Hello there. MoD with his first Fanfic, which I hope will be accepted into PitFTW's contest. I know that I am late, but I literally found about this on the 1st and finished this now.

I always liked how different, yet the same, Peach/Falco were, and I hated how little spotlight they got. So yeah

So if this would be accepted, thank you.

Mission Statement for a Fanficcer: I own nothing, regret nothing. I let them forget nothing.

The female officer lifted the Yellow Tape up and ducked under. The first thing to catch her eye was a man, running as if his life depended on it. She considered pursuit but realized the futility behind it. The man was already 5 blocks away and she knew even if Godspeed was on her side, she'd never catch the man at this rate. And even if she could, she had bigger fish to fry. She took note of the direction the man bolted out of the area from, to repeat later.

Before she continued, she took a look up to the sky. Sometimes, she thought, God was hard to see past all these buildings. She stared up as far as she could, and it seemed that the sky was much more distant here than it was anywhere else. The buildings stretched up hundreds, thousands of feet, and there was nary a break between them.

She approached a younger man lying in the street. He wore a red and black cap and clothes of the same nature. He was not dead, thank god, but he certainly wasn't going to be able to get up and walk away. Blood lined his clothes, the deep crimson a sort of mix between the tomato red and charcoal black of his shirt. His arm sort of dangled off to the side as if it needed to be attached better, which was very likely, and his legs were bent at an angle that even a contortionist would shudder at. His face read a subtle expression of pain, but more evident was the outright shock lining his eyes and gaping mouth.

As if to prove her point, the man lifted his head up and asked "What the hell just happened?" He looked over, saw his arm and uttered "Jesus," Looking farther down he saw his grotesque leg and retched, but controlled his stomach.

"You were mugged," the female officer said outright. "I vaguely saw him in the distance, but he was too far to catch. I'm going to head out after him and you, my friend, are heading to the hospital."

"No freaking kidding," the boy said, but his voice was laden with a melancholy wonder rather than a snide sarcasm. "So my wallet is gone, right?"

The officer nodded.

"Shit," he blurted.

The officer nodded. "One of those days." She noticed a small crowd, particularly downcast, and nodded subtly. "My partner should be here any moment, so we can get to work on retrieving your stuff."

The boy managed a small nod. "Red James. What's your name, ma'am?"

The female nodded, raising an eyebrow but continuing. "Peach Davidson."

It was Red's turn to raise an eyebrow. "Interesting name for a police officer."

"Well, I am an interesting person." she replied matter-of-factly. She did have to agree though. She definitely didn't have a typical police officer name, and she sure as hell didn't look like it. Aside from her uniform, she looked like she should be owning a cake bakery, not battling criminals. Her long, wavy golden hair reached her shoulders, styled well yet subtly so. Her eyes were a hue of gemstone blue, shining innocently and wondrously. Her face had slight, beautiful touches to them, from her regal lips to her nose, which seemed lost somewhere between slim and button. Her voice was very high-pitched and almost squeaky, but her demeanor allowed it to portray her force of authority and strength. As a final feminine touch, she wore pearl earrings. What could she say? She was a very feminine person. She just happened to be a police officer. Funny how life turns out.

After her quickly speeding train of thought, she heard a car door slam, and instantly she knew her partner had arrived. His rough, raucous voice shouted out "Okay, Peach, what the hell do we got here?"

Peach nodded, a very habitual trait, and said "Hello, Falco. We got a mugging. Victim's name is Red James. Lost his wallet. Unknown how much we got in there, but that's not the real issue."

Falco Lombardi nodded. "I should say not. Kid looks really damn tore up. A fucking miracle he survived."

Peach knotted her brow in frustration. Leave it to Falco to throw manners to the wind followed by a middle finger. "You trying to scare the damn guy?"

Falco rolled his eyes. "What, it's true."

Peach growled internally. "Christ. Anyway, ambulance on the way, he'll take this kid to the ER and we'll get back to him later. Suspect fled north on Dockside way, towards the Wharf. We'll head after him next."

Falco gave her a thumbs up and a devious grin. Peach couldn't help but notice with a silent chuckle how out of touch he was with the rest of the crowd, which he was speaking to now.

