A/N Not much to say. I just had a feeling that I should write this.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I regret nothing, I let them forget nothing.
I walk through the old mansion's hallway again, nothing yet everything on my mind. For some reason, I feel expectant, like something's waiting for me, and so I find myself shifting into a dash, making my way into the dining room, where I notice it's entirely empty.
Fantastic. My mind is playing tricks on me again. It makes me eager, expectant, hopeful. And then reality rewards me with nothing. I haven't even the logic left to tell me that it's been a month- if anyone wished to return, they'd have done it by now.
I am the only one left here. And I've yet to accept that.
It has been over a month since the mansion was active, and a little over a year since the mansion was first inhabited. I didn't care for the mansion when I first moved in for the third tournament. Now I care for nothing else.
I think I am truly losing my mind.
When I first moved in, I was as much a loner as ever. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with the others of the mansion, it was that I simply did not care. I'm a professional loner, and I felt no need to change. And now all I can do is regret, wish I had. Wish I had enjoyed my time here, with people who were more than I thought they were.
I rarely spoke during the mansion's heyday, rarely celebrated, rarely did anything notable. By intention. What a missed opportunity, and it kills me everyday. Every room of the mansion displays taunting memories, every wall displays empty familiarity. Every mirror displays my suffering.
I take a seat at the kitchen table, not even bothering to show disappointment, as it is futile by now with no one to see it. Master Hand abandoned this whole mansion, in the state it always has been, because he finds no use for it anymore. It is safe to say that the tournaments are probably done for- after all, the Star Fox crew wins pretty much every time, so I suppose he ran out of medals for them. Either way, everyone went their separate ways. Except for me.
I sigh, exhausted as I recline into the wooden chair. The kitchen table is a brilliant structure taking up a good chunk of the seventy by twenty by twenty banquet hall that the so called dining room truly is. I have long since abandoned my ponytail's up-keeping, and thus my long blonde hair drapes in my lap and all around me. I'm at the head of the table, a seat usually occupied by the Hand himself, although not explicitly sitting as much as floating. Now I sit here, the head of an empire of none.
The world is quiet here.
This is probably the one place the world is truly quiet, unless I make a movement. There is not a soul other than myself that occupies this shell of a home- I believe even the termites and house mice have taken their leave. The only footsteps are those rare times I am not at one spot, hollow and alone, and am walking through the halls in false hope.
I look out before me, at where my friends once sat. I remember every morning Red would come up, the Pokemon- excluding Lucario- trailing him eagerly. He would sit around them, Pikachu and Jigglypuff on the table, Ivysaur and Squirtle in the surrounding chairs, and Charizard standing behind him. He would prepare some food for them and feed them right there, at the table. He never looked down at the Pokemon, eating with them like bipedal or more cognitive creatures.
The other constant of every morning was that Captain Falcon, still in his pajamas, would come in with a bowl of unhealthy, sugary, colorful cereal and a digital tablet to read the news from. He always had a good disposition for one who had just woken up. But I suppose with a bowl of Diabetic Coma Stars, one could always find themselves in a good mood. Another reason I always found these people so boring and so... beneath me. That's truly what it was. I never really explicitly thought it, but a lot of the harmless things people did around here bugged someone with my practicality.
In reality, though, I had too much practicality, and not enough human emotion.
My thoughts drift back to Captain Falcon, smiling with his faux newspaper and his bowl of cereal that some of the kids felt were 'for babies'. I remember with a tortured fondness how Peach had confronted him playfully on his cereal and his messy morning attire. He just grinned and asked if she'd like to try a bite. The princess was feeling adventurous, so she did, and by god, the look on her face would lead you to deduce that she had never had sugar before. She clutched at her throat like someone had stabbed her, and her eyes rang of a wired shock. Desperately, she spat the cereal out into a napkin, apologized for her rude behavior, and ran out of the room. Falcon just looked at the space she had previously inhabited, blinked, laughed, and continued on with his morning.
Even though I rarely interacted, I knew the mansion's inhabitants probably better than anyone, because I was a very observant person. I knew that Luigi, while he was very nervous, was also very protective, and would do anything for some of the younger kids in their time of need. I knew that Link had grown an odd fondness for rap music, unbeknownst to many of the others who assumed him a farmboy. I knew that Marth had a wife back home named Caeda, and he loved her dearly and certainly no man in the mansion could compete. I knew that Princess Peach, despite her poor luck with safety, was a brave, daring soul that would stand up to anyone. I knew that Sheik was not truly a part of Zelda- I had seen them both in the same room at one time. I never delved any further into that, but it was still something I knew that no one else did.
