A/N So let's get one thing straight out of the way. This new series is inspired a fair deal by The Game. My writing style will be much different, the characters will be different and the situations will be different, but this is also an episodic fic following a set of characters around the mansion. That's the only similarity but that's still a big similarity. :P
But welcome to Animal House! Y'see, I noticed that the animalistic characters rarely get much attention and so I'm going to establish a space for six of them. This'll be a good way to kill some time writing in between projects, test ideas and other such things. I hardly expect a Game-size following but it should be fun, writing for barely developed characters like Donkey Kong and Yoshi (okay so I'm using Melanthe but hey; I've said my spiel on Melanthe about fifty times (including my profile)) and giving them my own spin.
Another note- I'm not going to be entirely factual about everything, mainly Pokémon. I know that Lucario has a male voice in the game and that her being female here may be 'wrong' and damn if I don't know that most of the characters featured don't have any vocabulary at all. And yes, I know that Yoshi, Lucario and DK rarely if ever wear clothes. Cut me some slack, guys, seriously?
Anyway, let's get started on the obligatory introduction chapter, aye?
Disclaimer- I own nothing, regret nothing and let them forget nothing.
A Fine Mess Hall
If there was one word that could be used to describe the North Wing of the Smash Mansion's community mess hall, a possible adjective would be fluorescent. Another possible adjective would be artificial. If you were thinking even harsher, you would probably wind up with lifeless.
You'd probably be right on the money, too. The North Wing mess hall was the least desirable of the four wings of the mansion, which lay out like a dormitory of a college around the stadium. The last to be made, and on limited budget, the fifteen-by-thirty foot room resembled a school cafeteria with white tiles, white walls, white metal tables, all of which glowed yellow under the pressure of many overpowering lightbulbs. Windows were uncommon despite being alongside two walls, and overall it was just a cold, robotic and unwelcoming place.
Not that Falco minded much. He wasn't much of a frilly person. Yes, the place could look tons better- and he may be able to think of a reason or two that it could- but they were just eating there. As long as they weren't holding any romantic dances there he didn't mind.
At the moment, he was one of the few in the room, which really had very little reason to be so big and artificial- at most a crowd in here would be about fifteen people, most of which were actually animals. He carelessly held a can of generic Sprite in his hands- Shasta brand, usually digested when one was incredibly short on cash like he was. A six-pack, one of them already being used by Falco himself, sat somewhat off center on the table. He looked across from him at one of the people who usually bid him company and said "Drink one now, before they get all icky and stale."
The Yoshi sighed and quipped "I wish these were beers," before she begrudgingly took one and popped the tab open. Falco chuckled at the forty-three year old woman's comments, replying with "Don't we all, Melanthe."
"Eh," Melanthe replied, scratching at a side of her bright red mullet, "I guess I'll live." She glanced at the can before adding with annoyance "You just had to get the only Caffeine-Free soda there, didn't you?"
"I enjoy it," Donkey Kong added from Melanthe's left. "I usually prefer a bit more meat in my drink, but I still like this one and all."
"Ever optimistic, DK," Jigglypuff observed, barely audible from the far right of the table, which was usually how she preferred it. "Although I can only pray you're being metaphorical about meat in your drink, otherwise I won't be able to stomach the thought."
"Eh…" DK grinned, unabashed. "Let's go with that."
"Apes," Jigglypuff rolled her eyes before pulling her sun hat back over them, getting back to nothing in particular.
DK knew that the less social member of the North Wing meant nothing by that comment, but amused anyways, he replied "Well that's a bit racist, don't you think?"
"Species-ist," she corrected. "We're not the same animal, none of us are."
DK had a comment about everyone all being part of the same galaxy and other such peace messaging, but he decided to hold it on his tongue as he noted, disappointed, that Jigglypuff was not interested in holding a conversation, as usual.
Melanthe groaned. "Jigg, this whole wing is species-ist! They quarantined all the animals to this side of the goddamn mansion cause they were worried we were going to gnaw off their freaking curtains!"
"It's not all animals," Donkey Kong tried to keep his best friend of several decades calm. "Snake's here, too. And Olimar."
"I think the only reason Snake's here is because they thought he was part of StarFox," Falco replied before taking another swig of his soda.
"Aw," DK threw his hands in the air, frustrated. "Help me out here!"
"Hey, I'm just telling the truth," Falco replied.
"Additionally," Jigglypuff interjected, "I'm not entirely sure what species Captain Olimar is, honestly. All I know is that I have to be careful not to step on him."
She clambered across the table and took a soda off of the plastic ring before making her way back to the end, not sparing a glance at anyone. She popped the top and added "Also, species-ist isn't even the right term. You're technically going against an entire animal kingdom. Don't ask me to come up with a term for that."
