Okay, this is funny. And I don't mean that in the "I think this story is hilarious" way—I mean the whole inception of this entire fic is funny, because I'm writing this heart-warming tale while vicariously writing the meanest fic in the world. Earlier today I updated the heartless jerk story, so if any of the jokes seem very cruel, I deeply apologize. Onwards!
So, the whole idea of this fic is that it's written for Messenger of Dreams and Tune4Toon's Fireplace Tales contest, in which you have to write a cheerful one-shot between 100-10,000 (barely scraped it) words that revolve around the holiday season. The catch is that it must be cheerful and heartwarming. Normally I wouldn't enter such a contest because my sense of humor is rather insensitive, but the moment I read the prompt, this story came to mind, and I just had to write it.
So before I begin, a big shout out must go out to MoD and T4T for making this fun contest! Personally I do not care if I win or not, because I really like the idea.
And I would also like to express my undying gratitude to these two amazingly nice hosts for understanding my life situation, and thus granting me a time extension. It means so much to me!
And of course, a huge OMG YOU'RE AWESOME goes to my beloved beta, Way of the Sheikah. If it weren't for him, this would not exist! Seriously, I cannot even begin to describe the hell that man went through to ensure this story is of high quality, AND follows the rules (believe me, you have no Idea how much pain I went through).
Jeez, seeing all the setbacks and stretches I took, I'll be surprised if I make top 7, much less not get disqualified.
Well, time to get started!
Word Count: 10,188. Barely made the cut!
A Tune for Toon Link
The holiday season had finally arrived for the Super Smash Brothers! Everybody was excited for Christmas, and who wouldn't be? Christmas is the one time of the year where you can actually stick a nine-foot tree in the middle of your living room and decorate it with colorful lights that could potentially burst into flames! Not to mention the season festivities always plant a smile on everyone's faces, and nothing beats that warm, cozy fire in the middle of the frigid December night.
And of course—presents. Who doesn't love presents? Pichu certainly loves presents, ain't that right, Pichu?
Oh wait, he's not in Brawl.
Oh! Well look who decided to drop in for the holidays! It's our pal, Pichu! Even Pichu loves Christmas!
What's that? You're Jewish? And you wonder why you didn't make it into Brawl?
I'm kidding, he says he loves Christmas; and that joke was awfully mean, so I'm sorry. Really. Regardless, the story I'm about to tell is one that encompasses the magical spirit of the holidays. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, the holiday spirit most certainly dwells within us all! So let's get started, shall we?
It all starts with presents! Everybody loved getting presents, and seeing how many Smashers there were, everybody always got a boatload of presents. Everybody, that is, except Toon Link. Toon Link didn't get presents from everyone. He didn't even get ten, or five for that matter! In fact, Toon Link never got a single present for Christmas!
You would think that he would be disappointed, but believe it or not, he didn't care much. He wasn't the most popular guy around, but he definitely believed in keeping that special holiday spirit, so he always tried his best to stay positive. Every year he would get everybody a nice present, despite noone returning the favor. Nobody ever asked why, but if they did, he would be sure to reply, "it's a happy time of the year, so why not?"
You would think someone would notice by now, but every year his good deeds would be left unnoticed.
However, this year is different. This year, somebody did notice Toon Link's horrible treatment, and that certain somebody happens to be a young boy by the name of Ness!
Every year Ness watches Toon Link struggle to get presents for everyone, and not once does anybody return the favor. Not even him.
Of course he wished more than anything he could buy something for Toon Link, but he never had any money. This year however, he wanted to make sure that Toon Link would get the gift he deserves. He didn't know what it would be, but Ness knew for sure he wouldn't rest until he could guarantee a present under the tree for the kind-hearted toon.
There was only one problem with his plan—how could he even do such a thing?
"Perhaps I should ask around," he muttered to himself.
And thus, our journey begins! But where should he start? Fortunately for him, Captain Falcon was in the living room, resting on the couch while watching a NASCAR race on TV.
"Captain Falcon!" cried Ness as he crawled on the sofa. The racer was leaning on his right palm, the only thing supporting his weight.
"What do you want?" he asked in a monotonous tone.
"I just wanted to talk, that's all," he replied.
The racer sighed. "Shouldn't you be off playing 'Truth or Dare' or something?"
"That didn't work out so well last time, remember?"
He snickered. "Oh, right."
After a moment, he stretched his arms out and yawned. "So what do you want?"
"To ask you a question."
"Fair enough. Shoot."
"Have you gone Christmas shopping yet?"
Captain Falcon groaned, as if he knew where Ness was going with this. "Yes, I've already done my Christmas shopping."
"And you got everybody a present, riiight?"
"Yes, I got everybody a present…" The racer didn't bother to make eye contact.
"Are you sure you got everybody a present?"
"Yes, I got 'everybody' a present; even you, Ness. Is that what you wanted?"
"Yes, and no. What about Toon Link?"
Captain Falcon paused. He lifted his chin from his palm. "What about Toon Link?"
"What did you get him?"
He shrugged. "I dunno."
"You don't know?"
"That's what I said."
"Did you even get him anything?"
"Ehh, probably not." He turned back to the TV and returned to a comfortable position.
Ness, however, wasn't convinced. "Well, we can go to the store together and pick something out."
"Hmm... nah, don't really feel like it."
"Oh come on, why not?!"
With a sigh, Captain Falcon turned to Ness. "Look, I don't particularly care too much for the guy, okay?"
"But he's our friend, and part of our family!"
"First of all, he's not my friend, and most definitely not a part of my family," Captain Falcon growled. "And to be honest, the guy creeps me out!"
Captain Falcon's sudden negative outburst struck a nerve inside of Ness. All of a sudden he felt a strong urge to lash out.
"But Captain Falcon, he got you a gift, didn't he?"
The racer paused, his face twisting into a nasty sneer. "He got me a bedspread… whoop-dee-freaking-doo…" he said as he waved his arms in the air.
"...That you still use."
"So?" Captain Falcon shrugged, "why wouldn't I? It's made of cotton-polyester. Do you know how comfortable that is?"
Ness crossed his arms. "And how much do bed sheets like that cost?"
The racer paused, but this time he didn't know how to respond. Seeing no other option, he bowed his head and mumbled softly. "Eighty bucks…"
"That's eighty dollars he spent on you, and you don't want to get him anything for Christmas?!"
"He didn't have to!" Captain Falcon exclaimed. "I mean, just because he wanted to spend that kind of money on me doesn't mean I should feel obligated to return the favor! Now will you leave me alone already before I go back to the store and return the gift I got you?"
And with that, Ness stormed out of the room. He couldn't believe Captain Falcon! What hurt the most was that he didn't even feel the tiniest bit of remorse for poor Toon Link. Ness knew pressing the issue further would only make things worse, but it still made him furious.
However, Ness also knew that there was more than one Smasher in the mansion. If Captain Falcon wants to be a jerk, then that's his prerogative!
