Ahem! Today I'm going to continue the story of The Thousand-Year Door. It's been over one year since our brave heroine Maria defeated the evil X-Nauts, rescued the prince, and saved the world from the clutches of the Shadow King and today she's heading back where it all started.

The sun set over Rougeport like a diamond in the rough; the buildings were crooked and bent, the streets piled with rubbish, and the sea bombarded people's noses with the power of a hundred pirate ships. People moved quickly to their houses as the night swept Rougeport, wary of the shadow's dangerous and greedy eyes. When Maria first came she made a silent vow to leave as soon as possible; and now her steamer couldn't seem to bring her quickly enough. For all of Rougeport's faults, many many faults, it was here she learned just how beautiful the world could be. The people of that poor city still had hope and strength in their hearts that lit up every dark corner within them no matter how small that hope was. And of course without Rougeport she never would have met all the wonderful people she now knew as her friends.

"Ah! I can see them waiting on the dock!" said Maria, excitedly looking through her telescope. Maria at the moment looked absolutely terrible; her skin was deathly green, her brown hair iron wool, and her red shirt and blue overalls covered in cuts and soaked with blood. People usually look like this leaving Rougeport, but today was special. Today was Halloween.

"That's nice" came a nervous reply. Lucy sat in her chair nearby, fidgeting anxiously as their ship began to pull into port. Her green shirt, hat, and overalls were perfectly fine, but her complexion was almost as green. Maria's sister Lucy has always been terrified of Halloween and the supernatural, and even seeing her zombie sister made her feel nervous. Let's just say the dead haven't always been kind to Lucy.

"Aw, lighten up!" Maria said as she put the telescope away and grabbed her bags. "Today is supposed to be a fun day, so enjoy yourself". "I think I'll be able to enjoy myself just fine from my hotel room, thank you very much". "If you say so".

"I think she has the right idea in this town" the captain warned behind the wheel of the ship. "We'll be arriving very shortly, so prepare to disembark".

The boat came to a swift halt, and Maria stepped off onto the golden grime of Rougeport.

A blond haired college boy dressed in brown shirt and pants with a matching fedora and a whip at his side was the first to greet her, promptly shaking her hand. "I've heard people say you never seem to die Maria, but this is just getting ridiculous". "Goombriel, it'll take much more than death to stop-" "The Great Genenza!"

Maria let out a surprised squeak as a pair of small arms wrapped around her torso and lifted her off the ground, practically crushing her rib cage in the process.

"I missed you so much Maria, and I'm so glad you're back" said the short green-haired girl, red cape flowing in the wind and her fake canines showing as she smiled as wide as she could. "Do you like my costume? Is it scary enough?" "The costume isn't what I find scary Kami" Maria barely whispered as she was suffocated by the world's youngest professional wrestler.

"Oh, sorry" Kami said, putting Maria down and allowing her to catch her breath. "Don't worry, I'm glad to see you too", Maria said after putting Kami in headlock and administering a playful noogie.

"Don't hog Maria all to yourself, we've all missed her just as much as you did". The voice appeared to come from a young and beautiful pink haired woman, and clothed in the lovely dress of Princes Zelda. Maria knew better however and playfully embraced the centuries old man. "It's not like we're in a rush Vixen. I'm on vacation for the whole week so we'll have plenty of time together".

"Not enough if you ask me my love". A suavely clothed man approached Maria, dressed in the finest opera clothes and a mask over half of his face, hiding his green eye and revealing his blue. He took one arm around Maria's waist, leaned in for the kiss and-


His face was now appropriately flat as a pancake with Maria's frying pan filling his whole vision. "Prince Peach lent this to me; he said that it was great for situations just like this. I can see now he wasn't lying" Maria said with a smirk; she'd gotten used to Mr. Mowz's advances a long time ago. "I see absence does not always make the heart grow fonder" the gentleman thief said rubbing his sore face, "but I just had to give it one last shot".

