A/N: Again, a lot of stuff was changed around here. In the original, Romeo doesn't know who's confronting him until after he's dead, but here, I made the scenario more like Junior's death, with Peach simply losing control of her anger. All the stuff with Toad is different (i.e. unlike Romeo, Peach doesn't threaten him if he doesn't leave), and I added Iggy, Wendy and Kammy to the proceedings to create more closure. The play leaves the ramifications of the uncovered deception ambiguous, with the Prince delaying his sentencing until the morning, so as not to eclipse the drama of the scene, but I give the fallout much more coverage here. After all, this isn't a tragic love story like Romeo and Juliet, this is a story about how a calculated plot goes horribly awry and takes everyone down with it – and I hope you liked it!

Act V. Scene iii.

"Lakitu, be a dear and keep watch while I visit my poor, sweet Lemmy. I don't want to be disturbed. Go hide under those trees and whistle if you see someone coming," said Birdo as she walked through the cemetery. The sun had just barely passed below the horizon, and there was still enough light to guide her as she made her way to the mausoleum Bowser had purchased for his family. She could see it up ahead, unmistakable amongst the Mushroomian headstones. It was a long block of black stone, with enough crypts for Bowser and all his children to lie side-by-side, the former king destined for the larger, middle recess. But it was the second-from-last grave that Birdo was drawn too, and while Lakitu hung back, floating up to hide in the branches of some nearby trees, she stepped up to the mausoleum, fresh tears in her eyes.

She really had liked Lemmy, and oblivious to the contempt he held for her, Birdo had believed they could have had a loving future together. She ran her hand across the name emblazoned on the side of the above-ground grave, her diamond ring catching the dying light. She wished it was joined by a wedding ring on her other hand, but the Stars had decided otherwise. Larry had told everyone that Lemmy had died of an aneurysm, but Birdo suspected the problem lay with his heart: his body was so small and delicate, surely his heart couldn't take the pain of losing the brother who now lay to his left.

Muffling her sobs, she pulled some flowers out of her hammerspace and strew them across the coverstone. "I will never forget you, my poor husband. I know they're not really Koopa tradition, but I shall always decorate your grave with the most beautiful rainbow of flowers that I can find. You shall never be alone again, my beloved Lemmy, not as long as I can return to this place."

Lakitu's whistle floated through the air, and looking around, Birdo could make out dark shapes approaching in the twilight. Hoping they would not be long, Birdo hurried out of sight, crouching in the shadows behind some nearby tombstones.

"Peach, why are we here?" whimpered Toad.

"Shhh," she hissed, looking around, her eyes wide with paranoia. That whistle didn't sound like any bird she knew.

"Come on, we should go – it's too open here."

"No, I need to see Lemmy. I need to pay my respects," before Toad could respond, Peach handed him a letter. "Take this to Mario. I'll be along soon, but I need to be alone now." When Toad hesitated, Peach stepped forward and shoved him towards the gate. "Go!" she ordered, raising her voice as high as she dared, her eyes still flicking to and fro, scanning the twilit cemetery for onlookers.

"Nnnmmm, okaaay," grumbled Toad, starting back down the path, but as soon as Peach turned her back, he scurried behind the nearest grave. He was deeply worried about the former princess, and he wouldn't dare leave her now, not in her state of mind, and not in a cemetery of all places.

Stepping up before the grave, Peach held her arms up, calling on her magic to raise the coverstone, scattering Birdo's flowers as it slowly slid backwards, opening Lemmy's crypt.

"Get away from him!" Birdo charged out of her hiding place, screaming as she ran. "How dare you come here and defile the grave of my dear Lemmy! For killing his brother and breaking his heart, I'll kill you!"

"Please! You don't understand. I'm only here to pay for both of those crimes!" cried Peach. "But you must let me do it on my terms – if this ends with violence, nothing good will come of it!"

"Avenging my husband will be the greatest good I've done in a while!" snarled Birdo, blasting eggs from her snout as she neared her nemesis.

