A/N So here we are again.
It's always such a pleasure.
Remember when I didn't check the Smash Bros forum for a few days and by the time I got back it had broken out in massive war?
Oh how I laughed and laughed.
Except I wasn't laughing.
Under the circumstances Critics United to finally be useful would be shockingly nice.
Okay, enough Portal. :P I feel bad quoting this much without actually having the opportunity to play the game.
But yeah, since there's a really toolish troll going around (or really, just concluding) with unoriginal trolls, it'd be perfectly acceptable for me to come here and call him bastard and all that good stuff. But I'm not going to. Here's why.
(Psst… troll secret number 1- a troll's strength comes ONLY from the anguished reaction of its victims. When you stop paying him attention, he poofs away like Canon from SucKsessful!)
(Well, that and it seems to be dying down. No matter! This is just as effective now, if not more effective!)
So yeah, now that I capped that secret before it became an inbred advertisement segment, now I'm gonna write my story. :P I figure the victims and the warriors against this man with worrisome mental stability could use a pick-me-up, some verbal healing. That, I think I can do.
So, what inspired this story?
Well, I always thought that if done right, the fights on Smash Bros could be really artistic and somewhat beautiful. I wanted to go with a sort of dance theme because my new favorite song, Shake it Out by Florence and the Machine, had a very ballroom theme to it. And I chose these two characters because I think that these two have the most graceful fighting styles of the Smashers. But hey, that's just me.
Some Warning: The language is few and far between, but when it arrives it's usually in big blasts, mostly due to a (deceptively awesome) song by AWOLNATION named after one of the 7 dirty words. Be prepared for huge bombs.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, regret nothing, and let them forget nothing. And while the Florence and the Machine song "Shake it off" is mentioned a few times, no lyrics are claimed to be mine at all, nor do I use them in any ways other than being what comes out of their radio.
After you, my friends.
Falco didn't count on being the last one in the ballroom. He didn't dance at the balls that occurred in the mansion every now and again, seemingly at random occurrences- he didn't know, it wasn't like he really kept track. He strolled through the earthy colors the room bore, allowing his bootsteps to echo off of the burgundy walls.
"This place looks a lot better empty," he smirked. It was an odd thought, seeing as there were wine glasses on the table, ranging from half empty/full to completely empty/yet to be full. Some were broken on the ground, bleeding into fallen streamers. Chairs were overturned and Falco could spot some shattered remnants of a gaudy disco ball scattered along the ground like disposed diamonds. And many parts of the room seemed to be dyed red from the wine. And yet, it still looked a lot better without the insanity of many inebriated attendees.
Not that Falco didn't enjoy a drink or two. He took one of the glasses from the table, the only one that seemed to have been spared use. He found a half-open bottle of wine; he really didn't care what kind, and poured it into his own cup. He took a short drink, savoring the flavors. After a quiet, thorough tasting, he grimaced and let his glass drop on the floor, shattering with a red champagne supernova, spattering along his boots. Not that he minded.
He glanced around the disastrous area, still not showing any signs of distaste with the mess. He brushed the glass he just broke along with his foot, quietly bemused. The whole scene had such a surreal feel, as if he was on a movie set. He felt glad to be out of place, having been the one in his usual jacket and dark denim jeans getup amongst wine-stained tuxedos and ripped dresses. It amused him to see how much sanity he had over them, when he dressed like he meant to be hitting up a nearby bar.
That's also what felt so surreal. He, the noted scrapper in the mansion, was one of the scant few not to participate in the outrageous fight that took place in the middle of the dance (which, in return, became the end of the dance.) He didn't really notice much after it started. He knew Bowser was taunting the others at the dance as he usually did. Some of them got upset and tried to tell Bowser to shut his trap, but he just yelled louder. Then the people trying to shut Bowser got caught between fight or flight- make him shut up or not give him the time of day. Then those groups ended up infighting, and then with the help of previously consumed wine, mayhem ensued. Even the sober, calmer ones such as Lucario took part in it, although Falco noticed it was only for damage control purposes (not that it helped.)
Part of Falco wished he had partaken in it, as was his specialty, but part of him was grateful that whatever possessed him to stay out of it left him on the sidelines, sneering with amusement as the brawling smashers' melee was broken up forcibly by the hands scooping everyone up except for Falco and putting them away. Just the lack of their presence made the disaster site so much more abstractly beautiful, and Falco would admit it; it was beautiful.
Even whilst observing it, he didn't seem the slightest bit surprised when he heard an even toned voice speak from just behind him, very low on emotion.