Wait. Oh, dear lord.

"For Christ's sake! Stop looking so upset, you guys! What is this, the fucking Emo convention? What, should I bring my copy of Twilight and shriek over some shirtless man-bitch while we're at it?" He ranted, almost incoherent and off-kilter in his tangent. "You know what, why the hell are you guys all standing here anyways? Give the goddamn kid some space!" The crowd looked at Falco, bewildered, and then awkwardly dispersed. Peach took this moment to slam her head into her First Aid Kit, taking a break from cleaning up the blood from Red's chest.

Falco walked over, another devious grin on his face as he said "Crowd's cleared. Got some peace and frigging quiet," ironically loud, echoing off the suddenly lifeless area. Peach gave him a drop-dead glare and watched the ambulance come in, sirens blazing.

"Alrighty, kid." Peach said to Red. "Good luck, and heal fast, you hear? We'll be back in a little while to talk a bit more if necessary."

Red nodded, and then shifted his gaze to Falco. "Mad character over there, right?"

Peach nodded, but felt slightly offended by his comment, even though it seemed like a harmless breaking of tension. "He's a really good guy once you get him talking."

Red chuckled. "He sure does enough of that on his own," he said, but apologized when he saw Peach's cold glare that she was unable to hide.

"No, my apologies." she said.

Red chuckled awkwardly.

Peach did the same.

"Well, uh..."

"Yeah, catch you later." she said as the EMTs loaded him in the ambulance.

Peach turned her attention to Falco with a look that communicated "The hell was that?" clearer than words could ever do.

"What?" he replied with his trademark devious grin. Peach eased into a smile. She had to admit, that grin was pretty hard to resist. It clearly revealed Falco's unrelenting and unmannered demeanor, but as odd as it sounded, she sensed a hint of innocence when she saw it, a kindness, an "I'm only having fun," feeling. She walked to the passenger side of the car and prompted Falco to do the same.

It was silent for the first couple of minutes as they scanned the area for the mystery attacker. Falco kept his eyes on the road, pausing once to put his hand through his feathers, exhausted. When he glanced in the mirror he saw his steady, hardened face and the top of his fit, but not very muscular chest. He certainly looked like what he was; a 29 year old police officer and damn proud of it.

Peach broke the silence with "Alright, seriously, what in God's name was that?"

Falco grinned, not devious but a humored grin. "What? If I got my ass knocked into the street, I sure as hell wouldn't have wanted an audience, damn sure of it."

Peach sighed, less anger than frustration. "Well, you certainly made yourself look like a jackass, that's for certain."

"Hah, you act like I give two shits what they think."

"Yeahno. I just don't wanna be carting around a total incompetent dipstick."

A short wounded look flashed across Falco's face, although he'd never admit it. He convinced himself that he didn't give two shits, remember? Yeah...no, He thought to himself.

"...Sorry. That was a low blow." Peach said apologetically.

Falco shrugged it off.

Another 5 seconds of silenced breezed through until Peach added, "Besides, I rather like Twilight."

Falco laughed loudly and said "Get the hell outta my car."

"As if." she laughed back.

"No, seriously," he said, obviously not serious. "Out! C'mon! There's a bus stop up ahead!"

"You're not even stopping," she grinned.

"Don't give a damn," he chuckled. "I dont cart around preteen fangirls in this cruiser," he added as he tapped the dashboard of their Crown Victoria.

"Hey!" she said in protest, still laughing. "I like them. I don't obsess over them! Not my thing, at all!"

Falco ended the conversation by laughing "Sure." He then turned to his stereo and pressed play. Peach groaned as Kanye West started to play. Everyone calls it a work of art, but it sounds like an attempt for a world record of the most obscenity-laden Album of all time.she complained to herself, immediately reprimanding herself for being overly saintly as she eased into the music. Still, she couldn't help but flinch when the chorus came through.

Gossip, gossip, nigga just stop it. Everyone knows I'm a motherfuckin' monster.

Falco turned to her. "Too much dirt for you, sugar?" he wisecracked.

"No!" she automatically defended herself, which as everyone knows always gives you away.