Melanthe sighed. "You know what, whatever. Guess it doesn't really matter."
DK grinned. "Not really, at least not to me. I like the animals better anyways. Can't really put my finger on why?"
"Perhaps because we haven't asserted our supposed dominance over the known galaxies, don't trap other species in tiny plastic balls and use them in fights for our own honor and pride," Jigglypuff interjected, betraying no emotion.
"Pokémon," DK sighed, resting his hand in his chin.
"You sure make Pokémon battling sound Satanic," Falco quipped.
"I call it like I see it," she replied without a second thought.
"From what I've experienced," a smooth, deep female voice joined the conversation, "it's not always like that."
Donkey Kong looked behind his shoulder to see Lucario, one of the more recent residents, as she made her way into the room. "Hey," and a smile composed his greeting.
"Hello," she replied. "I don't suppose there is any food left?"
"I don't eat that much," Melanthe snapped.
Lucario gave a short laugh. "I never imagined it. How are you, Melanthe?"
"Doing good, gorgeous," was the reply. Lucario laughed again, used to Melanthe's flirting, and settled happily on taking a place to Melanthe's right.
Falco waved, grabbing a can of Sprite and tossing it into his upright hand. "Soda?" he offered.
"Is that Shasta?" Lucario asked.
"Unfortunately," Falco replied knowingly.
Lucario nodded. "I suppose it doesn't matter; I can't taste the difference."
"Then why'd you ask?" Jigglypuff asked.
Lucario gave her a tightlipped smile and replied "I suppose the world will never know, Jigglypuff." Turning her head towards the metal door to the kitchen, she asked "Anyway, I reiterate, is there any food left?"
The door opened at that very moment, and a short, pink ball poked his head out the door. In a childlike voice, he asked "Hey, I got food, Lucario! You wanted some?"
Lucario gave a soft giggle. "Why, young Kirby, how convenient."
Kirby blushed. "Actually I was just waiting behind the door for someone to say that. I thought it'd be awesome."
She giggled again. "Why, young Kirby, how thoughtful."
Kirby grinned. "So what do you want? I can bring it right out!"
She placed a paw under her chin in contemplation. "Hmm, well what did you make?"
"All kinds of stuff! Just ask for it and you can have it!" he declared confidently.
"Well!" Lucario mused on this point. "I would like a fruit salad, perhaps."
Kirby's countenance turned to one of slight surprise. "Oh, well… I forgot to make that. But don't worry! I can do it!"
"I bet," she assured him from across the room as he made his way back in the kitchen, stopping short when she added "Oh, wait!"
"Yes?" he asked eagerly.
"Add some extra apple, okay?"
"Extra apple. Got it!"
And just like that, he was back in the kitchen. Melanthe watched Lucario watch him go, noticing a fond light shine through her crimson eyes. The Yoshi smiled, wondering if anyone could see the same sort of fondness in her own eyes.
Falco kicked his legs over the table. "So, it's awful quiet over here all of a sudden. I suppose we could start back up with a simple 'how are you guys doing today?' "
Donkey Kong gave a smile as he rolled up the bottom fringe of his khakis back above his ankles. "Ah, my day? Average, I suppose. Spent most of it outside, enjoying such a wonderful day."
"It poured. All day," Jigglypuff pointed out.
DK smiled, taking a moment to sing in a deep croon "It's raining… it's pouring, but I ain't complaining, cause I love the rain." He looked towards Jigglypuff, whose facial expression didn't seem to change a bit. He didn't show a reaction like he'd have liked to, so he just took another drink of soda.
"Haha, out there in the rain, without a shirt on, just walking on through," Melanthe grinned. "All we need is for an ape woman to take a picture of you and put it on the cover of some ape harlequin romance novel."
"Ah," DK grinned, flustered. "I'm not that buff, am I?"
"You kidding?" Falco laughed. "You must be the hottest ape alive. Girls probably line up just to look at a picture of you." He picked at a feather, taking a few seconds before thinking to reply "Platonically speaking of course."
DK laughed loudly. "Ah, well, if you insist. What about the rest of you, are you doing okay?"
"Did fine," was all Jigglypuff had to say.
"Good for you," DK responded. "How about you, Falco?"
"Ah," Falco replied lightly, "killed some time beating the hell out of some of those new multi man melee creatures, whatever they are now."
"So you killed the day training, again?" DK groaned. "Come on, man, give us a chance!"
Falco grinned. "Not happening. You gotta work for it if you want the lead."
"You're right, you're right," Melanthe cracked. "And yet I still keep hoping I can win it by sitting around and treating this like a vacation. Surprisingly, I haven't broken bottom tier yet."
