Author's Notes

Something different. AU, and for the needs of the story, I used Snake Eyes' real name (Terrence). I'll admit his real name is never actually given in canon, but I think Terrence is a good guess.


It is a well known fact, or at least it is among those with any knowledge of such things, that magic likes patterns and change. It comes as no surprise to those aware of this fact that midnight is a very likely time for magical things to happen: it is the 00:00 hour, a very distinctive pattern, and it is the point at which one day ends and the new one begins.

Sceptics, upon first hearing this, will interpret it as nothing more than yet another example of nonsense spewed by those insane magic-believers. "It's never midnight everywhere at once", they'll argue. "Clocks don't actually display 00:00, they display 12:00", they will point out. "Most clocks won't even display it at quite the same time. Even in a single house, you're likely to find no two clock will show midnight at quite the same second", they'll say.

Those arguments are yet one more instance of non-believers not understanding that magic is not an outside force: it resides in humans, and as such, operates on human parameters. The most magical time of day is not whenever the most official clock on the planet chimes midnight, but when whoever is to witness the magic thinks it's midnight. People who wake up to a magical phenomenom will most often find their clock showing midnight. And, although the clock shows 12:00, deep down, we all think of it as 00:00, in the sense that we know it will lead to 1:00.

Therefore, although it caused them an additional inconvenience, it really was to be expected that the brothers were awaken just as their clock rolled over 11:59 onto midnight. What, precisely, caused them to wake up, they couldn't tell. They had not heard any noise, and there had been no flash of light, or anything else of that nature.

There was, however, a boy in their room, wearing what appeared to be some sort of strange mushroom costume, complete with makeup that gave him a definitely not-quite-human appearance. The boy looked terrified: he was looking around with wide eyes and shaking like a leaf. When he spoke, his voice trembled and gave the distinct impression he was about to dissolve into tears.

"P... please!" He stuttered at them. "The Princess! We need help!"

Terrence and Tommy blinked and stared, first at the boy and then at each other.

"Honestly, Terrence, it'd be bad enough to wake me up for stupid joke, but did you have to get some kid to stay up that late?" Tommy groaned.

"What?" Terrence exclaimed. "Cut it out. YOU put that kid up to this. What kind of costume is that, anyway?"

The argument would probably have quickly escalated into a fight, if the visitor had not started pleading anew.

"You have to help!" He quivered pitifully. "We can't fight Bowser ourselves! You have to save her! The legend says you will!"

Terrence and Tommy both sighed.

"Look kid, go to bed." Terrence said, sternly as he could manage.

The effect should have been less than impressive, on account that this stern advice was given through a yawn and that even when fully awake, looking severe was quite beyond Terrence's abilities: even his thick moustache didn't quite manage to make him look more like a man and less like a very slightly overgrown kid. Tommy fared no better, despite being taller and leaner: it was just something about their faces that screamed of good-nature and zero threat level. This had proven useful in business on more than one occasion, but when it came to scaring youngsters straight, it was no good at all.

Therefore, it was quite a shock to both brothers that Terrence's 'stern' tone sent the kid dressed as a mushroom into a fit of panic. His shaking suddenly got a lot worse, he yelped and he ducked behind the giant pipe that was sitting on the floor and that had been up to that point partially obscured by his body.

As shocked as Terrence and Tommy were that they had actually managed to scare somebody, it was nothing to how they felt upon noticing this new fixture. They both jumped out of bed for a closer stare and a few pokes, and after many flavorful interjections that did nothing to reassure their small visitor, they actually looked inside of it and fell completely silent: a faint light was coming from very, very, very far down the pipe, despite the fact there was no hole in the floor for the pipe to continue through.

"How did you do that?" Tommy asked their guest.

"It's gotta be some sort of illusion." Stated Terrence.

"I didn't know it would make a pipe appear here. I just figured there was one already!" The boy stammered. "I'm sorry!"

Terrence and Tommy looked at each other and turned back, frowning, to the kid.

"Quit it." Terrence said, without attempting to look stern this time. He didn't want to scare the kid, he just wanted him to stop pretending… whatever it was he was pretending.

"I can't!" The kid cried, starting to sob. "The poor princess… please! I beg you! You need to help her!"

"Look, your costume is cute and you're a great actor, but you're trying to make us believe you want us to save a princess. We're not falling for it." Tommy said, as patiently as he could.