Instinct overrode Peach's feverish mind as the attack bore down on her and she dived out of the way of the eggs. With a wave of her arm she summoned a flurry of hearts, her stomach lurching as she realized that it wasn't just a trick of the failing light that had turned them from pink to black. Birdo cried in frustration as the inky hearts stopped her in her tracks, but they couldn't stop her from blasting a flurry of both eggs and fireballs at the ex-princess. Peach leapt high into the air, hovering as the first volley passed beneath her and using her magic to pull the coverstone clear off the mausoleum. She hurled it forward, and while the last of Birdo's projectiles managed to break it into pieces, they weren't enough to stop the momentum, and a short, anguished scream filled the air as she struggled against the hearts, followed by a sickening crunch.

Peach landed on her feet and immediately sprinted towards the spot where Birdo lay, not noticing the Lakitu speeding away from the graveyard in the distance. In a panic, she pulled the largest pieces off Birdo, but it was no use. The advancing night mercifully disguised the gruesome extent of the injuries, but it was still clear Birdo was a goner as she lay in a pool of blood, her head and limbs at odd angles. Unable to move, her one remaining eye swiveled up at looked at Peach. "If you had any decency," she croaked, "you'd lie me with my… Lemmy…"

Feeling sick to her stomach, Peach watched as the last gasp of air passed through Birdo's broken snout, and then reached forward with a trembling hand to close her eye. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I didn't want it to end this way. I didn't mean to… I…" She squeezed her own eyes shut, but it couldn't stop the tears from streaming down her face. She was a monster. She couldn't even kill herself without taking someone else with her. And all because Birdo loved Lemmy, and wanted to protect him from the woman who had killed him with her fake love. Birdo should have been his wife, not Peach. Not the black-hearted murdering monster.

Using the last of her magic to give her strength, Peach pulled Birdo from the wreckage and dragged her up the short hill to the mausoleum, a trail of blood marking her progress. She didn't have enough strength to lift the would-be bride into Lemmy's crypt, so she simply left her on the grass, not bothering to pull out a sheet to hide the carnage from sight before she turned back to the Koopaling.

"I'm sorry, Lemmy," she said, reaching down and stroking the youngster's cheek. It was the first honest affectionate gesture she had paid him all week. "You didn't deserve this. I was wrong to use you – it was bad. It was evil. I'm evil… I'm a monster." She smiled as she gave voice to the hateful whispers in her head, and pulled out the vial of poison. She looked at the crypt next to Lemmy, the name "Bowser Koopa II" and a cruelly short couplet of dates stenciled in black on a golden plaque. "I killed your brother…" She looked at the body at her feet. "I killed the only woman who actually loved you…" She looked back at Lemmy's face, pale and still, returned to innocence. "And I killed you too. I'm sorry, Lemmy." She uncorked the bottle and turned her face towards the starry sky. "I'm sorry," she whispered, and lifted the poison to her lips. Fire poured down her throat and she smiled as she fell, watching as the stars seemed to fly away from her, as her blood itself ignited and darkness closed in from all sides. True to Ludwig's word, Peach was dead before she hit the ground.

Larry broke into a sprint as soon as he was past the last pedestrian. In the distance he could hear a commotion in the streets, but he paid it little mind as he vaulted over the low graveyard fence and made a beeline for his family's tomb, only to careen into Toad.

"What the hell! What are you doing here?" he demanded, picking himself back up.

Toad was shacking from head to toe as he struggled to get on his own feet. "P-P-P-Peach. Sh-she wanted me t-t-to go, but I- I- I m-must be dreaming, b-b-b-because I thought I saw her k-kill Birdo a-a-and-"

But Larry had heard enough and charged away from the traumatized Toad. He smelled the blood before he saw it, but the sight of the pile of rubble and the blood stain leading up to the Koopa grave still stopped him short. "No," he gasped as he ran the last few steps and caught sight of the two bodies. His eyes were initially drawn to the bloody remains of Birdo, but he quickly snapped his focus to Peach, lying facedown beside the dino. "You idiot," he growled, reaching down and pulling her over. Her eyes were glassy, the ghost of her last smile still on her lips. "Shit," he hissed, quickly scanning the grass, soon catching sight of the vial. He grabbed it and sniffed – Poison Mushroom, but he knew there had been no essence of 1-Up tempering this extract.

