~~Chapter Two~~

The mercenary swordsman winced and cursed in his native language aloud as Mario gently brushed his hands across his bruised side, recieving a glare from the red-clad plumber. "Please-a stay calm-a, Ike. I'm-a only trying to help-a." he chided. Ike scowled. "Yes, but it does not make the pain any more comfortable." he grumbled, biting back another swear word as the physician mumbled something in italian and brushed by the damaged area again. After a few more minutes of inspection, Mario took out a clipboard and quickly scribbled something on it, then placed the clipboard aside. "Well-a...There's-a no doubt-a about it: You-a definitely broke a rib-a. Maybe two-a, at the most-a." he replied.

Ike knit his brows together and a wave of hopelessness washed over him. There went all his last rays of hope that it was otherwise. "So...This means I cannot fight; correct?" he mumbled. The there will be-a no sudden movements." he added. The Greil commander's jaw nearly dropped from shock. Five days' worth of rest? That was too much, even for Lucas, who was always ending up in the infirmary, or Luigi, who was constantly visting his elder twin brother due to injuries inflicted by the villains in the mansion. "Are you mad? I have many fights scheduled for the following days! I just cannot rest! Besides, I promised Pit I would partner with him in a Team Brawl tomorrow, and as tough as my opponents are, I will not back down from a promise." the blue-haired warrior argued sharply.

Mario merely shook his head. "I'm-a sorry. But procedures must-a be followed. The Hands-a would not-a wish for any of their-a contestants to be seriously damaged-a, and I must-a agree." he stated firmly. Ike sighed. It seemed like there would be no getting out of this one, he realized somewhat bitterly. He would just have to live with it for now. "...Alright. I shall comply. But only five days." the swordsman said reluctantly. The plumber nodded. "Great! I'll-a see your room-a, then." he said. As both men walked to the doorway, Sheik, Princess Zelda's alter ego and female warrior, stormed in while carrying a passed-out Luigi with an unnatural ease. "Your sibling is unconscious. It would be best if you tended to him now." she said bluntly, and placed him on the patient bed.

Mario blinked and pulled out his stethescope, worry framing his features. Mumbling a string of sentences in Italian, the red-clad plumber tried to get his brother's attention while checking his vitals. When none was forthcoming, he stopped talking and sighed, placing his stethescope back in its place. "Passed out-a due to fear-a. Ike-a, I cannot take you to your room-a. Sheik-a, if you will, please-a..." he said in a semi-apologetic tone. The blonde Sheikah's jaw set, and she crossed her arms while eyeing the blue-haired man. " 'Tis a grand idea, but I must return to the princess..." she replied icily. Mario only gave her a look. "Please-a. Consider-a it a favor-a." he pleaded.

Growling in a harsh tone under her breath, Sheik grudgingly gave in."...Fine. But only for this once, Mario. I have duties involving the princess that I cannot shirk from. You of all people should know this..." she replied stiffly. Mario sighed in relief. "Many-a thanks, Sheik-a." he said in a thankful tone. Sheik merely nodded, and the Crimean swordsman blinked. He had a feeling that walking to his personal quarters accompanied by a very stubborn-looking, volatile, female warrior would be painful, to say the least. Add the fact that she did not like men, or so he had heard-save for Link, who was like an elder brother to her-and Ike was certain he was not going to enjoy this walk at all. After all, she did not gain her supposed fame as a ruthless warrior-who was similar to Samus Aran in many ways-by being nice. Clutching his still-smarting side, the Greil commander managed to walk out of the room without cursing at all. But the pain he tried to keep silent only flared, and not able to withstand the physical torment any longer, Ike cursed in the Hylian language; the phrase was somthing he had heard Link utter only once quite some time ago. Abruptly, the Sheikah stopped in her tracks, and turned to face the Crimean, her auburn-red eyes cold with anger. "What. Did. You. Say?" she hissed. The blue-haired swordsman winced, then tried to shrug, which only earned him another sharp pang of pain. "I...I do not know...But Link said it to let loose steam once...Why?" he asked, trying to sound as innocent as possible.

The reaction that happened next was not anything Ike had been expecting. Sheik rapidly pulled her hand back and slapped the Crimean on the cheek-causing a stinging sensation-then pulled out her chain to send a small surge of electricity coursing through Ike's body. A gasp of pain exited the swordsman's mouth, and he fell to his knees, clutching his side and gut. The female Hylian warrior only looked at him, her face a mask of pure anger. "Do not ever use that phrase in front of another woman, least of all the princess, ever again. What you said is considered an insult and an offensive term in the Hylian tongue. Banish it from thy mind." she growled, her left hand hovering menacingly over her dagger. Ike looked up to her, annoyment framing his features. "What in the heavens was that for? You could have at least given me a warning or something! And please keep in mind I am injured with broken ribs." he said, his voice laced with impatience.