"That's as good a segue as anything," Falco cracked a smile. "Mel, how about you?"
"Ah, a lazy enough day. Don't know why the hell I'm wearing these dress clothes," she gestured to her long red skirt and a tight red jacket. "I guess I expected more seizing of the day, y'know? I ended up spending more of it in my dress clothes sitting on my tail, cause the damn thing always gets in the way."
Falco looked over at Mel, commenting "Well, on the bright side… nice clothes."
"Why thank you, darling," Mel replied with a grin. She looked to her right to see Lucario's reaction to this conversation, but she didn't seem to be entirely engrossed in it. She couldn't think of a sharp enough reply for the likes of her so she settled with "How about you, Luc? Have a good day?"
"I suppose," she replied. "Nothing eventful, though."
"Spend most of it meditating?" Jigglypuff asked.
Lucario frowned, casting a shadowy glance towards the puffball. "No, actually. I spent part of today in the East wing, painting with some of the others. And before you ask, yes, even with the spikes on my hand I manage to do that." She finished, waiting to see how Jigglypuff would reply to that.
"Really?" she was surprised that the voice she heard instead was Kirby's, but was the only one not to betray that surprise as the others jumped back or gasped. She turned towards him with a smile and asked "Another example of excellent timing, young Kirby?"
"Well, I try, older Lucario," he replied with a grin, holding a plate of fruit salad. Melanthe overheard him and sniggered, stating "Ooooh, you hear that, older Lucario?"
Kirby stepped back, embarrassed. "Oh, did I say… something wrong?" he asked.
"I don't believe so," Lucario grinned slyly. "Although the term 'older' looks much better with Melanthe, I think."
Falco grinned. "Ooh, you hear that, older Melanthe?"
"Oh yes I do," she smirked. "You crazy kids."
Kirby looked around the table, confused, as he set Lucario's plate down in front of her. "I… think I'm just gonna stop using older when I talk to someone older than me."
Mel cracked a laugh. "Suit yourself."
Lucario took the fork and used it to scoop up the food. "Why, thank you, yo- Kirby."
"Aw, I liked 'young Kirby!'" Kirby insisted. "You can still call me that!"
Lucario giggled again. "Ah, young Kirby. I'd hug you if I didn't run the risk of impaling you."
"Thanks," Kirby smiled slightly, blushing again.
Falco caught his attention with a wave. Kirby perked up, looking at the avian intently. "Hey, kid," he told him. "A soda, on me."
Kirby grinned. "For me? Thanks, Falco!"
"Anytime, kid," Falco responded with a grin of his own, tossing Kirby the soda. The puffball gasped, but managed to leap up and catch it with his mouth. Thinking nothing of it, he spat it out and popped it open to drink.
"Hey, out of curiosity," DK chuckled, "if you swallowed that can of soda whole, would you turn into anything?"
Almost letting the soda drop, Kirby flinched and replied "Uh, I really don't wanna test that!" Everyone around him began to laugh, except for Jigglypuff, who did offer the kid a slight smile. Kirby responded with a laugh of his own, wondering why everyone around him thought he was so funny.
Melanthe set her can down and stated "Oh, by the way, have you all heard the news? We're getting a new member of the wing tomorrow."
"A new member?" Falco replied. "Y'know, I heard about that, but I wasn't sure what it meant. Is someone from another wing moving over here?"
"Let's hope they're not from the South Wing," Jigglypuff stated, causing everyone to shudder upon the mention. The South Wing was perhaps the least attractive of the four wings but the one that took the most time and money to create, and only to house less than ten members, all of which with some sort of background in evil or volatile affairs. Bowser and Ganondorf were the initial reason for its creation during the Melee tournaments, when the Stadium Campus was created instead of one solitary mansion. As of today, Bowser, Ganondorf, Wario, R.O.B. and Wolf were the smashers of the South Wing, accompanied by some assist trophies such as Gray Fox (surprisingly not directed to the North Wing) and Samurai Goroh. Occasionally shifts from wing to wing were made, but it was rare that someone was moved to the North Wing from another wing, and seeing that there were two nonhumans and one person with an animal-based name from the South, it was certainly not a comforting idea.
"I think," Melanthe elaborated, "that he is actually our new Brawler of the moment."
"A new brawler?" Kirby confirmed. "Cool!"
"Yeah," DK grinned. "Sounds neat, to have a new face around here."
"Haha, of course," Falco grinned. "Can't wait to check this guy out. See how I can initiate him."
"Heaven help us, not an initiation," Lucario sighed. "I haven't seen a good initiation since the day you somehow rigged my shower drains to mix in red dye with the water."
"That was a good one," Falco laughed, slapping his knee.