With renewed determination, he decided to find someone else. The person would obviously have to be kind, and willing to help out anyone in need. But who would fit that description?
Suddenly, like the tender kiss of fate's guiding hand, Ness bumped into someone he knew would never hesitate to help a friend.
"Mario!" Ness cried out.
Mario turned to Ness with a smile.
"Yo dawg, how's it hangin'?" Mario asked, flashing some obscure hand gestures.
"Oh I'm doing swell and…" Ness' voice trailed off when he noticed something wasn't right. He took a closer look at Mario; for some strange reason he wasn't wearing his token red shirt and blue overalls. Instead, wore a red hoodie and baggie pants. Furthermore, his iconic red hat with the giant "M" stitched on the front was turned sideways!
"Umm Mario? Why are you dressed like that?"
"Oh dis? It nothin'; just getting' mah swag on!"
Ness raised an eyebrow. "Your 'swag?' What has gotten into you! Why are you talking like that?"
"'Ey, I'm just practicing my American accent. Ya dig?"
Ness stared at Mario as if warts had spontaneously broken out on his face. "That's your American accent?"
The plumber nodded. "Dat's right, so check it—I decided to drop that whole Italian getup and learn how to spit out some lines like a real American! Been takin' some lessons."
Ness couldn't decide what was more disturbing: the strange outfit, the accent, or the fact Mario was actually taking lessons.
"Okay, who the heck is teaching you how to talk like that?"
Then suddenly, the answer to Ness' inquiry popped out of nowhere in the form of a short, 8-bit figure.
"Yo M-town, what's good?"
"Of course…" Ness muttered to himself.
"Why if it isn't my homeboy, Mista G-Dubstep," Mario said as he gave Mr. Game and Watch a high-five. "What's crackin', bro?"
"Nothin', just chillin'; been thinking 'bout spittin' some rhymes for D.K."
"Yo that's what's up!"
"So check it—I be walkin' past his crib, and I catch him layin' down some mad beats on dat bongo o' his! I swear those beats was so throwed, my head be swaying like I was drunk, you know what I'm sayin'?"
"Yeah dawg, that's what's up!"
"Bro, I am serious, those beats were dope!"
"Aww you serious? Bro, we gotta go in there with some lines! I'm telling you, if he's layin' some serious beats, we got to get there and start flowin'!"
At that point, Ness had absolutely no idea what Mario and Mr. Game and Watch were talking about. Fortunately, Mr. Game and Watch finally noticed Ness standing in front of the two.
"Yo what up, Earthbound?"
"Hey Mr. Game and Watch… I see you have a ghetto accent."
Mr. Game and Watch smirked. "Hey, ain't nothin' racist 'bout that. Bruddha gotta represent!"
"So what can we help you with, N-bound?" Mr. Game and Watch asked.
"Just wanted to know if you've done your Christmas shopping."
"Oh jeez," they both cried out in unison. Mario was the first to speak.
"You're right, Christmas be comin' 'round the corner, and we ain't even been shopping!"
"I know! We need to get that done today, son!"
They both nodded, then turned to Ness. "Yo N-bound, wanna join us?"
Ness began laughing. For some odd reason the overall exchange between Mr. Game and Watch and Mario was amusing. He nodded with a smile.
"Sure, that sounds great! But may I bring someone along?"
Mr. Game and Watch patted Ness on the shoulder. "Yo man, we tight; any friend of yours is a friend of ours!"
Mario held his fist out for a fist-bump. "So who you bringing to hang?"
"Wellll," Ness flashed a nonchalant smile and gently tapped the floor with the tip of his foot. "I was thinking we could bring Toon Link along."
Both Smashers instantly recoiled as if they were hit by a bucket of cold water. Their friendly smiles faded into a mix of gloomy bewilderment.
"Say what?" Mario asked.
"Whoa, Did you just say Toon Link?" Mr. Game and Watch asked.
"Yeah, is something wrong?"
"Oh no, no, it's nothing…" Mr. Game and Watch muttered.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, we cool, umm… yeah," the 8-bit character repeated himself. "We cool, we cool, but hey, listen bro."
Mr. Game and Watch lowered his head. "Perhaps you shouldn't come along with us."
"Yeah," Mario jumped in, "maybe you should go with someone else, k?"
"Oh, I get it! So I won't run the risk of accidentally seeing what you guys get me for Christmas, right?"
The two ghetto-stricken Smashers glanced at each other and nodded. "Yeah, we just remembered the gift we getting for you is so throwed! It'd be a shame if you were to catch a glance, you feel me?"
"Oh no problem, I understand. You can still take Toon Link along though, right?"
They paused again and looked at each other like the answer to a secret riddle was hidden on their faces. After a moment, Mario turned to Ness and sighed.
"Hey look-a, don't-a get-a this the wrong-a way." Mario's shift back to his original Italian accent caught Ness off-guard. "But I don't-a think-a that would be a good-a idea."
"Because you don't want him seeing the gifts for him either, right?"
The two Smashers cracked warm smiles and patted Ness on the head.
"Yeah, that's what's up!"
"Umm yeah. We don't want-a Toon Link-a to see what-a we get him."
The spontaneous change of plans was puzzling, but Ness felt it best to simply accept it and move on.
"All right, I'll catch you guys later then."
"Keep it real, dawg!"
"Good luck-a, Ness!"
With a wave, the psychic wonder turned around and left. As soon as he was out of eyesight, he heard Mario and Mr. Game and Watch talking to each other in low voices.
"Yo man, that boy be trippin'," he heard Mr. Game and Watch say. "What is he thinkin', trying to get us to bring Toon Link along?"
"I know dawg, what gives?" Mario replied, "Dat Toon Link is nothin' but a freak!"
"Yeah, and he honestly expecting us to get him a Christmas gift? I swear, he be trippin' out of his mind!"
Ness felt his anger rise again. The nerve of those guys; they were even worse than Captain Falcon! Just what was their problem with Toon Link? Regardless, Ness refused to give up. There had to be at least one Smasher who would help him find a gift for Toon Link!
As he roamed the hallways of the massive mansion, he heard the recognizable sounds of steel clashing and battle cries. He stopped in front of a familiar door. The words "Swords Club" were carved into a golden plaque on the door.
'Of course! Those guys let anyone who favor the art of swordplay into their club, and Toon Link's one of the best swordsmen around!' Feeling new hope well up within him, Ness knocked on the door.
"Who is it?" a voice who sounded like Roy yelled from inside.
"It's me, Ness!"
"Oh, just a second!"
The door opened and Ness came face-to-face with a sweaty Roy.
"Ohh Ness!" Roy smiled, shaking hands with the young psychic. "What's up, buddy?"
"Oh nothing much, just checking up on things. I see you have a Swords Club meeting going on."
"Oh yeah, we're just finishing up," Roy said, pointing to his friends behind him who were talking to each other.