"You're very taken by this scene," Sheik told him.
He felt her presence on his back, though she didn't lay a hand on him. "Hmm, I suppose. It's a very interesting scene, I admit."
"Interesting?" she scoffed. "More like maddening."
"Well, it looks a lot better now- speaking of which, why aren't you out of here like everyone else?"
She stepped in front of him, pulling up a tan metal chair. Hardly giving so much as a jolt whilst reclining against the icy surface, she continued the conversation without looking towards him. "No, I wasn't drawn into the fight. I didn't really care one way or another." Her slim silk white dress pulled up a slight bit as she crossed her legs and turned towards him. "So, a better question is, why didn't you throw any punches? Seems like something you'd enjoy doing."
Falco chuckled, rolling his eyes. "Ah, well, it turns out that after you've beaten the shit out of someone who called you a bad name, it starts to get really repetitive." Not sure where he got that answer, but it'd do, and Falco was convinced it had some truth to it.
Sheik nodded, eyes darting around the room. "Either way, we're here now, as the only two who will neither have flaming headaches or guilty apologies to make in the morning." Cracking a wry smile, she asked "That's a nice accomplishment, isn't it?"
Falco laughed, some mirth lacing the sound. "I suppose so!"
She smiled a small bit wider, reaching for a cup behind her. When she found it still had no more than remnants of red liquid in it, she sighed wearily and tossed it across the room.
"Nice distance," Falco casually remarked. Sheik didn't reply to that, she just kept a scrutinizing glare at the room, as if critiquing the previous occupants' behavior with her crimson eyes. With a short, frustrated groan, she asked to no one in particular "Why are people such idiots sometimes?"
"With the whole fight?" Falco responded, still standing tall.
"Well, I meant for that to be rhetoric, but if you have an answer, by all means."
"Alright," Falco nodded, taking an opportunity to lean against a marble pillar, his jacket sleeve becoming damp with even more sticky wine. He grimaced for a moment but didn't let it faze him.
"I think the whole thing is that people let things hurt them that shouldn't. It's not like it's very avoidable or uncalled for, but there are some things people just have to let live. If people just flipped Bowser the bird from the beginning or let him stand there like a Tourette's statue-"
"Tourette's Statue?" Sheik smirked, holding in a laugh.
"I just made that up off the top of my head, bear with me!" Falco bellowed dramatically with an eyebrow raise. "Anyway, yeah, he'd be there looking for attention, and after getting slim to none, he'd have just thrown his arms up in the air, said 'fuck it,' and then gone off to pout in front of his self-portrait in his room."
"Still," Sheik countered, "what he said was wrong."
"Yeah, that's true," Falco muttered, kicking a broken glass. "But, let's face it, does it really matter at the end of the day what Bowser says about us? He's a douchebag! Doesn't affect my self-image much."
Sheik turned her head towards a wall that Falco thought held nothing of interest. "Well, that much is true. But when he's echoing what you already try and convince yourself it's not true, it just makes things worse than if he were to be randomly shouting out insults like a… what did you say, a Tourette's Statue?"
"Yeah," Falco laughed. "Although, honestly, it's kind of unfair to those who actually have it. I know a guy who has it who doesn't really swear at all. It was kind of a spur-in-the-moment-"
"Yeah, I get it," Sheik interrupted. Falco sighed, cracking an embarrassed smile through his hand, which had covered his whole face.
She raised an eyebrow, amused. "You look ridiculous."
"Thank you!" Falco shouted back, still smiling, although his hand was off of his face by now. She giggled softly, her short blonde hair disheveling itself as she stood up.
Falco noticed her, and pulled a small electronic device out of his pocket. Looking at Sheik, he asked "Trouble you for a dance?"
Sheik glanced around the messy room once more and opened her mouth to speak, but it was clear she changed her words around to a different question. With an intrigued smile, she asked "You dance?"
Falco's face turned to one of sudden surprise. "Oh, well, once in a blue moon."
Sheik raised an eyebrow, not quite buying it.
She didn't let her gaze rest.
Falco scratched his head, watching a feather fall down onto the ground. "I, erm, take classes."
Sheik didn't seem surprised, but she did offer a short, breaking laugh.
"But only because it helps my fighting," he insisted weakly.
"Sure," she replied, not buying it for a moment. "Just admit it. You like dancing, although I'd never assume you were the type, especially since you didn't step foot on the floor tonight."
"I didn't assume you were the type to wear dresses," he countered.