"Heed my advice" said a blue haired man with a gold tie, an open blue shirt that showed off his abs, and small pair of devil horns on his head, "there are some things even you can't steal".

"I beg to differ" Mr. Mowz replied, crossing his arms in contempt.

"It's great to see you again Flur-", "Sir Flureon", "SIR Flureon" said Maria, rolling her eyes before hugging him as well.

Maria craned her neck up in order to see his face and asked "How's the weather up there?" "Oh tis very cloudy and windy but when you are an angel like me you get used to it" he replied.

Maia turned around after hearing a distressed moan, originating from a very muscular and tan older woman with white hair and wearing a bright red shirt bearing the insignia of the United Federation of Planets. Bobbera was rubbing her temples and said simply "I'm getting too old for this". Maria just smiled and said "You're never too old for fun" before embracing Bobbera as well.

Maria looked around at everyone and said "Everyone seems to be here now, but where is…" "Wait!" said a voice from the distance, followed closely by a running woman with a Band-Aid on her nose, long blond hair, and wearing a bright yellow sweater adorned with pink butterflies. "We've got to stop meeting like this Koopie" Maria said as she tossed the woman a water bottle from one of her bags.

Koopie readily thanked Maria and started drinking from the bottle. "I'm sorry I'm late, I've just been having one incredibly crazy week". "Shoot" responded Maria, "I don't think anything can surprise me anymore".

"Well, I uh kinda am a little tiny bit…engaged". Now it was Maria's turn to be gasping for air.

"Engaged? To Koop?" Koopie could only blush like a fire hydrant and nod her head fervently, trying very hard not to make eye contact. "That's wonderful news" cried Maria "and we're going to make sure you celebrate right!" Koopie only blushed harder as she became the center of one giant group hug.

"Can I be your maid of honor?" Vixen said behind her. "Oh, um…I've already got someone else in mind" replied Koopie replied with a nervous laugh.

Separating from the group, Maria announced their plans for the night. "Well then, it's off to the inn to begin the night. This Halloween we'll eat enough candy to fill a castle! Who's with me?" Everyone except her sister let out an enthusiastic cry and began heading to the local inn and bar, Kami chasing Lucy in circles the whole way there.

"What do you mean there isn't any trick-or-treating in Rougeport?" Maria yelled despondently at the beanish bartender while her bags were taken to her room.

Podley just rolled her eyes and said "I'm sorry, but the rules are the rules. The mayor decided that this town has enough insanely dressed freaks as it is without giving them an excuse to dress like that. No offence."

"And to fathom I got all dressed up for nothing" Sir Flureon said in his usual contempt. "I suppose we will just have to begin in Petalburg then".

"Not necessarily", Podley said still cleaning her many shot glasses. "While there is no Trick-or-Treating, The Pianta Palace is having a big Halloween themed party today, and Pianta Tokens only cost half as much if you're in costume".

"Sure, it's been a while since I've visited the Piantas as well" Maria said before looking at Kami and getting a concerned look on her face. "Wait. We can't go gambling; we've got a kid with us!"

"More like a baby" Goombriel added, inciting an unwanted tackle from the 'baby'.

"Have you guys forgotten?" Bobbera asked, "This is Rougeport we're talking about. They give out lottery tickets instead of toys in kid's meals here and I've been gambling before I could even read."

"Oh please let me go, please please please please pleeeeeeease!" Kami said bouncing up and down. Maria thought a moment and said "Okay you can come, but only if you promise to behave and act like an adult". Giving Maria another bone crushing hug Kami said "Don't worry, I will be the most mature costumer they've ever had".

"That's nice" came a whimpering reply. "Now please set me down". Kami finally let Maria breathe again before leaping onto the shoulders of Sir Flureon and shouting "Onwards!" Sir Flureon let out a friendly sigh and headed out the door with his friends right behind him.

"Goodnight Lucy" called Maria at the door "and don't let the bedbugs bite". Maria shut the door behind her, hearing a very frightened yelp just before it closed.