"Oh! Would you like me to come back later?"
Roy shook his head. "Oh no, we're practically done. Come in, come in!"
Ness walked into the room as Roy shut the door behind him and turned back to face his guest.
"So how are you?" he asked.
"I'm good. I couldn't help but notice you guys were doing your Secret Santa today."
"Oh, of course! In fact, we just finished drawing out names."
"Cool!" Ness exclaimed "So out of curiosity, who's got Toon Link this year?"
The three swordsmen looked at each other in confusion.
"What do you mean?" Ike asked.
"Well, everybody just got done drawing names, but I couldn't help but notice Toon Link's not here."
Ike snorted. "Well of course not; he's not in the club."
"Really?" Ness asked. "But why?"
"What do you mean 'why?'"
"Why isn't he in the club?" Ness asked again. "He's a sword user, right? And everybody who uses a sword is invited into the Swords Club!"
Everyone exchanged a few awkward glances before Roy finally cleared his throat.
"Look, I'm not sure how to put this to you Ness, but Toon Link isn't exactly qualified."
"Well it's not just about using a sword," Ike explained. "You have to be good at using a sword."
"But Toon Link placed fourth in the last monthly!" Ness exclaimed, referring to the monthly tournaments Master Hand and Crazy Hand hold each month. "He even beat Marth!"
"That's because he cheated—"
"Ahem!" Roy cleared his throat again, ignoring Marth's glare. "What Marth means to say is that Toon Link got lucky, and you can't just depend on luck in order to win. Besides, that's not important."
Ness had a feeling where this was going. He bowed his head, his disappointment returning.
"Hey, you all right?" Roy asked.
"Oh, it's nothing. Umm, have you guys done your Christmas shopping yet?"
"Why of course!" Roy smiled. "We got everybody such amazing gifts! Ness, wait 'till you see what we got you; all of us pitched in. We haven't shopped for the Secret Santa stuff yet of course, but that just means we all get an extra gift."
"I see! So did you guys get Toon Link anything?"
Roy let out an irritated sigh. "Oh come on Ness, what's with your sudden interest in Toon Link?"
"I'm just curious to find out what people got each other."
"Ah-hah! Why didn't you say so? Of course I got something for everyone!"
"So what did you get Toon Link?"
Roy's eyes shifted as the others grimaced.
"Oh, umm… You'll see! I got him something extra special!"
It didn't take psychic abilities to know Roy was lying, but Ness let it slide.
"All right, umm...Cool!" Ness said.
"Is there anything else we can help you with?" Marth asked.
"Oh no, that's all. I just wanted to make sure everybody took care of their shopping. After all, Christmas is next week."
"Of course. Oh, have you heard Mario's ridiculous accent yet?"
"Oh yeah, it sure is something. Well, I'll see you all later!" Ness said as he turned to leave.
"Take care!" Roy smiled as the others waved.
Ness closed the door behind him with an irritated growl.
'I just don't get it!' Ness fumed as he walked aimlessly around the halls. 'Why do people not like Tune Link so much? He's a nice guy!'
He was so focused on ranting that he didn't even notice the small figure that bumped into him until he was splayed out on the ground. A cartoon hand was thrust in his face.
"I'm so sorry, Ness! Are you okay?"
Ness looked up to the green-clad figure standing over him. "Toon Link!"
The boy pulled him up with a bright smile. "Hey Ness, what's up?"
"Nothing, umm..." Ness trailed off. "Just wandering around; you?"
"I'm great!" Toon Link cheered. "I'm just finishing up my Christmas shopping! How about you?"
"Oh I did a little shopping, but I couldn't get much. I have no money."
"That's okay, it's the thought that counts, right?"
"Uhh, yeah!" Ness said, feeling his face flush as he recalled his earlier encounters that day with the other Smashers.
"Hey Ness, you don't look well. What's wrong?"
"—Nothing!" Ness nearly shouted, embarrassed that Toon Link picked up on his feelings so easily. "So, you did your Christmas shopping?"
"Oh yeah, I'm almost finished. I still have to get Ganondorf's gift, but I'm a little low on cash. Hey, you don't think you could loan me a few dollars, could you?"
"I don't have money, remember?"
"That's right! Sorry," Toon Link apologized.
"It's good. So what were you thinking about getting him?"
Toon Link looked both ways for a moment, as if expecting Ganondorf to appear at any moment.
"Okay! So I was thinking about getting him a replica of that sword he wielded in Twilight Princess! They've released a special-edition battle-ready kind that's made of damascus!"
Ness felt his eyes pop out of their sockets. "Damascus?! Dude, that's like $400!"
"I know," Toon Link sighed, "but he really wants it. And it'll make him so happy!"
Ness looked at the boy as if he had sprouted another head. "Oh my gosh, why would you get him something like that? He didn't get you anything last year!"
"So? Christmas isn't about presents. It's about sharing the holiday spirit with your friends and family."
"But everybody treats you horribly!" Ness nearly shouted.
Toon Link shook his head. "Not really, they just don't talk to me. That doesn't mean I shouldn't be nice to them. We're family, aren't we?"
At this point, Ness was close to seething. Never had he felt so disgusted with the other Smashers. Toon Link looked at him with a concerned frown. "Are you sure you're okay, Ness? You look kind of mad."
"It's nothing," Ness replied. "I, uhh...lost a bet with Captain Falcon. Yeah!"
Toon Link's contagious smile returned. "Hah! You think you're losing bets with him now? Wait till you see what I got him for Christmas!"
Ness frowned, the guilt returning even stronger than before. "Really? So what did you get him?"
"I got him one of those back door flow charts on all of the racers in the next five seasons. Those are the charts that make the most accurate predictions!"
Ness's eyes widened. "That must have cost a pretty penny."
"Actually, I found it for only $150 on Amazon™. I'm surprised I won that bid."
"That's still a lot of money, especially for Captain Falcon. I mean, do you honestly think he's going to return the favor?"
Toon Link shrugged. "Nah, but who cares? I like making people happy. Would you like to know what I got everyone else?"
"Umm sure, why not?"
Toon Link smiled even wider, his eyes literally dancing with joy.
"Sweet! Okay, so for Mario I got a limited edition blue-winged cap. It's just like the red-winged cap from the 64 games, except it lasts ten seconds longer, and allows him to fly up to 150 feet in the air! And best of all, there's a small alarm inside that warns you whenever it's about to run out of juice, giving him time to land so he won't end up face planting like he did on Icicle Mountain. And for Pokémon Trainer, I got him this really cool set of glass pokéballs! Not only do they look cool, you can even use them. Also, there's a special padding inside that allows the Pokémon to rest better."
"My word, how much did that stuff cost?"
"Well, the cap was $130, and the pokéballs were $200, but they are going to be so excited when they see them! Especially Charizard; I heard he hasn't been sleeping well due to back aches."