A moan from above his head made Larry jump. Springing to his feet, he only then noticed that the grave had been opened for him, and just in time, for Lemmy was starting to stir. He opened his eyes and looked at Larry, smiling weakly. "Where is my princess?" he asked deliriously. "Where is my Peach?"

"Lemmy, I'm so sorry, but everything's gone horribly, horribly wrong," said Larry, reaching into the crypt and helping Lemmy sit up.

"What do you mean?" asked the older Koopaling, but as he got to his feet and looked over the edge of the mausoleum, he saw for himself what Larry meant. "P- Peach?!"

"I'm sorry, Lemmy," said Larry, grabbing his brother's arm to keep him from lunging out of the crypt. "She's dead. The letter I tried to send to her and Ludwig was delayed, and Toad must've told her you were dead. She drank a potion-"

"So she's just in stasis?" Lemmy looked at his brother in wild-eyed desperation.

Larry shook his head. "No, it was just poison. She's dead, Lemmy, I'm sorry."

"No!" he shouted, struggling to break free of his brother's grip. "You're lying! You're just like Kammy!"

"I'm not lying," sighed Larry, but he was soon distracted by the sound of an approaching crowd. Looking up, he could see people gathering in the lantern-lit street beyond the graveyard. Sensing his preoccupation, Lemmy wrenched himself free of Larry and hopped down to Peach, grabbing her still-warm hand and pleading with her to wake up. Larry looked down at him; he almost pitied him, but as the crowd entered the graveyard, Larry didn't even bother bringing his brother when he turned and fled. They would realize something was up when they found Lemmy's crypt empty, and Larry had nothing to gain from trying to keep his brother's continued existence a secret. Peach was dead, and she took Birdo with her, for some reason. Good riddance to both of them, but damned if Larry was going to let them catch him in the middle of it and try to pin all the blame on him in the heat of the moment.

Barely aware that his brother had left him, Lemmy clung to Peach, sobbing uncontrollably. Getting a grip on himself after a moment, he reached up and gingerly closed her eyes, trying to forget her blank stare and imagine that she was only sleeping, as he had been. He kissed her, as if he could bring her back, but it was no fairy tale. "Thy lips are warm," he whimpered, his body rocking with renewed sobs.

"Dis way, hurry!" Lemmy looked up, recognizing Roy's voice in the darkness. Suddenly he was overcome with terror at the thought of Roy coming – of his father coming and taking him away from Peach. He couldn't leave Peach lying in the cemetery. He couldn't live without Peach. She was his life – his heart. But she was dead, and so was he. He gingerly lay Peach back on the grass and pulled out her knife from his hammerspace. "O happy dagger," he whispered, his voice trembling. "This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die." Taking a deep breath, he looked back down at Peach, a final tear sliding down his cheek as he plunged the blade into his chest.

"It's here! He- oh my Stars!" gasped Lakitu as he swooped overhead, the lantern he carried lighting up the hillside.

Roy stopped dead as he entered the clearing. One glance at the trio of bodies and he turned to Wario and Waluigi. "Search the cemetery! Find who did dis and bring 'em to me, NOW!"

"Righteo!" they said in unison and ran off into the darkness, flashlights lighting their way. Roy looked over his shoulder at the Boos hovering beyond the glow of Lakitu's lantern light. "Get my old man and Fawful here, now! And Mario too." He turned back to the crime scene and began walking towards the mausoleum. What happened to Birdo was no mystery: she had been crushed by the pile of rubble at the foot of the hill and dragged up beside the grave. And like Larry, Roy noticed the glint of a glass vial lying in the grass near Peach, and figured she must have poisoned herself, although he couldn't fathom why she would bother to come back under pain of death only to kill herself. But that mystery paled in comparison to why Lemmy lay bleeding across her chest, when he should be lying two-days-dead in the sealed crypt behind him.