I also knew that Falcon, despite him being a very youthful, overzealous spirit, could treat a woman better than any prince ever could.
That was never from personal experience- hell, Falcon had never dated another lady in the house. But he was very kind and genial. He called all of the ladies "miss" or "ma'am", never anything more... sketchy than that. He would hold open doors and more chivalrous stuff like that occasionally, but what he really did... was being a friend.
He would hang out with the princesses, at their trivial little tea time that always was outside my interests, striking conversations about the kingdoms they ruled, about the goings-on in the area, even fashion struck some interest to him. I even remember when the girls struck up a conversation about the available men in the mansion, he was happy to join along from a platonic point. "Oh, no, Marth isn't gay. He is, however, married."
But never did they once ever consider dating Falcon, or try, and it bamboozled me. I remember thinking "What more do you need? He's kind, polite, he's generally good looking, and he actually happily engages in your petty, annoying conversations. What more do you need?" In all technicalities, they should be catfighting for the man.
Maybe I was looking too technically at it.
But I remember the day Master Hand had announced the tournaments were coming to a close. It didn't hit me all right then, but it crept up on me. While others were cementing their bonds with communication abilities and promises to visit whenever they could, I was standing around, same old me, disinterested in anything. While Sheik and Luigi walked out of the mansion hand in hand, surprising all of those who 1) thought that Luigi was never going to get a girl and 2) thought Sheik was part of Zelda still, I was packing my bags, ready to go.
But by the time the first smasher left, I realized that was one bit of the familiar surroundings gone from my everyday life. And it hurt, knowing that Ness would no longer be playing games with the other younger kids.
And I began to realize that Luigi would not be sitting with them, laughing as he observed.
I realized that Sheik would not be standing at a distance, a smile under her cowl, out of sight.
I realized that Nana would not be painting in her room anymore, whistling an unfamiliar tune.
I realized that Snake would not be playing chess with Fox anymore, bridging a species gap cleverly.
I realized that Diddy and Donkey Kong would not be playing catch with a worn football like humans do.
I realized that Red would not be feeding his Pokemon in the morning, as a motley crew, a family.
I realized Captain Falcon would not be eating sugary cereal in his pajamas while he read the news.
Really, I realized that everyone and everything in the mansion had composed who I was, and all that I had anymore, and I never embraced it or even noticed it. And it was all leaving, bit by bit, piece by piece. And I was powerless, because I had only realized this when it was only me and Falcon.
He had left a bit late, because apparently he had to fix a problem with the Blue Falcon's engine. I stayed aloof as ever, and he didn't question why I hadn't left yet, didn't suspect the fact that I couldn't bring myself to.
I remember he had tried asking me if I needed help, if my ship had a problem with it. I mean, I was full and able to leave whenever I wished, because it looked like I had nothing tying me down. Nothing but regret. He tried striking a conversation with me, but I cut it off quickly. Any attempt he tried to do anything with me failed quickly, and I wish it hadn't. I wish I had let him succeed.
Finally, when he went to leave, he came back into the banquet hall where I had occupied myself with a snack I never actually ate. He smiled, held out a hand for a handshake. Hesitantly, I accepted, and when I did, I felt it. I felt an odd, internal sensation coursing through my veins, and my heart skipped a beat. I could only deduce that it was a way of my body telling me that it was about time.
I guess... I always did find his large, friendly hand somewhat inviting.
He smiled, and said "Well, I didn't expect my going away committee to be so... sparsely populated, but I'm glad to have you here anyway, ma'am."
Part of me wanted to insist, yet again, that he not treat me special due to my gender as he always did the others, and tried on me... but it was somewhat endearing, I'd come to find. Part of me kind of liked it. And it was that part that claimed a silent victory.
I nodded and added "Same to you. You have a good time out there, you hear?"
If Falcon was astonished that I had, for one of those rare moments, put together more than ten words, he didn't let on. He raised an eyebrow, and I could read something negative in his brown eyes, but he smiled nonetheless. "If you need any help, just let me know."
"I'm going into deep space," I reminded him. "I don't think your help could be as readily available."
He nodded. "Either way, you have a good life, you hear? I'll miss you."
Good life. Even his kind tones couldn't mask the finality of those words. I simply nodded, looking into the sad yet smiling expression on his face, picked up my snack, and walked out of the kitchen. And I never saw him again. I simply sat in his room, listening to the Blue Falcon jet out of the premises. And then I was alone.