"But that's a lot of money!"
Toon Link continued as if he hadn't even heard him. "Oh yeah, I even got a necklace for Peach, and a special reservation at the Sakurai Spa for her and Zelda! I'd get one for Samus, but she's not into that stuff; although I did take the liberty to make arrangements for her power suit to get an upgrade, along with getting it waxed. There's a seasonal special going on at the Galactic Federation Gift Shop to have your battle armor upgraded to hold extra power bombs, a five-foot extension for the grapple beam, and it even scans the suit for the Adam Virus."
"Yeah, apparently there was a glitch in the previous suits that disabled various options because you didn't have permission or something. I'm not sure, but I heard Samus complain about it all the time."
Ness agreed. "That sounds annoying."
"I can imagine! Oh, and the upgrade comes with these neat morph balls that look like Santa Claus whenever they explode. I think it's a holiday gag."
Ness snickered, imagining the priceless look on Samus' face when she sees the explosion. "Well I see you really outdid yourself, but how much did you spend on gifts?"
"Well, with Mario's blue cap, some padding for Donkey Kong's bongos, and Wario's leather jacket along with other stuff, I'm surprised it wasn't more."
"How in the world were you about to afford all of that?!"
Toon Link gave a sheepish grin. "Well I sort of borrowed some money."
"I know it sounds extreme, but I really wanted to make this Christmas extra special!"
Ness groaned. "Who did you borrow money from?"
"I'd rather not say…"
"Toon Link, this is serious!"
"It's fine! I'll be all right; trust me!"
"No!" Ness shouted, grabbing Toon Link by the shoulders. "Tell me who you borrowed money from right now!"
"Ness, please!" he pleaded.
"If you don't tell me, I'll tell Master Hand!"
"Umm… that's not going to do much…"
Ness let go of Toon Link, completely dumbstruck as the realization dawned on him. "…You borrowed money from Master Hand?"
Toon Link gave a simple nod. Ness slapped himself in the forehead. "Oh my word, Toon Link…"
"I'll pay him back!"
Ness turned around, marching off in the opposite direction.
"Where are you going?" Toon Link yelled.
"To see Master Hand!"
But it was too late, for Ness was already gone.
Speaking of Master Hand, our merry little tale finds him in his second-floor office at the moment, discussing Christmas decorations with Crazy Hand.
"And I'm thinking about wrapping the tree with tinsel that changes colors, and also putting some fireworks in the star. The kind that swirls in the air with all sorts of cool, flashy patterns! Lots and lots of flashy patterns!"
Crazy Hand bobbed a finger up and down on the floor. "Hmm, I like it. But what if the tree catches fire?"
"That's why Mario has that talking water gun. See? I planned that out."
Before Crazy could respond, the office door slammed open, revealing a beyond-furious Ness. He stomped over to Master Hand's desk, pointing an accursed finger at the hand. "We need to talk, face to face!"
Awkward silence filled the room before Master Hand responded. "I'm afraid that would be rather impossible Ness, given the circumstances."
Crazy Hand stifled a snicker, much to Ness' chagrin.
"Oh… well I still need to have a word with you!"
"Sure, what's on your mind?"
"It's about Toon Link."
Master Hand sighed before turning to Crazy Hand. "We're going to need some privacy, mind stepping outside?"
"I'm afraid that would also be rather impossible, given the circumstances."
Master Hand faced his brother for a few moments before finally getting the joke. "All right wise guy," he chuckled, "would you mind floating outside?"
"Sure," Crazy Hand said as he floated out the door, closing it behind him.
Master Hand stretched his fingers. "All right Ness, what about Toon Link?"
"We've got a situation on our hands—" Ness started, before he realized his terrible pun and slapped himself in the forehead.
"Yeah, as you can imagine, a lot of the conversations we have with people tend to grow awkward very fast. Anyway, what's going on?"
"I just talked to Toon Link."
Master Hand groaned again. "Dear God, did he send you to ask me for more money?"
"No, but I just talked to him, and he's about to ask you himself!"
"Oh boy…" He pushed a button on a pager attached to his desk.
"Crazy Hand, could you send Toon Link to my office, please?"
"Thank you," he replied before turning back to Ness.
"I don't know how you found out about this, but it would behoove us all if you didn't tell anyone about this; especially Toon Link."
"How could you do that to Toon Link?!" Ness yelled.
"Do you honestly expect him to be able to pay you back all of that money?"
Master Hand shrugged. "Not really, but he's offered to work it off."
"Work it off?" Ness scoffed. "Do you have any idea how many matches it'll take for Toon Link to earn that kind of money?"
"Umm, yeah? I run the place. Remember?"
"And you're still going to make him pay all of that money back?!"
Master Hand let out another irritated sigh. "Of course not; that's insane."
"Yeah, and flat out impossible to—wait, what?"
"Why in the world would I force a ten-year-old to pay off $4,500?"
"I... I don't know...Wait! $4,500?!"
"Yeah, that's how much I loaned him this year," Master Hand said.
"Master Hand, do you know what he spends all of that money on?"
"Christmas presents, right? I mean, I hope it's Christmas presents; the kid's a little too young to be doing drugs, don'tcha think?"
"That's not funny!" Ness yelled.
"Neither is barging into my office with concerns over affairs that are none of your business, Ness!"
Ness sputtered for a moment before he continued. "Master Hand, this is serious. Do you know what kinds of gifts he's getting them?"
"Well, seeing he's about $4,500 in debt, I can imagine they must be really nice."
"Really nice? For Christ's sakes, he's getting Red glass balls!"
Another awkward silence filled the room before Master Hand burst out laughing. "Well I certainly didn't need to know that!"
But before he could continue, a slight knock at Master Hand's door sounded from behind them. Ness turned to see Toon Link standing there, a nervous glimmer in his eyes.
Master Hand turned to the new arrival cheerfully. "Hey buddy! How are you?"
Toon Link glanced at Ness before turning back to Master Hand.
"Look Master Hand, I am so sorry for this! I didn't mean—"
"No worries," Master Hand cut him off. "I hear you're strapped for cash."
Toon Link smiled sheepishly. "A little…"
Master Hand chuckled. "Doing some serious Christmas shopping, eh? So, how much you need?"
"Whoa! That's quite a bit. Who's it for?"
"Ganondorf," Toon Link smiled. "There's this really cool replica of the Twilight Princess sword that he's been eyeing."
"Oh? Well looks like Ganondorf's in for a nice surprise this year!"
Master Hand brandished a wallet from thin air and gave Toon Link four $100 bills.
"Thanks, Master Hand!" Toon Link beamed. "I promise to pay it back!"
"Sure thing. Oh, and Toon Link?"
The young Hylian turned around. "Yeah?"
Master Hand gave Toon Link another $100 bill.
"Why don't you go treat yourself for once?"
Toon Link went to protest. "But Master Hand!"