"I found Toad hyperventilating just off the path," reported Wario, hauling the still-shaking Mushroomian to the clearing.

"And I got yer bro, Larry!" called Waluigi, entering across from Wario with the struggling Koopaling.

"Good. Hold 'em until Fawful gets here. I'm sure at least one of 'em will be able ta tell us what da hell is goin' on here," growled Roy, glaring at Larry, who got the hint and stopped trying to resist Waluigi as he dragged him next to Wario and Toad.

"What in the Underwhere is having the going on here!?" screeched Fawful, appearing overhead, the lights from his headgear adding to the illumination from Lakitu's lantern.

"I'd like to know that too!" roared Bowser, stomping up the path, flanked by the Magikoopas, Iggy, Wendy and Morton.

"There's Boos stirring up a riot on the streets," complained Kamek. "People are running around shouting about Peach, and there are cries of 'Lemmy' and 'Birdo' too. What is going on?"

"Yes, be telling us!" demanded Fawful.

Roy had been kneeling beside the corpses, having checked to make sure they were all indeed dead, but now he drew himself to his full height and gestured down. "Birdo's dead, and so is Peach, and Lemmy too: he seems to have risen from da grave just in time ta get run 'trough. It weren't no brain aneurism dat killed him dis time, dat's for sure."

"Lemmy…" gasped Bowser, taking a couple halting steps forward, before stopping and frowning. He shook his head in confusion and stomped his foot. "I don't understand!"

"Fink-Rat Red, you are being late to our fondue party of murder mysteries," exclaimed Fawful as Mario pushed past the Koopalings.

"Luigi – he is-a dead! Your plague-a-killed-… Is that-a-Peach!?" Mario stopped cold in his tracks. "Oh noooo!" he cried, falling to his knees. "First my-a brother lets himself die because Daisy is-a gone, and now-a Peach is dead too? Why is this-a happening!?"

"Being quiet now, fink-rat!" snapped Fawful, turning back to Roy. "Who is having responsibility for these ketchup coated crimes?"

"We caught Larry running off," said Roy, gesturing towards his brother.

Fawful trained the spotlights of his headgear onto Larry. "Welling?"

Larry scowled at the crowd. He still wasn't a fan of public speaking, but that was the least of his troubles. He wondered if he should have stayed put before and played the role of a first-responder. If he had stayed, Lemmy wouldn't have had a chance to kill himself – although if he had killed himself and Larry had just been fast enough to get away clean, there would have been a chance that he didn't get fingered at all. Assuming Kammy kept her trap shut, at least. His next move also hinged on whether or not she'd rat him out: he could give the cover story that Peach and Lemmy were star-crossed lovers and hope she played along, or he could come clean and blame the whole thing on Peach.

His mind was moving a mile a minute as he weighed his options. If he told the lie, there was a better chance at uniting the Mushroomians and Koopas with guilt over the desperate position they placed the lovers in. But without the pair alive and acting the part as a happy couple, they would only have his word that it was true (and Kammy's, if she played ball) and in their position, Larry wasn't sure if he'd believe such a fantastic story. Lemmy was naïve enough to believe in love at first sight between him and Peach, but in all likelihood, no one else would be so gullible, not without proof. Plus, if Larry got caught in the lie, he could expect to follow Peach and the others straight into the ground. If Kammy wasn't privy to the deceit, he might have considered it, but as things stood, no, it would be foolish to fib.

