Just a cute Valentine's to help us through the last winter cold. Also, a nice story for Mother's Day, which is celebrated this month where I live. Enjoy. I love you:)

The newborn world under Rosalina's feet sparkled as she puffed atomic stardust on it. She waved her wand, and the dust blossomed into a forest. Another wave and she redirected cool, pure water from underneath the ground to fill a pond. She tried one of the peaches from the trees, and it was ripe. The forest would be a lovely home for the family of little people she had decided to call Toads, because of the toadstool – like growths on their heads.

Rosalina's duty was really to guard the night sky; the universe, as she called it. But in her spare time, she loved rendering lifeless planets into worlds supporting life. Although some claimed that she was interfering with the reformation of space matter, she thought that because the universe itself is infinite, what difference would a tiny, tiny home for the needy make?

"Polari!" She called for her trusted caretaker. "It's finished."

The dark brown Luma appeared out of thin air and floated over the forest. "This is great work, my dear. I know so many Toads and Goombas who need shelter."

"Good," She replied. "Bring them here, and I'll build some houses for them too."

In an hour a mass of Toads, Goombas and Beanish had gathered outside the gates to the forest village. Rosalina welcomed them, while Polari guided them to their assigned houses.

Later that evening Rosalina sat on her bed, brushing her hair and used a crystal ball to look at the little society she had made. A family of Leaf Guys worked together preparing a meal. The children invited the other villagers to join them.

"Rosalina?" Polari floated in the door crack.

"Come in," she replied, not taking her eyes off the scene. Her caretaker observed it too.

"You did a very nice thing for those people. Their home planet was destroyed by that meteor, and even though it's not your responsibility, you gave them a second chance. Yet still…" He floated closer to look her in the face, which was unmistakably sad.

"I sense that you're unhappy."

Rosalina looked down. Polari was unbending. "What's wrong, my dear? You know you can tell me anything."

She sighed. "I feel so empty. You Lumas are my people and I love you like I would love my own children. Which is what I wish for so much. But it's impossible."

Polari warmed her with one of his sparkles. "Nothing is impossible, dear."

Rosalina lay down to sleep, and right before she drifted off, Polari took one of her tears in his tiny arm. He watched it float in the air, and then make a little twinkle.

There was no day or night on the Observatory, but everybody there had a very modern opinion on sleep routines. Rosalina woke up, and found that she was not alone in the bed. On each side of her lay a bundle and both of them were moving.

They were infants, although unlike any infants she had ever seen. She felt a jolt of surprise when she realized they were Koopas, and when over the initial surprise, overjoyed to find that they were her own children!

"Oh," she sighed blissfully, and held them in her arms as she leant back on her pillows. "You're so tiny!" she kissed them both and saw them smiling back at her. "You're so adorable. I love you!"

They were twins, a boy and a girl. They had tiny, clawed hands, velvety skin with the color of the sun, soft little feet and vulnerable, large eyes. Rosalina was so full of love she forgot about everything outside of the bedroom, and spent all morning with her children, until there was a knock on the door.

"Come in!" She happily waved in the group of Lumas, who curiously observed their mistress' children.

"Aren't they just wonderful?" Rosalina folded her hands in awe at the sight of the little ones in the bassinet.

One of the Lumas admitted to herself that the twins were an acquired taste. "But they're Koopas."

Rosalina nodded. "Their souls were drifting across the cosmos, wanting to come to life, and they chose me. Thank you." She held the twins' hands and kissed their little fingers. They were tired from all the attention. The boy curled up against his sister, who rested her head protectively over his.

"What are you going to call them?" Polari asked.

"I want to call my daughter Eudicot, because to me, she's a flower. And because he's my good luck, I think I'll call my son –"

"Kamek!" A voice roared through the airship's bridge, and the Koopa Wizard was torn out of his beautiful vision. One who hadn't visited him in ages…

"Kamek! Are we there yet?"

Bowser had asked him that many, many times, and although his voice had changed over the years, the tone hadn't.

"Yes, Your Awfulness," the Magikoopa replied tolerantly. "The Hub is only ten minutes away. If you go up on deck, you'll see it in the distance."