Falco grinned and turned to the road. "Haha. But when all is said and done, I kinda get the message in the song."

Message? she thought. "Message?" she blurted out.

"Yeah, sure there is." Falco stated. "I mean, no one starts out a monster. It happens, and most of it here in what I like to call reality, it's very much caused by others. Y'know, when you get so much pressure to be what everyone says, it either conforms you or you just say 'Fuck it, I'm a monster. Deal with it, bitch."

Peach was surprised to find some meaning behind Falco's coarse words. "Ah," she replied.

Falco nodded and finished with "Long story short, when people turn you into a monster, you fight your demons and then you become who you want to be."

Peach was impressed every time Falco's random tangents gave way to his thoughtful philosophy. She smiled and made a sudden grasp for his free hand. Falco just smiled and pulled over. "Well, I think this would be a good area to search. Sound about right?"

Peach nodded. "In fact, I think I see him by the docks. Let's go."

"Alrighty!" Falco grinned, leaping out of the car. "I rush up to him and knock him out and you-"

"No! Hell no!" Peach stopped him cold in his tracks. "That's Suicide 101. We approach him casually first. Don't scare the wits out of him."

Falco nodded. "Alrighty. But if he makes a move, I'm going all out, guns blazing."

Peach nodded. "Deal."

The two casually started to walk up to the man on the docks. He wore a scarf over his face and was decked head to toe in a sort of gray jumpsuit with some odd symbols on it.

Peach found herself looking up again, smiling when she saw that the sky was much more visible here. The wharf was the only escape from the overcast shadows that almost brought nighttime during the day. It got a bit dreary.

Peach led the way casually, approaching him. She started with "Hello, sir, can we have a word with-" before the man punched her in the nose and started to run off, at a breakneck speed.

"Jesus!" Peach breathed, falling to the ground. Tears started to form over her lashes as she said "Falco! Blaze those guns!"

Just the corny action line he needed. With a confident smirk, he started to dash after the attacker as he ducked behind a warehouse. Falco leapt over to another nearby deck, clearing the 15 foot gap with ease.

Peach wasn't surprised as she watched Falco leap the chasm with a weary smile. She always knew that even when his people skills were at his worst, Falco Lombardi was definitely an Action Badass.

Said action badass continued to chase the assailant through a warehouse, empty yet not abandoned, when he saw him disappear into a maze of shipment. "Son of a bitch," he muttered before he followed. Damn maze looked so intimidating that he would be lucky to get out alive. What a sucky death it'd be, Death by Maze.

He first took a right. After all, it was called right; therefore it must be right. Right? Wrong. Lead into a damn dead end. Irony. My middle finger greets you.

He backtracked, sped to the left and wound around some crates until he found his scarved amigo. He took out his gun and started firing some shots. Not to kill, just to get him to fall on his face long enough to bag and book the guy. Although he'd enjoy blasting a bullet through the bastard's head; the damn guy broke his partner's nose. No one ever fucks with his Peach.

His Peach? The hell was that all about, Falco? he thought to himself. But hey, he had a manner of business to attend to.

Like bagging a bastard. The assailant dodged all the shots with expert precision. Holy shiiiit, this guy's gonna be hard to catch.

As further confirmation of this fact, his target leapt onto a jetboat and started to speed off. "Oh no you don't!" he growled as it started to depart. A split second later, he took a running start and leapt onto the boat, landing with a punch to the guy's face. To hell with guns, it's all down to a full-out brawl.

The man knocked Falco off of him, almost off of the boat. Falco leapt up and performed a kick to the man's neck. Scarved Man replied by lowering his arms and tripping Falco to his knees. While he was down and defenseless, Scarved Man landed a kick to the stomach, and the force of his foot knocked Falco up to his feet unsteadily. Pissed as all hell, he spit on Scarved Man, a mixture of blood and saliva, right into his eyes, the only open spot in his scarf. He heard an unintelligible growl as Scarved Man stumbled back into the steering wheel. Before he could tip the boat over, however, Falco lifted him up and threw him into the water, watching him flail.