"It's all Peach's doing," began Larry, his eyes darting around the crowd. "She resented Fawful's takeover, and how Mario and Luigi and everyone else had failed her. She was sick of the constant fighting between the Mushroomian and Koopan factors, and in foolish desperation, she decided to try and force an alliance with the power of love." Larry spoke the last word with a sneer, trying his hardest to distance himself from the disastrous plot. "Her friends decided to crash Father's party last Sunday, and there she ran into Lemmy – he was instantly smitten with her, like how you were, Dad, but rather than spurning him, she ran with it."

Larry knew he was downplaying the viciousness of her seduction, but he didn't want to fire Bowser up any more than he already was, his face darkening by the minute as Larry spun his tale. "They got married the next day – I told her it was a bad idea, but she had gotten carried away with her little ploy for peace, and Lemmy, well, who wouldn't have taken Peach Toadstool up on such an offer? Unfortunately, Junior was pissed they crashed the party and attacked Peach and her friends. Despite the fact that Mushroom-Koopa violence was exactly what Peach had been trying to avoid, she flew off the handle and killed my brother, but once she came to her senses, she was horrified at what she had done – and the ramifications it had on her plans with Lemmy. She consummated her marriage and said goodbye to him, leaving him with the belief she loved him, believing it was less cruel than if she came clean at that point."

Again, Larry was stretching the truth, but he knew telling everyone that he and Kammy were the ones who goaded Peach into sleeping with Lemmy would not go down well with Bowser or Mario. Catching her eye, he could tell Kammy was glad he left that part out too; he was still safe. "Unfortunately, her mercy backfired when Lemmy found himself being forced into a second marriage with someone he didn't love. Frantic about the prospect of cheating on Peach, he came to me for help, and I gave him a potion that would make him seem dead for two days. After the funeral, I was going to come and take him out of the crypt and send him off with Ludwig to be with Peach, then, when things had calmed down, they would return. The idea was that Father would be so happy that Lemmy was alive, he would be willing to look past the deception, and not wanting to cause more pain for anyone involved in the whole soap opera, he'd be accepting of Peach's marriage to her son. And then, seeing their beloved former princess in a happy loving marriage to a Koopa would hopefully make the Mushroomians would inclined to call a truce, while the Koopas would be similarly dissuaded from their violent ways."

Larry looked at Wendy and Iggy as he spoke, but the looks on their faces was enough to show him that Peach underestimated just how bloodthirsty her siblings-in-law had become. Even if she didn't cause the deaths of Junior and Lemmy, Larry doubted they would accept her with open arms – unless they were bearing arms. He shook his head. "It was not a very good plan, and everything about it seemed to go wrong. It's truly regrettable."

"It is also sounding unbelievable," remarked Fawful.

"Kammy will back me up – she was in on it too," said Larry.

Bowser rounded on the old women. "You what?"

"I swear, I thought it was going to work out well for Lemmy. But after Peach killed Junior, I told him the truth. I told him to forget about her and marry Birdo instead, and I thought he had listened to me. Your Enragedness, I promise, if I had known what would happen, I would have never-"

"Enouhing!" shouted Fawful, turning back to Larry. "You had the telling of what was supposed to be happened, but what had the real happening tonight? You were running from the crime scene like a nose of a crying child who also has hayfever – why are they all having death?"

"I'm afraid I didn't get here until after Peach and Birdo were dead, but I suspect the latter assaulted the former, and like with Junior, she went berserker on Birdo and killed her before she could control herself. As for why she herself is dead, my guess is that she heard that Lemmy died and assumed he killed himself over his broken heart, then, blaming herself, she was overcome with guilt and came back to set things right by taking her own life. She had threatened to kill herself when she killed Junior, and without someone to talk her out of it, she followed through with it this time."

"But why were you running away? Was Lemmy still alive when you got there? What happened to him? Why didn't you help him?" demanded Bowser.

"The death of Lemmy is not having mystery," interrupted Fawful. "He had sadness and did the suicide with the knife that is now in his chest, like a spicy bowl of chili that causes heartburn – he had the heartburn of death! But I am not caring about that – it is the fighting that makes me have interest, and why the fighters were being here. What about you, fungus-smelling Toad? Did you have the seeing of the Fink-Rats Pink and Pink before they were causing the death of each other?"