Bowser listened and went out to the railing by the slime tub. From here he had shown many of his acquaintances the spectacular views of Dark Land and the Mushroom World.

This was a journey he had wanted to embark on alone, but without Kamek, his destination would be impossible to find. You see, this place, called The Hub by its patrons, had the highest concentration of Magikoopas in the Galaxy. Some of them lived here; others came there to meet others of their kind. But their constant presence and concentrated aura protected Reishi Linh's castle with an almost solid dome of residual magic, making it invisible.

Suddenly, the Koopa king had to clutch the railing; the ship was starting to land.

Safe on the ground, Kamek pointed in the direction of The Hub. "It's just up that hill, and we'll be there."

Bowser felt nervous. He hadn't foreseen that, and was actually glad he wasn't by himself. "How do you think this will go?"

"We'll go there, say hi, drink some tea, endure an hour of Reishi's mind games and go home. All in a day's work."

"I don't know if I can do this…"'

"Hey, hey. Just remember that he is just as nervous as you."

Reishi Linh met the two outside the gate to her castle, which by the way was much bigger than Bowser's. A gang of very young Koopa sorcerers looked at him; curious, while whispering to each other.

"Hello there." The Toad girl, as Bowser called her, was no longer a girl, but fully an adult. She was as thin and sinewy as she had always been, but in a drier, less vulnerable way. Her cruel, red eyes physically stopped Bowser in his track.

Kamek tugged at his master's hand. "Be polite."

"Eh, hi. Can we come in?" King Koopa grunted.

"Please. I have a fresh pot of English Breakfast, and I just made banana bread. Kamek," she turned to the Magikoopa with a considerably less harsh tone, "The kids sitting on the statue have been nagging me about you all day. Why don't you go and talk to them for a while, and join us later?"

While she herself sat in a mammoth, overstuffed velvet armchair with a back going almost up to the ceiling of the tea room, Bowser was made to sit in a tiny Victorian dining room chair without a hole for his tail.

She stirred the sugar nonchalantly around in her tea. Bowser had finished his, and ready to talk.

"I hear that you have done a great job keeping him safe and healthy." He started.

Reishi didn't look up; she actually savored the unbearably awkward silence.

"So… When can I see him?"

This time she did look up. "I think the real question is why I feel hesitant to let him know you at all."

Bowser sighed exasperatedly; enter the mind games. "Yes; why won't Reishi let me see my own son?"

She replied in the same sardonic tone. "Oh, I don't know. Could be your selfishness and complete lack of love for anyone but yourself... Or, the one she fell victim to herself; your unmatched ability to destroy everything and everyone you touch. More banana bread?"

"I want my son. He's old enough to come home now. And the Koopalings have promised to come home for the summer. They're ready to meet him now."

"I doubt it."

"Reishi!" Kamek's appeared in the doorframe, and his voice had a definite warning to it. "This was the agreement. Whether you like it or not, we're taking the prince to Dark Land today."

Reishi had a level of respect for Kamek. He was the only one who could resist her banana bread.

Bowser's seventh son had been raised in secret at Reishi's compound, alongside her many Magelings. He got along with them just fine, but he knew deep inside that he didn't belong there.

He was sitting in his playroom with his crayons and coloring book, and didn't notice the Koopa king joining him at the table.

Bowser tried to think of something to say. He picked up one of his son's chicken scratchings.

"Did you draw this?"

Bowser Jr. looked up. "It's mine!" he snarled and tore it out of his father's claw.

"It's um, cool beans."

The child realized something. "Hey! I say that!"

He finally took a good look at the stranger, and realized that it was the Koopa from the picture over his bed. "You're dad?"

"It's King Dad to you, kid," Bowser grumped. Their mental ages weren't that different. "I'm here to ask you if you want to come and live with me."

The little child, already worshipping the giant Koopa, nodded. "OK." He followed his father down the stairs, asking four questions a second.

Kamek looked at them on the Doomship's deck. The Koopa king's face was full of pride as his little son jumped up and down while talking. It was just like seeing the eight-year-old Bowser. As for the look on the father's face… Kamek remembered a time when someone used to look at him with that face.

As he ordered more coal to be thrown into the furnace, and set course for Dark Land, he started to daydream, and it was wonderful.