I should be gone by now. Even though Master Hand abandoned the mansion, by all means, I should be gone by now. Every day, I try to leave. But what do I have? Space? The outer reaches of all anyone knows. Alone. Hopelessly alone. Here, I can hold on to the shreds of memories, the sporadic appearances of the ghosts of the past. And the futile, distant hope that someone will come back.
But it still feels so hopeless.
I get up from the table I am the head of, and I kick the chair against a nearby wall. It's all so frustrating, so painful. I'm stuck here longing for something I can't get back. I could go somewhere else and try and talk with people, but they barely know me. I have no way of communication, and no one to communicate to. And I can't imagine anyone finding their way back here. I am alone, and I can't fix it.
But I still can't bring myself to leave.
I walk out of the dining room, and for the first time in a month, I truly hear my own voice as I scream loudly, throwing a fist against the wall of the hallway, watching a framed photograph fall down to the ground. I pick it up, manic, and look into the face staring back at me.
With another scream, I throw the photograph of Falcon across the room, where it breaks in half, and the glass around it shatters. It smarts more than ever, that I can still see him- in the dining room, in the garage, in the photograph, and yet he still is not here.
I slump to the ground, in a rare case of tears, against the wall by his broken picture. I allow myself to cry it all out, allowing myself to let all my emotions run out my eyes, until I am a broken, destroyed heap against the side of the hallway. And to think I was once the strongest bounty hunter in the universe.
By the time I fall asleep, I still don't feel any better.
I don't know what time of day it is when I wake up, but I hear a noise that jolts me to my feet. At first, I brush it off as another mindgame. I don't want to fall into that trap again.
But then it becomes louder, and more consuming. It sounds thinly like an engine, and that gets me moving. I run to the nearest window just to see a giant flash of bold blue zip by the window, and then it's gone.
Great. Now my mind is taunting me with visions now. I have truly lost grip on reality.
But then, suddenly, the noise stops. And I stop as well, motionless, listening. And when I hear footsteps, I run towards the door.
Maybe I am truly mad. Maybe this is another trick. But I don't care- the last time I failed to take any action, I got where I am now, and that's the last place I want to be. I open the door, practically throw myself outside, looking for anyone at all.
And from around the corner, I see him. And, shocked to see another human in the flesh, I run towards him. He gives me an odd look, and I can't blame him for being absolutely flabbergasted.
I regain my composure and stop where I am. He beckons me forward a bit, so, hesitantly, I inch forward. Eventually, he bridges the rest of the gap between us before I can delay us any longer.
"Samus," he chuckles, still surprised and therefore breathy in voice.
I am no different. "Falcon," I gasp, shocked to truly see him. I want to reach out, touch him if only to confirm my sights, but I need not worry, for he lays his hand on my shoulder, and I truly feel it. It causes me to shudder, it has been so long since I've felt another living thing's touch.
"Why are you still here?" he doesn't accuse, he laughs again, as if the entire situation is just beyond the bounds of possibility.
"Why are you back here?" I reply, steadying my tone.
"For some reason... I had this crazy notion," he muses wistfully, "that you were still here." Breaking into a grin, he adds "It's great to see you, Sam."
I almost chastise him by habit, but then I replay it in my head. Sam. Not ma'am. I can't help but smile, but really I want to cry in happiness, my emotions raw as could be.
"Wait..." I find myself asking. "Why were you looking for me?"
Falcon sighs, and taking my hand in his gently, he admits "...really, you aren't the only one who's been regretting how things turned out."
And then, he kisses me. And I let him without a fight. And, to my astonishment, to coincide with every cliché I thought absurd, insidious to fantasy, I felt all my troubles drift away as I returned his affections. Because I realized that things were going to get better, and that I didn't have to regret any longer. I realized that it was true, that I could love, and that I did love, and that he returned the love I had for him that I never knew I had. Probably had all along, in both our cases.
They say misery loves company. I suppose this is because when two miserable souls find each other, the misery dissipates in their embrace.
And it won't be so quiet around here anymore.
A/N Pardon my abrupt ending- I wanted to leave this a cliffhanger but decided against it. I hope that Samus' somewhat OOCness is forgivable, because I think a month of solitude and regret would drive the strongest one mad.
Either way, this was The World Is Quiet Here. I hope you enjoyed, as always, as that is what I aim for.
P.S. Yes, this is a Series of Unfortunate Events based title.