"But nothing, this one's on me. Just go enjoy yourself!"
"Really? Thanks, Master Hand!" Toon Link cheered.
"No problem. Take care!"
Toon Link left the office as Ness watched him leave, feeling absolutely stunned, though he was sure that if Master Hand had a face, he'd be smiling right now. "That boy is nothing but a cel-shaded bundle of energy, isn't he? ...Umm, you okay?"
"Master Hand, do you realize how badly everybody treats Toon Link?"
"I have heard stories."
"They say the most horrible things about him! Did you know that nobody ever once gave him a Christmas present ever since he arrived at the mansion?"
"Why yes, I am very aware."
"Yet you still loan him all of that money, knowing the extravagant things he's going to get them, and also knowing nobody will ever return the favor?!"
"Ness, I own a multi-billion dollar business. Money isn't much of an issue."
Ness scowled. "Master Hand, how long has this been going on? The whole loaning thing?"
Master Hand sighed. "Ness, why don't you have a seat?" Ness silently complied.
"Now," Master Hand began, "every year I watch that boy work harder than anybody else to save up money. At the end of the year, he goes off and spends it all on gifts for everybody, and every year he ends up short. So he asks if he can borrow money from me. Every year, I loan him some, just so he can give everybody a wonderful Christmas. Now granted, this year he borrowed more than usual, but it's not as much as I've seen from previous years."
"How much does he usually borrow?"
"Ehh, sometimes it's $2,500, others it's $4,000. One year he borrowed over $9,000."
"Yes, and not once has anyone ever given him a single present."
"That's horrible! How can you stand by and watch everybody be so mean to him? Doesn't it make you sick?"
"Of course it does, Ness!" Master Hand shouted. "You guys are the closest thing to children I've got; it hurts me more than you know to watch that boy walk around getting picked on when the only crime he's ever committed is being too nice!"
"Can't you do anything?"
"Like what?" Master Hand asked. "There's not much I can do. It's not like I can go around demanding everyone invite him into their social group. It'll only make them hate him even more."
"But that's unfair!" Ness protested.
"That's one of those life lessons us grown-ups try to shield from you kids. Ironically, that happens to be one of the most important lessons we try to teach you as well."
"It still doesn't make it right!"
"Oh?" Master Hand asked. "So tell me Ness, what have you gotten Toon Link in the time he's been here?"
Ness paused, struggling to come up with an answer, yet his mind remained blank.
"I umm… I haven't gotten him anything."
"Really? And here you are, chastising your fellow Smashers while you yourself haven't given him so much as a dime."
"Well, what do you expect? I'm just a kid!"
"You also make money from battles, do you not?"
"Yeah, well I don't see you giving him anything for Christmas!"
"Oh really? You want to know what I give him for Christmas every year?" Master Hand paused for dramatic effect. "...I absolve his debt."
"Every year he borrows thousands of dollars from me, and not once do I force him to pay up."
"You mean you never make him pay you back?"
"Of course not."
"Why?" Ness asked, confused.
"Because it's Christmas!" Master Hand exclaimed. "Christmas isn't about keeping tabs on what others do or how much they owe; it's about giving! And quite frankly, I don't know anyone who gives more than Toon Link. We could all learn a thing or two from him, ya know?"
Ness bowed his head in shame. Here he was, criticizing everyone else for not having the decency to repay Toon Link with gifts, and yet he himself was guilty of the same thing. A fit of snickering distracted Ness from his self-loathing.
"What's so funny?" he asked.
"I'm sorry, I'm just really happy right now. It brings me tears of joy to finally watch somebody take notice of this injustice and attempt to make a stand! Ness, you have no idea how much this means to me."
"Umm… I'm happy to help," Ness said.
"Well then, why don't you be the first?"
"Why don't you be the first one to give him a gift? A real gift.
Ness gave a sheepish grin and rubbed the back of his head. "Oh gee, I'd love to, but I have no money."
"No worries, I'll give you some."
Master Hand pulled out another $100 bill from his magical wallet and shoved it in Ness' face.
"Master Hand, I couldn't!"
"Merry Christmas! Think of it as an early Christmas Present."
Ness paused for a moment, thinking the scenario over. He then gave a bright smile, reluctantly taking the money from Master Hand's grasp.
"Thanks, Master Hand!"
"No problem. Now, if only there were some way to convince the others to do the same."
Ness paused for a moment, deep in thought before he snapped his fingers.
"I have an idea, but it's a long shot."
"Oh? Do tell!"
Christmas Day had finally arrived, and most of the Smashers were downstairs in the living room, happily chatting as they waited for the others. Ness sat in one of the leather chairs with a bowl of cereal as Captain Falcon entered the room with a cup of coffee.
"Merry Christmas, Ness!"
"Merry Christmas to you too, Captain Falcon!"
Mario wandered in right behind him, still dressed in his ridiculous getup from the other day. "Yo dawgs, what up?
Wolf growled from the other side of the room. "Ugh, here comes Mario."
"Merry Christmas, homies! Now it's time to lay the dime on these festive times!"
"For the love of all things holy, could you drop that ridiculous accent, Mario?" Falco yelled as he shoved past Mario in the doorway.
"Yo, haters gonna hate!"
Fox patted his best friend on the shoulder as he caught up to him. "Just let it go Falco; it's Christmas."
Before Falco could open his mouth to retort, Master Hand and Crazy Hand floated in.
"Merry Christmas, everybody!" Master Hand cheered.
"Merry Christmas, Master Hand!"
"All right, and now we present… the light show!"
Master Hand flipped a switch, and then the Christmas tree lit up with a chorus of "ooohs" and "ahhs."
"Whoa! Now that's festive!" Captain Falcon said.
"Who cares about lights and decorations, let's open some presents!" Crazy Hand yelled.
And with that, all the Smashers began to open their presents with joyous cheers. Ness watched everyone until he noticed Toon Link sitting alone at the table in the back, watching everybody anxiously open their gifts with a pleasant smile. Even though he didn't receive any gifts yet again, to Ness' disgust, he looked pleased enough watching everybody else. Unfortunately the celebration didn't last long, for something was terribly wrong!"
"Hey wait a second! I didn't get anything from Toon Link!" Captain Falcon complained.
"Me neither!" Marth added.
"Hey, where's my present?" Peach asked.
"Whoa, I don't have anything from Toon Link either!" Ganondorf exclaimed.
Confusion swept across the room as everybody asked the same question. Soon all eyes turned to Toon Link, who looked equally stumped.
"Yo, what gives? Why didn't you get me anything?" Captain Falcon glared.
"But… I did get you a present!" Toon Link started.
"Then where is it?"
"It should be under the tree!"
"Well it's not!"
"This isn't funny, Toon Link!" Zelda growled.
Toon Link looked absolutely panicked as he waved his arms in front of his face. "No, I swear, I got you guys a present, they should be there!"
