The skies were blue once again. Construction began to repair the damages left on the palace's towers. Bowser and his minions disappeared into the dark shadows, waiting for the right moment for their next plan. Everything was back to normal.

Princess Rosalina stepped outside. She let the soft breeze blow past her face. She was one with her surroundings. The woman sighed softly.

Rosalina looked around. Luigi and Princess Daisy were having a conversation in the Royal Garden. Toad and Toadette were playing in a nearby field. Happiness. It spread over the castle like wildfire. Although she was glad for her friends, the happiness sickened Rosalina subconsciously. Her wounds had healed, but the emotional scars never did.

The leader of the Lumas stepped out of Toadstool Castle's front doors. She looked to the ground and shook her head slightly. The princess walked a few feet before she was stopped by a peculiar stranger in an even more peculiar hat.

"Excuse me, madam," he started, "I am looking for an old friend. Is there a Mr. Luigi around these parts?"

Rosalina nodded slowly. "He is in the garden," she answered halfheartedly. "What is it that you need from Luigi?"

"A little business is all, I assure you. You look rather sad, my dear. Is something the matter?"

The princess remained silent. "You wouldn't believe me," she finally said. The stranger left the conversation at that. He thanked the princess for her assistance and left her with a resounding "Ciao."

After the encounter, the princess headed for her Observatory. It was time for her to go. She had already spent far too much time on this planet. Her Lumas needed to be back in outer space. Rosalina looked at the Mushroom Kingdom one last time. She would not return to this planet for another century. By then, all of her new friends would be dead and gone. No. They would not be gone, for they would live forever in her memories. She would never forget.

The princess entered the Observatory and started it up. The vehicle floated into the air, shaking the leaves on the trees in the process. Rosalina looked out the window. Her friends had gathered and were waving goodbye to her. She would miss them.

Soon the Observatory was far away, and the planet had become a small speck in the galaxy. All was silent. The silence wasn't uncomfortable, though. It was actually quite calming. Rosalina stepped away from the window. She was about to start an inspection of the ship as a part of standard procedure. She was stopped when she finally noticed something that she hadn't before.

There, resting peacefully on the counter, was a rose of the deepest of reds.

The princess rushed to it. She picked it up and stared at it for the longest time. She didn't understand. Could it be…?

A tear came to Rosalina's eye. But she wasn't sad; she was crying from happiness. She looked upwards and held the rose close to her. She laughed slightly, knowing everything would be alright once again.


Special thanks to Swimmydimmy, whose constant support created the drive to finish this story.