Like a Stranger

Obligatory Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters nor am I making any money off of them.
Author's Notes: Decided to give Super Smash Brothers Melee fanfiction a shot. Please tell me what you think of this. Obviously, this is going to be the first chapter…

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There was an eerie tranquility in the convenient breeze blowing about the Hyrulian temple---rather, what *used* to be a temple. Crumbled Doric-style colonnades and chunks of large edifices lay scattered throughout the area while the remaining ones stood proudly, as if time and erosion hadn't affected them at all. If Zelda didn't know any better, she'd say she was home and not standing in a holographic rendition of Hyrule.

Looks exactly like the real thing, she mused thoughtfully.

"Zelda, Zelda, Zelda. Always contemplating," an amused voice lingered some distance behind her, breaking the silence and startling her all at once.

The Princess of Hyrule turned about face quickly. She sighed with relief at the sight of the familiar face. Of course, how could she forget it? "Oh, Fox, you startled me," she said as she softly patted her hand against her sternum once.

Fox McCloud ran a gloved hand through the tawny fur along the back of his neck, chuckling. "Didn't mean to." He paused and took a moment to glance around the multi-leveled battle arena. "You're here early… Are you supposed to be on my team?"

"Afraid not…" Zelda tipped a blonde eyebrow. "Didn't you pay attention to the announcements this morning?"

"I was so caught up in breakfast that I didn't catch the announcement. Falco had to remind me that I had to fight today." Sheepishly, Fox scuffed his boots against the temple's ground and chuckled again.

Zelda found herself giggling along with him. In spite of the fact that Fox was her opponent for this particular match, the renard was one of the first and few participants of this Super Smash Brothers Tournament she had befriended. When she first spotted him during the opening ceremonies, she had thought he was a Keaton, a popular creature of Hyrule thought to be nothing but a myth. She had approached him almost instantly with childlike naivety. After Link had introduced her to Fox McCloud, Zelda learned that he was very easy to get along with and had acted like any denizen of Hyrule and was *not* a Keaton, contrary to her initial beliefs. He was a charismatic, easy-going, confident and friendly…fox.

It was a shame she had to be set against him for her first tournament match. But as Link told her, fighting a comrade was a part of the tournament---there was no way around it, at times. The Super Smash Brothers veterans expected and welcomed that possibility with open arms. Zelda knew she was going to have to do the same some day, no matter how much she did not want to fight Fox.

With his incredible speed and skills, he'd make a wonderful teammate. "By the way, you're with Kirby and Luigi," she told him.

"Hm. The pink marshmallow and the second half of the Italian Plumbers… What a combination." Fox smirked. "Who are you paired with?"

"A pair by the name of Roy and Marth."

"Roy and Marth? Who are they?"

"Your guess is as good as mine."

Fox shrugged. "In any case, I wish you luck, Princess Zelda." He extended his hand towards her, a sincere smile playing about his face.

Zelda smiled and slipped her smaller and more delicate hand into his. "And I you, Fox."

They nodded and shook hands. Then they chatted briefly as they waited for their teammates to show up. The incredibly cute and versatile Kirby was the first to appear; he was another being Zelda had befriended previously. He was his usual cheerful and jovial pink self, thank the Three Goddesses.

Minutes after Kirby's appearance, the younger of the infamous 'Super Mario' brothers traipsed up to the center of the battle area, apologizing for being a little late after noticing Kirby and Fox. Zelda didn't know him so he was not spared an analytical glance. He looked rather tired. Zelda decided she was going to exploit that come their match.

The three members of the opposing team bade Zelda good luck before heading to their designated starting points at the far east end of the area. The Princess remained alone on the west end, waiting underneath a horizontal platform resting on four pillars for her teammates.

Five minutes until the start of the match!

Zelda panicked. Her opponents weren't there yet!

As if reading her thoughts, the tournament announcer's voice rang out loudly from speakers: Zelda, if your team does not show up, you'll have to fight Team Fox alone.

Not knowing where to direct her voice, Zelda shouted out at the heavens: "But three against one is not fair!"

Rules are rules. Zelda frowned. The most I could do for you is offer you either plenty of power-up items or an everlasting Magic Mushroom.

Zelda forced herself to relax, although with a huff and a sigh. How dare her so-called teammates show her up! She was definitely going to complain about this later…

She silently, and quickly, weighed out her options. She had seen the various power-up items before and although they seemed useful, a lot of them were too bizarre for her. She didn't want to have to spend her time on the match learning how to use that weird gray thing Fox called a 'Super Scope'. But by the same token, she wasn't exactly ready to become 'Giant Zelda' either---especially after seeing Giant Donkey Kong in action.

Before she got the chance to voice her decision, a pair of teleporting pods descended from above. Looks like they're here after all, Zelda! The announcer's voice echoed throughout the temple.

Zelda waited for the two persons to materialize and hop down from the pods, as patiently as a princess. She had a bone to pick with them.

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A/N: I appreciate feedback. No flames please. Thanks.  ;)

Omake: Go here for one of my favorite Marth pictures! http://www.kyokusanagi.com/marth.jpg
And for a neat helmet-less Samus Aran pic, go here: http://members.tripod.com/capgrass/cn_com_scn_cn1_17.html