"Says you," Lucario shook her head, her thick bobs of 'hair' shaking around. "I still have red fur in places I prefer not to mention."
"Well, surely you wash down there," Jigglypuff told her. Lucario closed her eyes, fists clenched, wishing that Jigglypuff wasn't so blatantly, embarrassingly frank all the time. She managed to mutter "Of course I do," not daring to look up to see her neighbor's reaction.
DK stared at Jigglypuff in unabashed surprise, but managed to shake it off in time to shove Falco in the side and mumble "Well, you'll refrain this time, won't you?"
"Oh, kiss my ass, DK. That's the most fun I get around here," Falco replied stubbornly.
"Fine," DK gave him a knowing smile. "Just go easy on him this time. We want to welcome him into the Animal House with open arms, right guys?"
"Yep!" Kirby replied with a wide grin.
"And hopefully kick his ass like I have everyone else's," Falco quipped.
"If he doesn't kick yours first," Mel interjected. "From what I hear, this guy's volatile on his own. They almost put him in the South Wing, but decided against it since he apparently has an obvious honest moral code or something like that."
Everyone took a moment to digest that. "So…" Lucario began.
"So we should watch our backs," Jigglypuff finished for her.
"But still be welcoming," DK insisted. "I think that he deserves a chance, or at least some cordiality."
"Agreed," Lucario said. "Completely agreed."
Falco looked over the group with a smile. "Either way, we're a family. Some odd, disjointed motley crew gang of a family, and that's just fine enough for me, even if it is my second family and all." Everyone knew he was referring to his close friend Fox and his team, so no one mentioned it.
"I think it's everyone's extended family," Donkey Kong elaborated. "But family is still family."
"Yep," everyone was surprised that Jigglypuff felt the same way, albeit less so when she added "Even if consists of a frank and asocial distant cousin, a grouchy but loving mother and her sophisticated girlfriend, a hippie uncle, a devious big brother and an admittedly optimistic kid."
Lucario turned red again. "Pardon me, but I hardly think we are dating," she insisted.
"Hmm, well I've seen enough mainstream media to conclude that you two will end up in a relationship at some point in the tournament, just by that insistent denial right there."
"Quiet, you," Lucario glared at her.
"Ah, well, even if the sophisticated girlfriend and the asocial cousin don't get along," Falco interjected "I like your analogy, Jiggly. We're a family, and therefore I propose a bargain brand Shasta Lemon Lime soda toast to our family, whether or not it expands. Sound good?"
DK nodded. "Sounds like a memory."
"Well then, as the matriarch of the family, I declare that it shall happen." And with that, Melanthe moved her can to the center, hearing the clink of the cans as the social five and a squeaky "yay!" from Kirby. DK noticed that even Jigglypuff took a drink of her soda with a small smile on her face and a dim light through her wide eyes.
"To our family," he declared.
A/N Well, I've already fallen in love with the characters. It's a funny story, really, because these characters are really my own concepts hinted at and tested in different oneshots. Melanthe makes acameo appearance in Firework and is a supporting character in the in progress but currently defunct Strings. This Jigglypuff bears semblance to the Jigglypuff in my short lived Romance Commission fic To Describe My Love, although she is not as cold in that fic. DK made a supporting character appearance in Skyward to Freedom, Lucario was a star in Colors, Kirby was the sole star and narrator of one of my most popular fics Warrior of Happiness and Falco, well Falco has made appearances in several fics (including my first fic Words and Action), but this is the version from Pacifist Victors of a Champagne Battlefield. So, so glad that I got to expand on these characters in a fic that I hope goes on for awhile.
Ah, yes, speaking of which, I hope to keep this fic going for awhile, but to do that I need a steady audience. So reviews or signs of support would be much appreciated. I'm not using this as a ploy or plead or even threat for reviews or favorites, but I am not sure I would dedicate my time to write a fic that's just for me, especially as I'm already busy.
Also, the relationship and hints of MelanthexLucario may be a bit polarizing in effect- some will love it, some will hate it. Let me just state that this is not supposed to be Yuri, or potential smut, or slash or anything like that. It's supposed to be a flirting, perhaps romantic relationship. Same as the types between humans or male/female. I'd say male/male too, but that, in my opinion, isn't portrayed very realistically here either. But yes, this is a normal relationship. So don't think I'm pushing an agenda or exploiting it, and please don't let it drive you away. An open mind, after all.
Wow, so serious I am. Don't let me fool you, I'm happy with it, and it's gonna be so much fun. Let me know what you think, who your favorite character is and all that. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
And also, 50th fic coming up (HOLY GOD.) I have something special in mind for that. :D
P.S. The song that DK sings is I Love the Rain by The Real Tuesday Weld. It's so great.