"Oh I see what's going on," Ganondorf sneered. "He feels he doesn't have to give us anything because we never get him stuff!"
"No, that's not true!"
"Oh my gosh Toon Link, how can you be so selfish?!" Peach scoffed.
"Jeez Toon Link, we don't let you into the Swords Club, and this is how you react?" Roy glowered. "Pathetic!"
"But I didn't— "
"Oh now he admits it!" Marth yelled, throwing his hands up in the air.
"Yo dawg, I knew you messed up, but jeez!" Game and Watch added.
"I swear I bought everybody a present!" Toon Link said, eyes brimming with tears.
"You know why you're not in the Swords Club?" Marth said. "Because you're a freak! That's why!"
Ness quickly jumped in. "Leave him alone!"
"Oh come on, Ness, how can you not see it? He walks around wearing purple, with that weird look on his face!"
Master Hand broke into the middle of the growing mob and attempted to regain control. "Heyyyy guys, look! Decorations! The tree lights up! It has words on it, very nice words. Like the kind of words you are not saying at the moment!"
"And not to mention that whole cel-shaded look!" Captain Falcon continued. "Were the graphic designers stoned while drawing you?"
Master Hand forced himself in front of the racer. "Yo guys, don't forget we have a ratings system! Let's try and be nice, and not mess with the ratings system!"
"Not to mention you yourself look like you're on drugs," Bowser snorted. "If not, you look absolutely stupid with that glum look on your face, you freak!"
"Fire works!" Master Hand yelled. "The kind that goes 'bang!' You know, with colors? Who doesn't like colors?"
"I like colors!" Crazy piped up.
Master Hand turned to his wayward brother. "You're ADD; you don't count!" Crazy Hand slumped over and silently floated away.
"I swear, guys, I... I…"
Toon Link couldn't take it anymore. The tears finally broke loose as he ran from the room, bawling his eyes out.
"Jeez, what is wrong with that guy?" Captain Falcon asked nonchalantly.
Something broke inside of Ness at that moment. Before he knew what he was doing, he stood up in front of everyone and screamed at the top of his lungs.
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!"
His voice boomed across the room, forcing everybody to snap their heads towards him, staring like deer in headlights.
"HOW CAN YOU GUYS BE SO MEAN?!"
"Really Ness? You're actually standing up for him?" Captain Falcon asked.
"SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP! YOU ARE ALL NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF HEARTLESS, HATE-MONGERING JERKS!"
Peach looked as if she had been slapped in the face. "Ness, what has gotten into you?"
"HOW CAN YOU ALL STAND THERE AND INSULT TOON LINK WHENEVER HE'S BEEN NOTHING BUT KIND TO YOU?!"
"But he didn't even get us anything!" Ganondorf yelled.
"THAT GIVES YOU NO EXCUSE TO ACT LIKE A BUNCH OF ROTTEN GOOD-FOR-NOTHING ANIMALS! BESIDES, WHAT DID YOU GET HIM, HUH?!"
"Oh don't even go there!" Captain Falcon retorted. "You didn't get him anything either!"
"AT LEAST I'M NOT RUNNING AROUND CALLING HIM A FREAK!" Ness screeched.
"Okay Ness, look, we're sorry!" Roy exclaimed.
"Yeah, we apologize," Marth added. "Now will you stop screaming? You're starting to conduct electricity!"
"Actually, dat be Pikachu. He gets like dat whenever someone be hollerin'," Mario noted.
"It doesn't matter! Ness, we need you to calm down, okay?"
Ness growled, but took a few deep breaths.
"All right, now let's try this again," Roy calmly said.
"You know what, forget it! You're all a bunch of heartless dirt bags, I don't even know why I bothered!" Ness said.
"Okay, I understand," Roy responded. "In hindsight, I realize that I probably overreacted a little."
"Ness! You're screaming again!"
Ness took a few more deep breaths and forced himself to calm down before Roy started speaking again.
"Now look, what we said was wrong, okay? And we're really sorry; we didn't mean to do it. But the fact of the matter is that to us, it looked like Toon Link was trying to get revenge because we didn't hang out with him."
"Yeah, we really didn't expect him to shaft us like that," Marth added.
"Oh for the love of – you guys are really something!"
"What do you mean?" Captain Falcon asked.
"You numbskulls, Toon Link didn't shaft you!"
Marth looked at Ness as if he was drunk. "He didn't?"
"Of course not!" Ness fumed. "Now instead of assuming Toon Link tried to screw you over, you could have simply asked where his presents are!"
"We did ask him!" Ganondorf yelled.
"No you didn't; you cornered him with insults and called him a deformed member of society!"
Ganondorf shrugged. "But we asked him."
Fox slapped him upside the head with a groan.
Ness continued. "And for the record, Tune Link did get you guys something!"
"He did?" Roy asked with a perplexed look.
"Yeah, though none of you jerks deserve it, he got all of you a present! A really nice present!"
Captain Falcon sneered. "All right then, where are they?"
"In my room," Ness replied, crossing his arms.
Everybody paused for a moment, unsure of how to react. Moments later, the room filled with heavy gasps.
"Are you freaking kidding me?!"
"Nope, it's all there," Ness said.
Roy was shocked. "Why in the world did you stash all our presents from him in your room, Ness?!"
"So I could maybe shed some light on a reality we refuse to acknowledge. None of us appreciate what Toon Link does for us!"
Marth groaned. "Are you talking about that whole gift thing?"
"Haven't you noticed? Nobody ever thinks about him, yet he's always going out of his way for us!"
"So? That doesn't mean we should be obligated to do the same!"
"No, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't acknowledge his existence! Haven't you ever noticed that he seems to always get us the best gifts?"
Everybody stopped again to ponder. Now that they thought about it, Ness was right; Toon Link did always try to please everyone.
Ness turned to Wolf. "Wolf, what did Toon Link get you for Christmas last year?"
Wolf's face soured as if he swallowed a lemon drop. "Oh come on, really? You're targeting me?"
Roy let out a sigh. "Just answer the question!"
"Fine!" Wolf growled, "He got me a new targeting system for my Landmaster."
"And the year before that?"
Wolf growled even deeper. "Seriously?!"
"Wolf!" He turned to see Roy giving him a threatening glare.
"Ugh… A laser scope for my gun."
"And the year before that?"
"WILL YOU STOP IT?!"
"Ness, I think he gets the point," Roy said before he glanced around the room. Everyone was staring at him, their eyes filled with hope, as if he were chosen to be the voice of reason. He could tell the others around him felt equally terrible, yet relieved that Roy decided to be the one to speak up.
"We get it, all right?"
The boy scoffed. "Whatever; I'm done with you guys."
He turned to leave the room.
"Where are you going?"
He turned back around with a scowl. "To give Toon Link his Christmas present."
"Wait, you actually got him a gift," asked Ganondorf, his voice filled with surprise.