Toad trembled as Fawful glared down at him. Swallowing hard, he told his part of the story. "I- I think Larry might have b-b-been right. I told P-Peach that Lemmy was dead, and she immediately wanted t-t-to return. She didn't tell me why, but she did give me th- this l-l-letter to g-give to M-M-M-Mario."

When Toad held the letter out towards Mario, Fawful sucked it up with his headgear, grabbing it and ripping it open, before looking up at Lakitu. "And what is being of Birdo? Why did she have the presence here?"

"She wanted to decorate Lemmy's grave with flowers. When Peach came and started opening the tomb, she came to defend her fiancé and attacked the human. I went to get help, so I didn't see how the fight progressed, but I can guess what happened…"

Fawful nodded absentmindedly as he scanned the letter. He then looked down at the group. "This peachy letter is having the confirmation of the story spoken by the witnesses, even saying she had guilt and bought suicidal potion from Ludwig to be 'making it right'. How-of-ever, it is also mentioning that she had first wanted the peace in order to be overthrowing me with the combined forces of Mushrooms and Koopas. I have fury!" Larry felt the blood drain from his face even before Fawful turned his psychotic grin on him. "You had the participation in this plot. And the fink-witch Kammy, too. FURY! Have the seizing of them, too!" Waluigi tightened his grip on the Koopaling, and although Roy hesitated for a moment, with a sigh he crossed the clearing and seized Kammy by the arm, pulling her from Bowser's side as she pleaded her master for help. But Bowser refused to look at her or Roy, his face hard as steel.

"Silence!" ordered Fawful, before continuing, his eyes on the letter. "The princess of formerness was writing that she had the hopes that knowing the cooperation between you Koopas and her mushroomy self would be suggestive to Mario to be her Continue, and make the peace without her marriage of lies as the catalyst, like a looming party that forces the housewife to clean her dirty home of frivolity." Fawful leered down at Mario. "You better not be having this idea. Be a house-plumber who cleans but does not throw silly parties, and do not be inviting the Koopas."

Mario stared daggers at Fawful. His brother was dead, and Peach had turned out to me a manipulative, lying murderer, but the root of all this evil was undoubtedly Fawful. He wished he could see the letter, but he knew the Bean would never pass it on, and cursed Toad for being foolish enough to let it fall into the tyrant's hands. What burned him more was Peach's role, however. He couldn't believe she would turn her back on all the values she had held so dear, even if she had a lofty reason for it. She might have been on to something with her idea to make peace with the Koopas, but any hope of that had died with Junior and Lemmy – Mario could see it in Bowser's eyes, flashing red with the rage he knew all too well. Sighing wearily, he nodded obediently at Fawful. There was no point in fighting now – he couldn't do it alone, and with the kingdom conquered and Peach, Daisy and Luigi dead, he had already failed everyone.

Fawful grinned at the look of miserable resignation on Mario's face, and turned to Bowser. "And I am trusting you will not have the cooperation with Mario? That you had no knowing of the plot of Peach?"

"Me? Try to join forced with Mario? Been there, done that, got sent packing after the fact every time – as if I'd try it again! And if I was in on a plan that involved Peach getting hitched to a Koopa, do you really think I would elect Lemmy for the task instead of me?" he growled, hiding his true thoughts behind his old bravado.

Sensing nothing amiss with the ex-Koopa King, Fawful nodded approvingly before flying back up above the clearing. "Fink-rats! Have you readiness for this? Anyone who had the plotting of my execution will be having an execution of their own! And you others, let this be a lesson to you, like a child who is told not to touch something hot yet touches it and gets burned like a piece of forgotten toast. Peach was being right in that you should not have the fighting – but not because you will be busy with the plotting. You should be docile toadies! Do not have the fighting, just the obedience to the one who is me, Fawful! Peach is saying in her suicidal note that she was a failure because her values are not being of the righteous Star Spirits, but I am telling you 'no'! Failure is hers because she was plotting against the greatest Fawful, and if you are plotting too, you shall also be dying soon! I will give the punishment to the allies of Peach tomorrow: I have sleepyness now – but I also have fury!"