For what seemed like a split second, she blushed. "Well, I wanted to dress for the occasion, which I can tell you didn't really plan to do."
"Nah," he confirmed. "I figured if they didn't want to take me in my jacket and boots, then they could have their stupid party. I'd probably just go up to the diner and get a cup of Joe. Besides, I don't like dancing with or around huge crowds. I mean… if they saw me pirouetting, they'd probably go into hysterics."
Before she could retort, he tossed the device from one hand to another. "My offer still stands. Care to dance?" He tossed her the device, which she reflexively caught (not that he expected anything different.) "I'll even let you pick the song."
"I suppose," Sheik accepted the offer, deftly flipping through the device. Falco watched her, looking for any reaction to the songs he had handpicked as favorites. He noticed an amused and somewhat surprised eyeroll at one point and asked "What?"
She chuckled. "I found a song called Motherfucker by AWOLNATION here. Seriously?"
Falco laughed, putting his hands up in mock defense. "What, it's a good dancing song!"
He grinned as he watched her flip through the songs, and eventually pressed play. As she set the music player on a nearby table. The noise was tinny, but they could hear an organ start to play, along with a soft, passionate female singer.
"Florence and the Machine," Falco commented. "Good tastes there, Sheik."
"Well, it was either that or Motherfucker," she joked. "Come on, Falco, you asked for the dance."
Falco nodded, taking her by the hand and pulling her towards him. She complied, keeping a hand on his shoulder. He took a gentle hold of her, and guided her along gently, preferring baby steps for the time being.
As the drums started to pulsate louder, he could feel her take control of the situation, leading him across the floor in steps that were graceful but unsure. He didn't bother to correct her, he just played along. She kept him at a loose edge, controlled by the music. He had to admire her for that, although her movements were hardly founded by traditional lesson.
Probably all for the better.
She let him go, which he allowed, trying to let the music control him as well. He flowed to the power of the music, but as he kept his eyes on her, he allowed himself to slow down to a gradual halt. He observed in no less than awe as she went on without him, because he didn't know how else to describe the situation.
Her moves were unprofessional, baseless, without the finesse she usually had… and yet, something incredible. He noticed, almost instantaneously deducing her behavior and simply letting her dance.
"It's your floor now, Sheik."
Her eyes closed, she ran across the room, arms outstretched behind her. Falco almost wanted to shout out that there was a wall in front of her, but he figured she must know. Suddenly, she leapt, the wall less than ten feet in front of her. Falco's breath caught in his throat as he watched her soar almost twice her height into the air, and then collide; her left arm and leg hitting a painting of… Falco couldn't quite tell or bring himself to care.
Instead of falling to the ground, she shoved herself off of the painting, bounding over a small table and back on the ground, her hair covering her eyes. The painting shook off the rebound and then clattered onto the ground, almost perfectly in time with a pivotal drum beat that kicked off the first chorus. Falco noticed the way she pushed herself off of the image- it wasn't as graceful as he knew she was capable of. No, it seemed as if she was trying to escape something, as if she was struggling.
She leapt again, albeit not nearly as high a distance, and turned a full one eighty so she was facing the same direction as before. She ran a short distance again, and then leapt into another one eighty. Her dress flowed in time with her, hardly becoming disorganized as was the case with her hair. She ran through the end of the chorus with another short run and leap, this time managing to turn a full three sixty degree turn.
"And I am done with my graceless heart!" rang the soft voice from the music player, gaining in power and passion as the song built up further. Almost as if acting on command, she ran into one of the nearby tables and threw it over, glasses, décor and all. Falco jolted in shock as the glasses shattered even further on the dance floor, but still he remained silent.
"So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart!" the music commanded, and Sheik dived deeper into the music, throwing her arms behind her and falling backward, then pushing herself back up. She threw herself forward, arms first, covering a good twelve feet of distance. After jumping, she immediately walked backward, arms behind her as if she was being pulled. Suddenly, faster than Falco could react, she stumbled over one of the broken table legs that were just knocked over and collapsed onto the floor.
"Jesus Christ!" he shouted, his cries echoing across the room. Reflexively, Sheik pushed herself up, effortlessly throwing herself a foot in the air. She caught her stance again, steadying herself as she twirled across the room through the second chorus. She bumped into a wall once more, losing a bit of footing but not quite as bad as last time.