Falco couldn't help but take this time to yell out a victorious fist pump and "Fuck, man, I'm on a boat motherfucka!" Oh yeah. He had been saving that one. He stopped his ego parade long enough to see Scarved Man swimming like hell back to the wharf and running off. Seconds later, he had disappeared.

Damn it. The hell was he thinking? He sped the boat back to the wharf and ran up and around the warehouse, defeated. He made his way to Peach, who was unsteadily sitting on one of the flat stakes in the wharf fence. His face was a intentional sign of defeat and self-loathing.

Peach frowned. "Didn't get him?"

Falco growled. "Nope. I pulled a dumbass move, and he got away."


"You're telling me. God, I feel like an idiot."

"Get over yourself," Peach snapped; although comfort was her intent, she ended up sounding rather bitchy. Damn it.

"You're right, you're right." he said. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, fine."

"Are you sure? That freaked me out." Falco frowned, his face a mask of worry and offense, offense not aimed at her.

"Dude, I'm fine. I'm fine. A bloody nose. I'll just bandage it up. I should be asking you the same. You're hocking up blood loogies."

Falco grinned his devious grin. "Yeah, I'll get over it. But we have some regrouping to do. And I could go for a cup of coffee. You?"

Peach grinned. His idea of a cup of coffee was a Breakfast for Lunch platter. "Sounds good. I could use a little boost."

Falco smiled, grabbing Peach's arm as they walked back to the cruiser with a slight haphazardness that only a beat-up pair could sport.

"Yes, Sammy," Peach spoke through her phone to a fellow worker. "The suspect did get away after attacking both of us... no, I'm fine... yeah, he's fine, too... heh, you're right, that's Falco. Don't know how he does it... yeah, so we could use some backup... Falco said this guy had some freaky moves...yeah. Meet us up at Kirby's Cafe... alright, thank you, Sam. Buh-bye."

She hung up her phone and set it gently down by her plate and glanced at Falco, who was just finishing guzzling down the last of his coffee. She grinned as she looked down at her plate, a breakfast platter, and over at Falco's single cup of coffee. Funny how things work out, she reminded herself.

Falco set his cup of coffee down, jarring Peach out of her thoughts and causing her to jump into an upright position. Falco grinned, this time more sheepish than fun-devious. "Sorry 'bout that."

Peach shook her head. "Nah, it's alright."

Falco laughed, but mid-laugh, he started coughing into his napkin. Not just coughing, but hacking up a lung. About 30 seconds later, he stopped, took a breath, and looked at his napkin, now dotted with blood. He frowned, crumpled it up, and took a glance at the trash bin. He moved his hand, did a quick second of measuring, and then tossed the dirty napkin overhand into the trash can. It flew through the air in a straight downward line. It nearly hit a young girl in the face, but it landed in the can nicely. Falco smiled and sighed in relief.

Peach looked over at him. He still had a bit of dried blood on his face but he didn't seem to care. "Man... I'm really sorry about what happened to you." she told him.

Falco smiled. "Naw, don't worry. This isn't that bad. I'm a cop, this happens to me a lot, y'know?"

"But still, I was right there," Peach's words started to stumble out her mouth before she could stop them. "I should have at least tried to do something instead of just sit there, I mean, I know I'm not as agile and strong and stuff as you are, but you're my partner, and I should always have your back, and-"

"Hold it, hold it, hold it!" Falco put his hands up in the air. "You're too damn hard on yourself. I mean, I'm alright, you're alright, and we're gonna get this guy. Seriously. You don't need to worry about me. Just like you don't want me to worry about you."

A few seconds passed before Falco blurted out "Besides, I'm supposed to be this kind of guy. I mean, people pretty much see me and they run. Considering that half the time I looked mad as hell, I just, you know, kind of fit the guy who chases people down and stuff. You know, people see me and they feel intimidated, like... that fast."

As soon as he finished, Falco had to wonder to himself what the hell he had just said. It was as if he just pulled out a few random nagging thoughts and just...barfed them out.

Peach finished her last piece of egg and said "Well, that's cause they don't have a damned clue. I mean, I'm just one person, but what I see is a man who doesn't take any bullshit. A man who looks for the truth and wields it. A man ready to kick ass, but only for the right reasons. A man whose mean exterior hides a mind so insightful and intelligent." She stopped for a second and added "Besides, I thought you didn't give a damn, right?"