He turned to Roy and his other minions. "Be assigning your toadies to clean the graveyard. Toad and Lakitu can have the freeing like a bird, but bring the other two prisoners to the castle of me, and the bodies to the funeral home – then find a new director of funerals, because Larry's return will be as a cold client!"

Roy nodded woodenly, and at his gesture, a group of Boos broke off from the crowd and assembled, ready to begin cleaning up. He handed Kammy off to Wario, but unlike the stupefied Larry, she struggled against her captor as he led her out of the clearing.

Bowser closed his eyes, trying to block out Kammy's desperate cries, trying to make sense of what had happened. He couldn't fathom that the sweet, loving Peach he had once loved would use his poor son like she apparently had. Part of him was even impressed, but she should have made the moves on him, not runty little Lemmy, and his fleeting approval was swiftly drowned by anger. Everyone had turned on him. Peach, Roy, Larry, Kammy, and even Ludwig had been in on the plot, and in a way, Lemmy himself had betrayed his father by marrying the girl that Bowser loved, and then lying about it and faking his own death. He hadn't stabbed his father in the back – the knife had been driven through Bowser's heart, just like the blade now embedded in Lemmy's own chest.

Lemmy and Peach's deceitful actions had gotten them killed, and poor Junior was gone too, and Larry and Kammy were going to follow soon. Roy was already dead to Bowser – joining Fawful's peace keepers was one thing, but no son of his would help Fawful shed Koopa blood, even if it was from the traitors he now led away through the graveyard. All Bowser had left were the rebellious Iggy and Wendy, who didn't care about anything but themselves anymore, not even bothering to show up to Lemmy's funeral on time. Then there was Morton – annoying and useless. He supposed he still had Kamek, but the Magikoopa was old and for all Bowser knew, he could kick the bucket at any time, especially after losing Kammy.

And it was Fawful's fault. Fawful and the traitors. Fawful and the traitors and the Mushroomians. Peach had destroyed the remains of his fractured family, and if Mario hadn't defeated him all those times, Bowser might have had enough strength to defend his conquered lands from Fawful. That was the one thing Peach got right: Fawful had to go. Bowser had tried playing along – he had tried getting on Fawful's good side, he had tried curbing his children's tempers, and he had tried to while away his time planning harmless parties instead of dwelling on the fact that he should have been the local despot. But now all he was hosting were funerals, while his children turned their backs on him, and the Mushroomians walked all over him.

Not anymore.

They would pay – they'd all pay. If he was smart, Bowser would take Fawful's lead and put off his murderous activity until the morning, but aside from Ludwig, everyone he hated was assembled right then and there. The black of night suited the Dark Land natives just fine, and Bowser turned to his remaining family members. Morton was watching the spectacle in disbelief, as were the Hammer Bros. and the other assorted minions that had gathered around. More encouragingly, Kamek was watching Kammy with horror, clearly longing to rescue her, and Iggy and Wendy were watching Bowser. He caught their eyes, bloodthirsty as ever, and this time, he was grateful to have their unbridled violence on tap. He nodded his head, and with a cry they launched forward at their brother and the human guards, the rest of the battle-trained Koopas swiftly getting the message and joining the charge towards Mario, Toad and Fawful's people, while Bowser turned on Fawful himself as he looked up from Peach's letter in alarm, screaming as he was met with a brilliant fireball. "FURYYYYYYYY!"

One destroyed by love, one ruined by hate.
Both pushed to extremes in those dismal days,
And not peace, but death, and war was their fate.
Now hope burns away in their kinsmen's craze.

So never forget who caused everything:
The fallen Princess and her Koopaling.

The End