As the music turned into its bridge, something that seemed like a frenzy took over Sheik's body, and it caused Falco's eyes to widen and heart to race. Her body seemed at war with itself, and her movements were combative and rapid, as if her inner functioning system was starting to short out. Throw right arm to her right. Pull it back behind her. Throw herself back. Run to the left. No, stop, fall on the ground. Somersault forward and leap onto your feet. Soon her internal commands were so frantic that not even Sheik seemed in control of herself anymore, and Falco, against his better judgment, leapt in and grabbed her by the arm.
She seemed to react in shock but Falco knew better than to interrupt her, so he allowed himself to integrate into the dance she had somehow set up. As the music dipped down, he wrapped his arm softly around her waist, not restraining her but bringing her to her senses. She seemed to slowly calm, but kept herself at the edge of his arm's length. The movements were soft, almost hesitant. They didn't move nearly as far as Sheik did on her own, simply walking around the room with their arms wrapped around each other. Eventually he let her go once again and let her dance slowly, awkwardly.
The song continued to build up, and Falco kept his gaze on his partner as she mouthed along with the vocalist shouting "What the hell, I'm gonna let it happen to me!" It seemed to be the snap that brought life back into her, and she ran across the room, taking a flying leap over the downed table, straight towards Falco. Without so much as a stunned reaction, he reached out and caught her by the hips mid-leap, just as she began to soar over his head.
She let him bring her down without a fight, and then as she touched ground, clung to him. Her arms secured around him, bringing her slight, elegant frame directly against his own body. He cracked a small smile, and they both performed a pirouette where they stood before they came apart, only connected by one hand.
While the final chorus echoed across the room, Falco followed her unsteady lead, following her on another short dash across the room. He seemed a bit unsure of himself, at least of his place in her routine. He allowed himself to go through the motions as she pushed herself several feet in the air using one of the remaining tables. It seemed as if the power of the music radiated through her, and that just made things more remarkable.
She leapt powerfully once more, performing an incredibly fast rotation in the air. Falco couldn't call what degree, nor did he dwell on it long, instead catching her once more. She landed facing him, standing solidly on her feet as the music began to wind down. And that was the conclusion.
As the music began to wind to silence, Falco let Sheik go and looked her directly in the eye; after moving some of her hair out of the way, of course. He found himself in a simultaneous state of wonder and pride. She stood hunched over, catching her breath and trying to keep her hair up. There was an exhausted smile on her face and heavy, quiet tears in her eyes.
Falco, a bit moved himself, extended a wing towards her and proclaimed "Now that… that is dancing."
Sheik decided against taking his arm, instead moving directly towards him in an embrace. She lay her head on his shoulder, and Falco felt her shake with sparse sobs he could not hear. He felt foolish in his response, which was simply to laugh and wrap his arms around her. The laughter wasn't so much based out of humor as much as it was awe.
In a kindred agreement, she whispered "That… was incredible."
"Damn straight," Falco agreed. "You only dance like that when you mean it. And…" his words trailed off as he tried to think of the right ones. "I… I almost felt like I was intruding inside your mind, but… I dunno, man. It was like you wanted me to be there."
He released her, almost falling into a seat on the floor, allowing his legs to be seeped in a river of wine. "Shit, I'm sorry," he let out a short, awkward laugh. "I've just got no way to describe that. It was… I'll never experience that again."
Sheik took a seat next to him, still catching her breath. She actually took the opportunity to recline so that she was laying on the floor, dipping her hair into the champagne. "I… I don't either," she replied, her voice broken and tears slipping down into the liquid on the floor.
Falco noted her emotion. "So, why were you dancing?"
"You asked me to," she replied simply.
"Now, don't act like you don't know what I mean," he slapped his hand on his knee. "Why did you dance with the passion you did? There's a reason, I'm certain of it."
"Mmm…" she groaned as she stretched her arms out above her. "I… well, there's a lot. It's not even that any of it is going to destroy my life. It's just… you leave it unattended and stupid shit that you ignore or act like you don't care about all builds up and it overwhelms you. This dance… it was an escape. A cleanse, too."
Falco nodded. "It happens. And hey, better here than smashing wine glasses over Pikachu's head."
She gave a dry giggle. "I suppose…"
It was quiet for a few moments, and Falco watched her process her thoughts, idly twirling a feather on the top of his wrist. When she spoke again, he was prepared.
"I don't want to disappear."
"No one does, Sheik," was the reply. "If I didn't want to be seen by anyone, I'd just up and pack my shit and leave this life."
"Duh," she snapped. "I'm just scared that I'm getting too close to disappearing."