"Hell, I thought that too." Falco sighed. "But... thanks. It's nice to hear that, even though I wasn't expecting it."

Peach smiled and finished the conversation with "It's only the truth."

Falco turned a slight shade of red. He tried to hold it back, hoping somehow he could change his current facial color back to normal just by willing it. Peach's way with words were about as good as his way with action. Maybe better. Yeah, probably better.

He turned to Peach, back with his devious grin and chuckled out "You know, I had the freakiest dream last night."

"Oh, really?" Peach smirked lightheartedly, resting her head on her hand. "Do amuse me."

Falco grinned and cracked his knuckles. "Alrighty, so there was this Stadium, right, and there were all these people there. And There were these two hands on the screen, and they told us to fight, so we did. I was there, you were there, Sammy was there, even Kirby from the cafe was there. And for some reason, you were in a dress. Then, we started fighting, all of us. I got knocked off this stage and then suddenly I was back up. Next thing I know, we're all in this mansion thingy, called the Smash Mansion. And we were all expected to live there, under the care of these giant disembodied gloves." the two of them started laughing through the rest of his tangent. "I seriously woke up that morning wondering if I smoked something and forgot about it. That was freaky shit!"

Peach just kept laughing. "Honestly, Falco, where the hell do you get these ideas!"

Falco laughed. "I have no clue! At all."

Peach smiled and looked towards the door as it opened. Her eyes swiftly narrowed in shock when she saw the Scarved Man walk through, with an air of nonchalant. She turned her head away and hissed "Scarved Man at 8 o'clock!"

"8 o'clock? The hell direction is that?"

"Behind you! To your right!"

Falco gently looked behind him and saw Scarved Man nodding and grabbing a cup of coffee. Right when he grabbed it, he swiftly threw it at the server's face, causing him to scream in agony and fall to the ground.

"Son of a bitch." Falco growled. Before he could say more, he was thrown to the ground, the chair pulled from underneath him. He sat there, stunned, as he saw Peach fall to the ground herself, also surprised, but not before she could pull off the scarf from his face.

Actually, her face.

"Son of a bitch's cousin." Falco was a bit surprised but figured in the long run it didn't matter, as he went to get his gun and leap up. He stopped in his tracks as the Scarved Woman pulled out a knife and held it to his throat before he could even realize what had happened.

"Twice removed." he added; even with a knife to his throat he was spouting out witticisms. He looked at Peach, who looked back at him with anxiety and surprise.

Falco looked at the Scarved Woman and roared"You better let us the fuck go right now, or I swear to god there will be hell to pay!"

Scarved Woman glared at him, insanity in her eyes and hissed "Shut the hell up. I have a knife to your throat, you better put your balls back in your shorts or I'll slice your words right out your jugular!"

Peach looked at the whole scenario. Scarved Woman was holding Falco at knife-point. But she wasn't taking any money out of the register, she didn't seem to be making a move on killing Falco. Why the hell was she here?

All Peach knew for certain was that Falco was not going to die on her watch.

"Alright, ma'am, I'm going to ask you to put the knife down." she started.

"And why the hell would I do that? You think I'm gonna buy the whole bullshit about 'you're not gonna go to jail if you put the knife down and just walk out?' Anyone who's seen an episode of Law and Order knows that that's not gonna happen." Scarved Woman replied, hate spewing from her words. But if Peach was correct, the hate didn't seem to be directed at them at all.

"I wasn't going to, ma'am." Peach replied, trying to keep her nerves steadily. "You're going to jail, one way or another. But are you really ready to go to jail for killing a cop? Are you really ready to face that?"

"I don't give a damn anymore!" Scarved Woman's voice grew into a shriek, blasting Falco's eardrums. "I've got not a damn thing on this Earth I care about, not a damn thing! I don't give a shit if I drag it all down to hell with me."

Peach looked at her eyes, and the pain that clouded out all the traces of hate and evil that she should have right about now. She saw, and she understood. "The whole Earth abandoned you, you say? I think I understand."