"But you're the Terrence Brothers! You're the pipe specialists from another world that the legend says will come to save us in our greatest hour of need!" The boy recited. In his despair, he was finally forgetting to be afraid and his voice was hardly quivering at all, although it remained uncomfortably high-pitched.

"Look, kid…" Terrence started.

"I'm not a kid! Please, I need you to believe me! My name is Toad, I…"

"Toad. Fine." Terrence interrupted him, rolling his eyes. "Look, Toad, good try, and good trick getting that thing…" he pointed at the pipe, "in here without waking us up, and making it look like it goes really far, but we're not stupid. Just tell us who put you up to this."

"Nobody did." Toad said. "I… I mean, most people don't really believe in the legends. We followed the instructions before, and nothing ever happened. But I had to try, I couldn't just sit there and do nothing! My poor princess… oh, you MUST save her! You're the Terrence Brothers! It's your destiny!"

"Okay, stop." Tommy said. "We're not the 'Terrence' Brothers. He's Terrence, I'm Tommy."

Toad's eyes went wide and his mouth opened in an "O". He was looking at Terrence with a level of adoration that was downright uncomfortable to both brothers.

"Your name is actually Terrence?" Toad asked, very obviously awed. "The Terrence brothers is just what we call the saviours! Terrence is Toadish for Hero, and it kind of stayed in use in the legend, even thought Toadish is not spoken much nowadays... Oh, Terrence, there's no doubt! You're going to save us! You're going to save her!"

Terrence and Tommy sighed anew.

"You mind if we go talk alone for a second?" Terrence asked Toad. Then, without waiting for an answer, he dragged Tommy out of the room into the hallway.

"Any idea how to get rid of him?" He asked. "I mean, we TOLD him we're not buying it and he's still there!"

Tommy yawned.

"Well, if you didn't set this up, it's gotta be Jinx." He said. "Maybe we're supposed to give her money."

"I am NOT giving her any money!" Terrence grumbled. "Tell you what, let's try playing along for a bit, just so he starts laughing and telling us he got us good, then we'll be rid of him. It's either that or chuck him out."

"I'm sure we can drag him out without hurting him."

"Well, yeah, but then he might just start banging on the door and windows."

Tommy's shoulder sagged.

"Fine. Let's act stupid so we can go back to bed."

The brothers re-entered the room to find Toad kneeling on the floor, his hands joined in a supplicating posture.

"Please, please say you'll help. I don't even know if he's going to keep her alive! Please, you're our only hope!"

"You got it k… Toad!" Terrence cried out enthusiastically. "We, the brothers Terrence and Tommy, pipe specialists, will come save your princess!"

Toad's face lit up so much that Terrence would have been touched if he hadn't expected the kid to start laughing at him any second.

"You… you will? Oh, thank you! Thank you!"

Toad jumped back to his feet and bowed deeply, repeating his thanks a few more times.

"After you!" He said when he straightened up, pointing to the pipe.

Terrence and Tommy looked at each other, each wondering just how long they had to play along.

"You want us to go in the pipe?" Tommy asked.

"Why?" Toad asked right back. "Aren't you ready to go?"

"Of course we're ready." Terrence said, elbowing Tommy to signal him to continue to play along.

He marched to the pipe and without bothering to look at the illusion of depth again, started clambering in.

If you have ever whole-heartedly believed something, so much so that you thought of it as obvious and beyond discussion, and that at some point, you very suddenly found out you were completely wrong, you may have some idea of the shock Terrence endured.

It all happened so fast that by the time Terrence cried out in shock from the pipe sucking him in, it had ejected him again, in a room that looked nothing like his own. Tommy landed next to him a mere second later, screaming his name.

Tommy's voice died when he saw Terrence and their surroundings. He swallowed, closed his eyes, rubbed them, looked again, and whimpered.

"What's going on?" He asked. "Are you okay? The pipe sucked you in, I…"

"I'm fine. Where's that kid?"

As though the question had summoned him, Toad came out of the pipe and immediately marched towards the only door to the room.

"This way! I'll show you the path to the castle!"

Author's Notes

April's Fool!

Congratulations, you just read a preview of a Mario fic that will probably never be finished beyond this point. I was playing around about a year ago, and then I got bored with it.