He took a second to process the situation. "Bowser?" he asked. She nodded quietly, red dripping from her hair with every moment.
"Aw, don't worry about Bowser," he insisted. "He's just a dumb twat. Doesn't know what he's talking about."
"Yes, he does." Falco jolted slightly when he heard frustration in Sheik's voice. "I don't know about you and the insults you've gotten, but Bowser seems to know exactly what is bothering us. Me. Words that realize your worst fears about yourself."
She leaned onto her shoulder, propping herself up. "All that sticks and stones talk is absolute bullshit. Words hurt, because they come from the mind and heart. They can be very fake, but they can be very real."
Falco nodded, taking her hand. "I guess I never took that into consideration. Sorry, Sheik."
She shook her head, staining Falco's feathers with red droplets. "Don't worry about it, it's mostly just what's troubling my mind."
"I know, but still, those troubles are valid concerns."
"Not really," Sheik insisted. "They're petty, really."
Falco sloshed some of the wine with his boot. "Well, if we're going by technicalities, then yes, they can seem somewhat 'petty.'" The last word was complimented by air quotes. "But, the thing about technicalities is..." He gave her a small grin and a knowing wink, finishing with "fuck 'em."
"You've got a valuable life lesson to close the evening out with, don't you?"
"You're spoiling the moment!" he laughed. "But yeah, I suppose. It is one to me at least. Y'see, Sheik," he took her by the hand and lifted her up so she stood next to him. "Having a bunch of friends and companions and lovers- okay, maybe go sparingly on the lovers- but having a bunch of people close to you is nice, but nothing's going to flow right if you neglect you. Because, technically, that's all you have control of- you and what you do."
He picked up a glass off of the ground and looked into it. Frowning, he stated "I wish this glass could show a better reflection, but oh well, symbolism is for dancers." He noticed her smile, just a touch, and continued. "You see, you can love or cherish anything more, but you must always remember to care about yourself and to love yourself. If you can't stand the sight of your reflection, or if there's something about you that's bugging you, it's up to you to take action and either change it or grow to like it- really, anything to make yourself happy with who you are. Otherwise, you'll be so insecure in yourself that it will start to affect others- i.e. you'll be getting into pissing matches with someone who doesn't have any vocabulary past their own names, y'see?"
Sheik's genuine laughter ringing across the room was a good enough reaction for Falco. "I don't know what amuses me more, the actual example or the fact that you actually said 'i.e.' out loud."
"Ah, you know me. I'm an economy trip into an abnormal dimension. Proud of it, too."
Sheik sighed, allowing herself to recline against the avian. "Ah, well… thanks, Falco. That's a start."
"No problem, Sheik. If it helps, I'm no beacon of perfect self-confidence either. As you may have caught onto."
"Eh," she shrugged as understanding. She walked over to the chair she placed the music player on. "I believe I still owe you a dance."
"Nah," Falco stretched his wings out. "It's no problem, you already gave me a good one."
Sheik continued to walk up to him, placing the player in his hand. "Well then, allow me to retort."
"What does Marcellus Wallace look like?" Falco quipped.
Amid sudden giggles, she demanded "I said, allow me to retort! I'd love to have this dance with you. Capiche?"
He nodded, flipping through the player. "Alright, if you insist. Maybe we can grab a cup of Joe or something afterward at that diner I mentioned."
"Joe? At eleven at night?"
"Sleep is a myth!" was all that was needed for a counter argument. Sheik smirked and watched him place the music player back on the chair. She took a hold of his hand, but became puzzled as upbeat techno rock came out of the player.
The lyrics were damning as well. "Motherfucker, are you listening to me, mother-"
"Falco!" she barked, holding back a powerful burst of laughter. When all Falco had as a reply was the triumphant cackles of one who executed a joke he was proud of, Sheik couldn't help but release control of her own giddiness, allowing herself to fall into an ecstatic embrace with her dear friend. The two stood happily, triumphant as the pacifist victors over a champagne battlefield.
A/N If I told you all the influences and little bits and pieces and elements that inspired most, if not all that happened in this story, we'd be here all night. (Particularly Falco, who was inspired by an ingenious inspiration whom I hope is reading this story now- you may know him as well.) I'm glad to say that this story is a part of me, and I've enjoyed writing it perhaps more than anything I've written in awhile, if ever. I'm happy with it, although I'm nervous about the execution of the dance scene in particular.
So, yeah, that's the story. I hope those who have become dismayed or displaced by the troll wars can hopefully find a bit more inner peace soon. I know I have.