"Yeah," Ness replied, "It's called giving; something you guys obviously know nothing about!"
He left the room, leaving everyone else stunned. For several minutes, nobody said a word. That was, until Master Hand decided to try once more to alleviate the situation.
"Sooo…glitter! We've got glitter on the tree!"
"MASTER HAND, SHUT UP!"
Ness strode through the dim-lit corridors of the mansion towards Toon Link's room with a frown. He felt bad about screaming at everyone, but at the same time he felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. Eventually he arrived at his destination. He took a deep breath, ignoring the faint sniffling inside before knocking.
"Go away!" Toon Link's weak voice called from the other side.
"Come on Toon Link, it's Ness!"
"For the last time, I don't know what happened to your present. Leave me alone!"
"Fine," Ness sighed. "But in doing so, I won't be able to give you your Christmas present."
There was a short pause. Ness smirked; he knew Toon Link heard him when the snuffling sounds were replaced by the shuffling of feet on the other side, along with an audible "click."
The door opened, and Toon Link stood, his face completely flushed, yet there was the faintest trace of hope in his eyes.
The toon paused for a moment before his eyes brightened. Presents missing... Ness here offering... the puzzle pieced itself together inside of Toon Link's mind.
"You're good, Ness, you're real good," he said with a sarcastic nod. "I'll give you five seconds."
For a moment Ness didn't understand the tone in his voice until he realized Toon Link felt he'd been tricked. He dug into his backpack and pulled out a package wrapped in green paper.
"It's called a gift."
Toon Link gasped, barely believing his eyes. "A gift… for me? An actual Christmas present," he said with a dubious tone.
"What, haven't you ever seen one?"
The boy glared as Ness took a step back. "Kidding!"
Toon Link hesitantly reached out to touch it. "I don't believe it… real wrapping paper!"
The odd reaction caused Ness to chuckle. He decided to play along. "Uh-huh. And the box inside is made of cardboard! Real cardboard!"
"Like the kind Snake uses whenever he's crawling around the women's changing room?"
"The very same."
He stared at it like it were some sort of discovered treasure. He finally realized the gift was real! He snatched the present from Ness' grip like it would disappear at any moment. He ripped the packaging open to reveal a brown cardboard box, just as Ness described.
With a moment of hesitation, Toon Link opened the lid. Inside the box were multiple rolled up pieces of manuscript paper. He gazed at them with awe.
"They're maps," Ness said, after a moment of silence. "I thought I'd get you something that would remind you of home. This one's Dragon Roost Island, this one's Windfall, and this one's – "
"Outset Island!" Toon Link cried out. "That's where I grew up!"
Toon Link was close to tears. "Oh my gosh Ness, this is like… the greatest… the greatest…"
He could no longer hold it. He began crying, allowing the tears to trickle down his cheeks. Ness moved to pat him on the shoulder but was caught off guard when Toon Link wrapped his arms around him and hugged him tightly.
"THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOUUUUU! OH MY GOSH, THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!"
"Toon Link…Squeezing… hard… air… leaving…"
Though Toon Link didn't notice, Ness's face turned blue, then purple. With a slight tap on the shoulder, the toon gazed up to see Ness' ghost staring at him, patiently waiting for Toon Link to let go.
The moment he released him, the ghost receded back into Ness' head. Moments later, he regained consciousness. Another awkward pause filled the room before Toon Link remembered what he was going to say.
"Look, I honestly have no idea what happened to those presents," he mumbled while Ness blushed. He felt a sense of dread, but knew he had to confess what he had done.
"Umm Toon Link, I have a confession to make. I, uhh… stole your presents."
Toon Link blinked. "Huh?"
"I stole the presents you got for everyone… and stashed them into my room."
Toon Link blinked again. "You what?!"
"I am so sorry!"
Instead of blinking, Toon Link stared at Ness cross-eyed. "So let me get this straight. You took all of the presents I got for everybody, and hid them in your room, just so it would make it look like I didn't get anybody anything for Christmas?"
Ness' blush grew. "Yeah, I know, it was a really stupid move."
They both stood quietly next to each other. A lingering anxiety hovered over the two, neither daring to break it. Then suddenly, much to Ness' surprise, Toon Link cried out in excitement.
"THAT IS SOOOO COOL!"
"That is like, THE GREATEST PRANK EVER!"
Suddenly Toon Link fell on the floor in a fit of uncontrollable laughter. At this point, Ness was dumbstruck.
"Wow umm… I don't know what to say!"
"That is just mad cool! Genius! Brilliant!"
"Well umm, I'm glad you like it!"
"Like it," Toon Link screeched, "I LOVE IT! YOU HAD ME GOING THERE! I mean I honestly though my presents were all gone, and that everybody really hated me!"
"Well they did, but…"
"Oh man this is awesome!" Toon Link jumped up from the floor and took a step towards Ness. "So does that… does that mean we're friends now?"
A wide smile crept over Ness' face. "Of course!"
Toon Link jumped back, his voice raising. "REALLY?! OH MY GOSH, WE'RE ACTUALLY OFFICIALLY FRIENDS! WHOO-HOO!"
He began running around in circles, screaming with joy before embracing his friend again. "Thank you Ness, this is the best Christmas EVER!"
"You're welcome." Ness said as he returned the embrace. After he let go, he turned to leave. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go apologize to everyone."
"Why?" Toon Link asked with curiosity.
Ness feigned a sheepish grin. "I sort of went off on everyone after what they did to you."
"Oh Ness, you didn't have to!"
"I know, but I couldn't stand it anymore."
Toon Link nodded. "All right then, I'll see you around!"
With a wave, he marched over to the living room. Surprisingly, everybody was still there. What was even more shocking was that everybody was there with the same gloomy expression on their faces, along with their still-wrapped presents.
"Hey…" Ness muttered with a casual wave.
"Hey Ness," Captain Falcon replied, sounding depressed.
"Sooo… I see you found your gifts."
Everybody sighed, leaving Ness bewildered. "Huh? What's wrong? Why haven't you opened your presents, yet?"
Captain Falcon spoke again. "We don't want them."
"We are such idiots!" Marth jumped in.
"You were right," Roy said. "We are nothing but a bunch of selfish, pig-headed animals."
"Yeah, and don't think for a second I don't know what that is," Ganondorf sighed, pointing at his wrapped sword. "He knew I've been wanting that for the longest time."
Captain Falcon jumped in once again. "And we all know about Pokémon Trainer's glass balls!"
After that awkward line, Captain Falcon decided to be quiet. Peach, Zelda, and Samus couldn't help but giggle.
"I can't believe we did that," mumbled a dishearten Wolf.
"Yeah, dat wasn't throwed at all," Mr. Game and Watch added in.
Marth flinched. "I actually called him a freak. Right to his face! What kind of man does that?"
Ganondorf nodded. "A coward, that's what. And that's we are: nothing but a bunch of cowards."