"Understand? How the hell do you understand?" was the response.

"I was a kid once too." Peach continued. "And as soon as my parents saw me, it seemed that they had me figured out. All throughout my early life, it seemed that I was always doing what they told me. And not just stuff that you should do that they tell you. It was like they always told me what I liked or should like, they had every day planned out start to finish, they told me what I was going to be when I grew up, who I was to be friends with, who I was to date, it was insane. It was like they were living out their youth again using me as their body. But I didn't really get a chance to have a youth. Everyone says that the rich kids get to have whatever they want. Ignorant people, very very ignorant.

"One day, I just, boom, I had it. That was it. I took all the stuff they made me like, all the clothes and colors they made me wear, and I walked into the living room. I told my parents 'I am not doing this anymore. I DON'T like this shirt, I HATE this Blue, I DON'T like Tiffany, I NEVER loved Jake, and I never ever wanted to be like this!' I took the pile of stuff, threw it in the fireplace, and walked out with only my purse and wallet.

"I don't wanna say that's exactly what happened to you, but I can tell. Just by looking at you. That you've been shut out by everyone in favor of what you ought to be. A monster is never made. People turn you into one. But when you face your demons and fight them off, then you become what you envisioned of yourself."

Falco gasped even with a knife to his throat. She actually used his words. And she actually said them better than he did. He felt a pang of pride.

Slowly, the Scarved Woman dropped the knife, fell to her knees and started sobbing. No words or explanation were needed. Falco got up, too stunned to do anything and not about to attack, as Peach handcuffed her gently.

"You're going to be heading to jail now, it seems. But take this as a chance. Use this to fight your demons and become your vision. And despite what Lawyers may spit at you on the stand and what people who hear of this may say of you, you are not going to be a monster anymore."

Right around there waas when Backup arrived. Falco rolled his eyes and said "About damn time. Always arrive after the fight, don't they?"

Peach nodded as she walked the Scarved Woman out to the cruisers and talked with their co-worker, Sammy Aaron, for a short time. Sammy nodded and gently led the Scarved Woman in the back of the cruiser.

Falco opened the door and let the cold wind let him sober up to what happened, let it wash over him and alert him out of this surreal daze. He looked over and found Peach sitting on the hood of their cruiser, looking up to the sky or what she could see of it.

Without looking over at him, she said "Her name was Shiek L'chaim. She was the one who mugged Red. Looks like she'll get a plea deal and we'll get Red his stuff back."

Falco nodded and sat next to her. He looked at her and said "That was amazing, what you did back in there. You really made me believe that that was what happened to you."

Peach's smile was dashed into a frown, and she looked away, as if she got an electric shock.

"What? Was it something I said?"

Peach said nothing as she got up and started to walk away.

"Wait, where are you going? No, wait! Don't go! Get back here!" he called out after her, but she didn't even look back. Farther and farther away she drew into the shadows, not reacting to Falco's desperate pleas.

Falco looked at her, and then buried his head in his hands. He slammed the hood of their car and said "At least tell me what I did wrong!"

Peach turned the block away and slumped against the wall. She looked down at the sidewalk and saw a puddle. She looked in the puddle on a whim, and she saw herself standing there. In her mind, she could only see who she was as a child. She stomped in the puddle out of frustration and started to cry.

To: Peach
From: Falco
Time: 9:17am
Peach. Meet me at the wharf docks ASAP. Thanks. Falco.

Falco sighed as he put his phone back in his jacket pocket and took a seat on the edge of the docks. He was wearing no officer's suit today. Today he was simply wearing a Jacket, shirt and a pair of old ragged jeans. He was ready to sit here all night if necessary.

The hell was wrong with him? What had he done? He hated that he had hurt Peach so badly. It was like he had taken Shiek's knife and stabbed himself with it, right in the heart.

Why on Earth did he have to open his big, fat, stupid-ass mouth? Why the hell couldn't he have just- shit! Goddamnit! He was so pissed at himself, he didn't even notice Peach walk up until she tapped him on the shoulder silently.