The Sheikah blushed slightly, then clenched both her hands tightly, her face the very perfect definition of flustered. "I-I-It does not matter! What you said was rude and ignorant! So do not ask me for any warning of any sort when you deserve none!" she said, her eyes blazing brightly. Ike smiled wryly as Sheik slowly began to sputter in her native language, and stood up; somehow, her show of impatience made Ike want to laugh. "All right, all right. I apologize for my ignorance...I shall be more cautious in what I say regarding your native tongue. Is that satisfactory?" he replied smoothly. His response only made the female Hylian blush even more, and she crossed her arms. In the Crimean's opinion, she looked somewhat interesting, spluttering and quivering in discomfort and rage. "Great Goddesses! Why must thou be a cumbersome fool? You are making my job worse of a burden to bear! Ugh...Forget this happened, and let us not tarry any longer." she said, ending her sentence in a curt tone. Ike merely bowed, which made the blonde, auburn-eyed Sheikah roll her eyes, the flush that had crept on her face slowly ebbing away. "As you wish..." he replied, and without another word, they continued walking to Ike's personal quarters.

After a few more minutes' of uncomfortable silence, the duo finally arrived at its destination. Sheik gave a small snort of derision and impatience, then opened the door to his personal haven. "We have arrived. Thus, my task is complete." she said, her auburn-red eyes drilling holes into the Crimean's azure ones. Ike blinked, then stepped inside. The room, which he had always enjoyed, now suddenly seemed like prison that would slowly drive him insane in the following days. Taking the door from the female Hylian, the Greil commander smiled wryly and humorlessly. "...You are a strange person. But still, I must thank thee for accompanying me to my personal quarters...You did not have to, yet you did. My deepest thanks go out to you for this, despite having wounded me more, but I shall pretend that never happened." he said.

Sheik merely scoffed. "Hmph. You mistake my actions. I came here because Mario told me so. I have more important things to do that involve the princess...Things that do not involve tending to you, sir." she sniffed, spitting out the final word as an insult and scowled; the cowl she wore that partially covered her face hid the rude facial gesture. Ike laughed harshly. "...You most certainly are not like Zelda-"

"That's Princess Zelda to you, ignorant fool."

"My apologies...Princess Zelda...You are not like her in any way whatsoever...Still, you can be amusing. I will not deny that."

"I am no joke, nor should I be treated as such. My alter ego and leigelord can be whomever she wishes to be. So leave her out of it, or you will recieve my wrath again."

"...You are not like any woman I've met before. I must say I do admire you...And the tending to me certainly sounds like a grand idea."

The blonde female Hylian glared at him, the flush already creeping back into her cheeks. She did not like being toyed with, and this man was certainly toying with her and her mind. "The pain has addled thy brain. Now rest, and leave me be." she managed to reply, before she spun on her heel and left. Ike closed his eyes and sighed, before closing the door. "Great goddess...I think I shall go crazy..." he muttered. But from what, he did not know; all he knew was that something was going to make him snap. And a very small part of him wished it would be because of the blonde Sheikah. The leader of the Greil mercenaries blinked, then shook his head rapidly. "No...It would not do me well to care for that woman..." he said to himself. Women would only bring him problems, he thought dryly. Besides, he knew Master Hand would not see a romantic relationship-or any kind of intimate relationship for that matter-between two fighters with good eyes. Or whatever the strange floating appendage used to 'see'. Grumbling to himself, Ike plopped on to his bed and went to sleep. But his dreams were plagued by a certain blonde woman with auburn eyes...


Hey hey hey! I know you probably wanna kill me 'cuz I haven't really updated soon enough, but I beg of you, please don't. This chapter was not the best and I wasn't exactly feeling well when I wrote it...But this story, along with a few others just keeps haunting my flashdrive..T^T So it's just better to get over with this crap and finish it, hai? Sheik totally pwned Ike here and nearly killed him lulz. Just kidding. But she was pretty insulted by whatever Ike said (which is nothing relevant; just something that was meant to get the plot rolling) and she really let 'im have it-much to Ike's displeasure. But maybe something will patch up the sudden rift that has split these two apart, even if momentarily...But what, you'll have to find out in the next chapter! Please review XD! And thanks for putting up with a sorry excuse of an author!