Peach stood up and pointed to her necklace. "I can't believe I called him selfish when he got me this beautiful, beautiful pearl necklace! I don't even want to look at it!"
Wolf raised a perplexed eyebrow. "Then why are you wearing it?"
The princess flinched, then she clutched her hips and leaned forward. "Well I can't let it go to waste, either! It'll be the burden I bear to continuously remind me how foolish I am."
Wolf scoffed. "Riiight…"
Roy let out a deep sigh. "Guys look, we messed up, and it's something we're simply going to have to accept."
Falco bellowed a subtle "hmph". "Some Christmas this turned out to be."
"Yeah," Wolf added, "And we chased off the only guy who actually had spirit."
Ness waited patiently for anyone else who wanted to speak. Nobody said a word.
"Well I wanted to apologize for yelling at you guys like that," Ness said, breaking the silence.
"Don't apologize, we deserved it!" Roy exclaimed. "I'm surprised you can still look at us!"
Ness sat down at a nearby chair and slumped over. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, Toon Link's doing back flips in his room."
"Yeah, I told him what I did, and he fell over laughing… he said it was the greatest prank ever."
Everyone in the room groaned.
"Jeez," Captain Falcon muttered, "that just makes me feel worse."
"Ugh, I wish there was some way to make it up to him."
After a few minutes passed, Ness leaped out of his seat. "Wait, I got it!"
Ness flashed a devilish grin. "I know how we can make it up to him!"
Toon Link woke up the next morning, feeling unusually cheerful. He was always in a good mood, but today he wasn't just in a good mood; he was in a great mood! But why was that? Christmas was over! Today was December 26th, and there wouldn't be another Christmas for a whole year!
But today was indeed a special day, because for the first time in his life, Toon Link had a friend. And today they made plans to hang out and do all sorts of fun activities. Well… that's what Toon Link was hoping. Last night Ness visited him; sounding very excited, and yelled "come meet me outside of your room first thing in the morning!"
The young toon was so excited he could barely sleep! But alas, the morning came. Feeling more excited than ever, Toon Link quickly jumped out of bed, took a shower and brushed his teeth, and jumped into the first pile of clothes he could find - right before bursting through the door.
He stepped outside with a bright smile on his face, expecting to see Ness waiting. Unfortunately though, to his surprise, nobody was there.
Where in the world was Ness? Was he running late? Did Toon Link oversleep? That's not possible, it's 7:30 in the morning!
Just as he prepared to return to his room, the hallways exploded with smashers from all over the mansion.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS, TOON LINK!"
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how easily Toon Link is frightened. Of course, you would be too if you walked outside of your room and a mob of armed men and women rushed you from all sides.
He fell back on his butt, scared out of his mind! After a few deep breaths, he gazed up at the crowd with a haphazard grin.
"Guys… what is this?" He asked.
Roy stepped out of the crowd and held his hand out, offering to help the boy up.
"It's our Christmas party in honor of our favorite toon!"
Mario jumped out of the crowd. "Yeah, and we be partyin' like rock stars, son!"
And then Ganondorf strode over. "Yeah come on, we can't open Christmas presents without you!"
Toon Link shot them an awkward glare. "But it's December 26th; Christmas was yesterday!"
Captain Falcon walked up to Toon Link, grabbed him by the collar, and shoved him in front of a calendar.
"What does that say?"
"Umm… December 25th?"
"Exactly! Today's December 25th! Christmas!"
"But… you just changed the calendar! You can't do that!"
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did!"
"I… uhh… err… oh come on!"
Finding no other way to argue, Toon Link gave up and decided to just roll with it. "Fine, it's December 25th!"
The racer flashed a devious grin. "Good, now go to the dead-gum living room, and open your dead-gum presents, or so help me God I'm going to beat you with them!"
Wolf chimed in with a quick laugh, "Yeah looks like Santa Clause loves you tonight! You've got so many presents they barely fit in the room!"
"I've got… presents?"
The idea of having presents under the tree seemed highly unlikely, if not impossible. But then again, everybody was talking to him. Not only that, they were being nice to him.
"Yeah, now come on!" Roy cheered.
With a shrug, Toon Link made his way to the living room where he found himself face to face with the most unlikely scenario in his life. The entire living room was filled with packages...and packages...and even more packages, all of them with the most disturbing picture of Toon Link winking he had ever encountered in his life.
There was simply no way this could be true.
He took a step closer. 'This is definitely a dream,' he thought. No way would anybody ever get him, Toon Link, this many gifts. But lo and behold, they were all right there, clogging up the poor Christmas tree. The toon tried to move closer, but his legs wouldn't move.
Captain Falcon took advantage of Toon Link's paralysis and grabbed a small, blue package in the very center of the pile. "Open this one!"
Tune Link hesitantly examined it, expecting it to blow up in his face at any time. With a shrug, he tore through the packaging. However, upon seeing what was inside, he suddenly wished it were a bomb. With a grimace, he pulled a small, green hat with bells on the side out of the package.
He paused, feeling slightly embarrassed to be holding a green hat with bells on the side. The sound of faint giggles echoed through the air as Toon Link shot Captain Falcon the biggest "are you kidding me?" look he'd ever seen in his life.
"A hat with bells…" the toon muttered, "what do I look like, an elf?"
The room was suddenly filled with laughter. Captain Falcon stood as his cheeks turned a rosy scarlet, soon followed by everybody chanting "ohhhhh!"
As soon as everything began to settle, Toon Link chalked a grin. "Just out of curiosity, how much did you spend on this?"
"Errr… Fifteen bucks."
"Fifteen bucks…" Toon Link echoed, nodding confidently. "And how much did those flow charts cost me?"
Captain Falcon blushed even harder.
"Ugh... A hundred fifty dollars."
The toon nodded once more. "A hundred and fifty dollars. Tell me, what do you get when you subtract fifteen from a hundred fifty?"
"A hundred thirty five…"
"That's right, Captain Falcon, that is a one hundred thirty five dollar difference. Do you know what that means?"
Captain Falcon's face grew pale. He bowed his head with a groan. "Ugh… what does that mean?"
Toon Link flashed an evil smile before jumping up and slam-dunking the hat on Captain Falcon's head. Everybody in the room roared with laughter, including Captain Falcon.
Unable to contain his excitement any longer, Toon Link jumped up in the air. "So what are you waiting for guys? Let's get this party started!"
And thus, Tune Link, along with his new friends, went off to celebrate another year of good tidings and seasonal festivities. Ness was happy to finally see Tune Link getting presents, while Master Hand was thrilled that all of his planning and decorating didn't go to waste. In fact, he heard a couple of people proclaim that this year's light show was hands down the best! Needless to say, this year turned out to be extra special for Tune Link, because for the first time in his life, he found a true friend. And of course, from now on, everybody gets a present from everyone. That is, everyone except Tune Link; he gets two!