He looked behind him. She was wearing a nice green sweatshirt, and a long floral skirt. God, she looked amazing. The hell took him so long to figure it out? He was a bitter bastard with a sharp tongue, but he couldn't begin to measure how much he loved her.

And every time he told himself that, he cursed himself for being such a corny little sap. But he couldn't disguise the truth. He faced her and said "I'm sorry... it was all true. Everything you said?"

Peach started to cry, trying to hold it in like a leaky faucet. "Yes. It was...my parents..."

Falco blinked for a second and then continued with "I didn't know... I'm so sorry." He looked towards the ground and plucked out a feather, befuddled and hardly feeling the sharp prick the feather's removal left. "And... it affected you more than you cared for her to know, I can tell."

Peach nodded again. "Exactly. I didn't want her to have the burden of what I felt, especially with her heading to jail."

Falco frowned. He found it astonishing that she really meant all the things she had said to Sheik, especially since he would have just shot her the first chance he got; and actually did try. It just proved what he felt for her. Even those who seemed so mean and wicked had a place in her heart.

"Well, I'm right here. I'm not exactly the best at dealing with emotional trauma-"

"That's me." Peach interrupted with a small smile, which surely wouldn't hold up very long, so it was nice to coax that out of her.

"-yes, exactly. But I can try my damndest."

"Well..." Peach replied, "There wasn't really much more to it... even though they controlled me so much... they only wanted the best for me, and I knew that. I... always regretted what I did to them and how I dealt with things..." she paused a second to choke down a sob. Falco looked at her, clearly pained. He was seeing her falter for the first time, and he felt like there was nothing he could do. Goddamnit, he wasn't good with comfort, and it wasn't like he could go punch out Peach's parents for putting her through such turmoil. He felt helpless, in a way. I can't be helpless! he growled to himself. I'm trying to help her!

Peach choked out the most painful part. "And...it's been 7 years since we last spoke... I still haven't had the courage to face them. I mean... I never knew if I should or not. I mean, I was right... but I showed them in the most wrong way."

Falco didn't know how to respond to that. You'd never guess it, but he had gotten along rather well with his own family. All he could bring himself to do was squeeze Peach's hand between his winged digits as she started to sob and choke out her last words. "It makes me feel like a monster."

That Falco knew the response to. "No. No way, no how, no chance in hell. You are not a monster, let's get that straight."

Peach looked at him through a filmy screen of tears. The sun was starting to shine through the clouds, and the shadows started to disperse from the city. It was something that rarely happened. "What am I?" she asked.

"You're what I always envisioned myself to hope for."

Agh! he thought to himself as Peach gave him a quizzical smile, as if she hadn't quite understood. I totally fucked it up! Ah, well. Only one way he could make himself clearer.

He put a wing on Peach's face, smiled, and kissed her.

Just a soft kiss, that communicated everything he always meant to say. He let go, and he saw her smile. So good to have that back. She turned to him and said "I love you too."

Falco beamed, honest-to-god beamed, for the first time since... forever, as he brought Peach close to him in a sincere embrace.

Sometimes, actions speak louder than words.

A/N I procrastinate a lot, don't I!

This A/N has come three months after the story's conception. o.o For a first story, I got great feedback! I will say that this is not nearly up to the caliber of my new work. When Foxpilot/others come in to review this, I think I'll beat them to the punch.

Problem 1- While language can be expected in a story like this, I really jumped the gun. Especially with Falco. If you want to make him cuss, sure, but moderate it. Not like every third word being an F bomb.

Problem 2- Implausability. Like when Peach preaches the villain to death. That's just... no. Not gonna happen. And the dialogue isn't quite... believable. Like lines people would almost never say.

Problem 3- Unclear moral. Actions speak louder than words, action doesn't catch the villain but words do. And the last line was somewhat corny for my tastes.

But, hey, I'm not hating on myself. I think this story, for my first written work in 6 months back in March, was pretty good! Fleshed out characters, good humor, true emotions- I'm proud of it. Either way, I did do a big rewriting of this one, which then was set aside in favor of the eventual chapterfic- Words and Action: At a Loss. I may submit it post-contest just as a sixth-place bonus!

Either way, thanks for reading!