and went back to the math homework he'd been working on. Mario sighed. This was going to be a long Easter.
Fifteen minutes - fifteen long, boring, painful minutes - later, their parents yelled that the coast was clear. The Easter Bunny had left. Mario tapped Luigi on the shoulder and the two brothers silently walked down to their backyard.
The grass was filled with colorful eggs of all different patterns. There were 60 - their mother always did 5 dozen, so they could keep track. They handed each of the boys a basket, counted ("Ready... go!") and off the two went, picking up every egg they passed with, more competitively and aggressively than their parents had ever seen. The adults glanced at each other, silently asking the other if they knew what was going on, and shook their heads.
"Sibling rivalry," their mother muttered, smiling. Her husband nodded. The boys continued unaware of their parents.
"I've got 34!" Mario called when they thought they were done.
"I've got 35!" Luigi called, excitedly. They did the math in their head.
"One more, boys!" their mom called, and the boys looked at each other with narrowed eyes. They scoured the lawn, to no avail. It was nowhere to be found - until Mario caught sight of something hidden high up in the trellis.
"Oh, no," he groaned. A pink and blue egg, hidden just high up enough that neither bro could reach it. He considered climbing, the the gaps were too small for his feet to fit. "Luigi! Let me climb on your shoulders to get the last egg!" Luigi stared at him incredulously, but stood in front of the trellis and allowed his brother to climb onto his shoulders. Mario grasped the egg carefully. The hunt was over!
"I got it!" he shouted, before losing his balance and toppling over - bringing Luigi to the ground with him. The egg tumbled out of his hands. As soon as they were up, both brothers pounced.
"It's my egg! I got it first! And you have more eggs than me!" Mario argued, trying to wrestle it out of Luigi's grasp.
"It's mine! I had to deal with your weight on my shoulders! You're heavy!" Luigi shouted. In their fight, they squeezed the egg a bit too hard - and it broke open.
"Yuck! It's not boiled!" The boys' mom bit her lip to hold in a chuckle.
"I don't think the Easter Bunny had time to boil his eggs this year. Sorry, boys!" she called. The boys sulked, wiping their eggy hands on each other, before looking down at the egg that got away.
"Huh," Mario muttered. Luigi looked at him.
"What is it, Mario?"
"It has two yolks. Hey, Luigi? I really am sorry about this morning. I didn't mean it." Luigi smiled and helped his brother up.
"It's okay, Mario," he replied, hugging his brother (and sneaking one of his eggs into his brother's basket).
An I've decided I like writing little holidays ficlets about the things I fangirl over. I kind of like this one, brotherly love between the Mario bros. is ridiculously adorable. It's also kind of fun to challenge myself to come up with something to write for the holiday, and to get it done by midnight. (SPOILER: I always do it last second. )